The Pioneers are a civilization active in the Sound in 2290, controlling a region east of Highway 169 and south of the I-90, with their capital at the foot of Mount Rainier. Sometimes considered tribals or otherwise uncivilized, the Pioneers maintain a Renaissance level of technology despite their refusal to set foot in pre-War ruins or make use of pre-War salvage.



The Pioneers are descended from those who survived the War in the Flathead reservation in Montana. These regions survived the War intact, though ecological damage and the Great Blackout still lead to a large number of deaths and technological regression. The early post-War years saw most of the reservation torched to the ground by raiders from Canada; nonetheless, by 2140, the Flathead had successfully pushed out all local Raider groups and rival tribes and obtained a modicum of safety.


It was at this time that the Pioneers broke from the Flathead over a number of planned expeditions to cities in Montana and Alberta. The Pioneers argued that their way of life would be destroyed with the introduction of Old World salvage; that the industry and development that had given them so much would be replaced with the same opportunistic laziness that had created the raider groups would take the Flathead. Their arguements failed, and many of them began to travel west at the urging of political leader Fire-Eater.

The Mountain

Many died in the ensuing exodus, from the environment or from Raiders controlling petty settlements along the I-90. As the Pioneers passed through the dusty fields of eastern Washington, many abandoned the group for the wilderness, the Raider camps, or the reservation. Almost half of the group abandoned their travels at Spokane. It was all worth it, however, when they discovered The Mountain, the Old World's Mount Rainier. The surrounding forests, though less thick than they were before the war, provide lumber, game, and water, while the Mountain provides a protective position and, critically, a source of sulfur for gunpowder.


Of the factions of The Sound, the Pioneers are by far the most philosophically motivated, having endured the Exodus along the I-90 for the sake of their beliefs.

The Taboo

Core to the Pioneer's philosophy is that physical remnants of the Old World are taboo, and to be avoided if at all possible. Their industry relies on exploiting the natural resources Pre-War America neglected, instead of scavenging through the wreckage or repairing old machinery. The Pioneers believe that to rely on salvage is to invite the same failings of greed and laziness that destroyed the Old World into oneself. Pioneers are known to have razed Old World buildings in locations where they intend to settle or camp, rather than violate the Taboo-- something that causes The Liberators, The Brotherhood of Steel, and other Wasteland factions interested in preserving technology no shortage of grief.

Wisdom and Books

An important difference between the Taboo of the Pioneers and those of other tribal civilizations is that the Pioneers also venerate wisdom from before the War. Books, magazines, artwork, and other troves of Pre-War information are considered exempt from the Taboo, and treated with sacred reverence. Because most among them will not step foot in Old World libraries or museums, books are one of the main reasons they continue to trade with the outside world. The Pioneers, in turn, are expert scribes, painstakingly copying each and every book they find, to prevent another disaster like the razing of Flathead Rez.


The Pioneers view the strength of their intra-community bonds as being key to their survival against Raiders as part of the Flathead tribe and to their continued success in Rainier. Members of the community are expected to work hard to support one-another and their shared way of life. The Pioneers lack much pity or patience for slackers, junkies, and other layabouts.


The Pioneers are ruled by a somewhat democratic Tribal Council. Formal votes are eschewed; Councilpersons are chosen based on community approval and respect, and together guide the community. In recent years, this has lead to accusations of corruption and oligarchy, but so long as life for the average Pioneer remains fair and comfortable (if not easy), these are unlikely to rise above the level of grumbles. The leader of the Council is called the Fire-Eater, after the original leader of the Exodus.


Despite appearences, the Pioneers have a better understanding of the principles behind the tools used in their daily life than any other known wasteland faction, rivaling even the Brotherhood of Steel.

Mining and Industry

The Pioneers established a number of small artisanal mines within Rainier and the Sound, using geographical survey data purchased at great price from the Liberators. These mines mostly produce copper, lead, zinc, coal, and sulfur. The copper, lead, and zinc are used to produce hard brass for machine parts, coal for heating and mechanical power, and sulfur for black powder.

Self Rifles

Self rifles are the signature weapon of Pioneer scouts and militia troops. A breach-loading manual firearm made from brass and pine wood, using all the historical knowledge the Pioneers can bring to bear, they serve to demonstrate that humanity can survive and thrive without relying on the Old World. While far slower-firing and lower velocity than the Liberators' assault rifles or the Mechanist's energy weapons, they are accurate, deadly, and found throughout Pioneer territory. For threats too well-armored to be taken down with self rifles, pipe bombs, firebombs, and culverins are employed instead.


The Pioneers have become masters of irrigation and fertilization, coaxing thriving fields out of the loamy soil of post-War Rainier. Their staple crop is a gigantic, mutated strain of cattail, called dogtails, from which they extract flour and jute fiber. Supplementary crops include various berries and fruits, most of which remain uncategorizable by pre-war standards. They also raise a small population of Brahmin and Bighorners for meat and labor.


Trade between the Pioneers and other wasteland factions is hampered by the Taboo. How far the Pioneers must be removed from the use of salvage to avoid violating the Taboo is a subject of great debate in Pioneer culture, but even at their most liberal it poses a huge barrier to entry. Contributing to matters is the fact that the bottlecap, the common currency of the post-War era, is salvage subject to the Taboo. To help ease matters, the Pioneers maintain letters of credit with the other factions, ensuring that Pioneer scrip is exchangeable for caps throughout The Sound. Using these lines of credit, they exchange food for Old World books, Brahmin, post-War chems, and pure water in times of drought.

There exists a significant black market trade in Taboo items; especially among newer citizens, demand for Old World comforts are intense. Pioneer authorities usually turn a blind eye to low-level trafficking, often either on the take or overtaxed to the point of apathy. There remain persistent rumors that the Fire-Eater maintains a stockpile of Liberator-made firearms in case of a major attack by another Wasteland faction.

While the Pioneers maintain caravans to Spokane, where half of their original number split from the main faction to settle down, details on what exactly is in Spokane, who rules it, and whether or not they violate the Taboo remain shrouded in mystery.



The Liberators are the most closely aligned to the Pioneers, and one of the only manufacturers of non-Taboo goods in the Sound owing to their advanced industry. Relations have been strained recently since the discovery of Vault 61, with the Pioneers unwilling to take sides or otherwise jeopardize potential access to its data vaults.

The Commission

Much to the Liberators' chagrin, and the outrage of more idealistic members, the Pioneers maintain close relations with the slave-trading Commission. Despite their differences in philosophy, the Commission's control of Vault 60's computers and need for imported food creates a natural economic relationship few are willing to forsake, and more pragmatic members realize the value of having the Sound's most dangerous group reliant on their imports.

The Mechanist

Robots demonstrate all of the Pioneers' perceived failings of the Old World; lazy and wasteful contraptions that encourage complacety and contributed to the wars before the War. The Mechanist's insistence on producing scores of them and his designs on the Sound does not sit well with them. The feeling is mutual; Eyebots throughout the Sound transmit propaganda encouraging Pioneers to desert Rainier and its "gang of goddamn Luddites" in favor of the Mechanist's utopian vision.

The Brotherhood of Steel

The Pioneers assisted the Liberators in pushing the technology-hoarding, Old World remnant Brotherhood underground when their scouts first arrived in the Sound. The threat posed by Power Armored troops to the ill-equipped Pioneers encouraged them to design and produce a set of massive culverins, which proved a wise investment after the resurgence of the Mechanist.

Redmond Outfit

The Outfit controls the major supplyways between Rainier and the rest of the Sound, and extort a "toll" from any caravans they encounter. After a few major incidents with caravans who attempted to take the long way to the Liberators through Tacoma, the Pioneers decided to accept the toll as the price of doing business.


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