- "You remove those who would supersede me in rank. You find pieces of the Prophecy Disk, saving me the effort... If you weren't my enemy, I would take you for my friend! Our aims must not be so different for all the help you give me."
- ―Rafael Joaquín de Ferrer on the similarities between his and Aveline's goals, 1769.[src]
Following his discovery of the Mayan city of Chichen Itza, de Ferrer was entrusted with the transportation of slaves and vagrants to Mexico, where they would search for First Civilization artifacts. Dedicated to the cause, he oversaw the excavation efforts at the work site, while also securing alliances with people that could provide him with more workers.
- "Monsieur de F— gave me a comfortable welcome, and work in the community he is building. They are men of science here, undertaking a great archaeological excavation, in the name of finding sacred ruins, and discovering history."
- ―Jeanne writing about the work site of Chichen Itza.[src]
De Ferrer was born in Gipuzkoa, Spain, during the 1730s and sent to Cuba at an early age. Although loyal to the Templar Order, his family owed a debt to Grand Master Reginald Birch, which led de Ferrer to travel to Havana in 1750, in search of an artifact called the Precursor box. Staying in the city for a time, he realized that, following the death of Laureano de Torres y Ayala, the Assassins wielded too much power in the region for a Templar Rite to be established.
While de Ferrer was unable to track down the Precursor box, he succeeded in seducing local Master Assassin Rhona Dinsmore, allowing him to steal some of her maps of the Yucatán Peninsula in 1751. Using these documents, he uncovered the Mayan city of Chichen Itza, following which he contacted Birch via letter.
De Ferrer subsequently became the second-in-command of Madeleine de L'Isle, a Master Templar based in New Orleans who would oversee the excavation. Assigned the task of uncovering the Prophecy Disk, a First Civilization relic, he established a work camp in Chichen Itza and organized a large-scale slave-trafficking operation to gather workers from many different locations.
One of the first people to arrive at the site was Jeanne, a former placée from New Orleans who was eventually promoted to forewoman by de Ferrer. Under the guise of a peaceful community, she and the others were made to excavate the ruins for any artifacts they could find. In doing so, they uncovered various minor relics, including Shards and Rings. However, Jeanne grew suspicious of her employers after she discovered the nature of the artifacts, and tried to stall their efforts, which led to her eventually being banished by de Ferrer.
Operations in New Orleans
- "I will do all I can to smooth the hand-over of the colony. And your mission will have all the workers it needs – provided you make good on your promise."
- ―Jean-Jacques Blaise d'Abbadie to de Ferrer, 1765.[src]
By 1765, de Ferrer had traveled to New Orleans, trying to find more ways of getting workers to Mexico, as well as take control of the city. He subsequently negotiated a deal with the French Governor of Louisiana, Jean-Jacques Blaise d'Abbadie. D'Abbadie was to remain in power as governor, provided he oversaw the handover of the colony to the Templars and supplied de Ferrer with more workers for the excavation site at Chichen Itza. To discuss the specifics of their arrangement, they arranged to meet at a party held at d'Abbadie's mansion.
Unbeknownst to the pair, their meeting was eavesdropped upon by the Assassin Aveline de Grandpré, who had found out about de Ferrer's presence in New Orleans through Carlos Dominguez, a captain de Ferrer employed to transport goods to and from New Orleans. Following de Ferrer's depature, d'Abbadie was assassinated by Aveline to prevent the colony from being transferred to Templar control, sabotaging de Ferrer's plans.
A year later, de Ferrer secured the alliance of an ex-Assassin named Baptiste, who had aspirations to defect to the Templar Order. Baptiste, using the name of his deceased Mentor François Mackandal to gather followers, attempted to take control of smuggling operations within the Louisiana Bayou and poison the nobles of New Orleans. His underlying goal was to force the Mentor of the area's Assassins, Agaté, out of hiding so that he could be delivered to de Ferrer, which would earn Baptiste a position among the Order. This scheme was later foiled by Aveline, who confronted and assassinated Baptiste before he could put his plans in motion.
Return to Chichen Itza
- "Archaeology is a fine, gentle work. I'd prefer something that won't impair the workers' abilities. I suggest another festival. A suckling pig. Tell them they're closer than ever to earning their land."
- ―The overseer about appeasing the camp's slaves, 1769.[src]
In 1769, de Ferrer was still leading the work site, trying to find the fabled Prophecy Disk, as well as dealing with the rising dissatisfaction among the workers. Meeting with the camp's overseer, de Ferrer suggested possible ways to appease the slaves, while, Aveline, who had found her way to Chichen Itza, listened in. Shortly thereafter, the two Templars went to deal with a runaway slave they had apprehended, though de Ferrer left the punishment itself to the overseer.
De Ferrer later found out about the overseer's death at the hands of Aveline and managed to track her down to First Civilization ruins, where she had acquired a piece of the Prophecy Disk he had been looking for. Using some explosives, he blasted an opening into the chamber and confronted her, claiming their goals were not as different as they might appear to be. He and his guards then attacked the Assassin, but they proved to be no match. De Ferrer was eventually blindsided by Aveline and stabbed in the chest, before being pushed over a cliff edge, into the cavern's depths.
Personality and characteristics
- "Always so considerate. I am rather in the mood for a hanging."
- ―De Ferrer discussing a runaway slave's punishment, 1769.[src]
Although he presented an amiable façade and spoke with an even tone, de Ferrer was, in truth, a cruel man that would stop at nothing to get what he wanted. Ruthless in nature, he was shown to value the lives of others extremely little, as exemplified by him being willing to poison the nobles of New Orleans so the Templars could more easily take control of the city.
His treatment of the Chichen Itza workers was equally harsh, with de Ferrer preferring to use severe punishments to keep them under his thumb, even considering poison at one point. Despite this, he was skilled at manipulation, much like his superior, capable of bending the truth in such a way that the slaves genuinely believed they would eventually earn back the land. As such, de Ferrer's public persona skillfully hid his more sadistic tendencies.
- Rafael is a name of Hebrew origin, meaning "God has healed", while Joaquín is the Spanish equivalent of Joachim, which means "raised, established by Jahwe".
- Like other individuals appearing in Abstergo Entertainment's Liberation product, de Ferrer's database entry was edited to omit any reference to the Templars and also make him appear more sympathetic. Additionally, scenes in which his sadistic tendencies were displayed were largely altered or removed.
- Although the character Rafael Joaquín de Ferrer is fictional, a Spanish astronomer from Gipuzkoa by the name of José Joaquín de Ferrer did live during the late 18th and early 19th century.
- In the internal files of Assassin's Creed III: Liberation, he is named "Francisco de Ferrer".