A false king sits on the throne, having inprisoned the true king, your brother. But your brother has escaped and, now, his come-back is being planned by his allies. The false king had once fought side-by-side with you against a common enemy.
But, now, after a long series of thoughts, you've desided that the false king must die, for, else, he'll destroy the kingdom with his actions.
You've got a resently arrieved group of spies in the capital. The spies are from a neighbouring land known for it's plotting people; so good spies come from there.
Your spies can kill the false king. What would you think is the best way to do it? (Invade the palace and kill him in his bedchamber? A crossbow bolt while he is... where? In the garden? In the throne room? Something else, perhaps?) [No magic available.]
So, how are you going to plan the assasination?
January 27th, 2003, 09:06 AM
It is more or less your decision. The question is, how should YOU assasinate him. We can give you pointers, but you are the brains in such a scheme. I will give it a shot.
The assasination should be quick and mercilless, thereas he needs no such spies, all he needs is someone who can go to him. if the king is able to go to the other, that is better, but if you can get someone less conspicuos, it's fine. The king\hireling goes to the king and slips him some poinson somehow, be it from dinner, or a special perfume. If not that, then just have someone dagger him in the night, or smothering him with a pillow...
January 27th, 2003, 11:14 AM
I don't think that the plotting problem will be with killing the king, but what will happen AFTER you kill the king.
Basically, you'll have the King's advisors, army, judges, and damn near everybody else after you almost as soon as the deed is done. I would use the spies to circumvent these protections so that when the King IS killed, these people are less apt to respond in a deadly fashion. Perhaps the spies can provide information to the various groups that would turn them from wanting the king alive to not minding if he were replaced.
As for the actual act, open assassination is usually a bad thing, however if the king were to die in an accident or in his sleep then it's a different story.
January 27th, 2003, 11:19 AM
precisley my point, dear chap!
January 27th, 2003, 11:41 AM
The method of assasination is up to the author. But if YOU were in the Duke's shoes, what would want ot be sure of?
1. They can't trace the assasination back to you
2. This means the best way is to make sure htey don't trace it to ANYONE...i.e. they beieve it's an accident or atural causes.
3. The assasination doesn't break any established rules of conduct in such matters (see mafioso/cosca rules of combat).
4. The aftermath doesn't cause more trouble than is already staring the country in the face (make sure the person who imediately takes over is suitable as well).
Common methods include hunting accidents (drugging the horse, paying someone in the hunting party to spook the horse), poison (it would be hard for someonei na medeval setting to identify poison, but it would be easier to cast suspicion, particularly if it's the duke's brotr who benefits most), betrayal in combat (urging them into a situation in which the Duke KNOWS te usurper be killed), etc. You might try something more cunning, like having the king hunt in winter, but having someone make sure his horse throws him into a river or water of sorts...getting him to catch pneumonia or something ot that effect, then making sure his healer can't help him.
The problem here is that unless everyone thinks the king dies of natural causes, some suspicion is automatically going to fall on the Duke, since it's his brother who will likely gain a great deal from the King's death. So no matter the method, it has to seem ENTIRELY realistic, unless you INTEND for the act to cause blame and trouble for the Duke.
How about this: intercept a message from a foreign country's king (preferrably someone the Duke and his brother dislike already), and alter it to make it sound incendiary and offensive to the upstart king. Then, after a period of interaction, do two things:
First: cause reason for the other king to want to kill the upstart: either haiving the upstart assasinate someone close to him, or get the opposing King so angry over a contrived insult as to threaten the upstart. Basically, this probably requires the upstart to be somewhat easy to manipulate, or at least hot-headed enough to be goaded into action. throughout this process, the Duke should be openly supportive of the upstart King while secretly instigating further conflict.
Second: pay the spies to kill the Upstart in a fashion common for asasinations...knife in the dark, poison,etc. then, suspicion will fall on the opposing King's head since he's already threatened the upstart rather than on the Duke's.
Essentially, provide a more likely suspect before undertaking the action.
January 27th, 2003, 12:06 PM
Geezuz! That guy is GOOD
January 27th, 2003, 12:56 PM
I would highly recommend acquaintance with some of Shakespeare's "historical" plays here. Richard II would be particularly suitable for this instance as a peice of research. Better to see it performed if you have difficulty with a plain reading.
January 27th, 2003, 04:33 PM
Wow! Thanx for all this suggestions, guys! You gave me, indeed, some ideas, I have to say!
Killing the usurper is indeed dangerous, and that was the Duke's main problem in the begining.
1) The usurper's men might revolt against the Duke (he takes the throne, b/c his brother's not there).
2) Suspicions might anyway fall on him (the Duke).
The Duke talked about this with his outlander spies, and they were torn between "mysterious desapearance" (i.e., kidnap the usurper) and assasination. Originaly, the Duke didn't want to kill him; just to "neutralize" him, for he was leading the country into an appearently lost, costy, and untimely war. But he did decide to go for the assasination, afterall, b/c the usurper already suspects the Duke was against him (in fact he got his brother out of the cell, though the usurper thinks it was some "magic trickery"). He (the usurper) has send some of his men to track the Duke's movements. But his men are soldiers, not good spies. So, the Duke's own spies kill the first one and make him "dissapear". The usurper, then, sends a group of men to ambush the Duke in the capital's streets and get info from him. This time it was a close call, but he made it, and the usurper's men again "disappeared". Now, the usurper has the Duke's wife and son in the dungeons deep below the palace. No-one knows this, apart from the usurper and his most trusted allies. The Duke recieves a message in his room that "someone has his family, for there is no respect for traitors' families or traitors themselves" (the usurper claims that the Duke --and all others who oppose him, including the dethroned king-- is a traitor). The Duke is informed, by a wizard, that the usurper has his family in the dungeons.
Thus, he decides to sent his spies to assasinate him.
I think it is here important to note that not all the army is with the usurper. But even those that are not with him don't want to start an internal war and get blood spilled, since the land has suffered a pretty bad war already.
Another important factor is that ships (external allies of the former king) have blocked the harbor and are pushing the usurper to give up on the throne (without attacking -- the whole point in this case is to avoid internal conflict in the kingdom).
Now, the Duke (and others, but I don't want to become too confusing now -- why something tells my I've already become? :D) thinks that the usurper is planning to somehow strike the ships of the blockade; perhaps, even frontal assault: something that must be avoided at all costs. (The people in the ships are actually allies of the kingdom, since they are allies of the former king.) So, the Duke must act quickly. Thus, no time to wait for the usurper to go hunting, etc.
To get it in line, now: The Duke is enraged; he wants the usurper dead and his family free. He's not thinking strait at this time, or else he wouldn't kill him; it was his one-time companion after all. He has the choice of either have one of the spies assasinate him from a roof top when the usurper is near a window etc, or to get some spies in the palace to stab him, throw him off a window, poison him etc (but how to get them in?), or to (somehow) get the usurper to leave the palace and kill him in the streets... or something else...?
[If it is too confusing just say so. :confused: ]
January 27th, 2003, 07:01 PM
k, in a situation like that your best bet of having the Usurper killed without civil war tearing the country apart would be to have the Usuper killed in an open, bloody way. Then cast blame on a disgruntled peasant, former soldier, townsperson, etc... This person would get caught and be killed for killing the Usurper. This way no noble can be accused and enemy kingdoms aren't involved, hence negating the possibility of another war.
I think this is your best possible solution.
January 27th, 2003, 10:46 PM
Just wrote a short story where a King has to kill the wife of his deceased brother because she has taken over the brother's throne, which isn't supposed to happen. He gets help getting into the palace and sneaks into her bedchamber. Had to be thoughful about getting past the guards though. You can't make it easy for the main character.
Another suggestion is have the attempt go wrong. In my story, the queen's daughter was in the bed and he killed her by accident and got sent to the gallows. Bet the readers wouldn't be expecting something like that. Bit different with a novel though, you need some semblance of resolution.