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"Laa shay'a waqi'un moutlaq bale kouloun moumkine. (Nothing is true; everything is permitted.) The wisdom of our Creed is revealed through these words."
Niccolò Machiavelli.[src]
Initiation Rome 1

An apprentice being inducted into the Order

The initiation into the Assassin Order was a ceremonial tradition upheld over many years of its existence. It was a rite of passage symbolizing when an Assassin apprentice became a full member of the Order, and vowed to commit their life to safeguarding the freedom of humanity.

History

High Middle Ages

Although the full details of the initiation into the Order up to the 12th century are unclear, the ceremony included the amputation of the ring finger, as a sign of commitment to the Creed. Afterwards, the Hidden Blade was installed, allowing the Assassin to participate in any assassination missions bestowed upon them.[1]

As noted in the Codex of Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, some time after becoming the Order's Mentor, Altaïr used an Apple of Eden to modify the design of the Hidden Blade, so that the amputation of the ring finger would not be necessary. This change was made so that an Assassin could not be so easily identified by their enemies.[2]

Renaissance

Assassin: "Where other men blindly follow the truth, remember..."
Initiate: "Nothing is true."
Assassin: "Where other men are limited by morality or law, remember..."
Initiate: "Everything is permitted."
Assassin: "We work in the dark to serve the light. We are Assassins."

—The words of the Creed spoken during every initiation.[src]
Play along 10

Ezio Auditore being inducted into the Order

During the Renaissance, the initiation was performed by the Mentor of the Order, alongside several other Assassins. The ceremony came in three parts: the speaking of the Creed, the branding of the initiate's left ring finger, and a Leap of Faith.[2][3]

First, the participants stood around a lit brazier, with one Assassin reciting the Creed, which was answered in turn by the initiate. The final words, the maxim of the Creed, were spoken by all present.[2][3]

Next, the initiate's left ring finger was branded, using tongs that had been heated in the aforementioned brazier. This was a modification of the removal of the finger that Mario Auditore once commented on, saying that "In this modern age, we are not so literal as our ancestors, but our seal is no less permanent."[2][3]

Finally, the initiate took a leap of faith to signify their trust in the Order and their fellow Assassins - sometimes preceded by the Assassins present also taking a leap of faith - after which, the initiate was considered a full-fledged member of the Order.[2][4]

French Revolution

During the French Revolution Initiations were performed in an Assassin sanctuary located below the Saint-Chapel.

The Assassin council will then ask the recruit why he wants to join the Assassin Order, among other things. If the Council agrees that the individual should join the Assassins, the head of the Council will say "Out of the dark, you come into the light. From the light, you will return to the dark." Then the head of the Council would ask "Are you prepared to travel the eagle's path?". If the individual accepts the offer, the head of the Council would command him to drink from a ceremonial goblet. The contents of the goblet induced a hallucination.

Upon awaking from the hallucination, the recruit would find himself in front of the Assassin Council. The Council would recite the tenants of the Creed - after which, the initiate was considered a full-fledged member of the Order.

Modern times

"You have proven yourself worthy. Today, commit to uphold the pillars of our Creed. We are Assassins."
―William Miles.[src]

In modern times, the initiation had become much less formal and relevant. In 2000, The Mentor initiated Daniel Cross into the Order by rewarding him with an old Hidden Blade, and verbally welcoming him into the Order.[5]

However, certain Assassins still performed portions of the ritual, though the branding of the finger was uncommon. In the later 21st century, Clay Kaczmarek was initiated in the traditional way by William Miles, walking among his soon-to-be Brothers before taking a leap of faith.[6]

Trivia

Gallery

References

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