Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess named Cordelia. She was the youngest daughter of the good King Giles and the equally good Queen Jenny. Cordelia reigned over the court society, deciding who was in and who was out.
Now, Cordelia was fairly intelligent, radiantly lovely, and also had a good heart, but unfortunately she was also very snobby and had very little in the way of tact. Her closest friends, Countess Harmony and Duchess Aura, were also snobby, but they were idiots and followed wherever Cordelia led.
Cordelia's greatest pleasure was in thinking up great put-downs that she could use on the less popular. Princes came from all over the land to court the beautiful princess, but often left soon after they realized that she was snobby and shallow. As a result, Cordelia was still single while her sisters had found handsome princes to live happily ever after.
Good King Giles loved his youngest daughter very much, but her snobbishness and utter shallowness was driving him batty. He consulted with his wife, and finally they agreed to give their daughter a lesson in compassion, and hopefully get her a husband at the same time. (because unfortunately this was a male-dominated and highly chauvanist society, it never occured to King Giles that maybe his daughter didn't *want* to get married)
So King Giles hired Amy the Witch (who had actually spent time at court, and so was thrilled to have the chance to get back at Princess Cordelia) and his invisible servant, Marcie Ross. The two consulted among themselves, and came up with a Plan.
Marcie abducted Cordelia in her sleep, and brought her to the high tower that Amy the Witch had built with her magic. Now, the tower was a hundred feet tall and built out of the smoothest glass. Clearly only a man truly *cough* deserving *cough* of the princess would dare this trial for her. They also found a demon to cook and clean for the princess. Because, hey, even though King Giles wanted his daughter to learn compassion, he probably didn't want her to learn basic survival skills. This is a *princess* we're talking about here.
In a brilliant use of flash-powder, strobe lighting, and a concealed microphone, Amy the Witch appeared in the court of King Giles and announced the exact whereabouts and condition of Princess Cordelia. As soon as she dissapeared - courtesy of a trap door - King Giles vowed that whoever rescued his daughter would be made her husband and his heir to the throne. (because this was a male-dominated and highly chauvanist society, it never occured to King Giles that his daughter, who had been raised around the seat of government all her life, might be better prepared to run a kingdom than whatever shmuck rescued her)
Maps and climbing tackle were handed out to the court gentlemen as they exited the castle, and soon all were gathered around the glass tower. They stood around for a while, looking up the hundred feet to the tiny window where Princess Cordelia stood, then finally all agreed that there were easier ways to find a bride and inherit a kingdom. Throwing down their maps, they went to pawn off the climbing tackle.
Up in the tower room, Princess Cordelia raged at the poor demon. Now, she had inicially been frightened at his horrid countenance, but in her rage she forgot that his skin was green and prickly. After she had spent two hours wrecking everything in the tower room, she was sufficiently calmed down for the demon to make dinner for them. The princess remained sullen, however, even as she ate her cheesy maccaroni. (because Amy and Marcie hadn't realized that the demon had lied on his resume, and didn't know how to make anything other than cheesy maccaroni, unless you counted the ability to mix any alcholic drink imaginable)
Learning of the fiasco with the court gentlemen, Amy the Witch and Invisible Marcie consulted and decided that the best approach would be to make the task a trifle less daunting. The next afternoon, as Princess Cordelia cleaned up the mess she had made the previous night, (because the demon had also lied on his resume by stating that he knew how to clean, when in reality he didn't know one end of a mop from another. Cordelia was little better, but after watching the demon fiddle around for almost three hours she had finally given up and done it herself) the tower shrank from one hundred feet to fifty feet, and changed from glass to stone.
Two weeks passed slowly by, and at this point the tower was fifteen feet tall and had comfortable foot and hand holes carved in a path to the room where Princess Cordelia lived with the demon. Amy the Witch was getting annoyed, and she went out to recruit heroes.
The first man she came across was Sir Xander the Cretin. She explained the situation to him, but at length he shook his head.
"I'd love to help," he said, "but my girlfriend Anya has been imprisoned in the Forest of Small Biting Creatures by the evil Slut-Queen Faith."
"But the task to rescue Princess Cordelia has no risk!" Amy protested. "I'll even give you this free climbing tackle! If you go to the Forest, the Small Biting Creatures will kill you!"
But Sir Xander merely shook his head. "I just got my rabies and tetenus shots updated. They will keep me safe long enough to smash the Small Biting Creatures with my baseball bat." And he then continued on his way.
Amy searched until she found Sir Oz the Taciturn. She explained the situation to him, but like Sir Xander, he merely shook his head.
"I'm searching for my girlfriend Willow, who was kidnapped by the evil Bitch-Queen Veruca." Sir Oz then changed into a werewolf and ran off to save his girlfriend. Amy continued searching until she came upon Sir Angel the Broody.
"I'd love to save Princess Cordelia," he said, "but she is a brunette, and I can't save anyone who isn't blonde. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go break up a wedding."
"Whose?" asked Amy, who was never one to let a piece of juicy gossip pass her by.
"That of Lady Buffy and Sir Riley." he responded, an angsty expression coming over his face. Turning, he rode off on his black (of course) horse.
Amy was about to give up when she came upon Prince Wesley of Wussonia. After she assured him that there would be no danger, he agreed to 'rescue' Princess Cordelia. The two returned to the tower, where Wesley nearly balked at the climb. Amy (who was now pretty fed up) created a staircase to the window, and Wesley entered to find Princess Cordelia and the demon playing Gin Rummy for penny-a-point.
They all started off for the castle, with Cordelia riding with Wesley while the demon rode on the second horse with the luggage. (because he had to pick up his paycheck from King Giles)
Cordelia found herself glum for some strange reason. Prince Wesley might not be brave, but he was very rich and from certain angles he could be called handsome. She tried to shake off her strange feelings for the demon, but they lingered strangely. (which is often what strange feelings do)
Prince Wesley refused to ask for directions, and as a result they got lost. Just as it got dark, they found a hut to spend the night in. Prince Wesley turned out to be a dismal conversationalist, so Princess Cordelia and the demon played poker all night.
The next morning, they started out again. Realizing that Prince Wesley still had no intentions of asking for directions, Princess Cordelia asked directions from the first person she came across, who turned out to be a rather disheveled Sir Angel. As it turned out, Lady Buffy had taken offense to his attempt to break up her wedding. After laughing in his face, she had kicked him in the groin and thrown him out of the church.
"Why would she do that?" Sir Angel wailed to Cordelia. "I'm rich, I'm gorgeous, and I *ANGST*!" After patting him helpfully on the shoulder, Princess Cordelia returned to the horses and the group finally reached the castle.
As the group passed over the drawbridge, Princess Cordelia made her decision. Shoving Prince Wesley off the horse and into the moat, she turned to the demon, who was looking at her in amazement.
"Listen," she said, "I don't care if you're ugly and spiney, or even that you aren't rich. I love you, damn it, and will you marry me?" (the fact that she was asking *him* to marry *her* showed that she was not entirely a slave to the chauvanist dogma that pervaded the kingdom)
To her astonishment, the demon's horrible prickiness faded away to leave only a handsome dark haired man with a charming grin and eyes that danced with mischief. "I thought you'd never ask." he said with a wonderful Irish accent. "Yes."
So Princess Cordelia married Doyle the Demon, and they lived happily ever after. (mostly, but it was that 'mostly' that counted)