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 rape gangs, raiders, slavers, and many other kinds of horrors all freely terrorizing the few innocent survivors.
Lyons' contingent left the city with approximately 20 children in tow, who would later be initiated into the Brotherhood. Most were recruited into the Brotherhood. By 2277, only one remains stationed at the Citadel: Greg Bear, nicknamed Kodiak, stationed with Lyons' Pride.
During the Scourge, Lyons' forces suffered only one casualty: Initiate Ishmael Ashur, who was buried in rubble during the fight and presumed dead. He survived and subsequently established firm control of the Pitt, transforming it into an industrial powerhouse, supported by Brotherhood technological know-how. Having fully abandoned the Brotherhood and its teachings, Ashur recognized the inherent failure of the unsustainable, scavenger nature of the faction's ways and moved forward in his own direction.
Residents such as Wernher recount how the area used to be much worse before the Brotherhood cleaned up the city, slaughtering half of the violent residents. He explains that due to the actions of the Brotherhood, the threats were sufficiently pacified or eliminated, allowing Ashur to exert control over the city to begin with.
The Lone Wanderer: "How did the city get started?"
Wernher: "After the war, the place just turns into a shithole. The buildings start falling over and the sickness makes people just turn on each other. Some of them... change. They lose any sense of who they are. They just go around killing and fucking and eating. Like animals, man. Some people are still okay, but just... I don't know. Anyway, about 30 years ago, those Brotherhood guys come in and wipe the place out. They kill all of these sick fucks. Anything that looks like it's going to fight -- Bam! Then they take whatever they were looking for and leave."
- The Lone Wanderer: "That's awful! How could the Brotherhood do that?"
Kodiak: "Normally, that would get you a crack across the jaw. But since you didn't know what the Pitt was like, I'll let it go. I still have nightmares about the place. Thirty years and how many horrors later, and the Pitt is still the worst thing I've ever seen. It was ugly work, sure. Questionably moral? No doubt. But there was no other choice. That city had to go."
- 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: "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... rape 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."
- 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) Note: This is an excerpt from a larger section on the Pitt raiders, Pitt slaves, trogs, and wildmen.
- 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."
- The Lone Wanderer: "What happened to the other kids from the Pitt?"
Kodiak: "All of 'em became Initiates. Most of them went on to become Brothers. A lot fell in action. I'm the only survivor of the Scourge of the Pitt still stationed at the Citadel."
- Diary 3: The Mill
- Lone Wanderer: "Do you ever miss the Brotherhood of Steel?"
Ishmael Ashur: "Not in the slightest. During the Scourge, we looted The Pitt and left the rest of it to rot. I was just a dumb convert who got stuck here afterwards. See, beneath it all, the Brotherhood's just lazy. It's easier to loot a dying city than work to bring it back to life, so that's what they did. They're so obsessed with the technology of the past, they don't care what needs to be done for today and tomorrow. It takes real work to rebuild and run a city. But there isn't a machine to do it for them, so the Brotherhood ain't interested. Good riddance."
(Ishmael Ashur's dialogue)
- The Lone Wanderer: "How did you rebuild after the Scourge?"
Ishmael Ashur: "It wasn't actually that tough. The Scourge had cleared out a lot of Trogs, so we had space to move in. The Brotherhood had looted a lot, but they left even more behind as "damaged goods." And you can rebuild a lot out of "damaged goods." For example, they took one survivor, a kid the called "Kodiak". But they left his big brothers behind, because they were too wild and mean. But as it turns out, the Bear Brothers were some of my finest soldiers. At least, until they went up against you."
(Ishmael Ashur's dialogue)
- The Lone Wanderer: "I remember hearing about The Pitt from a guy in the Citadel."
Wernher: "The Citadel, huh? That's the Brotherhood of Steel fortress, right? Yeah, I know about those guys. He must have been part of the attack that cleaned up The Pitt. Well... it didn't so much clean it up as it calmed it down. No way that hellhole could ever be cleaned up without the cure. That's why those guys were after me."
- The Lone Wanderer: "Tell me about what the Brotherhood did."
Wernher: "Well, as bad as The Pitt is, it used to be worse. Much worse. It was complete chaos. Every man for himself. About the time I was born, those Brotherhood guys swept through the place. Killed anything that put up a fight. More'n half the place was dead by the time they were done. It was a slaughter. But they got the worst of the worst. If it weren't for the Brotherhood sweeping the place, I doubt Ashur would have been able to get control of as much as he has."