The Knights Templar are an independent fleet of ships that work as an intergalactic crime-fighting organisation. They are not sponsored by any particular empire or government, but fight crime of their own accord, taking some of the loot they capture from pirate fleets to pay for their expenses.
They are extremely pious warriors, taking after the crusaders of old. They take vows of poverty before being knighted, and keep them with extreme fervour, donating most of the pirate treasure they find to worthy causes along the way.
As stated above, the Knights Templar are their own state with their own government, and owe allegiance to no lord or emperor. They owe allegiance only to God, as they say often.
The Knights Templar are an organization and not an empire: they live among many nations. Thus they have no holdings, save the planet of Antioch in the Alpha Centauri system, where they have their headquarters.
The Templar Master Edit
Commander William Kentis (Also known as Kentis the Crusader) is a devoted follower of the Christian God, one of the few in these days of inter-planetary travel. He was the son of a wealthy merchant, and was captured and held ransom by space pirates when he was sixteen. When he finally escaped captivity, he discovered that his father had died in his absence, and Kentis inherited his family's entire fortune.
Kentis used this money to finance a fleet of ships to combat space pirates, and this small but determined group grew into the Knights Templar.
Templar Fleet Edit
|“||William Kentis's gift to both the military obsessed and the vigilante.||”|
–Captain Stevens on the Warbird
Warbird-type starfighters are the primary focus of the Templar shipbuilding operation and their main way of enforcing the law among the stars. They are small but agile, and modular enough to allow for weapons and armor to be switched out as the mission requires. However, they lack a superluminal drive, so they must be deployed with larger fighter-carriers in order to travel between systems.
An agile little starfighter, the Eagle-class Warbird was the original brainchild of William Kentis, and remains the backbone of the Templar fleets. They typically have small forward-firing phasers mounted on each wing for the pilot's use, and a ring-mounted laser cannon mounted for the gunner in the centre of the ship. It can be deployed with conventional bombs for air-to-ground operations.
An expensive refit of the Eagle-class, the Falcon-class Warbird is a single-seat version that is smaller, faster, and more manoeuvrable than the original. Designed by a team of engineers attempting to improve on the original design, the ship has highly efficient solar panelling on the wings, allowing for flight on solar energy alone. The weapons are upgraded versions of the phasers found on the Eagle-class, at the expense of the laser cannon. However, because the design is expensive to produce (and the Knights Templar do not have much in the way of money), the Eagle-class remains the dominant starfighter.
The Condor-class Warbird is perhaps the largest in the line of starfighters, a bomber by nature, boasting enough bay-room for a nuclear warhead. Made famous by the mercenary, Alex Steele, the little ship is equipped with a superluminous drive, allowing for trans-system voyages, and the wing-mounted phasers have been replaced by larger laser cannons.
An experimental fighter for use with a few select Templar fleets, the Phoenix-class Warbird is a highly deadly three-man fighter. The pilot has six wing-mounted phasers for his use, while the two gunners have laser cannons for point-defence. The ship also comes with a self-destruct, interestingly enough: if the ship is in dire danger of being captured, the pilot may enact the "Oregon Protocol", ramming the enemy vessel to attempt to take them with the dying Phoenix. The blinding flare of light from the destroyed vessel is what gave it its name, though no new one is born from the ashes.
Liberators are extremely large and heavy warships that serve as capital ships for the Knights Templar. A few different variations exist.
Liberator-type warships serve as the capital ships and carriers of the Knights Templar and their battlefleet. They come in a variety of roles and classes, and are equipped with superluminal drives for inter-system transit.
The smallest capital ship in the Templar fleet, the Fire-class Liberator is a three-hundred-metre-long vessel with a fighting crew of three hundred and fifty, deployed as a minor command ship. However, the initial purpose of the vessel was as a light cruiser, capable of fleet support and anti-fighter duties. It cannot hold fighters.
The vessel's armament is arrayed in a "sailing frigate" pattern, with twenty-six double-barrelled laser cannons (thirteen to a side, colloquially known as "laser batteries"), allowing it to effectively broadside a similarly sized starship. However, it also has two warhead launchers, mounted fore and aft, and a point-defense laser system for intercepting enemy missiles and destroying them.
The Warrior-class Liberator is a larger vessel than the Fire-class, coming in at four hundred meters, with a crew of five hundred. Deployed as a carrier and heavy cruiser for fleet action and patrol duties, the vessel is capable of holding twenty Eagle-class Warbirds, and ten of the Condor-class.
The ship's weapons are, like the Fire-class, arrayed in a "sailing frigate" pattern for broadsiding, with thirty-four laser batteries (seventeen to a side), four warhead launchers mounted on either side of the bow and stern, and a point-defence laser system.
The Honor-class is the second heaviest ship in the fleet, carrying 44 gunnery stations, 15 missile launchers, and carrying around 20 warbirds. Only fleet admirals command these. Average crew is 1200.
The Victory-class is the heaviest ship in the Templar fleet, taking over 3 years to construct. So heavy are these ships, that only 2 have ever been built: The Crusader II which serves as the Templar flagship, and The Lionheart which was lost in battle several years ago. The Victory Class holds 125 warbirds, 4200 gunnery stations, and 75 missile launchers, each with nuclear capabilities. Average crew is 10,000.
The Voyager-type starships employed by the Knights Templar are large cargo, transport, and exploration vessels designed by William Kentis. While they are large enough to fend off raiders and other enemies without the need for an escort or support craft, their crew size is small enough, and their fuel usage efficient enough, to allow them to go for several years without need to stop for supplies.
The Avenger-class Voyager is commonly used for the transport of supplies: the ships are large enough that they don't need an escort, making the Voyager a cost-effective option for merchants. The Avenger Class is specialized for merchants with large cargo bays and takes only a twenty-five man crew to fly.
The Knights Templar were always going abroad, for the various pirate ports lay entire solar systems apart. The Templar needed a reliable craft that could be sent on long journeys without an escort. Thus Kentis the Templar Master engineered the Templar-class Voyager that had enough weaponry to fend of pirate ambushes, and enough room to house a large crew. It can go over five years without refuelling, thus many empires use it for exploration.
Freedom Fighters Edit
Freedom Fighters are small and stealthy ships that have advanced cloaking capabilities engineered by William Kentis himself. Only the most advanced radar systems can sense their presence. They are extremely versatile, and serve all sorts of purposes, from shuttle craft to dogfighters to bombers. The most famous of these ships is the Jerusalem Star that Kentis has personally piloted to victory on many occasions. A few different Freedom Fighter variations exist:
The Valor-class Freedom Fighter is used mostly for scouting missions. It is extremely fast and agile, but the only weaponry it has is a few bombs and a single laser cannon.
The Lightning-class Freedom Fighter is smaller then the average warbird, and considered to be the fastest type of ship in the Templar fleet. It is armed with only a single phaser rifle for protection, but its main use is as a bomber. It flies low over enemy planets and can drop its entire payload of bombs in under 15 seconds, thus earning the nickname "Strikers".
The Byzantine-class Freedom Fighter is slightly less quick then the Lightning-class, but it's armed with two gunnery stations, each with three laser cannons. Its larger size makes it more versatile, and it is used by diplomats, leaders, and spies alike. The most famous of these ships is the Jerusalem Star, which has flown over 50 sucessful missions under the personal command of William Kentis.