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Aya of Alexandria (79 or 78 BCE – unknown) was a Greco-Egyptian agent to Cleopatra, the last pharaoh of Egypt, and the wife of Bayek.

Aya was one of the first Hidden Ones and mentor of the Roman Brotherhood, Aya cast away her former identity and took on the name Amunet.

Biography

Life in Siwa

Half-Greek and half-Egyptian, Aya was born in Alexandria where she was one of the most respected members of her community.[1] She later moved to Siwa at an early age to live with her aunt Herit, while her scholar parents stayed in the capital. In Siwa, she became close to Bayek, the son of the town's protector, and by their fifteenth birthday, they were a couple. Bayek's father, Sabu, did not approve of their relationship as he knew that Aya's dream was to settle in Alexandria, and he feared that her mixed heritage would corrupt his teachings.[2]

Later, after Bayek left Siwa and Aya to look after his father, Aya followed him and joined his quest for answers. Eventually, the two lovers discovered that Sabu was secretly one of the fabled Medjay and that he was investigating a lethal killer trying to crush the last remnants of the Bloodline. After they escaped the killer sent by the Order of the Ancients, the three of them settled in the desert, where Sabu pushed forward the basic training of his son over the course of several years, as they were now the last two Medjay. In the mornings Bayek would train with his father while for the rest of the day, he would train with Aya, sharing his new knowledge with the agreement of his father.[2]

Eventually, Bion tracked them down again and killed Sabu but they later successfully killed the psychopath in Siwa. After she discovered her pregnancy, Aya renounced her dream to go back to Alexandria to become a scholar, also pushing away her doubts about the Medjay ways, and married Bayek. She later gave birth to their son, Khemu.[2]

Serving Cleopatra

In 49 BCE, Khemu was killed by Flavius Metellus in the Siwa Vault below the Temple of Amun. Aya, unable to cope with the lost of her only child and Bayek's thirst for revenge, returned to Alexandria where she joined her cousin Phanos the Younger. There, Aya educated herself at the Library of Alexandria, learning about ancient history, philosophy, mathematics and mastering various languages. At the same time, she plotted to assassinate those who worked for pharaoh Ptolemy XIII, believing them to be responsible for Khemu's death. Aya's brilliant mind and quick wit attracted the attention of Apollodorus, who later introduced her to Cleopatra.[1] Aya became a close friend of hers, becoming one of her agents.[3]

In 48 BCE, Aya identified Actaeon as one of the member of the Order of the Ancients, the organization responsible for killing Khemu. As such, she sneaked into his quarters and assassinated him when he returned, taking a royal papyrus from him.Aya returned home, only to find that Ktesos, a fellow member of Actaeon, had followed on her trails and attempted to kill her in revenge, though she was able to eliminate him. Her actions caught the attention of Gennadios, the Phylakitai of Alexandria, resulting in her becoming a wanted criminal. Apollodorus, knowing this, gave Aya a hideout beneath the Library of Alexandria to hide in. She would communicate with Phanos, who worked in library and update her with information.[3]

Sometime thereafter, Bayek visited Alexandria in search of her, having assassinated both Medunamun and Rudjek, two other members of the Order of the Ancients. Phanos provided Bayek with information and direction to Aya's whereabouts, thus reuniting the both of them after a year. Aya informed Bayek of her situation and her beliefs that the Snake, the last member of the Order worked in Ptolemy's court. Aya entrusted Bayek with a Hidden Blade that was used to kill Xerxes I of Persia, requesting him to infiltrate the royal palace to discover the Snakes identity.[3]

The Snake's identity was later revealed to be the royal scribe Eudoros, whom Bayek assassinated in the bathhouse of Alexandria. Along with the assassination of Gennadios, Aya was thus free to roam the city once again and met up with Bayek at the top of the Paneum. There, they shared a moment of intimacy, believing they had finally avenge their son. Bayek, however, was not convinced that Eudoros was the last member of the Order. Aya believed Apollodorus would know more about the Order and thus sent her husband to meet with Apollodorus' contact near the Lageion Hippodrome.[3]

Later in Apollodorus' Estate, Aya met up with Apollodorus and Bayek, the latter having been introduced to Cleopatra. Cleopatra introduced Pasherenptah, the High Priest of Ptah in Memphis, to both Aya and Bayek, revealing that the Order of the Ancients was responsible for her exile. Along with Apollodorus, Cleopatra revealed that the Order sought to control all of Egypt, with members controlling each region. Aya and Bayek learned of four new targets, the Scarab, the Hyena, the Lizard and the Crocodile. They also learned that Eudoros' cryptonym was the Hippo, and the Snake was a name used for the Order itself. Bayek pledged his allegiance to Cleopatra and embarked on his journey to hunt down the members of the Order, thus separating from Aya once again.[3]

While Bayek was out hunting the Order, Aya, alongside Phoxidas, was sent to the Aegean Sea to secure an alliance with Pompey, who was fleeing from Julius Caesar in the midst of the Roman Civil War. They encountered ships sent by Ptolemy XIII, who attacked Pompey's fleet to stop the alliance. Aya and Phoxidas were able to rescue Pompey, who agreed to the alliance and made preparations to travel to Egypt.[3]

Having ensure the alliance with Pompey, Aya returned to Egypt and set off to Memphis right away, having learned that Bayek was hunting the Lizard in the city. Outside the Seer's house, Aya met Bayek, who was helping Pasherenptah's wife, Taimhotep, in a ritual to protect her unborn child. The two set off to to the Temple of Ptah to investigate the Apis bull's sickness. While Bayek investigated the bull's quarters, Aya spoke to the twin priestesses, Taous and Tawe, for more information. Through Bayek's investigations, he was able to deduced the twin priestesses as the ones reponsible for poisoning the bull. Before they could run away, Aya and Bayek was able to stop them, who went on to explained their actions; their brother, Panchrates, had been captured by soldiers who served under the Lizard, forcing them obey their orders or risk their brother being killed. Aya would then stay with the twin priestesses in their home to ensure their safety while Bayek would go on to rescue Panchrates from the Temple of Hathor.[3]

Having learned of the Lizard's identity from Panchrates, Aya and Bayek rode to the Palace of Apries, where Cleopatra was giving a speech to the residents of Memphis. Aya informed Cleopatra of the twin priestesses' role in poisoning the Apis bull, and when Cleopatra called for the priestesses to be boiled to death, Bayek stepped in to interfere, stating that they were coerced by a priest wearing a blue scarf and a cough. Pasherenptah revealed the priest's identity to be Hetepi, one of his closest advisors. Aya stepped in to be one who assassinates Hetepi, though she was stopped by Bayek, who chose to be one to do so. With Hetepi eliminated, the Apis bull recovered and the procession ceremony resumed. At the end of the ceremony, Aya informed Bayek that she chose to remain with Cleopatra, and that she would accompany her north to Herakleion. Aya and Bayek would share a moment of intimacy before her departure. While Bayek hunted the Crocodile in the Faiyum Oasis, Aya was sent with Phoxidas to the Mediterranean Sea to defend the seas, crossing paths with the Gabiniani, Roman legionaries that had been left behind in Egypt and sided with Ptolemy. Aya and Phoxidas were able to eliminate the Gabiniani fleet, before travelling to Herakleion in Egypt.[3]

Briefly reuniting with Bayek, they, alongside Apollodorus and Cleopatra, came under an attack led by Venator, a Gabiniani sent by Lucius Septimius to assassinate the pharaoh. Having eliminated the Romans, Cleopatra sent both Aya and Bayek to meet with Pompey, who made landing in the northwest of the Herakleion Nome. Fearing that Septimius may be after Pompey as well, Aya and Bayek departed the city with a felucca and traveled to meet with Pompey. They arrived at the sight of the Pompey's decapitated corpse, whose army had been eliminated by the Gabiniani.[3]

Fighting the Order

After Bayek hunted and killed the people he suspected guilty for their son's death, Aya helped cement an alliance between Cleopatra and Julius Caesar, assisting Bayek with smuggling the Queen into Alexandria. A year after discovering the tomb of Alexander the Great, Aya participated in the battle for the city. She had a clear shot at Ptolemy XIII, but chose not to kill him, leaving him to be eaten by the crocodiles in the river.[3]

After Cleopatra's ascension to the throne of Egypt, Aya and Bayek were furious to learn that Flavius and Septimius were also members of the Order of the Ancients and thus, directly responsible for murdering their son. With both men under the protection of Cleopatra and Caesar, Aya and her husband decided to take matters into their own hands.[3]

ACO Aya stabs Caesar

Aya stabbing Caesar

After Bayek tracked down and killed Flavius, Aya parted with him on good terms, forming the Hidden Ones. While Bayek stayed in Egypt, Aya traveled to Rome with fellow Hidden Ones Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus. There, they recruited forty over senators into the Hidden Ones. On 15 March 44 BCE, they travelled to the Theatre of Pompey, where they confronted Caesar, who was to speak at the Senate with Septimius by his side. While Aya fought and killed Septimius, Brutus and Cassius were tasked to delay Caesar's speech. Aya later infiltrated the Senate, where she stabbed Caesar from the back. The senators, including Brutus and Cassius followed thereafter, thus ending Caesar's life. A year after the assassination, Aya confronted Cleopatra in her chambers, learning she had a child with Caesar named Caesarion. Out of respect for her former employer and her child, the Hidden One allowed the queen to live, but warned that she would be watched.[3]

Years later on 12 August 30 BCE, Aya, now known as Amunet, infiltrated Cleopatra's palace in Alexandria and assassinated her by way of a venomous asp.[4]

Legacy

By the time of the Renaissance, Amunet was respected as a great Assassin, and a statue of her had been placed in the Assassin Sanctuary of Monteriggioni.[4]

Though buried in Egypt, alongside her husband, a shrine dedicated to Amunet was located in the Basilica di San Marco in Venice, Italy. The Assassin Ezio Auditore explored the shrine and took the seal from the sarcophagus, which helped him to acquire the armor of the Assassin Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad.[4]

When Aya died, her mummy was interred in the same tomb as Bayek, as was common for Egyptian spouses just feet from Bayek's sarcophagus. At some point between her burial and her discovery by Layla Hassan, Aya's sarcophagus fell into a pit, where she remained. In 2017, her sarcophagus, along with her hidden blade, was found by Layla Hassan, who cut out a genetic sample from the mummy and hooked it up to her portable Animus to relive her memories.[3]

Personality and traits

Aya was a strong-willed warrior who, like Bayek, was driven by vengeance in finding their son's killers. Aya was a strong believer in Cleopatra while her husband was more circumspect of her true intentions. Aya deeply loved Bayek and would always be ecstatic to see him and spend time with him. After she was asked by Cleopatra to slay her own brother during the Battle of the Nile, Aya started to grow doubtful of Cleopatra's true intentions. This was seen when Aya, even though she had the perfect chance to kill Ptolemy, who was exposed and vulnerable, decided to spare him, much to Ptolemy's silent gratitude.[3]

After she learned that Cleopatra and Julius Caesar were protecting Lucius Septimius and Flavius Metellus, the same men who killed her son, Khemu, she became furious and supported Bayek's cause to hunt them down silently. By this time, she had already grown a new disdain for Cleopatra. After realizing that with the death of Khemu and his killers, her life with Bayek was over, and she adopted a new identity and persona called Amunet.

Equipment and skills

Although she wasn't officially recognized as a Medjay, Aya received elite combat and acrobatic training as well as choose to dress like one. She carried two twin blades as well as a shield and bow. She could easily hold her own against a few Roman legions and even defeat Lucius Septimius in a one-on-one battle, with Septimius having the advantage of utilizing an unknown Piece of Eden in the battle.

Aya was a master mariner by her third trip to sea with the ability to avoid all potential problems including the massive problem of the various rocky outcrops that would have sunk her ship. She was able to sink an entire fleet of enemy warships with only a single ship and act as the commander on said ship. She was well versed in all weapons and poisons as she used an asp to kill Cleopatra. On the battlefield Aya acted as a second in command shouting instruction to her men while Bayek acted as the leader.

Her skill with stealth was legendary being able to avoid Ptolemy's secret police for well over a year. She also was able to sneak into a fully guarded palace to kill Cleopatra, which no one was able to do.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Aya was shown to be the killer of Cleopatra. Historically, Cleopatra died by purportedly committing suicide with either a venomous asp or poison.
  • In ancient Egyptian religion, Amunet is the goddess of invisibility and the consort of the god Amun in the Ogdoad, a group of eight primordial deities responsible for the creation of the world according to the Hermopolis tradition. She and Amun symbolize the hidden depths and incomprehensibility of the primeval world. Her name means "the female hidden one, one who is hidden."

Appearances

References