The Age of Discovery, also known as the Age of Exploration, was a period during which Europeans explored Africa, North and South America, Asia, and Oceania, starting in the 15th century and continuing until the 17th century.
After the Fall of Constantinople, the European trade routes to Asia and the West Indies were severed. Spain and Portugal began making plans to discover alternate routes to Asia; the most famous of these travels being that of Christopher Columbus, funded by Queen Isabella I of Castile, whose journey led to the discovery of the West Indies, and the existence of the Americas. Portuguese-funded journeys uncovered a path to the West Indies around Africa by Vasco da Gama, while the British Empire began to colonize parts of India, Australia, and the islands of the East Indies.
The discovery of new lands outside the Old World led to a period of colonization; countries such as Great Britain, Spain, France, Portugal, and the Dutch Republic founded numerous colonies, resulting in the creation of colonial empires around the world.
By 1503, both the Assassins and Templars started expanding their reach towards the New World; the Assassins stole a map from the Ottoman navigator Piri Reis detailing the new lands. By 1521, both organizations had already established themselves in the Americas.