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Eseosa's Codex

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Eseosa's Codex was the personal journal of Eseosa, a Haitian-born Assassin and combatant in the Haitian Revolution.

Written throughout the conflict, the Codex took the form of a series of letters to his deceased grandfather, Adéwalé. It was later accessed by the Initiates, who put excerpts of the Codex onto their website.

Codex entriesEdit

A Moment of Weakness: Port-au-Prince, Saint-Domingue, 1737Edit

AMomentOfWeakness

Gran pè,

I do not practice Vodou, but Boukman tells me that some of the beliefs of our Brotherhood parallel his views of the world. That although they believe in a creator of all, Bondje, he is a distant god, and so men must turn to angels or saints for help. Or to ancestors.

And so I turn to you. Boukman tells me that everyone has spirits, and that each person has to cultivate a special relationship with one spirit who is said to "own their head." I am the man I am, in many ways, because of you, so I choose you as my spirit, and we will find out together if you are a hot one or a cool one.

We have never met, but my father tells me that he was born out of a moment of weakness between you and Grann. One day, you washed ashore and was torn between returning to your Brotherhood in Tulum and staying here to help that Maroon cause. While she, in turn, was caught in a web of her own weaving, and that you helped each other for a number of years.

At some point, you shared a night of passion, or at least, lust. You both thought it was a mistake and you never spoke of it again. And some nine months after you left, she gave birth to a son. My papa.

Many great Assassins in the past have written journals of their exploits, full of knowledge and wisdom. I may never be counted among their great company, but nevertheless, here is my humble Codex, written to you, Gran pè. The journey before me is long and hard, but I will see Saint-Domingue freed. For papa. For you. For all of us.

Please guide me to victory.

Eseosa

Rising up from Slavery: Haut-du-Cap, Saint-Domingue, 1743-05-20Edit

RisingUpFromSlavery Toussaint

Gran pè,

Let me tell you about a man I know. His name is Toussaint Bréda and he was born into slavery in 1743 on the island of Hispaniola, still under the shadow of the Code Noir.

Bréda's parents were taken as slaves from the Kingdom of Dahomey. They and other slaves were put to work growing sugar, coffee, cotton, and indigo. Toussaint told me that he received an education of sorts from his godfather and the Jesuits, learning French as well as the local slave dialect of Kreyòl.

I have brought this man into my Brotherhood. I see in him a raw talent for military tactics, which I can help augment. More importantly, he has a natural skillset for politics, which is something that I lack. And something that I think will be sorely needed if we are to be successful.

Please guide me to victory.

Eseosa

Take Your Son to Work: Port-au-Prince, Saint-Domingue, 1751-09Edit

TakeYourSonToWork

Gran pè,

Grann never told you about Papa, did she? She said that she didn't want to make you choose between the Brotherhood and something else. Not again. But, you know, she told me that she didn't think the Brotherhood was a fit place for a child. She said, and I quote:

"If the child is destined to be raised by lunatics, then there are lunatics aplenty here in Saint-Domingue."

You met Papa as a grown man, so let me tell you what little I know of him as a child. At first he was a pleasant boy, but he soon became restless, even a little wild. When he was fifteen, Grann started to tell him about you, his father, and about our Creed. Not to indoctrinate him, but to keep him in line and out of trouble.

And apparently it worked, because he became the man you met after the great earthquake of 1751. You arrived in Saint-Domingue to offer aid. And you agreed to stay and take Papa under your wing and train him in our ways.

I know that you changed his life for the better. I hope you can do the same for me.

Please guide me to victory.

Eseosa

A Family Vow: Bréda Plantation, Saint-Domingue, 1776Edit

AFamilyVow Eseosa

Gran pè,

In the name of my Yoruba father, my Edo mother, my dearly departed Grann, and you, my murdered Gran pè, I will create a new Brotherhood in Saint-Domingue. I will make it a thousand times better than the one created by the disgraced Mackandal.

As we are still a French colony, I have reached out to the Assassins in France for aid. I made contact with one Guillaume Beylier, who tells me that they cannot offer me reinforcements as they have their own troubles brewing. But he promised me to keep the lines of communication open, and support me however possible from the mother country. It is not much, but it feels good to have allies in spirit, if not in person.

But I am not alone. I have gathered allies. Georges Biassou, a man of some renown among the slaves; Dutty Boukman, a Vodou houngan from Jamaica; and Toussaint Bréda, who I think has the potential to be the greatest of us all.

I made arrangements to secure Bréda's freedom, though slavery still exists everywhere we look. Toussaint continues to work at the Bréda plantation, where he was born, but now as a salaried employee. To succeed, Bréda will have to be a man who can cross the many divides that separate the people of Saint-Domingue. He is purchasing property near the protection of his former master, which we will use as our lair. He is on the way to becoming a wealthy man, and may even own "slaves" himself, though in reality, they will be our brothers.

We are men of ambition, though we do not yet have the means to see it through.

Please guide me to victory.

Eseosa

Ceremony at Bois Caïman: Bois Caïman, Saint-Domingue, 1791-08-14Edit

CeremonyAtBoisCaiman

Gran pè,

The first part of my plan has launched. Taking inspiration from the disgraced François Mackandal, Dutty Boukman has led a Vodou ceremony at Bois Caïman and called for a major rebellion. He prophesized that members of our Brotherhood, Jean-François Papillon, Biassou, and Jeannot Bullet would be leaders of a resistance movement that would free the slaves of Saint-Domingue. Violence erupted and the Northern Plain was devastated, its cane fields and sugar refineries set ablaze.

Toussaint remained at his Bréda plantation during the violence in August, but soon joined Biassou in the mountains of Grande Rivière, who appointed him médecin-général. With the training I gave him, Toussaint was also able to take command of troops.

He tried his hand at diplomacy, acting as intermediary between the rebel leaders and the French governor of the colony. The negotiations went poorly, though they did notice his mercy towards the rebels' white prisoners.

Jeannot, on the other hand, is launching vicious attacks on whites and mulattoes, devising gruesome methods to death. Toussaint and I are sickened by his actions. We must not repeat Mackandal's mistake.

Please guide me to victory.

Eseosa

Our First Setback: Acul, Saint-Domingue, 1791-11Edit

OurFirstSetback

Gran pè,

We have suffered our first loss. Boukman was killed in a battle with the French army near Acul, and they impaled his head on a stake in the public square of Cap Français.

When word reached us at Grande Rivière, we made the decision to have Jean-François as the commander-in-chief of our slave army. However, the revolution had to be put on hold briefly, as Jeannot began to massacre not only whites, but also blacks under his command who defied him. Biassou and Jean-François captured him and brought him before me.

I sentenced him to die for breaking the first tenet of the Creed. Jeannot just laughed at me and said that we would never succeed here. I choose to believe, but I wonder if I didn't see a flicker of doubt in the eyes of Jean-François.

Please guide me to victory.

Eseosa

The Declaration of Camp Turel: Camp Turel, Saint-Domingue, 1793-08-29Edit

TheDeclarationOfCampTurel

Gran pè,

Although Toussaint has been with our rebels since the fall of 1791, his role in the rebellion has only now become prominent. Toussaint formed an alliance with the Spanish, as they controlled the neighboring colony of Santo Domingo and are likely hoping that our revolution will provide them with an opportunity to re-annex Saint-Domingue. Despite this, I continue to train his men in a mix of guerrilla tactics and European-style warfare.

I have begun to secretly instigate violent uprisings that only Toussaint's authority can subdue. Although Toussaint is a subordinate to Biassou, he has begun to develop his autonomy, and he now has troops that answer only to him. He's fought a few battles now and is gaining some notoriety for his rapid movements. My finest student.

I received word that the French civil commissioner of Saint-Domingue, Léger Félicité Sonthonax, intended to declare that all slaves will be freed; a meaningless gesture, as he does not have the authority to emancipate them. However, we must be the first to declare freedom.

Toussaint made a stirring declaration at Camp Turel that included the phrase, "I want Liberty and Equality to reign in Saint-Domingue." Toussaint has taken the last name "Louverture", a highly symbolic gesture designed to associate himself with the slave's struggle for freedom.

Please guide me to victory.

Eseosa

French Revolution Echoes: Cap Français, Saint-Domingue, 1794-07Edit

FrenchRevolutionEchoes

Gran pè,

In 1794, the French government, under the leadership of Maximilien Robespierre, abolished slavery, which convinced Louverture to forego his alliance with the Spanish in exchange for one with the French. It became clear to him that he would be fighting to establish permanent freedom for all former slaves of Saint-Domingue. He became a French commander and soon found his troops attacked by the British, who were trying to claim Saint-Domingue by proclamation.

After expelling Sonthonax from the island, Louverture has become the de facto ruler of the colony. Although he expresses no desire to separate from France, the establishment of his own laws will surely alarm the French authorities.

The principles of the French Revolution have resonated across Saint-Domingue and reinforced the class lines that split the colony's already fractured social structure.

I have read a passage by the French writer Count Mirabeau stating that the Saint-Domingue whites "sleep at the foot of Vesuvius".

As do we all, if I am not successful.

Please guide me to victory.

Eseosa

Absolute Ruler of Saint-Domingue: Cap Français, Saint-Domingue, 1801-07-08Edit

AbsoluteRuler

Gran pè,

More turmoil: We have lost Jean-François Papillon and Georges Biassou. They threw in their fortunes with the Spanish, and as we are allied with France, they have left us. I thought our bonds could overcome political alliances, but it is not to be. I do not feel betrayal, only sadness. But we have other matters to attend to here at home.

Toussaint and I have worked together to oust the Templar Jean-Louis Villatte, who tried to declare himself governor. In doing so, we have made Toussaint the absolute ruler of Saint-Domingue. However, he does not call for open rebellion, rather, he is taking quiet steps towards independence while loudly declaring his loyalty to France.

Napoleon Bonaparte has taken power in France. While he maintained abolition, he also sent warnings to Louverture not to overstep his bounds. Louverture ignored Napoleon, and at his request, I helped him conquer the Spanish colony of Santo Domingo, bringing the entire island of Hispaniola under his control. In keeping with our ideals, he immediately freed all slaves in the new territory.

I wonder if Toussaint is getting too sneaky for his own good. But he is a good man and I have faith in him.

Please guide me to victory.

Eseosa

Leclerc's Expedition: Cap Français, Saint-Domingue, 1802Edit

LeclercsExpedition

Gran pè,

Up until Louverture's new constitution, Bonaparte had been sympathetic to his cause, but now felt that he was rebelling against his republic. Its provisions made Louverture governor for life, without giving France a chance to approve it. By declaring that all its citizens would be both “free” and “French” it challenged Bonaparte's desire to see Saint-Domingue return to its colonial roots. Although Louverture's document was not a declaration of independence, it defined Saint-Domingue as being almost completely politically separate from France.

In October 1801, Napoleon made the decision to remove Louverture from office and sent his brother-in-law, General Charles Leclerc, to Saint-Domingue to destroy him.

I intercepted Leclerc's special orders, which instructed him to disarm the black soldiers and force ex-slaves to return to their plantations. To get their loyalty, Leclerc lied to them, insisting that France had no intention of restoring the old racial hierarchy. I had thought our allies had more wisdom than to listen to his poisoned words.

And yet, by May of 1802, Leclerc had secured the surrender of the majority of the rebel leaders, including Toussaint Louverture.

Is this the end?

Please guide me to victory.

Eseosa

The Tree of Liberty: Cap Français, Saint-Domingue, 1803Edit

TheTreeOfLiberty

Gran pè,

After a year of fighting, Louverture negotiated a treaty with the French. He was arrested and sent to France to be imprisoned.

Before his deportation, Louverture declared to the French, "In overthrowing me you have cut down in Saint-Domingue only the trunk of the tree of liberty; it will spring up again from the roots, for they are many and they are deep."

I could not free him. I wonder if he would have wanted me to. I have reached out to the Brotherhood in France to look after him, but have received no response.

We are so close. I have to see this through. For my friend.

Please guide me to victory.

Eseosa

What Price Freedom: Davenport Manor, British America, 1804-03-01Edit

WhatPriceFreedom

Gran pè,

Despite warnings from his superiors, Leclerc did not consolidate his victory by disarming Louverture's old soldiers, and we rose up again, dashing the French hopes for re-establishing control of Saint-Domingue.

Although I was too late to save Toussaint, I got my revenge on Leclerc. Already suffering from an illness, I poisoned him with a special mixture, taken from one of Mackandal's own recipes. Leclerc died from "Yellow Fever" on November 1, 1802.

One of Toussaint's lieutenants, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, has continued the fight. On November 18, 1803, Dessalines attacked the French general Rochambeau at Vertieres, and overwhelmed him. Under the cover of a storm, Rochambeau pulled out of Vertieres, knowing the colony was finally lost to France.

On January 1, 1804, Dessalines became the new leader and declared Saint-Domingue a free republic, which was followed by the brutal extermination of thousands of white people living in the country.

My Brotherhood, rebels and madmen all, is gone. Boukman and Toussaint are dead. I killed the madman Jeannot. Biassou and Jean-François are gone, most likely to Florida. I received word that Toussaint died in prison, but no word on what happened to his body thereafter.

I have done what I have promised you, Gran pè, I have liberated Saint-Domingue. But at what cost? Do I make you proud? Or simply disappointed?

I have been contacted by one of our own. A man named Connor. I understand that he has some experience with revolutions. I will meet with him. I will learn from him. And then I will come back for Dessalines.

Please forgive me.

Eseosa

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