Unlike typical Templar Rites, the Louisiana Rite was led not by a Grand Master but a Master Templar, specifically Madeleine de L'Isle from 1764 to 1777. This owed to it being a new branch at the time of its founding by Madeleine under the command of the Parisian Rite.
In accordance with the Parisian Rite's orders and in cooperation with the British Rite, its principal goal was to excavate Chichen Itza to find the Prophecy Disk, a monumental project that required a ample supply of slave labor. Ultimately, the Rite proved to be a fleeting one when Madeleine's stepdaughter, Aveline de Grandpré of the Louisiana Brotherhood of Assassins, feigned defection and slew the Master Templar along with most of her guards during their meeting at the Saint Louis Cathedral to activate the Prophecy Disks.
Search for Precursor Artefacts
In 1747, Magdelaine Lévesque, a high-ranking member of the Parisian Rite of the Templar Order, sent a letter to Madeleine de L'Isle, recognizing her handling of her father's business, integration into the upper echelons of New Orleans society, and her discovery of the Templar Order. Lévesque offered her a position within their ranks, and tasked her with finding something of immense value beneath the ancient Mayan structures in the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico.
A year later, Madeleine learned from her informants in Port-au-Prince that a woman named Jeanne had stolen a precursor artifact from the local Mentor François Mackandal. After finding out that Jeanne had been purchased by Philippe de Grandpré, a rival merchant in New Orleans, Madeleine devised a plan to get her hands on the relic. She contacted Grand Master Reginald Birch and requested he use his influence to negatively affect de Grandprés' business; as the daughter of one of de Grandpré's investors, this allowed her to visit the family frequently.
Organizing the Chichen Itza excavation
In 1750, Spanish Templar Rafael Joaquín de Ferrer, whose family owed a debt to Birch, traveled to Havana in search of an artifact called the Precursor box. Staying in the city for a time, he realized that, following the death of Laureano de Torres y Ayala, the Assassins wielded too much power in the region for a Templar Rite to be established.
While de Ferrer was unable to track down the Precursor box, he succeeded in seducing local Master Assassin Rhona Dinsmore, allowing him to steal some of her maps of the Yucatán Peninsula in 1751. Using these documents, he uncovered the Mayan city of Chichen Itza, following which he contacted Birch via letter requesting to create a work site to excavate the city and attempt to locate the Prophecy Disks, First Civilization artefacts. Birch complied with de Ferrer's request and created an operation to acquire slaves to send to Chichen Itza to dig for the disk and other Precursor relics.
For her ruthlessness and cunning, Madeleine was promoted to Master Templar sometime around 1751. De Ferrer subsequently became Madeleine's second-in-command as she oversaw the excavation. Assigned the task of uncovering the Prophecy Disks, he established a work camp in Chichen Itza and organized a large-scale slave-trafficking operation to gather workers from many different locations.
Madeleine also spent that year convincing Philippe to marry her, claiming it would benefit both his business and that of her family's. Eventually, he acquiesced and wed Madeleine in 1752, causing his relationship with Jeanne to become strained.
While de Ferrer began setting up their slave trafficking operation, Madeleine was growing closer to Jeanne, regularly conversing with her on her life as a slave in Saint-Domingue. Aware of the fact that Jeanne was afraid of the Assassins, Madeleine fed the placée's paranoia by telling her that François Mackandal, a former acquaintance of Jeanne, had been seen boarding a ship bound for Louisiana. In doing so, Madeleine endeavored to have Jeanne remove herself from New Orleans, so that Madeleine could raise Aveline – whom she had noticed to possess great potential – as her own.
In 1756, Shay Cormac who had allied himself with the Colonial Templars George Monro and Christopher Gist at the time, sent a ship that revivied troops for his fleet before Louisisna was mostly under Templars. Shay continued sending ships that reviving troops during the Seven Years War.
Madeleine's machinations proved to be a success, with Jeanne eventually succumbing to her fears. After consulting Madeleine for aid, Jeanne left New Orleans in 1757 and was escorted to the work camp in Chichen Itza, being one of the first slaves to arrive there. Eventually, de Ferrer promoted Jeanne to forewoman. Under the guise of a peaceful community, she and the others were made to excavate the ruins for any artifacts they could find. In doing so, they uncovered various minor relics, including Shards and Rings. However, Jeanne grew suspicious of her employers after she discovered the nature of the artifacts, and tried to stall their efforts, which led to her eventually being banished by de Ferrer.
Having fooled the placée into thinking the arrangement was temporary, Madeleine gradually neglected to stay in touch with Jeanne and dedicated herself to raising Aveline, preparing her for her eventual induction into the Templar Order. In 1758, Madeleine order the Templars in Saint-Dominigue to publicly execute Mackandal in order to make an example out of him. Later, Madeleine and her Templars received large financial and military aid from the Colonial Templars through Shay Cormac, who used his fleet to send supplies to the Order.
Operations in New Orleans
After discovering that Aveline had joined the Assassins in 1759, Madeleine took advantage of her stepdaughter's relationship with the local Assassin Mentor Agaté to uncover information relating to the Brotherhood's activities. This connection allowed her to secure the leadership of the local Templar Order in 1764. To prevent people from finding out her true identity, Madeleine adopted the alias of the "Company Man" when acting as Louisiana's head Templar.
Although she largely oversaw the transit of slaves and vagrants, Madeleine would also identify potential workers herself, "rescuing" them from enslavement and having her contacts escort them to Chichen Itza. In doing so, she became a progressive abolitionist in the eyes of Aveline, who was unaware of the slaves' true destination. With their "similar" views on slavery, Madeleine was able to strengthen her bond with her stepdaughter.
In 1765, Madeleine was called upon by Aveline to treat a slave, Thérèse, whom she had rescued from one of Madeleine's subordinates. Sending her stepdaughter into town to fetch traveling clothes, Madeleine treated the young slave and then had her transferred to Chichen Itza, unbeknownst to Aveline. Shortly thereafter, Madeleine, still pretending to be ignorant of her stepdaughter's identity as an Assassin, requested Aveline's help in reuniting an enslaved family.
That same year, de Ferrer traveled to New Orleans, trying to find more ways of getting workers to Mexico, as well as take control of the city. He subsequently negotiated a deal with the French Governor of Louisiana, Jean-Jacques Blaise d'Abbadie. D'Abbadie was to remain in power as governor, provided he oversaw the handover of the colony to the Templars and supplied de Ferrer with more workers for the excavation site at Chichen Itza. To discuss the specifics of their arrangement, they arranged to meet at a party held at d'Abbadie's mansion.
Unbeknownst to the pair, their meeting was eavesdropped upon by the Aveline, who had found out about de Ferrer's presence in New Orleans through Carlos Dominguez, a captain de Ferrer employed to transport goods to and from New Orleans. Following de Ferrer's depature, d'Abbadie was assassinated by Aveline to prevent the colony from being transferred to Templar control, sabotaging de Ferrer's plans.
A year later, de Ferrer secured the alliance of an ex-Assassin named Baptiste, who had aspirations to defect to the Templar Order. Baptiste, using the name of his deceased Mentor François Mackandal to gather followers, attempted to take control of smuggling operations within the Louisiana Bayou and poison the nobles of New Orleans. His underlying goal was to force Agaté out of hiding so that he could be delivered to de Ferrer, which would earn Baptiste a position among the Order. This scheme was later foiled by Aveline, who confronted and assassinated Baptiste before he could put his plans in motion.
De Ferrer subsequently decided to return to Chichen Itza to reassume his position of leadership at the camp, which he had previously handed to an overseer. In the next two years, Antonio de Ulloa, de Ferrer's Templar ally and the first Spanish governor of Louisiana, would continue de Ferrer's previous efforts in New Orleans, kidnapping slaves and vagrants that were to be sent to the work site in Mexico. However, de Ulloa was eventually tracked down by Aveline as well, leading the governor to abandon the Templar cause and flee Louisiana.
Losing Chichen Itza
In 1769, de Ferrer was still leading the work site, trying to find the fabled Prophecy Disk, as well as dealing with the rising dissatisfaction among the workers. Meeting with the camp's overseer, de Ferrer suggested possible ways to appease the slaves, while, Aveline, who had found her way to Chichen Itza, listened in. Shortly thereafter, the two Templars went to deal with a runaway slave they had apprehended, though de Ferrer left the punishment itself to the overseer.
De Ferrer later found out about the overseer's death at the hands of Aveline and managed to track her down to First Civilization ruins, where she had acquired a piece of the Prophecy Disk he had been looking for. Using some explosives, he blasted an opening into the chamber and confronted her, claiming their goals were not as different as they might appear to be. He and his guards then attacked the Assassin, but they proved to be no match. De Ferrer was eventually blindsided by Aveline and stabbed in the chest, before being pushed over a cliff edge, into the cavern's depths. Following de Ferrer's death, the community in Chichen Itza was liberated from Templar influence.
Bribing the Spanish
Focusing her efforts on maintaining control in New Orleans, Madeleine had Diego Vázquez come to the city in the 1770s and ordered him to take control of the Louisiana Bayou, which served as an important trade route. To achieve this, Vázquez sent out several men to bribe Spanish soldiers into serving the Templar cause. These practices eventually caught the attention of the Aveline causing her to investigate.
Having tracked down and eliminated one of Vázquez's recruiters, Aveline learned of the Templar's plans and subsequently went to warn Agaté, who was based in the bayou. On his instruction, she made a patrol believe they had become the victim of a voodoo curse, which temporarily set back Vázquez's progress.
Around the same time, Vázquez made plans to retake the work site of Chichen Itza. To achieve this, he assigned a group of his men to divert a supply ship and use it to travel to Mexico. However, this scheme too was sabotaged by Aveline, who disabled the lighthouse on Lake Pontchartrain to make Vázquez's vessel run aground. Working together with the smugglers Élise Lafleur and Roussillon, she then plundered the supply ship's goods, finding documents aboard that led her to discover the Templar's plans for Chichen Itza.
Poisoning Philippe de Grandpré
In 1776, Philippe discovered evidence of Templar interference in his business, though Madeleine reacted quickly and began poisoning him. That same year, Madeleine also freed a slave by the name of George Davidson, though she demanded his servitude to the Templar Order in return. Securing his alliance, she aided her new recruit in his escape, but her plan went awry when George was discovered by soldiers. Madeleine then requested Aveline's help in escorting George out of the city, to the North.
Madeleine would continue administering her bedridden husband an herbal tonic, laced with foxglove, which eventually proved fatal for Philippe. After informing Aveline, who had been out to track down Vázquez, Madeleine met with her stepdaughter and Gérald Blanc at Philippe's grave in Saint Peter's Cemetery. There, Madeleine, to whom the de Grandpré villa had been left, assured Aveline that she was still welcome to live at the mansion.
Disrupting the smugglers' trade
With Aveline journeying to Chichen Itza to ascertain its continued safety, Vázquez's troops had an opportunity to recover and soon grew in number once more. In 1776, the Spanish Governor of Louisiana decided to support the American Patriots by having the smugglers send them supplies, an arrangement that Vázquez opposed. He subsequently ordered his men to steal the wares from the smugglers at the nearest opportunity, but in this too he failed, with Aveline once more obstructing his schemes.
That same year, Vázquez, having managed to evade detection by the Assassins for roughly five years, attended a prestigious ball at a plantation in New Orleans. Unbeknownst to him, Aveline was also present at the ball, having come to track down and assassinate the Templar. After mingling with the guests, she managed to locate Vázquez and approached him.
Charmed by her noble appearance, the Templar danced with Aveline and then allowed her to lead him to a quiet balcony, where he was stabbed. With his dying breath, Vázquez revealed that he was not the Company Man, as Aveline believed, and that it was actually a woman, but died before he could reveal her identity.
Feeling defeated, Aveline's resolve to discover the identity of the Company Man nevertheless stayed strong. However, without any leads, she struggled to find a trace of the Templar. In 1777, thanks to Gérald being in contact with the Colonial Assassins, Aveline learned of a Loyalist officer named Davidson, who was working for the Company Man, and subsequently headed north to find him.
That year, George Davidson was based in a fort located in the New York Frontier, still fighting for the British. With the help of the Kanien'kehá:ka Assassin Connor, Aveline managed to locate and infiltrate George's fort, following which she confronted him in the watchtower.
Surprised, Aveline questioned his allegiances to the Templars and the British Army, but George replied that his freedom had been guaranteed by the Loyalists in return for his service. He and his men subsequently engaged Aveline in battle, though the Assassin easily dispatched George's subordinates. Before they could continue their fight, however, a sudden explosion, set off by Connor as a distraction for George's reinforcements, could be heard. George, deciding to run, locked Aveline inside the watchtower and fled the fort in a gunpowder carriage.
However, Aveline managed to escape the watchtower and fired at one of the barrels inside George's carriage as he rode by, blowing it up and mortally wounding the Templar. In his final moments, George claimed that he had chosen his destiny, which he considered to be true freedom. Aveline then hesitated, before asking him who the Company Man truly was. With his dying breath, he told her that "the answer had been in her own backyard all along", prompting the Assassin to understand that the Company Man was her own stepmother, Madeleine.
Upon returning to New Orleans, Aveline confronted her stepmother in their mansion. During the encounter, Madeleine reacted with amusement, as she revealed that she had known all along of Aveline's affiliations, before pulling out a pistol and ordering her stepdaughter to sit down.
Furious, Aveline refused Madeleine's order to stay and ran outside, where the Assassin was quickly surrounded by her stepmother's guards. Forthwith, Madeleine warned her stepdaughter to cease her struggling or she would die, and the Brotherhood with her; she then proceeded to question Aveline's motivations. Maintaining an air of hostility, and her parasol gun's aim at her stepmother, Aveline retorted that Madeleine kept her slaves for her own selfish purposes, though Madeleine tried to convince Aveline that she had ended the operation and that de Ferrer did not represent the Templars.
Madeleine insisted that she genuinely cared for Aveline, but her stepdaughter angrily accused her of lying. In response, Madeleine defended herself, claiming that she had only been trying to protect her, and attempted to persuade Aveline to join the Templars. She then cited the broken relationship between Aveline and her Mentor as proof that their goals were the same.
Ultimately, Aveline agreed and traveled to the bayou to confront Agaté while Madeleine convened the entire Louisiana chapter of Templars in the Saint Louis Cathedral. She later returned with his necklace as proof of his death, following which she handed Madeleine the Prophecy Disk. After inducting Aveline into the Order, Madeleine attempted to use the Prophecy Disk, but the artifact failed to work as she had intended it to, causing her to become frustrated, as she believed them to possess all of the pieces.
Seeing her chance, Aveline attacked, as her induction had merely been a ploy to eradicate the Templar Order from within. After she eliminated all the Templars present, the Assassin confronted a defeated Madeleine, who asked her why she had done what she had. Aveline responded by blaming her stepmother for secretly killing her father with poison, enslaving her mother and attempting to force Aveline into the Templar Order.
Madeleine insisted that it had been for the benefit of humanity, but Aveline refused to serve her and stabbed Madeleine in the stomach with her Hidden Blade, eradicating the Templar Order of Louisiana.
- Jean-Jacques Blaise d'Abbadie
- Reginald Birch (British Rite)
- Shay Cormac (Colonial Rite)
- Carlos Dominguez
- Alonso Fernández de Heredia (Spanish Rite)
- Magdelaine Lévesque (Parisian Rite)
- According to Achilles Davenport's wall of Templar intel, it seemed that he thought the leader of the Templar Order of New Orleans in the 1750s answered to Reginald Birch.
- In Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, the "Great Minds" files that the player acquires via hacking gives the title of the Louisiana Rite's leader, Madeleine de L'Isle, as "Master Templar of the Southern Colonies". This contradicts the usual Templar organizational structure as expounded in Assassin's Creed: The Essential Guide, where all rites are led by a Grand Master.
- ↑ Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag – "Great Minds"
- ↑ Assassin's Creed: The Essential Guide
- ↑ Assassin's Creed III: Liberation – Database: Madeleine de L'Isle
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Assassin's Creed: Rogue – War letters
- ↑ 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 5.22 5.23 5.24 5.25 5.26 5.27 5.28 5.29 5.30 5.31 5.32 5.33 5.34 Assassin's Creed III: Libeation
- ↑ Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
- ↑ Assassin's Creed: Encyclopedia