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Help with a young empress

Discussion in 'World Building' started by mbartelsm, May 8, 2013.

  1. mbartelsm

    mbartelsm Troubadour

    So, the story goes like this:

    A world where magic is used through "Sunstones", when these are used they take energy from the sun. The society where this happens has evolved enough so that their energy consumption is higher than the actual energy the sun produces, this is effectively consuming the sun.

    The emperor decided to spent all resources in an all or nothing plan, they will dig with huge drills all over the world (the world is inverted, as in a bubble of air in a universe of infinite dirt and stone) to find a energy source that can replace sunstones, but this will consume huge amounts of energy, shortening even more the life of the dying sun. A rebel faction was formed when people heard of this project and they attempted to take control of the empire, they killed most of the royal guard, the emperor, the empress, their son and left their daughter (the current empress) unable to walk.

    Is it believable that the empress became a cruel despotic empress because of this situation? and what kind of redeeming traits can she have to compensate for this other than the fact that she's a victim of her circumstance?

    EDIT: she's around 9-11 years old when the story starts
  2. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

    1) Yes

    2) That she wants to continue the project of her father for the good of the people, even if the people don't see it as good. This is like an inverse parent-child relationship. Parents know what's best for their kids, even if the children chafe at the control. The whole time, the children think the parents are outdated, controlling, and/or ignorant. Then, they make it to adulthood and realize had they listened to their parents, their life would have been easier and more successful.

    You could incorporate that theme into your story. It would not be expected coming from a child.
  3. AnnaBlixt

    AnnaBlixt Minstrel

    If sounds very plausible.

    As the empress, she could have a knowledge and understanding of the world that the uneducated rabble lacks. The ones in charge sometimes have to make hard decisions and sacrify their own morals for the sake of the people. This is especially true for leaders in wars and other tough situations.

    As for redeeming traits, I think you could make this girl compartmentalized. She could have one sections of her life that she dedicades to being empress and making the tough calls, without mixing emotion up in this. Then she could have a completely other section of her life where she expresses her emotions in some other ways, like through art or singing or being sociable with close friends.
  4. Dio

    Dio Dreamer

    Going along with Ankari, I think that leaders often work for the greater good but have a hard time making the citizens understand that. It's unfair for the empress to sacrifice the common folk for their own good, while she likely still stays in her palace consuming energy at will. People would only see that fact, the negative side of the plan, not the fact that if they don't find a new power source they will all die.

    Also, out of curiosity, where is the sun located in your world? If it's an air bubble, would the sun be in the center?
  5. This is a very believable motivation for your ruler to become a despot. One of the redeeming qualities that I would have your empress have is that while the people fear her they don't necessarily hate her. I can't do this concept better justice than Machiavelli did in the Prince but make sure that she demands absolute loyalty to the state but in general tries to leave her people to their own private lives without unnecessary intrusions. Further, I would also give her an internal conflict about being a despot like she is.
  6. mbartelsm

    mbartelsm Troubadour

    Yeah, it "turns off" every day to create night

    @Brian Scott Allen: I don't think I completely understand you, make her a despot when it comes to state loyalty and political beliefs, but at the same time let people go on with their common lives?

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