- "I have lived my life as best I could, not knowing its purpose, but drawn forward like a moth to a distant moon; and here at last, I discover a strange truth. That I am only a conduit, for a message that eludes my understanding."
- ―Ezio Auditore da Firenze on his role as "the Prophet", 1512.[src]-[m]
Ezio Auditore da Firenze (1459 – 1524) was a Florentine nobleman during the Renaissance, and, unbeknownst to most historians and philosophers, a Master Assassin and the Mentor of the Italian Brotherhood of Assassins, a title which he held from 1503 to 1513. He is also an ancestor of William and Desmond Miles, as well as Clay Kaczmarek.
A member of the House of Auditore, Ezio remained unaware of his Assassin heritage until the age of 17, when he witnessed the hanging of his father and two brothers, Federico and Petruccio. Forced to flee his birthplace with his remaining family members—his mother and sister—Ezio took refuge with his uncle in the Tuscan town of Monteriggioni, at the Villa Auditore.
After learning of his heritage from Mario, Ezio began his Assassin training and set about on his quest for vengeance against the Templar Order, and their Grand Master, the Spaniard Rodrigo Borgia, who had ordered the execution of his kin.
During his travels, Ezio managed to not only unite the pages of the Codex, written by Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, Mentor of the Levantine Brotherhood of Assassins, but also to save the cities of Florence, Venice, and Rome from Templar rule.
He ensured the future travels of Christopher Columbus to the New World, liberated Rome from Borgia rule, and prevented the rise to power of Ercole Massimo's Cult of Hermes, helping spread the Renaissance and Assassin ideals of independence and free will throughout Italy.
In the years that followed, Ezio began a quest to rediscover the lost history of the Order. Travelling to the aged fortress of Masyaf in order to learn more of the Assassins before him, he discovered it overrun with Templars and made his way to the city of Constantinople to uncover the location of the Masyaf keys which, as he discovered, would unlock the fortress's fabled hidden library when brought together.
A decade later, Ezio had retired and resided in a Tuscan villa with his wife, Sofia Sartor, and his two children; Flavia and Marcello. Sometime after helping teach the Chinese Assassin Shao Jun the ways of the Order, Ezio died of a heart attack at the age of 65, during a visit to Florence with his wife and daughter.
Before his birth
After the Cult of Kosmos had been defeated by the Spartan misthios Kassandra during the Peloponnesian War, she saw a vision of Ezio and all the Assassins that would follow her legacy in fighting against chaos. This premonition alluded to the war that would continue for centuries afterwards between the Assassins and the Templars.
- Maria: "Our son is watching."
- Giovanni: "I know."
- Maria: "You should talk to him."
- Giovanni: "I will."
- —Maria Auditore and her husband discuss Ezio's rising curiosity.[src]
Ezio was born in Firenze on 24 June 1459, as the second eldest child of Giovanni and Maria Auditore. Although he appeared to be stillborn at first, he began crying after some words of encouragement from his father. Giovanni remarked on the boy's "fine set of lungs" before proudly raising him in the air, naming him Ezio Auditore da Firenze.
Until the age of 17, Ezio lived a life of contentment and luxury as a member of the Florentine noble class with his siblings: his older brother Federico, his young sister Claudia and his younger brother Petruccio. He was apprenticed to renowned banker Giovanni Tornabuoni, who worked alongside Giovanni Auditore's banking business, but was all the while unaware of his father's allegiance to the Assassin Order. By 1473, Ezio lived with his family in the Palazzo Auditore in Florence.
One evening in 1476, Ezio spotted the beautiful Cristina Vespucci at a square and, encouraged by his brother Federico, introduced himself to her. Because of his awkwardness, she was not particularly impressed and declined to give him her name before continuing on her way. Nonetheless, Ezio followed Cristina home, where she was confronted by Vieri de' Pazzi.
Cristina repeatedly rejected his advances, but Vieri ignored her and prepared to force himself on her, at which point Ezio intervened. The two men began a fistfight, with Ezio emerging victorious. Vieri swore vengeance against Ezio before running off, and Cristina thanked Ezio for helping her. She introduced herself to Ezio and kissed him, assuring him that he had earned his "second chance", and a relationship blossomed between the two.
Fight on the Ponte Vecchio
On 26 December 1476, Ezio, Federico and friends of the family fought with Vieri de' Pazzi and his gang on the Ponte Vecchio. After trading some barbs, Vieri threw a stone at Ezio, leaving a scar across his lip that would remain for the rest of his life.
Ezio pummelled several members of the opposing gang, but Vieri fled the scene before Ezio could do anything to him. As Ezio prepared to give chase, Federico noticed the scar on his lip and advised him to visit a doctor. After looting several of Vieri's unconscious followers, the two brothers ran across the rooftops to find the doctor.
As the doctor tended to his wound, a nearby church caught the eye of the brothers, and Federico suggested a race. Ezio won and together the two climbed a nearby tower and looked out over the city, expressing gratitude for the lives they live. Soon after, Ezio noticed that Cristina Vespucci's window was open and decided to pay her a visit despite Federico's disapproval. Ezio made his way to the home of Cristina Vespucci and spent the night with her.
He was discovered by Cristina's father the morning after, forcing Ezio to flee from a group of pursuing guards before meeting his father at the Palazzo Auditore. Giovanni scolded him for spending the night at Christina's and for his fight with Vieri but admitted moments later that his son's actions reminded him of his own youth. He then asked Ezio to deliver a letter to Lorenzo de' Medici although Lorenzo was not there to receive it. The letter's contents discussed the recent murder of Duke Galeazzo Maria Sforza of Milan, expressing his belief that Francesco de' Pazzi was involved.
The fateful day
On 28 December 1476, Petruccio asked Ezio if he could collect eagle feathers from the rooftops while promising that he would return to bed afterwards as he was ill. After a tiring search for feathers, Ezio gave them to his younger brother, though Petruccio was secretive about their purpose. Unbeknownst to them, this would be the last moment they shared together.
Later, Ezio found his sister in a distraught state, having discovered that her boyfriend, Duccio de Luca, was cheating on her. After obtaining his whereabouts, Ezio confronted and beat Duccio before warning him to stay away from his sister.
Returning to the Auditore villa once more, Ezio's mother asked him to help her pick up some paintings from a young artist she patronized, Leonardo da Vinci. On the walk home, Leonardo struck up a conversation, beginning a friendship between the two young men that would endure for the rest of their lives.
After Ezio finished his chores, he was summoned by Giovanni, who asked him to deliver two letters to contacts of his in the city and retrieve a third letter from a nearby pigeon coop. Ezio complied although two odd encounters with Giovanni's contacts left him confused. As he retrieved the note from the pigeon coop, Ezio witnessed a group of guards running across Florence.
Returning home, Ezio found his house ransacked, his father and brothers missing, and his mother and sister hiding. The housemaid Annetta, not recognizing Ezio at first, tried to strike him with a frying pan, but missed. She informed Ezio that the city guards arrested his father and brothers and brought them to the Palazzo della Signoria. Ezio decided to pay them a visit, but was told to avoid the guards, as they had a warrant for his arrest as well.
Climbing the Palazzo and speaking to his father through the window of his cell, Ezio was instructed to find a hidden chest in his office, take everything out of it, and deliver a sealed letter to Uberto Alberti, Gonfaloniere of Florence and a close friend of the Auditore family. Ezio did so, and donned his father's Assassin robes, a sword, a broken Hidden Blade, a coded page and a letter containing details of a plot against the city of Florence and the Auditore family. A pair of city guards then appeared at Ezio's door and tried to kill him, but were instead cut down by Ezio.
Ezio brought the incriminating documents to Uberto and was assured that his family would be released the following day, when the information was presented as evidence of their innocence. Ezio noticed an ominous hooded figure in Uberto's house, but had no idea who he was. Uberto asked Ezio if he would like to stay the night, but he declined and spent the night at Cristina Vespucci's house instead.
- "I'll kill you for what you've done!"
- ―Ezio to Uberto Alberti after watching his family's execution in 1476.[src]
The next day, 29 December 1476, Ezio made his way to the Piazza della Signoria, where Uberto presided over the execution of his family. Giovanni declared their innocence, citing the documents given to Uberto as evidence, but the Gonfaloniere denied any knowledge of such evidence. Ezio screamed that Uberto was lying, but his efforts to prevent the execution were ultimately in vain.
Watching in horror as his father and brothers were executed, he stormed the gallows in an attempt to kill Uberto, exposing himself, whereupon he was restrained by the city guards. Uberto ordered his execution as well, and at the urging of one of Giovanni's friends, Ezio fled the area and sought shelter in a brothel run by the sister of the Auditore housemaid, a courtesan named Paola.
Foray into vengeance
- "The Auditore are not dead! I'm still here! Me! Ezio! Ezio Auditore!"
- ―Ezio, upon killing Uberto.[src]
Paola agreed to assist Ezio in his quest for vengeance, teaching him how to survive in the city as an outlaw through pickpocketing and blending in crowds. She further directed Ezio to Leonardo da Vinci to repair Giovanni's Hidden Blade, though she did not notice that Ezio was being watched.
That night, Ezio met with Cristina who by now had heard about the execution of his family. Together, they went to the Piazza della Signoria to recover the corpses of his father and brothers in the hopes of giving them proper last rites, only to discover that their bodies had already been removed. After beating up a guard, Ezio learned from him that the guards of the city plan to dump the bodies into the Arno. Ezio and Cristina hurried to a small dock on the river, where they found his family's bodies awaiting disposal. In his anger, Ezio initially wanted to stealthily kill all the guards at the dock, but Cristina protested, reminding him that the guards were merely people doing their jobs. Sympathizing with her conscience, Ezio was able to move each of the corpses onto a docked boat without alerting or harming any of the guards. After performing the last rites with a pyre, Ezio proposed to Cristina to flee Florence with him, but she declined due to her duties to her family. Respecting her decision, Ezio gave her his necklace as a parting memento before kissing her.
Adopting the Hidden Blade
Ezio wasted no time heading over to Leonardo's workshop the following day. There, he handed him the broken hidden blade and the coded page for inspection. The engineer understood by decoding the manuscript that it was the blueprint of the blade. After Leonardo repaired the blade, a guard banged on the door and ordered Leonardo outside before viciously beating him to wring Ezio's location out of him, but Leonardo continued to feign ignorance. Ezio realized something was wrong and crept up behind the guard, killing him with the Hidden Blade before hiding the body in Leonardo's workshop.
The first assassination
After Leonardo had thanked him, Ezio sought out and assassinated Uberto in the courtyard of the Basilica di Santa Croce during Andrea del Verrocchio's latest exhibit. Once he had made his way into the courtyard, Ezio waited in the shadows for an opportunity to strike. After hearing Uberto and the attendant nobles deride his family, he emerged from the crowd and attacked Uberto in a frenzied rage, stabbing him multiple times in the chest, before furiously proclaiming the survival of the Auditore family—through him—to the crowd of shocked guests.
After murdering Uberto, Ezio took the documents that the Gonfaloniere had concealed from him and his father, as well as a letter from Uberto, meant for his wife and son. Ezio decided that he would see to it that she received the letter, not wishing to sink to Uberto's level.
Discovering his heritage
- "All this talk of Assassins and Templars... it reeks of fantasy."
- ―Ezio trying to understand his heritage.[src]
Now the most wanted man in Florence, Ezio fled the city with his mother and sister in the hopes of making their way to Spain, stopping beforehand at the Auditore family's villa in Monteriggioni for shelter. As they neared the town, the three were accosted by Vieri de' Pazzi and his followers but were saved by the timely arrival of Ezio's uncle, Mario Auditore, and his mercenaries.
Mario informed Ezio of the existence of the Assassins in an obvious attempt to induct him into the Brotherhood. He spent some time teaching Ezio swordplay and revealed that many of his ancestors, including Giovanni, were members of the Assassin Brotherhood and had been fighting the Templar Order, which had ordered the execution of his family, for centuries. However after a year of training, Ezio refused his heritage, wishing only to continue his journey to Spain for his mother's and sister's safety with the help of the skills Mario had taught him.
Dejected, Mario left Monteriggioni for the city of San Gimignano, where Vieri had been located, in an attempt to relieve Monteriggioni of continual assaults by the Pazzi's minions. Guilt-ridden and knowing his presence was a primary reason for the ongoing attacks, Ezio travelled to San Gimignano to accept Mario's offer.
When Ezio arrived outside the city, he joined Mario and his mercenaries in their assault, and they waited until nightfall to storm the city. After witnessing a brief Templar meeting between a Spaniard, Jacopo de' Pazzi, Francesco de' Pazzi and Vieri about schemes against Florence, Ezio made for his target. While Mario and his mercenaries kept Vieri's men distracted, Ezio challenged and fought Vieri for the last time, eventually overpowering and killing him after a brief duel.
Ezio tried to extract a confession from his old enemy, though Vieri chose to be snide to the very end. Infuriated, Ezio flew into a rage and insulted Vieri's corpse, continuing until his uncle calmed him down and reminded him of a tradition of the Assassins: showing respect to those they have killed and not becoming like their enemy. On his enemy's corpse, Ezio found a page like the one he recovered in his father's chest. He also found a letter from Giovanni Giocondo to Vieri's father.
Returning to Monteriggioni, Mario revealed to Ezio that the Spaniard was Rodrigo Borgia, the Grand Master of the Templar Order in Italy. Ezio then decided to track every Templars responsible for the death of his kin, beginning his quest in Florence against the Pazzi plot in the city. Before Ezio left the city, Mario showed him a wall in the villa which had scattered pages of a book laid out onto it. He explained that Ezio father and him had tried to recover and decipher the pages of the Codex of Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, a legendary Assassin Mentor who had a Piece of Eden two centuries ago and wrote in his codex the location of a vault with a powerful secret. Ezio saw that there were the same pages as the ones he found on Vieri and his father's chest and decided to take on the work of his father to collect all the pages and to decipher it with the help of Leonardo da Vinci.
Ezio decided to begin the renovation of Monteriggioni with the help of his sister who now worked as the accountant of the city. Mario also showed to his nephew the Sanctuary under the villa, a room that commemorated six legendary figures of the Assassin Brotherhood. In the Sanctuary, the Armor of Altaïr was locked by Ezio's great-great-grandfather a century ago. Mario explained that he had heard rumours of hidden Assassin Tombs in Italy with Assassin Seals which could unlock the armor but that he had given up on the endeavour of finding them all in his old age.
- "I've been sent from Firenze by Il Magnifico to attend to some unfinished business; I'm looking for Jacopo de' Pazzi."
- ―Ezio after dealing with Francesco de' Pazzi.[src]
Following Vieri's death, Ezio returned to Florence in April 1478 to gather information on a conspiracy against the Medici, who had been family friends to the Auditore. However, Ezio chose to visit Cristina first. She was quite surprised to see him but admitted in distress that she had been betrothed as she had thought she would never see him again. Suddenly, a woman screamed from outside that a man named Manfredo was in trouble with several gamblers and was being dragged out to the end of a new bridge in the city. The embarrassed Cristina clarified to Ezio that Manfredo was her fiancé, and Ezio hastily took off to the bridge to rescue him. Sure enough, he found him in a fight with several thugs he was indebted to. After defeating the men, Ezio, enraged by Manfredo's irresponsibility, demanded for his affirmation that he truly loved Cristina, that he cease his gambling habit, and that he would be a good husband to her or he would hunt him down and kill him.
Returning to Cristina in an alleyway afterwards, he kissed her, promising that he had made sure her husband would be good to her, and then left. He did not notice her sudden confusion and ire because whereas he had believed accepting Manfredo's love for her had been the right thing to do, Cristina's heart had still been with Ezio, and she had expected him to find a way for them to be together again.
Santa Maria Novella's secrets
With Cristina behind him, Ezio proceeded to Leonardo's workshop. Here, too, he surprised his old friend, who had believed he was dead. Leonardo constructed him a second Hidden Blade with the Codex pages and helped him train with the techniques instructed by the Codex. With information provided by Leonardo, Ezio sought out for intelligence La Volpe, a thief who operated at the Mercato Vecchio. While there on 25 April, Ezio had his purse stolen by a thief, Corradin. Pursuing the man to a rooftop, he was met by La Volpe, who had lured Ezio to him knowing full well beforehand that he needed his help.
La Volpe directed him to a secret meeting involving Francesco de' Pazzi that would be occurring that very night at the Basilica di Santa Maria Novella. The thief showed him the hidden entrance of an underground catacomb that would lead him to where the meeting was being held. By navigating through this secret complex, Ezio arrived at the perfect location to eavesdrop on the meeting, discovering that the Pazzi planned to kill the Medici at the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore the following day and place their own people in government under the orders of their master, Rodrigo Borgia. Coincidentally, the tomb was none other than that which held the seal of Darius, one of the six legendary Assassin forebearers commemorated at the Villa Auditore, and so Ezio was not only able to acquire vital intel on his enemies but was also able to retrieve the first of the keys to the Armor of Altaïr.
The conspiracy springs
The next day, Ezio arrived at the Duomo to try and prevent the public assassination, but he was unsuccessful. Francesco de' Pazzi and Bernardo Baroncelli were able to kill Giuliano de' Medici and injure Lorenzo. Ezio came to Lorenzo's aid and fended off Francesco. However, the Pazzi had already succeeded in their plan and brought the city into a state of civil war. After escorting Lorenzo to the safety of his palazzo, Ezio revealed his identity, prompting Lorenzo to remark that he had known Ezio's father. Lorenzo's lieutenant, Poliziano, told Ezio that Francesco had been sighted at the Piazza della Signoria. As Pazzi and Medici's troops battled in the streets below them, Ezio chased down and slew Francesco at the top of the old town hall, but Jacopo de' Pazzi and several other conspirators were able to escape the city.
Shortly afterwards, Ezio met up with Lorenzo at the Ponte Vecchio. Lorenzo reminisced that as a child he had fallen into the Arno and would have drowned had he not been saved by Giovanni Auditore. This act of kindness kindled a close friendship between the Auditore and the Medici families. When Ezio asked of the conspirators, Lorenzo explained that they had fled the city. With this, the Medici publicly cleared the name of the Auditore family and provided Ezio with the names of the conspirators who had escaped. Lorenzo also gave Ezio a Codex page that Francesco de' Pazzi had held once.
Preparing for the hunt
Returning in Leonardo's workshop, the inventor deciphered the other page and built a Poison Blade for Ezio according to it. Ezio also began to receive contracts from Lorenzo to assassinate political enemies of the Medici. Returning to Monteriggioni, Ezio gave his uncle the translations of the Codex pages. In it, Mario saw the beginning of a prophecy about the vault which could only be opened by two Pieces of Eden wielded by the Prophet. As they needed to stop the Pazzi conspirators, Ezio perfected his training with Mario before confronting his targets.
Extinguishing the Pazzi
One day while Ezio was concluding his training in evasive techniques and disarming enemies, he and Mario received an alert by a mercenary that Jacopo and his fellow surviving conspirators had been located and that their Monteriggionesi forces were ready to attack. Ezio rendezvoused with Gambalto outside Santa Maria Assunta in San Gimignano where the mercenary reported that one of the conspirators, Antonio Maffei, was atop one of the town's tallest towers screaming Biblical verses and firing arrows at random in a frenzied mania. Despite his protection by archers, Ezio was able to sneak past his guards, scale the tower, and assassinate the monk. On his body, Ezio found a letter addressed to Jacopo.
The following year on 12 April 1479, another mercenary notified Ezio that the Archibishop Francesco Salviati had barricaded himself within his walled villa in the Tuscan countryside. Per Mario's instructions, Ezio took command of his forces of mercenaries and launched a frontal attack on the villa. While the villa was under siege, Ezio scaled the walls from a separate direction to catch Salviati from behind. Though he was spotted by Salviati almost immediately, the fledgling Assassin was still able to bypass his soldiers and open the gate from the inside, allowing the Monteriggionesi to flood in. As the battle reached a climax, Ezio slew Francesco Salviati, who implied with his dying words that Jacopo would only meet his Templar brothers during night time.
With the deaths of virtually all of his accomplices, Bernardo Baroncelli spent his days in paranoia anticipating correctly that he would be Ezio's next target. On 3 May 1479, Ezio found him meandering at a market in San Gimignano mulling over his means of survival and killed him. With his last breath, Bernardo informed Ezio that the Templar gathered at a church before a meeting when his killer told him that this would alleviate a little of his guilt. Infiltrating the abbey Monte Oliveto Maggiore later that year, Ezio assassinated the monk Stefano da Bagnone who said that the Templars met "in the shadows of the Roman Gods".
Sometime that same year, Ezio returned to the Palazzo Medici to speak with Lorenzo, but he saw Templar soldiers attack the residence. Ezio killed all the enemies within the palace and saved once again the de facto ruler of Florence. To reward him, Lorenzo authorized Ezio to take a part of the Medici treasure.
On 3 January 1480, using the information he collected, Ezio located Jacopo at Santa Maria Assunta and tracked him to an ancient Roman theatre. Once there, Ezio eavesdropped on a meeting between Jacopo, Rodrigo Borgia, and a Venetian merchant and Templar, Emilio Barbarigo. After fatally wounding Jacopo for his failure to capture Florence, Rodrigo revealed that he was aware of Ezio's presence. While Rodrigo and Emilio fled, Ezio was apprehended by Templar guards, but he overpowered and killed them before swiftly putting the dying Jacopo out of his misery.
Hunt in Venice
- Carlo Grimaldi: "It's the Assassin you should be worried about!"
- Emilio Barbarigo: "Why? Is... Is he in Venezia?"
- —Carlo Grimaldi and Emilio Barbarigo discuss Ezio minutes before the latter's assassination.[src]
The road to Venice
Ezio's encounter with Rodrigo Borgia and his Venetian associate distressed him greatly as he had hoped that he might lay his vengeance to rest with the death of Jacopo. Instead, he returned to Lorenzo in 1480, declaring his success in Tuscany, but that he needed to continue his quest for revenge in Venice. Before leaving Florence for Venice, Ezio was granted a gift, the Medici cape that would identify him to the Florentine guards as an ally of the Medici and therefore grant him more immunity to the law. Ezio then made his way to Leonardo's workshop, only to find that the artist had just left for Venice himself.
By chance, Ezio caught up with with Leonardo just before the Apennine Mountains as his friend's carriage had broken down. While helping him with repairs, he caught his first glimpse of Leonardo's Flying Machine. On the Apennine Mountain paths, they were ambushed by Templar horsemen and archers and pursued the whole way to the outskirts of Forlì. There, Ezio leapt off their carriage to confront the remaining Templars on his own, allowing Leonardo to proceed to safety ahead of him.
In Romagna, he asked for help finding a boat to Venice from a trio of strangers. One among them, a woman named Amelia, in turn asked that he race her friend on horseback to settle her bet that the first stranger they encountered could beat him. As he had some time to spare, Ezio accepted the challenge and won, sharing an intimate moment with Amelia as she had implied would be his reward.
Amelia had told Ezio that he was already near where he needed to be, and sure enough, he reunited with Leonardo not long after at a port in the wetlands. However, Ezio was refused permission to board because he lacked a pass. Just as he reassured Leonardo that he would find a solution in time, the two heard the screams of a noblewoman stranded on an islet of a bog. Ezio hastened to her rescue in a boat and was able to row the woman back to shore. The lady introduced herself as Caterina Sforza, the lady of Forlì, and secured for Ezio passage to Venice as a sign of gratitude.
Joining the Thieves' Guild
Once in Venice, Ezio and Leonardo were given a brief tour of the city by Alvise da Vilandino. Almost immediately, they witnessed guards ransacking the stalls of local shopkeepers, learning that Emilio Barbarigo, who owned the Venetian police through his vast wealth, used them to extort money from the local merchants. Ezio also had his purse stolen by a female thief. After Leonardo installed his new workshop, Ezio started his hunt for his target.
He began by investigating a way into the Palazzo della Seta, the palace of Emilio Barbarigo, but was dejected to find that there was a gap between two ledges that were too far apart for him to scale. Just as he was pondering this, a gang of thieves ran past him, executing a raid on the palace. One among them, the same female thief who had stolen from him earlier, effortlessly leapt past the gap he had been eyeing but was shot down by an arrow moments later. Wounded in her leg, she pleaded Ezio for aid, and he helped defend her against the city guards while she rendezvoused with another thief, Ugo, at a dock. By that point, the woman, who had introduced herself as Rosa to Ezio, could no longer stand, and she was carried onto a gondola to be ferried back to their base. In the meantime, Ezio protected them from the guards who pursued them by killing them across rooftops.
Arriving at the Thieves' Guild, Ezio helped their leader Antonio de Magianis to treat Rosa. As Antonio already knew who Ezio was and why he was in the city, he asked the Florentine to meet him in his office to discuss further. In his office, Antonio explained to Ezio that the thieves wanted to liberate the San Polo District from Emilio's grip but that they could not afford to be hasty and risk another failure. He invited Ezio to work with him to concoct a plan for another strike at Emilio. Ezio accepted and helped Ugo to liberate the thieves who were captured during the attack, following which he retrieved a shipment of guard uniforms that they planned to use for their next attack. He also killed the traitors in the guild who were bribed by Emilio. With Rosa, Ezio perfected his climbing skills, learning the climb leap technique.
Assassination of Emilio Barbarigo
After four years of reinforcing the Thieves Guild, the group executed their assassination on the night of 11 September 1485. Acting according to Antonio's plan, Ezio killed the archers who protected the palace from the rooftops, following which they were replaced with disguised thieves. The thieves regrouped at the entry to the palace for their next step, where Ezio was to scale the palace wall while the rest of the thieves lured its guards away. Thanks to Rosa's instruction, Ezio had no trouble doing so. Within the palace, he eavesdropped on a conversation between Emilio and a government official named Carlo and learned that they would be holding a Templar meeting in three days at Santo Stefano. After Carlo left the palace, Ezio assassinated Emilio, and the rest of his guards were shot down by the thief archers. Antonio informed him that the official was Carlo Grimaldi, a member of the Council of Ten. With this new lead, Ezio decided to attend the upcoming meeting.
The murder of Doge Mocenigo
Three days after Emilio's death, Ezio spied on the meeting between Carlo and Silvio Barbarigo, Emilio's cousin and inquisitor of Venice. Following them, he saw the two men joined by another one of Emilio's cousin, Marco Barbarigo, and his simple-minded bodyguard Dante Moro. As they were joined by Rodrigo Borgia himself, Ezio uncovered their plot to poison the Doge Giovanni Mocenigo and replace him with Marco Barbarigo and that it was to happen that very night. Realizing the urgency, Ezio and Antonio sought a way into the Palazzo Ducale, examining the front gates, the rear walls and even passing over the Basilica di San Marco, but they were hampered at every turn. As they returned to the piazza below, a frustrated Antonio remarked that only birds could get into the Doge's palace, but this reminded Ezio of Leonardo's flying machine, which he had seen on the way to Forlì.
After a somewhat unsuccessful test flight with the machine, Leonardo came up with a way to ensure that Ezio reached his destination by using the heat of bonfires to stabilize the fly. After removing the city guards at four separate locations, Antonio's thieves proceeded to light massive bonfires throughout the city, giving Leonardo's flying machine enough lift for Ezio to make it to the Palazzo Ducale. The plan worked, and Ezio flew over Venice and breached the Palazzo Ducale although too late to save the Doge. Carlo quickly fled the scene, crying out that Ezio had assassinated the Doge, only to meet his own end at Ezio's hands moments later. On his body, Ezio found a Codex page. However, as the Doge pointed his murder in the direction of Carlo's corpse, Ezio was now the most wanted man in Venice and was forced to flee the city guards.
The Carnival of Venice
Returning to Leonardo's workshop during the Carnevale of 1486, Ezio asked the help of Leonardo to decipher the Codex page he found on Carlo. With that, Leonardo created a Hidden Gun for Ezio and gave him a mask to hide his identity. He informed him that Antonio was at La Rosa della Virtù, a brothel directed by Sister Teodora. Arriving there, Ezio was introduced to Teodora by Antonio, but their meeting was interrupted by the murder of one of the courtesans, Lucia, by a thief. Ezio chased after the murderer and killed him with his Hidden Gun when he took another courtesan hostage, proving its effectiveness. Returning to the brothel, Ezio told Antonio about his plan to kill Marco Barbarigo. As the new Doge of the city, the Templar would normally be well protected within his palace, but Teodora informed Ezio that that night, Marco was hosting a party outside and that Ezio could compete in the four games of the Carnevale to win the Golden Mask that would gain him entrance to Marco's private party.
With this plan in mind, Ezio participated in the different games of the Carnevale. He won the race across the Dorsoduro district, defeated an opponent in a game of capture-the-flag,  and in the third game, Ezio's handsomeness helped him to collect the most ribbons from the ladies of the Carnevale. During the last challenge, Ezio first fought in a fistfight against three adversaries, before having to face off against Dante Moro. As the bodyguard was defeated, Silvio sent armed guards to kill Ezio, but even then, the Florentine won the fight. At the ceremony, Ezio was prepared to receive the Golden Mask, but Silvio had intimidated and bribed the judges into denying him his prize, handing it over to Dante instead in a blatant display of cheating that angered the audience. Returning to La Rosa della Virtù, Ezio, Antonio and Teodora prepared another plan by stealing the Golden Mask of Dante before he joined the party.
Before the party began, Ezio was contacted by Leonardo who informed him that Cristina Vespucci was in Venice for the Carnevale. Ezio decided to arrange a meeting with her, believing that his mask would conceal his identity. He wrote a note to Cristina impersonating her husband and inviting her to join him in a nearby street. After he slipped the note into her pocket, he waited for her at the designated alleyway, and sure enough, Cristina arrived at their "date". The two kissed passionately, with Cristina remarking that her husband was more romantic than usual but then discovered that it was Ezio. Infuriated, she rebuked Ezio, blaming him for leaving her behind to marry Manfredo when she had loved Ezio instead. She asked him to never meet her again and left him alone.
Though heartbroken, Ezio returned to his mission at hand and was successful in stealing the mask from Dante and infiltrating the Doge's personal party. During the party, Dante arrived and searched with guards the man who stole the Mask. Ezio eluded the patrol during the party by blending in with Teodora's courtesans. As his Marco appeared on a docked ship which posed as a stage to make a speech, Ezio shot him from afar with the Hidden Gun, timing it with the fireworks to hide the sound of the blast. Escaping the scene, he returned to the brothel where Antonio and Teodora congratulated him for the success of the assassination. Ezio flirted with Teodora to pass the night with her, but the Madam sent her courtesans to satiate Ezio's desires.
Attack on the Arsenal
Three months after the Doge's death, Ezio was invited by Antonio to the Palazzo della Seta and met the new Doge of Venice, Agostino Barbarigo, Marco's brother, who wasn't involved with the Templars. During their meeting, they discussed the matter that Silvio Barbarigo and Dante Moro occupied the Venetian Arsenal with an army of mercenaries to remove the Doge. As Agostino was powerless against the Templars, they were forced to confront this threat with an army of their own. Antonio directed Ezio to the condotierro, Bartolomeo d'Alviano, who was a personal enemy of Silvio. The young Florentine arrived at Bartolomeo's barracks just as they had been attacked by Silvio's men. He swiftly liberated Bartolomeo and his soldiers from captivity, and once Bartolomeo learned of Ezio's purpose, he was more than willing to assist in Silvio's destruction.
Knowing that a direct assault would prove disastrous, Bartolomeo planned for his mercenaries to simultaneously attack Silvio's men throughout the Castello District, thereby drawing his soldiers away from the Arsenal. Ezio positioned groups of mercenaries at strategic points across the district before signalling them with a flare. With most of Silvio's forces dispatched outside the Arsenal, Ezio and Bartolomeo launched their attack on the shipyard itself. The two engaged against Dante, driving him away to Silvio, whereupon they clashed once more. On this second engagement, Silvio ordered Dante to withdraw as the ship they had been planning to embark on prepared to leave, yet they were too late—it had already departed without them, leaving them to the mercy of the Assassin.
The frantic Silvio ordered another ship to be readied, but by this point, Ezio had caught up to them, mortally wounding both at once with a double assassination technique. Perplexed by their planned trip, Ezio questioned the dying Templars. Silvio refused to reveal more than that seizing the Doge's seat was only a distraction, but Dante confessed that Cyprus was their destination, passing away before he could reveal their target. Disturbed by this twist, Ezio was in no mood to join Bartolomeo and his men, determining to discover the truth of the matter as soon as possible.
Initiation into the Assassin Order
- "It's been over ten years since I watched my father and brothers die. Ten years hunting the men responsible. I'm close to the end now, but no closer to knowing what any of it was for!"
- ―Ezio discusses his life as an Assassin.[src]
Two more years passed before word of the Templar's vessel reached Ezio once again on his twenty-ninth birthday. That day, Rosa brought him a shipping manifest detailing the return of the ship. Leonardo approached Ezio, explaining that he had discovered that all the Codex pages put together a message that read "the Prophet will appear when the second piece is brought to the floating city". Ezio recalled the prophecy his uncle had recited to him about the prophet being able to open the fabled Vault which contained a great power. He then realized that the entire Templar conspiracy was just a part of Rodrigo Borgia's plan to find the Vault and that the trip to Cyprus had almost certainly been to retrieve one of the two required Pieces of Eden.
The next day, Ezio sneaked into the Arsenal to await the return of the Templar ship from Cyprus. He watched as a Templar guard carrying a secured, decorated box disembark from the ship, at the same time noticing to his surprise that his uncle Mario was there to spy on them as well. Deducing that the box held the Piece of Eden, Ezio stealthily tailed the courier with the box to the Templar headquarters where he assassinated him, stole his uniform to disguise himself, and verified the content of the box.
Impersonating the courier and with the box in hand, Ezio was led straight to Rodrigo Borgia by the other three guards. Finally able to confront the man ultimately responsible for the deaths of his father and brothers, Ezio revealed himself by killing the other guards and denouncing the Templar Grand Master for all the destruction he had caused when there was not even a supposed "prophet" in sight. Rodrigo countered by proudly proclaiming himself to be the prophet before engaging Ezio in battle..
As the duel progressed, it quickly became clear that Rodrigo was little match for Ezio. Finding a reprieve in the fight, the Grand Master called for reinforcements and, much to the Florentine's confusion, taunted him for the absence of the "the rest of [his] people". At that very moment, Mario Auditore, alongside La Volpe, Antonio Magianis, and Bartolomeo d'Alviano appeared to fight the guards with Ezio, and the confrontation became a full-fledged skirmish. Though they were still outnumbered, they slew all his men without a single casualty, prompting Rodrigo to flee without taking the Piece of Eden.
As Ezio prepared to give chase, he saw Paola and Teodora join his other allies, who told him that it was not necessary to follow Rodrigo as they had secured the Piece of Eden. With the arrival of Niccolò Machiavelli, it was revealed to Ezio that he was in fact the Prophet and that all present were Assassins who had worked together over the past decade to guide Ezio from afar until he was ready to truly join the Assassin Brotherhood. That night, they all met again and Ezio was formally initiated into the order. He received a brand on his left hand's ring finger and performed the ceremonial Leap of Faith.
Battle of Forlì
- Niccolò: "As soon as you left, they attacked again. Checco Orsi—he has the Apple!"
- Ezio: "What!? No! Where is he!?"
- —Ezio and Niccolò, upon Ezio's return to Forlì.[src]
Shortly after his induction, Ezio met with Mario and Niccolò and travelled to Leonardo da Vinci's workshop in Venice, hoping that the artist could shed some light upon the strange artifact Rodrigo had dubbed "the Apple". Leonardo examined the unique device, commenting that the metal it was made of should not exist and that its design was highly advanced despite its age. Upon briefly touching the Apple, Ezio accidentally activated the device, which began to glow and project strange holographic images, though he quickly deactivated it. Niccolò later announced that he had arranged for the Piece of Eden to be held in the Rocca di Ravaldino, where it would be protected by an ally of the Assassins, Caterina Sforza. Recalling that he had met her seven years ago, Ezio was happy to participate in this mission. He bid farewell to Leonardo, who was invited by Mario to stop by Monteriggioni whenever he wished.
Niccolò and Ezio met with Caterina just outside the city of Forlì. Escorted by her guards, they discussed the Apple and the fact that Caterina assassinated her husband, Girolamo Riario, a Templar who had created a map to localize the Codex pages. The three made their way back to the city, only to find that it had been invaded by the Orsi brothers, Checco and Ludovico, the mercenaries that Caterina had hired to kill her husband. Recognizing that they had been hired by the Templars to find Riario's map, the group hurried back to the city. As the group fought its way to the city's locked gates, Ezio managed to find another way inside and open the gates from within, allowing them to continue their way to the citadel.
Reaching the Rocca di Ravaldino after some fierce fighting, they discovered that two of Caterina’s children, Ottaviano and Bianca, were missing. As the mercenaries entered the citadel, Ezio and the guards repelled the attack.
At this moment, the Orsi brothers arrived before the walls with an ultimatum that they had captured the children and would kill them if she refused to hand over Riario's map and the Apple. In response, she feigned apathy towards her children's fate while secretly asking Ezio to save them. Before leaving, Ezio entrusted her with the Apple. Venturing into the village outside Forlì, Ezio overpowered the guard detail assigned to imprison Bianca and freed her. Bianca then directed Ezio to the lighthouse where her brother Ottaviano was being held. There, Ludovico was dangling the boy high above the ground shouting his threats to Caterina, but Ezio climbed the tower, assassinated him, and rescued Ottaviano.
Returning to the citadel with the children, Ezio learned that the kidnappings had only been a distraction for Checco to lead an attack and steal the Apple. Ezio swiftly tracked down and killed Checco and his remaining men in the mountains, but the dying condottiero managed to stab him in the abdomen while he was bending down to retrieve the satchel with the Apple. Injured, Ezio collapsed to the ground, with the Apple rolling from his hand. Before losing consciousness, Ezio saw a monk with a missing finger pick up the Apple and walk away despite his pleas.
Caterina’s guards later found Ezio next to Checco’s corpse and returned him to Forlì, where Caterina nursed him back to health. Returned to his senses, Ezio anxiously explained to Caterina that a man in the black robes of monk had stolen the Apple. Noting that the monks in a nearby abbey wore blank robes, Caterna advised Ezio to search there. Before he left the city Caterina gave Ezio her husband's map to help him in his quest.
Though there was no sign of his target, Ezio saved the monk Darby O'Callahan, who was being harassed by Borgia soldiers. Brother O'Callahan recalled dining with a monk missing a finger at an abbey in Forlì during the previous San Vicenzo's feast. At the Abbey of San Mercuriale, the monks fled at the sight of Ezio because they recognized him as the killer of Brother Stefano years ago. Upon intercepting one of them and reassuring them that he did not kill innocents, the monk gave Ezio the name of the nine-fingered monk: Girolamo Savonarola. The only clue he could offer as to Savonarola's possible location was Florence, for that was where he had studied.
Intervention in Spain
- Ezio: "Do you know who betrayed us to the Inquisitors?"
- Raphael: "Not yet, but we know the name of the Inquisitor Prosecutor responsible for their arrests."
- —Ezio and Raphael discussing their situation[src]
Over the following years, two burdens weighed on Ezio's mind: his unresolved vengeance against Rodrigo Borgia and the loss of the Apple of Eden. Though his longing for the former did not abate, he grew more and more devoted to the Assassin cause and less and less willing to spurn his responsibilities for the sake of his personal vendetta. Thus, from 1488 to 1499, the search for the Apple was of the highest priority for Ezio. Even then, these intermediate years also saw him taking on many unrelated missions for the Brotherhood in order to reinforce their strength and combat the Templars. Among these was his recruitment of Girolamo da Lucca, an assassin-for-hire known as the "Ghost of Florence", but it was his excursion in Spain which would prove to have some of the most far-reaching consequences.
Two strangers from Spain
One day in 1491 while Ezio was in Venice, a messenger sent by Antonio asked him to meet him at the Thieves' Guild for some business. There, he was introduced to a Spaniard by the name of Luis de Santángel, who requested that he act as a bodyguard for a friend he feared was in danger, Cristoffa Corombo. Given that this sounded like mercenary work, Ezio was initially reluctant but changed his mind when he was told that Cristoffa would be meeting with a potential business associate known only as "the Spaniard", i.e. Rodrigo Borgia.
He proceeded to the meeting site, sneaking past the guards along the way and arrived just in time to save Christoffa from being murdered by a Borgia soldier. Christoffa barely had time to explain that the Spaniard had contacted him with an offer to fund his westward voyage before the other Borgia guards discovered them. To protect the explorer, Ezio baited them into pursuing him, eventually escaping from them in the city and returning unscathed to the Thieves' Guild.
Antonio relayed to Ezio that Luis wanted to meet with him again in the Garden District should any problems arise, and so Ezio rendezvoused with him and Christoffa there. Because they did not know the Spaniard personally, they were unable to satisfy Ezio's questions, but they managed to convince him to perform another favour by appealing to his desire for more leads. Borgia soldiers had discovered their lodgings and were in the midst of ransacking it for Christoffa's atlas which charted routes to the Orient via the Atlantic Ocean. Ezio, anxious that such information would not fall into Templar hands, agreed to recover the maps for them before the Borgia could find them.
When the Assassin arrived at the hostel, it was still heavily occupied by the Borgia troops. While he was able to sneak into Luis and Christoffa's room, he was spotted by a Guard Captain just as he retrieved Christoffa's atlas and was forced to make his escape via the crypt below. The crypt led him out into the city, where he lost his pursuers just in time to return the maps to Luis and Christoffa as the two prepared to embark on the ship that would take them away from Venice. In their parting exchange, Ezio asked that they bring their own guards should they ever journey to Italy again, to which Luis explained that he would have done so had the Assassins in Spain not been decimated by the Inquisitors of Tomás de Torquemada. This news, along with the fact that Luis knew of the Assassins, shocked Ezio, who was then not aware that Luis was an Assassin himself.
Saving the Aragonese Assassins
- Main article: Mission to Aragon
The plight of his brethren in Spain distressed him, and, feeling that it was his obligation, Ezio Auditore announced to Antonio that he was postponing his search for the Apple and taking the initiative to rescue them.
Upon arriving in Barcelona, he was casually greeted by a French woman, who was actually in the midst of fleeing from the city guards. The woman swiped his sword from him as soon as she was spotted by the guards again and had to resume her escape, in the process sending Ezio after her as well. After a wild chase across Barcelona's rooftops, Ezio managed to drop down behind the woman and snatch back his sword while she was musing over having shook her pursuers. The French rogue had revealed that she knew of Ezio's identity as an Assassin but refused to share what she knew of his order before she left him.
With this misadventure over, the Assassin set about with his task at hand, meeting with Antonio's two contacts in the city who had information on the local Thieves' Guild which doubled as the headquarters of the Aragonese Assassins. The two directed him to the tallest tower in the center of the city, but when he arrived there, he found that he was too late; the building had already been emptied of Assassins by the Inquisition's soldiers. Ambushed, Ezio fled across the city until he was driven into the catacombs beneath the city, but he could find no respite as the vast underground chambers were also occupied with enemy soldiers. Only by relying on the highest degree of parkour training was Ezio finally able to escape the Inquisition in the sewers, but just as he did so, he ran into a man who introduced himself as the Assassin Raphael Sánchez.
Raphael had uncovered that Gaspar Martínez was the Inquisitor Prosecutor behind the purge, and not long after, Ezio tracked down and assassinated Martínez. The approach had been easy, as Martínez did not know that the Assassins still existed or that the Florentine who questioned him was one of them. Simultaneously, Ezio recognized that the purge had been "too systematic to [have been] a coincidence" and could not believe that Martínez's confusion was genuine. Before he killed him, the Inquisitor had gloated about the imminent execution of one of the men they had recently captured. Without a second to spare, Ezio rushed to the public square where the auto-da-fé was taking place and saved the young Spanish Assassin from a fiery demise.
On Martínez's corpse, Ezio had found a list of six names which Raphael recognized as Assassins of Zaragoza. The two journeyed to Zaragoza, where Raphael instructed Ezio to investigate their first lead, the calificador Pedro Llorente. At a building where the Llorente's tribunal normally assemble, Ezio located Llorente in the midst of torturing one of the Zaragozian Assassins. Spying through a window in the roof, he watched as Grand Inquisitor Torquemada arrived to check on the interrogation and then to execute the Assassin on the spot. Before leaving with Llorente, the Grand Inquisitor vocalized his gratitude towards Rodrigo Borgia for informing him of this group of atheists, thereby revealing to Ezio that the Inquisition had been tipped off to the Assassins by the Templars.
Ezio's failure to save the prisoner only made him more determined to rescue the lives of the other five. He descended beneath Zaragoza and liberated four of them in a single sweep of the labyrinthine catacombs. Though this raised the alarm for Llorente, his order to heighten security for the last prisoner was to little avail as Ezio slipped into the palace holding him just as Llorente was sealing the gate. Once the Florentine had freed the last captured Zaragozian Assassin and reported these developments to Raphael, he proceeded to the cathedral to assassinate Llorente, testing the Inquisitor's knowledge of the Templars beforehand. Just as Martínez had scoffed at the mention of Assassins, so had Llorente dismissed the Templars' continued existence as "fairy tales".
Journey to Granada
Though Torquemada still remained at large, Ezio was prepared to return to Italy, believing that his duty in Spain had been fulfilled with the rescue of its Assassins. Raphael was of another mind; he implored the Florentine to accompany him to Granada and help unravel the conspiracies of the Spanish Templars for a little while longer, feeling that they were on the verge of doing so.
Acquiescing, Ezio hit the road with Raphael, and the Spanish Assassin began his long telling of the Reconquista. When they entered a town in the former territory of the Emirate of Granada, they were hailed by the same French rogue who had stolen Ezio's sword in Barcelona. As before, she traded banter with Ezio before running off to "ambush" a man known only as the Cygnet. Luis, recognizing her target as a Templar financier, instructed Ezio to learn his identity and stop her attack, as it could alert the Templars in the area to their presence. The Assassin pursued her until he had ascertained the location of the Cygnet, whereupon he overtook her to reach the Templar first and whisked him away to safety, ironically protecting an enemy. Moments later, the rogue arrived, vexed, to the scolding of Ezio for risking the security of the Assassins, but he also praised her for her freerunning skills.
The two parted ways again, and Ezio continued his journey with Raphael. As they neared the outskirts of Granada City, Raphael finished his account of the ongoing Granada War, where King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castile were conquering the last Moorish state in the hopes of uniting the Iberian peninsula under Christianity. The capital city of Granada was all that was left of Moorish resistance, but despite the imminent defeat, Muhammad XII of Granada seemed ever unyielding.
A convoluted plot unravelled
Recognizing that they were approaching a war zone, the two Assassins became more vigilant and split up to sweep the outlying villages of Templars. Ezio assassinated five Templar soldiers alongside ten other of their men, quelling the worst of atrocities being committed in the area. Even still, bands of undisciplined soldiers continued to roam about abusing civilians, and the two split up once more to rescue these people. The fourth such civilian that Ezio encountered cried that soldiers had kidnapped his wife and child, but it was a ruse to lead him into an ambush. When the Assassin followed after him into a Roman amphitheatre, the gates closed around him, trapping him with scores of Spanish swordsmen on the arena floor and archers in the caveae. Despite these incredible odds, Ezio survived, killing all of the swordsmen and fighting his way out of the town to rendezvous with Raphael at a church.
Raphael was not the only one waiting for Ezio there. Beside him was Luis de Santángel, this time introducing himself as a fellow Assassin. Both Luis and Raphael worked for Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand, but they suspected that the Templars did as well and that they were vying with them for influence over the Catholic Monarchs. At the same time, they had learned of a Templar spy who was feeding Muhammad XII false information so that he would continue the futile war. While another group of Spanish Assassins led by Benedicto fought to preserve the Moorish state with all their might, Luis and Raphael were of the view that prolonging a war where the outcome was inevitable only served to exacerbate the common people's suffering, bring more bloodshed to the region, and play into the Templars' goals.
As ordered by Luis and Raphael, Ezio located the spy at a Spanish military post that was installed into a deep valley nearby. He overheard his conversation with a subordinate where he alluded to the Templar plot to deliberately prolong the war, confirming Luis's suspicions. Before the spy could enter into a secret passageway that would bring him into Alhambra, Ezio assassinated him and reported back to his allies. With the new intel, Luis and Raphael deduced that the convoluted Templar scheme was part of a broader plan to delay Christoffa's westward voyage as long as possible by constraining Spain's ability to fund it. In this way, the Templars might embark on the expedition first and have advance claim to the wonders that lay beyond.
Ending the Granada War
Fearing the worst, Raphael's next instruction for Ezio was to find Muhammad XII, and the Florentine made his way back to the military camp intending to reach Alhambra discreetly using the same secret route that the spy had favoured. The tunnel led into the city's catacombs, and as it was used by the Templars themselves, it was swarming with their soldiers. Ezio stealthily dispatched at least ten of these enemies as he navigated the dark chambers. The tremor and sound of explosions from above when he passed under the city alerted him to the recommencement of the siege, and by the time he surfaced at a courtyard outside the palace, night had fallen, fires blazed all around him, and the entire city was under lockdown.
Infiltrating Alhambra, Ezio managed to sneak his way to the throne room where he discovered a Templar knight holding Muhammad XII hostage and gloating over him. He killed the Templar from behind, freed Muhammad XII from his bondage, and asserted with all earnesty that the war was lost, whereupon the emir at last conceded that it was time to surrender. With the emir's blessing, Ezio hurried to the city gates to announce Granada's capitulation, but with no time for the emir to notify his guards, the Assassin was chased by four Moorish guard captains out of the palace at the bottom of the tower's grand staircase.
Out in the city, Ezio could not maintain a low profile as he rushed to the gates. Granadan soldiers everywhere who saw this Assassin dart from roof to roof targeted him as though he were an enemy, and when he at last reached the gate, he was still forced to dispatch some of the defending troops to open the gate for the Spanish. In light of this, the surrender did not go smoothly. The victorious Spanish forces initially marched into the city in an orderly fashion, but spurred on by the Templars, they dissolved into a marauding mob intent on burning down the entire city in the midst of negotiations between Muhammad XII and Queen Isabella. Ezio was forced to intervene again, and he slew all the rampaging soldiers he encountered throughout the city until order was restored. It was then that night, in the aftermath of all that chaos, that Raphael finally disclosed to Ezio that Christoffa's atlas revealed a "new world" beyond the Atlantic unknown throughout Europe.
Guardian of Granada
In spite of the fact the Treaty of Granada granted religious rights to the Moors,  news arrived almost immediately that the Inquisition was out in full force rounding up heretics for trial. Outraged, Ezio exclaimed that Queen Isabella should know the truth about Torquemada's violations, but this was a hope that Luis had to dispel, knowing all too well that Isabella would never believe the allegations made against her confessor since childhood. In the meantime, Ezio had to venture out into the city again to rescue civilians from the Inquisition's forces. He observed that their soldiers were arbitrarily arresting and assaulting civilians without any care for the law, and so Raphael ordered him to track down the Inquisitor deployed by Torquemada and assassinate him.
Heeding Raphael's warning that the assassination be executed with utmost secrecy lest it be used to justify even greater repression, Ezio kept to the shadows as he tracked the Inquisitor through the catacombs. There, he came across Grand Inquisitor giving commands to the Inquisitor, Juan de Marillo. The instant his target was left alone, the Assassin struck with a running assassination technique from behind. Down in those dark caverns, with no one around to witness the deed, Juan de Marillo had effectively vanished; Ezio had performed his mission flawlessly.
Contrary to the Assassins' expectations, the end of the war did not change Queen Isabella's refusal to sponsor Christoffa's voyage. It was the turn of the year in 1492, and two months had not yet passed since Spain was unified; the state treasury needed time to recover. A dejected Christoffa ventured out alone to France when he heard of a new offer from King Louis XII, one that both Luis and Ezio could infer was another Templar trap. While Luis resigned to providing half the funds to finally convince Isabella, Ezio left to find Christoffa yet again, catching up with him on the road out of Granada. The irate explorer initially rejected his protection but was put in his place when he was ambushed by Templar knights. Fortunately for him, they were no match for the Assassin.
On 2 January 1492,  Granada's official capitulation ceremony was conducted, whereby formal sovereignty was transferred. That night, Ezio stood on guard outside on the roofs when he was greeted for a third time out of nowhere by the French rogue. She admitted to having been following him all this time for the sheer sake of adventure, much to Ezio's annoyance, but she also had more serious news: there were rumors that Templars were planning to assassinate Queen Isabella at the ceremony. Realizing that the attack could be sprung at any moment, the two raced together to the ceremony hall where, sure enough, they encountered a group of Templar agents outside. Killing the assassins without alarming the attendees, the two ended the night in affable moods, trading mutual respects. The French woman finally introduced herself as Helene Dufranc, a former French Assassin who had left the Brotherhood to pursue an independent life and who had known of Ezio's identity since the very beginning.
The Inquisition retaliates
Even after the Granada War had been resolved, Ezio refrained from returning immediately to Italy, having decided to stay with his newfound friends until Christoffa departed on his voyage. In August 1492,  Ezio was at Luis's estate in Zaragoza when he last received news from Luis that Christoffa had set sail from Palos de la Frontera. Expressing gratitude to Luis for having had the opportunity to help him with his endeavours, Ezio politely informed him that it was finally time for him to return to Italy to resume his search for the Apple of Eden. Just as these farewells were being made, however, the palace came under attack by eight Inquisitor soldiers announcing that Luis was under arrest by the orders of Grand Inquisitor Torquemada.
While Luis hid, the soldiers stormed into the palace, positioning Seekers at all exits to block anyone's escape. Ezio Auditore single-handedly slew all the attackers, but Luis remained shaken, realizing that their intent had not been to arrest him, but to murder him in his own home. Recognizing that this was the Templars' retaliation for ruining their plans, the two understood that Raphael was also in danger. Luis had formerly prohibited any assassination attempt on Torquemada, wary of the wider ramifications this could bring, but this overt attack provoked him into changing his mind, and he now gave Ezio orders to neutralize him as soon as Raphael had been rescued.
Without a second to spare, Ezio rushed as fast as he could to Raphael's palace in another neighborhood of Zaragoza. He arrived to find that Inquisitor soldiers were already there and in much greater force than the group dispatched to Luis's residence. Against these odds, the Assassin still managed to reach Raphael, who had been hiding deep within the estate, and save his life. While Raphael did not oppose a retaliatory strike against Torquemada, he advised that Ezio prod him for his affiliation with the Templars before killing him so as to verify how close it truly was.
Assassination attempt on Torquemada
- "He admires Rodrigo Borgia, but I do not believe Torquemada is a Templar himself. Merely a credulous old sycophant. Perhaps this is for the best. Torquemada's death would have caused more turmoil than it ended."
- ―Ezio Auditore on Torquemada, 1492[src]
Ezio had no intention of waiting another day or conducting any preparations. As he left Raphael's palace, he immediately proceeded back the way he had came, only aiming towards Torquemada's dwelling instead. Though he reacted in haste, he did not abandon caution, making sure that he sneaked past all guards and into the Grand Inquisitor's residence without being seen. Nonetheless, the maximum security of the palace resulted in a bloodbath of an infiltration. In the process of navigating his way through to Torquemada, the Assassin killed at least thirty guards—many of them guard captains.
When he at last came face to face with the Grand Inquisitor, Ezio heeded Raphael's advice to engage in dialogue first, a decision that would cost him a successful assassination. To probe Torquemada for his Templar connection, he criticized him for his alliance with Rodrigo Borgia, calling it an act that "disqualified [him] from [his] God's love". In the brief but heated exchange that followed, Torquemada insisted on Rodrigo's piety while both belligerents insulted one another's moral compass. Finally, Ezio moved in for the kill, but the Grand Inquisitor had been prepared, lowering a portcullis between them which barred the Assassin's advance.
Ezio returned to Luis and Raphael apologizing for Torquemada's escape; his regrets were mollified by his belief that a successful assassination might have only escalated the turmoil in Spain. Apart from that, Torquemada's responses convinced him that the Grand Inquisitor was not a Templar himself but a hypocritical, religious extremist who had been manipulated by Rodrigo. Unbeknownst to the three Assassins, their conclusion was wrong. In fact, Torquemada was the Grand Master of the Spanish Rite, and his operations were well-known to the Spanish Assassins in the south led by Aguilar de Nerha.
Templar slavery in Florence
By the spring of 1493, Ezio had returned to Italy. In Florence, he detected coercive activities which indicated that Templars had returned to the city and had begun setting up operations again. Most worrying was the disappearance of a sizable population of Florentines, all of whom were rumored to have been merchants or officials who had opposed the Templars. His time in Spain had helped cultivate strong connections with the Spanish Brotherhood, and on this occasion, he called upon them for assistance. Under his direction, three Spanish Assassins ambushed Templar thugs patrolling the streets at night, cutting them down one after another and looting their corpses for clues. In the meantime, the Assassins Perina di Bastian and Corvo Antonelli answered Ezio's other call to the Italian Brotherhood to investigate.
While Corvo was captured by the Templars, Perina's mission intersected with the Spanish team at an abandoned manse which once belonged to the noble house of Contarini. From there, the Assassins tracked the Templars to an old wine cellar where they found not only Corvo but many of the missing Florentines who had been abducted to be sold as slaves. The Templar mastermind behind this slave trade, Bonacolto Contarini, had not been discreet, and once the Assassins learned his name, they eliminated his lieutenants throughout the city to weaken him and pinpoint his location. As before, intel left on their bodies led them right to his ancestral keep in the countryside outside Florence. Ezio's Assassins then launched their final strike, assassinating Contarini in his fortress and extinguishing the Templar threat in Florence once more.
Contarini's last words boasting that the city would fall to the Templars within a year proved to be both prophetic and erroneus; over the course of the next few years, Girolamo Savonarola would seize control of the city with the Apple of Eden and rule despotically in the typical manner of Templars—but he was not a Templar himself.
Search for Savonarola
Accordingly, Ezio's hunt for Savonarola centered on Florence. In 1494, he bumped into a monk on the city streets fleeing from Borgia soldiers who had been asking about "apples". Rushing to the Santa Maria Novella, he spied from atop the roof a Carmelite monk resembling Savonarola being harassed by Borgia soldiers. After leaping down to kill the soldiers, he realized that the monk he had saved was not Girolamo Savonarola, but Girolamo's cousin, Marcello. Grateful for the rescue, Marcello shared with him that his cousin was in Venice at the time.
In Venice, Ezio contacted Teodora for Girolamo Savonarola's whereabouts but the most she could do was direct him to a zealous herald who was preaching on his behalf. Blending among the crowd, the Assassin tried to extract information from the herald by pretending to be a true follower of the monk, but they were interrupted by a furious young man. This was none other than Piero de' Medici, who had been ousted as Florence's de facto ruler earlier that year by Savonarola following an invasion by Charles VIII of France. Piero's rant provoked an altercation with the herald and other supporters of Savonarola in the crowd until they moved to lynch him. Forced to defend themselves, Ezio and Piero slew all of the hostile fanatics including the herald, who had charged at Ezio with a dagger after the others had fallen. The Medici noble then made it apparent that Savonarola had already returned to Florence, forcing the Assassin to backtrack.
Bonfire of the Vanities
- "There is no book or teacher to give you the answers, to show you the way. Choose your own way! Do not follow me, or anyone else."
- ―Ezio after Savonarola's death.[src]
In 1497, Ezio returned to his hometown to find its atmosphere forlorn and its people sombre. Whispers of book burnings and wanton arrests ordered by the "mad monk" pervaded everywhere as he walked the streets towards the Ponte alle Grazie to meet with Machiavelli. Machiavelli apprised him of the situation, confirming that Savonarola had taken control of Florence, which they felt certain had been achieved via the Apple of Eden. The younger Assassin, however, elaborated that the monk had only bewitched the leading men of the city; the common Florentines were seething with anger yet lacked the will and courage to oppose them. As they strode through the streets, they observed the bodies of Borgia soldiers littered about and realized that the Templars also knew that the Apple was in Savonarola's possession and had been launching attacks for it.
Machiavelli brought Ezio before the Palazzo Pitti, which Savonarola was using as his abode, but Ezio understood the risks of a direct assault and proposed an alternate strategy: kill all of Savonarola's lieutenants and inspire the resentful populace to rise up against him. An uprising would in turn be the perfect diversion for an assassination. Although Machiavelli had felt that it had fallen on them to take matters into their own hands, he was convinced of Ezio's plan given the widespread fear and hatred the people harboured for the monk. The two split up, with Ezio setting off to assassinate the leading adherents of Savonarola and Machiavelli to notify La Volpe and Paola, entrusting them to be the ones to rally the people.
Eliminating the Piagnoni
The presence of flames billowing in the middle of the night from the garden of the Palazzo Pitti was the first to draw Ezio's attention, and though he had advised against attacking the palace, this was where he began his hunt. There, a former artist was presiding over the destruction of artworks, books, and the utensils to make them, throwing them into pyres and urging the nobles around him to do the same. He cried that they were "abominations" and "doors" by which the Devil corrupted them, but in the midst of his fervour, Ezio approached from among the crowd and silently stabbed him with his Hidden Blade. In his dying moments, the lost artist expressed horror at his own deeds and though Ezio tried to reassure him that his mind had been warped by the Apple, the man confessed that it was his own self-doubt that had allowed it to take control.
The Assassin next investigated the Basilica di San Lorenzo where an uneasy silence hung around the premises and not a soul was in sight. As he entered its courtyard, he was suddenly surrounded on all sides by soldiers dressed in black, signifying that they were the enforcers of Savonarola. The captain of the guards greeted from above on a scaffold, revealing that he had become an agent of the monk and that he regularly lured dissidents into the courtyard to be ambushed and killed. Calling his victims "challengers", the captain commenced his trap, but the skilled Assassin was able to slay all twelve of the agiles who attacked him on the ground before climbing up to the roof to confront the captain and the rest of his men. None of them were a match for Ezio, all falling at his blade. Like the artist, the guard captain expressed remorse in his last moments.
Entering the Mercato Vecchio, Ezio found another lieutenant, a nobleman, waiting for him on top of the market arcade. The nobleman taunted Ezio for defying Savonarola, but he broke into flight when he saw the Assassin unfazed and ever intent to kill him. After a brief pursuit along the rooftops, Ezio caught up with the noble and ended his life. Unlike with the artist and the guard captain, he had little sympathy to give to the noble, for the man only protested that he was a victim without fault.
From the Old Market, Ezio moved onto the Florence Cathedral, assassinating a priest of Savonarola who had been chanting at the top of the dome. On a trading ship anchored off a dock in the Santa Maria Novella District, he air assassinated a merchant who had planned to withhold shipments of food to those resisting Savonarola's rule. Both of these lieutenants felt appalled at their actions when they woke from the Apple's spell while passing away, but this was less so with the next three that the Assassin targeted.
First there was the doctor operating the Ospedale degli Innocenti who offered free healthcare to any devotee of Savonarola but viciously refused treatment to any who did not submit. Like a ghost, Ezio passed through his audience and neutralized him. Then there was the farmer who had his guards hoard hay and grains from the people in the hopes that through starvation he would not only force them to surrender but teach them to respect his low station. Ezio killed him from one of his own haystacks and as his parting words, told him that he could not respect him—though he was an Assassin fighting for the downtrodden, the peasant's methods were unacceptable.
With all of Florence north of the Arno freed from Savonarola's control, Ezio struck at the Ponte Vecchio which a condottiero commanding Savonarola's forces had occupied and locked down, demanding that the entire city submit to the monk. The Assassin assassinated the mercenary, causing his troops to melt away and allowing the people to retake control of the bridge; the mercenary could only cite power-lust and greed as his motives as he passed away. Finally, Ezio returned to the Oltrarno District, located the last of Savonarola's lieutenants preaching in front of Santa Trinita, and finished him. As he bled out, the preacher was unique in asserting that he had never fallen under the machinations of Savonarola, proclaiming himself to have been a true adherent to his beliefs.
Love's labour lost
In the midst of these assassinations, chaos reigned in Florence, with Savonarola's men rampaging through the streets, pillaging homes of luxuries to feed to the pyres, and indiscriminately attacking nobles. At some point, Ezio ran into Manfredo Soderini, finding him barely alive after he had suffered one of these assaults. Fearing for Cristina's life, he screamed for her location, and Manfredo weakly pointed to the direction where the soldiers had chased her. Though he was quick to intercept the pursuers and slay them all, it was all in vain: Cristina had already been mortally wounded. As he brought her to a nearby enclosure, pleading for her to stay with him, she admitted to him that her heart had always been with him and that she wished they could have had a second chance. With these words, Cristina perished in his arms.
Justice and mercy
La Volpe and Paola had been active in picking up after the people upon each liberation of a district, and by the time the preacher had been slain, the whole city was in revolt. A furious mob cornered Girolamo Savonarola in front of the Palazzo Pitti. The monk, simultaneously enraged and fearful, resorted to the Apple of Eden to reestablish control, but Ezio threw a throwing knife at his hand to disarm him. Without his only means of power, Savonarola was swarmed by the masses and violently carried away. Meanwhile, the Apple had dropped to the ground. Before Ezio could reach it, a Borgia agile swiftly retrieved it and sprinted away. He could not outrun the Assassin, who chased him down and killed him to recover the Apple in turn.
On 23 May 1498,  Savonarola was brought to the Piazza della Signoria to be burned at the stake—ironically the very means by which he had sought to destroy the city's culture. As the fire roared up beneath him, the monk's fury broke into pitiful panic and pleas to his God. In spite of all the suffering that the man had wrought, including the murder of his beloved Cristina, Ezio took pity at the baleful spectacle. With his vengeful heart having tempered with years of ordeals, he decided that no one deserved to die in such agony. The Assassin leapt onto the execution platform and stabbed Savonarola in the neck with his Hidden Blade, putting him out of his misery. The monk spent his last breath still crying for mercy, to which Ezio reassured him that he already had given it.
Ezio then turned around to face the stunned mob and delivered a heartfelt speech to the people of his home. He recounted how twenty-two years prior, he had stood at that very same spot, watching his family betrayed and murdered. He recounted how, had it not been for the wisdom of others, he would have been consumed by vengeance, and yet those same teachers never force-fed him their beliefs but guided him to grow through his own journey. Thus, Ezio Auditore urged them to follow their own path and rely on their own thoughts, not what they were told by the ones with power, whether Savonarola, the Medici, or even himself. He expressed his conviction that it was that freedom that made them human, and with that, Ezio left with Mario, Machiavelli, Paola, and La Volpe, ready to uncover the answers hidden within the Apple.
- "I thought... I thought I was beyond this. But I'm not. I've waited too long, lost too much."
- ―Ezio to Rodrigo during his first assassination attempt.[src]
The following year saw the Assassins come together once more at the Villa Auditore, with the Piece of Eden and the last missing pages of the Codex in hand. Completing the Codex wall, Ezio found that by rearranging the order of the Codex pages, the invisible markings on them visible only with Eagle Vision began to make sense. The pages were puzzle pieces, and when these pieces were reassembled, Ezio beheld to his amazement a map of the entire world, with even the unknown continent to the west depicted. As they had expected, this map also indicated the location of the Vault: Rome, beneath the Vatican. The revelation stunned all in the room, for it was now apparent that Rodrigo Borgia had sought the Papacy for access not only to the Vatican but also to the Papal Staff, which Mario and Ezio deduced to be the other Piece of Eden needed to unlock the Vault. With little time to spare, the Assassins prepared their plan: Ezio would proceed to Rome to assassinate Rodrigo while the others would stage diversions in the city.
On 28 December 1499, Ezio arrived at the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome, sneaking through the castle to reach the Vatican. Despite being spotted by the guards as he left the castle, he lost his pursuit along the Passetto di Borgo and infiltrated the Apostolic Palace, entering the Sistine Chapel from above just as Pope Alexander VI was holding Mass. Deftly, Ezio dove down with his Hidden Blade, performing an air assassination manoeuvre, but there was hesitation when he made contact. As he held the Templar Grand Master in his clutches, the greatest subject of his vengeance for so many years, the mastermind of his family's tragedy, he battled with his sense of integrity. His confidence in having grown past vengeance had dissolved, yet the pang of guilt momentarily stayed his hand from what otherwise would have been a swift assassination. When at last he resigned to the hatred in his heart, bemoaning out loud that he thought he was stronger, Rodrigo was well-prepared to counter his killing blow.
The Templar knocked him away with the Staff of Eden then repulsed him again with a wave of energy when he charged at him. Unleashing the Staff's powers, Rodrigo drained the vitality of everyone in the room as the priests tried to flee. Ezio, alone, stood immune, unveiling the Apple of Eden that he had brought with him. With the artifact in hand, he generated four apparitions of himself to serve as allies, and a five-to-one duel commenced. Although Rodrigo was able to hold his own for a short while, it became clear that the skilled, young Assassin would ultimately best him.
Defiant, the Templar changed tactics by unleashing more tremors of energy with the Staff, sweeping his foe to the floor once again. Before Ezio could recover, Rodrigo turned invisible using the Staff and effortlessly seized the Apple from his hand. This left the Assassin vulnerable to the telekinetic abilities of the Staff, allowing Rodrigo to immobilize him, lift him into the air, and stab him in the abdomen with a dagger. Ezio was left to bleed out and die on the floor of the chapel while Rodrigo disappeared through a secret entryway on the bema floor.
Thanks to the Armor of Altaïr, Ezio survived with only a minor wound, and as soon as he had recovered, he used his Eagle Vision to scout for the means by which the passageway could be reopened. These were two hidden mechanisms on the wall on either side of the podium. Unlocking the entrance, he advanced below to a vast circular chamber lit by electric lights, technology he had never before seen. Down in a large, central pit, Ezio watched as Rodrigo tried in vain to open the Vault. Laying down his arms, he challenged Rodrigo to a final brawl, which the Templar accepted. As their confrontation reached a climax, Rodrigo revealed the hidden goal he had harboured for so long: he believed that God himself lay within the Vault and that the Pieces of Eden could be used to kill him and steal his power. By the end of the fight, Ezio had not only denounced his fantasy and hypocrisy as the Pope but had soundly defeated him. This time, however, he did not have to think to spare his nemesis's life, even when Rodrigo resigned to death.
Those who Came Before
Entering the Vault, Ezio stood in shock as he was met by a hologram of a woman who called herself Minerva. He recognized the name and those of the colleagues she mentioned as belonging to Roman gods, but Minerva corrected him that her kind were mortals who had "simply [come] before". The hologram confounded him further by silencing him and then insisting that was speaking to another being through him even though he saw and felt no one else around. In the process, she confirmed that he was the prophet but one whose role had been completed by serving as the anchor for the other entity.
Her message commenced, and the the vault projected accompanying holographic images to present it. According to Minerva, humanity were created by her people, but they rebelled. In the midst of the war which followed, both the powerful creators and the more numerous humans were too distracted to defend the world against the calamity which fell from the skies and scorched the planet. In the aftermath, the few surviving humans and her species arduously rebuilt their civilization, but over millennia, her people faded away and became distant memories misunderstood as gods. Implying that there would be a re-occurrence of the catastrophe, Minerva gave instructions to find the "other temples" to save the planet. She closed her message with the name of her invisible recipient, Desmond, before disappearing abruptly and leaving Ezio with many unanswered questions.
When the Assassin exited the Vault, he found that Rodrigo was already gone but that the Staff of Eden had been left behind. Though he tried to retrieve it, it sank into the floor through an underlying mechanism and was locked down. At this moment, he was greeted by surprise by Mario from the top of the pit, for his uncle had arrived to assist. The two exited the vault to the clamorous rancor of priests in the chapel outside. Resistance from guards was mild and easily overcome as they left St. Peter's Basilica entirely. On top of a rooftop looking over the Tiber, Ezio prepared to drop the Apple of Eden into the river, but Mario noticed his hesitation and offered to take the Apple for safekeeping until he could feel more certain about the right decision. Ezio agreed and the two left for home with the Apple in the hands of his uncle.
Siege of Monteriggioni
- Mario: "I am keeping it safe. The Borgia must not be allowed to breach the walls until everyone is safely away. Insieme per la vittoria!"
- Ezio: "Insieme. Uncle... be careful."
- —Ezio and his uncle before the siege[src]
During the journey with his uncle, Ezio told Mario what he had learned from Minerva, but also found solace in the fact that his own battles were finally at an end. Arriving at the Villa, Claudia informed him that Caterina Sforza was at Monteriggioni to ask his help. Ezio agreed to listen her after visiting the city.
During his time in the village, Ezio helped Angelina Ceresa to deliver flower for Claudia's birthday party. He also captured Mario's favorite horse which escaped from the stable. While on the wall of the fortress, Ezio shot with the new cannons to train the mercenaries.
Returning in the Villa during the evening, Ezio spoke with Caterina who asked him to send his troops to help defend Forlì against the Papal Army. Ezio agreed and reached Mario's study with where Mario, Maria, Claudia and Niccolò Machiavelli waited for him. Ezio once again retold the events of his encounter in the Vault to all of them. Niccolò, in turn, criticized Ezio for his failure to kill Rodrigo Borgia, and angrily left for Rome. That night, unconcerned with Niccolò's outburst, Ezio returned to his bedchamber to share an intimate night with Caterina Sforza. 
On 2 January 1500, Ezio and Caterina were waking up by the sound of a cannon. They believed that the mercenaries were in training until a cannonball broke Ezio's bedroom wall. Taking a sword and his father's hidden blade went on the roof and discovered that the city was being besieged. Meeting with his uncle, he was informed that this was an attack from the Borgia with the Papal Army. Ezio ran to the walls to take control of the cannons and gave enough time to the citizens to flee. As the Papal troops reached the wall, Ezio killed them.
Even with all their effort, the enemies breached the main gate of the city. Ezio saw that Mario was captured by the General of the Papal Army, who also captured Caterina and had the Apple of Eden. Seeing his uncle lying on the ground, Ezio ran across the rooftops in a vain effort to reach them, but Mario was shot down by the General. At the same moment, Ezio was shot by arquebusiers upon the city walls and fell to the ground.
Ezio, having soon regained consciousness as two of Mario's mercenaries dragged him to safety, continued to partake in the battle, which had spilled into what was left of the city streets. Ezio protected Claudia and retreat to the Villa where they stopped a thief before he closed the secret door of the study's room. Retreating to the Sanctuary, Ezio and the fleeing civilians fled through a secret passageway that had been hidden behind the statue of Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad.
In the undergrounds, Ezio activated some traps to kill Borgia men and protected the citizens.
Arriving at the exterior of the city, Ezio informed his mother and sister that Mario was dead. After ordering them to take refuge in Florence, Ezio began to make his way for Rome. During this journey, however, Ezio passed out and fell from his horse due to the severity of his wounds.
Liberation of Rome
- "There will be no peace until we rise up against the entire Borgia family and the Templars who serve them."
- ―Ezio discussing his motives for staying in Rome.[src]
Ezio eventually awoke to find his wound being treated by a stranger, Margherita dei Campi, who told him that he had simply been dropped off at her home by a man who wished for Ezio to meet Niccolò Machiavelli at the Mausoleo di Augusto. The man who had brought him there had also supplied him with a new set of Assassin robes. After leaving the house, Ezio retrieved some medicine from a local doctor and searched for Machiavelli in front of the Mausoleum.
A sadistic executioner
Ezio's attention was soon caught, however, by the discussion of a group of guards who were set on injuring an innocent civilian for "causing the Borgia guards trouble". After following the guards to the Piazza di Spagna, he found a man weeping at the gallows before the hanging corpse of a woman—clearly someone who had been dear to him. Consoling the distraught man, he learned that the woman, Livia, had been his wife and that she had been raped then charged and executed for adultery by a henchman of the Borgia known simply as Il Carnefice. More than that, Il Carnefice had threatened to hang Livia's husband as well if he dared to remove her body for proper rites. Recalling how his own family had been murdered by injustice at the gallows, Ezio assured the victim that he could empathize with him and that he was free to remove Livia's body while he dealt with Il Carnefice. Making his way up to Il Carnefice's abode on the nearby hill, Ezio assassinated him before continuing on his way to meet with Machiavelli.
Tour with Machiavelli
Initially expecting Ezio to return to Florence, Machiavelli was surprised to hear that his friend was determined to stay in Rome to fight the Borgia. By now, Ezio had noticed how Rome had fallen into a state of disrepair under the Borgia and that its citizens were being heavily oppressed. Thereupon Machiavelli apprised him of the situation and most of all of Cesare Borgia, the man responsible for the attack on Monteriggioni and the death of Mario Auditore. He warned that Cesare was hellbent on conquering all of Italy and was on track to do so through his alliance with France..
As the two made their way through Rome, Ezio suggested that they continue on horseback, but Machiavelli informed him that the guards of the district had closed the stables, restricting access only to the Borgia. Not dissuaded, Ezio assassinated the local Borgia captain, Iacopo de Grassi, and demolished his command tower to break the Borgia's hold on the area. Almost immediately, the stable reopened to the public, with the Assassins providing funds for its renovation and purchasing their first Roman steeds.
The two Assassins resumed their tour of Rome but began to clash over their divergent philosophies. Machiavelli reprimanded Ezio for showing mercy to Rodrigo, but despite regretting Mario's death, Ezio maintained that "killing one man" would not have changed the outcome and that the Assassins had to instead focus on rallying the support of the people and establishing a social network. The cynical Machiavelli expressed little faith in the trustworthiness of the people, whereupon Ezio countered that this faith was core to the Assassin Brotherhood. Their debate was cut short by the sudden theft of Ezio's money pouch by a pickpocket, forcing Ezio into a brief chase to retrieve it.
Meeting back with Machiavelli at the Campidoglio, Ezio was informed by his friend that they had to search for an informant, Vinicio, who had been expected to deliver a letter he was to have intercepted from the Borgia. The two Assassins descended the hill to investigate the Roman Forum and found him threatened by guards. After killing them, Vinicio reported that he had failed to steal the letter, pointing to the courier that was still in their line of sight. Without further ado, Ezio chased the messenger into the Colosseum and snatched the document from him.
Ambushed by the Followers of Romulus
On the road to join Machiavelli, Ezio passed by the Baths of Trajan. There, he was attacked by men with wolf skins. After he killed them, he investigated in the area to know how they arrived there. He found an entrance of a Lair of Romulus and opened it. Through it, he arrived in the ruins of the Nero's Golden Palace. Exploring the place, Ezio found a key with a Scroll of Romulus wrote by Marcus Junius Brutus, a member of the Hidden Ones, the precursor of the Assassins. The scroll contained a drawing of the Armor of Brutus and indicated that someone locked it with six keys.
Leaving the lair, Ezio met again with Machiavelli who informed him that the men who attacked him were the Followers of Romulus, a cult manipulated by the Borgia to terrorize the citizens and drove them to the arms of the Church. Ezio gave him the letter from the messenger but it was ciphered. The Assassins then decided to make some allies. Machiavelli informed Ezio they could use the tunnels of the city to be undetectable will joining their first ally.
The campaign begins
Together, Ezio and Machiavelli met with Fabio Orsini, the cousin of Bartolomeo d'Alviano who had been forced into serving Cesare Borgia. Fabio lent to the Assassins an old storehouse of his on Tiber Island, in the hope that they would find a better use for it. When Fabio left, Machiavelli was ready to attack the Borgia but Ezio informed him that they captured Caterina and had the Apple. When Ezio asked if they had a network in the city, Machiavelli explained that the mercenaries were fighting the French allies of Cesare while the courtesans weren't totally for the Assassins cause. Also, the thieves guild refused to work with them. Ezio decided to met their leaders to strengthen their position in Rome.
From here, Ezio travelled to the Rosa in Fiore in an attempt to gather the support of the city's courtesans. When he arrived however, he learned that Madonna Solari, the madam of the brothel, had been kidnapped by the Cento Occhi, Cesare's hired thugs, and was being held for ransom.
Gathering the funds necessary, Ezio made his way to the kidnappers' location, only to be double-crossed. Madonna Solari was killed, and the Cento Occhi attacked Ezio. Ezio survived the ambush and returned to the Rosa in Fiore to discover his mother and sister there. With no one to lead them, the courtesans turned to Claudia Auditore to act as their Madam, with a very reluctant Ezio agreeing to her appointment. He also tasked her to retrieve Caterina Sforza.
Ezio helped his sister and mother to develop the brothel, protecting the courtesans who were targeted by the Borgia and killing the ambassadors working for the Templars. He beat Madonna Solari's brother Santino to reclaim the Rosa in Fiore and expelled the courtesan Giuletta who was a mole for the Borgia.
Arriving another day at the Caserma di Alviano, Ezio met Bartolomeo d'Alviano who presented his wife Pantasilea Baglioni to his friend. While Bartolomeo said that his mercenaries had no difficulties fighting the Templar forces, Pantasilea revealed to Ezio that her husband hid the truth as they were French Army. She tasked Ezio to assassinate the Borgia captain of the district to let her husband focus on the French. After stealthy killing the captain and burning the tower, Ezio met again with Bartolomeo to require his help against the Templars. The Condottiero agreed but asked Ezio to help him to renovate the barrack.
Later, as the Caserma di Alviano was reconstructed, Bartolomeo recruited more mercenaries. Ezio tasked them to monitored Cesare and Rodrigo Borgia. Pantasilea informed Ezio that Machiavelli had made a list of targets that he sent through Pigeon coop. Ezio began to accomplish this contract to help the Brotherhood.
Ezio then moved on to gather the support La Volpe's Roman thieves but the Assassin refused as he suspected that Machiavelli was a traitor working for the Borgia. As Ezio refused to believe him, La Volpe led Ezio to a secret meeting where a Borgia guard gave a document to Machiavelli. As Machiavelli left the place, a group of thieves attacked the guards. As the young thief Claudio was hurt, Ezio and La Volpe intervened to save him. After killing the guards, Ezio helped Claudio to leave the area by hiding in the crowd as they were highly searched. As Claudio was safe, Ezio reduced his notoriety to be incognito.
Returning to La Volpe, Ezio told him that Machiavelli wasn't a traitor and that he must have an explication for what they saw. The thief reluctantly accepted to help Ezio. Together they buy an old building to install the Thieves' Guild and renovated as an inn known as La Volpe Addormentata. Through this building, they could collect information from the Borgia guards who drank there and taking their money through gambling games. As the guild was well installed, Ezio tasked La Volpe to search for information on the location of the Apple of Eden. La Volpe also informed Ezio that the guild was attacked by the Cento Occhi who worked for Cesare. Ezio helped the thieves in their rivalry against the Cento Occhi.
- "If the Borgia are involved, then so am I."
- ―Ezio, after noticing the guards attack Copernicus.[src]
In 1500, while passing the Campidoglio, Ezio noticed a scholar by the name of Nicolaus Copernicus giving a strange speech to the Roman citizens. After having asked another spectator about the man's identity, he learned that the man came from the Vatican, though spoke contrary to the Church's teachings.
However, Ezio soon saw a battalion of Borgia guards attack Copernicus, and swiftly stepped in to defend him. Afterward, the two men introduced themselves to one another, with Copernicus admitting to having been a Templar himself until he disagreed with the other Templars on keeping the findings of his scientific experiments hidden from the public.
Upon hearing that more Borgia guards were looking for Copernicus, they quickly left the Campidoglio and went looking for a hideout. Evading the Borgia guards, Ezio found shelter for Copernicus in a small house in the Antico District, next to the Colosseum.
Once they were safe, Copernicus realized that his fellow scholars would be in danger as well, and asked Ezio to deliver a letter of warning to each of them. Despite being insecure on whether to trust Copernicus or not, Ezio agreed to deliver the letters.
Ezio travelled across the Centro District, handing letters to several scholars, and managing to reach most of them in time. He returned to Copernicus in the countryside, who told him that the Master of the Sacred Palace, a priest appointed by the Pope to ensure that Roman religious philosophy remained pure, was most likely the person responsible for the attacks.
Ezio followed a cardinal roaming nearby, who eventually led him to the Master. Eavesdropping on their conversation, Ezio found out that the Master had sent his best men to kill the scholars whom Ezio had delivered the letters to, and he quickly rushed to save them. Ezio successfully managed to assassinate all of the hired men, and returned to Copernicus.
He informed Copernicus that his suspicions were correct, and warned him of his own safety, but Copernicus forewent caution, as he wanted to chronicle an eclipse that night. Ezio set off once again, with the intention of killing the Master.
Ezio found the Master and killed him with his Hidden Blade, and with his dying breath, the Master revealed that he had already sent his best man to kill Copernicus. Ezio quickly set off to where Copernicus would research the eclipse and arrived just in time to kill the assassin.
As they looked up at the eclipse together, Copernicus revealed to Ezio that the sun was most likely the midpoint of the universe, contrary to common belief that it was the Earth. Copernicus thanked Ezio for his aid, and they went their separate ways.
Infiltrating the Castel Sant'Angelo
- "Do not worry. The Borgia will die. You have my word."
- ―Ezio, after agreeing on killing Rodrigo and Cesare.[src]
After receiving intelligence reports from Claudia, La Volpe and Bartolomeo indicating that Caterina Sforza was being held in the Castel Sant'Angelo, Ezio departed to rescue her, though not before Niccolò demanded that, given the chance, he prioritize killing Cesare and Rodrigo.
Infiltrating the stronghold in 1501, Ezio scaled the fortress' double walls and apprehended Lucrezia Borgia, who was holding the keys to Caterina's cell. From there Ezio and Caterina escaped, making sure that they remained undetected until they reached the stables. They fled across the Ponte Sant'Angelo, and Ezio ordered Caterina to ride on as he dealt with the pursuing guards. Only a timely explosion from within the Castel prevented him from being overwhelmed.
Returning to his base of operations, Ezio decided that in order to free Rome from its Borgia oppression, he needed to involve those who were being oppressed. Despite Niccolò's protests, the two agreed to begin recruiting citizens of Rome into Ezio's new Brotherhood, so that the liberation of Rome could begin.
Expanding the Brotherhood
- "I say we work here. In Roma. Erode the Borgia’s influence while restoring our own. And in fact, I want to begin right now."
- ―Ezio revealing his plans to fight against the Borgia.[src]
Within a year, Ezio had turned a number of Rome's citizens into Assassin apprentices, and had adopted several existing members of the Order into his guild, such as Francesco Vecellio, whose former master had betrayed the Order.
The apprentices fought and trained alongside Ezio, and undertook missions to aid their fellow Assassins in cities across Europe and beyond, including Calicut, India. Ezio also had his apprentices aid him in removing a number of Templar agents, such as Malfatto and Silvestro Sabbatini.
Eventually, Ezio received a surprise visit from his old friend Leonardo da Vinci, who informed him that he had been pressed into providing the Borgia with various forms of advanced weaponry and War Machines. Leonardo promised to provide Ezio with the tools necessary to destroy his weapons, albeit at a small monetary cost. Ezio agreed and managed to demolish all of Leonardo's machines in his war against the Borgia.
Finding the Banker
- "If we cut off his funds, Cesare will lose his army and return without his men. So, I ask you, where does he get his money?"
- ―Ezio, asking the other Assassins about the Banker.[src]
Ezio met with Niccolò, La Volpe, Claudia, and Caterina in the Assassin hideout, where they discussed their plans to attack the Borgia. Ezio asked them for the source of Cesare's funds, to which La Volpe replied that Cesare had his own personal banker, whose identity was unknown, as he was only referred to as "the Banker".
Additionally, Ezio revealed that he intended to kill the French general, Octavian de Valois, so that Cesare would lose the protection of his foreign allies. La Volpe also remarked that there was a side entrance into the Castel Sant'Angelo that Ezio could use and that Lucrezia's lover Pietro Rossi had a key to enter it.
Upon leaving the hideout, Ezio noticed Caterina about to leave on horseback; she said that she was of no good to anyone without Forlì in her possession and that she wanted to be with her children in Florence. Despite Ezio's request for her to stay, Caterina left Rome.
Ezio met Claudia in the Rosa in Fiore, and she told him that senator Egidio Troche frequently came into the brothel to complain about his debts to the Banker and that he could be found at the Campidoglio. Hearing several men on the Campidoglio talking about Egidio making failed attempts to get finances, Ezio eventually found him under attack of Borgia guards and rescued him.
Together, they went through the district looking for a safe place for Egidio to hide out in. Finally, Egidio found shelter in the home of his brother Francesco, who was angry at Egidio for warning the ambassador of Venice of Cesare's plans for Romagna.
Egidio was willing to aid Ezio, telling him that the Borgia guards usually led him to the Banker, and that he needed money to meet with them. Ezio brought him the required amount of florins, and Egidio met with the guards, while Ezio followed them from above.
Eventually, they arrived at the Pantheon, where the money was given to the Borgia captain Luigi Torcelli. Ezio infiltrated the Pantheon via the roof and killed Luigi, taking his clothes and impersonating him. Together with two Borgia guards, Ezio was able to carry the money to the right location—a feast Cesare was throwing in celebration of his conquests—and passed the chest of money on to the next guard.
Ezio was given entry to the party, but the guards soon found out that Luigi had been killed in the Pantheon, and they went out looking for Ezio. However, with the aid of Claudia's courtesans, he was able to remain undetected while following the chest carrier to the party.
Once there, Ezio overheard the Banker introduce himself as Juan Borgia to a courtesan. Ezio followed them both to where Cesare was giving a speech. Ezio avoided the patrolling guards and took a seat on a bench, killing Juan Borgia as he passed him.
Ezio escaped and returned to the Rosa in Fiore, where a group of courtesans who had stolen the chest of money cried out that the Borgia guards had followed them to the brothel and that they had gone after Claudia and Maria. Ezio rushed inside, only to find out that Claudia had already killed all the Borgia guards by herself using a knife.
Battle with the French
- Ezio: "Once inside, your men can overpower the camp's patrols, correct?"
- Bartolomeo: "Yes, but..."
- Ezio: "Especially if the patrols are taken completely by surprise?"
- —Ezio and Bartolomeo forming a plan[src]
Following the Banker's death, Ezio travelled to Bartolomeo d'Alviano's barracks and met with the condotierro and his wife, Pantasilea Baglioni, just before the barracks was attacked by a French army under the command of Octavian de Valois, a Templar working in concert with Cesare Borgia. Although the Assassin mercenary army was able to beat back the French with Ezio's help, Pantasilea was captured by the Baron in the midst of battle. Despite having put up a valiant defense of his barracks, Bartolomeo saw no feasible way that he could secure his wife's safety short of surrendering; Ezio however, had another idea.
After Ezio eliminated a large number of French soldiers, Bartolomeo's mercenaries donned their armor and took on the guise of a French patrol escorting a defeated Bartolomeo to the Castra Praetoria, the base of operations for the Baron de Valois' forces.
Infiltrating the fortress, Bartolomeo and Ezio came face to face with the Baron, who very nearly killed Pantasilea, had not Ezio interrupted him with a shot from his Hidden Gun. Battle soon broke out, and with Bartolomeo's mercenaries engaging the French forces, Ezio was free to pursue the Baron and Pantasilea, eventually freeing her and killing him.
Securing the keys to the Castel
- "It is time to pay a visit to Lucrezia's lover, Pietro."
- ―Ezio on obtaining the key to the Castel.[src]
Not long after his victory over the Baron de Valois, Ezio travelled once more to La Volpe Addormentata, where he and La Volpe discussed the latter's suspicion that Niccolò had betrayed the Assassins by guiding the Papal Army to Monteriggioni, and by informing Rodrigo and Cesare to stay away from the Castel during Ezio's infiltration. Ezio disagreed, but promised to look into the presence of a traitor.
La Volpe informed Ezio that Pietro Rossi, an actor and Lucrezia Borgia's lover, had the key to the Castel and that Cesare intended to kill Pietro over his feelings for Lucrezia. Locating Cesare at one of the city gates, Ezio witnessed the assassination of Francesco Troche, brother of Egidio, by Cesare's personal assassin Micheletto Corella.
Ezio then tailed Micheletto, who was to infiltrate the play that Pietro would appear in, and kill him. As he followed him, Ezio had his apprentices discreetly replace the guards Micheletto tasked with partaking in the murder.
Eventually, Micheletto arrived at the site of the play, the Colosseum. Climbing up the outside of the structure, Ezio made his way down from the roof to the backstage area below, picking off Micheletto's marksmen as he went. Ezio soon struck Micheletto but spared his life when he learned that Pietro had been poisoned previously, as a means of insurance.
Ezio hurried from the Colosseum with Pietro in his arms, while his apprentices covered the retreat. After handing Pietro over to a doctor and receiving the key to the Castel from him, Ezio spotted Paganino, a member of the Venetian thieves guild who had been present at the siege of Monteriggioni.
When approached, Paganino ran and Ezio gave chase. Ezio quickly caught him and reasoned that he was in fact the traitor, not Niccolò. Paganino pressed Ezio's Hidden Blade into his own throat to kill himself rather than risk divulging anymore information. Ezio raced back to Tiber Island to stop La Volpe from killing Niccolò.
Later meeting with La Volpe inside the Tiber Island hideout, Ezio ordered him to gather the Assassins and bring Claudia as well. They gathered in the ceremony hall, and there Ezio offered Claudia a chance to join the Order, just as the others of their family had. She agreed and was inducted into the Order.
At the time, Niccolò also decided to step down from leading the Order and to promote Ezio to the position of Mentor, realizing that Ezio was both a better leader and "exactly what the Order needed". Ezio, in turn, appointed Niccolò as his trusted adviser, who then recommended he finish what he started. Ezio consented and left for the Castel Sant'Angelo.
Fall of the Borgia
- Ezio: "You'd better not stop telling me what you think. Why else would I seek the opinion of my most trusted advisor?"
- Niccolò: "Go kill them, Mentore. Finish what you started."
- Ezio: "Good advice."
- —Ezio and Niccolò discussing the Borgia.[src]
With Cesare's supporters in Rome dead, the Brotherhood and its allies were in command of the city. Ezio was informed that Cesare had returned to Rome and was meeting with his father in the Castel Sant'Angelo. Once again infiltrating the Castel, Ezio witnessed Rodrigo's attempt to poison his son, only to be murdered in retaliation.
As Cesare hurried off to obtain the Apple of Eden that his father had hidden away, Ezio entered the Castel and gave Rodrigo's body his blessing. He then learned from Lucrezia where Rodrigo had hidden the Apple and raced out of the fortress.
Ezio arrived at St. Peter's Basilica and took possession of the Apple before Cesare, with just moments to spare. Cesare arrived with a sizable contingent of Papal soldiers, though Ezio managed to escape them. Over the next few months, and with the help of his fellow Assassins, Ezio used the Apple to completely destroy what little support Cesare still had in Rome.
Eventually, the Assassins caught up with Cesare himself, who was awaiting reinforcements from Micheletto and his army by the gates of Rome. Cesare's forces were defeated although their leader had retreated behind the city portcullis. However, he soon realized that he was not safe as he was quickly arrested by Fabio Orsini on the orders of Pope Julius II. As he was dragged away, Cesare screamed that chains would not hold him and that no man could murder him.
Despite their victory, Ezio was troubled by Cesare's comments, and upon meeting with Leonardo, he confessed his concerns. At Leonardo's suggestion, Ezio decided to look into the Apple to see if Cesare's threats were true. Upon doing so, Ezio quickly let go of the Apple, standing before Leonardo could question him and commenting that he had to leave immediately. Before he departed, however, Ezio left Leonardo a parting gift: a chest full of gold, in compensation for losing his patron.
- Captain: "Cesare’s escaped!"
- Ezio: "When?"
- Captain: "The guards were being changed. About half an hour ago."
- —Ezio discovering Cesare's escape[src]
Running from the Tiber Island headquarters, Ezio made his way to the Castel Sant'Angelo and was greeted by a scene of mass confusion. Questioning a guard, Ezio learned that Cesare had escaped, likely with the aid of an inside-man, but that Lucrezia had been left behind. Concluding that the best way for Cesare to escape the city was by boat, Ezio ran to the docks nearest the Castel.
The docks were extremely busy when he arrived, and as such, Ezio was forced to use the Apple to learn of Cesare's location. Pointed to a red-sailed caravel on pier six, Ezio made his way there, only to find that it had already set sail. Ezio headed to the nearest boat and offered to pay the boat-master handsomely if he pursued the caravel. Ezio was surprised to see that it was Claudio who captained the boat, having been given money to do so by La Volpe previously.
The ships were already nearing Ostia by the time Claudio's scoop caught up. Locking sails, Claudio gave Ezio the order to jump aboard and together Ezio and Claudio quickly overpowered the ship's crew, while Cesare watched helplessly from the secure wooden crate he had been hidden in. Upon docking in Ostia, Cesare was securely sent back to Rome.
Councilor to the Pope
- Julius II: "Cesare Borgia has been safely delivered into one of their strongest and most secure rocca!"
- Ezio: "Where?"
- Julius II: "Ah, that's classified information, even to you. I can't take any chances with Cesare."
- —Pope Julius II speaking with Ezio.[src]
By 1504, Ezio had become councilor to Pope Julius II, and was with him when the Pope received word that Cesare Borgia had been successfully handed over to King Ferdinand II of Aragon, and his wife Queen Isabella I of Castile. When Ezio inquired as to where he was being held, Julius politely refused to answer, perhaps cautious of any attempts Ezio might make on the Templar leader's life. Later in the conversation, a tired Ezio nonchalantly suggested the name "Swiss Guard" for the contingent of Swiss mercenaries Julius II was thinking of hiring as his personal bodyguards.
The following day, Ezio called a meeting with La Volpe, Bartolomeo, Niccolò, and Claudia to discuss rooting out the Borgia diehards who still pocketed Italy. Together, they formulated a plan that would keep control of the Borgia loyalists until the time to strike presented itself.
Following the meeting, Ezio and Niccolò met with a number of Rodrigo's former lovers and associates, including Vannozza dei Cattanei and Giulia Farnese, as well as Cesare's wife, Charlotte d'Albret. On their way to meet Giulia, Ezio and Niccolò noticed they were being followed by someone and had been since leaving Vanozza's palazzo. After making their way onto the rooftops, the Assassins were eventually able to lose their pursuer, although it took a lot of effort on their part.
During this mission, Niccolò repeatedly asked Ezio to use the Apple to more easily locate Cesare; Ezio consistently refused, not wishing to become dependent on its power at the expense of his own skill and experiences.
Dealing with the Borgia diehards
- Bruno: "The Borgia diehards! They sent someone to follow you and Maestro Ezio-"
- Niccolò: "And?"
- Bruno: "Sure that you were out of the way, they have taken Claudia!"
- —Ezio and Niccolò discovering Claudia's capture.[src]
After leaving Charlotte's palazzo, Ezio and Niccolò were approached by Bruno, one of Niccolò's spies, who informed the two that the Borgia had had them followed, so as to ensure they were not present when they kidnapped Claudia Auditore. Upon learning her location, the two quickly made their way to liberate her from her captors, only to discover they had been led into a trap; Bruno had been working for the Borgia for at least a year.
Upon reaching the Borgia diehards' facility, Ezio saw Claudia tied to a chair, half-dressed and bruised. The leader of the diehards held a knife to Claudia's throat and threatened to kill her if Ezio did not leave Rome once and for all. Ezio refused and, together with Niccolò, quickly overpowered and eliminated the diehards.
After rescuing Claudia, Ezio learned that Micheletto had holed up in the Ludus Magnus in Zagarolo, east of Rome. Bringing together a force of one-hundred apprentices and thieves, Ezio's forces quickly surrounded and overpowered the two-hundred and fifty strong force commanded by Micheletto.
Micheletto was taken to Florence, and was incarcerated in the cell atop the Palazzo della Signoria; the same cell that had held Ezio's father twenty-eight years earlier. There, he was tortured by Niccolò, Amerigo Vespucci and Piero Soderini, the Gonfaloniere of Florence and Niccolò's "master". Despite learning nothing from Micheletto, Niccolò promised to continue in his attempts to prise any information from him and parted ways with Ezio warmly when the latter was forced to return to Rome.
Locking away the Apple
- "I have more than played my part in your career and you must now return me."
- ―The Apple to Ezio.[src]
Days later, Ezio was awoken in the early hours of the morning by Niccolò, who informed him that Micheletto had managed to escape from the Palazzo della Signoria with the aid of a Borgia-friendly priest and the diehards. Ezio quickly realized that this could work to their advantage: if they could track Micheletto down, they could follow him to Cesare.
Convening an emergency meeting, Ezio organized a manhunt for Micheletto that focused on the area surrounding Rome and Ostia. Later, Ezio was effectively ordered by Niccolò to use the Apple to locate Micheletto, but was only provided with a vague image of a Spanish castle.
Ezio was confused by this and expressed his feelings to Niccolò, who recommended he ask the Apple why it wasn't showing him what he wanted. The Piece of Eden told Ezio that the time had come for him to relinquish it, so that future generations might make use of it, and also indicated where it should be hidden. As a parting gift, the Apple informed the Assassin that Micheletto was making his way to Spain via the port in Naples.
Before making their way to Naples, Ezio and Niccolò decided to abandon the Apple just at it had requested. Entering the Colosseum, the two Assassins made their way through the old lair of Romulus, marking the way as they went, until they reached the entrance to the Vault.
Ezio entered the Vault, placed the Apple on the central pedestal, and exited. As the door closed behind him, both Ezio and Niccolò noticed that the door seemed to vanish, instead taking the appearance of the surrounding wall.
Rescuing Da Vinci
- Leonardo: "Salaì? Is that you? Ezio! I must be getting lazy in my old age. I did not know you had returned to Roma."
- Ezio: "Unfortunately, I cannot stay. I am here to charter a ship."
- —Leonardo and Ezio, shortly after the latter's return.[src]
Da Vinci abduction
With the Apple safely hidden away, Ezio met with Leonardo in 1506 to discuss his need of chartering a ship to Navarre. Leonardo interjected that he knew the name of a friendly ship captain, but was unable to remember it at the time. As the artist searched for his records, Ezio and Leonardo briefly discussed the ancient Greek scholar Pythagoras, whom Leonardo was researching.
However, Ezio suggested he instead focus on his painting, and complimented a portrait of a smiling lady Leonardo was working on. Eventually, though he could not find the captain's name, Leonardo offered to accompany Ezio to the docks, though he was unable to leave the studio unaccompanied. As such, Ezio offered to bring back Leonardo's apprentice, Salaì.
Ezio found Salaì in La Volpe Addormentata, enjoying a game of dice. Despite some initial resistance, Salaì eventually agreed to return to his Master's workshop with Ezio, much to the chagrin of three cloaked individuals who had been playing against Salaì.
Once outside, the three individuals and several of their comrades, who were all revealed to be Hermeticists, attacked Ezio and Salaì. The two manage to defeat them, and Salaì remarked that only one individual could fight with such skill, correctly guessing Ezio's name. Ezio simply suggested that they continue on to Leonardo's workshop.
Avoiding the throngs of Hermeticists between them and their destination, Ezio and Salaì returned to find the workshop wrecked and Leonardo missing. Salaì regretfully informed Ezio that he did not know the location of the Temple of Pythagoras, which was likely where Leonardo had been taken.
Looking down to the floor in sadness, Salaì spotted some writing on the floor, which suggested that Leonardo's artwork that had hung in the Villa Auditore had held clues to the location of the temple. At first Ezio was dismissive, commenting that all the paintings had been destroyed in the attack, though Salaì quickly responded that only two had been destroyed, and one had been sold (by Salaì himself to buy a "now out of fashion" doublet), leaving five more to find. These five, he said, were currently in the hands of Lucrezia Borgia, Duchess of Ferrara.
Recovering the paintings
- "I count five Leonardo da Vinci paintings you have stolen, and I want them returned."
- ―Ezio to Lucrezia, Duchess of Ferrara.[src]
Ezio made his way to Delizia di Belriguardo, climbing over the palazzo's outer walls and overhearing a paranoid Lucrezia ordering the guards into high alert. Infiltrating the palazzo through the attached stables, Ezio confronted Lucrezia on the stolen paintings, clarifying that he had not come to take her life.
Willingly, Lucrezia revealed that she only had one of the paintings left, as the rest had been taken after the fall of her family. Ordering her men to place the Annunciation painting in a cart outside the palazzo's walls, Lucrezia was then thrust against the wall by Ezio, who began to kiss her neck intimately.
At this, Lucrezia told Ezio that three of the paintings had been sold to Francesco Colonna, while the fifth went to an old flame of Lucrezia's named Patrizio. Ezio apologized to Lucrezia and then pulled back, revealing that he had tied her to the hanging drape. Lucrezia angrily called for her husband's personal guard, who pursued Ezio through the palazzo until he escaped out of a window, and into a bale of hay near the cart containing the painting.
Returning to Rome, Ezio made his way to the Vaticano district, where he followed Patrizio, who was hoping to sell Portrait of a Musician to the Hermeticists. Ezio watched as Ercole Massimo belittled Patrizio for his racist views on Lucrezia's Spanish heritage, and then had him murdered when he tried to destroy the painting out of anger. Ezio pursued the Hermeticist Ercole had tasked with transporting the painting, and eventually retrieved it.
Ezio then travelled to the home of Francesco Colonna, only to find that the house had been seized by the bank. He was told that the da Vinci paintings had been sold to an art merchant from Florence, who was waiting at the docks outside the Mausoleo di Augusto.
Making his way there, Ezio was surprised to see that the art merchant was his sister's former love interest Duccio de Luca. Duccio immediately set about insulting Ezio for living in a "third-rate city" such as Rome, and then again for his sister being the Madame of the Rosa in Fiore. For his troubles, Duccio received a short, stout punch to the face from a now angered Ezio.
Duccio ordered his entourage to attack Ezio, though the Assassin was able to easily hold off his attackers. He eventually gained the information he wanted from Duccio, but the merchant pushed his insults even further against Claudia, resulting in a final blow, which knocked him unconscious.
After knocking Duccio out, Ezio made his way to the merchant's boat, which had been occupied by Hermeticists, to retrieve the third painting. Ezio swiftly eliminated them without being seen, and claimed the painting as his own. He then made his way to the Rosa in Fiore in order to ascertain a means of obtaining the last two paintings, which had been bought by a cardinal and put on display inside the Castel Sant'Angelo.
Infiltrating the art exhibition
- "There is a viewing at the Castel Sant'Angelo later today. You will need an invitation. Fortunately, I know where you can procure one."
- ―Claudia helping Ezio.[src]
Upon reaching the Rosa in Fiore, Ezio spoke of the art exhibition with his sister Claudia, who directed him to the docks, from where one invitation was meant to be delivered. Ezio intercepted the courier carrying the invitation, and met up with a group of courtesans on the Ponte Sant'Angelo, instructing them to steal the paintings he would mark.
Ezio marked the frame of the first painting, St Jerome in the Wilderness, after distracting the guards on duty, then proceeded into the Castel for the second, backtracking along the same path he had used to escape with Caterina years previously. After marking the second painting, Adoration of the Magi, in the upper chambers, he quickly left the Castel as cries over the theft rang out around him.
Ezio returned to Leonardo's workshop, where the five paintings had been stored. Inside, he found Salaì already working to find any clues for the location of the temple, though he had found nothing. Salaì was on the verge of giving up when Ezio prompted him to think of ways Leonardo might have concealed his work. Salaì remembered that Leonardo had the habitude to working with invisible inks, and suggested that Ezio he used his gift of Eagle Vision to find any clues. Despite his annoyance at Leonardo for telling Salaì about his gift, Ezio did as was asked, and found small diagrams in each painting.
After inspecting all the paintings, Ezio drew out each diagram and laid them on the table. Salaì immediately worked out it was a map, although there were probably pieces missing from the two paintings destroyed during the Siege of Monteriggioni. Nonetheless, Ezio managed the piece together the map and located the entrance to the catacombs containing the Temple of Pythagoras.
Temple of Pythagoras
Ezio entered the catacombs and made his way towards the temple. As he did so, he could hear Ercole Massimo beating Leonardo, demanding he open the door to the temple. Ezio ordered the Hermeticist to stop, and after a brief exchange of words, he was attacked by Ercole's allies. He dealt with them swiftly, before climbing up to Ercole and assassinating him with his Hidden Blade.
Though Ezio suggested that they leave as Leonardo was injured, the other protested, saying that the "number" the Hermeticists had been seeking must be destroyed, lest another go searching for it. Reluctantly, Ezio agreed.
In each room of the temple, Ezio and Leonardo found themselves confronted by a complex puzzle. The first room required Ezio to redirect beams of light, while the second had him redirect the flow of air into a large, fan-dominated, locking mechanism. In the final room, Ezio had to activate several switches, which directed streams of burning oil into a central plate. Once activated, the central plate lowered, revealing a large circular pedestal.
Ezio and Leonardo recognized the symbols upon the pedestal as those shown to them by the Apple, albeit in the wrong order. Ezio watched as Leonardo rotated the pillars so the images fit, opening the door into the temple's final chamber.
Entering the vault, Ezio recognized the architecture as matching that of the Vatican and Colosseum Vaults. He approached the central pedestal and placed his hand above it. A bright light activated above him and soon enough, the entire chamber was cloaked in a dim green light. Before them, six numbers and two letters repeated themselves: 43 39 19 N 75 27 42 W.
Although Leonardo totally dismissed the numbers as nonsense, Ezio remarked that the numbers were not meant for their eyes. To distract him from the numbers, Ezio asked Leonardo of his other projects as he led him from the room.
Finishing the Borgia
Travelling to Spain
- Ezio: "Where is he now?"
- Captain: "Gone! I know he was in the town, asking questions, but he’s well-known here, and he has many friends, believe it or not."
- —Ezio and the captain discussing Michelleto's whereabouts.[src]
Arriving in Naples on Midsummers Day, 1506, Ezio, Leonardo and Niccolò were met with a wall of silence from the local population when they questioned them about Micheletto. They persevered, fortunately happening upon a courtesan named Camilla, who claimed to have spent the previous night with a man matching their description of Micheletto. She pointed them to the docks and to Valencia.
Ezio, Niccolò, and Leonardo booked passage to Valencia, though the crossing took five days, as the sea was particularly rough, which lost the three any chance of catching up with Micheletto. Once they arrived however, they quickly learned that Micheletto had headed to the Lone Wolf Inn, a place being described as "not for gentlemen".
Nonetheless, the three made their way to the inn and entered, only to be immediately set upon by ten men whose eyes were already accustomed to the darkness. Ezio and Niccolò fought off the ambushers, as Leonardo hid behind the bar. Ezio was then approached from behind and garroted by Micheletto himself, though a well-placed strike to the stomach from Niccolò's blade forced Micheletto to let go and flee.
Although Micheletto had fled, one of his underlings had survived the Assassins' onslaught, and reluctantly surrendered his master's destination: the Castillo de la Mota. The next day, after a short rest, the three continued on to the Castillo.
They arrived too late though, and Ezio learned from a lieutenant that Cesare had escaped, although they were not yet sure how exactly he had managed it. Ezio immediately demanded a fresh horse, but Leonardo's exhaustion and Niccolò's counsel convinced him to stay awhile and rest.
Within the month, they were back in Valencia and found the city in the grip of Cesare's diehards. Disheartened by the turn of events, the Assassins contemplated their next move. Leonardo piped up with a suggestion, asking them to gather sulphur, charcoal and potassium nitrate, as well as thin sheets of malleable steel.
They complied, and in a short time, Leonardo managed to construct twenty small, hand-held bomb, which could be thrown onto enemy positions after lighting the fuse. Leonardo then revealed to Ezio and Niccolò that he was returning to Italy on the next ship, as he was becoming homesick.
Attack on Valencia
- "Well, we don’t need the Apple to tell us what our old friend Cesare is planning."
- ―Niccolò, on Cesare's plans.[src]
Despite this setback, Ezio and Niccolò were determined to destroy Cesare's new army, and together formulated a plan. While Niccolò made his way to the diehards' camp, Ezio headed to the docks. Approaching the first ship, Ezio lit the fuse and threw it into the vessel, dismissive of what destructive power such a small device could possibly contain. He was shocked when the device exploded, cracking the warship's mast and felling it, with splintered wood flying high into the air.
Ezio continued to target Cesare's vessels, and in several cases, the initial bomb's explosion was followed by the detonation of the vessel gunpowder reserve; at one point, the explosion of one ship brought down the two on either side of it. All in all, Ezio managed to destroy twelve vessels with his ten hand-held bombs. He then met up with Niccolò on the corner of the street where the Lone Wolf Inn was located.
Climbing onto the roof of the building, Ezio and Niccolò peered over the open skylight onto Cesare and Micheletto, who were discussing the recent turn of events. Cesare angrily belittled Micheletto, blaming him for what had happened and driving him to launch himself across the table at his Master.
Cesare quickly pulled one of his pistols from his belt and shot at Micheletto, destroying his face completely. Ezio pulled back, hoping to catch Cesare as he left the building, though Niccolò, who had craned forward to get a better look, kicked down a tile in the process, and caught Cesare's attention. Drawing his second pistol just as rapidly as he had his first, Cesare shot at the Assassin, hitting Niccolò in the shoulder.
Ezio briefly thought of pursuit, but Niccolò's injury was severe and required immediate medical attention. Finding a doctor, they learned the bullet had gone straight through, and that Niccolò would be sufficiently healed for travel in two weeks. Before Ezio left to pursue Cesare, Niccolò wished him good luck.
Siege of Viana
- Cesare: "How did you find me?"
- Ezio Auditore: "The Apple you stole from Mario Auditore led me here."
- —Cesare Borgia and Ezio Auditore[src]
Ezio engaged Cesare on the battlefield, initially making an unsuccessful attempt to kill him with his Hidden Blade. Cesare made his escape towards Viana Castle, and Ezio was almost overwhelmed by Cesare's guards. Narrowly surviving an artillery strike, Ezio chased after Cesare and followed him through the village. Fighting past the battling guards, and climbing two burning siege towers, Ezio eventually reached the ramparts of Viana Castle. He made his way through another small group of guards and engaged Cesare in combat atop the city walls.
Despite a continual stream of soldiers attacking him, Ezio was able to whittle away Cesare's armor and overpower him. When Cesare angrily repeated his claim that no man could kill him, Ezio coldly replied he would leave him in the hands of Fate, and threw Cesare from the city walls to his death.
Later, a much older Ezio returned to the Sanctuary beneath the Villa Auditore to leave a clue to the password that protected the Vault's entrance, as suggested by Leonardo years previously. The clue was visible only to those who possessed Eagle Vision.
Search for the Masyaf Keys
Discovering a new purpose
- "There, over two centuries ago, our then Mentor, Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, greatest of our Order, established a library deep beneath the fortress."
- ―Excerpt from the letter of Giovanni Auditore.[src]
With Cesare's death, the Borgia and their plans for Italy were finished. Ezio focused himself on internal matters, forming stronger ways of communication for the Assassins from Sicily to Venice, and creating more standard training methods for new Assassin recruits.
In 1509, Ezio happened upon some of his uncle Mario's documents, finding a letter written by his father Giovanni a year before Ezio was born, which mentioned a sealed library beneath the old Assassin fortress of Masyaf; the home of Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, who had been Ezio's spiritual mentor during his early years as an Assassin. Driven by a will to find out more about the Order, Ezio decided to leave Italy in 1510 and set sail for Syria.
Pilgrimage to Masyaf
- "None of you leave until the Assassin is dead. Do you understand?"
- ―Leandros sending his men after Ezio.[src]
In May 1510, Ezio set out from Rome on horseback, accompanied by Bartolomeo d'Alviano and fifteen of the general's mercenaries. After fifteen days, they arrived at Bari, on the eastern coast of Italy. At Bari, Ezio chartered a ship, a freighter called the Anaan, and set sail for Corfu, located between Bari and Athens.
Along the way, the freighter was attacked by pirates, as it was carrying a valuable cargo of spices. Ezio joined the crew in fighting off the pirates and assisted in capturing the pirates' captain, a man Ezio would later come to know as Al-Scarab. The Anaan arrived safely in Corfu, and Ezio promptly made arrangements to sail to Athens, and from there to Crete, and then Cyprus. Not long after departing from Crete, Ezio's ship ran into a storm, and was forced to dock at Chios for minor repairs.
Finally, Ezio arrived at Cyprus, where he spent some time exploring the island, including the Templar's archive. However, as he experienced more delays, it became apparent that the Venetian authorities stationed in Cyprus were intervening with his journey. Finally, Ezio took matters into his own hands and attempted to "acquire" a small ship of his own, so he could continue on to Masyaf.
No sooner had he found a seaworthy vessel was he attacked by a mysterious man, whom Ezio thought he recognized. The commotion caused by their fighting attracted several members of the island's Night Watchmen, and Ezio, along with his mysterious assailant-turned-ally, fought off the guards. As the last man fell, Ezio was stabbed in the side and fell unconscious. When he awoke, Ezio found himself on a ship headed for Acre, manned by none other than the pirate captain he had defeated some months earlier.
Ezio arrived in the city of Acre ten months after leaving Rome. After spending a week there, Ezio was informed that the road to Masyaf was filled with foreign bandits and mercenaries. He also wrote a letter to Claudia, informing her of his journey so far and that, should he not survive, she should not seek vengeance. Shortly thereafter, he continued his journey to Masyaf.
Ezio arrived at Masyaf in March 1511, and found the town to be crumbled and largely abandoned. Upon making his way to the fortress, Ezio was ambushed by the town's Byzantine Templar garrison, under the command of their captain, Leandros. Outnumbered, Ezio nonetheless attempted to fight his attackers, but was distracted by visions of Altaïr and captured. The Templars took the defeated Assassin and lead him onto a plank to be hung from the fortress' watchtower. However, as Leandros put the noose around Ezio's neck, Ezio attacked Leandros, threw the noose about Leandros' neck, and eventually escaped along the outside of the tower.
Ezio quickly made his way back to the battlements, where he retrieved his weapons. He then made his way beneath the castle, to the doors of Altaïr's library, where he learned from a worker that Leandros had the journal of Niccolò Polo in his possession, which supposedly led to the keys needed to open the library's door.Ezio left the fortress and pursued the Templar Captain, who had escaped by carriage.
Ezio managed to hold onto a rope trailing from the carriage, and dragged himself up to the carriage itself. Leandros escaped onto the carriage of one of his men, and the chase continued, with each carriage jostling for space on a narrow cliff path.
Eventually, a well-placed bomb sent Ezio's carriage over the edge, severely injuring him, though he persistently continued to follow Leandros. Fighting his way through a nearby village, Ezio eventually confronted and assassinated Leandros. After learning that the Templars were searching for the Masyaf Keys to open Altaïr's library, Ezio rather brusquely gave Leandros his last rites, before claiming the journal for himself.
Settling into Constantinople
- "Welcome to Galata district. For centuries it has been a home to orphans from Europa and Asia alike. You won't find more diversity anywhere else in the city. And for that reason, Assassins make it their home."
- ―Yusuf welcoming Ezio.[src]
Having obtained the journal, Ezio made his way to Constantinople by ship, where he hoped to find those Masyaf Keys the Templars had not already obtained. As they neared the port, Ezio briefly spoke with a fellow passenger, a young man who claimed to be a student. Ezio spoke to him of how he spent his own youth, until a woman on the ship caught his attention. Disembarking the ship at the Galata, Ezio was greeted by the leader of the local Assassin guild, Yusuf Tazim.
Yusuf informed Ezio of the state of affairs in the city and of how the Byzantine remnants, allied with the Templars, fought with the Ottomans for control of the city while there was a civil war between the Sultan Bayezid II and his son Selim who claimed the throne. As the Sultan wasn't in the city, the Templars tried to reclaim Constantinople. On their way, the two Assassins were attacked by Byzantines. As Templar backups arrived, the two Assassins were protected by Ottoman guards who chased the Byzantines. Later in the Galata headquarters, Ezio was introduced to some of Yusuf's men, and was advised to get new equipment.
When the two met again, Ezio was provided with an Ottoman hookblade and was taught on its use by Yusuf, in parkour and combat. To test his new skills, Yusuf challenged Ezio to climb the Galata Tower and reached the top before him. After the race, the two were contacted by the Assassin Kasim who warned them that the Templars attacked the Assassin dens of the Galata and the Grand Bazaar. On their way to the Galata den, Yusuf taught to Ezio some assassinating tactics with the hookblade. Arrived at the den, Yusuf decided to defend the Grand Bazar while Ezio organized with other Assassin the defense of the Galata. After the Assassins defeated the Templars at the Galata, Ezio decided to join with Yusuf at the Grand Bazar.
After he crossed the Golden Horn, Ezio fought with Yusuf who was attacked by the Templars. After they succeded, Yusuf informed Ezio that they lost the Grand Bazar den. Together, they decided to reclaim it. As the district was controlled by the Byzantines, the two Assassins stayed low profile and Ezio was introduced by Yusuf to bombs that he could use as a distraction. Arriving near the den, with other Assassins, they infiltrated the area and Ezio killed the Byzantine captain before igniting the signal fire to reclaim the den.
As they lost many Assassins during the attack of the den, Ezio decided to recruit some citizens in the Brotherhood. His first apprentice was a man who was imprisoned for stealing food. Ezio freed him by stealing the key of his cage. Ezio continued to recruit citizens who had useful skills for the Brotherhood or had the will to fight the Templars. Later Ezio investigated the disappearance of many Assassins in the Galata. With another Assassin apprentice, Ezio discovered the corpses of their brothers and sisters killed with Assassin's tactics. As they spotted a mysterious hooded man, they tracked him but he left the area as Byzantines attacked the Assassins. The apprentice revealed to Ezio that the hooded man was Vali cel Tradat, a former Assassin who joined the Templars. As Ezio though that the apprentice wasn't ready to fight Vali, he sent him to a mission in Bursa to perfect his training.
Later, Ezio met again Yusuf who taught him how to craft bombs for any kind of situation. After this Ezio showed to Yusuf the Polo's journal and explained why he was in Constantinople. Yusuf suggested to Ezio to meet Piri Reis, a Master Assassin who was also a cartographer and a bomb crafter, who could help him in his quest. Arriving at his shop in the Grand Bazar, Ezio spoke with Piri who indicated him the location of Niccolò Polo's old trading post, which was now a book shop.
Arriving at the book shop, Ezio met the owner, Sofia Sartor; the woman who had caught Ezio's eye on the ship into the city. While speaking to Sofia, Ezio investigated the place to find some clues. Locating a secret passageway beneath the trading post, Ezio flirtingly suggested they both investigate but was politely rebuked. He then entered the underground cavern, where Templars searching another Masyaf key. Discreetly exploring the underground, Ezio successfully obtaining his first Masyaf Key, as well as an encrypted map. Returning in the book shop, Ezio showed to Sofia the map. Together they saw that the map indicated the location of many books from Polo's library. As Ezio though that some of them could indicate the location of the Masyaf keys, he decided to associate with Sofia who will decode the map while Ezio will give her the books which she could reimprint them.
Leaving the book shop, Ezio met Yusuf and show him the Masyaf key. Yusuf advised to hide it in the Galata headquarters. When Yusuf explained that he needed to meet the different allies of the Assassins as the Mercenaries, the Thieves and the Romanies, Ezio proposed to speak with the last faction as he never truly had contact with them. Yusuf agreed and showed to Ezio the tunnels network to travel more easily in the city. Meeting the Romanies, Ezio discovered that the Templars stole their chest of gold. The Assassin decided to help them using his poison blade to kill the Templars to create the illusion that the chest was cursed by the Romanies. Ezio reclaimed the gold and became an ally of the Romanies, that he could recruit to distract guards when needed. Later, Ezio also helped the Thieves' guild by killing a snitch which impeached them to operate in the city and saved the son of the Mercenaries' leader who was captured by the Byzantines.
In the Galata headquarters, Ezio examined the Masyaf key and understood that it was an artifact of the Isu. With it, he relived a memory of Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, when he saved his Mentor Al Mualim from the traitor Haras and became a Master Assassin. Later, the apprentice send in Bursa returned and informed Ezio that Vali kidnapped to Assassins to exchange them against the den of the Galata. Ezio decided to save the Assassins who revealed to him that it was a ruse to draw them from the Galata headquarters. Returning in the area, Ezio and the apprentice witnessed the Templars attacked the headquarters. As Vali flew, Ezio tracked him before the apprentice performed an air assassination on Vali. In his last breath, Vali explained that he joined the Templars as the Brotherhood didn't protect his country, the Wallachia, against Ottoman invasion. After that, the apprentice was granted the rank of Master Assassin and assigned to protect the Galata den.
Working with Prince Suleiman
- "For now, keep an eye on Tarik and his Janissaries. They spend much of their free time in and around the Bazaar."
- ―Suleiman instructing Ezio.[src]
Ezio continued to aid the Assassins in the city while Sofia worked to uncover the location of the remaining Keys. At one point, Ezio disguised himself as a minstrel, and prevented an attack on the young Prince Suleiman at Topkapı Palace; whom he recognized as the "student" from the ship he had entered the city on. After becoming acquainted with Suleiman, Ezio helped to uncover those behind the attempted assassination.
Their investigations led them to Tarik Barleti, Captain of the Janissaries responsible for Suleiman's protection, and supporter of his father, Selim I. After observing an exchange of weapons between Tarik and Manuel Palaiologos, heir apparent of the now-defunct Byzantine throne and member of the Templar Order, Ezio was tasked to kill Tarik by Suleiman.
Ezio carried out the assassination, only to discover Tarik had been working to apprehend Manuel and his associate—Shahkulu—"where they felt safest". Remorsefully, Ezio asked for Tarik's forgiveness, before delivering the news to Suleiman.
Journey to Cappadocia
- "There he is. The monster I came to kill."
- ―Ezio when confronting Manuel.[src]
After obtaining the four Keys still within Constantinople, Ezio travelled to Cappadocia, the location given to him by Tarik, to confront Manuel Palaiologos. Before he could depart however, he was intercepted by Yusuf, who informed him that the Janissaries had raised the Great Chain across the mouth of the Golden Horn to prevent him from leaving the city. Yusuf provided Ezio with a sizable bomb, claiming that it was significantly more dangerous than their usual explosives.
Arriving in Cappadocia aboard Piri Reis' ship, Ezio sought to make contact with Tarik's spies, who were already in the city. However, he soon learned that many of Tarik's men had already been discovered, apprehended, and executed by the Byzantines. He arrived just in time to prevent the execution of the remaining spies, engaging and eliminating Shahkulu in open combat.
With the spies safe, Ezio proceeded to detonate the city's ordinance supply and, in the ensuing panic, gave chase to Palaiologos. Confronting him at one of the city's docks, Ezio killed him and claimed the fifth and final Key. Before he could leave however he found himself confronted by Suleiman's uncle and heir-apparent to the Ottoman throne, Ahmet.
Revealing his own Templar allegiance, Ahmet demanded Ezio to hand over the Key, lest harm fall upon Sofia Sartor. Angrily, Ezio pledged vengeance should any harm come to her, then made his way back through the now smoke-filled city to his ship, and to Constantinople.
Fight with Prince Ahmet
- "Now should be a time for remembrance and mourning, I know... but our enemies do not permit us that luxury."
- ―Ezio before confronting Ahmet.[src]
After arriving in Constantinople, Ezio hurriedly made his way to Sofia's bookshop. He found that the place had been ransacked and Yusuf, whom Ezio had asked to look after Sofia during his time in Cappadocia, had been killed. Upon discovering Yusuf's dead body, Ezio gave him a final blessing before shutting his eyes. Declaring a renewed vengeance against all those who dared to cross the Assassins, Ezio collected the remaining Keys and prepared to ambush Ahmet during the exchange.
However, Ahmet held Sofia hostage atop Galata Tower, and Ezio was forced to give him the Keys in order to rescue her. The hostage turned out to be Azize, one of Ezio's fellow Assassins, and Ezio saw Sofia was being hung in a courtyard.
After parachuting down towards her, and after ensuring that she was fine, Ezio boarded a carriage with to pursue Ahmet, who had already hurried off towards Syria to find the library and unlock its contents.
After a lengthy ride through the country, which left Ezio essentially parasailing to hang onto their carriage, he managed to grab Ahmet and the two struggled as they both went flying off a cliff. Ezio subdued the prince and opened a parachute to save them both.
As they both recovered from their rough landing, Ezio and Ahmet saw an army arrive with Selim at its head. Selim explained that the Sultan had chosen him over Ahmet, and proceeded to strangle his brother and throw him off a cliff. Selim spared Ezio, having heard good things about him from his son Suleiman, but ordered him to stay out of Constantinople.
After traveling to Masyaf with Sofia, Ezio used the five Keys to open the door to Altaïr's library. Ezio discovered there were no books, only the body of the former Mentor, with a memory seal in his hand. The seal revealed Altaïr's final moments, and the location of his Apple at the back of the library.
Ezio moved towards the Apple, but refused to take it, believing he had seen enough for one life. The Apple emanated a wave of light, and Ezio began speaking to Desmond. Acknowledging he was a conduit for a message, Ezio removed his bracers and sword to declare the end of his life as an Assassin. He then encouraged Desmond to make his life's sufferings worth it, and told him to listen.
Return to Constantinople
- "Prince Suleiman knows of your return and has provided you with a safe-conduct. But his father is adamant that you should not remain long."
- ―Azize to Ezio.[src]
After their visit to Masyaf, Ezio and Sofia returned to Constantinople to set their affairs in the city to rest. Despite Selim ordering Ezio never to return, Suleiman managed to secure Ezio a brief visit, as long as he behaved himself.
Ezio made sure that Dogan, the new leader of the Turkish Assassins, was able to competently command the Assassins' Guild there. Ezio also oversaw the selling of Sofia's bookshop to Azize, the Assassin who had been kidnapped by Ahmet and held at the top of Galata Tower as a decoy for Sofia. The bookshop was used as an outpost for the Assassins, and Ezio stored the Masyaf Keys in the chamber where he had found the first key, underneath the bookshop.
- "I knew I would not have enough time to do everything. Now I worry I do not have enough time to do anything."
- ―Ezio Auditore during his later years.[src]
Ezio and Sofia married in Venice. In late 1512, the pair returned to Rome, with Claudia congratulating them on their union. She also informed Ezio that Giovanni Lorenzo de' Medici, son of the late Lorenzo de' Medici, had close ties to the Papacy, which she considered good news.
Ezio, having decided to resign from the Brotherhood, chose Lodovico Ariosto as his successor, against which Claudia protested, citing Ariosto's relation to Alfonso d'Este and his wife Lucrezia Borgia.Ezio and Sofia later retired to a villa in the Tuscan countryside and had two children together, Flavia and Marcello. At his new residence, Ezio tended to a vineyard, and often spent time in his study, writing his memoirs.
Despite his retirement from active service, the former Mentor continued to be involved with the Brotherhood affairs for some time after resigning. By 1515, Ezio was supervising the training of two young apprentices, Hiram Stoddard and Giovanni Borgia, the son of Lucrezia Borgia and the Assassin Perotto Calderon. While being impressed with the skills and spirit of Stoddard, Ezio tried to share his wisdom with the prideful and envious Borgia.
That same year, Ezio received a letter from his friend Michelangelo, informing him of a new Templar plot in the city. The old master then sent his two apprentices, under the leadership of Stoddard, to meet with Michelangelo and to deal with the Templars but they failed to recover the artifact in possession of Dei Petrucci.
Final visits to Leonardo
- "I’ll tell you a secret. All my life—while I thought I was learning to live, I have simply been learning how to die."
- ―Leonardo's words on dying.[src]
By 1519, Ezio had suffered a chest infection, and as a result developed a serious cough. A visit from Machiavelli revealed that their mutual friend Leonardo was dying. The pair travelled to Amboise in France to the manor Clos Luce, where Leonardo was staying.
Upon their arrival, Ezio snuck into Leonardo's room and met the old master. To entertain his bedridden friend, Ezio recounted his meeting and short fling with Lisa del Giocondo. During their other talks, Ezio learned that his friend wished to travel outside of the manor to places like England or even back to Venice where he hoped to sell his submarine idea, seeing as he was disappointed with his patron's last creation, a giant mechanical lion.
The pair stayed in France for another week, and visited Leonardo often. They were with him the moment he died. Upon their departure, rumors began to spread that King Francis was with Leonardo until he died, and had cradled his head. Ezio was disgusted by this rumor and believed that anyone, even a king, would do anything for publicity.
Teaching Shao Jun
- "So I spent many years teaching men and women to think and act for themselves. First in Rome, then among our Brotherhood in Constantinople."
- ―Ezio expaining his deeds to Shao Jun.[src]
Ezio spent his final years at his countryside villa, mostly tending to his garden, raising his children, with his wife Sofia taking care of him. One day in 1524, Sofia left with Marcello to visit Claudia, leaving Ezio to watch over Flavia. As Ezio started harvesting the crops, he called for Flavia to stay where he could see her. However, as he worked, he saw a mysterious cloaked figure approach Flavia. Panicking, he sprinted over to them, seizing the stranger by the collar, but pausing as he noticed the Assassin insignia on the necklace she wore.
Afterwards, the Assassin introduced herself as Shao Jun, a Chinese Assassin, who had travelled to Italy with her Mentor to learn of methods to unite the Assassins of her homeland. However, Ezio refused to be involved, though he allowed her to stay in the villa for the night on Sofia's insistence.
The following day, Ezio found Jun sitting in his private study, reading a letter he had been writing. Infuriated, he ordered her out of the room, and insisted that she leave the villa.
However, Jun thoughtfully recited to him the words that he had written, wishing to understand their meaning. Ezio finally consented and invited her to accompany him into Florence while he ran errands. On the journey there and back, he finally spoke to her of the importance of love in the Assassin Order, saying that if she could support that which inspired hope in her people, she would succeed.
However, the two of them were ambushed by a Chinese Imperial soldier in Florence. Jun explained that she was a concubine who had escaped by joining the Assassin Order, and the soldier who attacked the two worked for the Chinese Emperor. Correctly expecting another attack at the villa, Ezio had his family evacuate to Niccolò Machiavelli's home, while he and Jun stayed behind.
Ezio and Jun were able to defend against the attack later that night, and in the morning, Ezio gave Jun a small chest before her departure, telling her only to open it if she lost her way. He had known from the start that the chest – which happened to be of Precursor origin – was always empty, to teach Jun to accept the responsibility that only she could decide which path to follow, the same path of blood that Ezio had taken. Although he had seen the rage and anger behind her eyes and tears, he could not encourage Jun to seek revenge, for it was her that would fulfill her own destiny.
- "I am home."
- ―Ezio to Sofia in Florence.[src]
In his final hours, Ezio chose to go to Florence with Sofia and Flavia while they went shopping. Ezio sat down on a bench, feeling ill, and shrugging off Sofia's concerns that he should have stayed home, stating "I am home."
While Sofia and Flavia went to buy groceries, a young man approached Ezio, thoughtfully berating the women of Florence. Ezio wearily responded by implying the man was the problem, not the city. Immediately afterward, Ezio began panting and holding his chest in pain.
The young man quickly grabbed Ezio's hand and told Ezio to have courage. He told Ezio to "get some rest", and then left. Ezio looked back at him angrily but calmed down just as quickly. Breathing heavily, Ezio looked over at Sofia and Flavia, smiling, before resting his head against the back of the bench, and passing away peacefully.
- "Who are we, who have been so blessed to share our stories like this? To speak across centuries? Maybe you will answer all the questions I have asked. Maybe you will be the one to make all this suffering worth something in the end."
- ―Ezio reflecting on Desmond being able to witness his life.
Ezio's actions had a profound effect on the Order. Due to his efforts, many cities around Europe came under Assassin control and influence, ushering in something of a Golden Age in Europe. His descendants continued to take a leading role in the running of the Order for almost five-hundred years after his death.
At some point in his life, Ezio wrote a codex detailing the events of his life; including those that transpired in the Vatican Vault, which was named the Prophet's Codex. By 2002, it was located in the library of Ivan the Terrible underneath the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, protected by the Assassins, though it was eventually retrieved by the Templar agent Daniel Cross, who handed it over to Abstergo Industries.
By 2012, one of Ezio's descendants, Clay Kaczmarek, relived his memories through the Animus, and hid several data files in his recorded sessions. Desmond Miles, another descendant of Ezio from a later relationship, also relived his ancestor's memories in order to exploit the Bleeding Effect and inherit Ezio's skills as an Assassin. Concurrently, Desmond's sessions also allowed the modern-day Assassins to learn about the oncoming disaster, Minerva and the First Civilization, the location of Ezio's Apple of Eden, and the location of the Grand Temple. Desmond would eventuality sacrifice himself to protect Earth from the oncoming disaster.
In 2013, Abstergo Entertainment recovered Desmond's genetic material, and considered using Ezio's memories in one of their productions, seeing his charisma, looks, and youthful spirit as strong points; however, the company's marketing analysts also saw his "downward spiral of revenge" as a drawback, and interpreted his mission to spread his "corrupted Creed" throughout the world as a contradiction of the idea of free thought that he fought for. As a result, the company rejected any forthcoming production using Ezio as the main character, claiming it to be a risky investment. Further, in 2014, Abstergo Entertainment's CCO, Melanie Lemay, advised against using Ezio in their products, although she noted that he would be a perfect candidate for a series focusing on notable serial killers throughout history.
in 2017, Otso Berg relive Ezio's memories at Abstergo Montreal in order to learn how to graft the assassin's skills and knowledge onto himself while being the Black Cross.
Personality and characteristics
- "Ezio's learning fast. He reminds me of you."
- ―Maria to Giovanni.[src]
Ezio was raised as a Florentine nobleman in the late 15th century, unaware of either the Assassins' existence or his heritage. Although Ezio lived a life of luxury, he did not exhibit the typical spoiled attitude of other Florentine nobles. He was a playful, charming, affable young man who did chores for his mother and father without question and often went out of his way to help others, especially his family.
Before he was chased out of Florence, Ezio was outgoing and had many friends, although he was initially shy and awkward around girls. Like his father, Ezio possessed almost superhuman acrobatic abilities, being able to climb skyscrapers, move swiftly across rooftops, and perform death defying leaps with relative ease. It is unknown if he learned these skills on his own, or if they were taught to him by Giovanni, Federico, or Mario. 
While a novice Assassin, Ezio was frequently blinded by rage, furiously stabbing Uberto Alberti to death and flying into an angry tirade after killing Vieri. But eventually, Ezio managed to gain control of his emotions and, by the time he had become a Master Assassin, could control them almost completely. However, Ezio was still prone to flying off the handle at the right trigger; in 1506, he beat up Duccio de Luca in a fist-fight after incessant provocation.
By the time Ezio confronted Rodrigo Borgia, he had become more dedicated to his role as an Assassin, ceasing to use revenge as a motivation. He became more focused on instilling a sense of fraternity among his apprentices, and a love of the cultures they would defend from the Templars. He also spared the lives of any targets that he concluded had no need to die, most notably Micheletto Corella (although this would prove to be a mistake).
Ezio was loyal to his family and was pained for the rest of his life after the Auditore execution. Although he was able to lay the bodies of his fallen family to rest, he continued collecting feathers throughout Italy in honor of his youngest brother. This feather collection helped cure his mother of the comatose state she had been in since her husband and children were murdered. Claudia thought Ezio a bit overbearing at times, as shown by her journal, but knew that he was trying to help regardless, and stood by her brother and the Assassins.
Ezio became more quiet and distant during his late 40s, reluctant to share information regarding his early life with associates such as Salaì, but also being more open with those he knew and cared for. Near the end of his life, Ezio was still as loving and passionate with his family but became more gruff towards strangers, such as Shao Jun. This was in part due to his old age, but also reluctance to involve himself any further with Assassin affairs, although he eventually warmed up to the Chinese Assassin. It could also be said that Ezio had grown paranoid of strangers since, in comparison to previous seasons, he had not hired any help for his vineyard's grape harvest despite his worsening condition. In addition, Ezio had become somewhat forgetful, possibly increasing his uneasiness with unknown people.
Ezio also seemed to be aware, or at least have a feeling, that his time was growing short, as evidenced by his confession to Sofia, "I knew I would not have time to do everything, now I worry that I don't have time to do anything," as well as his preparation of a final letter in the event of his death.
Equipment and skills
- "Despite its age, its construction is rather advanced."
- ―Leonardo da Vinci, commenting on Ezio's Hidden Blade.[src]
Ezio was both a highly skilled Assassin and an adept Mentor. He learned and developed a vast array of skills, such as picking pockets, blending into crowds, armed and unarmed combat, alternative or multiple weapon attacks, stealth and public assassination techniques, freerunning and long-range combat.
He was also able to use a variety of weapons and gadgets, including two Hidden Blades, a sword, throwing knives, smoke bombs, short blade and many more. Born with the ability to use Eagle Vision, Ezio could instinctively differentiate friend from foe and be warned about any oncoming danger or attacks, allowing him to dodge it upon realization. After talking to his captive father, he later inherited his father's Assassin robes, which he would upgrade with various armor and dyes throughout his life.
An explorer, throughout his quests, Ezio scoured the cities he visited in search of Codex pages and seals from the six Assassin Tombs spread across northern Italy. The Codex pages allowed Leonardo da Vinci to upgrade his weaponry, including the addition of a wheellock firearm and poison needle concealed beneath his left Hidden Blade.
By collecting the six tomb seals, Ezio gained access to the armor Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad created, which was later lost during the Fall of Monteriggioni. He also collected capes that had helped him stay incognito to city guards. The only exception to this was the cape bearing the Auditore family crest, which made him easily recognizable, due to his family's history.
In 1500, during the Siege of Monteriggioni, Ezio lost most of his equipment but was able to keep his original Hidden Blade. His blade also underwent some alterations anonymously by Niccolò Machiavelli, though he merely replaced the former leather and metal bracer with a new, fully plated version bearing a different design. Also, the former blade was replaced with a newer one that bore a black tribal design running down the center of the blade.
During his time in Rome, Ezio's usual attire would be replaced by a new outfit based on elements from both his father's clothing and Altaïr's robes. He became an adept user of the crossbow, and also obtained the Armor of Brutus after stealing all the scrolls from the Followers of Romulus. In addition, Ezio also acquired poison darts and parachutes, courtesy of Leonardo da Vinci.
Ezio was a very skilled freerunner from a young age. He learned how to freerun under the tutelage of either his father or older brother, and was able to move quickly and efficiently in sprinting, climbing, and jumping. In addition, he was also an extremely enduring and strong athlete, being able to perform all these actions without being encumbered by his large variety of weapons and armor at all.
Despite his advancing years, Ezio Auditore's skill and speed as a freerunner increased significantly, being aware of all of his surroundings as well as planning his next move very quickly and carefully, as observed by younger Assassins such as Francesco Vecellio.
Ezio's speed and abilities gave him a legendary status among the Roman Thieves Guild, so far as going to convince some of the members to believe that Ezio's freerunning skills were exaggerated, and blatantly impossible for someone his age, forcing him to prove otherwise.
Ezio was also capable of tolerating and suppressing his own pain to a point where they would not prevent him from engaging in head-to-head combat if really needed. In 1500, during the siege of Monteriggioni, even after being shot by multiple arquebusiers in the chest area and then falling from a building because of it, Ezio was still able to fight guards with ease later on and even climb the Auditore Crypt walls without exhausting himself the least bit.
Ezio was also exceptionally durable for a man like him, brushing off direct cannonball hits that could easily destroy entire buildings in a single shot, twice in a row during the siege of Viana in a single shot and repeatedly surviving long falls from great heights which would generally be fatal even for the strongest of athletes. Ezio was also renowned for his superhuman strength and stamina, being able to fight with multiple heavily-armored enemies with his bare hands without showing any signs of fatigue, as seen when he effortlessly took out guards all by himself during the siege of Monteriggioni despite being shot and falling off a building not moments before.
By 1511, at age 52, due to him keeping himself rigorously active, Ezio had still retained his athletic and physical abilities as well as his skill in combat. His Eagle Vision had evolved into Eagle Sense, enabling him to track enemies, determine targets, diagnose the injured, detect scent vapors of poisons, detect imminent threats more precisely and faster, as seen when he was about to be attacked by stalkers, and find lost books around Constantinople. He acquired the hookblade from his fellow Master Assassin and close friend, Yusuf Tazim, and quickly mastered its utility in freerunning and combat.
He also made use of bomb-crafting after it had been introduced to him by Yusuf and Piri Reis. After discovering the ten memoir pages of Ishak Pasha scattered across Constantinople, Ezio explored the Hagia Sophia and recovered his armor.
After he retired, due to no longer keeping rigorously active, Ezio's age finally caught up to him and his physique degraded significantly. By 1524, Ezio's stamina and agility had decreased to the point where he could barely run across his own grape field, whereas before he could sprint for three-hundred meters uninterrupted. If not for neglecting his training, then Ezio's drastic physical deterioration was due to extreme old age and illness, though he retained his heightened sense of awareness, even at his death.
Even with his severe handicaps, Ezio was still able to overpower three Chinese swordsmen with only his fireplace poker. He was even able to use the poker as an improvised hookblade, using it to throw an attacker across the room before hurling it into his skull. However, Ezio was completely outmatched by the last enemy in terms of strength due to old age, and would have definitely been killed had the attacker not succumbed to the injuries inflicted by both Ezio and Shao Jun.
Ezio took quite a beating for a man his age during the assault on his Villa, and this may have contributed to his passing not long after Jun's departure, though it is more likely that his heart simply could not handle the amount of stress he had gone through.
- "A minute is all I need! [...] Wait... that came out wrong."
- ―Ezio to Cristina Vespucci, 1476.[src]
Ezio was known for his good looks, flirtatious nature and predisposition for womanizing. Though the latter part of his life was centered around his hunt for Rodrigo Borgia, Ezio shared multiple romantic relationships with a number of different women.
By 1476, Ezio had had many encounters with various unnamed Florentine girls and courtesans before the execution of his family, insulting Vieri de' Pazzi by suggesting that his sister seemed quite satisfied with the "handling" he had given her earlier.
That year, Ezio was in a permanent relationship of sorts with Cristina Vespucci, though against the wishes of her father. Following his street brawl with Vieri de' Pazzi on the Ponte Vecchio, Ezio visited Cristina during the night, despite his brother's request otherwise. He was chased out by Cristina's father the next morning, and subsequently had to flee the city guards.
Two years later, when Ezio returned to Florence, Cristina was engaged to Manfredo Soderini, though she admitted to still loving Ezio. Eight years later, when Cristina and Manfredo travelled to Venice for Carnevale, Ezio, posing as her husband, wrote to her asking her to come to meet him, to which Cristina complied. As both wore Carnevale masks, she did not recognize him until he kissed her.
Cristina then removed his mask and asked Ezio how he dared kiss her like that, telling him she never wanted to see him again. When Ezio tried to stop her, she explained that if he really loved her, he would not simply have let Manfredo marry her.
When Ezio returned to Florence again in 1497, he learned from a wounded Manfredo that he and Cristina had been attacked by Savonarola's men. Ezio tracked down Cristina and killed her assailants. As he proceeded to take Cristina to a doctor, she died in his arms, after telling him that she wished that they could have had a second chance together. Ezio wrote years later that he felt something "withered" in him after her death.
Before meeting with Cristina during Carnevale, and while trying to find a way to Venice, Ezio accompanied his friend, Leonardo da Vinci, to Forlì. He was initially refused passage aboard the ship to Venice, but his fortunes changed after encountering Caterina Sforza, who had become stranded on a small island with no means of escape.
Ezio rescued her, and she repaid the favor by granting him passage to Venice. She also told him that the next time he returned to Forlì, it would "be her pleasure" to entertain him. Moments later, after Ezio revealed to his close friend that Caterina was a future conquest and his type of woman, Leonardo informed Ezio of the lady's identity and that she was married to the Count of the city.
Also, at some point during his time in Forlì, Ezio encountered a girl named Amelia. During this encounter, Amelia and two of her friends were discussing whether anyone could beat their record in a horseback riding race. Ezio took on the challenge in return for a "private riding lesson" with Amelia should he prove successful, which he was.
When Ezio arrived in Venice for the first time, an unknown young woman attempted to pickpocket him. Later the same day, Ezio witnessed the woman and a group of thieves attempting to scale the Palazzo della Seta. The attempt ended in failure, and the girl was shot in the leg by an archer.
Ezio intervened, defending her from Emilio Barbarigo's thugs. Upon helping her to get to safety, he learned that her name was Rosa, and that she was a member of the city's Thieves Guild. At first, Rosa's attitude towards Ezio was very aggressive and unfriendly, but after he saved her, she became much more amiable.
While trying to acquire the Golden Mask, Ezio was seen flirting with many of Sister Teodora's courtesans. After the Carnevale challenges, when Ezio went up to accept the Golden Mask as his prize for victory, he was accompanied by a courtesan. After assassinating Marco Barbarigo and seeking sanctuary in the brothel, Ezio flirted with Sister Teodora, who invited several of her girls to "comfort" Ezio.
Since their first meeting in Forlì, Ezio's feelings for Caterina Sforza developed, and in January 1500, Ezio had an intimate encounter with her, sleeping with her in the Villa Auditore before it was besieged by Cesare Borgia and his army.
After her capture, Ezio sank into a state of near depression, where his feelings for Caterina conflicted with his suspicion that she was merely using him. Despite this impression, Ezio was determined to rescue her from the Castel Sant'Angelo, disregarding the insistence of Niccolò that Cesare and Rodrigo Borgia should be the focus of his attention.
During their escape, Caterina hesitantly explained to Ezio that the night they had shared had only been in the name of politics, as she had needed his help in defending Forlì. Ezio continued to hope that his feelings for Caterina were reciprocated, though she soon informed him otherwise. Despite his subsequent decision to no longer pursue Caterina's affections, the two remained close allies for the sake of the Brotherhood.
In 1504, Ezio met Lisa del Giocondo, when the lady discovered him unconscious following an ambush by Borgia men and tended to his wound. Hiding in her father's barn for several days while he healed, the Assassin and the lady grew close. However, he left before anything could happen, respecting Lisa's faithfulness to her husband. Fifteen years later, Ezio remembered this day as one of the most bittersweet of his existence.
While on a ship arriving in Constantinople, Ezio briefly saw Sofia Sartor, who was traveling from Rhodes and returning to her bookstore. He attempted to talk to her, but she was too distracted to pay attention to him. Later, Ezio met Sofia again at her store while searching for the Masyaf Keys. The two worked out a bargain: if she helped Ezio track down the keys, he would retrieve and give her some of the books the Polos had hidden.
In an attempt to keep Sofia away from the Assassin and Templar fight, Ezio kept Sofia in the dark about the purpose of his search, and attempted to keep his relationship with her platonic. However, as time went on, Ezio grew to admire Sofia more, and would often linger at her shop to be with her. Sofia also came to adore Ezio as well, asking him to be her escort to Adrianople (which Ezio had to reluctantly decline due to his search). She also arranged a picnic for the two of them in a park near Hagia Sophia.
When Ezio left Constantinople to assassinate Manuel Palaiologos, he asked Yusuf Tazim to keep Sofia safe. However, the Templar Ahmet, knowing of their relationship, dispatched a group of soldiers to kidnap her. While Yusuf managed to hold back many of the soldiers, he was eventually killed, and Sofia was captured.
Upon learning this, Ezio flew into a rage and attacked the Arsenal in great force with the local Assassins. He eventually submitted to Ahmet's demands however, as he still held Sofia, and gave up the Masyaf Keys. However, after being rescued, Sofia helped Ezio chase after Ahmet and retrieve what had been taken.
Ezio and Sofia eventually travelled to Altaïr's library in May 1512. Once Ezio decided to retire as an Assassin, the two left Masyaf and wed each other, before the couple moved to a villa outside Florence, where they would eventually raise their son and daughter. In 1524, Ezio died of a heart attack, and his final words were in a letter addressed to Sofia, where he commented that the love he had for her and their children was what had kept him going in his old age.
Assassin's Creed II
- The names "Ezio" and "Altaïr" have similar meanings and origins. "Altaïr" means "the flying one", while "Ezio" means "eagle". "Altaïr" also comes from the name of the brightest star in the constellation Aquila, which also translates to "eagle".
- According to Italian naming customs Ezio is a nome, a personal name, and Auditore is a cognome, a surname. Auditore means "a hearer, or listener" and is a surname derived from a professional title that usually belonged to judges. Da Firenze simply means "of/from Florence", identifying the place of his birth.
- According to the game manual, Ezio is 6' 0" (1.83 m) tall and weighs 165 lbs (75 kg).
- Ezio's Animus database only details his life before he became an Assassin, holding no information on his life within the Order, unlike his later ones in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood and Revelations.
- Throughout Italy, Ezio will only remove his hood during cutscenes if he was wearing his father's Assassin robes.
- If players choose to play Sequence 13 before Sequence 12, by clearing the DLC cache, Ezio's beard will disappear until he kills Checco Orsi. This is impossible to do so in the PC version however, as they are incorporated into the main storyline.
- In a very rare glitch, after completing the blending mission for Paola, Ezio's hood may appear down when it is supposed to be up. This shows that the character model for Ezio is the same as Desmond.
- While wearing the Florentine Noble Attire, Ezio had the same movement animations as Desmond, before switching to animations similar to Altaïr's after acquiring his father's robes.
- In Assassin's Creed II, during the brawl against Vieri de' Pazzi, Ezio receives a deep gash on his lip from a thrown rock. However, in Renaissance, the wound is situated on his forehead instead.
- In Assassin's Creed: Renaissance, it is stated that Ezio was grey-eyed. Despite that, in Assassin's Creed II, Brotherhood, Revelations and Embers, Ezio is depicted with amber-colored eyes.
Assassin's Creed II: Discovery
- In his biography, Ezio's title was misspelled, listing him as "Ezio Auditore de Firenze" instead of "Ezio Auditore da Firenze".
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
- Although Ezio received the brand on his left hand's ring finger when he was inducted into the Order, it was never shown in Brotherhood or any media since.
- It was revealed that Ezio could speak some French, as there were "a couple of French girls in Firenze".
- In promotional art for Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, Ezio is shown with two identical bracers for his Hidden Blades. However, it is not possible in Rome to obtain a bracer for Ezio's right arm that matches the first one.
- As well as this, Ezio is shown with only the left Plate Armor pauldron, while the other was missing. However, it is not possible to manage Ezio's pauldrons in such a way.
- In the Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood novel, Ezio loses all his Codex inventions (the Hidden Gun, the Poison Blade, and the second Hidden Blade) during the Villa attack. In the game, Ezio only loses the Armor of Altaïr, the Metal Cestus and the second Hidden Blade, though he still says to Leonardo that he had lost all of the inventions.
- Ezio's storyline, emphasizing his loneliness, was inspired by George Clooney's character in the film Up in the Air.
Assassin's Creed: The Secret Crusade
- Ezio is briefly mentioned in the novel Assassin's Creed: The Secret Crusade. At the beginning of the book, he is stated to be standing on the deck of the ship to Constantinople, before returning to his quarters to read Niccolò Polo's journal, "La crociata segreta".
Assassin's Creed: Revelations
- Ezio does not wear a cape on his left shoulder as he did in previous installments, though he did have one prior to being captured by the Templars at Masyaf. He also wears a full-length cloak when while in Cappadocia.
- A cape does show when he wore the Armor of Brutus outfit, however, and it retains the usual animations from the previous games.
- Revelations is the only installment in which Ezio wears an outfit where the default appearance of his robes was not white.
- Ezio's second Hidden Blade, which was broken, could still be seen if he triggers them in the loading screen of the Animus.
- Ezio sometimes used Turkish terms when speaking to citizens, contacts and his apprentices.
- It was noted that Ezio's knowledge of the Turkish language was somewhat lacking, commenting that it was "absurd", and that his Greek was "nonexistent", though this was most likely a joke on his part, as most of the songs were intended to be taken humorously.
- It was revealed that Ezio had some experience in playing the lute when he was younger, as he said that he "learned a few chords".
- When singing at the party, Ezio spoke of several notable people from his past, including Rodrigo, Cesare, and Lucrezia Borgia, Vieri and Francesco de' Pazzi, Duccio, and Caterina Sforza.
- Even if Ezio dyes his robes a different color and upgraded his armor, the robes would return to the original grey and were shown without any upgrades during the cutscenes that showed him writing letters to Claudia.
- Upon their first meeting, Piri Reis incorrectly assumed that Ezio's name was Lothario; a lothario has come to mean a man whose main interest is seducing women. The colloquialism was fitting to Ezio's personality during his younger days, when he would often flirt with the women he met during his travels.
- Ezio was noticeably less likely to regain balance and continue running after tumbling to the ground, most likely due to his age, although this is easily countered by repeatedly pressing the Fast Walk button upon tumbling down.
Assassin's Creed III
- Ezio's robes are available to purchase through Uplay for Assassin's Creed III for 30 Uplay points. The robes are his Roman ones. However, the underside of the cape and the interior of the hood are white instead of the red that appears in the game. The robe also includes a leather shoulder spaulder and one Hidden Blade bracer, despite the fact that Connor was able to wield two blades.
- Achilles Davenport mentioned Ezio during a conversation with Connor about the history of the Assassins.
- In the visions shown to Desmond by Juno in the Grand Temple, in which Ezio spoke to Minerva, Juno showed Ezio wearing his Roman robes, despite the fact he wore the Armor of Altaïr at the time. A similar error appears in the opening cinematic, in which Ezio is displayed wearing his Pilgrimage robes while talking to Minerva.
Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China
- Roger Craig Smith did not reprise the role of Ezio for Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China, to the disappointment of some fans. In response, Loomer, a member of the online Assassin's Creed community, contacted Smith and collaborated with him to make a short fanmade video titled "The Training of Shao Jun."
- Ezio appears in the fighting game Soulcalibur V as a guest fighter. He wears his Roman robes, and uses all weapon types at his disposal in said game. His alternate costume is a minor color alteration of his robes (from red and white to yellow and grey), and he cannot be further customized.
- In his Soulcalibur V appearance, Ezio is seen wearing identical Hidden Blade bracers, similar to pre-release images of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood.
- Interestingly, Ezio has a Roman Longsword and a Stiletto dagger instead of his more powerful weapons. Also unlike other characters, Ezio has only one set of weapons, and they are exclusive to him.
- Ezio's Soulcalibur V character art is taken from a promotional picture for Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, which features Ezio attacking Cesare Borgia.
- His profile image is likewise taken from his stance on the cover of Assassin's Creed II.
- Ezio shares his voice actor, Roger Craig Smith, with one of the series' main characters, Siegfried Schtauffen.
- Ezio's story in the Soulcalibur world states that he intercepted a Templar raid on Queen Isabella's boat, and after touching an unknown artifact, jumped through time to a period near to the end of the 16th century.
- Darby McDevitt, Lead Writer of Assassin's Creed: Revelations, said that it was probable that Ezio had fathered children outside of his marriage to Sofia. Indeed, one unidentified child's bloodline would eventually lead to Clay Kaczmarek.
- Ezio's Assassin's Creed II outfit can be unlocked in Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands via Uplay for 30 points.
- A Sackboy version of Ezio's outfit from Assassin's Creed II and Assassin's Creed: Revelations can be purchased for LittleBigPlanet via the PlayStation Store.
- In PlayStation Home, Ezio's Assassin robes from Assassin's Creed II are an outfit that could be bought.
- Ezio was featured in the "Michael" live action commercial, part of the Long Live Play advertisement of Sony. There, he gave tribute to the gamer Michael for playing his part when "the Templars murdered his family", then chanted Michael's name in unison with the rest of the characters.
- So far, Neca has manufactured highly detailed figures of Ezio. The White Edition includes Ezio in his default robes with two Hidden Blades, though only the right arm one is removable. The Black Edition includes Ezio with a single Hidden Blade, along with his robes dyed in the Wetlands Ebony fashion and wearing the Missaglias armor. Later, they fashioned a figure that resembles Ezio in his default robes in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, though it is never included in any game version, and can only be bought separately.
- Hot Toys has also made a 1/6 figure of Ezio in his primary robes from Assassin's Creed II with real cloth and multiple points of articulation. This figure features removable dual Hidden Blades, the Sword of Altaïr, a Notched Cinquedea, six throwing knives, a removable hood, a removable ponytail and four extra hands.
- The throwing knives, however, are not eagle-themed like in the game, and the Notched Cinquedea uses a seperate sheath, which is much unlike in the game.
- Square Enix's Play Arts Kai department has also made an Ezio figure, albeit in the Misaglias Armor and the Bonus Dye skin. Although not featuring real cloth, the cinquedea, the removable throwing knives or the removable hood, the Sword of Altaïr is much more durable than the Hot Toys version, the throwing knives are game accurate and the Notched Cinquedea can be sheathed alongside the Sword of Altaïr. This version also features removable dual Hidden Blades and interchangable hands.
- Hot Toys has also made a 1/6 figure of Ezio in his primary robes from Assassin's Creed II with real cloth and multiple points of articulation. This figure features removable dual Hidden Blades, the Sword of Altaïr, a Notched Cinquedea, six throwing knives, a removable hood, a removable ponytail and four extra hands.
- On the Xbox 360, it is possible to purchase Ezio's Robes from Assassin's Creed II, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, and Assassin's Creed: Revelations as avatar outfits, costing 400 Microsoft points each.
- It has been confirmed by writer Darby McDevitt that Ezio and Altaïr were not related, but came from two different sides of Desmond's family.
- Ezio Auditore was featured in the Spike Video Game Awards of 2010 as part of his nomination for Character of the Year. When he was mentioned among the nominees, he addressed the crowd about his nomination, and how they should be cautious about the Templars.
- Another vignette was made in case he won, and was shown during the end credits of the show due to another winner being declared. Holding the Spike trophy, Ezio was named Best Dressed Assassin. Ezio then thanked the crowd and his associates during his time in Rome, and dedicated the award to Mario Auditore.
- Ezio appeared in a short TV advertisement for Assassin's Creed: Revelations, along with athletes Adrian Peterson, BJ Penn, and Derrick Rose, from the NFL, UFC, and NBA respectively. Ezio was shown last, putting on his hood. During Ezio's interval, it stated that he had done 90,793 hits.
- Ezio's Revelations outfit appears as a DLC outfit for Noel Kreiss in Final Fantasy XIII-2.
- Most of Ezio's romantic relationships were with women who served as model for painters: Cristina Vespucci for Sandro Botticelli, Caterina Sforza for Lorenzo di Credi in La dama dei gelsomini, Lisa del Giocondo for Leonardo Da Vinci and Sofia Sartor for Albrecht Dürer.
- Assassin's Creed: Lineage (first appearance)
- Assassin's Creed II
- Assassin's Creed II: Discovery
- Assassin's Creed: Renaissance
- Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy
- Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
- Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood novel
- Assassin's Creed: The Secret Crusade
- Assassin's Creed: Embers
- Assassin's Creed: Ascendance
- Assassin's Creed: Revelations
- Assassin's Creed: Revelations novel
- Assassin's Creed: Recollection
- Soulcalibur V (non-canonical appearance)
- Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (appears in video)
- Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China (appears in flashback(s))
- Assassin's Creed: Identity (non-canonical appearance)
- Assassin's Creed: Uprising
- Assassin's Creed: Rebellion
- Assassin's Creed: Odyssey (appears in vision)
- Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood of Venice
- Assassin's Creed: Blade of Shao Jun (appears in flashback(s))
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla (voice only)