- "We fight to protect our culture, our homes, our lives!"
- ―Caesar Skull-Taker talking to his followers about the role of Skull-Taker's Legion
|Group type:||Tribal War-Band|
|Leader Title:||War Chief|
|Motto:||Blood for Caesar|
|Goals:||Restoring reactionary tribal values and the eventual conquest of Cascadia|
|Enemies:||Free Northwestern Army, Badlanders, scavengers|
Skull-Taker's Legion, also known as the Skull-Takers, is a Oregon tribal war-band based in Portland that is a dim imitation of Caesar's Legion trying to revive parts of their culture believed to be lost. They are hostile to most non-tribal groups and feared by many.
Among the Tribe
- "This tribe is diseased. I have to cut out what's still useful."
- ―Caesar Skull-Taker commenting on the Stag Horn tribe's condition
The history of Skull-Taker's Legion is one that is inescapably linked to the Oregon Brushfire Wars. The Oregon tribals of Cascadia, savage and cannibalistic, were frequently targeted by many sides of the conflict due their status as an easy target. Homesteaders had always hated them, the NCR disliked them for constantly resisting the Republic's advance north, the caravans hated them for their habit of raiding, and the Oregon partisans hated them for "holding Cascadia back". The only allies the tribals ever really had were the Northwestern Alliance, and that ended quickly enough. The Oregon Confederacy, the entity that held together many tribals under the indomitable Chief Kill-a-Ton, began splinter apart. Things were looking bad all around.
One tribe in particular was experiencing conflict, not just external but also internal. Their chief, an old man named Warbird, had fought alongside the great chief Kill-a-Ton during the Oregon Brushfire Wars but was now tired of fighting off the NCR and their cronies. He just wanted to go further north to escape the NCR's influence. Warbird voiced his intention to take the tribe north in 2282. However, the young bucks within the Stag Horn tribe were opposed to Warbird's "defeatist" attitude and refused to cooperate with him. This kept the tribe in gridlock for close to a year.
This gridlock was broken when in 2283 an exiled young maniac once known as Bark Biter returned to the Stag Horn tribe. Rebranded Caesar Skull-Taker, the maniac ranted about how the god Skull-Taker was the only true God of the tribal pantheon and that he (and war) was the tribal's only chance for survival in a changing world. Caesar Skull-Taker's message attracted the attention of some of the younger tribals and vengeful veterans of the Oregon Brushfire Wars, but the vast majority of the tribe remained skeptical of the man, who had been exiled for spirit possession. Chief Warbird tried to banish the man like his predecessor, but that did not work.
As the tribe's gridlock continued and the FNA occasionally raided the tribe's village, Caesar Skull-Taker continued to gain followers. These followers lived on the edges of the Stag Horn tribe's village and trained themselves for the coming battles. In early 2284, Caesar Skull-Taker actually named them Skull-Taker's Legion to honor both Skull-Taker and Caesar's Legion.
In the summer of 2284, Skull-Taker's Legion began raiding out into the wasteland. They had great success, looting many homesteads and scavenger dens. Bringing loot and meat back to the Stag Horn tribe's village made even more popular among the tribe. He distributed loot among the tribe generously and especially flaunted his suit of power armor acquired in battle. Skull-Taker's Legion copied Caesar's Legion to an extent in regards to their scavenging habits, mostly looking for sports gear and weapons.
Skull-Taker's Legion raided their region harshly, and this brought the ire of the Oregon Confederacy. Chief Kill-a-Ton and many other tribals had tried to stop raiding homesteaders to build some goodwill between the tribal and civilized people of Cascadia. So, the Stag Horn tribe was isolated from other Oregon tribals and their situation worsened. Chief Kill-a-Ton talked to Chief Warbird numerous times to try to work things out, but that did not succeed so the Stag Horn tribe got cut off. At the same time, Caesar Skull-Taker still earned a lot of respect from Oregon tribals who resented Kill-a-Ton's efforts to repair relations between the tribal and civilized people of Cascadia and just wanted to fight.
Skull-Taker's Legion took the step from local cult to a force to be reckoned with when Chief Warbird's son, Knot Guts, came into the picture. A master schemer and a staunch traditionalist, Knot Guts had a certain admiration for the sentiment behind Skull-Taker's Legion but felt like the group had an idiot leader with no real vision or direction. That was his opinion of Caesar Skull-Taker and his group until he happened until one fateful day when he happened upon Caesar Skull-Taker in the grip of convulsions. Upon seeing that, Knot Guts soon enough understood Caesar Skull-Taker's religious convictions and saw an opportunity. Soon after witnessing the convulsions, Knot Guts offered Caesar Skull-Taker his services in interpreting visions. Caesar Skull-Taker was suspicious of this but felt more comfortable talking to someone else about his "visions". Knot Guts impressed Caesar Skull-Taker with his interpretation of the leader's most recent vision and from that point trusted him.
After a couple more interpretations, Knot Guts declared his loyalty to Skull-Taker's Legion and took a new name, Imperator. This crushed his father Warbird, who was already sick of Caesar Skull-Taker by that point. Chief Warbird, feeling betrayed, decided that he would take what is left of the Stag Horn tribe north, away from Skull-Taker's Legion and other enemies of tribals. Caesar Skull-Taker did not stop Chief Warbird from leaving.
The Holy War
- "This is the perfect place to begin our movement. We will overcome the challenges!"
- ―Imperator on the Legion's activities in Portland
After the Stag Horn tribe and Skull-Taker's Legion finally separated in late 2285, Caesar Skull-Taker and his adviser Imperator had come to the consensus that the visions were pointing the Legion to the "lost city" of Portland. Caesar Skull-Taker went with this option because of the city's supposed spiritual significance to the original Skull-Taker while Imperator wanted to go Portland because of the presence of possibly sympathetic tribals.
Skull-Taker's Legion came to Portland in the winter of 2285 and almost immediately stormed the eastern part of the city. The FNA in particular suffered in the initial attack with their general Clint Bundy committing suicide when his command post was overwhelmed by Legion Skull-Takers and their armory of NCR-made weapons being captured. Not wanting to overextend himself, Caesar Skull-Taker stopped the assault in early 2286 and consolidated his new territory.
For Skull-Taker's Legion, 2286 was mostly spent trying to advance, promoting themselves to the residents of Portland, and implementing their rule in eastern Portland. Their message of tribal unity and spirituality appealed to tribals while their message of independence appealed to scavengers. More settled wastelanders and mutants mostly resisted Legion rule and were executed destroyed in often grisly fashion. Tribal volunteers from across Cascadia also began coming to Portland to join the Legion, bolstering their numbers. Nonetheless, the battle within Portland remained a stalemate.
In the fall of 2286, a large barge from overseas beached near the old Port of Portland. This temporarily halted all hostilities as both the Legion and the FNA held their breath to see what would emerge from the barge's depths. What would emerge would be a well-armed band of Moro slavers with a large number of exotic slaves. These slavers, in search of a ship to carry them home, would be cut to ribbons by Portland's various hazards with both the slavers and slaves being scattered throughout the city. Skull-Taker's Legion absorbed the Night Sheila and several others, using their skills to continue their war.
In 2287, Skull-Taker's Legion has run into some difficulties. The Unity remnants within Portland, super mutants once loyal to the Master then part of the Northwestern Alliance, have begun growing hostile to Skull-Taker's Legion due to the encroachment of Legion displacing them. Also, the FNA within Portland has begun gaining more support from the NCR and Seattle caravans so that they might eliminate the threat Skull-Taker's Legion might pose to caravans if they capture both of the bridges in Portland over the Columbia River. Currently, Skull-Taker's Legion has a firm hold over much of eastern Portland with Caesar Skull-Taker holding court in the remains of Portland International Airport. The front-line of the battle between Skull-Taker's Legion and the FNA has currently grinded to a halt. The Legion has remained focused on their fanatical goal of bringing Skull-Taker's glory to all the tribals of Cascadia, beginning in Portland.
In Portland, Skull-Taker's Legion is liked by the tribals of the area for saving them from the indignities of the FNA and the weakness of the remnants of the Northwestern Alliance. The scavengers of Portland are less enthusiastic about Skull-Taker's Legion but still prefer them to the "quasi-fascist thugs" of the local FNA. The city's settled wastelanders are deathly afraid of them while the FNA hates them with a passion for wrecking years of work within Portland. The super mutants view the Legion as crazed fanatics fighting for a god of war and blood.
Outside Portland, Skull-Taker's Legion is viewed with almost universal disdain, even by most tribals. The NCR, FNA, and caravans view Skull-Taker's Legion as dangerous Caesar's Legion wannabes to be shot on sight. Anti-NCR groups in Cascadia view the Legion as unjustifiably savage and the last breath of a violent, dying culture. They only tolerate the Legion out of an extreme hate for the NCR. Most of the tribals of Cascadia view Skull-Taker's Legion as monotheistic weirdos who give the rest of them a bad name while some view the Legion as a new tribal movement that might redeem them.
Skull-Taker's Legion modeled itself off of Caesar's Legion, with their equipment being their closest similarity to the original Legion. They have an odd mix of sports gear and tribal furs. Their equipment is also distributed similar to Caesar's Legion, with higher-ranking members of the Legion have better equipment and lower-ranking members of the Legion have worse equipment.
The Legion's most common weapons are the hunting rifle, the service rifle, the 9mm pistol, the police baton, the hatchet, and the combat knife. A lot of this equipment was looted from an FNA armory of NCR-supplied weapons. More unique weapons include the CZ53 personal minigun, the ripper, the double-barrel shotgun, and a unique handmade rifle made by a particularly industrious Skull-Taker.
Caesar Skull-Taker is the undisputed leader of Skull-Taker's Legion. Some call him a prophet, some call him a warrior, some call him a maniac. The group, Skull-Taker's Legion, is his dream and he leads it as he sees fit. Any that oppose him have to deal with the business end of his mini-gun, particularly those who count themselves as part of "civilization".
Caesar Skull-Taker, originally known as Bark Biter, was found as a feral child in 2269 by the Stag Horn tribe and raised as one of their own. He was found wandering in the brush alone. His origins before this were unknown, but the tribals that found him estimated that Bark Biter was about five or six years old when they found him.
Bark Biter was a willful, ferocious child, and he was hard to control. He had to be taught how to speak at later age than most, only making things more difficult. However, Bark Biter finally managed to improve his behavior in 2273 when he was adopted by a motherly tribal named Dances-like-Fire. Dances-like-Fire gave Bark Biter the attention he desperately craved. The tribe did not raise Bark Biter alongside the other children due to his odd nature, and he was not taught to hunt, forage, or other things vital to tribal society. Bark Biter spent much of his time drawing doodles. He also showed great faith in the tribal gods. The tribe was happy to see that Bark Biter was improving even with their misgivings.
That was until the fits started. These began about a year after Dances-like-Fire adopted Bark Biter. At first it only happened at night but soon enough, Bark Biter was having fits of nausea and twitching during the day, and people were noticing. Seeing Bark Biter act this way and remembering his status as an adopted outsiders, the rest of the tribe decided the fits were a bad omen. For that reason, Bark Biter and Dances-like-Fire were exiled to the wild to fend for themselves in 2274.
Bark Biter was devastated by this and blamed himself for his adoptive mother's exile. Dances-like-Fire tried to reassure Bark Biter of his innocence but struggled to care for both of them alone. Bark Biter and Dances-like-Fire eked out a harsh existence in the wilderness of Cascadia for a couple of years, creating a homestead for themselves. Bark Biter continued having fits and compulsively drawing to Dances-like-Fire's chagrin. In that time, Bark Biter also learned how to read from a frequently passing caravaner and began to write compulsively as well as draw. The same caravaner gave Bark Biter an amateur diagnosis, saying he was an epileptic due to his frequent seizures. The caravaner offered to give Dances-like-Fire some medication from the NCR to help Bark Biter. She accepted the caravaner's offer even though she was unfamiliar with "civilized medicine" and soon enough, Bark Biter was getting medication to suppress his seizures in 2276.
However, even though his seizures had begun to receded, other changes began to take shape in Bark Biter's psychology in late 2276. Dances-like-Fire was surprised to find that puberty had a relatively low effect on Bark Biter, with little to no interest in girls. Bark Biter took a deep interest in exploring the wilderness around that time, sometimes going days on end in the wild. It was there that Bark Biter finally taught himself how to hunt. Another thing in Bark Biter that emerged in that time was his later notorious viscosity, having a habit of "talking people's ears off", particularly Dances-like-Fire and the caravaner that often visited them. The caravaner became fond of this while it tired Dances-like-Fire.
It was in his conversations with the caravaner that Bark Biter got his first impressions of the outside world. The caravaner, a man named Sunny originally from New California, told Bark Biter of distant lands like the Mojave, New California, and the Midwest. The caravaner also told of the various groups around post-War America such as the Brotherhood of Steel, the New California Republic, and in particular Caesar's Legion. This was because Sunny was a native of the Mojave and was very concerned about the situation there. In 2277, the caravaner told Bark Biter of the buildup to the First Battle of Hoover Dam. He told the young tribal of the brutality and strength of the Legion, describing their legionaries in great detail while also describing the heroism of the NCR's citizens and soldiers. Sunny unintentionally gave Bark Biter a perception that the Legion were "badass", and he frequently asked about the Legion's practices, equipment, and even their insignia. The caravaner answered Bark Biter as best as he could, though he worried about the boy. Sunny never came back to see Dances-like-Fire and Bark Biter after 2278, never telling Bark Biter the result of the First Battle of Hoover Dam (or the Second Battle of Hoover Dam for that matter). Therefore, Bark Biter grew to idealize Caesar's Legion as the pinnacle of tribal culture. At the same time, the only source of Bark Biter's medication had run out and his episodes began once again to Dances-like-Fire's utter grief.
These fits were different from the ones before, at least in meaning to Bark-Biter. They felt awe-inspiring, mysterious, even spiritual. Some of his seizures were even ecstatic experiences for him. This worried Dances-like-Fire greatly but actually gave Bark Biter a sort of comfort. His earlier religious faith was boosted greatly, and he worshiped the tribal pantheon of gods religiously. This continued on for two years. Dances-like-Fire treated Bark Biter as well as she could but could do little to stop his seizures, not that he would want that now. A couple of caravaners came by the pair's homestead, but none could obtain the medication Bark Biter needed.
Things came to a head in 2280 when a group of FNA troopers came upon Dances-like-Fire and Bark Biter's homestead by accident. The trooper were former raiders and had been chasing a sentry bot for several days trying to capture it. They eventually lost their quarry but ran across the tribal pair's homestead one evening. The FNA troopers decided to go and ask if they could stay the night at the homestead before they headed back to their base camp. For being former raiders, the troopers were in general quite polite and Dances-like-Fire was hospitable, letting them sleep at the homestead for the night. That was her final mistake.
As said before, most of the former raiders were pretty polite. Most of them. One of the FNA troopers "took a liking" to Dances-like-Fire and tried to flirt with her. Dances-like-Fire rebuffed his advances so the FNA trooper decided to wait until everyone went to bed before making his move. This resulted in a brief struggle, a scream, and a gunshot.
This caused everyone in the homestead to wake up and see what was happening. The guilty FNA trooper panicked and came running to his other troopers asking what to do. As the other troopers reprimanded the guilty one, Bark Biter slowly walked through his homestead until he saw the glazed dead eyes of Dances-like-Fire, unjustly gunned down. That sent Bark Biter into shock, and he only recovered from that after the FNA troopers had already left.
A seventeen year-old on his own, Bark Biter decided to first bury Dances-like-Fire then go into the wilderness "to find his own path". So, Bark Biter packed up his things and left the homestead he lived in for six years behind forever to head into the unknown.
The next few years for Bark Biter were spent wandering, looking for a purpose. While this happened, the young man coped the death of his mother figure, his increasing seizures, and the difficulties of the wasteland. Bark Biter's survival in the wasteland hardened him and soon even shaped his interpretations of his seizures. Bark Biter's anger about Dances-like-Fire's death, his inability to stop it, and his harsh existence in the wild made the young man turn to the gods for survival, though one in particular: Skull-Taker, the tribal god of war, passion, and choice. This led him down a rather dark path. The young man began to pray to Skull-Taker every day, hoping for an answer. Bark Biter's prayers seemed to be answered as he began to get "revelations" from Skull-Taker. He interpreted some of these "revelations" as a message to go seek out Skull-Taker's relics for more answers.
He already knew Skull-Taker's relics were housed in a village east of Portland, so it was not a particularly strenuous journey. So when he arrived at the tribal village that held Skull-Taker's relics, Bark Biter was surprised to find the village under the thumb of the FNA, this time from Portland. He saw tribals being pushed around and degraded by the FNA, shamed for they and their ancestors' misdeeds. This angered Bark Biter but he continued on with his goal: to induce another revelation from Skull-Taker by being in proximity of his relics.
This next revelation came about a week or so after Bark Biter's arrival, and it was the episode that fundamentally changed his life. During his seizure, Bark Biter had a spiritual out of body experience where he met Skull-Taker, a terrifying god of darkness, smoke, and blood. Skull-Taker was surprising kind to Bark Biter though and after a short conversation told the young man how he would be lead the god's legions to victory against the enemies of the tribals. Bark Biter became conscious after that and knew he had to now think on what Skull-Taker told him.
After some deliberation, Bark Biter boiled Skull-Taker's instructions down to three points: he would be the representative of the one true god Skull-Taker, he would fight the enemies of the Oregon tribals to win back their land and culture, and he was going to create his own Legion akin to Caesar's Legion to achieve these goals.
Leaving the tribal village soon after learning his revelation, Bark Biter decided to return to his old tribe, the Stag Horn tribe, to begin building Skull-Taker's Legion. As he made his way closer to his old home after his latest revelation, Bark Biter began to make a radical transformation into someone unfamiliar to even himself. Thoughts of Dances-like-Fire and guilt were left behind. Bark Biter cut his hair short, frequently washed himself and most importantly renamed himself Caesar Skull-Taker in tribute to his idol and his god.
Caesar Skull-Taker arrived back at his home tribe in 2283 with fire in his eyes, ready to say his piece to the tribals who once knew him. He came back to his tribe to find it changed. A new chief, Warbird, had come to power and decided that the tribe was going to move north to escape the FNA and civilization in general. However, many of the younger tribals opposed Warbird, wanting to fight, and for that reason the tribe had stayed put, trapped in gridlock. Warbird began to be nicknamed Chicken-Hawk, which angered him.
Arriving back in this volatile environment, Caesar Skull-Taker began preaching his message of the glory of Skull-Taker and holy war against the civilized peoples of Cascadia and the southern invaders. This instantly attracted the attention of some of the younger tribals and vengeful veterans of the Oregon Brushfire Wars, but the vast majority of the tribe remained skeptical of the returning "oddball". His exile had technically not been revoked though he was still allowed to stay nonetheless.
Caesar Skull-Taker remained part of his tribe for two more years, slowly gaining power as the tribe's gridlock became more and more pronounced. In that time, Caesar Skull-Taker finally named his followers Skull-Taker's Legion and began going out into the wilds to raid. He organized his followers along what he knew of Caesar's Legion, mostly scavenging sports gear and weapons. Caesar Skull-Taker's seizures were hidden from his followers but continued to guide him. Skull-Taker's Legion consistently succeeded and brought back a lot of loot to the tribe. The tribe was particularly floored when Caesar Skull-Taker came back to their village in a partial suit of power armor, which he had taken off of a wanderer he had encountered in the wild and defeated in battle. The Legion's raiding eroded the Stag Horn tribe's relations with other tribes but also gained Caesar Skull-Taker more and more followers.
The tipping point came in 2285 when when Chief Warbird's son, Knot Guts, joined Skull-Taker's Legion and renamed himself Imperator. Feeling betrayed, Chief Warbird then decided to take what was left of the tribe he controlled north and away. Caesar Skull-Taker allowed this, feeling that one of his seizures told him to let old Warbird go.
This was when Skull-Taker's Legion truly came into it's own. Now "unhindered" by a conflicted and divided tribe, Caesar Skull-Taker decided to get on the move. He was inspired to go to the city Skull-Taker and his original "tribe" were rumored to have occupied: Portland. There, he said, would the new tribal movement to take back Cascadia begin for real. This surprised many others within the Legion who had heard Caesar Skull-Taker just recently voice his opinion that Portland was a "lost city" and too dangerous to enter. Nonetheless, Skull-Taker's Legion was going to Portland.
However, these ideas were not Caesar Skull-Taker's own but instead his adviser Imperator's, who had figured out his leader's condition and was now interpreting his "visions". Imperator knew of embattled tribals in Portland who might be sympathetic to their cause and used a spiritual route to guide Caesar Skull-Taker there.
Skull-Taker's Legion arrived in Portland in late 2285 and took the scene by storm. Brutally attacking the FNA in the eastern part of Portland, Skull-Taker's Legion surprised them and pilfered an entire armory of NCR-made weapons. Then, the Legion moved to promote itself to the tribals and scavengers of Portland throughout 2286. This tactic succeeded, and Skull-Taker's Legion's numbers swelled. The Legion's message of tribal unity even attracted recruits from outside Portland.
Caesar Skull-Taker has benefited greatly from Skull-Taker's Legion's success in Portland. He has become a warrior to be feared throughout the region, often leading his forces into battle himself due to his fanatical love of his war god. The tribal warlord has also recently acquired a harem of concubines, though they are more of a status symbol than for actual use. Caesar Skull-Taker treats his concubines rather well and jealously protects them.
Currently, Skull-Taker's Legion holds much of eastern Portland, and Caesar Skull-Taker is happy to see progress being made. He holds court in the remains of Portland International Airport and coordinates the Legion's war effort against the FNA from there. He still has occasional seizures but hides this from everyone, even his concubines. Imperator knows of his leader's disability however and manipulates him frequently by "interpreting" his leader's visions. Caesar Skull-Taker is completely unaware of these underhanded tactics and loves Imperator like a brother.
The Night Sheila
The Night Sheila is a woman of few words and a recent recruit into Skull-Taker's Legion. A captive from across the sea, she washed up on the shores of Cascadia only to be saved by Caesar Skull-Taker. Though the Night Sheila joined of her own volition, she does not really believe in Caesar Skull-Taker's beliefs but rather in the man himself, being completely devoted to him. She is skilled in both bow and hatchet and uses her skills to aid Skull-Taker's Legion in any way she can.
The Night Sheila's original name is unknown and her origins are largely shrouded in mystery. She does not like to talk much already, so nobody has really asked. However, it is known that the Night Sheila was born in Australia. She grew up living a primitive but not quite tribal lifestyle, learning to survive in a harsh environment.
Sometime in the mid 2280's, the Night Sheila was captured by a band of Moro slavers. An attractive young woman, she was chosen to fulfill a lucrative order from a wealthy benefactor in New California who wanted a harem of exotic slaves. She and the rest of the slaves were kept in comfortable conditions, but the Night Sheila would never be broken into becoming a slave. She was called the Night Sheila by the slavers for her Australian origins and dark attitude. The name stuck, even for the woman herself.
The Night Sheila was kept stuck on the slaver's ship for a little less than a year before the ship ran aground in the Port of Portland in 2286. She escaped soon after the ship ran aground and was chased after by the Moro slavers. The Night Sheila did well for herself initially but was inexperienced in Portland's terrain, almost getting caught by the slavers. However, she was rescued in the last second by Skull-Taker's Legion, led by Caesar Skull-Taker himself.
Caesar Skull-Taker was impressed by the Night Sheila's tenacity to survive and her cold vengeance when she killed her slaver tormentors, then captured by the Legion. So, he offered the Night Sheila a position in Skull-Taker's Legion which she accepted, wowed by the man's power and appearance.
Since then, the Night Sheila has dutifully served Skull-Taker's Legion in their war, mostly using her skills with bow and hatchet to fight against the FNA in her own far from other Legion forces. One of the Night Sheila's first requests upon joining the Legion was to be allowed to range around. She has since become a persistent threat to the FNA in Portland, taking down several FNA troopers even though she was on her own and armed with poor weapons. Caesar Skull-Taker, at the urging of Imperator, lets the Night Sheila work on her own, seeing as her an effective propaganda tool against the Legion's enemies.
Meanwhile, the Night Sheila is head over heels in love with Caesar Skull-Taker, to an obsessive level. Her captivity among the Moro slavers left her severely emotionally damaged and although she put up a tough image, the Night Sheila is actually quite vulnerable. She attached herself to Caesar Skull-Taker, idealizing him as a man to be idolized, worshiped even. However, the Night Sheila has not even thought of how she might try to make an advance on her leader (who already has a harem of women) so instead she prefers a "long distance relationship". She built a shrine to Caesar Skull-Taker in one of her hideaways in Portland. The Night Sheila prefers isolation to interaction with other members of the Legion. Imperator has faith in the Night Sheila's abilities even though they have had minimal interaction while the woman herself remains suspicious of him. The regular Skull-Takers within the Legion regard the Night Sheila as near legendary for her prowess against the FNA.
Imperator is Caesar Skull-Taker's right-hand man and the son of the former chief of the Stag Horn tribe. He holds Caesar Skull-Taker's ear in all important matters. Imperator holds his tribe's traditions in the highest regards, being rather skeptical of Caesar Skull-Taker's adoption of the Legion as inspiration. Yet he remains loyal, as Imperator sees Skull-Taker's Legion as a way to gain power for tribals in general and himself.
Imperator was born Knot Guts to Chief Warbird of the Stag Horn tribe in 2266. He was named after the condition of a corpse his father had made the night before his birth. Knot Guts grew up among the rest of the tribe and became a strong warrior. However, Knot Guts also had a loner streak and liked to spend a lot of time by himself. This caused his father to worry about him often but his mother calmed Warbird, assuring the chief that this was just a phase. Knot Guts often manipulated his mother to his own ends.
Knot Guts did grow out of his reclusive state during his teenage years but at the same time began seeing the turbulent results of the Oregon Brushfire Wars. FNA troopers and Badlanders often harassed the tribals for supplies and sometimes even raped women. Chief Warbird stopped the rapes but refrained from any other action against the aggressors, following the great chief Kill-a-Ton's lead in not provoking "civilized" Cascadians. Knot Guts deeply resented his father for this, and this resentment only grew after his mother's death.
Knot Guts still did care for Caesar Skull-Taker when he arrived though, seeing him as an uncontrollable lunatic who had a couple of good ideas. He often discussed the issue of the man and his religion with his father Chief Warbird. He approved of Caesar Skull-Taker's ideals in reviving tribal values albeit a bit modified. Knot Guts could respect him for that.
Things changed radically when Knot Guts made a discovery. After returning from a hunt, Knot Guts saw an odd sight. He saw Caesar Skull-Taker in his tent away from the rest of the tribe's camp, and he was convulsing on the ground, mumbling to himself. Knot Guts at first ran up to the tent and tried to help Caesar Skull-Taker, but he was surprised to see that Caesar Skull-Taker recovered rather quickly.
Upon his recovery, Caesar Skull-Taker was a bit distressed but also relieved. Knot Guts was quick to react and asked Caesar Skull-Taker about his condition. The rattled man explained his "connection to the gods", its' effects on him, and the visions that came to him. Knot Guts mulled this over in his mind and saw an opportunity. He offered to help interpret Caesar Skull-Taker's visions for him. Caesar Skull-Taker was very grateful for Knot Guts help, having felt isolated before trying to hide his epileptic fits.
Soon after that, Knot Guts declared his loyalty to Skull-Taker's Legion and changed his name to Imperator. This broke his father Warbird's heart which the newly-minted Imperator was okay with. He had resented his father ever since his mother's death, wanting to instead go out to fight for the tribe. The two never talked after one initial conversation after Imperator's "crossing over".
Chief Warbird and the remaining Stag Horn tribe left for the north in late 2285, and Skull-Taker's Legion looked to strike out on their own. Caesar Skull-Taker favored going south to fight the NCR, the tribes' old enemy, directly. Imperator saw that as a death-wish and looked for a good alternative.
Imperator examined several possible locations for their potential such as parts of eastern Oregon, various dams on the tributaries of the Columbia River, or Portland. Portland was eventually the location Imperator decided upon due to its historical relevance in relation to Skull-Taker and its sizable tribal population. After some convincing, Caesar Skull-Taker agreed with Imperator and decided to take Skull-Taker's Legion to Portland.
That move has been highly successful for the Legion, and Imperator has reaped the benefits in recent years. He sits at Caesar Skull-Taker's right hand, has a loving wife with a child on the way, and is considered second in command of Skull-Taker's Legion. Imperator continues his machinations throughout Portland and still manipulates the unwitting Caesar Skull-Taker by interpreting his "visions". Imperator has great expectations of the Legion's future and the potential of "tribalizing" Portland.
Imperator is widely-known in Portland is hated by many, even more than Caesar Skull-Taker. The people of Portland see him as a greedy, manipulative man who loves no one but himself.
The Big Slit
The Big Slit, a slightly mutated tribal, is one of the most prominent Skull-Takers in the service of Caesar Skull-Taker. The Big Slit has fully embraced Caesar Skull-Taker's blended culture while also serving his dream: a family to call his own. He has not succeeded so far, being ugly as sin, but that has not stopped the Big Slit's resolve. He is also fascinated by pre-War technology which he calls "old magic".
One of the few of the Legion who kept their name after joining Skull-Taker's Legion, the Big Slit was born with a skin mutation in 2262 to the Stag Horn tribe. His name was a description of the process of his birth. This ostracized the Big Slit to many in the tribe, so he tried extra hard to show his worth. That motivation made the Big Slit into a effective warrior and hunter. He became of great value to the Stag Horn tribe, becoming one of the tribe's most renowned warriors.
However, the Big Slit's status as a great warrior did not leave him satisfied with his lot. The warrior constantly met rejection and revulsion from women for his appearance. So, the Big Slit has been a state of deep sorrow for years.
The Big Slit fully embraced the Skull-Taker's Legion when it arrived, hoping to find satisfaction with them. He fought valiantly for Caesar Skull-Taker for years, but that did not help his luck with the ladies. He still hopes to succeed with women but has not really tried anything new.
In Portland, the Big Slit has gotten quite notorious for his fearsome appearance, if not for his acts. He is known as a bit of an urban legend around Portland, being labelled a monster by mothers who warn their children of a discolored demon that eats children.
Caesar Skull-Taker originally created Skull-Taker's Legion to preserve the culture of Oregon tribals against outside incursions. This leads to the group being virulently xenophobic towards those they see as "outsiders", often meeting them with violence. The Legion's veneration of tribal culture mostly summed up by their religious reverence, cannibalism, and hunter-gatherer lifestyle. They stick to these tenets staunchly.
However, Skull-Taker's Legion has blaring differences with other Oregon tribals. Firstly, the Legion exclusively worships the tribal deity Skull-Taker instead of a pantheon of gods like other Oregon tribals. They aggressively proselytize towards other tribals which often causes a lot of friction. Another big difference is that Skull-Taker Legion borrows many elements from Caesar's Legion due to their leader idolizing the group. They also often take new names after joining the Legion to represent their new life. This has further distanced them from other tribals in the area. Their flag, a Red bull symbol on a black field, also shows their relation to Caesar's Legion. However, a few notable things are not present in Skull-Taker’s Legion that are present in Caesar’s Legion such as large-scale bureaucracy, misogyny, and slavery.
- "Good job men. Stay alert and keep your eyes open."
- ―Imperator thanks his informants for securing the loyalty of a scavenger clan
- "We live to fight!"
- ―A Skull-Taker's battle-cry
- "They will be our doom if we don't stop them soon."
- ―Chief Kill-a-Ton describes Skull-Taker's Legion
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