Descended from the survivors of the Great War from the desolate region around Salt Lake City, the White Legs are a tribe formed out of a broad cross-section of Americans of different ethnic backgrounds, including Native American and various European ethnicities, from pre-War tourists trapped in post-nuclear North America. Having emerged in the desolate environment of the Great Salt Lake, the White Legs have traditionally painted themselves white to blend into their homeland, and have learned to survive as master scavengers. What they cannot obtain by salvaging, they obtain by raiding other tribes and communities. As a result, they lack many survival skills considered essential, including food preservation, tanning, even basic hunting and cooking. However, they are exceptionally adept at war and taking by force, alienating them from other inhabitants of the wasteland, especially tribes in regions around the Great Salt Lake near the ruins of Salt Lake City, where their primary camps are normally located. They have been particularly bitter enemies with New Canaan for decades, fighting them for supplies and territory.
They were usually kept at bay thanks to New Canaanites and the Desert Rangers, until the latter were absorbed into the NCR in 2271. By 2277, the Rangers were completely integrated into the NCR Rangers and abandoned frontier outposts. The emboldened White Legs, normally raiding northeast of Caliente, pounced on the I-15 and traffic passing through it northwards. The situation got so bad that the route was entirely abandoned, culminating in the destruction of bridges over Virgin River that sealed that region as White Legs' territory.
The increased territory and numbers presented a problem, as the White Legs found themselves unable to sustain themselves through just raiding. Unable to develop skills that would allow them to settle and unable to take cities with their primitive arsenals and skills, the White Legs were poised to die out within a generation, imploding as a result of their success. That is when the Legion's emissary, Ulysses, arrived. In return for the destruction of New Canaan and the death of all of its inhabitants, the White Legs would be inducted into the Legion. Caesar could not care less. New Canaan was just collateral damage, of course. Their real goal was the assassination of Joshua Graham. Under Ulysses, the White Legs learned new combat skills and gained new weapons, recovered from Old World and New Canaan caches. Thus strengthened, the White Legs started raids throughout former Utah and parts of Nevada for Caesar's Legion, killing all who they came across.
They managed to sack New Canaan in 2281. They waited until Graham and the bulk of the city's defenders were away, before attacking under cover of night. Under Ulysses' leadership, the White Legs blitzed the city, before its denizens could mount an effective defense. Few managed to flee the city into the surrounding countryside. The White Legs killed all without mercy, including the elderly, ill and children. Anyone who didn't get away fast enough. The city was then set on fire, to prevent anyone from returning. Those trapped in buildings were burned alive, including Bishop Mordecai. The ruins were then salted, to ensure nothing could grow there again.
The White Legs then pursued the refugees into Zion, to finish them off and gain their place at Caesar's side. Little did they suspect that Graham would be a tough nut to crack, as would the Courier, coming into the canyon with a Happy Trails caravan.
The White Legs are a raider tribe that revels in destruction. Accordingly, they boast a barbaric lifestyle based off of strength and combat acuity. Everything they have has been acquired either by picking through ruins of the Old World or raiding more capable wastelanders. Their leaders are chosen on the basis of their prowess and savagery. Salt-Upon-Wounds, their chief, was reputed to have slain a hundred men with his power fist, achieving his position. However, this form of leadership is notoriously unreliable and cannot prevent a rout by superior forces.
White Legs are superstitious and dislike pre-War buildings, which they consider to be taboo. Superstitions contribute to their strong tribal identity, together with two additional factors. First, they speak a pidgin language, heavily borrowing from various pre-War languages, isolating them from other tribes. Second, while composed primarily of men and women of Caucasian descent, all White Legs cover their bodies in white chalk and identical war paint on their faces, reinforcing their distinct identity. This was also done to help them camouflage in their native territory of the Great Salt Lake (a barren salt pan). The White Legs attack all who do not have their appearance. The dreadlocks worn by the tribesmen are a tribute to Ulysses. By appropriating the hairstyle of a former Twisted Hairs tribesman, they wished to show respect, thanking him for teaching them how to wage war on New Canaan and providing them with new weapons to do so. They only succeeded in tarnishing their legacy.
Examples of words and phrases
- "Do'an poin aiti ay me!"
- "Subai thah, tsahh."
- "Ahm naaiyawi wichoo!"
- "Yoocan no nikumpa me!"
- "Yoo murdah my hainji!"
- "No! Net yoo!"
- "Tek thees!"
- "Ahm stih bui-neeking."
- "Haganai yoo?"
- "Ahn yoo here stih?"
- "Baika-good, fren!"
- "Ahm sunhai tihda!"
- "Ahm nananga yoo."
- "Mabe yoo gaihaiwa?"
- "Nokihn run, yoo!"
- "Thah no!"
- "Deyai-yoo, maikku!"
- "Ah no see gaihinnim."
- "Ahm matenka look."
- "Ahm mane look."
- "Ah heer sumning."
- "Your deyaipe!"
- "Wes run!"
- "Nikumpa me!"
- "Deyai-yoo, devil!"
White Legs warbands are composed of four different types of warriors, each specializing in a different aspect of combat. Tactically, White Legs warbands heavily rely on ambushes, to deny their targets the ability to form a defense. Hiding behind cover such as trees, rocks and even bushes, they attack when they believe they have the upper hand. These warbands are split into two basic types: ranged and melee units.
- White Legs storm-drummer: Specializing in guns, their signature weapon is the White Legs' "storm drum" (.45 Auto submachine gun). They also sometimes carry a random rifle, ranging (based on level) from the varmint rifle to the anti-materiel rifle. They also carry a random melee weapon as a backup weapon.
- White Legs light-bringer: Specializing in explosives, they typically carry fire bombs or grenades, with a random pistol or submachine gun as a backup weapon.
- White Legs pain-maker: Specializing in melee Weapons, they carry either a poisoned bladed weapon, or a Shishkebab. They also carry several throwing tomahawks for ranged combat.
- White Legs bone-breaker: Specializing in unarmed combat, they have slightly more health than other White Legs warriors and are armed with a random unarmed weapon, ranging (depending on level) from brass knuckles to the mantis gauntlet. They also have an innate +3 bonus to DT.
White Legs rarely fight alone, usually in pairs or larger groups. This allows them to attack the Courier cooperatively, using a mix of both melee and long-range attacks to deal a large amount of damage.
Relations with the outside
Due to their hostility, the White Legs have little to no relations with any of the tribes of Zion and attack anyone who isn't one of their own. Any group that works with and is associated with their enemies (namely, the Sorrows and Dead Horses to the New Canaanites) is also in danger of violence. The defeated are routinely scalped for trophies.
Their only alliance is with the Legion. Ulysses manipulated the White Legs into believing that the Legion will provide for them, but in truth, their only purpose is to kill Joshua Graham and destroy New Canaan. Beyond that, the White legs are too primitive to consider integration and should they survive the events in Zion, they are ruthlessly exterminated by the Legion. The modus operandi is similar with other tribes the Legion targeted. Twisted Hairs were also promised integration on favorable terms, in exchange for their talents, only to be assimilated by force, with defiant tribesmen crucified along the I-40. Of course, the Twisted Hairs were pure scavengers, incapable of sustaining themselves.
The White Legs are scavengers and their gear consists of whatever tools the tribe managed to acquire. Their distinct armor is usually a collection of salvaged armored plates coupled with cloth and leather held together by belts and ropes, with any non-combat gear carried on these makeshift harnesses. Their weapons represent an eclectic mix, ranging from simple melee weapons such as tomahawks, through Shishkebabs stolen from talented wastelanders, to jury-rigged weapons like mantis gauntlets. Ranged weapons include a variety of firearms taken from armories and caches. Their signature weapon is the storm drum, a pre-War .45 Auto submachine gun. The bulk of these weapons was taken from an armory near Spanish Fork. All ranged weapons are in invariably poor condition, as the White Legs do not know how to maintain them. What they don't know how to fix, they discard. As a result, their camps resemble large trash heaps, rather than settlements of civilized folk.
|#||Slide||Voice-over narration||In-game condition|
|1||With Daniel dead, the White Legs soon overran Zion and drove the Sorrows and Dead Horses from the Valley. The White Legs plundered all of the pre-War buildings the Sorrows had marked off-limits, their squalor an affront to Zion's natural beauty. By year's end, little trace remained that the Sorrows had ever made the valley their home.||Kill Daniel.|
|2||After the White Legs drove the Sorrows from Zion, they celebrated by destroying all traces of the valley's former inhabitants. They appealed to the Legion for assimilation, but were denied. Their failure to eradicate the New Canaanites in Grand Staircase and farther up the Colorado had not gone unnoticed. The White Legs made a half-hearted effort to find the New Canaanites, but were driven off by Dead Horses trained in the ways of Joshua Graham. The White Legs lost all hope of joining the Legion and disintegrated into a number of petty raiding bands, leaving Zion Valley a polluted cistern.||Help the Sorrows evacuate.|
|3||Demoralized by the Dead Horse and Sorrows attack the Courier and Joshua Graham led against them, the White Legs retreated to Great Salt Lake. Their days were numbered. Word soon reached the 80s tribe that the White Legs' spirit was broken, their war chief a dim shadow of his former self. By year's end, the 80s would overrun the White Legs' camps, scattering the tribe to the winds and claiming the Great Salt Lake for its own.||Help Joshua Graham defend Zion Valley and exterminate the White Legs, then convince Joshua Graham to spare Salt-Upon-Wounds.|
|4||Joshua Graham's chilling execution of Salt-Upon-Wounds seared into their minds, the surviving White Legs retreated to the Great Salt Lake. Unable to shake the memory of their brutal defeat and the Dead Horses' savagery in battle, the White Legs feared further reprisals. They fled north, out of Utah, into Wyoming. The wilderness was harsh, and the first winter claimed over half the tribe. When spring came, the survivors parted ways in small bands. And so the White Legs died a quiet, ignominious death.||Help Joshua Graham crush the White Legs and then allow Joshua Graham to execute Salt-Upon-Wounds.|
|5||Despite their defeat at Three Marys, and the death of their war chief, the White Legs were determined to pursue the other New Canaanites. But when they finally tracked down their prey in Colorado, they discovered the tables had been turned. The White Legs who survived the New Canaanites' ambushes were hunted down by Dead Horses before they could reach the safety of the Great Salt Lake. When word of the White Legs' diminished numbers reached the 80s tribe, war was declared, and by year's end, the White Legs had been wiped out.||Help Joshua Graham crush the White Legs and kill Salt-Upon-Wounds yourself.|
- Though the White Legs want to be assimilated by Caesar's Legion, many White Leg warriors are women. This indicates that they do not know what they are signing up for, similar to the Great Khans. Caesar was also known to betray his allies: the Twisted Hairs formed an alliance with Caesar to serve as his army's scouts in Arizona. Once the Arizona wastes were pacified, the Legion stripped their tribal identity and forced them into slavery. Those who resisted were crucified along the remains of I-40.
- The White Legs differ from most other tribes in the sense that they want to be assimilated by Caesar's Legion, most tribes are forcibly absorbed into Caesar's Legion or they, along with the rest of their culture, die.
- According to Joshua, the signature weapons of the White Legs are their "storm drums," the .45 Auto submachine gun. As such, they are significantly better armed than the other tribes in Zion. Both the Dead Horses and Sorrows use melee weapons as their signature weapon, favoring war clubs and yao guai gauntlets respectively. Even the New Canaanites are arguably less well armed, as while Daniel uses a submachine gun, the tribe as a whole favors .45 Auto pistols.
- Their dreadlocked hair is actually not a hairstyle, but rather a unique non-player character-only headwear that cannot be accessed by players without console commands.
- They are very stealthy. Traveling along Zion's roads gives the risk of getting ambushed. They usually hide behind trees and sneak along the bushes.
- Completing the Crush the White Legs quest will completely remove the White Legs faction from the game. They will no longer appear in Zion Valley, and cannot be spawned using console commands.
- A few survivors can be found after the quest Flight from Zion.
Behind the scenes
|Behind the scenes|
|A pro-White Legs ending was briefly discussed during the development of Honest Hearts, though the short time schedule for the add-on made the option one that could not feasibly be supported.|
|Completing Crush the White Legs permanently disables any White Legs in Zion, preventing their appearance. Flight from Zion allows for remnants to appear.|
“[H]ow the DLC shipped was not how it was planned. The tribes in Zion are descendants of a mix of North American native people as well as other American citizens and European (of various non-native ethnicities) tourists/campers. This survives in the language of the Dead Horses, for example, who use a large number of German-derived words.
In the first design docs for HH, every tribe was supposed to have members from all of the F3/FNV ethnic groups. However, there was a complicating factor: body art. The various tattoos and body paints we needed to texture the bodies multiplied the number of required textures. They couldn’t simply be layered on (as they can in F4), but were entirely new body textures that dramatically increased the amount of texture memory being used. For that reason, each tribe wound up having only one body texture per sex. This compressed their ethnicities into homogenized blends, with Dead Horses being a darker tan, Sorrows a light tan, and White Legs (under the body paint) fairly pale.
As a minor point, Daniel was specifically supposed to be (and was, in data, for most of development) Asian. I don’t know when, how, or why he was switched to Caucasian, but that’s how he shipped. It’s frustrating, because those changes slot Joshua and Daniel as white guys among (mostly) brown folk when 1) they weren’t supposed to be white guys and 2) the tribes were specifically called out as ethnically and culturally mixed without any real-world analogues.Regarding the “natives as aesthetic” criticism, the patterns we used for the three tribes’ body art are not based on any current or historical native American body art (AFAIK). There are in-fiction explanations for each tribe’s specific choices. The White Legs initially colored themselves white to blend into the Great Salt Lake (where they are from) and they dread their hair out of reverence for Ulysses. The Sorrows use the river pattern to reflect their suffering and their connection to the Virgin River in Zion. The Dead Horses mark various accomplishments on their skin and decorate their clubs with .45 shells out of their respect for Joshua Graham.”— Joshua Sawyer, on Tumblr
“Helping the White Legs wouldn't really help the Legion in any substantive way unless you consider helping Caesar clean up an embarrassing mistake to be inherently pro-Legion. It's worth noting that if you do Chaos In Zion and actually kill Joshua Graham yourself, the White Legs still aren't accepted into the Legion. Caesar just wants Graham dead and the White Legs are the scumbags to do it. We discussed doing a White Legs-oriented path through Honest Hearts but a) it would have been out of scope and b ) it still would likely have ended with you doing essentially Chaos in Zion: killing Daniel and/or Joshua Graham. In retrospect, associating the White Legs with the Legion was probably my key mistake. Take the exact same tribe doing the exact same thing and remove their association with the Legion and people would not conclude that opposing them [equals] opposing the Legion or that helping the New Canaanites [equals] helping the Legion's enemies. The New Canaanites, though fundamentally opposed to the Legion, aren't really the parties in conflict. Caesar hates Joshua Graham, regardless of the lack of threat posed by New Canaan, the Sorrows, and the Dead Horses.”— Joshua Sawyer on Bethesda forum