On October 13, 1307, Pope Clement V went into infamy for making mass arrests of the Knights Templar, eventually killing many of them. Little over a century later, the Teutonic Order would go to battle and be crushed by Poland-Lithuania. This article delves into the idea that, what if the Templars were never arrested? What if the Teutonic Knights were never defeated at Grunwald, but the reverse? What if both orders formed their own empires. Also what if during the early-mid 1300's Europe was afflicted with plague and famine?
The Knights TemplarOfficially the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, the Knights Templar had gained fame and wealth from their exploits across the Holy Land, and were seen as the most elite of all warriors. It was this power that drew the ire from the church, and it seemed inevitable that one pope would do what needed to be done. Pope Clement the V seemed to be that person, until July 10, 1307, when he suffered a fatal heart attack. As a result, the Knights merely grew in power and fortune, into a sort of oligarchic state among the French. Realizing its potential, the Templars declared themselves independent from the state. In less than a month, they had proven their worth by fielding the French army and decimating it. On April seventh, they attained independence. King Charles the I came to power, and brought an age of prosperity to the kingdom.
The Teutonic OrderOfficially the Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem. Originally a monastic order to created to protect travelers to the Holy Land, the Teutonic Knights were not as popular as the Templars. The Teutonic Knights were called by the Poles to help stop the Prusy (aka Old Prussians) from continuously attacking the Polish and Lithuanian peoples. The Teutons were able to conquer these people but they stayed in the Baltic and down to Danzig. They and Poland-Lithuania soon began fighting until the Battle of Grunwald, where the Poles and Lithuanians were soundly defeated and with the death of King Władysław II Jagiełło and the Polish-Lithuanian Union was destroyed.
Knights HospitallerOfficially the Sovereign Military and Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem. Formed in Jerusalem in the 11th Century to provide hospital care and protection to Christian pilgrims visiting the Holy Land, the Knights soon became one of the foremost military powers in the region. Their base of operations was a chain of castles and ports. They have temporal control over the Isle of Rhodes, the Isle of Crete, the Isle of Cyprus, and the Isle of Malta.
Knights of St. ThomasOfficially the Holy Monastic Order of Saint Thomas in India, the Knights of St. Thomas were formed by Prester John in 1326, upon his return to India from the Holy Land. The Knights of St. Thomas were initially formed to protect Christian Indians from attacks by Hindus and Muslims, but later expanded their temporal powers to include the majority of the South-Western coast of India.
The Knights Resurgent
The Knights Resurgent - a movement that reconstructed European society through non-violent means. Plague, famine, and war had degenerated the country into lawless lands. In these dark times the knights of nobility and peace united to save the lands, from what all accounts was consider the apocalypse.