- "I have traveled a long time, followed many roads and suffered much grief to find him. To learn his secrets before our enemies find us."
- ―Shao Jun regarding her search for Ezio Auditore.[src]
Shao Jun (1505 – unknown) was a member of the Chinese Brotherhood of Assassins. A former concubine of Emperor Zhengde, she was rescued by the Assassins after the emperor's death, and devoted her life to the Order as a result.
After some time, Zhengde's successor, Jiajing, ordered a purge of those who opposed him, which included the Assassins. Following the Order's decline in China, Jun and her Mentor fled west to seek out the Italian Assassin Mentor, Ezio Auditore da Firenze.
- "I was born a concubine, but my Mentor freed me when I was young."
- ―Shao Jun.[src]
Zhengde, known for his childish disposition and lack of interest in the urgent matters that concerned his country, regarded Jun highly among his concubines after she had reached her teenage years. Living a decade of her life under Zhengde, Jun traveled with him to various places and met many foreigners.
However, after Zhengde's death in April of 1521, the royal ministers fell into disarray and bickered over who should succeed the heir-less Zhengde. It was during this chaotic time that Jun came into contact with the Assassin Order, and was rescued along with several other concubines after the Assassins broke into the royal palace.
Loyal immediately to those who rescued her, Jun dedicated her first years of freedom to serving the Brotherhood, training in their ways.
Decline of her OrderEdit
Years after her rescue, Jun and her Mentor decided to save the remaining concubines whom she had grown up with. After breaking into the Imperial Palace, Jun discovered that most of her friends had been tortured and killed through the use of Ling Chi ("slow slicing," or death by a thousand cuts), by order of Zhengde's nephew and successor, Jiajing. Jun and her Mentor then fled the palace.
Jiajing sought to detain and execute any opposition or possible threats against his rule. The Assassins were some of the purge's most high-profile targets, and on Jiajing's orders, a majority of the Assassins in China were killed. The few who survived either went into hiding or fled westward.
Jun and her Mentor were among those who left China, though they escaped farther than most of their brothers. Heading for Italy, the two sought the legendary Mentor Ezio Auditore for help, hoping that he might know how to restore their Order.
Time in ItalyEdit
- Jun: "I want to understand."
- Ezio: "Understand what?"
- Jun: "How to lead, to rebuild my Order."
- —Jun asking Ezio for help.[src]
By 1524, Jun and her Mentor were able to travel as far as Venice. However, Imperial soldiers sent by Jiajing caught up to the pair in the city. Jun's Mentor fought off the soldiers to ensure her safety and escape, and died in the ensuing battle.
Continuing onward, Jun arrived at Ezio Auditore's Tuscan villa, where she encountered Ezio's young daughter Flavia and began speaking with her. Though Ezio initially saw Jun as a threat and fervently restrained her to protect his child, he released her after recognizing the Assassin insignia on the necklace she wore.
Later that day, Ezio and his wife Sofia confronted Jun, who asked for aid in restoring her Order. Ezio, who had retired from his life as an Assassin, refused to associate himself with the Order again, and asked her to leave. However, Sofia, knowing that Jun had come a long way to meet Ezio, asked her to stay for the night. Jun thanked Sofia, and accepted her offer.
The next day, Jun came across Ezio's study and looked through some of the writings he had left on his desk. When Ezio discovered her, he furiously told her to leave, which Jun hastily obeyed. He then demanded that Jun depart Italy entirely, stating that she had wasted her time looking for him. Jun, reciting a portion of Ezio's writing, responded that all she wanted was to understand the Order as he did.
Ezio finally admitted why he was so reluctant to help her, and invited her to accompany him to Florence, where she could assist him with the harvesting of his vineyard. There, Jun observed the crowd as Ezio attended to his business. He then took her to the Palazzo della Signoria, where half of his family had been hung in 1476. Ezio taught Jun how the Assassins lived their lives: through pain, in order to end pain.
After the brief discussion, Ezio and Jun prepared to return to the villa. On the way back however, the two were intercepted by an Imperial soldier in an alleyway. Jun managed to kill the soldier, and quickly fled the city with Ezio.
On the way to Ezio's villa, Jun explained her plight, and informed him about those who were after her. Ezio told Sofia to bring their children to Niccolò Machiavelli's home, as he suspected that the soldiers would pursue Jun to the villa.
That night, Ezio told Jun the story of how he had defeated the Borgia family through fraternity and love, and how he had reformed the Brotherhood in both Rome and Constantinople. Jun then rested for the night while Ezio kept watch from the living room.
Soon enough, the villa was invaded by Imperial soldiers. The two Assassins fended off most of the attackers, with Ezio saving Jun from the shot of a hand cannon held by a brutish soldier. Fleeing outside to avoid the devastating weapon, both Jun and Ezio worked together to deal with the last foe. Though the soldier charged Ezio and pinned him to a tree, the elder Assassin managed to stab his enemy with an iron poker that he wielded as a sword. Jun then helped Ezio recuperate from the unexpected exertion.
- Ezio: "It is a long way home, no?"
- Jun: "Much to see along the way. Thank you, Mentor."
- ―Jun to Ezio, before departing for China.[src]
The following morning, Jun, with a renewed resolve, looked on to the horizon as Ezio approached her. Ezio stated that the trip back to China would be long, but Jun replied that it would be worthwhile, with so much to see along the way.
Before Jun left, Ezio gave her a small chest that contained something which could aid her in the future, stating that she should only open it if she were to lose her way. As government guards came into view on horseback, Ezio bade Jun to leave before they arrived. Jun then departed Ezio's villa to return home to China.
Some time following her encounter with Ezio Auditore, Shao Jun introduced into the Assassin Order the Shéng Biāo, or rope dart, a weapon that allowed its user to hang foes from horizontal objects such as tree branches, as well as to yank those caught by it from their feet. Rope darts would eventually be used by Assassins during the 18th century, most notably by Edward Kenway, Adéwalé,, Shay Cormac, and Ratonhnhaké:ton
Personality and characteristicsEdit
- "I want to understand, like you do. To help my people."
- ―Jun speaking with Ezio.[src]
Shao Jun had the desire to learn, specifically about how the Assassin Order functioned and its members lived their lives. She often searched for information when none was given to her, even going against the wishes of others just to learn, as evidenced by her invasion of Ezio's study. Jun was sincere about wanting to understand her Order, and took Ezio's lessons and lectures to heart.
She remained on-guard at all times, keeping a close eye on her surroundings for any possible threats. Because of this, she was somewhat restless, often staying up at night and preparing for an attack instead of sleeping.
She also loved to experience and learn from new cultures and societies, and was often excited about the opportunity to understand people of different nationalities than her own.
Equipment and skillsEdit
Shao Jun wielded a Chinese jian as her primary weapon, and while she had no ordinary Hidden Blade, she did have a total of six throwing needles tucked under her bracers as secondary weapons. Jun also had a concealed Shoe Blade under her right foot, which she used against enemies in tandem with her acrobatic skills.
She was extensively trained in combat by the Order, and was an adept and agile fighter. Her fighting style was heavily reminiscent of the Chinese martial art of Wushu, which involves ample flexibility and knowledge in both unarmed and sword combat.
Jun's arsenal of weapons were fitted for her style of combat, as they were light yet deadly. To lower suspicion in public areas, she concealed her weapons in her attire, save for the jian, which she kept sheathed across her back.
- The Assassin's Creed Encyclopedia stated that Shao Jun met Ezio in Florence. However, in Assassin's Creed: Embers, Ezio's villa was located in the Tuscan countryside.
- Shao Jun had at least a basic grasp of Italian, being able to say "grazie" to Sofia after she was allowed to stay at the villa, and was also able to understand Ezio even if he spoke in the language.
- The "Jun" in Shao Jun's name is mispronounced as "yoon" by Ezio Auditore in Assassin's Creed: Embers. The name, which is romanized via the pinyin system, would roughly be pronounced in Mandarin as "joon". The mistake was rectified in Assassin's Creed III, where Achilles Davenport pronounced the name correctly with an English "j" sound rather than a "y" sound.
- Shao Jun's clothing was anachronistic during the Ming Dynasty period, as the style worn by Shao first appeared during the Manchurian Qing Dynasty.
- A replica of Shao Jun's necklace could be bought from Ubiworkshop for 24.99 US dollars. Some time after its release, red and black versions were added for purchase.
- Shao Jun was voiced by Angela Galuppo, who also provided the voice of both Flavia and Claudia Auditore da Firenze.
- Jun has an entry in the Animus database featured in Assassin's Creed III. Her concept art was used as her database image.
- She is set to appear as the protagonist of the Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China.
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Assassin's Creed Encyclopedia
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 Assassin's Creed: Embers
- ↑ Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
- ↑ Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag – Freedom Cry
- ↑ Assassin's Creed: Rogue
- ↑ Assassin's Creed III
- ↑ Learn a Chinese Character a Day - Pinyin chart