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Templars

by Lewis Roberts

History
Structure Of The Organization
Strategy And Plans For The Future

HISTORY

The Templars are a fighting order dedicated to the elimination of Virus. They were formed in 1196 by Armand Sourez, an eldery Aubaine billionaire. Armand was a teen when Virus swept away civilization. He saw his home destroyed and his parents killed. The effects were unbearable to the youth Armand and it crippled him emotionally. He became very detached and focused all his energy on expanding his sizable inheritance. The Collapse devestated the economy of Aubaine, but he was able to take advantage of other's misfortune. His fortune grew in spite of the Collapse. He never had the time, or desire for a family. Armand welcomed the creation of the Dawn League, and went on to helped fund the DLS Brilliant and the DLS Dawn on their recontact missions. When the Twelve went missing, he started to suspect that Virus was still a danger. Sending out operatives to see if Virus was still around, he was not surprised when the operatives came back and confirmed that Virus was still a threat. Armand was incensed by this, and decided to take action. With several military officers, who felt as Armand did, he founded the Templars. He has endowed the Templars with his entire fortune, which, as Armand is considered one of the five wealthiest men on Aubaine, is quite considerable.

The Templars soon began to recruit members. They offered lifelong employment, as long as the recruit was willing and able to fight any and all signs of Virus. The Templars do not care about past crimes or mistakes, all that is required is the desire to fight Virus. The Templars are paid a small monthly salary of 100 Aubani Credits plus room and board. The Templars live under strict military discipline, and recruits are trained in many differnt skills to use in the fight against Virus. In the early days of the organization, the recruits were trained in a broad number of skills, but as the organization grew, its members began to specialize more and more.

The organization plans on taking care of its members for life. Eldery Templars will be used as trainers, advisors and desk workers. Templars that are to feeble to work, or that have been cripped in battle will be given a comfortable retirement in the Coalition at a rest home owned by the organization. The Templars plan on setting up special rest homes, as needed, but they don't plan on have any members needing to retire for decades.

In 1202 the Templars have about 2500 members. The Templars have a secret training facility on Wrangell (1839/Old Expanses X666302-1). Anyone researching it would know that the Templars have a base somewhere trailing of the Coalition, but The Templars keep the base's location a secret in case Virus has human allies who might betray them. This base is rather small currently. It is equipped with barracks and facilities for several thousand troops and a small landing pad for starships. The Templars are equiped mostly with TL-10 equipment with scattered TL-11 equipment. While the current TL on Aubaine is 12, the RC military has bought up most of the TL-12 and Tl-11 equipment and there is little left for private groups. As it becomes available the group plans to upgrade its equipment. The Templars have several dozen Tl-10 tracked tanks and AFVs; however, the Templars lack a means of transporting the equipment from orbit the field. The Templars are trying to aquire a troop transport. They have also looked into buying a Dawn Clipper, and a Warlock SDB.

The group currently has three starships, two Patrol Cruisers and a Fer-de-Lance Destroyer Escort. However, the Templars are activily seeking new warships. Almost all recovered military technology offered at Auction is taken by the military, but the Templars try to get around this, by purchasing items outside the RC, primarily on Lancer. Since the item isn't offered at Auction, the seller does not have to pay a host cut, and on a multi-million credit sale this can add up to a significant profit. Recovered technology that hasn't gone through the Auction process can not be brought into the RC, but the Templars don't want to bring its ships inside of the RC, they want to fight Virus, and Virus is out in the Wilds. The only problem the Templars have is that eventually their ships will need repairs that they are unable to preform themselves. The Templars are approaching this problem on two fronts. First, they are trying to improve their own ability to repair vessels at their own starport, and second, they are trying to get the Assembly of Worlds to pass legislation allowing them to bring their ships into Coalition ports for the needed repairs.

STRUCTURE OF THE ORGANIZATION

The Templars are lead by a Commandant, currently Field Marshall Kelkon, formally of the Oriflamme Special Forces. The Commandant is advised by a circle of twelve officers. The Templars divide their forces into two groups. The Star Troops crew the ships, and act as ground troops. About 90% of the Templars are Star Troops. The Star Troops also provide the logistics and supply support for themselves Templars. The remaining 10% are the Scouts. The Scouts are constantly on the lookout for signs of Virus infestations. They work mostly undercover, as Free Traders, Lancers, or even in the RCES. When they discover signs of Virus, they send a coded message to one of many message drops the Templars have established. The Commandant and his aides then decide if the infestation is one that the Templars can handle, or if they must keep an eye on it until their forces are sufficient to deal with the location.

Armand Sourez still takes an active role in the organization. He has wisely turned over the military planning to seasoned warriors such as Commandant Kelkon, but he is still engaged in long range planing. He also busies himself in increasing support for the Templars within the Coalition. He has hired an Aubaine PR firm, to increase awareness and acceptance of the Templar's goals. This is also tied into a large scale recruitment drive.

The Templars have taken over the planet Wrangell. They have convinced several hundred of the locals to grow food for the Templars. In exchange, the Templars promise protection against the rampagings of Virus, offer agricultural improvements, and trade high tech devices like weapons. The Templars have also started a school for the children of the locals. This is not a very elaborate affair, but the Templars hope that they can educate the populace so that it can serve as a source of educated recruits. Many of the locals are work for the Templars, as cooks and janitors. This frees up more Templars to serve in an active combat roles.

Officially the RC has no position on the Templars, they are considered just another mercenary organization. Unofficially, they have many sympathizers both in the government, the RCN and the RCES. These sympathizers often clue the Templars onto leads of new Virus infestations, and the Templars often share with these allies about Virus infestations that are too large for the Templars to handle.

STRATEGY AND PLANS FOR THE FUTURE

By 1202 the Templars have only achieved modest success, they have destroyed three Vampire ships: two Far Traders, and a heavily damaged Merc Cruiser. They have managed to destroy several infected systems on unihabited worlds of the So Skire main. This has given the Templar technicans some practice in combating Virus. The leadership has planned for the first few years to be a building time where they can train themselves in fighting Virus. By mid-1202 they plan to launching an attack against several targets that their Scouts have identified.

The Templars are almost fanatical when it comes to fighting Virus. Anyone who helps or assists Vampires or Virus, according to the Templars, is a traitor to humanity, and deserves death. The Templars will use overwhelming and massive force to destroy Virus infected systems if necessary. Human casualites are regretable, but often neccesary. The Templars have a large supply of X-ray laser detonation missles and are not opposed to using them against ground based targets if necessary. They have recently aquired a small number of pre-war Imperial nuclear weapons in the 30-40 megaton range. These will have been stored away for use as a last resort.


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