In my story set in medieval era, what kind of gift or reward a king driven from the throne, could use to convince an old enemy to help defeat the usurper?

  • Only a mountain range separates the two kingdoms.
  • The two kingdoms were at war two years ago so the reward should be so valorous

closed as off-topic by James, Miller86, AndreiROM, Frostfyre, DaaaahWhoosh Jan 11 '16 at 18:28

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  • $\begingroup$ Historically in such cases, the old enemy would be the one backing the usurper $\endgroup$ – Separatrix Jan 11 '16 at 16:29
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site Aiman, we try to avoid generating plot points for people, we categorize this as 'idea generation.' The problem with idea generation is there tends to be no effective way to compare answers for quality/correctness. If you can rework this question to make it more objective, or provide limitations that could allow for more objective answers this could be a good question. $\endgroup$ – James Jan 11 '16 at 16:30
  • $\begingroup$ If you have questions feel free to ask here or in chat. $\endgroup$ – James Jan 11 '16 at 16:31
  • $\begingroup$ @James i didn't get the "be more effective point" feel free to edit the question if it can help ! thank you $\endgroup$ – Aiman Vargas Jan 11 '16 at 17:21
  • $\begingroup$ I believe the problem @James is identifying here is that there are too many possible ways and no good way to say that one is "the best," given the details provided at this time. While we can (and do) edit questions for clarity, we strongly disapprove of anyone other than the author adding details to a question. If you could take some time to edit your question to include more detail about the situation at hand, I think you should assuage James' concerns. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Jan 11 '16 at 17:39

The Enemy Of My Enemy

Traditionally the thing which will unite two foes (even bitter ones) is a common enemy.

If the entity who overthrew King B is a very scary and dangerous foe, such as an evil sorcerer, or the leader of a powerful and fanatical cult, then King A will have a good reason to be afraid of having such a neighbor on his border.

Furthermore, this new enemy must have a reputation. Someone who will 100% pose a threat to King A.

Justify An Alliance

King A tried to conquer Kingdom B and failed. He knows that a strong foe has seized control of Kingdom B, and furthermore, that the people of Kingdom B hate him. They would rather be ruled by the Usurper than King A.

However, King B is still alive, and still has a small force loyal to him. Furthermore, his presence on the battlefield might inspire the Usurper's units to defect back to their King's side.

It makes sense for King A to back King B's power struggle, because then his armies will have a much easier time advancing through Kingdom B (the people won't be fighting them, as they are supporting their rightful King).

Keeping Everyone Honest

But the real problem is keeping both Kings honest.

What's to stop King A from executing King B alongside the Usurper, and seizing control of the battle-weary Kingdom B?

What's to stop King B (once he's back in power) from ambushing Army A in a convenient location, and then invading Kingdom A?

High-Cost of War

If the battle against this common foe was very damaging for both sides, then neither of them may be in a position to take the upper hand.

Respect Gained

You might describe both Kings as having lain plans to betray the other, but having campaigned together for months (or years), new-found respect for each other could cause them both to seek future friendship over yet another war.

The Threat Still Looms

This might make more sense if the Usurper is not killed, and remains a possible threat against them both.

Rather than fight each other and give their common enemy the chance to strike when the surviving King is at his weakest, the two kings might rather cooperate and be ready for a future assault by their common enemy.

Furthermore, the marriage of their children can solidify any alliance.

  • $\begingroup$ I have a plan, the king A will help the king B defeat the usurper, then the king B will refuse to give the gift and will convince the usurper to betray and kill the king A if he want the mercy and the gift with it. A help for this situation ? (And you think I should add this to the question ?) $\endgroup$ – Aiman Vargas Jan 11 '16 at 18:12
  • $\begingroup$ @AimanVargas - whatever you want your king to do is your decision, it doesn't make sense to add it to the question. In my opinion your plot is tarting to sound a little weird/complicated, but it's all down to you. You're the author! $\endgroup$ – AndreiROM Jan 11 '16 at 18:56

Historically speaking the answer would be marriage.

Marry the daughter of the old enemy to the heir of the deposed king. This would make the joint descendants heirs to the realm being contested. Raise an army and defend what now has become your own interest.

Everybody happy!


It could be as simple as an alliance.

I'm sure the the other kingdom would be willing to overthrow the crown, if the new monarch were to ensure they would be allies once they took over. This would mean the other kingdom now has a new trade partner, have one less enemy to defend against, and also have one less border to protect.

Of course, if they had been at war whilst the king they are helping was an enemy, they may choose to keep someone close to him who would pose as an ally helping him to gain the throne, but ensure that once he has won it he does not renege on his promise of allegiance (they might even betray him anyway and take him as a hostage, using him to run the country for them as a proxy).

Considering how much risk the other kingdom is taking in order to help out this ambitious king-to-be, they might also expect a handsome reward from him, such as a healthy chunk of treasury gold or a gift of some land.

  • $\begingroup$ You haven't answered the meat of the question. King A is helping King B take back Kingdom B. Army A attacks and defeats the Usurper's forces, and is in the heart of Kingdom B, with King B's blessing. What's to stop King A from turning around, killing King B, decimating any remnants of Army B still loyal to him, and claiming Kingdom B as their own, which is what they were trying to accomplish 2 years ago. $\endgroup$ – AndreiROM Jan 11 '16 at 17:18
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the ideas, but the last thing you mention is what im looking for. I search other example of this gift because gold would not convince the other king. $\endgroup$ – Aiman Vargas Jan 11 '16 at 17:33

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