"Everything's for sale. Remember that, and you'll go far," the caravan master said.
"I will," the boy replied. "I'll remember it always."
The caravan master sighed. "Everyone says that. They always say that. But I doubt you know what it means. What it really means. When you're ready to sell everything you own, risk everything you have, and come out of it with a smile because you know you're the one on top, then you'll know what I'm really talking about."
"Yes, master," the boy said respectfully. "Of course."
The caravan pulled over the top of the hill, the automated all-terrain trailers falling into line behind the caravan master's. A trail of dust billowed into the sky in their wake, off toward the horizon of the desert. Soon, another trail appeared before them.
"That's odd," the caravan master said with a frown. "There isn't supposed to be anyone in this part of the desert." He flipped a few switches on the dashboard, activating the automated weapon systems. He didn't know who these others were, but if they came to close they'd find out more than they cared to know about Ide vehicular weapon technology. In the desert, you couldn't be too careful. As it turned out, his wariness paid off. A line of Senpet Scarabs hovered toward him, no doubt refugees of the Fire Dragon bombing.
"Turn the weapons off," the boy said, drawing a small pistol and placing it to the side of the caravan master's head.
"What are you doing?" the caravan master said, his eyes wild.
"The Senpet need your vehicles to evacuate their city," the boy said. "Seems like they have a shortage of their own lately."
"How much did they pay you?" the caravan master replied.
"Enough," the boy said. "Now turn off the weapons and the engines."
"All right," the caravan master said bleakly. He reached for the controls, leaning low over the dashboard, then quickly leaned back and shot the boy with the pistol in his left hand.
The boy slumped over in his seat, and a moment later slumped in the desert sands. The caravan kept moving.
"Too bad," the caravan master said. "He was such a good student."
Family and school
The Ide Family are known throughout Rokugan as diplomats and peacemakers. Their travels in foreign lands has given them a unique perspective and understanding of the customs of other peoples. Unfortunately, there is a darker side to this unique understanding. The Ide have also been exposed to the various crime syndicates and secret mercantile organizations of the world, and in some cases have participated. These black market caravan masters have carved a place for themselves in the seamy underbelly of world trade as a cold and ruthless underworld force.
Note: The actual muscle and thuggery of the Ide Black Market is generally done by ronin or bushi trained in one of the traditional bushi schools. The following techniques are designed for use by the caravan masters themselves.
Benefits: +1 Perception
Beginning Honor: 1.5
Commerce, Gambling, Stealth, Investigation, Sincerity, Commerce, Law (for the purposes of knowing international trade laws and such and how to find loopholes in them)
Rank 1: By the Fortunes: The marketeer becomes quite adept at using lies and subterfuge to cover his tracks and manipulate others, especially the gullible and stupid. When using sincerity or commerce, the markeeter gains a number of free raises equal to the difference between his intelligence and the target. If the target has greater intelligence than the marketeer, then this technique has no effect. Also at this rank, the marketeer gains an "Underworld Contact." This contact is another marketeer or a high placed individual in some other merchant organization. In game terms, this is more or less the equivalent of a Major Ally, except that the contact can't be depended upon to help the marketeer when he gets into trouble, unless there is clearly something for him to gain by doing so. This contact is more valuable in gaining information through underworld syndicates, or as a contact for buying black market goods. Every rank the marketeer obtains will gain him another such Underworld Contact.
Rank 2: Eye of Night: The Marketeer has learned to hone his senses to a razor's edge, both to the purposes of judging the quality of goods and the greater good of keeping his own skin intact. He may add his rank to his perception on all rolls of commerce and attempts to detect ambush.
Rank 3: Words that Bite : The Marketeer at this rank finds himself increasingly skilled at manipulating words to his advantage. By spending a Void Point and winning an opposed Awareness + Sincerity roll he can convince an opponent any of the following: 1.) That the value of an object is what he claims it to be (still does not guarantee a sale) 2.) That the marketeer's intentions are honorable (useful for temporarily escaping a compromising situation) 3.) That the marketeer comes in peace, and should not be attacked (is immediately cancelled if the marketeer is carrying any sort of visibly offensive weapons.) These lies are usually rather thin; most individuals will believe them at first but quickly realize that they were taken in by the marketeer's con. (Generally a target will fall for the lie for a time equal to one hour minus their IntelligenceX10 in minutes, but it's up to the GM's discretion.)
Rank 4: Beyond the Veils : The marketeer at this point is so skilled at the weaving of lies that he is now immune to their power. Sincerity and magical enhancements that allow lies to be easily told now have no effect upon the marketeer. When a person attempts to lie to the marketeer, an opposed Investigation vs Sincerity roll will reveal one true fact per raise. (Special Note: This rank technique is Exactly the same as the Rank 4 technique of the Ide Emissary school, a fact that has not gone unnoticed by the black marketeer's more law abiding brethren.
Rank 5: Daikoku's Child: The black marketeer is so skilled at selling his wares and twisting the truth that doing so is almost effortless now. When making any opposed rolls of commerce or sincerity, the marketeer's target must use their lowest trait instead of the relevant trait. (Example: A Crab bushi has a 4 Willpower, but 2 Intelligence. When making an opposed Willpower roll with the marketeer, he rolls 2 dice instead of four.) Note: This technique does not function against magistrates or courtiers.
(All considered to be Fine Quality) Kimono, Jacket, Sunglasses, Knife, Any 1 Weapon usually something easily concealable), 8 Hyakurai, Vehicle (Large trucks or fast cars preferred)