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Note: This question is not a duplicate of this one. There are two differences: one is that this question deals with only three people, and the other is that this question revolves around stopping a war, while the other revolves around replacing a government.


The land is at war. A single leader and his vast armies is fighting against an alliance of four leaders and their equally vast armies. Numbers are balanced. Victory is distant. Carnage is everywhere.

The war began when great sources of power were discovered by all of the five leaders (each leader has a single source; each source on its own is massively powerful). The single leader would use the combined power of all five sources to invade other lands, and the alliance is attempting to thwart him in this goal.

Three individuals from different armies are brought together, and due to outside circumstances, determine that the war must end. However, they wish to do so with as little bloodshed as possible.

How can three people end a war without violence?

One of the three is on the side of the single leader, the other two are under two of the allied leaders. All three are high ranking leaders themselves, though nowhere near the top. They command many men and their word is respected. While they would prefer to end the war as quickly as possible, it is (probably?) unlikely that they will be able to; it may take years.

What will not work:

  • Assassination. The five leaders are immensly powerful (magic is involved), and three individuals would have no hope of defeating them.
  • A treaty. None of the five leaders would ever agree to a treaty, as any treaty would involve the distribution of the power sources, and either side would only agree if the other side was left with no power sources.
  • Swaying others. These three have to work in secret and by themselves. Virtually everyone believes in the cause they are fighting for, and confiding in the wrong person would result in death as a traitor.
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closed as off-topic by Mołot, Hohmannfan, Aify, sphennings, James Jun 26 '17 at 6:00

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    $\begingroup$ Wars have reasons for happening and for keeping going and the two are not always the same. Without knowing why each faction entered a war and why each stays in it it's impossible to say how three people could create peace between five factions at war. $\endgroup$ – StephenG Jun 24 '17 at 20:37
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    $\begingroup$ How about negotiating a peace treaty? $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Jun 24 '17 at 20:43
  • $\begingroup$ I've edited the question. I originally left details out in an effort to make the question more broad and therefore more likely to help others. $\endgroup$ – Thomas Myron Jun 24 '17 at 20:43
  • $\begingroup$ @Raditz_35 I've edited the question explaining why a treaty won't work. $\endgroup$ – Thomas Myron Jun 24 '17 at 20:46
  • $\begingroup$ You haven't said whose territories contain the five sources, or who currently controls them. $\endgroup$ – Spencer Jun 25 '17 at 0:59
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You give the answer in your posting.

/The war began when great sources of power were discovered by all of the five leaders./

It is not entirely clear to me how these power sources, apparently held in common by all parties, lead to the desire for war. One would think all parties would remain balanced.

In any case: if there is to be no violence against persons the individuals must act against the power sources that set events in motion. It would be artful if a different means of negating each were described - for example one is destroyed, one is hidden, the third is used against the fourth so they negate each other, and the fifth on its own is not enough to continue the war, and so can remain as a help to the people.

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I guess the easier solution in this case would be to destroy these newly discovered resources zones.

The harder way would be a philosophical and political one. These three need to sway the opinion of the population. They could do that by taking photos or recordings of the war front to the bigger populations centers, make the population so enraged with the loss of life and senseless war that they demand peace. Think about the Vietnam War and the influence the media had in it.

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The three people can end the war if they have access to sufficiently more advanced science, technology, and magic. Clarke's Law says that sufficiently more advanced science seems like magic. And really, really, really more advanced science, technology, and magic can seem like divine power, and make the possessor seem like a god.

If the three people have sufficiently advanced technology they can change the situation. They can remove the causes of the war. They can change people's personalities so they become pacifists and do that on a mass scale, changing all the warriors first and then everyone else.

They can do almost anything you could imagine a god might do to stop the war.

And if the three people don't have access to science, technology, and/or magic that is sufficiently more advanced than that of their world, if they don't have godlike abilities, then their attempt to bring peace is doomed to failure. It is totally impossible for them to stop the war.

At least that is what it seems like to me from your description. And that is the way you want it to seem to your readers at first. Your protagonists must stop the war, but cannot.

But remember, the creator god of your fictional universe is all powerful. So if the creator god of your fictional universe is smart enough he, she, or it can figure out a way to make stopping the war seem totally impossible at first, driving your heroes to despair, while they actually do have a way to stop the war if they think outside the box enough.

Once the creator god of your fictional universe figures out a way for the war to seem unstoppable but actually be stoppable if your heroes can see the method in time, the creator god of your fictional universe can do whatever it takes to make the unstoppable war actually stoppable, and can make sure the heroes figure it out. Because the creator god has infinite power within the fictional universe. if the creator god is smart enough to figure it out, he can plan the whole course of events before he, she, or it creates the fictional universe.

For example, the creator gods of the fictional universe of the movie Only the Valiant (and the novel it was based on) put a long, narrow, and impassable mountain range in New Mexico, with only one tiny narrow pass to cross through, and put it between the hostile Apaches and the US cavalry and the settlers they protected. So a few soldiers could try to hold the narrow pass and prevent the Apaches from crossing.

So maybe the creator god of your fictional universe built such a mountain range with only one narrow pass, and maybe one side in the war has pushed back the other side until the mountain range is between them.

And maybe the creator god made one the peace makers a survivalist who found a cave overlooking the one narrow pass, and set up a pulley system to stock it with food. So the three peace makers steal some wagons full of gunpowder from one of the armies and take them into the pass, and use the pulley system to load tons of gunpowder into the cave, light a very long fuse, climb down, and run out of the pass. The explosion creates an avalanche that buries the pass, separating the two sides forever.

Why don't the armies march around the sides of the mountain range, like the Apaches should have been able to do eventually in Only the Valiant? Because your creator god has made the mountains stretch from sea to sea. Why don't they fly over the mountains? The creator god has prevented them from inventing airplanes or magic flying carpets yet.

Why don't they sail around the coast to attack the other side?

Because

  1. the creator god made the seas so rough that all ships sink, or
  2. the creator god filled the seas with whales who have recently been hunted and so sink every ship that tries to sail, or
  3. the creator god filled the seas with molten lava that would burn up any ship, or
  4. the creator go built the planet so the continent and the mountain range go all the way around the equator - like Iapetus only more so.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equatorial_ridge_on_Iapetus[1]

Or maybe the creator god created both the five sources of power and a spell of unmaking that would destroy them. Maybe the three peacemakers go on a long and dangerous quest and discover a source that tells where to find a copy of the spell of unmaking and they go on a long and dangerous quest to find that copy. Maybe the copy of the spell of unmaking, once they find it, instructs them to go on a long and dangerous quest to obtain what they need and take to the proper place (like Mount Doom, for example).

The creator god of your world is all powerful within that fictional world. Once he figures out a way for the three peacemakers to make peace, it doesn't matter how much it violates the laws of magic or the laws of science of that world, nor does it matter that it is impossible for them to get to the right place at the right time, nor does it matter that some of the characters would have to act out of character.

The creator god is all powerful within the fictional world. He can go back in time to the creation of it if necessary, rewriting the laws of nature and of magic, rebuilding the physical world and changing the personalities of the characters.

And you are the creator god of your fictional universe. If you can think of or learn about a good plan to make the war seem unstoppable, and yet actually be possible for the three peace makers to stop using their puny powers and abilities, you can make it so in your fictional universe, and maybe tell an interesting story.

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