- "History may brand me traitor, rebel, or renegade. But in the end, it doesn't matter how history remembers me. What matters, is that I followed my own creed."
- ―Shay Cormac, describing his transition from Assassin to Templar and the stigma it carried.[src]
Formerly a member of the Colonial branch of the Assassin Brotherhood, Shay devoted his Templar career to hunting down his prior associates. Aboard his ship, the Morrigan, Shay's travels brought him to New York and the Appalachian Mountains, among other locations.
Born to Irish immigrants, Shay enlisted in the army and later, after the passing of his father, he was recruited into the Assassin Brotherhood by his childhood friend, Liam O'Brien. For a time, Shay served the Assassins dutifully, but after a mission he undertook resulted in the death of innocents and the desolation of a city, his belief in the order was severely shaken. As a result of his disillusionment, the Assassins turned their back on Shay and attempted to kill him.
Shay ultimately survived this attack and was nursed back to health by a family, who gave him a new set of robes that had belonged to their son: the robes of a Templar. As Shay worked to repay the family for saving his life, he found himself beginning to view the Templars' ideals as a better path than that of the Assassins. Shay was soon set on a path of vengeance against his former brothers, and committed himself to ridding the American colonies of their presence.
Shay was originally a brash young man. He did not take his role as an Assassin seriously, instead being frivolous; not because he did not believe in the cause, but because he was young and unwise. However, after a traumatic event, Shay became a somber, dedicated character. He rethought his whole philosophy and his allegiance to the Assassins, realizing that the Templars' goals and methods were more in line with his own beliefs; this fervor caused him to pursue his former brothers-in-arms for something he believed was the better path.
Shay appeared to be a skilled captain, adept at navigating the Morrigan through the icy waters of the North Atlantic, and like other Assassins before him, he was a capable freerunner. Shay was also shown to be a skilled swordsman, dual-wielding weapons with great efficiency.
Among his arsenal of weapons, Shay counted his Hidden Blades, a sword and parrying dagger, two flintlock pistols, rope darts and an air rifle. To protect himself from smoke bombs and various gases, Shay usually carried a gas mask.
- Shay's name is the anglicized form of the Gaelic Séaghdha, which means "hawk". His middle name comes from the Latin Patricius, meaning "nobleman". His family name is a conjoined term; mac is Gaelic for "son of", while cor has been interpreted as either "charioteer" or "raven".
- Shay's attire – the style worn by Templars of the time – bore similarities to the Templar armor obtained by Edward Kenway during the latter's time in the West Indies.
- Shay's Templar outfit is adorned with several symbols, including Celtic knots, Yggdrasil, triquetras, and the Templar insignia.
- Shay was the fifth known Templar to perform the Leap of Faith, the others being Francesco de' Pazzi, Vali cel Tradat, Haytham Kenway and Daniel Cross.
- Shay is the second playable Templar with Eagle Vision in the Assassin's Creed series' single player, the first being Haytham Kenway.