- "Your day is done, Lorenzo! Your entire family dies by my sword!"
- ―Francesco to Lorenzo, during the skirmish at the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore.[src]
The Pazzi conspiracy was a Templar plot by members of the Pazzi family to displace the Medici family as rulers of Florence. On April 26, 1478, there was an attempt to assassinate both Lorenzo and his bother, Giuliano de' Medici. Although Giuliano was killed, Lorenzo was wounded but survived the attack made on his life. As a result, the failure of the plot only strengthened the position of the Medici family and the Pazzi were henceforth banished from Florence.
Reunion with Leonardo
- Ezio: "There is someone I need to 'see' while I'm here. I cannot approach him publicly... Would you know a way-"
- Leonardo: "La Volpe."
- Ezio: "The Fox?"
- Leonardo: "Shhhhh!"
- —Leonardo and Ezio, during Ezio's visit to Leonardo's workshop.[src]
After two years of absence, Ezio Auditore da Firenze returned to his hometown of Florence. He quickly made his way towards Leonardo da Vinci's workshop, bringing with him Codex pages that Leonardo was so fascinated with.
Warmly greeted by Leonardo, Ezio handed the Codex pages to him. As expected, he was able to decipher the page, though only the first. He learned that the page contained new methods of assassination.
Leonardo proceeded to suggest that Ezio should practice these new techniques on the small terrace beside his workshop while he tried to decipher the other Codex pages. He instructed his assistant to set up three dummies for training.
Ezio agreed to this, and went to practice the new techniques on the dummies, learning to do different assassination techniques ranging from air strikes to killing his targets from hiding places such as straw-filled carts. After practicing the new assassination techniques, Ezio returned to Leonardo and received a second Hidden Blade, which was constructed using the Codex page.
Before leaving, Ezio told Leonardo that he was looking for someone, but remarked that he could not approach this individual publicly. He asked Leonardo if he knew of a way to get close to this person, but was quickly silenced before he could say anything else, as if someone was eavesdropping.
Leonardo mentioned the name "La Volpe," and told Ezio that "The Fox" could usually be found near the Mercato Vecchio, which was not far from Leonardo's workshop. Telling Ezio to look for La Volpe there, the two bid each other farewell and good fortune. Leonardo returned to his studies, while Ezio departed for the market.
Encounter with La Volpe
- "They call me many things: Murderer. Tagliagole (Cutthroat). Thief. But you may call me La Volpe."
- ―La Volpe, as he introduced himself to Ezio.[src]
Ezio searched the marketplace, in hopes of finding La Volpe. As he looked on, his money pouch was stolen by a thief. Giving chase to the pickpocket, Ezio managed to catch up with the thief in a secluded area near the harbor. Ezio asked for his money back to call it even, having no intention of killing the thief.
He was suddenly greeted by another figure who addressed him by name. Ezio questioned the man about his identity, to which he responded that he bore many names, but his most famous moniker was La Volpe, the name Leonardo had mentioned earlier while Ezio was in his workshop.
Ezio asked how he knew his name, and Volpe replied that it is his business to know everything about Florence, which was the very reason Ezio had come looking for him. Ezio, still suspicious about the identity of the man, asked him if he held information on the whereabouts of Francesco de' Pazzi.
La Volpe responded that he had heard some rumors, from a caravan that came from Rome, that there was a secret meeting planned to occur within the Santa Maria Novella at sundown. Further questioning La Volpe, Ezio asked him if he knew a way inside. La Volpe answered that he did, which was taking a passage through the old catacombs underneath the Novella.
Ezio requested La Volpe to take him to the location of the secret entrance, to which La Volpe agreed. He instructed Ezio to meet him by the harbor when he was ready to follow, and after doing so, returned the money stolen from Ezio by one of his men.
Upon meeting him, La Volpe instructed Ezio to follow him through the rooftops. Crossing the rooftops, Ezio chased La Volpe to the Novella, away from the eyes of the people of Florence. After a short run, Ezio and La Volpe arrived at their destination.
La Volpe told him that the entrance was located at the wall of the Novella, which was marked by a small mechanism. He proceeded to tell him that if he retracted the mechanism by pushing upwards, it would unlock the secret passage, paving Ezio's way into the catacombs. Ezio thanked La Volpe for his assistance as he left the area, bidding Ezio good luck. After this, Ezio did what he was instructed and made his way into the catacombs.
Ezio entered the catacombs, and proceeded to investigate further. Activating the old mechanisms still functioning in the tombs, and dealing with the guards that were stationed by the Pazzi, Ezio located the meeting place of the Templars. The room, which was secluded in a small area out of Ezio's reach, contained only a small light to guide both the Templars and Ezio's sight. Ezio proceeded to eavesdrop on the meeting.
He overheard a prayer being proclaimed by Antonio Maffei, and as it ended, the group questioned Bernardo Baroncelli about the equipment. Bernardo assured the others that all the weapons and armor were provided.
Stefano da Bagnone asked if their plan was had consent from the Pope, to which Rodrigo Borgia, who entered the room, replied that the Pope gave his tacit blessing on the operation, as long as no one was killed.
Francesco de' Pazzi then spoke, assuring Rodrigo and everyone at the meeting that they are prepared to strike at the Santa Maria del Fiore, but remarking that it wasn't easy due to the fact that Lorenzo's brother, Giuliano de' Medici kept changing the plans.
Rodrigo noticed Jacopo de' Pazzi's unusual behavior, and asked if he was worried about the possibility of the Medici suspecting anything. Before he could respond, he was interrupted by Francesco, claiming that the Medici are too stupid and arrogant to notice anything that could possibly go wrong.
While this elicited amusement from the others, Jacopo quickly reprimanded him, stating that they should not underestimate their enemies, and mentioned to Francesco that his son was killed because of this. Francesco reassured all of the Templars that no such surprises would happen again.
Rodrigo told them to make sure everything was in place, as he had to attend to his business in Rome. After this, they bid each other farewell and prepared for their operation. Ezio continued to travel through the tunnel and located the Assassin Seal hidden inside the tomb of Darius. From there, he proceeded to make his way out of the Novella to contact La Volpe.
Arriving at the harbor through the small passage from the sewers, Ezio met up with La Volpe, and discussed the words spoken by the Templars at the meeting. He proceeded to mention that their plans involved the Medici, and that they aimed to enact it at the Duomo on Sunday.
He also remarked that the Pope has given them support. La Volpe was not surprised by this, dismissing it to be typical behavior from Sixtus. Suddenly, La Volpe remembered that the Medici family will be at the Duomo for Sunday service, along with the rest of Florence.
He then realized that the Pazzi plan to initiate an attack on the Medici at High Mass, suspecting their intentions to be the takeover of Florence. La Volpe was heavily concerned about Ezio's discovery.
He warned him that if he were to fail in countering the Pazzi's attack, control over Florence would shift over to the Pazzi, thus putting the lives of the citizens in ruins. Ezio reassured him that it will never come to that, stating that it would be an opportunity to get close and end the conspirators' plan. Bidding La Volpe farewell, Ezio left for the Duomo.
Attack at the Duomo
- Giuliano: "No! In nome di Dio, vie scongiuro! Pietà! (No, in the name of God, I beg you, mercy!)"
- Francesco: "Nessuna pietà, cane maldetto! Muori! Muori! Muori! (No mercy for you, dog! Die, Die, Die!)"
- ―Francesco, denying Giuliano's pleas for mercy.[src]
Arriving at the Duomo at High Mass, Ezio blended with the crowd as he searched for Francesco de' Pazzi. Doing so, he saw the Medici family arrive, with Lorenzo de' Medici making his way to the doorsteps of the church with his wife. He was followed closely by his brother Giuliano, accompanied by his own mistress.
It was during this time that Francesco de' Pazzi and Bernardo Baroncelli came out of the crowd. Before Ezio could act, Baroncelli slashed Giuliano's neck, causing him to bleed heavily. As Giuliano tried to flee, he was quickly stopped by Francesco.
Lorenzo saw his brother being assaulted and tried to come to his aid. However, he was stabbed by two priests from behind, both of whom were the ones who had attended the Templar meeting. Giuliano was pinned to the ground and begged for mercy, but received no such kindness.
Francesco stabbed Giuliano repeatedly with a dagger, continuing to eviscerate the corpse even after death. All the while, Lorenzo fended off his attackers, and prepared to defend himself from the Pazzi guard. Leaving the dagger impaled in the corpse of Giuliano, Francesco drew his sword, and proceeded to attack Lorenzo.
Planning to stop the attack, Ezio stepped in to defend Lorenzo. Fending off both the guards and Francesco, he successfully drove them away. Thanking him for his assistance, Lorenzo then requested Ezio to help him get back to his home in one piece, to which Ezio agreed.
Making their way to the Palazzo Medici, they saw the people rioting in the streets, and the Medici and Pazzi guards engaged in combat.
As they moved, Lorenzo shouted with rage that he would erase Francesco and his family name from history. Ezio told him to save his strength, or else he would be delivering a corpse.
Ezio and Lorenzo managed to make their way to the doorstep of Lorenzo's home. After one of the Medici guards opened the door, Ezio and Lorenzo made their way inside. Lorenzo questioned Ezio about saving his life. In response, Ezio told him that he was not the only one who lost a brother to the Pazzi. Introducing himself as Ezio Auditore, Lorenzo knew right away that he was the son of Giovanni, telling the boy that his father was a good man.
Just then, another guard of the Medici arrived, reporting to them that the city was in chaos. He told them of the Pazzi plan to assault the officials at the Palazzo della Signoria in order to put their own men in power. Seeing this as a major threat, Lorenzo tried to recover his strength so that he may take matter into his own hand. Ezio urged him to rest, assuring him that he would handle the conspirators. Lorenzo agreed, and Ezio left for the Palazzo.
Chaos at the Signoria
- Ezio: "Now Firenze will judge you for what you've done."
- Francesco: "It's over...It's all over"
- ―Francesco's last words to Ezio.[src]
Ezio made his way to the Palazzo della Signoria, and oversaw the courtyard in chaos, with both Medici and Pazzi guards engaged in an immense battle. Francesco, standing on the balcony, noticed that Ezio was alive and well. Francesco then instructed his men to tighten their security around the Signoria.
Ezio eventually reached the roof of the Signoria and confronted Francesco, who let out a desperate cry for help, but Ezio remarked that no one was coming to save him.
Francesco, while cursing Ezio, leapt down from the balcony into a small bale of flower petals in a cart. Ezio followed him, and after a lengthy chase over the roofs of Florence, caught up with him and proceeded to lay him to waste.
Speaking words of respect to Francesco as he drew his last breath, Ezio took the body back to the top of the Signoria. As he did, the citizens of Florence rallied at the terrace of the Signoria, demanding liberty. Jacopo came on horseback to rally the people further, chanting liberty along with the crowd.
As he did, however, the body of Francesco was then hanged from the top of the Signoria, with no clothes to cover his body other than his undergarments. The crowd looked up to see a group of Medici supporters chanting triumphantly from the battlements above the corpse.
Jacopo, shocked at the sight and knowing that all is lost, immediately fled the city as the citizens looked on in horror. From a distance, Ezio watched this all disperse before silently leaving.
The next day, Ezio met up with Lorenzo de' Medici at the Ponte Vecchio where he fought with Vieri de' Pazzi earlier. It was there that Lorenzo told him of the event that transpired on the bridge many years ago, of when he fell into the river as a young boy.
The strong waters continued to push Lorenzo, who couldn't swim, further away from land. Almost certain that his life was at its end, he soon fell into unconsciousness. However, he awoke at the sight of his mother weeping by his side. Beside him stood a young Giovanni Auditore, soaked in water and smiling at him.
It was there that a friendship began between the Medici and the Auditore families. Lorenzo apologized for failing to save Ezio's father and brothers. Ezio absolved him of blame, stating it was the fault of others, not Lorenzo.
Ezio then asked Lorenzo what happened to Jacopo and the other conspirators. Lorenzo told him that all of them fled before they could be arrested. Ezio then asked him if he could give the names of the other conspirators to narrow the search down.
Lorenzo told him the following names: Bernardo Baroncelli, Stefano da Bagnone, Antonio Maffei, and the Archbishop Francesco Salviati. Ezio thanked him for this, but before he could leave, Lorenzo gave him another Codex page, taken from the files of Francesco de' Pazzi, as a gift.
Lorenzo remarked that he and Giovanni were always interested with things of antiquity. After receiving this, Ezio and Lorenzo bid their respective farewells, and the two parted ways. After handing Leonardo the Codex page, and receiving a new addition to his arsenal, Ezio returned to Monteriggioni to seek help from his uncle, Mario, and also to deliver the deciphered Codex pages.
Search for the conspirators
- Ezio: "I've been sent from Firenze by Il Magnifico to attend to some unfinished business; I'm looking for Jacopo de' Pazzi."
- Mario: " Ha. Who isn't? We've been at it for days."
- Ezio: "Then maybe what I carry shall help us both. A list of his co-conspirators. One of them will talk before he dies."
- —Ezio and Mario plotting against Jacopo and his men.[src]
Upon returning to Monteriggioni, Ezio handed Mario the Codex pages deciphered by Leonardo. He saw a statement written along the line of the supposed message reading, "Only the Prophet may open it."
The page also made mention of two "Pieces of Eden." Thinking this to be incomplete, Mario asked Ezio to collect the other pages. Ezio disagreed, saying he had other business to attend to first. Stating that his next mission was to be in San Gimignano, Ezio asked his uncle for help in finding the conspirators against the Medici.
He agreed, and as he instructed his men to look for the conspirators at the other half of Tuscany, Mario trained Ezio further in combat at Monteriggioni, teaching him how to evade an enemy's incoming attack. After successfully doing so, Ezio and Mario received word from one of the mercenaries, saying that they have located one of the conspirators. Wasting no time, Ezio quickly left for San Gimignano.
His journey in the Tuscan countryside spanned a year and a half, months spent searching and hunting for the Pazzi Conspirators. All the while, he learned more of the yet unknown location of the head of the Pazzi family, Jacopo de' Pazzi.
Assassination of a town crier
- Antonio: "Away with you, demon!"
- Ezio: "Have some respect for death, my friend."
- Antonio: "I'll show you respect!"
- Ezio: "No, I will."
- —Ezio to Antonio, at the top of the tower in San Gimignano.[src]
Mario's men first located the monk, Antonio Maffei, preaching to the citizens of San Gimignano from atop of the tower in the center of the city. He claimed that Lorenzo de' Medici was the equivalent of the devil.
The mercenary warned Ezio of the archers stationed from the other towers, surrounding the center. Ezio took this warning seriously, and proceeded to scale each of the towers, cautious of his surroundings.
Ezio took out the archers stationed while Antonio preached the Templars' propaganda, telling the people of San Gimignano that they must repent their ways in order to free themselves from ignorance and the influence of the Medici.
Wasting no more time, Ezio scaled the tower and confronted Maffei. Even though the monk had guards stationed beside him for protection, they proved no match for the Assassin, as Ezio was able to dispatch them, along with Maffei.
Dying, Maffei angrily told Ezio to back off, fearing his presence beside him. Ezio told him to have some respect for death. After speaking words of respect for his foe, Ezio witnessed Antonio draw his last breath, dying at the top of the tower before he could ask him anything concerning Jacopo's location.
Ezio took from the body a letter meant for the Spaniard, Rodrigo Borgia. In it, Maffei begged for forgiveness, for he was unable to attend to their meeting, due to his intense fear of the Assassin. Learning nothing from Maffei, Ezio dropped down from the tower, and proceeded to search for the other conspirators.
The Archbishop of Pisa
By 1479, Ezio learned that the mercenaries had located another one of the conspirators, and rode for the countryside. Meeting in a nearby village, a mercenary informed Ezio that the Archbishop of Pisa, Francesco Salviati, found refuge in his personal villa.
The mercenary gave Ezio command over a few of his men, for the villa was heavily protected by the guards of the Pazzi. With this, Ezio prepared to move, with mercenaries beside him.
Disposing of the guards that stood in their way, Ezio climbed the gates of the villa, all the while hearing Salviati's warnings not to come any closer. Ezio successfully entered the courtyard, and was greeted by the sight of a battalion of guards patrolling the area.
Opening the gates, Ezio allowed his men inside to deal with the guards and successfully assassinated Salviati. Before dying, Ezio asked Salviati for Jacopo's location, and learned that Jacopo only emerges from the darkness to meet with the other Templars.
Ezio asked for the location, but he received no answer, for Salviati drew his last breath before he could reveal anything else. Dealing with the remainder of the guards that patrolled the area, Ezio left the villa to search for the other conspirators.
A fearful banker
- Ezio: "Where is Jacopo?"
- Baroncelli: "So you could do to him what you've done to me?"
- Ezio: "There is still time to clear your conscience."
- Baroncelli: "We gather at the church when a meeting is called."
- —Baroncelli, moments before dying.[src]
Returning to the city of San Gimignano, Ezio learned from one of Mario's men that they had discovered the location of the banker, Bernardo Baroncelli.
The mercenary told Ezio that Baroncelli had already been captured by the Medici after returning from Constantinople. However, he managed to escape custody and fled to San Gimignano. Ezio, thanking the mercenary for the information, quickly left to search for Baroncelli.
He found a paranoid Baroncelli, surrounded by guards of the Pazzi. Ezio overheard the banker's mumblings, trying to be optimistic in the face of uncertain danger. He tried to think of the possibilities that favored his side, and as he did, Ezio moved even closer to Baroncelli.
He saw Ezio from afar, and out of fear, quickly fled the marketplace. Ezio gave chase, trying to catch Baroncelli as the guards in turn attempted to catch him. After catching up with Baroncelli, Ezio finished off the banker with one swift movement.
Asking for Jacopo's location, Baroncelli told Ezio that the Templars gathered at the church once a meeting was called. After speaking words of respect, Ezio left the scene, and proceeded to locate the last of the conspirators.
Silencing a false monk
- "Nothing to fear I suppose... They meet in the shadow of the Roman Gods..."
- ―Stefano da Bagnone's last words.
Ezio learned of the location of the last of the conspirators, the monk, Stefano da Bagnone. Meeting with a mercenary near the Monte Oliveto Maggiore, Ezio was told that Stefano was at an abbey, along with his fellow monks.
The mercenary handed Ezio some smoke bombs that could assist him in his escape. With this, Ezio prepared to move in. Ezio, learning that some guards were disguised as monks, moved in the abbey with caution. As he blended with the crowd, he overheard a conversation between Stefano and a fellow monk.
Stefano reprimanded the monk for believing the words written in the Bible and the existence of an "invisible madman in the sky". The monk was shocked to hear such words of blasphemy from Stefano, to which he replied that he was only a part of their monastery as a means to hide from the Assassin.
Seeing an opportunity, Ezio assassinated Stefano in front of the monks. Again before the man died, Ezio asked for Jacopo's location. Stefano revealed that they "meet in the shadow of the Roman Gods." Ezio then took a letter from the body. Before he could read it any further, guards arrived at the abbey, prepared to fight Ezio. Using some smoke bombs to ensure an easy escape, Ezio left the countryside, and returned to San Gimignano.
End of the Pazzi
- "Vai, amico, libero da fardelli e paure (Go, friend, unburdened and unafraid). Requiescat in Pace (Rest in Peace)"
- ―Ezio, as he put Jacopo out of his misery.[src]
After Ezio assassinated Stefano da Bagnone, he retrieved a letter from him that there would be a meeting between the Templars at the church by the countryside. By 1480, Ezio finally located Jacopo de' Pazzi, who was in the city of San Gimignano. Wasting no time, Ezio proceeded to tail him, in hopes of learning more of the Templars' plans.
Following him outside of the city, he encountered Jacopo at the Antico Teatro Romano, which was heavily guarded by soldiers of the Templars. Ezio sneaked in without being detected, and proceeded to eavesdrop on the meeting.
He saw Rodrigo Borgia, who was furious at the failure of the Pazzi to end the rule of the Medici, and also by the fact that Ezio managed to dispose of their other Templar brothers. Jacopo, trying to reason with Rodrigo, blamed the failure on Francesco's impatience to end the Medici's rule, and claimed that he tried to be the voice of reason.
Just then, a Venetian man reprimanded Jacopo, claiming that their failure was due to his cowardice. Jacopo was quick to take offense, claiming the armaments from Venice used in the failed conspiracy to be rubbish and practically useless.
Rodrigo, wanting to hear no more from Jacopo, angrily reprimanded him for his behavior. He said that instead of action, Jacopo has given nothing but excuses and incompetence. Besides this, he even dared insult the other members of the Templar Order, though he himself had nothing to prove his worthiness.
Rodrigo asked Jacopo what did he expect them to do next, to which he replied that he simply did not know. Rodrigo mockingly reassured him that he knew what will happen next, and proceeded to stab him in the chest.
Jacopo, twitching and faltering weakly, was then stabbed by the Venetian, causing him to fall to the ground, groveling in the dirt. Begging for mercy, Jacopo weakly asked Rodrigo to spare him, claiming that he could fix his wrongdoings if he was allowed to live.
Rodrigo denied him any mercy, and proceeded to stab him through the neck with a sword. As the man grew still, the Spaniard then called out a mock apology to Ezio, whose presence he had long ago suspected. Telling his guards to finish the boy off, Rodrigo left the Teatro along with the Venetian, abandoning Jacopo near-death.
Disposing of the guards that held him back, and the guards that surrounded the Teatro, Ezio ended Jacopo's misery by finishing him off with his Hidden Blade. After speaking words of respect to Jacopo, Ezio left Tuscany, and headed for Florence to report his success in destroying the conspirators to Lorenzo de' Medici.
- "Do you know what became of the Pazzi once your hunt was finished? Your dear friend Lorenzo stripped them of everything and threw them into prison, even those who played no part in the conspiracy. The women were forbidden to marry and the family tombstones were erased. Wiped from the history books. Poof! Just like that!"
- ―Lucrezia Borgia to Ezio in 1501.[src]
After the fall of the Pazzi family, control over San Gimignano assimilated over to the Medici, thus gaining the family even more power. Ezio, informing Lorenzo of his success, received the Medici Cape from him as a reward.
Ezio informed him that his next task was to travel to Venice, after learning from the letter Jacopo wrote, that there were more of the Templar conspirators stationed there. Bidding him good luck, Lorenzo let the boy attend to his duties, as Ezio left the Palazzo Medici.
With all of their leaders eliminated, and the Pazzi family under trial, the remaining supporters were either killed by Ezio or executed by the Medici. Even members of the family who weren't aware of the conspiracy were shunned and thrown in prison. With all of the accusation against them, the family was quickly erased from most records by the time of the Venetian Conspiracy.