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"Where [sic] they here before the Templars? Remember Roanoke? Is it them who guided the colony into the wild?"
―Erudito, 2012[src]-[m]

The Roanoke Colony was the first attempt by England to establish a permanent settlement in North America.[1] Founded in 1585 on Roanoke Island in what is now North Carolina, United States, the colonists of Roanoke mysteriously vanished prior to 1590, leaving the settlement abandoned.[1][2]

Though its fate is lost to history, even to the Templars and Assassins, theories abounded that the colony was actually an Assassin settlement. If true, this could effectively mean that Assassins' attempts to establish a permanent presence in the Americas predate that of the Templars[3] although Templar exploration of the continent dates back to 1398 with the expedition of James Gunn.[4]

At least one Assassin surmised that the settlement was actually idyllic and entertained the implications it would have for the Templars' worldview should they discover that an Assassin colony was a model for utopia. By late 2012, Abstergo Industries, the public front for the Templar Order, had come to possess a brief transcript of this Assassin's message. The confidential file was then leaked to the public through their Animus game consoles, before being hacked by Erudito to include their own commentary on the subject. They hazarded that the Assassins could have been the ones to guide the colonists into the wilderness for survival.[3]

Behind the scenes[]

Roanoke Colony is only mentioned in the file "ROANOKE" of the Abstergo Story, a series of informational texts and videos which effectively serve as the database for Assassin's Creed III multiplayer. As with the other files, the content in "ROANOKE" is brief and cryptic.

The original line in the message is:

"What if they run simulations to see if we were here before? What if an Assassins' Colony had ever existed? What if they discovered that we were the model for their Utopia?"

Taking the message alone, the antecedents for the pronouns are unclear, as is the identity and affiliation of the speaker. Erudito's annotation, ""Where [sic] they here before the Templars?" that is added in the "hacked" version of clarifies that the original speaker is not a Templar, which suggests it is an Assassin.

In real history, the most probable explanation for the colony's disappearance is that the survivors migrated north to seek refuge with indigenous communities, into which they then assimilated.[2] This theory is alluded to by Erudito's musing that the colony was "guided. . .into the wild".



  1. 1.0 1.1 Kamensky Jane, et al. (2019) "Three Old Worlds Create a New, 1492–1600". A People and a Nation: A History of the United States. 11th ed. Boston: Cengage Learning, pp. 6–31.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Nichols, Roger L. (2014) "Meeting the Invaders, 1500–1700". American Indians in U.S. History. 2nd ed. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, pp. 21–40.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Assassin's Creed IIIAbstergo Story: "ROANOKE_HACK"
  4. Assassin's Creed: Rogue