Tashiro (tashiro) wrote in roleplayers,

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Setting:  An adventuring party comes into the kingdom of Rowan's Rest, a thriving region that seems too good to be true.  The rain is always gentle, the winters always mild, and the farmlands always bountiful.  They hear of unrest among the burgeoning merchant class - Malcolm Borosi, the eldest son of Arthur Borosi - head of the newly-formed merchant's guild, is coming of age, and the Queen's Guard will be bringing him to the palace in one week.  The heroes hear that there's a long-standing tradition within the kingdom - the ruler calling for the first-born of each family when they come of age.  Malcolm wishes not to go, and his father would rather keep his son, rather than send him to the palace.
Twist:  The royal family had made a pact with the fair folk.  The Queen is upholding her part of the bargain, when the first born son of a family comes of age, she invites him to her bed chambers, as part of a fertility ritual to keep the kingdom thriving.  She knows exactly when someone in her kingdom has come of age, and sends her guards - as her father did with the first-born daughters before, back through the generations.  Through these rituals, the kingdom thrives, protected by the fair folk.
End:  What is more important?  The desires of one person, versus the good of the kingdom?  If the fair folk punish the land for the breaking of an oath, who is at fault?  Do the heroes try to find the fair folk to renegotiate, and what if the fair folk refuse?  Will they try to convince the Queen to stop the tradition, and let the kingdom lose the protection and fertility it had?  Will they side with the merchant's guild, and try to prevent the Queen's Guards from finding Malcolm Borosi?  Will they try to convince Malcolm to go along with the rite?

So, was hashing out this scenario with someone, and trying to decide what my character would do.  I'm thinking in my case, I'd probably try to talk with the fair folk, and ... barring their allowance of a change in the rite, I'm really stumped.  I don't like the idea of trying to convince the guy 'yeah, just accept it and go, it's good for the people', but I don't like the idea of damning an entire kingdom either.  Then of course - what happens if you turn the Queen into a King, and Malcolm becomes 'Michelle' or something?  Does it suddenly become 'more wrong'?  I really don't know how I'd handle it.
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