You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-12-01 07:39pm

To Ralin's plan:

As this scenario is hard enough, I will presume that you successfully contact a group of loyal guards without tipping off the usurpers, and succeed in killing the Usurper. What's he going to do, run? He has no future if he can't even control the capital. Not enough of a support base in the rest of the realm. He stands and fights, and though most of your guards die, you prevail.

Leaving the Guard Captain in place persuades the Guard that their will be no vicious reprisals, and their are no further revolts. It also helps that they have no payment coming from the Steward now, so short of trying to overthrow you themselves and make one of their own King (which neither Westport nor Ironhall would be likely to tolerate), their best bet is to convince you of their loyalty.

However, the fact that you began your reign by killing the Steward does raise some eyebrows, as mixed rumours of what went on leave the capital. Ironhall and Westport send messages demanding to know what occurred, and the lord of Ironhall is delaying sending his children to the capital for the marriage/joining the Guard. Westport also demands to know how you will handle the pirate threat. Some rioting breaks out in the villages near the capital.

The Court Mage offers profuse assurances of his loyalty and as King you have access to the books of magical lore in the Royal Library. Said mage advises you to send an expedition North to investigate the attacks from the dark forests their.

I will address the aftermath of The_Saint's plan separately, as how it handles the aftermath politically is somewhat different.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby Ralin » 2016-12-01 08:13pm

I reply to Ironhall and Westport with messages saying, "Steward tried to stage a coup. It didn't work. Also he likely murdered my father. Things are under control. Continue paying taxes."

Westport receives a more detailed reply to the effect of, "I will deal with the pirates promptly. You might not like how I do it, but you have the crown's word that I will end the raids."

I question the court mage on exactly what he thinks the expedition should consist of and what they should be looking for. Then I reiterate that he is now my magic tutor and that he should be ready to deliver his first lesson this evening.

I gather as much information about the outlying islands where the pirates are staging from as possible, with an eye toward the economic situation of the communities there. If I can bribe the general population enough to not support or shelter the pirates that makes things easier. I start working out the best possible ways of tracking the pirates themselves down, with a general plan of offering amnesty to anyone who ceases piracy and accepts commissions in my new navy.

Either the next day or the day after I leave for a tour of the surrounding villages with perhaps a dozen knights and a hundred militia. My goal is to diffuse the riots with a combination of a show of force, spreading my version of what happened (also known as the truth) and starting to build some personal relationships with my subjects.

I ask the Guard Captain to propose a list of knights for my escort and swap out roughly half of it for guards who are either my remaining friends or who I am inclined to think weren’t in on the coup. If I can’t make a good guess on the latter I go with random guards who weren’t on the list.

Oh, and before I depart I point out to the court mage that after we’ve been seen meeting together repeatedly everyone will assume he’s on my side even if he isn’t, so it’s in his best interest to intervene if the Guard Captain gets up to shenanigans while I’m away. I tell him to use his judgment but impress on him that neutrality in court intrigue is no longer a viable option for him.

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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-12-03 10:44am

The_Saint wrote:I think I'll side with Ralin.

If I have the Crown Princes life memories I should be able to 'remember' who is friendly enough towards me that they would be above bribery.
I take my foreknowledge and move against the Steward. If I flee the capital I play into the Stewards hands, I look more suspicious and I remove access to any of my own resources. I'm going with this being medieval-fantasy land, there's no easy high speed media to get news out to the general population or word to the Eastern or Western towns about my being set up while I'm in the capital let alone on the run.

In moving against the Steward: I head straight for the nearest people I can call upon for support, I take my best #2 person and send them to spread the word of the Steward's attempt to usurp the throne. I want to get my message (that the King is suspected to have been poisoned and that the #1 suspect is the Steward) out to the population as fast as possible. If I can have the usurpers awake to a public outcry outside their windows then some of the traitors might be persuaded to to forget they were bribed.
I take my #3-10+ people and move directly against the Steward. I want to have the Steward in a cell or dead by the time any other conspirators can start rallying.


You win the initial battle. And the seeds of rumour against the usurper are planted, which will make it a little easier to convince people of your innocence in the court of public opinion.

I immediately break up the Stewards role: I'll keep a Steward to manage the Royal household but create a 'Treasury Lord' to handle finances (pick the most boring unimaginative and loyal person I can).


Some grumble about changes to tradition, or see this as a move to consolidate your power, but most people agree with the decision unless they were already on the usurpers' side.

The Captain of the Guard (if I have omniscient foreknowledge) I either: try with the Steward and send to the hangman OR if the Steward is dead or if the Captain so turns King's Witness and I feel can be compelled to earn their way back into my trust, I'll send to the West to lead forces against the pirates. If he dies on the mission I'm one traitor down and an example to all other conspirators known or unknown and if he succeeds then he gets 1 brownie point towards being possibly maybe trustworthy again.


The Guard Captain tries to claim innocence, saying he that the Steward decieved him, and pledges his loyalty to you.

Note that the Steward dies either in "attempting a coup" or post trial for attempting a coup. The Steward lost his right to live when he committed regicide and planned a coup against me. I find it interesting that knowledge of this coup essentially relies on omniscient knowledge. How otherwise can I be sure that the King WAS murdered, that the Steward WAS the poisoner and that there is a coup being planned? From an Omniscient perspective the scenario is contrived such that without firm knowledge of what is actually happening I stand next to no chance.


You don't know that the Steward killed the king, although circumstantial evidence suggests it. All you have is a rumour of poison, the knowledge that you didn't do it, and a report from a trusted servant that the Steward intends to frame you.

From your perspective, it is at least possible that the Steward did not kill the King, honestly believes you did it, and is (mistakenly) acting to remove someone he believes is a usurper.

However, the circumstantial evidence is enough to convict in a court where your word is law, as long as you can prevail in the court of public opinion/convince the other key nobles. Between the power of rumour, and your quick victory, most of the public in the capital buys your version of events, though the other major lords still send messages inquiring as to what the hell is going on in the capital, they are more inclined to believe your account with the Guard Captain testifying on your side.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby Ralin » 2016-12-04 10:04am

By the way, I keep forgetting to ask: Can I assume that I'm in fairly good shape and trained at riding, fighting with sword, bow, wearing armor, etc?

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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-12-04 02:33pm

Yes, I think that's a safe assumption. You have the combat training and equipment one would expect a feudal lord to have in such a situation.

Realistically, of course, one might expect a female heir not to have that stuff in a medieval society, but for anyone taking the role of princess, I'll presume you're the exception to the rule, to simplify this and keep some people from being too unfairly disadvantaged (although acting outside traditional gender roles could have some political ramifications down the line).
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby FaxModem1 » 2016-12-04 03:38pm

Question, if I have my personally trusted guards ransack the Captain of the Guards place or the Steward's office, do they find evidence of what killed the king, such as containers of poison, correspondence between the two, unusual amount of bribe money that a captain of the guard should not have, etc?

I see following Ralin's plan, either capturing or mortally wounding the Steward, putting him in irons, and finding proof for all to see.

Is there any cultural taboo about examining bodies, as there were in our own Middle Ages? If not, could we have the court physician and the Court Mage examine the king's body and determine cause of death?
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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-12-07 10:33pm

The ransacking uncovers no evidence of poison in the quarters, though some letters turn up in the Steward's quarters showing that he privately objected to a number of the King's reformist policies, and engaged in correspondence on the subject with conservative priests. Nothing blatantly illegal/treasonous, however. They also reveal that he was having an affair with the wife of more than one knight, and spending money on prostitutes. ;)

The Guard Captain's quarters reveal a large amount of gold concealed in his quarters, more than a man of his rank would likely normally have. Nothing else incriminating.

No taboo on examining bodies, although bodies are usually deposed of quickly after death in case of resurrection as undead (fire is preferred). I think I mentioned that in the OP? Your royal father's body has already been cremated. Although the Court Mage will have looked at it before hand, they found nothing conclusive.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby FaxModem1 » 2016-12-09 07:59pm

As Ralin and The_Saint said, ambush the Steward quickly with a few armed guard buddies, separating his head from his body.

In that case, make public the Steward's disregard for the entire royal court's fidelity, and his murder of my father. Have letters sent to all priests explaining the hypocrisy of his positions, and how they were being used by someone who didn't share their position at all. Is the Steward married? If so, offer his wife amnesty for testimony about both her husband's activities while also confronting her with evidence about what he's been up to. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, after all.

If the Steward is not married, his lands, riches, property, etc., now belong to the king and are to be used for improving the capital's infrastructure by the guilds for irrigation, paving the roads, and repairing any public buildings in need of repair.

Commission a local bard/playwright to make a play about how the evil Steward plotted to kill the righteous king, and it was only through the loyalty and goodness of the nation's people and the wisdom of the Crown Prince(me), that this was all stopped.

In addition to the trusty servant's testimony, this will be made public through the town criers. Through all this, the Steward will be seen as villainious in history as Richard III is in our world. Association with him will be seen as a bad move politically, and actions against me will be shown as a bad idea, as his family's name is destroyed.

Also, Guard Captain's ill gotten gains have been confiscated, and used for better training and weapons for my trusted men. He is, as the others have said, sent to lead a task force on the front lines to deal with the pirates. He either wins, and kills them all, securing my kingdom from an external threat, or he dies removing a rival from my court.

Don't pursue anyone else, as I have more important concerns, Try and convince my becoming senile uncle to make one of my loyal comrades/friends his heir. Carrot and stick for those in my court.
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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby Rogue 9 » 2016-12-10 12:22am

Well, since I kind of wrote a novel on a very similar premise (in which the prince wound up fleeing mid-coup along with a fair portion of loyal knights), I'll explore the other route and take that boat. I use the time I have before it leaves drafting a letter to Ironhall to entrust to my trusted servant (for whom I will secure a horse if possible), detailing the plot and asking for aid, and use whatever means I have available to arrange for word of my innocence to spread in Silverlake. For speed's sake, I move down river to Westport, there to secure the resources of my uncle and promise a crackdown on piracy once I ascend the throne. Once ensconced there I issue a proclamation promising amnesty and pardon for any conspirator who will turn against the usurper and reward for loyal knights and set about claiming my birthright.

I'll doubtless think of more stuff later, as it's really late at the moment, but that's the bare bones of my plan.
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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby Ralin » 2016-12-14 06:01am

So, how does my winning hearts and minds strategy go?

Also by show of force I meant show of strength.

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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-12-14 03:59pm

Ralin wrote:I reply to Ironhall and Westport with messages saying, "Steward tried to stage a coup. It didn't work. Also he likely murdered my father. Things are under control. Continue paying taxes."


Both lords accept your explanation, for now, but wish to meet with you in person to discuss the matter. The Lord of Westport, being old and infirm, invites you to meet him in his manor. The Lord of Ironhall, being a cautious soldier, asks to meet at a neutral location, and proposes a field about equal distance between your cities, with each of you bringing a dozen escorts.

Westport receives a more detailed reply to the effect of, "I will deal with the pirates promptly. You might not like how I do it, but you have the crown's word that I will end the raids."


This is a welcome reassurance, and something to discuss should you accept the invitation.

I question the court mage on exactly what he thinks the expedition should consist of and what they should be looking for. Then I reiterate that he is now my magic tutor and that he should be ready to deliver his first lesson this evening.


He suggests sending a mage colleague of his that he's familiar with, who specializes in studying and countering dark magic, along with an escort of knights.

For his first lesson, he will teach you meditation to more easily tap into magic. After that, he will, with your permission, progress to teaching you how to conjure basic light and fire spells.

I gather as much information about the outlying islands where the pirates are staging from as possible, with an eye toward the economic situation of the communities there. If I can bribe the general population enough to not support or shelter the pirates that makes things easier. I start working out the best possible ways of tracking the pirates themselves down, with a general plan of offering amnesty to anyone who ceases piracy and accepts commissions in my new navy.


Initial reports suggest that the pirate islands are fairly rich in fish, but otherwise lack much to trade. They need more timber and metal in particular, and usually get it by raiding.

Trade could help, but you'll be giving more than you get, and the merchants and nobles will not be likely to be happy about that.

If you offer commissions, some of the pirates may accept, if the offer is generous enough. However, you piss the hell out of the merchants and fishermen of Westport. Riots break out on the docks, burning several warehouses, and some of the rioters spread malicious rumours that you are a usurper who murdered the old King and Steward.

Either the next day or the day after I leave for a tour of the surrounding villages with perhaps a dozen knights and a hundred militia. My goal is to diffuse the riots with a combination of a show of force, spreading my version of what happened (also known as the truth) and starting to build some personal relationships with my subjects.


This goes over well. Their is some initial fear, but once they see you aren't planning to burn or plunder, they start to listen. The royal family is still relatively well-respected, and your word carries more weight than a dead Steward's. The area around your capital is now reasonably secure, or if their are plotters, they are not acting openly.

I ask the Guard Captain to propose a list of knights for my escort and swap out roughly half of it for guards who are either my remaining friends or who I am inclined to think weren’t in on the coup. If I can’t make a good guess on the latter I go with random guards who weren’t on the list.


The escort poses no trouble. For now, their is more profit in following you than revolting against you, even for those who aren't terribly loyal by nature.

A few may believe you are a usurper, but not willing to risk revolt now that you have established your position so swiftly and decisively.

The Guard Captain mostly recommends knights you know are trustworthy anyway.

Oh, and before I depart I point out to the court mage that after we’ve been seen meeting together repeatedly everyone will assume he’s on my side even if he isn’t, so it’s in his best interest to intervene if the Guard Captain gets up to shenanigans while I’m away. I tell him to use his judgment but impress on him that neutrality in court intrigue is no longer a viable option for him.


He isn't happy, and probably will drag his feet as long as he can on picking a side, but he agrees to follow your command, and asks to be informed of which guards and servants you consider trustworthy if their's trouble (he's not powerful enough to hold the capital against the entire remaining Guard contingent on his own if their's trouble).
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby Alyrium Denryle » 2016-12-16 07:02pm

I have several questions for you TRR, before I give you my answer.

1) Do we have carrier pigeons?
2) Is the state of medical knowledge within the kingdom?
3) What are the known capabilities of the court wizard?
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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-12-16 10:53pm

For number one, I really should have considered that. My apologies if this changes anyone's response. But I'll say yeah, carrier pigeons are a go.

For two, I'm going to say their medical knowledge is more advanced than that of the Middle Ages. Let's say... mid-19th. Century-level overall, but mostly gained through magic rather than science. So they don't have much scientific method, and they've pretty much reached the limit of what they can learn about the human (or elvish/dwarvish/etc.) body with magic without getting into dark stuff like mind control and necromancy.

For three, the court wizard knows some meditation techniques to allow him to more effectively use magic, and can conjure basic fire spells (up to throwing small fireballs across a room), basic shield spells (strong enough to repel said fireballs), and basic healing spells (enough to heal a small cut, or speed up someone's recovery from a more serious wound or non-lethal illness). He also has access to the extensive arcane library in the Royal Library, to which you have the key.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby Lord Revan » 2016-12-17 01:37am

I quick question for something I thought of you said the Prince/princess is engaged but not married yet, so could it be possible to send the steward away to check on the wedding preporations (so you can inspect his room without his catching on to it) or leave ourself to (officially) do the same (to get to a safe haven without seeming like you fled)?
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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby Simon_Jester » 2016-12-17 01:43am

Is the court wizard an example of one of the most powerful wizards in the kingdom? If not, why does he have this job, and can we find a more powerful one?
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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby Alyrium Denryle » 2016-12-17 07:43am

For number one, I really should have considered that. My apologies if this changes anyone's response. But I'll say yeah, carrier pigeons are a go.

For two, I'm going to say their medical knowledge is more advanced than that of the Middle Ages. Let's say... mid-19th. Century-level overall, but mostly gained through magic rather than science. So they don't have much scientific method, and they've pretty much reached the limit of what they can learn about the human (or elvish/dwarvish/etc.) body with magic without getting into dark stuff like mind control and necromancy.

For three, the court wizard knows some meditation techniques to allow him to more effectively use magic, and can conjure basic fire spells (up to throwing small fireballs across a room), basic shield spells (strong enough to repel said fireballs), and basic healing spells (enough to heal a small cut, or speed up someone's recovery from a more serious wound or non-lethal illness). He also has access to the extensive arcane library in the Royal Library, to which you have the key.


Alright, then here is my response.

Leaving is not an option, because a castle like this (on an island in a lake, fully concentric...) is almost impossible to take by assault or siege with the forces I could feasibly command.



First, I send out the carrier pigeons, namely to the commander of the capitol militia (because no walled town surrounding a concentric fortification wont have one). I need every crossbowman and archer to meet me at the postern gate in 45 minutes, armed and ready for a fight, I inform said commander about the plot against my life and am offering a full year of release of all tax/feudal obligations, a full year's wages, and a release from certain feudal customs that are incurred upon death for everyone who shows up armed. He gets a bonus for each person as well.

I then round up all the loyal guards I can find. The old guard etc.

Next, I inform the court wizard that he has a new student, namely me, if he backs me. With all the privileges that entails (He shall have unlimited library access provided he does not delve into forbidden topic).

That should win him over because he has something to gain. I can of course increase the benefit. It is good to be king. He shall of course have access to the library for the purposes of figuring out good ways to stop a coup.

The wizard acts as a force multiplier. He can protect himself from balls of fire and unleash the same. He likely has other tricks up his sleeve (illusions, various conjurations like grease on the floor, door-sealing and unlocking spells, that sort of thing).

But if he declines... I will totally understand given the position he is in. However, he is to stick close to me until the plan goes off, because I cannot trust him not to move the traitor's time table forward.

Meet everyone at the postern at the appointed time. Head into the main fortification. Use secret passages where possible. If not, well, any guard we encounter who's loyalty cannot be trusted will have to be forced to capitulate (crossbows pointed at one's face are good for that) and bound.

Tactical plan. I enter the stewards rooms flanked by my loyal guard. Presumably he will have his own guards. I inform him that he and the guard captain are under arrest for high treason, and that anyone who does not wish to share the fate of traitors should lay down their arms. They will all, of course, get a fair trial.

Arrayed over the shoulders of said loyal guard are crossbows. Loaded and aimed at each and every one of the suspect ones. Hopefully, also a wizard wreathed in his power.

If they surrender, great. If they dont... a volley of crossbow bolts (or arrows) at point blank range WILL puncture plate armor pretty successfully and reduce their numbers--to say nothing of a wizard if possible. At which point it is a fight and as per other outcomes of the Alpha Strike scenario, should go off successfully but with fewer losses.

If we take the Steward and Guard Captain alive, they get locked in a dungeon to await trial. Because yes, there will be a trial. The guard who are taken alive will also be put on trial.

Now, the trial gets easier if they fought because they took up arms against their liege-lord. You call up a jury of their noble peers and it is practically a show trial. The king (me) passes sentence. Public execution. The Steward is going to be broken upon the wheel while the guard captain is going to be hung and quartered. The rest are beheaded mercifully with a sword (axes tend to take more than one swing...)

If they DO all surrender, things get complicated. They serve at the pleasure of the king, so stripping them of their positions is trivially easy. I can just do that. But to do more than that, I need evidence. First, the servant who warned me is presumably trustworthy and can act as a witness.

Their quarters are all searched for documents (like the Steward keeping a list of who he has paid what sum). If other incriminating evidence is found (such as diaries or books on poisoning) that gets collected as well. Servants who may have overheard things will be questioned. Nobles never pay attention to the help.

And don't worry, I am not going to ignore the accused. These people are all traitors, they have an established track record of backstabbery, so I get the guards who have presumably been bribed to rat out the ringleaders (the Steward and Captain, as well as any guards who were in on the plot who were not captured) in exchange for leniency. Of course, they are going to be isolated. Their prison cells will be decent, as befits their station, but they will have zero human contact except for a servant who comes in under guard to change the chamber pots, but who is instructed to treat them like they dont exist.

The king will be feeding them, and talking to them. Every few days. Until they relent and tell me what I want to know.

Those who are innocent (wrong place, wrong time) can be reinstated. Those who are guilty and confess will be stripped of their position and titles as well as their arms and armor, and exiled. They will be given a fortnight to leave my kingdom on pain of death should they ever return--but their families will remain unmolested (if they have an heir, said heir will inherit their lands normally). Those who are guilty and do not confess will be executed mercifully (decapitation with a sword, not an axe). However, their families will NOT fare so well. They will be stripped of their lands and titles and made destitute.

Now, as for the prospect of poisoning my father... that is where the medical knowledge comes in. Most poisons that could be used in this time period are going to leave tell-tale marks on the organs and other tissues. There are a few suspects for a poisoning, the court physician, the steward etc. So I have to send off for several people

A) the high priest. I want to make sure an autopsy is observed by the clergy.
B) My soon-to-be father in law's physician, because I cannot trust my own right now.

These individuals, and the court wizard, will examine the body (after 2 days, preparations for a state funeral will not have been complete). It may take some time to fetch some people, so the body will be preserved with magic in the interim period. If there is evidence of poison, tracing its source and administration will need to be done.

So... info on that? Can I make the case for regicide?

If not, and assuming I get enough evidence to convict the guard captain and Steward...

If they confess, their families are left untouched, and they are executed mercifully. If I actually have to bring them to court before the nobility... they are being hung (until dead, no neck break), and quartered; their families dispossessed.

If the case is made for regicide, broken upon the wheel.
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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby Alyrium Denryle » 2016-12-17 08:02am

I am of course assuming that someone is going to be up and waiting for homing pigeons and that we have a few that roost with the militia.

If not, I will have to send a servant runner. Probably my own food taster, because you HAVE to be able to trust your food taster.
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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-12-21 05:20am

Alyrium Denryle wrote:
For number one, I really should have considered that. My apologies if this changes anyone's response. But I'll say yeah, carrier pigeons are a go.

For two, I'm going to say their medical knowledge is more advanced than that of the Middle Ages. Let's say... mid-19th. Century-level overall, but mostly gained through magic rather than science. So they don't have much scientific method, and they've pretty much reached the limit of what they can learn about the human (or elvish/dwarvish/etc.) body with magic without getting into dark stuff like mind control and necromancy.

For three, the court wizard knows some meditation techniques to allow him to more effectively use magic, and can conjure basic fire spells (up to throwing small fireballs across a room), basic shield spells (strong enough to repel said fireballs), and basic healing spells (enough to heal a small cut, or speed up someone's recovery from a more serious wound or non-lethal illness). He also has access to the extensive arcane library in the Royal Library, to which you have the key.


Alright, then here is my response.

Leaving is not an option, because a castle like this (on an island in a lake, fully concentric...) is almost impossible to take by assault or siege with the forces I could feasibly command.


Correct. Especially if Westport were to side with the Steward, since it effectively controls your fleet.

First, I send out the carrier pigeons, namely to the commander of the capitol militia (because no walled town surrounding a concentric fortification wont have one). I need every crossbowman and archer to meet me at the postern gate in 45 minutes, armed and ready for a fight, I inform said commander about the plot against my life and am offering a full year of release of all tax/feudal obligations, a full year's wages, and a release from certain feudal customs that are incurred upon death for everyone who shows up armed. He gets a bonus for each person as well.

I then round up all the loyal guards I can find. The old guard etc.


Their is a small risk of someone tipping off the conspirators if you try to rally the militia, but the plot is mostly confined to a group of conspirators within the castle at present, and the promise of reward helps too. Also, the traitors, in their overconfidence, did not make much of an effort to get the militia on their side- they thought they could just quietly dispose of you without a fight, then tell the public whatever they wanted about why.

So the conspirators are not forwarded until men start massing at the gate (at that point, a traitorous guard spots your force entering the castle and warns the Steward), and though you will not be able to rally everyone on such short notice, members of the militia will join your side. And since militiamen publicly sided with you, the common people (or those of them who are in or related to members of the militia, anyway) will have a major stake in upholding your regime, as they'd be the first to suffer if you then fell. The incentives also earn you a certain amount of popularity with the militia and their families, should you prevail.

Next, I inform the court wizard that he has a new student, namely me, if he backs me. With all the privileges that entails (He shall have unlimited library access provided he does not delve into forbidden topic).

That should win him over because he has something to gain. I can of course increase the benefit. It is good to be king. He shall of course have access to the library for the purposes of figuring out good ways to stop a coup.

The wizard acts as a force multiplier. He can protect himself from balls of fire and unleash the same. He likely has other tricks up his sleeve (illusions, various conjurations like grease on the floor, door-sealing and unlocking spells, that sort of thing).


Despite his limited personal power, this will help too. He likes to remain neutral, but he's probably going to be scared to tell you that to your face in the middle of a coup. With his aid, you will take fewer casualties to your men, and inflict heavier losses on the traitors.

But if he declines... I will totally understand given the position he is in. However, he is to stick close to me until the plan goes off, because I cannot trust him not to move the traitor's time table forward.


Another reason he'll choose to fight for you. If he's in your presence when the fighting starts, the traitors will assume that he's on your side in any case, and he knows it. So either he sides with you, and gets the benefits, betrays you and likely dies at the hands of your loyalists, or tries to stay out of it and risks being at best viewed with suspicion by whoever wins. From his point of view, aiding you is the only smart choice.

Meet everyone at the postern at the appointed time. Head into the main fortification. Use secret passages where possible. If not, well, any guard we encounter who's loyalty cannot be trusted will have to be forced to capitulate (crossbows pointed at one's face are good for that) and bound.


You manage to take some guards alive and without resistance, but this more cautious approach will slow you down. The Steward realizes what is up and sends his guards to engage you.

Tactical plan. I enter the stewards rooms flanked by my loyal guard. Presumably he will have his own guards. I inform him that he and the guard captain are under arrest for high treason, and that anyone who does not wish to share the fate of traitors should lay down their arms. They will all, of course, get a fair trial.

Arrayed over the shoulders of said loyal guard are crossbows. Loaded and aimed at each and every one of the suspect ones. Hopefully, also a wizard wreathed in his power.

If they surrender, great. If they dont... a volley of crossbow bolts (or arrows) at point blank range WILL puncture plate armor pretty successfully and reduce their numbers--to say nothing of a wizard if possible. At which point it is a fight and as per other outcomes of the Alpha Strike scenario, should go off successfully but with fewer losses.

If we take the Steward and Guard Captain alive, they get locked in a dungeon to await trial. Because yes, there will be a trial. The guard who are taken alive will also be put on trial.


As above, a fight breaks out. Once the Steward realizes he's outmatched, he flees the castle, with some loyal servants and as much gold as he can carry. He is last seen at the docks, boarding a boat and heading West.

The Guard Captain and a handful of other survivors surrender and beg for mercy when they realize that they are screwed (the knowledge that they are fighting magic will have an affect on moral as well, even if the Court Mage can't really take them all single-handedly).

Now, the trial gets easier if they fought because they took up arms against their liege-lord. You call up a jury of their noble peers and it is practically a show trial. The king (me) passes sentence. Public execution. The Steward is going to be broken upon the wheel while the guard captain is going to be hung and quartered. The rest are beheaded mercifully with a sword (axes tend to take more than one swing...)

If they DO all surrender, things get complicated. They serve at the pleasure of the king, so stripping them of their positions is trivially easy. I can just do that. But to do more than that, I need evidence. First, the servant who warned me is presumably trustworthy and can act as a witness.


Yes, although the servant's weight will carry less word with the nobility and priesthood than one of higher standing.

How do you handle "surrendered after a fight, but first tried to resist"?

Their quarters are all searched for documents (like the Steward keeping a list of who he has paid what sum). If other incriminating evidence is found (such as diaries or books on poisoning) that gets collected as well. Servants who may have overheard things will be questioned. Nobles never pay attention to the help.

And don't worry, I am not going to ignore the accused. These people are all traitors, they have an established track record of backstabbery, so I get the guards who have presumably been bribed to rat out the ringleaders (the Steward and Captain, as well as any guards who were in on the plot who were not captured) in exchange for leniency. Of course, they are going to be isolated. Their prison cells will be decent, as befits their station, but they will have zero human contact except for a servant who comes in under guard to change the chamber pots, but who is instructed to treat them like they dont exist.

The king will be feeding them, and talking to them. Every few days. Until they relent and tell me what I want to know.


You turn up no incontrovertible evidence of guilt in the old king's death- it appears that the Steward either honestly believed you had poisoned the king, or else latched onto a convenient pretext which he thought he could use to justify his acts once the coup was accomplished.

You do manage to turn up proof of bribery of a number of guards, along with evidence that the Steward corresponded with conservative members of the priesthood, some of whom may have had knowledge of his plans. The High Priest, thankfully, is not among them.

You also turn up evidence of the Steward's sexual misconduct as previously mentioned.

Those who are innocent (wrong place, wrong time) can be reinstated. Those who are guilty and confess will be stripped of their position and titles as well as their arms and armor, and exiled. They will be given a fortnight to leave my kingdom on pain of death should they ever return--but their families will remain unmolested (if they have an heir, said heir will inherit their lands normally). Those who are guilty and do not confess will be executed mercifully (decapitation with a sword, not an axe). However, their families will NOT fare so well. They will be stripped of their lands and titles and made destitute.

Now, as for the prospect of poisoning my father... that is where the medical knowledge comes in. Most poisons that could be used in this time period are going to leave tell-tale marks on the organs and other tissues. There are a few suspects for a poisoning, the court physician, the steward etc. So I have to send off for several people

A) the high priest. I want to make sure an autopsy is observed by the clergy.
B) My soon-to-be father in law's physician, because I cannot trust my own right now.

These individuals, and the court wizard, will examine the body (after 2 days, preparations for a state funeral will not have been complete). It may take some time to fetch some people, so the body will be preserved with magic in the interim period. If there is evidence of poison, tracing its source and administration will need to be done.

So... info on that? Can I make the case for regicide?


Unfortunately, I already posited elsewhere that the old King had already been cremated, so I suppose in fairness I must stick to that. :oops:

You're right in terms of realism, but I'm going to justify it on the grounds that this culture has a policy of rapid disposal of the dead, due to fears (quite justified given the magic in this setting) of resurrection. Vampires, zombies, and necromancers are a thing here.

If not, and assuming I get enough evidence to convict the guard captain and Steward...

If they confess, their families are left untouched, and they are executed mercifully. If I actually have to bring them to court before the nobility... they are being hung (until dead, no neck break), and quartered; their families dispossessed.

If the case is made for regicide, broken upon the wheel.


This will establish you as a strong ruler, but also lead to some anger and resentment from members of the nobility. Their will be a number of people wanting to avenge the deaths/dispossession of their families/allies on you.
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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-12-21 05:28am

Simon_Jester wrote:Is the court wizard an example of one of the most powerful wizards in the kingdom? If not, why does he have this job, and can we find a more powerful one?


Its a fairly low magic setting, outside the occasional dark lord. Sorry if that wasn't clear.

The Court Mage has also been good at not making enemies, even if he isn't exactly well-liked due to suspicion of magic from some quarters, and his efforts at neutrality.

Generally, he's someone who can be counted on to do what he's told and not cause too much trouble. A good functionary.

Their are probably more powerful mages, but they're mostly people you wouldn't want on your side. :wink:

Edit: The elves have some good spell casters in their specific areas of expertise (see the OP), if you want to go to foreign lands for your magical talent.
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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby Simon_Jester » 2016-12-21 12:29pm

My main reason(s) for asking were:

1) It gives us a sense for how much we have to worry about magic being used against us.
2) It gives us a sense for whether the court wizard is a useful wizard likely to do his job successfully, as opposed to a hack political appointee. If our enemies have wizards, or can have wizards, then having a political hack for our own court wizard could be a disaster. Conversely, having a competent wizard on our side when our enemies are unlikely to have one much better would be a major advantage.
3) It gives us a sense for what kinds of magic are most likely to be significant. Is it that wizards can only manifest relatively modest abilities in the short term, and that's it? Or can they achieve highly impressive results given time to do stuff like chant and meditate and draw elaborate runic/geometric cirles?
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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-12-21 12:40pm

Simon_Jester wrote:My main reason(s) for asking were:

1) It gives us a sense for how much we have to worry about magic being used against us.


By traitors in your own realm? Not much, and probably not by anyone much more powerful than the Royal Mage. Though an outlaw dark wizard would probably have knowledge and tactics they'd be willing to use that your mage would not.

By foreign enemies? The elves have decent magic, but for the most part it is not geared toward offence.

Their are dark magical beings in the forests up North, and various dangerous creatures roaming around. Short of another dark lord arising, though, a dragon is probably the biggest magical threat you'd have to worry about. Or vampires (not as destructively powerful, but more subtle and can propagate quickly). Or a zombie infestation if its allowed to get out of hand, though proper corpse disposal will help with that (and with vampirism).

2) It gives us a sense for whether the court wizard is a useful wizard likely to do his job successfully, as opposed to a hack political appointee. If our enemies have wizards, or can have wizards, then having a political hack for our own court wizard could be a disaster. Conversely, having a competent wizard on our side when our enemies are unlikely to have one much better would be a major advantage.


The Court Mage is competent, yes.

3) It gives us a sense for what kinds of magic are most likely to be significant. Is it that wizards can only manifest relatively modest abilities in the short term, and that's it? Or can they achieve highly impressive results given time to do stuff like chant and meditate and draw elaborate runic/geometric cirles?


I'm going to say that their are certain artifacts that can amplify ones' magical abilities, or have specific effects attached to them. Not up to city-destroying levels or anything, but maybe increase the wizard's ability by two to three times, or let them perform a specific spell they otherwise could not. Some can be used by non-wizards as well. Information on what is known of such items will be in the Royal Library, and your mage would be able to give you at least a decent summary.
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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby Alyrium Denryle » 2016-12-21 04:32pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:So the conspirators are not forwarded until men start massing at the gate (at that point, a traitorous guard spots your force entering the castle and warns the Steward), and though you will not be able to rally everyone on such short notice, members of the militia will join your side. And since militiamen publicly sided with you, the common people (or those of them who are in or related to members of the militia, anyway) will have a major stake in upholding your regime, as they'd be the first to suffer if you then fell. The incentives also earn you a certain amount of popularity with the militia and their families, should you prevail.


That is what I am going for. Honestly, it is my first step toward the creation of a professional military, or at least a semi-professional armed yeomanry. The next step is to replace the usual feudal service with paid contracts with standardized equipment and induction training and pay on a per diem basis. Hire sellswords on a permanent basis as training officers and as the professional core of the army. Think of it like the medieval national guard. During inactive reserve periods, the yeomanry are paid a modest wage (equivalent to day labor probably enough to scrape by, but it encourages them to like active service periods, and to otherwise engage in their various trades, but it IS an advantage they would have over their non-military peers) during inactive periods, but when called to active service (or during training periods say, one saturday a month) they get paid the equivalent of six shillings per day (the pay of a yeoman archer in late-medieval england).

Another reason he'll choose to fight for you. If he's in your presence when the fighting starts, the traitors will assume that he's on your side in any case, and he knows it. So either he sides with you, and gets the benefits, betrays you and likely dies at the hands of your loyalists, or tries to stay out of it and risks being at best viewed with suspicion by whoever wins. From his point of view, aiding you is the only smart choice.


Yep! If you cannot assume someone's loyalty, make sure their only smart option is indistinguishable from the same.

The Guard Captain and a handful of other survivors surrender and beg for mercy when they realize that they are screwed (the knowledge that they are fighting magic will have an affect on moral as well, even if the Court Mage can't really take them all single-handedly).


No human being likes even modest amounts of fire flung at their face.

How do you handle "surrendered after a fight, but first tried to resist"?


That kinda depends. If they are not on the list of proven traitors, and if I can prove that they were deceived in some way about what was going on (like, if the Steward told them the castle was under attack by assassins, or that is what they think when encountered in the hallways) I will probably reinstate them. Otherwise they suffer the fate of traitors. If resistance is *very* brief (say, they take an arrow to the knee before they can really raise their swords), I will probably just cashier them and send them back to their families in disgrace stripped of land and title but their heir-designate still inheriting them.

You do manage to turn up proof of bribery of a number of guards, along with evidence that the Steward corresponded with conservative members of the priesthood, some of whom may have had knowledge of his plans. The High Priest, thankfully, is not among them.

You also turn up evidence of the Steward's sexual misconduct as previously mentioned.


In that case, we might have to have a talk with the High Priest about what can be done about those particular members of the clergy without upsetting the status quo between church and state.

Does the church have excommunication or de-frocking protocols or anything like that? Simple correspondence is less relevant here than conspiracy so if the letters are restricted to workaday policy discussion that is one thing. If there is evidence of knowledge of the conspiracy...

This will establish you as a strong ruler, but also lead to some anger and resentment from members of the nobility. Their will be a number of people wanting to avenge the deaths/dispossession of their families/allies on you.


I figured that would be the case. Countermeasures will be as-follows, assuming the culture and customs are as per historical feudal systems.

First, word of the treason (and the Loyalty Incentive Program, and what happens to traitors) gets spread far and wide. The nobles probably only really command a small number of lesser nobles as knights, plus their own feudal retainers and peasant militia. The thing with peasant militias is that historically, unless the king fucks up in some way, they dont like to take up arms against their king. Even when they do, it is usually cast as loyalty to the throne but wanting to get rid of "corrupt ministers" or somesuch. The propaganda campaign should keep my throne safe from that sort of uprising for at least the next few years.

The lands that were taken by the crown are going to remain with the crown, their incomes from rents and feudal obligations transferred to the crown. Their peasant militias inducted into the armed Yeomanry. On their own, they should be more than a match for any attack made by a neighbor. Particularly because the crown has used that income to hire every sellsword in the kingdom on a permanent basis. Combined, I should be able to crush any incipient noble.

There is a benefit to doing this. I can actually decrease taxes in the lands directly administered by the crown. I already live on current crown income. Living in noble luxury is ridiculously expensive (seriously, the clothes alone are enough to train outfit and pay a small army each year). The difference between a noble collecting their own taxes to live in luxury and what the state actually requires to operate (and occupying the small castle with semi-professional troops) is small to the crown, but large for the peasants. I would probably accomplish this legally by chartering the towns and surrounding lands as self-governing, with their new obligations spelled out in the charter. Basically, each town will be required to pay for a percentage of its male population to be able to join the Yeomanry (pay and logistics costs, including the professional core of former mercenaries) plus a relatively small tithe to the crown (including a percentage of chartered trade fares). And that is it. Let the burghers do their thing and the kingdom prospers. Add a provision in there to form a parliament in order to request increases in royal revenue in times of war and to pay for infrastructure projects on royal lands. Towns in the medieval period tended to handle their own social services as well so that part is not a big problem.

[I am basically going to pit the 2nd and 3rd estates against eachother in this respect,

Now... that just secures crown lands against attack and secures the loyalty of the common people (no peasant is going to want to take up arms against a crown that treats peasants that well). Dealing with the backstabby plots is something else. From that, I am going to take a page out of Queen Elizabeth 1st's playbook.

Assuming this custom is the same, if the crown visits a noble households, the cost of the stay is borne by the host. I plan to abuse this. If I suspect someone is plotting, I move the royal court inside their home. Not only will it be massively expensive (limiting their ability to raise armies etc) they cannot even plot to poison me, because my servants (read: spies) are crawling all over the place and have even taken over the kitchens. Actually, it would probably be the first thing I do. I go about to the families and allies of traitors on a "Tour of my kingdom". For the first tour, the stays would be short. Just long enough to send the message that I am watching them loud and clear, but not enough to pauperize them.

Another thing I would do is cross-foster their heirs. Fostering was fairly common in the medieval period, and particularly for families under suspicion it was not uncommon for the crown to "politely" insist that someone's heir be raised by a loyal ally to the crown (with daddy paying for upkeep, of course). This can actually be advantageous for the family so victimized. They gain an ally after losing one, for instance. Sure their kid is basically a well-treated hostage, but it also reinforces the web of feudal obligation. If the kid is knighted, it will be by his foster parent (to whom he is directly feudally obligated, but also benefits from his oblige), and he is raised loyal to the crown. This will be preferentially performed if the heir of the traitor is a minor, particularly very young.

As far as domestic policy is concerned.

1. Found at least one actual university. People forget this about the medieval period, universities were a thing. Except this one will be secular. Mathematics, architecture and construction, shipbuilding and navigation, medicine (where basic healing magic is included), agronomy and natural sciences, all of that will be taught by scholars hired by the crown. Yes, magic as well on a master-student basis at first. Magic is really really useful for a lot of things. Resistance can be overcome once people actually see how useful it is for preventing their children from dying of smallpox.

2. Road construction and other forms of civil infrastructure (like sewers). Those are going to be a thing, linking all royal estates and burghs. The nobility who still hold their own lands will basically be dared not to complete the job in their own territory (allies of the crown will have assistance...).

3.

...

NOW we get to have adventures in foreign policy.

1. Piracy is getting stamped the fuck out. My yeomanry program also includes a naval buildup. We need two things for that, people and ships. The yeomanry program includes sailors so that is not a problem. The ships are another story. We have a few cogs and galleys. Not good enough. When I make a tour of my kingdom, some drawings and concept sketches of different ship designs (for lateen-rigged caravels) will be left with shipwrights in westport. For now though, trading galleys will have to be conscripted into royal service to deal with pirates (trading galleys and war galleys only differ in their crews). Losses will be compensated of course. The island settlements are going to be straight-up conquered and garrisoned.

2. Make diplomatic inroads with the elves and dwarves. This monarch is friendly to non-humans. Bandits will be suppressed, damn it.
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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby FaxModem1 » 2016-12-23 02:03am

How does my senile uncle react to the protege I'm thrusting upon him?
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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby Ralin » 2017-01-15 05:39am

Meant to reply to this sooner, but kept not doing it.

So...

First of all, I send word back to the Lords of Westport and Ironhall to the effect of "It grieves me to show you the slightest disrespect, but I wish to remain in the capital for the time being to vouchsafe that the steward's designs have been completely halted. I will meet you in person once I am confident the situation is secure, but for now I trust you understand my caution is not directed at you. Please send a trusted emissary to convey any concerns or requests that cannot wait and I will receive them personally."

To the Lord of Westport I add, "I won't mince words with you about the pirates. Yes, I am attempting to bribe as many of them into royal service as I can. I am aware of the problems this is causing with your merchant folk and it cannot be helped. Aid me in staying the course and this will end the raids. I will crush any pirates who remain active. I know you don't like this, but there are Problems on the horizon and whichever raiders we can turn to the crown's service will form the beginnings of a fleet that we may all need in the days to come."

And that done I invite the court mage's colleague to interview for a commission to lead an expedition pending anything standing out about him that makes me reconsider. I send a dozen knights (half a dozen would-be traitors, led by a friend) with him and offer him the option of as many as fifty militia if he believes it would help. I also make arrangements to have a pair of high ranking clergymen accompany him to act as witnesses to whatever he uncovers, one of them of a conservative bent. I make it clear to the knights that their first duty if things go to hell is to get said clerics back safely. If they find some sort of dire magical threat brewing I want to have people who the rest of the religious hierarchy will trust able to testify to it.

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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-01-15 09:52pm

Apologies for my own absence.

Ralin wrote:Meant to reply to this sooner, but kept not doing it.

So...

First of all, I send word back to the Lords of Westport and Ironhall to the effect of "It grieves me to show you the slightest disrespect, but I wish to remain in the capital for the time being to vouchsafe that the steward's designs have been completely halted. I will meet you in person once I am confident the situation is secure, but for now I trust you understand my caution is not directed at you. Please send a trusted emissary to convey any concerns or requests that cannot wait and I will receive them personally."


Unfortunately, the Lord of Westport is not entirely himself mentally, and will still have his advisors whispering in his ear that you are not to be trusted, especially if you start hiring pirates.

The Lord of Ironhall is likewise suspicious, but is too dutiful and honourable a knight to offer less than his full assistance unless he is confident that you are yourself a traitor and usurper. He will remain at Ironhall, but send envoys to you, and respectuflly reiterates his wish to meet personally as soon as possible to discuss the concerns of the Crown and Ironhall, and the security of the realm. However, he suggests that it might be wiser to put off the planned wedding between your houses until travel between the capital and Ironhall is safer.

To the Lord of Westport I add, "I won't mince words with you about the pirates. Yes, I am attempting to bribe as many of them into royal service as I can. I am aware of the problems this is causing with your merchant folk and it cannot be helped. Aid me in staying the course and this will end the raids. I will crush any pirates who remain active. I know you don't like this, but there are Problems on the horizon and whichever raiders we can turn to the crown's service will form the beginnings of a fleet that we may all need in the days to come."


The Lord of Westport in his prime would probably have seen the wisdom of this. Now, it is all too easy for angry merchants to sway his advisors, and for his advisors to sway him. He will not risk open revolt yet, but he offers only the minimum of cooperation with your edicts.

And that done I invite the court mage's colleague to interview for a commission to lead an expedition pending anything standing out about him that makes me reconsider. I send a dozen knights (half a dozen would-be traitors, led by a friend) with him and offer him the option of as many as fifty militia if he believes it would help. I also make arrangements to have a pair of high ranking clergymen accompany him to act as witnesses to whatever he uncovers, one of them of a conservative bent. I make it clear to the knights that their first duty if things go to hell is to get said clerics back safely. If they find some sort of dire magical threat brewing I want to have people who the rest of the religious hierarchy will trust able to testify to it.


You find four promising candidates to lead the expedition.

Jerald Swent is a middle aged mage from a village just north of the capitol. He specializes in the lore of magical creatures, particularly dark creatures, and served as clerk to the previous court mage, under your father and grandfather. Viewed with suspicion by the priesthood, but your Court Mage speaks highly of him, having been apprenticed to him in youth.

Sir Armand Whit is the son of a distant cousin who served as apprentice to the mage advisor of the Lord of Ironhall. He specializes in siege craft, using magic to reinforce or weaken defences, and in using telepathic magic for the purposes of spying and communications. He is currently writing what he promises will be the definitive treatise on telepathic communication. Comes with the recommendation of his former master, and of the Lord of Ironhall.

Edmund of Silverbrook is an older mage from the southern part of the realm. He has lived and traveled for some years among the elves, and made a study of healing magic and of speaking to plants and animals. A strong advocate of the rights of non-humans. He is seen as a bit of an eccentric, known for his unconventional approach to magic, and your Court Mage looks down on him somewhat, but he has a reputation for modesty and honesty. The priesthood, however, does not like him.

Lilian Quill. Daughter of one of your loyal knights, and a student of prophetic magic. Her father is not entirely happy about her choice of profession, but vouches for her intelligence and honour.

The knight chosen to lead your expedition, meanwhile, humbly suggests it might be better to staff your expedition entirely with loyalists, though he acknowledged the wisdom of not taking too many loyalist troops from the capital just now. He requests two score militia as escort, half longbowmen and half with poll arms.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.


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