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Van Graffs

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Van Graffs
VB Van Graffs.png
Overview
LeadershipTiaret Van Graff
Society
Notable MembersGloria Van Graff (Mojave branch manager)
Jean-Baptiste Cutting (Mojave branch enforcer)
Frieda Van Graff (former Mojave branch manager)
Simon (Mojave branch guard leader)
Van Graff thugs
Territory
HeadquartersRedding
Notable LocationsNew Reno
Freeside (Silver Rush)
 
Gametitle-FNV.pngGametitle-VB.pngGametitle-JES.png
Gametitle-FNV.pngGametitle-VB.pngGametitle-JES.png

The Van Graffs serve no one but themselves.

Gloria Van Graff

The Van Graffs are one of the largest merchant houses in New California, with operations as far as the Mojave Wasteland in the east.

Background[edit | edit source]

Founded in Redding by Tiaret Van Graff, the Van Graff family has rapidly rose to prominence over the decades following the destruction of the Enclave, dealing in weapons and high value commodities, like gold. Their power was founded on loyalty and ruthlessness: Tiaret relies on her ten children (all from different fathers) to manage the most important branches of her mercantile empire and handle the most delicate assignments.[1] The economic clout of the family was one of the reasons the NCR had difficulty expanding north into New California.[2]

In fact, the Van Graffs have clashed with the Republic on numerous occasions, refusing to come under their thumb. Though it has often taken the shape of skirmishes, usually the Van Graffs used their wealth to pay the NCR off when defeat became inevitable and lay low for a while, allowing for the hostilities to die down.[3] Eventually, however, the Van Graffs could no longer face the NCR on equal footing. The Republic has grown large and powerful enough to field a massive army, dwarfing whatever force the Van Graffs could muster, no matter how sizable.[4] The solution was to expand their influence through other means, such as entering the New Reno market and contesting the Wrights' control over the city[5] and securing new markets out east, such as in the Mojave Wasteland. The Van Graffs established their branch in Freeside around 2276, under the leadership of Frieda and Gloria Van Graff. They took over the dilapidated Silver Rush casino. When the Kings protested, plasma weapons caused them to withdraw the objections, leaving the family free to ply their trade.[6] This naturally attracted the attention of the Brotherhood, but Elder Elijah's preoccupation with Helios One prevented the chapter from taking action.[7]

The general strategy in the Mojave is to maximize profits through official and unofficial deals, as well as undercutting the competition.[8] To this end, Gloria has formed a covert alliance with Alice McLafferty: In return for hitting competing caravan outfits, like Durable Dunn's or Cassidy Caravans, staging them as Brotherhood attacks, the Crimson Caravan Company would undermine the Gun Runners' market share, motivating clients to deal with the Van Graffs instead.[9]

Of course, Gloria has bigger ambitions. As the Legion was making entreaties towards traders in the Mojave, she contacted one of their representatives and agreed to provide them with energy based weapons.[10] Unbeknownst to the Legion, the deal was actually a set-up: Gloria has negotiated a deal with the NCR. She would draw the Legion's representatives into a trap laid by the Army, and the Army would start purchasing weapons from her in return.[11] This allowed her to overcome the hostility of the Republic to her family, earning her not only a big defense contract, but also connections in the NCR which could be leveraged to the benefit of the family.[12] If anything, the sheer profit made off the deal should be enough to convince the matriarch that cooperating with the Republic is a good idea.[13]

Organization[edit | edit source]

The Silver Rush, regional headquarters of the Van Graffs for the Mojave.

The Van Graff merchant house is a family business, with all the major decisions handled by the matriarch, Tiaret Van Graff, from Redding. Popular with men for her looks and money, Tiaret's long term growth policies have turned the Van Graffs into a true powerhouse.[1] The matriarch's ten children are managers and enforcers of the crucial branches of the mercantile empire, such as the Silver Rush in Freeside.[14] However, the mother usually has the final say when it comes to large scale deals, such as dealing energy weapons in bulk.[15] Unsanctioned deals are rare, but if they succeed, the matriarch is unlikely to take action against her children. Instead, she will use it to expand her influence and operations.[12]

The family relies on mercenaries to protect their operations and ensure smooth deals with clients. Largely considered thugs, the well armed and well armored men are there to deter thieves and catch those who are foolish enough to try their luck. They usually end up used as targets for energy weapons practice.[16]

Outside relations[edit | edit source]

A Van Graff enforcer.

As a powerful merchant house, it comes as no surprise that the Van Graffs are hostile to their competitors. No matter how much they respect the business acumen of, say, the Gun Runners, managers like Gloria Van Graff are obligated to try to destroy them however they can.[17] Of course, there are exceptions: Caravan houses which do not directly threaten the business of the Van Graffs, due to non-overlapping markets can be profitable business partners for the Redding merchants. The Crimson Caravan is one such company, secretly cooperating with the Van Graffs to monopolize trade in the Mojave.[18] Powerful merchants are also potential partners for the Van Graffs, though some, like Robert House, end up beyond Van Graff reach.[19]

However, the largest opponent of the Van Graffs is the New California Republic. The family opposes the taxes and trade policies of the Republic, as well as the manner in which the Republic expands. Time was, the Van Graffs were capable of holding their own against the Republic military with their small army of well equipped mercenaries though every clash between themselves and the NCRA always ended with the Van Graffs paying Republic authorities off with their wealth when defeat became inevitable.[3] However, the growth of the Republic into a fully-fledged nation state has made such opposition unwise and the Van Graffs are forced to look for alternative means of opposing the Republic.[4] The situation is further complicated by the fact that the Van Graffs are operating in NCR territories by 2281. Being branded terrorists would complicate business quite a bit.[20] As a result, some of the branch managers, like Gloria Van Graff, have endeavored to strike deals with the NCR, acting as business partners, rather than enemies for the Republic.[21]

There is one entity the Van Graffs will not cooperate with: Caesar's Legion. While its might and the loyalty of its soldiers are impressive,[22] the fact that the Legion has only servants, not allies, makes any form of cooperation impossible. The Van Graffs only serve themselves.[3]

Interactions with the player character[edit | edit source]

Helping Cass to find evidence against the Van Graffs will cause them to be permanently hostile to the player as long as Cass is the active companion, much like Craig Boone acts for the Legion. Killing Simon in a stealth manner helps make buying from Gloria easier. Completing Birds of a Feather will cause Gloria to mention having delivery jobs for the player, but this functionality has not been implemented.

Technology[edit | edit source]

Van Graffs have access to vast reserves of wealth, both monetary and material. Apart from access to high end pre-War energy weapons, they outfit all of their guards in first generation combat armor, painted black for brand recognition and intimidation purposes.[23]

The Van Graff branch in the Mojave specializes in energy weapons and has ruthlessly established a near-monopoly in such items. Their monopoly on these high tech weapons has made them a lucrative target for the Brotherhood of Steel, though they have remained largely unaffected by Brotherhood raids that hit Gun Runners caravans. The reason is simple: Van Graffs bring their weapons through northern trade routes connecting to Northern California, where their strongholds lie, while the Gun Runners, operating out of the Boneyard, have to travel the Long 15 and Interstates 93/95, which brings them dangerously close to Hidden Valley. The Brotherhood rarely passes an opportunity to hit shipments carrying what they see as dangerous technology.[24]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

The Van Graffs appear in Fallout: New Vegas and J.E. Sawyer's Fallout Role-Playing Game, and were to appear in Black Isle's canceled Fallout 3.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 The Courier: "Tell me about the Van Graffs."
    Jean-Baptiste Cutting: "Our family comes from Redding, to the west. We deal weapons mostly, but trade other commodities, like gold, if there's cash in it. Our mother's been running the show for longer than most of us have been alive, but she stays at the home office. We've got branches all over the place, which are run by my brothers and sisters. Momma's real popular with the menfolk, both for her money and her looks, which is why there's ten of us kids in total, all by different fathers."
    (Jean-Baptiste Cutting's dialogue)
  2. Simple organizations: "Van Graffs
    A powerful caravan family operating out of Redding, the van Graffs are one of the primary reasons why NCR has difficulty expanding north. While the Wright family of New Reno trades in drugs and prostitution (the spoils of their successful bid for power in the wake of the Chosen One’s passing), the van Graffs trade gold and weapons. Much like the Wrights, the van Graffs are a huge family. The mother, Tiaret van Graff, has ten children, all from different fathers. All of her children are intensely loyal to both her and each other. The caravan’s symbol is a lion’s head."
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 The Courier: "I thought you hated the NCR?"
    Gloria Van Graff: "Oh, I do. They're a bunch of corrupt, bullying fools who think they can tell everyone how to live their lives, and my family's fought them for years. But that's just it. Do you know how large the NCR army is? If they wanted to, they could have beaten us a dozen times over. Do you know why they haven't? Money. Every time things have gotten too tense, we've paid them off and laid low for a while. They're an enemy we can live with. This Caesar, on the other hand, is a different animal. We've heard reports for years from our agents to the east. He doesn't tolerate his enemies, he makes examples of them. And he doesn't have friends. Only servants. And the Van Graffs serve no one but themselves. Given that, the choice was rather simple."
    (Gloria Van Graff's dialogue)
  4. 4.0 4.1 The Courier: "What do you think of the NCR?"
    Gloria Van Graff: "You must not know a lot about my family or you wouldn't have asked that. The Van Graffs and the NCR have been enemies for decades. They've tried to block our expansion for years, but we've managed to grow regardless. The problem is they have, too. The NCR is huge, now. We're talking on a scale that's difficult to imagine. Time was, we could fight them and hold our own. Not so anymore. My family has enough men and guns to field a small army, but the NCR can field a really, really big army. Fighting them is out of the question now."
    (Gloria Van Graff's dialogue)
  5. The Courier: "What's your story?"
    Clayton Ettienne: "Well, I've lived in Nevada all my life. Started out in New Reno, but headed down here as soon as I got the chance. If you can believe it, things are even worse back home. The whole city's still run by crime families. Used to be the Mordinos and Wrights. Now it's the Wrights and Van Graffs. Seems like things never get better. Anyway, that's all behind me now."
    (Clayton Ettienne's dialogue)
  6. The Courier: "Tell me about the Kings."
    Gloria Van Graff: "Ah, the "rulers" of Freeside. The Kings are a bunch of boys who refuse to grow up, and this is their playground. Their leader seems different, though. The few times I've dealt with him I've been impressed despite myself. Unfortunately, he rarely acts. The Kings believe that everyone in Freeside can do whatever they want, provided they can back it up with force. Which suits us just fine. When we first arrived in Freeside, the Kings protested when we kicked out the original occupant of this establishment. When we reduced several of their members to glowing puddles of goo, their objections vanished. Since then, we've left each other alone."
    (Gloria Van Graff's dialogue)
  7. The Courier: "Yes, what is the task?"
    Edgar Hardin: "Back when we were stationed at HELIOS, our scouts reported that a group was establishing itself in the area as a distributor of Pre-War weapons. Our Elder at the time, Elijah, was too concerned with getting HELIOS running and fending off the NCR, so he ordered us to leave them alone. It's time that we correct that oversight, and show this region that the Brotherhood is still a force to be reckoned with. I want you to visit these weapons dealers, this Van Graff family, and make an example of them. Leave no one alive. When the job is done, report back and I'll arrange for a team to clean up the site and retrieve the weapons."
    (Edgar Hardin's dialogue)
  8. Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p.42: "The Van Graffs
    The Van Graff family has a history of ruthless behavior when it comes to rivals muscling in on their territory, and it seems old habits die hard; two of the Van Graffs have set up shop in a bedraggled old casino called the Silver Rush, where they specialize in Energy Weapons, and the maximizing of profits. Run by Gloria Van Graff and her elder half-brother Jean-Baptiste Cutting, their stronghold is heavily-defended with their Thugs armed with the latest in weapons technology. Gloria is in charge of general operations at the Silver Rush. She is the person responsible for the New Vegas Van Graffs' general strategy, including possible under-the-counter deals to wipe out the competition. The muscle of the vanQuoted verbatim, error appeared in the original sourceIcon sic.png Graff operation, Jean-Baptiste personally handles all of Gloria's dirty work. He is a nasty, mean-spirited son-of-a-bitch. Despite the family's tendency to deal in energy weapons, Jean-Baptiste is a connoisseur of big guns and explosives. He threatens people for looking at him the wrong way and is far from all talk; he will go from zero-to-murder in the twitch of an eye."
    (Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide faction profiles)
  9. Letter to Gloria
  10. The Courier: "For starters, what in the hell just happened?"
    Gloria Van Graff: "We made a lot of money, that's what. The Legion paid us to deliver weapons, and the NCR paid us to deliver the Legion. Or some of them, anyway."
    (Gloria Van Graff's dialogue)
  11. The Courier: "Just start at the beginning."
    Gloria Van Graff: "Caesar has been making overtures to prominent suppliers for some time now. Usually, they're too scared of him to cross him and just pay or flee. I saw an opportunity and negotiated a deal with the NCR - I help draw some of their enemy's troops into a trap and they agree to buy from me. Normally, those stuck-up bastards wouldn't have anything to do with us, but their situation is precarious, and this chance was too tempting."
    (Gloria Van Graff's dialogue)
  12. 12.0 12.1 The Courier: "So now the Van Graffs are allied with the NCR?"
    Gloria Van Graff: "Well... not exactly. The deal wasn't exactly sanctioned by my mother, but she'll come around when she hears about the profit I made. If she's smart, and she is, believe me, she'll turn this to her own advantage and make a bundle off our new "connections" in the NCR."
    (Gloria Van Graff's dialogue)
  13. The Courier: "Wouldn't you have made just as much money dealing with the Legion?"
    Gloria Van Graff: "Hardly. They've got a lot of soldiers, and slaves. But they don't come close to having the amount of wealth the NCR has. When I said we were going to be rich, I meant it. The deal I brokered with the NCR netted me fives times what Caesar paid. Keeping Caesar's money was just a bonus."
    (Gloria Van Graff's dialogue)
  14. The Courier: "So is this a family business?"
    Gloria Van Graff: "Yes it is. My brother and I run this particular branch, but our family has operations all over, particularly in California."
    (Gloria Van Graff's dialogue)
  15. Gloria Van Graff: "Good, you're here. Do you remember that package I had you deliver? Well, the client liked the sample and put in a massive order. It's possibly the biggest order we've ever supplied. I've had to repeatedly assure my mother that everything will go smoothly. And that's where I'm hoping you'll come in. We'll be bringing an escort, and I want you on it. What do you say?"
    (Gloria Van Graff's dialogue)
  16. The Courier: "This seems like a bad neighborhood to open a store."
    Gloria Van Graff: "Look around, and you'll notice two things. First, we don't lack for security. I'm not worried about anyone breaking in here or stealing our goods. Not that we don't occasionally have attempts, but even those prove useful. Do you know how much target dummies cost? Back to my point, the second thing you'll notice is that we do not sell cheap merchandise. Everything here is second-to-none. People who buy Van Graff goods typically don't care where they have to go to get them."
    (Gloria Van Graff's dialogue)
  17. The Courier: "What do you think of the Gun Runners?"
    Gloria Van Graff: "They're our chief competitors in this region, and many others. That makes them our enemies. While I respect their business acumen, I'm obligated to try to destroy them however I can. That's business, after all."
    (Gloria Van Graff's dialogue)
  18. Crimson Caravan - Van Graff agreement
  19. The Courier: "What do you know of Mr. House?"
    Gloria Van Graff: "Very little, same as everyone else. We attempted to deal with him when we first moved into the area, but had no luck. He must have his own weapons supplies to keep as many laser-armed robots operational as he does. Makes me wonder where they are..."
    (Gloria Van Graff's dialogue)
  20. If Van Graff territories weren't part of the NCR, then the peaceful solution to Heartache by the Number would be impossible, as they'd be outside NCR jurisdiction.
  21. The Courier: "What will you do now?"
    Gloria Van Graff: "It'll be all I can do to supply the NCR with the amount of weapons they want, so I'll be pretty busy for the foreseeable future. Oh, you're probably wondering if you still have a job! I don't have anything open at the moment, sadly. But we're going to need all the help we can get transporting guns to the NCR, so stop by every now and then and I might have a delivery job for you. And before I forget, here's your share of the take from the warehouse job. You can keep the armor. Thanks again for all your help."
    (Gloria Van Graff's dialogue)
  22. The Courier: "What do you think of the Legion?"
    Gloria Van Graff: "I've only heard rumors, since this is the furthest east our operations go. But the rumors are pretty scary. They're said to be a huge slaver nation, with all the soldiers obeying their lord with unquestioning obedience. Sounds like a man I'd like to meet."
    (Gloria Van Graff's dialogue)
  23. Simon: "Okay, now let's get you geared up. First, your armor. Standard issue is your run-of-the-mill combat armor, with a nice dark coat of paint for both brand recognition and sheer intimidation value. Next, your weapon. Guards are required to use rifles. Anything lighter compromises your combat effectiveness. Anything heavier and people are too scared to come in the door. What's your preference, laser or plasma?"
    (Simon's dialogue (Fallout: New Vegas))
  24. JESawyer
Gametitle-VB.pngGametitle-VB.png
FNV NCR Flag.png
Fo2 NCR Seal.png