The House of Devane rules Mercer Island and lays claim to the entire Royal Wasteland. They have an uneasy alliance with the Cause and are violently Anti-Legion. It is currently ruled by "The Crimson King."
The First Dynasty
The House of DeVane traces it's roots back to William Rufus King, the man who King County, today the Royal Wasteland, was named after. William R. King had no connection to the County itself, in it was only named after him as an honor as he had died the same year it was founded, so the House of Devane's claim to the Royal Wasteland is dubious at best.
However, Samuel Devane was indeed a direct descendant of William R. King. A history enthusiast, and with an abundance of free time because he spent most of his life in Vault 212, DeVane was quick to tell anyone he was descended from a United States Vice President. In the Vault, no one cared, but when Samuel was in his mid-fifties, the Vault door opened, releasing them out into the Wasteland. While most of the dwellers took up place in Pioneer Square, Samuel saw this as his chance to make it big in the world. He moved his wife and two sons, William Devane, to Mercer Island, where they inhabited an old Victorian mansion that had been the Washington Governor's retreat. Samuel's knowledge that he'd learned by studying ancient cultures proved practical, and he made a great carpenter, farmer, and electrician, fixing up their new home and growing food. He was, however, less successful in recruiting a settlement. No one from the Vault wanted to leave a few miles hikes from the place all their advanced technology was stored. The foundation for the Red Hand's metal armor was created during this time.
Samuel died of a heart attack in 2218 and his oldest son, William, took over at the age of twenty-eight. Not wanting to disrespect his father's legacy, William went out in attempt to recruit people to his settlement, while his younger brother, Samuel Jr. stayed on the farm. William proved a much more successful leader than his father, luring people from the wasteland back home with promises of food, clean water, and safety away from the dangers of the wasteland. A small settlement grew quickly around the Devane home, with William as it's lord. However, at this point, it drew the attention of raiders. William had no combat experience, and neither did Samuel Jr., nor most of their settlers. Luckily for the brothers, it was around this time that the Cause became a force in the Royal Wasteland, and took it upon themselves to make their first real task taking on the raiders plaguing Mercer Island. The Cause, with superior training and weapons from Beacon Enterprises, made short work of the raiders. Mercer Island saw rapid growth in the 2220s, as the arrival of the Brotherhood of Steel brought and influx of immigrants who followed such powerful factions. Such concepts as chivalry and feudalism were normal to this immigrants, as the Brotherhood was all they had known. This contributed to the culture of the House of Devane and Mercer Island, turning it towards the kingdom it would be today. William, unfortunately, took sick and died from dysentery at the age of 34, without a son, and this left the throne to Samuel Jr.
Upon taking over the House of Devane, Samuel Jr. took the name "Samuel the II." Having watched the Brotherhood's arrival and seen a split in incomes among those on the island, Samuel II had an actual throne constructed, built more suits of the metal armor, and began to establish a nobility class, based on who owned the most land and livestock. If you owned enough land, you were a vassal, and you were ruling over a fief. Soon, all of Mercer Island was an organized kingdom, with Samuel II as it's king. At this point, the population of Mercer Island had gotten quite vast, and the Cause was no longer a sufficient enough force to protect it. With the Brotherhood's arrival, the Cause saw that it was small in comparison to other factions out in the wasteland, and retreated into the shadows, becoming more of a covert organization. This was before hostilities with the Brotherhood, and so Samuel was able to recruit Knights and Paladins who were disenfranchised with the Brotherhood, whether it was because they were tired of the life, angry at the leadership, or simply wanted to settle down. He had suits of armour, he just needed bodies to fill them, and set his Brotherhood recruits to training him an army. The first members of the Red Hand were those trained by the Brotherhood of Steel, thus why the Red Hand still remains an effective force in combating the Brotherhood. Samuel ruled for twenty years before his heart gave out at age 54 not so much older than his father had been. Samuel II's son, Malachi Devane, ascended after him.
The Crimson King
Malachi Devane was named in honor of the Devane's Irish heritage (they had been placed in Vault 212, after all) and took over the Kingdom at age 24. His reign was short lived however as a Brotherhood scribe that had been recruited by William, who was likely suffering from some sort of mental illness, killed him and seized power for himself, ending the true line of Devane.
The mad scribe dubbed himself "the Wizard of Oz" and claimed the ruins of Seattle as "his Emerald City." This is where the true comparisons between the Royal Wasteland and Oz from The Wizard of Oz began. The scribe did several insane things. First, he sent messages out of the wasteland to "all the other realms" announcing that the Royal Wasteland was his and he they'd better stay out, yet whilst flaunting what his "kingdom" had to offer. He declared war on the Space Needle, wanting to oust the monks and claim it as his wizard's tower. The offensive failed when the Red Hand was unable to breach the Needle's fortifications. He then banned the Cause from Mercer Island, claiming they were a corrupting foreign power. Finally, he attempted to sent an assassination team in to kill the Elder of the Brotherhood at Fort Williamette. This is where his army finally rebelled and took the Wizard of Oz into custody. Mercer Island hired it's first executioner and had it's first execution, as the Wizard had his head removed with an extremely blunt sword. Legends would later crop up that it was the Crimson King who killed the Wizard of Oz, in excessively brutal and violent ways, but they were only that, legends.
The throne of the House of Devane sat empty for two months, and it was during this time that the Crimson King arrived. Most believe that the Wizard's message had reached his ears some how and he came to take the Wizard's kingdom from him. Other's claim that the King knew of the Emerald City all along, and now was only coming along to claim it. Whatever the reason, the Crimson King arrived in the Royal Wasteland with three men at his back. They called themselves "Followers of Apocalypse," a term the inhabitants of Mercer Island had never heard, and stated they were here to lead the islands inhabitants. The noblity of Mercer Island was obviously disgruntled by this, many of the more powerful nobles having had designs on the throne themselves. The leader of the Followers, the man who would become to be known as the Crimson King, said any man who could kill him in a duel could be king. After the King slew the first three challengers with little effort, he ascended to the throne.
The King's current reign saw the greatest increase of the House's power. The population of the Royal Wasteland was steadily rising, with Vault 253 opening in 2267, and the NCR's and Legion's arrival to Seattle making more of the world to the south aware of the Royal Wasteland. Many young men came seeking fortune and adventure, and when they found none, the King recruited them into his army. He did not lift the ban on the Cause from Mercer Island, instead turning the Royal Army into a force to be reckoned with. He compounded the combat training taught to the soldiers by the Brotherhood with training of his own. He taught them advanced battle tactics, how to rout an enemy, and how to make a man fear you. The King knew of stories and epics from the Old World that he used to breath new life into Red Hand and the House of Devane. The King started regular patrols of the Wasteland, and it was his forces that eradicated almost every raider in the area. He had the old Governor's mansion torn down and it's place a grand palace built from stone, like a European castle of old.
Today, the Crimson King still rules. Mercer Island is closed off, held as the capital of the Royal Wasteland, only available to the civilized. The King has become a recluse, holed up in his castle, as if waiting for something.
The Red Hand is the House of Devane's military force. It is well-disciplined, well-equipped, and highly organized. It is more than a match for the Brotherhood of Steel and is perhaps the main reason they have not successfully taken control of the Wasteland yet.
The currency on Mercer Island is actual gold coins. The Keewaydin Bank was there and housed Seattle's gold supply. The coins weren't printed until the Crimson King came to power. His face is stamped on either side of each one. The mass quantity of the gold was moved into a vault below the King's Castle, once it had been constructed.
- The last name Devane has three spellings, all correct: Devane, DeVane, and deVane.
- The idea of the Royal Wasteland having a lasting monarchy was The Retoriffic Man's.