Wednesday, April 13, 2022

#AtoZChallenge2022: K is for Knights Templar

The A to Z of Conspiracy Theories K
The A to Z of Conspiracy Theories: K is for Knights Templar

Back when I was working with Eden Studios and working on games like Buffy, WitchCraft, and Conspiracy X we used to joke about how every conspiracy theory could be traced back to the Knights Templar.  Well...only half-joking.   

The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, or the Knights Templar, were a Knightly Order dedicated to protecting pilgrims headed to the Holy Land.  They built fortifications for protection and housed money and soon became rich.  Very rich. Like stupid rich. So rich that the King Philip IV of France and  Pope Clement accused them of heresy, witchcraft, and idolatry (worshiping a Baphomet figure).  They were famously arrested on Friday the 13th, 1307.  They were tortured and burned at the stake. 

Templars burned at the stake

Though many believe that not all the Knights were captured and some fled to places like Scotland and the Americas; Novia Scotia ("New Scotland") in particular. From here they took their still considerable wealth and ... well there are lot of things they supposedly did.

There is a rumor that when they went to the Holy Land they found treasures there including the cup of Christ (the Holy Grail), the treasures of King Solomon, and even the lost Ark of the Covenant.  Their present-day followers have those items still.

They have been associated with the Freemasons, the Order of Malta (in some theories), and even the Miꞌkmaq, one of the indigenous tribes of Northeast Canada.  So many I feel if their influence was removed the History Channel would lose about ⅓ of all their total programming.

Again, as others I have talked about here they are featured rather prominently in Foucault's Pendulum and The Da Vinci Code.

What is it about the Templars that fascinate everyone?  You don't see the same level of conspiracy around the Knights Hospitaller really.  Or any of the other medieval knightly orders.  I think it was because they were hunted down and killed that makes their story fascinating.  

Though the real tale here is about a group gaining some power and influence only to be struck down by the status-quo power structures of the day, the Monarchy and the Church.


Fortunately for me my co-author on NIGHT SHIFT already did something for the game that would work.

Monster Hunters of the Church: New Orders for Your Night Shift: VSW Game

He uses the Order of the Dragon and the Divine Order of the Sisters of Orleans.  The same process can be used for the Knights Templar.  The modern-day Knights Templar would be more of the occult investigator types, but the ones that can pick up a sword as well as a pen.  In NIGHT SHIFT they would either be sages or veterans. 

For my use I'd still have them around, but NOT be involved with any of the things they are popularly believed to have been.  I'd even throw out a line like "and we have never even been to Oak Island!" 

The NIGHT SHIFT RPG is available from the Elf Lair Games website (hardcover) and from DriveThruRPG (PDF).


PT Dilloway said...

I wonder if they were the inspiration for the Jedi in Star Wars? They were a powerful order of Knights who were hunted and killed.

Timothy S. Brannan said...

You know. I never really thought of it that way. Maybe you are on to something.

Lisa said...

I am so happy you left me a comment, as I hadn't visited your blog before! This is fascinating stuff!

Arlee Bird said...

I've seen some of those shows on History Channel and other places about various Knights Templar stories. Some are pretty weird and others seem interestingly plausible.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

A Tarkabarka Hölgy said...

They also still exist in folklore! In Hungary they are remembered as "the red monks" who had secret hideouts and kidnapped women. There are many local legends about them...

The Multicolored Diary

Pun Isaac said...

I love the idea of them having to regularly clarify their lack of involvement. There are all kinds of humorous scenes this could lead to.