Holy shit! I’ve took a break for too long! Fear not! I’m back to finish my WIP!
My story-game Redemption of the Damned is now 2 chapters in. In it, you play as an ex-outlaw tasked to find the whereabouts of the kidnapped heir of the kingdom of the Esreyla Kingdom.
A short summary:
The prince/ss is kidnapped! But the knights are not the ones who will be rescuing her this time! As an ex-criminal, you are tasked to save the princess and bring her back safely to the kingdom in exchange of clearing your name from all the crimes you have committed. But you are not alone, as your old comrades are there to help you for old time’s sake.
Journey around the Esreyla Kingdom as you search for clues on where the princess is. Will you become a changed man, helping those in need, or will you go back to the outlaw you were: killing, stealing and causing chaos across the land?
Update 1 Finished the intro scene
Update 2 The Intro chapter is done! Now moving on to Chapter 1:The retiree.
Update 3 Two chapters are done. (Doing some text scanning before I post them in the demo) Now moving on to the third one!
Feel free to bookmark and check it once in a while. If you have any suggestion or critiques, feel free to write it down below.
To be honest, you’ll need a very good justification as to why the kingdom feels the need to send an ex-bandit orphanage care taker and his former group members to save the princess, rather than a fully trained and armed group of knights.
But, I am interested as to what kind of shenanigans we would get ourselves to.
Also, does it have to be a gender-locked princess? I don’t know if you plan to make the princess a RO… But it would be nice to have a bit of variety. Personally, I am tired of always rescuing the princess.
[spoiler] The kingdom of Esreyla is still recovering from the recent war with the Neirah Kingdom to the east. Both side experience heavy casualties, To raise the morale of the people, the king decide to make a Tournament where all the kingdom’s knight participate.
During the tournament, the princess was kidnapped. Not wanting to cause a mass hysteria to the people, the king quietly seek a way to return the princess before the final day of the tournament, where she must appear. A man by the name of Varion suggest that he can find a way to rescue the princess in a short time, requesting the king grant his wish if he managed to do it. Having no other option, the king agreed.
Varion, having known our MC’s history, threatened to jail them for the rest of their life in prison unless they go and rescue the princess for him. Wanting to protect the orphans he have been taking care of, the MC agree…
You should go ahead with this idea! It’s a neat twist on the “save the princess” storyline by swapping out a chivalrous knight for a former bandit who can either rise above or succumb to their criminal past.
Here’s my two cents: The scene where the king demands the MC’s service can be a compelling one. Not only does the king have the MC’s banditry as an excuse to arrest them, but it’s also a good opportunity to either flashback or allude to incidents that he’s attempting to hide from his orphans and other loved ones. My inner writer thinks that alluding to their misdeeds through dialogue, choice texts, and inner thoughts would be more effective than going into full flashback mode, although there’s a case for visiting the MC’s past to establish the backstory and frame character creation.
That’s not a bad way to approach the problem of “Why send a party of ex-criminals on a rescue mission?” And once the story gets going, the actual excuse won’t matter very much. But it might feel a little more paint-by-numbers than you’d like. Also, do you really want a nation that will fly into a panic so easily, instead of rising up to fix the problem?
What if completing the rescue mission with a squad of knights would cause a diplomatic incident? (See: the goal of the kidnapping in The Princess Bride.) So instead of invading the place our royal hostage is being held in, the knights make a big show of force at the gate… without entering. Like Aragorn and his army making a show at the Black Gates of Mordor to distract Sauron in The Return of the King. And at the same time, our ex-bandit “Frodo and Sam” sneak in unseen to finish the mission. “Avoiding a diplomatic incident” may work quite well with “still recovering from the recent war,” if you’re willing to let your kidnappers cross national borders.
Or maybe the King’s advisors disagree on what the evidence means, so the knights are searching locations A, B, and C, while the populace has risen up to search locations E, F, and G. But Varion has correctly guessed the King is listening to the wrong advisors, and the royal hostage is actually in location H. With everyone else busy searching in the wrong places, Varion grabs someone he knows the King can pressure into obedience - someone who won’t be missed if things go poorly and the hostage wasn’t actually at location H after all. This may work better if you don’t want the kidnappers leaving the country.
Not that it’s wrong to say “The People will panic if we tell them the truth.” But some interesting things might happen if the people don’t panic.
Just in case you're not familiar with the kidnapping portion of The Princess Bride...
The villain is the Prince, who is bored, and wants to start a war with a neighboring country to alleviate his boredom. He hires thugs to kidnap his fiancee, smuggle her across the border, and murder her in the other country’s territory. He then makes a terribly public show of rousing his army and pursuing the kidnappers… while deliberately proceeding slowly enough he can’t actually catch up. Unfortunately for the Prince (but fortunately for everyone else,) the Princess is rescued before the thugs can finish the job. Of course, the Prince then throws the rescuer into the dungeon and sulks around his castle trying to think of a different way to make an excuse to go to war.
Wait, I just had a silly thought.
Who’s taking care of the orphans while our dear ex-bandit is off on adventures? Are we bringing a wagon full of pint-sized pickpockets and eavesdroppers with us? A squad of the kind of noble-hearted streetrats most look straight at without ever seeing? They’ll be perfect spies… if we can keep them out of danger!
Well, I see your point. I Actually have an idea where:
The king signed a treaty for a ceasefire. Afraid that sending the knights to explore the land between the kingdoms will be seen as a move to attack the other king, he try to find a way to search for the princess by ordering commoners to do it. However, this is also risky, as some commoners can be bribed to give the information away. Desperate, he listen to Varion’s suggestion: Send ex-outlaws to look for her. To make sure that the outlaws doesn’t run away, they held the orphans hostage and send their agent to monitor the outlaws, constantly sending them an update of their search.
What do you think of that? I’m more focused on the ‘searching’ part right now, so I don’t really have a good foundation for the ‘reason’ part If you want, we can discuss more in private, by messages.
I like it. A nice, simple, solid reason why a big squad of knights in shining armor could be more trouble than they’re worth. Send some of the more trustworthy ex-outlaws, perhaps a few hand-chosen knights disguised as ex-outlaws, and you’ve got yourself an adventuring party!
The ‘searching’ part is going to prove way more important to the story than the ‘reason’ part. Keep your focus where it already is - a simple foundation is perfect.
I plan to put the rewards at the end game, because if you pick your reward beforehand i’m afraid the effort you put in saving the princess is not as much as the reward you earn. At the end game, however, you know how hard you work throughout the journey and you can choose the reward you feel right.