Prelude to a Coup (Day 4383)
“I do hope you don’t mind very much, Jyothky,” said Chevethna in her sweetest voice.
I flicked my tongue over her tribute again. She had given me a pile of vrexium and silver statuary, an ancient magical sword from an entirely different universe, crates of art and bales of spices. It was a massive gift for visiting one’s territory, or a puny price for a queenship, depending on how you want to look at it. “It’s not quite in the spirit of Hove to mind being deposed. Ythac didn’t seem to, when I took his empire away. But I haven’t particularly been asking to be deposed, have I?”
“Not a bit, and I very much hope you will forgive me sooner rather than later when I rule the world,” she said.
“Actually I’ll probably go back to Mhel, get properly married with my family and all, and … I might be back, or I might not.” Which is literally true. Rankotherium might kill me for letting Ythac marry Llredh, say.
Chevethna pouted. I poked her chin with a claw. She hissed, “Don’t be petty, Jyothky. You always knew that I’d have to depose you.”
“You could wait a century or two more,” I said, as if we were so grown up that that wasn’t much time at all to wait.
“Not really. I said I’d depose you when the conquest of Hove was over. It pretty much is over. Not that they’re conquered exactly, but they’re mostly paying us tribute and obeying a few convenient laws. Which is as conquered as they’re going to get under your plan,” she pointed out very sensibly.
“I suppose so. Well, I’ll accept your tribute now, in any case. I suppose I won’t be getting any afterwards.”
Rhedosaur’s Forms of Fighting gives several options for coups d’etat. We picked the one suitable for the smallest places. The drakes — that is, the king and the would-be king — fight, in one of the longer forms. The dragonesses — that is, the queen and the would-be queen — fight, ditto. If both of those give the same result, the coup is complete or quashed. If they give different results, then our partisans fight a massive mêlée, and the winner of that decides the fate of the coup.
Since Arthane is bigger and stronger than Ythac, and Chevethna is bigger and stronger than me, and they came with twice as many dragons as we had, the outcome isn’t really in that much doubt.