NATIONS AND TRIBES
All walks of nomad life are represented in the Market. It is required by Council that each of the seven nomad nations has a permanent representative at the Nomad Market. These seven men and women are the head of the Nomad Council and are the absolute authority over everything that happens here. They meet privately in the Council Aerie, and convene over the rest of the council in the main pavilion below. All of the recognized tribes have members on the Council, and though only the the seven Nations are required to have permanent representation, many tribal representatives also reside in the Market year round. In fact, the only way for a tribe to be recognized is to have a member on the Council. Raffen-Shiv are not allowed to sit on the Council, nor are any tribes affiliated with them allowed to join.
Each Nation has its own permanent tent, this is where business that is strictly within the nation gets carried out. Tribal leaders bring their motions, complaints, and disputes here. The major tribes also have their own permanent tents, and family leaders bring their concerns and ideas to their Tribal leaders, who in turn bring it to the attention of their Nation representative. Each Nation and the families that make them up, have their own way of deciding on their next representatives, from, simple voting to contests, in some of the smaller familes it is actually considered a punishment.
Council meetings themselves are held from monday through friday, from 10 am to 6 pm. These meetings are highly disciplined, with each effected member of any resolution getting their turn to speak if they so desire. Shouting matches often break out however, and the entire system can get bogged down very fast. Still it isn't as bad as the U.S. senate or British Parliament, and most disagreements are settled by the end of the day. Any dispute that persists is either settled by the Tribal Champion in combat, or by the Council Heads, whose word is final.
THE SNAKE NATION
The snake nation, being the most disorganized and the largest of the seven nations, oddly enough has the least tribal delegates. Tribal delegates affiliated with the Snake nation comprise 8 percent of the Nomad Council. This is in line with their desire to remain free and unburdened. They see the council as too similar to the governments that brought about the fall. Still, while they make up only 9 percent of the Council, Snake nation affiliates make up over half over the merchants in the market.
Being the Nation that is most concerned with agriculture, it is no surprise that the Jodes have almost a complete monopoly on fresh produce, pork, sheep, and beef products. They also bring horses and camels to trade at auction. Being the leading agricultural producer, not only among the nomadic community, but in the United States, affords them a measure of influence that exceeds their actual means. While they are not typically warriors, their numbers make up for their lack of combat abilities, and they often procure protection and escort from other more conflict capable tribes. They are also one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse nations. The Jodes control 23 percent of the council.
THE BLOOD NATION
As a nation made up of former gang members and entertainers, it should come as no surprise to anyone that the Bloods control the vast majority of gambling, drugs, and brothels in the Market. The Bloods are also responsible for putting on both the Battle Race and the Dome fights. In addition they are usually the ones setting up theaters in the Camp Lot, and most of the wandering performers are Bloods as well. As far as the council goes, the Bloods tribal affiliate delegates tend to go with the majority when it comes to voting, though they do control about 15 percent of the council on an average day.
A nomad Nation only by the loosest definition, Metacorp is still by far the most financially secure. More of a large loosely structured mega corporation than than a nomadic force, Metacorp controls vast sums of money and resources, and is the number one employer of nomads outside of the agricultural field. Meta representatives scour the nomad community for innovative technology ideas, and honest and reliable warriors. Their presence in the Nomad Market is small, with only a few dealers selling brand new wares for cash only, the rest of their presence in the market is made up of recruiters on the lookout for new talent and technology ideas. They also pour more money into the nomad community as a whole than any other source. It is for this reason that Metacorp, the smallest of Nations, has managed to control 25 percent of the Council.
It is well known that the tribes associated with the Aldecaldos specialize in transport, shipping, and construction, from their contracts to rebuild roads in the midwest, to their forays into New York and Pittsburgh. The Aldecaldo nation is able to maintain organization while at the same time being loose enough to flourish as migrant workers, mostly taking on reconstruction work, rebuilding our country after the Collapse. The work is long and slow, and there is a still a long way to go, which works well for them. Because of their contractual status, outgoing attitude, and outspoken ties to the media, the Aldecaldos have managed 15 percent control over the Council.
The Thelas affiliated tribes control the seas, lakes, and rivers. They are the only ones who regularly deal with the forgotten souls in Lost Angeles, (other than the Raffen-Shiv) and any of the corporations who wish to transport their goods over the seas are better off hiring the Thelas as escorts, if not simply hiring them to do it altogether.. Even Static fisherman often end up allying themselves with the Thelas for protection. It is their importance to world shipping and the fishing industry that has allowed the Thelas to control 14 percent of the council..
The Folk Nation, primarily concerned with salvage and construction, is the largest force active in the rebuilding of Chicago. And while their affiliates are scattered across the northern midwest, they are mostly based in Illinois. With efforts to rebuild Chicago well underway, the Folk are getting closer to achieving their goal of rejoining Static society, and most of the tribes affiliated are either working with them in Chicago, or in other parts of the country rebuilding the cities hit hardest by the Collapse, all in the hopes of staking their property claims as citizens and owners when the work is done. They are the least active in the Council, with only 5 percent control on average, and usually only vote on matters that pertain directly to them.
The Raffen-Shiv, both as a nation, and as individual tribes are not allowed any seats on the council. This does not stop them from having an influence in the market. Many Raffen-Shiv come to the market to barter their spoils, and it can be quite tense when they are around, especially for nomads of other alliances who have had dealings with them in the past. It is only because the Raffen seem to respect the "holy ground" of the market that their presence is tolerated. That and to keep them out could possibly cause a war the nomad community as a whole can't afford to wage. Still minor problems do come up. There have been many times when normal nomads have recognized a Raffen-Shiv who attacked them, raped them, or killed a loved one. There have been other times when Raffen have recognized their victims, some even going as far as to let on when and where they will be holding their next slave auction. Grieving parents have been known to go to these auctions and bid on their missing children, only to have the Raffen around them jack up the price so high that it's next to impossible for the parents to match. Or simply killing the parents outright, or their tribe. For this reason any Raffen who come into the Market are watched very carefully by the Lawgivers. The Raffen-Shiv are not fools, they very rarely cause any trouble inside the market, and almost never travel in groups of less than ten.
The Tribes within the varying nations are each unique unto themselves, but most have adopted similar costuming for ease of identification.
TECHNOMANCERS are instantly recognizable, not only because they all wear gas masks or air filters and long robes or coats, but because they are loaded down with hand made tools and exotic scratch built gadgets. The Technomancers are the number one innovators of nomad technology, and their wares are highly sought after. Their numbers have grown in the last year since their new leader decided they should start actively recruiting people who show the right amount of potential. They are still exceedingly mysterious however. Due to increased funding, and exclusive contracts with Metacorp, some of the simpler Technomancer technology has begun seeing mass production and sales into Static society. Technomancers are the mechanical monks of the new world, wandering the roads in search of new ideas and ways of thinking.
THE GYPSY HEARTS are a relatively new Tribe. Originally they were all Romany, but over the years they have taken on anyone who wanted to join, especially runaways and other lost children. The main point of interest of the Gypsy Hearts is their leader, Lubya Derenko, an immigrant Romanian. She is gathering a reputation as one of the best Jitte fighters in the nomad community. She teaches it to every member of her tribe who is capable of learning. She personally assigns her best students to take leadership of the smaller packs of her tribe. The art of the knife is very important to the Gypsy Hearts, and you must make your own before you can be accepted as an adult in the tribe. While the knife is the primary weapon of the tribe, they do use guns, as many an unwary marauding band have found to their dismay. Each night at camp is celebrated with music and dance, and the Gypsy Hearts follow the Romany customs very strictly. The Gypsy Hearts are affiliated with the Snake Nation, but have worked with the Aldecaldo's and the Blood's quite often. They avoid tribes associated with the Folk, considering them Gaje, or false gypsies, due to their desire to rejoin static society. They maintain a close friendship with several packs in the Thelas nation, and have been known to work temporarily with Jodes in exchange for food. They spend most of their time in Oregon and Washington, but have been known to travel as far as Iowa.
THE STORM RIDERS are one of the largest combat Tribes in the nomad community, outside of the Raffen-Shiv. Unlike the Raffen-Shiv, who are their mortal enemies, the Storm Riders generally don't cause any mayhem, and never target innocents. In fact, they almost exclusively target Raffen-Shiv, hunting down any small packs they can find. The Storm Riders often hire themselves out as escorts, and have a reputation for coming to the rescue of any nomads attacked on the road. Unfortunately they also have been known to come into conflict with Hi-Way, more often than not with deadly results. No one is quite sure of the origins of the Storm Riders, but rumors abound. Stories range from them once being suburban teenagers to former Raffen-Shiv who grew disgusted with the indiscriminate killing and cowardice. What is for sure is that they are highly skilled road warriors, and when not actually moving down the road they are partying. They live every moment of their lives as if it were there last. The Storm riders are loosely affiliated with the Aldecaldo Nation, but have worked with every nation but the Thelas. They have no home territory, but simply go where the roads take them. Their leader is a mystery, nothing is known about him outside the tribe other than his name is Logan Slade.
THE FORGOTTEN were originally a group of orphans in Colorado. When the rock hit Colorado Springs the blast caused the orphanage caretaker to have a stroke. When the surrounding area was being evacuated, the orphanage somehow got over looked up in the mountains. All through the region power was out and fires were raging. If that wasn't bad enough, the sky was black from all the dust for miles and miles around. When the rock fell there were 32 children, the oldest was 16, the youngest was 2 months. Convinced they should stay and wait for help, the children dug in. The only thing they could reach were a few abandoned homes and a small grocery store. After two weeks, there was no rescue. They couldn't call out because the phones and everything else was dead, and they were running out of food for the infants. It was decided that the two oldest boys, 15 and 16, should try and reach help. They set out on foot in the darkness leaving the next oldest, a 15 year old girl and a 14 year old boy, in charge. Two hours after they left, the snow started falling, no rescue ever came, and the boys never returned. After 3 days of snowing without respite, it was decided it would be to dangerous to send anyone else out. It was a heart breaking decision, because the food for the babies was gone. Things didn't clear up enough for them to leave the orphanage for 8 months. All of the babies died within the first month, and they were not the only fatalities. Of the 32 children, only 18 survived. When the snow finally cleared and the sun began to shine again, they left the orphanage seeking help at last. It was not to be. Sara, the oldest girl led them down the road, where they were found by a group of half crazed survivors looting through the rubble. Sensing the danger Sara hid the others and approached the men. It was a mistake. The men, in a fit of insanity, attacked her, brutally raped her, and left her for dead. The 14 year old boy Theo, next eldest in line, retrieved her after the men moved on and carried her back to the orphanage. They had no way of knowing that the outside world was still moving on, all they saw was the wasteland. So they snuck round, scavenging for supplies and fortified the orphanage. It was 5 years until they were found, by Malachi Jode of all people, as they were traveling through the area. It was a bitter meeting, and the news that the world outside the area was fine was a hard pill to swallow. The Forgotten, as they were now being called, traveled with the Jodes for two years, relearning how to interact with people again. Then, after an argument with Jode, Sara pulled the rest of the forgotten together and they left, opting to return to Colorado. Now, at 27 Sara is still the oldest member of the tribe and leader, Theo is intensely loyal to her, as are all the original forgotten. None of them have forgiven Static society for their plight, and are hostile to any Statics who try to cross their territories. They have taken it upon themselves to rebuild Colorado with the help of Aldecaldo affiliated tribes in the area. Mostly they act as guides and escorts through the area. They have increased their numbers by taking unwanted or lost children (some even claim they steal children). They are officially Aldecaldo, and have a single delegate at the council, whose only concern is making sure supplies and salvage are brought back and forth from Colorado by the Aldecaldo's.
THE LOST SHEPHERDS are a large tribe based out of Texas, Nevada, and New Mexico. They are the largest camel and horse breeders in the United States. Their leader is an Egyptian who came across just before the mid-east meltdown named Hammid. His skill at tending and caring for camels and horses is the reason for the tribes success. Well, that and his tribes unrivaled skill as guides through the desert. Most of his tribe is made up of native Americans and Mexicans. They subcontract out scouts to anyone who needs them. They also have advisers on hand to help outfit vehicles and personnel for extended desert survival. The Lost Shepherds have a darker side as well, smuggling immigrants into the country and bringing them into the fold. They employ English teachers to help them blend in, and netrunners to build up fake identification and histories. They are not choosy, and will take anyone's money for this service, even slave traders and terrorists. They are also part of a large network of body smugglers, and if the Jodes find out about it there could be serious repercussions. Obviously they are allied with the Jodes, but have provided their services to every nation, even the Raffen-Shiv. They also work closely with elements of the Thelas nation in their body smuggling ring.
THE KINGSGUARD are a small splinter cell loosely aligned with the Folk Nation. Originally the Kingsguard was a touring renaissance company, traveling the country to the various Renaissance faires. When the collapse hit, interest in these faires died almost completely, and the disposable income to spend there died even faster. Many of these people had done nothing but follow the festivals for years. In the beginning things were rough, and most of the horses ended up as food, then the king of the troupe, a man who was only known by the name Arthur, formulated a plan for survival. They would start a new lifestyle, true to the one they had always dreamed of living. They would live by the code of chivalry, traveling the land as Knights, lords, ladies, squires, jesters, etc., with one small change. Instead of horses, they would use motorcycles. This novelty was original enough to attract crowds to their shows once again. Not large crowds, but enough to keep them fed. And so was born the Knights Errant. Under Arthurs vision, the Knights grew, as more and more people disillusioned with the trappings of modern life and looking for a better way were attracted to the lifestyle the Knights offered. Things went well for a time, then the unthinkable happened. During a show outside of Kansas City, the Raffen Shiv attacked. Since the beginning, the Knights had sworn off firearms (one of the few issues of contention among them) and they were woefully unprepared for the marauders that beset them. In a desperate attempt to move the fight away from the civilian spectators, and non combatants, Arthur chose 3 of his Knights, and ordered the rest to stay behind and evacuate as soon as it was clear. Arthur and his 3 knights then offered themselves as bait, leading the Raffen away from the area. The plan succeeded, but at a cost, neither Arthur nor his 3 Knights survived, slaughtered on the road. The remaining Knights, and the rest of the tribe changed their name to the Kingsguard, to honor Arthur and his knights who made the ultimate sacrifice. Today the Kingsgaurd has grown, with over 200 members. It is ruled by its own council, and the only time any one man has dominion over the tribe is during times of war. The War Chief is a position only won through yearly trial by combat, with the winners of every show being tallied to decide who gets to participate. As much as they can they try to live by the ways set forth by Arthur, and still refer to him as their king, refusing to accept another leader. The knights of the Kingsgaurd wear motorcycle armor, fashioned to resemble that of midievil armor. They make their own armor and weapons, and have a crew of mechanics who maintain their vehicles, especially the bikes. They have created their own society, based on the legends of the knights of old. They generally carry only melee weapons, however they have an arsenal of firearms now, and will never let the tragedy that took Arthur come to pass again. The shows they put on are an important part of their society, jousting and mock combat, with the winners of each show being given special honors and privileges, until the next show of course.
THE HORSEMEN Prosthetic bodies are rare enough in the nomad community, the Horsemen are all full conversions, In fact they are the only recorded family made up exclusively of highly customized full cyborgs. Although they are often associated with the Raffen-Shiv, the Horsemen claim no nation, and have worked both sides of the fence, as raiders and as escorts. They most often ride alone, and when they do hire on with a tribe, usually as outriders and escorts, they remain only for the duration of the run. Other than being extremely violent and mercenary in nature, not much is known about them. What is known is that the majority of them ride extremely modified motorcycles, boosted for speed with reinforced frames to support their weight. They also always travel with a truck that serves as a repair and maintenence station for both the riders and their bikes. Of course being full borg, they have little requirement for food, shelter or clothins, but they likely have one or two highly skilled techs in their small number. Borg bodies are generally not suitable for the nomad lifestyle, as lack of parts and skilled cybertechnicians can make life very difficult in the wastelands, but somehow the Horsemen plow on. Rumors fly in the nomad community that the Horsemen are ex-military, disillusioned vets probably from some special forces team that served in Africa or South America, or that they were once cops, or even excaped criminals who managed to undergo full conversion. Their numbers appear to be between 8 and fifteen members. The only thing anyone knows for sure is that they will hire on for a price, and that meeting them on the open road is usually a very bad omen.