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"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
ACCC-Shao Jun Render
Biographical information
Born

1505
Beijing, Empire of the Great Ming

Political information
Affiliations

Assassins

Real-world information
Appears in

Assassin's Creed: Embers
Revelations novel
Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China

Voice actor

Angela Galuppo (Embers)
Annabelle Galea (Chronicles: China)

Shao Jun (1505 – unknown) was a member of the Chinese Brotherhood of Assassins. A former concubine of the Zhengde Emperor, she was rescued by the Assassins after the emperor's death, and devoted her life to the Order as a result.

During the interregnum that followed Zhengde's death, Zhang Yong - the leader of the Eight Tigers, a Templar faction - ordered a purge of all those who opposed him, which included the Assassins. Jun and her Mentor fled west to seek out the Italian Assassin Mentor, Ezio Auditore da Firenze.

Two years later, Shao Jun returned to China. Together with a Master Assassin named Wang Yangming, she successfully eliminated all the Tigers, stopped a Mongolian invasion and despite Wang's death rebuilt the Chinese Brotherhood of which she became the new Mentor. By 1567, Jun devised a plan to poison the Jiajing Emperor by using the elixir of life, which eventually claimed the life of the cruel monarch.

HistoryEdit

Early lifeEdit

"I was born a concubine, but my Mentor freed me when I was young."
―Shao Jun.[src]

Jun was born into royal captivity during China's Ming Dynasty, under the lackluster rule of Emperor Zhengde.[1]

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.[1]

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.[1]

Loyal immediately to those who rescued her, Jun dedicated her first years of freedom to serving the Brotherhood, training in their ways.[1]

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.[1][2]

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.[1]

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.[1]

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]
EzioFlaviaJun

Jun's first encounter with Ezio

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.[1]

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.[2]

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.[2]

ShaoJunEzio

Jun listening to Ezio

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.[2]

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.[2]

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.[2]

Embers ShotBreakdown 01

Jun and Ezio in Florence

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.[2]

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.[2]

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.[2]

Return to ChinaEdit

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]
ACE-V 10

Ezio handing Jun a small box during her departure

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.[2]

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.[2]

After a two years travel, Shao Jun finally came back to China as the Ming dynasty started to crumble. Strengthened by her meeting with the legendary Ezio Auditore and the knowledge gained during her travels, Jun went on to search other surviving Assassins but only found Wang Yangming. Together they planned the Assassin's revenge against the Templars, while also planning to restore their fallen Brotherhood.[3]

Quest for vengeanceEdit

In 1526, two years since the Templar group, the Eight Tigers, wiped out the Chinese Brotherhood of Assassins, Shao Jun finally began her journey of revenge against them. She used the box given to her by Ezio as bait and allowed herself to be imprisoned by Gao Feng, one of the eight, in an old Assassin stronghold turned Templar secret prison, the Maijishan Grottoes. After escaping her cell, killing Gao Feng and fleeing from the prison, Shao Jun met her Mentor, Wang Yangming, who had also eliminated one of the Tigers, the torturer Ma Yongcheng. Wang located the stolen box in Macau, in the hand of the third Tiger, Yu Dayong. Shao Jun infiltrated the city stronghold through the docks area, assassinated Yu, reclaimed the box, and escaped the fire set to the entire docks in retaliation by Qiu Ju, the fourth Tiger. [3]

Three years later, to get to the leader of the Tigers, Zhang Yong, Shao Jun traveled to Nan'an to kill the fifth Tiger, Wei Bin, who led the slaughter the Chinese Brotherhood. As Wei Bin died, he told Shao Jun that Zhang was hunting Wang Yangming, who was also in the city to meet a contact able to study the box. Shao Jun immediately left to save her Mentor but was too late, seeing Zhang killing Wang and claiming the box again. Now the last Chinese Assassin, Jun was contacted in 1530 by Empress Zhang, Shao Jun's former concubine friend, who had a lead on Zhang location. To meet her, Shao Jun infiltrated the Forbidden City, only to find that Zhang and Qiu had threatened the Empress to set a trap. As Shao Jun dueled Qiu while Zhang fled, lanterns dropped during the duel spread fire across the City, and after killing Qiu, Jun had to escape the burning City.[3]

In 1532, Shao Jun pursued Zhang, who already sent the box out of China to other Templars and was to the Great Wall, where he planned to let the Mongols of Altan Khan invade China. Among the chaos of bombardment from the infuriated Mongols caused by her closing of the Great Wall gates, Shao Jun reached Zhang and assassinated him, eliminating the last Tiger as well as the Templar influence in China. As the Templar died, Jun vowed to rebuild the Assassins Brotherhood to bring a new tomorrow for China and its people.[3]

Mentor of the Chinese AssassinsEdit

Shao Jun eventually succeeded in her rebuilding of the Chinese Assassins, recruiting new members and obtaining the title of Mentor. By 1567, she was a wise elder who shared her wisdom with the younger members of the Brotherhood while tasking others to accomplish various missions. As such, she planned the death of the Jiajing Emperor, sending Assassins to offer the elixir of life to him, while it was in fact a poison that ended his life.[3]

LegacyEdit

"A Sheng Biao - or rope dart, if you prefer. One of the many plans given to us by Shao Jun."
―Achilles Davenport introducing the rope dart to his student, Ratonhnhaké:ton.[src]

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,[4] Adéwalé,[5], Shay Cormac,[6] and Ratonhnhaké:ton[7]

Personality and characteristicsEdit

"I want to understand, like you do. To help my people."
―Jun speaking with Ezio.[src]
ACE-V 8

Jun standing watch at Ezio's villa

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.[2]

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.[2]

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.[1]

Equipment and skillsEdit

ACE-V 9

Jun utilizing her Shoe Blade

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. Shao Jun also had a concealed Shoe Blade under her right foot, which she used against enemies in tandem with her acrobatic skills.[2] She developed the rope dart after her journey in Italy, using it to swing across gaps or climb up to ceilings, and also employed firecrackers to distract guards.[3]

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.[2]

Shao 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.[2]

TriviaEdit

  • 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".[8] 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.
  • Jun has an entry in the Animus database featured in Assassin's Creed III. Her concept art was used as her database image.
  • "Shao" when written in Chinese as 少 means "lacking or owing somebody a debt" and also "young master" while the name "Jun" written as 君 means "ruler, supreme", 俊 as "talented" and 洵 for "truth". "Jun" can also mean "falcon" if written as 隼 in Japanese kanji. Shao is possibly her surname, which in Chinese precedes the given name. “邵” Shao is a reasonably common last name and 俊 as "talented" would be the most likely character to use for a girl's name. Because she was a concubine, it is possible she goes by a title, such as "稍俊", meaning "small and talented".
  • In the Mandarin version of Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China, her name is actually Shao Yun "少芸" meaning "young herb-of-grace". This would mean that Ezio actually pronounced the name correctly in Embers, but then the romanization "Shao Jun" would be incorrect.

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

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