Templar Order

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Cross of the Knights Templar.svg

The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, commonly referred to as just Templars, the Templar Order, or Knights Templar, were a militant order of knights formed to protect pilgrims journeying to the Holy Land. The Templars greatly expanded their services and eventually founded what would eventually become the first pan-European bank system. They gained power and popularity fast after their initial endorsement by the Church in 1129, but were completely destroyed when Philip V of France and Pope Clement V conspired to eliminate them in 1307.

A sister order was also formed, the Priory of Sion, operating in secrecy away from the public eye.

Agenda[edit | edit source]

Main article on Templar History

The Templars were originally a group of knights led by Hugh de Payens who, concerned over the continual robbing of pilgrims travelling to Jerusalem, formed the order of the Templar Knights. They quickly gained notoriety for their selfless bravery and received papal support, gifts of land, and titles. They rapidly became a major financial and military power, with outposts ranging throughout all of Europe and the Holy Lands.[1] However, their plans were fundamentally changed by the discovery of the Grail in 1146 and its subsequent arrival in Paris in the spring of 1148. Plans were made by the Templars which, if successful, would see them become the new rulers of the Western world. Extensive research was carried out by Templar scholars into the history of the Grail and the Celts. The Wick connection was uncovered and the team sent to investigate excitedly confirmed the reports of grailstone at the target location.[2]

In 1153, the twelve knights who originally escorted the Grail were sent to Wick, Scotland, to survey a possible site for a Temple to the Grail. Following their discovery of grailstone-rich caverns beneath the surface, the Templars decided to construct Aeternis in Wick. This vast underground complex would serve as a focal point of a new world order, constructed in total secrecy at a high price in men and money. Why did the Templars go into this expense and trouble? Because Europe was in a mess: The papacy had become nothing more than a corrupt and powerful terrorist organisation, and barbaric, illiterate feudal kings squandered their peoples' wealth in cycles of perpetual conflict. These wasteful struggles for control had been going on for hundreds of years with no end in sight. The time had come for a new world order, one that would responsibly control both the spiritual and financial aspects of European society.The Templar plan was bold and simple, and Aeternis was designed to fulfill three main functions:[3]

  1. To house and train a new breed of immortal priests who, with the help of Grailstone, would establish a new world order under the control of the Templars,[3]
  2. To provide a platform from which to explore the cave system under Aeternis, with a view to extracting all the remaining Grailstone within them,[3]
  3. To house the most sacred of religious relics, the Holy Grail, which they would also use as a symbol of divine approval for their new religious dynasty.[3][4] The Priory did not actively participate in Aeternis' construction and maintained distance from Templar activities. Two of the original twelve knights, Malik and Phillip, were Priory agents, infiltrating the Aeternis project to monitor the Grail and ensure its safety.[5]

As Templar projects developed, the High Command learned in 1200 that Constantinople was the original site of the Holy Grail - or rather, the grailstone it was carved from.[6] The Fourth Crusades were diverted (by Templar manipulations in Venice) from their objective in the Holy Lands and besieged the Christian city. After a fierce, but brief struggle the city fell. The Templars, however, despite the most intensive search, found no evidence of grailstone. The fall of the city paved the way for the sack of Constantinople and ultimate fall of the Byzantine Empire.[7][8] Not discouraged by this development, the Templars continued their research into grailstone at Aeternis throughout the 13th century.[9][10][11] Nobody suspected that the worst would happen early into the 14th: The fall of the Order in 1307. As the French King and the Pope destroyed the Templar Order, dismantling it across the Christian world,[12] the last Templar fleet departed from La Rochelle for Scotland. Two carried the final supplies and documents for Aeternis, while the remaining ten carried treasure to Strathclyde, where the Templar remnants would use it to infiltrate the Scottish Freemasons and attempt to rebuild the Order.[13][14]

The Priory, on the other hand, wanted to secure the grail: Sailors from the Cirrus, one of two ships sent to provide a final resupply for Aeternis, attempted to take the Holy Grail in September of 1307. They were stopped thanks to Sir Phillip's vigilance. In response, Tobias decided to seal Aeternis after questioning and executing the attackers.[15] Unknowingly, he played right into the Priory's hands, who wanted the Grail to be sealed under the ground until such a time that it becomes necessary.[16][17] The death of Jacques de Molay in 1314 seals the fate of the Order: It disappears from history. Aeternis remains a secret, however, and with it, the last twelve Templars guarding the Grail.[18]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Design document: "A group of knights led by Hugh de Payens, concerned over the continual robbing of pilgrims travelling to Jerusalem, form the order of the Templar Knights. They quickly gain notoriety for their selfless bravery and receive papal support, gifts of land, and titles. They rapidly become a major financial and military power, with outposts ranging throughout all of Europe and the Holy Lands."
  2. Design document: "The Templars uncover the hiding place of the Holy Grail in Jerusalem and secretly smuggle it back to Paris. It arrives safely with its 12 knight escort in the spring of 1148. Plans are made by the Templars which, if successful, will see them become the new rulers of the Western world. Extensive research is carried out by Templar scholars into the history of the Grail and the Celts. The Dunstanburgh connection is uncovered and the team sent to investigate excitedly confirm the reports."
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Design document: "Twelve Templar Knights are sent to Dunstanburgh in north-east England with the Holy Grail to supervise the construction of a huge, subterranean Temple complex. Slaves and supplies are brought in night after night from French coastal ports. The Temple was named Aeternis and took 47 years to complete. Twenty metres underground at the centre of this complex construction lay the Holy Grail, a point of worship and the source of well-being and longevity for all those within. Around this Inner Sanctum lay a maze of corridors, dormitories, chapels, a library, kitchen, and teaching chambers.
    Under this complex, accessed by barred stairwells is Underworld. Here lies the ancient, deeper caves, complete with their menagerie of exotic and dangerous wildlife - and their original quota of scattered Grailstone. The environment within these caves is too dangerous for any man to survive, so access tunnels were constructed around their perimeters.
    Why did the Templars go into this expense and trouble? Because Europe was in a mess: The papacy had become nothing more than a corrupt and powerful terrorist organisation, and barbaric, illiterate feudal kings squandered their peoples' wealth in cycles of perpetual conflict. These wasteful struggles for control had been going on for hundreds of years with no end in sight.
    The time had come for a new world order, one that would responsibly control both the spiritual and financial aspects of European society. One that would forever break the stranglehold of the Popes and bring the feudal kings to heel. The Templar plan was bold and simple, and the site of Dunstanburgh was central to its success. Aeternis was designed to fulfill three main functions:
    1. To house and train a new breed of immortal priests who, with the help of Grailstone, would establish a new world order under the control of the Templars,
    2. To provide a platform from which to explore the cave system under Aeternis, with a view to extracting all the remaining Grailstone within them,
    3. To house the most sacred of religious relics, the Holy Grail, which they would also use as a symbol of divine approval for their new religious dynasty.
    Although many hundreds of Templars were involved in its implementation, the plan in its entirety was known only to the Grand Master himself, Jacques de Molay."
    Note: The dates in the article have been adjusted to match the in-game dates.
  4. Aeternis' Future Role
  5. Special Order 1048
  6. Design document: "The Templar hierarchy suddenly discovers that Constantinople is the original site of the Holy Grail. The plans for the first shipment of recruits to Dunstanburgh are halted while the implications of this discovery are fed into the overall plan."
  7. Design document: "The Fourth Crusades are diverted (by Templar manipulations in Venice) from their objective in the Holy Lands and stand before the Christian city of Constantinople. After a fierce, but brief struggle the city falls. The Templars, however, despite the most intensive search, find no evidence of Grailstone."
  8. Entry 79
  9. Letter to the Grand Master, 1220
  10. Letter to the Grand Master, 1259
  11. Response from Templar High Command, 1264
  12. Design document: "The Templar order suddenly falls! The Pope, suspicious of the pillage of Constantinople, and hearing other reports of peculiar Templar activity has contrived with King Phillip IV the Fair of France to destroy their power. Templars are arrested and false confessions of immoral activities are extracted under torture. All Templar wealth and property within the Christian world is seized. Templar knights are arrested en masse, imprisoned tortured. The Guardian knights of Aeternis receive one last message from their Grand-Master before he is arrested - "Protect and hide the Grail, forever if necessary. One day we will return and we will have need of it." The 12 knights of the Grail turn their back son the world of men. Barring and concealing the entrances of Aeternis behind them, they descend into the eternal night."
  13. Entry 783
  14. The last communique
  15. Entry 785
  16. Missive from Spider
  17. Special Order 1103
  18. Design document: "The last Grand-Master of the Templar order, Jacques de Molay, is burnt at the stake in Paris. Despite the harshest torture, he dies without revealing the true nature of the Templar plans, or the existence of the temple of Aeternis at Dunstanburgh."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugues_de_Payens