For the faction as it appears in the canceled Fallout 3 project Van Buren, see Blackfoot (Van Buren).

 
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The Blackfoot were a tribe from Arizona. It was the first of the tribes that Caesar took control of and forged into his Legion.

Background

At some point in 2247, Mormon missionary Joshua Graham, as well as two Followers of the Apocalypse - Bill Calhoun and Edward Sallow, the young man later known as Caesar, ventured into the Grand Canyon. Edward had been sent there to learn the dialects of the canyon tribes, with Calhoun sent to assist, and the pair met with Joshua along the way. Upon reaching their goal, they climbed down into the canyon, meeting the Blackfoots. Graham was able to communicate with them, and the two groups at first had friendly relations. However, the tribe would grow hostile for an unknown reason, capturing the three and holding them for ransom. Joshua Graham would come to blame himself, believing that he must had mistranslating something to the Blackfoots, leading them to believe that the outsiders wouldn't be leaving.[1] At the time the tribe was at war with seven other tribes, a war they were inevitably going to lose. Unwilling to be destroyed along with them, and against the wishes of his companions, Caesar chose to use his knowledge to train the Blackfoot tribe in the art of warfare after witnessing their lack of knowledge first hand. He showed them how to clean and maintain guns, operate with small unit tactics, create their own explosives and to strike at their weakest enemies first; divide et impera - divide and conquer (Latin). He quickly impressed them enough to the point where he was made their leader.[2]

He soon introduced the concept of total war to the tribes around them - Caesar knew that though the tribes had always fought each other via occasional skirmishes, he considered them to only be "playing at war" having never seen warfare at its most destructive and barbaric. They defeated the weakest of their enemies first and enslaved many of the able-bodied survivors but Caesar had the rest, including women and children, killed and their remains piled high. When they confronted the next tribe, they brought an emissary back to view the carnage. The concept of total war was an entirely new, and terrifying, facet to his strategy that they had never confronted before and would form the core of the Legion's tactics and outlook.[2]

Joshua Graham decided to join Caesar as his right-hand man, now known as the Malpais Legate. While Calhoun was sent back to the Followers to inform them of what he was doing. Caesar formed his Legion out of the tribes that had either been conquered or had chosen to capitulate to avoid total destruction.[2] Caesar chose the concept of the Roman Empire to model the Legion after because of its parallels to what he considered the status-quo of the post-apocalyptic world. Ideologically, the Roman Empire was also appealing to him for its ability to assimilate those it conquered, the destruction of such "tribal" identities a key goal to the Legion's long-term strategy of unification. He intended to erase their individual identities and replace them all with a single, monolithic culture - the Legion - where individuals have no value outside of what they offer the greater whole; long term stability at all costs.[3]

If the Courier speaks with Canyon Runner, he mentions being a former member of the tribe, and that they were the first conquered by the Legion.[4]

Appearances

The Blackfoot are mentioned in Fallout: New Vegas and its add-on Honest Hearts.

References

  1. The Courier: "Was one of those men Caesar?"
    Joshua Graham: "No, not then. Back then he was just Edward. Smart man. Young, but we all were. We thought we could hike into the Grand Canyon and talk to Blackfoots. We did, and the Blackfoots were friendly enough at first, but eventually... I've thought back to that day so many times. I must have mistranslated. Something must have been mixed up, because the Blackfoots decided we weren't going to leave. The rest is history, assuming Edward hasn't changed it."
    (Joshua Graham's dialogue)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 The Courier: "What changed you from a Follower to dictator?"
    Caesar: "When I was 20, the Followers sent me East to Grand Canyon. It was my first expedition, just me and a physician named Calhoun. As an anthropologist and linguist, my assignment was to learn the dialects of the Grand Canyon tribes. What a fucking waste of time!
    The Courier:
    "Why would learning dialects be a waste of time?"
    Caesar:
    "If you think it's worthwhile to make smart people learn how to talk like backward savages, you're a Follower of the Apocalypse... or an idiot. Anyway, we met up with a Mormon missionary who already knew a bunch of dialects - Joshua Graham. He was supposed to teach me. But before that went too far, the Blackfoot tribe captured us, to hold us for ransom. They were a backward bunch. But the real problem was, they didn't know how to fight."
    The Courier:
    "What was wrong with the Blackfoot?"
    Caesar:
    "The Blackfoot were at war with seven other tribes, each just as pissant as they were. But outnumbered like that, they weren't going to last long. It's one thing to be taken hostage, another to be lashed to a sinking ship. So over Calhoun's objections, I decided to take certain steps."
    The Courier:
    "What steps did you take?"
    Caesar:
    "I taught them how to use the guns they already had - how to strip and clean them, how to breathe when pulling a trigger, how to reload ammunition. They looked at me like I was some kind of a sorcerer. So I taught them how to make explosives, and started drilling them on small unit tactics. If there's anything I learned as a Follower of the Apocalypse, it's that there's a lot of good information in old books."
    The Courier:
    "What happened after you trained the Blackfoot?"
    Caesar:
    "{LATIN} Divide et impera - divide and conquer. I led the Blackfoot against the Ridgers, their weakest enemy. When they refused to surrender, I ordered every man, woman, and child killed. When next we surrounded the Kaibabs and they likewise refused... I took one of their envoys to the Ridgers' village and showed him the corpse piles. This was new for the tribes, you see. They played at war, raiding each other, a little rape and pillage here, a little ransoming there. I showed them total warfare. Like I said, there's a lot you can learn from old books."
    The Courier:
    "What happened to the tribes?"
    Caesar:
    "The Kaibabs joined me, and the Fredonians after that - all the pissant tribes, with names that should be forgotten. I knew from the start I'd need to eradicate this plague of tribal identities, replacing them with a monolithic culture, a uniform identity. So that's what I did, once my confederation of tribes was large enough. I crowned myself Caesar and created a single Great Tribe - my Legion. I sent Calhoun, the Follower captured with me, back West with a message that I should not be interfered with. Joshua Graham, the Mormon interpreter, stayed with me and served as my first Legatus."
    (Caesar's dialogue)
  3. The Courier: "Why is Caesar's Legion so... strange?"
    Caesar: "I used imperial Rome as the model for my Legion precisely because it was so foreign, so alien. I'd seen what had become of the NCR's attempts to emulate the culture of Pre-War America - the in-fighting, the corruption. Rome was a highly militarized autocracy that effectively integrated the foreign cultures it conquered. It dedicated its citizens to something higher than themselves - to the idea of Rome itself. In Rome I found a template for a society equal to the challenges of the post-apocalyptic world - a society that could and would survive. A society that could prevent mankind from fracturing and destroying itself in this new world, by establishing a new Pax Romana.
    The Courier:
    "What does 'Pax Romana' mean?"
    Caesar:
    "It means a nationalist, imperialist, totalitarian, homogenous culture that obliterates the identity of every group it conquers. Long-term stability at all costs. The individual has no value beyond his utility to the state, whether as an instrument of war, or production."
    (Caesar's dialogue)
  4. Canyon Runner: "I have Blackfoot in me, the first tribe that Caesar ever led in battle - the tribe that formed the Legion."
    (Canyon Runner's dialogue)
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