Need something in the Grand Canyon Province? Maybe you’re tracking down information. Perhaps you’re looking for a rare weapon design. Or it could be you just want a little payback for some guy who double-crossed you in a deal gone bad. In any case, if you’ve got the chips to spend, the Travelers can help. If it can be known, they’ll learn it. If it can be found, they’ll track it down. If it can be bought, they’ll haggle. If it needs killing, they’ll put a shiv in its back.
Enjoying a rather casual moral attitude, the Travelers are a loose affiliation of “families” that have their fingers poked into a variety of pies: performance troupes, gambling, information brokering, smuggling, narcotics, kneecapping, and even assassinations. It’s all about business, even if it sometimes gets personal.
The Travelers aren’t much for noble gestures. Got a plan that doesn’t involve profit? Count them out. Travelers normally don’t like playing the margins and won’t get involved in moralistic crusades that threaten the bottom line. Despite this attitude, all Travelers share a common code that was developed during a grand summit of the seven families in 2126.
The Traveler Code:
- Problems within the Travelers are settled with words before blood.
- When a Traveler kills a Traveler, the action must be justified before a neutral arbitrator or the offending traveler must pay a penalty.
- Family before Traveler. Traveler before everyone else.
- Never take a fellow Traveler’s last coin or only weapon.
- Once given to a fellow Traveler, a Traveler’s word is his bond.
It’s a rare Traveler who wants to be a hero. Most just want to live to profit another day. But some Travelers want to be liked. They want to be popular. For many, it’s about greed. For others, it’s about celebrity. For some, it’s about power and influence. But all within the Travelers are connected by a desire to live without bounds and stay out from under the yoke of draconian authorities. And there’s no such thing as a Traveler who likes to lose.
When it comes to conflict, Travelers don’t have an organized army. It wouldn’t be much of an army anyway, with all its foot soldiers following a code of enlightened self-interest. So the Travelers often rely on mercenaries to handle relatively large-scale combat operations. For lower profile work, like eliminating a would-be competitor outside the family, a Traveler would probably hire a thug or assassin to “encourage” their foe to the sidelines.
The Travelers don’t have much in the way of a hierarchy. Each settlement or caravan is ruled by its own leader, who chooses his own title; this leads to a variety of Kings, Emperors, Barons, Bosses, and Presidents among the Traveler settlements. They don’t often listen to each other, but they all listen to the sound of money.
Each Traveler family selects their own leader, usually through a combination of bribery, extortion, blackmail, murder, and various other underhanded acts of politics. They occasionally hold gatherings between the families to discuss policy, but in the end, each family is loyal only to itself.
Commerce will keep humanity alive, especially if we get the profit.
The primary enemies of the Travelers are the Lightbearers, who dislike the greed and sin on which the Travelers seem to thrive. The Lightbearers rarely actively attack the Travelers, but anytime the Travelers are caught stealing or trying to muscle their way into someone else’s profitable business, it’s likely the Lightbearers will get involved. The Lightbearers have nothing against the Travelers’ trading; they just have issues with the ancillary activities that seem to follow Travelers’ trade operations.
The Enforcers do not appreciate the Travelers troublemaking ways and avoid them when possible. Traveler caravans are often not welcome at Enforcer outposts, though the Travelers are rarely willing to push the issue, seeing as how the Enforcers outgun them. The Vistas find the greed spawned by the Travelers annoying, but occasionally Travelers have something of value to trade. The Vistas do not trust the Travelers, especially because they often traffic in the scavenged technology and environmentally unsound materials of the Old World.
The primary allies of the Travelers are the Techs, who rely on them to get spare parts and raw materials for their work. As long as there is money coming, the Travelers don’t really care what the Techs need or what they will do with it. Some folks whisper that the Travelers have even taken to kidnapping to feed the Techs’ need for human test subjects.
The CHOTA are sort of allies of the Travelers, as much as the CHOTA can recognize allies. The Travelers trade with the CHOTA, though doing so is rarely very profitable due to the low quality goods the CHOTA want and their lack of valuable trade materials. The CHOTA do not generally trouble the Travelers because the Travelers aided them in sacking Hoover Dam—and also because the Children aren’t particularly organized and don’t build things. The Travelers sometimes call on neighboring CHOTA settlements for help when they fear an attack.