Rumoured to still exist, this secret but nevertheless notrious organisation of assassins should be the fear of every important person within the United Kingdom. The organisation is held responsible for almost every unsolved murder on prominent Santharian citizens.

History of the Templars.
Following an excerpt written by the musician Tinholdt who tried to investigate deeper into this dangerous matter:

"Murders do of course happen in every country. Rulers who want to 'get rid' of rivaling nobles, merchants who want to eliminate their competitors, citizens who have a feud with another family. In such cases an assassin could be approached if people want to do it the harsh way. This 'gap in the market' was recognized and filled by a few professionals and so the Templars came into being, at least, so it is told, for the existence of the order was never proven, nor has any of the supposed members ever confirmed their membership or their deeds. The only thing by what they could be recognized was a thin golden necklace with a tiny black pearl hanging around their neck.

The first members of the Templars have done good and decent work in organising the system and keeping the secrecy of it all. Currently [quoted text written in the 9th century b.S.] every major city in the southern Sarvonian kingdoms has one member of the Templars within its walls, with the notable exception of Thalambath - the order found it too risky to operate in the neighborhood of the Seven. But Nyermersys, Voldar, Milkengrad, Elsreth, Ximax, Marcogg, Thaehavos [nowadays Bardavos], Strata harbour a decent citizen who every once in a while kills a person to make an extra decent living. This is as well the exact number of members: Nine. None less, none more, one for every city. The small number shows not only the precision and professionality of the organisation, it makes leaks within it almost impossible. All nine were chosen by their predecessors within the town for their excellent abilities, trained and finally sent out to take over the job.

Every year, the nine members meet somewhere in a secret cave spotted within the Lower Fores. It was chosen for its central location, not too far from the populated world, but not too close either. Here the general policy is discussed, the price for the various jobs made, and new methods defined and sometimes tested. The place serves as well as temple, as the nine worship the deity of Queprur, especially her dark site (thus the name 'Templars'). The Templars see the joy of the cold and bitter death their victims die. It is their conviction that all their victims will take the dark road when their lives have ended, and most of the time they take small pieces like hair, toe or ears from their victims to sacrifice to them to the Goddess of the Scythe.

Is is told that a ruler of Elsreth once set out to destroy the temple, but they were not able to find it. Evil tongues suggest that the executing officer was under the influence of the Templars, or that he at least found them a handy organisation for his needs and decided rather not see it destroyed."

-- Tinholdt: "The Cases of the Templar Murders", Introduction, p. 4 f. (*)

(*) The musician Tinholdt, an amateur historian living in the city of Thaehavos (today's Bardavos), did research on several of the suspected Templar murders in the 9th century b.S. He even travelled the whole way north from Thaehavos to the Lower Fores, not satisfied by the sources he had in his home town. These sources consisted mainly of artists who had fled from the north for varying reasons and the occasional historical account in the city's library. But Tinholdt mysteriously disappeared in the city of Marcogg while staying there for a night rest. His body was found later in the Mashdai river and it was believed that he accidently drowned, though other stories are told as well. Still his notes remained in Bardavos and these papers are the main source of information at this topic.

So it is very likely that the Templars flourished throughout the centuries without any opposition. The apparatus of communication and information grew with the thriving Templars and they were able to get a foot in the door of several important institutes. Their position was especially strong in the city of Strata, where their member were part of the Inspecting House and because of that had a great influence in the city's main business. Strata was as well the perfect scene for the Templars to work in. Strata had a huge trade port, open for all persons alike and with a large rate of criminality, though only in the southermost parts of the city. But it was as well because of this fact that the Templars met a worthy foe in the field of secrecy: the Seven had as well their interests in the Stratanian government system.

A Templar

View picture in full size Picture description: A templar executing his feared profession: backstabbing a victim. Image drawn by Faugar.

What we can say about these animosities are only rumours: However, it is said that a terrible struggle for power behind the scenes and in the shadows of the city erupted, many murders were committed, blackmailing of politicians was common, and it was all done by both sides. It is even suspected that reinforcements from the north where sent by the Templars, that for the first time in history a town harboured more than one member. The "secret war" finally resulted in the demise of the Seven, but the Templars were as well hurt, losing several useful informants and even two of their crown members as has been revealed by a traitor later on. But they soon found work again as the war between Strata and Milkengrad erupted in 628 b.S. - though the Templars themselves are suspected to have something to do with the outbreak of this conflict, but as usual this cannot be proven.

If the Templars still managed to remain until this very day is very unlikely. Some even think they never got over the war with the Seven. But should you ever see someone wearing a bracelet featuring a black pearl, there is no place to hide…

Templar Killing Methods. Throughout the centuries several methodes have been practiced by the Templars to eliminate their victims (and sometimes their customers). A few can be found below:

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