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Ezio Auditore da Firenze

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"I have lived my life as best I could, not knowing its purpose, but drawn forward like a moth to a distant moon; and here at last, I discover a strange truth. That I am only a conduit, for a message that eludes my understanding."
―Ezio Auditore da Firenze on his role as "the Prophet", 1512.[src]
Ezio Auditore da Firenze
ACI-Ezio
Biographical information
Born

24 June 1459[1]
Florence, Republic of Florence

Died

30 November 1524 (aged 65)[2]
Florence, Republic of Florence

Political information
Affiliations

House of Auditore
Assassins (1476 - 1513)
House of Medici

Real-world information
Appears in

Lineage
Assassin's Creed II
Renaissance
II: Discovery
Brotherhood
Brotherhood novel
Project Legacy
Ascendance
The Secret Crusade
Revelations
Revelations novel
Recollection
Embers
Assassin's Creed III
Memories

Actor

Devon Bostick

Voice actor

Roger Craig Smith
Kid Beyond (Discovery)

Ezio Auditore da Firenze (1459 – 1524) was a Florentine nobleman during the Renaissance, and, unbeknownst to most historians and philosophers, the Mentor of the Italian Brotherhood of Assassins, a title which he held from 1503 to 1513. He is also an ancestor to William and Desmond Miles, as well as Clay Kaczmarek.

A member of the House of Auditore, Ezio remained unaware of his Assassin heritage until the age of 17, when he witnessed the hanging of his father and two brothers, Federico and Petruccio. Forced to flee his birthplace with his remaining family members - his mother and sister - Ezio took refuge in the Tuscan town of Monteriggioni, at the Villa Auditore.

After learning of his heritage from his uncle, Mario Auditore, Ezio began his Assassin training and set about on his quest for vengeance against the Templar Order, and their Grand Master, Rodrigo Borgia, who had ordered the execution of his kin.

During his travels, Ezio managed to not only unite the pages of the Codex, written by Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, Mentor of the Levantine Assassins, but also to save the cities of Florence, Venice, and Rome from Templar rule.

He ensured the future travels of Christoffa Corombo to the "New World", liberated Rome from Borgia rule, and prevented the rise to power of Ercole Massimo's Cult of Hermes, helping spread the Renaissance and Assassin ideals of independence and free will throughout Italy.

In the years that followed, Ezio began a quest to rediscover the lost history of the Order. Traveling to the aged fortress of Masyaf in order to learn more of the Assassins before him, he discovered it overrun with Templars and made his way to the city of Constantinople to uncover the location of the Masyaf keys which, as he discovered, would unlock the fortress's fabled hidden library when brought together.

A decade later, Ezio had retired and resided in a Tuscan villa with his wife, Sofia Sartor, and his two children; Flavia and Marcello. Some time after helping teach the Chinese Assassin Shao Jun the ways of the Order, Ezio died of a heart attack at the age of 65, during a visit to Florence with his wife and daughter.

Biography

Early life

Maria: "Our son is watching."
Giovanni: "I know."
Maria: "You should talk to him."
Giovanni: "I will."
—Maria Auditore and her husband discuss Ezio's rising curiosity.[src]
Zw-baby-ezio-3

Ezio moments after birth

Ezio was born in Florence on 24 June 1459, as the second son of Giovanni and Maria Auditore. He appeared to be stillborn, but, after some words of encouragement from his father, he began to cry, leading his father to call him a "fighter".

Up until the age of 17, Ezio lived a life of luxury amidst the members of the Florentine noble class; he was apprenticed to the renowned banker Giovanni Tornabuoni,[3] who worked alongside Giovanni Auditore's banking business, but was all the while unaware of his father's allegiance to the Assassin Order.[1]

In the year 1476, Ezio, his older brother Federico, and friends of the family fought with Vieri de' Pazzi and his gang. Just before the fight, Ezio received a gash down across his lip – caused by Vieri throwing a stone – which would scar, and remain for the rest of his life.[1]

BWBB 4

Ezio obtaining the scar on his lip

During the brawl, Ezio pummeled several members of the opposing gang, but Vieri managed to flee the scene before Ezio could do anything to him. After looting several people left unconscious by the fight, the two brothers ran across the rooftops to find Ezio some medical help for his injuries.[1]

After the doctor tended to his wound, a church nearby caught the eye of the brothers, and Federico suggested a race. Ezio won, as he managed to reach the top quickest, and together the two looked out over the city. Despite Federico's disapproval, Ezio made his way to the home of Cristina Vespucci and spent the night with her.[1]

Though caught by Cristina's father the morning after, Ezio fled from a group of pursuing guards before meeting with his father at the Palazzo Auditore. Giovanni scolded him, but later softened, admitting that his son's actions reminded him of his own youth. He then asked Ezio for his assistance in an errand later in the day.[1]

Friend 3 v

Ezio's initial meeting with Leonardo da Vinci

Once Ezio had returned home, Ezio's little brother Petruccio asked him if he could collect eagle feathers from the rooftops, with the promise to return to bed afterwards, as he was ill. After a tiring search for feathers, Ezio returned them to his younger brother, though Petruccio was secretive about their purpose.[1]

Later, Ezio found his sister Claudia in a distraught state, crying on a bench in their home after discovering her boyfriend, Duccio de Luca, had been unfaithful. After obtaining his whereabouts, Ezio tracked down and beat Duccio, before warning him to stay away from his sister.[1]

Upon returning to the palazzo once more, Ezio's mother secured his services in picking up some paintings from a young artist that she patronized, Leonardo da Vinci. On the walk home, Leonardo struck up a conversation, beginning a friendship between the two young men that would last throughout their later lives.[1]

Auditore execution

"I'll kill you for what you've done!"
―Ezio to Uberto Alberti after watching his family's execution in 1476.[src]
Heirloom 2 v

Ezio uncovering his father's equipment

After finishing the errand for his mother, Ezio returned to Giovanni, who requested that he deliver two letters to contacts of his in the city, before retrieving a third letter from a pigeon coop not far from the house.

Ezio agreed, and after two odd encounters with the people he'd delivered the letters to, Ezio retrieved the note from the pigeon coop only to witness guards running across Florence.[1]

Ezio returned home to find his home ransacked, his father and brothers missing, and his mother and sister hiding. Learning that city guards had been ordered to arrest Giovanni and all of his sons, Ezio made his way to the Palazzo della Signoria, where his father and brothers were being held.[1]

Climbing the building and speaking to his father through his cell window, Ezio was instructed to find a chest hidden in his office, take everything out of it, and deliver a sealed letter to Uberto Alberti, Gonfaloniere of Florence and a close friend of the Auditore family. Doing so, Ezio found his father's Assassin robes, a broken Hidden Blade, and a letter containing details of a plot against the city of Florence and the Auditore family.[1]

Ezio brought the incriminating documents to Uberto, and was assured that his family would be released the following day, when the information was presented as evidence of their innocence.[1] Ezio then traveled to the home of Cristina Vespucci, where he spent the night once again.[4]

LMS 6 v

Guards restraining Ezio at the execution

The next day, Ezio returned to the Piazza della Signoria to find Uberto presiding over the execution of his family.

Giovanni declared their innocence, citing the information given to Uberto as evidence, but the Gonfaloniere denied any knowledge of such information. Ezio shouted that Uberto was lying, but his efforts to prevent the execution were ultimately in vain.[1]

Ezio could only watch helplessly from the crowd as his father and brothers were hanged. When he attempted to charge the gallows to avenge his kin, Uberto ordered the city guards to kill him.

At the urging of one of Giovanni's friends, a thief, Ezio fled the Piazza della Signoria and sought shelter in a brothel run by the sister of the Auditore housemaid, a courtesan named Paola.[1]

Exacting revenge

"The Auditore are not dead! I'm still here! Me! Ezio! Ezio Auditore!"
―Ezio, upon killing Uberto.[src]

Paola, who – unbeknownst to Ezio – was an Assassin herself, agreed to assist Ezio in his quest for vengeance, teaching him how to survive in the city as an outlaw through pickpocketing and blending in crowds. She further directed Ezio to Leonardo da Vinci to repair Giovanni's Hidden Blade, though she did not notice that Ezio was being watched.

After Leonardo repaired the blade, a guard banged on the door and ordered Leonardo outside before trying to beat Ezio's location from him. Ezio realized something was wrong and crept up behind the guard, assassinating him.[1]

JJE 3 v

Ezio stabbing Uberto Alberti

After Leonardo had thanked him, Ezio sought out and assassinated Uberto in the courtyard of the Basilica di Santa Croce, during Andrea del Verrocchio's latest exhibit.

Once he had made his way into the courtyard, Ezio attacked Uberto in a frenzied rage, stabbing him multiple times in the chest, before proudly proclaiming the survival of the Auditore family, through him.[1]

After killing Uberto, Ezio took the documents that the Gonfaloniere had concealed from him and his father, as well as a letter from Uberto meant for his wife and son. Ezio decided that he would see to it that she received the letter, not wanting to sink to Uberto's level.[1]

Early years as an Assassin

Discovering his heritage

"All this talk of Assassins and Templars... it reeks of fantasy."
―Ezio trying to understand his heritage.[src]
RA 4 v

Mario throwing a sword to Ezio

Now the most wanted man in Florence, Ezio fled the city with his mother and sister in the hopes of making their way to Spain, stopping beforehand at the Auditore family's villa in Monteriggioni for shelter.

As they neared the town, the three were accosted by Vieri de' Pazzi and his followers, but were saved by the timely arrival of Ezio's uncle, Mario Auditore, and his mercenaries.[1]

Mario informed Ezio of the existence of the Assassins, in an obvious attempt to induct him into the Order. He spent some time teaching Ezio swordplay, and revealed that many of his ancestors, including Giovanni, were members of the Assassin Order.

However, Ezio refused his ancestry, wishing only to continue his journey to Spain for his mother's and sister's safety, with the help of the skills Mario had taught him.[1]

Enraged, Mario left Monteriggioni for the city of San Gimignano, where Vieri had been located, in an attempt to relieve Monteriggioni of continual assaults by the Pazzi's minions. Guilt-ridden and knowing his presence was a primary reason for the ongoing attacks, Ezio traveled to San Gimignano to accept Mario's offer.[1]

WGA 14 v

Ezio assassinating Vieri

When Ezio arrived outside the city, he joined Mario and his mercenaries in their assault, and they waited until nightfall to storm the city. After witnessing a brief meeting between Rodrigo Borgia, Jacopo de' Pazzi, Francesco de' Pazzi and Vieri, Ezio made for his target.

While Mario and his mercenaries kept Vieri's men distracted, Ezio challenged and fought Vieri for the last time, eventually overpowering and killing him after a brief duel.[1]

Ezio tried to extract a confession from his old enemy, though Vieri chose to be snide to the very end. Infuriated by this, Ezio flew into a rage and insulted Vieri's corpse, continuing until his uncle calmed him down and reminded him of a tradition of the Assassins: showing respect to those they have killed.[1]

Pazzi conspiracy

"I've been sent from Firenze by Il Magnifico to attend to some unfinished business; I'm looking for Jacopo de' Pazzi."
―Ezio after dealing with Francesco de' Pazzi.[src]
Best Man 1

Ezio visiting Cristina

Following Vieri's death, Ezio returned to Florence in 1478 to gather information on a conspiracy against the Medici, who had been family friends to the Auditore. However, Ezio chose to visit Cristina first, who was quite surprised to see him. She also admitted that she was to be married, as she thought she would never see Ezio again.[5]

Suddenly a woman screamed from outside that a man named Manfredo was in trouble with several gamblers. Ezio asked who Manfredo was, and Cristina confessed that he was her fiancé. Ezio ran off and found Manfredo in a fight with several gamblers he was indebted to.[5]

After defeating the gamblers, Ezio, enraged by Manfredo's actions, demanded that Manfredo be a good husband to Cristina or he would kill him. Ezio then met Cristina in an alleyway afterwards and kissed her, promising that he had made sure her husband would be good to her.[5]

Ezio later had Leonardo construct him a second Hidden Blade, and with information provided by Leonardo, Ezio was able to find La Volpe, who aided him in discovering the Templar conspiracy against the Medici. La Volpe directed Ezio to an underground catacomb where a Templar meeting was being held.[1]

Ezio was subsequently able to eavesdrop on the meeting, discovering that the Pazzi planned to kill the Medici at the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore and place their own people in government under the orders of their master, Rodrigo Borgia.[1]

The next day, Ezio arrived at the Duomo to try and prevent the public assassination, but he was unsuccessful. Francesco de' Pazzi and Bernardo Baroncelli were able to kill Giuliano de' Medici and injure Lorenzo.[1]

WiSC 11

Ezio defending Lorenzo

Ezio came to Lorenzo's aid and fended off Francesco. However, the Pazzi had already succeeded in their plan, and brought the city into a state of civil war. After escorting Lorenzo to the safety of his palazzo, Ezio revealed his identity, prompting Lorenzo to remark that he knew Ezio's father.[1]

Lorenzo's lieutenant, Poliziano, told Ezio that Francesco had been sighted at the Piazza della Signoria. As Pazzi and Medici troops battled in the streets below them, Ezio chased down and slew Francesco, although Jacopo de' Pazzi and several other conspirators were able to escape the city.[1]

Shortly afterward, Ezio met up with Lorenzo at the Ponte Vecchio. Lorenzo reminisced that as a child he had fallen into the Arno and would have drowned, had he not been saved by Giovanni Auditore. This act of kindness kindled a close friendship between the Auditore and the Medici families.[1]

When Ezio asked of the conspirators, Lorenzo explained that they had fled the city. With this, the Medici publicly cleared the name of the Auditore family, and provided Ezio with the names of the conspirators who had escaped.[1]

Learning that the Pazzi conspirators had fled to San Gimignano, after gaining information from Mario, Ezio tracked down and killed Antonio Maffei, Stefano da Bagnone, Bernardo Baroncelli and Francesco Salviati, extracting from each man information on Jacopo de' Pazzi's whereabouts.[1]

With Friends 10 v

Rodrigo Borgia confronting Ezio

Using the information, Ezio located his quarry and tracked Jacopo to an ancient Roman theater. Once there, Ezio eavesdropped on a meeting between Jacopo, Rodrigo Borgia and a Venetian merchant and Templar, Emilio Barbarigo.[1]

After fatally wounding Jacopo for his failure to capture Florence, Rodrigo revealed that he was aware of Ezio's presence. While Rodrigo and Emilio fled, Ezio was apprehended by Templar guards, but he overpowered and killed them before swiftly putting the dying Jacopo out of his misery.[1]

Hunt in Venice

Carlo Grimaldi: "It's the Assassin you should be worried about!"
Emilio Barbarigo: "Why? Is... Is he in Venezia?"
―Carlo Grimaldi and Emilio Barbarigo discuss Ezio minutes before the latter's assassination.[src]
RH 1 v

Ezio meeting Leonardo in the Apennine Mountains

With the Pazzi conspiracy ended, Ezio returned to Lorenzo in 1480 and declared his success. Before leaving the city for Venice, Ezio was granted a gift; the Medici cape, that would keep the city guards' attention from him.[1]

Ezio then made his way to Leonardo's workshop, only to find that the artist had just left for Venice himself. Meeting with Leonardo in the Apennine Mountains and helping him repair his carriage, Ezio caught his first glimpse of Leonardo's Flying Machine.[1]

Accompanying him to the city of Forlì, Ezio narrowly avoided the attacking Templar horsemen and archers Rodrigo Borgia had sent after them. Drawing closer to their destination, Ezio left Leonardo to proceed on his own, while he took care off the remaining Templars. Ezio made his way into the region of Romagna, and met Leonardo just outside the city of Forlì.[1]

Eventually the two made their way to the city docks, where Ezio was refused permission to board, as he lacked a pass. Behind them, the two heard the screams of a noble lady stranded in the city's wetlands. Ezio hastened to her rescue in a boat, and was able to row the woman back to shore. The lady introduced herself as Caterina Sforza, and coerced the dockman into granting Ezio passage to Venice as a sign of thanks.[1]

Once in Venice, Ezio and Leonardo were given a brief tour of the city by Alvise da Vilandino, before Ezio began to seek a way into the Palazzo della Seta of Emilio Barbarigo, although this effort initially proved to be in vain.

That's Gonna Leave a Mark 6

Ezio bringing Rosa to Ugo

Suddenly pushed aside, Ezio watched as a gang of thieves attempted and failed to breach the Palazzo, leading Ezio to aid the thief Rosa, who had been shot through the leg with an arrow.[1]

After successfully escaping the city guards, Ezio was introduced to the leader of the Venetian Thieves' Guild, Antonio de Magianis, and together they concocted a new plot to kill Emilio Barbarigo and liberate the merchant district.[1]

The plot, perfected over four years, was successful and gave Ezio the name of another Templar conspirator – Carlo Grimaldi. A government official and member of the Council of Ten, Carlo was close to Giovanni Mocenigo, the Doge of Venice, and hoped to turn him to the Templar cause.[1]

Overhearing another meeting between Rodrigo and Carlo, Ezio uncovered a plot to poison the Doge and replace him with Marco Barbarigo. Realizing the urgency, Ezio and Antonio sought a way into the Palazzo Ducale, examining the front gates, the rear walls and even passing over the Basilica di San Marco; but they were hampered at every turn.[1]

As they returned to the piazza below, an enraged Antonio remarked that only birds could get into the Doge's palace, reminding Ezio of Leonardo's flying machine, which he had seen on the way to Forlì. After a somewhat unsuccessful test flight, Leonardo came up with a way to ensure that Ezio reached his destination.[1]

IF 4

Ezio flying towards the Palazzo Ducale

After removing the city guards at four separate locations, Antonio's thieves proceeded to light massive bonfires throughout the city, giving Leonardo's flying machine enough lift for Ezio to make it to the Palazzo Ducale. The plan worked, and Ezio breached the Palazzo Ducale, although too late to save the Doge.[1]

Carlo quickly fled the scene, crying out that Ezio had assassinated the Doge, only to meet his own end at Ezio's hands moments later. However, Ezio was now the most wanted man in Venice, and was forced to flee the city guards.[1]

Returning to Leonardo's workshop for help in 1486, Ezio was directed to Sister Teodora's brothel, where Antonio was hiding. Under the cover of Carnevale, Ezio made his way to the brothel and began planning the death of Marco Barbarigo, competing in the four games of the Carnevale to win the Golden Mask that would gain him entrance to Marco's private party.[1]

Ezio was successful, but found that Marco's cousin, Silvio Barbarigo, and Marco's personal slave-bodyguard, Dante Moro, had intimidated and bribed the judges into denying him his prize.

HaB 7

Ezio aiming the Hidden Gun at Marco Barbarigo

However, Ezio was successful in stealing the mask from Dante and managed to infiltrate the Doge's personal party and assassinate Marco with an ingenious new weapon. This left the way open for Agostino, a Barbarigo not involved with the Templars, and an ally of Antonio's, to legitimately become Doge.[1]

With his quest for the nine nearly at an end, Ezio tracked down Silvio Barbarigo and Dante Moro, who had occupied the Venetian Arsenal with an army of mercenaries.

Needing a force of his own, Ezio was directed to the mercenary leader, Bartolomeo d'Alviano, only to find Silvio's thugs had attacked Bartolomeo's headquarters, capturing him and a number of his soldiers in the process.[1]

Ezio swiftly liberated Bartolomeo and his soldiers, and once Bartolomeo learned of Ezio's purpose, he was more than willing to assist in Silvio's destruction.

Two birds 11

Ezio with Bartolomeo after liberating the Arsenal

Having tracked the Templars down to the Arsenal, Ezio managed to storm the building with the help of Bartolomeo and his men, and kill Dante Moro and Silvio Barbarigo in the ensuing battle.[1]

However, he was astonished to learn that the plot to remove the Doge was merely a distraction, so that the Templars could move their vessel to Cyprus, although the reasons for this would remain unknown to Ezio for some time.[1]

First years as a formal Assassin

Induction into the Order

"It's been over ten years since I watched my father and brothers die. Ten years hunting the men responsible. I'm close to the end now, but no closer to knowing what any of it was for!"
―Ezio discusses his life as an Assassin.[src]
Play along 8

Ezio's friends revealing themselves as Assassins

Two more years passed before word of the Templar vessel reached Ezio once again on his twenty-ninth birthday when Rosa brought him a shipping manifest detailing the return of the ship that very day. Leonardo approached Ezio, explaining that he had discovered that all the Codex pages put together a message, saying "The Prophet will appear when the second piece is brought to the floating city." Ezio recalled the prophecy his uncle recited to him, about the prophet being able to open the fabled Vault that is said to contain a great power. He then realized that the entire Templar conspiracy was just a distraction for Rodrigo Borgia to find the Vault.[1]

Sneaking into the Arsenal, Ezio watched as a Templar guard carrying a Piece of Eden disembarked from the ship, and made his way to a Templar base in the city.[1]

Ezio assassinated the guard, impersonating him and carrying the Piece of Eden to a meeting with Rodrigo Borgia himself. Finally able to confront the man ultimately responsible for the deaths of his father and brothers, Ezio criticized the Templar Grand Master for the non-appearance of the supposed "prophet".[1]

Rodrigo responded, proudly naming himself the prophet before engaging Ezio in battle. The duel was short, and Ezio easily bested the Templar. Rodrigo called upon the city guards and taunted the Assassin, saying that "his people" had failed to show up.[1]

Play along 9

Ezio being initiated into the Brotherhood

At that very moment, Mario Auditore, along with Antonio, Paola, Teodora, La Volpe and Bartolomeo appeared, driving off Rodrigo and revealing themselves to Ezio as Assassins.

With the arrival of Niccolò Machiavelli, it was revealed to Ezio that he was in fact the Prophet, and that all present had worked together the past decade to induct Ezio into the Assassin Order.[1]

That night, they all met again and Ezio was formally inducted into the Order. He received a brand on his left hand's ring finger, and performed the ceremonial Leap of Faith.[1]

Battle of Forlì

Niccolò: "As soon as you left, they attacked again. Checco Orsi - he has the Apple!"
Ezio: "What!? No! Where is he!?"
―Ezio and Niccolò, upon Ezio's return to Forlì.[src]
Leo work 1

Ezio and the others examining the Apple

Shortly after his induction, Ezio met with Mario and Niccolò, and traveled to Leonardo da Vinci's workshop in Venice, hoping that the artist could shed some light upon the strange artifact Rodrigo had dubbed "the Apple".

Leonardo examined the unique device, commenting that the metal it was made of should not exist, and that its design was highly advanced despite its age.[6]

Upon briefly touching the Apple, Ezio accidentally activated the device, which started to glow and show strange holographic images, though he quickly deactivated it. Niccolò later announced that he had arranged for the Piece of Eden to be held in the Rocca di Ravaldino, where it would be protected by an ally of the Assassins, Caterina Sforza.[6]

Niccolò and Ezio met with Caterina in Romagna, just outside the city of Forlì. After briefly discussing the Apple, the three made their way back to the city, only to find that it had been invaded by the Orsi brothers, Checco and Ludovico.[6]

Godfather 2

Ezio and Caterina conversing with the Orsi brothers

As the group fought its way to the city's locked gates, Ezio managed to find another way inside and open the gates from within, allowing them to continue their way to the Citadel.[6]

Reaching the Rocca di Ravaldino, they found out that two of Caterina’s children, Ottaviano and Bianca, were in the hands of the Orsi brothers, who had recently arrived and were attacking the Citadel. Ezio repelled the attack, and left the Apple in Caterina's hands, before going to rescue her two children.[6]

Making his way into Romagna, Ezio overpowered the guard detail assigned to imprison Bianca, who directed Ezio to her brother Ottaviano. As Bianca fled back to the city, Ezio made his way to the lighthouse upon which Ottaviano was being held by Ludovico himself. Climbing the tower, Ezio dispatched Ludovico and freed Ottaviano, though not before learning that the kidnapping was a distraction, which had allowed Checco to steal the Apple.[6]

Ezio swiftly tracked down and killed Checco and his remaining men. As he bent to retrieve the Apple, Ezio failed to notice Checco stabbing him in the abdomen before it was too late. Injured, Ezio collapsed to the ground, with the Apple rolling from his hand. Before losing consciousness, Ezio saw a monk with a missing finger pick up the Apple and walk away, despite Ezio's pleads to not open the satchel holding the Piece of Eden.[6]

Checcomate 7

Ezio obtaining the Codex map from Caterina

Caterina’s guards later found Ezio next to Checco’s corpse and returned him to Forlì, where Caterina nursed him back to health. Returned to his senses, Ezio hurriedly explained to Caterina that a man in black had stolen the Apple.

She recognized him to be dressed similarly to the monks residing outside the city walls, and Ezio left to search the church. Though there was no sign of the monk, Ezio met with Brother O’Callahan, who told him to continue his search at San Vincenzo, in central Forlì.[6]

An abbot there identified Ezio as the monk Stefano da Bagnone's killer, and fled. He was intercepted and, once convinced that he was not about to die, the monk gave Ezio the name of the nine fingered monk: Girolamo Savonarola.[4][6]

Journey in Spain

Ezio: "Do you know who betrayed us to the Inquisitors?"
Raphael: "Not yet, but we know the name of the Inquisitor Prosecutor responsible for their arrests."
―Ezio and Raphael discussing their situation[src]
CoromboEzio

Ezio meeting Christoffa Corombo

While trying to locate Savonarola, Ezio was told by an acquaintance to meet Antonio at the Thieves Guild in Venice. Upon arriving there, Ezio found Antonio accompanied by another man, Luis de Santángel. Luis was looking for a good "killer" who could oversee a meeting involving Luis' friend Christoffa Corombo, but Ezio expressed no interest.[7]

However, when Ezio heard that Rodrigo Borgia was also involved in the meeting, he rushed to Christoffa's location, finding out that it was a trap. However, he managed to save Christoffa, who explained that Rodrigo was interested in his plans to sail west. Soon afterwards, Ezio met with Antonio again, who told him to go see both Luis and Christoffa in the gardens district.[7]

They then told him that the Templars were in possession of Christoffa's atlas, which featured the journey's route. Ezio quickly recovered the atlas and brought it back to Christoffa and Luis. Luis informed Ezio of the presence of Spanish Assassins, who were held captive by the Spanish Inquisitor General, Tomás de Torquemada. Feeling it was his duty to rescue them, Ezio temporarily diverged from his goal to reclaim the Apple of Eden and set out to Spain, but not before Antonio gave him the names of two of his contacts.[7]

Acd23

Ezio fighting a Spanish guard

After arriving in Spain and briefly losing his sword to a thief, Ezio met with Antonio's contacts, and was directed to the local Thieves Guild. When he arrived there, however, he found that it was empty, only to be ambushed by the Inquisitors' men.[7]

After making his escape through the sewers, Ezio met Raphael Sanchez, who revealed himself to be an Assassin. Raphael informed Ezio of the location of the first captured Assassin, and Ezio rushed to save him. Right before the Assassin could be burned by the Inquisitors, Ezio killed all the guards and freed him.[7]

After Ezio's return, Raphael revealed that it was Gaspar Martinez who had been ordered to capture the Assassins by Torquemada. Ezio located Gaspar and found him, Torquemada, and a guard surrounding a captured Assassin.[7]

Torquemada revealed to the captured Assassin - and indirectly to Ezio - that Rodrigo Borgia had ordered him to capture Assassins in Spain, because they were "non-believers". After the guard killed the Assassin, the group disbanded, and Gaspar was left unguarded.

Ezio then met with him and asked him what he knew of the Templars, but Gaspar feigned ignorance and said that they "went away two centuries ago". He fell silently to Ezio's blade, and Ezio acquired a list of names of six other captured Assassins. After freeing the first man on the list, Ezio took him back to Raphael, and informed the latter of the existence of the list. However, all the remaining Assassins were located in Zaragoza.[7]

Ezio others

Luis, Raphael, Christoffa and Ezio

Once in Zaragoza, Raphael told Ezio to find the Inquisition's Calficador, Pedro Llorente, whose tribunal met at the far side of town. Arriving there, Ezio found that Torquemada was also present. One of the Assassins was being tried, and after he refused to convert and confess, he was killed.[7]

Ezio eavesdropped on the ensuing conversation, and hurried to locate the remaining five Assassins. Four of them were held captive inside some catacombs, with the last held inside a church. After securing their safety, Ezio killed Pedro Llorente.

Returning to Raphael, Ezio requested if he could return to Italy. However, Raphael still needed some help against the Inquisitors in Granada. Ezio complied, helping to assassinate a Templar spy in the city, and discovering along the way that Luis Santangel was also an Assassin.[7]

EzioTorquemada

Ezio standing before Torquemada

Once again, Ezio planned to return to Italy, but was disturbed by the Templars. He was forced to fight off the Templars to defend Luis, and was informed that Raphael had been captured.

Ezio fought to rescue Raphael, and proceeded to infiltrate Torquemada's fortress. After a brief conversation between Ezio and Torquemada, Torquemada closed the gates in front of him, preventing Ezio from assassinating him.[7]

Ezio returned to Raphael and Luis, and said that he did not believe Torquemada was a Templar himself, but only blindly followed Rodrigo Borgia's false preaching. Ezio ultimately left for Italy to resume his quest to recover the Apple of Eden, and told Luis and Raphael to inform him of Christoffa's journey to find the "New World" should he return.[7]

Bonfire of the Vanities

"There is no book or teacher to give you the answers, to show you the way. Choose your own way! Do not follow me, or anyone else."
―Ezio after Savonarola's death.[src]
Florentine Fiasco 2

Ezio and Niccolò discussing Savonarola

Having returned from Spain, Ezio immediately continued his quest to find the Apple of Eden. He returned to his hometown of Florence in 1492, and bumped into a monk who was running from Borgia guards, saying they were asking about "apples".

Ezio, realizing the Borgia knew that Savonarola had the Apple, rushed to the Santa Maria del Fiore where he found a monk called Savonarola being harassed by Borgia guards.[4]

After watching the scene for a while, Ezio jumped down from atop the church and rescued Savonarola. Only then did Ezio realize that the monk had all ten fingers, and he introduced himself as Marcello Savonarola; Girolamo's cousin. Marcello, in gratitude to Ezio, revealed that his cousin was in Venice at the time, and Ezio set off once again.[4]

Ezio was greeted by Teodora in Venice, and asked her where he could find the fire-and-brimstone-preaching monk. She replied that she did not know where Savonarola was, but did know where to find a herald who preached similar things. Additionally, she revealed that Lorenzo de' Medici had died, and that Rodrigo Borgia had become the Pope, under the name Alexander VI.[4]

Teodora led Ezio to the square where the herald was preaching, and Ezio blended in with the crowd. Convincing the herald that he was a true believer, and asking him about Savonarola's location, Ezio concluded that the herald was completely blinded by faith.[4]

Eventually, a young man screamed at the preacher, saying that he had just escaped from Florence, which was taken over by Savonarola. He explained that the Signoria were either behind Savonarola, or powerless against him, and that people like Botticelli were joining him in starting bonfires to burn writings and arts related to the Renaissance.[4]

The young man revealed himself to be Piero de' Medici, son of the late Lorenzo. Ezio walked up to him, saying that he was a friend of his father. After the herald ordered their deaths, Ezio revealed his name to Piero, and the two men faced off against their attackers.[4]

The herald himself pulled out a dagger and charged at Ezio, but Piero saved him by slicing the herald's legs, after which Ezio finished the enemy off. While Piero went to warn Agostino Barbarigo of Savonarola's preachings, Ezio left Venice.[4]

Ezio returned to Florence in 1497, and made his way to the Oltrarno District, hearing stories about Savonarola's dictatorship, and the desire for the Assassin's return. Eventually, he met with Niccolò Machiavelli on a bridge, and the two made their way to Savonarola's residence, the Palazzo Pitti.[8]

Ezio devised a plan to overthrow Savonarola's rule: he would kill the men who suppressed the people in Savonarola's name, while Niccolò, Paola and La Volpe would rally the citizens to stand up to Savonarola's rule. Ezio then set off to finish off each of Savonarola's nine lieutenants.[8]

Love's Labour 3

Cristina dying in Ezio's arms

Ezio ran into Manfredo Soderini again, as he found him barely alive after being attacked by Savonarola's men. Ezio hurriedly asked where Cristina was, and Manfredo replied that the men had chased after her.[5]

Ezio successfully managed to kill Cristina's attackers, but she had already been heavily wounded. She admitted to Ezio that she would have liked for them to have had a second chance, before she died in his arms.[5]

Soon after Ezio killed Savonarola's followers, the rioters formed an angry mob and stormed the Palazzo Pitti, demanding an end to the bonfires. Savanarola tried to use the Apple to quell the riot, but before he could, Ezio threw a knife at him, knocking the Apple out of his hand.[8]

In the ensuing chaos, the Apple was picked up by a guard in service to the Borgia, who had also been trying to recover the Apple from Savonarola. Ezio followed him, killed him, and recovered the Apple. Savonarola was then sentenced to be executed in the same way he had dealt with the city's knowledge: burned at the stake on the Piazza della Signoria.

Mob justice 3

Ezio assassinating Savonarola

However, Ezio decided that no one should have to die in such agony. The Assassin leapt onto the execution platform and put Savonarola out of his misery.[8]

Ezio then looked at the stunned mob and delivered a speech, urging them to follow their own path and rely on their own thoughts, not what they were told by the ones in power. Ezio then left with Mario, Niccolò, Paola and La Volpe, ready to uncover the answers hidden within the Apple.[8]

Dealing with the Borgia

Confrontation in the Vatican

"I thought... I thought I was beyond this. But I'm not. I've waited too long, lost too much."
―Ezio to Rodrigo during his first assassination attempt.[src]

The following year saw the Assassins come together once more at the Villa Auditore, with the Piece of Eden and the completed Codex in hand. Using the two objects, they discovered the location of the Vault to be in Rome - specifically, beneath the Vatican.

Unfortunately, Rodrigo Borgia had become the Pope in 1492, although Mario believed he had only done so to gain access to the Papal Staff, another Piece of Eden. Undeterred, Ezio went to assassinate Rodrigo.[1]

IBAL 4

Ezio confronting Rodrigo in the Sistine Chapel

Fighting his way along the entire length of the Passetto di Borgo, Ezio snuck into the Cappella Sistina and struck at Rodrigo from above.

As he was about to deal the killing blow, Rodrigo surprised Ezio by using the Staff of Eden to blast him away, and drain the energy of those in the room. Since Ezio held the Apple, he was immune to the Staff's effects, and the two engaged in a duel.[1]

Ezio created multiple illusional copies of himself with the Apple. For a while, it seemed that Ezio had bested Rodrigo, but the Pope overcame him. Rodrigo then took the Apple and stabbed Ezio in the abdomen, leaving him to die before fleeing towards the Vault.[1]

However Ezio soon regained consciousness and, following his nemesis to the outside of the Vault, Ezio watched as Rodrigo tried in vain to open it. Laying down his arms, Ezio challenged and defeated Rodrigo in a final brawl, obtaining possession of both the Apple and the Staff. However, he refused to take Rodrigo's life, having realized the futility of revenge.[1]

IBAL 16

Minerva appearing before Ezio

Entering the Vault, Ezio stood in shock as he was confronted by a hologram of an individual naming herself Minerva, and claiming to be one of "Those Who Came Before".

Ezio was further confounded when the hologram spoke to an unseen figure named Desmond, and started showing holograms of an event that would befall the world hundreds of years from then. Minerva then disappeared abruptly, leaving Ezio with many unanswered questions.[1]

Ezio left the Vault and met up with Mario. Together, they fought their way out of Basilica di San Pietro, and climbed a tower, where Ezio prepared to drop the Apple of Eden into the Tiber. However, upon realizing his insecurity, Mario took the Apple and promised to keep it safe until Ezio could make a decision. The two then proceeded to return home to Monteriggioni.[5]

Siege of Monteriggioni

Mario: "I am keeping it safe. The Borgia must not be allowed to breach the walls until everyone is safely away. Insieme per la vittoria!"
Ezio: "Insieme. Uncle... be careful."
―Ezio and his uncle before the siege[src]
Reunion 2 v

Ezio meeting with the other Assassins

During the journey with his uncle, Ezio told Mario what he had learned from Minerva, but also found solace in the fact that his own battles were finally at an end. That evening, Ezio once again retold the events of his encounter in the Vault, this time to Niccolò, his sister, and mother.

Niccolò in turn criticized Ezio for his failure to kill Rodrigo Borgia, and angrily left for Rome. That night, unconcerned with Niccolò's outburst, Ezio returned to his bedchamber to share an intimate night with Caterina Sforza. He soon learned that the Borgia threat was far from over.[5]

Vilified 2

Ezio using a cannon during the siege

On 2 January 1500, Cesare Borgia, the son of Rodrigo, Commander of the Papal armies, and a high-ranking Templar in his own right, laid siege to Monteriggioni.

Taking the Assassins by surprise, Cesare's forces were quickly able to level half the city before Ezio managed to reach the cannons above the ramparts. He and the Monteriggioni mercenaries returned fire, destroying many of Cesare's own siege weapons.[5]

Despite knowing this to be a futile effort, they managed to stave off the attackers long enough for the citizens to reach safety. However, as Cesare's forces managed to breach the city gates, Cesare brought a mortally wounded Mario Auditore and captured Caterina Sforza before him.[5]

Seeing his uncle lying on the ground, Ezio ran across the rooftops in a vain effort to reach them, but was shot by arquebusiers upon the city walls. At the same time, Cesare "invited" Ezio to come to Rome with a shot of his own firearm, killing Mario.[5]

EExit 7

Ezio and the others escaping through the Sanctuary

Ezio, having soon regained consciousness as two of Mario's mercenaries dragged him to safety, continued to partake in the battle, which had spilled into what was left of the city streets.

Retreating to the Sanctuary, Ezio and the fleeing civilians fled through a secret passageway that had been hidden behind the statue of Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad.[5]

After ensuring his mother and sister were safe, Ezio began to make his way for Rome. During this journey, however, Ezio passed out and fell from his horse due to the severity of his wounds.[5]

Moving to Rome

"There will be no peace until we rise up against the entire Borgia family and the Templars who serve them."
―Ezio discussing his motives for staying in Rome.[src]
As Good As New 1

Margherita treating Ezio's wounds

Ezio eventually awoke to find his wound being treated by a stranger, Margherita dei Campi,[9] who told him that he had simply been dropped off at her home by a man who wished for Ezio to meet Niccolò de Machiavelli at the Mausoleo di Augusto.

The man who had brought him there had also supplied him with a new set of Assassin robes. After leaving the house, Ezio retrieved some medicine from a local doctor, and searched for Niccolò in front of the Mauseleo.[5]

Ezio's attention was soon caught, however, by the discussion of a group of guards who were set on injuring an innocent civilian for "causing the Borgia guards trouble". Following the guards and aiding the distressed civilian, whose wife had recently been executed by a Borgia ally known as Il Carnefice, Ezio got his first taste of life in Rome.[5]

Making his way up to Il Carnefice's abode, Ezio assassinated him and continued on his way to meet with Niccolò. From him, Ezio discovered that Rome had fallen into a state of disrepair under the Borgia, and that its citizens were being heavily oppressed. Niccolò also told him of Cesare Borgia, the man responsible for the death of Mario Auditore.[5]

Roman Underground 3

Ezio conversing with Niccolò and Fabio

Together, Ezio and Niccolò met with Fabio Orsini, the cousin of Bartolomeo d'Alviano who had been forced into serving Cesare Borgia. Fabio lent to the Assassins an old storehouse of his on Tiber Island, in the hope that they would find a better use for it.[5]

From here, Ezio traveled to the Rosa in Fiore in an attempt to gather the support of the city's courtesans. When he arrived however, he learned that madonna Solari, the head of the brothel, had been kidnapped by the Cento Occhi, Cesare's hired thugs, and was being held for ransom.[5]

Gathering the funds necessary, Ezio made his way to the kidnappers' location, only to be double-crossed. Madonna Solari was killed, and the Cento Occhi attacked Ezio. Ezio survived the ambush and returned to the Rosa in Fiore to discover his mother and sister there. With no one to lead them, the courtesans turned to Claudia Auditore to act as their Madam, with a very reluctant Ezio agreeing to her appointment.[5]

Ezio then moved on to gather the support of both La Volpe's Roman thieves, who were suffering at the hands of the Cento Occhi, and Bartolomeo's mercenaries, who were under attack by the French.[5]

Aiding Copernicus

"If the Borgia are involved, then so am I."
―Ezio, after noticing the guards attack Copernicus.[src]

In 1500, while passing the Campidoglio, Ezio noticed a scholar by the name of Nicolaus Copernicus giving a strange speech to the Roman citizens. After having asked another spectator about the man's identity, he learned that the man came from the Vatican, though spoke contrary to the Church's teachings.[10]

However, Ezio soon saw a battalion of Borgia guards attack Copernicus, and swiftly stepped in to defend him. Afterwards, the two men introduced themselves to one another, with Copernicus admitting to having been a Templar himself, until he disagreed with the other Templars on keeping the findings of his scientific experiments hidden from the public.[10]

ACB-Out of Orbit 6

Copernicus giving Ezio the documents

Upon hearing that more Borgia guards were looking for Copernicus, they quickly left the Campidoglio and went looking for a hideout. Evading the Borgia guards, Ezio found shelter for Copernicus in a small house in the Antico District, next to the Colosseum.[10]

Once they were safe, Copernicus realized that his fellow scholars would be in danger as well, and asked Ezio to deliver a letter of warning to each of them. Despite being insecure on whether to trust Copernicus or not, Ezio agreed to deliver the letters.[10]

Ezio traveled across the Centro District, handing letters to several scholars, and managing to reach most of them in time. He returned to Copernicus in the countryside, who told him that the Master of the Sacred Palace, a priest appointed by the Pope to ensure that Roman religious philosophy remained pure, was most likely the person responsible for the attacks.[10]

Ezio followed a cardinal roaming nearby, who eventually led him to the Master. Eavesdropping on their conversation, Ezio found out that the Master had sent his best men to kill the scholars whom Ezio had delivered the letters to, and he quickly rushed to save them. Ezio successfully managed to assassinate all of the hired men, and returned to Copernicus.[10]

ACB Close the Book 7

Ezio and Copernicus looking at the eclipse

He informed Copernicus that his suspicions were correct, and warned him of his own safety, but Copernicus forewent caution, as he wanted to chronicle an eclipse that night. Ezio set off once again, with the intention of killing the Master.[10]

Ezio found the Master and killed him with his Hidden Blade, and with his dying breath, the Master revealed that he had already sent his best man to kill Copernicus. Ezio quickly set off to where Copernicus would research the eclipse, and arrived just in time to kill the assassin.[10]

As they looked up at the eclipse together, Copernicus revealed to Ezio that the sun was most likely the midpoint of the universe, contrary to common believe that it was the Earth. Copernicus thanked Ezio for his aid, and they went their separate ways.[10]

Infiltrating the Castel Sant'Angelo

"Do not worry. The Borgia will die. You have my word."
―Ezio, after agreeing on killing Rodrigo and Cesare.[src]

After receiving intelligence reports from Claudia, La Volpe and Bartolomeo indicating that Caterina Sforza was being held in the Castel Sant'Angelo, Ezio departed to rescue her, though not before Niccolò demanded that, given the chance, he prioritize killing Cesare and Rodrigo.[5]

Burdens 2

Ezio carrying Caterina

Infiltrating the stronghold in 1501, Ezio scaled the fortress' double walls and apprehended Lucrezia Borgia, who was holding the keys to Caterina's cell. From there Ezio and Caterina escaped, making sure that they remained undetected until they reached the stables.[5]

They fled across the Ponte Sant'Angelo, and Ezio ordered Caterina to ride on as he dealt with the pursuing guards. Only a timely explosion from within the Castel prevented him from being overwhelmed.[5]

Returning to his base of operations, Ezio decided that in order to free Rome from its Borgia oppression, he needed to involve those who were being oppressed. Despite Niccolò's protests, the two agreed to begin recruiting citizens of Rome into Ezio's new Brotherhood, so that the liberation of Rome could begin.[5]

Expanding the Brotherhood

"I say we work here. In Roma. Erode the Borgia’s influence while restoring our own. And in fact, I want to begin right now."
―Ezio revealing his plans to fight against the Borgia.[src]
People 5

Ezio recruiting a citizen

Within a year, Ezio had turned a number of Rome's citizens into Assassin apprentices,[5] and had adopted several existing members of the Order into his guild, such as Francesco Vecellio, whose former master had betrayed the Order.[11]

The apprentices fought and trained alongside Ezio, and undertook missions to aid their fellow Assassins in cities across Europe and beyond, including Calicut, India. Ezio also had his apprentices aid him in removing a number of Templar agents, such as Malfatto and Silvestro Sabbatini.[5]

Eventually, Ezio received a surprise visit from his old friend Leonardo da Vinci, who informed him that he had been pressed into providing the Borgia with various forms of advanced weaponry and War Machines. Leonardo promised to provide Ezio with the tools necessary to destroy his weapons, albeit at a small monetary cost. Ezio agreed and managed to demolish all of Leonardo's machines in his war against the Borgia.[5]

Finding the Banker

"If we cut off his funds, Cesare will lose his army and return without his men. So, I ask you, where does he get his money?"
―Ezio, asking the other Assassins about the Banker.[src]
BHPlan 2

Ezio at the meeting in the hideout

Ezio met with Niccolò, La Volpe, Claudia, and Caterina in the Assassin hideout, where they discussed their plans to attack the Borgia. Ezio asked them for the source of Cesare's funds, to which La Volpe replied that Cesare had his own personal banker, whose identity was unknown, as he was only referred to as "the Banker".[5]

Additionally, Ezio revealed that he intended to kill the French general, Octavian de Valois, so that Cesare would lose the protection of his foreign allies. La Volpe also remarked that there was a side entrance into the Castel Sant'Angelo that Ezio could use, and that Lucrezia's lover Pietro Rossi had a key to enter it.[5]

Upon leaving the hideout, Ezio noticed Caterina about to leave on horseback; she said that she was of no good to anyone without Forlì in her possession, and that she wanted to be with her children in Florence. Despite Ezio's request for her to stay, Caterina left Rome.[5]

Follow money 1

Ezio handing the money to Egidio

Ezio met Claudia in the Rosa in Fiore, and she told him that senator Egidio Troche frequently came into the brothel to complain about his debts to the Banker, and that he could be found at the Campidoglio. Hearing several men on the Campidoglio talking about Egidio making failed attempts to get finances, Ezio eventually found him under attack of Borgia guards and rescued him.[5]

Together, they went through the district looking for a safe place for Egidio to hide out in. Finally, Egidio found shelter in the home of his brother Francesco, who was angry at Egidio for warning the ambassador of Venice of Cesare's plans for Romagna.[5]

Egidio was willing to aid Ezio, telling him that the Borgia guards usually led him to the Banker, and that he needed money to meet with them. Ezio brought him the required amount of florins, and Egidio met with the guards, while Ezio followed them from above.[5]

In Rome 4

Disguised Ezio handing over the chest

Eventually they arrived at the Pantheon, where the money was given to the Borgia captain Luigi Torcelli. Ezio infiltrated the Pantheon via the roof and killed Luigi, taking his clothes and impersonating him. Together with two Borgia guards, Ezio was able to carry the money to the right location - a feast Cesare was throwing in celebration of his conquests - and passed the chest of money on to the next guard.[5]

Ezio was given entry to the party, but the guards soon found out that Luigi had been killed in the Pantheon, and they went out looking for Ezio. However, with the aid of Claudia's courtesans, he was able to remain undetected while following the chest carrier to the party.[5]

Once there, Ezio overheard the Banker introduce himself as Juan Borgia to a courtesan. Ezio followed them both to where Cesare was giving a speech. Ezio avoided the patrolling guards and took a seat on a bench, killing Juan Borgia as he passed him.[5]

Ezio escaped and returned to the Rosa in Fiore, where a group of courtesans who had stolen the chest of money cried out that the Borgia guards had followed them to the brothel, and that they had gone after Claudia and Maria. Ezio rushed inside, only to find out that Claudia had already killed all the Borgia guards by herself using a knife.[5]

Battle with the French

Ezio: "Once inside, your men can overpower the camp's patrols, correct?"
Bartolomeo: "Yes, but..."
Ezio: "Especially if the patrols are taken completely by surprise?"
—Ezio and Bartolomeo forming a plan[src]
Trojan 7

Disguised Ezio delivering Bartolomeo to Octavian

Following the Banker's death, Ezio traveled to Bartolomeo d'Alviano's barracks, where he soon discovered that Bartolomeo's wife, Pantasilea Baglioni, had been kidnapped by the Baron de Valois, commander of Cesare's French allies in Rome. Despite putting up a valiant defense of his barracks, Bartolomeo saw no feasible way that he could secure his wife's safety short of surrendering; Ezio however, had another idea.[5]

After Ezio eliminated a large number of French soldiers, Bartolomeo's mercenaries wore their armor and took on the guise of a French patrol escorting a defeated Bartolomeo to the Castra Praetoria, the base of operations for the Baron de Valois' forces.[5]

Infiltrating the fortress, Bartolomeo and Ezio came face to face with the Baron, who very nearly killed Pantasilea, had not Ezio interrupted him with a shot from his Hidden Gun. Battle soon broke out, and with Bartolomeo's mercenaries engaging the French forces, Ezio was free to pursue the Baron and Pantasilea, eventually freeing her and killing him.[5]

Securing the keys to the Castel

"It is time to pay a visit to Lucrezia's lover, Pietro."
―Ezio on obtaining the key to the Castel.[src]

Not long after his victory over the Baron de Valois, Ezio traveled once more to La Volpe Addormentata, where he and La Volpe discussed the latter's suspicion that Niccolò had betrayed the Assassins by guiding the Papal Army to Monteriggioni, and by informing Rodrigo and Cesare to stay away from the Castel during Ezio's infiltration. Ezio disagreed, but promised to look into the presence of a traitor.[5]

La Volpe informed Ezio that Pietro Rossi, an actor and Lucrezia Borgia's lover, had the key to the Castel and that Cesare intended to kill Pietro over his feelings for Lucrezia. Locating Cesare at one of the city gates, Ezio witnessed the assassination of Francesco Troche, brother of Egidio, by Cesare's personal assassin Micheletto Corella.[5]

Ezio then tailed Micheletto, who was to infiltrate the play that Pietro would appear in, and kill him. As he followed him, Ezio had his apprentices discreetly replace the guards Micheletto tasked with partaking in the murder.[5]

Intervention 4

Ezio apprehending Paganino

Eventually, Micheletto arrived at the site of the play, the Colosseum. Climbing up the outside of the structure, Ezio made his way down from the roof to the backstage area below, picking off Micheletto's marksmen as he went. Ezio soon struck Micheletto, but spared his life when he learned that Pietro had been poisoned previously, as a means of insurance.[5]

Ezio hurried from the Colosseum with Pietro in his arms, while his apprentices covered the retreat. After handing Pietro over to a doctor and receiving the key to the Castel from him, Ezio spotted Paganino, a member of the Venetian thieves guild who had been present at the siege of Monteriggioni.[5]

When approached, Paganino ran and Ezio gave chase. Ezio quickly caught him and reasoned that he was in fact the traitor, not Niccolò. Paganino pressed Ezio's Hidden Blade into his own throat to kill himself rather than risk further revelations. Ezio raced back to Tiber Island to stop La Volpe from killing Niccolò.[5]

Ascension 5

Ezio being promoted to Mentor

Later meeting with La Volpe inside the Tiber Island hideout, Ezio ordered him to gather the Assassins, and bring Claudia as well. They gathered in the ceremony hall, and there Ezio offered Claudia a chance to join the Order, just as the others of their family had. She agreed, and was inducted into the Order.[5]

At the time, Niccolò also decided to step down from leading the Order, and to promote Ezio to the position of Mentor, realizing that Ezio was both a better leader, and "exactly what the Order needed". Ezio in turn appointed Niccolò as his trusted adviser, who then recommended he finish what he started. Ezio consented, and left for the Castel Sant'Angelo.[5]

Fall of the Borgia

Ezio: "You'd better not stop telling me what you think. Why else would I seek the opinion of my most trusted advisor?"
Niccolò: "Go kill them, Mentore. Finish what you started."
Ezio: "Good advice."
—Ezio and Niccolò discussing the Borgia.[src]
Apple a day 7

Ezio giving Rodrigo last rites

With Cesare's supporters in Rome dead, the Brotherhood and its allies were in command of the city. Ezio was informed that Cesare had returned to Rome, and was meeting with his father in the Castel Sant'Angelo. Once again infiltrating the Castel, Ezio witnessed Rodrigo's attempt to poison his son, only to be murdered in retaliation.[5]

As Cesare hurried off to obtain the Apple of Eden that his father had hidden away, Ezio entered the Castel and gave Rodrigo's body his blessing. He then learned from Lucrezia where Rodrigo had hidden the Apple, and raced out of the fortress.[5]

Roads lead to 3

The Assassins making their final stand against Cesare

Ezio arrived at the Basilica di San Pietro, and took possession of the Apple before Cesare, with just moments to spare. Cesare arrived with a sizable contingent of Papal soldiers, though Ezio managed to escape them. Over the next few months, and with the help of his fellow Assassins, Ezio used the Apple to completely destroy what little support Cesare still had in Rome.[5]

Eventually, the Assassins caught up with Cesare himself, who was awaiting reinforcements from Micheletto and his army by the gates of Rome. Cesare's forces were defeated, although their leader had retreated behind the city portcullis. However, he soon realized that he was not safe as he was quickly arrested by Fabio Orsini on the orders of Pope Julius II. As he was dragged away, Cesare screamed that chains would not hold him, and that no man could murder him.[5]

Roads lead to 6

Ezio and Leonardo looking into the Apple

Despite their victory, Ezio was troubled by Cesare's comments, and upon meeting with Leonardo, he confessed his concerns. At Leonardo's suggestion, Ezio decided to look into the Apple to see if Cesare's threats were true.[5]

Upon doing so, Ezio quickly let go of the Apple, standing before Leonardo could question him and commenting that he had to leave immediately. Before he departed, however, Ezio left Leonardo a parting gift: a chest full of gold, in compensation for losing his patron.[5]

Chasing Cesare

Captain: "Cesare’s escaped!"
Ezio: "When?"
Captain: "The guards were being changed. About half an hour ago."
—Ezio discovering Cesare's escape[src]

Running from the Tiber Island headquarters, Ezio made his way to the Castel Sant'Angelo and was greeted by a scene of mass confusion. Questioning a guard, Ezio learned that Cesare had escaped, likely with the aid of an inside-man, but that Lucrezia had been left behind. Concluding that the best way for Cesare to escape the city was by boat, Ezio ran to the docks nearest the Castel.[9]

The docks were extremely busy when he arrived, and as such, Ezio was forced to use the Apple to learn of Cesare's location. Pointed to a red-sailed caravel on pier six, Ezio made his way there, only to find that it had already set sail. Ezio headed to the nearest boat and offered to pay the boat-master handsomely if he pursued the caravel. Ezio was surprised to see that it was Claudio who captained the boat, having been given money to do so by La Volpe previously.[9]

The ships were already nearing Ostia by the time Claudio's scoop caught up. Locking sails, Claudio gave Ezio the order to jump aboard and together Ezio and Claudio quickly overpowered the ship's crew, while Cesare watched helplessly from the secure wooden crate he had been hidden in. Upon docking in Ostia, Cesare was securely sent back to Rome.[9]

Councilor to the Pope

Julius II: "Cesare Borgia has been safely delivered into one of their strongest and most secure rocca!"
Ezio: "Where?"
Julius II: "Ah, that's classified information, even to you. I can't take any chances with Cesare."
—Pope Julius II speaking with Ezio.[src]

By 1504, Ezio had become councilor to Pope Julius II, and was with him when the Pope received word that Cesare Borgia had been successfully handed over to King Ferdinand II of Aragon, and his wife Queen Isabella I of Castile. When Ezio inquired as to where he was being held, Julius politely refused to answer, perhaps cautious of any attempts Ezio might make on the Templar leader's life. Later in the conversation, a tired Ezio nonchalantly suggested the name "Swiss Guard" for the contingent of Swiss mercenaries Julius II was thinking of hiring as his personal bodyguards.[9]

The following day, Ezio called a meeting with La Volpe, Bartolomeo, Niccolò, and Claudia to discuss rooting out the Borgia diehards who still pocketed Italy. Together, they formulated a plan that would keep control of the Borgia loyalists until the time to strike presented itself.[9]

Following the meeting, Ezio and Niccolò met with a number of Rodrigo's former lovers and associates, including Vannozza dei Cattanei and Giulia Farnese, as well as Cesare's wife, Charlotte d'Albret. On their way to meet Giulia, Ezio and Niccolò noticed they were being followed by someone, and had been since leaving Vanozza's palazzo. After making their way onto the rooftops, the Assassins were eventually able to lose their pursuer, although it took a lot of effort on their part.[9]

During this mission, Niccolò repeatedly asked Ezio to use the Apple to more easily locate Cesare; Ezio consistently refused, not wishing to become dependent on its power at the expense of his own skill and experiences.[9]

Dealing with the Borgia diehards

Bruno: "The Borgia diehards! They sent someone to follow you and Maestro Ezio-"
Niccolò: "And?"
Bruno: "Sure that you were out of the way, they have taken Claudia!"
—Ezio and Niccolò discovering Claudia's capture.[src]

After leaving Charlotte's palazzo, Ezio and Niccolò were approached by Bruno, one of Niccolò's spies, who informed the two that the Borgia had had them followed, so as to ensure they were not present when they kidnapped Claudia Auditore. Upon learning her location, the two quickly made their way to liberate her from her captors, only to discover they had been led into a trap; Bruno had been working for the Borgia for at least a year.[9]

Upon reaching the Borgia diehards' facility, Ezio saw Claudia tied to a chair, half-dressed and bruised. The leader of the diehards held a knife to Claudia's throat and threatened to kill her if Ezio did not leave Rome once and for all. Ezio refused and, together with Niccolò, quickly overpowered and eliminated the diehards.[9]

After rescuing Claudia, Ezio learned that Micheletto had holed up in the Ludus Magnus in Zagarolo, east of Rome. Bringing together a force of one-hundred apprentices and thieves, Ezio's forces quickly surrounded and overpowered the two-hundred and fifty strong force commanded by Micheletto.[9]

Micheletto was taken to Florence, and was incarcerated in the cell atop the Palazzo della Signoria; the same cell that had held Ezio's father twenty-eight years earlier. There, he was tortured by Niccolò, Amerigo Vespucci and Piero Soderini, the Gonfaloniere of Florence and Niccolò's "master". Despite learning nothing from Micheletto, Niccolò promised to continue in his attempts to prise any information from him, and parted ways with Ezio warmly when the latter was forced to return to Rome.[9]

Locking away the Apple

"I have more than played my part in your career and you must now return me."
―The Apple to Ezio.[src]

Days later, Ezio was awoken in the early hours of the morning by Niccolò, who informed him that Micheletto had managed to escape from the Palazzo della Signoria with the aid of a Borgia-friendly priest and the diehards. Ezio quickly realized that this could work to their advantage: if they could track Micheletto down, they could follow him to Cesare.[9]

Convening an emergency meeting, Ezio organized a manhunt for Micheletto that focused on the area surrounding Rome and Ostia. Later, Ezio was effectively ordered by Niccolò to use the Apple to locate Micheletto, but was only provided with a vague image of a Spanish castle.[9]

A Seed 2

Ezio walking out of the Vault

Ezio was confused by this, and expressed his feelings to Niccolò, who recommended he ask the Apple why it wasn't showing him what he wanted. The Piece of Eden told Ezio that the time had come for him to relinquish it, so that future generations might make use of it, and also indicated where it should be hidden. As a parting gift, the Apple informed the Assassin that Micheletto was making his way to Spain via the port in Naples.[9]

Before making their way to Naples, Ezio and Niccolò decided to abandon the Apple just at it had requested. Entering the Colosseum, the two Assassins made their way through the old lair of Romulus, marking the way as they went, until they reached the entrance to the Vault.[9]

Ezio entered the Vault, placed the Apple on the central pedestal, and exited. As the door closed behind him, both Ezio and Niccolò noticed that the door seemed to vanish, instead taking the appearance of the surrounding wall.[9]

Rescuing Da Vinci

Leonardo: "Salaì? Is that you? Ezio! I must be getting lazy in my old age. I did not know you had returned to Roma."
Ezio: "Unfortunately, I cannot stay. I am here to charter a ship."
―Leonardo and Ezio, shortly after the latter's return.[src]
A Roll of the Dice 3

Ezio and Leonardo looking at the unfinished Mona Lisa

With the Apple safely hidden away, Ezio met with Leonardo in 1506 to discuss his need of chartering a ship to Navarre. Leonardo interjected that he knew the name of a friendly ship captain, but was unable to remember it at the time. As the artist searched for his records, Ezio and Leonardo briefly discussed the ancient Greek scholar Pythagoras, whom Leonardo was researching.[12]

However, Ezio suggested he instead focus on his painting, and complimented a portrait of a smiling lady Leonardo was working on. Eventually, though he could not find the captain's name, Leonardo offered to accompany Ezio to the docks, though he was unable to leave the studio unaccompanied. As such, Ezio offered to bring back Leonardo's apprentice, Salaì.[12]

A Roll of the Dice 4

Ezio meeting Salaì in La Volpe Addormentata

Ezio found Salaì in La Volpe Addormentata, enjoying a game of dice. Despite some initial resistance, Salaì eventually agreed to return to his Master's workshop with Ezio, much to the chagrin of three cloaked individuals who had been playing against Salaì.[12]

Once outside, the three individuals and several of their comrades, who were all revealed to be Hermeticists, attacked Ezio and Salaì. The two manage to defeat them, and Salaì remarked that only one individual could fight with such skill, correctly guessing Ezio's name. Ezio simply suggested that they continue on to Leonardo's workshop.[12]

Avoiding the throngs of Hermeticists between them and their destination, Ezio and Salaì returned to find the workshop wrecked and Leonardo missing. Salaì regretfully informed Ezio that he did not know the location of the Temple of Pythagoras, which was likely where Leonardo had been taken.[12]

Looking down to the floor in sadness, Salaì spotted some writing on the floor, which suggested that Leonardo's artwork that had hung in the Villa Auditore had held clues to the location of the temple. At first Ezio was dismissive, commenting that all the paintings had been destroyed in the attack, though Salaì quickly responded that only two had been destroyed, and one had been sold (by Salaì himself to buy a "now out of fashion" doublet), leaving five more to find. These five, he said, were currently in the hands of Lucrezia Borgia, Duchess of Ferrara.[12]

Recovering the paintings

"I count five Leonardo da Vinci paintings you have stolen, and I want them returned."
―Ezio to Lucrezia, Duchess of Ferrara.[src]
The One Who Got Away 8

Ezio seducing Lucrezia inside Delizia di Belriguardo

Ezio made his way to Delizia di Belriguardo, climbing over the palazzo's outer walls and overhearing a paranoid Lucrezia ordering the guards into high alert. Infiltrating the palazzo through the attached stables, Ezio confronted Lucrezia on the stolen paintings, clarifying that he had not come to take her life.[12]

Willingly, Lucrezia revealed that she only had one of the paintings left, as the rest had been taken after the fall of her family. Ordering her men to place the Annunciation painting in a cart outside the palazzo's walls, Lucrezia was then thrust against the wall by Ezio, who began to kiss her neck intimately.[12]

At this, Lucrezia told Ezio that three of the paintings had been sold to Francesco Colonna, while the fifth went to an old flame of Lucrezia's named Patrizio. Ezio apologized to Lucrezia and then pulled back, revealing that he had tied her to the hanging drape. Lucrezia angrily called for her husband's personal guard, who pursued Ezio through the palazzo until he escaped out of a window, and into a bale of hay near the cart containing the painting.[12]

Returning to Rome, Ezio made his way to the Vaticano district, where he followed Patrizio, who was hoping to sell Portrait of a Musician to the Hermeticists. Ezio watched as Ercole Massimo belittled Patrizio for his racist views on Lucrezia's Spanish heritage, and then had him murdered when he tried to destroy the painting out of anger. Ezio pursued the Hermeticist Ercole had tasked with transporting the painting, and eventually retrieved it.[12]

Bon Voyage 5

Ezio interrogating Duccio

Ezio then traveled to the home of Francesco Colonna, only to find that the house had been seized by the bank. He was told that the da Vinci paintings had been sold to an art merchant from Florence, who was waiting at the docks outside the Mausoleo di Augusto.[12]

Making his way there, Ezio was surprised to see that the art merchant was his sister's former love interest Duccio de Luca. Duccio immediately set about insulting Ezio for living in a "third-rate city" such as Rome, and then again for his sister being the Madame of the Rosa in Fiore. For his troubles, Duccio received a short, stout punch to the face from a now angered Ezio.[12]

Duccio ordered his entourage to attack Ezio, though the Assassin was able to easily hold off his attackers. He eventually gained the information he wanted from Duccio, but the merchant pushed his insults even further against Claudia, resulting in a final blow, which knocked him unconscious.[12]

After knocking Duccio out, Ezio made his way to the merchant's boat, which had been occupied by Hermeticists, to retrieve the third painting. Ezio swiftly eliminated them without being seen, and claimed the painting as his own. He then made his way to the Rosa in Fiore in order to ascertain a means of obtaining the last two paintings, which had been bought by a cardinal and put on display inside the Castel Sant'Angelo.[12]

Infiltrating the art exhibition

"There is a viewing at the Castel Sant'Angelo later today. You will need an invitation. Fortunately, I know where you can procure one."
―Claudia helping Ezio.[src]
The Ezio Auditore Affair 2

Ezio entering the art exhibition

Upon reaching the Rosa in Fiore, Ezio spoke of the art exhibition with his sister Claudia, who directed him to the docks, from where one invitation was meant to be delivered. Ezio intercepted the courier carrying the invitation, and met up with a group of courtesans on the Ponte Sant'Angelo, instructing them to steal the paintings he would mark.[12]

Ezio marked the frame of the first painting, St Jerome in the Wilderness, after distracting the guards on duty, then proceeded into the Castel for the second, backtracking along the same path he had used to escape with Caterina years previously. After marking the second painting, Adoration of the Magi, in the upper chambers, he quickly left the Castel as cries over the theft rang out around him.[12]

Decoding Da Vinci 4

Ezio and Salaì looking at the map leading to the Pythagorean temple

Ezio returned to Leonardo's workshop, where the five paintings had been stored. Inside, he found Salaì already working to find any clues for the location of the temple, though he had found nothing. Salaì was on the verge of giving up, when Ezio prompted him to think of ways Leonardo might have concealed his work. Salaì remembered that Leonardo taken to working with invisible inks, and suggested that Ezio he use his gift of Eagle Vision to find any clues. Despite his annoyance at Leonardo for telling Salaì about his gift, Ezio did as was asked, and found small diagrams in each painting.[12]

After inspecting all the paintings, Ezio drew out each diagram and laid them on the table. Salaì immediately worked out it was a map, although there were probably pieces missing from the two paintings destroyed during the Siege of Monteriggioni. Nonetheless, Ezio managed the piece together the map, and located the entrance to the catacombs containing the Temple of Pythagoras.[12]

Temple of Pythagoras

Leonardo: "Those are not Pythagorean symbols. 43 39 19 N 75 27 42 W. Nothing. The Cult of Hermes is wrong, the number is meaningless."
Ezio: "It is not intended for us."
―Leonardo and Ezio in the Pythagorean Vault.[src]
TToP 9

Ezio and Leonardo exploring the catacombs

Ezio entered the catacombs and made his way towards the temple. As he did so, he could hear Ercole Massimo beating Leonardo, demanding he open the door to the temple. Ezio ordered the Hermeticist to stop, and after a brief exchange of words, he was attacked by Ercole's allies. He dealt with them swiftly, before climbing up to Ercole and assassinating him with his Hidden Blade.[12]

Though Ezio suggested that they leave as Leonardo was injured, the other protested, saying that the "number" the Hermeticists had been seeking must be destroyed, lest another go searching for it. Reluctantly, Ezio agreed.[12]

In each room of the temple, Ezio and Leonardo found themselves confronted by a complex puzzle. The first room required Ezio to redirect beams of light, while the second had him redirect the flow of air into a large, fan-dominated, locking mechanism. In the final room, Ezio had to activate several switches, which directed streams of burning oil into a central plate. Once activated, the central plate lowered, revealing a large circular pedestal.[12]

Ezio and Leonardo recognized the symbols upon the pedestal as those shown to them by the Apple, albeit in the wrong order. Ezio watched as Leonardo rotated the pillars so the images fit, opening the door into the temple's final chamber.[12]

TToP 8

Ezio and Leonardo in the Vault

Entering the vault, Ezio recognized the architecture as matching that of the Vatican and Colosseum Vaults. He approached the central pedestal and placed his hand above it. A bright light activated above him and soon enough, the entire chamber was cloaked in a dim green light. Before them, six numbers and two letters repeated themselves: 43 39 19 N 75 27 42 W.[12]

Although Leonardo totally dismissed the numbers as nonsense, Ezio remarked that the numbers were not meant for their eyes. To distract him from the numbers, Ezio asked Leonardo of his other projects as he led him from the room.[12]

Finishing the Borgia

Travelling to Spain

Ezio: "Where is he now?"
Captain: "Gone! I know he was in the town, asking questions, but he’s well-known here, and he has many friends, believe it or not."
―Ezio and the captain discussing Michelleto's whereabouts.[src]

Arriving in Naples on Midsummers Day, 1506, Ezio, Leonardo and Niccolò were met with a wall of silence from the local population when they questioned them about Micheletto. They persevered, fortunately happening upon a courtesan named Camilla, who claimed to have spent the previous night with a man matching their description of Micheletto. She pointed them to the docks and to Valencia.[9]

Ezio, Niccolò, and Leonardo booked passage to Valencia, though the crossing took five days, as the sea was particularly rough, which lost the three any chance of catching up with Micheletto. Once they arrived however, they quickly learned that Micheletto had headed to the Lone Wolf Inn, a place being described as "not for gentlemen".[9]

Nonetheless, the three made their way to the inn and entered, only to be immediately set upon by ten men whose eyes were already accustomed to the darkness. Ezio and Niccolò fought off the ambushers, as Leonardo hid behind the bar. Ezio was then approached from behind and garroted by Micheletto himself, though a well placed strike to the stomach from Niccolò's blade forced Micheletto to let go and flee.[9]

Although Micheletto had fled, one of his underlings had survived the Assassins' onslaught, and reluctantly surrendered his master's destination: the Castillo de la Mota. The next day, after a short rest, the three continued on to the Castillo.[9]

They arrived too late though, and Ezio learned from a lieutenant that Cesare had escaped, although they were not yet sure how exactly he had managed it. Ezio immediately demanded a fresh horse, but Leonardo's exhaustion and Niccolò's counsel convinced him to stay a while and rest.[9]

Within the month, they were back in Valencia, and found the city in the grip of Cesare's diehards. Disheartened by the turn of events, the Assassins contemplated their next move. Leonardo piped up with a suggestion, asking them to gather sulphur, charcoal and potassium nitrate, as well as thin sheets of malleable steel.[9]

They complied, and in a short time, Leonardo managed to construct twenty small, hand-held bombs, which could be thrown onto enemy positions after lighting the fuse. Leonardo then revealed to Ezio and Niccolò that he was returning to Italy on the next ship, as he was becoming homesick.[9]

Attack on Valencia

"Well, we don’t need the Apple to tell us what our old friend Cesare is planning."
―Niccolò, on Cesare's plans.[src]

Despite this setback, Ezio and Niccolò were determined to destroy Cesare's new army, and together formulated a plan. While Niccolò made his way to the diehards' camp, Ezio headed to the docks. Approaching the first ship, Ezio lit the fuse and threw it into the vessel, dismissive of what destructive power such a small device could possible contain. He was shocked when the device exploded, cracking the warship's mast and felling it, with splintered wood flying high into the air.[9]

Ezio continued to target Cesare's vessels, and in several cases, the initial bomb's explosion was followed by the detonation of the vessel gunpowder reserve; at one point, the explosion of one ship brought down the two on either side of it. All in all, Ezio managed to destroy twelve vessels with his ten hand-held bombs. He then met up with Niccolò on the corner of the street where the Lone Wolf Inn was located.[9]

Climbing onto the roof of the building, Ezio and Niccolò peered over the open skylight onto Cesare and Micheletto, who were discussing the recent turn of events. Cesare angrily belittled Micheletto, blaming him for what had happened and driving him to launch himself across the table at his Master.[9]

Cesare quickly pulled one of his pistols from his belt and shot at Micheletto, destroying his face completely. Ezio pulled back, hoping to catch Cesare as he left the building, though Niccolò, who had craned forward to get a better look, kicked down a tile in the process, and caught Cesare's attention. Drawing his second pistol just as rapidly as he had his first, Cesare shot at the Assassin, hitting Niccolò in the shoulder.[9]

Ezio briefly thought of pursuit, but Niccolò's injury was severe and required immediate medical attention. Finding a doctor, they learned the bullet had gone straight through, and that Niccolò would be sufficiently healed for travel in two weeks. Before Ezio left to pursue Cesare, Niccolò wished him good luck.[9]

Siege of Viana

Cesare: "How did you find me?"
Ezio Auditore: "The Apple you stole from Mario Auditore led me here."
―Cesare Borgia and Ezio Auditore[src]

In 1507, Ezio finally located Cesare Borgia, who was leading the forces of his brother-in-law, John III of Navarre, in a siege of the city of Viana.[5]

PaxR 8

Ezio fighting Cesare in Viana

Ezio engaged Cesare on the battlefield, initially making an unsuccessful attempt to kill him with his Hidden Blade. Cesare made his escape towards Viana Castle, and Ezio was almost overwhelmed by Cesare's guards. Narrowly surviving an artillery strike, Ezio chased after Cesare, and followed him through the village.[5]

Fighting past the battling guards, and climbing two burning siege towers, Ezio eventually reached the ramparts of Viana Castle. He made his way through another small group of guards, and engaged Cesare in combat atop the city walls.[5]

PaxR 6

Ezio letting Cesare fall to his death

Despite a continual stream of soldiers attacking him, Ezio was able to whittle away Cesare's armor and overpower him. When Cesare angrily repeated his claim that no man could kill him, Ezio coldly replied he would leave him in the hands of Fate, and threw Cesare from the city walls to his death.[5]

Later, a much older Ezio returned to the Sanctuary beneath the Villa Auditore to leave a clue to the password that protected the Vault's entrance, as suggested by Leonardo years previously. The clue was visible only to those who possessed Eagle Vision.[5]

Search for the Masyaf Keys

Discovering a new purpose

"There, over two centuries ago, our then Mentor, Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, greatest of our Order, established a library deep beneath the fortress."
―Excerpt from the letter of Giovanni Auditore.[src]

With Cesare's death, the Borgia and their plans for Italy were finished. Ezio focused himself on internal matters, forming stronger ways of communication for the Assassins from Sicily to Venice, and creating more standard training methods for new Assassin recruits.[2]

In 1509, Ezio happened upon some of his uncle Mario's documents, finding a letter written by his father Giovanni a year before Ezio was born, which mentioned a sealed library beneath the old Assassin fortress of Masyaf; the home of Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, who had been Ezio's spiritual mentor during his early years as an Assassin.[1] Driven by a will to find out more about the Order, Ezio decided to leave Italy in 1510 and set sail for Syria.[2]

Pilgrimage to Masyaf

"None of you leave until the Assassin is dead. Do you understand?"
―Leandros sending his men after Ezio.[src]
In May 1510, Ezio set out from Rome on horseback, accompanied by Bartolomeo d'Alviano and fifteen of the general's mercenaries. After fifteen days, they arrived at Bari, on the eastern coast of Italy. At Bari, Ezio chartered a ship, a freighter called the Anaan, and set sail for Corfu, located between Bari and Athens.[13]

Along the way, the freighter was attacked by pirates, as it was carrying a valuable cargo of spices. Ezio joined the crew in fighting off the pirates, and assisted in capturing the pirates' captain, a man Ezio would later come to know as Al-Scarab. The Anaan arrived safely in Corfu, and Ezio promptly made arrangements to sail to Athens, and from there to Crete, and then Cyprus. Not long after departing from Crete, Ezio's ship ran into a storm, and was forced to dock at Chios for minor repairs.[13]

Finally, Ezio arrived at Cyprus, where he spent some time exploring the island, including the Templar's archive. However, as he experienced more delays, it became apparent that the Venetian authorities stationed in Cyprus were intervening with his journey. Finally, Ezio took matters into his own hands and attempted to "acquire" a small ship of his own, so he could continue on to Masyaf.[13]

No sooner had he found a seaworthy vessel was he attacked by a mysterious man, whom Ezio thought he recognized. The commotion caused by their fighting attracted several members of the island's Night Watchmen, and Ezio, along with his mysterious assailant-turned-ally, fought off the guards. As the last man fell, Ezio was stabbed in the side and fell unconscious. When he awoke, Ezio found himself on a ship headed for Acre, manned by none other than the pirate captain he had defeated some months earlier.[13]

Ezio arrived in the city of Acre ten months after leaving Rome. After spending a week there, Ezio was informed that the road to Masyaf was filled with foreign bandits and mercenaries. He also wrote a letter to Claudia, informing her of his journey so far and that, should he not survive, she should not seek vengeance. Shortly thereafter, he continued his journey to Masyaf.[14]

The Hangman 8

Templars leading Ezio to a plank

Ezio arrived at Masyaf in March 1511, and found the town to be crumbled and largely abandoned. Upon making his way to the fortress, Ezio was ambushed by the town's Byzantine Templar garrison, under the command of their captain, Leandros. Overrun and outnumbered, Ezio was captured by the Templars and lead onto a plank to be hung from the fortress' watchtower. However, as Leandros put the noose around Ezio's neck, Ezio attacked Leandros, threw the noose about Leandros' neck, and eventually escaped along the outside of the tower.[14]

Ezio quickly made his way back to the battlements, where he retrieved his weapons. He then made his way beneath the castle, to the doors of Altaïr's library, where he learned from a worker that Leandros had the journal of Niccolò Polo in his possession, which supposedly led to the keys needed to open the library's door. Ezio left the fortress, and pursued Templar Captain, who had escaped by carriage.[14]

The Wounded Eagle 12

Ezio assassinating Leandros

Ezio managed to hold onto a rope trailing from the carriage, and dragged himself up to the carriage itself. Leandros escaped onto the carriage of one of his men, and the chase continued, with each carriage jostling for space on a narrow cliff path.[14]

Eventually, a well-placed bomb sent Ezio's carriage over the edge, severely injuring him, though he persistently continued to follow Leandros. Fighting his way through a nearby village, Ezio confronted and assassinated Leandros, claiming the journal for himself.[14]

Settling into Constantinople

"Welcome to Galata district. For centuries it has been a home to orphans from Europa and Asia alike. You won't find more diversity anywhere else in the city. And for that reason, Assassins make it their home."
―Yusuf welcoming Ezio.[src]

Having obtained the journal, Ezio made his way to Constantinople by ship, where he hoped to find those Masyaf Keys the Templars had not already obtained. As they neared the port, Ezio briefly spoke with a fellow passenger, a young man who claimed to be a student. Ezio spoke to him of how he spent his own youth, until a woman on the ship caught his attention. Disembarking the ship, Ezio was greeted by the leader of the local Assassin guild, Yusuf Tazim.[14]

ACR Welcome 6

Yusuf welcoming Ezio

Yusuf informed Ezio of the state of affairs in the city and of how the Byzantine remnants fought with the Ottomans for control of the city. Later, Ezio was introduced to some of Yusuf's men, and was advised to get new equipment.

When the two met again, Ezio was provided with an Ottoman hookblade and was taught on its use by Yusuf. The two then aided in the defense and reclamation of two of the Assassin dens in the city. Ezio additionally met with Piri Reis, another Master Assassin in the city. Together with Piri, Ezio found Niccolò Polo's old trading post, which was inhabited by the Venetian bookseller Sofia Sartor; the woman who had caught Ezio's eye on the ship into the city.[14]

Locating a secret passageway beneath the trading post, Ezio flirtingly suggested they both investigate, but was politely rebuked. He then entered the underground cavern, successfully obtaining his first Masyaf Key, as well as an encrypted map, which he eventually managed to decode with Sofia's help. Over time, Ezio started to develop feelings for Sofia, but could not bear to tell her about his Assassin affiliations.[14]

Working with Prince Suleiman

"For now, keep an eye on Tarik and his Janissaries. They spend much of their free time in and around the Bazaar."
―Suleiman instructing Ezio.[src]

Ezio continued to aid the Assassins in the city while Sofia worked to uncover the location of the remaining Keys. At one point, Ezio disguised himself as a minstrel, and prevented an attack on the young Prince Suleiman at Topkapı Palace; whom he recognized as the "student" from the ship he had entered the city on. After becoming acquainted with Suleiman, Ezio helped to uncover those behind the attempted assassination.[14]

Uneasy meeting 1

Suleiman conversing with Ezio

Their investigations led them to Tarik Barleti, Captain of the Janissaries responsible for Suleiman's protection, and supporter of his father, Selim I. After observing an exchange of weapons between Tarik and Manuel Palaiologos, heir apparent of the now-defunct Byzantine throne and member of the Templar Order, Ezio was tasked to kill Tarik by Suleiman.[14]

Ezio carried out the assassination, only to discover Tarik had been working to apprehend Manuel and his associate - Shahkulu - "where they felt safest". Remorsefully, Ezio asked for Tarik's forgiveness, before delivering the news to Suleiman.[14]

Journey to Cappadocia

"There he is. The monster I came to kill."
―Ezio when confronting Manuel.[src]
Setting sail 14

Ezio leaving Constantinople with Piri Reis

After obtaining the four Keys still within Constantinople, Ezio traveled to Cappadocia, the location given to him by Tarik, to confront Manuel Palaiologos. Before he could depart however, he was intercepted by Yusuf, who informed him that the Janissaries had raised the Great Chain across the mouth of the Golden Horn to prevent him from leaving the city. Yusuf provided Ezio with a sizable bomb, claiming that it was significantly more dangerous than their usual explosives.[14]

Ezio proceeded to the port, where he destroyed the Great Chain with Yusuf's special bomb, and burned the numerous Templar ships that guarded the harbor using Greek Fire.[14]

Arriving in Cappadocia aboard Piri Reis' ship, Ezio sought to make contact with Tarik's spies, who were already in the city. However, he soon learned that many of Tarik's men had already been discovered, apprehended, and executed by the Byzantines. He arrived just in time to prevent the execution of the remaining spies, engaging and eliminating Shahkulu in open combat.[14]

Last Palaiologi 4

Ezio facing Manuel Palaiologos

With the spies safe, Ezio proceeded to detonate the city's ordinance supply and, in the ensuing panic, gave chase to Palaiologos. Confronting him at one of the city's docks, Ezio killed him and claimed the fifth and final Key. Before he could leave however, he found himself confronted by Suleiman's uncle and heir-apparent to the Ottoman throne, Ahmet.

Revealing his own Templar allegiance, Ahmet demanded Ezio to hand over the Key, lest harm fall upon Sofia Sartor. Angrily, Ezio pledged vengeance should any harm come to her, then made his way back through the now smoke-filled city to his ship, and to Constantinople.[14]

Fight with Prince Ahmet

"Now should be a time for remembrance and mourning, I know... but our enemies do not permit us that luxury."
―Ezio before confronting Ahmet.[src]
Discovery 3

Ezio rallying the Assassins against Ahmet

After arriving in Constantinople, Ezio hurriedly made his way to Sofia's bookshop. He found that the place had been ransacked and Yusuf, whom Ezio had asked to look after Sofia during his time in Cappadocia, had been killed. Upon discovering Yusuf's dead body, Ezio gave him a final blessing before shutting his eyes. Declaring a renewed vengeance against all those who dared to cross the Assassins, Ezio collected the remaining Keys and prepared to ambush Ahmet during the exchange.[14]

However, Ahmet held Sofia hostage atop Galata Tower, and Ezio was forced to give him the Keys in order to rescue her. The hostage turned out to be Azize, one of Ezio's fellow Assassins, and Ezio saw Sofia was being hung in a courtyard.[14]

After parachuting down towards her, and after ensuring that she was fine, Ezio boarded a carriage with to pursue Ahmet, who had already hurried off towards Syria to find the library and unlock its contents.[14]

After a lengthy ride through the country, which left Ezio essentially parasailing to hang onto their carriage, he managed to grab Ahmet and the two struggled as they both went flying off a cliff. Ezio subdued the prince and opened a parachute to save them both.[14]

As they both recovered from their rough landing, Ezio and Ahmet saw an army arrive with Selim at its head. Selim explained that the Sultan had chosen him over Ahmet, and proceeded to strangle his brother and throw him off a cliff. Selim spared Ezio, having heard good things about him from his son Suleiman, but ordered him to stay out of Constantinople.[14]

Message 3

Ezio speaking to Desmond

After traveling to Masyaf with Sofia, Ezio used the five Keys to open the door to Altaïr's library. Ezio discovered there were no books, only the body of the former Mentor, with a memory seal in his hand. The seal revealed Altaïr's final moments, and the location of his Apple at the back of the library.[14]

Ezio moved towards the Apple, but refused to take it, believing he had seen enough for one life. The Apple emanated a wave of light, and Ezio began speaking to Desmond. Acknowledging he was a conduit for a message, Ezio removed his bracers and sword to declare the end of his life as an Assassin. He then encouraged Desmond to make his life's sufferings worth it, and told him to listen.[14]

Return to Constantinople

"Prince Suleiman knows of your return and has provided you with a safe-conduct. But his father is adamant that you should not remain long."
―Azize to Ezio.[src]

After their visit to Masyaf, Ezio and Sofia returned to Constantinople to set their affairs in the city to rest. Despite Selim ordering Ezio never to return, Suleiman managed to secure Ezio a brief visit, as long as he behaved himself.[13]

Ezio made sure that Dogan, the new leader of the Turkish Assassins, was able to competently command the Assassins' Guild there. Ezio also oversaw the selling of Sofia's bookshop to Azize, the Assassin who had been kidnapped by Ahmet and held at the top of Galata Tower as a decoy for Sofia. The bookshop was used as an outpost for the Assassins, and Ezio stored the Masyaf Keys in the chamber where he had found the first key, underneath the bookshop.[13]

Later life

Settling down

"I knew I would not have enough time to do everything. Now I worry I do not have enough time to do anything."
―Ezio Auditore during his later years.[src]
EzioAuditoreEmbers02

Ezio tending to his vineyard

Ezio and Sofia married in Venice. They had a daughter, Flavia, in May 1513, and a son, Marcello, in October 1514.[13] By 1524, a retired Ezio lived with his family in a villa in the Tuscan countryside. There, he tended to a vineyard, and often spent time in his study, writing his memoirs.[15]

Final visits to Leonardo

"I’ll tell you a secret. All my life—while I thought I was learning to live, I have simply been learning how to die."
―Leonardo's words on dying.[src]

By 1519, Ezio had suffered a chest infection, and as a result developed a serious cough.[15] This is likely hypersensitivity pneumonitis, also known as wine-grower's lung, due to his time in the vineyard.

A visit from Machiavelli revealed that their mutual friend Leonardo was dying. The pair traveled to Amboise in France to the manor Clos Luce, where Leonardo was staying.[13]

Ezio learned that his friend wished to travel outside of the manor to places like England or even back to Venice where he hoped to sell his submarine idea, seeing as he was disappointed with his patron's last creation, a giant mechanical lion.[13]

The pair stayed in France for another week, and visited Leonardo often. Upon their departure, rumors began to spread that King Francis was with Leonardo until he died, and had cradled his head. Ezio was disgusted by this rumor and believed that anyone, even a king, would do anything for publicity.[13]

Teaching Shao Jun

"So I spent many years teaching men and women to think and act for themselves. First in Rome, then among our Brotherhood in Constantinople."
―Ezio expaining his deeds to Shao Jun.[src]

One day in 1524, Sofia left with Marcello to visit Claudia, leaving Ezio to watch over Flavia. As Ezio started harvesting the crops, he called for Flavia to stay where he could see her. However, as he worked, he saw a mysterious cloaked figure approach Flavia. Panicking, he sprinted over to them, seizing the stranger by the collar, but pausing as he noticed the Assassin insignia on the necklace she wore.[15]

Afterwards, the Assassin introduced herself as Shao Jun, a Chinese Assassin, who had traveled to Italy with her Mentor to learn of methods to unite the Assassins of her homeland. However, Ezio refused to be involved, though he allowed her to stay in the villa for the night on Sofia's insistence.[15]

Embers ShotBreakdown 01

Ezio and Jun in Florence

The following day, Ezio found Jun sitting in his private study, reading a letter he had been writing. Infuriated, he ordered her out of the room, and insisted that she leave the villa.[15]

However, Jun thoughtfully recited to him the words that he had written, wishing to understand their meaning. Ezio finally consented and invited her to accompany him into Florence while he ran errands. On the journey there and back, he finally spoke to her of the importance of love in the Assassin Order, saying that if she could support that which inspired hope in her people, she would succeed.[15]

However, the two of them were ambushed by a Chinese Imperial soldier in Florence. Jun explained that she was a concubine who had escaped by joining the Assassin Order, and the soldier who attacked the two worked for the Chinese Emperor. Correctly expecting another attack at the villa, Ezio had his family evacuate to Niccolò Machiavelli's home, while he and Jun stayed behind.[15]

Ezio and Jun were able to defend against the attack later that night, and in the morning, Ezio gave Jun a small chest before her departure, telling her only to open it if she lost her way.[15]

Death

"I am home."
―Ezio to Sofia in Florence.[src]
ACE-V 14

Ezio passing away on the bench

In his final hours, Ezio chose to go to Florence with Sofia and Flavia while they went shopping. Ezio sat down on a bench, feeling ill, and shrugging off Sofia's concerns that he should have stayed home, stating "I am home."[15]

While Sofia and Flavia went to buy groceries, a young man approached Ezio, thoughtfully berating the women of Florence. Ezio wearily responded by implying the man was the problem, not the city. Immediately afterward, Ezio began panting and holding his chest in pain.[15]

The young man quickly grabbed Ezio's hand and told Ezio to have courage. He told Ezio to "get some rest", and then left. Ezio looked back at him angrily, but calmed down just as quickly. Breathing heavily, Ezio looked over at Sofia and Flavia, smiling, before resting his head against the back of the bench, and passing away peacefully.[15]

Legacy

Ezio statue

A statue of Ezio in the Mentor's Dubai office

Ezio's actions had a profound effect on the Order. Due to his efforts, many cities around Europe came under Assassin control and influence, ushering in something of a Golden Age in Europe. His descendants continued to take a leading role in the running of the Order for almost five-hundred years after his death.[5]

At some point in his life, Ezio wrote a codex detailing the events of his life; including those that transpired in the Vatican Vault, which was named the Prophet's Codex. By 2002, it was located in the library of Ivan the Terrible underneath the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, protected by the Assassins, though it was eventually retrieved by the Templar agent Daniel Cross, who handed it over to Abstergo Industries.[16]

In the year 2000, a statue of Ezio could be found in "the Mentor's" Dubai facility, alongside statues of other prominent Assassins.[17]

By 2012, one of Ezio's descendants, Clay Kaczmarek, relived his memories through the Animus, and hid several data files in his recorded sessions. Desmond Miles, another descendant of Ezio from a later relationship, also relived his ancestor's memories in order to exploit the Bleeding Effect and inherit Ezio's skills as an Assassin. Concurrently, Desmond's sessions also allowed the modern-day Assassins to learn about the oncoming disaster, Minerva and the First Civilization,[1] the location of Ezio's Apple of Eden,[5] and the location of the Grand Temple.[14]

In 2013, Abstergo Entertainment recovered Desmond's genetic material, and considered using Ezio's memories in one of their productions, seeing his charisma, looks, and youthful spirit as strong points; however, the company's marketing analysts also saw his "downward spiral of revenge" as a drawback, and interpreted his mission to spread his "corrupted Creed" throughout the world as a contradiction of the idea of free thought that he fought for. As a result, the company rejected any forthcoming production using Ezio as the main character, claiming it to be a risky investment.[18]

Personality and characteristics

"Ezio's learning fast. He reminds me of you."
―Maria to Giovanni.[src]

Ezio was raised as a young Florentine nobleman, living during the 15th and 16th century. He was brought up without knowing of the Assassins' existence, or of his heritage. A seducer of women and a playful man, Ezio possessed acrobatic skills far beyond those of his peers, barring his brother.[1]

He also came from an affluent background and had many friends, until the deaths of his father and brothers drove him out of Florence. Forced to protect his mother and sister, Ezio became an Assassin, exacting revenge on the conspirators who had betrayed his family and plotted to seize both Florence and Venice.[1]

JJE 5 v

Ezio naming himself as Uberto Alberti's killer

Initially, Ezio allowed his emotions to get the best of him, going so far as to disrespect the corpse of Vieri de' Pazzi just after his death. However, Ezio did manage to gain control of his anger and, by the time he had become a Master Assassin, could control it almost completely.[1] That said, Ezio was still prone to losing control of his emotions at the right trigger; in 1506, he beat up Duccio de Luca in a fist-fight, after the latter had insulted Ezio's sister, Claudia, for her position as the Madame of the Rosa in Fiore.[12]

However, by the time Ezio confronted Rodrigo Borgia, he had become more dedicated to his role as an Assassin, ceasing to use revenge as a motivation. He became more focused on instilling a sense of fraternity among his apprentices, and a love of the cultures they would defend from the Templars.[15] He also spared the lives of any targets that he concluded had no need to die, such as Micheletto Corella.[5]

Ezio was also passionately loyal to his family, and was pained for the rest of his life after the Auditore execution. While he was able to lay the bodies of his fallen family to rest, he continued collecting feathers during his time in Italy, as a remembrance of his youngest brother. The feather collection was part of what helped his mother recover from her depression at the loss of her sons and husband.[1]

Ezio always put protecting his mother and sister above his safety and his allegiance to the Assassins, quick to defend his sister's honor from Duccio, and always ready to help his mother, even when she was helping her daughter lead the courtesans in Rome. Claudia thought Ezio a bit overbearing at times, as shown by her journal, but knew that he was trying to help regardless, and stood by her brother with the Assassins.[5]

Ezio became more quiet and distant during his late 40s, reluctant to share information regarding his early life with associates such as Salaì, but also being more open with those he knew better and cared for.[5]

Near the end of his life, although he was still as loving and passionate when talking to his family, Ezio was far more gruff towards strangers such as Shao Jun. Although Ezio eventually warmed up to the Chinese Assassin, he explained that he wanted nothing more to do with the Assassin Order out of fear that the Templars would endanger his wife and children, presumably stemming from the deaths of his father and brothers.[15]

It could even be said that Ezio had grown paranoid of strangers since, in comparison to previous seasons, he had not hired any help for his vineyard's grape harvest despite his worsening condition. In addition, Ezio was shown to have grown somewhat forgetful, possibly increasing his uneasiness with unknown people.[15]

Ezio also seemed to be aware, or at least have a feeling, that his time was growing short, evidenced by his confession to Sofia, "I knew I would not have time to do everything, now I worry that I don't have time to do anything," as well as his preparation of a final letter in the event of his death.[15]

Equipment and skills

"Despite its age, its construction is rather advanced."
―Leonardo da Vinci, commenting on Ezio's Hidden Blade.[src]
As Good As New 4

Ezio in his Roman robes

Ezio was both a highly skilled Assassin and an adept Mentor. He learned and developed a vast array of skills, such as picking pockets, blending into crowds, armed and unarmed combat, alternative or multiple weapon attacks, stealth and public assassination techniques, freerunning and long-range combat.[1]

He was also able to use a variety of weapons and gadgets, including two Hidden Blades, a sword, throwing knives, smoke bombs, short blade and many more. Born with the ability to use Eagle Vision, Ezio could instinctively differentiate friend from foe. After talking to his captive father, he later inherited his father's Assassin robes, which he would upgrade with various armor and dyes throughout his life.[1]

An explorer, throughout his quests, Ezio scoured the cities he visited in search of Codex pages and seals from the six Assassin's tombs spread across northern Italy. The Codex pages allowed Leonardo da Vinci to upgrade his weaponry, including the addition of a wheellock firearm and poison needle concealed beneath his left Hidden Blade.[1]

By collecting the six tomb seals, Ezio gained access to the armor Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad created, which was later lost during the Fall of Monteriggioni. He also collected capes that had helped him stay incognito to city guards. The only exception to this was the cape bearing the Auditore family crest, which made him easily recognizable, due to his family's history.[1]

In 1500, during the Siege of Monteriggioni, Ezio lost most of his equipment, but was able to keep his original Hidden Blade. His blade also underwent some alterations anonymously by Niccolò Machiavelli, though he merely replaced the former leather and metal bracer with a new, fully plated version bearing a different design. Also, the former blade was replaced with a newer one that bore a black tribal design running down the center of the blade.[5]

During his time in Rome, Ezio's usual attire would be replaced by a new outfit based on elements from both his father's clothing and Altaïr's robes. He became an adept user of the crossbow, and also obtained the Armor of Brutus after stealing all the scrolls from the Followers of Romulus. In addition, Ezio also acquired poison darts and parachutes, courtesy of Leonardo da Vinci.[5]

ACB Ezio Freerun

Ezio freerunning over the Tiber

Ezio had been a very skilled freerunner from a young age. He learned how to freerun under the tutelage of either his father or older brother, and was able to move quickly and efficiently in sprinting, climbing, and jumping. In addition, he was also an enduring athlete, being able to perform all these actions without being encumbered by his large variety of weapons and armor.[1]

Despite his advancing years, Ezio Auditore's skill and speed as a freerunner increased significantly, being aware of all of his surroundings as well as planning his next move very quickly and carefully, as observed by younger Assassins such as Francesco Vecellio.[11]

Ezio's speed and abilities gave him a legendary status among the Roman Thieves Guild, so far as going to convince some of the members to believe that Ezio's freerunning skills were exaggerated, and blatantly impossible for someone his age.[5]

By 1511, at age 52, Ezio still retained his athletic abilities and skill in combat. His Eagle Vision had evolved into Eagle Sense, enabling him to track enemies, determine targets, and find lost books around Constantinople. He acquired the hookblade from his fellow Master Assassin and close friend, Yusuf Tazim, and quickly mastered its utility in freerunning and combat.[14]

He also made use of bomb-crafting after it had been introduced to him by Yusuf and Piri Reis. After discovering the ten memoir pages of Ishak Pasha scattered across Constantinople, Ezio explored the Hagia Sophia and recovered his armor.[14]

After he retired, Ezio's physique degraded significantly.[15] By 1524, Ezio's stamina and agility had decreased to the point where he could barely run across his own grape field, whereas before he could sprint for three-hundred meters uninterrupted. If not for neglecting his training, then Ezio's drastic physical deterioration was due to old age and illness, though he retained his heightened sense of awareness.[15]

Even with his severe handicaps, Ezio was still able to overpower three Chinese swordsmen with only his fireplace poker. He was even able to use the poker as an improvised hookblade, using it to throw an attacker across the room before hurling it into his skull. However, Ezio was completely outmatched by the last enemy in terms of strength, and would have definitely been killed had the attacker not succumbed to the injuries inflicted by both Ezio and Shao Jun.[15]

Ezio took quite a beating for a man his age during the assault on his Villa, and this may have contributed to his passing not long after Jun's departure, though it is more likely that his heart simply could not handle the amount of stress he had gone through.[15]

Romantic life

"A minute is all I need! [...] Wait... that came out wrong."
―Ezio to Cristina Vespucci, 1476.[src]

Ezio was known for his good looks, flirtatious nature and predisposition for womanizing.[1][3][4] Though the latter part of his life was centered around his hunt for Rodrigo Borgia, Ezio shared multiple romantic relationships with a number of different women.[4]

Nightcap 4

Ezio and Cristina kissing in her room

By 1476, Ezio had had many encounters with various unnamed Florentine girls and courtesans before the execution of his family, insulting Vieri de' Pazzi by suggesting that his sister seemed quite satisfied with the "handling" he had given her earlier.[1]

That year, Ezio was in a permanent relationship of sorts with Cristina Vespucci, though against the wishes of her father. Following his street brawl with Vieri de' Pazzi on the Ponte Vecchio, Ezio visited Cristina during the night, despite his brother's request otherwise. He was chased out by Cristina's father the next morning, and subsequently had to flee the city guards.[1]

Two years later, when Ezio returned to Florence, Cristina was engaged to Manfredo Soderini, though she admitted to still loving Ezio. Eight years later, when Cristina and Manfredo traveled to Venice for Carnevale, Ezio, posing as her husband, wrote to her asking her to come to meet him, to which Cristina complied. As both wore Carnevale masks, she did not recognize him until he kissed her.[5]

Cristina then removed his mask and asked Ezio how he dared kiss her like that, telling him she never wanted to see him again. When Ezio tried to stop her, she explained that if he really loved her, he would not simply have let Manfredo marry her.[5]

When Ezio returned to Florence again in 1497, he learned from a wounded Manfredo that he and Cristina had been attacked by Savonarola's men. Ezio tracked down Cristina and killed her assailants. As he proceeded to take Cristina to a doctor, she died in his arms, after telling him that she wished that they could have had a second chance together.[5] Ezio wrote years later that he felt something "withered" in him after her death.[14]

Tutti a Bordo 5

Ezio helping Caterina onto the gondola

Before meeting with Cristina during Carnevale, and while trying to find a way to Venice, Ezio accompanied his friend, Leonardo da Vinci, to Forlì. He was initially refused passage aboard the ship to Venice, but his fortunes changed after encountering Caterina Sforza, who had become stranded on a small island with no means of escape.[1]

Ezio rescued her, and she repaid the favor by granting him passage to Venice. She also told him that the next time he returned to Forlì, it would "be her pleasure" to entertain him. Moments later, after Ezio revealed to his close friend that Caterina was a future conquest and his type of woman, Leonardo informed Ezio of the lady's identity and that she was married to the Count of the city.[1]

Also, at some point during his time in Forlì, Ezio encountered a girl named Amelia. During this encounter, Amelia and two of her friends were discussing whether anyone could beat their record in a horseback riding race. Ezio took on the challenge in return for a "private riding lesson" with Amelia should he prove successful, which he was.[1]

MSMD 1

Ezio flirting with Rosa

When Ezio arrived in Venice for the first time, an unknown young woman attempted to pickpocket him. Later the same day, Ezio witnessed the woman and a group of thieves attempting to scale the Palazzo della Seta. The attempt ended in failure, and the girl was shot in the leg by an archer.[1]

Ezio intervened, defending her from Emilio Barbarigo's thugs. Upon helping her to get to safety, he learned that her name was Rosa, and that she was a member of the city's Thieves Guild. At first, Rosa's attitude towards Ezio was very aggressive and unfriendly, but after he saved her, she became much more amiable.[1]

While trying to acquire the Golden Mask, Ezio was seen flirting with many of Sister Teodora's courtesans. After the Carnevale challenges, when Ezio went up to accept the Golden Mask as his prize for victory, he was accompanied by a courtesan. After assassinating Marco Barbarigo and seeking sanctuary in the brothel, Ezio flirted with Sister Teodora, who invited several of her girls to "comfort" Ezio.[1]

Vilified 1 v

Ezio and Caterina Sforza together in bed

Since their first meeting in Forlì, Ezio's feelings for Caterina Sforza developed, and in January 1500, Ezio had an intimate encounter with her, sleeping with her in the Villa Auditore before it was besieged by Cesare Borgia and his army.[5]

After her capture, Ezio sank into a state of near depression, where his feelings for Caterina conflicted with his suspicion that she was merely using him. Despite this impression, Ezio was determined to rescue her from the Castel Sant'Angelo, disregarding the insistence of Niccolò that Cesare and Rodrigo Borgia should be the focus of his attention.[9]

During their escape, Caterina hesitantly explained to Ezio that the night they had shared had only been in the name of politics, as she had needed his help in defending Forlì. Ezio continued to hope that his feelings for Caterina were reciprocated, though she soon informed him otherwise. Despite his subsequent decision to no longer pursue Caterina's affections, the two remained close allies for the sake of the Brotherhood.[9]

Homecoming 3

Ezio with Sofia Sartor

While on a ship arriving in Constantinople, Ezio briefly saw Sofia Sartor, who was traveling from Rhodes and returning to her bookstore. He attempted to talk to her, but she was too distracted to pay attention to him. Later, Ezio met Sofia again at her store while searching for the Masyaf Keys. The two worked out a bargain: if she helped Ezio track down the keys, he would retrieve and give her some of the books the Polos had hidden.[14]

In an attempt to keep Sofia away from the Assassin and Templar fight, Ezio kept Sofia in the dark about the purpose of his search, and attempted to keep his relationship with her platonic. However, as time went on, Ezio grew to admire Sofia more, and would often linger at her shop to be with her. Sofia also came to adore Ezio as well, asking him to be her escort to Adrianople (which Ezio had to reluctantly decline due to his search). She also arranged a picnic for the two of them in a park near Hagia Sophia.[14]

When Ezio left Constantinople to assassinate Manuel Palaiologos, he asked Yusuf Tazim to keep Sofia safe. However, the Templar Ahmet, knowing of their relationship, dispatched a group of soldiers to kidnap her. While Yusuf managed to hold back many of the soldiers, he was eventually killed, and Sofia was captured.[14]

Upon learning this, Ezio flew into a rage and attacked the Arsenal in great force with the local Assassins. He eventually submitted to Ahmet's demands however, as he still held Sofia, and gave up the Masyaf Keys. However, after being rescued, Sofia helped Ezio chase after Ahmet and retrieve what had been taken.[14]

Ezio and Sofia eventually traveled to Altaïr's library in May 1512.[14] Once Ezio decided to retire as an Assassin, the two left Masyaf and wed each other, before the couple moved to a villa outside Florence, where they would eventually raise their son and daughter. In 1524, Ezio died of a heart attack, and his final words were in a letter addressed to Sofia, where he commented that the love he had for her and their children was what had kept him going in his old age.[15]

Trivia

Assassin's Creed II

  • The names "Ezio" and "Altaïr" had similar meanings and origins. "Altaïr" meant "the flying one", while "Ezio" meant "eagle". "Altaïr" also came from the name of the brightest star in the constellation Aquila, which also translated to "eagle".
  • Ezio's Animus database only detailed his life before he became an Assassin, holding no information on his life within the Order; unlike his later ones in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood and Assassin's Creed: Revelations.
  • Throughout Italy, Ezio would only remove his hood during cutscenes if he was wearing his father's Assassin robes.
  • If Desmond chose to play Sequence 13 before Sequence 12, by clearing the DLC cache, Ezio's beard would disappear until he killed Checco Orsi.
  • In a very rare glitch, after completing the blending mission for Paola, Ezio's hood would appear down when it is supposed to be up. This showed that the character model for Ezio was the same as Desmond.
  • While wearing the Florentine Noble Attire, Ezio had the same movement animations as Desmond, before switching to animations similar to Altaïr's after acquiring his father's robes.
  • In the brawl against Vieri de' Pazzi, Ezio got a deep gash on his lip from a thrown rock. However, in Assassin's Creed: Renaissance, the wound was situated on his forehead instead.
  • In Assassin's Creed: Renaissance, it was stated that Ezio was grey-eyed. Despite that, in Assassin's Creed II, Brotherhood, Revelations and Embers, Ezio was depicted with amber-colored eyes.

Assassin's Creed II: Discovery

  • In his biography, Ezio's title was misspelled, listing him as "Ezio Auditore de Firenze" instead of "Ezio Auditore da Firenze".

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood

  • Although Ezio received the brand on his left hand's ring finger when being inducted into the Order, it wasn't shown on his hand in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, and never re-appeared.
  • It was revealed that Ezio could speak some French, as there were "a couple of French girls in Firenze".
    • During his infiltration of the Baron de Valois' camp, Ezio was demanded by a guard (due to his peculiar French accent) as to what part of France he was from. He replied with "Montréal", which was a reference to Ubisoft Montreal, the company mainly responsible for the Assassin's Creed series.
  • In promotional art for Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, Ezio was shown with two identical bracers for his Hidden Blades. However, it was not possible in Rome to obtain a bracer for Ezio's right arm that matched the first one.
    • As well as this, Ezio was shown with only the left Plate Armor pauldron, while the other was missing. However, it was not possible to manage Ezio's pauldrons in such a way.
  • In the Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood novel, Ezio lost all his Codex inventions (the Hidden Gun, the Poison Blade, and the second Hidden Blade) during the Villa attack; whereas in the game, Ezio only lost the Armor of Altaïr, the Metal Cestus and the second Hidden Blade, despite mentioning that he had lost every one of the Codex inventions.
  • Ezio's wound during the Villa attack prevented him from performing the climb leap maneuver naturally. However in Rome Da Vinci supplied him with an improved Metal Cestus which allowed him to make the same maneuver.
  • Ezio's storyline, emphasizing his loneliness, was inspired by George Clooney's character in the film Up in the Air.[19]

Assassin's Creed: The Secret Crusade

  • Ezio was briefly mentioned in the novel Assassin's Creed: The Secret Crusade. At the beginning of the book, he was stated as standing on the deck of the ship to Constantinople, before returning to his quarters to read Niccolò Polo's journal, "La crociata segreto".

Assassin's Creed: Revelations

  • Ezio did not wear a cape on his left shoulder as he did in previous installments, though he did have one prior to being captured by the Templars at Masyaf.
    • A cape did show when he wore the Armor of Brutus outfit, however, and it retained the animation for it from Brotherhood.
  • Revelations was the only installment in which Ezio wore an outfit where the default appearance of his robes was not white.
  • Ezio's second Hidden Blade, which was broken, could still be seen if he activated them casually in the loading screen of the Animus.
  • Ezio sometimes used Turkish terms when speaking to citizens, contacts and his apprentices.
    • It was noted however that Ezio's knowledge of the Turkish language was somewhat lacking, commenting that it was "absurd", and that his Greek was "nonexistent". Though, he may have been joking, as most of his songs were intended to be taken humorously.
  • It was revealed that Ezio had some experience in playing the lute when he was younger, as he said that he "learned a few chords".
    • When singing at the party, Ezio spoke of several notable people from his past, including Rodrigo, Cesare, and Lucrezia Borgia, Vieri and Francesco de' Pazzi, Duccio, and Caterina Sforza.
  • Even if Ezio dyed his robes a different color and upgraded his armor, the robes would return to the original grey and were shown without any upgrades during the cutscenes that showed him writing letters to Claudia.
  • Upon their first meeting, Piri Reis incorrectly assumed that Ezio's name was Lothario; a lothario has come to mean a man whose main interest is seducing women. The colloquialism was fitting to Ezio's personality during his younger days, when he would often flirt with the women he met during his travels.
  • Ezio was noticeably less likely to regain balance and continue running after tumbling to the ground, most likely due to his age.

Assassin's Creed III

  • Ezio's robes were available to purchase through Uplay for Assassin's Creed III for 30 Uplay points. The robes were his Roman ones. However, the underside of the cape and the interior of the hood were white instead of the red that appeared in the game. The robe also included a leather shoulder spaulder and one Hidden Blade bracer, despite the fact that Connor was able to wield two blades.
  • Achilles Davenport mentioned Ezio during a conversation with Connor about the history of the Assassins.
  • In the visions shown to Desmond by Juno in the Grand Temple, where Ezio spoke to Minerva, Juno showed Ezio wearing his Roman robes, despite the fact he wore the Armor of Altaïr at the time. A similar error appeared in the opening cinematic, where Ezio was displayed wearing his Pilgrimage robes while talking to Minerva.

Soulcalibur V

  • Ezio appeared in the fighting game Soulcalibur V as a guest fighter. He wore his Roman robes, and used all weapon types at his disposal in said game. His alternate costume was a minor color alteration of his robes (from red and white to yellow and gray), and he could not be further customized.
  • In his Soulcalibur V appearance, Ezio was seen wearing identical Hidden Blade bracers, similar to pre-release images of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood.
  • Interestingly, Ezio had a Roman Longsword and a Stiletto dagger instead of his more powerful weapons. Also unlike other characters, Ezio had only one set of weapons, and they were exclusive to him.
  • Ezio's Soulcalibur V character art was taken from a promotional picture for Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, which featured Ezio attacking Cesare Borgia.
  • His profile image was likewise taken from his stance on the cover of Assassin's Creed II.
  • Ezio shared the same voice actor, Roger Craig Smith, with one of the series' main characters, Siegfried Schtauffen.
  • Ezio's story in the Soulcalibur world stated that he intercepted a Templar raid on Queen Isabella's boat, and after touching an unknown artifact, jumped through time to a period near to the end of the 16th century.

Others

  • Darby McDevitt, Lead Writer of Assassin's Creed: Revelations, said that it was probable that Ezio fathered children outside of his marriage to Sofia. Indeed, one unidentified child's bloodline would eventually lead to Clay Kaczmarek.
  • Ezio's Assassin's Creed II outfit could be unlocked in Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, via Uplay for 30 points.
  • A Sackboy version of Ezio's outfit from Assassin's Creed II and Assassin's Creed: Revelations could be purchased for LittleBigPlanet via the PlayStation Store.
  • In PlayStation Home, Ezio's Assassin robes from Assassin's Creed II were an outfit that could be bought.
  • Ezio was featured in the "Michael" live action commercial, part of the Long Live Play advertisement of Sony. There, he gave tribute to the gamer Michael for playing his part when "the Templars murdered his family", then chanted Michael's name in unison with the rest of the characters.
  • So far, Neca had manufactured highly detailed figures of Ezio. The White Edition included Ezio in his default robes with two Hidden Blades, though only the right arm one was removable. The Black Edition included Ezio with a single Hidden Blade, along with his robes dyed in the Wetlands Ebony fashion and wearing the Missaglias armor. Later, they fashioned a figure that resembled Ezio in his default robes in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, though it was never included in any game version, and could only be bought separately.
  • On the Xbox 360, it was possible to purchase Ezio's Robes from Assassin's Creed II, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, and Assassin's Creed: Revelations as avatar outfits, costing 400 Microsoft points each.
  • It had been confirmed by writer Darby McDevitt that Ezio and Altaïr were not related, but came from two different sides of Desmond's family.
  • Ezio Auditore was featured in the Spike Video Game Awards of 2010 as part of his nomination for Character of the Year. When he was mentioned among the nominees, he addressed the crowd about his nomination, and how they should be cautious about the Templars.
    • Another vignette was made in case he won, and was shown during the end credits of the show due to another winner being declared. Holding the Spike trophy, Ezio was named Best Dressed Assassin. Ezio then thanked the crowd and his associates during his time in Rome, and dedicated the award to Mario Auditore.
  • Ezio appeared in a short TV advertisement for Assassin's Creed: Revelations, along with athletes Adrian Peterson, BJ Penn, and Derrick Rose, from the NFL, UFC, and NBA respectively. Ezio was shown last, putting on his hood. During Ezio's interval, it stated that he had done 90,793 hits.
  • Ezio's Revelations outfit appeared as a bonus outfit for Noel Kreiss in Final Fantasy XIII-2.

References

Animuslogowhite An image gallery is available for
Ezio Auditore da Firenze
  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1.37 1.38 1.39 1.40 1.41 1.42 1.43 1.44 1.45 1.46 1.47 1.48 1.49 1.50 1.51 1.52 1.53 1.54 1.55 1.56 1.57 1.58 1.59 1.60 1.61 1.62 1.63 1.64 1.65 1.66 1.67 1.68 1.69 1.70 1.71 1.72 1.73 1.74 1.75 1.76 1.77 1.78 1.79 Assassin's Creed II
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Assassin's Creed Encyclopedia
  3. 3.0 3.1 Assassin's Creed: Lineage
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 Assassin's Creed: Renaissance
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 5.22 5.23 5.24 5.25 5.26 5.27 5.28 5.29 5.30 5.31 5.32 5.33 5.34 5.35 5.36 5.37 5.38 5.39 5.40 5.41 5.42 5.43 5.44 5.45 5.46 5.47 5.48 5.49 5.50 5.51 5.52 5.53 5.54 5.55 5.56 5.57 5.58 5.59 5.60 5.61 5.62 5.63 5.64 5.65 5.66 5.67 5.68 5.69 Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 Assassin's Creed II - Battle of Forlì
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 Assassin's Creed II: Discovery
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Assassin's Creed II - Bonfire of the Vanities
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 9.12 9.13 9.14 9.15 9.16 9.17 9.18 9.19 9.20 9.21 9.22 9.23 9.24 9.25 9.26 9.27 9.28 9.29 9.30 Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (novel)
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 10.8 Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood - Copernicus Conspiracy
  11. 11.0 11.1 Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy
  12. 12.00 12.01 12.02 12.03 12.04 12.05 12.06 12.07 12.08 12.09 12.10 12.11 12.12 12.13 12.14 12.15 12.16 12.17 12.18 12.19 12.20 12.21 12.22 12.23 12.24 Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood - The Da Vinci Disappearance
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 13.7 13.8 13.9 Assassin's Creed: Revelations (novel)
  14. 14.00 14.01 14.02 14.03 14.04 14.05 14.06 14.07 14.08 14.09 14.10 14.11 14.12 14.13 14.14 14.15 14.16 14.17 14.18 14.19 14.20 14.21 14.22 14.23 14.24 14.25 14.26 14.27 14.28 14.29 14.30 Assassin's Creed: Revelations
  15. 15.00 15.01 15.02 15.03 15.04 15.05 15.06 15.07 15.08 15.09 15.10 15.11 15.12 15.13 15.14 15.15 15.16 15.17 15.18 15.19 Assassin's Creed: Embers
  16. Assassin's Creed: The Chain
  17. Assassin's Creed: The Fall - Issue #3
  18. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
  19. CVG: Assassin's Creed Brotherhood: What does Ezio have in common with George Clooney?

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