- "Trust is a dangerous trait, Hamid."
- ―Arbaaz Mir to his Mentor, 1839.[src]
From 1839 to 1841, Arbaaz became entangled in a conflict with British Templars over the Koh-i-Noor, a Piece of Eden of immense power. After the Templars eliminated Maharaja Ranjit Singh of the Sikh Empire, Arbaaz brought the artifact into Assassin possession. It was retrieved by the Templars in 1841, when Arbaaz once again endeavoured to obtain it.
- "Your people in Kashmir suffered a great tragedy, my friend. But those days have long passed and Singh's strength is all that stands between India and the growing British power."
- ―Hamid to Arbaaz, about Singh's actions, 1839.[src]
Arbaaz Mir was born in Kashmir in northwestern India during the early 19th century to a Muslim family. His home region was conquered by Maharaja Ranjit Singh of the Sikh Empire in 1819, leading to the death of numerous Muslims in Kashmir, including some of Arbaaz's kin. This led Arbaaz to grow up with a resentment towards Singh, considering him a cold-blooded killer.
Search for the Koh-i-NoorEdit
- Hamid: "Arbaaz. Take care. The diamond... The transcription reads: 'He who owns this diamond will own the world, but will also know all its misfortunes. Only God, or a woman, can wear it with impunity."
- Arbaaz: "I don't believe in curses."
- ―Hamid and Arbaaz, before the latter's departure, 1839.[src]
In 1839, Hamid tasked Arbaaz with the recovery of a map detailing First Civilization artifacts, most notably the Koh-i-Noor diamond, a powerful Piece of Eden. Upon his safe return to the Assassin headquarters in Amritsar, Hamid informed Arbaaz of the legend surrounding the Koh-i-Noor, and that the British Templars were attempting to obtain the artifact. The Koh-i-Noor had been in the possession of Ranjit Singh since 1830, who kept it safe from the hands of his enemies, but was nearing the end of his life.
As Singh's heirs were not as interested in the diamond as their father, the British Templars aimed to take Singh's life. Hamid tasked Arbaaz with ensuring the Maharaja's protection, an objective he reluctantly agreed to, but only for the sake of the Brotherhood. Before leaving, Arbaaz bought Hamid's slave Raza Soora from him, noticing the harsh treatment the boy was receiving from Hamid.
Arbaaz instead intended to find the Koh-i-Noor himself ahead of the Templars. Taking up the disguise of an emissary from Kashmir and his servant, Arbaaz and Raza entered Ranjit Singh's summer palace, where the Maharaja held a feast. Believing the Koh-i-Noor to be kept in a hidden chamber underneath the palace, Arbaaz told Raza to look out for Singh's treasure keeper, Bustee Ram.
After being allowed to join the feast, Arbaaz was greeted by William Hay Macnaghten, assistant to the British Governor-General of India – Lord Auckland – and General Francis Cotton. Arbaaz recognized the Templar insignia on Cotton's chest, though Cotton also identified Arbaaz as an Assassin by his movements. After Macnaghten left, Arbaaz assured Cotton that they were not enemies, telling the Templar that he had his own reasons for Singh's death, and that "it wouldn't be the first time [he had] to clean up after [their] kind".
Soon after, Arbaaz's attention was caught by Princess Pyara Kaur, Ranjit Singh's grand-daughter. Upon noticing Singh handing Bustee a diamond, Arbaaz told Raza to follow him and that he would find him later, deciding instead to follow Pyara. Arbaaz then tracked her to the palace courtyard, handing her a oleander blossom that he had swiped from the palace's dining room. As a result of the conversation that stemmed from the gesture, the two later shared a moment of intimacy.
Afterwards, Arbaaz proceeded to find Raza and follow him to the hidden chambers underneath the palace, which was activated by a water-based mechanism. Exploring the caverns filled with statues of Hindu gods, Arbaaz found a chest containing the diamond, but quickly dismissed it as a worthless replica. Upon further exploration, they stumbled upon illusionary walls and other statues left by the First Civilization.
There, Raza found the real Koh-i-Noor in a pool of water contained within the hands of the statue Durga; unbeknownst to them, their progress had been tracked by Cotton. Upon their return to ground level, Arbaaz was arrested by Singh's men, who had been alerted by Cotton and Macnaghten. It was at this point that Arbaaz hid the real Koh-i-Noor under Raza's turban, enabling the latter to escape with the artifact, while Singh's men took the replica.
Conflict with CottonEdit
Singh's men placed Arbaaz in a cell, though some time later, Pyara Kaur and Raza Soora came to see him. It was during this meeting that Pyara released him from his imprisonment, after Arbaaz told her his task of ensuring her grandfather's safety.
To Arbaaz's surprise and disapproval, Raza had given the Koh-i-Noor to Pyara, thwarting his plan to escape with the artifact and leave the Maharaja to fend for himself. After Pyara informed Arbaaz that Singh was drinking tea with the British, Arbaaz and Raza hurried to the imperial palace, the former begrudgingly so.
Scaling the structure, Arbaaz eliminated the patrolling guards as Raza stayed close behind, at one point turning back to prevent Raza from falling to his death. The two then separated, with Arbaaz infiltrating the palace's interior by leaping into the main hall from above, knocking Macnaghten over upon his landing and attacking Cotton with a chakram.
Following this, Arbaaz roughly slapped the tea cup from Singh's hands, perceiving that it was poisoned; despite this, Cotton informed Arbaaz that he was too late to prevent the Maharaja's demise. Responding in his weakened state, Singh took out his blade to attack Cotton, calling the Templar a "coward" and "deceiver", while further going on to state that India would not fall to his Order. Cotton instead called the guards, yelling that the Maharaja was under attack by an assassin – Arbaaz.
Arbaaz fled the hall, followed by Cotton and Singh's men as he made his way to the courtyard. There, while Arbaaz was fighting imperial guards, Cotton tried to kill Pyara and take the Koh-i-Noor, but was halted by Raza, who dug his fingernails into the Templar's forehead. As Cotton turned on Raza, Pyara activated the Koh-i-Noor, taking up the appearance of a member of the First Civilization, sending a message for humanity to Jot Soora, who was experiencing Arbaaz's genetic memories through the Brahman V.R. in 2013.
Cotton instead attacked the entity, firing at it with his gun, and accidentally destroyed the Koh-i-Noor. Seeing the entity become enraged, Arbaaz took Raza and dove into the water, before the entity released a burst of energy across the area, killing Cotton and all the remaining guards.
The Sikh Empire in turmoilEdit
In 1841, two years after Singh's murder, relations between the Sikh Empire and the British Empire became tense as the pretenders for the title of Maharaja battled for supremacy. During that period of turmoil, Arbaaz was tasked with recovering the Koh-i-Noor originally belonging to the Assassins but then in possession of a newly arrived Master Templar. While investigating the matter, the Indian Assassin also tried to protect his friends and lover from harm.
In 1843, Arbaaz and Pyara Kaur had a son, Jayadeep Mir. Arbaaz trained Jayadeep as an Assassin and recognized that his son was exceptionally talented. Envisioning Jayadeep as a great warrior and wanting to ensure that the boy's abilities were not hindered by familial ties, Arbaaz wrote to his friend Ethan Frye to continue the training. However, in the years that Ethan prepared Jayadeep for missions in the field, he realized that for all of his potential for greatness, Jayadeep Mir could never be the warrior Arbaaz wanted. Arbaaz was angry when Ethan informed him that Jayadeep lacked the killer's instinct required for assassination but nevertheless delayed Jayadeep's blooding to mold his son into the warrior that he believed was required of a great Assassin.
Eventually, the time came for Jayadeep's first assignment: the assassination of a Indian Templar named Tjinder Dani who was planning to establish a Templar outpost in Amritsar. Arbaaz joined his son to provide the horses for their getaway but Ethan's estimation of Jayadeep proved to be correct. Jayadeep hesitated before he could deliver a killing blow to Dani and the subsequent fight between the Templar and the Assassin spilled out onto the street forcing Arbaaz to make the kill himself. Jayadeep's failure risked exposing the Brotherhood itself and for that the Assassins were to have him executed.
Although reluctant, Arbaaz's loyalty to the creed was such that he was willing to see his son die, much to Pyara's distress. However, Ethan returned to India with a proposition that would save Jayadeep's life as well as Arbaaz's marriage. It was agreed that Jayadeep would be sent into exile in London to work undercover for the British Assassins whose presence in the capital had been severely reduced since the deaths of Edward Kenway and Miko a century earlier. Arbaaz decided that Jayadeep Mir would, for all intents and purposes, become a ghost to best aid him in his secret new role and thanked Ethan Frye with an embrace.
When the Indian Assassins Ajay and Kulpreet were attacked by Templar agents, Arbaaz wrote to Ethan to warn him that Jayadeep's mission may have been compromised. However, the message was intercepted by the Templars and Arbaaz's request that Ethan look after his son ultimately became further evidence confirming the London-based Templar Cavanagh's growing suspicions that a man in his employ, Bharat Singh, was an undercover Jayadeep Mir.
Jayadeep survived Cavanagh unravelling the truth but fell into a deep depression when it got his friend Maggie and others under his protection killed. Though Arbaaz and Pyara visited him a year later to help him recover, the relationship between father and son was soured as Jayadeep was uncertain of the role that Arbaaz had played in the arrest and death sentence that had led to his banishment.
Arbaaz eventually became the ancestor of a popular actress active at the beginning of the 21st century, Monima Das. The fiancé of Das, Jot Soora, became a target of the Templars and the Assassins when they mistakenly believed that the man's DNA was the key to the lost knowledge of the Koh-i-Noor, when he unknowingly used an Abstergo prototype to visualize the ancestral memories of Arbaaz Mir's descendant.
- Arbaaz in Urdu means "eagle", while Mir is a Kashmiri clan or tribe between present day India and Pakistan. Mir is also a loanword from the Arabic emir, amir, and thus has the meaning of "leader, commander, prince" in aforementioned places.
- Arbaaz was the only known Assassin to wield a Hidden Blade which could divide itself into three blades.