1. rktho

    rktho Contributor Contributor

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    Help my thief character steal an item belonging to the emperor

    Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by rktho, Mar 29, 2017.

    Quick rundown: You see my signature, you know what's important about all my characters.

    So, there's a guy named Daktarash, who has this super ancient sword that's more valuable than he realizes. (But it's not like he doesn't know it isn't.) Zarakharn, the emperor, is looking for it, and when he finds out Daktarash has it, he asks him to meet and bring the sword so he can buy it. Daktarash does this. They talk a bit about the sword and Daktarash's job (where he carelessly tells Zarakharn where he's going next.) Daktarash then bids Zarakharn goodbye with a considerable sum of money in tow.

    The scene I need to flesh out: Daktarash doesn't walk out of the palace. First, he goes into Zarakharn's room and steals a crystal from it. Zarakharn's snake sees the theft and tries to stop him. Daktarash manages to outrun the snake and walk out.

    I need to figure out how he can pull this off-- sneak into the room, steal the crystal, and get past the guards' security search. Can you help me out?
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2017
  2. Elven Candy

    Elven Candy Pay no attention to the foot in my mouth Contributor

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    Snakes are not very fast. The Black Mamba is the fastest, being able to reach 12 mph; even humans can run faster than that, so reading your story I wouldn't be able to picture a dragon having difficulty outrunning a snake. Unless the snake is known for its speed (and this is already established in the story), or it's important for your story that it chases Dakta, may I suggest instead that Dakta manages to lock it up somewhere? I get that this is all fantasy, but if you're using a snake, we'll naturally picture real-world snake abilities. If this snake has anything not in real-world snakes, you'll need to establish that.

    Now, onto the real question! Without any idea of Dakta's abilities or the castle blueprints, I'm afraid we might not be able to help much. My siblings and I used to climb our house's hallway walls by pressing our hands and feet against opposite walls. My brothers were even able to go completely horizontal and over Mom's head without her having a clue. Maybe Dakta can climb the walls in the castle and go right over the guards' heads without them knowing. Other than that, probably a distraction or disguise of some kind would be the best way. If he's particularly small, he might be able to squeeze through a hole, like a chimney if they have them. I do suggest he does all of this after stowing the money somewhere. All that clinking and weight would seriously limit his sneaking ability.

    The security search: Perhaps he can swallow the crystal? If he can force himself to . . . er, spit up, he can swallow it to pass the search, then spit it up when he's a good distance away.

    Tricky scenes are tricky. Good luck!
     
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  3. rktho

    rktho Contributor Contributor

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    Swallowing the crystal would be like swallowing something six inches long and pointy on both ends. And even if he managed it, the crystal has some... defensive properties that might kill him if he went so far as to swallow it.
     
  4. Elven Candy

    Elven Candy Pay no attention to the foot in my mouth Contributor

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    Well that would make it difficult, wouldn't it? Would it be possible for him to stow it on a window ledge to be picked up once he's out of the castle? Or, if he'd planned this, maybe he could make a fake tail end. He'd put the crystal in the fake end, then attach that to his real tail. It'd be like putting something in a hair extension. Depending on how far the searchers go, he could just put it in his mouth (unless those defensive properties would kill him then, too).

    ETA: I'm picturing like, full dragon mode dragons. If they live mostly in a humanoid form, please let me know so I can adjust my thinking. A human mouth might not fit a six inch crystal!
     
  5. rktho

    rktho Contributor Contributor

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    Well, think humanoid build. But since the dragons are twelve feet tall, double the proportions. So a crystal that would be six inches for a human would be twelve inches for a dragon if the dragon made said thing to scale. (Does that make sense? Dragons make dragon-sized swords, eat dragon-sized meal portions, cut dragon-sized crystals.) Look at my avatar. I really need to get in touch with the DeviantArt user who drew it, because it's pretty close to what I imagine my characters to look like. (They don't have human abs and a six pack. Just a plain reptilian torso.) So, as I think on it more, he could swallow the crystal. The crystal is about the length of the dragon's snout, which means it could fit in its mouth. Make its head parallel to its neck (the way it would be when it was flying) and it could feasibly swallow it. But not only is it going to mess up their intestines, the crystal itself is enchanted with some security measures. He could carry it out just fine, but if he swallowed it, his gut might implode. Now, he doesn't understand that the crystal will react to the theft, but I do, and since I want him to survive long enough to steal the crystal, I need him to not gruesomely die or at the very least get his guts all screwed up before he makes it out of the castle. So swallowing is a little out of the question.

    If he just had it in his mouth without swallowing it, he could steal it without triggering the enchantment (I have very vague rules about the crystal's sentience and defenses the characters and reader don't fully understand, but the crystal and I do.) But if you had something that filled your whole mouth, you wouldn't be doing a lot of talking. Would it seem too suspicious? I feel like they might check his mouth, even if they weren't aware the crystal had been stolen.
     
  6. Elven Candy

    Elven Candy Pay no attention to the foot in my mouth Contributor

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    How much time is between the theft and the security check? It takes some time before food goes into the intestines, so except for the enchantment, the crystal shouldn't harm his intestines (especially if he swallows it minutes before he gets checked). Depending on how long the security check takes and how the crystal's defense works, the enchantment might do him some harm, but not much (assuming he doesn't swallow it long before the check).

    I know the security in a dragon owned castle might be different than ones in real life, but do security guards normally check people's mouths? If the guards don't ask him a question, he might not need to talk. Just smile and go about it as if everything is normal and they won't get suspicious. If you write it well, the readers should accept it without issue. Of course, there are those who'll say it's unrealistic, but really every novel has something for a determined critic to complain about. Getting away with a crystal by putting it in your mouth? Not really something worth worrying about, IMO.

    He could also create a distraction for the guards so they try to hurry him through, making them not as thorough as they ought to be.
     
  7. rktho

    rktho Contributor Contributor

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    Actually, I'd imagine it would start doing damage the second it passed through his his esophagus. But you do have a point. I think I could write so it wouldn't seem suspicious.
     
  8. Elven Candy

    Elven Candy Pay no attention to the foot in my mouth Contributor

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    Ah, well that would make it a rather unwise move to swallow it, then (even if he doesn't know). Good luck with the scene! I've written a few tricky ones myself . . . and have to rewrite just as many.
     

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