Brotherhood of Steel in Appalachia – Ruinous or Helpful?

Fallout 76 has seen steady change throughout the past two years, most notably its Wastelanders DLC. Bethesda’s effort to make up for the game’s rushed release has intrigued those who are new or reemerging players. Fans of Fallout could not help but wonder when the famous Brotherhood of Steel was going to make an appearance. Evidence of their existence in Appalachia did not go unnoticed, especially in places like Fort Defiance and Camp Venture. Despite much of their effort to establish a Chapter in Appalachia, the Scorched killed the remaining soldiers. At least, that was the case until reinforcement showed up.

The Brotherhood of Steel is back in Appalachia and from the looks of it, they are here to stay. But what does their presence means for those who are just trying to survive?

An Invader or a Savior?

What does it mean to be in the Brotherhood of Steel? They call themselves the perseveres of human knowledge and technology. They believe that they are the only ones capable of harboring such knowledge and technology. While in Appalachia, they never fully explain why they settled. For the most part, they have only offered a vague answer, “we’re here to help”.

The Brotherhood of Steel keeps their word in making sure that they destroy creatures that terrorize those living in the area. Perhaps it is a way to assert dominance as the driving force of what keeps order in their occupied areas. That could go along with their self-proclaimed duty of collecting the technological advancements to protect mankind from themselves. Although, it comes at the expense of ignoring those in the Brotherhood of Steel who want to take advantage of civilians.

For the Brotherhood, individuals may not matter much to them as their primary focus is to persevere knowledge and technology. Clearly, they have a lot on their plate and they are going out of their way to take on the responsibility of watching over Appalachia. Their declaration of being protectors may be more of a secondary mission if it comes in between their primary objective.

Obligation to the People of Appalachia

Those who live in Appalachia are initially cautious of the Brotherhood of Steel. When the Vault Dweller arrives at Fort Atlas, there are few civilians who urgently need to speak with Knight Shin. Shawn Hockman, a poor scavenger, claims that the Brotherhood of Steel came on his property and robbed him. The Vault Dweller brings this information to Knight Shin who, unfortunately, writes it off.

Despite Shane Hockman’s negative experience, there are people in Appalachia who see the Brotherhood as a sign of hope. Colin and Marty Putnam are two young men who live on a farm next to the Nuka-Cola Bottling Factory. Both men see the Brotherhood of Steel as either a way out or an opportunity to enact change in Appalachia. Perhaps the two brothers believe in the message of the Brotherhood of Steel.

Opinions on the Brotherhood of Steel

There are those who are with the Brotherhood that have expressed some doubts on their pledge to keeping the peace. While they are NPCs, they do offer some dialogue on whether or not the Brotherhood can be trusted in Appalachia. At Fort Atlas, there are people that the Vault Dweller can speak to to get some insight on the Brotherhood mission. Brotherhood Hopefuls can be heard asking the Vault Dweller if they believe the Brotherhood wants to keep the peace. Brotherhood Initiates can be seen with a sense of undying loyalty, showing that there are people who strongly believe that the Brotherhood needs to be in Appalachia.

There is a specific member of the Brotherhood of Steel, Scribe Valdez, who interestingly brings up a point when asked about the Brotherhood. When asked, Scribe Valdez, brings up that many people are against the Brotherhood. There are some people who believe the Brotherhood hoards their knowledge. Scribe Valdez admits that she used to share that same opinion. This is something that is a concern with many people, whether or not the Brotherhood will do the right thing with the information they have.

The Vault Dweller’s Influence

The Vault Dweller approaches the Brotherhood of Steel with curiosity but can either being cautious or enthusiastic about them. However, the Vault Dweller offers help to many of the settlements around Appalachia on behalf of the Brotherhood of Steel. The Vault Dweller has become acquainted with all of Appalachia by the time the Brotherhood shows up, and attempting to be the middle man for the Brotherhood of Steel can help their more impersonal reputation.

There are different senses of morality that are split within the higher ranks; Knight Shin and Paladin Rahmani. When interacting with Shin, he appears cold and unforgiving but Rahmani tries to uphold what would be the ideal path for the Brotherhood to follow. It is quite honorable that Rahmani, in a position where humanity can easily be lost, tries to retain hers. Much of that can be credited to how the Vault Dweller accomplishes their quests. If the Vault Dweller is shown to be merciful and generous, Rahmani sees it as a success for the Brotherhood and Appalachia. As for Shin, he does not see those qualities as effective in accomplishing the Brotherhood mission.

Now, being in the middle of a post-apocalyptic world, crossing the line of immortality may not be uncommon. In a world devoid of hope, many people are just trying to survive. The Brotherhood of Steel made themselves responsible for Appalachia. They have an obligation to uphold their declaration of peace and protection.

The Future of Appalachia

Knowing what becomes of the Brotherhood of Steel in Fallout 4, one cannot help but wonder if that vision expanded into Appalachia. The Brotherhood, lead by Elder Arthur Maxson, changes into an aggressive military force. Their attempt to uphold their promise comes at a price to acquire it by any means necessary. Without truly knowing the state of Appalachia in 2287, it is hard to tell if it needs such an iron fist like in the Capital Wasteland or the Commonwealth. Appalachia fared better than many places in the United States after the Great War, after all.

Perhaps their continued hoarding of technology will make them enemies of the descendants of Vault 76 survivors. Especially if that technology belongs to the people and given freely by vault dwellers. They could take advantage of areas like Mount Blair, Watoga, or even the Motherlode. Fueled by their lust for power, the resources that could be shared with Appalachia would be distributed under the Brotherhood. They could go to places like Foundation and force those people to provide for their troops. We’ve already seen that happen in the Commonwealth. What is more frightening, is the thought of what the Brotherhood of Steel would do with the missile silos. Realistically, the silos aren’t better off with just anyone but having the Brotherhood get their hands on them is not ideal.

Appalachia Is In Good Hands

While we may never know what becomes of the Appalachian Brotherhood, we can only hope that they made true to their word. Their obligation to take on the tribulations of Appalachia include the Scorchedqueen, cults, raiders, and more dire, the nuclear silos. The Brotherhood’s presence in Appalachia may not be for the best for the people living there. As more people move to Appalachia, they aren’t going to want to listen to the Brotherhood. Despite their reputation, the Brotherhood may be the only source of law and order for Appalachia’s unique situation. Let’s just hope they do it in a way that does not cause them to lose their values.

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