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- "Ares has chosen me to lead the Spartans to glory. There can be only one."
- ―Pausanias' motto.[src]
Pausanias (died 426/425 BCE), also known under the cryptonym Red-eyed Lion, was one of the Two Kings of Sparta, ruling with Archidamos during the Peloponnesian War. Pausanias was also the Sage of the Peloponnesian League of the Cult of Kosmos.
King of Sparta
A scion of the Agiad dynasty, Pausanias rose to rule beside Archidamos around 445 BCE and was still beside him by the time of the Peloponnesian War. At some point during his life, he made membership within the Cult of Kosmos, climbing their ranks until he was the Sage of the Peloponnesian League branch.
On one occasion attending to his Cult duties, Pausanias was signing important documents when a nearby helot, Lydos, spilled wine all over the table. He made a further mess by trying to clean it up, leaving wine-stained finger-prints on the document. In anger, Pausanias punched the helot in the face, breaking his cheekbone.
In 431 BCE, Pausanias participated in the meeting of the Cult within their shrine beneath the Sanctuary of Delphi in Phokis, the first of its kind in quite a while. While there, he drew aside one of the Cultists within his branch, the Archon of Arkadia Lagos, and reminded him to do what he had been told to or risk harm to his wife Philonoe and son Niloxenos. Though unbeknownst at the time, Pausanias also saw the misthios Kassandra there, disguised as a Cultist with the mask and black robes she'd taken from Elpenor earlier.
When Archidamos ordered the general Brasidas to Korinthia, Pausanias sent a letter to The Monger, a member of his branch, ordering him to return Brasidas "on his shield". However, due to the intervention of Kassandra, The Monger failed at this task and was slain instead.
Return of Myrrine and Kassandra
Officially Pausanias himself made the acquaintance of Kassandra following her reunion with her mother Myrrine in 429 BCE. Visiting the two at the Tomb of Leonidas, Pausanias greeted them and asked Kassandra to deal with three members of the krypteia, the Spartan elite forces, telling her that they had gone rogue. Kassandra sought audience with the kings, requesting the return of her and Myrrine's citizenship as well as their home. To this end, the kings demanded proof that they had earned it, given that Kassandra had, as a child, slain an elder. While Archidamos ordered her to ensure Sparta's victory in Boeotia, Pausanias told her to win the Olympic Games held within the Sanctuary of Olympia in Elis.
After Kassandra had dismissed herself, Pausanias sent a letter to another member of the Peloponnesian League, the former Olympic champion Kallias, telling him to destroy the Olympic Truce. Pausanias hoped this would be considered a show of strength by his peers within the Cult and thus garner him their respect. This plan of his, though successful in the sense that multiple people died, was ultimately apparently foiled by Kassandra. Soon after, Kassandra slew Kallias, finding Pausanias' letter.
Exposure and torture
Little by little, Kassandra gathered proof against the Cultist king. Still, the King wasn't worried. Following the victory in both the Olympics as well as in Boeotia, Kassandra rendezvoused with Myrrine and Brasidas in Arkadia. They had learned that Lagos, the leader of Arkadia, was a Cultist and dealt with him. Though he was an unwilling member of the Cult, he was slain by Myrrine nonetheless.
When Kassandra returned to Sparta to face the kings, she unveiled Pausanias as a member of the Cult of Kosmos. Although Kassandra originally suspected Archidamos, as per Pausanias and the Ghost's plan, a certain wine-stained document signed by Pausanias later proved the opposite. The cultist king was subsequently charged and dethroned by Archidamos, the ephors, and the Gerousia. He was thereupon taken away and tortured.
In 2018 when Layla Hassan relived the memories of Kassandra via a degraded genetic sample found on the Spear of Leonidas using her Animus HR-8.5, it simulated an alternate version of events. In it, Kassandra initially suspected Pausanias as the traitor and gather evidence against him. After accusing him of his treachery, Pausanias was exiled from Sparta, where he sought to flee Lakonia, and was making his way to the Village of Gytheion within the Forest of Eurotas. Before he could reach the port, he was slain by Kassandra. On him, Kassandra found a letter from the Ghost of Kosmos, in which the leader of the Cult promised to gift Pausanias Boeotia and Archidamos, assuring him that Kassandra would believe Archidamos to be the "Cultist King" instead.
Behind the scenes
Traditionally, Sparta was simultaneously ruled by two kings from two families, the Eurypontids and the Agiads, which according to tradition both descended from Heracles. While Archidamos was an Eurypontid, Pausanias was a scion of the Agiad dynasty like Myrrine, Kassandra and Alexios, his grandfather being the nephew of King Leonidas.
Historically, Pausanias did not die in 420s BCE. He was however removed from kingship around 424 BCE when his father Pleistoanax was recalled from exile. Pausanias regained the throne in 408 BCE with the death of his father and ruled Sparta until 395 BCE when Pausanias was exiled, dying some unknown time after that.
If Nikolaos is slain during the quest The Wolf of Sparta, his adopted son and Kassandra's step-brother Stentor will fight Kassandra until slain or recruited. He has a letter from Pausanias, in which the King promises to take Stentor as a member of the Cult of Kosmos following his victory in Boeotia. If the Monger is slain within the Sacred Cave in Korinth as Brasidas wishes, Lagos may be spared, and gives Pausanias' ring to Kassandra, hoping it'll help her bring down the Cult. Canonically, however, Lagos dies.
- Assassin's Creed: Odyssey novel
- Assassin's Creed: Odyssey – Cultists: Pausanias
- Assassin's Creed: Odyssey novel – Chapter 13
- Assassin's Creed: Odyssey – The Serpent's Lair
- Assassin's Creed: Odyssey – Snake in the Grass
- Assassin's Creed: Odyssey – Cult of Kosmos clues: Sage Letter to the Monger
- Assassin's Creed: Odyssey – Monger Down
- Assassin's Creed: Odyssey – Bully the Bullies
- Assassin's Creed: Odyssey – Kings of Sparta
- Assassin's Creed: Odyssey – The Big Break
- Assassin's Creed: Odyssey – Cult of Kosmos clues: Sage Letter to Kallias
- Assassin's Creed: Odyssey – The Long Game
- Assassin's Creed: Odyssey – Judge, Jury, Executioner
- Assassin's Creed: Odyssey novel – Chapter 14
- Assassin's Creed: Odyssey novel – Chapter 15
- Assassin's Creed: Odyssey – A Bloody Feast
- Assassin's Creed: Odyssey – Cult of Kosmos clues: The Ghost's whisper to Pausanias