In 1236, Before the city of Jerusalem was taken from the hands of the Queen and during it's short rule the fabled sects of crusaders known as the Templar and Hospitaller held a strained truce. The pope of the age tried countless times to unify the two divisions without any progress. He;d almost given up until finally new ground was broken on the subject with the help of both newly instated Grand Masters of the local divisions; Varius of Newcastle, and Baron Knightfall of Rome. Forward thinking men with different motives, but equal benefits to a union of the time.
Across Europe different groups of each Knighthood scoured their regions in search for the Holy grail, all flocking in the direction of it's rumored origination. The puzzle seemed to solve itself when both Grand masters heard the tales and quests of Knights across the continent that ended in vain bloodshed and empty handed return for nearly one hundred and fifty years. Both took the prospect of a combined effort as a sign from God, as did pope Frederick II.
The two, with their Knights, searched the city at all points of historically documented biblical significance, cutting a path through Muslim mercenaries and enemies to the Crown before finaly in 1240, discovering a tomb beneath the Church of Sepulchure, a large stone wheel barely resting beside the entry. None of the Knights were bold enough to enter the Holy Tomb, save the Grand Masters who stood true to their moral resolve. Entering, they discovered a large clay coffin, with a small golden chalice resting with no signs of wear or dust atop the lid.
The two left that tomb swearing their brothers to secrecy,disbanding their unification that night, and relocating the grail, and the discovered Body of Mary Magdalene, the mother of god.
It was only after the fall of Jerusalem the two re-met, their Knights massacred by the onslaught of the Kwarezmian empire and their re-siege of the Holy City in 1244. They had both been badly wounded after the battle and most of their men destroyed. Left with no other options, took drastic measures and drank from the grail. No one knows exactly what happened to the two, only that they walked out of battle scarred and bloody, and trotted out of the city walls with no more than a few small scratches
They separated after leaving. Varius took the Grail, Baron Knightfall, Mary Magdalene.
The two teetered between the age of 35 for fifty years,until 1301, when the latest pope, Clemens V, finally took notice. It didn't take long for him to piece together the connection. In 300 years, there was only one union of the sects, and both it's Grand Masters outlived the last pope, who was five years their junior.
Instead of attacking both, which was fool hardy and could have led to the Crown itself's demise, Clemens offered The Baron immunity, if he would join him in his pursuit of the true prize, the grail of the King of Kings. He learned from the last surviving knight of The Baron's Hospitaller after endless hours on hours of torture, that the body of Mary resided in the Knightfall's care and the Grail lay in the hands of the Templar of Newcastle.
Clemens allowed him to keep the remains that seemed useless in his endeavor. The offer of possession of Mary, immunity in the eyes of god, and the continued fruition of the Hospitaller under the church. It was three times more than he could refuse.
And so Knightfall, along with other's who were either descendants of his former brigade or (elite and trusted members of the Hospitaller in service to Clemens)began to work not on the field of war but in the shadows of peace. Clemens' manipulative nature was all encompassing only exceeded by his inability to humble himself. He told the tale of pride to his Cousin in 1304, The King of France, Philip IV.
The Baron after his long life was almost numb to the sharp knife of disloyalty as King Phillip IV, foreseen by his deceptive cousin and confidant Pope Clemens, seized the opportunity to absolve his debt to the Templar accumulated over the time of his costly war with the British, charging the Hospitaller with the 'Holy Mission' of Infiltrating the Templar, killing key members of his own Monarchy, and sowing distrust within the enemy ranks. This honed the Hospitaller's skill from that of a common Knight to literal masters of the arts of deception and assassination, paving the way with innovative and specialized strategic plots, fighting styles, and espionage that slowly began to revolve around dark methods.
In time The Baron's Hospitaller eventually broke from the chains of the church, and became what was known later as the Sancta Camisa
Finally, enough false charges had been made against the Templar nation wide, and King Philip was able to order the capture or assassination of all Templar Knights. On the 13th of October, a Friday,Baron Knightfall rode towards the trail of Varius and his Kin, all the way back to the Gates of Jerusalem to finish where they had started.
(Continued in the personalized History of the Rogue Templar Maximus Knightfall: Gardiens Du Sang )