Holy orders

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Hiring holy orders outside of a great holy war

Holy orders are bands of troops that can be hired for piety to fight religious enemies. Holy orders can also operate as independent rulers, constructing castles and waging their own wars.

The size of Holy Orders is scaled with the religion's Moral authority. If the Holy Order is currently hired, its size will be updated only when it is dismissed. For example, the Hindu Followers of Arjuna can only have 4k men when MA is at about 20% and 10k men when MA is about 100%.

During great holy wars, as well as when defending against infidels, holy orders have free upkeep. During offensive wars, however, they have a substantial gold upkeep cost, similar to mercenaries.

Forces hired from holy orders will only fight against enemies of the faith:

  • Christian holy orders only fight heretics of their religion and infidels. For example, a Catholic holy order will not fight against the Orthodox or Iconoclast Byzantine Empire, but will fight against any Cathar ruler or any Muslim ruler.
  • Muslim, Pagan, and Indian holy orders are also hostile against other religions within their group.

SoA mechanics[edit]

With Sons of Abraham, holy orders have received a major overhaul.

Building castles[edit]

Holy Orders often operate on their own, without the contract of a ruler. They may ask rulers of their religion to allow them to build a castle in the ruler's demesne. The Holy Order only requires the local count's approval- the permission of the count's liege, if any, is not required. Once they get permission, construction will begin.

Holy Orders will continue to request the rights to build castles as long as they have enough wealth (300g), no county titles, and fewer than 10 controlled settlements. This will eventually put them over their demesne limit, and they will grant extra castles with appointment succession. If you have Imperial Administration or Iqta government, retracting these baron vassals will allow the Holy Order to build more castles. This is an inexpensive, if gamey, way to increase the strength of your realm.

Rulers cannot use the "de jure holdings" CB against holy orders of their religion. However, for 1000 piety, they can expel the holy order and seize all castles. Any debts with the Order will also be cancelled. The Order will not request to build castles in the ruler's realm.

Relatives of rulers[edit]

Occasionally, an unmarried son or brother who does not stand to inherit may ask to join Holy Order of their religion. They are more likely to request if Zealous , and will be more likely to join a Holy Order with an aligned cause or is more local (for example, a German would be more likely to join the Teutonic Order than the Knights Templar if both are formed).

If allowed, the courtier moves to the holy order and unmarries all spouses. If the allowing ruler shares their religion, the ruler gains 100 piety. Characters cannot marry or inherit as long as they remain in the holy order. Except for CM holy orders (Zun and Ibadi), the character also gains the Celibate  trait.

Once in the holy order, it is possible for them to become the successor through Open Elective succession, which selects the man with the highest prestige plus age. This can be very useful if your dynasty: each holy order controlled by your dynasty gives you (and all other count+ rulers of your dynasty) +2 monthly prestige and +1 monthly piety. Holy orders controlled by your dynasty are also much cheaper to hire. High dynasty prestige can help your relatives win, as can the skills to obtain a council position within the holy order.

Loans and Donations[edit]

Aside from castle and hiring income, Holy Orders can also gain money from donations. Donating 300 Wealth to a Holy Order will grant you 300 piety and put you in good standing with both the Grandmaster of that Order, your religious head, and all temple vassals.

You can also borrow money from a Holy Order. At any time you can borrow 300 gold from any Holy Order of your religion, so long as they have 300 gold to give. However, while in debt the Grandmaster can make various demands, either demanding a son or brother to join the Order or building a castle in your demesne. If this happens, you may either accept (canceling your debt), refuse (losing 1000 Piety and damaging your relations with your religious head), or pay back the 300 gold debt.

Vassalizing mercenaries and holy orders[edit]

Some mercenaries and holy orders are vassals of feudal lords in historical starts, or can become vassals by special decision. Others can become vassals, but only under certain circumstances if they become landed.

A landed mercenary company or holy order may, like any independent duke-tier ruler, accept diplomatic vassalization if the requester is a same-religion neighbor. As with any vassalization offer, you must be at least two of:

  • Two tiers higher (emperor)
  • Their de jure liege (you may grant one of your de jure duchies to a holy order while at peace)
  • Same culture (having high dynasty prestige ensures that any kinsmen who become knights have a good chance of being elected)

Alternatively, you may be able to find claimants. Open Elective succession does not generate claims for the second and third in line, but holy order captains may have children, who will inherit weak claims. You may get a chance to press such a claim when the ruler is incapable  or bedridden from illness. If the ruler has an intrigue education, plotting against them will usually get them to go in hiding , which also forces a regency.

Benefits of vassalizing holy orders[edit]

  • A vassal company can only be raised by its liege, and at 1/5 the regular hiring cost. There is no upkeep cost.
  • With SoA: many sons of rulers will become courtiers of the holy order. With the holy order under your control, you can land these characters to either press their claims or allow them to inherit their parent's title. (For the latter, you may need to reload or `recalc_succ` on their parent.)
  • With SoA: you can remove members of other dynasties from the order's line of succession to help a knight of your dynasty become the next grandmaster. This further decreases the hiring cost, and gives monthly prestige and piety to all count+ rulers of your dynasty with the correct religion.
  • With SoA: holy order captains can become incredibly rich from donations and effectively owning 10 castles. By appointing a wroth character as your marshal, you may get a chance to seize their wealth. Without Conclave, appointing a greedy character as your steward works too.
  • With SoA and Imperial Administration or Iqta Government: you can freely retract the castles they erect. You will inherit these castles, as their succession remains Appointment even after retraction. With fewer than 10 castles under their control, the holy order will be able to construct new castles for only 300g each, completing the cycle.

Becoming the grandmaster[edit]

If the vassal company/holy order somehow changes its Succession law to a non Elective law (such as gaining a kingdom), the kingdom's succession law will supersede the "default" succession, forcing the Company/Holy Order to be passed along Dynastic routes. Since there is no Dynastic heir, you will be the Heir by default (inheritance by appointment), enabling you to possibly gain command of the company/Holy Order. Take note however: upon the Grandmaster's death, you inherit his wealth, the kingdom title you gave him, and any holdings he controlled *directly*. The vassalized Order will likely continue with a new elected Grandmaster as your vassal, presumably because it still has baronies that were indirectly controlled; i.e. held by other Knights o/t Order. It is uncertain how this may affect any holdings you may have granted with the Kingdom title. For safety, it is best to give an "empty" kingdom title, such as transferring the Duke of Brittany to another king, then granting the Kingdom of Brittany to the Order with no accompanying lands. If the Order has significant wealth, this may be worthwhile even if it only gains you wealth and a single barony.

It is possible to revoke the holy order title and become grandmaster yourself, though this seems to have little benefit over vassalizing them. The duchy title may deteriorate your vassal relations due to the "-10 Too many held duchies" penalty. You can raise them for free (No initial cost nor maintenance. The Military screen may show an "upkeep" but it does not actually deduct anything). You may be disallowed from arranging marriages while you hold the title.

List of holy orders[edit]

Holy orders are created by events when certain conditions are met. If a heresy becomes mainstream, they always join the new mainstream religion.

Name Religion Culture Birth trigger Composition ID
Knights Templar Catholic.png Catholic French Crusades unlocked and either
  • year is at least 1118
  • or Byzantium Empire owner is not Christian
  • or one of the following counties owner is not Christian: Constantinople, Ancyra, Rome, or (Athens and Corinth).

Vassal of Jerusalem from 1119. Can be vassalized by decision by Jerusalem for 500 gold (requires Sons of Abraham).

Heavy infantry.png Heavy cavalry.png Archers.png
55% 27% 18%
d_knights_templar
Knights Hospitaller Catholic.png Catholic Occitan Crusades unlocked and either:
  • year is at least 1113
  • or Byzantium Empire owner is not Christian
  • or one of the following counties' owner is not Christian: Constantinople, Ancyra, Rome, (Athens and Corinth), Provence, Toulouse, Paris, Cologne or Braunschweig.

Vassal of Jerusalem from 1099. Can be vassalized by decision by Jerusalem for 500 gold (requires Sons of Abraham).

Heavy infantry.png Heavy cavalry.png Archers.png Ships.png
54% 27% 18% 1%
d_knights_hospitaler
Teutonic Order Catholic.png Catholic German Crusades unlocked and either:
  • year is at least 1192
  • or one of the following counties owner is not Christian: Provence, Toulouse, Paris, Cologne or Braunschweig.

Landed from 1225.

Heavy infantry.png Heavy cavalry.png Archers.png
68% 9% 23%
d_teutonic_order
Knights of Calatrava Catholic.png Catholic Castillian Sons of Abraham DLC, Crusades unlocked and either:
  • year is at least 1164
  • or one of the following counties owner is not Christian: Provence, Toulouse, Paris, Cologne, Braunschweig or Bordeaux.

Vassal of Castile from 1164.

Heavy infantry.png Light cavalry.png Heavy cavalry.png Archers.png
29% 43% 14% 36%
d_knights_calatrava
Knights of Santiago Catholic.png Catholic Castillian Sons of Abraham DLC, Crusades unlocked and either:
  • year is at least 1175
  • or one of the following counties owner is not Christian: Provence, Toulouse, Paris, Cologne, Braunschweig or Bordeaux.

Vassal of Castile from 1171.

Heavy infantry.png Light cavalry.png Heavy cavalry.png
57% 29% 14%
d_knights_santiago
Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre Orthodox.png Orthodox Greek
  • Sons of Abraham DLC
  • Counties of Antioch and Jerusalem are Orthodox and owned by Orthodox characters.
Heavy infantry.png Heavy cavalry.png Archers.png
55% 27% 18%
d_holy_sepulchre
Order of Saint Anthony Miaphysite.png Miaphysite Ethiopian
  • Sons of Abraham DLC
  • Counties of Alexandria, Makuria and Aksum are Miaphysite and owned by Miaphysite characters.
Heavy infantry.png Light cavalry.png Heavy cavalry.png Archers.png
45% 18% 9% 27%
d_saint_anthony
Order of Saint Addai Nestorian.png Nestorian Persian
  • Sons of Abraham DLC
  • Jerusalem and Baghdad are Nestorian and owned by Nestorian characters.
Heavy infantry.png Light cavalry.png Heavy cavalry.png Archers.png
45% 18% 9% 27%
d_saint_addai
Hashshashin Shia.png Shiite Persian
  • Year is at least 1089
  • and Alamut holding has no holder
  • and Dailam province has fewer than 5 settlements

Landed from 1090 until 1256.

Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Archers.png Horse archers.png
20% 40% 20% 20%
d_hashshashin
Bektashi Order Sunni.png Sunni Persian Sons of Abraham DLC, Jihads are unlocked and either:
  • year is at least 1228
  • or one of the following counties owner is not Muslim: Baghdad, Damascus, Cairo, Jerusalem or Mecca
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Archers.png Horse archers.png
21% 43% 21% 14%
d_bektashi
Haruriyyah Ibadi.png Ibadi Persian Charlemagne DLC, Jihads are unlocked and one of the following counties owner is not Muslim: Hajar, Damascus, Cairo, Jerusalem or Mecca
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Archers.png Horse archers.png
21% 43% 21% 14%
d_haruriyyah
Zealots Judaism.png Jewish Ashkenazi Sons of Abraham DLC and Jewish high priesthood is restored
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Archers.png
36% 45% 18%
d_zealots
Immortals Zoroastrian.png Zoroastrian Persian Sons of Abraham DLC and Zoroastrian priesthood is restored
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Archers.png
21% 50% 29%
d_immortals
Jomsvikings Reformed Norse.png Germanic (or Reformed Germanic) Norse
  • The Old Gods DLC
  • The year is at least 920
  • Either Stettin, Wolgast, Rügen or Werle has a free holding
  • The count holding the chosen county is Germanic or Reformed Germanic
  • The holder accepts the creation
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Archers.png
18% 64% 18%
d_jomsvikings
Lords of the Sky Reformed Tengri.png Reformed Tengri Cuman Sons of Abraham DLC and Tengri reformation
Light cavalry.png Heavy cavalry.png Horse archers.png
21% 14% 64%
d_sky_lords
Spirit Guardians Reformed West African.png Reformed West African Mandé Sons of Abraham DLC and West African reformation
Light infantry.png Pikemen.png Archers.png
38% 15% 46%
d_spirit_guardians
Warriors of Perun Reformed Slavic.png Reformed Slavic Russian Sons of Abraham DLC and Slavic reformation
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Archers.png
25% 50% 25%
d_warriors_perun
Chosen of Perkunas Reformed Romuva.png Reformed Romuva Lettigallian Sons of Abraham DLC and Romuva reformation
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Archers.png
25% 50% 25%
d_chosen_perkunas
Sons of Kaleva Reformed Suomenusko.png Reformed Suomenusko Finnish Sons of Abraham DLC and Suomenusko reformation
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Archers.png
25% 50% 25%
d_sons_kaleva
Cult of Huitzilopochtli Reformed Aztec.png Reformed Aztec Nahua Sons of Abraham DLC and Aztec reformation
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Archers.png
20% 67% 13%
d_huitzilopochtli
Chosen of Ashoka Buddhist.png Buddhist Marathi Rajas of India DLC
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Archers.png
25% 50% 25%
d_ashokas_chosen
Followers of Arjuna Hindu.png Hindu Hindustani Rajas of India DLC
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Archers.png
25% 50% 25%
d_followers_arjuna
Bulls of Rishabha Jain.png Jain Kannada Rajas of India DLC
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Archers.png
25% 50% 25%
d_bulls_rishabha
Knights of the Sun Reformed Zunist.png Reformed Zunist Afghan Charlemagne DLC and Zunist reformation
Heavy infantry.png Light cavalry.png
50% 50%
d_zun_warriors
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