- "Ok this is how it works dirt bag, you give me your caps, and I don't give you a new hole to breath out of...deal?"
- ―The "Traditional" Badlander welcome.
|Type of Government:||Loosely Knit Nomadic Tribes|
|Headquarters:||Scattered Across North American Continent|
|Numbers:||Unknown, varies from Pack to Pack|
|Founded by:||American Special Forces and Canadian Survivalists|
|Goals:||Survival, gathering wealth via mercenary work|
|Enemies:||Brotherhood of Steel, Caesar's Legion, Canadian Liberation Army, Great Khans, Stern's Raiders|
The Badlanders are a rather large tribe of raiders, nomads, and mercenaries hailing from the dry tundra wastes of post-War Canada, descended from U.S. special forces and Canadian survivalists, these self-styled wasteland warriors have recently spread into the radioactive hell that was the continental U.S.
They boast vast arsenals of both conventional weapons, along with the occasional pre-War weaponry (though the latter is often found with veteran Badlanders who saved up the caps to buy one, or murdered some poor soul and ripped it from his cold, dead hands). They are also experts in hand to hand combat. Badlanders are noted for their ability to scrap together effective weapons from the resources at hand, from the infamous Hand-Flamer to the curious Dynamite Slingshot.
The Badlanders seem to be capable of military-style tactics and fending off a force much larger than themselves. Each one is a well trained fighter and survivalist, and will not to break unless under the most extreme conditions. As a people they are often belligerent and hostile, but also value knowledge and history, and don't go looking for a fight unless it suits them. This not stopped them from being some of the most hated people from Canada to Mexico.
Overall the Badlanders are not your average bandits and to brand them as psychopathic cannibals and mindless killers (whilst this is sometimes accurate) is to underestimate them greatly.
Little is known of the Badlanders origin, though it can be assumed from various records and bits of data collected by the Brotherhood of Steel and the NCR that the Badlanders were formed from a group of survivors made up of and unknown U.S. Special Forces group and Canadian survivalist out in the frozen tundra. When the bombs fell these people were in safe zones, as wind patterns directed the fallout away from their positions and neither side would waste warheads on towns with populations that barely numbered over twenty. Regardless they were still trying to survive in some of the most hostile environments known to Pre-War humanity and the fact that these people would survive is nothing short of a miracle.
Rise of the Badlanders
These survivors took up the mantle of Badlanders, the unofficial nickname of the Special Forces unit that led the people that made up the tribe in its earliest years. (this was do to various battles they had taken part of in the Gobi Desert during the War) and soon began striking out against other groups further south, wiping them out or making allies where it was necessary. It is said that to this day the Badlanders have bases in Alaska and Canada that have stood for hundreds of years, bastions for the tribe in harsher times. From these areas the Badlanders slowly expanded, though they became mostly nomadic, following herds of game and various routs in small caravans and raiding parties. However, each group or as they are known in the Badlanders "Packs" would maintain contact with one another by any means necessary. They developed vast, if not spotty and sporadic, communication network, mostly using pre-War military radios and by aggressively taking command of various radio stations wherever they roamed. (thus most Badlanders bases can be found in old radio stations, and they will defend these bases to the death) Eventually the Badlander packs made their way down to the lower 48, hearing tell of populated villages and wars that they could exploit.
First Contact: NCR
It is unknown exactly when the Badlanders and the NCR made first contact, but the location is clear. It was at a small trading post owned by the Crimson Caravan company located at the northern border. The Badlanders were said to have been first spotted by some local farmers near the surrounding area, they told tales of strange warriors brandishing assault rifles and wearing strange masks, most atop motorcycles. Unbeknownst to the NCR forces in the area, this was just a scouting force. A week later, a whole pack of Badlanders, men, women, and children, made their way to the gates of the trading post.
They were armed and this alarmed the traders greatly but they were assured by the seasoned NCR soldiers assigned to the post that tribal warbands don't come into a battle with women and children, their very presence indicated that the Badlanders wanted peace. After a rather shaky introduction, and the discovery that the tribals spoke English perfectly, trading quickly commenced. The Badlanders traded various animal skins and meat for guns and ammo, and some of the packs warriors wasted no time in asking if the local NCR forces needed any dangerous animals or tribes dealt with.
This was the start of a fairly profitable relationship with the NCR and the Badlanders, though as the NCR grew it would become a frowned upon act to hire Badlanders mercenaries. Due to the reputation the tribe gained as cannibals and raiders, the Badlanders as a whole are still on good terms with the NCR. The Twin Pines Pack played a pivotal role in the Oregon Brush Wars and still occasionally works for the NCR.
The Badlanders first encountered Caesar's Legion when a pack attempted to go further south into the Midwest, hearing that the region was ripe with poorly defended tribes and that mercenary work was plentiful. However the pack delved deep into Legion territory, in what was Arizona. The pack was eventually slaughtered by a Legion raiding party, according to the Legions records of the incident it was quite a fight. The pack in question managed to send a distress call detailing the attackers, and once it was discovered that these "Bulls" had wiped out a pack the Badlanders response was swift and brutal. Badlander scouts tracked down that very same raiding party and whilst the Legionaries slept a force of no less than forty Badlanders ambushed the camp, killing, skinning and eating the flesh of every single Legionary. When Legion scouts returned to their camp all they found of their former comrades was a flag of human skin, made up from the hides of the Legionaries.
From that day onward the Badlanders have been sworn foes of Caesar's Legion and have gone out of their way to disrupt any and all Legion activities. From raiding villages to attacking caravans, even going so far as to assault Legion slaver camps, the Badlanders became quite the pest for Caesar.
This came to a head in 2279, when the Legion, led by Legate Lanius on his way back from Colorado, discovered the Arizona Pack's base and killed all of them, down to every man, woman, and child. Their Pack Standard was paraded around Flagstaff in victory and was placed in a seat of honor for all to see Caesar's victory. Now, the Badlander packs all have a deep seething hatred for Caesar's Legion.
The Badlander D.C. Pack was the first to send news of the Brotherhood of Steel. Though the two groups would not actually have any direct contact with each other until 2275, tensions were mounting from the first rumors of power armored warriors, as the Badlanders wanted dearly to get their hands on the Brotherhood's considerable arsenal. It would all come to a head when a the D.C. Pack attempted to raid village known as Park Springs that was under Brotherhood protection. The ensuing battle showed that the Brotherhood had seriously underestimated the Badlanders, of the ten Paladins that defended the village, only three would escape with their lives. Park Springs was ransacked and much of its population was kidnapped an sold into slavery for guns, ammo, and notably a Fat Man mini-nuke launcher. Since that fateful day, the D.C. Pack was hunted by the Brotherhood of Steel in the area with the Brotherhoods signature zeal. But the D.C. Pack was an elusive beast and though they suffered many defeats at the hands of the Brotherhood they always came back tougher and more determined than last time.
When Elder Lyons and his daughter Sarah died, the D.C. Pack tried to take advantage of this, attacking targets closer and closer to the Citadel. That was until Elder Arthur Maxson rose to power. Maxson had no tolerance for these "tribals" and after the Brotherhood united with the Outcasts, they went in the offensive against the Badlanders. Burndog, the D.C. Pack's leader, was completely taken aback by this and in response tried to go for one big attack on the Brotherhood's base at Fort Independence. This ended in disaster and the Pack was shattered. With only their Pack Standard and a few men left, the D.C. Pack fragmented, with some members retreating from the Capital Wasteland while others stayed to become raiders and were subsequently killed off by the Brotherhood.
Whilst often disregarded as savages and mindless man eaters, the Badlanders have a great understanding of conventional weapons technology and much of their gear appears well cared for. This is probably due to each Badlanders military style upbringing, as each are trained how to load, shoot, and maintain a firearm before they can say their first words. Thus, conventional firearms such as assault rifles are common place. However melee weapons, particularly the heavy use of Rippers and similar weapons shows that the Badlanders pay (or force) more skilled individuals to make these weapons, or as NCR intelligence suggests, are actually capable of pulling together weapons from the resources at hand. Such engineering ability is surprising to say the least and must stem from these tribes insatiable (if not selective) thirst for knowledge which has led them to study the engineering of these weapons in earnest. This combined with the Badlanders communications network means that over time the whole tribe learned how to construct such weapons. Some Badlanders weaponry is crafted from scratch, examples include one-handed flamethrowers, ballistic knives, dynamite slingshots, and other weapons that are rather unique to the Badlanders. (though if records of Badlanders in combat are true, bare hands, rocks, or a rusty tire iron will suffice if nothing else is available)
Badlander packs often have some form of motorcycle, and though they look like ramshackle affairs, are actually quite efficient. Badlanders often find themselves locked in battles for the already scarce fuel for these vehicles, but they are indispensable, as they are the Badlanders biggest edge in combat and also allow them to scout out areas with greater speed than most factions. These aging bikes are often cared for with almost religious zeal and only the tribes most elite warriors are entrusted to pilot them. Most Badlander Bikers are armed with ceremonial Hunting Spears, which are made of melted down scrap metal and intended to be thrown or used as a melee weapon, and coveted Laser pistols, due the weapons' accuracy.
Badlanders are rarely welcoming to outsiders, often robbing lone strangers on sight, however they rarely go looking for a fight and a well armed individual is often given a minimal amount of respect. Badlanders rarely fight other well armed or organised groups, often preferring to prey on rival gangs and small villages. But should their people come under attack they will fight with a dogged tenacity that has earned them the respect of even their foes. They will stare down Brotherhood of Steel Knights and take one scores of Legionaries until their dying breath. However this is only if no other alternative is available, and they will often attack to "make a point" and leave before any further retribution can come to them. Badlanders rarely negotiate with factions weaker than themselves and will simply take over a town for a day, killing, looting and kidnapping anything that catches their fancy. However, some more benevolent packs have been known to enter into agreements with small villages, acting as defenders in return for supplies.
When war comes to a pack, they set out to totally devastate their foes' morale and will to fight, killing any who dare gather under the enemies banner. This has been made clear in the gruesome results of Badlanders raids on Legion towns and the butchered remains of enemy tribes and gangs. They show no restraint and will go to the furthest lengths to "prove a point". This has made them almost universally hated by almost everyone in the North American Wasteland, giving some to nickname them "Post-War Gypsies". Whether this is an insult to gypsies is up for debate.
Though many packs are often spread far and wide and rarely return to the main base or hide out in their area, they all share a similar culture in terms of traditions and customs due to the vast communications network they have set up over the years. Broadly speaking, Badlanders are ruthless warriors that will do anything to survive and think only of themselves and their kinsmen, anything else is secondary. They have no qualms about slaughtering whole villages for caps and will even butcher innocent civilians if the pay is good enough. However, some packs hold to the moral high ground, though these groups are far and few between.
Badlanders, from the day they pass the Hunters Rite to the day they are burned on a funeral pyre, all wear masks. This cultural aspect goes back to their days as survivors of the nuclear holocaust, when their ancestors constructed masks to defend against the violent blizzards and stinging gusts of the Canadian tundra. Later these masks developed a deep quasi-religious meaning to the Badlanders, as they believe it is the very essence of ones soul locked away in the mask. Thus masks are customized by each Badlander in order to make his or her mask fit their inner person, and may be subject to various alterations through the years. If a Badlander is a remarkable shot, he may place a cross hair on his mask to symbolize his skill, if a Badlander has a fiery personality, he will place flames on his mask. Masks are almost never removed because of the taboo that surrounds such an act, as the Badlanders believe that should they die with their faces bared, their soul will be snatched up by demons. Only in the company of close friends, immediate family, or a loved one, do Badlanders ever remove their masks and even then for a very short time. Each mask is handmade, often from materials of the Badlanders choosing, this further customizes it for the users personality. At the Badlanders death, it is burned, as the Badlanders believe that the smoke will guide and defend the Badlanders soul as it ascends into the heavens to the place of their ancestors.
Though some, less superstitious packs, may not believe in the spiritual need of wearing a mask, they still do so more out of thoroughly ingrained tradition or to simply make themselves easily identifiable as Badlanders.
The Badlanders have plied their ancestral survivalist skills and weapons expertise for hundreds of years to the highest bidder, and it has become part of the very fabric to the Badlanders as a people. This is often seen in every Badlanders surprising level of business savvy, and their willingness to make a deal with almost any stranger or faction they can't rob or destroy. Badlanders contracts are often short term and on an individual or group basis, with warriors of a Pack taking up jobs for outsiders. Such contracts are often completed within a few days or even hours of their signing, and the Badlanders in question tend to vanish back into the wastes to rejoin their Pack once payment is made. However, large scale contracts are only agreed on by the Pack leader himself, and often involve nearly all the warriors of the Pack. Such contracts are usually long term as their nature reflects the patron faction or individuals current embroilment in a considerably large conflict. Only Badlanders who have been banished or have left their Pack of their own volition end up in life long contracts, often as personal hit-men of crimelords or bodyguards. Such individuals are infamously deadly, and in the wastelands, Badlanders willing to serve for an extended time are considered very valuable assets.
To any Pack of Badlanders, their contract is their bond, and it is considered a mark of shame (as well as bad for business) if a contract is not fulfilled within its parameters. Badlanders will often carry out their contract even if their hiring party is rendered dead or incapable of paying, simply holding the clients next of kin or allies to pay the debt at a later time. This is why lone Badlanders are is such high demand, for their loyalty to their contract (and by proxy, their client) is iron clad, unlike other, more unsavory types of guns for hire. Should a client double cross a Badlander, he cannot expect to live long such is the wrath he will have brought down upon himself. And, given the relentless natures of the Badlanders, no betrayal is ever forgotten, or forgiven.
Every Pack, from the most infamous to the most secretive, has a symbol that identifies them amongst their fellow kin for those rare occasions when Packs come together to their regional Base or come across one another in the wasteland. The Pack Standard is often flown from a flag, made from either the materials at hand or even the skin of fallen enemies, and is entrusted to the Pack's greatest warrior to bear into battle. The Pack Standard is handled with almost religious reverence, and to lose it is to incur great shame upon oneself and the Pack. Such and individual is seen as even lower than the Untouchables, and is banished from not just their own Pack, but the Tribe as a whole. They are branded with the marks of shame, which is a series of defacing scars wrought upon their bodies and masks, and cast into the wastes, never to return. That is, unless they can locate the Standard, in which case they will be offered the chance to once again run with the Pack. But for many Badlanders, the stain of such shame is impossible to truly atone for, even if they return the banner, and thus prefer to die alone in the wastes. Each hopes that at the very least, they die a warriors death, and leave some mark that will survive their shame for all eternity. Should any foe be so bold or foolish to steal a Standard, they will be relentlessly hunted not just by the shamed individual who lost it (if they survived its theft) but some of the finest of the Packs bikers, hungry for revenge and glory. If a Pack is destroyed, it is the duty of the nearest Pack in the region to retrieve the Standard and bring it to the Packs' mysterious leader Three Tears in the tundras of Canada, where it can be laid to rest.
While the Badlanders are not consumed by the mysticism that tends to consume most tribal bands, they are known to be extremely superstitious, often concerned with luck and even the wills of malevolent entities such as demons and ghosts. Though the average Badlander would wave off prophecies, and certainly see through most of the odd wasteland cults that crop up in isolated communities, they do hold a certain belief in the fates. Badlanders generally hold that luck is gained through pleasing the ancestors and the whims of beings whose powers border on the supernatural. While no Pack to date has ever named a certain spirit or demon, they hold that pacts with such beings can make an individual powerful, but in the case of malignant entities, it is often at great cost. Pacts are often entered into via obscure blood rituals known only to the local Packs shaman or spiritual adviser. These individuals are often the lore-keepers of a Pack, and in addition to knowing and recording much of the Packs history, are trained at the local Base in various arcane arts. Whether this is all tribal hokum, or if there is some form of power being brokered in these rituals, none can say for certain, but it is certain that the Badlanders do not take such pacts lightly. At their most civilized, Packs are still highly superstitious when it comes to the concept of luck, and will often carry a lucky totem or attempt small rituals to ensure their continued streak of good luck or to ward off particularly bad twists of fate.
Those constantly mired by what seems like a constant torrent of poor luck are often banished under the pretense that their 'curse' may endanger others. And are often doomed to walk the wastes as lone mercenaries whose skills are foreshadowed by impending calamity. These 'Untouchables' often become obsessed with the prospect of gaining good fortune, making hundreds of pacts with supposed demons and spirits, even invoking the will of the ancestors in their desperate gambles to return as heroes to their Pack.
The Hunters Rite is a brutal ceremony all Badlanders undergo when they reach their thirteenth birthday. The specifics of the Rite vary from pack to pack, but one fact of the Rite has stayed consistent, it involves the hunting, killing and the consumption of some creature of the wastes. Deathclaws are often the target of these Rites, but some packs have been known to target Super Mutants, Cazadores, Night Stalkers, and invariably, human beings. Hunters Rites that target humans often pick ones from certain groups, such as the Legionaries of Caesar's Legion (which have become favored targets over the years) or even specific individuals. If a "youngling" succeeds in his or her Rite and returns with a trophy from the target's corpse (which is often the centerpiece of the younglings new mask) they are officially members of the tribe and can now go on raids, work as mercenaries, and marry. However, should a youngling fail, they are totally forgotten and not even mourned, and to even mention them is to earn banishment. Mothers of failed younglings will often wander out into the wastes to die in mourning. Often the Hunters Rite is undergone alone, but siblings who are at least a year apart in age are allowed to undergo this ordeal together.
While the consumption of human flesh is not always considered a good thing within the Badlanders, it is often a fact of life for these die hard survivalists. Badlanders will consume anything if it means they can survive another day. (They don't necessarily need to be starving either). It is also a key part of their warrior traditions, as warriors of the Badlanders often consume their fallen foes as part of some primitive ritual, in which they believe one is made stronger by partaking in the flesh of a worthy opponent. Thus, raids on villages are not only a chance to loot and pillage, but also a chance to build up the packs food stores. However, few packs actively consume human flesh without it being a necessity or religious need, and those who do are often regarded with some suspicion by their fellow Badlanders if not abject hatred by the local population. And the killing of women and children for food is frowned upon by most packs, nevertheless, tales of some packs practicing in the indiscriminate slaughter and consumption of innocent people are far from unheard of.
Badlanders are often allowed to name themselves after the Hunters Rite, until then they are referred to as "Child" or "Youngling" but most are known by their fellow children by various colorful nicknames, such as Freak, Knife, or Red Thumb, this often becomes the younglings official name after they complete the Rite but cases of individuals picking names out of the blue are also documented.
Chems are often used in abundance within the various Badlanders packs, but are seldom abused as seen with other, less wary tribes. However, Psycho and Buffout abuse has been on the rise as many warriors of the Badlanders use it to prepare themselves for the tribes famous berserk charges, and have become irreparably addicted, turning them into "Mad Dogs" who are now used by the Badlanders as deadly shock troops in times of war or if a village needs to be purged of all life. Mad Dogs have devolved to an almost animalistic level and they can only barely tell their fellow Badlanders apart midst the carnage of battle and as such are given a wide birth.
Badlanders are a superstitious lot, and they have a difficult time telling machines apart from demons or monsters. It hasn't helped that most robots encountered in the wasteland are haywire killing machines. Thus, most packs destroy or avoid robots at all costs. Though a few packs, namely the Rio Grande, Death Valley and all packs in the Alaska area, understand that there is nothing supernatural to these automated systems, they are still extremely uneasy around such constructs. Only one pack was ever known to adopt the use of robots and that was the fabled Nome Pack in Alaska, who had stumbled across a facility full of inactive Robo-Brains and, after brutally interrogating several Enclave scientists, managed to turn the machines into a group loyal to the Badlanders. These "Bad Brains" are often seen alongside warriors of the Nome Pack, (albeit in sparse numbers) who have become less superstitious when it comes to automatons. (though they packs place explosive collars on the Bad Brains just to be safe)
Bases within the Badlanders are sacred bastions where the packs of a region can come together for ceremonies and to wait out the wrath of powerful factions. These fortified bunkers are often far off the beaten path and the routes to them are often rife with traps and natural barriers. Bases are often guarded by a pack that has been viewed by its fellows as worthy of the defense of these sacred places and will do so to the last man, woman, and child. Bases are places of learning as well as sanctuaries and have vast libraries that hold the collective history of all packs in the area. They are also arsenals, often holding some of the best weaponry the packs of a region have to offer. Base packs differ from their nomadic kin in that they have learned to live off the land without migrating with game or trading with outsiders, and as such are completely self sufficient. Bases are surprisingly well fortified and any attempt at capturing or raiding one is going to be a costly affair, even for large and well armed groups such as the Brotherhood of Steel and Caesar's Legion, as seen in D.C. and Arizona.
The Badlander Packs are many and widespread, from Alaska and Canada to New Mexico, and California to New Hampshire, the Badlanders can be found all over the wasteland. Packs are often named for the region they frequent, mostly for simplicity and due to the Badlanders having old pre-war military maps at their disposal. Some Packs that do not frequent a region usually take up their own unique name but this is rare. Should a pack be wiped out, another pack of Badlanders eventually fills the void and takes up the name of their fallen kin.
Fabled by the rest of the Badlanders as the "Father Pack" and that only the most deadly of the tribe survive in this legendary pack. The Alaska Pack are by far the most deadly, hardened, and ruthless of the Badlanders. They were the first pack, and all Packs can trace their origin from them in one way or another. Often clad in their white furs and bearing masks made of pure whale bone, the Alaska Pack look like ancient Inuit warriors or Viking raiders. This is supplemented by their use of canoes and harpoons. However, their military style tactics and possession of vast quantities of modern weaponry make them deadly to all, be they heavily armed settlers or tribals. The Alaska Pack only deal as mercenaries to vast settlements and powerful groups who they cannot destroy. And considering the Alaska Pack's ferocity and size, they are more raider than mercenary. They are most commonly seen around Anchorage and Vancouver, large urban centers, but they have been sighted as far south as Washington.
The D.C. Pack was of a more militaristic bend than most packs, they are very well organised and ruthless beyond measure. They had had few if any peaceful interactions with any people of the Capital Wasteland (save for the slavers of Paradise Falls). In spite of their aggressive behavior and large arsenal, the D.C. Pack had a long string of "bad luck" over the years and has only begun to prosper under the leadership of the warrior known as Burndog in the 2270s. Blunders such as the Assault on GNR and the Siege of Tenpenny Tower were still fresh in the D.C. Pack's mind, and they became much more weary about attacking large targets during Burndog's rule. They were also known to prefer the use of explosives. This led to considerable sabotage to the local Brotherhood of Steel chapter, and its attempts to make the Capital Wasteland a safer place to live.
The D.C. Pack's dealings with the Brotherhood of Steel eventually led to its doom at the Battle of Fort Independence. The Brotherhood of Steel, under the strong leadership of Arthur Maxson, smashed the Badlanders and killed Burndog. The remnants of the Pack split apart, with some leaving the Capital Wasteland to return their Pack Standard while others became simple raiders and were later killed by the Brotherhood.
A unique Pack in that they are not openly considered Badlanders by their former kin, the Hellhounds are the elite hit-men of the Los Muertos. Started by the Untouchable known as Dingo, the Hellhounds are a pack made up of exiles and loners who have left their Packs and even banished from the tribe. These cutthroats and killers are extreme and sadistic even by the standards of even the most savage Pack, and are loyal to only two individuals in all the wasteland, their founder, Dingo, and their employer, Zeek, Vice Lord of La Mugre. The Hellhounds are a crude and fearsome lot, even as they dress in suits and bullet proof vests, they hold true to some of the most brutal tactics of combat and torture known in the wasteland. Each one of them has left a trail of bodies in their wake to get to where they are now, and kill without compunction or remorse. As is their only true tradition, every Hellhound wears a simple black bandanna as their mask, as a symbol of their solidarity and position as one of the most lethal gunmen in all of Idaho.
The Mojave Pack, along with the Colorado and Death Valley Pack, have become the NCR's go to gunhands for terrorist attacks and intimidation or elimination of troublesome tribes. Recently the Mojave Pack has had various dealings with the NCR, most of which are terror strikes against Caesar's Legion and missions to clear out deadly wild life. This pack specializes in stealth and ambushes and thus are ideal assassins. Many officers of Caesar's Legion has met his death at the business end of a Mojave Badlanders' Ripper.
Unfortunately for the Mojave Pack, their dealing with the NCR brought them ruin when Legate Lanius came to Mojave. Fresh from killing the Colorado and Arizona Packs and knowing what "mischief" Badlanders could cause, Lanius commanded several centurias to hunt down the Mojave Pack and kill them. That, combined with help from the Great Khans and possibly Mr. House, broke the Mojave Pack and in early 2281 they left the Mojave, intending to join another pack further north.
The Arizona Pack was legendary among the Badlanders, having lived right under the Legion's nose for years and winning "spectacular victories" against Caesar. The Arizona Pack existed for well over forty years "Under the Bull" and survived. Its success was hard won and bled for daily, since the Legion did not rest until this tribe of "savages" was found and exterminated with extreme prejudice. The Arizona Pack survived by becoming unrivaled guerrilla fighters and ruthless terrorists. They were specialists at kidnapping, blackmail, and mass murder and were famed as bitter and cruel, as well as some of the best melee fighters in the wasteland. A single warrior of the Arizona Pack was said to have set the tribe record for most Legionaries killed in hand to hand combat at 150. Veteran Warriors of this pack are often known to hire themselves out as "Specialists" often receiving jobs from other factions through a Badlander middle man, these experienced killers rarely fail, and can survive for years in hostile territory.
The Arizona Pack's story came to a close in 2279 when Legate Lanius, fresh from the campaign in Colorado, came to Arizona and went to business. Quickly discovering their base, Lanius led the attack and ordered the entire pack to be destroyed down to the last child. This was carried out. Knowing the significance of Pack Standards, Lanius had the Arizona Pack's paraded around Flagstaff and put for all to see that the Badlanders had been defeated.
The Louisiana Pack is a reclusive branch of the Badlanders, members of this pack are known as quite and rather introverted individuals, they are also known as some of the most cold-blooded killers this side of the Mississippi. Members of the Louisiana Pack are regarded with some unease by their fellow Badlanders due to the reputation this pack has garnered after years of hunting and stalking through the bayous and swamps of post-War Louisiana. This pack, in addition to being remarkable trackers and hunters of both man and beast, are casual cannibals. As such they not only kill other human beings for profit, but for sport and sustenance. Swampers are favored quarry, as their innate knowledge of the bayous makes them challenging if not dimwitted prey. They are also famed for their amazing ability to improvise, where a Badlander of any other pack may find a weapon beyond repair, a Louisianan Badlander could fix the problem with some turpentine, a bobby pin, and some duct tape. This skill also comes into play during the hunt, as members of this pack have been known to kill just as efficiently with a belt or bare hands as they can with a magnum or assault rifle. The Louisiana Pack is relatively well liked by the people of their region for their hunting of Swampers and Water Tribals. Their slaying of Matthias Dugan, which saved the Big Easy way back when, is also remembered fondly.
Twin Pines Pack
Native to the northern Oregon forests and the very first Pack of Badlanders ever encountered by the NCR, the Twin Pines Pack are one of the oldest allies of the NCR Military. The Twin Pines Pack even take their name from the small homestead and trading fort that they first met the forces of the NCR at. Twin Pines Badlanders are the foundation of many NCR stereotypes about the tribe as a whole, and to this day any NCR citizen or soldier who has not had personal experience with any other pack will generally believe that the Badlanders are stoic, cold blooded warriors who ride motorcycles and cannibalize their fallen enemies. The Twin Pines Pack has prospered due to a continuous stream of mercenary work from the NCR, usually dealing with other Oregon tribes and wild animals such as during the Oregon Brushfire Wars. Though recent NCR policy towards the use of cannibalistic mercenaries is not in the Twin Pines' favor, it has yet to stop NCR brass in the area from hiring them to deal with threats that their troops are ill trained and equipped for.
Rio Grande Pack
The Rio Grande Pack are noted as some of the best equipped and funded Packs in the Badlanders. This is more due to their chosen location than anything else. The Rio Grande Pack, when not raiding various villages on either side of the US-Mexico border, make their fortunes acting as mercenaries in the infamous Corpse Coast. Noted as surprisingly civilized and trained, the Rio Grande Pack favor themselves as progressives in the otherwise superstitious and traditional ranks of the Badlanders. They stay true to the basic tenets of Badlander culture, such as masks and the Hunters Rite, but eschew much of their tribal roots, holding cannibalism as barbaric and treating advanced technology with logic rather than superstition. The Rio Grande Pack are known to strike with military style precision and maintain strict disciple among their warriors. This has made the pack ideal mercenaries, and they have been known to take jobs from the other warring factions of the Corpse Coast and operate in their own interests with signature Badlander ruthlessness and skill.
The Pack also ranges into Tamaulipas, Mexico and takes jobs there, but more infrequently than with the Corpse. Usually it is to protect cattle or eliminate rivals, as no one has hired the Rio Grande Pack in a Mexican war yet.
Founded and led by the descendants of the infamous Badlander Skintaker, the Skintaker Pack have marauded the wastelands of the Great Plains for as long as anyone can remember, and have become the unfortunate stereotype by which the whole tribe is measured by so great are the Skintakers infamy. The Skintakers are the most feared and savage pack the large tribe has to offer, and are noted to be so fearsome that even hardened Legionaries of Caesar's Legion will hesitate taking them on without sufficient numbers. The Skintakers, unlike many of the Badlanders Packs, prefer a direct approach to warfare. Rather than striking vulnerable targets and fleeing, content to simply make the point that they are not to be trifled with, the Skintakers assault the enemies most hardened positions, obliterating them in gruesome ways and utterly obliterating the enemies' morale in the process. The Skintakers are not mindless savages however, they understand their style of warfare means exploiting every weakness the enemy has to offer, no matter how cruel or ignoble. Thus they have thrived, though they must avoid contact with outsiders the most, as they have made enumerable enemies in their long history of murder and warfare. The Skintakers are avid cannibals, and, as is their namesake, wear the skins of their fallen foes in elaborate cloaks, even nailing the face of a particularly worthy foe onto their masks.
More recently, as civilizations have risen in the Midwest and elsewhere, life have been rougher for the Skintakers. Hated more than any other Badlander Pack, they have made enemies from Colorado to South Dakota. It was only in 2254 that they were dealt their first big defeat in the Battle of Deadwood at the hands of Custer's American Army. Since then, numerous factions have begun to stand up to the Skintakers and raiding has become harder and harder for them in recent years.
The Highway Pack are all nomads to the core, this pack was the very first to ever enter into the area that was once the United States and has roamed about the wasteland since, never resting long in one region or area. They are the most self sufficient pack in existence, and rarely have dealings with outsiders. They, as their namesake implies, use the old highways as paths to navigate, often moving around any settlements they encounter along the way. However, should the pack be in need of Chems or weapons, they will send in merchant-scouts to trade for what they need. This pack has taken an interest in history and technology and has learned much in its time traveling through the wasteland, most of the knowledge the Highway Pack learns is disseminated through the tribe thanks to its extensive network. They travel light save for the vast volumes of books and pre-war history they have collected over the years and deposit at the nearest base for categorization and dissemination. In spite of their scholarly outlook, the Highway Pack are not to be trifled with and boast a sizable fleet of motor-bikes and experienced riders.
A Pack operating in Northern Texas, the Flash Pack are notorious for their materialistic and immoral ways. Named for their tendency to "pimp" their weaponry, adding chrome and gold paint and plating. They are gun nuts to a man, what ever time is spent not raiding or hunting marks is spent maintaining weaponry. Thus their gear is almost always in pristine condition. They prefer to act as raiders more than they act as mercenaries, but have been known to dispatch squads of warriors to protect caravans for pay.
Once the largest subfaction of the Alaska Pack and known for their use of "Bad Brains", the Nome Pack is now functionally extinct or scattered to the four winds. The Nome Pack was at one time just a small band of Badlanders wandering the northern wastes but struck gold when they discovered a dome-shaped facility deep in the tundra. It turned out to be an Enclave base full of inactive Robo-Brains, and the pack quickly overtook the facility, interrogating the scientists within. This turned out to be a pivotal moment in the pack's history. While the interrogations were going on, one of the Enclave scientists released an old prototype from the facility depths which caused the pack to flee with their Robo-Brains. The gain of the "Brain Bots" was good for couple of years as the pack conquered several tribes in the frozen north. That was until the pack began getting picked off by a mysterious figure. This figure turned out to be an Enclave remnant who had miraculously survived the Nome Pack's assault on his facility. The remnant was eventually crippled by a member of the pack, but that was enough. The Nome Pack was so weak by then that they were integrated back into the Alaska Pack.
This specific Badlander is believed to be the closest thing to a ruler the Badlanders have, as he is frequently mentioned in Badlander radio chatter and his influence spreads to all packs. He is believed to be leading the packs to some greater goal, something more than just marauding and raiding across the wastelands. This is unsettling to many factions to say the least, as the united strength of all the Badlanders packs would be enough to take over a small state. Aside from his bare existence, not much else is known about this enigmatic individual. To the Badlanders he is a legendary warrior, who has brought down armies of other tribes single-handedly and conquered vast swaths of the Canadian tundra. To the other tribes of Canada and Alaska, he is a demon warlord, a destroyer of lives and the burner of villages. To the NCR and Caesars Legions, he is a myth, some great ancestor the Badlanders worship and no more.
- "Do ya like fire?"
- ―Grills small talk tends to revolve around his favorite chemical reaction
A Hand-Flamer toting savage with a pension for sadism and gold plating, Grill is a mighty warrior from the infamous Flash Pack. Grill grew up with a passion for pyromania, and would fit right in with the flashy and flamboyant Flash Pack. Known for his aggressive behavior and mean Buffout addiction, Grill is a brute of a man, and will gladly butcher any living being that gives him slightly enough reason to do so with his Shishkibab and Hand-Flamer, Smokey. Though reputed as a savage, Grill can preform adequate as a bounty hunter and caravan guard, and his abilities and Badlander origins are more than enough credentials for him to find employment, in spite of the fire risk. However, Grill finds much more entertainment acting as a raider, burning and butchering entire settlements for the adrenaline rush, and taking as many surviving women as he wants to be his pleasure slaves.
- "Okay tin-man, you can either leave your gear and walk away, or have my Ripper rammed into your temple. The choice is entirely yours."
- ―Burndog upon ambushing a Brotherhood of Steel Knight
A famous warrior of the D.C. Pack, Burndog rose to prominence after cutting down three Brotherhood of Steel Knights in single combat during a small skirmish to take an unnamed radio station. Details of the battle were scarce, but he somehow killed three opponents in power armor with little more but a Ripper and a 10mm SMG (it is rumored that a deathclaw was involved). He emerged from the smoke and blood of that fight with a brand new laser rifle and three BoS holotags as a trophy. Following that event, he became somewhat of a leader within the D.C. Pack and has led his people for thirty years in what can only be called a golden age for the D.C. Pack. Raids were often successful, the Pack has grown considerably, and set up a lucrative slaving ring with the residents of Paradise Falls.
But what seeds Burndog had sown, he did reap. The Brotherhood came close to collapsing after the Lyons died, and Burndog took advantage of that, attacking targets further into D.C. The Pack prospered. This changed when Arthur Maxson became Elder of the Brotherhood. He would not tolerate the Badlanders and went on the offensive against Burndog and his Pack. Confident that he could not be defeated, Burndog tried to hit back at Fort Independence. The Brotherhood was prepared, and the battle was a bloodbath. Burndog was killed in a lucky shot by a Brotherhood squire and buried in an unmarked grave.
- "My people are tough and disciplined... they are the chosen of the tundras."
Killclaw is a Badlander is the famously large leader of the Toronto Pack. Killclaw is a massive individual, standing at least 7' tall, and famed to be as muscled as a Super Mutant. Killclaw earned great fame when he killed an unknown "Demon" with his bear hands, beating the metal beast into submission with his bear hands before casting it off a snowy cliff side. (the Demon in question is believed to have been a lowly RobCo Protectron) Ever since that faithful battle he has led the Toronto Pack through times of plenty and near ruin with a strong and decisive hand, and the pack has prospered under his command.
- "You ever see the look in a Legionaries eyes when you rip open his throat? I tell ya, its goddamned beautiful."
Muerto is a ruthless assassin that has been under the employ if NCR forces in the New Vegas area. He, along with other members of the Mojave Pack, have found themselves taking up the NCR's side over the dispute of Hoover Dam. (if only to fight their old nemesis) Muerto often finds himself on small odd jobs, and the occasionally dirty deed in the name of caps and of course, 'freedom'. His most notable action was the wholesale slaughter of a Legion Village on the other side of the Colorado River, as the village was supplying Legion forces at the Dam with various medical supplies. He led a large war band of Mad Dogs to burn the village to the ground and by the time Legion forces could respond in earnest it was far too late. Muerto had personally killed every woman and child and had their heads stripped of flesh and placed on pikes, each with a bears paw etched into the skull to drive home the reason behind the slaughter, the Bear was not to be trifled with. Though the NCR publicly denied any involvement, and in the end only asked for Muerto and his thugs to burn the village to the ground, Muerto and his men were rewarded with a cache of assault rifles and a large supply of much needed Buffout.
Everything changed when Lanius arrived. This legate knew how dangerous the Badlanders were and went to work immediately, hunting them relentlessly. Muerto managed to escape death but knew he would not survive much longer if he stayed in the Mojave. So, Muerto ordered the Mojave Pack move north to link up with the Twin Pines Pack, and they have been on the move ever since.
- "The coast is a blood-soaked warzone, the perfect place to ply our trade."
- ―Freed's business philosophy
- "They took my family from me... In return I take their lives."
Redtooth was a deadly Badlander markswoman that was responsible for the deaths of many Legion officers in the Midwest. After her Pack was butchered by Legion forces when she was off completing her Hunters Rite, she swore an oath of vengeance that she held true to more than twenty years later. No group of Legion assassins managed to track her down and any of the many bounty hunters local Legion forces hired came back with their bones gnawed and their eyes plucked out. However, her attacks began to slow down in 2274 and no deaths have been attributed to her since 2777. It is suspected she was killed by wildlife or natural causes.
- "You think this is about caps? No, this is how I pass the time between jobs...though now that you mention it, do you know anyone who would pay for your head? Just the head of course, nothing attached."
- ―Toad exchanging words with his most recent victim
Toad is an infamous member of the Louisiana Pack, and regarded as one of the best bounty hunters in all of the wasteland. Toad earned much fame after his Hunters Rite, in which he not only killed a specific Swamper that had given the pack trouble in recent times, but also his wife, two sons, and three month old daughter. Such blood lust destined him for greatness in his vicious pack, however he would be cast out when he killed a fellow pack member in a dispute over a switch blade, exile did nothing to dampen his innate urge to kill. Today he lives to deal death, killing for business and for pleasure, and no one is too weak, too innocent, or too young. For Toad its about the thrill of the kill, that final moment when life slips away from a persons bloodied corpse, the sudden burst of unspeakable violence and the eternal quiet that follows. Toad has proven himself to be a peerless combatant, capable of killing a Super Mutant with a ball-point pen just as easily as a shotgun, though if his legend is true his preferred weapon is his own two hands.
- "Just a drifter with a gun?"
- ―Hoodlum prior to starting the infamous Loony Saloon Massacre which left eight men dead and five severely wounded
Hoodlum is a young Badlander from the Rio Grande Pack. Hoodlum, unlike most lone Badlanders in the wastes, left his Pack of his own volition (or so he says) to make a name for himself, to be a legend of the wastelands, and will do anything to realize that dream. Though his Pack is known for ignoring the old ways, Hoodlum is an extreme example of this, having almost no care for the traditions of his people and holds no faith in the tales of demons and ancestral spirits. However, he still clings to his mask and lucky charms as his prized possessions, not only because he, as any Badlander, would feel naked without his trinkets, but because they are the key to his 'image'. Hoodlum is vain, cocksure, and extremely loud, often at odds with the typical image of the stoic and savage Badlander. However, his boasts are not all for show, as it has been proven time and time again that Hoodlum is by far one of the most deadly individuals in the wasteland, having killed warlords and legendary monsters alike in his short career as a mercenary. Hoodlum is noted for his easily bruised ego, and just as famous for the extremely violent outbursts that result from such a slight. He has become fairly wealthy over the years, though he blows every cap he ever makes on better weapons and flashier outfits. Hoodlum never stays long in one place, always roaming the wastes, ever eager for an opportunity to sake his need for adventure and excitement. (and beautiful women) Though he talks about looking out for only 'numero uno', the wastes gets lonely, and he has often grouped up with other adventurers, either for pay, or for pleasure.
- "H-hungry? Try th-this, its roasted Radscorpion, H-hurly's favorite. Just m-make sure you don't have any open sores on your l-lips or mouth, it'll be your last meal if you do."
- ―Spook gives all his customers fair warning
A quiet and introverted Badlander from the Highway Pack, Spook is a traveling mercenary, his only friends in the world being his Dart Gun, some odd Cookbooks, and a pet Gecko, Hurley. While appearing rather unintimidating with his stuttering and lithe frame, Spook is quite dangerous, having an unbelievable plethora of knowledge regarding poisons and toxins, both natural and man made. His Dart Gun is loaded with various poisons, many he engineered himself. His bookish demeanor also belies his dangerous ability in hand to hand combat, where his surgical precision with his trusty Machete can be devastating when coupled with his uncanny sneaking ability. In addition to these easily applicable skills, Spook is also an excellent cook and impromptu medic, having taken an early interest in the culinary and healing arts in his youth. Spook makes a living as a hunter and caravan guard, his Badlander pedigree being more than enough to get hired by caravan, if they get past his ominous stare and odd fasinaction with insects and poisons.
Caesar's Legion- The Badlanders and the Legion have been sworn enemies from the first time they met and, try as they might, the Legion can't seem to rid itself of these pesky raiders. Though the Badlanders lack the sheer numbers or military hardware to be of any actual threat to Caesar's Legion, they are a consistently disruptive influence and they spread chaos and death whenever they venture into Legion territory. Many of Caesar's finest warriors have died at the hands of these "savages" and even more Legionaries have been disgraced by the Badlanders. Even in the event that the Legions forces manage to track down a pack or its base and destroy it, two more seem to crop up in its place, hellbent on wreaking havoc on the Legion and its citizens.
That trend changed when Legate Lanius emerged. A relentless fighter, Lanius became the bane of all Badlanders, assisting in destroying or displacing the Colorado, Arizona, and Mojave Packs. Since Lanius came to prominence, Badlanders have finally stopped trying to live inside Legion territory and actively avoid it.
Swampers- The Louisiana and Rio Grande Packs sworn enemy and chosen prey item, the Swampers have been natural enemies of the Badlanders in their area due to their territorial ways and habit of angering those with the caps to hire the Badlanders. Though Swampers often outnumber Packs, the Packs usually have better training and weaponry.
The Brotherhood of Steel- The Brotherhood of Steel and the Badlanders have been at each others throats from the first time the two groups met one another. This is simply because of differing ideologies, the Badlanders wish to exploit new weapons tech in order to survive in the wastes while the Brotherhood wishes to preserve weapons tech in order to make the world a safer place and ensure the resurgence of pre-war humanity. Thus, Badlanders see the Brotherhood as a one way ticket to domination of the wastelands, if only they could rip the laser rifles and power armor from their still warm corpses. The Brotherhood in turn see the Badlanders as the usual sub-human filth that tends to collect in the wasteland. However, many chapters are finding out that the Badlanders are not your average band of tribals, where as most groups of that nature fall apart with one particularly sound defeat, the Badlanders seemed relentless and organised. Needless to say, the BoS were been hard pressed to hold them back.
Nonetheless, the Capital Wasteland, where most of two group's fighting took place, was the location of a particularly devastating battle, the Battle of Fort Independence, that did shatter the D.C. Pack. Since then, the Badlanders have not harassed the Brotherhood there but has in other places.
New California Republic- The NCR and the Badlanders have been on good terms for well over a hundred years now. Though recent NCR opinion of the Badlanders isn't very positive and a vast majority of the NCR's civilian population want nothing to do with the Badlanders. Regardless, many a NCR military commander has "hired" Badlanders to suppress local bandit tribes and deal with deadly fauna simply due to the tribes efficiently and cost effectiveness. Thus Badlanders are much more civil with NCR citizens and the NCR in general. It is also an unwritten law that no Badlander pack is to raid or harm the NCR in any way, there was only one pack that disregarded that law and they were hunted down by a joint task force of NCR Rangers and Badlanders Bike Squads. This cooperation was short lived.
- "What a bunch of try-hard noober faggots, please get the fuck out of Texas and die in a fire, kay thanks bye."
- ―A Tek-Lord
- "Wait, are they more of ours?"
- ―An Annaville Red
- "They die as easily as any other men."
- ―Legate Lanius, Beast of the East and Bane of Badlanders
- ―Fragments of a radio signal reputed to be from Three Tears
- "Pass the psycho."
- ―Badlander warrior before battle
- "And that is how you skin a super mutant."
- ―A adult Badlander to a group of young Badlanders in Seattle