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"To the uninitiated, it would appear that the Templar Order and Assassin Brotherhood are both in ethos and manifesto, diametrically opposed. And it is true, up to a point."
―Otso Berg musing on the similarity of a Black Cross and Assassins, 2017.[src]

Black Cross, is an enigmatic rank created by the Inner Sanctum to fight corruption within the Templar Order and search for Pieces of Eden, the Council of Elders had influence during the earliest years of the Black Cross.

Secret inquisitors only answering to the Inner Sanctum's orders, the agents were authorized to use any means necessary, even deadly force, to take down corrupted members of the Order within Rites. The Black Cross were tasked with keeping the Grand Masters and their subordinates in line with the Templar Code and ideals.

Deadly enforcers acting as an independent morality police force of one man, very few individuals wore the title of Black Cross across the centuries though the Bolden family line counted many among their number.

Structure

Purposes

"Your predecessors were visionaries. They saw traits in the Assassins we lacked... Autonomy. Initiative. Flexibility. We are a small cutting from the enemy, grafted into the Order to make us even stronger"
―The Black Cross explaining his purpose to the Inner Sanctum, 2017.[src]

The purpose of the Black Cross as a Templar is identifying and rooting out individuals corrupted by power or Pieces of Eden within the Order, Templars seeking personal power instead of using power as a tool to bring about worldwide order and peace.[1] Other grounds for corruption that is investigated are the theft of Templar resources for profit, nepotistic uses such as on their own family,[2] and betrayal.[3] Being some of the many duties that is given a Black Cross, such as the protection of the the Koh-i-Noor.[4]

In their service for humanity by fighting corruption and searching for Pieces of Eden while securing the plans for Templar Rites in the interests of the Inner Sanctum.[2] The Black Cross are similar to the Council of Elders, with their shared purpose of maintaining the integrity of the Order, they differ in the means of this as a Black Cross enforces the Templar principles on their governing structures instead of serving an advisory role by influencing and guiding the governing structures of the Order.[1]

Requirements

"It has been remarked that the unique skill set required of a Black Cross is akin to taking a cutting from the Assassin tree... And grafting it to that of the Templars."
―Otso Berg reflecting on the skills of a Black Cross, 2016.[src]

The unique skills required to become a Black Cross is based on parts of the Assassins skill set that was recreated to that of the Templars' doctrine to strengthen the Order itself. By operating in solitary and self contained similar to individual Assassins, who are reliant upon only themselves, they are therefor harder to fight,[5][4] while also being just as efficient working as a team,[2][4] another strength of the Assassins. Such observations were made by Otso Berg during his study between the standard operational practices a Black Cross and the Assassins.[2]

The variety of methods used by a Black Cross during investigations included other Assassins skills like espionage, theft, freerunning, interrogation, close-combat, ranged-combat and blending using various socioeconomic statuses. The most skilled Black Cross, like Otso Berg and Albert Bolden, are exceptionally in that they travers cities with ease and capabilities of fighting multiple opponents such as crime syndicates and purge Assassins.[2][4] A Black Cross also committed assassinations of key individuals that have become corrupted,[2] a defining attribute of the Assassin Brotherhood,[6][7] These skills were instead used to maintain the stability and integrity of the Order.[1]

With a key distinction being that a Black Cross have power, the authority during investigations and interrogations to act with impunity within the governing structures of a Rite while using social and economical roles to blend in society, by posing as various roles in order to maintain discretion, secrecy and an advantage to use deception. This tactic made their capabilities as skilled tacticians that could quickly coordinate plans despite complications on their missions. They also used a gas mask, poisons, smoke bombs, swords, firearms and commonly dressed in black with a visible red cross pattée.[2][4]

Appointments

"Given the challenges facing the Order now... Those we are about to face... It may soon be time for the Black Cross to be reborn."
―Otso Berg explaining his concerns for the Order to da Costa, 2013.[src]

Aside from having the skills required, the Inner Sanctum were in charge of appointing the rank of Black Cross to Templars. A Templar appointed would carry out missions for the Inner Sanctum and should they be presumed dead, then another Black Cross will be appointed.[2] They would also send Templars to investigate disappearances of a Black Cross, such as the Templar Rufus Grosvenor being tasked to find and ensure the Black Cross returned.[4]

On rare occasions, a Black Cross can themselves train someone to become a Black Cross. And a member of the Inner Sanctum can appoint themselves,[2] the Inner Sanctum being unaware of it would cause a dispute, and it was rare of them to tolerate being challenged.[4] A Templar family can also pass the rank through birthright, with the Bolden family having served as Black Crosses for centuries.[2] Additionally, the identity of a Black Cross were always unknown to the Inner Sanctum.[4][8]

Authority

"I don't answer to you, ma'am. As I said, I'm here as a courtesy."
―The Black Cross affirming his independence from the Inner Sanctum, 2017.[src]

A Black Cross arrival were signaled by the Black Cross insignia and their investigation of Templar Rites kept a Grand Master and their subordinates in check, as a Black Cross have the authority to do whatever is necessary to find anyone breaking Templar principles within the governing structures of a Rite, including killing any corrupt Templars. Their operations are not to be interfered with, all information in regards to encounters with the Black Cross must be kept silent and the Rites are instructed to assist with anything requested by the Black Cross.[2]

While a Black Cross only answered to the authority of Inner Sanctum,[2] their earliest operations were impacted by the Council of Elders. Additionally, they also have the authority to challenge the Inner Sanctum.[1] That power however was not available for Albert Bolden, during his time as Black Cross, the Inner Sanctum had complete authority over a Black Cross.[2]

Under extreme conditions, the Inner Sanctum could try to denounce a Black Cross by having the Templar presented for all the Grand Masters of the Templar Order for an official denunciation. The power to challenge the Inner Sanctum was taken back by the modern day Black Cross, Juhani Otso Berg. Because of Berg being a member of the Inner Sanctum, the position of Black Cross gained independence and are no longer required to serve the Inner Sanctum.[4] While also consolidating the powers of serving as the Operations Specialist, such as his command of Sigma Team and their operations.[1][4] Should the situation require it, a Black Cross could also work with the Assassins.[4][2]

History

Early Years

"You all know as well as I do why the Black Cross was created -- What it means."
―The Black Cross to the Inner Sanctum, lecturing them on its origins, 2017.[src]

To prevent corruption and stop Grand Masters from flouting the precepts of the Order, the Inner Sanctum created the position of the Black Cross.[8] During the earliest years of the Black Cross, the Council of Elders may have had an significant impact on their assignments.[1]

By late 18th century, the Inner Sanctum had appointed the Templar, Tavis Olier, as a Black Cross with the mission of acquiring the Koh-i-Noor from Sultan Selim III. Sometime before 1805, Olier was captured and imprisoned.[2]

The Koh-i-Noor

Van der Graff: "This... This is what the Templars teach?"
Olier: "Not teach. Reveal. Impose. Are."
—Olier to Van der Graff, explaining the role of death embodied by a Black Cross, 1808.[src]

During the early 19th century in 1805, the American Templar Solomon Bolden was appointed as the new Black Cross, since Olier was believed dead. Bolden posed as a slaver during the crossing of the Mediterranean Sea, the ship was attacked by pirates sent after him by the Sultan Selim III and befriended Jan van der Graff after he helped fighting the pirates. Bolden would protect Van der Graff during his mission and the latter would use his contacts to help the Black Cross enter the palace.[2]

They arrived in Tripoli, were Bolden and Van der Graff meet his contacts. Edmund, a deserter marine, and Ahkbar, a shady local, who revealed to them the existence of a secret underground tunnel. Following the departure of their companions, Bolden and Van der Graff bonded over several drinks before going they entered the tunnel later that day, where they were confronted by several men waiting for them and the Black Cross were executed by Ahkbar.[2]

By 1808, Van der Graff had been trained by Olier in the ways of the Black Cross and the Templar Order while they shared a cell. During their escape, Olier sacrificed himself and Van der Graff witnessed the assassination of the Sultan by Ahkbar, who was secretly an Assassin and stole the artifact for his own gain. Despite the attempt to use the artifact against Van der Graff, the Assassin was killed, members of the Brotherhood had witnessed this and showed up. Van der Graff pretended to hand over the artifact and he escaped with the artifact, intending to keep it safe as the new Black Cross.[2]

The Last Black Cross

Fighting Corruption

"Thaddeus Gift. Embezzler. Rake. Shylock. You have betrayed your vows. You have stolen from your Order and traded its good name to enrich yourself."
―The Black Cross charging Grand Master Gift with corruption, 1927.[src]

In February 1927, the Black Cross Albert Bolden played as the leading trumpeter in Albie Bolden and the Harlem Hotsteppers in London. Were Bolden investigated Grand Master Thaddeus Gift of the British Rite for the theft of money from the Order, when Gift attempted to escape his assassination, Bolden tracked him across the streets of the city, Bolden eventually slit his throat and cut out his Templar ring finger in public.[2]

By March, while traveling towards Shanghai, Bolden prepared for the ambush of the Templar-built train, the Great Wall, that traveled through Chekiang province after having been stolen by the Russian Templar turncoat, Yuri Dolinsky. Bolden managed to fight his way to Dolinsky while getting them into his trap, efficiently killing him. Therefor succeeding in his mission to prevent any support to the warlord Zhang Zongchang and protected the Templar ally, Chiang Kai-shek.[3]

The Shanghai Rite

"Family. Honor. These things are nothing next to the Templar Order. The one source of light in a midnight world."
―The Black Cross to Darius Gift, on the purpose of the Templar Order, 1927.[src]

In April, Bolden was playing with his band in Shanghai and observed the the arrival of the Templar Darius Gift. Bolden then followed him outside to witness his delivery to the Shanghai Rite from a nearby roof, after Gift was tricked by Roo, who had stolen the box. When Gift was approached by Frenchmen that beloved him to be the Black Cross, Bolden intervened and discovered that the men were actually French police. After exchanging pleasantries, Bolden promised to retrieve the absent package for Darius as he was ordered to offer aid directly by the Nine.[2]

During the meeting of the Templar Rite of China that was eavesdropped by Bolden, Grand Master Stirling Fessenden informed the Rite of Bolden's arrival while they discussed the struggles of holding Shanghai amidst gangsters and warlords, and that they were instructed to assist him in any way. Bolden disguised himself as a taxi driver and picked up a Templar from the meeting, Master Templar Joffre, and they discussed the Hop Wo Society, the name found upon one of the French police. After Joffre pointed out they were communist and the location of the address discovered, Bolden infiltrated the building and walked into an ambush where the remaining Frenchman was under duress and in hiding.[2]

Being forced to escape, Bolden was chased through the amusement park and used environmental opportunities to take down his pursuers. Until confronted by Fiery Crow and forced into close-combat, Bolden managed to stab him with his Templar pin, before being rendered unconscious. Having been captured by the Green Gang Triad, he was faced by their leader, Du Yuesheng, Du mocked the activities of the Templar Order thus far in China, whilst Bolden attempted to discover the whereabouts of the box. When the conversation turned to the Templar pin, 'Fiery Crow' keeled over and Bolden freed once more. He promptly grabbed his possessions and gunned his way out of the nearest window as he escaped, having successfully been captured to find out what Du really knew.[2]

Bolden later earned himself a meeting with Madame Sun by confronting her servant, they discussed the events sourounding the box and Sun revealed to the Bolden that it was the machinations of Chiang Kai-shek. Afterwards, Bolden ambushed and interrogated a convoy driver, who revealed they were ordered to kill an actress and a 'British Kid', and arrived in time to prevented Flowery Flag from finishing the job. Forced into hand to hand combat until shot, when Flowery Flag moved to kill Bolden, Ruan stabbed him in the back and Bolden used the chance to hang him with his Templar Cross chain. Then Darius attempted to murder him in revenge for his father, while Bolden cited it being done for the Order, and Bolden stumbled and fell of a ledge following being shot multiple times.[2]

Disappearance

Conflict with Grosvenor

"The Black Cross is the keeper of the Koh-I-Noor. You will not rob me of this final dignity."
―The Black Cross to Rufus Grosvenor, on the protection of the artifact by a Black Cross 1928.[src]

Bolden was treated at a local hospital after the incident, and his failure to report to his superiors, lead the Order to sending Rufus Grosvenor. In 1928, Bolden was confronted by the high ranking Templar, who attempted to blackmail him, threatening to reveal to the Order that he is alive if he didn't gave him the Koh-i-Noor, something Bolden refused. The encounter with Grosvenor forced Bolden to travel to Switzerland, where he retrieved the Koh-I-Noor, knowing that Grosvenor would eventually find it.[4]

The next 9 years, Bolden traveled with the artifact to keep it safe, while being observed by Grosvenor's own agents within the Order, occasionally being forced to fight them. Because of his visits to his family during these years, they were killed by Grosvenor himself sometime in 1937, and Bolden was ambushed when he returned home to find his family murdered and the Piece of Eden stolen by Grosvenor. Out of his duty as a Black Cross, Bolden was able to track Grosvenor to Spain for months, where he encountered the body of the British Assassin Norbert Clarke.[4]

By May 1937, Bolden eventually found Grosvenor posing as Norbert Clarke within an Assassin cell, witnessing Ignacio Cardona holding the Koh-i-Noor and a group of Spanish Assassins, and attacked while Cardona was passed out due to the usage of the Piece of Eden. Unable to reach Grosvenor to get the artifact, Bolden threw smoke bombs and escaped with the unconscious Assassin instead to an unknown location.[4]

At the hideout, Bolden patched up his wounds and told Cardona of his history with Grosvenor and explained how he'd tracked him, something that resulted in him being attacked up to 4 times by Cardona until they were able to come to an agreement. Seeing as Cardona himself being a possible target now and, having been told of Grosvernor was planning to use him as a conduit for the Koh-i-Noor and unleash its powers. Bolden asked Cardona to help him track down Grosvernor, in exchange for helping him to warn his cell, which he accepted. Cardona rode with Bolden along with Spanish revolutionaries to meet him.[4]

Assassin Alliance

"I`m a Black Cross. A station that carries its own duties, unrelated to our war... Or this one, for that matter."
―The Black Cross to Ignacio Cardona, on the duties of a Black Cross, 1937.[src]

Cardona and Bolden was ambushed in a nearby village, when Miguel Carasso and Dwight Adams lunched an attack on both of them. After having taken they easily down, they discussed the risks of using the artifacts toe and the war, something that resulted in a disagreement because of the plans made by Hitler in Germany and that could lose his life. During the conversation, Bolden was attacked from behind, leading to a fight. While Bolden was held by Dwight, Miguel attempted to kill him, but Bolden deflected the finishing blow, causing caused him to stab Dwight, who was holding him from behind. While Dwight collapsed, Bolden punched Miguel and rescued Ignacio from Glaucia, who had slipped behind her lover and held a knife under his throat.[4]

Afterwards, both Cardona and Bolden followed the tracks of Miguel to the town church. They were greeted by Grosvenor, standing over a pit of anarchist bodies, killed by Franco's men, and who ranted about humanity needing the firm guiding hand of the gods. During his speech, Glaucia and Miguel took aim at them and had Ignacio and Albert while demanding they drop their guns. Continuing his speech, Grosvenor told of the conditions expected by Ignacio's bloodline, and its importance in the usage of the artifact.[4]

The artifact was offered to Cardona, something Bolden opposed. However, Cardona used the artifact to create the illusion of its own self destruction to, and created creatures of energy who stampeded into the walls of the church bringing it crashing down upon all of them. It fooled both Grosvenor and Glaucia, who managed to escape the collapse of the church. In the aftermath, they discussed plans for the protection of the artifacts and the civil war, that became buried under the church, As Cardona asked if he had defected from the Templar Order, Bolden responded that he would never join the Assassins, but he would also not stand alongside the Templars if they were to make common cause with Hitler and Stalin. Bolden and Cardona left the artifact in the ruins of the church, and trained several young locals as guardians of the artifact, while also fighting alongside the Republicans[4] before going their separate ways.[1] The Order never heard from the Black Cross after having disappeared.[2]

Revival

The Indian Connection

Violet: "The gem... It's one of the most powerful Pieces of Eden for which we have records. We must find it before the Assassins do, yes?"
Berg: "Indeed. But the trail has gone cold, as it so often does. Fortunately, an order as ancient as ours can afford patience."
—Violet and Berg, concerning their search for the Koh-i-Noor, 2013.[src]

In November 2013, Berg and Violet da Costa worked at the Abstergo Entertainment HQ in Montreal, were Berg used the Helix to relive the memories of the last known Black Cross. Having gathered intel from their raids in India that suggested that Albert Bolden was the last last known individual to be in possession of the Koh-i-Noor. According to Lineage Discovery and Acquisition, they had speculated the box carried by Darius Gift contained the Koh-i-Noor.[2]

Their trail became cold when they discovered the box did not contain the artifact, along with the presumed death of Albert Bolden in 1927, forcing Berg to put the investigation on hold. Something the Order could afford, while also save their resources until new evidence presented itself. Expecting that locating any modern descendants of Bolden would take time, and Berg expressed that they should look into other matters in the mean time. The role of The Black Cross having been retired for almost a hundred years, Berg expressed concerns of the challenges faced by the Order and challenges to come, being reasons to perhaps even resurrect the Black Cross title.[2]

The Descendant

Berg: "I can only ask you to trust me when I say telling you more would put you and everyone you love in danger. I know it doesn't seem like it now, but we're the good guys."
Bolden: "I suppose if you weren't, you'd just knock me out and stick me back in your machine. What do you want me to do?"
—Berg to André, having convinced the Bolden to return to Abstergo, 2016.[src]

In 2016, Berg and Violet were put in charge of an Abstergo Historical Research facility in Philadelphia, having resumed their search for the Koh-i-Noor. They were aided by by senior technician Caitlin Gift, a descendant of Darius Gift and a doctor called Freddy. Having located a descendant of Albert Bolden, Abstergo contacted and brought him to their Philadelphia Facility for treatment against his PTSD from having fought in the Vietnam War. The 72 year old Vietnam veteran named André Bolden was greeted by Berg and his team, then André was put inside the Animus, were he relived the memories of Jan van der Graff in the Barbary Coast, to the surprise of the Templars. Who expected him to be the descendant of Solomon Bolden, the incident caused André to neutralize two men and then fled the complex once he woke up, Berg let him flee by having Caitlin's order to apprehend him belayed, as Berg intended to speak with him.[2]

André was tracked back to his hotel, were they discussed the Bleeding Effect and an important item that was tied to André's family, coming to an agreement under the condition that Berg not lie to him again. Once back in the facility, the team discussed the possibility of a fractured timeline and the loss entire bloodline of the Black Cross because of Andre's ancestor, with Caitlin noting their only possible lead a brief appearance in the accounts of Tavis Olier after Violet asked what they knew about Graff. Then they had André putt back into the Animus. While was in André's session, Violet and Berg discussed trust along with secrets of the war, explaining why André was helping, the trust was remarked that she had never known him to be so trusting, Berg remarked that he trusted her. As they witnessing Graff's imprisonment, Berg was asked by Violet whether he planned to reveal everything to André, as he had now also heard about the Koh-i-Noor, to which Berg answered that he did not know.[2]

Suspicious Activities

Violet: "All right. I'm sorry about Caitlin. I should have caught any abnormalities I her background."
Berg: "No... I suspect there are other agents at work here."
—Violet and Berg, discussing the innocence of Caitlin, 2017.[src]

Later that day, Berg joined André at a bar and payed for his drink. There they discussed the purpose of Graff's memories and berg revealed the truth about the Assassin-Templar War, something André found crazy, something Berg thought didn't sound too far fetched given everything André had experienced. As they left the bar, they were attacked by an unknown party in a car drove past and shot at them. Berg saved and managed to jump inside the vehicle and eliminated its occupants. Afterwards, Berg called Violet and instructed her back to the lab because of the recent attack, and that he was bringing André in. Once back in the lab, Berg was surprised by the presence of Freddy along with Violet, who assumed Bolden might have been hurt, Freddy was instructing the doctor to check on André. Berg informed Violet of the attacked before they Caitlin arrived, then Berg instructed everyone to continue André's Animus session. When question by Violet, Berg informed her that he suspected that they had a leak and that this unknown party knew something that they did not.[2]

André's session caused him to scream out in pain, the torture memory of Van der Graff made Berg ask Caitlin if they could get passed the memory, Caitlin eventually managed to fast forward the memories to a few days afterward. When the section was finished, Berg informed Violet they couldn't force André to continue, Berg handed her Albert's Templar pin to give to André, while he cleaned the mess caused by the drive-by shooting. Then Berg spoke with the proxy used to arrange the attack that won him loyalty from André, and would then receive a phone call that there had been an incident in the lab.[2]

They arrived at the lab, were they found the body of Caitlin Gift, privately Violet and Berg discussed her innocence and with Berg being convinced it was done by a third party. With the assumption of a mole, Berg was concerned that a fifth column had infiltrated the Order and instructed Violet to find the mole, then convinced André to once more enter the Animus to further explore the memories of Van der Graff. Berg and Andre meet at the again after the last Animus session showed Van der Graff give the Koh-i-Noor to the Assassins and the mystery of why Freddy killed Caitlin as the doctor was later found dead. Bolden revealed to the dumbfounded Templar that his ancestor decived the Assassins and kept the artifact, while also stating he wanted nothing with Berg's war, and returned the the Black Cross pin to Otso. As Bolden believed he would need it and Otso agreed and reflecting on his conversation with Violet that he couldn't trust no-one, then decided that he'd assume the mantle of Black Cross.[2]

The Fifth Column

"To walk in their shoes to see through their eyes. To make their talents your own. For some, this smacks of heresy. For a Cross however, it's standard operating practice."
―Berg, on the methods of the Black Cross.[src]

In preparation to became the new Black Cross, a role viewed as a being grafted from the skill set from the Assassins, to instead serve the Templars. Berg worked at the Abstergo Entertainment HQ in Montreal, he would muse on the similarities of Assassins and a Black Cross when he studied their strengths and weaknesses by reliving the memories of the lives of prominent Assassins. Berg relieved the memories of Ezio Auditore da Firenze, Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, Edward Kenway and Connor.[5]

Independent Black Cross

"I came here as a courtesy to let you know that Abstergo may have been infiltrated by a hostile fifth column. One or many of you may even be members."
―The Black Cross to the Inner Sanctum, on the challenges faced by the Order, 2017.[src]

By February 2017, Berg and Violet were in Hong Kong, there they investigated a former Phoenix Project site cleared out months ago and transformed into an archive office. Berg was surprised as to a small unidentified army appeared to be defending an Abstergo archive against the Assassins, with Violet suggesting there might have been a fight within an Assassin Cell. Violet was ordered by Berg to bribe the Chinese police to leave the site as it was, and retired to his hotel room for the night. Later, Berg used his high tech Black Cross attire and investigated the office on his own, while Bolden acted as his tech support, the Black Cross found evidence of both high tech Templar equipment and Assassin weaponry by the people who butchered the Assassins.[4]

In March, Berg and Violet was in Montreal, were they discussed the events investigated within Hong Kong. Such as having been a greater equipped force in an administrative location fighting Assassins, then suddenly the phones of every Templar - displaying the Black Cross symbol. Agneta Reider, Laetitia England, David Kilkerman, Mitsuko Nakamura, Simon Hathaway, Alfred Stearns and Berg retreated to the Abstergo Executive Retreat, were they had a meeting in Charlevoix and was confronted by the Black Cross. The Black Cross affirmed his independence and informed that the Order has been infiltrated by a fifth column, the insubordination against the Inner Sanctum was used by Berg to feigning to be enraged when Berg jumped on the Black Cross. The Black Cross said they were all suspects and dropped a smoke bomb to leave. Once Per had returned to his apartment, Berg and Bolden discussed how their trick ensured he'd stay impervious to the fact that the Black Cross was one of their own and decided to head to Berlin to investigate further.[4]

Dark Money

"Now, the account. Assassins bleeding Templars like leeches. How did that come about?"
―The Black Cross to Lemair, questioning the irregularities in the accounts of Templars, 2017.[src]

In Germany, Berg eavesdropped on the interrogation of Heinrich Hart by Galina Voronina and Arend Schut Cunningham, the Black Cross jumped on Hart after their departure. Seeking answers from the Abstergo engineer who created the goggles found in Hong Kong, the Assassin mole revealed that he had expected the Black Cross and unleashing an electric whip, Hart attacked Berg but was quickly subdued. While cryptically revealing his identity as an Instrument, Hart pulled out a high explosive and the Black Cross barely escaped through a derby window, and jumped into the river below. While Berg survived, the blast claimed the lives of 170 persons and Berg returned to his flat, there Berg discussed the fifth column with Bolden, who advised him to look into anomalies in Abstergo accounts and that their money must be redirected somewhere it shouldn't be.[4]

Once in Geneva, Berg discovered that money was being directed to other account from Abstergo's accounts, with the arrival of the Assassin My'shell Lemair investigating into irregularities in the accounts of the Assassins. Berg intercepted Lemair and interrogated her at knifepoint, finding out she knew nothing and therefor a third party was responsible. When Berg realized they were being watched, he knocked My'Shell out and attempted to escape, until confronted by Instruments. Five of them were killed and Berg collapsed from his wounds, then the former Indian Assassin Jasdip Dhami appeared. Revealing himself as the high tech 'Assassin' of the fifth column, who warned Berg to stop his investigations, before being throwing over a guard rail.[4]

United Front

"Isn't it obvious? I'm coming to you because I can't trust you. When faced with only bad choices, opt for the one with predictable outcomes."
―The Black Cross to the Assassins, strategizing a united front against the Instruments, 2017.[src]

The injured Black Cross was brought to the Assassins hideout by My'shell, were Berg was attacked for his encounter in 2015 by Galina. After recovering, they later went to a restaurant were they discussed events in Geneva and given the current situation, Abstergo was compromised because of the trail of the Templar money. Because they had both been attacked by the same group lead by Dhami himself, Berg proposed that they worked together and his distrusts of Assassins made them the safest option, Charlotte de la Cruz agreed to the truce because she had witnessed how powerful the Instruments were and what they were capable of. Once back in the hideout, Berg offered to help and was rejected, while they argued about their ideologies and alignments, Arend found found an old image of the Spanish Assassin Ignacio Cardona standing alongside Albert Bolden, the Black Cross.[4]

During the Animus session of Charlotte, Berg was told to leave as she had not recovered from her encounter with Juno, so Berg decided to have a chat with Guernica Moneo, the a member of Erudito and a secret Instrument. They played a game of Jenga while discussing the the goals and alignments of various powerful political groups competing for power, including their own. Eventually Moneo unwittingly revealed their devotion to Juno, Berg left the room while thanking him for the information. Having received a a blood sample of from André, Berg used it to relive the memories of Albert Bolden during his search of the Koh-i-Noor in the Spanish Civil War, since Charlotte was unable to continue. Once the location of the artifact was discovered, Berg asked the Assassins to dig into their records for information in regards to Glaucia Acosta. Afterwards, Berg informed André of the discovery while requesting him to keep watch on Álvaro Gramática's laboratory and then made preparations to travel to Spain to recover the artifact using his own resources.[4]

Purge of The Isu Cult

"And now I know who I can trust, I am cauterizing this wound. The infection is cut out, the fever broken. And your blasphemy against humanity is over."
―The Black Cross to the Instruments and da Costa, declaring the end of the Isu cult, 2018.[src]

Once in Spain, Berg paired up with Charlotte and Galina, while the rest looked elsewhere. They managed to recover the artifact after some digging, during this they were discovered by Jasdip and the instruments, as they were fighting each other, Charlotte had gained possession of the Koh-i-Noor. Unleashing a force of energy that broke them up, Jasdip then managed to capture Charlotte and take possession of the artifact, while sending a number of mortal bombardments by the Instruments that prevented berg and Assassins from saving her. With the combined efforts of Miguel, one of the assigned protectors of the Koh-i-Noor, and Berg that attacked Jasdip, Charlotte was freed. The artifact was taken by the the Instrument, therefor Berg and the Assassins looked to locate Gramática's lab to destroy the body meant for Juno's resurrection.[4]

By August 2018, Berg and the Assassins were able to locate Gramática's lab in Australia[9] and traveled using an Abstergo plane, Berg and the Assassins also planned their attack and infiltration of the lab. While Charlotte infiltrated the lab through a vent shaft in the lab using a sandstorm as cover, Berg and the Assassins distracted the Instruments by the entrance, with Berg confronting Violet and her army of Instruments. Using himself as bait, Galina shot Jasdip with a sniper rifle and the Instruments were destroyed with an RPG by Arend and Kiyoshi Takakura.[4]

Once inside, Berg and the Assassins watched Juno trapped by an illusion conjured with the Koh-i-Noor by Elijah, who betrayed the Instruments for the murder of his mother. Charlotte took advantage of this and killed Juno, then Berg and the Assassins fled the collapsing lab and was confronted outside by confronted by Violet and an army of Instruments. While Violet pointed her gun at Berg,[4] Sigma Team arrived, surrounding her and the Instruments.[1] Becoming distracted by this, Berg disarmed Violet, shot her in the chest and detonated the lab using a Skunkworks endgame grenade while Violet bleed to death and Charlotte was still inside.[4]

After the destruction of the Phoenix Project, the partnership with the Assassins ended and Berg started hunting any Instruments that remained. By November in 2018,[10] Berg had succeeded in the the purge of the rest of the Instruments and retired from his role as the Black Cross.[1]

Legacy

The Black Cross as a concept had reached almost legendary status among Templars through history, who admired and feared the mysterious inquisitor of the Order.[1] Some Templars even doubted their existence and therefor became afraid once the presence of a Black Cross was notified, earning the title even more fear from those in doubt.[2]

The Black Cross also had a reputation for their skills, being constantly compared to Assassins for their means of operations, with them being similar to that of the Assassins but remade in the image of the Templars using their most efficient methods.[2][4]

Known Black Crosses

Behind the scenes

While the origins of the Black Cross remains unclear, the earliest activities known by the Council of Elders, is in the late 17th century when they used tasked Laureano de Torres y Ayala of the Spanish Rite, to find the location of the The Observatory in the West Indies. Along with the appointment of the Templar, Tavis Olier, as a Black Cross in the late 18th century. Meaning the creation of the rank could be during any of those centuries.

The Black Cross insignia is also the same insignia of the Knights Teutonic, an organization supported by the Templars during the Crusades. The use of the Black Cross insignia as markers against their targets can be seen as a counterpart to the feathers used by the Assassins to mark their assassinations.

While the role of the Black Cross is never stated to be an Assassin Hunter, their skills allows them to perform such Templar specializations as well. Like Assassin Hunters, the methods used by a Black Cross is identical to the means of the Assassins.

Juhani Otso Berg is the first Black Cross that is also a member of the Inner Sanctum.

Appearances

References

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