- "If I don't rebuild this country, who will?"
- ―General Custer on the subject of his claim of succession to the United States
|George Armstrong Custer II|
|Date of birth:||2222|
|Date of death:||NA|
|Occupation:||General of Custer's American Army, head of the Restored United States of America|
General George Armstrong Custer II is a product of the Badlands Territory through and through. Some say he is a man trying to unite a shattered nation, others say he's a warlord who promoted himself to dictator, many more think he's just another madman preying off of a want to return the "old days". Nevertheless, General Custer and his army have had a large effect on the Territory as a whole, North Dakota and South Dakota.
- "This is the greatest moment of my life!"
- ―Claude Prius upon obtaining him and his friend's caravan
The origins of General Custer are not widely known, mostly due to his prior insignificance before taking his new name. However, some older people from the small town of Basket might still remember the name Claude Prius, a bright enterprising owner of a caravan lost in the winter of 2241.
Born in 2222, Claude Prius was born to Ben and Lana Prius. A boisterous happy blonde-haired child, Claude made many friends in Basket, with his closest friends being Sadie Grimm and Kirk Torqette. Since there was no schooling, the three worked out in fields and played often.
As the friends grew up though, sexual tension began to drive them apart, especially between Claude and Kirk over Sadie. However, their group managed to stay together against all odds. However, Claude became a rather resentful rogue and often lashed out at his friends.
In 2240, the group decided that, in order to leave Basket, they should form their own caravan. Alongside with another friend named Casey, the three pooled together their funds and formed their own small caravan, called the Basket Express. It was little more than a wagon and a brahmin, but it was their ticket out. Claude's attitude improved with time, and he mostly just stayed a bit of a grump.
The Basket Express went unmolested for its first few months due to a scavenged Mr. Gutsy that deterred raiders. However, an attack from the then powerful Motorhead Gang destroyed the Mr. Gutsy with the members of the Basket Express barely escaping. The Great Raider Wars were beginning in South Dakota and would only escalate in later years. This would only spell disaster for the foundling Basket Express.
Claude Prius and the Basket Express ran out of luck in the winter of 2241. While heading south through the Black Hills to deliver goods, the Basket Express was attacking by a band of Indian raiders. All the members of the Express were assumed dead, a common occurrence for small caravans in the area, especially during winter.
Unknown to anyone, Claude managed to survive and made his way south through the Black Hills, hoping to avoid Indian bands by avoiding the roads. This proved unwise, as it took Claude even longer to find a town following the road.
Two days after the attack, Claude finally stumbled upon a town, Deadwood. Very weak and close to delirious, Claude stumbled into the Gem Saloon and asked for a room and some food, giving the saloon owner some the last caps he had. After getting to his room, Claude began to fall deathly ill and couldn't leave bed for a few days, so he slept.
After three days, Claude woke up one morning on a sled, naked and robbed outside of town. Near death from exposure, he was delirious and began to accept his seemingly eventual death.
Before Claude could accept the embrace of death, he was rescued unexpectedly by some Indians, from a different tribe than the ones that had attacked him earlier. Not knowing this, Claude threw angry curses at the Indians, hoping to provoke them into killing him and putting him out of his misery.
Instead of killing him, the Indians took Claude back to their camp and nursed him back to health. This made Claude suspicious, as he suspected that the Indians might want to enslave or even cannibalize him. However, the Indians had another more surprising use for him.
A week after his rescue, the tribe's elder asked if Claude was well enough for a short journey. Less cynical than before, Claude replied he was well enough to walk and accepted the offer to go on "a short journey".
Really, the journey took about two days trekking through raider territory. Claude tried a few times to ask the elder wanted, but the old man stayed tight-lipped. Eventually, after the long trek through the Black Hills, the elder and Claude came to their destination: Mount Rushmore. The Indian elder told him to examine Rushmore closely.
Claude had heard of the great mountain before but had assumed it to be just a legend. But now, with it sitting before him, Claude was rendered speechless. The great stone monolith was huge and the faces' solemn and stern. However, as Claude looked closer, he saw the effects that time and vandalism had on the mountain and felt a bit saddened, seeing this great monument. He had something akin to a religious experience at that moment.
The Indian elder interrupted Claude's contemplation to tell him about how the history of the mountain and the United States were similar. Both were once great and were admired by all. Both had fallen into disrepair and had been forgotten as of late. The elder then told Claude of a dream he had in which the "white man's hero" would return for the second time to reclaim the country. The elder said that he believed Claude was this same hero he had dreamed of and requested that when he retook the land that he would give the Indians back the land that was taken from them.
Due to his near religious experience and awed state, Claude accepted the elder's words completely. He then asked who the first hero to reclaim the country (the Black Hills). The Indian elder did not know the man's name but only knew that he had been a great and terrifying warrior who had brought terror to the tribes of the area and had blonde hair just like Claude's. Upon that, the old Indian indicated that they should leave, lest the raiders of the area catch them.
Returning to the Indian village, Claude decided to investigate to find out who this "first hero" was. After quite a lot of snooping around the Indian camp and getting no tangible results, he worked up his strength and went into Deadwood to find answers.
Claude found his answer in an old antique store near the Gem Saloon. A picture sitting on a shelf matched the description the elder had given, blonde with a military uniform. The label on the bottom read: George Armstrong Custer: 1876. Claude quietly pocketed the old photgraph and left the store, returning to the Indian village. There, Claude decided on his future: he was now George Armstrong Custer II, the reincarnation of the first Custer.
Rise to Power
- "This was bad idea, on second thought."
- ―Custer after being shot by Natalie Owens shortly before passing out
The Dakota Indians accepted this, as many in this tribe could believe Custer's spirit being in this man. The newly minted Custer, after renaming himself, immediately began to plan to begin his first step in "reclaiming the country": the takeover of Deadwood. It would be a risky business, especially for the Indians, but since their elder trusted this man, the rest of the tribe followed suit. Custer managed to convince a few of the younger Indian men to accompany him into Deadwood to fufill his plan. Only three Dakota went with him. They would greatly benefit from this in the future, especially a young Dakota woman by the name of Mary Grass-Snake.
When in Deadwood, Custer decided to start a trading company called the Deadwood Express in the summer of 2242. This at first seemed foolish because of the number of caravans in Deadwood already and the Great Raider Wars raging outside, but it worked out in the long-term because. This was because Custer's caravans were the only ones absolutely never attacked by surrounding Indian raiding parties. That was because of the markings on the side of the caravans, an early version of Custer's flag, indicated the caravans were Custer's and should not be attacked. This tactic caused many in Deadwood to become reasonably suspicious, especially the head of the Deadwood Militia, Natalie Owens.
As his caravans took off, Custer began making alliances in town and displacing his enemies. Custer was unsure of himself and did not feel up to the task and made many mistakes early, such as with Natalie Owens and Turnbull. However, with the help of his new Indian allies (Mary Grass-Snake mostly), Custer managed to make allies with the fickle Gun Packers, who began using his caravan for shipping, and the head of the general store, Freddy, who guaranteed his loyalty in case of a coup. His enemies consisted of Natalie Owens, the head of the Deadwood Milita, Turnbull, the matron of the local whorehouse, and Julian Porkle, the owner of the Gem Saloon and the de-facto leader of Deadwood. Despite his enemies' resistance, Custer's trading company rose in power, and Custer became the second most powerful man in Deadwood.
Custer made a hard decision in the winter of 2244: he was going to finally make his move and dispatch his enemies in the town once and for all. His first target was Turnbull, who was a virulent racist and opposed Custer for his relationship with the Indians. Custer bribed a member of the Turnbull's brothel to stab her to death, then flee town in one of his caravans. Captain Owens investigated the murder and remained suspicious of Custer, but she was unable to find any incriminating evidence. This was due to the hard work of Mary Grass-Snake who managed to stow away all of the evidence. Owens turned her attention away from the petty politics, wanting to keep her full attention on defending Deadwood from the fury of raiders while the Great Raider Wars were in full swing.
After taking care of Turnbull, Custer turned his attention to Captain Owens and the Deadwood Militia. Custer, in a bout of pig-headedness, straight up challenged Owens to a duel to regain his honor after being accused of murder. The duel ended badly, with neither person dying but Custer getting a bullet to his right arm. This infected wound kept Custer bedridden, so Mary Grass-Snake took over his operations.
Grass-Snake took the more subtle approach, this time being poison. Poisoning Captain Owens with mercury in her food, Grass-Snake managed to knock off another of Custer's challengers before the New Year. Owens was replaced in the Deadwood Milita by a weak-willed successor in January 2245. After taking out Owens, Grass-Snake remained at Custer's bedside constantly, nursing him back to health from his infected bullet wound.
Custer's last enemy in town, the owner of the Gem Saloon Julian Porkle, had sat passively on the sidelines watching all this play out. This was because Turnbull and Owens were his enemies as well as Custer's, and he benefitted from their deaths. He also knew all about Custer's allies and Mary Grass-Snake's actions. Knowing Custer was incapacitated and vulnerable, Porkle decided to try to win over Grass-Snake, who he felt could be a valuable asset in the future and was, in reality, more skilled than Custer was.
On the night of February 4, 2245, Porkle sent a messenger to Mary Grass-Snake asking for talk to her in the Gem Saloon. Grass-Snake was apprehensive, knowing Porkle was as slippery as a greased pig rat. However, since she was willing to deal with Porkle non-violently, Grass-Snake accepted his offer and left Custer's bedside to meet Porkle in the Gem Saloon. They talked for the entire night and into the morning. The content of their conversation was never discovered, since no one ever asked Grass-Snake, even Custer.
Custer woke up the next day dazed, confused, and alone. Noticing his nurse was gone, the addled man instantly thought that Porkle, his last remaining enemy in town, had taken her captive and was going to kill her. In an act of passion, the weak and aching Custer suited up, called his two Indian bodyguards, and walked from his room in an ally's home all the way to the Gem Saloon.
Striding very confidently into the Gem Saloon for someone so ill, Custer loudly announced his presence and called "that swine-bellied pig" to come out and face him. The trouble started when a saloon guard tried to disarm Silent Dan, one of Custer's bodyguards. Custer straight up shot the guard and a large shootout began.
The shootout lasted twenty minutes but Porkle emerged in only the last minute, armed with a sawed off shotgun. He taunted Custer, saying he had cut out Grass-Snake's heart and would do the same to him. This drove Custer into a blind rage and before Porkle could fire even once, Custer laid a bullet between his eyes and dropped him.
The Gem Saloon Shootout of 2245 claimed eleven lives: three of Porkle's guards, one of Custer's Indians, six bystanders, and Porkle himself. Custer sustained serious wounds but had survived and taken the saloon's deed for himself. With Porkle now dead, Custer became the owner of the Gem Saloon and therefore the most powerful man in Deadwood, at last.
However, Custer was still fuming over Porkle killing Grass-Snake, who he had harbored a latent attraction to. However, after the shootout, Custer was overjoyed to discover that Grass-Snake had actually slipped out of the saloon once the first shots had been fired, and Porkle was simply try to goad him into a rage. Upon finding her alive, Custer embraced Grass-Snake and kissed her deeply. The Indian woman was surprised by this, but she decided to kiss him back.
The Gun Packers (Custer's allies) and Deadwood Militia were initially both shocked and disgusted by the bloody gunfight, seeing it as too public and gruesome. But in time, seeing how much influence Custer had gained in town and among the Dakota Indians, both of the groups began to cozy up to Custer. They became even more eager after Custer publically announced his alliance with the Indians and their promises not to attack any Deadwood caravans.
Custer had to receive emissaries from the two groups in bed, with his infected arm getting even worse after the gunfight. At one point, Custer was not seen outside for three days. No one but Mary Grass-Snake, his bodyguards, and his physician were let in to see him. Eventually, another, more mysterious woman was let in to visit the injured Custer.
On the sixth day, Custer emerged from his room changed. The biggest difference was his right arm, which had been replaced by a crude robotic replacement. However (no doubt due to aputation), Custer seemed free of the infection that had plagued him for the past few months and stronger than before. He was finally ready to finalize his takeover of Deadwood.
Phil, the leader of the Deadwood Militia, put up little resistance. When confronted by Custer in March of 2245, Phil handed over control of the Militia to him. The Gun Packers were a bit more difficult, as Custer wanted to ask more from them.
Manufacturers of guns and gun accessories, the Gun Packers were a slippery lot and did not typically like taking sides, preferring to sell guns to anyone with the money to afford them. Custer tried to insist that (different to their original deal) the Gun Packers would supply him and him alone or there would be consequences. He made a mistake of not going with Mary Grass-Snake to advice him. The leader of the Gun Packers, Reese, managed to weasel out of this with his silver tongue and convinced Custer to buy Gun Packer weapons and allow the Gun Packers to export weapons to other needy "communities" (militias and raiders).
Only a few days after this, the Motorhead Gang, assisted by the Mount Rushmore Neo-Patriots, staged a full on assault on Deadwood, hoping to take advantage of the upheaval and crack the town wide open to loot it. Custer was forced to lead the Deadwood Militia for the first time against an experienced and numerous enemy alongside his Indian allies. The young man was clumsy and inexperienced in commanding troops but with the help of the more experienced militiamen and tribal warriors, Custer managed to survive the fight and turn back the Motorheads.
From that point on, Custer set out to shape the Deadwood Militia and his Indian allies into a proper army to "bring peace to the land". Assisted by higher-ups in the Militia, Custer trained his men and himself to become better soldiers so next time, they could take the fight to the raiders. During this time, Custer became increasingly intimate with Mary Grass-Snake. He considered marrying her but rejected that, deciding to keep things simple and keep his options open by letting her stay his advisor. He regretted this later in life.
Great Raider Wars
- "We will do what we can to wipe raiders off the face of the Earth, completely! I will do what is necessary."
- ―Custer assuring the populace of Deadwood of his goals
When Custer officially became General Custer of Custer's American Army in the winter of 2245, he became an active player in the Great Raider Wars, a battle of civilized vs. savage, raider vs. settler, predator vs. prey. Custer and his army waited for the spring to act, not wanting to wage war in blizzards. In that time, Custer planned out his next move: convincing towns to join him by destroying the raider bands ravaging the area. Also during this time, several women in Deadwood sewed the first of Custer's flags, based upon the designs on his caravans. Custer adopted these as his own and prepared his men for war.
The first few outings in 2245 against the area's raiders were easy, with many of the local groups being crushed and their camps burned. The only groups still fighting him by 2246 were the Leathers and the Motorhead Gang.
The Motorhead Gang was first on Custer's kill list, as he had a prior grudge with them. In several battles in the Black Hills, Custer's American Army whittled away the gang's numbers in successive attacks and ambushes. At the same time, the Leathers harassed Custer's forces and worked with the Motorhead Gang with support from raiders from Mount Rushmore.
The Battle of Cheyenne's Crossing smashed whatever was left of the Motorhead Gang in late 2246, and any remnants were forced to flee west. Meanwhile, the Leathers, while successful in harassing Custer's American Army, saw the Motorheads get massacred and decided the fight was not worth it. Giving Custer the slip, the Leathers finally retreated south into Nebraska in early 2248. Custer claimed victory, but there was no time to celebrate. There was more to be done.
Next on Custer's hit list were the raiders that occupied Mount Rushmore, the Mount Rushmore Neo-Patriots, led by "King" Al Wolcott. A proud, cruel man, Wolcott had made himself king over the great mountain and had held it with an iron fist for twenty years, claiming the rest of the Black Hills by extension and bullying many small settlements into giving him tribute. Deadwood was not one of these towns.
Wolcott had not seen Custer's rise until recently and was taken aback when the Motorhead Gang and Leathers were defeated by him. He was even more surprised when Custer came to Rushmore unarmed asking for a potential alliance.
For a little context, Custer had wanted to attack Mount Rushmore right after defeating the Leathers but had been convinced otherwise by Mary Grass-Snake. Grass-Snake told him the battle might break his forces, and he might want to pursue a diplomatic solution instead.
However, Custer was not very good at diplomacy, speaking to Wolcott passive-aggressively and "acting as if the place was already his". King Wolcott, angered by Custer's behavior, called Custer "a damn pup" and refusing him. Wolcott let Custer go, as he felt it would not be honorable to kill a man who had come to him in good confidence.
That man came back with vengeance a few days later. General Custer, against the wishes of Mary Grass-Snake, came at the head of his army, almost a thousand men strong by now, and attempted a head on assault to break the Neo-Patriots' defenses, take Mount Rushmore, and kill another "raider warlord".
This proved to be a disaster. The Neo-Patriots used choke points masterfully to grind down Custer's American Army, though at a heavy cost to themselves. By the end of the day, over two hundred men on Custer's side were dead and many more were injured. Custer was not and led his remaining troops back to Deadwood to regroup.
Returning back to Deadwood, Custer sulked in the Gem Saloon, currently under the management of Mary Grass-Snake in Custer's "absence" while the remainder of Custer's American Army roamed the streets, either angry or drunken. Things weren't looking good for Custer, and some of his Indian supporters even considered withdrawing their support. They were silenced but only for then.
Things might not have been looking good for Custer, but they were looking worse for the Mount Rushmore Neo-Patriots. They had lost three-fifths of their men, and most of their ammo had been used up in that big battle. Many considered giving the mountain over to Custer in exchange for passage south like the Leathers. King Wolcott, immovable as a boulder, rejected this proposal and stubbornly decided to defend Mount Rushmore, perhaps even to the death. His men did not have the same idea. Wolcott's men, knowing his stubbornness might just kill them all, decided to kill their "king" and bring his head to General Custer as a piece offering in exchange for free passage south. This assassination was successful, and the Neo-Patriot mutineers presented Wolcott's head to Custer in Deadwood.
Custer was visibly disgusted by this and yelled that the Mount Rushmore Neo-Patriots were savages who knew no honor. When one of the Neo-Patriots protested, Custer strangled him to death with his mechanical arm and ordered the rest of them to be hung that night.
The next day, Custer reorganized Custer's American Army to take Mount Rushmore from what was left of the Mount Rushmore Neo-Patriots. Many of the remaining Neo-Patriots fled north at the first sight of the approaching army. The rest were killed in a much more one sided battle than the previous one. On April 27, 2248, Custer took Mount Rushmore as his own and stood atop the mountain for the first time. It was an impressive view.
The conquest of Mount Rushmore made Custer think of bigger things and his role as "the white man's hero". After thinking about that for a little, Custer asked to talk with the Indian elder who had given him his motivation to fight in the first place atop Mount Rushmore. Custer told the elder that he had conquered the mountain and brought the Black Hills under his yoke. The Indian elder just shook his head and told Custer that the war was not over, not by a long shot and that he should prepare for a great evil.
This confused Custer, as he was under the impression that he had completely defeated the raider threat to the Black Hills and accomplished a great deed. Flustered, Custer rejected the Indian elder's words as nonsense and insisted that he had ended the war. The elder also told him that the mountain should be restored, which Custer ignored as well. Ignoring the elder would lead to unpleasant consequences.
As Custer returned to Deadwood, he saw that his army had grown too large to stay in the town and decided to built a base for them somewhere else in the Black Hills. This would become Fort Rushmore, Custer's primary fortress that would sit below Mount Rushmore. Custer selected the location for its historical significance and first made a wooden stockade in 2249 before adding a stone layer later.
In order to construct this new fortress, Fort Rushmore, General Custer decided to hire slavers to procure more "labor" at the suggestion of Mary Grass-Snake in 2250. These slavers mostly focused their efforts on Rapid City and eastern Wyoming, making Custer many new enemies. Fort Rushmore's construction became Custer's primary focus for a few years, giving the raiders he defeated earlier time to regroup and plan one last big attack. The Dakota did most of the heavy lifting this time, killing any raider bands that attempted to enter Custer's territory.
Meanwhile, Custer and Mary Grass-Snake were beginning to have relationship problems. The soldiers of Custer's American Army felt Grass-Snake had made Custer into a virtual Indian puppet and resented that. Custer publicly refuted this in a speech to the people of Deadwood in 2250 but the accusation gave Custer the tiniest feeling of self doubt: "Am I just Mary's puppet? Is she not really in love with me?" He confronted Mary Grass-Snake over this and they argued, but all it did was them ending up in bed together. So, the problem was not resolved.
In early 2251, Custer moved along with much of his army to a temporary camp in the shadow of Mount Rushmore to oversee Fort Rushmore's construction. He considered handing control of Deadwood to Mary Grass-Snake but decided against it, letting them elect their own mayor. Mary noticed this but did not protest.
The move to Mount Rushmore made the divide between Custer and Grass-Snake more pronounced. Their fights over Mary Grass-Snake's influence over Custer and her intentions became more violent. When Mary tried to push past Custer to leave their bedroom, Custer slapped her with his mechanical arm. He instantly regretted this and tried to apologize, but Mary Grass-Snake simply pushed by him and ran into the night.
She only returned a week later, after returning to her tribe briefly. Custer stayed stoic in front of his men, bringing Mary back to the camp, but when in private, Custer broke down, begging Mary for forgiveness. She coldy accepted his apology, but their relationship had lost its flame after that.
Progress on Fort Rushmore came along in the next three years, and Custer and Mary Grass-Snake grew apart. Eventually in 2252, Mary Grass-Snake decided to move back to Deadwood to live on her own. Meanwhile, Custer led the occasional sortie out fight raiders in the area but ultimately underestimated the raider threat, ignoring the Dakota elder's warning.
Fort Rushmore's completion was drawing near in 2254, but Custer's personal life was in shambles. A thirty-two year old man with no children and a spurned lover, Custer felt like his life was going nowhere fast. Even though he was the head of a great army and was "a hero", Custer felt he had little to show for it.
However, things did not go as planned. It had turned out that many of the raiders General Custer had defeated in last few years had simply been biding their time and making allies, namely the infamous and ferocious Skintaker Pack, Badlanders known all across the Great Plains for their savagery. Word of the raiders' approach came from various Dakota scouts, who told General Custer that the hammer would fall hardest on Deadwood, his unofficial capital. In response, Custer called together his army at Mount Rushmore and marched back to Deadwood to meet the attack in mid 2254.
General Custer, his army, and the Dakota barely had any time to prepare before the attack would come. Many in the town wanted to simply flee but Custer denied them, knowing these savage Badlanders would easily cut them down outside the town. Quite a bit of Custer's American Army were resigned to their "impending doom", knowing the Skintakers Pack's reputation but resolved to not die like cowards. The Skintakers and raiders attacked only two days after Custer arrived back in Deadwood. The attack was led by the Skintakers, who formed the vanguard of the invaders while the raiders followed behind, ready to mop any resistance left in town.
Custer's American Army had constructed a barricade around Deadwood to try to wall it off, but that only stretched out their forces and allowed the invaders the opportunity to punch through weak points. However, true to tradition, the Skintakers struck at the strongest point in the town's defenses, namely where Custer and most of the Dakota were.
The fight was bloody and feral, with the Skintakers' ferocity, tactics, and just appearance taking a huge toll on the town's defenders. The Dakota were hit especially hard, engaging in hand to hand combat with the Skintakers and raiders. The Skintakers and raiders slowly pushed the defenders further into Deadwood and several residents joined in the battle to defend their homes and their families. Even the Gun Packers and their mercenaries joined in. It still looked bad for Custer and his army.
However, it was the raiders who ultimately doomed the attack. Remnants from the Motorhead Gang and other raider bands, the raiders became severely demoralized after the initial start of the battle and only slow progress, and an hour later, they began retreating back into the wasteland. This enraged the Skintakers and caused them to turn on the raiders, figuring it would mean more meat and loot.
General Custer saw this split and instantly took advantage of it, wedging the Skintakers between him and the raiders. This caused the Skintakers sustain very severe casualties in the next two hours, before the Badlanders decided to just take what they could and run. Most of the raiders, however, were captured by Custer's American Army and placed in warehouses to be judged later.
The Battle of Deadwood was a devastating loss to the raiders all across the Dakotas and marked the end of the Great Raider Wars, as all the big raider gangs had been effectively broken. It had take a big toll on the town though, as well as General Custer himself.
The Restored United States of America
In the immediate aftermath of the Battle of Deadwood, General Custer made an announcement to the captured raiders: to join Custer's American Army or become slaves to the Dakota. As one of the Motorheads tried to speak up against Custer, he promptly executed him with his revolver out of instinct. The rest of the raiders, knowing the reputation of the Dakota, decided to join Custer instead. The new recruits were shoved into the Deadwood Barracks and put under the watch of Custer's best soldiers for training.
After doing that, Custer checked around Deadwood to assess the damage. What he found haunted him. Men, women, and children lying dead in the streets and in their homes, slain by the Badlanders. The worst, for Custer, was finding Mary Grass-Snake, who the Skintakers had done unspeakable things to. He fell to his knees and let out a choked sob. They had their troubles, but Custer still loved her, through all the bad times.
His soldiers, led by Silent Dan, found him the next day, curled up beside Mary. Silent Dan considered leaving him there for a while but decided not to, waking the General up and consoling him, telling him it would be okay. General Custer, embarrassed at his appearance, dusted himself off and carried on with his work.
General Custer carried out his first big order later that day, to bury the dead of the battle. Custer's men and the townspeople were buried in the town cemetery while the the Skintakers and raiders were put in mass graves. The Dakota dead were taken by their brothers and sisters and cremated, as was the tradition of their people.
Later, Custer sent out messengers to allied towns and to Fort Rushmore. Most had also been attacked but only a few had fallen. The raiders had looted the abandoned camp under Mount Rushmore and taken all the equipment. Those raiders had fled south, towards Nebraska. Custer did not care though. They did not attack Fort Rushmore or the monument itself.
After a brief resting period, Custer decided to get over his grief and restore order to the now raider-free land. Custer's American Army absorbed more raider bands and towns around the Black Hills and grew from a defensive army into a conquering force with their reach extending from Rapid City to Wyoming.
2256 was a landmark year for Custer. He had finally gotten over Mary Grass-Snake and had grown into his role as General. Fort Rushmore was nearing completion and the raiders that Custer had forcibly drafted were becoming integrated into Custer's American Army. Slavers sponsored by Custer ran rabid over Rapid City and had much pull within the city. General Custer saw this as a new high point.
Also in the wake of the Battle of Deadwood, Custer had done some heavy reading, researching history and administration. This bored him, but it was necessary. This was all part of Custer's new plan: to create a nation of his own. Custer would take the strongest and the best one in his opinion: the United States of America.
In the summer of 2256, Fort Rushmore's construction was completed. Custer's officers saw this as an opportunity and advised the General to hold some type of event to celebrate. Calling together much of Custer's American Army's top soldiers and the local town leaders at the newly created Fort Rushmore, Custer declared the town and Custer's American Army now part of the Restored United States of America. Custer and his officers had planned this out for some time and decided upon that name for their new nation. He also declared the Dakotas now part of the RUSA's first territory, the Badlands Territory. The people took this well, and there were celebrations in Fort Rushmore, Deadwood, and other places for the next few days. Custer even scored with a few women. That didn't quite help him get over his emotional problems though.
After the celebrations, Custer went back to work. First on the order of business was the situation in Rapid City, where Custer's slavers were increasingly being targeted by the Dakota Regulators, who opposed the frequent slave raids. So, General Custer shifted his forces to Rapid City to put the hammer down on the Dakota Regulators and take the ruins as his own. At the same time, Custer sent Silent Dan to police the Black Hills and the surrounding area to keep raiders from coming back. Meanwhile, the Dakota were allowed to raid areas to the south and west of the RUSA, where Custer did not intend to go, at least peacefully.
Custer's first campaign in Rapid City was slow and painful for everyone. 2257 and 2258 were hard years for Custer. The campaign in Rapid City ended in 2258 when Vault 52 opened and Custer's American Army retreated in the face of these new ferocious enemies. General Custer fell back to Fort Rushmore and waited there for the trouble to roll over. During this time, Custer consolidated his control over his central regions and expanded his reach to other towns in the area. This did not go over well and caused much enmity between the RUSA and towns on the North Dakota-South Dakota border. This was when Custer first came in contact with the American Northern Army but decided to ignore them, figuring they would serve as a useful buffer against raiders to the north.
As Custer waited at Fort Rushmore, he remembered the Indian elder's words, to restore the mountain, which was vandalized right after the Great War. This was while the rest of Custer's American Army was occupied fighting raiders. So, Custer decided to restore the damage to Mount Rushmore, hiring "an expert architect" from the FSV to carry out the repairs and buying slaves from slavers in Rapid City, as usual.
However, the restoration of Mount Rushmore was not enough for Custer. Custer felt that he had to make his mark on the RUSA permanently, just like the men on the mountain. So, Custer ordered the FSV architect to add his face onto Mount Rushmore as well as restoring it. The architect blanched at this but agreed, as the money was very good.
The big war with the Vault Dwellers had blown over by the next year, and General Custer led his men back into Rapid City to attack the Dakota Regulators. The Dakota Regulators, weakened by the Vault Dwellers' attack, were pushed back to Rapid Valley by 2260. Custer also managed to buy off the Superiority and other raider gangs not to interfere with the siege. He camped outside Rapid Valley along with his army to oversee the siege.
This changed when Custer heard that the Dakota Regulators had sent messengers to try to make an alliance with the ANA. Custer also sent messengers north to try to parley with the ANA. This failed due to the efforts of the New-Merican Society. The Dakota Regulators joined the ANA, and Custer had a choice: war or peace. Custer, feeling that war against the ANA would bring him nothing but ruin, decided to recall his forces from around Rapid Valley back to their base in Camp Rapid. Meanwhile, he personally returned to Deadwood to help consolidate the RUSA, this time for real.
Custer was not really that good of an administrator, so he left much of the management of Deadwood and the RUSA to others such as the Gun Packers and some in Custer's American Army. Custer meanwhile busied himself fighting the occasional raider band and overseeing progress on Mount Rushmore in the 2260s. This continued on for several years. However, this was before Custer came to an important realization: he was growing old and had no one to carry on his name.
Family and Ambitions
- "Is that Nash Laurens?"
- ―Custer seeing the ghoul outlaw at his wedding
In 2263, Custer turned forty-three. He had no big enemy left to fight, no big goal in mind. Custer just remained overall leader of the RUSA and watched over his vanity project at Mount Rushmore. It was when Custer was in his office in Deadwood looking at a photograph of Mary Grass-Snake that he realized that although he gotten over his former lover, Custer had never moved on to another woman and had children "like a regular person". So at that moment, Custer decided that he needed to find someone to marry.
It took three years to find someone who wanted Custer, which he considered unusual since he had three great things: "power, good looks, and a badass mechanical arm". After several different women and courtships, Custer found his woman in 2266: Eliza Perry, a twenty-two year old brunette who had originally worked for the Gun Packers. Custer capped off this courtship by briefly leaving Deadwood to war on the Leathers in the south, promising to marry Eliza when he returned.
Custer and Perry's wedding took place in the January of 2267 in Deadwood. It was a big event in town and many important people from around the Badlands Territory attended including some Dakota chiefs and infamous ghoul outlaw Nash Laurens, who came incognito.
Custer was overjoyed at the wedding and right afterward went to work attempting to make children. This proved more difficult than first imagined, as Custer's age made it harder to sire children. Also, increasing raider activity in the south and out of Rapid City made Custer have to leave to command Custer's American Army in the late 2260s and early 2270s. His Eliza felt neglected and was even rumored to take other lovers when Custer was gone.
However, he did manage to have a child in 2272, a boy by the name of Simon Custer. The boy was at first promising, but he remained quiet even after his fourth year. It was determined that Simon had some type of mental disorder, and Custer decided to move on to try for more children. This coincided with an increase in tensions in Rapid City, with the Superiority refusing Custer's bribes and attacking the RUSA's caravans.
The next years produced two more children, a boy (Claude) and a girl (Kaitlyn), both "normal". However by then Custer had abandoned any hope of hereditary rule and decided to instead allow democratic elections in the RUSA after his death. Custer's primary allies, the Dakota and the Gun Packers, were informed of this and tentatively approved of it, though the Dakota were concerned that relations might worsen if someone else beside Custer took power. The chiefs wanted to stop this somehow.
This was interrupted by Khrud'z Killerz rampaging through the Badlands Territory from the east and tore apart a few tribes of Dakotas. Luckily for Custer, the super mutants avoided Deadwood and kept forging west in search of the "green stuff". Custer set about repairing the super mutants' damage. Along with that, he tried to figure out how to deal with the raiders in Rapid City.
In 2276, Custer decided to build a new base in the middle of Rapid City to try to stave off raider attacks. This new base would be in Vault 52, which Custer's American Army proceeded to occupy and fortify.
At first, this greatly helped trade in Rapid City and Custer went on with his daily life, watching the progress on Mount Rushmore and cracking down on corruption in Custer's American Army. In the fall of 2276, at the age of fifty-four, General Custer led his troops against raiders in the northern part of the RUSA before returning south to Deadwood.
Later that year, the Custer's American Army base in Vault 52 was attacked and destroyed by unknown assailants, assumed to be raiders. General Custer decided to clamp down on the raider gangs in Rapid City after that, deploying Custer's American Army in force in Rapid City to fight the raiders. The war wore on the now old Custer, and he decided to sit back in Camp Rapid this time and monitor his army's movements from behind the lines.
In the next three years, Custer's American Army kind of just wandered around Rapid City, as they weren't really targeting any specific raiders and were simply targeting them all. However, things changed in 2280. Custer heard from some of his more reputable spies that the Rockers and an unknown third party had attacked Vault 52. Now with a focus, General Custer hunted down as many Rockers as he could to confirm this and discover who the unknown third party was (he already suspected it to be the Dakota Regulators).
The Generals War
- "This coalition of warlords and moralists will not, never beat me. I have the legacy of the Old World on my side."
- ―Custer raging against the ANA
Custer did capture a few Rockers in Rapid City in 2280, and he had them taken back to Camp Rapid to be interrogated by him personally. The first three Rockers resisted interrogation, so he shot them. The fourth Rocker was much more willing to talk, telling Custer that they were helping "the men from up north" and even named some names. The only one that Custer recognized was Tom Renner, who he had heard was a great soldier of the American Northern Army that had recently died fighting raiders from Canada. Custer had the other names confirmed as Renner's squad members, further confirming his fears. Furthermore, he found out that they had been based out of Rapid Valley, home to his old enemies the Dakota Regulators.
This act of disguised aggression was a slight Custer could not tolerate for even a moment, and he immediately marshaled all of Custer's American Army and marched into Rapid City, intending to knock out the Dakota Regulators' presence in the city and take Rapid Valley by storm. This partially worked, with all of the Regulators and ANA's presence outside Rapid Valley being wiped out, including several gun nests and outposts.
However, before General Custer could take Rapid Valley and destroy the ANA's Army of the South, word came from scouts that a large ANA force was moving south towards Deadwood. Custer did not want to let Rapid Valley escape this time, but he had not expected the ANA to respond so quickly. So, he had to go back west to defend the RUSA, immediately. Custer took most of his forces northwest, leaving only a small force to continue to besiege Rapid Valley.
Luckily for Custer, the ANA were moving south slowly and gave him plenty of time to move into position near the North Dakota-South Dakota border. For added measure, Custer even had his men dig trenches as defenses, something he had learned about when reading in Deadwood.
To General Custer's surprise, this tactic worked so well the enemy even adopted it. The battle on the North Dakota-South Dakota border degenerated into drawn out trench warfare as any troop movement was slowed to a grinding halt. However, his army was hit hard by the harsh Badlands winter and any attempt to turn back the ANA was also repulsed. The war in Borderlands had simmered down.
Meanwhile in other areas, Custer's influence had expanded due to the war, with Mobridge, Timber Lake, and Mason falling under Custer's control soon after the war began. However, the situation in Rapid City was reversed, with Custer's American Army's siege of the town finally being broken in late 2280 due to attacks from raiders and ANA reinforcements.
This caused General Custer to travel back to Rapid City to assist in the campaign there since the situation the Borderlands was still at a stalemate. Custer decided to change tactics, making it his goal to exterminate Rapid City's prodigous raider population instead of focusing exclusively on Rapid Valley. This has proved to be a bloody but effective strategy, since Custer would have killed them after taking Rapid Valley anyways.
Since the Rapid City campaign began, General Custer's forces have killed more than one hundred raiders each year, and success is within sight. His older son Simon joined the fight as well by joining Custer's American Army in 2287 as a private. This constantly worries Custer because of Simon's "mental deficiency", but he feels that Simon sould ultimately make his own choices and live his own life now. Custer is growing old, but he still has his dream of being the "hero" given to him by that Indian elder so many years ago.
As a child and a youth, Claude Prius was a happy boisterous person with many friends though not must of a leader, relying too much on others. When Claude adopted the moniker of George Armstrong Custer II, he became a dynamic confident man. However, Custer can still be quite easily manipulated through goading or guile.
After Mary Grass-Snake's death and some personal growth, Custer learned to be more self-reliant and take leadership into his own hands instead of leaning on others. Custer has also acquired a sharp wit which he uses very effectively on his enemies. A downside of this is that Custer now commonly holds his beliefs above others and takes advice less often, sometimes falling victim to megalomania. He is however not afraid to do his own dirty work and will brutalize someone to get a point across or get information with no remorse, considering it necessary to restore peace and prosperity to the people of the wasteland.
When he was a young man, Custer was quite handsome in uniform, with his robotic hand adding a rugged look. His blonde hair is one of his another notable features, hearkening back to the first Custer. However, he is not a solid man and was bullied as a child for looking "like a girl".
Custer still keeps a respectable image in his old age, as his skin has began to sag and his hair turned a light gray. This doesn't concern Custer, as he is more focused on nation-building than appearance, nowdays at least.
Custer mostly goes unarmed, but when he does come armed, Custer carries a .44 magnum revolver. Custer mostly goes unarmored due to being out of combat, but when he did, he used combat armor.
- "Upon my passing, the United States will experience its true rebirth. I first just have to put down the foundation."
- ―Custer on the Restored United States of America
- "Spare the children, kill the rest."
- ―Custer at a raider encampment
- "I will not entertain this madman's delusions of reincarnation. Got the Indians' hand so far up his ass..."
- ―A particularly suicidal captured ANA soldier
- "This Custer is like the first one but just friendlier to the Indians and with less military training."
- ―A Follower of the Apocalypse in Fort Angel about General Custer
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