Ubisoft plays with different historical periods to create science fiction stories, infusing them with mythology and real and fictional characters.
Assassins and Templars, two antagonistic orders that nevertheless have much in common. In Ubisoft’s fiction, both brotherhoods were born in the ancient world, specifically in Egypt, albeit at different times and under different names. Chronicles say that the Order of the Ancients was founded by Pharaoh Semenjkara in 1334 BC; the germ of the Assassins, the Order of the Hidden, emerged more than a millennium later, in 47 BC. This is how they were still known when Eivor took the hatchet to invade the English lands in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, the most recent installment of the series. The search for the relics of the ancient gods is intertwined with classical mythology, to constitute a rich and complex totum revolutum.
Did the Order of the Assassins exist?
Jean de Joinville, a trusted person of the French King Louis XIV, spoke of a group belonging to a sinister order, whose members infiltrated the court and assassinated kings and other members of society. When “the old man from the mountain was riding out, he was preceded by a town crier who carried a Danish ax with a long silver-lined handle on which numerous knives had been attached. As he walked, the man continually shouted: ‘Get out of the way of him who has the death of kings in his hands.’ Ubisoft relied on these assassins to build the lore of the brand, a cult that took on the tone of legend because they were feared by the most powerful men of that era.
The book The Assassins: Legend and Historical Reality of the Secret Sect of Medieval Islam, written by W.B. Bartlett recounts that the Assassins actually lived in the strongholds of the mountains of Syria, from where they pounced on the enemy. “They were experts in the art of ingratiating themselves with their future victim and winning his favor. They could wait for months before attempting to carry out their mission, showing themselves as good friends during that time until the right moment came for the victim to let his guard down ”. In Assassin’s Creed, the protagonists are also masters of deception. They hide in the shadows to carry out their mission, which usually ends in murder. The classic games introduced numerous elements to play with stealth and get out of the most difficult situations, among which are inventions and inventions of all kinds.
The royal Hassassin arose in Iran, during the religious wars that faced the Christian world and Islam in the Crusades. The date, according to the aforementioned book, is approximately the eleventh century. “Shortly after Muhammad, the great founding prophet of Islam, died in 632, a fierce civil war broke out, splitting the Muslim world into various factions. Several centuries later, one of these, that of the Shiites, would in turn fragment and a group known as the Ismailis would emerge ”. Over the years, new splits occurred, which ended up constituting a new group, the Nizaris, the heirs of the Assassins.