Elder Arthur Maxson (Brotherhood registration MX-001E) is the last descendant of the Maxson lineage. He served as a squire in the Citadel in 2277 and is currently the supreme commander of the East Coast chapter of the Brotherhood in 2287.
Early life (2267-2277)
Born in 2267 to Jonathan and Jessica Maxson, Arthur is a descendant of the legendary Roger Maxson, founder of the Brotherhood of Steel. His father, a high-ranking paladin serving just outside the New California Republic, was recently killed in battle, and his mother, Lady Maxson, sent the boy east to be raised under the tutelage of the then respected Elder Owyn Lyons. Squire Maxson tends toward timidity, which is the main reason his mother sent him to the Citadel. Part of the reason were internal conflicts in the Brotherhood out west, which created an unsafe environment for Arthur. Ironically, the Citadel was the safer option.
Ever since arriving at the Citadel, Arthur was an attentive student, with a good knowledge of the Brotherhood's triumphs and history. He has also proven himself to be a keen observer, making accurate observations of the local super mutant threat and even observing a behemoth from the Citadel walls once. Overall, he received a top notch education, thanks to excellent teachers and trainers at the Citadel. Of course, he learned the Codex by heart, though the protocols gave him particular trouble, especially when it came to encounters with outsiders. The Codex deemed them untrustworthy, yet Elder Owyn Lyons was content to violate them as he saw fit, such as when accepting the Lone Wanderer into the Citadel without taking the Oath of Fraternity. For a boy whose only real encounters with outsiders were Brotherhood members visiting the Citadel, he was surprised by the decision, but deferred to Elder Lyons' judgement, despite his reservations. He was also trained in combat by Sentinel Sarah Lyons, who on one occasion showed him how to kill people by stabbing them in the kidneys.
The single largest problem the young Maxson faced were expectations: As the last of the Maxson line, he was expected to become the Brotherhood's messiah, with a, quote; "soul was forged from eternal steel." Like any other child burdened with such responsibility, he vehemently denied these claims, easy to do ever since the elders in the West lost faith in Lyons' ability to lead.
Loneliness also weighed heavy on the young Maxson. As the only child at the Citadel, he grew up surrounded by adults, with no one of equal age to spend time with. Given that everyone he worked with was a soldier, he didn't receive kindness or warmth, merely schooling and training. His closest friend was Liberty Prime, an inanimate robot. Scribe Rothchild banned him from the laboratory, emphasizing the futility of trying to make friends with a machine. He had to sneak into the Lyons Den to read Paladin Vargas' copy of Guns and Bullets without his knowledge (he wouldn't give it to him otherwise).
As a result, the ten year old Arthur had a timid and reserved demeanor. It wasn't helped by the fact that the young boy was barred from patrols due to accidentally shooting Sentinel Lyons during one outing. Arthur's reservations and apprehension helped him maintain a level of politeness and decency that would later translate into unmatched charisma.
Later life (2277 - Present)
The key change in Arthur Maxson's life came with adolescence and the death of Elders Owyn Lyons and Sarah Lyons. While the crumbling Lyons' Brotherhood of Steel chafed under the ineffectual leadership of one elder after another, Maxson rapidly developed his talents, the potential inside awakening. In 2279, at the age of 12, he managed to kill two raiders on a training patrol, saving the squad that was supposed to escort him. A year later, he managed to single-handedly kill a deathclaw, taking grave wounds in the process and a disfiguring scar that marred his face forever. His key achievement came in 2282, at the age of 15, when he killed the super mutant called Shepherd, who tried to reorganize the remnants of the Capital Wasteland super mutant infestation. This achievement has revealed another secret: The West Coast elders were still monitoring their errant brethren. With Maxson's achievement came leadership and promotion to a provisional elder.
Though young, Maxson was ready to lead and reunite the fragmented Brotherhood of Steel forces on the East Coast. He proved his ability in 2283, he brokered a peace with the Outcasts, re-integrating them into the Brotherhood of Steel. The sixteen year old Maxson was proving himself as effective a diplomat as a warrior. The full force of the Brotherhood of Steel appointed Arthur Maxson as elder, the youngest in Brotherhood of Steel history, and supreme commander of the entire Brotherhood of Steel, with the ability to strike anywhere on the Eastern Seaboard thanks to The Prydwen, launched just a year before his rise to power.
As of 2287, Elder Maxson's reign in the Capital Wasteland was uncontested, and his authority and influence were spreading across the Eastern Seaboard. The Prydwen was a key element of the Brotherhood's power projection, rallying people to his cause. In addition, Maxson had the full support of the elders back on the West Coast, who have proudly reported that they've begun uprooting and eradicating cults that have popped up, worshipping Maxson as though he's some kind of god. Maxson himself is almost offended by the idea of being referred to as a deity, as it goes against everything he believes in. Arthur Maxson is happy to be one thing: the perfect human specimen, an example of everything a human being can achieve. Assisted, even enhanced, by advanced technology, but still very much human.
His authority is reinforced by his accomplishments, growing the Brotherhood in the East from a moribund group of complacent stragglers occupying a single Citadel into a major military force capable of projecting power along the Eastern Seaboard. Thanks to his tenacity and singular vision, the men that serve under his command do so with pride and unmatched loyalty, ready to invade hell itself.
Arthur Maxson for all his maturity is still a young and idealistic, but capable leader of the Brotherhood in the East Coast. He has established an amalgam between the ways of his predecessor and tutor Elder Owyn Lyons, who was using technology to help others, and the traditional Brotherhood approach of coveting and preserving advanced technology to protect people from abusing it. As a result, he is much more lenient about technology being in the hands of outsiders, and allocates teams of soldiers to combat dangers that would otherwise harm or kill the people of the wasteland, while he has other teams scouring the ruins for technology that could be misused in the wrong hands. Maxson also strongly insists that the Brotherhood has the best interests of the Commonwealth in mind.
He deeply cares for everyone under his command, as he was heavily reluctant to allow Ingram into the field as a field scribe despite Knight-Captain Cade's professional opinion that due to her power armor frame (which replaced her legs and much of her lower torso), she was more suited for combat than scribe-work, in fact probably better suited than any knight they could muster. Additionally, he explicitly ordered that all technology was to be traded for food and medicine, and violent confrontation was to be a last resort, which drastically sets him apart from the West Coast Brotherhood, who used violence as a first resort. This shows that not only does he not wish to risk the lives of those under his command, but he does genuinely care about the people of the Commonwealth.
He also approved a request by Senior Scribe Neriah to develop a more effective alternative to the pre-War RadAway, showing that he has also carried on Lyons' efforts of improving technology as opposed to simply hoarding it, which remains the West Coast's goal, as can be seen through a conversation between Nolan McNamara and Veronica Santangelo in Fallout: New Vegas.
He can usually be found in the Citadel B ring, where his room (and personal terminal) is located.
If, however, the player character decides to side with the Institute, then during the quest Airship Down he will emerge from a crashed Vertibird as the only survivor, in his personal elder power armor wielding his unique Gatling laser.
In the Railroad main quests, he is largely mentioned only until Rockets' Red Glare, where he can be confronted while or after sabotaging the Prydwen. He will be carrying his unique battlecoat and Gatling laser, but not his power armor.
If the Brotherhood is victorious, then Maxson will advise that, as the Sole Survivor holds the rank of sentinel, while they are free to carry out their own missions, to keep the Brotherhood's interests as a whole at heart.
Interactions with the player character
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- Tour of Duty: After Paladin Danse brings the Sole Survivor to the Prydwen after its arrival in the Commonwealth, Maxson promotes them to the rank of knight and asks them to tour the Prydwen and get to know her crew.
- Show No Mercy: Maxson orders the Sole Survivor to clear Fort Strong, a cache of Fat Man ammunition, from its super mutants occupiers.
- From Within: Maxson orders the Sole Survivor to find Doctor Madison Li in the Institute and convince her to work for the Brotherhood of Steel.
- Blind Betrayal: Maxson orders the Sole Survivor to execute Danse, who turns out to be a synth.
- Ad Victoriam: Maxson appears as Liberty Prime reaches the C.I.T. ruins, helping the Brotherhood against the Institute synths.
- The Nuclear Option: Maxson follows the player character inside the Institute and helps them clear out the Institute.
- Rockets' Red Glare: Maxson defends the Prydwen against the Sole Survivor, sent there by the Railroad to plant explosives in the airship.
- Airship Down: Maxson appears in a full set of T-60f power armor and wielding his unique Gatling laser at the Boston Airport to defend it from the Sole Survivor and the synths as they try to hack Liberty Prime.
T-60f power armor (Airship Down only)
- Arthur may grab a bottle of whiskey or beer from around the Citadel and drink it, like any other character.
- One of his dialogue lines is what links the Enclave power armor of Fallout 3 to previous Fallout games' "advanced power armor Mk II."
- Maxson is one of only two characters in Fallout 3 who will recite excerpts from the Codex; the other is Star Paladin Cross.
- The T-60 power armor Maxson wears during Airship Down is the only suit that can be found already upgrade to the highest tier (F), and bears the unique elder paint job. This paint scheme cannot be crafted by the Sole Survivor, so it is lost forever if one decides to recolor the armor parts after acquiring them. PC players who inadvertently do so, or failed to loot the armor during Airship Down or led someone other than the Institute to victory can add it to their inventory with the command player.additem 197994.
- It is impossible to pickpocket Maxson, even with the level 4 Pickpocket perk.
- When fighting Maxson during the Airship Down, there is a possibility of gaining a unique power armor frame called "Elder Maxson's Power Armor" by shooting the fusion core out of his suit. This has no unique effects, but it is the only named power armor frame in the base game.
- Arthur Maxson's rise to power has some similarities with the legend of King Arthur. After his father Uther Pendragon's demise, the fifteen year old Arthur became the new King of Britain and fought a series of battles, culminating in the Battle of Bath. Arthur is victorious against the Picts and Scots, and subsequently establishes an empire. Similarly, some time after Sarah Lyons' demise, Arthur Maxson fights a series of battles at age fifteen against the super mutants, eventually leading to his battle against the super mutant Shephard who was attempting to unite the super mutants of the Capital Wasteland. His victories lead to his ascension as elder of the eastern chapter, and establishing Brotherhood territory on the east coast.
- Maxson's concept art shows him a bit different than how he appears in game. At one point he was intended to have been clean shaven and to have had a cape rather than his battle coat. His name is also erroneously written as "Maxon."
- "Oh, well... You see, I am descended from the great Roger Maxson, founder of our order. I am the last of his line. They say my soul was forged from eternal steel, but I don't believe that. I'm really just a normal boy."
- "Shield yourself from those not bound to you by steel, for they are the blind. Aid them when you can, but lose not sight of yourself, it says."
- "I did go out one time, you know! Sarah... Um... Sentinel Lyons took me out. Just to show me. I killed a Super Mutant, too! I swear! I, um... I also sort of shot Sarah. But just a little! It was just a flesh wound..."
- "You truly have become one of us, sister/brother."
- "Our mission in the Commonwealth is clear: the Institute and its creations need to be destroyed in order to preserve our future. Which leaves me facing the most difficult order I've ever given."
- "Brothers and Sisters, the road behind us has been long and fraught with difficulty. Each and every one of you has surpassed my expectations by rapidly facilitating our arrival in the Commonwealth. You have accomplished this amazing feat without a hint of purpose or direction, and most impressively, without question. Now that the ship is in position, it is the time to reveal our purpose and our mission. Beneath the Commonwealth, there is a cancer known as "The Institute", a malignant growth that needs to be cut before it infects the surface. They are experimenting with dangerous technologies that could prove to be the world’s undoing for the second time in recent history. The Institute Scientists have created a weapon that transcends the destructive nature of the atom bomb. They call their creation the "synth", a robotic abomination of technology that is free-thinking and masquerades as a human being. This notion that a machine can be granted free will is not only offensive, but horribly dangerous. And like the atom, if it isn’t harnessed properly, it has the potential of rendering us extinct as a species. I am not prepared to allow the Institute to continue this line of experimentation. Therefore, the Institute and their "synths" are considered enemies of the Brotherhood of Steel, and should be dealt with swiftly and mercilessly. This campaign will be costly and many lives will be lost. But in the end, we will be saving humankind from its worst enemy... itself. Ad Victoriam!"