Originally discovered in the late 19th century, Lamplight Caverns is a large, naturally occurring underground cave system that was transformed into a tourist attraction during the 1920s.[Pub 1] In 2066, portions of the cave were annexed by Vault-Tec for use in its Societal Preservation Program. This resulted in the construction of Vault 87.[Pub 1]
On October 23, 2077, approximately half of the students of Early Dawn Elementary went on a field trip to Lamplight Caverns with fourth grade teacher Carrie Delaney, as well as other teachers, a few parent chaperones, and adults and students from several other visiting school groups. Just as the Early Dawn group was preparing to leave for home, the caverns began to shake. The kids began to scream as the lights went out, and one man went out to see what was going on. Upon his return, he informed those within the caverns that nuclear detonations had appeared over the Washington, D.C. area.
By October 27th, four days after the War, the trapped adult survivors were caring for 82 terrified children. That morning Claudia, one of the adults, ventured outside for help and did not return. Another adult, Mr. Cob, set out later that day in search of Claudia and likewise did not return. The adult survivors in Lamplight Caverns had now been reduced to Delaney, two teachers, two parent chaperones, and the few remaining members of the cavern staff.
One month after the War, one of the Early Dawn students, Jason Grant, recorded a journal entry stating that Delaney, the last remaining adult survivor, had ventured outside that morning but had not returned, leaving the children to fend for themselves.
Grant then assumed leadership of the group and organized survival efforts. Their situation improved, and by December, two months after the War, the children were exploring the caves and had discovered Vault 87. They pounded on the Vault doors for days, pleading for assistance, only to be told one day by voices on the other side that they "were dead already." Grant responded to this with furious disdain for the adults that failed and abandoned them.
The "city" of Little Lamplight was founded on January 26, 2078, and Grant was elected as their first mayor.
At some point since the community's founding, Lamplight's residents gained partial access to Vault 87, from which they retrieved holotapes, textbooks, encyclopedias, and other books. Their stash of educational materials also included books about caves from the original Lamplight gift shop, as well as notes left behind by the original group's adults.
The group's antipathy for adults eventually led them to adopt a strict policy of exiling (or killing, if they refused to leave) all "mungos" or residents who reached their 16th birthday.[Pub 1] According to legend, the first mungos were drowned in the cave's fungus pools. By 2277, these former residents usually relocated to the nearby settlement of Big Town, in the commonly held - but false - belief that a good life awaited them there.
At the time of the Lone Wanderer's visit, 15-year-old Joseph was acting as Lamplight's teacher, instructing younger residents on subjects including reading, basic math, and anything else that interested them. He also kept notes of his own for his presumed successor, as Joseph knew that he would soon be exiled from Little Lamplight on his 16th birthday.[Pub 2]
In 2277, Little Lamplight's mayor was Robert MacCready. Little Lamplight possesses only two permanent laws which must be followed:
- The mayor is elected via public voting, and must be obeyed. A new mayor can be elected at any time.[Pub 1]
- A Lamplighter must leave the city on their 16th birthday, or they will be killed.[Pub 1]
|This character is essential. Essential characters cannot be killed.|
The Lone Wanderer can talk to the kids, but they do not engage in full conversation, only saying a small handful of generic comments.
|Dirty Pre-War Kid's Outfit, Child reading glasses
Athlete of the Wastes Outfit
Kid's Baseball Cap
Wasteland Scout Uniform
- If the Lone Wanderer has the Child at Heart perk, they may play an impromptu game of tag with some of the unnamed Little Lamplighters. When the Lone Wanderer talks to them they will say, "Try to catch me, new kid" and run off. When they catch them and talk to them again, they will say things like, "That didn't count!" or, "Man. Now I'm it."
- One of the Little Lamplighters can be heard interacting with Princess, saying "Sorry, Princess. Don't hurt me!"
- There are recorded voice lines for the generic kid dialogue in Little Lamplight meant for adult NPCs that exist in the game files. If resurrected, the Wastelander victims in Andale will say greetings related to Little Lamplight.
- "Stay away, mungo, I don't wanna catch old from you!"
- "Mungo, Mungo, smells like dungo!"
- "Gosh, you're big!"
Little Lamplighters only appear in Fallout 3.
- Citadel terminal entries; Vault-Tec terminal, Vault 87
- Carrie Delaney: "My name is Carrie Delaney. I teach fourth grade at the Early Dawn Elementary School, in Washington, D.C. Yesterday, October 23, 2077, half the school went on a field trip to Lamplight Caverns. We were packing up to leave when- when everything went crazy."
"The caves started shaking, the lights went out, the kids started screaming. My God... Mister Pollack went outside to see what was going on. When he came back in, he told us what he saw. Clouds. Mushroom clouds. It's finally happened. The end of the world."
(Journal of Carrie Delaney, Entry 1)
- Carrie Delaney: "We're all okay. If you can call being stuck in a cave with 82 terrified kids okay. Alive, anyway. But I don't know what the hell we're going to do. It's been 4 days. Claudia went out this morning to look around, and never came back. Then Mr. Cob went out to look for her, and HE never came back."
"So now there's only me, two other teachers, two of the parents who were chaperoning, and a few of the cavern staff. And all these poor kids. We've got enough food and water to last for awhile, I guess. But after that? I just don't know. We can't stay in here forever. Can we?"
(Journal of Carrie Delaney, Entry 2)
- Jason Grant: "Umm... I guess this thing is working. I'm Jason Grant. I'm ten years old. I'm in Ms. Delaney's class, Early Dawn Elementary. A month ago a big war came and everything was destroyed. Except us. We're still OK in these caves. Kinda. Ms. Delaney went out this morning to get help and she never came back, but the other adults never came back either. So now it's just us kids. A lot of the others still cry every day. They're really scared. I'm not. There's nothing to be scared of, as long as we don't go outside. Nobody else wants to be in charge, so I'm gonna try. Most of the kids listen to me already, so it should be easy."
(My diary, by Jason Grant -- entry 1)
- Jason Grant: "It's been almost two months, and we're all doing pretty good, even if we are all alone. There's a door that leads to a Vault, right here in the caverns. Every day we bang and bang, but they won't let us in. We can hear them in there! One time, a guy on the other side told us we were dead already. Fuck those grown-ups. Fuck them all. We don't need them ever again."
(My diary, by Jason Grant -- entry 2)
- "We've been in here for 3 months now, and it's way better than it used to be. Who says kids can't take care of themselves? Jason has done a really good job keeping everyone busy. He says if we want to survive, we need to work together, and work hard. A few of the kids have started saying we're like a whole new city. A city of kids. They call it "Little Lamplight." It's so cool. All of us voted, in secret, and tomorrow we're going to tell Jason that he's the city's first mayor! He's going to be so happy with us."
(January 26, 2077 -- Little Lamplight!)
- Eclair: "They say the fungus grows in the pools where the first Lamplighters dumped the mungos. That's about the most they ever helped us."
- Lone Wanderer: "Where did you people come from, anyway?"
Flash: "We all used to live in a place called Little Lamplight, but they have a rule about age. You reach sixteen, and you're out. Didn't matter, though, because you'd just pack your things and head to Bigtown. All the adults go there, and there's plenty to eat. 'Plenty to eat' alright, if you like eating bullets. I've lost count of how many times I've been shot at."
- Lone Wanderer: "What sort of education do the kids get in here? "
Joseph: "Well, back at the start, all the children had were the notes from the grown-ups that hadn't left yet, and a few books on caves from the store. But after finding the vault, a few scavengers brought back holotapes for basic schooling. Reading, basic math, encyclopedias, that sort of thing. We don't get many books anymore from the scav team, but I make sure to keep my own notes on the computer for whoever takes over after I leave. "
- Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition p. 33p: "LITTLE LAMPLIGHT: Lamplight caverns were discovered in the late 19th century and converted into a tourist attraction in the 1920s. With its strong government ties, Vault-Tec annexed portions of the caves. On the day the bombs fell, several school classes were attending a field trip. A practical lesson in geology quickly turned into a study in survival. Over the next couple of days, their adult chaperons either abandoned the children or ventured out to learn what had happened, never to return."
"The child survivors established a set of rules that would guarantee their existence; without any adult "interference," they lived life as they saw fit. Two hundred years later, Little Lamplight still exists as a village of children. There are two laws they follow."
"1. They will obey the mayor, who is elected by public voting. They can elect a new one at any time."
"2. They must leave the town before their 16th birthday, or they will be forced out or killed."
"The place is easy to see from a distance, thanks to the large water tower, windmills, and rickety lookout towers. Quickly check the gift shop for food, Detergent, and three Ammo Boxes."
(Fallout 3 Official Game Guide/Tour of the Capital Wasteland)
- Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition p. 79: "Joseph: At 15, Joseph is the oldest resident of Little Lamplight. Perhaps as a result of his age (or the fact that he'll have to leave soon), he has taken it upon himself to hold classes to educate other Lamplighters, covering whatever he feels they need to know (or whatever they show interest in). When not occupied teaching, he spends his time working on his computer or reading old textbooks that were long ago scavenged from Vault 87."
(Fallout 3 Official Game Guide/Wasteland Census)