Got an idea for a twist on conventional fantasy writing that takes a tavern maid, typically a background character of no significance other than as eye candy for the reader / audience, and puts her at the forefront of politics in a late Roman Republic-style level of corruption and nepotism in a Venetian-style government where wealth and affluence determine whether you’re eligible to hold office. The joke being, of course, the subversion of typical fantasy worldbuilding and putting a D-list background character as the biggest threat to world peace through her own wits and clever decision-making.
(The worldbuilding presented here is postulations and ideas at best on my end, and are open to change as my partner and GM sees fit, and only serve as what I think would be most befitting for the themes of the story.)
In a characteristically ‘idealist’ fantasy setting with contemporary twelfth century technology available to them, the world has entered a period of relative peace, one threat after another in the form of orcs, demons, elves, undead, monsters - the list goes on - having been driven out by armies of professional knights and men-at-arms and clergymen and paladins, organized by a newly arisen fellowship of heroes who sought to end the age of strife and anarchy that had set in after vicious infighting took the attentions of the feudal human lords, elven princes and dwarven cadres away from their borders and allowed a spillage of invasive plagues to run rampant. With death looming over them as crop failures swept the land with new armies kept mobilized and hands were taken off the fields, the world seemed at a loss on how to mount a coordinated resistance without compromising their own ambitions.
Such fears were ended with the arrival of the fellowship; a number of inspiring heroines from across the world who, recognized by the world’s religions as saints sent down to guide them, their might and leadership capable enough to retake farmsteads, then villages, and finally cities until the last vile ilk had been thrown out of their borders and the last realm restored to order.
Promising to establish permanent peace across the world and give sweeping reforms to the treatment of serfs and peasants and lift them above crippling poverty that their lords had put them under, it seemed the world was on the track to becoming a truly utopian, idealist-fantasy world.
Decades later, and the fellowship very well wishes that all they’d had to do was fight marauding orcs.
Emperors and kings and dukes and barons care very little for a group of zealots claiming to be given a mission by God telling them the tax plans they ought to implement. Despite their best efforts, and their reputation amongst the masses for saving them, most condescendingly thank the fellowship for their advice and ideas on how to improve on their governance before politely asking them to leave, and years of crushing failure and only succeeding in saving them from invasion after invasion year after year makes them desperate, especially as tensions rise as grandstanding politics take root and old alliances and marriages fall out, the carefully laid out negotiations years ago giving way to old grudges and greedy lords salivating at the ripe opportunity for the wealth of other nations, many having not even managed to fully recover from the devastation wrought years ago.
At the center of this is the city-state Republic of (Insert here), famed for its blatant displays of corruption, its open fraternization with the occult, and the excessive oppression of its people. At the bottom of the trough is an up-and-coming politician, an entrepreneur bar maid who promises revolutionary reforms, an end to the degradation of her homeland and the end of the double-dealing and fraud their government casually indulges in. Seeing hope in this firestarter woman, the Fellowship backs her, giving their full support to her cause as the only way to stall for peace through the influential city-state at the center of the world, hoping it can stand as a beacon of change and prove to the world that their methods can work.
(This is, of course, a ploy. Making the right promises and playing to their sentimental side and fulfilling on just the right oaths and commitments so that the commoners lover her, and the Fellowship is kept on her side. She’s the Palpatine / Julius Caesar of Lord of the Rings meets Song of Ice and Fire. Promising welfare and support of the masses in exchange for populist support, only to take full power at the end, all the while subverting the Fellowship to support her authoritarian takeover of her home, and, eventually, the world, realizing that if the petty lords won’t better themselves, then she’ll force them to.)(If you aren’t keen on large-scale worldbuilding, duplicity, evil main characters, a large concentration on economics, warfare, commerce, diplomacy, and other topics relating to statecraft and nation-management, this roleplay isn’t for you. It’s expected to be extremely slow, and ‘realistic’ in the depiction of the rise to power in a Venetian-style Republic. The heroes are essentially used as mercenaries. A mob. Burning down rival family’s warehouses, trade outposts, stealing ships, running certain franchises out of business- anything to garner wealth and power for their host whom they believe is priming to save the world right alongside them.)