The assault on Masyaf was an event during the High Middle Ages in the year 1189 in which an Assassin double-agent, Haras, led Templar soldiers in an attack on Masyaf, the headquarters of the Assassin Order located in Syria. The Templars ravaged the village of Masyaf and were able to capture the Assassin fortress, and swiftly took prisoners inside, Assassin and villager alike, including the eminent Mentor of the Levantine Assassins, Al Mualim.
As the battle ensued, Assassins fought to beat back the Templars from Masyaf and retake the fortress. They were quite unsuccessful, until another Assassin, Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, turned the tide of the battle. Altaïr saved the civilians and the village, rescued Al Mualim and retook the castle. He and the Assassins were then able to fend off their attackers.
Takeover of MasyafEdit
- "No. You misunderstand. I am no traitor... for I cannot betray those I never truly loved."
- ―Haras to Altaïr regarding his true allegiance to the Templars[src]
Circa 1189, a mysterious man by the name of Haras joined the Syrian branch of Assassins. Haras grew to be an Assassin more characteristically similar to the Templars, and thus during his tenure within the order, lacked promotions and increase in rank.
Haras became fed up with the Assassin Order, and he eventually gave in to the ways of the Templars. Covertly allied with the Templars, Haras began acting as a double-agent as he remained with the Assassins. Then in 1189, Haras led the Templar forces into Masyaf, disguised as a Templar Crusader so his identity would not be known to the Assassins, who would know they have been betrayed.
The Templars proceeded through the village swiftly, killing livestock and murdering villagers, while some were kept hostage. Haras quickly made his way to the Masyaf castle, where he along with several of his soldiers, captured Assassin prisoners. The hostages were placed in the castle's main courtyard, where they were guarded, and interrogated by Haras.
Other prisoners were executed and thrown off the walls of the castle. As the Templar soldiers below were massacring the village, the Assassins were sent to fight back. The village came under siege as the Assassins held their ground to retake Masyaf from the Templars.
Reclamation of MasyafEdit
- Altaïr: "When I close the castle gate, flank the Crusaders in the village and drive them into the canyon."
- Abbas: "You don't stand a chance!"
- Altaïr: "Abbas! No mistakes."
- —Altaïr to Abbas on his plan.[src]
With the castle taken, the battle continued, as the Templars and Assassins were fighting in the village below the castle. The Assassins were unable to reach the fortress and rescue their Mentor, and were occupied with battling the soldiers in the village.
However, due to the quick success of the siege, the Assassins became aware that a traitor was responsible for the attack. Eventually though, the Assassin Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad arrived at the village, finding it in chaos. Noticing a fellow Assassin outnumbered by a pair of soldiers, Altaïr charged from behind on horseback, dispatching the first soldier with his sword.
The second man had slashed into and broken the unnamed Assassin's foot. Altaïr dismounted and threw a throwing knife at the Templar before he could deal a finishing blow to the Assassin. Altaïr helped the Assassin to a nearby bench to recover. The injured Assassin appreciated Altaïr's assistance, and asked of his name.
Altaïr simply replied that he was the son of Umar Ibn-La'Ahad, whom the man commended. As Altaïr tended to the Assassin's wounds, Abbas Sofian arrived and informed Altaïr that they had been betrayed and that the castle was overrun by the Templar soldiers.
Altaïr demanded Al Mualim's status, and Abbas explained that he was taken hostage when a Templar agent and his soldiers took over the fortress. Altaïr gazed at the battle from afar, and believed that they were fighting a losing battle.
Abbas insisted that the Assassins fall back, believing they could do nothing to save Al Mualim. However, Altaïr was confident that he could save their Mentor and retake the castle alone, and instructed Abbas to have the Assassins flank the Templars once he had closed the gates of the fortress, and drive them into the canyon. Abbas protested that Altaïr would not stand a chance against the Templars in the village, let alone make it to the castle and save Al Mualim.
Altaïr ignored the protest and simply told Abbas not to make mistakes in his task at hand. Altaïr than left Abbas and the injured Assassin and headed into the heat of the battle within the village, aiding fellow Assassins, killing many Templars, and saving multiple villagers while making his way towards the castle.
Saving Al MualimEdit
- "Tell me what you know of the artifact! Tell me where you are searching for it. It is a small price to pay to preserve what you have built here, no?"
- ―Haras to Al Mualim regarding an "artifact".[src]
Nearing the castle gates, Altaïr was stopped by the Templar agent, finally revealed to be Haras. Haras claimed that he would kill Al Mualim and the other Assassin hostages if he came any further towards the castle.
Altaïr warned the traitor that he would not leave the castle alive, yet Haras merely placed his helmet back on, and responded that he was not a traitor, for he could not betray the Assassins, whom he had "never truly loved". Altaïr snarled that Haras was therefore twice as vile, as he had been living a lie.
The gates of the castle closed shut, and Haras returned to questioning his prisoners. As the gate prevented Altaïr from entering, he took an alternate route up the walls. As Altaïr assassinated sentries atop the walls, Haras began interrogating Al Mualim, demanding to be given information regarding an "artifact", he proceeded to kill off the three Assassin hostages one by one.
The enraged Haras offered Al Mualim one last chance to reveal his information, or die. However, Altaïr was able to get close to the three Templars and Assassin Mentor from above on a ledge. Altaïr was in a dire situation, as there was almost no way to prevent the death of his Mentor.
In a last resort, Altaïr leapt off the ledge with his hidden blade at the ready, and landed on the unsuspecting Templar, assassinating him. The two soldiers, who were restraining Al Mualim, were momentarily stunned by the death of their leader, giving Al Mualim the opportunity to break free and eliminate his captors.
As Haras died, he claimed the Templars knew that humans were weak and petty. Though Altaïr rebutted that the Creed was evidence to the contrary. Haras then died claiming he was "too wise" to believe such things. With the castle retaken and Al Mualim saved, Altaïr began walking down the courtyard with his Mentor.
As they talked, Al Mualim asked why Altaïr offered the Templar a chance of salvation. Altaïr claimed that no person should die without being shown some kindness. Al Mualim admitted to Altaïr that watching him grow from a boy to a man gave him much sadness and pride. Al Mualim then claimed that Altaïr fit the role of his father perfectly. After saying his father was an Assassin above all else, Al Mualim asked Altaïr if he regretted the Assassin life he had since a child.
Altaïr asked how he could regret the only life he had ever known. Al Mualim finally told Altaïr that he would find his path to glory in time, and that the battle for Masyaf was not over. The two Assassins left the fortress and joined the other Assassins in the final fight against the Templars.
- Altaïr: "How can I regret the only life I've ever known?"
- Al Mualim: "You may find a way, in time. And it will be up to you to choose the path you prefer. Come, my boy... and ready your blade. This battle is not yet won."
- ―Al Mualim to Altaïr after the assault on Masyaf.[src]
The Assassin fortress was recovered. Abbas and the other Assassins drove out the Templars using the instruction given by Altaïr and reclaimed the village of Masyaf. Altaïr was then promoted to the rank of Master Assassin.