- "We learned that the Byzantines are planning to infiltrate Topkapı Palace now that Prince Suleiman has returned from his hajj. If they do strike, it will be tonight at the cultural exposition the Prince has organized."
- ―Yusuf Tazim, telling Ezio Auditore da Firenze of the Byzantines' plans.[src]
|Attack on Prince Suleiman|
The attack on Prince Suleiman was an event that occurred in 1511, in which members of the Byzantine branch of the Templar Order plotted to assassinate the young prince by infiltrating a cultural exposition being held at Topkapı Palace.
- Ezio: "Trust me Yusuf, just tell me where to go."
- Yusuf: "Topkapı's main gate. We plan to dress as entertainers and walk right in."
- ―Ezio and Yusuf discussing the infiltration.[src]
Meeting Yusuf Tazim, along with other Assassins, at the Hippodrome, Yusuf told Ezio of a Templar plot to assassinate the 17-year-old Governor of Kaffa Prince Suleiman I. Though initially reluctant to let Ezio take part in their rescue, eventually Yusuf told him of their plan to dress as minstrels and infiltrate the palace.
After being informed of Italian minstrels already present at the palace, the Assassins raced across Constantinople's rooftops. Reaching the palace, they began their search for the minstrels, and upon locating them, silently rendered each one of them unconscious and hid their bodies in nearby haystacks.
- "Suleiman -- The Sultan's grandson, and governor of Kefe. And he's only seventeen."
- ―Yusuf telling Ezio of Suleiman.[src]
Once the exposition had begun, the Assassins dressed themselves in the minstrel's outfits. Finding a lute, Ezio took the instrument and approached the courtyard's entrance with his fellow Assassins, though they were stopped by Janissaries, who were not convinced by their disguises. With no other choice, Ezio began to play the lute and sang to the guards. Eventually getting tired of Ezio, they told him to bother the guests inside instead.
Finally inside the palace, the Assassins began to roam the courtyard while Ezio routed out the Byzantine assassins through his improved senses. Eventually, he discovered two Byzantines hiding amongst the crowds of guests. Signaling the Assassins to kill the Byzantines, Ezio distracted the guests by singing to them with his lute.
Afterwards, Ezio met up with Yusuf and told him of the two Byzantines. Yusuf then pointed out the absence of Suleiman in this courtyard, and the two proceeded to make their way to the adjacent courtyard. Upon reaching it, the two Assassins noticed Suleiman, as well as his uncle Prince Ahmet, the eldest son of Bayezid II, greeting guests. Ezio told Yusuf of his encounter with Suleiman on the ship to Constantinople, and that he had told him he was a student. As Suleiman broke off and began mingling with guests, Ezio followed him.
Again using the same tactic of distracting the guests while the Assassins carried out the killings, they eventually picked off four more Byzantine assassins. However, upon discovering the corpse of a Byzantine assassin, poorly hidden behind a bush, the palace guards ran to attack Yusuf.
Eventually arriving at the scene, Ezio was warned by Yusuf of a Byzantine assassin running to attack Suleiman. Breaking his lute in two, Ezio ran towards the Byzantine and impaled him with the top half of the lute, while Yusuf finished off the guards. Another guard then arrived, asking Suleiman if he had been injured. Ignoring the question, Suleiman asked the guard who his captain was, to which he replied Tarik Barleti. He then ordered the guard to send the guests home and summon Tarik to the palace. Once the guard had left, Suleiman asked Ezio to meet him at the palace's courtyard later. Ezio agreed, and proceeded to make his departure with Yusuf and the Assassins.
- "Your incompetence borders on treason. And to think that today your Janissaries were outshone by an Italian lute player. Preposterous!"
- ―Ahmet arguing with Tarik.[src]
Back in his own attire, Ezio returned to the palace. Scaling the outer walls, he made his way unnoticed across the rooftops and eventually reached Suleiman. Suleiman informed Ezio of the meeting he had arranged with the Janissary captain Tarik and his uncle, Prince Ahmet.
Suleiman then explained to Ezio why the Janissaries were angry at Bayzeid II over his decision to make Ahmet the next Sultan, instead preferring it to be Selim I, Suleiman's father. Ezio then asked how the Byzantines fitted into this, to which Suleiman replied that he was hoping Ezio knew, but asked him if he was willing to assist him in finding out. Ezio agreed, so long as their interests ran parallel. With this, Suleiman told Ezio to enter a hatch on top of the Tower of Justice, which led to a hidden room overlooking the meeting place. Ezio did so, and watched on as the three men argued over the night's happenings.
As Suleiman left to rendezvous with Ezio, Ahmet asked Tarik why the Janissaries held such contempt for him, to which Tarik replied that he was weak, describing him as pensive in times of war and restless in periods of peace, and that he lacked passion for the traditions of the ghazi (holy warriors), yet he spoke of fraternity in the company of infidels. Enraged, Ahmet demanded Tarik leave.
As Ezio and Suleiman watched Tarik leave, Ezio noted that Ahmet lacked sway over Tarik. Suleiman agreed, and went on to describe Tarik as a hard man: proud and capable, but ambitious, who admired Selim greatly. Though, the two were suspicious of Tarik's inability to secure the palace against the Byzantines' infiltration. Proposing to begin an investigation on Tarik and the Janissaries, Suleiman advised Ezio to begin at the Grand Bazaar. With that, Ezio took his leave.
- "For now, keep an eye on Tarik and his Janissaries. They spend much of their time in and around the Bazaar."
- ―Suleiman, regarding his and Ezio's investigation on Tarik.[src]
Following Suleiman's advice, Ezio made his way to the Grand Bazaar. There, he sought out Tarik and managed to tail him and his Janissaries to the Arsenal Gates. There, he observed a meeting between Tarik, Shahkulu, and Manuel Palaiologos, heir to the Byzantine throne. Suspicious of the deal they were discussing, Ezio decided to enter the Arsenal and investigate further.