"He remembers. He will return for me here. And when he does... Fire cleanses. And he remembers." —Hunting LogThe Wendigo (Also referred to as the Tall Man), is a radically mutated spore carrier in Zion canyon in 2301. It is the result of Joshua Graham's infection by a mutant strain of the Beauveria mordicana fungus.
Background and Origins Edit
The precursors of the Wendigo are believed to be the spore-carriers or "Moss men" who first resided in Zion in the years immediately after the war. Tribal accounts have that these creatures preyed on the tribal inhabitants of Zion only to be repulsed by a mythological "Father in the cave"; in reality a survivalist who had taken refuge in Zion canyon after the war and who developed an affinity for the tribals who subsequently settled there. In spite of these efforts, Spore-carriers maintained a residual presence in Zion Canyon as recently as 2281 as the spore carrier Fungus B. mordicana was and remains highly communicable.
By 2282, due to possible NCR exploitation of Vault 22, B. mordicana spores were reintroduced into the atmosphere inside Zion canyon, this produced a highly-aggressive form of the fungus and infection rates among Zion occupants increased dramatically. Within a few years of the fungus' reintroduction, Spore carriers and weather conditions had decimated all wildlife previously found in Zion.
In 2284, Joshua Graham, former legate of Caesar's legion and war chief of the Dead Horses and Sorrows tribe died from exposure to Zions atmosphere. Due to concerns over infection, his fellow New Caananite Daniel petitioned the tribals to burn his body. Due to a cult that had grown around Graham, this proposal was rebuffed and he was buried at the Aerie, a former ranger outpost in the canyon.
Within five months of this transpiring, tribal hunters began to report sightings of a large and malformed spore carrier which they referred to as a "Wendigo", a creature from pre-war Algonquin mythology. It was at approximately this time that the introduction of the SM-5 cloud into the Mojave wasteland began to cause adverse weather conditions in the form of a carcinogenic fog that carried the spore carrier virus. Helpless against the spore carriers as well as conditions, the Tribals fled into the long dark, seeking to resettle elsewhere. Daniel, convinced that the Wendigo was in fact Joshua Graham given a dark second life, locked the Pine Creek tunnel, preventing the tribals from returning under any circumstances. It is unknown what became of Daniel but it is believed that he attempted to hunt down and destroy the creature and was killed in the effort.
In 2301, the NCR in California dispatched an expeditionary force to Zion canyon in an effort to clear out the fog and reestablish control over this and other formerly-held territory east of California. Within a month of their arrival, the expeditionary force was decimated by the spore carriers and an unknown number of the dead had themselves been turned. The remaining NCR expeditionary forces are concentrated around the Zion narrows, exploring various potential escape routes.
The Wendigo has the appearance of a massive and grotesquely mutated spore carrier. Various survivor accounts maintain that it is capable of stretching its extremities in ways that should not be physically possible and that conventional weapons have no appreciable effect on it. It has been noted that the Wendigo appears to be phobic of fire and will flee if ignited though it is questionable how effective this tactic is in practice. Daniel took this trait as proof positive that the creature is, in fact a resurrected Joshua Graham though authorities maintain this as conjecture when they acknowledge the creatures existence at all.
Tactical Considerations Edit
Engagement or contact with the Wendigo under all but the most desperate of circumstances is highly unadvised. Fire weapons may cause a temporary reprieve from its attacks but all survivor accounts indicate that this creature is not destructible by any known means. This said, the Wendigo is known to avoid waterways and is not active during the early afternoon, so a canny survivor should exploit this knowledge to the end of avoiding contact altogether.