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Wanted: plot help

So you have a group of rebels who want to take down the government of a country (in this case a kingdom) to keep them from being able to conquer a neighboring country. They don't necessarily want to take over the kingdom (not that interested, and it's kind of beyond their capabilities at this point) but they do want to cripple it enough so that it can't conquer anyone else. What do you do?

Along those same lines, if you had someone within the royal family who was your ally, how could they help you? If they could get you inside the palace while the king and most of his people are gone, what could you do to further your goals?
  • Current Mood: frustrated frustrated

It depends on a) how much time you have, and b) what your technology is, and what theirs is.

If you have decades to play with, start a pacifistic religion that emphasizes civil disobedience and resistance to authority. (Personal violence is okay, war isn't.)

If you have high technology and the kingdom is crca 20th century, introduce a petroleum-eating nanovirus. Remember that Imperial Japan's war machine shut down for lack of fuel - they still had plenty of tanks and planes and untrained but eager pilots, but the machines sat useless for lack of oil. Ditto Nazi Germany - their failure to capture the Baku oil fields was the beginning of the end.

If you don't have time and you don't have technology, assassination is your game: Take out the warhawks at court, the top generals, the King himself if necessary. (If. Remember that Louis XIV couldn't marshall a barn dance, but he had excellent generals. Without them, Le Grand Siècle would have been a fizzle. Conversely, Peter the Great was himself the driver of Imperial Russia.)

Thanks for the ideas :)

The story is a fantasy, thus far with a kind of early 1800s-Europe feel. And incidentally the rebel group is religiously motivated; the conquering king is part of a growing splinter religion that basically puts him as the head of the church, and the rebels are old-school hard-liners who find this to be an intolerable heresy. Their fight is as much about stopping the spread of this religion as it is about keeping the national sovereignty. They've been in the conquering kingdom for the last fifty years or so, encouraging people to not pay their taxes and dodge the draft, and generally fomenting rebellion amongst the lower classes. Lately, as the kingdom has begun to push into their country, they've gotten more desperate. They would definitely be okay with assassination, and I think when the story starts they have made several attempts, but the king also has some pretty nasty magicians on his side as well. That's why I was trying to plot something more indirect, i.e. gaining access to the palace. I don't think the rebels are organized or prepared enough to start a coup, but maybe I can get enough factors going so that the people themselves rise up against the king. It would be very topical, no? ;)

This sounds like a job for biological warfare, a k a The Gods Must Be Angry. You know what they say, “No country is more than three meals away from a revolution.” Introduce grainrot fungus or the barnyard scourge - a couple of bad harvests with the appropriate propaganda spin will put paid to this upstart “splinter church.” The king will either be overthrown or make a humiliating deal for food with Mother Church. Either way, you've shut him up or shut him down.

[If Spain had thought of this, by AD 1600 the C of E would have been toast. This wouldn't have stopped the German Protestants or the Dutch, and they might have lost the game a generation later, but Mary Stewart would have been Queen.]