Technological development driven by the gears
of industry ceaselessly churning even in the wasteland must be regulated. The people protected
from themselves by a force of trained and disciplined warriors. This circle of individuals
will be unto each other as a family, a fraternity, a brotherhood. The hope of mankind: the Brotherhood
of Steel. Hi, Scribe Ric reporting as ordered to present
the cultural index on the Brotherhood of Steel, Fallout’s neo-knightly not so nice but totally
justifiable army. The Brotherhood was formed on a simple premise, beyond the end of the
world, in the ruins of civilization, who will safeguard the technological progress of mankind?
After all, even when there was oversight, look what happened, the great war, nuclear
fire. No, the best option to ensure mankind can continue is to restrict the access future
generations have to possibly catastrophic technologies. This purpose is to accumulate
advanced technology, whether pre-war or new in origin and confiscate it. Organisations
such as the Institute and the Enclave are in possession of dangerous tech that is selectively
emulated such as the Vertibird ships, or destroyed, such as the Synths and the FEV generated monstrosities
such as Super Mutants. In 2077, before the bombs fell, a military
detachment witness first-hand the corruption of science at the Mariposa Military Base as
unwilling humans were subjected to mutagens and viral augmentations known as the Forced
Evolutionary Virus. Despite their orders to the contrary, they turned away from their
superiors and purged the base. When the end came in October and they were sealed in, it
fell to Roger Maxson to lead the survivors out in a time that came to be known as the
Exodus to Lost Hills, a shelter from the fallout that would house the remnants of their military.
It was this man who would create the Brotherhood of Steel, give them their purpose which still
guides them, 210 years later. The Brotherhood, despite the name includes
many female members and operates a strict hierarchy. Yet it too, draws much of its influence
and inspiration from tales of knightly valour and chivalric quests, coating ranks and designations
of military origin in a medieval dressing which seeks to inspire such qualities in its
members. The fever to which they obey its doctrine is seen by some as simple discipline
but it would not be too far to suggest an almost religious zeal. Again, further cemented
by the addition of Orders, Chapters, Paladins and so on, designations that have strong connotations
to the church. Along the western coast, the Brotherhood of Steel may even be seen to be
the ruling body of its territories, suggesting a sort of Crusader State where law is passed
by those at the highest point of command. Speaking of which, the structure of the Brotherhood
is arranged into chapters, each chapter is headed by an Elder who maintains a high degree
of influence and is part of the Council of Elders. Chapters include the West Coast Brotherhood,
the founding party who are based in bunkers along Southern California. The Western Chapters
abide by the founding principles of the order to a very strict degree and is the seat for
the High Elder, the overall leader of the organisation. One of these chapters is the
Mojave chapter, who was led into the arid lands by Elder Elijah with the purpose to
secure powerful undamaged pre-war tech such as HELIOS 1, the solar power and satellite
array. This chapter was forced into hiding when recurring opponents, the New California
Republic expanded into Vegas and forced the chapter back.
The Midwestern chapter was technically never supposed to exist as it was founded by survivors
of an airship crash somewhere near Chicago. Due to the small number of survivors this
chapter had to abandon several leading tenants of the order and recruit from outside of the
Brotherhood, currently under the leadership of General Dekker.
There is also the East Coast chapter originally founded by Elder Lyons. Based in Washington,
they set up in the ruins of the Pentagon and renamed it the Citadel. This chapter, over
time and with distance from its origin began to drift substantially from its mission parameters
and became a very a different organization in terms of ideology from the Western chapters.
This led to much internal strife and eventually the Brotherhood Outcasts, a splinter cell
of soldiers that disagreed with the level of involvement that Elder Lyons was taking
in the affairs of the settlers of the wasteland. I find it interesting that the Outcasts still
referred to themselves as brotherhood soldiers despite their small number and held true to
the rules and regulations of the order. They could have easily decided to become raiders
or the like and although aggressive, chose to continue serving the order in their own
way. They wished to have Elder Lyons removed from power by the Council of Elders but were
unable to do so. Then there is the Circle of Steel, a chapter
within the ranks of the Brotherhood itself responsible for policing its members and conducting
investigations into their practices. When an abhorrent abuse of power is noted, that
individual may be marked for death. Alongside the Elders, there are the generals,
they report directly to the High Elder and effectively govern the military forces of
the Brotherhood. Where the exact power lies between the two is often at the discretion
of the Council, but it often seems that an Elder is given jurisdiction of the chapter
while the soldiers within are under the command of the General.
Then there are the divisions of Scribes and Knights. The Knights are the order of soldiers,
those who fight, patrol, enforce and engage. The Head Paladin commands the various Paladins
of the chapter including Star Paladins, Paladin Commander, Lord, Senior. Paladin Commanders
are just that, commanders just below the Head in rank. Seniors are noted Paladins who have
no higher rank but are awarded special treatment for notable performance. Both Paladin Lords
and Star Paladins are given greater autonomy and report only to the Head Paladin. The difference
is that that a Lord still commands soldiers. Below the Paladins is the order of Knights.
The Head Knight governs them but remains below the Head Paladin. Knight Commander below that,
then Captain, Sergeant, Senior then the standard Knights.
The Scribes are the thinkers and researchers of the Brotherhood. As with the knights, they
are managed by the chapter’s Head Scribe who ultimately assigns duties to the divisions
heads. The Head Scribe reports only to the Elders.
The Proctors, or High Scribes manage the three divisions of Scribe, the Order of the Quill,
the Sword and the Shield. Or Documentation , weaponization and engineering. Within these
orders multitudes of projects are always running with the Senior Scribes overseeing these.
Before an individual chooses their path, Knight or Scribe, they are a Journeyman, learning
the basics of both, becoming either a Squire or journeyman scribe and before this, they
are simply initiates, undergoing basic military training.
There are other specialised roles too, such as the Sentinel, who acts on detached duty
and reports solely to the Elders of a chapter. The chapters themselves can alter the chain
of command to better suit a situation too. The “chains that bind” is the manifestation
of the chain of command as recorded by the Brotherhood and dictates that orders are undeniable,
but can be only accepted from the immediate superior. This cumbersome latter part of this
doctrine however is often disregarded in the field.
As alluded to earlier, the BoS generally does not recruit. It’s members are initiated
from those born by couples in the order and although a child may refuse to join, doing
so results in banishment from the Brotherhood and the vow that no knowledge of technology
can be shared. This applies to all who may consider leaving the organization as the spread
technology must be curtailed at any cost. These children who remain are inducted into
the ranks and begin their long climb; the discovery of drawings amidst the barracks
of the Brotherhood at least suggests that these children are allowed to be children,
at least when off duty. The Brotherhoods origins as a military force
based of West-Tec technology means that they have always had access to Power Armour and
Laser weaponry add that to their tactical know how and training, and you can see why
they are expected to be the foremost fighting force in the wasteland. A single Knight in
power armour with a Gatling laser could be considered a one man army.
As this military answers to no government, the direction and objectives can change with
those who are in command. Some factions place an emphasis on helping the settlers of the
wasteland while most see this as a waste of resources and at best remain ambivalent to
outsiders. Others, such as Arthur Maxson rewrite large portions of Brotherhood dogma to unite
the chapters and embark upon a crusade, constructing an air force complete with flagship with appropriate
Arthurian title, the Prydwen. This awe inspiring feat of engineering goes a long way to establish
and inspire the legendary status of the Brotherhood. All of the Brotherhood of Steel, its mission
reports, rules, lineage and history is recorded in the Codex; a tome of lore where the Scrolls
are kept. The Scrolls are effectively personnel records, each individual has one, but in keeping
with the romanticised medieval aspects, are given a grandiose name to inspire. The fact
that members are literally born into the Brotherhood places a great emphasis on the ideas of legacy
and lineage. The majority of High Elders for example, are all Maxsons, descended from the
original leader, in as much the same way noble houses of medieval Europe were very insular.
Tradition and birth right can be seen to dictate a person’s place in the organisation. Arthur
Maxson for example killed a Deathclaw at the age of 13 and I wonder how much of that was
motivated by the drive to live up to a legacy? Sentinel Sarah Lyons ran her own elite squad
of paladins and was the daughter of Elder Owyn Lyons. Great things are expected of those
of great blood it seems. Among the ranks of the Brotherhood, you will
find just that. A family who will fight alongside you, bend over backwards to help you and provide
you with security in insecure times. As an outsider though, you are likely to be shunned
at best, unless you are in possession of advanced technology. In which case, you will be stripped
of it, for the safety of the people, of course. This has earned the Brotherhood a mixed reputation
that varies wildly depending on who you ask. Deeds in the past, clearing out super mutants,
securing locations and purifying the Capital Wasteland’s water supply have earned respect
among the populous, but these are often the result of obeying the codex of the Brotherhood,
or by a rogue element giving in to compassion. The day to day activities of the Brotherhood
are far more reminiscent of hoarders and unasked-for enforcers of an overzealous doctrine.
Then again, what would the land be like if they just left nukes lying around in the hands
of a bunch of immature waste landers? Thanks for watching this index. With the Brotherhood
of Steel the best experience is to live it. It has its darker elements sure, but so does
everything in the Fallout universe. So option one for the next index is sticking with the
pseudo-military science fiction, how about the Green Lanterns of DC Comics? Or if green
ain’t your thing let’s look to the Zabraks of Star Wars. The choice is yours and until
the next video, I’ve been Ric, thanks again and Ad Victorum

Dereck Turner

42 thoughts on “BROTHERHOOD OF STEEL: Cultural Index

  1. Certifiably Ingame says:

    Votes Below 😀

  2. Elloinmornin J says:

    Hey, first

  3. Barry Bend says:

    Zentradi from SDF Macross(not robotech)

  4. Sparkymist says:

    Here before 100 views, that’s a first !! Great video man!!

  5. Jared Higgs says:

    Gree Legends please please do Green

  6. Joshua Wells says:

    Green Lantern Corps, please

  7. dragonweyr44 says:

    I vote for the Green Lantern Corps

  8. QUWYKXZ says:

    In brightest day,
    In darkest night!
    Green Lanterns next;
    You know it's right!

  9. EbonQuillTheScibe says:


  10. Valer says:

    Green Lanterns

  11. Jason Skeans says:


  12. premiermiller says:


  13. Tomato says:

    Green lantern corps pls

  14. Falloutlover1011 says:

    Any chance we can get a cultural index on the gunners sometime in the future.

  15. literal sarcasm says:

    The brotherhood of steel. The most arrogant group of barbarians in power armor outside of Warhammer 40K

  16. Matthew Fritz says:

    Ad victoriam

  17. john jackson says:

    Since you did the Raiders & BOS, the Gunners should be next or the Enclave

  18. An American Celt says:


  19. Lucky_Pickle says:


  20. Joshua Snore says:

    Green Lantern Core

  21. xangelguy says:

    Green Lantern's Light!

  22. reifuTD says:

    Green Lantern hands down

    Actually could you do a Cultural Index on the KND The Kids Next Door organization form the show Kids Next Door.

  23. The Vault Tech says:

    Step off my childhood game hotpants

  24. Mr Miner says:

    Have to say this is probably my favourite overview of the brotherhood.
    That said I would like to have seen some more of the differences between the different chapters, such as how elder Lyons began accepting common wastlanders, or how elder maxon in the commonwealth began using the force of the brotherhood to subjugate the people of the wastes.

  25. n. figs says:


  26. Richard Jackson says:

    Ever going to get Bajor?

  27. Sean Newboy says:

    I notice that there was no mention of the orgs xenophobia.

  28. Oisin Murphy says:

    Green Lanterns

  29. C S says:

    Please do the Enclave!!

  30. Colonel Sarge says:


  31. OZSD Wizard and Character Impersonater says:

    Could you please start doing some cultural indexes on the Star Wars universe 🌌 such as the Jedi and the Sith & the other similar paths, like The Night Brothers and Sisters of Dathomir, Sorcerers of Rhand & the Shapers of Kro Var

  32. HugeBlock 565520 says:

    Only 1 dislike


  33. House Hendoe says:

    Robert House, is also considered a grave technological threat.

  34. Sir Aroun says:

    please do tribals

  35. gagaplex LPs says:

    You should talk about the Adeptus Mechanicus at some point. 😀

  36. gagaplex LPs says:

    I would hope they at least allow marriages outside the Brotherhood. Even if only to bring in fresh blood/avoid inbreeding.

  37. jmm1233 says:

    They is also the scouts who have a similar but smaller rankings , usually the younger members of the chapters before training to be either scribes or knights , in fallout new vegas you met a few on couple of side quests , ,they have that gear that has sneak skill but not like the chinese gear that had cloak , you can say Victoria was also to be one of these Scout ranks if not for small defection

  38. Horatio Nelson says:

    Alright, in terms of single pieces of tech, the Institute is the most advanced. But, I'd say the eastern brotherhood is, as of fallout 4, the most capable group in the wasteland. Their ability to design and build the Prydwn shows that they are more capable than the Enclave. And, Liberty Prime, other than the original hulk of steel, is essentially a brand new machine, rebuilt by the brotherhood. Along with this, it can be inferred that, due to the scarcity of T-60 in the pre-war era in lore, that the Brotherhood has started production of power armor, along with laser weapons, since that was shown back in Fallout 1. So, while no 1 piece of tech they have is more advanced than the molecular relay, or the gen 3 synth, the overall signs that show their ability to create megastructures, superweapons, and the ability to produce vehicles, and then transport them hundreds of miles away, shows that the eastern Brotherhood is by far, the most capable group in the wasteland. A close second would be the NCR, but they haven't shown the same achievements. The institute just isn't capable of leaving their small underground facility. I'd akin them to the West Coast BoS, since they are just a small group, that neglects the surface except for gaining supplies. They just aren't capable of becoming a wasteland power.

  39. whade62000 says:

    Good video, but I'd have liked it if you went into more detail what makes each chapter unique, because the differences in philosophy, organization, mission between chapters are enormous.
    The Midwest chapter (my favorite!) for example was created by "troublemakers" within the BOS' own ranks who wanted a more open Brotherhood that'd share technology with outsiders. BOS leadership solved this internal divide by sending all suporters on a mission as far as from central politics as possible, to chase the fleeing remnants of the recently defeated mutant army through the Midwest. Fate itself intervened when their airships crashed and were scattered by a freak storm, cutting them off from central command completely. If they wanted to re-establish contact with the main chapter, they had to prepare for a long campaign through enemy territory, use the technology they could share as a bargaining chip, and fill their ranks with anybody they could find, starting with the surrounding human tribes.
    Interestingly, this harsh turn is exactly what helped them realize the ideals their founders fought for all along, and the BOS Midwest is probably the most open chapter, and by the end of Fallout Tactics they have among their ranks not just tribals but also ghouls, super mutants, robots, even intelligent deathclaws – in stark contrast of the typically xenophobic other chapters.
    (This doesn't make them saints, however – they make heavy use of inquisitors for information-gathering as well as raider slaves for transporting radioactive material.)
    Conversely, the East Coast chapter is the most technophobic of the chapters, owing in no small parts to the views of their leader Arthur Maxson, as well as their frequent interaction with synths and the hi-tech Institute.
    Naturally some differences are a result of changing policy adjusting to the times – the original BOS saw little need to interact with outsiders or use them as a recruitment pool (to the point where their infamous "Ancient Order entrance test" is basically a suicide mission, sending the applicant into a heavily irradiated crater), where chapters formed later were more often handed and much more ready to accept outsider help , especially if the applicant proved himself in battle.

  40. David N says:

    Their notion of divine birthright to supremacy, enhanced by xenophobic mindset, leads the Brotherhood of Steel to tendencies of despotism, autocracy, fascism, and bigotry.

    My little summary of the BoS here derives from well within the lore of Fallout, and Fallout 4.

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