The Khans are a tribe of brutally vicious and semi-organized raiders with a culture based around the basic tenets of Social Darwinism. They are one of the more formidable of the four groups (Khans, Vipers, Jackals, and the community of Shady Sands) that originated in Vault 15. Most wastelanders view the Khans as the founders of the chem trade. They are also known to make jet, psycho and many other addictive chems. Their main base in 2161 was located southeast of Shady Sands. At least twice, the Khans have suffered a brutal near-defeat, but, "like a Phoenix", the group has always managed to rise again from its ashes.
The Khans once lived the lifestyles of the Mongol warriors; raiding towns, burning what they cannot take, and capturing survivors for use as slaves. Their main targets were the communities of Shady Sands, with whom they once shared a vault, and Junktown. By 2281, they have been reduced to making and trading chems to the local group of Fiends. They usually travel in small scouting bands, but sometimes roam the wastes in full war parties. The Khans, above all else, respect strength. They are eager in combat to prove their worthiness to the clan by engaging in hand to hand combat with fists or clubs. Though the Khans prefer melee weapons to firearms, some will carry pistols and other varieties of small arms. Some of them are said to have worn tire armor.
During the spring of 2141, four groups left Vault 15 to brave the Wasteland. In the winter of the same year, three of these groups became roving gangs of raiders: the Jackals, the Vipers, and the Khans. The Khans were founded and lead by the father of Garl Death-Hand (known as "The Death-Hand") who led them on regular pillage raids. Their primary victims were the village of Shady Sands, a community created by the last of the four groups that left Vault 15. Sometime before 2161, Garl Death-Hand killed his father and became the leader of the Khans. After that, they set up camp in and around an open house to the southeast of Shady Sands, with tents surrounding the main building as basic dwellings and workstations for subordinate and lower ranked members.
Garl continued the work of his father, preying on the towns of Shady Sands and Junktown, and others they could get themselves upon who they considered easy prey. After a hard day's work thieving, killing, and pillaging the average traders at times, Garl and his fellow Khans would sometimes go to Junktown to "relax" with its ladies afterward.  In 2161, Garl was ultimately killed when the Vault Dweller came to rescue Tandi, who had been kidnapped by the Khans. The Vault Dweller also saves two other slaves owned by Garl, and killed all other Khans in the Khan camp, except for one young man named Darion who was either away or hiding.
Darion became paranoid and obsessed with revenge against the Vault Dweller and Tandi, who later became President of the New California Republic. He was riddled with survivor guilt because he alone had lived, while the rest of his gang had been slaughtered. Since the Vault Dweller wiped out the Khans, he formed a second generation of Khans, the New Khans. Since 2161 Darion spent most of his time either gaining as many New Khans as he could, or out leading his new band of khans on a raid. By 2241 However, Darion is an old man, and led his tribe to Vault 15, the same vault from which the original Khans came. Darion made a deal with the squatters to provide them with food and water by raiding the caravans, particularly the NCR. In return the squatters would conceal the fact that the dangerous band's true headquarters was right below them. As a result, the newly organized tribe once again lived the lifestyle of the mongol warriors. In an ironic twist of fate, Darion, now an old man, was killed in 2241 by the Chosen One, the grandchild of the Vault Dweller who had killed his companions 80 years earlier.
Following their near-extinction in California, Papa Khan rallied the surviving New Khans and led them out of NCR territory. By 2267, they had made their home in the Mojave Wasteland and had renamed themselves the Great Khans. They prospered in the ruins of Las Vegas for several years, until they were forcibly driven out by Mr. House's Securitrons and his tribal allies. The Great Khans resettled at Bitter Springs, where they carried on as before, raiding nearby communities and travellers.
Around 2274, the NCR was starting to make its presence felt in the area. The discovery of Hoover Dam and the remarkably well-preserved city of Las Vegas (now renamed New Vegas) led to a sudden influx of NCR settlers and tourists in the area and an expansion of NCR influence into Nevada. Seeing them as intruders upon their territory, the Great Khans took to assaulting NCR civilians and outposts. The Khans hoped that Mr. House and his tribes would follow suit and attack the NCR and drive them away from New Vegas. Instead Mr. House signed the New Vegas Treaty leaving the Khans as the sole agitators of the NCR. With the treaty signed the NCR now had the time and resources to deal with the Khans. In response to their raids NCR forces began systematically tracking down Khan raiding parties in an effort to eliminate them, culminating in the attack at Bitter Springs. Unbeknownst to the NCR Army and the 1st Recon soldiers participating in the operation, they had stumbled onto the Khans main encampment. While the warriors fought the NCR Army they sent the weaker Khans, namely mothers and their children, as well as the elderly down a nearby pass. The 1st Recon soldiers were ordered to fire on them until the snipers ran out of ammo, and so they did killing the fleeing Khan civilians. Accounts may vary on other details, but the NCR mistakenly believed the settlement to be a raiding camp, with disastrous results: the slaughter of over a dozen innocents have been since known as the Bitter Springs Massacre. After the incident many of the NCR troopers and sharpshooters that took part in the massacre were deeply scarred. Craig Boone recalls radioing to inform their command that they were only seeing civilians and that due to poor radio equipment and the fog of war they were told to fire anyway.
The surviving Great Khans were forced to retreat to Red Rock Canyon, eking out a precarious existence in a barren and inhospitable region. After the massacre at Bitter Springs, the Followers of the Apocalypse offered their assistance to the beleaguered war band. They also taught the Great Khans how to make their own medicine; however, the Khans used this knowledge to make chems instead, eventually becoming the leading distributor of illegal and highly addictive chems in the Mojave. Disgusted at this perversion of their knowledge, the Followers ceased providing assistance and left.
To this day, the Great Khan leader, Papa Khan, blames their situation on the NCR. However, he seems to be the only Great Khan higher-up that keeps an ongoing grudge against the NCR, and won't even consider the possibility that the massacre at Bitter Springs happened due to a communication mishap. Because of this, in 2281 he is deliberating on whether the Great Khans should ally themselves with Caesar's Legion, the NCR's main adversary in the Mojave Wasteland.
The Khans are the only one of the three raider groups planned for Fallout (Vipers and Jackals being the others) to appear in the game as a faction. They also appear in Fallout 2 and Fallout: New Vegas under a new name.
Behind the scenesEdit
Their name is a reference to Mongol rulers known as Khans, mainly Genghis Khan, an infamous Mongolian warlord.