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The Brotherhood of Steel is a techno-religious faction in North America, whose main mission is to recover pre-War technology. They have a long history with roots stemming from the United States Armed Forces.


The founder of the Brotherhood of Steel was Captain Roger Maxson of the United States Army. Maxson was a member of a military team commanded by Colonel Robert Spindel, originally sent to the West-Tek research facility on January 3, 2076 by the U.S. Army to monitor the experiments being conducted there by West-Tek on behalf of the American government in the interest of national security.[1][2] On January 7, 2077, all West-Tek military research was moved to the newly-constructed Mariposa Military Base, along with Spindel's team, to enhance the research's security.[3]

On October 10, 2077, Captain Maxson and his men discovered, to their horror, that the West-Tek scientists at Mariposa were using military prisoners as involuntary test subjects in their experiments with the genetically-engineered Forced Evolutionary Virus.[4] After interrogating Robert Anderson, the chief scientist on the West-Tek research team, and learning about the extent of their scientific experiments on military prisoners, Maxson executed Anderson in disgust,[5] and the other scientists soon followed their leader to the firing squad.

Morale in the base broke down, and Colonel Spindel suffered a mental breakdown, eventually committing suicide five days later.[6] Captain Maxson's men turned to him for leadership in the midst of the crisis.[7] Maxson, now in control of the entire Mariposa base, declared himself to be in full desertion from the U.S Army via radio on October 20, 2077.[8] He got no response from the Army chain-of-command, as the rest of the Army was too busy fighting the Chinese threat.[9] Three days later, on October 23, 2077, the nuclear arsenals of both sides were launched, and the Great War ended two hours after it started, with most of the Earth reduced to a radioactive wasteland.[10]

The Mariposa Military Base survived the nuclear exchange that devastated the United States, the soldiers within protected from the radiation and FEV flooding into the newly created wasteland by the base's highly-effective nuclear, biological and chemical weapons protection protocols. Two days later at Mariposa, on October 25, 2077, an Army scout in power armor (Platner) was sent out to get specific readings on the atmosphere. He reported no significant amounts of radiation in the area surrounding the facility.[11] After burying the bodies of the executed scientists in the wastes outside of Mariposa,[12] the soldiers sealed the military base, then headed out into the desert, taking supplies and weapon schematics from the base with them. Captain Maxson led his men and their families to the government fallout bunker at Lost Hills in California (this event was later called the Exodus).[13] In November 2077, after a few weeks in the wasteland, the soldiers and their families arrived at the Lost Hills bunker, suffering many casualties along the way from the terrible conditions of the Wasteland, including Maxson's wife (but not his teenage son). The Lost Hills bunker became the headquarters of the newly formed paramilitary organization that Maxson created and named the Brotherhood of Steel,[14] intending to use its resources to eventually rebuild human civilization, no matter the cost.

Early years

During the Exodus a faction led by Sergeant Allen split away from the group that became the Brotherhood of Steel to investigate West Tek research facility for advanced technology to recover and were never heard from again. Despite that, under the leadership of Roger Maxson, the Brotherhood grew in strength, further developing their technology, and the orders of knights, scribes and paladins were formed. In 2135, Roger Maxson died of cancer, and his son took over as the new high elder of the Brotherhood.

In the 2150s, the Brotherhood established its control over the areas surrounding the Lost Hills bunker, becoming one of the major powers in New California. Sometime in the early 2150s, a raider group known as the Vipers began to establish a power base in the badlands to the 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, eventually attracting the attention of the Brotherhood of Steel.


In 2155, the Brotherhood sent out a few squads of scouts to track the Vipers down. This was more of a training exercise conducted by the high elder than anything else, as the Brotherhood was convinced that a small detachment of troops in power armor would be sufficient to deal with a group of raiders, no matter how large. One Brotherhood squad, led by High Elder Maxson, found the Vipers. Expecting the raiders to break and run at the sight of soldiers in power armor, Maxson did not take into account the religious zeal and ferocity of the Vipers, or their poisoned weapons. A single arrow nicked him while his helmet was off, causing him to die a few short hours later. John Maxson, the grandson of Roger, took up the role of high elder, and Rhombus became the new head of the paladins and the order of knights.

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. Some of the Vipers were able to flee north and east into the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

During the campaign, the Brotherhood sent a few scouts and emissaries to the Hub to track down the Vipers' members, and from these beginnings, the Hub and the Brotherhood opened 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's headquarters at Lost Hills on a regular basis).

The super mutants

Scribe Vree

Several years later, the Brotherhood faced an enemy far greater than any band of raiders. In October of 2161, a Brotherhood of Steel patrol came across a dead super mutant in the badlands. They took the corpse back to the scribes, and Head Scribe Vree began to study it. After several long examinations, it was shown to be completely sterile.

In 2162, the Vault Dweller arrived at the Brotherhood's base at Lost Hills, wanting to join them. He was not taken seriously and sent on the usual fool's errand to the ruins of the West Tek research facility, renamed "The Glow" after a Chinese nuclear attack during the Great War made the facility a radioactive death trap. He surprised everyone by not only returning alive but also succeeding in his mission (he was tasked with finding a holodisk with the record of an expedition of several Brotherhood paladins to the Glow). As a result, he was the first outsider in a very long time to be accepted as a member of the Brotherhood of Steel, even though some prominent members of the Brotherhood resisted his joining the organization.

It was from the Vault Dweller that the Brotherhood learned about the Master's mutant army and his plans to turn all human survivors into super mutants. With the support of High Elder John Maxson, the Vault Dweller managed to convince the council of elders to send a squad of paladins to the Mariposa Base (which had been, coincidentally, where the Brotherhood originated, although not even Maxson was aware of that), where the Master's FEV vats were located. With the help of the Brotherhood, the Vault Dweller eventually managed to defeat the Master and was never seen again in the Lost Hills bunker. The Brotherhood at this time appeared to be the most technologically advanced faction encountered in New California. Although the super mutant army and the Gun Runners had access to more advanced weaponry, the Brotherhood had a monopoly on power armor, certain medical technologies like cybernetics and advanced supercomputers.

War with the NCR

Elder McNamara in 2281

The Mojave chapter of the Brotherhood of Steel was still fighting the NCR as late as 2274. After establishing a base at HELIOS One, the Mojave Brotherhood soon found themselves at odds with the NCR and its growing power in the region. Eventually, the NCR sought to control HELIOS One, and the Brotherhood, under the orders of their elder, Elijah, refused to leave. This led to a confrontation between the two, and in the typical chain of events, the Brotherhood's superior technology was no match for the NCR's superior numbers. Defeated, over half of the chapter killed, the Brotherhood retreated to the Hidden Valley bunker, where Nolan McNamara (in light of Elijah's disappearance following the battle) was named elder and placed the bunker under lockdown. Since then, the Brotherhood's presence in the Mojave Wasteland has been confined to only a few scouting missions.

Elijah set up a plan and fortress in the Sierra Madre Resort. His goal was to break into the casino vault by capturing anyone foolish enough to set foot into his traps, collar them and force them to help him break inside. His objective was to use the casino to send the Cloud soaring over Nevada and California, suffocating everybody, so that soon the Brotherhood could truly occupy the areas when the Cloud cleared and everybody had died. However, his plans were vanquished by the Courier.

Brotherhood of Steel in the East

The Capitol Expedition

In the year 2254, sometime after the destruction of the west coast Enclave, 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, with three important objectives. First, to scour the ruins of Washington, D.C., once the nation's capital, to recover any and all advanced technology. Second, to investigate the reports of super mutant activity in the area, and third, to re-establish contact with the Midwestern Brotherhood of Steel and return them under Lost Hills command.

And so 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.


Main article: Scourge

On their way to the Capital Wasteland, the Brotherhood's forces came across the ruins of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A truly chaotic city, it was full of gangs, raiders, slavers, and many other kinds of horrors all freely wandered, terrorizing the few innocent survivors.[15] In a single night, the Brotherhood swept through the city from their staging area at Mount Wash, and eliminated any resident who put up a fight.[16] Lyons' contingent left the city with approximately 20 children in tow, who would later be initiated into the Brotherhood.[17] During the Scourge, Lyons' forces suffered only one casualty: Paladin Ishmael Ashur, who was buried in rubble during the fighting and presumed dead.


  1. The Vault Dweller: "{207}{}{Base Information}"
    : "{211}{}{West Tech Research Facility: Founded in 2002 as a private contractor for the United States government, the company initially consisted of two divisions--the Advanced Weapons Research and the Biomedical Sciences divisions.}"
    "{241}{}{ In 2069, West Tech was the single largest contractor for the United States government; its largest contract being Powered Infantry Armor Model T-51b. }"
    "{242}{}{In light of significant advances in 2076 by the NBC on the Pan-Immunity Virion Project, the United States Defense Department, in fear of international espionage,}"
    "{243}{}{ moved a team onto the site to secure and oversee the project, now dubbed the FEV (Forced Evolutionary Virus) project.}"
  2. Fallout Bible 0: "2076 January 3 A military team under the command of Colonel Spindel is sent to the West Tek research facility to monitor the experiments in the interest of national security. Captain Roger Maxson (the grandfather of John Maxson, the High Elder of the Brotherhood of Steel in F1) is among the team personnel."
  3. FEV experiment disk, January 7, 2077 entry
  4. Captain Maxson's diary; Oct. 10 2077
  5. Captain Maxson's diary; Oct. 13 2077
  6. Captain Maxson's diary; Oct. 15 2077
  7. Captain Maxson's diary; Oct. 18 2077
  8. Captain Maxson's diary; Oct. 20 2077
  9. Captain Maxson's diary; Oct. 22 2077
  10. Captain Maxson's diary; Oct. 23 2077
  11. Captain Maxson's diary; Oct. 25 2077
  12. Captain Maxson's diary; Oct. 26 2077
  13. Captain Maxson's diary; Oct. 27 2077
  14. 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."
  15. Lone Wanderer: "What was the Scourge?"
    Kodiak: "It was a Brotherhood operation. They marched in and swept the place clean. Most of the people there were half-mutated, cancerous, vile things. And these people... r--- gangs, torture squads... it was pure chaos there. The Scourge is the best thing that could have happened to it. This was way back, before the Citadel was fortified. Part of the early recon after the Brotherhood first arrived in this area. One night, a squad of Brothers led by Paladin Lyons swept into the city from over Mount Wash, tearing apart anyone who stood against them. They were completely outnumbered. And still they razed that place to the ground."
    (Kodiak's dialogue)
  16. Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition pp. 43-44:
    "In 2042, Star Paladin Lyons of the Brotherhood of Steel led the Scourge, a large-scale military action that wiped out nearly the entire population of The Pitt. In a single night, the Brotherhood swept through the city, eliminating any resident who put up a fight. Although the intent of the Scourge remains unclear, several unmutated children were taken from The Pitt by the Brotherhood and placed into initiate training. The motivations for the Scourge are unclear to this day, but many in the Brotherhood note that it was a marked change in the way the Brotherhood operates. Additionally, it is known that something was recovered from The Pitt during the Scourge, although to date it would seem that only Elder Lyons knows what it was.
    It is said that a Brotherhood of Steel Paladin from the Scourge stayed on in The Pitt, seeking to bring law and order to the unwashed masses and creating an underclass of Pitt Slaves in the process, guarded by Pitt Raiders under his personal command. However, in the decades following the events of the Scourge, nobody has heard anything from The Pitt. Travelers who have gone to investigate have not returned, and no survivors have emerged."
    (Fallout 3 Official Game Guide faction profiles)
  17. The Lone Wanderer: "How did you escape?"
    Kodiak:"As they swept through, the Brotherhood policed up every non-mutie child they could find. Turns out, there weren't that many. Me and maybe twenty others. The younger we were, the less of a chance that we were mutated. It was ugly work, no doubt, but it had to be done. I'll never forget the sight of the Brotherhood of Steel breaching the breast of the mountain at dawn."
    (Kodiak's dialogue)