"Where [sic] they here before the Templars? Remember Roanoke? Is it them who guided the colony into the wild?"
―Erudito, hacking the confidential Abstergo file "ROANOKE", 2012

The Roanoke Colony was the first attempt by England to establish a permanent settlement in North America, chartered by Queen Elizabeth I in 1584. Founded in 1585 on Roanoke Island in present-day North Carolina, United States, the colonists of Roanoke mysteriously vanished prior to 1590, leaving the settlement abandoned.[1]

Though its fate is lost to history, even to the Templars and Assassins, theories abounded that the colony was actually an Assassin settlement. If true, this could effectively mean that Assassins' attempts to establish a permanent presence in the Americas predate that of the Templars,[2] though Templar exploration of the continent dates back to 1398 with the expedition of James Gunn.[3] It was the understanding of the hacking collective Erudito that rather than meeting some tragic end, the colonists had been guided into the wilderness where they integrated themselves.[2]

At least one Assassin surmised that the settlement was actually idyllic and entertained the ramifications it would have for the Templars' worldview should the Templars discover that an Assassin colony was a model for utopia. By late 2012, Abstergo Industries, the public front for the Templar Order, had come to possess a brief transcript of this Assassin's message. The confidential file was then leaked to the public through their Animus game consoles before being further hacked by Erudito who added their own commentary on the subject.[2]


  • Roanoke Colony is only mentioned in the file "ROANOKE" of the Abstergo Story, a series of informational texts and videos which effectively serve as the database for Assassin's Creed III multiplayer. As with the other files, the content in "ROANOKE" is brief and cryptic and therefore difficult to interpret due to the lack of any indicator as to the speaker of each file, Assassin or Templar, though it is evident by context that the majority are Assassins.
The only meaningful line aside from Erudito's hacked message is: "What if they run simulations to see if we were here before? What if an Assassins' Colony had ever existed? What if they discovered that we were the model for their Utopia?"
If not for Erudito's commentary, "Where [sic] they here before the Templars?", which establishes that the object that the subject is said to predate are Templars, it would be more ambiguous as to whether the original speaker is an Assassin or Templar.
The meaning of the last question is particularly vague. The inclusion of the possessive pronoun "their" before "utopia" would suggest that the utopia in question refers specifically to the Templars' dreams of a New World Order. If this is the case, the Assassin would actually be implying that an Assassin colony inspired the Templar vision of a New World Order or is a model for it, a revelation that could be traumatic for both factions. In hindsight, this interpretation, though following the phrasing literally, is radical enough to be in doubt.
This article therefore assumes that the speaker, most likely an Assassin, is referring to the possibility that the Templars would be forced to acknowledge that an Assassin colony is the model for utopia in general, an intuitive interpretation. In this case, "their Utopia" does not refer exactly to the Templars' New World Order but rather the intended meaning is actually 'a utopia, sought by the Templars'.
  • The transcript also surmises that if the Roanoke Colony were an Assassin colony, it would mean that the Assassins' presence in the Americas predate that of the Templars. This would be incorrect as the Templar James Gunn explored the continent in 1398 according to Assassin's Creed: Rogue. However, as the line that raises this theory does not clarify "predate" in what way, the speaker may be referring to predating in terms of an attempt at a permanent presence or the establishment of a branch.