Fort Defiance, formerly known as Allegheny Asylum, is a location in the Cranberry Bog region of Appalachia in 2103. It is located west of Watoga and east of the monorail elevator, on the edge of the boundary with the Savage Divide.
Fort Defiance was originally built in the mid-19th century to provide treatment for the region's mentally ill, based on the theories of Thomas Story Kirkbride. The Kirkbride Plan maintained that the environment which provided natural light and circulation was essential to the healing of the mind, and so the asylum adopted a unique "bat wing" floor plan with wings sprawling outward from the central building that was used to house the patients. The building was intended to care for under 300 patients, but even exemplary planning and performance by the staff were insufficient with occupant numbers closer to 3,000 by 2061. The resulting horrible conditions in the hospital were amplified by neglect on part of the personnel and caused undue suffering for the patients.
Conditions within the asylum were abysmal for patients, though staff also suffered. Relations between staff and patients were poor, with staff referring to the patients by number rather than name. In one notable incident, a junior nurse suffered a nervous breakdown from exhaustion and was removed from his position to recuperate. In another incident, a patient bit a nurse, tearing her hand open, and attempted to flee.
The truth of the conditions at the asylum was revealed in an expose by Eleanor Tarquin of the Charleston Herald, who volunteered to go undercover and learn the truth, following the trail blazed by Nellie Bly with her landmark investigation of the Women's Lunatic Asylum of Blackwell's Island for the New York World in 1887. A month spent in the facility revealed horrific mistreatment. Many of the asylum patients were seemingly misdiagnosed and institutionalized without a significant presence of mental health issues (in most cases for financial gain).
Tarquin reported that patients were kept restrained for long periods of time in tight confines with other patients. They had breaks from this imprisonment only for treatment, meals, and sleep. Treatment was largely forcing patients to be immersed in ice-cold water. Basic needs were fulfilled at the lowest possible criteria, with no process for patients to request humane accommodations for things like vegetarian meal plans or additional blankets.
Before she could commit her experiences to paper, she still had to be released from the asylum. In Bly's case, it was a relatively simple matter organized by her paper. However, Tarquin's editor had to file multiple times for her release from the institution into his care. Apart from putting the daring journalist through unnecessary misery, it also indicated that family members who were willing or able to care for relatives in the facility were left in the cold because they were unable to pay for fees associated with the release procedure. The intent of Miss Eleanor's assignment was to remain in the facility for up to 10 days, but even with aggressively documented and funded attempts to release her, she remained in the facility for a month - all the while any interested individual could pay the hospital for a guided tour of the facility. Ostensibly intended for doctors and health professionals but not always the case, family members were not allowed to visit patients unless they could pay for this expensive and secretive "lunatic tourism" offering, and there was no guarantee that they would be able to see their family member without paying additional fees.
Once the article was released, the revelation of the asylum being used by its management as a money-making scheme and the abuses perpetrated in the name of "healing" forced its closure. However, although the asylum closed down on March 17, 2061, the effect on the patients' welfare was marginal. Patients who did not qualify for a move to Watoga's facilities were discharged en masse with only a perfunctory attempt to contact their living relatives. Hospitals and doctors throughout the region were suddenly overwhelmed with all of the cases that they had quietly swept away over the years, and unsurprisingly some just swept them away again. This caused a massive swell in the region's homeless population, resulting in a public health crisis - swept under the rug by Watoga and the rich as a problem that did not affect them.
No charges were pressed against Doctor Kessle and the rest of the hospital administration, even as the already high population of homeless, itinerant workers in the region swelled. The stigmatized mental patients were further victimized by the endless media coverage about the threat that they posed to the region.
The hospital would become a park and its guards would help maintain the property by keeping trespassers away from the main building, calling animal control to remove aggressive animals, and to call the authorities to remove former patients seeking either help or a place to squat.
The Great War saw the closed-down asylum gain a new lease at life for a few months, as a field trip organized by Clara Duran, the history teacher from Watoga High School, became the new tenants. The asylum was still fully furnished, with numerous facilities to ensure its self-sufficiency, including a water treatment plant, dairy, and of course, strong walls with intact windows providing shelter from the deadly Appalachian winter. By January, having survived the winter, the former Watogans were looking at a brighter future thanks to intense training, a dairy cow (Bertha) captured the previous year, and even some chickens. They were even starting to make forays into other survivor communities to trade the chem stock found at the asylum for essential supplies. Barring domestic issues things were looking good, despite the buildings structure not being as stable as once believed.
Their luck ran out in March 2078. The fledgling collective was attacked by a group of raiders who killed the dairy cow and all the chickens for meat before taking off. The Allegheny survivors split into two groups in the aftermath. One half left for Monongah, unwilling to continue working with Watogans. The other half, uniting behind Duran, decided to make a break for Harpers Ferry and beyond to look for survivors there. With the passage of time and lack of maintenance, the property deteriorated, eventually becoming home to many feral ghouls.
With its strong walls and underground power line to the Thunder Mountain power plant, secured in 2079, the property looked promising to the Appalachian Brotherhood of Steel. Seeking to establish the location as a stronghold for their expanding organization, a detachment was sent sometime in the early 2080s. Within the first week, the personnel managed to secure the first floor and clean up several rooms for their personal use. Among them was Squire Hannah de Silva, who came up with the new name for the facility, "Fort Defiance."
Eventually, they secured the entire property. It was around this time that, while they were on the roof trading war stories, they saw something that shocked them - a massive bat-like creature flying in from Watoga. They did not think anything was left alive there after its sabotage in 2077. When the monster flew towards them, they opened fire with their miniguns, scaring it away. This would be the Brotherhood's first encounter with the dreaded scorchbeasts.
With the facility now secure, Scribe Grant McNamara arrived to survey the property. He immediately checked the entire property and then began asking the personnel questions, such as how many breaches were in the walls, how many doors there were, as well as if there were any unsecured doors or windows. Eventually, he decided that they would have to abandon one wing of the building and the entire first floor, essentially throwing away all the plans the personnel had. His new plans included getting the elevator running and installing military-grade security that Squire Gary Weber found on a salvage run. All this was eventually completed; the last piece to be brought online was the elevator, which needed extra work on its hydraulics. However, this only happened after Squire Enrique Belmonte was stuck in there for three hours.
By 2093, after the abandonment of Camp Venture and consolidation of all forces (barring Thunder Mountain), Fort Defiance served as headquarters for the established Appalachian branch of the Brotherhood of Steel. By January 2094, it continued to serve as the front line to contain the scorchbeasts unleashed by the Enclave, as well as the subsequent Scorched Plague. The pressure of this, however, would lead to the collapse of the chapter. Having to resort to even harsher supply requisitions and seeing a continued loss of ground to a plague, the Brotherhood tried one last desperate measure to at least curtail the source of the plague, Operation Touchdown. After the operation, no scorchbeasts were seen for a few weeks, leading the rest of the Brotherhood to assume the operation was a success, albeit one with a heavy cost.
This was not the case, and the scorchbeasts returned in greater numbers. Fort Defiance fell on August 18, 2095, and Thunder Mountain fell the following day, with all members manning their posts until the end.
For the next few years, the facility lay abandoned, barring ferals and other creatures which moved in. Though other factions attempted to investigate the Brotherhood's fall, all were unsuccessful in reaching the asylum, and it remained undisturbed until the emergence of Vault 76 dwellers in 2102. With the return of people to the region in 2103, the building became occupied by Jonah Ito, who is revisiting in remembrance of his sister Kaede, who died with the Brotherhood while defending the asylum.
The outer courtyard contains a large fortification surrounding an automated surface to air missile and a sonic generator which must be defended during Line in the Sand. The guardhouse at the gates contains a fixed hunting rifle spawn, while the dead paladins within will typically carry weapons and have another weapon spawn by them. The entire area is filled with feral ghouls and Scorched.
Fort Defiance's interior consists of four floors, with the fourth one only accessible through an elevator protected by a laser grid which is unlocked by completing Recruitment Blues and obtaining a military ID card. The southern wing is infested with feral ghouls and is mostly in disarray because the Brotherhood never decided to repair and clear out that section. A wendigo may spawn in the room with the breaker panel.
The main entrance leads to a hallway flanked by two offices for the staff (and the Brotherhood after their takeover). Jonah Ito is camped out in one of the offices, and has set up a turret in the entrance to the derelict southern wing to defend himself. Until the player character gains access to the Brotherhood areas, they can only explore the southern wing.
The southern wing encompasses three floors filled with the remnants of the asylum's dark past and the survivors who tried to make it their home. Among the derelict cells is a power switch that activates the doors leading into the northern wing of the facility, which was used by the Brotherhood of Steel as headquarters. The three floors include numerous storage rooms, personal rooms, and workbenches.
However, the top floor, where Paladin Taggerdy's office is located, is inaccessible until the player character becomes a member of the Brotherhood of Steel during Recruitment Blues. The final room, containing the Paladin's chambers, does not become available until the player character locates Taggerdy's ID in glassed cavern during Belly of the Beast.
Scorched occupy the outside of the building while feral ghouls occupy most of the first and second floors. The third floor is infested by multiple radroaches and a few ants, as well as multiple bloodbugs and possibly bloatflies and mole rats. The real danger of this area is the upper floors, which are patrolled by a wendigo that can sometimes stray to the bottom floors.
Holotapes and notes
- BoS archive: ARP background - Holotape, found in the bedroom next to the kitchen on the fourth floor.
- Clara Duran's notes 11/77 - Can be found on a metal table in the third floor's eastern hallway, immediately west of the 12/77 note.
- Clara Duran's notes 12/77 - Can be found on a desk in a room of the third floor's eastern hallway.
- Clara Duran's notes 1/78 - Can be found in a third floor room near a collapsed section of the floor in the eastern end of the building.
- Clara Duran's notes 3/78 - Can be found in a bedroom on the second floor to the right of the eastern stairway.
- De Silva's recon report - Holotape, on a desk in the first room to the left of the front entrance.
- Elder Maxson's final conversation - Holotape, found on the fourth floor. It is in Elizabeth Taggerdy's room, on her desk.
- Final stand - Note, pinned to a bulletin just off the front entryway on the first floor (cannot be taken).
- Gate guard primer - Note, pinned to the wall of the gatehouse on the southwestern edge of the location.
- Hospital report: Staff incident - Holotape, found on a desk in the first room to the right of the front entrance.
- Hospital report: Violent incident - Holotape, can be found on a desk in a room in an isolated part of the first floor that can be reached by a collapsed part of the second floor at the eastern end of the building.
- I am a knight - Note, found in the bedroom across from the elevator on the fourth floor.
- Last of the Thunder - Note, can be found on the fourth floor in one of the rooms.
- Mission 099-01 orders - Note, can be found on a dresser in the bedroom next to the kitchen on the fourth floor during Heart of the Enemy.
- No more satellites - Note, can be found in a bunkroom on the third floor near the elevator, on a lower metal shelf.
- No way out - Note, on a shelf in a bunkroom on the third floor.
- Notice of expulsion - Four notes, scattered near the front gates and the 'South 107' sign.
- Operation Watoga - Note, near the tinker's workbench on the third floor.
- Overseer's log - Allegheny - Holotape, close to the third floor elevator.
- Overseer's log - Fort Defiance - Holotape, close to the fourth floor elevator.
- Pool table rules - Note, in the break room on the fourth floor, pinned to a wall.
- Preservation of technology - Holotape, found next to a weapons workbench on the third floor, near the elevator.
- Scribe Grant's plea - Holotape, found near a bulletin board just off the front entryway (near the "Final stand" note).
- Sensor module specs - Holotape, found in the power armor station room on the fourth floor.
- Squire Evelyn's journal - page 16 - Note, can be found in a bunkroom on the third floor, on a metal shelf (cannot be taken).
- The Nuclear Option - Holotape, found on a nightstand on the fourth floor, in Paladin Taggerdy's room.
- Camp Venture storage room key - Key, on a small shelf in the corner of the side office to the left, just inside the front entrance. Opens the storage room in Camp Venture.
- Camp Venture weapons room key - Key, on the fourth floor, on the bottom row of a surgical cart in the southwest room.
- Fasnacht man mask - In the second left room in the hallway to the right through the double doors on the second floor.
- Power armor chassis with T-series armor pieces - On the fourth floor at one of the two power armor stations, on the right.
- Four mini nukes:
- Two on the third floor, on the bottom row of a metal shelf with a footlocker above, in the locked armory room near the overseer's cache.
- Two on the fourth floor, in the locked armory near the overseer's cache, on the middle row of a metal shelf.
- Fusion core - Can be found inside the locked armory on the third floor, on the bottom row of a metal shelf in the southeast corner.
- Two Stealth Boys:
- Inside the locked armory on the third floor, on the first metal shelf to the right, on the middle row.
- Inside the locked armory on the fourth floor, on the first metal shelf on the left, on the bottom row.
- Potential Vault-Tec bobblehead - On the fourth floor behind the laser grid, inside Paladin Taggerdy's room, on a desk.
- Potential magazine - On the top floor of the Brotherhood base of operations, in the game room with the pool table to the right of the laser grid, on the ornate side cabinet.
- Brotherhood recon rifle plans can be downloaded from the terminal beside the entrance.
- Ultracite power armor plans can be learned from Paladin Taggerdy's terminal, located behind the laser grid on the fourth floor.
- Two Vault-Tec alarm clocks:
- One in a "hidden" room on the third floor of the ghoul-infested wing.
- One on a dresser in a room on the second floor of the Brotherhood-occupied wing.
- Plan: Artillery - On Paladin Taggerdy's desk, located behind the laser grid on the fourth floor.
- Two potential plans:
- On the large tool chest on the third floor with the crafting stations.
- On the recharging table in-between the power armor stations on the fourth floor. (Armor plan)
- Missile launcher - On the fourth floor, in the same room as the power armor station, on a table with a couple of missiles.
- An armory full of level-dependent weapon spawns is right next to the third floor elevator door, requiring either lockpicking or hacking a level 2 lock/terminal.
- Potential armor mod - On the fourth floor, in the same room as the power armor station, on a cabinet with a large toolbox.
- Potential weapon mod - To the left of the weapons workbench on the third floor, on a shelf.
- Potential power armor mod - On the fourth floor, on a metal shelf behind the recharging table in between the power armor stations, on the second row.
- Two potential recipes:
- On a table with a coffee maker inside the mess hall just inside the sealed Brotherhood of Steel section on the first floor.
- On the fourth floor, on a table in the middle of the kitchen.
- Large quantities of aluminum, plastic, and ballistic fiber.
Fort Defiance appears only in Fallout 76.
Behind the scenes
- Fort Defiance is based on the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, also known as Weston State Hospital, in the town of Weston, West Virginia. In 2007, the building was sold for $1.5 million and was made into a museum about the history of the mental institution. Lead artist Nathan Purkeypile visited the asylum-turned-museum while scouting out West Virginia for the game, and speculated that he took the most pictures there out of any location.
- The sonic generator at Fort Defiance was created by art intern Cole Larson, who was in charge of designing, modeling and texturing all variants of it in 3ds Max and Substance Painter.
- Draft of Allegheny Asylum article
- Hospital report: Staff incident
- Hospital report: Violent incident
- Herald editorial on Allegheny Asylum
- Herald Editorial on Allegheny Asylum
- Notice of expulsion
- Gate guard primer
- Clara Duran's notes
- De Silva's recon report
- Fort Defiance terminal entries; De Silva's terminal, First Week Down
- Fort Defiance terminal entries; De Silva's terminal, WHAT?
- Fort Defiance terminal entries; De Silva's terminal, Grant, Grant, Grant
- Fort Defiance terminal entries; Scribe Grant's terminal, Making it home
- Fort Defiance terminal entries; Senior Knight Wilson's terminal, 93-JUL-20
- Fallout 76 loading screen hints: "Built from the ruins of Allegheny Asylum, Fort Defiance served as headquarters for the newly-established Appalachian branch of the Brotherhood of Steel."
- Fort Defiance terminal entries; Senior Knight Wilson's terminal, 94-JAN-03
- No way out
- Fort Defiance terminal entries; Senior Knight Wilson's terminal, 95-FEB-02
- Fort Defiance terminal entries; Senior Knight Wilson's terminal, Touchdown Recovery (Supplemental)
- Thunder Mountain power plant terminal entries; Communications terminal, 95-Aug-19
- Final stand
- Overseer's log - Allegheny
- Defiance mission report
- Mission to Abigayle
- Vault Dweller: "What's wrong?"
Jonah Ito: " She took her final stand here... at Fort Defiance. I should have been here with her. I'm such a coward."
- Scribe Grant's plea
- Nate Purkeypile on Twitter: "That's awesome. I didn't make it out to the penitentiary, but we did go to the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. That is the one I probably took the most pictures of."
- ArtStation: Fallout 76 Sonic Generator