- "You are a novice, a child once more, as you were on the day you first joined our Order."
- ―Al Mualim to Altaïr after the Defense of Masyaf.[src]
Novices were not permitted the use of a longsword, throwing knives, nor the Hidden Blade. Should they engage in a fight, they would be forced to either flee, or resort to using their short blade. As they were also largely unskilled in combat and freerunning, their tasks usually only involved investigating targets, or gathering information; similarly to Assassin informants.
Novices were considered students, and needed to obey all other members of the Order. Should they be given a mission, they were required to gather their own information, as well as gain permission from the local Rafiq or bureau leader before conducting it.
Though members of the Order usually worked their way up through the ranks, more experienced Assassins including Master Assassins could also possibly be demoted back down to novice, should their actions or misdeeds be grave enough.
Such was the case for Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad in 1191, after his failed mission at Solomon's Temple, where he broke all three tenets of the Creed. His actions led to the Templar attack on Masyaf, and the subsequent deaths of many members of the Order.
Though Altaïr was initially meant to be executed for his actions, Al Mualim instead merely demoted him to novice, and stripped him of all his weapons except for the short blade.
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