- “Magic exists to serve man, and never to rule over him.”
The Templar Order is a military order of the Chantry that hunts apostates and maleficar and watches over the mages from the Circle of Magi. While they are officially deemed a force of defenders by the Chantry, established to protect the communities of the faithful from magical threats, they are in fact an army unto themselves; well-equipped, highly disciplined and devoted to their duties.
The History of the Order
Most people don't remember the Templar Order as it once was. In the days when the Chantry was still young, templars were known as the Inquisition and combed the land in search of all dangers to humanity—whether they came in the form of blood mages, abominations, cultists or heretics. It was a dark and terrifying time in the history of Thedas, and one that only ended when the Chantry convinced the Inquisition to unite under the banner of their common faith. This agreement, the Nevarran Accord, was struck in 1:20 Divine. The Inquisition was then divided in two groups: the Seekers of Truth and the Templar Order, with the purpose of the Order becoming that of guardian and warden rather than hunter.
The Mage-Templar War
By the end 9:37 Dragon Age, the Kirkwall Chantry has been destroyed by magic and Grand Cleric Elthina killed. After the battle in Kirkwall and the deaths of First Enchanter Orsino and Knight-Commander Meredith, all of the Circles have begun to rebel.Three years later, according to Varric Tethras in his testimony to Cassandra Pentaghast, the Chantry is on the brink of collapse and has lost control of the templars. A group connected to the Chantry that includes some of the Seekers of Truth have sought to find a peaceful solution to the escalating conflict between the mages and templars by finding both the Warden-Commander and the Champion of Kirkwall, who could help stop the war. Yet the group has had no success in tracking down either individual.
Templars are considered by the common folk to be the saviors and holy warriors of Thedas, protecting the world from the dangers of magic unchecked. As the Chantry’s military arm, they are recruited primarily for their martial skill and religious dedication to the Maker. Given the difficult choices templars must make in the course of their duty, they must be unswervingly loyal to the Order and maintain an emotional distance from the plight of their charges. It is said that a templar’s obedience is more important to the Chantry than his or her moral center.
It is this sense of ruthless piety that most frightens mages when they get the templars' attention: when the templars are sent to eliminate a possible blood mage, there is no reasoning with them, and if the templars are prepared, the mage's magic is often useless. Driven by their faith, the templars are one of the most feared and respected forces in Thedas.
Templars go through a rigorous process of recruitment and training, sometimes in monastic refuges segregated from everyday society. While the majority of their members are male, some female templars do exist, having chosen to serve the Maker as a defender of the faith rather than a spiritual guide for the community. Templars take vows upon knighthood, but these do not include a vow of chastity. Templars are nevertheless discouraged from marrying or raising children since it is impractical to live apart from ones' dependents. Such unions are occasionally permitted, provided that the templar's spouse has his or her own means of support, for example, owning land or a title. A templar marrying another templar or a mage within the same Circle would be considered fraternization within the ranks and would seldom receive permission.
Prior to taking their vows templar recruits undergo a vigil.
Duties of a Templar
Templars are sworn to protect the world from the dangers of magic, but they also protect mages from the outside world, a world that fears these magic users for very good reasons. It is the templars' place to watch their charges for signs of weakness or corruption and, should they find it, to act without hesitation for the good of all. One of the Order's most important duties occurs during a mage's Harrowing. During this, a templar watches over the body of the mage, ready to kill him or her if demonic possession occurs. In addition, templars are responsible for seeking out mages newly come into their power and bringing them into the Circle. Inevitably, the Order must also pursue mages who escape the Circle but typically can track the fugitives using a phylactery of blood from their quarry.
In the extreme event that an entire Circle of mages becomes corrupted, templars also have access to the Right of Annulment which authorizes them to "pacify" or kill all mages in a Circle tower. This would be used in the event that total chaos was unleashed by the mages and there is no chance that anyone in the Circle could be saved. The considerable power the Order holds over mages occasionally leads to charges of tyranny and abuse, since the balance between protection and oppression of the mages is precarious. Nevertheless, according to the Chantry, this is the price that must be paid for the security the templars offer.
Templars are the ideal foils for mages, having been trained specifically to counter magic. Templars have the abilities to dispel magic and inhibit spellcasting, and they develop a considerable immunity to magic, primarily through ingesting Lyrium. Ironically, these abilities could be considered a form of magic in themselves. Though their abilities are mostly used as a foil for mages and fade creatures, some of their talents can have practical uses for the mundane. Holy Smite for example, is an attack that causes magical Spirit damage. Abilities such as Silence and Lasting Cleanse can prevent even normal opponents from using their talents for a short time.
All templars are addicted to lyrium, which is officially used to help develop their anti-mage skills and unofficially used as a control mechanism by the Chantry. A lack of lyrium causes the templar to lose touch with reality and suffer from delusions within 1-2 months. The effects of lyrium addiction for templars include paranoia, obsession, and dementia. Over time, templars grow disoriented, incapable of distinguishing memory from present, or dream from waking. They frequently become paranoid as their worst memories and nightmares haunt their waking hours.
It is confirmed that lyrium does have effective benefits for templars, as it builds a resistance to magic in them over time, as well as increasing the effectiveness of their magic abilities, such as being able to shut off a mage's abilities entirely. Some people think that templars are conditioned to be dependent on this mineral for its attributes and that the Chantry knows of its addictiveness. Both Alistair and Evangeline claim that "the Chantry controls the supply of lyrium, and thus they control the templars." Alistair claims that templars don't need to take lyrium to learn templar talents, only that it makes templar talents more effective. Templars start receiving lyrium once they've taken their vows.
The Order is composed of numerous branches, each of them centered around a specific community or region they are assigned to defend and monitor. Templars may be assigned to the Circles of Magi but also to individual chantries. Each main branch of the organization is led by a Knight-Commander. In Thedas there are fifteen Knight-Commanders, who in turn answer to the head of the local chantry, often a Grand Cleric, depending on the region in question. The size and strength of each branch also differs, depending on the community they serve or their specific mandate. For example, the templars present in Lothering are few in number, and may in fact be a smaller unit within a larger chapter. Meanwhile, the templars assigned to watch over the Circles of Magi in Kinloch Hold and Kirkwall are much more powerful, and in the case of Kirkwall, perhaps more powerful even than the civilian government in the city.
The Order itself is ruled from the glittering White Spire in Val Royeaux by a Knight-Vigilant. However, there are other sources that suggest that the Order is actually led by a series of Knights Divine, a division within the Order who serve directly underneath the Divine herself. In addition to making the rules, these Knights oversee day-to-day operations. Above the Templar Order, but separate, are the Seekers of Truth who serve as “watchers of the watchmen,” providing accountability for the templars.
Fenris says the Imperial Chantry in the Tevinter Imperium has its' own templars who step in when mages go too far. However, he also mentions that the Magisters wield considerable political influence over the Tevinter templars, although he does not give specifics of how powerful the Magisters' influence is.
The Templar heraldry is a stylized representation of a flaming sword. The flames represent purification, just as Andraste was purified by flame upon her martyrdom at the height of the first Exalted March. The sword is an emblem of mercy in Chantry symbolism because Hessarian ran Andraste through with his sword to save her from a slow and painful death.
The exact design varies. There are at least six variations.
- The sword is pointing up with two small flames on either side.
- Pointing down with four larger flames.
- Pointing down with three flames on either side.
- With the sword pointing down with four flames on either side. The flames end about two thirds of the way down.
- Same as above but the flames are larger closer to the hilt.
- With four flames on either side running the length of the sword.
- Alistair, former templar-in-training
- Carver Hawke (if not present during The Deep Roads Expedition)
- Cullen, Knight-Captain at the Gallows, Kirkwall
- Evangeline de Brassard, Knight-Captain at the White Spire
- Greagoir, Knight-Commander at the Circle Tower in Ferelden
- Hadley, Knight-Captain at the Circle Tower in Ferelden
- Martel, Knight-Commander in Orlais
- Meredith Stannard, Knight-Commander in Kirkwall
- Otto Alrik
- Otto, a blind templar
- Wesley Vallen
- Ser Mallorick, supervisor of the laundry room at the Circle of Magi in Ansburg
See alsoCodex entry: Templars Codex entry: The Seekers of Truth Manual: Templar
"A is for Abomination: The Templar's Alphabet." A book that explains what templars do, and how they do it.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 "On Templars, Raiders, City Guards and The Coterie". Official BioWare blog. Retrieved July 4, 2012.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Gaider, D. Dragon Age: Asunder. Epilogue.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Thedas UK (January 14, 2012). "David Gaider Interview" Retrieved July 4, 2012.
- ↑ "Dragon Age: Last Flight"
- ↑ David Gaider. "Templars and Chastity". The Bioware Forum. Retrieved May 2, 2014.
- ↑ According to Cullen in Dragon Age II.
- ↑ David Gaider twitter
- ↑ Mike Laidlaw Twitter
- ↑ Conversation with Cullen in Dragon Age: Inquisition
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Dragon Age: Asunder, Chapter 14
- ↑ Codex entry: Templars
- ↑ Codex entry: Lyrium
- ↑ "Dragon Age The Templars Coaster". Epic Weapons. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
- ↑ Dragon Age II: The Complete Official Guide, p. 256
- ↑ Codex entry: The Basket of Lost Socks