The Cult of Mars is the pseudo-Roman neopagan state religion of Caesar's Legion. It centers around Caesar, who claims to be Mars' son. The cult emphasizes militarism and absolute obedience. It is one of the largest known religions founded after the Great War.
Background[edit | edit source]
The religion is based around the worship of Mars and Caesar as the "Son of Mars." The cult claims that Mars cleansed the Earth with fire to facilitate his son, Caesar's, conquest of the Earth. As such, Caesar is viewed as a divinely-ordained ruler with the right to demand servitude from anyone. Caesar, as the son of Mars, has his power often inflated and deified in the eyes of legionaries, who see Caesar as a supernatural entity who gives strength to those he favors.
Recently captured slaves are usually skeptical of that claim, but their children are taken by the Legion to be raised by priestesses to effectively indoctrinate them into the cult. Legionaries are the true believers and are completely adherent to the teachings of Mars, and often act disgusted at incompetence and weakness in their enemies.
Some of the core tenets taught in the Cult of Mars can be inferred from the destruction story. "The weak and wicked are brought low," and "deliver from chaos and barbarism." The core tenets of the cult, besides the complete worship of Caesar, are strength and loyalty, as well as the belief in justice as a driving force. Many of the Legion will espouse these beliefs while in conversation, but not all live up to that standard. Ritual sacrifice is also a staple of the religion, being practiced by Legate Lanius, who sacrifices captured NCR troopers and slaves in the hopes of appeasing Mars to grant him victory in battle.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
The Cult of Mars appears only in Fallout: New Vegas.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
The Cult of Mars is based on the real world Imperial cult of ancient Rome.
References[edit | edit source]
- The Courier: "Time to go pay General Oliver a visit."
Lanius: "Mars's eyes are upon you. Do not fail him - or us."
- Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p.41: "Caesar's Legion
This horde of cruel, yet highly disciplined slavers has spread across the southwest like an all-consuming flame. Founded by a fallen member of the Followers of the Apocalypse, Caesar's Legion is effectively an enormous, conscripted slave army. As Caesar conquers the peoples of the wasteland, he strips them of their tribal identities and turns their young men into ruthless legionaries and women into breeding stock. Unlike the rag-tag Raiders back east, Caesar's "Legionaries" neither look nor act like haphazard, irregular troops. They are well organized, moving and attacking in large packs, and deliberately commit atrocities to terrorize those who might dare oppose them.
True, Caesar is the perfect man. But he is not just a man: he is the Son of Mars, ordained by the god of war to conquer all Earth. To prepare the way, Mars razed the Earth, cleansed it with fire, and brought the weak and the wicked low; and now his son has come to deliver the wasteland from chaos and barbarism. To follow Caesar is to obey the will of Mars; to disobey is to condemn oneself to death. As the Son of Mars, Caesar has the divine right to demand servitude from all he encounters. Not everyone believes that Caesar is the product of a god's loins, of course. The most recently captured slaves tend to be pretty skeptical. But they aren't very vocal in their criticisms, and their children are raised not by skeptical parents but by priestesses appointed to that task by virtue of their knowledge of an adherence to the state religion.
Nearly all physically capable, compliant males are compelled to serve in its armed forces. The primary value of pre-menopausal females is to serve as breeding stock (with Caesar or a legate governing how they are assigned to males), though they, like older females and less physically-capable men, are also used to perform a variety of other tasks. The largest unit of organization in Caesar's Legion is the Cohort, numbering about 480 infantrymen. Cohorts are further divided into Centuriae, which contrary to their name numbers about 80 men, and each Centuriae is divided into ten "tent groups" (Contubernia), making this the squad level of organization. Raiding parties are of this size (about eight men) and will be led by a decanus (a squad leader, basically).
Caesar desires two things: a Carthage, and a Rome. In the NCR he has at last found a grand adversary, against which he can wage a military campaign worthy of history books. And in Vegas, powered and watered by its great dam, he has found a capital worthy of, well, a Caesar. Contrary to the old saw, Rome will be built in a day. All it takes is plentiful slave labor, and Caesar has that in spades."
(Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide faction profiles)
- The Courier: "The power plant is what really matters. Have all of your men attack there. I'll finish things here."
Intake tower centurion "[SUCCEEDED] Agreed. If we take the power plant, this battle is over. I'll have my men focus their efforts there. May the Son of Mars go with you."
(Intake tower centurion's dialogue)
- The Courier: "Just make sure your men don't get in my way."
Veteran decanus (Hoover Dam): "Ha ha, Mars favors the bold, does he not?"
- Legionary at the Hoover Dam: "By Mars these weaklings die easily."
(Hoover Dam legionary's dialogue)
- The Courier: "Who, Caesar?"
Arcade Gannon: "Of course, Caesar! You can hardly even hold his men responsible, given how they're practically raised to worship him as a living deity."
(Arcade Gannon's dialogue)
- The Courier: "Tell me about Caesar's Legion."
Vulpes Inculta: "The Legion is civilization reborn. Our culture is based on virtues such as martial excellence, loyalty, and justice. But you'll learn all there is to know in due time. , Monster of the East, will soon arrive to command 's troops in battle. The Dam will fall, and the rest of the Profligate west will soon follow."
(Vulpes Inculta's dialogue)
- The Courier: "And if you can't go through with it, you look even weaker."
Silus: "You think I'm going to slit my throat for some megalomaniacal self-appointed dictator? I didn't work my way up to have it all be taken from me out of some irrational paranoia. Caesar's losing it. I believe that. He's been shutting himself in his tent. Privately, he complains of headaches. Whatever it is, it's affecting his ability to lead."
- Legate Lanius: "Finally, Mars has accepted my sacrifices and unleashes me."
(Lanius' dialogue) Note: This line of dialogue is said upon first meeting Lanius in his tent while he is over the corpses of recently killed slaves and NCR troopers.