Thursday, March 2, 2017

Public Brainstorm #3

TITLE: The Severed Crown
GENRE: YA Fantasy

BLURB:  17 yo Vespen has been forced to remain in the palace and keep the king's crazy daughter company since he was born. Now betrothed to the girl, Vespen will do anything to break free of this royal leash. That's when he makes a pact with the king's mage. In exchange for a safe escape route out of the capital (using the mage's invisibility potion), Vespen will have to free the mage's son from the palace dungeons. But what the mage didn't tell Vespen is that his son's cell is poisoned, and that Vespen will need a cure to survive.

From the mage POV, he doesn't tell Vespen about the poison so Vespen will be forced to come back to him for the cure. No son, no cure. But from Vespen POV...why trust a man who is asking him to go against the king he's supposedly loyal to?

The mage is loyal to the king (or rather, scared of him) but the king is the one who sent his son in the dungeons. I'm looking for a good reason/blackmail that would explain why the mage is still working for the king (even though he doesn't know if his son is still alive).


  1. sounds to me like the mage isn't actually loyal to the king at all if he's making a pact with Vespen. I'm confused about why the mage would think his son wasn't alive. If he's sending someone to rescue him, obviously he believes that his son is down there in the dungeon, still alive. I think that's motivation enough for the mage to hang around in his current position. What if the king had suspected the mage was disloyal years ago and locked up his son as leverage for the mage to stay?

    Also, how many other jobs are there for mages in this world? If the mage leaves, where would he go? Perhaps if he leaves, he would be in danger in the outside world for some reason. Maybe as part of the job, he had to take some kind of binding potion that keeps him from leaving or betraying the king?

    Good luck! I love your worldbuilding!

  2. - he can limit the damage the king does to the kingdom

    - he knows another would be forced to take his place -- mostly likely family

    - king keeps erasing memories, so Mage isn't sure about things and can't make long term plans. It's another risk for Vespen too.

    - his son tried to kill the king, after being corrupted. Mage thinks he's cured. King does not. King feels he has already been generous in not killing the boy

    - Mage's magic weakens the farther away from the castle. Hard to let go of power

    - King has a shard of the Mage's soul.

  3. Perhaps the mage still works for the king because it keeps him in the castle and hopefully, will give him opportunities to save his son. Perhaps the king imprisoned his son to keep the mage under his thumb. Do what I say and your son lives. Don't, and he dies.

    Or maybe he stays around because he swore to himself he would have his vengeance on the king for what the man did to his son.

    The obvious reason is he stays because he has to rescue his son, and once he does, they're both getting out of there.

    Or perhaps he plans to overthrow the king, or murder him.

  4. How about this? The king has asked the mage to identify the perpetrator of a certain big crime against the kingdom—something treasonous. He has locked up the mage's son as a ruse. The kind and mage know he's innocent, but the royal position is that the mage's son is the culprit and has been caught. In fact, he's a lure. Whoever really is guilty will try to free him. The mage convinces your protagonist to free him in order to make Vespen look guilty. He's setting your protagonist up. The protagonist will have to prove his innocence, prove THE MAGE is the real enemy of the king and guilty of the original crime and the protagonist will win his freedom this way. Does that help spark anything? Good luck!

  5. Agree with the comments suggesting the mage is somehow bound to the king. Perhaps it's an inherited bonded position, from father to son, and the mage wants to both free his son from the King's prison and from the King's service altogether.