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Dealing with the Toll-takers [Joint Plan]

Postby Madea on Sat Nov 28, 2009 8:39 am

This post is to inform everyone the current plan by the Ambassador and Warmaster in regards to the Toll-takers. As all conflicts are of keen interest to the Clan, we're posting it here to keep the discussion in one place since, at the moment, it's all over the place. The discussions have also been wide-ranging in what direction people want to go, as usual, so it was very important that we crafted a plan of action that tried to work for all schools of thought. Since there's plenty of ground to cover, we'll begin.


First, we have what is, essentially, an unknown enemy; for this reason alone we should not be fighting them, because - until we've done our research - we don't know if they are all there is, or if they belong to a much larger group. This is made worse by the fact that the merchants' information might not be that accurate. Until we know, committing ourselves to a war we cannot win without knowing it is the height of folly.

The more its been discussed, the more I feel that open violence from the start is not going to give us much in the way of long-standing leverage, nor is diplomacy really going to help us much with the toll-takers themselves: If they're the entirety of their group, then bargaining with them is beneath us, and if they are peons, then bargaining with them is a waste of their time. We cannot tolerate their presence at our back door - such a position gives them the leverage to allow anyone through and, thus, potentially profit from our suffering - and yet letting them go will net us nothing.

We recently experienced a situation in some key ways similar to this one, but from the opposite view. The Siksa'santi had a method for dealing with this, and I think it is very prudent that we should heed a page from their playbook, altered a bit for our own employment.

Namely, prisoners.

To explain, the goal at the moment is to take the lot of them hostage to use as a bargaining chip against whatever organization they belong to. If their group values their members, then we should find ourselves at the bargaining table - in one form or another - rather quickly. If they do not value their members, then, hey: Free slaves and free gear. While the taking of prisoners is likely to anger whatever group we're going up against, the goal is to fall short of inspiring them to attack openly. Good treatment of the hostages is one way to handle that, potentially, but that requires a plan.


The current plan is, thus, to march on them with a large force and invite them to remain guests at Ther'avare until we have a chance to speak with their leader(s). Xenon, as ambassador, will lend legitimacy to the invitation, while the warrior group will be there to enforce the invitation.

Yes, in case you were uncertain, by "invite", we of course mean "relinquish your weapons and come with us or suffer the consequences".

The toll-takers will then be escorted back to Ther'avare where they will be "well-protected" while we "discuss" such fascinating topics as their home and leadership. Naturally, in our generosity, we will graciously dedicate some warriors to watch their tollbooth while they are experiencing our hospitality, and we will certainly watch it - very intently - while our merchant friends go right on through.


While this plan has its risks, we feel it is a good compromise between slaughtering them to the last and letting them continue their operation - thus making us look like complete pansies who can't even control our own cavern. The most important facet of this plan is that it should open up diplomatic options with the people who actually matter, instead of trying to negotiate with the poor suckers manning the tollbooth. }:3

And there you have it.
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Re: Dealing with the Toll-takers [Joint Plan]

Postby thealbinobutterfly on Sat Nov 28, 2009 8:40 am

My name is Xenon and I approve this message.
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Re: Dealing with the Toll-takers [Joint Plan]

Postby blackshade10 on Sat Nov 28, 2009 8:56 am

I'll be the first to say it.

While in-game, we aren't doing anything that isn't smart, on the forums, by God we are bloody hypocrites. I cannot even remember how many times I heard people scream how dishonorable the Siksa were when they used this tactic, yet here we are.

With that said, I approve of this plan anyway.
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Re: Dealing with the Toll-takers [Joint Plan]

Postby Taruna on Sat Nov 28, 2009 9:22 am

We are not taking a Ambassador hostage who is trying to open communications with us but people that are effectively are a open threat to us and disturbing our relationship with those people we actually have the best standings with: the traders.

I agree to the plan.
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Re: Dealing with the Toll-takers [Joint Plan]

Postby Novusod on Sat Nov 28, 2009 9:42 am

blackshade10 wrote:I'll be the first to say it.

While in-game, we aren't doing anything that isn't smart, on the forums, by God we are bloody hypocrites. I cannot even remember how many times I heard people scream how dishonorable the Siksa were when they used this tactic, yet here we are.

With that said, I approve of this plan anyway.


And I will be the first to disagree that this makes us hypocrites. The Siksa were dishonorable because we offered them the olive branch of peace and they offered us the sword. Are these toll taking squatters offering us any peace? Hell No! They are a threat and they have to be delt with in some way. I think this Joint Plan is the best solution yet proposed.
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Re: Dealing with the Toll-takers [Joint Plan]

Postby Wan'drille on Sat Nov 28, 2009 11:39 am

Yeah yeah, we are the good people... and people tend to think they are right to do what they do.
Honestly, I don't care: being honorable is fine as long as it don't penalise us IMO. (actually, I don't think we need to be honorable, mostly, we have to look honorable to the people we matter)
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Re: Dealing with the Toll-takers [Joint Plan]

Postby Catriana on Sat Nov 28, 2009 12:09 pm

*shrug* It'll happen regardless so I have no real opinion on the matter. Do what you have to do.
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Re: Dealing with the Toll-takers [Joint Plan]

Postby W'olverryyn on Sat Nov 28, 2009 12:19 pm

I still say we should try to enslave them lol. But more seriously, I firmly believe that we can't let these guys go unchallenged, because then everyone will think they can take advantage of us. We can't let that become a precedent. To show mercy is to show weakness in this case, and you have to think about the other clans... would they show the same mercy? I think not.
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Re: Dealing with the Toll-takers [Joint Plan]

Postby kirio on Sat Nov 28, 2009 1:43 pm

It's a good plan as far as it goes, assuming they are willing to come along quietly. Otherwise we'll have a battle on our hands anyway which is one of the other options that has been put forward anyway. Either way, we'll be defending our "back door" so it's all good as I see it. :)
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Re: Dealing with the Toll-takers [Joint Plan]

Postby Ein'keos on Sat Nov 28, 2009 2:33 pm

Thank god, this is by far the best solution to this problem so far put forward and I support it whole-heartedly. I also really don't see this as being the same as the Siksa incident for the reasons that have already been articulated. I am curious, however, about two aspects of the plan. First, are you organising the troop deployments around this being a two day or a one day turn? Because there are three option in the LA for slowing down the time. Second, what precautions will be taken to keep the warriors from running away from us into the tunnels and escaping?
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Re: Dealing with the Toll-takers [Joint Plan]

Postby Finish on Sat Nov 28, 2009 2:55 pm

Yeah since the first time people came up with this idea I thought that this is similar to the thing the Siksa did. So I have no illusions that this Clan may have the same view about us, we have about the Siksa. They may even call for the help of a Great Clan as mediator or march to our fortress and demand the relase of there people.

Still I believe there's a minor difference: If they would have sent a Amb we wouldn't have taken him hostage. Even if they would have claimed the cave for themself. We know that it's a gentlemens agreement not to shoot the messenger - because otherwise the emeny will do the same with our messengers. The Siksa on the other side didn't cared about this.

Furthermore I believe we shouldn't enslave them, even if there Clan don't care about them. Not because we are so kind - but because we already at our limit with the number of slaves. Do we really need another big group of slaves who bring unrest to the others. Especially since they are Clan people and probably wouldn't be as easy to break as Tei'Kaliath prisoners.

So we should let them go if nobody looks at them - after we took all there stuff except some cloths. That way the bring some bad emotions into there Clan because they will ask themself why nobody looked after them. ;)

Also I think we should only take them as hostages if they behave very bad. Maybe they have a good explanation for there behaviour or accept that we are in charge of the cavern and agree to leave.
We should keep them only if they insult us our threathen us. Otherwise we escort them to Chel and tell them "never come back".
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Re: Dealing with the Toll-takers [Joint Plan]

Postby Whizzard on Sat Nov 28, 2009 4:14 pm

I thought of just forcing them to leave but the Joint Plan sounds better.
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Re: Dealing with the Toll-takers [Joint Plan]

Postby Durlyn Val'Sarghress on Sat Nov 28, 2009 4:49 pm

Taking hostages if they refuse to make tracks sounds fine to me }:3 ...can we perform the steel transport on the same day or would have to wait til the day after?
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Re: Dealing with the Toll-takers [Joint Plan]

Postby Frost Indri on Sat Nov 28, 2009 5:37 pm

I like the plan. Smile with teeth of steel. I hope we get new slaves-- if we end up mining salt we're going to need the extra work force.
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Re: Dealing with the Toll-takers [Joint Plan]

Postby Lt Anders on Sat Nov 28, 2009 7:10 pm

As long as things are burnt at the stake, I'm happy.

And by burnt, I mean crispy.
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