The Cajun Wasteland, or the Big Easy, as it is more affectionately called, spans the ruins of New Orleans and the alluvial coastline, stretching into the coastlines of Mississippi and Texas, as well. Formerly a major port, the beautiful city of New Orleans, from which the wasteland gets one of its nicknames, was largely spared from the bombs that rained down. Two bombs were intended for the city, however they landed in the Gulf of Mexico and caused colossal waves, which drowned those parts of the city below sea level. These sectors remain underwater, even to this day. The city (especially the northern sectors), however, remains irradiated, due to the bombs that were dropped on Baton Rouge.
On That Fateful Day
Even the Birthplace of Jazz, it seemed, was not allowed to be spared from this holocaust.
In August of 2076, the city of New Orleans had experience a devastating, Class 3 hurricane, by the name of Kendra, which destroyed large sectors of the coastline. The city had been on the brink of recovering when the first bombs were dropped.
Baton Rouge was destroyed first, a nuclear bomb being dropped right on top of the State Building. The entire city went up in nuclear fire, leaving very little opportunity for people to escape to the safety of the Vaults. The swamplands of Louisiana nearest to the city were obliterated or set ablaze, causing the deaths of many more people.
Luckily for New Orleans, the Chinese miscalculated on the bombs they attempted to drop, causing the nuclear warheads to be dropped in the Gulf of Mexico. The resulting tidal waves ravaged much of the coastline of the Gulf Commonwealth, especially the coast of New Orleans.
New Orleans was already renowned for its susceptibility to flooding, due to the majority of the city being below sea level. Thus, instead of being blasted apart by an explosion, much of the city was torn apart by irradiated waves. Even to this day, most of the city that remains is still underwater.
Location: Unknown, presumably in the bayou.
General Synopsis: One of the few Vaults equipped with a GECK, Vault 63 also had the blessing of being one of the few vaults without a social experiment. It opened in October of 2177, 100 years after the bombs fell. The GECK worked well, and created a hidden paradise deep in the sick and twisted swamps...
Location: New Orleans East, New Orleans
General Synopsis: The experiment going on in that Vault is unknown. What is known, however, is that the Vault Door was not closed fast enough, and, as such, many of the Dwellers died before it closed. The surviving people, who left in 2234, form the higher levels of the Vault Army.
Location: The French Quarter, New Orleans
General Synopsis: The experiment going on in this Vault was that the Dwellers were only allowed to leave their rooms for work, or, at some points, breeding, and were kept under armed guard. It was an attempt to see the effects of forced isolation on the general population. The Vault opened in 2245, and the equipment left over from the Vault-Tec guards led to these Dwellers forming the main fighting force of the Vault Army.
Location: The Garden District, New Orleans
General Synopsis: This Vault was designed and built for only the wealthiest and the most intelligent people in New Orleans. Every Eighteen years, the bottom 50% of the Vault Population was executed, to see the effect of competition on the population. After opening in 2250, it was obvious that this experiment worked, as only the brightest and most productive people survived and bred true. The inhabitants of this Vault form the more intellectual part of the Vault Army, providing the army with new weapons and technology...
The Vault Army: The coalition of the three New Orleans Vaults, this army strives to conquer the Cajun Wasteland and remake it into what it once was. They are led by a Trinity of Overseers. They currently are attempting to conquer New Paris, the Jewel of the South.
The Brotherhood of Steel: The renowned Knights of the Brotherhood have a very minor presence in the Cajun Wasteland, due to the hatred most members of the civilized part of society have for their cruel ways. They are holed up in the southernmost parts of New Orleans.
Protocol Incorporated: The remnants of the old New Orleans Police Department, Protocol Inc. has turned into a mercenary group, selling their skills to the highest bidder. They are provided with very high-tec weapons and armor by an unknown person, and are currently being paid by the President of New Paris to keep the Vault Army out.
VIRUS: Largely unknown in the Cajun Wasteland. Their name is only reference at certain points by those very high up in the Political Game...
Riverfolk: The survivalist people who survived in the swamps after the bombs fell, the Riverfolk are similar to DC's swampfolk in the way that they are unintelligible to outsiders. However, due to the sheer amount of survival-obsessed people that lived there in 2077, there is little to no inbreeding.
Snatchers: The Bayou's very own version of Raiders, the Snatchers are boat-using slavers who go into the Settlements of Drowned Orleans and the Bayou, and pillage and steal to their heart's delight.
The Enclave: One of the few surviving sects of the Enclave left after Raven Rock was destroyed, the Louisiana Enclave belongs to a more divergent sect known as 'Revenant.' It is unknown if their desire remains as world domination, or if it has changed...
The Church of Voodoo: Based upon the early principles of the Voodoo culture of Haiti and New Orleans, the Church of Voodoo revels in the supernatural and revels in the occult. It is headed by a matriarchy, always led by the Voodoo Queen.
New Paris: Due to its height above sea level, and its distance from the bombs, most of the French Quarter of New Orleans was able to remain largely the same as it was before the war. Due to this, New Paris is a city of Pre-War style and morals, possessing Pre-War technology and generators and such. Around the entire area, however, plants known as 'Goldenberries' grow. They are mutated berries of some sort, which grow with very little effort and provide a great harvest. Without the need to farm, New Paris has become a hub of art and learning, earning it the name 'The Jewel of the South.'
Bitchtown: A Snatcher's camp in which all of the slavers are female, and they only take male slaves. It has been dubbed as such by their rival gang, the 'Sacks.'
New Orleans Police Department: The Headquarters of Protocol Incorporated is not, in fact, in the old NOPD building. The revamped New Orleans Police Department is based inside Fort Jefferson, an old military base built during the Great War on the outskirts of New Orleans, in the old Fort Jackson.
The Villa: The Brotherhood of Steel's sole outpost in the Cajun Wasteland, it is in the old Evergreen Plantation building that dates all the way back to the American Civil War.
Battleship Zhemchug: A settlement inside the wreckage of the Russian ship 'Zhemchug,' or Pearl. It was a Russian freighter that contained nuclear warheads. It is unknown if these warheads were fired at New Orleans, but it is known that they are no longer there. The settlers there are predominantly descended from the Russian crew, and, as such, possess Russian accents.
The Docks: As the name implies, this location is the shipping docks of old New Orleans. Many trade deals go down there, from drug smuggling to slave tradings. It is a hub for the lowlifes of the Cajun Wasteland. It is currently under the command of the Smeliys, a Russian mobster-esque family from the Battleship.
Poseidon Energy Shipping House: In this building on the coast, most of Poseidon Energy's different projects from its various divisions flowed in. Due to the treasures inside, this building was very well-defended, to keep the oil from being stolen.
General Atomics International: One of the central divisions for the Robot-Producing company, the General Atomics International Building is one of only a few skyscrapers that remain in New Orleans. It is located in New Paris, and, as such, its workers still make amazing discoveries in the field of Robotics.
Croakville: The largest settlement in the bayou, Croakville is one of the main producers of 'Hopper Legs,' and is said to have ties with Vault 63.
Laveau: The large settlement built around the tomb of Marie Laveau, it is the center for the practice of Voodoo. It is led by the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, an imperialistic priestess who uses her knowledge of the occult to subjugate Snatchers and Settlers alike. This city forms the northern border of New Paris, so it has access to many of the same amenities.
Burrbonn: The 'New Vegas' of the South, Burbonn is a street focused on prostitution, gambling, and the many other pleasures that made New Orleans renowned as a 'sinful' city. It is constantly being raided by PROTOCOL, in an attempt to prevent its corruption from spreading to the rest of New Paris, but it always seems to survive, somehow. It forms the northern border of the French Quarter. However, due to the fact that it is bordered by the city of Laveau, which keeps the Vault Army out, it is not usually defended heavily.
Gettin' Bigger Zoo: Centered in the old Audubon Zoo, the Gettin' Bigger is the place from which many of New Orlean's monsters come from. Many animals survived the nuclear holocaust and reproduced, bringing many non-indigenous creatures to the area.
St. Lewd's: The large cathedral that dominated the New Orleans skyline, the St. Lewd's is the former center of a Snatcher's prostitution ring, before the Vault Army showed up and cleared the whole place out. Now, it remains a place of constant battle between the Vault Dwellers and the Parisians.
Captain Neptune's Aquarium: Formerly known as the Vault-Tec Aquarium of the Future, the aquarium was taken over by a former Snatcher who believes himself to be the rightful king of the Mississippi. When the bombs exploded, many of the creatures escaped the aquarium and got to the Mississippi River, making it one of the most dangerous rivers in America.
Unique Flora and Fauna
- Goldenberries: The glowing fruit of New Paris grows only in the city, providing sweet food and radiation cleansing all in one. It seems to be the perfect plant, as it grows all year-round, needs no human interaction to grow it, and provides light at night.
- The Ghoul Flower: A highly irradiated version of the 'Datura Stramonium' is used very frequently in the rituals of the Church of Voodoo. When combined with certain other ingredients and ingested, it can turn the consumer into a feral ghoul very quickly, whether or not they were a ghoul beforehand. The only way to reverse this process is to give the consumer a goldenberry within the first two hours of consummation.
- Nightdog: The descendants of the gray fox inhabit most of the Cajun Wasteland, though they are very hard to spot. The Fox grew to the size of your average wolf, becoming highly feral and nocturnal, as well as developing a chameleon-like ability.
- Gator: Little is known about the mutation of the common American Alligator that was found in the bayou. Only a few were believed to have survived, and only a select few have seen them outside of brief glimpses...
- Hopper: The descendants of frogs, these amphibians are almost cow-sized, and they are so docile that they are able to be domesticated by humans, much like the Brahmin. They feel little-to-no pain and regenerate limbs at an alarming rate, enabling farmers to cut off their legs and have them be regenerated in a few weeks.
- Razortusk: The wild hogs of the same name only got more feral after the bombs fell. They attack anything on sight, leading to them becoming a rather high-up predator on the food chain.
- Scaletail: The Eastern Cottontail Rabbit developed scale-like armor, becoming more armadillo-like then rabbit-like. It did, however, retain its speed, and uses this to its advantage to take down predators legs or cripple them. They are some of the most numerous creatures in the wasteland, due to high reproduction rates.
- Resobak: A corruption of the Russian words 'Reka Sobaku,' loosely translating to 'River Dog.' These 'dogs' are actually Otter, which were able to be domesticated by the Riverfolk. The radiation made their fur more resistant to oils, and they developed a dog-like face, including the teeth.
- The Loa: Named for Voodoo Spirits, and are told to snatch babies and eat men whole, these creatures descended from the common snapping turtles of the Bayou. They became darker, and their beaks became sharper, but the most important change was that they began to hunt in packs, ripping men and beasts apart together. Considered demons by the people of Laveau.
- Radfowl: The general name for a series of irradiated predatory birds that inhabit the swamps of former Louisiana. These birds include the Razortalon, Radquail, and the Firefowl. In all three of these birds, they became bigger, more hostile, and more intelligent. They maintain their ability to fly, and, given their size, they are top predators. The Firefowl is special in the way that it has skin that is highly resistant to extremes, such as heat or cold. Radfowl fat can be used to make armor resistant to explosives.
- Nemean: The Nemean are the descendants of a pair of lions, named Atalanta and Hippomenes, that survived the nuclear explosions and escaped the zoo. They are highly intelligent, with nigh-invulnerable skin and razor-sharp claws that can tear through combat armor with a single swipe of their paw. The only tamed Nemean is one named Herkules, which is owned by the Vault Army.
Of the many Native American Tribes that inhabited Louisiana on reservations at the time the bombs fell, only a few survived. Their ancient cultures, which were so treasured by the tribals, became distorted according to the ruined world around them and the post-apocalyptic morals.
- The Choctaw Tribe: The only Amerindian tribe to retain its old-world values, the Choctaw focus on ancestor worship and pantheism, the worship of nature around them. However, they believe the mutated animals to be a curse, and as such, only worship animals that remained unchanged, like certain types of dogs and cats. Their city is on the outskirts of New Orleans, near the Villa.
- The Croc Tribe: A divergent sect of the Choctaw Tribe, the Crocs were a series of tribals that came to worship the Giant Gators as gods, and began to build their own culture up around them. They hunt the Gators as a form of worship and even perform ritualistic sacrifices to them. Their land is in the bayou, on a small island in the delta from which they launch their canoes.
- The Armstrong Tribe: The Armstrongs were a group of poets and musicians that survived the nuclear holocaust by hiding in the basement of a club. They place a large emphasis on music and Mardi Gras, which is their tribal holiday, an equivalent to Christmas, and they worship a god named 'Jazz.' Their weapons are all either musical instruments or are made out of musical instruments.
- The Fleshmonger Tribe: The Fleshmonger tribe is one made up of masochists and sadists. Their leader is the one who is able to endure and inflict the most pain. They are cannibals who torture any and all people they can get their hands on, and, as such, members of the tribe are granted social status by the number of scars or wounds they possess and inflict.
- Old Man Craw: The ghoul ferryman of the Mississippi, Old Man Craw has been doing his job since before the Great War. When flesh began to fall off of his face due to radiation, he didn't mind. He just kept taking people from the rest of the Wasteland to New Orleans by river. If paid enough, he'll even take people all the way up to the Midwest or out into the Gulf, to Florida or Alabama.
- Governor Kings: Governor Louis Kings was the son of a wealthy businessman in New Paris before he was elected. Soon after he was placed in office, he dissolved the Guardsmen of New Paris and began to rely on the better-trained Protocol Incorporated.
- Chief Myles: This highly-trained woman is the head of Protocol Incorporated, having risen to the position due to her prowess with weapons and her tactical know-how.
- The Voodoo Queen: The Chief Priestess of the Church of Voodoo is the 15th of that name. She rose to power after the previous Queen died, and was the next priestess in line. She has made the Church of Voodoo more imperialistic, extending their land northward and even attacking some of the bayou settlements, but she signed a treaty with Governor Kings that prevented the two of them from attacking each other.
- Andek Hisner: One of the most influential people in Croakville, Andek Hisner is a Riverfolk man who was the first of his kind to actually learn the English language and bridge the gap between the Riverfolk civilization and those of the rest of the Wasteland. Since then, he has learned Russian, French, Choctaw, and Jazzish.
- Overseer Jackson: The Overseer of Vault 71, Jackson is the leader of the Vault Army. Though he can be kept in check by the other two Overseers, he is practically the dictator of all the lands under his control.
- Dmitri Smeliy: Dmitri Smiley is the leader of the Russian mobster family 'the Smileys.' As such, he practically controls the Docks, the Battleship Zhemchug, and the city of Burbonn. There is little that goes on in the Wasteland that he doesn't know about...
- Deirdre Soleille: The youngest daughter of Governor Louis Kings and his wife, Madame Maria Soleille, a wealthy merchant woman, Deirdre is an extremely successful doctor and scientist who was sent to the New California Republic as an ambassador, but, due to a series of unfortunate events, was arrested and sent to Denver.