Ouroboros design document/1

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Gametitle-VBThe following is based on Van Buren and has not been confirmed by canon sources.

This is part 1 of the Ouroboros design document for Van Buren, the canceled Fallout 3 by Black Isle Studios.


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2 Part 1
Document start icon The following is the original document or a transcript thereof.


The Ouroboros
Version 1.0
VB DD06 npc Daughter of Hecate
9/13/2003 12:34:00 AM

The Earth began to bellow, trees to dance, and howling dogs in glimmering light advance, ere Hekate came.

— The Aeneid, book VL. Virgil.
The Ouroboros: Ahead of you lies a small village made from the scavenged ruins of the wasteland. Truck beds, trailers, and small metal buildings on wheels are haphazardly laid out before you. In the center of the village a pyramid of steel and tin rises out of the confusion. Surrounding the village is a wall of ruined steel and debris.

The Ouroboros is home to a raider clan known as the Hounds of Hecate (formerly the Vipers) and a religious organization known as the Daughters of Hecate. Both groups are run by a mysterious woman who claims to be the goddess Hecate herself incarnate.

The Hounds of Hecate are a fierce tribe comprised of male members only. They are well equipped and specialize in various forms of unarmed warfare. The elite of the Hounds are also well versed in the use of melee weapons. All members of the tribe have been known to consume strange poultices before battle. Afterwards, they fight like the devil and seem almost immune to pain and injury. The tribe is unwavering in its loyalty to their goddess, Hecate.

The Daughters of Hecate are a religious matriarchy who practices a primitive life/death/rebirth cult. The Daughters are well traveled and are versed in the art of midwifery, healing, and the making of potions and poultices. A Daughter of Hecate can be recognized by their dress, a floor length black robe with silver trim, the face paint that they wear, making one Daughter nearly indistinguishable from another, and their braided hair, often cropped at shoulder length.

Map area Transition Map # Map size Complexity
Gate Full Party Small Entryway, moat, wall
City Full Party Medium City square with shops and markets
Pyramid Full Party Medium Interior, several rooms

VB DD06 map Ouroboros flowchart

Area History

The Twisted Hair tribe was one of the most domineering tribes in the wasteland. They regularly raided their neighbors for food, supplies, and slaves. They were merciless in their efforts and the other tribes began to fear even the mention of their name.

It was during the reign of the Twisted Hairs that Caesar's Legion rose up. The Legion taught the tribes to fight back and the Twisted Hairs were soon driven from their lands. Weakened and on the retreat, the Twisted Hairs were then set upon by the Legion and destroyed. No one was spared, but one woman did manage to escape.

She wandered the desert passing from tribe to tribe trying to find someone who would take her in and give her a home. The tribes spurned her and turned her away. They told her that she was cursed, that the Legion had marked her, and that she would bring death to any who gave her succor. Consumed with anger and hatred she fled back into the desert from which she came. None of the tribes ever saw her again.

The wasteland consumed her. All that she was was lost to the unforgiving sun and the burning sands. Her mind left her and she forgot who she was. She felt parts of herself drifting away day by day until nothing remained. She fought to hold on to herself but to no avail... until she remembered the anger and the hatred. The Legion had taken all that was dear to her. The tribes had called her cursed, death maiden, dark mother... she would show them all... someday... Finally she paused in her wanderings, collapsed, and let the desert take her.

She awoke in paradise. She found herself at the edge of a lake surrounded by trees. Water fell from the sky in torrents and filled the lake as waves rolled across its surface. Everywhere she looked the world was green. Plants and trees that she had never seen before stretched as far as the eye could see. And from among the trees strange animals gazed at her, their eyes filled with curiosity, not the hunger of the wasteland.

As she stood looking across the landscape she heard a whirring sound behind her. When she turned to look, she saw a shinning metallic thing, watching her.

"I see that you are awake at last," it said with a woman's voice. "I am Diana. Can you tell me your name?"

"I... I don't..." She paused as she tried to remember who she was, struggling with the blackness that was her mind. "Dark Mother," she blurted at last. "They called me the Dark Mother."

"Did they, now? Well, I shall call you Hecate then. Do you mind?"


"Yes. Forgive me, I know you don't understand, but I find it amusing. You see, I am Diana and she was the goddess of the full, or bright moon. Hecate was her opposite, the goddess of the new, or dark moon. She was also known as the Dark Mother. So, I thought I would christen you Hecate."


"Yes. Both were goddesses of the moon... Forgive me; I must be confusing you to no end. I've been alone for centuries and I find myself babbling now that I have someone to talk to. Come. Let me show you my world and we will talk and get to know one another. There is much that we can learn from each other."

Hecate gazed at the shinning one, nodded, and began to walk with... her. She had found paradise, a goddess, and had been elevated to the status of an equal. Now she was being offered knowledge. It was knowledge with which to gain vengeance over those who had wronged her.

When Hecate had collapsed in the desert she was near death from dehydration and heat stroke. Fortunately for her, she was near the Nursery when she collapsed. Diana had been performing a routine survey of the Nursery surroundings when she saw the tribal lying in the sand. She immediately dispatched a worker robot to collect her and bring her back. She spent the next couple weeks tending her until she regained consciousness.

Diana spent the next several months teaching Hecate about herbs, plants, and their uses in treating ailments. She also spoke of breeding among animals, what to look for to ensure strong future stock, and how to recognize congenital traits that could be eliminated by proper breeding. When Hecate asked if the same technique could be applied to humans, Diana admitted that it could, but spoke of the virtues of love and free choice. She did not realize that her words now fell upon deaf ears.

Diana did not realize that Hecate had sunk into madness. In her loneliness and innocence she continued to teach her everything that she asked for, and Hecate absorbed it all and twisted it to suit her own needs and desires. Eventually she told Diana that she needed to leave, but would someday return when the time was right for her to do so.

Hecate braided her hair in the fashion of her lost tribe, and then painted her face so that none could recognize her. She traveled to the very same tribes that had rejected her and aided them with her new found knowledge of midwifery and herbal medicine. Once she gained the trust of a tribe, she began to preach her life/death/rebirth religion. She asked that young women of the tribe join her and aid her in helping all the tribes of the wasteland. Thus the Daughters of Hecate were born.

Eventually the Daughters began to decide who could marry and who could not, who could have children and who could not. Only a Daughter was allowed to deliver a child into the world and it was done in a birthing tent set apart from the rest of the tribe. No males were allowed in or near the tent. Anyone who disobeyed their edict was either stricken with impotence or their wives bore sickly children. If a Daughter was ever harmed or killed the, men of the tribe were rendered impotent until a new Daughter was assigned to them. And so the Daughters grew in power and infamy.

Unbeknown to the tribes, the Daughters were taking the best of their children and replacing them with the weak or infirm. The best of the males were taken to the Ouroboros to become warriors in the Hounds of Hecate. The best of the females were taken to become Daughters. Over the years Hecate watched as the tribes grew subtly weaker and her followers grew stronger and stronger. Soon, vengeance would be hers.

Her plan was simple. When the tribes were weak enough, her Hounds would sweep down upon them and annihilate them from the face of the earth. The same would come to pass with Caesar and his legion. When all who had wronged her were gone, she and her people would march upon paradise and reclaim it as their just reward.

Area Composition

The Gate:

This is a fortified gatehouse that allows egress to and from the city.

The City:

This is the market place of the city. It is here that people come to buy goods such as slaves, potions, poultices, or the services of a Daughter of Hecate.

The Pyramid:

This building is the religious center of the city. It houses the ritual baths, the conjugal rooms, common rooms, and kitchen on the first floor, the elite guard barracks on the second floor, and Hecate's private chambers on the third floor.


The Gate:

VB DD06 map Gate

The city of Ouroboros is very well protected. The city itself is surrounded by a wall composed of flatbed trailers lying on their side. Just outside the wall is a trench filled with junk and debris of various shapes and sizes. The city gates are made from a flatbed cut in half and then mounted on the axle of yet another flatbed. A lift-gate from a truck spans the trench at the gate. Rising above the wall on either side of the gate is a small watch tower. Guards are stationed in the watch towers at all times. Another guard is stationed at the lift-gate.

The guards watch for any large forces approaching the city. If one is spotted then the lift-gate is raised and the gates sealed. The defenders then try to outlast the siege. There is ample food and water stored in the city to last for a month or more. This should be long enough to outlast any attackers who do not have well established supply lines. Small groups or individuals are allowed to approach and enter the city without any hindrance.

If they player takes the time to explore this area thoroughly he will discover an NCR ranger hiding nearby. Talking to the ranger will reveal that he has been scoping out Ouroboros for a possible raid to free the slaves trapped within the city. The ranger will ask the player to open the gates of the city at night so that his group can manage this.

The City:

VB DD06 map City

The city of Ouroboros is surrounded by a wall constructed from the undercarriages of semi-truck trailers. The buildings of the city appear to be constructed from the upper remains of the trailers, truck beds, and travel trailers of various shapes and sizes. These buildings are laid out rather haphazardly, showing no rhyme or reason. Rising up out of the city is a three story steel pyramid. Two large braziers illuminate the front of the building at all times. On the ground before the pyramid is an inlaid mosaic constructed of colored steel. It depicts a snake biting its own tail.

The left half of the city is dedicated to the Hounds of Hecate. The warriors generally camp out in the open in small groups. The officers and elite of the Hounds are allowed communal buildings which they share. Three long narrow travel trailers here house the boy's orphanage. A larger semi-truck trailer is used as a classroom where they are taught the religion of Hecate and the art of war. Huddled in one corner of the wall here is a slave camp.

The right half of the city is dedicated to the Daughters of Hecate. The sisters are allowed to sleep in the common area of the pyramid and therefore need no outdoor camps. However, the elite of the sisterhood have private quarters along the lines of those provided for the warriors. The girl's orphanage is here, as well as a classroom where they learn herbalism, midwifery, and husbandry. A building behind the classroom is used for the brewing of potions and poultices.

The pyramid is the holy of holies in the city. It is here that the religious rites of the Ouroboros are practiced. It is also home to the elite guard of Hecate and the goddess herself.

The junkyard is exactly that. Here lie the ruins of cars, trucks, boats, airplanes, and just about anything else that can be imagined. This scrap is used in the construction of the walls and other elements of the city. Hidden within this pile of junk is a jail. Imprisoned within the jail is a Follower of the Apocalypse named Adrian Beyr. He requested an audience with Hecate and she granted it out of curiosity. He made the mistake, however, of quoting the Aeneid about the true goddess Hecate. His words were considered blasphemy and the Daughters had him incarcerated.

Visitors are allowed to enter the city for the purposes of speaking with the Daughters. They can be consulted about herbal medicines, breeding of Brahmin livestock, or obtaining a Daughter for their village. They may also request an audience with Hecate, but few are ever granted. Visitors are not, however, allowed to wander around freely. Some areas, the orphanages and classrooms, are off limits. Anyone attempting to enter these areas is turned away.

There are a few things for the player to do in the city.

  1. Request an audience with Hecate
    Hecate will grant the player an audience out of sheer curiosity. If he behaves himself he can learn all her history and her plans for conquest. The player can also receive a quest to remove Caesar's Legion agents from various areas in the game.
  2. Aid in the rescue of the slaves
    Perhaps, through dialog, the player can expose Hecate as a fraud. I'm not sure how to work this at this time but I want to put it on this list.
  3. Expose Hecate as a fraud
    The player can remove the night gate guards and open the gates for the NCR Rangers to free the slaves.
  4. Distribute plague cure
    The player could have a plague vaccine from the Nursery. If that is the case then he could insinuate it into the Daughters brews and it would unknowingly be spread throughout the tribes.
  5. Rescue Adrian Beyr
    The player can free Adrian from his prison and sneak him out of the city at night.
  6. Play matchmaker
    Two of the city's major players, Jordan and Yvanna, are looking for a mate. The player can make a match.

The Pyramid:

VB DD06 map Pyramid

This is the religious center of the Ouroboros. The ground floor holds ritual baths for males and females, the conjugal meeting room, and private bedrooms. There is a multi-purpose common area where meals are served and at night it is used for sleeping quarters by the Daughters. A storage area contains foodstuffs, potions, poultices, and clothing. A well stocked kitchen is here. The second floor holds the barracks for Hecate's elite guard. The third and final floor is Hecate's private bedroom.

One thing not shown on the map is an escape tunnel that Hecate had installed in her bedroom. By pulling a lever on the back wall, the floor under the lever pivots and dumps whoever is standing there in a chute that leads to secret door at the rear of the pyramid on the first floor. A tunnel beyond the door leads under the city wall and out into the desert.

Art Requirements

The Ouroboros will not have a unique style to it. We can use the junktown tile set with a few modifications to it to account for the trailer trash look of the town. Also, the pyramid is a steel jungle pieced together from trash. However, the inside of it could resemble the vault tile set. Perhaps a retexture of that would be in order.

Tile Set

The following sets will be needed: junk town, desert, crops, and a vault-like set. Need 'trailer parts' added to the set.


Other than domesticated animals there are no critters here. The area is populated by Hecate, the Hounds of Hecate, and the Daughters of Hecate.

Generic Scenery Objects

The following generic objects will be needed: desert trees, plants, rocks, ruined machinery, and lots of junk.

Specific Scenery Objects

The following specific objects will be needed:


  1. Entry gate comprised of a 'hollowed out semi-truck and trailer.
  2. City wall comprised of the undercarriage of semi-truck trailers.
  3. A bicycle with a gear up mechanism attached to an electric generator (ridden by a slave)


  1. There will most likely be some pens here for animals and slaves.
  2. A bicycle with a gear up mechanism attached to an electric generator (ridden by a slave)


  1. Nothing

Dynamic Scenery Objects

The following specific objects will be needed:


  1. Entry gate
  2. Sections of the city wall


  1. The gates on the slave and animal pens.


  1. Nothing

Area Photo

The Ouroboros photo should look like this.

Town Map In Pipboy

The Ouroboros map should look like this:

Scripted Scenes Or Movies

  1. None
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