The Hammerite Order was a religion that worshipped the old gods specifically the Master Builder many centuries ago (300-400 years ago). The religion was banned by Ulysses Northcrest, and later by two other Northcrests including the current one, Elias Northcrest. Elias went as far to destroy the remaining chapels around the city.
Through outlawing, propaganda, institutionalization and preaching the way forward through industrial and technological advancements the people lost focus and stopped worshipping the Builder. The word passed into old language with little emphasis on the modern. For many, the old god began to pass into legend and superstition.
Although small packets of die-hard believers still practice quietly out of sight, the populace has to a large degree given up on the old gods helping them and turned to the Baron and his promise of brighter and better times.
- The Hammerites are one of the major factions in previous Thief games. They are alluded to throughout the new Thief, but specific examples of their emblem do not appear until much later in the game. In particular Chapter 7: The Hidden City.
- The Old Cathedral looks like it might be the same or similar location as the Haunted Cathedral.
- In present times hammers, hammer-pouch, and brass hammers to mean balls (testicles) and ball sack (scrotum) have become common euphemisms likely based on the hammer phraseology of old.
- The game never actually specifically mentions 'hammerites' but rather uses the term 'old gods' instead, but the imagery exists for the sake of the old fans.
- Karras was once a Hammerite until he broke away to form his own religion. He made the Mechanical Eye.