- "When I was very young, I was foolish enough to believe that our Creed would bring an end to all these conflicts. If only I had possessed the humility to say to myself, I have seen enough for one life, I've done my part. Then again, there is no greater glory than fighting to find the truth."
- ―Altaïr to his son Darim during the Mongol attack on Masyaf, 1257.[src]
12 August 1257 (aged 92) Masyaf, Syria
Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad (1165 – 1257) was a Syrian-born member of the Levantine Brotherhood of Assassins and served as their Mentor from 1191 until his death in 1257. During his tenure as Mentor, Altaïr made several discoveries and inventions that greatly helped the Order's progression. His leadership saw to the spread of the Assassins' influence in the Old World.
Raised to be an Assassin from birth, Altaïr became a Master Assassin at age 25, the youngest ever to obtain the rank. He failed to recover an Apple of Eden from Robert de Sable in early 1191 and subsequently allowed the Templars to attack the town of Masyaf, headquarters of the Assassins. For this, he was demoted to the rank of novice and sent on a quest for redemption.
Tasked with the deaths of nine individuals who, unbeknownst to him, made up the ranks of the Templar Order in the Holy Land, Altaïr began a quest to change his ways and liberate the Kingdom from their corruption. During his quest however, Altaïr learned of a plot far more sinister than he originally believed. In completing his mission, he also cleansed the Order of its treacherous leader Al Mualim. Altaïr thereafter became Mentor, taking the Assassins in a new, more secretive direction.
With the Apple in hand, Altaïr changed the way members of his Order lived their lives, writing the details in his fabled Codex for later generations of the Order to read. Altaïr's vision of the Assassin Order was for them to be spread across the world, living among the people, and he began establishing many Assassins Guilds during his tenure as Mentor. Throughout his travels, Altaïr strengthened his Order, stopping various Templar plots over the years as well as halting the inexorable march of Genghis Khan. Altaïr is an ancestor to Desmond Miles, through the maternal line.
- Early life
- Quest for the Chalice
- Third Crusade
- Becoming Mentor
- Liberating Cyprus
- Changing the Order
- Fall from grace
- Later life
- Personality and characteristics
While Maud died in childbirth, Umar was executed by the Saracens during the First siege of Masyaf in 1176, in retribution for him killing a Saracen nobleman. Altaïr frantically called out to his father before the execution, but was prevented from seeing his father's death by Ahmad Sofian, the Assassin who had revealed Umar's name to the Saracens under torture. Crushed by guilt over Umar's death, he infiltrated Altaïr's quarters some time later, apologized to Altaïr for his weakness, and committed suicide with a dagger.
Altaïr ran to Al Mualim's quarters with haste, informing him of what had occurred. Al Mualim told Altaïr not to disclose anything about the incident to anyone – not even to Ahmad's son Abbas, who would be shamed by the truth of his father's death. Altaïr considered Al Mualim as more of a father figure than his own biological father, though he was aware that Al Mualim's love was "weak and dishonest," and agreed to do as the Mentor commanded. Altaïr and Abbas joined the Order as novices soon after, grew up together and became good friends, always at each other's side.
One day, after noticing Abbas' continued grief over his father's death, Altaïr told him the truth in an effort to console him. Upon hearing it, Abbas turned over in his bed, not saying a word. The following day, the two didn't speak to each other until Abbas asked their combat instructor Labib if they could fight with real swords, instead of the wooden practice ones. It was then that Abbas revealed his hatred of Altaïr, believing he lied about Ahmad, before attacking him in a rage.
As the two grappled, Abbas held his knife to Altaïr's throat and yelled that Altaïr had lied about Abbas' father to shame him. The commotion caught the attention of the other Assassins, the villagers and Al Mualim himself. Trying to quell Abbas' anger, Altaïr falsely admitted that he had lied, and the two were taken to Masyaf's dungeon. There they spent a month in confinement before resuming their training. With his crimes deemed more severe, Abbas was forced by Al Mualim to spend an extra year in training, whilst Altaïr graduated to the rank of Assassin.
- "I have watched you grow from a boy to a man in so short a time. It fills me with as much sadness as pride. You fit your father's shoes as if they have been tailored to your feet."
- ―Al Mualim talking to Altaïr, after the latter saved him, 1189.[src]
In 1189, Masyaf was attacked and overrun by Templars, aided by a double agent named Haras. Riding his horse into the village and rescuing a fellow Assassin, Altaïr led the injured man to a bench before meeting with Abbas. Abbas claimed that the Assassins had to fall back and could do nothing for Al Mualim, who was detained in the fortress along with several other Assassin hostages. Altaïr, however, gave Abbas orders to flank the Templars and lead them into the canyon while Altaïr himself rescued Al Mualim.
Altaïr made his way to the fortress, killing Templar soldiers and rescuing villagers along the way. Upon arriving at the fortress' gates, Altaïr was greeted by Haras. Taunting the Assassin, Haras closed the gates behind him and went to execute the captured Assassins inside the courtyard with a crossbow.
Locked out, Altaïr climbed some scaffolding and reached the top of the fortress walls. From there, he ran along the battlements, jumped onto the tiled roof of a balcony, and assassinated Haras from above, saving Al Mualim. This act earned Altaïr Al Mualim's respect, and he was thereafter elevated to the rank of Master Assassin. Upon hearing this, Abbas spat at Altaïr's feet, whereas Altaïr only sneered back in his first true display of arrogance.
In 1190, while returning from a journey, Altaïr discovered that a village near the citadel of Alep was under attack. He came across an Assassin guard who told him that Templars were responsible for the assault and gave Altaïr a sword with which to avenge their comrades. Fending off many Templars along the way, Altaïr came across an enemy archer who revealed the Templars' plans: they were ordered to attack the village by the Templar leader, Lord Basilisk, in order to gain valuable information possessed by a member of the Brotherhood.
Altaïr dispatched the Templar and continued on, assassinating an enemy captain before meeting with Al Mualim. Altaïr was then tasked with retrieving a powerful artifact called "the Chalice" that could bolster the power of whatever faction held it. Mission clear, he left for the city of Damascus.
- Tamir: "My beautiful carpets! The Venetian Silverware! All gone!"
- Altaïr: "Surely, you can buy them back...."
- Tamir: "What....Who's there!?"
- —Tamir and Altaïr's initial meeting.[src]
In Damascus, Altaïr located a Rafiq posing as a merchant and bluntly said the Assassins' password in public. Leading Altaïr to a secluded area, the Rafiq admonished him for his indiscretion, then tasked him with taking the life of an enemy to prove himself. Once the job was complete, he would give Altaïr the information he sought. Altaïr did as he was asked and assassinated the target with his Hidden Blade.
Altaïr then mentioned his search for the Chalice to the Rafiq and was directed to Tamir, a merchant whose close association with the Templars made him a suitable target for interrogation. However, because Tamir's residence was heavily guarded, the Rafiq suggested Altaïr start with a man named Misbah. Once Altaïr had left and located Misbah, he interrogated the man, but a nearby city guard noticed and intervened.
As Misbah fled the scene, Altaïr took down the guards and chased him onto the roof of a building, where a plank collapsed beneath Misbah's feet and he was left hanging from a rope. Altaïr requested information in return for safety, and Misbah reluctantly accepted. After telling Altaïr about a shipment of oil barrels stored atop Tamir's home, he requested help, but Altaïr left him hanging.
Altaïr made his way to Tamir's house and used some nearby torches to set the oil barrels and house on fire, flushing the merchant out. Grieving over the loss of his belongings, Tamir told Altaïr that the Chalice was located in a desert temple that could only be accessed via the use of three keys. He then told the Assassin of a dancer named Fajera who held one of three. With the information he sought acquired, Altaïr ended Tamir's life.
After he left the Bureau, Altaïr ventured to the circus where Fajera performed and confronted her. She refused to cooperate and called one of her circus friends, a brute named Badr. Altaïr fought Badr off, but Fajera fled and the tent began to cave in. Managing to escape, Altaïr chased Fajera across the city, dodging civilians and guards alike. However, the Assassin lost her trail as a bridge collapsed, leaving him behind.
On spotting her again by a well, Altaïr confronted Fajera, who immediately gave him the key. When Altaïr expressed confusion at her actions, Fajera explained that she had actually been testing him, and that through her cards, she had foreseen his arrival and prepared herself to aid him. In return for her assistance, she requested Altaïr dispose of a man named Alaat, who was at a bathhouse not far away.
Venturing through old sewer tunnels, Altaïr made his way into the bathhouse. Although Alaat let out a cry for help, he was too late to save himself as Altaïr plunged his blade into the man and escaped. In thanks, Fajera told Altaïr of another key holder in Tyre.
- "Find the one who is in charge of the hospital: Roland Napule."
- ―Hamid to Altaïr.[src]
Arriving in Tyre and recollecting on past events, Altaïr met up with a man named Hamid, who informed him that Roland Napule had confined the holder of the second key inside his hospital. With this information, the Assassin made his way through old passageways inside a sewer, which were heavily patrolled by Templar guards.
Altaïr soon found Roland interrogating the key holder, and promptly assassinated him. However, the key holder was convinced that Altaïr himself was a Templar and asked the Assassin for proof that suggested otherwise. Altaïr believed he had none until the man asked to see his left hand. With this, the key holder knew that Altaïr was one of the Assassins, due to his missing ring finger. After giving him the key, the man bid Altaïr farewell and told him that the next key was in Jerusalem, with Lord Basilisk himself.
- Altaïr: "Tell me where the king is having his party this evening."
- Ayman: "I don't have to tell you anything, begone!"
- Altaïr: "I'm not a Djinn for you to order around."
- —Altaïr and Ayman's exchange of words at the gardens of Jerusalem.[src]
After arriving in Jerusalem, Altaïr met up with the Rafiq Kadar, asking him where Lord Basilisk could be found. Kadar remarked that the man's fierceness and feral bravado in battle had earned him the trust of the King, meaning Basilisk was frequently idling in the King's audience. As the Assassin pondered how to get closer to his target, Kadar informed him of an upcoming party hosted by the King himself, to which some citizens would receive invitations. Kadar then told Altaïr of the City Gardens in Jerusalem, where he could eavesdrop on citizens to learn of the party's location.
In the gardens, Altaïr learned that a man named Ayman had received an invitation to the party. Confronting Ayman, he drew the location of the event out the man despite his resistance. Altaïr then left for the party and traveled through a secret passage, gaining entry inside, where he encountered Basilisk. Battling with the Templar leader, Altaïr stole the key, and fled.
- "Looking for something, Assassin? This game of ours is amusing, but it's getting old rather quickly..."
- ―Lord Basilisk, upon meeting Altaïr at the Temple.[src]
When Altaïr returned to Jerusalem, he found the keeper being attacked by Templar agents who stole a map to the desert temple which held the Chalice. The keeper charged him with infiltrating the Templars' tower base to retrieve it.
Altaïr arrived at the tower and navigated his way to its Master, an Assassin-like figure who was actually a high-ranking Templar. The Master tried to convince him to join the Templar Order, but Altaïr refused, killed the Master, and took the map to the Temple of the Sand.
Arriving at the temple, Altaïr searched the upper areas and made his way to the Chalice's antechamber, dispatching guards as he did so. He soon found the shrine of the Chalice, wrought in gold, at the center of a stone pillar accessible by four bridges. He made his way to the shrine before coming face-to-face with Basilisk, who explained the Chalice's true nature: she was no artifact, but a woman.
As Altaïr defeated Basilisk's guards, the shrine opened, creating an exit. Jumping down, Altaïr landed in rubble and found the temple beginning to collapse around him. He fled an approaching sandstorm and avoided obstacles formed by falling debris to escape the area. Upon reaching safety, he recalled that Basilisk had mentioned business he had in the city of Tyre and, wasting no time, quickly made his way back to the city.
Upon arriving in Tyre once more, Altaïr met with Hamid and told the keeper he was searching for Basilisk. Hamid said that while the Assassins once had two agents with access to the fortress, they had been kidnapped some time ago. He suggested that Altaïr navigate through a series of obstacles above deadly waters, which would eventually lead him to them.
Altaïr made his way across the beams and platforms, avoiding the water. He soon discovered one of Hamid's missing men trapped in a cage and released him. The agent said that his brother, held captive on the other side of the fort, would be able to help him access the Templar's Hold. Navigating another complex route, Altaïr freed the second agent, who directed him to the gate that would grant him entry to the Hold.
Traversing the roofs of the buildings within the fortress, Altaïr found and dueled Basilisk. Outmatched, the Templar fled, forcing Altaïr to give chase, engage and defeat him once again. In return for his life, Basilisk gave Altaïr two pieces of information: the location of the Chalice at the villa of Don Carvaggio in Jerusalem, and the revelation of a Templar plot to end the costly siege in Acre by poisoning the city's water supply. Altaïr spared Basilisk, but burnt the Templar's ships to ensure that he would not be able to leave Tyre.
Altaïr hurried to Acre and fought his way through the burning city, dodging falling debris and destroying Templar siege equipment. As he reached a Templar camp, he took on the disguise of a soldier, then a scholar to access restricted areas.
Setting fires, releasing prisoners and destroying weaponry as he went, he came upon the Templar commander giving orders to his men. Beckoned to bless him and the operation, Altaïr tried to attack, but the commander saw through his disguise and dueled him. Altaïr defeated the commander and escaped the camp by launching himself over the barricades with a catapult.
Upon arriving in Jerusalem and seeking out Carvaggio's villa, Altaïr found Templars escorting the Chalice through the streets and recognized her as a woman named Adha. He then tailed the group before confronting her escorts and killing them by opening a large sewer grate nearby, pelting them with debris.
Adha and Altaïr navigated the sewers together, and she told him about the betrayal of Harash, Al Mualim's second-in-command. Doubtful of her claim, Altaïr said he could not accuse Harash without proof of the man's crimes, and asked Adha to flee the Holy Land with him. Claiming she could not accompany Altaïr while Harash lived, she gave the Assassin a special sword and said that once the deed was done, she would run away with him.
Traveling to Alep, Altaïr stealthily infiltrated the city in search of Harash. Eliminating the guards who noticed him and stealing a disguise to sneak past others, he found Harash consorting with a Templar captain. The captain claimed that the Chalice had been discovered in Tyre, hidden on a ship, and they suspected she was waiting for Altaïr. The captain departed and Altaïr, angered by Harash's betrayal, killed him in a long duel.
- "Assassin, this battle will be our last!"
- ―Basilisk to Altaïr before their duel, 1189.[src]
When Altaïr returned to Tyre, he discovered that a Templar army stood between him and Basilisk. Despite their numbers, Altaïr managed to battle his way through to the docks, and spotted Adha being escorted onto a Templar ship.
Boarding a nearby vessel to reach her, Altaïr was confronted by Basilisk, who challenged him to a fight. Altaïr accepted and eventually overpowered the Templar leader, killing him. However, a ship was set ablaze and forced between Basilisk's ship and the one bearing Adha, forcing Altaïr to jump overboard. Reaching the safety of the docks, he watched the remaining ship sail away from the harbor, swearing he would find Adha and rescue her.
It would be months before he found her again, and by then he was too late to save her and only recovered her body. In an emotional rage, he hunted down and killed everyone responsible for her death, though it was an empty act that brought him no joy.
By the following year, the Holy Land was in the midst of war. In early 1191, Altaïr and his comrades Malik and Kadar Al-Sayf were tasked with retrieving an artifact from the Templars in Solomon's Temple. While progressing through the catacombs, Altaïr broke the first tenet of the Assassin's Creed by killing an innocent man in their path. Malik admonished Altaïr for his recklessness, but Altaïr arrogantly dismissed him.
Upon seeing the archenemy of his Order, Robert de Sable, Altaïr broke the second tenet of the Creed by confronting his enemy directly. Attempting to openly slay the Grand Master, Altaïr was easily thwarted and thrown from the temple, leaving Malik and Kadar alone with the Templars. Altaïr escaped from the temple and returned to Masyaf to report his failure to the Order.
Upon arriving in Masyaf, Altaïr was kindly greeted by Rauf, who told him that Al Mualim was waiting to hear a report on the mission. At the fortress gates, Abbas and Altaïr exchanged insults before Altaïr proceeded to Al Mualim's study, informing the mentor of his failure to acquire the Templar treasure. Soon after, Malik returned with the artifact, alive but alone, and with a heavily injured left arm. He shouted at Altaïr, blaming him for Kadar's death, but before further action could be taken they were informed that Masyaf was under siege.
Altaïr and several other Assassins went to the defense of the village, engaging attacking Templars. Although initially successful, they were quickly overpowered; Altaïr thought of staying and fighting until he was defeated, thereby redeeming his actions at Solomon's Temple. However, he decided it would be a waste of his abilities and retreated to the fortress along with the other Assassins.
While Al Mualim distracted de Sable, Altaïr, Rauf and another Assassin each performed a Leap of Faith off the citadel tower and sneaked behind the Templar army. Altaïr dropped a supply of felled logs on the soldiers, crushing many and driving them away from Masyaf.
Once the attack was over, the matter of Altaïr's actions in Solomon's Temple was addressed once again. It was decreed that in breaking all three tenets of the Creed—as his actions brought the Templars to Masyaf and endangered the Brotherhood—Altaïr was marked as a traitor to the Assassins. After declaring his judgement to the entire Order, Al Mualim stabbed Altaïr in the stomach with a dagger.
- Al Mualim: "I hold here a list. Nine names adorn it, nine men who need to die. They are plague-bringers, war-makers... Their power and influence corrupts the land, ensuring that the Crusades continue. Find them, kill them... In doing so, you will sow the seeds of peace, both for the region and for yourself. In this way, you might be redeemed."
- Altaïr: "Nine lives in exchange for mine..."
- Al Mualim: "A most generous offer, I think. Have you any questions?"
- Altaïr: "Only where I need begin."
- —Al Mualim and Altaïr, regarding Altaïr's assignment.[src]
Altaïr awoke from his "sleep of the dead" and questioned Al Mualim about his survival, with the Mentor answering that Altaïr had only seen what he had wanted him to see. He then stripped Altaïr of his rank and possessions before offering him a chance at redemption, tasking him with hunting down the traitor within Masyaf who had allowed the Templars entrance. Once Altaïr successfully completed the mission, he returned to Al Mualim and was rewarded with the restoration of his Hidden Blade and sword. An official member of the Order once again, Altaïr was offered a trade: assassinate nine men from the ranks of both Saracens and Crusaders, taking their lives in exchange for his own.
- "I am but a piece, a man with a part to play. You'll come to know the others soon enough..."
- ―Tamir to Altaïr, 1191.[src]
Altaïr started his quest, leaving Masyaf and riding to Damascus in pursuit of Tamir, his first target. Arriving there, he traveled to the local Assassins' Bureau and requested permission for the assassination. The Rafiq denied him, ordering Altaïr to first gather information about his target. Going through the city's poor district, Altaïr interrogated informants, pickpocketed letters and maps, and eavesdropped on conversations around him, ultimately acquiring the location of his target. Returning to the Bureau with this information, he received a pass for the kill and a white feather to be dipped in the victim's blood as proof of the deed.
In a plaza of the market district, Altaïr witnessed Tamir slaying a business partner, then killed him as he examined nearby stalls. Returning to the Bureau, Altaïr was told to report to Al Mualim, who rewarded him with another piece of his equipment back. Altaïr then left for Acre and Jerusalem to pursue his next targets.
- Altaïr: "You truly believed you were helping them?"
- Garnier: "It's not what I believe... It's what I know."
- ―Altaïr and Garnier.[src]
Proceeding on to Acre, Altaïr met with the Bureau leader to gather information about his target: Garnier de Naplouse, Grand Master of the Knights Hospitalier. Learning that Garnier was located in the Hospitalier hospital and was trafficking people to Acre in order to experiment on them, Altaïr infiltrated the hospital.
There, he found one of Garnier's prisoners attempting to flee. After the man was caught, Garnier ordered his guards to break the prisoner's legs to prevent him from escaping again. Garnier then returned to his usual routine of checking patients and was struck down by Altaïr. With his dying breath, Garnier revealed that he had used the Apple of Eden to conduct his experiments, but after its loss, his progress had slowed. He was also convinced that he was helping the people he experimented on, causing Altaïr to question his own opinion on Garnier's actions.
- Altaïr: "You profit from the war, from lives lost and broken."
- Talal: "Yes, you would think that, ignorant as you are. Wall off your mind: they say it's what your kind do best. Do you see the irony in all this? No, not yet, it seems, but you will..."
- ―Altaïr and Talal.[src]
Arriving at Jerusalem's Bureau, Altaïr was harshly received by Malik, its newest leader. Reluctantly, Malik sent Altaïr on his investigations and received him once again when he returned. After obtaining permission for the assassination and the feather, Altaïr entered the slave complex of his target, Talal.
After entering the building, Altaïr was ambushed by Talal's followers while the slaver escaped. Dispatching them, Altaïr chased Talal across the rooftops and through the streets, finally catching up to him and putting a Hidden Blade in his neck. While Malik criticized Altaïr's unsubtle approach, he was still well-received upon his return to Al Mualim. Gaining another piece of his equipment, Altaïr was again dispatched to the three cities to assassinate new targets.
- "You take the lives of men and women, strong in the conviction that their deaths will improve the lots of those left behind. A minor evil for a greater good? We are the same."
- ―Abu'l to Altaïr[src]
Altaïr traveled to Damascus to eliminate Abu'l Nuqoud, known as the "Merchant King". After investigating and receiving a feather from the city's Rafiq, he proceeded to the merchant's palace where a party was being held. Infiltrating the celebration, Altaïr arrived as Abu'l began giving a speech thanking his guests for attending. However, he soon began lambasting them for their intolerance and ignorance, then revealed he had poisoned the wine they were served. As a number of the revelers fell to the poison, Abu'l ordered his archers to eliminate the rest.
Through the panic of the crowd, Altaïr scaled the palace walls, killing several archers in the process, and climbed onto the roof. Jumping down and killing the Merchant King's bodyguard, Altaïr pursued and assassinated his target, setting the city on full alert before escaping and reporting to the Bureau.
- "We'll see how sweet they are... the fruits of your labors. You do not free the cities as you believe, but damn them. And in the end, you'll have only yourself to blame; you who speak of good intentions..."
- ―William of Montferrat to Altaïr.[src]
In Acre, Altaïr was tasked with the assassination of William of Montferrat, regent of the city and a lieutenant of Richard the Lionheart. Altaïr gathered information on his target in the city's rich district and learned that William was to meet with King Richard later that day. Approaching the city's fort as William and Richard quarreled outside it, Altaïr waited for the King to leave before scaling the fortress walls. He found William within, berating his men for their perceived failures; when William dismissed them, Altaïr struck from above, killing the Marquese.
- "Do you know what it feels like to determine another man's fate? And did you see the way the people cheered? The way they feared me? I was like a god! You'd have done the same if you could! Such power..."
- ―Majd Addin to Altaïr.[src]
In Jerusalem, Altaïr found his sixth target, Majd Addin: the city's illegitimate ruler, he personally acted as judge, jury, and executioner within its walls. During a public execution, Altaïr made his way through the crowd and onto the stage where Addin stood, killing him and saving an imprisoned Assassin. Fleeing from the guards, Altaïr returned to Masyaf.
Rewarded with another rank and additional equipment, Altaïr asked Al Mualim what the connection was between his targets. Al Mualim explained that all nine were members of the Knights Templar, and that the treasure Malik had liberated from Robert de Sable was a Piece of Eden, an artifact that held the power to control the minds of others. Content with this new information and agreeing the Templars could not be allowed to possess the Piece of Eden, Altaïr left for Acre and Damascus once again.
- Altaïr: "Freedom!? You worked to overthrow cities, control men's minds, murdered any who spoke against you!"
- Sibrand: "I followed my orders, believing in my cause, same as you."
- ―Altaïr and Sibrand.[src]
Altaïr's seventh target, Sibrand, was the Grand Master of the Knights Teutonic and paranoid with fear of the Assassin that had hunted down his Templar brethren. Reporting to the Acre Bureau and investigating, Altaïr traveled to the city's ports, where he witnessed Sibrand accusing a scholar of being an Assassin before killing him. Afterwards, Sibrand retired to his ship. Altaïr navigated the ports and docked boats, arriving on Sibrand's ship and striking him down.
- "Am I not unlike those precious books you seek to save? A source of knowledge with which you disagree? Yet you are rather quick to steal my life."
- ―Jubair al Hakim to Altaïr.[src]
In Damascus, Jubair al Hakim, Saladin's head scholar, had begun burning every book in the city in an attempt to wipe out the history of the land. After traveling to the Bureau, Altaïr gathered information, received his feather, and moved in for the kill. Jubair had many followers all dressed exactly as he was to hinder assassination attempts; however, Altaïr's previous investigations had revealed where Jubair would be and what he looked like. Before long, the scholar joined his Templar brothers in death, and Altaïr escaped the city guard to report his success to the Rafiq.
- "You have laid waste to our plans: first, the treasure, then our men. Control of the Holy Land slipped away, but then he saw an opportunity, to reclaim what has been stolen, to turn your victories to our advantage!"
- ―Maria to Altaïr.[src]
Returning to Masyaf, Altaïr had only one target remaining: the Grand Master of the Knights Templar himself. Altaïr discussed this task with Al Mualim, noting that the Piece of Eden was essentially temptation given form. Al Mualim explained that Robert did seek peace like the Assassins, though through force by using the Apple. Altaïr concluded that killing Robert was the only way to end the Templar's quest for control, and left for Jerusalem.
Robert had recently arrived in Jerusalem to attend the funeral of Majd Addin in a show of friendship between Saracen and Crusaders. Gathering intelligence for the strike, Altaïr presented this information to Malik before offering an apology for the harm caused by his actions at Solomon's Temple. Malik refused to accept it, saying that Altaïr was a changed man and he was not to be held responsible for the deeds of his former self, before sending him on his way.
Arriving at the cemetery, Altaïr hid among the crowd. However, he was quickly singled out and ambushed by the Templars, who had anticipated his arrival. Engaging the Templars and Saracen guards in battle, he fought them off one by one.
During this fray, Altaïr heard de Sable yelling orders at his men, and to his shock realized the voice was that of an English woman. Immediately curious, he defeated the decoy and removed her helm, but was still surprised to see the truth. His shock soon wore off when he learned that she was merely a distraction, meant to keep him at bay while de Sable traveled to Arsuf in the hopes of uniting the Saracens and Crusaders against the Assassins.
Altair spared her life, as she was not his target, and returned to the Bureau to reveal the deception to Malik. Malik suggested that it was best to return to Masyaf and enlighten Al Mualim to these developments, but Altaïr refused, claiming that they were running out of time to stop de Sable. He accused Malik of hiding behind the Creed and refusing to see what he did not wish to see, and suggested he search for answers in Solomon's Temple. With that, Altaïr departed the city and rode for Arsuf.
- "You know nothing of schemes. You are but a puppet. He betrayed you, boy, just as he betrayed me."
- ―Robert to Altaïr in his dying words, 1191.[src]
By the time Altaïr reached Arsuf, the engagement between Crusader and Saracen forces had already commenced. Fighting his way through the battlefield, Altaïr arrived at Richard's camp, and was accused of wishing to make an attempt on the king's life. Denying this, Altaïr informed the king of de Sable's treachery. Though Robert denied the accusations, the king was unconvinced.
Leaving the decision to God, Richard ordered a trial by combat between Altaïr and Robert to determine the truth. Altaïr fought Robert and his Templar elites, cutting them down and striking the Grand Master in the throat. With his dying breaths, de Sable revealed that Al Mualim was himself a Templar, and that Altaïr had been an unwitting pawn in his quest to hoard the Apple. Richard then congratulated the Assassin on his success, and the two briefly discussed their views on peace before Richard allowed Altaïr to leave Arsuf. Altaïr then hurried to Masyaf to discover the truth about his Master.
- Al Mualim: "So... the student returns."
- Altaïr: "I've never been one to run."
- Al Mualim: "Never been one to listen either."
- —Al Mualim and Altaïr at the Masyaf fortress.[src]
Arriving at Masyaf, Altaïr found the villagers in a trance, claiming Al Mualim had "led [them] to the light". Progressing up the hill towards the fortress, Altaïr encountered a group of hypnotized Assassins who, bent as they were to Al Mualim's will, attacked him. Left with no other option, Altaïr engaged them in battle, and managed to slay them all. However, another wave of Assassins entered the fray, heavily outnumbering and threatening to overwhelm him.
Fortunately, Malik and several unaffected Assassins arrived and aided Altaïr by throwing knives at his attackers, killing some and causing the rest to flee. Meeting with Malik, Altaïr requested that he distract the hypnotized Assassins outside the fortress, granting access to Al Mualim. Agreeing to his request, Malik and his men left Altaïr to the task of infiltrating the fortress.
Searching for his Master in the fortress garden referred to as "Paradise", Altaïr found himself caught and bound by the Apple's power. Seeing Al Mualim on a balcony overhead, he demanded an explanation. Al Mualim then revealed he had used the Apple to end the Crusades by eliminating its leaders. He had also taken control of the minds of the people to attain their obedience, ensuring absolute peace.
Al Mualim then used the power of the Apple to create illusions of the nine Templars Altaïr had killed. After defeating them, Altaïr was once again bound by the Apple's power and Al Mualim confronted him personally, creating multiple copies of himself to aid in his fight. Faced with this second illusion, Altaïr went on the defensive, striking them as they attacked one by one.
As Altaïr finally singled his Master out, Al Mualim bound him once again. He explained that though he sought peace like Robert, he wanted the Apple for himself, and thus the Templar needed to die. He also explained that he had tried to use the Apple to force Altaïr into obedience, but failed due to Altaïr's mental strength.
Altaïr and Al Mualim dueled for a final time. After a lengthy battle, Altaïr managed to defeat his Master and mortally wound him with his Hidden Blade. After Al Mualim uttered his last words, challenging Altaïr's strength of character and ability to destroy the Apple, the Piece of Eden rolled from his lifeless hand and activated.
Standing before a vast holographic image that projected from the orb, Altaïr was soon joined by Malik and his men, and together they observed the projection: a map of the world indicating the location of other Pieces of Eden.
- "Have you anything to teach us, or would you lead us all to ruin?"
- ―Altaïr regarding the Apple of Eden, 1191.[src]
Immediately after killing Al Mualim, Altaïr carried the former mentor's body through the fortress and past a shocked crowd. Suspicious that the Apple might somehow return Al Mualim to life, Altaïr decided to burn the body, enraging onlookers. Though he attempted to explain his actions, many of the Assassins, including Abbas, believed he had staged a coup to usurp the position of Mentor. Several attacked Altaïr in response, and in the confusion Abbas stole the Apple and fled.
When Abbas climbed the watchtower and used the Apple, it proved too much for him to control and began draining the life from him and several other Assassins. Altaïr quickly confronted Abbas, defeating him and reclaiming the Apple. As Abbas pleaded for forgiveness, Altaïr stared at the Apple, asking the artifact if it would sooner grant people knowledge or lead them to destruction.
In the aftermath of the skirmish, Altaïr stayed true to the Creed, ensuring that none of his rebelling brothers were killed or harmed. After subduing the rebels, he convinced them of Al Mualim's guilt and his own ability to lead the Order. Successful in his attempts, Altaïr won the hearts and minds of his Assassin brethren.
- "Our duty is to the people, not to custom. [...] We shall be made anew..."
- ―Altaïr, after becoming Mentor, 1191.[src]
After earning the loyalty, respect and faith of almost the entire Order, Altaïr desired to tell the tale of his life, and began writing his Codex. As Mentor, he started to drastically change the methods and rituals practiced by the Order, encouraging low-profile techniques to effectively combat their Templar adversaries.
As the Assassins' main goal was to protect the people, Altaïr found the ritual removal of Assassins' ring fingers "a false promise of paradise" and the prohibition against poison to be useless. He redesigned the Hidden Blade so that it would not require the removal of the finger to function, and could dispense poison. With the assistance of Malik as his right-hand man, Altaïr also designed new possible methods of assassination.
One month after Al Mualim's death, the Templars had consolidated in Acre harbor, and Altaïr concluded the Assassins should attack the port. However, when he and a squad of Assassins infiltrated the city, he found that the Templar forces had already evacuated. Searching the area for clues, he came upon the same woman who had posed as Robert de Sable at Majd Addin's funeral, speaking heatedly with two soldiers.
Eavesdropping on their conversation, Altaïr learned that the Templars had fled to Cyprus under the leadership of Armand Bouchart and that the woman, Maria, had fallen out of favor with them after Robert de Sable's death.
Once the soldiers left, he attempted to speak with her, only for her to attack him. Although she initially had the upper hand, Altaïr ultimately defeated her and questioned her at knife-point. He then took her hostage, forcing her to travel with him to Cyprus.
Temporarily abdicating control of the Order, saying that he "built this Brotherhood to last", Altaïr arrived in Limassol and established contact with Alexander, the leader of the Resistance against the Templars within the city. Alexander became Altaïr's primary ally in Cyprus, and also took Maria under his protection.
Altaïr met with Alexander at the local Resistance safe house, and the latter revealed that the Templars were based in Limassol Castle. Alexander advised Altaïr to kill the Captain of the castle guard, who would most likely be replaced by Osman, a Templar turncoat sympathetic to the Resistance. Altaïr was instructed to meet Osman after assassinating the captain, and tell him that "Alexander wishes his grandmother a joyous birthday."
Completing the task, Altaïr searched out Osman and gave him the password as instructed. Osman told Altaïr that he had heard of an archive located in Cyprus that interested the Templars, and that the ranking Templar in Limassol was Frederick the Red. Some time later, Osman was able to reduce the castle guard for a short time, allowing Altaïr to sneak in and slay Frederick.
Upon returning to the Resistance safe house, Altaïr found it surrounded by Templar soldiers and set aflame. He cut down the forces outside but found no sign of life within. Escaping the area, he soon reached the Limassol cathedral, where he found Armand Bouchart giving a speech about Frederick's death.
Altaïr watched as Bouchart threatened the Cypriots in an attempt to flush out Frederick's murderer, then killed Osman when the latter advised him to rethink his actions. Maria appeared shortly after, warning Bouchart of Altaïr's presence. However, the Templar refused to trust Maria, blaming her for de Sable's death, and ordered his guards to lock her up.
Altaïr managed to save Maria who, enraged at her situation, swore to kill him when she got the chance. Altaïr, however, noted that she would curry more favor with the Templars by bringing back the Apple rather than his head. Realizing his claim was sound, Maria relented and Altaïr escorted her to Limassol Port.
Upon speaking with Pasha, Altaïr learned that the Templars were rumored to be transporting artifacts to Kyrenia, and he infiltrated the last ship docked in the port to look into its shipping manifest. He then returned to Alexander, who told him to search out a Resistance contact named Barnabas once he reached the city. That information in mind, Altaïr and Maria departed for Kyrenia.
Finding shelter in the ship hold for the duration of their travel, Altaïr asked Maria about her life, learning of her childhood in England and previous marriage before she fled for the Crusades. He also tried to engage her in a discussion of ideology and philosophy to convince her to the Assassin way of thinking, but was met with little success.
As the ship arrived in Kyrenia, Altaïr used his Hidden Blade to cut Maria's bindings so she could climb out of the hold. Nearby pirates noticed, identified Altaïr as the wanted Assassin, and tried to take the two prisoner. Seeing an opportunity, Maria kicked Altaïr off the ladder and fled. Altaïr managed to evade the pirates and pursued Maria, eventually discovering her rescued from more hostiles by Resistance soldiers. He then became acquainted with the group's leader, Markos, who offered to keep an eye on Maria while Altaïr visited the Resistance safe house.
Altaïr traveled further into the city, eventually meeting Barnabas at the safe house. After Altaïr explained that he had come to eliminate Armand Bouchart, Barnabas claimed that the Grand Master was likely in Buffavento Castle, a Templar stronghold. He offered his assistance with entering the castle in exchange for the head of a Resistance traitor named Jonas.
Altaïr investigated the city and eventually found Jonas speaking with an associate. He intercepted Jonas in a secluded area, and the man claimed that "The Bull" was after Altaïr and Maria. Altaïr cut him down regardless, then returned to the harbor.
There he found Maria and Markos being assaulted by guards, but managed to save them in time. He then told Maria of the price on their heads and mentioned The Bull, a pseudonym she recognized as belonging to a man named Moloch. Altaïr, realizing they would be in danger if they traveled together, told Markos to take her and rendezvous with him at the Resistance safe house.
Altaïr met with Barnabas again, who explained that Jonas' death had caused riots in the city, and Moloch would likely use the situation to turn public opinion against the Resistance. After explaining that new Resistance members would soon arrive at the safe house, Altaïr left to suppress the riots.
Taking down Moloch's fanatics throughout Kyrenia, Altaïr managed to calm the riots and prevent disaster. He then returned to the safe house and spoke with Markos about the upheaval, confirming the death of Jonas to be the cause. Markos noted Jonas' good nature and Altaïr, dismayed, realized Barnabas was not to be trusted. He then turned his attention to locating and assassinating Moloch; when Maria revealed that the man resided in Kantara Castle, Altaïr departed to infiltrate the structure.
Scaling the castle walls while evading guard attention, Altaïr came upon a chapel and entered through the roof. After finding Moloch at a brazier, Altaïr stealthily approached and attempted to assassinate him. However, Moloch detected Altaïr's presence and deflected the attack, leading to a battle between the two. Using Moloch's large size to his advantage, Altaïr grabbed the man's own chain and strangled him with it. As he met his end, Moloch warned that his will would expand far beyond the ideals of both the Templars and the Assassins.
Evading Templar guards and Moloch's followers, Altaïr made his way to the top of the castle, where he found himself cornered. Facing the guards advancing upon him, he countered their attacks, throwing two of Moloch's fanatics over the edge of the castle in the process. He then performed a backwards Leap of Faith into a hay bale and returned to the safe house.
When Altaïr arrived, Markos informed him that the Templars had attacked in the Assassin's absence, and while Markos was hiding they had taken Maria and several Resistance members captive. Markos feared that one of the Templars' prisoners, the Dark Oracle, was responsible for revealing the safe house's location. However, Altaïr reasoned that it could have been Barnabas who betrayed them to the Templars instead. Shocked, Markos claimed that Barnabas had been executed the day before Altaïr's arrival in Kyrenia.
With the Resistance members' executions soon to take place, Markos asked that Altaïr save them. The Assassin agreed and scouted the city, dispatching guards and freeing several Resistance members. He then quickly returned to the safe house and reported to Markos, who explained that the remaining prisoners would be located in either the harbor or Buffavento Castle.
First going to the harbor, Altaïr spotted a prison guard and tailed the man to a secluded area, then swiftly neutralized him. Next, impersonating a drunk, he tricked another guard into revealing the location of the captured Resistance members and the key to their prison. Altaïr infiltrated the Templar outpost, retrieved the keys and freed the Resistance members, asking if a woman had accompanied them.
One of the prisoners confirmed that Maria had been captured with them, but was taken away by Moloch's son, Shalim, shortly after. Fending off attacking Templars at the harbor, Altaïr returned to the safe house.
Expecting that the real Barnabas had revealed too much about the Resistance under torture, Altaïr traveled to Buffavento Castle in order to confront the Dark Oracle. Infiltrating the building under cover of dusk, he made his way through the fortress' dungeons, stealthily killing any guards he encountered.
He eventually came upon Shalim and Armand Bouchart, and overheard Armand lecturing Shalim for allowing Maria to escape. As Shalim promised to find her, Armand presented him with a package and ordered that it be delivered to Alexander in Limassol. Altaïr, hearing this, was shocked and immediately guessed that Alexander was a Templar spy.
Making his way further into the castle, Altaïr dispatched the master interrogator and his guards to gain a key to the dungeon. He saw Bouchart exit the Oracle's cells, and entered after. With shrill screams, the Oracle and several insane prisoners aggressively attacked Altaïr, but he was able to defeat them and cornered the Oracle. He goaded her to speak, asking how she lost her sanity, but she only responded with twisted ramblings and claims of being an "instrument of God." Deciding to put her out of her misery, Altaïr ended her life with his blade and fled the fortress.
Altaïr returned to the safe house and questioned Markos about Shalim. Markos claimed Shalim was not as devout as his father, and arranged to meet Altaïr in the Market district to share any intelligence the Assassin was able to gather. Scouting the city for Shalim, Altaïr witnessed him abuse and rob civilians before traveling to a brothel and brutalizing a patron and courtesan outside. He then instructed his men to "have fun" and left them to abuse the city's civilians further.
Altaïr dispatched all of Shalim's henchmen throughout the districts before rendezvousing with Markos, informing him of Shalim's violent and brash actions. Markos mentioned Shalim's constant confessions at church and suggested Altaïr speak with one of the monks there. Meeting with a scholar, Altaïr asked about Shalim's attitude and the Templar Archive, to which the scholar suggested they talk in private. As he left, Altaïr witnessed Shalim addressing the people, uncharacteristically promising reward through hard work.
As Altaïr approached the scholar at their meeting place, a pallet of materials collapsed on the monk, killing him. Noticing a masked Templar above, Altaïr pursued him from the rooftops, but the killer managed to escape.
Returning to the safe house, Altaïr was next directed to the harbor, where Shalim would often idle when ships bearing consorts arrived. There, Altaïr noticed a palanquin of female dancers with Maria among them. Concluding the Templars would attempt to inspect the palanquin and recognize her, Altaïr dispatched observing soldiers as it traveled through the city. He dropped onto the roof of the palanquin as it passed through the city walls, then moved to the roof of a nearby building to observe Maria's intended destination.
The carriage came to a halt at the Saint Hilarion Castle, and Altaïr watched as Maria entered the building. Scaling the wall and killing any guards he encountered, he finally located Shalim in the latter's quarters. There he found Maria in the midst of an argument with the Templar, who had quickly become aggressive with her.
Altaïr entered the room, calling out to Shalim. However, the Templar revealed himself to be Shahar, Shalim's twin and the man who Altaïr saw speaking to the civilians. Shalim himself arrived at the scene, and the twins prepared to duel Altaïr and Maria. However, after killing the guards present, Maria fled and left the Assassin to fend for himself. After a long battle, Altaïr eventually proved the victor and killed both twins.
Upon Altaïr's return to the safe house, Markos joyfully informed him of the Templars' departure from Kyrenia. Altaïr concluded the Archive was elsewhere, as they would not leave it unprotected so willingly, and Markos told him the departing ships had sailed for Limassol. Altaïr bid Markos farewell, claiming he had served his country admirably, and left for Limassol.
Altaïr entered the new safe house in Limassol to find Alexander horrified by his presence and accusing him of being a traitor to the Resistance. Altaïr, who had been prepared to charge Alexander with the same, asked if he had recently received a package from the Templars. Alexander claimed that he had, and that it contained the head of Barnabas. After inspecting the package, Altaïr confirmed it belonged to a different man from the Barnabas he met, and that the real Barnabas must have been replaced with a Templar spy. Alexander noted that the Templars had used the same tricks in Limassol, turning Resistance members to the Templar cause through propaganda.
Dispatching Templar soldiers in order to prevent any further conflict, Altaïr noticed a Templar contact at the harbor consorting with pirates and Crusaders. Tailing him to an obscured area, Altaïr posed as a messenger for Bouchart to ask after the Grand Master's location. The contact claimed he was unable to answer, but noted that several of his men were murdered the previous night by a Templar sergeant. Asked where the sergeant was, the contact directed Altaïr to the Cathedral. There, the Assassin intercepted the sergeant, who confessed he should seek out a merchant named Demetris to find Bouchart.
Altaïr stealthily entered Demetris' home from the rooftop before making his presence known. Demetris admitted that he was responsible for the murder at the harbor, but before he could speak further he was killed by a throwing knife flung from above. Seeing the same Templar agent from Kyrenia, Altaïr attempted pursuit, but when he reached the roof the Templar was nowhere to be seen.
Returning to the safe house, Altaïr found it abandoned, and discovered a note from Alexander requesting his presence at the Limassol castle courtyard. Expecting a trap, he nonetheless proceeded to the courtyard, where he found the body of Alexander. Saddened by his friend's death, Altaïr looked to the balcony above to find the Templar agent sneering at him.
An enraged mob of citizens then entered the courtyard and called for Altaïr's life, believing he had killed Alexander. After failing to calm them by rational means, Altaïr reluctantly used the Apple on the group, telling them that Bouchart and the Templars were their true enemy. The civilians then left to rally their compatriots under the influence of the Apple. As the agent mocked Altaïr and threatened to steal the Piece of Eden, he was suddenly run through from behind and kicked from the balcony.
In his place stood Maria, who revealed that she and Altaïr were directly above the Templar Archive. As they prepared to enter a group of Templars attacked, and Maria fled inside while Altaïr fought them off. After dispatching them all, he entered the Archive, eliminating additional forces guarding the way forward.
Progressing deep into the structure, Altaïr witnessed a duel between Maria and Bouchart, ending in Maria being knocked unconscious. As Altaïr rushed to her side, Bouchart explained that because of Isaac Comnenus the Archive had almost been exposed to the public; however, the Templars were able to purchase Cyprus, already in their control, from King Richard to divert attention from their efforts. He also revealed that the Templars had moved the contents of the Archive while Altaïr was in Kyrenia, before drawing his sword and engaging the Assassin.
Both skilled swordsmen, Bouchart and Altaïr dueled with skill and speed. However, Altaïr eventually gained the upper hand, dodged Bouchart's attack and impaled him. In his dying moments, Bouchart credited Altaïr for his superior skill, but told the Assassin to keep the Apple close and assured him he would come to the same conclusions as the Templars in time.
With Bouchart dead, Altaïr went to Maria's aid as she regained consciousness. Suddenly, the Archive began to come apart as the Templars shelled the structure, planning to leave no evidence of where the Archive once stood. Working together, Altaïr and Maria were able to climb through the crumbling Archive and escape.
Walking near the harbor, Maria confirmed her retirement from the Templar Order, claiming she would head East rather than return to England. When she asked after his plans, Altaïr claimed he was "ruined by curiosity" and wished to travel the world, continuing to learn while expanding the Assassin Order. He also expressed a desire to use the Apple, acknowledging a warning from Maria but nonetheless believing the artifact could be used for good. Altaïr then said he would travel East as well, departing from Cyprus with Maria at his side.
After returning from Cyprus, Altaïr began to put the Apple to use, peering into it often and gaining extensive knowledge of the world. In 1195, he and Maria married in Limassol with Markos as a guest of honor, out of respect to the Cypriots who offered the island to the Assassins as a base. They then returned to Masyaf, where their first son Darim was born. Two years later, after a visit to Acre, the couple had a second son, Sef.
Altaïr eventually began to promote the ways of the Assassin Order by traveling to various cities and regions throughout the Old World. These journeys were largely successful, barring an ill-fated attempt to spread the Creed to Constantinople. In 1204, Altaïr traveled to the city, but found it besieged by Crusaders following a period of civil unrest. He returned to Masyaf in bitter disappointment.
Using the Apple "in small doses, and with a focused mind," Altaïr gained knowledge of a form of metal that was lighter and stronger than any yet known, and created an armor set from it. Seeing the danger that such invulnerability could pose, he erased the formula to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. He also used the Apple to help him redesign the Hidden Blade so that it could contain a device capable of launching small projectiles.
Contrary to what his former mentor strove for, Altaïr also allowed the members of the Order to express love for their children. While Al Mualim believed that love would make them weaker, Altaïr thought that it would render them more willing to make sacrifices for the right cause.
In 1217, Genghis Khan's advance from the east halted the Order's expansion, and Altaïr suspected Khan's progress was helped by a Piece of Eden. Thus, Altaïr, Maria and Darim, who became an accomplished crossbowman, left for Mongolia to assassinate the warlord while Sef was left behind to care for his wife and two daughters. In Altaïr's place, Malik was named the temporary head of the Order.
In Mongolia, Altaïr and company liaised with the Assassin Qulan Gal, and the four traveled to nearby Xing-ging in Xu province, which was being besieged by the Mongols. Darim found a vantage point to look over the Mongol encampment, disposing of any guards who might notice them, while Altaïr and Qulan Gal infiltrated the camp. However, Altaïr's stealth skills had deteriorated as he aged, and he was detected by a guard who wounded him before falling at the hand of Qulan Gal. Qulan Gal helped Altaïr escape the camp before rendezvousing with Darim, and together the younger men assassinated Khan. Their mission complete, the family returned home.
When they arrived in Masyaf in 1228, they were greeted by Swami, a former apprentice whom they disliked. Altaïr asked why they had not been greeted by Rauf as he had requested in his letters, and Swami claimed that Rauf had died of fever during their absence.
He led the three to the half-abandoned citadel, which had been stripped of the life it had under Altaïr's rule. Instead of being directed to the Master's tower as Altaïr had expected, they were guided to a smaller room in the right wing of the castle. When Maria asked after Sef, Swami responded that he had traveled to Alamut with his family. Swami further explained that Malik had been thrown into prison, and in the absence of a Mentor, a council had been formed to lead the Order with Abbas Sofian at its head. Altaïr and Maria, not trusting the situation, asked Darim to travel to Alamut, and he left to retrieve his brother.
The next day, Altaïr and Maria went to the Master's tower to meet the council, and found it consisted of the most weak-minded people in the Order. Altaïr told them of his family's travels in Mongolia, after which Abbas explained what had happened to Sef: he had been killed by Malik several weeks before, after Sef discovered that Malik intended to usurp the position of Mentor. Altaïr, furious, demanded that control of the Order be returned to him, as the statutes of the Brotherhood decreed it. Backed by the manipulated council, Abbas replied that they no longer did.
Altaïr and Maria returned to their residence, where they mourned the death of their son. Altaïr began reflecting on the pain he had caused Malik in his life, wondering if Malik truly hated him, and Maria scolded him for his wavering faith. She convinced Altaïr that Malik would never betray him, and he resolved to infiltrate the Masyaf dungeon and rescue his friend.
Evading patrolling and sleeping guards, Altaïr sneaked into the prison and found Malik in one of the cells, skinny to the bone, hair long and beard overgrown. Altaïr brought Malik back to their residence, where the man revealed that Abbas had staged a coup two years before, had Sef killed, and framed Malik for the murder. Malik regretted that he had not been a better leader, claiming that Altaïr would not have allowed any of this to happen. Altaïr and Maria then waited until he was asleep before leaving to confront Abbas.
Arriving in the fortress, the two faced Abbas, who was soon joined by Swami bearing a burlap sack. Abbas delivered the parcel to Altaïr, showing that it contained the head of Malik, whom Swami had executed after they left their quarters. Abbas asked Altaïr why he had infiltrated the prison, which caused the other Assassins present to doubt Altaïr's motives.
Abbas demanded that Altaïr surrender the Apple of Eden. To Maria's shock, Altaïr agreed, extracting the Apple from his robes. As Swami approached to take it, he whispered that he had told Sef before his execution that Altaïr had ordered his death. Altaïr became furious, and his rage was sent into the Apple; its power froze Swami and drove the man to self-injury.
Although Abbas ordered his men to attack Altaïr and claim the Apple, they were reluctant to do so, fearful of the artifact's power. Briefly tempted to use the Apple to destroy himself and all around him, Altaïr instead chose to flee, escaping Masyaf with Darim.
The two traveled to Alamut, where Altaïr lived with his son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren. Grieved by the loss of his wife and son and consumed by hatred of the Apple, Altaïr slipped into a depression that eventually drove away his daughter-in-law and granddaughters, who settled in Alexandria, Egypt. Also unable to bear his father's obsession, Darim left for France and England a year later to warn them of the emerging Mongol threat.
After several years, Altaïr regained himself and began studying the Apple again, using the knowledge he gleaned from it to create new designs, tactics and medicine. During his study, he discovered that the fortress of Alamut was built upon the remains of a First Civilization temple and went inside. There he unearthed a series of Memory Seals, ancient artifacts capable of recording genetic memory. He took six of these seals and recorded his most significant memories on five of them, keeping the final one for later use.
- "There will be no killing in the name of this old man."
- ―Altaïr shortly before his return as leader of the Levantine Assassins.[src]
In 1247, Altaïr left Alamut and began the journey back to Masyaf. Stopping to rest at a well near the village, he was woken by a local merchant named Mukhlis, who was promptly attacked by the infamous bandit Bayhas and two of his henchmen. Altaïr fought the bandits and managed to eliminate one with ease. However, when he faced the other two men, it became clear that his combat skills had deteriorated. Though Altaïr suffered serious wounds and was nearly overwhelmed, Mukhlis rushed to assist him and they were able to take down Bayhas before the last henchman fled on horseback.
Out of gratitude for Altaïr's assistance, Mukhlis brought the Assassin to his home in Masyaf, where his wife Aalia and daughter Nada tended to Altaïr's wounds. For two days Altaïr grew dangerously pale, but on the third day regained his color. Mukhlis, who had been speaking to the Assassin while he slept, mentioned that Master Altaïr would not have allowed the Order to crumble as Abbas did.
When Mukhlis mentioned his name, Altaïr woke and revealed his identity. The merchant told Altaïr about the state of the Order, saying the people of the village were heavily taxed and abused by the Assassins, who no longer offered them protection. Abbas had even given leave for Fahad, father of Bayhas, to enter the village and cut down his son's killer for a price.
The next day, Altaïr went into the village and began to set an example by living the true ways of the Order, moderating arguments, presenting new designs to tradesman, and treating the sick. As he traveled across the village, he noticed an Assassin following him, led the man to a secluded area and addressed him privately.
The Assassin said that he was one of few that remained loyal to the old codes and revealed himself to be Tazim Al-Sayf, Malik's son, who secretly went by his father's name. After embracing the man, Altaïr revealed that he planned to retake control of the Order to restore it to its former glory. He asked Tazim to rally all the Assassins that remained loyal to the old ways, and the next morning, a force of roughly twenty men met Altaïr outside the castle gates.
He explained that there was to be no killing; the Assassins should respect the Creed, and no Assassin, regardless of loyalty, should kill a Brother. One of Abbas' followers heard this and charged at Altaïr, hoping to kill him and stop the uprising. Despite his old age, Altaïr dodged the incoming attack and incapacitated the Assassin. Those loyal to Abbas, who fought without enthusiasm, were all easily captured or knocked unconscious.
A second wave arrived, including Assassin archers, who readied their bows at the ramparts. Altaïr hoped that they would be of good heart and stand down once they saw Altaïr's men did not intend to kill. As Abbas and Altaïr caught sight of one another, the archers lowered their bows and Abbas' Assassins surrendered, quickly noticing the turn of events.
The castle gates were opened by surrendering Assassins, and Altaïr and Abbas came face-to-face. Still filled with hatred for Altaïr, Abbas ordered his remaining men to attack, daring his rival to take back the Order without any loss of Assassin life.
As the final wave advanced, Altaïr raised his arm and pointed at Abbas, shooting him with the Hidden Gun. Abbas' forces surrendered, and Altaïr approached the man in his final moments. With his last words, Abbas said that he still would not believe what Altaïr had said about his father, and that he would find the truth in the afterlife.
With Abbas' death, Altaïr was Mentor once again. Two days later, Fahad arrived with his force to take revenge for his son. However, Altaïr persuaded him to stand down, saying that they would only cause the downfall of their respective communities should their forces fight one another.
- Altaïr: "Be safe and stay alert."
- Niccolò Polo: "Likewise, Master. Take care of yourself."
- Altaïr: "I'll consider it."
- —Altaïr's and Niccolò Polo's last words to each other, 1257.[src]
In the decade that followed his reclamation of the Order, Altaïr began building a library underneath the Masyaf fortress, where he stored thousands of books containing knowledge he had gained from the Apple. The five seals he had recorded while residing in Alamut were used as keys for this library. After it was completed, Altaïr sent Darim to invite the Venetian explorers Niccolò and Maffeo Polo to Masyaf. When they arrived, Altaïr told Niccolò stories about his life, which Niccolò would later pass on to his son, Marco, in the form of a journal.
Additionally, Altaïr began to disperse the Order, stating that it should be spread throughout the world rather than contained in Masyaf. He intended to have Assassin Guilds created in new countries, a task for which he believed the Polos could be instrumental. With Darim's assistance, he also had his books removed from the Masyaf library, giving some to the Polos and sending the remainder to Alexandria.
In late 1257, Masyaf came under siege by Mongols, and Niccolò and Maffeo were forced to leave. Before they did, Altaïr gave his Codex to the explorers, relying on them to spread the teachings of the Assassin Order. Altaïr then escorted the two out of Masyaf, fighting off the Mongols with his Apple of Eden. Standing in front of Masyaf's gates, Altaïr handed Niccolò five of the six Memory Seals he had previously recorded, asking that they be hidden so they would not fall into the wrong hands. While the brothers lost the Codex to the Mongols on their way home, they were able to successfully hide the seals throughout Constantinople.
Following their departure, Altaïr returned to Masyaf's castle and, once he was sure it had been evacuated, met with his son outside the library. Initially confused about his father's actions, Darim eventually deduced that the library was meant to be a vault; Altaïr confirmed this conclusion, and revealed that he intended to seal both the Apple and himself inside.
Saying farewell to his son, Altaïr entered and locked the library before hiding the Apple behind a far wall. He then seated himself at a chair in the center of library, imprinting a memory onto his sixth and final seal before passing away.
- "All that is good in me, began with you, father."
- ―Darim to his father before leaving Masyaf, 1257.[src]
In 1269, Altaïr's Codex passed into the hands of Marco Polo, who recovered it from Kublai Khan. The Templars hired a contingent of pirates to retrieve it from the Assassin Dante Alighieri, who was transporting it from Venice to Spain at the time. Dante was escorted by his apprentice, a man named Domenico, who had only recently been made aware of his Assassin heritage. As the pirates attacked, Domenico broke apart the Codex and hid it, though he was too late to save the lives of his Master and wife.
Eventually, Domenico and his son took the name Auditore and constructed the Villa Auditore in Monteriggioni. Beneath the villa they built the Sanctuary, where they stored the unbreakable armor of Altaïr. This armor later passed to one of Domenico's descendants: the Assassin Ezio Auditore da Firenze.
Ezio would use Altaïr's Codex to construct weapons with the help of Leonardo da Vinci and locate the hidden Vatican Vault. After the defeat of the Templars in Rome, Ezio traveled to Masyaf to learn more about the Order, but found the fortress overrun by Templars. Traveling to Constantinople, he searched for the seals left behind by Altaïr, gaining access to the Masyaf library and ultimately communicating with his and Altaïr's mutual descendant, Desmond Miles.
Although Ezio was able to locate Altaïr's hidden Apple, he chose to leave it be, claiming that he had "seen enough for one life". The Apple was eventually removed from the library and next seen in the hands of Queen Elizabeth I of England some time after she ascended to the throne in 1558.
In 2012, the Templar organization Abstergo Industries kidnapped Desmond Miles as "Subject 17" of the Animus Project. Desmond was forced to relive the genetic memories of Altaïr to find the map noting locations of Pieces of Eden throughout the world, seen by Altaïr after his final confrontation with Al Mualim. This information in hand, they intended to search out the Pieces of Eden and create a "New World Order".
Following his escape from Abstergo Industries, Desmond, suffering from the Bleeding Effect, relived one of Altaïr's memories while outside the Animus. During the memory, Altaïr chased a hooded figure to the top of the highest tower in the Acre Citadel, where she revealed herself to be Maria. After they shared an intimate moment, Desmond was shocked to find his consciousness separating from Altaïr and focusing on Maria. He had witnessed the conception of his ancestor, Sef Ibn-La'Ahad, further establishing the nature of genetic memory.
After entering a comatose state some time later, Desmond was placed in the Animus 2.03 in the hope of repairing his splintered subconscious. While there, he searched for a specific memory that connected himself, Altaïr and Ezio. Altaïr's Apple and Ezio's acknowledgment of the future in the Masyaf library enabled Desmond to enter a Synch Nexus and learn the location of the Grand Temple from Jupiter, a member of the First Civilization.
- Malik: "I do not accept your apology."
- Altaïr: "I understand."
- Malik: "No, you don't. I do not accept your apology, because you are not the same man who went with me into Solomon's Temple."
- —Altaïr and Malik shortly before the funeral of Majd Addin, 1191.[src]
Altaïr was raised at the Assassin fortress at Masyaf and possessed incredible skills, quickly rising through the ranks of the Order. Even in his early life as an Assassin, he was one of the most respected and feared in the Brotherhood, second only to its leader, Al Mualim. A cold and objective person, Altaïr fully devoted himself to whatever cause he chose to pursue. He also had a rebellious nature, and was often impetuous, demanding, arrogant, and impatient. However, after failing at Solomon's Temple and commencing the hunt for the nine, Altaïr began listening to the final words of his targets and pondering their justifications for their deeds.
As his mission progressed, his attitude changed, and he began to observe connections between his targets while drawing more effectively on the teachings of the Order. Eventually, he became a calm, driven and wise man, although he still occasionally let anger get the best of him.
Smart and dedicated, Altaïr was passionate about the pursuit of knowledge, and his determination and leadership ensured the survival of the Order. He understood that the new world would have no place for the then-current ways of the Assassins and changed their practices accordingly. He was believed to have done more for the Order as Mentor than any before him, and his influence is still felt into the modern age.
Altaïr was a Master Assassin, capable of extraordinary acrobatic feats and versed in the application of deadly arts. Trained extensively, he was able to overcome any obstacle, human or terrain, climb the tallest towers and jump from the highest ledges without a hint of fear.
Like other Assassins, he was also trained in stealth assassination techniques, hand-to-hand and weapons combat, and blade throwing. His noncombat skills included climbing, urban acrobatics, eavesdropping, interrogation, and pickpocketing. He also had extensive knowledge of Holy Land politics and religion, which helped him better understand his opponents. According to Niccolò Polo, at the age of 92 Altaïr retained the same strength, stamina and skill he had in his youth, possibly due to renewed training when he reclaimed the title of Mentor.
Altaïr also possessed Eagle Vision, a "sixth sense" or intuition that allowed him to see a person's true intentions. Due to this gift, Altaïr had heightened intuitive abilities and senses, along with his sharpened fighting skills. Altaïr's skills made him one of the most deadly and adept Assassins in the Order's history, and they were legendary even after his death.
Altaïr was also a skilled artist, and his Codex was heavily illustrated. In it he drew blueprints for Hidden Blade modifications; manuals for assassination techniques; maps; and even a detailed sketch of his wife, Maria, bordered with hand-drawn flowers.
As a Master Assassin, Altaïr wore long white robes with a red sash, leather armor, and sheaths to store his weaponry and pouches. His arsenal was comprised of a longsword, a short blade, throwing knives, and the iconic Hidden Blade. At 92, Altaïr wore long white robes with patterns imprinted on them and an emerald cape. Despite his age, Altaïr still continued to wield two Hidden Blades, though he carried no other weapon.
While Altaïr had some unexceptional physical relationships in his youth, his earliest known love interest was Adha, the Chalice. Her death consumed him with hatred, and he hunted down and killed all those responsible for her demise. However, these acts brought him no joy or satisfaction, and he was left heavily scarred by her memory. He wrote in his Codex that he felt he would never have the same feelings for any other woman; however, the love he later felt for Maria Thorpe proved him wrong.
Altaïr first met Maria when she was serving as a decoy for Robert de Sable at the funeral of Majd Addin. Initially fooled by her disguise, he quickly identified her as a woman by the sound of her voice, and took an immediate interest in her. Maria did not share his early feelings, attempting to kill him when they met again in Acre, and their relationship did not improve for some time.
However, over the course of their journey together they fostered a mutual respect, particularly after Maria learned the truth of the Templar cause. While Altaïr was enraptured by Maria's skill and drive, she found his acceptance of her masculine qualities liberating. In his Codex, Altaïr revealed that they were eventually married and had two sons, Darim and Sef Ibn-La'Ahad. They remained constant companions until Maria's death in 1228, after which Altaïr still looked to her memory for guidance.
- Altaïr's American accent in Assassin's Creed was an intentional design choice. Philip Shahbaz stated in an interview that Altaïr was originally meant to have a Middle Eastern accent, but the voice directors thought Shahbaz had an "awesome-sounding voice". 
- Altaïr was seen wielding a crossbow in the E3 trailer for the original Assassin's Creed, though the weapon did not appear until Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. Altaïr used the weapon in the same manner Ezio did, by holding it one-handed and firing single bolts in a short span of time.
- In promotional artwork, Altaïr wore a glove only on his left hand. In the game, he wore gloves on both hands.
- Lucy Stillman once mentioned an error with the Animus 1.28 software which caused ancestors to drown, explaining Altaïr's inability to swim.
Assassin's Creed Bloodlines
- Though Altaïr did not have a sheath for his short blade on his back, he would draw and sheathe his dagger as though he did.
Assassin's Creed II
- During Desmond's vision of the chase between Altaïr and Maria, Altaïr would not drown should he fall into the sea surrounding the Acre citadel.
- During the vision, Altaïr could only kill Templars using his sword, and only use his Hidden Blade for aerial and ledge assassinations.
- Altaïr also fought in a similar manner to Ezio, and Templars would only react to him by pushing him away, rather than attacking.
- Altaïr, Ezio and Desmond shared exactly the same face in Assassin's Creed II, except for the beard that Ezio grew when he became older, along with other minor variations.
- Altaïr's robes were available as an outfit for Ezio to wear for 20 Uplay points.
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
- In 2012, Desmond could interact with the statue of Altaïr in the Monteriggioni sanctuary, saying "Hey, wassa-matta-you, Altaïr?" Rebecca responded that it was "racist" for him to refer to the Assassin that way.
- If Desmond interacted with the statue once more, he would say the same line with no response from Rebecca.
- Altaïr's robes were available as an outfit for Ezio for 20 Uplay points.
Assassin's Creed: Revelations
- Although Altaïr was born in 1165, he was noted as being 25 years old in 1191 in the game manual.
- Revelations was the only installment where Altaïr was seen with his hood down, during his final moments with his son, Darim.
- Altaïr was able to air and ledge assassinate in an early memory contained within one of the seals, though he did not officially record those techniques until later in his life. Developers Darby McDevitt and Falko Poiker confirmed that he was able perform these techniques due to the dangerous situation he was placed in. 
- As with Assassin's Creed II and Brotherhood, a leather sheath for a short blade could be seen on Altaïr's back, despite the fact that he did not have the appropriate weapon.
- One of Altaïr's descendants, Iskender, was the Mentor of the Egyptian Assassins in Alexandria while Ezio was in Constantinople.
- A glitch exists in the memories "The Mentor's Keeper" and "The Mentor's Wake" that makes Altaïr appear as he did in "A New Regime".
- Another glitch during these memories causes Altaïr's low profile stance to slowly shift into high profile when standing still, even if the high profile button is not held down.
- Altaïr's robes were available as an outfit for Ezio, and could be obtained as a pre-order bonus or through purchasing the Lost Archive DLC.
Assassin's Creed III
- Altaïr's robes from Revelations were available as an outfit for Connor, and could be unlocked by attaining full synchronization in all DNA sequences.
- Altaïr was six feet tall and weighed 170 pounds.
- Altaïr voice changed four times throughout the games. His voice in Assassin's Creed: Altaïr's Chronicles sounded slightly higher than that of the original Assassin's Creed while maintaining the same accent. He had a Middle Eastern accent in both Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines and Assassin's Creed: Revelations, with a distinct voice for each.
- Altaïr is named after the brightest star in the constellation Aquila, known as "The Eagle." The star was originally named from the phrase النسر الطائر, or 'the flying eagle'. The name means 'the flyer'.
- There are different pronunciations of the name "Altaïr." In Arabic, it is pronounced "Al-tai-ear" or "Al-ta-'ir," with a subtle pronunciation of the "r". Inversely, Desmond pronounced the Assassin's name as "Al-ta-ear", with a clearer "r" at the end and a harder "t."
- In Assassin's Creed II Desmond pronounced it as "Al-tai-air."
- Strictly, due to Arabic grammar, the name "Altaïr" would normally be pronounced as "At-air" with no "l". 
- Altaïr appeared as a guest character in Ubisoft's Academy of Champions: Soccer, along with several other characters that they had created.
- Altaïr's robes could be unlocked as a skin in the 2008 Ubisoft game Prince of Persia.
- Altaïr's robes could be bought in the Alter Ego store on PlayStation Home for both male and female avatars.
- In the game The Saboteur, there was a car named Altaïr, nicknamed "The Flying Eagle".
- In the game Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Altaïr's outfit was available for use by Solid Snake after unlocking the "Assassin" emblem or by entering a password.