Ivan sought to expand the power and territory of Moscow, focusing internally on knowledge and security, and very little information left Moscow. In 1503, during the liberation of Rome, Ezio Auditore da Firenze sent a team of Italian Assassin Apprentices to investigate the disappearance of a fellow Assassin, Pietro Antonio Solari, in Moscow.
These investigations led the Assassins to another member of the Order, Ridolfo Fioravant, who had gone into hiding. He explained to the Apprentices that Ivan was close to uncovering the truth behind the Order.
To avoid the exposure of their actual intentions in Russia, the Assassins decided to distract the ruler by presenting him a fictitious conspiracy to investigate. They began spreading false proof of a reemergence in an organization known as the Strigolniki Sect. Through the fabricated documents, paranoia spread throughout Moscow and Ivan sent his top agents to investigate the non-existent cult.
The Assassins promptly killed the agents and carved the Strigolniki symbol on the floorboards beneath their deceased bodies, causing Ivan to direct all his attention to the Strigolniki Sect and relinquish investigations of the Assassin Brotherhood.