Chapter Six: Bloody Hands
I’ve managed to dig my protagonist into a great deal of trouble. I might, might be able to pull him out again if I can keep the king from rigging his trial. Which would be out of character. King Kanichende leaves nothing to chance, and Rylan has just handed me a very good reason to kill him at at my 30% mark.
Here’s the problem.
Rylan has a temper. Announce that you’re going to hurt or soil his lady in any way, and if he believes what you’re saying he will almost certainly try to kill you. The response isn’t that out of place in his environment; it’s ruthless, brutal, and courtiers really are going out of their way to manipulate his mistress, or stop their rivals from doing the same.
Partway through the chapter, Rylan visited a mercenary leader who hated nobility and just completed a job for them. The mercenary found out that he served nobility. Rylan was let go, only because the last job worked against the secret police. The mercenaries now know the lady’s family crest and have threatened/promised to find her identity. On the way back, one of the king’s favorites provokes Rylan’s temper. There’s a fight, and the king’s lackey escapes. When Rylan gets back into his mistress’ apartments, he finds a common guard has broken into his lady’s bedroom, rummaging through her desk. The lackey tells the king that his hostage’s slave attacked him, and king, lackey, and troupe walk in on Rylan just after he’s killed the intruding guardsman. Who also served the king. Rylan is lead to a prison cell to await a trial.
Sometimes I feel as if my villains aren’t harsh enough, that my heroes are getting away with too much. How far can an important hostage get away with? How much is the king willing to bend the rules to get what he wants?
Does it ever feel as if the villains and their agendas are only present when it’s convenient, and how do you avoid that?