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 with piety to fight religious enemies. Holy orders can also operate as independent rulers, constructing castles and waging their own wars. Most religions only have one holy order; only Catholics have multiple orders.

The size of holy orders is scaled according to the religion's moral authority. If the holy order is currently hired, its size will be updated only when it is dismissed.

Hiring holy orders[edit]

You can hire a holy order if:

  • You follow the titles religion
  • You have sufficient piety
  • You have not expelled the holy order
  • They are not a vassal of another ruler
  • They have not been hired by another ruler or raised their own troops to fight a war

During great holy wars, as well as when defending against infidels, holy orders have no wealth 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 or any Muslim ruler.
  • Muslim, Pagan, and Indian holy orders are also hostile against other religions within their group.

SoA mechanics[edit]

With Dlc icon sons of abraham.pngSons 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 no longer 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 100 piety and put you in good standing with the Grandmaster of that Order, your religious head, and all temple vassals. Note that you cannot donate to holy orders which you have vassalized.

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]

Main article: Vassalizing mercenaries and holy orders

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. Similarly they can be formed by a former heresy once it becomes mainstream.

Taoism does not have a holy order.

Most pagan holy orders require reformation of the religion, except the Germanic holy order.

CoA Name Religion Culture Birth trigger Composition ID
D knights templar.png 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 King of Jerusalem for 500 gold (requires Sons of Abraham).
Only one holy order can be vassalized by decision.

Heavy infantry.png Heavy cavalry.png Archers.png
55% 27% 18%
d_knights_templar
D knights hospitaler.png 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 King of Jerusalem for 500 gold (requires Sons of Abraham).
Only one holy order can be vassalized by decision.

Heavy infantry.png Heavy cavalry.png Archers.png Ships.png
54% 27% 18% 1%
d_knights_hospitaler
K teutonic state.png Livonian 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 1204.

Heavy infantry.png Heavy cavalry.png Archers.png
56% 19% 25%
d_livonian_order
D teutonic order.png 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.
Can be created earlier by decision by a German ruler, if the Kingdom of Jerusalem is under Catholic control.

Heavy infantry.png Heavy cavalry.png Archers.png
68% 9% 23%
d_teutonic_order
D knights calatrava.png 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
D knights santiago.png 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
D holy sepulchre.png Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre Orthodox.png Orthodox Greek
  • Sons of Abraham DLC, created by decision taken by an Orthodox ruler.
  • Ruler publicly practices the Orthodox religion
  • Crusades/Jihads/Great Holy Wars unlocked
  • Ruler is independent, not at war
  • Ruler or any of his vassals controls the County of Jerusalem
  • Ruler is not Excommunicated
  • Ruler has 500 piety and 500 wealth
Heavy infantry.png Heavy cavalry.png Archers.png
55% 27% 18%
d_holy_sepulchre
D saint anthony.png Order of Saint Anthony Miaphysite.png Miaphysite Ethiopian
  • Sons of Abraham DLC, created by decision taken by a Miaphysite ruler.
  • Ruler publicly practices the Miaphysite religion
  • Crusades/Jihads/Great Holy Wars unlocked
  • Ruler has 1000 piety and 500 wealth
  • Control one of the Miaphysite holy sites
  • Moral authority of Miaphysite religion at least 50%
Heavy infantry.png Light cavalry.png Heavy cavalry.png Archers.png
45% 18% 9% 27%
d_saint_anthony
D saint addai.png Order of Saint Addai Nestorian.png Nestorian Persian
  • Sons of Abraham DLC, created by decision taken by a Nestorian ruler.
  • Ruler publicly practices the Nestorian religion
  • Crusades/Jihads/Great Holy Wars unlocked
  • Ruler has 1000 piety and 500 wealth
  • Control one of the Nestorian holy sites
  • Moral authority of Nestorian religion at least 50%
Heavy infantry.png Light cavalry.png Heavy cavalry.png Archers.png
45% 18% 9% 27%
d_saint_addai
D hashshashin.png Fedayeen Shia.png Shia Persian
  • Year is at least 1089
  • Playable Shia rulers exist (do Mamluks count??)

Landed from 1090 until 1256.

Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Archers.png Horse archers.png
20% 40% 20% 20%
d_hashshashin
D bektashi.png 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
D haruriyyah.png Haruriyyah Ibadi.png Ibadi Bedouin DLC icon Charlemagne.pngCharlemagne DLC, Jihads are unlocked, there is an Ibadi caliph, 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
D zealots.png 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
D immortals.png 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
D army light.png Army of Light Zoroastrian Heresy.png Manichean Persian

Sons of Abraham DLC, created by decision taken by a Manichean ruler.

  • Ruler is male, not imprisoned, at least 16 years old
  • Ruler publicly practices the Manichean religion (doesn't require Manichean being the Mazdan orthodoxy)
  • Crusades/Jihads/Great Holy Wars unlocked
  • Ruler has 1000 piety and 500 wealth
  • Control one of the Manichean holy sites
  • Moral authority of Manichean religion at least 50%

Taking the decision cost the ruler 300 prestige and 300 wealth.

Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Archers.png Horse archers.png
20% 47% 20% 13%
d_army_light
D jomsvikings.png 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
D sky lords.png 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
D spirit guardians.png 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
D warriors perun.png 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
D chosen perkunas.png 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
D sons kaleva.png 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
D huitzilopochtli.png 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
D ashokas chosen.png Chosen of Ashoka Buddhist.png Buddhist Marathi If five of major cities in India (Mahoyadapuram, Cholamandalam, Manyapura, Navasarika, Kataka, Laksmanavati, Magadha, Jaunpur, Manyakheta, Goa, Vijayawada, Mallabhum, Tripuri, Ujjayini, Debul, Ajayameru, Kanyakubja, Lahur, Delhi, Multan) are owned by non-Dharmic rulers, all three holy orders become active.
The major cities of India



Can also be created individually by decision if a ruler has 1000 piety and control of all five of their religion's holy sites. After the year 1100, simply requires 200 piety.

Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Archers.png War elephants.png
23% 53% 23% 2%
d_ashokas_chosen
D followers arjuna.png Followers of Arjuna Hindu.png Hindu Hindustani
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Archers.png War elephants.png
23% 53% 23% 2%
d_followers_arjuna
D bulls rishabha.png Bulls of Rishabha Jain.png Jain Kannada
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Archers.png War elephants.png
23% 53% 23% 2%
d_bulls_rishabha
D zun warriors.png 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
D myrmidons.png Myrmidons Reformed Hellenic.png Reformed Hellenic Greek Holy Fury DLC and Hellenic reformation
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png
20% 80%
d_myrmidons
D dralhas children.png Children of Dralha Reformed Bön.png Reformed Bön Bödpa The Old Gods, Jade Dragon or Holy Fury DLC and Bön reformation
Light infantry.png Heavy infantry.png Archers.png War elephants.png
23% 53% 23% 2%
d_dralhas_children