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The Raiders only accept the meanest and toughest SOBs around. You have to be bloodthirsty, violent, extreme.Garl Death-Hand

The Khans are a raider tribe descended from dwellers of Vault 15,[Non-game 1] found in the wasteland in 2161. They camp to the southeast of Shady Sands in New California. After the original Khans faced near-extinction following the Vault Dweller's actions,[1] they were succeeded by the New Khans and then the Great Khans.


A raiding, roving group, their main target was the community of Shady Sands, with whom they once shared a Vault. The Khans believe that their raids on Shady Sands are justified, as they hail from the same Vault.[2] They also believe that they make the lives of the farmers more interesting.[3] Many people of the wasteland believe that the Khans are more dangerous than their counterparts, the Vipers.[4] They usually travel in small scouting bands, but sometimes roam the wastes in full war parties.

Above all else, the Khans respect strength. While descended from Vault dwellers, the Khans will accept recruits from the wasteland, but only if they prove themselves to be tough, bloodthirsty, and extreme.[5] Garl demands that new recruits prove themselves by demonstrating these qualities, for example, by killing two enslaved women.[6] Their respect for strength goes so far that their leader will relinquish valuable items if bested in hand-to-hand combat.[7]

The Khans are superstitious people, believing in ghosts[8] but they do not believe in an afterlife.[9] The Khans will attempt to speak to and reason with those that they believe are ghosts.[10]


The Khans are one of three raider tribes to emerge from Vault 15 in the spring of 2141, banding together into raider tribes as the winter came.[Non-game 2][Non-game 3] The Khans adopted the lifestyle of warriors, raiding towns for loot and capturing survivors as slaves. Strength became a key virtue, with worth proven in hand-to-hand combat. The strong rule, the weak perish. For this reason, the Khans would also fight with other raider tribes, their warbands, and larger war parties clashing in deadly combat. One such clash was with the Jackals just four years after their emergence from the Vault. The Khans brutalized the enemy raider clan, forcing them to flee New California northeast in 2155.[Non-game 1]

At some point before 2161, their founder The Death-Hand was murdered and usurped by his son Garl Death-Hand.[11] Garl scrubbed all images of his father from the wasteland[12] and ruled the Khans with an iron fist. His war band became a more or less permanent element of the wasteland. Garl believes that the raiders are the only people strong enough to survive in a dying land.[9] As such, his delusions of grandeur led him to believe that he can take over the world, earning him the mockery of the more law-abiding inhabitants of the wasteland.[13][14][15]

The Khans of New California lasted only 20 years before Garl's dreams of domination were cut short in 2161 when the Khans made a grave error: they kidnapped Tandi, daughter of Shady Sands' leader Aradesh. This attracted the attention of the Vault Dweller, who came into the settlement and slaughtered the raiders. With the largest of the raider bands gone, the stability that followed allowed the New California Republic to emerge.[16] However, the extermination was not complete. Darion, son of Garl Death-Hand, escaped the Vault Dweller's wrath. The lone survivor would go on to slowly reform the Khans, suffering from survivor's guilt and planning his revenge against Tandi. These New Khans would eventually pose a challenge to Tandi as president.[Non-game 4]


The Khans are ruled by one central leader guided by advisors. In 2161, Garl Death-Hand rules with Gwen as his second-in-command and advisor,[17] along with another advisor Alya who plans the raids.[18] Each of the Khans have individual skills that make them valuable to the gang, such as Diana who is the armorer and Petrox who is a lead raider and trades for supplies.

Their leadership system was also somewhat monarchical, with Garl killing his father to usurp the throne faster than waiting for him to die naturally. Garl's son, Darion, formed the New Khans after the death of his father, adding further evidence to this. The Khans did not shy away from any crime, including kidnapping for ransom, but this lack of restraint was what eventually led to their downfall in 2161 by the Vault Dweller. They are eager in combat to prove their worthiness to the clan by engaging in hand-to-hand combat.

Garl Death-Hand's power over the Khans is absolute, as he is the one who decides right from wrong.[19] He is known for killing those who disobey him, including other Khans,[20] leading many of them to be frightened of his wrath.[21][22] Khans will also ask the ghost of The Death-Hand if he has returned to kill his son,[8] suggesting differing opinions on Garl's usurpation.

Outside relations[]

Before forming into the Khans, they were a part of Vault 15, along with the residents who would eventually form Shady Sands, the Jackals, and the Vipers.[Non-game 1] However, those "friendly" ties have been cut due to differing ideals and competition. The Khans pray on Shady Sands to sustain themselves, with many residents of Shady Sands very fearful of them.[4] Curiously, some of the farmers know that the Khans are imitating historical groups of the past,[23] though it is not clear where they got this information. Despite their hostility towards Shady Sands, Garl does not wish for the town to be destroyed.[24]

Despite their tendency towards raiding, the Khans are said to visit Junktown to relax,[25][26] however, Killian Darkwater claims that they have been attempting to take over the town for many years without success.[27] The Khans also trade with the Hub for water and ammunition.[28]


The Khans use spears when attacking Shady Sands,[29] and appear to prefer melee weapons to firearms. Some will carry Desert Eagles and other varieties of small arms. Some of them are said to have worn tire armor. Most Khans use leather armor, with their leader wearing metal armor.



  • The Khans are the only one of the three raider groups planned for Fallout (the Vipers and Jackals being the others) to appear in the game as a faction.


The Khans appear in Fallout, and are mentioned in Fallout 2 and Fallout: New Vegas. Their successors feature in Fallout 2 as the New Khans and in Fallout: New Vegas as the Great Khans.

Behind the scenes[]

The Khans (the one tribe that did make it into the game), had its inception from a real-life biker gang, the Mongols. I was imagining the kind of tough, lawless, SOBs that could survive in the desolation of the wasteland; raiding and killing for their spoils. I could see these guys surviving. So, after a few generations, they became similar to the barbaric marauders they emulated.No Mutants Allowed, Origins of Fallout, R. Scott Campbell.
  • Their name is a reference to Mongol rulers known as Khans, mainly Genghis Khan, an infamous Mongolian warlord.




  1. The Chosen One: "{241}{}{I'd like to hear your story.}"
    Tandi: "{242}{tand29}{Figures. (sigh) Well, I was pretty young when we met. There was a gang of raiders - The Khans - Who'd gotten hold of me. Things were looking pretty bad when, all of a sudden, this stranger shows up and rescues me. Your VaultdwellerIn-game spelling, punctuation and/or grammar.}"
    (Tandi's dialogue)
  2. The Vault Dweller: "{104}{}{Why has your band of Raiders attacked Shady Sands?}"
    Alya: "{109}{}{We do not attack those of Shady Sands. We are from the same place they are. It is only right that they share with us!}"
    The Vault Dweller: "{110}{}{But you are hurting their livestock and terrifying them.}"
    Alya: "{113}{}{You sound just as wimpy as they are. Look, if they were in any trouble of starvation, then it is their own fault for not planning ahead. Consider what we do a trade in talents.}"
    The Vault Dweller: "{114}{}{A trade in talents?!? How can this be a trade in talents? You don't give them anything.}"
    Alya: "{118}{}{We give them the most important thing possible. We give their dreary lives excitement.}"
    (Alya's dialogue)
  3. Tolya: "{101}{}{Hello, I am Tolya. Looks like you just wandered in from the desert. Who are you?}"
    The Vault Dweller: "{102}{}{I'm } {103}{}{. What do you do?}"
    Tolya: "{106}{}{As a raider, I explore the lands in search of new supplies. There have been some towns which have been graced by our presence.}"
    The Vault Dweller: "{109}{}{What places have you been to?}"
    Tolya: "{118}{}{I've been to many places in the wastelands. The closest places that I've been to are Shady Sands and Junktown. They are very grateful for the trips we make to them.}"
    The Vault Dweller: "{119}{}{You visit Shady Sands?}"
    Tolya: "{123}{}{Yes, we go to Shady Sands from time to time. It adds a little excitement to the lives of everyone concerned.}"
    (Tolya's dialogue)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Aradesh: "{258}{Ara_56}{Umm, yes, yes. The Khans are nastier then the Vipers, let me tell you. These barbarians attack from the southeast.}"
    (Aradesh's dialogue)
  5. Garl Death-Hand: "{181}{}{The Raiders only accept the meanest and toughest SOBs around. You have to be bloodthirsty, violent, extreme. I don't think you can handle that. Can you?}"
    (Garl Death-Hand's dialogue)
  6. Join the Khans
  7. Garl Death-Hand: "{168}{}{Fine. We shall settle this with no weapons. Knock me out, and I'll let you take the woman and leave. I knock you out, you leave without her.}"
    (Garl Death-Hand's dialogue)
  8. 8.0 8.1 Khan raider: "{102}{}{It's the Death-Hand. He's returned!}"
    Khan raider: "{103}{}{Excuse me, Death-Hand. I'm sorry to disturb you.}"
    Khan raider: "{104}{}{Have you come back to kill your son?}"
    Khan raider: "{105}{}{Aiyeee! A ghost!}"
    Khan raider: "{106}{}{The dead walk again! The Death-Hand has returned!}"
    (Khan raider dialogue)
  9. 9.0 9.1 Garl Death-Hand: "{150}{}{You think a man such as I believes in the afterlife? This world is dying, and I shall take what I want! You will never realize the strength required to make such a decision!}"
    (Garl Death-Hand's dialogue)
  10. Garl Death-Hand: "{113}{}{Don't tell me what I should have done, father. I rule the Khans now, and you are but worm meat.}"
    The Vault Dweller: "{114}{}{I still live.}"
    Garl Death-Hand: "{120}{}{I can see you standing before me, but I don't believe it. What do you want?}"
    (Garl Death-Hand's dialogue)
  11. The Vault Dweller: "{118}{}{I should have killed you when you were a child.}"
    Garl Death-Hand: "{119}{}{You should have. Now it's too late. I am Garl Death-Hand. I rule the Khans. You should be dead in your grave, and you will be again!}"
    (Garl Death-Hand's dialogue)
  12. Garl Death-Hand: "{110}{}{You would if you were my father, but you are not. You look like he did, but act different. No image of him remains to this day. You will just have to be removed.}"
    (Garl Death-Hand's dialogue)
  13. The Vault Dweller: "{116}{}{Can you tell me about the bandits?}"
    Ian: "{120}{}{There are several. They come from various groups. They steal our food and occasionally shoot a few people. Seth organized the guards to help fight them off.}"
    The Vault Dweller: "{122}{}{There are different groups? Who are they all?}"
    Ian: "{128}{}{There are three groups: the Khans, the Vipers, and the Jackals. They pretty much hate each other, but they all raid Shady Sands.}"
    (Ian's dialogue)
  14. The Vault Dweller: "{133}{}{Tell me about the raiders.}"
    Ian: "{128}{}{There are three groups: the Khans, the Vipers, and the Jackals. They pretty much hate each other, but they all raid Shady Sands.}"
    (Ian's dialogue)
  15. The Vault Dweller: "{1044}{}{Khans}"
    Ian: "{1144}{}{They're a sorry group of raiders who attack Shady Sands and think that they're gonna take over the world or some such crap.}"
    (Ian's dialogue)
  16. Fallout ending: "In Shady Sands, Tandi helps her father Aradesh bring a new community and new life out of the broken remains of the world. They are responsible for the New California Republic, whose ideals spread across the land."
  17. Gwen: "{101}{}{I am Gwen. I'm one of Garl's advisors. Who are you?}"
    (Gwen's dialogue)
  18. Vault Dweller: "{15407}{}{Alya}"
    Raiders: "{15507}{}{She is an advisor. She plans the raids.}"
    (Raiders Tell-Me-Abouts)
  19. Garl Death-Hand: "{160}{}{Right?! I determine what is right around here. You are treading on dangerous ground.}"
    (Garl Death-Hand's dialogue)
  20. The Vault Dweller: "{137}{}{One of your followers told me.}"
    Garl Death-Hand: "{139}{}{I hate it when they do that. I will have to make that loudmouth pay for his crimes. After I finish up with you.}"
    (Garl Death-Hand's dialogue)
  21. Khan raider: "{100}{}{The Raider is too frightened of Garl to speak to you anymore.}"
    (Khan raider dialogue)
  22. Petrox: "{128}{}{I have told you all that I am permitted. Please go.}"
    (Petrox's dialogue)
  23. The Vault Dweller: "{16000}{}{Khans}"
    Shady Sands East Tell-Me-Abouts: "{16100}{}{They are a lawless group who pretend to be some people from the far past.}"
    (Shady Sands East Tell-Me-Abouts)
  24. Garl Death-Hand: "{129}{}{That's what I like. Initiative. But you should not have killed them without my orders. I don't like too much initiative.}"
    (Garl Death-Hand's dialogue)
  25. The Vault Dweller: "{15402}{}{Junktown}"
    Raiders: "{15502}{}{They are to the southwest. We sometimes go there to relax after a hard day pillaging.}"
    (Raiders Tell-Me-Abouts)
  26. Petrox: "{123}{}{Junktown is a little bit south of here. They have many good women.}"
    (Petrox's dialogue)
  27. Killian Darkwater: "{249}{Kill71}{Well, the Khans are a bunch of bullies who live outside to the east. They've been trying to take over Junktown for as long as I can remember, but they never make it past the gates.}"
    (Killian Darkwater's dialogue)
  28. The Vault Dweller: "{15404}{}{The Hub}"
    Raiders: "{15504}{}{They are to the south. We will trade with them. Mostly for water and ammo, but sometimes they get better weapons, too.}"
    (Raiders Tell-Me-Abouts)
  29. Aradesh: "{1110}{Ara_61}{The Vipers and Khans both use spears. We know this from their attacks.}"
    (Aradesh's dialogue)


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Fallout Bible 6: "In some ancient design documentation that I think was written by Scott Campbell, one of the original designers (I'm still checking if it was him, so I may need to print a retraction on the credits), there was actually supposed to be three groups of raiders: The Jackals, the Khans, and the Vipers. Not only did they raid local towns and caravans, but they also preyed on each other - as you'll see from the descriptions below, their behavior and habits in F1 dictated (or were dictated by) their name choice.
    The Khans: The last group, the Khans, is probably the most dangerous. They live the lifestyles of Mongol warriors, raiding towns, burning what they cannot take and capturing the survivors for use as slaves. They usually travel in small scouting bands, but sometimes they roam as full war parties. The Khans above all else respect strength. They are eager in combat to prove their worthiness to the clan by engaging in hand to hand combat with fists or clubs. The Khans carry very few firearms (since they are for cowards). Anyone showing superior strength is worthy of their respect. The leader of the Khans is so because no one has beaten him in combat.
    One interesting thing listed in the original documentation is that all raider bands were supposedly all from Vault 15 after it opened, but they all splintered off into different groups from the overpopulated Vault.
    All of these raider groups officially exist in the Fallout universe, though only the Khans are in southern California at the start of Fallout 1. The handful of Vipers that survived Rhombus' campaign of extermination in 2155 fled North and East, following the same path the Jackals took after they had their asses handed to them by the Khans thirty years before."
  2. Fallout Bible 0: "2141 Spring Vault 15 opened."
  3. Fallout Bible 0: "2141 Winter Raiders begin to form in the region as food supplies run low. The Khans and the Vipers begin terrorizing local settlements."
  4. Fallout 2 Official Strategies & Secrets p.201-202: "10. Doc Jones. The good doctor here in the medical bay (see Figure 10.9) is a prisoner of the gang. From him, you can find out that this gang of Raiders is none other than the descendants of the Khans, the Raiders who kidnapped Tandi in Fallout 1. Darion, the leader of the reborn Khans, is the son of Garl and would like to destroy Tandi for the havoc she, and your ancestor the Vault Dweller, visited upon his father's band of Raiders. After you learn of that from the doc, he'll heal you if you need it, as long as you haven't hurt any of the squatters (#1)."
The Khans