~ The Synopsis of The Maltese Hospitallers: Iron-Blooded Knights
Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller of Malta
Grand Master Giovanni D'Angelis
The Grand Master in a Crusader Armor of the 21st Century
Credit Goes to Puzzlebot on Tumblr for This Amazing Artwork
2044 - Incumbent
21 August 2044
Jean de Monte
19 February 2008 (a. 41)
The Ecclesial State of Malta
Years of Service
2040 - Present
The Papal Wars
OOC: My first attempt at making a Crusader nation and a nation that isn't a secular paradise. Another sidestory to the Intermarian Paradise Lost universe just like Black Ukraine.
Knight Giovanni D'Angelis is a knight Hospitaller and the current Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller of Malta since 2044, effectively as a stratocrat. Was also a Christian missionary to Malta. Giovanni used to be an infamous bandit leader of a raider gang and scourge of the Campanian wasteland in the Kingdom of Sicily. Before finally seeing the errors of his ways and submitted to God by joining the local Knight Hospitaller order. Attempting to repent his ways in anyway he can through his dedication to his work as a Hospitaller Knight. During the West European Federation's invasion of the Ecclesial Papal Realm; Knight Giovanni partook in the defense of the Holy See during the Papal Wars and protected the Pope together with other Catholic orders. When Rome fell to the Federation; he then took the initiative in leading the remaining nuns, knights, clergymen, and other refugees into safety in the uninhabited island of Malta. Wastelands legend has it that a lone rogue knight would escort the hurdled and drown-trodden pious to a safe refuge that would God's Kingdom on Earth or Terra. His image is then surrounded by romanticism of this noble endeavor and thus, he was bestowed the title of Grand Master. Having battled the Sicilian attempt at subjugating the island as well as constant naval raids from Barbary pirates; Grand Master Giovanni remains steadfast in defending the small island settlement while having ambitious plans to bring the Hospitallers to the 21st century. Even if he would face opposition from the clergy and other hard-liners.
Under Grand Master Giovanni's guidance, the Hospitallers took a drastic turn for the better and quickly abandon its war thirsty nature of slaying heretics like Crusaders of the old. The Hospitaller military headquarter in Malta was turned into a heavily fortified scientific ground for knights to unearth several old world technological devices for the scribes to research upon in attempted to rediscover old medical and technological knowledge. It also became a massive refugee camp and a hospital for Arab slaves to be rescued from the Barbary pirates and treated upon in the hopes of converting them into their faith in goodwill. The Hospitallers now become a philanthropic military order heavily focused on charity, providing medicine for the poor, and protecting Christian pilgrimage to Jerusalem, Israel under his guidance. Yet, the Papacy as well as several other hardliners within the Catholic order are discomforted with the direction Grand Master Giovanni has been taking. Criticizing him for straying away from the order's religious goals of reconquering Rome for the Pope. Many have threatened to excommunicate him while shadowy figures within the order has conspired to oust him from senior leadership. The Grand Master must remain vigilant as he continues to carry out his reforms in order to bring the order into the 21st century.
Work in Progress...
Grand Master Giovanni is a man of honor who is enchanted by the old world romanticized concepts of military chivalry and faithfulness to God. Even if such beliefs are antiquated even by wasteland standards but those firm beliefs he held as well as his constant attempts at repenting himself has led him to stray away from committing acts of self-serving barbarianism just like the other disillusioned Crusaders. Giovanni is an idealist man at heart and despises malicious acts of scheming Machiavellainism. Although isn't afraid of a little bloodbath in battle whose violent impulses are restrained by a chivalric code he follows. However, such sentiment presents a weakness to his reign as he is unwilling to take morally gray decisions. He is born to fight for a noble cause that is to restore Christendom once again in the European political order as futile that endeavor may be.
D'Angelo believed that the cause of the Five Days of Europe that destroyed Europe and launched itself back to the Dark Ages was precisely due to the old world establishment's abandonment of morality and religion. Without it, Giovanni argued, the war could've been prevented if the political elite didn't drowned itself in vain and egocentrism. Seeing the war was perpetrated by the progressive and communist political establishment of both the European Union and the Soviet Union before the Five Days of Fire. For Giovanni, it was a matter of reintroducing faith to God and moral justice to the depraved wasteland devoid of faith. For this, he has a low opinion of communism and liberal democracies respectively. Believed that a federal monarchical order in Europe reigned by an enlightened sovereign was the ideal path for a post-war Europe. This is a sentiment that both Giovanni and his Intermarian counterpart, Imperator Konstantyn, shared together. Grand Master Giovanni is an open admirer of Imperator Konstantyn and a secret supporter of his Intermundus. For Malta to break the chains of isolation and play a role in Europe, it needs an ally like Intermarium and Neo-Byzantium to defend itself from the likes of Two Sicilies and the West European Federation. Yet, in the grand scheme of things, the Grand Master is just another accomplice of the Pope's plan to restore Christendom onto Europe. The Papal's grand plan (the Intermarian Concordat) of first by destroying the Federation and liberate Rome, ensuring an Intermarian victory on the Great Continental War, and undermining the Imperator's authority through subversion by influencing Konstantyn to adopt Christianity as a state religion just like the Romans did. Playing the role as the representative of the church and leader of the remnant Crusader forces. Details of which, Giovanni was kept unaware of in spite of his position.
The Maltese Knight Hospitallers are the many Catholic ecclesial military orders to emerge from the wastelands as well as a post-war wasteland appropriation of the identity and values of Crusader culture. Yet, Giovanni's interpretation of the knight order remained true to its pre-war values. A fraternity of the pious in treating for the poor and defending the Christian faith. In an attempt to reconciliate the conflicting sides between the reactionary traditionalist Fonsecans (endorsed by the Papacy) led by Knight Fonseca and the forward-thinking, Enlightened-inspired Wignacourts composed of Scribes (medical and scientific personnel) led by Scribe Wignacourt. Giovanni was the moderate between two radicals and had been the voice of reason within the order. Many veteran Knights resented him as an upstart and accused him on several occasions for blasphemy and heresy. The largest support base within the fraternity for the Grand Master were among the scribes and lower-ranking Knights. Giovanni is a man who doesn't stand war especially waged for no reason other than for personal-self interest. So he is a major proponent of armed neutrality and self-defense where he have been building up the island defenses' lately. He isn't afraid to draw the sword during war as long as it is conducted in a chivalric and gentlemanly manner. He had been involved in numerous battles in the island such as his repulsion of the Barbary pirates into the Mediterranean and the Hospitaller last stand in Malta during their defensive war against the Sicilians. The latter he showed regret for having to fight against his Christian brethren.
The Pie postulatio voluntatis that the Hospitallers based itself upon contained the monastic ideals of the three Evangelical counsels. Laymen of the Hospitallers co-operated with the clergy although relations between knights and clergymen were worsening as of lately. Under Giovanni's chivalric mentorship, the Hospitallers were transformed into a military order that dabbled on charity such as treating the sick, assisting the impoverished, and teaching Christian theology as well as basic education to the masses. The natives of the Maltese island viewed the foreign Hospitallers with great weariness and distrust but slowly and surely, those feelings has largely subsided. The Hospitallers brought much needed infrastructure such as churches, hospitals, religious schools, and labrotaries. The knights were responsible for the defense of the island against Barbary pirates from Turkey. Initially, the foreign Hospitallers that were largely composed of French and Italians acted in a sense of superiority and barred the natives from joining the order. But Giovanni's edict that the native Maltese were to be able to join the order. Some joined it because they truly admired the charitable values that it runs on while most done it out of opportunism. The latter argued by the traditionalist Fonsecans that were opposed to the liberalization.
At the beginning of his lordship over the island, he effectively acted as a military stratocrat who governed the island and passed laws through edicts approved by the clergy of the order. His political influence wasn't driven by legal authority but rather the charisma he exercised in influencing others to carry out his will. So he was unofficially the leader of the island as monastic Grand Master. Although the island has slowly moving towards introducing a form of proper governance with its Pie postulatio voluntatis as the nucleus to a constitution and plans of forming an elective monarchy with local nobles in the area. Despite his otherwise monarchist leanings, his greatest concern as Grand Master has always been assisting and uplifting the poor. He has embarked on many charity efforts and has voiced criticisms of capitalism to which he believed that it generated the deadly sin of greed. Giovanni is sympathetic towards left-wing takes on political Christianity such as Christian socialism and the liberation theology in a similar vein to Pope Francis. Bringing him into conflict with the integralists within the order.
Grand Master Himself
For a Catholic in the wasteland, Giovanni is a devout man of God and a loyal servant to the faith. Notable quirks of his included practicing the religion, attending mass, pray at sundays, overusing sacraments, as well as personally telling tales of Jesus exploits in the Bible: New Testament. He never had doubts of his faith to God and remains steadfast in believing that God is on his people's side. His favorite verse from the Bible is Hosea 6:6 that reads "For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings." He keeps a miniature Bible as well as a cross with him to remind him of his newfound identity. A newfound identity forged out of a spiritual awakening that occurred in his past self. A past self that indulged in mindless savagery and debauchery like a true bandit; far away from God. An armored-piercing question given him to by a Hospitaller priest that questioned his insatiable lust for violence as well as left for dead by his raider brothers helped realize this spiritual awakening.
Giovanni has moved past of his hatred of so-called Saracens, Heretics, and Pagans after having numerous pleasant encounters with non-Christians. He is opposed to laicite but is a vehement supporter of religious tolerance between communities. A view shared with Arab caliphs and Turkish sultans that he forged good relations with through numerous religious exchanges between Maltese, Turks, and Arabs. His guardianship and protection over religious minorities such as Muslims and Jews as well as his willingness to negogiate with Turkish sultans in exchanging stranded Hospitallers and Barbary corsairs has showed his tolerant side in religion. All of which presents a troubled relationship with the hardliners within the order. He is moderate when it comes to following religious tradition compared to the hardliners. On one hand, he realized how unflexible religious dogma was to his progressive administrationship but on the other hand, he still remains a zealous believer in those traditions. He believed that there is a difference between following what your religion says and doing the right thing. Jokingly stated that he was sensible enough not to stab his toe if God told him to do it.
Grand Master Giovanni is primarily inspired by Joshua Graham from Fallout: New Vegas. With themes of repenting themselves after a horrific past, restraining violent impulses that goes against religious values, and finding peace with their warrior nature being the major plot device of their character development. They also have the same badass voice and occasionally uttering Bible verses.
In accordance with his oath to remain celibate, he remains from marriage due to a combination of faithfully following religious traditions as well as protecting his loved ones from harms way. Yet, Giovanni shows a slight interest to a certain Hospitaller nurse who constantly keeps his medical condition in check before and after battles.
An interesting character dynamic is the fact that Giovanni is a close acquaintance of Bat'ko Voloshyn. Both had past raider backgrounds which made them relatable. Giovanni was the one who frequently escorted Hospitaller medical personnel in the Communes and monitored their presence there. He asked Pyotr to seek solace with God again just like he did. Although Pyotr disagreed to it, they remain friends to this day.
Giovanni has never took off his helmet once. He put his helmet on to hide his shame as a past violent bandit as well as shunning away past memories of his exploits as a raider. He insisted he has turned on a new leaf as a faithful man of God and few has ever seen him outside the helmet. A scarred face that blemishes his face is what they remember of the naked Giovanni. The helmet he wears is a sacred symbol among knights and this contributed to the mystique surrounding his chivalric image.
Other than a Hospitaller knight, he is the only one in the Maltese island and the order to operate a power armor. His power armor is the personalized XM-00 'Dark Knight' based on the West European GP-series power armor produced by Thyssen-Krupp Armory. Equipped with an anti-beam coated cape and a self-heating spear that could penetrate through anything. Rarely used in-universe lore.
These are his reputation in the wastelands:
Enlightened Wignacourts: Liked
The Maltese Natives: Accepted
The Papacy: Dark Hero
Muslim Arabs and Turks: Mixed
West European Federation: Shunned
Traditionalist Fonsecans: Shunned
Two Sicilies: Hated
The Ecclesial State of Malta
Valetta or Superbissima
Malta and surrounding islands
Grand Master Giovanni
Work in Progress...
Work in Progress...
Culture and Society
Work in Progress...
Work in Progress...