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Legate of Mineta

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Posts posted by Legate of Mineta

  1. Metis;

    "As a rule, it's much less frequent.  The expense for a pursuit outside Mineta can be fairly terrifying (unless you've got really strong Astrological information about the target), and your average Minetan street hound is unlikely to know Merilien or Bassan, so they'll be at a huge disadvantage outside of the Renaglian sphere.

    If you're the Chards - or if you're the Minetan Guard - you can afford to spend a fortune on high-end thief-takers to make a point.  But if you're a simple merchant who got hit by robbers who then tootled off to Malkstrang (not that you'd know for sure that that's where they went), you could bankrupt yourself hiring hunters with no guarantee of success.

    That said, it's worth noting that the Thieves' Guilds themselves sometimes offer services sort of like parts of thief-taking.  That Minetan merchant might be able to pass a message along that Stolen Item X has profound sentimental value, and its return would be worth either a stack of cash or a favor down the line, and there's a decent chance that it would get returned; there are even local mediators outside the guilds that specialize in that kind of negotiation, for a cut.  You probably won't get justice/revenge/deep psychological closure, but it probably won't cost more than you can afford and it'll come with a credible guarantee that you won't be robbed by the same people twice."

  2. Rhi;

    "In the Captain's day, it's more and more uncommon (though not unheard of) for the Guard to offer bounties.  They've become more professionalized as a police force (as we'd understand the term) over the past couple of decades, and as a matter of policy and publicity they're not going to go out of their way to look like they need to rely on private citizens to keep peace.

    On the other hand, private citizens - victims of crimes - can and often do hire people to track down law-breakers and/or recover stolen goods.  Some "street hounds" work very cheaply indeed.

    Incidentally, this ties into the old idea of "public law" versus "private law."  In many criminal cases, the victims and their families are responsible for "prosecution" in court, and if they have the resources to gather evidence it's in their best interests to do so.

    Though, if they hire a street hound/thief-taker to get back what was stolen and beat the hell out of the thief, just skipping the court system altogether... well, that's almost preferred."

  3. Rhi;

    "The shortest answer is that it's not a totally false reputation. 

    Malkstrang is surrounded, on all its landward sides, by a magical forest that strongly resists invading armies.  Its cliffside face bears the ancient Imperial Wharfs; they don't look as good as they did a thousand years ago, but they're basically indestructible and are very easily defended.  The place is nominally a "free port," which means that it welcomes pirate traffic as long as the guests behave themselves within town limits.

    It's all run, to the extent it is formally run, by a syndicate calling themselves the Jardinieres, who purport to be protecting the people's rich local traditions from an outside world that looks down on them.  It's kind of true, if you set aside their interest in raiding and pillaging.

    That said, the town's reputation for criminality predates the Jardinieres.  It mostly traces back to the early 14th century, when an alliance of Minetan Thieves' Guilds - which had been driven out of the city after a ruinous war with the Ratcatchers' Guild - retreated to Malkstrang to regroup and to found "the Academy of Crime."  They didn't stay there long, and the Academy of Crime (apparently) no longer exists, but it attracted a lot of popular attention and exciting rumors in its day and a lot of that mystique still endures in Mineta.

    And, yes, even now Malkstrang is understood to be a place where people with bounties on their heads can go hide from the rest of the world until the heat dies down."

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