Knights Templar

The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, more commonly called the Knights Templar and most often operating under the name the Knights of Christ are a secret society, who worship the xenoform Baphomet. They began life as an order of monastic Christian knights, founded shortly after the first Crusade to safeguard the passage of pilgrims through the Holy Land. However, the Templar unearthed many potent artifacts within the Temple Mount, one of which was a sarcophagus that was found to contain a still-living being bound in iron chains. Upon the sarcophagus was inscribed "BAPHOMET". The being, who had the body of a man, the head of a goat and two eagle-like wings, was initially held captive by the order. However, by the mid 12th century Baphomet had managed to mesmerize the Order's leadership and transform the once Christian order into a cult to himself.

For more than a century, Baphomet subtly acquired power. Through the Templars, he more-or-less introduced the idea of banking, making his cult rich and influential. Slowly, his influence spread across Europe. Through black magick and human sacrifice, he acquired the ability to take on human form and began to whisper in the ears of kings and princes. However, Baphomet grew overly bold and made a crucial mistake. In 1300 or so, a group of Manus Dei monks were sent to eliminate an Egyptian telepath. On their way back to Europe, Templars intercepted them and took them prisoner upon the island of Limassol. In 1302, during the Siege of Arwad, the Templars lost control of the island. One of the monks escaped at this point and managed to return to Manus Dei, bringing news of the Templar's villainy.

Manus Dei had, at the time, little influence over the Pope, so they sought allies. King Phillip of France, in debt to the Templars due to his long war with England, proved to be a productive ally. Under pressure from Phillip, the Pope order to arrest of all Templars on Friday the 13th of October, 1307. While many of the Templars, including the Grand Master, were arrested and eventually put to death, many Templars and much of the Order's treasures, simply vanished. Likewise, despite setting their most experienced monks to the task, Manus Dei were unable to hunt down Baphomet.

Baphomet still lives today, as cunning and as powerful as ever. The Templars exist too, controlling banks and corporations and serving their dark master. In the early 19th century, they became aware of the Illuminati and attempted a take-over. This failed, badly and caused the Illuminati to both become aware of the Templars and to become even more paranoid and secretive. For the last 200 years, the Illuminati have worked to limit Templar power and the Templars have hated and hidden from the Illuminati. Recently, with the rise of MJ-12, the Templars have seen an opportunity; the Templars contributed heavily to both of Sam Morris' election campaigns under the guise of Heathguard Holdings and have expressed great sympathy with MJ-12's goals. MJ-12 are unaware of true nature of Heathguard Holdings and its CEO, Bob Famat. Manus Dei still hunts for Baphomet but is unaware that the Templars still survive.