- "Shall mankind’s lot be to sit idle and let the darkness take him? No, I say thee! We must strike back against the shadows!"
- —Cruzado anónimo
Es quizá el mayor acto que un templario pueda realizar el poder ir a la guerra en el nombre de los dioses. En tiempos pasados, especialmente durante las cruzadas contra Arabia, era inusual para un caballero no ir a la cruzada con esta orden. Pero en tiempos mas recientes, las cruzadas son mucho menos comunes, especialmente en tal escala. Los cruzados son esos caballeros que son veteranos de cruzadas, que han obtenido gran gloria para su orden y la fe por sus actos en tierras extranjeras contra los enemigos del Culto.
Son hombres de mundo, hábiles con la lucha en cualquier modo o condiciones y contra todo tipo de enemigos, y muchos caballeros que regresan de las cruzadas encuentran sus gestas grabadas ya para siempre en forma de leyendas de sus Órdenes. No todos los cruzados provienen de la nobleza o de órdenes caballerescas, aunque es verdad que es de ahí de donde suelen provenir. Algunos son hombres piadosos, meros soldados, luchando al lado de ejércitos de templarios y caballeros, y sus gestas no son menos nobles a pesar de su estatus inferior.
Crusader Patrons and the Economics of FaithEditar
Although crusades are usually declared by a religious order, many of the knights who join them are driven by worldly motives like revenge or the pursuit of glory. Crusaders from the Empire typically belong to Sigmarite or Ulrican orders such as the Knights Panther or Knights of the White Wolf.
Crusaders from the southern lands of Estalia and Tilea are almost entirely from the Myrmidian Order of the Righteous Spear. Bretonnian crusaders fight on behalf of their liege lords and the Lady of the Lake, rather than belonging to organised knightly orders. The lands north of Kislev have become a popular destination for crusaders from across the Old World since the Storm of Chaos.
Crusades are costly endeavours, often requiring significant investment from nobles and merchants. Religious orders lacking the resources to supply ships and baggage trains themselves must guarantee treasure or parcels of land to potential financiers. Wealthy benefactors who wish to have their interests properly represented provide soldiers led by knights from their own armies, or even accompany the crusade in person. The cult of Sigmar is the only religious order with sufficient wealth to launch a crusade without the backing of others, although the temples’ coffers would be depleted by such an endeavour, so the patronage of nobles is generally solicited.
Echoes of ArabyEditar
Every crusader knows of the crusades against Araby nearly 1,000 years ago which were launched in retaliation for Sultan Jaffar’s invasion of Estalia. Few realise the extent to which those crusades still influence the customs of knightly orders today. The Knights Panthers’ symbolic cat pelts are intended to commemorate their crusader forebears, but the order also practises ritualistic hand gestures before meals to bless their food and drink. In modern times, these gestures are accompanied by prayers to Taal and Rhya, but originally they were used in spells by the crusaders’ hedge sorcerers to appease desert spirits. Present day crusaders of the Knights Panther wear grilled visors on their helms as a matter of tradition, but during the Arabyan crusades this was merely a precaution against heat stroke.
When the Arabyan port city of Copher was ransacked during the original crusades, both civilians and wounded soldiers were slain without quarter. The grandmasters of the Righteous Spear agreed at the time that the killings at Copher constituted murder, not war, and warned their knights against the temptations of the dread god Khaine. The Order of the Righteous Spear has a longstanding policy amongst its crusaders to always accept a human enemy’s surrender.
- Warhammer Fantasy JdR: Tome of Salvation (2ª Ed. Rol).
- Warhammer Fantasy JdR: Career Compendium (2ª Ed. Rol).