Brotherhood of Iron
The Brotherhood of Iron is an organization that formed from the ranks of the Knights Templar shortly after their destruction at the hands of the Roman Catholic Church in the mid-14th century.
It is led by a mysterious individual known only as The Architect. Their agenda is nothing short of the complete destruction of the Roman Catholic Church, it’s members and especially the Pope.
They have a significant presence in Rome.
The Brotherhood of Iron is an esoteric group dedicated to the complete destruction of the Roman Catholic church, their followers, destruction of their holdings and the divestiture of their Cardinals, Bishops, Priests, Deacons and Pope. Their broad sweeping goal is a result of hundreds of years of persecution and oppression by the Holy Church.
The Brotherhood of Iron can trace its lineage to the medieval European and religious organization known as the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon (Latin: Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique Salomonici), more commonly called the Knights Templar, or Order of Solomon’s temple.
The organization did not exist at the same time as the Templar order, but was founded upon the bones of the Templars after Pope Clement issued the papal bull Pastoralis Praeeminentiae on November 22, 1307, which instructed all Christian monarchs in Europe to arrest all Templars and seize their assets. This papal decree followed the already active suppression the the Templars in France which began on Friday, October 13, 1307, as instituted by the French King Phillip IV.
It has been suggested that the Pope was coerced by the French monarchy into supporting the seizure of Templar monies, property and lands, but evidence for this is inconclusive. It is generally thought that while there was some persuasion by the monarchy to participate in this suppression, that the desire to do so was not forced, but welcomed as an opportunity to redistribute some of the Templar capital monies into severely depleted papal coffers.
From 1307 through the official disbanding of the Templar Order at the council of Viennes in 1312, the members of the Templar order found themselves imprisoned, tortured, forced from their homes and either murdered or burned at the stake. Upon the issuance of a series of papal bulls, including Vox in Excelso, which officially dissolved the Order, and Ad Providam, which turned over most Templar assets to the Hospitallers, the Templar Order for all intents and purposes ceased to exist as an entity.
While many of the members of the Order were absorbed by the Order Hospitallers, some became determined to fight the injustice that they and their brethren had suffered at the hands of the church. These members would become the forerunners of the Brotherhood of Iron.
The Grand Master of the Templar Order was Jacques de Molay. He had been imprisoned since 1307, but despite this, de Molay was instrumental in funding and assisting the newly formed Brotherhood in establishing its holdings.
Discovering that De Molay and the other leaders of the order were involved in activities against the papacy, Pope Clement V declared them relapsed heretics. They were burned at the stake on March 18, 1314.
According to legend, he [de Molay] called out from the flames that both Pope Clement and King Philip would soon meet him before God. His actual words were recorded on an official court parchment as follows: “Dieu sait qui a tort et a péché. Il va bientot arriver malheur à ceux qui nous ont condamnés à mort” (“God knows who is wrong and has sinned. Soon a calamity will occur to those who have condemned us to death”). Pope Clement died only a month later, and King Philip died in a hunting accident before the end of the year. This is often considered evidence that de Molay was possibly a thaumaturge.
Many of the earliest years of the Brotherhood’s formation were spent in secrecy. The active persecution of the Brotherhoods members and holdings forced the order deep underground. Soon they had developed safe houses, enclaves and secret greeting rituals. Members became adept at cryptography, espionage and related skills.
In the mid-1320s, The Brotherhood began to recruit anti-papal heretics from the Dulcian and the Cathar communities targeted by the papacy. With this influx of members, some of which were wealthy and able to secret away their resources for the benefit of the brotherhood, the group was able to build a solidly structured and secretive foundation from which to launch their future operations.
Since their founding, the Brotherhood soon determined that secretive operations would be their best defense against papist attacks and oppression. Their rituals were carefully crafted to reveal even the most stalwart papal infiltrators. What began as a means of detecting potential spies eventually evolved into the cornerstone beliefs of the Brotherhood.
Throughout the years, the Brotherhood became aware of the existence of the Venatori Umbrata. The group learned from and in some cases was able to adopt the practices of thaumaturgy. They have been able to identify and utilize powerful artifacts. Their study of esoteric works from around the world has become a standard practice for members.
The Brotherhood collects artifacts, much in the same way that the Venatori do. This activity often places the two groups at odds. Amongst the artifacts that is suspected within the possession of the Brotherhood of Iron is a mummified head recovered from beneath the Temple Mount in Jeruselum. The secrets of it’s power is known only to a handful of Brotherhood members. It has been suggested that it is the sole property of the current leadership of the Brotherhood. That leader is known as The Architect.
The Brotherhood of Iron is most active throughout Europe. Its members come from many different nationalities, with a broad series of beliefs. They are bound together by their hatred of the Papacy and their interests in Esoteric teachings.
There are major headquarters in every major country in Europe, with smaller satellite offices in more various locations in each country. Smaller offices exist in various areas in North America, South America, Asia and Africa. The largest headquarters are known as Enclaves, the smaller offices are generally called Gatherings.
One of the largest Enclaves is located near Rome, Italy. This is the primary location from which the Brotherhood maintains the majority of their operations against the Vatican.
The diversity of the Brotherhood’s membership also lends itself to a form of decentralization that is best described as financial diversity.