- "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 by this, 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 the Codex Wall in the villa. 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 to 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 was installed in his new workshop, Ezio began to track his target.
Ezio began to seek a way into the Palazzo della Seta, the palace of Emilio Barbarigo, although this effort initially proved to be in vain. Suddenly pushed aside, Ezio watched as a gang of thieves attempted and failed to breach the Palazzo, leading Ezio to aid the woman thief who stole him, Rosa, who had been shot through the leg with an arrow. They joined the thief Ugo who escorted Rosa in a gondola while Ezio protected them from the guards who followed them. Arriving in the thieves guild of Venice, Ezio helped their leader Antonio de Magianis to heal Rosa. As the thief knew why Ezio was in the city, he asked to the Florentine to discuss with him.
In his office, Antonio explained to Ezio that the thieves wanted to liberate Venice from Emilio's grip and that they needed to work together to concoct a new plot to kill him and liberate the merchant district. Ezio accepted and helped Ugo to liberate the thieves who were captured during the 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.
After four years reinforcing the thieves guild, the group had a plan: Ezio stole the armors of Emilio's guards like that Antonio's men could impersonate them. After that, Ezio killed the archers who protected the palace on the rooftops. While the thieves replaced them, Ezio sent a group of thieves lured the guards at the entry of the palace while he climbed the wall. In the palace, he eavesdropped a conversation between Emilio and a government official named Carlo and learned that they will be a Templar meeting in three days. After Carlo left the palace, Ezio killed Emilio and the guards were shot by the arrows of the thieves. Antonio reclaimed the palace and used it as the new headquarters of the guild. Antonio also informed Ezio that the official was Carlo Grimaldi, a member of the Council of Ten. With this new lead, Ezio decided to assist to the meeting.
The murder of Doge Mocenigo
Three days after Emilio's death, Ezio spied the meeting between Carlo and Silvio Barbarigo, Emilio's cousin and inquisitor of Venice. Following them, he saw the two men joined by another 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. 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, an enraged Antonio remarked that only birds could get into the Doge's palace, reminding 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 bonfire 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 deciphered the Codex page he found on Grimaldi. With that, Leonardo fabricated 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 tried to speak with Antonio and Teodora but a courtesan was killed by a thief. Ezio followed the murderer and killed him with his hidden gun. Returning in the brothel, Ezio told to Antonio about his plan to kill Marco Barbarigo. As the new Doge of the city, the Templar was well protected but Teodora informed Ezio that Marco gave a party outside the palace and that Ezio can competing in the four games of the Carnevale to win the Golden Mask that would gain him entrance to Marco's private party.
Ezio participating to the different games of the Carnevale. He won the race across the Dorsoduro district. He also defeat an opponent to a game of capture the flag. In the third game, Ezio's handsomeness helped him to collect more ribbons from the ladies of the Carnavale. During the last challenge, Ezio fought in a fistfight three adversaries but Silvio Barbarigo sent Dante Moro to fight Ezio. As the bodyguard was defeated, Silvio sent armed guards to kill Ezio but the Florentine won the fight. During the ceremony, Ezio was ready to receive the Golden Mask but Silvio had intimidated and bribed the judges into denying him his prize which was given to Dante. 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 as he was masked. He wrote a letter to Cristina impersonating her husband and inviting her to join him in a nearby street. As he slipped the letter into her pocket, Cristina went to the date. As Ezio began to kiss her, Cristina found her husband more romantic than custom and understood that it was Ezio. Angry, she rejected Ezio blaming him to have let her married Manfredo while she loved him. She asked him to never meet her again and she left him alone.
However, Ezio was successful in stealing the mask from Dante and managed to infiltrate the Doge's personal party. During the party, Dante arrived and searched with guards the man who stole the Mask. Ezio succeeded to avoid the patrol during the party. As his target appeared on a boat, Ezio assassinated Marco with the Hidden Gun using the fireworks to hide the blast of the shot. As the guards tracked him, Ezio fled the party and returned to the brothel where Antonio and Teodora congratulated him for the death of the Doge. 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 in 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, Ezio decided to act. Needing a force of his own, Antonio directed Ezio to the mercenary leader, Bartolomeo d'Alviano, who was a personal enemy of Silvio. Ezio swiftly liberated Bartolomeo and his soldiers, and once Bartolomeo learned of Ezio's purpose, he was more than willing to assist in Silvio's destruction.
Arriving near the Quartier di Bartolomeo d'Alviano, Ezio found a dying mercenary who explained in his last breath that they were attacked by Silvio men and that Bartolomeo was captured. Ezio liberated Bartolomeo and fought out their way to his quarters. Bartolomeo accepted to help Ezio but first they will need to liberate his mercenaries. Ezio killed the guards who kept them prisoners, reinforcing Bartolomeo troops.
As Bartolomeo army was completed, they organized they planed: causing trouble trough the Arsenale to dispatch Silvio's men, giving an opportunity to Ezio to kill Silvio. Ezio killed some of the guards and placed Bartolomeo's men in strategic points. Using a firework as a signal, the mercenaries attacked the guards. As Bartolomeo fought Dante Moro, Ezio duelled the bodyguard. Dante flew the fight as Silvio ordered him to join him o a boat. Bartolomeo and his men contained the guards while Ezio tracked Dante and Silvio and killed them before they left the city. However, Ezio was astonished to learn that the plot to remove the Doge was merely a distraction so that the Templars could flee the city. Silvio refused to tell where they supposed to go but Dante revealed that they went to Cyprus but died before saying what they searched there. After celebrating the victory with Bartolomeo and his men, Ezio decided to learn more about this journey to Cyprus.
Early years as a formal Assassin
Induction into the 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 when Rosa brought him a shipping manifest detailing the return of the ship that very day. Leonardo approached Ezio, explaining that he had discovered that all the Codex pages put together a message, saying "The Prophet will appear when the second piece is brought to the floating city." Ezio recalled the prophecy his uncle 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 the plan of Rodrigo Borgia to find the Vault.
Sneaking into the Arsenal, Ezio watched as a Templar guard carrying the Piece of Eden disembarked from the ship. Ezio remarked that his uncle Mario was also spying the Templars. Stealthily, Ezio followed the guard with the artifact to the Templar headquarters.
Ezio assassinated the guard, impersonating him and carrying the Piece of Eden to a meeting with Rodrigo Borgia himself. Finally able to confront the man ultimately responsible for the deaths of his father and brothers, Ezio criticized the Templar Grand Master for the non-appearance of the supposed "prophet". Rodrigo responded, proudly naming himself the prophet before engaging Ezio in battle. The duel was short, and Ezio easily bested the Templar.
Rodrigo called upon his personal guards and taunted the Assassin, saying that "his people" had failed to show up. At that very moment, Mario Auditore, along with Antonio Magianis, La Volpe and Bartolomeo d'Alviano appeared to fight the guards with Ezio. As they defeated his men, Rodrigo escaped from them 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 wasn't 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 induct Ezio into the Assassin Order. That night, they all met again and Ezio was formally inducted 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 started to glow and show 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. Remembering he met her seven years ago, Ezio was happy to participate in this mission. Ezio bid farewell to Leonardo who was invited by Mario to pass in Monteriggioni when he wanted.
Niccolò and Ezio met with Caterina in Romagna, just outside the city of Forlì. The Countess of Forlì was pleased to see again Ezio. Escorted by her guards, they discussed about the Apple and the fact that Caterina made assassinated her husband, Girolamo Riario, a Templar who 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 hired to kill her husband. Understanding they were hired by the Templars to find Riario's map, the group decided to enter in 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.
With the guards, Ezio, Niccolò and Caterina fought the mercenaries in they way to the Citadel. Reaching the Rocca di Ravaldino, they found out that two of Caterina’s children, Ottaviano and Bianca, were missing due to the attack. As the mercenaries entered in the Citadel, Ezio and the guards repelled the attack.
After the attack, the Orsi brothers arrived blackmailing Caterina to kill her two missing children if she didn't give Riario's map and the Apple. She refused but secretly asked Ezio to save her children. Before leaving, Ezio entrusted to her the Apple. Making his way into Romagna, Ezio overpowered the guard detail assigned to imprison Bianca, who directed Ezio to her brother Ottaviano. As Bianca fled back to the city, Ezio made his way to the lighthouse upon which Ottaviano was being held by Ludovico himself. Climbing the tower, Ezio dispatched Ludovico and freed Ottaviano.
Returning to the Citadel with the children, Ezio discovered that Checco led an attack and took the Apple. Ezio swiftly tracked down and killed Checco and his remaining men. As he bent to retrieve the Apple, Ezio failed to notice Checco stabbing him in the abdomen before it was too late. 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 Ezio's pleads to not open the satchel holding the Piece of Eden.
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 hurriedly explained to Caterina that a man in black had stolen the Apple. She recognized him to be dressed similarly to the monks residing outside the city walls, and Ezio decided to search the church. Before he left the city Caterina gave to Ezio her husband's map to help him in his quest.
Though there was no sign of the monk, Ezio met with Brother O’Callahan, who was harassed by Borgia guards. As Ezio saved him, he told him to continue his search at San Vincenzo, in central Forlì. An abbot there identified Ezio as the monk Stefano da Bagnone's killer and fled. He was intercepted and, once convinced that he was not about to die, the monk gave Ezio the name of the nine fingered monk: Girolamo Savonarola and indicated him that he took his retirement in Florence.
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]
While trying to locate Savonarola, Ezio continued to accomplish missions for the Brotherhood. Between 1488 and 1491, he went to Florence to recruit in the Brotherhood the Ghost of Florence Girolamo da Lucca, who accept the offer. Ezio also became a close friend with the Roman Assassin Lucas Bellini.
In 1491, Ezio was told by an acquaintance to meet Antonio at the Thieves Guild in Venice. Upon arriving there, Ezio found Antonio accompanied by another man, Luis de Santángel. Luis was looking for a good "killer" who could oversee a meeting involving Luis' friend Christopher Columbus, but Ezio expressed no interest.
However, when Ezio heard that Rodrigo Borgia was also involved in the meeting, he rushed to Columbus' location, finding out that it was a trap. However, he managed to save Columbus, who explained that Rodrigo was interested in his plans to sail west. Soon afterward, Ezio met with Antonio again, who told him to go see both Luis and Columbus in the gardens district.
They then told him that the Templars were in possession of Columbus' atlas, which featured the journey's route. Ezio quickly recovered the atlas and brought it back to Columbus and Luis. Luis informed Ezio of the presence of Spanish Assassins, who were held captive by the Spanish Inquisitor General, Tomás de Torquemada. Feeling it was his duty to rescue them, Ezio temporarily diverged from his goal to reclaim the Apple of Eden and set out to Spain, but not before Antonio gave him the names of two of his contacts. Ezio left Italy with other Assassins as Girolamo and Lucas to help their Spanish brothers.
After arriving in Spain and briefly losing his sword to a thief, Ezio met with Antonio's contacts and was directed to the local Thieves Guild. When he arrived there, however, he found that it was empty, only to be ambushed by the Inquisitors' men.
After making his escape through the sewers, Ezio met Raphael Sánchez, who revealed himself to be an Assassin. Raphael informed Ezio of the location of the first captured Assassin, and Ezio rushed to save him. Right before the Assassin could be burned by the Inquisitors, Ezio killed all the guards and freed him.
After Ezio's return, Raphael revealed that it was Gaspar Martínez who had been ordered to capture the Assassins by Torquemada. Ezio located Gaspar and found him, Torquemada, and a guard surrounding a captured Assassin.
Torquemada revealed to the captured Assassin—and indirectly to Ezio—that Rodrigo Borgia had ordered him to capture Assassins in Spain, because they were "non-believers". After the guard killed the Assassin, the group disbanded, and Gaspar was left unguarded.
Ezio then met with him and asked him what he knew of the Templars, but Gaspar feigned ignorance and said that they "went away two centuries ago". He fell silently to Ezio's blade, and Ezio acquired a list of names of six other captured Assassins. After freeing the first man on the list, Ezio took him back to Raphael and informed the latter of the existence of the list. However, all the remaining Assassins were located in Zaragoza.
Once in Zaragoza, Raphael told Ezio to find the Inquisition's Calficador, Pedro Llorente, whose tribunal met at the far side of town. Arriving there, Ezio found that Torquemada was also present. One of the Assassins was being tried, and after he refused to convert and confess, he was killed.
Ezio eavesdropped on the ensuing conversation and hurried to locate the remaining five Assassins. Four of them were held captive inside some catacombs, with the last held inside a church. After securing their safety, Ezio killed Pedro Llorente.
Returning to Raphael, Ezio requested if he could return to Italy. However, Raphael still needed some help against the Inquisitors in Granada. Ezio complied, helping to assassinate a Templar spy in the city, and discovering along the way that Luis Santangel was also an Assassin.
Once again, Ezio planned to return to Italy but was disturbed by the Templars. He was forced to fight off the Templars to defend Luis, and was informed that Raphael had been captured.
Ezio fought to rescue Raphael, and proceeded to infiltrate Torquemada's fortress. After a brief conversation between Ezio and Torquemada, Torquemada closed the gates in front of him, preventing Ezio from assassinating him.
Ezio returned to Raphael and Luis, and said that he did not believe Torquemada was a Templar himself, but only blindly followed Rodrigo Borgia's false preaching. Ezio ultimately left for Italy to resume his quest to recover the Apple of Eden, and told Luis and Raphael to inform him of Columbus' journey to find the New World should he return.
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]
Having returned from Spain, Ezio immediately continued his quest to find the Apple of Eden. During the Spring 1493, Ezio discovered that the Templars were once again in Florence. He asked the Italian Assassins and other European guilds to investigate on the matter.
In 1494, Ezio returned to his hometown and bumped into a monk who was running from Borgia guards, saying they were asking about "apples". Ezio, realizing the Borgia knew that Savonarola had the Apple, rushed to the Santa Maria del Fiore where he found a monk called Savonarola being harassed by Borgia guards. After watching the scene for a while, Ezio jumped down from atop the church and rescued Savonarola. Only then did Ezio realize that the monk had all ten fingers, and he introduced himself as Marcello Savonarola; Girolamo's cousin. Marcello, in gratitude to Ezio, revealed that his cousin was in Venice at the time, and Ezio set off once again.
Ezio was greeted by Teodora in Venice and asked her where he could find the fire-and-brimstone-preaching monk. She replied that she did not know where Savonarola was, but did know where to find a herald who preached similar things. Additionally, she revealed that Lorenzo de' Medici had died and that Rodrigo Borgia had been elected Pope, under the name Alexander VI. Teodora led Ezio to the square where the herald was preaching, and Ezio blended in with the crowd. Convincing the herald that he was a true believer, and asking him about Savonarola's location, Ezio concluded that the herald was completely blinded by faith.
Eventually, a young man screamed at the preacher, saying that he had just escaped from Florence, which was taken over by Savonarola. He explained that the Signoria were either behind Savonarola, or powerless against him, and that people like Botticelli were joining him in starting bonfires to burn writings and arts related to the Renaissance. The young man revealed himself to be Piero de' Medici, son of the late Lorenzo. Ezio walked up to him, saying that he was a friend of his father. After the herald ordered their deaths, Ezio revealed his name to Piero, and the two men faced off against their attackers. The herald himself pulled out a dagger and charged at Ezio, but Piero saved him by slicing the herald's legs, after which Ezio finished the enemy off. While Piero went to warn Agostino Barbarigo of Savonarola's preachings, Ezio left Venice.
In 1497, Ezio returned to Florence, and made his way to the Oltrarno District, hearing stories about Savonarola's dictatorship, and the desire for the Assassin's return. Eventually, he met with Niccolò Machiavelli on a bridge, and the two made their way to Savonarola's residence, the Palazzo Pitti. On their journey, Niccolò informed Ezio that Savonarola bewitched his lieutenants to control the city and began the Bonfire of the Vanities. He also discovered that Rodrigo sent guards in Florence to take the Apple. Ezio devised a plan to overthrow Savonarola's rule: he would kill the men who suppressed the people in Savonarola's name, while Niccolò, Paola and La Volpe would rally the citizens to stand up to Savonarola's rule. Ezio then set off to finish off each of Savonarola's nine lieutenants.
Ezio began his hunt by killing the artist who destroyed any art or scripture he could find. Ambushed by the Guard Captain and his men, Ezio killed them all. As the Nobleman was about to denounce Ezio to Savonarola, the Assassin killed him. Ezio also killed the Priest and the Preacher who tried to convince the population by their preachings. The Farmer, the Merchant and the Doctor were killed as they refused to help the citizens before they submitted to Savonarola. As the Condottiero blocked the bridges of the city to force the population to join them, Ezio killed him. During their confession, Ezio discovered that some of the lieutenant acted against their nature due to the Apple but also that some of them were totally agreed with Savonarola.
Ezio ran into Manfredo Soderini again, as he found him barely alive after being attacked by Savonarola's men. Ezio hurriedly asked where Cristina was, and Manfredo replied that the men had chased after her. Ezio successfully managed to kill Cristina's attackers, but she had already been heavily wounded. She admitted to Ezio that she would have liked for them to have had a second chance, before she died in his arms.
Soon after Ezio killed Savonarola's followers, the rioters formed an angry mob and stormed the Palazzo Pitti, demanding an end to the bonfires. Savanarola tried to use the Apple to quell the riot, but before he could, Ezio threw a knife at him, knocking the Apple out of his hand. In the ensuing chaos, the Apple was picked up by a guard in service to the Borgia, who had also been trying to recover the Apple from Savonarola. Ezio followed him, killed him, and recovered the Apple.
Savonarola was then sentenced to be executed in the same way he had dealt with the city's knowledge: burned at the stake on the Piazza della Signoria. However, Ezio decided that no one should have to die in such agony. The Assassin leapt onto the execution platform and put Savonarola out of his misery. Ezio then looked at the stunned mob and delivered a speech, urging them to follow their own path and rely on their own thoughts, not what they were told by the ones in power. Ezio then left with Mario, Niccolò, Paola and La Volpe, ready to uncover the answers hidden within the Apple.
Confrontation in the Vatican
- "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 completed Codex in hand. Using the two objects, they discovered the location of the Vault to be in Rome—specifically, beneath the Vatican. As Rodrigo was the Pope, Mario believed he had only done so to gain access to the Papal Staff, another Piece of Eden which can open the Vault if combined with the Apple. The Assassins prepared their plan: while they will cause trouble through Rome, Ezio could assassinate Rodrigo and opened the Vault.
Arriving in Rome, Ezio fought his way along the entire length of the Passetto di Borgo, snuck into the Sistine Chapel and struck at Rodrigo from above. As he was about to deal the killing blow, Rodrigo surprised Ezio by using the Staff of Eden to blast him away, and drain the energy of those in the room. Since Ezio held the Apple, he was immune to the Staff's effects, and the two engaged in a duel. Ezio created multiple illusional copies of himself with the Apple. For a while, it seemed that Ezio had bested Rodrigo, but the Pope overcame him. Rodrigo then took the Apple and stabbed Ezio in the abdomen, leaving him to die before fleeing towards the Vault.
However Ezio soon regained consciousness and, following his nemesis to the outside of the Vault, Ezio watched as Rodrigo tried in vain to open it. Laying down his arms, Ezio challenged and defeated Rodrigo in a final brawl, obtaining possession of both the Apple and the Staff. However, he refused to take Rodrigo's life, having realized the futility of revenge.
Entering the Vault, Ezio stood in shock as he was confronted by a hologram of an individual naming herself Minerva, and claiming to be one of "Those Who Came Before", the First Civilization. Ezio was further confounded when the hologram spoke to an unseen figure and started showing holograms of the beginning of humanity by the First Civilization, their War against their creators. Minerva also spoke about a Great Catastrophe that burned the Earth and many humans and Isu. She warned about a new Disaster the would befall the world hundreds of years from then. After urging a certain Desmond to act, Minerva then disappeared abruptly, leaving Ezio with many unanswered questions.
Ezio left the Vault and saw that Rodrigo escaped. The Assassin tried to take the Staff but the artifact sank beneath the earth and was locked down. Meeting up with Mario, they fought their way out of St. Peter's Basilica, and climbed a tower, where Ezio prepared to drop the Apple of Eden into the Tiber. However, upon realizing his insecurity, Mario took the Apple and promised to keep it safe until Ezio could make a decision. The two then proceeded to return home to Monteriggioni.
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 asieged. 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.
Moving to 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.
Beginning the Liberation of Rome
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]
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]
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: China (appears in flashback(s))