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There is no purpose greater than ours. The world will founder without structure and discipline.
The Templars are a player and NPC secret society for The Secret World revealed at the end of the Three Are Coming buildup. They are a faction of individuals who see themselves as the first and last line of defense against the evils in The Secret World, and will do whatever it takes to ensure that the world is rid of the evil that plagues it. The old guard; suave and sophisticated, but fiercely brutal and uncompromising in their crusade against darkness. They don't participate in the war on evil. They ARE the war on evil. They're good in the sense that in order to get to that one demon in the middle of the town they're willing to burn the whole thing down, so good is a relative term.  The Templars are in this huge stone building in London, because they are the least secret of all secret societies, they're very much out in the open.  They are old-school. They have been fighting evil for thousands of years and they've been doing with extreme prejudice. They are traditionalist, but there are changes with the new blood coming to make sure they are in tune with the times, not all is in control by the "withered old men" anymore. 
Proudly tracing their royal lineage back to Babylon, the Templars are the lions of the secret world. When they roar, everyone listens. Old Europe is theirs, and the Templars' marble hall dominates the old London borough of Ealdwic - historic capital of the secret world. It's not just a show of strength. Nothing is just for show with the Templars.
The Templars uniforms At the forefront of the war against darkness, they decide for themselves what counts as darkness. Never backing down from a fight. Never forgetting a grudge. They have tradition to uphold. For thousands of years they have been single-minded in their mission to obliterate evil in all its forms. Where angels fear to tread, the Templars kick down doors.
The Templars character As a soldier of the Templars, you will benefit from their military might. They have hoarded vast occult libraries and the hard-won knowledge of battles throughout time. Their traditional magics, the old mysticism of sorcerers and priests, of life and death, are powerful still. And the loyalty between Templars may be old-fashioned, but it is absolute. You will not stand alone.
"GameSpot: What sort of player will most enjoy playing as a Templar character?
Ragnar Tørnquist: Anyone who likes structure and order; taking--and giving--commands; being part of a massive and ancient organization; and waging a crusade against evil across the world and throughout time. Also, who doesn't want to march under the Templars' red flag? Best of all, you get to show those bloody Illuminati who truly rules the secret world. Might makes right... right?There's so much history to these guys, which makes them an incredibly fun and deep secret society to dig into. Everything you've heard may be true or it may be a clever lie. But the Templars go way back, and they've been involved in pretty much every major religious and political event in Europe during the past thousand years. And further back than that. Much, much further. Think "cradle of the civilization" further. The Dragon may have their mysteries; the Illuminati their incredible wealth and, you know, rocking parties. But the Templars have history; they have depth; and they have the best tailors. And class. Plenty of class.
—Ragnar Tørnquist, Source
A flash based quiz was added to the front page of the Dark Days Are Coming website. Players could take the quiz to see which of the three revealed player factions their temperament would fit into best. After completing the quiz, players were offered the option to view descriptions for each of the factions. The following description was given for the Templars:
"Deliverance From Evil"
Crusaders. Judges. The Holy Terror. The Templars are the world's least secretive secret society. Their military-ideological machine has operated in plain sight since Babylon - a matter of pride, or moral superiority. Conspiracy theorists, obsessed with the minor 'Knights Templar' offshoot, underestimate the Templars' true European empire. Private armies. Members of parliaments. Royal families.
The Templars believe they will deliver the world from evil by force, and even their opponents - who call them zealots and warmongers - cannot deny that force. As an agent of the Templars you are not just fighting the war on darkness, you "are" the war on darkness. Suave and sophisticated, but brutal and uncompromising, you use history as a weapon to shape the future.Few will stand in the way of the Templars' banner. Do you have the will to stand behind it?
—Flash Quiz, darkdaysarecoming.com
According to The Buzzing, the Templars were founded by one of the rulers of the Tower of Babel. The other ruler of the tower was his brother. When they feuded over a woman, the tower ended up being destroyed and they went their own ways. One brother to form the Templars and one brother to form the Phoenicians. When this happened is uncertain, but given the 2nd Age's love of ziggurats (tower of Babel) and the 3rd Age's "seafaring people" - it's possible their origins are during the 2nd Age (Although not confirmed by any means).
The Templars are crusaders, and the society operates like a private army. A giant private army. They pretty much have the resources of a small country. They could take Luxembourg in a second; maybe even Belgium; definitely Iceland. And they don't hide it. Take one look at their headquarters: These guys are not subtle. But they've got confidence to spare and the track record to go with it. No one's better at this "war on evil" thing than the Templars. They don't restrict themselves to firearms--anything goes. But players who join the Templars will certainly have access to some pretty cool weapons--shiny, pretty weapons with fancy logos. What's the point in hiding who you are when you rule the world?
In their eyes, the Templars don't participate in the war on evil--they are the war on evil. And they believe they're protected, untouchable, holy, even, though not necessarily in a religious way. It goes deeper than that--to the very core of the mystery of this world, which is a central part of our story. And they see magic--the occult--as their birthright; something they've inherited, something that's in their blood; the pure blue blood of their ancient order. Players may find themselves looked down on to begin with, but they'll soon fit right in and gain access to the powerful relics that this society has accrued through the centuries.
The Templars are quite arrogant. After dominating much of the secret world for most of the past millennium, this cockiness has hurt them in the past. But there's pressure from within their own ranks to change with the times--to adapt to the new world order--and this dynamic plays a big part in the Templars' story mission. As an initiate of the order, you'll definitely see for yourself how these guys operate, and you'll be able to use their methods to get the information you need. But, yes, they definitely use their massive might to get what they need, and players will get to experience that for themselves.
They are old-school. They have been fighting evil for thousands of years and they've been doing with extreme prejudice. They are traditionalist, but there are changes with the new blood coming to make sure they are in tune with the times, not all is in control by the "withered old men" anymore.
—Ragnar Tørnquist, Source
You came to us in search of a purpose.
And mark this, there is no purpose greater than ours. The world will founder without structure and discipline. It needs leadership to guide it to a new age of stability. It needs those with the will to stamp out the darkness that breeds in the cracks. We do this because we are compelled, by tradition, by loyalty, by laws. Without these, we are just animals. Evil reigns over animals, corrupting and compromising, toppling empires. So our empire must be incorruptible, must be uncompromising. Our conflict must be a righteous one. Your conviction will be tested. But among us, your faith will be unshaken.Among the Templars.
—Initiation Video, Youtube
Despite the naming and symbolism which heavily references the Knights Templar, Funcom has stressed that this faction is purely fictional and the background of the faction begins during the time of Babylon, long before Christianity even existed. The Templars in-game won't be restricted to any religion or race. Ragnar addressed this issue directly in a Twitter interview where he stated:
brinstar: On TSW forums players are associating Templars with Christianity. Will the devs distance the faction from religion?
Ragnar: Templars aren't about Christianity. They're about Faith. Which is different. And also about kicking demon ass.
—Ragnar Tørnquist, Twitter Interview
Revealing the Templars
They believe they're protected, untouchable, holy, even, though not necessarily in a religious way. It goes deeper than that--to the very core of the mystery of this world, which is a central part of our story. And they see magic--the occult--as their birthright; something they've inherited, something that's in their blood; the pure blue blood of their ancient order. Players may find themselves looked down on to begin with, but they'll soon fit right in and gain access to the powerful relics that this society has accrued through the centuries. 
The Knights Templar are basically a radical separatist group of The Secret World's Templars, who have been around since the dawn of Ur and Babylon, of the Mesopotamian nations.  Conspiracy theorists, obsessed with the minor "Knights Templar" offshoot, underestimate the Templars' true European empire.
The Secret War
It has yet to be revealed how the Templars will interact with the Dragon player faction. The Templar are the arch nemesis of the Illuminati after having exiled them from Europe centuries ago, forcing them to establish in the New World.
See the main article, Lore:Templars
|Julia Beatrix Tyburn|
- Lore:Phoenicians, Entry 4
- Lore:The Third Age (Phoenicians ?), Entry 3
Cler1c and Vengeful-frog collected some of this information in a post on the official forums that was deleted and replaced with the current forums we have now.