The Templars, also known as the Brotherhood of the Muir, are a quasi-religious organization, independent culture and ethnic group among the many human societies of the Hyperion Cantos universe. They play an important role in the Cantos narrative, both as individual characters (such as Het Masteen), and as a force influencing mankind's destiny. They trace their origins at least as far back as the Hegira days. During the Web Era, they were part of the Hegemony of Man. Their beliefs are centered around the reverence of life and nature, and seem to based at least partially on the life and principles of the 20th-century environmentalist John Muir, revering something called the Muir. During the days of the Hegemony, they were based on God's Grove, a world that they had transformed into a verdant forest planet with massive trees and globe-spanning woods.
The majority of Templars are of Old Earth Asian stock. They typically dress in ascetic, roughspun robes of greenish-brown fabric. Their heads are covered by a cowl.
After the Fall of the Hegemony, the Templars disappeared from mainstream galactic society, and many believed that they had gone extinct. Towards the end of the Pax's reign over the galaxy, it is revealed that this was not the case: fleeing the destruction of their homeworld, the Templars on God's Grove joined their brethren and the Ousters out in deep space. Both groups then continued work on a project they had been collaborating on for over a thousand years: the creation of amazing feats of bioastroengineering such as star-encircling environments filled with living beings from across the known galaxy. Early versions of these structures included the orbital forest rings tended by the Ousters, which eventually evolved into massive Dyson-sphere habitats like the Startree Biosphere.
SPOILER ALERT! The section(s) below are MAJOR SPOILERS.
The novella Orphans of the Helix makes further revelations about the history and nature of the Templars. For instance, it is revealed that the Templars have been allied with the Ousters since at least the early days of the Hegira, and having boarded early Ouster seedships headed towards uncharted territories. See for instance, True Voice of the Tree Reta Kasteen and the Startree Biosphere.
The Templars had correctly prophesied that Brawne Lamia would bear a child to be called the One Who Teaches, alongside identical prophecies by the Shrike Church, the Ousters, and others. As such, the Templars correctly foresaw the salvation of humanity through Aenea's DNA sacrament.
- For a complete list, see Templars (category).
- The Rise of Endymion, 1995, Ch. 25
- Worlds Enough & Time, 2002, Orphans of the Helix, 100.
- The Rise of Endymion, 1995, Ch. 32