Crimson Caravan

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This page is about the trading company known as Crimson Caravan. For the location known as Crimson Caravan Company found in Fallout: New Vegas, see Crimson Caravan Company.
Crimson Caravan
CrimsonCaravansLogo.png
Overview
Leadership2161

Demetre Romara and Keri Lee

2281


Alice McLafferty (Central)
Jason Tagg (Modoc branch)
Society
Notable Members2281
Angie Beckers, Blake, Don Hostetler, Henry Jamison, Janet, Jason Tagg, Logan, Ringo
Territory
HeadquartersThe Hub
Notable Locations2241

Klamath (formerly)

2281


Modoc branch
New Vegas branch (2281)
Relations and associations
ParentNew California Republic (After 2162)
 
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Gametitle-FO1.pngGametitle-FO2.pngGametitle-FNV.pngGametitle-VB.png

Trade routes, my friend, trade routes.

Blake, Fallout: New Vegas

The Crimson Caravan Company[1][2] is the largest caravan house[3] in New California and beyond with a CCC branch in nearly every large town in New California.[4]

Background[edit | edit source]

The Crimson Caravan main office in 2161, the Hub.

Established around 2151[5] by Demetre Romara and Keri Lee,[6] the Crimson Caravan Company quickly became one of the largest and most influential caravan houses in New California, with two out of six merchant representatives in the Hub's Council.[7] Their rapid rise to prominence was the result of a company policy characterized by others as crazy: The Crimson Caravan would do any job, no matter the risk. As long as the client paid for their expensive services, Crimson Caravan would lead its heavily armed caravans to hell and back.[8] Demetre considered the danger thrilling and exciting. Apparently, you can only feel alive with bullets flying everywhere and blowing enemies apart.[9] Yet despite their apparent recklessness, the Crimson Caravan had the lowest caravan loss rate, even when you factor in the Master's Army raids (which only claimed two caravans by 2162).[10]

The Crimson Caravan company stood the test of time and continuously expanded its operations. With the formation of the New California Republic it became one of the key drivers of its economy, establishing new trade routes and broadening its reach.[5] By 2281, pretty much every major settlement within its influence has a Crimson Caravan branch.[11]

The Crimson Caravan was also instrumental in reintroducing the bottle caps following the Brotherhood War and the destruction of the Republic's gold reserves. The resulting rush to withdraw life savings and the NCR's failure to pay back in gold nearly led to an economic collapse, mitigate by the NCR government's abandonment of the gold standard and establishment of fiat currency, not payable in specie. Since then many wastelanders lost faith in it as a medium of worth, both as a result of it not being backed by anything but the government's word and the inevitable inflation. In response to the loss of faith, merchant consortiums of the Hub established their own currency, the veritable bottle cap, backing it with water (exchanging a standardized measure of water for caps).[12][13][14][15] The actual process was very deliberate. Since Hub bridges New California with the Mojave and lands beyond, the merchants conspired to reintroduce the bottle cap as a currency out of frustration stemming from NCR's ineptitude in handling the currency crisis. In the time leading up to the introduction the merchants laid the foundations for bottle caps as a currency, establishing control of or destroying facilities that could fashion new bottle caps and seizing excessively large caches of old bottle caps (smaller ones in private hands were left alone, as their owners would readily embrace the returning bottle cap).[15][16]

Organization[edit | edit source]

The Crimson Caravan Company is a well organized merchant house, working like a well oiled machine. In its early years, it was based out of the Hub, ran entirely by Demetre and Keri, whose eccentric ways and enthusiasm for violence pushed it to success (even if he handed out frag grenades as toys to prospective guards).[17] It helped that Demetre didn't care about who worked for the company, as long as they protected the caravans.[18] Although the company had the least frequent departures (on the 3rd and 17th of each month), they covered the most caravan destinations, including the Lost Hills bunker and Necropolis.[19] The standing company policy was to hire experienced guards only.[20] To compensate for the danger encountered on the way, the guards were paid 600 bottle caps per course, for a total of 1200 caps for a round trip.[21]

The rise of the NCR offered new possibilities for the company, ones it vigorously pursued. Its efforts to expand its economic influence also helped the Republic develop.[5] Crimson Caravan modified its operations, with Hub serving as headquarters and local company branches opening in major markets: Pretty much all larger towns in California and the Mojave.[22][11] The new structure also allowed the company to attract wealthy investors who would provide the capital necessary to expand their operations. One such major investor was the Jamison family of Redding. An unexpected side effect was that the family could pressure the head executive into posting a family member, Henry Jamison, to the position of branch manager in New Vegas. By 2281, the branch was effectively driven to the ground as the manager was less interested in company affairs and more in the affairs of casinos. More specifically, gambling and prostitutes.[23]

The underperforming nature of the New Vegas branch exemplifies an interesting element of the company's structure. If a branch fails to perform, the head executive (Alice McLafferty in this case) can take over operations to straighten out the business.[24]

Another feature of the organization is its use of work contracts, a result of the re-emergence of wage labor in the preceding decades. Employees of the Crimson Caravan Company are hired for a specific duration, during which they are provided with food, water, living quarters, and other amenities in exchange for their labor. Their wages are withheld until their contract ends.[25] The employees are informed in advance of the contract's nature,[26] including the fact that leaving before the contract ends will result in forfeiture of wages.[27] On the bright side, the company always pays up.[28] However, non-compete clauses tend to be pretty rigid and even after an employee completes his stint with the company, they might prevent them from finding employment elsewhere.[29]

Outside relations[edit | edit source]

As a major caravan house, Crimson Caravan finds itself in natural competition with other trading ventures, such as the Far Go Traders and the Water Merchants in 2161. The companies sabotage and undermine each other constantly, but keep it low key and rarely attack each other outright.[30]

The expansion and development of the NCR and the Crimson Caravan Company yielded a contract between the two, in which the Crimson Caravan supplies the most military grade weaponry and many other pieces of equipment.[31] However, this lucrative partnership also resulted in the caravan's list of competitors becoming considerably larger. By 2281, it included the largest ordnance manufacturing syndicate in the wastleands, the Gun Runners, the Mormon traders of New Canaan controlling the northern trade routes,[32] and Mojave trading outfits such as Cassidy Caravans. Their old time rivals, such as the Far Go Traders, also continue to compete. The lucrative NCR armor manufacturing contracts are but one example.[33]

The tradition of sabotage and undermining competitors in order to dominate the market was upheld by the Crimson Caravan's head executive, Alice McLafferty. In the Mojave, it included sealing an agreement with the Van Graffs to undercut and/or exterminate competitors,[34] industrial espionage,[35] and simply buying out the competition.[36][37]

The Crimson Caravan are also attempting to establish a branch in New Canaan and run other regional caravans out of business.[38] As the taxes would bring the Crimson Caravan a disadvantage compared to the New Canaan caravans, they might overwhelm them with a flood of cheap NCR goods as a long-term solution. For this, Alice McLafferty would have to call in some favors with her contacts back in California, but the potential profit margins are apparently worth it.[39]

Interactions with the player character[edit | edit source]

Fallout[edit | edit source]

The Vault Dweller can talk to Demetre Romara and Keri Lee about working as a guard. Their travel destinations include Junktown, Boneyard, Necropolis and Brotherhood of Steel. The pay is $600 per run and they operate on the 3rd and 17th of every month.

Fallout: New Vegas[edit | edit source]

Crimson Caravan features in several quests, including You Can Depend on Me and Pressing Matters) offered by Alice McLafferty, Young Hearts by Jack, and of course, Heartache by the Number for Rose of Sharon Cassidy.

Technology[edit | edit source]

The Crimson Caravan Company focuses on reliable, rugged technologies in their activities. Its primary advantages are its industrial and agricultural capabilities, allowing the company to manufacture goods cheaply in large quantities and cultivate crops and livestock for sale and use. The venerable brahmin are the most important asset, as they act as beasts of burden capable of carrying large amounts of goods large distances. Whether they are pulling carts made from trucks or carrying packs on their backs, the brahmin were the key to the company's success ever since its foundation in 2151.[40][41]

Personal protection uses cheap and reliable tools. The typical Crimson Caravaneer wears leather armor and carries rugged, reliable firearms for personal protection. When not out in the field, caravaneers will opt for lighter, more practical outfits, like the aptly named caravaneer outfit.[41]

In dangerous regions, the company will usually break apart its caravans into several smaller bands. The loss of efficiency is offset by the lower losses should a caravan get hit.[42]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

The Crimson Caravan appears in Fallout and Fallout: New Vegas, was to appear in Black Isle's canceled Fallout 3 and is mentioned in Fallout 2.

References[edit source]

  1. The Courier: "What do you do around here?"
    Ringo: "Oh, sorry. I thought everybody knew already. I'm a trader with the Crimson Caravan Company. I'm, uh, staying in town for a bit."
    (Ringo's dialogue)
  2. The Courier: "What do you do around here?"
    Ringo: "Like I said, I'm not from Goodsprings. I'm a trader with the Crimson Caravan Company."
    (Ringo's dialogue)
  3. The Courier: "Tell me more about the Crimson Caravan Company."
    Ringo: "It's been in business for a very long time, and is probably the biggest trading outfit in California. There's a branch up in New Vegas, but it hasn't been doing so well. Word is that the big boss herself, Alice McLafferty, is coming in to fix things."
    (Ringo's dialogue)
  4. The Courier: "Where does the Crimson Caravan Company get its merchandise?"
    Blake: "Trade routes, my friend, trade routes. Just about every major town in the wasteland has a Crimson Caravan branch in it."
    (Blake's dialogue (Fallout: New Vegas))
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 The Courier: "How long have you been in business?"
    Alice McLafferty: "The Crimson Caravan Company has been in business for over 130 years. We're partially responsible for the progress in the NCR."
    (Alice McLafferty's dialogue)
  6. The Vault Dweller: "211}{}{Your daughter?}"
    Demetre Romara: "{214}{}{Yes, she's my pride and joy! Isn't she beautiful? Just talk to her when you want another job. Some day . . . hopefully soon, I'll be able to retire and she'll take over for me.}"
    (DEMETRE.MSG)
  7. The Vault Dweller: "{174}{}{The City Council.}"
    Beth: "{227}{}{There are six representatives two from each of the main merchant groups. Everything needs at least four votes to be passed. They can never agree on anything.}"
    (HBETH.MSG)
  8. The Vault Dweller: "{172}{}{The Crimson Caravan.}"
    Beth: "{193}{}{The Crimson Caravan are a bunch of crazy people. They will do any job, no matter what the risk. I'm surprised they aren't missing more caravans than they are.}"
    The Vault Dweller: "{194}{}{They're missing caravans too?}"
    Beth: "{198}{}{They will pass right through an area known to be attacked by raiders. They charge a lot so they can hire extra hands. The pay's great but you have to be alive to spend it, right?}"
    (HBETH.MSG)
  9. Demetre Romara: "{101}{}{Hey there! How are you doin'? The name's Demetre, Demetre Romara, head of the best damn caravan in the wastes. Are you lookin' for a job?}"
    Demetre Romara: "{102}{}{Hmmm, you don't look very strong at all, but... you MUST be great with guns then to have survived the outside! Hell, you're probably one mean fighter when the time comes!}"
    Demetre Romara: "{103}{}{You look pretty fit.}"
    Demetre Romara: "{104}{}{You look pretty strong.}"
    Demetre Romara: "{105}{}{Damn, you look strong!}"
    Demetre Romara: "{106}{}{Damn! You look like you could lift a mountain!}"
    The Vault Dweller: "{107}{}{Yeah, so?}"
    Demetre Romara: "{110}{}{That's just what we're lookin' for! You like the thrill and excitement of battle don't you?! Bullets flying everywhere, whippin' by your head, blowin' your enemy in two, seein' the fear in their eyes! Ahhhh, that's the life! You look like the kind of person that could serve us well, and we pay well! Oh yes, we do! We've just had a few new openin's, if you are interested; but of course you are, right?!}"
    (DEMETRE.MSG)
  10. The Vault Dweller: "{115}{}{What do you know about the missing caravans?}"
    Demetre Romara: "{145}{}{Not much, I've only lost two. I really have no idea why they're hittin' the Far Go Traders more then anyone else.}"
    (DEMETRE.MSG)
  11. 11.0 11.1 The Courier: "Where does the Crimson Caravan Company get its merchandise?"
    Blake: "Trade routes, my friend, trade routes. Just about every major town in the wasteland has a Crimson Caravan branch in it."
    (Blake's dialogue (Fallout: New Vegas)
  12. J.E. Sawyer src: "And this is discussed in-game: BoS raided NCR's gold reserves until NCR could no longer generate gold coinage nor back their paper money. They abandoned the gold standard and established fiat currency, which is why its value is inflated over both caps and (especially) Legion coinage. (...) People in eastern NCR and the Mojave Wasteland lost faith in the NCR government's a) ability to back the listed value of paper money and b) stability overall. If you're living in Bakersfield, staring at a piece of paper that says "redeemable for value in gold" and you have no faith in the government's ability or willingness to do that -- or if you see that the government has changed the currency to say that it is not able to be exchanged for a backed good -- you may very well listen to the strong consortium of local merchants offering to exchange that paper note for currency backed by water."
  13. J.E. Sawyer, src: "Traders from the Mojave travel the Short Loop into NCR, which means that they have to go through a few hundred miles of solid desert. Carrying enough water to travel from New Vegas to the Boneyard (or vice versa) would undercut cargo capacity significantly. Even the communities around the Mojave Wasteland (other than New Vegas itself) have water brought in and stored in local towers. Of course, the Colorado River is nearby as long as you don't mind walking through an active war zone."
  14. "How does the Hub 'back' caps? Can you exchange a certain number of caps for a standard measure of water? Yes." J.E. Sawyer src
  15. 15.0 15.1 J.E. Sawyer src: "It happened during the BoS-NCR war. I believe Alice McLafferty mentions it, but I'm not positive. She doesn't detail the events in this much detail, but here they are: The attacks caused NCR citizens (and others who held NCR currency) to panic, resulting in a rush to reclaim the listed face value of currency from NCR's gold reserves. Inability to do this at several locations (especially near the periphery of NCR territory where reserves were normally low) caused a loss of faith in NCR's ability to back their currency. Though NCR eventually stopped the BoS attacks, they decided to protect against future problems by switching to fiat currency. While this meant that BoS could no longer attack a) reserves or b) the source of production (all NCR bills are made in the Boneyard), some people felt more uneasy about their money not having any "real" (backed) value. This loss of confidence increased with NCR inflation, an ever-looming spectre of fiat currency. Because the Hub links NCR with the Mojave Wasteland and beyond, the merchants there grew frustrated with NCR's handling of the currency crisis. They conspired to re-introduce the bottle cap as a water-backed currency that could "bridge the gap" between NCR and Legion territory. In the time leading up to the re-introduction, they did the footwork to position themselves properly. If some old-timer had a chest full of caps, they didn't care (in fact, they thought that was great, since the old-timers would enthusiastically embrace the return of the cap), but they did seek to control or destroy production facilities and truly large volumes of caps (e.g. Typhon's treasure) whenever possible."
  16. The Courier: "Are new bottle caps ever made?"
    Alice McLafferty: "Certainly. Bottle caps do wear out or get damaged. Some people even insist on using bottle caps in explosive devices for some reason. We make it a point to scour Pre-War bottling plants and recover or disable the bottle cap presses. It seems we missed one."
    (Alice McLafferty's dialogue)
  17. The Vault Dweller: "..."
    Demetre Romara: "{237}{}{Damn! You're missing out on some good action! I'm sure there are lots of people, creatures, and things waiting to attack the caravans! Nothing beats a good fire fight! Here - take this, it'll give you something to play with until the next caravan is ready to go. [He hands you a frag grenade.]}"
    (DEMETRE.MSG)
  18. The Vault Dweller: "{128}{}{No, I was just wondering you were deaf or dumb.}"
    Demetre Romara: "{131}{}{You're a smart little ass, are you? Well, it doesn't matter to me! Just as long as you defend the caravans I'll be satisfied. Go talk to Keri in the next room if you want a job.}"
    (DEMETRE.MSG)
  19. Keri Lee: "{104}{}{So, that old bastard gave you the okay to work for us, eh? Well you must have balls of steel. I'm impressed, but we'll see how you do. We leave only twice a month, on the 3rd and 17th. Can you handle that? We go to all the local hot spots: the Brotherhood of Steel, Junktown, Necropolis, and the Boneyard.}"
    KERI.MSG)
  20. The Vault Dweller: "{187}{}{I want another job.}"
    Keri Lee: "{191}{}{Yeah right! So you can abandoned another caravan? You're lucky they made it in one piece.}"
    The Vault Dweller: "{194}{}{Hey! You didn't say I couldn't leave! It's not like they were in the middle of combat.}"
    Keri Lee: "{197}{}{What? You've never worked a caravan before? I can't believe my dad hired you in the first place! Get lost! We only hire experienced personnel! That's why we pay the big bucks!}"
    KERI.MSG)
  21. The Vault Dweller: "{111}{}{What's the pay?}"
    Demetre Romara: "{118}{}{We pay 600 hub bucks a job! That's each way! Hell, people say we take all the dangerous routes but I say they're the most excitin'! You need a little excitement in your life, am I right? Of course I am!}"
    (DEMETRE.MSG)
  22. CCC sign in Klamath in Fallout 2.
  23. The Courier: "I want to know more about the problem with Henry Jamison."
    Alice McLafferty: "The Jamisons are very wealthy ranchers back in Redding, California and significant investors in the Crimson Caravan Company. I was pressured into posting young Henry as the manager of the New Vegas branch. As you can see, he wasn't exactly cut out for the job. He was much more interested in gambling and prostitutes, and because of his family, I can't simply fire him. Henry needs to be convinced to quit, one way or another. I won't have a useless employee on the company payroll."
    (Alice McLafferty's dialogue)
  24. The Courier: "You're well-dressed for this place."
    Alice McLafferty: "Normally, I oversee company operations at the Hub in California. However, the New Vegas branch has been underperforming in recent years. Given the conditions here, it's not hard to see why. I'll change all that, soon enough."
    (Alice McLafferty's dialogue)
  25. The Courier: "Are work contracts common for the Crimson Caravan Company?"
    Alice McLafferty: "Most merchant companies - successful merchant companies, rather - have them. It can be inconvenient to replace employees on short notice. The contracts keep employees around for a specific duration of time, after which they get paid - after their upkeep expenses are deducted, of course."
    The Courier: "What kind of upkeep expenses?"
    Alice McLafferty: "Food, water, living quarters, medicine, and clothes - just the basic stuff. It all comes out of the Company's coffers."
    (Alice McLafferty's dialogue)
  26. The Courier: "Are work contracts legal?"
    Alice McLafferty: "Yes, and they have been for decades now. The hired hands know what they're signing up for - we don't hide anything with fancy talk."
    (Alice McLafferty's dialogue)
  27. The Courier: "Janet's asked me to talk to you about releasing her from her contract."
    Alice McLafferty: "Ah, yes, her infatuation with a Boomer she's never met. It's a small camp, and word gets around. She's aware she's breaking her contract, which is undoubtedly why she sent you to talk to me instead of coming herself. Janet is free to leave, but she forfeits the wages she's owed. That's the price of contract breaking - take it or leave it."
    (Alice McLafferty's dialogue)
  28. The Courier: "It seems like that the companies are getting the better deal."
    Alice McLafferty: "That's because we are. We always pay up when the contract ends, though. Won't stay in business long if you've got a reputation as a cheat."
    (Alice McLafferty's dialogue)
  29. Jed Masterson: "Wait a minute, I recognize you. Yeah... you're Alice McLafferty's rising star, ain't you? You sure you want to be here? McLafferty's non-competes are pretty rigid."
    (Jed Masterson's dialogue)
  30. The Vault Dweller: "{208}{}{Why don't you think it's the Water Merchants?}"
    Beth: "{228}{}{Good thought, but I highly doubt it. They've been sabotaging each other for years, but this is not their style. They wouldn't spend that much money to take out the caravans. Plus all the caravans are very heavily guarded. You would think someone would escape. They don't have the man power or the cash to pull that off. There would have been at least one survivor.}"
    (HBETH.MSG)
  31. Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p.306: "[2.09] Crimson Caravan Company
    The Crimson Caravan Company is the largest supplier to the NCR of military-grade weaponry, and an assortment of provisions and other equipment types. Their base of operations is a highly fortified walled base just east of the main Freeside and Strip area, alarmingly close to their rivals; the Gun Runners. There are two entrances to this location (east and west)."
    (Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition Tour of the Mojave Wasteland)
  32. The Courier: "Does the Crimson Caravan have any competition?"
    Alice McLafferty: "Well, the Gun Runners continue to dominate the weapons market, and the Mormon traders from New Canaan control the majority of the northern routes."
    (Alice McLafferty's dialogue)
  33. The Courier: "Give them a deal on the price, you'll have the upper hand in future, more important negotiations."
    "
    Blake:
    "[SUCCEEDED] Well, the Far Go Traders have been trying to edge us out on the new armor contract for the troops. This could swing things in our favor. Give them a deal on the price, you'll have the upper hand in future, more important negotiations. All right, let McCarran know they should expect the first shipment in a week or so."
    (Blake's dialogue (Fallout: New Vegas)
  34. Crimson Caravan - Van Graff agreement: "This is an agreement between the Crimson Caravan Company and the Van Graffs to undercut or eliminate all other rival caravan companies in the region, such as the Gun Runners and Cassidy Caravans.
    In the case of Cassidy Caravans, Gloria Van Graff has agreed to use mercenaries against Cassidy Caravans to drive down the company's value, allowing Alice McLafferty to purchase the remaining assets at bargain price."
  35. The Courier: "What's the Gun Runner job about?"
    Alice McLafferty: "The quality of the Gun Runners' armaments is due to their manufacturing process. They craft all weapons on-site. I want to know the secrets of their manufacturing process, which means you'll need to find some way to get inside their heavily-guarded factory. I would greatly prefer that you perform this job undetected and without killing anyone, if it can be helped."
    (Alice McLafferty's dialogue)
  36. The Courier: "Cassidy Caravans has been bought out, and is now part of the Crimson Caravan Company."
    Alice McLafferty: "Very good. On occasion it's proven to be more profitable in the long run to simply buy out the competition, and this is one of those occasions."
    (Alice McLafferty's dialogue)
  37. The Courier: "Tell me about the negotiation."
    Alice McLafferty: "There's a small trading outfit, Cassidy Caravans, that I'm interested in acquiring. They've been rather competitive, so it's time to buy them out. I have it on good authority that the owner, Cass, wants out of the caravan business. Cass frequently trades with the NCR, so you'll likely find her at the Mojave Outpost."
    (Alice McLafferty's dialogue)
  38. Jed Masterson: "Hang on - ain't you the one that wiped out the Crimson Caravan's Vegas branch not too long ago? Ought to thank you for that - knocking McLafferty out of the running gives Happy Trails a market to expand into."
    (Jed Masterson's dialogue)
  39. The Courier: "Does the Crimson Caravan have any competition?"
    Alice McLafferty: "Well, the Gun Runners continue to dominate the weapons market, and the Mormon traders from New Canaan control the majority of the northern routes."
    (Alice McLafferty's dialogue)
  40. Fallout appearances.
  41. 41.0 41.1 Fallout: New Vegas appearances.
  42. The Courier: "Do your caravans ever have trouble from bandits?"
    Blake: "Out here, we usually split our caravans into smaller bands - that way, we don't lose everything if they get hit. It's not very efficient, though, but hopefully we'll be able to start running larger caravans once things get civilized."
    (Blake's dialogue (Fallout: New Vegas)
FNV NCR Flag.png
Fo2 NCR Seal.png
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