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|The Sons of Liberty|
|Group type:||Patriot Libertarian Organization|
|Motto:||I Love My Country, Not My Government.|
|Goals:||Establishing a true libertarian government for post-War America|
|Allies:||Stern's Raiders, Degenerates, Oregon homesteaders|
|Enemies:||New Order, New California Republic, Free Northwestern Army, raiders|
- "They violated the non-aggression principle! Take 'em out, REEE!!"
- ―Son of Liberty alerting his compatriots of an intruder
A pre-War patriot militia, the Sons of Liberty have adapted well to the world of post-War America, albeit outside the confines of the once welcoming Martha's Gulch. The Sons of Liberty are currently settled in the Willamette River Valley with numerous camps dotted around the region.
- "No sir, we are not a government-affiliated group. We stand for America, not its government."
- ―A pre-War Son of Liberty being questioned by a reporter
The Sons of Liberty is the oldest of the founding groups of Martha's Gulch, founded all the way back in 1970 following the creation of the thirteen commonwealths. They felt that governmental powers had gone amok and had to be checked by "a militia of the people". For more than a century, the Sons of Liberty attempted to be that militia to mixed results.
By 2074, the Sons of Liberty had fallen from its zenith in membership, and their concerns over gorvernment were seen as pretty much irrevelant because of the larger war going on. However, their advocacy had attracted the attention of Martha Lore, war profiteer and libertarian billionaire, who offered the Sons a place in her refuge, Martha's Gulch. Their leader then, Iago Windham, heartily accepted Martha's proposal but many of the remaining Sons of Liberty distrusted Windham, and only a few went to Martha's Gulch with Windham. At Martha's Gulch, the Sons of Liberty attempted to cooperate with the other groups and assist Martha Lore in trying to keep everyone together. When the bombs began to fall on October 23, 2077, the Sons of Liberty filed into the fallout shelter of Martha's Gulch.
Survival of the Fittest
- "Haha, good riddance! More space for the rest of us!"
- ―A Son of Liberty nervously in reference to the New Order's expulsion
Soon after going underground, tensions began to flare up once again relating to the New Order. Siding with Atlas' Guard and the Watchmen on most issues, the Sons of Liberty saw the New Order's presence as detrimental but not wholly unneeded, hoping their behavior would improve. Eventually, when the New Order became violent, the Sons of Liberty did not stop their expulsion. While underground, the Sons of Liberty became closer to Atlas' Guard while also being more alienated towards the paranoid Watchmen.
At the behest of Martha Lore, the Sons of Liberty along with the other groups emerged from their fallout shelter to find the New Order making a hardscrabble existence on the surface. Approving of their drive to survive, most of the Sons of Liberty forgave the New Order of their past ills and focused their dislike on the increasingly troublesome Watchmen.
In late 2080, the Watchmen's paranoia got the better of them, and they left. Everyone was happy because of it. For around the next half a century, the groups continued to live on in Martha's Gulch in an isolated peace with Martha as their nominal ruler. The Sons of the Liberty stayed in Martha's Gulch and tilled the land, not being good farmers but managing to scrape by.
The next century or so was quite tranquil for the Sons of Liberty, keeping to themselves for the most part while observing the New Order, Atlas' Guard, and Pantheon Radio going at each others' throats. The Guard at least tried to act as mediators but the Sons of Liberty preferred isolation in their section of Martha's Gulch, only coming out for community events and joint training sessions.
So, it naturally came as a shock to them when the New Order betrayed the other groups in 2211 and attacked Pantheon Radio. The Sons of Liberty, then led by Commander Reese Glover, rushed to the defense of Pantheon Radio and were later horrified by news of the New Order's atrocities in Seattle and other parts of the wasteland. In fact, upon hearing about what the New Order did and feeling extreme guilt, Commander Glover committed suicide. This further confused and saddened the Sons of Liberty.
For the next decade or so, tension between the Sons of Liberty and Atlas' Guard grew to increasingly uncomfortable levels. This was primarily fueled by conspiracy theorists on both sides accusing the other of covering up for the New Order and "silencing" Pantheon Radio. As Martha's Gulch began to open up, the tensions only grew as the two groups jockeyed for caravans. The situation reached boiling point in 2224 when the favorite pet Apeshit of the Guard's commander George Banner got shot by some drunken Sons of Liberty who claimed it had "gone feral". The situation calmed down after a few weeks but it was clear: someone had to go.
That someone was the Sons of Liberty. The Guard outnumbered them three to two and had better equipment as well. If push came to shove, the Sons of Liberty would lose a war with them. So, in late 2225 the Sons of Liberty decided it was time for them to leave Martha's Gulch after more than a century.
Atlas' Guard was just fine with this and actually helped the Sons of Liberty make preparations to leave. In early 2226, the Sons of Liberty exited the gates of Martha's Gulch, never to return.
A New Home
- "These are some goddamn stubborn cannibals."
- ―Commander Joe Montana's first encounter with Oregon tribals
The early years were especially hard on the Sons of Liberty. The group had gotten rather soft from years of farm living, not ready to brave the wasteland and wilderness of Cascadia. Many died in that first winter of 2226, including the current Commander.
As time went on though, the Sons of Liberty managed to effectively survive and looked for a new place to settle. This was harried by homesteaders suspicious of such a large armed group, tribals hostiles hostile to any outsiders, and naturally mutated wildlife. Nonetheless, the Sons of Liberty searched for a new home, free of petty politics and far from the ilk of Ayn Rand. Their commander then, Joe Montana, even went with the scouts to look for new, better lands. They wandered the wilderness for nine years and in that time got used to the land. The Sons of Liberty even heard of a great nation to the south headed by a "Great Mother".
After almost a decade of searching, scouts for the Sons of Liberty finally found a new place to call home: the Willamette River Valley in Oregon. The land was fertile and for the most part, peaceful. The Sons of Liberty crossed the Columbia River at Portland to enter Oregon, avoided the mutants in Salem, and quickly settled the northern part of the river valley in 2235. The Oregon tribals of area did not take kindly to the perceived invasion and attacked the Sons of Liberty's new settlements. Though they had better weapons and battle experience, the Sons of Liberty could not overcome the tribals' numbers and the conflict dragged on for eight years, costing many lives.
That was until one Owen Curtis emerged. Seemingly a mercenary traveling north with a travelling congregation, Owen was actually an Enclave deserter looking for something better to fight for. He had first turned to religion and gone north with the congregation on their exodus. However, upon arriving in the Willamette River Valley and witnessing the embattled Sons of Liberty fighting to make a new better America, Owen decided that he was needed there.
In rare early instance of outsiders being allowed to join, Owen's advanced weaponry and battle experience impressed enough people to be allowed to join the Sons of Liberty in 2242. Seeing that many of the Sons of Liberty, though good shots and guerrillas, were amateur tacticians fighting against the tribals, Owen offered to train the Sons using his expertise in strategy learned from time in the Enclave. He was rejected by Joe Montana the first time for being "presumptuous" but after a second request, his assistance was accepted.
Owen's experience from the Enclave proved very useful to the Sons of Liberty and through utilization of his battle tactics, the Sons of Liberty finally got the upper-hand on the tribals of the region. A defeat near Salem particularly drained the tribals. The Oregon tribals of the Willamette River Valley, pushed to their limits, sued for peace with the Sons of Liberty in late 2242. Surprised that the cannibalistic tribals would ever offer peace, the Sons of Liberty asked for a meeting to hash out plans for peace. The meeting took place near the ruins of Oregon City, and the groups tried to hash out some lasting peace between them. The conference was going well and was almost finished when it was instead interrupted by the appearance of the Vault 14 Explorers. The two groups nearly gunned down the excitable vault dwellers on the spot, but cooler heads prevailed within all three groups. Afterwards, the Vault 14 Explorers got to sit on the proceedings, helping here and there but overall having very little effect.
On July 15, 2242, the Sons of Liberty and the Oregon tribals of the Willamette River Valley made peace, both in writing and a tribal blood ritual. Land was exchanged, agreements were made, and peace was achieved, for the moment at least. Various skirmishes took place between Sons of Liberty and Oregon tribals afterwards but nothing approaching the devastation of the past war.
Back to the Past
- "We must look to the America of the past to create the America of the future!"
- ―Owen Curtis drumming up patriotism
After it was apparent peace had been achieved with the tribals, Commander Joe Montana set about rebuilding damaged settlements and expanding existing ones. He also set about creating a concrete entity for the land the Sons of Liberty called home: NAP Territory. Named after the acronym for the titular non-aggression principle, the NAP Territory would be the Sons of Liberty's "Martha's Gulch away from Martha's Gulch", where libertarian ideals would tested (and often pushed to their limits). Also, Joe Montana established the very first iteration of the Sons of Liberty Radio Station in 2245, which was rebuilt in 2249 after being burned down by an electrical fire.
At the same time, the increasingly popular Owen Curtis was leading a patriotic and religious revival within the Sons of Liberty. Using knowledge learned from his time in the Enclave and traveling with holy people, Owen told stories about pre-War events such as the war between the states, the moon landing, the Cold War, and all he knew about the Great War. He also occasionally recited scripture. This interested many people, and Owen gained a substantial following in the years after the end of the war with the tribals. A major milestone in this movement was the building of the Sons' first church in 2248. This new conservative bloc of the Sons of Liberty worried Commander Joe Montana, who feared Owen's growing power, his unclear intentions, and his severe lack of foresight for his actions.
By 2250, the Sons of Liberty had become a real regional power, effectively controlling the northern part of the Willamette River Valley. Trade passing through the Sons of Liberty's territory benefited from their presence and at that time, they were well-liked by many caravans and traders for clearing out the troublesome tribals in the area.
Relations with groups outside the Sons' territory were rather peachy at the time as well. NCR was only a name written on some caravans' coins and paper money, raiders from out of Portland were easy to pay off, caravans from the south going to Portland and the Bridge of the Gods brought valuable trade, and by that time Oregon tribals certainly did not want to mess with the Sons of Liberty. No problems for the the Sons of Liberty except seemingly themselves.
Eventually in 2253, Owen's conservative, reactionary bloc within the Sons of Liberty had become the majority of the group, and Commander Joe Montana, alarmed by this, called together a meeting among all important members of the Sons of Liberty at the newly rebuilt Oregon City to decided their future. There, Joe and Owen argued their different visions for the group while others listened. Commander Joe argued for the Sons to not continue to pursue "the Dead American Dream" and to instead embrace the ideology of libertarianism. Owen Curtis countered that with a rousing speech on the history of the Sons of Liberty, the great strides they had already made, and the potential the group had in the future. This won over more of the Sons and anguished Joe, who decided to finally go full ad hominem on Owen. Joe Montana revealed that he had been in contact with the group of holy people Owen and split off and discovered something interesting: at one time, Owen Curtis had once been a part of U.S. remnant group in the south trying to establish control. Joe also brought forth witnesses from Owen's former travel companions who could attest to what he said. After the witnesses' testimony, Commander Joe Montana then accused Owen of being a government spy and infiltrating the Sons of Liberty to subvert them from the inside out.
Owen Curtis responded with what would be his most famous speech. He admitted to his connections to the Enclave and came clean on everything, telling the assembled Sons of Liberty his origins. He spoke of his various experiences and how they had led to him joining the Sons of Liberty, seeing in them a spark of hope that could "carry on the flame of American exceptionalism".
This impassioned speech won the hearts and minds of the people present and the Sons' attitude towards the future now seemed clear. Though protesting Owen's words at first, Commander Joe Montana soon enough swallowed his pride and conceded some points to Owen.
Joe Montana was the commander of the Sons of Liberty for six more years. In that time, Owen's rhetoric of patriotism and general conservatism won its final victories against Joe's more tempered secular anarchic-capitalism. By the time of his death, Joe Montana had resigned himself to that fact. NAP Territory had become a second America it had seemed, albeit with very few laws and strict property rights. The Sons of Liberty's neighbors noticed this change in behavior and reacted in different ways. The caravans were skeptical of the Sons' newfound jingoism but continued their trade unabated. Oregon tribals and independent homesteaders were confused by the move, neither understanding or caring what America was anyways.
After Joe Montana's death in 2259, Owen Curtis finally took his place as the commander of the Sons of Liberty. This transition was surprisingly smooth, and nothing seemed out of the ordinary for the first two years. The Sons of Liberty carried on as they usually did. They heard about skirmishes to the south but were mostly unconcerned.
However, this all changed when the Crop Rot came. The Sons of Liberty's crops withered away and panic began to set in. Commander Curtis struggled to hold together NAP Territory while also placating the Oregon tribals still knocking at their doorstep. In late 2261, as winter set in, the Sons of Liberty skirted starvation.
This was worsened by an attack by raiders from Portland, who Owen Curtis only just managed to repel. Storehouses were burned or looted, and the situation worsened.
In January 2262, cannibalism began to creep into NAP Territory. Commander Curtis responded quickly and violently. All cannibals and their accomplices were rounded up and killed by Curtis and other Sons of Liberty. This was a controversial move at the time, breaking all kinds of rules, but it ultimately saved the Sons of Liberty and NAP Territory.
The Sons of Liberty managed the weather the winter, and in early 2262, Commander Curtis focused on recovery. The next year was spent eliminating any traces of Crop Rot and re-securing NAP Territory. Commander Curtis relatively strong-handed leadership still worried some in the Sons of Liberty but other approved of it, calling him the group's "Redemption".
Throughout 2262, the Sons of Liberty began hearing stories from caravans about a huge fight to the south between NCR and some Oregon tribals. This made many in the Sons of Liberty rather uneasy but Commander Curtis ignored the talk, focusing on rebuilding. The invaders were none of their concern.
By late 2262, the Sons of Liberty had recovered from the previous year's disaster and were preparing for the winter. However, they were quickly alarmed by the formation of the Oregon Confederacy, a tribal confederation made up of tribes near and around the Willamette River Valley. The Sons of Liberty worried that they might be attacked once again by tribals. They were sorely mistaken.
The Brushfire War brought the NCR war machine practically to the Sons of Liberty's backyard. Sons of Liberty in the southern part of NAP Territory were able to actually watch the fighting with binoculars and quickly alerted Commander Curtis. He, along with a reporter crew from the Sons of Liberty Radio Station, came to witness the devastation wrought by NCR forces. Seeing NCR and Oregon Confederacy clash only miles away, Commander Curtis knew he would be unable to ignore the problem anymore.
The Sons of Liberty watched the fighting for a couple of weeks until it became clear that NCR forces were losing ground. This gave them some comfort, knowing the invaders were being beaten back. The Sons' comfort turned to horror though as they watched NCR forces being evacuated by flying machines. This especially shocked Commander Curtis, who knew where those machines most likely came from.
After watching the conclusion of the Brushfire War, Owen Curtis made an address on the Sons of Liberty Radio Station. He did not necessarily call for war but warned of the expansion of the New California Republic with its formidable military and obstructionist bureaucracy.
His words ultimately did not matter. The Sons of Liberty had now seen the NCR's military in action, and because of that, most of the Sons feared and hated the NCR. Subtle approaches were not viable anymore, and war was on the horizon.
- "If we do nothing, we doom our children and their children to the rule of these... simpletons! With their oligarchy and corruption and imperialism! We cannot sit aside and do nothing."
- ―Commander Owen Curtis advocating war against the NCR
In early 2263, the Sons of Liberty first met the people who would suck them into the Oregon Brushfire Wars, Stern's Raiders. The Raiders came into NAP Territory soon after being stranded but did not interact with the Sons of Liberty until the incident.
That incident would be when Jakob Stern and his group held up a caravan crossing the Bridge of the Gods and took a brahmin baron going north captive to call attention to their predicament also to also get a ransom from the NCR. Seeing this act rightly as openly provoking the NCR and endangering everyone, the Sons of Liberty tried to mediate the situation with the Raiders first and then NCR representatives arriving from the south. They did not like the NCR but did not want to get in a fight for something so insignificant and frankly none of their business. The NCR condemned the Raiders' action and promised retribution but eventually, the brahmin baron's family covertly paid the ransom demanded. After that, the Sons of Liberty breathed a breath of relief while Stern's Raiders headed further into Cascadia to build up their strength to eventually try to take on the NCR. Many in Sons of Liberty hoped they would never see the trouble-making deserters again. They would feel differently in later years.
In the following years, the Sons of Liberty readied themselves for a war with the NCR, fearful of their steady advance north. The Sons of Liberty gathered arms, scouted out the situation to the south, and built up their defenses. Commander Curtis, although wholly hostile to the NCR, knew the possible effect a war with the NCR might have on NAP Territory's caravan traffic and fragile farming economy and was understandably cautious to openly oppose the Bear. As a result, Commander Curtis delayed any hostilities between the Sons of Liberty and the NCR until his people were ready. At the same time, the exploits of Stern's Raiders throughout Cascadia increased their fame within the Sons of Liberty and other locals.
That uncertainty ended in late 2266, when Stern's Raiders sent a messenger to the Sons of Liberty, imploring them to send representatives to a meeting in Portland and consider joining the newly-conceived Northwestern Alliance. Commander Curtis, impressed with the Raiders' progress, decided to give the Raiders a chance, make the controversial move to go to the meeting himself, and see whether or not the Raiders were worth his time.
The Sons of Liberty were surprised by the diversity of the meeting, with homesteaders, scavengers, tribals, and mutants all rubbing shoulders at Portland. The Sons of Liberty were seated near their old advesaries, Oregon tribals, and things seemed to be off to a rocky start. However, Jakob Stern managed to win over almost all the attendees with his inspiring speeches, his staunch opposition to the NCR's expansion north, and his knowledge of local customs and culture. Even Commander Curtis was impressed. Soon, enough, the Sons of Liberty were swayed and agrred to join this Northwestern Alliance. While the other representatives celebrated, Commander Curtis and the Sons of Liberty contemplated their decision.
David and Goliath
- "After what happened at Black Peak, I really learned how deep in shit we all were. If NCR can do that there, what's the point in trying to stop them at this point? They could drop a squad on us or bomb us into oblivion if they wanted. What can we do but be a splinter in the bear's paw?"
- ―Commander Ethan Walters in his personal journal
The Sons of Liberty do not have a standard uniform but their most common pieces of apparel are combat leather jackets.
The Sons' staple weapons are the hunting rifle, the 9mm pistol, the combat shotgun, and the machete. Some other less common weapons among the Sons are the power fist, the submachine gun, and the laser gun.
Patriotism and freedom are the main two tenets of the Sons of Liberty, going along with their libertarian ideology. Pre-War American society is not idealized necessarily but the Sons of Liberty still hope for a better future for America and fly the American flag along with their own. Xenophobia towards Chinese is present but is relatively insignificant. Freedom is expressed through archaic phrases such as the non-aggression principle, property rights, and freedom of speech that are exercised throughtout the NAP Territory.
Martial prowess is also greatly valued in the Sons of Liberty. Survival skills are taught from day one, everything needed to live in the wasteland. Every member of Sons of Liberty is taught how to use many different types of firearms, everything from pistols, rifles, submachine guns, shotguns, and even in some cases, the few grenade launchers possessed by the group. There is not a single person who cannot use a firearm. In recent years, the Sons of Liberty have hired out their guns for caps - for hunting purposes, caravan guards, and as body guards. On top of this, many in the Sons of Liberty have become bounty hunters over the years, bringing criminals, murderers, thieves, rapists, and other scum to justice or death. The Sons of Liberty have built quite a reputation for themselves, not dissimilar to the Great Khans, as being not only tough, but highly skilled, dependable and trustworthy.
Religion is another tenet valued by the Sons of Liberty, though to a lesser degree than the first two. Due to Owen Curtis' influence, the majority of the Sons of Liberty now adhere to some vague interpretation of non-denominational Christianity. Faith influences the decisions of many in the Sons but certainly not to a fanatical degree, though they may be regarded a rather conservative on some issues.
Women have equal rights within the Sons of Liberty, but motherhood still is valued by the community as an American virtue over being a fighter or other pursuits.
The Sons of Liberty have large enough numbers to fight pitched battles but prefer to spread out their numbers in case the NCR or FNA might attempt to take them out in one fell blow.
Guerrilla warfare is the norm for the Sons of Liberty. This allows them to have a lot of flexibility and make them more adaptable to new situations. The Sons of Liberty also like to utilize chokepoints such as the Bridge of the Gods to play on their advantages.
The current commander of the Sons of Liberty, Ethan Walters was formerly the DJ of Sons of Liberty Radio. A well-known figure in and out of the Sons of Liberty, Walters has nonetheless drawn criticism for his glowing endorsements of his own brand of chems, his lack of combat experience, and his reluctance to direct engage the FNA as of late. Outside of the Sons of Liberty, he is seen as quite delusional.
Born in 2247 in a Sons of Liberty settlement in the Willamette River Valley to Kathryn and Quill Walters, Ethan Walters was a healthy, happy child. His father was not around much, mostly hunting and farming, but Ethan's mother doted on him, her only child.
Ethan was schooled by his parents, somewhat poorly. He learned most of what he knew from dusty old books, interaction with other children, and the Sons of Liberty Radio station. Coming to age as the Oregon Brushfire Wars started, Ethan took part in several battles but never earned a taste for it. He met Commander Curtis only once during the conflict, and Curtis called him "a slob with Jet in his eyes". Ethan did however earn a taste for Buffout and Gollygoo while fighting throughout Oregon and returned to NAP Territory in 2270 with a taste for drugs and chems. Soon enough, Ethan was brewing his own stuff in his parents' backyard and selling his extra chems to others. He made a tidy bit of money doing this and soon moved out of his parents to buy his own place and a complementary chem lab. He created a unique chem in 2274, Testobuff, a male vitality drug which became quite popular and remains renowned for its low addiction and death rate.
Ethan did very well for himself in the following years, marrying twice and having three children. However, even as Ethan grew quite successful and rich, he also became bored. That was before an old war buddy of his, Felipe, asked him to substitute for him on Sons of Liberty Radio one day in 2275. Ethan proved to be a fiery presence on radio, making passionate speeches on his various paranoias and conspiracy theories while advertising his chems. Walters filled in for Felipe several more times until he finally took over as host in 2276, egged on by popular demand.
In the next few years, Ethan Walters experienced a meteoric rise in popularity only comparable to Owen Curtis' rise to power. Commander Curtis himself regarded Walters with an air of dry disdain but did not regard him as a threat, thinking him to be a humble chem merchant with no higher aspiration than being on the radio. By 2278, Walters had become the richest man in NAP Territroy and a well-known personality even outside Cascadia, with some fans in the NCR and Idaho.
Commander Owen Curtis died in battle against the FNA in 2279, and the Sons of Liberty had to select a new commander. Walters, seeing an opportunity and not considering much else, threw his name in the ring of hopeful commanders. Though he was a prominent figure in NAP Territory, Walters was considered more of a joke candidate and was not taken seriously. That is, until he won.
This came as unexpected for pretty much everyone, even Walters. Surprised by the results, Walters shakily took his place as commander during the turbulent period following Owen Curtis' death. He maintained his radio presence and chem business while being commander, which made many in the Sons of Liberty rather suspicious of his motivations compared to the rather detached Curtis.
Commander Walters was also judged early for his rather scarce service during the Oregon Brushfire Wars and his seeming reluctance to continue the ongoing war with the FNA. He does fight in self-defense such as in 2283 and 2284 but mostly avoids seeking battle. This has drawn further skepticism and frustration from his fellow Sons of Liberty. Nonetheless, Walters continues broadcasting his chem-fueled rants on Sons of Liberty Radio, selling male vitality drugs, and trying to manage NAP Territory to the best of his abilities.
This passive approach is in fact the result of Walters secretly becoming jaded after his experiences in the Oregon Brushfire Wars and accepting that the NCR will inevitably take over Cascadia. So, he would rather minimize damage while he can.
Owen Curtis was the Sons of Liberty's commander for over twenty years, leading the group to new relevance during the Oregon Brushfire Wars. Although his origins as an Enclave deserter condemn him to some, Curtis is still loved by many in the Sons of Liberty for his patriotism and no-nonsense if sometimes sour attitude.
Born on Control Station Enclave in 2223 to Janice and Thad Curtis, Owen Curtis was their third child. Technicians, the Curtises were consigned to the boring work on assisting in repairs on the Oil Rig. While Janice had always planned on being a technician, Thad was forced into the role after he was injured while training to become a heavy infantry Enclave soldier, which made him feel unfufilled and unhappy. Thad projected this frustration onto all of his children but particularly towards Owen due to his seemingly more ready will to obey. Thad encouraged Owen to join the military and hoped he would do so unlike his older siblings.
Feeling awkward and alone in his early teenage years, Owen seeked validation from his father by being as patriotic as possible, berating his siblings for being "weak", and joining the military at the age of sixteen. After becoming one of the light infantry and being transferred to Navarro in 2240, Owen finally began to learn that things were not quite as they seemed.
The "horrible mutants" Owen had heard so much about were regular people just like everyone he had known in the Enclave. This caused Owen to become conflicted as he still wanted America to return to its former glory but saw killing the mainland "primitives" as unnecessary and cruel. Hearing horror stories about what had happened at Mariposa and Vault 13, Owen kept trying to keep these seditious feelings to himself, kept in line by the blistering Sergeant Dornan. He finally snapped upon seeing Secret Service agent Frank Horrigan returning from a mission bragging about killing an entire family. With that, Owen became determined that he had to leave somehow. His father had been wrong, and blindly following his superiors was not something Owen was willing to do anymore.
Owen got an opportunity in early 2241, soon after his eighteenth birthday. He and some other Enclave soldiers were given leave in San Francisco, so Owen took his chance. Secretly bringing his combat armor, weapons, and other supplies with him to the city, Owen spent a week in San Francisco trying to slip away from his fellow soldiers. He finally succeeded in escaping his fellow Enclave soldiers in Chinatown, ducking behind the group near the Flying Dragon 8 and making a run for it north, hiding out in an abandoned shipping crate. The other Enclave soldiers on leave assumed Owen had been mugged and simply left two days later.
After figuring that out, Owen did not know what to do with himself. He still wanted to bring America back somehow, someway, but the Enclave was not the right answer. Owen then resolved to wander until he found someone or something that could help America (or at least his dream of it). He considered going to the NCR which he had heard about vaguely, but shelved that thought for the moment. What Owen needed to do was equip himself to go into the wasteland.
Doubling back to Chinatown, Owen went to stock up on supplies and learn more information about this new world he was exploring. Selling many of the combat chems he had brought with him from Navarro for caps, Owen first went to Red 888 Guns to buy another weapon to compliment his Wattz 2000 laser rifle. After exfensive haggling with Mai Da Chiang who insulted Owen but eventually let up, Owen bought a fancy M72 Gauss rifle and some ammo. A short stop at the Flying Dragon 8 later to get food and water, and Owen headed out of San Francisco, around Golden Gate and its Hubologists. Peacefully passing through the ruins of Oakland, Owen walked north into the wastes.
The road north was fraught with dangers such as raiders, press gangs, geckos, and super mutants. Well-armored and armed with energy weapons, Owen was still hard pressed to defend himself and mostly tried to avoid hazards. Owen was grievously wounded from taking a ripper to his shoulder in an encounter with an overconfident press gang that he killed in mid 2241, and he was forced to take refuge in a cave. Having sold his stimpaks in San Francisco, Owen tried to patch himself up but was unsuccessful. Owen decided to go on anyways and look for medicine or a doctor to the north.
Owen soon found himself near Redding after some more limping north and headed into the town, gripping his shoulder. He managed to find a doctor after some inquiry, "Painless" Doc Johnson, and managed to get his shoulder patched up in no time. Before leaving, Owen asked the doctor about the area. Doc Johnson, not very willing to talk, instead directed Owen to the Malemute Saloon for his answers.
Walking over to the saloon, Owen entered and attracted quite a bit of attention with his combat armor and gauss rifle. Assuming Owen was some high-tech merc, the other patrons of the saloon soon enough turned back to their drinks. Owen took a seat at the bar and started his night by ordering some booze. That was all he remembered of that night.
The next morning Owen woke up in a bed with several naked women, empty bottles of booze, and a wicked hangover. It has not been Owen's first taste of alcohol, but it had certainly been his hardest hitting. Slapping on his combat armor and weapons, Owen tipped his helmet to the women inside and tottered back towards the Malemute Saloon's bar.
Coming out behind the saloon's bar and the bartender Louise, Owen complemented Louise's appearance and asked about the previous night. Louise, both offended and a little flattered, recounted what had happened: after drinking himself into the floor, Owen had gone on a bender, yelled something about "Enclave", and rented a room and a couple of hookers too. He was down more than $200. Not as bad as I thought, he pondered. After some more conversation, Owen finally remembered the reason he had come to Malemute in the first place and asked about the area around Redding. With some coaxing, Louise told Owen about many places including the almost utopian (or dystopian) Vault City, the small trapping town of Klamath Falls, the tribal village of Arroyo, and the forbidding expanse of Cascadia to the north.
Owen thought that over and thanked the barkeep for her time. Walking out of the saloon, Owen considered his options. Vault City sounded like a nice place but what if it turned out just like where he came from? The land of Cascadia, to the north, sounded the place to go.
Walking out of Redding, Owen soon came upon a gathering of people north of town. Holy people. They were gathered around listening to some traveling preacher, brandishing a Bible and barking fiery words, speaking of an Exodus north to escape the Jet fiends and sinners of the south. As Owen walked by the gathered congregation, the preacher pointed a finger at him and asked if he had accepted Jesus Christ into his heart. Still recovering from his hangover and only a somewhat familiar grasp of the concept of Christianity, Owen mumbled some inarticulate words under his breath.
With that, the preacher darted through the crowd, took hold of Owen, and gave him a speech that would transform his life. The preacher told Owen many things, of God, of humanity, and of mutation. The preacher seemed to understand Owen's feeling of alienation and isolation, and he appealed to that. Owen had never been a religious man, but this dynamic preacher was making him reconsider. The speech made Owen also reconsider his own path forward. He remembered the hard path from San Fran to Redding and thought of the potential dangers that awaited him to the north. After some more talking from the preacher, Owen demurely asked if he could join the congregation on their journey north. The preacher cracked a huge smile and agreed, welcoming Owen into his flock and introducing himself as Brother Graham. Owen felt like he was a part of something once again.
The journey north was indeed harsh but not without its perks. Being the most well-armed member of Father Graham's flock, Owen was soon put in charge of the protection of the holy people. On the way north from Redding, Owen killed numerous tribals and mutated wildlife. However, even after doing all that good for the holy people, they did not really like Owen due to his rather hostile personality, and he did not talk to them. The only person he really talked to was Father Graham, mostly about God and Owen's past. Eventually, convinced of his convictions, Brother Graham gave Owen his own Bible, made pre-War. The little Bible became one of Owen's treasured possessions even though he did not read it often.
Two weeks after leaving leaving Redding, the traveling congregation entered their first town in Cascadia, Grant's Pass. Once a thriving agricultural community, Grant's Pass was now controlled by slavers aligned with the Den, preying on Oregon tribals and drifters going north. Owen was disgusted by the behavior of the slavers, from their labor exploitation to their abuse of the weak. He was ready to gun the slavers down at any provocation, but Brother Graham calmed him, assuring Owen that they would only be staying in the town for a day or so. Owen met this with half-hearted grumbling as he put most of his equipment in the inn the congratation stayed.
As Owen was wandering the streets of Grant's Pass at dusk before going to bed, he heard screams coming from an alleyway. Owen peered in the alleyway and was greeted by the unwelcome sight of a young slave woman being chased by a group of slavers. The slave woman pleaded for Owen's help and without hesitation, he came to her rescue. Housting up his Wattz 2000 laser rifle, Owen made the slavers stop in their tracks. Owen, with gritted teeth, asked if the woman was for sale. When one of the slavers answered no, Owen took aim at the slaver and asked again, this time louder. The slavers, cowardly as they were, instantly changed their tune and gave a price. Owen paid them with visible disgust and escorted the slave woman back to the inn. After saying some comforting words and telling her she was free, Owen tucked the woman into his own bed and slept on the floor. As he tucked her in, Owen noticed for the first time the woman had a prominent facial scar.
Owen was awoken in the middle of the night by Brother Graham and was told that they had to leave due to requests from the town's slaver residents. Groggily getting up and getting his equipment together, Owen shook the (now free) slave women awake and explained the situation. The women broke down in tears, blaming herself for what happened. Owen laughed at that, stating that an inconvenience did not equivocate to a person's freedom. The woman did not seem to see it that way and continued to blame herself for inconveniencing the traveling congregation. Owen, after a lot more talking, persuaded her to come with the congregation and to leave Grant's Pass.
Leaving Grant's Pass in the dead of night, the congregation continued on their way north. On the road, Owen Curtis talked extensively with the slavewoman he had freed. It took time, but he managed to learn more about her.
Her name was Sara, and she was originally from a homestead further north in Cascadia. Her family's homestead had been destroyed by slavers, and Sara been enslaved and later taken to Grant's Pass to be sold. There, she had suffered for a year and a half. One of the slavers had cut Sara's face so she "could never forget him". She never did.
Owen contemplated this and tried to comfort Sara in all the ways he could. He slept with her once, but regretted it afterwards, feeling as if he had exploited her vulnerability. Owen wondered what it would be like to lose everything like Sara had and considered whether he had done the right thing leaving the Enclave and his family behind. He liked the traveling congregation, but they did fulfill his need for a purpose. Confiding with Brother Graham about these thoughts, Owen was told that he should follow his heart, as suppressing his feelings would not bode well for anyone.
Outwardly, Owen kept up his hard-ass appearance even as he felt inner turmoil.
A rather standard member of the Sons of Liberty, Barney is currently standing (or sitting at) guard duty on the Bridge of Gods. Barney is a veteran, having seen a lot of action in his time, and he now tries to console his troubled mind with alcohol, conspiracy theories, and the occasional firefight.
Born in 2239 to a whore and a Son of Liberty militiaman, Barney was a surprise to both of his parents. Instead of taking the easier route, the two instead married and had the child. They named him Barney after the whore's dead junkie of a brother.
Less than a year after Barney was born, his father died in battle against Oregon tribals near Portland. The prospects of Barney being raised by a former prostitute single mother alarmed his relatives and after some high-strung talks, Barney was handed over to his Uncle Hart and Aunt Rose to be raised. Barney's mother left the area soon afterwards, drifting south.
Barney was raised by his tough but fair Uncle Hart and kind Aunt Rose, whose last child had left them three years before. As soon as he could walk, Barney began to be taught basic survival skills. One of Barney's first memories is of his uncle taking him camping. Barney shot his first firearm at age eight and became quite adept with rifles and shotguns. At an early age, Barney became a fan of radio, specifically the new Sons of Liberty Radio Station. He also grew to idolize Commander Owen Curtis, who he saw as "a goddamn genius".
In Barney's childhood and teenage years, he worked on Uncle Hart's farm while honing his other skills. Around his seventeenth birthday in 2256, Barney packed up and left his Aunt and Uncle homestead to see the world as a caravan guard. He joined up with other young Sons of Liberty and worked for several years protecting caravans traveling north. In that time, Barney became more familiar with NAP Territory in general, learned quite a lot about the "condition" down south in New California, and gained a lifelong hatred of Oregon tribals.
When the Oregon Brushfire Wars sucked the Sons of Liberty, Barney quickly took up arms to fight for his people, a result of his patriotic upbringing. Shortly after the war began, Barney was astonished to meet Commander Curtis for the first time and shake his hand. He also soon met Stern's Raiders and was impressed. In the back of his mind, Barney knew the NCR seemed insurmountable but all of this hope made him think that victory was a real possibility.
- "I hold it to be the inalienable right of anybody to go to hell in his own way."
- ―Commander Owen Curtis quoting Robert Frost in a speech
- "Forgetting the role of God in governance was one of America's greatest mistakes."
- ―Commander Owen Curtis on separation of church and state
- "The wasteland's number one cause of unnatural death now is suicide... I want to get people off chems that the insert says will make you commit suicide and kill people! I want to blame the real culprit—suicide chems! Mass murder chems!"
- ―Commander Ethan Walters ranting against other people's chems
- "America? What's America?"
- ―Oregon homesteader asking a Son of Liberty about their ideals
- "Those crazies are holding our trade route north over the Columbia captive! I hope they get dislodged soon."
- ―A caravaner from the NCR about the Sons of Liberty
- "Blowhards, but they can hold their own."
- ―Shiv, leader of the Degenerates, on his neighbors.
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