1. chronicler
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    chronicler Member

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    Deception and Hostile Takeovers

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by chronicler, Dec 13, 2011.

    Hey Guys,
    I'm struggling with a really great idea for a medieval setting story. What I want is a low level prince plots to overthrow the king, and ultimately the emperor of this particular world. What I am having trouble with is getting all the pieces in the "orchestration" that would be involved.

    What would you need to do so that you could overthrow the fictional government? Specifically where would you need spies, and how would you get them to be spies? What's a realistic form of blackmail for this setting?

    I've tried to plan it all out, and the reason for planning it is this: I love reading a book that when you get to the end everything falls into place and you say "Ahh, that guy was in on it?!" I love the realization that these characters you've been reading about for the whole book are dirty bad guys and you had no clue.

    What I have now: Prince poisons king, takes over the thrown. Ultimately he would need to have the emperors favour to get close enough to kill him, so that in tales a spy in the emperors palace.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    Ultimately you are going to have to do the legwork but here are a few ideas:

    1. It's easy to amass a small army by recruiting from the random villages that have been screwed over by said King/Emperor. Maybe you can create drama/plot in trying to convince a mercenary to help you without having the ability to pay him.
    2. The "deathblow" to the King/Emperor might be showing the population that thinks this guy is awesome that he really isn't. If the King/Emperor is the type that rules with an iron fist, this will probably be hard to do. But then again maybe you can turn his army against him somehow.
    3. Despite having a giant castle and probably a lot of security, it always seems like it's easy to infiltrate and disable different parts of security. Again, you'd have to do a lot of the legwork here to come up with things specifically but the good thing is that there's a lot of space for creativity here.
     
  3. chronicler
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    chronicler Member

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    Yeah, legwork can make things confusing. I don't mind the legwork, in fact I enjoy it. That said, it would be nice to have a few examples. Can anyone provide some novels that would help with that?
     
  4. Marge
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    Marge Member

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    I think this has the makings of a great story. One idea might be to go with a female spy. Maybe a relative of the emperor who has been treated unjustly and wants revenge, or maybe a woman in the court who falls in love with the prince and will do whatever it takes to gain his favor. If you’re going with male spy/spies, you could always have the prince take spy’s wife/child/loved one, keeping them chained in his dungeon with the threat of death/torture if said spy doesn’t do as he’s told. (Not sure how realistic you want to get, these are just a few ideas off the top of my head.)

    Not sure of any novels that would help, sorry.

    Agentkirb: I think you just gave me an idea for my own novel (the “amass small army by recruiting from random villages” thing) Very cool.
     
  5. sithkittie
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    sithkittie New Member

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    Novels that would help: Game of Thrones was the first that popped into my head.

    I would personally suggest reading Machiavelli's The Prince. Trust me, it's not as intimidating as people make it out to be, and it has a lot of good, unnervingly practical information. It's a must for background on medieval (even modern!) political intrigue. Also, something that gets me a lot about fantasy wars, and one of the reasons I like how Martin handled his wars is that people don't generally want to fight. Peasant armies aren't as good as knights or life-long fighters like mercenaries. They only fight because if they don't they'll die or get thrown in prison (at best), and they don't know how to fight. And then you have to deal with the noble families. This is why I say The Prince is a must read, because it really hammers home why you need their support. So unless your king is an evil you-know-what that the nobles want dead anyway (don't worry about the peasants, they just want to live and die in peace), your low-level prince is going to have a bear of a time even without dealing with the legitimate heirs.

    Something else that might help give you some ideas is the Spider in The Lies of Locke Lamorra. Game of Thrones has a "spider" (spy master) character too. And for all their worthlessness as actual historical accounts, Machiavelli's "histories" have some pretty inspiring examples of political games. Same with Candide, though those are satirical. Never underestimate second (and third, and especially youngest) sons and wards. They're in very good positions politically but they generally have nothing by way of inheritance so that right there makes them good to buy out.

    Those are my thoughts anyway. I hope they help. :)
     
  6. sithkittie
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    sithkittie New Member

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    Double post, sorry.
     
  7. RusticOnion
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    RusticOnion Contributing Member

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    What do you mean by "low level prince" is he the son of some other king? a young son of the emperor? because if he's not the only prince then he will have to deal with the crown prince aswell.
     
  8. Rumwriter
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    Rumwriter Active Member

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    Just make sure that when you do your writing that you spell it "throne" and not "thrown". Also "entails"...just as a quick bonus point. Good luck.
     
  9. chronicler
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    chronicler Member

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    Thanks for all the tips! I just ordered a copy of The Prince to read. I will post a plot summary when I get it finished. Thanks!!
     

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