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- "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 out of private gain or material compensation. Mercenaries 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, mercenaries in cities like Rome and Constantinople became guilds, collaborating with each other as one large group and acting under one singular leader. These mercenaries guilds were often notable allies of the Assassin Order, and their leaders sometimes were part of the Order themselves.
Mercenaries, just like 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 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 led them from their barracks. There, they actively participated in the fight against the Borgia and their French allies, led by Baron 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.
Mercenaries were the most heavily armored of the three factions available, and they usually wielded heavy, two-handed weapons and fought very similarly to Brutes in fights. However, despite this fact, they had quite a bit of difficulty when engaging Brutes in combat.
- 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 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, they 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 Courtesan missions.
- Mercenaries could be killed by the 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.
- When standing by a mercenary, it could be seen that the mercenary was far taller than Ezio, like many of the character models in the Assassin's Creed series.