Friday, September 3, 2010

Legion of Hate

The self-styled Knights-Templar of Purity are a secret society and criminal organization which can be found throughout the Union, but most common in the South and rural areas of the 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.


netherwerks said...

The Vehm would have made an interesting alternative model. These guys sound like the Teutonic Order than the Templars, but most people have never heard of the Ordenstadt or the Teutonic Order. All the Dan Brownies gush on and on about Templars. Definitely, give the Vehm a look. It's a group rarely utilized in fiction like this, and are fr more interesting than the boys in bedsheets who were imaginatively impaired even for volkisch/racist mofos. You're veering into some potentially tumultuous depths dude--I respect that. Keep up the great work!

Trey said...

Thanks, NetherWerks. Who these guys should sound like is the Klan, becuase that's mostly the inspiration. The talking head bit is, of course, Templar inspired, but all else not cosmetic (and therefore Klan inspired) is purely from imagination. I'm familiar with the Holy Vehm, but I didn't think of them here. Your right they are fipe for game-adapting.

Anonymous said...

Definitely a powerful group to introduce into a game. I would add a few wannabes and rogue highwaymen that dress the same way and add rumors and superstition to these whackos. Maybe a wizard is among the highwaymen and acts like a mystic oracle of dubious intent while adding to the occult and bizarre rumors that might surround these people.

Trey said...

Thanks! Good suggestions.