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Eraicon-Assassins

"We've been fighting them for thousands of years. Even longer if you believe the stories of their origins. I do."
―William Miles about the Assassins' struggle against the Templars.[src]

The history of the Assassins spans thousands of years, from the dawn of humanity until the modern era. Though the Assassins in their modern capacity were only founded during the Middle Ages, their predecessors were notably active during the end of the reigns of King Xerxes I, Emperor Qin Shi Huang and Alexander the Great, and into Ptolemaic Egypt and the Roman Empire. After their rebirth as the Assassins, they operated throughout the rest of history.

Throughout their existence, the Assassins and their precursors were continuously entangled with the Order of the Knights Templar and their respective precursors.

History

Ancient world

Precursor activities

"The Mentor's role is to oversee and coordinate the actions of our Order in the pursuit of harmony through free will. In the old days, that usually meant killing anyone who became too powerful or greedy."
―The Mentor about the Order's methods, 2000.[src]
Darius

Darius, the oldest known proto-Assassin

The first traces of the Assassin ideology can be traced back to the dawn of humanity, when humanity first rebelled against their Isu creators. Adam and Eve led the humans in a fight for free will and liberty from oppression, making them the first proto-Assassins.[1]

The first known assassination carried out by those who would later be considered proto-Assassins took place in 465 BC,[2] when the Persian Artabanus, who adopted the name Darius,[3] killed King Xerxes I,[2] whose reign was aided by proto-Templars.[4] This was the first usage of the Hidden Blade, which would become the Assassins' iconic weapon.[2]

Some hundred years later, in the 4th century BC, an ancient Order that served as precursors to the Assassins operated, and counted Iltani among its members.[5] In 323 BCE, she halted the advance of Alexander the Great, an ally of proto-Templars,[4] when she fatally poisoned him and attempted to retrieve his Staff of Eden.[2]

In 210 BC, the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, also affiliated with proto-Templars,[4] was killed by Wei Yu for his tyrannical rule over the Chinese people.[2]

Formation of the Hidden Ones

Aya: "When we assassinate, we assassinate only those who deserve it. The few sick souls who try to control us... but they will never know who we are. Cold, calculated poets of the kill."
Bayek: "I am fine with this. I am not a father anymore. I am not a husband. I am not a Medjay. I am a Hidden One."
―Bayek and Aya during the inception of their brotherhood, 47 BCE.[src]

In 49 BCE, members of the Order of the Ancients, a group that would later develop into the Knights Templar, travelled to the Siwa Oasis in Egypt to discover more about an Isu vault hidden beneath the Temple of Amun. In doing so, they kidnapped the local protector, the Medjay Bayek, and his young son Khemu to push the Medjay for information. The altercation led to the death of his son, sending Bayek and his wife Aya on a quest for vengeance against the Ancients. After killing his first target Rudjek, Bayek returned to Siwa to kill the priest Medunamun, from whom he obtained an Apple of Eden.[6]

EgyptsMedjay 01

Bayek and Aya consorting with Cleopatra

Aya was bound to her duties as protector to Queen Cleopatra, who was engaged in a civil war with her brother Ptolemy XIII, supported by the Ancients. During her absence, Bayek hunted the men responsible, forming a network of people opposing the Ancients and supporting Cleopatra. As Bayek took down most of the Order's network, his and Aya's attentions shifted to helping Cleopatra secure an alliance with Pompey the Great against Ptolemy to get support from the Roman Republic.[6]

When the Ancients had Pompey murdered, they helped her meet with Pompey's rival, general Julius Caesar, in Alexandria, which formed a successful alliance. The two later aided Cleopatra by unlocking the door to the tomb of Alexander the Great. However, this allowed the Ancients – who were manipulating Caesar and Cleopatra as well – to obtain Alexander's Staff of Eden, having taken the Apple of Eden from Cleopatra's follower Apollodorus the Sicilian.[6]

In 47 BCE, after Caesar and Cleopatra betrayed Bayek and Aya under the Ancients' influence, the two returned to Siwa to stop the Order's leader Flavius Metellus, finding only an opened vault. Bayek tracked Flavius down, exacting revenge for their son and reacquiring the Apple.[6]

Meanwhile, Aya had recruited the Roman Senators Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus, enemies of Caesar, to their cause, determined to leave for Rome to combat the Ancients there. Before leaving, Bayek and Aya named their new brotherhood the Hidden Ones, laying out the foundation of the Creed and their customs. They each established bureaus in Memphis and Rome.[6]

Early assassinations

"[Caesar] has created his own private senate, filled with deceivers, manipulators, people who have no business in Roman affairs. My brothers are eager for blood, but I am not certain I can spill it."
―Marcus Junius Brutus on Julius Caesar, c. 44 BCE.[src]

By 44 BCE, Julius Caesar had become the new figurehead of the Order of the Ancients, with Lucius Septimius as his right hand. With Aya as their leader,[6] Brutus and Cassius spearheaded a conspiracy with thirty-eight other Roman Senators who opposed Caesar's imperialist ideals after he was appointed dictator for life.[7]

FallofanEmpireRiseofAnother11

Aya dealing Caesar the first blow

On 15 March 44 BCE, Aya, Brutus and Cassius went to the Theatre of Pompey where the Roman Senate was to convene. While Brutus and Cassius went to the curia, Aya fought and killed Septimius, before joining her brothers in the Senate. Aya was the first one to strike at Caesar, followed by the Roman Senators, resulting in Caesar's assured death. Shortly after, Aya adopted the name Amunet.[6]

Brutus and Cassius were forced to flee from Rome, and a civil war ensued. The armies of Gaius Cassius Longinus and Marcus Junius Brutus were confronted by the army of Marcus Antonius and Octavian at Philippi, and Cassius was killed in the ensuing battle. Faced with inevitable defeat, Brutus committed suicide; his Brothers attempted to revive him using one of the Shrouds of Eden, but were only briefly successful.[8]

After Caesar's death, the Hidden Ones continued to be at odds with the Order of the Ancients, now under the leadership of Octavian. In 38 BCE, the Hidden Ones in the Sinai Peninsula faced trouble from one of Caesar's former generals, Gaius Julius Rufio. Through his three subordinates, Ptahmose, Ampelius and Tacito, Rufio oppressed the people of the Sinai and exploited its resources. Tahira, the local bureau leader, asked Bayek for help, who took down Rufio's vassals.[9]

In retaliation, the Roman soldiers destroyed the Hidden Ones' bureau and imprisoned Bayek and Tahira. Bayek was rescued by Aya, whom had received word of the Sinai bureau's troubles. Though they rescued Tahira, she succumbed to her injuries from the bureau attack. With new determination, Bayek infiltrated Rufio's fleet off the Sinai coast and killed Rufio. Upon discovering that his ally Gamilat had triggered the Romans' brutality for personal gain, Bayek killed his friend and in doing so, established one of the first tenets of the modern Creed.[9]

In 30 BCE, thirteen years after Aya decided to spare Cleopatra's life after killing Caesar,[6] the Assassin then known as Amunet killed the Egyptian Queen in Alexandria, by using a poisonous asp.[2]

Activities in the Roman Empire

"The power of this artifact has yet to be uncovered, but the object itself possesses a strong symbolic value for our circle..."
―Lucius to his son Aquilus about the Ankh, in a message recorded by the artifact, 259.[src]

In 27 BCE, the Roman Republic had been transformed into the Roman Empire by Octavian. The third Emperor who reigned over this new empire, Caligula, was influenced by the Ancients. This turned him into a target for the Hidden One Leonius, who stabbed him in 41 AD.[2]

AC1D Aquilus Gracchus

Aquilus in General Gracchus' tent

By 259 AD, a group of Hidden Ones operated as the Liberalis Circulum (Circle of Liberals) from the city of Lugdunum. The Roman proto-Assassin Lucius tasked the Aleman Accipiter with obtaining a Precursor artifact known as the Ankh. Lucius' son Aquilus travelled to meet Accipiter,[10] but was left unconscious when his assassination of General Gracchus failed.[11] Accipiter rescued him and gave him the Ankh, which Aquilus took to his father.[10]

Lucius was murdered by his friend Caïus Fulvus Vultur, secretly a proto-Templar, and the Ankh was stolen.[10] Aquilus exacted revenge on Senator Vultur, but he was arrested by Roman guards on his return to Lugdunum. After Accipiter negotiated a truce with the Prefect of Lugdunum on behalf of the Alemanni, he attempted to rescue Aquilus, who was killed by Roman guards during Accipiter's ambush. Accipiter left the Ankh in the care of Aquilus' wife Valeria.[12]

The Hidden Ones remained active throughout the history of the Roman Empire. In 330 AD, during the reign of Constantine the Great, one Hidden One became acquianted with the Emperor.[13]

Middle Ages

Struggle in Scandinavia

Reformation in the Levant

"You cannot kill a creed. Even if you kill all of its adherents, destroy all of its writings – these are a reprieve at best. Some one, some day, will rediscover it. Reinvent it. I believe that even we, the Assassins, have simply re-discovered an Order that predates the Old Man himself..."
―An excerpt from Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad's codex, 1190s.[src]
ACM Al Mualim

Al Mualim in his youth

By 1090, the Brotherhood in the Levant had been reformed as the Order of Assassins, where it fell under the control of Hassan-i Sabbāh. In response to the Templars' reformation as a public knightly order, Sabbāh determined that the Assassins too had to become a public organization. Under his leadership, assassinations were much more often carried out in public, encouraging the people to stand up against oppression alongside the Assassins.[4]

In 1162, the Brotherhood was led by Hassan the Younger. He sent an individual who would later come to be known as Al Mualim to establish a fortress in Masyaf, which some speculated to be the consequence of an ideological rift between the two.[14]

By the 1170s, control of the Levantine Brotherhood had fallen to Al Mualim.[15] He enforced a series of rules for his Assassins, including prohibiting the use of poison, as well as promising new initiates that paradise would await them upon their deaths.[2]

In 1176, Saladin set up camp outside the Levantine Assassins' headquarters of Masyaf, intent on destroying the Brotherhood. Al Mualim sent Umar Ibn-La'Ahad to silently infiltrate Saladin's tent and plant a message, but Umar was discovered and forced to kill a nobleman. Saladin discovered Umar's name from interrogating Ahmad Sofian, and sent his uncle Šihāb ad-Dīn to negotiate peace with the Assassins; however, he called for Umar's execution, to which Al Mualim reluctantly complied.[15]

Conflict during the Third Crusade

Altaïr: "You held fire in your hand, old man. It should have been destroyed."
Al Mualim: "Destroy the only thing capable of ending the Crusades and creating true peace? Never."
―Altaïr and Al Mualim about the Apple of Eden, 1191.[src]
AC1 Solomon's Temple Altair attacks Robert

Altaïr attempting to kill Robert de Sablé

Since at least 1189,[16] Al Mualim was aware of an Apple of Eden located somewhere in the Holy Land. Unbeknownst to his subjects, he collaborated with the high-ranking members of the Knights Templar to find the artifact and, secretly, claim the Holy Land for himself. They eventually located it in an ancient vault beneath the ruins of Solomon's Temple.[17]

Before the Knights Templar could claim it, Al Mualim had three of his subjects, including Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, retrieve the artifact. Arriving at the same time as the Templars, Altaïr ignored his master's orders and decided to take his oppportunity to kill Grand Master Robert de Sablé. Though Malik Al-Sayf was gravely injured and his brother killed, he returned the artifact to Masyaf.[17]

The Knights Templar followed Altaïr back to Masyaf, where they attempted to lay siege to the fortress, but were routed by Altaïr. For breaking the tenets of the Creed, Altaïr was demoted to a novice and was sent on a quest to restore his rank of Master Assassin by killing nine notable Templar targets on both sides of the crusader conflict in Damascus, Acre and Jerusalem, winning back the trust of his master and fellow Assassins.[17]

Masyaf Confront

Al Mualim using the Apple's powers on Altaïr

After Grand Master de Sablé used his subordinate Maria Thorpe as a decoy to prevent Altaïr's attempt on his life, he wrote to meet Saladin and King Richard I of England at the Battle of Arsuf to rally them against the Assassins. Altaïr faced de Sablé in combat during his meeting with King Richard, as per the king's request, and killed the Grand Master, who in his dying moments revealed Al Mualim's treachery.[17]

Meanwhile, Al Mualim used the artifact to make his Assassins bend to his will. They ultimately faced opposition from a small group of Assassins including Altaïr and Malik. Altaïr confronted his master in the fortress' garden, where he fought off the illusions created by the Apple and ultimately killed the Mentor.[17]

Reforms and globalization attempts

"Though I ask my brothers now to abandon their rituals, I do not ask that they abandon the creed. THIS is what makes us Assassins. Not the removal of a finger. Not a false promise of paradise. Not the prohibition of poison. Our duty is to the people, not to custom."
―An excerpt of Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad's codex, 1191.[src]

After the death of Al Mualim, a minor civil war broke out stirred by Abbas Sofian. Altaïr eventually managed to become the new Mentor through gaining the support of his fellow Assassins. He initiated a series of reforms, allowing the use of poison and prohibited the taking of the ring finger and the promise of a false paradise.[2] Altaïr then left on a journey to Cyprus, the Templars' new headquarters, supporting the local resistance movement. Due to Altaïr's efforts, the Templars left the island with the artifacts from the Templar Archive in Limassol, though the Assassin managed to kill the new Grand Master Armand Bouchart,[18] gaining the island for the Assassins in the process.[2]

Assault Armand Bouchart 14

Altaïr writing in his codex

Altaïr and Malik Al-Sayf worked together on inventing new assassination techniques for the Assassins, resulting in the usage of dual Hidden Blades. All the while, Altaïr continued to study the Apple and wrote in his codex, which defined the Creed for generations to come.[2]

Altaïr and his Assassins also started visiting other countries to spread their reformed Assassin philosophy.[15] However, Altaïr was unsuccessful to spread his teachings in Constantinople in 1204, due to the chaos of the Fourth Crusade, and returned to Masyaf.[15]

First Barons' War

"Your barons are no better than the King if they take aid from the French."
―William of Cassingham justifying his allegiance to John, 1215.[src]
ACM-Robert Fitzwalter

Robert Fitzwalter during the war

In 1215, tensions rose among the aristocracy in England, when King John had fallen under the sway of the Knights Templar. In doing so, the king refused to abide by Magna Carta. This led the Assassin Robert Fitzwalter to lead the local barons in rebellion against the king, with additional support from the Kingdom of France.[19]

However, this created a rift in the Brotherhood, as the Master Assassin William of Cassingham opposed Fitzwalter's support of the barons and alliance with the French. He instead worked to support John's young son Henry. By the end of the conflict, John had passed away and Henry became the new King of England.[19]

Assassination of Genghis Khan

"A dark tide rises to the east - an army of such size and power that all the land is made quick to worry. Their leader is a man named Temujin, who has adopted the title Genghis Khan. He sweeps across the lands, conquering and subsuming all who stand in his way. Whatever his motives, he must be stopped."
―An excerpt from Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad's codex, c. 1217.[src]

Around 1217, Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad recognized the threat of the rising Mongol Empire under the leadership of Genghis Khan, and suspected him of wielding a Piece of Eden. Together with his wife and son Darim, he left the Levantine Brotherhood in the care of Malik Al-Sayf and journeyed to Mongolia. They joined forces with the fledgling Mongolian Brotherhood, and made plans to take down the Khan and stop the Mongol horde.[15]

Genghis dead

Darim and Genghis Khan moments before the latter's death

In February 1227, Darim and Qulan Gal pursued Genghis Khan's son Jochi, who was fatally poisoned by Darim.[19] In August 1227, Qulan Gal joined Altaïr in an attack on the Great Khan's camp in China, though Altaïr was wounded in the process and the Mongols were alarmed.[15]

Genghis Khan attempted to flee, but his horse was shot down by Qulan Gal, followed by Darim who killed him with another arrow.[15] The Assassins consequently rescued Gal's apprentice Nergüi, who was left disfigured.[19] With the Mongols left leadership, Altaïr and his family concluded their business in Mongolia and left their Mongols brothers for Masyaf.[15]

Fall of Masyaf

"Our tactics, too, must change. It means an end to our fortresses. [...] We must weave our webs quietly. And we must do so differently than we have in the past."
―An excerpt from Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad's codex, 1191.[src]
New regime 6

Altaïr and Maria meeting Abbas and Swami

Circa 1216, Abbas Sofian plotted the murder of Altaïr's son Sef, and framed Malik Al-Sayf for the murder. With the Levantine Brotherhood left leaderless, he installed a council with himself as its head. Altaïr and his family returned in 1228, and after meeting with Abbas, Altaïr rescued Malik from imprisonment. During their absence, Abbas' right-hand man Swami killed Malik,[15] spurring Altaïr and Maria to meet with Abbas. The meeting turned violent, resulting in the deaths of Maria and Swami. Altaïr fled with the help of his son Darim,[16] and started living in exile in Alamut,[15] while Abbas became the new Mentor of the Levantine Brotherhood.[16]

For almost twenty years, Altaïr spent his days studying the Apple of Eden, creating new inventions such as the Hidden Gun. In First Civilization ruins beneath Alamut, he discovered artifacts known as Memory Seals, six of which he took with him.[15] Meanwhile, tensions between the Assassins and Mongols rose when Qulan Gal and Nergüi respectively killed Chagatai Khan and Ögedei Khan in 1241, creating a power vacuum in the Empire.[19] Altaïr returned to Masyaf six years later and quickly gained support from the Assassins. He went on to kill Abbas and retook his title of Mentor, bringing the Brotherhood back to its former glory. He also started construction of a library beneath Masyaf.[15]

The torch 7

Altaïr entrusting the Memory Seals to Niccolò Polo

In 1256,[15] under the orders of the Templar Mongol Khan, Möngke,[20] Hülegü Khan destroyed the Assassin fortress of Alamut. Knowing the Mongols' arrival at Masyaf was imminent, Altaïr requested the travellers Niccolò and Maffeo Polo to visit their fortress. Altaïr started telling the Polo brothers his life story and trained them in the ways of the Assassins, seeing them as the Order's future.[15]

On 12 August 1257, Hülegü Khan laid siege to Masyaf. The old Mentor handed the Polos his codex and five Memory Seals, and ordered the other Assassins to abandon Masyaf, wanting his Assassins to operate amongst the people. He then locked himself in his library with the Apple of Eden and his final Memory Seal and passed away.[16]

Conflict with the Mongol Empire

"Altaïr means us to spread the word of the Assassin, that is his plan. [...] He is entrusting the spirit of the Brotherhood. He is passing the torch to us."
―Niccolò Polo in his journal The Secret Crusade, 1257.[src]

After escaping from Masyaf, the Polos were attacked by the Mongols and lost the codex. Nonetheless, they arrived in Constantinople, founded an Assassins Guild, and hid the Memory Seals in the city.[15] They journeyed to the Mongol Empire in 1259 to retrieve the codex, but their efforts were unsuccessful.[16]

That same year, the Mongols started expanding further into China, to the dismay of the Chinese Brotherhood. To halt the Mongol advance, one Assassin served as a general in the Chinese army and helped prevent the capture of Diaoyu Castle, but was killed. Later, on 11 August, his daughter Zhang Zhi, an apprentice, killed Möngke in revenge, against her Mentor Kang's wishes.[20]

ACM Marco Polo

Marco Polo during his journey through Asia

Only four years later, Nergüi carried out another high profile assassination when he killed the Templars' Russian ally Alexander Nevsky, who held a notorious alliance with the Mongols. He succeeded in exacting revenge for the Levantine Brotherhood, by killing Hülegü Khan on 8 February 1265.[19]

The Polos returned to Venice in 1269, where they laid the foundation for the Italian Brotherhood.[4] They took Niccolò's son Marco with them on their next journey to the Mongol Empire two years later. Arriving at the Mongol court in 1275, Marco Polo gained the trust of Genghis Khan's grandson Kublai Khan, and retrieved the codex from the Khan's palace in Shangdu. The Polos brought it back to Venice,[21] where they handed it to their new Brothers. Around 1296, it was under protection of the Assassin and poet Dante Alighieri, who also began training the individual later known as Domenico Auditore.[2]

Rebirth as a secret order

"In breaking the Templars' public facade, are we merely driving them into the shadows? Fifty years ago, the Templars thought us destroyed, after all. Vanishing from the public eye has proven our greatest strength in this interminable war—are we now granting the same boon to our enemies?"
―An excerpt of the journal of Thomas de Carneillon, 1307.[src]

The Assassins decided to make their continued existence known to their mortal enemies, by devising a plan to eradicate the Knights Templar. The Mentor of the French Brotherhood, Guillaume de Nogaret, poisoned his political enemy Pope Benedict XI in 1304, and exerted his influence over King Philip IV of France and the new Pope Clement V to turn them against the Knights Templar.[13]

Tragedy of Jacques de Molay 7

De Carneillon attempting to kill de Molay's advisor

On 13 October 1307, Assassins dressed as the king's mercenaries launched an assault on the Temple in Paris to arrest the Templars and their Grand Master, Jacques de Molay. Master Assassin Thomas de Carneillon also infiltrated the Temple to obtain the Codex Pater Intellectus and a Sword of Eden, though de Molay's advisor hid them in the Temple's crypt. With de Molay and numerous other Templars arrested, de Carneillon led a decade-long hunt for Templar remnants in Europe. In 1314, de Molay was executed, and the Assassins believed their mortal enemies officially disbanded.[13]

In 1321, Dante Alighieri was killed by Templars, causing Marco Polo and Domenico Auditore's father to order Domenico, Alighieri's apprentice, to take Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad's codex to Spain. Though the Templars hired pirates to attack Domenico and his family in Otranto's harbor, the Assassin hid the codex's pages from the pirates in various boxes. Three years later, the Templars had also killed Marco Polo and Domenico's father. Domenico founded the noble House of Auditore in Florence, and moved into the Villa Auditore in Monteriggioni, which became the new headquarters of the Italian Brotherhood.[2]

AC5EC Numa Karnak

Al'Khamsin fighting Templars in Karnak

In 1340, the Egyptian Assassin Numa Al'Khamsin was tasked by an Assassin elder to retrieve the Scepter of Aset, an artifact given to rebelling Mamluks by another Assassin in 1250, from the Templars.[22] Numa and his apprentice Ali Al-Ghraib recovered it in Karnak, though Numa was imprisoned by the Mamluks upon his refusal to hand it over.[23] Having escaped with the Templar agent Leila, Numa was led into a trap by his apprentice under pressure of the Templars and subsequently killed by Leila. Nonetheless, Al-Ghraib hid the artifact in a well, but died before he could contact the Assassins.[24]

In 1402, the Templars aided the ascension of the Yongle Emperor, which was followed by a purge of the Chinese Assassin Brotherhood. Li Tong and an apprentice escaped with an Apple of Eden, and she later exacted revenge on the emperor in 1424.[25] Another notable assassination was carried out under orders of Ishak Pasha, leader of the Ottoman Assassins, when he led the attack that resulted in the death of Templar Vlad the Impaler.[16]

Hundred Years' War

Renaissance

Rise of the Italian Assassins

"Your father and I managed to make out bits of a prophecy scrawled across these pages. It was written by an Assassin like us, who long ago held a "Piece of Eden." His name was Altaïr... He spoke of something powerful and ancient hidden beneath the land."
―Mario Auditore to his nephew Ezio about Altaïr's prophecy, 1478.[src]
ACoP 15 v

Mario tutoring Ezio about the Assassin Brotherhood

In 1476, after Rodrigo Borgia became the new Grand Master of the Italian Templars,[21] Giovanni Auditore da Firenze, a leading Italian Assassin, was publicly executed alongside two of his sons, in an attempt to stop his meddling with Templar affairs. Secretly receiving aid from other Assassins, Giovanni's sole remaining son Ezio Auditore exacted revenge on executioner Uberto Alberti and joined his uncle Mario, the Assassin leader, in their headquarters of Monteriggioni.[2]

With the aid of his uncle and several underworld figures, secretly Assassins, Ezio fought back against the Italian Templars and stopped their conspiracies. This included eliminating the participants in the Pazzi conspiracy, who planned to overthrow Lorenzo de' Medici as leader of Florence, and opposing the Barbarigos in Venice, who were successful in killing Doge Giovanni Mocenigo and claim leadership of the city, albeit temporarily.[2]

Leo work 3

The Assassins and Leonardo da Vinci with the Apple of Eden

All the while, Altaïr collected the scattered pages of Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad's Codex, discovering a prophecy that foretold of a Prophet who would appear when a Piece of Eden was brought to Venice. In 1488, the Italian Templars recovered an Apple of Eden[2] from the Templar Archive, hidden there by Ottoman Templar Cem,[26] and brought it to Venice. Ezio stole the artifact and confronted Grand Master Rodrigo Borgia, eventually routing him alongside the other Assassins. Unbeknownst to Ezio, it was he who was the Prophet.[2]

Unsure of what to do with the Apple of Eden after their ally Leonardo da Vinci was unable to divulge its purpose, the Assassins endeavoured to hide it in the Rocca di Ravaldino in Forlì under supervision of their ally Caterina Sforza. Rodrigo Borgia employed the brothers Checco and Ludovico Orsi obtain the Apple from the Assassins. While they were briefly successful, Ezio reclaimed the artifact before being gravely wounded by Checco and passing out, at which point it was stolen by the monk Girolamo Savonarola.[2]

Spanish Inquisition

"The Inquisition has finally delivered Spain to the Templars. Sultan Muhammad and his people still hold out in Granada. But if his son, the prince, is captured... he will surrender the city and the Apple of Eden. [...] If the Apple falls into their hands, the Templars will destroy everything that stands in their way."
―The Mentor Benedicto, at the induction of Aguilar de Nerha, 1491.[src]
Aguilar induction

Aguilar de Nerha's induction in 1491

By the 1490s, the Spanish Inquisition, led by a Master Templar, Grand Inquisitor Tomás de Torquemada, had begun to capture and execute members of the Assassin Brotherhood.[27] In 1491, Christopher Columbus and his friend Luis de Santángel, an Assassin, were lured to Venice with the prospect of funding by Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, who secretly wanted to kill Columbus to stop him from discovering the New World. Santángel employed the aid of fellow Assassin Ezio Auditore da Firenze to protect him, who later joined them to stop the Inquisition's persecution of the Brotherhood. There, he worked with a branch of Assassins – unaware of Torquemada's Templar affiliations – at eroding Borgia influence in Spain.[28]

Meanwhile, another Brotherhood of Assassins under the leadership of Benedicto endeavoured to stop Torquemada's Templar schemes. They learned of Torquemada's intent to kidnap the son of Emir Muhammad XII of Granada to trade for the Emir's Apple of Eden. A team of Assassins including Benedicto, Maria and Aguilar de Nerha rode to stop the Templars from finding the sultan's son, but were unsuccessful and captured. Sentenced to be executed at the stake, Aguilar and Maria escaped from their shackles after their Mentor Benedicto was executed.[27]

ACMovie Columbus Apple

Aguilar handing the Apple to Columbus

At Granada, Aguilar and Maria interrupted the exchange between the Emir and Torquemada, resulting in the deaths of Maria and Torquemada's right hand Ojeda, and in Aguilar's retrieval of the Apple. Aguilar rode to Palos de la Frontera, where he entrusted Christopher Columbus with keeping the Apple safe.[27]

Sometime afterwards, after eliminating several key members of the Inquisition and ensuring Columbus' voyage was financed, Ezio decided to confront Torquemada. The Grand Inquisitor, feigning ignorance of Templar affairs and declaring loyalty to Rodrigo Borgia, eventually escaped Ezio. The Assassin decided against pursuing Torquemada, believing him to only be a puppet, and returned to Italy.[28]

Control of the Spanish Brotherhood eventually fell to the new Mentor Aguilar de Nerha.[29] Facing continued opposition from Torquemada, the Assassins ultimately killed the Grand Inquisitor on 16 September 1498.[2] Meanwhile, Luis de Santángel had slowly been poisoning Queen Isabella after she had succumbed to the influence of the Borgia family, a task which a group of Italian Assassins completed in 1504.[8]

Liberation of Rome

"There will be no peace until we rise up against the entire Borgia family and the Templars who serve them."
―Ezio Auditore da Firenze to Niccolò Machiavelli, 1500.[src]

In 1497 and 1498, the Italian Assassins endeavoured to retrieve the Apple of Eden from Girolamo Savonarola, who had used it to become the leader of Florence. After dismantling his influence and turning the people against Savonarola, Ezio retrieved the artifact during the chaos of a riot, at which point the Assassins turned their gaze toward the Borgia once more.[2]

IBAL 15

Ezio conversing with Minerva

Through Altaïr's Codex pages, the Italian Assassins discovered that Rodrigo Borgia intended to use the Apple and Staff of Eden to open an ancient vault beneath the Vatican. While the other Assassins caused unrest in the city as a distraction, Ezio infiltrated the Sistine Chapel and eventually bested Rodrigo. Ezio, as the Prophet, managed to open the vault using the Staff and Apple of Eden and received a message from the Isu Minerva, intended for his descendant Desmond Miles.[2]

After Ezio's return to Monteriggioni, Rodrigo's son Cesare attacked the town in retaliation for thwarting the Templars' plans, resulting in Mario Auditore's death and the Villa Auditore's destruction. Ezio later joined Niccolò Machiavelli in Rome, where he took the lead in building up the resistance against the Borgia. With their new headquarters on Tiber Island, Ezio began recruiting new members for the Brotherhood and taking down Borgia institutions. Utilizing the city's underworld, Ezio assassinated key Templars Juan Borgia and Octavian de Valois.[7]

PaxR 5

Ezio facing Cesare during the Siege of Viana

In August of 1503, Rodrigo Borgia, who opposed his son disturbing the Templar-led peace in the city, hid the Apple of Eden from Cesare, resulting in his own son killing him. Ezio retrieved the artifact before Cesare, and used it to remove the last Borgia holdouts in the city. Cesare, the new Grand Master, was arrested on orders of the new Pope Julius II,[7] an Assassin ally. He escaped the next year and fled to Spain, where he joined the army of his brother-in-law John III of Navarre.[30]

In 1506, the Apple of Eden told Ezio to hide it in a vault beneath the Colosseum, where it would be found later be his descendant. In March of 1507, Ezio had tracked Cesare to Viana, where a battle was taking place. Ezio pursued Cesare to Viana Castle, where he eventually threw the Grand Master off the castle walls, permanently ending the Borgias' schemes.[7]

Fight against the Byzantine Templars

"Five years ago, Templar influence here was minimal. A small faction with dreams of restoring the Byzantine throne. But they're growing in number, day by day. And with Sultan Bayezid on his way out, they may try something dramatic."
―Yusuf Tazim about the Byzantine Templars, 1511.[src]

After an earthquake struck Constantinople, the heart of the Ottoman Empire, in 1509, a group of Templars uniting under the banner of the Byzantine Empire showed up in the city. They engaged in conflict with the Ottoman soldiers and Ottoman Assassins, hoping to reconquer the Empire under Byzantine Templar rule.[16]

Upgrade 3

The Ottoman Assassins welcoming Ezio

In 1510, Ezio Auditore found letters from his father detailing Altaïr's library underneath Masyaf, and he set off to find it. However, after facing opposition from the Byzantine Templars in the fortress and discovering the keys – the Memory Seals – were hidden in Constantinople, he joined the Ottoman Assassins' fight against the Templars. The Assassin leader Yusuf Tazim regularly employed Ezio's aid in their troubles, and Ezio also made use of his new friendship with young Ottoman prince Suleiman.[16]

Slowly, Ezio recovered the Masyaf Keys hidden in the city. He recovered the final key from leading Templar Manuel Palaiologos, whom Ezio killed in Derinkuyu in Cappadocia. However, Ottoman Prince Ahmet, the true Grand Master, killed Yusuf Tazim and kidnapped Ezio's paramour Sofia Sartor to exchange for the artifacts, leading to the Italian Assassin pursuing the Grand Master. At the end of their confrontation, they were met by the forces of Ahmet's brother Selim, who swiftly opted to kill his brother to ensure his own claim on the throne.[16]

Discovery 6

Ezio confronting Grand Master Ahmet

With the Masyaf Keys in his possession, Ezio opened Altaïr's library beneath Masyaf, where he discovered Altaïr's Apple of Eden. Ultimately, he decided to leave the artifact hidden away, and retired back to Italy,[16] having left the Ottoman Brotherhood in the hands of Dogan[31] and in good relations with future Sultan Suleiman.[16]

Ezio continued leading the Italian Assassins for several years, keeping his fame amongst the Assassins as a legendary Mentor across the world, before retiring[31] sometime after 1515.[32]

Operations in the New World

"The natives of this new world had a philosophy like our creed for as long as they've been here. And when Europeans arrived, our groups sort of... matched up. Cultures and religions and languages keep folks divided. But there's something in the Assassin's Creed that crosses all boundaries. A fondness for life and liberty."
―Mary Read about the Assassins in the New World, 1716.[src]

As early as 1503, the Assassins had started to spread to the New World.[8] By 1510, they had established a presence in Florida, and welcomed the Puerto Rican refugees Alonso Carlo and Miguel Ramón Carlo de Lugo into their community.[25]

Religious Observance PL

Giovanni Borgia observing the Aztecs

In February 1519, Giovanni Borgia boarded Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés' voyage to Mexico to locate a Piece of Eden. After several months of travel, Cortés and his entourage where welcomed into the Aztec capitol of Tenochtitlan. When the Spanish massacred the Aztecs on the night of 20 May 1520, Borgia killed an Aztec priest and took his Crystal Skull, later escaping during the Night of Sorrows and travelling back to Europe.[8]

In 1524, Juan Ponce de León, another conquistador, travelled to Florida to discover the Fountain of Youth. The fountain, secretly a Piece of Eden, was under the protection of the Assassins, and Miguel Ramón Carlo was sent to meet Ponce de León. Upon the latter's insistence to find the fountain, the Assassins shot him with poisoned arrows, resulting in his death sometime later.[25]

By 1533, a Spanish Assassin named Gonzalo Pardo had infiltrated the company of Francisco Pizzaro, a Templar-affiliated conquistador who subdued the Inca Empire. On orders of the Brotherhood, Pardo was to save the Incan Emperor Atahualpa from execution to help the Incas, but failed in his task. He stayed in the Empire, wandering Peru as a drunkard, until joining forces with the Incan Quila in 1536 to stop a conspiracy orchestrated by Pizzaro to kill Emperor Manco Inca Yupanqui.[33] Eventually, in 1541, Pizzaro was killed by the Assassin Brotherhood.[2]

Activities in Tudor England

"Henry VII of the House of Tudor rules England with unflinching power. Though England enjoys peace and stability under his command, he may soon become a victim of Templar manipulation."
―The Assassins on the state of England, 1503.[src]

Since the late 15th century, the Assassins noticed the Templar Order attempting to spread its influence over the House of Tudor, the ruling house of England. In 1503, Ezio Auditore da Firenze sent a group of Assassins to England to aid King Henry VII in stopping a Templar plot. On his behalf, the Assassins poisoned the last key figure in the Templar conspiracy, Margaret of York, on 23 November 1503. In response, the Templars infiltrated Henry's Star Chamber, the secret high court. After removing the conspirators, the Assassins were offered a seat on the Star Chamber by King Henry.[8]

During the mid-1550s, the Templars once again held the upper hand in England by exerting strong influence over the court of Queen Mary I.[2] The Assassins, instead, supported her half-sister Elizabeth.[34] To end the Templars' reign, the Assassins killed Queen Mary on 17 November 1558. She was succeeded by Queen Elizabeth I, who, with the use of an Apple of Eden, guided England into a golden age.[2]

Rebuilding the Chinese Brotherhood

"I will undo all that you have done. I will rebuild the Brotherhood and recruit those who wish to make our land a place of freedom, those ready to die to fight men like you. Your Templar world will not happen. The Assassins will rise again."
―Shao Jun to a dying Zhang Yong, 1532.[src]
The Return China (6)

Shao Jun with her Mentor Wang Yangming

During the reign of the Zhengde Emperor in China, both the Assassins and Templars held presences in the Imperial court. After the death of the Emperor in 1521, the Eight Tigers – a group of Templar eunuchs – seized power in court, installed the Jiajing Emperor as their puppet, and planned to eradicate the Assassins from the Beijing.[35]

Their Mentor Wang Yangming was warned of their plan by the concubine Shao Jun, and after a failed attempt to kill the Tigers, many of the emperor's enemies including Assassins were killed in what was known as the Great Rites Controversy in 1524.[35]

Wang Yangming evacuated the Assassins and their allies from the Forbidden City and went into hiding. Zhu Jiuyuan succeeding him as Mentor and trained Shao Jun as an Assassin. As the Tigers' hunt for the Assassins continued, Jiuyuan and Jun left China to find the aid of Ezio Auditore da Firenze.[35] Only Jun arrived at the retired Mentor's villa in Tuscany, where he reluctantly offered her aid and wisdom – and the ancient Precursor box.[36] Jun returned to China in 1526, joining forces with Wang Yangming to rebuild their Brotherhood.[35]

Vengeance China (1)

Shao Jun facing Zhang Yong on the Great Wall

With no other Assassins remaining, the Mentor and his former student travelled across the country to take down the Eight Tigers. Though their efforts initially proved successful with the deaths of four of their enemies, the Tigers' leader Zhang Yong and Qiu Ju killed Wang Yangming in 1529.[35]

Jun continued the fight, ultimately killing Zhang Yong during a Mongol attack on the Great Wall in 1532. Despite having lost the box, Jun rebuilt the Chinese Brotherhood as the new Mentor, and finally ordered the death of the Jiajing Emperor in 1567.[35]

Expansion to Japan

"I care little for Nobunaga's ambition, but it must be fulfilled. All pieces must be in play before Ieyasu can claim his rightful place."
―Chaya Shirōjirō Kiyonobu to Hattori Hanzō, 1571.[src]

In 1549, the Templars arrived in Japan aiming to spread their influence to new lands. When the Assassins caught wind of this, they too established a presence in Japan. They found allies in the Japanese ninja, from whom they learned new techniques. They made contact with the warlord Oda Nobunaga, who promised an alliance as soon as he united the country. In addition, the Assassins made a secret alliance with Tokugawa Ieyasu, whose vassal Hattori Hanzō had become a Master Assassin.[19]

ACM Hanzo Hattori 3

Hattori Hanzō in his Assassin attire

Aside from battling the Templars, the Japanese Assassins also aided the Tokugawa clan in unifying the land. To this extent, Hanzō killed the rival warlords Mōri Motonari, to aid Nobunaga's conquests, and Takeda Shingen, who held a Sword of Eden, which later wound up in Nobunaga's hands. Five years later, he killed the Templar warlord Uesugi Kenshin.[19]

When the Tokugawa and the Assassins discovered that Nobunaga was to be attacked by his vassal Akechi Mitsuhide, Hanzō protected Tokugawa Ieyasu, while the Assassin Yamauchi Taka secretly killed Nobunaga amidst the chaos and retrieved the Sword of Eden. The Chinese Assassin Liu Yan then transported the artifact away from Japan.[19]

In 1596, Hanzō was killed by a rival ninja, Fūma Kotarō. Suspecting that Nobunaga's successor and the new ruler of Japan, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, played a part in his death, Ieyasu tasked Yamauchi Taka with the investigation, which led to his assassination of Hideyoshi in 1598. The land then became divided between Toyotomi's loyalists, and Tokugawa's supporters, which included other Assassins like Mogami Yoshiaki and Yamauchi Kazutoyo. This led to the Battle of Sekigahara, in which Yamauchi Taka killed the general Shima Sakon to help ensure Tokugawa's victory, and consequently, the foundation of the Tokugawa shogunate.[19]

Age of Imperialism

Salem witch trials

Querry: "The Puritans are easily controlled. They're convinced the devil walks the earth."
Stoddard: "Little wonder the Templars are in evidence."
―Jennifer Querry and Thomas Stoddard about the witch trials, 1692.[src]

In the early 1690s, word reached the British Assassins of an artifact hidden somewhere in Salem, Massachusetts. The Brotherhood sent Master Assassin Thomas Stoddard, who had become legendary for tracking Precursor artifacts, to America to recover the artifact. Around the same time, reports of young girls with strange illnesses led the Puritan villagers of Salem to accuse one another of witchcraft in early 1692, known as the Salem witch trials. After the Templars Samuel Parris and William Stoughton arrived looking for the artifact, they took a center role in the persecutions of accused witches. In June 1692, Stoddard arrived in Salem and met the local Assassin Jennifer Querry.[37]

ACTC Stoddard fighting

Stoddard and Querry facing Puritans

The two Assassins infiltrated a warehouse, where they freed a young girl named Dorothy Osborne and a mute boy named David from Templar imprisonment.[37] When Dorothy became possessed by the Precursor Consus, Stoddard discovered that she was the artifact they had been looking for and he brought her to safety at the Salem docks. The Assassins, Dorothy and David were soon recaptured after their escape.[37]

During their interrogation, while the Templars were distracted by Dorothy being possessed by Consus, Querry managed to kill a guard and free Stoddard before being killed by Stoughton. While Stoddard was also shot in the arm by Stoughton, the Templar was betrayed by his accomplice Parris before he could finish Stoddard off. Dorothy, overcome by guilt, decided to kill herself in a fire. Before Stoughton could kill Stoddard, he was rescued by a remorseful Parris. With Dorothy dead, Stoddard abandoned his quest.[37]

Search for the Observatory

"It seems another Sage has been found. The race for the Observatory begins anew."
―Ah Tabai about the Caribbean Assassins' plight, 1716.[src]

Since at least the 1670s, the Assassin Brotherhood in the Caribbean was engaged with the Templars in a search for Sages – reincarnations of Aita capable of opening the Observatory, an ancient First Civilization complex. In 1673, the Mentor Bahlam abducted the Sage Thom Kavanagh to prevent him falling under the influence of the Templar Laureano de Torres y Ayala, and set him on his quest to find the Observatory.[38]

Overrun and Outnumbered 7

Ah Tabai banishing Edward Kenway

In 1714, Phillip Randall, Mentor of the British Brotherhood, sent Master Assassin Duncan Walpole – who sought to join the Templars – to meet with the new Caribbean Mentor Ah Tabai and train with him. Seeing this task as an insult, Walpole was convined by Henry Spencer to join the Templars[39] and compiled locations of the Assassin bureaus in the Caribbean for Grand Master Torres. Before he could finalize his betrayal, he was killed by the pirate Edward Kenway in 1715.[38]

The Caribbean Assassins later attacked the Templars in Havana to rescue another Sage, Bartholomew Roberts, but were slaughtered by the Templars, including Kenway posing as Walpole. Kenway's fellow pirate, the Assassin Mary Read, attempted to persuade Kenway to join the Brotherhood. Kenway aided the Assassins in fighting off a Royal Navy attack on the Brotherhood's Tulum headquarters, but Ah Tabai banished him for his earlier misdeeds. Nonetheless, Kenway helped the local Assassin bureaus fend off Templar attacks and performed assassination contracts for the Brotherhood, in exchange for payment.[38]

Ever a Splinter 10

Ah Tabai placing the Crystal Skull in the Observatory

Read continued to try to persuade Kenway of the error of his ways, though it was only until Read's death in Port Royal's prison that Kenway decided to fight for the Assassin cause; by then, Kenway's quartermaster Adéwalé had already joined the Assassins. Under tutelage of Ah Tabai in 1722, Kenway was assigned three targets: the Sage Roberts, Templar Governor Woodes Rogers and Grand Master Torres.[38]

After killing Roberts and grievously wounding Rogers, Kenway assassinated Torres during the latter's siege on the Observatory, placing both the complex and the Crystal Skull it held under the Assassins' protection. Kenway left after offering the Caribbean Assassins his Great Inagua hideout,[38] while the Brotherhood continued its stewardship over the Observatory. At some point in the 18th century, the complex suffered a catastrophic collapse, after which it was deliberately buried by the Assassins.[13]

Fall of the London Assassins

"Miko was a bit of a free spirit; he roamed all over Europe, searching for Pieces of Eden, making connections and lending aid to various regional Brotherhoods. [...] What Edward brought to the table was stability."
―Shaun Hastings on the London Assassins, 2015.[src]

Edward Kenway returned to Bristol in 1723, where he exacted revenge on his former father-in-law, the Templar Emmett Scott and his henchman Wilson. He and his crew were pardoned by Robert Walpole, acting as a neutral party between the Assassins and Templars, and Edward was offered a home at Queen Anne's Square.[40] Edward settled down and became co-leader of the London Brotherhood alongside Miko, and together they strengthened their presence in London.[34]

AC4 Kenway Family Opera House

Edward and his family in London

Both Miko and Edward often travelled across Europe, doing research into First Civilization sites and Pieces of Eden.[34] Edward's research led him to the discovery of several temples in Italy and beneath Alamut, and he endeavoured to find the location of the Grand Temple, detailing his findings in a journal.[41] At some point, the London Assassins also found a Shroud of Eden, and hid it in a secret location in the Tower of London.[34]

On 3 December 1735, Edward was killed in his mansion by mercenaries hired by his assistant Reginald Birch, the Grand Master of the British Templars. Birch obtained Edward's journal and started tutoring his son Haytham, who rose to become a Templar in his own right.[40] In 1754, he killed Miko and stole the Grand Temple's key,[42] leaving the London Assassins leaderless. Under Birch's leadership, the Templars managed to rout the Assassins from London, and would maintain control of the city for over one-hundred years.[34]

Activities in North America

Achilles: "You have no idea what you're doing. The future of the whole continent, maybe the whole world, is tied up in that Manuscript."
Shay: "Perhaps. But we don't have the right to decide that future."
Achilles: "The right? We have the responsibility!"
—Achilles and Shay about the Assassins using the Voynich manuscript, 1756.[src]
De Fayet's Last Stand 2

Adéwalé with rebel leader Augustin Dieufort

In 1735, Adéwalé was tasked with intercepting a parcel – which contained the Precursor box – from a French Templar admiral in the Caribbean. His ship was lost at sea when he tried to escape through a storm, and Adéwalé washed up near Port-au-Prince. For the next two years, Adéwalé supported the local Maroon rebellion, culminating in his aiding the French Geodesic Mission and killing Governor Pierre, Marquis de Fayet.[43]

By 1732, the Maroon François Mackandal had created his own Brotherhood in Saint-Domingue. Mackandal took a more radical approach to the Creed, aiming to exterminate French colonists from the colony and actively searching for Precursor relics. In 1746, on orders of his Mentor Ah Tabai, Achilles Davenport established the Colonial Brotherhood in the Thirteen Colonies, which rapidly became one of the strongest branches of the Order.[41]

Lessons and Revelations 7

Shay Cormac, Adéwalé and Achilles at the Homestead

In November 1751, Mackandal acquired the location of a Precursor temple near Port-au-Prince from using the Precursor box alongside the Voynich manuscript. When Vendredi entered the temple to acquire its Piece of Eden, the temple activated its defense mechanism and triggered an earthquake which devastated the city. During the chaos, Master Templar Lawrence Washington stole the artifacts from Mackandal's camp and brought them to the Thirteen Colonies, with Adéwalé in pursuit. Achilles Davenport then tasked Shay Cormac with the recovering the artifacts from the Templars.[41]

After discovering the location of another temple near Lisbon, Portugal, Shay was sent to find it in 1755. However, upon touching its artifact, the temple also triggered an earthquake that destroyed Lisbon. Angered by his Mentor's decisions, Shay stole the manuscript after his return to the Davenport Homestead, and the Assassins attacked him and left him for dead. Unbeknownst to the Assassins, Shay survived and joined the Templar Order.[41]

Alongside George Monro and later Grand Master Haytham Kenway, Shay hunted down his former Brothers. Though Liam O'Brien managed to kill Monro and retrieve the manuscript, Shay's efforts resulted in the deaths of Kesegowaase, Adéwalé and Hope Jensen. In 1760, with the location of a Precursor temple in the Arctic acquired, Achilles tasked the Chevalier de la Vérendrye with distracting the Templars while they sought the temple.[41]

Non Nobis Domine 8

Achilles and Liam in the Arctic Temple

Kenway and Shay arrived at the temple before Achilles and Liam could disrupt the temple's defense system, though in their struggle Liam activated it. While Shay killed Liam and retrieved the manuscript, Haytham spared Achilles to warn off the Assassins of the temples' danger.[41] Following a purge of the Colonial Assassins in 1763, Achilles, crippled by Haytham, was forced to spend the rest of his days in exile in the Davenport Homestead.[42]

American Revolution

"George Washington now rallies the colonists and their march towards freedom begins in earnest. Little wonder, then, that the Templars now want him dead. They seek to reshape this land into something cold and ordered. Something soulless."
―Ratonhnhaké:ton about the Templars, 1775.[src]
ACIII-BoorishMan 3

Achilles Davenport meeting Ratonhnhaké:ton

In 1769, Ratonhnhaké:ton, a boy from a Kanien'kehá:ka tribe, was told by Juno through usage of a Crystal Ball to join the Assassin Order to protect his tribe. He contacted Achilles Davenport, who, despite his initial reluctance, agreed to train the boy. After several months of training, Achilles and the boy, who he named Connor, travelled to Boston, where they witnessed the Templars, led by Connor's father Haytham Kenway, plotting igntion of the Boston Massacre. Despite his efforts, Connor failed in stopping their scheme.[42]

Connor started pursuing the members of the Colonial Rite of Templars and training new apprentices, and in his devours, supported the revolutionaries' desire for independence from Britain. He joined the Sons of Liberty in participation in the Boston Tea Party and the Battles of Lexington and Concord.[42]

ACIII-Pottsresidence 3

Connor with George Washington at Valley Forge

Connor met George Washington at his inauguration as Commander-in-Chief of the new Continental Army, and fought alongside the Continentals at the Battle of Bunker Hill to assassinate officer John Pitcairn. He also prevented the Templars' attempts to kill George Washington and replace him with Charles Lee, Haytham Kenway's right-hand man.[42]

When pursuing Benjamin Church, Connor formed an alliance with his father, as Church had betrayed both the Continental Army and the Templars. They chased Church to Martinique, and after killing him, temporarily continued their alliance. When Haytham exposed Washington's plans to attack Connor's tribe, the Assassin cut off ties with both his father and Washington. Despite this, he fought alongside the Marquis de Lafayette in the Battle of Monmouth on the revolutionaries' behalf, and later exposed Benedict Arnold's betrayal as a final favor to Washington.[42]

In 1781, Connor targeted his arch-enemy Charles Lee, gained the support of Admiral de Grasse's aid in an attack on the Templars' Fort George headquarters in New York by aiding the French Navy in the Battle of the Chesapeake. However, Haytham Kenway had forced Lee to flee, and Connor was forced to kill his father.

ACIII-Chasinglee 14

Connor killing Grand Master Charles Lee

Around the same time, Achilles passed away, and Connor became the new steward of the Davenport Homestead. In 1782, he chased Charles Lee from Boston to Monmouth, where he finally killed his adversary. The next year, the British Army surrendered at the Siege of Yorktown, and the United States were officially founded soon after.[42]

Sometime later, Washington met Connor in the woods, where he showed him the Apple of Eden he found in Yorktown. After the two experienced a vision of an alternate reality where Washington was corrupted by the Apple and had named himself King of the United States, Washington handed the artifact to Connor, who dumped it into the ocean on his behalf.[42]

French Revolution

"[Mirabeau]'s a politician. Sees himself as a great peacemaker. He thinks he can end the war between Assassins and Templars, bring the Revolution to a happy conclusion, and convince dogs and cats to live together in peace."
―Pierre Bellec to Arno Dorian about their Mentor, 1791.[src]
Rebirth 10

Arno Dorian standing before the Council

Due to France's financial costs during the Seven Years' War and inspired by the American Revolution, unrest started among the citizens of France in the late 1780s. The French Mentor Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau, began to mediate between King Louis XVI and the revolutionaries, hoping to bring the conflict to a peaceful end while maintaining his truce with Templar Grand Master François de la Serre.[13]

In 1789, de la Serre was killed in a coup led by the exiled Templar François-Thomas Germain, who intended to reform the Templar Order. While the reformed Templars under Germain started fueling the French Revolution to undo the established positions of power, Master Assassin Pierre Bellec recruited Arno Dorian – son of the Assassin Charles Dorian and adopted son of de la Serre – into the Brotherhood to find de la Serre's murderers at the behest of the French Assassin Council.[13]

After eliminating de la Serre's murderers, Arno rescued François-Thomas Germain, the smith of a Templar pin gifted to him by the Marquis de Sade. Germain directed Arno towards Chrétien Lafrenière, who was loyal to de la Serre, and the Assassin consequently killed him. At a Templar meeting in the Jacobin Club, Arno discovered that the Templars were orchestrating the Revolution and planned King Louis XVI's execution.[13]

ACU Napoleon Arno

Napoleon and Arno in the Tuileries Palace

Arno subsequently formed an alliance with his adopted sister, Élise de la Serre, from whom the Assassins discovered that Germain was the new Grand Master. Soon after, Bellec killed Mirabeau, angered over the truce with the Templars and fanatically believing the Assassins needed to be destroyed to be built back up, similar to Masyaf, Monteriggioni and the American colonies.[13]

Though he was in turn killed by Arno, the Council lost two of its members. They sent Arno to recover Mirabeau's correspondence with the King from the Tuileries Palace on 10 August 1792, and while there, Arno formed an alliance with Napoleon Bonaparte, who was looking for an ancient key.[13]

The Council forbid Arno from pursuing Germain, instead tasking other members with the investigation. When Arno directly disobeyed their orders by tracking him to the King's execution, the Council exiled him from the Brotherhood. Arno nonetheless pursued Germain and Maximilien de Robespierre, instigator of the Reign of Terror, and killed the Grand Master in the crypt beneath the Temple on 28 July 1794.[13]

ACU Sphere of Eden 2

Arno about to hand the Apple to the Assassin

Still exiled from the Brotherhood, Arno stopped Napoleon's attempt to recover an Apple of Eden from the Saint-Denis Temple, and gave the artifact to an Assassin for delivery to Al Mualim in Cairo.[44] Arno was later reinstated into the Brotherhood and became a Master Assassin.[13]

While Napoleon later retrieved the artifact from Egypt,[44] the Assassins prevented an attempt on his life on 24 December 1800.[13] Council member Sophie Trenet later played an important role in the events leading to the foundation of the French Second Republic.[21]

Haitian Revolution

"I will create a new Brotherhood in Saint-Domingue. I will make it a thousand times better than the one created by the disgraced Mackandal."
―An excerpt from 1776 of Eseosa's codex.[src]
AFamilyVow Eseosa

A sketch of Eseosa

As early as 1776, Eseosa, son of Babatunde Josèphe and grandson of Adéwalé, worked to rebuild the Assassin Brotherhood in Saint-Domingue after its decline since the death of François Mackandal. To this end, he recruited the Maroons Dutty Boukman, Toussaint Louverture, Georges Biassou, Jean-François Papillon and Jeannot Bullet into the Brotherhood's ranks, and started making preparations to help other slaves in the colony.[21]

In 1791, during a ceremony inspired by Mackandal, Boukman prophesized that Papillon, Biassou and Bullet would be leaders of a rebellion to free the slaves of Saint-Domingue. Violence erupted, which soon escalated in a colony-wide rebellion. Boukman was captured in battle in November 1791.[21] Though the Assassin Elsie was adamant on rescuing Boukman from execution and procuring his book, Fabien had been given orders to let the execution proceed to bolser their cause.[45] The same month, Eseosa executed Bullet for breaking the tenets of the Creed.[21]

Despite these setbacks, slavery was abolished by Maximilien Robespierre in 1794, and Louverture became the de facto leader of Saint-Domingue. In 1801, they faced opposition from the Templars, who unsuccessfully tried to install Jean-Louis Villatte as governor before the Assassins ousted him. However, by then both Biassou and Papillon had lost faith in the rebellion and joined the Spanish.[21]

By then, the French government had fallen under Napoleon Bonaparte's leadership, and sent Charles Leclerc to secure Louverture's surrender. By May 1802, Louverture surrendered and was imprisoned in France. His general Jean-Jacques Dessalines continued the fight, triumphing over the French, and declared himself Emperor of the new republic of Haiti, subsequently slaughtering thousands of white colonists. Eseosa travelled to the Davenport Homestead to train with Connor, in preparation for assassinating Dessalines.[21]

Early modern era

Hunt for the Koh-i-Noor

"My lord, I have put the Assassins off for too long. They have your payment, and they expect delivery of the relic. Otherwise..."
―Ahkbar to Sultan Selim III, 1808.[src]

By the early 1800s, word reached the Assassin Brotherhood that Sultan Selim III of the Ottoman Empire had come into the possession of the Koh-i-Noor diamond, a powerful Piece of Eden. As the Templars and Napoleon were also seeking the artifact, the Assassin Ahkbar was tasked to infiltrate Selim's social circle and he became the Sultan's right hand.[46]

ACT Akhbar Koh-i-Noor

Ahkbar confronting van der Graff

In 1805, Ahkbar caught wind of the Black Cross Solomon Bolden and Napoleon's agent Jan van der Graff seeking passage into the Sultan's palace. He led them into an ambush, resulting in Bolden's death and van der Graff's capture. In July 1808, after the Sultan refused the Assassins' offer to buy the diamond, Ahkbar resolved to fatally poison the Sultan.[46]

He took the Koh-i-Noor for himself, abandoning his principles to the Order. He was killed by van der Graff, who escaped his imprisonment. A group of Assassins then confronted van der Graff, who pretended to hand over the artifact, but they were given an empty box.[46]

Struggle in Lower Canada

"Fellow patriots! The Oppressors have laid claim to Saint John's Day! As we speak, they are celebrating the creation of their secret association. No longer will this blessed day be theirs! We will form our own society! We will give this day back to the people!"
―The Assassin Ludger Duvernay at a soirée for the Saint-Jean Baptiste Society, 1834.[src]

By the 1830s, members of the Canadian Brotherhood of Assassins were engaged in a struggle with the Château Clique, a group of wealthy Templar families that effectively ruled Lower Canada. The journalist Ludger Duvernay, a member of the Brotherhood, posted a series of articles criticizing the Château Clique in 1832, hoping to expose their connection to the Templar. Duvernay was subsequently censored and imprisoned, and the people were rallied against Duvernay.[25]

Duvernay was rescued by the Brotherhood, who then used an Apple of Eden to turn the people against the Château Clique. In 1834, Duvernay created his own secret society, the Saint-Jean Baptiste Society, with the intention of spiritually unifyig Quebec and gaining indepedence from the rest of Canada.[25]

Conflicts in the Sikh Empire

"While the diamond may bring untold wealth and power to those who worship it, in the wrong hands it is lethal. [...] If we do not take the Syamantaka now it will surely fall into Templar hands."
―Hamid concerning the Koh-i-Noor diamond, 1839.[src]
ACBM Mir fighting guards

Arbaaz fighting Imperial guards

In 1839, Hamid, Mentor of the Indian Brotherhood, tasked Arbaaz Mir with finding a map from the Voynich manuscript detailing the Koh-i-Noor, which had fallen into the hands of Maharaja Ranjit Singh of the Sikh Empire and was sought by the British Templars. To keep the artifact out of the Templars' hands, Hamid sent Arbaaz to obtain the diamond and protect the Maharaja from their enemies.[47]

Together with the slave boy Raza Soora, Arbaaz infiltrated a feast at Singh's summer palace. With Raza's help, Arbaaz obtained the artifact from First Civilization ruins beneath the palace. However, the Templar General Francis Cotton had the palace guards arrest the Assassin, allowing him and William Hay Macnaghten to poison the Maharaja.[47]

After Arbaaz escaped and engaged in battle with Cotton and the palace guards, Arbaaz's ally, Princess Pyara Kaur, interrupted the battle by using the Koh-i-Noor's powers, changing her shape into that of a Precursor. While giving a warning to unite against a common enemy, Cotton shot at the Precursor, who released a burst of energy that killed Cotton and the Imperial guards.[47]

Until 1841, the Koh-i-Noor remained in Hamid's protection, when he was abducted by Master Templar William Sleeman and his right hand Alexander Burnes, who took the diamond. Arbaaz pursued the Templars after rescuing Hamid, tracing them to the Amritsar Temple where he witnessed Sleeman use the Koh-i-Noor in conjunction with a Precursor box to obtain the location of the Herat Temple. Chasing the Templars to Herat in Afghanistan, Arbaaz discovered the temple's pedestal was broken, and was instead taken captive. Eventually defeating Burnes in a duel, Arbaaz traveled back to India.[5]

ACCI Rescue (9)

Arbaaz handing the diamond to Ethan Frye

After his return to Amritsar, the Assassin was forced to rescue his lover Pyara Kaur, who was being held captive by Sleeman in the summer palace. Having made his way through the palace, Arbaaz confronted Sleeman. During the confrontation, Pyara, who was held at gunpoint, stabbed Sleeman, allowing Arbaaz to steal the Koh-i-Noor before they fled. He then met with fellow Assassin Ethan Frye and gave him the Koh-i-Noor, telling him to hide it somewhere.[5]

American Civil War

"If the Confederacy wins, or even forces the negotiation of a treaty, the Templars could take control of the country. [...] Everything we've achieved. Everything my grandmother fought for in New Orleans. It will all be lost."
―The Mentor about the importance of a Union victory to Varius, 1863.[src]

In 1861, civil war broke out in the United States. The American Brotherhood supported the Union States under President Abraham Lincoln against the Templar-backed Confederate States. In order to help win the war, in 1863, the Mentor in Washington tasked Varius – the lone Assassin operating in New York City – with stealing a Dagger of Eden from the Aztec Club and deliver it to General Ulysses S. Grant, whom the Mentor perceived as the Union's best hope for winning the war.[48]

After retrieving the object, Varius became entangled in a fight with the Templar agent "Cudgel" Cormac and lost the artifact. Together with a new apprentice, Eliza, whose father was killed during the Templar-planned draft riots, Varius recovered the artifact as Cormac was about to deliver it to his Grand Master William M. Tweed. Eliza later participated in the Civil War and successfully brought the Dagger to General Grant.[48]

The Assassins continued to remain active during the war. After the assassination of President Lincoln at the hands of the Templar affiliate John Wilkes Booth, the Brotherhood killed Booth on 26 April 1865.[2]

Retaking of London

Jacob: "You could continue [father's] legacy in London."
Evie: "Freeing future generations from a city ruled by Templars. You know, Jacob Frye, you might just be right."
―Jacob and Evie deciding to retake London from the Templars, 1868.[src]

Since the fall of the London Assassins in the mid-18th century, the Templars held control over the capital of the British Empire and the Assassins mostly operated from outside London. In early 1868, the Assassin twins Jacob and Evie Frye assassinated two Templar targets, Rupert Ferris and David Brewster, in Croydon, with the latter assassination resulting in the destruction of an Apple of Eden. Against the will of their superior George Westhouse, the Frye twins left for London to retake the city from Templar rule.[34]

ACS Gang War (Whitechapel) 3

Jacob, Henry and Evie in London

Whilst there, the twins met the local Assassin agent Henry Green and built up a network of allies including Frederick Abberline, Charles Dickens, Charles Darwin and Karl Marx. While Jacob took over the local Clinkers gang and renamed them the Rooks to aid them in their battle against the Templars and their Blighters gang, Evie instead opted to focus her efforts on finding the Piece of Eden the Templars were seeking.[34]

Over the course of a few months, Jacob single-handedly killed most of Grand Master Crawford Starrick's closest agents, including John Elliotson, Pearl Attaway, Philip Twopenny, James Brudenell and Maxwell Roth. Meanwhile Evie worked on undoing the chaos some of these assassinations did to London's political and social situation and traced leads on the Shroud of Eden.[34]

About to deliver the killing blow M4

Jacob and Evie moments before killing Starrick

With his influence dwindling, Starrick discovered the artifact to be hidden beneath Buckingham Palace and planned to eliminate all heads of state and church at a party thrown by Queen Victoria at the palace. While the Frye twins killed Starrick's agents at the party, Starrick recovered the artifact from the crypt and a battle ensued between the Grand Master and the Frye twins. The Assassins ultimately overcame their enemy, but decided to leave the artifact in the crypt.[34]

By 1888, one of Jacob's apprentices, Jack, had become insane and took over control of the Rooks to service his own twisted version of the Creed. After several of Jacob's female initiates dressed as prostitutes failed to kill Jack, Jacob requested his siser to return from India, where she was living with Henry Green. Jacob was eventually abducted by Jack, who had become known as Jack the Ripper.[34]

Evie eventually managed to cripple Jack's new hold over London, with the help of Detective Inspector Abberline. She traced Jack's hideout to Lambeth Asylum, where he was previously incarcerated, and ultimately killed the rogue Assassin and freed her brother.[34]

Opposing Imperial Russia

"The Mentor himself has said that this is a time of great change. Russia will soon be strong and free from Imperial rule, an example to the world."
―Nikolai Orelov about the cause of the Narodnaya Volya, 1888.[src]
ACTF Alexander + Nikolai

Tsar Alexander III overpowering Nikolai Orelov

Since at least the reign of Tsar Alexander II, the Russian Assassins – operating in public as the Narodnaya Volya (People's Will) – had been battling the Templars' influence over the Russian Empire. In 1881, the Assassins were successful in killing the Tsar, a puppet of the Templars. This resulted in the ascension of his son, Alexander III, who became a willing ally of the Templars and was gifted a Staff of Eden.[49]

A failed attempt on his life resulted in the execution of several Assassins including Aleksandr Ulyanov in March 1887. The next year, their Mentor responded by tasking Nikolai Orelov with assassinating the Tsar while the latter was travelling by train; the attempt failed, with the conflict resulting in the Borki train disaster.[49]

In 1908, the Assassins discovered that Grigori Rasputin had stolen the Imperial Scepter – a Staff of Eden – from the new Tsar, Nicholas II.[49] They employed the overseas aid of Nikola Tesla, an inventor discredited by the Templar Thomas Edison,[2] and stormed the facility in Tunguska that housed the Staff. Tesla released a burst of energy to the facility from his Wardenclyffe Tower, resulting in the destruction of the Staff in a huge explosion. Orelov was the sole survivor, and Rasputin later managed to retrieve a splinter of the artifact from the site.[49]

World War I

Churchill: "If you would put your considerable talents to good use at Tower Bridge, you would have the thanks of a brave, but beleaguered nation."
Lydia: "I would settle for the right to vote."
―Winston Churchill requesting the aid of Lydia Frye, 1916.[src]

On 28 June 1914, following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the First World War broke out between the Allied Powers and Central Powers.[21] Assassins from all across Europe were pulled in every direction to ensure the Brotherhood was present in every theatre of war and seat of power. As such, many members of the British Brotherhood enlisted in the army.[34]

Open conflict soon started in the Western Front; on Christmas Eve of that year, British and German troops started a truce, during which a British Assassin medic killed the German Templar general Erich Albert.[8]

ACS Churchill Lydia

Winston Churchill and Lydia Frye

The war would last several years, and by 1916, the Brotherhood had found an ally in Winston Churchill, former First Lord of the Admiralty. He worked closely with the Assassin Lydia Frye – the granddaughter of Jacob Frye who had chosen to stay and protect London – to take down a German Templar spy network in London, culminating in the assassination of the network's Master Spy, a Sage.[34]

The war continued until 1918,[21] by which point a series of revolutions had started in several countries, including Russia,[49] and Ireland, in the latter of which at least one Assassin participated.[13]

Russian Revolution

"The Mentor himself has said that this is a time of great change. Russia will soon be free of Imperial rule, an example to the world."
―Nikolai Orelov to his wife Anna about the Russian Assassins' goals, 1888.[src]
ACTF Nikolai Revolution

Orelov overlooking a riot in St. Petersburg

In 1917, after the First World War brought Russia to near collapse, the Russian Revolution broke out. The Assassins supported the people's desire for a new government and pressured the Tsar into abdicating.[4] The leader of the revolutionary Bolsheviks, Vladimir Lenin, then asked his old friend Nikolai Orelov to kill Nicholas II. Unwilling to comply, Orelov infiltrated his residence only to determine if the Tsar's new Scepter was the Staff of Eden. The Assassin spared Nicholas' life, and the latter told him about Rasputin's mysterious shard; Orelov then retrieved the artifact from Rasputin's corpse, and planned to leave Russia with his family to start a new life.[49]

The Bolsheviks effectively seized control of Russia after the October Revolution. In reward for their support, Lenin and the Russian Academy of Sciences awarded the Assassins with several of the Academy's facilities. One such facility in Protvino was turned into an Assassin science city, inhabited by a community of Assassins and scientists including Sergei.[21]

ACCR RF (9)

Orelov encountering Anastasia, with their Pieces of Eden interacting

In 1918, Orelov took up one final task from the Brotherhood: to retrieve a Piece of Eden, the Precursor box, from the possession of the Imperial family in Yekaterinburg. After Orelov infiltrated the Ipatiev House, the Templars murdered the Imperial family to obtain the artifact while only the Tsar's daughter Anastasia survived. While she met Orelov, the box she held came in contact with Nikolai's splinter of the Staff, transferring the consciousness of Shao Jun to Anastasia. The Assassin eventually brought her and the box safely to his Brothers in Moscow.[50]

The Assassins instead imprisoned Anastasia in the Kremlin to experiment on her, causing Nikolai to betray the Brotherhood and rescue her. After giving her identification papers belonging to "Anna Anderson",[50] Orelov himself left Russia with his family.[49] The Assassins eventually tracked him to Connecticut in 1926 to bring him back for interrogation, though the encounter resulted in the deaths of the Assassins as well as Orelov.[51]

After Lenin's death in 1924, the Russian Assassins faced opposition from the new Soviet government led by Joseph Stalin, a Templar puppet. Yuri Petrovich Figatner, a Templar in the Politburo, started a "counter-revolutionary" commission to hunt down the Assassins and turned the Russian Academy of Sciences into a Stalinist organization, forcing their Mentor to go in hiding.[21]

Spanish Civil War

"I'm an Assassin, yes. But I'm a Spaniard first. And while I'll happily sow these fields with Templar blood, any man who would oppress his fellows is fair game as far as I'm concerned."
―Ignacio Cardona to his fellow Republicans, 1937.[src]

As civil war broke out in Spain between the leftist Republicans and rightist Nationalists in 1936, several Spanish Assassins joined the war on the Republican side. Ignacio Cardona fought alongside Buenaventura Durruti in the Durruti Column, until his death in November 1936. On 26 April 1937, a team of Assassins was present at the bombing of the town of Guernica.[52]

ACU Koh-i-Noor powers

Cardona using the Koh-i-Noor on his Brothers

In May 1937, the team was joined in Barcelona by the Templar Rufus Grosvenor, secretly serving the will of the Precursor Juno, claiming to be Norbert Clarke, sent by the British Brotherhood as aid. As internal fighting broke out between the anarchists and communists, the members of the team were unable to reach consensus on who to support. Grosvenor handed Cardona the Koh-i-Noor diamond to force them to stop, and the latter unwittingly used its powers on his fellow Assassins until finally dropping it to prevent further harm to himself and the others.[52]

Albert Bolden, the former Black Cross from whom Grosvenor had stolen the Koh-i-Noor, had been watching the ordeal and attacked Grosvenor. He was forced to flee after being attacked by the other Assassins, but took the unconscious Cardona with him. Eventually pursuading Cardona to team up against Grosvenor, they confronted Grosvenor and the other Assassins, who had been persuaded to Juno's cause.[52]

The confrontation eventually came to a head in a run-down church, where the former Assassins overpowered Cardona and Bolden. Grosvenor gave Cardona another opportunity to unlock the Koh-i-Noor's power. The Assassin used the artifact to create bulls from the artifact's energy, which destroyed the church, and also created an illusion of the artifact's destruction. After Bolden rescued Cardona from the rubble, he swore to remain a protector a site, where the Koh-i-Noor remained buried, and the pair continued fighting in the civil war.[52]

World War II

"The Templars left Germany to the Nazis. If we do not act, the world will definitely fall. Whatever price we pay, we have to stop them!"
―Boris Pash to Eddie Gorm, 1942.[src]

International tensions that arose in the aftermath of the First World War ultimately resulted in a Second World War, orchestrated by the Templars to bring about a new world in the war's wake.[2] Many Assassins across the world participated in the conflict, including a group that operated from a cabin in the Swiss Alps to train, supply and lead local Maquis cells against German troops.[21]

After the start of the war, a team of Assassins led by Boris Pash infiltrated the German nuclear weapons project, headed by the Templar Obbergruppenführer Gero Kramer. After their attempt failed, Pash employed docking manager Eddie Gorm to infiltrate Kramer's inner circle in 1940. Gorm abducted Werner Heisenberg, the lead scientist on the nuclear project, at a meeting in September 1942. From him, Gorm learned that the project was a cover-up for Kramer's real project, Die Glocke.[53]

ACCO Eddie Grom

Eddie Gorm, a British Assassin during the war

After receiving formal training to become a member of the Assassin Brotherhood, Gorm infiltrated the hydroelectric water plant of Vemork on 27 February 1943 to stop Kramer's project. During a fight with the Templar, Gorm was overpowered and placed inside Die Glocke, a precursor to the Animus built by Nikola Tesla. Kramer intended to search for other Pieces of Eden by having Gorm relive his ancestors' memories in the device.[53] However, due to Tesla's sabotage, the machine exploded. Gorm was rescued by Julia Dusk in the midst of the British army's infiltration of Vemork, and gained information on Project Riese from their longtime ally Tesla.[54]

The Assassins then diverted their attention to the Project Riese base underneath Książ Castle in Poland, where Abstergo Industries had built a base for the German Templars to build superweapons from Precursor knowledge. Gorm and Dusk infiltrated an auction at Książ Castle, where they killed Obbergrupenführer Kramer and claimed the Apple of Eden and the base for the Assassins. However, Tesla revealed that Pash was in collusion with the Templars, hoping to build nuclear weapons for the Americans to turn the tide of war. Gorm and Dusk turned against Pash, with Dusk blowing herself up to destroy the Apple, to no effect.[54]

On 28 October 1943, under the supervision of Pash and the Templar John von Neumann and using the Apple of Eden and Die Glocke, a group of scientists attempted to conduct a time travel experiment on the USS Eldridge, known as Project Rainbow. Their plan was to kill Adolf Hitler before he could ascend to power, as the Templars were unable to maintain their influence over the Nazi leader. Before the experiment could be conducted, Gorm killed Tesla to sabotage it, before taking his own life, refusing to take part in Pash's plans for mankind.[54]

The Assassins were in contact with the anti-Nazi youth group the Edelweiss Pirates, namely Barthel Schink. Before he was sentenced to be hanged in 1944, Schink tasked Miriam Kurtz with bringing a Piece of Eden hidden in the spire of Cologne Cathedral to the Assassins in Paris.[38]

The war continued until 1945. On 30 April of that year, Adolf Hitler exited his Führerbunker in Berlin after executing his body double. The Assassins, who had been lying in wait for Hitler to show himself, killed the Nazi leader, aiding in bringing the conflict to an end.[2]

Post-war activity

"In the old days, that usually meant killing anyone who became too powerful or greedy. These days, it means subversion of established regimes. [...] Countries. Corporations. We change the system from within."
―The Mentor explaining the Assassins' modern approach to Daniel Cross, 2000.[src]

After the Second World War, the Russian Academy of Sciences was able to reorganize, ridding itself of Templar influence and strengthening the Russian Brotherhood's foothold.[21] In 1953, they eventually managed to poison Joseph Stalin,[2] making it look like a stroke.[21] As one of their last high-profile assassinations, the Assassins also killed the Templar-affiliated President François Duvalier of Haiti in 1971.[2]

By the end of the century, the Assassin Brotherhood ceased to use violence to change regimes, and instead focused their attention on stopping the manipulation of the Templars through the subversion of regimes and corporations.[49] The entire Assassin Brotherhood had also fallen under the leadership of a single Mentor,[4] whom by the end of the century had become a reclusive figure known only through stories by most members of the Brotherhood.[49]

Contemporary era

The Great Purge

"We're losing this war, Desmond. The Templars are too powerful. And every day more of us die..."
―Lucy Stillman to Desmond Miles, 2012.[src]

In April 1998, Hannah Mueller brought Daniel Cross, whom she had mistaken for a confused Assassin, to an Assassin compound outside Philadelphia. The compound's director, Paul Bellamy, believed it was Cross' destiny to join the Brotherhood, which the latter refused to acknowledge. After sneaking away with Mueller to get his medication, Cross – who suffered from the Bleeding Effect – experienced a vision when reliving the Tunguska event from the memories of Nikolai Orelov, and believed it was now his purpose to find the Mentor.[49]

DanielKillMentor

Cross killing the Mentor

The next two years, Cross trained as an Assassin and travelled across the world visiting Assassin cells to ask for aid in his quest. On November 5, Cross was abducted from a hotel room and woke up in the Mentor's Dubai headquarters, where the Mentor explained his role to Cross, and expressed his desire to name Cross his successor.[49]

After he awarded Cross with a ceremonial hidden blade, the latter acted upon a hidden impulse to kill the Mentor, implanted into his brain in 1983 by Dr. Warren Vidic. The Assassins were left in a state of chaos,[49] allowing the Templars to gain the upper hand in the American presidential election and install their puppet George W. Bush.[7]

ACTF Great Purge murder

A Templar agent killing members of a Philadelphia cell

Cross fled back to Abstergo's Philadelphia facility, where he revealed the location of all Assassin hideouts he had visited. The Templars then initiated a worldwide attack on the Assassins called the Great Purge, resulting in the near-decimation of the Assassin Order.[49] The remaining members of the Brotherhood continued to operate in covert cells around the globe,[2] eventually falling under the leadership of William Miles.[16]

In the following years, the Templars continued to hunt the Assassins, and achieved to thin out their diminished numbers.[2] In October 2002, Cross – then a Templar agent – infiltrated the Assassins' secret library of Ivan the Terrible and retrieved the Prophet's Codex, from which the Templars learned about "Desmond" and his importance to the First Civilization.[51] Desmond, the son of William Miles, fled the Assassin compound known as the Farm to escape from his Assassin life on his next birthday. Two years later, Miles sent Lucy Stillman to infiltrate Abstergo as an assistant to Dr. Warren Vidic, director of the Animus Project.[17]

Preventing the Second Disaster

"Every day for the past two weeks the sun has been throwing off larger and larger flares. Older satellites are starting to malfunction, I hear rumblings of recalling the crew on the international space station. There's already work being done as well to shield power stations and transformers on the ground. Not that any of it matters. This goes far beyond some brownouts..."
―Shaun Hastings on the imminent solar flare, 2012.[src]
Des Hideout 2

Desmond Miles meeting Shaun Hastings and Rebecca Crane

Following Clay's death, Abstergo endeavoured to find Desmond Miles as the Animus Project's next subject.[17] On 1 September 2012,[21] they located and kidnapped him, and he was placed inside the Animus in the Abstergo Campus in Rome under Dr. Vidic and Lucy Stillman's supervision. After Abstergo acquired a map of the Pieces of Eden from the memories of Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, Lucy escaped with Desmond to join the Assassins Rebecca Crane and Shaun Hastings,[21] as part of Vidic's plan to make Desmond willingly find an Apple of Eden.[55]

The Assassins then made Desmond explore the memories of Ezio Auditore da Firenze to find his Apple of Eden. From Ezio's meeting with Minerva in 1499, the Assassins discovered that an imminent solar flare posed a larger threat than the Templars, and they focused their attention to finding the Precursor temples. After an attack on their Rome hideout,[2] the team fled to Monteriggioni, where Desmond discovered the Apple's location from Desmond's memories. They travelled back to Rome, where they discovered the vault beneath the Santa Maria in Aracoeli. When Desmond picked up the Apple, he became possessed by the Precursor Juno.[7]

Retrieval 18

Desmond killing Lucy

Faced with visions of Lucy leading the team and the Apple to the Templars,[42] Desmond stabbed Lucy, and went into a coma. The team was picked up by William Miles, and Desmond was placed into the Animus. He retrieved the coordinates to the Grand Temple from Ezio's memories,[56] and while Desmond continued to explore his ancestor's memories, the team travelled to the Grand Temple in New York to combat the incoming disaster.[16]

With aid from a digital construct of Clay Kaczmarek inside the Animus, Desmond awoke from his coma, and the team took up shelter inside the Grand Temple. Once inside, Juno – who had been digitally imprisoned inside the temple – forced Desmond to live the memories of Haytham Kenway, and later his son Ratonhnhaké:ton, to find the temple's key.[42]

While reliving his ancestors' memories, Desmond conversed with a digital construct of Juno inside the Grand Temple, learning more about their attempts to stop the first solar flare. He also went on missions to Manhattan and São Paulo to find power source for the temple, which led to encounters with Templar agent Daniel Cross. When Wiliam Miles went to find a third power source in the Cairo Museum, he was captured by Sigma Team. Desmond subsequently flew to Rome to rescue him from the Abstergo Campus, which resulted in Desmond killing both Cross and Dr. Vidic.[42]

ACIII-GTEnd 5

Desmond sacrificing himself to activate the Eye

Eventually, Desmond recovered the Grand Temple Key's location from Ratonhnhaké:ton's memories and recovered it from the Davenport Homestead. Using it to open the Grand Temple's inner gate, Desmond discovered a device known as the Eye and was met by digital constructs of both Juno and Minerva. While Juno offered Desmond a choice to use the Eye to shield the planet from a solar flare, on the condition that it would also release her from imprisonment in the temple, Minerva warned Desmond that releasing her would bring more horror than the solar flare.[42]

Believing it to be the lesser of two evils, Desmond opted to use the Eye to protect the Earth from near-complete destruction. Telling William, Shaun and Rebecca to go, Desmond used the Eye, resulting in his own death but also the successful protection of the planet. After Juno left the temple,[42] Desmond's body was eventually found and obtained by an Abstergo team.[38]

Regaining their foothold

Shaun: "So what do we do now?"
Gavin: "We go to work. We turn the page."
―Shaun Hastings and Gavin Banks on their course of action, 2013.[src]
ACi-Trap

Eric Cooper, Gavin Banks and Susan Drayton aboard the Altair II

Unable to cope with the death of his son, William Miles went to live in seclusion. In May 2013, he passed his codex onto Gavin Banks, and named him the new leader of the Brotherhood. Banks, operating from the Altair II, sent Shaun Hastings and Rebecca Crane to the United States to report on Templar activity, while Banks and his crew proceeded to continue Miles' work by following instructions from his codex.[21]

Hastings and Crane decided to recover Desmond's body, and moved to Montreal after discovering that Abstergo's new entertainment division was recruiting new employees.[21] They infiltrated their Montreal facility as a barrista and courier, respectively, and allied themselves with Abstergo technician John Standish to acquire inside information. Standish forced an analyst of the Sample 17 Project to hack into the company's computers for the Assassins in early November. However, on 26 November 2013, Standish, a Sage, ultimately betrayed the Assassins and tried to acquire the analyst's body for Juno to use, before being killed by Abstergo guards. After discovering what happened to Desmond's body, William Miles came out of hiding.[38]

Jasdip Dhami vs Templars

Jasdip fighting an Abstergo strike team

On 3 November, an Indian Assassin cell including siblings Siobhan and Jasdip Dhami abducted Jot Soora, a MysoreTech employee whom they erroneously believed to be a descendant of Arbaaz Mir, after he was assigned to test a localized version of the virtual reality Animus. Otso Berg's Sigma Team raided the safehouse in which they held Jot to acquire him for themselves. Jasdip and Jot survived the attack and fled to a safehouse in Mumbai. Exploring more memories of Arbaaz through the Abstergo Cloud, Soora was unable to find the location of the Koh-i-Noor before Berg attacked the safehouse again, in which Jot escaped from both the Assassins and Templars.[47]

In December 2013, the Altair II arrived in Osaka, Japan, where its crew tried to establish contact with the local Assassins. Sometime prior, the Japanese Assassins' hideout had been attacked by a Yakuza gang, the Onmoraki-Gumi, resulting in the death of their Mentor Kenichi Mochizuki. His wife Saeko became the new Mentor, eliminated the Onmoraki-Gumi's leaders and took over the organization to blend the Assassins into the city. Banks and Emmanuel Barraza discovered the Yakuza's hideout, and despite Banks' disapproval of the Yakuza, the crew left the Japanese Assassins behind.[21]

In February 2014, Harlan Cunningham and Arend Schut infiltrated an Abstergo facility in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and stole the Precursor box. After a firefight with Sigma Team led by Otso Berg, the Assassins were forced to abandon their mission, leaving the artifact behind in the process.[41]

ACi-TheLastScienceCity

Emmanuel, Galina Voronina and Banks meeting

In March 2014, Banks, Barraza and Emmett Leary left the Altair II to travel to Moscow to meet with Galina Voronina, an Assassin from the Protvino cell who needed aid in assassinating her mother, who went crazy from exposure to the Animus. The Assassins accompanied Voronina to the science city, where she single-handedly took out all remaining feral Assassins including her mother, who was strapped to the Animus under Juno's control. With the science city abandoned, Voronina accepted Banks' invitation to join his crew as an enforcer.[21]

Banks, determined to find William Miles, led the Altair II to a bunker in Tromsø, Norway based on instructions from the codex. There, they rejoined Miles, Hastings and Crane, where the latter discovered that there was a spy for the Initiates on the crew. After interrogating the crew, both Dr. Stephanie Chiu and Eric Cooper were exposed as spies. Miles and Banks decided to recruit the Initiates, and on 16 June, Hastings sent a message to the group with an invitation to join the Brotherhood.[21]

In October, a team of Assassins including Gavin, Shaun and Galina attacked Abstergo's Paris facility,[41] where the Templar scientist Dr. Álvaro Gramática was conducting research for their Phoenix Project;[34] an attempt to sequence a Precursor genome to unlock the true potential of the Pieces of Eden.[13] To thwart their progress, the Assassins destroyed the facility, including the body of the Sage John Standish[41] and the original Shroud of Eden, connected to the consciousness of the Precursor Consus.[34]

By November, Hastings and an Assassin codenamed Bishop contacted users of Abstergo's new Helix program on behalf of the Assassins. One such user became an initiate tasked with exploring the memories of Arno Dorian to find the body of the Sage, François-Thomas Germain, ahead of the Templars. After discovering that Arno had hidden the body in the Paris catacombs, the Assassins abandoned their search.[13] Around the same time, Otso Berg sent a video recording of Shay Cormac killing Assassins across the Assassins' network. The Assassins, fearing an attack by the Templars, were sent into a temporary state of chaos.[41]

ACS Stay With Me 2

Galina, Shaun and Rebecca ambushing the Templars inside the Buckingham vault

In late 2015, Bishop contacted another Helix user to help her, Shaun and Rebecca find the location of a Shroud of Eden in London by exploring the memories of Jacob and Evie Frye. Through their memories, the Initiate discovered its location in the vault underneath Buckingham Palace, where Shaun, Rebecca and Galina faced off against Isabelle Ardant, Juhani Otso Berg and Violet da Costa. Shaun killed Ardant, but when Rebecca was critically shot the Assassins had to leave the artifact behind to safely escape.[34]

With the Shroud in his possession, Dr. Álvaro Gramática subsequently became the Assassins' primary target and finding his lab a top priority. Meanwhile, the Templars started targeting the Initiates, resulting in the death of the Abstergo analyst. After various Assassins voiced their concerns over the Initiates' involvement, William Miles enacted the Rooftop Garden Protocol, ending all communications on the Assassins' worldwide network and with the Initiates.[57]

Renewed Assassin operations

"Above all, your primary target remains Dr. Gramatica and his lab. If you find either, DO NOT ENGAGE. Report to me immediately and we will assemble a strike team. Outside of this, you are free to choose your own targets, so long as you follow the Creed."
―Bishop sending a message to the Assassin cells, 2015.[src]

In late 2015, a new Assassin team consisting of Xavier Chen, Galina Voronina and Kody Adams rescued Charlotte de la Cruz, an individual with Eagle Vision they had considered for recruitment, from a Templar ambush. The Assassins had received intel that one of their members, Joseph Laurier, had made contact with the Templars to inform them of an artifact hidden by his ancestor during the Salem witch trials. In order to determine if he was telling the truth or baiting the Templars, Charlotte was forced to relive the memories of her 17th century Thomas Stoddard in the Animus.[37]

ACA Charlotte, Galina and Joseph

Charlotte and Galina confronting Joseph

With time running out, Galina pressured the team into confronting the Templars at their local headquarters. While initially believing Joseph spoke the truth, Charlotte later discovered his treachery through her ancestor's memories. However, Joseph took the opportunity to kill Xavier and gravely injured Galina.[37] Charlotte and Galina escaped with Kody, relocating to Mexico City in early 2016, and refocused their efforts on Joseph. Meanwhile, Charlotte became convinced they had to find Erudito, a hacker collective, per Consus' warning through her ancestor's memories.[33]

Trying to find leads through local Templars, and while Charlotte relived the memories of her ancestor Quila, the Assassins instead angered a local cartel led by Arturo Viera. After Viera kidnapped Kody, a team of Templars led by Ortega Sanchez eliminated Viera at a meeting between him and the Assassins. He planted a tracking device in Charlotte's foot, and made a deal to spare her team's life if she'd surrender herself to them later. While she held up her end of the deal, Galina and Kody made a deal with the cartel to kill the Templars and Sanchez. This allowed them to proceed to Argentina, having discovered the password and coordinates of their hideout hidden in Quila's memories.[33]

ACA Assassin Erudito meeting

The Assassins meeting Erudito

The Assassins were brought to an Erudito base at an undisclosed location. While Erudito's leader, Charlotte's grandmother Florencia, wanted to help the Assassins, several of the other hackers were initially reluctant to give up their independence. Charlotte ensured the opportunity to convince the hackers, by having her explore the memories of Hiram Stoddard, who worked with Giovanni Borgia, for more signs from Consus, while Galina took Erudito's field agents to find Joseph Laurier in Somalia.[32]

Eventually, after Sanchez, who survived the earlier ordeal, and the Templars tracked Charlotte using the device planted in her foot, many members of Erudito were killed during their attack on the island. Joseph, who was engaged in a fight with Galina, Sheed and My'shell Lemair, offered them resistance after word of the attack reached them to ensure Charlotte's safety, believing her to be too important. While Kody, Sheed and Joseph died during the attack, the others were able to escape with help from the Assassins Arend Schut and Kiyoshi Takakura, and later regrouped.[32]

In October 2016, Abstergo faked the public execution of Callum Lynch, a convict on death row with a strong Assassin heritage. He was brought to Abstergo's Madrid facility, where he was placed in a new Animus by Dr. Sophia Rikkin, daughter of Abstergo CEO Alan Rikkin. They forced him to explore the memories of the Assassin Aguilar de Nerha in the hope of finding his Apple of Eden. Meanwhile, Callum met various imprisoned Assassins in the facility.[27]

Working closely with Sophia, Callum relived the memories of his ancestor and eventually came to trust Sophia, becoming determined to help Abstergo. When he reached Aguilar's target memory in the Animus, Callum was greeted by ghastly visions of his ancestors, including his mother, who convinced him to accept his place among the Assasins. The other Assassin prisoners staged a prison break, and Callum escaped along with Moussa and Lin.[27]

ACmovie Callum killing Rikkin

Callum Lynch killing Alan Rikkin

In order to retrieve the Apple from the Templars, the three Assassins infiltrated the Grand Templar Hall in London, where Rikkin was celebrating the artifact's retrieval at a Templar meeting. Sophia Rikkin, dissatisfied with her father stealing her successes, allowed Callum to infiltrate the meeting. The new Assassin consequently killed Rikkin and retrieved the Apple before fleeing in the chaos.[27]

Conflict with the Instruments

"All these bodies... It's a statement. Templars don't make statements. Why would they drag this war into daylight? The cell we lost in Hong Kong... now this in Germany. We haven't seen anything like this since the Great Purge. This is something new."
―Kiyoshi Takakura about their new enemy, 2017.[src]

By 2017, Charlotte de la Cruz had become an essential part of the Assassin Brotherhood. Charlotte and Guernica Moneo, an Erudito hacker and reluctant Assassin ally, travelled to join Barindra Mitra's cell to search a Phoenix Project lab in Hong Kong for data. However, upon their arrival, Charlotte was attacked by a group of men wearing high-tech Assassin armor and was met by a young boy – unbeknownst to her, the son of Desmond Miles. This new faction were secretly the Instruments of the First Will, a group serving Juno and fighting to restore Isu dominance over humanity. After Jasdip Dhami, an Assassin who had joined the Instruments, gravely wounded Guernico, Charlotte was forced to retreat with him back to the London safehouse.[58]

Galina and Arend met their Abstergo contact, Heinrich Hart, in Berlin, to question him on the intel about the Hong Kong safehouse. Feigning ignorance, Hart, himself an Instrument, was able to convince the Assassins of his innocence. After Hart blew himself up shortly afterwards following an interaction with Otso Berg, the new Black Cross, the Assassins became convinced they were facing a new faction. Using Abstergo intel, the Assassins found a lead on the Koh-i-Noor, which Consus had previously told Charlotte to find. Intending to explore the life of her ancestor Ignacio Cardona, who interacted with the artifact, Charlotte instead got stuck inside the Animus interface, unable to get out.[58]

Guernica – himself secretly an Instrument of the First Will – insisted the Assassins find Felix Oladele, an Abstergo extraction specialist, to help Charlotte, but instead led Arend and Kiyoshi into another trap laid by the Instruments, which they barely escaped. Juno secretly infiltrated the Assassins' Animus, sifting through Charlotte's memories. Guernica, willing to spare Charlotte future atrocities, attempted to kill Charlotte after Juno was done, but was caught and stopped by Galina.[58]

Meanwhile, My'shell Lemair, blaming herself for Charlotte's situation, decided to investigate leads on old Assassin accounts, leading her to discover they were secretly being used by a third faction. Berg also investigated the accounts and interrogated her, before being ambushed by an Instrument cell led by Jasdip. Gravely wounded, My'shell took Berg to the London safehouse, where the Assassins reconvened. Reluctantly, the Assassin cell and Berg decided to join forces to stop the new faction which had infiltrated both their orders.[58]

Charlotte went to relive the memories of Ignacio Cardona, discovering that he interacted with the former Black Cross Albert Bolden. After Charlotte was unable to carry on due to fatigue caused by the Animus, Berg relived the memories of Albert Bolden using the DNA from his descendant André Bolden. They eventually discovered the artifact was buried in the rubble of an abandoned church in Spain. Meanwhile, the Instruments hijacked Abstergo's Phoenix Project laboratory for their own means.[52]

In late October 2017, William Miles rescued a rogue Abstergo operative named Layla Hassan, who had been tasked by Simon Hathaway with retrieving the sarcophagus of Bayek of Siwa, the founder of the Hidden Ones, in the Qattara Depression in Egypt. After she decided to explore Bayek's memories on her own with her portable Animus rather than bringing the sarcophagus to Abstergo, the company unsuccessfully sent agents to kill her. William eventually found her and offered her an opportunity to work on the Assassins' Animus project, which she reluctantly accepted.[6]

References

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  3. The Art of Assassin's Creed: Origins
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  18. Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines
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