|Date of birth:||March 11, 2239|
de facto leader of the Horseshoe
- "I wonder how painful a tomahawk to the back of the skull would be? Do yo think you hear the crunch of steel meeting bone? Or your own bloodcurdling? But you're a big, tough, slaver! You've killed innocent women and children! You can handle it. I know you can...."
- ―Alfred Temple to a terrified slaver
Childhood (2239-2255)Temple was born on the outskirts of the slaver fortress of The Horseshoe on March 11, 2239. He was conceived when his mother was raped by the despotic ruler of The Horseshoe, “King” Cyrus Tombs, in a drunken haze. His parents were sharecroppers who escaped slavery because they had the caps and the minds to benefit Cyrus’s regime. His father, Thomas Temple, was a toxicologist who treated the slavers when they ran into venomous creatures; or if they needed a new toxin to coat their knives in. His mother, Harriet Temple, was an agricultural scientist who attempted to grow vegetables in the dead Ohioan soil, although if she did grow anything, it would just go to Cyrus or his men.
There was another member of Alfred’s family: a former sheriff named Jackson Temple. He rarely spoke to anyone, even his brother or sister-in-law, and lived mostly in the wretched ruins of Columbus. The slavers knew better than to bother him, as he did nothing all day but camp in a building with a sniper rifle. Secretly, Cyrus had tried to have him killed on multiple occasions, and Jackson was very aware of this.
Cyrus was no stranger to illegitimate children; and he dealt with them all the same way: violently killing them in a hail of bullets, and Temple was no different. On the night of February 2, 2248, Cyrus and six of his men approached the Temple homestead and knocked on the door. After meeting Thomas Temple at the door, Cyrus claimed he was just there to bring Alfred in for “radiation testing". After a few more minutes of questioning, Cyrus was becoming irritated, pulled out a pistol, and nonchalantly shot Thomas in the head.
Unbeknownst to them, Jackson Temple was in a nearby building observing the exchange. He reacted as soon as Cyrus reached for his pistol, but was too late to save his brother. However, he was able to shoot Cyrus in the shoulder, knocking him down. As he was down, Cyrus ordered his men to destroy the house, and they obliged. Oblivious to their compatriots dropping like flies, they fired at the house and set it aflame with their fire bombs.
By the time Jackson had killed all of the slavers, Cyrus had escaped and the Temple homestead was on fire. Thomas and Harriet were dead, but Alfred wasn’t - he was trapped under a bed. The eight-year-old was unconscious from smoke inhalation and had minor burns on his arms and legs. Jackson was able to free him, and fled the area as fast as he could.
Life on The Bank
After a day of traveling, Jackson and Alfred arrived in Sand Cow, a major trading city on the banks of the Ohio River. It was built by Mississippi traders and appeared as a vibrant southeastern-style settlement that stood out among the depressing ruins of the Midwest. It was a haven of mercenaries, smugglers, peddlers, thieves and thugs. With such a diverse population, it would be an easy place to hide.
Jackson took up a small time dock guard job to provide for the both of them, and at the same time, teaching Alfred basic weapons and survival skills.They lived like this for about two years before Jackson came across a man named John Carson , a well known mercenary who lived and worked in Sand Cow. He was renowned for his bizarre behavior and fighting style (using a bow in combat, wearing animal furs, praying to the "spirits"). This was mostly due to his belief that he was the last of the Shawnee Native American tribe, and also because of his love of Psycho . After Jackson found Carson, he felt that Alfred could learn from his "unique" skill set. Under Jackson's supervision, he taught the boy the way of the "Shawnee." This service would cost Jackson 600 caps a week, most of which would go to feed Carson's addiction.
Over a period of five years, Carson trained Alfred on many techniques, including: guerrilla warfare, stealth, melee combat, and akimbo (dual wielding) weapons training. Carson, being an unorthodox teacher, brought Temple along when he went into the mutated hills of southern Ohio. His daily routine consisted of them stalking deer in the morning, going back to Carson's tepee in the afternoon while he "walked with the spirits", and occasionally after a good day of training, they would practice guerrilla warfare by ambushing caravans of "evil spirits" that Carson said were transporting weapons to Cyrus's slavers (Alfred learned years later that the caravans were actually innocent merchants on their way to trade with local settlements).
Early Adulthood (2256-2268)
At the age of seventeen, Temple was ready to begin life on his own. This was further cemented when John Carson died of a Psycho overdose. At this point, he could support himself without help from Jackson; so he took up a job as a caravan guard. The job went on without any problems, (besides the stray radroach every now and then) and he was paid handsomely. With his new-found confidence, he took on an ever-increasing array of dangerous jobs, starting with security guard, working his way up to sheriff deputy, and finally resting on a job as a mercenary.
His first job was glorified tax collection for a dive bar. The town drunk had walked out without paying for his beer on multiple occasions, and the owner wanted it stopped and his money back; Temple easily tracked down the drunk in an alleyway. When he demanded the caps, the drunk pulled out a rusty 10mm pistol.Without hesitation, Temple threw his tomahawk (that had been given to him by Carson the last time they spoke) and hit the drunk in the head, killing him instantly. He then retrieved the caps and returned to the bar, where he received his payment. Upon hearing this, Jackson was both proud and frustrated. He was glad that Temple was able to sustain himself, but was disappointed of how he handled it, citing that such flashy displays of violence in public could reveal their location. After that incident, Temple used the tomahawk much less, and instead used an old snub nose revolver that he bought using his payment from the last job.The rest of Temple's early mercenary career was less exciting, consisting of the usual guarding, shake downs, and occasional drug trafficking.
On April 6, 2258, Temple went on a routine caravan job with a local merchant. The pay was good, and the route was straightforward. However, Cyrus had a vast spy network stretching from Cleveland to pre-War Kentucky, and he caught wind of Temple's activities. As soon as he learned of the Caravan job, he immediately dispatched guards to lie in wait for Temple. The group of about twenty men arrived at their destination about three hours ahead of Temple's caravan, and set up an ambush.
Alfred's caravan arrived at the slaver's ambush point the next day. When the slavers attacked, Temple was completely caught off-guard, and was shot in the shoulder almost immediately. Meanwhile, the other guards held their ground valiantly, but were overpowered. Temple himself was able to kill a few of the slavers, but he was surrounded. While he was distracted, one of his attackers snuck behind him and struck him on on the back of the head with a baseball bat, knocking him unconscious.
They carried him to a slaver safehouse about five miles from The Horseshoe. There, they waited for Cyrus to arrive to personally execute him, so they threw Temple in an abandoned cellar. However, due to the ineptitude of his personal guard to navigate the wilderness, Cyrus was delayed a day. At this point, the slavers at the safehouse decided that a one-eyed drifter with a concussion couldn't be a threat, so they decided to have a drinking party for their capture of Temple. By night, they were all either blacked out, or stone drunk.
Temple, while being heavily beaten, was somehow able to free himself, and while searching the cellar for a weapon, the only thing he found that could be lethal was a rusty pair of garden shears. The first slaver was asleep in a chair outside the cellar and Temple quickly dispatched him with the shears. The rest of the slavers were dotted in and around the main safehouse, and none of them were sober. Temple decided that he wanted to send Cyrus a message, so he spent the next half hour killing all 15 of the drunken slavers with the garden shears without a hindrance. His grand finale was pulling their bodies on top of one another and stabbing the man on top with the shears like a macabre Excalibur. Later, Cyrus was said to be enraged to the point of killing his guide and was quoted as saying "Really!? With goddamn gardening shears?!"
Hiring an Army
Before the kidnapping, Temple was more concerned with getting caps than dealing with Cyrus, but that changed when he was hit in the head with a bat. The slavers weren't very good at covering their tracks, so getting back on his caravan trail wasn't difficult, and by the next day, he was back in Sand Cow. There, he consulted Jackson about what to do next, and Jackson urged him to not to do anything rash. Temple disregarded this, and searched the bars and gun shops of Sand Cow for willing mercs to join his cause (for a hefty sum of caps).
Sand Cow being a central hub for trade in the area, Temple was able to find no shortage of interesting people to hire. By the next week, he had ten men to follow him, including a civilized super mutant named Fritz, who's fees were over 1,000 caps. Temple had roughly 5,000 caps himself, but he wasn't going to let debt stop him from killing Cyrus. He needed more men to match Cyrus's countless slaver drones. And over the next three weeks, Temple was able to recruit 20 more men for a whopping 10,000 caps. To reassure them, he promised them that once they had raided Cyrus's treasury, they would all be rich men.
By the time Temple's army was at its height, he had more than 30 mercs under his banner. It was hard to not spot the giant assembly of soldiers on the outskirts of Sand Cow. Cyrus garrisoned his forces, and divided them into two groups, one to attack the mercs on the outside of The Horseshoe's walls, and one to pick them apart when they entered the open field. Not believing that a group of hired guns lead by his bastard son could take his fortress, Cyrus told his troops that the upcoming battle would be won easily, and even got drunk to celebrate Temple's soon-to-be death.
The day before Temple set off, Jackson gave him his prized revolver that he had used since his days as a sheriff, and wished Al luck. Alfred asked him to come with him, but Jackson refused, saying that it was Al's battle, not his. Alfred and his mercs left Sand Cow on February 1, 2268 in no particular formation or order. Along the way, they were ambushed by Cyrus's men. Due to their superior equipment and training, the mercs were able to fend off the small bands and made it to The Horseshoe virtually unscathed.
The Siege of The 'Shoe
- "Goddamn it! How did you fuckers let them through? I will not be beaten by my bastard prick and his army of goddamn Brahmin fucking mercs! There's more of you than there is of them! Use that to your FUCKING advantage, you BRAIN-DEAD SHITHEADS!"
- ―Cyrus Tombs's final address to his men
- "Many of you here are only fighting for payment, however, some of you may like to know that today you will save people. Women. Children. People who will have a second chance at life because of your actions here today. And they will be forever grateful. Just as I am."
- ―Alfred Temple's pre-battle speech to the mercs.
On February 2, 2268, Temple's army was at the gates of The Horseshoe. However, before getting within a hundred feet of the front entrance, a large formation of slavers flanked them. Although caught off guard, the mercs were able to counterattack quickly, holding their own against the raiders. Temple ordered them to fall back into the ruins while Fritz covered them with his minigun. This move confused the slavers, and thinking that they had won, recklessly pursued the mercs into the ruins. This proved to be a bad idea, as Temple had set up an ambush of his own.
As the slavers ran into an abandoned cross section, two parallel buildings erupted in gunfire, cutting down most of their forces, and causing them to flee back to The Horseshoe. This gave the mercs another opportunity to thin their numbers, and by the time the slavers were back safely inside the fortress's walls, there were only 15 of them left.
During the skirmish, the mercs lost five men, but the slavers had lost much more. Temple took this time to honor the dead and inspire the living to fight harder. Meanwhile inside The 'Shoe, Cyrus addressed his troops over a loudspeaker, praising them as "Immortals beating back the unwashed barbarian savages from their golden utopia."
When Temple's forces entered through the entrance, sure enough they were attacked from all sides by the slavers. They were able to take cover behind the rubble of a collapsed row of seating, but they were pinned down. The mercs had one advantage in this situation, a missile launcher. Temple acted as a spotter for his missile trooper, and with him they were able to kill or suppress many of the slavers in their immediate area.
Now that his troops had some breathing room, Temple decided to focus his attention on Cyrus. He gave full command to a veteran merc named Cutter, and ventured toward a row of stands that lead up to the skybox. As he snuck across the first row, a sniper spotted him and began to fire. At the first volley, Temple was grazed in shoulder, again, but was able to find cover behind a pile of rubble.
However, the sniper made a vital mistake by firing that shot, because the rocket trooper saw the flash of the muzzle, and destroyed the sniper's position with his last missile. With that, Temple was able to advanced to the skybox. When he entered the "cocktail lounge," he encountered a few un-ordinary slavers with better equipment: Cyrus's personal guard.
He took cover behind a bar counter, and threw a flashbang. As they were blinded, he shot two of them, but the third one, a giant of a man, blindly charged the counter and tackled Temple. The guard beat and choked him until he was able to slash the man's leg with his tomahawk. Although Temple was bloodied by the attack, he was able to grab a whiskey bottle from the bar, and smashed it over the slaver's head. The dazed man slumped over a bar stool before Temple shot him in the head with his revolver to make sure he didn't get back up.
The Capture and Death of Cyrus Tombs
- "You wouldn't kill your own father would you?"
"Yes, but I imagine that your 'subjects' would like to have a word with you first."
- ―Cyrus and Alfred meeting for the first time in 24 years
At this point, both sides had sustained heavy casualties. The mercs had lost half of their men, although the 15 left were holding their position. The slavers also lost a sizable amount of men, but were getting overconfident and were much bolder in their attack. Then, one merc saw something in the stands: a slave was silently killing a slaver with a knife. Then he saw another on the opposite side of the stadium doing the same thing, until an entire squad had been overwhelmed by a mob of slaves.
This action rose the moral of the mercs and used it as a rallying call. The mercs split into two groups and made their ways into opposite sides of the stands. While the slavers were preoccupied by the impromptu slave coup, they began to fire on them while they had their backs turned.
Meanwhile, With all of the guards dead, Temple made his way to the upper skybox, known as "The Chamber." He went down a narrow corridor and was stunned when he found a gigantic metal door in front of him with "80" in bright yellow numbers at its center. However, to his surprise, it opened for him. It lead into a dimly lit room and the lights gradually flickered on. When the room was fully illuminated, the first thing he noticed were three naked slaves dead on the ground. The second thing he saw was Cyrus Tombs on his bed with a snide look on his face.
Temple ran at Cyrus and punched him in the face and then proceeded to choke him. As Temple rose Cyrus up by his neck, a smile came across his face. Suddenly, he slashed Temple across the face with a knife, blinding him. Freed, Cyrus ran toward the door, but Temple was able to shoot him in the leg with his uncle's revolver. Both Cyrus and Temple were laying on the floor of The Chamber bleeding.
Temple was the first to get up. He couldn't see out of his left eye, and his face was covered in blood. He approached Cyrus and kicked him in the face, knocking him out. Temple grabbed him by the ankle and dragged him out of the skybox and into the open stands.
At this point, the slaves' intervention had greatly tipped the scales in the mercs' favor. The remaining pockets of slaver resistance were surrounded by vicious mobs of slaves and tired mercenaries. Within minutes, all of the slavers had either died or surrendered. The 10 remaining mercs were tired, and simply executed all of the prisoners they had. Out of anger, the slaves did the same.
Over the PA system, Temple announced that Cyrus Tombs had been "detained" and that his trial was to begin soon. The large mob of former slaves rushed to Temple's platform. The mob bellow demanded that Cyrus be put to death, but Temple wanted to make sure that Cyrus was awake during his execution: he grabbed his knife and raked it across Cyrus's forehead, making Cyrus scream in pain.
He then stood him up and made him look at the piles of his men and the slaves he used to own, demanding his death. Temple then looked him in the eye, gave him a happy smile, and pushed him off the platform 30 feet to the crowd bellow. It took the slaves 30 minutes to be done with Cyrus. By the time they were done, there was literally nothing left, causing some suspicion that he had been eaten alive, but this was never investigated.
Ruler of The Horseshoe (2269-2271)
After overthrowing Cyrus, he was hailed a hero by the people in and around The Horseshoe for freeing them and purging the area of slavers. And after he had surgery to remove his left eye, he was ready to meet the needs of the people.
Some people were free for the first time in their lives, and frankly, did not know what to do with it: most decided to venture out into Columbus's ruins and settle. Others, however, were much more unstable due to lifetime of torture and abuse, and became near-mindless wretches known locally as "Withered". Temple tried to reincorporate these people back into society, but all attempts failed, and even angered them, causing them to become more deranged.
Soon after hearing of Temple's victory, Jackson traveled to The Horseshoe. After congratulating him on killing Cyrus, he took over as Alfred's defense adviser. He would fill that position even while Temple was gone and until his death.
However, a major problem rose when the mercs came to take their payment. Temple had promised them whatever caps were in Cyrus's treasury, but there was nothing there. Most likely Cyrus had plans to escape after the siege and hid all of his money in a secret place so that he could easily have started up again. With Cyrus and anyone that would know the location of the caps dead, paying the mercs would be a problem.
The most vocal dissenter and leader of the mercs, Cutter (Temple's impromptu second in command) had angrily demanded the the mercs receive their payment along with the money he had promised mercs that had died in the siege. Temple kept a close eye on him, although he didn't do anything serious, fearing his people might view him as a tyrant if he had Cutter killed.
Over the next year, The Horseshoe was free of revolts. The most pressing issues consisted of tax collection, homeless issues, border disputes between land owners, and many other menial governing responsibilities. Temple, however, was not the best leader, and this obviously lead to problems in the future.
It was in 2271 when there were signs of retaliation from the mercs. A grenade was detonated in a shanty town outside of The Horseshoe's walls, killing three. Temple knew that it was Cutter's doing because he constantly complained that Temple spent too many caps on helping the slaves settle Columbus's ruins, and not enough on repaying the mercs. In response, Temple set up a task force, headed by Jackson, to investigate Cutter and his men. However, their investigation failed, and in turn, weakened his control over the situation.
The Third Fall of The Horseshoe
Later that year, The 'Shoe was on the brink of anarchy. The remnants of the slavers had fled south, becoming bandits and highwaymen, crippling the flow of trade from Sand Cow, and with Temple's current problems inside The Horseshoe's walls, he couldn't do anything about them. Residents were becoming restless due to food shortages and lack of medical supplies, and Cutter's attempts at provoking them seemed to be working.
Attempting to bolster trade in The Horseshoe, he sent merchants north to the city of Detroit. When they returned, they informed him that not only were they not willing to trade, but they were actually another slaver settlement ruled by none other than Constantine Tombs, Cyrus's favored son (that's the definition of shit right there).
Eventually, the citizens of The Horseshoe were rioting in the streets, clashing with the few guards still loyal to Alfred. He knew that things were getting worse, and if he didn't leave soon, he would be dead. So in a last ditch effort to escape, he established the Ohio River Valley Exploratory Corp. They consisted of Alfred and six of his guards with the intent of "Exploring the vast wastes and extending the olive branch to any that would be willing to befriend The Horseshoe and its people".
They left abruptly under the cover of night, sneaking past more than a few rioters before exiting the city's walls. They were able to reach Sand Cow before sun up, and after buying needed supplies, pressed further south. The lands south of the Ohio River reminded him of the land north of it; pre-War ruins and ashen petrified forests.
Temple was a solitary person who was direct and blunt when speaking to people. However, he did have a softer side, and he generally cared for people that were good to him, or if they were in need. Despite his better qualities, he had a few personality flaws. He would do almost anything for caps, including arms and drug smuggling; but usually wouldn't kill people, unless they attacked him or made a living off of others suffering. Temple was also known for having a very dark sense of humor. Temple took the loss of close friends very hardly, usually by binge drinking which more often than not got him into trouble.
When it came to physical relationships, Temple was a little lackluster. He was sterile either by genetics, or by constantly being around radiation without protection. It was rumored that he had a physical relationship with a female slave that he met after the siege of The Horseshoe, but it was most likely cut short after he fled the city. Since then, he had not shown any interest in anything other than survival.
Temple had a passion for pre-War artifacts, much like his biological father. It was said that when he was in deep thought he either tinkered with an ancient record player, or if he got it working, listening to ancient records. Most of his collection was "inherited" from Cyrus after his death, and he continued expanding it until he left The Horseshoe.
At first he tended to refrain from using addictive substances, but as he became older, this trait slowly began to erode. His poisons of choice were whiskey and cigars.
Temple's most distinguishing feature was his eyes. One was covered by an eye-patch, and the other was cold and watchful. For a man with one eye, he could stare a hole into deathclaw. His hair was long and unkempt, and he had a year-round stubble that he would sometimes grow into a full beard. Due to his reliance on quickness in battle, he had an athletic frame, and was fairly tall at 6'2".
Temple's wardrobe was somewhat ragtag: he wore a modified version of the pre-war Ohio State Highway Patrol Uniform with all of the patches removed, and leather pads sewn on the shoulders. On his hands he wore leather fingerless biking gloves. He wore a tactical belt with a holster for his revolver and a metal ring to hold his tomahawk, and he wore black running shoes to keep agile.
Temple prefers to ambush his foes, rather than charge at them head on. For that purpose, he is well versed in the art of stealth. When undetected, he engaged his opponents in close quarters combat with his tomahawk or knife before using his firearms. He is known to hold his weapons akimbo, such as aiming his revolver in one hand while readying his tomahawk or knife in the other, or attacking quickly with a knife and delivering heavy blows with his tomahawk. When in desperate situations, he would use improvised weapons, such as kitchen knives, shovels, rocks, and even garden shears.
However, while he excelled while close to his foes, he rarely ever used hand to hand combat, as it would leave him too vulnerable to attack from other directions. And frankly, he wasn't very adept at it. Due to his fighting style, he never used heavy guns, large sniper rifles, or missile launchers. Although Temple was known to use grenades when cornered or needed a quick escape. One of Temple's most useful skills was his ability to attack enemies when they were most vulnerable or distracted, such as during an explosion or while blinded by a flashlight.
Jackson is a slightly modified MP412 REX Revolver with an extended barrel and speed reloader once used by his uncle. While more practical than his tomahawk, Temple was said to have enjoyed using the tomahawk in combat more.
Carson was a "VTAC" military-grade tomahawk given to him by his mentor, John Carson. It is by far his most prized possession, not because of who gave it to him, but because of it's lethality and style. Most of his enemies' last words were how ridiculous he is to use a tomahawk in the 23rd century.
- "A tomahawk? Really? He's using a tomahawk? He knows we have fucking guns now, right?"
- ―Cyrus Tombs upon hearing of Temple's current activities
- "Mister, if you don't put down the gun now, you'll wake up with more than a hangover."
- ―A young Alfred Temple aiming his tomahawk at a drunkard