-Missed you this morning, Doc. -Get in the Animus! Ready when you are. Come in, Altair. I trust you’re well rested, ready for your remaining trials? I am. But I’d speak with you first. I have questions. Ask them. I’ll do my best to answer. The Merchant King of Damas murdered the nobles who ruled his city. Majd Addin in Jerusalem used fear to force his people into submission. I suspect William meant to murder Richard, and hold Acre with his troops. These men were meant to aid their leaders; instead they chose to betray them. What I do not understand… is why. Is the answer not obvious? The Templars desire control. Each man, as you noted, wanted to claim their cities in the Templar name; that the Templars themselves might rule the Holy Land, and eventually beyond. But they cannot succeed in their mission. Why is that? Their plans depend upon the Templar treasure: the Piece of Eden.
But we hold it now. They cannot hope to achieve their goals without it. What is this treasure? It is temptation. It’s just a piece of silver… Look at it! What am I supposed to see? This… piece of silver… cast out Adam and Eve. It turned staves into snakes. Parted and closed the Red Sea. Eris used it to start the Trojan War. And with it, a poor carpenter turned water into wine. It seems rather plain for all the power you claim it has.
How does it work? He who holds it commands the hearts and minds of whoever looks upon it. Whoever “tastes of it”, as they say. And Garnier’s men? An experiment. Herbs used to simulate its effects, to be ready for when they held it. Talal supplied them, Tamir equipped them. They were preparing for something. But what? War. And the others, the men who ruled the cities. They meant to gather up their people, make them like Garnier’s men. The perfect citizens.
The perfect soldiers. A perfect world. Robert de Sable must never have this back. So long as he and his brothers live, they will try. Then they must be destroyed. Which is what I’ve had you doing. There are two more Templars who require your attention: One in Acre known as Sibrand, one in Damas called Jubair. Visit with the Bureau leaders; they’ll instruct you further. As you wish. Be quick about it.
No doubt Robert de Sable is made nervous by our continued success. His remaining followers will do their best to expose you. They know you come, the Man In The White Hood. -They’ll be looking for you. -They won’t find me. I’m but a blade in the crowd. Here, my gift to you. In gratitude for the good work you’ve done. It’s the hero of Damascus! Come in, stay a while! Tell me all about your adventures. I’m afraid I don’t have the time. I see, too important for me now. It’s not that. No, no. Of course not. How may I serve you then? Al Mualim has asked I take the life of the one they call Jubair. Ah, Salah ad-Din’s chief scholar.
Strange choice of target in my opinion. But who are we to question the Master’s work. I’m sure he has his reasons. Then you’re familiar with the man? He’s been quite busy these past few days. Organizing the scholars and sending them into the streets to preach. What do they speak of? Light and fire, cleansing sins, apocalyptic nonsense if you ask me. All this talk of paths, and a new world. What about this new world? Couldn’t say. I don’t pay attention to the ramblings of mad men. Much too busy with real work. Very well.
I’ll walk among the people, see what I can learn. Where would you suggest I search? South of here you’ll find an academy and a guard tower. They’re both good places to search. There’s also a hospital to the east you might want to visit. I’ll begin at once. So eager! You’ve certainly changed, and for the better, I might add. Altair! Your name is on everybody’s lips these days, and for once their words are kind. If you’re truly a changed man, perhaps you’d be willing to do me a favor. Jubair has employed certain merchants to spy on the citizens for him. They feed him names in exchange for gold. You’d be doing all the city a great service if you were to find these merchants, and destroy their stalls.
This should end their evil. You’ve done a good thing today, Altair. In exchange, I’ll share my knowledge with you. Your target is likely to be dressed much like his followers, so here is how to distinguish him from the others. He wears rich, golden robes and carries with him a large pouch. Find him, Brother. Make him feel pain. Bad news, Brother. I killed a Templar this morning. Well, I suppose that’s actually good news. I even found a letter on him which I gave to Numair, who said he’d find you and deliver it, but from the look on your face I suspect this hasn’t happened.
Go on then, don’t waste any more time with me. Seek Numair and get that letter. Altair, here, take this. I’ve been looking everywhere for you. Now I can finally return to Masyaf. Last time I offer to do someone a favor. I wish to see him, to hear him speak. It can be arranged, but we must be careful. There are still those who reject illumination. They would harm him. Then they are ignorant and afraid. You seem sincere, but how do I know I can trust you? It hurts me to hear you even ask the question. Very well. We gather each day at the Madrasah. He comes to speak, and then leads us into the city, that we might cleanse it. Could I join you, then? Understand, that it is a difficult path we walk.
Our work demands sacrifice. I understand. Then come and meet with us. Let us see how strong you really are. We found the place, it’s just as you described it. I suspect he’ll want to deal with this himself, and quickly. Best we say nothing to the others. A wise course of action. Truth be told, I’ll be happy when this business is done. Soon, my friend, soon. Today should see the last of them put to torch.
Boy, come here! You still have the letter I gave you? Yes. Go and deliver it then. You’ll find the one it’s meant for inside the Madrasah. Though our fathers dwelled in darkness, and their fathers before them, it does not mean we must as well. This is our chance to begin anew. Let Jubair lead you to revelation, let him lead you into the light. Jubair sees things the way they truly are, sees the poison you carry in your hearts and minds! He works to cast it out! Remove all texts from your homes and schools! Give them to us! They must be destroyed! You’ll pay fearly for that! Violence is not the answer, my child! In this, we agree.
So speak and I may stay my blade. What is it your Master intends? Why destroy all this knowledge? We lay the stones to build a road upon which, soon, all men will travel. It leads to a better tomorrow. That is not what I see. Then you are blind. The words upon these parchments, they are poison. Jubair holds the cure, he’ll free us from their lies. It’s nonsense you speak, you’ve lost your mind. No, not lost but found! I see the world for what it truly is! He has shown me so much! I am illuminated! Fanatic is all you are, and dangerous for it.
Do what you must, it changes nothing. We are not afraid. You should be. Where is the one responsible?! Altair, my friend, you have become quite a wanted man, as am I. I must prepare my family for the trip back to the safety of Masyaf this afternoon. Could you finish my last assignment, in exchange for information? Some men must be eliminated in Jubair’s quarter. Be fast, my friend. Where is the one responsible?! It’s great to see you back so quickly and in one piece. I must return to my family, but before I leave, this is for you. I found a map showing where scholars are planning to burn books, and other sources of knowledge. Please be careful, and let the future reunite us. I’ll give your blessings to my family. What news Altair? I’ve learned much about my enemy. Share what you know then. Jubair has become obsessed with purging the city of his knowledge.
A most terrible crime! Know I see why Al Mualim wants you to remove him. He’s using the city scholars to assist him. They go out into the streets, harassing the people and collecting all their written works. I fear he intends to destroy them all. He must be stopped! That’s why I’m here. He’s to hold a meeting soon, at the Madrasah Al-Kallasah. It’s where I’ll go. It’s where I’ll take his life. I’ll leave you alone to prepare. Bring glory to the Brotherhood. *Fast-forwarding memory to a more recent one…* Kill him! Every single text in this city must be destroyed! My friend, you must not do this. Much knowledge rests within these parchments.
Put there by our ancestors for good reason. And what reason is this? They are beacons, meant to guide us. To save us from the darkness that is ignorance. No! These bits of papers are covered in lies! They poison your minds, and so long as they exist, you cannot hope to see the world the way it truly is! How can you accuse these scrolls of being weapons? They are tools of learning! You turn to them for answers and salvation. You rely more upon them than yourselves. This makes you weak and stupid. You trust in words, drops of ink. Do you ever stop to think of who put them there? Or why? No, you simply accept their words without question and what if those words speak falsely, as they often do? This is dangerous.
You are wrong! These texts give the gift of knowledge. We need them! You love your precious writings? You’d do anything for them? Yes, uh, yes, of course. Then join them! Any man who speaks as he is just as much a threat. Do any else among you wish to challenge me? Good. Your orders are simple enough. Go out into the city, collect any remaining writings and add them to the piles in the streets. When you’re done, we’ll send a cart to collect them, that they may be destroyed. Good people of Damascus! You are doing the right thing! Let us cleanse this city of its poisoned past. This is a righteous act and from the flames shall be born a new era, one of truth and unity, governed by a singular wisdom. Why? Why have you done this? Men must be free to do what they believe. It is not our right to punish one for thinking what they do, no matter how much we disagree. Then what? You of all people should know the answer. Educate them. Teach them right from wrong. It must be knowledge that frees them, not force.
They do not learn. Fixed in their ways as they are. You are naive to think otherwise. It’s an illness for which there is but one cure. You’re wrong. And that’s why you must be put to rest. Am I not unlike those precious books you seek to save? A source of knowledge with which you disagree? Yet you’re rather quick to steal my life. A small sacrifice to save many.
It is necessary. Is it not ancient scrolls that inspire the Crusaders? That fill Salah ad-Din and his men with a sense of righteous fury? Their texts endanger others, bring death in their wake. I too, was making a small sacrifice. It matters little now. Your deed is done, and so am I. Altair! Tell me you’ve met with success? Yes. Jubair’s fires are extinguished. His life as well. Excellent news! I had no doubt you’d succeed! You should have seen it. The scholars followed him so readily. It wasn’t just books they fed to fire either, but any man who opposed them. Such ignorance breeds only evil. You’ve done good thing this day. As with my other targets, he believed he was doing the right thing. Clearing a path to a better future. Of course he would. Such is the landscape of a madman’s mind. The things I’ve seen these past few weeks… It’s as if all the land has gone mad. And this is why we fight to end the war. That sanity might return. The people are desperate for direction. It’s easy for men like Jubair to prey on this, and turn them towards evil! You should go, Altair.
Return to Al Mualim. Tell him what you saw, let him know the good you’ve done this day. Safety and peace, Rafiq. Upon you as well. *Fast-forwarding memory to a more recent one…* Welcome home, child. What news? Another of the named is put to rest. Then it would appear your work is nearly complete, and your status restored. A question, master. If I may? Ask and I will answer. Why these men? Jubair and Sibrand? Ah, don’t you see? They pave the way for change. Ensure threats both old and new are not given cause to intervene.
To weaken them is to weaken our enemy. I suppose that makes sense… Were these men to continue their work, our work would quickly be undone. How is that? We’ve caused them much grief. We strike at the arms, yes. But this is a hydra that you face, and it is quick to replace that which is severed. Then we should lop off its head and be done with this. Soon, soon. We are close. Only one more man stands between us and our ultimate goal. I will return to my work. The sooner this last man dies, the sooner I might face our true enemy. Before you go, I have a question for you. Of course. What is the truth? We place faith in ourselves. We see the world the way it really is, and hope that one day all mankind might see the same. What is the world then? An illusion. One we can either submit to, as most do, or transcend. What is it to transcend? To recognize nothing is true and everything is permitted.
That laws arise not from divinity, but reason. I understand now that our creed does not command us to be free. It commands us to be wise. Do you see now why the Templars are a threat? Where as we would dispel the illusion, they would use it to rule. Yes. To reshape the world in an image more pleasing to them. That is why I sent you to steal their treasure.
That is why I keep it locked away. And that is why you kill them. So long as even one survives, so too does their desire to create a new world order. Take your equipment, seek out this last man. With his death, Robert de Sable will at last be vulnerable. It will be done. Safety and peace upon you, Altair..