1. Jethelin
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    Jethelin Member

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    Politics help.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Jethelin, Dec 3, 2011.

    There is a point in my current WIP where my characters have to travel somewhere to do something :cool:. If you are curious, it is a medieval fantasy, so they will be traveling on horses. No dwarves, elves, or any of that nonsense either fyi.

    More to the point. They are traveling South. The South in my story is extremely chaotic and a very dangerous place. The danger comes from the nations down there who are almost constantly in some sort of war. One would ally with another just to accomplish a goal, then they would turn on each other. Now my characters are traveling down through all of these countries, tasked with trying to get some of them to march back up North to help the character's home country. This task will be a comparatively small part of the story that happens in the South, but I am curious about how some of you would go about making the political stuff interesting. It is an important part of the story, even if it is not the main reason my characters are going South. They aren't going South to defeat some huge terrible enemy either if you were curious.

    Some of the nations are different races(not created yet). But others are different variations on humans. Some nations will be more developed. Castles, trades with the "Main nations," and are a powerful force in the South. These developed countries will be who my characters go to, ignoring the smaller warring nations, to ask to send help North. Of course I cant have these little meetings be boring, so I will need some way to keep a reader's interest as my characters try and find a way to convince the countries to help. This could be anything from quests, to ending a war, assassination...whatever you think would be interesting, I would like to hear. I do have some vague ideas, but I am wondering what other people would like.
     
  2. Anonym
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    Anonym Contributing Member

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    The south sounds quite Machiavellian. There are many examples in history of the genius of those who have mastered Realpolitik: Napolean, Julius Ceasar, Hitler, etc. More than anything, it seems to me that you'd need to somehow tie your protagonists' journey/objective rather directly into these interesting political intrigues you seek to contrive, for them to be much more than inconsequential spectacles or somethin.

    In all seriousness this is something you'll need to figure out. That said, I have some ideas that might get your creative juices flowing. I'll PM you.
     
  3. Jethelin
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    Jethelin Member

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    Yea this part of the story will be big, but the affects will not be seen until later. My protagonists are tied into it by being an escort for the ambassador that will be doing the actual talking and planning, they will just be doing the heavy lifting along with influencing the countries in different ways other than just talking to leaders. I also may or may not have the ambassador assassinated for fun and interest at one point ;), putting even more pressure on my character's shoulders. The ideas from your PM are very helpful, thanks.
     
  4. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    There are quite a number of historical sources that might provide you with some stimulation. Here, for example, is Priscus' account of an embassy to Attila the Hun:

    http://www9.georgetown.edu/faculty/jod/texts/priscus.html
     
  5. Irontrousers
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    To me, it seems like too much of a stretch that any nation would expend any resources simply to repay a favor done by a small group of outsiders. It sounds... half-baked, I guess. A much tighter scenario would be something along these lines:

    -Our Heroes need the assistance of Nation A
    -Nation A has a vested interest in Our Heroes' cause; if they could, they'd be assisting already
    -However, a tiff with the neighboring Nation B is draining the resources of Nation A, rendering them unable to lend the help they'd otherwise like to.
    -Solution: If Our Heroes can resolve the tiff, Nation A will be free to help.

    That's not too far off from what you have already, but I think (hope) the distinction I made is clear and makes sense to you.
     
  6. James Berkley
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    James Berkley Banned

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    Basically think of the balance of power, what does your character have to offer to these states in the south?
     
  7. ScreamsfromtheCrematory
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    If the south is as big as a mess you're describing it, then perhaps an excursion to the north to assist them in exchange for friendlier immigration policies along with perhaps military, economic, and political support could work. I imagine the idea of an escape or at least gradual cessation of the constant violence would be appealing to a fair share of Southeners although likely without a hearty degree of opposition from hardliner conservative groups.
     
  8. Jethelin
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    Jethelin Member

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    I agree that my small group of characters sent to talk these nations into entering the war has a small chance of success, that is actually kind of part of the story involving the Southern nations. It is meant to be a huge struggle, but eventually met with some measure of success in one form or another. I actually might just have the Southern diplomacy fail completely for the time being, but make it fail in a way that I can pick it back up later and not just have the Southern countries absent from all the wars.

    Anonym gave me a very good suggestion through PM. I could have a few bigger countries down South that are more developed and powerful, then some smaller ones that rely on certain big countries for support. Then I could have the big countries locked in a state of constant war, but afraid to attack because one of their rivals will take it as an opportunity to invade while the army is on the move. The smaller countries would do the bigger one's dirty work, raiding and invading to a degree, but keeping the big countries' names out of it.

    Hm thanks for all the ideas, I will definitely put them to use.
     

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