Fallout Wiki
Advertisement
Fallout Wiki
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.

 
Gametitle-FO1.pngGametitle-FO2.pngGametitle-FNV.png
Gametitle-FO1.pngGametitle-FO2.pngGametitle-FNV.png
Established long ago in California, the Crimson Caravan Company and the Gun Runners are two of NCR's oldest and most powerful merchant houses.Fallout: New Vegas loading screens

The Crimson Caravan Company[1] is one of the largest trading companies in New California,[2] with branches in almost every major town along the trade routes.[3]

Background

Established in the Hub sometime before 2151,[4] the Crimson Caravan Company 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.[5] Their success 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, they would lead its heavily armed caravans just about anywhere.[6] Yet despite their apparent recklessness, they had only lost two caravans by 2161.[7] The 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.[4] By 2281, pretty much every major settlement within its influence has a Crimson Caravan branch.[3][8]

Organization

The Crimson Caravan Company is a well-organized merchant house. In its early years, it was operated by Demetre Romara and his daughter Keri Lee.[9] His eccentric ways and enthusiasm for violence played part in both the company's success and in it building up a reputation of being reckless,[10][11] and he only cared about that the people he hired get the job done.[12]

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.[13] The standing company policy was to hire experienced guards only.[14] 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.[15]

The rise of the NCR offered new possibilities for the company. Its efforts to expand its economic influence also helped the Republic develop.[4] Crimson Caravan modified its operations, with the Hub serving as headquarters and local company branches opening in major markets throughout California and the Mojave.[16][3]

The new structure also allowed the company to attract wealthy investors, such as the Jamison family of Redding, who would provide the additional capital necessary to expand the company's operations. An unexpected side effect was that the family was able to pressure the company's executive manager Alice McLafferty into posting a family member, Henry Jamison, to the position of CEO 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.[17] The underperforming nature of the New Vegas branch exemplifies an interesting element of the company's structure. If a branch fails to perform, a manager (in this case McLafferty) can take over operations to straighten out the business.[18]

Another feature of the organization is its use of work contracts. 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.[19] The employees are informed in advance of the contract's nature,[20] including the fact that leaving before the contract ends will result in forfeiture of wages.[21] On the bright side, the company always pays up.[22] 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.[23]

Outside relations

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.[24]

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.[Non-canon 1] 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 wastelands, the Gun Runners, the Mormon traders of New Canaan controlling the northern trade routes,[25] 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.[26]

The tradition of sabotage and undermining competitors in order to dominate the market was upheld by the Crimson Caravan's executive manager, Alice McLafferty. In the Mojave, it included sealing an agreement with the Van Graffs to undercut and/or exterminate competitors,[27] industrial espionage,[28] and simply buying out the competition.[29][30]

The Crimson Caravan is also attempting to establish a branch in New Canaan and run other regional caravans out of business.[31] 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.[32]

Caravans

The Crimson Caravan Company holds a stock of pack brahmin, which they use in their caravans for carrying large amounts of goods over large distances.[33] The accompanying caravaneers typically wear light leather armor or a variety of civilian outfits, such as caravaneer outfit, field hand outfit or prospector outfit. For combat, they utilize everything from knifes and brass knuckles to more sophisticated firearms like the caravan shotgun, varmint rifle or .357 Magnum revolver.

In dangerous regions, the company will usually break apart its caravans into several smaller bands. The reduced efficiency is offset by not loosing all of the merchandize, should a caravan get hit by raiders or worse.[34]

Interactions with the player character

Fallout

In 2161 they are headed by Demetre Romara, with his daughter Keri Lee working the schedules. 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

The Courier is offered work (You Can Depend on Me and later Pressing Matters) by Alice McLafferty and may release Janet from her contract in Young Hearts. The Crimson Caravan can also be brought down by peacefully completing Heartache by the Number, or assassinating McLafferty.

Appearances

The Crimson Caravan appears in Fallout and Fallout: New Vegas, and is indirectly mentioned in Fallout 2.[35] It was also to appear in Black Isle's canceled Van Buren.

Behind the scenes

According to Joshua Sawyer, following the Brotherhood War and the destruction of the New California Republic's gold reserves, the Crimson Caravan, alongside with other merchants from the Hub, conspired to reintroduce the bottle cap as currency.[Non-canon 2] [Non-canon 3]

Gallery

References

  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: "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)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 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
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 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)
  5. 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)
  6. 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)
  7. 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)
  8. 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)
  9. 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)
  10. 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)
  11. The Vault Dweller: "No, I'm sorry. I've got to go. Bye!"
    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)
  12. 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)
  13. 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)
  14. 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)
  15. 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)
  16. Company sign found in Klamath.
  17. 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)
  18. 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)
  19. 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)
  20. 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)
  21. 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)
  22. 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)
  23. 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)
  24. 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)
  25. 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)
  26. 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)
  27. Crimson Caravan - Van Graff agreement
  28. 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)
  29. 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)
  30. 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)
  31. 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)
  32. Crimson Caravan Company terminal entries; terminal, New Canaan Branch Proposal
  33. Pack brahmins appear in Fallout and Fallout: New Vegas
  34. 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
  35. Company sign

Non-canon

  1. 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)
  2. Joshua Sawyer on SomethingAwful.com: "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."
  3. Joshua Sawyer SomethingAwful.com: "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."
Advertisement