Last week we met young Leo, a prince, cast adrift when his family was destroyed and his nanny, his a'ma, died, passing along the only thing that tied him to his past, a ring. What now? He'd hang onto the ring because it was a'ma's last wish, but what was so important about it? He knows nothing about the ring and even less about his past. As far as he knows, he's Leo, street rat, main bread-winner for his a'ma, and now all he has to worry about is himself.
So, with only this much, how do we plan an ending? Planning an ending is one of the things I like to do very early on, after all, it's important to know where you're going so you can get there. It's the journey that gets interesting.
Let's speculate. What do we have? We have a prince. Wouldn't it be nice if he ended up as a king? It's his right, after all. But think of all the obstacles. He was spirited away as an infant. How many people know of his existence? And the biggest problem of all, he doesn't even know who he is. A street rat would have no aspirations to the throne. But then there's the ring, and this ring is a very special ring. According to my list, the ring opens sealed gates and doors. Oh my, oh my, what would a street rat do if he never found a locked door? How long do you suppose it would take him to realize that it was the ring and not just astonishing luck? What reason would he have to make such a connection? Herein lies Leo's first and greatest pit-fall. It would take a strong moral compass for him not to plunge down a path of crime. If he's going to be king, he needs to meet someone, but where would such a person come from and why?
As I've discussed, other endings are possible, and perhaps such endings would be easier and more believable. Then again, I seldom take the easy route to an end. Just think, what would a street rat do to the stability of the royal court? How would those last steps fall together? Someone else rules, and will have ruled for at least eighteen years or more, depending on how old Leo is at this point. They would have a pretty firm hold on the throne, though the crown jewels wouldn't work for them - a major handicap. So how do we get the crown jewels into Leo's hands? Or do we? Perhaps they can just be the treasure at the end of the rainbow. But according to the list, two of them are intimately connected to the royal computer - a very important thing to have if they are going to run the empire. And another enables the user to understand the languages of the realm - also very important. It would be a serious handicap if the king couldn't communicate with nine tenths of his subjects. I suppose we could have our street rat become crime boss accept a challenge to steal them. Now wouldn't that be interesting?
So tell me, how would you end this story?