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Might be an odd qyestion, how might a libertarian/ anarchist/ volunteerist/agorist deal with hostage recovery? This writer would love to know.

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@Br0nzeDrag0nfly can you be more specific? It's a very broad question. In general, I'd say that the negotiation tactics would remain similar, the difference would be who does the negotiating and how they are compensated. Is there something the state does that couldn't be done otherwise?

The story is told in a medieval setting. Children have been abducted from a town the crown has no sovereignty over, and the heroes, middle to lower class travelers, seek the girls' liberty before they are murdered or sold.
@Beef

@Br0nzeDrag0nfly I'm pretty ignorant about the hostage negotiation process. For that, you probably need a book on it that shows examples of failed negotiations, because your heroes are probably amateurs. Major questions are what are the captor's motives, and why is the crown disinterested? (it's not like lack of sovereignty ever stopped them).

But the emphasis should be on the motives. Is it just money? If so, then the captors have a ransom price, so why not pay the ransom?

@Br0nzeDrag0nfly there are questions for the heroes too. Can they not enlist anyone to help them? Are they worried they'll face repercussions for their bravery?

I just remembered, the bounty system used to be a primary means for bringing people to justice. It provided incentives to get as many eyes and hands to help apprehend criminals. The bounty system is still used today and not only in the justice system.

@Beef The heroes, most of whom are fairly new to this kind of adventuring, are concerned about repercussions, yes, but not for them. Liberate the girls and what comes next? Will the crown seek new flesh? take their frustrations out on the city his stole them from? The Crown has money, men, and fear. The heroes have their wits, and maybe some mojo to load their chances. Still, what comes next? The unseen hand can help or avenge our actions.

@Br0nzeDrag0nfly reminds me of the Star Trek: DS9 episode "The Magnificent Ferengi" - Quark assembles a team to rescue his mother from an empire.

ROM: Brother, I think we've been going about this the wrong way. We're not commandos, we're negotiators. We make deals. That's what we're good at. The Dominion has something we want, so we need to find something they want.
QUARK: And then we make a trade. That way, everyone goes home happy.
ROM: Happy and alive. Now, what do we have to trade?

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