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This article is about the real world novel. You may be looking for Niccolò Polo's journal.

Assassin's Creed: The Secret Crusade was the third novel based on the games Assassin's Creed and Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines, written by Oliver Bowden and published by Penguin Books.

The novel told the story of the Assassin Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, narrated by Niccolò Polo, the father of the famed explorer, Marco Polo. During Altaïr's life, the book showed events from a third person perspective, but then changed to a first person perspective when Niccolò narrated his own life.

Book summary

Niccolò Polo, father of Marco, will finally reveal the story he has kept secret all his life – the story of Altaïr, one of the Brotherhood's most extraordinary assassins.

Altaïr embarks on a formidable mission – one that takes him throughout the Holy Land and shows him the true meaning of the Assassin's Creed. To demonstrate his commitment, Altaïr must defeat nine deadly enemies, including the Templar leader, Robert de Sablé.

Altaïr's life story is told here for the first time: a journey that changes the course of history; his ongoing battle with the Templar conspiracy; a family life that is as tragic as it is shocking; and the ultimate betrayal of an old friend.[1]

Plot summary

Prologue

The prologue consisted of two pages, which introduced the reader to Niccolò's story, although kept their identity and their location unknown.

Part One

Chapter 1

Niccolò and Maffeo Polo stayed in Masyaf, where the aged Mentor of the Levantine Brotherhood of Assassins, Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, had his quarters. During the final stages of his life in Masyaf, Altaïr had chosen Niccolò as the recipient of his knowledge.

For weeks and countless hours, Niccolò sat with Altaïr, hearing the adventures of the Mentor's life. Afterwards, Niccolò took his brother Maffeo to the top of the defensive tower, where a lookout first saw the invading force of Salah Al'din's army, "80 years ago, on a day in August."

Chapter 2

The scene then changed to the beginning of Salah Al'din's attack, where the intention of it was to conquer Masyaf, and eventually claim the head of the current Mentor of the Assassins at that time, Al Mualim. While the villagers fled to safety as the army approached, the Assassins fortified the castle for the battle. However, instead of attacking, the Sultan's army came to a halt in the village, paying little regard to the Assassin fortress.

The next morning the battle began, with the army trying to fight their way inwards under the constant fire of the Assassin archers, along with some villagers that joined the fight. Later, with many dead on both sides, the army retreated to prepare for their next attack. While Salah Al'din left the army to be elsewhere, his uncle, Shihab Al'din, came up the mountain village to address the Master of the Assassins.

Chapter 3

Herein, it was announced that Shihab had come to Al Mualim to negotiate. The story then flashed back to a discussion between Al Mualim and a Master Assassin named Umar Ibn-La'Ahad, Altaïr's father. This flashback revealed Umar's mission to infiltrate Salah Al'din's tent and leave a mark of the Assassins, in order to show him how easily they could take his life. However, this mission nearly failed and cost the life of one of Salah Al'din's most trusted generals.

In exchange for these circumstances, Shihab demanded payment for the death of this general, the price being the head of the culprit. At first, Al Mualim disapproved of this, but Shihab revealed the Assassin spy he had discovered, beaten up and under the condition that he was to be executed instead of Umar.

Chapter 4

The next morning, Maffeo awoke Niccolò, eager to hear what had happened to the spy and its relation to Altaïr. However, keeping to Altaïr's narrative, he skipped fifteen years in time and told Maffeo about Altaïr's failure at Solomon's Temple.

Chapter 5

Back to the past, Altaïr arrived at Masyaf after his failure, contemplating the events. At first, he met Rauf, who had not been notified about what had happened, to Altaïr's slight relief. However, he met Abbas afterwards, who seemed to have guessed about his misfortune, and was eager to rub salt into Altaïr's wounds with his mocking. Finally, he continued up to the fortress, arriving at Al Mualim's quarters, where he was promptly interrogated.

Chapter 6

While Altaïr was explaining what had happened from his experience, Malik stepped in, furiously telling Al Mualim of his loss, both of his brother and his injured arm, before proudly showing his victory to him which Altaïr had neglected to achieve, in the form of the ancient relic the three Assassins were sent to find.

Seconds later, a messenger ran in, telling the three present that Robert de Sablé was laying siege on Masyaf. Ordered to go out and help fight the army by Al Mualim, Altaïr helped stave off some of the forces that were attacking the Masyaf villagers, while they took shelter within the Assassin fortress. After this, Rauf told him to come with him to a tower in order to "surprise" the enemy.

Later, on top of the tower, Altaïr, Rauf, and another Assassin took a Leap of Faith to show obedience to their Master, while de Sablé watched. As one of the Assassins broke his leg, with Rauf staying behind to tend to his injury, Altaïr later arrived at the trap they had set alone, on the precipice of unleashing death upon the Crusader forces.

Chapter 7

After Altaïr had cut the rope tethering the log storage for the village, crushing many of Robert de Sablé's troops underneath as the heavy wood rolled free, the Assassins assembled at the courtyard, still savoring their triumph. As Altaïr approached, silence replaced the cheerful mood, since everyone now knew about his failure at Solomon's Temple.

In front of the people that had amassed, Al Mualim announced to Altaïr the reasons for his victory and failure, and eventually, Al Mualim punished Altaïr for the latter, by stabbing the Master Assassin in the abdomen with a golden dagger.

Chapter 8

Despite appearances, Altaïr woke to see Al Mualim, who told him why he was still alive and under what conditions; the Master Assassin was rendered a novice, stripped of his ranks, so as to re-learn the way of the Assassins once more.

Chapter 9

For the first time, Altaïr was demonstrated to be in Damascus, about to begin the Hunt for the Nine set to him by his Master. Once he slipped through the gate to the city, he began to realize the impact of the changes that had been laid upon him, with his lack of equipment being one of them.

According to his objective, he then visited the Damascus Rafiq, who had already been informed of Altaïr's "difficulties". As ordered, the Rafiq sent Altaïr to search the city for information, as he no longer had it previously prepared for him. After wandering the city for a while, Altaïr spotted an orator, whom he then followed into a quiet alleyway to begin his investigation.

Chapter 10

After some time scouting around Damascus, Altaïr returned to the Assassin bureau and told the Rafiq what he had learned, before he was given a feather marker and permission to assassinate Tamir, his first target.

From there, the Assassin left the bureau with haste, and made his way towards his target, who was located at the market place Altaïr had discovered he would be. Upon arriving there, Altaïr saw Tamir interrogate an agonized worker. After Tamir was done with the worker, who he had stabbed repeatedly in a frenzy, Altaïr assassinated him, at which Tamir stated his motivations to the Assassin in his final moments.

Chapter 11

With the first target dispatched, Al Mualim expressed his satisfaction when he heard of Altaïr's success. After this, Altaïr then spoke about Acre, which was the location of his next target.

Making his way to the Acre Bureau, which was owned by Jabal, the two shared a brief discussion before Altaïr left to begin his investigation. After pickpocketing a scroll with information that he required, Altaïr returned to the bureau and obtained his feather marker.

Chapter 12

Next, the Assassin slipped into the Hospitalier Fortress with the help of some scholars. Inside the building Altaïr witnessed the cruel treatment of a patient who had almost escaped, where Garnier de Naplouse—Altaïr's target—tried to reason with them, but they only expressed the desire to escape, and thus Garnier let the guards break both of the patient's legs.

Some time after, Altaïr saw de Naplouse check up with his patients, with the Assassin witnessing that some of the patients seemed to be thankful to the doctor, although they were in a dreary state. As the guards were still busy, Altaïr assassinated his target, before letting Garnier speak during his final moments of life. While what he said confused Altaïr, the Assassin still managed to make a successful escape.

Chapter 13

Back at Masyaf, Altaïr spoke with Al Mualim, telling him of his target's assassination and inquiring about the confusing words which de Naplouse had spoken. Al Mualim answered Altaïr's suspicions, and told him that his next target was in Jerusalem, smiling.

As Altaïr entered the Jerusalem Bureau, he realized why his Master had smiled, for Malik served as the Rafiq of the city. After a brief but rather blunt conversation, with Altaïr telling Malik what he knew from exploring Jerusalem, he received the customary feather and went out to assassinate his next target, Talal.

Chapter 14

Upon entering the warehouse where Talal kept his slaves, Altaïr realized he had walked into a trap, but he carried on regardless once he heard his target. Altaïr and Talal conversed for a while before Talal showed himself, having the Assassin exactly where he wanted him; in the light, where the archers were able to easily hit him.

Talal attempted to kill Altaïr with his guards, before fleeing himself. Shortly after, Altaïr defeated Talal's men and ran after him. Finally, after a heated chase through the streets, Altaïr assassinated Talal, and the Templar spoke his last words to his killer.

Chapter 15

With his third target out of the nine dealt with, Altaïr set up camp by a well and fell asleep, dreaming of when he was younger. At age 11, grief-stricken Altaïr, whose father had just been executed, placed the blame on Ahmad, the one that should've been killed in Umar's place.

The boy then spent his next days in the room of his father, as Umar's smell still lingered there. During the night, however, Ahmad came to his quarters and committed suicide with a dagger, and once Altaïr informed the Master, Al Mualim told the frightened boy never to speak of it, not even to Abbas, Ahmad's son.

The next day, Altaïr was put together with Abbas to begin his apprenticeship, though nightmares haunted him in his dreams. That part of his life faded, as the older Altaïr woke up sweating from his nightmare, hoping to sleep again at least until light.

Part Two

Chapter 16

Al Mualim congratulated Altaïr on his success and told him of his next targets, then let the Assassin leave for Acre to assassinate William de Montferrat. Here he met Jabal anew and gathered information before going out to investigate.

Chapter 17

The Assassin went through the market place, eventually ending up pickpocketing a scroll. He then spotted a man pleading against de Montferrat, causing commotion within the crowds of people. Altaïr, satisfied about his discoveries, went back to Jabal and received the feather.

Chapter 18

Returning to the Acre Citadel, Altaïr witnessed a conversation between Richard the Lionheart and William de Montferrat. The two men entered the fortress while Altaïr followed them from the rooftops, taking out every archer in his way. De Montferrat stopped to speak to his guards, telling them off for their recent laziness, and as he was done and sent the guards away—leaving himself unprotected—Altaïr seized his chance and assassinated de Montferrat. Before dying, Lord Montferrat told the Assassin his motives.

Chapter 19

Again Altaïr spoke to Al Mualim, and noted his Master demanded details on his victories, but seemed to hold a lot of information back. Tasked with the assassination of Abu'l Nuqoud, he traveled back to Damascus, where he met the 'impertinent' Rafiq again. They argued some more and told each other what they knew about the target. Altaïr visited the places wherein Abu'l was hated, hearing some scholars talk about what the Assassin thought was 'the new world', although he still knew nothing about it. He then looked for more information about the target, learning about a party Abu'l Nuqoud was hosting, and deciding to participate in it.

Chapter 20

At the party, amidst all the richness of wine fountains and people clothed in silk and gold, Altaïr searched for his target. A few moments later he saw Abu'l Nuqoud on a balcony, addressing the people, going from friendly to hostile in his speech, also mentioning The New World. Archers took their positions, and at the end of the speech—when all the people who had drunk from the wine fountain were dying, poisoned—they were signaled to kill everyone that had not yet died and tried to escape. Abu'l, distracted and amused by the massacre, was soon enough assassinated by Altaïr, sharing his last thoughts with him.

Chapter 21

Altaïr visited Al Mualim again and questioned him about his findings, trying to make sense about his targets' words. This time, Altaïr wanted solid answers, and so he demanded that his Master tell him why the men he had killed spoke similar words. Al Mualim eventually relented and told the Assassin that each man he had assassinated was a member of the Templar Order, all under the leadership of Robert de Sablé. Altaïr, armed with this knowledge, made his way out to assassinate his next target.

Chapter 22

As Altaïr reached Jerusalem, he had some trouble with guards, but eventually arrived at the bureau where he met Malik again, who told him that his next target was Majd Addin. After some arguing, Altaïr left to visit the Wailing Wall, where his target was orchestrating executions.

Chapter 23

The Assassin approached the execution plaza and saw the show was about to start. Majd Addin was addressing the gathered public, introducing the people about to be punished: the harlot, the thief, the gambler, and the heretic, who was in fact an Assassin. In Addin's show, he killed the first three, a commotion starting to grow as the Assassin was about to be executed, proving fatal for the executioner, as Altaïr used this commotion to get close enough to assassinate Majd Addin. Altaïr listened to what the dying Templar told him, then escaped as Malik's men freed the captive Assassin amidst the chaos.

Chapter 24

Altaïr spoke with Al Mualim, and again questioned him about the words of his targets. The Master showed him the Apple of Eden, explaining to him the history of the device and its effect on humanity. After this, he told Altaïr about his next targets; Sibrand and Jubair.

Chapter 25

Here the story told readers about young Altaïr and Abbas becoming friends and, together, learning the ways of the Assassins. Altaïr pitied Abbas for not knowing about his father, so he told him, expecting tears, anger, disbelief, but never silence.

Chapter 26

Altaïr stood on top of a building, looking down at a fire as books were burned by scholars and Jubair, his target. There Jubair spoke to the scholars about how books poisoned mankind's minds. As one of the scholars protested, Jubair's mood darkened, and he threw the scholar into the fire, to join the books he didn't want to burn. As the rest of the scholars departed to get more books, Jubair was left alone, and Altaïr took this moment to assassinate him, listening to his words, leaving before getting caught by guards. Altaïr spoke with Al Mualim, his Master restoring his full rank. Al Mualim then questioned him about the Assassins' ways, to see if Altaïr had changed, then tasked him to his final target before de Sablé, Sibrand.

Chapter 27

Again, and for the last time, Altaïr visited Acre. There he talked to Jabal, who apologized for his mistrust in Altaïr's dedication to the Assassins' cause. Altaïr then headed for the docks, where he witnessed a frightened Sibrand bullying a priest for looking like an Assassin, and eventually killing the protesting priest. Sibrand then went to his own boat, in order to try and escape, but soon enough, as the guards had dispersed at Sibrand's own command, Altaïr assassinated him. Again, Altaïr listened to what his target said, and again Altaïr became more and more confused as to what they said. Then, meeting with Al Mualim again, Altaïr questioned him about de Sablé's cause. After having spoken to him and leaving Masyaf, he saw Abbas, remembering an old wound his former friend had caused.

Chapter 28

A flashback to young Abbas and Altaïr, after Altaïr had told his friend about his father. The days after that, Abbas became more and more quiet, and one day, as they sparred, his rage unleashed on young Altaïr. Abbas attacked Altaïr as they met for combat training, holding him pinned to the ground with a dagger at his throat. Abbas angrily ordered Altaïr to say that he had lied when he said his father, Ahmad, had killed himself. Altaïr was hesitant but eventually acquiesced, and Abbas relented.

Chapter 29

Master Assassin Altaïr arrived at the Jerusalem Bureau, slightly pleased to meet Malik, who greeted him more friendly. Altaïr told Malik that he should try find out more about what Altaïr didn't see, and he apologized for his arm and brother. Altaïr then went to the cemetery, feeling that there was something wrong about it. However, before the Assassin could leave, the trap had already been sprung, leaving him in a frenzy of arrows and swords. He had seen that de Sablé, who was also at the cemetery, didn't look like he remembered, but as de Sablé charged at him, 'he' sounded like a woman as 'he' spoke. A few moments later, with all of the guards killed, Altaïr stabbed 'de Sablé' in the shoulder and and pulled off the helmet to see that it was indeed a woman. He fled the scene, reaching the Bureau where he told Malik that it had been a trap. After his conversation with Malik, Altaïr headed for Arsuf, to find the real Robert de Sablé.

Chapter 30

On his way to Arsuf, and there, Altaïr saw the armies of Salah Al'din and Richard the Lionheart battling as far as the eye could see. The Assassin tried to make his way to the rear of the Crusader army, and to Richard the Lionheart. There he tried to convince the King that he came with the intention to negotiate, not fight, telling him that de Sablé was a traitor. However, as Richard couldn't decide, he let the Templar and Assassin battle, with Richard believing that whoever won was right in their convictions.

Chapter 31

As Altaïr killed Robert de Sablé in battle, he interrogated the dying Templar of what he knew, finally opening the Assassin's eyes to his Master's betrayal. Then, with Robert dead, Altaïr traveled back to Masyaf.

Chapter 32

Reaching Masyaf, the Assassin found it completely deserted. As he walked through the village, he was attacked by a group of other Assassins, and was forced to kill them. After that, he saw Malik with a group of his Assassins, and Altaïr told them to be careful; what had happened could happen to the Rafiq too. Altaïr and Malik parted ways, and when the Assassin arrived at the courtyard, he saw all the villagers of Masyaf gathered there, appearing to be brainwashed. Altaïr knew Al Mualim was certainly a Templar, an enemy.

Chapter 33

The Apprentice battled his Master, who first used the Apple to create duplicates of Altaïr's nine victims, then made copies of himself and lastly he directly battled Altaïr, which proved to be fatal to the the old traitor. As Al Mualim died, the Apple rolled from his hands. Altaïr picked it up and managed to activate it, seeing things of the future in it and letting it display a map of the world. Malik then came running in, saying the spell that had been cast over Masyaf was broken. Altaïr, still having the artifact, was fighting to destroy it, but was physically unable to. After this, Altaïr became the Master of the Order.

Part Three

Chapter 34

Niccolò continued his story about Altaïr after he became Mentor; many sided against him, but Altaïr knew how he could persuade them. The Assassin was also still thinking of his encounter with Maria Thorpe, and of what the Apple actually was. Altaïr was curious of what the Templars were planning, and thus headed for Acre with a group of followers, putting Malik in temporary control of the Order.

Chapter 35

There was an absence of Templar soldiers everywhere in Acre. Later, Altaïr discovered a small fleet of ships owned by the Templars. As the Assassin got closer to the fleet, he heard a group of people talk, among them Maria. He discovered the Templars were ruled by Armand Bouchart following de Sablé's demise. As the conversation died down and people dispersed, Maria was left alone, and Altaïr addressed her, taking her as his captive. After, Altaïr headed back to his crew, with tied-up Maria, and told them they were heading to Limassol.

Chapter 36

Altaïr sailed to Cyprus with Maria, discovering that the island was overtaken by Templars; some of the population that were unhappy with the tyrannical leadership had joined the Resistance. There Altaïr met Alexander, a friend in the Resistance. They decided it was best to keep Maria captive in a safehouse, while the Assassin went to find Osman, who was supposed to help him get inside the Limassol Castle. Osman told Altaïr that Frederick the Red had to be assassinated so that Osman was appointed to Frederick's position and thus control the guard activity in the Castle. Altaïr returned to the safehouse, questioning Maria about the Templar Archive and conversing with Alexander. Then Altaïr headed to the Castle to assassinate Frederick.

Chapter 37

Infiltrating the Castle, Altaïr noticed that just a few men were patrolling the grounds. Deep inside the Castle, Altaïr found his target, who was presiding a duel between two men. The Assassin dropped down behind Frederick, and as he turned to speak, Altaïr slashed his blade through the man's throat, killing him before he could finish his sentence. Next, Altaïr killed the remaining men. As he left, Altaïr saw why the Castle was so poorly guarded; the safehouse was burning.

Chapter 38

Having found safety on the rooftops, Altaïr saw people flee from their houses, and he decided to investigate. After following the people, he heard that Armand Bouchart had arrived just recently. He also saw Maria in the crowd. At the cathedral steps stood Osman, and a few moments later Bouchart appeared, enlightening the crowd about Frederik the Red's death and recent changes. Osman protested against these changes, angering Bouchart, who promptly killed Osman by driving his sword into Osman's stomach. Moments later, Maria rushed to the steps of the cathedral, bowing down in front of Bouchart. Considering her a traitor, Bouchart ordered his men to bind and drag her away, and left. Altaïr followed Maria, saving her and taking her back to Alexander, who told Altaïr that Bouchart was heading for Kyrenia. Altaïr decided to follow him, taking Maria with him.

Chapter 39

While aboard a pirate ship on their way to Kyrenia, the Assassin and the Templar told each other about their lives. Once they made landfall, the pirates learned that the two were the people Bouchart was looking for, and tried to kill Altaïr and Maria. However, Altaïr easily disposed of the men, discovering Maria had once again escaped.

Chapter 40

Altaïr easily found her anew, and he also met Markos, who promised to keep Maria captive as Altaïr was to visit Barnabas, the contact Alexander had told him about. Arriving at the safehouse, Barnabas and Altaïr conversed, and Altaïr learned about Jonas, a traitor who had been working for the Templars. Soon after, Altaïr found Jonas and assassinated him, talking with his dying victim, and hearing about the Bull. Altaïr returned to Maria and Markos, and asked them about the Bull. They agreed on going to a safehouse in the Commons District, where Barnabas was. Altaïr felt unsure about Barnabas, but listened when he told him to go see the riots at the church.

Chapter 41

While observing the riots from the rooftops, Altaïr decided that the Bull had to die. But when Altaïr returned to the safehouse, Barnabas was nowhere to be seen; he was in fact a traitor, as the Assassin's instincts had already hinted at. Markos and Maria had already arrived, and they told Altaïr that the citizens were protesting the death of Jonas. After a brief conversation, Altaïr found out that Moloch—the Bull—resided in Kantara Castle.

Chapter 42

Moving through the well-defended castle, disposing of any guards that crossed paths with him, Altaïr eventually found the Bull, hidden in a secret room under a trap door. There, he tried to stealthily kill him, but Moloch had heard him coming, and had prepared himself. Moloch picked up the Assassin as if he was a trophy, almost choking him to death. Out of boredom, Moloch let Altaïr live. Despite being exhausted by the long battle, Altaïr managed to drive his blade far enough into his massive opponent to killg him. Altaïr contemplated who would replace this tyrant.

Chapter 43

Altaïr found out that Maria had been taken away by Templars as he returned to the safehouse. Markos, being among the ones who had managed to escape in time, told him the Templars had harnessed the power of the Dark Oracle and had used her to find the safehouse. Markos also told him that Barnabas had been executed the day before Altaïr arrived; thus he now knew that Barnabas had been replaced by a Templar agent. Altaïr left to find the Resistance prisoners, letting them free and hearing that Maria had been taken by Shalim, the Bull's son. Soon enough, Altaïr was scaling the walls of the fortress at Buffavento. Once inside, he found Shalim and Bouchart talking, hearing them also mention Alexander. The Assassin made his way to the Dark Oracle, but as he infiltrated her cell—or lair—she became more unsettled, and eventually attacked Altaïr, forcing him to kill her for his own safety. Later, back at the safehouse, he wrote the Codex page five, and a part of eight.

Chapter 44

Altaïr decided to follow Shalim, hoping to find Maria, but instead ending up at a brothel, and deciding to return to the market place and to Markos. He told Altaïr that Shalim visited the cathedral a lot, since he needed to frequently confess the sins of his lifestyle. Markos suggested Altaïr speak to the monks at the cathedral to find out more about Shalim. However, instead of just monks, Altaïr found Shalim himself, speaking about Bouchart's wishes to the crowd he had gathered. As Shalim left, Altaïr followed, ending up at the Saint Hilarion Castle, wherein Shalim disappeared. The Assassin, having lost his target, sat down on a low wall nearby as some courtesans crossed the docks, with Maria among them. Hiding among them, Altaïr infiltrated the castle, unnoticed.

Chapter 45

Altaïr did not know Shalim had a twin brother, Shahar, and that he had delivered the speech earlier. Maria and Shahar conversed about the Templar ways, but they were interrupted by Altaïr. The real Shalim came in with guards, and the Assassin finally realized they were twins. Maria quickly disposed of the guards, then fled, leaving Altaïr to fight the two skilled swordsmen alone. Nevertheless, Altaïr slew them both and then he returned to the safehouse, telling Markos he'd head back to Limassol. He also wrote another piece of the Codex, page one.

Chapter 46

Arriving at Limassol, he located the safehouse and found Alexander. In a brief confrontation with him, Altaïr found out that he wasn't a Templar, but the two had been set up against each other, as they were both tricked into believing the other was a Templar-sided Resistance member. Altaïr then headed off to a failed search for Bouchart, coming back to find the safehouse empty save for a note telling him to go to a courtyard. At the courtyard, the Assassin only found the dead body of Alexander, and himself in a trap. The fake Barnabas came out, and as Altaïr unsheathed his sword, 'Barnabas' opened the door to the resentful crowd outside, to make them think the Assassin was the one who had killed Alexander. As Altaïr's Creed kept him from killing civilians, he used the Apple he had with him instead to save himself and set the crowd up against the Templars. 'Barnabas', prepared to fight, came down the ramparts. However, he was stopped by Maria, who ran a blade through his chest.

Chapter 47

Maria took Altaïr with her to the Archive, telling him to follow her, despite being obstructed by guards on his path. As he eventually made it into the almost empty library, he saw both Bouchart and Maria, locked in combat. Maria was barely holding off the Templar leader, and was then struck by his sword, tumbling, yelling in pain. Bouchart made the first move, quickly tiring, and Altaïr made the last, the dying man giving him respect—and ignorance—for this, telling the Assassin of the power of the Pieces of Eden as he drew his last breath. Cannons were then fired at the Archive to destroy every last piece of it. Altaïr quickly escaped, taking Maria with him. Later, after the Templars had left with all the pieces of the Archive, Altaïr and Maria spoke again; Maria told Altaïr she was heading east, and he replying that he was also heading east.

Part Four

Chapter 48

Niccolò told Maffeo that Darim, who had invited them to Masyaf, was the son of Maria and Altaïr. He explained that Maria and Altaïr were wed in Limassol, and that Maria had given birth to a second son two years after Darim was born; Sef. He also said that the Codex was a summary of all the discoveries Altaïr had made, and he tried thinking of why they were invited in the first place; maybe because it had to do with them living in Constantinople? He then continued the story at the point Altaïr returned from his travel East, to a Masyaf where everything had changed.

Chapter 49

The Ibn-La'Ahad family rode slowly into Masyaf, where Swami—still an apprentice when Altaïr had left—greeted them first. Masyaf had become a darker place, and had changed much from what Altaïr had planned it to be, acting in on the Assassin's instincts. They were led to a small house to the west of the fortress, where they were told that Malik was in prison, Sef had traveled to Alamut, and a meeting of the council had been planned the next day, with Abbas as chairman. Altaïr told Darim to ride to Alamut, in order to bring Sef back.

Chapter 50

The following day, Swami led Altaïr and Maria through the citadel to the council, where Altaïr was forced to report about his trip to the East. After the story, Abbas informed Altaïr and Maria that Sef had been killed by Malik, which was why he was imprisoned. Then, as Altaïr lost control of his emotions, he stated that the former Mentor could not resume leadership of the Order, thus the leadership stayed with the council.

Chapter 51

Back in the small cabin, Maria and Altaïr discussed their situation; Masyaf had been neglected, Sef had been murdered by Malik, Abbas as the leader of the Order, as well as the Apple which Maria wanted to be destroyed. Altaïr headed for Masyaf's dungeons, where Malik laid, neglected and emaciated. There, Altaïr found that he wasn't the one who had murdered Sef.

Chapter 52

Altaïr took Malik back to the cabin where Maria and Altaïr cared for their nearly-dead friend. Malik told them Sef had been murdered two years earlier by Abbas as part of his coup. Leaving him to rest, Altaïr and Maria planned their next move: confronting Abbas. Moments later, Altaïr stood at the courtyard with Abbas, who had his Assassin loyalists gathered with him. There, Swami came up to Abbas, delivering a sack to him. What Abbas pulled out of that sack was the head of Malik, eyeballs rolled up and the neck dripping with fresh blood. Abbas accused Altaïr of murdering Malik, then took Maria and held a dagger to her throat—the same dagger his father had killed himself with. Altaïr then pulled the Apple from his robes, and Swami reached for it. All of Altaïr's rage was transmitted into Swami, as he brutally—controlled by the Apple—took out his dagger and slashed himself open. Maria, trying to reach for Altaïr, was hit by Swami's dagger at her throat, both of them falling to the ground, dying. As Abbas ordered his loyalists to kill Altaïr, the Assassin fled. He finally reached the top of the tower from which he had jumped a lifetime ago, hobbled to the platform, spread his arms out, and dropped.

Chapter 53

Niccolò finally understood why he had been invited: to spread the word of the Assassins. Maffeo now wanted to stay, while Niccolò wanted to leave, whereas it had been vice versa at the beginning of their stay; the reason being that Mongols were heading to Masyaf. Niccolò said he had some presents from Altaïr, having his suspicions as to what they might be. He skipped the story to a man in the desert, twenty years after Altaïr's escape from Masyaf. ... Mukhlis, a tradesman, had been journeying back to his family in Masyaf when, two days' ride away from home, he had been caught by bandits about whom he'd heard before haunting the desert. The group led by Bayhas, son of Fahad, had been plundering throughout the desert, taking all belongings and leaving the owners upside down in trees with their guts hanging from them. And as Mukhlis was forced to rest, the bandits had seized their opportunity, hanging him from a tree, when Altaïr intervened.

Chapter 54

The old Assassin instantly took out one of the three men. As the battle ensued, Altaïr grew quickly tired, as he was outnumbered and old, as well as soon bleeding from wounds inflicted. Mukhlis—still tied hanging to the tree—grabbed hold of Bayhas, the leader of the bandit group, allowing Altaïr to slice the enemy open with last of his strength, scaring off the last bandit. Altaïr lost consciousness due to blood loss, but Mukhlis, who managed to free himself, placed Altaïr over his horse and headed home.

Chapter 55

One of Fahad's men had claimed the life of Bayhas' killer, and word had spread about the return of Altaïr throughout the village during the week the Assassin had spent unconscious. As he awoke, he spoke to Mukhlis about his current situation and where he had been after throwing himself off the tower, also mentioning how he was planning to free the village.

Chapter 56

The next day, Altaïr intervened in fights, showing the people of the village the Assassins' ways. He also went to see the basket-weaver and a blacksmith to manufacture the weapons he had drawn up, inspired by what the Apple had shown him. Over the next few days, Altaïr noticed a man watching him, stalking him. Eventually, the man revealed himself, turning out not to be an enemy but a friend, Malik, son of Malik, known as Tazim to most of the Order. He let Altaïr know that he and some other Assassins were willing to join him in retaking Masyaf.

Chapter 57

The day after, Mukhlis informed the villagers that the Master was to march up the hill, which excited them into gathering at the marketplace, where Altaïr then joined them. He thought of what had happened, what Maria would've said if she was still with him. There, at the marketplace, Altaïr and the villagers waited for young Malik to come back with his support. After some time, men dressed in white robes with cowls came from the shadows, to immediately win the trust of their leader who had doubted Malik's stealth. Immediately they left for the citadel to find Abbas, with the instructions not to kill anyone. There, marching toward the fortress, Abbas' loyalists attacked but were quickly neutralized, unharmed. Above, where Abbas' archers were, this sparked a rebellion as they were unwilling to shoot their own people, following the example Altaïr had given. Inside the castle, Altaïr and Abbas faced each other, Abbas still accusing Altaïr of lying about his father. Then, when Abbas ordered his men to kill Altaïr, Altaïr shot him with his newly created Hidden Gun, scaring off all of Abbas' followers. Abbas shared his last words with Altaïr, the old Assassin still seeing the orphan boy the moment Abbas passed away. Two days later, Fahad came back to Masyaf, explaining that it was mostly his wife's interference that he had to avenge their son's name. Fahad left, in good mood, thanks to Altaïr's negotiation skills.

Chapter 58

Niccolò described how the Mongols approached Masyaf, and that Altaïr had summoned Niccolò and Maffeo to give them their last objects to keep safe; artifacts—five of them, each of them apparently being a stone disc with a hole in its center, keys imbued with a message. Afterwards, Niccolò and Maffeo left Masyaf, seeing it overrun by the Mongols, with Altaïr barking orders at his Assassins to try and fend off their enemy.

Chapter 59

The Polos had lost the Codex, but were still holding on to the artifacts. They decided to hide them in Constantinople for an Assassin of the future to find. They also spread word of the Creed and set up an Assassins guild there, in Costantinople.

Epilogue

The mysterious Assassin—the reader—heard noises from his cabin, indicating they were approaching land. He closed Niccolò's journal, secured his blade mechanism and pulled up his cowl. From there, he opened the hatch of his quarters to see people welcoming him. Ezio Auditore da Firenze was in the great city of Constantinople.

Differences from Assassin's Creed

Assassinations

  • Altaïr assassinated William of Montferrat before Abu'l Nuqoud—and likewise Jubair before Sibrand—whereas in the game, the sequenced order suggested the opposite.
  • All three accused by Majd Addin died by his hand and the Templar finished his speech for the Assassin, whereas in Assassin's Creed, Altaïr had the opportunity to save all the accused people.
  • All Memory Corridor dialogues took place in the book, but they were explained either by the stealthy assassination of a target or through the guards being shocked and allowing the scene to play out.
  • While attempting to assassinate Robert at Majd Addin's funeral, Altaïr realized that there was a decoy acting as Robert and fought to find out who it is, whereas in Assassin's Creed, he was shocked to discover the imposter by the time he had started fighting. Despite this, it should be noted that in the book, Altaïr was still surprised to discover that it was a woman.

Equipment

  • It was never mentioned that Altaïr had regained his throwing knives or his sword, yet while trying to kill William of Montferrat, he used both.

Other events

  • After being demoted, Altaïr began his quest for redemption by immediately going to Damascus in order to kill Tamir, skipping the hunt for the traitor in Masyaf entirely.
  • Altaïr did not interact with informers during his investigations of the nine targets.
  • Altaïr witnessed the rescue of the captured Assassin after Majd Addin's assassination.
  • It was hinted that, in the book, Altaïr still retained his ring finger and that it was used to trigger the Hidden Blade's mechanism.
  • Altaïr assassinated Jubair in the Madrasah, whereas in the game he had to track him down among his followers using Eagle Vision.
  • No mention was made of Altaïr advancing through the ranks of the Order after each assassination.
  • Altaïr assassinated Abu'l Nuquod on the balcony of his palace, whereas in the game he had to chase him down, although it is possible to kill Abu'l Nuquod on the balcony if he is grabbed in time and thrown towards it.

Gallery

Behind the scenes

A crossbow in shown on Altaïr's back on the book's back cover, despite the weapon not appearing in the game or the book.

References

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