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"We work in the dark, to serve the light. We are Assassins."
Niccolò Machiavelli.[src]
Assassins
AssassinLogo
Organizational information
Leader's title

Mentor[1][2]

Headquarters

Middle Ages:
Masyaf[3]
Alep
Cyprus
Renaissance:
Various
Modern times:
Dubai[4]

Locations

Renaissance:
Florence[5]
Monteriggioni[5]
Venice[5]
Forlì[5]
Constantinople[1][6]
Modern times:
Worldwide[5]

Related organizations
Religion

Various

Historical information
Date formed

Pre-history

Date collapsed

2000 (organizationally) [4]

Additional information
Notable members

The Assassin Order or Assassin Brotherhood, also known as Liberalis Circulum (Circle of Liberals) during Roman times,[8] or Hashshashin during the High Middle Ages, was an organized order of assassins and sworn enemies of the Templars, against whom they fought a continuous, secret war, throughout the entirety of recorded history.

Whereas the Templars strove for the power to save humanity from itself by controlling free will, the Assassin Order fought to ensure the survival of free will, as it allowed for the progression of new ideas and the growth of individuality.

The Assassins, if not the order itself, had existed since at least 456 B.C.E., throughout the Roman era, the Middle Ages, the Italian Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution and into the 21st century.

The Creed

"Laa shay'a waqi'un mutlaq bale kouloun mumkin.
("Nothing is true, everything is permitted" in Arabic)
"
The Assassin's Creed[src]

The order believed in a strong set of values that strictly governed their way of life. This Creed consisted of three tenets:

  1. "Stay your blade from the flesh of an innocent."
  2. "Hide in plain sight, be one with the crowd."
  3. "Never compromise the Brotherhood."[3]

These tenets permeated every aspect of the Assassins' daily life, as well as their fight for "peace in all things." The Assassins carried out their duties through political, strategic assassination, in the hope that killing one individual would lead to the salvation of thousands. The Assassins believed that they fought on the behalf of those who did not possess the abilities, resources, or knowledge to speak out against those who abused their power.[5]

Despite their service to those who would otherwise suffer, the Assassins were still feared by the general populace, due mainly to their method of ensuring peace. The Assassins were mostly feared due to their terrifying reputation for taking life in public before many witnesses—so as to bring fear into the hearts of those who might abuse their power or corrupt the innocent—before vanishing into the crowd without a trace.[3] To aid in this, the Assassins used a particularly efficient weapon for assassinations: the Hidden Blade,[5] a single thrust from which could end the life of its victim. They were, however, forbidden from using poison as it was considered "a coward's tool".

However, in order to ascertain which death might best assist the Assassins' goals, extensive political knowledge was required for target selection. Thus, the Assassins endeavored to remain in tune with the ever-changing politics surrounding them. Obtaining information on this was the job of low-level members of the Order, who would be stationed throughout the cities of the world. These spies would watch the local nobles and rulers, looking for signs of corruption, or for membership in the Templars. Once gathered, any information was passed on to the Assassins responsible for the actual assassination.[3]

Induction

Main article: Initiation to the Assassin Order
Ascension 9

Claudia Auditore being inducted into the Assassin Order in 1503.

There were two ways of entering into the Order: being born into it, like Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, Ezio Auditore da Firenze, and Desmond Miles,[5][3] or through being recruited, like the Assassin Apprentices and Shaun Hastings.[5][7] After declaring oneself an Assassin under The Creed, a trainee would be tested to prove his or her worth over an unspecified period of time; for example, Ezio had to hunt down the Templar conspirators over a multitude of years before he was officially inducted,[5] and the Assassin Apprentices had to gain enough experience in their contract missions across the world before they were ready to join the Assassins Guild as true Assassins.[7]

Training

File:AssassinGuard.png

The Assassins spent their entire lifetime training to kill.[3] From an early age, they were taught to observe their surroundings and plan ahead. Combat skills were essential, and training was continuous, with a focus on bladed weapons of all sorts. However, despite such a concentration on combat, the most important consideration in the Assassins' training was concealment. Stealth was the greatest weapon of the Assassin, and everything about their life emphasized a devotion to it.[5][3] It was essential for an Assassin to be able to reach their target unnoticed, and then slip back into the crowd after they had struck.[3] As such, they always wore clothing that allowed them to blend into the crowd. Even their weapons were identical to what was available locally, aside from the hidden blade.

However, not all Assassins within the order were able to train from birth. This was the case of many Assassins that weren't born into the Order and were recruited later in life, as teenagers or young adults. For example, by the time of Renaissance Italy, after the order had gone underground and out of public view to follow the lead of the Templars, traditional lifelong training could not be done as it had in the past.[5] Once brought into the Order, trainees, like Ezio and later his own Apprentices, had to learn the ways of their craft through personal experience and the personal teachings from other Assassins in the field. At the time of the murders of his father Giovanni and two brothers Federico and Petruccio, Ezio had only been skilled in freerunning, fistfighting, and some swordsmanship.[5] Throughout his life, he learnt several Assassin skills from other Assassins and allies like Paola, his uncle Mario Auditore and the thief Rosa, as well as several fundamental Assassination Techniques through reading the Codex of Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad.[5] Later, the Apprentices within the Roman Assassins Guild at the Tiber Island headquarters would be trained in the Assassin ways by Ezio himself, as well as learning through their own experiences during Contracts they were sent to fulfil across Europe and Asia.[7]

Unlike certain other factions, the Assassins did not have a specific style of fighting, especially after they went underground. Aside from their signature hidden blade, each branch simply used whatever weapons and fighting styles that were locally available. For example, the Turkish Assassins favored curved daggers and the Chinese Assassins were trained in kung fu.

Another significant focus of an Assassins' training was maneuverability. By the time an Assassin reached the rank of Master Assassin, he was also a master of an early form of parkour, or "free running", extensively utilized by the Assassins. Widely seen as alien by the general populace, this method of movement allowed the Assassins to reach areas not normally accessible. From scaling a wall, to climbing to one of a city's many view points, free running gave the Assassins a significant advantage over nearly all their enemies and city guards and could be used to get anywhere in the city, quickly, at any time.

Equipment

The Brotherhood has many weapons at its disposal, from poisons to guns. During ancient times, the Assassins didn't have any standard attire or equipment, yet ancient Assassins are known for using spears, poisons, bows, and other weapons. However, by the time of High Middle Ages they had white as their general color, and robes with hood as their common clothing. They also started to use their trademark Hidden Blades, first used by Darius of Persia. Other weapons used by the Assassins are swords, short blades/daggers and throwing knives.

During Renaissance, the Assassins' equipment did not change significantly, but some weapons were still added to their arsenal. Master Assassin Ezio Auditore used a hidden gun, crossbow, bombs, and a secondary hidden blade. In Ottoman Empire the Assassins started to use hookblade, a modification of the common hidden blade.

By the time of American Revolution, the Assassin Connor Kenway wielded a tomahawk, a bow, and pistols, possibly suggesting that these had become main local weapons in America.

Burial

Historically, Assassins always showed great respect for the dead. Their own were buried in crypts or large tombs when time permitted. Those given a proper burial were wrapped in a cloth shroud, their red sash spread across the body. The greatest Assassins were venerated in large tombs and contained within sarcophagi, their likeness emblazoned on the lid and their symbol venerated in the flags of the tomb.[5]

For all their assassination targets, unless circumstances prevented them from doing so, Assassins would give them their last rites after they had passed away.

History

Formation

The bloodline of the original Assassins was formed centuries ago, after various members of the First Civilization conceived children with members of the human race. These children had the visual appearance of humans, but were gifted with several extra senses from the ones who came before, such as Eagle Sense.[5]

Roman era

Republic of Rome

Assassination of Julius Caesar

The Assassins killing Julius Caesar.

During the Roman Republican era, the Assassin Order was a secret enemy of the SPQR (Senatus Populusque Romanus) -- the ruling body of the Roman Empire—which was in fact a precursor to the Templar organization.[5]

Little is known of the Order's hierarchy and activities this time, except for a few major assassinations. In 44 BC, forty Assassins, who had previously acted as senators in the Roman senate, plotted the assassination of the recently declared dictator of the Roman Empire, Gaius Julius Caesar. Marcus Junius Brutus was tasked with planning the plot by Gaius Cassius Longinus, and after Brutus was shown visions by Those Who Came Before in the Colosseum Vault, twenty-three of the forty Assassins stabbed Caesar to death at the Roman senate.[7] Following this event, the Assassins went their separate ways, but most were killed by Caesar's allies. Brutus committed suicide before he would lose the Battle of Philippi, after which his Brothers unsuccessfully tried to revive him with the Shroud of Eden.[6]

Roman Empire

In the early years of the Roman Empire, Cleopatra, Caesar's former lover and Queen of Egypt, was killed by the Egyptian Assassin Amunet with a venomous snake, in 30 BC. Later still, on 24 January, 41 AD, the 3rd Emperor of the Roman Empire, Caligula, was stabbed to death by the Assassin Leonius, under unknown circumstances.[5]

In 259 CE, the Assassins Accipiter and Aquilus safeguarded an Ankh for the Assassin Order, which was operating under the name the Liberalis Circulum. Aquilus' father, Lucius, initially held the Ankh, but when the Ankh was stolen by the Templar and Roman senator Caïus Fulvus Vultur, and Lucius was killed, Aquilus fought to retrieve it. He found and eliminated a Templar traitor, Faustin, who pointed to Vultur as the ringleader. Though he was able to retrieve the Ankh from Vultur and kill him, Aquilus died as the captive of the soldiers of the prefect of Lugndunum. Accipiter, Aquilus' cousin, had once saved him from death on the battlefield by Gracchus' betrayal—but on hearing of Aquilus' capture, he rushed to the rescue too late. Managing to save Aquilus' wife, Valeria, she told him of the work that they were doing. Together, the two of them recovered the Ankh from the bodies of the soldiers, and Valeria interred it in a shrine to Aquilus' memory.

High Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, the Templars had become a public knightly order under the name "Knights Templar". In the year 1090, control of the Assassins fell to Hassan-i Sabbah, who in turn also changed the Assassin Order into a public organization. Under his command, public assassinations occurred much more often and the people were encouraged to stand up to their oppressors, realizing that they were not on their own.[9]

During the 1170s, the Assassins were at odds with the Saracens.[10] In 1174, thirteen Assassins were sent to the Sultan Saladin's camp close to Damascus and were successful in infiltrating his tent, but were detected; one was killed by a Saracen general and the others were killed upon trying to escape.[11]

In 1176, Saladin led a siege on the Assassins' fortress of Masyaf. After the location of Saladin's tent was revealed by the Assassin spy Ahmad Sofian, Umar Ibn-La'Ahad was sent to infiltrate the tent and leave a feather and a dagger with a threatening message attached to it. Umar evaded the chalk and cinders that were strewed around the tent and successfully left the objects, but was detected by the Sultan himself. Umar had to kill a noble to make his escape, and the Assassins managed to make a truce with the Saracens; though Umar's life had to be taken in the process.[10]

In 1189, the Assassins were betrayed by a man named Haras, who captured Al Mualim and 3 other Assassins, letting the crusaders into Masyaf Village. Most Assassins had lost hope, however Altaïr regrouped them and fought back. He Climbed into the fortress and killed Haras, who wanted to know where Al Mualim had hidden the apple.

The next year the Assassins began to hunt for the Chalice, an object that could end the Crusades. Al Mualim wanted to keep it out of Templar hands, so he sent Altaïr, his most trusted Master Assassin, to recover it.

Altaïr killed several Templars, while attempting to find the Temple of Sand, where the Chalice was located. He finally found the Temple but realised that the Templar leader, Basilisk had taken it away. Basilisk revealed to him that the Chalice was a woman, not an object, and then left Altaïr to die. Altaïr escaped and hunted Basilisk, uncovering the Templar plan to poison the water supply of Acre.

After foiling this plot, he went to Jerusalem to find the Chalice. He found her, and recognised her as Adha. On Adha's instruction he killed Harash, a traitor to the Assassin Brotherhood. He planned to run away with Adha and leave his life as an Assassin behind. However Basilisk captured her. Altaïr killed Basilisk, but failed to find Adha.

Many years later he found Adha dead, and hunted her murderers.

Almualimassassins

Al Mualim and the Assassins in the fortress of Masyaf.

By 1191, the Assassins were still in a secret battle with the Templars and their leader, Robert de Sable. It was during the Third Crusade that the Assassins learned of a Templar interest in an ancient artifact, hidden within the catacombs of Solomon's Temple. It was decided to liberate the treasure from them, and the mission was a success, although a costly one. With the death of one Assassin, the severe injury of another, and the arrival of the Templar army at the gates of Masyaf, the Assassins were nearly overwhelmed by the following battle. However, by crushing most of the Templar army under a concealed onslaught of rolling logs, they were able to drive the Templars from the fortress and village below.[3]

Following the assault, the Assassin blamed for the loss of life that day – Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad – was severely reprimanded, and tasked with removing nine influential individuals, who plagued the Holy Land with their corrupt rule. As Altaïr made his way down the list made up of both Crusader and Saracen individuals, he was greatly unsettled by the realization that their goal to bring peace to the people of the Holy Land was just, as he felt that his victims were "misguided perhaps, but pure in motive." This was a view shared by Al Mualim, who agreed with their goals, but felt that their attitude of "the end justifies the means" undermined the good they sought to ensure. As his mission progressed, Altaïr sought to know what bound his victims together, and the discovery that they were all Templars only served to reinforce the Assassin's determination to bring an end to the Templar plot.[3]

By Fall of 1191, the Assassins were victorious over their Templar enemies. Robert de Sable, Grand Master of the Templar Order, was dead, however the treachery of one of their own had also hit the Assassin Order hard. Al Mualim, secretly a former member of a coalition of ten Templar leaders, was revealed to be a traitor, and was killed by the very man he had sent to eliminate his fellow Templar conspirators. With Al Mualim dead, Altaïr took over as Grand Master of the Order, leading the Assassins in their attempts to rebuild their strength after the costly conflict.[3]

Codex

Altaïr writing the Codex.

With full control over the Assassins, Altaïr immediately set out on a one-man quest to liberate the island of Cyprus from the Templars, who had recently bought it from King Richard. After successfully having done so, killing the Templar Grand Master Armand Bouchart and discovering the Templar Archive in the process,[12] Altaïr continued to write the Codex: a book detailing the secrets he had managed to uncover from the Apple of Eden,[5] which he started writing during his journey to Cyprus.[12] In the end, those secrets had a profound effect on the Order, as new assassination techniques and world secrets had been uncovered.[5]


In 1209, Altaïr started to send his Assassins to various cities spread throughout the world, after he was made aware of their existence by the Apple of Eden.[9]

Eventually, it was decided that the Piece of Eden was too great a threat to keep in Masyaf, and the decision was made to store it on the island of Cyprus, in the Limassol archives.[12] However, Altaïr had started this rumour to keep away curious eyes. In actuality, he held on to the Apple until the end of his life, taking it with him to his library, though he did hand over the Codex and the keys to his library to the Italians Niccolò and Maffeo Polo.[5][1]

In the year 1217, Altaïr, set out with his wife Maria, and son Darim to kill Genghis Khan, leaving Malik as the temporary leader. The Khan had made a rapid westward advance with his army and Altaïr suspected that he possessed a Piece of Eden. They met up with a Mongolian Assassin Qulan Gal, and the three Assassins worked together to end the threat. Ultimately Darim and Qulan succeeded in killing the Khan in 1227.

On his return to Masyaf, Altaïr found that his rival Abbas had taken over the order, imprisoning Malik, and killing Altaïr's younger son, Sef. After Altaïr's arrival Malik was killed as well. Abbas attempted to take the Apple from Altaïr, causing Altaïr and Darim to leave Masyaf and Maria getting killed at the hands of Swami. Both Altaïr and his son killed several Assassins along the way.

After the escape Altaïr became obsessed with the Apple, driving Darim, and Sef's family away. The Apple led him to the Memory Seals, and taught him how to make several advanced gadgets.

Around 1247, Altaïr returned to Masyaf and found it in disrepair. He rallied several Assassins who were loyal to him, and turned several of Abbas' henchmen to his side. Finally they assaulted the fortress, making sure not to harm anyone other than the Assassins who had defied the Creed. Altaïr finally shot Abbas with the Hidden Gun, marking the first usage of this weapon.

The Mongol threat continued advancing west however, and Altaïr decided to abandon their fortresses, going underground and continuing their activities in secret. He trained the travelers Niccolò and Maffeo Polo into Assassins in the year 1257, escorting them out of the city. He tasked them to set up guilds around the world as they traveled.

Darim was one of the last Assassins to leave Masyaf, Altaïr stayed in his Library with the Apple, and died there with the final Memory Seal in his hand.

Late Middle Ages

"In this modern age, we are not as literal as our ancestors; but our seal is no less permanent…"
―Mario Auditore at Ezio's official induction into the Assassin Order[src]
Asslogorenaissance

Italian Renaissance variation of the Assassins' emblem.

During the Late Middle Ages, the Order continued to thrive, despite being forced to adopt an even more secretive and isolated existence. When the Renaissance, a cultural movement, started in Italy, the Assassin Order had apparently "gone underground" and primarily focused themselves in Italy, where the headquarters of the Templar Order were also located. As the Templar Order survived in more inconspicuous ways, Altaïr believed that the Assassins too had to change tactics, so as to live on and made the Order a secret organization once again.[5]

In the early 14th century, the Assassins manipulated the French king, Philip le Bel to try and destroy the Templars. They made the Church brand the Templars heretics, turning their own weapon against them, with the intention of finishing off the Templars. They managed to get the Templar Grand Master, Jacques de Molay burnt at the stake, however, his nine most trusted men had escaped after he had passed on the knowledge of the ancients, and the order continued to survive.[13]

By 1321, various members of the Assassin Order had successfully integrated themselves into modern day life of middle Italy, widely unknown to the average folk. That same year, a young sailor by the name of Domenico, the son of an Assassin, was apprenticed to the poet and Assassin Dante Alighieri, who had been tasked with transporting the Codex of Altaïr from Venice to Spain.[14] Upon his death, however, the undertaking fell instead to Domenico. During the voyage, pirates under the employ of the Templars ambushed the ship looking for the Codex, consequently killing Domenico's wife. Fortunately for the Assassins, Domenico managed to break apart the Codex and hide its pages from the pirates before he and his son were forced overboard.[14]

Eventually returning to Venice, Domenico found his father and his patron, Marco Polo, an ally of the Assassins, dead. Thus, Domenico emptied the bank accounts of Messer Polo, and traveled to the city of Florence under the assumed name of Auditore. He eventually constructed the Villa Auditore in the city of Monteriggioni, which became the center of the Assassin Order in Italy up to the year 1500.[14]

Despite the order "modernizing" since the 12th Century, they still retained many of the rituals and practices, albeit altered. The practice of removing one's ring finger had been stopped, although the seal of the Order was branded upon the finger instead with hot iron. Although significantly fewer in number, the Assassins were supported by the courtesans, thieves and condottieri of Florence and Venice; the guilds of which were each run by a member of the Order.[5]

During this time period, the Assassins entered another period of increased hostility with the Templars, who were attempting to overthrow the ruling House of Medici in Florence, and the Doge of Venice. Having already killed the Duke of Milan[15] in 1476, Rodrigo Borgia, the Grand Master of the Templar Order, brought the noble families of Pazzi and Barbarigo together[15] to accomplish his goals. Entering into conflict with the Assassins, Borgia dealt a crippling blow to the Order in 1476, when he had executed the experienced Assassin Giovanni and his two sons, Federico and Petruccio, although a third son, Ezio, managed to escape. With the aid of Ezio, the Assassins were able to counter Borgia's plot over a twenty-three year campaign, defeating him at every turn.[5]

In 1487, the Order of Assassins learned that the Templars had retrieved another Apple of Eden from the island of Cyprus, and deemed its capture necessary. Following the artifact from L'Arsenale di Venezia, Ezio managed to overpower and replace the Templar guard carrying the artifact. Under this guise, Ezio met with Borgia himself, and the two engaged in battle. Borgia fled upon the arrival of other Assassins, and the artifact fell once again into the hands of the Assassins. The Assassins of this age, however, were unaware of the nature of the artifact, although they did recognize it as one of the Pieces of Eden mentioned within Altaïr's Codex.[5]

Ascension 3

The Assassins in Rome.

By 1500, right after Cesare Borgia besieged the city of Monteriggioni, murdering Mario Auditore and once again claiming the Apple for the Templars, Ezio Auditore had moved to Rome, meeting up with Niccolò Machiavelli and laying the foundations of a new "brotherhood" of Assassins. Utilizing the mercenaries, thieves and courtesans of Bartolomeo d'Alviano, La Volpe and Claudia Auditore respectively, Ezio's brotherhood worked to combat the influence and power of the Borgia family, and by extension the Papacy itself. Headquartered in an underground store-room owned by Fabio Orsini, on Tiber Island in the center of Rome, the Assassins begun to spread their influence throughout the city, recruiting Rome's own citizens as Assassin Apprentices under Ezio, eventually becoming inducted and branded into the Order as Assassins themselves. Under the instruction of Ezio, many Assassin recruits undertook a variety of missions across Europe and Asia in cities such as London, Paris, Barcelona, Lisbon, Moscow and Calicut, killing and sabotaging Templars, their allies, and corrupt men in power, and defending and aiding their Assassin brothers and sisters, as well as anyone willing to stand against the Borgia and the Church.[7]

Over a period of three years, Ezio's brotherhood whittled away the Borgia family's power, and with the murder of Rodrigo Borgia at the hands of his own son, and the arrest of Cesare by the Papal Guard of Julius II, the Templars' influence over the city of Rome was shattered.[7]

Three years after Siege of Viana in 1507, when Ezio ended the threat of Cesare Borgia, the Assassin Grand Master traveled to the ancient Assassin fortress of Masyaf, on a pilgrimage to learn the origins of the Order. When he arrived, he discovered that the fortress had been overrun by the Templars, who were searching for the five Seals of Altaïr, which would combine to unlock a secret weapon hidden by Altaïr. With one seal already in the Templars' possession, Ezio learned that the remaining four were hidden throughout the city of Constantinople. From there, Ezio made his way to the city, in the hopes of obtaining the remaining seals.[1]

When he arrived in Constantinople, Ezio was welcomed by the guild there, led by Yusuf Tazim, and learned how to use their unique weapons. With the knowledge made known to him that the Templars had taken over the Byzantine remnants, and in the recent years, had been attempting to overthrow the Ottomans, Ezio began to take a leading role in the conflict. He retook all the Assassin Dens around the city and trained seven recruits to the rank of Master Assassin, assigning each to one of the dens. The Constantinople Guild also worked to help liberate and spread Assassin influence in other cities, namely Bursa, Rhodes, Marseille, Damascus, Jerusalem, Madrid, Lisbon, Tunis, Tripoli, Athens, Algiers and Alexandria, where they slowly whittled away Templar Control, rebuilt the cities and protected them from attacks by the Templars. They also rescued captured Assassins in these cities, and helped those who opposed the Templars. They were responsible for destroying the compound of the Knights Hospitalier.

Together with Yusuf, Ezio protected the Ottoman prince Suleiman from the Templars, while continuing his search for the keys. Befriending a Venetian lady, Sofia Sartor, she deciphered a map containing the location of the keys. After finding 4 of the keys to Altaïr's library, Ezio travelled to Cappadocia, after asking Yusuf to protect Sofia at her shop, to hunt down Manuel Palaiologos and find the final key. On doing so, he discovered that Manuel was not the true leader of the Byzantines, but Suleiman's uncle -- Ahmet -- was.

On his return to Constantinople, Ezio made his way to Sofia's shop, to find that Yusuf had been killed and Ahmet had captured Sofia, demanding the keys in exchange. However, after a full scale assault on the city's Arsenal, Ezio chased him over the countryside, culminating with Ahmet's brother, Selim, killing Ahmet by throwing from a cliff.

From there, Ezio and Sofia travelled to Masyaf and unlocked the library of Altaïr, where Ezio attempted to communicate with Desmond. Deciding that his mission was over, Ezio left his sword and hidden blade, giving up his life as an Assassin.[1]

On his return to Italy, Ezio appointed the Assassin Lodovico Ariosto as Mentor of the Italian Assassins and then retired from the Order, marrying Sofia Sartor and having two children with her, Flavia and Marcello Auditore, settling down on a Tuscan vineyard.

As the Templars had been severely weakened in Europe, the Assassins began collecting and studying several Pieces of Eden. In 1510, Francesco Vecellio hunted down Niccolò di Pitigliano, recovering the Shroud.

In 1519, Giovanni Borgia was secured a position aboard Hernán Cortés' ship, which was sailing to the New World. After the Spanish troops began to ransack Tenochtitlan, Giovanni recovered a Crystal skull from the Mayan city, assassinating one of their priests to obtain it. On bringing it to Paracelsus for study, the Assassins found that it was not one of the Pieces.

In 1527, Giovanni accidentally read a tome belonging to Paracelsus and succeeded in crafting the Philosopher's Stone. After discovering that the tome was one half of the Book of Abraham, he searched for the other half with Maria Amiel, Paracelsus' assistant, but only found a translation. However, he did develop a relationship with Maria, with the two of them becoming romantically involved and later marrying each other.

In 1542, after studying the Crystal skull over a long period of time, Giovanni found out that it could be used to communicate over large distances, seeing the face of a Chinese man in his mind.

Around this time, the Chinese Assassins were fighting desperately against the Templars. Several Chinese Emperors came to power through Templar support, who would then orchestrate the mass killings of Assassins. One such emperor was Yongle, who was killed by the Assassin Li Tong in 1424.

When Emperor Jiajing came to power, he nearly destroyed the Brotherhood in China, though a handful of Assassins fled west for support. Shao Jun and her Mentor escaped to Italy, though Jiajing's men killed Shao's Mentor along the way, leaving Shao to fend for herself. With no alternative, she went to Ezio to seek guidance and support.

Though he initially wanted nothing to do with the Assassins anymore, he eventually relented and taught her how to rebuild her Brotherhood. Shao, armed with this knowledge and a box that Ezio told her to open only if she lost her way, went back to China, vowing to rebuild the Brotherhood, no matter how long it took.

Colonial America

As the reach of the Old World spread to the New, the Assassins' followed to ensure they were able to protect it from any advances the Templars made. In 1503, the Italian Assassins under Ezio, sent their recruits to recover a map of the New World made by Piri Reis. Using this map they too began to send their men to America.

In 1510, the Assassins in Florida recruited Alonso Carlo, and his adopted son, Miguel Ramón Carlo de Lugo, to their cause. In 1521, Carlo was tasked with stopping the explorer Juan Ponce de León from reaching the Fountain of Youth, where they knew he would find a Piece of Eden. While Miguel distracted León in conversation, a poisoned arrow killed León, and Miguel escaped.

In the mid 18th Century, during the French and Indian War and the American Revolutionary War, at least three Assassins named Connor Kenway[16], Aveline de Grandpré[17] and Agate were operating in the area.

In 1865, the Templars planned an assassination attempt of their own on the incumbent United States President; Abraham Lincoln. Though it succeeded, the murderer, John Wilkes Booth was later hunted down and killed by Assassins.[5]

Modern times

"In the old days, that usually meant killing anyone who became too powerful or greedy. […] These days, it means subversion of established regimes. […] Countries. Corporations. We change the system from within."
"The Mentor", in 2000, on the Assassin Order.[src]
Tungaska Explod v

One of the Pieces of Eden, the Staff, destroyed in the Tunguska explosion.

By the late 19th century, the Russian sect of the Assassin Order, the Narodnaya Volya (People's Will), played a vital role in overthrowing the Tsarist rule over Russia. The Assassins strongly assisted their close ally, Vladimir Lenin, the leader of the Bolsheviks – as Lenin's brother was an Assassin himself. Due to the efforts of the Assassin Nikolai Orelov, the Templar Tsar Alexander III died of kidney failure and the Staff of Eden was destroyed in the Tunguska explosion. Without power, Tsarevich Nicholas II was removed from the throne and Russia became communistic.

By the 20th Century, the tactics and practices of the Assassin Order had changed greatly.[4] Whilst the Order of Assassins had kept to their policy of remote camps and isolation,[3] the Templars had begun to infiltrate society further; taking the form of many publicly known corporations such as NASA[5] and Kraft,[7] which all secretly fell under the shadow corporation Abstergo Industries.

The Templars Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Adolf Hitler planned a war that would place the Templars in control. At the end of the war, Hitler was supposed to kill his double, created by the Piece of Eden in his control, and then escape. However, the Assassins spoiled this victory by assassinating Hitler as he exited the bunker his body double was placed in.

The Assassins relied less upon killing powerful or greedy individuals, and more on changing the "established regime" from within, using politics as well as the blade to achieve their aims, such as rigging elections to keep Templars out of office.

The American presidential election of 2000 was one such election, with the Templars attempting to place their puppet George W. Bush into power, and the Assassins backing Al Gore.[4]

By the year 2000, the hidden blade had become a largely ceremonial weapon.[4] In the meantime however, the Templars continued to search for and investigate the various Pieces of Eden they discovered throughout this period,[5][3] whilst the Assassins continued their war against them; notably being responsible for the destruction of at least one Templar-controlled base in Siberia in 1908, known in public as the Tunguska explosion.[5] However, by the year 1985, the Templars, under the guise of their front company Abstergo Industries, had begun kidnapping Assassins or those related to them in an attempt to locate even more Pieces of Eden.[7]

File:The Mentor die.jpg

That same year, a child codenamed Daniel Cross, a descendant of the Assassin Nikolai Orelov, was kidnapped by Abstergo's Lineage Research and Acquisition department and entered into the Animus Project.[2] Years later, in 1998, Daniel joined the Order as a prospective, but with a mission to find the then-current Mentor. Two years later, he was granted his wish and inducted into the Order by the Mentor himself; Cross subsequently murdered the Mentor with the very hidden blade he had been bequeathed by his victim just moments before, as a result of a neurological impulse instilled in him by Warren Vidic during his time as an Abstergo captive.[4] Cross's actions directly led to the fall of the Assassin order, as he compromised virtually all of the Assassin camps around the world that he had visited in search for the Mentor upon returning to Abstergo Industries, which forced the Assassins even further into hiding. Other notable Assassins held captive by Abstergo included Clay Kaczmarek and Desmond Miles – both descendants of Ezio Auditore and Adam.[3]

After the Mentor's death, William Miles began to take a prominent role in the Order's functioning, and became their de facto leader. It was his decision of raising Lucy Stillman outside the Order after the age of seventeen, so that all her ties to the Assassins were cut, and she could infiltrate Abstergo.

Sometime around 2008, he also recruited Clay Kaczmarek to the Order. Tasked with infiltrating Abstergo and discovering information about them, he returned successfully with a memo detailing the allocation of Abstergo Industries' budget, along with their funding of the Animus Project. With this information known to the Assassins, a plan was devised for him to get caught by their Lineage Research and Acquisition department as Subject 16, and was to be rescued later by Lucy. However, years of isolation had caused her to turn against the Assassins, and once Clay learned of her defection through hacking into Abstergo's systems and uncovering security footage, she did not help him escape when the time came, leading to his subsequent suicide.

"We lost two more teams last night. That's eight more of us just... gone."
―Lucy Stillman, 2012.[src]

Later on, the Templars tracked down Desmond Miles, William's son, who had left the Order in 2003.

Using Desmond, Abstergo managed to obtain a map of the locations of the Pieces of Eden across the globe, and subsequently begun their attempts to claim them. When Desmond began to suffer from the Bleeding effect, Warren Vidic told Lucy to take him somewhere where he would feel safe, as part of a plan code-named "Project Siren". Not long after, the Assassins were able to free Desmond with the "aid" of Lucy Stillman, as well as obtain their own copy of the map.[5] Following this, Desmond agreed to aid the Assassins in their quest to defeat Abstergo, mostly for revenge, but also for closure.

Utilizing the Animus 2.0, a copy of the machine used by Abstergo to explore his genetic memories previously,[5][3] Desmond followed the memories of Ezio Auditore, adopting his skills in combat and free-running, while the rest of the Order concentrated to locating the Pieces of Eden before their Templar counterparts. Despite this, however, the war with the Templars had taken a turn for the worse. With their numbers dwindling, the Order of Assassins was in danger of losing the war.[5]

As technology progressed, so did the weapons used against the Assassins. By 2012, the Templars were using cell phone towers and satellites to track them down. As a result, Desmond and his group had to take refuge within the Sanctuary, deep beneath the city of Monteriggioni. By this point, the Order was using at least one e-mail network, known as the Hephaestus Email Network, in order to facilitate communications.[7]

Modern Assassins in Santa Maria in Aracoeli

The Assassins inside Santa Maria in Aracoeli.

In the latter half of 2012, an Assassin team made up of Lucy Stillman, Rebecca Crane, Shaun Hastings and Desmond Miles discovered the Colosseum Vault – after Desmond had relived Ezio's memories in Rome through the Animus – and infiltrated it, securing the Apple of Eden that Ezio had hidden there centuries before. On contact with First Civilization artifact, Desmond's body was taken over by the ancient being Juno, who forced him to stab and kill the Assassin-turncoat, Lucy. This helped to ensure that the Templars couldn't get their hands on Ezio's Apple and kept Desmond safe from Templar influence from within the Assassins. Due to this event, the team and the Apple were brought to William Miles and the Order, in turn securing one of the ancient artifacts for the Order's cause.[7]

Also, around this time, an Assassin team in Moscow were chasing a potential lead on a Piece of Eden. However, as William Miles stated, this was some of the only good news they had got. There were teams in Osaka and São Paulo. In Osaka, the team was being tailed, so they had gone dark. In São Paulo, a leak was confirmed and the team was working on flushing it out. The team in Denver were even worse off. They had lost contact without informing, and their safe house was empty. This meant that they were dead or captured, or that they had gone dark without informing the Headquarters.

Known Assassins

"The seeds were planted as two worlds became one. Behold, the Assassins, the children of two worlds!"
―Clay Kaczmarek.[src]
Play along 9

Ezio's initiation into the Brotherhood.

The Assassins had existed since before the turn of the first millennium; several known figures included Darius, Iltani, Wei Yu,[5] Gaius Cassius Longinus, Marcus Junius Brutus and their co-conspirators,[6] Amunet and Leonius.[5] Historically however, the forebearers of the Assassins have existed since before recorded time, possibly reaching as far back as Adam and Eve.[5]

Medieval and Renaissance periods

During the Third Crusade, the Syrian sect of the Order of Assassins was mainly made up of native, Syrian-born individuals; although some, like Altaïr, were born to parents of both religions. Led by Al Mualim,[3] and later Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad himself,[5] other members included Harash,[12] Malik and Kadar Al-Sayf, Rauf, Abbas, Masun, Jamal,[3] and Qulan Gal, the death-bringer of Genghis Khan.[5] Allies also included various individuals, such as Adha,[18] and even former Templars like Maria Thorpe.[5][12] Others included Dante Alighieri, Maffeo, Marco and Niccolò Polo, and Domenico Auditore,[5] the founder of the Auditore Villa.

Later on, during the Renaissance, the Order's numbers had dwindled significantly. Having become much more secretive, members of the Order often had occupations and lives outside of the Order, ranging from artists[19] to thieves[5] to royal treasurers.[20] They included the Florentine banker Giovanni Auditore da Firenze;[5][15] his brother Mario Auditore, caretaker of the Auditore Villa and condottieri leader; Federico Auditore da Firenze and his brother Ezio Auditore da Firenze; Paola and Teodora, the heads of the Florentine and Venetian courtesans respectively; Antonio de Magianis, the head of the Venetian Thieves Guild; La Volpe, the head of the Florentine Thieves Guild; Niccolò Machiavelli, a writer and head of the Florentine Mercenaries; Bartolomeo d'Alviano,[5] condottiero of Venice; Perotto Calderon, undercover in the employ of the Borgia.

Others included Giovanni Borgia, the illegitimate son of Calderon and Lucrezia Borgia; Paracelcus, Swiss scientist and alchemist; Francesco Vecellio, Renaissance painter,[6] Tessa Varzi and Cipriano Enu,[6] Rinaldo Vitturi, the keeper of the Shroud,[6] Ridolfo Fioravant and Pietro Antonio Solari, spies working undercover as architects on the Kremlin,[7] Luis de Santángel and Raphael Sanchez, finance minister to Ferdinand II and treasurer of Queen Isabella I respectively;[20] Yusuf Tazim, the leader of the Constantinople Assassin Guild; Piri Reis, a top navigator and cartographer to Bayezid II and Master Assassin; Sofia Sartor, a book shop owner and eventual wife to Ezio Auditore; Suleiman I, a young prince and eventual successor to the Ottoman Empire's throne, and Dogan and Azize, two lieutenants of the Constantinople Assassin Guild.

Once again, the Order had many allies amongst the common folk of Italy, as well as amongst the nobility. Foremost among them was Leonardo da Vinci, Ezio's closest friend and a genius of invention. Others included Caterina Sforza,[21] the Countess of Forlì;[5] Lorenzo de' Medici, the ruler of Florence;[5] Agostino Barbarigo, the Doge of Venice from 1486;[5] and the famed explorer Christoffa Corombo.[20]

By 1501, Ezio Auditore and Niccolò Machiavelli had begun training new Assassin recruits in the Order from their Tiber Island Base in Rome. In 1503, Claudia Auditore, sister of Ezio, also joined the Order.[7]

Modern times

At the turn of the 20th century, the Assassins' Order had spread as far the Russian Empire, with a strong presence in and around Petrograd. Members of the Narodnaya Volya were in fact members of the Assassin Order. Some known Assassins include Nikolai Orelov and Aleksandr Ulyanov, the older brother of Vladimir Lenin.[2]

Swap

The British medic and Erich Albert.

During World War I, there was an Assassin on the Western Front, an unidentified medic fighting for the British on the front line. The medic assassinated Erich Albert, a German general and member of the Templars.[6]

During the late 20th and 21st century, however, the Order seemed to have sunk further into hiding, with their numbers fewer than ever.[5] Although it is evident that more existed, only a few were known to be in the Order: Clay Kaczmarek, Desmond Miles, Lucy Stillman,[3] Rebecca Crane, Shaun Hastings,[5] Hannah Mueller, Paul Bellamy, Daniel Cross,[22] and William Miles. There were also known groups of Assassins based in São Paulo, Brazil; Moscow, Russia; Osaka, Japan and Denver, Colorado, US.[7]

Known victims

"Find them, kill them. In doing so, you will sow the seeds of peace."
―Al Mualim to Altaïr.[src]

Over the centuries, the Order of Assassins killed hundreds, if not thousands of individuals who they saw to be corrupt in their ways and a danger to humanity. Their intense rivalry with the Templars also ensured that many underlings who served their Templar masters often shared the same fate.[3]

Below is a chronological list of notable victims of Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad:


Below is a chronological list of notable victims of Ezio Auditore da Firenze:


Below is a chronological list of the known victims of other Assassins:


See also

Appearances

Notes and references

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 Assassin's Creed: Revelations
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Assassin's Creed: The Fall - Issue #1
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 3.26 3.27 3.28 3.29 Assassin's Creed
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Assassin's Creed: The Fall - Issue #3
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 5.22 5.23 5.24 5.25 5.26 5.27 5.28 5.29 5.30 5.31 5.32 5.33 5.34 5.35 5.36 5.37 5.38 5.39 5.40 5.41 5.42 5.43 5.44 5.45 5.46 5.47 5.48 5.49 5.50 5.51 5.52 5.53 5.54 5.55 5.56 5.57 5.58 5.59 5.60 5.61 5.62 5.63 5.64 5.65 5.66 5.67 5.68 5.69 5.70 5.71 5.72 5.73 5.74 5.75 5.76 5.77 5.78 5.79 Assassin's Creed II
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 7.15 7.16 7.17 7.18 7.19 7.20 7.21 7.22 7.23 7.24 7.25 7.26 7.27 7.28 7.29 7.30 Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
  8. Assassin's Creed (French comic): Tome 3, Accipiter
  9. 9.0 9.1 Assassin's Creed Timeline
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 Assassin's Creed: The Secret Crusade
  11. Wikipedia: Saladin
  12. 12.00 12.01 12.02 12.03 12.04 12.05 12.06 12.07 12.08 12.09 12.10 12.11 Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines
  13. Assassin's Creed: Revelations - Abstergo Files
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Uplay Content - Assassin's Creed II: Auditore Family Crypt
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Assassin's Creed: Lineage
  16. Strategy Informer covers Assassin's Creed III
  17. IGN - E3 2012: Assassin's Creed Vita Revealed?
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 18.6 18.7 Assassin's Creed: Altaïr's Chronicles
  19. Assassin's Creed: Renaissance
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 20.5 Assassin's Creed II: Discovery
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Assassin's Creed II: Battle of Forlì
  22. Assassin's Creed: The Fall - Issue #2
  23. Assassin's Creed II: Bonfire of the Vanities
  24. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood - The Da Vinci Disappearance
  25. Assassin's Creed (French comic): Tome 2, Aquilus
  26. 26.0 26.1 Assassin's Creed: Discover Your Legacy
  27. Assassin's Creed: Revelations novel

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