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"Who are the ones that work in the shadows for the people? We are. Something has come of all of this. And it starts right now. We must continue the fight, and defend the free will of the people. And no matter how small, our brotherhood is the only hope and our kingdom needs no crowns."
―Bayek, 47 BCE.[src]-[m]

The Hidden Ones was the first official incarnation of the Assassin Brotherhood. Founded in Egypt by the Medjay Bayek of Siwa and his wife, Aya of Alexandria in 47 BCE, the Hidden Ones were grounded in the premise of working in the shadows to protect the people from oppression and injustice and to safeguard their free will.

Its creation was a direct response to the Order of the Ancients, itself an early iteration of the Assassins' mortal enemy, the Templar Order, which manipulated rulers behind the scenes for their own ambitions and caused much of the chaos and violence that swept through Egypt in the last throes of the Ptolemaic dynasty. Inspired by all the suffering he witnessed first-hand throughout his prior activities as a Medjay, Bayek devised the Creed that would serve as the basis for Assassin philosophy. Aya, rechristening herself Amunet, in turn cultivated relations with Roman senators to firmly establish an operational network of Hidden Ones in Rome. The bases in Rome, headed by Amunet, and Memphis, headed by Bayek, constituted the very first branches for what would eventually become the Assassins.

Much like the later Assassins, the Hidden Ones primarily employed assassination as a means of eliminating their enemies and forbade the harming of innocents. In 1090 CE, under the leadership of Hassan-i Sabbāh, the Hidden Ones re-organized themselves as a state in the northern mountains of Persia with a capital at Alamut, by which point they had renamed themselves as the Assassins.

History

Pre-formation

Forerunners

Before the Hidden Ones were created by Bayek and Aya, there were proto-Assassins that fought the Order of the Ancients. Besides Adam and Eve, the very first individual to follow the ideals of the Assassins was Darius, the inventor of the Hidden Blade who led a resistance group that opposed Xerxes' rule over the Achaemenid Empire of Persia. He would successfully assassinate Xerxes in 465 BCE.[13] Afterwards, he went into hiding with his son Natakas in Greece after his sister Neema was murdered by the Order of Hunters. Darius later encountered the legendary Spartan misthios Kassandra initially mistaking her as a member of the Order Elite and fought her at a tomb in Potidaia in 429 BCE. Eventually, he realized that Kassandra was not one of the Order assassins sent to kill him and his son. Soon, they would work together to eliminate not just the Order of Hunters but the Order of the Storm, the Order of Dominion and finally the Immortals. Darius knew that Kassandra and her newborn son Elpidios would never be safe truly safe from the Order in Greece since they were considered "Tainted Ones", so he handed him off to a younger man who was the son of Persian King Artaxerxes I. However, Kassandra convinced Darius to raise her young son in Egypt for the rest of his life. Elpidos was also the ancestor of Hidden Ones co-founder Amunet, otherwise known as Aya.[14]

Over a century after Darius killed Xerxes, a proto-Assassin group from Babylon sent one of its members to kill Macedonian emperor Alexander the Great, an ally of the Order who used a Staff of Eden to conquer much of the Near East and Egypt. Iltani was a member of this order that saw her homeland Persia conquered by the Macedonian Greeks and it drove her desire for revenge against Alexander. Her initial plan was to assassinate the Greek general in Herat in present-day Afghanistan, since he was holed up in a mighty citadel. She was able to infiltrate the citadel but remained reluctant that she would be able to eliminate him through force. Alexander soon became aware of Iltani's presence and she was forced to leave the citadel. She later came up with a new plan, one that involved meeting a Persian alchemist who was hunted by the Macedonians. After a dangerous journey, Iltani met the alchemist in Babylon to acquire his secret formula for a deadly poison. While the poison was not as fast-acting as she had hoped, it was still virulent enough to kill anyone. She also left messages that detailed her journey which could only be deciphered through Eagle Vision. In the event that her assassination were to fail, Iltani left behind a recipe for the poison on her last message, hoping that it would serve her order. Ultimately, Iltani would successfully poison Alexander the Great after infiltrating the palace of Nebuchadnezzar II. Alexander soon withered away for several days from the poison until he finally perished.[15]

In 210 BCE, Wei Yu would stab Emperor Qin Shi Huang with a spear and cause the collapse of China's first imperial dynasty. Much like Kassandra, Wei was not known to have been a member of any groups but nevertheless he was a freedom fighter that wanted to protect his people from the tyranny of the Qin and the Order.[16]

Bayek and Aya's quest for vengeance

Rudjek: "We will find you. We will find you, in your sleep!"
Bayek: "Sleep? I never sleep. I just wait. In the shadows. And I will kill you all. Everyone who sniffed the air that day in Siwa."
—Bayek and Rudjek moments before the latter's death.[src]-[m]

Bayek and Khemu captured by the Order

In 49 BCE, the Medjay Bayek, the local protector of the Siwa Oasis in Egypt, went hunting with his young son Khemu in order to train him to become his eventual successor. However, when they discovered that Khemu's friend Chenzira was kidnapped by members of the Order of the Ancients, a group that would later evolve into the Templar Order, Bayek ordered his son to run home and proceeded to confront the men. Unfortunately, Bayek was overpowered by them and taken to an Isu vault hidden beneath the Temple of Amun, where they pushed him for information about how to open it, believing that it involved using an Apple of Eden. In order to force him to cooperate, the masked men had kidnapped Khemu and threatened to kill him if Bayek did not provide them with the information.[17]

However, the arrival of Pharaoh Ptolemy XIII resulted in most of the men leaving the chamber in order to avoid being discovered, threatening to kill Khemu if Bayek failed to open the vault by the time they returned. Seeing an opportunity, Khemu stole a knife from one of the remaining men who were standing guard and gave it to Bayek so that he could cut the rope tying his hands. Although he managed to cut the rope and knock some of the men down, Bayek's subsequent attempt to stab one of the men resulted in the man deliberately causing Bayek to stab Khemu instead, killing him.[17]

Bayek confronting Rudjek

Khemu's death sent Bayek and his wife, Aya, on a quest for vengeance against the Order. However, Aya was bound to her duties as protector to Queen Cleopatra, who was engaged in a civil war with her husband and brother Ptolemy, who was supported by the Order. The following year, in 48 BCE, Bayek tracked down and killed one of the members of the Order, Rudjek—the Heron—in the Bent Pyramid of Sneferu.[18] Afterwards, Bayek and his friend Hepzefa returned to Siwa,[19] where Bayek killed the priest Medunamun—the Ibis—by bludgeoning him to death with the Oracle's Relic, which Bayek subsequently took with him.[17] Afterwards, Bayek departed to Alexandria in order to see Aya, who had been tracking the remaining members of the Order.[20]

After arriving in Alexandria, Bayek met Phanos the Younger, Aya's cousin, at the Great Library of Alexandria, who informed Bayek that Aya was in hiding due to being hunted by a man named Gennadios and then escorted him to Aya's hiding place. After their reunion, Bayek informed Aya of his successes and she, in turn, informed him that she had managed to kill both Actaeon—the Vulture—and Ktesos—the Ram—who had tracked her to her home. Later on, Aya informed Bayek that, through the informants of Apollodorus, she had discovered that their final target, the Snake, was a member of Ptolemy's court.[20] After giving Bayek the Hidden Blade that had been used by Darius to kill Xerxes I of Persia,[21] Aya instructed him to kill both Gennadios and the Snake, ensuring her safety and finally completing their quest for vengeance.[20]

Bayek attempting to drown Eudoros

Making his way to the Akra Garrison, Bayek killed Gennadios, who, in his dying moments, informed Bayek that the Phylakes would hunt him down and exact revenge.[22] Afterwards, Bayek broke into the office of Eudoros, the royal scribe, in order to find information about the Snake's identity. Searching through a chest in his office, Bayek discovered a false bottom containing a letter from Eudoros to the Ibis that had been stamped with the seal of the Snake, leading Bayek to conclude that Eudoros was the Snake. Infiltrating the bathhouse, having been told by Aya that Eudoros often spent his time there, Bayek managed to locate Eudoros and killed him with the Hidden Blade, although he also accidentally cut off his own ring finger during their brief struggle and, as he escaped the bathhouse, cauterized the stump of his ring finger with a burning stick taken from a brazier.[23]

Alliance with Cleopatra

Cleopatra: "You are my Medjay now! Protector of the true Pharaoh of Egypt."
Bayek: "So it shall be! Tonight, we drink, celebrate, make love! Tomorrow..."
—Bayek pledging allegiance to Cleopatra, 48 BCE[src]-[m]

Aya and Bayek with Apollodoros and Cleopatra

After returning to Aya and sharing a moment of intimacy, Bayek was told by Aya to seek out Apollodorus in order to confirm that Eudoros was the last member of the Order, while she, in turn, would go to Phanos to inform him of the death of Gennadios and promised to see Bayek later. After meeting Apollodorus in Kanopos, Bayek rescued his messenger, Damastes, and recovered the scroll he had been carrying, which was meant for the Roman general Pompey in an effort to sway Rome to Cleopatra's side. Afterwards, Bayek and Apollodorus traveled to the latter's estate, where Cleopatra and her court were residing. After meeting Cleopatra and Pasherenptah, a high priest from Memphis, Bayek and Aya were informed that the men they had killed were part of a larger organization known as the Order of the Ancients and that Eudoros was actually the Hippo, instead of the Snake. When Cleopatra asked for him to serve as her Medjay, Bayek accepted, taking off his old Medjay badge that marked him as Ptolemy's Medjay, and replacing it with the one offered by Cleopatra.[24]

Later on, Bayek was sent to Sais by Apollodorus in order to track down and assassinate a member of the Order known as the Scarab, who was oppressing the people in the region and summoning warriors to the ancient city of Letopolis.[25] Eventually, after helping defend Letopolis from reavers, Bayek discovered that the Scarab was Letopolis' leader, Taharqa, and assassinated him.[26] Meanwhile, Aya, accompanied by Damastes and Phoxidas, was sent by Cleopatra to the Aegean Sea to assist the military general Pompey and initiate an alliance with him. Encountering and destroying several ships sent by Ptolemy, Aya and Phoxidas succeeded in aiding the Roman general and convinced him to accept the alliance, which resulted in him sending his fleet to Egypt shortly afterwards.[27]

Traveling to a marketplace in Giza, Bayek spoke to Mered, Apollodorus' contact, in order to find his next target, the Hyena. After Bayek paid him a fee and ran an errand for him to retrieve his stolen horse, Mered informed him that the Hyena's name was Khaliset and told him the location of her lair. Making his way to her lair, Bayek discovered a detailed map of the Pyramid of Khufu, which allowed him to track her to the pyramid. Finding a room full of ancient technology wrought of black stone, Bayek discovered that Khaliset was attempting to conduct a ritual to revive her deceased daughter, Eshe. After Khaliset confronted him, Bayek chased her through the tunnels and outside of the pyramid, eventually succeeding in killing her.[28]

Aya and Bayek arriving at the Apis Bull's enclosure.

Bayek subsequently traveled to Memphis in order to find and assassinate an Order member called the Lizard. Speaking with Pasherenptah at the Temple of Ptah, Bayek learned that the Lizard was spreading a plague throughout Memphis, causing many people to get sick as well as resulting in Pasherenptah's wife, Taimhotep, suffering three miscarriages. Following Pasherenptah's advice, Bayek visited Taimhotep's Seer in order to ask him for information and participated in a ritual that resulted in Bayek having a dream about his son. Upon waking up, Bayek was informed by the Seer that the "curse" in Memphis was caused by the Lizard poisoning the temple food. After reuniting with Aya, who had come to Memphis to prepare for Cleopatra's arrival, the two traveled to the Temple of Ptah in order to discover the cause of the Apis Bull's poisoning. Upon discovering that the poisoners were twin priestesses who had been pressured into poisoning the bull by bandits who had kidnapped their brother, Panchrates, Aya stayed with the priestesses while Bayek traveled to the Temple of Hathor and rescued Panchrates. Upon bringing him home, Bayek was told by Panchrates that the one who ordered his abduction was a priest of Anubis at the Great Temple who wore a blue scarf and had a terrible cough.[29]

After reuniting Panchrates with his sisters, Bayek and Aya raced to the Royal Palace and informed Cleopatra and Pasherenptah of the Lizard's identity as a priest of Anubis, whom Pasherenptah immediately identified as Hetepi. Making his way to the Temple of Ptah, Bayek assassinated Hetepi and subsequently reported his death back to Pasherenptah and Cleopatra. Afterwards, Bayek and Aya celebrated the Festival of Apis together before being separated again, with Aya accompanying Cleopatra to Herakleion in the north while Bayek left to track down his next target.[30]

Bayek shows Hotephres his Medjay badge.

While traveling through Faiyum, Bayek was informed by a storyteller of Aya and Phoxidas' exploits at sea, where they had managed to destroy the Gabiniani fleet. Afterwards Bayek traveled to Soknopaiou Nesos in order to meet the informant Hotephres for information regarding his next target, the Crocodile. However, Bayek discovered that Hotephres' bureau had been ransacked and eventually discovered a letter revealing that the Crocodile knew who he was and had ordered the arrest of one his servants, who was then taken to a nearby military camp, while Hotephres himself had managed to flee. After infiltrating the camp and saving the servant, Bayek was informed by him that Hotephres had taken a trader's ship to Lake Moeris and that the Crocodile had hired mercenaries to find him. After making his way to Hotephres' ship, Bayek informed him of his search for the Crocodile, prompting Hotephres to reveal that he had stolen a ledger from a Greek magistrate he suspected of corruption, which contained the true identity of the Crocodile. Hotephres revealed that he had given the ledger to his wife, Khenut, and then gave a Bayek a doll belonging to his daughter, Shadya, which would allow Khenut to identify Bayek as a friend.[31]

After making his way to Hotephres' family, Bayek gave Shadya her doll and looked through the villa in search of the ledger. Eventually, by reading an excerpt from Shadya's diary, Bayek discovered that Shadya had taken the ledger with her. After discovering that Khenut and Shadya had been taken to the lighthouse by soldiers, Bayek made his way there. However, by the time he arrived, Shadya had been drowned within the pier, having had her feet bound to a tether sunk within the riverbed. After retrieving Shadya's body, Bayek brought it to her parents. Although the ledger had been lost, Hotephres revealed that Khenut had stated that there had been two other men with the soldiers and, based on her description of them, he identified the men as Gallic gladiators from the arena in Krokodilopolis. After promising to avenge Shadya's death, Bayek traveled to Krokodilopolis to investigate.[31]

When the Order had Pompey murdered,[32] Bayek helped Cleopatra meet with Pompey's rival, general Julius Caesar, in Alexandria, which formed a successful alliance. The two later aided Cleopatra by unlocking the door to the tomb of Alexander the Great.[33]

Bayek and his associates

However, this allowed the Order's leader, Flavius Metellus—the Lion—who was manipulating Caesar as well, to obtain Alexander's Staff of Eden. The Staff, used in conjunction with the Oracle's Relic taken from Apollodorus, allowed the Order access to the Siwa Vault. In 47 BCE, after Caesar and Cleopatra discharged Bayek and Aya from their service,[34] the two returned to Siwa to stop Flavius Metellus, who they now knew to be the man ultimately responsible for their son's death. Arriving in Siwa, the two found the town's people in a state of paralysis and the Vault already opened. Bayek pursued Flavius to Cyrene where he eventually avenged Khemu's death, reacquiring the Apple in the process.[35]

The inspiration for the Hidden Ones' insignia

Meanwhile, in Alexandria, Aya recruited the Roman Senators Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus, political opponents of Caesar, to their cause. Determined to leave for Rome to combat the Order there, Aya and Bayek named their new brotherhood the Hidden Ones, laying out the foundation of the Creed and their customs. The inspiration for their insignia came from Bayek dropping his son's eagle skull necklace in the sand.[36]

Foundation

Expansion into Rome

While Bayek established a bureau in Memphis, Aya set sail across the Tyrrhenian Sea towards Rome, accompanied by Damastes and Phoxidas. In 46 BCE, their ship was attacked by a Roman fleet, but they successfully managed to sink the ships and made port in Antium shortly afterwards. From there, Aya made her way to Rome and established a bureau there.[37]

Aya founded the Roman branch of the Hidden Ones, and aside from Brutus and Cassius, also recruited several other Roman Senators,[37] as well as the Roman philosopher Publius Volumnius.[38] The Roman branch of the Hidden Ones referred to themselves as Liberatores.[10]

The Ibis Reborn

In 46 BCE, rumors started spreading about an individual claiming to be the resurrected Medunanum leading a new cult, the Sect of the Ibis Reborn. Bayek sent a group of Hidden Ones to locate and put an end to this reborn Ibis. He sent his disciples to the Haueris Nome, however the Ibis they eliminated was a decoy.[39] The Sect was then tracked to the White Desert, where the Hidden Ones snuck past the guards stationed there and discovered an underground tomb.[40] They dispatched multiple decoys within the tomb before learning that the Ibis had found the entrance to the ancient Khesesh Em Sesh Em Eeneb Vault under the Great Pyramid of Giza. After their Mentor told them of the significance of the Vault, the group of Hidden Ones doubled their efforts to stop the Ibis.[41] The Hidden Ones successfully eliminated and evaded the Sect members before arriving at the Vault.[42] Entering the Vault, they were met with the Ibis attempting to gain the power of the Vault, albeit to no affect. The Hidden Ones fought and killed him, unmasking his identity as Menkhtu, a follower of Medunamun.[43]

Assassination of Julius Caesar

"Caesar has created his own private senate, filled with deceivers, manipulators, people who have no business in Roman affairs. My brothers are eager for blood, but I am not certain I can spill it."
―Marcus Junius Brutus on Julius Caesar, c. 44 BCE.[src]-[m]

The Hidden Ones killing Julius Caesar

By 44 BCE, Julius Caesar had become the new head of the Order of the Ancients, with Lucius Septimius as his right hand. With Aya as their leader,[37] Brutus and Cassius spearheaded a conspiracy with thirty-eight other Roman Senators who also opposed Caesar's imperialist ideals after he was appointed dictator for life. After being assigned by Cassius as the one to come up with the plan of assassinating Caesar, Brutus designated a Temple of Juno preceding a sealed Isu Vault as a meeting place for his co-conspirators.[10] Having received visions of Caesar's future assassination within the vault, Brutus was further motivated and scheduled their attack for the Ides of March.[44]

On 15 March 44 BCE, Aya, Brutus, and Cassius went to the Theatre of Pompey where the Roman Senate was to convene. While Brutus and Cassius went to the curia, Aya fought and killed Septimius—the Jackal—before joining her brothers in the Senate. Aya was the first one to strike Caesar, followed closely by the Roman Senators. Caesar resisted at first, but resigned himself to his fate upon recognizing Brutus.[37] Shortly thereafter, Aya adopted the name Amunet.[45]

Driven by severe guilt from his actions, Brutus later returned to the Colosseum and abandoned the dagger he had used to strike down Caesar within the vault, along with his heirloom armor and the scrolls describing his dreams and discovery of the vault. These scrolls also contained drawings of the chamber and its pedestal.[46]

Attempted resurrection of Brutus

"Whatever power lies within this artifact, it has not returned our Brother to us."
―Publius Volumnius commenting on the failed resurrection of Brutus.[src]-[m]

The Shroud covering the deceased Brutus

After the assassination, the Senate, led by Caesar's friend and co-consul Marcus Antonius, passed an amnesty for his assassins. Nonetheless, uproar among the population forced Brutus and Cassius to flee from Rome, and a civil war ensued.[47]

Brutus travelled to the Greek island of Crete, where he established a branch of the Hidden Ones to combat the tyrants there. However, he was soon drawn back into the civil war.[48] In 42 BCE, armies under the command of Marcus Antonius and Octavian clashed with those of Brutus and Cassius at the Battle of Philippi in Macedonia, and Cassius was killed in the ensuing battle. Faced with inevitable defeat, Brutus fled and committed suicide shortly thereafter.[47]

After Brutus' death, his fellow Hidden Ones gathered in Philippi, Macedonia and tried to reanimate him using a Shroud of Eden. Since they had never used it before, the Hidden Ones feared its effects, but nevertheless wrapped Brutus in the cloth. Though the corpse opened its eyes and moved its arms, it neither breathed nor reacted to any touch, and eventually fell still in a seeming "second death". As some of the Hidden Ones wept, Brutus was wrapped instead in a burial mantle, and the Shroud was returned to its wooden storage box.[47]

Rebellion in Sinai

The Hidden Ones in Egypt soon expanded their operations to the Sinai, with Tahira being placed in charge of the bureau in Klysma Quarry. By 38 BCE, the Hidden Ones were aiding Gamilat, the leader of the Nabatean rebels, against the occupying Romans led by Gaius Julius Rufio, an officer of Julius Caesar and a member of the Order of the Ancients in his own right. When two Hidden Ones was killed in a massacre, Tahira requested Bayek travel to Sinai to assist them.[49]

Bayek helped Tahira's Hidden Ones eliminate Rufio's lieutenants, Tacito,[50] Ampelius,[51] and Ptahmose,[52] and upon his return to the bureau to debrief, they, along with Kashta, were ambushed by Rufio's soldiers, resulting in their capture. Amunet was able to rescue Bayek before his crucifixion, who in turn rescued Kashta and a heavily wounded Tahira. Tahira succumbed to her injuries, leading Bayek and Amunet to travel to Arsinoe to eliminate Rufio.[53]

The Hidden Ones laying down the tenets of their creed

Arriving in Arsinoe, Amunet and Bayek were able to stop a massacre by the Romans, with the latter assassinating Rufio aboard his octareme, ending the Order's operations in the Sinai.[54] After the assassination, Amunet came onto the realization that Gamilat was responsible for initiating the various massacres that took place and could endanger the brotherhood's livelihood. Bayek confronted Gamilat in the sunken quarry and killed him, but not before convincing him to repent on his actions. Gamilat's death ensured that the Hidden Ones' identity were protected. As the Hidden Ones set up a new bureau in the mountains behind Arsinoe, Amunet and Bayek laid down the tenets of their creed, declaring that the creed would pass beyond Egypt onto Petra and towards Judea.[55]

Later that same year, Amunet sent Bayek to Thebes after learning from a captured messenger that an Isu artifact was located in Upper Egypt. There, she assigned Bayek to meet with her Merti outside Luxor. Bayek eventually uncovered the whereabouts of the artifact, which was in the hands of the God's Wife of Amun Isidora and had caused a curse which plagued the region. After assassinating Isidora, Bayek handed the artifact over to Sutekh, a descendant of pharaoh Ramesses II, for safekeeping.[56]

Assassination of Cleopatra

On 12 August 30 BCE, seventeen years after the formation of the Hidden Ones, and thirteen years after Aya had decided to spare Cleopatra's life after killing Caesar,[37] Amunet encountered Cleopatra once again. She gave Cleopatra a poison to claim her own life and Cleopatra made the request to her former ally to take her son, Caesarion, and train him as a Hidden One. Amunet agreed and as she took Caesarion, Cleopatra took her own life with the poison given to her.[48]

Activities in the Roman Empire

Assassination of Caligula

In 27 BCE, the Roman Republic had been transformed into the Roman Empire by Octavian. The third Emperor who reigned over this new empire, Caligula, was influenced by the Order. This turned him into a target for the Hidden One Leonius, who assassinated him with a dagger in an underground corridor beneath Palatine Hill on 24 January 41 CE.[16]

Roman Britain and Gaul

In the early 1st century, the Hidden Ones expanded north into the Roman provinces of Britannia, establishing bureaus in the towns of Ratae, Londiunum, Venta Belgarum, Eboracum, Camulodunum, as well as a temple dedicated to Ceres.[57] The Hidden Ones also established bureaus in the province of Gallia Lugdunensis around Paris.[58]

In the 90s CE, the Hidden Ones sent requests and pleas to Emperor Domitian and his governor Verus to accord Roman citizenship to the Iceni. When they ignored the request, the Acolytus Anicius killed Verus in public at Camulodunum to send a message to the Senate.[57]

In 122, as Emperor Hadrian planned a war against the northern native people of England, the Hidden Ones decided to assassinate him. The Acolytus Caius infiltrated his villa in Londinium but was discovered and killed before he could accomplish his mission.[57]

Shortly after Marcus Aurelius came to power, the Hidden Ones made motions towards him to broker peace in the region. Aurelius agreed to cease hostilities and retreat south from Antonine Wall to the more easily defensible Hadrian's Wall. Although the Hidden Ones trusted Aurelius to abide by the deal, they sent magister Eghan to oversee the retreat in order to verify that Aurelius kept his word.[57]

However, a few decades later, the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus disregarded Aurelius' established treaty and resumed the fortification and reoccupation of the Antonine wall. The Hidden Ones in Eboracum thus sent magister Khloe to poison the emperor during his stay in the city in 211.[57]

The enclosed content is of ambiguous canonicity.


Securing the Ankh

"The power of this artifact has yet to be uncovered, but the object itself possesses a strong symbolic value for our circle..."
―Lucius to his son Aquilus about the Ankh, in a message recorded by the artifact, 259.[src]

Some time before 59 CE, Lugos traveled to Egypt to recover two Pieces of Eden, the Ankh and the Scepter of Aset, which had been found in a pyramid by Roman plunderers. However, while carrying the two artifacts aboard his ship back to Rome across the Mediterranean Sea, a terrible storm opened an enormous waterway within the ship, causing it to sink. Before his demise, Lugos recorded a message with the Ankh, detailing the ongoing events and lamenting the failure of his mission.[11]

By the mid-3rd century, the early Assassins around the Roman Empire became known as the Liberalis Circulum (Circle of Liberals), had spread throughout the empire, with members operating in Gallia, Germania and Iberia.[11]

Aquilus in General Gracchus' tent

By 259 CE, the Liberalis Circulum operated from the city of Lugdunum. That year, the Aleman member of the Liberalis Circulum Accipiter managed to obtain a Precursor artifact known as the Ankh, which had resurfaced in Germania. The Gallo-Roman Aquilus, who was also a cousin of Accipiter, was tasked by his father Lucius with first assassinating three known associates of the proto-Templars, Senator Caius and Generals Titus and Gracchus, and then to retrieve the artifact in Accipiter's possession.[59] However, his third target, General Gracchus, had learned of the deaths of Caius and Titus and knew of Aquilus' intentions. As such, when Aquilus entered his tent, Gracchus ordered him to be disarmed and, after questioning him about his allegiance, stabbed him, causing him to lose consciousness.[60] Fortunately for Aquilus, he was saved by his cousin, whose army had ambushed the camp shortly afterwards. After nursing him back to health, Accipiter gave Aquilus the Ankh. The Gaul then took the artifact back to his father in Lugdunum.[59]

After reuniting with his father and getting reacquainted with Senator Caïus Fulvus Vultur, an old friend of the family, Aquilus gave the artifact to his father and informed him of how General Gracchus had been expecting his approach and stabbed him, which led him to conclude that they had been betrayed. When asked whether he had any idea as to who the traitor was, Lucius replied that Faustinus, the bishop of Lugdunum, had visited them a rather large number of times, concluding beyond any doubt that he was the traitor. Before leaving to go interrogate Faustinus, Aquilus was informed by his father about the Ankh's powers, which he described as a "temporary resurrection".[59]

Aquilus interrogating Faustinus

Making his way to Faustinus' home, Aquilus woke him up in the middle of the night and threatened to kill him for his treachery. After Faustinus stated that he had no choice and that Emperor Gallienus had forced them to provide him with any information they had on matters that conflicted with the intentions of the empire, Aquilus demanded to know who his collaborators were. After Faustinus claimed to have acted alone, Aquilus beat him and finally managed to get him to reveal his contact in Rome, Senator Caïus Vultur. Taking advantage of Aquilus' surprise, Faustinus attempted to flee, but was then killed when Aquilus threw a knife into his back.[59]

After escaping from Faustinus' home by jumping through a window, Aquilus hurried home to inform his father of Vultur's betrayal. However, he disovered that he was too late when he found his father's body and then followed a moaning sound, which came from his father's servant Weke. Aquilus asked Weke what hap happened and who had killed his father, but Weke, with his dying breath, only cryptically replied that "eagles do not fear vultures... but they should learn to be wary of them.", which only managed to confuse Aquilus. A maid then came up to Aquilus, telling him Caïus had fled after killing both Lucius and Weke, and had taken the Ankh with him.[59]

Aquilus tracked Vultur to Rome, where he eliminated him and his fellow conspirators, and retrieved the artifact. Later, the arrest and execution of Aquilus was ordered by the prefect of his home city, but even after Aquilus' death, the artifact was successfully hidden. It was this same Prefect with whom Cuervo, an Iberian member of the Liberalis Circulum sent to preserve the Circle's interests in Lugdunum from the Germanic armies raiding the Empire, and Accipiter were negotiating the spare of the Roman city in exchange for a significant tribute to the Alemanni.[11]

After Accipiter negotiated a truce with the Prefect of Lugdunum on behalf of the Alemanni, he attempted to rescue Aquilus, who was killed by Roman guards during Accipiter's ambush. Accipiter left the Ankh in the care of Aquilus' wife Valeria.[11]

Late Antiquity

In 306, the Acolytus Beatha delivered a letter to Emperor Constantine I who was in Britain pleading for the protection of the Christians who were killed by the Belgae warriors.[57] Three decades later, an unidentified Hidden One witnessed the investiture of Constantinople as the new capital of the empire by Constantine I.[61][62]

In 383, as Emperor Magnus Maximus took most of his troops to march in Gaul, the Hidden One Marcellus ordered the evacuation of the bureaus of Eboracum and Venta Belgarum as the local population turned against them.[57]

During the late-4th century, the Christian Church executed the Belgae pagans in Britain. The Hidden Ones tried to convince Emperor Theodosius I to a compromise. As he didn't respond, the Acolytus Teague and his Magister were sent to kill the church fathers Vitus, Secunda, and Agapitus during a public spectacle. The Hidden Ones succeeded but the Magister was wounded and died.[57]

In 423, following the death of Roman Emperor Honorius, the Hidden Ones in Britannia were forced to evactuate from their bureaus following a note issued by Magister Vitus, who informed that due to the local tribes who harbored ill sentiments towards the Hidden Ones and their mission having filled the power vacuum left by the departing Roman legions, remaining in Britannia would lead to unnecessary bloodshed and lost of members. Vitus also suggested that they move their headquarters and join forces with the Hidden Ones based in the German city of Cologne.[57]

In Roman Gaul, some Hidden Ones followed their British brethren in Cologne, sealing their bureaus in the province, while other stayed in Gaul to resume their work.[63]

Middle Ages

By the 8th century, the Hidden Ones had spread their presence as far west as the Byzantine Empire, as far south as India, and as far east as the western reaches of China, forming a truly multi-ethnic organization. The legendary poet Li Bai who was born in a region in Central Asia under Tang control heard stories about them in his childhood. By 751, they had become mortal enemies of Abul Abbas As-Saffah, the first caliph of the Abbasid Caliphate. That same year, a band of Hidden Ones led by Alianna rescued a Tang footsoldier by the name of Li E in the aftermath of the Battle of Talas between Abbasid and Tang forces. Li E was recruited into their order and went on to play a critical role in saving the Tang from the An Lushan Rebellion, which broke out in 754 as a result of a schism within the Order of the Ancients.[64]

In the 9th century, the Hidden Ones also established a foothold in the Levant, with brotherhoods based in the Abbasid Caliphate and the region around Persia. The Hidden One Mentor Rayhan ordered Basim Ibn Ishaq, one of the Master rank, to head north to Northern Europe to purge the region from the Order of the Ancients. He was joined in this quest by his acolyte, Hytham. In addition to this, Basim and Hytham were also tasked to travel to England to reestablish the brotherhood in the region following the departure of the Roman Hidden Ones.[65]

In the early 870s, Basim and Hytham encountered Raven Clan leader Sigurd Styrbjornsson, son of King Styrbjorn Sigvaldisson of Fornburg in Norway. They befriended the young prince and later accompanied him on his return journey to Norway, sensing an opportunity for them to establish influence in Scandinavia and possibly England.[66] With the help of Sigurd's adopted sister Eivor Varinsdottir, the Hidden Ones had re-established their presence in England with a new bureau in the village of Ravensthorpe.[67]

In 879, Mentor Fuladh from the Justanid region of Persia was set to host a council with the Hidden Ones in the newly constructed Aluh-Amut fortress. Rayhan wrote to Hytham asking that he attend in order to provide a full account of Basim's later betrayal, and to accept a promotion for all his work maintaining the bureau in Ravensthorpe and thus help eliminate the Anglo-Saxon Order of the Ancients.[6]

As late as the 10th century, the Hidden Ones were very much active throughout Scandinavia with the Swedish Viking Torgny the Lawspeaker as the Mentor. Torgny had tasked his student Thorvald Hjaltason to eliminate Styrbjörn the Strong, a member of the Scandinavian Templars who worked with King Harald Bluetooth of Denmark and Norway, an opponent to Hidden Ones ally Eric the Victorious.[9]

Evolution into the Assassin Brotherhood

In 1090, under the leadership of Hassan-i Sabbāh, the Levantine branch of the Hidden Ones founded a sovereign state in their own right from their capital of Alamut, openly operating from the purportedly impregnable fortress as a public organization which eventually became known as the Assassin Brotherhood. Under Hassan's command, public assassinations occurred much more often, and the people were encouraged to stand up to their oppressors, realizing that they were not on their own.[68]

The Hidden Ones were not the only faction to take on a more public identity, however, with the Order of the Ancients similarly reorganizing itself into the Templar Order. This would bring the Assassin-Templar War into the public eye for some time.[68]

When Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad became Mentor of the Levantine Brotherhood, he worked to once more reform the order into a more secretive organization, as it had been during the time of the Hidden Ones, and fully accomplished this task by the time the Mongols had conquered Masyaf. Thanks to Altaïr's efforts, the Brotherhood would remain in the shadows from thereafter.[69]

Members

Ptolemaic Egypt
Roman Republic
Roman Empire
Tang China
Middle Ages

Allies

Ptolemaic Egypt / Roman Republic
Tang China
Middle Ages

Trivia

  • The name of the Egyptian deity Amun translates as "the hidden one". The female form of Amun is Amunet, who was Amun's consort.

Gallery

Appearances

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Assassin's Creed: Origins
  2. Assassin's Creed: Origins (comic)
  3. Assassin's Creed: Dynasty
  4. 4.0 4.1 Assassin's Creed: Valhalla
  5. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaThe Siege of Paris
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Assassin's Creed: Valhalla [citation needed] / Viking Expansion notes: "A Letter from Mentor Rayhan"
  7. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaDatabase: The Hidden Ones
  8. Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Song of GloryIssue #3
  9. 9.0 9.1 Assassin's Creed: Last Descendants – Fate of the Gods
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Assassin's Creed: Project LegacyRome: Chapter 2 – Giovanni Borgia
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Assassin's Creed 3: Accipiter
  12. Assassin's Creed: The Essential Guide
  13. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyLegacy of the First Blade: HuntedShadow of a Legend
  14. Assassin's Creed: Odyssey – Legacy of the First Blade: BloodlineLegacy of the First Blade (memory)
  15. Assassin's Creed Chronicles: India - Database: Iltani's Story 5
  16. 16.0 16.1 Assassin's Creed IIA Change of Plans
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Assassin's Creed: OriginsThe False Oracle
  18. Assassin's Creed: OriginsThe Heron Assassination
  19. Assassin's Creed: OriginsThe Oasis
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Assassin's Creed: OriginsAya (memory)
  21. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyLegacy of the First Blade: HuntedShadow of a Legend
  22. Assassin's Creed: OriginsGennadios the Phylakitai
  23. Assassin's Creed: OriginsEnd of the Snake
  24. Assassin's Creed: OriginsEgypt's Medjay
  25. Assassin's Creed: OriginsThe Scarab's Sting
  26. Assassin's Creed: OriginsThe Scarab's Lies
  27. Assassin's Creed: OriginsPompeius Magnus
  28. Assassin's Creed: OriginsThe Hyena (memory)
  29. Assassin's Creed: OriginsThe Lizard's Mask
  30. Assassin's Creed: OriginsThe Lizard's Face
  31. 31.0 31.1 Assassin's Creed: OriginsThe Crocodile's Scales
  32. Assassin's Creed: OriginsWay of the Gabiniani
  33. Assassin's Creed: OriginsAya: Blade of the Goddess
  34. Assassin's Creed: OriginsThe Aftermath
  35. Assassin's Creed: OriginsThe Final Weighing
  36. Assassin's Creed: OriginsLast of the Medjay
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 37.3 37.4 Assassin's Creed: OriginsFall of an Empire, Rise of Another
  38. Assassin's Creed: SyndicateDatabase: Reconstructed Data 011
  39. Assassin's Creed: RebellionThe Mask of the IbisThe Night of the Eagles
  40. Assassin's Creed: RebellionThe Mask of the IbisThe Jackal's Path
  41. Assassin's Creed: RebellionThe Mask of the IbisThe Buried Halls
  42. Assassin's Creed: RebellionThe Mask of the IbisThe City of the Dead
  43. Assassin's Creed: RebellionThe Mask of the IbisThe Bounty of Thoth
  44. Assassin's Creed: BrotherhoodScrolls of Romulus
  45. Assassin's Creed: OriginsBirth of the Creed
  46. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
  47. 47.0 47.1 47.2 Assassin's Creed: Project LegacyHolidays: Chapter 1 – Ghosts of Christmas Past
  48. 48.0 48.1 Assassin's Creed: Origins comic – Issue #04
  49. Assassin's Creed: OriginsThe Hidden OnesThe Hidden Ones (memory)
  50. Assassin's Creed: OriginsThe Hidden OnesWhere the Slaves Die
  51. Assassin's Creed: OriginsThe Hidden OnesThe Walls of the Ruler
  52. Assassin's Creed: OriginsThe Hidden OnesThe Setting Sun
  53. Assassin's Creed: OriginsThe Hidden OnesNo Chains Too Thick
  54. Assassin's Creed: OriginsThe Hidden OnesSic Semper Tyrannis
  55. Assassin's Creed: OriginsThe Hidden OnesThe Greater Good
  56. Assassin's Creed: OriginsThe Curse of the PharaohsThe Curse of the Pharaohs (memory)
  57. 57.0 57.1 57.2 57.3 57.4 57.5 57.6 57.7 57.8 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaA Brief History of the Hidden Ones
  58. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaThe Siege of ParisHidden
  59. 59.0 59.1 59.2 59.3 59.4 Assassin's Creed 2: Aquilus
  60. Assassin's Creed 1: Desmond
  61. Twitter.png Darby McDevitt (@DarbyMcDevitt) on Twitter "Random AC fact: the fake Helix title in ACU, "The Bladed Cross" refers to the rise of Constantine I. I'm not sure most people get this one." (screenshot)
  62. Assassin's Creed Unity: Abstergo Entertainment – Employee Handbook
  63. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaThe Siege of ParisHidden
  64. Assassin's Creed: Dynasty
  65. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaTo Serve the Light...
  66. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaThe Prodigal Prince
  67. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaTo Serve the Light...
  68. 68.0 68.1 Assassin's Creed: Encyclopedia
  69. Assassin's Creed: RevelationsPassing the Torch

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