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Arroyo is a settlement founded in 2162 by the Vault Dweller following their exile from Vault 13 by the overseer. Originally a tribal village, it would eventually rise in power after the Chosen One completed their quest and used the G.E.C.K. in 2242.
In May 2162, the Vault Dweller returned to Vault 13 after defeating the Master and his army, only to be exiled for fear of encouraging others to follow their example and leave the Vault. They wandered the desert but never moved far from the mountains that shielded the Vault from the rest of the world. Upon hearing of what happened to them, a few other residents of the Vault decided to leave and join, following soon afterward. The Vault Dweller eventually came into contact with the small group of dwellers. They knew little of the outside world and would have likely died if it were not for their knowledge and experience. The combined group founded the town, with its construction completed on August 18, 2167.
Initially, they sent scouts back toward the Vault, but that slowly came to an end. The Vault Dweller and their spouse initially led the village, teaching the others the skills they would need to survive and grow strong, such as hunting, farming, engineering, and warfare. In 2188, their daughter, who later became the Arroyo elder, was born. The tribe grew strong over the years under the Vault Dweller's leadership.
On January 16, 2208, the Vault Dweller left Arroyo. Their spouse had passed away years earlier, and they left their memoirs and jumpsuit behind.[Non-canon 1][Non-canon 2] Some say they were taken by the sky spirits, others say that the Vault Dweller felt it was time to move on and leave the elders to guide Arroyo.[Non-canon 3] After the one-moon (month) cycle of mourning for the Vault Dweller ended, activity in Arroyo began to return to normal.
The Vault Dweller's daughter subsequently trained for the role of village elder, beginning on February 2. She underwent a great deal of physical training and tutoring in various sciences, mathematics, and weapon skills. Two years later, she took her mystic test, a key ingredient of which is several pots worth of hallucinogenic plants from Hakunin's garden. She ran the gauntlet in the Temple of Trials, using her charm to pass most of the tests after her handgun jammed and was ruined on the first level. She offered numerous criticisms of the test, resulting in many revisions. Two days later, she ascended to the role of village elder. She ruled with a steady hand, and her wisdom was greatly respected.
The elder's child, later called the "Chosen One", was born on March 23, 2221. Their father was not recorded in the tribal records. In 2241, the worst dry season in many years caused a drought in the Northern California area, hurting crops and brahmin in Arroyo. The elder, having read a G.E.C.K. advertisement in her father's old holodisks, decided that her child must be sent to find it, as it was the village's only hope. On July 25, the Chosen One began their mystic test, descending into the Temple of Trials, just like their mother had many years before. Two days later, they left their home village to find the ancient device.
While the Chosen One was on their quest, on July 20, 2242, Arroyo was attacked by Enclave soldiers in Vertibirds, wearing power armor and armed with energy weapons, and the villagers were captured and brought to the oil rig. Some of them tried to resist the attackers and were killed, and Hakunin was seriously wounded. When the Chosen One returned to the village, they found it almost completely destroyed and found a dying Hakunin. Now, the Chosen One had a new quest - to save their people from the hands of the Enclave.
The Enclave needed the tribals for their FEV experiments. They needed two test groups: one of clean, pure humans; and another composed of the "mutants" that lived all over the mainland, suffering radiation and FEV exposure for decades that, to the Enclave, made them unclean. The unclean sample was easily obtained by kidnapping the entire population of Arroyo. The clean group were the dwellers of Vault 13, who were reunited with their long lost Arroyo brethren in Enclave prison cells.
In Fall 2242, the Chosen One managed to enter the Enclave using a damaged tanker and destroyed the Poseidon Energy platform, killing the President of the Enclave and severely setting back the Enclave's plans for world domination. The surviving people of Arroyo and Vault 13 were free. After the Enclave oil rig's fragmentation, the refugees of Arroyo and Vault 13 resettled, building a new community with the aid of the 'holy' Garden of Eden Creation Kit. Finding themselves hundreds of miles from their Vault, the members of Vault 13 chose to join the villagers in establishing a new community, and their technical expertise, combined with the villagers' survival skills, allowed the new settlement to grow and prosper. The two branches of the same bloodline were re-united, and their savior, the Chosen One, became Elder, presiding over the village for many years to come.
The village of Arroyo is divided into four areas.
|Temple of Trials|
Temple of Trials
This is the beginning area of the game. There is a clear path that leads into the Temple of Trials, but also a path leading back to the main village.
It is possible to talk the way through Cameron with high enough Speech and Charisma, as he is determined to make sure the entrant endures the trials of the elders. The only way to get past Cameron is to defeat him in hand-to-hand combat. You can also steal the Temple key from him and exit without having to fight.
|Loot in Temple of Trials|
The central village portion of Arroyo serves as home to most of the tribe. Hakunin's tent and garden - which has been infested with man-eating plants - inhabit the northwestern corner of the map, while the Village Elder's tent lies just south and west. And shortly south of it lies the town well, broken and dormant with the Chosen One's whiny nephew Feargus pouting about it a few feet away.
The south-most tent belongs to none other than your old, cranky aunt Morlis, who is in possession of a piece of a rather scarce flint. The large stone monument sits peaceful and quiescent immediately northeast of her tent. The wigwam residing on the east-most bounds of the map is home to Jordan, a skilled and seasoned hunter for the tribe. The rest of the homes belong to generic tribesmen and women.
|Loot in Village|
The hunting grounds northwest to the village foster a steady pack of small geckos that serve as a source of food for the tribe. Just as well, there are a few cuttings of xander roots and broc flowers growing in the alcoves formed by the abundant foliage. These can be brought to Hakunin to be synthesized into healing powder.
In the northwest corner of the map, in the secluded flat where spots of radioactive waste can be found, Nagor's dog Smoke is trapped by a few hostile geckos lurking near the only path back to the village.
Note that the geckos are not hostile, with one exception. If this gecko attacks you and any other geckos see that, the other ones will join in as well.
|Loot in Hunting Grounds|
This section of Arroyo is not so densely populated, as only a few vigilant tribe members keep watch over the sole passageway into the village. Mynoc, the young warrior standing immediately next to the bridge, will offer to sharpen the Chosen One's spear before their departure, requiring a piece of flint for the job.
The bridge connecting Arroyo to the wasteland serves as a metaphorical gateway for the Chosen One. It is here that the player leaves their tribe bearing the quest to find the G.E.C.K., and prove to be their salvation. The canyon which the rope bridge extends across bears ancestral drawings likely created by past - possibly present - tribe members upon the establishment of the village.
The Chosen One gets here with a G.E.C.K. in hand. Enclave troopers have destroyed the village and took the rest of the tribals to Enclave Oil Rig. Hakunin is still alive to tell the Chosen One what to do now.
|Finish Temple of Trials||Fix the well for Feargus||Find Vic the Trader|
|Destroy the Evil Plants||Obtain flint to have Mynoc sharpen your spear||Rescue Nagor's dog, Smoke, from the wilds|
|Retrieve the GECK for Arroyo|
Turning the village hostile and leaving the village ends the game prematurely.
Behind the scenes
- The name Arroyo comes from Spanish. An arroyo means "brook", also called a wash or draw, is usually a dry creek bed or gulch that temporarily fills with water after a heavy rain, or seasonally.
- The tribal nature and the customs of Arroyo are inspired by the 1949 novel Earth Abides by George R. Stewart, where the main character survives a world ending apocalypse and ends up rebuilding a community. The later generations of the community hold everything from the old world in superstitious reverence.[Non-canon 4]
- The Courier: "How long have you been with the Followers?"
Emily Ortal: "About five years now. I have family back in Arroyo, but this is where all of the good work is being done, so to speak. NCR taxes and inflation have been hard for a lot of people to deal with, and most of the money is going to the war effort. There's not much funding for medical research with OSI or any other group - not unless it has a military application, anyway."
(Emily Ortal's dialogue)