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"A place in heaven awaits those who serve the wolf!"
―A leader of the Followers of Romulus.[src]-[m]

The Followers of Romulus, also known as Secta Luporum[1] (English: Sect of the Wolves), were adherents of Romulus, the mythical founder of Rome, whom they worshipped as a god.

According to legend, Romulus and his twin brother Remus were raised by a wolf, and as a result, they were said to be half wolf and half human. In tribute to this, the Followers' attire included a skinned wolf pelt.[2]

Appearances

The Followers of Romulus were powerfully-built, brutish men covered in wolfskin pelts who would attack in vicious ambushes, hiding above or in tunnels before springing onto their prey in large numbers. The Followers were also adept free-runners, as the lairs that they occupied required such skills to traverse them.[3]

They were armed with various short blades and throwing knives, and tended to growl, snarl, and imitate wolf howls in combat. Being quite athletic, they commonly employed a unique spinning slash attack which few opponents could replicate aside from the Italian Assassin Ezio Auditore da Firenze with his Hidden Blades.[3]

Borgia alliance

"This band of false pagans has been terrorizing the city for months and driving the people into the arms of the church."
―Niccolò Machiavelli to Ezio Auditore.[src]-[m]

Two Followers speaking with a cardinal

The leaders of the sect were paid by the Borgia to manipulate the Followers into doing their bidding,[4] and would often do so through carefully scripted "sermons" and evocations of their god.[5] The Followers themselves were mainly used to cause fear in the civilians and send them into the arms of the Catholic Church,[6] though later orders included having them specifically target the Borgia's enemies, the Assassins.[7] However, the masses of the Followers were misguided, as their leaders commanded them in the name of Romulus despite not believing in his mystical existence themselves.[8]

By 1503, the Borgia's power had collapsed. With Rodrigo Borgia murdered,[9] Lucrezia marrying Duke Alfonso d'Este and cutting all family ties,[10] and Cesare under arrest in the Spanish fort of Castillo de la Mota,[11] their control over the Followers was broken. The cult still continued its activities, but was reduced to pockets of largely disorganized believers. Around 1506, the Italian Assassin Lo Sparviero visited the Roman Forum to eliminate the Borgia agents who had killed four of his brethren for stealing a chest containing the blueprints and prototype of the Crows' Hidden Blade replica, the "Corvix Blade". While investigating the ruins, he encountered a cluster of Followers and killed them when they became aware of his presence.[12]

Lairs

Main article: Lair of Romulus

An entrance to a lair of Romulus

The Followers occupied seven underground lairs, which could be found beneath famous landmarks in Rome. The lairs could be accessed through locked grates hung with a wolf's skull, or through ladders hidden beneath circular trapdoors.[3]

Each lair contained a shrine dedicated to Romulus which was always decorated with wooden crosses, treasure, and skulls. A single golden chest at the shrine's center held one of six scrolls of Romulus and a corresponding key. These keys would unlock the gate to the Followers' central shrine which held their cherished treasure, the unbreakable armor and dagger of Romulus. However, in truth, the equipment had belonged to Marcus Junius Brutus, and had only been entrusted to the Followers as an icon to worship.[3]

In the early 16th century, Ezio Auditore was able to enter all of the Followers' lairs. By traversing them, he discovered more about the Followers, and obtained their scrolls, keys, and treasured set of armor.[3]

Behind the scenes

With the exception of their 3D model which wields a bearded axe, all art of the Followers depicts them with a pair of short blades—with their Database images showing them specifically holding Sultan's knives—despite using only a single blade in-game.

The cult's name varies across Assassin's Creed media, with Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood referring to them as "Followers of Romulus", both the Collector's Edition of the Brotherhood game guide and the novel labeling them as "Wolfmen",[1] Assassin's Creed: Identity calling them just "Wolves",[12] and the Assassin's Creed: Revelations novel also using "Wolfmen", as well as ascribing the group to the wrong twin with "Sons of Remus".[13]

In the non-canonical mobile adaptation of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, the Followers of Romulus are known only as Wolfmen. Though the game's events parallel that of the canonical version, they are all set in 1486, and Ezio's first mission after the Siege of Monteriggioni is to kill the Wolfmen's leader at the Colosseum and rescue the abducted Claudio to earn the trust of the Assassins in Rome. All the Wolfmen aside from the leader, "Romulus", are actually dressed as regular guards, with only Romulus in the cult's typical wolf costume. When Romulus climbs down a ladder to confront Ezio at a lower level of the Colosseum, the Assassin immediately performs a kick-flip to knock him towards a rack of spears. Romulus dies when his body falls directly on top of the spears, though not before being dealt a mortal blow by another Assassin with a heavy axe while in mid-air.

Trivia

  • Although the Followers often used throwing knives before attacking and were trained in a wild spinning attack, they were relatively weak individually, as their easily telegraphed moves allowed Ezio to anticipate and block them before quickly performing a counter-kill.
  • In 2012, Desmond Miles could encounter "ghosts" of Ezio and the Followers of Romulus fighting in the Colosseum when he and his team arrived to retrieve the Apple of Eden.

Gallery

Appearances

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood novel – Chapter 14
  2. Assassin's Creed: BrotherhoodDatabase: Followers of Romulus
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
  4. Assassin's Creed: IdentityDatabase: Followers of Romulus
  5. Assassin's Creed: BrotherhoodA Wolf in Sheep's Clothing
  6. Assassin's Creed: BrotherhoodRoman Underground
  7. Assassin's Creed: BrotherhoodWolves Among the Dead
  8. Assassin's Creed: BrotherhoodLeader of the Pack
  9. Assassin's Creed: BrotherhoodAn Apple a Day
  10. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood – The Da Vinci DisappearanceThe One Who Got Away
  11. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood novel – Chapter 58
  12. 12.0 12.1 Assassin's Creed: IdentityAn Assassin's Requiem
  13. Assassin's Creed: Revelations novel – Chapter 84

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