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ACB Tiber Island Hideout

The Tiber Island Hideout

Assassins Guilds were organized groups of Assassins based in cities across the globe. The guilds formed the basis of the Assassin Order's command structure after Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad disbanded the order from Masyaf in 1257,[1] with each guild coming under the control of a Master Assassin.[2][3]

During modern times, the Brotherhood reorganized itself into smaller groups of Assassins per city called cells which reflected a more decentralized structure.[4]

History

Constantinople and Venice

The Assassin Guild in Constantinople was originally founded by the Venetian brothers Niccolò and Maffeo Polo in 1258, after they had been inducted into the Order and had been specifically tasked by Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad - Mentor of the Levantine Assassins - to establish several guilds around the world.[5] The Guilds was fully functional by 1259 and attracted people from various places in the Byzantine Empire, including Greeks, Turks, Albanians, Jews, Genoese and Arabs.[2]

When the Polos finally returned to Venice in 1269, they began to establish another Guild in their city, bringing the Order to Italy. Moreover, Niccolò could once again meet his son Marco, who was about 15 years old and was subsequently raised to become an Assassin himself.[6]

Monteriggioni

Marco Polo acted as a patron to a fellow Assassin and his son, Domenico. The latter was eventually forced to relocate to Tuscany after the Templars had killed his former Assassin mentor, namely Dante Alighieri, his old patron and his own father, as well as being indirectly responsible for the death of his wife Isabetta.

Domenico was able to acquire a new identity for himself and his son, whom he trained to be an Assassin and follow in his footsteps. He posed as a noble in Florence, started the House of Auditore and bought a Villa in Monteriggioni. The Tuscan town therefore housed the primary Assassin guild during the 14th and 15th centuries.[7][8]

Rome, Constaninople and Beyond

Monteriggioni eventually fell after it was attacked by the Papal armies, led by Cesare Borgia, son of Pope Alexander VI, head of the House of Borgia and Grand Master of the Italian Templars. Even if Cesare personally executed Mario Auditore during the siege, Mario's nephew Ezio survived the attack and took the fight to Rome, heart of the Templar dominance.

In Rome, Ezio collaborated with his allies in order to build a stronger guild, into which he recruited local citizens who were willing to take up arms against Templar oppression. Ezio would later become the Mentor of the Italian Assassins, who were successful in liberating Rome and defeating the Italian Templars.

After the defeat of the Borgia, the Italian Mentor travelled to Constantinople, capital of the Ottoman Empire, where he was received by the Ottoman Assassins, headed by Yusuf Tazim, whose fight against the Byzantine Templars was joined by Ezio.

During his time both in Rome and Constantinople, Ezio also sent his Apprentices in various missions around Europe and then the Mediterranean, and even as far as India.

Colonial America

The Colonial Assassins were led by Achilles Davenport at the Davenport Homestead in Massachusetts. Once a powerful branch that possessed its own navy, the guild was destroyed by the Templars led by Haytham Kenway in 1763. Seven years later, Ratonhnhaké:ton joined the Order and recruited apprentices to fulfill contracts across the colonies from Quebec to Georgia, revitalizing the guild.[9]

The Assassins in Louisiana were relocated from Saint-Domingue by Agaté.[10]

St. Petersburg, Russia

During the turn of the 20th century, the Russian Assassins, known as the Narodnaya Volya, had a presence in St. Petersburg.[11] They also had contacts in the United States' Federal Bureau of Investigation, who ensured the safety of Nikolai Orelov's family when they were deported following the Palmer Raids.[12]

Guild management

BH coop

Ezio accessing a pigeon coop

The Assassin guilds recruited their members in a number of ways—in the city of Rome, for example, the guild recruited from the city's disaffected population; those who had suffered at the hands of the Templar House of Borgia flocked to the guild when approached by a member. Once members, recruits trained through experience; they would embark on actual missions across the globe and aid in the progression of the Order's goals. Communication both between and within the guilds was facilitated through use of pigeon coops.[4]

Each guild provided its recruits with a wide array of weapons and armor qualities. These usually improved in step with the apprentice's rank; higher ranked Assassins would gain access to weapons such as the Hidden Gun and Smoke bombs. Additionally, the number of ranks in a particular guild varied between cities;[3] for example, the guild in Rome only had ten ranks,[4] whilst the guild in Constantinople had fifteen.[2]

In Rome, the ranks progressed as follows:

  1. Recluta (Recruit)
  2. Servitore (Servant)
  3. Assistente (Assistant)
  4. Milite (Soldier)
  5. Discepolo (Disciple)
  6. Mercenario (Mercenary)
  7. Guerriero (Warrior)
  8. Veterano (Veteran)
  9. Maestro (Teacher)
  10. Assassino (Assassin)

Whereas in Constantinople the ranks were:

  1. Recruit
  2. Initiate
  3. Apprentice
  4. Novice
  5. Footpad
  6. Disciple
  7. Mercenary
  8. Warrior
  9. Veteran
  10. Assassin
  11. Assassin First Rank
  12. Assassin Second Rank
  13. Assassin Third Rank
  14. Assassin Fourth Rank
  15. Assassin Fifth Rank
  16. Den Master

Ceremony

"Laa shay'a waqui'n moutlaq bale kouloun moumkine. The wisdom of our Creed is revealed through these words. We work in the dark to serve the light. We are Assassins. Nothing is true, everything is permitted."
―Ezio Auditore during the ceremony.[src]
Initiation Rome 2

The initiation ceremony

Upon reaching the rank Assassino, an initiation ceremony would be held. This ceremony marked an Assassin's passage from apprentice to a full member of the Assassin Order. In Rome, these ceremonies would take place within the Tiber Island headquarters. Following the ceremony, the Assassin would don the official garb of Order, similar in style to Mentor Ezio Auditore da Firenze's.[4]

As the guilds in the 18th century colonies became disorganized, initiation ceremonies were discontinued,[9] although performing the Leap of Faith as an initiation returned by the 21st century.[13]

Trivia

  • In Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, the Assassin mark is not visible on the recruits' ring finger after the ceremony.

References