Fallout fans take their lore seriously, and last week a post suggesting Bethesda had retconned the Brotherhood of Steel into Fallout 76 prompted many to furiously debate the organisation's roots.
The discussion stemmed from an in-game note from Fallout 76 which mentions the Brotherhood of Steel's extended involvement in Appalachia - the Fallout name for West Virginia. For many fans, this was problematic, as according to established Fallout lore the Brotherhood of Steel should not have emerged from their Californian bunker until around the year 2150. Fallout 76, however, is set on the other side of the country - in 2102. As such, the question on everyone's mind was: how on Earth did the Brotherhood get to Appalachia so quickly after an apocalyptic nuclear war?
Thanks to an Instagram post by Bethesda, the Brotherhood of Steel's presence in West Virginia has now been explained.
According to the post, the soldiers who would form the Brotherhood of Steel did indeed reach their Californian Lost Hills bunker in November 2077 - a month after the Great War's end. Once the organisation was formed by Captain Roger Maxson, the Brotherhood "used a functioning satellite to extend their reach across America... all the way to Appalachia".
From Bethesda's explanation, it seems the Brotherhood of Steel was able to make contact with a surviving military branch in West Virginia, and used the satellite connection to establish a separate chapter in Appalachia. It sounds like a reasonable explanation, as it solves the travel problem and reveals how the Appalachian chapter was able to establish itself so quickly in the region.
Fans, on the whole, appear to be happy with the explanation. Although some argue Bethesda should have created an entirely new military organisation to "avoid this whole mess," most have accepted Bethesda's story. And, to be fair - the Brotherhood of Steel's early years are relatively undocumented, so there's plenty of room for experimentation. Just like a Fallout vault, really.