The Brotherhood of Steel expedition to D.C. was a military excursion to the ruins of the former United States capital whose goal was to scour the technology from cities and bases on the eastern seaboard.
In the year 2254, sometime after the destruction of the Enclave on the west coast, the Brotherhood's ruling council, based in the Lost Hills bunker in Southern California, decided to send a contingent of soldiers all the way to the East Coast, to scour the ruins of Washington D.C., once the nation's capital, to recover any and all advanced technology. In addition, the expedition was to regain contact with Brotherhood chapters east of California.
A small but hardened contingent of Brotherhood of Steel soldiers, led by an idealistic paladin named Owyn Lyons (and accompanied by his friend and technological adviser Reginald Rothchild, as well as his three-year-old daughter Sarah) set out from the Lost Hills Bunker in California, and began the long trek east to what was once Washington, D.C.. At some point during the expedition, contact was made with the Midwestern Brotherhood in Chicago, who were confirmed to still be operating in the region.
In 2255 on the way to the Capital Wasteland, the Brotherhood expeditionary force attacked the raider town called "the Pitt" and razed it to the ground. These events are later known as the Scourge. Using Mount Wash as a staging area, the Brotherhood swept through the city, picking up any valuable technology and un-mutated children they came across, and wiping out any mutants or raider gangs that opposed them. They suffered only one casualty, Ishmael Ashur, who was presumed dead when a building collapsed on him. Ishmael Ashur would later be recovered by scavengers, and find himself in the only working steel-mill that the Brotherhood had ever found. Ashur would unite what was left of the Pitt's raider gangs, and reforge the Pitt as an industrialized city-state.
Upon establishing themselves, Owyn Lyons, now Elder, decided to change his chapter's original goal of scouring the region for technology, to protect the people of the Capital Wasteland, namely from the plague of super mutants that infested the region. This decision however earned him the ire of the Elders in California, who cut off contact with his chapter. In addition, half of his forces decided to leave under the leadership of Paladin Henry Casdin, forming the Brotherhood Outcasts, who aimed to search the Wasteland for technology as originally intended, and regain contact with the main headquarters in Lost Hills so as to receive reinforcements and put Elder Lyons on trial.
- Paladin Owyn Lyons, commanding officer
- Scribe Reginald Rothchild, scientific advisor
- Paladin Henry Casdin
- Paladin Tristan
- Initiate Ishmael Ashur
The Brotherhood of Steel expedition to D.C. is mentioned only in Fallout 3.
- The Lone Wanderer: "What about the Brotherhood's history in this area?"
Elizabeth Jameson: "We first arrived in the Capital Wasteland in 2255. In those first couple of years, we discovered the Citadel, Super Mutants, and Project Purity! Ah, the purifier. What an undertaking. The work your father and his team did was... amazing. The Brotherhood helped protect them, you know. At least for a little while. But we were stretched thin as it was, even back then. We had to pull our forces out. When we did, the place was overrun. I imagine that's when your father left. I... I'm sorry, I wish things had turned out differently."
(Scribe Jameson's dialogue)
- The Lone Wanderer: "What kind of changes?"
Reginald Rothchild: "We were dispatched with a specific mission. We were sent to locate and secure any technology remaining from before the war. Like our robotic monstrosity. That was our greatest find. Damn thing still doesn't work, but at least it's ours. But those damned Super Mutants... They changed things. Lyons changed. He decided they were a threat. Not just to us, but to everyone. And so he altered the mission. Finding the source of the mutants and putting a stop to them was his goal. Our original mission became an afterthought. We've failed both."
- The Lone Wanderer: "Why is that a sore subject?"
Reginald Rothchild: "Much has happened in the 23 years since we left the west coast. Our mission has changed in that time. The changes have not all been pleasant, and have had significant repercussions."
- The Lone Wanderer: "How did you end up in the Brotherhood?"
Kodiak: "Now that's a story... The only reason I'm here is because of Elder Lyons. You see, I grew up in the Pitt. Don't suppose you've ever been there, huh? It's about 500 klicks to the northwest. Place is a nightmare -- three irradiated rivers coming together. People there were... not well. But the Brotherhood of Steel came down on the place with a righteous hammer. They called it "The Scourge.""
- Lone Wanderer: "How long have you been here?"
Reginald Rothchild: It's been over twenty years since we arrived. And we've been struggling to contain and eradicate the Super Mutants for nearly as long. With the arrival of the Enclave, I have a terrible feeling the Super Mutants are the least of our worries. We arrived here in '55. Established ourselves in the Citadel within the first few months. The Elder has kept us busy since then."
(Reginald Rothchild's dialogue)