- Ratonhnhaké:ton: "What is it the Templars truly seek?"
- Haytham Kenway: "Order. Purpose. Direction. No more than that."
- ―Ratonhnhaké:ton and Haytham Kenway, discussing the Colonial Templars' goals, 1778.[src]
The Colonial Rite, known as the American Rite following the American Revolutionary War, was one of a number of autonomous factions, in operation during the mid 18th century, that composed the Templar Order. Haytham Kenway founded, and became the first Grand Master of the Colonial Rite in 1754, in order to find a suspected Precursor storehouse, on instruction of the Templar Grand Master of the British Rite, Reginald Birch.
The Colonial Rite played a significant role in guiding the course of the American Revolution, with an aim to usurp control of the newly forming nation. However, the Templars' plans were ultimately disrupted by the reformed Colonial Assassins.
In the year 1754, Haytham arrived in Boston, and was greeted by Charles Lee, a hopeful wishing to join the Templar Order. With Charles' help, Haytham sought to gather four individuals that Reginald Birch had arranged for Haytham to recruit: William Johnson, Thomas Hickey, Benjamin Church, and John Pitcairn.
With the outbreak of the French and Indian War, the British Government had arranged for General Edward Braddock, another member of the Templar Order, to lead an expedition to the French-controlled Fort Duquesne. In order to enlist the aid of the Kanien'kehá:ka, whom it was believed knew the location of the Precursor site, Haytham willingly agreed to side with them in their ambush of Braddock's forces.
The combined assault by Haytham's Rite and the Kanien'kehá:ka, together with a timely assault by the French Army, led to the destruction of the Expedition, and the death of Edward Braddock at Haytham's hands. True to her word, Kaniehtí:io, the Kanien'kehá:ka whom Haytham had agreed their alliance, led the Grand Master to the Precursor site, though the latter was disappointed to find little more than a cave.
Purge of the Colonial Assassins
By 1759, the Colonial Rite was in full conflict with the Assassin Brotherhood in the region. When Shay Cormac defected to the Templar Order during the Seven Years' War, the Templars focused on hunting down the Assassins with Shay's help, eliminating several high-ranking members of the Brotherhood, such as Hope Jensen, Kesegowaase and Chevalier de la Vérendrye. Shay also managed to eliminate the member of the Caribbean branch of the Order, Adéwalé, who was working closely with Achilles and his allies.
Tracking the remaining two Assassins, Liam O'Brien and the Mentor Achilles Davenport, to a First Civilization Temple in the Arctic resulted in Liam's death, and Haytham forcing Achilles Davenport into exile, on the condition that the Mentor retired from his search of the Precursor sites. Achilles agreed, but as a mean of insurance, Haytham crippled him with a shot to the leg.
After an unsuccessful attempt to open the Grand Temple, the Templars focused on strengthening their influence in the colonies. In 1763, the Colonial Rite launched an attack on the Davenport Homestead, which served as a base of operations for the Colonial Assassins. Killing those who remained, the Templars once again spared Achilles' life when he agreed to cease all Assassin activities in the colonies. When the American Revolution began, the Templars have attempted to influence both sides, in order to achieve the outcome they desired.
However, the Colonial Assassins have begun to rebuild with the recruitment of Ratonhnhaké:ton, the son of Haytham Kenway and Kaniehtí:io. Over the course of the Revolution, Ratonhnhaké:ton assassinated William Johnson, John Pitcairn, Nicholas Biddle, Thomas Hickey, and killed Benjamin Church, who had betrayed the Colonial Rite, during an alliance with Haytham. At the same time, Ratonhnhaké:ton recruited a new generation of Assassins into the Brotherhood.
- Charles Lee: "Why do you persist...? You put us down. We rise again. You end one plot; we forge another. You try so hard... But it always ends the same. [...] Yet you fight. You resist. Why?"
- Ratonhnhaké:ton: "Because no one else will!"
- ―Charles Lee and Ratonhnhaké:ton, 1782.
In 1781, after cutting ties with his father, Ratonhnhaké:ton, seeking out Charles Lee, was confronted by Haytham in the Templar stronghold at Fort George, New York. After a brutal fight, the Templar Grand Master was killed, and Charles Lee rose to the position in his stead.
At least three months later, in 1782, a funeral was held for Kenway and presided over by Charles Lee, but it was interrupted with the arrival of Ratonhnhaké:ton. Charles had the Assassin detained, before making preparations to travel to Boston. Eventually, the Assassin caught up with Lee once more, and after a rugged pursuit, tracked the man down and killed him in Conestoga Inn, Monmouth. Lee's death marked the collapse of the Colonial Rite's influence in North America, with Shay Cormac remaining its last known surviving member, who simultaneously transitioned into the American Rite of the Templar Order.
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