I've decided to start a series of terminal entries on the campfire stories I hear in bars and on, well, campsites. It's why they're called campfire stories after all. The first one I have is the tale of a legionare turned kind leader of a tribe. He goes by Joshua Graham but is more commonly known to the wasteland beyond Zion as "The Burned Man."
I'd guess Joshua Graham was born around 2219, I'm only going off what I'd assume his age is (64). He grew up in New Canaan, a Mormon commune built around the ruins of the old world city of Ogden. For those who don't know what Mormon means, an article about old world religions will come later. The time he grew up in was a peaceful one, and he became a missionary and translator due to his natural aptitude for language. Because of his intelligence the Followers of the Apocalypse recognized him as a valuable asset, and Graham was quickly chosen after the Followers put out a request for help with their journey to the Grand Canyon. So Graham left Canaan and headed south along Highway 89 and the Long 15, meating some Followers along the way. This initial part of his journey was up to 2246.
In 2247 Graham and his group made their first long term stop with the Blackfoot tribe. At first the tribe was quite hospitable and welcome to the education the Followers were bringing, but somewhere along the line it seems their relationship was soured. Whether it was misenterpretation on Graham's part, or a simple misunderstanding, the Blackfoots held the entire expedition for ransom. The Blackfoots were at war with several other groups, and were blatantly losing. This was obviously an issue, as many groups wouldn't care for another prisoner and would probably just outright kill them. One of Grahams partners on his journey, Edward Sallow, decided it would be best if he took charge of the situation and aided the Blackfoots in their war, despite the objectioins of another follower in the group. Graham and Sallow turned the tribe from an unorganized erratic forced into a cunning and dangerous force. The Blackfoots waged war against any who opposed them and did quite well, which eventually lead to Sallow choosing the name Caesar, and the creation of Caesar's Legion.
Graham became the Malpais Legate. Though he wasn't the especially amazing with tactics, his brutality and lack of mercy made him infamous among both his enemies and his friends. Caesar trusted his brutality and had him command that fateful siege on Hoover Dam all those years ago. He succeeded at first, but led his troops into the famous trap at Boulder City.This forced him and his troops to retreat. Caesar was not pleased, and decided to punish him quite severely. He lit Graham on fire and threw him into the Grand Canyon. Miraculously, he survived.
The Legion sent assassins after him. They all failed.
The Burned Man
Graham made his way back to New Canaan. He crawled for three months, always having to endure the pain to replace all his bandages. Three months of scavenging whilst burnt all over. He was welcomed home, his family cared not for the atrocities he commited, they only cared for the fact that he had returned. This time of peace was brief as a tribe known as The White Legs were equipped by the legion and attacked New Canaan. He was forced to flee to Zion Canyon, where he joined the Dead Horses tribe and helped them by acting as a war chief. He wanted vengence against The White Legs. When the Courier arrived in New Canaan they aided Graham against The White Legs and drove them out of Zion and New Canaan. They killed those who stood in their way and the Courier convined Graham to spare their leader. Graham was a more merciful soul from that day on. He's much kinder than he's described in the old stories. He openly invites caravans for trade and the tribes of Zion have prospered. As a result Grahams tale has been forgotten by many, though this tale of redemption is one worth telling.
This was the the story of The Burned Man.
The man who was baptized twice. Once in water... and once in flames.