Political Factions of Tau
I don’t want the game to dwell too much on the politics of the characters’ home vault. (My preference is for exploration and adventure.) However, given recent events with the Metal Gods and at the Eden Prairie Vault, it has become important to consider the beliefs of the vault elders…
There are two primary political factions within Tau; the Conservatives and the Expansionists.
The Conservatives feel that the surface remains far too dangerous for colonization and that, with minimal scavenging for spare parts, Tau can remain a safe enclave for generations. They oppose attempts to contact other survivors, feeling that they are mutant degenerates who will only covet the resources of Tau.
They point to dangerous Creep zones, rad storms, mutant creatures, and hostile humanoids as evidence for their beliefs. The Conservative faction would prefer to limit scavenging to Crestone and other nearby ruins, and discourage any active contact with surface-dwellers.
The Expansionists, on the other hand, believe that the systems of Tau have reached the end of their useful life and that the vault-dwellers will need to colonize the surface within a few short years. Although the surface is still quite dangerous, the Expansionist faction trust that the inhabitants of Tau can adapt and survive to life outside the vault.
The Expansionists are accused of being alarmist, spreading uneccessary fear amongst the people of Tau. Worse, by actively contacting and communicating with surface-dwellers, they place the vault at risk of outside attack.
Although the majority of the vault elders belong to the Conservative faction, Expansionist beliefs run strong amongst members of the Surface Expedition Teams. Most elders ‘look the other way’ at the youths and their Expansionist tendencies, judging that they will eventually ‘grow up and come to their senses’ once they’ve experienced the devastation of the surface world. There is a minority of elders, however, who firmly believe that the future of Tau – and perhaps of humanity – depends on expansion to the surface.
The Conservatives are horrified that a cyborg ‘homing beacon’ has been brought to Tau. This event validates their fears of Scavengers exposing the vault to unnecessary risk. Some elders are promoting an immediate clamp-down on the Surface Expedition Teams – all missions strictly controlled by the elder council with very limited ability to exercise personal judgement.
The Expansionists are also concerned, but view it as further justification to spread the inhabitants of Tau to several surface sites. This would reduce the risk of a single catastrophic attack from destroying the last bastion of humanity in a single event.
The Conservatives grudgingly accept the discovery of Eden Prairie as a watershed event in the history of Tau. They will condone a slow, cautious establishment of a ‘satellite vault’ at Eden Prairie, under the direct administration and control of Tau.
The Expansionists will use Eden Prairie as a tool for political gain. Several of the descendants of the original P. Bachman happen to harbour Expansionist sympathies, and have been discussing ‘alternative management policies’ of a proposed independent Eden Prairie Colony.
Members of the Surface Expedition Teams will have a major influence on how events unfold…