New Harahan, Louisiana
|Race||Human, African American|
|Affiliation||Nwa Bayuk Okla (2251 – 2276)|
Caesar's Legion (2277)
|Current location||Near Hoover Dam, Mojave Wasteland|
|Derived stats||Hit points: 390|
Damage Threshold: 19
Red sticks x8 + matches
|Other items||32 40mm grenades|
"I use ta watch fo' mutants n' swampfolk back in Hanrahan. Sometimes me got ta fling de red sticks at'm and make dem go boom! Fuun times, fuun times..."
Cayuga (/ kaɪˈjuːˌɡʌ / keye-YOO-ghu) is a tribal man living in a shack along the Colorado River in the Mojave Wasteland around 2281.
Cayuga was born into the Nwa band of the Bayuk Okla tribe in 2251. The Nwa people of New Harahan, Louisiana depended on the Mississippi River and branching tributaries for food, transportation and trade with other bands of Bayuk Okla. Cayuga spent his youth as other Bayuk children did, collecting wild mulberries and peaches, angling the rivers for catfish and trawling for crawfish, and cooling off from the humid swamp air by swimming in bayous that weren't inhabited by radgators.
In 2263, Cayuga was swimming with some friends; he had climbed up a tree to jump in, but slipped on the humid Spanish moss and toppled into the river, unconscious from the impact. His friends dragged him out as quickly as they could, but it took several minutes for the Nwa shaman, Sipokni Nawaya, to revive Cayuga and get him breathing again. When he came to, he coughed up a lungful of water and he was taken to the shaman dwelling to rest. Sipokni did not notice anything wrong with Cayuga immediately, but when he stirred awake, Cayuga entered a vacant stare and began sniffing around. Intrigued by such an odd recovery, Sipokni observed Cayuga. Akin to a bloodhound, he sniffed out a box of red sticks. These red sticks were scavenged in an Old World mine shaft and kept hidden from the tribe until Sipokni could learn what what they were. Cayuga remarked as he inspected, muttering that the sticks were explosives.
Sipokni cautiously put the idea to the test and sure enough, the red sticks exploded in the swamp when hit with a match, just as Cayuga predicted. Sipokni suspected that the bump to the head had not done great things for Cayuga's brain, but what he lost in intellect, he gained in spiritual intuition. In reality, Cayuga had become a savant, trading the intellect he once had for acute perception and almost instinctual knowledge about explosives. Naturally, this perception secured for him the role of a lookout for the Nwa, warning the tribe of close by radgators, foreign tribes and wandering swampfolk.
Walking with spiritsEdit
Tradition held in the Bayuk Okla culture that those who survived a quarter of a century with their tribal band must be sent into the swamps on a spiritual vision quest as a rite of passage. In the thirteen years that had passed since Cayuga's accident, he had grown hugely muscular, but his intellect had not improved. The tribal elders questioned sending him off given the circumstances, but tradition trumped personal issues. Sipokni administered a handful of psychoactive mushrooms to Cayuga and pushed him off into the swamp with nothing but a sledgehammer to crush any inner demons he found along the way.
Cayuga wandered and wandered for days throughout the swamps, following the Mississippi like his ancestors before him. Unlike his ancestors, however, Cayuga had little sense of direction and became lost. He believed he could follow the river back to the New Harahan, but the Mississippi is mighty twisty; Cayuga got spatially confused and kept wandering further and further away from home. The Mississippi led into the Arkansas River which led into Colorado, but Cayuga never once thought that he might be going the wrong direction and had been for a long, long time. He would soon find out that he was headed the wrong way for too long with a very unpleasant surprise.
Cayuga, the commodityEdit
One night in Colorado, Cayuga stopped to rest. After staying up for hours thinking about home like he always did, he finally drifted into sleep. He awoke in the morning to hounds barking. Strange men wearing football pads yanked him up and slapped a slave collar on him. The legionnaires marched the confused and docile tribal into Denver where a Legion slave auction was being held. He was sold to a centurion by the name of Bruma Lupum for 75 aurelii. Soon after, a courier delivered a parcel that called Lupum to the front lines of the Mojave Desert where Caesar was planning to take Hoover Dam. So began another walk further from New Harahan, the place Cayuga calls home.
Lupum and a contingent of Denver-recruited decanii marched Cayuga across Colorado and Utah into Nevada. After weeks of walking, the weary tribal spotted the Colorado. It reminded him of his beloved Mississippi and in that brief moment, he was home; he could not resist and ran towards it, whooping and hollering in delight. When the decanii followed in suit and restrained their centurion's property and pack mule, he broke from their clutches in a fit of fury. He reached down and smashed a rock across one legionnaire's head before grabbing another into a bear hug. Crushing the decanus, Cayuga glared at Lupum who had poised a pistol at the fuming tribal. Regardless, Cayuga cried out that he was going home and Lupum would not stop him.
He leapt into the river with the decanus and Bruma's gear in tow, swimming as deep as he could. Cayuga released the decanus when he was safely underwater and continued swimming in the currents of the Colorado. He followed the currents several miles downriver, eventually climbing up onto the banks and crawling to an abandoned fishing shack. He ripped the planks off the doorway, flung the door open and slumped down into the corner of the shack. Upon rummaging through Bruma's pack, Cayuga discovered it was chock full of food and supplies. Not knowing if Bruma and his Legion lackeys were following him, Cayuga dug into the food, eating as much as he could to appease his voracious appetite, not knowing when he would be would be allowed to eat again. After gorging himself on Salisbury Steak and bighorner jerky, he laid down in the corner to rest his eyes and feet.
Calling the Colorado homeEdit
Cayuga hid out in the shack for another three days. When he realized that, for some reason, the legionnaires weren't coming after him, he found that living on the Colorado was not as horrible as he immediately thought and New Hanrahan could wait. He may have been unintelligent, but even he knew that he would be able to navigate home solo, so he established his new "home" in the fisherman shack. Soon after, he was on the docks fishing when gunfire and explosions erupted from the Hoover Dam, only a few mile away from the shore. Frightened by the noise, he scrambled into the shack where he looked on from a grimy window. This must have been why the Legion men did not seek him out of hiding. Countless items of debris launched down the side of the dam before the pitched battle subsided, or at least moved away from the dam.
After he was sure the battle had subsided, he took a boat out to trawl the waters for any battle supplies he could salvage and perhaps use to protect his new homestead. To say Cayuga hit the mother load would be understatement; on his first trawl, he got an unopened box of 40mm grenades and a couple chains of 5mm rounds. By the end of the day, he had fished out many more boxes of ordnance, a grenade launcher and a minigun, both of which were remarkably still operational, as well as some body armor; the supplies may have had some hands still gripping them... or a torso inside, but Cayuga only saw some extra lunch and a job for Abraxo Cleaner.
It's been four years since Cayuga found his new homestead. It may not be home, but it's mighty close. Cayuga still thinks about home and his tribe, but it could be a long time before someone who knows the way to Louisiana comes along, so he just fishes his days away, like his childhood in New Harahan. His vision quest may take longer than other Bayuk Okla, but he has learned a great deal about the wasteland outside the swamps, and gathered some stories to boot, and that is what walkabouts are for.
Appearance and abilitiesEdit
With 6 feet, 5 inches (1.95 meters) and 240 pounds (109 kilograms) of raw power, Cayuga's heavily muscled frame makes him a monument of a man; everything about him is large, from his barrel chest, to his tree trunk legs to the boulder he calls a head. He has a dark complexion with wild and nappy hair, which is usually kept underneath a straw hat, and a large and fluffy beard.
Whether it's used for efficiently swinging a club around or keeping a raging minigun under control, Cayuga's physical strength is chief among his assets. He is quite observant which pairs well with his inherent skill with explosives, both delicate and crude. It should go without saying that Cayuga is about as subtle as a train; this makes him a good distraction and he has the endurance to take the punishment that comes with pulling aggro. He also has a basic understanding of how to keep his weapons in working condition, but don't expect him to explain how an internal combustion engine works.
Logical thinking is not Cayuga's strong suit, so his plans (when he does decide to make them) are very elementary and basic and only cover a solution for a specific moment, not the eventual ramifications that come from dealing with it. Because of this difficulty with logic, he can have trouble compromising with people, even though he's perfectly likable. Certain people, however, may take pity on him and be more open to suggestion.
Cayuga is perfectly happy using any weapon that makes a loud noise or a big boom. For that, he can always rely on his China Lake model 40mm grenade launcher and supply of dynamite sticks. When he runs out of explosives, a 12 pound sledge is his weapon of choice.
As expected, this walking tank is clad in crudely assembled metal armor. His wild hair is hidden beneath a plain straw boater hat and he usually wears biker goggles around his neck to protect his eyes from explosions and shrapnel.
Cayuga has the "essentials" in his pack, which includes a remarkably large cache of 40mm grenades and a fishing pole. Fish is always on the menu, but humans are more plentiful than rivers and streams, so Cayuga always packs up some human meat whenever a raider or slaver tries to pick a fight with him (waste not, want not). On warm nights, he enjoys noodling on a Jew's harp that he found in a store front.
Being a simple man, Cayuga does not mind living a simple life. He lives under the philosophy that as long as he is happy, life is good, and a simple life makes him happy. He sometimes misses his tribe in New Hanrahan, but overall accepts his independence. He enjoys the little social interaction he has whenever it happens, likening it back to his tribe and its camaraderie. He still has a lot of tribal in him, so "normal" society may be quick to judge him as strange or backwards, especially because of his reverence for river and swamp spirits.
He has found that his strength is his greatest asset and he relies on brute force to solve all of his problems. He can often be naïve and let his curiosity get the better of him, but this means he is quite agreeable and can be convinced to do basically anything, especially when it's obvious that he benefits from it. He may be dim, but he does realize when he is being belittled for his mental retardation or tribal lifestyle and is quick to react with anger and threats of physical violence.
Hippy Ti Yo