|Knights of Cruis|
|Type||Orthodox Cruisian Military Order|
|Headquarters||Temple Arcazzium, Montopauli|
|Patron||Saint Vittorio of Castagne|
|Attire||Navy mantle with a white cross|
The Knights of Cruis or the Order of the Cruisian Templars or simpily the Order are a famous monastic Orthodox Cruisian military order founded in St. Samuel in 1299BP, by Lord Illia Tristanta. It's original function was to protect Cruisian churches and it's followers. It's members were renowned as skilled fighters and were all volunteers from noble families. Once enrolled into the Order, the Knight would pleadge it's life to Cruis and swear to follow the Order's values. The Knight would also become anonymous, forbidden to reveal his identity in public, as he renounces all worldly pursuits in order to fully devote his life to Cruis.
The Order was officially endorsed by the Samuelonian Orthodox Church in 1287BP and soon found a new function as the Patriarch's personel body guards. Today the Order remains as the Patriarch's personel bodyguard and security at the Cathedreal of Francisco.
The Order also has a number of hospitals and orphanages across the globe which provide free care for the poor and also act as an international humanitarian aid agency across Vexillium.
The Knights of Cruis Code Edit
We the Knights of the Order of Cruis pledge our lives to act as guardians of Cruisianity and the almighty father, I pledge my life to serve and protect those who cannot defend, to show courage and faith in the face of adversity. I will show generosity and compassion in order to alleviate the suffering of another. I will show mercy and leniency to those who have recognised there sins and for all my virtuous deed's I will show humility and humbleness.
Besides the Code, all Knights of Cruis would further pledge the following:
- To give up all there worldy possessions, with a crucifix pendant and their sword as their only items of value. In later years this was to include the Order's signet ring.
- To live a life of anonymity. A night would simpily be known as a 'Brother' and would never show one's face in public. The reason for this was said to be to honour the seventh deadly sin, Pride. It was said by the Order's founder:
"There is no honour in carrying out our duties in order to gain fame. We are Knights of the almighty Lord and we do not fight to glorify our name, or to reap riches, we serve to protect Cruis and all that follows him. We shall not reveal our faces in public, as the holy emblem on our attire is the only symbol we seek to portray."
In 1299BP, Lord Illia Tristanta founded the Orthodox order, the Knights of Cruis. This was as a result of a number of attacks on Cruisian churches and pilgrims. As all churches in Saint Samuel received large financial donations, small rural churches were often seen as an easy target by groups of bandits. Tristanta's Knight's would travel the lands in search of these bandits which he pledged to hunt down and kill in honour of Cruis.
In 1287BP, the Order was officially endorsed by the Samuelonian Orthodox Church and two years later were made the Patriarch's personel body guards. In 1286BP, the Temple Arcazzium was constructed in Montopauli, Saint Omar province, as the Order's official headquarters. The location was chosen for its dangerous location. At the time, the region was renowned for it's bandits, outlaws and pirate raiders. The Order already had a chapel and an outpost at the location, which was destroyed by Sjomanian pirates who were making regular raids into the Saint Omar province in the 280's. The order constructed a fortress with a modest chapel and an academy, which trained new recruits. Nowadays the Temple Arcazzium is a National heritage site.
The Order were recognised as an Orthodox Cruisian military order by the King in 1281BP. The Order gained huge recognition in 1267BP when four Knights prevented an assassination attempt on Patriarch Gilliezamen at a large public ceremony in Francisco. The Patriarch was seated near to the King when a group of thirteen Pagans stormed the stage with daggers. The four knights were quick to stop the attack and killed seven of the attackers.
By 1250BP the number of Knight's in the Order numbered some 15,000 and the Samuelonian Orthodox Church began receiving requests from various Cruisian churches for Knights of Cruis to accompany missionairies to far off lands. The Lord Knight of the Order and the Patriarch of Samuelonia authorised the use of Knights of Cruis to accompany missionairies of any denomination.
The Order was called upon by the Patriarch to fight alongside the army if St. Samuel in the Samuelonian Religous Wars against the Mounists of North-East Samuelonia. The first Mounist War, in 1048BP, saw the Order, send some 20,000 Knights into battle. The Knights of Cruis were influential at the Battle of Mira-as-Salām, where the Knights broke down the Mounist left flank after a long bitter fight. The Knights of Cruis became somewhat disillusioned in the aftermatch of the battle when King Julius II of St. Samuel ordered the removal of all Mounists from the city and the destruction of all Mosques. Whilst the Order agreed that the Mounists had become a threat to the Cruisians in St. Samuel, they did not see justice in killing and torture that took place.
After the first Mounist War, tensions between Mounists and Cruisians in St. Samuel were at an all time low and the Knights of Cruis were kept busy in the region, protecting pilgrims and churches from jihadists. In 1027BP the Knights of Cruis were once more called upon to fight in the second Mounist War. After King Septimus made the practicing of Mounism illegal in Samuelonia, the Mounists revolted and overthrew the Lilliani garrison stationed in the city of Zanobia. This time round the Order fought a seperate campaign from the army of St. Samuel, as they believed that King Septimus' war was not a rightous one. However, the Order fought many battles in the campaign against Mounists armies that had grown to hate all Cruisians.
When the second Mounist War finished, the Order had lost favour with King Septimus who ordered all Knights of Cruis to be arrested and tried for treason. The Order went into hiding and hundreds of Knights were executed. This era became known as the Dark Years for the Order, however the Knights of Cruis continued there Holy mission of protecting Cruisians in secret.
During the third Mounist War, in 1001BP, King Septimus withdrew his charge of treason against the Order and requested that the Knights of Cruis support him once more in battle against the Mounists. Whilst the Order disliked King Septimus, the Mounist armies were gaining more and more power and the Order regrouped and once more went to war. It was at the Battle of Yianni that 5,000 Knights of Cruis, arrived late and turned the tide of the battle in favour for the Cruisians, who were on the brink of defeat.
The Order played a prominent part in the fourth Mounist War in 899BP, sending thousands of troops to support the New Cruisian Kingdom rebels against the Caliphate of North-East Samuelonia. At the end of the war in 885BP, the Order became a key financial backer of the New Cruisian Kingdom state. In thanks for support during the war, King Donald Dondarrion gave the city of Cala Amirah to the Order, which became a bastion city for the Knights of Cruis. The Order were charged with protecting the borders of the New Cruisian Kingdom in the post war era.
The Knights of Cruis took up arms again in 585BP alongside the King, when the Uestadenian's invaded St. Samuel. The armies of Samuelonia were defeated by Uestadenian's and King Aramadis went into exile in Estontetso. During the occupation of Samuelonia by the Uestadenia Empire and then later the Anglodascunyan Empire, Orthodoxy was banned, in favour for Papaism. The Order were more went into hiding as it's Knights were hunted down and murdered.
The Order were re-established in 425BP and supported King Francisco VI in the Samuelonia War of Independence. The Knights of Cruis' numbers had dwindled to some 10,000, but the Order was once more influential in winning numerous battles for the Samuelonians.
The Order Today Edit
The Order ceased to exist as a military organisation many years ago and now days acts as more of a charity and international humanitarian organisation. The Order retains around 100 Knights, who act as the personel security of the Patriarch of Samuelonia. The Order are also responsible for security of the Cathedral of Francisco and the guards still where the traditional uniform, the navy mantle with a white cross and sword.
The Order also continues to run a number of orphanges and hospitals across St. Samuel and abroad. Other functions of the Order is to assist in disaster hit areas across Vexillium.
Recruitment into the Order initially was for young noblemen who volunteered for a life's service as a Knight of Cruis. Training and selection was tough and consisted of two years training, ranging from fighting to religous studies. Once a recruit had completed it's initial two year training, they would be assigned a mentor, usually a veteran Knight of the Order. The student would stay with the veteran night for three years until they were deemed a fully fledged Knight of Cruis.
By 1250BP, the Order had Knights from all over Longerath, from Lendosa, Bowdani, Cruisiana, Dascagnia, Burburreica, Liliana, Kagere, Alembida, Qella and Goramia. In 1217BP the Order founded an orphanage, at the Temple Arcazzium, which accepted unwanted baby boys. These boys would be raised by the Order and by the time they turned eightteen would be assigned a veteran Knight, much like the new recruits would. This child recruits were to prove a great success, as the Order were able to bring the child up learning all the values of a Knight of Cruis. Years later the Order began accepting children as old as twelve, as it was seen as a great honour to have a family member in the famous Order.