This one ended up more character oriented.
Feedback in the form of thoughts, questions, and concerns is appreciated.
Some of these ideas won’t make into the final product. Brainstorming plot bunnies tend to generate a lot of ideas but not all of them are usable.
The bunnies think maybe that the area is Sinbad is from either wasn’t always part of the Partevian Empire – or that one of his parents isn’t from Partevia. Like his mother.
Or maybe the Partevian Empire just being the Partevian Empire ensured that Sinbad felt very little attachment to it as a whole.
Part of Sinbad’s problem with leaving the village was simply that the villagers were his people.
Sinbad only wears clothes when it is required that he do so. Like when other people insist (no points for guessing who has to convince him of that). Or when he’s doing something where having tender bits dangling in the breeze is a bad idea. Like capturing a Dungeon.
Sinbad captured Ba’al’s Dungeon at the age of 14. He was both assisted and hindered in this task by a Partevian soldier whose ridiculous name he shortened to Drakon. (“He isn’t so bad when he loosens up.”)
Yunan does not leave Sinbad to his own devices. He does what a Magi is supposed to do.
While in Reim, Rashid sees an rather interesting young man and a motley crew of followers. He immediately ditches his guards to have a frank conversation with that young man. He continues to ditch them as the young man is just as interesting as he appeared.
While in Reim, Sinbad befriends a merchant named Harun. They spent a lot of time, on and off, talking. Mostly about trade and Sinbad needing to do something with his life that isn’t capturing Dungeons, dodging assassins, and talking various people into making him their leader.
Eventually Sinbad learns that Harun’s real name is Rashid and he is the King of Balbadd.
The Sindria Trading Company was first based on Balbadd and until forming Sindria the Kingdom, Sinbad, Drakon, Ja’far, and the rest of the stateless were made citizens of Balbadd.
After staging the revolt against Maduara and physically recovering from that ordeal, Sinbad starts a slave freedom trail. Having somewhere safe for the slaves to go (that didn’t strain Balbadd’s diplomatic relationships – despite everyone knowing Balbadd’s views on slavery) is one of his motives for founding Sindria as a country.
Some of Sinbad’s plans to help slaves escape involves being him or one of the others being “captured.” Originally, it was always going to be him that did that but his growing list of Generals vetoed him. Usually by drugging him long enough for one of them to sneak off and do it. Or at least that’s what Masrur did the first time Sinbad proposed this particular plan.
Sinbad was pretty steamed about it too. And every other time they have done something similar (the veto plan has to constantly change since Sinbad doesn’t tend to fall for the exact same plan more than once).
Morgiana is one of the slaves they rescued. She and Alibaba meet at least once prior to his fleeing to Sindria after his father’s death. The bunnies like the idea of them meeting more than once.
They also like the idea of Morgiana becoming a big sister figure to Miriam.
They also like the idea of Anise becoming close to Morgiana.
Alibaba is not born until after Sinbad and Rashid befriended each other. The bunnies say Sinbad was there shortly after Alibaba’s birth (now picture Sinbad holding baby Alibaba and awww).
Sinbad, after learning about Anise’s disappearance, volunteers to help look for her. He does find her, mostly by being charming and talking to people.
By the time Sinbad finds Anise, she has already taken in Cassim and Miriam.
The bunnies are debating about whether or not Cassim should be a King Candiate (or Chosen in this verse) or part of Alibaba’s Household.
The bunnies are considering upping the age gap between Alibaba and his half-brothers. So that by the time Alibaba was born it was already extremely clear that having either of his older sons on the throne would be an unmitigated disaster. The bunnies think that if his older sons were already disfavored by their father as suitable heirs, it makes Alibaba viable enough threat to risk trying to kill him as a toddler.
The murder attempt (that one at any rate) happens when Alibaba is under 3. Anise takes him and flees.
Rashid either learns pretty quickly what caused Anise to flee or he knew about it before she left and just wasn’t reassuring enough about their son’s safety.
Rashid knows exactly who ordered it too. Maybe he cannot prove it or maybe he cannot risk actually harming the person who did (the bunnies think it’s probably the brothers’ mother but it could be someone else using her as stalking horse).
They are toying with the idea that Balbadd practices polygamy of some stripe.
The mother of Alibaba’s half-brothers is a foreign princess, married as part of some kind of alliance agreement. Her culture is different from Balbadd – like a lot of stuff that Balbadd considers to be the king’s duties, she think is what underlings are for. And that being legitimate and/or the oldest son is a big deal for inheritance there.
After their father’s sudden death, Alibaba’s brother somehow gets himself declared a Lord Protector or Regent because Alibaba the heir is a minor under Balbadd law and thus unable to rule on his own yet. A minor that his faction has no intention of allowing to reach his majority. There might be a fake will naming certain people his heirs involved.
Cassim is the one who helps Alibaba flee the palace, Balbadd and the assassins. (Thank you Ja’far for all those lessons in avoiding and surviving assassins).
Maybe the Kou Empire is later looking for Alibaba because some of the things they (and Al-Thamen) want to do to Balbadd cannot be done by a Regent. The King has to sign those agreements for them to be binding.
Alibaba spends a few years as King-in-Exile. He was based in Sindria but went a lot of trading missions – he wanted to keep his trade skills sharp. Also capturing a Dungeon, if you don’t do it by the seat of your pants, isn’t always cheap. And he knew needed a good reserve of gold for the Plan and didn’t want to be just given it. He wanted to earn it.
Alibaba, after learning about Al-Thamen, has deep and probably accurate suspicions about his father’s sudden illness and death.
Alibaba’s favorite lessons were still trade but not having cram everything in a short period did make some things more enjoyable. Some of his trade lessons were hands-on, going on trade expeditions. Some of them with Sindria.
Sharrkan took over swords lessons after Alibaba fled to Sindria.
Someone, at some point or another, will be subjected to the combined Sinbad-Alibaba Charm Offensive.
Everyone has to learn one at a time why you never, ever let a Chosen (King Candidate) talk. Any of them. Even when you are another Chosen. Because they will talk you into the most ridiculous things, things that you will swear seemed like a good idea at the time.
Bunnies are hopeful that Sinbad, Rashid, and Alibaba will rub off on each other positively. They might not be the only ones either.
The bunnies think with Anise surviving, she needs opportunities to display crowning moments of awesome too. I agree. I don’t know what yet but apparently some of the characters think whatever is she ends up picking up and doing is awesome. Others think it is utterly terrifying. The rest think it is both.
Alibaba went into Amon’s Dungeon with full knowledge of what he was going after. It was part of the Plan to save his people from Kou and his idiot brother’s mismanagement as well as help save the world.
Coming with him on this and the later plan are at least Morgiana and Cassim.
The trio ends up helping a strange boy with blue-hair who answers to the name Aladdin. On the humor side, they kinda of want each of them to help him separately (and tell the others about it: “I just met the strangest kid.”) and then together.
“You get into more trouble than Alibaba!”
“You three know each other? Cool!” 🙂
That the strange little boy is a Magi will dawn on each other of them during the subsequent adventure, possibly one at a time.
Al-Thamen has decided to embrace the concept of “uproar in the east, strike in the west.” Meaning, while they have been doing some very obvious events over the past centuries, most of their action has been subtler and consequently have gone largely unnoticed. The subtle things were aimed at long-term benefit and the effects were designed to be cumulative. Until they hit a critical mass, then boom.
Al-Thamen isn’t causing every problem our heroes are facing – after all, people are perfectly capable of coming up with horrible ideas all on their lonesome – but they have been known to take ruthless advantage of said problems when and if they learn about them.
If our four-man Amon Dungeon team gets scattered, then where do they get scattered to? To four different locations? In pairs? One man out?
If they stayed together, maybe they were dumped somewhere really out of their way making getting back at least inconvenient and at worse dangerous? Like if the idea that Kou is looking for Alibaba is kept, the last possible place he’d want to be is in the middle of Kou. Of course, that might give him a chance to meet Hakuryuu. And talk some sense into him (not for the last time).
Bunnies want at least one time, post-Amon, with Alibaba getting dumped into Imachuakk. (“Cold!”) Because Morgiana deserves the chance to snuggle. And dignity is still something that happens to other people.
This Alibaba might be taking a page out of Economic’s Alibaba’s book about how to deal with that pesky paper money . . . (He might have asked Yunan specifically if he knew where the Dungeons of Fire Djinn were . . .).