The defense of Monteriggioni was an event during the Renaissance in 1454, in which Mario Auditore, an Italian Assassin, attempted to keep the town of Monteriggioni safe from an oncoming Florentine assault, led by condottiero Federico da Montefeltro.
- "The Fiorentini may strike at any time, but they will find us prepared!"
- ―Mario, regarding the defense of the city.[src]
He trained his soldiers to fight harder and aided citizens in their many chores to speed along the mobilization of Assassin forces: Mario aided a force of carpenters as they strengthened the villa's fortifications and protective walls, lending his men and resources to help the process along; he gathered food and animals alongside the Villa Auditore's farmers, who kept their farms just inside the walls to the villa's town.
Finally, he rushed to aid the miners that gathered raw materials for weapons and armor in mines near Monteriggioni.
- "Monteriggioni is nothing without her people..."
- ―Mario, regarding the workforce of the city.[src]
Realizing the need for close co-operation between Assassin factions and villagers, Mario descended from his mansion to meet and speak with the people of Monteriggioni.
He paid special attention to learning the skills and problems of even the least important citizen. One of his first tasks for his idea of co-operation was to become familiar with the Monteriggioni courtesans, discussing deeply meaningful topics such as astronomy and philosophy. It should be noted that philosophy was one of the most basic and important ideas behind the Assassin Order.
Mario went on to work alongside the blacksmiths, who were working very hard to create weapons for the oncoming siege. His skills were not as well-honed as the swarthy men of the forges, but Mario resolutely helped to forge the best equipment possible for his fighting soldiers.
After these tasks with the courtesans and smiths, the Assassin moved to encourage artistry and fame for his villa. This was aided by the small art gallery which his brother's connections in Florence helped Mario to create.
Once assured of the alliance of Monteriggioni's artists, Mario went on to perform a task he was best suited for; training the town's soldiers for battle against Florentine men. The Assassin gave them useful tips and demonstrations on how to fight in the midst of an immensely confusing and chaotic battle. His best techniques were taught to the soldiers, including disarming more powerful opponents and fighting with exotic weapons.
Mario was satisfied with his efforts to gain the trust and affection of his people; soon his Assassin brothers arrived with a message regarding the Templars, providing him with a list of Assassination targets that would prove to have an ultimately critical effect on the end result of the battle.
- "We will rely on careful observations to craft a battle plan and make sure everyone moves according to it."
- ―Mario, regarding war strategies.[src]
As the Florentine army approached Monteriggioni, Mario quietly reinforced his army and made concrete plans on how they would go about defending the Villa. He visited the stables, pairing soldiers with horses with a keen eye as to the relationship between man and beast; after much time spent fighting against superior forces, Mario had learnt how important the relationship between horse and rider became as the two rode in battle together.
After seeing to the stables, he assigned men to different areas of the city and instructed them on how to position themselves against a siege, such as the one they were about to face. Subsequently, they were to give a signal if they detected any signs of trouble.
As an afterthought, Mario further prepared by sending skilled spies to every corner of Italy. He wished to discover any relevant information he could about the size and strength of the opposing force, including their eventual movements. Mario offered protection to the small towns near Monteriggioni, realizing how destructive an invading force could be to such unprotected locations.
This he did with some danger to himself and his position, as protecting more people spread his army thinly over the surrounding countryside. In order to still gain from this loss of position, Mario asked and received the towns' military aid and resources.
- "Disorder grips Monteriggioni... This is not natural for our humble community; I suspect we are dealing with a skilled manipulator."
- ―Mario, regarding the internal conflicts of Monteriggioni.[src]
Despite Mario's efforts to unite and defend the town, unrest swelled within Monteriggioni, resulting in several rallies and fits of violence between people that had previously accepted and thought well of each other.
Mario took to the streets once more, settling several conflicts between arguing families and winning over the hearts of thieves who had been sent to steal specific objects to encourage unrest.
As the situation calmed, he decided that the disturbance had been caused by an enemy manipulator, as their city was usually a peaceful and co-operative community. He ordered all available agents to capture or kill the fugitives and citizens who were paid for information regarding him.
Amongst the many names suggested as the perpetrator, one title was introduced to the angry patron of Monteriggioni's ears; Luciano Pezzati.
Mario and his men surrounded the house of Luciano, armed to the teeth. They provoked Luciano into a fight and battled his men, eager for retribution. The Assassin forces won the conflict and charged straight into the house. Upon breaking through enemy lines, Mario found Pezzati waiting with a knife in hand, and Mario decided to face him alone. The two began to fight, both men skillful enough to avoid drawing blood even after several counters.
Eventually Mario sliced his opponent's fingers shallowly, though this wound was not enough to disarm Luciano, and the Assassin only received a single cut in retaliation. Not slowed by the injury, Mario buried his dagger into the other man's shoulder, forcing him to drop the knife, before knocking him out with a blow to the temple. Mario and his men brought the spy back to the Villa Auditore for questioning.
- "Our captive has confirmed that the Fiorentini are moving an army towards Monteriggioni!"
- ―Mario, regarding the oncoming battle.[src]
Discovering that the army of Florence, led by a powerful condottiero named Federico da Montefeltro, was heading towards Monteriggioni, Mario organized his men for the final battle.
He scattered his soldiers to areas where they were strongest, setting archers on the ramparts and guard towers, and sending both pikemen and cavalry onto the field to intercept and flank the oncoming army with their respective skills.
The first wave of Florentines was a contingent of horsemen, which were quickly cut down by the spearmen and lancers. After the first successful encounter, Mario spoke out before the men, encouraging them with a speech of how Monteriggioni had endured for 200 years, and that the only thing Florentines would find that day was death.
Weathering the storm
- "The enemy's front line stares down Monteriggioni! They seek surrender, but they will receive the opposite!"
- ―Mario, regarding the enemy attack.[src]
The Florentines surrounded Monteriggioni and the skirmish began. Archers let loose their volleys and injured both forces badly, sending the first few lines of men into the dirt.
The heavy cavalry of Monteriggioni charged the Florentines, smashing through their front line and riding back to their own army before the opposing spearmen could damage their numbers.
Light cavalry bounced back and forth between the lines, attacking when they could and using the superior agility of the horses to avoid death. The spearmen killed any enemy men that managed to break through this defensive strategy, effectively defending Monteriggioni from any attack.
In desperation, the Florentines issued forth their two trebuchets, hoping to destroy the walls of the Villa and force a way into the city. Realizing the danger, Mario and his cavalry immediately charged the two machines of war and set fire to their mechanisms, throwing oil onto the parts of the machines that would not burn. With their last strategy in ruins, the Florentines fell back and retreated to Florence.
The Shroud of Eden
- "He was not here for Monteriggioni; he sought what lies beneath her. Something my ancestors hid."
- ―Mario, regarding the reason for the siege.[src]
Upon further questioning, Luciano confessed that the attack had not been to claim Monteriggioni, but to find an artifact that had been hidden somewhere beneath its walls.
Curious, Mario, along with the city architects and historians, began to look for evidence of its location. Searching the architecture of the church, as well as the Auditore family journals and records, they discovered that an ancestor of Mario's had had the old well drained and more deeply excavated.
Searching the underground chamber, they found a hidden passage on a back wall. As they entered, however, they were met by several lethal traps, including near-invisible razor wire, tripwire arrows and swinging pendulums. All present were either maimed or killed, with Mario losing his left eye to the blade of one of the traps just as they reached the end of the pass.
The plain wooden box they found seemed to speak to them, promising that it would heal their wounds if they would open it. Mario objected, thinking that the box's contents were dangerous, and his men attacked him in retaliation.
Forced to kill those he had called friends, he then snatched up the box and hid it in the Villa, ignoring its demands for him to submit to it. He then waited for his brother to arrive to retrieve it, dismissing the artifact as the Brotherhood's issue.