Assassin's Creed: Unity is a novel written by Oliver Bowden released in the UK on 20 November 2014 and the US on 2 December 2014. The novel portrays Élise de la Serre's perspective of the events from the game of the same name and Arno's experiences after the game.
- "I have been beaten, deceived and betrayed. They murdered my father – and I will have my revenge at whatever cost!"
- ―Élise de la Serre.
At a time when the divide between the rich and poor is at its most extreme, and a nation is tearing itself apart, a young man and woman fight to avenge all they have lost. Soon Arno and Élise are drawn into the centuries-old battle between the Assassins and the Templars - a world with dangers more deadly than they could ever have imagined.
12 September 1794
Arno recalled his memories of Élise as he read the secrets hidden in her journal.
Élise's journal, 1778
Aware of her privileged childhood as a noble, a ten-year-old Élise introduced herself in her journal as a child of François and Julie de la Serre and how she noticed the difference of the lives of nobles and the poor. She realized that she was naïve before: Élise never questioned her parents why her training and education of history was different from the etiquette lessons other noble children learned or that her mother was different from other women at court.
Élise revealed that Julie had been sick for a long time and that her mother was at the brink of death.
Julie had survived the night as Élise sat by her, discerned how she and her father hid their grief from the de la Serre ward, Arno.
Élise remembered her times in the convent when she was five, how Julie threatened the Mother Superior because of Élise's caning wounds, how Julie stayed away from other ladies and how Élise was forced to play with dolls with other girls against her preference for boys and their toy soldiers; memories in which she realized that her family was not an ordinary one.
She received a message from her combat mentor, Frederick Weatherall, in which he stated that he wanted to see Julie and meet Élise in the library at midnight, another secret the young girl had to keep.
Élise helped Weatherall sneak to her mother's room, aware of their secret relationship, and later spied on him weeping beside her mother.
The young girl retold the first time she had met Weatherall in her journal, which also happened to be the first time she had seen her mother and Weatherall engage an enemy, an incident that added to her blooming curiosity.
With her mother fading away, Élise worried much for her age and often asked the maidservant Ruth if her mother survived the night.
She spent her time recollecting her memories on her journal, such as the visit of the Templar Mr. Carroll with his wife and daughter, and the failed assassination attempt on her mother during their visit to Paris, which led to the Parisian Templars' suspicions. Due to the incident, however, Élise's parents were forced to tell her of the Assassin-Templar War and her destiny to eventually become the Grand Master of the Parisian Rite.
Élise wrote her feelings of grief and longing for her ill mother, and how she wished for everything to turn out fine again.
12 September 1794
Élise's journal, 1778
François and Élise, worried for Julie's condition, shared their grief and pain; although Élise noticed her father's attention turning towards Arno as time passed by.
Revisiting her memories, Élise realized that Arno became her best friend. As she spent her mornings training in combat and grooming as the future Grand Master, her afternoons were spent playing with their ward who became an escape for her responsibilities. Her parents, however, noticed her growing friendship with the boy and revealed Arno's Assassin descent. François asked her to indoctrinate Arno and influence him to join the Order, which Élise and Julie resisted.
The dying Julie instructed Élise to be strong and to serve as the strength and the third voice for François. She asked Élise to abide her own principles which were founded on compassion and that she would die happy and proud of her daughter. Élise and François stayed by her side as she died.
With the loss of her mother, Élise often hid her grief from the other members of the house, including Arno, who she thought did not fully understand the situation for he did not know Julie personally. She felt a bit of envy for the boy who had started training by François' orders.
She met with a grieving Weatherall who gave her a short sword as a gift from Julie. Later that day, she was summoned by François, where she let out her feelings.
12 September 1794
Guilty from what he had read from Élise's journal, Arno admitted that she was far more mature than him and carried a huge burden for her age.
Arno recalled Élise's education at the Maison Royale de Saint-Louis school at Saint-Cyr after Julie's death. She sent letters to Arno telling stories about her hated classmates, teachers, and headmistress Madame Levene and her punishments for insolence.
He read her journal full of scorn and contempt in which Élise failed to realize that she was mourning, not rebelling.
8 September 1787
François was called to the Maison Royale due to Madame Levene's complaints about Élise's behavior. After notifying his daughter with France's political issues and reminding her of Arno's indoctrination, he told her to improve her behavior as a lady.
8 January 1788
Élise failed to comply to her promise and instead caused more problems than before. She was sent to Madame Levene's office who told her that François would be sending an emissary to discuss her expulsion.
Madame Levene asked for an audience with Élise and the emissary, who happened to be Weatherall. He explained that he had intercepted François' letters and that he had tracked down Julie's attempted Assassin, Ruddock, who was excommunicated from the Brotherhood. The Carrolls had agreed to welcome Weatherall in London and hunt Ruddock.
Much to her dismay, Élise was not allowed to join her combat mentor and was told to prioritize her studies and behavior. After faking a punishment to satisfy the headmistress, Élise planned a way to escape the Maison Royale.
Having heard rumors of Madame Levene stealing off in the night to meet her "lover", Élise followed her and discovered that the headmistress had been seeing Jacques, the school groundskeeper, and heard a distinct sound of a kiss.
Confident with the blackmail she had formulated, Élise was sent to the headmistress' office. However, Madame Levene got access to the young girl's journal and found Élise's plan. Madame Levene explained that she was concerned for the girl and wanted to help her. The two agreed on a deal: for Élise to stay silent about what she saw in exchange for the letter of excuse for her father. The headmistress also told her that Jacques was her son, not lover, making Élise guilty for what the girl had done.
Élise wrote about her journey to the docks of Calais, where she tried to look for a captain of a ship heading to London in a tavern. However, she was attacked by the drinkers led by the Middle Man, a battle she abruptly lost due to her lack of practice. Fortunately, she was saved from being smuggled by a ship captain named Byron Jackson and took the advantage to save another girl, Hélène. Grateful to her savior, Hélène volunteered to become her handmaiden and went with her to London aboard the Granny Smith, Byron's ship.
The trio sailed to England on the Granny Smith, where Élise spent her time with Byron and teaching Hélène proper manners. After the journey, Élise and Hélène continued to the Carrolls' house, where Élise was reunited with Weatherall.
Weatherall and Élise discussed the Carrolls' plans for her and scolded his student on her lack of sword fight practice and joining a stranger, Byron Jackson, in a ship heading to London.
Élise spent the month writing letters to her father and Arno, keeping the secret of her tryst with Byron from him. Hélène volunteered to aid her mistress on the Carrolls' plans, disregarding the danger it could bring.
12 September 1794
Arno recalled his own experiences while Élise was away in London: he had lived in a nearby village, playing and drinking with Victor and Hugo, and also revealed that he had broken his tryst with other women as well.
2 April 1788
The Carrolls revealed that Élise and Hélène were to take the alias of Yvonne Albertine and a helper to infiltrate Jennifer Scott's home and retrieve Haytham Kenway's letters in exchange for their help with the hunt for Ruddock. Weatherall would be aiding the pair in their mission. Arriving in the Kenway household, Élise was questioned by Jennifer regarding Yvonne Albertine's past and family.
As Élise was waiting for the opportune moment to talk to Jennifer and find the location of the letters, Jennifer sent men to investigate the Albertine family. Eventually, Jennifer invited the girl in a ride around Hyde Park where she retold her Assassin father Edward's and Haytham's deaths.
When the pair returned, Jennifer told her that they had been investigating and uncovered the fact that Lucio Albertine had no wife nor children, and he and his mother had been murdered by the Carrolls. She also revealed that she knew Élise's true identity and objective.
Seeing goodness in the young lady, Jennifer entrusted her with the letters, requesting that the Templars read it and leave her alone. She gave Élise a Templar cross necklace and asked her to stop the fruitless war between the Assassins and Templars.
Élise and Hélène returned to the Carroll's household but found them preparing to murder Ruddock in the Boars Head Inn. After conversing with Weatherall, Élise sent Hélène to the docks as she hurried to warn Ruddock who was using the alias of Gerald Mowles. The former Assassin escaped in time before the Carrolls arrived.
The Carrolls were shocked to discover Élise and later requested her to give them the letters. Élise handed them false ones, which they threw in the fire after learning that they only contained ideals of peace between the two Orders.
A fight ensued and Élise managed to murder May Carroll and one of the guards before she and Weatherall fled. An enraged Mrs. Carroll tried to shoot Weatherall; however, the pistol exploded in her hand and hit his leg. They escaped on a ship sailing back to France.
Élise sought help in the Maison Royale and Madame Levene welcomed her.
Madame Levene sent for a doctor to amputate Weatherall's wounded leg.
Élise continued her education in the Maison Royale. She wrote letters to Jennifer Scott, introducing herself and discussing Haytham's letters.
Weatherall and Élise discussed how the Carrols might respond and managed to track down Ruddock again.
Arriving in the Butchered Cow tavern, Élise conversed with her informant Bernard regarding the location of Ruddock.
Much later, Élise tracked Ruddock, who was to be hanged in a village outside Rouen. She managed to save him in time and questioned him about the person who hired him to kill Julie and Élise. Not knowing who it was, Ruddock and Élise came to an agreement: Ruddock would track the anonymous employer in six months or Élise would kill him.
Before Élise returned to Versailles, Weatherall gifted her a cutlass. Madame Levene who was proud of her changed student, Jacques and Hélène, now a couple, waved her goodbye.
The Templars attended the meeting of the Estates-General and proceeded to induct Élise in the Order. A private soiree was held in honor of her induction, where she was reunited with Arno. After sharing a passionate kiss, Élise helped Arno to escape the guards. However, Élise later learned that François had been murdered.
The National Assembly was starting the revolution as Élise remained in her estate in France, mourning for her father's death. She discovered a letter of warning that Arno failed to deliver to François, causing her to hate her childhood friend imprisoned in the Bastille.
Weatherall warned Élise that François' death may be of treason, not Arno's fault, and told her to investigate.
Jennifer Scott sent a letter addressed to Élise, telling her of an intercepted message regarding an Assassin Pierre Bellec meeting a gifted person named "Arnaud" in the Bastille, who may resemble Arno.
She hurried to her estate which had been ransacked. Arriving inside, she was threatened by Harvey and Hook, sent by the Carrolls to eliminate her. She managed to kill them, with the distraction of Ruddock's sudden arrival. The latter had uncovered the identity of the man who wanted her mother dead: the King of Beggars, a rogue Templar.
Arno, who now knew of the feud between Assassins and Templars, visited Élise. She turned him away after revealing Arno's failure to deliver the letter to François.
Weatherall and Jean Burnel, a Templar loyal to the de la Serres, sent a drunken and emotionally-troubled Élise back to the Maison Royale where they planned to regain control of the Order and root out traitors.
Due to rural uprisings, the Assembly passed the law of Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, removing power from the nobles and making the guillotine France's official instrument of death.
Jean and Élise headed to the Hôtel Lauzun to attend a Templar meeting. Sensing that something was wrong, she questioned a fellow Templar, the Marquis de Pimôdan, and learned that her allies were purged and this was an ambush. Soon enough, the assassins took action and Jean was murdered through a ligature. Élise escaped, but broke her rib when she jumped to the River Seine.
12 September 1794
Arno realized that his fate was very much like Élise's as they both had doubts regarding the opposition between the two Orders.
25 April 1790
Élise was bed-bound, suffering a fever after her fall in the Seine. During this time, Weatherall tried to contact English Templars to their aid but failed. When she recovered, Élise sought revenge for her father's betrayal.
All those loyal to the de la Serres were turned, bribed or purged, leaving Élise with no allies.
12 January 1791
Spending her time training her combat skills, Élise was growing impatient, despite Weatherall's pleas.
Weatherall and Jacques discovered that their enemies were trying to locate them. They received a letter seemingly sent by the Templar Lafrenière. Though Weatherall remained asking Élise to remain hidden and not to respond, the girl couldn't wait no longer and decided to sneak away.
Hélène, returning from Jacques' room, caught Élise sneaking away and asked her to be careful and to return. She traveled to Paris and wrote a letter to Lafrenière to meet her.
Élise headed to Hôtel Voysin to meet Lafrenière; however, she was ambushed by Templar hitmen and was fortunately saved by Arno. The latter informed her that her ally was already dead and arranged a meet-up at Place des Vosges.
The Assassin explained his quest for uncovering François' murderer and asked Élise to form a truce with the Brotherhood. The lovers presented themselves to the Assassin Council, where they were welcomed by the Mentor Mirabeau, though the other members vehemently disapproved of Élise's presence.
Suspecting the silversmith and former Templar François-Thomas Germain, Arno and Élise decided to infiltrate his workshop. After killing the Templar ambush, the duo discovered documents proving Germain was now Grand Master. Arno left himself behind to deal with another wave of attackers as Élise hurried to warn Mirabeau, but instead finding him dead with a poisoned Templar pin.
By tracking down the murderer through the apothecary, the lovers learned that Bellec was responsible for Mirabeau's death to put an end to the Templars and Élise. Mentor and student fought, a battle which Arno won. He later explained his ability to see visions of the past.
12 September 1794
Arno found the next pages of Élise's journal torn. He recalled his memories with her: how she was depressed after learning that Arno had assassinated François' murderers, Roi des Thunes and Sivert. He did not make them suffer in their death, as of the Assassin ways, which Élise did not agree upon. He remembered their ride on the hot-air balloon after eliminating Levesque. Though the two grew closer, Arno failed to notice revenge consuming his lover.
20 January 1793
Élise returned to the de la Serre estate in Versailles, now neglected during the revolution. She notified Weatherall of her journeys and news of the Templar Order.
The lovers attended the King's execution to assassinate Germain who came prepared. Germain's guards attacked the duo as he escaped. Arno decided to save Élise rather than chase the Grand Master, which led to the young woman's agitation.
Weatherall informed his student that Arno had been banished by the Assassins. He insisted Élise to negotiate peace with the Templars.
2 April 1794
Returning to their Versailles estate, Élise met a drunk Arno who proposed to put down the new Templar Aloys La Touche.
Arno explained his visions during his assassinations and that Maximilien de Robespierre must be eliminated.
The duo joined the crowd gathering for Robespierre's occult Festival of the Supreme Being. They followed Élise's plan to desecrate Robespierre: Arno distracted the guards and recovered a Templar letter and list as Élise drugged his wine which caused Robespierre to hallucinate and ramble in his speech, humiliating himself in front of the French people.
Élise and Arno discovered that Robespierre had escaped and tracked him down. However, the young woman was already consumed by revenge, and shot Robespierre to reveal Germain's location: the Temple. Élise, afraid that she would not survive the encounter, prepared and wrote letters to her loved ones and allies.
12 September 1794
The couple met in the Temple where they encountered Germain wielding a Sword of Eden. They were forced into combat with Germain using the Piece of Eden's energy, causing Arno to be trapped underneath a pillar. Élise chose to chase the fleeing enemy instead of freeing Arno. The Assassin eventually freed himself, only to witness Élise's demise when the sword released a sudden outburst of energy. He killed an unconscious Germain, mourning for his lover's death.
Arno experienced a vision of Germain, who talked about his visions as a Sage and the need for order. The Templar then told Arno to remember that progress was slow and inevitable, and that someone else would shepherd mankind back to their place.
Not long after her death, Ruddock visited Arno and gave him a letter that was to be opened in the event of Élise's death. In the letter, Élise requested Arno to return Ruddock to the Brotherhood and that he should recover her journal in the Maison Royale.
Soon enough, Arno met with Jacques, Hélène and Weatherall in the Maison Royale to retrieve Élise's journal. He found Ruddock and invited him over the trio's lodge. However, Ruddock turned out to be the Carroll's pet and threatened Hélène. Fortunately, Weatherall was ready to strike and managed to kill the traitor.
Hélène then invited Arno to live in the lodge in Élise bedchambers. Arno obliged and read Élise's journal and letters. Here, his lover requested him to seek unity for the two Orders.