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"What do you mean? We're the only Badlanders this side of Seattle, those swine are just the NCR's bitch boys."
―Shiv telling a Son of Liberty how it is.
Degenerates
Asiatische Holzmaske
Political Information
Type of Government:Loose Hierarchy
Group type:Raider-Mercenary Band
Leader Title:Warboss
Leader:Shiv
Societal Information
Headquarters:Degenerates' camp
Location(s):Bridge of the Gods, Cascadia
Degenerates:52
Notable members:Shiv, Smasher, Janice
Historical Information
Founded:2243
Founded by:Smasher
Policy Information
Goals:Destroy Twin Pines Badlander pack, keep NCR out of Cascadia
Allies:Sons of Liberty, some Oregon tribals.
Enemies:NCR, Twin Pines Badlanders, FNA, New Order
Status:Guarding the bridge and plotting revenge

A group of Badlanders that have "gone native", the Degenerates consider themselves the true heirs of the Twin Pines name and banner. This feud has its origins in the Degenerates' founding, as well as resulting from the NCR's close ties with the pack.

History

Founding

The Degenerates have their start in a warband of the Twin Pines Badlander Pack, contracted to purge a section of downtown Seattle of raiders. The thirty-strong group were arrogant in their estimations of the raiders' capabilities, and simply rode in on their motorbikes. The resulting noise and spectacle attracted the attention of several gangs and the mercenaries quickly found themselves surrounded. After running low on ammunition the Badlanders made the decision to scatter and fled in separate directions. Six of the remaining twenty-five would be killed or captured during the break-out, but the survivors managed to escape into the ruins.

Alone or in pairs, the Badlanders would try to navigate the ruins, the more honor-bound trying to ambush the pursuing raiders, the pragmatic simply trying to return home. A handful of the later, including Smasher, would reconnect in south Seattle and shelter in a Super Duper Mart for the night. Smasher would rally and shame the survivors, telling them they could only expect exile and death if they returned to the pack as failures. He told them that they had to fight, which the mercenaries took to heart as they prepared to ambush their pursuers.

Expecting the Badlanders to continue running, the raiders were routed the next morning, and the survivors were captured and interrogated. They would pry the location of several caches before killing the raiders, then move onto the supplies. Now armed and resupplied, the Badlanders attacked the raider gang's hangout, killing the remaining members of the crew. They then approached another gang, this time offering the olive branch instead of lead.

The leader of this crew would laugh at the offer until a badlander shot him in the head and prepared to shoot the rest. Now much more receptive, the raiders agreed to aid the badlanders and as a sign of unity, the Badlanders led the gang in an attack on their rivals. Another ambush, this encounter would be an easy victory for the Badlanders. Now with some breathing room and managing part of his contract, Smasher moved his people back to the Super Duper Mart, and sent a runner to update the pack.

After assigning a repair detail Smasher took the remaining manpower back into the ruins, where they disguised themselves as raiders. They laid in wait for a day until they found a suitable target in a patrol of New Order footsoldiers. The mercenaries would injure two of the militia before withdrawing, discarding their disguises as they went. Ensuring the safety of his group for some time, Smasher waited on reinforcements and an update.

In the mean time the remaining mercenaries focused fully on fortifying the Super Duper as they expected another warband to reinforce them. Their expectations soon gave way to disappointment, and then to resentment. When two weeks had passed and no word came, all believed they had been written off. When scouts reported a nearby caravan, Smasher led the entirety of the gang against it, easily overwhelming the guards and merchants. They would feast on both brahmin and human that night, and the local raiders were given mask as a sign of acceptance.

For the rest of that year they would descend fully into raiderdom, attacking any caravan or gang that exposed itself. As they sheltered for the winter, a representative of a smaller gang approached to parlay, and was let inside to see Smasher. The raider offered peace and a small tribute, as her gang wasn't fairing well against their rivals. Smasher was surprised by this turn of events, but was clever enough to take advantage of it. He offered her the chance to join his crew, which was met with skepticism.

The two talked for hours, coming to little agreement before a simple peace was decided and messenger allowed to leave. While Smasher would fail in his attempt to grow his "pack" word would spread that his gang would hear offers from rivals. This would allow them to make peace with or destroy several of their rivals by early June, enabling them to recruit and raid freely. This freedom would be checked in September, as a raiding party came under attack by a group of Badlanders. The newcomers thought the masks the raiders were wearing were trophies from their last warband, and would pursue them through the ruins to the Super Duper Mart.

The Twin Pines would fall back when raiders began to pour out of the Mart, but promised to destroy the "Degenerates" inside. This would light the rage inside Smasher and his band, and he led them on a chase of the Badlanders. The mercenaries would try and defend themselves in a small square, but would quickly be overwhelmed by the chem-fueled raiders. Their bodies would be chopped apart and cooked, with the meat shared among the surviving Degenerates. After this, they considered the Twin Pines their blood enemy.

The Degenerates would also suffer a string of bad luck after this, being repelled by towns and caravans and attacked by other gangs. This would culminate in February of 2245, when Smasher was almost assassinated by a group of New Order footsoldiers. Narrowly escaping his death, he returned to their den to see infighting in full force. He announced his return by kicking in the doors, the vibrations echoing over the din of battle. Seeing his followers dead and bloody, fighting each other over ego and power, Smasher knew he needed a succession plan. After looking over his followers however, he realized that none could hold the pack together. Feeling weak from his wounds, he called his raiders together and told them his proposal.

Telling them that their time was running out as a group, and if they continued as is, they would be destroyed. Quieting their murmurs, he went on to say that they had to spread into the city, "giving birth to a true pack" as he put it. He then told them to gather their belongings and prepare for their last raid. Smasher would lead them against a scavenger camp in the ruins, and would ensure that all the inhabitants were slaughtered. Stacking their bodies into a pile, The Degenerates would light them, and their compound, ablaze and retreat into the ruins. Smasher guided them into a Metro station and told them to "disperse among the other gangs, hide, and breed." with that he turned and walked downed a tunnel. The great majority of the raiders would simply file out of the station, murmuring to themselves, while a few followed him into the darkness.


Interim and Brushfire Wars

After this the Degenerates would cease to exist as a unified group for a time, many obeyed Smasher's last directive and joined the local gangs, several formed their own crews while others sought new lives in the area's settlements. Most would form some form of family or at least raise children, and many passed down stories of the pack and Smasher. The individual gangs and crews would squabble amongst themselves in the ruins for the next two decades, until rumors of war came. By that time, most in Seattle were familiar with the New California Republic, either from traders who claimed to be from there, or from migrant tribals and veterans of the Oregon Brushfire Wars.

A few dozen of the Degenerates had already fought in the wars, viewing them as a rite of passage as well a chance to get revenge on their treacherous "cousins." With the start of the War of the Northwestern Alliance, another wave would join regardless of affiliation. Among them would be a young Degenerate named Shiv, whose mother had told him the old legends every night. Shiv and three other youth from his gang made their way to Emerald City to join a larger group, and would meet up with other Degenerate youths. They would be recruited by Clyde Everett, a mercenary of some fame in the region.

Everett and his mercenaries would head south to meet up with the newly founded Free Army in Oregon. There they would engage the NCR and their Badlander allies in an escalating series of skirmishes. The Degenerates would especially enjoy fighting the members of Twin Pines pack, often taking their masks and charms where they could. The youth would send news and money home to their gangs and family, which drummed up both support and reinforcements. Everett would be killed at Edna's Hill, a small homesteader outpost, and command of his warband fell to Shiv.

After looting the fallen and cannibalizing Everett in a show of respect, the warband would retreat north to recover. They would camp at an information station near Cascadia State Park. There they would utilize the decrepit radio to call for reinforcements and update the alliance. Shiv would also contact several gangs and Degenerate groups in Seattle, claiming the title of Warboss and demanding their obedience. Few bosses would acknowledge the claim, but a number of the younger members would respond and join Shiv's warband. The Warboss would break the gangs up and rearrange the members, trying to foster a sense of unity. He would reinforce this by sending his followers on raids against NCR mercenaries and homesteaders, letting them keep the loot they found.

While Shiv specified that only NCR homesteads be harassed, some of his troops would not be as discriminating as their Warboss and extorted independent farms. This, combined with their abandonment of Edna's Hill and its subsequent capture by Badlanders, would alienate many civilized settlers in the region. The Oregon tribals fighting the NCR would grow fond of the warband however, and the two groups would often coordinate attacks. These ambushes would only slow the mercenaries, and the Degenerates would soon find themselves under attack. They would then scatter through the Park, and fight guerrilla for the rest of 2268.

They would mass for an attack on a mercenary position in early January, successfully overwhelming the guards and escaping into the wider wasteland. From there they would head North-west, hoping to meet up with a friendly tribe. They would happen to encounter a group of hunters from Thallus, who directed the group to Hogansville. From there they were able to radio other members of the Alliance, and were told to stay in their area and harass the mercenaries. The Degenerates would grumble but comply, and continued to skirmish with the NCR's mercenary allies.

Fortune would favor them in March when they ambushed and captured a supply caravan headed for a Badlander position. They would find crates of medical supplies, which the battle weary soldiers quickly distributed amongst themselves. Some would send excess meds and scavenged weapons back to their parent gangs, quietly fueling an arms build-up that summer. At the same time, Shiv's warband would further split the tribals from the "civilized" members of the alliance when they helped slaughter a village. The settlers had reportedly started to work with the NCR and it's forces in the region, something that the tribals couldn't stand.

The combined force struck at midnight a week after hearing the rumor, and had destroyed everything by dawn. The attack would be celebrated by the alliance initially believing the village to have been joined the NCR, that view would quickly turn as the truth came out. The tribals had been in a land dispute with the homesteaders, who refused to leave. Knowing the Degenerates were unaware of the situation, the tribals misled their allies into attacking.

This would result in a PR nightmare for the alliance, who moved quickly to eject the Degenerates from their forces. This would create a small rift as some of the more bloodthirsty tribes protested, and left with the raiders. This group would initially continue their attacks on the NCR, until a skirmish with a formerly friendly militia changed their mind. They began to trek north, doing their best to avoid both sides. They would camp in the ruins of Dale, where they ran into conflict with a band of scavengers.

Initially planning on just ignoring them, the Degenerates would hunt down these scavengers after an attempted raid on the raiders' supplies. This would occupy them for a entire month as they then turned to scavenging themselves. In that time they would manage to find a repairable radio, and after a few hours, one of the more tech-oriented raiders fixed it.

They would use the device to contact their parent groups and families in Seattle, and were enraged by what they heard. Seeing a chance to eliminate some rivals, the raiders of King's Council launched a series of raids that Spring targeting the Degenerates. Divided and feuding, the gangs were easy pray for the attackers and were soon pushed to the edge of the ruins. Shiv would call them south, telling them to meet his warband in Dale.

To accommodate the expected refugees Shiv ordered his followers to clear a section of town, by whatever means. This would mainly constitute killing a few feral ghouls and smashing a Roach nest but would still give the other-wise antsy raiders a purpose. The first refugees would trickle into town starting in September, and they painted a far bleaker picture than Shiv had previously imagined. Renegade Badlanders from Alaska had left their pack and was pillaging the region. These renegades would hear of the Degenerates' weakness and attacked as well, devastating the camps.

The number of refugees that arrived in Dale that fall would be far lower than what the warband had prepared for, and as winter set in, no consensus on a plan was reached. This would result in a coup attempt that winter while Shiv was hunting, and lead to a fifth of the tribe being killed. Hoping to keep the survivors from fracturing apart, Shiv would move his people east, interrupting the funeral processes. With morale at an all time low, the Degenerates crossed the Cascades in early February, 2270. On the other side of the mountains they found several unaffiliated tribes and towns, from whom they would recruit and raid, refilling their supplies and ranks.

Drifting

They would continue heading east however, and in March they crossed into Idaho. In that dark land they would start suffering misfortune after misfortune, which was soon imagined as a curse. This fear would soon be solidified after they were attacked by a tribe of mutants in the mountains west of Boise, and forced back after a fierce clash. They would camp in the watershed for a time, trading and skirmishing with the local tribes at times, but often left to their own devices.

As 2270 went on and their booty ran low, the warriors would begin to take on mercenary work, often finding jobs in the city below. A show of force from the Idaho Brotherhood of Steel would convince them to seek greener pastures the next spring however, as well as an increase in muntant attacks. They would head north from the seemingly cursed city, finding work or pillage as they went. Northern Idaho would prove somewhat more welcoming for the raiders, who found several smaller gangs to prey on. These extra hands would be a relief to the bloody and battered Degenerates, who had worried about being ground away.

A scouting party would encounter a Native trader who, after exchanging goods, would invite the Degenerates back to his people's home. Formerly part of the Nez Pierce Reservation, the community they went to was nothing like it's pre-war vision. The locals had returned to their way of life before the White man, and had a healthy environment surrounding them. The animals within were a different story however, and had grown aggressive recently.

Having conducted several expeditions previously, the Natives were leery of risking more of their people and sought outside help.

Notable Members

Smasher

The first Warboss of the Degenerates, Smasher was the highest-ranked Badlander sent to clear the raiders out of Seattle. Underestimating the native resistance and being quickly overwhelmed, Smasher rallied the remaining Badlanders and sent for reinforcements. When the runner was killed on the way and never returned, Smasher took it as an act of betrayal and swore an oath against the Twin Pines Pack. He is the one responsible for breeding the Degenerates into local raider gangs.

Shiv

The Current Warboss of the Degenerates, Shiv is a surprisingly soft-spoken man by Degenerate standards, rarely raising his voice or bragging about his past deeds. This contrasts greatly with the savage glee that he takes in combat, and his grimy, unwashed appearance. Originally more relaxed and less political, Shiv would be altered by the expulsion of the Degenerates from Seattle, as well as their time in Idaho. He will often sit in his shack staring at a map of the region, and plan his revenge against those who have wronged him.

Janice

A mysterious teen found in the mountains of Idaho, the then-child revealed herself to Shiv and guided him to the Yorkton Supply Depot, where the group found their beloved howitzers. Some of the more superstitious degenerates believe she is a reincarnated spirit sent to lead them to victory, while the more cynical joke that she is the Warboss' child-bride. Janice herself never addresses the topic, preferring to spend her time gathering food from the wilderness when not in Shiv's tent.

Culture

The Degenerates retain several features of their heritage such as a banner and masks, but have adopted native raider habits in place of other ones, such as outsiders being "blessed in" or allowed in on word of mouth alone in place of a hunter's rite, and a lack of fear towards robots. Chems and alcohol are wide-spread throughout the ranks, and slaves are common though mainly among the newer "local" element. They have abandoned the cannibalism of their originators, participating in it only at a few rare ceremonies. Since their time in Idaho they have developed a fondness for their artillery and explosives in general, and have recently begun to make their own from Bighorner droppings.

The Degenerates also display a hatred of the NCR and Twin Pines pack Badlanders, blaming them for much of their misfortune. This would ironically lead to the Degenerates taking on mercenary work, as they couldn't find their war solely by raiding.

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