Testis sum agni
Warriors for Christ, Guardians of the Temple of Solomon, Betrayed by the Order of Reason, Unbroken, Unbowed
Affinity Spheres: Forces, Life, Mind, Prime
Common Paradigms: A World of Gods and Monsters, Divine Order and Earthly Chaos, Might is Right
Common Practices: Faith & Martial Arts (always), Dominion, Craftwork, Hypertech
Sorcerers among the Templar Knights: God demands devotion from the soldiers of the Lamb. While some might arrogantly presume that power equals God’s favor, what really matters is commitment and faith. The Knights Templar are deeply steeped in Catholicism – their “Sorcerers” are soldiers of Christ trained in sacred theurgy which they use to bolster their allies, confound their enemies, and to bind and banish evil spirits. Common numina include via Geniorum, the Path of Healing, and True Faith. While the Holy Fire (the templars’ term for Awakening) is important and needed to advance to the true heights of the Craft, what’s more important still is feeling God’s call to action.
Religion and the Templars:
Though the Knights Templar were betrayed by the Catholic Church centuries ago, the Templars remain unwavering in their faith and their dedication to the holy Mother church – priests and popes sin, but the church itself is blameless. While their Catholicism does tend to skew a bit toward the grim and apocalyptic, interpretation of faith is not so uniform within the Templars as outsiders might believe. A fanatic is someone who skews dangerously close to telling God what He thinks. But if you choose to play a Templar, take some time to closely examine Catholic beliefs and practices, because contrary to what some material from outdated editions claimed, if you’re a Templar Knight, you’re Catholic. This comes with travails all its own, of course, and Templar Knights have a broad variety of opinions about the state of the modern Catholic church and its afflictions.
The betrayal of the Templars still serves as a chasm between the Knights and the Church, and it’s a pain they feel acutely, knowing that if their true allegiances were known many in the Catholic Church they would cast the Knights out as heretics when all they wish to do is serve. That awareness is humbling. While they are not always comfortable with the religions (or lack thereof) of their Disparate allies, they are more patient and tolerant than they once would have been.
As a final note, issues of spirituality are a core part of Mage, but also a point of sensitivity for some players. Even if you’re playing someone fanatical in their beliefs, remember to be mindful and considerate towards your fellow players. Your character is fictional, but the people you’re role-playing with are real.
Where we are in Los Angeles:
Welcome to Los Angeles, Aspirant. Never will you find a city more in need of our services. I could wax hyperbolic about the nature of this city, but I’ll be blunt – it’s a shithole, crawling with the vilest refuse of man and monster imaginable. Having said that, I think you’ll find your time here a rewarding experience, because you’ll never be idle. As for where we are? Our physical lodge is a fortified compound in Beverly Glen, that’s where we train and gather. We have a number of safehouses and resource caches throughout the greater Los Angeles area as well. The lodge itself is wherever you and your brothers and sisters gather to do the Lord’s work.
You’ll find that we have a number of charitable initiatives and objectives in Los Angeles. This is a hard place to be homeless – just like everywhere – and we work to get people food, clothing, off drugs and into shelters. Your Catholic virtues will inform your activism, and this can sometimes create strife with the other Crafts. Be firm in your beliefs but try not to create acrimony. You will find that while the ideas that motivate us may be different, many of our social goals are similar. We and the Sisters of Hippolyta are working hard to increase the number of battered women’s shelters in the city and raise funds for the ones which already exist. As an example. Joining the Alliance was a difficult choice for us and is often still a crucible, but remember that God prefers a virtuous pagan to a hypocrite who mouths the words of faith but is in truth a stranger to the Gospel.
Our interests in Los Angeles involve our charitable and religious concerns, but also our military objectives. At the top of the list is defending our Allies and improving their organizational and combat training. Let’s be real, the Alliance is a disorganized mess and it’s going to stay that way. Trying to teach Hollow Ones to function like a military unit is a wasted effort, but if you teach one how to handle a pistol and slice the pie you might just save their life, or someone else’s. Baby steps. We also identify and neutralize dangerous supernatural threats. Unfortunately in a city like L.A. we have to be selective with our targets. But don’t worry, there are plenty of monsters to hunt.
Remember that your very presence is a potential deterrent to the Technocracy and its pogroms. While they might be all in on busting up Hollowers who go a little too loud or dragging a pacifistic Sister of Hippolyta around by her hair because she got outspoken with her politics, they’ve already got you pegged as a well-armed, well-trained potential enemy. That will usually cause them to completely recalculate their threat assessments. As long as you’re not escalating, you being there increases the odds that they’ll pull back where otherwise they might pull out the truncheon. If they do decide to escalate, your job is to make sure they pay a high price for it. That’s usually sufficient.
Twenty years ago the Celestial Chorus extended an olive branch to our lodges, seeking to bolster their initiatives against the Technocracy with our resources and martial abilities. This caused considerable strife among us. Was this a cynical ploy to strengthen themselves, an offer made in legitimate good faith, or somehow both? Unfortunately we were not of one mind about this decision, and some of the Generals Christi, their attendant Resplendent Masters and subordinate Lodges made the the decision to join the Chorus. While the Chorus allows its Templar lodges considerable autonomy, it continues to integrate them more closely with its older chantries and the Traditions as a whole, and as such their beliefs have become adulterated with the Chorus’s monism and they are slowly straying from the side of Christ. When you come across Templar choristers, kiss them once for times past and then pass them by, for we are no longer in amity. As for the rest of the Traditions, each one is completely up its own ass and irrelevant in its own unique and special way. We have more important things to do than be talked down to by some Hermetic asshole or get blown up by some Etherite screwball’s latest coal-fired steampunk bullshit contraption.
The Knights Templar are a highly organized paramilitary organization that maintains a strong internal hierarchy and military discipline. Each Templar is a soldier in the Army of Christ, and that’s not a metaphor. The cornerstone of Templar organization is the Lodge, which serves as a hub for Templar activity in an area. A Lodge isn’t a physical building – it’s the spiritual structure built by the Templars who gather there. For most of their history the Templars were a fraternal order, but that’s no longer the case. Women still tend to take on logistical and support roles more than front-line combat roles – change is a gradual thing. Some Templars divide themselves into fraternal War lodges and sororital Peace lodges, but most are integrating. Lodges have a number of ranks and degrees, but for our purposes that’s been simplified a bit.
Status 0: Brother/Sister. Un-awakened supporters of the Knights.
Status 1-2: Aspirant. Those who have displayed the Holy Fire (the Templars’ term for Awakening) but are still undergoing training.
Status 3-4: Knight. Ranking members of the Army of Christ.
Status 5: Master. At this point a Templar has served at least one stint as elected Honored Master of a Lodge, and may be aspiring to the higher offices of Resplendent Master (who share the responsibility of overseeing multiple lodges in a region) or even General Christi, the supreme leaders of the Craft.