The Free Market

Official Faction Name: The Free Market

Alternate Names: Hucksters, Inventors, Merchants, Tomb Raiders, Treasure Hunters, Wheeler-Dealers

Faction Philosophy: There is always a profit to make from the sale of valuables, and certain Travelers have made it their business to find artifacts in their original space-times and sell them in more profitable eras. This comes in two forms: removing items from a locale and selling them downtime as antiquities, and taking technology uptime in order to sell or “invent” it. The Free Market is where these thieves come together, a way for “liberators” to trade their relics without going through the hassle of finding downtime buyers, and for resellers to avoid the legal pitfalls of operating within OTL or Revisionist circles.

Base of Operations: The Free Market stays mobile to avoid the attentions of the larger factions, but usually stays uptime of most OTL/Revisionist operations to avoid being caught by timeline changes—Ice Age Africa is a popular locale, as is Europe in the Cretaceous.

Spheres of Influence/Operation: Free Market thieves and merchants appear all up- and downtime, as virtually anything is considered valuable somewhere. However, they are most often found in the peak civilizations in any timeline, whose artifacts and technologies would be valued both up and downtime.

Allies and Enemies: OTL and the Revisionists[ usually leave the Free Market alone as a necessary evil, as even the Big Two sometimes need to visit the Market. Certain relics are protected or forcibly retrieved, however, if their presence is necessary for a Tipping Point or its leadup. Hedonists, Messiahs, and Racketeers in particular frequent the Market, using their resources to maintain their complicated lifestyles. Unfortunately, the Free Market is a place where many Travelers meet, so is a common target for Span or Green Time attacks.

Faction Aspect: There are two types who associate with the Market, though the line between them can often be fuzzy: Relic Hunters and Merchants. Relic Hunters are thieves, and often adrenaline junkies. Their Faction Aspects are similar to “Freewheeling Tomb Raider” or “Curiosity Killed The Traveler.” Merchants are always looking for the next best deal. They take a Faction Aspect like “Wheeler-Dealer on the Lookout” or “You Can Always Trade Up.”

Faction Stunt: Choose one of the following (recommended for a Merchant):
  • Cache (Free-form: once per session, you may cash in a hidden stash of goods for +2 to one Resources check).
  • Con Man (Skill Replacement: use Deceit for Empathy to “read” another’s emotions).
  • Five-Minute Friends (Free-form stunt: for a fate point, you can make a steadfast friend in a place you’ve never been, given a chance for five minutes of conversation).
  • Funding (Free-form: You head an organization that is profitable—its effective Resources is equal to your Leadership -2. When you personally make use of these resources the GM may increase the time it takes to acquire something by one step).
  • Headquarters (Property Stunt).

OR

Choose one of the following (recommended for a Relic Hunter):
  • Cache (Free-form: once per session, you may cash in a hidden stash of goods for +2 to one Resources check).
  • Cool Hand (Unflappable: may ignore environmental penalties to fine manual work, such as lockpicking, surgery, or switching a golden idol head for a bag of sand).* Human Spider (Specialization: +2 to Athletics while climbing).
  • Mental Blueprint (Specialization: +2 to Security while casing a target location).
  • Tripwire Sensibilities (Skill Replacement: use Security for Alertness or Investigation to avoid a trap).

The Free Market

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