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Templar Order

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Magic exists to serve man, and never to rule over him.

Organization
Templar Order

Templar Order symbol
Type:
Religious/Military
Headquarters:
Ranks:
Knight-Divine
Knight-Vigilant
Knight-Commander
Knight-Captain
Knight-Lieutenant
Knight-Corporal
Templar
Races:
Any
Location:
Throughout Thedas
Appearances:

The Templar Order is a military order of the Chantry that hunts apostates and maleficar and watches over the mages from the Circle of Magi. While they are officially deemed a force of defenders by the Chantry, established to protect the communities of the faithful from magical threats, they are in fact an army unto themselves; well-equipped, highly disciplined and devoted to their duties.

The history of the Order Edit

Background Edit

Most people don't remember the Templar Order as it once was. In the days when the Chantry was still young, templars were known as the Inquisition and combed the land in search of all dangers to humanity—whether they came in the form of blood mages, abominations, cultists or heretics. It was a dark and terrifying time in the history of Thedas, and one that only ended when the Chantry convinced the Inquisition to unite under the banner of their common faith.[1] This agreement, the Nevarran Accord, was struck in 1:20 Divine.[2] The Inquisition was then divided in two groups: the Seekers of Truth and the Templar Order,[3] with the purpose of the Order becoming that of guardian and warden rather than hunter.

The Mage-Templar War Edit

Splr da2
“There are men who embrace destiny; these are the ones that change the world forever.” — Flemeth
This article contains spoilers for Dragon Age II. Click here to reveal them.

By the end 9:37 Dragon Age, the Kirkwall Chantry has been destroyed by magic and Grand Cleric Elthina killed. After the battle in Kirkwall and the deaths of First Enchanter Orsino and Knight-Commander Meredith, all of the Circles have begun to rebel.

Three years later, according to Varric Tethras in his testimony to Cassandra Pentaghast, the Chantry is on the brink of collapse and has lost control of the templars. A group connected to the Chantry that includes some of the Seekers of Truth have sought to find a peaceful solution to the escalating conflict between the mages and templars by finding both the Warden-Commander and the Champion of Kirkwall, who could help stop the war. Yet the group has had no success in tracking down either individual.
Splr daa
“I spent my time cleaning. Like a servant.” — Shale
This article contains spoilers for Dragon Age: Asunder. Click here to reveal them.
The Seekers of Truth, under Lord Seeker Lambert­, also broke away from the Chantry along with the Knight Commanders. In 9:40, Lambert wrote a letter to the Divine nullifying the Nevarran Accord that originally established the Seekers as the Chantry's right hand. In the letter, Lambert writes: "Neither the Seekers of Truth nor the Templar Order recognize Chantry authority."[2] This split from the Chantry occurred at approximately the same time as the epilogue of Dragon Age II in 9:40. It is unknown exactly how this schism proceeded or whether there are divided factions with some members of the Seekers remaining loyal to the Divine.

Templar recruitment Edit

A templar fights with a demon
A templar fighting a demon.

Templars are considered by the common folk to be the saviors and holy warriors of Thedas, protecting the world from the dangers of magic unchecked. As the Chantry’s military arm, they are recruited primarily for their martial skill and religious dedication to the Maker. Given the difficult choices templars must make in the course of their duty, they must be unswervingly loyal to the Order and maintain an emotional distance from the plight of their charges. It is said that a templar’s obedience is more important to the Chantry than his or her moral center.

It is this sense of ruthless piety that most frightens mages when they get the templars' attention: when the templars are sent to eliminate a possible blood mage, there is no reasoning with them, and if the templars are prepared, the mage's magic is often useless. Driven by their faith, the templars are one of the most feared and respected forces in Thedas.

Templars go through a rigorous process of recruitment and training, sometimes in monastic refuges segregated from everyday society. While the majority of their members are male, some female templars do exist, having chosen to serve the Maker as a defender of the faith rather than a spiritual guide for the community. Templars take vows upon knighthood, but these do not include a vow of chastity. Templars are nevertheless discouraged from marrying or raising children since it is impractical to live apart from ones' dependents. Such unions are occasionally permitted, provided that the templar's spouse has his or her own means of support, for example, owning land or a title.[4] A templar marrying another templar or a mage within the same Circle would be considered fraternization within the ranks and would seldom receive permission.

Prior to taking their vows templar recruits undergo a vigil.[5]

Non-human recruits such as elves are not barred from joining the templars, but are not common in their ranks.[6][7]

Duties of a templar Edit

Templars are sworn to protect the world from the dangers of magic, but they also protect mages from the outside world, a world that fears these magic users for very good reasons. It is the templars' place to watch their charges for signs of weakness or corruption and, should they find it, to act without hesitation for the good of all. One of the Order's most important duties occurs during a mage's Harrowing. During this, a templar watches over the body of the mage, ready to kill him or her if demonic possession occurs. In addition, templars are responsible for seeking out mages newly come into their power and bringing them into the Circle. Inevitably, the Order must also pursue mages who escape but typically can track the fugitives using a phylactery of blood from their quarry.

In the extreme event that an entire Circle of mages becomes corrupted, templars also have access to the Right of Annulment which authorizes them to "pacify" or kill all mages in a Circle tower. This would be used in the event that total chaos was unleashed by the mages and there is no chance that anyone in the Circle could be saved. The considerable power the Order holds over mages occasionally leads to charges of tyranny and abuse, since the balance between protection and oppression of the mages is precarious. Nevertheless, according to the Chantry, this is the price that must be paid for the security the templars offer.[1]

Abilities Edit

Templars are the ideal foils for mages, having been trained specifically to counter magic. Templars have the abilities to dispel magic and inhibit spellcasting, and they develop a considerable immunity to magic, primarily through ingesting Lyrium. Ironically, these abilities could be considered a form of magic in themselves[3]. Though their abilities are mostly used as a foil for mages and fade creatures, some of their talents can have practical uses for the mundane. Holy Smite for example, is an attack that causes magical Spirit damage. Abilities such as Silence and Lasting Cleanse can prevent even normal opponents from using their talents for a short time.

Lyrium addiction Edit

All templars are addicted to lyrium, which is officially used to help develop their anti-mage skills and unofficially used as a control mechanism by the Chantry. A lack of lyrium causes the templar to lose touch with reality and suffer from delusions within 1-2 months.[8] The effects of lyrium addiction for templars include paranoia, obsession, and dementia.[9] Over time, templars grow disoriented, incapable of distinguishing memory from present, or dream from waking. They frequently become paranoid as their worst memories and nightmares haunt their waking hours.[10]

It is confirmed that lyrium does have effective benefits for templars, as it builds a resistance to magic in them over time, as well as increasing the effectiveness of their magic abilities, such as being able to shut off a mage's abilities entirely. Some people think that templars are conditioned to be dependent on this mineral for its attributes and that the Chantry knows of its addictiveness. Both Alistair and Evangeline claim that "the Chantry controls the supply of lyrium, and thus they control the templars."[8]

Hierarchy Edit

The Order is composed of numerous branches, each of them centered around a specific community or region they are assigned to defend and monitor. Templars may be assigned to the Circles of Magi but also to individual chantries. Each main branch of the organization is led by a Knight-Commander. In Thedas there are fifteen Knight-Commanders,[2] who in turn answer to the head of the local chantry, often a Grand Cleric, depending on the region in question. The size and strength of each branch also differs, depending on the community they serve or their specific mandate. For example, the templars present in Lothering are few in number, and may in fact be a smaller unit within a larger chapter. Meanwhile, the templars assigned to watch over the Circles of Magi in Kinloch Hold and Kirkwall are much more powerful, and in the case of Kirkwall, perhaps more powerful even than the civilian government in the city.

The Order itself is ruled from the glittering White Spire in Val Royeaux by a Knight-Vigilant.[1] However, there are other sources that suggest that the Order is actually led by a series of Knights Divine, a division within the Order who serve directly underneath the Divine herself.[3] In addition to making the rules, these Knights oversee day-to-day operations. Above the Templar Order, but separate, are the Seekers of Truth who serve as “watchers of the watchmen,” providing accountability for the templars.

Fenris says the Imperial Chantries in the Tevinter Imperium have their own templars who step in when mages go too far. However, he also mentions that the Magisters wield considerable political influence over the Tevinter templars, although he does not give specifics of how powerful the Magisters' influence is.

Notable templars Edit

For a complete list, see Category:Templars.
Last straw 2
Meredith, Cullen, and a group of templars

Gallery Edit

See also Edit

Ico codex entry Codex entry: Templars
Codex icon DA2 Codex entry: The Seekers of Truth
Plt ico templar man Manual: TemplarManual: Templar
Generic
"A is for Abomination: The Templar's Alphabet." A book that explains what templars do, and how they do it.

Red Templars

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "On Templars, Raiders, City Guards and The Coterie". Official BioWare blog. Retrieved July 4, 2012.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Gaider, D. Dragon Age: Asunder. Epilogue.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Thedas UK (January 14, 2012). "David Gaider Interview" Retrieved July 4, 2012.
  4. David Gaider. "Templars and Chastity". BioWare Social Network. Retrieved July 13, 2011.
  5. According to Cullen in Dragon Age II.
  6. David Gaider twitter
  7. Mike Laidlaw Twitter
  8. 8.0 8.1 Dragon Age: Asunder, Chapter 14
  9. Codex entry: Templars
  10. Codex entry: Lyrium
  11. Codex entry: The Basket of Lost Socks
  12. Dragon Age logo - new Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 99

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