The Loop (Games)
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Master of the Templar is a cavalry hero that appears in the The Siege of Jerusalem scenario in the Saladin campaign in Age of Empires II. He can also be found in the Scenario Editor. The name is a reference to the leader of the Knights Templar, a Crusading order notorious for its battles in the Holy Land as well as its forced dissolution by the Papacy in 1312. The Master of the Templar has the appearance of a Knight armed with a lance, similar to several other hero units. Unlike most heroes, his icon (shared with Alexander Nevski since The Conquerors) does not show his face under the helmet.
- The line he says when he is killed in the Siege of Jerusalem - "If you strike me down, I will grow more powerful than you can possibly imagine" - is likely to be a reference to the character Obi-Wan Kenobi's line in the 1977 film, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (Jedi Knights from Star Wars were based off the Templars and first called "Jedi Templars" in early scripts).
- The Master of the Templar at the time of the fall of Jerusalem was Gerard de Ridefort (c. 1140 - October 4, 1189), who was actually taken prisoner at Hattin and was not released until the following year, in exchange for the city of Tartus. Thus he could not be killed at the Siege of Jerusalem, but he was captured again at the Siege of Acre and executed.
- The most famous Master of the Templar is, by far, the last, Jacques de Molay (c. 1243 - March 18, 1314), who was burned in Paris under charges of Heresy. According to later legend, Molay remained calm at the stake and cursed Pope Clement V, King Philip IV of France, and Philip's descendants (contemporary accounts attribute only the former to Molay and the curse to another Templar). Clement V died a month later, Philip IV before the year, and the House of Capet went extinct in 1328 after a string of several short-lived monarchs known as "the Accursed Kings".
- Because of their ignominious end, the Templars were the target of several conspiracy and pseudo-historical theories starting in the 19th century, which linked them variously to the possession of the Holy Grail, Freemasonry, the Illuminati, the Priory of Sion, and the pre-Columbian discovery of the New World (which they supposedly kept secret and used to fund their wealth). The latter inspired Ensemble Studios to create the Circle of Ossus and the Black family campaigns in Age of Empires III.
- The Knights Templar were often rivals of the Knights of St. John (a.k.a. Hospitaller), who are played in the Act I: Blood campaign as enemies of the Circle.
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