- "It is Capitaine Louis-Joseph Gaultier, Chevalier de la Vérendrye. And you are dreaming if you think any training could make you into a proper Assassin. Do you even know what that means? It means being responsible for an ancient and proud tradition. It means obeying your Mentor without question. How else will we ensure freedom for the human race?"
- ―De la Vérendrye arguing with Shay Cormac, 1752.[src]
Louis-Joseph Gaultier, Chevalier de la Vérendrye (1717 – 1760) was a French-Canadian explorer of noble upbringing and one of the original members of the Colonial Brotherhood of Assassins. He captained the Gerfaut, a Man O' War, during the Seven Years' War and was slain by Shay Cormac in the Colonial Brotherhood purge.
Life as an explorer
The following year, Louis-Joseph re-established Fort Maurepas. His father rewarded him with the title of chevalier, passing over Louis-Joseph's older brother in the process. Chevalier de la Vérendrye would spend the next four years exploring North Dakota and Manitoba.
Joining the Assassins
In 1744, de la Vérendrye became the commander of a frontier post for the French government. Around this time, he met the Assassins Achilles Davenport and Liam O'Brien and assisted them on a mission. As a result, Achilles asked de la Vérendrye to join his newly founded Colonial Brotherhood in 1746, an offer which the latter gladly accepted. Alongside Liam, Hope Jensen, and Kesegowaase, de la Vérendrye comprised the core group of Achilles' first pupils, and through him, the Assassins gained valuable allies among smugglers, pirates, and the French government, such as Le Chasseur.
De la Vérendrye's father died in 1749, and political challenges hampered any further expeditions west. That same year, he also became acquainted with Shay Cormac, Liam's childhood friend who became a new recruit. The two immediately developed enmity for one another, and hostile exchanges would characterize their relationship for the rest of their lives.
Around 1750, de la Vérendrye found himself embroiled in disputes with the captain of the newly constructed ship the Aquila. Consequently, he besought Robert Faulkner, another Colonial Assassin with naval expertise, to replace the captain. Faulkner declined in a letter under the belief that he was unworthy to take charge of the best ship in their fleet, opting instead to serve as first mate. In the meantime, he also informed de la Vérendrye of suspicious activity involving the French shipping companies of the Lévesque and de L'Isle families, correctly surmising that they were Templar affiliates. Finally, Faulkner explained that he still had to secure his operations at his home in St. John's before he could fully commit to joining the Assassins. He closed his letter by sharing his foreboding premonitions of the Colonial Brotherhood's near future—warnings which would prove prophetic.
Meeting with smugglers
- "The Royal Navy attacked my vessel and forced my men to flee! We are stranded, and what is worse, the smugglers we were supposed to meet have been taken prisoner."
- ―Chevalier to Shay and Liam, 1752.[src]
In January 1752, de la Vérendrye was on a mission to meet with a group of smugglers in Port-Menier. Accompanying him were Shay and Liam although de la Vérendrye refused to tell the former about the actual purpose of the mission. While Shay and Liam went hunting, the smugglers were captured, and de la Vérendrye's ship, the Gerfaut, was attacked and badly damaged by the Royal Navy, forcing it to flee while its captain was still disembarked.
This left de la Vérendrye stranded with some of his wounded men. As Shay and Liam returned, the impatient chevalier berated the former for being away at a moment when he was needed, but Shay's dismissive retorts only served to provoke him. Unable to contain his anger, de la Vérendrye struck out at Shay and a brief fist-fight ensued before Liam intervened to stop them and remind them of their mission.
At Liam's suggestion, Chevalier treated his men while Liam and Shay freed the smugglers. After the trio slew the British sailors of the docked sloop-of-war, the Morrigan, Shay seized it for his own, and the Assassins set off after the Gerfaut to protect it from the rest of the British vessels. Their victory in the naval skirmish that followed allowed de la Vérendrye to return to his own ship.
Throughout the rest of the year, de la Vérendrye devoted himself back to fur trading, a venture that failed to be fruitful.
Finding the Pieces of Eden
- Chevalier: "Ah, the cabbage farmer returns. About time. We have a lead on the curious manuscript."
- Shay: "I'd be surprised if you could read it."
- Chevalier: "No one can read it, imbécile. This is why the Templars are taking so long with it. But one of our allies has caught a glimpse of their work. [...] We set sail for Anticosti. That should prove a good test for this floating cesspit you call a ship."
- —Chevalier and Shay, 1752.[src]
In March 1752, the Assassin Adéwalé visited the Davenport Homestead and met with Achilles. As de la Vérendrye guarded the meeting, Adéwalé revealed that during the earthquake in Haiti the year before, the Templars had stolen two Pieces of Eden from the Assassins: the Precursor box and the Manuscript.
A month later, de la Vérendrye met with Shay and Liam at Port la Joye. They then set sail for Anticosti Island to meet with Le Chasseur, who had intelligence regarding the artifacts. Along the way, the three discussed various Assassin affairs and also plundered a British schooner. After upgrading the Morrigan, they sank a fleet of British ships and arrived at Anticosti.
Meeting with Le Chasseur at the island's fort, they learned that the Manuscript was in the hands of the Templar Lawrence Washington. After assassinating Washington, Shay learned that the Box and Manuscript had been entrusted to two other Templars, Samuel Smith and James Wardrop, respectively.
- Shay: "There he is!"
- Chevalier: "Most fortunate timing. Lady Luck never ceases to smile on you."
- Shay: "He's seen us. Give chase!"
- Chevalier: "But hold your fire! We must not damage the Box or risk losing it to the sea."
- —Shay and Chevalier finding Smith, 1754.[src]
In May 1754, the Gerfaut was severely damaged during a battle with three British ships near St. John's. Watching the ship from the settlement with Le Chasseur, de la Vérendrye was joined by Shay. Le Chasseur informed the two that Smith had returned from a voyage to Europe, having failed to activate the Box. With Smith nearby, de la Vérendrye joined Shay and Liam aboard the Morrigan, now outfitted with Puckle guns and an icebreaker ram.
While wondering why Smith sailed in such a remote area, de la Vérendrye suggested sinking the Templar's ship to be rid of him easily. However, Shay reminded him that Smith likely held the Box, and the Assassins therefore decided not to damage the ship. Although Smith's schooner led the Morrigan into a skirmish and attempted to deter the pursuers with burning oil, Shay gave chase and eventually assassinated Smith at Terra Nova, recovering the artifact in the process.<
Confrontation at the Homestead
- "Has Chevalier gone mad? He'll destroy the manor!"
- ―An Assassin seeing the Gerfaut bombarding the Davenport Homestead, 1756.[src]
After Shay recovered the Manuscript from Wardrop, the Assassins sent him to Lisbon to find a Piece of Eden underneath the Carmo Convent. In the process however, Shay unintentionally caused a devastating earthquake which nearly destroyed the city.
A disillusioned Shay subsequently stole the Manuscript from Achilles at the homestead in order to keep the Assassins from discovering another First Civilization site. While Shay attempted to escape, Achilles ordered the Assassins to stop him. As such, de la Vérendrye bombarded the Homestead with the Gerfaut's mortars.
De la Vérendrye and the other Assassins later cornered Shay at a cliff. When Shay attempted to leap into the water, de la Vérendrye shot him in the shoulder, causing him to fall to his apparent death. It wasn't until August 1757 that the Assassins learned of Shay's survival and defection to the Templar Order.
- Chevalier: "So, cabbage farmer, are you still convinced the Templars are right?"
- Shay: "Convinced to the end. You bastard! Achilles and Liam have already headed north!"
- Chevalier: "Hope was right... I do make... a good... distraction."
- —Chevalier during his final moments and Shay inspecting his charts, 1760.[src]
In 1759, the Assassins were preparing an expedition to another precursor site. In October of that year, they met at the New York harbour, discussing their progress. De la Vérendrye told Achilles that although they were gathering ships and supplies, it was difficult to do so without a specific destination. Hope Jensen assured Chevalier that several of her men could participate in the expedition.
Liam noted that Hope would soon be able to activate the Box and find another precursor site, and the Assassins left the area. After Hope activated the Box in her mansion, Liam left with it and the Manuscript to meet with de la Vérendrye in the Arctic. Afterwards, Shay chased after Hope and assassinated her. In her final words, Hope revealed that her death merely served as a distraction for Liam to reach de la Vérendrye.
Meeting with Liam, de la Vérendrye was entrusted to keep the Box from falling into the Templars' hands. In order to do this, he sent the artifact away to an unknown location.
A short time after, de la Vérendrye sailed to an Assassin outpost on Anticosti, leaving encrypted maps of his route to the site in the hands of the captain there. Shay recovered these maps and enlisted the aid of James Cook in tracking down de la Vérendrye and acquiring his charts of the precursor site. Knowing that Shay would chase after the Assassin expedition, de la Vérendrye volunteered to stay behind with the Gerfaut and a fleet of ships to stop him.
After the Morrigan sank the fleet, the Gerfaut ambushed it with mortars. Despite the Gerfaut's superior size and firepower, it was disabled by the Morrigan. It was soon boarded by Shay and his crew. As the two fought, de la Vérendrye angrily taunted Shay, telling him that he would be forgotten to history while de la Vérendrye would be remembered for his deeds.
However, de la Vérendrye was cut down by an enraged Shay. As he bled out, the defeated de la Vérendrye made his way to the ship's railing. He asked his former accomplice if he truly believed the Templars were right, to which Shay answered in the affirmative before punching him in the stomach. Looking at the charts, Shay was furious to discover that Achilles and Liam had already headed north to the site. De la Vérendrye mocked his former colleague, claiming that Hope was right in that he had made a good distraction for him. In a fit of rage, Shay threw de la Vérendrye overboard to the icy depths below. De la Vérendrye's maps were then bequeathed to Cook.
Personality and characteristics
- Gist: "From the brief encounters I've had with him, I can tell you he's an irascible person."
- Shay: "That's a polite way of saying he's a cantankerous bastard."
- —Shay Cormac and Christopher Gist discussing Chevalier, 1760.[src]
De la Vérendrye was incredibly arrogant and short-tempered, traits that often manifested in vulgar aggression. Among his peers in the Colonial Brotherhood, de la Vérendrye exhibited a vitriolic hatred for Shay Cormac, believing him to be ignorant, reckless, and disrespectful. He also frequently mocked Shay's lower-class Irish origins, calling him a "cabbage farmer", and the two engaged in frequent fights, both verbal and physical. The hatred was clearly mutual, as when Shay defeated de la Vérendrye, he did not exhibit the same remorse he had shown to his other former comrades. Instead, Shay angrily tossed the dying Frenchman overboard to his death.
He was also quick to correct Shay at any given opportunity and usually underestimated his skills. He refused to acknowledge Shay's ship, the Morrigan, as anything more than a useless and ineffectual pile of junk, even after it had saved his own ship from destruction. When Shay fought Chevalier in 1760, the latter was convinced that he could kill the Templar with ease, although he was quickly proven wrong.
De la Vérendrye was loyal and dedicated to the Assassin cause, viewing it as a hallowed, ancient tradition to be venerated. He was therefore immensely proud of his membership within the Order, looking up to veteran Assassins such as Adéwalé, but his devotion did not translate into a faithful understanding of the Creed and its principles. He insisted to Shay that the way of the Assassin demanded unconditional obedience to one's superiors, especially the Mentor, in direct contradiction to Assassin norms of appealing to free thought, not authority. In violation of the key tenets prohibiting harm to innocents and the Brotherhood, de la Vérendrye used Achilles' order to prevent Shay's escape as an excuse to bombard the Davenport Homestead indiscriminately.
De la Vérendrye believed that negotiation with the Templars was impossible, jokingly asking Shay if he would "smile and wish them a good day as they lay their boot on [his] neck", when the latter suggested dialogue with their enemies. He was often very secretive about his activities, which caused his allies to be wary of him.
For all his misanthropic behaviour, the chevalier nonetheless displayed a wondrous fascination with the adventurous tales of the Golden Age of Piracy, specifically as it was romanticized decades later. He was familiar with the famous figures of that period, including Blackbeard, Calico Jack, and Woodes Rogers.
Equipment and skills
- "(I've been practicing my aim, I'll get a bullseye this time.)"
- ―Chevalier to Shay, 1760.[src]
De la Vérendrye was among the most experienced sailors in the Colonial Brotherhood, captaining a Man O' War named the Gerfaut. He was able to use a snowstorm to surprise the Morrigan and bombard it with mortars.
- Historically, de la Verendrye died off Cape Breton while sailing to France when the British began occupying his family's trading outposts at 1761. Furthermore, his ship was called the Auguste, which was a frigate rather than the Man O' War, Gerfaut.
- Among all members of the Colonial Assassins, de la Vérendrye is the only one not seen wielding at least one Hidden Blade.
- Assassin's Creed: Rogue – Database: Louis-Joseph Gauthier, Chevalier de la Vérendrye
- Assassin's Creed: Rogue – Lessons and Revelations
- Assassin's Creed: Rogue – Tinker Sailor Soldier Spy
- Assassin's Creed: Rogue – War Letters
- Assassin's Creed III: Liberation
- Assassin's Creed: Unity
- Assassin's Creed: Rogue – War Letters
- Assassin's Creed: Rogue – The Way the Wind Blows
- Assassin's Creed: Rogue – Fiat Lux
- Assassin's Creed: Rogue – Freewill
- Assassin's Creed: Rogue – Cold Fire
- Assassin's Creed II – Bonfire of the Vanities
- Assassin's Creed II – Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad's Codex