- This article is about the faction. You may be looking for other uses of the term.
- "I fight at your side, any time!"
- ―A mercenary's greeting to Ezio.
Mercenaries were soldiers available for hire to take part in armed conflicts, often functioning as a third party, usually for private gain or material compensation. They were often hired by nations to take part in battles, or by private contractors to serve as personal protection.
During the 15th and 16th centuries, the high number of mercenaries in cities like Rome and Constantinople led to the creation of guilds, collaborating with each other as one large group and acting under a singular leader. These mercenary guilds were often notable allies of the Assassin Order, and their leaders sometimes were part of the Order themselves.
From the Colonial era, mercenaries continued to operate in the employ of various different bodies. Unlike the guilds of old however, these mercenaries were commonly used by the Colonial Rite of the Templar Order, although this was not an exclusive arrangement.
Mercenaries of Italy, as with other hired help, cost 150 florins and followed Ezio around, along with making comments after a fight. They wielded heavy weapons and fought like Brute guards, however, mercenaries that were encountered in missions were often free of cost and wielded longswords and maces. Due to their lack of armor, their effectiveness was drastically reduced, as they could be outmatched by two to three Pazzi guards. When needed, Ezio could order them to fight selected guards, providing a distraction for him to pass by areas unnoticed.
In Rome, the mercenaries acted much as they did in the previous cities, and Bartolomeo d'Alviano and his wife Pantasilea Baglioni led them from their barracks. There, they actively participated in the fight against the Borgia and their French allies, led by Octavian de Valois. When Ezio completed all of the Mercenaries Guild challenges, he was awarded with Bartolomeo's Axe and the guild's crest, which could be located in the armor section in the Tiber Island headquarters.
In 1754, several mercenaries were hired by Achilles Davenport's Assassins to obtain and guard William Johnson's research notes in an encampment in West Boston. Not long after, the camp was infiltrated by Haytham Kenway, Charles Lee and Thomas Hickey, who retrieved the notes.
Several mercenaries were later used by the Templars themselves in the following decades, with a significant number protecting Benjamin Church following his desertion of the Templar Order.
Mercenaries were the most heavily armored of the three factions available, and they usually wielded heavy, two-handed weapons, fighting very similarly to Brutes in combat.
During the Colonial era, however, mercenaries fought much like British Regulars, using the same weapons and tactics as their professional counterparts.
- Mercenaries could not perform any form of freerunning. However, Mario Auditore, who behaved like a mercenary, was able to free-run.
- Mercenaries possessed similar weapons to Brutes, but were easily defeated by them.
- In the Cannaregio District of Venice, Ezio could hire groups of six mercenaries, instead of the usual four.
- During the mission to assassinate Vieri de' Pazzi, Mario referred to his mercenaries as his brothers, a term usually reserved for fellow Assassins.
- While Ezio distributed Bartolomeo's men to specific spots throughout the Castello District as a distraction for Silvio Barbarigo, the mercenaries acted like normal guards instead of Brutes, even being able to sprint.
- Ironically, Niccolò Machiavelli was portrayed as the leader of the Florentine mercenaries, when, historically, he strongly opposed the use of them.
- Regular mercenaries could break out of Ezio's grabs, though the ones in the Monteriggioni training grounds couldn't, unless he was training with them.
- In Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, two mercenaries helped Ezio operate Leonardo da Vinci's Tank.
- In Brotherhood, mercenaries were far more powerful and could take out several guards effectively.
- Fabrizio and Prospero Colonna were two notable mercenaries that were saved by Ezio during one of the Brotherhood's courtesan assignments.
- Mercenaries could be killed by Ezio's Apple of Eden if they were caught within range of its blast radius.
- If a minstrel attempted to play in front of Ezio while he was accompanied by mercenaries, they would push him away and one would attempt to chase him, before returning shortly afterward.