An unheard of opportunity


Vektor chuckled again, interjecting before anyone else could talk, “You misunderstand my words… that’s why you’re a terrible negotiator. You’re a terrible negotiator because you do not know who among us has the most influence. You’re a terrible negotiator because you come here with no intent to learn of our tribes, our customs, how we think, and what matters most to us. Negotiating is a subtle art. I think your people are terrible at it because of your love of shiny coins.” Vektor pulls out a ghaz for effect. “Among our peoples, this shiny coin means nothing. If I want food, I have to know how to negotiate with the person in front of me. That requires me knowing their tribe, their tribe’s needs, the way their tribe communicates, and most importantly, their needs. If one olgog needs something from another, they barter, they exchange, they speak, they must learn as much as they can as quickly as they can so that they can finish that trade and move on to the next one. Your Earther dependance on this coin means you come in somewhere, give coin, demand what you wish without regard for the person in front of you. You can like them, hate them… who the other person is means nothing in your culture when making these exchanges.” Vektor’s eyes widened, as if coming to a realization, “It’s like your demand that we leave one of our most sacred places alone. You care not what it means to us, you only care what it means to you. It matters more that you’re right than about coming to terms with the exchange. THAT is why you’re a terrible negotiator.”

Hikiti took out another urya to smoke. He lit it, puffed it twice, and then offered it to Dreg.


Dreg looked at the pipe shrugged took it and puffed a hit before passing it back.
“I think the Inquisitor has been pretty clear on his people’s needs. They don’t want to be attacked. Niether do we. We want to restore the oasis. They don’t care unless we gather an attack there. Now we know eqch others wants and needs. So why when he asked if you’d agree to the deal I talked about are you not answering him?”


Walking out of the shadows, Nameless looked around. “It is really amazing what you can hear when no one thinks you are there,” he states.

Sitting at the side of the fire, he continued “Barov, you have said the we should not be too upset with your people because they only attacked the oasis , due to the ‘gathering army’, right? And because it was a ‘military target’, it’s distruction was justified?”

Shaking his head, " then by your own reasons, your people authorized what happened at Bartsport, by using it as a staging point for attacks against the olgogs for the past 1000 years. The Uf has never been used as blatantly as Bartsport was, but we are the ‘villians’ according to you. how does that work out?"


Hikiti answered Dreg, in Olgog as he felt his Earther was terrible, “Because it’s not just agreement we need, it’s understanding. I came across an Earther last week who reminded me that the problem isn’t just that we fight to the death, it’s that we don’t understand each other. It’s a cycle. The cycle can’t be broken unless we learn to understand… like during a trade or barter.” He said it while the Grey Fur that had just entered the camp began speaking in Earther to Barov.

Vektor looked at Hikiti with pride. The youngling would soon make a fine leader. He’d have to toughen him up a bit first, but all in due time. He looked at Barov, wondering how he would respond to the Grey Fur’s interjection, especially since he had obviously wanted to respond to him first.


Dreg glanced at Hikiti and replied quietly in olgog. “We need agreement on something besides trying to kill each other before we can have understanding.”


Barov smiled, the dead ones were back, disgusting how the others seemed to comfortable around such things. Apparently Earthers viewed undead abominations differently then Goblins. Then again this one claimed not to serve his former master anymore, that seemed unlikely but he wouldn’t argue with it for the moment, he had Vektor to deal with and that one was enough of a headache.

"I am slightly confused by you bringing up shiny coins. I don’t recall ever speaking about money, not sure how that is relevant. I don’t get much money for my job, I have a small amount that I use for personal purchases of small items that I fancy. For example i bought this silver plated cross (shows it hanging from his neck) it is a wooden cross with a thin silver plating over it. It cost quite a bit of my money but i feel a sense of ease when i keep it with me, I feel that God watches over me while I wear it.
As for understanding you, well, to be honest you are kinda right about that. I really couldn’t care less about you, you are a ganger from Brez there are thousands like you. All feuding for control over your territories and resources. It explains why you act like a thug, it was your environment, a rough place made you tougher, it made you stronger, but it doesn’t provide much in the way of people skills. Thus you do the same thing that you accuse me of. You don’t care about my perspective, I am an Inquisitor from Dunesphere, thus I am your enemy, not much more that you care to know about me. You do not know what I enjoy doing, what I dislike, why I wanted to speak to you, nor why I am so willing to speak to you alone. You do not care, and nor do I, caring is not needed, as this Dreg character says, understanding can come later if any of us even cares to understand. We are here to make agreements that will pave the way for future peace. Like I have said multiple times, peace doesn’t occur overnight, it takes a long time and many discussions. I will come back to your next comment after speaking to your grey buddy.

Now for you, my rotting friend. As for Bartsport, it was a legitimate target for an attack. The attack was however worthy of a response, the attack slaughtered indiscriminately, the guilty and innocent alike. The attack was done in a way to make your people look like bloodthirsty monsters. It was also the main trigger for this new war that is upon us.
Their is a difference between that and the Great Uf. Bartsport was used as a staging ground in the past, your people’s attack on it was not to stop an invasion, there was no invasion in the process. The Great Uf was being used as a staging ground for an attack while we attacked it, thus it was a important strategic target.
Bartsport was attacked while currently not actively being used against you, thus it was a soft target rather then an immediate threat.

I will give you an example to make it easy to understand. I am currently just sitting here speaking to you. You can take out your weapon and shoot me, justifying the action as my kind has attacked you before, and thus letting me live might be a future threat, due to the fact that people in my profession have attacked you in the past. I am not an active threat but I am a possible future one. Thus I am like Bartsport.
If you all take out your weapons and openly state that you are going to kill me and I toss a grenade at you and blow you up, that is like the Great Uf. You would be an active current threat and that demands immediate attention as the danger is viable and intimidate.

You are the villains in this current conflict as you all have started it each time. In the past we were the aggressors and you were the victims, we have passed these titles back and forth for many many generations. As long as you only consider yourselves victims things will never get better.

Now, back to Vector ans his friend Hikiti who said something important. You spoke of barter and trade, before your rants I was planning in bringing this up. My leader has authorized me to offer a trade with you. As a first step towards something greater. Are you interested?"


Hikiti looked at the urya in his hand, as if to make sure it was only urya and not something stronger. The Inquisitor’s response made no sense to him. Was it his Earther language skills that were misleading him. Vektor nodded to Hikiti. He too just felt like he was playing the children’s game of “I know you are but what am I.” The Earther missed the point, and he wasn’t sure if he was being purposefully dense, stupid, or some combination of both. The fact the Earther felt the need to once again insult him proved the point two-fold: first, you never insult the person you are trading with; second, learn about the person you want to trade with. If they’re the type to get angry and violent if insulted, and you wish peace, then the strategy would be to avoid doing so. Stupid, stupid Earther.

Before he could retort, he conversed with the grey fur, who happened to be an ally of his gang in the various battles against the Earthers. Once again, the Earther insulted and offended the Olgogs present before asking for trade.

Barov then looked at him and asked about interest. Hikiti then interjected, “First step not trade. You missing the point. Whole talk about shiny coin is about the first step.”


Barov rolled his eyes, “Alright, lets talk about shiny coins then. What would you like to know about them?”


Jeff cleared his throat, and decided to speak before anyone got angry. He looked at Barov and said

“I’m sure Hikiti was not trying to insult you. Your system of trade is simply foreign to us, and we are often wary of things that are strange to our culture. If trade can be created, dandy, if not, well there are other ways to create peace. Like I said last time, If you would help us fight our common enemies, it would bring our people closer together. My tribe believes that battle is one of the ways that trust can be gained, especially when it would be easier just to walk away and ignore it.”


Barov smiled "like I have offered before we will fight our mutual threats as long as our armies so not get close to one another it will be fine. We don’t want any accidental incidents.

Not sure what our system of currency has to do with an…wait, when I said trade you assumed we would pay with ghaz? No, we are not going to trade with money, you don’t even use money. We wanted to trade things that you value for things that we value. In fact I was shocked that my boss was willing to go so far to make sure that you got something of great value."


Vektor and Hikiti looked at each other and sighed. The Olgog named Jeff did not understand them either. This was going to be harder than they thought… especially when their own kind had other agendas…or maybe didn’t understand. Urog had had a long talk with Vektor prior to this journey about the conversation that had occurring with Mag Yyanyi. Hikiti’s conversation with the Earther merchant meant he was now also a part of the conversation. It was all very un-Brezan, but Urog was committed to better lives for his gang members. Living among the Karovans reminded him that it was possible, even if he didn’t have a clue as to how to do it… and they all realized that they weren’t the only ones.

Hikiti responded, “Not just about trust. Or coin. Understanding. What he said,” pointing to Vektor using his thumb, “is using coin means you never have to understand who you trade with.” He looked at Barov, “no need to talk about shiny coin. You need to learn about US. Stop considering us demons when we are not fighting.” He looked at the other Olgog, “we must learn about them, without considering them gor… I mean emeny… eyemen…emenenyenen…” Hikiti was whispering to himself all the various possibilities until Vektor interjected with, “enemy.” Hikiti, “yes. Battles together brings trust, but we go nowhere without understanding.”

Vektor put his hand on the young, almost as large as he, olgog’s shoulder and continued, “First step: you, as an Earther, must own up to why we fight you like we do. Do so without judgment, condescension, and referring to us as we perceive ourselves, not like your kind view us. When you do that, we must do the same. Then we can discuss next step.”


Barov laughed, "what, you want a get to know you session where we all sit round the fire and learn each others customs? So I know what it is like to be a tribal and you know what it is like to be human? That is not going to happen. Not sure what kind of meeting you think this is. Maybe you believe that we are here to make an everlasting peace between our species where we trade and live together in harmony. That is no where near reality.
We are here to try to make a temporary ceasefire between the various tribals and maybe broker a short term trading agreement to benefit each other. This is not about what you think it is about. I will work out an agreement with whatever tribe wants it, you don’t have to agree. If the only way to peace is this worthless friendship games then peace will not happen. You do not have to understand me or like me. I desire a period of time when no one butchers the other.
If that is not good enough for you then please allow any other who is open to the idea of not only peace but open to the idea of us returning some of your fellow tribesmen that we are holding, to step up and speak. I am sure someone might be interested.


Looking up from the fire Dreg replied. “We’ll you aren’t holding any of my gang but the not butchering each other part sounds good to me. And. Bit of trade always interests my boss. So of you’re offering the return of prisoners, what do you want in exchange? Oh and just so you know,speaking for my gang we have no problem being paid in ghaz or gold for that matter. Maybe no one here uses it but it can spent plenty of other places.”


Barov turned to Dreg, at least this one had some basic understanding of the situation, " well even if they are not with your particular tribe I am sure that they would be happy to be back with their own kind. We can supply you with tribals that are in our posession, however there is a catch. We are fully aware that your kind posesses the skills to return others of your kind back to life with your demonic magics. The ones we will give you are currently dead, however we can provide you remains in which you can then restore to their former furry lives. In return for this we ask for two things, first any one that you bring back has to agree not to attack us, we killed them before and now we are giving them a second chance for non hostilities, second we require animals, herd animals which we can harvest hides and meat from.

As you can see this is an once in a lifeti,e opportunity for you all an a huge risk for us. Sure we get things we need but we are returniing tribals to you, you could abuse our trust and use them against us.
We hope that you will not prove the skeptics right and spit in our faces by turning this chance into a renewed war effort. What do you say about that?"


Dreg blinked in surprise he had thought this conversation couldn’t get any stranger. “You want to trade back bodies for hides?” Dreg had expected there to be some kind of catch to these talks but that had not been it. “We’ll I would have to speak to my boss about that one. We could probably work something out. Thought most of our tribe is what you call, what’s that word? Immuted? Whatever we don’t have “demon magic” as you call it.”


“We would prefer the entire animal not just the hides, as for being an immutable, fascinating, might be worth checking that out on my own time. Anyway perhaps you might know others with the ability.”


It took Hikiti a moment to take in what he had heard. It was the second time an Earther had not responded the way he had anticipated. Every time he spoke to an Earther asking for information, for understanding, they bit back with acidity. It left a poor taste in his mouth. The Earther merchant he had spoken to days prior also had responded acidly when he asked for understanding. No matter how hard you try, these Earthers care nothing for peace. They just want to make their point and get what the want. There is nothing to gain from speaking with them. Even as we ignore their insults and the course speech, they wish to remain distant and speak as if they know more, know better, or just dont care. I’ve had enough of Earthers. At least on a field of battle, you know where you stand.

Vektor saw Hikiti’s impassive stance. No emotion showed in his face, which he knew from years of practically raising the youngling meant Hikiti was emotionally distraught. Vektor knew this meeting would go nowhere, but Hikiti was so convinced after his meeting with the merchant. She spent hours trying to convince Urog and Vektor that the key to stopping the enmity between the Brezans and the Earther gor was to speak and try to understand them. Urog agreed, which Vektor had found strange. In private, Urog spoke of things he learned from Auf Yyanyi, and how Hikiti’s plan was a natural first step towards overcoming what Urog had described as “the Earther problem.” Vektor was unconvinced, but fulfilled the wishes of his Goblin King. And just when he thought it might actually work, the Earther showed his true colors.

The Earther didn’t care for peace… they needed pelts. They were going to freeze for the winter and after Hikiti and the other younglings prevented the Earthers from gathering them, this was their attempt to find a way to take it from them. The fact that they offered the bodies of their dead was more insulting. Vektor had heard all he wished to hear.

Vektor stood tall, taking his stance of strength. He looked into the Inquisitor’s eyes. Gone was the hazy good feeling caused by smoking the Urya, along with the the joviality and soft lines. In their place, a stern look of fierce determination.

“Barov,your mission is clear to us. Tell your Earther friends that there are those among us that would rather we communicate than trade. Tell your Earther friends that there are more important things to us than the bodies of our dead and a few moments of fleeting peace, until we inevitably show to you that we are worthy of death in your eyes. When you are ready to find true peace, there will be those among us who will be ready to seek it with you. Our condition is communication. Until you are willing to learn our ways, you are considered gor. Until we understand your ways, we understand that we will also be gor. We have learned your lessons today, and we have learned them well. The oasis of the Great Uf will be ours to do with as we please until your people wish to learn its full history. What will be, will be. There is too much blood and blame between us for the simple terms you have put before us. Thank you for your offer, but we of Brez do not accept.”

Vektor turned to Dreg and said to him, in Olgog, “Do as your tribe will. We of Brez do not accept his trade or his terms. If you get something better, let us know.”

He looked at Barov, seeing if the Earther would respond before he and Hikiti took their leave.


Barov rolled his eyes once again, sheesh if this continued he would develop a tick. "A few moments with your dead? Do you even know anything about yourselfs? I suppose i need to spell it out for you, use your powers to bring them back to life! We are offering to literally return your people to you so you can restore them to life! I said that when i first mentioned the deal, your demonic abilities allow you to restore the dead, we have seen this before.

Since you do not care enough about the tribesmen who died to bring them back, perhaps I will just make this deal with others who do care about them. If you do not want peace that is your own decision, we tried to give you quite a bit here too bad that wasn’t good enough for you."

Turning to Dreg “Please do speak to your leader, we hope that there can be a reduction of hostilities in some way at least. If some do not desire a cease fire then that is their own concern.”


“I will no make no promises but I will bring your deal to him we’ll find someway to send you answer if we need to.”
He then turned to Vektor. “Your words confuse me. You insist you want peace and understanding. Yet it can only be on your terms and in the way you think it should be done. I know the offer is strange but you can’t have come here thinking they wouldn’t want someone thing from us too. He is not offering a peace treaty he never was this arrangement will not lead to a peace by itself. But it will be a step. It will be one thing we did together that did not end in blood shed and death. It can be the basis for more. You propose a journey of miles but then abandon it because you can’t reach your destination in one step.”


Vektor spoke to Dreg, “It is our experience that peace will never last between our people as long as there is no understanding and no attempts at understanding between us. We are each too quick to anger and do not understand each other’s customs. We can’t even speak the same language. Even tiny steps can’t be made unless we are willing to talk to each other and learn.” He looked over to Barov, “I do not trust your offer. I do not have the information I require to trust the offer. You call me a liar, a cheat, a thug. If what you say is true, none of these indicate that I am a trustworthy partner either. We of Brez do not trade unless we trust. To trust, we must learn from each other. That is our position. Unless you have a worthy counter-offer, there is nothing more to say.”