Niccolò Machiavelli's journal was a personal journal written by Niccolò Machiavelli during the Renaissance. In Modern times, Abstergo Entertainment discovered this journal through the Identity Project, one of the Animus Project.
"I have promised myself that, before I die, I will make an effort and put every life lesson I've learned on paper; so that the good men of the future will learn about the bad men of the past. On these next few pages, I will write about one of Cesare Borgia's plans that almost caused the downfall of Rome; if not for me and the Assassins of Italy."
Although it was believed that the Assassin Brotherhood has abandoned Monteriggioni and the Villa Auditore was left for ruin; one Assassin was still acting as a guardian for the citizens and protector of the secret chambers under the city.
One morning, three men acting as tax-collectors entered the city and proceeded to harass some of the citizens; hurting the women and kicking the men. The Guard Captain of the city was obviously bribed as he ordered his men to follow and protect the tax-collectors. The Assassin was quick to react and hunted them down one by one. The citizens quickly removed the bodies of the mercenaries from the streets and the city resumed to its daily routine. The Assassin returned to the secret chambers only to realize that while he was away protecting the citizens, somebody managed to gain entry to the chambers; and stole an Assassin Artifact. This artifact was one of the chests that previously belonged to Mario Auditore.
"I believe that the three mercenaries were just a distraction. There was a fourth man who used the mercenaries to distract the Assassin so he can steal the chest."
"The Assassin knew that Mario Auditore stored many important and dangerous artifacts deep within the chambers. So how did the thief know which chest to steal when all of them were locked tight?"
While walking the rooftops in search for the thief, the Assassin's attention turned towards a loud crowd that was gathering in front of the house of the local doctor; Pietro de Galencia. The Assassin moved closer to the house only to arrive and witness a gravely, tortured body of an old man being dragged out of the house. I later learned that his Pietro was in truth a Borgia Agent hired by Cesare Borgia. He was tasked to look for the secrets of the Assassins and if possible; to get his hands on them. This meant that Pietro was the one who stole Mario's chest from the Chambers.
Pietro moved to Monteriggioni a few years back claiming to be a doctor; though now I suspect that he was just a very good actor. He made friends with the citizens and managed to quickly gain their trust and friendship. Two days before he stole the chest, an old man with a broken hand visited Pietro. Whilst they were sharing their experiences of living in Monteriggioni, the old man confessed that his son was an Assassin acting in Roma. Pietro knocked out the old man and dragged him to the cellars where he tortured him for information. The old man revealed the location of one of the secret entrances; which eventually led Pietro to the chest.
As Pietro was about to escape the city, the old man somehow escaped from the cellar and alerted the citizens about Pietro's betrayal. Forced to think fast, Pietro summoned his henchman to the front of the church. But it was too late as the Assassin was already in pursuit of him. When Pietro's gaze met the Assassin's, he tried to flee but the Assassin caught up to him and killed him swiftly.
Unfortunately, the chest was no longer in his possession. The Assassin sprinted to Pietro's house but all that he was able to find in a hidden compartment in the wall was a stack of letters. Each of these letters contained the Borgia seal and were written by Cesare Borgia himself; referring to Pietro as an "agent".
"During the following years, my scout often reported people being brutally murdered all over Tuscany. Villagers were talking about men clad in black-feathered armor appearing from nowhere; killing peasants and common folk just for sport. To be honest, I never paid too much attention to those rumors. I later realized how big of a mistake it was to ignore them."
A good friend of mine Leonardo da Vinci was living in Firenze back in those days. On a morning like any other, he would meet a friend of his near the beautiful Santa Croce Cathedral. Having a keen eye for detail, he quickly spotted several suspicious civilians following his every step. Using one of the signs Ezio had thought him, Leonardo summoned an Assassin who was on watch duty around that part of the city. Leonardo asked the Assassin to escort him to safety; as he feared for his life.
Whilst walking a few steps behind Leonardo, the Assassin sensed danger. Using his special power, he quickly detected a suspicious man disguised as a civilian. The man was wearing black clothes that were decorated with black crow feathers. The Assassin decided to kill him as fast as possible. Leonardo and the Assassin hurried toward the hideout but their advance was constantly interrupted by Medici Guards; who were allegedly tasked to arrest Leonardo.
Eventually, Leonardo was escorted to safety but during the next few weeks, the reports regarding these mysterious people were becoming more and more frequent.
"Their uniforms were filled with black feathers... crow feathers, maybe? And... they were displaying the same techniques the Assassins used. The most terrifying revelation came later when a scout returned with one of the weapons these mysterious killers were using: a modified Hidden Blade. But how did they manage to make them? Who are these people?"
"Many people believed that nobody can kill an Assassin. But that night... it happened. I would have given my life to save them."
No master is perfect. Bad decisions were common even for me. On a mist-filled night, an Assassin scout visited me. He was the one who escorted Leonardo out of the catacombs after Ezio saved him from the hands of Ercole Massimo. After Ezio left, the Assassin explored the catacombs and found a secluded tunnel that was blocked by thick grates and a metal door locked shut. Through the grates, the man had spotted several scrolls and manuscripts; but one little box caught his attention. It was a small chest that had the Assassin's Mark on it.
I sent him and three more apprentices to the catacombs to recover the chest as soon as possible. I had waited for hours but they failed to return with tragic news. The Assassins were captured within the ruins and killed by a group of Borgia Agents and their men.
Driven by rage, I summoned a veteran Assassin and commanded him to hunt down the Agents and recover the belongings of our fallen brothers. The Assassin left without saying a word and returned an hour later; with blood dripping from his blades. He handed over the Hidden Blades of the apprentices and the small chest; before leaving without saying a word. Upon further examination, I concluded that this chest was the one Pietro stole from the Villa Auditore all those years ago.
"While browsing the contents of the chest, I found that it contained a modified copy of the original blueprints of the Hidden Blades. This blueprint depicts a strange blade with a head of a crow carved deep into the steel. It seems that somebody has tried to replicate the blades and with great success."
"Sometimes the most innocent hands can create the most dangerous things. In my life I have met many people that I learned to respected, but this man Demetrio was something special."
I was spending some time away from Roma and I decided to return to Firenze. Cesare Borgia was in the city and his presence filled the air with fear. His men taking over the whole plaza in front of the Signoria was the first sign that he is using his powers to showcase his influence. He was about to celebrate some achievement of his by organizing a public execution of several prisoners who were sentenced to death.
Later that morning I received a letter by bird. The letter was signed by a man named Demetrio who asked the Brotherhood for aid. In his letter, he described how he wanted to murder Cesare Borgia when the night comes. He also pleaded for me to send out Assassins who will escort him out when the panic breaks out. His letter was short, mysterious and very straightforward.
Along with an Assassin, we climbed to the top of the residence in front of the Signoria in order to witness the event. As time flew by and the sun began descending behind the far mountains, nothing had happened. The Assassin then pointed at Cesare Borgia who was standing near the entrance of the Signoria; waiting for his guards to drag a man to his feet. He then kicked the prisoner and ordered his men to execute him along the other prisoners. After witnessing the scene with me, the Assassin pointed out that the man in chains is Demetrio, a blacksmith employed by Cesare. The realization was shocking. It seems Demetrio's plan failed but nevertheless, the Assassin used his tricks and managed to rescue him.
"Demetrio was a good man and a better scientist. Cesare forced him to replicate the Hidden Blades using the blueprints that were stolen from Leonardo. Demetrio refused to produce more so Cesare had his tongue cut out and tortured him for days. From then on Demetrio tried to kill Cesare several times but failed each attempt. It was inevitable that Cesare will eventually realize Demetrio's attempts. When I handed Demetrio the prototype I have recovered from Mario's chest, he confirmed these were made by him. He called them The Corvix Blades."
"I have spent many days and nights reading Demetrio's notes. The man shared everything that I wanted to know about the plans of Cesare Borgia. It seems that the man was utterly devoted to his dreams, even if those were the dreams of a madman. Demetrio writes that upon realizing that his men cannot use the Corvix Blades, Casare [sic] decided to create his own breed of Assassins. He acquired a group of young men from an orphanage and sent them to Vallombrosa; a secluded abbey not far from Firenze. He then used his connections and contacted a Spanish Assassin named Raphael Sánchez who he invited to train his new recruits. Raphael believing it was the Brotherhood who invited him, trained the young men for more than five years. On a summer day, a bald man sent by Cesare stormed through the gates of Vallombrosa, claiming that Raphael's task is over and he should return to Spain immediately. After Raphael left confused, the bald man then presented the young apprentices with the Corvix Blades and told them that the true training was about to begin. This man treated the young men as family, telling them that all of them are like sons to him, and named them: The Crows."
There was something mysterious happening near the Colosseo on that day. Scouts were reporting unusual Borgia activity inside their main camp. I tasked an Assassin to investigate. The Assassin arrived at the camp where he discovered a huge load of weapons that arrived from Firenze. He opened one of the crates and found it filled with Corvix Blades. Upon investigating further, the Assassin infiltrated the camp occupied by soldiers wearing black-colored uniforms. He quickly identified them as members of The Crows.
He then climbed on the top of the Arch of Constantine and by using his special ability; he spotted an ex Borgia captain called Matteo who was having a conversation with an unknown bald man. The Assassin waited for them to separate and then followed Matteo to the top of the Colosseo. After a brief parley, the Assassin killed and kicked Matteo off the building.
"After the Crows left the camp, my scouts followed them to the outskirts of the city. On the road they found the unknown bald man who was last seen hours ago talking to Matteo. His name was Sirus Favero and claimed to be a weapon merchant from which Cesare was placing orders for special weapons. Sirus swore to me that he had no knowledge that the crates contained Corvix Blades. He was eager to join our cause as he apparently developed a certain kind of hatred against the Borgia and with Cesare in particular. He might prove to be a useful ally, who knows."
"Sirus proved to be a useful ally. He had knowledge about Cesare's activities and provided me with valuable information. His letters were always welcome. In one of his letters, he elaborated on how Cesare had his scribes create a special kind of encrypted language to communicate about the Crows and their plans. They were using a special kind of device and luckily Sirus himself was in the possession of one. When I requested access to it, he was more than eager to lend it to me. Even Leonardo was impressed and he managed to create an exact replica. Decrypting these messages would become an easy task for any Assassin."
It had come to my attention that one of Cesare's men was a bookkeeper was living in Firenze. This man was running a ledger that allegedly contained detailed information regarding Cesare's plans. This ledger would be a great help for me to incriminate and reveal Cesare's plans to the world. I have asked one of the Assassins in Firenze to find and follow this bookkeeper. The Assassin did as he was told and so he followed the bookkeeper to his hideout and stole the ledger for me.
I have spent weeks decrypting the ledger but sadly, all the information I gained was about the existence of a man named "Il Corvo," who was acting as the Grand Master of the Crows. I expected to learn more but nevertheless, this man turned out to be the source of all our troubles. Further research revealed that there is a Crow hideout in Roma, and these people were planning something that involved most of the nobles of the high-houses.
"At that point it was more than obvious that Cesare not only created the Crows to destroy the Brotherhood; but he wanted to completely destroy anyone who dared cross his plans Cesare created his own Assassins and this fact was utterly disturbing."
"Despite me trying to convince Sirus to return to Firenze where I could keep him safe, he insisted on staying in Roma. He told me that he was intercepting Crow messengers and assured me that neither Cesare nor the Crows were aware of his involvement with the Brotherhood. It was several months later that Sirus wrote me a letter claiming that he now knows where Il Corvo is hiding and I should assign an Assassin to help him gather more information. I did as he requested."
The Assassin arrived to Roma where Sirus tasked him to intercept one of the Crow messengers and take a very important letter from him. The Assassin killed the messenger and met with Sirus inside the courtyard of the Castel Sant'Angelo. Sirus took the letter and then told the Assassin to stay low until he finds the exact house where the Crows are hiding. It so happened that the Assassin I had sent to Sirus was the same Assassin who saw him talk with the Crow Leader back at the camp near the Colosseo. Being a suspicious man, the Assassin decided to follow Sirus.
It is possible that Sirus knew the Assassin was going to follow him; as he acted very cautiously while leaving the Castel Sant'Agelo[sic]. The Assassin's suspicion turned out to be true when in a small alcove, he was ambushed by several Crow Leaders. Sirus watches as the Assassin struggles to defend himself from the blows of the Crows. When he realized that they were losing the fight he yelled: "My Crows will do to you exactly the same as what you did to my son! You and all your brothers will pay with blood!" and fled the scene.
The Assassins killed the Crow Leaders and followed Sirus for a while but then he lost his trace.
"Sirus is Il Corvo. How could I not see through his disguise? He tricked me believing he is an ally, and yet he helped the Brotherhood on so many occasions. What was his motivation? What about the death of his son? Why is he blaming the Brotherhood for that? So many questions and there is no one who can answer them."
"It was very hard for me to recover from the betrayal of Sirus. But my people needed my full attention and I knew I had to move on. During the next few weeks, my scouts intercepted many Crows letters but when deciphered; none of them proved to be useful. I sometimes thought that Sirus... or Il Corvo is sending them out just to spite me. One night a good friend of mine, Father Pio visited me and he complained about a group of people taking over the courtyard of the Santa Croce Cathedral. They had a letter with the Borgia seal on it and they had the whole yard locked down. I sent out my scouts and just to be sure, I have asked one of my Assassins to investigate."
The Assassin was tasked to scout the area for the cathedral for any suspicious activity. He learned that there is a Crow messenger in Firenze, so he decided to identify him. It was not a hard task and despite the Crow's exceptional stealth skills, the Assassin identified him in mere seconds. But it was not yet his time to die. After following the messenger for a while, it became obvious that he was heading for the Santa Croce courtyard. The Assassin had to stall the messenger so he sprinted for the courtyard, where he identified two undercover Templar Agents. After killing one of them in front of the guards, the Assassin escaped creating chaos around the courtyard. As the messenger was denied access until the chaos would settle, the Assassin used that time to prepare his next move.
Every time we removed a letter from the Crows, we planted another one in order to confuse the recipient. The Assassin knew that there was a fake encrypted letter in the nearby pigeon coopo and so he decided to quickly run and fetch it. He then returned and found the messenger, before he persuaded him to exchange the letters. The messenger was so terrified that he quickly agreed to complete the trade.
"The Assassin brought me the letter. After spending hours deciphering it, I had the following message: The Crow will hunt the Eagle, while the Doves are burning." It was a call to arms. Il Corvo was summoning all his Crows to Roma. The time has come to kill a bird."
"All my life I was fighting for peace only to realize that peace does not exist. You see, war is eternal. But even if I would have known this before I started fighting, I would have never stopped. Even after I will not be able to fight anymore, there will be brave women and men who will take over this eternal struggle. I wanted these people to believe in what they are doing."
By the time I had arrived to Roma, most of my contacts were already unreachable. I had to make a decision fast. I was able to signal one of the Assassins who were currently scouting the premises of the Castel Sant'Angelo. With his help, we headed out to find Il Corvo's hideout. We identified the building but the Crows already took over the streets and were waiting for us. The Assassin suggested that Il Corvo is deliberately leading us into his trap, so we ignored the hideout and decided to fight our way through them.
As my body was no longer capable to sustain the attacks of these fanatics, the Assassin asked me to wait near the bridge and witness his action. It was neither the place nor the time to argue with him. Driven by an unexpected hatred, the Assassin ended the life of the bodyguards that were there to defend their Master; before he jumped onto Il Corvo and killed him in cold blood.
The Assassin returned to me, bowed his head and we both left to explore Il Corvo's hideout. After we broke the lock and managed to gain access, we began exploring the rooms. We could hear Borgia guards yelling orders from outside. A quick glance through the window confirmed that they were cleaning up the corpses near the bridge. I had entered into a big room and on the wall; a large Assassin Mark was painted. In the middle, there was a dead, bleeding eagle pinned to the wall with a Corvix Blade pointing out from its chest. From the blade hung a piece of paper; with a painting of an almost perfect cube on it. I pocketed the paper and proceeded with the search only to find a small chest under the painting that contains a small shard.
I placed the shard back in the small chest and pocketed it as well. I had a few moments to look through the piles of letters and I had spotted a very recent one from Cesare. The letter contained several references to a Crystal Cube and how important this object was for the future of the Templar Order. The tone of the letter allowed me to believe that Cesare and Il Corvo were no longer pursuing the same ideologies; as the big leader's words were filled with hate. Il Corvo went rogue and even Cesare wanted him dead.
We had to leave the hideout because the Borgia soldiers were closing down the streets. As I exited through the back door I smelt smoke. The Assassin stormed out from one of the rooms and yelled at me to run. We both sprinted toward the exit and by the time we have reached the other side of the river, the hideout was engulfed by flames.
"This was how it happened. This is how I remember it. We defeated the Crows and reminded Cesare that he will never be able to stop us. The little paper with the cube drawing turned out to contain a hidden map of Forlì, and it was filled with curios [sic] markings. I was eager to take the map and the shard to Leonardo, but first I needed rest. But to this day, every time I see a crow... I shiver."
"It is said that once something haunts you, it will haunt you forever."
It took me months to recover from the events that occurred in Roma. Sirus' attempt to take down the Borgia was a bold and foolish attempt. The madness of his mind blinded his judgment, power took over his thoughts and pushed many to their deaths. I just wonder why his people were so loyal to him.
As the days passed, the Assassins faced new challenges at every corner. I had spies all over Italy and every time there was a new incident that required our attention, I always had my brothers to rely on. But in some cases, they were more sierous and thus my presence was required.
A letter from Forlì had arrived and in that letter, one of my spies reported that the citizens were exposed to a series of ruthless murders. The victim's corpses were then left abandoned in the muddy fields on the outskirts of the city. According to his report, these corpses were left by The Crows.
It was then when my hands started shaking but I couldn't think about that right now. I had a knock on my door from my good friend Ezio Auditore. Ezio was accompanied by his uncle Mario Auditore and one of the most valued ally of the Assassin Order, Leonardo da Vinci.
They presented me with an ancient artifact that had "magical" powers. It was decided there and then that me and Ezio should take it to Forlì and leave it in the hands of Caterina Sforza. I told Ezio I will leave immediately to prepare for his arrival.
Before I left, I sent a bird with a message to my spy asking him to meet me outside the city at dusk. I also wrote a letter to the Assassins who were assigned to the Brotherhood hideout within the walls of the city. However, I couldn't think about the artifact or Ezio's arrival in Forlì at that moment. I decided that before I meet with Lady Sforza, I would deal with my other problem first – the murders.
I arrived as planned and thankfully my journey was uneventful. The Assassin was waiting for me and together we walked to meet my spy. But the moment I saw his facial expression, I knew that something was wrong. I had the chance to shake his hand and say a few worrisome words before we were ambushed by a couple of Crows.
How did they know I would be here? Regardless of that, their ambush was short lived as my fellow Assassin and I took them out quickly. When the Crows fell to their death, one of them yelled with his last breath and many more came to assault us. My fellow Assassin killed them one by one, but I could see that he was struggling to keep up with their advanced combat skills. But there was no time to waste. The spy told me that Lady Sforza was waiting for me inside the city that was obviously infiltrated by The Crows. But what are they doing here? And what are their intentions?
"I stood in the front of the city, its walls towering above me. It took me only one glace [sic] at the Assassins and we knew what would happen next. The Crows must be found and eliminated before they can go through with their plan, whatever that plan is."
"Caterina welcomed me and we had a long walk together. I decided not to inform her of the events I've learned about. I had to investigate myself before alarming her."
I left with Lady Sforza to meet Ezio. Meanwhile, my Assassin Brother managed to track down one of the undercover Crows and followed him. The Crow was very suspicious and stopped multiple times to make sure he was not followed. The first sign of trouble came when the Crow halted for a second to exchange glances with a group of Borgia Guards in front of the Rocca di Revaldino [sic]. The Assassin decided to keep following the Crow though his senses told him that something is not right.
The Crow met with his brothers and after all of them turned their head towards the end of the street, it was clear to the Assassin that they knew of his presence. The Crows decided to take different streets in order to confuse the Assassin, but he cleverly hunted down all of them.
"Whilst I was worrying about the Assassin and his mission, Ezio had arrived and together with Caterina we returned to the city. We were about half way to the gates when several waves of citizens came running towards us in panic. Caterina stepped in front of a woman and asked her what happened. She inform Caterina that the city was under Borgia attack. I cursed myself for not telling them of this menace before. It was my fault... or was it?"
"Forlì was ambushed. Together with Ezio and Caterina, we rushed to the city gates but that had been locked. Ezio managed to sneak into the city, open the gates for us and we fought our way to the Rocca di Revaldino [sic]. Once we were safe, Caterina asked Ezio to save her children from the attackers. I was then contacted by my Assassin brother who brought dire news.
Though he killed all the Crows in the city, the Assassin reported that Borgia Soldiers captured many of my spies and they're being interrogated. I asked the Assassin to go and free them! The Assassin tried to save as many as possible, but the Borgia forces were patrolling every street. But using his cunningness [sic] and stealth, the Assassin saved many of my spies from the Borgia.
I told Caterina that I will climb to the highest tower of the Rocca to look for our friends. Once on the top, I looked over the city but I could not see the Assassin anywhere. The Borgia forces were gathering up the citizens and there was chaos everywhere.
I guess I was not careful enough as one of the archers from outside the city shot an arrow at me. Luckily, it hit my leather armor but I lost my balance and fell into the moat.
"It shames me to write this but I got captured by the Borgia. The guard started to drag me towards the small church outside the city, but one of my spies saw the whole charade and he ran to contact my fellow Assassin."
"The Borgia Soldier was not aware that I was an Assassin. He believed that I might be a member of the Sforza family. He seemed to be interested in some kind of hidden vault that was apparently somewhere underneath the city of Forlì. I tried to explain to him that I have no knowledge of such a place, but he kicked me in the face. I hope the Assassin will find me soon..."
My spy successfully contacted Ezio who in turn contacted my Assassin. After meeting each other, the Assassin hurried to the gates of the city where Ezio lured away several Borgia Guards guarding the perimeter. The Assassin then sneaked into the church and rescued me. We could not return to the city, but the Assassin told me that Ezio was waiting for us at the old lighthouse.
We had to fight our way through the Borgia forces but eventually, we made it to the lighthouse and met with Ezio. I told him everything I could and he reassured me of his trust.
"Ezio instructed the Assassin to escort me back to the Rocca. While the siege of Forlì was still ongoing, I was somewhat satisfied that we've successfully eliminated The Crows and I hope that I will never have to see them again."
- The Lo Sparviero's memories events occurs in the immediate aftermath of the fall of the Crows in Rome, which itself takes place many years after the Siege of Monteriggioni in 1500. However, these memories' journal describes its events as also occurring shortly after Ezio Auditore da Firenze and Mario Auditore presents the Apple of Eden to Machiavelli with the idea to send it to Forlì, which canonically occurred in 1488. Reinforcing this inconsistency is that the Battle of Forlì happens soon after this in the memory sequence. The game has removed the memories' date.
- Entries 11 to 14 have to purchased the Forlì - A Crimson Sunset Campaign DLC .
- Before its eventual name as Niccolò Machiavelli's journal, the Entries were named as Story Summaries.