- "This small tribe of warriors is the only thing keeping the madness of Houston escaping the wasteland. Without them and their heart, their courage, we would all be dead."
- —Stephan La'Valley of CTE
The Sliding Dogs are a sedentary warrior tribe based near the ruins of Conroe, Texas, and only forty miles north of the infamous ruins of Houston. Far enough to escape the worst of what the ruined city has to offer but not quite far enough to escape the occasional foul beast incursion, the Sliding Dogs have grown into a tough and resilient population who relys on their famed warriors to keep them alive.
The current leader of the tribe is Chief Barking Nasty-Bite. A shorter, muscular and older man who is the veteran of many a bush wars in the wasteland; he is well respected by the Sliding Dogs and others. He is well known for his skill with the massive two-handed sword he wields, as well as his intelligence (which catches many off guard).
Prior to the war, the people who would eventually become the Sliding Dogs were the simple inhabitants of Conroe, Texas. In the immediate aftermath of the great war, the small town banded together for mutual protection. With the lack of vaults, most had to take shelter in improvised fallout shelters located in basements or cellars of churches, post offices, and private homes. Many of the towns population died due to radiation within the first few months.
When it was finally safe enough to emerge outside, they found that world was a much more violent and desperate place than they thought. Within days of emerging their shelters and in the midst of attempting to repair their town, a rouge group of National Guard soldiers launched a bloodless coup of the town and took control. Unable to resist due to their inability to match the firepower of the National Guard soldiers, the townspeople quietly built a rebellion.
One night, when the soldiers were either drunk or asleep, the townspeople snuck into their makeshift barracks and brutally murdered all of them. Taking their weapons and gear, they stuck the soldiers heads on the poles outside of town to serve as a warning to all that dare attempt to attack them again.
As time progressed, the name of Conroe was lost and instead the townspeople began to identify themselves as the "Sliding Dogs". The towns original buildings had long since crumpled under the weight of disrepair and time, but, a new village had sprung up in it's place. A warrior culture had been developed as time progressed, and the Silding Dogs were well-known for their skill in use of arms.
When the city of Houston began to disgorge the craziness it had long withheld inside of it into the wasteland some fifty years ago, the Sliding Dogs were the first to be hit. The brave warriors of the tribe held back the first incursion of the beasts of Houston (both human and non-human) but at great cost. However the Swampers and the city of CTE both recognized the bravery and skill of the Sliding Dogs and sent them support with both arms and soldiers.
The second incursion of the city of Houston some twenty-five years ago was far larger and deadlier than the first. Once again the warriors of the Sliding Dogs held their fortified village, with the help of Confederate soldiers from CTE and brave Swamper warriors who traveled from their home clans to "earn Drauns favor". Although the second incursion was repulsed it was far deadlier than the first. Most of the warrior class of the tribe had been killed in the fighting and as a result they had to take the former male non-combatants and shape them into warriors. It left a severe worker population shortage.
A deal was formed with the city of CTE. In exchange for more or less being the first line of defense against Houston, the Sliding Dogs received a discount purchasing slaves in CTE which they used for farming, resource gathering, and anything else. Many nearby Swamper clans also pledged their support to the Sliding Dogs in the event of another attempt of Houston escaping into the wasteland.
The Sliding Dogs still continue about their ways, as they have for generations. They have recognized their role of the first, and possibly last, line of defense against Houston. They wait.
- All male Sliding Dogs are expected to become warriors to protect the tribe. As most of the working population are slaves, it frees up the male tribals to learn the ways of war. At the age of 13, they go through an initiation trial. The initiation trial consists of an attempt to go to Houston and bring back the head or skin of one of the beasts of the city. It's a dangerous trial but considered necessary to prepare the young warriors for the horror of the city.
- Female Sliding Dogs are expected to more or less be the houswives of the tribe, but, are granted equal rights and status compared to the males. An interesting part of the culture is that it is the lady who chooses her groom, rather than the opposite way around. Women are held in great respect and all Sliding Dogs are taught from an early age to respect women.- Amongst the males and females of the tribe are elaborate full-body tattoos. Starting at age 12, everybody receives a tattoo on their hand. As they age, it spreads upwards on their arms and onto their torso, face, back and occasionally down their legs to their toes. The more tattoos you have the more respected you are (and vice versa, the less tattoos you have the less respected you are), as the tattoos tell your life story. Colorful, elaborate and artistically done; it is an easy identifier of a Sliding Dog.
- There is a certain cynicism in the culture. As a tribe they have more or less accepted their role as keeping Houston out of the wasteland. They believe a third incursion from Houston is bound to happen soon, although they don't know when.
- As said before, all males of the tribes are warriors. There is about 115 warriors in the tribe, of various ages and skill levels. Some are fresh out of the initiation, others are battle-scared veterans of many a wasteland conflict with raiders and others; and many are somewhere in-between.
- One unique feature of the tribe is their use of war dogs. Large, aggressive and well-trained; these war dogs have been used in success in many of a conflict. Although reluctant to give up their prized dogs, a good friend of the tribe may be able to get one or if there is a large enough "donation" to the tribe.
- There are only a few fire arms in the Sliding Dogs armory. Most warriors prefer to go into battle with an axe and a shield, with medium armor to protect themselves while still granting some mobility. The most common ranged weapons are actually crossbows; which the Sliding Dogs have modified to make especially powerful at the cost of taking longer to reload and taking much more strength than a normal crossbow.