Sunday, November 17, 2013

321: Squire Maize

ENTRY 321: Squire Maize

“Water is mass, boy. Mass costs delta v. Mass costs money. You remember money, boy? Now that's why you want dehydrated food. Well lookie here what I got! An' if you want something to wash it down with..."
- Squire Maize, ramping up a pitch

"Dry" habitats have no local source of water, and so are required to carefully watch their local water economy and import new water at cost. Regulations for water conservation on such stations can range from the reasonable, like re-using grey water in hydroponics and limiting showers, to the laughable and terrible rules regarding rationing, mandatory water reclamation from corpses, a "water tax" for visiting morphs, etc. Perhaps most painful for the transhumans on the latter joyless stations are restrictions on the use of "water for entertainment purposes," which is usually understood to mean the creation of alcohol.

Squire Maize is an independent trader who works a circuit of mostly "dry" habitats, buying space on larger ships with his goods and then farcasting ahead to start dealing with the "natives." A good trip for him involves a profit, and he has a reputation among his customers for both thrift and skirting local regulations. In habitats with restrictions against distillation and wet making, for example, he tends to sell denatured alcohol as an industrial solvent - as well as a carbon wool "scrubber" which can act as a filter to remove the additive and provide drinkable alcohol. Well, most of the additive. Beggars can't be choosers. 


Morph: Infomorph
Skills: Academics: Chemistry 23, Academics: Economics 30, Art: Writing (Ad Copy) 25, Deception (Selling) 35, Infosec 26, Interests: Currency 24, Interests: Distilling 33, Interests: Great Merchants of History 45, Interfacing 27, Language: Native English 85, Language: German 75, Networking: Autonomists 25, Networking: Criminal 25, Networking: Hyperorps 23, Persuasion 28, Profession: Smuggler (Bootlegger) 25, Profession: Merchant 33
Traits: Social Stigma (AGI)

Using Squire Maize

While Eclipse Phase doesn't particularly focus on commerce, greed and desire are two of the main drives of transhumanity, and the people that feed those drives are often important. Squire Maize is a stock character: the traveling merchant who is always slightly shady and working on a new deal, with a rather straightforward motivation (profit). As a contact or occasional reoccurring NPC, Maize is the guy that can get what you need...or at least try to point you in the direction of the people that can get you what you need, as long as there's something in it for him. The Squire is refreshingly aware of his self-centeredness, and doesn't feel the need or desire to philosophize about it. Exactly what constitutes "a profit" varies, and clever PCs can convince Maize to uncommon deals or actions if they can explain it to his personal benefit.


  • Squire Maize has come to the habitat, and the authorities are watching him very closely. Fortunate, then, that Maize has hired the PCs to secretly act as his agents - while the authorities watch Maize and his perfectly above-board transactions, the PCs will take charge of the illicit cargo and carry out the transactions for a cut of the profit. It's the perfect long as nobody gets too greedy.
  • After selling some bad booze, Maize is in hiding from the irate customers he's poisoned. The PCs are asked to find him and exact restitution - and once the Squire realizes this is a negotiation, he's willing to make amends, as long as the PCs help him out on a side deal...
  • Squire Maize rings up the PCs and offers a piece of equipment they've been wanting at a steep discount. However, there is a catch which the Squire doesn't disclose until after they've agreed to the deal: the goods are currently in the impound with the rest of Maize's goods that customs seized for mandatory quarantine after he was found moving some questionable biologicals. It'll take a few weeks to iron things out, but Maize was hoping to be gone before then - if the PCs could just help him cut through the red tape (and a few locks), then they can have their goods and Maize will be moving on.

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