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British Rite of the Templar Order

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"You have not encountered cunning or danger until you have faced a British Templar."
―Miko, 1751.[src]
British Rite of the Templar Order
A Deadly Performance 13
Organizational information
Leader's title

Grand Master

Headquarters

Fleet Street, London

Locations

London, Bristol, Croydon, United States (New York | River Valley)

Related organizations

Templars

Additional information
Notable members

Reginald Birch
Lawrence Washington
George Monro
John Harrison
Haytham Kenway
Crawford Starrick

The British Rite was one of the autonomous factions comprising the Templar Order.

HistoryEdit

First Barons' WarEdit

During the 13th century, the Templar Order was well implanted in England with the reign of John Lackland, with some of its members acting as advisors to the English King, whom they turned into their pawn. But the plans of the Templars were countered by the British Assassins, who rallied the English nobility against John's tyrannical rule during the First Barons' War. Led by Robert Fitzwalter, the Assassins were determined to end the rule of the Templars, and allied themselves with the French Crown, who backed the rebellion against King John.[1]

The KenwaysEdit

During the 18th century, the Templars recruited British merchants and tried to take advantage of the economical growth of the British Empire. In Bristol, the Templars Emmett Scott and Aubrey Hague founded the Trade Organization, an association of merchants protected by their Order, and destined to put the Bristolian commerce under their control. After Scott's daughter, Caroline, married Edward Kenway against Scott's wishes, he ordered the members of the Trade Organization to burn the farm of the Kenways, to prevent his daughter from coming back to the old couple after Edward's departure to the Caribbean Sea.[2]

The burning of his parent's farm, the death of Caroline caused by her father's arrogance and his joining to the Assassin Brotherhood explained why, when he returned to Bristol in 1722, Kenway decided to settle the score with the Bristolian Templars. After having killed Scott and Wilson, Kenway went after Matthew Hague. Kenway was prevented from killing him by Robert Walpole, a neutral party who negotiated a truce between the Assassin and the Hagues, while moving Kenway to London.[2]

By the mid-18th century, under the leadership of Reginald Birch, the British Rite held a leading position among the various Templar Rites.[3] Birch became acquainted with the Assassin Edward Kenway in 1723. Knowing of Edward's research on First Civilization sites, Birch intended to steal the man's journal. Two years later, Birch orchestrated an attack on the Kenway household, hiring several mercenaries to kill Edward and obtain the journal. After the Assassin's death, Birch also recruited Kenway's young son, Haytham, but hid his part in the assassination of his father.[4]

Search for the TemplesEdit

With the journal in his hand, Birch began scouring the globe, investigating several leads to the Precursor artifacts and sites. In 1738, Birch inducted Lawrence Washington into the Templar Order; Washington later rose in the ranks and became a Master Templar. Reginald tasked Washington with locating the precursor sites, but to no avail. Unimpressed with his progress, along with the newly established Colonial Brotherhood, Reginald sent another of his agents, Colonel George Monro, to further their efforts.[3]

In 1750, Monro recruited Christopher Gist, a frontiersman who was tasked with exploring the west colonies, as well as strengthening the Templars' relations with the indigenous tribes in order to secure alliances and commercial lanes. At some point, Gist encountered a young thief named Jack Weeks who attempted to pickpocket the explorer. Despite Weeks being caught in the act, Gist was impressed by his skill and audacious attitude, and took him on as an errand boy; Gist later began tutoring him upon the suggestion of Monro. A year later, Gist and Jack were inducted into the Templar Order.[3]

The same year, Washington learned that François Mackandal, Mentor of the Haitian Brotherhood, had obtained two powerful Precursor artifacts, the Precursor box and the Voynich manuscript, which aided the Brotherhood in locating several Precursor sites, with one located in Port-au-Prince. Lawrence traveled to Haiti and tracked down Vendredi, one of Mackadnal's students who had indirectly triggered a massive earthquake.[3]

When Vendredi attempted to escape the site, his legs were caught near a crevasse under falling debris. Washington promised to aid him if he in turn revealed Mackandal's location. Vendredi reluctantly agreed, but Lawrence then slit his throat. Washington then traveled to Mackandal's camp and managed to steal the Precursor box and manuscript. Traveling by sea, he was pursued by Adéwalé. However, Washington was able to evade him upon reaching New York.[3]

French RevolutionEdit

In the years leading up to the French Revolution, the British Templars became worried about the political and societal turmoil growing in France and by the rising power of the reformist faction in the Order of their French counterparts. As such, the Carrolls, a high ranking family of the British Order, took it upon themselves to eliminate the wife of the traditionalist Grand Master François de la Serre. De la Serre's wife had the ear of her husband and, although moderate, was herself a reformist.[5]

While the Carrolls' attempt on Julie's life failed, their assassin left a clue of their involvement, which prompted Élise de la Serre to travel to London, years after her mother's death of consumption. During her trip, the Carrolls discovered that Élise, as the future French Grand Master, wasn't herself a staunch supporter of the monarchy and of the old Templar ways, and so tried to kill her. However, their daughter, May, was killed instead and Élise fled with the help of her childhood sword master, the British Templar Frederick Weatherall.[5]

At the eve of the French Revolution, the British fears came true when François was killed by the reformist Templars loyal to François-Thomas Germain, who became the new Grand Master of the French Templars. Later, as Élise tried to claim back her birth right and avenge her father, the feud between her and the Carrolls prevented her from counting on any help coming from the British Templars, who had been turned against her by the vengeful parents.[5]

Victorian eraEdit

By the 1860s, under the leadership of Grand Master Crawford Starrick, the British Rite had brought under their control almost all forms of governance within the city of London. The political, medicinal and scientific fields being guided by the Earl of Cardigan, Dr. John Elliotson, and Dr. David Brewster, respectively. The acquisition of Pieces of Eden fell to Lucy Thorne. The city's economic infrastructure, comprising the transport network, the factories, and the financial institutions, fell under the sway of Pearl Attaway, Rupert Ferris and Philip Twopenny, the Governor of the Bank of England.[6]

Moreover, by paying off criminals to form their own gang, the Blighters, and installing their own as their leaders, under the supervision of Maxwell Roth, the Templars had also taken almost complete control of London streets and boroughs, and operated a monopoly on organized crime in the city.[6]

Despite, or perhaps thanks, to this control, the British Rite during this time worked to maintain order in the city, albeit under their guidance. However, the Templars suffered losses as members of their inner circle were assassinated one-by-one by Jacob and Evie Frye, which in turn impacted the infrastructure of London. Following the near-total collapse of the British currency after Philip Twopenny's death, Crawford Starrick increased the wages paid to his workers in order to stave off the effects of inflation, and maintain his grip on the workforce.[6]

Following the death of the Earl of Cardigan, Roth decided to rebel against Starrick and teamed up with Jacob to accomplish this. However, their alliance quickly shattered when Jacob realized Roth was willing to go to such extremes as bombing a factory full of child laborers in order to disrupt Starrick's production lines.[6]

Left as the last member of the British Rite, Starrick accelerated his plans to obtain the Shroud of Eden, and eliminate the ruling class of England. However, his plans were thwarted by the Frye twins and with Starrick's death, the British Rite had been brought to an end.[6]

Despite Starrick's death, lower-ranking Templars of the British Rite scrambled to replace their leadership. One such faction attempted to regain their power by committing acts of terrorism against London, but those attempts were thwarted by the Assassins.[6]

The Templars, led by Brinley Ellsworth later aligned themselves with the British Indies Company in attempting to stop Duleep Singh from reclaiming his birthright as Maharajah. Their plots involved stealing India's gold to attempting to frame Singh for stealing the Koh-i-Noor, but their plots were thwarted by the Fryes twins. Ellsworth's true allegiances were exposed to Singh after the Assassin destroyed his factory concocting sleeping gas. Later, when Singh confronts Ellsworth, rather than let Evie Frye assassinate him, he chose to let Ellsworth live.[6]

MembersEdit

Allies and puppets

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit


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