The Templar Knights were the most powerful order following the Cruzades. Their presence reached from northern Europe to the Near East and commanded vast military power, wealth and influence. However in 1307 their luck changed. Accused of unchurchy things they were witch hunted in France and then across Europe. The same knights who lead the charge through the Muslim kingdoms were now being arrested, tortured and burnt at the stake by king Philip IV of France and pope Clement. Within the year the order was disbanded and only small pockets remained, powerless and poor.
The Templars were not only a military force but became europe’s first banking infrastructure. They offered deposits and travel checks for pilgrims and obviously lent money to credit worthy people like kings. Coincidently, at the time of the prossecution, France owed the Templars a crippling debt that was endangering the sovereignty of the king himself. By the years end the debt problem was solved and France was a rich kingdom again.
The moral of the story is, I guess, don’t lend people with armies into a corner.