|Maria Auditore da Firenze|
Maria Auditore da Firenze (1432 – 1504), née de' Mozzi, was a Florentine noblewoman during the Renaissance and, alongside her husband Giovanni, a member of the Assassin Order. She was also mother of four children, one of whom – Ezio – would eventually become Mentor of the Italian Assassins, and is an ancestor to both Clay Kaczmarek and Desmond Miles.
Born into the noble Mozzi family, Maria liked to blend with "real citizens" when she was younger, which led to her meeting Giovanni Auditore, the man who would later become her husband. As a member of the Auditore family, Maria continued to fraternize with the lower classes, developing a working relationship with the artist Leonardo da Vinci.
Born to the powerful and opulent Mozzi family of Florence, Maria's parents strongly protected her from the outside world. Resenting this control, the young Maria chose to actively fraternize with the lower classes in the city.
Reluctantly, her parents eventually compromised with their daughter and allowed her to open up a bakery inside the family palazzo where, a week later, she met Giovanni Auditore. Wooed by Giovanni, the two developed a close relationship and eventually married in 1452.
Life as an AuditoreEdit
During the early years of their marriage, Giovanni was inducted into the Assassin Order and required Maria to help him keep the secret from their children. Sometime thereafter, Maria herself was inducted into the Order.
In 1476, Giovanni, Federico, and Petruccio were arrested by the Florentine government for the crime of treason. When she protested, she was assaulted by the city guards and slipped into a state of shock.
The three were tried and hanged, despite her remaining son's attempt to prevent their deaths. Maria, who had not spoken since the arrest, was brought to her fellow Assassin, Paola, alongside Claudia, by her family's servant Annetta. She remained there for a while, until Ezio returned to take them to the home of her brother-in-law, Mario Auditore, in Monteriggioni.
While there, Maria remained silently sitting in prayer beside her bed for several years, not speaking until Ezio brought her a hundred feathers. Thanking Ezio for not forgetting about her, Maria presented him with a cape bearing the Auditore coat of arms. Afterward, Maria's temperament began to improve.
Later life in RomeEdit
In January 1500, after Ezio returned from his confrontation with the murderer of their family - Rodrigo Borgia - in Rome, Monteriggioni was besieged by the Papal forces under the command of Rodrigo's son, Cesare Borgia. Maria fled to the sanctuary beneath the Villa, where she waited for Claudia and Ezio to join her. It was here that she learned of the execution of her brother-in-law by yet another Borgia.
From there, the three fled the town via a secret passageway built into the mound upon which the town rested. Ezio then instructed Maria and Claudia to return to Florence, where they would be safe, while Ezio would head to Rome to take down the entire Borgia family. As Ezio began to ride off, Maria ordered him to destroy the Borgia, entirely.
Returning to Florence, Maria and her daughter found the Palazzo Auditore burned to the ground. With nowhere else to go, the two decided to follow Ezio to Rome, where they felt that they would be better suited to do something to aid him.
Traveling to the Assassins' hideout on Tiber Island, Maria and Claudia met with the Order's acting-leader, Niccolò Machiavelli, who told them to look for Ezio at the Rosa in Fiore. When they arrived, Ezio was not there, so they spoke only to the resident courtesans as they waited for him. Shortly thereafter, Ezio returned with news that the brothel's Madame, Solari, had been killed.
Maria's son was both shocked and angry to discover his family in Rome; his mood only worsened when, reminded by the courtesans that they could not continue without a Madame, Claudia volunteered for the task, much to Ezio's displeasure. With a role set for them, Maria helped Claudia in controlling and managing the brothel, instructing her son to aid the girls wherever he could.
By this time, Maria's health had slowly begun to decline, due mainly to a long-term illness she had been suffering from, to which she eventually succumbed to and died in 1504.
Due to the diaries she had kept up until the execution of her husband and sons in 1476, Maria became the most well known member of the Auditore family to historians. The diaries were later translated and put on display in the Uffizi gallery in Florence.
- "She's in shock. They... When she resisted..."
- ―Annetta speaking to Ezio about how Maria tried to stop the guards from arresting Giovanni, Federico, and Petruccio.
Maria had a loving and caring personality, which was shown when she prayed over Petruccio's feathers at Monteriggioni. She was also displayed as a rebellious figure, as in her early life, she was protected from the outside world, to which she grew tired of and possibly confronted her parents regarding the matter.
This too was shown when she tried to stop the guards from arresting Giovanni, Federico, and Petruccio before being presumably raped. With this in mind, it could be said that she held a fierce love for her family, as her retaliation against the guards proved how willing she was to protect them.
She was also presented as someone willing to help her husband Giovanni keep secrets from their children about their Assassin heritage, in order to safeguard them from the potential dangers that came with it. As well as this, she also kept Giovanni informed about what happened in the family while Giovanni was on his missions, as displayed when Maria told him that their son Ezio was becoming suspicious of why he went out at night.
- Maria seemed to be a skilled surgeon, as she was seen stitching up Giovanni's near-fatal wound in Assassin's Creed: Lineage.
- Maria only spoke three times throughout Assassin's Creed II, which was during Ezio's birth, in the memory "Friend of the Family," and when given 100 feathers.
- Maria could be seen praying for around 12–23 years, since all of the locations that had feathers were not available until Sequence 11 of Assassin's Creed II.
- According to Assassin's Creed: Renaissance, Maria and Claudia lived in a convent after the execution of the Auditore until late 1480s, when they moved to Monteriggioni.