- "Family. Honor. These things are nothing next to the Templar Order. The one source of light in a midnight world."
- ―The Black Cross to Darius Gift, 1927.[src]
Albert "Albie" Bolden (1893 – 1927), better known as the "Black Cross", was a Templar agent active during the early 20th century, who traveled around the world under the guise of the leading trumpeter in Albie Bolden and the Harlem Hotsteppers, a touring night club jazz band.
The Black Cross was not the first Templar to carry the title, which was bestowed upon the members of a branch within the Templar Order tasked with keeping the Grand Masters of the various Rites in line with the Templar Code and to eradicate any corruption of the Templar value. The agent was known for his signature weapon, which was a bladed pin shaped as a black Templar cross. Albert was also the last known Black Cross.
Before upholding the family tradition of the Boldens and becoming simply known as the Black Cross, Bolden was a soldier who fought in the trenches of World War I until he was injured by an explosion. Before his departure for the front, Bolden sired a daughter with his wife.
In February 1927, while in London, the Black Cross executed Grand Master Thaddeus Gift for stealing money from his fellow Templars and for using the good name of the Order to embezzle money. Tracking him across the streets of the city, the Black Cross eventually slit his throat and cut out his Templar ring finger.
Mission in ChinaEdit
One month later, as China was marked by a growing conflict between the Chinese Communist Party and the government of the Nationalists, the Black Cross confronted and killed Yuri Dolinsky aboard the Templar-built train, the Great Wall, as it traveled through Chekiang province for using it to support the warlord Zhang Zongchang in opposition to the Order's interests.
In April, the Black Cross was playing with his band in Shanghai when he witnessed the arrival of Darius Gift in the club where he was playing. He followed Gift outside when the package he was supposed to deliver to the Shanghai Rite was stolen by a prostitute named Roo. From a nearby roof, the Black Cross observed two Frenchmen approaching Gift, believing that the newly arrived young man was the Black Cross, before deciding to intervene.
In 2013, Juhani Otso Berg watched the memories of Darius Gift in order to learn more about his encounter with the Black Cross. Indeed after Berg's mission in India, the Templars discovered that Bolden was the last recorded individual in contact with the Koh-i-Noor, a Piece of Eden.
After witnessing Bolden fall from a temple roof, having been shot multiple times by Gift in 1927, Berg told Violet da Costa that despite the evidence, he wasn't sure that the Black Cross truly died that day. Bolden's family disappearing from the records after his departure for WWI, Berg put the search for the artifact in stand-by hoping that the Order would find one of Bolden's descendants to further explore the Black Cross' memories.
Equipment and skills Edit
Albert Bolden was a capable freerunner and climber able to scale buildings in London and China. He was also a skilled tactician allowing Thaddeus Gift to get to a phone to reveal his collaborators, and accounted for Yuri Dolinsky's superior swordfighting skills by cutting the tracks of the train prior to their duel on board which caused Dolinsky to fall and lose his advantage.
Albert was also highly skilled in unarmed combat besting many opponents in the crime syndicate the Green Gang, such as the large Fiery Crow, and holding his own against the skilled Flowery Flag. He was also exceptionally skilled in stealth, constantly sneaking up on those he had to interrogate or execute. Bolden was also fluent in Chinese.
In terms of equipment, Albert carried a bladed pin as his primary weapon; he had two poisons for it, one fast and another that took hours or so to set in. He also carried a sword on occasion and possessed what appeared to be a kind of chain dart, along with smoke bombs, grenades, a submachine gun and a gas mask.