PDA

View Full Version : Mass Evacuation of a Population



Dawnbird
09-16-2010, 09:53 AM
Setting: Self-contained mountain community, isolated. Low-level tech, lots of use of specific types of magic. Magic is rituals and enchanted items, some effects to self and surroundings.

Population: Two hundred. Specifically, a dozen elderly, twenty ranging toddler to preteen, about seventy adults, rest are teen to very early twenties. The latter are technically adults, but are junior members of the society until passing a specific event.

Situation: Several of the junior members learn of an impending attack. The adults are not complicit, but are under geas and bound from interfering the incoming force, passing information about it to the younger set, or leaving under their own power.

My issue: How in Hades do I organize a hundred teenagers as the backbone for a mass evacuation? I've already got the problem of supplies covered, but how does one go about kidnapping almost a hundred healthy adults without them figuring it out too soon? I'd rather a solution based more in the real world than one that blames magic for everything.

Help?

JemmaP
09-16-2010, 10:01 AM
Wow, this is a tough one. I think what you'd want to look at is the bindings of the geas - what specifically are they forbidden from doing? Leaving at all? Leaving without permission? Could they hide? Maybe they could be lured into a mine or cavern and sealed in with supplies for their own protection, to wait out an attack?

Could they be lured away from the village for some reason other than flight? :)

For the specifics of travel, I'd look at water (river?) or snow (sled/ski). If neither of those options work, you have a serious problem - it's just not going to be easy for teens to get that many adults out of the village, if the adults are aware and resisting. If they're knocked out, it's a different problem - moving that many unconscious/prone adults without magic, advanced tech or the assistance of snow/water.

Interesting concept though!

Smiling Ted
09-16-2010, 11:14 AM
I think this is one is on you, the author, to figure out.
But you might want to take research mass evacuations in history for some ideas:
Dunkirk, London during the Blitz, the Babylonian Exile, etc.

frimble3
09-16-2010, 11:17 AM
I once read a Japanese folktale about a little boy living on a mountain who saved everyone in the village from a tsunami by setting fire to the precious crops. He couldn't reach town fast enough to raise the alarm in time. The whole village rallied to the hillside to save the rice, and thus the village was empty when the wave hit.
Maybe something similar would work? Set crops on fire, adults come a-running, the teenagers whip back and grab the kids, the old people, etc.? Or, wolves attacking the cattle. Or, flood the village. Does the geas stop people from fleeing floodwaters? Or, forest fire? And why does the geas stop them from defending themselves? Is it some sort of training excercise for the young folks?

Dawnbird
09-16-2010, 05:50 PM
The geas stops them from leaving by their own will. As long as they aren't the ones to decide to leave and don't have a hand in it, the geas remains inert.

The lack of resistance is part of a larger plot. They can't do anything that actively delays or hinders the incoming force.

What I need most is a method or motivation for the adults to go along with the teens. I like the idea of the flood, and pulling that off might let me start a few other things earlier. I'll have to give that one some thought.

dirtsider
09-16-2010, 08:39 PM
I don't see how the adults leaving the town would activate the geas. They're not resisting or opposing the invading force unless they help the juniors set traps or dig ditches to slow the invaders. But if the juniors basically pick up and leave of their own accord and the adults do nothing but follow their kin, I don't see how the geas would be activated.

frimble3
09-17-2010, 12:46 AM
Based on what you say of the geas (wow, the gods or someone must really hate these people) the flood should work, they just naturally moved away from the floodwaters, intending to return and rebuild their damaged stuff ASAP.
They don't really decide, and they certainly didn't plan, they just ran when they saw racing waters. As far as the adults know, it's a perfectly natural, although unpleasant, phenomenon.

Dawnbird
09-17-2010, 07:23 AM
They can't just follow their kin-that's a decision to leave. The Head Honcho holds their geas and is the one preventing the adults from leaving. The junior citizens aren't under geas. But flooding the village- I like that more than I probably should. Thanks frimble3. I've got a couple of different ways to pull that off.

waylander
09-17-2010, 04:52 PM
Give to adults something to go to. Gold discovered in the hills, free beer, the magical white bear has been seen in the next valley.....

dirtsider
09-17-2010, 05:11 PM
I still don't see why moving out of the way of the invading force would activate the geas, especially if the kids initiate the move. They're not harming the invaders in any way. As a matter of fact, by getting out of the way, they're helping the invaders by not losing a valuable resource - the villagers themselves.

Think about it - the villagers provide a services to the invaders in the form of farmers (the ability to grow and harvest the food the invaders need) and craftsmen (the ability to create the various items the invaders need like weapons, clothing, saddles for the horses). If the adults plan to come back (and the kids don't tell them they're not planning to come back), then the geas might even force the villagers to get out of the harm's way if it's possible there's going to be fighting in the area. The invaders wouldn't want their personal resource (the farmers and the craftsmen) to be killed off or even put them in a situation where they might inadvertantly help the invaders' enemies.

Tsu Dho Nimh
09-18-2010, 04:51 PM
How in Hades do I organize a hundred teenagers as the backbone for a mass evacuation? I've already got the problem of supplies covered, but how does one go about kidnapping almost a hundred healthy adults without them figuring it out too soon?

Drugs in their dinner of course, and they wake up bound and gagged?

The men could be lured away in a search for a lost toddler (who has been kidnapped) to separate them and make them easier to handle. Instead of searching, the teens gang up on the adults with them and bind and gag them for later pickup, or force them to keep walking to the safe place.

Dawnbird
09-20-2010, 07:15 AM
I'm reluctant to dope them. It seems too easy an out. But flooding a part of the complex and loosing a few toddlers in the chaos resulting would be an easy way to separate everyone for ambush. A determined toddler outdoors can be harder to catch than a greased piglet.

Dirtsider, the geas only makes them do one thing: obey the leader of their clan/order/what-have-you. That leader is not within this community and has ordered them to stay put and provide no resistance to the approaching force. Being junior members, the teens haven't been brought under the geas yet and can do as they like.

Nivarion
09-20-2010, 10:44 AM
What happens if one of them kills the the geas holder? Or forces them into geas with them?

if he has just told them to stay put from the force they just found out about, he can't be too far away by now, right?

Dawnbird
09-22-2010, 07:35 AM
Not if he knew about it in advance and didn't tell anyone. The geas holder isn't a member of the approaching force, nor is the approaching force part of their order/community. It's a rather complicated bit and the evacuation is a lynchpin. They'll be taking care of the geas later, but for now, getting out of the way is more important.

Nivarion
09-23-2010, 09:22 AM
What if the kids did something outrageous to protect the town? Like kidnap all the old people and children, and set a few buildings on fire.

They can't get out of the way of this army, but they can surly chase down their children and parents right?

mgencleyn
09-28-2010, 12:30 AM
How in Hades do I organize a hundred teenagers as the backbone for a mass evacuation? I've already got the problem of supplies covered, but how does one go about kidnapping almost a hundred healthy adults without them figuring it out too soon?

Drugs in their dinner of course, and they wake up bound and gagged?

The men could be lured away in a search for a lost toddler (who has been kidnapped) to separate them and make them easier to handle. Instead of searching, the teens gang up on the adults with them and bind and gag them for later pickup, or force them to keep walking to the safe place.
To expand on a lure, the kids could concoct a story where a gang kidnapped most of them, calling for a large force to bring them home.