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Biography

Biography

Early life

Ezio was born in Florence on 24 June 1459, as the second son of Giovanni and Maria Auditore. He appeared to be stillborn, but, after some words of encouragement from his father, he began to cry, leading his father to call him a "fighter".

Up until the age of 17, Ezio lived a life of luxury amidst the members of the Florentine noble class; he was apprenticed to the renowned banker Giovanni Tornabuoni, who worked alongside Giovanni Auditore's banking business, but was all the while unaware of his father's allegiance to the Assassin Order.

In the year 1476, Ezio, his older brother Federico, and friends of the family fought with Vieri de' Pazzi and his gang. Just before the fight, Ezio received a gash down across his lip – caused by Vieri throwing a stone – which would scar, and remain for the rest of his life.

During the brawl, Ezio pummeled several members of the opposing gang, but Vieri managed to flee the scene before Ezio could do anything to him. After looting several people left unconscious by the fight, the two brothers ran across the rooftops to find Ezio some medical help for his injuries.

After the doctor tended to his wound, a church nearby caught the eye of the brothers, and Federico suggested a race. Ezio won, as he managed to reach the top quickest, and together the two looked out over the city. Despite Federico's disapproval, Ezio made his way to the home of Cristina Vespucci and spent the night with her.

Though caught by Cristina's father the morning after, Ezio fled from a group of pursuing guards before meeting with his father at the Palazzo Auditore. Giovanni scolded him, but later softened, admitting that his son's actions reminded him of his own youth. He then asked Ezio for his assistance in an errand later in the day.

Once Ezio had returned home, Ezio's little brother Petruccio asked him if he could collect eagle feathers from the rooftops, with the promise to return to bed afterwards, as he was ill. After a tiring search for feathers, Ezio returned them to his younger brother, though Petruccio was secretive about their purpose.

Later, Ezio found his sister Claudia in a distraught state, crying on a bench in their home after discovering her boyfriend, Duccio de Luca, had been unfaithful. After obtaining his whereabouts, Ezio tracked down and beat Duccio, before warning him to stay away from his sister.

Upon returning to the palazzo once more, Ezio's mother secured his services in picking up some paintings from a young artist that she patronized, Leonardo da Vinci. On the walk home, Leonardo struck up a conversation, beginning a friendship between the two young men that would last throughout their later lives.

Auditore execution

I'll kill you for what you've done!
~ Ezio to Uberto Alberti after watching his family's execution in 1476.

After finishing the errand for his mother, Ezio returned to Giovanni, who requested that he deliver two letters to contacts of his in the city, before retrieving a third letter from a pigeon coop not far from the house.

Ezio agreed, and after two odd encounters with the people he'd delivered the letters to, Ezio retrieved the note from the pigeon coop only to witness guards running across Florence.

Ezio returned home to find his home ransacked, his father and brothers missing, and his mother and sister hiding. Learning that city guards had been ordered to arrest Giovanni and all of his sons, Ezio made his way to the Palazzo della Signoria, where his father and brothers were being held.

Climbing the building and speaking to his father through his cell window, Ezio was instructed to find a chest hidden in his office, take everything out of it, and deliver a sealed letter to Uberto Alberti, Gonfaloniere of Florence and a close friend of the Auditore family. Doing so, Ezio found his father's Assassin robes, a broken Hidden Blade, and a letter containing details of a plot against the city of Florence and the Auditore family.

Ezio brought the incriminating documents to Uberto, and was assured that his family would be released the following day, when the information was presented as evidence of their innocence. Ezio then traveled to the home of Cristina Vespucci, where he spent the night once again.

The next day, Ezio returned to the Piazza della Signoria to find Uberto presiding over the execution of his family.

Giovanni declared their innocence, citing the information given to Uberto as evidence, but the Gonfaloniere denied any knowledge of such information. Ezio shouted that Uberto was lying, but his efforts to prevent the execution were ultimately in vain.

Ezio could only watch helplessly from the crowd as his father and brothers were hanged. When he attempted to charge the gallows to avenge his kin, Uberto ordered the city guards to kill him.

At the urging of one of Giovanni's friends, a thief, Ezio fled the Piazza della Signoria and sought shelter in a brothelrun by the sister of the Auditore housemaid, a courtesan named Paola.

Exacting revenge

The Auditore are not dead! I'm still here! Me! Ezio! Ezio Auditore!
~ Ezio, upon killing Uberto.

Paola, who – unbeknownst to Ezio – was an Assassin herself, agreed to assist Ezio in his quest for vengeance, teaching him how to survive in the city as an outlaw through pickpocketing and blending in crowds. She further directed Ezio to Leonardo da Vinci to repair Giovanni's Hidden Blade, though she did not notice that Ezio was being watched.

After Leonardo repaired the blade, a guard banged on the door and ordered Leonardo outside before trying to beat Ezio's location from him. Ezio realized something was wrong and crept up behind the guard, assassinating him.

After Leonardo had thanked him, Ezio sought out and assassinated Uberto in the courtyard of the Basilica di Santa Croce, during Andrea del Verrocchio's latest exhibit.

Once he had made his way into the courtyard, Ezio attacked Uberto in a frenzied rage, stabbing him multiple times in the chest, before proudly proclaiming the survival of the Auditore family, through him.

After killing Uberto, Ezio took the documents that the Gonfaloniere had concealed from him and his father, as well as a letter from Uberto meant for his wife and son. Ezio decided that he would see to it that she received the letter, not wanting to sink to Uberto's level.

Early years as an Assassin

Discovering his heritage

All this talk of Assassins and Templars... it reeks of fantasy.
~ Ezio trying to understand his heritage.

Now the most wanted man in Florence, Ezio fled the city with his mother and sister in the hopes of making their way to Spain, stopping beforehand at the Auditore family's villa in Monteriggioni for shelter.

As they neared the town, the three were accosted by Vieri de' Pazzi and his followers, but were saved by the timely arrival of Ezio's uncle, Mario Auditore, and his mercenaries.

Mario informed Ezio of the existence of the Assassins, in an obvious attempt to induct him into the Order. He spent some time teaching Ezio swordplay, and revealed that many of his ancestors, including Giovanni, were members of the Assassin Order.

However, Ezio refused his ancestry, wishing only to continue his journey to Spain for his mother's and sister's safety, with the help of the skills Mario had taught him.

Enraged, Mario left Monteriggioni for the city of San Gimignano, where Vieri had been located, in an attempt to relieve Monteriggioni of continual assaults by the Pazzi's minions. Guilt-ridden and knowing his presence was a primary reason for the ongoing attacks, Ezio traveled to San Gimignano to accept Mario's offer.

When Ezio arrived outside the city, he joined Mario and his mercenaries in their assault, and they waited until nightfall to storm the city. After witnessing a brief meeting between Rodrigo Borgia, Jacopo de' Pazzi, Francesco de' Pazzi and Vieri, Ezio made for his target.

While Mario and his mercenaries kept Vieri's men distracted, Ezio challenged and fought Vieri for the last time, eventually overpowering and killing him after a brief duel.

Ezio tried to extract a confession from his old enemy, though Vieri chose to be snide to the very end. Infuriated by this, Ezio flew into a rage and insulted Vieri's corpse, continuing until his uncle calmed him down and reminded him of a tradition of the Assassins: showing respect to those they have killed.

Pazzi conspiracy

"I've been sent from Firenze by Il Magnifico to attend to some unfinished business; I'm looking for Jacopo de' Pazzi."
―Ezio after dealing with Francesco de' Pazzi.

Following Vieri's death, Ezio returned to Florence in 1478 to gather information on a conspiracy against the Medici, who had been family friends to the Auditore. However, Ezio chose to visit Cristina first, who was quite surprised to see him. She also admitted that she was to be married, as she thought she would never see Ezio again.

Suddenly a woman screamed from outside that a man named Manfredo was in trouble with several gamblers. Ezio asked who Manfredo was, and Cristina confessed that he was her fiancé. Ezio ran off and found Manfredo in a fight with several gamblers he was indebted to.

After defeating the gamblers, Ezio, enraged by Manfredo's actions, demanded that Manfredo be a good husband to Cristina or he would kill him. Ezio then met Cristina in an alleyway afterwards and kissed her, promising that he had made sure her husband would be good to her.

Ezio later had Leonardo construct him a second Hidden Blade, and with information provided by Leonardo, Ezio was able to find La Volpe, who aided him in discovering the Templar conspiracy against the Medici. La Volpe directed Ezio to an underground catacomb where a Templar meeting was being held.

Ezio was subsequently able to eavesdrop on the meeting, discovering that the Pazzi planned to kill the Medici at the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore and place their own people in government under the orders of their master, Rodrigo Borgia.

The next day, Ezio arrived at the Duomo to try and prevent the public assassination, but he was unsuccessful. Francesco de' Pazzi and Bernardo Baroncelliwere able to kill Giuliano de' Medici and injure Lorenzo.

Ezio came to Lorenzo's aid and fended off Francesco. However, the Pazzi had already succeeded in their plan, and brought the city into a state of civil war. After escorting Lorenzo to the safety of his palazzo, Ezio revealed his identity, prompting Lorenzo to remark that he knew Ezio's father.

Lorenzo's lieutenant, Poliziano, told Ezio that Francesco had been sighted at the Piazza della Signoria. As Pazzi and Medici troops battled in the streets below them, Ezio chased down and slew Francesco, although Jacopo de' Pazzi and several other conspirators were able to escape the city.

Shortly afterward, Ezio met up with Lorenzo at the Ponte Vecchio. Lorenzo reminisced that as a child he had fallen into the Arno and would have drowned, had he not been saved by Giovanni Auditore. This act of kindness kindled a close friendship between the Auditore and the Medici families.

When Ezio asked of the conspirators, Lorenzo explained that they had fled the city. With this, the Medici publicly cleared the name of the Auditore family, and provided Ezio with the names of the conspirators who had escaped.

Learning that the Pazzi conspirators had fled to San Gimignano, after gaining information from Mario, Ezio tracked down and killed Antonio Maffei, Stefano da Bagnone, Bernardo Baroncelli and Francesco Salviati, extracting from each man information on Jacopo de' Pazzi's whereabouts.

Using the information, Ezio located his quarry and tracked Jacopo to an ancient Roman theater. Once there, Ezio eavesdropped on a meeting between Jacopo, Rodrigo Borgia and a Venetian merchant and Templar, Emilio Barbarigo.

After fatally wounding Jacopo for his failure to capture Florence, Rodrigo revealed that he was aware of Ezio's presence. While Rodrigo and Emilio fled, Ezio was apprehended by Templar guards, but he overpowered and killed them before swiftly putting the dying Jacopo out of his misery.

Hunt in Venice

With the Pazzi conspiracy ended, Ezio returned to Lorenzo in 1480 and declared his success. Before leaving the city for Venice, Ezio was granted a gift; the Medici cape, that would keep the city guards' attention from him.

Ezio then made his way to Leonardo's workshop, only to find that the artist had just left for Venice himself. Meeting with Leonardo in the Apennine Mountains and helping him repair his carriage, Ezio caught his first glimpse of Leonardo's Flying Machine.

Accompanying him to the city of Forlì, Ezio narrowly avoided the attacking Templar horsemen and archers Rodrigo Borgia had sent after them. Drawing closer to their destination, Ezio left Leonardo to proceed on his own, while he took care off the remaining Templars. Ezio made his way into the region of Romagna, and met Leonardo just outside the city of Forlì.

Eventually the two made their way to the city docks, where Ezio was refused permission to board, as he lacked a pass. Behind them, the two heard the screams of a noble lady stranded in the city's wetlands. Ezio hastened to her rescue in a boat, and was able to row the woman back to shore. The lady introduced herself as Caterina Sforza, and coerced the dockman into granting Ezio passage to Venice as a sign of thanks.

Once in Venice, Ezio and Leonardo were given a brief tour of the city by Alvise da Vilandino, before Ezio began to seek a way into the Palazzo della Seta of Emilio Barbarigo, although this effort initially proved to be in vain.

Suddenly pushed aside, Ezio watched as a gang of thieves attempted and failed to breach the Palazzo, leading Ezio to aid the thief Rosa, who had been shot through the leg with an arrow.

After successfully escaping the city guards, Ezio was introduced to the leader of the Venetian Thieves' Guild,Antonio de Magianis, and together they concocted a new plot to kill Emilio Barbarigo and liberate the merchant district.

The plot, perfected over four years, was successful and gave Ezio the name of another Templar conspirator – Carlo Grimaldi. A government official and member of the Council of Ten, Carlo was close to Giovanni Mocenigo, the Doge of Venice, and hoped to turn him to the Templar cause.

Overhearing another meeting between Rodrigo and Carlo, Ezio uncovered a plot to poison the Doge and replace him with Marco Barbarigo. Realizing the urgency, Ezio and Antonio sought a way into the Palazzo Ducale, examining the front gates, the rear walls and even passing over the Basilica di San Marco; but they were hampered at every turn.

As they returned to the piazza below, an enraged Antonio remarked that only birds could get into the Doge's palace, reminding Ezio of Leonardo's flying machine, which he had seen on the way to Forlì. After a somewhat unsuccessful test flight, Leonardo came up with a way to ensure that Ezio reached his destination.

After removing the city guards at four separate locations, Antonio's thieves proceeded to light massive bonfires throughout the city, giving Leonardo's flying machine enough lift for Ezio to make it to the Palazzo Ducale. The plan worked, and Ezio breached the Palazzo Ducale, although too late to save the Doge.

Carlo quickly fled the scene, crying out that Ezio had assassinated the Doge, only to meet his own end at Ezio's hands moments later. However, Ezio was now the most wanted man in Venice, and was forced to flee the city guards.

Returning to Leonardo's workshop for help in 1486, Ezio was directed to Sister Teodora's brothel, where Antonio was hiding. Under the cover of Carnevale, Ezio made his way to the brothel and began planning the death of Marco Barbarigo, competing in the four games of the Carnevale to win the Golden Mask that would gain him entrance to Marco's private party.

Ezio was successful, but found that Marco's cousin, Silvio Barbarigo, and Marco's personal slave-bodyguard, Dante Moro, had intimidated and bribed the judges into denying him his prize.

However, Ezio was successful in stealing the mask from Dante and managed to infiltrate the Doge's personal party and assassinate Marco with an ingenious new weapon. This left the way open for Agostino, a Barbarigo not involved with the Templars, and an ally of Antonio's, to legitimately become Doge.

With his quest for the nine nearly at an end, Ezio tracked down Silvio Barbarigo and Dante Moro, who had occupied the Venetian Arsenal with an army of mercenaries.

Needing a force of his own, Ezio was directed to the mercenary leader, Bartolomeo d'Alviano, only to find Silvio's thugs had attacked Bartolomeo's headquarters, capturing him and a number of his soldiers in the process.

Ezio swiftly liberated Bartolomeo and his soldiers, and once Bartolomeo learned of Ezio's purpose, he was more than willing to assist in Silvio's destruction.

Having tracked the Templars down to the Arsenal, Ezio managed to storm the building with the help of Bartolomeo and his men, and kill Dante Moro and Silvio Barbarigo in the ensuing battle.

However, he was astonished to learn that the plot to remove the Doge was merely a distraction, so that the Templars could move their vessel to Cyprus, although the reasons for this would remain unknown to Ezio for some time.

First years as a formal Assassin

Induction into the Order

It's been over ten years since I watched my father and brothers die. Ten years hunting the men responsible. I'm close to the end now, but no closer to knowing what any of it was for!
~ Ezio discusses his life as an Assassin.

Two more years passed before word of the Templar vessel reached Ezio once again on his twenty-ninth birthday when Rosa brought him a shipping manifest detailing the return of the ship that very day. Leonardo approached Ezio, explaining that he had discovered that all the Codex pages put together a message, saying "The Prophet will appear when the second piece is brought to the floating city." Ezio recalled the prophecy his uncle recited to him, about the prophet being able to open the fabled Vault that is said to contain a great power. He then realized that the entire Templar conspiracy was just a distraction for Rodrigo Borgia to find the Vault.

Sneaking into the Arsenal, Ezio watched as a Templar guard carrying a Piece of Eden disembarked from the ship, and made his way to a Templar base in the city.

Ezio assassinated the guard, impersonating him and carrying the Piece of Eden to a meeting with Rodrigo Borgia himself. Finally able to confront the man ultimately responsible for the deaths of his father and brothers, Ezio criticized the Templar Grand Master for the non-appearance of the supposed "prophet".

Rodrigo responded, proudly naming himself the prophet before engaging Ezio in battle. The duel was short, and Ezio easily bested the Templar. Rodrigo called upon the city guards and taunted the Assassin, saying that "his people" had failed to show up.

At that very moment, Mario Auditore, along with Antonio, Paola, Teodora, La Volpe and Bartolomeo appeared, driving off Rodrigo and revealing themselves to Ezio as Assassins.

With the arrival of Niccolò Machiavelli, it was revealed to Ezio that he was in fact the Prophet, and that all present had worked together the past decade to induct Ezio into the Assassin Order.<

That night, they all met again and Ezio was formally inducted into the Order. He received a brand on his left hand's ring finger, and performed the ceremonial Leap of Faith.

Battle of Forlì

Shortly after his induction, Ezio met with Mario and Niccolò, and traveled to Leonardo da Vinci's workshop in Venice, hoping that the artist could shed some light upon the strange artifact Rodrigo had dubbed "the Apple".

Leonardo examined the unique device, commenting that the metal it was made of should not exist, and that its design was highly advanced despite its age.

Upon briefly touching the Apple, Ezio accidentally activated the device, which started to glow and show strange holographic images, though he quickly deactivated it. Niccolò later announced that he had arranged for the Piece of Eden to be held in the Rocca di Ravaldino, where it would be protected by an ally of the Assassins, Caterina Sforza.

Niccolò and Ezio met with Caterina in Romagna, just outside the city of Forlì. After briefly discussing the Apple, the three made their way back to the city, only to find that it had been invaded by the Orsi brothers, Checco and Ludovico.

As the group fought its way to the city's locked gates, Ezio managed to find another way inside and open the gates from within, allowing them to continue their way to the Citadel.

Reaching the Rocca di Ravaldino, they found out that two of Caterina’s children, Ottaviano and Bianca, were in the hands of the Orsi brothers, who had recently arrived and were attacking the Citadel. Ezio repelled the attack, and left the Apple in Caterina's hands, before going to rescue her two children.

Making his way into Romagna, Ezio overpowered the guard detail assigned to imprison Bianca, who directed Ezio to her brother Ottaviano. As Bianca fled back to the city, Ezio made his way to the lighthouse upon which Ottaviano was being held by Ludovico himself. Climbing the tower, Ezio dispatched Ludovico and freed Ottaviano, though not before learning that the kidnapping was a distraction, which had allowed Checco to steal the Apple.

Ezio swiftly tracked down and killed Checco and his remaining men. As he bent to retrieve the Apple, Ezio failed to notice Checco stabbing him in the abdomen before it was too late. Injured, Ezio collapsed to the ground, with the Apple rolling from his hand. Before losing consciousness, Ezio saw a monk with a missing finger pick up the Apple and walk away, despite Ezio's pleads to not open the satchel holding the Piece of Eden.

Caterina’s guards later found Ezio next to Checco’s corpse and returned him to Forlì, where Caterina nursed him back to health. Returned to his senses, Ezio hurriedly explained to Caterina that a man in black had stolen the Apple.

She recognized him to be dressed similarly to the monks residing outside the city walls, and Ezio left to search the church. Though there was no sign of the monk, Ezio met with Brother O’Callahan, who told him to continue his search at San Vincenzo, in central Forlì.

An abbot there identified Ezio as the monk Stefano da Bagnone's killer, and fled. He was intercepted and, once convinced that he was not about to die, the monk gave Ezio the name of the nine fingered monk: Girolamo Savonarola.

Journey in Spain

While trying to locate Savonarola, Ezio was told by an acquaintance to meet Antonio at the Thieves Guild in Venice. Upon arriving there, Ezio found Antonio accompanied by another man, Luis de Santángel. Luis was looking for a good "killer" who could oversee a meeting involving Luis' friend Christoffa Corombo, but Ezio expressed no interest.

However, when Ezio heard that Rodrigo Borgia was also involved in the meeting, he rushed to Christoffa's location, finding out that it was a trap. However, he managed to save Christoffa, who explained that Rodrigo was interested in his plans to sail west. Soon afterwards, Ezio met with Antonio again, who told him to go see both Luis and Christoffa in the gardens district.

They then told him that the Templars were in possession of Christoffa's atlas, which featured the journey's route. Ezio quickly recovered the atlas and brought it back to Christoffa and Luis. Luis informed Ezio of the presence of Spanish Assassins, who were held captive by the Spanish Inquisitor General, Tomás de Torquemada. Feeling it was his duty to rescue them, Ezio temporarily diverged from his goal to reclaim the Apple of Eden and set out to Spain, but not before Antonio gave him the names of two of his contacts.

After arriving in Spain and briefly losing his sword to a thief, Ezio met with Antonio's contacts, and was directed to the local Thieves Guild. When he arrived there, however, he found that it was empty, only to be ambushed by the Inquisitors' men.

After making his escape through the sewers, Ezio met Raphael Sanchez, who revealed himself to be an Assassin. Raphael informed Ezio of the location of the first captured Assassin, and Ezio rushed to save him. Right before the Assassin could be burned by the Inquisitors, Ezio killed all the guards and freed him.

After Ezio's return, Raphael revealed that it was Gaspar Martinez who had been ordered to capture the Assassins by Torquemada. Ezio located Gaspar and found him, Torquemada, and a guard surrounding a captured Assassin.

Torquemada revealed to the captured Assassin - and indirectly to Ezio - that Rodrigo Borgia had ordered him to capture Assassins in Spain, because they were "non-believers". After the guard killed the Assassin, the group disbanded, and Gaspar was left unguarded.

Ezio then met with him and asked him what he knew of the Templars, but Gaspar feigned ignorance and said that they "went away two centuries ago". He fell silently to Ezio's blade, and Ezio acquired a list of names of six other captured Assassins. After freeing the first man on the list, Ezio took him back to Raphael, and informed the latter of the existence of the list. However, all the remaining Assassins were located in Zaragoza.

Once in Zaragoza, Raphael told Ezio to find the Inquisition's Calficador, Pedro Llorente, whose tribunal met at the far side of town. Arriving there, Ezio found that Torquemada was also present. One of the Assassins was being tried, and after he refused to convert and confess, he was killed.

Ezio eavesdropped on the ensuing conversation, and hurried to locate the remaining five Assassins. Four of them were held captive inside some catacombs, with the last held inside a church. After securing their safety, Ezio killed Pedro Llorente.

Returning to Raphael, Ezio requested if he could return to Italy. However, Raphael still needed some help against the Inquisitors in Granada. Ezio complied, helping to assassinate a Templar spy in the city, and discovering along the way that Luis Santangel was also an Assassin.

Once again, Ezio planned to return to Italy, but was disturbed by the Templars. He was forced to fight off the Templars to defend Luis, and was informed that Raphael had been captured.

Ezio fought to rescue Raphael, and proceeded to infiltrate Torquemada's fortress. After a brief conversation between Ezio and Torquemada, Torquemada closed the gates in front of him, preventing Ezio from assassinating him.

Ezio returned to Raphael and Luis, and said that he did not believe Torquemada was a Templar himself, but only blindly followed Rodrigo Borgia's false preaching. Ezio ultimately left for Italy to resume his quest to recover the Apple of Eden, and told Luis and Raphael to inform him of Christoffa's journey to find the "New World" should he return.

Bonfire of the Vanities

There is no book or teacher to give you the answers, to show you the way. Choose your own way! Do not follow me, or anyone else.
~ Ezio after Savonarola's death.

Having returned from Spain, Ezio immediately continued his quest to find the Apple of Eden. He returned to his hometown of Florence in 1492, and bumped into a monk who was running from Borgia guards, saying they were asking about "apples".

Ezio, realizing the Borgia knew that Savonarola had the Apple, rushed to the Santa Maria del Fiore where he found a monk called Savonarola being harassed by Borgia guards.

After watching the scene for a while, Ezio jumped down from atop the church and rescued Savonarola. Only then did Ezio realize that the monk had all ten fingers, and he introduced himself as Marcello Savonarola; Girolamo's cousin. Marcello, in gratitude to Ezio, revealed that his cousin was in Venice at the time, and Ezio set off once again.

Ezio was greeted by Teodora in Venice, and asked her where he could find the fire-and-brimstone-preaching monk. She replied that she did not know where Savonarola was, but did know where to find a herald who preached similar things. Additionally, she revealed that Lorenzo de' Medici had died, and that Rodrigo Borgia had become the Pope, under the name Alexander VI.

Teodora led Ezio to the square where the herald was preaching, and Ezio blended in with the crowd. Convincing the herald that he was a true believer, and asking him about Savonarola's location, Ezio concluded that the herald was completely blinded by faith.

Eventually, a young man screamed at the preacher, saying that he had just escaped from Florence, which was taken over by Savonarola. He explained that the Signoria were either behind Savonarola, or powerless against him, and that people like Botticelli were joining him in starting bonfires to burn writings and arts related to the Renaissance.

The young man revealed himself to be Piero de' Medici, son of the late Lorenzo. Ezio walked up to him, saying that he was a friend of his father. After the herald ordered their deaths, Ezio revealed his name to Piero, and the two men faced off against their attackers.

The herald himself pulled out a dagger and charged at Ezio, but Piero saved him by slicing the herald's legs, after which Ezio finished the enemy off. While Piero went to warn Agostino Barbarigo of Savonarola's preachings, Ezio left Venice.

Ezio returned to Florence in 1497, and made his way to the Oltrarno District, hearing stories about Savonarola's dictatorship, and the desire for the Assassin's return. Eventually, he met with Niccolò Machiavelli on a bridge, and the two made their way to Savonarola's residence, the Palazzo Pitti.

Ezio devised a plan to overthrow Savonarola's rule: he would kill the men who suppressed the people in Savonarola's name, while Niccolò, Paola and La Volpe would rally the citizens to stand up to Savonarola's rule. Ezio then set off to finish off each of Savonarola's nine lieutenants.

Ezio ran into Manfredo Soderini again, as he found him barely alive after being attacked by Savonarola's men. Ezio hurriedly asked where Cristina was, and Manfredo replied that the men had chased after her.

Ezio successfully managed to kill Cristina's attackers, but she had already been heavily wounded. She admitted to Ezio that she would have liked for them to have had a second chance, before she died in his arms.

Soon after Ezio killed Savonarola's followers, the rioters formed an angry mob and stormed the Palazzo Pitti, demanding an end to the bonfires. Savanarola tried to use the Apple to quell the riot, but before he could, Ezio threw a knife at him, knocking the Apple out of his hand.

In the ensuing chaos, the Apple was picked up by a guard in service to the Borgia, who had also been trying to recover the Apple from Savonarola. Ezio followed him, killed him, and recovered the Apple. Savonarola was then sentenced to be executed in the same way he had dealt with the city's knowledge: burned at the stake on the Piazza della Signoria.

However, Ezio decided that no one should have to die in such agony. The Assassin leapt onto the execution platform and put Savonarola out of his misery.

Ezio then looked at the stunned mob and delivered a speech, urging them to follow their own path and rely on their own thoughts, not what they were told by the ones in power. Ezio then left with Mario, Niccolò, Paola and La Volpe, ready to uncover the answers hidden within the Apple.

Dealing with the Borgia

Confrontation in the Vatican

I thought... I thought I was beyond this. But I'm not. I've waited too long, lost too much.
~ Ezio to Rodrigo during his first assassination attempt.

The following year saw the Assassins come together once more at the Villa Auditore, with the Piece of Eden and the completed Codex in hand. Using the two objects, they discovered the location of the Vault to be in Rome - specifically, beneath the Vatican.

Unfortunately, Rodrigo Borgia had become the Pope in 1492, although Mario believed he had only done so to gain access to the Papal Staff, another Piece of Eden. Undeterred, Ezio went to assassinate Rodrigo.

Fighting his way along the entire length of the Passetto di Borgo, Ezio snuck into the Cappella Sistina and struck at Rodrigo from above.

As he was about to deal the killing blow, Rodrigo surprised Ezio by using the Staff of Eden to blast him away, and drain the energy of those in the room. Since Ezio held the Apple, he was immune to the Staff's effects, and the two engaged in a duel.

Ezio created multiple illusional copies of himself with the Apple. For a while, it seemed that Ezio had bested Rodrigo, but the Pope overcame him. Rodrigo then took the Apple and stabbed Ezio in the abdomen, leaving him to die before fleeing towards the Vault.

However Ezio soon regained consciousness and, following his nemesis to the outside of the Vault, Ezio watched as Rodrigo tried in vain to open it. Laying down his arms, Ezio challenged and defeated Rodrigo in a final brawl, obtaining possession of both the Apple and the Staff. However, he refused to take Rodrigo's life, having realized the futility of revenge.

Entering the Vault, Ezio stood in shock as he was confronted by a hologram of an individual naming herself Minerva, and claiming to be one of "Those Who Came Before".

Ezio was further confounded when the hologram spoke to an unseen figure named Desmond, and started showing holograms of an event that would befall the world hundreds of years from then. Minerva then disappeared abruptly, leaving Ezio with many unanswered questions.

Ezio left the Vault and met up with Mario. Together, they fought their way out of Basilica di San Pietro, and climbed a tower, where Ezio prepared to drop the Apple of Eden into the Tiber. However, upon realizing his insecurity, Mario took the Apple and promised to keep it safe until Ezio could make a decision. The two then proceeded to return home to Monteriggioni.

Siege of Monteriggioni

During the journey with his uncle, Ezio told Mario what he had learned from Minerva, but also found solace in the fact that his own battles were finally at an end. That evening, Ezio once again retold the events of his encounter in the Vault, this time to Niccolò, his sister, and mother.

Niccolò in turn criticized Ezio for his failure to kill Rodrigo Borgia, and angrily left for Rome. That night, unconcerned with Niccolò's outburst, Ezio returned to his bedchamber to share an intimate night with Caterina Sforza. He soon learned that the Borgia threat was far from over.

On 2 January 1500, Cesare Borgia, the son of Rodrigo, Commander of the Papal armies, and a high-ranking Templar in his own right, laid siege to Monteriggioni.

Taking the Assassins by surprise, Cesare's forces were quickly able to level half the city before Ezio managed to reach the cannons above the ramparts. He and the Monteriggioni mercenaries returned fire, destroying many of Cesare's own siege weapons.

Despite knowing this to be a futile effort, they managed to stave off the attackers long enough for the citizens to reach safety. However, as Cesare's forces managed to breach the city gates, Cesare brought a mortally wounded Mario Auditore and captured Caterina Sforza before him.

Seeing his uncle lying on the ground, Ezio ran across the rooftops in a vain effort to reach them, but was shot by arquebusiers upon the city walls. At the same time, Cesare "invited" Ezio to come to Rome with a shot of his own firearm, killing Mario.

Ezio, having soon regained consciousness as two of Mario's mercenaries dragged him to safety, continued to partake in the battle, which had spilled into what was left of the city streets.

Retreating to the Sanctuary, Ezio and the fleeing civilians fled through a secret passageway that had been hidden behind the statue of Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad.

After ensuring his mother and sister were safe, Ezio began to make his way for Rome. During this journey, however, Ezio passed out and fell from his horse due to the severity of his wounds.

Moving to Rome

There will be no peace until we rise up against the entire Borgia family and the Templars who serve them.
~ Ezio discussing his motives for staying in Rome.

Ezio eventually awoke to find his wound being treated by a stranger, Margherita dei Campi, who told him that he had simply been dropped off at her home by a man who wished for Ezio to meet Niccolò de Machiavelli at the Mausoleo di Augusto.

The man who had brought him there had also supplied him with a new set of Assassin robes. After leaving the house, Ezio retrieved some medicine from a local doctor, and searched for Niccolò in front of the Mauseleo.

Ezio's attention was soon caught, however, by the discussion of a group of guards who were set on injuring an innocent civilian for "causing the Borgia guards trouble". Following the guards and aiding the distressed civilian, whose wife had recently been executed by a Borgia ally known as Il Carnefice, Ezio got his first taste of life in Rome.

Making his way up to Il Carnefice's abode, Ezio assassinated him and continued on his way to meet with Niccolò. From him, Ezio discovered that Rome had fallen into a state of disrepair under the Borgia, and that its citizens were being heavily oppressed. Niccolò also told him of Cesare Borgia, the man responsible for the death of Mario Auditore.

Together, Ezio and Niccolò met with Fabio Orsini, the cousin of Bartolomeo d'Alviano who had been forced into serving Cesare Borgia. Fabio lent to the Assassins an old storehouse of his on Tiber Island, in the hope that they would find a better use for it.

From here, Ezio traveled to the Rosa in Fiore in an attempt to gather the support of the city's courtesans. When he arrived however, he learned that madonna Solari, the head of the brothel, had been kidnapped by the Cento Occhi, Cesare's hired thugs, and was being held for ransom.

Gathering the funds necessary, Ezio made his way to the kidnappers' location, only to be double-crossed. Madonna Solari was killed, and the Cento Occhi attacked Ezio. Ezio survived the ambush and returned to the Rosa in Fiore to discover his mother and sister there. With no one to lead them, the courtesans turned to Claudia Auditore to act as their Madam, with a very reluctant Ezio agreeing to her appointment.

Ezio then moved on to gather the support of both La Volpe's Roman thieves, who were suffering at the hands of the Cento Occhi, and Bartolomeo's mercenaries, who were under attack by the French.

Aiding Copernicus

If the Borgia are involved, then so am I.
~ Ezio, after noticing the guards attack Copernicus.

In 1500, while passing the Campidoglio, Ezio noticed a scholar by the name of Nicolaus Copernicus giving a strange speech to the Roman citizens. After having asked another spectator about the man's identity, he learned that the man came from the Vatican, though spoke contrary to the Church's teachings.

However, Ezio soon saw a battalion of Borgia guards attack Copernicus, and swiftly stepped in to defend him. Afterwards, the two men introduced themselves to one another, with Copernicus admitting to having been a Templar himself, until he disagreed with the other Templars on keeping the findings of his scientific experiments hidden from the public.

Upon hearing that more Borgia guards were looking for Copernicus, they quickly left the Campidoglio and went looking for a hideout. Evading the Borgia guards, Ezio found shelter for Copernicus in a small house in the Antico District, next to the Colosseum.

Once they were safe, Copernicus realized that his fellow scholars would be in danger as well, and asked Ezio to deliver a letter of warning to each of them. Despite being insecure on whether to trust Copernicus or not, Ezio agreed to deliver the letters.

Ezio traveled across the Centro District, handing letters to several scholars, and managing to reach most of them in time. He returned to Copernicus in the countryside, who told him that the Master of the Sacred Palace, a priest appointed by the Pope to ensure that Roman religious philosophy remained pure, was most likely the person responsible for the attacks.

Ezio followed a cardinal roaming nearby, who eventually led him to the Master. Eavesdropping on their conversation, Ezio found out that the Master had sent his best men to kill the scholars whom Ezio had delivered the letters to, and he quickly rushed to save them. Ezio successfully managed to assassinate all of the hired men, and returned to Copernicus.

He informed Copernicus that his suspicions were correct, and warned him of his own safety, but Copernicus forewent caution, as he wanted to chronicle an eclipse that night. Ezio set off once again, with the intention of killing the Master.

Ezio found the Master and killed him with his Hidden Blade, and with his dying breath, the Master revealed that he had already sent his best man to kill Copernicus. Ezio quickly set off to where Copernicus would research the eclipse, and arrived just in time to kill the assassin.

As they looked up at the eclipse together, Copernicus revealed to Ezio that the sun was most likely the midpoint of the universe, contrary to common believe that it was the Earth. Copernicus thanked Ezio for his aid, and they went their separate ways.

Infiltrating the Castel Sant'Angelo

Do not worry. The Borgia will die. You have my word.
~ Ezio, after agreeing on killing Rodrigo and Cesare.

After receiving intelligence reports from Claudia, La Volpe and Bartolomeo indicating that Caterina Sforza was being held in the Castel Sant'Angelo, Ezio departed to rescue her, though not before Niccolò demanded that, given the chance, he prioritize killing Cesare and Rodrigo.

Infiltrating the stronghold in 1501, Ezio scaled the fortress' double walls and apprehended Lucrezia Borgia, who was holding the keys to Caterina's cell. From there Ezio and Caterina escaped, making sure that they remained undetected until they reached the stables.

They fled across the Ponte Sant'Angelo, and Ezio ordered Caterina to ride on as he dealt with the pursuing guards. Only a timely explosion from within the Castel prevented him from being overwhelmed.

Returning to his base of operations, Ezio decided that in order to free Rome from its Borgia oppression, he needed to involve those who were being oppressed. Despite Niccolò's protests, the two agreed to begin recruiting citizens of Rome into Ezio's new Brotherhood, so that the liberation of Rome could begin.

Expanding the Brotherhood

I say we work here. In Roma. Erode the Borgia’s influence while restoring our own. And in fact, I want to begin right now.
~ Ezio revealing his plans to fight against the Borgia.

Within a year, Ezio had turned a number of Rome's citizens into Assassin apprentices, and had adopted several existing members of the Order into his guild, such as Francesco Vecellio, whose former master had betrayed the Order.

The apprentices fought and trained alongside Ezio, and undertook missions to aid their fellow Assassins in cities across Europe and beyond, including Calicut, India. Ezio also had his apprentices aid him in removing a number of Templar agents, such as Malfatto and Silvestro Sabbatini.

Eventually, Ezio received a surprise visit from his old friend Leonardo da Vinci, who informed him that he had been pressed into providing the Borgia with various forms of advanced weaponry and War Machines. Leonardo promised to provide Ezio with the tools necessary to destroy his weapons, albeit at a small monetary cost. Ezio agreed and managed to demolish all of Leonardo's machines in his war against the Borgia.

Finding the Banker

Ezio met with Niccolò, La Volpe, Claudia, and Caterina in the Assassin hideout, where they discussed their plans to attack the Borgia. Ezio asked them for the source of Cesare's funds, to which La Volpe replied that Cesare had his own personal banker, whose identity was unknown, as he was only referred to as "the Banker".

Additionally, Ezio revealed that he intended to kill the French general, Octavian de Valois, so that Cesare would lose the protection of his foreign allies. La Volpe also remarked that there was a side entrance into the Castel Sant'Angelo that Ezio could use, and that Lucrezia's lover Pietro Rossi had a key to enter it.

Upon leaving the hideout, Ezio noticed Caterina about to leave on horseback; she said that she was of no good to anyone without Forlì in her possession, and that she wanted to be with her children in Florence. Despite Ezio's request for her to stay, Caterina left Rome.

Ezio met Claudia in the Rosa in Fiore, and she told him that senator Egidio Troche frequently came into the brothel to complain about his debts to the Banker, and that he could be found at the Campidoglio. Hearing several men on the Campidoglio talking about Egidio making failed attempts to get finances, Ezio eventually found him under attack of Borgia guards and rescued him.

Together, they went through the district looking for a safe place for Egidio to hide out in. Finally, Egidio found shelter in the home of his brother Francesco, who was angry at Egidio for warning the ambassador of Venice of Cesare's plans for Romagna.

Egidio was willing to aid Ezio, telling him that the Borgia guards usually led him to the Banker, and that he needed money to meet with them. Ezio brought him the required amount of florins, and Egidio met with the guards, while Ezio followed them from above.

Eventually they arrived at the Pantheon, where the money was given to the Borgia captain Luigi Torcelli. Ezio infiltrated the Pantheon via the roof and killed Luigi, taking his clothes and impersonating him. Together with two Borgia guards, Ezio was able to carry the money to the right location - a feast Cesare was throwing in celebration of his conquests - and passed the chest of money on to the next guard.

Ezio was given entry to the party, but the guards soon found out that Luigi had been killed in the Pantheon, and they went out looking for Ezio. However, with the aid of Claudia's courtesans, he was able to remain undetected while following the chest carrier to the party.

Once there, Ezio overheard the Banker introduce himself as Juan Borgia to a courtesan. Ezio followed them both to where Cesare was giving a speech. Ezio avoided the patrolling guards and took a seat on a bench, killing Juan Borgia as he passed him.

Ezio escaped and returned to the Rosa in Fiore, where a group of courtesans who had stolen the chest of money cried out that the Borgia guards had followed them to the brothel, and that they had gone after Claudia and Maria. Ezio rushed inside, only to find out that Claudia had already killed all the Borgia guards by herself using a knife.

Battle with the French

Following the Banker's death, Ezio traveled to Bartolomeo d'Alviano's barracks, where he soon discovered that Bartolomeo's wife, Pantasilea Baglioni, had been kidnapped by the Baron de Valois, commander of Cesare's French allies in Rome. Despite putting up a valiant defense of his barracks, Bartolomeo saw no feasible way that he could secure his wife's safety short of surrendering; Ezio however, had another idea.

After Ezio eliminated a large number of French soldiers, Bartolomeo's mercenaries wore their armor and took on the guise of a French patrol escorting a defeated Bartolomeo to the Castra Praetoria, the base of operations for the Baron de Valois' forces.

Infiltrating the fortress, Bartolomeo and Ezio came face to face with the Baron, who very nearly killed Pantasilea, had not Ezio interrupted him with a shot from his Hidden Gun. Battle soon broke out, and with Bartolomeo's mercenaries engaging the French forces, Ezio was free to pursue the Baron and Pantasilea, eventually freeing her and killing him.

Securing the keys to the Castel

Not long after his victory over the Baron de Valois, Ezio traveled once more to La Volpe Addormentata, where he and La Volpe discussed the latter's suspicion that Niccolò had betrayed the Assassins by guiding the Papal Army to Monteriggioni, and by informing Rodrigo and Cesare to stay away from the Castel during Ezio's infiltration. Ezio disagreed, but promised to look into the presence of a traitor.

La Volpe informed Ezio that Pietro Rossi, an actor and Lucrezia Borgia's lover, had the key to the Castel and that Cesare intended to kill Pietro over his feelings for Lucrezia. Locating Cesare at one of the city gates, Ezio witnessed the assassination of Francesco Troche, brother of Egidio, by Cesare's personal assassinMicheletto Corella.

Ezio then tailed Micheletto, who was to infiltrate the play that Pietro would appear in, and kill him. As he followed him, Ezio had his apprentices discreetly replace the guards Micheletto tasked with partaking in the murder.

Eventually, Micheletto arrived at the site of the play, the Colosseum. Climbing up the outside of the structure, Ezio made his way down from the roof to the backstage area below, picking off Micheletto's marksmen as he went. Ezio soon struck Micheletto, but spared his life when he learned that Pietro had been poisoned previously, as a means of insurance.

Ezio hurried from the Colosseum with Pietro in his arms, while his apprentices covered the retreat. After handing Pietro over to a doctor and receiving the key to the Castel from him, Ezio spotted Paganino, a member of the Venetian thieves guild who had been present at the siege of Monteriggioni.

When approached, Paganino ran and Ezio gave chase. Ezio quickly caught him and reasoned that he was in fact the traitor, not Niccolò. Paganino pressed Ezio's Hidden Blade into his own throat to kill himself rather than risk further revelations. Ezio raced back to Tiber Island to stop La Volpe from killing Niccolò.

Later meeting with La Volpe inside the Tiber Island hideout, Ezio ordered him to gather the Assassins, and bring Claudia as well. They gathered in the ceremony hall, and there Ezio offered Claudia a chance to join the Order, just as the others of their family had. She agreed, and was inducted into the Order.

At the time, Niccolò also decided to step down from leading the Order, and to promote Ezio to the position of Mentor, realizing that Ezio was both a better leader, and "exactly what the Order needed". Ezio in turn appointed Niccolò as his trusted adviser, who then recommended he finish what he started. Ezio consented, and left for the Castel Sant'Angelo.

Fall of the Borgia

With Cesare's supporters in Rome dead, the Brotherhood and its allies were in command of the city. Ezio was informed that Cesare had returned to Rome, and was meeting with his father in the Castel Sant'Angelo. Once again infiltrating the Castel, Ezio witnessed Rodrigo's attempt to poison his son, only to be murdered in retaliation.

As Cesare hurried off to obtain the Apple of Eden that his father had hidden away, Ezio entered the Castel and gave Rodrigo's body his blessing. He then learned from Lucrezia where Rodrigo had hidden the Apple, and raced out of the fortress.

Ezio arrived at the Basilica di San Pietro, and took possession of the Apple before Cesare, with just moments to spare. Cesare arrived with a sizable contingent of Papal soldiers, though Ezio managed to escape them. Over the next few months, and with the help of his fellow Assassins, Ezio used the Apple to completely destroy what little support Cesare still had in Rome.

Eventually, the Assassins caught up with Cesare himself, who was awaiting reinforcements from Micheletto and his army by the gates of Rome. Cesare's forces were defeated, although their leader had retreated behind the city portcullis. However, he soon realized that he was not safe as he was quickly arrested by Fabio Orsini on the orders of Pope Julius II. As he was dragged away, Cesare screamed that chains would not hold him, and that no man could murder him.

Despite their victory, Ezio was troubled by Cesare's comments, and upon meeting with Leonardo, he confessed his concerns. At Leonardo's suggestion, Ezio decided to look into the Apple to see if Cesare's threats were true.

Upon doing so, Ezio quickly let go of the Apple, standing before Leonardo could question him and commenting that he had to leave immediately. Before he departed, however, Ezio left Leonardo a parting gift: a chest full of gold, in compensation for losing his patron.

Chasing Cesare

Running from the Tiber Island headquarters, Ezio made his way to the Castel Sant'Angelo and was greeted by a scene of mass confusion. Questioning a guard, Ezio learned that Cesare had escaped, likely with the aid of an inside-man, but that Lucrezia had been left behind. Concluding that the best way for Cesare to escape the city was by boat, Ezio ran to the docks nearest the Castel.

The docks were extremely busy when he arrived, and as such, Ezio was forced to use the Apple to learn of Cesare's location. Pointed to a red-sailed caravel on pier six, Ezio made his way there, only to find that it had already set sail. Ezio headed to the nearest boat and offered to pay the boat-master handsomely if he pursued the caravel. Ezio was surprised to see that it was Claudio who captained the boat, having been given money to do so by La Volpe previously.

The ships were already nearing Ostia by the time Claudio's scoop caught up. Locking sails, Claudio gave Ezio the order to jump aboard and together Ezio and Claudio quickly overpowered the ship's crew, while Cesare watched helplessly from the secure wooden crate he had been hidden in. Upon docking in Ostia, Cesare was securely sent back to Rome.

Councilor to the Pope

By 1504, Ezio had become councilor to Pope Julius II, and was with him when the Pope received word that Cesare Borgia had been successfully handed over to King Ferdinand II of Aragon, and his wife Queen Isabella I of Castile. When Ezio inquired as to where he was being held, Julius politely refused to answer, perhaps cautious of any attempts Ezio might make on the Templar leader's life. Later in the conversation, a tired Ezio nonchalantly suggested the name "Swiss Guard" for the contingent of Swiss mercenaries Julius II was thinking of hiring as his personal bodyguards.

The following day, Ezio called a meeting with La Volpe, Bartolomeo, Niccolò, and Claudia to discuss rooting out the Borgia diehards who still pocketed Italy. Together, they formulated a plan that would keep control of the Borgia loyalists until the time to strike presented itself.

Following the meeting, Ezio and Niccolò met with a number of Rodrigo's former lovers and associates, including Vannozza dei Cattanei and Giulia Farnese, as well as Cesare's wife, Charlotte d'Albret. On their way to meet Giulia, Ezio and Niccolò noticed they were being followed by someone, and had been since leaving Vanozza's palazzo. After making their way onto the rooftops, the Assassins were eventually able to lose their pursuer, although it took a lot of effort on their part.

During this mission, Niccolò repeatedly asked Ezio to use the Apple to more easily locate Cesare; Ezio consistently refused, not wishing to become dependent on its power at the expense of his own skill and experiences.

Dealing with the Borgia diehards

After leaving Charlotte's palazzo, Ezio and Niccolò were approached by Bruno, one of Niccolò's spies, who informed the two that the Borgia had had them followed, so as to ensure they were not present when they kidnapped Claudia Auditore. Upon learning her location, the two quickly made their way to liberate her from her captors, only to discover they had been led into a trap; Bruno had been working for the Borgia for at least a year.

Upon reaching the Borgia diehards' facility, Ezio saw Claudia tied to a chair, half-dressed and bruised. The leader of the diehards held a knife to Claudia's throat and threatened to kill her if Ezio did not leave Rome once and for all. Ezio refused and, together with Niccolò, quickly overpowered and eliminated the diehards.

After rescuing Claudia, Ezio learned that Micheletto had holed up in the Ludus Magnus in Zagarolo, east of Rome. Bringing together a force of one-hundred apprentices and thieves, Ezio's forces quickly surrounded and overpowered the two-hundred and fifty strong force commanded by Micheletto.

Micheletto was taken to Florence, and was incarcerated in the cell atop the Palazzo della Signoria; the same cell that had held Ezio's father twenty-eight years earlier. There, he was tortured by Niccolò, Amerigo Vespucci and Piero Soderini, the Gonfaloniere of Florence and Niccolò's "master". Despite learning nothing from Micheletto, Niccolò promised to continue in his attempts to prise any information from him, and parted ways with Ezio warmly when the latter was forced to return to Rome.

Locking away the Apple

Days later, Ezio was awoken in the early hours of the morning by Niccolò, who informed him that Micheletto had managed to escape from the Palazzo della Signoria with the aid of a Borgia-friendly priest and the diehards. Ezio quickly realized that this could work to their advantage: if they could track Micheletto down, they could follow him to Cesare.

Convening an emergency meeting, Ezio organized a manhunt for Micheletto that focused on the area surrounding Rome and Ostia. Later, Ezio was effectively ordered by Niccolò to use the Apple to locate Micheletto, but was only provided with a vague image of a Spanish castle.

Ezio was confused by this, and expressed his feelings to Niccolò, who recommended he ask the Apple why it wasn't showing him what he wanted. The Piece of Eden told Ezio that the time had come for him to relinquish it, so that future generations might make use of it, and also indicated where it should be hidden. As a parting gift, the Apple informed the Assassin that Micheletto was making his way to Spain via the port in Naples.

Before making their way to Naples, Ezio and Niccolò decided to abandon the Apple just at it had requested. Entering the Colosseum, the two Assassins made their way through the old lair of Romulus, marking the way as they went, until they reached the entrance to the Vault.

Ezio entered the Vault, placed the Apple on the central pedestal, and exited. As the door closed behind him, both Ezio and Niccolò noticed that the door seemed to vanish, instead taking the appearance of the surrounding wall.

Rescuing Da Vinci

With the Apple safely hidden away, Ezio met with Leonardo in 1506 to discuss his need of chartering a ship to Navarre. Leonardo interjected that he knew the name of a friendly ship captain, but was unable to remember it at the time. As the artist searched for his records, Ezio and Leonardo briefly discussed the ancient Greek scholarPythagoras, whom Leonardo was researching.

However, Ezio suggested he instead focus on his painting, and complimented a portrait of a smiling lady Leonardo was working on. Eventually, though he could not find the captain's name, Leonardo offered to accompany Ezio to the docks, though he was unable to leave the studio unaccompanied. As such, Ezio offered to bring back Leonardo's apprentice, Salaì.

Ezio found Salaì in La Volpe Addormentata, enjoying a game of dice. Despite some initial resistance, Salaì eventually agreed to return to his Master's workshop with Ezio, much to the chagrin of three cloaked individuals who had been playing against Salaì.

Once outside, the three individuals and several of their comrades, who were all revealed to be Hermeticists, attacked Ezio and Salaì. The two manage to defeat them, and Salaì remarked that only one individual could fight with such skill, correctly guessing Ezio's name. Ezio simply suggested that they continue on to Leonardo's workshop.

Avoiding the throngs of Hermeticists between them and their destination, Ezio and Salaì returned to find the workshop wrecked and Leonardo missing. Salaì regretfully informed Ezio that he did not know the location of theTemple of Pythagoras, which was likely where Leonardo had been taken.

Looking down to the floor in sadness, Salaì spotted some writing on the floor, which suggested that Leonardo's artwork that had hung in the Villa Auditore had held clues to the location of the temple. At first Ezio was dismissive, commenting that all the paintings had been destroyed in the attack, though Salaì quickly responded that only two had been destroyed, and one had been sold (by Salaì himself to buy a "now out of fashion" doublet), leaving five more to find. These five, he said, were currently in the hands of Lucrezia Borgia, Duchess of Ferrara.

Recovering the paintings

I count five Leonardo da Vinci paintings you have stolen, and I want them returned.
~ Ezio to Lucrezia, Duchess of Ferrara.

Ezio made his way to Delizia di Belriguardo, climbing over the palazzo's outer walls and overhearing a paranoid Lucrezia ordering the guards into high alert. Infiltrating the palazzo through the attached stables, Ezio confronted Lucrezia on the stolen paintings, clarifying that he had not come to take her life.

Willingly, Lucrezia revealed that she only had one of the paintings left, as the rest had been taken after the fall of her family. Ordering her men to place the Annunciation painting in a cart outside the palazzo's walls, Lucrezia was then thrust against the wall by Ezio, who began to kiss her neck intimately.

At this, Lucrezia told Ezio that three of the paintings had been sold to Francesco Colonna, while the fifth went to an old flame of Lucrezia's named Patrizio. Ezio apologized to Lucrezia and then pulled back, revealing that he had tied her to the hanging drape. Lucrezia angrily called for her husband's personal guard, who pursued Ezio through the palazzo until he escaped out of a window, and into a bale of hay near the cart containing the painting.

Returning to Rome, Ezio made his way to the Vaticano district, where he followed Patrizio, who was hoping to sell Portrait of a Musician to the Hermeticists. Ezio watched as Ercole Massimo belittled Patrizio for his racist views on Lucrezia's Spanish heritage, and then had him murdered when he tried to destroy the painting out of anger. Ezio pursued the Hermeticist Ercole had tasked with transporting the painting, and eventually retrieved it.

Ezio then traveled to the home of Francesco Colonna, only to find that the house had been seized by the bank. He was told that the da Vinci paintings had been sold to an art merchant from Florence, who was waiting at the docks outside the Mausoleo di Augusto.

Making his way there, Ezio was surprised to see that the art merchant was his sister's former love interest Duccio de Luca. Duccio immediately set about insulting Ezio for living in a "third-rate city" such as Rome, and then again for his sister being the Madame of the Rosa in Fiore. For his troubles, Duccio received a short, stout punch to the face from a now angered Ezio.

Duccio ordered his entourage to attack Ezio, though the Assassin was able to easily hold off his attackers. He eventually gained the information he wanted from Duccio, but the merchant pushed his insults even further against Claudia, resulting in a final blow, which knocked him unconscious.

After knocking Duccio out, Ezio made his way to the merchant's boat, which had been occupied by Hermeticists, to retrieve the third painting. Ezio swiftly eliminated them without being seen, and claimed the painting as his own. He then made his way to the Rosa in Fiore in order to ascertain a means of obtaining the last two paintings, which had been bought by a cardinal and put on display inside the Castel Sant'Angelo.

Infiltrating the art exhibition

Upon reaching the Rosa in Fiore, Ezio spoke of the art exhibition with his sister Claudia, who directed him to the docks, from where one invitation was meant to be delivered. Ezio intercepted the courier carrying the invitation, and met up with a group of courtesans on the Ponte Sant'Angelo, instructing them to steal the paintings he would mark.

Ezio marked the frame of the first painting, St Jerome in the Wilderness, after distracting the guards on duty, then proceeded into the Castel for the second, backtracking along the same path he had used to escape with Caterina years previously. After marking the second painting, Adoration of the Magi, in the upper chambers, he quickly left the Castel as cries over the theft rang out around him.

Ezio returned to Leonardo's workshop, where the five paintings had been stored. Inside, he found Salaì already working to find any clues for the location of the temple, though he had found nothing. Salaì was on the verge of giving up, when Ezio prompted him to think of ways Leonardo might have concealed his work. Salaì remembered that Leonardo taken to working with invisible inks, and suggested that Ezio he use his gift of Eagle Vision to find any clues. Despite his annoyance at Leonardo for telling Salaì about his gift, Ezio did as was asked, and found small diagrams in each painting.

After inspecting all the paintings, Ezio drew out each diagram and laid them on the table. Salaì immediately worked out it was a map, although there were probably pieces missing from the two paintings destroyed during the Siege of Monteriggioni. Nonetheless, Ezio managed the piece together the map, and located the entrance to the catacombs containing the Temple of Pythagoras.

Temple of Pythagoras

Ezio entered the catacombs and made his way towards the temple. As he did so, he could hear Ercole Massimo beating Leonardo, demanding he open the door to the temple. Ezio ordered the Hermeticist to stop, and after a brief exchange of words, he was attacked by Ercole's allies. He dealt with them swiftly, before climbing up to Ercole and assassinating him with his Hidden Blade.

Though Ezio suggested that they leave as Leonardo was injured, the other protested, saying that the "number" the Hermeticists had been seeking must be destroyed, lest another go searching for it. Reluctantly, Ezio agreed.

In each room of the temple, Ezio and Leonardo found themselves confronted by a complex puzzle. The first room required Ezio to redirect beams of light, while the second had him redirect the flow of air into a large, fan-dominated, locking mechanism. In the final room, Ezio had to activate several switches, which directed streams of burning oil into a central plate. Once activated, the central plate lowered, revealing a large circular pedestal.

Ezio and Leonardo recognized the symbols upon the pedestal as those shown to them by the Apple, albeit in the wrong order. Ezio watched as Leonardo rotated the pillars so the images fit, opening the door into the temple's final chamber.

Entering the vault, Ezio recognized the architecture as matching that of the Vatican and Colosseum Vaults. He approached the central pedestal and placed his hand above it. A bright light activated above him and soon enough, the entire chamber was cloaked in a dim green light. Before them, six numbers and two letters repeated themselves: 43 39 19 N 75 27 42 W.

Although Leonardo totally dismissed the numbers as nonsense, Ezio remarked that the numbers were not meant for their eyes. To distract him from the numbers, Ezio asked Leonardo of his other projects as he led him from the room.

Finishing the Borgia

Arriving in Naples on Midsummers Day, 1506, Ezio, Leonardo and Niccolò were met with a wall of silence from the local population when they questioned them about Micheletto. They persevered, fortunately happening upon a courtesan named Camilla, who claimed to have spent the previous night with a man matching their description of Micheletto. She pointed them to the docks and to Valencia.

Ezio, Niccolò, and Leonardo booked passage to Valencia, though the crossing took five days, as the sea was particularly rough, which lost the three any chance of catching up with Micheletto. Once they arrived however, they quickly learned that Micheletto had headed to the Lone Wolf Inn, a place being described as "not for gentlemen".

Nonetheless, the three made their way to the inn and entered, only to be immediately set upon by ten men whose eyes were already accustomed to the darkness. Ezio and Niccolò fought off the ambushers, as Leonardo hid behind the bar. Ezio was then approached from behind and garroted by Micheletto himself, though a well placed strike to the stomach from Niccolò's blade forced Micheletto to let go and flee.

Although Micheletto had fled, one of his underlings had survived the Assassins' onslaught, and reluctantly surrendered his master's destination: the Castillo de la Mota. The next day, after a short rest, the three continued on to the Castillo.

They arrived too late though, and Ezio learned from a lieutenant that Cesare had escaped, although they were not yet sure how exactly he had managed it. Ezio immediately demanded a fresh horse, but Leonardo's exhaustion and Niccolò's counsel convinced him to stay a while and rest.

Within the month, they were back in Valencia, and found the city in the grip of Cesare's diehards. Disheartened by the turn of events, the Assassins contemplated their next move. Leonardo piped up with a suggestion, asking them to gather sulphur, charcoal and potassium nitrate, as well as thin sheets of malleable steel.

They complied, and in a short time, Leonardo managed to construct twenty small, hand-held bombs, which could be thrown onto enemy positions after lighting the fuse. Leonardo then revealed to Ezio and Niccolò that he was returning to Italy on the next ship, as he was becoming homesick.

Attack on Valencia

Despite this setback, Ezio and Niccolò were determined to destroy Cesare's new army, and together formulated a plan. While Niccolò made his way to the diehards' camp, Ezio headed to the docks. Approaching the first ship, Ezio lit the fuse and threw it into the vessel, dismissive of what destructive power such a small device could possible contain. He was shocked when the device exploded, cracking the warship's mast and felling it, with splintered wood flying high into the air.

Ezio continued to target Cesare's vessels, and in several cases, the initial bomb's explosion was followed by the detonation of the vessel gunpowder reserve; at one point, the explosion of one ship brought down the two on either side of it. All in all, Ezio managed to destroy twelve vessels with his ten hand-held bombs. He then met up with Niccolò on the corner of the street where the Lone Wolf Inn was located.

Climbing onto the roof of the building, Ezio and Niccolò peered over the open skylight onto Cesare and Micheletto, who were discussing the recent turn of events. Cesare angrily belittled Micheletto, blaming him for what had happened and driving him to launch himself across the table at his Master.

Cesare quickly pulled one of his pistols from his belt and shot at Micheletto, destroying his face completely. Ezio pulled back, hoping to catch Cesare as he left the building, though Niccolò, who had craned forward to get a better look, kicked down a tile in the process, and caught Cesare's attention. Drawing his second pistol just as rapidly as he had his first, Cesare shot at the Assassin, hitting Niccolò in the shoulder.

Ezio briefly thought of pursuit, but Niccolò's injury was severe and required immediate medical attention. Finding a doctor, they learned the bullet had gone straight through, and that Niccolò would be sufficiently healed for travel in two weeks. Before Ezio left to pursue Cesare, Niccolò wished him good luck.

Siege of Viana

In 1507, Ezio finally located Cesare Borgia, who was leading the forces of his brother-in-law, John III of Navarre, in a siege of the city of Viana.

Ezio engaged Cesare on the battlefield, initially making an unsuccessful attempt to kill him with his Hidden Blade. Cesare made his escape towards Viana Castle, and Ezio was almost overwhelmed by Cesare's guards. Narrowly surviving an artillery strike, Ezio chased after Cesare, and followed him through the village.

Fighting past the battling guards, and climbing two burning siege towers, Ezio eventually reached the ramparts of Viana Castle. He made his way through another small group of guards, and engaged Cesare in combat atop the city walls.

Despite a continual stream of soldiers attacking him, Ezio was able to whittle away Cesare's armor and overpower him. When Cesare angrily repeated his claim that no man could kill him, Ezio coldly replied he would leave him in the hands of Fate, and threw Cesare from the city walls to his death.

Later, a much older Ezio returned to the Sanctuary beneath the Villa Auditore to leave a clue to the password that protected the Vault's entrance, as suggested by Leonardo years previously. The clue was visible only to those who possessed Eagle Vision.

Search for the Masyaf Keys

Discovering a new purpose

With Cesare's death, the Borgia and their plans for Italy were finished. Ezio focused himself on internal matters, forming stronger ways of communication for the Assassins from Sicily to Venice, and creating more standard training methods for new Assassin recruits.

In 1509, Ezio happened upon some of his uncle Mario's documents, finding a letter written by his father Giovanni a year before Ezio was born, which mentioned a sealed library beneath the old Assassin fortress of Masyaf; the home of Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, who had been Ezio's spiritual mentor during his early years as an Assassin. Driven by a will to find out more about the Order, Ezio decided to leave Italy in 1510 and set sail for Syria.

Pilgrimage to Masyaf

In May 1510, Ezio set out from Rome on horseback, accompanied by Bartolomeo d'Alviano and fifteen of the general's mercenaries. After fifteen days, they arrived at Bari, on the eastern coast of Italy. At Bari, Ezio chartered a ship, a freighter called the Anaan, and set sail for Corfu, located between Bari and Athens.

Along the way, the freighter was attacked by pirates, as it was carrying a valuable cargo of spices. Ezio joined the crew in fighting off the pirates, and assisted in capturing the pirates' captain, a man Ezio would later come to know as Al-Scarab. The Anaan arrived safely in Corfu, and Ezio promptly made arrangements to sail to Athens, and from there to Crete, and then Cyprus. Not long after departing from Crete, Ezio's ship ran into a storm, and was forced to dock at Chios for minor repairs.

Finally, Ezio arrived at Cyprus, where he spent some time exploring the island, including the Templar's archive. However, as he experienced more delays, it became apparent that the Venetian authorities stationed in Cyprus were intervening with his journey. Finally, Ezio took matters into his own hands and attempted to "acquire" a small ship of his own, so he could continue on to Masyaf.

No sooner had he found a seaworthy vessel was he attacked by a mysterious man, whom Ezio thought he recognized. The commotion caused by their fighting attracted several members of the island's Night Watchmen, and Ezio, along with his mysterious assailant-turned-ally, fought off the guards. As the last man fell, Ezio was stabbed in the side and fell unconscious. When he awoke, Ezio found himself on a ship headed for Acre, manned by none other than the pirate captain he had defeated some months earlier.

Ezio arrived in the city of Acre ten months after leaving Rome. After spending a week there, Ezio was informed that the road to Masyaf was filled with foreign bandits and mercenaries. He also wrote a letter to Claudia, informing her of his journey so far and that, should he not survive, she should not seek vengeance. Shortly thereafter, he continued his journey to Masyaf.

Ezio arrived at Masyaf in March 1511, and found the town to be crumbled and largely abandoned. Upon making his way to the fortress, Ezio was ambushed by the town's Byzantine Templar garrison, under the command of their captain, Leandros. Overrun and outnumbered, Ezio was captured by the Templars and lead onto a plank to be hung from the fortress' watchtower. However, as Leandros put the noose around Ezio's neck, Ezio attacked Leandros, threw the noose about Leandros' neck, and eventually escaped along the outside of the tower.

Ezio quickly made his way back to the battlements, where he retrieved his weapons. He then made his way beneath the castle, to the doors of Altaïr's library, where he learned from a worker that Leandros had the journal of Niccolò Polo in his possession, which supposedly led to the keys needed to open the library's door. Ezio left the fortress, and pursued Templar Captain, who had escaped by carriage.

Ezio managed to hold onto a rope trailing from the carriage, and dragged himself up to the carriage itself. Leandros escaped onto the carriage of one of his men, and the chase continued, with each carriage jostling for space on a narrow cliff path.

Eventually, a well-placed bomb sent Ezio's carriage over the edge, severely injuring him, though he persistently continued to follow Leandros. Fighting his way through a nearby village, Ezio confronted and assassinated Leandros, claiming the journal for himself.

Settling into Constantinople

Having obtained the journal, Ezio made his way to Constantinople by ship, where he hoped to find those Masyaf Keys the Templars had not already obtained. As they neared the port, Ezio briefly spoke with a fellow passenger, a young man who claimed to be a student. Ezio spoke to him of how he spent his own youth, until a woman on the ship caught his attention. Disembarking the ship, Ezio was greeted by the leader of the local Assassin guild, Yusuf Tazim.

Yusuf informed Ezio of the state of affairs in the city and of how the Byzantine remnants fought with the Ottomans for control of the city. Later, Ezio was introduced to some of Yusuf's men, and was advised to get new equipment.

When the two met again, Ezio was provided with an Ottoman hookblade and was taught on its use by Yusuf. The two then aided in the defense and reclamation of two of the Assassin dens in the city. Ezio additionally met with Piri Reis, another Master Assassin in the city. Together with Piri, Ezio found Niccolò Polo's old trading post, which was inhabited by the Venetian bookseller Sofia Sartor; the woman who had caught Ezio's eye on the ship into the city.

Locating a secret passageway beneath the trading post, Ezio flirtingly suggested they both investigate, but was politely rebuked. He then entered the underground cavern, successfully obtaining his first Masyaf Key, as well as an encrypted map, which he eventually managed to decode with Sofia's help. Over time, Ezio started to develop feelings for Sofia, but could not bear to tell her about his Assassin affiliations.

Working with Prince Suleiman

Ezio continued to aid the Assassins in the city while Sofia worked to uncover the location of the remaining Keys. At one point, Ezio disguised himself as a minstrel, and prevented an attack on the young Prince Suleiman at Topkapı Palace; whom he recognized as the "student" from the ship he had entered the city on. After becoming acquainted with Suleiman, Ezio helped to uncover those behind the attempted assassination.

Their investigations led them to Tarik Barleti, Captain of the Janissaries responsible for Suleiman's protection, and supporter of his father, Selim I. After observing an exchange of weapons between Tarik and Manuel Palaiologos, heir apparent of the now-defunct Byzantine throne and member of the Templar Order, Ezio was tasked to kill Tarik by Suleiman.

Ezio carried out the assassination, only to discover Tarik had been working to apprehend Manuel and his associate -Shahkulu - "where they felt safest". Remorsefully, Ezio asked for Tarik's forgiveness, before delivering the news to Suleiman.

Journey to Cappadocia

There he is. The monster I came to kill.
~ Ezio when confronting Manuel.

After obtaining the four Keys still within Constantinople, Ezio traveled to Cappadocia, the location given to him by Tarik, to confront Manuel Palaiologos. Before he could depart however, he was intercepted by Yusuf, who informed him that the Janissaries had raised the Great Chain across the mouth of the Golden Horn to prevent him from leaving the city. Yusuf provided Ezio with a sizable bomb, claiming that it was significantly more dangerous than their usual explosives.

Ezio proceeded to the port, where he destroyed the Great Chain with Yusuf's special bomb, and burned the numerous Templar ships that guarded the harbor using Greek Fire.

Arriving in Cappadocia aboard Piri Reis' ship, Ezio sought to make contact with Tarik's spies, who were already in the city. However, he soon learned that many of Tarik's men had already been discovered, apprehended, and executed by the Byzantines. He arrived just in time to prevent the execution of the remaining spies, engaging and eliminating Shahkulu in open combat.

With the spies safe, Ezio proceeded to detonate the city's ordinance supply and, in the ensuing panic, gave chase to Palaiologos. Confronting him at one of the city's docks, Ezio killed him and claimed the fifth and final Key. Before he could leave however, he found himself confronted by Suleiman's uncle and heir-apparent to the Ottoman throne,Ahmet.

Revealing his own Templar allegiance, Ahmet demanded Ezio to hand over the Key, lest harm fall upon Sofia Sartor. Angrily, Ezio pledged vengeance should any harm come to her, then made his way back through the now smoke-filled city to his ship, and to Constantinople.

Fight with Prince Ahmet

After arriving in Constantinople, Ezio hurriedly made his way to Sofia's bookshop. He found that the place had been ransacked and Yusuf, whom Ezio had asked to look after Sofia during his time in Cappadocia, had been killed. Upon discovering Yusuf's dead body, Ezio gave him a final blessing before shutting his eyes. Declaring a renewed vengeance against all those who dared to cross the Assassins, Ezio collected the remaining Keys and prepared to ambush Ahmet during the exchange.

However, Ahmet held Sofia hostage atop Galata Tower, and Ezio was forced to give him the Keys in order to rescue her. The hostage turned out to be Azize, one of Ezio's fellow Assassins, and Ezio saw Sofia was being hung in a courtyard.

After parachuting down towards her, and after ensuring that she was fine, Ezio boarded a carriage with to pursue Ahmet, who had already hurried off towards Syria to find the library and unlock its contents.

After a lengthy ride through the country, which left Ezio essentially parasailing to hang onto their carriage, he managed to grab Ahmet and the two struggled as they both went flying off a cliff. Ezio subdued the prince and opened a parachute to save them both.

As they both recovered from their rough landing, Ezio and Ahmet saw an army arrive with Selim at its head. Selim explained that the Sultan had chosen him over Ahmet, and proceeded to strangle his brother and throw him off a cliff. Selim spared Ezio, having heard good things about him from his son Suleiman, but ordered him to stay out of Constantinople.

After traveling to Masyaf with Sofia, Ezio used the five Keys to open the door to Altaïr's library. Ezio discovered there were no books, only the body of the former Mentor, with a memory seal in his hand. The seal revealed Altaïr's final moments, and the location of his Apple at the back of the library.

Ezio moved towards the Apple, but refused to take it, believing he had seen enough for one life. The Apple emanated a wave of light, and Ezio began speaking to Desmond. Acknowledging he was a conduit for a message, Ezio removed his bracers and sword to declare the end of his life as an Assassin. He then encouraged Desmond to make his life's sufferings worth it, and told him to listen.

Return to Constantinople

"Prince Suleiman knows of your return and has provided you with a safe-conduct. But his father is adamant that you should not remain long."
―Azize to Ezio.

After their visit to Masyaf, Ezio and Sofia returned to Constantinople to set their affairs in the city to rest. Despite Selim ordering Ezio never to return, Suleiman managed to secure Ezio a brief visit, as long as he behaved himself.

Ezio made sure that Dogan, the new leader of the Turkish Assassins, was able to competently command the Assassins' Guild there. Ezio also oversaw the selling of Sofia's bookshop to Azize, the Assassin who had been kidnapped by Ahmet and held at the top of Galata Tower as a decoy for Sofia. The bookshop was used as an outpost for the Assassins, and Ezio stored the Masyaf Keys in the chamber where he had found the first key, underneath the bookshop.

Later life

Settling down

"I knew I would not have enough time to do everything. Now I worry I do not have enough time to do anything."
―Ezio Auditore during his later years.

Ezio and Sofia married in Venice. They had a daughter, Flavia, in May 1513, and a son, Marcello, in October 1514. By 1524, a retired Ezio lived with his family in a villa in the Tuscan countryside. There, he tended to a vineyard, and often spent time in his study, writing his memoirs.

Final visits to Leonardo

"I’ll tell you a secret. All my life—while I thought I was learning to live, I have simply been learning how to die."
―Leonardo's words on dying.

By 1519, Ezio had suffered a chest infection, and as a result developed a serious cough. This is likely hypersensitivity pneumonitis, also known as wine-grower's lung, due to his time in the vineyard.

A visit from Machiavelli revealed that their mutual friend Leonardo was dying. The pair traveled to Amboise in France to the manor Clos Luce, where Leonardo was staying.

Ezio learned that his friend wished to travel outside of the manor to places like England or even back to Venice where he hoped to sell his submarine idea, seeing as he was disappointed with his patron's last creation, a giant mechanical lion.

The pair stayed in France for another week, and visited Leonardo often. Upon their departure, rumors began to spread that King Francis was with Leonardo until he died, and had cradled his head. Ezio was disgusted by this rumor and believed that anyone, even a king, would do anything for publicity.

Teaching Shao Jun

"So I spent many years teaching men and women to think and act for themselves. First in Rome, then among our Brotherhood in Constantinople."
―Ezio expaining his deeds to Shao Jun.

One day in 1524, Sofia left with Marcello to visit Claudia, leaving Ezio to watch over Flavia. As Ezio started harvesting the crops, he called for Flavia to stay where he could see her. However, as he worked, he saw a mysterious cloaked figure approach Flavia. Panicking, he sprinted over to them, seizing the stranger by the collar, but pausing as he noticed the Assassin insignia on the necklace she wore.

Afterwards, the Assassin introduced herself as Shao Jun, a Chinese Assassin, who had traveled to Italy with her Mentor to learn of methods to unite the Assassins of her homeland. However, Ezio refused to be involved, though he allowed her to stay in the villa for the night on Sofia's insistence.

The following day, Ezio found Jun sitting in his private study, reading a letter he had been writing. Infuriated, he ordered her out of the room, and insisted that she leave the villa.

However, Jun thoughtfully recited to him the words that he had written, wishing to understand their meaning. Ezio finally consented and invited her to accompany him into Florence while he ran errands. On the journey there and back, he finally spoke to her of the importance of love in the Assassin Order, saying that if she could support that which inspired hope in her people, she would succeed.

However, the two of them were ambushed by a Chinese Imperial soldier in Florence. Jun explained that she was a concubine who had escaped by joining the Assassin Order, and the soldier who attacked the two worked for the Chinese Emperor. Correctly expecting another attack at the villa, Ezio had his family evacuate to Niccolò Machiavelli's home, while he and Jun stayed behind.

Ezio and Jun were able to defend against the attack later that night, and in the morning, Ezio gave Jun a small chest before her departure, telling her only to open it if she lost her way.

Death

I am home.
~ Ezio to Sofia in Florence.

In his final hours, Ezio chose to go to Florence with Sofia and Flavia while they went shopping. Ezio sat down on a bench, feeling ill, and shrugging off Sofia's concerns that he should have stayed home, stating "I am home."

While Sofia and Flavia went to buy groceries, a young man approached Ezio, thoughtfully berating the women of Florence. Ezio wearily responded by implying the man was the problem, not the city. Immediately afterward, Ezio began panting and holding his chest in pain.

The young man quickly grabbed Ezio's hand and told Ezio to have courage. He told Ezio to "get some rest", and then left. Ezio looked back at him angrily, but calmed down just as quickly. Breathing heavily, Ezio looked over at Sofia and Flavia, smiling, before resting his head against the back of the bench, and passing away peacefully.

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