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The Vault - Fallout Wiki
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The Family
The Family.png
The Family members in their common area
Notable MembersAlan
HeadquartersMeresti station
Notable LocationsMeresti station
Arefu (optionally)

The Family is a commune of self-proclaimed vampires that live in Meresti station, east of the settlement of Arefu.


The Family is a small commune of cannibals, formed by Vance over the years by gathering people like himself: people who all experience a cannibalistic hunger. Vance intends to help these outcasts survive and find some sense of community by banding together and adopting a strictly vampiric lifestyle, as opposed to cannibalism.[1][2][3][4]

Within the Family, they are taught how to keep their hunger under control,[5] and their shame, fears, and inhibitions are eliminated.[6] Furthermore, they justify their lifestyle by emphasizing survival above all else; they only kill what they consume; nothing more, nothing less.[7] However, before they join the Family, each prospective member is asked to seek solitude and meditate on whether or not they should stay with the Family or control their urges by themselves.[8]

The Family is named for their metaphorical relation to each other by blood (or rather, their thirst for it). Vance takes in all that the greater wasteland deems a monster and teaches them to suppress their craving for human flesh by only partaking of blood instead, but more importantly, they are "normal" within the Family, tolerated and understood for what they are.[6]

The humans of the wasteland brand them as "monsters, villains, criminals, animals"[9] and call for their extermination or reform, but reform would imply that something is wrong with the cannibals; Vance obviously does not agree with this notion and sees his teachings of vampirism as an improvement and a way to transcend their otherwise cannibalistic nature.[10][11] He preaches to the Family that they are no different than any other wastelander that has killed in order to put food on their table or protect their territory, and that the Family would be insane to ignore the adaptation they have been provided by evolution.[9] However, despite his zeal, Vance knows that they do not truly possess any extraordinary abilities and the mantel of "vampire" only serves to hold the Family together.[3][12] In fact, their "adaptation" is nothing more than a product of their "will and sincere meditation" that allows them to focus as they drink the life force of another being. The ability can be taught to anyone willing to learn.[13]

They have recently taken to been raiding Arefu, a small village west of their sanctuary, and the mere mention of the Family invokes fear in even the most intrepid of Arefu residents. In their latest raid, they kidnapped Ian West once they discovered he shared the same condition them. Ian was lucky that Vance found him when he did, as Vance covered for Ian's act by masquerading it as a routine Family attack.[5] Evan King pleads with the Lone Wanderer to deal with them, and gives hints to the Family's home; a deal can be struck between the Family and Arefu: 1) The Family will protect Arefu in exchange for donated blood packs, or 2) The Family leaves Arefue alone, for which Arefu either donates or sells blood packs to The Family.[14]


The Family is a self-reliant commune built around the cult of personality surrounding Vance, whose rules are law in the underground Sanctuary of Meresti.[15] The Family's Laws are a code of conduct that Vance expected to be followed by all members, and each member is expected to remember and enforce one of these laws.[16][17]

The First Law
"Feast not on the flesh; consume only the blood. This is our strength."

We do not eat the flesh of those we kill for food. We will only drink of their blood and leave the body intact. The consumption of flesh is filthy and unclean. This action is what causes the humans to treat us like animals. We are not animals, we are The Family.

The Second Law
"Bear not the child; welcome only the exile. This is our fate."

Because we carry the stain of our past in our bodies, we can never let it pass to our offspring who would in turn carry out those foul actions beginning the cycle anew. The Family must seek the Wasteland for others of its kind in order to maintain itself. That is our fate.

The Third Law
"Feed not for pleasure; partake only to nourish. This is our dignity."

We only kill the humans when we are hungry or when we must defend ourselves, we never hunt for sport or pleasure. We do not prey on children for they are not yet tainted by society's view of us. The Family will not tolerate murder.

The Fourth Law
"Seek not the sun's light; embrace only the shadows. This is our refuge."

Because we are creatures of the night, we must not set foot in daylight. We move silently across the ground only under the watchful eye of the moon above. At the rising of the sun, we must seek the embrace of the shadows and never again gaze at its brilliance. The Family seeks the dark as its refuge.

The Fifth Law
"Kill not our kindred; slay only the enemy. This is our justice."

Above all, no member of The Family will ever take the life of another member without the consent of the current leader. Anyone disobeying this action, the most heinous of all our crimes, will be exiled from this place forever. We must not let our own inner demons cause us to fight amongst ourselves. We number only in the few, and we cannot risk extinction.

Outside relations

Given that the Family is not welcomed by human society, they are hesitant to allow a human into their sanctuary and will protect themselves against violence if need be.[18] Still, they can be reasoned with and will form a compromise with Arefu if the deal is favorable to them.[14] Attacking anyone within Arefu even before the deal is struck will cause the Family to become hostile.


  • The Family will attack you if you sneak past Robert without him letting you in.
  • Despite the fourth rule of the Family, saying not to go out in the sun, and common vampire folklore regarding vampires being injured by sunlight, leading anyone from the Family outside during daytime will have no out-of-the-ordinary effects.


The Family only appears in Fallout 3.

Behind the scenes

  • In the 1971 film, The Omega Man, there is a cult of mutated vampire like humans who call themselves, "The Family" and seek to form a new society in the post-apocalyptic world.
  • Given that they apparently suffer a compulsion to consume human flesh, rather than merely tolerating the act, it is likely that The Family suffers from Wendigo psychosis.
  • The password to open Ian's room is "Vespertilio," which is a genus of bats belonging to the family Vespertilionidae.


  1. The Lone Wanderer: "What is this place?"
    Vance: "What you see before you is the last bastion of hope for the downtrodden and misunderstood. It is a sanctuary for the oppressed and a beacon of faith for the tyrannized."
    The Lone Wanderer: "<Allow Vance to continue.>"
    Vance: "We are the remnants of society, cast aside like the clean-picked bones of a hunter's feast. I led my flock beneath the sun-baked sands of the Wasteland to keep them safe and teach them my ways. Men of science would call us cannibals, eaters of human flesh. Society labels us as monsters, demons and the unclean."
    (Vance's dialogue (Fallout 3))
  2. Vance: "Welcome to our home. My people call me Vance. I lead this group of weary travelers and outcasts who need a home. And to what do I owe the pleasure of your visit?"
    (Vance's dialogue (Fallout 3))
  3. 3.0 3.1 The Lone Wanderer: "If I said vampires, and you said I was right, we'd both be crazy."
    Vance: "Do you think I believe I can turn into a bat and fly away? Of course not. Do I cast my image in a mirror? Absolutely. Now ask me if I believe these individuals from every corner of the Wasteland need me to give them a sense of purpose and identity. I have shown these people the ways of the vampire. I've provided them shelter, organization and a sense of belonging."
    (Vance's dialogue (Fallout 3))
  4. The Lone Wanderer: "A cannibal by any other name is still a cannibal."
    Vance: "That is completely untrue. Your difficulty grasping the concept that change is possible in my people perplexes me. Let me try a different approach. Let me counter that ignorance with a lesson in objectivity. I say we are no longer cannibal, only consuming the blood of our prey. What would that make us in your eyes?"
    The Lone Wanderer: "I still say you're cannibals."
    Vance: "It saddens me to think that your failure to understand us could be my fault. If that is the case, allow me to enlighten you. We call ourselves vampires; a brotherhood that honorably stretches back thousands of years."
    (Vance's dialogue (Fallout 3))
  5. 5.0 5.1 The Lone Wanderer: "Wait a minute... What happened to him?"
    Vance: "Ian's hunger for flesh overwhelmed him... it drove him to kill his parents. Because of my intervention that night he stopped just short of being lost forever to his cravings for flesh."
    The Lone Wanderer: "Are you telling me that Ian is a cannibal?"
    Vance: "I am telling you he will no longer be labeled as such. He has become one of us... a member of the Family. The hunger that drives us must be kept in check. It is one of the most difficult things to teach. Ian lost control because no one was around to guide him. His own family was alien to him."
    (Vance's dialogue (Fallout 3))
  6. 6.0 6.1 The Lone Wanderer: "What you're doing here is brainwashing them, plain and simple."
    Vance: "Yes. In a way, I am brainwashing them. I am eliminating their fears, their inhibitions and their shame. I have reined in their cravings and taught them to eat not of the flesh, but to drink of the blood. Most importantly, they have a Family. A place where their quirks are tolerated and understood."
    (Vance's dialogue (Fallout 3))
  7. The Lone Wanderer: "You people murdered his parents!"
    Vance: "Murder is a very strong word, my friend. Do you consider it murder when a hunter stalks his prey in order to put food on the table? The Family must do what it can to survive, and Ian provided us the way. Ian is at a critical moment in his life right now. After all that occurred in Arefu, he is scared and confused."
    (Vance's dialogue (Fallout 3))
  8. The Lone Wanderer: "How did you know Ian was trying to decide to stay or leave?"
    Vance: "My fine friend, that poor soul has been wrestling with the same question every new member of the Family asks himself when they arrive. Do I belong here, or should I depart? All I ask is that they spend the time to reflect before deciding in solitude."
    (Vance's dialogue (Fallout 3))
  9. 9.0 9.1 Vance: "Monsters! Villains! Criminals! Animals! Every one of us has been branded with these insults at some point in our lives. But why? Are we THAT different from those who hunt for meat to survive or from those who kill for territory? Of course not. I submit to you that we are the victims of evolution; the next step in mankind's acclimation to this hellish existence. The adaptation we were given wasn't meant to be ignored or persecuted. It's our way of survival. We can not allow the humans to hunt us down and kill us like dogs! We must show them we are a force to be reckoned with! Well rest easy now, my brothers and sisters. It's time to stop all of the running, all of the hiding and all of the denying. We will organize, we will prepare, we will teach you to cope with your differences and we will keep you alive. We are the Family and together we will stand united!"
    (Vance's dialogue (Fallout 3))
  10. The Lone Wanderer: "Now that I have a better understanding of the Family, may I speak to Ian?"
    Vance: "I had always assumed if a human happened upon our home, it would be for the purpose of our extermination. It appears my fears were ill-placed. It is a pleasant surprise to meet someone as amenable as yourself. Very well. I will allow you to speak to Ian. Perhaps you can help him come to grips with his greatest enemy. Himself."
    (Vance's dialogue (Fallout 3))
  11. The Lone Wanderer: "What do you mean?"
    Vance: "Humans call for our extermination or reform. Reforming implies something is wrong with us and needs to be eliminated. I think of my teachings as more of an improvement, a way to transcend our cannibalistic nature."
    (Vance's dialogue (Fallout 3))
  12. Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition p.43: "The Family
    The Family is a group of cannibals who have banded together thanks to the efforts of Vance, their leader. Living under the ruins of Meresti Trainyard, the group keeps out of public view, staying away from larger towns and settlements and only surfacing to feed. Realizing that the cannibal is both feared and hated even in the lawless Wasteland, Vance has decided to teach his people the way of the vampire as he interprets it from classic literature. He's convinced most of the Family that they are indeed true vampires, teaching them to drink the blood of their prey and not to feed upon the their flesh. Vance believes this gives them a sense of belonging and purpose in a world that doesn't understand their unusual trait. Although the Family may truly believe they are like the vampires in traditional works of fiction, they retain no abilities or "powers" that distinguish them from any other cannibal in the Capital Wasteland."
    (Fallout 3 Official Game Guide faction profiles)
  13. The Lone Wanderer: "Can you teach me the ways of the Vampire?"
    Vance: "To be a vampire is a life commitment. It is not achieved by my words, it is something you earn by your own will and sincere meditation. Sadly, I cannot fully make you one of us, but I can teach you how the life blood of others brings us regenerative powers. Since your body lacks the way to extract blood as we do, you must find alternative sources for your nourishment. Drink deep of the blood, allow not a drop to spill. Feel the warmth as it spreads inside you. You are becoming one with the life force of another. They lend a part of themselves to you. For a brief moment, you are two entities becoming one. Allow the feelings to course through your body as you partake of the blood... feel it empower you and make you stronger. Once you have done this deed, only then will you know what it is like to be a vampire."
    (Vance's dialogue (Fallout 3))
  14. 14.0 14.1 Blood Ties
  15. Vance: "I will make this as clear as possible, Karl. Never again. You disobey my laws once more and you will be out of Meresti for good!"
    (Vance's dialogue (Fallout 3))
  16. The Lone Wanderer: "I have no idea."
    Vance: "Then that is a mystery you will have to solve on your own. In ceremony, each member of the Family must speak one of the Laws... it is theirs to remember and to enforce. Perhaps from these Laws you can discover what we are. Return to me when you are ready."
    (Vance's dialogue (Fallout 3))
  17. Meresti station terminals, The Family's Terminal
  18. The Lone Wanderer: "Enough talk! I'm here to wipe your kind out!"
    Vance: "I would choose your next words VERY carefully if I were in your place. Your self-applauding notions are the sole reason we are down here in hiding like Mole Rats. I will warn you only once. Do NOT test me. I have no qualms about having your blood running down my throat."
    (Vance's dialogue (Fallout 3))
The Family