- "If you think the Lord has any interest in our affairs, you've got another thing coming. But please, by all means, continue to delude yourself if it helps pass the time."
- ―Stefano expressing his thoughts on God, 1479.[src]
Stefano da Bagnone (1418 – 1479) was one of the Pazzi conspirators who attempted to murder Lorenzo de' Medici. He was a monk and a secretary to Jacopo de' Pazzi and one of the men whom Jacopo hired to kill Lorenzo.
Early life and introduction to the Templar Order
Stefano da Bagnone was born in 1418 in the town of Bagnone, becoming a monk at some point in his life. He eventually became a member of the Templar Order and was trained in Rome as a torturer. He was also a secretary to Jacopo de' Pazzi, who hired him to kill Lorenzo de' Medici.
- "May the Father of Understanding guide us."
- ―Stefano da Bagnone and his co-conspirators intone their motto.[src]
As one of the mutinous conspirators, Stefano gave his blessing to the Templar plan for the immediate takeover of Florence, which was at that time controlled by Lorenzo de' Medici.
With the following morning a Sunday, the Medici family went to High Mass in the Duomo along with a crowd of eager citizens. The crowd hid the Templar assassins until it was too late, as Lorenzo de' Medici's brother Giuliano was stabbed to death by Francesco de' Pazzi, and Stefano rushed to slice Lorenzo's back, severely injuring his target. He fled before Lorenzo's rescuer could kill him and squirrelled himself away in Tuscany, still a willing helper of the Templar organization.
- "Nothing to fear I suppose... they meet in the shadows of the Roman God."
- ―Stefano's last words.[src]
While in Tuscany, Stefano sought refuge in the monastery Monte Oliveto Maggiore. Ezio's informants in the countryside of Tuscany gave him the location of Stefano and a new tool for use in assassination.
To this end, Ezio blended with other monks to infiltrate his way inside. As Stefano was dressed in much the same manner as the other priests of the monastery, Ezio was forced to use his Eagle Vision to locate the conspirator. He discovered where Stefano was located as the man explained his beliefs to another priest, attempting to convince him of the nonexistence of God.
Slipping through the small clusters of nearby priests to approach Stefano silently, Ezio killed him with his Hidden Blade, frightening nearby monks into fleeing the area. It was at this point that Ezio used his new smoke bombs to confuse the guards and secure his escape.
Personality and characteristics
Stefano da Bagnone was cunning and cruel, a great weapon for the Templars as a torturer and an expert at hiding himself from enemies. He hid where he would not be easily found, surrounding himself with innocents that knew not of his true nature. Stefano bore great intelligence and wit which was displayed when the priest disguised his bodyguards as monks. He knew the Assassin intended to locate him and strike him down. He was simply unaware of Ezio's Eagle Vision and had no idea the Assassin would be capable of discerning his guards from the ordinary monks.
Stefano was also a coward. Although he had no shortage of cunning and treachery, the priest lacked the virtue of loyalty. He decided to run while Francesco fought alongside his more courageous guards. More evidence of this was his choice to hide in a monastery, a place of holiness and of God, believing that the Assassin would have no ability to strike there. Although this plan showed wit and strategic planning, it also displayed signs of cowardice and naivety.
Stefano's white hair was receding to the point of non-existence at the time of his death, leaving a lightly freckled scalp open to the air. His skin was deeply wrinkled with frown lines and age; his hands were thickly veined. His eyes were light brown and deep-set into his skull, with his brow protruding. Stefano's robes were dark brown and inexpensive, typical of a 15th century priest. They extended to drape the top of his boots, just long enough to make fast pacing difficult. The top of the robes included a large hood, in which Stefano could hide his face from the public. The priest was tall and unbowed from age, though drastically thin.
- Historically, Stefano da Bagnone was a priest who tried to kill Lorenzo de' Medici. He found refuge with monks but was arrested on 3 May 1478. His nose and ears were cut off, and he was hanged from the Palazzo della Signoria tower.
- He is initially shown to be an atheist through his inclusion into the Templar Order, and his open claims that God did not exist, but he was actually unsure of the truth are shown in his final words.
- When Ezio was about to ask the monks in Forlì about Savonarola, they fled from Ezio because he killed Stefano, claiming that "the killer of monks has returned".
- Before his death, Stefano is seen talking to a devoutly Christian monk. However, once Stefano is assassinated, the monk will try to kill the player.