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The Assassin insignia

"Nothing is true, everything is permitted."
―The Creed's maxim.[src]

The Assassin's Creed, often referred to as the Creed, was a code and guiding philosophy of the Assassins upheld from the High Middle Ages until the modern era. It restricted unnecessary slaughter of innocents, preserved the reputation of oneself and of the Order, and was meant to create peace not only within the world, but within the individual.[1]

The Creed began to take shape in 38 BCE when the Medjay Bayek of Siwa and Aya of Alexandria founded the Hidden Ones.[2] After generations of the Assassins handing the Creed down orally to ensure that its message was delivered to and upheld by every member, they settled on their three tenets sometime in the 9th century.[3] Al Mualim, one of the order's Mentors, once remarked that "[they] are nothing if [they] do not abide by the Assassin's Creed".[4] In the Levantine Assassin Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad's written Codex, he stated that the Creed could be killed, even if all of its followers were, explaining how the Creed was an idea and that it could be reinvented by another person even if all records of it were destroyed.[5]

The three tenets

The Creed mainly emphasized three simple moral tenets that focused on ensuring a successful mission, mastery of emotions, and the safety of the Brotherhood.[6][7]

Stay your blade from the flesh of an innocent

"There is freedom, and there is the life of innocents. Both must be balanced on the scale."
―Bayek to Gamilat, 38 BCE.[src]-[m]

The goal of the Assassins was to ensure peace in all things. The Assassins believed that political assassinations and the death of the corrupt would bring peace and a true sense of security to the common people. Slaying innocents and civilian bystanders who did not need to die could spread strife and discord, in addition to ruining the name of the Assassin Order itself.[7] It also prevented them from achieving their higher purpose as a precise killer instead of an indiscriminate butcher. This tenet was implemented by Bayek after the Nabatean rebels' leader Gamilat had used the slaughter of innocents as martyrs to recruit more people from the Sinai to the cause.[2]

Hide in plain sight

"Let the people mask you such that you become one with the crowd."
―Al Mualim to Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, 1191.[src]-[m]
AC1 Altair blending with Scholars

Altaïr blending with a group of scholars

Be unseen. The Assassins' aim was to get close to their target stealthily and escape just as quickly. In more ancient times, Assassins aimed to perform ostentatious, public assassinations. The greatest illusion from such an assassination was that the Assassin seemingly materialized from nowhere, killed a corrupt public figure, and vanished into the depths of the crowd or environment. If an Assassin was spotted while stalking their target, the supernatural effect would be diluted, and it became more difficult for the Assassin to reach their target.[7]

Never compromise the Brotherhood

"Its meaning should be obvious. Your actions must never bring harm upon us—direct or indirect!"
―Al Mualim chastising Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, 1191.[src]-[m]

The actions of one must never bring harm to all. If an Assassin failed in their duty, and was captured or chased, they must never commit any action or say anything that could be tied back to the Brotherhood, or bring harm to any member of it.[7]

The three ironies

"Do we bend the rules in service to a greater good? And if we do, what does it say of us?"
―Altaïr's Codex, page 4.[src]-[m]

The three great ironies were observations that had been noted as early as the Roman Empire,[6] and described the contradictions between the Creed and the actions of the Assassins who followed it. They were:

  1. The Assassins seek to promote peace, but commit murder.
  2. The Assassins seek to open the minds of men, but require obedience to rules.
  3. The Assassins seek to reveal the danger of blind faith, yet practice it themselves.

Though seemingly hypocritical, the ironies did not undermine the Assassins' cause. Rather, they demonstrated the way in which they embraced contradiction, "that one may be two things—opposite in every way—simultaneously."[8] Another core part of the Creed is the importance of knowledge, which allows one to learn and advance. This was reflected on by Altaïr when about to kill Jubair al Hakim after he ordered a book burning.[9]

The Maxim

"Our Creed does not command us to be free. It commands us to be wise."
―Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad on the Creed's meaning, 1191.[src]-[m]
Initiation Rome 1

The Initiation ceremony in Rome

"Nothing is true, everything is permitted" is the Creed's maxim and primary guideline.[7] A rudimentary version of the phrase was first used by members of Artabanus' group, a precursor to the Brotherhood, in the 5th century BCE.[10] Scribes of the Persian sect of the Order of the Ancients under Amorges, a former member of Artabanus' group, were also familiar with the phrase.[11]

Al Mualim taught Altaïr that the maxim commanded the Assassins not to be free, but to be wise. Altaïr later explained that for a person to abide by the maxim, they had to transcend the illusion which was the world, and to "recognize that [...] laws do not arise from divinity, but reason".[12]

During the Renaissance, the Italian and Spanish Assassins recited the maxim at every new Assassin's induction into the Order. The maxim would first be said in its original Arabic by the Master Assassin or Mentor performing the induction, and then repeated by all Assassins present, including the inductee.[13][14][15]

In 1512, Ezio Auditore spoke of the maxim at length with Sofia Sartor, who found it rather cynical. However, he told her that the maxim was not a doctrine to be followed, but merely an observation of the nature of the world, explaining thusly:

"To say that nothing is true, is to realize that the foundations of society are fragile, and that we must be the shepherds of our own civilization. To say that everything is permitted, is to understand that we are the architects of our actions, and that we must live with their consequences, whether glorious or tragic."[16]

In 1721, the pirate Edward Kenway discussed the maxim with Ah Tabai, the Mentor of the West Indies Assassins, prior to joining the Brotherhood. Edward pondered why the Assassins believed in anything at all if "nothing is true" and why they did not chase their every desire if "everything is permitted", before concluding that "This idea [was] only the beginning of wisdom, and not its final form."[17]

ACU The Temple 13

Arno reflecting on the Creed

Around 1794, French Assassin Arno Dorian ruminated that the maxim merely served as a guide and a warning, rather than as a principle meant for an individual to follow, having witnessed directly how ideals led to dangerous extremism, elaborating that:

"Ideals too easily give way to dogma. Dogma becomes fanaticism. Only we can decide whether the road we walk carries too high a toll. All that we do, all that we are, begins and ends with ourselves."[18]


"From this day, no Hidden One will raise a sword against an innocent. So it shall be written."
―Bayek to Gamilat, 38 BCE.[src]-[m]
ACO Last of the Medjay 9

Bayek and Aya laying the foundations of the Creed

In 46 BCE, after eliminating the Order of the Ancients members responsible for the death of his son Khemu, Bayek found a thoughtful Aya outside the Alexandrian shores. Concluding that there was still work to do fighting tyrants and still feeling driven by this higher calling, the two agreed to separate and sacrifice their personal lives for the greater good. Together, they developed a creed emphasizing two simple tenets: to work in the shadows and to kill only those who deserved it.[19]

The first tenet was formulated in 38 BCE after the Hidden Ones' ally Gamilat provoked Roman soldiers to kill villagers with the purpose of inspiring the people to fight back against them. After Bayek fatally wounded him in a duel, Gamilat realized what he had done and said he deserved his death. Bayek assured him that from then on, all Hidden Ones would stay their blades from the flesh of the innocent.[2]

Penalty for disobedience

Middle Ages

"Your selfish act beneath Jerusalem placed us all in danger! Worse still, you brought the enemy to our home! Every man we lost today was lost because of you!"
―Al Mualim reprimanding Altaïr, 1191.[src]-[m]

On most occasions, the breaking of one or more of the tenets of the Creed led to the execution of the involved Assassin, though there have been exceptions.[7] During the siege of Masyaf in 1176, Ahmad Sofian was captured and interrogated by the Saracens about the identity of the Assassin who had infiltrated their camp. Ahmad broke and gave the name of Umar Ibn-La'Ahad. This resulted in him breaking the third tenet of the Creed, as Umar was executed for this,[20] and though he was spared, Ahmad could not bear the shame and guilt and took his own life after begging Umar's young son Altaïr for forgiveness.[21] Umar himself also technically broke the first and third tenets as well by killing a Saracen nobleman, who was not his target and which resulted in the Saracens electing to continue the siege unless the killer surrendered himself, which would have resulted in many Assassin deaths. Umar elected to give himself up for execution to save his fellow Assassins.[20]

AC 2

Al Mualim forcefully reminding Altaïr of the Creed

In 1191, Altaïr broke all three tenets during an important mission at Solomon's Temple. By murdering an innocent, an old man whom he thought could have alerted the guards, and revealing himself to Robert de Sablé,[22] Altaïr inevitably led the Templars back to Masyaf, jeopardizing not only his own safety, but the livelihood of the entire Brotherhood in the resulting attack.[23] Upon his return to Masyaf, Altaïr was publicly chastised and "executed" via stabbing as punishment by the Mentor.[24] However, the execution was only an illusion created using an Apple of Eden, as Al Mualim wished to grant him a second chance. Instead, Altaïr was merely stripped of all his weapons and equipment, and demoted to the lowest rank of novice, and forced to re-earn his rank through assassinating nine select Templars.[1] Following his return from his self-imposed exile in 1247, Altaïr decided to eliminate those of Abbas Sofian's followers who had compromised the Brotherhood by harming civilians, while leaving alive those that still lived by the Creed.[25]


"Our tenets are clear. One of our brothers has decided to disobey them and must pay with his life."
―An Assassin of Jerusalem, 1511.[src]-[m]

In 1498, Perotto Calderon also broke the tenets of the Creed out of his love for the Templar Lucrezia Borgia and their newborn son Giovanni. He broke his cover as a spy amongst the Borgia, compromising the Brotherhood in the process, and killed several of his fellow Assassins in an effort to steal the Shroud of Eden they protected, which he thought could cure his child's deformities. Though he was successful, a team of Assassins later tracked Perotto down, and executed him as punishment.[26]

In 1511, one of Ezio Auditore's Ottoman apprentices broke the first tenet after mistaking a cleric for the Templar Cyril of Rhodes and rashly assassinating him. Instead of punishing them, Ezio ordered the apprentice to reflect on their mistake and gave them the chance to redeem themselves when they confronted Cyril again.[27]

Escape 5

Ezio's actions in Cappadocia can be seen as a violation of the Creed's first tenet

Ironically, Ezio himself indirectly broke the first tenet several times that year, such as when he instigated a riot at the Arsenal in order to gain access to the harbor, getting several civilians killed in the process[28] and when he rashly assassinated the Janissary captain Tarik Barleti, who both Ezio and Prince Suleiman mistakenly believed was working with the Templars.[29] However, Ezio's biggest violation of the Creed came the following year, when he ignited the Templars' cache of gunpowder in Derinkuyu to destroy it,[30] resulting in a firestorm that engulfed the underground city and killed many of its civilians.[31] This last incident caused Ezio to later reflect on his actions and realize he was doing more harm than good, ultimately deciding to retire from the Order.[32]

During this time, a Jerusalemite Assassin broke the Creed and the Ottoman Assassins were asked to intervene. Despite his treachery, the other Assassins of his guild asked that their former brother be executed covertly with a crossbow.[33]

Haitian Revolution

In 1791, the Saint-Domingue Brotherhood's leader Eseosa sentenced fellow Assassin Jeannot Bullet to death for breaking the first tenet of the Creed.[34]

French Revolution

"You've defied the orders of this Council repeatedly, pursued targets without sanction, and flouted our Creed at every step. [...] In light of these actions, I find I have no choice but to call for a vote of expulsion."
―Sophie Trenet chastising Arno Dorian and calling for his expulsion, 1793.[src]-[m]

In 1793, the French Assassin Council expelled Arno Dorian from the Brotherhood for repeatedly assassinating targets without consulting them. He was accused of compromising the Brotherhood and pursuing a personal vendetta.[35] However the expulsion was temporary as the Council decided to reinstate the young Assassin years later,[18] after he had matured and demonstrated true fidelity to the Creed.[36]


  • In Assassin's Creed, Altaïr can break the third tenet without suffering desynchronization, by killing the Masyaf guards. Similarly, after completing the main storyline of Assassin's Creed, civilians can be killed without losing synchronization.
  • The exact phrase "Nothing is true, everything is permitted" was taken from the 1938 novel Alamut by Vladimir Bartol, a book that served as a primary inspiration for Assassin's Creed. In it, the maxim was the highest truth of the Ismaili, the sect of Islam that gave rise to the historical Hashashin. The phrase in the novel is "Nothing is an absolute reality; all is permitted".
  • In Assassin's Creed: Revelations, the doors to the library of Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad were engraved with the following lines in Arabic: "إتق دم البريء • لآ شيء مطلق بل الكل ممكن • إختبئ وسط الزحام • إختبئ وسط الزحام • نحن من ائتمنك • لأ تخن من ائتمنك ". When translated, they read: "Revere the blood of the innocent / Nothing is absolute, everything is possible / Hide in the midst of the crowds / Hide in the midst of the crowds / We are the ones who have entrusted you / Do not betray our trust", paraphrasing the tenets of the Creed and its maxim.
  • In Assassin's Creed: Origins, the Messenger in the Eesfet Oon-m'Aa Poo tomb says a slight variation of the maxim at the ending of his message: "Nothing is real. Everything is permitted".


  1. 1.0 1.1 Assassin's CreedEavesdropping (Masun)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Assassin's Creed: OriginsThe Hidden OnesThe Greater Good
  3. YouTube Assassin's Creed Mirage News & Exclusive Info (Story, Stealth, Parkour, Assassinations) (AC Mirage) on the Access The Animus YouTube channel. "In Sarah [Beaulieu]'s words, at this point, which is roughly 900 years after Assassin's Creed: Origins, the Hidden Ones have consolidated their Creed, the three tenants; they have ceremonies and rituals that we are likely going to see in the game"
    Assassin's Creed: Mirage [citation needed]
  4. Assassin's CreedGlory
  5. Assassin's Creed IIAltaïr Ibn-La'Ahad's Codex, pg. 9
  6. 6.0 6.1 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaThe Magas Codex
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Assassin's Creed
  8. Assassin's Creed IIAltaïr Ibn-La'Ahad's Codex, pg. 4
  9. Assassin's CreedAssassination (Jubair al Hakim)
  10. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyLegacy of the First Blade: Shadow HeritageLegacy of the First Blade
  11. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyLegacy of the First Blade: Shadow HeritageSmoke and Fury
  12. Assassin's CreedAssassination (Sibrand)
  13. Assassin's Creed IIPlay Along
  14. Assassin's Creed: BrotherhoodAscension
  15. Assassin's Creed film
  16. Assassin's Creed: RevelationsA Homecoming
  17. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag...Everything Is Permitted
  18. 18.0 18.1 Assassin's Creed: UnityThe Temple
  19. Assassin's Creed: OriginsLast of the Medjay
  20. 20.0 20.1 Assassin's Creed: The Secret Crusade – Chapter 3
  21. Assassin's Creed: The Secret Crusade – Chapter 15
  22. Assassin's CreedAcquisition
  23. Assassin's CreedFailure
  24. Assassin's CreedGlory
  25. Assassin's Creed: RevelationsThe Mentor's Return
  26. Assassin's Creed: Project LegacyItalian Wars: Chapter 4 – Perotto Calderon
  27. Assassin's Creed: RevelationsThe Deacon, Part 1
  28. Assassin's Creed: RevelationsThe Arsenal Gates
  29. Assassin's Creed: RevelationsHonor, Lost and Won
  30. Assassin's Creed: RevelationsDecommissioned
  31. Assassin's Creed: RevelationsEscape
  32. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaLayla Hassan's personal files: "Audio: Desmond_02.WAV"
  33. Assassin's Creed: RevelationsMediterranean Defense
  34. Assassin's Creed: InitiatesEseosa's Codex – Entry 7: "Our First Setback: Acul, Saint-Domingue, 1791-11"
  35. Assassin's Creed: UnityBottom of the Barrel
  36. Assassin's Creed: UnityDead KingsA Crown of Thorns