The Kingsnakes are a raider gang in the Capital Wasteland, who emerged in the 2280s and have been a prominent faction since. They have a reputation for being a benevolant raider gang, who instead of attacking the local populace, provide them with protection, trade with them and sometimes take on other threats in the region on someone else's behalf. A lot of folks don't even regard them as being raiders at all, though they still insist on keeping that part of their identity. They are a neutral entity, akin to old world bikers, they like to raise hell, get drunk, get laid and sometimes cause a little trouble.
Butch DeLoria is the founding member of the Kingsnakes, who actually fought alongside the Lone Wanderer and reclaimed project purity. He claims that he jumped at the chance to activate the water purifier and sacrifice himself for the Capital Wasteland, like a badass but Denis had to steal his glory.
These stories, whilst doubted by most, did get him some attention in the Muddy Rudder. They got him a few drinks and even got him laid a few times but what he didn't expect was for people to start looking to him as the new Lone Wanderer.
Several youths, like James Hargrave approached him and asked him to join his gang. However, he realised that his gang had little to no purpose, so Butch had some planning to do. It hit him that the Raider gangs were being wiped out but why? 'Cause they were a pain in the ass, that's why. Then he got to thinking about the time that the Overseer had him on his payroll, had security lay off of him, if he did what he wanted.
What if he could do that but in the Capital Wasteland? What if the Tunnel Snakes could get paid for being badass raiders? It then occured to them, that a few settlements, like Arefu and (at the time) Big Town, also went without protection. Butch was more than happy to provide, so long as he and his cronies could live there, make some caps and do what they like.
He set up office in the Germantown Police Station, a huge building, designed to house law enforcers, back in the day and it even had some tents and stuff, outside. He set up shop there, around 2281 and got to work on his little racket, with James Hardgrave as his right hand man as he was one of the few under his command that knew how to read.
James informed him, that while it was cool, the name 'Tunnel Snakes' doesn't really work, considering that they don't really go in tunnels. He suggested naming the gang after the 'Mole Kingsnake.' Which is often underestimated as a corn snake, found in the area.
By this point, Butch's Kingsnakes were the goto mercenary band in the region. They provided some pretty good protection from smaller threats, like radroaches and molerats and even other raiders. However, Butch was an industry leader, always plotting ahead. As a result, he got to thinking some more.
This area was quite dangerous for some folks, so many supplies, parts and other items remained underground, just waiting to be picked. As a result, Butch began thinking about sending teams into the tunnels to scavenge for loot and sell it to settlements and travellers for ridiculous prices.
As a result, he got a few teams of 'Tunnel Snakes' together and set them off, on their way. They went down into metrostation tunnels, caves and ruins and got picking. Butch would have them take anything, even junk items, that can be stripped apart and turned into components. He opted to put James in charge of these teams, figuring he could handle it. At this point, he'd come to trust him quite a bit, he reminded him of Wally Mack in a few ways, except he wasn't a collosal douche like he was.
By this point, the Kingsnakes were doing pretty well for themselves, however, they were kind of stretched thin. This was due to too many teams being sent out, every day, not taking into account how many people would die every year or how many would leave or do whatever.
Seeming almost like an answered prayer, a group of old, washed up raiders appeared on their doorstep one morning and offered them an alignment of sorts. Twenty extra men and all of their years of experience for a controlling interest in the Kingsnake gang. A unanimous decision was made, by Butch, who instantly agreed that their leader, Stig could have control over his own men and get a 20% cut of everything. The gang were more than happy with this as they feared they wouldn't make it through the winter and one of their own was pregnant.
James wasn't exactly happy with this decision but opted to go for it anyway. It wasn't like he could start a coup at the moment as he was still quite young. Still, his Tunnel Snakes seemed to back him and were more than fed up of Butch's bullshit.
James was growing quite sick of being treated as a lacky, he and the Tunnel Snakes, who made up around 25% of the Kingsnake's main forces approached Butch and told him that things would have to change. They argued for some time but Butch eventually caved and let James have a controlling 25% of the Kingsnake faction and let him take that much cut from profits.
This meant that James was the third most prominent member of the organization.
At the start of this year, a group of Tunnels Snakes, lead by Hargrave was ambushed by a band of Blood Valkyries. Sophia their leader has kept him locked up for some time, at first as a ransom, however, she has grown quite fond of the boy and opted to keep him perminentely.
The three branches
There are three branches, overall to the King Snakes. Each one is controlled by a different gang member and each one serves a different purpose.
Getting their name from a serpant's threatening gesture, the rattlers serve a similar purpose. They act tough and pose as muscle around smaller settlements and alongside caravans. They don't just look the part, every one of them is armed and capable of dispatching a lot of threats.
Most Rattlers don't see action, they're encouraged to intimidate human threats, rather than attack them (provided that they aren't Blood Valkyries or Talon Company Mercs) and usually spend their days getting drunk and leaching off of the towns they protect.
The Tunnel Snakes are scavengers, more or less, they wander the deep, dark depths and collect what they can find. Though every one of them is armed and capable, they don't go looking for trouble and are advised to retreat from threats, rather than to engage them. They very rarely listen to that.
The Copperheads are mostly Stig's people, though a few of them are the young breed, who have poor people skills or violent tendancies. These are the Kingsnake's advanced guard, as it were. They are tough, experienced, well equipped and are dangerous killers. They not only are good at killing but have a great enthusiasm for it. Their services are in high demand, for those who want to clear out Blood Valkyrie or Talon Company camps or deal with bigger threats, like Super Mutants or Enclave Remnants.
Most other factions are a little scared of the Copperheads, due to their violent and erratic tendancies.
- Butch, back in the early days, wanted to make helmets out of copper and have 'the Copperheads' as a gang name but the helmets were heavy, did little to protect the wearer and didn't go with the jacket. Nobody wanted to wear the prototype as it cramped their style. As a result, Butch kept the helmet, sulking for a week.
- A lot of people have questioned, over the years, if it was Butch or James who came up with most of the ideas for the gang. Most believe it was James, though few care enough to raise these concerns.