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Fallout Factions: The Brotherhood of Steel - History

  • Member
    May 9, 2016

     

    Of all the factions in the Fallout universe, none is as iconic as the Brotherhood of Steel. Even people who are unfamiliar with the wasteland's lore or its many factions associate the Fallout franchise with the distinctive power-armored visage that most characters in-game also recognize the Brotherhood by. So for the benefit of all, lets look at who the Brotherhood of Steel is in depth, and more specifically, where they come from.

    I. Pre-War, 2076-2077

    The Brotherhood's origins are closely tied with some of the other defining attributes of Fallout history. In his earlier article on the FEV, Mr. Edd mentioned the events that led to the founding of the Brotherhood of Steel. The Army detachment in charge of security at Mariposa Military Base, where the FEV was being developed, was originally led by one Colonel Robert Spindel, and his second in command, Captain Roger Maxson. The Colonel and his men were kept in the dark about the nature of the research at Mariposa, especially that it was being conducted on human prisoners. Despite the attempts at secrecy, the security detail discovered the truth on October 10, 2077, and the base went into lockdown. The Colonel appeared to be traumatized at the realization of the torture they had been guarding, and locked himself away, eventually committing suicide. Captain Maxson, initially convinced that the scientists at the base must have been rogue, took command and began interrogating them. Unconvinced and disturbed by their claims of working under government orders, Maxson and his men began executing them. By the 20th, he was at least convinced enough that he resumed transmissions to the outside in order to declare that he and the men under his command were officially deserting. Anticipating retaliation, he had his people bring their families into the security of the base. The interrogations and executions were still taking place on the October 23, when the bombs fell.

    II. Foundation, 2077

    Just days after the Great War, Maxson ascertained that the radiation from the nearest blasts hadn't reached them, and within a week, Maxson had uprooted the remaining soldiers and their families to lead them to a security bunker known as Lost Hills. By then there was already chaos among what remained of the population, and the unprotected civilians in the caravan suffered numerous losses from vicious raiding parties along the way. Among the losses was Maxson's wife. His teenage son, however, survived the trek. They arrived at Lost Hills in November, and Maxson officially formed the Brotherhood of Steel.

    III. 2077-2161, Roger Maxson, Maxson II & John Maxson

    In the little more than fifty years that followed, Maxon carved out a new life for his followers in the Lost Hills bunker. Largely abandoning the military structure of the U.S. Army, they adopted a caste system, and worked to maintain, and expand the technological facilities in what was now a world virtually without technology. Maxson became a legendary figure, and when he died of cancer in 2135, his son Maxson II became the new High Elder. From there, the Brotherhood quickly became a significant local power, developing a trade relationship with the nearby Hub. After Maxon II is fatally wounded by a poisoned arrow, John Maxon becomes High Elder and annihilating the Viper raider tribe, bringing relative peace to the region until 2161.

    IV. 2161-2220s, John Maxson, Rhombus, ?

    In October of that year, the Brotherhood encounters super mutants for the first time, first finding a dead body, and then losing numerous scouts in the mountains north of Lost Hills. With the help of the Vault Dweller, they discovered the super mutant army, and it's leader, the Master, and were able to destroy them. Following this victory, the Brotherhood's power began to plateau. For nearly a hundred years, the Brotherhood stagnated, comfortable in their position of power. They had no cause to stir until they finally noticed the explosive growth of the New California Republic, and their ideologies began to clash. At some point during this period, the Brotherhood constructed a number of airships and dispatched an expedition toward the east to search for lost technology. A violent storm damaged or destroyed most of these ships, and contact has been lost with the expedition ever since. It is believed by many that they survived, but their fate is unknown.

    V. 2231-2281, Jeremy Maxson, [Owyn Lyons]

    Jeremy Maxson, then the Brotherhood's High Elder, enforced a much stricter policy of technological hoarding than his forebears, while the NCR viewed technology as something to freely distribute. Eventually the two factions clashed, most violently over energy weapon stashes. There have been four confirmed campaigns of the NCR against the Brotherhood, and the Republic's overwhelming numbers have cost the Brotherhood dearly, despite their superior tech and training.

    In 2254 another contingent of the Brotherhood was dispatched east with orders to recover what technology they could, reestablish contact with the lost expedition if possible, and investigate rumors of Super Mutants on the East Coast. This group was led by Owyn Lyons, then a Paladin. During the trek, Lyons contingent came across no trace of the missing expedition. They passed through the remains of Pittsburgh, which was rampant with gruesome mutation that seemed independent of the FEV. Lyons ordered the area purged. They "rescued" many children who were still unaffected by the mutations, which inaugurated a more open policy of recruitment among Lyons' command. When they reached the Capital Wasteland, they discovered the husk of the Pentagon, pre-War America's military command, and with it, a prototype war engine code-named Liberty Prime. This find earned Lyons a promotion to Elder, his contingent reorganized into a new Chapter.

    Finding a thriving generation of Super Mutants in the D.C. wastes, and a struggling population of wastelands, Lyons was moved to compassion. The trauma of the purge in Pittsburgh may have compounded this sentiment, and Lyons resolved to make the defense of the innocent and under-defended people of the D.C. wastes his main priority. The decision was not well received by the High Council. They ultimately decided to cut off communications and support to Lyons until he returned to his original mission objectives, but Lyons' Chapter remains as perhaps the strongest part of the Brotherhood still active. With the help of the Lone Wanderer from Vault 101, and Liberty Prime, they routed the Enclave presence in the Capital wastes, and took control of the water purifier there, as well as the responsibility of escorting water caravans across the region.

    As a whole, the Brotherhood are now a shell of their former selves. Arthur Maxson, last living descendant of the Maxson line, was sent to join the D.C. Chapter before their support was cut off, after the death of his father in battle. He remains the greatest hope of reuniting the Brotherhood and bringing them out of the dark.

    VI. 2283-2287~ , [Arthur Maxson]

    While the going's on of the Brotherhood in the west remain largely unknown, the East Coast Brotherhood's latest Elder experienced a turbulent rise to his station. Following the death of Elder Lyons and his daughter, Arthur's mentor, Sarah, the Eastern Brotherhood suffered a streak of poor leadership, repeatedly deposing Elders until, in 2283, Arthur was appointed at the age of 16. His accolades include crushing Super Mutant leadership in the capital wasteland, and bringing the Brother Hood outcasts back into the organization after their years divided during Elder Lyons' tenure. The East Coast Brotherhood under this new Maxson has come to the Commonwealth to expunge what Maxson believes to be a particularly dangerous threat: synths. What will ultimately become of the East Coast Brotherhood and Elder Maxson remains to be seen...

    Brotherhood of Steel Culture

    Sources: In-game texts/dialogue; Fallout 1,2,3 and New Vegas, 4Brotherhood and Fallout Bible