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Knights of Columbus

Page history last edited by Michael 9 months ago

back to the Index, or to the Empire of the East

 


     This little-known group is active in the Atlantic Seaboard region of the United States, especially in the Empire of the East and the Federal Zone.

 

Pre-Atomic War

 

     Before the Atomic War, they were a male-only fraternal service organization for practicing Catholics, mostly notable for charity and education efforts. The Knights of Columbus were a world-wide organization, but founded in, and with most of its members in, the United States.

 

Post-War History

 

     In the chaos following the Atomic War, they ended up operating and protecting one of the larger refugee camps in southern New Jersey -- this involved a fair amount of luck and some long-forgotten decisions, events, and small battles. The main camp was at Ocean City, but the Knights were initially tied to Saint Mary Magdalen Church (and Catholic school), in Millville (the Parish of All Saints, part of the Camden diocese).

     Over the decades of the 21st Century, the Knights became a monastic and paramilitary organization, tied to the Catholic Church, and dedicated to protecting and improving the Mid-Atlantic portion of the old United States. Technically, they were subservient to the dioceses of Arlington, Richmond, Camden, Trenton and Philadelphia; there's only one bishop serving the area by 2140 -- the Archbishop of Philadelphia, and he's in exile at Lancaster.

     Knights served after the Atomic War as teachers, scientists, engineers, heralds, physicians, couriers, and military cadre; they value wisdom and the teachings and authority of the Catholic Church, and try to live in accordance with Church teachings.

     About 30 years after the Atomic War, and only a few years after the Long Winter had ended, contact was made between the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and a group of Catholic scientists from Latin America. Eventually, a small ship visited New Jersey, and provided various helpful items -- including seeds for some drug-producing plants. Much of the influence -- and wealth -- of the Church was due to the careful production and distribution of medicines, from farms around Vineland in the Pine Barrens. The Knights were the actual scientists, engineers and security force for this.

      At about the same time, the Knights ended their control of the last of the refugee camps; they remained influential, but focused on assisting Catholic communities, rather than administering them.

     One reason the Knights were attacked by the new Empire was to wrest control of their armories, and the drug production greenhouses, away from them.

 

Organization

 

     Before they were mostly destroyed by the Empire, a high council of Masters administered the Knights of Columbus, from the Archbishop's Palace near Philadelphia. The council maintained archives, arranged for training (including seminary training in some cases), distributed funds, and gathered intelligence. The council answered in turn to the Archbishop of Philadelphia.

     The titles in descending order are Master, Brother, and Initiate; the governing Master is titled "Grand Knight", other Masters and the Brothers normally use the title "Sir". Normally each Master or Brother is responsible for the moral, religious, academic and military education of an initiate -- sometimes this calls for sending them off for a couple of years in school.

     In 2090, before the foundation of the Empire, there were about 200 members of this organization, about half of them being initiates. Initiates were supposed to be adults, presumably eighteen years old or more.

     There is still some interstate contact between Catholic groups (not all of them have radios, however). Some notable locations for team R-36:

 

  • a large monastery at Latrobe in East Broad Top

  • a nunnery at Ferdinand, Indiana

  • a Trappist abbey near Bardstown, Kentucky

  • the St. Rose Priory near Springfield, Kentucky

  • the Dominican Nuns of the Perpetual Rosary, in the former Lancaster County Prison in Lancaster, Pennsylvania (they also maintain farmlands around their original site just outside of the Ancient city). The Archbishop of Philadelphia is also housed here since about 2100.

 

the Archbishop's Palace

 

     They wear brown cloaks over regular clothing, and usually carry swords and guns (from East Broad Top). Some of them were well-trained in long-forgotten military arts, or as doctors.

 

Well-Known Members

 

     Only a handful of Masters and Brothers remain alive, along with about the same number of Initiates.

 

  • Sir Pierre La Kluntz is the senior Master, and would be Grand Knight if the Church and the order had the time to organize the selection process.  

  • Sir Colonel Wellard (his first name is "Colonel") was the most skilled of the Knights 30 years ago; he survived the Emperor's purge, but has gone into hiding somewhere.

  • Sir Benjamin Stinson is the usual contact with the Rebels in the Empire of the East. He has a remote cabin in the Barrens.

  • Howard Crittenden, the secretary of St. Paul's parish at Princeton, New Jersey.

 

Resources

 

     They have various allies in the nations of the Atlantic Seaboard, and various caches, hidden bunkers, etc. with weapons, vehicles, and supplies -- especially drugs.

 

Sites

 

     Besides having chambers at the Archbishop's Palace near Philadelphia, the Order had important priories at Vineland and Millville, in the New Jersey Pine Barrens.

     Since their mauling by the Empire of the East, there are only a few safe houses, caches, hidden bunkers, etc. known of by the Knights.

 

 

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