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The Mamluks were originally Middle Eastern soldiers of slave origins, but by the end of the Middle Ages were the rulers of the Mamluk Sultanate, a large empire stretching from regions of Egypt to Saudi Arabia and the Levant.
In 1250, the Mamluks rose up against the reigning Ayyubid dynasty in Egypt. Forming an alliance with the Assassins, an unidentified Assassin brought them the Scepter of Aset to aid them in their efforts against the Ayyubids, effectively laying the foundation for the Bahri dynasty.
The Scepter remained in Mamluk hands until 1340, when it was stolen by the Templars. A Templar agent, Leila, also killed the reigning Mamluk Sultan Al-Nasir Muhammad in 1341, leaving the Sultanate in a momentary state of disarray. After the Assassin Numa Al'Khamsin retrieved the Scepter, he met with the three contenders for the Sultan's throne in Cairo; however, he refused to hand the Scepter over to them, saying that it would be safer in Assassin hands. Enraged, the three men had Numa thrown into imperial dungeons.
By 1511, the relationship between the Mamluks and the Assassins had worsened and they were engaged in a heavy conflict with the Assassins in the Levant. The Mamluks actively tried to undermine the Assassins' recruiting efforts in Jerusalem, capturing their leader Mujir as well. He was freed by the Assassins without the use of violence, and the Assassins continued to defy Mamluk pressure and recruit new apprentices.