There's kids, old men and women - families here. This ain't no boostergang. These people are my family.
– Nomad Santiago, Cyberpunk 2020
Santiago, commonly known as Nomad Santiago, was a nomad leader of the Aldecaldos clan. He was a reserved and quiet man, who often came across as a slightly crude nomad stereotype. To some degree he cultivated this image, in part to fool the statics and in part because it gave him an excuse to pursue fast women and faster bikes. He was also a skilled negotiator and a hard-working man.
Santiago was unceremoniously born in an army hospital near Berlin, Germany. His family traveled often during his life, and the young kid was always on the move. Culturally, his mother was a woman of mixed Native American and Hispanic descent, while his father was a second-generation Filipino immigrant in the USA. His first family was large and diverse, with many cousins and other relatives.
Santiago's father served a short time with the U.S. State Department overseas - where Santiago was born - but a career doing consul work was not a safe job during those days. His family returned to the States in time for the Lawyers Purge of 1996, an event that forced the family underground into the early nomad community.
Santiago had his share of troubles growing up. By the time he was sixteen, his family had changed so much as to be unrecognizable; however, having been raised in a constant state of flux, he was not fazed by these changes. Before becoming a grown man, Santiago was small for his age until he was almost eighteen, something which caused him some hardship and rejection. Just before his nineteenth birthday, he decided to leave his half-formed clan and went off to work in jobs which were less respected in nomad culture, ending up hired as a soldier, a bodyguard, and a roadie for several different employers.
It was on the road that Santiago met a solo named Rogue Amendiares. They became quick business partners, doing gigs together around the area of Night City. Being a simple man, Santiago liked girls, guns, and fast cyberbikes; and he often teamed up with Rogue mostly because she was the one girl he hadn't been able to score with.
Santiago usually hung out in Night City, a place where he soon realized that looking for a job as young hired gun, it could bounce from super slick and glam all the way to miserable and homicidal.
The true test for Santiago as a man came through in 2013, during a business meeting with Rogue in the Atlantis Club. The mercs were interrupted by a rockerboy known as Johnny Silverhand - an old friend of Rogue - who explained that he needed them for an important job. Although Rogue was hesitant, Santiago wasn't, as the rockerboy was talking about business - and as he had told Rogue before, that always came first. The job was to rescue Johnny's girlfriend, Alt Cunningham, from the Arasaka Corporation. After hearing who the target was, Santiago got more interested, as Arasaka wasn't a simple corporation. Rogue didn't like it at all, but Santiago shook hands with Silverhand after negotiating the payment. Both mercs, the rockerboy, and a media named Thompson successfully assaulted Arasaka Tower, although in the end they were not able to save Alt's life. After this, they all went underground among the nomads to escape Arasaka.
During the next two years, Santiago and Silverhand stayed with the Aldecaldos clan, who at the time were in the neighboring Mexico. While working with them, Santiago started to become more famous and visible in his community, suddenly finding out he was a leader. The other nomads were able to see what Santiago sought, and he was also able to show them what they should be fighting for. The Aldecaldos liked what they saw in Santiago, and things began to change. It was at this time Santiago met their leader, Juan Aldecaldo, shortly before the old man's death. The young nomad was given a mission: he had to help the Aldecaldos, so they could help others. It was not a responsibility Santiago took lightly, or in fact easily, but he did take it. Shortly afterwards they returned to the USA. During this time, Nomad Santiago decided to take the name Aldecaldo out of respect for the former leader. For many years he had been just Santiago, but now he was with people he could call family.
At the great nomad meeting in Omaha in 2017, the diverse nomad clans created what would be known as the Seven Nations. It was there were Santiago asked others to join him. They responded in vast numbers, leading the Aldecaldos to become one of the most powerful nomad nations.
2020s - 2040s
Santiago saw a great deal of conflict coming to the USA, and considered it his duty to make his nation as immune as possible to the effects.
At the end Fourth Corporate War, the nomad leader sent the Aldecaldo Lobos to help Silverhand, Rogue and the rest of their strike team in their attack on Arasaka Tower, which would later cause the AHQ Disaster and the end of the war.
By 2077, Santiago's legacy had remained within the core heart of the Aldecaldos. Many of them see their former leader with great importance. Saul Bright, after relocating to the new camp, can also be asked about Santiago but holds that his life split between Night City and his family made him less of a nomad.
|Stats||INT 5, REF 11, CL 9, MA 10, BODY 10|
|Cyberware||Two cyberoptics with IR, Low Lite, Targeting scope, Kerenzikov boost; Cyberarm with Kevlar armor, 9mm SMG; Cyberleg with 9mm pistol in thigh holster|
|Skills||Family +8, Handgun +9, Judo +9, Drive +7, Rifle +9, Melee +9, Athletics +9, Notice +8, Seduction +8|
|Gear||Heavy Armor Jacket, Light Helmet, AKR Medium Assult Rifle, Bimoda Cyberbike|
- Although he's had different nicknames in his life, only his surname - Santiago - is known.
- As per Mike Pondsmith words, it is very likely Rogue Amendiares is the mother of Trace Santiago, but this is something he hasn't work out to add to the story yet. Pondsmith states that when Rogue saw Johnny during Never Fades Away and how much he cared about Alt Cunningham, Rogue finally gave up on getting him back. This left Santiago Aldecaldo as the rebound guy, who had been trying to get with Rogue for some time already.
- PONDSMITH, M. Cyberpunk 2020 Corebook. 2nd ed., Berkeley, CA, R. Talsorian Games, 1990. (pg.23, 195)
- WINN, R. Neo Tribes. 1st ed., Berkeley, CA, R. Talsorian Games, 1994. (pg.8, 29-30)
- PONDSMITH, M. Cyberpunk RED Corebook. 1st ed., Kenmore, WA, R. Talsorian Games, 2020. (pg.10, 122, 295, 436)
- CD Projekt RED. Cyberpunk 2077. Video Game, Multi-Platform. Poland, CD Projekt S.A., 2020.
- Never Fade Away (quest)
- Mike Pondsmith on Reddit
- Mike Pondsmith on Reddit