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Edward James Kenway was a Welsh-born British privateer-turned-pirate and assassin who'd later become a member of the Order and the main protagonist of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. He is the father of the Assassins's Creed III antagonist, Haytham Kenway and the grandfather of the protagonist of the same game, Ratonhnhaké:ton (or Connor Kenway).
Edward used to be a privateer in the British Navy and was stationed in West Indies. However, a quick end to the war and the promise of gold, glory and fame eventually seduced him into a life of piracy; it was during this quest that Edward first encountered the Assassin and Templar Orders, and became embroiled in their struggle.
He is voiced by Matt Ryan.
During his formative years, Edward was a brave, albeit reckless individual who was infatuated with the idea of fame and glory. Such was his obsession that he left his first wife to become a privateer in the British Navy, hoping to score his fortune in the Caribbean and prove his worth. After the Treaty of Utrecht effectively made privateers redundant, many turned to a life of piracy, Edward among them.
As the captain of the Jackdaw he quickly became feared and respected for his skill at the helm of a ship and his combat prowess, with even the renowned Edward Thatch commenting on his ability. It was the promise of wealth, power and infamy that spurred Edward into seeking out the Observatory, at the expense of both the Templars and Assassins. Although the Assassin Mary Read knew him to be good at heart and capable of change, the Assassins en-large remained suspicious of him and strongly disagreed with his lifestyle.
Despite the vested interest of both the Assassins and the Templars in the veteran pirate, Edward remained steadfastly focused on his own goals: power, infamy and proof that he was better than he was born to be. Edward was also one to take any advantage afforded him, twisting the meaning of the Assassins' Creed to suit his own ends. Only after losing his friends and compatriots to greed and glory-seeking did he recant his previous behavior, and come to realize what the Creed truly promised: the power to make himself better than he was.
As a father, Edward encouraged his son to think for himself instead of believing everything his home-school teachers said. He also expressed pride toward his son when Haytham said that he would have offered a mugger clemency, instead of acting on the impulse to kill him. Edward could be quite conservative in other respects, such as his decision to marry off his daughter to Birch, as was the tradition of the day.
Equipment and skills
While he was young, Edward became skilled with throwing knives, which he practiced during his free time. His skill with a sword was initially average, but it drastically improved after being trained in swordsmanship by Edward Thatch and Benjamin Hornigold, to the point where he was able to dual-wield swords. Edward also carried four flintlock pistols on his person, to compensate for the long reload times of the firearms. During his privateer years, Edward spent his time repeatedly climbing the vast rigging and masts of his warships, providing him with dexterity that rivaled that of the Assassins.
During his time in the West Indies spent dealing with the Assassins and Templars, Edward acquired various pieces of equipment, including a pair of Hidden Blades, a blowpipe, and rope darts. However, one of Edward's most invaluable pieces of equipment was his ship, the Jackdaw. She was equipped with a harpooning boat for the spearing of marine life, as well as a diving bell that Edward used to dive for treasure beneath the waves. During these maritime explorations, Edward proved to be a strong swimmer who was capable of fending off hostile sea creatures such as sharks if he was attacked.
In London, after retiring from his privateering years, Edward retained his Hidden Blades and sword. He also utilized a cane, which concealed a blade inside, using it to fend off criminals. Additionally, Edward learned how to wield a bow and arrow, which he then tutored his son Haytham to use.