Sofia Sartor (born 1476) was a Venetian-Ottoman book shop owner, and a literary enthusiast. Though born in the city of Constantinople to Venetian parents, Sofia and her family were forced to leave for Venice in 1499, when the Ottoman-Venetian war began.
Sofia eventually returned to her birthplace in 1507, in order to run a bookstore at the old Polo trading post. In 1511, she met the Assassin Ezio Auditore da Firenze, the man who would eventually become her husband, and the father of their two children. In this regard, she is an ancestor to Desmond Miles through the paternal line.
A polylingual, multicultural, and intelligent woman mature beyond her years, Sofia had a passion for literature, which fueled her decision to run her bookstore, in the hopes of sharing the democratizing effect she felt in books with others.
- "I lived here with my parents when I was a girl. The war pushed us out, but I always knew I would return."
- ―Sofia to Ezio, on her life at Constantinople as a child.[src]
Sofia was the daughter of a Venetian couple, and was born in 1476 in the city of Constantinople. She lived at the Venetian quarter of the city with her parents until the Ottoman-Venetian conflict began. At that time, most Venetians living within the city were in danger, forcing Sofia and her parents to flee to Italy in 1499.
In 1505, Sofia's father commissioned the German artist, Albrecht Dürer, to paint a portrait of her as a gift for her twenty-eighth birthday, offering any price to the artist. However, when the artist met Sofia, he refused any salary, and said that the opportunity to paint Sofia's likeness was payment enough.
Sofia later returned to Constantinople in 1507 to run the bookshop previously owned by her father, wanting to spread knowledge amongst the Ottoman citizens, and share her love for books with others.
- Sofia: "Who are you, messere (sir)?"
- Ezio: "Only the most interesting man in your life."
- —Sofia and Ezio, in her bookshop.
In 1511, Sofia returned to Constantinople from a trip to Rhodes, on the same boat as Suleiman I and Ezio Auditore, the Mentor of the Italian Brotherhood of Assassins. Unbeknownst to Sofia, the building of her bookshop had also once been the trading post of Niccolò and Maffeo Polo, who had founded a local Assassin Guild in 1258.
Sofia later met Ezio Auditore, who was in the midst of searching for the Masyaf keys. Suspecting the old Polo trading post to contain some information of the keys' location, Ezio searched Sofia's shop, and found a hidden passageway that led to the Yerebatan Cistern. After returning, Ezio shared what he had found with Sofia: a map and one of the five Masyaf keys. The map he found included the location of rare books, which fascinated Sofia greatly.
Ezio believed that the books held clues to where the other keys were, so he asked Sofia if she could help him deduce the location of the books by deciphering the map for him. Sofia agreed, and in return, she asked Ezio to let her borrow the books from him once he was done with them. The Assassin subtly agreed, before leaving her shop.
Locating the books
- Sofia: "Ezio, what is this all about? You are not a scholar, that much is clear. Do you work for the church?"
- Ezio: "Not the church, no. But I am a teacher... of a kind."
- —Ezio and Sofia, about the Assassin's occupation.[src]
Sofia took a break from her work and waited by the harbor to pick up a package of hers, but was unable to retrieve it due to the captain's papers being out of order. After scaring off a failing suitor, Ezio helped Sofia by infiltrating the ship and successfully retrieving her goods, and upon receiving the package from him, Sofia showed him the map it contained. Afterwards, she gave him the location of the first book, which Ezio set off to collect.
Ezio would later return to her shop to show her the book, though he discovered from Sofia that her book store had recently been broken into by a thief, who had managed to pilfer Dürer's painting of her, which she considered to be of great sentimental value. After learning this, Ezio left Sofia's shop to locate the painting in the nearby Grand Bazaar, and managed to retrieve it from a merchant. After Ezio returned the painting, Sofia gave him the location of the next book, and subsequently asked him what his job was. Ezio told her that he was something of a teacher, which she doubted, though Ezio promised her that he would explain everything to her someday.
Ezio returned again to Sofia's shop some time later, staying for a while to read a poem written by Dante Alighieri. Sofia then told him about her plan to leave for Adrianopoli within a few weeks to visit a new printing press, and tried to ask Ezio to act as her escort. He respectfully declined the offer, stating that he would love to, but his time was running short. Sofia understood, and proceeded to decipher the last code, though asked Ezio if he could wait another day, due to her having another errand to run.
Ezio asked what the errand was, which she said was to pick up white tulips. Ezio told her that he would get the flowers, to which she agreed in exchange for the information Ezio sought. After picking the flowers, Ezio met with Sofia at a park near the Hagia Sophia, where she had arranged food and drink for them to share. Afterwards, Sofia gave Ezio the location of the final book.
- Ezio: "I did not mean to drag you into this. I am sorry."
- Sofia: "You are not responsible for the actions of other men."
- —Sofia and Ezio, after her rescue.[src]
After her return from Adrianopoli, Sofia continued her business while under the protection of Yusuf Tazim, who kept watch over her at the behest of Ezio. In March of 1512, Sofia's store was attacked by the Byzantine Templars under the orders of the Ottoman Prince Ahmet, who kidnapped Sofia, killing Yusuf in the process.
Returning from Cappadocia and learning of Yusuf's death, Ezio led the Ottoman Assassins to Constantinople's arsenal to look for Sofia and avenge Yusuf. After reluctantly negotiating with Ahmet, Ezio agreed to trade the Masyaf keys for Sofia's safety, with the meeting to be held at the Galata Tower. During the exchange at the landmark, Ezio's attention was diverted to a woman appearing to be Sofia, held by a Byzantine at the top of the tower, merely inches away from falling.
After giving up the keys, Ezio hurriedly made his way up the tower to rescue her, though he found out the lady was actually Azize, an Assassin apprentice, who had been set to act as a decoy. With this, Ezio looked for Sofia from the top of the tower, and found her being choked to death by a noose in a nearby courtyard.
Ezio immediately left the tower via parachute and rescued Sofia, as Assassin recruits cleared the rooftops of guards while he floated to the ground. Killing the Byzantine soldier nearby and helping her recuperate, Ezio apologized for dragging Sofia into his business, though Sofia remarked that he was not responsible for the actions of his enemies. Before she could ask who they were, Sofia was dragged off with Ezio onto a carriage, and the two left the city to chase after Ahmet and the Masyaf keys.
- Sofia: "You did the right thing, Ezio. This is not your fight."
- Ezio: "But where does one end, and the next begin?"
- —Sofia and Ezio, after Selim's intervention.[src]
Ezio and Sofia chased after Ahmet through the countryside, and after dealing with two of the Byzantines' carriages, Sofia nearly fell from the vehicle after their own carriage collided with a wall. When Ezio tried to rescue her, he slipped and fell to the back of the carriage, barely holding onto a rope. However, after Ezio tied a parachute to the rope and deployed it, he managed to take to the air, and Sofia recovered enough to gain control of the carriage.
Despite the constant obstacles and detours in the road, Sofia managed to catch up to Ahmet, though her carriage was destroyed in the chase. Unscathed, Sofia bade Ezio go on his own from there. After defeating Ahmet, Ezio retrieved the Masyaf keys, but in the midst of their confrontation, Selim I, Ahmet's brother and the newly named Sultan, intervened and threw Ahmet off of a cliff.
Sofia later met up with Ezio, just as Selim was introducing himself. When Selim banished Ezio from his city, the Assassin moved to attack him, but Sofia managed to hold him back. Just as Selim left, Sofia told Ezio that what he had done was the right thing, and the two left for Masyaf.
Journey to Masyaf
- Sofia: "You had better come out of there alive."
- Ezio: "I plan to."
- —Sofia and Ezio, just after opening the door to Altaïr's library.[src]
Climbing to the old fortress at Masyaf, Sofia and Ezio discussed the history of the Assassins – how Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad had restored the Order, and whether Ezio ever regretted living as an Assassin. Sofia comforted Ezio when he spoke about finally retiring from the Order, saying that he would not fall far should he let that past life go. At that point, they arrived at the door of Altaïr's library.
With Sofia assisting him by giving her insight about the possible solution for using the keys, Ezio managed to unlock the door. Sofia then asked Ezio to come back alive, and waited for him outside of the library. After Ezio's return, they both left the fortress, with Rome being their destination.
Ezio and Sofia were married in Venice after returning to Constantinople, to ensure the future of Sofia's bookshop, which was turned into both an archive for the Assassins, and a bookshop run by Azize. Sofia and Ezio then returned to Italy and traveled to Rome, where she met her sister-in-law, Claudia.
Sofia was also with Ezio when he made the announcement of his retirement as Mentor, and passed the leadership of the Italian Brotherhood of Assassins to Lodovico Ariosto. By this time, Sofia was pregnant with their daughter Flavia.
Sofia was present during a visit from a friend of the family, Niccolò Machiavelli, who told Ezio of their friend Leonardo da Vinci's failing health, with whom Ezio and Niccolò went to stay until the artist's death.
In 1524, while Sofia took Marcello to visit Claudia in Rome, Ezio had an encounter with a Chinese Assassin named Shao Jun. Despite Ezio's discourteous welcome, Sofia told Jun that she should stay, seeing that she had come a long way just to meet Ezio. After a day passed, Jun's enemies discovered her at the villa, and Ezio sent Sofia and their children to stay with Niccolò until the conflict was resolved.
After the dispute was settled, Sofia left to buy groceries with Flavia and Ezio, who had just finished his writings. After sitting Ezio down by a nearby bench, Sofia and Flavia bought some produce at a local stall, and after a short while, the mother and daughter saw Ezio lying back on the bench, motionless. Distraught, Sofia and Flavia rushed over to Ezio, as did the other intrigued civilians of Florence, discovering him to have quietly passed away.
Before Ezio died, he left a letter addressed to Sofia at his study, the writings that he had been keeping himself busy with. The letter detailed Ezio's last thoughts; the reflection on the life he led, and how the love he felt for Sofia was the driving force that had kept him alive.
Personality and characteristics
- "She is a diligent woman, full of passion and vigor, and I enjoy her company immensely."
- ―Ezio, describing Sofia to Claudia in a letter.[src]
Sofia was a hard-working woman, mature beyond her age. She often engaged with intellectual individuals, who she considered to be her equal in terms of intelligence. Whenever in business, she detested casual banter, though her wit and sense of humor outmatched any perceived coldness.
She was often intrigued by the mysterious and ancient, such as the lost books listed on the Polo's map, and the Masyaf key that Ezio showed her. Sofia also had a deep appreciation for most architectural structures, literature, and art, and she was also very affectionate and romantic, as seen with her plan for Ezio at the park near Hagia Sophia.
Sofia was most passionate when it came to literature, a love further expanded after the invention of the printing press. She visited other countries to learn more about books and the printing press, and discovered much about the materials used in bookbinding, as well as several notable authors and literary works. Sofia had a thirst for knowledge, and a desire to spread what she knew and loved about books to the people of the Ottoman Empire.
- Sofia is a variant of the Greek name Σοφια (Sophia) meaning "wisdom". Sartor is an Italian, typically Venetian, surname, and comes from Latin sartor, "tailor".
- At an earlier stage of development, Sofia's surname was "Sorto", before being changed to "Sartor" in the final game. The earlier surname is still present in the internal files of the game, however.
- Art Director Raphael Lacoste wanted to base her appearance on a painting by Albrecht Dürer, and co-artist Jeff Simpson commented that Lacoste was very adamant about the idea.
- Sofia's database article stated that she was born some time in 1476. However, the Assassin's Creed Encyclopedia mentioned that she was born in 1473.
- The database also mentioned that the Ottoman-Venetian conflict began in 1499, while the Encyclopedia stated that it began in 1498.
- Concept art and early images of Sofia depicted her with bright orange hair, while her in-game model showed her with darker, more crimson-shaded hair.
- However, her hair color in Assassin's Creed: Embers was still depicted as orange.
- Dürer's painting of Sofia could be seen hanging on the living room wall of Ezio's and Sofia's villa in Embers. However, it appeared much larger compared to its size in Assassin's Creed: Revelations.
- Upon acquiring all obtainable books, a cutscene could be initiated upon returning to Galata headquarters, which involved Sofia coming to make a delivery, and asking Ezio about his "students".
- Curiously, the earliest possible point the cutscene could be viewed was after Ezio's return from Cappadocia, when Sofia was supposed to be kidnapped by Ahmet.