Maxson II was a teenager during the Great War. During the Exodus from Mariposa Military Base, his mother died. He supported isolationism, and when his father passed away in 2135, he became high elder.
In 2155, he led a scout unit to track down a war band of Vipers. Maxson took off his helmet and was shot with a poison arrow, which killed him within hours.[Non-canon 1] In response, Rhombus led the paladins against the Vipers, killing the vast majority of their members.[Non-canon 2]
- 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."
"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 6: ".2 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."