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As a member of the Brotherhood of Steel, you are bound by the chain of command: The Chain that Binds. You must carry out the orders of your immediate superiors, and you are responsible for your subordinate siblings. If you do not carry out your duty, you are expelled from the Brotherhood and your technology will be reclaimed—by any means necessary.Fallout 2d20 Rulebook, p. 51

The Chain That Binds is a Brotherhood of Steel policy dictating a strict hierarchy and succession of leaders through which command is exercised and executed.[1]

Background

This line of authority along which orders are passed requires all members of the Brotherhood to obey a superior's orders and maintain a chain of command when issuing them. The order is described as being held together by links, each one supporting the next link.[2] In short, the faction personnel give orders only to those directly below them in the chain of command and receive orders only from those directly above them.[3]

Subverting the Chain That Binds can result in the offender being demoted or stripped of their title, such as in the case of former Elder Kenneth Jones,[4] as well as the avenue that Edgar Hardin can take in removing Elder Nolan McNamara,[5] although not always implemented in practice. For example, High Elder John Maxson freely issued orders to the initiate known as the Vault Dweller, without repercussions.[6]

The policy itself has existed since at least 2103, and was one of the first things drilled by the Brotherhood First Expeditionary Force into hopefuls and initiates recruited to bolster its ranks in Appalachia.[7][8][9] It was also the reason behind Knight Daniel Shin's conflict with Paladin Leila Rahmani, as he believed she violated the Chain by moving away from the common doctrine of the Brotherhood of Steel.[10][11][12]

Transcript

The Chain That Binds is the cornerstone of our organization, the rock that supports the great tree of the Brotherhood and its myriad branches. It holds that:

1. Orders are to flow from on high down through the ranks. An order from a superior must always be obeyed, that their wisdom may be carried out without hesitation.

2. Orders are to observe the flow and not skip ranks. A superior may only give orders to his direct subordinates, and not to those beneath them. In this way harmony of intent and cohesion of thought is maintained.

Appearances

The Chain That Binds is mentioned in Fallout: New Vegas and in Fallout 76, introduced in the Steel Dawn update.

Behind the scenes

The Chain That Binds is the Brotherhood interpretation of the standard chain of command.

References

  1. Hidden Valley bunker terminal entries; terminal (restored), Chain That Binds
  2. Knight Shin: "Our order is held together by the Chain That Binds. Each link steadfastly supporting the next. It's not something that a lawless worm like you would understand."
    (Daniel Shin's dialogue)
    Note: This line is spoken by Shin to Pierce during the events of Property Rights.
  3. Vault Dweller: "Is there another member of the Brotherhood I could speak to?"
    Knight Shin: "No. The Chain That Binds dictates a strict hierarchy of command, and as the only Knight present, the Initiates are directly under me. Unless I say so, your contact with the Brotherhood stops here."
    (Daniel Shin's dialogue)
  4. Hidden Valley bunker terminal entries; terminal (restored), Incident #2
  5. Hidden Valley bunker terminal entries; terminal (restored), Incident #4
  6. Canonical Fallout events.
  7. Knight Shin: "I am a link in the Chain That Binds, and that is what keeps this order together."
    (Daniel Shin's dialogue)
  8. Brotherhood Initiate: "We're all links in the Chain that Binds."
    (Brotherhood initiates' dialogue)[verification needed]
  9. Brotherhood Initiate: "The Chain binds us in brotherhood."
    (Brotherhood initiates' dialogue)[verification needed]
  10. Knight Shin: "What have you done, Paladin?"
    Paladin Rahmani: "The Elders have no hold on us anymore. Stand with me, Shin. Play a part in forging a better future."
    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 and Leila Rahmani's dialogue)
    Note: This exchange by Shin and Rahmani occurs during the events of Over and Out.
  11. Paladin Rahmani: "I destroyed the transmitter. The Elders are blind to the good we can do. We need to break free from their influence."
    Knight Shin: "You only did this to escape responsibility for that incident. You can't bear to face the judgment of the Elders."
    Paladin Rahmani: "The Elders would have us stand trial for crimes we didn't commit. Your own sense of guilt is blinding you to that."
    (Daniel Shin and Leila Rahmani's dialogue)
    Note: This exchange by Rahmani and Shin occurs during the events of The Best Defense.
  12. Fort Atlas terminal entries; Paladin Rahmani's terminal, Our Future in Appalachia
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