THE LAW OF THE MARKET





In the wastelands the only law is survival of the fittest, what you can keep is yours, alternatively what you can take is yours.  In the Market things are calmer, safer, and more civilized.  Through special arrangements and tenuous agreements, City, State and federal law enforcement stay out of the nomad market.  The closest they come is to put up a strict checkpoint on the roads the civilians use to get in and out of the market, and a looser one on the southern road the nomads use.  Unofficially the Nomad Market is a no man's land, and the government will not try to move in for fear of a full scale and possible nation wide revolt from the nomads.  The nomad community and by proxy the Nomad Market have their own rules, and in the market, the only laws enforced are those laid down by the Nomad Council:



All merchants must have Tribal Sponsorship
While anyone may trade with anyone else in the Market, merchants who set up shop must have a recognized Tribe sponsor them.  If you are not affiliated with a recognized Tribe, several offer temporary sponsorship for a price (varies but usually around about 1/10th the Market value of what you are selling).  Sponsorship is necessary because if you sell defective products, your Tribe is held responsible.

Violence inside the Market is not permitted, especially against Statics

If you are caught fighting you will be given a choice, settle it by combat or be banished from the Market for a month.  If you kill or rape someone, then the Tribe of the victim has the right to challenge you to combat to the death, if they forfeit that right you are
banned for a year.  For second offenses, you are also branded. Third offense you are banished for life.  If the victim in any of these cases is a Static, you will be handed over to local authorities without question.  The Council will tolerate no incident which brings Static law into the Market.

Stealing inside the Market is not permitted
If you are caught stealing from anyone in the market, you will be banished for a month, and restitution will be made to the victim of your goods equaling the lost property as closely as possible.

Trading faulty goods, or misrepresenting goods, is not permitted
This is considered the same as stealing and will be dealt with the same way, if you have already left, the
consequences will fall on the Tribe that sponsored you.

Minor disputes will be settled by the involved families, major disputes will be settled by the Council

If you can't settle a disagreement by yourselves, then your Tribal representative will step in.  If the problem is between people of two different Tribes, then the problem will be taken to the council, however the council is very busy, so it
had better be important. The word of the Council is final. Any dispute that cannot be solved by any other means will be settled by combat. (Either by Battle Race, The Dome, or Checkers, yes checkers......... this keeps it fair for those who are obviously outclassed.  If the two in dispute can't agree which venue to take, a die will be rolled and the choice will be made for them.)

You are responsible for any illegal goods you are caught with after you leave the Market
Once you leave the Market, you are on your own and the local, state, and federal laws apply to you again.  If you are caught with drugs, illegal weapons, or any other contraband then expect no help from the Council





Council law is enforced in the Market by the Lawgivers.  Lawgivers have cut ties to all tribes and families, and have permanently allied themselves with the Council itself.  They are easy to spot, due to their "uniform" of black leather and face masks.  In addition to providing door security and manning the defenses on the wall, Lawgivers also roam the market in groups of no less than two at a time.  Joining the Lawgivers is simple, and only requires that you prove your ability to fight, you must have at least five people vouch for you, and you must denounce all other loyalty and swear allegiance to the Council.  You must serve the minimum of at least one year (after which time you can quit any time you wish) and you must be willing to do your job without prejudice.  To ensure this, Lawgivers who have been on less than a year are always partnered with someone who has been on at least three years.  The senior Lawgiver will be required to make reports to the council on the status and performance of the new member.  (Lawgivers have the secondary special ability: Authority, but it only works inside the Nomad Market)




Only one group has authority over the Council, the Paladins.  The first Paladin was a retired Hi-Way cop named Sean Wayne whose family was killed by Raffen-Shiv in 2011.  For two years he traveled undercover with the nomads trying to find the ones who killed his family.  Originally he was bent on revenge towards all nomads, but as he traveled with them he came understand and embrace their lifestyle.  Eventually he revealed his true identity and decided it was time the nomads had their own brand of justice and order.  He became the first Paladin, and wandered the roads and wastelands, helping any who needed him, fighting injustice and villiany wherever he found it.  A blacksmith named Khan forged the first Gunblade for him, presenting it as a token of gratitude for saving his daughter from a corrupt Hi-Way cop.  The Gunblade would become the Paladin Badge of office.  In 2014 he was wounded while fighting of a band of Raffen-Shiv marauders while the caravan he was traveling with escaped.  He managed to run them off, but lost his left arm and the lower half of his right leg in the process.  It would have been the end of the Paladins, but his story and his reputation had spread, and he had attracted followers who wished to take up the cause.  Five men and women were in that first group, and Wayne spent a year training them.  Khan agreed to craft a gunblade for each of them, and any new recruits who felt the calling.  As the years passed the reputation of the Paladins grew.  Now they are accepted as the only authority on the open road, the Council has bestowed upon them their full blessings.  In the nomad community Paladins have the authority to solve any dispute, enter any vehicle, and join any caravan.  Even in Static society there are people who have heard of Paladins, especially among the Hi-Way, who have even been known to work with a  Paladin on occasion.  Raffen-Shiv on the other hand have an open bounty of 1000eb on any Paladin brought to them alive. 

Becoming a Paladin isn't easy.  First you must be accepted for training by Wayne, who evaluates you while you train for six months.  During this time you are required to permanently cut all ties to family, tribe, and nation.  After wards you are assigned to a senior Paladin to act as apprentice for a full 2 years before you become a full fledged Paladin.  Your Gunblade is awarded to you after the first six months if you are seen as worthy.  Other than the two year apprenticeship, no two Paladins ever travel together.  It is a life of solitude and constant danger.  It is also a life of grays.  Unlike police who have a strict set of laws to guide them, Paladins are expected to judge each and every situation on its own merits of right and wrong, and necessity.  Paladins often travel with others for at least a few days before they continue on their journey, riding with a caravan, or even just another lone wanderer.  Forming permanent ties is forbidden, some Paladins take it so far as to vow celibacy.  If needed, a Paladin can call for backup from the others, though it rarely happens.  Paladins are too scattered, and too hard to contact.   Alternatively, a Paladin can "deputize" a posse if the situation requires it.  All this talk of authority must be taken in context, a Paladin has no "official" power, and anyone can refuse him, but to do so brings immediate suspicion on anyone who dares, both from the Paladins, and from other nomads.  In a city, or anytime he deals with Static society, a Paladin has no power whatsoever.  Paladins are required to check in with Wayne for updates and possible assignments every 2 weeks.


The Gunblade a Paladin carries, while fully functional as both a firearm and a sword, is more a badge of authority than a primary weapon.  It is simply too heavy to be effective (though some nomads do use it almost exclusively somehow).  Instead a Paladin usually carries at least a sidearm as his primary weapon.  No two Gunblades are ever the same.  If a Paladin dies, his Gunblade is to be returned to Wayne Ranch in Texas.  Anyone not a Paladin caught carrying a Gunblade by a Paladin may be executed.




Corruption is an ever present threat to the Paladins, and any Paladin found breaking their oath is to be hunted down and executed by the other Paladins.  Paladins may retire, but once they do they must turn in their Gunblade.  (Paladins have the secondary special ability: Authority, identical to the cop special ability, but it only works in the nomad community.)



Written By
Deric "D" Bernier, images from Deric "D" Bernier, Mad Max, The Road Warrior, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Warriors of the 21st Century, Spacehunter, Battletruck, Damnation Alley, Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared Synn, Warriors of the Lost World, Transformers, Death Race 2000, Warhammer, Neon City, Akira, Tank Girl, Dragon Staff, Final Fantasy, Tempus Fugitive, Dragon Chiang, Nausicaa, Porco Russo, Windaria, Red Skies, Waterworld, Ghost in the Shell, GITS: Stand Alone Complex, GITS: Innocence, The Fifth Element, The Postman, The New Barbarians, Back To The Future 2, Car Warriors, GI Joe, Mad Police, Corvette Summer, Gunm, Star Wars, Appleseed, Truck Battles, Buckaroo Banzai, Solar Babies, Spy Hunter, Genesis Climber Mospeada, Urban Warriors, Exterminators 3000, Urban Warriors, Cyberpunk 2020, Deadland: Hell On Earth, Rifts, Gurps, Macho Women With Guns, Mekton, Ratbike zone, Cyberspace, Road War, Street Fighter, D20 Future, D20 Apocalypse, Road Avenger, Redline, Dark  Future, Twilight 2000, The Lawless Land, and various other unknown films, anime, comics, artists, and car customizers.