- "We've been fighting them for thousands of years. Even longer if you believe the stories of their origins. I do."
- ―William Miles about the Assassins' struggle against the Templars.[src]
The history of the Assassins spans thousands of years, from the dawn of humanity until the modern era. Though the Assassins in their modern capacity were only founded during the Middle Ages, their predecessors were notably active during the end of the reigns of King Xerxes I, Emperor Qin Shi Huang and Alexander the Great, and into Ptolemaic Egypt and the Roman Empire. After their rebirth as the Assassins, they operated throughout the rest of history.
Throughout their existence, the Assassins and their precursors were continuously entangled with the Order of the Knights Templar and their respective precursors.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Ancient world
- 1.2 Middle Ages
- 1.2.1 Viking Age
- 1.2.2 Reformation in the Levant
- 1.2.3 Conflict during the Third Crusade
- 1.2.4 Reforms and globalization attempts
- 1.2.5 First Barons' War
- 1.2.6 Assassination of Genghis Khan
- 1.2.7 Fall of Masyaf
- 1.2.8 Conflict with the Mongol Empire
- 1.2.9 Rebirth as a secret order
- 1.2.10 Hundred Years' War
- 1.3 Renaissance
- 1.4 Age of Imperialism
- 1.5 Early modern era
- 1.6 Contemporary era
- 1.6.1 The Great Purge
- 1.6.2 Infiltrating the Animus Project
- 1.6.3 Preventing the Second Disaster
- 1.6.4 Regaining their foothold
- 1.6.5 Renewed Assassin operations
- 1.6.6 Ascendance Event
- 1.6.7 Destruction of the Abstergo Madrid facility
- 1.6.8 Stopping Project Bluebird
- 1.6.9 Conflict with Juno
- 1.6.10 Search for the Staff of Hermes Trismegistus
- 2 References
- "The seeds were planted as two worlds became one. Behold, the Assassins, the children of two worlds!"
- ―Clay Kaczmarek talking about the early Assassins, 2012.[src]
The first traces of the Assassin ideology can be traced back to the dawn of humanity, when humanity first rebelled against their Isu creators. Adam and Eve led the humans in a fight for free will and liberty from oppression, making them the first proto-Assassins.
Like Adam and Eve, other people descended from the First Civilization dedicated their lives to protecting the freedom of mankind. This responsibility was passed down these bloodlines through the generations. One notable example was the bloodline of King Leonidas of Sparta, who fought to keep Greece free from the control of the Persian King Xerxes at the Battle of Thermopylae, and his supporters, the Cult of Kosmos, a proto-Templar group.
By 465 BCE, a small group of Persian freedom fighters consisting of Darius, Amorges, Pactyas and others opposed the rule of King Xerxes and the Order of the Ancients, a proto-Templar group. In 465 BCE, they ambushed Xerxes' entourage, resulting in Xerxes' death by Darius' hands; this became the first documented usage of the Hidden Blade.
After Xerxes' death, Darius feared the king's successor Artaxerxes would fall under the Ancients' sway as well and planned to kill the young king. He was thwarted by Amorges, who defected to the Order of the Ancients along with the rest of their group, hoping to use their resources to bring about change. Darius was later framed for another assassination attempt on Artaxerxes, conducted by the Order, which caused Artaxerxes to turn blind. Darius attempted to kill Artaxerxes again later using poison, which was unsuccessful and merely took away Artaxerxes' sight. The Ancients subsequently pursued Darius for the next decades, as well as other descendants of Isu bloodlines that they referred to as "Tainted Ones".
- "In destroying the cult, you have done what I could not. But this imbalance comes with a price, my child. For without chaos, there is supreme order. A loss of progression and freedom. But there is still hope - hope in you, hope in the future you will bring."
- ―Pythagoras talking to Kassandra in a vision created by the Pyramid, c. 422 BCE.[src]
In 446 BCE, the Cult of Kosmos orchestrated a plan to abduct one of King Leonidas of Sparta's grandchildren, Alexios, who was also the son of Pythagoras. The Cult forced the Oracle of Delphi to declare a prophecy that Alexios would cause the fall of Sparta. After Kassandra disrupted the ritual to sacrifice Alexios, he was presumed dead and taken by the Cult, intending to use his unique bloodline to unlock the Pieces of Eden. Kassandra was similarly presumed dead after being thrown off the mountain's cliffside by her stepfather Nikolaos, growing up to become a mercenary on Kephallonia, becoming known as the "Eagle-Bearer".
In 431 BCE, the Cult orchestrated the Peloponnesian War between Sparta and Athens to secretly gain control of Greece. Kassandra was hired by Elpenor, secretly a member of the Cult of Kosmos, who tasked her with killing her stepfather, but spared his life. Through Elpenor, Kassandra learned of the existence of the Cult, their interest in finding her mother Myrrine, and that her brother had become a feared member of the Cult. She subsequently travelled around Greece, allying herself with people such as Herodotos, Sokrates, Hippokrates, Aspasia and Perikles to help find clues to her mother's whereabouts, all the while disrupting the Cult's plans by taking out its members.
After failing to save Perikles from her brother and seeing Athens fall into the control of the Cultist Kleon, Kassandra reunited with her mother and through her, located her biological father Pythagoras inside the remnants of the ancient First Civilization city of Atlantis, on the island of Thera. Through her parents, she discovered the importance of her lineage and her role in keeping Atlantis safe from those who sought to harness its power for their own gain.
In 424 BCE, Kassandra freed Sparta from Cultist rule by killing one of its kings, Pausanias. Two years later, she formed a resistance with her closest allies to free Athens from the Cult's rule through the city's new leader Kleon, eventually killing him during the Battle of Amphipolis. Not long after, Myrrine and Kassandra reunited with Alexios on Mount Taygetos, where Kassandra was forced to slay her brother. After destroying the Cult, she experienced a vision of future Assassins from the Cult's artifact, the Pyramid, before destroying the artifact and sparing the Cult's former leader Aspasia. She also helped Pythagoras seal Atlantis from the world, and inherited the Staff of Hermes Trismegistus from him, allowing her to live indefinitely until the time came to pass it on.
Around the same time, Darius and his son Natakas sought refuge in Makedonia in their attempts to evade the Persian Order of the Ancients, eventually crossing paths with Kassandra, who attempted to stop the Persians' attacks on the villages. Joining forces, they eliminated the Ancient Pactyas and his subordinates, who were pursuing Darius and the Tainted Ones, before going their separate ways. They reunited in Achaia, where they joined forces to take down the Ancient Phila, who blocked Makedonian refugees from escaping. After doing so, Kassandra started a relationship with Natakas and settled down in Dyme, Achaia with him, Darius and her newborn son Elpidios.
Eventually, the Persian Ancients' leader Amorges managed to locate Darius and Kassandra in Achaia, laying siege to the village, killing Natakas and abducting Elpidios. Despite Natakas' death causing a rift in their relationship, Kassandra and Darius worked together to take down the remaining Ancients and ultimately confronted and killed Amorges. Fearing that the Ancients would continue to hunt her, Kassandra told Darius to take Elpidios away from Greece. The two eventually settled in Egypt, where Elpidios' descendant Aya would lay the groundwork for the Brotherhood generations later.
- "Ironically, Alexander will die by the poison of those whom he had vanquished in battle. But not here, as he is gone already. Soon, I will complete my mission. For my brothers to come, if I die before I can pass on my secrets, here is the recipe for the poison, may it serve the Order."
- ―Iltani's transcription of Alexander's assassination, 323 BCE.[src]
Some hundred years later, in the 4th century BCE, an ancient Order that served as a precursor to the Assassin Brotherhood operated against the Order of the Ancients. In 323 BCE, Iltani, one of these proto-Assassins, halted the advance of Alexander the Great, an ally of the Ancients. She managed to fatally poison the Greek conqueror and attempted to retrieve his Staff of Eden.
Around 70 BCE, the ancient protectors of Egypt known as the Medjay, who would later give rise to the Assassin Brotherhood, were hunted by the Order of the Ancients. A former soldier named Bion, employed by the Ancient Raia, managed to kill several Medjay including Sabu in 56 BCE. Bion was eventually killed by Sabu's son Bayek and his future wife Aya, before Bayek proceeded to kill Raia.
Formation of the Hidden Ones
- Aya: "When we assassinate, we assassinate only those who deserve it. The few sick souls who try to control us... but they will never know who we are. Cold, calculated poets of the kill."
- Bayek: "I am fine with this. I am not a father anymore. I am not a husband. I am not a Medjay. I am a Hidden One."
- —Bayek and Aya during the inception of their brotherhood, 47 BCE.[src]
In 49 BCE, members of the Order of the Ancients travelled to the Siwa Oasis in Egypt to discover more about an Isu vault hidden beneath the Temple of Amun. In doing so, they kidnapped the local protector, the Medjay Bayek, and his young son Khemu to push the Medjay for information. The altercation led to the death of his son, sending Bayek and his wife Aya on a quest for vengeance against the Ancients. After killing his first target Rudjek, Bayek returned to Siwa to kill the priest Medunamun, from whom he obtained an Apple of Eden.
Aya was bound to her duties as protector to Queen Cleopatra, who was engaged in a civil war with her brother Ptolemy XIII, supported by the Ancients. During her absence, Bayek hunted the men responsible, forming a network of people opposing the Ancients and supporting Cleopatra. As Bayek took down most of the Order's network, his and Aya's attentions shifted to helping Cleopatra secure an alliance with Pompey the Great against Ptolemy to get support from the Roman Republic.
When the Ancients had Pompey murdered, they enabled her to 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. The Order of the Ancients had meanwhile been manipulating Caesar and, by extension, Cleopatra.
Their influence over Cleopatra allowed them to retrieve Alexander's Staff of Eden from the tomb and to kill Cleopatra's follower Apollodorus the Sicilian, who held the Apple of Eden. Faced with stronger opposition than before, Bayek and Aya met with their allies who opposed Cleopatra and Caesar, laying the groundworks for a new Brotherhood.
In 47 BCE, after Caesar and Cleopatra betrayed Bayek and Aya under the Ancients' influence, the two returned to Siwa to stop the Order's leader Flavius Metellus, finding only an opened vault. Bayek tracked Flavius down, exacting revenge for their son and reacquiring the Apple.
Meanwhile, Aya had recruited the Roman Senators Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus, enemies of Caesar, to their cause, determined to leave for Rome to combat the Ancients there. Before leaving, Bayek and Aya named their new brotherhood the Hidden Ones, laying out the foundation of the Creed and their customs. They each established bureaus in Memphis and Rome.
- "[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]
By 44 BCE, Julius Caesar had become the new figurehead of the Order of the Ancients, with Lucius Septimius as his right hand. With Aya as their leader, Brutus and Cassius spearheaded a conspiracy with thirty-eight other Roman Senators who opposed Caesar's imperialist ideals after he was appointed dictator for life.
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, before joining her brothers in the Senate. Aya was the first one to strike at Caesar, followed by the Roman Senators, resulting in Caesar's assured death. Shortly after, Aya adopted the name Amunet.
As they were subsequently pursued by Caesar's ally Marcus Antonius, Brutus and Cassius eventually fled from Rome, and a civil war ensued. The armies of Gaius Cassius Longinus and Marcus Junius Brutus were confronted by the army of Marcus Antonius and Octavian at Philippi, and Cassius was killed in the ensuing battle. Faced with inevitable defeat, Brutus committed suicide; his Brothers attempted to revive him using one of the Shrouds of Eden, but were only briefly successful; nonetheless, some reports spread that Brutus survived.
After Caesar's death, the Hidden Ones continued to be at odds with the Order of the Ancients, now under the leadership of Octavian. In 38 BCE, the Hidden Ones in the Sinai Peninsula faced trouble from one of Caesar's former generals, Gaius Julius Rufio. The conflict saw Bayek reunite with Tahira, the local bureau leader, and later his wife Amunet as they attempted to keep the region safe from the Ancients' influence. Tahira was killed, and Bayek assassinated Rufio in retaliation. The Hidden Ones subsequently aimed to spread their influence to Petra and Judea, where the newly inducted Kawab intended to fight the tyrannical rule of King Herod the Great.
The same year, Bayek heard reports from Amunet of a curse that had struck Thebes and the nearby Valley of the Kings. During his investigation, Bayek discovered that an ancient artifact was being used to create illusions of dead pharaohs that attacked the populace. After exploring several projections of the Afterlife brought forth by the artifact, Bayek discovered that it was another Apple of Eden used by the priestess Isidora in retaliation for the murder of her mother at the hands of grave robbers. Bayek killed Isidora and handed the Apple to his ally Sutekh, who went to hide the Apple but eventually mysteriously died in the Waset Desert.
In 30 BCE, thirteen years after Aya decided to spare Cleopatra's life after killing Caesar, the Egyptian Pharaoh was caught in a civil war between Octavian and her lover, Marcus Antonius. After Marcus Antonius was defeated and committed suicide, Octavian's forces closed in on Alexandria, throwing Egypt's people into the crossfires of war. Amunet infiltrated Cleopatra's palace to implore her to end the war, persuading the Pharaoh to take her own life using Amunet's poison; legend would later say Amunet killed her with a poisonous asp. As a final gesture to her former friend, Amunet took her son Caesarion in as a Hidden One.
Activities in the Roman Empire
- "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]
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 Ancients. This turned him into a target for the Hidden One Leonius, who fatally stabbed him in 41 AD. Eventually, the Roman branch of the Hidden Ones renamed itself to Liberalis Circulum (Circle of Liberals).
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By 259 AD, the Liberalis Circulum had a headquarters in the city of Lugdunum. The Roman proto-Assassin Lucius tasked the Aleman Accipiter with obtaining a Precursor artifact known as the Ankh. Lucius' son Aquilus travelled to meet Accipiter, but was left unconscious when his assassination of General Gracchus failed. Accipiter rescued him and gave him the Ankh, which Aquilus took to his father.
Lucius was murdered by his friend Caïus Fulvus Vultur, secretly a proto-Templar, and the Ankh was stolen. Aquilus exacted revenge on Senator Vultur, but he was arrested by Roman guards on his return to Lugdunum. 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.
- King Eric: "Why not leave your work and your Brotherhood in the shadows?"
- Torgny: "Because my Brotherhood has an enemy. We oppose an Order that has gained tremendous power among the Franks, and their influence is spreading. They have had dealings with Harald of Denmark, who sails with Styrbjörn."
- —King Eric of Sweden and Torgny the Lawspeaker about the Brotherhood's purpose, 985.[src]
By the later half of the 10th century, the Brotherhood had made its way over to Scandinavia, which was then inhabited by the Norsemen. The proto-Assassins had affiliated themselves with King Eric of Sweden, and the Brotherhood's Mentor, Torgny the Lawspeaker, served as King Eric's advisor.
As of 985, the Brotherhood opposed the Scandinavian prince Styrbjörn the Strong, King Eric's nephew. The Brotherhood suspected that Styrbjörn's ally, King Harald Bluetooth, was affiliated with the proto-Templar Order and in possession of a Piece of Eden, one of the prongs of the Trident of Eden. To oppose the Order's expansion to Scandinavia, the Brotherhood's members, namely Thorvald Hjaltason, opposed Styrbjörn's campaigns against King Eric, fighting to remove the Order's against from their ranks.
Reformation in the Levant
- "You cannot kill a creed. Even if you kill all of its adherents, destroy all of its writings – these are a reprieve at best. Some one, some day, will rediscover it. Reinvent it. I believe that even we, the Assassins, have simply re-discovered an Order that predates the Old Man himself..."
- ―An excerpt from Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad's codex, 1190s.[src]
By 1090, the Brotherhood in the Levant had been reformed as the Order of Assassins, where it fell under the control of Hassan-i Sabbāh. In response to the Templars' reformation as a public knightly order, Sabbāh determined that the Assassins too had to become a public organization. Under his leadership, assassinations were much more often carried out in public, encouraging the people to stand up against oppression alongside the Assassins.
In 1162, the Brotherhood was led by Hassan the Younger. He sent an individual who would later come to be known as Al Mualim to establish a fortress in Masyaf, which some speculated to be the consequence of an ideological rift between the two.
By the 1170s, control of the Levantine Brotherhood had fallen to Al Mualim. He enforced a series of rules for his Assassins, including prohibiting the use of poison, as well as promising new initiates that paradise would await them upon their deaths.
In 1176, Saladin set up camp outside the Levantine Assassins' headquarters of Masyaf, intent on destroying the Brotherhood. Al Mualim sent Umar Ibn-La'Ahad to silently infiltrate Saladin's tent and plant a message, but Umar was discovered and forced to kill a nobleman. Saladin discovered Umar's name from interrogating Ahmad Sofian, and sent his uncle Šihāb ad-Dīn to negotiate peace with the Assassins; however, he called for Umar's execution, to which Al Mualim reluctantly complied.
Conflict during the Third Crusade
- Altaïr: "You held fire in your hand, old man. It should have been destroyed."
- Al Mualim: "Destroy the only thing capable of ending the Crusades and creating true peace? Never."
- —Altaïr and Al Mualim about the Apple of Eden, 1191.[src]
Since at least 1189, Al Mualim was aware of an Apple of Eden located somewhere in the Holy Land. Unbeknownst to his subjects, he collaborated with the high-ranking members of the Knights Templar to find the artifact and, secretly, claim the Holy Land for himself. They eventually located it in an ancient vault beneath the ruins of Solomon's Temple.
Before the Knights Templar could claim it, Al Mualim had three of his subjects, including Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, retrieve the artifact. Arriving at the same time as the Templars, Altaïr ignored his master's orders and decided to take his oppportunity to kill Grand Master Robert de Sablé. Though Malik Al-Sayf was gravely injured and his brother killed, he returned the artifact to Masyaf.
The Knights Templar followed Altaïr back to Masyaf, where they attempted to lay siege to the fortress, but were routed by Altaïr. For breaking the tenets of the Creed, Altaïr was demoted to a novice and was sent on a quest to restore his rank of Master Assassin by killing nine notable Templar targets on both sides of the crusader conflict in Damascus, Acre and Jerusalem, winning back the trust of his master and fellow Assassins.
After Grand Master de Sablé used his subordinate Maria Thorpe as a decoy to prevent Altaïr's attempt on his life, he wrote to meet Saladin and King Richard I of England at the Battle of Arsuf to rally them against the Assassins. Altaïr faced de Sablé in combat during his meeting with King Richard, as per the king's request, and killed the Grand Master, who in his dying moments revealed Al Mualim's treachery.
Meanwhile, Al Mualim used the artifact to make his Assassins bend to his will. They ultimately faced opposition from a small group of Assassins including Altaïr and Malik. Altaïr confronted his master in the fortress' garden, where he fought off the illusions created by the Apple and ultimately killed the Mentor.
Reforms and globalization attempts
- "Though I ask my brothers now to abandon their rituals, I do not ask that they abandon the creed. THIS is what makes us Assassins. Not the removal of a finger. Not a false promise of paradise. Not the prohibition of poison. Our duty is to the people, not to custom."
- ―An excerpt of Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad's codex, 1191.[src]
After the death of Al Mualim, a minor civil war broke out stirred by Abbas Sofian. Altaïr eventually managed to become the new Mentor through gaining the support of his fellow Assassins. He initiated a series of reforms, allowing the use of poison and prohibited the taking of the ring finger and the promise of a false paradise. Altaïr then left on a journey to Cyprus, the Templars' new headquarters, supporting the local resistance movement. Due to Altaïr's efforts, the Templars left the island with the artifacts from the Templar Archive in Limassol, though the Assassin managed to kill the new Grand Master Armand Bouchart, gaining the island for the Assassins in the process.
Altaïr and Malik Al-Sayf worked together on inventing new assassination techniques for the Assassins, resulting in the usage of dual Hidden Blades. All the while, Altaïr continued to study the Apple and wrote in his codex, which defined the Creed for generations to come.
Altaïr and his Assassins also started visiting other countries to spread their reformed Assassin philosophy. However, Altaïr was unsuccessful to spread his teachings in Constantinople in 1204, due to the chaos of the Fourth Crusade, and returned to Masyaf.
First Barons' War
- "Your barons are no better than the King if they take aid from the French."
- ―William of Cassingham justifying his allegiance to John, 1215.[src]
In 1215, tensions rose among the aristocracy in England, when King John had fallen under the sway of the Knights Templar. In doing so, the king refused to abide by Magna Carta. This led the Assassin Robert Fitzwalter to lead the local barons in rebellion against the king, with additional support from the Kingdom of France.
However, this created a rift in the Brotherhood, as the Master Assassin William of Cassingham opposed Fitzwalter's support of the barons and alliance with the French. He instead worked to support John's young son Henry. By the end of the conflict, John had passed away and Henry became the new King of England.
Assassination of Genghis Khan
- "A dark tide rises to the east - an army of such size and power that all the land is made quick to worry. Their leader is a man named Temujin, who has adopted the title Genghis Khan. He sweeps across the lands, conquering and subsuming all who stand in his way. Whatever his motives, he must be stopped."
- ―An excerpt from Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad's codex, c. 1217.[src]
Around 1217, Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad recognized the threat of the rising Mongol Empire under the leadership of Genghis Khan, and suspected him of wielding a Piece of Eden. Together with his wife and son Darim, he left the Levantine Brotherhood in the care of Malik Al-Sayf and journeyed to Mongolia. They joined forces with the fledgling Mongolian Brotherhood, and made plans to take down the Khan and stop the Mongol horde.
In February 1227, Darim and Qulan Gal pursued Genghis Khan's son Jochi, who was fatally poisoned by Darim. In August 1227, Qulan Gal joined Altaïr in an attack on the Great Khan's camp in China, though Altaïr was wounded in the process and the Mongols were alarmed.
Genghis Khan attempted to flee, but his horse was shot down by Qulan Gal, followed by Darim who killed him with another arrow. The Assassins consequently rescued Gal's apprentice Nergüi, who was left disfigured. With the Mongols left leadership, Altaïr and his family concluded their business in Mongolia and left their Mongols brothers for Masyaf.
Fall of Masyaf
- "Our tactics, too, must change. It means an end to our fortresses. [...] We must weave our webs quietly. And we must do so differently than we have in the past."
- ―An excerpt from Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad's codex, 1191.[src]
Circa 1216, Abbas Sofian plotted the murder of Altaïr's son Sef, and framed Malik Al-Sayf for the murder. With the Levantine Brotherhood left leaderless, he installed a council with himself as its head. Altaïr and his family returned in 1228, and after meeting with Abbas, Altaïr rescued Malik from imprisonment. During their absence, Abbas' right-hand man Swami killed Malik, spurring Altaïr and Maria to meet with Abbas. The meeting turned violent, resulting in the deaths of Maria and Swami. Altaïr fled with the help of his son Darim, and started living in exile in Alamut, while Abbas became the new Mentor of the Levantine Brotherhood.
For almost twenty years, Altaïr spent his days studying the Apple of Eden, creating new inventions such as the Hidden Gun. In First Civilization ruins beneath Alamut, he discovered artifacts known as Memory Seals, six of which he took with him. Meanwhile, tensions between the Assassins and Mongols rose when Qulan Gal and Nergüi respectively killed Chagatai Khan and Ögedei Khan in 1241, creating a power vacuum in the Empire. Altaïr returned to Masyaf six years later and quickly gained support from the Assassins. He went on to kill Abbas and retook his title of Mentor, bringing the Brotherhood back to its former glory. He also started construction of a library beneath Masyaf.
In 1256, under the orders of the Templar Mongol Khan, Möngke, Hülegü Khan destroyed the Assassin fortress of Alamut. Knowing the Mongols' arrival at Masyaf was imminent, Altaïr requested the travellers Niccolò and Maffeo Polo to visit their fortress. Altaïr started telling the Polo brothers his life story and trained them in the ways of the Assassins, seeing them as the Order's future.
On 12 August 1257, Hülegü Khan laid siege to Masyaf. The old Mentor handed the Polos his codex and five Memory Seals, and ordered the other Assassins to abandon Masyaf, wanting his Assassins to operate amongst the people. He then locked himself in his library with the Apple of Eden and his final Memory Seal and passed away.
Conflict with the Mongol Empire
After escaping from Masyaf, the Polos were attacked by the Mongols and lost the codex. Nonetheless, they arrived in Constantinople, founded an Assassins Guild, and hid the Memory Seals in the city. They journeyed to the Mongol Empire in 1259 to retrieve the codex, but their efforts were unsuccessful.
That same year, the Mongols started expanding further into China, to the dismay of the Chinese Brotherhood. To halt the Mongol advance, one Assassin served as a general in the Chinese army and helped prevent the capture of Diaoyu Castle, but was killed. Later, on 11 August, his daughter Zhang Zhi, an apprentice, killed Möngke in revenge, against her Mentor Kang's wishes.
Only four years later, Nergüi carried out another high profile assassination when he killed the Templars' Russian ally Alexander Nevsky, who held a notorious alliance with the Mongols. He succeeded in exacting revenge for the Levantine Brotherhood, by killing Hülegü Khan on 8 February 1265.
The Polos returned to Venice in 1269, establishing another Assassins Guild in Venice. They took Niccolò's son Marco with them on their next journey to the Mongol Empire two years later. Arriving at the Mongol court in 1275, Marco Polo gained the trust of Genghis Khan's grandson Kublai Khan, and retrieved the codex from the Khan's palace in Shangdu. The Polos brought it back to Venice, where they handed it to their new Brothers. Around 1296, it was under protection of the Assassin and poet Dante Alighieri, who also began training the individual later known as Domenico Auditore.
Rebirth as a secret order
- "In breaking the Templars' public facade, are we merely driving them into the shadows? Fifty years ago, the Templars thought us destroyed, after all. Vanishing from the public eye has proven our greatest strength in this interminable war—are we now granting the same boon to our enemies?"
- ―An excerpt of the journal of Thomas de Carneillon, 1307.[src]
The Assassins decided to make their continued existence known to their mortal enemies, by devising a plan to eradicate the Knights Templar. The Mentor of the French Brotherhood, Guillaume de Nogaret, poisoned his political enemy Pope Benedict XI in 1304, and exerted his influence over King Philip IV of France and the new Pope Clement V to turn them against the Knights Templar.
On 13 October 1307, Assassins dressed as the king's mercenaries launched an assault on the Temple in Paris to arrest the Templars and their Grand Master, Jacques de Molay. Master Assassin Thomas de Carneillon also infiltrated the Temple to obtain the Codex Pater Intellectus and a Sword of Eden, though de Molay's advisor hid them in the Temple's crypt. With de Molay and numerous other Templars arrested, de Carneillon led a decade-long hunt for Templar remnants in Europe. In 1314, de Molay was executed, and the Assassins believed their mortal enemies officially disbanded.
In 1321, Dante Alighieri was killed by Templars, causing Marco Polo and Domenico Auditore's father to order Domenico, Alighieri's apprentice, to take Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad's codex to Spain. Though the Templars hired pirates to attack Domenico and his family in Otranto's harbor, the Assassin hid the codex's pages from the pirates in various boxes. Three years later, the Templars had also killed Marco Polo and Domenico's father. Domenico founded the noble House of Auditore in Florence, and moved into the Villa Auditore in Monteriggioni, which became the new headquarters of the Italian Brotherhood.
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In 1340, the Egyptian Assassin Numa Al'Khamsin was tasked by an Assassin elder to retrieve the Scepter of Aset, an artifact given to rebelling Mamluks by another Assassin in 1250, from the Templars. Numa and his apprentice Ali Al-Ghraib recovered it in Karnak, though Numa was imprisoned by the Mamluks upon his refusal to hand it over. Having escaped with the Templar agent Leila, Numa was led into a trap by his apprentice under pressure of the Templars and subsequently killed by Leila. Nonetheless, Al-Ghraib hid the artifact in a well, but died before he could contact the Assassins.
Near the middle of the 14th century, the Brotherhood in Germany discovered that a group promising protection from the plague known as the Brothers of the Cross was a secret Templar organisation pursuing the Ankh. In 1350, both the Brothers of the Cross and the German Assassin Lukas Zurburg mysteriously vanished.
In 1402, the Templars aided the ascension of the Yongle Emperor, which was followed by a purge of the Chinese Assassin Brotherhood. Li Tong and an apprentice escaped with an Apple of Eden, and she later exacted revenge on the emperor in 1424. Another notable assassination was carried out under orders of Ishak Pasha, leader of the Ottoman Assassins, when he led the attack that resulted in the death of Templar Vlad the Impaler.
Hundred Years' War
- "Rumors have been swirling about a Maid of prophecy for years. I have investigated them all. Most are liars, memorizing the story and adhering to it, hoping to get a little bit of coin and some fleeting fame. But the stories about Jeanne were different."
- ―Yolande of Aragon to Gabriel Laxart, 1429.[src]
After the Assassins caused the disarray of the Templar Order in Paris in 1307, the Assassins kept France free from Templar influence. Their enemies, meanwhile, had strengthened their presence in Britain. Under the Templars' influence, the Hundred Years' War between England and France started in 1337, with the Templars hoping to regain control over France under the English banner.
By the start of the 15th century, prophecies of a Maiden who would lead France to victory over the English and their French allies, the Burgundians, had begun to spread. Hoping to find truth to the prophecy, the French Mentor, Queen Yolande of Aragon, deployed Assassins throughout the country hoping to stumble upon the real Maiden. In January 1429, the Assassin Jean de Metz, a squire working for Robert de Baudricourt, met Jeanne d'Arc.
Jeanne had a high amount of Precursor DNA, being able to enchant others by merely being in their presence and hearing "Voices" who she believed to be angels – believed by Abstergo to be Consus – delivering God's messages to her and who informed her of her destiny to lead France to victory in the war.
Recognising her as the prophesied Maiden, Jean de Metz swore loyalty to her and helped her and her companion Gabriel Laxart to gain an audience with his lord, who sent her to Duke Charles of Lorraine. Through the Duke of Lorraine, Jeanne, Gabriel and Jean met the Dauphin of France, Charles. Jean also started training Gabriel Laxart in Assassin skills, recognising that he also had high Precursor DNA. Jean and Gabriel dug up the Sword of Eden that Jeanne had been informed of by "the Voices", and after Jeanne met with the Mentor, Queen Yolande, the Assassins ensured Jeanne received the aid required to form her own army to help the besieged city of Orléans.
Rise of the Italian Assassins
- "Your father and I managed to make out bits of a prophecy scrawled across these pages. It was written by an Assassin like us, who long ago held a "Piece of Eden." His name was Altaïr... He spoke of something powerful and ancient hidden beneath the land."
- ―Mario Auditore to his nephew Ezio about Altaïr's prophecy, 1478.[src]
In 1476, after Rodrigo Borgia became the new Grand Master of the Italian Templars, Giovanni Auditore da Firenze, a leading Italian Assassin, was publicly executed alongside two of his sons, in an attempt to stop his meddling with Templar affairs. Secretly receiving aid from other Assassins, Giovanni's sole remaining son Ezio Auditore exacted revenge on executioner Uberto Alberti and joined his uncle Mario, the Assassin leader, in their headquarters of Monteriggioni.
With the aid of his uncle and several underworld figures, secretly Assassins, Ezio fought back against the Italian Templars and stopped their conspiracies. This included eliminating the participants in the Pazzi conspiracy, who planned to overthrow Lorenzo de' Medici as leader of Florence, and opposing the Barbarigos in Venice, who were successful in killing Doge Giovanni Mocenigo and claim leadership of the city, albeit temporarily.
All the while, Altaïr collected the scattered pages of Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad's Codex, discovering a prophecy that foretold of a Prophet who would appear when a Piece of Eden was brought to Venice. In 1488, the Italian Templars recovered an Apple of Eden from the Templar Archive, hidden there by Ottoman Templar Cem, and brought it to Venice. Ezio stole the artifact and confronted Grand Master Rodrigo Borgia, eventually routing him alongside the other Assassins. Unbeknownst to Ezio, it was he who was the Prophet.
Unsure of what to do with the Apple of Eden after their ally Leonardo da Vinci was unable to divulge its purpose, the Assassins endeavoured to hide it in the Rocca di Ravaldino in Forlì under supervision of their ally Caterina Sforza. Rodrigo Borgia employed the brothers Checco and Ludovico Orsi obtain the Apple from the Assassins. While they were briefly successful, Ezio reclaimed the artifact before being gravely wounded by Checco and passing out, at which point it was stolen by the monk Girolamo Savonarola.
- "The Inquisition has finally delivered Spain to the Templars. Sultan Muhammad and his people still hold out in Granada. But if his son, the prince, is captured... he will surrender the city and the Apple of Eden. [...] If the Apple falls into their hands, the Templars will destroy everything that stands in their way."
- ―The Mentor Benedicto, at the induction of Aguilar de Nerha, 1491.[src]
By the 1490s, the Spanish Inquisition, led by a Master Templar, Grand Inquisitor Tomás de Torquemada, had begun to capture and execute members of the Assassin Brotherhood. In 1491, Christopher Columbus and his friend Luis de Santángel, an Assassin, were lured to Venice with the prospect of funding by Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, who secretly wanted to kill Columbus to stop him from discovering the New World. Santángel employed the aid of fellow Assassin Ezio Auditore da Firenze to protect him, who later joined them to stop the Inquisition's persecution of the Brotherhood. There, he worked with a branch of Assassins – unaware of Torquemada's Templar affiliations – at eroding Borgia influence in Spain.
Meanwhile, another Brotherhood of Assassins under the leadership of Benedicto endeavoured to stop Torquemada's Templar schemes. They learned of Torquemada's intent to kidnap the son of Emir Muhammad XII of Granada to trade for the Emir's Apple of Eden. A team of Assassins including Benedicto, Maria and Aguilar de Nerha rode to stop the Templars from finding the sultan's son, but were unsuccessful and captured. Sentenced to be executed at the stake, Aguilar and Maria escaped from their shackles after their Mentor Benedicto was executed.
At Granada, Aguilar and Maria interrupted the exchange between the Emir and Torquemada, resulting in the deaths of Maria and Torquemada's right hand Ojeda, and in Aguilar's retrieval of the Apple. Aguilar rode to Palos de la Frontera, where he entrusted Christopher Columbus with keeping the Apple safe.
Sometime afterwards, after eliminating several key members of the Inquisition and ensuring Columbus' voyage was financed, Ezio decided to confront Torquemada. The Grand Inquisitor, feigning ignorance of Templar affairs and declaring loyalty to Rodrigo Borgia, eventually escaped Ezio. The Assassin decided against pursuing Torquemada, believing him to only be a puppet, and returned to Italy.
Control of the Spanish Brotherhood eventually fell to the new Mentor Aguilar de Nerha. Facing continued opposition from Torquemada, the Assassins ultimately killed the Grand Inquisitor on 16 September 1498. Meanwhile, Luis de Santángel, the finance minister of King Ferdinand, had slowly been poisoning Queen Isabella after she had succumbed to the influence of the Borgia family, a task which a group of Italian Assassins completed in 1504.
Liberation of Rome
- "There will be no peace until we rise up against the entire Borgia family and the Templars who serve them."
- ―Ezio Auditore da Firenze to Niccolò Machiavelli, 1500.[src]
In 1497 and 1498, the Italian Assassins endeavoured to retrieve the Apple of Eden from Girolamo Savonarola, who had used it to become the leader of Florence. After dismantling his influence and turning the people against Savonarola, Ezio retrieved the artifact during the chaos of a riot, at which point the Assassins turned their gaze toward the Borgia once more.
Through Altaïr's Codex pages, the Italian Assassins discovered that Rodrigo Borgia intended to use the Apple and Staff of Eden to open an ancient vault beneath the Vatican. While the other Assassins caused unrest in the city as a distraction, Ezio infiltrated the Sistine Chapel and eventually bested Rodrigo. Ezio, as the Prophet, managed to open the vault using the Staff and Apple of Eden and received a message from the Isu Minerva, intended for his descendant Desmond Miles.
After Ezio's return to Monteriggioni, Rodrigo's son Cesare attacked the town in retaliation for thwarting the Templars' plans, resulting in Mario Auditore's death and the Villa Auditore's destruction. Ezio later joined Niccolò Machiavelli in Rome, where he took the lead in building up the resistance against the Borgia. With their new headquarters on Tiber Island, Ezio began recruiting new members for the Brotherhood and taking down Borgia institutions. Utilizing the city's underworld, Ezio assassinated key Templars Juan Borgia and Octavian de Valois.
In August of 1503, Rodrigo Borgia, who opposed his son disturbing the Templar-led peace in the city, hid the Apple of Eden from Cesare, resulting in his own son killing him. Ezio retrieved the artifact before Cesare, and used it to remove the last Borgia holdouts in the city. Cesare, the new Grand Master, was arrested on orders of the new Pope Julius II, an Assassin ally. He escaped the next year and fled to Spain, where he joined the army of his brother-in-law John III of Navarre.
In 1506, the Apple of Eden told Ezio to hide it in a vault beneath the Colosseum, where it would be found later be his descendant. In March of 1507, Ezio had tracked Cesare to Viana, where a battle was taking place. Ezio pursued Cesare to Viana Castle, where he eventually threw the Grand Master off the castle walls, permanently ending the Borgias' schemes.
Fight against the Byzantine Templars
- "Five years ago, Templar influence here was minimal. A small faction with dreams of restoring the Byzantine throne. But they're growing in number, day by day. And with Sultan Bayezid on his way out, they may try something dramatic."
- ―Yusuf Tazim about the Byzantine Templars, 1511.[src]
After an earthquake struck Constantinople, the heart of the Ottoman Empire, in 1509, a group of Templars uniting under the banner of the Byzantine Empire showed up in the city. They engaged in conflict with the Ottoman soldiers and Ottoman Assassins, hoping to reconquer the Empire under Byzantine Templar rule.
In 1510, Ezio Auditore found letters from his father detailing Altaïr's library underneath Masyaf, and he set off to find it. However, after facing opposition from the Byzantine Templars in the fortress and discovering the keys – the Memory Seals – were hidden in Constantinople, he joined the Ottoman Assassins' fight against the Templars. The Assassin leader Yusuf Tazim regularly employed Ezio's aid in their troubles, and Ezio also made use of his new friendship with young Ottoman prince Suleiman.
Slowly, Ezio recovered the Masyaf Keys hidden in the city. He recovered the final key from leading Templar Manuel Palaiologos, whom Ezio killed in Derinkuyu in Cappadocia. However, Ottoman Prince Ahmet, the true Grand Master, killed Yusuf Tazim and kidnapped Ezio's paramour Sofia Sartor to exchange for the artifacts, leading to the Italian Assassin pursuing the Grand Master. At the end of their confrontation, they were met by the forces of Ahmet's brother Selim, who swiftly opted to kill his brother to ensure his own claim on the throne.
With the Masyaf Keys in his possession, Ezio opened Altaïr's library beneath Masyaf, where he discovered Altaïr's Apple of Eden. Ultimately, he decided to leave the artifact hidden away, and retired back to Italy, having left the Ottoman Brotherhood in the hands of Dogan and in good relations with future Sultan Suleiman.
Operations in the New World
- "The natives of this new world had a philosophy like our creed for as long as they've been here. And when Europeans arrived, our groups sort of... matched up. Cultures and religions and languages keep folks divided. But there's something in the Assassin's Creed that crosses all boundaries. A fondness for life and liberty."
- ―Mary Read about the Assassins in the New World, 1716.[src]
As early as 1503, the Assassins had started to spread to the New World. By 1510, they had established a presence in Florida, and welcomed the Puerto Rican refugees Alonso Carlo and Miguel Ramón Carlo de Lugo into their community.
In February 1519, Giovanni Borgia boarded Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés' voyage to Mexico to locate a Piece of Eden. After several months of travel, Cortés and his entourage where welcomed into the Aztec capitol of Tenochtitlan. When the Spanish massacred the Aztecs on the night of 20 May 1520, Borgia killed an Aztec priest and took his Crystal Skull, later escaping during the Night of Sorrows and travelling back to Europe.
In 1524, Juan Ponce de León, another conquistador, travelled to Florida to discover the Fountain of Youth. The fountain, secretly a Piece of Eden, was under the protection of the Assassins, and Miguel Ramón Carlo was sent to meet Ponce de León. Upon the latter's insistence to find the fountain, the Assassins shot him with poisoned arrows, resulting in his death sometime later.
By 1533, a Spanish Assassin named Gonzalo Pardo had infiltrated the company of Francisco Pizzaro, a Templar-affiliated conquistador who subdued the Inca Empire. On orders of the Brotherhood, Pardo was to save the Incan Emperor Atahualpa from execution to help the Incas, but failed in his task. He stayed in the Empire, wandering Peru as a drunkard, until joining forces with the Incan Quila in 1536 to stop a conspiracy orchestrated by Pizzaro to kill Emperor Manco Inca Yupanqui. Eventually, in 1541, Pizzaro was killed by the Assassin Brotherhood.
Activities in Tudor England
- "Henry VII of the House of Tudor rules England with unflinching power. Though England enjoys peace and stability under his command, he may soon become a victim of Templar manipulation."
- ―The Assassins on the state of England, 1503.[src]
Since the late 15th century, the Assassins noticed the Templar Order attempting to spread its influence over the House of Tudor, the ruling house of England. In 1503, Ezio Auditore da Firenze sent a group of Assassins to England to aid King Henry VII in stopping a Templar plot. On his behalf, the Assassins poisoned the last key figure in the Templar conspiracy, Margaret of York, on 23 November 1503. In response, the Templars infiltrated Henry's Star Chamber, the secret high court. After removing the conspirators, the Assassins were offered a seat on the Star Chamber by King Henry.
During the mid-1550s, the Templars once again held the upper hand in England by exerting strong influence over the court of Queen Mary I. The Assassins, instead, supported her half-sister Elizabeth. To end the Templars' reign, the Assassins killed Queen Mary on 17 November 1558. She was succeeded by Queen Elizabeth I, who, with the use of an Apple of Eden, guided England into a golden age.
Rebuilding the Chinese Brotherhood
- "I will undo all that you have done. I will rebuild the Brotherhood and recruit those who wish to make our land a place of freedom, those ready to die to fight men like you. Your Templar world will not happen. The Assassins will rise again."
- ―Shao Jun to a dying Zhang Yong, 1532.[src]
During the reign of the Zhengde Emperor in China, both the Assassins and Templars held presences in the Imperial court. After the death of the Emperor in 1521, the Eight Tigers – a group of Templar eunuchs – seized power in court, installed the Jiajing Emperor as their puppet, and planned to eradicate the Assassins from the Beijing.
Their Mentor Wang Yangming was warned of their plan by the concubine Shao Jun, and after a failed attempt to kill the Tigers, many of the emperor's enemies including Assassins were killed in what was known as the Great Rites Controversy in 1524.
Wang Yangming evacuated the Assassins and their allies from the Forbidden City and went into hiding. Zhu Jiuyuan succeeding him as Mentor and trained Shao Jun as an Assassin. As the Tigers' hunt for the Assassins continued, Jiuyuan and Jun left China to find the aid of Ezio Auditore da Firenze. Only Jun arrived at the retired Mentor's villa in Tuscany, where he reluctantly offered her aid and wisdom – and the ancient Precursor box. Jun returned to China in 1526, joining forces with Wang Yangming to rebuild their Brotherhood.
With no other Assassins remaining, the Mentor and his former student travelled across the country to take down the Eight Tigers. Though their efforts initially proved successful with the deaths of four of their enemies, the Tigers' leader Zhang Yong and Qiu Ju killed Wang Yangming in 1529.
Jun continued the fight, ultimately killing Zhang Yong during a Mongol attack on the Great Wall in 1532. Despite having lost the box, Jun rebuilt the Chinese Brotherhood as the new Mentor, and finally ordered the death of the Jiajing Emperor in 1567.
Expansion to Japan
- "I care little for Nobunaga's ambition, but it must be fulfilled. All pieces must be in play before Ieyasu can claim his rightful place."
- ―Chaya Shirōjirō Kiyonobu to Hattori Hanzō, 1571.[src]
In 1549, the Templars arrived in Japan aiming to spread their influence to new lands. When the Assassins caught wind of this, they too established a presence in Japan. They found allies in the Japanese ninja, from whom they learned new techniques. They made contact with the warlord Oda Nobunaga, who promised an alliance as soon as he united the country. In addition, the Assassins made a secret alliance with Tokugawa Ieyasu, whose vassal Hattori Hanzō had become a Master Assassin.
Aside from battling the Templars, the Japanese Assassins also aided the Tokugawa clan in unifying the land. To this extent, Hanzō killed the rival warlords Mōri Motonari, to aid Nobunaga's conquests, and Takeda Shingen, who held a Sword of Eden, which later wound up in Nobunaga's hands. Five years later, he killed the Templar warlord Uesugi Kenshin.
When the Tokugawa and the Assassins discovered that Nobunaga was to be attacked by his vassal Akechi Mitsuhide, Hanzō protected Tokugawa Ieyasu, while the Assassin Yamauchi Taka secretly killed Nobunaga amidst the chaos and retrieved the Sword of Eden. The Chinese Assassin Liu Yan then transported the artifact away from Japan.
In 1596, Hanzō was killed by a rival ninja, Fūma Kotarō. Suspecting that Nobunaga's successor and the new ruler of Japan, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, played a part in his death, Ieyasu tasked Yamauchi Taka with the investigation, which led to his assassination of Hideyoshi in 1598. The land then became divided between Toyotomi's loyalists, and Tokugawa's supporters, which included other Assassins like Mogami Yoshiaki and Yamauchi Kazutoyo. This led to the Battle of Sekigahara, in which Yamauchi Taka killed the general Shima Sakon to help ensure Tokugawa's victory, and consequently, the foundation of the Tokugawa shogunate.
Age of Imperialism
Salem witch trials
- Querry: "The Puritans are easily controlled. They're convinced the devil walks the earth."
- Stoddard: "Little wonder the Templars are in evidence."
- —Jennifer Querry and Thomas Stoddard about the witch trials, 1692.[src]
In the early 1690s, word reached the British Assassins of an artifact hidden somewhere in Salem, Massachusetts. The Brotherhood sent Master Assassin Thomas Stoddard, who had become legendary for tracking Precursor artifacts, to America to recover the artifact. Around the same time, reports of young girls with strange illnesses led the Puritan villagers of Salem to accuse one another of witchcraft in early 1692, known as the Salem witch trials. After the Templars Samuel Parris and William Stoughton arrived looking for the artifact, they took a center role in the persecutions of accused witches. In June 1692, Stoddard arrived in Salem and met the local Assassin Jennifer Querry.
The two Assassins infiltrated a warehouse, where they freed a young girl named Dorothy Osborne and a mute boy named David from Templar imprisonment. When Dorothy became possessed by the Precursor Consus, Stoddard discovered that she was the artifact they had been looking for and he brought her to safety at the Salem docks. The Assassins, Dorothy and David were soon recaptured after their escape.
During their interrogation, while the Templars were distracted by Dorothy being possessed by Consus, Querry managed to kill a guard and free Stoddard before being killed by Stoughton. While Stoddard was also shot in the arm by Stoughton, the Templar was betrayed by his accomplice Parris before he could finish Stoddard off. Dorothy, overcome by guilt, decided to kill herself in a fire. Before Stoughton could kill Stoddard, he was rescued by a remorseful Parris. With Dorothy dead, Stoddard abandoned his quest.
Search for the Observatory
- "It seems another Sage has been found. The race for the Observatory begins anew."
- ―Ah Tabai about the Caribbean Assassins' plight, 1716.[src]
Since at least the 1670s, the Assassin Brotherhood in the Caribbean was engaged with the Templars in a search for Sages – reincarnations of Aita capable of opening the Observatory, an ancient First Civilization complex. In 1673, the Mentor Bahlam abducted the Sage Thom Kavanagh to prevent him falling under the influence of the Templar Laureano de Torres y Ayala, and set him on his quest to find the Observatory.
In 1714, Phillip Randall, Mentor of the British Brotherhood, sent Master Assassin Duncan Walpole – who sought to join the Templars – to meet with the new Caribbean Mentor Ah Tabai and train with him. Seeing this task as an insult, Walpole was convined by Henry Spencer to join the Templars and compiled locations of the Assassin bureaus in the Caribbean for Grand Master Torres. Before he could finalize his betrayal, he was killed by the pirate Edward Kenway in 1715.
The Caribbean Assassins later attacked the Templars in Havana to rescue another Sage, Bartholomew Roberts, but were slaughtered by the Templars, including Kenway posing as Walpole. Kenway's fellow pirate, the Assassin Mary Read, attempted to persuade Kenway to join the Brotherhood. Kenway aided the Assassins in fighting off a Royal Navy attack on the Brotherhood's Tulum headquarters, but Ah Tabai banished him for his earlier misdeeds. Nonetheless, Kenway helped the local Assassin bureaus fend off Templar attacks and performed assassination contracts for the Brotherhood, in exchange for payment.
Read continued to try to persuade Kenway of the error of his ways, though it was only until Read's death in Port Royal's prison that Kenway decided to fight for the Assassin cause; by then, Kenway's quartermaster Adéwalé had already joined the Assassins. Under tutelage of Ah Tabai in 1722, Kenway was assigned three targets: the Sage Roberts, Templar Governor Woodes Rogers and Grand Master Torres.
After killing Roberts and grievously wounding Rogers, Kenway assassinated Torres during the latter's siege on the Observatory, placing both the complex and the Crystal Skull it held under the Assassins' protection. Kenway left after offering the Caribbean Assassins his Great Inagua hideout, while the Brotherhood continued its stewardship over the Observatory. At some point in the 18th century, the complex suffered a catastrophic collapse, after which it was deliberately buried by the Assassins.
Fall of the London Assassins
- "Miko was a bit of a free spirit; he roamed all over Europe, searching for Pieces of Eden, making connections and lending aid to various regional Brotherhoods. [...] What Edward brought to the table was stability."
- ―Shaun Hastings on the London Assassins, 2015.[src]
Edward Kenway returned to Bristol in 1723, where he exacted revenge on his former father-in-law, the Templar Emmett Scott and his henchman Wilson. He and his crew were pardoned by Robert Walpole, acting as a neutral party between the Assassins and Templars, and Edward was offered a home at Queen Anne's Square. Edward settled down and became co-leader of the London Brotherhood alongside Miko, and together they strengthened their presence in London.
Both Miko and Edward often travelled across Europe, doing research into First Civilization sites and Pieces of Eden. Edward's research led him to the discovery of several temples in Italy and beneath Alamut, and he endeavoured to find the location of the Grand Temple, detailing his findings in a journal. At some point, the London Assassins also found a Shroud of Eden, and hid it in a secret location in the Tower of London.
On 3 December 1735, Edward was killed in his mansion by mercenaries hired by his assistant Reginald Birch, the Grand Master of the British Templars. Birch obtained Edward's journal and started tutoring his son Haytham, who rose to become a Templar in his own right. In 1754, he killed Miko and stole the Grand Temple's key, leaving the London Assassins leaderless. Under Birch's leadership, the Templars managed to rout the Assassins from London, and would maintain control of the city for over one-hundred years.
Activities in North America
- Achilles: "You have no idea what you're doing. The future of the whole continent, maybe the whole world, is tied up in that Manuscript."
- Shay: "Perhaps. But we don't have the right to decide that future."
- Achilles: "The right? We have the responsibility!"
- —Achilles and Shay about the Assassins using the Voynich manuscript, 1756.[src]
In 1735, Adéwalé was tasked with intercepting a parcel – which contained the Precursor box – from a French Templar admiral in the Caribbean. His ship was lost at sea when he tried to escape through a storm, and Adéwalé washed up near Port-au-Prince. For the next two years, Adéwalé supported the local Maroon rebellion, culminating in his aiding the French Geodesic Mission and killing Governor Pierre, Marquis de Fayet.
By 1732, the Maroon François Mackandal had created his own Brotherhood in Saint-Domingue. Mackandal took a more radical approach to the Creed, aiming to exterminate French colonists from the colony and actively searching for Precursor relics. In 1746, on orders of his Mentor Ah Tabai, Achilles Davenport established the Colonial Brotherhood in the Thirteen Colonies, which rapidly became one of the strongest branches of the Order.
In November 1751, Mackandal acquired the location of a Precursor temple near Port-au-Prince from using the Precursor box alongside the Voynich manuscript. When Vendredi entered the temple to acquire its Piece of Eden, the temple activated its defense mechanism and triggered an earthquake which devastated the city. During the chaos, Master Templar Lawrence Washington stole the artifacts from Mackandal's camp and brought them to the Thirteen Colonies, with Adéwalé in pursuit. Achilles Davenport then tasked Shay Cormac with the recovering the artifacts from the Templars.
After discovering the location of another temple near Lisbon, Portugal, Shay was sent to find it in 1755. However, upon touching its artifact, the temple also triggered an earthquake that destroyed Lisbon. Angered by his Mentor's decisions, Shay stole the manuscript after his return to the Davenport Homestead, and the Assassins attacked him and left him for dead. Unbeknownst to the Assassins, Shay survived and joined the Templar Order.
Alongside George Monro and later Grand Master Haytham Kenway, Shay hunted down his former Brothers. Though Liam O'Brien managed to kill Monro and retrieve the manuscript, Shay's efforts resulted in the deaths of Kesegowaase, Adéwalé and Hope Jensen. In 1760, with the location of a Precursor temple in the Arctic acquired, Achilles tasked the Chevalier de la Vérendrye with distracting the Templars while they sought the temple.
Kenway and Shay arrived at the temple before Achilles and Liam could disrupt the temple's defense system, though in their struggle Liam activated it. While Shay killed Liam and retrieved the manuscript, Haytham spared Achilles to warn off the Assassins of the temples' danger. Following a purge of the Colonial Assassins in 1763, Achilles, crippled by Haytham, was forced to spend the rest of his days in exile in the Davenport Homestead.
- "George Washington now rallies the colonists and their march towards freedom begins in earnest. Little wonder, then, that the Templars now want him dead. They seek to reshape this land into something cold and ordered. Something soulless."
- ―Ratonhnhaké:ton about the Templars, 1775.[src]
In 1769, Ratonhnhaké:ton, a boy from a Kanien'kehá:ka tribe, was told by Juno through usage of a Crystal Ball to join the Assassin Order to protect his tribe. He contacted Achilles Davenport, who, despite his initial reluctance, agreed to train the boy. After several months of training, Achilles and the boy, who he named Connor, travelled to Boston, where they witnessed the Templars, led by Connor's father Haytham Kenway, plotting igntion of the Boston Massacre. Despite his efforts, Connor failed in stopping their scheme.
Connor started pursuing the members of the Colonial Rite of Templars and training new apprentices, and in his devours, supported the revolutionaries' desire for independence from Britain. He joined the Sons of Liberty in participation in the Boston Tea Party and the Battles of Lexington and Concord.
Connor met George Washington at his inauguration as Commander-in-Chief of the new Continental Army, and fought alongside the Continentals at the Battle of Bunker Hill to assassinate officer John Pitcairn. He also prevented the Templars' attempts to kill George Washington and replace him with Charles Lee, Haytham Kenway's right-hand man.
When pursuing Benjamin Church, Connor formed an alliance with his father, as Church had betrayed both the Continental Army and the Templars. They chased Church to Martinique, and after killing him, temporarily continued their alliance. When Haytham exposed Washington's plans to attack Connor's tribe, the Assassin cut off ties with both his father and Washington. Despite this, he fought alongside the Marquis de Lafayette in the Battle of Monmouth on the revolutionaries' behalf, and later exposed Benedict Arnold's betrayal as a final favor to Washington.
In 1781, Connor targeted his arch-enemy Charles Lee, gained the support of Admiral de Grasse's aid in an attack on the Templars' Fort George headquarters in New York by aiding the French Navy in the Battle of the Chesapeake. However, Haytham Kenway had forced Lee to flee, and Connor was forced to kill his father.
Around the same time, Achilles passed away, and Connor became the new steward of the Davenport Homestead. In 1782, he chased Charles Lee from Boston to Monmouth, where he finally killed his adversary. The next year, the British Army surrendered at the Siege of Yorktown, and the United States were officially founded soon after.
Sometime later, Washington met Connor in the woods, where he showed him the Apple of Eden he found in Yorktown. After the two experienced a vision of an alternate reality where Washington was corrupted by the Apple and had named himself King of the United States, Washington handed the artifact to Connor, who dumped it into the ocean on his behalf.
- "[Mirabeau]'s a politician. Sees himself as a great peacemaker. He thinks he can end the war between Assassins and Templars, bring the Revolution to a happy conclusion, and convince dogs and cats to live together in peace."
- ―Pierre Bellec to Arno Dorian about their Mentor, 1791.[src]
Due to France's financial costs during the Seven Years' War and inspired by the American Revolution, unrest started among the citizens of France in the late 1780s. The French Mentor Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau, began to mediate between King Louis XVI and the revolutionaries, hoping to bring the conflict to a peaceful end while maintaining his truce with Templar Grand Master François de la Serre.
In 1789, de la Serre was killed in a coup led by the exiled Templar François-Thomas Germain, who intended to reform the Templar Order. While the reformed Templars under Germain started fueling the French Revolution to undo the established positions of power, Master Assassin Pierre Bellec recruited Arno Dorian – son of the Assassin Charles Dorian and adopted son of de la Serre – into the Brotherhood to find de la Serre's murderers at the behest of the French Assassin Council.
After eliminating de la Serre's murderers, Arno rescued François-Thomas Germain, the smith of a Templar pin gifted to him by the Marquis de Sade. Germain directed Arno towards Chrétien Lafrenière, who was loyal to de la Serre, and the Assassin consequently killed him. At a Templar meeting in the Jacobin Club, Arno discovered that the Templars were orchestrating the Revolution and planned King Louis XVI's execution.
Arno subsequently formed an alliance with his adopted sister, Élise de la Serre, from whom the Assassins discovered that Germain was the new Grand Master. Soon after, Bellec killed Mirabeau, angered over the truce with the Templars and fanatically believing the Assassins needed to be destroyed to be built back up, similar to Masyaf, Monteriggioni and the American colonies.
Though he was in turn killed by Arno, the Council lost two of its members. They sent Arno to recover Mirabeau's correspondence with the King from the Tuileries Palace on 10 August 1792, and while there, Arno formed an alliance with Napoleon Bonaparte, who was looking for an ancient key.
The Council forbid Arno from pursuing Germain, instead tasking other members with the investigation. When Arno directly disobeyed their orders by tracking him to the King's execution, the Council exiled him from the Brotherhood. Arno nonetheless pursued Germain and Maximilien de Robespierre, instigator of the Reign of Terror, and killed the Grand Master in the crypt beneath the Temple on 28 July 1794.
Still exiled from the Brotherhood, Arno stopped Napoleon's attempt to recover an Apple of Eden from the Saint-Denis Temple, and gave the artifact to an Assassin for delivery to Al Mualim in Cairo. Arno was later reinstated into the Brotherhood and became a Master Assassin.
While Napoleon later retrieved the artifact from Egypt, the Assassins prevented an attempt on his life on 24 December 1800. Council member Sophie Trenet later played an important role in the events leading to the foundation of the French Second Republic.
As early as 1776, Eseosa, son of Babatunde Josèphe and grandson of Adéwalé, worked to rebuild the Assassin Brotherhood in Saint-Domingue after its decline since the death of François Mackandal. To this end, he recruited the Maroons Dutty Boukman, Toussaint Louverture, Georges Biassou, Jean-François Papillon and Jeannot Bullet into the Brotherhood's ranks, and started making preparations to help other slaves in the colony.
In 1791, during a ceremony inspired by Mackandal, Boukman prophesized that Papillon, Biassou and Bullet would be leaders of a rebellion to free the slaves of Saint-Domingue. Violence erupted, which soon escalated in a colony-wide rebellion. Boukman was captured in battle in November 1791. Though the Assassin Elsie was adamant on rescuing Boukman from execution and procuring his book, Fabien had been given orders to let the execution proceed to bolser their cause. The same month, Eseosa executed Bullet for breaking the tenets of the Creed.
Despite these setbacks, slavery was abolished by Maximilien Robespierre in 1794, and Louverture became the de facto leader of Saint-Domingue. In 1801, they faced opposition from the Templars, who unsuccessfully tried to install Jean-Louis Villatte as governor before the Assassins ousted him. However, by then both Biassou and Papillon had lost faith in the rebellion and joined the Spanish.
By then, the French government had fallen under Napoleon Bonaparte's leadership, and sent Charles Leclerc to secure Louverture's surrender. By May 1802, Louverture surrendered and was imprisoned in France. His general Jean-Jacques Dessalines continued the fight, triumphing over the French, and declared himself Emperor of the new republic of Haiti, subsequently slaughtering thousands of white colonists. Eseosa travelled to the Davenport Homestead to train with Connor, in preparation for assassinating Dessalines.
Hunt for the Koh-i-Noor
- "My lord, I have put the Assassins off for too long. They have your payment, and they expect delivery of the relic. Otherwise..."
- ―Ahkbar to Sultan Selim III, 1808.[src]
By the early 1800s, word reached the Assassin Brotherhood that Sultan Selim III of the Ottoman Empire had come into the possession of the Koh-i-Noor diamond, a powerful Piece of Eden. As the Templars and Napoleon were also seeking the artifact, the Assassin Ahkbar was tasked to infiltrate Selim's social circle and he became the Sultan's right hand.
In 1805, Ahkbar caught wind of the Black Cross Solomon Bolden and Napoleon's agent Jan van der Graff seeking passage into the Sultan's palace. He led them into an ambush, resulting in Bolden's death and van der Graff's capture. In July 1808, after the Sultan refused the Assassins' offer to buy the diamond, Ahkbar resolved to fatally poison the Sultan.
He took the Koh-i-Noor for himself, abandoning his principles to the Order. He was killed by van der Graff, who escaped his imprisonment. A group of Assassins then confronted van der Graff, who pretended to hand over the artifact, but they were given an empty box.
Struggle in Lower Canada
- "Fellow patriots! The Oppressors have laid claim to Saint John's Day! As we speak, they are celebrating the creation of their secret association. No longer will this blessed day be theirs! We will form our own society! We will give this day back to the people!"
- ―The Assassin Ludger Duvernay at a soirée for the Saint-Jean Baptiste Society, 1834.[src]
By the 1830s, members of the Canadian Brotherhood of Assassins were engaged in a struggle with the Château Clique, a group of wealthy Templar families that effectively ruled Lower Canada. The journalist Ludger Duvernay, a member of the Brotherhood, posted a series of articles criticizing the Château Clique in 1832, hoping to expose their connection to the Templar. Duvernay was subsequently censored and imprisoned, and the people were rallied against Duvernay.
Duvernay was rescued by the Brotherhood, who then used an Apple of Eden to turn the people against the Château Clique. In 1834, Duvernay created his own secret society, the Saint-Jean Baptiste Society, with the intention of spiritually unifyig Quebec and gaining indepedence from the rest of Canada.
Conflicts in the Sikh Empire
- "While the diamond may bring untold wealth and power to those who worship it, in the wrong hands it is lethal. [...] If we do not take the Syamantaka now it will surely fall into Templar hands."
- ―Hamid concerning the Koh-i-Noor diamond, 1839.[src]
In 1839, Hamid, Mentor of the Indian Brotherhood, tasked Arbaaz Mir with finding a map from the Voynich manuscript detailing the Koh-i-Noor, which had fallen into the hands of Maharaja Ranjit Singh of the Sikh Empire and was sought by the British Templars. To keep the artifact out of the Templars' hands, Hamid sent Arbaaz to obtain the diamond and protect the Maharaja from their enemies.
Together with the slave boy Raza Soora, Arbaaz infiltrated a feast at Singh's summer palace. With Raza's help, Arbaaz obtained the artifact from First Civilization ruins beneath the palace. However, the Templar General Francis Cotton had the palace guards arrest the Assassin, allowing him and William Hay Macnaghten to poison the Maharaja.
After Arbaaz escaped and engaged in battle with Cotton and the palace guards, Arbaaz's ally, Princess Pyara Kaur, interrupted the battle by using the Koh-i-Noor's powers, changing her shape into that of a Precursor. While giving a warning to unite against a common enemy, Cotton shot at the Precursor, who released a burst of energy that killed Cotton and the Imperial guards.
Until 1841, the Koh-i-Noor remained in Hamid's protection, when he was abducted by Master Templar William Sleeman and his right hand Alexander Burnes, who took the diamond. Arbaaz pursued the Templars after rescuing Hamid, tracing them to the Amritsar Temple where he witnessed Sleeman use the Koh-i-Noor in conjunction with a Precursor box to obtain the location of the Herat Temple. Chasing the Templars to Herat in Afghanistan, Arbaaz discovered the temple's pedestal was broken, and was instead taken captive. Eventually defeating Burnes in a duel, Arbaaz traveled back to India.
After his return to Amritsar, the Assassin was forced to rescue his lover Pyara Kaur, who was being held captive by Sleeman in the summer palace. Having made his way through the palace, Arbaaz confronted Sleeman. During the confrontation, Pyara, who was held at gunpoint, stabbed Sleeman, allowing Arbaaz to steal the Koh-i-Noor before they fled. He then met with fellow Assassin Ethan Frye and gave him the Koh-i-Noor, telling him to hide it somewhere.
Early modern era
California Gold Rush
- "Tsk, tsk, Mr. Sutter. You have something that doesn't belong to you. The Maidu people? The ones who mined that gold in your carriage? They want it back."
- ―The Assassin confronting John Sutter, 1852.[src]
As the government of the United States expanded its territory across North America, the Assassins ensured their continued presence in the newly formed American states. As such, the Assassins operated in the new states in the west of North America, such as California.
In 1852, at the height of the California Gold Rush, the Brotherhood dispatched an Assassin on a mission to retrieve stolen gold from John Sutter, one of the pioneers during the Gold Rush. The Assassin attacked Sutter's carriage while in transit in the Great Basin Desert, and took the gold from Sutter to bring it back to the Maidu people, through whose labor Sutter had acquired the gold.
American Civil War
- "If the Confederacy wins, or even forces the negotiation of a treaty, the Templars could take control of the country. [...] Everything we've achieved. Everything my grandmother fought for in New Orleans. It will all be lost."
- ―The Mentor about the importance of a Union victory to Varius, 1863.[src]
In 1861, civil war broke out in the United States. The American Brotherhood supported the Union States under President Abraham Lincoln against the Templar-backed Confederate States. In order to help win the war, in 1863, the Mentor in Washington tasked Varius – the lone Assassin operating in New York City – with stealing a Dagger of Eden from the Aztec Club and deliver it to General Ulysses S. Grant, whom the Mentor perceived as the Union's best hope for winning the war.
After retrieving the object, Varius became entangled in a fight with the Templar agent "Cudgel" Cormac and lost the artifact. Together with a new apprentice, Eliza, whose father was killed during the Templar-planned draft riots, Varius recovered the artifact as Cormac was about to deliver it to his Grand Master William M. Tweed. Eliza later participated in the Civil War and successfully brought the Dagger to General Grant.
The Assassins continued to remain active during the war. After the assassination of President Lincoln at the hands of the Templar affiliate John Wilkes Booth, the Brotherhood killed Booth on 26 April 1865.
Retaking of London
- Jacob: "You could continue [father's] legacy in London."
- Evie: "Freeing future generations from a city ruled by Templars. You know, Jacob Frye, you might just be right."
- —Jacob and Evie deciding to retake London from the Templars, 1868.[src]
Since the fall of the London Assassins in the mid-18th century, the Templars held control over the capital of the British Empire and the Assassins mostly operated from outside London. In early 1868, the Assassin twins Jacob and Evie Frye assassinated two Templar targets, Rupert Ferris and David Brewster, in Croydon, with the latter assassination resulting in the destruction of an Apple of Eden. Against the will of their superior George Westhouse, the Frye twins left for London to retake the city from Templar rule.
Whilst there, the twins met the local Assassin agent Henry Green and built up a network of allies including Frederick Abberline, Charles Dickens, Charles Darwin and Karl Marx. While Jacob took over the local Clinkers gang and renamed them the Rooks to aid them in their battle against the Templars and their Blighters gang, Evie instead opted to focus her efforts on finding the Piece of Eden the Templars were seeking.
Over the course of a few months, Jacob single-handedly killed most of Grand Master Crawford Starrick's closest agents, including John Elliotson, Pearl Attaway, Philip Twopenny, James Brudenell and Maxwell Roth. Meanwhile Evie worked on undoing the chaos some of these assassinations did to London's political and social situation and traced leads on the Shroud of Eden.
With his influence dwindling, Starrick discovered the artifact to be hidden beneath Buckingham Palace and planned to eliminate all heads of state and church at a party thrown by Queen Victoria at the palace. While the Frye twins killed Starrick's agents at the party, Starrick recovered the artifact from the crypt and a battle ensued between the Grand Master and the Frye twins. The Assassins ultimately overcame their enemy, but decided to leave the artifact in the crypt.
By 1888, one of Jacob's apprentices, Jack, had become insane and took over control of the Rooks to service his own twisted version of the Creed. After several of Jacob's female initiates dressed as prostitutes failed to kill Jack, Jacob requested his siser to return from India, where she was living with Henry Green. Jacob was eventually abducted by Jack, who had become known as Jack the Ripper.
Evie eventually managed to cripple Jack's new hold over London, with the help of Detective Inspector Abberline. She traced Jack's hideout to Lambeth Asylum, where he was previously incarcerated, and ultimately killed the rogue Assassin and freed her brother.
Opposing Imperial Russia
- "The Mentor himself has said that this is a time of great change. Russia will soon be strong and free from Imperial rule, an example to the world."
- ―Nikolai Orelov about the cause of the Narodnaya Volya, 1888.[src]
Since at least the reign of Tsar Alexander II, the Russian Assassins – operating in public as the Narodnaya Volya (People's Will) – had been battling the Templars' influence over the Russian Empire. In 1881, the Assassins were successful in killing the Tsar, a puppet of the Templars. This resulted in the ascension of his son, Alexander III, who became a willing ally of the Templars and was gifted a Staff of Eden.
A failed attempt on his life resulted in the execution of several Assassins including Aleksandr Ulyanov in March 1887. The next year, their Mentor responded by tasking Nikolai Orelov with assassinating the Tsar while the latter was travelling by train; the attempt failed, with the conflict resulting in the Borki train disaster. The Tsar eventually died in 1894 from kidney failure developed from injuries inflicted by Orelov.
In 1908, the Assassins discovered that Grigori Rasputin had stolen the Imperial Scepter – a Staff of Eden – from the new Tsar, Nicholas II. They employed the overseas aid of Nikola Tesla, an inventor discredited by the Templar Thomas Edison, and stormed the facility in Tunguska that housed the Staff. Tesla released a burst of energy to the facility from his Wardenclyffe Tower, resulting in the destruction of the Staff in a huge explosion. Orelov was the sole survivor, and Rasputin later managed to retrieve a splinter of the artifact from the site.
World War I
- Churchill: "If you would put your considerable talents to good use at Tower Bridge, you would have the thanks of a brave, but beleaguered nation."
- Lydia: "I would settle for the right to vote."
- —Winston Churchill requesting the aid of Lydia Frye, 1916.[src]
On 28 June 1914, following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the First World War broke out between the Allied Powers and Central Powers. Assassins from all across Europe were pulled in every direction to ensure the Brotherhood was present in every theatre of war and seat of power. As such, many members of the British Brotherhood enlisted in the army.
Open conflict soon started in the Western Front; on Christmas Eve of that year, British and German troops started a truce, during which a British Assassin medic killed the German Templar general Erich Albert.
The war would last several years, and by 1916, the Brotherhood had found an ally in Winston Churchill, former First Lord of the Admiralty. He worked closely with the Assassin Lydia Frye – the granddaughter of Jacob Frye who had chosen to stay and protect London – to take down a German Templar spy network in London, culminating in the assassination of the network's Master Spy, a Sage.
The war continued until 1918, by which point a series of revolutions had started in several countries, including Russia, and Ireland, in the latter of which at least one Assassin participated.
- "The Mentor himself has said that this is a time of great change. Russia will soon be free of Imperial rule, an example to the world."
- ―Nikolai Orelov to his wife Anna about the Russian Assassins' goals, 1888.[src]
In 1917, after the First World War brought Russia to near collapse, the Russian Revolution broke out. The Assassins supported the people's desire for a new government and pressured the Tsar into abdicating. The leader of the revolutionary Bolsheviks, Vladimir Lenin, then asked his old friend Nikolai Orelov to kill Nicholas II. Unwilling to comply, Orelov infiltrated his residence only to determine if the Tsar's new Scepter was the Staff of Eden. The Assassin spared Nicholas' life, and the latter told him about Rasputin's mysterious shard; Orelov then retrieved the artifact from Rasputin's corpse, and planned to leave Russia with his family to start a new life.
The Bolsheviks effectively seized control of Russia after the October Revolution. In reward for their support, Lenin and the Russian Academy of Sciences awarded the Assassins with several of the Academy's facilities. One such facility in Protvino was turned into an Assassin science city, inhabited by a community of Assassins and scientists including Sergei.
In 1918, Orelov took up one final task from the Brotherhood: to retrieve a Piece of Eden, the Precursor box, from the possession of the Imperial family in Yekaterinburg. After Orelov infiltrated the Ipatiev House, the Templars murdered the Imperial family to obtain the artifact while only the Tsar's daughter Anastasia survived. While she met Orelov, the box she held came in contact with Nikolai's splinter of the Staff, transferring the consciousness of Shao Jun to Anastasia. The Assassin eventually brought her and the box safely to his Brothers in Moscow.
The Assassins instead imprisoned Anastasia in the Kremlin to experiment on her, causing Nikolai to betray the Brotherhood and rescue her. After giving her identification papers belonging to "Anna Anderson", Orelov himself left Russia with his family.
After Lenin's death in 1924, the Russian Assassins faced opposition from the new Soviet government led by Joseph Stalin, a Templar puppet. Yuri Petrovich Figatner, a Templar in the Politburo, started a "counter-revolutionary" commission to hunt down the Assassins and turned the Russian Academy of Sciences into a Stalinist organization, forcing their Mentor to go in hiding.
- Assassin: "Shouldn't we have checked back with the Bureau by now? What if--"
- Team leader: "This is above Hoover's head. We're answerable to the Brotherhood and I'll be damned if I'm going to tell them that one old man killed half my team."
- —The Assassins discussing their mission to pursue Nikolai Orelov, 1928.[src]
By 1919, the American Brotherhood had infiltrated the Bureau of Investigation. Around this time, the Russian Brotherhood reached out to their American counterpart hoping to locate the deserter Nikolai Orelov to obtain the knowledge he possessed of a vision during the Tunguska explosion. The American Brotherhood used its position to have Orelov's wife and daughter detained back to Russia during the Palmer Raids, but Orelov and his son managed to elude capture.
By 1926, the American Brotherhood located Orelov, and Russian Assassin Sergei tried to take him back to Russia. After Sergei was killed by Orelov, American Assassins working at the Bureau of Investigation under J. Edgar Hoover tried again in 1928. Orelov and his young son Innokenti managed to kill the team of Assassins, though the encounter proved fatal for Orelov.
Through the 1920s, the Brotherhood retained its strong presence in the United States. During this time, one Assassin became affiliated with Ernest Hemingway, Francis Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein, who became some of the most famous American writers.
Spanish Civil War
- "I'm an Assassin, yes. But I'm a Spaniard first. And while I'll happily sow these fields with Templar blood, any man who would oppress his fellows is fair game as far as I'm concerned."
- ―Ignacio Cardona to his fellow Republicans, 1937.[src]
As civil war broke out in Spain between the leftist Republicans and rightist Nationalists in 1936, several Spanish Assassins joined the war on the Republican side. Ignacio Cardona fought alongside Buenaventura Durruti in the Durruti Column, until his death in November 1936. On 26 April 1937, a team of Assassins was present at the bombing of the town of Guernica.
In May 1937, the team was joined in Barcelona by the Templar Rufus Grosvenor, secretly serving the will of the Precursor Juno, claiming to be Norbert Clarke, sent by the British Brotherhood as aid. As internal fighting broke out between the anarchists and communists, the members of the team were unable to reach consensus on who to support. Grosvenor handed Cardona the Koh-i-Noor diamond to force them to stop, and the latter unwittingly used its powers on his fellow Assassins until finally dropping it to prevent further harm to himself and the others.
Albert Bolden, the former Black Cross from whom Grosvenor had stolen the Koh-i-Noor, had been watching the ordeal and attacked Grosvenor. He was forced to flee after being attacked by the other Assassins, but took the unconscious Cardona with him. Eventually pursuading Cardona to team up against Grosvenor, they confronted Grosvenor and the other Assassins, who had been persuaded to Juno's cause.
The confrontation eventually came to a head in a run-down church, where the former Assassins overpowered Cardona and Bolden. Grosvenor gave Cardona another opportunity to unlock the Koh-i-Noor's power. The Assassin used the artifact to create bulls from the artifact's energy, which destroyed the church, and also created an illusion of the artifact's destruction. After Bolden rescued Cardona from the rubble, he swore to remain a protector a site, where the Koh-i-Noor remained buried, and the pair continued fighting in the civil war.
World War II
- "It was the Templars who delivered Germany into Nazi hands. If we do nothing, th world will crumble. Int he age of shadows, the price doesn't matter, we need to stop them."
- ―Boris Pash to Eddie Gorm, 1942.[src]
International tensions that arose in the aftermath of the First World War ultimately resulted in a Second World War, orchestrated by the Templars to bring about a new world in the war's wake. Many Assassins across the world participated in the conflict, including a group that operated from a cabin in the Swiss Alps to train, supply and lead local Maquis cells against German troops.
After the start of the war, a team of Assassins led by Boris Pash infiltrated the German nuclear weapons project, headed by the Templar Obbergruppenführer Gero Kramer. After their attempt failed, Pash employed docking manager Eddie Gorm to infiltrate Kramer's inner circle in 1940. Gorm abducted Werner Heisenberg, the lead scientist on the nuclear project, at a meeting in September 1942. From him, Gorm learned that the project was a cover-up for Kramer's real project, Die Glocke.
After receiving formal training to become a member of the Assassin Brotherhood, Gorm infiltrated the hydroelectric water plant of Vemork on 27 February 1943 to stop Kramer's project. During a fight with the Templar, Gorm was overpowered and placed inside Die Glocke, a precursor to the Animus built by Nikola Tesla. Kramer intended to search for other Pieces of Eden by having Gorm relive his ancestors' memories in the device. However, due to Tesla's sabotage, the machine exploded. Gorm was rescued by Julia Dusk in the midst of the British army's infiltration of Vemork, and gained information on Project Riese from their longtime ally Tesla.
The Assassins then diverted their attention to the Project Riese base underneath Książ Castle in Poland, where Abstergo Industries had built a base for the German Templars to build superweapons from Precursor knowledge. Gorm and Dusk infiltrated an auction at Książ Castle, where they killed Obbergrupenführer Kramer and claimed the Apple of Eden and the base for the Assassins. However, Tesla revealed that Pash was in collusion with the Templars, hoping to build nuclear weapons for the Americans to turn the tide of war. Gorm and Dusk turned against Pash, with Dusk blowing herself up to destroy the Apple, to no effect.
On 28 October 1943, under the supervision of Pash and the Templar John von Neumann and using the Apple of Eden and Die Glocke, a group of scientists attempted to conduct a time travel experiment on the USS Eldridge, known as Project Rainbow. Their plan was to kill Adolf Hitler before he could ascend to power, as the Templars were unable to maintain their influence over the Nazi leader. Before the experiment could be conducted, Gorm killed Tesla to sabotage it, before taking his own life, refusing to take part in Pash's plans for mankind.
The Assassins were in contact with the anti-Nazi youth group the Edelweiss Pirates, namely Barthel Schink. Before he was sentenced to be hanged in 1944, Schink tasked Miriam Kurtz with bringing a Piece of Eden hidden in the spire of Cologne Cathedral to the Assassins in Paris.
The war continued until 1945. On 30 April of that year, Adolf Hitler exited his Führerbunker in Berlin after executing his body double. The Assassins, who had been lying in wait for Hitler to show himself, killed the Nazi leader, aiding in bringing the conflict to an end.
Without a strong leader, we are losing influence with our government, and funding is drying up. After the Second World War, the Russian Academy of Sciences was able to reorganize, ridding itself of Templar influence and strengthening the Russian Brotherhood's foothold. In 1953, they eventually managed to poison Joseph Stalin. Around the same time, the Russian Mentor passed away, leaving the Russian Assassins without proper direction and influence.
After World War II, the United States government formed the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which the American Mentor William King Harvey. Harvey created a CIA unit known as the Bloodstone Unit, with Boris Pash at the helm. He ordered Pash to conduct research into the Pieces of Eden and genetic memory research, known as Project Bluebird. Pash believed that for mankind to be truly free from the shackles placed upon them by the First Civilization, all humans needed to have access to the memories of their ancestors, and to that end attempted to make the consciousnesses of one's ancestor co-exist alongside a subject's own consciousness.
On 8 February 1957, Pash killed his former ally, the Templar scientist John von Neumann, to obtain the Apple of Eden they used during Project Rainbow, intending to use it for Project Bluebird.
During the Vietnam War, the American Assassins fought on the side of South Vietnam and the United States. Pash used the Bloodstone Unit, which included Alekseï Gavrani (known as Agent QJ/WIN), Julia Gorm and Zenia, to uncover Templar machinations during the war.
By 1963, Harvey had secretly switched sides to the Templar Order, using his position in the Assassins and the CIA for the Templars' benefit. Alongside his fellow Templars, Harvey began orchestrating the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, who did not have Abstergo Industries' benefits at heart. Though the Templars employed their own sleeper agents for the assassination as well, Harvey tasked Pash to use members of the Bloodstone Unit to kill Kennedy and take the Apple. Kennedy's driver William Greer, an Assassin, took Kennedy's Apple, but was intercepted by Alekseï Gavrani, who took the artifact back to Harvey, unaware of the latter's involvement in the plot. Harvey subsequently implored Harvey to stop Pash and eliminate the Bloodstone Unit, secretly to further his own schemes.
Pash and the Bloodstone Unit continued their operations in Vietnam, which included experimenting on Julia Gorm to allow the consciousnesses of her ancestors to exist alongside her own. This eventually led to her father Eddie Gorm's consciousness taking over - which in turn led to her wanting to kill Pash, like her father did. By 30 July 1964, Gavrani, on board one of seven American ships disguised as South Vietnamese vessels in the Gulf of Tonkin, had tracked Pash and the Bloodstone Unit to the island of Hòn Mê. To escape Julia Gorm, Pash and his accomplices fled to mainland, hoping to escape to the Red River via the Vietnamese canals.
After Gavrani tracked his targets down, he agreed to instead bring Pash and Zenia, who was pregnant with Pash's child, to safety in exchange for the Apple's location. Zenia confided in Gavrani that it was her plan to bear Pash's child in order to have Julia Gorm's consciousness be reborn in the child. When Gorm located and attacked the group, both she and Gavrani were left mortally wounded in their subsequent confrontation. Pash used Gavrani's radio to contact the USS Maddox for a rescue operation, promising to give up the Apple of Eden.
After the rescue operation, Pash was met by William King Harvey, and learned the truth regarding Harvey's Templar plans. At Harvey's mercy, Pash was helpless to stop his Mentor's plan to trigger the United States engaging in open warfare with North Vietnam. After the Templar Warren Vidic helped Zenia's labour, which proved fatal for Zenia, Harvey intended to take the newborn child for Templar experimentation. He wanted Pash to pledge loyalty to the Templars, to leave the CIA, and to hand his genetic memory research to Vidic if he were to have a role in the child's life. Additionally, Julia Gorm was turned into a Templar asset, as the new Agent QJ/WIN.
End of the century
- "In the old days, that usually meant killing anyone who became too powerful or greedy. These days, it means subversion of established regimes. [...] Countries. Corporations. We change the system from within."
- ―The Mentor explaining the Assassins' modern approach to Daniel Cross, 2000.[src]
One of the Brotherhood's last high profile assassinations came in 1971, when they killed the Templar-supported President François Duvalier of Haiti. However, by the end of the century, the Assassin Brotherhood ceased to use violence to change regimes, and instead focused their attention on stopping the manipulation of the Templars through the subversion of regimes and corporations.
At the end of the 1970s, the daughter of Borish Pash, Nathalie Chapman, learned of her father's work while held in confinement by Warren Vidic for experimentation related to the construction of the Animus. Chapman escaped Vidic's laboratory, stole blueprints for the Animus, and, in 1977, handed them to an American Assassin, William Miles. While being pursued by Templar agents in Moscow, Miles handed the blueprints over to fellow Assassin Medeya Voronina, asking her to construct an Animus ahead of the Templars.
In 1983, the grandson of Nikolai Orelov, later known as Daniel Cross, was kidnapped by Abstergo Industries to be experimented on by Warren Vidic. In 1986, an Abstergo team headed by Dr. Alan Rikkin located the Assassin compound in Mexico where Joseph and Mary Lynch resided, hoping to use Mary's genetic memory to located Aguilar de Nerha's Apple of Eden. The raid resulted in Mary's suicide, Joseph's capture, and their son Callum's escape.
By the end of the century, the entire Assassin Brotherhood had also fallen under the leadership of a single Mentor, a reclusive figure known only through stories by most members of the Brotherhood.
The Great Purge
- "We're losing this war, Desmond. The Templars are too powerful. And every day more of us die..."
- ―Lucy Stillman to Desmond Miles, 2012.[src]
In April 1998, Hannah Mueller brought Daniel Cross, whom she had mistaken for a confused Assassin, to an Assassin compound outside Philadelphia. The compound's director, Paul Bellamy, believed it was Cross' destiny to join the Brotherhood, which the latter refused to acknowledge. After sneaking away with Mueller to get his medication, Cross – who suffered from the Bleeding Effect – experienced a vision when reliving the Tunguska event from the memories of Nikolai Orelov, and believed it was now his purpose to find the Mentor.
The next two years, Cross trained as an Assassin and travelled across the world visiting Assassin cells to ask for aid in his quest. On November 5, Cross was abducted from a hotel room and woke up in the Mentor's Dubai headquarters, where the Mentor explained his role to Cross, and expressed his desire to name Cross his successor.
After he awarded Cross with a ceremonial hidden blade, the latter acted upon a hidden impulse to kill the Mentor, implanted into his brain in 1983 by Dr. Warren Vidic. The Assassins were left in a state of chaos, allowing the Templars to gain the upper hand in the American presidential election and install their puppet George W. Bush.
Cross fled back to Abstergo's Philadelphia facility, where he revealed the location of all Assassin hideouts he had visited. The Templars then initiated a worldwide attack on the Assassins called the Great Purge, resulting in the near-decimation of the Assassin Order. Abstergo also employed the aid of several other brainwashed Assassins during the purge, including Maxime Gorm, who became Cross' war dog. The remaining members of the Brotherhood continued to operate in covert cells around the globe, eventually falling under the leadership of William Miles.
In the following years, the Templars continued to hunt the Assassins, and achieved to thin out their diminished numbers. In October 2002, Cross – then a Templar agent – infiltrated the Assassins' secret library of Ivan the Terrible and retrieved the Prophet's Codex, from which the Templars learned about "Desmond" and his importance to the First Civilization. Desmond, the son of William Miles, fled the Assassin compound known as the Farm to escape from his Assassin life on his next birthday. Two years later, Miles sent Lucy Stillman to infiltrate Abstergo as an assistant to Dr. Warren Vidic, director of the Animus Project.
Infiltrating the Animus Project
- "The amount of funding they've put in the Animus Project since the eighties. We need to go deeper next time. Find out what Abstergo's really looking for inside our DNA. I'm counting on your help, Clay."
- ―William Miles to Clay Kaczmarek, 2011.[src]
Since the 80s, the Assassins lost several members to experimentation in Abstergo Industries' secret Animus Project, including Paul Bellamy. The Mentor William Miles aimed to have someone infiltrate the company to gather intelligence. To this end, he recruited Clay Kaczmarek into the Brotherhood in 2010. After Clay successfully gathered intelligence from the personal computer of Abstergo's CEO Alan Rikkin, the Assassins decided to plant Clay deeper into Abstergo, realising how important the project was to Abstergo.
On 1 February 2011, Clay was intentionally captured by Abstergo's Lineage Discovery and Acquisition division to become the latest test subject for the Animus Project, known as Subject 16; secretly, William planned to have Clay eventually extracted by his mole, Lucy Stillman, who had been working as project lead Dr. Vidic's assistant. Over time, Clay became aware that the Templars intended to find an Apple of Eden through the exploring of the memories of his ancestors, and aimed to use the artifact for their Eye-Abstergo project.
However, overexposure to the Animus led to Clay suffering the "Bleeding Effect", causing him to explore his ancestors' memories without using the Animus and leading to mental instability. Through the Bleeding Effect, he spoke with a member of the First Civilization, Juno, who revealed to him that Lucy had switched sides to the Templars out of resentment for the Assassins abandoning her.
After realising he could not escape and finding out about Vidic's Project Siren – a plan to stage Lucy's betrayal of the Templars and take Desmond to a safe environment with the Assassins in order to find the Apple of Eden – Clay decided to follow Juno's instructions to help Desmond. He left secret messages for Desmond in the laboratoray written in his blood, and started planning his own suicide. He created a digital construct of himself inside the Animus, before taking his own life on 8 August 2012.
Preventing the Second Disaster
- "Every day for the past two weeks the sun has been throwing off larger and larger flares. Older satellites are starting to malfunction, I hear rumblings of recalling the crew on the international space station. There's already work being done as well to shield power stations and transformers on the ground. Not that any of it matters. This goes far beyond some brownouts..."
- ―Shaun Hastings on the imminent solar flare, 2012.[src]
Following Clay's death, Abstergo endeavoured to find Desmond Miles as the Animus Project's next subject. On 1 September 2012, they located and kidnapped him, and he was placed inside the Animus in the Abstergo Campus in Rome under Dr. Vidic and Lucy Stillman's supervision. After Abstergo acquired a map of the Pieces of Eden from the memories of Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, Lucy escaped with Desmond to join the Assassins Rebecca Crane and Shaun Hastings, as part of Vidic's plan to make Desmond willingly find an Apple of Eden.
The Assassins then made Desmond explore the memories of Ezio Auditore da Firenze to find his Apple of Eden. From Ezio's meeting with Minerva in 1499, the Assassins discovered that an imminent solar flare posed a larger threat than the Templars, and they focused their attention to finding the Precursor temples. After an attack on their Rome hideout, the team fled to Monteriggioni, where Desmond discovered the Apple's location from Ezio's memories. They travelled back to Rome, where they discovered the vault beneath the Santa Maria in Aracoeli. When Desmond picked up the Apple, he became possessed by the Precursor Juno.
Faced with visions of Lucy leading the team and the Apple to the Templars, Desmond stabbed Lucy, and went into a coma. The team was picked up by William Miles, and Desmond was placed into the Animus. He retrieved the coordinates to the Grand Temple from Ezio's memories, and while Desmond continued to explore his ancestor's memories, the team travelled to the Grand Temple in New York to combat the incoming disaster.
With aid from a digital construct of Clay Kaczmarek inside the Animus, Desmond awoke from his coma, and the team took up shelter inside the Grand Temple. Once inside, Juno – who had been digitally imprisoned inside the temple – forced Desmond to live the memories of Haytham Kenway, and later his son Ratonhnhaké:ton, to find the temple's key.
While reliving his ancestors' memories, Desmond conversed with a digital construct of Juno inside the Grand Temple, learning more about their attempts to stop the first solar flare. He also went on missions to Manhattan and São Paulo to find power source for the temple, which led to encounters with Templar agent Daniel Cross. When Wiliam Miles went to find a third power source in the Cairo Museum, he was captured by Sigma Team. Desmond subsequently flew to Rome to rescue him from the Abstergo Campus, which resulted in Desmond killing both Cross and Dr. Vidic.
Eventually, Desmond recovered the Grand Temple Key's location from Ratonhnhaké:ton's memories and recovered it from the Davenport Homestead. Using it to open the Grand Temple's inner gate, Desmond discovered the global aurora borealis device and was met by digital constructs of both Juno and Minerva. While Juno offered Desmond a choice to use the device to shield the planet from a solar flare, on the condition that it would also release her from imprisonment in the temple, Minerva warned Desmond that releasing her would bring more horror than the solar flare.
Believing it to be the lesser of two evils, Desmond opted to use the device to protect the Earth from near-complete destruction. Telling William, Shaun and Rebecca to go, Desmond used the device, resulting in his own death but also the successful protection of the planet. After Juno left the temple, Desmond's body was eventually found and obtained by an Abstergo team.
Regaining their foothold
- Shaun: "So what do we do now?"
- Gavin: "We go to work. We turn the page."
- —Shaun Hastings and Gavin Banks on their course of action, 2013.[src]
Unable to cope with the death of his son, William Miles went to live in seclusion. In May 2013, he passed his codex onto Gavin Banks, and named him the new leader of the Brotherhood. Banks, operating from the Altair II, sent Shaun Hastings and Rebecca Crane to the United States to report on Templar activity, while Banks and his crew proceeded to continue Miles' work by following instructions from his codex.
Hastings and Crane decided to recover Desmond's body, and moved to Montreal after discovering that Abstergo's new entertainment division was recruiting new employees. They infiltrated their Montreal facility as a barrista and courier, respectively, and allied themselves with Abstergo technician John Standish to acquire inside information. Standish forced an analyst of the Sample 17 Project to hack into the company's computers for the Assassins in early November. However, on 26 November 2013, Standish, a Sage, ultimately betrayed the Assassins and tried to acquire the analyst's body for Juno to use, before being killed by Abstergo guards. After discovering what happened to Desmond's body, William Miles came out of hiding.
On 3 November, an Indian Assassin cell including siblings Siobhan and Jasdip Dhami abducted Jot Soora, a MysoreTech employee whom they erroneously believed to be a descendant of Arbaaz Mir, after he was assigned to test a localized version of the virtual reality Animus. Otso Berg's Sigma Team raided the safehouse in which they held Jot to acquire him for themselves. Jasdip and Jot survived the attack and fled to a safehouse in Mumbai. Exploring more memories of Arbaaz through the Abstergo Cloud, Soora was unable to find the location of the Koh-i-Noor before Berg attacked the safehouse again, in which Jot escaped from both the Assassins and Templars.
In December 2013, the Altair II arrived in Osaka, Japan, where its crew tried to establish contact with the local Assassins. Sometime prior, the Japanese Assassins' hideout had been attacked by a Yakuza gang, the Onmoraki-Gumi, resulting in the death of their Mentor Kenichi Mochizuki. His wife Saeko became the new Mentor, eliminated the Onmoraki-Gumi's leaders and took over the organization to blend the Assassins into the city. Banks and Emmanuel Barraza discovered the Yakuza's hideout, and despite Banks' disapproval of the Yakuza, the crew left the Japanese Assassins behind.
In February 2014, Harlan Cunningham and Arend Schut infiltrated an Abstergo facility in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and stole the Precursor box. After a firefight with Sigma Team led by Otso Berg, the Assassins were forced to abandon their mission, leaving the artifact behind in the process.
In March 2014, Banks, Barraza and Emmett Leary left the Altair II to travel to Moscow to meet with Galina Voronina, an Assassin from the Protvino cell who needed aid in assassinating her mother, who went crazy from exposure to the Animus. The Assassins accompanied Voronina to the science city, where she single-handedly took out all remaining feral Assassins including her mother, who was strapped to the Animus under Juno's control. With the science city abandoned, Voronina accepted Banks' invitation to join his crew as an enforcer.
Banks, determined to find William Miles, led the Altair II to a bunker in Tromsø, Norway based on instructions from the codex. There, they rejoined Miles, Hastings and Crane, where the latter discovered that there was a spy for the Initiates on the crew. After interrogating the crew, both Dr. Stephanie Chiu and Eric Cooper were exposed as spies. Miles and Banks decided to recruit the Initiates, and on 16 June, Hastings sent a message to the group with an invitation to join the Brotherhood.
In October, a team of Assassins including Gavin, Shaun and Galina attacked Abstergo's Paris facility, where the Templar scientist Dr. Álvaro Gramática was conducting research for their Phoenix Project; an attempt to sequence a Precursor genome to unlock the true potential of the Pieces of Eden. To thwart their progress, the Assassins destroyed the facility, including the body of the Sage John Standish and the original Shroud of Eden, connected to the consciousness of the Precursor Consus.
By November, Hastings and an Assassin codenamed Bishop contacted users of Abstergo's new Helix program on behalf of the Assassins. One such user became an initiate tasked with exploring the memories of Arno Dorian to find the body of the Sage, François-Thomas Germain, ahead of the Templars. After discovering that Arno had hidden the body in the Paris catacombs, the Assassins abandoned their search. Around the same time, Otso Berg sent a video recording of Shay Cormac killing Assassins across the Assassins' network. The Assassins, fearing an attack by the Templars, were sent into a temporary state of chaos.
In late 2015, Bishop contacted another Helix user to help her, Shaun and Rebecca find the location of a Shroud of Eden in London by exploring the memories of Jacob and Evie Frye. Through their memories, the Initiate discovered its location in the vault underneath Buckingham Palace, where Shaun, Rebecca and Galina faced off against Isabelle Ardant, Juhani Otso Berg and Violet da Costa. Shaun killed Ardant, but when Rebecca was critically shot the Assassins had to leave the artifact behind to safely escape.
With the Shroud in his possession, Dr. Álvaro Gramática subsequently became the Assassins' primary target and finding his lab a top priority. Meanwhile, the Templars started targeting the Initiates, resulting in the death of the Abstergo analyst. After various Assassins voiced their concerns over the Initiates' involvement, William Miles enacted the Rooftop Garden Protocol, ending all communications on the Assassins' worldwide network and with the Initiates.
Renewed Assassin operations
- "Above all, your primary target remains Dr. Gramatica and his lab. If you find either, DO NOT ENGAGE. Report to me immediately and we will assemble a strike team. Outside of this, you are free to choose your own targets, so long as you follow the Creed."
- ―Bishop sending a message to the Assassin cells, 2015.[src]
In late 2015, a new Assassin team consisting of Xavier Chen, Galina Voronina and Kody Adams rescued Charlotte de la Cruz, an individual with Eagle Vision they had considered for recruitment, from a Templar ambush. The Assassins had received intel that one of their members, Joseph Laurier, had made contact with the Templars to inform them of an artifact hidden by his ancestor during the Salem witch trials. In order to determine if he was telling the truth or baiting the Templars, Charlotte was forced to relive the memories of her 17th century Thomas Stoddard in the Animus.
With time running out, Galina pressured the team into confronting the Templars at their local headquarters. While initially believing Joseph spoke the truth, Charlotte later discovered his treachery through her ancestor's memories. However, Joseph took the opportunity to kill Xavier and gravely injured Galina. Charlotte and Galina escaped with Kody, relocating to Mexico City in early 2016, and refocused their efforts on Joseph. Meanwhile, Charlotte became convinced they had to find Erudito, a hacker collective, per Consus' warning through her ancestor's memories.
Trying to find leads through local Templars, and while Charlotte relived the memories of her ancestor Quila, the Assassins instead angered a local cartel led by Arturo Viera. After Viera kidnapped Kody, a team of Templars led by Ortega Sanchez eliminated Viera at a meeting between him and the Assassins. He planted a tracking device in Charlotte's foot, and made a deal to spare her team's life if she'd surrender herself to them later. While she held up her end of the deal, Galina and Kody made a deal with the cartel to kill the Templars and Sanchez. This allowed them to proceed to Argentina, having discovered the password and coordinates of their hideout hidden in Quila's memories.
The Assassins were brought to an Erudito base at an undisclosed location. While Erudito's leader, Charlotte's grandmother Florencia, wanted to help the Assassins, several of the other hackers were initially reluctant to give up their independence. Charlotte ensured the opportunity to convince the hackers, by having her explore the memories of Hiram Stoddard, who worked with Giovanni Borgia, for more signs from Consus, while Galina took Erudito's field agents to find Joseph Laurier in Somalia.
Eventually, after Sanchez, who survived the earlier ordeal, and the Templars tracked Charlotte using the device planted in her foot, many members of Erudito were killed during their attack on the island. Joseph, who was engaged in a fight with Galina, Sheed and My'shell Lemair, offered them resistance after word of the attack reached them to ensure Charlotte's safety, believing her to be too important. While Kody, Sheed and Joseph died during the attack, the others were able to escape with help from the Assassins Arend Schut and Kiyoshi Takakura, and later regrouped.
Destruction of the Abstergo Madrid facility
In October 2016, Abstergo faked the public execution of Callum Lynch, a convict on death row with a strong Assassin heritage. He was brought to Abstergo's Madrid facility, where he was placed in a new Animus by Dr. Sophia Rikkin, daughter of Abstergo CEO Alan Rikkin. They forced him to explore the memories of the Assassin Aguilar de Nerha in the hope of finding his Apple of Eden. Meanwhile, Callum met various imprisoned Assassins in the facility.
Working closely with Sophia, Callum relived the memories of his ancestor and eventually came to trust Sophia, becoming determined to help Abstergo. When he reached Aguilar's target memory in the Animus, Callum was greeted by ghastly visions of his ancestors, including his mother, who convinced him to accept his place among the Assasins. The other Assassin prisoners staged a prison break, and Callum escaped along with Moussa and Lin.
In order to retrieve the Apple from the Templars, the three Assassins infiltrated the Grand Templar Hall in London, where Rikkin was celebrating the artifact's retrieval at a Templar meeting. Sophia Rikkin, dissatisfied with her father stealing her successes, allowed Callum to infiltrate the meeting. The new Assassin consequently killed Rikkin and retrieved the Apple before fleeing in the chaos.
Stopping Project Bluebird
Conflict with Juno
- "All these bodies... It's a statement. Templars don't make statements. Why would they drag this war into daylight? The cell we lost in Hong Kong... now this in Germany. We haven't seen anything like this since the Great Purge. This is something new."
- ―Kiyoshi Takakura about their new enemy, 2017.[src]
By 2017, Charlotte de la Cruz had become an essential part of the Assassin Brotherhood. Charlotte and Guernica Moneo, an Erudito hacker and reluctant Assassin ally, travelled to join Barindra Mitra's cell to search a Phoenix Project lab in Hong Kong for data. However, upon their arrival, Charlotte was attacked by a group of men wearing high-tech Assassin armor and was met by a young boy – unbeknownst to her, the son of Desmond Miles. This new faction were secretly the Instruments of the First Will, a group serving Juno and fighting to restore Isu dominance over humanity. After Jasdip Dhami, an Assassin who had joined the Instruments, gravely wounded Guernico, Charlotte was forced to retreat with him back to the London safehouse.
Galina and Arend met their Abstergo contact, Heinrich Hart, in Berlin, to question him on the intel about the Hong Kong safehouse. Feigning ignorance, Hart, himself an Instrument, was able to convince the Assassins of his innocence. After Hart blew himself up shortly afterwards following an interaction with Otso Berg, the new Black Cross, the Assassins became convinced they were facing a new faction. Using Abstergo intel, the Assassins found a lead on the Koh-i-Noor, which Consus had previously told Charlotte to find. Intending to explore the life of her ancestor Ignacio Cardona, who interacted with the artifact, Charlotte instead got stuck inside the Animus interface, unable to get out.
Guernica – himself secretly an Instrument of the First Will – insisted the Assassins find Felix Oladele, an Abstergo extraction specialist, to help Charlotte, but instead led Arend and Kiyoshi into another trap laid by the Instruments, which they barely escaped. Juno secretly infiltrated the Assassins' Animus, sifting through Charlotte's memories. Guernica, willing to spare Charlotte future atrocities, attempted to kill Charlotte after Juno was done, but was caught and stopped by Galina.
Meanwhile, My'shell Lemair, blaming herself for Charlotte's situation, decided to investigate leads on old Assassin accounts, leading her to discover they were secretly being used by a third faction. Berg also investigated the accounts and interrogated her, before being ambushed by an Instrument cell led by Jasdip. Gravely wounded, My'shell took Berg to the London safehouse, where the Assassins reconvened. Reluctantly, the Assassin cell and Berg decided to join forces to stop the new faction which had infiltrated both their orders.
Charlotte went to relive the memories of Ignacio Cardona, discovering that he interacted with the former Black Cross Albert Bolden. After Charlotte was unable to carry on due to fatigue caused by the Animus, Berg relived the memories of Albert Bolden using the DNA from his descendant André Bolden. They eventually discovered the artifact was buried in the rubble of an abandoned church in Spain. Meanwhile, the Instruments hijacked Abstergo's Phoenix Project laboratory for their own means.
Search for the Staff of Hermes Trismegistus
- Victoria: "I believe this staff is important. But the Templars and Assassins have found Staves of Eden before. Nikolai Tesla blew one up in Russia, if I remember correctly?"
- Layla: "This is different. If what I saw in Egypt is true, this staff doesn't control minds... it controls physics. Time. Imagine rewriting the rules of the universe."
- —Victoria Bibeau and Layla Hassan about the Staff of Hermes Trismegistus, 2018.[src]
In late October 2017, William Miles rescued a rogue Abstergo operative named Layla Hassan, who had been tasked by Simon Hathaway with retrieving the sarcophagus of Bayek of Siwa, the founder of the Hidden Ones, in the Qattara Depression in Egypt. After she decided to explore Bayek's memories on her own with her portable Animus rather than bringing the sarcophagus to Abstergo, the company unsuccessfully sent agents to kill her. William eventually found her and offered her an opportunity to work on the Assassins' Animus project, which she reluctantly accepted.
Over the next year, Layla's reluctance to joining the Brotherhood subsided and she became a valued member of the Assassins, even gaining leadership over her own cell. In late 2018, Layla found evidence that pointed to the location of the broken Spear of Leonidas, and gathered a team consisting of fellow former Abstergo employee Victoria Bibeau, Kiyoshi Takakura and Alannah Ryan to recover it. Using a DNA sample on the artifact, she proceeded to explore Kassandra's genetic memories in the Animus in a safehouse in London, hoping to find clues leading to the Staff of Hermes Trismegistus.
Eventually, through Kassandra's memories, the cell discovered the location of the sunken city of Atlantis and how to reactivate the Gateway to the Lost City that served as its entrance. After doing so, Layla was met by Kassandra, who had lived over two millennia thanks to the powers of the Staff. She then passed the artifact on to Layla, imparting on her the responsibility to bring balance between order and chaos back to the world. Before letting to of the Staff, Kassandra made Layla promise to destroy all the Pieces of Eden after achieving her goals, before Kassandra's immortality faded and she passed away.
Layla decided to explore more of Kassandra's memories, through which she was directly contacted by the Isu Aletheia, from whom she discovered that Layla was intended to be the "Heir of Memories" and was to learn how to use the Staff and fight its corruption. Through her experiences in the Animus, Layla discovered how to reach further into the Gateway. Once there, she was joined by Victoria and the two were eventually discovered by Abstergo's Sigma Team, which was swiftly eliminated by Layla.
Through Kassandra's memories, Layla experienced several simulations of Isu civilization created by Aletheia with the intent of learning how to master the Staff's power. During these Animus sessions, Victoria implored Layla to stop to prevent the Bleeding Effect from taking over. In a moment of rage induced by the Staff, Layla accidentally killed her friend. She continued exploring the simulations, eventually learning all Aletheia had to teach. At this point, Layla was confronted by Otso Berg, who was left crippled in their subsequent confrontation.
- Assassin's Creed: Into the Animus
- Assassin's Creed II
- Assassin's Creed: Odyssey
- Assassin's Creed: Odyssey – Legacy of the First Blade
- Assassin's Creed Chronicles: India
- Assassin's Creed Encyclopedia
- Assassin's Creed: The Essential Guide
- Assassin's Creed: Desert Oath
- Assassin's Creed: Origins
- Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
- Assassin's Creed: Origins comic
- Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy
- Assassin's Creed: Origins – The Hidden Ones
- Assassin's Creed: Origins - The Curse of the Pharaohs
- Assassin's Creed: Last Descendants
- Assassin's Creed 2: Aquilus
- Assassin's Creed 1: Desmond
- Assassin's Creed 3: Accipiter
- Assassin's Creed Unity: Abstergo Entertainment – Employee Handbook
- Assassin's Creed: Last Descendants – Fate of the Gods
- Assassin's Creed: Official Game Guide
- Assassin's Creed: The Secret Crusade
- Assassin's Creed: Revelations
- Assassin's Creed
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- Assassin's Creed: Memories
- Assassin's Creed: Last Descendants – Tomb of the Khan
- Assassin's Creed: Initiates
- Assassin's Creed: Unity
- Assassin's Creed 4: Hawk
- Assassin's Creed 5: El Cakr
- Assassin's Creed 6: Leila
- Assassin's Creed: Revelations – Discover Your Legacy
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- Assassin's Creed II: Discovery
- Assassin's Creed: Rebellion
- Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood novel
- Assassin's Creed: Revelations novel
- Assassin's Creed – Volume 3: Homecoming
- Assassin's Creed – Volume 2: Setting Sun
- Assassin's Creed: Syndicate
- Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China
- Assassin's Creed: Embers
- Assassin's Creed – Volume 1: Trial by Fire
- Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
- Assassin's Creed: The Official Movie Novelization
- Assassin's Creed: Forsaken
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- Assassin's Creed III
- Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag – Freedom Cry
- Assassin's Creed: Unity – Dead Kings
- Assassin's Creed: The Chair
- Assassin's Creed: Templars – Cross of War
- Assassin's Creed: Brahman
- Assassin's Creed: The Fall
- Assassin's Creed Chronicles: Russia
- Assassin's Creed: The Chain
- Assassin's Creed: Uprising – Volume 2: Inflection Point
- Assassin's Creed: Conspiracies – Volume 1: Die Glocke
- Assassin's Creed: Conspiracies – Volume 2: Project Rainbow
- Assassin's Creed: Bloodstone
- Assassin's Creed: Revelations – The Lost Archive
- Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood – The Da Vinci Disappearance
- Assassin's Creed: Syndicate – Jack the Ripper
- Assassin's Creed: Uprising – Volume 1: Common Ground