Maffeo Polo (c. 1230 – c. 1309) was a Venetian merchant and explorer, the brother of Niccolò Polo, and the uncle of Marco Polo. Working with his brother for the majority of his life, they established trading posts in Constantinople, Sudak and in the western part of the Mongol Empire.
In 1257, Niccolò and Maffeo were inducted into the Assassin Order by the Mentor of the Levantine Brotherhood, Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, and his son Darim. Entrusted with Altaïr's Codex and the future of the Assassin Order, the Polo brothers established various Assassins Guilds, like in Constantinople and Venice.
Maffeo was born in Venice in around 1230. His brother was also born in the same year. In 1250, the brothers left the city for Constantinople, then under the Latin Empire, in hopes of profiting from its occupation. There, they established a trading outpost and spent the next few years travelling between Constantinople and Florence. Around this time, Maffeo became an uncle following the birth of Niccolò's son Marco.
In 1255, the brothers befriend the Levantine Assassin Darim Ibn-La'Ahad, the son of the Mentor Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad who invited him to Masyaf. Accepting the invitation, Maffeo and Niccolò sailed south to Acre and from there travelled to Masyaf.
Joining the Assassins
In 1257, Maffeo and his brother arrived in Masyaf and met Altaïr. Together, the two spent six months in Masyaf, and while his brother was by Altaïr's side frequently, Maffeo grew restless, longing to set sail and leave the Assassin fortress behind. To counter his brother's boredom, Niccolò told him about the fortress' Assassin heritage.
During the preliminary Mongol attacks on the Masyaf castle in 1257, the Mentor gave the Polo brothers his Codex, and guided them out of the fortress with the help of an Apple of Eden, an advanced technological device created by the Isu, in order to fend off Mongol invaders.
At the bottom of Masyaf, Altaïr bequeathed five keys to Maffeo's brother, asking him to keep them safe. Although the two safely carried the keys in their travels, the Codex was lost two days later during an attack by a Mongol scouting party. Following these events, the Polos, then honorary members of the Assassin Order, returned to Constantinople; their mission being to set up a trading post and establish a Guild in the city. Before departing in 1259 to the Mongol Empire, they distributed the keys across the city and surrounding area.
Generations later, Sofia Sartor operated a bookstore out of the Polos' old trading post in the heart of the city, and eventually helped her future husband Ezio Auditore da Firenze locate four of the five keys by translating books hidden by the Polos throughout Constantinople.
Behind the scenes
In the Italian version of Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Maffeo Polo is referred to as 'Matteo Polo'.