For centuries, the Assassins’ Brotherhood has worked in secret to preserve the balance of power throughout the world. Their cause is noble, to “free the minds of men;” their methods are anything but. They blend seamlessly into crowds, striking suddenly and swiftly only to disappear again. Where the Assassins lurk, the abusive and the corrupt are not safe.
Until recently, the Assassins operated under a strict hierarchy and code of laws. Everything changed in 1191. In the course of performing his duties, a skilled Assassin named Altair ibn-la-Ahad discovered a plot by the Brotherhood’s leader, a man known only as al-Mualim (“The Teacher”) to remove humanity’s free will. With a handful of his fellow Assassins, Altair slew al-Mualim and recovered the instrument of The Teacher’s plan; the Apple of Eden. These events are, of course, detailed in the original Assassin’s Creed video game.
Altair’s skill and charisma quickly gained him leadership over the Brotherhood. For the first several months of this period, Altair delegated most of his responsibilities to his friend Malik, the Rafiq of Jerusalem, choosing instead to study the Apple and its properties. He would not share the visions it bestowed on him, but when he emerged, Altair set about completely restructuring the Brotherhood.
He removed the restriction on women becoming Assassins. He lifted the ban on using poison. He modified the Hidden Blade, the Assassins’ traditional weapon, to become a multifunctional death-dealing mechanism. Together with Malik, he developed new techniques to end the lives of their enemies. Perhaps most importantly, Altair laid down a long-term agenda with a single goal, one that would not be accomplished in any of the current Assassins’ lifetimes. That goal was to thwart the schemes of the Order of the Knights Templar whenever and wherever they arise.
To that end, the Assassins have begun to branch out of the Holy Land. Constantinople, arguably the center of the world, was immediately put forth as an ideal location for a new cell. It had hundreds of thousands of people to hide among, and was cosmopolitan enough that an Arabian face would not be out of place. Also, all news eventually found its way to the city of Constantine. It is the perfect place for the new generation of Assassins to ply their trade.