- Assassin scholar: "Master, we are under attack! Robert de Sable lays siege to Masyaf's village!"
- Al Mualim: "So he seeks a battle. Very well, I'll not deny him."
- ―Al Mualim is informed of the Templar siege on Masyaf.[src]
The defense of Masyaf was an important event which came about as a direct result of the disastrous mission to recover the Apple at Solomon's Temple, from the hands of the Templars. Robert de Sable, the Grand Master of the Knights Templar – seeking the artifact and tired of the Assassin Order's interruptions in Templar affairs – besieged the Assassin fortress of Masyaf in an attempt to destroy the Brotherhood.
Call to armsEdit
Upon returning to Masyaf from his last mission at Solomon's Temple, Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad met with his master, Al Mualim, and confessed the details of what had transpired to him. Stating that the Grand Master of the Templar Order, Robert de Sable, was not alone and that he had failed to retrieve the treasure as a result, Al Mualim was enraged to discover that his best disciple was unable to accomplish his task. Just then, Malik Al-Sayf, one of the two Assassins that had accompanied Altaïr to the temple, arrived holding his left arm which was severely bleeding. Malik showed outrage to Altaïr's actions at the Temple, stating that if it were not for him, his brother Kadar would still have been alive.
Adding to his previous words, Malik stated that Altaïr's actions had nearly cost the Assassins their victory, for he was able to retrieve the fixture above the Ark of the Covenant in his stead, before handing the artifact over to Al Mualim. Though he was successful in his attempt to retrieve the Apple, Malik revealed to Al Mualim that Robert de Sable had followed his injured self, and that he was making his way towards Masyaf. At that moment, an informant arrived and warned Al Mualim of invaders attacking the village, validating Malik's statement. Seeing the Templar's invasion as an invitation to a battle, Al Mualim responded by dispersing the Assassins into the city in order to drive them out.
As Al Mualim dismissed the informant, Altaïr was confronted by the Master, who stated that his punishment would have to wait, before being dismissed by Al Mualim on the same order as the other Assassins. As he left the fortress, Altaïr met with Rauf, who requested his aid in distracting the Templars whilst he helped his men move the village's civilians inside the fortress.
Making his way down into the village, Altaïr fought and protected it as best as he could, despite villagers being beaten and executed by Templars, which only added to the panic as the Assassins fought against Templar knights. After making a desperate effort to defend their village, the Masyaf guards were eventually overrun by the reinforcements of the Templar army, and were forced to make a retreat back into the Assassin fortress.
Men without fearEdit
- "Your village lays in ruins and your stores are hardly endless. How long before your fortress crumbles from within!? How disciplined will your men remain, when the wells run dry and the food is gone?!"
- ―Robert de Sable, addressing Al Mualim.[src]
As the last of the Masyaf citizens and guards entered the fortress, Rauf met with Altaïr and requested the Assassin to follow him to the top of the tower, where he and another Assassin waited on platforms extending from it. It was not long until Altaïr witnessed Robert de Sable and his army finally arrive at the fortress gates, along with their attempts to force Al Mualim's surrender. Robert threatened that he would let the village starve, and executed a hostage before him in an effort to intimidate Al Mualim. However, it did not faze the master of the Assassins, as Al Mualim shouted back that his men were not afraid of death; in fact they welcomed it. Robert then provoked Al Mualim more, asking him to prove his claims.
On the command from their master, Altaïr and the other Assassins delivered Robert his evidence by simultaneously performing a Leap of Faith from the tower, giving off the illusion of throwing themselves into the deep ravine that lay underneath them. Altaïr and Rauf were successful in their leaps and landed safely in haystacks that had been set up for their stunt, however the third Assassin badly broke his leg and wailed out in pain, which threatened to break the display they had put on for the Templar Grand Master. Determined to keep Robert fooled, Rauf requested Altaïr to proceed without him, so he could tend to the injured Assassin's leg. Carefully balancing his movement, Altaïr made his way over long wooden beams along the gorge, whilst the cliffs above him towered over the river.
After overcoming the beams that teetered over the precarious drop of the ravine below him, Altaïr came across another tower which he climbed upwards to get inside. There, he cut through a rope that held back a huge pile of huge logs, releasing them, which sent the heavy timber rolling down and into the Templar forces below, crushing many of Robert de Sable's men, demolishing the Templar troop morale and leading to the army's retreat.
Into the voidEdit
- Al Mualim: "I'm sorry, truly I am. But I cannot abide a traitor."
- Altaïr: "I am not a traitor."
- Al Mualim: "Your actions indicate otherwise, and so you leave me no choice. Peace be upon you, Altaïr."
- —Al Mualim and Altaïr, after Robert de Sable's attack.[src]
After routing de Sable, the Order started to repair the damage done to the village, as well as collect the dead bodies of their brethren. Back at the fortress, Al Mualim gave recognition to Altaïr for halting the attack of Templar army, but also berated him for his previously selfish act, proclaiming that it was the very reason the Templars had known of their location in the first place, and what motivated them to make their way to the Assassins' home as a result. Al Mualim then gave the command for two of the Order's disciples to restrain the wayward Assassin, by immobilizing his arms. The Assassin leader then began to lecture Altaïr in front of his Assassin comrades, repeating to him the tenets that built the Order, and how he had disrespected all of them with his arrogance.
Reminding him of every tenet, Altaïr still showed signs of disregard for the higher authority of his master, interrupting Al Mualim as he spoke the first tenet, to which an unamused Al Mualim slapped Altaïr across the face, scolding him to speak only when told. After that, he spoke of the mistakes that Malik had mentioned to him, telling him how he broke the first tenet by killing the old man during their quest. He then mentioned the second tenet to Altaïr, reminding him about how an Assassin hides in plain sight and how Altaïr had broken it by exposing himself to Robert before striking.
The third was his most extreme crime, claimed Al Mualim, as the third tenet stated that an Assassin should never compromise the Brotherhood. Stating how Altaïr had broken it due to his selfish acts in Jerusalem, and by drawing Robert de Sable into Masyaf as a result, Al Mualim mentioned that he could not abide Altaïr, due to his treachery. While Altaïr remarked that he was no traitor, Al Mualim stood by his decision, using Altaïr's actions as evidence to his conviction.
Bidding Altaïr peace, Al Mualim stabbed his disciple with a short blade in the stomach, rendering Altaïr unconscious. As the Assassin lay down on the ground, he entered a mysterious coma, where he was said to have felt "death's embrace".
After a short while, Altaïr awoke in front of Al Mualim's desk, alive and well. Confused, Altaïr asked how he was alive after being stabbed by his master, to which Al Mualim explained that it was done so that he may be born anew, so that he could be reinstated into the Order, and enlightened once more to the way of the Assassins. After waking up a novice, void of any weapon, Altaïr was then given a task by Al Mualim: To find and bring to him the traitor Masun, hoping that Altaïr would prove that he was not lost to the Assassin Order and its ways.