Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A-Z Fallout lore

V is for the Vault Dweller

The Vault Dweller, or the Stranger, is a semi-legendary figure, featured in tales from the time of the foundation of the New California Republic. In general, a vault dweller is an inhabitant of one of the large fallout shelters constructed before the War by Vault-Tec Industries, called Vaults. When a story makes mention of the Vault Dweller, it refers specifically to the enigmatic wanderer who traveled the Californian wasteland almost a century ago, claiming to have come from Vault 13. Many heroic deeds (and also some less savory ones) have been attributed to the Vault Dweller, though it’s almost certain much of it is of later fabrication or at least widely exaggerated. Famously the Vault Dweller is said to have defeated the Master, the leader of a united Super Mutant army, and saved the settlement of Shady Sands from brutal raider attacks. Inhabitants of New Arroyo, a town far to the north, claim that later in his life the Vault Dweller, with some like-minded souls, settled the small tribal village that lay at its foundation. Here also is kept the manuscript known as the Vault Dweller’s memoirs, supposedly written by the man himself shortly before his death. Of great interest to those who study the wasteland’s history and legends, as well as scavengers looking for the places from these tales, the document is however very rarely shown to outsiders. After the Vault Dweller’s journeys, scavengers started looking for Vault 13, and for many years such expeditions were even sponsored by President Tandi, though in the end none of them ever managed to find its location. Eventually most have come to view Vault 13 as just another place of legend from the old world, like the Big Empty or the Sierra Madre. Those who believe the Vault Dweller never actually came from Vault 13 often call him the Stranger instead. Be it as it may, to this day the Vault Dweller is still revered or remembered by many wastelanders, and his legacy lives on in a multitude of stories. A statue in his honor was erected in front of the Hall of Congress in NCR Capital. The dedication reads:

“To the Stranger and Vault 13: What doesn't exist, we must sometimes dream and let our dreams inspire us to greater heights. So it was with the Stranger and his belief in the legend of Vault 13.”

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