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Templar Chronicles

The First Chronicle.

<<Currently being edited by Xephinetsa>>

The Templar Chronicles are recordings of the history of the Templar Order, detailing the rules and responsibilities of its members and recounting tales of battle and the hardships of life as a Templar. Celian expresses a desire to collect each remaining record of Templar history, so as to preserve the precious knowledge.

A Pilgrim's PathEdit

Devout traveller, if you read this, know that the dangers to pilgrims are manifold and there is little control of the route between the port of Jaffa and Jerusalem, a two-day journey along a perilous mountain road through fierce desert heat and arid terrain, surrounded by scum that crawled straight from the devil's cauldron. Should you somehow survive the wild animals such as lions, and even manage to escape the Muslim armies, be sure that sooner or later you'll encounter the slavers, cutthroats and assassins. Good luck!

-A devout Christian prior to his third pilgrimage-

Catalyst For ChangeEdit

Fellow brothers, hear my plea in this darkest of hours. The Holy Land, at the navel of the Earth where our Lord walked through this world, is stricken with grief and despair. A tragedy of unfathomable proportions occurred when the Saracens attacked 700 Christian pilgrims on the eve of Easter, 1119, slaughtering most.

Our continued survival in the Holy Land demands a fighting force specifically dedicated to protecting the holy roads and pilgrims. Don't abandon us!

-Appeal from the Patriarch of Jerusalem to all European kings, to the Pope, and the nobility-

The Vow of the NineEdit

After my wife's death, I, a noble knight from Champagne, left Europe to seek adventures in the Orient with my brother-in-arms, Godfrey de Saint-Omer. We were so poor back then that we had to share a horse. Having witnessed all the injustices done to pilgrims in the Holy Land, we knew we couldn't stand idle. We gathered seven friends, battle-hardened veterans, and took a vow to protect pilgrims on the road to Jerusalem. We were stationed at the site of the Temple of Solomon and, since then, became known as Templars.

-Hugh de Payens, founder of the Order of the Temple and first Grand Master-

Caligulas of PapacyEdit

What has become of the holy office of the Pope in the last century? My predecessors were far worse than merely incompetent. They were anti-Christs, masquerading as popes. These so-called "holy men" are ready to murder the current pope to assume his position. I can only hope that history will forget that spoiled brat, John XII. Still a teenager, this modern-day Caligula wasted money, turned the papal palace into a whorehouse and was killed by a jealous husband when caught in bed with the wife in question. I shall put an end to this travesty and I know just the right people who will help me achieve it.

-Pope Gregory VII, 1073-

In Praise of the New KnighthoodEdit

I feel the time is right for Christianity to embrace a revolutionary idea. A new knighthood is here, one which harmonically combines a warrior and a monk in one indivisible whole. Allow me to present to you: the Knights Templar.

This fierce militia of Christ wages a ceaseless, twofold war against both flesh and blood and the invisible forces of evil. It stands for ideal knighthood and unflawed chivalry. Support them with everything you can so they can advance their holy mission, fight the good fight, and defeat the forces of darkness.

-Bernard of Clairvaux, In Praise of the New Knighthood-

The Council of TroyesEdit

In the year of Our Lord 1129, we are assembled here at Troyes at the request of our great brother, Bernard of Clairvaux. I am pleased to see that all our archbishops, bishops and abbots came to honour this glorious event. At my behest and with the approval of the Patriarch of Jerusalem, I hereby bless the existence of the Order of the Knights Templar. They are to receive white robes signifying purity. On them, proudly, a red cross should be affixed to symbolise the sacrifice they are prepared to make.

-Pope Honorius II, the Council of Troyes, ninety miles south-east of Paris-

Every Best GiftEdit

Noble Templars, you are the harbingers of a new dawn. Divine light shall shine on your path as you reclaim the Kingdom of Heaven in praise of Our Saviour. In order to succeed in this holiest of missions, I bestow every best gift upon you.

I appeal to all Christians to help you as best they can. From now on you may erect your own churches, lay claim to the spoils of battle, collect your own taxes. You shall answer to no one but me. No king or emperor shall have power over you for you are the soldiers of God!

-Pope Innocent II, papal bull "Every best gift"-

Order Out of ChaosEdit

You are not to laugh to excess or indulge in practical jokes or horseplay. You are to remain silent whenever possible and not raise your voice, except to be heard on the battlefield. You shall no indulge in any displays of anger. You do not gossip about anyone or anything. To talk too much is not without sin. Idle talk and wicked bursts of laughter are forbidden. You say 26 Paternosters upon rising and 60 more before eating. In all, the prayer is to be repeated 148 times each day. Drunkenness will not be tolerated.

-Excerpt from the Latin Rule, the Templar's code, consisting of nearly 700 rules-

A Hard Day's KnightEdit

You probably thought you'll have a jolly good time here, lots of bloody adventures, eh? No, you're going to suffer and I'm going to personally make your life hell! Disobey me, you're out! Take a good look at your white habits. You'll wear them at all times, even when sleeping! No decorations are allowed on weapons or armour. I don't want you sissies to look like women. A light is to burn in your dormitories all night so that shadowy enemies may not lead you to wickedness. If you receive a letter from home, you mummies' boys, it will be read to you with the Master's permission.

-Templar Chapter Master to new initiates-

Crime and PunishmentEdit

These are the punishments for breaking the Rules of our Order:

You could be stripped of your rank (loss of habit) if you fight with a fellow brother, injure a fellow Christian in anger, lose or kill a slave or a horse, have sex with a woman, or deface the Templar uniform.

You could be expelled from the Order (loss of house) for committing the filthy, stinking sin of sodomy, for heresy, treason with the Saracens, cowardice on the battlefield and for murdering a Christian.

-Penalties and Penances-

This Is a Man's WorldEdit

My husband left me and joined the Templars, where he would fight for the greater good. I was to become a nun; he was never to see me again. His order was open to men only, and upon joining he took a strict vow of celibacy. They told him he can never kiss a woman again, be it me, his mother or his sister. Kissing is considered unseemly and can "rouse dangerous passions." My man was warned even against looking upon women.

-Jeanne de Vergy, nun at Mont Saint Michel Monastery-

And Ye Shall Know the Truth...Edit

I am not going to lie to you, my dear nephew. If you want to join us, please remember that we're not like the common Crusaders you fancy so much. You want to become a knight, but don't forget you'll need to be a monk, too. Be ready to embrace an austere life, one of absolute poverty, chastity and obedience. You can't have any personal possessions. You'll be expected to give up the pleasures of the flesh, any private life, and do without the comfort of wife and family. Do you still want to commit yourself to such a life?

-Letter from Master Armand de Perigord to his nephew-

Reception to the OrderEdit

The greatest day finally arrived. I am to become a Templar knight. I fulfill all the prerequisites for membership: I'm of noble birth, a legitimate son and not married. I'm in good health, not indebted and not bound to any other order.

New initiates are lead to a domed chamber of a church resembling the Holy Sepulchre. First the elder brothers will determine if no one present opposes me as a candidate. Then they will tell me of the harshness of Templar life, and if I still want to join, they will proceed to ask me many personal questions. Ultimately I take the Templar vows.

-Sir Jeremiah Brock-

Follow the LeaderEdit

The Grand Master of the Templars is their all-powerful leader, so powerful that the final paragraph of their rule states that all the specific instructions contained therein are to be followed or not at the discretion of the Master. His term of office is for life, and he's in charge of the order's worldwide operations. A successor is chosen by an electoral college of thirteen members - eight knights and four sergeants representing the twelve apostles, plus a chaplain brother symbolising Jesus Christ.

-Assassin spy reporting on the Grand Master of the Templars-

The CorporationEdit

The Templar Order is an extremely intricate and efficient organisation. The actual knights are the minority here, with most of the brothers working as servants, blacksmiths, brewers, tanners, engineers, masons, carpenters and architects.

We have associate members who are married and only serve temporarily. Women are allowed in this group, too. They serve as nurses.

Strange, but even non-Christians, people of mixed races, join the Order as sergeants, scribes and so on. You feel as if part of something great here.

-Pedro, a Templar stonemason-

International BankingEdit

Dear friend,

Nowadays it is too dangerous to carry large sums along perilous routes. It is safer to entrust your money to the Knights Templar and their network. They have invented an ingenious system. If you wish to travel on business to the Orient, you go to any Templar house in Europe with your money and they give you a piece of paper stating the amount of your deposit. This document is encoded so that no thief or pirate can present it as their own. With this receipt on paper, you can safely withdraw money from every Templar stronghold in the world.

-Letter from Mordechai, Jewish merchant, to his friend Shimon-

License to KillEdit

Due to the special nature of our Order and our unmatched diplomatic skills we are often active as advisors to kings and nobles. Our brethren also act as papal chamberlains and have access to the private chambers of the Pope. Templars preside as judges over major crimes. We've put some of the worst scum behind bars.

As inconspicuous monk-messengers we make the perfect spies. And as we're religious men, we're much less likely to be stopped and questioned by the authorities.

-Gilbert Eral, Grand Master, 1194-

Lions in WarEdit

Templars can be arrogant and over-confident, but they earned it by always being the first to enter into battle and the last to leave. Much like ferocious lions, they rush in upon their adversaries against incredible odds, then scatter them like sheep. The courage and discipline of the Templars is respected by Muslims and Europeans alike.

These extraordinary warriors are never allowed to leave the battlefield, no matter what the odds, and always ready to perish for their faith.

-Archbishop William of Tyre, chronicler of the Templar Order-

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