As many of you may remember, in late May, dozens of members of the community came together to decrypt a series of five seemingly garbled radio transmissions. In a bizarre and exciting twist, Bethesda had hidden spoilers about the upcoming Brotherhood of Steel First Expeditionary Force coming to Appalachia. Whether you’ve seen the decrypted messages or not, I recommend you take a moment to review them. Other than those initial messages, there hasn’t been much news on the Brotherhood’s return to Appalachia… until now. The most recent PTS contained quite a bit of news about the Brotherhood, but most of it was only accessible through datamining. As always with pre-release content, everything is subject to change.
The Story So Far…
The five encrypted messages were transmitted directly from Lost Hills and even Elder Roger Maxson himself. The messages are cryptic and tell a one-sided story of Elder Maxson desperately trying to get in touch with the First Expeditionary Force heading to Appalachia, led by Paladin Leila Rahmani. The messages explain that over a period of more than three months, the Brotherhood expedition crossed from the border of California to Appalachia without making any contact with Lost Hills whatsoever. This lack of communication from Rahmani clearly cast extreme doubt on the mission… and Rahmani herself. After being out of contact with Lost Hills, Rahmani is ordered to abort mission. Later, without any explanation, the abort order is rescinded. After that, Elder Maxson himself sends a very emotion and very off-the-record demand to Rahmani to pick up the damn radio and check in – Maxson sounds concerned that the Elder Council may take the drastic measure of declaring Rahmani and her group to be Outcasts… and he is struggling to prevent that from happening. We can infer from this message that Rahmani is a controversial figure among the Brotherhood leadership and clearly butts heads with them on the regular. When Rahmani volunteered to go to Appalachia, many may have been happy to be rid of her… yet the BoS leadership also seems terrified at the idea of Rahmani being a rogue element. To that end, in each and every message to Rahmani, she is told to do one very specific thing: radio home now. In no uncertain terms, Rahmani is told that her first, second, and third priorities when she arrives in Appalachia are: radio home, radio home, and radio home.
The Next Chapter…
Naturally, Rahmani decides not to radio home. Knight Shin, the personality-free second-in-command to Rahmani, explains: during the journey to Appalachia, a group of raiders destroyed the expedition’s long-distance radio. When we point out to Shin that there is surely a way to obtain a replacement transmitter, he replies, “There is, and my interpretation of our orders is that acquiring it should be our number one priority. Paladin Rahmani thinks otherwise. She… has re-evaluated the situation based on her own judgment. I'm following her orders.” It’s very unclear what’s going on here. Clearly, Rahmani and her subordinates are aware of their orders to radio home immediately but choose to ignore those orders. More perplexing is the claim that the long-range transmitter was damaged. After all, Rahmani could be heard all the way in Appalachia when she was transmitting from Lincoln, Nebraska. Is this rebellion or simply Rahmani having a different set of priorities? We don’t have anything else to go on for this topic, so let’s learn more about the journey.
The People and the Mission…
This was a volunteer mission. Paladin Rahmani approached Elder Maxson and asked to send an expedition to Appalachia. Rahmani knew Paladin Taggerdy back when Taggerdy was a lieutenant in the Army Rangers. In fact, Rahmani herself was in the Army National Guard. She was dispatched near Mariposa when the bombs dropped, and joining the Brotherhood was a natural transition. Rahmani and the rest of Lost Hills watched from afar as the original Appalachian Chapter of the Brotherhood valiantly fought the Scorched threat. After satellite communication was lost, there was a desire among the Lost Hills Chapter to send support and reinforcements. Sadly, Lost Hills did not have the resources to mount such an expedition until 2103.
The expedition was small. Though we don’t have an exact count, we know there were at least seven Brothers: five named members and at least two others who were captured, rescued, and escorted back to Lost Hills. Though only three original members of the California BOS made it to Appalachia, they picked up a lot of followers along the way. And yes, they are called the California BOS for some reason… Scribe Valdez describes each member in her copy of the Scrolls:
Name: Rahmani, Leila
Former US National Guard. Paladin Rahmani is a bold leader who cares for the people. She is renowned for decisive action and inventive tactics.
Though sometimes criticized by leadership as reckless, no one can deny her record of success. This and her approachability have made her very popular among the rank-and-file.
After outstanding service to the Brotherhood, her requests for an Appalachian expedition were granted by the Council of Elders, and she was given command.
Name: Shin, Daniel
Driven and dedicated, Knight Shin is a model member of the Brotherhood of Steel.
While his focus and commitment is sometimes off-putting to other members (especially new recruits), it has earned him the respect of Brotherhood leadership. His actions have drawn praise from the Council of Elders and even Elder Maxson, himself.
Knight Shin was recruited from the Mojave Wasteland, where his valor caught the eye of Knight Connors, who brought him into the fold.
Name: Connors, Alan
Former US National Guard, as a subordinate of Paladin Rahmani. Known for his wise counsel, he followed the Paladin into service in the Brotherhood.
A noted peace keeper and negotiator, Knight Connors was a valued member of the Brotherhood as a whole and the Appalachia expedition in particular. He had a calming presence and was skilled at defusing disputes.
Killed in action valorously protecting Knight Shin and others from raider attack. Recommend highest possible honors.
Name: Thornberry, Matthew
Knight Thornberry is an exemplar of courage, whose actions early in this expedition saved friendly lives and salvaged valuable technology.
He personally rescued captured Brotherhood members from torture at the hands of hostile raiders in the Sierra Nevada, and furthermore recovered valuable fusion cores and energy weapons from the enemy.
Paladin Rahmani charged Knight Thornberry with escorting the rescued members back home and seeing to their recovery. While no longer part of this expedition, his deeds will continue to live in these Scrolls.
Name: Valdez, Odessa
This expedition's Scribe and the keeper of these Scrolls.
Scribe Valdez's parents (early recruits known as the "Knights Valdez") enlisted her in the Brotherhood as an apprentice Scribe at a young age. Under the tutelage of Scribe Hailey Takano, she learned to perform her role satisfactorily, taking a special interest in the operation of Vertibirds and other flying machines.
Scribe Valdez volunteered for this expedition in place of Scribe Takano, who was unable to join due to health and other concerns.
What Does This Mean for Appalachia?
Despite many unanswered questions, several things are clear. Paladin Rahmani is a charismatic woman-of-the-people. If your job title isn’t “Elder,” you love her, plain and simple. There are seemingly hordes of quasi-fanatical Brotherhood Hopefuls lining up to join the new Appalachian Chapter. And yes, fellow Dwellers, Rahmani wants you! You will have the opportunity to join this new Chapter, as an Initiate, to help them in their mission: to secure Appalachia and its technology, to provide aid and assistance to the people of Appalachia, to restore society, and to expand the reach of the Brotherhood.
And, for anyone wondering what happened to good ol’ Russell Dorsey… Rahmani was so impressed by his gung-ho attitude that she snatched him right up as one of her first recruits. Lucky him!
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