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"Smugglers. Such an ugly word. Even slavers are called merchants. Why can't my title be "Queen of the Bog, Protector of Innocents, Paddling Instructor, and Champion of Trade?""
―Élise Lafleur to Aveline de Grandpré, 1766.[src]-[m]

Smuggling is the illegal transportation of objects, substances, information or people, such as out of a house or buildings, into a prison, or across an international border, in violation of applicable laws or other regulations.

An individual who participated in smuggling is known as a smuggler. They could work alone or in groups and sometimes with the support of autorities.


Classical Antiquity

During the Peloponnesian War, the smuggler Iola and her crew tried to transport a bear from Arkadia to Kos for the merchant Sargon. When they shipwrecked on the island of Delos, the bear killed the whole crew except for Iola.[1] Also during this time, the smuggler Okaleia made her name shipping contraband across the Aegean Sea until she sampled a forbidden sweet fruit from among her goods. Obsessed with finding its origins, Okaleia took on the epithet "the Lotus Eater" and abandoned her operation to begin a career as a mercenary.[2]

During the Alexandrine Civil War, smugglers known as the Hungry Great Ones led by "Fat Homer" worked with the cult of the Disciples of the Lioness. The Medjay Bayek of Siwa tracked them down as they attacked villagers along the Nile Delta.[3]

When the city of Sais was ruled by the tyrannical governor Sefetu, Jeska smuggled the villagers to her hometown Mefkat, becoming a target. She worked with Bayek in defending Mefkat against Sefetu's men and saving Pentu, a villager she smuggled.[4]

In Roman Cyrenaica, the Greek Arsenius led a group of smugglers. Working with the scavenger Sminthos, they planned to loot the Black Crow, a smuggler ship. Bayek helped Sminthos to recover the goods. When Arsenius double-crossed Sminthos, Bayek saved the scavenger and killed the smugglers.[5]

In 38 BCE, the city of Thebes was the place of many smuggling activities, especially due to the artifacts and treasure of the Valley of the Kings. Now a Hidden One, Bayek was helped by the smugglers Merti and Sutekh in his quest to find Akhenaten's Apple of Eden and stop the rumored curse from long-dead pharaohs.[6] In the region, Bayek helped the former smuggler Kanika who vowed to protect Egyptian relics from bandits.[7] Bayek also convinced the young Esiocles to stop being a smuggler and to join the Hidden Ones branch in Rome.[8]

Middle Age and Renaissance

During the late 9th century, the Dane Birna operated as a pirate and smuggler in England before joining the Great Heathen Army.[9] During the Siege of Paris in 885, the Breton smuggler Nolwenn sold goods to the Vikings of the Elgring Clan and the Franks in the city.[10]

During Girolamo Savonarola's brief theocracy over Florence in the late 1490s, expansive goods were deemed illegal and subject to public burnings, though it did little to merchants like Duccio de Luca, who secretly transported merchandise out of the city.[11]

During the papacy of Alexander VI, Grand Master of the Roman Templars, the Templar smuggler Lia de Russo operated in Rome, giving rare objects for Cesare Borgia, sometimes killing for obtaining them. She was killed by the Italian Master Assassin Ezio Auditore during the liberation of Rome.[12]

Smuggling was not limited to Europe and the Mediterranean Sea, either. In 1526, during the Ming dynasty period in China, the Chinese Assassin Shao Jun returned to her homeland to reestablish the Brotherhood after a group of Chinese Templar eunuchs called the Eight Tigers convinced the Jiajing Emperor to unknowingly purge the Assassins. Meeting with her Mentor Wang Yangming in Macau's port, he informed her that the Templars had allied with sailors in the Portuguese Navy to smuggle dissenters into slavery in the wider Portuguese Empire.[13]

Colonial Americas

During the Golden Age of Piracy, smugglers established many dens in caves across the Caribbean Sea. The pirate Edward Kenway infiltrated these dens to steal the contents of their treasure chests.[14] The arms smuggler Julien du Casse was inducted in the Caribbean Templars,[15] while the smuggler brothers Upton and Vance Travers were recruited by the West Indies Assassins in Nassau.[16] The Templar Jing Lang manipulated Vance to kill her brother for the Templars, but their plan was foiled as Vance had hired Kenway to kill Upton.[17] Discovering the truth, the pirate killed Vance and Lang.[18]

The Dutch smuggler and pirate Milo van der Graaff operated through the Caribbean Sea posing as a honest merchant. When he was confronted by the Royal Navy and the Spanish Navy, Graff hired the captain Kenway to sank or captured their ships, permitting to resume his activities. Since both British and Spanish navies had tried to captured him, Graff decided to retire and had Kenway protect him during his journey.[19]

In 1735, the French scientist Louis Godin used the French Geodesic Mission as a front for a smuggling operation.[20]

Before the Seven Years' War, smugglers of North Atlantic Ocean worked with the Colonial Brotherhood through the Assassin Louis-Joseph Gaultier.[21] In January 1752, the smuggler crew of the Morrigan was captured by British Army before they could meet the Assassins at Port-Menier. They were saved by the Assassins Shay Cormac and Liam O'Brien, who became respectively the captain and the quartermaster of the ship which became a part of the Assassin navy.[22]

The Colonial Templars also used smuggling to finance their operations in the British Colonies. The Templar Thomas Hickey controlled the black market in New York City,[23] while the Templar Governor of Saint-Pierre et Miquelon Charles Gabriel Sivert ran an artifact smuggling operation for Grand Master Haytham Kenway.[24]

In New Orleans, the Master Templar of the Louisianan Rite Madeleine de L'Isle organized a human-smuggling operation, transporting willing slaves and vagrants from colonies across the Gulf of Mexico to serve as laborers for the archeological site of Chichen Itza. Her step-daughter Aveline de Grandpré, a Louisianan Assassin, investigated the Templar plot but unknowingly helped her by bringing slaves she liberated to de L'Isle.[25]

By 1766, the smugglers Élise Lafleur and Roussillon worked in the Louisiana Bayou recruiting slaves like Chrisfait to their operation. The former Haitian Assassin Baptiste worked with the Templars to take control of the Bayou. Impersonating his former Mentor François Mackandal, Baptiste formed a cult with former slaves to force the smugglers to abandon the Bayou while preparing to poison the nobles of New Orleans.[26] The smugglers were helped by de Grandpré, who killed Baptiste and fought his acolytes across the Bayou.[27] Lafleur and Roussillon became allies of the Assassin who later bought pocket watches from various smugglers in New Orleans and the Bayou.

In 1768, the smuggler Reynaud had ties with the Spanish Army, permitting him to operate in the Bayou. He was killed by de Grandpré who took control of his legal stores.[28]

The same year, Lafleur helped de Grandpré to stop the Templar governor Antonio de Ulloa's plan to smuggle slaves from Louisiana to Mexico. They liberated a group of civilians of San Danje before attacking the Fort Saint-Jean where they freed slaves.[29] After she forced Ulloa to leave Louisiana, Grandpré infiltrated Chichen Itza's site as a slave. She killed the Templar Rafael Joaquín de Ferrer, ending the Templar rule on the colony and the smuggling of the workers.[30]

In 1771, the smugglers of the Bayou were threatened by the Templar Diego Vázquez, who bribed Spanish soldiers to take control of the trade routes. As the Templar sent a ship to retake Chichen Itza, the smugglers and Grandpré sabotaged the beacon to make the vessel shipwreck. Smugglers took the supplies while the Assassin protected them from Vázquez' soldiers.[31]

By 1773, Dutch smugglers sold tea to British colonists due to it being cheaper than British tea. To end this activity, the British Parliament voted the Tea Act, permitting the East India Company to directly sell the tea from India to the British colonies, the goods becoming cheaper than smuggled tea.[32] Ironically, the Company's tea was smuggled by the Templar William Johnson to finance the buying of the Iroquois' lands for the Order. The Colonial Assassin Ratonhnhaké:ton and the Sons of Liberty disrupted his smuggling operation by throwing the tea in the Boston Harbor during the Tea Party.[33]

During the American Revolutionary War, the French and Spanish Kingdoms established smuggling operations to supply the Patriots against the British Empire. The French playwriter and spy Pierre Beaumarchais set up the fictitious organization Roderigue Hortalez and Company as a cover for arms smuggling for the Patriots.[34] In 1776, one of its ships La Belladonna went to America to deliver weapons. The Continental Navy Captain Nicholas Biddle was tasked to escort the ship, but due to his membership in the Colonial Templars, he warned another Templar captain in the Royal Navy to attack the ship. La Belladonna was protected by Ratonhnhaké:ton and his ship Aquila sinking the British aggressors.[35]

In Louisiana, the Governor Luis de Unzaga used smugglers like Élise Lafleur and Roussillon to supply the Patriots with weapons from Bayou. Vázquez tried to disrupt the smugglers' operation in Bayou. Lafleur and Roussillon were protected by de Grandpré and George Davidson,[36] a former slave who was secretly a Templar and a Loyalist.[37][38] The group delivered the weapons to the Patriot Hopton and permitted George to join the Continental Army.[36] De Grandpré killed Vázquez to end the Templar threat on the Bayou smugglers.[39]

French Revolution

By 1788, the English smuggler Byron Jackson transported tea, sugar, and other goods on his ship the Granny Smith across the Channel Sea, posing as a Frenchman. In February, he saved the French Templar Élise de la Serre and her servant Hélène from being kidnapped in Saint-Cyr, then transported the two women to Dover.[40]

During the French Revolution, the Templar Charles Gabriel Sivert and the smuggler Arpinon extorted nobles and clergymen to fund the more radical members of the French Rite. On 4 January 1791, they smugglers goods from Guillaume de Roussel, who was imprisoned in the Conciergerie in Paris.[41] Arpinon was killed by the French Master Assassin Pierre Bellec, and the next day Sivert was killed by Bellec's apprentice Arno Dorian at Notre-Dame.[42]

With the chaos of the Revolution, Templars and other criminals smuggled artifacts and goods through the palaces and churches of Paris. The Assassins infiltrated their hideouts and stole their treasures.[43] Dorian even gave the Sancy diamond to a smuggler to prevent the criminal Renard from selling it to finance a coup for Les Actes des Apôtres.[44]

In June 1793, after the fall of the monarchy and the establishment of the French Republic, the Templar Maximilien de Robespierre began the Reign of Terror to arrest perceived enemies of the Revolution. His first target were the Girondists, some of whom were smuggled out of the city by the Assassins.[45]

Industrial London

In 1868, the British Templars ran smuggling operations in London. The Templar brothers Kent and Raphael Jekyll operated in the city docks while the Blighter criminal Sylvia Duke was in the Strand. The Jekylls were killed by the British Assassin siblings Jacob and Evie Frye,[46] while Duke was later arrested by them.[47]

During World War II, the smuggler Spencer tried to use Eddie Gorm's docks to move weapons during the conflict. Gorm refused and beat the smuggler.[48]



  1. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyGrin and Bear It
  2. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyTarget menu: "Mercenaries: Okaleia the Lotus Eater"
  3. Assassin's Creed: OriginsThe Hungry River
  4. Assassin's Creed: OriginsSmoke Over Water
  5. Assassin's Creed: OriginsThe Smugglers of Cyrene
  6. Assassin's Creed: OriginsThe Curse of the PharaohsThe Curse of the Pharaohs
  7. Assassin's Creed: OriginsThe Curse of the PharaohsNational Treasures
  8. Assassin's Creed: OriginsThe Curse of the PharaohsFloating conversations: Encounters across Egypt
  9. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaStorming Ravensburg
  10. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaThe Siege of ParisThe Count of Paris
  11. Assassin's Creed: BrotherhoodThe Da Vinci DisappearanceDatabase: Duccio de Luca
  12. Assassin's Creed: BrotherhoodRed-Handed
  13. Assassin's Creed Chronicles: ChinaThe Port
  14. Assassin's Creed IV: Black FlagDatabase: Smuggler's Dens
  15. Assassin's Creed IV: Black FlagMister Walpole, I Presume?
  16. Assassin's Creed IV: Black FlagDatabase: Smuggler Upton
  17. Assassin's Creed IV: Black FlagOh Brother...
  18. Assassin's Creed IV: Black FlagQueen of Pirates, King of Fools
  19. Assassin's Creed IV: Black FlagThe Final Contract
  20. Assassin's Creed IV: Black FlagFreedom CryLifting the Veil
  21. Assassin's Creed: RogueTinker Sailor Soldier Spy
  22. Assassin's Creed: RogueThe Way the Wind Blows
  23. Assassin's Creed IIIDatabase: Thomas Hickey
  24. Assassin's Creed: UnityDatabase: Charles Gabriel Sivert
  25. Assassin's Creed III: LiberationThe Safe House
  26. Assassin's Creed III: LiberationMeet the Smugglers
  27. Assassin's Creed III: LiberationEve of Saint John
  28. Assassin's Creed III: LiberationM. Reynaud's Bypass
  29. Assassin's Creed III: LiberationStorming the Fort
  30. Assassin's Creed III: LiberationThe Secret of the Cenote
  31. Assassin's Creed III: LiberationStolen Goods
  32. Assassin's Creed IIIDatabase: Tea Act
  33. Assassin's Creed IIIThe Tea Party
  34. Assassin's Creed IIIDatabase: La Belladonna
  35. Assassin's Creed IIIFrench Involvement
  36. 36.0 36.1 Assassin's Creed III: LiberationSupplying the Revolution
  37. Assassin's Creed III: LiberationA Fool's Errand
  38. Assassin's Creed IIIConnor's Way
  39. Assassin's Creed III: LiberationThe Last Dance
  40. Assassin's Creed: Unity (novel)
  41. Assassin's Creed: UnityGraduation
  42. Assassin's Creed: UnityConfession
  43. Assassin's Creed: UnitySmuggler's Paradise
  44. Assassin's Creed: UnityThe Queen's Necklace
  45. Assassin's Creed: UnityPolitical Persecution
  46. Assassin's Creed: SyndicateThe Jekyll Brothers
  47. Assassin's Creed: SyndicateSylvia Duke
  48. Assassin's Creed: ConspiraciesVolume 1: Die Glocke