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"Even when your kind appears to triumph... Still we rise again. And do you know why? It is because the Order is born of a realization. We require no creed. No indoctrination by desperate old men. All we need is that the world be as it is. And THIS is why the Templars will never be destroyed."
―Haytham Kenway to Ratonhnhaké:ton about the Templars, 1781.[src]-[m]

The history of the Templars spans thousands of years, from the dawn of humanity until the modern era. Though the Templars in their modern capacity were only founded during the Middle Ages, their predecessors, most notably the Order of the Ancients, have existed since ancient times, manipulating influential people and engineering events to further their goal of establishing a New World Order.

Throughout mcuh of their history, the Templars have been engaged in a covert war against the Assassins and their precursors, who opposed the Templars' goals, believing that humanity should be free to choose its own destiny.

History

Ancient world

Prehistory

Mark of Cain

The Mark of Cain

"Behold: the mark of Cain!"
―Clay Kaczmarek in one of his Glyph puzzles for Desmond Miles, 2012.[src]-[m]

The origins of the Templar Order remain a mystery; it is believed that the Templars have existed since the dawn of humanity, or at least since humanity claimed its freedom from its creators, the Isu.[1]

Sometime after the Toba catastrophe of 75,000 BCE, Cain, the son of Adam and Eve, murdered his brother Abel to acquire an Apple of Eden. For his crime, Cain was branded with a red cross.[2] Later followers of Cain's teachings, the Templars of olden days, would come to consider themselves the Children of Cain and named the red cross pattée the Mark of Cain.[1]

Early history

"Officially, the Order of the Knights Templar was created in 1129, but we have endured, under various appellations, since well before the 12th century."
―A transcript from one of the Abstergo Files, 2012.[src]
ACO Order of the Ancients

The Order of the Ancients

In 1334 BCE, the precursor to the Order of the Knights Templar was established during the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt, when the Pharaoh Smenkhkare founded the Order of the Ancients. Smenkhkare had come in contact with technology of the Isu, which inspired the Order to pursue further knowledge from the remnants of these Precursors.[3]

Throughout their history, the Order would dedicate its resources to uncovering more about the Isu, coming to consider themselves the Precursors' successors as the leaders of humanity. They would come to revere Isu leadership, including the Father of Understanding, the Mother of Wisdom, and the Sacred Voice, on which they modeled their own order's hierarchy.[4]

Conquests of King Xerxes I

"Xerxes will unite us. He will bring order to chaos."
―The Oracle of Delphi's prophecy to King Leonidas under influence of the Cult of Kosmos, 480 BCE.[src]-[m]

During the 5th century BCE, the Persian branch of the Order of the Ancients aided Darius I,[5] the fourth king of the Achaemenid Empire, in overthrowing the usurper Gaumata and ascending the throne of Persia. The Ancients also aided his son and successor, Xerxes I, in his suppressions of revolts in Egypt and Babylon, and followed him to the Greek world.[1]

ACOD Darius assassinate Xerxes

Darius assassinating Xerxes

Through Xerxes' conquests, the Order of the Ancients established an alliance with a secretive Greek cabal known as the Cult of Kosmos.[5] The Cult of Kosmos possessed an Isu artifact, the Pyramid, which allowed them to see possible outcomes of the future. Using the artifact, they controlled the prophecies made by the Oracle of Delphi. Through the Oracle, they unsuccessfully tried to convince King Leonidas I of Sparta to allow Xerxes to conquer the land.[6]

Eventually, Xerxes was killed by the Persian elite Darius and his allies in 465 BCE,[5] which became the first recorded usage of the Hidden Blade.[2] Darius' allies later turned on him due to disagreeing with his decision to assassinate Xerxes' son and successor Artaxerxes I, and joined the Order of the Ancients, pursuing their former comrade for the next decades. They also tried to eradicate descendants of the Isu they referred to as "Tainted Ones", believing they were a threat to humanity.[5]

Peloponnesian War

"Through the Order's influence and Persia's wealth, Sparta will end this war. A new chapter in history will be written by us. We have planted a seed in the fertile soil that is the Greek people, and now peace will grow. Only one threat to that peace remains... you."
―Amorges to Kassandra, 420s BCE.[src]-[m]

Shortly before the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War, the Order spread their influence to the Greek world. A group led by Ianthe sought to acquire an Isu dagger from an ancient vault on Kephallonia and hired the mercenary Cadmus to help them access the chamber, only to betray him afterwards and trap him inside the vault. After escaping, Cadmus pursued the Ancients and managed to kill Ianthe, but in the resulting fight, the dagger was broken into two pieces. The remaining Order members fled with one of the blades while Cadmus kept the other.[7]

ACOD LotFB - The Horsemen Cometh - Order Elite Appears

Kassandra and Natakas confronted by the Order

Around 429 BCE, the Order of Hunters, a branch of the Ancients led by Pactyas, arrived in Makedonia to eliminate Leonidas I's granddaughter Kassandra, a "Tainted One" and misthios who wielded the Spear of Leonidas, which made the Order consider her dangerous. Not wishing Greece's aristocracy or the Cult of Kosmos to interfere with their operations, the Ancients tried to conceal their presence in Makedonia while looking for Kassandra.[5]

Despite their efforts, Darius and his son Natakas, who happened to be hiding from the Order in the region, soon caught wind of their plans and enlisted the help of a group of mercenaries to thwart them.[8] Eventually, the Order decided to lure Kassandra to them and set fire to the village of Potidaia to attract her attention. When Kassandra arrived, the Ancients confronted her, but they were quickly routed by the misthios, Darius and Natakas.[5]

ACOD LotFB Protector of Persia - Kassandra Confront Pactyas

Pactyas' confrontation with Kassandra

Following this, Kassandra formed an alliance with Darius and Natakas to fight the Order of Hunters and managed to eliminate their members in Makedonia. With all of his lieutenants dead, Pactyas resolved to face the misthios himself, but he was defeated and mortally wounded. In his final moments, Pactyas explained why Kassandra's nature as a "Tainted One" made her a danger to the peace the Order fought for, and revealed the truth about Darius' past. With the Order of Hunters wiped out, Darius and Natakas left Makedonia after burying Pactyas, and Kassandra resumed her travels throughout Greece.[5]

Later, the Order of the Storm led by Phila located Darius and Natakas in Achaia, organizing a maritime blockade of the region. Darius wrote a letter to Kassandra, who once again came to his and Natakas' aid, helping them track down and eliminate Phila's lieutenants. She also stole the Chimera's Breath, a weapon being built for Phila's flagship, the Skylla, and installed it on her own ship, the Adrestia. With it, Kassandra sunk Phila's fleet and defeated the Ancient, allowing her to start a new life in Achaia with Darius and Natakas.[5]

ACOD Legacy of the First Blade memory Screenshot 8

Amorges confronted by Darius and Kassandra

After Amorges, Darius' former comrade and the leader of the Order in Persia, tracked down Kassandra and her family, he led the Order of Dominion in an attack on their home, killing Natakas and abducting his and Kassandra's son, Elpidios. In Messenia, Amorges entrusted Elpidios to Prince Darius II while he oversaw the Order's activities in the region. Seeking revenge for Natakas' death and wishing to find Elpidios, Kassandra and Darius followed the Order's trail to Messenia, where they fought them with the help of a local contingent of Athenian soldiers.[5]

During their assault, Kassandra and Darius confronted and killed Amorges, who in his final moments reconciled with his old friend by informing him of Elpidios' whereabouts. After retrieving her son, Kassandra realized that Elpidios would never be safe with her as the Order would continue to hunt them, so she decided to leave him in Darius' care. Darius later traveled to Egypt where he raised and trained Elpidios in his ways while avoiding the Order.[5]

Empires of the East

"We will be replaced by a new kind of order - control under the reign of a philosopher king. There would be a movement away from the old gods towards rational society, built in a kingdom by the people, for the people."
Aspasia mentioning a vision shown by the Pyramid to Kassandra, c. 422 BCE.[src]-[m]
DTAE Alexander the Great Mosaic

Alexander the Great

In the 4th century BCE, the Order of the Ancients formed an alliance with Alexander the Great, entrusting him with one of the Staves of Eden, which Alexander used to establish the Macedonian Empire.[1] Alexander also held power over the Trident of Eden, allowing him to become an undefeated military commander.[9] Armed with the knowledge of the Isu, the ruler discovered an Isu temple in Herat, atop which he built the Herat Citadel.[10]

However, Alexander's conquests made him a target of a secret Babylonian group who opposed his alliance with the Order. In 323 BCE, one of the group's members, Iltani, succeeded in fatally poisoning the ruler, causing his empire to crumble.[2] After his death, Alexander was entombed in Alexandria with the Staff of Eden,[3] while the three prongs of the Trident of Eden were given to his generals.[9]

In the 3rd century BCE, the Order supported Qin Shi Huang, who united China and became its first Emperor under the Qin dynasty.[1] Qin Shi Huang's rule quickly became tyrannical, and he was assassinated by the youxia Wei Yu with a spear in 210 BCE.[2]

Ptolemaic Egypt

"Your son's death made the Order bow to me. Caesar, even. I had Rome. It gave me an empire of a thousand sons, each one greater than the last."
―Flavius Metellus to Bayek, 47 BCE.[src]-[m]

By the 1st century BCE, the Order had a solid foothold in Egypt, holding a number of high-ranking positions in the royal court during the reign of Pharaoh Ptolemy XII Auletes.[3] Around this time, they tried to unify the country through Hellenization. As the Medjay, an elite group who protected the pharaoh and the people of Egypt, were a symbol of the Old Kingdom, the Order sought their elimination.[11]

In 70 BCE, the Ancient Raia hired the mercenary Bion to exterminate the last three Medjay bloodlines. After killing Emsaf and Hemon and their families, only the Medjay Sabu of Siwa remained. Upon learning of Bion's hunt of the other Medjay, Sabu left his family to go on the run, but was eventually tracked down by his son Bayek and the latter's lover Aya. While Sabu trained Bayek and Aya in the Medjay's ways, he was tracked down and killed by Bion in 56 BCE. Bayek later avenged his father by killing Bion, as well as Raia, though he remained unaware of the latter's Order affiliations.[11]

Origins Quest04TheFalseOracle Part01

The Order of the Ancients holding Bayek captive

After Ptolemy XII Auletes's death in 51 BCE, the Order began manipulating his son and successor, Ptolemy XIII, eventually convincing him to exile his sister and co-regent, Cleopatra, who refused to submit to their will. In 49 BCE, the Ancients, seeking to further their ambitions of ruling Egypt and beyond, set their sights on uncovering the secrets of an Isu vault in the Siwa Oasis. To do so, they kidnapped Bayek and his son Khemu. With an Apple of Eden in their possession, they demanded that Bayek unlock the vault. However, the Medjay lacked the proper knowledge, and in the ensuing struggle, Bayek accidentally killed his own son.[3]

The members of the Order were consequently hunted by a vengeful Bayek and his wife Aya, who had become Cleopatra's agent. After Bayek killed Medunamun in 48 BCE, the Ancients lost control of their Apple of Eden. As the Order's ranks began to thin, their leader, the Roman proconsul Flavius Metellus, began to solidify their influence over Julius Caesar, the dictator of the Roman Republic.[3]

ACO The Battle of the Nile 29

Caesar and Cleopatra siding with the Order

Bayek and Aya subsequently aided Cleopatra in gaining power over her brother, and helped her arrange a meeting with Caesar to gain Rome as an ally. Seeing an opportunity, the Order began to divert its attention to Cleopatra as its new puppet ruler of Egypt, and helped secure the alliance between Caesar and the Egyptian queen. Aya and Bayek also opened up access to the Tomb of Alexander the Great, which allowed Flavius to acquire Alexander's Staff of Eden. Flavius also killed Cleopatra's bodyguard Apollodorus, from whom he retrieved the Order's lost Apple of Eden.[3]

With both the Apple and the Staff in their possession and Cleopatra under their control through Caesar, Flavius and his fellow Order member Lucius Septimius returned to Siwa to access its Isu vault, finding a globe projection. Afterwards, the two Ancients parted ways, with Septimius taking the Staff to Alexandria while Flavius headed for Cyrenaica with the Apple, which he used to make the local population revere him. Before long, however, Flavius was tracked down by Bayek, leading to a fight between the two inside Cyrene's Temple of Mars.[3]

ACO The Final Weighing 46

Flavius using the Apple of Eden against Bayek

Despite being aided by the powers of the Apple, Flavius ultimately succumbed to Bayek's blade, and the artifact became lost to the Order once more. Meanwhile, Septimius returned to Rome with Caesar, giving Alexander's Staff to his brethren. The Order subsequently refocused its efforts on manipulating the Roman Republic, facing too much opposition in Egypt.[3]

However, some remnants of the Order remained active in the country and, in 46 BCE, were recruited by the priest Menkhtu to form the Sect of the Ibis Reborn. As they attempted to access the Isu complex under the Great Pyramid of Giza, seeking to use its power to retake control of Egypt, Menkhtu and his followers were killed by the Hidden Ones, the organization founded by Bayek and Aya to oppose the Order.[12]

Another Order member, Habibah, worked as a doctor in Memphis and possessed one of the blades of Vejovis' dagger. She was eventually killed by the Hidden One and Vejovis' Sage Khepri, who took the blade from her chest of trinkets.[7]

Roman Empire

Rufio: "Caesar built a strong Order before he was stabbed in the back by your cowardly wife."
Bayek: "Our power burns in the shadows."
Rufio: "And we create those shadows."
—Gaius Julius Rufio's dying words to Bayek, 38 BCE.[src]-[m]
ACO Fall of an Empire, Rise of Another 22

Aya stabbing Caesar

By 44 BCE, Julius Caesar had become the leading figure of the Order of the Ancients[3] and spread its influence throughout the Roman Republic.[13] Through Lucius Septimius' influence, he intended to proclaim himself Dictator of the Republic for life. However, Aya, who had followed the Order to Rome, recruited Marcus Junius Brutus, Gaius Cassius Longinus and other Roman senators opposing Caesar to plan his assassination. On 15 March 44 BCE, Aya killed Septimius and the Hidden Ones killed Caesar inside the Theatre of Pompey.[3]

Control of the Order later fell to Caesar's adopted son and successor Octavian. In 38 BCE, with their control over Cleopatra slowly dwindling, the Order attempted to reclaim Egypt, by having Gaius Julius Rufio establish a presence in the Sinai Peninsula. However, Rufio and his generals were killed by the Hidden Ones led by Bayek, forcing the Order to put its ambitions for Egypt on halt.[13]

ACOC Augustus

Octavian succeeded Caesar as the Order's leader

In 32 BCE, the last war of the Roman Republic broke out between Octavian and the forces of Marcus Antonius and Cleopatra. In 30 BCE, with his forces nearly decimated, Antonius committed suicide. Cleopatra herself was persuaded by Aya to take her life using poison, in order to end the suffering of the Egyptian people. Egypt subsequently became a province of the Roman Republic under the Order's control.[14]

After Octavian transformed the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire in 27 BCE, the Order's presence continued to be felt. They notably held influence over the third Roman Emperor, Caligula, who was regarded as a ruthless tyrant. To thwart the Order's plans, the Hidden One Leonius assassinated Caligula on 21 January 41 CE.[2]

The enclosed content is of ambiguous canonicity.
AC3A - Vultur death

Vultur killed by Aquilus

In 259 CE, the Ancient Caïus Fulvus Vultur sought to acquire the Ankh, a Piece of Eden which had been found by the Hidden One Aquilus, a member of the Liberalis Circulum. After Aquilus gave the Ankh to his father Lucius, Vultur took advantage of his friendship with the latter to get him to lower his guard, and killed him at his villa in Lugdunum to steal the Ankh.[15] He then returned to his home in Rome with the artifact, though a vengeful Aquilus soon tracked down Vultur and assassinated him, recovering the Ankh.[16]

As the Roman Empire's influence expanded, the Order's reach grew with it. Their presence reached new corners through the conquests of the Romans, including Britannia. After the Roman Empire's collapse in the 5th century, the Order's influence among the Empire's former territories continued to linger.[4]

Middle Ages

Arthurian England

"King Arthur died in disillusionment, having been betrayed by his wife, his best friend, and his son. [...] [His] idealistic view was not the best path for the Templar Order."
―Alan Rikkin's thoughts on King Arthur, 2016.[src]
ACII-WalterCrane-ArthurPullstheSwordfromStone

Arthur pulling out Excalibur

After the Roman retreat from Britannia in the 5th century, the Hidden Ones in the region also retreated to mainland Europe. The Order of the Ancients, however, retained their presence in Britain, allowing their influence to grow unopposed. By the early 6th century,[4] the Order in Britain came under the leadership of King Arthur Pendragon, who led the nation's defense against the invading Saxon tribes.[17]

At some point, King Arthur came into possession of Excalibur, one of the Swords of Eden,[2] which the Order sought to acquire for their own ends. As a result of their meddling,[18] Arthur was eventually betrayed by his wife, his best friend, and his son, dying in disillusionment.[17] After his death, one of Arthur's close allies, believing Excalibur's power should not belong to anyone, hid the sword[18] within the Isu Barracks beneath Stonehenge.[4]

An Lushan Rebellion

"If I can't become the leader of the Golden Turtles, I'll form my own Golden Turtles. The next time I enter the capital, between Yang Guozhong and myself, only one will live."
―An Lushan to Gao Lishi, 754.[src]
ACD Golden Turtles

The Golden Turtles under Yang Guozhong

In 755, conflict broke out between the high-ranking members of the Order of the Ancients in China. By that time, the Order held major sway over the Tang dynasty court of Emperor Xuanzong, as one of the Order's leaders Yang Guozhong served as the Emperor's chancellor. Eventually, Yang Guozhong came into conflict with the Tang general An Lushan, another influential member of the Order. This led to division among the Order, separating the faction known as the Golden Turtles led by Yang Guozhong from the Yeluohe led by An Lushan.[19]

Their conflict eventually sparked all-out war in China, with An Lushan rebelling against Emperor Xuanzong, in what would become known as the An Lushan Rebellion. This led to An Lushan establishing his own state, the Great Yan. Yan Zhuang served as an advisor to An Lushan, while he worked in secret as a spy for Yang Guozhong. Eventually, in 757, An Lushan was assassinated by the Hidden One Li E.[19]

Abbasid Caliphate

"From the ashes of all that we'd built shall new fires be kindled. Fan the flames of dissent, sow suspicion and reap reward. Anarchy is our ally. Order shall rise from Chaos. The snare has been laid."
―Qabiha in a letter to her fellow Order members, 860s.[src]-[m]

At some point before 824, the Order of the Ancients in the Abbasid Caliphate secured an alliance with a cult known as the Martyrs of Agaunum, gifting them impenetrable armor. In exchange, the Martyrs were tasked to deliver a case containing an artifact of high importance to the Order to one of their agents in Baghdad. However, the meeting between the Martyrs and their client was ambushed by a trio of mercenaries – Roshan, Azadeh and Dias – who had been hired by the Hidden One Fuladh Al Haami. While the mercenaries battled the Martyrs, Fuladh came to their aid and assassinated the Order member, securing the case.[20]

ACMirage The Master Thief of Anbar 34

The Order of the Ancients meeting with Al-Mutawakkil

By the 860s, the Order in the Caliphate was secretly led by Qabiha, the favorite concubine of the Caliph Al-Mutawakkil, who was the Ancients' puppet. Under her leadership, they focused their efforts on excavating Isu ruins in the desert around Baghdad, enslaving people to use as a workforce at their dig sites. However, Qabiha's main goal was to find and access the Alamut Temple, an Isu vault situated beneath the Hidden Ones' stronghold of Alamut.[21]

Following Al-Mutawakkil's death in December 861, Qabiha's influence started to dwindle and the Order ramped up their efforts to find Isu artifacts, which Fazil Fahim al-Kemsa used to build his "Great Work", the Alruh; a machine capable of deciphering the contents of Memory Seals. As the Ancients tried to strengthen their control over Baghdad, they faced heavy opposition from the Hidden Ones of Alamut, particularly Basim Ibn Ishaq, who assassinated Fazil, as well as Mas'ood Al-Ya'qoob, who was placed in charge of acquiring workers for the Order's dig sites; Ning, who controlled all trade in and out of Baghdad; and Wasif Al-Turki, who led the Caliphate's Turkic Army.[21]

With all of her lieutenants dead, Qabiha negotiated a deal with Baghdad's governor Muhammad ibn Tahir, who wanted to end the conflict between Al-Mutawakkil's son Abu 'Abdallah and nephew al-Musta'in, both of whom claimed the right to the Caliphate's throne. In exchange for convincing her son to renounce his birthright to the throne, Qabiha asked Muhammad to have his Tahirid relatives remove their protection of Alamut, leaving the Hidden Ones' stronghold vulnerable.[21]

ACMir The Serpent's Nest 21

Qabiha confronted by Basim

Qabiha was later confronted at the Palace of the Green Dome by Basim, to whom she cryptically explained his true nature as a reborn Isu. Believing Basim to be the key needed to access the Alamut Temple, Qabiha tried to convince the Hidden One to accompany her there, only to be suddenly assassinated by Basim's master Roshan, marking the end of the Order's influence in the Caliphate.[21]

The Order of the Ancients' decline

"In a strange irony, I am grateful for the Danes and their invasion of Northumbria. My title should have gone to Aella. Being dead, it fell to my brother and then to me. God's unlikely gift. I will use it to destroy what I loathe so deeply about this sickening Order, and start afresh. Goodwin is with me, as are men on the continent. I will soon find others."
―Alfred the Great's commentary in a document, 870s.[src]-[m]

By the end of the 9th century, the Order's influence had severely diminished due to the rise of Christianity and Islam. In northwestern Europe, specifically the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in England and Francia, as well as in Norway, the Order managed to establish a final stronghold where they held influence over the highest positions of leadership. Among the Order's ranks were King Offa of Mercia, the Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne, and King Æthelwulf of Wessex.[4]

ACVBB - Aelfred and Aethelred

Alfred and his brother Æthelred, two of the Order's last leaders in England

In 845, the Frankish capital of Paris was besieged by Viking leader Ragnar Lothbrok. Sometime later, Ragnar invaded England. King Ælla of Northumbria, who was in line to succeed King Æthelwulf as Grand Maegester, captured and executed the Viking leader by throwing him into a pit of snakes. In 867, Ælla was killed after an invasion by the Great Heathen Army formed by Ragnar's sons Halfdan Ragnarsson, Ivarr the Boneless, and Ubba Ragnarsson. Subsequently, Æthelwulf's son King Æthelred I became Grand Maegester.[4]

In the late 860s and early 870s, the Order suffered several major defeats, such as the destruction of its Byzantine branch in Constantinople. Under the leadership of Isaac, the Ancients had allied with Emperor Basil I, convincing him to plot the assassination of his son, Prince Leo. However, they faced opposition from the Hidden Ones Basim Ibn Ishaq and Hytham and the Varangian guard led by Thyra, who protected Leo and later killed Isaac and his men.[22] Another blow came in 870, when the Snake-Eaters, a group of mercenaries affiliated with the Order that controlled the Silk Road, was eliminated by the Hidden Ones.[23]

By the 870s, the Order in Francia was under the leadership of Louis II of Italy, while in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, King Alfred of Wessex had inherited the title of Grand Maegester from his brother Æthelred. Unlike his father and brother, Alfred despised the Order, seeing their goals and existence as an affront to God and his Christian beliefs. With his confidant Goodwin, Alfred devised a plan to destroy the the Ancients from within. However, the threat of Viking raids halted their scheme, as Alfred's focus shifted towards protecting his dominion.[4]

ACV A Cruel Destiny 8

Hytham attempting to assassinate Kjotve

In 872, the Order of the Ancients in Britain faced their first opposition from the Hidden Ones since their rivals' retreat from Britain four centuries earlier. That year, Viking leader Kjotve the Cruel, their agent in Norway, was killed by Eivor Varinsdottir, a shieldmaiden of the Raven Clan who had allied with the Hidden Ones Basim Ibn Ishaq and Hytham through her brother Sigurd Styrbjornsson.[4]

In 873, Eivor, Sigurd, Basim and Hytham settled in England, where Eivor began eliminating members of the Order to help her new Hidden Ones allies. This would attract the attention of King Alfred, who began secretly corresponding with her under the moniker of a "Poor-Fellow Soldier of Christ", giving her information regarding certain Order members.[4]

During her time in England, Eivor freed Grantesbridge from the Ancient Wigmund's control, and protected Lincolnshire from the schemes of the Ancient Herefrith. She also tracked down and killed Kjotve's son Gorm in Vinland, where the latter was searching for the Grand Temple, guided by the Isu Juno through a Crystal Ball.[4] In Lunden, the Ancient Stowe was in possession of half of Vejovis' dagger. He later sent it to Syria, shortly before his death at the hands of the Viking warrior and Vejovis' Sage Alva.[7]

Birth of the Templar Order

"Henceforth I aim to improve our lot by harmozing the average man with the order of the universe. To walk him down a quiet road, to lead him to safe and sober thoughts, to quiet his mind and cool his impassioned heart. Be he God-fearing or God-less, this new Order will encompass all and seek to improve man by aligning his needs with the ebb and flow of nature itself. This is my hope. This is my vow."
―Alfred the Great's commentary in a document, 870s.[src]-[m]
ACV The Saga Stone 16

Alfred entrusting Sigurd to Fulke

In 874, Eivor, Sigurd and Basim allied with Fulke, a notable member of the Order, unaware of her true allegiance. Basim and Sigurd discovered Fulke possessed knowledge of the Isu, including some of their artifacts. They sought to unlock Sigurd's hidden memories, as Basim, himself an incarnation of the Isu Loki, knew that Sigurd was the reincarnation of Týr. Together, they besieged Cyne Belle Castle, where they unlocked some of Sigurd's memories by having him read Precursor language on the Saga Stone. King Alfred came to the rescue of Cyne Belle Castle, causing Fulke to betray her new companions and secure Sigurd's capture as a hostage for the Anglo-Saxons.[4]

Fulke would initiate experiments on Sigurd, hoping to unlock his "true potential". Basim and Eivor subsequently pursued Fulke through the kingdom of Wessex. Fulke managed to evade capture in Cent, leaving behind Sigurd's amputated arm in her study underneath Canterbury Cathedral. Eventually, Eivor gathered her allies in England and laid siege to the fortress of Portcestre, where Fulke had taken residence. Fulke was forced to confront Eivor, and was ultimately killed. However, she had already proven successful in making Sigurd realize his true identity.[4]

By 878, the Order of the Ancients in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms had been all but eradicated due to Eivor's actions, with help from her Hidden Ones allies as well as the secret guiding hand of King Alfred. Following his defeat in the Battle of Chippenham, Alfred went on the run from the Vikings and soon found refuge in the village of Athelnay, where invited Eivor to come meet him, wishing to personally thank her for her efforts.[4]

ACV The Poor Fellow-Soldier 12

Alfred sharing his intentions for a new order with Eivor

After Alfred identified himself as both the Grand Maegester of the Order and the "Poor-Fellow Soldier of Christ", he explained to Eivor his plan to establish a new, "universal order", one more in line with his Christian beliefs. He discarded the Order's reverence for the Father of Understanding, the Mother of Wisdom and the Sacred Voice, believing there to only be one Father of Understanding: God. Alfred's order would come to be known as the Templar Order, and would bring together members of various religious beliefs under a single banner, united in bringing together world peace as humanity's shepherds.[4]

However, some remnants of the Order of the Ancients remained active in England and opposed Alfred's reforms. One such group allied with the Descendants of the Round Table to recover Excalibur, which had been found by Eivor. However, the Hidden One Niamh of Argyll stole the sword first and brought it back to her people, the Women of the Mist, while the Order and the Descendants witnessed Niamh's allies, Hytham and Valka, burn a fake replica of Excalibur, leading them to assume the Piece of Eden had been destroyed.[18]

ACV The Raven and the Cuckoo 29

Roshan and Eivor confirming Makira's death

Another Order member, Qabiha's former stewardess Makira, allied with Edward, Earl of Westerna, manipulating him and his men into launching raids to steal valuable items and documents, and framing the Raven Clan for the attacks. Makira's schemes came to an end when both she and Edward were assassinated by Eivor and Roshan inside the fortress of Ravensburg.[24]

By the end of the 9th century, Alfred had successfully established his Templar Order, and the monk Ecbert was among the first to join its ranks. On Alfred's orders, Ecbert faked his death in order to infiltrate a Christian sect led by Columba and recover an Isu artifact in their possession, the Codex of Eden. Ecbert's mysterious disappearance was investigated by his younger brother Edward and his allies, the Viking Niels Gunnarsson and the Hidden One Adelaïde, who discovered and infiltrated the sect's hideout inside the Loch Ness Temple in Scotland.[25]

After finding Ecbert, the group worked together to flood the temple and destroy the sect, before escaping with the Codex of Eden. Upon learning that Adelaïde planned to deliver the artifact to her brotherhood, Ecbert attacked her, leading to the Hidden One killing him. Enraged by his brother's death, Edward pushed Adelaïde off a cliff, killing her and breaking the Codex. Edward later recovered the Codex's fragments and brought them to Alfred, agreeing to join the Templars.[25]

Late Viking Age

King Eric: "Do you believe Styrbjörn has entered into a compact with this Order?"
Torgny: "No. Styrbjörn is far too willful and unpredictable to serve their purposes. But I assure you the Order is taking an interest in the outcome of this conflict."
—King Eric of Sweden and Torgny the Lawspeaker about the Templars' expansion to Scandinavia, 985.[src]

By the 10th century, the Templars had established themselves as the new adversaries of the Hidden Ones, who themselves were on the cusp of reforming into the Assassin Brotherhood.[4] During this period, the Templars managed to gain substantial influence among the Franks, from where they sought to extend their influence further. During the latter half of the century, they became affiliated with Harald Bluetooth, the King of Denmark and Norway, hoping to spread their influence further towards Scandinavia, inhabited by the Norsemen.[26]

In 985, through King Harald, who had come into possession of a prong of the Trident of Eden, the Templars established a presence in Scandinavia by way of Harald's alliance with Styrbjörn the Strong. They invested themselves in the conflict between Styrbjörn and his uncle King Eric of Sweden, who was aided by the Brotherhood. The Templars eventually attracted the attention of Eric's advisor, the Hidden One Torgny the Lawspeaker, who endeavored to dismantle the Order's influence in the conflict by eliminating their agents in Harald's and Styrbjörn's army.[26]

Rule over the Catholic Church

"Over the centuries, many illustrious individuals have led our Order, but our most remarkable leaders have always been men of science, such as Sylvester II. Unfortunately, many men were often mistreated and, in Europe at least, branded heretics because of the knowledge they possessed."
―An excerpt from an Abstergo Industries file, 2012.[src]-[m]

During the late 10th century, the Templars managed to rule over the Catholic Church, when one of their leaders became Pope Sylvester II. During his four-year tenure as Pope, Sylvester's attempts at promoting scientific development and discoveries caused him to be branded a heretic by his enemies.[1]

Eventually, after Sylvester's death, the Templars would momentarily lose control of the Catholic Church. Nonetheless, they continued to see the Church as an important means of achieving their goals, and would eventually regain its unwitting support.[1]

Formation as a military order

"For the first time in our long history, our Order was made public, but its truest and noblest agenda remained secret."
―A transcript from an Abstergo file, 2012.[src]-[m]
Hugh de Payns

Grand Master Hugues de Payens

In 1118, the French abbot Bernard de Clairvaux realized that the Order needed the Church as its ally. He sent nine of his most trusted men to the Holy Land in search of Solomon's Temple, and upon their return, reinvented the Order alongside Grand Master Hugues de Payens, creating the Latin Rule. The Order of the Knights Templar was officially recognized and confirmed as a Christian military order during the Council of Troyes in 1129. For the first time the Order made itself public, but their real goals and purpose remained a secret.[27]

In the wake of the First Crusade, the Crusader army managed to maintain a presence in the Holy Land. The Knights Templar, as well as the Knights Hospitalier and the Teutonic Knights, were among the military orders that helped maintain their foothold, until Saladin managed to unite much of the Islamic world.[1]

Later, during the Third Crusade, the Knights Templar again spread out to the Holy Land. In 1189, with the help of the Assassin turncoat Haras, they laid siege to Masyaf, the stronghold of the Levantine Brotherhood of Assassins, but were ultimately repelled.[27] Following the failed assault on Masyaf, a Templar in Damascus known as The Hideout was approached by the Assassin and Vejovis' Sage Faisal, to whom he gave one of the blades of Vejovis' dagger, tasking him to deliver it to Beirut.[7]

During the Siege of Acre, Grand Master Gerard de Ridefort was captured and beheaded by Saladin, at which point the position was left vacant until 1191.[1] In the meantime, Lord Basilisk, a high-ranking Templar, stepped in to become the de facto leader of the Order. During his tenure, the Templars sought to acquire a powerful artifact known as the Chalice, but their efforts were opposed by the Assassin Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, who ultimately killed Basilisk in Tyre.[28]

Struggle during the Third Crusade

"You know not the things in which you meddle, Assassin. I spare you only that you may return to your Master, and deliver a message. The Holy Land is lost to him and his. He should flee now while he has the chance. Stay, and all of you will die."
―Robert de Sablé to Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, 1191.[src]-[m]

In 1191, Robert de Sablé took up the mantle of Grand Master. Under his leadership, eight notable participants in the Third Crusade from both the Crusader and Saracen sides secretly joined the Templar Order. The Grand Master and these eight men joined forces with Al Mualim, the Mentor of the Levantine Assassins, to find an Apple of Eden, and discovered the artifact to be located in an ancient vault beneath the remains of Solomon's Temple.[29]

Siege of Masyaf Templars

De Sablé and the Templars at Masyaf

In order to obtain the artifact for himself, Al Mualim betrayed the Templars and sent Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad and Malik and Kadar Al-Sayf to retrieve it. Simultaneously, de Sablé strived to gain the object as well, and Altaïr attempted to assassinate the Grand Master inside the vault. The Assassin failed, though Malik was able to take the Apple back to Masyaf during his escape. The Templars followed in pursuit, and laid siege to Masyaf's village. Arriving at the Masyaf citadel, they were routed by Altaïr, who unleashed a trap of falling tree trunks onto the Templars.[29]

In response, Al Mualim sent Altaïr on a quest to take down the nine Templars who had aided in the search for the Apple. Over the course of several months, Altaïr traveled to the cities of Damascus, Acre and Jerusalem to take down each of his targets. The Grand Master, realizing the threat to his life, assigned Maria Thorpe to pose as him at the funeral of one of the killed targets, Majd Addin, while de Sablé himself rode to Arsuf to attempt to unite the Crusaders and Saracens against the Assassins. After having fallen for the trap, Altaïr confronted the Grand Master while the latter was consulting with King Richard I of England, who allowed the two to engage in a duel. De Sablé fell to the Assassin's blade, but revealed Al Mualim's betrayal to Altaïr, who then proceeded to kill his Mentor.[29]

Assault Armand Bouchart 6

Altaïr killing Bouchart

Following de Sablé's death, the new Grand Master Armand Bouchart decided to relocate the Templars' troops to Cyprus, where the Templar Archive was located. While his lieutenants ruled over the island, Bouchart sought to move the Archive's contents to a more secure location after realizing he had been followed by Altaïr and Maria Thorpe, the latter of whom defected to the Assassins. Working with the local Cypriot Resistance, Altaïr and Maria killed Bouchart, ending the Templars' rule over Cyprus, though the Grand Master had succeeded in his goal of moving the Archive's contents.[30]

Post-Third Crusade activity

"Our so-called King meets with his Templar advisers in London. Shall we pay them a visit?"
―The Assassin Robert Fitzwalter to his supporters, c. 1215.[src]

Outside of their presence in the Crusades, the Knights Templar continued to hold sway over positions of power. The English King Richard I's brother and successor, John, was one such puppet under the influence of Templar advisors. The Assassin Robert Fitzwalter rose up against the King, gaining support from the English barons and sparking the First Barons' War in 1215.[31]

In 1241, the Order of the Knights Templar participated in the Battle of Legnica, fighting against the forces of the Mongol Empire. The Mongols captured one of the Templars, who managed to sway the Mongol leader Möngke Khan to the Templar cause. Möngke Khan subsequently founded the Mongolian Rite of the Order. While having one of the prongs of the Trident of Eden in his possession,[32] Möngke Khan sent his uncle Hülegü Khan to exact revenge on the Assassins for the murder of his grandfather Genghis Khan, and granted him his grandfather's Sword of Eden to destroy the Levantine Brotherhood.[31]

The enclosed content is of ambiguous canonicity.
EgyptAssassin

A Templar Knight killed by the Assassin

In 1250, the Knights Templar in Egypt set their sights on obtaining a Precursor artifact known as the Scepter of Aset. Since around the year 1200, it had been in the possession of the Egyptian Assassins. As the country was in turmoil due to a rebellion being instigated by the Mamluks against the reigning Ayyubid dynasty, the Templars saw an opportunity to steal the artifact when an Egyptian Assassin transported the artifact to their Mamluk allies. However, their attempt to obtain the artifact ended in failure.[33]

By August 1259, Möngke Khan had launched an attack on Diaoyu Fortress, during which a Chinese commander and Assassin was killed. The Assassin's daughter, Zhang Zhi, subsequently joined the Assassin Brotherhood. Zhang Zhi infiltrated the Mongolian camp and assassinated the Mongol Khan and Templar leader.[32]

By the 1260s, Alexander Nevsky, Grand Prince of Vladimir and a Templar ally, was using his alliance with the Golden Horde, a division of the Mongol Empire, to protect Russia from becoming a target of the Mongols. However, his connection to the Templars made him a target of the Mongolian Assassins, and he was killed by Nergüi in 1263.[31]

Fall of the Knights Templar

"Pope Clement, hear me! Before this year is out, you will answer for your crimes before God almighty. And you, King Philip, no punishment is too heinous for the great evil you have inflicted upon the Temple. I curse you! Curse you to the thirteenth generation of your blood! You shall be cursed!"
―Jacques de Molay cursing Pope Clement V and King Philip IV, 1314.[src]-[m]

In 1307, the Mentor of the French Assassins, Guillaume de Nogaret, councilor to King Philip IV, used his influence in the French court to turn the King and Pope Clement V against the Knights Templar. They were branded as heretics, and Philip ordered the arrest of all members of their Order. On 13 October of that year, Esquieu de Floyrac led a force of Assassins disguised as mercenaries in an attack on their Temple in Paris. Realizing the danger they were placed in, Grand Master Jacques de Molay ordered his advisor to hide his Codex Pater Intellectus and Sword of Eden in a secret vault beneath the Temple.[34]

Tragedy of Jacques de Molay 12

Jacques de Molay arrested

Finding the artifacts stolen by Master Assassin Thomas de Carneillon, the advisor went in pursuit of the Assassin and retrieved them. However, after hiding the objects in the vault, de Molay was captured by the Assassins, and the advisor was killed by de Carneillon. The Grand Master was held in captivity, and after standing trial, was burned at the stake on 18 March 1314 alongside Geoffroi de Charney. Over the next decade, Thomas de Carneillon led a relentless purge of the Templars in Europe.[34] As a result, the Templars mostly abandoned mainland Europe and fled to Britain.[17]

Shortly before his death, de Molay realized that the Order could no longer function as a public organization. He selected nine of his most trusted men and sent them out into the world, armed with the knowledge of the Ancients, to continue the Templars' plans outside of the public eye.[27]

Rebirth as a secret order

"History teaches they were disbanded nearly 200 years ago in France. Only they weren't. Merely pushed underground where they continued their nefarious work."
―Mario Auditore about the Templars, 1477.[src]-[m]

In 1321, the Templars made their continued existence known to the Assassins when they killed Dante Alighieri, a prominent member of the Italian Assassins, in an effort to retrieve the Codex of Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad. They hired a group of pirates to follow the Assassin who would later be known as Domenico Auditore to the Otranto harbor to obtain the book, but Domenico had already scattered and hid its pages. By 1324, the Templars had killed Domenico Auditore's father and Marco Polo, other prominent members of the Italian Brotherhood.[2]

The enclosed content is of ambiguous canonicity.
AC5EC Numa and Templars 2

Templars fighting Numa at Karnak

In 1340, Egyptian Templars stole the Scepter of Aset from the court of the reigning Bahri dynasty, and smuggled the artifact to their hideout at Karnak.[33] On 7 June 1341, Sultan Al-Nasir Muhammad himself was killed by the Templar agent Leila. Not too long afterwards, the Scepter was retrieved by the Assassin Numa Al'Khamsin. After Leila's capture, she wound up sharing a cell with Numa.[35]

The two escaped, though after the Templars lured Numa into a trap, the Assassin was killed by Leila. Retrieving the Ankh-shaped box containing the Scepter from the Assassin's apprentice, Ali Al-Ghrabe, Leila discovered it to be empty upon wanting to give the artifact to the Emirs of Egypt. The Templar agent discovered the Scepter to be hidden in a well near Edfu Temple, but fell while trying to retrieve it, and became amnesiac, having no recollection of her allegiance to the Templars.[36]

Brothers of the Cross

The Brothers of the Cross

Several years later, in 1348, a Templar group called the Brothers of the Cross travelled through Europe offering protection from the Black Death; secretly, they were looking for the Ankh, a Precursor artifact. Two years later, the Brothers of the Cross vanished, alongside the Assassin Lukas Zurburg.[37]

At the end of the 14th century, the Knights Templar in Scotland started an expedition to the New World, led by Henry Sinclair and James Gunn. The expedition landed in North America on 2 June 1398.[38]

Four years later, the Templars played a role in the ascension of the Yongle Emperor. Using their influence in the Imperial court, they managed to have Yongle initiate a purge of the Assassins in Eastern China, resulting in the deaths of thousands of citizens, including the Assassin leader Fang Xiaoru. In 1424, the Yongle Emperor was killed by a survivor of the purge, the Assassin Li Tong.[37]

During the middle of the 15th century, the Templars were engaged in a struggle with the Ottoman Empire, with the Templar Vlad the Impaler, the Prince of Wallachia, taking a center role in the conflict. In December 1476, Vlad was defeated by the Ottoman Assassin leader Ishak Pasha, and he was later killed by the Ottomans.[27]

Hundred Years' War

Since the Order in mainland Europe was thrown into disarray as the result of Jacques de Molay's capture and execution, Britain had contained the strongest Templar presence in the continent. Simultaneously, France had been under the control of the Assassins since the French Templars' eradication. In an attempt to regain control of France under the English banner, the Templars fueled the start of the Hundred Years' War in 1337, in which England would try to claim France as its territory.[17]

After discovering that the French warrior Jeanne d'Arc was in possession of a Sword of Eden, they orchestrated her capture and burning at the stake in order to obtain the artifact.[2] However, the Assassins secretly saved Jeanne, and her friend Fleur traded places with her prior to the execution.[17]

Renaissance

Rise of the Italian Templars

"I became Pope because it gave me ACCESS. It gave me POWER. Do you think I believe a single god-damned word of that ridiculous book? It's all lies and superstition. Just like every OTHER religious tract written over the past ten thousand years."
―Rodrigo Borgia on his position as Pope Alexander VI, 1499.[src]-[m]

In 1476, the cardinal Rodrigo Borgia became Grand Master of the Italian Templars.[39] However, under his leadership, the Templars lost sight of their true purpose of peace, instead meaning to take control of Italy out of a lust for power and greed; the Templars would later come to refer to this era as the "Dark Age of the Order".[1] With Rodrigo's supervision, the Templars orchestrated several conspiracies to dismantle the power of the Italian city-states,[2] the first of which was the successful assassination of Duke Galeazzo Maria Sforza of Milan on 26 December 1476,[40] followed by the execution of the Assassin Giovanni Auditore da Firenze and his sons Federico and Petruccio in Florence three days later.[2]

BoF 9

Venetian Templars meeting with Rodrigo

However, their attempt to kill Lorenzo de' Medici, the leader of Florence, on 26 April 1478 was thwarted by Giovanni's surviving son Ezio, who had taken up his father's Assassin mantle. Rodrigo shifted his attention to Venice instead, where the local Templars conspired to murder the reigning Doge, Giovanni Mocenigo. On 14 September 1485, Mocenigo's advisor, Carlo Grimaldi, poisoned the Doge, despite Ezio's attempt to thwart their plan. The Templars installed Marco Barbarigo as the next Doge, until his demise at Ezio's hands in February of 1486.[2]

In the meantime, in June of 1482, the Templar Cem, brother of Sultan Bayezid II of the Ottoman Empire, was unable to properly use the powers of the Apple of Eden he stole after his father Sultan Mehmet II's death. As he knew the Templars in the west were more knowledgeable on the artifacts, he hid it in the Templar Archive on Cyprus for the western Templars to find.[41]

Rodrigo sent his subordinates to retrieve the artifact from Cyprus on 11 July 1486, acting on information from the pages of Altaïr's Codex. They brought the artifact to Cyprus in 1488, where it was stolen by Ezio and the Italian Assassins.[2] Having lost the Apple, Rodrigo focused on becoming a Papal candidate and bought the votes of his colleagues, desiring the power of the Church for himself.[42] In 1491, Rodrigo unsuccessfully attempted to thwart Christopher Columbus' voyage to the West Indies, wishing to keep North America a Templar secret.[43]

In the late 1480s, the Templars learned about a part of Vejovis' dagger being hidden in Venice and sought to retrieve the artifact. They infiltrated the Basilica di San Marco, which housed an Isu vault, but were unable to access it and were later killed by the Assassin and Vejovis' Sage Giulia. Giulia subsequently entered the vault and recovered Vejovis' dagger, but per the Isu's instructions, she hid it deeper within the vault.[7]

Spanish Inquisition

"Thanks to the Apple of Eden, the known world will be ushered into a new age. One of peace, in which all the warring populations of mankind shall bow in perfect obedience to our one Templar rule."
―Tomás de Torquemada upon acquiring the Apple of Eden, 1492.[src]
The Inquisitions Army

Torquemada leading the Inquisition

By 1491, the Spanish Inquisition, led by a Master Templar and Grand Inquisitor Tomás de Torquemada, had begun persecuting and executing members of the Assassin Brotherhood.[44] This caused the Spanish Assassins Raphael Sanchez and Luis de Santángel to employ the aid of the Italian Assassin Ezio Auditore to eliminate the Templar-influenced Inquisitors and disrupt Torquemada's connection to Rodrigo Borgia.[43]

Torquemada discovered that both an Apple of Eden and a Staff of Eden were located in Spain. While Torquemada endeavored to obtain the Apple, he assigned the Inquisitor Gustavo Ramirez with obtaining the Staff of Eden. Ramirez sought the three pieces that the artifact was broken into, but the Templars' efforts were hindered by the Assassins, including Aguilar de Nerha, Maria, and Ezio Auditore.[45]

In 1492, Torquemada discerned that the Emir of Granada, Muhammad XII, was in possession of the Apple of Eden. To obtain the artifact, he orchestrated the kidnapping of the Emir's son Prince Ahmed. In the process, they also captured the Assassins Aguilar de Nerha, Maria, and their Mentor Benedicto, the latter of whom they executed in the name of the Inquisition.[44]

ACM Apple of Eden Torquemada

Torquemada with the Apple of Eden

Torquemada set up a meeting with the Emir in Granada to exchange the Prince for the artifact. The meeting was disrupted by Aguilar and Maria. Maria and Torquamada's henchman Ojeda were killed, and Aguilar wrestled control of the artifact from Torquemada. The Grand Inquisitor failed to reacquire the artifact.[44]

Some time later, Torquemada was confronted by Ezio Auditore inside his palace. The Grand Inquisitor, feigning ignorance of the Templars, managed to escape from the Assassin, who did not pursue him.[43] In 1498, the Assassins finally killed Torquemada.[2]

Fall of the Borgia family

Cesare: "Forget the Pope, you answer only to me. Roma is the pillar that holds our entire enterprise aloft. She cannot waver. Which means neither can you."
Octavian de Valois: "What of il Vaticano (The Vatican)?"
Cesare: "That tired old men's club? Play along for now, but soon we will have no need of them."
—Cesare Borgia to his generals, 1501.[src]-[m]
IBAL 9

Pope Alexander VI using the Staff of Eden

Rodrigo Borgia became Pope Alexander VI on 11 August 1492, gaining access to the Papal Staff, a Staff of Eden, and the vault beneath the Vatican. On 28 December 1499, Rodrigo was confronted and defeated by Ezio at the entrance of the Vatican Vault, and after being spared,[2] instead wished to focus on maintaining the power the Templars wished to establish than conquering new ground.[46]

Despite Rodrigo's wish not take revenge on the Italian Assassins for their attack on Rome, his son Cesare Borgia laid siege to their headquarters of Monteriggioni on 2 December 1500, killing their leader Mario Auditore and taking the Apple of Eden. Cesare swiftly became the de facto leader of the Italian Templars, and their influence spread throughout most of Europe, reaching as far as the courts of King Louis XII of France, King Manuel I of Portugal, Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Henry VII of England. While Cesare dedicated his efforts to conquering other regions of Italy as Captain General of the Papal Armies, he placed their headquarters in Rome in charge of his generals Juan Borgia, Octavian de Valois and Micheletto Corella.[46]

Roads lead to 2

Cesare Borgia leading his Templar followers

The Assassins, led by Niccolò Machiavelli and Ezio, destroyed the Borgia's influence throughout the country, including the war machines their ally Leonardo da Vinci was forced to create for Cesare. In August 1503, Juan Borgia and Octavian de Valois were killed by Ezio, and Corella's attempt on the life of Pietro Rossi, the lover of Cesare's sister Lucrezia, was thwarted. Rodrigo, seeing his son as a threat, attempted to poison him, but was killed by Cesare instead. Without the power of the Church, Cesare's influence severely diminished, and he was captured on orders of Pope Julius II in December 1503.[46]

Cesare escaped from imprisonment in the Castel Sant'Angelo soon afterwards, but was captured again and imprisoned in the Castillo de la Mota near Valencia, Spain. With help from Micheletto Corella, he escaped once again in 1506. After an attack by Ezio, Machiavelli and Leonardo decimated their forces near Valencia, Cesare betrayed and killed Micheletto. The Grand Master left for Navarre, seeking the support of his brother-in-law King John III.[47] While leading the Navarrese troops at the Siege of Viana in March 1507 for John, Cesare was killed by Ezio, leaving the Italian Templars leaderless.[46]

Return of the Byzantine Templars

"I am tired of all these pointless blood feuds that pit father against son, brother against brother. To achieve true peace, mankind must think and move as one body, with one master mind. The secrets in the Grand Temple will give us just that. And Altaïr will lead us there."
―Prince Ahmet about his Templar goals, 1512.[src]-[m]

In 1509, an earthquake struck Constantinople, the heart of the Ottoman Empire. In the wake of its destruction and the absence of Sultan Bayezid II, who was fighting with his son Selim over his succession, the Templars made their return to the city under the banner of the Byzantine Empire. Initially led by Manuel Palaiologos, their cause managed to gain various sympathizers who were disillusioned with the Ottomans. The Sultan's own son, Prince Ahmet,[27] whose uncle Cem was a Templar,[41] was among those tired by the division among men, and his sense of leadership and charisma allowed him to slip to the position of Grand Master of the Byzantine Templars.[1]

TAG 1

Shahkulu and Manuel making a deal with Tarik Barleti

Circa 1511, the Templars found the journal of Niccolò Polo, The Secret Crusade, and discovered the existence of the library of Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad. While he would attend to matters in the empire, Ahmet placed Manuel in charge of an expedition to find the keys, five Memory Seals, needed to unlock the library in Masyaf, where Ahmet believed was the knowledge leading to the Grand Temple.[27]

Ahmet's confidante Hasan Pasha managed to find one underneath Topkapı Palace,[41] though their attempts to obtain the Memory Seals from the Yerebatan Cistern and Forum of the Ox were thwarted by Ezio Auditore, who had journeyed to the empire with the same goal of unlocking the library. In the process, Ezio thwarted the Templars' attempt to abduct Prince Suleiman, who would then be "rescued" by Ahmet, and killed Manuel Palaiologos and his right-hand Shahkulu at the Byzantine Templar headquarters in the underground city of Derinkuyu.[27]

Escape 1

Ahmet threatening Ezio in Derinkuyu

After Ahmet ordered his Templars to abduct Ezio's romantic interest Sofia Sartor, during which the Ottoman Assassin leader Yusuf Tazim was killed, Ahmet offered to exchange Sofia for the five Masyaf keys, which Ezio had gathered. He obtained the keys from Ezio, and left Constantinople for Masyaf, with Ezio and Sofia in pursuit.[27]

Ezio and Ahmet fell off a cliff during their altercation, only to be saved by Ezio's parachute, and the prince was confronted by his brother Selim, returning from his victory over their father. To prevent his brother from laying claim to the Ottoman throne, Selim threw him off a nearby cliff, and the Templar leader plunged to his death, effectively dismantling the Templar presence in the empire.[27]

Activities in Tudor England

"Margaret of York has died a "peaceful" death. Outside the Brotherhood, King Henry alone knows of our involvement. We will let him believe our services were bought with royal coin, but, in truth, we have dealt a major blow to the Templar scheme in England."
―An Assassin surrounding their attempts against Yorkist Templars, 1503.[src]
MaryI

Mary I of England

Since the late 15th century, the Templars aimed to wrestle control over England from King Henry VII, by attempting to reinstate the House of York as the royal family. In 1487, they instigated a rebellion to install their puppet Lambert Simnel as the new king, though King Henry stopped their attempt. In 1490, the Templars started a second attempt through a rebellion in the name of Perkin Warbeck, though he was captured in 1497 and hanged in 1499.[48]

Their co-conspirator, Margaret of York, was killed in 1503 by the Assassins as part of their alliance with King Henry. The Templars caused public unrest in retaliation. Eventually, the rebellion was stopped by the Assassins, and the Templars that were part of King Henry's secret Star Chamber were also eliminated.[48]

By the mid-1550s, the Templars managed to regain control over England through King Henry VII's granddaughter, Queen Mary I. Their victory was short-lived, as Mary was killed by the Assassins in 1558, and succeeded by their ally Queen Elizabeth I, who led England into a golden age using an Apple of Eden.[2]

Spanish conquest of the Americas

"Brother. I have succeeded in my task. Captain Pizarro will give us everything we have asked. I pray by the time you read these words you will have succeeded in yours and Manco will be dead."
―One of Pizarro's conspirators writing to Tuti Cusi, 1536.[src]

Since at least 1503, after the discovery of the Americas by European explorers, the Templars sought to spread their influence to the New World. The Assassins, in return, sought to equally represent themselves there.[48] By the early 1500s, both groups had managed to establish presences in the New World through both old and newly recruited members.[37]

DeLeónStruck

Ponce de León struck by poison arrows

By 1510, the Templars were manipulating the Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León to work towards the Order's plans. To this end, in 1521, Ponce de León sought to discover the Fountain of Youth, a Piece of Eden. As the conquistador was close to discovering its location in Florida, he was stopped by Miguel Ramón Carlo de Lugo, a member of the local Assassin Brotherhood, and fired upon with poison arrows. Ponce de León later succumbed to his injuries.[37]

The Templars similarly influenced the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro, who subdued the Incan Empire.[2] In 1536, Pizarro started a conspiracy to assassinate Manco Inca Yupanqui, Emperor of the Neo Incan Empire. However, before Pizarro's Incan ally Tuti Cusi could enact the plan, the conspiracy was unravelled and disrupted by the Incan chasqui Quila and the Assassin Gonzalo Pardo.[49] In 1541, Pizarro himself was killed by the Assassins.[2]

Reign of the Eight Tigers

"China is just a piece of the prize. We will rule the world, and the box you so kindly presented us, will be yet another tool to achieve a time of peace."
―Zhang Yong to Shao Jun during their final confrontation, 1532.[src]-[m]

During the early 16th century, a group of powerful Chinese eunuchs known as the Eight Tigers ruled the court of the Zhengde Emperor, with Liu Jin as their leader. In 1506, Liu Jin had the Assassin Wang Yangming expelled from court, and the Brotherhood in turn staged the Prince of Anhua rebellion. In 1510, Liu Jin's right-hand man Zhang Yong staged a coup against his master, framing him in an assassination attempt against the Emperor and succeeding him upon his execution.[50]

After the Emperor died heirless on 20 April 1521, the country was momentarily left in a state of chaos. During the search for a successor, the Eight Tigers used their influence to install the Zhengde Emperor's nephew, Zhu Houcong, as the Jiajing Emperor. In 1524, the Tigers used their new influence to initiate the Great Rites Controversy, a purge which led to the extermination of their enemies including the Assassins. They installed Yan Song as the public face of their administration, while they maintained their control and hunted for Precursor artifacts.[50]

ACCC Zhang Yong box

Zhang Yong standing over Wang Yangming's body while holding the Precursor box

In 1526, the Assassins' leader Wang Yangming and his former student Shao Jun returned to China following their Brotherhood's decimation. After Jun allowed herself to be captured by the Tigers, they came to acquire the Precursor box from her. Over the course of the next few years, the Assassins hunted down the Eight Tigers, though Zhang Yong and Qiu Ju eventually counter-acted their enemies' attacks, resulting in the death of Wang Yangming and the near-capture of Shao Jun.[50]

By 1532, Zhang Yong was the only surviving Tiger and, in a final act of defiance against Shao Jun, planned to let the Mongol army of the Altan Khan through the gates of the Great Wall into China. The Assassin thwarted his plan, and killed the Templar on top of the Great Wall, decimating the Templars' hold over China.[50]

Expansion to Japan

"These converts are our foothold in this country."
―The Jesuit Alessandro Valignano about the Templars' influence in Japan.[src]

After suffering multiple defeats at the hands of the Assassins during the first half of the 16th century, the Templars searched for new areas to expand their influence. Circa 1549, the Jesuit Francis Xavier turned his attention to Japan, seeing an opportunity to spread both Christianity and the Templar ideology. Landing in Japan in the middle of the Warring States era, the Templars struggled to gain a strong footing in the country, resolving instead to utilize the few native sympathizers they could find. After hearing of the Templars' presence in Japan, the Assassins quickly followed suit, finding allies among the ninja clans.[31]

ACM Chiyome 2

Mochizuki Chiyome with her kunoichi

One of the Japanese Templars, the warlord Uesugi Kenshin, fought various battles with his rival Takeda Shingen, the owner of a Sword of Eden. Their rivalry ended when Shingen was assassinated in 1573 by the Tokugawa and the Assassins, and Kenshin himself was killed by the Assassin Hattori Hanzō in 1578. The Italian Templar and Jesuit Alessandro Valignano meanwhile maintained a presence in the country, continuing to gain converts and Templar recruits. He forced Francisco Cabral to resign his post as Superior of the Jesuit Mission when the latter found out about Valignano's Templar activities.[31]

By the 1590s, the Templars had managed to recruit the kunoichi Mochizuki Chiyome, Shingen's spymaster, gaining a vast information network that helped spread their philosophy throughout Japan. However, she was also killed by the Assassin Hattori Hanzō, shortly before his own death in 1596 at the hand of Fūma Kotarō.[31]

Age of Imperialism

Enlightenment

"No longer would we tolerate savagery and ignorance. No longer would we stand idly by while men of science were made to suffer. No longer would we let mankind be led by selfish ambitions. The mistakes of the past—our mistakes—had to be rectified. Society's leaders and thinkers had to be influenced, not controlled."
―An excerpt from Abstergo's internal files regarding the Enlightenment, 2012.[src]-[m]

Though the Order had long advocated for the advancement of science and learning, the Templars' ideals finally thrived during the Age of Enlightenment in Europe in the 17th century. Rather than being forced to stand by as men of science were ostracized for their ideas, the Templars influenced and supported new forward thinkers. Among those men of science were Isaac Newton, Baruch Spinoza, John Locke, and Francis Bacon. Through the Templars' secret support, the Enlightenment saw a new intellectual and philosophical movement carefully shepherded to steer the world towards a New World Order.[1][27]

Salem witch trials

Parris: "Reverend? What harm do you wish to inflict? The people here will not condone—"
Stoughton: "The people? The people? Why, an excellent notion, Master Parris. Why endanger Templar blood when we have so many here that would see killing him as God's work?"
—Samuel Parris and William Stoughton surrounding their pursuit of Thomas Stoddard, 1692.[src]-[m]
AC2015 Bridgetbishopdeath

Stoughton and Parris observing Bridget Bishop's hanging during the witch trials

By 1692, word had reached the Templars in the American colonies that several girls in the Puritan town of Salem were exhibiting strange behavior. Upon investigation, the Templars believed their afflictions to be caused by a Piece of Eden. In order to control the town's Puritan citizens, Templars William Stoughton and Samuel Parris started the Salem witch trials in order to find clues leading to the artifact's location.[51]

The Templars imprisoned the young girls and boys they believed might lead them to the Piece of Eden, though eventually they faced opposition from a local member of the Assassin Brotherhood, Jennifer Querry, and the British Assassin Thomas Stoddard. To stop their interference, the Templars rallied the townspeople against the Assassins, claiming them to be the servants of the Devil.[51]

After allowing them to escape, the Templars witnessed that the girl Dorothy Osborne had some connection to the Isu Consus and recaptured the group. Stoughton intended to kill Stoddard and Querry in Salem, which led Osborne to kill herself to stop the altercation. Parris subsequently shot Stoughton to stop him from causing more bloodshed in the town, believing their actions to be against the ideals of the Order.[51]

Search for the Observatory

"For two decades now I have endeavored to locate this Observatory... a place rumoured to contain a tool of incredible utillity and power. [...] With this device, there would be no secrets among men. No lies. No trickery. Only justice. Pure justice."
―Laureano de Torres y Ayala to his fellow Templars, 1715.[src]-[m]

During the later part of the 17th century, the Templar Counsel had entrusted Laureano de Torres y Ayala, Grand Master of the Templar Order in the West Indies, with finding the Observatory, an ancient First Civilization complex with the power of monitoring the life of any individual. By 1673, Torres had managed to determine that the complex was linked to "Sages"—humans born with the genetic code and memories of Aita, the Observatory's architect. That year, Torres encountered a Sage known as Thom Kavanagh among Peter Beckford's employees, though the man was abducted by the Assassin leader Bahlam and kept out of the Templars' reach.[52]

A Man They Call The Sage 5

The Templars with the captured Sage

By 1715, word had reached Torres that another Sage had been sighted in the West Indies. To further his goals, he began recruiting new members for the West Indies Rite, including pirate hunter Woodes Rogers, smuggler Julien du Casse, and Duncan Walpole, a British Assassin who intended to switch sides. Unbeknownst to Torres, the pirate Edward Kenway had killed Walpole and impersonated him at the new member's induction into the Order. Soon after, the captured Sage Bartholomew Roberts arrived in Havana, and the Templars kept him out of Assassin hands. Kenway's treachery was soon revealed after he was caught trying to break Roberts out of imprisonment, though the Sage had already escaped by his own means.[52]

The Templars continued to locate the Sage while meanwhile opposing the various Assassin bureaus spread throughout the West Indies. Many of the members of the Rite, including du Casse, were killed by Kenway, who had begun a reluctant alliance with the Assassins. Torres meanwhile managed to locate Roberts in the employ of the slaver Laurens Prins, though Roberts again fled before he could be find by the Templars or Kenway.[52]

Ever a Splinter 8

Grand Master Torres' death, as seen in the Animus Corridor

After another failed attempt to capture Roberts on the African island of Príncipe, the Order's numbers were culled more by Kenway. Eventually, the Templars deduced Roberts had returned to Príncipe, which Rogers divulged to Kenway when the latter attempted to kill him. To set the Templars back, Kenway killed the Sage and destroyed his body, preventing access to the Observatory. Nonetheless, Torres managed to access the Precursor site with the use of brute force, triggering the site's defense mechanisms. In the ensuing chaos, the Grand Master was killed by Kenway, putting a temporary end to the Order's search for Sages.[52]

Quest for Angkor

"You must find the relics and achieve your family's purpose. Failure will not be tolerated."
―A Shimazu clan member giving Shimazu Saito her mission, 1725.[src]-[m]

Since Francis Xavier's arrival in Japan in the 16th century, the Templars in the country had been working alongside the Shimazu clan for generations, though over time the relationship between the Order and the clan started to decline. By 1725, the clan sought to restore its might and assigned Shimazu Saito to search for Angkor, the lost city of the Khmer Empire and an alleged Isu site. Saito and her mixed-blood subordinates, alongside a faction of Japanese ninja led by Fuma Sukuna, traveled to Macau to search for leads to Angkor's location, during which they clashed with Edward Kenway, who was in Macau for the same reason.[53]

ACFT - Lee meeting with a Templar

A Templar meeting with Lee Huiyin to demand Hendrik's sea log

During this time, the Templars tried to influence the power struggle in Macau between its various merchants and trading companies, helping the businessmen Sun of the Hualien Trading Company, Alan Jacob of the Far East Company, and Jan van Aert of the Dutch East India Company with their plans to sabotage their mutual rival, Lee Huiyin. After Lee acquired the Dutch navigator Hendrik's private sea log, in which he detailed Angkor's location, the Templars attempted to obtain it from her, but since Lee had refused to hand it over, Saito was sent to kill her and retrieve the log. While successful in the latter regard, Saito failed to eliminate Lee due to Kenway's interference.[53]

After Saito gave Hendrik's sea log to Sun in exchange for his protection of the Templar's subordinates, the Japanese ninja serving under Saito became fed up with her leadership and deserted, branding the Templar and her mixed-blood subordinates as traitors of the Shimazu clan. The Japanese ninja, under Fuma Sukuna's leadership, subsequently engaged in a civil war against Saito's faction, during which they managed to secure an alliance with Lee, who ordered them to kill Sun and recover Hendrik's sea log.[53]

Meanwhile, Saito and Kenway formed a partnership and also tried to retrieve the sea log from Sun, at the same as the Chinese Assassins led by Xiao Han, who sought Angkor's treasure to overthrow the Qing dynasty. The three-way conflict over the log resulted in the deaths of all of Saito's subordinates and Xiao Han claiming the prize after killing Sun, whereupon the Chinese Assassins formed an alliance with Lee to find Angkor. Meanwhile, with all of her followers dead, Saito was welcomed into Kenway's newly-founded Zhang Wei Union and worked alongside them to search for Angkor and its treasure.[53]

Operations in North America

"It could contain certain knowledge. Perhaps a weapon. Or something as yet unknown, unfathomable in its construction and purpose. It could be any of these things. Or none of them. [...] But of one thing I am certain: whatever waits behind those doors shall prove a great boon to us all."
―Grand Master Reginald Birch talking about the Grand Temple, 1754.[src]-[m]
A Deadly Performance 13

The British Templars in their headquarters

By the 1730s, Grand Master Reginald Birch of the British Templars, the assistant of Edward Kenway, chose to preoccupy himself with finding Isu artifacts across the world.[38] In so doing, he orchestrated Kenway's murder to retrieve his journal, from which he learned of the Grand Temple, located in the New World. He also took Kenway's son Haytham under his wing to train him in the Templar ways.[54]

Birch tasked the Master Templar Lawrence Washington with overseeing operations in the New World, and started reaching out to other Rites across the world for aid in procuring leads and artifacts. To the same extent, he sent John Harrison across the globe. The Templars' search failed to find any Precursor sites in the Orient and Lisbon, though they recruited William Johnson of the East India Company, the Spanish scientist Antonio de Ulloa and the Louisianan noblewoman Madeleine de L'Isle in the process, the latter of whom was soon tasked with finding Precursor artifacts in Chichen Itza in the Yucatán.[38]

In November 1751, Washington stole the Precursor box and the Voynich manuscript from François Mackandal, Mentor of the Haitian Assassins. The Templars in North America soon faced opposition from the Colonial Assassins, as Shay Cormac assassinated Washington, Samuel Smith and James Wardrop to recover the stolen artifacts.[38] Around the same time, Haytham Kenway retrieved the Grand Temple's key and was sent to Boston by Birch, where he established the Colonial Rite of the Templar Order. After Haytham killed his old rival Templar Edward Braddock in 1755, he was led to the Grand Temple by his ally Kaniehtí:io, but realized that the key could not open its door.[55]

Non Nobis Domine 17

Haytham Kenway crippling the Mentor Achilles Davenport

The next year, Shay Cormac allied himself with the Templars to stop the Assassins from triggering more earthquakes like the ones caused by the Port-au-Prince and Lisbon Temples, resulting in a conflict heavily intertwined with the Seven Years' War.[38] In October 1757, Haytham and his sister Jennifer, whom Birch had sold into slavery, killed the British Grand Master in retaliation for their father's murder.[54]

In the colonies, Shay initiated a hunt for his former Brothers alongside Haytham, resulting in the deaths of the most prominent members of the Assassins in the colonies. Their quest culminated in a confrontation at a Precursor site in the Arctic, where the Mentor Achilles Davenport had travelled in hopes of obtaining a Piece of Eden. Achilles was left crippled by Haytham,[38] and by 1763, the Colonial Assassins were decimated.[55]

Meanwhile, the Templars under Madeleine de L'Isle had set up a working colony in Chichen Itza, and ensured the installation of their puppet Jean-Jacques Blaise d'Abbadie as Governor of Louisiana. The Mentor Agaté, Mackandal's former pupil, tasked Madeleine's stepdaughter and Assassin Aveline de Grandpré with his assassination in 1765, and the next year with the murder of Baptiste, Agaté's former Brother and a Templar ally.[56]

Reconciliation 1

Aveline's "induction" into the Order

In 1769, Aveline disrupted the Chichen Itza colony's operations by killing Rafael Joaquín de Ferrer, and visited the colony again in 1772, recovering two pieces of a Prophecy Disk ahead of the Templars. In 1777, Madeleine was forced to reveal her Templar identity to her stepdaughter, who then pretended to join the Templars in order to kill her during the feigned initiation. With Madeleine's death, Templar influence in Louisiana came to an end.[56]

American Revolution

Ratonhnhaké:ton: "Freedom IS peace."
Haytham Kenway: "Oh, no. It's an invitation to chaos. Only look at this little revolution your friends have started. I have stood before the Continental Congress and listened to them stamp and shout. All in the name of liberty. But it is just noise."
—Ratonhnhaké:ton and his father Haytham Kenway, 1778.[src]-[m]
ACIII-TriptoBoston 12

Charles Lee igniting the Boston Massacre

At the onset of the American Revolution, the Colonial Templars saw an opportunity to create a Templar nation independent of the British Empire in the Thirteen Colonies. During the culmination of several fights between Boston natives and British soldiers on 5 March 1770, Haytham Kenway orchestrated a violent provocation by having his right-hand Charles Lee fire a shot, resulting in the Boston Massacre. This was the first time the Colonial Templars again faced opposition from the Colonial Assassin Brotherhood, when the exiled Mentor Achilles Davenport's protegé Ratonhnhaké:ton, the son of Haytham and Kaniehtí:io, unsuccessfully attempted to stop the Templars' scheme.[55]

On 16 December 1773, the Colonial Templars' financial operations were disrupted when Ratonhnhaké:ton and members of the Sons of Liberty movement dumped William Johnson's tea from the East India Company into the Boston harbor. Johnson was subsequently killed by Ratonhnhaké:ton in 1774 when trying to buy land from the Iroquois Confederacy. As the revolution began to formally erupt, the Templars sought to install Lee as the Commander of the Continental Army; however, Lawrence Washington's brother George was instead chosen at the Second Continental Congress. When the first battles of the American Revolutionary War were fought, the Templars were again struck a major blow when John Pitcairn, a British marine officer, was killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill.[55]

After discovering Ratonhnhaké:ton was his son, Haytham Kenway chose to join forces with him in 1778 to find and kill the Templar turncoat Benjamin Church,[55] to Lee's dissatisfaction.[54] Their alliance ended only a few months later, when Haytham revealed that Washington was behind the attack on Ratonhnhaké:ton's village in 1760, as his son realized that Haytham had known this information for far longer.[55]

ACIII-Laststand 18

Haytham Kenway's death at his son's hands

Haytham subsequently returned to his residence at the Templars' headquarters in Fort George, New York, which in 1781 was besieged by Ratonhnhaké:ton with aid from the French Navy.[55] Seeking to protect Lee, Haytham entrusted him with the Grand Temple's key and stayed behind to fend off his son's attack. Despite his hopes of reconciliation,[54] Haytham was killed in the ensuing battle with his son, and Lee became the next Grand Master.[55]

While speaking at Haytham's funeral in 1782, the procession was disrupted by Ratonhnhaké:ton, seeking a confrontation with Lee. The Grand Master had the Assassin captured, and after Lee left, Ratonhnhaké:ton escaped. Afraid the Assassin might take his life, Lee attempted to flee the country, but Ratonhnhaké:ton tracked him down to the Boston harbor. After their confrontation left them both heavily wounded, Lee fled to a tavern in Monmouth, where he shared one final moment with Ratonhnhaké:ton and perished at his hand, marking the end of Templar influence in North America for the time being.[55]

French Revolution

"For centuries we've focused our attentions on the trappings of power: the titles of nobility, the offices of Church and State. [...] When our brother Templars see the old institutions crumble, they will adapt. They will retreat to the shadows and we will, at last, be the Secret Masters we were meant to be."
―François-Thomas Germain about the Templar Order, 1794.[src]-[m]

By the late 18th century, the Templars in Paris, under the leadership of François de la Serre, had built up a steady relationship with King Louis XVI and the Assassins under the leadership of the comte de Mirabeau. A member of the Order, the Sage François-Thomas Germain began suffering from strange visions of the Isu, and later found the Codex Pater Intellectus in Jacques de Molay's vault. Feeling a connection to de Molay through their Sage genetics, Germain was inspired to reshape the Templar Order in his vision, by removing the power of the aristocracy and the church and distributing it to the middle class, but was cast out by de la Serre for his radical ideas circa 1778.[34]

High Society 12

A dying François de la Serre with his attackers in hiding

Germain secretly managed to gain the support of other members of the Order, and orchestrated the Grand Master's assassination at the Palace of Versailles on 5 May 1789. Now effectively the new Grand Master, Germain continued to face opposition from the conservative Templars Chrétien Lafrenière and the former Grand Master's daughter, Élise de la Serre.[34]

Germain was imprisoned within his own workshop by Lafrenière, where he was rescued by the unwitting Assassin Arno Dorian, seeking revenge for the murder of his adoptive father, the old Grand Master. Germain convinced Arno that Lafrenière was the perpetrator, and Lafrenière's subsequent death destroyed much of the opposition.[34]

Per Germain's plan, the French population began to rise up, fueled by inflation of grain prices by Marie Lévesque. Eventually, the Templar Louis-Michel le Peletier cast the final vote that condemned King Louis to death at the National Convention. On 21 January 1793, the Grand Master attended the King's execution by guillotine at the Place de la Révolution, and later entrusted control of the new French Republic to the Templar Maximilien de Robespierre, a leading figure in the radical Jacobin Club. Robespierre proceeded to enforce Templar rule through the Reign of Terror, resulting in the execution by guillotine or imprisonment of thousands of citizens.[34]

ACU The Temple 3

Grand Master Germain using the Sword of Eden in the Temple

At the Festival of the Supreme Being on 8 June 1794, held by Robespierre, Arno Dorian and Élise de la Serre managed to turn public opinion against Robespierre, and Germain abandoned him. After escaping from the National Guard on 27 July, Robespierre fled to his Jacobin supporters, but was forced to give the location of the Templar headquarters at the Temple.[34]

Arno and Élise infiltrated the Temple, where they confronted Germain in Jacques de Molay's vault. Managing a final stand utilizing de Molay's Sword of Eden, Germain killed Élise, but in turn lost his life at the hands of Arno, leaving the French Templars leaderless. Nonetheless, Germain was convinced that his Templar brothers would embrace his vision for the Order.[34]

Hunt for the Koh-i-Noor

"The man is a fool. Our adversaries will assuredly arrive soon and take his head, and the Koh-i-Noor. We cannot allow that to happen."
―Tavis Olier to Jan van der Graff about Sultan Selim III, 1808.[src]

At some point around the early 19th century, the Black Cross Tavis Olier was sent to investigate and retrieve the Koh-i-Noor diamond, a powerful Piece of Eden, from Sultan Selim III in Tripoli. He was captured and imprisoned, after which the next Black Cross Solomon Bolden was sent to Tripoli in 1805 to save Olier and acquire the artifact.[57]

ACT Akhbar Koh-i-Noor

Van der Graff facing Ahkbar

En route to Tripoli, Bolden became acquinted and allied himself with Jan van der Graff, secretly an agent of Emperor Napoleon. Van der Graff agreed to help Bolden enter the palace, but the two were caught and the Black Cross were executed. Van der Graff shared a cell with Olier, who trained the former for three years in the ways of the Black Cross and the Templar Order.[57]

In 1808, Olier sacrificed himself to allow Van der Graff's escape. Van der Graff witnessed how Selim's assistant Ahkbar, secretly an Assassin, poisoned the Sultan and stole the artifact. Van der Graff killed the Assassin, and when more members of the Brotherhood showed up, pretended to hand over the artifact. In reality, he escaped with the artifact, intending to keep it safe as the new Black Cross.[57]

Rule over Lower Canada

"Our historic assembly will be held on Saint John's Day— a date the Oppressors value so much! How ironic."
Edmund Bailey O'Callaghan, about Duvernay's soirée, 1834.[src]

During the early 19th century, British Templars operated as the Château Clique, a group of wealthy families in Lower Canada, which held control over the administration of Quebec. In response, the Assassins, fighting for French Canadian independence from the Templars' oppression, financed the journalist Ludger Duvernay in 1832 to write several articles accusing the administration of serving the Clique.[37]

The Templars had Duvernay arrested, and hired vagrants and laborers to mob the jail in protest of the journalist's writings. The Assassins managed to turn the populace against the Templars, likely with the usage of an Apple of Eden. The Brotherhood secured Duvernay's release, and in 1834, he founded the Société Aide-toi et le ciel t'aidera.[37] On 24 June of that year, Duvernay held a soirée for the society to stand up against the "Oppressors", which the Templars attempted to disrupt.[48]

Conquest of India

"You're one of a kind. Benevolent, they say. All castes and creeds under one roof. You haven't even the temper to order the death of one lowly thief. It takes more nerve than that to bring the world to order."
―General Francis Cotton to Maharaja Ranjit Singh, 1839.[src]

By 1839, the British Templars had turned their attention towards India, hoping to gain control of the region through Great Britain's conquests. In 1839, the Sikh Empire remained the last bastion of resistance to the British Empire in the Indian subcontinent. Seeing an opportunity to take control of India under the banner of the British banner, the Templars focused on removing Maharaja Ranjit Singh from power,[1] and taking the Koh-i-Noor, a powerful Piece of Eden, from his possession.[58]

ACBM Singh Cotton

Cotton facing Singh after poisoning his tea

On 27 June 1839, William Hay Macnaghten and his companion, General Francis Cotton, a Templar, attended a feast at the Maharaja's summer palace, secretly intending to poison him in order to weaken the Sikh Empire's power. During their meeting with the Maharaja that evening, Cotton poisoned his tea, which would later kill him, but faced opposition from the Assassin Arbaaz Mir. In the following conflict, Princess Pyara Kaur activated the Koh-i-Noor and temporarily transformed into the Precursor Durga. After Cotton shot at her, Durga unleased a burst of energy, killing Cotton and the palace guards.[58]

Two years later, Cotton's successor, the administrator and Master Templar William Sleeman, and his right hand Alexander Burnes kidnapped the Mentor Hamid and stole the Koh-i-Noor. Sleeman took the artifact and a Precursor box into the Precursor temple in Amritsar, where the artifacts showed him a map leading to another temple in Herat. Sleeman and Burnes journeyed there, but were instead distracted by Arbaaz Mir, who had followed the Templars to Afghanistan.[10]

ACCI Quest Begins (3)

Sleeman and Burnes with the Koh-i-Noor

Though the Assassin was captured, he later escaped, but opted to let Burnes live after defeating him in a duel and retaking the artifacts. Sleeman had journeyed back to Amritsar to kidnap Mir's lover Pyara Kaur to exchange her for the lost Pieces of Eden, holding her hostage inside the summer palace. The Assassin confronted Sleeman and handed over the artifacts, though the princess swiftly stabbed Sleeman, allowing Mir to retake the Koh-i-Noor, leaving the Templars with only the Precursor box.[10]

Several years later, the Templars' plan to weaken the Sikh Empire was a success, and control of the region ultimately fell to the Templars, under the British banner, after the empire's downfall in 1849.[58]

Early modern era

American Civil War

In the 1860s, at the start of the American Civil War, the American Rite of the Templar Order was under the control of Grand Master William M. Tweed. Tweed was the "boss" of Tammany Hall, the Democratic Party political machine, through which he directly influenced the Confederate States of America. In order to regain a stronger position over the Assassins since their eradication during the American Revolution, the Templars hoped to create chaos in the political climate to reclaim power.[9]

To this end, Tweed orchestrated the New York City draft riots with the aid of Templars controlling the police and the army. Templar agent Cudgel Cormac managed to influence the New York gangs to instigate chaos and mayhem. The Grand Master knew the rioters would eventually turn against the black citizens of the city, which conflicted with his own opposition to race segregation, but was deemed a necessary evil to realize their goals.[9]

John Wilkes Booth

John Wilkes Booth

After Tweed received intel the Assassins intended to locate a Dagger of Eden, one of the prongs of the Trident of Eden, the Grand Master sent Cormac to intercept them and acquire the artifact. Cormac was unable to succeed in his mission and was stopped by the Assassin Varius and his ally Eliza, Tweed's maid.[9]

The Assassins handed the Dagger of Eden to General Ulysses S. Grant to turn the civil war in the favor of the Union against the Confederacy.[9] The Templars later ordered John Wilkes Booth to kill President Abraham Lincoln of the Union in April 1865. Booth himself was killed by the Assassins the same month.[2]

After Grant's 1868 election as President of the United States, the Templar Order infiltrated his administration. The Templars helped Grant master the powers of the Dagger, by granting him access to a Precursor box and pages of the Voynich manuscript.[59]

Losing London

"This tea was brought to me from India by a ship, then, up from the harbor to a factory, where it was packaged and ferried by carriage to my door, unpacked in the larder and brought upstairs to me. All by men and women who work for me."
―Crawford Starrick talking about his influence in London, 1868.[src]-[m]
ACS Overdose 10

Starrick conversing with his subordinates

Since the death of Edward Kenway in 1735, the British Templars dominated London, the capital of the British Empire. As a result, the Templars' influence over the Empire was unmatched by the Assassins, and the Templars took a leading role in steering the Industrial Revolution. By the 1860s, the British Templars had fallen under the leadership of Grand Master Crawford Starrick, a London businessman with influence over every aspect of London society, and enforced their rule through a criminal gang known as the Blighters.[60]

In 1862, the Templar Cavanagh oversaw the construction of the Metropolitan Railway as a cover to search for an Apple of Eden buried in London. One of Cavanagh's workers was the undercover Assassin Jayadeep Mir, and the Templar soon began to suspect his true allegiance. After having the Indian Assassins Ajay and Kulpreet captured and interrogated to confirm his suspicions, Cavanagh tried to force Jayadeep to kill the solicitor Charles Pearson, who had found the Apple.[61]

When Jayadeep refused, Cavanagh murdered Pearson himself and took the Apple, before using it against Jayadeep and his mentor Ethan Frye. However, the Assassins managed to escape and Cavanagh was killed by another Templar, Marchant, on the orders of Crawford Starrick, who had learned about Cavanagh's plans to overthrow him. Marchant subsequently recovered the Apple[61] and gave it to the Templar scientist David Brewster for experimentation, though the artifact would eventually be destroyed during a lab accident six years later.[60]

By 1868, the British Templars had learned of another artifact hidden in London, a Shroud of Eden. While Starrick retained his control over the city, he and Lucy Thorne endeavored to find the artifact's location. Around the same time, two young Assassins, the twins Jacob and Evie Frye, journeyed to London to retake it from Templar control, with the aid of Jayadeep Mir and a network of connections through the city.[60]

Starrick is back in the fight M4

Starrick wearing the Shroud of Eden

Over the course of several months, Starrick saw his network of lieutenants eliminated, as the Assassins eliminated Rupert Ferris, David Brewster, John Elliotson, Malcolm Millner, Pearl Attaway, Philip Twopenny, James Brudenell and Maxwell Roth. The Templars' attempt on the life of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, who opposed their interests, was also thwarted, while the Blighters also lost their territory to the Assassins' gang, the Rooks. Their search for the Piece of Eden was also severely hindered after Evie eliminated Thorne and was able to secure an Isu key.[60]

With his power severely dwindled, Starrick made a last endeavor to oppose the Assassins, by planning to kill Queen Victoria and other high profile guests at a party at Buckingham Palace. Having discovered the artifact was located in a vault beneath the palace, Starrick stole the key from Evie and obtained the artifact while the Assassins were busy taking down the Grand Master's agents at the party. Ultimately, though, the Shroud was unable to prevent Starrick's death at the hands of the Assassins during their subsequent confrontation, and Templar control over the British Empire temporarily ceased.[60]

Boshin War

Since the end of the Sengoku period and the start of the Tokugawa shogunate, the Assassins retained the upper hand in Japan, causing the Japanese Templars to fall into oblivion. In 1855, the British Rite sent their agent William Lloyd to Japan with the objective of restoring Imperial power in the country, which the Templars believed would allow their ideology to regain influence. By 1867, he gained a position as an advisor to Harry Parkes, the British Consul to the Tokugawa shogunate.[62]

Using his political position, Lloyd exerted his influence to help mount support for the young Emperor Meiji and rally forces against the shogun, Tokugawa Yoshinobu. Faced with pressure for reforms, Yoshinobu abdicated and restored Imperial power. This caused the Assassins to retaliate against the British, with the Assassin Issa making an attempt on Harry Parkes' life inside the British Consulate, which was thwarted by Lloyd.[62]

Despite the shogun's abdication, in January 1868, forces loyal to Emperor Meiji would enter into conflict with those loyal to the shogun in what became known as the Boshin War. Amidst the conflict, Lloyd was tasked with recovering the Musashi Masamune, the famed sword of legendary samurai Miyamoto Musashi. Lloyd was unsuccessful in recovering the weapon during an attack on the camp of its owner, Saigo Kayano, a Tokugawa loyalist, and it fell into the Assassins' hands.[62]

Having been tasked with winning the war at all costs, Lloyd participated in the Battle of Aizu, where he recovered the Musashi Masamune from the daimyo Matsudaira Katamori, who had been killed in battle. He was subsequently confronted by the siblings Shiba Atsuko, who had been training alongside Assassins, and Shiba Ibuka, who previously distracted Lloyd during his attack on Saigo Kayano's camp. Despite defeating Atsuko, Lloyd met his end at Ibuka's hands. Nonetheless, the Templars' goal of bringing back Imperial power was successful, as the forces loyal to Emperor Meiji emerged from the war victorious in June 1869, putting a definite end to Tokugawa rule.[62]

War of the currents

"Nikola Tesla plans to use PE4 to create an information network across the entire world. And if that weren't bad enough, he intends to allow access to it for free! Imagine the masses spreading knowledge amongst themselves instantaneously. That would make everything we intend to do much more difficult."
―Thomas Edison in a letter to J. P. Morgan, 1880s.[src]-[m]
ThomasEdison1

Thomas Edison

In 1874, inventor Nikola Tesla found an Apple of Eden in Croatia, and began to use its knowledge to invent new technologies. Tesla moved to the United States, and was briefly in the employ of Thomas Edison and later funded by John Pierpont Morgan, both members of the Templar Order.[2]

In the late 1880s, Edison discovered that Tesla planned to use his Apple of Eden to create an information network and provide everyone with free access, as well as providing free access to electricity. As Tesla's plans directly interfered with the Templars' plans for their New World Order, Edison started a smear campaign to ruin Tesla's reputation and implored Morgan to cut Tesla's funding. With Tesla's popularity diminished, Edison eventually got his hands on Tesla's Apple as well, which he would later give to fellow Templar Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motor Company.[2]

Russian Empire

"Russia has made some very powerful friends. She will be a new Eden on Earth."
―Tsar Alexander III of Russia on his alliance with the Templars, 1888.[src]-[m]

By the late 19th century, the Templars managed to hold sway over Russia through their influence over Tsar Alexander II, until his death on 13 March 1881 during a bomb attack by the Narodnaya Volya, a revolutionary group affiliated with the Russian Assassins. His son and successor, Alexander III, became a willing ally of the Templars and was entrusted with a Staff of Eden, which became the Imperial Scepter.[63]

ACTF Templars Tunguska

Nikolai killing Templar researchers in Tunguska

On 29 October 1888, Tsar Alexander III was confronted by the Assassin Nikolai Orelov while travelling by train to Saint Petersburg, and Alexander was stabbed in the kidney during their fight, which resulted in the Borki train disaster. Alexander died of kidney failure in 1894, and was succeeded by his son Nicholas II.[63] In order to continue holding influence over the Russian Imperial court, the Templar agent Grigori Rasputin grew close to the Imperial family, and retrieved the Imperial Scepter,[2] taking it to a Templar research facility in Tunguska.[63]

On 30 June 1908, the Assassins raided the facility, and their ally Nikola Tesla unleashed a burst of electricity to the facility, destroying the artifact and resulting in a huge explosion. Rasputin retrieved a splinter of the artifact, which he utilized to continue holding sway among the Romanov family,[63] until his death at the hands of the Assassins in 1916.[1]

The Plan

"They become increasingly aware of our existence. We can no longer rely on the divine right of the aristocracy to maintain control. We need a new system, something much more subtle."
―An unidentified Templar about the Order's new approach.[src]-[m]

Starting with Grand Master François-Thomas Germain during the late 18th century,[34] the Templar Order had been slowly starting to realize they needed to move away from exerting control through Church and state and towards a new system. Throughout the 19th century, the Templars had been shepherding the creation of capitalist economies, through which they could rule over the world's nations from the shadows.[46]

On the evening of 22 November 1910, several high-ranking Templars including Paul Warburg, Frank A. Vanderlip, Charles Norton, Henry Pomeroy Davison and Nelson W. Aldrich, met at the Jekyll Island Club to discuss "the Plan", a long-term scheme to establish Templar rule through the capitalist system. This plan included the creation of the Federal Reserve System; the creation of Abstergo Industries, a new front for the Templar Order;[46] and the plan to start a world war in the late 1930s[2] that would allow the Templars to reshape governments in the war's aftermath.[46]

World War I

"We may have struck a blow against the enemy, but London is still riddled with German agents. Currently, there's a new group, unlike anything I've seen before. Theirs is a fanatical, almost religious, fervor."
―Winston Churchill to Lydia Frye about the Master Spy's network, 1916.[src]-[m]
Swap

Erich Albert with the Assassin medic

In 1914, the First World War broke out, pitting the Allied Powers and Central Powers against one another. Throughout the war, the Templars' presence was strong within the ranks of the German Empire, using their forces as a means to further their plans.[60] Throughout the war, the Templars and Assassins continued opposing each other's plans. To that extent, on 29 December 1914, during the Christmas truce, the German Templar general Erich Albert was assassinated by an Assassin operating as a medic in the British Army.[48]

In 1916, a group of Templars started operating a spy network in London. The network, led by the Master Spy, a Sage secretly serving the interests of Juno as her Instrument, spread its influence through the Tower Bridge area. On the orders of Winston Churchill, the Assassin Lydia Frye killed the members of the network and the Master Spy.[60]

Russian Revolution

Templar #1: "Sverdlov already had the Tsar and his wife killed. The kids are next, if they don't talk."
Templar #2: "The Tsar is dead? I need to see that."
—Two Templars discussing their involvement in the shooting of the Romanov family, 1918.[src]-[m]

Near the end of the First World War, the Bolsheviks' communist movement in Russia led to the Russian Revolution in February and October 1917. While the Templars opposed communism, the Assassins supported the working class in installing a populist government and pressured Tsar Nicholas II to abdicate.[1]

ACCR DotT (9)

Yurovsky giving orders outside Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg

In 1918, the Russian Templars discovered that the royal family was in possession of a Precursor box, and on 17 July they infiltrated their Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg. A Templar team led by Yakov Yurovsky massacred the entire royal family, except the Tsarevich's daughter Anastasia Nikolaevna, who escaped with the artifact and the help of Nikolai Orelov.[64]

The Templars were contacted by Leon Trotsky, a friend of Nikolai's who intended to hand Anastasia over to the Templars for the sake of the Revolution. Amidst the Kazan Operation, Trotsky betrayed Nikolai when he arrived seeking aid. Though the Templars managed to capture Nikolai, he was saved by Anastasia, who had acquired the genetic memories and skills of Shao Jun through interaction with the Precursor box.[64]

Ten years later, with Russia now transformed into the communist Soviet Union, the Templars managed to work their way into the government led by Joseph Stalin by infiltrating the Politburo. The Templar Yuri Petrovich Figatner started a counter-revolutionary commission to root out the Assassin presence in the Soviet Union, a plot which would ensure the Templars held the upper hand over the Assassins in Russia until 1953, when Stalin was killed by the Assassins.[39]

Chinese Civil War

"If [the Nine] want to come here and see all the squabbling nation-states we have to deal with, the warlords in the countryside, the communists and gangsters in the back alleys... let them see how bloody easy it is to keep order in this cesspool, I say!"
―Coxworth about the state of Shanghai and China, 1925.[src]

In the early 20th century, the Chinese Templars were led by Grand Master Sun Yat-sen, the Provincial President of the Republic of China. Under his leadership, he managed to maintain good relations with the communists, preserving the peace between them and the nationalists in Shanghai. In 1925, Sun was killed by the Assassin Brotherhood and Stirling Fessenden became the new Grand Master. However, the Shanghai Rite was looking to induct Sun's successor Chiang Kai-shek into the Order and grant him the position of Grand Master.[65]

As Chiang was more opposed to communism than Sun, tensions between Chiang's Nationalist Party and the Communist Party rose in Shanghai. Around the same time, Grand Master Thaddeus Gift of the British Rite was killed by the Black Cross Albert Bolden for corruption. To make up for his father's mistakes, Darius Gift was sent to Shanghai to deliver a box that contained, unbeknownst to him, the severed finger of his father wearing a Templar ring.[65]

ACT Chiang and Fessenden

Fessenden meeting with Chiang Kai-shek

After eliminating the traitor Yuri Dolinsky, who planned to use the Templar train known as the Great Wall against the Order,[66] the Black Cross rescued Darius Gift after he lost the box and was harassed by corrupt policemen. While Gift endeavored to receive the box, the Black Cross sought to discover who betrayed Gift's location. Gift retrieved the box from Ruan Lingyu, and the Black Cross became entangled in a conflict with underworld boss Du Yuesheng and his Green Gang.[65]

The Black Cross discovered that Chiang Kai-shek betrayed the Templars, having no interest to accept their invitation and instead allying himself with Du Yuesheng against the communists. After Gift discovered it was the Black Cross who killed his father, Gift shot his fellow Templar, believing his subsequent fall from a rooftop to have killed him.[65]

Spanish Civil War

"Few people can survive direct contact with the Koh-i-Noor. Fewer still can control it. If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say [Grosvenor] plans to control you in order to control the gem."
―Albert Bolden to Ignacio Cardona, 1937.[src]

Around 1936, the Templar Rufus Grosvenor, a former disciple of the Master Spy and secretly an Instrument of Juno, stole the Koh-i-Noor from the Black Cross Albert Bolden. As his former master did research into bloodlines with high concentrations of Precursor DNA, Grosvenor decided to locate the Assassin Ignacio Cardona, who was involved in the Spanish Civil War, and have him unlock the artifact's secrets. Meanwhile, Bolden followed Grosvenor to Spain, hoping to keep the artifact safe.[67]

ACUp Koh-i-Noor powers

Rufus Grosvenor letting Ignacio Cardona use the Koh-i-Noor

Arriving in Spain in May 1937, Grosvenor, a master manipulator, persuaded the Assassin Norbert Clarke, a British Assassin sent to aid the Spanish Brotherhood, into taking his own life. The Templar stole his identity, working his way into Cardona's Assassin cell in Barcelona. After internal fighting broke out between the Republicans and communists and the Assassins were unsure of who to join, Grosvenor convinced Cardona to use the Koh-i-Noor to calm them; however, the Assassin dropped swiftly dropped the artifact. Bolden, watching the affair, attacked Grosvenor and escaped with an unconscious Cardona.[67]

Convincing Cardona of Grosvenor's identity and intentions, the Assassin joined Bolden to take the artifact from Grosvenor. However, Grosvenor had persuaded the other Assassins to his cause, leading to an eventual confrontation in a run-down church in the countryside. Grosvenor granted a defeated Cardona another opportunity to unlock the artifact's power, and the Assassin created bulls from its energy to destroy the church, causing the rogue Assassin to flee and leaving the artifact buried. After Bolden and Cardona continued fighting in the civil war, Bolden served as the protector of the site.[67]

Founding of Abstergo Industries

"In 1937, we founded this Company, this enterprise, with a purpose. The time to nurture it to fruition is upon us."
―A high-ranking Abstergo employee in a letter, 1944.[src]-[m]
Abstergo-FH

Abstergo Industries' logo

As laid out in "the Plan" in 1910, Abstergo Industries was founded in 1937. Among its Founders were Henry Ford, Ransom Eli Olds,[46] and Gero Kramer.[68] While it eventuall grew into a large conglomerate with a public presence, it started out as a shadow company that bought large holdings in other companies. Abstergo and the Templars subsequently started to amass wealth and directly fuel the progress of scientific development, as well as exerting control over the capitalist market through their secret ownership of other companies.[46]

Abstergo Industries quickly became engaged in numerous projects, notably the creation of weapons and machines for Nazi Germany in several clandestine facilities in Europe.[68] The company would supply Germany with the tools necessary to start the Second World War, after which it would be able to take the leading role in the world's economy.[46]

World War II

"H. has [the Apple of Eden], so I assume the war will begin as soon as he can take over. We'll let him have his fun (Lord knows, that kind of purge will be good for Europe) and then end it with a bang, as planned. Out of the chaos of war a new order will emerge!"
―Henry Ford in a letter to Thomas Edison, 1930s.[src]-[m]

During the 1930s, Henry Ford shipped one of the Templars' Apples of Eden to Germany to pass it onto Adolf Hitler, who would go on to become the leader of Nazi Germany. In 1939, Hitler used the Apple to ignite the Second World War. Alongside Hitler, the war's other most prominent leaders—Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin—were all secretly manipulated by the Templars into creating a worldwide state of chaos and disorder to allow the Order to take control.[2] At the start of the war, Obbergruppenführer Gero Kramer, a high-ranking Templar, went rogue and started a secret project called Die Glocke. Using the German nuclear project to disguise his true intentions, he employed the aid of the Nazis' Apple of Eden and Nikola Tesla, whose death they staged.[68]

ACC Gorm Kramer fight

Eddie Gorm fighting Gero Kramer in the Vemork facility

On 27 February 1943, the Assassin Eddie Gorm infiltrated the Nazi heavy water facility in Vemork, where Die Glocke was secretly located. Eventually confronted by Kramer, the Templar overpowered the Assassin easily and placed him inside the Animus, intending for him to relive the lives of his ancestors to find more Pieces of Eden. This would ensure Kramer would take a leading role in creating their New World Order. The experiment failed, and Kramer fled during the ensuing chaos that was caused by an Allied attack on the facility.[68]

By July 1943, the Templars had reached an alliance with Pash in order to collaborate on assassinating Hitler, who had become too powerful and erratic for the Templars to manipulate and control. Kramer was assassinated on 15 July at the hands of Gorm and Julia Dusk on Pash's orders, who claimed the Apple of Eden for himself. The Templar scientist John von Neumann subsequently worked with Pash aboard the USS Eldridge on Project Rainbow, an attempt to use Die Glocke and the Apple of Eden to go back in time and kill Hitler before his rise to power. Before the experiment could be executed, Gorm killed Tesla on board the ship, causing it to be ultimately be deemed a failure. The Templars moved von Neumann to the Manhanttan Project to improve the Allies' position over the Axis.[68]

In July 1944, at the height of the war, economic agents of the Templars met at the Bretton Woods conference to launch the next phase of the Plan, and the International Monetary Fund was subsequently established.[46] With the Allies gaining the upper hand over the Templars,[68] the Order managed to gain control over Hitler again and the Führer reacquired the Apple of Eden.[2]

In 1945, the Order instructed Hitler to kill his body double in the Führerbunker and take the Apple of Eden to a rendezvous point. However, on 30 April 1945, as Hitler left the Führerbunker, he was killed by the Assassins. Two months later, Abstergo sanctioned the Manhattan Project's tests of the atomic bomb, and on 6 and 9 August of that year, two atomic bombs were dropped on Japan.[2] Amidst the resulting chaos of the war, the Templars were able to guide the world's economic rebuilding towards the goals of their New World Order.[46]

Reshaping the world

"Democracy must die to ensure the stability of the world. Capitalism will end it. [...] The capitalists will do whatever we tell them to. We print the dollars they worship after all."
―An unknown Templar regarding their plans to dismantle democracy.[src]-[m]

Following the war, one of the Templars' first acts was orchestrating the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, who had risen up against the British rule in India using an Apple of Eden, in 1948.[2] Several months later, Harry Dexter White was killed by his fellow Templars, after he decided to betray them and tried to reveal their capitalist plans to the Soviet Union.[46]

The Chinese Civil War continued after the end of World War II. With Chiang Kai-shek lacking interest in the Templar cause, the Order decided to turn its attention to his communist rival Mao Zedong, who became the new leader of China after the resolution of the Civil War.[46]

PL-MILLIONAIRE'S ROW

Abstergo agents in Pasadena

On 17 June 1952, agents from Abstergo Industries discovered that American rocket propulsion researcher Jack Parsons had solved a secret formula from occultist Aleister Crowley. To stop Parsons' research, they orchestrated the explosion of his laboratory in Pasadena, with Parsons himself still inside. Parsons died soon after of his injuries, and Abstergo agents kidnapped undercover detective Thomas Sean Morgan to cover their tracks.[48]

Meanwhile, the Templars' grip on the Soviet Union had weakened due to continuous opposition from the Assassins, which had been slowly rebuilding their foothold in Russia after the Second World War. This culminated in the fatal poisoning of Joseph Stalin at the hands of the Assassins on 5 March 1953.[39]

In August 1953, Abstergo planned the overthrow of Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh of Iran to prevent the nationalization of the country's oil industry. In June 1954 the Templars again killed one of their own members, Alan Turing, for disobeying their order to not build a robot to prevent mass unemployment and lower birth rates, and they also overthrew the communist President of Guatemala, Jacobo Árbenz.[46]

The Templars subsequently effectively controlled Vietnam through their puppet, President Ngô Đình Diệm. Diệm's rule saw the start of the Vietnam War and the overthrow of his government, and the President's own execution on 2 November 1963.[69]

Assassination of John F. Kennedy

"HQ has given the go-ahead to extract the resource. Negotiations are over. F. is planning to give the vote to everyone. Reason just doesn't work with someone like that."
―An Abstergo agent sanctioning Operation: New Frontier, Kennedy's assassination, in a letter, 1963.[src]-[m]

In 1963, Abstergo Industries aimed to remove President John F. Kennedy of the United States, as Kennedy did not serve Abstergo's interests. As a result, the company sanctioned his assassination, with the intent to install Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, a member of the conspiracy, as the new President.[2] William King Harvey, a CIA director and Assassin who secretly joined the Templar Order, ordered his Assassin subordinate Boris Pash to use his Bloodstone Unit to assassinate President Kennedy and steal the President's Apple of Eden.[69]

ACBs - Aleksei giving Apple to Bill

Harvey taking the President's Apple of Eden from Gavrani

While the Templars employed their own sleeper agents for the assassination, including Lee Harvey Oswald,[2] the Assassins from the Bloodstone Unit were the ones who shot Kennedy. Kennedy's driver, the Assassin William Greer, took the President's Apple to deliver it to Pash, before being intercepted by fellow Assassin Alekseï Gavrani. Gavrani returned the artifact to Harvey, unaware of Harvey's real affiliations and believing Pash to be a traitor.[69]

Kennedy's assassination paved the way for NASA, one of Abstergo's puppet companies, to organize the Apollo 11 spaceflight and retrieve another Apple of Eden from the Moon's surface.[2]

Further government conspiracies

"Gorbachev does not have our interests at heart. He is moving far too slowly to privatize, and my deep fear is that he has no intention of doing so at all. I understand you have expressed similar concerns."
―Margaret Thatcher in a letter to Boris Yeltsin, 1991.[src]-[m]

In 1973, Abstergo Industries wanted to overthrow the communist government of President Salvador Allende of Chile to maintain control over Chile's corporations, which Allende wanted to nationalize. In a plot devised by Abstergo's puppet Henry Kissinger, Allende was overthrown and killed, and the Templars' puppet Augusto Pinochet was installed as the leader of a new military junta.[46]

In 1991, Abstergo took a leading role in the overthrow of President Mikhail Gorbachev of the Soviet Union after realizing he did not have Abstergo's interests at heart. The Templars and their puppets, which included Margaret Thatcher, orchestrated the downfall of the Soviet Union and installed their puppet Boris Yeltsin as the first President of Russia. Nine years later, they helped Vladimir Putin gain power and become his successor.[46]

Contemporary era

The Great Purge

"We have turned over a rock and sent the insects scurrying, but we will stamp on them before they can hide again. I am confident that we will soon witness the fall of the Order of Assassins, and we may fullfill our ambitions unimpeded."
―Dr. Warren Vidic in an email to Alan Rikkin, 2000.[src]

In 1978, Abstergo scientist Warren Vidic created the first version of Animus, a device capable of reading the genetic memory of its user.[52] The Animus Project, aimed at discovering information about Pieces of Eden and the Assassins through genetic memory, was formally started in 1980.[39] As part of this project, Abstergo kidnapped a young boy—later named Daniel Cross—in 1983 to use him as its fourth subject,[63] and Vidic experimented on the boy's mind using a Piece of Eden replica[46] to implant an impulse to kill the Mentor of the Assassin Brotherhood. He was subsequently released into the world as an unwitting sleeper agent sent to infiltrate the Assassins.[63]

GreatPurgeOverview

The Templars overseeing the Great Purge

By 2000, Daniel Cross had become an official member of the Assassin Brotherhood, believing it to be his goal to find their Mentor after experiencing a vision in 1998. After travelling the world to gain support from the other Assassins in his quest, the Mentor met Daniel at his office in Dubai on 6 November 2000. Acting on the impulse in his brain, Daniel killed the Mentor when the latter handed him a ceremonial hidden blade.[63]

The Assassins were left in a state of chaos,[63] which allowed to the Templars to gain the upper hand in the American Presidential election the next day and install their puppet George W. Bush.[46] On 21 November, Daniel returned to Abstergo's Philadelphia facility and gave them the locations of the Assassin safehouses he visited, after which the Templars initiated the Great Purge, a worldwide operation that resulted in the near-annihiliation of the Assassin Brotherhood.[63]

The Templars spent the next several years routing out the remaining Assassin cells and safehouses. In 2002, Daniel recovered the Prophet's Codex, a book written by Ezio Auditore da Firenze, from a hidden library beneath Moscow, and first learned of the Assassin's descendant "Desmond".[70]

Animus Project

"We've found a perfect candidate named Desmond Miles. His ancestral tree fits the data gathered from Subject 16's memory of Ezio Auditore. But it is quite likely that he won't cede essential details freely. Desmond is the key to the location of the Pieces of Eden. Our scientists have been running tests. If we were to place just one within a satellite and angle it toward the Earth... well, utopia would be within our grasp."
―Dr. Warren Vidic about the Animus Project's intent, 2012.[src]
Keeping an eye on humanity

A sketch of Eye-Abstergo in orbit

Meanwhile, Vidic continued the Animus Project, uncovering new information about the Pieces of Eden for their Eye-Abstergo, a satellite powered by a Piece of Eden meant to enforce their New World Order, set for launch in 2012.[46] In 2005, the Assassins sent Lucy Stillman to infiltrate Abstergo as a new employee and gain insight into the Animus Project,[29] though she was eventually turned by the Templars.[71]

The Assassin Clay Kaczmarek allowed himself to be captured for the Animus Project on the orders of their leader William Miles in 2011, and through reviewing his genetic memories, Vidic discovered a lead on Ezio Auditore da Firenze's Apple of Eden. Clay killed himself in 2012, after Lucy's new allegiance prevented her from allowing him to escape,[71] the Templars sought out and kidnapped William's son, Desmond, as the new subject for their project.[39] Eventually, the Templars allowed Desmond to escape to the Assassins with Lucy, to encourage his willingness at finding Ezio's Apple of Eden.[71] However, when they recovered the artifact from the Colosseum Vault, the Precursor Juno forced Desmond to kill Lucy[46] to prevent the Templars from obtaining the artifact and finding the Assassins.[55]

AC3 Abstergo Suicide Squad

Desmond using the Apple of Eden in the Abstergo Campus

Meanwhile, the Assassins engaged in several altercations with Templar teams led by Daniel Cross and their new agent Juhani Otso Berg.[39] Desmond's Assassin team had taken shelter inside the Grand Temple, and began looking for power sources to activate the ancient temple.[55]

Their search ultimately resulted in William Miles' capture by Berg's Sigma Team.[39] During the exchange at the Abstergo Campus in Rome to trade William for the Apple, his son Desmond killed Daniel Cross and instead used the artifact to kill Vidic and the guards. The Eye-Abstergo project was postponed indefinitely in light of Vidic's death.[55]

New research and operations

"Using Animus technology, Precursor history will be open to us for the first time ever. Ancient languages will be unlocked and ancient technology will be ours for the taking. Imagine what will be possible if we master the technology underpins the Pieces of Eden. Such discoveries would surpass one-hundredfold the splitting of the atom."
―Narration of Abstergo Industries' internal Phoenix Project video, 2014.[src]-[m]

On 21 December 2012, Desmond Miles sacrificed himself in the Grand Temple in order to save the world from destruction by an incoming solar flare.[55] Several hours after his death, Abstergo agents recovered his body from the temple;[39] utilizing the DNA from his genetic memories, his genetic sample became the basis for Abstergo Entertainment's Sample 17 Project, aimed at exploring Desmond's rich ancestry. By 2013, Abstergo had released the Animus as a consumer product as the Animus glass,[52] and in India as the Brahman V.R., which would automatically upload a user's genetic memory to the Abstergo Cloud.[58]

ACBM Guardians Mumbai

Abstergo agents in Mumbai

In November 2013, the Sample 17 Project was sabotaged by one of their employees, the Sage John Standish, who was ultimately killed by Abstergo guards following an altercation between Standish and another employee.[52] Simulatenously, Juhani Otso Berg was dispatched to India to find Jot Soora, presumably the descendant of Arbaaz Mir after following a lead from the Brahman project, hoping to secure the Koh-i-Noor diamond. However, the Assassin's true descendant Monima Das, Jot's fiancée, was killed during the Abstergo agents' pursuit of Jot Soora and his Assassin captors, and Arbaaz's memories were wiped from the Abstergo Cloud.[58]

Hoping to find a new lead on the Koh-i-Noor, Berg decided to explore the memories of Albert Bolden, the last person to hold the title of Black Cross. The simulation stopped at Bolden's presumed death in Shanghai in 1927, after which he put his research into the artifact on hold.[65]

The recovery of John Standish's body greatly helped Abstergo's Phoenix Project, aiming to sequence a full First Civilization triple-helix genome with the ultimate goal of unlocking the secrets of the Pieces of Eden.[52] In 2014, Abstergo agents and Assassin cells continued their renewed search for the ancient artifacts, resulting in the Assassins' failed attempt to secure the Precursor box from an Abstergo facility in Rotterdam, Juhani Otso Berg's fruitless search for the Ankh in Germany, and his unsuccessful excavation of the remains of the Observatory in Jamaica. In October, the Assassins on the Altair II under Assassin leader Gavin Banks destroyed the Abstergo facility holding John Standish's body in Paris,[38] and Abstergo started looking for the remains of a new Sage.[34]

In November 2014, Abstergo Entertainment discovered the existence of a virus within their Helix genetic memory network, and called in Berg and Violet da Costa to aid them in eradicating it. The two of them employed the aid of a research analyst to undo the virus, and also to explore the memories of Shay Cormac. By sending footage of Shay killing Assassins from the simulation,[38] Berg sent the Assassins into temporary disarray and managed to find their mole in the Montreal facility.[60] At the same time, Abstergo discovered leads on another Sage, François-Thomas Germain, though his remains were ultimately impossible to recover among the Paris catacombs.[34]

ACS Stay With Me 3

Berg fighting Galina Voronina in the vault

In October 2015, Isabelle Ardant, the Head of Historical Research at Abstergo, pursued leads on a Shroud of Eden hidden in London. The Assassins Shaun Hastings and Rebecca Crane infiltrated her office, but Berg and Violet were able to interrupt their attempt on her life. Both the Templars and Assassins later located the artifact underneath Buckingham Palace and engaged each other in the vault, resulting in Isabelle's death and Rebecca being wounded. Violet, secretly a servant of Juno, brought the Shroud to Álvaro Gramática's Phoenix Project lab, hoping the project would help Juno's return.[60] Sometime later, Berg also brought the Precursor box to Gramática's lab.[64]

References

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  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 Assassin's Creed: Last Descendants
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Assassin's Creed Chronicles: India
  11. 11.0 11.1 Assassin's Creed: Origins – Desert Oath
  12. Assassin's Creed: RebellionThe Mask of the Ibis
  13. 13.0 13.1 Assassin's Creed: OriginsThe Hidden Ones
  14. Assassin's Creed: Origins comic
  15. Assassin's Creed 2: Aquilus
  16. Assassin's Creed 3: Accipiter
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 Assassin's Creed: Heresy
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Sword of the White Horse
  19. 19.0 19.1 Assassin's Creed: Dynasty
  20. Assassin's Creed: Mirage – Daughter of No One
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 Assassin's Creed: Mirage
  22. Assassin's Creed: The Golden City
  23. Assassin's Creed: The Silk Road
  24. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaShared History
  25. 25.0 25.1 Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – The Hidden Codex
  26. 26.0 26.1 Assassin's Creed: Last Descendants – Fate of the Gods
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 27.4 27.5 27.6 27.7 27.8 27.9 Assassin's Creed: Revelations
  28. Assassin's Creed: Altaïr's Chronicles
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 29.3 Assassin's Creed
  30. Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 31.3 31.4 31.5 Assassin's Creed: Memories
  32. 32.0 32.1 Assassin's Creed: Last Descendants – Fate of the Gods
  33. 33.0 33.1 Assassin's Creed 4: Hawk
  34. 34.00 34.01 34.02 34.03 34.04 34.05 34.06 34.07 34.08 34.09 34.10 Assassin's Creed: Unity
  35. Assassin's Creed 5: El Cakr
  36. Assassin's Creed 6: Leila
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 37.3 37.4 37.5 Assassin's Creed: Revelations – Discover Your Legacy
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 38.3 38.4 38.5 38.6 38.7 Assassin's Creed: Rogue
  39. 39.0 39.1 39.2 39.3 39.4 39.5 39.6 39.7 Assassin's Creed: Initiates
  40. Assassin's Creed: Lineage
  41. 41.0 41.1 41.2 Assassin's Creed: Recollection
  42. Assassin's Creed: Renaissance
  43. 43.0 43.1 43.2 Assassin's Creed II: Discovery
  44. 44.0 44.1 44.2 Assassin's Creed film
  45. Assassin's Creed: Rebellion
  46. 46.00 46.01 46.02 46.03 46.04 46.05 46.06 46.07 46.08 46.09 46.10 46.11 46.12 46.13 46.14 46.15 46.16 46.17 46.18 46.19 46.20 Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
  47. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood novel
  48. 48.0 48.1 48.2 48.3 48.4 48.5 Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy
  49. Assassin's CreedVolume 2: Setting Sun
  50. 50.0 50.1 50.2 50.3 Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China
  51. 51.0 51.1 51.2 Assassin's CreedVolume 1: Trial by Fire
  52. 52.0 52.1 52.2 52.3 52.4 52.5 52.6 52.7 Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
  53. 53.0 53.1 53.2 53.3 Assassin's Creed: Forgotten Temple
  54. 54.0 54.1 54.2 54.3 Assassin's Creed: Forsaken
  55. 55.00 55.01 55.02 55.03 55.04 55.05 55.06 55.07 55.08 55.09 55.10 55.11 55.12 Assassin's Creed III
  56. 56.0 56.1 Assassin's Creed III: Liberation
  57. 57.0 57.1 57.2 Assassin's Creed: TemplarsVolume 2: Cross of War
  58. 58.0 58.1 58.2 58.3 58.4 Assassin's Creed: Brahman
  59. Assassin's Creed: Last Descendants – Locus
  60. 60.0 60.1 60.2 60.3 60.4 60.5 60.6 60.7 60.8 Assassin's Creed: Syndicate
  61. 61.0 61.1 Assassin's Creed: Underworld
  62. 62.0 62.1 62.2 62.3 Assassin's Creed: Fragments – The Blade of Aizu
  63. 63.0 63.1 63.2 63.3 63.4 63.5 63.6 63.7 63.8 Assassin's Creed: The Fall
  64. 64.0 64.1 64.2 Assassin's Creed Chronicles: Russia
  65. 65.0 65.1 65.2 65.3 65.4 Assassin's Creed: TemplarsVolume 1: Black Cross
  66. Assassin's Creed: Great Wall
  67. 67.0 67.1 67.2 Assassin's Creed: Uprising – Volume 2: Inflection Point
  68. 68.0 68.1 68.2 68.3 68.4 68.5 Assassin's Creed: Conspiracies
  69. 69.0 69.1 69.2 Assassin's Creed: Bloodstone
  70. Assassin's Creed: The Chain
  71. 71.0 71.1 71.2 Assassin's Creed: RevelationsThe Lost Archive
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