Born during the Renaissance, Inigo Montanes was the bastard son of a Spanish noble and his courtesan lover. After suffering through a difficult childhood, and the premature death of his mother, Inigo left Seville to become a wandering mercenary.
A naturally talented fighter, Inigo was hired in his teens by a mercenary company called Lobos Silenciosos, led by Álvaro de Espinosa. The young man struck up a kinship with Andrea Cortés, another member of the band, bonding over their mutual desire to be rich. Inigo also grew to respect Álvaro's leadership and wisdom, treating him as the father he never had. Together they fought for the Spanish King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile and amassed more wealth than Inigo had ever imagined.
Life seemed good in Inigo's eyes, but after years of perpetuating injustices in the name of the Reconquista, Alvaro could no longer bear the burden on his soul. In a heartfelt plea, Álvaro attempted to convince his group to fight for something more virtuous than wealth by joining the Assassins. Inigo felt betrayed and abandoned by this sudden change of heart, and left to pursue further fortune on his own.
Eventually, Inigo's own conscience buckled under the guilt of abandoning his only true family, and he was reunited with Álvaro and Andrea when he returned to join them and the Assassins.
Behind the scenes
Inigo is derived from the Castilian rendering (Íñigo) of the medieval Basque name Eneko, meaning 'my little (one)'. Montañés is a Spanish word which is usually translated as 'Highlander' in English. It's derived from the Galician word monte, which means 'hill, mountain'
The full name of Inigo Montañés is possibly a reference to the similarly named Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride novel and movie. However beyond their occupations as Spanish swordsmen on the wrong side of the law there is little in common with their backgrounds.