Last night I completed and turned in my gift for Secret Santicore. My charge was to come up with something useful for a campaign set along the Silk Road, or a fantasy equivalent thereof.
I ended up doing some random tables for ideas/plot hooks involving merchants and merchant caravans, which you can find here. I'm confident that it will look prettier once Jez compiles everything for a pdf!
The tables generate merchant or caravan characteristics and some general goods -- along with a small percentage of 'fantastic elements' which are a mix of Arabian Nights, fairytale vibe, and a dash of Weird. Even though I knew the requester's campaign was fairly 'realistic' with just a few fantastic bits, I avoided any anchoring entries as best I could. I didn't want to generate a table that mentioned Sogdians, Persians, etc - that would be less useful for other folks. As I was writing, it was more important to me to put in there things that might not be easy to deduce on-the-fly - personalities, relationships, mini-plot-hooks.
If I get my Secret Santicore present separate from the compiled pdf, I'll post a link to that as well. Either way, once it comes out I'll post about why I asked for what I did.
UPDATE: Just saw the proof for my submission. This freebie compilation is going to be GORGEOUS.