Author Topic: The Land of the Undying King  (Read 2359 times)

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Offline Cheka Man

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The Land of the Undying King
« on: September 09, 2006, 04:37:24 PM »
What do you think a land would be like, if the same dictatorial ruler had ruled it for six centuries? The king fears progress, but knows that some progress is nesscessary to prevent his kingdom from being overthrown and absorbed by the other kingdoms. His courtiers and armed forces still wear the uniforms of the past,although their weapons and tactics have slowly changed over the centuries.

(think a 1600 AD country with a king who took the throne in 1000 AD.)

Your ideas are welcome,as if I try and do it all by myself, it'll flop.

Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: The Land of the Undying King
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2006, 12:41:40 AM »
I suppose my question is how is the king still alive?
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Offline Cheka Man

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Re: The Land of the Undying King
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2006, 08:32:03 AM »
Through magic-a mage created a magical portal for him.

Offline Mourngrymn

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Re: The Land of the Undying King
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2006, 10:10:55 AM »
But how is a magic portal keeping him alive? WOuldnt it just allow him to travel back and forth through time?
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Offline manfred

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Re: The Land of the Undying King
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2006, 12:00:41 PM »
Well, that would good to answer, too.

But Cheka's question has definitely some merit: if a ruler can live much longer than the average man, assuming he can't just fireball to ash any opposition, what are the measures one could employ to keep the throne permanently? Think of all the vampires, liches and assorted baddies of fantasy - they wouldn't want to loose power, if they gained it, right?

Let me put down some thoughts on the topic:
 - solid knowledge of the principles so eloquently described by Mr. Machiavelli cannot hurt, whether it is a matter of instinct, or sagely knowledge
 - 'progress' seems to me like a fairly modern concept, but there is some relevance to the idea - new thoughts and innovations are necessary, but also have a tendency to threaten the status quo, hence the need to be in control of them. Historically, kings and the like were supporters of innovation that advanced their goals (as entertaining toys, but that is beside the topic). So one needs to position himself as sponsor of curious minds, while restricting them anywhere else.
 - at the same time, while needing to keep people from wealth unless it is by king's help, there must be a productive population that can support any goals of his.
 - choosing peace as the initial relation with all other countries may be an interesting option - anyone attacking the country will be subsenquently destroyed. A non-aggressive ruler that 'keeps to his people' may have a more solid position that one going for world government - but hey, why not try it, if you have the time?  :twisted:
 - if it is safe from the point of keeping immortality, sire children, and plant them all into important positions, marry to important families, etc. Over the centuries, your family should be everywhere, their position and wellbeing depending on you, so they should act accordingly. Be careful with the idea of successorship, though.
 - support a religion/philosophy/teaching that makes the king the greatest guy under the sun (connecting him to gods is also fine); also teachings that make people complacent and accepting their position in life.
 - speaking of it, this should be put more generally: a ruler that rules already for a LONG time, has to be silently present everywhere, so that the country is defined by his existence, and is hard to imagine without.

And so on.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2006, 12:09:58 PM by manfred »
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Offline MoonHunter

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Re: The Land of the Undying King
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2006, 02:55:25 PM »
Might I recomend the Corwin Saga in the Chronicles of Amber. It shows what happens when you have an immortal king with (somewhat) immortal descendents. There is a huge amount of political intriguing with centuries between when the plots are set into motion and they come to fruitition.  Eventually someone who is power hungery will find a way to (remove) the King and take over.  (Even if the removal is simply burying the king so deep it will be a century or six before he digs out.)

Innovation, as an admirable goal, is a modern and post modern concept. Innovation and change were concepts that were not as highly admired in times past, as they threatened status quos. Sure there was progress and innovation, but that innovation and progress occured under the watchful yoke of the elites OR happened between the cracks of the system. where the new wealth and changed forced the status quo (and empowered elite) to deal with it.  Keep in mind what happened when Cities were sponsored by Medival nobles:  All of a sudden people with power/ wealth occured that were independent of fedual heirarchy.  This new power replaced the existing lord vassel obligation with one based upon wealth and gold.

An immortal ruler, having seen things "go" for so long will know how to stop certain aspects of change... or will set up rules to channel that change appropriately.  A contest for the heirhood ever decade or three for example... the eligables will then intrigue with each other, rather than try and remove the Immortal King.  A formalized way to deal with noble house conflict that is time consuming (keeping them busy). And so on.

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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: The Land of the Undying King
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2006, 01:54:50 PM »
Immortal life and power do seem to go hand in hand. While not familiar with Corwyn or Amber, I do have a lot of experience with running Vampire: the Masquerade chronicles which are usually quite heavy with immortal and nigh invincible vampire rulers.

There are a number of tools available to the immortal lord.

The first tool is that of tyranny and oppression. This is required to maintain a certain level of social conscience within the immortal's kingdom. While progress is not innate to the medieval mindset, it is something that is inevitable and undeniable. By keeping free thinking, education, and other things of that sort, with moral heavy faiths and wizards especially so, controlled, the immortal lord can retain a strong sense of order. There will be dissidents, but this makes then fringe elements rather than a loyal opposition. They become rebels to be quashed rather than revolutionaries to be supported.

The second tool is the Proxy, this is keeping a hand on the reigns of the kingdom, but having a mortal second who has a place of prominence. The immortal lord rules, but the duties of state fall on a Lord chamberlain, supreme chancellor, or some other figure who can be replaced as demanded by the population. England has a King and a Prime Minister, Japan has an Emperor and a Prime Minister as well (not 100% sure on title) This provides a more reachable goal for ambitious lords, who will fight over it, as well as someone to do the tedious aspects of statecraft, as well as being a scapegoat for when things go wrong.

The third tool is longevity, an immortal ruler can afford to step down operations, or even let a short lived rival gain power, to resume his throne when the usurper is overthrown by loyalists, is assassinated, or simply dies of old age. This might seem a bit odd, but in many parts of France, exiled nobility was welcomed back after their usurpers took control, and then failed.

The forth tool is perspective. Unbound by concerns of heirs, mortality and other mortal limitations, the Immortal Lord has had a long time to come to understand the function of government, the way his people respond, and the trends of generation and economy on a scale of decades to centuries or longer. Having much experience, the Immortal Lord knows to hedge his bets, when to go all in, and when to cut and run.
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