A erudite scholar turned theocrat, Robert Cartwright is the current Patriarch of the Lemhite Nation. He is the literal architect of today's Lemhite society, having established their military, economic, and cultural foundations after the ruinous war against the Kingdom on the Snake.
Robert Cartwright was born in the New California Republic, the eldest of three children. His father was a crippled NCR military veteran who had lost his left leg to a poisoned arrow while pacifying tribals. After his medical discharge, he became a homesteader, trying his best to farm the barren land the NCR provided him. Robert knew his father to be a very bitter man, always jealous of his neighbors for their wealth and good fortune. He had no interest in taking over his father's homestead, and ultimately left home in his late teens to go deeper into the NCR heartland. Looking for adventure, he attempted to become an NCR Ranger. The training progressed well enough at first, but Cartwright made a simple error and ended up shattering his right wrist. The medics were able to set the break and save the limb but informed him he would never become a ranger. He was medically discharged shortly thereafter. Despondent and embittered, Cartwright took odd jobs to get by. What money he did earn went into alcohol and loose company.
It was during this aimless time Cartwright first encountered the Followers of the Apocalypse. He was from a completely secular background, and the only information he had on religion was the lurid stories of tribal blood sacrifice. He soon became enamored with the teachings of the Followers, and became a member of their organization when he turned nineteen. He was a good foot soldier of the faith, carrying out the orders of the group. The Followers also provided Cartwright opportunities for advancing his education, and he quickly outshone his fellow pupils. Clearly talented, the local leadership earmarked Cartwright for their future endeavors.
Cartwright was informed that he had been chosen for a special expedition. Rumor had reached the Followers that the colleges of Eastern Idaho were in pristine condition, virtually untouched since the Great War. The expedition would penetrate these cities and begin documenting their finds in the colleges there. Cartwright was one of thirty Followers chosen for the expedition.
The journey to Idaho was long and arduous but ultimately they reached their goal. The first college in Pocatello proved to be a dispiriting find. The vast structure was empty, both of life and knowledge. Whatever hadn't been burned had no doubt been taken long ago. Their second attempt in Idaho Falls almost destroyed the expedition as they walked right into the guns of the Kingdom on the Snake. Bloodied and beaten, the Followers debated calling the expedition off, but ultimately decided to check one last college. Entering the city of Rexburg, Cartwright was among those who scouted out the college. After clearing out the ghouls Cartwright found that the college was filled with books.
Over the coming weeks, the Followers took stock of just what they had found, and were amazed. They had located a veritable treasure trove of pre-war knowledge on virtually every subject. They quickly fortified the building and prepared to settle down for the long term. Farms were sown, scavenging teams were organized, mercenaries were hired and the Followers got to their real work. Every page of every delicate text needed to be painstakingly recorded down, copied, and sent back to their headquarters in the NCR. It was here Cartwright found himself, preserving the knowledge of pre-war society. Years rolled by, and Cartwright became the lead cataloguer. What time he did not spend cataloguing he spent studying the pre-war texts further. He grew an immense field of knowledge on many arcane topics. He was especially fascinated by architecture and marveled at how pre-war society could create such feats of engineering. Despite the great mistakes the governments of the pre-war world had made, the Cartwright developed a great admiration for the ingenuity and drive of his ancestors.
However, support from their headquarters in the NCR eventually began to wane. Whether it was a lack of resources or interest, it could not be said, but the return shipments of supplies became sparser and sparser. Many Followers returned to the NCR or moved to other missions in less savage country. Cartwright and a handful of diehards remained.
The Followers had worked out a way to contain the feral ghouls of Rexburg, having built fortifications long ago and killed any feral unfortunate enough to come too close to the walls. However, they had never considered completely exterminating the feral population, which was the primary reason settlement of Rexburg was minimal. Out of nowhere a Warhost arrived in Rexburg and began exterminating the ghouls. Gunfire dominated the city for three days and nights as every feral was hunted down and put to death. During this time the Followers stayed locked in their fortifications, nervously watching as the large force methodically butchered the city's original inhabitants. Finally, the fighting was done, and Cartwright worriedly watched as the war party began scrapping the city. It took a week before the remainder of the tribe arrived. It seemed like a sea of people, men, women, and children. Finally, one emerged from the group and called on the Followers. He was a ghoul, and introduced himself as John Kite. Cartwright warily admitted him into the compound. Kite thanked the Followers for their hospitality, and once all the pleasantries were exchanged he got down to business. Carefully, he explained that he was leading the Lemhites from their homeland to escape extermination at the hands of the Black Husks. They would be settling Rexburg and the help of the Followers of the Apocalypse would be appreciated. The unsaid threat hung in the air: if they did not let them in they would have no choice but to take the compound by force. Cartwright looked to his few remaining companions and nodded. Shaking Kite's hand, he agreed to let the refugees inside.
Cartwright and his fellow Followers cared for the Lemhites as best as they could. Gradually, the compound and surrounding city were overtaken by the tribals. Kite ensured that the Followers had space for their own activities. Nevertheless the Followers one by one returned to the NCR until only Cartwright remained. Cartwright himself became intimately involved in the welfare of the Lemhite people. A mind on par with Kite's own education and wit, the two became friends. Their debates on theology and politics would go on for hours and each of Kite's memories of pre-war life were a precious insight for Cartwright's research. After years of living amongst the Lemhites, Cartwright adopted their Mormon faith. He was baptized in a font of purified water, and quickly became a leader in the community. In a burst of inspiration, he drew up plans for a great fortress to defend his people, so they would never have to fear war again. Kite approved the design and the Lemhites set to work.
The Rexburg Crisis
The construction of the great fortress did not go unnoticed. The Kingdom on the Snake had been taking tribute from the Lemhites for years. When construction began on the foundations of the fort, the King on the Snake River flew into a rage. Unwilling to see another great power emerge in the region, he ordered a full invasion of Lemhite territory. The resulting debacle nearly destroyed both nations, and lead to the Teton Protectorate's intervention and its ascension to the become the most powerful state of Yellowstone Nations.
John Kite was crushed by the war. He felt like a failure for having led the Lemhites from one war only to embroil them in another. He had managed to keep himself together to see the conflict through to the end, but was a shadow of his former self by the time Tetonic troops marched through Rexburg. He created the new position of Patriarch, and proclaimed Cartwright the new Patriarch of the Lemhite Nation. Cartwright was taken surprised, but privately understood why his friend had chosen him for the responsibility. Accepting the position, Cartwright appointed a Quorum of Judges, and allowed Kite to slowly fade into the background. Cartwright is responsible for the construction of the Whitefort (widely regarded as the reason the Lemhites still maintain autonomy), and established the Temple Guard, Mounted Infantry, and adapted the Protectorate's Code of Laws to meet the Lemhite's needs. Kite may be responsible for the Lemhite's survival, but it was Cartwright who built them into a civilized nation. After the war he initiated several measures to modernize the Lemhites, looking to historical texts for examples.
Cartwright currently resides in the Whitefort in Rexburg and from there he leads the Lemhite Nation. Since he has taken up office as Patriarch he has instituted public education, adopted Protectorate currency, organized the expansion of the Nation into the unclaimed wasteland, built a sizable military force, codified a constitution and legal system, and promoted the conversion, immigration, and assimilation of nearby tribals. He reformed the Temple Guard from a mere ceremonial role to become a squad of the Lemhite's most deadly and versatile operatives. Although he is immensely popular and revered as a father by his adopted nation, Cartwright is unmarried and has no children of his own. He is becoming aged, and is expected to choose a successor soon.