about the order
The Teutonic Order is a theocracy situated on the coast of the Baltic Sea. Formed during the First Crusade, the Teutonic Knights were at times based in Acre and, after the expulsion of the Crusaders from the Holy Land, in Hungarian-Transylvania, before finding renewed purpose in the Polish-backed Prussian Crusade of 1230. With support of the Holy Roman Emperor, the Teutons would expand throughout northern Poland, Prussia, and Livonia at the expense of their hosts, and would forge a long-standing rivalry with the Poles that would end with their forcible subjugation.
By 1444, it was in decline, its power broken by a Polish-Lithuanian alliance at the Battle of Grunwald (Tannenberg) three decades prior. It would in time become a vassal state of the Polish kings, and be transformed by the Reformation into the secular Duchy of Prussia. It would gain independence from Poland as the Hohenzollern-ruled Kingdom of Prussia in 1657, and would serve as the base of what would later become the German Empire.
At the beginning of the game, they are one of the strongest powers in the Baltic Sea, with a Historical Friendship with the Livonian Order (a Teutonic vassal-state until 1435) and a Historical Rivalry with Poland; this relationship with Poland will define the early game, as their decision-driven Personal Union with Lithuania can, and typically will, spell the end of the Teutons. With careful management of rivalries, alliances, and a little luck, they can avoid their historical fate and defy the might of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.