|The Sons of Liberty|
|Group type:||Patriot Libertarian Organization|
|Motto:||I Love My Country, Not My Government.|
|Goals:||Establishing a true libertarian government for post-War America|
|Allies:||Stern's Raiders, Degenerates, Oregon homesteaders|
|Enemies:||New Order, New California Republic, Free Northwestern Army, raiders|
- "They violated the non-aggression principle! Take 'em out, REEE!!!"
- ―A Son of Liberty alerting his compatriots of a trespasser
A pre-War patriot militia, the Sons of Liberty have adapted well to the world of post-War America, albeit outside the confines of the once welcoming Martha's Gulch. The Sons of Liberty are currently settled in the Willamette Valley with numerous settlements dotted around the region.
- "No sir, we are not a government-affiliated group. We stand for America, not its government."
- ―A pre-War Son of Liberty being questioned by a reporter
The Sons of Liberty is the oldest of the founding groups of Martha's Gulch, founded all the way back in 1970 following the creation of the thirteen commonwealths. They felt that governmental powers had gone amok and had to be checked by "a militia of the people". For more than a century, the Sons of Liberty attempted to be that militia to mixed results.
By 2074, the Sons of Liberty had fallen from its zenith in membership, and their concerns over government were seen as pretty much irrevelant because of the larger war going on. However, their advocacy had attracted the attention of Martha Lore, war profiteer and libertarian billionaire, who offered the Sons a place in her refuge, Martha's Gulch. Their leader then, Iago Windham, heartily accepted Martha's proposal but many of the remaining Sons of Liberty distrusted Windham, and only a few went to Martha's Gulch with Windham. At Martha's Gulch, the Sons of Liberty attempted to cooperate with the other groups and assist Martha Lore in trying to keep everyone together. When the bombs began to fall on October 23, 2077, the Sons of Liberty filed into the fallout shelter of Martha's Gulch.
Survival of the Fittest
- "Haha, good riddance! More space for the rest of us!"
- ―A Son of Liberty nervously in reference to the New Order's expulsion
Soon after going underground, tensions began to flare up once again relating to the New Order. Siding with Atlas Guard and the Watchmen on most issues, the Sons of Liberty saw the New Order's presence as detrimental but not wholly unneeded, hoping their behavior would improve. Eventually, when the New Order became violent, the Sons of Liberty did not stop their expulsion. While underground, the Sons of Liberty became closer to Atlas Guard while also being more alienated towards the paranoid Watchmen.
At the behest of Martha Lore, the Sons of Liberty along with the other groups emerged from their fallout shelter to find the New Order making a hardscrabble existence on the surface. Approving of their drive to survive, most of the Sons of Liberty forgave the New Order of their past ills and focused their dislike on the increasingly troublesome Watchmen.
In late 2080, the Watchmen's paranoia got the better of them, and they left. Everyone was happy because of it. For around the next half a century, the groups continued to live on in Martha's Gulch in an isolated peace with Martha as their nominal ruler. The Sons of the Liberty stayed in Martha's Gulch and tilled the land, not being good farmers but managing to scrape by.
The next century or so was quite tranquil for the Sons of Liberty, keeping to themselves for the most part while observing the New Order, Atlas Guard, and Pantheon Radio going at each others' throats. The Guard at least tried to act as mediators but the Sons of Liberty preferred isolation in their section of Martha's Gulch, only coming out for community events and joint training sessions.
So, it naturally came as a shock to them when the New Order betrayed the other groups in 2211 and attacked Pantheon Radio. The Sons of Liberty, then led by Commander Reese Glover, rushed to the defense of Pantheon Radio and were later horrified by news of the New Order's atrocities in Seattle and other parts of the wasteland. In fact, upon hearing about what the New Order did and feeling extreme guilt, Commander Glover committed suicide. This further confused and saddened the Sons of Liberty.
For the next decade or so, tension between the Sons of Liberty and Atlas Guard grew to increasingly uncomfortable levels. This was primarily fueled by conspiracy theorists on both sides accusing the other of covering up for the New Order and "silencing" Pantheon Radio. As Martha's Gulch began to open up, the tensions only grew as the two groups jockeyed for caravans. The situation reached boiling point in 2224 when the favorite pet Apeshit of the Guard's commander George Banner got shot by some drunken Sons of Liberty who claimed it had "gone feral". The situation calmed down after a few weeks but it was clear: someone had to go.
That someone was the Sons of Liberty. The Guard outnumbered them three to two and had better equipment as well. If push came to shove, the Sons of Liberty would lose a war with them. So, in late 2225 the Sons of Liberty decided it was time for them to leave Martha's Gulch after more than a century.
Atlas Guard was just fine with this and actually helped the Sons of Liberty make preparations to leave. In early 2226, the Sons of Liberty exited the gates of Martha's Gulch, never to return.
A New Home
- "These are some goddamn stubborn cannibals."
- ―Commander Joe Montana's first encounter with Oregon tribals
The early years were especially hard on the Sons of Liberty. The group had gotten rather soft from years of farm living, not ready to brave the wasteland and wilderness of Cascadia. Many died in that first winter of 2226, including the current Commander.
As time went on though, the Sons of Liberty managed to effectively survive and looked for a new place to settle. This was harried by homesteaders suspicious of such a large armed group, tribals hostiles hostile to any outsiders, and naturally mutated wildlife. Nonetheless, the Sons of Liberty searched for a new home, free of petty politics and far from the ilk of Ayn Rand. Their commander then, Joe Montana, even went with the scouts to look for new, better lands. They wandered the wilderness for nine years and in that time got used to the land. The Sons of Liberty even heard of a great nation to the south headed by a "Great Mother".
After almost a decade of searching, scouts for the Sons of Liberty finally found a new place to call home: the Willamette Valley in Oregon. The land was fertile and for the most part, peaceful. The Sons of Liberty crossed the Columbia River at Portland to enter Oregon, avoided the Haunted City of Sayland, and quickly settled the northern part of the river valley in 2235. The Oregon tribals of area did not take kindly to the perceived invasion and attacked the Sons of Liberty's new settlements. Though they had better weapons and battle experience, the Sons of Liberty could not overcome the tribals' numbers and the conflict dragged on for eight years, costing many lives.
That was until one Owen Curtis emerged. Seemingly a mercenary traveling north with a travelling congregation, Owen was actually an Enclave deserter looking for something better to fight for. He had first turned to religion and gone north with the congregation on their exodus. However, upon arriving in the Willamette River Valley and witnessing the embattled Sons of Liberty fighting to make a new better America, Owen decided that he was needed there.
In rare early instance of outsiders being allowed to join, Owen's advanced weaponry and battle experience impressed enough people to be allowed to join the Sons of Liberty in 2242. Seeing that many of the Sons of Liberty, though good shots and guerrillas, were amateur tacticians fighting against the tribals, Owen offered to train the Sons using his expertise in strategy learned from time in the Enclave (though he told no one of that). He was rejected by Joe Montana the first time for being "presumptuous" but after a second request, his assistance was accepted.
Owen's experience from the Enclave proved very useful to the Sons of Liberty and through utilization of his battle tactics, the Sons of Liberty finally got the upper-hand on the tribals of the region. A defeat near Salem particularly drained the tribals. The Oregon tribals of the Willamette Valley, pushed to their limits, sued for peace with the Sons of Liberty in mid 2242. Surprised that the cannibalistic tribals would ever offer peace, the Sons of Liberty asked for a meeting to hash out plans for peace. The meeting took place near Oregon City, and the groups tried to hash out some lasting peace between them. The conference was going well and was almost finished when it was instead interrupted by the appearance of the Vault 14 Explorers. The two groups nearly gunned down the excitable vault dwellers on the spot, but cooler heads prevailed within all three groups. Afterwards, the Vault 14 Explorers got to sit on the proceedings, helping here and there but overall having very little effect.
On July 15, 2242, the Sons of Liberty and the Oregon tribals of the Willamette Valley made peace, both in writing and a tribal blood ritual. Land was exchanged, agreements were made, and peace was achieved, for the moment at least. Various skirmishes took place between Sons of Liberty and Oregon tribals afterwards but nothing approaching the devastation of the past war.
Back to the Past
- "We must look to the America of the past to create the America of the future!"
- ―Owen Curtis drumming up patriotism
After it was apparent peace had been achieved with the tribals, Commander Joe Montana set about rebuilding damaged settlements and expanding existing ones. He also set about creating a concrete entity for the land the Sons of Liberty called home: NAP Territory. Named after the acronym for the titular non-aggression principle, the NAP Territory would be the Sons of Liberty's "Martha's Gulch away from Martha's Gulch", where libertarian ideals would tested (and often pushed to their limits). Also, Joe Montana established the very first iteration of the Sons of Liberty Radio Station in 2245, which was rebuilt in 2249 after being burned down by an electrical fire.
At the same time, the increasingly popular Owen Curtis was leading a patriotic and religious revival within the Sons of Liberty. Using knowledge learned from his time in the Enclave and traveling with holy people, Owen told stories about pre-War events such as the war between the states, the moon landing, the Cold War, and all he knew about the Great War. He also occasionally recited scripture. This interested many people, and Owen gained a substantial following in the years after the end of the war with the tribals. A major milestone in this movement was the building of the Sons' first church in 2248. This new conservative bloc of the Sons of Liberty worried Commander Joe Montana, who feared Owen's growing power, his unclear intentions, and his severe lack of foresight for his actions.
By 2250, the Sons of Liberty had become a real regional power, effectively controlling the northern part of the Willamette Valley. Trade passing through the Sons of Liberty's territory benefited from their presence and at that time, they were well-liked by many caravans and traders for clearing out the troublesome tribals in the area.
Relations with groups outside the Sons' territory were rather peachy at the time as well. NCR was only a name written on some caravans' coins and paper money, raiders from out of Portland were easy to pay off, caravans from the south going to Portland and the Bridge of the Gods brought valuable trade, and by that time Oregon tribals certainly did not want to mess with the Sons of Liberty. No problems for the the Sons of Liberty except seemingly themselves.
Eventually in 2253, Owen's conservative, reactionary bloc within the Sons of Liberty had become the majority of the group, and Commander Joe Montana, alarmed by this, called together a meeting among all important members of the Sons of Liberty at Oregon City to decide their future. There, Joe and Owen argued their different visions for the group while others listened. Commander Joe argued for the Sons to not continue to pursue "the Dead American Dream" and to instead embrace the ideology of libertarianism. Owen Curtis countered that with a rousing speech on the history of the Sons of Liberty, the great strides they had already made, and the potential the group had in the future. This won over more of the Sons and anguished Joe, who decided to finally go full ad hominem on Owen. Joe Montana revealed that he had been in contact with the travelling congregation Owen and split off and discovered something interesting: at one time, Owen Curtis had once been a part of U.S. remnant group in the south trying to establish control. Joe also brought forth witnesses from Owen's former travel companions who could attest to what he said. After the witnesses' testimony, Commander Joe Montana then accused Owen of being a government spy and infiltrating the Sons of Liberty to subvert them from the inside out.
Owen Curtis responded with what would be his most famous speech. He admitted to his connections to the Enclave and came clean on everything, telling the assembled Sons of Liberty his origins. He spoke of his various experiences and how they had led to him joining the Sons of Liberty, seeing in them a spark of hope that could "carry on the flame of American exceptionalism".
This impassioned speech won the hearts and minds of the people present and the Sons' attitude towards the future now seemed clear. Though protesting Owen's words at first, Commander Joe Montana soon enough swallowed his pride and conceded some points to Owen.
Joe Montana was the commander of the Sons of Liberty for six more years. In that time, Owen's rhetoric of patriotism and general conservatism won its final victories against Joe's more tempered secular anarchic-capitalism. By the time of his death, Joe Montana had resigned himself to that fact. NAP Territory had become a second America it had seemed, albeit with very few laws and strict property rights. The Sons of Liberty's neighbors noticed this change in behavior and reacted in different ways. The caravans were skeptical of the Sons' newfound jingoism but continued their trade unabated. Oregon tribals and independent homesteaders were confused by the move, neither understanding or caring what America was anyways.
After Joe Montana's death in 2259, Owen Curtis finally took his place as the commander of the Sons of Liberty. This transition was surprisingly smooth, and nothing seemed out of the ordinary for the first two years. The Sons of Liberty carried on as they usually did. They heard about skirmishes to the south but were mostly unconcerned.
However, this all changed when the Crop Rot came. The Sons of Liberty's crops withered away and panic began to set in. Commander Curtis struggled to hold together NAP Territory while also placating the Oregon tribals still knocking at their doorstep. In late 2261, as winter set in, the Sons of Liberty skirted starvation.
This was worsened by an attack by raiders from Portland, who Owen Curtis only just managed to repel. Storehouses were burned or looted, and the situation worsened.
In January 2262, cannibalism began to creep into NAP Territory. Commander Curtis responded quickly and violently. All cannibals and their accomplices were rounded up and killed by Curtis and other Sons of Liberty. This was a controversial move at the time, breaking all kinds of rules, but it ultimately saved the Sons of Liberty and NAP Territory.
The Sons of Liberty managed the weather the winter, and in early 2262, Commander Curtis focused on recovery. The next year was spent eliminating any traces of Crop Rot and re-securing NAP Territory. Commander Curtis relatively strong-handed leadership still worried some in the Sons of Liberty but other approved of it, calling him the group's "Redemption".
Throughout 2262, the Sons of Liberty began hearing stories from caravans about a huge fight to the south between NCR and some Oregon tribals. This made many in the Sons of Liberty rather uneasy but Commander Curtis ignored the talk, focusing on rebuilding. The invaders were none of their concern.
By late 2262, the Sons of Liberty had recovered from the previous year's disaster and were preparing for the winter. However, they were quickly alarmed by the formation of the Oregon Confederacy, a tribal confederation made up of tribes near and around Willamette Valley. The Sons of Liberty worried that they might be attacked once again by tribals. They were sorely mistaken.
The Brushfire War brought the NCR war machine practically to the Sons of Liberty's backyard. Sons of Liberty in the southern part of NAP Territory were able to actually watch the fighting with binoculars and quickly alerted Commander Curtis. He, along with a reporter crew from the Sons of Liberty Radio Station, came to witness the devastation wrought by NCR forces. Seeing NCR and Oregon Confederacy clash only miles away, Commander Curtis knew he would be unable to ignore the problem anymore.
The Sons of Liberty watched the fighting for a couple of weeks until it became clear that NCR forces were losing ground. This gave them some comfort, knowing the invaders were being beaten back. The Sons' comfort turned to horror though as they watched NCR forces being evacuated by flying machines. This especially shocked Commander Curtis, who knew where those machines most likely came from.
After watching the conclusion of the Brushfire War, Owen Curtis made an address on the Sons of Liberty Radio Station. He did not necessarily call for war but warned of the expansion of the New California Republic with its formidable military and obstructionist bureaucracy.
His words ultimately did not matter. The Sons of Liberty had now seen the NCR's military in action, and because of that, most of the Sons feared and hated NCR. Subtle approaches were not viable anymore, and war was on the horizon.
- "If we do nothing, we doom our children and their children to the rule of these... simpletons! With their oligarchy and corruption and imperialism! We cannot sit aside and do nothing."
- ―Commander Owen Curtis advocating war against the NCR
In early 2263, the Sons of Liberty first met the people who would suck them into the Oregon Brushfire Wars, Stern's Raiders. The Raiders came into NAP Territory soon after being stranded but did not interact with the Sons of Liberty until the incident.
That incident would be when Jakob Stern and his group held up a caravan crossing the Bridge of the Gods and took a brahmin baron going north captive to call attention to their predicament while also getting a ransom from the NCR. Seeing this act rightly as openly provoking the NCR and endangering everyone, the Sons of Liberty tried to mediate the situation with the Raiders first and then NCR representatives arriving from the south. They did not like the NCR but did not want to get in a fight for something so insignificant and frankly none of their business. The NCR condemned the Raiders' action and promised retribution but eventually, the brahmin baron's family covertly paid the ransom demanded. After that, the Sons of Liberty breathed a breath of relief while Stern's Raiders headed further into Cascadia to build up their strength to eventually try to take on the NCR. Many in Sons of Liberty hoped they would never see the trouble-making deserters again. They would feel differently in later years.
In the following years, the Sons of Liberty readied themselves for a war with the NCR, fearful of their steady advance north. The Sons of Liberty gathered arms, scouted out the situation to the south, and built up their defenses. Commander Curtis, although wholly hostile to the NCR, knew the possible effect a war with the NCR might have on NAP Territory's caravan traffic and fragile farming economy and was understandably cautious to openly oppose the Bear. As a result, Commander Curtis delayed any hostilities between the Sons of Liberty and the NCR until his people were ready. At the same time, the exploits of Stern's Raiders throughout Cascadia increased their fame within the Sons of Liberty and other locals.
That uncertainty ended in late 2266, when Stern's Raiders sent a messenger to the Sons of Liberty, imploring them to send representatives to a meeting in Portland and consider joining the newly-conceived Northwestern Alliance. Commander Curtis, impressed with the Raiders' progress, decided to give the Raiders a chance, make the controversial move to go to the meeting himself, and see whether or not the Raiders were worth his time.
The Sons of Liberty were surprised by the diversity of the meeting, with homesteaders, scavengers, tribals, and mutants all rubbing shoulders at Portland. The Sons of Liberty were seated near their old adversaries, Oregon tribals, and things seemed to be off to a rocky start. However, Jakob Stern managed to win over almost all the attendees with his inspiring speeches, his staunch opposition to the NCR's expansion north, and his knowledge of local customs and culture. Even Commander Curtis was impressed. Soon, enough, the Sons of Liberty were swayed and agreed to join this Northwestern Alliance. While the other representatives celebrated, Commander Curtis and the Sons of Liberty contemplated their decision.
After his return to NAP Territory, Commander Curtis readied the Sons of Liberty to fight, sure that at any time war could break out with the NCR. Five months passed with only a few visits or messages from Stern's Raiders and other members of the Northwestern Alliance. People became uneasy.
A new war would begin in early 2267, with Stern's Raiders calling on backup after a skirmish with some drunken NCR troopers outside Fort Eugene. Soon enough, the Northwestern Alliance, the Sons of Liberty included, mobilized their forces and went south to fight. Commander Curtis, though now an old man, insisted on leading the Sons of Liberty's detachment himself. Many important future people in the group were part of this detachment such as Ethan Walters, Jeanine Park, and Derek "Bean" Larson.
The first action by the Alliance, then only Stern's Raiders and some Oregon tribals, was an attack on Fort Eugene, the NCR's stronghold in northern Oregon and a caravan hot-spot. The small NCR garrison and the residents of town managed to capitalize on the Alliance's then small numbers and repulsed the attack. Stern's Raiders then retreated north temporarily and met with Alliance reinforcements consisting of the Sons of Liberty detachment, armed Oregon homesteaders, and many more Oregon tribals. Instead of trying to attack the town again, the Raiders instead decided to go to NAP Territory, wait for more reinforcements, and try to work out a plan to strike back at the NCR.
In March 2267, a great army coalesced at Oregon City while Captain Jakob Stern, Commander Owen Curtis, Chief Kill-a-Ton, and Chief Tree Teeth hacked out a plan of action. The Sons of Liberty were strained to support the Alliance but were nonetheless gracious hosts. Some trouble and bad blood was had between the Sons of Liberty, tribals, and homesteaders, but those tensions were put on hold for the moment. It was determined that the main strategy would be to put pressure on NCR-based caravans and isolated forces rather than face then face the NCR head-on, for the most part.
By April, word came from the south that super mutants and Oregon tribals loyal to the Northwestern Alliance, some led by Chief Eyeballs, were already raiding NCR caravans in southern Oregon and were harassing Fort Eugene. Wanting to help, the Alliance army at Oregon City went south and quickly dissipated in several groups to go about their various missions. The Sons of Liberty detachment first took up residence at Crater Lake in April 2267 harassing NCR caravans heading north. The Sons of Liberty in NAP Territory, seizing the Bridge of the Gods, a rare path over the Columbia River, and restricting travel over the bridge for travelers and caravans from New California.
The first few months were rather productive for the Sons of Liberty detachment, with only a few skirmishes with mercenaries and a single NCR patrol. However, it got the blood rushing again for the Sons. Stern's Raiders hid out at the Sons' camp in May, discussed further strategy, and then moved on.
In July 2267, the Sons of Liberty detachment at Crater Lake was attacked by a much larger Badlander force, the Twin Pines Pack. Never having met Badlanders before, the Sons of Liberty were surprised by the mercenaries' ferocity. The Sons attempted to defend their camp at Crater Lake but after taking a couple of casualties decided to call a retreat and radioed reinforcements from nearby homesteaders.
The Battle of Crater Lake lasted three days and ended with the Sons of Liberty losing their prime raiding location. This did not perturb Commander Curtis all that much, and he simply moved on to raiding part of I-5 and attacked NCR patrols on the road. The others in the Alliance were not happy with the Sons' defeat, and some began to speak derisively of them.
Commander Curtis and his men ignored the talk and continued their jobs, to increasing success. They raided I-5 for several of months without repercussion. In 2268, the Sons of Liberty detachment met with the so-called Free Army at Edna's Hill and waited there for further orders on what to do. However, Owen Curtis and Clyde Everett's personalities clashed with each other and soon enough the two groups could not stand each other. So, the Sons of Liberty detachment moved north to join the siege of Fort Eugene.
The Alliance forces at Fort Eugene were surprised to see the Sons of Liberty and disregarded them again, even as they tried to advise the Alliance on strategy. Jakob Stern saw their potential though and listened to the Sons of Liberty's advice. It was through their help that Fort Eugene's defenses were broken and the NCR garrison routed. However, Jakob Stern was killed in the battle by a combat knife between the ribs. The Alliance forces managed to cope with the loss of their leader, for the moment.
The Northwestern Alliance crowed at this "huge" victory and the Sons of Liberty were also overjoyed, ignoring the human cost. The fall of Fort Eugene and the death of its garrison struck a great blow to the NCR's morale, but they fought on.
The Sons of Liberty detachment moved back south to continue raiding I-5, again without repercussion, for 2268 and much of 2269. Their positions at Morden and the ruins of Roseburg were occasionally attacked by Badlanders but remained secure (thanks to the assistance of Stern's Raiders).
That was until the Cascadian Convention in 2269. Tensions between the civilized and uncivilized elements of the Northwestern Alliance had come to a breaking point. The Convention was called together at Harper by Gorden McTavish, the new leader of Stern's Raiders. He wanted to centralize the Alliance and try to bring all the disparate groups together to make something bigger, a real state to oppose the NCR perhaps. However, his biggest goal really was to reduce animosity within the Alliance. Although the Sons of Liberty felt little to no animosity with the other groups in the Alliance, they were also called. Not wanting to leave his detachment, Commander Curtis had some representatives from NAP Territory attend the Convention, people who had never met anyone in the Alliance since 2267. That was grave mistake on Curtis's part.
The Cascadian Convention was a unmitigated disaster. The Oregon tribal representatives, led by Chief Kill-a-Ton, were indignant at the homesteaders calls to "rein them in", citing tribal massacres at Thallus, Deschutes, and 5's Crossing. The homesteaders also blamed the Oregon tribals for being too friendly with "invading" Badlanders and the mercenary Free Army. They wanted the tribals to stop their cannibalism and finally join civilization, for the good of the Alliance. The super mutant and raider elements of the Alliance agreed with them. The Sons of Liberty representatives sided with them as well.
In response, Chief Kill-a-Ton ripped into the homesteaders for their only lukewarm support of the Alliance and their sometimes open collaboration with the NCR. Kill-a-Ton also pointed out their relative non-contribution to the war-effort, to which the homesteaders responded that they were supplying the Alliance while trying to survive, a hard enough task as it was already. Kill-a-Ton later also admonished the Sons of Liberty represenatives for their group's battlefield failures and uncooperativeness. They did not appreciate that.
McTavish was unable to calm down the two sides contrary to his hopes, and the argument almost ended in bloodshed. Luckily, calmer heads prevailed in that respect, and no one was killed. However, the homesteaders present saw the Raiders' attempted impartiality as siding with the tribals and left the next day. From there, others left the Convention with increased animosity and resentment.
Commander Curtis heard of this failure and was angered by his compatriots' perceived incompetence. Nevertheless, he fought on, fighting and winning a major battle at Morden in late 2269 against Badlanders.
However, the tide of the war had clearly turned against the Alliance by that time. The Free Northwestern Army had presented itself as a viable alternative to the Alliance to the homesteaders and was expanding day by day. In late 2269 and 2270, the Sons of Liberty detachment clashed with the FNA increasingly, sometimes over the course of several days. They lost contact with other Alliance forces, only occasionally meeting a militia or a squad of super mutants. Commander Curtis kept the detachment's spirits up and was sure of the group's supremacy over these ragged militias.
In 2270, NAP Territory experienced a direct attack from a FNA brigade, hoping to break the Alliance's resolve. The Sons of Liberty there repulsed the attack but were greatly alarmed by it. The Sons of Liberty in NAP Territory, sufficiently alarmed, sent a message to Commander Curtis insisting he come back to defend their home. After a council with his soldiers, Curtis replied that he would only return when he finished what he set out to accomplish. So, he and his detachment continued fighting the FNA.
That was until the Battle of Black Peak. The Sons of Liberty in NAP Territory heard of the battle first and immediately informed Commander Curtis of it. This struck a great blow to Curtis's resolve, and he almost immediately lost hope in the war against the NCR. After a week or so of preparations and holding off FNA attacks, the Sons of Liberty detachment finally headed back north to NAP Territory, exhausted and downtrodden. Commander Curtis especially was despondent, guilty that his pride had cost lives and possibly put the whole group at risk. The battered detachment returned to NAP Territory in the beginning of winter 2270, as snow began to fall. They were given a subdued welcome as the Sons of Liberty tried to put their participation in the war behind them.
David and Goliath
- "After what happened at Black Peak, I really learned how deep in shit we all were. If NCR can do that there, what's the point in trying to stop them at this point? They could drop a squad on us or bomb us into oblivion if they wanted. What can we do but be a splinter in the bear's paw?"
- ―Commander Ethan Walters in his personal journal
The war being over and the Northwestern Alliance gone, the Sons of Liberty tried to return to a sense of normalcy. This was naturally very hard for some of the veterans of the war so Commander Curtis eked out new jobs for them such as patrolling and guard duty. Many in NAP Territory frowned at this, seeing it as "governmental overreach" but did nothing to stop it. At the time, Curtis was grooming his successor, Jeanine Park, and was stressed for time. He hoped to possibly see some remnants of Stern's Raiders around but was sad to see none.
The Sons also continued to occupy the Bridge of the Gods, figuring the economic prospects of a toll booth over the Columbia were too good to give up and wanting to continue a sort of fight against the seemingly invincible NCR. So, an official outpost was set up there in 2272. The bridge also functioned as a choke-point in case an invading force came from the north.
In 2273, a number of caravan guards mostly composed of predominantly Sons of Liberty clashed with the FNA in Portland over several crates of magazines and a caravan of sex slaves. Many caravan guards were killed, and Commander Curtis hungered for retribution. He suggested Jeanine Park lead a detachment to Portland to avenge the deaths, but that suggestion was shot down. Park still managed to get some fighting in though, fending off a lone wanderer's rampage in late 2273.
However, a new figure would soon arise in 2274: Ethan Walters, the creator of the vitality drug Testobuff. This brought him a lot of wealth and publicity. Owen Curtis regarded him warily but focused on the task at hand, holding off the FNA and the NCR.
The FNA stopped attacking NAP Territory after 2273, but the Sons of Liberty remained vigilant. A short growing season in 2274 brought on a food shortage, and many people became dissatisfied with conditions in NAP Territory, seeing some storing vast numbers of food and selling them for exorbitant prices. This was in part to maintain the war effort and partly to just get rich quick. Skirmishes began to break out between Sons of Liberty homesteads in the fall of 2274 with rebels stealing food, and Commander Curtis rose up to strike down the rebels, forcing them into banditry. 2274 had a quiet winter.
From 2275 through 2279, the Sons of Liberty had to work to recover from a couple of bad farming seasons. While this happened, Ethan Walters continued to rise in prominence due to becoming the host of the Sons of Liberty Radio, aided by his dynamic personality. Meanwhile, Commander Curtis and Jeanine Park pushed the remaining bandits south towards the NCR. Everyone seemed relieved the fighting was over.
For two years, NAP Territory remained peaceful if vigilant. The Sons of Liberty left their eyes peeled south for the NCR and north for potential enemies there. The Bridge of the Gods remained closed to NCR-based caravans, and they were forced to instead brave the deadly crossing at Portland.
It was the Bridge of the Gods that brought the Sons of Liberty back into the fray in 2278. A group of Badlanders from the Twin Pines Pack, contracted by caravaners, attacked the Sons of Liberty stationed at the bridge but quickly withdrew after a volley of gunfire. Jeanine Park arrived at the Bridge of the Gods shortly after to assess the situation. She was very surprised to find herself in the middle of another attack, this time from both sides of bridge, on the south by Badlanders and on the north by FNA troopers. Jeanine's leg was crippled in the battle and she was forced the retreat, losing the bridge. Her reputation suffered as a result, and only got worse after she accused many of sexism for not blaming Commander Curtis as much for his role in the Oregon Brushfire Wars. As a result, Jeanine's popularity faded, and Curtis quietly dropped her as a protege.
Commander Curtis and many other Sons of Liberty arrived in late 2278 to reclaim the Bridge of the Gods, easily overwhelming the FNA outpost there as expected. What they did not expect was an attack from the south by another separate FNA brigade headed by a former member of the Sons of Liberty, Virgo Clark. The FNA brigade burned a path through southern NAP Territory, raping and pillaging as they went and causing mayhem. They were nominally assisted by the Twin Pines Pack as well, Badlanders doing what they did best.
Commander Curtis and his detachment headed back south to combat the invaders and were assisted by Derek "Bean" Larson, heading his own force of Sons of Liberty. The fighting in southern NAP Territory lasted for a year, with both sides mostly just skirmishes instead of any big battles. The Sons of Liberty were angry at their leaders for letting this disaster befall them but felt that defeating the savages was more important.
In 2279, three major events occurred: the FNA retook the Bridge of the Gods, Commander Owen Curtis died in battle against the FNA, and the invaders finally left NAP Territory, exhausted. There was no time to celebrate after the invaders' expulsion, as it was time to pick a new commander. Many in the Sons of Liberty were in shock at the violent death of their leader of twenty years, though feelings about him were still mixed. Dean Larson was an obvious choice but declined to run for the position, opening the field for others to try, including Jeanine Park. In the end, there were eight candidates jockeying for the position. The bombastic radio host Ethan Walters, an underdog through the election, won out in the end to the shock of many, even Walters himself.
Commander Ethan Walters took power in the unstable period after Commander Curtis's death with many in the Sons of Liberty still looking down on Walters. Walters took the helm swiftly while still maintaining his radio presence and chem business. This further alienated many in the Sons of Liberty, who resented Walters's continual advertising for his product and lack of military backbone. In 2279 through 2284, the Sons of Liberty did not send out any detachments out into the wasteland, leading to a short peace with the FNA and the Badlanders. NCR caravans could now freely cross the Bridge of the Gods. This brought stability to NAP Territory but not happiness. Many still felt they had unfinished business with the FNA and Badlanders to be resolved. Jeanine Parker, fed up with Commander Walters' inaction, went west to Portland with some Sons of Liberty in 2283 to form a new mercenary band, the Snakebites. Other Sons of Liberty also began trickling out of NAP Territory, hoping find some action or work.
In 2283, the FNA brigade led by Virgo Clark attacked again, this time from the north based out of the Bridge of the Gods. At that, Walters finally caved to demands for action and headed north to retake the bridge. The attack was successful. Walters put the renowned gunslinger Dean "Bean" Larson in charge of the defense of the bridge, told him not restrict traffic, and headed back to NAP Territory. This started a chain of events that would unwittingly pull the Sons of Liberty back into the Oregon Brushfire Wars once again, much to Commander Walters's dismay.
Word of the Sons of Liberty's victory at the Bridge of the Gods dispersed throughout the FNA in 2284, even reaching the ears of the FNA's NCR handlers in Grant's Pass. They were surprised to hear that Walters had grown some balls but were still concerned about caravan traffic north, so they coordinated an attack on NAP Territory in retaliation.
This went down in the summer of 2284. Virgo Clark and his brigade attacked in the north while "General" Shabazz and his ex-Islamist FNA attacked in the south with Badlander support. At first, things looked bad for the Sons of Liberty. In the south, several homesteads were burned down, and Shabazz defeated those initial small attempts to stop his attacks. In the north, Virgo Clark set up camp outside Oregon City, isolated the town, and started to bombard it with mortar fire. However, the Sons of Liberty managed to pull through. Commander Walters claimed this as being due to expert strategy, but in reality, it was because of a home-field advantage, lack of coordination among the FNA brigades, and the frequent skirmishes and later open warfare between Shabazz's FNA troopers and their Badlander "allies". Virgo Clark, seeing the writing on the wall, moved on to greener pastures while Shabazz stuck around in southern NAP Territory and remains a nuisance to this day. Luckily, he and his FNA trooper had mostly stopped their attacks on homesteads and focused on attacking patrols and Badlanders instead. Walters tried to maintain an air of normalcy, broadcasting his opinions on the radio while advertising Testobuff and attempting to protect NAP Territory, somewhat.
At the same time, Dean "Bean" Larson continued to defend the Bridge of the Gods, and his job was made more difficult when Walters asked to restrict NCR caravans once again. This led to an increase in attacks by FNA troopers and mercenaries. This was how the Sons of Liberty first met the Degenerates in 2284. A caravan bigwig from Seattle, having business dealings all over Cascadia, wanted the Bridge of the Gods secured and the Sons of Liberty out of the way. He did not inform the Degenerates of the NCR's benefit from the job.
Positioning their artillery north of the Bridge of the Gods, the Degenerates' warboss Shiv approached the Sons of Liberty's outpost at the Bridge of the Gods and gave them an ultimatum to leave or be blasted away. Dean Larson talked to Shiv and quickly enough gave him an idea of the Sons of Liberty's situation and earned the Badlander's rare sympathy. Soon enough, the Degenerates had flipped on their employer and asked Dean Larson if they could camp out near the bridge to provide some mutual safety. That has been the arrangement ever since and the Sons at the outpost have gotten rather friendly with the Degenerates after so much help with FNA attacks and dangerous wildlife. The Sons of Liberty in NAP Territory are not aware of this relationship and would not doubt balk if they knew. Commander Walters and several other wealthy/high-ranking Sons are aware but have given the rogue Badlander pack a blind eye due to their defense of the bridge and their howitzers.
In 2287, NAP Territory and largely the Willamette Valley are peaceful with the exception of some Badlanders and FNA while many in the Sons of Liberty are still unsatisfied with their leadership, Commander Walters in particular. Walters could care less and continues on as always, peddling male vitality chems and his weird theories. NAP Territory though still remains a bastion of property rights, freedom of speech, and the American Way, at least in the Sons of Liberty's eyes. Things could be worse.
The Sons of Liberty do not have a standard uniform but their most common pieces of apparel are combat leather jackets.
The Sons' staple weapons are the hunting rifle, the 9mm pistol, the combat shotgun, and the machete. Some other less common weapons among the Sons are the power fist, the submachine gun, and the laser gun.
Patriotism and freedom are the main two tenets of the Sons of Liberty, going along with their libertarian ideology. Pre-War American society is not idealized necessarily but the Sons of Liberty still hope for a better future for America and fly the American flag along with their own. Xenophobia towards Chinese is present but is relatively insignificant. Freedom is expressed through archaic phrases such as the non-aggression principle, property rights, and freedom of speech that are exercised throughtout the NAP Territory. This has led to the Sons of Liberty having a stubborn foothold in Willamette Valley, unwilling to back down against their enemies.
Martial prowess is also greatly valued in the Sons of Liberty. Survival skills are taught from day one, everything needed to live in the wasteland. Every member of Sons of Liberty is taught how to use many different types of firearms, everything from pistols, rifles, submachine guns, shotguns, and even in some cases, the few grenade launchers possessed by the group. There is not a single person who cannot use a firearm. In recent years, the Sons of Liberty have hired out their guns for caps - for hunting purposes, caravan guards, and as body guards. On top of this, many in the Sons of Liberty have become bounty hunters over the years, bringing criminals, murderers, thieves, rapists, and other scum to justice or death. The Sons of Liberty have built quite a reputation for themselves, not dissimilar to the Great Khans, as being not only tough, but highly skilled, dependable and trustworthy.
Religion is another tenet valued by the Sons of Liberty, though to a lesser degree than the first two. Due to Owen Curtis's influence, the majority of the Sons of Liberty now adhere to some vague interpretation of non-denominational Christianity. Faith influences the decisions of many in the Sons but certainly not to a fanatical degree, though they may be regarded a rather conservative on some issues.
Women have equal rights within the Sons of Liberty, but motherhood still is valued by the community as an American virtue over being a fighter or other pursuits.
The Sons of Liberty have large enough numbers to fight pitched battles but prefer to spread out their numbers in case the NCR or FNA might attempt to take them out in one fell blow.
Guerrilla warfare is the norm for the Sons of Liberty. This allows them to have a lot of flexibility and make them more adaptable to new situations. The Sons of Liberty also like to utilize chokepoints such as the Bridge of the Gods to play on their advantages.
The current commander of the Sons of Liberty, Ethan Walters was formerly the DJ of Sons of Liberty Radio. A well-known figure in and out of the Sons of Liberty, Walters has nonetheless drawn criticism for his glowing endorsements of his own brand of chems, his lack of combat experience, and his reluctance to directly engage the FNA as of late. Outside of the Sons of Liberty, he is seen as quite delusional if still entertaining.
Born in 2247 in a Sons of Liberty settlement in the Willamette River Valley to Kathryn and Quill Walters, Ethan Walters was a healthy, happy child. His father was not around much, mostly hunting and farming, but Ethan's mother doted on him, her only child.
Ethan was schooled by his parents, somewhat poorly. He learned most of what he knew from dusty old books, interaction with other children, and the Sons of Liberty Radio station. Coming to age as the Oregon Brushfire Wars started, Ethan took part in several battles but never earned a taste for it. He met Commander Curtis only once during the conflict, and Curtis called him "a slob with Jet in his eyes". Ethan did indeed earn a taste for Buffout and Gollygoo while fighting throughout Oregon but not Jet specifically. Ethan returned to NAP Territory in 2270 with a taste for drugs and chems. Soon enough, Ethan was brewing his own stuff in his parents' backyard and selling his extra chems to others. He made a tidy bit of money doing this and soon moved out of his parents' homestead to buy his own place and a complementary chem lab. He created a unique chem in 2274, Testobuff, a male vitality drug which became quite popular and remains renowned for its low addiction and death rate.
Ethan did very well for himself in the following years, marrying twice and having three children. However, even as Ethan grew quite successful and rich, he also became bored. That was before an old war buddy of his, Felipe, asked him to substitute for him on Sons of Liberty Radio one day in 2275. Ethan proved to be a fiery presence on radio, making passionate speeches on his various paranoias and conspiracy theories while advertising his chems. Walters filled in for Felipe several more times until he finally took over as host in 2276, egged on by popular demand.
In the next few years, Ethan Walters experienced a meteoric rise in popularity only comparable to Owen Curtis's rise to power. Commander Curtis himself regarded Walters with an air of dry disdain but did not regard him as a threat, thinking him to be a humble chem merchant with no higher aspiration than being on the radio. By 2278, Walters had become the richest man in NAP Territory and a well-known personality even outside Cascadia, with some fans in the NCR and Idaho.
Commander Owen Curtis died in battle against the FNA in 2279, and the Sons of Liberty had to select a new commander. Walters, seeing an opportunity and not considering much else, threw his name in the ring of hopeful commanders. Though he was a prominent figure in NAP Territory, Walters was considered more of a joke candidate and was not taken seriously. That is, until he won.
This came as unexpected for pretty much everyone, even Walters. Surprised by the results, Walters shakily took his place as commander during the turbulent period following Owen Curtis's death. He maintained his radio presence and chem business while being commander, which made many in the Sons of Liberty rather suspicious of his motivations compared to the rather detached Curtis.
Commander Walters was also judged early for his rather scarce service during the Oregon Brushfire Wars and his seeming reluctance to continue the ongoing war with the FNA. He does fight in self-defense such as in 2283 and 2284 but mostly avoids seeking battle. This has drawn further skepticism and frustration from his fellow Sons of Liberty. Nonetheless, Walters continues broadcasting his chem-fueled rants on Sons of Liberty Radio, selling male vitality drugs, and trying to manage NAP Territory to the best of his abilities.
This passive approach is in fact the result of Walters secretly becoming jaded after his experiences in the Oregon Brushfire Wars and accepting that the NCR will inevitably take over Cascadia. So, he would rather minimize damage while he can.
Owen Curtis was the Sons of Liberty's commander for over twenty years, leading the group to new relevance during the Oregon Brushfire Wars. Although his origins as an Enclave deserter and his losses in battle condemn him to some, Curtis is still beloved by many in the Sons of Liberty for his patriotism, sense of duty, and no-nonsense if rather sour attitude.
Born on Control Station Enclave in 2223 to Janice and Thad Curtis, Owen Curtis was their third child. Technicians, the Curtises were consigned to the boring work on assisting in repairs on the Oil Rig. While Janice had always planned on being a technician, Thad was forced into the role after he was injured while training to become part of the Enclave's heavy infantry, which made him feel unfulfilled and unhappy. Thad projected this frustration onto all of his children but particularly towards Owen due to his seemingly more ready will to obey. Thad encouraged Owen to join the military and hoped he would do so unlike his older siblings.
Feeling awkward and alone in his early teenage years, Owen looked for validation from his father by being as patriotic as possible, berating his siblings for being "weak", and joining the military at the age of sixteen. After becoming one of the light infantry and being transferred to Navarro in 2240 on glorified guard duty, Owen would finally learn that things were not quite as they seemed.
The "horrible mutants" Owen had heard so much about were actually just regular people like everyone he had known in the Enclave. This caused Owen to become conflicted as he still wanted America to return to its former glory but saw killing the mainland "primitives" as unnecessary and cruel. Hearing horror stories about what had happened at Mariposa and Vault 13 from other Enclave soldiers, Owen kept trying to keep these seditious feelings to himself, kept in line by the blistering Sergeant Dornan. Owen confided with other soldiers about his doubts but was called a pussy in response and told to "man up", as sympathy for mutants could not be tolerated. In fact, the only reason Owen was not reported for his borderline sedition was that he only confided to those that considered him a friend and did not want to cause him trouble.
Owen finally snapped upon seeing Secret Service agent Frank Horrigan returning from a mission bragging about killing an entire family. With that, Owen became determined that he had to leave somehow. His father had been wrong, and blindly following his superiors was not something Owen was willing to do anymore. However, Owen's reasons for leaving were not entirely selfless, also feeling that being put on guard duty wasted any potential he had.
Owen got an opportunity in 2241, soon after his eighteenth birthday. He and some other Enclave soldiers were sent to a small outpost near San Francisco. There, Owen took his chance. Secretly bringing his combat armor, weapons, and other supplies with him, Owen spent a week trying to slip away from his fellow soldiers. He finally succeeded in escaping his fellow Enclave soldiers to Chinatown, making his way to the Flying Dragon 8 and making a run for it north, hiding out in an abandoned shipping crate to avoid prying eyes fora bit. The other Enclave soldiers assumed Owen had been killed by the various hazards near San Francisco and simply chalked him up as missing in action, not as a deserter like he really was.
After figuring that out, Owen did not know what to do with himself. He still wanted to bring America back somehow, someway, but the Enclave was not the right answer. Owen then resolved to wander until he found someone or something that could revive America (or at least his dream of it). He considered heading to the NCR which he had heard about vaguely, but shelved that thought for the moment. What Owen needed to do was equip himself to go into the wasteland.
Doubling back to Chinatown, Owen went to stock up on supplies and learn more information about this new world he was exploring. He adapted quickly, quickly losing his bias towards mainlanders by seeing that they could be just as scummy or as generous as those on the Oil Rig. Selling many of the combat chems he had brought with him from Navarro for caps, Owen first went to Red 888 Guns to buy another weapon to compliment his Wattz 2000 laser rifle. After extensive haggling with Mai Da Chiang who insulted Owen but eventually let up, Owen bought a fancy M72 Gauss rifle and some ammo. A short stop at the Flying Dragon 8 later to get food and water, and Owen headed out of San Francisco, around Golden Gate and its Hubologists. Peacefully passing through the ruins of Oakland, Owen walked north into the wastes. From his Enclave education and rough knowledge of geography, Owen knew he was headed into the Pacific Northwest.
The road north was fraught with dangers such as raiders, press gangers, geckos, and super mutants. Well-armored and armed with energy weapons, Owen was still hard pressed to defend himself and mostly tried to avoid hazards. Owen was grievously wounded from taking a ripper to his shoulder in an encounter with some overconfident press gangers that he killed in late 2241, and he was forced to take refuge in a cave. Having sold his stimpaks in San Francisco, Owen tried to patch himself up but was unsuccessful. Owen decided to go on anyways and look for medicine or a doctor to the north.
Owen soon found himself near Redding after some more limping north and headed into the town, gripping his shoulder. He managed to find a doctor after some inquiry, "Painless" Doc Johnson, and managed to get his shoulder patched up in no time. Before leaving, Owen asked the doctor about the area. Doc Johnson, not very willing to talk, instead directed Owen to the Malemute Saloon for his answers.
Walking over to the saloon, Owen entered and attracted quite a bit of attention with his combat armor and gauss rifle. Assuming Owen was some high-tech merc, the other patrons of the saloon soon enough turned back to their drinks. Owen took a seat at the bar and started his night by ordering some booze. That was all he remembered of that night.
The next morning Owen woke up in a bed with several naked women, a couple of empty bottles of booze, and a wicked hangover. It had not been Owen's first taste of alcohol, but it had certainly been his hardest hitting. Slapping on his combat armor and weapons, Owen tipped his helmet to the women inside and tottered back towards the Malemute Saloon's bar.
Coming out behind the saloon's bar and the bartender Louise, Owen complemented Louise's appearance and asked about the previous night. Louise, both offended and a little flattered, recounted what had happened: after drinking himself into the floor, Owen had gone on a bender, yelled something about "the Enclave", and rented a room and a couple of hookers too. He was down more than $200. Not as bad as I thought, he pondered. After some more conversation, Owen finally remembered the reason he had come to Malemute in the first place and asked about the area around Redding. With some coaxing, Louise told Owen about many places including the almost utopian (or dystopian) Vault City, the safe haven for drug and slave trading known as the Den, the small trapping town of Klamath Falls, the tribal village of Arroyo, and the forbidding expanse to the north.
Owen thought that over and thanked the barkeep for her time. Walking out of the saloon, Owen considered his options. Vault City sounded like a nice place but what if it turned out just like where he came from? The land to the north sounded like the place to go, a land ripe for discovery.
Walking out of Redding, Owen soon came upon a gathering of people north of town. Fanatics. They were gathered around listening to some traveling preacher, brandishing a Bible and barking fiery words, speaking of an Exodus north to escape the Jet fiends and sinners of the south. As Owen walked by the gathered congregation, the preacher pointed a finger at him and asked if he had accepted Jesus Christ into his heart. Still recovering from his hangover and only a somewhat familiar grasp of the concept of Christianity, Owen mumbled some inarticulate words under his breath.
With that, the preacher darted through the crowd, took hold of Owen, and gave him a speech that would transform his life. The preacher told Owen many things, of God, of humanity, and of misery. The preacher seemed to understand Owen's feeling of alienation and isolation, and he appealed to that. Owen had never been a religious man, but this dynamic preacher was making him reconsider. The speech made Owen also reconsider his own path forward. He remembered the hard path from San Fran to Redding and thought of the potential dangers that awaited him to the north. After some more talking from the preacher, Owen demurely asked if he could join the congregation on their journey north. The preacher cracked a huge smile and agreed, welcoming Owen into his flock and introducing himself as Brother Graham. Owen felt like he was a part of something once again.
The journey north was indeed harsh but not without its perks. Being the most well-armed member of Brother Graham's flock, Owen was soon put in charge of the protection of the congregation. Owen helped guide them north, having brought a pre-War map of the United States of America with him from the Oil Rig. On the way north from Redding, Owen killed numerous tribals and mutated wildlife. However, even after doing all that good for the congregation, they did not really like Owen due to his rather hostile personality, and he did not talk to them. The only person he really talked to was Brother Graham, mostly about God and Owen's past. Eventually, convinced of his convictions, Brother Graham gave Owen his own Bible, made pre-War. The little Bible became one of Owen's treasured possessions even though he did not read it often.
Two weeks after leaving leaving Redding, the traveling congregation entered their first town in Cascadia, Grant's Pass. Once a thriving agricultural community, Grant's Pass was now controlled by slavers aligned with the Den, preying on Oregon tribals and drifters going north. Owen was disgusted by the behavior of the slavers, from their labor exploitation to their abuse of the weak. He was ready to gun the slavers down at any provocation, but Brother Graham calmed him, assuring Owen that they would only be staying in the town for a day or so. Owen met this with half-hearted grumbling as he put most of his equipment in the inn the congregation stayed.
As Owen was wandering the streets of Grant's Pass at dusk before going to bed, he heard screams coming from an alleyway. Owen peered in the alleyway and was greeted by the unwelcome sight of a young slave woman being chased by a group of slavers. The slave woman pleaded for Owen's help and without hesitation, he came to her rescue. Housting up his Wattz 2000 laser rifle, Owen made the slavers stop in their tracks. Owen, with gritted teeth, asked if the woman was for sale. When one of the slavers answered no, Owen took aim at the slaver and asked again, this time louder. The slavers, cowardly as they were, instantly changed their tune and gave a price. Owen paid them with visible disgust and escorted the slave woman back to the inn. After saying some comforting words and telling her she was free, Owen tucked the woman into his own bed and slept on the floor. As he tucked her in, Owen noticed for the first time the woman had a prominent facial scar.
Owen was awoken in the middle of the night by Brother Graham and was told that they had to leave due to requests from the town's slaver residents. Groggily getting up and getting his equipment together, Owen shook the (now free) slave women awake and explained the situation. The women broke down in tears, blaming herself for what happened. Owen laughed at that, stating that an inconvenience did not equivocate to a person's freedom. The woman did not seem to see it that way and continued to blame herself for inconveniencing the traveling congregation. Owen, after a lot more talking, persuaded her to come with the congregation and to leave Grant's Pass.
Leaving Grant's Pass in the dead of night, the congregation continued on their way north. On the road, Owen Curtis talked extensively with the slave-woman he had freed. It took time, but he managed to learn more about her.
Her name was Sara, and she was originally from a homestead further north in Cascadia. Her family's homestead had been destroyed by slavers, and Sara been enslaved and later taken to Grant's Pass to be sold. There, she had suffered for a year and a half. One of the slavers had cut Sara's face so she "could never forget him". She never did.
Owen contemplated this and tried to comfort Sara in all the ways he could. He slept with her once, but regretted it afterwards, feeling as if he had exploited her vulnerability. Owen wondered what it would be like to lose everything like Sara had and considered whether he had done the right thing leaving the Enclave and his family behind. He liked the traveling congregation, but they did not fulfill his need for a purpose. Confiding with Brother Graham about these thoughts, Owen was told that he should follow his heart, as suppressing his feelings would not bode well for anyone.
Outwardly, Owen kept up his hard-ass appearance even as he felt inner turmoil. Sara became more and more independent as time went on, making Owen feel less guilty about sleeping with her. The travelling congregation continued north, stopping in the ruins of Eugene before continuing north to Portland.
In the ruins of Eugene, the congregation set up camp and rested for a couple of days, wary of nearby tribals. Owen and Sara explored the ruins of the city themselves and found several artifacts. They also encountered a couple of feral ghouls who Owen easily dispatched.
When they returned to their camp, the two celebrated their success. This concerned Brother Graham, who felt their "relationship" was getting too intimate. He approached Owen and told him his concerns. This angered Owen, and he tried to berate the preacher for his words. Instead, Owen was shocked when Brother Graham ripped into him for his past and present transgressions. This hurt Owen deeply but again made him reconsider his options as he went off to sleep.
The congregation continued north with Owen becoming more and more troubled as he went. Owen tried to reconcile with Brother Graham, but his efforts only yielded lukewarm results. Even Sara seemed more distant from Owen. As the congregation got further north through Cascadia, they were attacked increasingly often by Oregon tribals. This wore Owen out greatly. They entered Willamette Valley in early 2242 and were soon greeted by a Sons of Liberty patrol policing their border. Owen was impressed by the Sons' organization and the wealth of their land but regarded their language and equipment as "quaint". The congregation continued on through NAP Territory.
As the congregation continued north, Owen became more and more interested in the Sons of Liberty. Every time he passed one of their homesteads or townships, he saw an Old World American flag flying on the flagpole. Their community seemed to be very tranquil, free, and secure. This gave Owen some hope that a new better America could emerge after all, though not from the brutality of the Enclave.
However, it took a discussion with some wizened old homesteaders to finally make Owen see the Sons of Liberty's full worth. The congregation was making a stop before heading for Portland near a friendly homestead. The couple living there were very hospitable and were all too accepting of Owen's questions. The couple told Owen of the Sons of Liberty journey from Martha's Gulch, their taming of the land, and their subsequent war with the cannibalistic tribal inhabitants. They also told Owen about the Sons' philosophy of free speech, American values, and minimal government. That sold Owen and after good nights sleep and a day to think it over, he decided he wanted to put down roots with the Sons of Liberty and try to find purpose with them.
Brother Graham was relieved that Owen could finally find purpose and hopefully stop being so temperamental. The rest of the congregation were even more relieved that the moody soldier would be leaving, as some of them feared that one day he might turn his gun on them. This was irregardless of the fact he had almost single-handedly protected them all the way from Redding. Owen leaving was especially hard on Sara, who learned of his decision before he could tell her himself. Sara was heart-broken at the thought Owen might leave the congregation and flew at him the next time she saw him, pelting him with insults and curses. Owen was very surprised by this and left in shock with Sara screaming after him. Afterward, Owen walked away from the congregation forever and walked into his life with the Sons of Liberty. He thought of Sara often in those early days but put her to the back of his mind as time went on, wanting, no needing, to forget to go on.
Owen Curtis took his equipment, walked to the elderly couple's homestead, and asked him how he could obtain some land in NAP Territory so as to join the Sons of Liberty. The couple told him that you had to buy land in NAP Territory and the best place to buy land would be in Oregon City, the largest settlement in the area. He headed east to Oregon City to buy some land. While on his way to Oregon City, Owen learned of the Sons of Liberty's war with the cannibalistic Oregon tribals. This only strengthened Owen's desire to join the group as he drew parallels between the current war and pre-War America's concept of Manifest Destiny. Upon his arrival in Oregon City, Owen Curtis went around town to search for someone who would be willing to sell land. Owen Curtis made a large impression on the town with his advanced equipment and stories of his adventures down south.
On his third day in Oregon City, Owen was sitting in a bar with some Sons of Liberty talking about his journey north. A stranger interrupted Owen's conversation and asked him if he wanted to play a game. Confident from days of encouragement and approval, Owen recklessly agreed to play the stranger's game before asking him what it was. The stranger informed Owen that he would learn soon.
It turned out the game was four-player Russian Roulette with poisoned drinks. The gist of it was that each time you drank you had to put a bet into the pot towards the players. If you died, the equipment you did not bet would be taken by the bar. Owen, true to his word, participated in the game five rounds, never breaking a sweat and impressing many present. In the game, Owen won a Pip-Boy lingual enhancer, a copy of The Lavender Flower, a doctor's bag, three Stealth Boys, a pair of rubber boots, a fuzzy painting, and some jars of biogel. Before Owen could go for a sixth round, the Sons of Liberty present left to mount a defense against a tribal raiding party. Owen gathered up his winnings and continued looking for someone to sell land to him.
He searched for a couple of days. Owen eventually found what he was looking for in a store owner named Irene who owned quite a stretch of land near Mount Hood. Irene was impressed by Owen's time in Oregon City and decided to sell him land. Soon enough, Owen had bought some land and was on his way to claim it. As a land-owning person in NAP Territory, he was officially part of the Sons of Liberty. However, he was not immediately accepted.
Owen built a cabin in the wilderness and set up a home for himself for most of February 2242. He set up a camp for himself and began to greet his neighbors including Blue Paul, Faith May, and a few others. They remained suspicious of Owen Curtis as an outsider and all refused to talk to him except Faith May, who gave Owen some tea. Owen took a week or so to build a log cabin and a little garden. However, after he began to relax, Owen began to contemplate his decisions relating to the Enclave and Sara. He could not sleep.
Trying to getting his mind off the past, Owen looked into the Sons of Liberty's conflict with the cannibalistic tribals of the Willamette Valley. He saw that the Sons of Liberty were struggling to defeat the Oregon tribals and unable to combat the tribals' superior guerrilla tactics. So, after Owen got comfortable in his new home, he decided to offer his services to the Sons of Liberty knowing that his tactical knowledge learned from this time on the Oil Rig might be useful. Owen went to Oregon City and directly offered his services to the commander of the Sons of Liberty, Joe Montana, as an aide. Commander Montana had heard of Owen's antics a couple of weeks previously and was curious about him. He listened to Owen's overture but felt like the man was overselling his own worth and refused his offer of help. So, Montana turned down Owen's offer but instead asked if he might join him in fighting the Oregon tribals soon. Owen considered that and said "perhaps". After that, Owen left Oregon City and returned to his homestead.
There, Owen tended his garden, hunted, and continued expanding his homestead. Owen earned a love of the pre-War singer Marty Robbins at this time from the radio that would prevail for the rest of his life. At one point, Owen accidentally built an outhouse on Blue Paul's property who promptly blew it up with C-4. Owen just about shot Paul after that but luckily was waylayed by Faith May. Faith explained to Owen the strict property rights laws in NAP Territory and how he had violated it. Owen returned to his home steaming and talking about "how these people are crazy" but after a while, he cooled down. He decided to make another request to aid Joe Montana but assumed it might just make the commander angry.
Owen's luck was about to turn however. Between Owen's first and second request, the Oregon tribals had gone on the offensive and began burning more homesteads near Oregon City. Montana was now willing to let Owen try even though he was still skeptical of Owen's motivations and where he obtained this training in tactics.
Nonetheless, Owen was taken in by Montana and made an aide. Implementing anti-insurgency tactics against the Oregon tribals, Owen soon helped the Sons of Liberty reverse the tribals' recent gains and even attack. He also fought alongside the men, inspiring many with his advanced armor and weaponry. Owen really only killed two tribals personally during his time in the war but had a profound effect in the wider context of the war.
Commander Montana used Owen's anti-insurgency tactics to great effect in a battle near Salem, destroying almost an entire tribe that had been trying to ambush him. That signaled that the war was finally coming to a close. Owen was happy at this but was disappointed to be excluded from the peace talks with the tribals in April, instead spending his time lounging around in Oregon City. Owen initially felt he had been snubbed but then reminded himself to be humble, a virtue Brother Graham had often taught. So he bit his tongue and let Commander Montana have his moment.
In July 2242, the war between the Sons of Liberty and the Oregon tribals of the Willamette River Valley ended. Owen Curtis informed Joe Montana he would be returning to his new homestead, expecting to be left at peace to read his Bible and manage his garden. He would live a quiet, sober existence. However, word of his service in the war and his exploits to the south had spread across NAP Territory and soon Owen was receiving visitors every other day. Owen, surprised by the attention people were giving to him, took advantage of the publicity, spreading his personal ideals of patriotism and spirituality to his visitors while also telling them stories of pre-War America. Owen did this innocently enough, in his mind at least. One of these visitors, a caravaner, informed Owen of the destruction of the Oil Rig in 2243 which he was visibly upset by. However, he got past the loss and worked to put aside his personal history with the Enclave.
This stream of visitors soon turned into a loyal following for Owen Curtis. They were fascinated by Owen's ideas about religion and pre-War America since they only had vague knowledge of America before the war. In the years after the end of the war with the tribals, Owen's following gained increasing traction with many of Owen's followers building homes nearby his own. Owen became the leader of a small new community to the grief of his immediate neighbors. This new community built a church in 2248, the first in NAP Territory. By then, the influence of Owen's new conservative moment had spread beyond his immediate followers and had even permeated Oregon City. Supporters of Owen began adopting his ideals and beliefs as their own, feeling comforted by their imitation of pre-War America.
However, this greatly alarmed the current commander Joe Montana who had seen Owen's beliefs as "antiquated but harmless" when he was an aide. He now saw Owen as a threat to the stability of NAP Territory. However, in the 2250's NAP Territory continued to prosper in the wake of the peace with the tribals with increased trade and crop yields. So, Commander Montana did not rock the boat and allowed Owen to live in peace. That was a grave mistake for Montana.
By 2253, Owen Curtis's influence could felt in every corner of the Sons of Liberty throughout NAP Territory. His followers' new religious and patriotic tendencies were beginning to clash with their neighbors, some secular, some neopagan, some pedophilic, some anarchic. Commander Montana tried to resolve these conflicts quietly between the various homesteads but it soon became apparent that he would have to confront Owen directly.
So, Commander Montana decided to make a spectacle out of it. In mid 2253, called together a meeting among all important members of the Sons of Liberty at Oregon City to decide their future, choosing between Owen and Commander Montana's separate visions. Owen Curtis was unprepared for a debate and was completely surprised by Commander Montana's newfound hostility. He had considered Montana somewhat of a friend after his time as an aide and was taken aback. However, Owen did soon manage to compose himself and retort back.
Montana's first main point was related to Owen's embrace of the "Dead American Dream" over the Sons of Liberty's brand of libertarianism. The commander pleaded to the men present not to succumb to Owen's "poisonous nostalgia" and to remain loyal to the Sons of Liberty's founding principles. Considering this, Owen Curtis responded with a speech reminding the Sons of Liberty of their roots in the idea of America and their potential in America's future. This speech won many of the Sons of Liberty over, who also drew the connection to their own history. Alarmed by losing so early, Montana pulled his trump card: he revealed Owen's true origins, his time with the Enclave. He even brought forth members of the travelling congregation to testify against Owen. Then, Montana accused Owen of sedition and attempting to destroy the Sons of Liberty from the inside out.
Owen Curtis responded with what would be his most famous speech. He admitted to his connections to the Enclave and came clean on everything, telling the assembled Sons of Liberty his origins. He spoke of his various experiences and how they had led to him joining the Sons of Liberty, seeing in them a spark of hope that could "carry on the flame of American exceptionalism". He worded it quite differently, but that was the gist of it. All the while Owen wondered what had ever happened to Brother Graham or Sara after more than a decade.
Owen's impromptu speech won over the masses to Montana's dismay. The commander, flabbergasted at the perceived "betrayal", protested that Owen was a spy and tearing apart the Sons from the inside out. However, after a couple of minutes of rambling, Joe Montana was finally forced to concede defeat to Owen since he had nothing substantive more to say. So, he called the meeting to end and was seen drinking for the next days.
After the debate, Owen Curtis's star continued to rise as Commander Montana retreated into seclusion. It seemed as if no one really cared about Owen's Enclave origins. Owen was toasted and dined at about every house in Oregon City by the end of 2253. There were some people even clamoring for Owen to become commander and recreate his vision of "America". Owen Curtis quickly put down these calls to arms, not really wanting to cause trouble. He only even gone to Montana's meeting out of duty and defended himself to save face. Owen did not want to really take power but it seemed an inevitability, as many in the Sons of Liberty called for him to become commander through force. Instead, Owen said he would wait until the position of commander was left open before he made any moves.
As time went on and he turned thirty, Owen began to realize that although he was surrounded by loyal followers, he was still without companionship. He had not had a "proper" relationship since Sara. So beginning in 2254, Owen began courting women to find a wife to live out his days with. Many women threw themselves at Owen, but he was unable to find a woman that could "satisfy his needs". At the same time, Owen struggled to manage the growing community around his homestead. He even bought land from his frustrated neighbors, though Blue Paul refused any buyout. Owen's pursuit of love ended in 2256 with him going after a young woman named Paulette who rejected him after a year-long courtship for being too shallow. This once again put Owen in a state of contemplation, though this time not about ethics but about his own attitude. That occupied Owen for about a month, and his absence from public life harmed the community he had nurtured around his homestead. Owen soon saw this and realized he could not just withdraw himself anymore. He was his own man, but Owen felt his calling was to aid the Sons of Liberty in rebuilding his vision of America. It was his duty, the ideal he could hold onto after knowing the Enclave was destroyed.
Commander Montana, now a beaten dog, lived on for a couple more years to see NAP Territory become more and more reminiscent of America before the bombs fell. This distressed Montana, who sometimes visited Owen to talk. Montana told Owen that he was only repeating old mistakes and faster at that. Owen saw the commander as a traitor to him and barely listened to him. There was a small smidgen of doubt in Owen's mind, but he denied Montana's words and continued his work.
NAP Territory was changing and so was Owen. Now nursing a little community, Owen had to repeatedly step up and become more of a leader. He rarely left this little community after his debate with Montana in Oregon City for a while. That was until 2259, when word came from Oregon City that Commander Joe Montana had died and an election for the new commander was being held. Owen Curtis was comfortably elected commander to little fanfare. Owen was now Commander Curtis.
Curtis soon set up a command center in his homestead to serve his needs as commander, specifically in an unused farmhouse. Numerous radios, terminals, and generators were installed in the command center, and Curtis also designated a "war room" to center his work every day. Commander Curtis paid for all of the equipment out of his own pocket, but many Sons of Liberty saw the expenses as a waste versus just moving to Oregon City.
For the next years, Curtis proved his worth as a commander using his command center to watch over NAP Territory and maintain order. The job was taxing but rewarding. Curtis finally managed to get a wife in 2260 when he courted a shy technician in his command center, Jill Marley. He even took her to see the Mutant Circus that was passing through in the fall. They married in small ceremony in the winter of 2260. Owen and Jill only had a short time to celebrate before they had to keep an eye on the fighting to the south in Oregon. They hoped it did not spill north. The fighting soon passed though, and things returned to normal.
That was until the Crop Rot came in 2261. Crops withered and died everywhere in the Willamette River Valley, not just in NAP Territory. Even Owen's coordinated efforts to save the Sons of Liberty's crops were for naught, as most of the different homesteaders refused to cooperate. Commander Curtis struggled to hold together NAP Territory while also placating the Oregon tribals still knocking at their doorstep. It was far too stressful for one man, and Jill was very concerned over his health. She eventually persuaded him to take a short break in October and let his aides deal with the problems.
In December 2261, while Curtis was getting back to work, disaster struck again. Raiders based out of Portland, sensing weakness in the Sons of Liberty, attacked many homesteads in western NAP Territory. Commander Curtis quickly mobilized a force and went to repel the raiders. Battles took place outside Oregon City and on the shores of the Willamette River, all victories for the Sons of Liberty. The raiders were unprepared for such organized resistance and crumbled against the counterattack. Commander Curtis himself disintegrated the raider gang's leader as he ran away.
This did not help the Sons of Liberty's dire situation much however. The raiders had burned or looted many storehouses during their raid, worsening the already harsh food shortage for the Sons of Liberty. Starvation crept into NAP Territory and began tearing apart the region apart, homestead by homestead. Commander Curtis found it increasingly difficult to stay in contact with the rest of the NAP Territory due to the hazardous weather. However, the reports Curtis did get were just horrendous: cannibalism, civil disorder, and widespread stealing. Commander Curtis found these stories hard to believe but still decided in January 2262 to take direct action. Curtis rounded up a posse of Sons and gathered resources to hand out to the starving masses to help stabilize NAP Territory.
The experience Commander Curtis had that winter was nothing short of horrifying. First, the commander and his posse arrived at Oregon City. Oregon City was stable but still grateful for some of Curtis's supplies. The Sons' individual homesteads were a whole other story. Every other homestead seemed to be a nightmare waiting for the posse, between cannibalism and familial betrayal. Curtis handed out supplies where he could and "put down" any cannibals he found. The posse suffered mercifully few casualties with the biggest loss being a brahmin cart being stolen. He and his posse were however held up at a distant homestead near the commander's own curiously populated by ghouls. These ghouls were particularly vicious and yielded numerous casualties among the posse before being "put down". After further investigation, Commander Curtis discovered that the "ghouls" he had just fought were simply emaciated people gone insane from isolation brought on by the winter. The commander burned the homestead subsequently and continued distributing his aid.
This went on throughout the winter into early 2262. Curtis's "heavy-handed methods" were heavy criticized by many in Oregon City though no one made any moves against the commander, and he continued his aid efforts while destroying the Crop Rot. The winter ended in February, and Commander Curtis finally returned to his homestead to coordinate the rebuilding effort. He sat in his command center for weeks on end, negotiating deals between different parties for sales of lumber, food, and supplies. This was all while Curtis monitored the NCR's Operation:RED TRAIL to the south. At first, Curtis had been ambivalent to the NCR's moves to the south, remembering them as a rather benevolent group when he was in the Core Region. He was growing more and more suspicious of the NCR's intentions as they went further north, clashing with tribals and locals as they went. However, Commander Curtis kept that off his mind while he focused on rebuilding NAP Territory and repelling increasingly intense tribal raids.
Commander Curtis delivered NAP Territory and the Sons of Liberty from the brink of disaster in 2262, gaining further love from his people. Curtis did not feel very loved at that point though, as he was having marital trouble due to his taxing work ethic and his callous disregard for his wife's desire to have children. This already stressful time was only worsened by two events: the formation of the Oregon Confederacy and the Brushfire War. Both of these events rattled Curtis but what really effected him was seeing the NCR utilize vertibirds during the Brushfire War. This made Owen conclude that the NCR had overrun Navarro and taken their vertibirds. This brought back a stream of painful memories for Curtis that he could only confront with anger towards the NCR. However, instead of acting overly rash, Commander Curtis simply made an address warning of the NCR's expansionism, bureaucracy, and most importantly, military and telling the Sons of Liberty to avoid them when possible. The address was well received but rang rather hollow as war seemed already on the horizon whether Curtis liked it or not.
After this episode, Curtis briefly returned to his homestead to cool down and confided much of his feelings and emotions to his wife. After that, Curtis immersed himself in his work once again. However, soon enough Curtis was to confront the remnants of the NCR left over from the Brushfire War: Stern's Raiders. They had attacked a party of NCR pioneers going over the Bridge of the Gods and taken a wealthy member of the party hostage. Curtis did not personally meet with the Raiders but still radioed commands from his command center to his subordinates at the Bridge of the Gods to watch over the situation. He had seen what the NCR was capable of and did not want to provoke the wrath of the Bear. The Raiders and the Sons had an uneasy standoff as they waited for the ransom to arrive from NCR. When the ransom arrived with a caravan, Stern's Raiders turned north and Commander Curtis had a sigh of relief.
The incident with Stern's Raiders only made many in the Sons of Liberty more certain conflict with NCR was on the horizon. The Sons of Liberty gathered arms, scouted out the situation to the south, and built up their defenses. They were going to be prepared as possible. Commander Curtis did not direct this but simply watched and worried. Could the the Sons of Liberty even dream to hope to stand up NCR firepower? He did not know, but he also knew he could not stop the inevitable. So, he at least tried to delay it until the Sons of Liberty were ready. He remembered how "overprepared" the Enclave always though it was and "chuckled". What would old Frank think of me now? A war was coming, even if Curtis thought it would be the end of him.
In the following years, Commander Curtis heard stories about the various exploits of Stern's Raiders throughout Cascadia and marveled. He also established relations with the Oregon Confederacy in 2265 to try to prepare and first met Chief Kill-a-Ton. Curtis was suspicious but slightly impressed by the tribal and his record against his enemies. He had missed most of the Sons of Liberty's war with the the Oregon tribals but he had heard of Kill-a-Ton's role in the role and seen what the chief had left in his wake. The two were not hostile towards one another but never did have much of a warm relationship.
In late 2266, as Commander Curtis was finally trying to have some relaxation time with his wife, did duty call once again. Apparently, a coalition was being put together in a meeting in Portland to oppose NCR expansion and the Sons of Liberty had been invited to help with the coalition's formation. Curtis insisted on going to the meeting himself to see what kind of coalition Stern's Raiders had scraped together. He was surprised to see a rather large and diverse group show up, representing many different groups in Cascadia. So, Curtis and the other representatives from the Sons of Liberty decided to join the newly-coined Northwestern Alliance. On his way back on brahmin cart to NAP Territory, Curtis pondered his decision and discussed it with a younger Son of Liberty present: Jeanine Park.
Commander Curtis subsequently returned to NAP Territory and announced their alliance with anti-NCR forces to the jubilation of the populace. They mobilized as Curtis watched furtively. The Sons of Liberty had not gone to war in almost a generation, and Curtis was worried that the youth of his group were too eager to jump into another one. Nevertheless, Commander Curtis prepared himself for war as well, determined to lead the Sons of Liberty even as he grew old. Curtis dusted off his old combat armor and weapons obtained from the Enclave and gave them a new paintjob, something he should of done years ago. This work took Curtis away from public life again briefly, concerning his wife. Jill tried to convince Curtis to be less single-minded about things but he ignored her once again until he finished his work. She tried to bring Curtis closer while he was a home but was unable, leaving her frustrated and angry at him.
In 2267, word came that the war between the NCR and the Northwestern Alliance had begun at Fort Eugene. Commander Curtis quickly whirled into action, forming a Sons of Liberty detachment to aid the Northwestern Alliance. This detachment was made up of "city slickers" from bigger settlements, farmers from smaller communities, and survivalists from homesteads. Commander Curtis would try to hold together this group and lead it against the NCR for the next couple of years.
The War of the Northwestern Alliance would be the most taxing event of Owen Curtis's life and ultimately define his legacy. Commander Curtis and his detachment fought many different enemies in those years, ranging from NCR troopers to Badlander warbands to eventually FNA militias. He saw successes at Fort Eugene and Morden and failure at Crater Lake. His war record was depressingly average, as his skills learned from the Enclave long ago were not applicable to these new enemies. However, he still managed to lead his forces from the front in the field, a feat in itself for a man so old.
Commander Curtis's relationships, good and bad, with his allies during the war were also important. Three notable friends Curtis made during the war were Dean "Bean" Larson and Jeanine Park, two members of his detachment, and Jakob Stern, leader of Stern's Raiders. Curtis appreciated Dean's humor and especially liked Jeanine's intelligence in conversation. There were rumors that Curtis and Park were more than friends but in reality, Curtis was sleeping with other women, not Park, behind his wife's back. Many Sons of Liberty frowned on this but saw it as their commander's "needs" and tried not to talk about it. Curtis's relationships with "bedmates" were coy at best or otherwise nonexistent. Curtis's friendship with Stern was mostly communicated through letters, as the two were intensely curious about one another's lives after initially meeting and talking, deciding to write each other afterwards. Stern wrote Curtis talking about NCR and Stern's Raiders while Curtis wrote Stern talking about the Enclave and the Sons of Liberty. These letters were occasionally intercepted by NCR spies and used for nefarious purposes. However, Stern and Curtis did not know this and maintained their friendship for more than a year until Jakob Stern's death at Fort Eugene.
Inside the Northwestern Alliance, Curtis only had two major rivals: Chief Kill-a-Ton or the Oregon Confederacy and Clyde Everett of the Free Army. Commander Curtis regarded both of them as far too savage and hoped to temper them. However, he did not regard the disparate homesteaders of Oregon as much better and did not want to fuel the "civilized versus savage" divide within the Northwestern Alliance, so Curtis tried to humor them. This did not work out predictably and by 2270, things had gone south.
The failure of the Cascadian Convention, the formation of the Free Northwestern Army, and the Battle of Black Peak signaled the end of the war, even as Curtis tried to fight on. Commander Curtis had tried to fight on in Oregon to the bitter end, even after hearing of an attack on NAP Territory by FNA forces. Curtis was determined to not stray from his duty to his Northwestern Alliance allies, even as his men began to doubt him and the Alliance's continued existence. Some deserted. Curtis finally saw the futility of the war when news of Black Peak hit and decided he had made a mistake. With that, Curtis and his Sons of Liberty detachment returned north to NAP Territory in winter 2270.
After losing the war and returning home in shame, Commander Curtis felt as if his life was very close to ending and should, as he now regarded himself as an irresponsible leader that risked the lives of his own men for his "honor". He lived for nine more years but would spend those years weary and ready for Death's embrace. He had seen too many things in the war and was just exhausted with life. His wife did not appreciate this.
Commander Curtis spent his last years fending off FNA attacks, making up for his mistakes in the war, and once again helping the Sons of Liberty weather some bad growing seasons. At the same time, Curtis groomed Jeanine Park as his successor, seeing her as the military and administrative leader the Sons of Liberty needed. However after her loss at the Bridge of the Gods to the FNA in 2278, Park threw Curtis under the metaphorical bus and the two fell out. Then, Curtis felt alone and tired.
Commander Curtis again personally led a detachment to take the Bridge of the Gods from the FNA in December 2278 and succeeded in taking the bridge, only to soon hear of an attack in southern NAP Territory by the FNA and Badlanders. He went south and did what he knew, war.
Another theater of the Cascadian Civil War, the war in southern NAP Territory was a bloody affair with both sides fighting savagely. Commander Curtis managed to see the dissonance between his moral words and his immoral actions and began to worry for his eternal soul, taking to reading his Bible between battles. He wished he could apologize to the people he loved, his family, Sara, Jeanine, Jill, but decided that would be pointless anyway, as God would be his true judge. The Owen Curtis of 2279 was not the vibrant energetic man who came to NAP Territory in 2242 but a hollow man who had given all he could give for the cause he had believed in.
So it was no small relief to the man when he finally died in 2279 during a firefight against the FNA. Gunfire tore open Curtis's body armor and into his abdomen, killing him pretty much instantaneously. He was quickly dragged back to friendly lines and operated on. It was no use.
Owen Curtis's death was news throughout Cascadia. He had been the longstanding leader of the Sons of Liberty and a major figure in the Northwestern Alliance. The news of his death was especially hard for the Sons, as his tireless work had held together the group for the last twenty tumultuous years, and no one really could hope to replace him.
Owen's funeral was a quiet affair as he had wished. Owen was buried behind his homestead and on his tombstone is transcribed a Biblical verse he selected:
- "Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood."
- ―Acts 20:28
A rather standard member of the Sons of Liberty, Barney is currently standing (or sitting at) guard duty on the Bridge of Gods. Barney is a veteran, having seen a lot of action in his time, and he now tries to console his troubled mind with alcohol, conspiracy theories, and the occasional firefight.
Born in 2239 to a whore and a Son of Liberty militiaman, Barney was a surprise to both of his parents. Instead of taking the easier route, the two instead married and had the child. They named him Barney after the whore's dead junkie of a brother.
Less than a year after Barney was born, his father died in battle against Oregon tribals near Portland. The prospects of Barney being raised by a single mother and a former prostitute alarmed his relatives and after some high-strung talks, Barney was handed over to his Uncle Hart and Aunt Rose to be raised. Barney's mother left the area soon afterwards, drifting south.
Barney was raised by his tough but fair Uncle Hart and kind Aunt Rose, whose last child had left them three years before. As soon as he could walk, Barney began to be taught basic survival skills. One of Barney's first memories is of his uncle taking him camping. Barney shot his first firearm at age eight and became quite adept with rifles and shotguns. At an early age, Barney became a fan of radio, specifically the new Sons of Liberty Radio Station. He also grew to idolize Commander Owen Curtis, who he saw as a "goddamn genius".
In Barney's childhood and teenage years, he worked on Uncle Hart's farm while honing his other skills. Around his seventeenth birthday in 2256, Barney packed up and left his Aunt and Uncle homestead to see the world as a caravan guard. He joined up with other young Sons of Liberty and worked for several years protecting caravans traveling north. In that time, Barney became more familiar with NAP Territory in general, learned quite a lot about the "situation" down south in NCR, and gained a lifelong hatred of Oregon tribals.
When the Oregon Brushfire Wars sucked in the the Sons of Liberty, Barney quickly took up arms to fight for the Northwestern Alliance and his people, a product of his patriotic upbringing. Shortly after the war began, Barney was astonished to meet Commander Curtis for the first time and shake his hand. He also soon met Stern's Raiders and was impressed. In the back of his mind, Barney knew NCR seemed insurmountable but all of this hope made him think that victory was a real possibility.
Soon enough, Barney was ranging all across Oregon with the Sons' detachment fighting against NCR patrols and defending "helpless" towns, making friends and "war buddies". He fought in some notable actions at Morden, Fort Eugene, and Crater Lake, even directly cooperating with Stern's Raiders at Fort Eugene. Barney remembered that battle particularly well. The Northwestern Alliance had overwhelmed the town's defenses at a moment of weakness, and the NCR garrison had fled in their path. He, other Sons, and Stern's Raiders had hunted the routing garrison and killed many of them in cold blood. It did not really trouble Barney at the time but in the following years made him feel increasing guilt-ridden about what he had done along with the occasional nightmare.
After Fort Eugene, the formation of the Free Northwestern Army, and the failure of the Cascadian Convention, the Sons of Liberty became less and less motivated to continue fighting. The war finally ended in 2270 with the collapse of the Northwestern Alliance and the flight of Stern's Raiders north with their subsequent destruction. Commander Curtis, completely demoralized, decided to finally return to NAP Territory.
Barney's aunt and uncle welcomed him home, but few others did. The war against the NCR was seen as overall a failure, and the veterans were not celebrated. Commander Curtis made sure they were taken care of though, even the damaged ones.
Barney was one of those, not knowing what to do with himself after returning to NAP Territory. So, he was put on guard duty around NAP Territory, defending its borders from raiders and dangerous wildlife. He has remained doing guard duty ever since, for almost seventeen years. Most recently, Barney stands guard at the Bridge of the Gods, waiving accepted caravans on while keeping an eye out for the FNA. The arrival of the Degenerates has not helped Barney's mental state, and he still deeply distrusts them.
In that time, Barney has grown rather fat and regained his appreciation of radio, especially the manic voice of Ethan Walters. He has also taken up drinking, claiming it staves off chem usage, but in reality is still broken up over the things he did and the people he killed in the war. Barney's friends are concerned about him but do not wish to distress him further with an intervention.
Dean "Bean" Larson, Barney's superior at the Bridge of the Gods, counts himself as one of Barney's friends and is also concerned about Barney, for not only Barney's own safety but also the other militiamen on the bridge. If Barney does not shape up soon, Larson might have to discipline him harshly as an example to the rest of the Sons.
- "I hold it to be the inalienable right of anybody to go to hell in his own way."
- ―Commander Owen Curtis quoting Robert Frost in a speech
- "Forgetting the role of God in governance was one of America's greatest mistakes."
- ―Commander Owen Curtis on separation of church and state
- "The wasteland's number one cause of unnatural death now is suicide... I want to get people off chems that the insert says will make you commit suicide and kill people! I want to blame the real culprit—suicide chems! Mass murder chems!"
- ―Commander Ethan Walters ranting against other people's chems
- "America? What's America?"
- ―Oregon homesteader asking a Son of Liberty about their ideals
- "Those crazies are holding our trade route north over the Columbia captive! I hope they get dislodged soon."
- ―A caravaner from the NCR about the Sons of Liberty
- "Blowhards, but they can hold their own."
- ―Shiv, leader of the Degenerates, on his neighbors.
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