- "I'm cured of all that. And you know who finally cured me? Why, the fragrant Élise. She hated both of your Orders, you know that? "Two ticks fighting for control of the cat", was what she called you. Futile and deluded, she called you, and she was right. She told me I'd be better off without you, and she was right. Templars? Assassins? I piss on you all for a bunch of worthless old women squabbling over ancient dogma."
- ―Ruddock on the conflict between the Assassins and Templars, 1794.[src]
Bernard Ruddock (d. 1794) was a former member of the British Brotherhood of Assassins. Excommunicated due to his gambling and drinking habits, he worked as a contract killer in order to pay off his debts, while attempting to find a way back into the Brotherhood.
In 1775, Ruddock accepted a task of eliminating Julie de la Serre, a noted member of the Parisian Rite of the Templar Order, and wife of Grand Master François de la Serre. Ruddock believed that assassinating her would see him reinstated into the ranks of the Brotherhood. Paired with another killer, Ruddock attacked Julie while she and her daughter were coming back from shopping, after their carriage and coachman went missing. The two men cornered the Templar and Élise in a back street, but Julie managed to drive Ruddock away and kill his accomplice in the process.
Following the attack, François de la Serre summoned his advisors, who accused the Assassins and called for retaliation. However, Julie had her doubts about the Brotherhood's involvement, and lied about the fact that the surviving assailant used a Hidden Blade. Her suspicions were brought on by Ruddock's attitude during the attack, as well as the bag he abandoned during his escape, which was of British make. Suspecting involvement of the Carroll family, Julie asked her friend and confidant, the member of the British Rite, Frederick Weatherall, to investigate the suspected British Assassin and his contacts.
Thanks to Ruddock's failed assassination attempt, Élise learned of her family’s Templar allegiance, and their plans for her future two years early. Over the following years, she concluded those who had hired Ruddock were the advisors of her father, whose ideals were opposed by Julie. In reality, Ruddock had accepted the contract on behalf of the British Templar family, the Carrolls. The assassination plot was meant to serve their own goal of eliminating the person advising moderation and gradual change from the monarchy in France, and unknowingly to them, would have also aided an extremist faction forming within the Parisian Rite, led by François-Thomas Germain.
In 1788, Weatherall eventually discovered clues of Ruddock involvement in the assassination attempt on Julie thirteen years earlier, and embarked for England in order to finally obtain answers on behalf of the de la Serre family. Having been informed of the breakthrough by her British mentor and despite having been forbidden to come with him, Élise nevertheless traveled to London too, where she joined a furious Weatherall at the Carrolls’ household. There, the two Templars were hoping to use the contacts of their British "friends" to find Ruddock, but the Carrolls proposed a deal instead: in exchange for Élise and her maid, Hélène, infiltrating Jennifer Scott's household as Yvonne Albertine and her servant in order to spy on the old lady, the British Templars would use their resources to locate the disgraced former-Assassin. Weeks later and having her mission accomplished, Élise discovered that the Carrolls had located Ruddock in the Boars Head Inn, and were making preparations in order to seemingly capture him. In truth, and unbeknownst to Élise, the Carrolls were actually planning to eliminate him, and sever their connection to the attempted assassination years earlier.
Deciding to find the man first, the Élise found Ruddock in the inn where he was staying, frequenting prostitutes under the alias Gerald Mowles, just as the Carrolls, their men, and Weatherall arrived. While still unaware of the prior arrangement between Ruddock and the Carrolls, Élise nevertheless trusted her instinct not to trust the Carrolls and after a quick talk, prompted Ruddock to flee through the window as the British Templars were in the process of breaking the door of his room. Following a stand-off with the Carrolls, who boldly tried to murder her, Élise managed to escape after killing May Carroll in a surprise attack and both her and a grievously injured Weatherall successfully reached a ship departing for France. Following this, the vengeful and grieving parents placed a bounty on the heads of Élise, her maid, and Weatherall.
Élise and Ruddock met again in January of the next year, after the latter recklessly decide to once again use his Mowles alias, in a village near Rouen. Élise traveled there, and arrived just as Ruddock was about to be lynched by an angry mob, having being caught while trying to swindle an elderly woman out of her money. The young Templar saved him from being hanged, by cutting the rope with her sword, as the former Assassin started to suffocate; the two fled.
Some miles away, as Élise threatened him with her sword; Ruddock, a shadow of his former self, told her that a man hired him in the Café Procope back in Paris but that he didn't knew who he was. Frustrated to have learned nothing, but unable to kill him in cold blood, Élise decided to let him live and gave Ruddock six months to find the identity of the man who hired him to kill her mother or she would hunt him down.
In July 1789, and much to Élise’s surprise, Ruddock unexpectedly respected their agreement and came to the de la Serre estate just after the Storming of the Bastille, entering the looted house as Élise and an assassin sent by the Carrolls held each other at gunpoint. His timely arrival gave her the advantage needed to kill the distracted Harvey. Since his near-death experience, Ruddock had stopped drinking, and had begun to regain his composure and improve his appearance. He told Elise that the man who hired him to kill her mother was working for the King of Beggars, also informing the bemused woman that the shady crime lord was in fact a Templar. Still concealing that the Carrolls were the sponsors of the assassination, Ruddock told Élise that the King of Beggar was probably working for rogue elements within her own Order, directing her suspicions on the reformist faction. Before leaving, and after he told her that he was still planning to reclaim his place among the Assassins, Élise stated that he should be glad to not be part of the Brotherhood anymore, as he was freed of the millenary feud and the dogmas of both their Orders, Assassins and Templars.
Following Élise's death at the hands of Germain in 1794, and receiving a letter unveiling her last wishes, as instructed Ruddock traveled to Paris in order to meet her lover, the Assassin Arno Dorian, to whom the letter was ultimately destined. As a price for his efforts, he was to receive Haytham Kenway's correspondence with his half-sister Jennifer Scott, which was obtained by Élise during her time in London and which she believed would help him to curry favor with the Assassins and possibly reclaim his position within them. To prevent Ruddock from taking the letters without completing his task, she had described the location where her possessions were kept in a way that only Arno could decipher, mentioning the "Palace of Misery". Understanding that she was referring to the Maison Royale de Saint-Louis, the school where she was extremely unhappy as a child. Arno thanked Ruddock, and gave him his word to meet him later in order to give him the correspondence. However, as Arno traveled to the school to take possession of Élise's trunk, which was left into the care of her trusted friends, Ruddock discreetly followed him.
Once there, Ruddock displayed his greedy and selfish personality, taking Hélène, Élise's trusted handmaiden, hostage, in what appeared as an attempt to extort the letters from her husband Jacques, Frederick Weatherall, and Arno. However, Frederick claimed that Ruddock was acting on the orders of the Carrolls, and lied about freeing Hélène, as she was present alongside Élise at the Carroll residence, and along with Weatherall, would be killed out spite for the death of May Carroll years ago.
Ruddock did not deny the accusation, claiming that Élise had opened his eyes and that he no longer cared about the letters or being taken back into the Brotherhood. He also confirmed Weatherall's suspicions about the Carrolls being the ones behind the assassination attempt on Julie decades earlier. With his allegiance exposed, Ruddock pretended to settle for just the letters. Once Jacques had given them to him, Ruddock attempted to shoot Arno and then deal with the rest, but he was swiftly killed by Weatherall, who had thrown Élise's short sword into his face.
- Ruddock was described as having an overpowering body odor, which he tried to mask with strong perfume.
- Despite betraying her last wishes and trying to collect the bounty on her friends' heads, Ruddock stated that he too had loved Élise, in his own way.
- In 2015, his name was on a list of known British Assassins used by the Templar Isabelle Ardant.