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Florence, Republic of Florence
Ezio Auditore navigated through an uncommonly confused crowd to a bridge, in order to meet and discuss matters with Niccolò Machiavelli. They met in the Oltrarno district of Florence and discussed the current events in the city, as well as the rule of Girolamo Savonarola. The pair then made their way to the Palazzo Pitti, where they saw Florentine and Borgia guards fighting in the streets, before they quickly came up with a plan to topple Savonarola's tyranny.
Ezio hurried through Florence to meet with Machiavelli at the Oltarno bridge. As he made his way through the city, he overheard bits and pieces of civilian conversations.
- Civilian 1: ...If Piero had only a tenth of his father's talent, we'd still have someplace to call home...
- Civilian 2: ...Never should have welcomed that mad monk into the city. Look at all the misery he's wrought...
- Civilian 3: ...Don't understand why they'd be so willing to accept his oppression...
- Monk: ...Just threw us out! Said all we owned belonged to the Chiesa di San Marco (Church of San Marco) now...
- Civilian 4: ...Even Botticelli sides with that monster. It's sorcery! How else to explain it...
- Civilian 5: ...Book burnings, arrests, incessant sermonizing. Firenze was meant to stand as a beacon against such ignorance, and yet here we are, mired in it once more...
- Civilian 6: Sometimes I wish the Assassino (Assassin) would return to Firenze, that we might be free of this tyranny.
- Civilian 7: It's just a myth! A story parents tell their children.
- Civilian 6: No, my father saw him years ago- San Gimignano.
- Civilian 7: Sure. Sure. Se lo dici tu (If you say so.)
Ezio met Machiavelli on the Oltrarno bridge.
- Machiavelli: Salve (Hello) Ezio. You picked a fine time for a homecoming.
- Ezio: Then it's true? Savonarola has taken control over Firenze?
- Machiavelli: Yes. No doubt aided by that treacherous artifact.
- Ezio: We should get to work on retrieving it.
- Machiavelli: That may be more complicated than you think.
- Ezio: Hah! When isn't it? Why don't you fill me in on things?
- Machiavelli: Walk with me.
Ezio and Machiavelli began to walk together.
- Machiavelli: It all started a few weeks ago. The man everyone once reviled was suddenly the one they worshiped.
- Ezio: Ah, the Apple?
- Machiavelli: Only in part. It's not the city he's enthralled, but its leaders: men possessed of influence and power. They, in turn, oppress the citizens and ensure his will is done.
- Ezio: The people act as if they have no say in the matter.
- Machiavelli: Rare is the man who is willing to oppose the status quo. And so it falls to us to help them see the truth.
Ezio and Machiavelli came across the bodies of several dead Borgia soldiers.
- Ezio: These bodies bear the emblem of the Borgia...
- Machiavelli: Yes. The Spaniard keeps sending his soldiers into Firenze, and Firenze keeps sending them back – usually in pieces.
- Ezio: Then he knows the Apple is here as well... An unfortunate complication.
Ezio and Machiavelli continued on their way to the Palazzo Pitti, however, they soon encountered some opposition. As Ezio and Machiavelli dealt with the attackers swiftly, they arrived at the Palazzo Pitti shortly after.
- Ezio: A direct assault would be dangerous. Especially with the Apple in his possession.
- Machiavelli: True. But what other option is there?
- Ezio: Aside from the city's leaders, the people's minds are their own, correct?
- Machiavelli: Sì.
- Ezio: And they follow Savonarola not by choice, but force and fear?
- Machiavelli: Sì.
- Ezio: Then I propose we use this to our advantage. If we can silence his lieutenants and stir up discontent, he will be distracted and I will have a chance to strike.
- Machiavelli: Clever. I'll speak with La Volpe and Paola. They can help to organize the uprising as you free districts.
- Ezio: Then it's settled. I'll take care of his abettors.
Ezio and Machiavelli devised a plan to overthrow Savonarola, which involved killing his nine lieutenants and rallying the people with the help of Paola and La Volpe.