My pitch for a Crimson Caravan quest in Fallout 4

Discussion in 'Fallout 4' started by apostrophe, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. apostrophe

    apostrophe First time out of the vault

    Dec 6, 2015
    TLDR: a Crimson Caravan envoy and his bodyguard reach the Commonwealth, looking to make contacts and build a local trade post for the company; early game quest, made to prompt the player across the whole map.

    Disclaimer: this is of course a futile exercise in writing. Fallout 4 is done and wrapped with its last DLC. Besides, there are so many references to New Vegas, none of it would fly in a Bethesda Fallout game; modders, of course are welcome to try something similar.



    Summary

    Ernando and Pelly (short for Pelopidas) would be at the eastern edge of the map, camping somewhere between Sanctuary and the Sunshine coop.

    Ernando tells the player his objective around the Commonwealth - build a CC trading post in the area - and asks for help.

    To kill them where they stand is an option. Both are very tough enemies, but the incentive to loot them will be Ernando's 800 capsules, and Pelly's Ranger Sequoia (the NCR bear is scratched off, and there are dog tags tied to the grip's end).

    If the player agrees to help, the quest PLUS ULTRA begins. The player may talk with Pelly, but dialogue won't go far; he's the strong silent type.

    The first mission would be contact all major vendors in the game, and report back. These would be the vendors in all towns and the moving caravans.

    With this done, Ernando opens up and speaks more of his journey up until now (written below). With the given information, the quest diverges into two ways: establish him as a big player in the Commonwealth (path A), or show him the futility of this goose chase (path B, the despicable option).

    First, the B path: "breaking" Ernando's drive (maybe a Speech check), would free him to work for the player, and increase his trade profits among settlements, even if you don't have the Local Leader perk. He soons becomes a husk of his former self.

    Fulfilling this, the player may fuel a distaste in Pelly for Ernando (they are as lovers). If, through dialogue, the player appears tough, driven and merciless, Pelly becomes a companion and murders Ernando with the player's help; Pelly will be a boring, dull companion, a sort of lousy reward for killing Ernando. If not, if the player doesn't show enough grit - again, through dialogue choices - Pelly will trick the player into a partnership to kill Ernando, but will instead betrayal the player at the last moment.

    Back to the Path A: with contacts and reconnaissance made, two steps are required, hire and equip a proper caravan and work on the competition (as McLafferty would do).

    The caravan bit: Ernando needs brahmin, men and goods (ammo, junk, food, water), he doesn't care how and is ok with dirty work. All 3 could be purchased/hired for a quicker solution; cheaper in the country, more costly in the big towns. The brahmin and goods could also be stolen (I suppose the manpower could be enslaved).

    The competition bit: Kessler, at Bunker Hill, and the caravans that wander around the Commonwealth should be dealt with. As you are a deniable asset, Ernando leaves it to you. Their "companies" could be bought - like it was offered to Rose of Sharon Cassidy, in FNV - or exterminated. The player could contact the Gunners for a "clean hands" approach, or do the deed themselves (Contacting the Gunners could open up a series of quests for them; maybe I'll invent a Gunner quest as well...).

    Finally, with this done, Ernando wants a spot for the Crimson Caravan office in the Commonwealth. A workshop will appear near him, and if the player wants (even) better discounts with Ernando's future vendors, he can help build the place up and fortify it (like the compound in New Vegas). It must be said that it won't be a settlement for the Minuteman; this is afterall an endeavour for and by Ernando.

    Now, an exciting crossroad, lore-wise: does Ernando keep the name of this post as Crimson Caravan, or name it after something of his own? The benefit of the latter option would be a new element in the East Coast of Fallout, a new name which could spawn new characters and a new place post-Fallout4.




    Their backgrounds:

    Ernesto Garra is born in 2261 in a minuscule town somewhere in California. At an early age, he began going along with his father's caravan. It was a dreaded affair, lugging junk from one dusty town and back again. His father was a pushover, a feeble man.

    When he's 10, he recognizes a sign he's actually been seeing for years, but never made nothing of it. Dashing brushes of red, something written in a sassy font. "Crimson Caravan". He didn't before, but now he notices more than the sign: a well-mannered, smirking fellow ahead of the load, surrounded by less amicable looking people, wearing leather, or metal armor, long rifles on their backs; he's seen variations of this all his life but now he makes the connection: these are the big players, these are somebody. He feels an awe the bare desert has never provided.

    In '75, he's left his father and that stinking brahmin behind and finds himself in the Hub, running errands and making a living; the place is just as amazing as he dreamed it, a bubbling center of trade, of ever different people, and more important, the place where he'll rocket to prosperity and adventure. Making a quick buck was easy there, but losing it was even easier, because of the rascals everywhere. For Ernesto, money wasn't an end in itself, but this roughned him up, and he became a resourceful young man, with a goal towards "something better, away from the dung", as he would put it, after some glasses of whiskey.

    In '78 he's made it into the Crimson Caravan; of course as a lowly teamster. A backbreaking job that he quickly left behind helped by his guile and businessman manner. In the period of one year, he's now driver of a Californian Crimson Caravan convoy. Sometimes he thinks he has reason to write home about, but at this point he's repulsed by the thought of his pathetic father, and that stinking brahmin.

    The following year, Ernando makes waves with his can-do attitude and is going places, but quickly realizes that certain upper positions aren't reachable by merit. His relative success calls the attention of a young caravan mistress, and they begin courting. This powerful woman is the nephew of Alice McLafferty, the iron lady of the West Coast. Ernando knows this well. Using her nephew, he aims for McLafferty, seeing her as a sort of idol of success. He gets her attention, and is dispatched to the New Vegas' branch.

    Ernando's greedy eagerness makes him a prodigy in the commerce scene in New Vegas. This of course doesn't go unnoticed by the iron lady. She's well aware of his courting of her nephew, a clear political move, and his young and promissing career. She has to get rid of him. No blood, the situation is not this dire, plus she cares for her nephew. She'll send him far away, somewhere on a fatal journey. She remembers rumours of a Brotherhood of Steel excursion eastward, towards the other side of the land. This'll do.

    So, in '80, Ernando is dispatched to the East, as an envoy and emissary of the Crimson Caravan, with a sack full of caps, a bodyguard at his side, and a brahmin packed with trinkets. Ernando is thrilled with the promise of the endeavour; he has made his share of money and success but to him there's something more waiting over at the horizon. He's 19, but feels again the rush he felt with 14, when he left home.

    The bodyguard, Pelly, is 42 years old. His parents called him "Pelopidas"; if they ever told him why such a bizarre choice for a name, he has long forgotten. Few people in the Wasteland know his birthname.

    A veteran trail warrior, he has walked much of the Wasteland, much of it alongside someone's caravan. A life of walking, following, skirmishing, scorching in the sun, has hardened Pelly's body and senses. His notion of purpose as well: escort the caravan, simply. Not for the people who guide it, not for what it carries, not against who shoots at it, but simply to follow the caravan through its trail. This has made Pelly a succesful trail bodyguard, and only that.

    Unfortunately, better options have appeared, for the bad luck of individual mercs such as Pelly. Fairer prices, better deals with bigger groups, have been sought more frequently for bodyguard work, and Pelly has been put aside more and more often. However, "back in the day", he struck a profissional friendship with a powerful NCR representative, defending his life against a Great Khan ambush, and so chance gave him a friend in a high place, guaranteeing him work in the Crimson Caravan for as long as he's politically active, and that would be a long time, still.

    Pelly eventually is sent to escort persons and packages in the New Vegas district. The local ironfist, Ms. McLafferty is satisfied with his work... until she has better options herself, which she can't use because of Pelly's persistent "survivalness". Kicking Pelly out is not an option, and the bastard won't die to raider gunfire and gecko attacks in the crazy assignments he's sent. McLafferty then, sends him in what sounds the ultimate job: east. If he, and the annoying Ernando boy, succeed, fine; if they die or disappear, fine as well.

    So it begins, in '80, this ragtag caravan departs from New Vegas, eastward. They will, of course, travel for 7 years until reaching the Commonwealth. An untold amount of tales can be made in their adventure, numerous deathclaws, bandits, geckos, unseen creatures inbetween the two Coasts, and many business contacts were made, many caps were won and lost. They don't notice of this, but a flow of new imports come to New Vegas following newly made associates.

    But one period is more important here: their time in Caesar's Legion's territory. By Pelly's command, and know-how, the caravan went first southeast, then east, aware of the safe routes granted by the Legion's intolerance to raiders and other human nuisances along the roads. Their stay in Legion strongholds such as Flagstaff (their declared capital, in Arizona) and Albuquerque (New Mexico) were longer than in any other places. It was an uneasy display of civilization, cruel in its success. Ernando developed trade contacts there, always eager in the hussle of commerce, in the name of the Crimson Caravan. He developed respect for the Legion, not for what it stood, but for what it accomplished in this damned Wasteland.

    The impression in Pelly was in another category. A coarse, rugged man, he was very rarely fascinated by things, but one thing silently impressed him: the sort of "friendship" legionaries had with one another. Here and there, always with much discretion, he would see two men strangely close to one another, sometimes like a man holds a woman away from the public eye. At first this was too esquisite and unnatural to behold, like the useless grinding of two rocks against one another. But in time, he saw a alluring ferocity in the act that is ultimatelly very natural, like the sudden, lousy spectacle of a rock slide.

    Many, many moons later, Ernando and Pelly would depart from Albuquerque, and leave, again, civilization behind, towards the East. They of course shared too many dangers too recollect, which made both of them tough as nails. Their relationship adapted to the careless outdoors , and they became an effective team. Eventually they would be in a relation with one another, their camaraderie evolved into romance. The bond in the cares one had with the other intensified, and they would do with one another things they had seen or done in the intimacy of bedrooms.

    Ernando sometimes would have uncomfortable, vague dreams featuring his father, being blown away by a opaque sand storm; sometimes the dream continued and Pelly would appear before him or at his side, and the grief went away.

    Pelly watched Ernando talk of success, of pioneering, of trailblazing. Early in the voyage, he was silently repulsed by such naiveté; such bull should be left in childhood. But after the 500th mile, it invigorated him. He pushed away the thought, he would never say it out loud but he thought it was "cute". Pelly's brainless profession as a caravan guard evolved to perseverence toward success, not his own, but of the lad. He wouldn't put this into words, of course. He also probably will never tell anyone the sorts of dangers he has fended off, sometimes barehanded, to preserve Ernando and the caravan.

    Thank you if you got here.