Numa Al'Khamsin (died 1341), better known as El Cakr (English: The Hawk), was a member of the Egyptian Brotherhood of Assassins. In 1340, he started a quest to regain the Scepter of Aset from the Templars.
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Numa Al'Khamsin was raised in Alexandria by his Assassin father, and followed him in his footsteps as he became an Assassin himself and took on a young boy, Ali Al-Ghraib, as his own disciple. At some point, Al'Khamsin also earned the nickname "El Cakr", which he preferred over his true name.
Searching for the Scepter of Aset
In 1340, Numa was summoned by an Assassin elder and traveled with his apprentice to the Island of Philae from Alexandria via the Nile to meet him. Once there, he followed the old man to the Temple of Aset, where the old man showed him a wall painting of Aset and revealed to the younger Assassin that the Assassins had played a role in the fall of the Ayyubid dynasty in Egypt a hundred years earlier, by giving the rebels a Piece of Eden, the Scepter of Aset.
Since then, Egypt had experienced a period of prosperity under the Bahri dynasty, but the Scepter had been stolen by unknown assailants who had only left the fragment of a dagger's handle behind. To Numa, who wondered why the theft of such an object of decorum was so important, the old man revealed that the Scepter had real powers, as its wielder was imbued with great charisma and influence. The elder then entrusted him with the mission to retrieve the Scepter and Numa returned to the boat where his apprentice Ali was waiting and headed for Cairo, where the Scepter had been stolen.
On the boat, while Numa was in the process of examining his only clue, Ali had the idea to puzzle the dagger fragment together and discovered an emblem, showing it to his master on a drawing, which Numa easily recognized as the Templar cross.
Tracking the Templars
Two days later, in Cairo, not knowing where to find the Templars or even if the Piece of Eden was still in the capital, Numa went to a Hammam in search of information. Engaging in conversation with the regulars, the Assassin pretended to be a soldier of Sultan Al-Nasir Muhammad coming from Alexandria. Feigning solidarity, Numa deceived the other men by telling them that the stolen Scepter was a fake and that by reinforcing its security the Sultan wanted to fool the thieves into thinking their plot was a success while the real Scepter was safe.
One of the men, Hasdin Al-Bellal, suddenly feigned fatigue and concern for his wife in order to leave the Hammam in hurry; Numa slipped away discreetly in order to follow him on the roofs of Cairo as night fell. Unknowingly following the man to the opulent house of Bachir Al-Djallil, Numa heard his apprentice coming behind. Asking why the young boy had followed him, Ali showed his impatience to learn more from his master by blackmailing him into a trade: the promise of taking Ali with him to the house in exchange for the information that the boy had gathered on Al-Djallil during the day.
Feigning outrage, Numa accepted the trade and learned from Ali that Al-Djallil was a wealthy silk merchant who was also infamous for having raped and killed dozens of girls with complete impunity, before breaking his promise to his impetuous apprentice. Witnessing the departure of Al-Bellal, Numa jumped to the roof of the house and entered the estate to get the answers.
The Assassin neutralized Izmir, the servant of his target, and captured Al-Djallil, whom he ordered to be silent under the threat of his Hidden Blade. Khamsin tied the merchant to a chair and began to torture him by threatening to cut off his fingers and inflicting cuts on his flesh. Ultimately, Al-Djallil declared that the Templars and the Scepter were on their way to Karnak, after which a disgusted Numa killed him.
Journey to Karnak
In 1341, Numa sailed for Karnak together with his disciple, Ali Al-Ghraib, to search for the Scepter of Aset. On their journey the two discussed the recent murder of the Sultan Al-Nasir Muhammad and how the Templars played a part in it.
Arriving at night near the Temple of Amun, the two walked across a village, when Ali noticed a man wearing a dagger with the Templar cross on it. After telling this to his master, Ali started a fire as a distraction, so that Numa was able to look for the Scepter of Aset unnoticed.
However, the distraction was not effective and Numa became surrounded by Templars. While the Assassin engaged in battle with his enemies, Ali stole the Scepter from the Templars. Numa and his apprentice then fled from Karnak, taking the artifact with them.
Return to Caïro
Two days later, El Cakr arrived at the Sultan’s palace in Cairo. Although the Sultan’s Emirs expected Numa to hand over the artifact, the Assassin did not trust the Emirs and told them the artifact would remain in Assassin hands until a dignified successor to the throne would be presented.
The Emirs interpreted Numa’s words as an insult and locked him up in a prison cell. Numa shared his cell with a woman named Leila, a Templar agent who claimed to have murdered Sultan Al-Nasir Muhammad.
Leila then told Numa about her story, how at seven years old she was taken into the Sultan's Harem and how the Templars came to her, offering to help her to avenge the humiliations she suffered during her life. She also told Numa that she wasn't a true believer in the Templar cause and that she only used them to kill the man she hated the most. Leila then offered her knowledge of the palace exits to Numa if he used his skills to help her to escape her fate.
They escaped, Numa killing many guards, and then headed for the safe house that Leila had arranged in the city in order to lay low after the murder of the sultan. There Leila seduced Numa and the two had a sexual encounter, after which Numa slipped away during the night, leaving a rose on the bed which Leila found when she woke up.
Death in Edfu Temple
Numa traveled to the Temple of Edfu, where he had left the Scepter of Aset in the guard of his apprentice. Reaching the Temple, he jokingly surprised Ali who was manipulating the ankh-shaped box containing the disassembled Scepter. Believing that his mission was completed, Numa thanked Ali for his loyalty and related to the young Assassin the events that happened in Cairo, before noticing the bandaged wrist of Ali. While Ali explained that he fell and had broken his wrist, a group of hooded Templars surrounded them and Numa told Ali to flee, but the boy told his master that all the issue were guarded. Numa asked him how he knew and Ali told him that the Templars had tortured him, breaking his wrist and that he cracked, agreeing to help them eliminate his master in exchange for his life.
The leader of the Templars came forward and revealed that the Scepter was not anymore the only priority of the Order and that Numa was such a nuisance that his death was now a new priority. Lowering her hood, the chief of the group turned out to be Leila, who told El Cakr that she felt no hate toward him but had to follow orders before she began dueling with him. Perfectly trained, Leila revealed that everything she had told Numa about her commitment to the Templars was a lie before putting a dagger into his heart, instantly killing Numa under the eyes of his distraught apprentice.
Keeping her promise to spare Ali, Leila let the shaken Assassin apprentice go. But Ali, even if he had betrayed his master, was still loyal to the Brotherhood and had managed to hide the Scepter in his bandage during the duel, discreetly stealing it from the Templars. Ali threw the Scepter in a well near Edfu with the intent to contact the Brotherhood and come back later, but died a few weeks later of food poisoning, from eating tainted meat.
Leila who had discovered the emptiness of the box in Cairo while wanting to give the Scepter to the Emirs, rushed in pursuit of Ali. Thirsty, Leila stopped at the well in which Ali had thrown the Scepter and by chance spotted its luster, but fell while climbing up with it. Suffering a head injury, Leila remained lifeless in the pit during three days before being rescued and tended by passing Bedouins. But having become amnesiac, Leila had forgotten her allegiance to the Templars and the very existence of the Scepter, which she unknowingly left in the well. She then left with the Bedouins, but died nine months later from internal bleeding while giving birth to the child she had conceived with El Cakr during their night in the safe house.
- Numa (Arabic: نعمة) is a common Arabic name meaning "blessing" or "boon". Al'Khamsin (Arabic: الخمسين) is a term that translates as "the fifty" used to describe a sere Spring wind that produces sandstorms across the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa. The term comes from the fact that these winds last for a duration of approximately fifty days.
- It is noteworthy that the term Al'Khamsin is only used in the Arabian Peninsula. In North Africa the winds are usually pluralized to Al'Khamaseen.
- El-Cakr (Arabic: الصقر) is a common Arabic epithet meaning "the hawk" or "the falcon". Usually, it is transliterated as Saqr.
- In the comics, El Cakr, through the child he conceived with Leila, is presented as the ancestor of Jonathan Hawk and Vernon Hest, non-canon modern Assassin and Templar.