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A holographic projection of Elijah
Elijah's in-game appearance
Hnh. Going to wipe the slate clean. Kimball, the Republic... Hardin, McNamara, my "brothers." Then I'll head back West.”
Elijah is an exceptionally hardy man; despite a combination of arthritis, Mentats addiction-induced migraines, drinking, smoking, and old age, he is not only still alive, but mobile and combat-ready, having traveled many hundreds of miles in his quest to restore the Brotherhood and is no pushover when confronted in the Sierra Madre Vault.
Rise to Power and the Mojave Chapter
A scribe of the Brotherhood of Steel, Elijah defied convention and rose to the rank of Elder, an honor usually reserved exclusively for Paladins. An exception was granted for him, on the grounds of him being a genius, able to figure out the workings of a device just by looking at it. His scientific acumen was matched only by his drive to recover and develop technology. His approach towards technology, iterating and improving, rather than simply preserving it, was considered unorthodox by his peers. Elijah often dispatched Scribes on tech retrieval missions, chasing all the leads he found. His drive to develop new technologies put him at odds with the more conservative members of the Brotherhood, particularly other Elders. The conflict developed as Elijah pushed for developing new technologies and new, ethically questionable weapons. The Elders, rather than deal with him, decided to send him away, east, to form a new chapter of the Brotherhood in the Mojave.
Elijah revealed himself as a brutally pragmatic and altogether unpleasant leader. A pathological control freak, he would often view the people under him as mere equipment, expecting them to carry out his orders and requests unquestionably, while dissent or unpredictability on their part would not just annoy, but even outright infuriate him. By far the only person with whom he had any kind of working relationship was Scribe Veronica Santangelo, his pupil. Elijah used his status to end her relationship with Christine Royce, so that she would follow him into the Mojave. Veronica was kept in the dark about the affair, and her reverence of Elijah only increased.
Elijah had partly been sent east to investigate the Hoover Dam and the possibility of bringing it back to functionality. However, the Brotherhood was not quick enough and the New California Republic had claimed it shortly prior. Elijah was furious, likening it to "children playing with a bomb." Instead of the dam, Elijah turned the Brotherhood's focus onto the Helios One solar power facility. Elijah's obsession with Helios and the need to defend against NCR forces deploying into the Mojave resulted in the Brotherhood ignoring the expansion of the Van Graff family into the Mojave, despite them distributing pre-War energy weapons. The Elder's orders were clear.
It was not until Operation Sunburst that Elijah's true nature became apparent to the rest of the Brotherhood. It was clear that the Brotherhood were on the losing end of the conflict, but Elijah refused to accept defeat and became obsessed with finding the technology required to defeat the NCR. Operating from the Brotherhood's HELIOS One base, he sent Paladins out on a number of missions that could be considered tactically questionable in efforts to secure vital technologies he was adamant would swing things in their favor. He eventually discovered that the secret to victory lay on his own doorstep, with the ARCHIMEDES II weapon. Though the Brotherhood position was tactically unsustainable, Elijah felt that if he could just get ARCHIMEDES functional the NCR could finally be pushed back. He stubbornly refused to give ground but salvation never came and when NCR finally overran the perimeter, Elijah simply disappeared into the wastes without a warning to anyone, not even Veronica, and was assumed to have deserted the Brotherhood. His successor, Nolan McNamara, wasted no time in gathering up the few that survived the battle at the facility and retreated to Hidden Valley.
But Elijah had not truly abandoned the Brotherhood nor his desire to see it dominant, but had in fact left to find new technologies that would save them – to find what he believed were treasures of the Old World. For Elijah the Brotherhood was doomed; they needed to begin again and he would do whatever was needed, no matter how morally questionable, to ensure that came to pass. He traveled throughout the Wasteland, going as far as the Divide and spending time among the Ciphers.
Eventually, Elijah stumbled across the Big Empty in his travels, where he found an incredible amount of rare pre-War technology. Captured temporarily by the Think Tank upon his arrival, he managed to escape in seconds, much to the shock of the brain bots. In the great expanse of Big MT, Elijah ran into another human, a courier named Ulysses, who spoke to him of the legend of the Sierra Madre and convinced Elijah to journey there to find what he sought. Before he could embark upon the Sierra Madre, Elijah had to make a few preparations. Making his way to Little Yangtze, he experimented on the survivors of the prison camp with explosive collars while, curiosity getting the better of him, seeking out the radio frequency until finally tracking down a faint broadcast. Avoiding the local robots and suffering from migraines through the overuse of Mentats, Elijah fine-tuned both the collars and the radio signal. Now, with the location of the mythical casino and his collars ready, his grand plan to defeat the New California Republic was ever so close to fruition.
However, the trail of crimes he had left across the wastes in the years preceding his arrival had not gone unnoticed, and the internal affairs of the Brotherhood soon dispatched assassins to stop him, Christine Royce being one of them. As the Think Tank sent robots to contain him and, catching a glimmer from a sniper scope, Elijah instinctively sensed the worst. Strategically detonating his subjects' collars to make his getaway as she attempted her assassination, Royce was defeated, becoming a subject for medical experimentation as she was dragged away to the Y-17 medical facility. He then moved on and set up a camp on the roof of the Signal Hills transmitter and later on the cliffs near the Big MT north tunnel where the uncontrollable broken and berserk Securitrons provided him defense. Hacking into the Think Tank mainframe as the Big MT's robots closed in, Elijah fried Doctor 8's voice module and rerouted Doctor 0's processors to take control of the train network. Via remote control, he directed a train into one of the tunnels, creating a path for his escape through the wreckage. Leaving his retrofitted LAER rifles and jury-rigged Tesla cannon behind, he then set off towards the Sierra Madre with a Gauss rifle and, crucially, the knowledge that could make the Mojave his, and his alone.
To prepare for his expedition, he renovated an abandoned Brotherhood of Steel bunker as a base of operations in the Mojave, setting it up for when he managed to get his hands on the technologies it offered. In making round trips around the Sierra Madre to his bunker, he performed analysis of the Cloud and the Sierra Madre's environment. Once ready to go to the Sierra Madre, he left a final message for Veronica in the event he did not return.
Upon reaching the Sierra Madre, he found everything that he had hoped for and more. The Cloud had somehow preserved the pristine nature of the casino and prevented it from decaying in all its centuries of disuse, in addition to serving as a deadly deterrent to potential intruders. He marveled at the casino's automated security systems – the invulnerable holograms, perfected versions of the technology he had found at the Big Empty. A single one of these holograms, deployed in the right place, would become a one-man army, massively powerful and almost impossible to defeat with conventional weapons. But the potential of these paled in comparison to a relatively innocuous technology: the Sierra Madre vending machines. These machines functioned as a sort of molecular assembler, taking Sierra Madre chips and using the raw material in their composition to assemble various alcohols and clothes as rewards for gamblers. The potential for these had already been partially realized before the war, as medical staff and construction crews had used them to generate medical supplies and explosives – but Elijah had grander ideas. He could use the machines to create any object he desired, and provide the same luxury to the people of the wasteland. He could create a new world where the very concept of "need" was eliminated, a new world with the Brotherhood of Steel at its head and the Sierra Madre at its heart.
However, Elijah also found that he could not unlock the secrets of the casino's vault alone. He used his explosive collars to coerce captives into trapping other fortune seekers lured by the Sierra Madre's signal, forming a chain that eventually grew into teams conscripted to do Elijah's bidding - or die. Eventually he found a new way of starting the chain in the form of Dog, a nightkin whose overwhelming need for a master figure allowed Elijah to bend him easily to his will even without an explosive collar. Human nature got the better of these teams though, and as soon as they became close to the treasure they all felt they could take it for themselves, inevitably turning on one another. One team managed to actually get Elijah into the heart of the casino, but after their deaths, Elijah found himself trapped and alone. In response, he modified the signals controlling the collars to add an extra condition: if one person died, they all would die. Unable to communicate with Dog and the outside, Elijah assumed this would be his end, until Dog, automatically acting on orders given to him long ago, brought to the casino a prisoner with a Pip-Boy 3000, someone with whom Elijah was capable of communicating. Elijah would be free to go, assuming he could bear to leave behind the casino and all its secrets.
He guided the Courier and the three remaining collars of the Sierra Madre – Dog, his unquestioning nightkin servant; Christine Royce, the same Circle of Steel knight sent to kill Elijah that was supposedly dispatched a Little Yangtze in the Big MT; and Dean Domino, a ghoulified, pre-War lounge singer who has been trapped in the Sierra Madre since the war. There, he ordered them to trigger the Gala Event to reopen the doors of the Sierra Madre Resort & Casino. Once inside, the Courier managed with Elijah's instruction to arrive in the Sierra Madre vault, where Elijah came out of hiding and a confrontation ensued.
Interactions with the player character
|This character starts quests.|
- Find Collar 8: "Dog": Elijah sends the Courier out to recruit Dog. He's found somewhere in the Villa Police Station.
- Find Collar 12: Christine: Elijah sends the Courier out to recruit Christine Royce. She's found somewhere in the Villa Clinic.
- Find Collar 14: Dean Domino: Elijah sends the Courier out to recruit Dean Domino. He's found somewhere in the Residential District.
- Heist of the Centuries: The Courier can either kill, join forces or imprison Elijah inside the Sierra Madre vault.
Narrated by Elijah
Narrated by Vera Keyes
Narrated by Elijah
|Father Elijah's robes|
Drops on death
1 Elijah carries two Gauss rifles; a normal one which he will drop upon death, and a special non-player character-only version which he will use if his regular Gauss rifle is disarmed from him. Elijah's non-player character-only Gauss rifle is coded as a companion weapon; it doesn't use ammunition, cannot be disarmed, and cannot be looted.
- Elijah claims to have made more holorifles, but he doesn't use any, nor are there any others in Dead Money. However, by listening to his broadcast, the Courier can overhear him complain about losing it. It is possible that he made another model, but simply lost it.
- He seems to enjoy drinking Scotch and smoking, as there are Scotch bottles and cigarettes in his room in the abandoned Brotherhood of Steel bunker. Also, according to his journal in Little Yangtze watchtower's terminal, he is possibly addicted to (or at least overuses) Mentats. Elijah apparently is ailed with arthritis, as he can be heard mumbling to himself about his "damn arthritis".
- If he is trapped in the Sierra Madre Vault at the end of Dead Money, the Courier can continue to listen in on his radio signal to hear some special dialogue.
- If the Courier has exhausted all dialogue about him with Veronica, the Courier can bring her up in conversation in the Vault's chamber. Likewise, speaking to Veronica about Elijah with Dead Money installed, before leaving for the Sierra Madre, also adds additional dialogue with Elijah.
- It is ironic that Elijah has a Pip-Boy himself, as he belittles the Courier's use of it on several occasions.
- "You've heard of the Sierra Madre Casino. We all have, the legend, the curses. Foolishness about it lying in the middle of the City of the Dead, buried beneath a blood-red cloud. A bright, shining monument luring treasure hunters to their doom. The world's most famous stars and entertainers were invited to its Grand Opening. An invitation was a sign of... exclusiveness. The opening was supposed to symbolize a road to a brighter future, not just for the world... ... but for all who came to its doors. A chance for anyone to begin again. Except - the Sierra Madre never opened. The war froze it in time, like a big flashbulb going off. The Grand Opening - one big ending of humanity. It's still out there, in the Wastes, preserved, just waiting for someone to crack it open. But getting to it. That's not the hard part. It's letting go."
- "That thing on your wrist - it's a convenience. It tells you where to go, what to do, dulls your brain. It may have helped you find the Sierra Madre broadcast, but it's just as much a crutch today as it was in the Old World."
- "Are you listening? Good. From now on, when I talk, listen - and follow my instructions. Play stupid, play clever, make the mistake of saying "no?" That collar on your neck'll go off and take your head with it."
- "Did you really think you could steal from me? The Sierra Madre is mine."
- "Eh? What's this. Alarms... what... you. Think you can run, think you can trick me? This entire structure is mine to command. Security... weapons... all this technology - mine. Now - you die. You think you've escaped... no. No, you were never out of reach... my hand was always around your neck."
- "I've downloaded the instructions and markers on your Pip-Boy... in case you forget. And yes, I have access to that device on your wrist. Get the other three here, after that... I'll have more instructions for you. Do this, I'll let you go. I'll let all of you go."
- "Big Empty's a treasure box, a scientific graveyard of Old World misery. Like the Sierra Madre... there's treasures there, sleeping. Some, awake. The Holorifle, the Saturnite alloy... the hologram technology, hibernation chambers, Securitrons, the collars... ...even the suits attached to those things stalking the Villa... that's only the surface of what's there. Right now, the Sierra Madre is what I want."
- "Do I? For what? Your greed? Curiosity? You came here on your own, no one held a gun to your head. I've seen your Pip-Boy archives, your map markers and notes - you picked up the Sierra Madre signal just as I did, you couldn't resist. So if you feel I have a lot to answer for... no, the blame isn't on my shoulders. Might as well have put the collar on yourself."
- Hiding? Hardly. Trapped. You think you were the first one to unlock the casino door? No, I did it... with other hands, other bodies. After that, the casino wouldn't let go. Once I was locked in, no way out... until your Pip-Boy signal came to life in the Villa. Then... then, uh, things changed. And here you are.
- "You speak as if your fingers have never touched the keys of a RobCo terminal. No machine is foolproof, they are designed to obey us. The Pip-Boy's operating system has vulnerabilities... advantages to those who've studied its construction, even superficially. It's just a machine, though. Its real vulnerability is who wears it. And that's how you were caught."
Behind the scenes
- Text strings in Veronica's dialogue files that allow for Dead Money to provide added content for Veronica were masked as a red herring dummy quest involving Elijah as Abraham, a ghoul and a mass accelerator.