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Background:

Fantasy D&D-like world. In a kingdom we have a rule, that when king starts a war, from every noble family one person has to join the army (nobles take at least squad leader positions, townsfolk and peasants get lower positions, everyone can get promotion if they are skilled). Sometimes nobles try to bypass it by adopting someone just for him to go fight instead of their firstborn, but it's risky as adopted person can, but not must, waive inheritance rights after coming back from war (they can also be disinherited, but this creates additional problems).

Our nobleman has a problem - he is not able to fight (illness) and his only able child is his firstborn daughter. He wants to send bodyguard with her, but it's illegal. He cannot also bribe her way to safety, by not knowing who to bribe until it's too late.

His solution: he has a friend, old war veteran and known general, who has no children and agreed to adopt someone who will be told to protect nobleman's daughter, but old general made it clear, that his adopted son must meet some steep expectations.

They found the right candidate... how to convince him? Old veteran is not rich nor influential or powerful, so inheritance from him would give our candidate title of nobility, good reputation and maybe nice house, but no servants or land. They don't really have time for elaborate plans and forcing him into situation where he cannot refuse, and money is not really a thing for someone who meets old man's expectations, as there are many safer jobs than protecting woman in the midst of war.

How to convince this person?

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closed as off-topic by Cort Ammon, SRM, Aify, Frostfyre, Zxyrra Feb 5 '17 at 3:50

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    $\begingroup$ This doesn't really fit the purpose of this site. We help you create realistic backgrounds for your story. We do not help you work out specific plot points. That said, there are two main ways to fix your problem: one, convince him that the daughter is worth protecting; two, offer to save someone he loves in return for his protection for the daughter. Exactly how you do either of those really depends on the characters. What would he find admirable about a noble's daughter? Who that he loves is in trouble that a noble could fix? $\endgroup$ – Brythan Feb 5 '17 at 0:19
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site! This, unfortunately, is a difficult kind of question for a Stack Exchange to answer. Convincing someone to potentially die for a cause is a very personal job. You really have to understand what that individual believes in, and act upon that. No two individuals would be convinced in quite the same way. This makes it difficult for a group of StackExchangers who don't fully understand the backdrop, nor the mind of the individual chosen, to give you a useful answer. These are known as story based questions. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Feb 5 '17 at 0:21
  • $\begingroup$ Assuming this was on topic it was also be opinion based for answering. Targeted recruitment in these scenarios are usually customized to the individual to maximize chance of success. Research how intelligence agencies and law enforcement recruit informants and you will see a wide variety of techniques used. $\endgroup$ – Anketam Feb 5 '17 at 0:38
  • $\begingroup$ Well... you are right. Thanks for explaining problem to me anyway. $\endgroup$ – HrabiaVulpes Feb 5 '17 at 0:51
  • $\begingroup$ this reminds of a certain Disney movie $\endgroup$ – dot_Sp0T Feb 5 '17 at 8:52
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You are new to the site, but let me just say, this question seems to be about generating a plot point and asking about the motivations of a specific character rather than specifically world building. Please start here and there's this discussion on meta.

Sometimes nobles try to bypass it by adopting someone just for him to go fight instead of their firstborn, but it's risky as adopted person can, but not must, waive inheritance rights after coming back from war (they can also be disinherited, but this creates additional problems).

That is what you call a sellsword. All you have to do is make up a contract from the beginning that states that the adopted person waives all rights to inheritance despite being adopted. They still get the family name and the title of Lord or something, which everyone would know is false. (They might even have something in front of the word Lord when referring to them such as Sellord or S'lord. This would eliminate any need for the lady to go at all, unless--

It's seen as a stain on your family's honor to hire a Slord, unless you have no other options.

As to the protector being illegal, I can't actually see that flying in any army. Armies need people, and if your noble brings another sword arm, that is in NO way a bad thing.

And, I don't see how we can be sure that the old Vet's Slord will even be assigned to yon noble specifically, unless, of course, the hereditary army positions (which seem not to be based on merit to start, which--gosh, that's good way to lose a war) might mean that the old vet always served under the nobleman's family, no matter what.

I would ask why the old Vet doesn't already have to hire a Slord in the first place, because he's older? Would he not already be looking?

I cannot speak to what an individual might do, as we are all different. This fellow might be willing to die for a pretty face, or the family name might mean more to him than anything or, or, or--there are as many reasons as there are people. But see below for the list I have come up with.

  • Boredom (he's done everything)
  • Love (he loves the lady)
  • He has money but wants a title. This is the way to get it.
  • Bragging rights.
  • He might have money, but he's going to be recruited anyway. However, since he's considered common, he'd be in with the rabble, with absolutely no perks or rank. With this "adoption" at least he'll have higher rank to start, whatever it is the old man is going to ask of him.
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    $\begingroup$ Please don't answer questions you can clearly identify as being "about generating a plot point and asking about the motivations of a specific character." $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Feb 5 '17 at 2:31

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