- Altaïr: "You betrayed us. We, who called you brother and kept you safe from harm."
- Masun: "I did what I believed was right. And if you must kill me for it... so be it. I am not afraid to die."
- ―Altaïr interrogating Masun, 1191[src]
Masun (d. 1191) was a resident and preacher of the village of Masyaf who became a zealous devotee of Templar ideology in opposition to the Assassins that governed the village. To that end, he betrayed his home to the Knights Templar when they invaded, an act that would see to his arrest and execution after the attack was repelled.
- "I see the way you look at me. Hear the things you say! A traitor! I'm not a traitor! It's Al Mualim who's betrayed us! You'll see! Soon, all your eyes will be opened to the truth! We stand upon the threshold between this world and the new one! A better place, where all might live as equals! But men, like Al Mualim, would see this dream destroyed! Today's attack was but a first, and more will follow unless you repent! Give up your wicked ways. Rise up against the madman of Masyaf! See through his lies!"
- ―Masun preaching to Masyaf, 1191[src]
Sometime during or prior to 1191, Masun was exposed to the ethos of the Templar Order and became an enthusiastic convert to their worldview. To that end, he worked in tandem with Jamal, an Assassin of Masyaf who had defected to the Templars in secret. The two communicated with one another through a local basket-weaver who acted as a conduit for their letters.
When the Templars arrived at Masyaf in 1191 in pursuit of the Apple of Eden lost to the Assassin Malik Al-Sayf at Solomon's Temple, Masun opened the gates for the invaders as instructed by Jamal through a letter—as usual, delivered through the basket-weaver. This allowed the Templars to lay siege to the village and fortress, but the assault was repulsed when the Master Assassin Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad released a trap of giant wooden logs that killed a great deal of Templar soldiers.
In the aftermath of the failed attack, Masun rightly feared that the Assassins were close to discovering his treachery with Jamal. He avoided meeting Jamal directly again and wrote a letter urging him to flee to Damascus with money he hid for him near the dead cypress tree in the village. Though anxious that his betrayal would be exposed, he resolved to stay in Masyaf rather than flee, believing it to be his duty to rally the Masyaf people against the Assassins.
By then, mere hours after the battle, the Assassins—and even a few of the villagers—were already well aware of Masun's treason; at least one of them had even seen him open the gate for the Templars. However, Al Mualim, the leader of the Assassins, delayed his arrest to provide a simple, starting mission for Altaïr, who had been demoted to the rank of novice for his transgressions leading to the attack. Altaïr was assigned to investigate the identity of the traitor and apprehend him.
The Assassin's investigation proved quite easy: after hearing two villagers talk about Masun's treachery, he pickpocketed the last letter Masun wrote to Jamal from the basket-weaver, and then found Masun himself standing at the center of the village crying out to the people to rise against Al Mualim. Upon interrogating Masun in a secluded area, the man revealed his allegiance to the Templars, as well as the identity of his accomplice Jamal, to which Altaïr brought the traitor back to Al Mualim. There, Masun was given a final chance to repent, though the man remained defiant, prompting the Mentor to execute him.
Personality and characteristicsEdit
- Al Mualim: "I offer you a chance to repent. To renounce the evil in your heart."
- Masun: "It is not evil in my heart, but truth! I will not repent."
- ―Masun just before his execution by Al Mualim, 1191[src]
Masun fervently believed in the Templars' cause, claiming that their goal: to forge a new world subservient to the Templars free from suffering or conflict was noble. To him, the ideals of the Templars was pure, irrefutable truth absent of fault. For this reason, his loyalty to the dreams of the Templars was unwavering, even in the face of death. Such was the extent of his convictions that he threw aside caution and pragmatism altogether to publicly preach to the people of Masyaf what he believed to be the virtue of the Templars against the corrupt whims of Al Mualim and the Assassins. In his mind, despite the fact this dangerously exposed himself to his adversaries, it was the correct course of action because it was righteous. He remained defiantly faithful to the Templars to the very end, refusing to tremble or yield, seeing himself as a martyr to a just cause; his claim to Altaïr that he was unafraid to die for his beliefs proved true.
- The name Maṣūn (مصون) means "well-protected" or "safeguarded" in Arabic.
- Ironically, the news of Masun's treachery was easy to discover, as it required only a letter to find out about, as opposed to the lengthier investigations that Altaïr had to perform for his later targets.
- In Assassin's Creed, Masun is the only person that Altaïr does not kill after an interrogation, as all of the others are executed with the Hidden Blade shortly after the Assassin has extracted all the information he can from them.
- Masun's character model is identical to that of the other Templar heralds that are interrogated by Altaïr in Jerusalem and Damascus.
- Masun's arrest and execution is not detailed in the Assassin's Creed: The Secret Crusade novel, with his and Jamal's betrayal omitted entirely, and Altaïr traveling directly to Damascus for Tamir's assassination after his demotion.
- Masun's decision to publicly preach before all of Masyaf to advocate the Templar cause against the Assassins is ironic as in his letter to Jamal, he initially stresses that his betrayal must not be discovered. In the very same letter, he then contradicts himself by declaring his intention to rally the villagers against the Assassins.