Isabelle Ardant (née Chu; 1969 – 2015) was an operations executive and Head of Historical Research at Abstergo Industries, a position that endowed her as a member of the Inner Sanctum of the Templar Order. She had regular contact with Álvaro Gramática but disliked him intensely.
In 2015, Isabelle, Violet da Costa and Juhani Otso Berg were tasked with locating a Shroud of Eden, which they eventually uncovered beneath Buckingham Palace. However, though da Costa escaped with the Shroud, Isabelle was killed by the Assassin Shaun Hastings.
Isabelle was born in Hong Kong, in 1969, and emigrated to the United Kingdom to attend the University of Cambridge, where she specialized in computer science. Later, she became the first woman to be recruited by Abstergo Industries via their "Young Innovators" program. Isabelle started out as a digital archivist, but gradually rose in rank, eventually securing the position of Operations Executive for the Historical Research division.
She thus became responsible for managing and archiving Abstergo's genetic memories, collecting them from different branches of the company and making them available to one another. In this way, Isabelle came into contact with much of Abstergo's research, which led them to induct her into the Inner Sanctum. Meticulous by nature, she would guard the company's most valuable secrets.
Collaboration with Gramática
At some point in 2011, Isabelle was given the responsibility of archiving the genetic memories of Project Legacy, an assignment she was displeased with, as she believed it to be beneath her rank. Through the Project Legacy data, Isabelle discovered that during World War II, Abstergo had acquired a Shroud of Eden. Due to the recent setbacks that the company had suffered, she saw an opportunity to ingratiate herself with Alan Rikkin and decided to attempt repairing the artifact.
On 3 October, Isabelle took the Shroud with her to Mexico City, where she met up with Álvaro Gramática. She asked her fellow Templar to try and reactivate the artifact – a request he agreed to – while she searched her archives for more information about people that had previously come into contact with it.
In early January 2012, Isabelle was invited by Gramática to join him at an Abstergo facility in Paris to check up on his progress. She was unnerved to discover that he intended to shoot himself in a desperate attempt to activate the Shroud, as his work over the past few months had yielded little results. Isabelle reluctantly agreed and reacted with horror when an entity named "Consus" manifested itself through Gramática upon the artifact's activation.
In June, Isabelle arranged for Templar agent Violet da Costa to be Gramática's test subject for six months, feeling it was too risky to have the head of Abstergo's Future Technology shoot himself each time to summon Consus. After Gramática and da Costa's partnership ended, Gramática continued studying the Shroud by himself, until the artifact was destroyed in an Assassin attack on the facility in 2014.
That same year, Isabelle sent an email to Gramática, in which she briefed him about the 2.7 seconds of footage depicting the Isu, that had been successfully extracted from John Standish's genetic memories. Although the data was heavily corrupted, she was able to make out architectural styles and large guard-like figures, which excited her.
In September 2015, Isabelle informed Gramática that, through Master Assassin Arbaaz Mir's DNA sample, they had discovered that Arbaaz's son, Jayadeep Mir, had been searching for a Shroud of Eden in London during the 19th century. Álvaro, excited by the news, told Isabelle that he wanted someone researching Jayadeep's memories as fast as humanly possible.
In October, Isabelle spoke with Gramática regarding Desmond Miles' son, who was also a Sage; though she was quite excited at the potential data he could reveal, she refused to condone Gramática's plan to kidnap the ten year old and vivisect him, and instead proposed that he be placed in an Animus for fifty years to study his memories.
Quest for the Shroud
Around the same time, Abstergo was on the trail of a Shroud of Eden. On 24 October, Isabelle entered her London office to take a video conference with Gramática, who was heading the search, promising to bring in Sigma Team. Seconds after she ended the call she was confronted by the Assassins Shaun Hastings and Rebecca Crane. Shortly thereafter, Juhani Otso Berg and Violet da Costa arrived to engage the Assassins, but a set of pre-placed explosives detonated, which allowed the Assassins to escape. Angered by their escape, Isabelle ordered Sigma Team to hunt them down.
Sometime afterward, the Templars learned that the Shroud was hidden underneath Buckingham Palace, but unknown to them, so had the Assassins. Hastings, Crane and Galina Voronina attacked the Templars in the crypt beneath Buckingham palace. While Ardant was distracted by Berg and Voronina's fight, Hastings snuck up behind her and stabbed her in the back with his Shock Blade, electrocuting and killing her. While the Assassins were forced to retreat without the Shroud – Violet had managed to escape with it – leaving an unconscious Berg and Isabelle behind.
Following her death, Abstergo Industries sought to cover up the incident, and later prounounced her cause of death as due to an electrocution accident in the palace. This was later covered by various news networks. Abstergo would also spend a year in search of replacements for Isabelle's position as head of Abstergo Industries' Historical Research division. Eventually, Simon Hathaway was chosen to replace her in the position as and as a member of the Inner Sanctum.
Personality and characteristics
Unlike most of the members of the Inner Sanctum, Isabelle seemed to have a sense of morality, especially when it came to children. This was demonstrated when she showed utter disgust at Álvaro Gramática's desire to experiment on and vivisect a ten year old boy; even though the boy in question was both a Sage and the son of the late Desmond Miles, Isabelle refused to allow or condone it, citing the idea as "inhumane". Though this stands in direct contrast to other Templars that were willing to allow direct or indirect harm to children, including Laetitia England and Álvaro Gramática, she was still willing to rob him of his freedom and sanity by sticking him in an Animus for the rest of his life once he was old enough.
Like most high-ranking Templars, she disliked having to work with people or assignments she felt were beneath her such as Abstergo's Project Legacy. Isabelle also demonstrated a vengeful side, such as demanding the painful death of Assassin Shaun in the Temple when he tried to kill her in her office.
- Ardant's maiden name, Chu, can be 朱 written in the Wade-Giles spelling system, in which case it would mean "vermilion", or 楚 in the pinyin system used in Mainland China, referring to one of the kingdoms in the Zhou dynasty. As Ardant is from Hong Kong, where the Wade-Giles romanization is in official usage, her surname is most likely the former.
- Isabelle's office featured portraits of Élise de la Serre, Haytham Kenway and Charles Lee, as well as a kukri that was displayed on one of the tables.
- Among other things, Isabelle's computer contained a Helix directory of various British Assassins and Templars.
- According to Isabelle's calendar, she had meetings scheduled with Alan Rikkin, Mitsuko Nakamura, and Melanie Lemay throughout October 2015.
- Isabelle was part of the development team for Abstergo Entertainment’s Liberation video game.
- Assassin's Creed: Syndicate
- Assassin's Creed: Heresy (mentioned only)
- Assassin's Creed: Origins (mentioned only)
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Assassin's Creed: Origins
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Assassin's Creed: Syndicate
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Assassin's Creed: Syndicate - Database: Reconstructed Data 001
- ↑ Assassin's Creed: Syndicate - Database: Reconstructed Data 002
- ↑ Assassin's Creed: Syndicate - Database: Reconstructed Data 003
- ↑ Assassin's Creed: Syndicate - Database: Reconstructed Data 007
- ↑ Assassin's Creed: Unity
- ↑ Assassin's Creed: Syndicate - Database: Reconstructed Data 009
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Assassin's Creed: Syndicate - Database: Reconstructed Data 010
- ↑ Assassin's Creed: Heresy