Greg Morrow (drelmo) wrote,
Greg Morrow
drelmo

Treadmill Thoughts

 If I were doing a Game of Thrones-type series:

King dies (of testicular cancer) leaving no heir of the body. Under the succession law, the next king must be a male heir of the body of (Q, ruler several generations ago)* and king was the last one; the only remaining heir of the body is a second cousin girl child. Dynastic crisis. "Regency council" has tenuous legality, cannot agree on new succession law.

*Based on the existing English succession law -- has to be a descendant of Queen such and so, one of the Marys, I think.

Epistolary chapters interspersed with narrative.

Main characters:

Faction 1 (the noble house distant from the capital): Grand Duke A, wife B, son C. Son C has been representing the family's interests at court, but returns to his father's gathering army when the regency council begins to break apart.

Faction 2 (the politicos): Ambitious mother D, erratic son E (models from imperial Rome, imperial China)

Faction 1 and Faction 2 both have "claims" on the throne via relatives -- but not heirs -- of Q.
 
The second cousin girl child is a pawn -- conceivably, her male offspring will be legitimate heirs under the existing succession law. So controlling her is a critical tactic, until she gets killed. Or dies of whooping cough or something.

Spoilers: Elder sage L, a legal stickler, a keen manipulator of politics; a great many secrets. Appears to initially favor faction 1, but is key in a stunning betrayal. Adventurer K: A Sir Francis Drake-type, whose allegiance will help tip the balance, but who has secrets from his explorations that will change the character of his involvement. Cousin U: The Claudius of Faction 2, a cousin of E who is discounted by most everyone; we play up his obvious analogousness early, and move in the direction of making him Claudius, but there's another shocking twist.

A makes an alliance with overseas forces -- Danes or Geats -- by marrying C to chief's daughter V, and promising half of the territory conquered before being crowned to the chief. 

V turns out to be a firebrand hellion. When B and C are killed, she becomes a Boudicca figure. And to go for our quota of skeeve -- when C is killed, she goes to A, says, I do not have a child by your son, but you can give me one. A little Lot's daughters sort of thing.

Etc., etc. Pile on the complications, pile on the characters, a reversal every third chapter. Heel face turns, and face heel turns. Invite disaster in, and be surprised when disaster ensues. Shrink the size of the pot so that the victory looks less worth the cost all the while. Reveal hidden magics. Wave distractedly at external threats that fail to materialize until the dry well sequels; above all, do not permit unity in the face of external threats.

Cash checks. Retire to islands. Die before having to write a conclusion.
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