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|For the location titled "Brotherhood" in Fallout, see Lost Hills.|
For the game, see Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel.
The Brotherhood of Steel (commonly abbreviated to BoS) is a post-War techno-religious paramilitary organization with chapters operating across the ruins of America.[Non-canon 1] The group has its roots in the United States Armed Forces, founded by a United States Army security team stationed at Mariposa Military Base before the Great War. While the goals of the Brotherhood vary from chapter to chapter, they share a core mission centered on seizing and regulating pre-War technology throughout the wasteland. Though small, the Brotherhood has been an influential group in the history of the wasteland, first as a survivalist group, then a major research and development house, then finally as an enemy of the New California Republic, fighting a bitter war for control of technology in New California. Having suffered defeats in the West, the Brotherhood would be strengthened on the Eastern reaches of the continent, under Elder Arthur Maxson.
The faction has been featured in every Fallout game, in one form or another. This article focuses exclusively on an overview of the Brotherhood as it appears throughout the series. For information on specific Brotherhood chapters, see: Brotherhood of Steel chapters
- 1 Background
- 2 Society
- 3 Divisions and locations
- 4 Foreign relations
- 5 Technology
- 6 Bases
- 7 Notes
- 8 Appearances
- 9 Behind the scenes
- 10 Gallery
- 11 External links
- 12 References
The Mariposa Rebellion
In 2076, the NBC division of West Tek achieved breakthrough results in the Pan-Immunity Virion Project. The United States Defense Department, fearing international espionage, moved a military team under the command of Colonel Robert Spindel and Captain Roger Maxson onto the site to secure and oversee the project, now dubbed the FEV (Forced Evolutionary Virus) project. On January 7, 2077, all FEV research was moved to the newly constructed Mariposa Military Base to commence testing of the virus on human subjects. The security team was transferred to the newly constructed base as well, to provide protection for the research going on within the facility. They were not informed of the nature of the research.
The situation unraveled shortly before October 10, 2077. The soldiers stationed at Mariposa discovered the fact that the scientists under their care were performing experiments with the Forced Evolutionary Virus on military prisoners. The revelation prompted a nervous breakdown in Colonel Spindel, who locked himself in his office. Captain Maxson was the only officer left to handle the deteriorating situation. Soldiers were screaming for blood and the whole situation was at risk of devolving into a bloodbath. On October 12, when Maxson had to step in to prevent one of his subordinates from killing a member of the science team, he ordered interrogations of the science team under his authority as acting commander. He hoped to prevent a full mutiny by offering his troops a semblance of justice.
The first scientist was brought before Maxson a day later, on October 13. Chief Researcher Robert Anderson explained that human experiments at the facility were sanctioned by the government. He outlined the program to the Captain, emphasizing the fact that it was the government that ordered. When Maxson refused to believe him, the scientist lost his nerve and started screaming how he was just following orders and that he was a military man just like Maxson. The Captain shot him in response. He rationalized it as trying to prevent a full-scale mutiny, but even he didn't believe it.
The killing of Robert Anderson effectively established Maxson as the leader of the rebellion. His position was further reinforced just two days later on October 15, when he attempted to speak to Colonel Spindel through the door of his office. It soon became clear that the Colonel had lost touch with reality, so Maxson and several of his men broke down the door just in time to hear the Colonel apologize and shoot himself. Subsequent scientist interrogations invariably ended in executions. Erin Shellman held out the longest by October 18, finally convincing the Captain that the experiments were really ordered by the government with her detailed account. On October 20, 2077, Captain Maxson declared his unit in full secession from the United States over the radio, attempting to force the government to respond to the situation at Mariposa. No response came. A day later, he ordered the families of soldiers under his command to take shelter within the facility.
On October 23, 2077, the Great War struck. As Maxson was halfway through prying the story from Head Researcher Leon Von Felden, the facility lost contact with the outside world as nuclear weapons started to drop. Spared the nuclear devastation, Mariposa protected the inhabitants from nuclear fallout flooding the wasteland. Fearing that China would soon make up for the oversight, on October 24, Maxson ordered his soldiers and their families to prepare to vacate the base the next day.
On October 25, Sergeant Platner volunteered to take atmospheric readings outside the base. Reporting no significant amounts of radiation in the atmosphere, final preparations for the exodus were undertaken. On October 26, Maxson ordered the remains of the scientists to be buried in the wastes outside the base. A day later, on October 27, former US servicemen and their families left the base under the lead of Captain Roger Maxson, heading for the Lost Hills government bunker in the south.
In November, a few weeks later, war refugees arrived at the bunker. The people suffered casualties along the way, as while the soldiers were protected by T-51 power armor, their families had no armor to speak of. Marauders that attacked the caravan quickly learned to target the unprotected civilians. Though the attackers paid with two lives for every one they took, many were lost, including Roger Maxson's wife (but not his teenage son).[Non-game 1]
Several soldiers broke off during the Exodus as well, led by Sergeant Dennis Allen. Ignoring warnings from Captain Maxson and defying the group's will, Allen's faction separated from the convoy in order to excavate the remains of the West Tek Research Facility using their power armor. They were never heard from again. Around 2151, the Brotherhood sent out Knights to seek out Allen's group or its remains. All they found were desolate ruins.[Non-canon 2]
The Exodus survivors claimed the Lost Hills bunker as their own. The refugees expanded and adapted it to fit their own needs, becoming a bastion of technology in a world that had lost centuries of technological development overnight. Maxson also needed to find others elsewhere in the U.S. to gain badly needed answers. Using surviving satellite connections, he reached out across the continent, broadcasting a request for contact.[Non-game 2] By chance, Maxson found an old friend in Appalachia, Lieutenant Elizabeth Taggerdy of the US Army Rangers. Although initially hesitant to trust him due to his public declaration of secession before the war, she gambled and left the channel open. As Maxson revealed the depth of atrocities perpetrated by the United States government, Taggerdy's faith in the system was shaken, then dismantled. Following the winter spent at Camp Venture, she joined Maxson's banner.
Foundation of the Brotherhood
Witnessing how people around him slowly succumbed to depression, Captain Maxson formulated a new ideology for the survivors. It took him years to create it, replacing the tarnished Stars and Stripes with new symbols, new ranks, and new ideas to replace the ones scorched in nuclear fire. They would provide meaning for people before they became lost in the depths of despair after losing their friends, family, their entire world. Although some under his command, particularly Lieutenant Taggerdy, were skeptical of his plans, Maxson believed that the way forward lay in new traditions and a new mythology, free of the burden of the past. He also believed that it would prevent any surviving politicians from exercising their authority over former American soldiers, especially those with an agenda that involved burning Americans on the funeral pyre of the regime. By June 20, 2082, all members under his command switched over to using Brotherhood ranks and practices.
The Brotherhood kept growing in New California, welcoming into its ranks a National Guard unit that was formerly stationed near Mariposa, acquired several bunkers and sent expeditions as far as the Mojave Wasteland, gathering intelligence and new recruits. As the Brotherhood in New California developed, so did its sister organization in Appalachia, under Paladin Lizzy Taggerdy. Although she showed a bias towards candidates with a military background while building up the ranks, she eventually understood Roger Maxson's vision and continued to expand and develop the organization using Camp Venture as a training outpost. Despite initial resistance to the new rank system by the rest in her outfit, the new ideas offered by Maxson eventually took root and were accepted. Although the Brotherhood's insistence on acquiring munitions for their fighting against mutants has led to ruffled feathers - especially with the Responders prior to the Charleston flood in December 2082 - they eventually found a common tongue, standing together during the Battle of Huntersville in May 2086. Although the Brotherhood sustained losses, it prevailed. This coincided with the announcement of a new mandate by Roger Maxson: The preservation of technology, to gather, record, and save the collective knowledge of mankind for future generations, to act as a catalyst for the rebirth of civilization in time.
Some responded to this new policy with enthusiasm, others with grudging acceptance, and yet others, like Sergeant Hank Madigan, left the Brotherhood to join the Responders. The new mission quickly took a backseat, however, as the Brotherhood encountered the scorchbeasts and the Scorched in the Cranberry Bog. Conferring with Maxson's ace researcher, Scribe Hailey Takano, the Brotherhood in Appalachia quickly calculated that the scorchbeasts represented a potential extinction event for humanity. Lost Hills supplied a number of designs and weapon schematics to help stem the tide, including a sonic generator and an automated research program, but by the 2090s, the failing infrastructure of the Old World rapidly rendered communication impossible. Before being cut-off, Maxson ordered Taggerdy to hold the tide - and proscribed the use of nuclear weapons.
Eventually, the communications failed entirely, separating Lost Hills from Appalachia. The chapter in Appalachia fought on, trying to destroy the scorchbeasts through attrition, but by 2093, their numbers dwindled to the point where they were forced to close down Camp Venture, their first base, and focus their remaining forces at Fort Defiance and Thunder Mountain power plant. Declining support from the Responders and the constant fighting just to stem the tide of the scorched and their masters took their toll, preventing the Brotherhood from completing the automated research program at Vault-Tec University, supplied to them by Takano. Eventually, the Brotherhood launched Operation Touchdown. This last ditch effort was launched in January 2095 and briefly stemmed the tide at the cost of the entire strike force, which included Knight Moreno and Paladin Taggerdy. Ultimately, the Brotherhood in Appalachia was wiped out in their last stand at Fort Defiance and Thunder Mountain on August 18-19, 2095, marking the end of the Brotherhood in Appalachia. However, by 2103, a small group of reinforcements are on their way from Lost Hills, and are monitoring the area closely.[Non-game 3]
Conflict with the Vipers
In 2135, Roger Maxson died of cancer. Already a legendary figure to the Brotherhood, he was essentially deified as the Founder and Deliverer. His son, Maxson II, replaced him as the High Elder, while his grandson, John Maxson, joined the Paladin caste, showing great promise.[Non-game 4] Around 2141, the Brotherhood ceased admitting new members from the outside, relying solely on their natural growth for increasing their numbers.
The Brotherhood was a major power in the region at this point, firmly exercising their control on the lands surrounding their bunker and forming trade relations with the neighboring towns, especially the Hub. However, the focus on hard sciences gave in to the detriment of humanities, history in particular. This decline in soft sciences eventually lead to some Initiates of the youngest generations having no idea who Roger Maxson was. In 2150, they clashed with the newly reformed Vipers.[Non-game 5] The battles intensified in subsequent years, culminating in the death of High Elder Maxson II in 2155. John Maxson's father expected the raiders to break formation and flee when faced with Brotherhood warriors clad in powered armor, but did not account for their religious ferocity. A poisoned arrow nicked him when his helmet was off, and he died within hours.[Non-game 6] John Maxson was promoted to the Elder council, while Rhombus was tasked with conducting a campaign of extermination against the Vipers. The Paladins tracked down and wiped out almost all of their members within the span of a month. A handful of Vipers were able to flee north and east into the mountain range; While small groups continued to exist and raid in New California, they never regained their full power. Both Rhombus and John Maxson would eventually ascend to leadership roles, with John Maxson becoming the High Elder in 2159 and promoting Rhombus to the role of Head Paladin.[Non-game 5]
During the campaign, the Brotherhood sent a few scouts and emissaries to the Hub to track down Vipers members, and from these beginnings, the Hub and the Brotherhood began full trade relations. Caravans had delivered to the Brotherhood before, but not long after the destruction of the Vipers, caravan trains ran directly from the Hub to the Brotherhood on a regular basis.[Non-game 5] While the situation remained peaceful and prosperous, issues would develop between the Hub and the Brotherhood from time to time. In the late 2150s, the Water Merchants of the Hub attempted to barter a large quantity of water for a weapons stockpile. Although the Brotherhood turned down the offer, the merchants attempted to take the weapons regardless. The thieves were caught, but the Brotherhood Elders voted down a retaliatory expedition.
The Emergence of the Unity
In 2161, the Brotherhood discovered the presence of a new enemy. In October, a group of Knights on a patrol in the badlands discovered a dead super mutant. After examining the creature, Master Scribe Vree determined that it was sterile, but also notes that there must have been a central location that created these mutants.[Non-game 7] The Elder Council, fearing a potential invasion, enacted several security decrees, including a moratorium on training new recruits until the threat passed.
The Elders also sent out several scouts north and east into the badlands. Only one returned from the east, reporting an encounter with twenty super mutants, and none at all returned from the north. The Council could not reach an agreement on how to act. Even as Hub merchant caravans started disappearing in the northern wastes, the Elders refused to act until they were fully certain that there was an army massing in the northern mountains.
The impasse was broken by the arrival of the Vault Dweller. Having rescued a Brotherhood Initiate from bandits in the Hub,[Non-game 8] the Dweller visited the Brotherhood and accepted the mission to the Glow, to recover the disk belonging to Sergeant Dennis Allen to learn the fate of the splinter faction from the Mariposa Rebellion. The Dweller surprised everyone by surviving and returning with the artifact. He became the first outsider to join the Brotherhood in nearly twenty years.[Non-game 9]
The Brotherhood shared what knowledge they had and some of their advanced technology with the Dweller, allowing him to seek out the Master and destroy him in the Boneyard.[Non-game 9] Following the death of the super mutant leader, the Brotherhood further aided the Vault Dweller's quest, sending a team of crack assault Paladins to storm Mariposa.[Non-game 10]
Apex of Power, Stagnation, and Recovery
Following the destruction of the Unity, the Brotherhood aided other human settlements to drive the mutants away with minimal loss of life on both sides of the conflict. The Brotherhood remained out of the power structure for a time, becoming a major research and development house by reintroducing advanced technology into New California at a slow pace. The wise guidance of Rhombus arguably brought the Brotherhood to the zenith of its power. The Brotherhood had good relations with the developing New California Republic, to the point that one of the states of the federation was named after the founder of the Brotherhood: Maxson. However, Lost Hills was never incorporated into the NCR.[Non-canon 3]
Over the years, the Brotherhood grew confident in its status as the sole source of advanced technology left to mankind, and allowed its prominence and influence to wane, growing stagnant. This stagnancy made them unable to deal with the technologically superior Enclave, when the Brotherhood learned of their existence circa 2240. In order to learn more about them, the Brotherhood reactivated a network of outposts in Northern California to observe Enclave activity. Thanks to their low profile, they achieved practical anonymity, even in the populous San Francisco.
Once the Enclave was destroyed by the Chosen One, the Brotherhood was without a foe to face. In an effort to end the stagnation the Brotherhood expanded eastward (most notably the formation of the Mojave chapter under Elder Elijah) and sent out expeditions to recover technology, going as far as the Capital Wasteland in 2255, with the expedition under Senior Paladin Owyn Lyons.
The Brotherhood War
The rampant expansionism of the NCR would eventually lead to a collision course with the Brotherhood. As the NCR's power grew, the Brotherhood adopted a policy of reclaiming technology from people outside the order, energy weapons most of all.[Non-game 11] The disagreements over the way technology should be handled eventually resulted in full out war with the New California Republic. The Brotherhood was eventually forced into a retreat. At least six Brotherhood bunkers were lost to the Republic, four of them destroyed by the Brotherhood themselves in a last ditch attempt to deny them to the enemy.
The most well-known known confrontation occurred during the NCRA's Operation: Sunburst in 2276. Under Elder Elijah's leadership, the Mojave chapter of the Brotherhood of Steel was operating out of the solar power plant of HELIOS One when the NCR launched an attack. The NCR's numerical superiority over the Brotherhood, coupled with Elder Elijah's immense reluctance to leave Helios, allowed the NCR to overwhelm the defenders, leading to the loss of over half the chapter. The Mojave chapter of the Brotherhood was considered effectively neutralized.[Non-game 12] The Mojave chapter went under lockdown following their defeat at HELIOS One and the retreat to Hidden Valley.[Non-game 13]
Despite their crushing victory over the Brotherhood, the war would serve to cost the NCR dearly. Apart from losses in manpower and materiel, the greatest victim of the war was the Republic's economy. The Republic's gold reserves were completely destroyed by Brotherhood raids: new gold coins could not be minted and paper money could not be properly backed with gold. NCR citizens panicked and rushed to reclaim the listed face value of currency from NCR's remaining gold reserves. Since the NCR was unable to realize these withdrawals, particularly towards the frontier, faith in their currency considerably dropped. To protect against actual economic collapse, the NCR government abandoned the gold standard. Since then many wastelanders lost faith in it as a medium of worth, both as a result of it not being backed by anything but the government's word and the inevitable inflation. In response to the loss of faith, merchant consortiums of the Hub established their own currency, the veritable bottle cap, backing it with a standardized measure of water.[Non-game 14][Non-game 15][Non-game 16][Non-game 17]
The Brotherhood in the Capital
The Brotherhood's presence in the east suffered a further setback, when Elder Lyons, head of the Capital Wasteland division, refused a direct order from the Lost Hills Elder Council, confirming their suspicions that he has gone rogue and was no longer pursuing the original mission. In response, the Brotherhood completely shut off communications to Lyon's division and denied them any reinforcements. Alone, Lyons' organization attempted to implement a charitable program of aiding the wasteland, but their insistence on charity, rather than an equitable exchange, led to their steady decline and loss of territory. While the tides seemed to turn during the Battle of Project Purity with the remnants of the Enclave, thanks to the influx of new technology and resources, the organization was effectively crumbling.
The key blow to the organization came with the death of Owyn Lyons circa 2278 and the loss of now-Elder Sarah Lyons later that same year. With the seat of power emptied, the remaining Brotherhood members elected multiple ineffectual leaders, while the adolescent Squire Arthur Maxson matured into a capable warrior and tactician, eventually securing a victory over Shepherd, the new warboss of the Capital Wasteland super mutants, in 2282. This feat earned him a provisional leadership position. In fact, this position was bestowed by West Coast Elders, who revealed that they still monitored their errant brethren.
Maxson's position solidified in 2283, when he negotiated a treaty with the Brotherhood Outcasts, bringing them back into the fold and reforming the entire organization, abandoning Lyons' Doctrine. Lyons' Brotherhood became a distant memory as Maxson restored the original mission of the Brotherhood of Steel. While some members found this distasteful and left, the overwhelming majority remained, proud to serve a refocused Brotherhood. Maxson became leader of the Brotherhood's Eastern branch, effectively leading to its rebirth.
The Brotherhood is a military order with a strictly enforced hierarchy and chain of command. At the foundation of the hierarchy lies the Chain That Binds doctrine. It mandates obedience to one's superiors and forbids circumventing ranks when giving orders. Superiors may only give orders to their direct subordinates, but not their subordinate's subordinates. Although intended to ensure the cohesion of command, the doctrine has been generally interpreted as a simple mandate of obedience within the order, with the order flow requirements ignored, abandoned, or altered in practice. However, it does provide a technicality that can be invoked to relieve members of their rank - up to and including elders.
Roger Maxson's goals in inventing a new tradition and mythology for the Brotherhood were two-fold. First, they would ensure that members of the Brotherhood would be stripped of their ties to the pre-War military and government, ensuring that any surviving general or politician would not be able to invoke their oaths and use them to unleash nuclear devastation on the world again (as was the case with Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Eckhart in Appalachia). Second, it would give the survivors an idea to believe in, something they could dedicate themselves to, and finding meaning in their lives after the nuclear war. The inspiration came from the fall of the western Roman Empire when knights and scribes kept the fire of civilization going after the empire imploded.
Property and trade
As a military order, the Brotherhood utilizes scrip for internal trades.[Non-game 18] Necessary operations, supplies, and other amenities are provided free of charge to working members of the Brotherhood at Lost Hills (though in case of new initiates coming from the outside, they must serve for ten years before the Brotherhood will provide its most advanced services without charge). Every member receives an allotment of rations to maintain their health and they may be traded between members. All equipment beyond personal items is issued by the Brotherhood and issued items, especially weapons, are carefully tracked by serial number.
Outside of Lost Hills, though, the rules may change from chapter to chapter. For example, the Mojave chapter will not sell any equipment to any outsider unless the elder gives permission. Under Elder Lyons' rule, the Brotherhood was known to trade with outsiders, but as of 2277, there were many incidents that dissuaded the Brotherhood from such activities. As of 2287, the Eastern division has resumed trade relations in the Capital Wasteland and established new ones in the Commonwealth. While standard issue gear and weapons are available for free to members, more specialized weapons and equipment must be purchased from the quartermasters.
The Brotherhood has several distinct classes that define a member's standing in the Brotherhood social structure, with a strict hierarchy distinguishing each member's position.
The Brotherhood is egalitarian in nature, with male and female members both being able to rise up to any rank. At the Brotherhood's foundation, however, the women of the Brotherhood were also called "Brothers" instead of "Sisters", which would not carry over to the East Coast chapter.
The original hierarchy implemented by the Lost Hills chapter and followed by Western chapters. Members of the west coast Brotherhood are primarily descendants of soldiers and scientists that broke away from the United States during the Mariposa Rebellion, apart from a small number of outsiders in their ranks.[Non-canon 1]
This means that the western Brotherhood is very small compared to other organizations in the region, such as the New California Republic. While not an official policy, some members believe that in order for the Brotherhood to survive, all fertile members of the order are obligated to procreate. As a result, these persons display a lack of tolerance for same-sex relationships. Those born in the Brotherhood that want to be neither Scribes, Knights nor Paladins are free to leave – the Brotherhood does not believe in forcing anyone to serve them against their will.
The castes are as follows:
- Initiates are the youngest and/or least experienced members of the Brotherhood, whose sole purpose is training and learning to become a valued member of either the Knights or the Scribes.
- Scribes are scientists, responsible for researching and reverse-engineering recovered technologies, maintaining the Brotherhood's scientific knowledge, and even experimenting with new ones (though the Brotherhood's focus on preservation means this is rather rare).[Non-canon 1] There are three Scribe orders within the Brotherhood, focusing on different types of technology: the Order of the Sword (offensive), the Shield (defensive), and the Quill (civilian). In eastern chapters, Scribes have taken over the duties of Knights, becoming responsible for research and engineering activities of the Brotherhood.
- Knights are the craftsmen and foot soldiers of the Brotherhood. They maintain the Brotherhood's stockpile of technology, repair and providing technical services where they are needed, as well as producing new weapons to replenish stocks and provide trading goods. Knights also perform patrols, scouting assignments, and support the Paladins in offensive operations. Those that focus on combat training, may be eligible to become Paladins, the protectors of the Brotherhood.[Non-canon 1] Eastern chapters have offloaded engineering duties to Scribes, focusing Knights on logistics and combat operations, reflecting their proactive focus.
- Paladins are the primary combat force of the Brotherhood, in charge of all security and outside activities. Equipped with the best military technology the Brotherhood has to offer, they are some of the most fearsome foes in the wasteland.[Non-canon 1] The ranks of the Paladins are reinforced by promoting exceptional Knights and it is generally impossible to become a Paladin any other way.[Non-canon 4] Notably, while power armor was reserved for Paladin use in the first century of the Brotherhood's existence, the restrictions were relaxed over the decades, allowing Knights and in extreme cases even Initiates to use power armor (usually older models, such as the T-45).
- Elders are the highest ranking members of the Brotherhood, its leaders and decision makers, determining everything from meals to the course of campaigns. Typically, only Paladins are eligible to become Elders, but exceptions can be made for extraordinary members of other branches. Regardless of their branch of service, Elders are elected into the council by other council members,[Non-canon 4] with the High Elder chosen by the council. The candidate can turn down the offer. Out of the first four High Elders, three belonged to the Maxson lineage, but there is no requirement for the council to propose the position to a member of the bloodline. Elders may be dismissed for violating the Brotherhood's charter or laws, such as destroying technological devices without due cause, violating the Chain that Binds, or murdering a fellow member. Due to the requirement for elders to set an example, elders may also be stripped of their position if allowing them to retain it would compromise the integrity of a given chapter.
The Eastern division implemented a heavily modified hierarchy derived from Lyons' Brotherhood of Steel altered ranking system, adapting it to the challenges of the wasteland.
- Squires are children who are too young to train as Initiates but are allowed to serve the various needs of full-fledged members of the Brotherhood. In exchange, they are taught basic concepts such as military structure, combat readiness, and loyalty that will help them when they are old enough to become Initiates. Squires sometimes accompany exemplary Knights on missions, at the behest of Lancer Captain Kells, to experience combat firsthand but only as an observer.
- Initiates are Brotherhood-born members and sponsored outsiders who are training to become Knights, Scribes or Lancers.
- Aspirant is a rank used to denote someone training under a superior officer such as a Paladin or Knight-Commander in order to be promoted to a full-fledged knight. They are a step above Initiates.
- Lancers are the backbone of the Brotherhoods newly formed airforce. Without them, the Brotherhood would be unable to operate their vast fleets of Vertibirds.
- Knights are fully-fledged members who have served time in the Brotherhood. They are professional soldiers, and the main backbone of the Brotherhood's ground forces.
- Paladins are the Brotherhood's elite, seasoned veterans that are often high ranking field commanders or used in elite strike teams.
- Scribes are the brains to the Brotherhood's brawn. They are responsible for the development and research of all Brotherhood technology, as well as the maintenance of advanced systems, weapons and armor and any other technical requirements.
- Sentinel is a rare rank, only given to the Brotherhood's best and most distinguished soldiers. The last known Sentinel was Sarah Lyons, daughter of Elder Owyn Lyons; she was the highest-ranking field commander under Elder Lyons and commanded the Lyon's Pride, a single squad of the chapter's best soldiers. It is unknown if the Pride still operates as of 2287. The Sole Survivor can achieve this rank through completion of A New Dawn.
The beliefs of the Brotherhood were shaped by the experiences of Roger Maxson at Mariposa Military Base and in the aftermath of the Great War. At first, the Brotherhood focused on aiding survivors to the best of its ability, acting as an armed fighting force, rather than a military order it would become. The change came with the realization that the collective knowledge of humanity was in danger of being lost for generations to come. To keep the secrets of the past alive, Maxson decided to dedicate the Brotherhood to the preservation of technology and human knowledge, collecting it in order that the Brotherhood might become the catalyst for humanity's rebirth. As the guardians of civilization, the Brotherhood would focus on the big picture, with direct aid considered a secondary concern.
While scribes were originally considered second-rate members, tools to protect knights and maintain the Brotherhood's bases, this change in priorities placed them on equal footing with soldiers of the Brotherhood, tasked with preserving and developing technologies recovered from the field by the knights. Notably, Maxson's ultimate intention was to establish the Brotherhood as an organization that works closely with people outside of the Brotherhood, as guardians of civilizations, not its gatekeepers. His idea of an open Brotherhood put him at odds with isolationist members of the Brotherhood, including his own son and Paladin Elizabeth Taggerdy, head of the Appalachian chapter. Although nobody confronted him openly on the issue, out of respect for his role as founder, Roger Maxson was in the minority.
In 2135, Roger Maxson died of cancer. Although referred to as the Founder and Deliverer, the Brotherhood changed under his son, Maxson II. The most noticeable effect of the change in leadership was the cessation of outside recruitment by 2141, relying solely on natural growth. The Brotherhood creatively interpreted Maxson's words and its role as steward of humanity and its salvation. Their power armor would remain a symbol of hope, the harbinger of restoration, but the Brotherhood would quietly wait for the right moment to restore the battered Earth to humanity, rather than actively collaborate withoutside people. Until then, it would preserve knowledge and control it, so that it could not destroy humanity again by preserving knowledge and its practical applications for future generations, as Maxson intended. While the mandate was to recover, restore, and record whatever the Brotherhood could find, it emphasized hard sciences and the tangible, resulting in a tacit disregard for non-technical, softer fields of knowledge such as history or sociology. This benign neglect steadily developed into a major problem as the Brotherhood started to forget its own history and origins. By the late 23rd century, many Brotherhood of Steel members did not know who Roger Maxson was. Some scribes could not account for the group's origins a few centuries after the Brotherhood's foundation.
The Brotherhood continued to research theoretical and practical aspects of science, including biology, physics, and chemistry. Practical applications were particularly emphasized, as weapons, ammunition, medical supplies, and so on were exported in exchange for food, water, and other necessities. Exports were limited to conventional technologies, with restricted, advanced items strictly controlled and only provided to those deemed responsible enough to use it.
Regardless of its disregard for soft sciences, the Brotherhood's policies allowed it to reach a position of influence. Its stockpiles of technology and combined knowledge allowed it to emerge as a major research and development house in New California, slowly reintroducing advanced technologies while wisely remaining outside the power structure. Its advantageous position would ultimately lead it to its downfall, as the Brotherhood grew confident in its unchallenged role as quasi technology police, stagnating.
The refusal to adapt and evolve led to a decline in the Brotherhood's standing and influence, as the New California Republic emerged as a major power player in the wasteland. Facing a changed wasteland with no plan in place, corruption of the Brotherhood's lofty ideals was a matter of time. The increasingly strict adherence to the organization's principles evolved into religious dogmatism. This mindset eventually dominated its leadership. The Codex became sacred, with Roger Maxson effectively deified. Religious influences trickled into everyday expressions, with "By Steel" becoming an intensifier and an oath, invoking an undefined higher entity.
The definition of technology became very selective. The Brotherhood started to focus almost exclusively on combat technologies such as energy weapons or power armor, zealously restricting its use to its own ranks. Basic, useful technologies like genetic modification of crops or civil engineering were largely ignored, as irrelevant to the pursuit of narrowly-understood power.[Non-game 13] Sharing of Brotherhood secrets, even for a greater purpose, is seen as treason warranting summary execution.
The drive to protect the people from the ravages of technology was replaced by hoarding. The Brotherhood became aggressive in their efforts to control technology, wrestling it away from people viewed as lesser. No outsiders were permitted to join their ranks. Rather than restoring the Earth, the Brotherhood wanted to outlive and inherit the Earth after other rivals have died out. The Codex itself was either rewritten or reinterpreted to emphasize the world view.
Not all Brotherhood chapters were dedicated to this reactionary policy. Lyons' Brotherhood of Steel diverged when Elder Owyn Lyons turned his chapter into a purely charitable organization, aiding the wasteland without compensation and opening its ranks to outside recruitment. His insistence on charity, rather than equitable exchange, led to a steady decline and loss of territory over a period of twenty years of their presence in the Capital Wasteland. While the Purifier Conflict with the remnants of the Enclave provided an influx of new technologies and resources, the chapter was crumbling under Lyons' leadership, devoted to his failed policies of containment and attrition of threats in the Wasteland. Particularly severe was the fact that Lost Hills completely shut off communications with Lyons' chapter and denied them any reinforcements.
Major changes were introduced under Elder Arthur Maxson in the 2280s. Like the Brotherhood of the 22nd century, the Eastern division (re)dedicated itself to the advancement of humanity. Beyond taking an active role in wasteland politics, the Brotherhood embraced Elder Lyons' policies of eradicating abominations, combining them with a new approach to controlling technology. Abominations of nature brought about by mankind's meddling are viewed as a scourge that needs to be destroyed in order for humanity to prosper. The list typically involves super mutants and hostile ghouls, although the Brotherhood also eliminates raiders and other threats as a matter of course.
Control of technology is seen as a means to an end. While the crumbling western Brotherhood attempted to control technology in a desperate attempt to stave off its destruction, Maxson's Brotherhood returned to the original mission of containment: Protecting mankind from technologies that cannot be fully controlled and thus represent a threat to its long-term welfare and even survival. As a result, the Brotherhood seeks to understand the nature of technology, its power and meaning to humans, and fights those who would abuse said power for their own ends, endangering mankind in the process. The most noticeable way in which this policy is implemented is the collection of technology from pre-War sites, to prevent its abuse.
The Brotherhood rejects technological development for the sake of technological development, drawing on the lessons of the Great War. The Brotherhood holds that it was a result of technological progress outpacing man's restraint and moral progress. Consumerism and greed became the driving forces of progress, new technologies exploited by megacorporations for their own gain, pocketing the cash and ignoring the collateral damage to society and environment. Though miracle advancements in medicine and welfare were made, the unchecked development spurred by the war with China led to widespread abuse of technology's potential. Bio-engineered plagues, FEV, and ever more destructive nuclear weapons were but a handful of horrors created by pre-War mankind. The Great War was a natural result of putting the implements of Apocalypse in the hands of mad men.
Gen 3 synths, which are indistinguishable from humans, are a perfect example of science run amok - a technology that cannot be fully controlled by humans. The combination of their superior physique and the capacity to think for themselves renders them a threat to mankind, while the way in which they are created - assembled in a laboratory and programmed like a robot - is anathema to the Brotherhood, which holds human life to be sacred.
Notably, while the Brotherhood's new rhetoric has religious overtones, Elder Maxson rejects the notion of being worshiped as divine. The eradication of Maxson cults in the Western Brotherhood is consistent with his desire to be nothing more and nothing less than human: Aided and perfected by technology, but not controlled or enslaved by it.
The iconography of the Brotherhood of Steel is built around its emblem: Gears, sword and wings. It is used widely to decorate their facilities, tag armor and equipment, and as part of markers identifying their territory, and overall building up a distinct visual identity. The order marks virtually every piece of equipment it possesses with its sigil.
The Brotherhood insignia has evolved throughout the years and while it has retained its general appearance, the number of cogs on the gears, their facing, and basic color scheme have varied between iterations. Other modifications have also been implemented, such as replacing the gears with a lion rampant, altering the number of teeth on the elements, or changing coloration.
Divisions and locations
The headquarters of the Brotherhood and its first chapter is the Lost Hills bunker in California, the seat of the Brotherhood's High Elder, and its ruling council, and the place where the organization was founded. It is also the center of their research and military activities. However, by 2242, the Brotherhood was spread across the wastes of California in small bunkers and installations hidden from the eyes of common folk, and finding them all and wiping them out would be a difficult and dangerous task.
Their installations include small observation bunkers (for example, in the Den, San Francisco, and Shady Sands), as well as major outposts and subterranean facilities, like Hidden Valley. Apart from Hidden Valley, at least six other larger bunkers are confirmed to exist, though four of them were destroyed by the Brotherhood and two fell to the NCR. All Brotherhood outposts are formally subject to the Lost Hills' ruling council's authority, even if they sometimes tend to act independently, especially if they are located far from California, and contact with the headquarters is rare. The Lost Hills bunker is surrounded by the state of Maxson, which, while named after the founder of the Brotherhood, is officially outside Brotherhood rule and is a state of the New California Republic. The later conflict between the Republic and the Brotherhood most likely resulted in the destruction of many of the Brotherhood's bunkers in New California.
The Appalachian branch of the Brotherhood of Steel was founded when Roger Maxson contacted Lt. Elizabeth Taggerdy via satellite. The chance meeting led to the earliest branch of the Brotherhood being established in the remote region. Based out of Camp Venture and later Fort Defiance, the chapter focused on recovery and aiding the local population in its early years, before focusing entirely on the destruction of the scorchbeasts and the Scorched as an existential threat to humanity. The chapter failed in its attempt to contain the threat, becoming extinct in August 2095, less than twenty years after their foundation.
However, in the year 2103, the Brotherhood First Expeditionary Force arrived in Appalachia and set up at Fort Atlas, previously called the ATLAS Observatory, reestablishing a Brotherhood presence in the region.
The Brotherhood's bunker is located in Hidden Valley, directly east of the settlement of Goodsprings in the Mojave Wasteland. It is surrounded by powerful underground fans that serve as a high-tech defense system, creating artificial sandstorms that allow the inhabitants to travel to and from the bunker undercover. It also serves as a kind of electronic disturbance to any and all outside factions' targeting sensors, therefore rendering the bunker safe from detection.
Prior to 2276 the Mojave Brotherhood had been very active in the region before their crippling defeat at HELIOS One by NCR Forces and were forced underground on the orders of their new leader Elder McNamara. Due to a complete lockdown ordered to preserve what remaining soldiers he had, McNamara relies solely on teams that were trapped outside of the bunker for intel and trusted undercover operatives to bring food and supplies back to those trapped inside.
Despite their seclusion from the outside world they still are regarded as a powerful faction in the region, this is shown in Mr. House's calculations as they painted the Brotherhood insurgency to be the greatest threat to his reign in the Mojave Wasteland in the long-term.
East Coast Brotherhood
On the East Coast, the East Coast division of the Brotherhood established the Citadel, built into and beneath the ruins of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. This faction was led by the idealistic Elder Owyn Lyons who decided to make the protection of the human inhabitants of the Capital Wasteland from super mutants and other threats his top priority, instead of the acquisition and preservation of technology. While Lyons was officially recognized by the ruling council at Lost Hills as the leader of a Brotherhood faction, because of his changed priorities he received no support from California, and his faction, for all intents and purposes, was independent. Without reinforcements from the West Coast, Lyons was forced to recruit locally, but, as most new wastelander conscripts are overeager, unskilled, or both, the survival rate of these local members was atrocious. Elder Lyons’ daughter Sarah commanded her own elite squad, Lyons' Pride. These soldiers help preserve the Capital Wasteland by holding back the super mutants, who tend to remain in the urban ruins of Washington, D.C.[Non-game 19]
Members of Lyons' expeditionary force who preferred to stay faithful to the Brotherhood's original goals of locating and preserving technology and knowledge eventually abandoned him in 2276, after Lyons outright refused to permit them to excavate Fort Independence. Under the lead of Paladin Henry Casdin, they left the Citadel to take up residence in the fort and styled themselves as the Brotherhood Outcasts. In addition to carrying out Lyons' original orders, the Outcasts attempted to re-establish contact with the western elders and have Lyons placed in front of a firing squad.
As the war with the super mutants intensified, the Enclave returned in the flesh after fleeing New California several years prior. Their radio broadcasts had been heard for years on Wasteland radios. In a bold first move, they seized the Jefferson Memorial's "Project Purity" (a project intended to provide clean water to the wasteland), and subsequently consolidated their power throughout the Capital Wasteland. At first, favoring caution, Elder Lyons soon changed his mind, engaging the Enclave in a full-scale battle after the Enclave acquires possession of Vault 87's G.E.C.K. and nearly activating Project Purity. With the aid of Liberty Prime, the Enclave was ousted from the Jefferson Memorial and into uncertain disarray. Despite the subsequent loss of Liberty Prime, Lyons' chapter started its recovery to dwarf their fellow chapters back west in power, especially after the devastation of the NCR-Brotherhood War.
Following both Lyons' deaths circa 2278, the chapter was managed by a string of largely ineffectual elders, only to come under the leadership of Elder Arthur Maxson in 2283, who reunited the chapter with the Brotherhood Outcasts. Together with the Prydwen, a large airship whose creation started in the twilight years of Lyons' reign, and their victory against the Enclave in 2277, the chapter achieved its goal. As of 2287, the chapter is able to field large quantities of Vertibirds and T-60 power armor, manufacture replacement parts, and use standardized energy weapons. Their newly acquired power allowed them to send long-range recon teams to scout regions and recover technologies. One of these, Recon Squad Gladius, was sent to the Commonwealth to investigate the region after the disappearance of Recon Squad Artemis. Their findings prompted the Brotherhood to deploy in the Commonwealth aboard the Prydwen and strike against the Institute. Once they arrived, the Brotherhood conducted an air assault on the feral ghouls occupying Boston airport and established their main base of operations there. They are capable of and frequently conduct air assault operations, especially when inserting patrol teams and assaulting objectives such as Bunker Hill.
|The following is based on bugged content.|
|End of information based on bugged content.|
The Brotherhood of Steel sent a detachment of troops east by airship to track super mutants. After crash landing in Chicago they have clashed with them in the city. By 2254 they have been classified as a rogue unit and fell off of the radar of the organization's other chapters.
While they are generally not hostile to others without a good reason, members of the Brotherhood are not interested in justice for the obviously weaker and less fortunate wastelanders (or mutants) around them. They largely focus on keeping their secrecy and preserving and developing technology, which they often put above human life since technology is irreplaceable in the post-nuclear wastelands—lives are not. Their motives are often unclear, and Brotherhood members are not people to be trifled with. It is safe to say, however, that if a group of Brotherhood Paladins appears to be helping outsiders, their motives are not altruistic.[Non-canon 1]
The Brotherhood does not like to share their choicest technological bits with others, despite the obvious benefits their technology could bring to the Wasteland. It is a commonly accepted truth within the Brotherhood that the people of the Wasteland are not responsible enough to use (and maintain) all of the technology the Brotherhood has at their disposal. They are known for trading some of their technologies with frontier communities and the states of the New California Republic in exchange for food and other resources, but they keep the more sensitive and advanced technologies to themselves.[Non-canon 1]
By 2281, the Brotherhood reversed its earlier policies, in response to their waning power, and became much more insular and aggressive, opting to wrestle technologies from the hands of 'lesser' people, whether they be willing to give them up or not. This led to the devastating Brotherhood War. One of the most devastating campaigns of the war played out in the Mojave wasteland: in the course of Operation: Sunburst more than half the chapter perished, forcing Elder McNamara to declare lockdown: sealing the chapter underground, with only high security patrols and supply runners allowed outside. All brothers left outside the bunker are cut loose if this protocol is enacted. The Brotherhood has also enacted a scorched earth policy: if a bunker is invaded, the crew is obligated to initiate self-destruct. In four out of six instances of successful invasion by NCR forces, this was carried out.
For most of its existence, the Brotherhood did not recruit outsiders as a general rule. When it did, they require the recruits to be very young, so that the proper relationship with technology can be cultivated. Adults have an approach that the Brotherhood considers perverted. However, exceptional individuals may conditionally join the Brotherhood.
Circa 2287, the policy changed radically. As Elder Arthur Maxson became the leader of the Brotherhood's Eastern branch, he retained Elder Owyn Lyons' practice of recruiting wastelanders sponsored by existing Brotherhood members and expanded it. As it was under Lyons, the sponsor would travel with their charges and teach them the ideals of the Brotherhood and train them in combat. To this end, active members can field promote recruits to Initiate rank, but the rank and subsequent promotions have to be confirmed by the Elder at the earliest possible opportunity. However, while the member can retract their sponsorship, once the rank is confirmed by the Elder, only the Elder can dismiss the sponsored party from the organization.
Attitude towards mutants
The Brotherhood's attitude towards mutants ranges from dislike to outright hostility. When it comes to the ghouls, the Brotherhood dislikes them due to their ideology. As the Brotherhood hoards and preserves technology, tinkering ghouls that dismantle or sometimes damage old technology are abhorrent. Their dislike was amplified by salvaging operation in the Glow, a location regarded by the Brotherhood as close to the holy ground due to the deaths of their comrades there and high technology within. Most Brotherhood members came to see ghouls as filthy scavengers. Thankfully, contact between them is limited.[Non-canon 4]
Their hostility towards super mutants was derived from the location of Lost Hills. The proximity of their bunker to Mariposa and the desolate Central Valley put them in the paths of many bloodthirsty mutants. That made them an easy choice for an external enemy to focus members of the chapter on.[Non-canon 4] However, the Brotherhood drove away super mutants with minimal loss of life on both sides of the conflict after the fall of the Master and wasn't hostile towards super mutants that settled down peacefully.
By 2287, the Brotherhood has radicalized its policy towards mutants, with standing orders to exterminate any post-War abominations. In practice, the Brotherhood usually doesn't shoot on sight unless targets are confirmed as hostile - even if they are a synth in a critical location.
Military technology is the Brotherhood's main priority, and their efforts over the centuries have equipped them with a powerful array of power armor, energy weapons, defense turrets, combat implants, and computers. Their focus allowed them to amass sizable stockpiles of power armor (T-60, T-51 and T-45 variants, though the western chapters lack the ability to manufacture new units) and energy weapons. Apart from applied combat technologies, the Brotherhood also has access to advanced medical technologies such as cybernetics, combat implants and virtual reality training systems, which allow personnel to maintain their combat prowess even under lockdown.
Some chapters have also supplemented their combat force with recovered robots, like robobrains, sentry bots, and even a prototype combat robot. Due to their lack of manpower, and the fact that they did not recruit outsiders, the Brotherhood splinter group known as the Outcasts relied heavily on reprogrammed robots in order to augment their smaller pool of human soldiers.
The Brotherhood does not possess working ground vehicles, at least not in the mid-2100s. The Brotherhood did have access to an entire fleet of airships in the mid-22nd century, used for exploration and recon. However, over the years the fleet was either destroyed or dismantled for spare parts. By the 23rd century, none of the airships remained, with one notable vessel crashing in the Midwest on a long-range exploration mission. It was not until the acquisition of Pride One, a captured Enclave Vertibird, at the end of the Brotherhood-Enclave War, that the Brotherhood returned to the skies. Eight years later the Brotherhood built a new, more advanced, airship at Adams Air Force Base which they christened The Prydwen.[Non-game 20] The Prydwen's construction was carried out alongside a brand new Vertibird fleet. This fleet would be made up of captured and restored Enclave Vertibirds, as well as brand new ones built from scratch. By 2287, the size of this new air force was so significant that the Brotherhood created an entirely new caste, known as lancers, in order to pilot them.
Research and manufacturing
While the overall devotion to research has decayed over the course of centuries, the Brotherhood was once at the forefront of research in the wasteland. In the 22nd century, for example, research topics ranged from redeveloping laser weapons, through physics, to astronomy and theories on time travel.
In terms of manufacturing capacity, the west coast Brotherhood relies on items hand-made by the Knights. Although limited supplies pose a challenge, the real problems come from the actual manufacturing and prototyping process, especially when the reality doesn't seem to match the Knights' expectations. Regardless, the Brotherhood was able to maintain a high enough output of technology (primarily weapons and ammunition) to support themselves and trade the surplus for water, food, and other necessary supplies.[Non-canon 1] However, hand manufacturing and the high degree of sophistication of their primary weapons mean that the Brotherhood has limited strategic flexibility: It cannot compete with nation-states like the New California Republic, with their reserves of manpower, industrial output and the mass use of inexpensive weapons.
- Abandoned Brotherhood of Steel bunker (formerly)
- Brotherhood of Steel safehouse
- HELIOS One (formerly)
- Hidden Valley bunker
|The following is based on Fallout Tactics and is not canon.|
- Bunker Alpha
- Bunker Beta
- Bunker Gamma
- Bunker Delta
- Bunker Epsilon
- Colorado Springs (potentially)
- Vault 0
|End of information based on Fallout Tactics.|
- Despite being relatively small in numbers (compared to groups such as the NCR), the Brotherhood is the most widely spread faction in post-war America.
- Most members of the Brotherhood are usually gruff in dealing with outsiders and usually extremely rude towards mutated creatures such as ghouls or super mutants.
- As of 2103, Leila Rahmani believes the elders of the Brotherhood to be comprised of "fearful conservatism," remarking that she had tried to steer them away from this ideal.
- The Brotherhood is extremely territorial when it comes to technology and will defend it to the death. In Fallout: New Vegas it is mentioned that an elder was severely punished for destroying a piece of unknown technology.
- According to the Citadel terminal entries, the Brotherhood in Lost Hill began protecting the NCR state of Maxson by 2277 at the latest. It also mentions an internal conflict, possibly a civil war, in the Brotherhood of Steel on the West Coast. This conflict forced Arthur Maxson to live in the Citadel.
The Brotherhood of Steel appears in all Fallout games to date.
Behind the scenes
- Apart from the Knights of Genetic Purity and the Imperial Tech Cults, the Brotherhood of Steel were also based on a completely hostile faction known as the Guardians of the Old Order in the 1987 game Wasteland, the predecessor to Fallout.
- The Brotherhood's technology-centric religious ideology was directly influenced by A Canticle for Leibowiz, which dealt with how a group of Christian monks who task themselves with preserving all scientific and technological knowledge of mankind until the human race is ready for it again.[Non-game 21]
- Although the Brotherhood was not a particularly prominent faction in Fallout and a tangential element of Fallout 2, with a minimal presence, it became one of the most iconic and marketable elements of the franchise. The release of Fallout Tactics, built around a rogue branch of the Brotherhood, and the Dark Alliance cousin, Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel by Interplay cemented its status as one of the series' icons. Under Bethesda Game Studios' aegis, the Brotherhood has been a major part of every Fallout game, becoming the de facto protagonist faction of the series and the Brotherhood's relationship with the world at large tied into the arc themes of each game, from Fallout 3 to Fallout 76.
- In other media
- Valve Software's multiplayer FPS Team Fortress 2 pays homage to the Brotherhood with an achievement in the game's 'Mann vs. Machine' game mode.
- Brotherhood of Steel on Wikipedia
- Fallout Bible 0: "2077 Nov Captain Maxson, his men, and their families, arrive at the Lost Hills bunker a few weeks later, suffering many casualties along the way, including Maxson's wife (but not his teenage son). The Lost Hills bunker becomes the HQ of the Brotherhood of Steel the Vault Dweller finds in Fallout 1."
- Official Fallout Twitter: "November 2077, a month after the Great War, army Captain Roger Maxson arrived with survivors at the Californian bunker of Lost Hills. There he formed the Brotherhood of Steel, who used a functioning satellite to extend their reach across America… all the way to Appalachia."
- Jeff Gardiner: "Let's just say the Brotherhood is now watching the wasteland of West Virginia very closely..."
(Jeff Gardiner on Reddit)
- Fallout Bible 0: "2135 Elder Roger Maxson dies of cancer, and his son, already an accomplished soldier, takes up the role of "General" (Elder) within the Brotherhood of Steel. John Maxson becomes a member of the Paladins, showing tremendous promise as a soldier."
- Fallout Bible 6: "Defeat at the Hub in 2125: Their failed attempt to raid the Hub during the Hub's formative years, stopped almost solely by Angus, the founder of the Hub. Angus' defense caused the Vipers to retreat north, and they roamed the wastes for many, many years, occasionally attacking caravans and small settlements. Around the early 2150s, however, the Vipers had grown to their former strength from captured slaves and caravan drivers and had begun to establish a power base in the badlands to the North of the Hub (and south of the Lost Hills Bunker). Driven by a religious frenzy (and the need to provide for their much larger numbers of soldiers and disciples), they began raiding more frequently than before, attracting the attention of the Brotherhood of Steel. The Brotherhood sent out a few squads of scouts to track the raiders down - it was more of a training exercise conducted by John Maxson's father, as the Brotherhood was convinced that small detachment of troops in Power Armor would be sufficient to deal with a group of raiders, no matter how large.
Near Extermination by the Brotherhood of Steel in 2155: One Brotherhood squad found the Vipers, and during the firefight, John Maxson's father (who was leading the squad) was killed with a poisoned arrow. The response from the Brotherhood was immediate. The Paladins, now led by Rhombus, began a full scale campaign against the Vipers, tracking them down and wiping out almost all of their members within the span of a month. A handful of Vipers were able to flee north and east into the mountain range, but they were never heard from again.
During the campaign, the Brotherhood sent a few scouts and emissaries to the Hub to track down Vipers members, and from these beginnings, the Hub and the Brotherhood began full trade relations (caravans had delivered to the Brotherhood before, but not long after the destruction of the Vipers, caravan trains ran directly from the Hub to the Brotherhood on a regular basis). So some good did come out of the Vipers' presence in the wastes, for what it's worth."
- Fallout Bible 0: "2155 John Maxson's father dies in a raid by the Vipers. Expecting the raiders to break and run, Maxson doesn't take into account the religious ferocity of the Vipers (or their poisoned weapons), and when a single arrow nicks him with his helmet off, he dies within hours. John Maxson takes up the role of Elder, and Rhombus becomes the new head of the Paladins."
- Fallout Bible 0: "2161 October A Brotherhood of Steel patrol comes across a dead super mutant in the badlands. They take the corpse back to the Scribes, and Head Scribe Vree begins her examinations of the super mutant."
- Vault Dweller's memoirs: "I returned to the Hub, looking for clues. Some time was spent there, and I discovered a shady underworld amongst the hustle and bustle of that large city. They thought they could manipulate me, but I proved them wrong and used the crooks instead. I did rescue a young man who belonged to the Brotherhood of Steel. A few trouble-makers tried to stop me, but I learned much about survival since leaving the Vault."
- Vault Dweller's memoirs: "It was in my best interest to leave town for a while. I journeyed to this Brotherhood. Thinking they would have the knowledge I sought, I tried to join them. They required me to go on a quest before they would let me in. Thinking it would be a short and easy quest, I agreed and set off for the place they called the Glow. The horror of atomic war was never so obvious to me until then. The Brotherhood was surprised to see me, and even more surprised to see that I had not only survived their quest, but succeeded. They gave me the information I required and some of their technology, and I set off in search of the Boneyard."
- Vault Dweller's memoirs: "I had to find these Vats, and put them out of action as well, lest another take the Master's place and continue to build the mutant army. Fortunately, my friends at the Brotherhood had a few clues, and helped me reach my goal. Invading the Vats, I came across more mutants and robots. None could stand in my way. I had a mission. I had a goal. I had a really large gun. It was here that Dogmeat fell, a victim of a powerful energy forcefield. I miss that dog. I destroyed the Vats that day, and with it, the mutant army. The last I heard, they splintered and disappeared into the desert."
- GTtv interview with Josh Sawyer: "In the Fallout: New Vegas, the Brotherhood is not quite as prominent as they were in, say, Fallout 3. Part of that is because over time, the Brotherhood has been at war with New California Republic. So after the end of Fallout 2, they basically got into conflict with NCR over control of technology, mostly energy weapons because that's one of the main purposes of the Brotherhood is to control that technology. NCR didn't want to hand it over, so they went to war."
- Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p.458: "Important Dates:
2276 "Conflict with the Brotherhood of Steel escalates, culminating in decisive victory at HELIOS One. The Mojave Brotherhood is considered "neutralized.""
(Behind the Bright Lights & Big City)
- Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p.43: "Brotherhood of Steel
The Brotherhood of Steel is a militant organization devoted to the preservation of pre-war technology and human knowledge. Their professed mission is to preserve pre-war technology and human knowledge for the benefit of future generations. In practice, its definition of technology is strangely selective, ignoring basic but potentially useful technologies (genetic modification of crops and civil engineering, for example) in favor of combat technology such as energy weapons and power armor: and even now, nearly two centuries after the Great War, the Brotherhood zealously restricts the use and knowledge of such technologies to its own membership.
The Mojave Brotherhood operated freely amid the Vegas wastes for several years, carrying out many reclamation missions without serious opposition. The balance of power shifted in 2251, when a large contingent of NCR troops entered the region and occupied Hoover Dam. Conflict was inevitable. Nearly two years of guerilla skirmishes culminated in a pitched battle at HELIOS One, a solar energy plant the Brotherhood had been refurbishing for several months with the goals of bringing it back online and activating its hidden offensive capabilities (the ARCHIMEDES II death ray). The battle for HELIOS One (Operation: Sunburst) proved a disaster for the Mojave Brotherhood. More than half its Paladins and Knights were killed. The chapter's leader, Elder Elijah, disappeared without a trace. The Brotherhood was driven from the facility, which suffered extensive damage. Survivors retreated to Hidden Valley.
Since that defeat, the chapter's leader, Elder McNamara, has restricted activity outside the bunker to occasional reconnaissance missions and high-value raids. All operations take place at night, and engagement of NCR forces is strictly forbidden. Though the Brotherhood's ascetic lifestyle has prepared its members for a sequestered existence better than most, the passivity of their current situation has proved highly stressful."
(Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide faction profiles)
- Joshua Sawyer: "And this is discussed in-game: BoS raided NCR's gold reserves until NCR could no longer generate gold coinage nor back their paper money. They abandoned the gold standard and established fiat currency, which is why its value is inflated over both caps and (especially) Legion coinage. (...) People in eastern NCR and the Mojave Wasteland lost faith in the NCR government's a) ability to back the listed value of paper money and b) stability overall. If you're living in Bakersfield, staring at a piece of paper that says "redeemable for value in gold" and you have no faith in the government's ability or willingness to do that -- or if you see that the government has changed the currency to say that it is not able to be exchanged for a backed good -- you may very well listen to the strong consortium of local merchants offering to exchange that paper note for currency backed by water."
(Joshua Sawyer on SomethingAwful.com)
- Joshua Sawyer: "Traders from the Mojave travel the Short Loop into NCR, which means that they have to go through a few hundred miles of solid desert. Carrying enough water to travel from New Vegas to the Boneyard (or vice versa) would undercut cargo capacity significantly. Even the communities around the Mojave Wasteland (other than New Vegas itself) have water brought in and stored in local towers. Of course, the Colorado River is nearby as long as you don't mind walking through an active war zone."
(Joshua Sawyer on SomethingAwful.com)
- "How does the Hub 'back' caps? Can you exchange a certain number of caps for a standard measure of water?
Joshua Sawyer: Yes."
Joshua Sawyer on SomethingAwful.com
- Joshua Sawyer: "It happened during the BoS-NCR war. I believe Alice McLafferty mentions it, but I'm not positive. She doesn't detail the events in this much detail, but here they are:
The attacks caused NCR citizens (and others who held NCR currency) to panic, resulting in a rush to reclaim the listed face value of currency from NCR's gold reserves. Inability to do this at several locations (especially near the periphery of NCR territory where reserves were normally low) caused a loss of faith in NCR's ability to back their currency.
Though NCR eventually stopped the BoS attacks, they decided to protect against future problems by switching to fiat currency. While this meant that BoS could no longer attack a) reserves or b) the source of production (all NCR bills are made in the Boneyard), some people felt more uneasy about their money not having any "real" (backed) value. This loss of confidence increased with NCR inflation, an ever-looming specter of fiat currency.
Because the Hub links NCR with the Mojave Wasteland and beyond, the merchants there grew frustrated with NCR's handling of the currency crisis. They conspired to re-introduce the bottle cap as a water-backed currency that could "bridge the gap" between NCR and Legion territory. In the time leading up to the re-introduction, they did the footwork to position themselves properly. If some old-timer had a chest full of caps, they didn't care (in fact, they thought that was great, since the old-timers would enthusiastically embrace the return of the cap), but they did seek to control or destroy production facilities and truly large volumes of caps (e.g. Typhon's treasure) whenever possible."
(Joshua Sawyer on SomethingAwful.com)
- Fallout 2d20 Rulebook p. 84-85: "Scrip covers a variety of tokens used for exchange within a specific group. Some parts of the Brotherhood of Steel have used scrip for internal trade (where a member of the Brotherhood wants something from someone else in the Brotherhood), but they’re also used in places where the person or group who control all the jobs also control all the traders: if you’re using scrip, you can’t easily leave that group, because you’ve got no money accepted by the outside world."
- Faction Profile – the Brotherhood of Steel (Fallout 3)
- The Art of Fallout 4 p. 256: "Chapter 6 VEHICLES
However, one vehicle whose size is both impressive and appropriate is the Prydwen, the only postwar-built airship. We went with a full-on diesel-punk design, combining elements of Zepplins and naval vessels and using mysterious technologies (beyond simple hydrogen) to keep it afloat. Its complement of Vertibirds are of a different variety than the gunships used by the Enclave—better suited to troop transport but modified for deployment from the airship."
- Tim Cain GDC talk
- Fallout Bible 6:
"The Brotherhood of Steel: The Brotherhood of Steel (BOS) is a techno-religious organization, with roots in the US military and government-sponsored scientific community from before the war."
- Fallout Bible 0 Timeline repair: Second strike:
"2134 A faction within the Brotherhood of Steel led by Sergeant Dennis Allen gains strength, and they urge the Elders to let them explore the southeast Glow for artifacts. The Elders refuse, so Allen and his divisionist group splits away from the Brotherhood of Steel, taking some technology and weapons with them."
"2134 Led by Sergeant Dennis Allen, a small team of the Brotherhood of Steel head to the West Tek research facility in search of technological artifacts. They arrive there twenty days later, and are promptly chewed apart by the West Tek's unforgiving automated defense systems. Wounded, Allen begins to suffer radiation poisoning from a leak in his suit. Before he dies, he logs what happened to the expedition into a holodisk then goes to join the Brotherhood in the sky."
Note: While the date 2134 is given in the timeline, Cabbot explicitly names the date as 2077.
Note: The first name is given only in the Fallout Bible 0 timeline. In the game itself he is only referred to as "D. Allen".
- Fallout Bible 6: "2. How was the Brotherhood of Steel involved with NCR after the destruction of the Enclave?
Unknown. Presumably, they'd already established some level of co-existence with NCR even before the events of F1, judging by one of the states of NCR being dubbed "Maxson" (more on that in a future update except to say that the Lost Hills Bunker was NOT turned into a town in NCR) and considering their pre-existing ties to the Hub, which became a state by the time of F2. I've always imagined that NCR and BOS have maintained an uneasy truce, with barter and (some) technology sharing between the two groups."
- Fallout Bible 8