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Colonial Rite of the Templar Order

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Ratonhnhaké:ton: "What is it the Templars truly seek?"
Haytham Kenway: "Order. Purpose. Direction. No more than that."
―Ratonhnhaké:ton and Haytham Kenway, discussing the Colonial Templars' goals, 1778.[src]
Colonial Rite of the Templar Order
ACIII-BraddockExpedition 3
Organizational information
Founder

Haytham Kenway

Leader's title

Grand Master

Headquarters

Fort George, New York City

Locations

Thirteen Colonies
Quebec

Related organizations

Templars

Historical information
Date formed

1755

Date collapsed

1782

Additional information
Notable members

Nicholas Biddle
Benjamin Church
Shay Cormac
Christopher Gist
Thomas Hickey
Haytham Kenway
William Johnson
Charles Lee
George Monro
John Pitcairn
Jack Weeks

The Colonial Rite of the Templar Order was, prior to the American Revolutionary War, one of a number of autonomous factions in operation during the mid 18th century that composed the Templar Order. Haytham Kenway officially founded, and became the first Grand Master of the Colonial Rite in 1754, in order to find a suspected Precursor storehouse, on instruction of the Templar Grand Master of the British Rite, Reginald Birch.

The Colonial Rite played a significant role in guiding the course of the American Revolution, with an aim to usurp control of the newly forming nation. However, the Templars' plans were ultimately disrupted by the reformed Colonial Assassins, and in particular, the Assassin Ratonhnhaké:ton.

Following the creation of the United States, the Rite reorganized itself into the American Rite of the Templar Order. By 1863, the rite was led by Grand Master William M. Tweed and was trying to influence the outcome of the American Civil War.

HistoryEdit

Pre-formationEdit

In 1738, Grand Master Reginald Birch named British Templar Lawrence Washington Master Templar of the British colonies in the New World, and tasked him with locating Precursor sites and other First Civilization relics. Once in the New World, Washington recruited a number of members into the Order, such as Samuel Smith and William Johnson, and also made contact with the famed explorer Christopher Gist.[1]

Around this time, Gist got acquainted with Jack Weeks, a young thief who was trying to pickpocket him. Gist was impressed by the kid's audacious attitude and hired him as an errand boy.[1]

In 1750, Birch sent the Templar agent George Monro to assist Washington in his search for the Temple. Additionally, Gist introduced Weeks to Monro, who agreed to hire him as his assistant. Eventually, seeing the skills of the man, Monro taught Weeks about the Templar Order and in 1751 he oficially inducted him and Gist.

By Invitation Only 6

Templar reunion at Mount Vernon

That same year, after the earthquake of Port-au-Prince, the Templars took two relics from the Haitian Assassins, a Precursor box and the Voynich manuscript. In 1752, in his plantation at Mount Vernon, Washington passed the two artifacts to Samuel Smith and James Wardrop, before being killed by the Assassin Shay Cormac.[1]


Afterwards, Wardrop took over as the de facto head of the Templars in the colonies, while Smith traveled to Europe in order to find a scientist who could make the box work. In 1754, following his return to America, Smith was killed by Shay Cormac, who claimed the box for the Assassins. That same year, during the Albany Congress, the Templars came in contact with Benjamin Franklin to see if the scientist could make the artifacts work, however, Shay Cormac killed Wardrop before he could pass the manuscript over to Johnson and recovered the artifact.[1]

FoundingEdit

ACIII-WtB 1

Haytham Kenway, founder of the Colonial Rite, meeting Charles Lee

In April 1754, British Templar Haytham Kenway acquired a mysterious key when killing Miko, the leader British Assassins. After further examination, the Templars concluded it was the key to a Precursor site and Reginald Birch sent Haytham to the colonies to find the site. In August, Haytham arrived in Boston, and was greeted by Charles Lee, a hopeful man wishing to join the Templar Order. With Charles' help, Haytham sought to gather four Templars that Reginald Birch had arranged for Haytham to recruit to his quest: William Johnson, Thomas Hickey, surgeon Benjamin Church, and the British captain John Pitcairn.[2]

Meeting Johnson in the Green Dragon Tavern, Haytham learned that the Assassin had stolen Johnson's research on the native tribes. With Charles and Thomas Hickey, Johnson's assistant and Templar, Haytham reclaimed the chest with Johnson's research. Now with his papers, Johnson concluded that the symbols on the Grand Temple key were from a tribe known as the Kanien'kehá:ka, and that they would need their aid to find the Temple. Haytham and Charles searched for Benjamin Church, but discovered that he had been abducted by Silas Thatcher, a cruel British officer who demanded protection money. Fortunately, Haytham and Charles managed to save him from Silas' assistant, Cutter.[2]

Later, Haytham and Charles tried to recruit John Pitcairn, but British General Edward Braddock, a former Templar and brother-in-arms of Haytham, refused to let Pitcairn leave the British Army, believing he was a desertor. Some time after, Haytham and Charles attacked the guards who were escorting Pitcairn and freed him. Learning that Thatcher had a group of Kanien'kehá:ka slaves, Haytham and his brothers decided to infiltrate Southgate Fort as British soldiers and free the natives in exchange for the location of the Grand Temple.[2]

ACIII-InfiltratingSouthgate 5

The Templars infiltrating the Southgate's fort

The Templars stole a slave carriage where a native woman, Kaniehtí:io, was prisoner. Arriving in the fort, the young woman flew the carriage to free the native. The Templars and Kaniehtí:io succeded in liberating the slaves, which created a fight between the guards and the prisoners. During the battle, Church shot Thatcher in the head. When the natives left the fort, Kaniehtí:io smiled to Haytham as sign of gratitude.[2]


In 1755, Haytham and Charles searched for Kaniehtí:io in the Frontier. When they found her, the woman tried to ran away but Haytham managed to caught her. The Templar explained her why he needed her help but Kaniehtí:io refused, before Haytham tried to prove that he could be trust. Haytham promised to help the natives stop the British expeditions into their territory. During their investigation, they discoverd that with the outbreak of the French and Indian War, the British Government had arranged for Edward Braddock to lead an expedition to the French-controlled Fort Duquesne.

In July, the combined assault of Haytham's Rite and the Kanien'kehá:ka tribes, together with a timely assault by the French Army, led to the destruction of the expedition, and the presumed death of Edward Braddock at Haytham's hands. True to her word, Kaniehtí:io led Haytham to the Precursor site, though the latter was disappointed to find little more than a cave.[2]

ACIII-BraddockExpedition 18

Charles Lee officially joins the Templar Order

Later, Haytham returned to the Green Dragon, and explained to his brothers that the Kanien'kehá:ka cave had led to nothing. He decided to officially establish the Colonial Rite of Templar Order with him as the Grand Master, and inducted Charles Lee in their ranks. The Templars would continue to search the Temple and helped the unification of the Colonies by aiding the British Crown against the French.[2]


Purge of the Colonial AssassinsEdit

In 1756, Monro's men saved Shay Cormac, who was left for dead after he betrayed the Assassin Brotherhood. On Shay, Monro found the Voynich manuscript. Understanding his allegiance, Monro send the Assassin to Barry and Cassidy Finnegan, a couple who had a son in the Templar Order, to recover from his wounds. Later, the Finnegans where attacked by an Assassin-allied gang. Monro wanted to attack their headquarter but Shay, who recorvered, arrived first and killed their leader.


Keep Your Friends Close 7

Christopher Gist and George Monro with the former Assassin Shay Cormac

Seeing the potential of Shay, Monro convinced him to work for him without revealing he was a Templar. Shay agreed to help the colonel to rebuild the city. Later, Gist was captured by the same gang who attacked the Finnegans. Monro send Shay to save Gist in Fort Arsenal. Gist safe, Shay reclaimed the fort but also the Morrigan, his ship when he was an Assassin and made Gist his quartermaster. Afterward, Shay, Gist and Monro navigated through the River Valley to attack a French fort who disrupting the colonel operation. Shay infiltrated the fort and met Le Chasseur, an Assassin ally, who was surprised to see Shay still alive. For prevent le Chasseur to reveal it, Shay was forced to kill him. In his last moment, le Chasseur revealed that the Assassins planned to poison the officials of New York City. Shay returned to the city to stop his former allies. With Monro, he planned to destroy the gas factory of the Assassin. After the explosion, Shay was joined by Monro, Gist, but also William Johnson and Jack Weeks. Surprised, Shay understood he had help his former ennemies but keep his thought for himself.[1]

In 1757, George Monro was assignied to Fort William Henry which was threatened by the French. So, Monro send the Voynich manuscript to Shay to keep it safe and revealed his allegiance. Shay decided to save the colonel with Gist and Weeks. After the Siege of Fort William Henry, the British troops were authorised by Louis-Joseph de Montcalm to leave the fort but were attacked by the Abenaki led by the Assassin Kesegowaase. Shay arrived to save Monro but was recognized by Kesegowaase. During their escape, Shay wounded the Assassin with an explosion which let scars on his face.

Scars 10

Monro giving his ring to Shay

Later, Monro learned that Kesegowaase prepared an attack on Albany. The colonel decided to prepare the defense of the city and send Shay helped the Oneida, a native tribe allied to the British troops, who were attacked by Kesegowaase's men. On November, Shay arrived to Albany when the Assassins attacked the city. In the fort, Shay gave the Voynich manuscript to Monro. Kesegowaase arrived but was kill by Shay with a Puckle gun. At the same time Monro was mortally wounded by the Assassin and Shay's former best friend Liam O'Brien who took the manuscript. Shay arrived in the burning house to save the colonel but it was to late. In his last breath, Monro passed his Templar ring to Shay, trusting him to continu his work.[1]

In 1758, Shay was officially inducted in the Templar Order by Haytham Kenway who was returned from Europe. Learning of Assassins activities near Louisbourg, Shay, Gist and Haytham joined the captain James Cook on the HMS Pembroke. The captain informed them that a British fleet would attack the fort. Concerned about the defense of the fort, the Templars decided to help the British, with Shay commanding the Pembroke. During the battle, the Experto Crede, the ship of Adéwalé, a Caribbean Assassins, helped the French Navy. The Assassin ship flew the battle but the Templars decided to destroy the fireships and were later joined by the British Navy. With the British victory, the Templars could focus on the Colonial Assassins. Later, Shay, Gist and Haytham found Adéwalé and after a battleship between the Morrigan and the Experto Crede, the Assassin beached his ship to escape from his ennemies. Haytham decided to serve as a diversion thereby Shay could kill Adéwalé. With the death of Adéwalé, the Assassins lost their moral.[1]

By 1759, the Assassin Mentor Achilles Davenport, Liam O'Brien, Hope Jensen and le Chevalier de la Vérendrye met in New york to use the Voynich manuscript and the Precursor box to find another Temple. Shay eavesdropped their conversation and informed Haytham and Weeks about the Assassins plan. With the help of Weeks, Shay impersonated gang member and turned the British guards against the Assassins which led to the attack of Hope Jensen's mansion. On the roof, Shay saw Liam left with the box and the manusript but Hope shot on the window where Shay was spying. With Shay on the ground, Hope tried to poison him with gases but the Templar left the mansion. Hope, seeing that, threw a poison knife on Shay and Shay was forced to kill her to take the antidote. In her last moment she gave the information that Chevalier had the artefacts.[1]

In 1760, with the help of James Cook, Shay found the location of de la Vérendrye in the North Atlantic and aborded his ship, the Gerfaut. After a duel, Shay defeated Chevalier but discovered that the Assassin served as a diversion to give enough time to Achilles and Liam to reach the Temple. In his anger, Shay threw the Assassin in the cold water.

Non Nobis Domine 9

Shay and Haytham confronting Achilles and Liam in the Arctic Temple

Tracking the remaining two Assassins to a First Civilization Temple in the Arctic, Shay and Haytham infiltrated the Assassins camp and arrived in the artefact room at the same time than Achilles and Liam. Achilles understood that Shay was right about the the Seismic Temples and forbid Liam to touch the object. Shay and Liam argued and Lam tried to shoot Shay but Achilles interrupted him which cause the fall of the artefact and the collapse of the Temple. During their escape Liam revealed he had the manuscript but that Chevalier hid the box. Shay managed to reach his Liam to fight him but the ice plateform collapsed and the two former friends fell in a waterfall. Shay survived but Liam died from the height. Recovering the manuscript, Shay joined Haytham who had follow Achilles and bested the Mentor in a sword fight. While Haytham wanted to execute him Shay demanded to spare his life to let the Assassins knew the Precursor sites are dangerous. Achilles agreed, but as a mean of insurance, Haytham crippled him with a shot to the leg. Later on the Morrigan, Haytham tasked Shay to find the Precursor box while the others Templars would eradicate the last Assassins.[1]


ACIII-HideandSeek 7

Lee strangling the future Assassin Ratonhnhaké:ton

In November 1760, a group of Templars led by Lee assaulted a young Kanien'kehá:ka boy named Ratonhnhaké:ton, who unknown to them was the son of Haytham and Kaniehtí:io. They asked him for the location of his village, so that they could speak to the natives about the Grand Temple; stubbornly, the boy told them nothing, and was knocked out. After the village was burned by George Washington, Ratonhnhaké:ton believed Lee and his cohorts to be responsible.[2]


Finally giving up their search for the Grand Temple, the Templars focused on strengthening their influence in the colonies. In 1763, the Colonial Rite launched an attack on the Davenport Homestead, which served as a base of operations for the remaining Colonial Assassins. Killing those who remained, the Templars once again spared Achilles' life when he agreed to cease all Assassin activities in the colonies.[2]

Revolutionary WarEdit

After the end of the French Indian War, Britain was in debt and directly taxed the Thirteen Colonies. But with the accumulation of the taxes and the lack of representation in Parliament, a revolutionary fever begun to grip the British Colonies. The Templars attempted to influence both sides, in order to achieve a less violent independence of the Colonies and to create a Templar state. Johnson traded with the natives to protect them. Pitcairn, who became Major, was known as a peace keeper and was respected by Boston citizens. Church joined the Sons of Liberty, a Patriot group that collected information, but he also betrayed them and the Templars by communicating with the British forces. Unknown to the Templars, however, the Colonial Assassins had begun to rebuild; Ratonhnhaké:ton, the illegitimate son of Haytham Kenway, had begun his training with Achilles Davenport.


ACIII-TriptoBoston 13

Lee seeing the Boston Massacre

Then on 5 March 1770, in Boston, after the Private Hugh White wounded Edward Garrick, a crowd mobbed around the Old State House to reclaim justice. Haytham sent one of his associates to shoot on the soldiers and cause an outbreak of fighting, but Ratonhnhaké:ton killed him before he could complete his mission. As a back up plan, Charles Lee shot into the air. The British soldiers, believing it was the crowd, opened fire on the mob, killing five people and leaving many wounded. This event increased the anger of the people against the British Crown. Six months later, Church inducted in the Templar Order a junior officer of the British Navy: Nicholas Biddle.[2]

In 1773, Templar ships began to attack the Nantucket's coasts as British ships to made the region unstable. The same year, William Johnson sought to purchase land from the Iroquois to protect them if the colonists wanted take their territory. To finance his project, Johnson smuggled tea in Boston, which was more expensive after the Tea Act and also extorted the citizens of Boston with tax collectors. But Ratonhnhaké:ton, with the help of Stephane Chapheau and the Sons of Liberty, foiled his plan and threw his tea in Boston Harbor during the Tea Party. Six months later, Johnson gathered the money to purchase the Iroquois land but during the meeting with natives, Ratonhnhaké:ton killed him.[2]

In April 1775, John Pitcairn hoped to end the budding Revolutionary War before it truly begun. With a British Army, the Templar went to Lexington to arrest Samuel Adams and John Hancock and negociated with them. But the meeting of the British Army and the Patriots turned in a armed conflict. In Concord, Pitcairn retreated after his troops suffered heavy lost by the milita commanded by Ratonhnhaké:ton. With the began of the Siege of Boston by the Patriots, the war was declared.[2]

With the creation of the Continental Army, Templars placed many men in the rebel side. Charles Lee, who wanted to become the Commander-in-Chief, was made the second-in-command as George Washington was elected as the Commander of the Continental Army. Church became the Surgeon General, Hickey a private guard of Washington and Biddle a captain of the Continental Navy. During the Battle of Bunker Hill, Pitcairn tried to negociated the peace but was killed by Ratonhnhaké:ton who believed he wanted to assassinate Adams and Hancock. At the end of the year, Church was arrested for intelligence with the British and expulsed from the Templar Order.[2]

ACIII-Publicexecution 7

Lee about to execute Ratonhnhaké:ton

The Templars wanted to kill Washington thereby Lee could take his charge. Haytham tasked Thomas Hickey to accomplice the mission. In June 1776, Ratonhnhaké:ton tried to kill him in New York but was arrested with his target for forgery, as Hichey trafficked false money in the city. Send in Bridewell Prison, Hickey and Lee managed to charge the prison director's murder on Ratonhnhaké:ton and also the conspiration of assassinated Washington. The next day, Lee put the Assassin on scaffold but Haytham, who had understood Ratonhnhaké:ton was his son, threw a knife on the roap. With the pannic, Hickey tried to kill Washington but was assassinated by Ratonhnhaké:ton.[2]

During the year, the Templars continued to attack the Nantucket with British ships to force the Continental Congress to give more ships to Biddle. With his ship the USS Randolph, Biddle was tasked to escort La Belladonna to supply the Continental Army but he send Templar ships attacked La Belladonna. Ratonhnhaké:ton defended the ship with the Aquila and killed the Templar Admiral. At the end of the year, Lee was captured by the British Army and gave information on the Continental Army to weak Washington's position as commander. During the suprise attack of Trenton, the German colonel and Templar Johann Rall was killed by Assassins.[2]


Missing Supplies 3

Family reunion

In 1778, Benjamin Church was liberated and stole Continental Army supplies. Ratonhnhaké:ton was charged by Washington to find the stock and met his father, who wanted to kill Church for his treason. After an argument where Haytham exposed the true goals of the Templars to his son, the two decided to ally their force to kill Church. The two went to New York but it was only a trap. Church had flown to the Martinique. With the Aquila, Ratonhnhaké:ton and Haytham aboard the Welcome and killed Church. Later, Ratonhnhaké:ton aboarded the Randolph and defeated Biddle. He let the captain sank with his ship.[2]

Continuing their alliance, Haytham and Ratonhnhaké:ton learned that the British would attack from New York. Haytham wanted to informed Lee but his son decided to reveal this information to Washington. Arrived in Valley Forge, to force his son to join the Templars, Haytham revealed that Washington burned Ratonhnhaké:ton's village eighteen years before. Washington also ordered a new attack on Kanatahséton, due to his suspicions of them allying with the British. Ratonhnhaké:ton understood that his father hid this information for a long time, then he decided to cut his ties with Haytham and Washington. Lee informed Kanatahséton of the attack and convinced them to join the British. He also persuaded Ratonhnhaké:ton's friend, Kanen'tó:kon that the Assassin betrayed his people.

During the Battle of Monmouth, Lee sabotaged the preparation of the Continental Army but Ratonhnhaké:ton helped the soldier to retreat. Afterward Lee was judged as a traitor and was suspended from duty.[2]

During the Battle of Wyoming, the Continental officer and Templar George Dorrance who displaced several iroquois village was killed by the Assassins.[2]

In August 1780, the major general and Templar Johann de Kalb was kill by the Assassins during the Battle of Cadmen.[2]

ACIII-Laststand 18

The Grand Master being killed by his own son

In September 1781, Ratonhnhaké:ton, seeking out Charles Lee, who was in Fort George in New York. The Assassin infiltrated the Fort during the bombing raid by French ships but was hurted by an explosion. Ratonhnhaké:ton confronted his father, who let Lee flew with the Grand Temple Key. After a brutal fight, the Templar Grand Master forced his son to kill him, and Charles Lee rose to hold the position in his stead.[2]


At least three months later, in 1782, a funeral was held for Kenway and presided over by Charles Lee, but it was interrupted with the arrival of Ratonhnhaké:ton. Charles had the Assassin detained, before making preparations to travel to Boston. Eventually, the Assassin caught up with Lee once more, and after a rugged pursuit, tracked the man down, killed him in Conestoga Inn, Monmouth and took the Grand Temple Key. Lee's death marked the collapse of the Colonial Rite, and the end of Templar influence in North America, for a time.[2]

In August 1785, the Governor of Connecticut and Templar Jonathan Trumbull was killed by Assassins.[2]

MembersEdit

Allies

Trivia Edit

  • Lesser known Colonial Templars were the targets of assassination contracts accepted by Ratonhnhaké:ton.
  • Other lesser known Colonial Templars were the targets of district liberation missions in Boston and New York.
  • Barry and Cassidy Finnegan's son was a member of the Colonial Rite.

ReferencesEdit


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