Someone has discovered the secret of immortality (whoa, awesome!), but it requires what amounts to a human sacrifice and their spirit overtaking the deceased body (not as awesome!). Technically, it's more like possession than immortality, but it will be referred to as immortality since it's the soul of the same guy.
This someone also happens to be the ruler of their country in a typical monarchy, but the reason they sought immortality in the first place is they're infertile. This country is also religious (hence the monarchy, they believe their bloodline was chosen by the Gods).
I'd like this ruler to live for at least a few hundred or thousand years, but also publicly maintaining their throne into a more modern age. The original idea I had was to bring in a close circle of trusted elites that know the secret of the ruler, these elites having their own royal families with children hidden away from society, then the ruler picking one of the children to perform the ritual on to assume their identity every 50-70 years or so.
This system might work a time or two, but then you run into issues with the ruler maintaining the trust of the royal families and potential incest within the royal families' descendants. There's probably a lot of other issues I've haven't considered yet, so I'd like some help figuring out how plausible this government could be.
- How would the elites and ruler keep the secret of immortality hidden from the public?
- How can the ruler keep the trust of the elites? (Perhaps religious influence?)
- What other issues would this ruler run into, outside of the usual problems of immortality?