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The Spanish Rite of the Templar Order is the branch of the Templar Order in operation in Spain. The Rite grew to prominence during the Renaissance when it spearheaded the Spanish Inquisition under Grand Inquisitor Tomás de Torquemada, through the machinations of Rodrigo Borgia, Pope and Grand Master of the Italian Templars.
Under the auspices of these two leaders, the Templars enacted a purge of the Assassins in the region while goading the Christian kingdoms of Castile and Aragon to conquer the Emirate of Granada. At the same time, they attempted to sabotage the expedition of Genoese explorer Christopher Columbus through any means necessary so that they may be the first Europeans to reach the Americas. A third scheme involved the Grand Inquisitor's plans to seize the Apple of Eden in the possession of Muhammad XII of Granada. Their plots unraveled in particular due to the intervention of Ezio Auditore da Firenze of the Italian Brotherhood and the successes of the Spanish Assassin Aguilar de Nerha, though Granada would fall to the Spanish forces.
Following the Spanish Empire's expansion to the New World, the Spanish Rite sent agents to the Inca Empire and the West Indies, including Laureano de Torres y Ayala, to lay the seeds for new rites of the Order in the Americas.
Hunting the Assassins
In the late 15th century, the Templars integrated themselves into the leadership of the Spanish Inquisition, using it to root out those who opposed the Templar agenda, manipulating the faith for their own gain. To accomplish this mission, Tomás de Torquemada, Grand Inquisitor and Master Templar, favored the auto-da-fé, public executions during which "heretics" were burned at the stake. At some point, the Templars captured the Assassin parents of Aguilar de Nerha and executed them, prompting the Spaniard to join the Brotherhood.
In 1491, Torquemada received a list of names of supposed heretics from cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, Grand Master of the Italian Templars. In reality, the list consisted of the names of Spanish Assassins whom Rodrigo wished to kill by manipulating the Inquisition into doing so. After the Assassin Luis de Santángel requested his aid, the Italian Assassin Ezio Auditore da Firenze traveled to Spain to free his brothers and killed several Inquisitors, namely Gaspar Martínez and Pedro Llorente.
Prolonging the Granada War
During this time, the Templars discovered the existence of an entire landmass across the Atlantic unknown to the Europeans. Hoping to claim the continent for themselves before the other powers, or the Assassins for that matter, they aspired to prolong the Granada War indefinitely as a means of exhausting the treasury of Castile and depriving the explorer Christopher Columbus his much needed funds for his own voyage across the Atlantic. In order to accomplish this, the Templars placed a spy within Emir Muhammad XII's circle of advisors, who provided the emir with false councel that downplayed the peril the emir was in.
In late November, 1491, just before the night of the last assault on Granada, the Templar spy present in Muhammad's circle of advisors was assassinated by Ezio Auditore. In the wake of this development, the Templars seized Muhammad outright in his throne room at the Alhambra palace, without even his guards being aware of it. As a hostage, Muhammad could do nothing but listen as his Templar captor gloated over his schemes, all while the battle of Granada raged on outside.
However, it was at that moment that Ezio, under the guidance of the Assassin Raphael Sánchez, infiltrated the palace through the catacombs, entered the throne room and killed the Templar from behind, freeing Muhammad. He wasted no time in convincing the Emir to surrender to Spain, effectively ending the war and thwarting the Templars' plans.
Chasing the Apple
In January 1492, the Templars discovered Muhammad was in possession of an Apple of Eden. In an effort to force Muhammad to hand over the Apple, the Templars decided to kidnap Muhammad's son, Prince Ahmed. Later, the Templars Ojeda and Ramires led a company to a remote village, having received intelligence that the prince was supposedly being sheltered there. The information turned out to be correct, as they found the prince hidden in one of the residences. However, the Templars were then ambushed by a team of Assassins led by their Mentor, Benedicto. However, despite killing Ramires and several soldiers, the Assassins failed and were all killed except for the Mentor and two other Assassins, Aguilar and Maria.
On January 2, 1492, the Assassins who had been thrown into a jail in Seville were dragged out of their cell to be publically executed as heretics by the Inquisition. Presiding over the auto-da-fé, Torquemada made a speech about Heresy, presenting the Assassins as enemies of Peace and defenders of Discord before sentencing them to death in front of a cheerful crowd. While the Assassin Mentor was burned at the stake by the Templars, the two other Assassins freed themselves and after killing several Templars and blowing up the stage with oil, fled under the eyes of an enraged Torquemada. Eventually, the Assassins escaped the Arbalists that Torquemada had preventively put on the roofs near the execution site as well as Ojeda and his men by performing a leap of faith from the cathedral.
Later, in Granada, Torquemada and his Templar army took possession of the Alhambra and confronted Sultan Muhammad. With his Assassin protectors dead and his son in the hands of the Templars, the defeated Sultan led them to the room where the artifact was hidden and relinquished the Piece of Eden to the Grand Inquisitor, who in turn released the young prince. As Torquemade held up the Apple in victory, Aguilar and Maria commenced their attack and locked the door of the room, trapping the bulk of the Templar's forces outside.
Using smoke bombs, the Assassins swiftly killed the soldiers present in the room, save for the Master Templar and his giant henchman. As Aguilar seized the Apple and was about to kill Torquemada, the Assassin discovered that Ojeda had his lover's throat under his blade. However, to prevent Aguilar from giving the Piece of Eden to the Templars to save her life, Maria killed herself with Ojeda's blade. Enraged, Aguilar pushed Torquemada on the side and engaged in a vicious brawl with Ojeda, eventually killing him.
Having witnessed his champion vanquished by the Assassin, Torquemada took advantage of Aguilar's distraction to open the locked door to the rest of his men. After fleeing through a tunnel under the room, Aguilar escaped his Templars pursuers only to be surrounded by Torquemada and his men on a bridge over a deep ravine. The Templar, believing himself to have won, pressed his foe to surrender and to give him the Apple but Aguilar instead jumped into the ravine, disappearing into the river while Torquemada cursed the Assassin with an angry roar. Sometime afterwards, Aguilar gave the Apple to Christopher Columbus, instructing him to take the Apple with him to his grave.
Later that day, on the night of Muhammad's abdication ceremony, the Templars struck again, targeting not him this time, but Queen Isabella I. However, the Templar assassins were intercepted and killed outside the ceremony by Ezio Auditore and his friend, the former French Assassin Helene Dufranc.
Assassination attempt by Ezio
In the aftermath of the fall of Granada to the Spanish, Torquemada acted swiftly in dispatching an Inquisitor, Juan de Marillo, to round up all heretics in the city. This operation failed when Ezio rescued many of these condemned citizens before proceeding to assassinate Juan in the city's sewers without anyone noticing.
Soon after, Christopher Columbus set sail for his first voyage, the Inquisitors, under the manipulation of the Templars, sent soldiers to kill the Assassins Luis de Santángel and Raphael Sánchez in retaliation for foiling their plans to stall the expedition.
For this outrage, Santángel ordered Ezio to eliminate Torquemada once and for all, retracting a previous command against it. Despite this, Sanchez advised Ezio to make sure to figure out the extent of Torquemada's association with the Templar Order before going for the kill, and whether or not he was a Templar himself. Accordingly, when Ezio infiltrated Torquemada's heavily-guarded estate and at last reached the Grand Inquisitor, he confronted him directly, hoping to goad him into divulging his allegiances.
Torquemada boasted of his glory in the eyes of God, and jeered at the prospect that Rodrigo Borgia, whom he admired, was actually an atheist. Through this, Ezio incorrectly concluded that, like Pedro Llorente before him, Torquemada lacked any knowledge of a Templar conspiracy and was merely an extreme, religious fanatic possessed by self-delusion. In spite of this, the Assassin remained keen on neutralizing him and charged in for a swift kill, but Torquemada had been well prepared. He immediately lowered a portcullis between them to obstruct Ezio's approach and managed to escape unscathed.
Routing from Spain
On 16 September 1498, Torquemada was killed by the Assassins. In 1511, the Templars commandeered the forges of Toledo's famous blacksmiths, causing them to flee to Madrid. However, the Assassins reclaimed their properties from the Templars, returning them to their rightful owners. Later that year, the Assassins sought out the leaders of the Templar network in Madrid and eliminated them, eventually expelling the Templars from the city.
In 1794, the Spanish Rite was contacted by Frederick Weatherall, who sent appeals asking them to support the overthrown De la Serre family against François-Thomas Germain and his extremists. Though they lent their sympathies, they offered no support, as the Parisian Rite ran smoothly, making Élise de la Serre's request for support of marginal interest. It was also likely Germain had contacted them and convinced them that overthrowing the De la Serre family was necessary.
By 2016, the Abstergo Foundation Rehabilitation Center, a subsidiary of Abstergo Industries, was located in Madrid. Like its parent company, it operated as a front for the modern-day Templar Order. Ostensibly the Foundation's goal was to find a genetic "cure to violence" by locating an Apple of Eden.
Headed up by Dr. Sophia Rikkin, the Foundation held imprisoned a number of subjects, many of whom were either descended from or active members of the Assassin Brotherhood, who they would force into the Animus in order to explore their genetic memories.
On 22 October 2016, Callum Lynch, a descendant of the 15th century Spanish Assassin Aguilar de Nerha, was brought to the facility by Sophia Rikkin and placed into their Animus. After several sessions in the Animus, the Templars succeeded in locating Aguilar's Apple, but were forced to flee the facility when its inmates organized a revolt and overcame the guards.
- Renardo Aguilar (West Indies Rite)
- Rafael Joaquín de Ferrer (Louisiana Rite)
- Alonso Fernández de Heredia
- General Ramirez
- Gustavo Ramirez
- Tomás de Torquemada
- Laureano de Torres y Ayala (West Indies Rite)
- Francis Xavier (Japanese Rite)
Allies and puppets
- Alexander VI (Roman Rite)
- Cesare Borgia (Roman Rite)
- Isabella I of Castile
- Pedro Llorente
- Gaspar Martínez
- Juan de Marillo
- Muhammad XII of Granada
- Assassin's Creed II: Discovery (first appearance)
- Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy – Contracts
- Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood – Assassin's Guild
- Assassin's Creed: Revelations – Mediterranean Defense
- Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
- Assassin's Creed: Black Flag
- Assassin's Creed: Rogue (mentioned only)
- Assassin's Creed: The Movie
- Assassin's Creed: The Official Movie Novelization