- "I am sorry it had to come to this. Two men who should be friends, quarreling over the keys to a library. We both strive for the same end, Ezio. Only our methods differ."
- ―Ahmet to Ezio Auditore da Firenze.[src]
The fight for the Masyaf Keys was an event that occurred in Constantinople during 1512.
Near the end of his mission in Cappadocia, and after the death of Manuel Palaiologos, the Assassin Ezio Auditore da Firenze was approached by the Ottoman Prince Ahmet, who revealed his true allegiance to the Byzantine Templars.
After Ezio refused to hand over the Masyaf Keys he had recovered, Ahmet threatened to harm Sofia Sartor, the woman who had assisted Ezio in locating the artifacts, and his love interest. Disregarding Ezio's threats, Ahmet and his men sailed back to Constantinople.
Ezio wasted no time and hurriedly escaped Cappadocia, making his way back to his boat to sail immediately for Constantinople.
Inspecting Sofia's bookshop
- "Brothers. Sisters. The whole city rises against us while Yusuf's murderer waits and watches from the arsenal, laughing. Fight with me, and show him what it means to cross the Assassins."
- ―Ezio, after giving Yusuf his final rites.[src]
Entering the bookshop, Ezio discovered it in disarray after an apparent battle against the Byzantine soldiers. Corpses were scattered upon the floor, and as Ezio moved further into the shop, he found the body of the leader of the Turkish Assassins, Yusuf Tazim, on a bench leaning against a wall. On closer inspection of the body, Ezio found a piece of paper held in place by a dagger piercing his back.
Removing the knife, Ezio gave Yusuf his final rites, saying that he had earned his rest. At that moment, a group of the Assassin apprentices arrived, and Ezio rallied them for battle against the soldiers in the Arsenal, in which Ahmet lay in wait.
Invading the Arsenal
- Suleiman: "Spare my uncle, if you can."
- Ezio: "Would your father?"
- Suleiman: "No."
- —Suleiman and Ezio, regarding what was to become of Ahmet.[src]
With the other Assassins, Ezio launched a full-scale assault on Constantinople's Arsenal, facing a legion of Byzantine soldiers. Despite encountering wave after wave of Byzantine defenders, the Assassins, enraged by the death of Yusuf, surged forward, breaking the lines of their enemies. As a countless number of Assassin and Templar blades clashed around him, Ezio searched for Ahmet, and finally discovered him in a secluded area of the Arsenal.
Ezio swiftly pinned Ahmet down, with his Hidden Blade an inch away from his throat. Ezio demanded that he reveal Sofia's location, though Ahmet reminded him that he was in no position to negotiate. The two then argued about the goals they shared, though discussed the differences in their means to achieve them. Afterwards, Ahmet instructed Ezio to meet him with the Masyaf Keys at Galata Tower in exchange for Sofia's life. With that, Ahmet left the area.
Suddenly, Suleiman I, who had been eavesdropping the entire time, revealed himself to Ezio. He admitted grief over the discovery of his uncle's true allegiances, but said that he knew that he must be stopped. Before Ezio left, Suleiman asked Ezio to spare Ahmet if he could, though when asked if his father, Selim I, would do the same, he admitted that he would not. The two then parted.
- Ezio: "I did not mean to drag you into this. I am sorry."
- Sofia: "You are not responsible for the actions of other men."
- ―Ezio and Sofia, after her rescue.[src]
Returning to the Assassins' headquarters, Ezio gathered the Masyaf Keys and prepared to meet with the other Assassins. Ezio spoke briefly to the mourning apprentices, and appointed Dogan, Yusuf's lieutenant, to lead the others in honor of their fallen Brother. He then instructed the other Assassins to take position near to the tower, and prepared to meet the Byzantines.
At the meeting point, Ezio asked for Sofia's location, though Ahmet did not answer. When Ahmet sent his men to detain Ezio, the Assassin summoned his apprentices, bringing their numbers to a stalemate. Again, Ezio asked for Sofia, to which Ahmet replied to by pointing to the top of the Galata Tower, where Sofia, with a burlap sack over her head, was being held by a Byzantine guard.
Ahmet told Ezio to order his men to stand down and hand over the keys, to which he complied. With the keys in his possession, Ahmet left Ezio's audience and allowed him to rescue Sofia.
Ezio hastily climbed to the top of the tower and saved Sofia, or so he thought. After removing the mask, Ezio discovered that he saved a different woman who had been dressed to look like Sofia. Scouring the city from the top of the tower, Ezio saw the real Sofia, being choked to death by a rope hung from a tree. Ezio instantly leapt from the tower and deployed a parachute to quickly reach and save Sofia.
After being rescued from possible death, Sofia admitted that she was more confused than hurt. Ezio apologized, stating that he did not mean to drag her into his affairs, though Sofia commented that he was not responsible for the actions of others. Abruptly, a group of Byzantines tried to intercept Ezio and Sofia, though the two managed to flee on a carriage. Taking control of the vehicle, Ezio rode to meet Ahmet by Constantinople's countryside.
Conflict at the countryside
- Ahmet: "So what now, Ezio? How does this end?"
- Ezio: "I am wondering that myself."
- ―Ezio and Ahmet, after their fight.[src]
With Sofia, Ezio drove the carriage and chased after Ahmet through the countryside. As he did, Ezio was attacked by two other Byzantine carriages, which he quickly drove off the road. However, his carriage collided with a nearby wall, throwing Sofia off, though she managed to grab the wagon's edge.
While trying to help her, Ezio slipped and fell to the ground, just barely catching a rope tied to the back of the carriage. He quickly tied a parachute to the rope and released it, drawing himself up into the air behind the carriage. Following this, Sofia recovered her seat and took control of the carriage, as Ezio remained tethered into the air just above her.
Sofia continued the chase after Ahmet, however, several Byzantines on horseback chased after her carriage. Ezio, still gliding with the parachute, maneuvered down close enough to dispatch the men with either his Hookblade or the Hidden Blade. In the midst of the chase, Sofia was forced to take several detours, destroying several market stalls, and navigating through small villages. Eventually, Ezio and Sofia caught up with Ahmet.
When Sofia tried to get close, Ahmet smashed his carriage into hers, destroying the wheels with its spiked rims. As Sofia's carriage came to a halt, she bade that Ezio should go on without her. Letting go of the rope, Ezio dropped down to a small plateau, and sprinted to meet Ahmet's carriage. Ezio leapt forward and collided into Ahmet, throwing both the Templar and himself over a cliff.
As they fell, Ahmet and Ezio fought each other, with Ezio eventually gaining the upper hand. As they drew closer to the ground, Ezio had another parachute prepared, and utilized it just before they hit the hills below them. With Ahmet latched onto him, Ezio directed them both to safety, and dropped down into a nearby village.
The new Sultan
- "Were it not for [Suleiman's] endorsement, I would have you killed where you stand. Leave this place, and do not return."
- ―Selim to Ezio.[src]
Quickly, Ezio retrieved the Masyaf Keys that had fallen beside him, and as he and Ahmet recovered, the Templar asked what would happen next, to which Ezio replied that he was wondering the same thing. At that moment, a platoon of Ottoman soldiers and Janissaries arrived, with the Ottoman Prince Selim leading them.
In a panic, Ahmet told the Ottomans that Selim was not their leader, and that they should only follow the word of their Sultan, Bayezid II, his father. When Ahmet asked where the Sultan was, Selim answered that he himself was the Sultan, and that their father had made his choice.
Knowing of his brother's actions, Selim choked Ahmet, even as he begged for mercy. Despite Ahmet's pleas, Selim continued to strangle him, and eventually pushed him off a nearby cliff to his death. Shortly afterwards, Sofia arrived at the scene, just as the new Sultan formally introduced himself to Ezio, and stated that his son Suleiman spoke highly of him.
As Ezio praised Selim's son, Selim continued to say that had it not been for Suleiman's word, he would have had the Assassin killed right there. He then ordered Ezio to leave Constantinople, and never return. Enraged, Ezio drew his sword, but was stopped by Sofia. Selim only laughed as he calmly left with his soldiers.
Sofia comforted Ezio, saying that he had done the right thing, though Ezio remained doubtful.
After the death of Ahmet, Selim returned to Constantinople and began his reign as the new Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. Ezio returned to the Assassin fortress of Masyaf with Sofia, ready to open the door to Altaïr's library.