From the Shia/Sunni conflicts:
Someone in the German intelligence service – which regularly acts as a negotiator between Israel and the Shia Hezbollah in Lebanon, usually to exchange bodies between the two sides – obviously decided that its erring Sunni NATO partner in Ankara should get fingered in the infamous “war on terror” in which we are all supposed to be participants.
Ignoring the business with renegade intelligence officers – always lots of fun, I admit – I’d like to focus on the exchange of the dead between combatants.
True: the most hard-core groups don’t do this… but most armed forces/combatants do. Usually, a trusted third party handles the details and the actual exchange.
Naturally, in most conflicts, this trusted third party is the Imperium, as part of it’s monitoring duties to insure that local strife sticks with the Imperial Laws of War. But when the military is off on other duties – like in the Empty Quarter, where His Majesty’s Armed Forces are busy on the other side of the Imperium – the local Nobles will turn to the better sort of mercenary.
Usually, this is something of a milk run. Assuming that everyone has done their jobs, the bodies are respectfully exchanged, the PCs get paid, and life goes on. For small groups, it can be a nice supplement between more active engagements.
It’s also a way to get to know the two sides, in case an opening for more interesting business appears.