Assassin's Creed Wiki
Advertisement
Assassin's Creed Wiki
"We work in the dark, to serve the light. We are Assassins."
Niccolò Machiavelli[src]


The Assassin Brotherhood, also known as the Assassin Order and originally as the Hidden Ones (Arabic: المخفيون; Chinese: 無形者), is a secret global peacekeeping organization dedicated to protecting humanity from abuses of power, coercive rule, and injustice. As the etymology of the term assassin, their traditional methods have revolved around stealth operations, selective violence, and the assassination of those deemed to be perpetrators of oppression under the belief that this minimizes collateral damage in accordance with their absolute prohibition against harming innocent lives.

Their political philosophy is enshrined in the Creed, consisting of a maxim and three core tenets which serve as their principal prescriptions. While the maxim presents itself as akin to a doctrine, it is in reality a value-neutral epistemic claim about nature that the Assassins hold to serve as the bedrock to developing an independent, critical, and open-minded value and belief system. Despite this, their culture and goals are driven by an idealistic ideology emphasizing the faith in humanity's potential to foster world peace through collective growth enabled by freedom of education, belief, and expression.

Although the Assassins can trace their genetic and cultural roots to the hybrids Eve and Adam, they officially originated with the Medjay of Egypt. The last Medjay Bayek and his wife Aya of Alexandria founded the order—then known as the Hidden Ones—at the tumultuous twilight of Ptolemaic rule to defend the common people against the Order of the Ancients, a clandestine militant group which evolved into the Templar Order. Since then, the Assassins and the Templars have been sworn enemies, fighting a recondite shadow war for more than two millennia across the world, a conflict so intractable and immemorial that it is often thought to have instead spanned the entirety of recorded human history. Fundamental to this conflict is the Assassin conviction that the preservation of free will is a necessary condition for human fulfillment and harmony while the Templars believe that humanity can only find lasting peace through the imposition of a world government under their control.

In a development paralleling that of the Templars, the Hidden Ones emerged as the Assassins in the 11th century when Hassan-i Sabbāh fled Egypt and re-organized the order as a state in Alamut, where it could be protected by the northern mountains of Persia. Alamut remained the heartland of the Assassins until Al Mualim founded a branch in Masyaf and thereupon established a reputation feared by the Crusaders and Saracens alike, entering into public imagination. By then, the Assassins had become entrenched in traditional dogma, and under Al Mualim's successor, Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, a wave of momentous reforms was enacted that were simultaneously progressive and returned the Assassins to the original principles of the Hidden Ones. Unable to withstand the onslaught of the Mongol Empire, the Assassins then relinquished their state, retreated into the shadows once more, and spread across the world, seeding their presence to regions like Italy and Spain, India and Japan, and reaching peoples as far-flung as the Kanien'kehá:ka and the Maya, becoming a truly multicultural and global network.

History

Main article: History of the Assassins

The Creed

"Laa shay'a waqi'un mutlaq bale kouloun moumkin.
("Nothing is true, everything is permitted" in Arabic.)"
―The Assassins' Creed.[src]

The Order believes in a strong set of values that strictly govern their way of life, referred to as "the Creed". This Creed consists of three tenets:

  1. "Stay your blade from the flesh of an innocent."
  2. "Hide in plain sight, be one with the crowd."
  3. "Never compromise the Brotherhood."[9]

These tenets permeate every aspect of the Assassins' daily life, as well as their fight for "peace in all things". The Assassins carry out their duties through political, strategic assassination in the hope that killing one individual will lead to the salvation of thousands. They also believe that they fight on the behalf of those who do not possess the abilities, resources, or knowledge to speak out against those who abuse their power.[1]

Philosophy and goals

"To recognize nothing is true and everything is permitted. That laws arise not from divinity, but reason. I understand now that our Creed does not command us to be free. It commands us to be wise."
―Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, 1191[src]-[m]

Origins

Since its earliest beginnings, the Assassin Order has taken it upon themselves to be a force for the protection of humanity against social injustice, abuses of power, state terror, and enslavement. They have prided themselves on sacrificing their lives to "champion the poor and powerless"[11] while embracing human rights ideals such as equality, liberty, justice, and welfare. This premise can be traced back to the order's founding as the Hidden Ones by the last Medjay of Egypt, Bayek, and his wife Amunet. Recognizing that their sworn enemies, the Order of the Ancients, "work[ed] in the shadows of kings and queens" to control nations for their whims, Bayek advocated that there needed to be those who "work in the shadows. . .to defend the free will of the people".[12] True to his Medjay roots, Bayek was bringing to the fledgling group the principle of ma'at he had lived by in his service to Egypt.[13] His ardent belief was that the Medjay was not merely the protector of the pharaoh but the protector of the Egyptian people as well, especially the downtrodden among them. Nor did their duty stop at protection; it extended further to the advancement of their well-being.[14] It was the determination of the first Hidden Ones that their society's unity owed not to an exalted leader but in the shared values of their cause, encapsulated in the Creed.[12] An individual-centric, rather than a state-centric, orientation and the concept of peace as self-fulfillment rather than merely security are themes which have echoed through the ages in Assassin political action, undergirding their opposition to coercive authority.[15][16]

The Creed

"You cannot know anything, only suspect. You must expect to be wrong, to have overlooked something."
―Malik al-Sayf to Altaïr Ibn-La'ahad, 1191[src]-[m]

Because of its symbolic role for the Assassins' values, the Creed, consisting of a central maxim and three proscriptive tenets, has served as the highest authority guiding the ethics of their actions and as their foundational code.[12][17] It has often been misinterpreted literally by their Templar enemies and third-parties alike to prescribe moral nihilism,[15] enable wanton hedonism,[18] and propagate the pursuit of absolute individual freedoms without a mind to the risk of "chaos".[19][20] While certain Assassins across history, such as Spanish Assassins María and Aguilar de Nerha, have been more dogmatic in their obeisance to it than others,[17] the Creed's maxim is fundamentally a descriptive claim about the nature of reality to be contemplated and not a doctrine to be followed.[21] For all their idealism, the Assassins' philosophy begins with epistemological principles and not normative ethics.

"Nothing is true, everything is permitted."

This claim pertains to philosophical skepticism and moral relativism. "Nothing is true" is an affirmation that Truth, as an absolute, flawless worldview applicable to all contexts, does not exist—or if it does, then human beings lack the capacity to know it. As the Mentor Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad reflected in his Codex, perfect objectivity is unachievable because the sheer amount of variables and formulae needed to construct an ideal paradigm for our world's quandaries and travails is infinitely great. The intricate depths of reality is awe-inspiring and fathomless, and its labyrinthine web of interconnections are impossible to thoroughly unravel. Humans can reach for perfection by employing the empirical process of information-gathering, thereby becoming ever more and more objective in our understandings, but Truth behaves asymptotically—it shall always remain elusive and just beyond our grasp.[15]

These limits of empiricism are given expression in the line "everything is permitted", which serves as a reminder that it is fallacious to presume the uniformity of nature. Patterns of the present are not proofs of the future, which can always be radically different from all that has preceded it. As teased by a message left by the Isu for humanity in Oun-mAa Niye Ressoot, all the regularities of sentient beings' lifelong experiences, too, cannot falsify the possibility that they exist only within a "masterfully crafted simulation" or a "dream within a dream".[22]

Confronted by this complexity of reality, humans are compelled to simplify it into comprehensible models, but some react with a more intense impulse: insecurity in the face of uncertainty. With this insecurity comes the desire to resolve it through the assumption of a truth and obtain a measure of certainty, a certainty that is inherently self-deceptive.[23] A danger arises when an individual, in their fixation on their truth, becomes convinced of its universality and strives to impose it onto the world as the grand solution, a project that inevitably involves the violent erasure of other epistemic communities.[15][23] Replication of this imaginary truth across the ages in the form of harmful discursive practices and repression of dissent can cement it in societal consciousness as a self-evident Truth—a "realization"[24]—but it will always remain fundamentally a falsehood. The Assassins identify this progression from fear of uncertainty to the imposition of an illusion for Truth as a destructive force to humanity and a recurring theme among authoritarians like their sworn enemies, the Templars.[15] When Al Mualim betrayed the Assassins in 1191, Altaïr recognized that their own leader had succumbed to this same temptation.[25]

As a result, Assassins teach their pupils that complex answers to life should be embraced,[15] and uncertainty should be accepted as natural.[23] Wisdom begins with uncertainty and not from self-assurance. While this pedagogical practice, alongside anti-authoritarianism, gives the Creed a normative slant, the starting Assassin premise against Templar ideology rests still on epistemic grounds. Many of the leading Assassins throughout history, such as Altaïr Ibn-La'ahad and Ezio Auditore reify their moral convictions to pluralism, humanitarianism, and egalitarianism by reference to the Creed, but the Creed itself may not necessarily entail these political stances. Its core argument remains that sentient beings do not truly know anything, and if the Templars are in error, that error lies not just in the inhumane consequences of their deeds but also in their self-denial that their own truth does not amount to universal reality, for it is not any more or less objective than the Assassins' own ethical values. The classic Templar conception of their perennial conflict with the Assassins hinges on false binaries such as "order" vs. "freedom", presupposing parity in incommensurable first-order claims. This narrative actually elides the proposition of fallibility central to Assassin thought, the admission that even the Assassin way is not absolute. Unlike the Templars, the Assassins engage in higher-order questions of meta-ethics.

The introspective quality of Assassin philosophy is evinced in the self-awareness by Rebecca Crane and Shaun Hastings that to be Assassins does not necessarily mean to be the "good guys"; they make no claims that they are a force of flawless, moral good, only that their way of life is chosen because they believe it is the best they can do to prevent greater harm to humanity. The introspection is again apparent in Altaïr's reflections of the "ironies" in their order's practices: that they murder while seeking to promote peace, that they mandate discipline to a code of rules while seeking to open minds, and that they embody ideals requiring leaps in faith despite warning against blind faith.[15]

The paradoxes between their theory and practice has not been lost on Assassins through the ages. To meditate on one's own internal contradictions, on the possibility of hypocrisy, is a central facet of their philosophy. In answering his own charge, Altaïr hazards to circle back to the Creed, for contained within it is the perception that polar opposites may be true simultaneously.[15] The nature of reality is paradoxical and that is why it is complex and full of uncertainties. When queried by the Maya Mentor Ah Tabai, Edward Kenway offered the insight that the Creed was "only the beginning of wisdom, and not its final form".[26] The affirmation that "nothing is true, everything is permitted" does not prevent an individual from developing their own value and belief system, but the Assassins hold that without prior acknowledgement of the subjective source of those convictions, there can be no wisdom no matter the content of those principles.

Goals

"What can be done to stop this? To encourage tolerance and equality? Some days we speak of education, believing that knowledge will free us from immorality. But as I walk the streets and see slaves sent off to auction—my heart grows cold. When I see the husband hurl abuses and stones at his wife, insisting she exists only to serve him—my fists clench. And when I see children torn from their parents so that another man might profit—sent off to suffer beneath the desert sun and die...
...On these days, I do not think that dialogue will make a difference. On these days, I can think only of how the perpetrators need to die"
―Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad[src]

In light of their antipathy for authoritarianism, the Assassins throughout history have fought under the banner of liberation for oppressed peoples. In spite of this, freedom was not at the heart of their ambitions, but peace. The Assassins aspire for the establishment of global prosperity and harmony, the genesis of what essentially amounts to a utopia. In this, they share with the Templars a sincere desire to resolve the chaos that plagues humanity. Their incompatible visions of the means by which such a utopia could be achieved dismantled this common spirit.[9]

Unlike the Templars, who condemn humanity as irredeemably weak-minded and corrupt, the Assassins uphold faith, even love, in humanity as one of their core ideals.[27] Their fundamentally skeptic Creed neither justifies the defeatism that is the hallmark of Templar ideology, nor endorses the notion that a single group can be wise enough to impose a correct way of life or belief on the people at large.[1] Consequently, they scorn the notion that a short-cut to universal peace, especially in the form of global enslavement or elitist control, could be a suitable solution to society's ills. Instead, they argue that humanity must be permitted to undergo the slow and arduous journey of developing tolerance for their myriad differences, a process derided as unrealistic and impossible by the Templars.

In the Assassin view, peace is a product of education, not force,[9] and this is only possible without the stringent control over information and society that authoritarians advocate. For this reason, and due to Altaïr's reformation of the Order and focus on free will, the Assassins have increasingly identified with the ideals of liberty over the centuries. This fixation on freedom and compassion led many Templars by the American Revolution, notably Grand Master Haytham Kenway, to erroneously accuse the Assassins of having abandoned their goal of peace in favour of absolute freedom as an end.[28][29]

Ironically, in spite of the Assassins' optimistic view of humanity as a whole, they do not always retain the same faith for adversaries of human rights; this is the guiding force behind their operations, of which assassinations take primacy. Altaïr could not help but doubt the efficacy of persuasion, lamenting that many abusers were far too cemented in their ways to be redeemed through dialogue. Echoing Altaïr's sentiment, Rebecca Crane once explained to Desmond Miles that sometimes, "there's no other way." To protect the lives of innocents, the Assassins believe that realistically an ideal, noble resolution is not always possible, thus one may have to kill a perpetrator to save an innocent. For many members, compassion has acted as a key motivation, which has paradoxically translated into objectives very often revolving around murder.[1][9] Social justice is a powerful unifying theme among Assassins, and in this capacity they serve as a reactionary force against perceived oppression, tyranny, and abuses against humanity, becoming the mortal enemies of the Templars.[1][9][30][28]

Methods

"Cultures and religions and languages keep folks divided. But there's something in the Assassin's Creed that crosses all boundaries. A fondness for life and liberty."
―Mary Read, on the Assassin's Creed and society.[src]

Precision and stealth

Throughout the long centuries of war between the Assassins and Templars, members of both factions often mused on the similarity of their goals and the contrast between their means.[3][9] Even so, it was a frequent contention of Templars that the Assassins' methods were identical to their own in principle: "a minor evil, for a greater good."[9] Indeed, the Assassins extensively hunted and murdered key individuals they perceived to be corrupt or a danger to humanity, and this became one of their defining attributes.[1][9] A critical distinction, however, lay in the strict tenet that an Assassin must refrain from harming an innocent. As Altaïr reflected, the Templars were brutal and lacked precision in their methods: burning books wholesale, committing grand massacres, and in later histories, instigating nation-wide purges.[9]

Accordingly, precision was a guiding principle behind the Assassins' technique and a factor behind their focus on stealth and discretion. By reducing collateral damage and the chance of open conflict, casualties would be minimized. Such a tactic aligned with their traditional respect for humanity and life, and in theory (though not always in practice), assassinations were to be carried out only in cases of utmost necessity. Once a target had been killed, agents were dissuaded from rejoicing in the death, and some even adopted the practice of paying last respects, no matter how vile they held them to be.[1][31][28]

Although not every Assassin operated on the level of perfectionism exhibited by Francesco Vecellio,[32] prodigious information was expected to be gathered before an assassination is attempted. Failure to do so could yield catastrophic errors, such as Arno Dorian's mistaken murder of the Templar ally Chrétien Lafrenière.[8] For their investigations, Assassins referred to a variety of means including but not limited to: espionage, theft of documents, and mingling with locals.[1][9][30][32][8]

In some ways, the reforms of Altaïr promoted a greater level of stealth than under the tenure of his predecessor, Rashid ad-din Sinan. Previously, it was common practice for the Levantine Assassins to perform high-risk, near suicidal, yet awe-inspiring assassinations in crowded, public areas.[8] This tactic relied on shock to impress power—through fear—in the public imagination.[9] Under Altaïr's direction, the Assassins retreated further into the shadows, and this approach was generally discouraged, if not outright abolished, and restrictions on formerly banned methods such as poison were lifted. While some members were impatient with the secrecy demanded by the brotherhood, feeling that it hampered progress and influence, Altaïr feared the great risks of exposure to public society. Ever mindful that Assassins could be branded as madmen and destroyed if they remained an open target, as evident in the Fall of Masyaf to the Mongol Empire, Altaïr withdrew the brotherhood further into secrecy. Thus, security was another reason for the Assassins' policy of stealth.[9]

Despite this, it was not unknown for Assassins even after the High Middle Ages to resort to open conflict, and these uncommon tactics could range from the instigation of riots, employment of mercenaries, or even a direct militaristic assault on enemy bases.[3][28][29]

Social reforms

In Altaïr's time, the Assassins were markedly apprehensive that public promotion of their ideals could yield societal reforms. As a result, at first much of their activities revolved only around the elimination or sabotage of those they believed threatened the rights of humanity. With their dream that humanity arrive at utopia through free will, their way of guidance was often indirect, with an emphasis on individuals learning through self-experience. For instance, their way of teaching Ezio against the path of vengeance involved allowing him to experience that journey personally.

Over time, the brotherhood's policies evolved and during the Italian Renaissance, the Assassins under the leadership of Ezio Auditore became more active at winning the hearts of the public. It was Ezio's conviction that the strength of the Assassins derived from the strength of the common people, a sentiment initially rebuffed by the cynical Mentor Niccolò Machiavelli. Accordingly, the Assassins' campaign in Rome was prolific in rehabilitating a city crumbling under the weight of Borgia corruption, such as funding renovations, sponsoring merchants, and rescuing civilians.[4][30]

The order continued to adapt and reform gradually through the centuries, and by the 20th century, their activities began to shift over to non-violent social reforms rather than aggressive enforcement. The transition was tenuous: certain branches, such as the fledgling branch established in North America by Achilles Davenport and the Assassin-sponsored movement Narodnaya Volya engaged in operations smacking of terrorism. It was only after World War II that the Assassins definitively refocused their activities towards inspiring change through example. Assassinations became far rarer, and until the Great Purge of 2000, the shadow war with the Templars defused to one waged through covert tampering of political elections instead.[4]

Practices

Initiation into the Order

Main article: Initiation into the Assassin Order
Ascension 9

Claudia Auditore being inducted into the Assassin Order in 1503

There were two ways of entering into the Order: through birth, like Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, Ezio Auditore and Desmond Miles,[9][1] or through recruitment, like Assassin apprentices, Edward Kenway and Shaun Hastings.[30][33][1]

After declaring oneself an Assassin under the Creed, a trainee would be tested to prove their worth over an unspecified period of time. For example, Ezio was tasked with hunting down Templar conspirators over years before he was officially inducted,[1] whereas Assassin apprentices had to gain enough experience in their contract missions across the world before joining the Assassins Guild as fully-fledged members.[30]

Training

The Assassins spent their entire lives training to kill.[9] From an early age, they were taught to observe their surroundings and plan ahead. Combat skills were essential and focused on bladed weaponry. However, the most important consideration in the Assassins' training was concealment. Stealth was the greatest weapon of the Assassins, and everything about their lives emphasized a devotion to it.[9][1] It was essential for an Assassin to be able to reach their target unnoticed and then slip back into the crowd after they had struck.[9]

Another significant focus of an Assassin's training was maneuverability. By the time an Assassin reached the rank of Master Assassin, they were also a master of freerunning, an early form of parkour extensively utilized by the Assassins. Widely seen as alien by the general populace, this method of movement allowed the Assassins to reach areas not otherwise accessible. Freerunning gave the Assassins a significant advantage over nearly all of their enemies and city guards, and could be used to traverse crowded urban environments quickly and efficiently.

AC1 Fight Instructor

Altaïr with the combat trainer at Masyaf

However, not all Assassins were trained from birth, particularly those recruited later in life. Trainees had to learn the ways of their craft through personal experience and the teachings from other Assassins in the field. For example, Ezio learned many techniques from other Assassins and allies like Paola, his uncle Mario Auditore and the thief Rosa, as well as several fundamental assassination techniques through reading Altaïr's Codex.[1] Centuries later, Edward Kenway used skills learned through piracy to better himself as an Assassin.[33]

Unlike certain other factions, the Assassins did not have a specific style of fighting. Aside from their signature Hidden Blade, each branch used weapons and fighting styles native to the area. For example, the Ottoman Assassins favored curved daggers,[3] while the Chinese Assassins were trained in wushu.[27]

Equipment

Throughout the ages, the Brotherhood has had many weapons at its disposal. During ancient times, the Assassins did not have any standard attire or equipment, but ancient Assassins were known for using spears, poisons, bows, and other armaments.[1] By the time of the High Middle Ages, they had assumed white as their general color and robes with beaked hoods as their common clothing.

This age also marked the appearance of the Assassins' signature weapon, the Hidden Blade, a retractable blade first conceptualized by Darius. Other weapons used by the Assassins included swords, short blades and throwing knives, though the Order forbade the use of poison as "a coward's tool". Many such rules changed under the leadership of Altaïr, who pioneered several inventions and techniques with the assistance of an Apple of Eden. These included the Poison Blade, the Hidden Gun, and new types of assassinations which dramatically altered the practices of the Order.[9]

From the Renaissance onward, the Assassins' equipment did not change significantly, but some weapons were added to their arsenal. The use of armor over robes had become popular, although the white robes with beaked hoods persisted. Ezio Auditore and other Italian Assassins used a Hidden Gun, crossbow, poison darts, smoke bombs, and a secondary Hidden Blade, among more conventional weapons like swords and knives. Some regions also had unique weapons not seen elsewhere, like the tomahawk of Ratonhnhaké:ton or Hookblades used in the early 16th century Ottoman Empire. Still others, such as the Caribbean Assassins, did not have beaked hoods as part of their standard attire.

Under the Mentorship of the Sikh Jayadeep Mir, the British Brotherhood adopted the fear tactics developed by the Indian Brotherhood, began utilizing fear tactics through the employment of hallucinogens and fear bombs. By scaring enemies from battle, the Indian and British Assassins could avoid being forced to kill them, thereby mitigating casualties.

In modern times, Assassins followed the rest of society into the new era. As technology progressed, guns became commonplace and computers became prevalent, with Assassins like Rebecca Crane and Hannah Mueller specializing in their use.[1][28][34] While Desmond Miles was being held by Abstergo Industries within their Roman facility, a small group of Assassins attempted to rescue him, armed with automatic weapons.[9]

Specializations

While the classical Assassin is a parkour expert who specializes in eliminating targets in stealth operations, not all Assassins fit this archetypal mold. These are commonly termed field agents,[7] but more than a paramilitary organization, the Assassin Brotherhood was a transnational state within itself, composed of entire families born into the order with a diverse range of skill sets, not all of them combat-oriented.[1][35] Many Assassins serve in support roles, such as Shaun Hastings, whose specialty is as a history analyst, and Rebecca Crane, a security expert and computer technician.[30] Within their team, Desmond Miles and later Galina Voronina acted as their field operative.[28][7]

Even among Assassins primarily trained for combat roles, there has been much variation in specialization. The Italian Brotherhood of the early 16th century deployed teams such as that of Francesco Vecellio which had among its members Tessa Varzi, a herbalist with an unrivaled knowledge of concocting poisons, and Cipriano Enu, a masterful archer.[32]

Italian Brotherhood system

The enclosed content is of ambiguous canonicity.

During the Renaissance in the Italian peninsula some assassins like Lo Sparviero were typed as Berserker, Shadowblade, Trickster, Thief, or some dual combination there of. Berserkers focused on attack and defense, using heavy damage to stun, knock over, and shred armor of multiple opponents at a time, and were equipped with splinter bombs to cause bleeding. Shadowblades were masters of stealth, able to remain incognito for longer periods while under scrutiny, using throwing knives to silence and blind enemies or deal precision strikes, and smokbombs to extricate themselves from battle. Trickster were skilled in guile and creating diversions, able to disguise themselves as guards, lure or distract targets with whistling or coins, and employed sticky bombs and the explosive jack in the box to kill from a distance. Thieves were adept pickpocket who used sand and fast strikes to blind and overwhelm opponents, relied on precision and agility to reduce noteriety and fall damage, and set trip-wire bombs to frighten and cause bleeding.[36]

Spanish Brotherhood system

Depending on the branch, specializations differed and could be more formalized. During the era of the Spanish Inquisition, the Spanish Brotherhood classified its agents as either Shadow, Enforcer, or Specialist with each further broken down into three subdivisions. Shadows could focus their training more exclusively towards pure stealth, the art of assassination, or freerunning. Enforcers were warriors whose approach could be geared more towards an offensive style, defensive style, or employing crowd control tactics. Specialists provided field support as medics, saboteurs who disarmed traps, or in other miscellaneous roles.[37]

French Brotherhood system

The French Brotherhood utilized a similar system of nine classes which recognized a wide range of operational styles. Derived from four parameters, combat, stealth, parkour, and tactics (i.e. relying on tools), eight of the classes corresponded to either one of these specializations or was a hybrid of two; the ninth was a generalist field that encompassed all in equal measure as a jack of all trades. These classes are as follows:[8][35]

  • Prowlers who focused all their training on mastering the art of social stealth relied almost exclusively on slow and steady, low-profile assassinations rather than the swift, high-profile assassinations of popular imagination.
  • Brawlers, being combat purists, were akin to the Enforcers of the Spanish Brotherhood. An exception to the stealth ethos of the Assassins, Brawlers engaged in direct combat equipped with heavy plate and mail armor and often a heavy weapon such as a two-handed sword. Their role was to defend their comrades as a tank or create a diversion with their own presence.
  • Daredevils who mastered freerunning exclusively took a pacifistic approach where their speed and navigational expertise facilitated swift entries and getaways without ever engaging with hostiles.
  • Tricksters were essentially snipers armed with a musket or rifle to shoot enemies from afar. Much like archers of an older age, they provided long range cover for their squad mates, cleared rooftops of enemies, or performed assassinations from a safe distance.
  • Infilitrators were those who employed the traditional methods iconic with the Assassins: a fast-paced yet meticulous fusion of parkour and stealth for swift and precise assassinations. These Assassins had to be able to rapidly shift between the demands of remaining undetected and acting quickly and efficiently as the situation develops.
  • Rioters were what the French Brotherhood called those who relied upon guerilla warfare. They sprung from hiding to ambush enemies in berserker-like fashion before merging back into the environment.
  • Tormentors were so-called because they sowed chaos in their enemies by manipulating the environment from the shadows. They relied upon gadgets such as bombs and the Phantom Blade to rain confusion and strike terror of an impending yet undetectable danger looming around them.
  • Handlers were soldiers with light equipment, such as a single cuirass, a sword, and a pistol who fought conventionally against enemies.

These classes were not necessarily rigid, serving more as templates which permitted flexibility to accommodate the unique skills and sensibilities of French Assassins. They illustrate that although mainstream Assassin methodology mandated discretion, there has historically been a recognition of the need for specialized roles which did not conform strictly with the classical approach. Exceptions were allowed for Assassins to be battle specialists, such as the Spanish Enforcers or French Brawlers, who confronted enemies aggressively and directly, particularly as part of a larger strategem to divert attention away from fellow Assassins in charge of stealth infiltration.[8] Such tactics were not unprecedented and were akin to the way mercenaries were hired and employed by the Italian Brotherhood.[30][1]

Burial system

Historically, Assassins always showed great respect for the dead. Their own were buried in crypts or large tombs, wrapped in a cloth shroud with their red sash spread across the body. The greatest Assassins were venerated in large tombs and entombed within sarcophagi, their likeness emblazoned on the lid and their symbol venerated in the flags of the tomb.[1]

For all assassination targets, unless circumstances prevented, Assassins would give them their last rites after they had passed away. Early in his career as an Assassin, Ezio Auditore was reprimanded by his uncle Mario for disrespecting the corpse of his target and longtime rival Vieri de' Pazzi, instilling in him a respect for the dead.[1]

Expulsion and Reinstatement

It is possible for members of the Order to be expelled for various reasons, including but not limited to breaking the tenents of the Creed. In such situations, the Assassin Council could call for a vote of expulsion. After being expelled, the Assassin would be stripped of their rank and exiled from the Brotherhood.

The Assassin Arno Dorian was expelled from the Order, after he had defied the Council's orders, performed several assassinations without the Council's consent and in their words "flouted the Creed at every step". Arno would be welcomed back into the Order, however, after he later reformed and demonstrated true fidelity to the Creed.[8]

In cases of extreme disregard for the Creed's tenets, an expelled member may further become the target of assassination by their former comrades, such examples being Perotto Calderon for the theft of the Shroud of Eden, and Shay Cormac for the theft of the Voynich manuscript.

Trivia

  • In the High Middle Ages, an Assassin would prove one's target had been slain by dipping a white feather in their target's blood. This practice had fallen out of use by the Renaissance, but appeared to have been revived by the Victorian Era. Both Jacob and Evie Frye engaged in the practice, though they used white handkerchiefs rather than feathers.
  • Rebecca Crane noted that both the Assassin and Templar Orders had existed since before the formation of the Hashshashin and Order of the Knights Templar respectively, and queried what the two organizations called themselves beforehand.[38]
    • However, such an instance of the Assassins' earlier name is known: the Roman Assassins called themselves Liberalis Circulum, Latin for Circle of Liberals.
    • Historically, the Hashashin were a sect of radical Persian Shia Muslims who, under Hassan-i Sabbāh, were said to be given a drug called hashish, under the influence of which they experienced "the Garden of Paradise". In exchange, they were expected to murder Sabbah's religious and political rivals, and due to the euphoria they experienced as an effect of the drug, they became unwaveringly loyal to Sabbah.
    • The word Hashashin also gave rise to the word 'assassin'.
    • The first and the third tenets of the Creed are mostly based upon the sayings of Islam. The first tenet of not to kill innocents matches with many hadeeths and verses of the Quran. The third and last tenet of the Creed, compromising the Brotherhood, refers to waging war against God in Islam and breaking the trust of other people. In both the Brotherhood and Islam, the punishment for violating these rulings is death.

Appearances

References

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 Assassin's Creed II
  2. Assassin's Creed: Origins
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Assassin's Creed: Revelations
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Assassin's Creed: The Fall
  5. Assassin's Creed: Project LegacyRome: Chapter 2 – Giovanni Borgia
  6. Assassin's Creed 3: Accipiter
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Assassin's Creed: Syndicate
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 Assassin's Creed: Unity
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 9.12 9.13 9.14 9.15 9.16 9.17 9.18 9.19 Assassin's Creed
  10. Although the organization is irreligious and professes to an agnostic philosophy, Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad and Arno Dorian described the creed in strongly atheist terms as well, having specifically been agnostic atheists. Despite this, individual members may practice various faiths—an example being Luis de Santángel who was a Jew.
  11. Assassin's Creed: RevelationsThe Guardian, Part 2
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Assassin's Creed: OriginsThe Aftermath
  13. Assassin's Creed: OriginsBayek's Promise
  14. Assassin's Creed: OriginsThe False Oracle
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 15.6 15.7 Assassin's Creed IIAltaïr Ibn-La'Ahad's Codex
  16. Assassin's Creed IIPower to the People
  17. 17.0 17.1 Assassin's Creed: The Movie
  18. Assassin's Creed IV: Black FlagNothing Is True...
  19. Assassin's Creed IIIFather and Son
  20. Assassin's Creed: RogueWe the People
  21. Assassin's Creed: RevelationsA Homecoming
  22. Assassin's Creed: OriginsThe Empirical Truth
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 Assassin's Creed: Forsaken
  24. Assassin's Creed IIILee's Last Stand
  25. Assassin's CreedAssassination (Al Mualim)
  26. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag...Everything Is Permitted
  27. 27.0 27.1 Assassin's Creed: Embers
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 28.5 Assassin's Creed III
  29. 29.0 29.1 Assassin's Creed: Rogue
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 30.4 30.5 30.6 Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
  31. Assassin's Creed: Altaïr's Chronicles
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy
  33. 33.0 33.1 Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
  34. Assassin's Creed: The Fall - Issue #2
  35. 35.0 35.1 Assassin's Creed: Initiates
  36. Assassin's Creed: Identity
  37. Assassin's Creed: Rebellion
  38. Assassin's Creed: Syndicate - Database: The Assassin Brotherhood

Advertisement