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This article is about the Renaissance era Assassin Order. You may be looking for the Order operating in Roman Antiquity.
Italian Assassins
AC-Encyclopedia-Italian Insignia
Organizational information
Founder

Niccolò Polo
Maffeo Polo

Headquarters

Venice (until 1320s)
Monteriggioni (until 1500)
Rome

Locations

Italy

Related organizations

Assassins
House of Auditore
House of Medici

Historical information
Date formed

1269

Date reorganized

1501

Additional information
Notable members

Marco Polo
Domenico Auditore
Mario Auditore
Ezio Auditore
Niccolò Machiavelli

The Italian Assassins were the Italian Brotherhood of Assassins, existing since their formation during the latter half of the 13th century.

Primarily led by the Auditore family, the Italian Assassins were mainly involved with taking down the corrupt Borgia family, the ruling body of the Templar Order during the Renaissance.

HistoryEdit

FoundationEdit

The torch 1

Altaïr passing his Codex to Niccolò Polo

In 1257, the Venetian explorers Niccolò and Maffeo Polo were invited to stay at the Assassins' fortress of Masyaf by Darim Ibn-La'Ahad, the son of Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad. After training, the two became Assassins themselves, and the elderly Altaïr entrusted them to create Assassins Guilds as well as guarding his autobiographical Codex.[1]

When the Mongols eventually attacked, the Polo brothers left Masyaf towards their home in Constantinople, where they were successful in creating a guild in 1258. However, during their journey, the Polos had lost the Codex to the Mongols, thus failing in their promise to protect it.[1] In 1259, Niccolò and Maffeo journeyed to the Mongol Empire in an effort to retrieve the Codex, but ultimately failed.[2]

In 1269, the Polos arrived in Venice, Italy, where they created an Assassins Guild,[3] and Niccolò trained his son Marco in the ways of the Assassins.[4] The three of them made another journey to the Mongol Empire two years later,[2] with Marco successfully retrieving the Codex, which they took with them back to Italy in 1295.[4]

Formation of the AuditoreEdit

Marco Polo passed the Codex into the hands of fellow Assassin Dante Alighieri. The next year, Dante took on the son - who would later take on the name Domenico Auditore - of a fellow Assassin as an apprentice, and the boy would later in turn take both Dante and the Codex to Spain.[4]

In 1321, Dante was killed by the Templars, proving their continuing existence to the Assassins. The Codex was given to Domenico and he was tasked with bringing it to Spain; however, he and his family were attacked by pirates employed by the Templars while being docked in Otranto, prompting Domenico to spread the Codex' pages across several boxes in his ship to prevent the pirates from finding it. Domenico's wife was brutally abused and murdered by the pirates, but Domenico and his son survived.[4]

ACIVilla

The future Villa Auditore, the Assassin's headquarter for two centuries

Both Marco Polo and Domenico's father were killed by the Templars in 1324, and using Marco's money, Domenico temporarily settled in Florence, pretending to be part of the city's nobility by taking on the name Auditore. In 1327, Domenico bought and renovated a villa in Monteriggioni, which he named the Villa Auditore, that became the headquarters of the Italian Assassins for nearly two centuries.[4]

In 1355, the Assassins stole a Shrouds of Eden from the french Templar Geoffroy de Charny. Domenico's son, Renato Auditore hid the artifact beneath the Villa, which was recovered a century later by Renato's grandson, Mario Auditore, who sent the Piece of Eden to another group of Assassins to protect Monteriggioni after a siege was organized by the Florentines who searched the for Shroud.[5]

Templar ConspiraciesEdit

At the end of 1476, under the leadership of Rodrigo Borgia, the Templars planned to unite all of Italy under the Templar's banner by a series of conspiracies. Mario's brother ,Giovanni Auditore da Firenze, investigated on rumors about a conspiracy against Milan. One night, Giovanni attacked a group of men led by Rodrigo in Florence. The Grand Master flew the scene, but Giovanni captured a henchman who revealed under torture that the Templars wanted to assassinated the Duke of Milan, Galeazzo Maria Sforza, to weaken the power of Lorenzo de' Medici in Florence. Giovanni tried to stop the Templars but arrived too late; Galeazzo was killed and his death was avenged by a guard. Giovanni continued his investigation in Venice, where he found a cryptic letter from the Templars. He delivered the letter himself in Rome where he met Rodrigo, who asked him to join the Templars. Giovanni refused and killed Rodrigo's men, but broke his hidden blade and was wounded by the Grandmaster.[6]


LMS 1 v

The execution of Giovanni Auditore with his sons by the Templars

After these events, Giovanni made a list of the Templar conspirators and imprisoned Francesco de' Pazzi, a Templar banker who planned to assassinated Lorenzo de' Medici and capture Florence for the Templars. The Templars however, with the help of Giovanni's friend, Uberto Alberti, arrested and executed Giovanni and his sons for treason. Paola, the leader of courtesans of Florence, helped the last son of Giovanni, Ezio Auditore da Firenze, in his quest for revenge. She taught him stealth and informed him how and when to kill Uberto.

After Ezio killed the Gonfaloniere, the young man fled Florence with his mother and sister and went to Monteriggioni, where his uncle revealed the truth about his father. Mario taught combat skills and secrets of the Brotherhood to his nephew to convince him to take the place of his father in the search for the Codex pages. Ezio refused to join the Brotherhood but helped Mario to attack San Gimignano, which was controlled by the Templars and killed Vieri de' Pazzi. Learning the Templars plot against Florence, Ezio resolved to kill every single Templar responsible for the death of his father and brothers and continue the search for the Codex pages. Mario decided to train Ezio through Assassins who would hide their affiliation to let Ezio find the truth himself.[4]

FTTF (3)

Ezio asking Lorenzo about the Pazzi conspirators

In 1478, Ezio Auditore was helped by La Volpe, the leader of the thieves' guild in Florence, who informed him that a Templar reunion would take place under Basilica di Santa Maria Novella. Ezio eavesdropped on the reunion and learned of the Templars' plan to assassinate Lorenzo de' Medici and his brother, which would allow them to take power in Florence. Ezio prevented the murder of Lorenzo, and killed Francesco de' Pazzi. After this, the five co-conspirators fled the city. Ezio tracked them down however, and with the help of Mario's mercenaries, assassinated every Templar involved in the Pazzi conspiracy. These actions made the Medici powerful allies of the Assassins for many years.[4]

Several years later, around 1481, Antonio de Magianis, an Assassin who led the thieves guild of Venice, fought the Templar merchant Emilio Barbarigo, who sought to unite every merchant under his banner to control every district of Venice. Antonio launched an attack on Emilio's palazzo, but failed, and many thieves were captured as a result. Ezio, who wanted to kill the Templar for his involvement in his father's death, helped Antonio to reconstruct the guild and killed Emilio in 1485. To take control of Venice, the Templars planned to murder the Doge, Giovanni Mocenigo, and have one of their own take his place. Ezio and Antonio failed to prevent the poisoning and the Templar Marco Barbarigo was elected Doge.[4]

In 1486, Ezio returned to Venice and with the help of Antonio and Teodora Contanto, leader of the courtesans in Venice, killed the new Doge during the Carnavale. Marco's brother, Agostino Barbarigo, an ally of the Assassins, took his place as Doge. The Templars took the Arsenale to make a diversion while they travelled for Cyprus. Bartolomeo d'Alviano, a Condottiero, attacked the Arsenale, but was captured. Ezio saved him and his men and launched a surprise attack on the Arsenale. He killed Silvio Barbarigo and his bodyguard, Dante Moro, who revealed that the Templars were in search of a secret object in Cyprus.[4]

Search for the vaultEdit

Play along 9

Initiation of Ezio Auditore

The Assassins and the Templars were searching for the Codex pages, which contained information about a vault, where an object of immense power was hidden. Only "The Prophet" could open the vault with two Pieces of Eden ---- The Apple and The Staff. Rodrigo Borgia believed he was The Prophet and wanted to acquire the artifacts for himself. In 1488, the Templars expedition in Cyprus was successful, and they returned to Venice with The Apple, with Rodrigo himself travelling to Venice to retrieve the artifact. After learning that the man responsible for the death of his kin was in Venice, Ezio disguised himself as a guard and confronted Rodrigo. Mario and the others Assassins, who supported Ezio during his quest, joined him in the fight. Rodrigo escaped, but the Assassins obtained the Apple. They revealed to Ezio that they were all Assassins and that Ezio was The Prophet himself. After this, Ezio was officially inducted into the Brotherhood.[4]

The Assassins decided to hide the Apple in Forlì, a city controlled by Caterina Sforza, an ally of the Assassins. Ezio and Niccolò Machiavelli escorted the Apple to Forlì, but the city was attacked by the Orsi brothers, who were hired by Rodrigo to find the map of Girolamo Riario which revealed the location of the Codex pages. During the battle, the Orsi were assassinated, although Ezio was wounded and had lost the Apple. He later learned that the Apple was taken by a Florentine monk with a missing finger, Girolamo Savonarola. Before beginning his investigation on the monk, Caterina gave Ezio the map of her dead husband, which helped the Assassin complete the Codex Wall.[7]

In 1491, during his search for the Apple, Ezio helped the Spanish Assassins, who were hunted by the Spanish Inquisition, who in turn, worked for the Templars. He saved the Assassins and rescued the king Muhammad XII of Granada, which stopped the war between Spain and Grenada. He also saved Christopher Columbus from the Templars, who wanted to reach the New World before any other country.[8]


Power to people 2

The Assassins during the revolt against Savonarola

In 1497, Ezio returned to Florence, where Savonarola had taken the Apple, used it to control the leader of the city and exiled the Medici. Ezio, Paola, La Volpe and Machiavelli started a revolt against Savonarola's rule. Ezio killed the lieutenants and the other Assassins led the population against Savonarola. One year later, Ezio retrieved the Apple after Savonarola was attacked by the mob.Just before Savonarola was about to be burned alive in public, Ezio assassinated the monk, as he believed that no one should have to suffer such a horrific fate. Before the population, Ezio demanded to the crowd to follow their own free will, and not anyone else like Savonarola, the Medici, or himself.[9]

Rodrigo Borgia, who became Pope Alexander VI in 1492, acquired the Staff of Eden, which when combined with the Apple, could open the vault. The Assassins sent Perotto Calderon as a courier to discover secrets and intercept letters. However the Assassin fell in love with Lucrezia Borgia, the daughter of Rodrigo, and when she become pregnant in 1498, Perotto was imprisoned. The Assassin escaped, and took his deformed son to the Shroud of Eden to save him, which was under the protection of the Assassins in Agnadello. Perotto was forced to kill his brothers to heal his son. A group of Assassins was sent to kill Perotto, seen as a traitor to the Brotherhood. After his death, some Assassins, like Rinaldo Vitturi left the Brotherhood due to the misuse of the Shroud.[5]

In 1499, the Assassins collected all of the Codex pages and with the Apple, they discovered that the vault was under the Sistine Chapel. Ezio went to the Vatican and confronted Rodrigo Borgia. After defeating Rodrigo, Ezio spared his life after realizing that killing him him would not solve anything. He entered the vault and met a strange being by the name of Minerva, an individual of the First Civilization. She warned the descendant of Ezio, Desmond Miles, that a catastrophic event which would wipe out civilization would occur soon, just like in the past, and that he was the only one who could save the world. After this, a bewildered Ezio left the vault with the Apple and returned with Mario to Monteriggioni. [4]

Liberation of RomeEdit

Vilified 3 v

Destruction of Monteriggioni by Cesare's army

In Monteriggioni, Ezio informed the Assassins and his family of what he found in the vault and the fact that he spared Rodrigo, which Machiavelli considered as a mistake and left the Villa. Enraged by the Assassin victory, Cesare Borgia, Rodrigo' son, rallied his army and attacked Monteriggioni. The attack was short but fierce, and the Templars managed to reclaim the Apple of Eden, kill Mario Auditore, and capture Caterina Sforza. Wounded during the battle, Ezio decided to go to Rome to retrieve the Apple and avenge the attack, but fell unconscious during the travel. Niccolò Machiavelli found him and sent him to Margherita dei Campi, to be healed.[10]

After Ezio regained consciousness, Magherita gave him a new set of robes and equipment offered by Niccolò and informed Ezio that Niccolo wanted to see him. The two Assassins planned to take the Apple and kill Rodrigo and his son. With the help of La Volpe, Bartolomeo d'Alviano and his sister, Claudia Auditore who took leadership of the courtesans of Rome, the Assassins had a strong network in Rome. In 1501, Ezio went to Castel Sant'Angelo, to find the Apple and kill his targets, but could only save Caterina.[10]

Understanding that the Borgia power was based on Rome, Ezio decided to induct new apprentices into the Brotherhood, recruited from the population of the city, and attack Cesare's lieutenants and allies such as the Cento Occhi, the Followers of Romulus and the French army led by Octavian de Valois.[10] He created a group of Assassins, led by Francesco Vecellio, which through Italy sabotaged Cesare power, killing his allies and protecting individuals who could opposed against Cesare. They also convinced Rinaldo and other former Assassins to rejoin the Brotherhood.[5] Ezio also sent recruits around Europe and Asia to perform missions, as well as helping other Assassin branches in Barcelona, Calicut, Constantinople and Paris against the Templars, helping rulers in England and the Holy Empire or installing new guilds across Europe.[10]

Ascension 3

The Italian Brotherhood in Rome

In August 1503, the Assassins managed to destroy Cesare's defenses and his War Machines, thwarting Cesare's plans for invasion, and cutting off his funds by killing Juan Borgia as well as the support of the French army with the death of Octavian de Valois. The Assassins found also a key which opens one of the doors in the Castel Sant'Angelo. After Claudia was inducted to the Brotherhood and Ezio became the Mentor of the Brotherhood, Cesare returned to Rome to use the Apple to reverse the situation. As his father refused to give him the Apple and learning that he tried to poison him, Cesare killed his father in a rage. Ezio found the Apple and used it against the remnants of Borgia forces during the end of the year. In December 1503 Cesare was imprisoned by the new Pope, Julius II, who became an ally for the Assassins.[10]

Cesare tried to escape but Ezio stopped him and Cesare was sent to a prison in Spain. The Assassins fought the Borgia's diehards who stayed in Rome. In 1506, Cesare escaped from his prison and rallied an army to conquer Spain, Rome and Italy. Ezio Auditore followed him to Valencia and Viana, where he eventually managed to kill Cesare while he led a siege against a castle. After Cesare's death, the Templars in Italy were eradicated, allowing the Assassins to gain more power and influence, as well as acquiring more allies.[10]

Post-Borgia periodEdit

After the destruction of the Templars in Italy, Ezio formed stronger ways of communication for the Assassins from Sicily to Venice and created more standard training methods for new Assassin recruits.

Sideeffects

Francesco Vecellio leaving a wounded Niccolò di Pitigliano

In 1509, Bartolomeo d'Alviano fought in the Battle of Agnadello to protect the Shroud against the army of Louis XII of France. Bartolomeo was captured and his cousin, Niccolò di Pitigliano, took the artifact for himself. In 1510, Francesco Vecellio tracked Niccolò in Lonigo, created a revolt against the condottiero. With a team of Assassins, Francesco stroke the manor, mortally wounded Niccolò and took the Shroud for the Brotherhood.[5]

During these more peaceful times, Ezio Auditore left for Masyaf to search for Altaïr's library. During his absence Claudia led the Assassins and contacted Desiderius Erasmus, the Mentor of the Northern European Assassins, who was concerned about the work of Martin Luther which could trouble the peace in Europe. Upon Ezio's return, he decided to retire and appointed Lodovico Ariosto as the new Mentor.[11]

In 1519, Giovanni Borgia, the son of Perotto Calderon and Lucrezia Borgia, who became an Assassin, went to Mexico with the troops of Hernán Cortés to find a Piece of Eden, a Crystal Skull which was used by the Aztecs for sacrifices. During the Night of Sorrows, Giovanni stole the artifact and brought it to Bombastus. Later in 1527, Giovanni was sent to Paris to search the second half of the Book of Abraham, which contained occult knowledge. Giovanni, with Maria Amiel, took the second half and discovered Pythagorean symbols. The two lovers went to the Temple of Pythagoras and contacted an individual from the First Civilization, Consus.[5]

Appearance Edit

Generally, the robes worn by the Italian Apprentices' hearkened back to those worn by the Levantine Assassins, being white and accompanied by a red sash around the waist. If the Apprentice attained the rank of Assassin he or she would be given white Assassin robes, similar to those of Ezio's own.

A few prominent Assassins within the Italian Brotherhood eschewed the more traditional attire; among these were the Mentor Niccolò Machiavelli, Bartolomeo d'Alviano, Claudia Auditore, Paola, Antonio de Magianis, Teodora Contanto, La Volpe and Rosa.

Techniques Edit

Initiation Rome 1

An Apprentice being inducted as an Assassin

The Italian Assassins were trained in stealth, combat, pickpocketing, blending and parkour and used most of the tactics created by the Levantine Brotherhood. The Apprentices started off with only a hidden blade, but could acquire armor and more weapons as they gained experience.They could also obtain the hidden gun, and were allowed to carry crossbows after attaining the rank of Assassin. The Italian Assassins used a variety of weapons, like swords, maces, heavy weapons, crossbows, poisons, throwing knives, bow and arrows, and daggers.

MembersEdit

Allies:

ReferencesEdit

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