- "The modern day Assassins are weak. It is only a matter of time before I catch the last of them, and kill them. But it is not enough for them to die. I want them to know how weak they truly are, and I want everyone to see them suffer. So on the day they finally meet me, they will welcome the death I offer them."
- ―Juhani Otso Berg, 2014.[src]
He was later inducted into the Inner Sanctum of the Templar Order and became the director of Abstergo Medical. In 2016, he took on the mantle of the Black Cross, believing the position had become necessary once more.
Juhani was born in Mikkeli, Finland, but was dragged around the world by his father, who worked for an oil company belonging to Abstergo industries. Johani was raised in countries such as Afghanistan, Kurdistan and Oman. With his father's blessing, Juhani returned to Finland to join the army. At first, they made fun of his muddled accent, but the jokes quickly stopped as Berg proved himself to be an exceptional recruit, becoming one of the youngest Special Jaegers in the Utti Jaeger Regiment.
However, around 2010, he opted to become a mercenary, believing the pay would be better than that of the Jaeger's – Juhani needed the money to afford cystic fibrosis treatments for his newborn daughter, Elina. This choice cost him his marriage, when his wife, Helmi, disapproving of his new mercenary life, asked for divorce.
One night, an Abstergo team headed by Dr. Warren Vidic broke into Berg's home and apprehended him. As Berg watched, Vidic gave Elina Abstergo-brand medication that he promised would help to cure her condition, with the promise of more doses if Juhani would join him.
Faced with a solution to his daughter's illness, Berg agreed, with one condition – to eliminate the one who had caused Elina to wake up and cry. Vidic granted it, and Berg ruthlessly killed the Abstergo agent.
Rise as a TemplarEdit
On 12 October 2012, Berg was briefed alongside several other Abstergo operatives who had impressed Vidic enough to begin training in the second stage of their Animi Training Program. Warren promised Juhani and the other operatives greater power, wealth, and information on the Templars if they succeeded, but also warned that there was no backing out from that point.
In an agent evaluation report conducted on 8 November, Ctibor Hašek identified Berg as a potential candidate for the Inner Sanctum, noting him as an obedient, loyal agent who was dedicated to the Templar cause. However, Hašek was concerned that Juhani's daughter could be a weakness.
On 16 November, Berg was sent to New York by Laetitia England, in order to investigate a cyber-security breach related to artifacts that Abstergo was tracking, one of which was located in a Manhattan penthouse.
There, he found Daniel Cross, who had escaped the Philadelphia facility the previous day and had been subsequently injured during a confrontation with the Assassin Desmond Miles. Though Berg was attacked by Daniel, who apparently suffered another attack of the Bleeding Effect, he was able to neutralize Cross and returned him to Abstergo. Nine days later, in Helsinki, Finland, Juhani was seen spending time with his daughter.
Raid in FlorenceEdit
On 28 November 2012, after an attack on the Abstergo campus by the Assassin Harlan Cunningham killed four Abstergo hackers and destroyed servers, Berg tailed Cunningham on the regional road SR2 in Italy. From there, Berg called his superiors and convinced them to allow him to follow the Assassin back to his base, instead of killing Harlan.
Successfully, Juhani tracked Cunningham to an Assassin base in Florence led by Adriano Maestranzi. Afterwards, he called for backup and was given command of Abstergo's Sigma strike team, before leading the Templar assault on 30 November.
Maestranzi, not wanting to abandon the base, detonated a bomb that destroyed the Assassins' hideout and files, and killed all of Sigma team except for Berg, who suffered burns that left facial scarring. Despite the outcome, Juhani's superiors were pleased with his performance, crediting him for the deaths of three Assassins – even though Cunningham escaped – and did not hold him responsible for the loss of Sigma team.
On 6 December, Berg was brought to a hidden chamber in Abstergo's Philadelphia facility, where he met with Laetitia. There, she made him a Master Templar and inducted him into the Templar Order's Inner Sanctum, but also had Daniel Cross inject Berg with a tracking device so they could monitor all of his movements.
Four days later, Juhani met with Vidic, England, Cross, and several other Templar operatives within the same room in Philadelphia, where England revealed that Abstergo had located the leader of the Assassins, William Miles, in Cairo, Egypt. Soon after, Berg was dispatched with a team to capture the Assassin.
On 12 December, Berg led the reformed Sigma team in cornering William inside a museum in Cairo, and successfully captured and extracted him from the city, taking him to Abstergo's facility in Rome.
Search for the Koh-i-NoorEdit
In 2013, Berg led an Abstergo team to India assigned to retrieve Jot Soora, an employee of MysoreTech and a descendant of Raza Soora. The Templars' goal was to extract memories relating to the Koh-i-Noor from Soora. Abstergo was able to abduct Soora and his fiancee, Monima Das, but the Assassin, Jasdip Dhami, caused their truck to crash into the river, in which Jasdip rescued Soora. Berg was able to find the Assassin safehouse when Soora foolishly hooked up the Brahman V.R. to the Abstergo cloud server. When Berg arrived, Jasdip and Soora had already fled and the Brahman destroyed and concluded that the Assassins were nowhere closer to finding the Koh-i-Noor than the Templars.
In November 2013, Berg used the Helix in Abstergo Entertainment HQ in Montreal to relive the memories of the last known Black Cross, aka Albert Bolden. The intel gathered from their raids in India suggested Albert Bolden was the last known individual to be in possession of the Koh-i-Noor, Berg and Violet had hoped the box carried by Darius Gift contained it. Because the trail had gone cold and the box did not contain it. Berg put the investigation on hold as the Templar Order could afford the patience and to save resources until new evidence presented itself. Locating any modern descendants of Bolden would take time, and Berg expressed that they should look into other matters in the mean time. Perhaps even resurrect the Black Cross title.
Hunt for Precursor ArtefactsEdit
In February 2014, Cunningham and his apprentice Arend Schut stole the Precursor box from a facility in Rotterdam. Berg led Sigma Team to retrieve the box. Berg ordered Sorkin to lead the team against Schut while he pursued Cunningham. On encountering Cunningham, Berg stated that he should have died in Florence to which Cunningham replied that he was too stubborn to die. The Assassins managed to escape, though the team retrieved the box.
In May, Otso Berg was entrusted with the mission of finding any information about the Ankh of Isis. When he was in Essen, Berg gave up and asked his partner, Violet da Costa, to relay all the official and unofficial records of the Ankh. Berg and da Costa suggested that the Ankh was merely an Assassin ploy to waste the Templars' time searching for a fake Piece of Eden. Putting the Ankh behind them, Berg continued his search for other Pieces of Eden.
On 23 May, Berg started a reconnaissance mission in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The purpose of this mission was to successfully uncover the now deeply buried Observatory, a First Civilization site. The mission failed however, as the Observatory was discovered to be concealed by lots of rubble, and it was noted in Otso Berg's journal that it collapsed sometime in the 18th century. Berg also noted that he would return with a larger group and try again to excavate the ruins of the Observatory.
In October, Berg spoke with Laetitia about an attack led by Gavin Banks that occurred in the Abstergo Laboratory dedicated to the research of the Sage John Standish in Paris, which ended in the destruction of the lab. Berg and Sorkin followed the Assassins to La Rochelle, where the Assassins escaped via the ships that were waiting for them. Before escaping, one of the Assassins, Galina Voronina, stabbed Sorkin multiple times, leaving him brutally wounded.
Berg told Laetitia that Sigma Team would have stopped the attack if it was still operational. After hearing this, Laetitia accepted her mistake and gave Berg the authorization to reform Sigma Team. Berg asked Laetitia for Violet da Costa to rejoin Sigma Team, but she negated his demand, saying that da Costa was busy updating Abstergo Entertainment's security and firewalls because of the recent problems with Erudito, the Assassins and the Instruments of the First Will. Berg accepted to go to Montreal, and help Violet with her tasks, to reform Sigma Team as soon as possible.
By late 2014, Berg took over security in Abstergo Entertainment's Montreal facilities, posing as an independent contractor working for Abstergo. He, alongside Violet da Costa, supervised a research analyst as they explored the memories of Shay Cormac located in the Helix, which had a virus implanted in them.
After the analyst completed Shay's memories and uploaded them as a message for the remaining Assassins, Juhani along with Violet and Abstergo Entertainment CCO Melanie Lemay, offered the analyst the choice to join the Templar Order. Berg pulled out a pistol, reminding the analyst that refusal meant death.
With Berg's use of the video with Shay's memories as a faint, Berg caused the Assassins to empty a few safehouses, shut down a few servers, put up some new firewalls and flushed out the Assassins' man in Montreal almost instantly. Berg having monitored his communications with other Initiates, watched them run, and, where they were running to. Resulting in the death of their man in Montreal despite having kept a low profile during the "incident".
Search for the ShroudEdit
In 2015, Juhani and Violet were assigned to aid Isabelle Ardant in her search for the Shroud of Eden. Meeting Isabelle in her office in London, they arrived in time to interrupt an assassination attempt on her by Shaun Hastings and Rebecca Crane. The two Templars were preparing to execute the Assassins when an explosion caught them by surprise, giving Shaun and Rebecca an opportunity to escape via a Leap of Faith.
Some time later, Juhani, Violet and Isabelle had uncovered the Shroud under Buckingham Palace. He and Violet were acting as security for Isabelle when they were attacked by Shaun, Rebecca and Galina Voronina. Juhani was directly assaulted by Voronina while Violet shot at the attacking Assassins. In the ensuing chaos, Shaun stabbed and electrocuted Isabelle with his Shock Blade. Berg was briefly able to get the upper hand in his fight against Voronina, breaking her Hidden Blades, and forcing her on the defensive. He then ordered Violet to complete the mission; she took the Shroud and wounded Rebecca before escaping. Voronina finally managed to overpower Berg, and knocked him out. As she raised a rock above her head to kill him, Sigma Team arrived and intervened. Voronina was forced to eliminate the team and retreat, leaving Berg alive.
By 2015, Berg's faint with the use of Shay's memories had resulted in the military contacts of the Assassins and the Initiates being transferred or discharged, their wealthier private citizens being audited or brought out by Abstergo and their friends in the higher learning faced budget cuts and challenges to their authority and curriculums. Because of this the Bishop informed her fellow Initiates and Assassins world wide that William Miles had decided to enact the Rooftop Garden Protocol. Efficiently shutting down all unnecessary communications on their network.
Following the events underneath London, Berg was called to Laetitia England's office. There, he was instructed to deliver the Precursor box to Álvaro Gramática in a top-secret facility, to which the scientist would send him the coordinates. Berg did as instructed, and after some inquiries, Gramática told him that he planned to use the box in the Phoenix Project, hoping it would help him better understand the Shroud.
Becoming the new Black CrossEdit
In 2016, prior to becoming the new Black Cross, Otso Berg attended the induction of Simon Hathaway into the Inner Sanctum and the subsequent meeting; as he was on assignment, he was unable to physically be there, instead participating via video transmission. Despite being skeptical of the new approach Hathaway wanted to introduce for the Historical Research Division, Berg, along with Alan Rikkin and Alfred Stearns, Álvaro Gramática, Agneta Reider, Laetitia England, David Kilkerman and Mitsuko Nakamura, all agreed to give him one week to prove his method of searching for knowledge for knowledge's sake by having Templars relive memories.
A week later, Hathaway interrupted a meeting by the Inner Sanctum and asked to present his case or face the consequences for having stolen the Sword of Eden, damaged Abstergo property and deleted the memories of his ancestor and shared classified information with Anaya Chodary and Victoria Bibeau;Berg and Álvaro Gramática were alerted so they could once more attend. Hathaway accused the Templar Order of heresy, causing tension among all the members, and then presented his research. It explained everything from Jacques de Molay's vision of the Templar Order to the history of the Swords of Eden. Berg, Agneta Reider and Laetitia England were willing to consider to De Molay's ideas. Following the presentation, Berg came to Hathaway's defense; in the end, Hathaway was not charged with anything for his actions.
Sometime after, Berg and Violet were put in charge of an Abstergo facility in Philadelphia. Members of their staff included senior technician Caitlin Gift, a descendant of Darius Gift, and a doctor called Freddy. That year, the Templars had managed to locate a descendant of Albert Bolden, a 72 year old Vietnam veteran named André Bolden, and brought him to their Philadelphia facility under the pretext of wishing to cure his PTSD. After greeting André and putting him inside the Animus in order to relive his ancestor's memories of the Barbary Coast in the early nineteenth century, Berg and his team were surprised to discover that André's ancestor was not Solomon "Solo" Bolden, the Black Cross, but instead Jan van der Graff, a Flemish agent of Napoleon Bonaparte.
After André woke up, neutralized two men and fled the complex, Berg belayed Caitlin's order to apprehend him, stating that André would not get far. Tracing André back to his hotel, Berg explained the Bleeding Effect to him and also explained that they were looking for an important item that was tied to André's family. André agreed to continue exploring his ancestor's memories on the condition that Berg not lie to him again.
After agreeing to André's demand, the two returned to the facility and Berg explained to the team that they not only had to face a fractured timeline but also had to deal with the real possibility of losing track of the entire bloodline of the Black Cross due to Jan van der Graff being Andre's ancestor instead of Solomon Bolden. When Violet asked what they knew about Graff, Caitlin replied that they knew almost nothing, aside from a brief appearance in the accounts of Tavis Olier. However, Violet stated that it was not possible, explaining that Tavis was the previous Black Cross who was missing and presumed dead by the time of Solo Bolden. Faced with the question of how Graff ended up in Tavis' memoirs, Berg remarked that there was only one way to find out, which André correctly deduced involved putting him back into the Animus.
As they monitored André's session, Violet asked Berg if it was wise to let André know so much about them, to which Berg answered that André, as a soldier, understood that they were doing something important and that he had his own reasons for helping them. After Violet remarked that she had never known him to be so trusting, Berg remarked that he trusted her.
After witnessing the death of Solo Bolden and Graff's imprisonment within the dungeon of the palace of Selim III, André was pulled out of the Animus by Caitlin. On the way to the Animus room, Berg was asked by Violet whether he planned to reveal everything to André, as he had now also heard about the Koh-i-Noor, to which Berg answered that he did not know.
Personality and characteristicsEdit
- "Only the mission matters!"
- ―Juhani Otso Berg, 2015.[src]
Juhani Otso Berg proved to be a hardened individual, ensuring operations proceeded efficiently. After being recruited by Warren Vidic, he became a strong believer in the Templar cause and ideology, seeing it as a righteous cause for a better future. He showed respect for both the Assassins and his fellow Templars, as shown in a series of logs regarding certain figures from both factions across the ages, who had inspired Berg in certain ways. However, he did possess a strong determination when fighting against the Assassins, and even a streak of cruelty, shown through his desire to see their mind and spirit broken, before allowing them to die by his hands.
He put great emphasis on the completion of his missions as evidenced by his ordering of Violet to escape with the Shroud, while he distracted the Assassins; however, he did not act solely based on orders alone, displaying a sense of flexibility in the field that resulted in him being scolded by his superiors. One such situation occurred during the mission in Cairo, as William Miles posed as a tour guide to a group of students once he had arrived.
Despite Juhani's ruthless personality, he was not a cruel man at heart. Juhani cared deeply for his daughter, and was willing to go great lengths to guarantee her safety, even killing an Abstergo agent for making her cry. When Juhani defied orders when capturing William Miles, Laetitia England later accused him of avoiding conflict in order to protect the young civilians, as they reminded him of his daughter. Juhani resented the accusation, explaining that causing unnecessary chaos would have allowed Miles to slip away. Even when preoccupied with his duties as a Master Templar, Juhani still made sure he had time to spend with his daughter. When exploring the memories of his viking ancestor, he displayed disgust and shame at his ancestor's savagery and ruthlessness of killing a helpless prisoner.
Opposed to causing a scene, Juhani opted instead to apprehend William Miles in the Cairo museum, when the Assassin attempted to recover the First Civilization power source for the Grand Temple. Being a member of the Inner Sanctum, Juhani possessed knowledge of all activities in which Abstergo Industries was involved.
Equipment and skillsEdit
As a former member of the Finnish Special Forces, Juhani possesses a diverse knowledge of melee and ranged combat, due to being trained in martial arts. He was skilled enough to subdue Daniel Cross, another Master Templar, originally trained by the Assassins, and took charge of the mission to capture William Miles in Cairo. Juhani was also capable of fighting toe-to-toe with Galina Voronina in hand-to-hand combat, but was eventually overpowered by the Master Assassin. Juhani was capable of jumping through the window of a moving car and incapacitate three assailants sent to ambush him. He has a high tolerance of pain, as he did not flinch when he had a throwing knife thrown through his hand, simply yanking it out and immediately beginning a hand to hand fight. 
As the Black Cross, Berg has a custom-made outfit from André Bolden, complete with a red Templar cross on the chest, along with a hat and a thick red scarf. The suit features gauntlets equipped with a grappling hook that can be used for climbing. Berg also incorporated a set of Abstergo Skunkworks division prototype military goggles as well.
- Juhani is a Finnish cognate of the Hebrew name Yochanan, meaning "God is gracious". The name Otso is also Finnish, though archaic, meaning "bear". His last name, Berg, means "mountain" in several Germanic languages.
- Finnish is one of three Uralic languages and not Germanic. It is likely he is of Germanic ancestry (possibly Swedish or German) as Finland was not of Viking origin or part of proper Scandinavia.
- Coming from Southern Finland, he is more likely to be a Finno-Swede, descendants coming from Sweden hence the Viking ancestor.
- In an audio file, Juhani revealed to Violet that he had only used an Animus to view his own ancestry once, and discovered that one of his ancestors was a Viking raider.
- In Assassin's Creed: Rogue, Juhani's clothes bore resemblance to the attire worn by Shay Cormac during his time as a Templar, and were also adorned with an Yggdrasil emblem.
- Berg's inspirations included Rashid ad-Din Sinan, Haras, Haytham Kenway, Duncan Walpole, Baptiste, Vali cel Tradat, Shay Cormac, Lucy Stillman and Daniel Cross, all of whom are traitors to the Assassin cause.
- Berg is the only known Black Cross that is also a member of the Inner Sanctum, with previous Black Crosses having functioned as enforcers for the Inner Sanctum without being part of it.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Assassin's Creed: Syndicate
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 Assassin's Creed: Rogue
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Assassin's Creed: Revelations
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 Assassin's Creed: Initiates – The Desmond Files
- ↑ Assassin's Creed: Brahman
- ↑ Assassin's Creed: Templars - Volume 1: Black Cross
- ↑ Assassin's Creed: Unity
- ↑ Assassin's Creed Chronicles: Russia
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Assassin's Creed: Heresy
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Assassin's Creed: Templars - Volume 2: Cross of War
- ↑ Assassin's Creed: Uprising