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 Post subject: Templar.. and lots more!
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 1:35 am
  

Wanderer

Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 3:41 pm
Posts: 74
Hey there. Well I'm here fleshing out my own sorta nightbane/btsn type setting and I got a very rough outline made. Most of it deals with the Templar and Masons. Deals with a lot of occult concepts with a healthy dose of conspiricy theory to. In a Nightbane setting this might help to flesh out a few of the topics touched upon in Shadows of Light and maybe could be used to provide a backdrop of things occult before dark day. Would also work for BtSN as well. Infact since most of what is introduced here would be mostly wiped out by the nightlords take over, this might fit in NB pretty well.

BTW, a lot of occult theory and guessed at church history is very spooky. The truth is even worse in some cases ;)



When Christianity was accepted by the Roman Empire many other religions were suppressed and dissolved. Additionally most sorcerer’s orders were slowly wiped out in the following centuries. One of the oldest of these groups that was based in Egypt that advised many Pharos and Emperors, were able to foresee their order becoming smaller and smaller. This order had protected the known world against invading supernatural horrors since before there was an Egypt. As the Roman Empire sunk into civil war and slowly decayed the orders ability to patrol against demons waned, the high priests feared that the monsters would eventually overrun the earth. The remaining high priests decided that there was only one way to ensure that the world would be protected and their order would endure. In a mass ritual suicide the priests combined their power and spirit into a new born infant. Not only was the child, named Shvpia, schooled in magic by the acolytes of the order but also quickly advanced in more down to earth sciences.

After a great deal of learning Shvpia decided to rebuild the order and spread its influence. Unfortunately there were other magic orders appearing and some supernatural beings built up their own small empires and cults. Not having great success over these other groups, Shvphia started to try new tactics. Instead of simply taking over an area by force and drawing much attention, it would be much easier to take over the ruling bodies of humans. This was done, with limited success with the Nizaris, who would be responsible for the creation of the word Assassin. Shvphia learned from this however that taking over a government would require ruling it as well and protecting the country from invasions. Invasions came from Mongols, Sultans, and Crusaders. Shvphia tried another tactic, one that worked extremely well. Run an organization that exists across many countries and able to influence governments, but still being independent of any government. Shvphia, renamed Baphomet, went about influencing the church. This was accomplished through the new founded crusading order of the Knights Templar.

The Templar was a crusading order of knights that were charged with protecting pilgrims on the journey to the holy land after the first crusade. They also were able to set up the first medieval banking system despite church laws against such institutions. Additionally they didn't have to follow many church regulations and were only answerable to the pope. After awhile they became quite influential and had a lot of money and power. Becoming one of the most powerful entities in Europe they drew in many well educated nobles, virtually controlled the Latin states in the Middle East, and had access to many relics of the area. This continued until the order was destroyed.

The person behind this was a French king who fabricated heresy in the order of templar and then turned the Order in France over to the inquisition. The leader of the order confessed, but as he is about to be killed recants and says how he is innocent as is the order. According to rumor, as he is burning at the stake he calls on God to judge the Pope and King within a year. Rumor or not, both the king and pope died in under a year. Additionally all three of the king’s sons reigned for a short while and died without male heirs. Luckily for the order it was somewhat aware of the plot against them and had made some preparations incase the worst happened.

It was found by a separate inquiry across Europe that very few templar were corrupt, although a rather small number of Templar could be found guilty of heresy. Templar lands and holdings were given to the Knights Hospitaller. The order was greatly persecuted in France and many Templar there fled. Some went to the area of what was to become Switzerland another great banking opportunity. Others escaped, with the majority of the Templar Fleet and a large amount of Treasure and items of power, to Scotland. Some of the remaining knights were absorbed into other military orders while the majority of the order, non knights, ‘retired’ to private life. Outside of France they templar had many connections and the support of the general populace. The supposed disillusion of the Templar hurt their power base; however it gained complete independence from any other power. The group had a large role in the new world. The Order of Jesus Christ in Portugal, which actually was the Templars under a new brand name. Ever wonder why Christopher Columbus had a red cross on the sails of his ships? Right. He was a member of the Order of Jesus Christ. Baphomet at this point, due to some bad PR, began calling herself Sophia.
This network combined with the templar’s secrecy and knowledge formed freemasonry starting in Scotland but soon spreading through Europe. It became fraternity of sorts, attracting the community's best and brightest. They would gather together for strange and secret rituals, swearing oaths of allegiance to the brotherhood and each other. Naturally, it became a place for negotiating business deals and the exchange of gossip. The fraternity was soon in any large city, and the international network of lodges constituted an immense, wealthy, and well-connected supragovernmental organization.

Lodges can have widely different rules and regulations. There is no central Masonic authority, although each jurisdiction maintains a list of other jurisdictions that it formally "recognizes". If the other jurisdiction reciprocates the recognition, the two jurisdictions are said to be "in amity", which permits the members of the one jurisdiction to attend closed meetings of the other jurisdiction's Lodges, and vice-versa. The ruling authority of a Masonic jurisdiction is usually called a “Grand Lodge”, or sometimes a "Grand Orient". These normally correspond to a single country, although their territory can be broader or narrower than that. In North America, each state and province has its own Grand Lodge. In addition there are supra organizations that one can belong to no matter what lodge one belongs to. These include the Scottish Rite, the York Rite, the Swedish Rite, the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (Shriners), the Order of the Eastern Star, the Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm (Grotto), the Tall Cedars of Lebanon, and the Ancient and Heroic Order of the Gordian Knot. All of these tend to expand on the teachings of Freemasonry, often with additional higher degrees, while improving their members and society as a whole. Different jurisdictions vary in how they define their relationship with such bodies. Some of these organizations may have additional religious requirements, compared to Freemasonry proper, since they elaborate on Masonic teachings from a particular perspective.

Generally, to be a Freemason, one must:
1.be a man, if joining the majority of Masonic jurisdictions, or a woman, if joining a jurisdiction with women's Lodges (unless joining a co-Masonic jurisdiction with no gender requirement),
2.believe in a "Supreme Being", or, in some jurisdictions, a "Creative Principle" (unless joining a jurisdiction with no religious requirement),
3.be at least the minimum age (18–25 years depending on the jurisdiction),
4.be of sound mind, body and of good morals, and
5.be free.

Traditionally membership was limited to men only, and the inclusion of women is still a matter of controversy in many jurisdictions. The "sound body" requirement is today generally taken to mean physically capable of taking part in Lodge rituals, and most Lodges today are quite flexible in accommodating disabled candidates.
Freemasonry upholds the principles of "Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth" (or in France: "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity"). It teaches moral lessons through rituals. Members working through the rituals are taught by "degrees". Freemasons are also commonly involved in public service and charity work, as well as providing a social outlet for their members. There is considerable variance in the emphasis on these different aspects of Masonry around the world. In Continental Europe, the philosophical side of Freemasonry is more emphasized, while in Britain, North America, and the English-speaking parts of the world, the charity, service and social club aspects are more emphasized.
The degree of secrecy varies widely around the world. In English-speaking countries, most Masons are completely public with their affiliation, Masonic buildings are clearly marked, and meeting times are generally a matter of public record. In other countries, where Freemasonry has been more recently, or is even currently, suppressed by the government, secrecy may be practiced more in earnest (again, depending greatly on the particular country). Even in the English-speaking world, the precise details of the rituals are not made public, and Freemasons have a system of secret modes of recognition, such as the Masonic secret grip, by which Masons can recognize each other "in the dark as well as in the light," and which are universally kept strictly secret. The Unitied States, Comonweath, and Europe traditionaly has a had concentration of Masons though they can be found just about anywhere.
Inside the organization exist the Knights Templar. Though there are some public degrees that go under the name of Knights Templar, the Order of Knights Templar refer to a secret group that loosely controls the various Grand Lodges along with the Rosecrucians. These two groups usually work together well since they both wish to keep down offensive supernatural beings (the Templar being more proactive though in both leadership and keeping supernaturals down).

The Order of Knights Templar:
The original order of knights Templar had both Knights and non knights. When the Templar ‘dissolved’ most of the non knightly members formed the social organization of the Masons. The Knights however, retained and focused their dedication to fighting the supernatural. Soon the Order of Knights Templar was solely dedicated to hunting down supernatural beings. Rituals in the order have been almost unchanged since the beginning of the Templar. Keeping with the traditions of the templar, the organization was open to whom and what it would accept. Members include anyone from humans to vampires although Templar Dark Slayers make up a large part of the Order. The only real requirements are to be a Mason, keep the Order secret, and have marital prowess. This openness allows the Order able to work smoothly with other organizations.

Rosecrucians:
Among the masons the Rosecrucians can be considered a sorcerer order. They are usually the leaders of Lodges and Grand Lodges however in reality they have their own separate meeting places and rituals. Their history traces back to ancient Egypt and perhaps before that, to some more ancient society who knows of magic. Their ancestors were responsible for Baphomet’s birth. The goals of this group are to keep knowledge of magic to those who would not try to do too much harm to the world with it. The higher ups of this order know about (and are technically members) of the Illuminati and worship (or at least have a high degree of loyalty to Sophia). In addition to a sorcerers order with a masionic/egyption twist, they also guard a large collection of artifacts and have a collection of magically enhanced and fanatically loyal assassins at their disposal. Additionally they have knowledge of harnessing magic energy through a mix of numerical codes and symbolic architecture.


There are also a few groups that, while not Masons in particular are related to them.

Illuminati:
The term Illuminati refers to Sophia’s closest lieutenants. They are usually, but not always, powerful individuals inside corporations and governments. Also they exist within other secret orders. Yes, a secret order in a secret order. They prefer a ‘hands off’ approach to most things except for a little nudge here and there (Of course there are some exceptions, like turning Washington D.C. into a giant satellite view floor plan of occult symbolism). Although not totally responsible for, well maybe sometimes, they have helped along various world movements such as Protestant Reforms, French, US, and two Russian Revolutions. Sophia’s demigod children are among the Illuminati although the group includes other supernatural beings and regular humans.

When the templar went underground they kept their knowledge of banking systems. In addition to connections made in mason lodges, this allowed the organization to control the majority of financial institutions. Switzerland has the largest concentration of these controlled institutions. This network provides the organization with a very high level of income for the Illuminati. In addition to banks there are also a large number of corporate security entities, modern mercenary armies, in their pockets.


The Guardians:
Elder guardians are from an astral realm and have messed with human evolution for awhile so that some humans are more psychicly sensitive. This engineering allowed humans to be turned into guardians. Elder guardians survive on and are powered by the ‘normal’ human made guardians converting sunlight to psychic energy. Guardians are made and then feed this energy back to the Elders, almost like a vampire entity but in reverse. Elder guardians rarely take a direct hand except where large amounts of guardians die or large conflicts between guardians. Agreements between elder guardians and the Illuminati made to prevent guardians from being caught and dissected and get access to people for supply of new guardians. In exchange for this the Illuminati receive astral protection, methods for cultivation of psychically sensitive, and a handful of voidships.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 10:51 pm
  

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 11:19 pm
  

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Champion

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Sounds like a very cool Idea Ave


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2004 12:09 am
  

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this is the greatist thing you have ever posted

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Svartalf- if Cherico were a character created in a point game system, he'd have all his scores in geeky skills and his youtube and weird net stuff schticks all paid through a a Terminal Bad Luck (with more nasty GM intervention) disadvantage, and probably an Uncouth (can not have social skills) disad as well...
In an RPG with deadly situations that character would have had to be replaced a dozen times over[


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Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2004 9:42 am
  

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I think Cheri is right though... with only three posts it's really easy to pick out the best one.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2004 9:57 pm
  

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Champion

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A VERY well thought out post that incoreperates them all. WELL DONE!!! Mind if I add it to my BtS (Well, actually, it's going to have a bit of everything on it.) site I'm working on?

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2004 10:02 pm
  

Wanderer

Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 3:41 pm
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Go right ahead, glad you liked it.


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 Post subject: book you should read
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2004 11:16 pm
  

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Explorer

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the illuminatus trilogy by robert anton wilson. I t has a lot of the stuff you've mentioned here.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2004 1:45 am
  

Wanderer

Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 3:41 pm
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It must all be true then ;)


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2004 10:44 pm
  

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Remember, if you read it on the internet, it must be true.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2004 3:01 pm
  

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Comment: I like magic.
It's Avenger!!! *points*

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