Armand Bouchart (unknown – 1193) was the de facto Grand Master of the Knights Templar, successor to Robert de Sablé following the latter's death in 1191. During his tenure, Armand relocated the Templar Archive from the island of Cyprus to an unknown location, so as to protect it from encroaching Assassin forces.
The Templars purchased Cyprus shortly after King Richard the Lionheart defeated the island's secretly Templar ruler, Emperor Isaac Comnenus, who was imprisoned and eventually killed by Bouchart for endangering the Archive's secrecy. Upon arriving in Cyprus, Armand established his own rule, maintained by his subordinates Moloch, Shalim, Shahar, and Fredrick the Red. While their original intent was to protect and maintain the Templar Archive, interference by Assassin Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad forced them to begin evacuating all the artifacts hidden within.
After the assassination of Fredrick, Armand announced on the steps of Limassol Cathedral that he would tighten security on the island until the killer was found. The Guard Captain Osman, advised against this, as he said it would further provoke the majority who did not accept Templar rule. In response, Bouchart killed him, as a warning to the Cypriot Resistance, which Osman had secretly supported. Shortly afterwards, Maria Thorpe arrived and attempted to warn Armand of Altaïr's presence in the city, and his search for the Grand Master, but Armand accused her of conspiring against their Order and had her arrested. Nonetheless, Bouchart seemed to take Maria's warning seriously, as he immediately left for Kyrenia, where he met with the rest of his allies.
After rescuing Maria from the Templars and taking her along, Altaïr followed Bouchart to Kyrenia, and was intercepted at the safehouse by a Templar agent impersonating the local resistance leader, Barnabas. The agent revealed that the Grand Master could be found in Buffavento Castle. However, he first asked that Altaïr perform a series of tasks secretly meant to smear the Assassins' reputation among the populace, and keep Altaïr off Armand's trail. Growing suspicious, Altaïr distanced himself from the false Barnabas and infiltrated the castle with the help of Markos, one of the resistance fighters. There, he overheard Armand and Shalim discussing their plan to send a parcel to Alexander of Limassol, prompting the Assassin to suspect Alexander of treachery. The package, however, was the severed head of the real Barnabas, and meant to create mistrust between the Assassins and the Resistance.
While Altaïr liberated Kyrenia from Templar control, Armand returned to Limassol to oversee the final stage of Archive's evacuation. He was present when the structure was infiltrated by Maria and Altaïr, and he engaged the two in combat. Although he was able to incapacitate Maria, he was ultimately killed by Altaïr and left within the building, which, now empty, was shelled by the Templars.
Personality and characteristicsEdit
Armand was a confident man, with devotion to the founding principles of his Order bordering on fanatical. This was demonstrated when Maria attempted to warn him of the Assassin presence in Limassol, but he dismissed her, quoting one of the verses of the Latin Rule, which forbade consorting with women.
Bouchart claimed that Robert de Sablé ignored that rule by taking Maria under his wing, and that he would not repeat that mistake. However, despite such display in public, he ultimately heeded Maria's words, and took steps to secure the Templar Archive in secret. He was also shown to be ruthless, killing Osman on the spot when the Templar questioned his plans to tighten the grip on the citizens of Cyprus to find Fredrick's killer.
Armand appeared was a statuesque man, with a distinguishing feature being blindness in his right eye, most likely caused in battle. He typically wore heavy armor bearing the cross motif of his order, and fought with a two-handed sword. Armand proved a dangerous opponent in battle. He appeared to be a skilled swordsman easily defeating Maria and matching Altaïr in combat. He also possessed a type of fire grenade that he would throw at his enemies.
- Historically, Armand Bouchart was never the Grand Master of the Templar Order, merely serving Robert de Sablé as a commander. This gives reason to believe that Armand was only a de facto leader of the Templars, posthumously extending the tenure of Robert.
- Historically, the Templar garrison on Cyprus only consisted of around 20 knights, and the Order was eventually forced to sell it as they were unable to effectively garrison the island.