Slavery is a lucrative business in the post-War world. Although many of the larger pockets of civilization have outlawed slavery, the practice yet persists throughout the wasteland.
Slavery is a controlled business in the post-nuclear world. Nearly all the slave trade in the New California Republic is done under the auspices of the Slaver's Guild, a group of older slavers who decide prices and organize capture hunts in the wastelands. Anyone caught capturing or selling slaves in New California without their blessing may be forced to undergo a series of trials until either deemed worthy to join the Guild or be killed. The Guild often controls smaller towns in which it operates, although quietly—preferring to remain behind the scenes. Guild members wear a distinctive tattoo covering most of their face, making them readily identifiable and allowing the Guild to make fast judgments when someone without "the tat" has a tribal up on the auction block.
Slavers in the Fallout games do not discriminate between people based upon their race, species, or ideology; anyone who can be easily cowed into submission, captured, and fitted with a slave collar is perfectly acceptable "meat" for them to use. Similarly, slavers themselves may be of any ethnic background.
Fallout 2 is peppered with slavers, most notably in the Den. The Chosen One is able to join the slavers for extra cash, but their Karma will take a beating, and they will be branded permanently as a member of the Slaver's Guild, which may negatively impact the reactions of certain NPCs.
There is also a large slave-holding pen on the NCR/Northern California border run by a slaver named Vortis. Although there is frequent conflict between the slavers and the NCR Rangers, Vortis probably profits off of all the caravans who are known to purchase slaves as porters and sell them off at the end of their journeys. Some random encounters feature slavers as well as slaves, often together. If the player is a member of the NCR Rangers or killed Metzger, slavers will act more aggressively towards the Chosen One.
The slavers of the Capital Wasteland are headquartered at the compound of Paradise Falls and led by the charismatic and ruthless Eulogy Jones. Slavery has nothing to do with race, and everything to do with the subjugation of the weak for profit. The slavers have a pretty limited clientele, and sell mostly to their return customers, the raiders. Other customers are residents of the wasteland, including Allistair Tenpenny.[Non-game 1]
Several quests feature slavery as either major or minor elements, most notably Head of State and its association to slavery and Abraham Lincoln's role as the 'Great Emancipator.' Additionally, the Lone Wanderer can capture people to sell them to slavers. The Lone Wanderer can even buy a slave, Clover, who will then serve the player as a bodyguard. The player does not have the option of activating or removing Clover's explosive collar. The number of slaves present compared to the number of slavers is remarkably low, showing that the slaves are being shipped off somewhere. It is revealed by Wernher that many of these slaves are shipped off to work at the Pitt, a brutal and heavily irradiated town located in the ruins of the pre-War city of Pittsburgh, run by the slaving Pitt raiders.
In the Capital Wasteland, Hannibal Hamlin, an ex-slave, leads a group known as the Abolitionists. Residing in the Temple of the Union, they aim to abolish slavery everywhere, though they are having trouble making a dent in the business of Paradise Falls.
In the Mojave Wasteland, Caesar's Legion is considered synonymous with slavery, as its economic and military force is based on enslaving tribal and select settled populations. The latter are known as legionaries, and forced to fight for Caesar until they die, the former are used to support Caesar's campaign of conquest: Providing food, labor, and medical care. Slaves have no rights in the Legion: They can be freely exploited, broken, and abused with no repercussions to their owners. Any slave who disobeys - including resisting sexual abuse - is severely punished, up to and including crucifixion or damnation to death in the arena where they fight challengers to the death.
Although the Legion's principal source of slaves are tribes, it does purchase captives from third parties, through Officiorum ab Famulatus. Prospective sellers need not physically deliver their victims, merely abetting a capture is enough to be considered a sale. This was the case when Jeannie May Crawford of Novac sold Craig Boone's wife, Carla, along with their unborn baby to the Legion.
Although nowhere near as severe as the Legion, New California Republic engages in behavior that can be characterized as slavery. In order to maintain land routes between the Republic's heartland and New Vegas, the Republic instituted a work-release program ran out of the NCR Correctional Facility. Intended to reform the prisoners through hard labor, their sentences would be reduced in return for restoring old railways for use by the Republic's trains. Without any additional compensation, it is a classic form of penal labor. Indiscriminate shipping of prisoners ranging from petty thieves to terrorists, combined with siphoning prison guards to maintain the occupation of the Mojave, eventually culminated in the NCRCF prison break and the formation of the Powder Gangers.
Beyond the two powers, slavery continues to exist in various forms in the Mojave. At the Free Economic Zone of New Vegas, Robert House turns a blind eye to the practices of the Omertas. The mob-like Strip family routinely uses free drugs to force sex workers into debt, which they can only pay back by working for the Omertas.[Non-game 2] The Omertas also keep supplying the drugs at premium rates, resulting in a debt spiral or "slavery through a needle." Even more despicable are Dermot and Saint James, who routinely abduct NCR refugees - women and children - from Aerotech Office Park to sell them to the fiends, to be abused and killed.
Slavery is a rare sight in the Commonwealth, though it is still practiced by some individuals and groups. The Gunners possibly delve into the business, as the Gunner Bullet expresses an interest in purchasing the ghoul child Billy Peabody. A potential companion, Cait, mentions being sold into slavery by her parents. The Railroad considers the Institute's use of synths as slavery. The Railroad tries to assist synths, and occasionally humans, whom they consider to be enslaved by others.
Slavery is commonly practiced by the Nuka-World raiders in Nuka-World. Most of the slaves are former traders who inhabited Nuka-Town USA before its conquest by the gangs. Some were also settlers kidnapped from minor local settlements, while others are unfortunate wasteland travelers lured to Nuka-Town. Most of the slaves are used as laborers and merchants by their overlords, working in and around the Nuka-Town market. Some are kept in cages and forced to fight animals by the Pack for amusement, while others are tortured and mutilated by the Disciples as a part of their twisted habits. All the slaves are kept in check using shock collars, making them easily identifiable.
While not as common as many parts of post-apocalyptic America, Appalachia has slavers and slaves in the region, with the Watoga Civic Center being a notable hub. There, Sargento's gang holds arena-style matches for slaves to fight against creatures and each other. Prior to 2102, raiders inhabited the Tygart water treatment and kept slaves in its vats.[Non-game 3]
- In Fallout, the only direct mention of slavery is by the Khans' hostages.
- Slavery appears in Fallout 2, Fallout 3 and its add-on The Pitt, Fallout: New Vegas and Fallout 4 and its add-on Nuka-World.
- Caesar's Legion is the major slaver faction in the Mojave Wasteland. They were to have a major role in the canceled Van Buren.
- Slavery appears in Fallout 76 as of the Wastelanders update.
- Bill of sale
- Events of One for My Baby.
- Dawes: "This? This is - or was - the big house. The New California Republic Correctional Facility. Not much "correcting" went on here, just slave labor. One day, us prisoners decided to liberate ourselves. Killed the warden, killed the guards, took over the whole damn territory."
- See NCRCF prison break for references.
- The Courier: "Wouldn't you make more money working on the Strip?"
Sweetie: "I got my start at the Gomorrah, good money, but I saw how those Omertas hook girls on free Jet or Med-X - then start charging. Slavery through a needle is what that is. I earn less out here, but I keep more."
- Events of The Coyotes.
- Events of The Ol' Weston Shuffle.
- Tygart water treatment terminal entries; Tygart water treatment control terminal, Please Read!
- Non-game sources
- Fallout 3 Official Game Guide[clarification needed]
- The prostitutes controlled by the Omertas are slaves, right?
Joshua Sawyer: It is unlikely that the powers of the Strip would recognize them as actual property. However, many of them are slaves in the socioeconomic sense (like many prostitutes, unfortunately).
(Joshua Sawyer Formspring answers)
- Fallout 76 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide p. 323: "55. TYGART WATER TREATMENT
This compact and excellent defensive location features a river to the west and a high barbed-wire fence surrounding the facility. Most of the fencing is still intact, and getting into the plant's vat walkways can be tough, as the control hut's doors are locked from the inside. Either jump from the Raider-built platform, across the top of the barbed-wire fence near the blown-out wall terminal and sandbags, or head in via the lower drainage pipe by the river. Once inside the control hut, use the interior wall terminal to open all doors."
(Fallout 76 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Atlas of Appalachia)