- “[...] The scientific achievements he has helped attain are so far above anything happening in California that to lock him away would in itself be a crime against humanity.
-Head Researcher at Hoover Dam, Mike Lawson”
He is a disgraced NCR researcher residing in California in 2301 and a primary background antagonist in Fallout: DUST. As of the events of DUST, he is believed to be imprisoned, awaiting trial for crimes against humanity.
As of 2281, Edwin Royst was a up-and-coming scientist from the New California Republic who was selected, alongside his protege Lydia Bernard to head up research at the NCR's newly established radiological research center inside Vault 21.
Initially, their research was fairly benign, mostly dealing with improvements to existing pre-war technologies such as radiation suits, RadAway and Rad-X. These projects met with little success and the high cost of production caused the NCR to terminate followup research.
Due to personal reasons, Royst and Bernard's ultimate endeavor was to cure radiation poisoning once and for all through experimental radiation treatment. In a desperate compromise to see this through, Royst agreed to begin research into experimental weapons for the NCR in exchange for the necessary funding to pursue his own personal projects. Shortly afterwards, Royst's research notes were discovered by a Vault 21 custodian named Martin Botwright who threatened to expose Royst publicly if research was not immediately terminated. Desperate to protect his research, Royst arranged for Botwright to experimented on, turning him into one of the Mojave Ghost people.
Unbeknownst to the researchers, Botwright had already opened Vault 21's sewer access flooding the lab with insane test subjects and ultimately resulting in the labs destruction. Vault 21 was abandoned as a research station and filled with radioactive material by the NCR to discourage anyone from finding out what had transpired there.
With the move to the Lucky 38, the research teams operations were synergized with the Republic's campaign against sedition in Freeside. Rebels and curfew breakers were used as test subjects in gruesome experiments and research continued up until the Fall, during which Royst, Bernard and the surviving researchers were among those evacuated from the Mojave wasteland.
Upon returning to the NCR, no inquiry was initially made into the circumstances surrounding what had happened during the Republic's occupation of the Mojave wasteland.
Royst presumably either retired or continued work on less damning research projects within California. During this time, a reformist sentiment had developed within the NCR and the government ultimately came under the influence of the followers of the apocalypse.
10 years after The Fall, this new government began to make inquiries into what the nature of the research conducted within the Lucky 38. Royst was arrested, awaiting trial for crimes against humanity.
At this time, two concurrent expeditionary forces ventured into the Mojave.
One of them, comprised of members of the Followers of the Apocalypse, ventured into the sewers beneath New Vegas to collect evidence against the disgraced researcher.
The other, headed by Lydia Bernard and consisting of NCR soldiers and researchers sympathetic to Royst, sought to enter the strip proper and recover research that would clear Royst of any wrongdoing.