Joshua Graham starts out as a young ambitious missionary, but becomes a ruthless and brutal man as he is swept up in Caesars rise to power.
He was the co-founder of The Legion and became Caesars first Legate.
It is not until his failed execution that he realizes that what he believed to become a society of equals was nothing more than the tolitarian regime of one individual.
Even though his character is reformed, the fire inside of him is still burning, and he is ready and determined to crush the tribe of the White Legs.
The player gets to know Graham as a calm and collected individual with high faith. Although his body is completely covered in bandages, his husky voice and steel-grey eyes make him a charismatic person.
Follows-Chalk states that he was once afraid of Graham, because he used to be a determined and brutal man. When Graham came back, burned and broken, he used to be more modest. Graham himself states that he only has the authority the tribe gives him.
Before The Legion
Born in Ogden, Utah, Graham was originally a missionary. He decided to leave his home to spread the word of God throughout the wasteland. While traveling to Arizona, he encountered a group of the Followers of the Apocalypse in the Grand Canyon. Among them was Edward Sallow, who would later be known and feared as Caesar.
The group was sent out to study the tribal dialects that had started to spread in the postapocalyptic world, and Graham, who turned out to be fluent in many of these languages, decided to join them.
In 2247, the small expedition group visited a tribe known as the Blackfoots. Out of an unknown reason (it's not clear if they were tricked or if Graham made a mistake with the translation), they were held captive. During this time, the Blackfoot tribe was at war with numerous other tribes, but things weren't looking good for them. Unable to accept being destroyed along with the Blackfoots, Edward Sallow began to train the tribe and shared his knowledge about the art of warfare.
His actions impressed them and they made him their leader - giving birth to the man known as Caesar. Joshua Graham remained at his side as a translator, but eventually became a leading figure in battle.
After the other tribes were either defeated or made a part of Caesars army, Graham became Caesars right-hand man and, after officially forming Caesars Legion together, also his first Legate.
Graham quickly cemented his reputation as the Malpais Legate, as he was infamous for his intimidating persona and brutality, but above all, for being impossible to kill. His supposed death at the hands of high-ranked NCR personnel has been reported five times.
Because of this reputation, he was given the task to lead the Legion into their first major battle for the Hoover Dam and against the NCR. Although the Legion was victorious at first, the NCR did a tactical retreat to Boulder City, laying a trap on their way.
Graham realized too late they've been falling for it, and the battle turned into the NCRs favour when Boulder City exploded around the Legion.
Caesar wanted to show an example that failure was unacceptable even in the highest ranks, so he ordered his first Legates execution. Graham was coated in pitch, set on fire and thrown into the Grand Canyon. It's said he didn't even scream on his way down.
After The Legion
The supposed survival of Joshua Graham soon led to the myth of the Burned Man. Even years after the events, the Legion does not speak of him by his real name and they're playing down any rumours about him. But the lower ranks and slaves are keeping the myth alive, talking about Graham as if he was a vengeful spirit who could come back and haunt them.
But Caesar is well aware Graham survived and frequently sents out assassins to make sure he won't take revenge. However, his baptism in fire changed Joshua Graham, stripping him off of his vanity and pride and renewed his faith. After a torturous three-month journey, he returned to the only place where he could seek shelter: New Canaan, a city built in the ruins of his hometown.
But his return ultimately led to the destruction of the Mormon city, as Caesar desperately wanted to see him dead. Caesar eventually ordered the tribe of the White Legs, who wanted to join the Legion, to wipe out New Canaan and kill everyone, in which they succeeded. The few remaining survivors made their way to Zion Canyon, alongside the missionary Daniel and Graham himself.
To take revenge for the destruction of New Canaan, but also to atone for his past sins, Graham puts his energy into defending the valley and becomes the leader and war chief of the Dead Horses. This conflict is the main focus of the add-on "Honest Hearts".
Joshua Graham is voiced by Keith Szarabajka.
If you have killed Caesar at some point before going to Zion, you have a dialogue option to tell Graham that Caesar is dead. He does not give much of a reaction, but notes his surprise that Caesar died before he did.
You can ask him "personal" questions, and with a medicine skill of 70, he'll tell you that he is in constant pain from his burns. He reveals that he is immune to medication, and changes his bandages on a daily basis. He mentions the pain he feels when removing the bandages, saying it feels the same as when he was set on fire and tossed into the Grand Canyon. He does this because "it is better to be clean than comfortable".
After finishing the main quest of "Honest Hearts", Graham is nowhere to be found in Zion. It is assumed he returned to Dead Horse Point, a location you cannot visit.
- "I have been baptized twice, once in water, once in flame. I will carry the fire of the holy spirit inside until I stand before my Lord for judgement."
- "I don't enjoy killing, but when done righteously, it's just a chore, like any other."
- "I survived because the fire inside burned brighter than the fire around me. I fell down into that dark chasm, but the flame burned on and on."
- "I want to have my revenge. Against him. Against Caesar. I want to call it my own, to make my anger God's anger. To justify the things I've done."
- "Lastly, waging war against good people is bad for the soul. This may not seem important to you now, but it's the most important thing I've said."
- "In a world filled with misery and uncertainty, it is a great comfort to know that, in the end, there is light in the darkness."
- "It never stops burning. My skin. Every day, I have to unwind the bandages and replace them with fresh ones." (When asked "personal questions")
- "When the walls come tumbling down, when you lose everything you have, you always have family."
- "For many of us, the road is a difficult one, but the path is always there for us to follow, no matter how many times we may fall."
- "Sometimes I tell myself these wildfires never stop burning, but I’m the one who starts them. Not God. Not them. I can always see it in my mind. The warmth, the heat. It will always be a part of me. But not today."
- "Every day. Some days are.. harder than others." (When asked if he ever "falls")
- "I pray for the safety of all good people who come to Zion, even Gentiles, but we can’t expect God to do all the work."