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"The symbol that you sought and found... It is a mark of courage and honor, yes. But it promises pain and loss as well."
Oiá:ner, regarding the Assassins' insignia, 1777.[src]
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The Assassin insignia

The insignia of the Assassin Order, though varying slightly in design over different time periods and countries, held essentially the same shape and style of an eagle's head. Each of its variations represented the uniqueness of the various sects of the Order, and the insignia was often used to decorate the armor and robes of leading Assassin figures in a number of time periods.

History

The insignia was inspired in ancient Egypt by Medjay and Hidden One Bayek after he dropped an eagle skull necklace belonging to his murdered son in the sand, leaving an imprint.[1]

During the High Middle Ages, the insignia was used to mark the entrances of Assassins' Bureaus and could be seen on the banners decorating the fortress of Masyaf.[2] During the Renaissance in Italy, it was used on the mechanisms in the many Assassin Tombs and on the banners and walls of Monteriggioni.[3] It was also displayed on the banners hung in the Tiber Island headquarters.[4] In order to hide their intention from the Borgia or other forces that were trying to stop them, Leonardo da Vinci invented a special invisible paint that only the Assassins who were able to use the Eagle Vision could detect, even at great distances. The paint was mostly used by Assassin Scouts, usually drawing the symbol of the Assassins to mark a target house or item.[5] In Constantinople, Assassin Dens and ziplines had a small Assassin insignia atop them, while Bomb-crafting stations were all painted with the Ottoman Assassins' own insignia.[6]

Additionally, the insignia was worn openly on the armor and clothing of certain known Assassins, such as Mario Auditore,[3] Ezio Auditore da Firenze,[3] Nikolai Orelov,[7] Achilles Davenport, John de la Tour, Ratonhnhaké:ton,[8], Aveline de Grandpré[9], Saeko Mochizuki[10] and Lo Sparviero.[11] Certain modern-day Assassins also wore the insignia in the form of a tattoo, such as Daniel Cross[7] and Kiyoshi Takakura.[10]

Trivia

  • In the Sanctuary, all of the statues had different variations of the Assassin insignia on their waists.
  • In Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, Desmond searched for Assassin insignias painted onto the walls, in order to guide him to the Colosseum Vault.
  • The cape worn during the Carnevale in Assassin's Creed II bore an emblem similar to the Assassin insignia.
  • The insignia bore some resemblance to the symbol of the Freemasons, the square and compasses.
    • It also resembles the bottom side of an eagle skull.
  • Both the original Levantine insignia and the Russian variations were vertically asymmetrical, unlike the most of variations known.
  • The insignia could be seen on the back of the Seusenhofer armor and the Armor of Brutus.
  • The coin on the Mongolian Assassin insignia resembled one from the Ming Dynasty of China which occurred much later than the period the insignia originated from.
  • As the Mentor of the Levantine Assassins, Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad wore a cloak clasp in the shape of the Renaissance Roman Assassins’ insignia. His robes were also adorned by multiple symmetrical insignia.
  • Both William Kidd's and Alonzo Batilla's outfits featured an Assassin insignia, however, it is unknown if they possessed knowledge of the Brotherhood.
  • During the Victorian Era, the British Brotherhood of Assassins had come to signify their allegiance by the use of a ring. [12]
  • It is revealed in Assassin's Creed: Origins that the initial inspiration for the insignia was an impression left by Khemu's eagle skull necklace that his father Bayek dropped on the sand.

Renditions

References

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