|The Kingdom of God|
|Group type:||Theocratic Warlord State|
|Motto:||God Wills It|
|Notable members:||David, Marcellus, Maria, Othniel|
|Enemies:||Badlanders, Bean Family, Oregon tribals, rebels, raiders|
The Kingdom of God is a warlord state and a radical religious sect that was established by a former raider in Washington. It claims to be God’s Kingdom on Earth and is dedicated to uniting the peoples of the Northwest under the banner of God in anticipation of the “true” End Times.
And There Came Two Angels to Sodom at Even
- "It is here where we will build our kingdom, at the confluence of the Yakima, Snake, and Columbia rivers within this desert."
- ―Judge David to Maria surveying the ruins of the Tri-Cities
The history of the Kingdom of God began in the 2240s. By that point, David was already an established raider warlord in the ruins of Spokane, Washington. He and Maria were already together, and New Disciples were already rallying to his side. David's raiders were mostly spent fighting Oregon tribals, super mutants, and people who possessed things they wanted. They continued to raid caravans and travelers. In this time, David drifted further and further into Christian fundamentalism under the influence of Maria.
A near-death experience in 2249 brought David closer to Christian fundamentalism, alienating his raider comrades even more. It grew even worse when David gave the 'pet' New Disciples prominence over his raider followers. This came to a head in 2252 when David's lieutenant Mask confronted him, and the two fought a duel that David won. David's victory caused what amounted to a small civil war within his raider gang, and after some fighting, David decided that Spokane was not the place for him or his followers. David, Maria, and his now small band of followers made an exodus south to look for land they make their own. At that point, David had descended pretty far into Christian fundamentalism and had turned his followers from raiders into cultists.
Once the little band reached the ruins of the Tri-Cities in southeast Washington, they took up residence in Richland and cleared out the scavengers there. David, high on bloodlust and zealous from Maria's teachings, declared his group's mission to be establishing the Kingdom of God on Earth, not selfish gain. His followers were confused by this, but with few options left, they continued to follow him.
David quickly went to work conquering the ruins of Tri-Cities from various scavenger clans and raider bands. These groups were generally larger and even better armed than David's small group. However, David's spiritual message, appeal to a higher power, and sense of community allowed his to recruit vast numbers to overwhelm his enemies. By the time the Tri-Cities had been completely conquered, the David had hundreds of new followers. Judge David, under the advice of Maria, decided now would be the moment that the Kingdom should establish itself. David finally declared the Kingdom of God to have arrived and himself to be God's Judge in mid 2252 after the conquest of the Tri-Cities' last raider band. He also asked all of his new followers (except for Maria) to take Biblical names to symbolize their "spiritual rebirth". This came as a shock to his now large group of followers (except for Maria), and several rebelled as result, quickly being killed. The Kingdom of God was born that day with David and Maria essentially taking on the world together. Moving quickly, Judge David started making a long series of declarations concerning new rules to govern his followers' lives.
One of the first and most important declarations Judge David made was making his original small group of followers the top of a new hierarchy, calling them Apostles. He named them as his most loyal followers and gave them authority over large numbers of the Kingdom's newer members. Another declaration was a long list of items now banned in the Kingdom: alcohol, chems, cybernetics, pornography, non-Biblical literature, and any form of birth control. Another important series of declarations outlawed actions including rape, incest, sodomy, homosexuality, adultery, promiscuity, theft, apostasy, atheism, self-mutilation, and many other things. The last series of important declarations regarded the treatment of women and enraged quite a few of the Kingdom's female members. Nonetheless, they were soon enough convinced of the declaration's validity or were forcefully silenced.
The Kingdom then set about organizing itself for further expansion. Judge David and the Apostles organized the willing within their followers into the original Army of God while Maria worked hard organizing new declarations for David concerning governance. At the same time, more and more New Disciples came to the Tri-Cities to partake in this Kingdom of God. A month after his first series of declarations, Judge David made a declaration establishing the Hands of David, religious police who would work to expunge sin, corruption, and criminality from the Kingdom. By the end of 2252, Judge David was ready to march his army out of the Tri-Cities to spread his message to the wasteland.
Iron Sharpens Iron, and One Man Sharpens Another
- "For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality, Colossians 3:25."
- ―Maria on punishment in the Kingdom of God
Marching out from the Tri-Cities, Judge David and the Army of God would meet with little initial resistance as they brought the hinterlands to heel. Most wastelanders and homesteaders saw a greater authority as a positive compared to living in complete anarchy. As the Kingdom began instituting its rules on newly conquered wastelanders however, rebellion brewed. These early rebellions in 2252, mostly from more independent-minded homesteaders, were bloody but quickly squashed by superior numbers and firepower. After stemming this rebellions and solidifying its control, the Kingdom finally began to get curious caravaners coming in from the outside. The caravans has previously been warded off by by the constant warfare going on in the area but now wanted to continue business. Judge David (and Maria) negotiated with the caravaners and allowed them to go through Kingdom territory, provided they pay tribute. This gave Judge David another reason to war: clear out raiders around his territory to help trade.
The Kingdom of God’s first real target in its war against the wasteland would be a rather unpopular group, the Bean Family. As caravans began to make their way across Cascadia at a rising pace, the Bean Family began to attack with increasing ferocity from their unknown sanctuary. Maria whispered to Judge David that the Bean Family, besides being an obvious threat, offered a useful scapegoat to win the Kingdom more support. Judge David agreed but did not act just yet. The situation however escalated very quickly when some Beans massacred an outpost of the Army of God in 2255. Enraged, Judge David made a grand declaration in 2255 condemning the Bean Family as a clan of cannibalistic monsters and descendants of the first murderer Cain. He also formally declared ‘war’ on the family and urged any who encountered the Beans to stamp them out. This started a short campaign by the Army of God led by Judge David to exterminate the Bean Family. The campaign was a one-sided one with the forces of the Kingdom of God frequently massacring small bands of Beans. The only real battle was the climax of the war on the banks of the Columbia River, fought between the monstrous Heath Bean and Judge David. Bishop Marcellus slew Heath himself, and the Kingdom of God emerged victorious, though the location of the Beans’ home remained a secret.
In the aftermath of the war with the Bean Family, Judge David continued ranging around the wasteland near his territory to root out more raiders that might interfere with caravan traffic. It was only in 2256 that he returned to the Tri-Cities to find Maria and his Apostles in something of a power struggle. While Judge David was campaigning, Maria had discovering one of his Apostles has been raping his own daughter from a credible source. She wanted to bring the hammer of the law down on the offending Apostle, Judah, to uphold the Kingdom’s principles and not appear hypocritical. Subsequently, the Apostles circled the wagons to defend their own and appeared in solidarity to stop Maria from using the Hands of David to arrest Judah. They had disliked Maria for years already and this was the camel that broke the camel’s back. Judge David’s arrival back in the Tri-Cities brought this conflict to a crescendo. Maria immediately appealed to David for action. Judge David was hesitant to to do anything as he already knew how his wife’s influence was seen and also did not want potentially execute one of his most loyal followers, worrying what example it would set. Meanwhile, the Apostles began to spread rumors that the Judge was completely ruled by his wife. This had completely the opposite intended effect, enraging the Judge, and Judge David gave the Apostles two choices: allow Judah to be arrested and punished or face the punishment alongside him. With that, the Apostles back off the issue and let the Hands of David arrest Judah. He was subsequently hanged for both incest and rape, and life in the Kingdom of God went on like before, albeit with some of Judge David’s lower-ranking followers now having a more jaded view of the group.
The Kingdom of God stayed relatively peaceful for the rest of 2250s with its rulers mostly focusing on developing new infrastructure, ensuring stability, and making more declarations. Judge David renamed the Tri-Cities ‘New Jerusalem’ in 2258 to further show that this truly was the Kingdom of God. Another Apostle was hanged in 2259 for corruption, showing again that no one was above the law in the Kingdom of God. Caravans continued to flow through the Kingdom, bringing quite a tidy sum of caps.
In 2260, the Kingdom of God was declared a sanctuary for all Christians, which brought in a slow but steady stream of immigration from the wasteland. Maria in particular fostered a small community of New Disciples who positioned themselves as spiritual leaders to the masses in the Kingdom. This further agitated many of the Apostles, but they remained peaceful, knowing the Judge’s reaction to anyone opposing Maria.
The early 2260s saw the Kingdom of God resume its conquests but with different methods. Under Maria’s advice, Judge David began using the Bible as a blueprint for his conquests: complete surrender or extermination of all who resist. Leaving New Jerusalem in Maria’s care, Judge David went out to conquer. The scenario of extermination played out numerous times in Walla Walla, Nineveh, and Hanford. These conquests and the horror stories they spawned helped to spread the Kingdom’s desires reputation: don’t mess with us. Communities that peacefully accepted Kingdom rule included Troll Warren and Wally. Most of the Kingdom’s conquests were over by 2266 with Judge David returning to New Jerusalem.
This quick and violent expansion produced its own problems. Many of the surviving conquered peoples did not like or respect the Kingdom’s rules, and many rebelled soon after being conquered when they realized what they were in for. Also, the Kingdom’s conquests gave them significant overlap with Oregon tribals, leading to them clashing with increased frequency in the late 2260s. Luckily, war with the Oregon Confederacy itself was prevented as the Oregon Brushfire Wars escalated. That led to the Kingdom to once again focus more on internal issues.
More Christian artists and intellectuals streamed into the Kingdom in the late 2260s and early 2270s, though things eased off after that. A small court of officials, intellectuals, and faux-intellectuals formed around Judge David, to both the Apostles and eventually Maria’s displeasure. In particular, a man named Vasile attracted Judge David's fancy with his talk of Flat Earth Theory. This grubby little man and his stupid ideas displeased many in the Kingdom, but they were all subject to the Judge’s wishes, so Vasile stayed. Another favorite member of David’s court was Eloise, a controversial New Disciple who dabbled in Christian mysticism. A couple of Christian artists and philosophers also came to the Kingdom, but attracted Maria's attention more than David's.
At the same time, conflict simmered underneath the surface of the Kingdom of God. The oppression of women in the Kingdom had caused many to break over the years, but only a few of these women reacted violently. That was until the Skirt Rebellion occurred in 2269 with a group of wives in Walla Walla making a murder-suicide pact to kill their husbands. The suicide part of the pact did not pan out as planned, and three of the women fled Walla Walla with the Hands of David hot on their heels. These women fought the Hands of David for about a week, with only one surviving the little rebellion. That woman, Rahab, formed the nucleus of the future rebel group named the Daughters of Artemis. At the same time, survivalists and tribals technically within the Kingdom’s borders began feeling the pressures of the zealot state’s influence. Something had to give.
The Kingdom of God continued to grow into the 2270s. However, Judge David was perfectly willing to sit on his laurels for most of the decade and not expand any further. Caravan traffic through the Kingdom continued at an unabated pace. Everything seemed calm by the spring of 2279. However, all that was about to change.
Judge Not, That You Be Not Judged
- "Oh fu-"
- ―Bishop Marcellus being ambushed by some rebels
The spring of 2279 was when Maria would finally have her revenge on “that bitch” Eloise. Eloise and the other little ‘attractions’ at the court in New Jerusalem had been taking up Judge David’s attention for years now, and both Maria and the Apostles were jealous of their seemingly unfounded influence on the Judge. So, Maria, the New Disciples loyal to her, and the Apostles all teamed up in an unlikely partnership to remove Eloise from Judge David’s court through any means necessary. Their first move: try to blackmail Eloise to leave. This was unsuccessful as they found no incriminating evidence. Maria could not even find any evidence of Eloise’s history from her eyes and ears within the New Disciples. So, she left the Apostles to try a more radical option: assassination. Three assassination attempts failed but did get the attention of both Eloise and Judge David. Eloise grew increasingly paranoid as Judge David searched for the assassins while being continually chastised by Maria. Eventually, Eloise began taking Med-X to try to deal with the stress in her life. Those chems proved to be more effective than any assassin in bringing down Eloise. As the knowledge of her chem usage began to pile up and scandal ensued, Eloise decided to try to flee New Jerusalem instead of facing punishment for her crimes. A couple of Apostles eagerly pursued Eloise into the wasteland with the Hands of David in toe. However, they were about to meet something quite unexpected.
At the same time all the court intrigue was going down in New Jerusalem, dissident forces were increasing within the Kingdom. Rebels were forming from groups such as feminists, survivalists, and tribals who felt the Kingdom was actively oppressing them. None of these different groups much liked any of the others, but they all agree the Kingdom more or less equally. So when the rebels heard an individual closely connected to the Judge was on the run, they moved fast. Some survivalists and feminists, determined to show up Judge David, banded together temporarily to rescue Eloise.
The rebels fought the Hands of David chasing Eloise on the banks of the Snake River in a large costly battle. The battle ended with the rebels being killed to a man, but it did not feel like a victory for the Kingdom of God. Eloise had gotten away, and it was now obvious that rebels were operating within the Kingdom's borders.
Ever since this battle, the Kingdom has been engaged in an increasingly bloody guerrilla war with the various rebels fighting them. The rebels include many different groups who rarely cooperate. The feminist rebel groups are the Daughters of Artemis and S.C.U.M. (S.C.U.M. is the more extreme of the two). The survivalist rebel groups are the Snake River Militia and the Lune Family, both who shoot outsiders on sight. The Oregon tribal rebels are divided into various tribes but all ultimately owe their allegiance to the Oregon Confederacy and Chief Kill-a-Ton, who has become increasingly concerned with the Kingdom's encroachment on tribal land. These rebels would really worry Judge David if they were ever one united front. His real concern recently has been a rural sect of Christian mystics popping up in his backyard led by his old adviser Eloise. Recently, Judge David has made it his mission to stamp out these blasphemous backwoods cultists and right the wrong he let escape.
Currently, the Kingdom of God is still on the rise with caravan traffic feeding its nascent economy. The Army of God defends its borders, and the Hands of God maintain internal security. Judge David, Maria, and the Apostles grow old, but their determination (especially Maria's) has not faded. However, their apocalyptic predictions of a Kingdom of God on "an Earth reborn" has not come to pass, leaving some to doubt the Judge's legitimacy. The question of succession, of both the Judge and his Apostles, is also consciously avoided. Right now though, the Kingdom is doing well and that is all that matters to most people, whether they love or hate the zealot state.
The culture of the Kingdom of God is chiefly governed by fundamentalists who enforce their particular brand of post-War Christianity. The Kingdom has a church in every community, and every community in the Kingdom is governed by God’s laws. Judge David and Maria hope to one day be able to run the Kingdom directly to fulfill “God’s vision”, but nowadays, they mostly have to delegate the duties of governance to their Apostles, the Army of God, and the New Disciples. That leads to an uneven level of enforcement of Biblical law, with towns like New Jerusalem and Nez Perce being fundamentalist strongholds while towns like Moscow and Wally have more of a Wild West atmosphere. The most culturally relevant part of the Kingdom is its churches, post-War structures that serve as the center of the community. The Kingdom’s flag, created by Maria and other women in New Jerusalem, mostly copies of the pre-War Christian flag with a red stripe on the bottom to signify the Blood of Christ and his eminent return.
Survivalists and raider clans that joined the Kingdom in the past, as well as Judge David and the Apostle’s raider backgrounds, influenced the state considerably. The Kingdom’s communities are often quite well-armed and willing to resort to violence if prompted. That, combined with the Kingdom’s expansionism and hostility to tribals, has led to much bloodshed in the recent past.
The Kingdom of God is highly patriarchal and the treatment of women within the state is reasonably hellish. Women within the Kingdom are (theoretically) not allowed to own property, carry weapons, and work a paying job. Women are expected to dress modestly, and those stepping outside of societal norms are harshly punished by religious brute squads known as the Hands of David. Men are in return expected to venerate women for their noble and selfless service. Motherhood is held as the pinnacle of female rank with mothers with over four children being given awards by Maria herself. Judge David more or less lets Maria deal with the rights of women and issue decrees on his behalf.
The punishment for blasphemy or refusal to convert in the Kingdom of God is execution enforced by the Hands of David or the Army of God. The usual execution in the Kingdom is hanging, with those in New Jerusalem being hanged from the industrial crane at the town’s entrance. Firing squads were more common in the past when the Kingdom was initially rolling through and are still used on occasion when dealing with rebels. Branding (with an upside-down cross to symbolize evil), castration, and banishment are among the terrible punishments for other crimes.
The Kingdom's attitude towards mutants and pre-War science is rather odd. While the Kingdom of God considers ghouls and super mutants to have been created through monstrous methods, they do not consider mutants to be necessarily monstrous themselves. However, anti-mutant sentiment is still rather strong in the Kingdom as a result of rural prejudices, and mutants are a rarity outside large settlements. Yet, this small number of mutants almost completely serve the Kingdom with a special fanaticism. Scientists, on the other hand, are more or less unilaterally regarded as evil. After all, you choose to be a scientist.
The Kingdom of God strictly makes its caps off of agricultural crops and lumber, two things the Kingdom has in excess. This exporting of goods and the taxing of trade going though owned territory has made the Kingdom rich and prosperous over the years. Wealth inequality has not increased much over the years however as Maria has been ever-vigilant in her anti-corruption measures, redistributing caps to those in need using charity. In this way, the Kingdom has discouraged capitalism from taking root in its territory. Caravans connect the Kingdom's economy with the rest of the wasteland.
Internally, the Kingdom of God has some resources that it safeguards. This includes the salmon in its streams and the scavenged pre-War goods within its territory. Scavenging is not a profession that is allowed in the Kingdom, and the Hands of Davids will not hesitate at arresting suspected scavvers. All pre-War supplies is usually handed over the Army of God for use in their conquests or directly to the Judge in the form of tithes which are used or sold to help govern the Kingdom.
The technology level of the Kingdom of God is overall pretty low. Pre-War technology is highly valued in the Kingdom but is still relatively rare. That includes both weapons and technology for more peaceful means. The Kingdom of God is at a lower technological level than NCR but is higher in development than the wasteland at least. Most of the Kingdom's settlements have access to clean water and electricity. Scientists and inventors are all but nonexistent in the Kingdom, so technological advancement is currently not a possibility.
The most common weapon in the Kingdom is the AK-112. That is because David and the original Apostles utilized these weapons to great effect in their raider days. Since then, the AK-112 has been a staple of the Kingdom's military, the Army of God. Lower-ranking members of the Army of God and many of the Hands of David often wield the pipe gun, the crossbow, and the machete. Other more uncommon weapons wielded within the Army of God are the .44 Magnum revolver, the Wattz 1000 laser pistol, the hunting rifle, and the light support weapon. The civilian residents of the Kingdom are generally not allowed to wield high tech weapons by order of Judge David, but they are allowed to keep weapons such as hunting rifles and shotguns for defense against the dangers of the wasteland. The rebels within the Kingdom do not respect the Judge's limits on weapons but still do not generally have high tech weapons.
The Kingdom of God uses the Bible as its blueprint for its strategy and tactics in war. In particular, the Kingdom uses the actions of the Israelites in the books of Joshua and Judges primarily to conduct itself in warfare. When the Kingdom is at war with a group or a settlement, it carries out a systematic campaign against civilians similarly to the people of Canaan — men, women and children. Maria in particular advises the Army of God with Deuteronomy 20:17: "You shall not leave alive anything that breathes". For the Army of God during war, the implication is that there are to be no treaties with the enemy and no mercy. The Kingdom's reputation of brutality is well-known throughout the region and mostly scares off enemies who would mess with them. However, a major difference between the Kingdom and the Israelites is that the Kingdom allows intermarriage between their members and surviving female enemies. Also, off the model of the Gideonites, the Kingdom allow those who surrender to them peacefully to live.
Since the Kingdom has a relatively low technology level, its military, the Army of God, relied mostly on human wave tactics to defeat its enemies in early years. However, the Kingdom of God finally developed a real chain of command as time marched on and more rebel groups sprung up, with many Apostles forming the top of the hierarchy. That has helped the Kingdom stem the growth of rebellions though it still finds it quite hard to fight guerrilla warfare against rebels whether it be feminists, tribals, or survivalists. Desertion in the face of enemy is a capital offense, with the penalty being hanging. Rape and armed robbery in the military are dealt with on a case by case basis but often are met with firing squads.
In the case of settlements that are peacefully assimilated, the Kingdom uses insidious methods to impose their laws upon others. Unlike settlements where most of the population is destroyed and laws are enacted easily, more potentially troublesome settlements are given a degree of autonomy after their conquest, under the supervision of the Hands of David of course though. However, the Kingdom will always eventually introduce their laws with the laws relating to women usually being the last. This gradual process has been observed to be the path of least resistance by the Kingdom as settlements become more and more used to the laws instead of getting all of them at once. Nevertheless, the Kingdom’s harsh rules relating to women and individual choice have still led to frequent rebellions with the Army of God forced to fight an increasingly costly guerrilla war against a fractious collection of rebels as time goes on.
- "New Jerusalem is pretty shit I hear, but it's okay out here on the frontier. I think of it as a nice balance between using women as breeding stock and the wasteland."
Atarah is the owner of a small bar on the border of the Kingdom in northern Idaho. As a bartender and a women, Atarah lives perched on the edge of a figurative knife in the Kingdom and only survives because of the hypocritical attitudes of the Army of God on the frontier. Atarah is a supporter of rebel groups who are actively fighting the Kingdom, but she keeps that information under wraps for obvious reasons.
Erin was born in 2262 to scavengers living near Boulder, Colorado. It was rough existence the first couple of years, but Erin did not mind all that much. She had plenty of other scavver children to play with. Her favorite friend was Kyan, a quiet little boy Erin often bossed around in a playful fashion.
The scavver community around Boulder was devastated by raider attacks in the early 2270s, causing Kyan's family to migrate east away from the violence. Erin's family held on for a bit longer until the arrival of Caesar's Legion. With that, Erin's family quickly packed up and moved north. The journey north was long and perilous for Erin's family, and by the time they got to where they wanted to go, northern Idaho, it was only Erin and her crippled father Ramon left. Erin was very busy initially helping out her father and fixing up their new home in the woods of Cascadia. The two established a small inn and bar for travelers, hoping to make a more stable life for themselves than scavenging. Their alcohol was either made locally or supplied by caravans.
Things changed radically in with the arrival of the Army of God in the area around 2281. Cronies of the Kingdom of God, the soldiers, headed by the Apostle Lucius, quickly subsumed Erin and her father through force. Both surrendered without causing too much trouble. They were both converted to Christianity, and Erin was given the name Atarah while her father got Levi.
Initially, the soldiers that came across the small family's home just wanted to burn it down since it contained alcohol, but the words of the Apostle Lucius stopped them: perhaps the little bar could a boon for soldiers and scouts on the frontier if it was allowed to stay open, for the moment. It was at that moment that Atarah began her service to the Army of God, willing or not.
The bar was renamed The Sparkling Cup and was made an exclusive luxury for soldiers of the Army of God. Atarah became the bar’s main proprietor as her father remained more or less lame. She had to bow and scrape to the soldiers’ every whim, whether it be to ask for another drink or a “romp” in bed. Atarah could not refuse. She had to protect her father and moving further north was not an option.
As time went on, Atarah became more and more settled into her new bleak life until a ray of hope finally showed itself. In the summer of 2283 when no soldiers or scouts were around, a lone man arrived at The Sparkling Cup. Atarah initially tried turn away the traveler but was convinced otherwise when the man told her he was a rebel looking for refuge for a bit. That interested Atarah, and she let the man in who would subsequently turn her life around once again.
Atarah had let in a man named Christopher Ramsay who claimed to be a member of the Snake River Militia. However, Ramsay carefully asked Atarah about her own opinions about the Kingdom of God before revealing more. After deciding Atarah did indeed have a low opinion of the Kingdom, Ramsay divulged more information. He, several members of other rebel groups such as the Daughters of Artemis and the Lune Family, was working to form a united front against the Kingdom. It was slow work as the Snake River Militia was still reluctant to deal with outsiders openly, but Ramsay was confident they would open up eventually. It was at that time in the conversation Atarah’s father walked in and was nearly shot by Ramsay. The man tersely apologized for that and went on talking. He wondered if he might use The Sparkling Cup as a safehouse on the frontier, seeing as it was remote and easily accessible. Atarah tentatively accepted Ramsay’s request, and a new chapter in Atarah’s life began.
The Sparkling Cup became a center of rebel activity in the northern parts of the Kingdom in the coming years. In the initial time after her acceptance of Ramsay, Atarah only got Ramsay coming through on a regular basis along her regulars, soldiers from the Army of God. Atarah enjoyed her new double life, and that soon involved sleeping with Ramsay as well. However, things began to escalate as more rebel agents came through The Sparkling Cup in about a year. This move alarmed Atarah greatly, and in 2284, she confronted Ramsay about it. Ramsay shrugged off her concerns and told her that she was now with the rebels whether she liked it or not. That dampened her enthusiasm a bit.
Nevertheless, Atarah continued housing rebels, serving soldiers, and trying to live her life as best as she can. Her relationship with Ramsay has fizzled out, but he still comes around on occasion, and they flirt sometimes. The various rebels that have come through Atarah’s bar over the years have not been the friendly type and the only one she knows well is Ramsay. Atarah keeps a level but has two existential crises looming over her: how much longer will the Kingdom allow the Sparkling Cup to exist and if her father dies, will she leave for greener pastures? Atarah does not like to think about the latter question.
Atarah is a woman trying to find strength in hard times. She was initially a very strong-willed assertive child who was not afraid to help those less fortunate than herself. Practically left on her own by her crippled father and victimized by uncaring soldiers of the Army of God, Atarah felt numb, alone, and humiliated for a long time after moving north. The only thing that held her onto this world was caring for her ill father. What ultimately gave Atarah hope was the rebels, who proved more proactive in making her feel better than her father. The rebels are Atarah’s lighthouse in the darkness of her life, even if her trust in them has been shaken over the years. Her sadness and depression still well up on occasion though, with little real end in sight.
- "When somebody challenges you, fight back. Be tough, be brutal."
- ―Judge David
Judge David is the harsh autocratic ruler of the Kingdom of God who casts himself as the arbiter of God on Earth. Raised by raiders and converted by his wife Maria, a member of the New Disciples, David retains many of the sensibilities he held as a raider while carrying out “God’s will” with a fundamentalist’s vigor.
The Judge's origins are mysterious, with only his Apostles and Maria knowing his true history. Many of the common people in the Kingdom assume he is descended from the Biblical prophets and came to them from the Holy Land. David neither contradicts nor encourages this narrative. The other more reliable story says Judge David was born in the ruins of Spokane, Washington in the 2210s to a raider couple who died and left him orphaned at a young age. Nevertheless, David is said by many in Spokane to have risen to become a warlord in his teens, around 2232. From there, David supposedly raided far and wide, going as far as Moscow and Grand Coulee Dam.
The beginning of David’s relationship with Maria is also seemingly lost to history, with most of the Kingdom’s official accounts starting the Kingdom’s history with David’s victory over his treacherous lieutenant Mask, his conquest of the Tri-Cities, and his subsequent elevation to Judge in 2252. David also named many of his oldest followers and friends Apostles, giving them high-ranking positions in the Kingdom’s hierarchy. The New Disciples began to come in after this and provide a more balanced account of history.
Judge David inaugurated his new Kingdom by ushering in more conquest. The spiritual ramifications of creating the Kingdom of God and his various declarations did not make David feel conflicted at all. He did not even seem to have anything in particular against women. The Judge spent most of his time conquering new lands for the Kingdom and combating the Bean Family. Upon his return from war, Judge David was disheartened by the conflict between his wife Maria and his Apostles over Judah. He had no stomach for such byzantine politics. When David felt insulted by Judah however, he responded decisively and had Judah hanged for his crimes. Life after that calmed down in the Kingdom with Judge David becoming increasingly bored.
Judge David found something to do again in the 2260s when he went on a campaign of conquest again, this time with his wife alongside him. Together, they used the Bible as their basis for strategy and devastated their enemies. That was a time a great success for the Kingdom. However, it was also the time that it became increasingly clear that Judge David and Maria were unable to have children together.
Upon the end of the war in 2266, Judge David rested on his laurels and soon became bored again. This time, David decided to stave off his boredom with entertainment of the faux-intellectual kind. That included Vasile, Eloise, and many other assorted weirdos who many still make up Judge David’s court in New Jerusalem. David was aware these people alienated his wife and many of his Apostles, but he did not care, wanting to delve into new ideas and experiences. Judge David occasionally dated his lust for battle by crushing some rebels in the 2260s and 2270s but became increasingly sedentary, even as activity exploded to his south.
Things took a drastic turn in 2279. Judge David’s court exploded in a rash of assassinations and murders, and everyone was pointing fingers, even his wife. This put David under much stress, and he increasingly leaned on his old friend Marcellus on advice as well as his wife. When the situation with Eloise exploded and ended with the Battle of Snake River, Judge David seemingly conceded that his wife was right and set to work trying to stamp out these new rebels in his Kingdom. This work continues today even as Judge David grow old and grey, as his pride will not allow this rebels to live. David and Maria’s marriage continues to be surprisingly loving, and the two continue to take on the world together like they have since the Kingdom’s inception.
Judge David is a man of extreme personas, the public and the private. David’s public persona is one of a firm decisive leader who can be brutal but also charitable. This public persona is seen by everyone in the Kingdom and is projected to the outside as well. David’s private persona is one of a near illiterate man who is ferociously loyal, somewhat vain, and overall not the brightest. This private persona is only known to David’s closest friends meeting behind closed doors, recalling his raider days or reading the Bible. The pressures of maintaining the Kingdom have increasingly weighed on the Judge, and he almost feels like he is going to buckle under the weight sometimes. That is when Maria usually comes and steers him in the right direction, to David’s relief. As he always says, they make the perfect couple.
Judge David's relationship with Maria and his Christian faith have not changed his raider nature and his lust for war however. He may not be that intelligent (and acknowledge that), but one should never mistake that for weakness. Even in his old age, David has not mellowed out and is perfectly willing to use brute force to get his point across.
- "I am sure this has Biblical justification. Oh shit, that's a lot of blood!"
- ―Bishop Marcellus
Bishop Marcellus is an Apostle, a rather maligned Bishop within the Kingdom of God, and a friend of Judge David from his raider days. Never really fit to be a pastor, Marcellus nonetheless was placed in the New Disciples as Bishop while doing very little ecclesiastic work. Most of his time is spent stamping out local rebels with the help of the Hands of David and enjoying the rewards gifted to him by Judge David for his loyalty.
A little baby boy named Tubes was born to the raider Striker and his sex slave Urinal in the blasted-out ruins of Spokane in the 2220s. Tubes was taken from his mother soon after his birth, and he rarely saw her afterwards. His father Striker wanted to be the sole parent of Tubes and educated the boy in his early years. Striker even taught Tubes how to read and write, but that was at the cost of Tubes making any friends in her early years as the other raider brats played in the streets.
Tubes was friendless until about 2232 when he came under the influence of David, a charismatic younger raider who took a shining to the scrappy little boy. Striker was one of David's earliest supporters in Spokane, and he was eager to allow his son to make friends with the rising star, becoming a sort of protege. David, who had little to no parenting as a child, often conversed with Tubes about each other's lives. The responsibility David bore was wearing on him already, and he still had much to learn. Tubes supported David with positivity and brotherly love.
Tubes remained David’s closest friend and main confidante (besides perhaps Mask) for about a year until the young warlord raided the settlement of Nicaea in 2233 and returned to Spokane with a woman, intending to use her as his personal sex slave (or more euphemistically, concubine). Initially, that was exactly what happened, and Tubes was allowed to watch, to his delight. His only regret at first was that he was not allowed to participate.
However, David soon enough barred Tubes from entering the room while he and his new toy, named Maria, were together. This saddened Tubes greatly, but he was still happy that he could visit and talk with David all any other time. Tubes’s father Striker was not happy however and beat the boy often for not trying harder to please David. Striker wanted to supplant Mask as David’s lieutenant, and Tubes was supposed to be helping him do that.
David eventually told Striker to stop beating Tubes, and the boy stayed with David longer hours. Tubes was able to observe the odd relationship the raider warlord and his sex slave seemed to have cultivated over the past year or so, becoming almost something of a romantic couple. This confused Tubes greatly, and he told his father Striker about the situation extensively. At the same time, Tubes was finally trying his hand at romance or at least sex, hoping to imitate David. He ultimately turned out more like his father with his own sex slave he treated badly, Dregs.
Tubes’s close friendship with David continued on for years, even as David became les recognizable as the fast-talking swaggering warlord Tubes once knew. David mainly became more and more moralistic, preventing his raiders from doing various horrific actions for admittedly vague reasons. This did not bother Tubes as much as it did many other raiders however, and he still remained loyal to the warlord through thick and thin.
The real straw that broke the camel’s back was when David began allowing New Disciples into Spokane and attacking various targets who his fellow raiders used to be allied with or had no urge to fight. Groups attacked included bands of super mutants and the isolated but rather peaceful Aryan Republic. Both these actions angered many raiders under David’s command, who saw their leader increasingly drifting under the control of Maria.
David nearly dying after an encounter with super mutants nearly brought an end to everything. While Maria nursed David back to health in his tent, Mask and Tubes literally stood outside to safeguard him as jackals circled, including Tubes’s own father. When David emerged, Tubes was overjoyed even as the warlord seemed even further from the man he once knew.
Tubes loyalty outlasted Mask’s, who broke with David in 2252 after he gave New Disciples prominence over his raider followers. The resulting duel and small civil war ended with Tubes on David’s side and his father on another. Tubes was okay with that, and he was also fin with leaving Spokane, as long as he could follow David to his next adventure.
The exodus south to the Tri-Cities was rather enlightening for Tubes, as he was finally exposed to David’s newfound religion. David wanted all his remaining followers to convert and conform to Christianity. For Tubes, that meant conversions and marrying his sex slave Dregs, neither of which were attractive to him. It was at that time that Tubes finally voiced some uncertainty to David and questioned him about Maria. This uncertainty was quickly quieted by David’s iron will and brutal determination, but it was a start down a road Tubes would walk for the rest of his life.
The war in the Tri-Cities and the establishment of the Kingdom led to another turning-point in in Tubes's life, where he and his "wife" had to pick new Biblical names. Tubes was given the name Marcellus and Dregs was given the name Bethany, both by Maria's recommendation. His new name took some getting used to, and Marcellus often talked to David about how necessary the name changing was. Judge David insisted that it was necessary, even for Apostles, but also usually tried to give Marcellus some encouragement at the same time.
For his trouble, Judge David eventually appointed Marcellus Bishop of the New Disciples in the Kingdom in 2260. Marcellus was both confused and honored by this, and he was further ticked off when it was told to him that he had to go the Council of Bishops in Yakima. So since his appointment, Marcellus has sent a lower-ranking Disciple to represent him in absentia at every council. This has to some controversy within and without the Kingdom of God, but Judge David has covered for his friend for years. Marcellus is unaware of this, and he remains ignorant about most of his own responsibilities.
Marcellus mostly spends his days currently either lounging around in New Jerusalem or pursuing rebels in the wasteland with the help of the Hands of David or the Army of God. He is bored by the long peace brought about by the Judge’s conquest and lusts for more in life, a new war. Marcellus’s pursuit of rebels has gotten him in trouble over the years, but he has always come on top in the end. Currently, Marcellus is still working to hunt down rebels and has killed dozens. He is the bane of the rebels’ existence, a very dangerous man. Marcellus’s most notorious feature is his axe, which he uses to behead rebel prisoners.
Bishop Marcellus has strayed even less from his raider roots than David has. Even though Marcellus can read, he still knows less of the Bible than David does. Marcellus thinks little of his future or responsibilities, and he lives for any cheap thrill brought on by sex, violence, or both. The only real positives from this are that Marcellus has never really been overly sadistic or susceptible to chems. He is violent, but he is simple with his violence, killing his enemies swiftly. Marcellus is also rather lazy when he has to actually do something important. The only reason he has come so far is luck and David’s loyalty to his friends, the Apostles.
- "You are my hammer and weapon of war: with you I break nations in pieces; with you I destroy kingdoms, Jeremiah 51:20."
Maria is the zealous wife of Judge David, a prominent figure within the Kingdom, and an ardent female misogynist. Raised among the New Disciples in Nicaea, Maria was captured by David when he was still a raider, and she worked to convert him, eventually marrying him. Maria's love of David, her religious zealotry, and her misogyny are results of a rather unique childhood, one she would rather forget but never can fully put behind her. Maria’s role in the Kingdom of God’s creation was pivotal, and she even helped design the Kingdom’s flag.
Maria was born on January 18, 2214 to Andrew and Zelda, two New Disciples living in Yakima. The birth took a great toll on Zelda, but both parents were happy to finally have a child, as they had been trying hard for years without much success until the arrival of Maria. Andrew and Zelda went on to cherish Maria as their only child, a gift from God himself perhaps. Maria’s childhood was highly structured, as per her Disciple upbringing, but she remembers it fondly nonetheless, seeing the discipline and education given to her in this period as being crucial to her later survival.
Things did not remain so rosy for Maria as the years dragged on. In the years after Maria’s birth, Zelda’s mental condition began to deteriorate, exacerbated by an existing condition, and she began to lash out at Andrew increasingly, leading to fights within the household. Maria did not witness many of these fights, but those she did see marred her perception of her parents, especially her mother. Maria’s Disciple education led her to delve deep into the Bible and other literature, allowing the girl to escape her fractured home.
As a teenager in Yakima, Maria was shy and practically friendless. Most of the time she was found with her head buried in some book, whether it be the Bible or her other favorite book Pride and Prejudice. Maria was a good-looking girl, getting some advances from other teenage boys in Yakima, but she rejected them all. This was partially because of Maria’s conviction that she save herself for marriage and partially because of her social awkwardness. Maria still had attractions that she could not deny however and kept a diary while she was in Yakima of all her teenage romantic interests.
Maria’s life took a radical turn when it her family announced in 2230 that they were joining a Disciple expedition to establish a mission in eastern Washington to minister to the tribals there. This was done with the intention of fixing Andrew and Zelda's marriage, which Maria knew fully. However, she was unaware that the decision was a mutual one and blamed her mother for everything. She still hated her father for being such as pushover, but the majority of the resentment was still laid squarely with her mother.
Nicaea was already established by the time Maria and her family arrived there, but it was nothing like Yakima. It was still a rough and tumble post-War settlement with little infrastructure and little access to "creature comforts". Maria was forced to actually work hard for the first time in her life in maintaining the community of Nicaea. Maria’s mother Zelda was one person in particular who hounded Maria to earn her keep, though Andrew also reminded Maria of her duties.
Tribal attacks became a concern for Nicaea starting in 2231, with the Disciples of settlement being forced to take up arms against the savages. Maria, too young to fight herself, witnessed numerous Disciples, men and women, fighting and even dying to defend Nicaea. She thought it was all such a waste. So many men and women dying for such a junk town like Nicaea, never to carry on their lineage to later generations.
Even as she was forced to work harder and grew older, Maria withdrew deeper into herself as time went on in Nicaea. She did not make friends and did not even try to have any romantic relationships, even though an increasing number of young men pestered her for her hand. This withdrawal from society worried Andrew and Zelda, but both of them were too busy to really assist their daughter with her issues. A quiet rage built up within Maria towards almost everyone around her, whether it be her mother, Nicaea, or society itself. The only people Maria really kept faith in were her father and God. When she was not working for her parents (or God forbid, the community), Maria was reading, with most of that reading devoted to the Bible and other pre-War historical texts. She also took to drawing while in Nicaea, mostly of Biblical or pre-War heroes.
By the time 2233 rolled around, Maria was still wrestling with her hatred of just about everything. The only thing that staved off a descent into misanthropy for Maria was her staunch faith in God. Entrenched in her own business, Maria did not really take notice as the situation in Nicaea grew worse as the isolated settlement deteriorated. Maria, to her credit, remained rather stable as the rest of the Disciples in Nicaea started panicking.
However, Nicaea would not live long enough to see its own collapse. In 2233, Nicaea became the target of a vicious raider warlord from Spokane. He was a brute feared across the region, and he had no use for religious zealots such as the Disciples, except as sources of plunder. And plunder he did.
The warlord and his raiders fell upon Nicaea as dusk fell with a mighty noise, like a mix between a an ancient rebel yell and an inhuman wolf-howl. The raiders fell upon the Disciples' homes in Nicaea and did their worse. Zelda was caught by the raiders while outside, so Andrew left his daughter behind to rescue his wife. That would be the last time Maria saw her father. All Maria could do was cower in her house as the screams of her Disciple brethren battered her ears, growing louder and louder over time. Maria tried to block it out, but it was of no use. All she could do was clutch her Bible and wish for miracle. The danger was real though, and she could not hide from the world any longer.
That was when the world came bashing down Maria's door, the warlord himself. He cut a fearsome figure, a tall muscled raider loaded down with equipment and weapons wreathed with the flames behind him. He reminded Maria of the stories she read of the pagan piratical barbarians who carried off good Christian women in days long gone. Maria did not do any more thinking after that though, as the burly raider hefted her over his shoulder and carried her out of her now burning house. Maria's memory began veiled after that for a while, until she was out of the burning remnants of Nicaea and in the raiders' camp. Coming back to her senses, Maria panicked and struggled against her captor but was unceremoniously dumped inside the warlord's tents under the watchful eye of the his lieutenant. Maria was left there confused on why she was not being "ravished" and soon became terrified of what other fate might befall her. It was at that moment that Maria noticed she was still clutching her Bible to her breast, the grip firm and rigid. Maria leafed through her Bible, her last possession from her old life, and she continued to hold it tight, curled up in a ball inside the warlord's tent. Maria lay safe that night, but she was unaware of how long that would last.
Over the next few days, Maria learned more about her new life. Maria rarely saw the warlord but did see a lot of his hushed lieutenant, Mask. He talked to her occasionally but did not tell Maria much. Maria even remained ignorant of the name of the man who She was transported along with the rest of the loot taken in Nicaea inside a wagon drawn by a team of Brahmin. She was made aware that this was a privilege by Mask, as the rest of the 'cattle' were being forced to walk. Maria was also informed that the raiders were on their way back to Spokane, and that when they arrived back there, David would have his way with her. The thought of that terrified Maria.
It took a couple of days until the raiders made their way back to Spokane, a ruined pre-War town infested with various raider gangs with David at the head. The streets were littered with dead who stank to high heaven while merchants hawked their wares to the raiders. Maria peaked out of the wagon to look at Spokane but barely saw anything. Mask assured Maria there was not much to see. That was until the David's raiders came to their home, where Mask told Maria to get out. David had arrived earlier and was waiting for her.
Exiting the wagon, Maria was stunned by the sight of a great church, a huge stone cathedral most likely built before the war. Maria was shunted forward before she could marvel at the church anymore, prodded along by some gawking raiders. However, they knew their boundaries, as she was David's. Some of the female raiders around Maria laughed at her while she made her way to the large church, mocking her for her meager threadbare dress. Entering the church escorted by Mask, Maria was again in admiration of this pre-War stone sanctuary. She walked through the quarters of the raiders in the church to wherever Mask was leading her, nowhere good no doubt. That fact she was in a church should have reassured Maria some, but it did not, as she fully knew the capabilities of its current inhabitants.
Mask led Maria up some steps to a chamber off of the main sanctuary. Maria was left in the chamber with Mask locking the door behind her. The brute David was there waiting for her. The details of what happened afterwards are simple: David tore off Maria's clothes, forced himself upon her, and halfway through let a little goblin of a boy in the room to watch. It was all too much for Maria on top of everything else she was already dealing with.
For a couple months, David mostly kept Maria cooped up in his room and took her like a dog whenever he liked with his little toady watching, having no regard for her emotional state (though she was at least given new clothes). The rough sex hurt Maria at first, but she got used to it as time went on. He rarely talked to her and forbade anyone else from interacting with her, being a very jealous man. Maria, during that time, suffered terribly. She developed a detachment from reality, had trouble sleeping, and rarely ate many of her meals, preferring instead just to remain sullen. The only respite for Maria was that the dangers of pregnancy and STIs were an unknown to her, as her Disciple parents never taught her such things. Also, the possibility of suicide never crossed Maria's mind since she had always been taught that killing oneself meant eternal damnation. That did not mean that Maria was happy though, as nothing had prepared her for this situation.
That did not mean what Maria's upbringing would no use in her situation, however. A couple of months into her captivity, Maria finally began to escape her misery using an unexpected but familiar source: religion. Maria had brought her personal Bible into her room, but she had discarded it initially. She later cursed herself for discarding the Lord’s word so easily. However, Maria did rediscover it near the beginning of 2234 and began reading it regularly again when David was not taking her. That, combined with prayer, gave some structure to Maria's forlorn new life as well as a sliver of hope for the future. She ate more regularly and had fewer "out of body" experiences. That being said, Maria would never fully recover from the mental (and physical) damage David inflicted and the results are still reflected in her today, the most prominent being her continued difficulty sleeping.
It was around the same time that David took notice of Maria's extensive reading. Up until that point, the raider warlord had only been interested in Maria as a status symbol and a sex slave. Seeing her reading stirred something else inside David though: curiosity. He began tentatively asking Maria questions about her book and even offered to get her more when he found them. Maria was surprised and pleased by David's seeming change of heart, and that started another change inside her. She began wondering if, just maybe, David could be changed into someone better. Perhaps even a man she could love.
The road to that would be a long one, however. In 2234 and 2235, Maria received some new books from David, improving her mental condition with time, but David still mostly remained distant, only interacting with Maria when taking sex or giving her books. That kept Maria guessing as to how good a man David really was. The books given to Maria included Aquarium by Viktor Suvorov and more importantly The Fate of Empires and Search for Survival by Sir John Glubb.
Maria's reading of Glubb's book and more readings from the Bible around this time shaped her worldview for decades to come. In particular, two passages from The Fate of Empires and Search for Survival struck a chord with Maria. The first passage read follows:
- "An increase in the influence of women in public life has often been associated with national decline. The later Romans complained that, although Rome ruled the world, women ruled Rome. In the tenth century, a similar tendency was observable in the Arab Empire, the women demanding admission to the professions hitherto monopolised by men. ‘What,’ wrote the contemporary historian, Ibn Bessam, ‘have the professions of clerk, tax-collector or preacher to do with women? These occupations have always been limited to men alone.’ Many women practised law, while others obtained posts as university professors. There was an agitation for the appointment of female judges, which, however, does not appear to have succeeded.
Soon after this period, government and public order collapsed, and foreign invaders overran the country. The resulting increase in confusion and violence made it unsafe for women to move unescorted in the streets, with the result that this feminist movement collapsed."
- ―Sir John Glubb
Maria recalled mentions of the mighty Roman Empire from the later books of the Bible (although she knew little of Arab Empire also mentioned) and drew parallels to the conditions of pre-War America. She only became more convinced as she read further. The second passage read as follows:
- "The increasing prominence of women in public life seems to coincide with a desire on the part of some men to imitate women. In Baghdad, there were young men who wore female clothes and strings of beads. This tendency may coincide with an increase in homosexuality. This has been called the reversal of the sexes- the men want to be women, the women men.
Of course the majority of men and women continue to marry, to produce families and to observe the normal relations between the sexes. Nevertheless, the reversal of the sexes seems to be a sign of decadence.
Again, however, while recording this development, we are unable to offer an explanation or a cure."
- ―Sir John Glubb
The second passage made Maria think about a lot of the women she had known in her life, who she had mostly regarded as good Christian women, except for her mother of course. However, she was now reconsidering all that. Many of the women she had known, even if they had been more pleasant than her mother, were very strong-willed and assertive towards their husbands. Maria's mother Zelda especially was remembered as "dominating" her husband Andrew. Maria also remembered good fertile young women in Nicaea who did not marry, fought as part of the town's defense, and died without contributing to society in the form of offspring. Maria connected all these memories with what she had read and after perusing through some more of the Bible, came to a sobering conclusion. Maria concluded women's natural role in society was as homemakers and caregivers, and women continuing to go outside of these roles was the reason society had not progressed in the last century or so since the Great War. She even blamed Christians such as New Disciples for their fickleness in regards to the family unit.
Despite this being a turning-point in Maria's life, Maria's revelation remained just in her head, for the moment. Most of her time was spent continuing to read and having to pleasure David. That was tough for Maria to bear, but it got easier over time for her over time, something David took notice of. The fact Maria maintained some semblance of dignity, unlike many of the raiders' other sex slaves, fascinated David alongside his interest in her ability to read. On one occasion, Maria was offered Med-X by David to dull her pain, but she refused, calling the chem "poison". She simply continued her daily regiment, but deep inside she wondered: what if?
In late 2235, David decided to finally have an in-depth talk with Maria after having her as his sex slave for two years. David regarded Maria as little more than an object for his “release” in early times, but now, he was legitimately curious about her. Firstly, Maria could read whereas David could not, and secondly, Maria had endured numerous humiliations from David but seemingly bore no ill will against him. The power of forgiveness was something David could not comprehend. So, in the winter of 2235 David finally talked to Maria in an extended discussion that surprised them both. David was surprised to learn that Maria was in fact much more intelligent than he was, by several magnitudes it seemed, and adhered to her own “code” (Christianity) that had kept her sane the last two years. He also recognized the significance of “Maria’s book” (the Bible) for the first time. Because of that, Maria gained a kernel of respect from David that would eventually grow to control his life. At the same time, Maria was pleasantly surprised to find that David was not the mindless brute she had first imagined him to be but was instead little more than a rather dim but inquisitive raider brat who had been lucky in the lottery of life. It was at that moment that Maria decided neither she nor David were lost causes, from thereon out dedicating her time to a higher goal than sex and reading.
It began with simple anecdotes. Soon after their first discussion and after his return from a particularly successful raid, Maria told David that he was named after a great king. Hooked by this tidbit of information, David pressed Maria to know more about his namesake. That in turn eventually led to Maria reading excerpts from the Bible to David every so often which (luckily for Maria) lessened his desire for sex. For the next couple of years, Maria read to David, and they grew closer. David finally decided to let Maria out her room to roam his headquarters for the first time (with Mask at her side). Maria was let out of her confinement for the first time in two years, and she appreciated it, going all over the church with Mask quietly padding behind her. From them on, Maria could periodically leave her little room whenever she liked, just as long as she did not try to outright escape.
Maria’s readings turned into a sort of education for David as time went on, both in an academic and religious sense. Maria began her habit of quoting Bible verses ad nauseam around this time to help David digest all this new information. David was eager to learn, both out of selfish interest and interest in Maria. He also began complementing Maria's appearance more, calling her "beautiful" and "an angel", at first jokingly but later dead seriously. Maria was flattered by David's compliments but still tried to focus on the task at hand. Using his already existing interest and trust to her advantage, Maria slowly began to influence David’s decision-making. The first two decisions of David that Maria influenced were quite different: mercy and homosexuality. David was convinced by Maria to spare more captives and not sate his raiders’ bloodlust to help reach heaven, but he was also encouraged to cut loose any “randy” raiders that might still be in his gang.
The increasing influence Maria had over David became more noticeable as time went on and was only worsened by the fact no one was allowed to interact with her besides Mask, who never talked to her anyways. The raiders formed their own little conspiracies about Maria, and they built up some significant hate for her. Maria’s Christianity was utterly foreign to the raiders, confusing and angering them. Nevertheless, David’s power in Spokane increased as time went on even as a couple of his raiders lost respect for him.
2238 was a hard year for both David and Maria. The year started out with some caravan bounty hunters ambushing David near Moses Lake in a trap, nearly killing him. David returned to Spokane with several injuries that could not be repaired by just injecting some Stimpaks. Maria, seeing David’s scars, quickly moved to comfort the warlord who held her captive. David was grateful for Maria’s moral support and spent several weeks recovering from his injuries. Maria was given medicine and chems by some grumbling raiders to help out David, and that was the clincher. Her full moral and healing support truly gained David’s trust for the first time. After he recovered, David finally gave Maria the offer of her life: he wanted to convert to Christianity, and he wanted to have a traditional marriage with Maria instead of her being his sex slave. That caught Maria off guard. She asked David if he was serious, and he confirmed his previous statements. Maria considered what David said, and she told him that she would consider his words. David accepted this and left her to think.
Maria now considered the small but relevant amount of power she held. For what seemed like the first time in years, Maria was presented with the agency to choose her own fate. A small but vocal part of Maria's mind wanted to reject David, to say that he was an inhuman bloodthirsty savage who had raped her hundreds of times and that she would never marry him. A part of Maria wanted to say that. However, Maria's little 'revelation' about the role of women in society and her confused feelings for David made her decide otherwise, and she later accepted David's marriage proposal and his offer of conversion to Christianity, which led to a baptism in the Spokane River. That choice set her on a twisted path to power.
Maria had David convert to Christianity before their marriage, and both ceremonies were rather quiet affairs, largely overshadowed by David's bloody total takeover of Spokane that killed tens of other raiders. That was none of Maria's concern however. She was married to the most powerful man in the region, in a position to spread the word of God to hundreds of new ears, and most importantly free from the confines of her one-room prison in the church. However, Maria at the same time condemned herself in her self-constructed prison of self-hatred and living as an advocate for female subservience.
In the next decade or so, Maria acted as David’s strong right hand, running a tight ship in Spokane as her man was out raiding caravans and settlements. Maria’s platinum blonde hair, aviator glasses (a gift from David), and calls for conversion became almost omnipresent in Spokane in the 2240s. Maria’s time in Spokane was mostly spent prowling the city like a mountain lion, acting on David’s behalf to project his power upon the various raider gangs under his rule. David did not order Maria to do it, but he let her do it because he saw her as serving a purpose. Maria’s zealotry and over-important attitude gained her the hate of many raiders, but her regular tours of Spokane did keep the raiders in line, for the moment.
The 2240s were interesting time for Maria’s scant relationships. Aside from David, she had barely interacted with anyone for most of the 2230s and with practically no women. So, she was eager to try to make some new female friends in Spokane, hopefully ones with her own worldview. Maria was disappointed to find none, and she took that as confirmation that women were in general a detriment to civilization. That did not deter Maria from preaching her Christian faith to the raiders of Spokane. Her message of joyful servitude and redemption in the afterlife did bring Maria some friends/conversions, mostly from the raider “cum buckets” who were sex slaves like Maria had once been. Maria did manage to convert at least one couple in 2244, a raider named Wicked and his sex slave Tattoo. Capitalizing on that, Maria made Wicked and Tattoo into a sort of “friend couple” of her and David. The two couples often ate together and socialized in later years, often to David’s quiet consternation. Maria’s relationship with Mask, her former captor, remained rather chilly due to his obvious dislike of her while David remained good friends with him. However, Maria and David’s romance stayed strong in the 2240s, even as David was away often. Maria had the baby fever and looked for any opportunity to get pregnant. This was ultimately to no avail, as she never had any children from David to her dismay. Nevertheless, Maria worked hard to keep the relationship strong even after the flame had seemingly gone out. That got David and Maria through many difficult years.
David had established himself as a major regional warlord by 2246, and there seemed to be no way things could go wrong. That was until David laid his eyes on the Aryan Republic. The nascent republic was established by white separatists after the war to serve as an isolated state with the goal of self-improvement and intellectual pursuit. The small Aryan Republic’s modest riches and impressive technology planted the seed of jealousy in David and he declared war on them, thinking the isolated separatists to be an easy target. Though they had few numbers, the residents of the Aryan Republic fought hard to preserve their homeland and lasted four years against David. That war, encouraged by Maria as “punishing identitarian beliefs”, sapped David’s resources and angered his raiders subjects. At the same time, David’s further Christianization also alienated the raiders under him. They saw his new beliefs as evidence of his growing weakness and were also angered by the constant annoyance that was Maria. The situation only heightened when David began inviting New Disciples into his territory and formed a sort of "court" around himself, with the New Disciples as intellectual elites. Maria wanted to befriend many of these newly arrived Disciples but avoided it so as not to anger David's subjects. That did not matter in the end, as the raiders saw the Disciples as further evidence of Maria's influence over David.
Things seemed to come to a head in 2249 when David was grievously wounded in battle with super mutants allied with the Aryan Republic. The raiders under David’s rule saw him being brought back to Spokane on a stretcher, heard he was near death, and sensed weakness. Those who had a grudge against David or simply wanted to grasp his power began circling like wolves around him. While Maria treated David, his two closest friends Tubes and Mask guarded him. Both were completely loyal to the warlord due to years (or decades in Mask’s case) of friendship with him. David slipped in and out of consciousness for weeks as Maria treated him as best as she could. Maria prayed for his survival daily and only became more fervent in her prayers as David’s condition worsened. Her incessant religious babbling even penetrated David’s dreams. Maria partly blamed her own “feminine wiles” for making David go to war, making Maria feel even more guilty and in need of a miracle.
A miracle did come Maria though, more or less. On the cusp of winter, David finally recovered from his wounds and told Maria that he had seen God (or Jesus, he was not quite sure). Seeing God had convinced David that the Second Coming was approaching. Maria was skeptical of David’s claim of having “seeing God”, something she had never done, but she tried to rationalize as best she could to David in what would be a turbulent next few years.
David's recovery staged off the jackals for the moment, but the following events stirred discontent even more. Though David did not pronounce his “revelation” to his raiders publicly, his increasingly zealous behavior was becoming self-evident as time went on. After finally defeating the Aryan Republic in 2250, David moved to really consolidate his control over the territory around Spokane. That proved to be his downfall there ultimately. The wasteland around Spokane was mostly untamed, and David used the New Disciples to help him take it instead of raiders. David gave his “pet” New Disciples more attention and gifts after his injury while at the same time often putting down the raiders that put him in power. Also, David’s actions also began reflecting his drift into religious fundamentalism such as burning a mad scientist at the stake and outlawing the sale of alcohol on Sundays in his territory. These moves turned David’s old lieutenant Mask against him over time, and in 2252, Mask finally confronted David. He called him out for his often hypocritical faith and challenged him to a duel.
Maria had never liked Mask, seeing him as brutish and violent, and was happy when David rather easily dispatched Mask. That however led to a bloody civil between Spokane’s raiders that put David on the losing side. It turned to that a lot of his former raider friends just hated his guts now. Maria was displeased by this but not wholly bereft of hope. It has her who suggested to David that they leave Spokane, with whatever raiders and New Disciples they had left, and move south to less forbidding lands. Just a suggestion, of course. David considered it and eventually gave in after fighting another week, seeing that it was a useless endeavor.
The exodus out of Spokane was an emotional one for both David and Maria, though they showed it in different ways. David raged over his loss while Maria silently wept. Whether those tears were from the loss of her husband’s position or finally moving out of the city that cause her so much pain, not even Maria knows for sure.
The little group made its way south in 2252, and both David and Maria made it clear: they were still in charge. David would be in charge overall while mostly overseeing the men, and Maria would oversee the women while reporting to David. On the exodus was when Maria finally started interacting with some women besides Wicked, women who were no doormats. In Maria’s mind, that had to change, for all of them. The former sex slaves turned “wives” like Wicked were easy enough to bring over to Maria’s point of view, but the female raiders were much more resistant to her talking points. Some of them even threatened Maria with violence for trying to “indoctrinate” them. David was reluctant to help Maria with these dissenters, but after the great sod violence, he killed a few female raiders to make an example to follow Maria’s orders. With her piercing reciting of scripture and constant badgering, Maria managed to break down what resistance remained within the group’s female members. That kind of creeped out many male members of the group, but they knew price for speaking up.
As David's little group continued on their way through the wasteland, David descended further in Christian fundamentalism with the group becoming more like a cult than a group of raiders. David's beliefs in the coming of the End Times and the Second Coming became more public to his followers, convincing them to believe exactly what he and Maria believed. Maria was happy with that, but she was also a bit scared at David's increasing fanaticism. However, she stayed staunchly beside David and voiced no objections to anything David said. Maria's teachings had made him this way after all.
Making their way south, David's band reached the ruins of the Tri-Cities in southeast Washington and decided to take up residence there, in Richland specifically. There, David and Maria started working together on something big, something they thought would change everything. Ever since his injury in 2249, David’s beliefs were becoming increasingly apocalyptic and Maria wanted to reconcile those beliefs with her own, including her misogynistic ones. After a short time bashing things out, David was ready to declare his intent with Maria’s teachings in mind. As such, the Kingdom of God was being born, and Judge David finally stepped into history.
Maria did not take a combat role in the conquest of Tri-Cities, as it was not woman’s place, but she played a part nonetheless. It was Maria who suggested to David that all new members of the Kingdom pick new names to help cement their new place and leave old sinful lives behind. Maria was also behind many of David’s declaration, particularly the ones regarding religious laws and women, but Judge David did begin asserting his new ideas around this time, coming up with ideas Apostles and a governing hierarchy within the Kingdom all by himself. The Hands of David were also David’s idea, though Maria toned down his initial idea of “death squads” into “religious police”.
During the conquest of the Tri-Cities, David and Maria’s sex life improved considerably. David’s blood was up, and Maria was happy to oblige him. Part of her hoped again that her husband would finally knock her up and give her the family she had always wanted. Once again, Maria was disappointed and assumed her own shortcomings (and females in general) were at fault. Maria nevertheless stuck by Judge David, and when the Tri-Cities finally fell under the Kingdom’s control, Maria was there to cheer her man on. She kept on cheering as Judge David and his Army of God marches out of the Tri-Cities to bring the wastes to heel. While the Judge was out warring, Maria mostly focused on pet projects and let the Apostles govern. She wrote letters to David often and was the one who advised him to scapegoat the Bean Family to gain popularity with wastelanders. Maria, along with some other women in the now-occupied Tri-Cities, also produced the Kingdom of God’s flag in 2254.
It was when Maria helped create the flag in 2254 that she first heard about the controversy with the Apostle Judah. One of Judah’s daughters, working on the Kingdom’s flag, told Maria that the Apostle was abusing his daughter and that she had witnessed it herself. That alarmed Maria greatly, as it finally pierced her delusion of the Kingdom being a godly perfect society. Maria realized that if an accusation of rape was going on within the Apostles, it should be investigated. So, she tried but was met with resistance. The Apostles, Judah included, in reality controlled most of the Tri-Cities and circled the wagons when Maria came forth to investigate the rape accusations. They were unwilling to let one of their own get torn down by anyone, especially by someone like Maria. This situation eventually escalated to a level where the Apostles had basically confined Maria to David’s “palace” and used her rules against women against her to great effect. That was too much for Maria, and she just waited for Judge David to return from campaign. The only people protecting her were really the Hands of David.
Judge David eventually did return to the Tri-Cities in 2256, with the Apostle Judah eventually hanged after angering the Judge. Maria was satisfied with what Judge David did and welcomed him back with open arms. She was unhappy that children would never be a possibility for her, but the Judge was her only family and life now. So, Maria continued to advise Judge David in just about all matters concerning the governance of the Kingdom of God, including declaring the Kingdom to be a sanctuary for all Christians and re-naming the Tri-Cities the more proper name New Jerusalem. As Judge David geared up for another campaign of conquest in the 2260s, Maria schooled him on the tactics of the Biblical Israelites in war and reminded him of the treatment of conquered women. The 2260s and the 2270s were a time of war and growth for the Kingdom, and Maria assisted in all the ways she could. She thought of nothing but David and her cause, a fanaticism that seemed to stem from a deep-seeded need to constantly prove herself. So, when someone, specifically the Christian mystic Eloise, came between Maria and her David, she was mad as hell and almost felt betrayed. David was drifting away from her. With that, Maria decided to work with her frequent rivals the Apostles to take out Eloise. That plan did not succeed in the short-term, but Eloise did eventually get dislodged from Judge David's life. That caused some unforeseen problems, but Maria did not care. She had David back. Also, Maria was satisfied in being proven right that the rebels within the Kingdom had to be dealt with, something she had told the Judge on numerous occasions.
Ever since Eloise ran off, Maria and David have been getting along again. The two love each other as passionately as ever, and they work alongside each other to maintain the Kingdom. If either David or Maria were eliminated, the Kingdom would no doubt fall into ruin. Maria knows this in the back of her mind, and she blames herself for not producing a suitable heir for the Judge. Nevertheless, Maria has recently been hinting to Judge David that he should adopt a young heir soon. From Maria's perspective, the line of Judges has to continue until the Second Coming and the apocalyptic arrival of the 'true' Kingdom of God. Most of the time nowadays, Maria is seen poring over the Bible, specifically in Daniel and the Book of Revelation, to look for something pointing to a possible future. Maria remains a staunch misogynist and an ardent religious zealot. Her dream family is out of reach, but she still has David.
Maria lives the life she has chosen ultimately and regrets nothing. Maria's determination has provided her with drive, and she is well-known for her iron resolve, which rivals David's. Her assertiveness is rather strange when contrasted with her views on women. Maria also has severe problems with the concept of women using attractiveness for personal gain, seeing it as no better than prostitution. This play only her self-hatred. Maria has a deep degree of self-hatred, zealotry, and guilt that troubles her every day. Maria keeps all these emotions on a tight leash luckily, but her passions are mostly kept down with "assistance" from David. She needs David, and David needs her. They both have a toxic yet surprisingly stable relationship that helps preserve the Kingdom of God itself.
- "Onward, Christian soldiers! Marching off to war, With the cross going before. Christ, the royal Master, Leads against the foe; Forward into battle, See his banners go!"
Othniel is a rising young figure in the Army of God who has a reputation for dealing with rebels and enemies of the Kingdom in a rather severe manner. Born after the Kingdom was already established, Othniel has fought his way up the local hierarchy going from a Hand of David to a high-ranking member of the Army of God. Othniel is quite infamous for his ruthless punishments of prisoners of war, hunting down any rebels he can find with a sort of sadistic glee. Rebels often commit suicide rather than be captured by Othniel. Othniel also is known for his staunch belief in a Flat Earth, something that has gained him much mockery behind closed doors.
The baby that would become Othniel would be born in the 2250 to a family of scavengers living in the ruins of the Tri-Cities in the shadow of David's already rising power. The parents of the baby were poor, but they cared for him. Othniel's most vivid memory of his biological parents is of them letting him play around on a rusty swing. That was his last memory of them.
When David and his followers finally swept through the Tri-Cities in 2252, a family of scavver were among the first to be executed by hanging when they resisted. The baby and his two siblings were split up, and they were redistributed to other families. The baby was named Othniel by its new family. Othniel's first couple of years were quite difficult, but he made up for it with his own unique variety of determination. He was educated and worked hard on his adopted family's farm.
This determination served Othniel well in the coming years when he joined the Hands of David at a young age, around 2270. Othniel proved himself rather quickly as an accomplished Hand, exercising restraint and brutality when necessary. Lucky to be able to repress his feelings of extreme violence, Othniel used the law to build up his reputation and also line his pockets. Othniel slowly rose in the ranks of the Hands of David. Eventually, Othniel decided that the Hands of David could take him no further and that he should instead join the Army of God to keep advancing. After joining in 2276, Othniel quickly advanced in the army just as he did in the Hands. His brutality helped his rise as the threat of the rebels rose as well. Othniel gained even more prominence when he killed a notorious guerrilla by the name of Wamblee, who he pulled apart for hours after their initial battle. That won Othniel a lot of prestige among his fellow soldiers in the Army of God.
Currently, Othniel is a high-ranking member of the Army of God, the highest-ranking besides the Apostles. He commands tens of soldiers in battle around New Jerusalem against the increasing rebel threat. One of Othniel's most recent and notable actions has been his acceptance of Flat Earth Theory. Othniel was introduced to these beliefs by Vasile, a member of Judge David's court who Othniel occasionally met when returned to New Jerusalem from his service in the Army of God. His newly emerged beliefs and his relatively low rank has earned Othniel much mockery from the Apostles of the Kingdom. That has bugged Othniel quite a bit, but he tries to put that to the back of his mind and get the job done. Othniel is not be smart, and he knows that, accepting it as part of his personality. He does not deny what he is, and he accepts who he is, warts and all.
Othniel is big, dumb, and mean. He has always been something of a bully and seeks to dominate where possible. This is often done to through determined military service to rise in the ranks or taking out his aggression in sexual encounters, mostly forced ones after battles. This latter point and his reputation for torture has made Othniel a notorious figure among the rebel opposition, their Public Enemy No. 1. Othniel is more than happy to play the part and revels in the rebels' fear of him. The higher-ups in the Kingdom of God and the Army of God both do not like Othniel all that much but are impressed by the loyalty of his men. Judge David and Maria do not have Othniel really on their spectrum, and they would probably deal with him if they were aware of his cruel activities.
- "Hey moodozvon, you get priests to bless your oruzhiye? Never go into battle without a blessing, mama always said."
Sasha is a mercenary within the Army of God who was born in Alaska to a community of Russians. A recent arrival to the Kingdom, Sasha was hired specifically to assist the Army of God in stamping out the rebels plaguing their lands, as his previous job was hunting down Badlanders for wealthy (and desperate) wastelanders in Canada. Sasha's Russian Orthodox faith, blatant alcoholism, and good sense of humor sets him apart in the evangelical Kingdom of God, but due to his role as a mercenary, he gets by.
Sasha was born around 2263 to two loving parents in the small village of Dyra in Alaska. He was rigorously trained nearly from birth in defense and was taught to be bilingual for practical reasons. Drya was a tiny Russian enclave in the snowy wastes that survived off of seals, fish, and salvage. Drya maintained its cultural identity through strict traditions, isolation, and survivalism. The little settlement was also kept afloat through its infamous mercenaries who ranged throughout the Pacific Northwest and brought money back to Drya. The generation Sasha came from all were trained together, and they all either became part of one big friend group or social outcasts. Sasha was lucky to be in the large group of friends, with their favorite activities being drinking binges and hunting. Sasha’s favorite hunting buddy was Andrei, a more restrained man than Sasha.
Sasha took a big step in 2279 when he finally graduated to become a career mercenary and was put in an arranged marriage with a bride from the outside, Alicia. A young virile man, Sasha had a lot of fun with his new wife soon after their wedding and soon enough, the two were more or less in love like a marriage that was based on passion. However, Sasha was obligated to go out in the field to get mercenary work, and he could only hope he had put a baby in Alicia’s belly. Alicia stayed with Sasha’s extended family in Drya and is still there now. Sasha is still unclear to whether Alicia had a baby with him.
Sasha burned and hacked his way through Alaska initially, mostly fighting Badlanders. That gained Sasha a lot of new equipment including combat armor and weapons. He eventually made his way south along with other mercenaries from Drya, changing from fighting Badlanders to mostly taking up jobs hunting dangerous wildlife in western Canada. This mostly consisted of seeking out deathclaws and yao guai. Sasha proved highly effective at his job, and he earned himself quite the reputation in Cascadia.
Things got quite interesting when Sasha was hired by the Army of God, the soldiers of the Kingdom of God. Sasha was taken to Walla Walla in 2287 to fight rebels along with the other Russians. They are currently stationed there and are eager to get to work. The mercenaries, Sasha among them, have made quite a splash in Walla Walla as they brought their rather rambunctious and rowdy attitude to the Kingdom. The Hands in town regard the mercenaries with a mix of suspicion and disgust. Probably the worst thing Sasha has done in Walla Walla has been drunkenness, though gambling has also been a problem for him. However, Sasha has tried recently to clean up his act and even reconnect with his Russian Orthodox roots in response to the Kingdom's cloying Evangelical atmosphere.
Sasha is an honest man with simple tastes, something of a rarity among many mercenaries. He drinks, he gambles, he shoots big guns. However, Sasha is able to control his needs and wants in the face of authority as he was always raised to respect authority. Sasha has a vehement hatred of tribals and Badlanders, who he has fought in the past across the Pacific Northwest. As said before, Sasha respects the Kingdom's power and even admires what he has heard of the New California Republic.
- "What would you like for dinner, love?"
Sela is the wife of the overseer of a farm in Nez Perce who strives to live up to the ideal of the loyal housewife. She spends most of her hours keeping up the house and caring for her children. Already a woman when the Kingdom overtook Nez Perce, Sela remembers the time before rather fondly but tries not to think about it too much. That just causes more pain.
Clarissa was born in 2252 in Nez Perce to a mourning mother named Leah who had just lost her husband to a raider attack. Nevertheless, Leah vowed to raise her two children, a son and a daughter, as best she could regardless of her status as a widow. Clarissa and her brother Murdo were raised by their mother to respect authority and stay out of trouble so as to try to avoid her husband's fate. This worked out well enough for Murdo, who quickly married in 2270 and became a homesteader outside Nez Perce. Around the same time, Clarissa was still getting her bearings and figuring out who she was. Whether that involved getting married, working for a living, or making her way into the wasteland, Clarissa did not know. She was just figuring her life out, and that process would be hard. Nevertheless, Clarissa took a job as a waitress at one of Nez Perce's local diners to help scrape together some caps for whatever she might do.
That was until the Kingdom of God came to Nez Perce in 2273. The elders of the town went to the Kingdom for help after increased attacks from raiders and asked for their protection. The Kingdom accepted Nez Perce under its usual conditions that the town adhered to its laws and beliefs. That began with mandatory church attendance and the exile/execution of those who would never fit in within the Kingdom such as homosexuals, prostitutes, chem dealers, etc. Clarissa was alarmed by this, but she did not do anything besides voice some concerns to her neighbors. That was until the day came that absolutely everything changed.
In 2274, the Kingdom forces in Nez Perce clamped down on the populace again, this time revoking any remaining rights for women. An unmarried woman, Clarissa was particularly vulnerable and was eventually captured by soldiers from the Army of God. Clarissa fared better than many other women taken captive by Kingdom forces, but she still got a new name, Sela, and was forcefully married off to Fred, a soldier who settled down in Nez Perce. Her tearful mother and angry brother attempted to get the marriage annulled but to no avail.
Since her forced marriage, Sela learned to accept her new role as a wife to Fred and bore him three children. Her dream of possibly going out and seeing the world has been crushed underfoot by her husband, who has hammered the point that Sela is with him for life in for the last thirteen years. She loves her children but could never bring herself to love her husband Fred. Even though he never laid a hand on her, Fred's emotional manipulation has caused Sela to hate him forever. Her life nowadays is mostly centered around housework, caring for her her three children, and buying supplies from Nez Perce's general store with her husband's caps.
Sela remembers life before the Kingdom, but she has integrated relatively well into her new role as an obedient housewife. She remains modest and humble. That has come at a high cost however, as Sela is under a great amount of stress and often secretly takes chems to curb her misery. She has great love for her children though, and that family connection is what keeps her anchored to reality. Sela has never been suicidal per se, but she is pretty close.
- "Get over here you slut, I can see your ankles!"
Reuben is an old cranky Hand of David in New Jerusalem who is extreme even by the Kingdom’s standards. The Army of God recruited Reuben when he was just a hermit in the wilderness, and he fought valiantly for the Kingdom in his younger days. Now, the only thing that can put Reuben on a power trip anymore is policing the streets of New Jerusalem on the lookout for degenerates, rebels, and sluts (especially sluts).
Reuben was born around 2208 to some homesteaders in northern Oregon. He was the fourth child of an already large extended family. Reuben started trouble almost straight out of the womb, quickly becoming known for his acts of mischief and petty arson around the homestead. He was a creative little trickster who had a knack for making traps and little contraptions. At first, these acts amused many of Reuben’s relatives. That changed as time went on.
In his teenage years, Reuben’s once mischievous acts took a cruel turn. Reuben gathered a small group of accomplices around himself, and he escalated his streak of petty arson to a new level. Reuben’s arson never killed anyone, but it eventually got a level that his family could not tolerate him (or his influence on the younger children) anymore. In 2223, Reuben’s family got his mother to talk to the teenage boy about his issues, but he reacted to this rather poorly. Reuben blew up on his poor mother and considered what she did a betrayal. That did not stop Reuben's extended family from kicking him out though, and they did just that after he rebuked his mother.
Exiled from the only home he had ever known, Reuben set into the wasteland with a resentment that he would carry for the rest of his life. Reuben struggled to survive in the wasteland, but he survived on his own nonetheless, wandering for several years. He crossed the Columbia River in 2224 and made his way through southern Washington for those later years. A scrap with a yao guai injured Reuben in the winter of 2227. Reuben took up residence in the ruins of Pasco, one of the Tri-Cities, and he became something of a hermit, jealously protecting his little section of ruins and slinging obscenities at passing female travelers.
That went on for about a quarter of a century. Reuben grew older, crustier, and more bitter than before. When some of David's men first came across Reuben, the hermit fired upon them with his crossbow. He calmed down eventually though and was talked down by a man named Lucius. The religion professed by these people did not really interest Reuben, but he joined them nonetheless, knowing the alternative. He was just being swept up in their damn crusade.
The creation of the Kingdom of God had little effect on Reuben initially. Already having a Biblical name, he was allowed to keep it unlike many other people. Things did change however when the Army of God mobilized and moved out of the Tri-Cities with the army's main body. This initial war in the wasteland satisfied Reuben's blood lust greatly and solidified his loyalty to the Kingdom. Reuben saw action against settlers in Walla Walla and Hanford and various homesteaders and tribals in other parts of the wasteland.
Reuben returned to the Tri-Cities in 2256 and was allowed to leave the Army of God. It was then that Reuben bought a house in the ruins and joined the Hands of David, a career he has pursued ever since. Reuben has enjoyed his job and done it with due diligence for years, finding a new outlet to take out his resentment against women. This has involved an inordinate amount of violence against women in the streets for violating any one of the Kingdom’s laws. One of these violent encounters in 2270 angered the husband of the woman Reuben harmed, and the man beat Reuben into a bloody heap with a crowbar. The other Hands managed to restrain Reuben’s attacker, but he still lost an eye in the encounter.
In current times, Reuben remains one of the oldest Hands of David and walks his beat in New Jerusalem daily. Reuben is stricter than any of the other Hands in New Jerusalem, and over time, he has become something of nuisance to the women of the city and his own organization. The harassment Reuben heaps upon women has never been overly sexual in nature, but it has been constant, decades for some ladies.
Mean, lean, and in charge, Reuben has been a cranky old man since before he had a single grey hair on his head. His years of isolation deepened his hatred of women and made him actively anti-social. As a result, Reuben is pretty quiet most of the time, only talking when he has to or he has his eye on a lawbreaker. He is very set in his ways and changed only slightly to fit into the Kingdom, which luckily for him suited his temperament and ‘skill set’.
- "Haha, fuck those guys."
- ―Jialong Zhou
- "I would much rather the churches in the east remain churches than become castles. I can only hope the Kingdom becomes something better in the future."
- ―Bishop Fred
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