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July 1, 2013
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S.T.A.L.K.E.R. faction - Merchants. by Kiborg-Graph S.T.A.L.K.E.R. faction - Merchants. by Kiborg-Graph
Despite me experiencing one hell of a panic attack today, which was followed by almost fainting from my heart acting up again from it, I made the next drawing for my "Summer Drawing Rampage 2013". And this time I returned to my original artistic roots, the initial idea of why am I called "GraphiteSTALKER" - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. fanart, of course! :la: It is a new idea for sort of a faction:


...It was a gloomy day at Cordon. The Loner rookie Petya and his somewhat more seasoned comrade, Vitya were both on guard by the old factory which they had just cleared from bandits. It was calm. And quiet. Suddenly, Vitya lifted up his HK MP5 and pointed it at a silhouette in the distance:
"Stand where you are! Identify yourself!"
But the rookie lightly lowered Vitya's weapon with his hand:
"Easy does it, Vitya - I know the person, he's just a Merchant!"
"How can you be so sure it is not a bandit?"
"Because most merchants have their Przevalsky horses with them! They help Merchants to carry all those goods they sell!"
"And...Why is he visiting us, then?"
Petya smiled:
"I ordered a warm Ushanka from The Big Land - the winter is coming, and I sure as Hell won't be spending it while freezing my ears off!"
Vitya wanted to say something, but the Merchant was already by the campfire. His horse was silently munching a pseudodog's tail, but Petya was too excited to notice it:
"Well, is my order here?"
"Indeed it is - one traditional Ushanka, 100% real rabbit fur. 500 roubles and it's all yours."
The rookie pulled the money out of his pocket, payed the amount and with a gleeful smile examined his new hat:
"Just look at this, Vitya - it is so warm and soft, just like a living rabbit!"
But Vitya was more interested about other goods of the trader:
"Say, - what else are you selling today?"
The Merchant frowned behind his respirator mask:
"There is a high-class satphone I was supposed to sell to one of the bandit leaders here, but the poor bastard seemed to have stepped into Vortex anomaly. Now my troubles looking for it are in vain, it seems."
The experienced loner sighed:
"M-yeah...Wait, can't you sell it to me?"
"Sure - the price is 2500 roubles. Pay up, and it's yours."
Vitya slapped his pockets - empty. Damn my luck, thought Vitya. Then suddenly, he opened his artifact container:
"Do you accept artifacts?"
"No, not usually, but what have you got?"
"A Flash and Crystal Thorn."
The Merchant thought for a while, then said:
"So be it - fork over the Flash, and here's your satphone, along with the charging equipment. It was nice doing business with you two - if you ever need something, you'll know who to call. Okay, Cauliflower - let's go, girl, we still have more clients today!"

These S.T.A.L.K.E.R.s are possibly the second most mysterious faction in the Zone after Mercenaries. Some say that Merchants are Zone agents of Traders, although no certain proof of Merchants being somehow linked with Traders exists. Merchants usually travel alone, or with their Przevalsky horses, which help with carrying the amount of goods. The only real enemy for Merchants is the Monolith, as the Military, the bandits and even the Mercenaries use the services of Merchants to get their hands on top quality equipment. However there is a considerable threat of mugging for Merchants, that's why Merchants are armed - with some of the top-shelf weaponry they themselves sell. Merchants accept the payment in money, less frequently in artifacts, as they don't see artifacts as a stable and trusty currency.
There is a rumor that one loner S.T.A.L.K.E.R. named Nimble might have had something to do with this faction, although he himself denies it.
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greenzaku Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2014
Of all your artwork I like this concept the most. It makes me wonder if multinational companies from the outside world might buy items from the zone by using a Merchant faction as a front, in order to conceal their branding from stalkers or those who are against the Zone.
Kiborg-Graph Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Could be, since Merchants are in friendly/neutral terms with pretty much everyone, except the zombies and Monolith, for obvious reasons. Merchants are believed to sometimes act as mailmen as well, since they know their ways around the Zone's borders. But this faction is mostly in demand for the merchandise they sell, not so much for their postal services.
Vasilis-Moustakis Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Nice one, and the storytelling adds up to the feeling.
Good work, Stalker.
Kiborg-Graph Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you! That's just the Merchant's job in the Zone, he can get you anything from chocolate bars to Gauss rifles, and beyond! :ninja:
Melkor13 Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Nice picture and a good story to go with it.
Kiborg-Graph Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you! This was the first time I drew a horse, and I did it with almost no reference whatsoever (a bit of a comic book drawing reference). But those Przevalsky horses look cute, I admit: [link] - what more reliable way for a Merchant to carry his merchandise? :D
Melkor13 Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
They are cute. So very small.
Kiborg-Graph Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
But, since most of the animals in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series are a bit on a "dangerous mutant" side, Cauliflower here is no exception (note the pseudodog's tail which the horse is munching on :o)
If you're interested in seeing more nature of the Exclusion Zone, here's a good site - available in English, Russian and Ukrainian: [link] :)
Melkor13 Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thanks, that looks interesting. I will enjoy reading that.
Kiborg-Graph Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Also, in case you haven't heard about it already, here's a more official site about Chernobyl and Pripyat: [link] - it offers news from the Exclusion Zone, Chernobyl anniversary-related events and even the daily reports of radiation levels in the Zone (it is possible to also check the levels of radioactivity in Kiev, Moscow, Vienna and even Detroit). :iconladanceplz:
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