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Chang'an during the 8th century

Xi'an (西安), historically known as Chang'an (長安), is a major city in China which served as its capital during two of the most significant imperial dynasties: the Han and the Tang. Nestled in the mountains, it is well protected from the east, where fortified chokepoints like Tong Pass long served to guard entry into the region.


Tang dynasty

At the height of the Tang dynasty, it was a thriving metropolis and center of cosmopolitanism. During the reign of Emperor Xuanzong of Tang, it also bore the name Xijing (西京; 'western capital') while its traditional eastern counterpart, Luoyang, served as a secondary capital. Enjoying a long and prosperous reign, his infatuation with his concubine Yang Guifei led him to conduct yearly festivals with flower competitions and grand banquets in Chang'an in her favor.[1]

When the jiedushi An Lushan rose in rebellion in 755, he marched his forces from his base of Fanyang southwest to target the Tang court. Along the way, he had to seize Luoyang from the general Feng Changqing before turning his attention on Tong Pass where Feng and his partner Gao Xianzhi made their stand. Tong Pass fell, however, due to the machinations of Chancellor Yang Guozhong, who used his influence in the court to orchestrate the deaths of Feng, Gao, and the general Geshu Han who had replaced them. The loss of this critical site exposed Chang'an to the grand army of An Lushan, and Emperor Xuanzong fled from the capital with Yang Guifei, Yang Guozhong, and his key entourage. Shortly afterwards, An Lushan seized Chang'an, and his soldiers sacked it.[1]

Modern times

In the 21st century, Xi'an has served as the location of the Hi-Tech Industries Development Zone, which is almost entirely owned by the Templar-run corporation Abstergo Industries. They were able to acquire thousands of graduates from Abstergo-funded universities in the region. By late 2015, the Assassin Kiyoshi Takakura planned to visit Xi'an in order to search for Álvaro Gramática's laboratory.[2]

In 2020, a tablet was unearthed in Xi'an bearing Isu script. A picture of the stone was sent to the Assassin Antony Henry, a linguist who had discovered a way to translate one of the Isu dialects into English. With this knowledge, he translated the text and found that it was a manifest of tools belonging to the Isu's newly-created human workforce, before sending the information in a digital folder to Layla Hassan as she relived the genetic memories of the Viking shieldmaiden Eivor Varinsdottir.[3]