- "The Red Nation shall rise again and it shall be a blessing for a sick world; a world filled with broken promises, selfishness and separations; a world longing for light again."
- ―Crazy Horse, Oglala Lakota (circa 1840-1877)
|Type of Government:||Tribal hierarchy|
|Leader:||Chief Crazy Eyes, Chief John Eagle|
|Tribals:||thousands, split among several nomadic bands and former reservations|
|Notable members:||Chief Crazy Eyes, Chief John Eagle, Colonel Silent Dan|
|Founded by:||Various Indian tribes|
|Goals:||Reclamation of lost lands and survival|
|Allies:||Custer's American Army, some caravans, and Gun Packers|
|Enemies:||American Northern Army, Badlanders, some caravans, and raiders|
|Status:||Under the protection of the RUSA, partially united|
The Dakota people, also known as Dakotas, Indians, or Dakota Indians, are the descendants of various Indian tribes in South Dakota who combined after the Great War for survival. Now, the Dakota live a mostly nomadic existence with some living on former reservations. They were initially very hostile to whites and other outsiders after the Great War but have warmed up to them in recent years due to Custer's influence.
Before the Great War broke out in 2077, most Native Americans in the Dakotas were still centered on reservations, getting by through minimal government assistance and benefits. Their communities were in shambles, and the New Plague had hit the reservations especially hard.
The Great War came without warning and left with less. Most of the reservations, faraway from urban centers, survived the attacks and managed the survive the Black Rain as well. The survivors on the reservations, seeing the world falling apart and the government that had oppressed them for so long fall, decided to leave (for the most part). These new nomadic Indian bands blamed the whites and the U.S. government for the Great War, causing the Native Uprising of 2077. Native American warbands swept through many towns in the Black Hills and South Dakota, intending to "reclaim what was rightfully their's". This killed many whites and Indians and culminated in the vandalization of Mount Rushmore.
After the end of the Native Revolt in 2078 and the settling of the fallout, many Indian bands united for survival, creating the basis of the Dakota people. By the early 2100s, most earlier tribal divisions had fallen away, and all Indians in South Dakota were known as the Dakota.
The Dakota's numbers grew slowly over the years but were checked by almsot constant warfare with "whites" and outbreaks of disease, particularly resurgences of smallpox. The Dakota were typically were aggressive against all non-Dakota, both raider and civilized.
This changed in 2240s with the Great Raider Wars and rise of George Armstrong Custer II. A man who claimed to be the reincarnation the first Custer, Custer had the full support of a tribe near Black Hills and with this help seized control of Deadwood. After this, Custer expanded his reach and promised to help the other Dakota in the Great Raiders Wars and let them keep their land at the same time. The Dakota in eastern South Dakota readily accepted this and many joined Custer's American Army or fell under the umbrella of the RUSA. The arrival of the Followers of the Apocalypse and the building of Fort Angel strengthened the Dakota's position, as the Followers vaccinated them against smallpox and other diseases.
However, some Dakota did not "kneel" to Custer. Mostly in central and eastern South Dakota, Dakota bands refused to acknowledge the white man's rule and unofficially broke with their brothers and sisters in the west. This continues today.
Dakota culture is a callback to the culture of their ancestors, with many Dakota bands worshipping their ancestors and carrying out spiritual ceremonies. Their lifestyle is primarily nomadic, with scavenging and hunting being big parts of their lives. The few bands that still live on former reservations farm and trade and are generally more "white".
Overall, the Dakota people number in the tens of thousands, perhaps more. Most of the Dakota are loosely allied with the RUSA and Custer, as he has "their best interests in mind". This doesn't really make them a united force though, more like many disparate bands under one overlying authority. These include most Dakota in the Black Hills near Deadwood and western South Dakota, which number in the many thousands.
However, there are some Dakota that are defiant of Custer's authority and, in their own words, "will never bend their knees to a white man". These groups only number in hundreds and are mostly in central and eastern South Dakota. These independent bands are small but resilient, hateful of both Custer and their own people who follow him. The most powerful of these bands are the Ash Walkers, Lakota descendants on the outskirts of Pierre, South Dakota who commit piracy on the Missouri River.
Most of the Dakota are allied to the RUSA and Custer's American Army due to Custer actually improving their lot and fufilling his promises. This puts them at odds with the American Northern Army, who many Dakota have fought in the Generals' War. Other independent Dakota oppose Custer as well as any other "white" groups.
Another common enemy of the Dakota are Badlanders, particularly the Skintakers Pack. The Dakota have a special hatred for these tribals and keep the tradition of scalping specifically for Badlanders. The two have a enmity going back almost one hundred and fifty years and their conflict is not likely to end soon.
Chief Crazy Eyes is the third most powerful Dakota in the Badlands Territory, right behind Silent Dan and John Eagle. However, unlike Silent Dan, Crazy Eyes is not entirely loyal to Custer and uncontrollable. For this reason, Custer had him fight in the Borderlands, with him and his Dakota acting as irregulars to supplement Custer's American Army.
Crazy Eyes was made chief after the previous chief, his father, died. An unstable cackling mess of a man, Crazy Eyes is nonetheless a good fighter and that is why he remains war chief over a large band of Dakota. They originally lived in the Black Hills but after the Generals' War, Crazy Eyes moved his entire band to the Borderlands under General Custer's orders.
A colonel in Custer's American Army, Cain Vandada is half-white like his cousin Emilio but that is where the similarities end. Born in Deadwood, Vandada joined the army early in life and climbed the ranks due to his subtle methods of realpolitik and cut throat attitude towards his superiors. After distiguishing himself in battles in the Borderlands and peacefully taking Mason, Vandada was promoted to colonel alongside Silent Dan, who respects him in a wary sort of way. What Vandada is working for is a mystery though, whether it be his own ambition, his family's "grand plan", or just patriotism.
The half-white "chief" of the Ash Walkers, a racially oriented raider band, Emilio Vandada is quickly becoming a nightmare for the people of Pierre. An unabashed racist as well as a raider, Vandada wants to exterminate every single "Pale Face" and will go to Hell and back trying. He is proud of his Lakota heritage and will personally scalp any man who calls out the fact that he is half-white.
A powerful Dakota chief in the Black Hills, Chief John Eagle is allied with Custer but is currently in Black Hills instead of fighting in the Generals' War, something Custer is willing to accept to keep their alliance. Also, Fort Angel is under Chief John Eagle's protection, due to their schooling and vaccinations. John Eagle is an educated man, schooled in Fort Angel, and he is wary of outsiders besides Custer's American Army and the Followers of the Apocalypse, knowing what happened to his people in the past.
Silent Dan was originally just a young warrior from a Dakota band that lived near Mount Rushmore. He was just your standard strong silent type and was capable enough on his own. This was before a man named Claude stumbled into his life and became George Armstrong Custer II. Now, Silent Dan is a colonel in Custer's American Army and serves under him loyally. Currently, Silent Dan is fighting in Rapid City to try to clear out its raider infestation. Silent Dan is an older conservative Dakota and disapproves of "crazies" such Crazy Eyes and Emilio Vandada.
Thaza is the second in command of the Deadwood Express, a caravan company once directly owned by Custer. She was born to a band of Dakota living in the Black Hills but was educated after Custer and the RUSA came to power. Now, Thaza helps run the company along with her busybody boss Peter King. Thaza has a good head for numbers and is capable with a gun, but sometimes her emotions can get the better of her.
Tim is ghoul who was born a Native American pre-War who reclaimed his heritage after the Great War as a Dakota. Currently, he is a captain in Custer's American Army. However, he does not command soldiers and simply operates as another man under Custer. He is regarded with an air of suspicion by the rest of the army, who are fearful of the day when the silent giant turns feral.
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