In my fantasy novel, there is a rebellion that needs to be stopped. They have a weapon in a highly guarded room that is under ground. The team tasked with stopping the rebellion plans to drop several very heavy boulders from very high onto the ground above the room. The room is not large, but it has several rebellion workers and guards at all times.

Trick is, they don't want anyone to be hurt.

Question: How do they get people out of the room without tipping anyone off about what's about to happen?

More context: They have magic that allows one of them to become invisible and to go into the tunnels to the room's entrance. This is on a fictitious world, but it's a pre-modern society so stuff like pulling a fire alarm wont work.

Even more context: The magic is called "displacement." It allows you to "displace" an attribute between yourself and a target. For example, I can take the effect of gravity on a boulder onto myself and it's now weightless so I can push it into the air then it can be dropped from a great height. This is their plan. Here are it's rules:

  • You must be able to see the target. The clearer your field of vision the easier it is to displace.
  • You must be close enough to the target (seeing it from a mountain top is not normally enough). The closer you are to the target, the easier it is to displace.
  • You must have similar mass to the target. The closer your mass matches your target, the easier it is to displace.
  • Displacement is powered by the sun. Everyone "leaks" displacement energy constantly. The better "retention" you have, the more you can use to compensate for other deficiencies in your displacement (so you can be further from the target or have a less clear field of vision if you're better at retaining the sun's energy). Note: There's a special exception where displacement energy can be contained in a rare metal which the team has and will use to get one of them into the tunnels while invisible.
  • You must "believe in the displaced state." This means you have to understand the physics behind the displaced state enough to convince your mind that the displaced state is reality.

closed as off-topic by Chickens are not cows, Cyn, JBH, Renan, Rekesoft Feb 6 at 10:32

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ There's a fine line here between on-/off-topic that you haven't quite crossed. You're welcome to ask questions about creating the rules of your world or the consistent use of the rules of your world (systems). Questions about plot and actions ("what do they do next?" or circumstances) are off-topic. In short, we want to help you build your world, but helping you write your story is off-topic. The SE model is one-specific-question/one-best-answer. Can you edit this to create a specific question about the application of a specific rule in your world? $\endgroup$ – JBH Feb 6 at 6:41
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Also, please specifically define what "pre-modern" means. As written, I can legitimately assume cavemen, Persian Immortals, Roman Legionnaires, English Knights, or the French Revolution. Please reference a specific date or date range in Earth's history that exemplifies the technology level we're working with. Thanks. $\endgroup$ – JBH Feb 6 at 6:47
  • $\begingroup$ The rather obvious answer is to displace the rebels inside with the boulders $\endgroup$ – nzaman Feb 6 at 11:57
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for explaining @JBH! I should have read the rules more closely. $\endgroup$ – kentcdodds Feb 6 at 14:14
  • $\begingroup$ @nzaman, that would be a great idea. That's called "space displacement." Unfortunately none of our heros know that form of displacement yet, and they'd have to be able to see them clearly. So they wouldn't be able to get them very far considering they're all in tunnels underground. But thanks for the suggestion. $\endgroup$ – kentcdodds Feb 6 at 14:16

I suppose it depends on how much sunlight they can store in their special metal, and if they have access to any sunlight while underground. If the guards and rebels are superstitious, they could use their displacement abilities to spook them somehow. Perhaps they displace one of the rebels to be invisible and freak out the other rebels.

Is it possible to displace appearance, like Light Weaving in the Stormlight novels? In that case, one could displace the appearance of their leader or a god onto themselves to convince the guards to leave.

  • $\begingroup$ Great idea Alex! They could definitely spook the rebellion. They don't know much about the magic and they're pretty antagonistic/superstitious. $\endgroup$ – kentcdodds Feb 6 at 4:56
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, and yes, it's possible to displace appearance, but it's pretty advanced magic and none of them have that kind of experience yet. But thanks! $\endgroup$ – kentcdodds Feb 6 at 4:56

I'll be the team leader for this mission and for 1 week we will be learning drama class.

Then I'll hire a prosthetic face maker.

Next secure 4 uniforms which the people in that room uses.

Capture 4 people, one should be the leader of some sort from that room using our invisibility magic , making sure that their faces will be copied by the face maker.

get 5 guys who knows how to create explosives or burn things build bombs, big ones

Then go to that place, using our magic and drama knowledge, we can act as if the room is under attack by a airborne disease which melts a human (but what we are actually doing is making ourselves invisible) I, the leader, with the mask of their leader will call for a massive evacuation to contain the disease of room. I will "heroically" stay behind to still protect the room at all cost.

here comes the bomb guys, dressed like some scientists that will destroy the room plant the bombs on the place.

I leave the room, then face reveal myself, shout on top off my lungs: "You ALL got Trolled!!!"


EDITED my answer.

  • $\begingroup$ I love it! May not entirely work for my story, (it's pre-modern, so bombs aren't a thing), but some of your suggestions gave me some inspiration! Actually the power of invisibility is called "reflection displacement" and it could feasibly be used to change your form. Sadly nobody's experienced enough to do something that advanced. Would be cool though. Thanks for the ideas! I'll give them some thought. $\endgroup$ – kentcdodds Feb 6 at 4:55
  • $\begingroup$ @kentcdodds if that's the case I'll just change the explosives on something that I could get my hands on, even fire will work. the face maker will be removed, easier because no one can ID who is who. Will still knock out the leader though, as his command will be the ones they'll be following, pretend that I am the substitute leader, and still kabluey! $\endgroup$ – Mr.J Feb 6 at 5:04
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the suggestions. They already know how to destroy the weapon (dropping big boulders above the room to smash-in the tunnel). They don't know who the leader is or where they are so knocking out the leader wont work either. Sorry, hard to explain all the context without having you read it all (which you actually can if you want to: kcd.im/shurlan 😉). $\endgroup$ – kentcdodds Feb 6 at 5:06
  • $\begingroup$ @kentcdodds How pre-modern is your pre-modern? The Chinese had bombs made from Iron containers filled with gunpowder as early as the 12th or 13th century. Examples have been found from sites in Japan from the Mongol Invasion. $\endgroup$ – Sarriesfan Feb 7 at 0:21
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, I can see now why this question is not appropriate for stack exchange. There's only so much context I can share without just giving you a wall of exposition text. The society would probably be advanced enough to make a bomb, but the problem is that they're normally such a non-violent society that they wouldn't even think of it. Things are starting to heat up in the city and all, but the idea of weapons of any kind is very new to them. I think a bomb would be unlikely 😬 $\endgroup$ – kentcdodds Feb 7 at 4:09

You say you can't pull the fire alarm. But you can start a real fire. The smoke drives the guards away, your assault team goes in with respirators. (Yes, they could have them. A big backpack full of air at as much pressure as they can build something to hold it, continuous flow, a bag near the mouth and one way valves. Nowhere near as good as a modern system and it's not going to last very long but they don't need it for long at all.)

  • $\begingroup$ Yep, set it on fire was my first thought as well $\endgroup$ – Separatrix Feb 6 at 9:07

Go invisible and wait outside the tunnel a couple of hours before the attack. Have with you a fine laxative spray. Spray every surface that you need to touch with the Laxative. The door handle, the keypad, the door, the floor. Anything. Spray the person when they walk through just make sure its not on any exposed skin and prespray the pathway just to make sure. When a person enters the room, they will touch this Laxative and in 0-3 hours ingest it. This will cause them to have explosive diarrhea. When they go potty, wait 5-15 minutes and place stink bombs into the air ventilation intake, effectively filling the room with farts. The people will be very confused where the stink is coming from and blame the poor fellow in the toilet for making such a mess.

The stink gets worse as more people need to go to the bathroom (maybe it was the coffee) and the stink gets worse, people eventually evacuate and get a breath of fresh air since they are underground and you have literally filled their entire air intake with stink bombs and maybe some runny chocolate(courtesy of the intern who happened to touch some of that laxative and tried it out).

Then you do them the courtesy of squishing it out of existence with some well place boulders... any maybe some cement to really seal it in there.


Sneak into the weapon room, via invisibility, disguise, or some other means. Cause some sort of distraction that will grab everyone's attention for at least a second. Then turn the weapon invisible when no-one is looking at it.

The rebels will freak out, and deploy search teams to find the weapon. As the weapon room no longer has the weapon (as far as they know), they'll probably not bother to guard it any more. If they do, it'll only be a couple, which you can neutralise by a number of means.

Then destroy the room as planned.


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