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This article is about the legendary Greek misthios Kassandra. You may be looking for the occupation, Mercenary.
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"Humanity's fate will be decided by the choices you make."
Pythagoras, to Kassandra[src]

Kassandra  (Greek: Κασσανδρα; 458 or 453 BCE – 2018 CE), also known as the Eagle-Bearer, the West Wind, or simply by her role as Misthios (English: Mercenary), was a Spartan mercenary who fought during the Peloponnesian War.

During her exploits as a mercenary, Kassandra came into conflict with the secretive Cult of Kosmos, a pro-templar organization intent on controlling all of Greece and beyond. She later opposed the Order of the Ancients, who sought to hunt her down, due in part to her nature as a Tainted One, and also for her allying herself with Darius. For her opposition against the Cult and the Order, Kassandra is considered one of the early precursors to the Assassin Brotherhood.

She was the older half-sister of Alexios and, through her mother, Myrrine, the granddaughter of King Leonidas I of Sparta. Although raised by her step-father, Nikolaos, Kassandra was the biological daughter of Pythagoras. She was also the mother of Elpidios, an ancestor of Aya, one of the co-founders of the Hidden Ones.

Biography

Early life

Kassandra was born in Sparta to Myrrine, the daughter of King Leonidas I and the philosopher Pythagoras,[1] who's lifespan was extended due to the Staff of Hermes Trismegistus he possessed. Shortly after her birth, her father departed from Sparta on a quest to learn more about the Isu and the staff his possessed. As such, Myrrine was left to raise Kassandra alone.[2] As a baby, Myrrine brought Kassandra to the acting Pythia, who said that the child "such promise.[3] At one point, Myrrine later met and married the Spartan general Nikolaos who, despite Kassandra not being her own flesh and blood, raised her as one of his own. Kassandra would later gain a younger brother named Alexios.[4]

ACOD Memories Awoken Kassandra Myrrine Spear

Kassandra given the Spear of Leonidas by her mother

Owing to her lineage as being a granddaughter of Leonidas, great hopes were placed upon her to live up to the strength and valor of Leonidas.[4] As such Kassandra was trained in fighting at a young age by Nikolaos.[5] While training in the woods near Sparta as a child, Kassandra was presented with the broken Spear of Leonidas, an Isu weapon, as an heirloom by her mother. Afterwards, Kassandra wouldn't let go of the spear, even in her sleep, telling her parents that she needed it "to fight the monsters in [her] dreams."[6]

In 446 BCE, the Pythia Praxithea[7] at Sanctuary of Delphi prophesied at the decree of the Cult of Kosmos that Kassandra's younger brother, the baby Alexios, would bring about the fall of Sparta. In order to prevent this, Alexios was to be sacrificed at Mount Taygetos, despite Myrrine's pleas for Nikolaos to stop it. As a priest was about to drop Alexios, Kassandra attempted to stop the sacrifice, but instead pushed the priest and Alexios to their apparent deaths. Kassandra was condemned as a traitor to Sparta by the ephors, who urged Nikolaos to execute her immediately.[8]

ACOD Nikolaos Drop Kassandra

Nikolaos dropping Kassandra to her seemingly death

Nikolaos, being adherent to Spartan law, reluctantly complied and held Kassandra by her hand and dropped her down the mountain despite pleas from Myrrine. However, Kassandra survived the fall, and escaped to the beach with the spear. Refusing to be found by the Spartans, Kassandra fled out to the open sea in a boat, with an eagle following her. A storm later turned Kassandra's boat overboard and she woke up on the beaches of Kephallonia. There, she was greeted by Markos, who took her under his wing and tasked her to do errands for him.[4]

Life as a misthios

As the years went by, Kassandra continued performing errands for Markos, occasionally helping him to settle debts that he owed. Around this time, she forged a career as a mercenary under the tutelage of such men as Photios[9] and Heitor,[10] and acquired misthios as her nickname on the island. At some point, she and Markos took an Athenian orphan Phoibe as part of their 'family'.

Kassandra set up home within the Ancient Ruins of Kranioi on the western coast of Kephallonia, far from other people. She worked from there, and habitually clashed with thugs and bandits working for the Cyclops, a bandit leader who sought to rule the island.[11]

In 431 BCE, Kassandra once more beat up the thugs that came to her on behalf of the Cyclops. Afterwards Phoibe stopped by, telling her that Markos wanted to see her at his vineyard. Coming across Markos in his new vineyard, she was initially angry at his purchase of the vineyard while he still owed her drachmae. Calming her with the promise of more, he directed her to Duris who owed Markos drachmae. Kassandra then chose a horse she named Phobos.[11]

Before Kassandra could collect her debt, she was informed that Phoibe had been kidnapped and was being held at Ktimene Beach. After making her way to the beach, she stealthily dealt with the three thugs guarding Phoibe. Assured that Phoibe was alright, Kassandra then went to find Duris in order to collect her debt. Heading back to Markos, she caught him in an argument with the bowyer Drucilla about her stolen lumber shipment. Kassandra then got Drucilla to fix her bow before she went and fixed her stolen lumber problem.[4]

Working for Elpenor

Afterwards Kassandra returned to Markos, who then laid out his plan to repay the Cyclops by stealing his obsidian eye. Kassandra infiltrated the Cyclops' estate and stole the eye. Upon returning to Markos, he insisted she hold onto the eye before telling her that a group of bandits had arrived on Kephallonia. He believed the bandits were there to work with the Cyclops, and suggested Kassandra deal with them.[12] Kassandra then went to an abandoned house the bandits were squatting and killed them all. To her surprise, the last bandit was executed by their real employer, a man named Elpenor of Kirrha.[13] Furthermore, Elpenor stated he was looking for Kassandra and hired her to recover Penelope's shroud from Ithaka. Subsequently, after Kassandra recovered the item, Elpenor hired her to assassinate a Spartan general nicknamed the Wolf in Megaris.[14]

Requiring a ship to reach Megaris, Kassandra learned from the shipmaster Telemenes that the Cyclops had a ship and had returned to Kephallonia. Thus she confronted him in Kleptous Bay, interrupting him torturing a one-eyed man. After mocking the Cyclops by sticking his obsidian eye up a goat's backside and then killing him, Kassandra made the acquaintance of Barnabas, captain of the Adrestia, who agreed to transport her to Megaris. After bidding farewell to Markos and Phoibe, Kassandra informed Barnabas of her contract and was surprised to learn that the Wolf was none other than her father, Nikalaos.[8]

Death

Kassandra eventually obtained the Staff of Hermes Trismegistus and became immortal until she passed on the staff to Layla Hassan who in 2018 ventured into the Isu temple under the island of Thera.[15][16][17]

Personality and traits

"I always finish what I've started"
―A catchphrase of Kassandra as her profession as misthios[src]
As a mercenary, Kassandra had one prime goal - drachmae. Willing to go to extreme lengths to earn it, Kassandra had no qualms about choosing sides in battle. She had a soft spot for children however, particularly Phoibe, a young orphaned Athenian girl. She was able to hold a grudge, as seen with how she reacted when she was reunited with Nikolaos, her estranged step-father. Kassandra was also known to be impatient and quick to anger at times, and would often intimidate those who angered her.

According to both Phoibe [18] as well as Kassandra herself, she never really got sick.[19]

Equipment and skills

"To shoot, you need to raise your elbow to be level with your ear, keeping your arm straight and relaxed. Your arrow needs to be just below your eye, then exhale on release. Try to aim for the eye so that you don't damage the rest of the meat."
―Kassandra, on the bases of archery[src]
Trained from a young age to fight as a Spartan, Kassandra was a highly skilled warrior capable of defeating multiple opponents simultaneously. Kassandra was able to competently wield a variety of weapon types, including swords, bows, spears, and axes. Unlike most Spartan warriors, however, Kassandra did not rely on a shield for protection, instead being able to easily deflect enemy attacks.

A master of stealth, Kassandra was able to silently assassinate her targets undetected and was also able to utilize the foliage of bushes to remain hidden from her enemies. She also proved proficient in the use of the Spear of Leonidas which aided her in silent assassinations. The Spear also gifts Kassandra with Superhuman powers which includes enabling her to know what, when and how her enemies are going to attack, giving her a major edge over her enemies in combat. It greatly enhances her physical strength to the point where she can send normal and giant sized men to animals as large as grizzly bears flying through the air dozens of feet away from her in a single blow with sufficient force. Her blows could even stagger Legendary beasts like the Nemean Lion and a Cyclops with significant effort. She could also briefly enhance her speed and reflexes to the point where she can move faster then a human eye can see or react to and can also regenerate her injuries that would normally be fatal, although the Spear does have a limit, as shown during the flashback of Leonidas' death that Kassandra experiences upon visiting his grave. If necessary, the Spear can also turn her invisible for a short while, allow minor control over poison and fire, produce concussive shockwaves, charge arrows with raw explosive energy, phase arrows through solid objects, and very minor control over time, only allowing for time to be stopped for five seconds.

A skilled freerunner, Kassandra was able to scale the statue of Athena in Athens as well as natural elements with relative ease. She also proved to be a strong swimmer whilst searching the ruins of underwater shipwrecks and was capable of holding her breath for a relatively long period of time.

Kassandra shared a symbiotic relationship with her eagle, Ikaros, which aided her in reconnaissance thanks to her Eagle Vision. Unlike later generations who possessed the skill, her Eagle Vision was far more literal in the sense that activating the ability allowed her to see through the eyes of Ikaros.

With the Staff of Hermes, which was passed on to her by her father Pythagoras, Kassandra was rendered immortal and remained unchanged for far longer than two thousand years. With the staff she no longer required food or water as the staff sustained her needs. She could even cause the Staff of Hermes to transform into anything she chooses, such as a lantern. While never shown, it is assumed she could use everything the staff gave to it's user, including short range teleportation and energy manipulation and projection.

By 2018, Kassandra had a great deal of knowledge of every innovation and discoveries which have happened in her immensely long lifespan, recognizing Layla's device. She also is aware of a great deal of historical information as well as the existence of many secret societies that have risen during her immensely long lifespan.

Trivia

  • Kassandra (Κασσανδρα) is an Ancient Greek name derived from possibly κεκασμαι (kekasmai) "to excel, to shine" and ἀνήρ (anḗr) "man", altogether meaning "shining upon men".
    • Her name could also be a reference to the Trojan princess who was given the power of foresight by Apollo, but when she rejected him, he cursed these visions so that they would come true, but she wouldn't be believed (this is known as the "Cassandra metaphor", in which a figure with knowledge of the truth and/or upcoming disasters is ignored).
  • Kassandra is one of two selectable protagonists in Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, alongside Alexios. Regardless of who the player chooses, the two protagonists share the same story. However, the novelization of the video game confirms that Kassandra is the canonical protagonist.
    • If the player chooses Alexios as the protagonist then he and Kassandra's roles in the story are reversed, with Kassandra becoming Alexios' younger sister.
  • Kassandra has a scar on her right upper lip.
  • As of January 2019, one-third of Odyssey players have chosen Kassandra as the protagonist. During playtesting, the split was 50/50.[20]

Gallery

Appearances

Notes

  1. The Assassin's Creed: Odyssey novel and game provide conflicting information for a year of birth, with the novel implying 451 BCE and the game, 446 BCE.

References

  1. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyA Family's Legacy
  2. Assassin's Creed: Odyssey
  3. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyCatching Up
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Assassin's Creed: OdysseyDebt Collector
  5. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyHome Sweet Home
  6. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyMemories Awoken
  7. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyThe Unkindest Cut
  8. 8.0 8.1 Assassin's Creed: OdysseyThe Big Break
  9. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyPhotios's Pre-Tirement
  10. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyA Friend in Need...
  11. 11.0 11.1 Assassin's Creed: OdysseySo It Begins
  12. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyAn Eye for an Eye
  13. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyFancy Guests
  14. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyPenelope's Shroud
  15. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyThe Gates of Atlantis
  16. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyAncient Revelations
  17. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyAtlantis Destroyed
  18. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyAbandoned By the Gods
  19. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyMysterious Malady
  20. Game Informer #109: Assassin's Creed Odyssey