- "I don't know who or what you are, but claiming what's not yours is a crime I do not take lightly."
- ―Jacques to an Assassin, 1785
Jacques Croix was a French blacksmith who lived during the French Revolution. He was able to maintain his job selling many weapons across France, and was eventually brought to the attention of the Saint Vierge group and became its chief weapons producer.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Early life [edit | edit source]
Childhood[edit | edit source]
Born and raised in the poor districts of Marseille, Jacques Croix was the second child of a blacksmith Philippe and his Louise – his sibling was stillborn, and buried.
Jacques Croix had a rough childhood, with his father showing Jacques what it meant to be a blacksmith. The little boy was taken into the smithy already at the age of five, and his was a bit sloppy. Every day Jacques was in the smithy, he was being wounded by the warm metal. When Jacques did something wrong, Philippe would whip him. At the beginning, Louise tried to take him in defense, stating Jacques was only a child. Philippe would beat her up however – one time he even used a glowing fire iron, leaving burns on her body.
All the years with abuse went to a top some time after Louise had left the family. Jacques – as a 15-year-old – was in the bed when his father suddenly went out. Afraid for the consequences that would follow if he ran off, Jacques stayed in his bedroom. The following day, he was awaken by his father. He had been on the kitchen the whole night, he told, making Jacques a meat-pie. Jacques said he did not knew his father could cook, and the man stated that he had to try now as his wife were gone – and left the room. Jacques enjoyed the pie, until he felt a hard bite. He took it out of his mouth, thinking it would be something burnt, but instead he held a toe …
Leaving Marseille[edit | edit source]
At the age of 17, Jacques was in the smithy – waiting for his father to enter the room. He had taken some time on the breakfast, making his father the last meal he would ever eat. Jacques had already made fire and put the fire iron inside of it. When his father came, he was to be brought an unexpected peace. Jacques heard footsteps from the streets, and a woman entered. She was dressed as a merchant, stating that she had a list for her husband, an order she had given last week. At the same time, Philippe entered the room. He saw the woman and said that he would show her the stuff she needed. The woman closed the door to the street and came with Philippe. Jacques was by the fireplace when his father led the woman to her order. When he saw that Jacques was just standing there, he lifted his hand to slap his son. The hit sent Jacques a few steps away. Without thinking, Jacques grabbed the fire iron from the fireplace and swung it to his father's skull. The woman screamed, and the young Jacques placed the fire iron in her eye, boring through her skull. Jacques' father was quick back on his feet, grabbing the fire iron and lifting it to his son. Jacques avoided the blow, and his father fell forward. Jacques understood this was his chance. He went behind his father and pushed him into the fire, holding his head in the flames. Philippe screamed, but Jacques did not move. He knew that if he stopped now, he would be killed on the spot by his father.
Even when Philippe's body stopped moving, Jacques took the fire iron and bored it through Philippe's back, and through the heart. He could not stay i Marseille. He had to flee. Jacques brought a few things, and began to walk out of the city. Where would he go? Montpellier? Albi? Gap? He decided: Paris. In the capital, no one would find him – how could they do that. How could the mayor of Marseille find him in the capital itself? He began to walk for Paris.
After nearly two weeks, Jacques could see the city-walls of Paris.
Upon Jacques' arrival in Paris, he found himself a job in the southern part of the city. His father had not been a good role model in the occupation of blacksmiths, but Jacques knew enough to be an apprentice in the shop of a local blacksmith. After living working for his master, he managed to take the craft certificate. He was now a full learned blacksmith, but his master gave him an offer. If Jacques would stay and work with him, he would inherit the establishment with the master's death – since he had no relatives who could inherit. Jacques accepted. After six years, the man died, and Jacques inherited the establishment and the money. With his money, Jacques began to buy metal to create weapons he sold to the French Army.
Templar-affaires[edit | edit source]
Attention[edit | edit source]
On 6 February 1781, when Jacques was making a rapier for a customer, someone he never expected entered the establishment. The one who entered was a man dressed in a brown coat and a cane. His coat was filled with buttons of gold, and patterns with silver-thread. He had a handkerchief in front of his mouth – undoubtedly he felt it was stinking in this poor district. What he wanted here however? Jacques lay down what he worked on and walked up to the man. The nobleman presented himself as monsieur Bourienne, and Jacques asked what he could do for him. The man seemed shocked for a moment – probably because he thought everyone would've heard of him – but he quickly regained his composure. He said that he wanted Jacques to create weapons for some associates. Jacques accepted, since the price for his services would be enough to buy three more smithies, with more. Bourienne left, stating that he would send one of his associates to retrieve the weapons in three months. At that time, Jacques was to be done with his list. The nobleman left the building, taking his carriage back to the rich districts – leaving Jacques to just accept.
Jacques spent every day on this task handed to him by Bourienne. He finished his last customers' work, but he did it in short time. After getting paid, his time was all about the task from Bourienne. Jacques worked from the sun was rising, until it went down. It was summer, so long days waited for three months. He aimed for the price, and refused to let it go.
Three months later, Jacques' list of weapons was fulfilled: 30 swords – sabers and rapiers – 20 spears and 40 daggers. Jacques was afraid that someone would blame him for establishing a rebellion, but just before someone felt he was up to something, a group of men – led by a woman – entered the smithy. She was dressed in a long, pink coat and long boots; in the right hand she held a fan with blades. The woman presented herself as LaVenduz, Bourienne's associates. She had come to retrieve the weapons. Jacques fetched them and gave them to her. LaVenduz gave the weapons to the men that had come along with her. She then turned to Jacques, stating: "Here is your money." She tossed a purse full of money to Jacques. LaVenduz sent the men out of the building, walking up to Jacques. She said it was remarkable how he followed orders blindly. LaVenduz asked how he would feel if he could support his employer with weapons. In exchange, he would be given a shop and an appartement in the district of Le Marais. Jacques accepted the offer: creating weapons in exchange for a better place to live.
Joining the Templars[edit | edit source]
After serving LaVenduz and Bourienne for four years, he was asked to travel to Calais. He was to collect some goods for Bourienne. Jacques accepted the task, and with a little group of radical-thinking men, Jacques traveled to the city of Calais. They had been given a carriage, including three carts, for the trip – the carriage for themselves, the carts for the goods.
Arriving in the city, the men went to the docks. There, the men was greeted by a woman who called herself Murat. The woman was accompanied by an old and terrified man named Leclerc. The two approached Jacques, questioning who he was – and who was his boss. The man explained that he had come to Calais on orders from Marguerite LaVenduz and monsieur Bourienne. Murat seemed convinced, and brought Jacques and his fellowmen to the storehouse that belonged to Bourienne. Murat and Leclerc pointed out the goods: coffee, whisky, sugar, etc. The men began to carry the goods, but Murat stopped Jacques on the way out. She gave him something round, packed in a cloth. It was quite heavy, and Jacques asked what it was. Murat explained that it was an apple – Bourienne would understand what it meant. Jacques and his men left the building, leaving Murat and Leclerc. However, Jacques had just walked a few steps away when a man in white robes and a hood jumped down from the roofs and stabbed two of Jacques' henchmen. The longshoremen yelled in panic. Murat heard it and ran to the place – Leclerc, as the coward he was, ran off.
The man in hood walked up to Jacques Croix with a sword in his left hand, holding forward an open hand. "Hand it over, Templar." Jacques did not understand, and the man repeated the statement. Jacques still did not understand, other than the man wanted to kill him if he did not handed it over. However, just in time, Murat arrived and pulled out her sword. The man was about to attack Jacques, but changed his focus to the attacking woman. Jacques put the apple in his pocket, looked around and. He found a warhammer and grabbed it. Murat fought the attacker, but he soon managed to give her a wound – he stabbed her fighting arm. Murat screamed in vain, but took a pistol to fire with her left one. The man grabbed her arm just as she was going to fire. He grabbed her pistol and threw it away, shoving her to the ground. He was going to slice her stomach, but was stopped by the warhammer. The man flew through the air, but Jacques was quick on his feet. Jacques screamed: "I don't know who or what you are, but claiming what's not yours is a crime I do not take lightly." The man swung the sword a few times before pointing it on Jacques. "En garde." The blacksmith ran towards the man with a scream, but the man avoided it – but he managed to give Jacques a wound with a blade from his wrist. Jacques took himself to the wound, but thought instead: If I could kill my father when I was 17, I can bring down this imbesil. Jacques saw a dagger from the fallen henchman. Jacques pretended to fall down in front of his fellowman, and the man behind him laughed. Jacques grabbed the dagger. He rose from the ground. He turned around. He threw the dagger. The man was surprised and did not manage to avoid it. The dagger made its way into the stomach of the man. He fell to the ground, screaming. Murat rose from the ground, taking her sword. She looked on Jacques: "Would you like to end the job with my blade?" Jacques looked down on his warhammer. "No." He walked up to the man. He lost blood fast, and Jacques felt bad for him for a moment. Jacques took the apple from his pocket. "You looked for this? Well, I think we both know that you will never get your hands on it." Jacques gave the apple to Murat, and lifted the warhammer over his head with both hands. The man below him screamed for mercy. Jacques did not care of it. He dropped the warhammer.
After the henchmen had get rid of the body, Murat asked Jacques: "You guarded the Apple well from the Assassin." Jacques asked who an Assassin and a Templar was – since he had been called it. Murat explained that the Assassin Order was a group of individuals seeking to overthrow the balance of peace in the world, removing men and women who tried to create peace. The Templars' task was to make sure the world was to be purged for Assassins. They wanted to used certain artifacts for this purpose, such as this apple. Jacques stated that killing people because they belived in something else than themselves was a crime, but Murat interpreted the statement wrong. She thought he meant that it was a crime for the Assassins to belive in their cause. Later that day, Jacques was being inducted to the Templar Order – a ceremony the Templar Shamar al-Djin was the overseer of, with Joséph Iscariotte and Marguerite Murat as witnesses.
Stationed in the Saint Vierge [edit | edit source]
At the outbreak of the French Revolution, Jacques was contacted by LaVenduz. During his time in the Order, he had expressed his dissatisfaction for the Order. LaVenduz told that she understood and agreed in his anger, and that she had an offer for him. She told that she had – with the help of the Apple – managed to summon a great amount of men to work for the Templar Order. By doing this, the Templars now had soldiers known as Extremists – however, the Luxembourg fighters needed them most. Jacques said he did not understood, so she explained: "Louis d'Orléans and Grand Master Germain think they can control Paris behind the scenes. This is just a fantasy; control the people, control the revolt. So, the Fighters have agreed on aiding me in my hunt." Jacques still did not understood, so LaVenduz continued: "You are well-informed of the Templars' goal to obtain artifacts. However, I have been given a vision. A voice from the Grey have told me that the Templars and the Assassins are nothing but mere despots. They're narrow-minded, but my voice has told me what we need to reshape the humanity. Men and women are corrupt, and my voice will bring the world as it's meant to be: the humans living happily under one being – not a king, not a god, something greater." Jacques asked what Marguerite wanted him to do, and she answered that she wanted him to supply the Order with weapons – as he always did. However, she knew that to summon this one being, they needed the Jewel of Eden – she thought. So, in addition to still serve the Templars – mostly because they did not wanted to be given unwanted attention – Jacques would spend his time on locating the vault. Jacques asked what he would be given in exchange, and LaVenduz answered: "Justice for your wrong-doings, happiness and peace." Jacques knew that it was one thing he craved for: peace and justice. If he wanted this, he needed to follow Marguerite.
Jacques was not the first to be inducted to Marguerite's fold. Fred Workhouse and Alphonse Saint-Just had just entered – but Fred was the one who believed blindly in the way of thinking, and therefore the second-in-command. After being inducted into the fold of the Saint Vierge, Jacques was stationed in the Le Marais district, near the Bastille. He still owned his smithy where he created the weapons, but in the Bastille he thought he could find the vault LaVenduz needed. From his base of operations, Jacques felt safe, and with the help of LF-lieutenant Charles Benedetto, Jacques controlled the streets in his borough. While Benedetto would bring rebellion to the streets, Jacques would try to locate the vault.
The Simons[edit | edit source]
Jacques had no success in finding the vault, however, when a member of the Saint Vierge took interest in a merchant and warned Louis d'Orléans, Jacques was tasked to find the merchant and bring him to the Bastille. Bourienne was set to make sure the task's justice would be served. So he did. When Olivier came to Paris for a transaction in September 1790, Bourienne warned Jacques and Benedetto. The two Templars summoned members of the LF and attacked the Simons. Bourienne was present also, but observed from a distance. Jacques and Benedetto took the old merchant to the Bastille while two women fought off some soldiers before they decided to flee. Bourienne decided to follow the women, finding their hideout.
Meanwhile, Jacques and Benedetto retreated to the Bastille. The streets were full of men and women in full anger. Poor people had infiltrated the northeastern part of Paris, and now the streets filled with rallied to fight the upper class – no one cared for two people bringing a merchant from one place to another with the latter screaming. Olivier asked why he was taken, but the Templars did not respond to his question. They were soon accompanied by some LF-defenders who recognized Jacques and Benedetto, and they cleared the way all the way to the Bastille. Olivier screamed and begged the citizens outside of the prison to let him go, stating that he was innocent. The men and women laughed of him, calling him a royalist and then spitting on him. The brutes told the crowd to knock it off, and clear the path – and so they did. Jacques and Bernadotte brought Olivier to one of the prison cells in the towers. No one would see to him, and Jacques gave the order that Olivier would not be contacted for the following week, nothing food, only a bucket of water – and then only on the nights.
Sometime after the arrest of Olivier, Jacques was contacted by Bourienne. The two discussed: Olivier was a strong Assassin ally. He was their eyes and ears in the harbors of Le Havre and Calais. After the Assassins managed to retake Calais, the Templars now had to seek other ways to get income from around the globe. Olivier had these contacts; in order to not be brought to attention of Assassin-affiliated attorneys, Jacques was to execute the transers of Olivier's transactions and contacts slowly. Jacques asked how he could do this, and Bourienne answered that Jacques would come up with something. "Also," Bourienne added, "I've located the estate of the Simons. Benedetto'll use his acolytes to create riots, meanwhile he will attack the house and rob it. If there is something of value, he will bring to the Arsenal. My agent there will take care of it. Also, if you come up with something from Olivier, contact my agent." Jacques asked what his name was, and Bourienne answered: "He is a she, and her name is Constance Dufour. She has control of my storage here in the city." Bourienne left.
Jacques did as he was told, and he indeed found a method to make Olivier transer the transactions to Bourienne and his agent in the Arsenal. Jacques was a blacksmith who created weapons, and making instruments of torture was a hobby …
16th November, Jacques learned that Charles Benedetto was killed during an attack on the Simon-estate in the Le Marais-district. Jacques warned Bourienne and Dufour – telling them that Jacques' position was weak at this point. Including the death of Benedetto, Jacques knew that Benedetto's acolytes – six in total – were all killed by hooded figures. Charles had used small groups when attacking the estate, but this time he had used a large amount of soldiers – yet had some Assassins managed to kill the soldiers and Benedetto. Bourienne answered that Olivier was still valuable for the Templars, and ordered that he was to be sent to the Arsenal. Dufour answered that she would keep him as a prisoner until a voyage was ready, and would later bring him and Bourienne's goods to the city of Sens. She would also take the voyage, escaping the Assassins in order to bring Bourienne's work further. Late that night was Jacques brought out of the Bastille and to the Arsenal, here Dufour locked him up in the sewers until she was ready for departure. He was placed in a sewer-tunnel which had bars at the one end, and guards at the other end.
Death[edit | edit source]
At 19th November, Jacques had made his forces ready to protect the Bastille from the Assassins. The two women from September was in some sort of contact with the Parisian Assassins, and they would undoubtedly trying to infiltrate the prison. While he instructed his soldiers, he was suddenly talked to a soldier. The man said: "Monsieur Croix, I found this key in the storage when me and Lucien emptied it for weapons now. It seems to have belonged to the governor, because his initials are on it." Jacques replied that 'it can just be a key to a safe', but the soldier said that in that case it had a strange appearance. Jacques looked at it, and further investigation found the key a bit strange. It could be a clue to the vault LaVenduz wanted to find. Jacques gave it to the soldier, stating: "Bring it to Dufour, she can look further over it." He went up to his office, looking over if it was more to bring out of the prison. When he found a chest with some china, he yelled for some soldiers to bring it to the Arsenal. Just as they left the office, Jacques decided to follow them. Escaping from the city. What was it to protect in the Bastille? Rocks. Most of its weapons and cannons had been robbed in 1789 and early 1790. The fortress was done for, and so was his hideout. It was time to leave. Jacques followed his men out in the yard. However, suddenly smoke bombs were thrown. The Templar could not breath, and he heard men screaming and falling around him. He understood it was too late. The Assassins had inflitrated the fortress. He began to ran. The gates were down, and the crowd outside celebrated the revolution. Jacques screamed that they had to get out of his way. No one heard him over the drums, but they heard the pistol-shot. Jacques heard the bullet fly right pass his ear. The bullet hit a building instead. The crowd began to yell and run. Cowards; they seemed so angry at first, but if a situation for rebellion started they would flee.
Jacques turned around. One elderly Assassin, two women and a male Assassin ran towards him. Jacques pulled out his warhammer. The one who had fired was the elderly Assassin, so he spent time on reloading. Jacques watched the three that was about attack him. One of the women was armed with two swords, the second with one and a red headband. The male Assassin in white robes carried a rapier. Jacques wielded his warhammer against the Assassins. He dealt quick with one of the women, making her loose her consciousness. The elderly Assassin in white was pushed from the gate, hanging from the ledge. The elderly Assassin was thrown over the gate – however, the Assassin used a rope dart to hook himself to the wooden gate. The last woman, the one with dual blades, swung around again and again – making pirouettes. Jacques was a big and heavy man, making it difficult to avoid the hits. Soon he was driven to the edge of the gate. He did not knew, but the Assassin in white had managed to climb up and now waited. When the woman managed to disarm Jacques, and she pushed him further and further to the edge, Jacques begged for mercy. "You don't have to do this. I'll give you money! Guns, weapons; whatever you want. Please! I'll take a bout; leave Paris – anywhere you want, I'll go anywhere!" He suddenly heard behind him: "Fous-moi le camp!" A blade was placed to his throat. Blood was spilt. Jacques wobbled before falling to the ground. The Bastille had once time been surrounded by a moat, but now it was dried out, and Jacques fell down to the dry mud – breaking his neck.
Last words[edit | edit source]
Jacques: "At last it ends. I should almost thank you for ending my life. Living as the abused son of a blacksmith; working for fanatics; making other human's lives miserable. How ironic it is that I needed to be brought at the edge of my sanity to understand, understand that I was making my life more miserable for every day I lived on this Earth."
Pierre: "A regretting Templar is something you're not see every day."
Jacques: "Yes, I'm regretting; do you find that hard to believe?"
Paulette: "We both do."
Jacques: "I see."
Pierre: "You're not going to defend yourself like the others?"
Jacques: "Why should I, when I know what I've done is wrong?"
Paulette: "Well it's good that you now understand what you and your acolytes did, was wrong."
Jacques: "Don't flatter yourself, neither your or your Assassin-friend. Our two factions are equally evil. The Templars are corrupt and blinded by glory; the Assassins are naïve and simply blind. That is the reason I joined the Saint Vierge: to get rid of corrupt manipulators. Deny it if you want, but mark my word: nor the Templars or the Assassins will win this revolution. If we do not end it, and our war, the whole humanity will fall into darkness … I now understand that she was right: humans were never meant to have free will; they were supposed to be our leaders."
Jacques succumbed to his wounds.
Paulette: "I don't care for your believes, Templar – only that your death brings me closer to my father."
Pierre: "(spitting) Enjoy your afterlife, monsieur."
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Jacques is the French form of Jacob
- Jacob is of Biblical origin, with the meaning being either he who grasps the heel or supplanter.
- Croix is French for cross
- Jacques is the only Templar that are being taken down before his campaign are completed.
- After his death, the Assassins are bringing his establishment down – removing all of his traces.
- Philippe had killed his wife, Louise, and made her into a pie.
- In short, Jacques' role in the Saint Vierge – Templars seeking to make Juno come to the Earth – was to locate the vault where she was meant to be. In order to not be disturbed by the citizens, he used Charles Benedetto to work in peace – and keep the Assassins off his tail.
- The crowd's reaction to the bullet is a scene that appears in AC: Unity which I find ironic. People all over Paris seems so rebellious, ready to fight and rally against the aristocrats and National guards, but when a fight begin everyone screams in fear.