- Shaun Hastings: "If you lot were tracking our movements all this time, couldn't you have stepped in?"
- Stephanie Chiu: "Our only goal was gathering knowledge. We made vows to stay neutral."
- ―Shaun asking about the Initiates' purpose, 30 May 2014.[src]
The Initiates are a clandestine collection of individuals whose aim is to uncover and publicise illicit information about both the Assassin Brotherhood and the Templar-led Abstergo Industries. Instead of the Internet, which is controlled by corporations and governments that strive to keep the general population unaware of the Assassin–Templar War, the Initiates post information on a separate, private network–dubbed the "Outernet" by Rebecca Crane–transmitted via series of small, supposedly obsolete, satellites.
Led by four anonymous individuals, the Initiates are funded by a number of interested private citizens including billionaires, individuals with military connections, and members of both Harvard University and MIT.
In 2012, a member of the Initiates leaked sensitive information from Abstergo's database. Since May 2013, two of their operatives, Eric Cooper and Stephanie Chiu, have recorded updates on the Assassins, having infiltrated the crew of the Altaïr II. They were discovered the following year, but the Assassin leaders William Miles and Gavin Banks chose to spare them, seeing the group as potential allies. Shaun Hastings soon managed to hack into the Initiates' database and left a message encouraging the Initiates to join with the Assassins, rather than simply standing back and watching from afar.
In November 2014, William intended to hire the Initiates as support operatives and as trainees for the Assassins. He assigned Bishop to act as their handler. That same month, Bishop and Shaun (the latter of which was identified by the handle "Deacon"), contacted and assigned an Initiate to search and identify a Sage that was active during the French Revolution through Arno Dorian's memories. Eventually, the Initiate found out about François-Thomas Germain, and that Arno had buried his remains in the Catacombs of Paris. This left Bishop satisfied with the result, as the bones would be too degraded for Abstergo to collect any DNA samples from them.
In November 2015, Bishop contacted the Initiate again, this time to locate a Piece of Eden in London through the memories of Jacob and Evie Frye. The Initiate discovered that the twins were looking for a Shroud of Eden, and that it was located in a vault underneath Buckingham Palace.
In December, Bishop gave the Initiates some additional memory sequences to keep the connection between them and Helix stable, before passing a directive from William Miles informing them to drop out of all communications with the Initiates and the Assassins, to stop them from being targeted by Abstergo.
- Assassin's Creed: Initiates (first appearance)
- Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (mentioned only)
- Assassin's Creed: Unity
- Assassin's Creed: Syndicate