1. CassB

    CassB New Member

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    My Queen Needs to Get Kidnapped

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by CassB, Mar 10, 2017.

    The story I'm currently working on takes place in a medieval setting. My queen's castle has been destroyed, there's a war going on, and tensions are high. She managed to flee to another castle after her's caught on fire, but now she has to go back. She still has a ton of guards and people on her side to protect her- and they're not those kinds of guards that are easily bribed, tricked, or overpowered. Only the best for the queen.

    So that's where I'm having the problem.

    I need her to get kidnapped at some point, ideally while traveling from the new castle to her old one, but the problem is that she's so well guarded. She's the queen. No one can logically get to her, even if she is on the move. I'd also be willing to have her kidnapped while she's back home in the ruins of her castle while it's under construction, but that'd be even harder to believe and make happen- it's home turf, it's incredibly well-guarded, and unknown faces would be recognized in an instant. I'd be willing to do it, if it could make sense!

    Also, she is pretty young, but she's not going to leave the safety of her castle and guards of her own volition in that stupid way some characters do- venturing out with no plan, protection, or help, just to "sacrifice yourself." That won't work with this girl.

    Any suggestions for a way around this would be much appreciated!
     
  2. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    Secret door in her private rooms in the borrowed castle.
    Trusted insider betrays her.

    ...OK, that's all I've got.
     
  3. CassB

    CassB New Member

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    Wow, that's really good. Thanks for the suggestion!
     
  4. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

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    1/ If she has "tons of guards" how would an unfamiliar face stand out?
    2/"... they're not those kinds of guards that are easily bribed, tricked, or overpowered. Only the best for the queen. "
    is unlikely. You're making it sound as if you're employing only ex-Special Forces troops, vetted by a highly-regarded agency. In a mediaeval setting your guards would be retainers, bound to you by ties of family and self-interested loyalty (e.g., I'm the lord of 1000 acres, so I'll support a retainer who's only got 100 acres [the acreage relates to how many men/in turn related to how many fighting men I can put in the field] in return for his promise to support me - along with a dozen other 100-acre men - when I've got to fight the Lanisters). You only have to look at GoT to see how divisions within families/tribal alliances arise (Cersei/Tyrion, Stark/Carstark, Stark/Bolton, Stannis/Renley, Ramsey/Rhuus...).

    Classic example of family loyalty/sibling rivalry was the Godwinsons; when Godwin of Wessex, the father, was exiled, he was joined by his sons (Harold, Tostig, etc.) in a rebellion to regain the family's position. Ultimately, Harold became King of England, only to have to defeat his own brother, Tostig, when the latter joined with Harald Hardrada in an invasion of the country.

    So, I'm supporting the "trusted insider" scenario.

    Incidentally, the "castle catching fire" doesn't ring true; it didn't usually happen without some agency -such as a besieging army - taking an active part in setting it alight; and in that case, she'd have bigger concerns than rebuilding.
     
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  5. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Admin Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Ambush with archers in a narrow wooded valley - the guardsmen can't manuevre well and get slaughtered leaving the queen to be taken. As English archers repeatedly demonstrated in the french wars in the right hands a long bow or twenty is a serious force equaliser, and it doesnt matter how well trained a guard is when 3ft of ash is punching through his mail and skewering him to his horse before he has a chance to draw his sword
     
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  6. JE Loddon

    JE Loddon Active Member

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    Maybe her guards have to fight off some bandits who are looting her destroyed castle, leaving her 'safe' outside. The bandits, though, were a distraction, and the real attack is from the outside. A large enemy force take out her personal guards that had stayed behind to protect her.
     
  7. CassB

    CassB New Member

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    There's a lot I didn't mention, but you're totally right- the castle catching fire was purposeful sabotage. Of course it wasn't an accident- well, it was, but it was a wonderfully happy accident committed by the enemy. If we're putting this in Game of Thrones terms, it would be like if Shireen Baratheon was queen, living in the Red Keep, and it was destroyed by wildfire. She fled to Harrenhal with Davos and the rest of her small council and Queensguard, but now has to get back to the Red Keep.
     
  8. CassB

    CassB New Member

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    I hadn't even considered archers! Thanks!
     
  9. Storysmith

    Storysmith Senior Member

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    I'd be wary of using archers, unless you want the queen to end up looking like a hedgehog. They won battles as mass attack weapons over open terrain, hitting the enemy at range.

    Instead, I suggest infiltrating an impostor, posing as a handmaiden or guard. Have her overpower and tie up the queen, then pose as her. When she leaves with the troops, the villains can pick up the unguarded real queen. You either need a great look-alike, or for the queen to often wear veils or similar.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017
  10. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Admin Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Nope - although they could be used like that , primarily to break up cavalry charges in the french wars of the 1300s and 1400s and mercenary actions between times the English archers developed a technique called point shooting where all the arrows were very concentrated in a small area - at close range in the right hands the long bow is a very accurate weapon.

    The practice was pretty much exactly as mooted here, ambush a convoy and saturate the guards at front and rearwith arrows before they could react, leaving the high value targets who would generally be in the centre of the column untouched to be given the choice of surrender or death... and thus become hostages for ransom.
     
  11. Catrin Lewis

    Catrin Lewis Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer Contest Winner 2023

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    Note that as a queen in the MA she'd have more than one castle to live in or flee to, not to mention the castles and manors of the dukes and lords and all that would owe her fealty. It's very unlikely she'd return to a fortress that was still unlivable and undefendable.

    It's perfectly reasonable that a message might come from one of these vassals offering her shelter in his stronghold, but it's a ruse by an enemy or he's a traitor, and her party is waylaid in a forest or tight place on the way.

    Or perhaps she decides to flee in disguise with but a few retainers around her; good idea, except that one of her ladies-in-waiting is an enemy plant and tips the opposition off.

    You might look up the adventures of the Empress Maud/Mathilda during her fight with Stephen during the 12th century English civil war. She was captured and held at Oxford Castle for awhile, but I don't remember how Stephen's men got hold of her.
     

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