Monday, December 22, 2008

Knights of St John Hospitallar


The beginnings of the Order of the Knights of St John are to be found in the year of our lord 1048 when Merchants from the ancient Marine Republic of Amalfi obtained from the Caliph of Egypt permission to build a church, convent and hospital in Jerusalem. The knights arose from those who prayed, gave care and defended these places. In the course of the crusades, then the defense of Cyprus and finally Rhodes, the Order to took up arms to defend the sick, pilgrims and the crusader territories and then came to maintain a significant naval force to protect the Christian world.

At this time, the Moslem threat looms large to the East of Christendom and the Hospitallers fight in her defense to protect the faithful as they always have. Along with the central base at Rhodes the order maintains its regional organisation of "Tongues" and in German speaking lands they have Priories of Bohemia, Upper and Lower Germany, Dacia, Sweden, Poland, and Hungary. Since the heretic followers of Jan Hus have taken up arms all across Bohemia, led by that damnable blind devil Zizvka, the Grand Priory there has become beleaguered of late. However, the Auberge remains secure in the main lands of the Empire and even now the Emperor-elect is leading a Crusade to crush these Hussites.

Devices and colours: Their Symbol is the eight pointed black cross which they display as their badge on a white field. In battle they are arrayed in a red surcoat with a white cross. Brothers are forbidden to incorporate these into a personal coat of arms.

Skills: Military Arts, Melee Arms, Maneuvering, Animal Handling or Medicine or Nautical arts, Theology.

Secret Masteries

Warrior Monks (Theology (Meditation) Mastery) Through devotion to their holy cause and observance of the vows of their order, including regular prayer and meditation, the Hospitaller gains the ability to use their Theology (meditation) skill to pray over a companion (or for themselves) healing 2LP PDL, staunching their wounds and draining all QP. They also gain knowledge of John the Baptist.

Holy Knighthood (Military arts (Command) Mastery), the novice Hospitaller is Knighted (if of sufficient station or deed) and the accorded the right to command his own Gleve (Lance) of lesser soldiers. If he is unable to attain the rank of knight he will be styled "Sergeant" and hold the same position of command. He will be granted a sword of good quality along with armour and horses appropriate to his station. His sure presence will give +1 to defense rolls for his Gleve (any party may act as a Gleve outside of battle) when in formation.

Defenders of Christendom (Military arts (Command) Grand Mastery) The Hospitaller has advanced to a senior role in his order and if worthy by lineage according to the rule of the order, he will be either a Prior or Grand Prior. For hundreds of years, in the holy land and beyond, The Hospitaller have given their whole lives to the defense and succor of the faithful. They are regarded as loyal sons of the church and are held in high esteem in every court in Christendom. A Knight Hospitaller will be given access to any lord, no matter how high, they may simply demand instant access to lords and officials of non-royal rank. No one may inhibit the passage of such a senior Knight and their word is sufficient to act as bond for prisoners before the courts. Rights of hospitality will be everywhere extended to them without question and the common folk hold crusaders in awe still after all these years.

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