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"We don't care about the nations or states. We care about the Creed, first and foremost."
―An Assassin during the Russian Revolution, 1918.[src]-[m]


The Russian Brotherhood of Assassins was the Guild of Assassins located in and around present-day Russia, formed some time in the 16th century. Operating under the regime of the Tsarist autocracy for over three centuries, the Russian Assassins were more radical in their ideology and more extreme in their methods compared to their brethren around the world.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Russian Brotherhood sought to abolish the monarchy and utilized the Narodnaya Volya revolutionary group in this regard. Their attempts to eliminate Tsar Alexander III, a Templar ally, and retrieve the Imperial Sceptre, which was in actuality a Staff of Eden, resulted in the Borki train disaster and the Tunguska explosion, two disastrous events in Russia's history.

When the Russian Revolution broke out, the Assassins stood alongside the Bolsheviks and attempted to retrieve a Precursor box in the possession of the deposed Tsar Nicholas II. The Templars, seeking the same prize, executed the Tsar and his family to obtain the box, but the Assassin Nikolai Orelov managed to escape with both the artifact and Princess Anastasia Nikolaevna. Delivering them to the Brotherhood in Moscow, Nikolai became disillusioned with the Assassins after learning that they planned to perform dangerous experiments on Anastasia, who had become a living Isu artifact.

Abandoning the Brotherhood, Nikolai saved Anastasia from the Assassins before fleeing the country with his family, knowing his former brethren would hunt him down for his betrayal. After learning that Nikolai and his family had emigrated to the United States, the Russian Assassins reached out to the American Brotherhood, who succeeded in deporting Nikolai's wife and daughter back to Russia in 1919. Years later, the Brotherhood also attempted to capture Nikolai himself and his son, but the encounter resulted in the deaths of Orelov and all the Assassins sent after him.

After the death of their ally Vladimir Lenin and the rise to power of Joseph Stalin, a Templar puppet, the Russian Brotherhood entered a long period of decline and, by the turn of the 21st century, had lost almost all of its influence in Russia. In 2014, an accident with an Animus resulted in the near-total destruction of the Russian chapter, reducing it to a single member: Galina Voronina.

History[]

Renaissance[]

Spying on the Kremlin[]

In the late 15th century, the Italian Assassins sent several recruits, including Pietro Antonio Solari and Ridolfo Fioravant, to Moscow, where they were employed by Tsar Ivan III Vasilevich as architects to work on the Kremlin. Unbeknownst to Ivan, they secretly kept an eye on his activities and ambitions, reporting back to the Assassins in Italy.[3]

However, in 1493, Ivan found out that Solari and Fioravant – the latter of whom had adopted the nickname "Aristotele" – were spies, and had Solari killed. Aristotele, realizing Ivan was close to uncovering his and Solari's affiliations, took the blame for his fellow Assassin's murder. Additionally, he began creating rumors about a revival of the Strigolniki Sect.[3]

In the early 1500s, Ezio Auditore da Firenze sent a group of Assassin apprentices to Moscow to uncover Solari's fate. The Assassins infiltrated the Kremlin, knocking a group of guards unconscious and eventually finding documents pointing out that Aristotele had murdered Solari. After a search for Aristotele's location, offering small amounts of coins in exchange for rumors, they were directed to a church where Aristotele was believed to be hiding. Threatening the priests, the Assassins were able to lure Aristotele out, whereupon he explained his actions to the apprentices.[3]

The apprentices carried out the plans Aristotele had made to trick Ivan into believing the Assassins were working for the Strigolniki Sect, until they found two of Ivan's top investigators. Killing the two men, they carved the symbol of the Strigolniki Sect into the bodies and left them hanging from church beams, with Aristotele leaving a note declaring himself the leader of the sect. The apprentices then returned to Rome with Aristotele to question him, and new Assassin spies were sent to Moscow.[3]

Assassination of Ivan Ivanovich[]

In the late 16th century, the Assassins discovered that Tsarevitch Ivan Ivanovich, the son and heir apparent of Tsar Ivan the Terrible, was affiliated with the Templar Order. As a result, they assassinated him on 19 November 1581.[1]

The Narodnaya Volya[]

In the late 19th century, the Russian Assassins became known to the public as the Narodnaya Volya, a left-wing organization quickly associated with terrorism. The group was founded with the sole purpose of opposing and removing the Russian aristocracy, following Tsar Alexander II's new-formed alliance with the Templars. The Narodnaya Volya made several attempts on the Tsar's life,[4][5] until they were finally successful on 13 March 1881 when the Tsar was killed during a bombing.[4] However, the Assassins Ignacy Hryniewiecki[6] and Nikolai Rysakov, who were responsible for the attack, were captured and executed for their part in the assassination.[7]

Alexander II's son and successor, Alexander III, continued upholding the Templar ties his father had formed. As a result, the Narodnaya Volya continued their struggle against the House of Romanov, again making several attempts on the Tsar's life. In 1887, Alexander's secret police learned about an assassination plot against him and had the conspirators arrested. All conspirators were hanged two months later, among which was the Assassin Aleksandr Ulyanov, brother of Vladimir Lenin.[4]

ACTF Orelov Imperial train ride

Nikolai riding for the Imperial train

The next year, the Mentor sent the Assassin Nikolai Orelov on a lone mission to infiltrate the Tsar's imperial train riding from Crimea to Saint Petersburg and kill him. Nikolai, fighting his way through the train despite being told not to use violence whenever possible, arrived at the Tsar's dining cart only to find Alexander's family present. The Tsar himself attacked the lone Assassin from behind, and a fight ensued inside the carriage, eventually causing the train to derail; an event that would come to be known as the Borki train disaster.[4]

After rescuing his family, the Tsar pulled out his Imperial Sceptre – secretly a Staff of Eden – and dared the Assassin to fight him with it. Alexander easily retook the Staff and overpowered Nikolai, but spared the Assassin's life when he noticed that his family was bearing witness to the scene.[4]

Tunguska explosion[]

By 1908, the Russian Assassins became aware of the Imperial Sceptre's true nature as a Staff of Eden and the fact it had been stolen and replaced with a replica by the Templar agent Grigori Rasputin.[1] After capturing a Templar named Dolinsky, Nikolai Orelov interrogated him alongside two other Assassins and learned that Rasputin had taken the Staff to a Templar research facility in Tunguska. Nikolai then executed Dolinsky and the Assassins set off for Tunguska to recover the Staff.[8]

Tungaska Explod v

The Tunguska explosion

Prior to their mission, the Brotherhood contacted Nikola Tesla, a scientist who had been previously discredited and slandered by industrialist Templars in the United States. Claiming they shared a common enemy, the Assassins offered Tesla a chance to take his revenge on the Templars by broadcasting electricity to the Tunguska facility to destroy it.[1]

At the same time as Tesla released the burst of electricity from his Wardenclyffe Tower, Nikolai and his fellow Assassins infiltrated the facility to recover the Staff of Eden, but were too late to complete their objective. As soon as Nikolai reached out to grab the Staff, the artifact was struck by electricity, resulting in a massive explosion that destroyed the artifact and the facility and left Nikolai as the sole survivor.[8]

Russian Revolution[]

In 1917, the Bolsheviks instigated the Russian Revolution against Tsar Nicholas II. The Russian Assassins strongly supported the Bolsheviks, hoping to remove the Tsarist autocracy. Under pressure from the Assassins, Nicholas formally abdicated the throne,[9] but this was not enough to please the Bolsheviks' leader Vladimir Lenin. Believing Nicholas had to die for the Revolution to come to an end, Lenin wrote to his old friend Nikolai Orelov and asked him to assassinate the former Tsar.[10]

Orelov Rev v

Nikolai reaching for the fake Staff

Having seen a picture of Nicholas holding a staff similar to the one destroyed in Tunguska, Nikolai infiltrated the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg and confronted Nicholas. However, rather than take the Tsar's life, Nikolai asked him to show him his staff, which the Assassin quickly deduced to be a replica with no powers. Nikolai then explained that, although he had no intention of killing Nicholas or harming his family, the next Assassin to pay him a visit would not be as merciful.[10]

Before Nikolai left, the Tsar informed him of a necklace worn by the late Grigori Rasputin, which appeared to be made of the same material as the destroyed Staff.[10] Deciding to visit Rasputin's former disciple Khioniya Guseva to learn what she knew about her master, Nikolai freed her from the asylum in Krasnoyarsk where she had been imprisoned following her failed attempt to assassinate Rasputin in 1914.[11]

Guseva told Nikolai that Rasputin's necklace had granted him supernatural powers, allowing him to survive the assassination attempt and forcing Guseva to disfigure herself. Following this, Nikolai killed Guseva with his Hidden Blade to end her suffering,[11] and dug up Rasputin's body to retrieve his necklace. Confirming his suspicions that it was a shard of the destroyed Staff of Eden, Nikolai decided to keep it for himself.[10]

Nikolai Orelov's desertion[]

"This is not the Creed I swore to uphold."
―Nikolai while attempting to rescue Anastasia from the Kremlin, 1918.[src]-[m]
ACCR DotT (3)

An Assassin giving Nikolai his assignment

By July 1918, a disillusioned Nikolai hoped to leave Russia with his family to escape the chaos of the Revolution, and reluctantly agreed to perform one last mission for the Brotherhood. He was tasked to recover a Precursor box once wielded by Ezio Auditore da Firenze, which was believed to be in the possession of the Romanov family.[12]

Traveling to Yekaterinburg, Nikolai infiltrated the Ipatiev House where the Romanovs had been placed under house arrest by the Bolsheviks, only to discover that Templar agents infiltrated within the Red Army sought the same prize as him. After the Templars executed most of the Romanov family, Nikolai found a young princess Anastasia, the sole survivor of her family's massacre, who had managed to flee with the Precursor box.[13]

As Nikolai attempted to calm down the girl and take the box from her, the artifact reacted to his shard of the Staff of Eden, imprinting Anastasia with the genetic memories of the Chinese Assassin Shao Jun.[13] Believing the Brotherhood could help the girl, Nikolai became her guardian and escorted her to Moscow while avoiding both the Templars, who sought to acquire the box, and the Bolsheviks, who wished to kill Anastasia to further the Revolution.[14]

Nikolai and Anastasia arrived in Moscow in September, whereupon the latter was taken away by Assassin scientists, ostensibly to find a cure to her condition. However, Nikolai soon learned his Brothers' true intentions after overhearing a conversation between two Assassins: to experiment on Anastasia and extract Shao Jun's memories from her, a procedure which would probably kill the girl or leave her barely human.[15]

Dark Secrets

Nikolai hiding from his former Brothers while searching for Anastasia

Having grown to care for Anastasia during their months together and enraged by the Assassins' lies, Nikolai decided to fight against the Brotherhood and save her.[15] He was ultimately successful, rescuing Anastasia from the Assassins' underground laboratories in the Kremlin[16] before helping her leave the country under a new identity.[17] This act branded him a traitor to the Brotherhood and, fearing for his family's safety, he decided to emigrate with them to the United States.[10]

Following the loss of Nikolai, the Russian Assassins continued to support the Bolsheviks, although they would ultimately lose control over the Revolution.[9]

Hunt for Orelov[]

Even after Nikolai Orelov fled the country, the Russian Assassins refused to give up the search for him. In 1919, they used their connections with the American Brotherhood, who had infiltrated the Bureau of Investigation, to have Nikolai's wife Anna and young daughter Nadya deported back to Russia during the Palmer Raids, an act which deeply traumatized Nikolai and further increased his hatred towards his former Brothers.[18]

By 1926, the Russian Assassins managed to track down Nikolai and his son Innokenti, and sent one of their men, Sergei, to pay them a visit at their secluded cabin near Manchester, Connecticut. Nikolai killed Sergei in the ensuing confrontation, after the latter had demanded that he return to the Russian Brotherhood to give a detailed account of his experiences with the Pieces of Eden and threatened Innokenti's life.[18]

ACTC-Nikolaishot

Nikolai's death

Upon receiving no response from Sergei, the Brotherhood deduced what had happened and once again reached out to the American Assassins for help. In 1928, the American Brotherhood sent a team of Assassins after Nikolai and Innokenti; however, they would all meet their demise at the hands of father and son, though Nikolai also perished in the encounter.[18]

Decline[]

In 1953, the Assassins succeeded in poisoning Joseph Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union and a Templar puppet, making it look like he had died of a stroke.[19]

By the end of the 20th century, the Russian Brotherhood began to decline as the Templars in Russia became more powerful and almost eradicated all of the Assassins' "science cities", except for Protvino near Moscow.[2] The Assassin scientist Medeya Voronina tried to reverse this by building an Animus from the schematics given to her by the American Assassin William Miles, who was on the run from Abstergo Industries' agents.[20]

Medeya went on to experiment on multiple test subjects in her laboratory, but her project proved to be a colossal failure when all her subjects were gradually driven insane. Unwilling to create more victims, Medeya chose to be the sole subject of her own Animus, but was unaware of her sanity slowly being frayed away by the Bleeding Effect.[2]

On 21 December 2012, a sudden power surge caused Medeya to experience a vision with "Eve", which she took as a sign to redouble her efforts. From this urge, she forced the remaining Russian Assassins – including her two daughters – into the Animus. However, just like before, all but one became insane thanks to the Bleeding Effect, with her daughter Galina Voronina being somehow spared from the Animus' negative side effects and using her newly-acquired skills to become a talented fighter.[2]

ACi-Matricide

Galina mourning her mother's death

By 16 March 2014, Galina had made contact with the Assassin team composed of Gavin Banks, Emmanuel Barraza and Emmett Leary, and requested their help to assassinate her mother in the former science city, which was crawling with the deranged remnants of the old Russian Brotherhood. After securing the help of Gavin and his team, she managed to single-handedly kill all of the Russian Assassins, including her sister.[2]

Some time later, the group found Medeya in the Animus, babbling about "her" lost husband and of the color grey. To put her mother out of her misery, Galina plunged her Hidden Blade into the woman's brain, killing her instantly. Following this, as Galina remained the last of the Russian Assassins with no one to rely on, she elected to join Gavin and his crew aboard their ship while Gavin sent word to his contacts in Georgia to form a new Russian Brotherhood.[2]

Members[]

Renaissance
Russian Empire/Russian Revolution
Modern times

Allies and puppets[]

Renaissance
Russian Empire/Russian Revolution
World War II
Modern times

Gallery[]

Appearances[]

References[]

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