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The Brotherhood First Expeditionary Force, also referred to as the Appalachian Brotherhood of Steel,[3] was a mission group of Brotherhood of Steel soldiers sent from Lost Hills to re-establish contact with the original Appalachian Brotherhood, who were almost entirely wiped out by the Scorched Plague.

After arriving in the region in 2104, they founded Fort Atlas in a pre-War observatory, and took up the mantle of their fallen predecessors. They are among the few groups in Appalachia to develop post-War power armor and energy weapons. They appear in Fallout 76, introduced in the Steel Dawn update.



Following the Great War, Captain Roger Maxson used surviving satellites to communicate with survivors across the United States of America, attempting to recruit them under a common cause, which eventually led to the formation of the Brotherhood of Steel.[4] He succeeded in contacting a former colleague, Elizabeth Taggerdy, who formed a Brotherhood chapter with her Army Ranger unit in Appalachia. Contact was lost with Taggerdy when the satellites failed years later, and the Western Brotherhood was left unaware of the outcome of the Appalachian chapter's war against scorchbeasts and the accompanying Scorched Plague.[5]

The former US National Guardsman and current Paladin Leila Rahmani requested an expedition to Appalachia.[2] After many years, her request was finally approved by High Elder Roger Maxson[1] and the Council of Elders, and she was appointed as its leader.[2] One of the expedition's critical members was to be Scribe Hailey Takano, but due to health issues, she was not able to take part and was replaced by her student Scribe Odessa Valdez, who had volunteered to take her teacher's position.[6] Three knights were given the task to accompany them, including Alan Connors, another National Guardsman and close friend of Rahmani, Matthew Thornberry and Daniel Shin. The expedition's goals were to investigate valued technological sites on their journey across the United States and upon arriving at Appalachia, set up camp at the ATLAS Observatory to investigate the facility's true purpose. In addition, they were to discern the fate of the original Appalachian chapter and to take their mantle if necessary, including the protection of Appalachia's inhabitants. Following that, the group would report their findings back to command.[7][8]


Paladin Rahmani led the First Expeditionary Force east from the Lost Hills bunker. Upon reaching the Sierra Nevada mountains, they encountered a group of raiders armed with fusion cores and advanced weaponry, who had captured a unit of Brotherhood soldiers.[9] Knight Thornberry personally rescued the soldiers and recovered the technology. This earned the respect of Rahmani, who charged him with the task of safely guiding the wounded soldiers back to Lost Hills.[9]

After crossing the Rocky Mountains, radio communications were lost between Lost Hills and the Expeditionary Force.[10] Over the course of the following months, the scribes at Lost Hills tried to reach the group, but to no avail. Command sent various encrypted radio messages, first while estimating their location near Lincoln, and later ordering the expedition to divert from their primary goal.[10] Another attempt was made, estimating their location as east of the Mississippi River, and ordering them to proceed with their original mission in order to establish contact at the target location in Appalachia.[10]

The next radio message was recorded off the record by Elder Roger Maxson via a private channel to Paladin Leila Rahmani. He believed the paladin understood the value and purpose of the Brotherhood of Steel, and despite their disagreements, Maxson hoped the lack of communication was simply due to the inability of answering back. Otherwise, the radio silence would be taken as desertion by the Council of Elders, and Maxson would be overruled in regards to what to do with the expedition and wouldn't be able to defend her anymore.[10]

After more than three months without any contact with the First Expeditionary Force, Elder Maxson sent a last official message to Paladin Rahmani.[10] The scribes estimated they had already entered Appalachia and should be close to their target destination at the ATLAS Observatory. Maxson's orders for the expedition were to immediately reestablish contact with Lost Hills after securing the observatory, providing a full report on their whereabouts during their journey, and to represent the Brotherhood in Appalachia.[10]

At some point during their months-long journey, Rahmani and the rest of the First Expeditionary Force encountered a settlement under threat of raiders.[11] Shin decided to equip them with advanced weaponry they had found in a military facility in the Midwest that they had initially intended to keep for the Brotherhood. However, the weapons proved useless against the raider force, as the settlement was wiped out, with only two young survivors who became Brotherhood refugees: Marcia and Maximo Leone.[11][12][13] Because of the loss of Knight Alan Connors and the raiders actually getting strengthened by the looted weapons, the incident would set off a division between Rahmani and Shin, with Shin wanting himself and Rahmani to stand trial with the Council of Elders.[14]


Not far from Appalachia, while approaching their destination, Paladin Rahmani broadcasted a message across Appalachia, announcing their arrival and their objective of taking over the ATLAS Observatory, warning any possible occupants to leave the facility.[15][16] She announced they were going to help the people of Appalachia by providing aid and protection, and that any help would be welcome. Her voice could be heard across the region, becoming more audible with each passing week.[15]

Russell Dorsey, an enthusiast of the old Appalachian Brotherhood, had heard the radio message and was already at the observatory with several Protectrons to aid in its fortification.[17] He, alongside the Vault Dwellers, managed to clear the exterior of the facility and prepare it for the arrival of the expedition.[17][16][18]

FO76SD Fort Atlas 01

Fort Atlas, previously the ATLAS Observatory

By the time the First Expeditionary Force reached the ATLAS Observatory, having had crossed over two thousand miles of wasteland over the course of many months, the group itself was made up of only three of the original five Brotherhood personnel.[19][20][21] In addition, they had informally recruited many initiates and hopefuls along the way. After establishing their base of operations, they renamed the observatory to Fort Atlas.[16][22]

Steel Dawn[]

During the first months in West Virginia, the new Appalachian Brotherhood established outposts around Fort Atlas and the Wayward,[23] and sent patrols composed of recent initiates and hopefuls to different areas of the region in search of technology.[24] The Brotherhood chapter was also soon inoculated against the Scorched Plague.[25]

Despite one of their primary missions being to reestablish contact with Lost Hills, the group was unable to do it due to the loss of their long-distance communications transmitter at the hands of raiders.[7] Rahmani expresses hesitation to establish contact, as she fears it would result in having their titles stripped and their influence rendered illegitimate.[26] Despite the fact that re-establishing contact was an order in and of itself, Rahmani believes that they could continue on as a sanctioned offshoot nonetheless, able to spread "authority and goodwill across the nation."[26] When the opportunity to activate the transmitter arises, Rahmani destroys it, angering Shin who says she is no longer part of the Brotherhood. Before they can have a long argument, they receive news that Fort Atlas is under attack by super mutants. After an arduous battle, the mutants are defeated.

Steel Reign[]

By 2104, Rahmani and Shin are still at odds over their Brotherhood's primary mission: Protect the people in Appalachia, or secure all manner of pre-War tech to prevent it from causing another apocalypse like the Great War. They soon discover that the super mutant attack on Fort Atlas was not coincidental. Dr. Edgar Blackburn, one of the people who came to Fort Atlas earlier looking for help from the Brotherhood, only to be turned away by Shin, had been kidnapping people from all over Appalachia to use as test subjects in his research to improve the Forced Evolutionary Virus.

FO76 steelreign chronicsonictonic 02

Erika looks after an injured Shin

Shin, along with initiates Erika Hewsen and Norland, decide to investigate the Uncanny Caverns after hearing the super mutants may be originating from there. Norland ends up being killed after the group separates and Shin blames himself for the death of someone else again. As they venture further into the cavern, Hewsen ends up becoming caught in an explosive trap and Shin tries to rescue her in his power armor, injuring himself. With Hewsen's aid, they eventually return to Fort Atlas.

Later, Rahmani decided to interview the boss of the Blue Ridge Caravan Company, Joanna Mayfield, about the disappearances. After being guided by Aries, Rahmani learns that Blackburn was among several of the Blue Ridge's caravans, especially one that holed up in the Harpers Ferry tunnel due to a radstorm. After Blackburn was captured during his work inside Vault 96, Rahmani and Shin took him to the West Tek research center, where his fellow scientists Farha, Jain and Nellie Wright were putting the final touches on the FEV to release into the water and air, which would lead to more people being turned into super mutants once exposed, a worst-case scenario even worse than Huntersville. In a bid to prove their research is for the betterment of humanity in the wasteland, Blackburn willingly volunteers to be exposed to the virus himself, but a miscalculation or malfunction in the process causes Blackburn to be turned into a violent super mutant behemoth, forcing Rahmani and Shin to kill him.

After, Shin erupts at Rahmani, scolding her that something like this was just what the elders wanted to prevent: People trying to play God with science. Though Rahmani agrees with him on that, when they confront Farha, Jain and Nellie, they plead for mercy and ask that their lives be spared, considering that their research is invaluable to the wasteland with the loss of schools and universities because of the Great War and the decay that followed. Though Rahmani wants to spare them because of how valuable human life is nowadays, Shin is adamant that they be slain after seeing firsthand just how dangerous their knowledge is should it fall into the wrong hands if they are allowed to live.

In the end, the conflict over Blackburn's associates and the final say falling to the Vault Dweller who helped the Brotherhood results in Rahmani and Shin parting ways, unable to reach an agreement, with one either being killed or allowed to return to Maxson, while the other takes command of the Brotherhood to lead them on their new duty to Appalachia, promoting the Vault Dweller to knight-errant in the Brotherhood as thanks for everything they did to help the First Expeditionary Force.


The Expeditionary Force is organized along the lines of the Lost Hills chapter and is similar to the Appalachian chapter under Taggerdy. Much like Taggerdy's the unit has also managed to restore pre-War vehicles and repurpose them for their use, such as the armored personnel carrier.[27]


Fort Atlas Armory

The armory in Fort Atlas containing weapons and power armor

The Brotherhood arrived with a variety of weapons and equipment that they brought from Lost Hills and salvaged from military bases on their way to Appalachia. These weapons and equipment made it significantly easier to survive compared to an ordinary wastelander due to their primarily military nature. Some of these pieces of equipment found in-game are:



3Formerly, optional



The Brotherhood First Expeditionary Force appears only in Fallout 76. First mentioned in The Legendary Run and One Wasteland For All updates, they arrived in the region with the Steel Dawn update, and were further developed in the subsequent Steel Reign update.

Behind the scenes[]

The term "Appalachian Brotherhood" is used in official Inside the Vault articles to refer to the Brotherhood First Expeditionary Force,[Non-game 1] as well as by Knight Shin,[3] though "Appalachian Brotherhood" is also used in-game to refer to Taggerdy's original Brotherhood chapter.[29]



  1. 1.0 1.1 Vault 76 dweller: "Who leads the Brotherhood in California?"
    Paladin Rahmani: "High Elder Roger Maxson is our leader back in California and is the person who sent us on our mission to Appalachia."
    (Leila Rahmani's dialogue)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Fort Atlas terminal entries; Scribe Valdez's terminal, Brotherhood: Chapter Scrolls, PALADIN Rahmani, Leila
  3. 3.0 3.1 Knight Shin: "I have every intention of forging a better future, but this is not the way. You've broken your Oath, Paladin. No... That title no longer belongs to you. With your link removed from the Chain, I am the highest ranking officer present. All members of the Appalachian Brotherhood of Steel now answer to me."
    (Daniel Shin's dialogue)
  4. Formation of the Brotherhood of Steel
  5. Elder Maxson's final conversation
  6. Fort Atlas terminal entries; Scribe Valdez's terminal, Brotherhood: Chapter Scrolls, SCRIBE Valdez, Odessa
  7. 7.0 7.1 Vault 76 dweller: "Why did the Brotherhood come here?"
    Knight Shin: "The First Expeditionary Force was tasked with investigating several valued technological sites across the U.S., concluding at the ATLAS Observatory. From here we would report back on the fate of the preceding Appalachian Chapter, carrying on the Brotherhood's mission in their stead if need be. Or we would have done that report, if we still had a working long-distance transmitter. We have Raiders to thank for that one."
    (Daniel Shin's dialogue)
  8. Vault 76 dweller: "Why did you come to Appalachia?"
    Scribe Valdez: "We're here to help the people of Appalachia, and to catalog any technological discoveries we find. We set up Fort Atlas to that end. This old observatory has a wealth of technology to discover, and is a good staging point for future operations. We also want to learn the fate of the old Appalachian chapter of our order. MIA, presumed KIA."
    (Odessa Valdez's dialogue)
  9. 9.0 9.1 Fort Atlas terminal entries; Scribe Valdez's terminal, Brotherhood: Chapter Scrolls, KNIGHT Thornberry, Matthew
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 Encrypted broadcasts
  11. 11.0 11.1 Vault 76 dweller: "What was this incident?"
    Paladin Rahmani: "You must recall the Brotherhood weaponry we tasked you with retrieving these last few missions. We had claimed the entire cache from a military facility in the Midwest. It was meant to stay under Brotherhood protection. Until we came across a town under threat of a massacre by the Raiders. We equipped the townspeople with the weapons, and fought by their sides. It was the only way to give them a chance. But it wasn't enough. The Raiders won. They took possession of the weapons. And they've been running wild ever since. It is my belief that we must learn from our mistakes. But Knight Shin hangs onto them. He cannot move forward until he confronts the past, until he lays our guilt on display for the Elders. I say that we can - that we must - move forward on our own."
    (Leila Rahmani's dialogue)
  12. Vault 76 dweller: "Is what happened really such a big deal?"
    Paladin Rahmani: "You weren't there, Initiate. It was... harrowing. Those civilians trusted us to save them. We... lost one of our own as well. Knight Connors. May he rest in peace. We disobeyed orders, handing out those weapons instead of safeguarding them. Perhaps it would have been forgivable, had we succeeded. But the Elders would take this failure as proof of the danger of unrestrained technology. They would double down on the fearful conservatism I've tried so hard to steer them away from. We cannot let that happen. At this stage, the Brotherhood still has a chance to be something better."
    (Leila Rahmani's dialogue)
  13. Vault 76 dweller: "As Paladin, how could you let this incident happen?"
    Paladin Rahmani: "Yes, I am responsible for the final outcome of all operations performed by this group, regardless of individual choices made. What happened is an irreparable tragedy. I carry the weight of the lives that were lost with every step I take. But I cannot allow it to stop me."
    (Leila Rahmani's dialogue)
  14. Vault 76 dweller: "Tell me about the incident that split Rahmani and Shin."
    Scribe Valdez: "Right... Those weapons you've been chasing? We found them in a government facility on our way to Appalachia. We were supposed to keep them to ourselves - that's how we operate - but then we ran across a settlement being threatened by raiders. We couldn't just leave them to die. We equipped them with the weapons we found, but it didn't help. It was a massacre. The whole place was wiped out. Everyone was killed, including Knight Connors, one of our own. The only survivors were two children we brought back with us, Marcia and Max. Knight Shin believes it's our duty to report this incident to Elder Maxson. Paladin Rahmani feels we'd be punished just for trying to help."
    (Odessa Valdez's dialogue)
  15. 15.0 15.1 Brotherhood broadcast
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Dorsey's diary
  17. 17.0 17.1 Fortifying ATLAS
  18. Fort Atlas terminal entries; Paladin Rahmani's terminal, LEILA RAHMANI'S PERSONAL LOGS, Arrival
  19. Leila Rahmani: "Need to have Valdez take another look at my armor. 2,000 miles of hiking's put some real wear on it."
    (Leila Rahmani's dialogue)
  20. Vault 76 dweller: "Where did your group come from?"
    Scribe Valdez: "California, all the way across the continent. I've read that people used to fly that distance in a few hours, but the trek took us months. Maybe eventually we'll get flying again, but for now it's an arduous journey."
    (Odessa Valdez's dialogue)
  21. Vault 76 dweller: "How many of the Brotherhood are here?"
    Russell Dorsey: "Well, aside from the Initiates and hopefuls they recruited along the way...just three. I was expecting more, honestly, but Paladin Rahmani said three was plenty to start a new chapter. With the recruits they have already, she's right."
    (Russell Dorsey's dialogue)
  22. Fort Atlas terminal entries; Scribe Valdez's terminal, Scribe Valdez - Personal Logs, ATLAS Observatory
  23. Outposts near Fort Atlas and the Wayward.
  24. Random encounter with Brotherhood soldiers.
  25. Vault 76 dweller: "Everyone here needs to get inoculated, or else you'll turn into Scorched.
    Paladin Rahmani: "All of us have taken the inoculation. But thank you for inquiring. It means a lot to me that the people of Appalachia care for the well-being of others."
    (Leila Rahmani's dialogue)
  26. 26.0 26.1 Vault 76 dweller: "Contacting the Elders might destroy us? There's something you're not telling me."
    Paladin Rahmani: "Something happened during our journey to Appalachia. A mistake that cost the lives of an entire town, and likely countless more. If Knight Shin gets an opportunity to speak with the Elders, he will confess to this incident, and to us breaking their direct orders. We'll have our titles stripped, our influence rendered illegitimate. Everything we worked for here will be gone. But if circumstances prevent us from establishing contact, we will continue on as a sanctioned offshoot of the Brotherhood of Steel. We will be able to spread its authority and goodwill across the nation. Is that not something worth fighting for?"
    (Leila Rahmani's dialogue)
  27. Setting up camp
  28. Vault 76 dweller: "How does the Expeditionary Force compare to the Appalachian Chapter?"
    Vernon Dodge: "Well, this group operates plenty different from the Appalachian Brotherhood... A lot more talk about the ideological aspects of the organization... No matter which side of it they're standing on. We were fighting for survival at nearly every turn. If it wasn't Raiders, it was Scorched. Didn't have time for doctrine. At least, not at my rank. It feels a hell of a lot safer surrounded by these folk, though. Glad they're on my side."
    (Vernon Dodge's dialogue)
  29. Vernon Dodge: "Sure. I've been able to track down a number of locations that were critical to the Appalachian Brotherhood's operations when they were still active."
    (Vernon Dodge's dialogue)