- "The man redefines the term 'friends in high places'. He's untouchable."
- ―Napoleon on Rouille, 1791.[src]
Personally recruited by Grand Master François-Thomas Germain, Rouille used the men under his command, as well his torture skills, for the benefit of the Order. He participated in both the storming of the Tuileries Palace and the September Massacres.
Joining the Templars
Born to a poor cobbler, Rouille was likely illiterate, as he did not leave behind any writings. He joined the Gardes Françaises in 1789, though his humble beginnings meant that he had no hope of advancing into the aristocratic officer corps of the organization. This ensured that, when the French Revolution broke out, he quickly became a fervent believer of its ideals.
Rouille was present at Honoré Mirabeau's speech at the Tennis Court Oath in June. Impressed by the man's political determination, Rouille wanted to shake hands with Mirabeau, but was brushed off. At that moment, he met François-Thomas Germain, who offered to induct him into his radical faction within the Templar Order, to which Rouille accepted.
Like the majority of the Gardes Françaises, Rouille ended up defecting to the National Guard, where, unhindered by his origins, he quickly rose through the ranks and became Captain. On 31 March 1791, Rouille traveled to the Hôtel de Beauvais, where a Templar meeting had been scheduled. Shortly before he joined his compatriots, he went into a seperate room where a man was being held and tortured him. Once the captive gave Rouille the information he needed, he was thrown out of the window.
Subsequently called to the meeting by Aloys la Touche, Rouille reported his findings to Germain, stating that King Louis XVI had secretly been plotting against the revolution. He suggested they simply murder the King to progress Templar control, but Germain wanted Louis XVI to die a condemned man by way of public execution. They also discussed Rouille's concerns regarding Élise de la Serre, who was in the process of rallying the conservative faction of the Templars, with Germain reassuring him that she would be dealt with shortly. As Germain had encountered the Assassin Arno Dorian that same day, Rouille promised to tighten security and ensure Germain's safety.
- "Search everything! I want those documents!"
- ―Rouille upon entering the King's office, 1792.[src]
On 10 August 1792, Rouille and Antoine Joseph Santerre led an open insurrection against King Louis XVI, storming the Tuileries Palace with thousands of armed revolutionary extremists. Rouille was assigned the task of capturing the King and finding the letters he had exchanged with Mirabeau, which could give his Order the opportunity to expose and purge the Brotherhood's agents across France.
However, King Louis XVI and his family had already fled by the time the palace came under attack. After finally arriving at the King's office, Rouille and his men futilely searched for the letters, unaware that Arno had destroyed them mere moments before. Following on from this event, Napoleon Bonaparte attempted to have Rouille reassigned to a remote garrison, but because of the Templars' influence, he was allowed to remain in Paris.
- "(Ye sons of France, awake to glory, Hark, hark! what myriads bid you rise!)"
- ―Rouille singing La Marseillaise during the September Massacres, 1792.[src]
On 2 September 1792, Rouille and his men marched on the Grand Châtelet prison, where they began to slaughter guards and prisoners alike in what would become known as the September Massacres. The Templar also had the prison warden captured and began taunting him with the decapitated head of his brother, which sat upon Rouille's pike. However, his cruelty was ended not long after it had begun, with Arno assassinating Rouille at the top of the prison. Through Rouille's memories, the Assassin discovered the involvement of another Templar, Marie Lévesque, who was secretly hoarding grain to starve Paris's citizens.
Personality and characteristics
- "Now, here's the thing. I can go on like this all day. But you... You've got an hour left in you. Two at the most. Half if I bring out the sharp bits. So why not skip the endgame and go directly to mate?"
- ―Rouille threatening a captive, 1791.[src]
Due to his humble beginnings, Rouille was naturally responsive to the French Revolution's rhetoric and the ideals on which it was built; this led him to admire public speakers such as Mirabeau. However, like many French citizens, he got caught up in the revolutionary fervor and became a violent and cruel man who revelled in slaughtering perceived enemies of the revolution.
He also showed excitement at torturing a captive to acquire information and, once he was done, threw the man out of a window without a second thought. His callous nature became especially apparent during his willing participation in the September Massacres, mercilessly ordering the deaths of countless prisoners and specifically taunting the warden with the head of his brother.
- The name Frédéric is a French variant of the Germanic name Fridric, which is derived from frid meaning "peace" and ric "ruler, powerful". His surname, Rouille, is french for rust.
- Abstergo Industries' database entry for Rouille claimed that he was killed at the Conciergerie prison, rather than the Grand Châtelet.
- Rouille is the only Templar of Germain's faction that goes unmentioned in the Unity novel.