Steel League. The knights engage in a campaign of terror and intimidation, aimed primarily at racial and ethnic minorities. There goal is the cleansing of the New World of these “undesirables” and its return to of the land to its “rightful” owners.
The true origins of the group is unknown, but they came to public prominence perhaps a hundred years ago, and have waxed and waned in influence throughout the intervening years. Their traditions hold that the white man of Ealderde is actually descendant of the true master race of now-sunken Meropis, who was eventually overwhelmed by their giant servitors--the people mainstream New World history calls the Ancients. This master race was being “perfected” by higher, angelic beings from a planet which is unseen today, and possibly destroyed. Their overthrow by the Ancients is held to have thwarted the process of the spiritual evolution of the human species.
This supposed revelation came to a penniless, drifter (known in the Knight's lore as "The Great Man") from a strange “artifact” found atop a granite monadnock in the South. He began to preach that the granite mount was to be the site of the Temple of Purity, from whence the paradise-on-earth to come would be ruled. But first, the descendants of the peoples holding humanity back would have to be purged. This included the Natives of the New World, the Black Folk, the giantish hill people, and the Yianese.
Tragically, hard economic times caused more people than might have otherwise to be swayed by the man’s poison pronouncements. Soon, white-robed and hooded Knights-Templar circles were springing up across the South, and brought violence wherever they appeared.
The typical Knights-Templar is not a particularly skilled fighter, though the most fanatical members may sometimes be of the gifted. They view thaumaturgical magic as tainted, and view practioners of those arts as debased and degenerate. Generally, the knights-templar prefer to let force of numbers and surprise work to their advantage. They seldom attack police or even adventuring groups directly, unless they feel they have the upper hand. They also use their anonymity when outside their hoods and robes to their advantage. Some small towns are virtually controlled by the group, though this is seldom apparent on the surface.
There is some speculation about the mysterious artifact which seems to have led to the group's formation. Self-proclaimed defectors have told authorities that the founding circle has a wizened, severed head, which whispers (sometimes shrilly yells) glossolalic proclamations, which are then interpreted by the High Panjandrum of the Temple as yet more venomous hate.
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