Brotherhood of Steel
The Eastern division of the Brotherhood of Steel under the command of Elder Arthur Maxson, Supreme Commander of the Brotherhood of Steel. As the Brotherhood's position in the West declines, the once-moribund Lyons' Brotherhood of Steel has been reformed into a major military force in under a decade, able to project their power and influence all along the Eastern Seaboard thanks to the drive and tenacity of its young Elder.
- 1 History
- 2 Organization
- 3 Major outposts and strongholds
- 4 Outside relations
- 5 Technology
- 6 Notable members
- 7 Interactions with the player character
- 8 Behind the scenes
- 9 Appearances
- 10 References
The Eastern division of the Brotherhood evolved from Lyons' Brotherhood of Steel, a chapter that formed in the Capital Wasteland as a result of Owyn Lyons' tech recovery expedition sent out in 2253. Following the Scourge of the Pitt, Lyons' contingent arrived in Washington, D.C. in 2255, and discovered Liberty Prime. As a result, he was instructed to establish a permanent presence, the new chapter occupied the Pentagon, founding the Citadel under the newly-promoted Elder Lyons. Rather than following his orders directly, Lyons attempted to shift his chapter from tech reclamation to charity and protecting the wasteland. He largely failed: Instead of building infrastructure and close relations with the locals, he ordered his troops to engage the numerous super mutants infesting the region, fighting a war of attrition he could not afford. When he defied the Western Elders in the 2270s, they cut off all support, but stopped short of declaring him outright rogue. The chapter suffered a further setback when the Outcasts left the Citadel in 2276, after Lyons refused to allow the excavation of Fort Independence, a token effort to uphold their original mission.
It was in this weakened and isolated state in 2277 that the Brotherhood encountered the Enclave remnants that retreated to the Capital Wasteland, establishing a base at Raven Rock and Adams Air Force Base outside D.C. Assisted by Madison Li and the Lone Wanderer, the seemingly broken chapter managed to reactivate Liberty Prime and use it as a trump card in the conflict, breaking their military during the Battle of Project Purity. The subsequent loss of the robot at the Rockland satellite relay station was a major setback, compounded by the severely depleted stockpiles and shortage of manpower at the beginning of the conflict. However, the Brotherhood prevailed, using the Lone Wanderer to infiltrate Adams and destroy the Enclave's last remaining command center, the mobile base crawler. With the threat removed, the Brotherhood solidified its position, leveraging the newly activated Project Purity and its ample supply of water to establish relations with the wasteland settlements, all the while researching Enclave technology. The great amount of gear and weapons recovered in the wake of the Purifier Conflict was already worked on during the conflict, providing the Brotherhood with years of research material. Of course, due to the sheer amount of confiscated Enclave equipment, the effort of itemizing them was handed down to the Initiates; handled by Scribes.
Despite the Brotherhood's success, the organization continued to struggle. Elder Lyons passed away in 2278, with leadership passing to his daughter, Sentinel Sarah Lyons. Not long after her ascension, she was killed in combat with no clear successor in line. In the leadership crisis that followed, the Brotherhood repeatedly appointed one ineffectual leader after another. It was saved by the lack of external threats, allowing the chapter to fortify its position and begin expanding. A chapter that seemed on the verge of collapse a few years earlier was now on the rise, culminating in the 2282 launch of the Prydwen.
Rise of the Restorer
The launch accompanied the rise of Arthur Maxson to Elder. A lifetime of training and education turned him into a capable warrior and strategist. After displaying his exceptional skill by defeating the super mutant leader Shepherd and brokering peace with the Brotherhood Outcasts, reuniting them with the chapter they abandoned, he was appointed Elder in 2283 at age 16. He was the youngest Elder in Brotherhood's long history. In fact, this position was bestowed by West Coast Elders, who revealed that they still monitored their errant brethren.
Maxson reformed the Brotherhood, incorporating the best of both Lyons' Doctrine and the original mission of the Brotherhood of Steel. He did away with the tech hoarding. As well as Lyon’s sacrificial charity which had all but crippled the Brotherhood. Instead focusing the Brotherhood on protecting humanity and engineering its rebirth by the acquisition of dangerous advanced technologies that could bring a repeat of the Great War and correcting the mistakes of man by exterminating abominations such as super mutants or feral ghouls, much like Elder Lyons originally did. While some members found this distasteful and deserted, many more remained, proud to serve a refocused Brotherhood.
The most noticeable sign of this new dedication was the continuation of Outcast long range recon teams. These scoured the wasteland for technology to recover, secure, and put into use. No less than three teams were dispatched to the Commonwealth between 2280 and 2287. The first team's mission was a tremendous success, returning with crates full of pre-war artifacts and historical documents. However, repeated forays were failures: The second mission in 2284, under Paladin Brandis, was attacked by Institute synths and wiped out, leaving its commander the only survivor. The third in 2287 came under attack from local raiders and ghouls, losing half its number and forced to adopt a defensive stance in Cambridge. Unfortunately, their holding pattern was not tenable in the long term and so Paladin Danse decided to send a distress call to the Citadel for reinforcements. The report also contained incontrovertible proof of the Institute's presence in the Commonwealth and continued operation, prompting Elder Maxson to deploy the Prydwen and the full might of the chapter to the Commonwealth, to destroy it and its threat to humanity once and for all.
The Brotherhood of Steel is a militant order dedicated to the control and preservation of technology within the wasteland. The Eastern division, led by Elder Maxson, retains much of the basic organization of the Brotherhood, though it retains many of the modifications introduced by Owyn Lyons. As with the rest of the Brotherhood, the Elder has total control over the organization and its every aspect, from outlining the overarching goals, to assigning individual members duties to fulfill. The Brotherhood expects total obedience and adherence to its moral standards and issued orders. In the words of one officer, anyone who hesitates firing in combat due to misguided moral standards isn't Brotherhood material. This includes aversion to carrying out orders such as requisitioning crops from farmers in the area of operations, to support the Brotherhood's campaigns.
There is an explicit ban on wanton murder - the Brotherhood of Steel does not kill innocents, classified as people who are not getting in the Brotherhood's way or openly attacking them. That is the difference between collateral damage and cold-blooded murder in the Brotherhood's eyes.
Look at the scorched earth and the bones that litter the wasteland. Millions... perhaps even billions, died because science outpaced man's restraint. They called it a "new frontier" and "pushing the envelope," completely disregarding the repercussions.”— Elder Arthur Maxson
Hearkening back to the earliest years of the Brotherhood, the reforged ideology can be summarized in the following sentence: Control technology, so that it may serve humanity and never endanger it again. The ideology was formulated by Elder Arthur Maxson, as part of a broader reform aimed at restoring the Brotherhood's position in the wasteland.
In the Brotherhood's eyes, abuse of technology was one of the contributing factors of the Great War. As long as it was moderated by morality and forethought, science was a boon for humanity. For example, nuclear technology could be harnessed to provide mankind with limitless power, even if the same principles allowed the same materials to be engineered into weapons of mass destruction. By the second half of the 21st century, as jingoism and consumerism grew rampant, technological development outpaced man's restraint. The new frontier of scientific understanding was explored without regard for the damage it caused. Corporations developed, exploited, and benefited from new technologies, while offloading the environmental and human costs onto the common people. The rapid, unbound technological progress would become mankind's undoing, as bio-engineered plagues, FEV, and of course, nuclear weapons brought mankind to its knees.
The Brotherhood focuses on preventing this scenario from repeating itself, knowing that humanity is liable to repeat the same mistakes. As part of this effort, the Brotherhood aims to understand the nature of technology, its power, and relationship with humans. Each member of the Brotherhood has two main obligations:
- Collect and preserve technology. Brotherhood patrols scour countless ruins across the wasteland to retrieve technologies of all kinds, in order to study, understand, and use them. By collecting advanced technologies, the Brotherhood also keeps them away from people who would abuse it for its own ends. By extension, if any form of dangerous technology is at risk of falling into enemy hands, standing orders are to destroy it. This is particularly important for suits of power armor and soldiers of the Brotherhood are obligated to scuttle their suits if they are at risk of looting.
- Protection of humanity. Through containment of technological abuse and the extermination of abominations and other threats to people in the wasteland (although often these are both one and the same). Typically, it involves destroying abominations that threaten humanity, products of man's hubris. The list generally includes feral ghouls, super mutants, rogue robots, and synths, but is often expanded to include various raider tribes, as a service to the local community. Of particular importance is the destruction of rogue robotics: Machines are meant to serve humanity, under human control, rather than make their own decisions freely. Synths are a particularly repugnant form of robot, as they represent an unforgivable corruption of human life: Assembled in a laboratory by machines, rather than conceived by human beings. Their minds are considered a perversion of the human mind: Thoughts are programmed and can be wiped at a moment's notice, resulting in souls that are manufactured, in stark contrast with humans, who take a lifetime to gain experience and achieve wisdom. The Brotherhood considers this artifice unforgivable.
Both of these obligations are part of what the Brotherhood defines as sending a message of stability to the people of the wasteland. By controlling dangerous technologies and eliminating threats to human existence, the Brotherhood believes that it can achieve liberation: Freeing people from danger, to allow them to live their lives in peace and prosperity.
You'd be under my command, and I'd expect you to follow orders. No more mercenary work... this is the real thing. You'd have access to advanced military weapons, as well as your own personal suit of Power Armor. Most importantly, you'd have the Brotherhood at your back... ready to spill its own blood to keep you alive. So... what do you say?”— Danse, recruiting the Sole Survivor in 2287
The chapter continues the practice of treating the Knight and Paladin castes as one combat caste. Scribes are tasked with research and maintenance of technologies. In the field, the Brotherhood operates in a squad based system, utilizing proper military tactics and maintaining strict hierarchy. Members of the military arm of the Brotherhood can be divided into four clear groups:
- Squires are the youngest members of the Brotherhood. Children both born and inducted into the Brotherhood are granted this rank and are expected to study and train in order to be granted Initiate status. They are usually kept within safe facilities, though Elder Arthur Maxson has elected to bring a number of promising Squires aboard The Prydwen into the Commonwealth for training. Squires can be dispatched into the field as trainees, observing and assisting higher ranking members in their duties.
- Initiates are born into the Brotherhood or local volunteers recruited to become members. Initiates are typically kept away from the front lines by Elder Maxson, and train to progress to the rank of Knight, as well as perform tasks at Brotherhood bases, to free higher ranks up for combat duties. They may also be tasked with manning door guns onboard Brotherhood Vertibirds or providing base security. They are not issued power armor as a general rule.
- Knights are the principal field troops of the Brotherhood. All Knights have the right to wear power armor.
- Paladins are the highest ranking members of the combat arm of the Brotherhood, enjoying the best equipment and weapons. They are deployed as field commanders or head special operations in the field, such as reconnaissance or delicate tech recovery.
- An unique feature of the Eastern division is the introduction of Lancers. Lancers are a caste dedicated to the study, operation, and maintenance of aircraft. Their rank system is patterned after the Knights, from Initiate all the way to the rank of Captain. The current head of the class is Lancer-Captain Kells, who is the commander of the Brotherhood's flagship, The Prydwen.
One notable change in the Brotherhood's policy towards recruitment was implemented by Elder Owyn Lyons, whose subordinates regularly made recruitment runs in the Capital Wasteland, sponsoring volunteers for induction into the Brotherhood ranks.
Although the quality of those conscripted into Lyons' service was very low, as they were overeager, aggressive and unskilled, due to the suspending of sponsorship after 2276 and the formation of the Outcasts and the desperate need for troops, the system was sound. Elder Arthur Maxson continued the practice, including and expanding sponsorship: All adult recruits have to be sponsored by existing Brotherhood members (usually Paladins), who would travel with them and teach them the ideals of the Brotherhood and train them in combat. To this end, active members can field promote recruits to Initiate rank, but the rank and subsequent promotions have to be confirmed by the Elder at the earliest possible opportunity. However, while the member can retract their sponsorship, once the rank is confirmed by the Elder, only the Elder can dismiss the sponsored party from the organization.
Long range recon teams are a permanent element of Brotherhood operations, much like Brotherhood Outcasts used to work across the wasteland. Participation in recon missions is strictly voluntary, as the Brotherhood lacks the resources to carry out search and rescue missions. Everyone signing up for a recon mission knows the risks. Their loss is mourned, honored, and if possible, investigated if resources and time permit.
Intel gathering is a crucial element of any Brotherhood operations. For example, in their war against the Institute, intelligence is given particular emphasis. On top of any potential insiders, the Brotherhood is also running round the clock vertibird patrols, has squads on the ground trying to pick up anything that can provide a clue as to the Institute operations and whereabouts, and has Scribes monitoring radio traffic and trying to crack their RF encryption.
Major outposts and strongholds
- The Citadel continues to be the primary headquarters of Brotherhood operations on the eastern seaboard.
- Adams Air Force Base
- After the destruction of the Enclave's mobile base crawler, the Brotherhood set up a permanent base-camp at Adams, gaining access to all of the Enclave's stockpiles of advanced military technology and fleet of Vertibirds. Between 2278 and 2282, the Prydwen was constructed at the Base, going on to serve as a mobile command base for five years in the Capital Wasteland before setting off for the Commonwealth.
Once deployed in force, the East Coast Brotherhood occupies two major strongholds throughout the Commonwealth to serve as forward operating bases facilitating their operations against the Institute, with a number of temporary outposts. The Brotherhood relies on its fleet of Vertibirds to rapidly respond to threats, rather than defending numerous fixed outposts and stretching its forces thin.
- The Prydwen
- The Brotherhood of Steel's flagship and escort to Arthur Maxson, the Prydwen is a one of a kind advanced airship constructed by the Brotherhood of Steel at Adams Air Force Base, and a manifestation of its rebirth on the East Coast. Two years alone were spent on designing it by the sharpest minds the Brotherhood had at its disposal. Another two years were spent gathering the parts necessary to enable its construction, with components salvaged from the destroyed Enclave base playing a crucial role in its construction. When it was launched, it granted the Brotherhood the ability to mobilize its entire division and field it anywhere they need to at a moment's notice.
- Boston Airport
- Once the pride of Boston, the airport has fallen into disrepair. Feral ghouls, scavengers, and the simple passage of time have taken a toll on the once grand terminals. Derelict husks of airplanes litter its grounds and nothing but the desolate wind comes to visit. That is, until the Brotherhood of Steel learned of its location and arrived in force. While the Prydwen remains moored at the control tower, the airport has been repurposed as a logistics center. Everything the Brotherhood needs to operate passes through here: supplies from the Prydwen, salvage from the field, everything. Access is strictly limited and every inventoried element is tracked down to the every singly bullet and bolt.
- The Boston Airport serves as a forward operating base for all operations in the Commonwealth. Supplies are stored here, as well as the remains of Liberty Prime, who the Brotherhood plans to rebuild and use against the Institute. The Brotherhood's best soldiers are stationed as the last line of defense for both Prime and the Airport itself, with even Star Paladins encountered patrolling the walkway surrounding Prime. Behind Prime's building platform is the storage depot, where Knight-Sergeant Gavil stores all incoming rations appropriately, as well as supplying gear to field soldiers. Above the depot is an open recreational area, where benches, vending machines, and food items lay about to allow the Brotherhood a place to spend free time.
- Cambridge Police Station
- A former police station, turned into a forward outpost, listening post, and supply base by the Brotherhood of Steel. Casualties that mounted during the recon mission in the Commonwealth, resulted in a well protected location manned by remnants of the Brotherhood. The arrival of the Prydwen leads to the outpost being turned into a major stronghold, providing rest and resupply before soldiers head back out into the chaos of the Commonwealth. The old police helicopter pad on the roof is restored and turned into a Vertibird landing pad above, with the power armor station provided with ample supplies to upgrade and repair any soldier's armor. Coupled with air support provided by VB-01 Vertibirds, even the occasional synth attack barely registers on their radar, with the usual throng of Cambridge ghouls relegated to a mere nuisance.
The Brotherhood of Steel in the East is a much more pro-active organization than the Western chapters. Aforementioned outside recruitment is common practice. Sometimes, despite how picky the Elder is, the Brotherhood also accepts batches of wastelanders into their service that would otherwise fail muster, even when appraised by a generous eye.
As part of their mandate, the Brotherhood seeks out and purges "abominations" on a regular basis, without waiting for any specific calls for help, and actively seeks out and secures pieces of advanced technology and pre-War knowledge. The Brotherhood has radicalized its policy towards mutants, with standing orders to kill. In practice, the Brotherhood usually doesn't shoot on sight unless targets are confirmed as hostile - even if they are a synth in a critical location.
The Brotherhood is keen on cultivating good relations with local settlements and traders, particularly when provisions and other necessities are concerned. Their Vertibirds and firepower are a key asset, as they enable the Brotherhood to maintain overwatch across the region, swooping in to protect caravans and settlers from raiders and other threats. As this kind of protection cannot be bought elsewhere, it guarantees advantageous trading terms for the Brotherhood.
The Eastern division of the Brotherhood of Steel enjoys a considerable advantage over their competitors, mostly thanks to being able to manufacture their own gear including weapons as well as years spent salvaging technology from the wasteland: such as power armor and Vertibirds.
The arsenal of the Brotherhood includes principally various advanced infantry weapons to provide light firepower at short ranges. The most common weapons used by the Brotherhood which are also standard issue are the AER-9 laser rife and pistols with multiple modifications to increase weapons performance. Conventional military-grade weapons are also quite commonly used by soldiers, with the decision which to use down to individual preference. Higher ranks (typically Paladin and above) also have access to high-end weapons like plasma rifles and Gauss weapons, spoils of war from the Purifier Conflict.
The Brotherhood also employs various crew-served weapons to provide heavy firepower at all ranges, usually handled by troops in T-60 power armor, who can use them like regular small arms. The list includes the Rockwell CZ-57 Minigun, Gatling laser, and a variety of flamethrowers that excel at suppression and decimation. The arsenal is supplemented by a variety of direct-fire rockets and missiles for use against enemy concentrations or armored targets. The capstone is the M-42 Fatman micronuclear launcher. Low-tech weapons are typically limited to the personal touch: Combat knives, machetes, and brass knuckles used by individual soldiers in close quarters combat.
Vehicles and aircraft
Thanks to years spent salvaging technology from across the wasteland and their victory against the Enclave produced vast amounts of pre-War power armor and aircraft for use in their operations throughout the wasteland. The combination of power armor and the fleet of Vertibirds the division operates gives it an edge against enemy factions. The fleet includes VB-01 Vertibird transports and VB-02 Vertibird gunships. The VB-01 was in full service by the time of the Great War and became the standard issue aircraft for all air missions. They are only armed with two forward mounted 5mm machine guns and door guns (Rockwell CZ-57 5mm miniguns). These aerial machines can transport troops and supplies across vast distances, provide attack, support and cover fire and give the Brotherhood air superiority. Second generation Vertibirds captured from the Enclave remain in service, though due to the limited numbers, none were fielded in the Commonwealth. The design was in testing phases before the Great War, never reaching full production status except with the Enclave. The knowledge on how to manufacture more was either lost or purposely destroyed by its remnants.
The crown jewel of the Eastern Division is the Prydwen, the first post-War airship launched in 2282 at Adams AFB. The vessel serves multiple roles for the Brotherhood, including those of aircraft carrier, command center, clinic, personnel quarters, equipment maintenance bay, and research facility. It allows the Brotherhood to project power along the Eastern Seaboard up to four hundred miles in any direction, thanks to the updated fusion plant pulled from a wreckage. One of its key advantages is the ability to store four Vertibirds via skyhooks that allow for refueling, repair, and rearming in-flight. Due to the combustible nature of hydrogen that makes the airship float, the Prydwen does not participate in direct combat and travels under Vertibird escort.
Interactions with the player character
Joining and gaining ranks
- Each rank allows access to new equipment at Brotherhood's quartermaster, Proctor Teagan.
- In order to join, quests Fire Support and Call to Arms have to be completed. Danse will then offer the rank of Initiate as part of Semper Invicta.
- The rank of Knight is bestowed after completing Reunions and then Shadow of Steel.
- The rank of Paladin is bestowed after completing Blind Betrayal.
- The rank of Sentinel is bestowed after completing Nuclear Option in favor of the Brotherhood.
- Free suit of T-60 power armor.
- Ability to turn in technical documents and viable blood samples in for caps.
- Paladin Danse also becomes available as a companion after completing Shadow of Steel.
- Access to Proctor Teagan and Brotherhood gear.
- Access to Duty or Dishonor and Blind Betrayal quests.
- Access to Quartermastery, Cleansing the Commonwealth, Feeding the Troops and Learning Curve repeatable quests.
- Access to unique weapons from Proctor Teagan (rank-specific).
- Vertibird transportation.
- The Brotherhood will eventually require wiping out the Railroad.
Behind the scenes
Brotherhood of Steel appears only in Fallout 4.