The Mediterranean Defense was a collection of strategic contracts given to Assassin apprentices in Constantinople during the Renaissance. Coupled with the direction of Ezio Auditore da Firenze, the defense of the Mediterranean proved critical not only to the recruits' development but also to the expansion of the Assassins' knowledge and influence in the region.
During the early 16th century, the Assassin Brotherhood – under the direction of Ezio Auditore, the Mentor of the Italian Assassins who happened to be visiting Constantinople at the time – sought to expand its influence throughout the Mediterranean; considering this, they began to send apprentices and recruits to usurp cities controlled by the Templar Order. Their exploits ranged from simple acts, such as protecting merchants and officials who were loyal to the Brotherhood or against the Templars, to greater plots involving assassinations and freeing jailed allies. Some special requests – specifically the survey requests of Piri Reis – involved the Assassins traveling to specific cities and mapping the area.
Many of these cities were eventually freed from Templar rule and came under Assassins' control. However, a constant danger in the possibility of Templar reprisal remained at hand. As such, the contracts needed to be completed regularly to maintain the Assassins' control of the city, though should their grip on the locations fall too low, the Templars would attempt a reclamation of the city, forcing apprentices to rally a defense.
The Brotherhood took special care to improve the standard of living in these regions by improving daily income and providing many opportunities for their newly liberated citizens. The apprentices who were sent on these missions gained experience, and the Assassin Order gained funds to further their operations, as well as regular benefits and bomb ingredients. After a local guild was established, certain apprentices from Constantinople could also be assigned to become permanently based in one of the cities. There, they provided protection and solidified the Brotherhood's goals more directly.
- The Memory Seals, Part I
During a recent excavation of the destroyed library of Alexandria, the Mamluk Sultan's soldiers discovered two First Civilization Memory Seals in a chest dated 331 BC. Infiltrate the soldiers' barracks and acquire the seals before they are inaccessible.
- The Memory Seals, Part II
Templar soldiers have launched an offensive to recover the Memory Seals. Defend our headquarters and keep our blessed initiate safe as she works to unlock the mysteries of the seals.
- The Mentor Vanishes
- All The King's Men, Part I
The Spanish King currently ruling occupied Algiers has taken King Samis El Felipe hostage. His prison is too well fortified to break him out, but it should be possible to pass messages to and from the jailed King. Establish a line of communication.
- All The King's Men, Part II
Former King Samis El Felipe has authorized the Assassins to employ the aid of the infamous pirate, Hayreddin Barbarossa, to chip away at Spanish influence in the area. Provide "Red Beard" Barbarossa with the support he needs.
- An Eye For A Helping Hand
Amir Selim of Algiers has a proposal for the Assassins. He will turn a blind eye to our activities in his region if we will provide protection for a community of Moors living on the island Penon, now occupied by Spaniards.
- The Little Prince
Sultan Bayezid's third and least capable son, Korkut, has been captured by Templar thugs and is being held hostage in Bursa. Send in a team of Assassins to eliminate all Templars and rescue the Prince.
- Follow The Money, Part I
An attack on a local Turkmen philanthropist and ally has driven him into hiding. Provide him with protection until he can move his family to Constantinople.
- The Best Laws Money Can Buy
Corrupt Janissaries stationed in Bursa are selling access to viziers visiting from the Sultan's Sublime Porte. We would rather these misers beg for their influence. Take out the corrupt soldiers.
- For The People, Part III
We have discovered that Templar agitators have been paying Ottoman soldiers handsomely for looted goods. Find the Templar leaders in Athens and eliminate them.
- First Civ Problems
Remnants of First Civilization technology have been found in a tomb deep beneath the Acropolis. Guard the location until our scholars are able to make a full survey of the area.
- The Hydra's Head, Part I
Ottoman troops have blocked the roads north of Damascus, crippling many of the city's northern trade routes. In spite of our truce, we must side with the civilians affected by this blockade. Draw the army away from their position by any means necessary.
- Rebels With A Cause, Part I
The French have occupied Genoa and are using it as a launch pad for military excursions to the south and east. Naturally the Genoese are unhappy about this. Cripple the French military through clandestine means.
- Buying Influence
A corrupt Genoese banker has been funneling money to French interests while claiming to be the victim of numerous robberies. Eliminate this parasite.
- Brokers Of Peace, Part II
The ruling Mamluks disapprove of our recruiting efforts. They fear the growing strength of the Assassins and have arrested Grand Master Mujir as part of a program of intimidation. Rescue Mujir in spectacular fashion, but harm no one. Send a message that the Assassins will not be intimidated.
- Behind The Cross
An Assassin traitor is taking refuge in a domicile adjacent to the Chapel of the Ascension. Take advantage of the large crowds that gather there and wait for him to appear. Apprehend him dead or alive.
- The Colonies, Part I
Emboldened by recent Portuguese colonization efforts, the Templars have started sending "missionaries" as far east as India. Collect intelligence on the activities of these agents and map their movements.
- The Colonies, Part II
King Manuel I of Portugal – a pious and credulous man – is paying large sums of money to fund these missionary expeditions, not realizing the Templars are diverting the money to their cause. Liberate this money from its owners and put it to better use.
- The Rage Of Exploration
Portugal's extensive wealth and power has created a cottage industry of explorers, many of whom are selling information of their discoveries to the Templars for large sums. We cannot compete with the Templars' wealth, but we have other means of acquiring that information. Use them.
- Cannon Fodder
The famous blacksmiths of Toledo have fled to Madrid after Templars commandeered their forges. Assemble a band of Assassins and reclaim their property from the Templars.
- Age Old Art
A treasure housed in a wealthy merchant's home is rumored to be of First Civilization origin. Break into the merchant's house and acquire the artifact to assay its true value.
- The Knights, Part I
The Knights Hospitaller have captured some of our Assassins and are holding them prisoner in the Palace of the Grand Master. Organize a rescue and bring our men and women home.
- Amid The Rubble
Corsairs have made a habit of raiding and sacking churches in villages along the sparser coastlines of Rhodes. Help the people defend and rebuild their houses of worship.
- The Demolition Man, Part I
Find local explosives expert, Pedro Navarro, and offer him money and protection in exchange for knowledge of his renowned weaponry.
- The Demolition Man, Part II
Pedro Navarro has been abducted following his involvement with us. We suspect Templar interference. Locate Pedro and rescue him.
- From The Ground Up
The Knights of St. John are fortifying their position in Tripoli by building new fortifications and castles. Infiltrate the workforce and modify the structures to allow Assassins easy access to these buildings in the future.
- Goods And Services, Part I
Hafsid King Muhammad IV is receiving bribes from local Templars to keep local goods from coming to market. Only Templar approved merchants have been allowed to peddle their wares openly. Steal these bribes and redistribute them.
- A Blind Eye
Corrupt Hafsid ministers have been taking bribes from Templars in exchange for loosened restrictions on imports and exports. Eliminate the most corrupt ministers and send a message that corruption will be repaid with retribution.
- Rhodes was only unlocked in Mediterranean Defense after playing a multiplayer match on each map in the city, namely Knight's Hospital, Souk and Ippokratous.
- The achievement "Armchair General" could be earned by controlling all of the Mediterranean cities (except Rhodes) simultaneously.
- Some Mediterranean Defense missions had a reward of automatically recruiting one apprentice to the Order, though this was only valid if Ezio had vacancies in his roster.
- Managing Assassin Guilds increased the percentage-of-control capacity of the city. A city with no Assassins garrisoned had a percentage-of-control capacity of 50%. The maximum amount of Assassins garrisoned permitted was 5, where the percentage-of-control capacity was raised to 100% when a city's garrison was staffed by fully-trained Assassins. Placing 5 low-ranked Assassins in a city yielded a percentage-of-control capacity spanning from 50% to 100%.
- Every 20 minutes, at the same time as Ezio received a revenue deposit at the banks from city renovations, all of the cities lost a random percentage of Assassin control or gained the same in Templar control if relevant. If that percentage reduced Assassin control to 0%, the Templars would lay siege to the city.
- Some city missions required a specific fighting style from an Assassin recruit to be assigned as the first Assassin of the operation. There were four types, each signified by a symbol near their rank number: a crossbow, a heavy weapon, a short blade, or the Hidden Blade.