1. Indiego
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    Indiego New Member

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    I've hit a roadblock.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Indiego, Jul 12, 2008.

    I've finally established a strong and cohesive plot, but I have one issue I have to deal with. Let me lay out the situation:

    It's 1700 and Carlos II of Spain has just died, bringing into question the succession to the Spanish throne. In his will, Carlos left Spain and her territories to Prince Léonard of Réona. Réona is a nation with a strong religious tradition called Verumism. As such, Prince Léonard is a Verumist, not a Catholic, let alone a Christian.

    With Spain's history of religious intolerance, it seems unlikely that the people or the nobility would accept a king that is anything besides Catholic. But it has to happen, otherwise the entire plot falls apart.

    So there's the question. How could a perceived heathen receive the throne of a fervently Catholic nation?
     
  2. zorell
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    zorell Contributing Member

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    They would absolutely demand he convert, or there'd be some covert plot by one of the higher-ups to twart him with, say, his own son or nephew...
     
  3. Last1Left
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    Last1Left Active Member

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    His faith doesn't have to be made public, does it? He could just, you know, observe all the religious festivals and holidays. Catholicism doesn't rely heavily on the rulers of the state to oversee the religion as much as other branches of Christianity, such as Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches, where the power was held by the leader of the country for centuries, instead of a papal figure.
     
  4. Daisy
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    Daisy New Member

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    You might want to research leaders from the past who had to rule or lead in a similar situation and determine what they did right or did wrong.

    I'm not a huge history buff, but I think Queen Elizabeth I came to the throne amidst a divided religious Country and she died with her head still on, so she must have done something right.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I think as a central conflict, this one's a doozy. How could a king remain in power without embracing the religion of a strongly religious population? I don't see an easy answer to this, but I think that if you can work out a way that he gains the respect and love of his subjects, you will have a powerful plot (plot = conflict + resolution).

    I'd suggest expanding your research beyond the history of Catholic countries to the Arab states, and Southeast Asia, and beyond. You'll probably have a tougher time with countries in which the king was considered to be semi-divine, because obviously being not arepresentative of God will be a much greater obstacle to his being tolerated long enough to win that respect.

    Good luck!

    By the way, THIS is an excellent example of a plot creation question.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    when, if ever, has a ruling monarch left his/her country and its possessions to anyone in a will?... the line of succession is of vital importance to any absolute monarchy, so wouldn't be handled in such a way to begin with... unless this is an out and out fantasy set in a fictional country/world, your premise simple doesn't make any sense, imo...

    and even if that was so, i can't see the terms of such a will being honored, allowed to be carried out by the powers behind the throne that exist in all kingdoms...
     
  7. Indiego
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    Indiego New Member

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    Mammamia, I'm sorry if my research if faulty, but what I understand is that Carlos II did, in fact, leave his kingdom to another European royal in his will. He did so (certainly with a little more than input from his advisors, as he was severely disabled) because he had produced no children, creating a dynastic crisis that sparked the War of the Spanish Succession.

    I had considered the similar religious changes in the British throne, but Elizabeth I actually restored England to Protestantism after Mary I (Bloody Mary) had restored it to Catholicism during her oppressive rule, so I imagine the people were ready to accept Elizabeth. Also, Verumism is a polytheistic religion with no connection to the three Abrahamic religions, so it's quite a different comparison to make.

    I could have him convert, but he would have to switch back to Verumism later, which would cause problems. He could, of course reconvert after winning respect, admiration, and power, thus giving him leverage with which to resist the backlash. I don't know! A big problem is the whole "Divine Right of Kings" idea. If a man didn't even believe in the Christian God, how could he derive his right to rule from Him?

    Bah, I've got a lot to think about. Thanks for your help so far!
     
  8. BillyxRansom
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    BillyxRansom Active Member

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    As far as this goes, you could maybe have him claim one religion outright, but secretly be more aligned with another, opposing religion? Like treason, sort of... I don't know if this is what you're looking for at all, so if it's way out of line, I apologize, but there's my input at least. :)
     
  9. Indiego
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    Indiego New Member

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    I'm leaning towards this, actually. He could practice Catholicism while in Spain but sympathize with Verumists, secretly continuing to practice his original religion.

    I'm reminded of when Henry IV of France converted to Catholicism to secure the throne, saying "Paris is well worth a mass." Léonard could have a similar attitude and promote religious tolerance as a new policy so that he may one day return to Verumism without being hanged. He could also try to inadvertently promote conversion to Verumism within Spain. It's a very practical religion with a lot of appeal, and I think the average Spaniard would much prefer it to Catholicism, which was generally used to suppress people in that age.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    as carlos was a misshapen, drooling idiot, thanks to the hapsburg's inbreeding, he could hardly have written a will himself, but did in fact, 'name' his great-nephew, the french duc d'anjou [phillip V], to the throne...

    one of the best accounts of this and other historic monarchies can be found in the durants' exquisite work, 'the story of civilization'...
     
  11. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    In the 1680's, England switched from a Catholic monarchy to Protestant. Here is how the change took place. Maybe you can borrow from reality?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_II_of_England


    BTW - to this day many Catholics in the "Isles" think Protestants are "heathens".
     
  12. Indiego
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    Indiego New Member

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    I maintain that a will was written, regardless of whether it was by Carlos' ministers or his wife, but I think this is skirting around the subject...

    To NaCl - Thanks for bringing that to my attention! It still would have happened in my history, so it could be that my guy looks at the reign of James II as an example of what happens when monarchs oppose the religion of their people.
     
  13. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    You might even have your MC participate in dialog with a confidante about the plight of James II and develop a plan to "deceive the people". Could make for a fun sub-plot with additional complications later in the story...like blackmail, inadvertent discovery, etc.
     
  14. Indiego
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    Indiego New Member

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    Great suggestion! I've actually been so caught up in hashing out the perfect base plot that I haven't solidified any conflicts besides the central one. That kind of sub-plot could add some much needed intrigue.
     
  15. Kratos
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    He would probably have to pretend to convert, or else they wouldn't accept him.
     
  16. Chef Dave
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    Chef Dave Member

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    What about this? To become King of Spain, he relinquishes his title as Prince of Réona to his younger brother or whoever is next in line for the title. He is then free to embrace Catholicism and to become King of Spain.

    By doing this he avoids deception ... which would certainly be uncovered and create the potential for civil war.

    One would also hope that this prince would be a man of honor and not try to deceive the people he would rule.
     

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