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The Italian Brotherhood of Assassins was the Italian Guild of Assassins, existing since their formation during the latter half of the 13th century.

This guild was a successor of the Liberalis Circulum, a faction of the Hidden Ones who operated throughout Italy and the Roman Empire. One of the first guilds was established in 1269 in Venice by the explorers Niccolò and Maffeo Polo on the order of the Levantine Mentor Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad who wanted to expand the Brotherhood across the World.

In 1324, the headquarters of the guild was relocalized in the Tuscan city of Monteriggioni by the Assassin Domenico, who also founded the House of Auditore, which led the guild for over two centuries.

During the late 15th century, the Italian Assassins were mainly involved with taking down the corrupt Borgia family, the ruling body of the Templar Order during the Renaissance which tried to take control of every cities-states of Italy. One of their missions was also to recover Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad's Codex and Pieces of Eden to secure the location of an Isu Vault and protect its countenance from the Templars.

In 1500, the guild knew a major setback from the Templars with the Siege of Monteriggioni, leading to the death of their leader Mario Auditore and the loss of an Apple of Eden. However, Mario's nephew, Ezio Auditore da Firenze rebuilt the guild in Rome, recruiting the oppressed citizens to fight the power of the Borgia. Through his leadership, the guild was stronger than ever, even operating across Europe and Asia and establishing the first guild in the New World. Breaking the power of the Borgia, the Italian Assassins led the entire Brotherhood to its pinnacle.

In 2000, like other guilds, the Italian Assassins were nearly wiped out during the Great Purge led by the Templar Order. One cell was still active in 2012, led by the Assassin Adriano Maestranzi in Florence before being eliminated by the Sigma Team.

History

Foundation

Altaïr passing his Codex to Niccolò Polo

In 1257, the Venetian explorers Niccolò and Maffeo Polo were invited to stay at the Assassins' fortress of Masyaf by Darim Ibn-La'Ahad, the son of Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad. After training, the two became Assassins themselves, and the elderly Altaïr entrusted them to create Assassins Guilds as well as guarding his autobiographical Codex.[3]

When the Mongols eventually attacked, the Polo brothers left Masyaf towards their trading post in Constantinople, where they were successful in creating an Assassin Guild in 1258. However, during their journey, the Polos had lost the Codex to the Mongols, thus failing in their promise to protect it.[3] In 1259, Niccolò and Maffeo journeyed to the Mongol Empire to retrieve the Codex, but ultimately failed.[4]

Marco Polo going to Asia

In 1269, the Polos returned to Venice, Italy, where they created an Assassins Guild,[5] and Niccolò trained the latter's son Marco in the ways of the Assassins.[6] The Polos made another journey to the Mongol Empire two years later,[4] with Marco successfully retrieving the Codex, bringing it back to Italy in 1295.[6]

Formation of the Auditore

Domenico watching over Venice

Marco Polo passed the Codex into the hands of fellow Assassin Dante Alighieri. The next year, Dante took on Domenico, the son of a fellow Assassin, as an apprentice, training him to follow him in his quest to hide the Codex in Spain.[6]

In 1321, Dante was killed by the Templars, proving their continuing existence to the Assassins. Domenico was tasked to resume his mentor duty. During their journey to Spain, Domenico and his family were attacked by pirates employed by the Templars while being docked in Otranto. To prevent the Templars to recover the Codex, Domenico broke it and spread its pages across several boxes. Domenico's wife was brutally abused and murdered by the pirates while Domenico and his son Renato were thrown in the sea, surviving the attack.[6]

The Villa Auditore, headquarters of the Italian Assassin for over two centuries

In Venice, both Marco Polo and Domenico's father were killed by the Templars in 1324. Using Polo's money, Domenico temporarily settled in Florence, pretending to be part of the city's nobility by taking on the name Auditore. In 1327, Domenico bought and renovated a villa in Monteriggioni, which he named the Villa Auditore, that became the headquarters of the Italian Assassins for nearly two centuries.[7]

Under his villa, Domenico built a Sanctuary, where he placed the Armor of Altaïr. To lock it up, he used six Assassin Seals which commemorated each one important individuals of the history of the Brotherhood: Darius, Iltani, Wei Yu, Amunet, Leonius and Qulan Gal. He hid the seals in shrines located in Florence, Venice, Forlì and San Gimignano.[8] He also built under the city a crypt for his family, with writing about the true story of the Auditore family.[6]

Renato Auditore ordering to hide the Shroud of Eden

In 1355, the Assassins stole a Shroud of Eden from the French Templar Geoffroy de Charny. Renato Auditore hid the artifact beneath the Villa.[9] It was recovered a century later by Renato's grandson, Mario, who gave the Piece of Eden to his brother Giovanni to protect Monteriggioni after the Florentines had laid siege to recover the artifact. Giovanni entrusted the Shroud to other Assassins near Agnadello.[10] The Auditore brothers also tried to recover the Codex pages, Giovanni translating some of them and discovering a prophecy about something hidden in Italy.[8]

As Mario stayed in Monteriggioni, Giovanni moved to Florence where he founded a family with his wife Maria. Having four children, he trained his elder son Federico to become an Assassin while hiding the truth to his other children.[11] In 1455, Giovanni saved the young Lorenzo de' Medici who drowned in the Arno. By doing this, he reinforced the alliance between the House of Medici and the Auditore, and so the Assassins.[12]

In 1456, Giovanni defended in court the daughter of two dead Assassins, Paola, who had killed a guard who attacked her. Giovanni won the case on a self-defense plea. Afterward, Paola joined the Assassins and became the Madame of La Rosa Colta, the most well-connected brothel in Florence.[13] At an uncertain time, the mysterious leader of the thieves' guild of Florence only known as La Volpe became an Assassin.[14]

Renaissance

Assassination of the Duke of Milan

Main article: Assassination of Galeazzo Maria Sforza

The Assassination of Galeazzo Maria Sforza

During a night of December 1476, Giovanni Auditore attacked a group of Templars led by the Grand Master of the Italian Templars Rodrigo Borgia in Florence. The Grand Master fled the scene but Giovanni captured a henchman who revealed under torture that the Templars wanted to assassinate the Duke of Milan, Galeazzo Maria Sforza, to weaken the power of Lorenzo de' Medici in Florence. On 26 December, Giovanni arrived too late to impeach the assassination of the Duke by the Templars Carlo Visconti, Gerolamo Olgiati and Giovanni Andrea Lampugnani in the Basilica di Santo Stefano Maggiore in Milan. The Templars were killed by the Duke bodyguards before interrogation.[11]

Finding Venician coins on Lampugnani, Giovanni continued his investigation in Venice, infiltrating the Palazzo Ducale. Eavesdropping a conversation between Templars, Giovanni confronted their courrier who killed himself with the Assassin's blade to not reveal any information. Finding a cryptic letter on his corpse, Giovanni delivered the letter to his friend the Gonfaloniere Uberto Alberti to uncover its message. As Alberti claimed it was impossible, the Assassin decided to deliver the letter himself in Rome.[11]

Giovanni Auditore fighting Borgia's henchmen

In St. Peter's Basilica, Giovanni met Borgia, who asked him to join the Templars. Giovanni refused and killed Rodrigo's men, but broke his Hidden Blade during the fight and was wounded by the Grand Master who fled. Returning to Florence, Giovanni understood that a larger conspiracy was about to begin.[11]

Pazzi Conspiracy

Main article: Pazzi conspiracy

After these events, Giovanni made a list of the Templar conspirators and imprisoned Francesco de' Pazzi, a Templar banker who planned to assassinate Lorenzo de' Medici and capture Florence for the Templars. The Templars, however, with the help Uberto Alberti, arrested Giovanni, Federico and his younger son Petruccio for treason.[15]

The execution of Giovanni Auditore with his sons by the Templars

Imprisoned in the Palazzo della Signoria, Giovanni tasked his last son Ezio to recover all his affairs and the letter that could prove their innocence.[15] Ezio gave the proof to Uberto as he was unaware of his act of treachery.[16] The next day, Uberto executed on the public place Giovanni and his two sons, fainting that he didn't have the letter. Branded as a traitor, Ezio flew the place.[17]

After the death of Giovanni and his sons, Paola took care of his family, hiding his wife and daughter Claudia in her brothel. When Ezio arrived, the Assassin decided to help him in his quest for revenge. During his stay at the brothel, she taught him stealth technics such as pickpocketing and blending.[18] She later advised him to repair his father's Hidden Blade with the help of the inventor Leonardo da Vinci.[19] When Ezio returned, Paola informed him that Alberti was at an art exhibition in the Basilica of Santa Croce.[20] After Ezio killed the Gonfaloniere, Paola advised him to lower his notoriety before blessing him farewell.[21]

Mario training Ezio in combat

Near Monteriggioni, Mario Auditore and his mercenaries saved Ezio, Maria and Claudia who were attacked by the Templar Vieri de' Pazzi.[22] In the city, Mario revealed to Ezio the truth about his father.[23] During a year, Mario taught to Ezio combat skills and secrets of the Brotherhood to convince him to take the place of his father in the search for the Codex pages.[24] Ezio refused to join the Brotherhood deciding to flee with his family in Spain. Furious, Mario left Monteriggioni with his mercenaries to attack San Gimignano, a city controlled by the Templars. Before the assault, they were joined by Ezio who wanted to help Mario. Infiltrating the city, Mario and his mercenaries launched the attack while Ezio eavesdropped on a conversation between Borgia and the House of Pazzi, discovering that a Templar's plot against Florence. Ezio killed Vieri in a duel and showed disrespect to his corpse. Mario corrected his nephew teaching him to give the last rites to his targets.[25]

In Monteriggioni, Ezio resolved to kill every single Templar responsible for the death of his father and brothers and continue the search for the Codex pages. Mario tasked his nephew to invest in the reparation of Monteriggioni and tasked Claudia to work as the financial accountant of the town. Mario also showed the Sanctuary to Ezio and asked him to find the seals.[8] Secretly, Mario decided to train Ezio through Assassins who would hide their affiliation to let Ezio find the truth himself.[26]

La Volpe showing to Ezio Santa Maria Novella hidden entrance

In April 1478, La Volpe discovered that a Templar reunion would take place under Basilica di Santa Maria Novella. The Assassin shared his information with Ezio while testing his parkour skills. After a race, the Assassin showed to Ezio the secret entrance to assist to the Templar meeting.[27] Later, la Volpe met up again with Ezio who informed him that the Templars planned to assassinate Lorenzo de' Medici and his brother, which would allow them to take power in Florence. The Assassin informed the young man of the danger if Lorenzo died, encouraging Ezio to act.[28] On 26 April, Ezio prevented the murder of Lorenzo and killed Francesco de' Pazzi, leading to the escape of the co-conspirators.[29]

When Ezio returned to Monteriggioni, he gave Mario Da Vinci's translation of the Codex pages. A new part of the prophecy was revealed, related to a Prophet and two Pieces of Eden. With no other information, Mario further Ezio training while his mercenaries searched the Templars conspirators in Tuscany.[30] Localizing, Antonio Maffei, Francesco Salviati, Bernardo Baroncelli and Stefano da Bagnone, Ezio assassinated every Templar involved in the Pazzi conspiracy and even mercifully finished Jacopo de' Pazzi who was betrayed by Borgia. These actions made the Medici powerful allies of the Assassins for many years.[31]

Venetian Conspiracy

Main article: Venetian Conspiracy

In Venice, the Italian Assassins had some agents at the Head of several factions of the city to fight the Templars. Antonio de Magianis was the leader of the thieves' guild and recruited some of its members such as Perina di Bastian[32] and Rosa as Assassins. Sister Teodora Contanto founded her own religious sect in La Rosa della Virtù, a brothel in the Dorsoduro district.[33] The condottiero captain Bartolomeo d'Alviano led the mercenaries of the city through his barrack in the Castello District.[34]

Antonio de Magianis and his thieves working with Ezio Auditore

Around 1481, de Magianis fought the Templar merchant Emilio Barbarigo, who sought to unite every merchant under his banner to control every district of Venice. The Assassin launched an attack on Barbarigo's palazzo but failed, and many thieves were captured as a result.[35] Ezio, who wanted to kill the Templar for his involvement in his father's death, helped the thief to reconstruct the guild and also improved his climbing skills with Rosa.[36]

On 11 September 1485, the thief guild infiltrated the Palazzo della Seta as guards while Ezio killed Barbarigo. De Magianis took the palace as his new headquarters for the guild.[37] Three days later, the Assassin helped Ezio to find a way to infiltrate the Palazzo Ducale to prevent the assassination of the Doge Giovanni Mocenigo by the Templar Carlo Grimaldi.[38] As the only way to enter in the palace was by the air, de Magianis tasked his thieves to ignite fires through the city, helping Ezio to use Da Vinci Flying Machine to enter in the palace. Ezio killed Grimaldi but arrived too late to prevent the death of the Doge.[39]

Antonio, Teodora and Ezio during the Carnevale

In March 1486, Ezio returned to Venice and met de Magianis and Teodora Contanto. Together, they planned to kill the new Doge, the Templar Marco Barbarigo during the Carnavale. Contanto informed Ezio to participate in Carnevale games to win a Golden Mask, permitting him to assist to the Doge's party.[40] As the Templars rid the game and gave the mask to Marco's bodyguard Dante Moro, Contanto advised Ezio to steal the mask and sent some of her courtesans to help him infiltrate the party. As his target was on a ship, Contanto suggested Ezio use his Hidden Gun during the fireworks, leading to the Doge death.[41] Later, Marco's brother, Agostino Barbarigo, an Assassins' ally, took his place as Doge.[42]

In July, Bartolomeo d'Alviano and his mercenaries attacked the Arsenale di Venezia which was under the control of the Templar Silvio Barbarigo. As the place was too well guarded, the Assassin was captured with his men. Later, de Magianis informed Ezio to search for the help of d'Alviano if he wanted to kill Silvio.[42] Ezio freed the Assassin and his men before planning a surprise attack on the Arsenale.[43] As d'Alviano and his mercenaries forced the opening of the Arsenale, Ezio killed Silvio and Moro who tried to flee. In his last breath, Moro revealed that the Templars searched a hidden object in Cyprus.[44]

Recovering and lost of the Apple of Eden

As the years come, other individuals were inducted in the Brotherhood. The Roman Lucas Bellini followed the footsteps of his parents and became an Assassin.[45] In Florence, the seamstress Elena Niccolini was inducted in the Brotherhood after she was recommended by Claudia Auditore who was one of her patron.[46] Also in Florence, the Brotherhood inducted Grazia, a former Templar Inquisitor who wanted to atone the atrocious acts she did for the Order.[47] Perotto Calderon was inducted in the Brotherhood and became the mentor of the Venetian Francesco Vecellio.[48] By 1488, the 19-year-old Florentine Niccolò Machiavelli became an Assassin and led the mercenaries in his hometown.[49]

Initiation of Ezio Auditore

In July 1488, an Assassins group composed of Mario, Paola, La Volpe, Machiavelli, de Magianis, Contanto and d'Alviano went to Venice to verify the Codex' prophecy about the Prophet arrival. They ambushed Rodrigo Borgia who was there to recover an Apple of Eden find by the Templars in Cyprus. The Assassins joined force with Ezio, who disguised himself as a guard to confront Borgia. The Grand Master escaped but the Assassins obtained the Apple. They revealed to Ezio that their true allegiance and explained that Ezio was the Prophet they waited for. After this, Ezio was officially inducted into the Brotherhood.[26]

After the events of Venice, the Assassins decided to hide the Apple in Forlì, a city controlled by Caterina Sforza, an ally of the Brotherhood. Ezio and Machiavelli escorted the Apple to Forlì, but the city was attacked by the Orsi brothers, who were hired by Rodrigo to find the map of Girolamo Riario which revealed the location of the Codex pages.[50] During the battle, the Orsis were assassinated, although Ezio was wounded and lost the Apple. He later learned that the Apple was taken by a Florentine monk with a missing finger, Girolamo Savonarola. Before beginning his investigation on the monk, Caterina gave Ezio the map of her dead husband, which helped the Assassin complete the Codex Wall.[51]

With the years, Ezio became more involved in the Brotherhood. Around 1490, he went to Florence and recruited Girolamo da Lucca, known as the Ghost of Florence for his deadly skills. Girolamo accepted the offer.[52]

Helping the Spanish Assassins

Ezio and Antonio meeting Luis de Santángel

In 1491, Antonio de Magianis met Luis de Santángel, the finance minister of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and secretly a member of the Spanish Assassins. De Santángel asked him to protect the Genovese explorer Christoffa Corombo who was about to meet Rodrigo Borgia in Venice as the Templar was interested to finance his exploration. De Magianis tasked Ezio Auditore to accomplish the mission.[53] The Assassin protected Corombo as the meeting was a trap to kill him.[54]

Later, Santagel tasked Auditore to take back Corombo's atlas as the Templars occupied their hostel. Auditore recovered the book and gave it to De Santángel and Corombo who were about to return to Spain. Before leaving, while keeping his allegiance secret, De Santángel warned Auditore that the Assassins in Spain were hunted by the Spanish Inquisition. Auditore decided to stop the search Apple of Eden to save his Spanish brethren.[55] He assembled a group of Italian Assassins, among them Lucas Bellini, Girolamo de Lucca and Niccolò Machiavelli. Ezio also received support from his uncle Mario and his mercenaries.[56]

Arriving in Barcelona, Ezio began an uneasy alliance with the former French Assassin and adventurer Helene Dufranc after she stole his sword.[57] After this misadventure, Ezio went to the local Thieves' Guild which served as the Assassins headquarters in the city. Entering the building, the Assassin found it empty but was ambushed by guards of the Inquisition.[58] Fleeing by the catacombs, Ezio met the Assassin Raphael Sanchez who was also the treasurer of Queen Isabella I of Castile.[59]

Ezio killing Gaspar Martínez

The two Assassins worked together and hunted the man responsible for the purge in the city, the Inquisitor Gaspar Martinez. Ezio killed Martinez who thought that the Assassins were merely heretics.[60] As an Assassin who was about to be burned in an auto-da-fé, Ezio saved him. On the inquisitor body, Ezio found a list with the names of six Assassins from Zaragoza. Ezio and Sanchez decided to go into the city to save the Assassins and discovered who hunted them.[61]

In Zaragoza, Ezio tracked the calificador Pedro Llorente. Infiltrating his tribunal, Ezio eavesdropped on a meeting between Llorente and the Grand Inquisitor Tomas Torquemada and discovered that it was Borgia who informed the Inquisition about the Assassins.[62] Ezio witnessed the execution of one of the Assassins but succeeded to save the five others.[63] Later, Ezio killed Llorente who was oblivious of the Templar implication in the Inquisition.[64] While Ezio was ready to return to Italy, Sanchez convinced him to stay to unravel a Templar conspiracy in Granada.[65]

Between Zaragoza and Granada, Ezio infiltrated a church in Castile and eavesdropped on a meeting between Torquemada and the Templar Ojeda. He discovered that they planned to used the Dogs of the Lord to recover artifacts. Ezio reported his discoveries to the Spanish Assassins María and Aguilar de Nerha. To rebuild the Spanish Brotherhood, they installed a new headquarters in an abandoned fortress in Sierra de Cazorla. Maria worked with the Italian Assassins for a time while Aguilar recruited apprentices.[66]Machiavelli inducted into the Spanish Brotherhood the French Knight Jean Delacroix as he was smeared by the Templars in France.[67]

On the road to Granada, Ezio and Sanchez met again Dufranc who planned to ambush the Templar financer the Cygnet. As the death of the Templar could jeopardize their mission, Ezio saved the Cygnet before the French rogue could kill him.[68] Arriving in Granada, Ezio and Sanchez split up to stop Templars guards who attacked villagers around the city.[69] Later, Ezio joined Sanchez and De Santángel who revealed his Assassin allegiance to Ezio. The Spanish Assassins explained that they wanted to stop the Granada War but that a Templar spy fed Emir Muhammad XII with false information on the conflict. Ezio eavesdropped on the spy and discovered that the Templar intentionally prolonge the war.[70] After killing the spy, Ezio reported to the Spanish Assassins who understood that the Templars wanted that the war continued to prevent the Spanish Kingdoms to finance Corombo' westward expedition, permitting the Order to set their own expedition.[71]

The Assassins and Christoffa Corombo at the Fall of Granada

Then, Sanchez tasked Ezio to convince the emir to surrender to stop the war. Ezio infiltrated Alhambra and killed a Templar who kept Muhammad XII hostage. The emir accepted to surrender Granada and Ezio opened the gate of the city.[72] During the negotiation between the Emir and the Spanish Kingdoms, the Templars manipulated Spanish soldiers to sack and burn the city but Ezio killed the rampaging guards. As the order was restored in the city, Sanchez explained to Ezio that the Assassins wanted to finance Corombo' expedition as he would discover new lands thank to his atlas.[73]

Even after the treaty of Granada in November 1491, the Inquisition tracked heretics in the city. Ezio saved civilians and killed discretely the Inquisitor Juan de Marillo to not create further repression.[74] Later, Corombo left the city as Queen Isabella refused to finance his expedition. De Santángel convinced the Queen by financing half of the project but discovered that the Templars set up a trap to kill the explorer on his way to France. Ezio saved Corombo and informed him of the good news before escorting him to Granada.[75]

On 2 January 1492, Ezio met again Dufranc who informed her that the Templars planned to kill Queen Isabella during the capitulation ceremony. The two worked together to stop the Templars and saved the Queen. Discovering Dufranc's Assassin past, Ezio tried to restore her in the Brotherhood, but she refused even if she respected him.[76]

Ezio confronting Tomás de Torquemada

In August, as Corombo began his journey, Ezio decided to return to Italy to resume his track of the Apple of Eden. Bidding farewell to De Santángel in his home at Zaragoza, Ezio saw soldiers of the Inquisition trying to kill De Santángel.[77] Ezio killed them and ran to Sanchez's palace, saving the Assassin from the Inquisition.[78] With the blessing of the two Spanish Assassins, Ezio infiltrated Torquemada's palace to kill him. As Ezio confronted to understood if his target was a Templar, the Grand Inquisitor blocked him with a portcullis and fled the palace. Meeting with De Santángel and Sanchez, Ezio informed them of his failure but reassured them by saying that Torquemada's death would only escalate the turmoil in Spain. Ezio bid farewell to the two Assassins before leaving Spain.[79]

The Italian Assassins returned to their country but their experiences with their Spanish brethren established a close friendship between the two brotherhoods, each branch sending Assassins when needed.[80]

Return of the Templars

By late 1492, as Rodrigo Borgia was elected pope and renamed himself Alexander VI, the Assassins decided to watch closely the Grand Master. Bartolomeo d'Alviano moved to Rome, installing barracks in the Campagna District. While managing the arenas and Fight Clubs of the city, the Assassin inducted the gladiator Corvo Antonelli in the Brotherhood.[81]

Around 1492, the Brotherhood inducted Tosca Yayal-Ricci, a wandering mercenary in Florence who fought the Templars after they killed her partner Sofia Yayal.[82]

In Spring 1493, Ezio Auditore discovered that the Templars returned to Florence, influencing the local merchants and officials, while those against them disappeared. As Auditore requested support from Assassins in Italy and Europe to investigate the matter, Perina di Bastian and Corvo Antonelli went to Florence. Antonelli confronted directly the Templars but was captured and imprisoned with the missing merchants. When di Bastian discovered a note implicating Bonacolto Contarini in the conspiracy, the burglar met Spanish Assassins who answered Auditore's request.[83]

Working together, the Assassins freed Antonelli and the merchant who were sold as slaves. Antonelli confirmed that Contarini was the Templars behind this.[84] After the Spanish Assassins killed three of Contarini's lieutenants, they regrouped with the two Italian Assassins to attack the Templar.[85] While Antonelli attacked the guards and di Bastian scouted the area, the Spanish Assassins infiltrated the place and killed Contarini, ending the Templar threat on Florence.[86]

In late 1494, Ezio Auditore returned to Florence to track Girolamo Savonarola who had the Apple of Eden. The Assassin saved a monk who was harassed by Borgia's guards and discovered he was Girolamo's cousin, Marcello. The monk said to the Assassin that his cousin was in Venice and Auditore followed the trail. Arriving in Venice, Auditore was welcomed by Teodora Contando who advised him to interrogate a herald preaching for Savonarola. Pretending to be a follower, Auditore was forced to blow his cover as the mob attacked Piero de' Medici, Lorenzo's son who was exiled from Florence. After killing Savonarola's followers, Piero informed Auditore that the monk returned to Florence.[87]

In 1496, d'Alviano allied with his cousin of the House of Orsini to fight the Borgias as they tried to claim their lands. During the battle, the Assassin defended the last three fortresses against the pope's son, Cesare Borgia. In the last moment, d'Alviano was saved by the reinforcement of his cousin Carlo Orsini, permitting him to fight back the Templars, wounding Cesare's face.[88] During the Siege of Bracciano, d'Alviano defended the city against the troops of Rodrigo's elder son Juan. A year later, the Templars launched an assault against d'Alviano, the Assassin survived but his wife Bartolomea Orsini was killed.[89]

Bonfire of Vanities

Main article: Bonfire of the Vanities

The Assassins during the revolt against Savonarola

In 1497, Ezio returned to Florence, where Savonarola had taken the Apple, used it to control the leader of the city and exiled the Medici. Ezio, Paola, La Volpe and Machiavelli started a revolt against Savonarola's rule. Ezio killed the lieutenants and the other Assassins led the population against Savonarola. One year later, Ezio retrieved the Apple after Savonarola was attacked by the mob. Just before Savonarola was about to be burned alive in public, Ezio assassinated the monk, as he believed that no one should have to suffer such a horrific fate. Before the population, Ezio demanded to the crowd to follow their own free will, and not anyone else like Savonarola, the Medici, or himself.[90]

Confrontation in Rome

The Assassins sent Perotto Calderon as a courier to discover secrets and intercept letters. However the Assassin fell in love with Lucrezia Borgia, the daughter of Rodrigo, and when she became pregnant in 1498, Perotto was imprisoned. The Assassin escaped and took his deformed son to the Shroud of Eden to save him, which was under the protection of the Assassins in Agnadello. Perotto was forced to kill his brothers to heal his son. A group of Assassins was sent to kill Perotto, seen as a traitor to the Brotherhood. After his death, some Assassins, like Rinaldo Vitturi left the Brotherhood due to the misuse of the Shroud.[91]

In 1499, the Assassins collected all of the Codex pages and with the Apple, they discovered that the vault was under the Sistine Chapel. Ezio went to the Vatican and confronted Rodrigo Borgia. After defeating Rodrigo, Ezio spared his life after realizing that killing him would not solve anything. He entered the vault and met a strange being by the name of Minerva, an individual of the First Civilization. She warned the descendant of Ezio, Desmond Miles, that a catastrophic event that would wipe out civilization would occur soon, just like in the past, and that he was the only one who could save the world. After this, a bewildered Ezio left the vault with the Apple and returned with Mario to Monteriggioni. [92]

Liberation of Rome

Main article: Liberation of Rome

Destruction of Monteriggioni by Cesare's army

In Monteriggioni, Ezio informed the Assassins and his family of what he found in the vault and the fact that he spared Rodrigo, which Machiavelli considered as a mistake and left the Villa. Enraged by the Assassin victory, Cesare Borgia, Rodrigo's son, rallied his army and attacked Monteriggioni. The attack was short but fierce, and the Templars managed to reclaim the Apple of Eden, kill Mario Auditore, and capture Caterina Sforza. Wounded during the battle, Ezio decided to go to Rome to retrieve the Apple and avenge the attack but fell unconscious during the travel. Niccolò Machiavelli found him and sent him to Margherita dei Campi, to be healed.[93]

After Ezio regained consciousness, Margherita gave him a new set of robes and equipment offered by Niccolò and informed Ezio that Niccolo wanted to see him. The two Assassins planned to take the Apple and kill Rodrigo and his son. With the help of La Volpe, Bartolomeo d'Alviano and Claudia, who took leadership of the courtesans of Rome, the Assassins had a strong network in Rome. In 1501, Ezio went to Castel Sant'Angelo, to find the Apple and kill his targets, but could only save Caterina.[93]

Understanding that the Borgia power was based on Rome, Ezio decided to induct new apprentices into the Brotherhood, recruited from the population of the city, and attack Cesare's lieutenants and allies such as the Cento Occhi, the Followers of Romulus and the French army led by Octavian de Valois.[93] He created a group of Assassins, led by Francesco Vecellio, which through Italy sabotaged Cesare power, killing his allies and protecting individuals who could oppose against Cesare. They also convinced Rinaldo and other former Assassins to rejoin the Brotherhood.[91] Ezio also sent recruits around Europe and Asia to perform missions, as well as helping other Assassin branches in Barcelona, Calicut, Constantinople and Paris against the Templars, helping rulers in England and the Holy Empire or installing new guilds across Europe.[93]

The Italian Brotherhood in Rome

In August 1503, the Assassins managed to destroy Cesare's defenses and his War Machines, thwarting Cesare's plans for invasion, and cutting off his funds by killing Juan Borgia as well as the support of the French army with the death of Octavian de Valois. The Assassins found also a key that opened one of the doors in the Castel Sant'Angelo. After Claudia was inducted to the Brotherhood and Ezio became the Mentor of the Brotherhood, Cesare returned to Rome to use the Apple to reverse the situation. As his father refused to give him the Apple and learning that he tried to poison him, Cesare killed his father in a rage. Ezio found the Apple and used it against the remnants of Borgia forces at the end of the year. In December 1503 Cesare was imprisoned by the new Pope, Julius II, who became an ally for the Assassins.[93]

Cesare tried to escape but Ezio stopped him and Cesare was sent to a prison in Spain. The Assassins fought the Borgia's diehards who stayed in Rome. In 1506, Cesare escaped from his prison and rallied an army to conquer Spain, Rome and Italy. Ezio Auditore followed him to Valencia and Viana, where he eventually managed to kill Cesare while he led a siege against a castle. After Cesare's death, the Templars in Italy were eradicated, allowing the Assassins to gain more power and influence, as well as acquiring more allies.[93]

Post-Borgia period

After the destruction of the Templars in Italy, Ezio formed stronger ways of communication for the Assassins from Sicily to Venice and created standardized training methods for new recruits.

Francesco Vecellio leaving a wounded Niccolò di Pitigliano

In 1509, Bartolomeo d'Alviano fought in the Battle of Agnadello to protect the Shroud against the army of Louis XII of France. Bartolomeo was captured and his cousin, Niccolò di Pitigliano, took the artifact for himself. In 1510, Francesco Vecellio tracked Niccolò in Lonigo, created a revolt against the condottiero. With a team of Assassins, Francesco stroke the manor, mortally wounded Niccolò and took the Shroud for the Brotherhood.[91]

During these more peaceful times, Ezio Auditore left for Masyaf to search for Altaïr's library. During his absence, Claudia led the Assassins and contacted Desiderius Erasmus, the Mentor of the Northern European Assassins, who was concerned about the work of Martin Luther which could trouble the peace in Europe. Upon Ezio's return, he decided to retire and appointed Lodovico Ariosto as the new Mentor.[94]

In 1519, Giovanni Borgia, the son of Perotto Calderon and Lucrezia Borgia, who became an Assassin, went to Mexico with the troops of Hernán Cortés to find a Piece of Eden, a Crystal Skull which was used by the Aztecs for sacrifices. During the Night of Sorrows, Giovanni stole the artifact and brought it to Bombastus. Later in 1527, Giovanni was sent to Paris to search the second half of the Book of Abraham, which contained occult knowledge. Giovanni, with Maria Amiel, took the second half and discovered Pythagorean symbols. The two lovers went to the Temple of Pythagoras and contacted an individual from the First Civilization, Consus.[91]

Modern times

By 2012, an Assassin cell led by Adriano Maestranzi operated in Florence.[95] That year, Adriano would frequently correspond with Assassin leader William Miles. On 5 September 2012, Adriano tracked down William's son, Desmond, who had been captured and taken to Rome by the Templars and called William for further instructions. Adriano offered to rescue Desmond with his team but was stopped by William who assured him that his mole in Abstergo Industries would keep Desmond safe.[95]

As William's team attempted to flee Italy, Harlan Cunningham, a member of the Italian cell, received a text from William on 16 October, telling him that the Templars were onto them and that they were going into hiding. On 25 October, Harlan was again contacted by William, who asked for his assistance in escaping Italy. At 9:51 am on 27 October, Harlan led an ambush on Abstergo's tactical Delta Team, killing several of the Templar agents and allowing William's team to escape from the Templars' tail. Harlan sent William a text at 10:38 am, informing him that they only lost one Assassin in the skirmish and that one of the Templars had "lost it" during the battle.[95]

After William's team had entered the Grand Temple, Adriano learned that the Templars were attempting to hack into the Assassins' systems to track their location. On 27 November, he sent an e-mail to William stating that he had decided a "hostile takeover" was in order, and had his cell prepare for a raid on the Abstergo headquarters in Rome.[95]

On 28 November 2012, at 5:08 pm, Harlan sent a message to William from the Provincial road SP11 in Italy, informing him that they had infiltrated the Abstergo campus and killed four hackers along with some guards, and destroyed their servers, which meant Abstergo could not track William. After returning to the safe house in Florence on 29 November, Harlan discovered that he or another member of the cell had been tracked back to the base. He sent a message to William at 10:42 pm, informing him that an attack was imminent, but that Adriano was refusing to leave.[95]

The following morning, at 6:27 am, a Templar strike team led by Juhani Otso Berg attacked the hideout. Once they reached the inner sanctum where Adriano was located, he used a bomb to blow up the hideout, killing himself alongside most of the Templar strike team, save for Berg himself.[95][96] The explosion also destroyed the Assassins' files, preventing their contents from falling into Templar hands. Harlan, the only Assassin survivor, fled to Bologna, and, on 1 December at 12:20 pm, sent a message to William informing him of what happened, and that he was "going dark". William responded by telling him to stay strong.[95]

Appearances

Generally, the robes worn by the Italian Apprentices hearkened back to those worn by the Levantine Assassins, being white and accompanied by a red sash around the waist. If the Apprentice attained the rank of Assassin he or she would be given white Assassin robes, similar to those of Ezio's own.

A few prominent Assassins within the Italian Brotherhood eschewed the more traditional attire; among these were the Mentor Niccolò Machiavelli, Bartolomeo d'Alviano, Claudia Auditore, Paola, Antonio de Magianis, Teodora Contanto, La Volpe and Rosa.

Techniques

An Apprentice being inducted as an Assassin

The Italian Assassins were trained in stealth, combat, pickpocketing, blending and parkour and used most of the tactics created by the Levantine Brotherhood. The Apprentices started off with only a hidden blade, but could acquire armor and more weapons as they gained experience. They could also obtain the hidden gun, and were allowed to carry crossbows after attaining the rank of Assassin. The Italian Assassins used a variety of weapons, like swords, maces, heavy weapons, crossbows, poisons, throwing knives, bow and arrows, and daggers.

Members

Middle Ages
Renaissance
Modern Times

Allies and puppets

Renaissance
World War II

Appearances

References

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  2. Assassin's Creed: Origins
  3. 3.0 3.1 Assassin's Creed: The Secret Crusade
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  5. Assassin's Creed Encyclopedia
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Assassin's Creed IIPaying Respects
  7. Assassin's Creed IIDatabase: Villa Auditore
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Assassin's Creed IIChange of Plans
  9. Assassin's Creed: Project LegacyHolidays: Chapter 1 – Ghosts of Christmas Past – \sec_level_04\unsorted\ – Monteriggioni, Italy
  10. Assassin's Creed: Project LegacyItalian Wars: Chapter 3 – Mario Auditore – Under Our Noses – Willpower
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Assassin's Creed: Lineage
  12. Assassin's Creed IIFour to the Floor
  13. Assassin's Creed IIDatabase: Paola
  14. Assassin's Creed: BrotherhoodDatabase: La Volpe (Brotherhood)
  15. 15.0 15.1 Assassin's Creed IIJailbird
  16. Assassin's Creed IIFamily Heirloom
  17. Assassin's Creed IILast Man Standing
  18. Assassin's Creed IIFitting In
  19. Assassin's Creed IIAce Up My Sleeve
  20. Assassin's Creed IIJudge, Jury, Executioner
  21. Assassin's Creed IILaying Low
  22. Assassin's Creed IIRoadside Assistance
  23. Assassin's Creed IICasa Dolce Casa
  24. Assassin's Creed IIPractice Makes Perfect
  25. Assassin's Creed IIWhat Goes Around
  26. 26.0 26.1 Assassin's Creed IIPlay Along
  27. Assassin's Creed IISee You There
  28. Assassin's Creed IINovella's Secret
  29. Assassin's Creed IIFarewell Francesco
  30. Assassin's Creed IIEvasive Maneuvers
  31. Assassin's Creed IIWith Friends Like These
  32. Assassin's Creed: RebellionDatabase: Perina di Bastian
  33. Assassin's Creed IIDatabase: Teodora
  34. Assassin's Creed IIDatabase: Bartolomeo d'Alviano (Assassin's Creed II)
  35. Assassin's Creed IIThat's Gonna Leave a Mark
  36. Assassin's Creed IIMonkey See, Monkey Do
  37. Assassin's Creed IIEverything Must Go
  38. Assassin's Creed IIIf At First You Don't Succeed...
  39. Assassin's Creed IIInfrequent Flier
  40. Assassin's Creed IINun the Wiser
  41. Assassin's Creed IIHaving a Blast
  42. 42.0 42.1 Assassin's Creed IIAn Unpleasant Turn of Events
  43. Assassin's Creed IIAssume the Position
  44. Assassin's Creed IITwo Birds, One Blade
  45. Assassin's Creed: RebellionDatabase: Lucas Bellini
  46. Assassin's Creed: RebellionDatabase: Elena Niccolini
  47. Assassin's Creed: RebellionDatabase: Grazia
  48. Rome: Chapter 2 – Giovanni Borgia – Haunted – Mentor
  49. Assassin's Creed IIDatabase: Niccolò Machiavelli (Assassin's Creed II)
  50. Assassin's Creed IIBattle of ForlìA Warm Welcome
  51. Assassin's Creed IIBoFCheccomate
  52. Assassin's Creed: RebellionDatabase: Girolamo da Lucca
  53. Assassin's Creed II: DiscoveryGo to the Thieves' Guild
  54. Assassin's Creed II: DiscoveryFind Christoffa
  55. Assassin's Creed II: DiscoveryBring the Atlas to the Harbor
  56. Assassin's Creed: RebellionDatabase: Ezio Auditore da Firenze
  57. Assassin's Creed II: DiscoveryChase the Thief
  58. Assassin's Creed II: DiscoveryFind the Assassin's Guild
  59. Assassin's Creed II: DiscoveryEscape the Ambush
  60. Assassin's Creed II: DiscoveryAssassinate Gaspar Martínez
  61. Assassin's Creed II: DiscoveryRescue the Assassin
  62. Assassin's Creed II: DiscoveryFind Pedro Llorente
  63. Assassin's Creed II: DiscoveryRescue the Last Captured Assassin
  64. Assassin's Creed II: DiscoveryAssassinate Pedro Llorente
  65. Assassin's Creed II: DiscoveryReturn to Sánchez
  66. Assassin's Creed: RebellionPrologue
  67. Assassin's Creed: RebellionDatabase: Jean Delacroix
  68. Assassin's Creed II: DiscoveryRace to the Cygnet
  69. Assassin's Creed II: DiscoveryEliminate the Templar Presence
  70. Assassin's Creed II: DiscoveryAssassinate the Templar Spy
  71. Assassin's Creed II: DiscoveryReport the Spy's Death
  72. Assassin's Creed II: DiscoveryOpen the Palace Gates
  73. Assassin's Creed II: DiscoveryStop the Burning of the City
  74. Assassin's Creed II: DiscoveryAssassinate Juan de Marillo
  75. Assassin's Creed II: DiscoveryFind Christoffa
  76. Assassin's Creed II: DiscoveryStop the Assassination
  77. Assassin's Creed II: DiscoveryRid the Palace of Inquisitors
  78. Assassin's Creed II: DiscoveryRescue Raphael Sánchez
  79. Assassin's Creed II: DiscoveryAssassinate Tomás Torquemada
  80. Assassin's Creed: Rebellion
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  82. Assassin's Creed: RebellionDatabase: Tosca Yayal-Ricci
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  84. Assassin's Creed: RebellionA War in the ShadowsThe Meat Cellar
  85. Assassin's Creed: RebellionA War in the ShadowsThe Hydra's Heads
  86. Assassin's Creed: RebellionA War in the ShadowsThe Slaver's Demise
  87. Assassin's Creed: Renaissance
  88. Assassin's Creed IIDatabase: Bartolomeo d'Alviano
  89. Assassin's Creed: BrotherhoodDatabase: Bartolomeo d'Alviano
  90. Assassin's Creed IIBonfire of the Vanities
  91. 91.0 91.1 91.2 91.3 Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy
  92. Assassin's Creed II
  93. 93.0 93.1 93.2 93.3 93.4 93.5 Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
  94. Assassin's Creed: Revelations novel
  95. 95.0 95.1 95.2 95.3 95.4 95.5 95.6 Assassin's Creed: InitiatesDesmond Files
  96. Assassin's Creed: Rogue

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