Sorrows

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Sorrows
SorrowsSymbol.png
Overview
LeadershipDaniel (de facto)
FoundedThe Father in the Cave
Society
Notable MembersDancing Flame
Waking Cloud
White Bird
Territory
HeadquartersThe Narrows
Notable LocationsCrossroad Cavern
Glass Chime Cave
Half Mouse Cave
Sorrows Camp
Stone Bones Cave
Sweet Flower Cave
White Bird's Cave
Relations and associations
Related EntitiesCrazy Horns
Dead Horses
Tar Walkers
 
Gametitle-FNV HH.png
Gametitle-FNV HH.png

The Sorrows are a tribe of religious hunter-gatherers living in the Zion Canyon area in 2281.

Background[edit | edit source]

The Sorrows' history is closely tied to their religion. The original Sorrows were a group of children, the eldest born no earlier than 2109. They spoke English and were literate, and had escaped a place known only as "The School". Nothing is known about this place, save that the children would scare each other with tales of "The Principal".[1] Less than a year after the children arrived in The Narrows,[2] notes and gifts began to appear from seemingly nowhere. At first, story books, later, medical books and weapon manuals replaced them - the sort of thing that would help the children survive the post-apocalyptic world.[3]

All the notes were signed "the Father". Some contained practical advice, others provided spiritual guidance, advising them to read and learn, be kind and modest, to protect one another and fight only those who posed threats to them, and telling them that Zion was the Father's gift to them, as an apology for the sorrows of their lives and the sorrows of the Great War.[3]

Eventually, the gifts became fewer and far between, and one day one final note was discovered. It contained a personal message for each individual member of the group, an assurance that their kind natures had pleased the Father, and a message that the Father would step back from their lives, but keep a silent vigil.[3] Most of the group's later history is unknown, but it is known that at some point they began calling themselves the Sorrows, and attempted to search the caves in the region for traces of the Father.

War for Zion[edit | edit source]

After the Destruction of New Canaan, the New Canaanites fled to Zion Canyon and brought the White Legs with them. With their arrival and assault on all tribes, the children and elderly of the Sorrows were evacuated to Dead Horse Point.[4] Daniel has been in contact with the tribe for at least six years and is attempting to make amends with the tribe for bringing the White Legs and endangering the tribe.[5][6]

Society[edit | edit source]

The Sorrows are a friendly tribe, and are particularly unique as they do not have a warrior-based culture, but rather a hunting-based culture. Their rite of passage reflects this; it involves a young Sorrow hunting and killing a yao guai and fashioning a Yao guai gauntlet from its paw.[7] In accordance with this belief, the Sorrows have sensitive and innocent souls and mourn the loss of everyone, even those that would seek to hurt them, like the White Legs.[8] It seems they also raise normal geckos, since many can be seen in their camp and are friendly.

All Sorrow tribals tattoo themselves with the symbol of the Virgin River. This symbol is meant to remind them of the suffering the tribe has had to face to reach the point where they are now and to show their lasting connection to the Virgin River, and, in part, Zion and nature as a whole.[9]

The Ghost of She[edit | edit source]

The Ghost of She is a legend that embodies Sorrows culture. According to Waking Cloud, a clever and curious girl lived among the Sorrows tribe long ago. One day, she slipped away from the camp and went to play in the nearby caves. She did not know that yao guai slept in this cave and she was killed by one. The tribe wept at the loss and because the girl died before here naming day, her ghost remained restless and continued wandering the earth. Many hunters tried to slay the beast, but were unsuccessful. The tribe's shaman remarked that because the beast had consumed the girl, the two were now one.[10]

Religion[edit | edit source]

The Sorrows' ancestral religion involved the exclusive worship of a spirit known as "The Father in the Cave" who helped the first Sorrows find their place in Zion and provided them with gifts to teach them how to survive in the recently destroyed world.[11] The caves that the Father dwelt in are considered sacred to the Sorrows; entering any of these caves is forbidden and considered taboo; those that seek them out are taken from this world.[11][12][13] To ensure these caves remain untouched, they are marked with white hand prints.[14]

Daniel has been trying to convert them to Mormonism as of late, and has experienced some success due to the parallels between the two religions.[15] For example, the Sorrows now believe that the Father's holy bride (Mary) and holy son (Jesus) were given unto the world to save it. They dwelt in the caverns of the mountains, caverns which can still be seen today. The people sinned against God and were punished with the End That Came in Fire and the loss of the holy tongue (English), and that only the New Canaanites were spared.[11][16] Daniel is apparently unaware of his failure to get his message across clearly.[17]

Language[edit | edit source]

The language spoken by the Sorrows, like that of the Dead Horses, is a combination of Res and a language spoken by tourists who were visiting Res when the bombs dropped. It seems to be a combination of English, Spanish, and hints of Japanese.[18][19]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

[H]ow the DLC shipped was not how it was planned. The tribes in Zion are descendants of a mix of North American native people as well as other American citizens and European (of various non-native ethnicities) tourists/campers. This survives in the language of the Dead Horses, for example, who use a large number of German-derived words.

In the first design docs for HH, every tribe was supposed to have members from all of the F3/FNV ethnic groups. However, there was a complicating factor: body art. The various tattoos and body paints we needed to texture the bodies multiplied the number of required textures. They couldn’t simply be layered on (as they can in F4), but were entirely new body textures that dramatically increased the amount of texture memory being used. For that reason, each tribe wound up having only one body texture per sex. This compressed their ethnicities into homogenized blends, with Dead Horses being a darker tan, Sorrows a light tan, and White Legs (under the body paint) fairly pale.

As a minor point, Daniel was specifically supposed to be (and was, in data, for most of development) Asian. I don’t know when, how, or why he was switched to Caucasian, but that’s how he shipped. It’s frustrating, because those changes slot Joshua and Daniel as white guys among (mostly) brown folk when 1) they weren’t supposed to be white guys and 2) the tribes were specifically called out as ethnically and culturally mixed without any real-world analogues.

Regarding the “natives as aesthetic” criticism, the patterns we used for the three tribes’ body art are not based on any current or historical native American body art (AFAIK). There are in-fiction explanations for each tribe’s specific choices. The White Legs initially colored themselves white to blend into the Great Salt Lake (where they are from) and they dread their hair out of reverence for Ulysses. The Sorrows use the river pattern to reflect their suffering and their connection to the Virgin River in Zion. The Dead Horses mark various accomplishments on their skin and decorate their clubs with .45 shells out of their respect for Joshua Graham.

Joshua Eric Sawyer, Frog Helms Fan Club

Appearances[edit | edit source]

The Sorrows appear only in the Fallout: New Vegas add-on, Honest Hearts.

References[edit source]

  1. Year: 2123
  2. The Courier: "Tell me more about your tribe."
    Waking Cloud: "We have dwelt in the Narrows since the End That Came In Fire, when the Father in the Caves punished the world and made us forget the holy tongue. We have had good relations with the other tribes in the valley. At least, before Salt-Upon-Wounds brought his White Legs here. We have Daniel to thank for our continued existence. His advice and help has kept the White Legs from overrunning us so far. I do not know how long even he can protect us, though."
    (Waking Cloud's dialogue)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Year: 2124
  4. The Courier: "What's your deal?"
    Waking Cloud: "Waking Cloud is my name. I am midwife to the Sorrows. It sounds ill-omened, no? "Midwife to sorrows.""
    The Courier: "Midwife? I haven't seen any children around."
    Waking Cloud: "The children and the old have already been evacuated from the camp. They are safe enough, unless the White Legs come for us in force."
    The Courier: "What do you do when you're not delivering babies?"
    Waking Cloud: "I tend to other hurts and sicknesses that afflict our tribe. I also scout the valley for the herbs I use in my medicines."
    (Waking Cloud's dialogue)
  5. The Courier: "Have you known him long?"
    Waking Cloud: "Six years. He attended the birth of my third child. It was a hard birth. The River nearly carried my water to the Father, and my child's with it. Daniel knew the ways of New Canaan's medicine. He stepped in and saved both of our lives. After the birth, I asked Daniel if he would teach me what he knew of childbirth. He agreed, and so here I am."
    (Waking Cloud's dialogue)
  6. The Courier: "You said you "used to" help the Sorrows with problems. What do you do now?"
    Daniel: "I'm trying to make amends for allowing our problem to become their problem. The New Canaanites, I mean. The White Legs have always fought with us, and with Joshua returning, Caesar has motivated the White Legs to stamp out the New Canaanites entirely. That means the tribes we work with, too. It's already hap- I just want to prevent something terrible from happening to the Sorrows."
    (Daniel (Honest Hearts)'s dialogue)
  7. The Courier: "I like your bear glove. Where can I get one?"
    Waking Cloud: "A Sorrow's Yao Guai Fist is a sacred symbol. It shows that we belong to the tribe and have willingly undertaken a dangerous quest to aid the tribe. Each Sorrow makes his own - and only after hunting and slaying a Yao Guai that threatened our people. Our shaman, White Bird, oversees the rites. Perhaps if you spoke to him, he would allow you to undertake such a quest."
    (Waking Cloud's dialogue)
  8. Daniel: "The Dead Horses told me details about the attack on your caravan. A stranger's sympathy might not count for much, but for what it's worth, I'm sorry. The Sorrows will mourn your friends, too. They mourn everyone, even the White Legs. They have sensitive souls. Innocent, if there is such a thing. In spite of what's happened, I hope that Joshua and I can help you out of here. But to be frank, we need your help, too."
    (Daniel (Honest Hearts)'s dialogue)
  9. Josh Sawyer's tumblr "The Sorrows use the river pattern to reflect their suffering and their connection to the Virgin River in Zion."
  10. The Courier: "Tell me about the Ghost of She."
    Waking Cloud: "That is a sad story. I do not like to tell it, but if you are asking, it must be at White Bird's request. That, I will honor. Long ago, a girl lived among this tribe. She was a curious child, and a clever one, and her mother had a devil's time watching over her. One day, the child slipped away from camp and went to play in the caves nearby. The girl did not know that a Yao Guai slept in that cave. The girl died. The tribe wept, for the girl had died before her naming day, and her ghost would remain restless and wandering upon the earth. Many hunters tried to kill the beast, but it eluded them, or drove them off. The shaman said that since it had consumed the girl, the two were one. So we call the beast Ghost of She, for the child had no name to be called. That is the story of the Ghost of She. It is a sad story. It is our story."
    (Waking Cloud's dialogue)
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 The Courier: "Who or what is the Father in the Cave?"
    Waking Cloud: "Have you not heard of the god of the New Canaanites? He is our protector and our judge. He helped our ancestors find their place here in Zion. He gave us many gifts, but we are not to seek him out. His caves are forbidden to us. Those who seek them out are taken from us."
    The Courier: "That doesn't sound like what I've heard about the New Canaanites...."
    Waking Cloud: "Perhaps you do not fully understand the New Canaanites. I have seen the Father's images. His holy bride and holy son were given unto the world to save it. They dwelt in the caverns of the mountains, caverns which can still be seen today. The people sinned against Him, and were punished with the End That Came in Fire and the loss of the holy tongue. Only the New Canaanites were spared."
    The Courier: "I see. That's fascinating."
    Waking Cloud: "I'm sure Daniel could tell you more. His knowledge of the Father is greater than my own."
    (Waking Cloud's dialogue)
  12. Waking Cloud: "These are places of the time before. We should not be here - it is forbidden!"
    (Waking Cloud's dialogue)
  13. The Courier: "Taboo?"
    Joshua Graham: "The Sorrows believe in a spirit that lives in the caves, say the spirit punished them once for trespassing. They put special marks around the cave entrances to keep people out. It doesn't work on the White Legs, of course, but the Dead Horses are spooked."
    (Joshua Graham's dialogue)
  14. Follows-Chalk: "See those handprints? Dead Horses and Sorrows mark them on taboo places, places from Back When. Good thing for you I don't buy into that stuff."
    (Follows-Chalk's dialogue)
  15. The Courier: "What do you do here?"
    Daniel: "I used to help the Sorrows with various medical problems and general issues they were having, but my bishop sent me here as a missionary. We New Canaanites believe that there is a path to salvation for everyone and it's important that we set people on that path if they are willing."
    (Daniel (Honest Hearts)'s dialogue)
  16. The Courier: "Give me some info on this Daniel. Who is he?"
    Waking Cloud: "Daniel is a wise man, and a great friend to the Sorrows. He taught me to speak the language of New Canaan - the English from the holy books."
    The Courier: "Holy books?"
    Waking Cloud: "Yes - the language of the New Canaanites is the holy tongue, for it is the language their sacred books are written in. The Father in the Caves brought it to them after the Judgment, but the ancestors of the Sorrows sinned against Him. They were denied the true tongue."
    The Courier: "Have you known him long?"
    Waking Cloud: "Six years. He attended the birth of my third child. It was a hard birth. The River nearly carried my water to the Father, and my child's with it. Daniel knew the ways of New Canaan's medicine. He stepped in and saved both of our lives. After the birth, I asked Daniel if he would teach me what he knew of childbirth. He agreed, and so here I am."
    (Waking Cloud's dialogue)
  17. The Courier: "What do you know about the Father in the Caves?"
    Daniel: "Father in the? Oh, right. He's some spirit the Sorrows used to believe in, watched over them from the caves in the valley. They marked some of the caves around here because they think they'll be punished for going inside. I think as more of them learn the teachings of the New Canaanites, they'll lose their old superstitions."
    The Courier: "Uh... you might want to have a chat with them. They think your "Lord" and the "Father" are the same."
    Daniel: "Oh. Ah. Of course. How stupid of me. They probably also think Mary is the mother and Jesus is the child. No wonder they picked up on things so easily. I guess it just goes to show how difficult it is to communicate sometimes."
    (Daniel (Honest Hearts)'s dialogue)
  18. The Courier: "Do they speak... our language?"
    Joshua Graham: "Most don't. It's been hundreds of years since the war. They've developed their own languages. Take the Dead Horses. We think they were originally refugees from a place called "Res," east of the Grand Canyon. They speak a combination of Res and a language spoken by travelers who were visiting Res when the bombs fell. Over time, the two languages blended. I was a translator years ago, but it's hard to keep up with all of the tribal variations."
    (Joshua Graham's dialogue)
  19. JE Sawyer on Forumspring