- "Power changes people. Power corrupts. Power weakens. Power destroys. I’ve seen enough of power to know I want nothing more to do with the ruin it brings."
- ―Sarah Calbrook declining the mentorship, c. 1880
Sarah Marie Calbrook was an American Assassin and frontierswoman active throughout the American Civil War period and beyond. Her involvement in the national conflict helped to restore peace and was instrumental in securing the victory of the United States government.
In commemoration of her efforts, the Washington Chapter of the Assassin Order constructed a plaque to serve in her memory shortly after her retirement in 1881.
In her youth, Sarah wore her long blonde hair down in a display of her natural beauty, a feature which hopeful suitors often took note of. When she began working within the ranks of the Brotherhood however, she often wore her hair up or in a bun, if not completely obscuring it beneath her cowl completely.
Her glowing emerald eyes were said to be so radiant they could catch the glimpse of admirers from across the equally beautiful and elaborate green gardens which she spent her teen years in, attending a string of boring yet obligatory high society parties. Sarah’s skin was reputed to be as smooth and polished as porcelain; like that of a child’s play doll.
Calbrook spent much of her early life, up until her late teens, dressing and behaving in the fashion of most wealthy women of the times. Her parents had luxurious fine gowns made from the renowned designers abroad and across the United States. She was accustomed to the finery of satins and silks, bright flashy colours and on occasion, head-to-toe velvet ensembles in deep plumb or rouge tones.
Genetically, Sarah inherited her mother’s small nose, and her father’s remarkable, high cheekbones that naturally complemented the structure of her dainty face. Her lips were almost always rouged and emphasised her naturally full pout, she wore copious amounts of makeup both during daylight hours and at nighttime.
Birth and Upbringing
Born on June 25th in the burgeoning city of New Orleans, Louisiana, the only child of wealthy parents, her father was a fish merchant who had earned his fortune importing exotic varieties of seafood into the new world and her mother had been an English noblewoman who came to the colonies in her youth to seek romance and fortune, which she had felt she lacked in her native England.
From the moment she was born her parents spoiled her and lavished numerous extravagant gifts upon her, though this only resulted in Sarah feeling empty and unfulfilled with the mundane life she had been served by her overbearing family. Secretly, she longed for a life of adventure and excitement, and loathed having to engage in the tedious affairs of her peers who were also members of the upper class.
Aged 14, she eloped with a local stable boy and attempted to start a new life for herself with her lowborn lover. The couple managed to reach as far as Baton Rouge before being hunted down by a stagecoach carrying Sarah’s infuriated parents, embarrassed that their daughter had almost created a family scandal for them. Sarah was taken away in their stagecoach and forced to leave her love in Baton Rouge.
This act of rebellion cost the young Sarah dearly, and she was stripped of nearly all her privileges as punishment for the unruly display of defiance. From that day onward, her relationship with her parents was never the same again.
Adolescence and the Assassins
On her 18th birthday, her parents reluctantly agreed to hold a special ball in honour of their only child reaching adulthood. The richest and most influential people from New Orleans and all across Louisiana were in attendance, including the state governor and Templar puppet himself, Joseph M. Walker.
Whilst the celebration was in full swing, an 18 year old Sarah Calbrook crossed paths and exchanged pleasantries with the governor moments before his assassination at the hands of Thomas Braithwaite, an experienced assassin who would eventually mentor the young woman. Their chance meeting would prove life changing for both of them, and Braithwaite promised to meet the young woman in the city district some time after their initial encounter.
They eventually regrouped in a small derelict house about a week after news of the murder had spread and rocked the entire country. There, Thomas Braithwaite revealed to Calbrook the secrets of the ancient Assassin Brotherhood, entrusting her with centuries of knowledge that had been safeguarded for countless generations.
Shortly thereafter, their meetings became far more frequent and they discussed a variety of subjects ranging from esoteric and arcane philosophy, to the very nature of the existence of mankind itself. Sometime in late 1850, Sarah asked to join the Brotherhood, believing herself to be ready for the lifestyle of the Assassins. Braithwaite initially refused to consider her, as he did not want her to risk her own life when she already appeared to be so well off at such a young age.
Calbrook assured him she was miserable with her current situation and confided in him that she yearned for something far more meaningful than what her life was then. After much debating between the two, they came to an agreement, and Calbrook met the rest of the New Orleans chapter of the assassins, beginning her formal training, in January 1851.
The first four years of Calbrook‘s time as an assassin proved to be laden with rather menial and trivial tasks. She was assigned low profile targets by their mentor, Robert Johnson, and felt she was not being taken seriously despite the fact that she had given up her whole life and abandoned her family to be accepted among the ranks of the Brotherhood, though these first few years spent silencing small threats to their order provided invaluable insight into what Calbrook considered the ‘art of killing’, and allowed for her to study the doctrines and creed in depth at the New Orleans sanctuary.
After persistently begging her superiors for better work, she was granted her wish in March 1855, when Calbrook, along with Braithwaite and a handful of other understudies, was assigned to trail and monitor Templar benefactor Andrew Scott as he made his way from New Orleans to Jefferson City, in Missouri. Their instructions were to track and record the benefactor’s moves, with Braithwaite responsible for reporting back to Johnson every week.
The group followed Scott on his journey for a total of 3 weeks and during that time managed to accumulate enough intel on Scott to know that he would prove himself to be a very useful asset to the Assassin’s cause in the long term. Calbrook was tasked with retrieving Scott from his lodgings in Jefferson, and on April 24, 1855, attempted to kidnap the financier in the dead of night. She was to complete the mission unsupervised and by herself. She succeeded in gaining access to his temporary residence, but the extraction went wrong and Scott’s respiratory illness caused him to suffer a heart attack and ultimately die on Calbrook’s watch as she was transporting him back to the headquarters of the assassins in Louisiana.
Fearing the backlash she would receive from her superiors if they had discovered this unforeseen problem, she buried his body in the wilderness and returned to New Orleans to inform her mentor of the events that had unfolded on the road. The catastrophic fallout from these shortcomings rocked Sarah and she was put on a temporary suspension so that her mentor would not have to deal with her. Fearing she would be on suspension forever, Sarah left the Louisiana chapter and set out on the frontier in autumn of 1855 to hone her survival skills and develop herself as a markswoman.
The Lone Assassin
Despite being an outcast in the eyes of Robert Johnson, Sarah retained her communication with Braithwaite, and the two still considered each other friends even though they were no longer serving the same chapter. Unbeknownst to Johnson, Braithwaite secretly shared his contracts with Calbrook, and she would often complete assignments for Braithwaite that were far beyond his reach. Through this special arrangement, Calbrook got to travel the United States and Braithwaite could focus his efforts on defending the New Orleans sanctuary.
In July 1858, Braithwaite offered Calbrook a contract on the Templar officer Victor Hudson, a high ranking member of the order on the brink of becoming Grandmaster. Calbrook leapt at the opportunity to take down such a significant target and set out for New York from her ‘base’ on the outskirts of Texas on 12th July 1858. She braved the hot summer heat of the frontier and spent a total of 42 days on the road, traversing over 1,500 miles to reach her destination, arriving in the bustling haven of New York City on August 23rd.
Her stay was short, however she did manage to briefly meet with the local brotherhood in the city and discuss their course of action, and after much debate convinced them to leave her to handle the mission on her own, as she was well experienced in dispatching her targets without the aid of others by now. On the morning of August 25th, 1858, she assassinated Victor Hudson in broad daylight as he was en route to meet with other Templar officials in the city.
When news of the Templar’s death reached the New Orleans Assassins, Robert Johnson was ecstatic and held a celebration honouring Thomas Braithwaite for his accomplishment, however before the festivities could begin, Braithwaite reintroduced Calbrook into the fold and told everyone that it was her who deserved the credit for the Hudson contract as well as countless other kills. Johnson was appalled by the revelations of their surreptitious correspondence and, contrary to how Calbrook and Braithwaite had hoped he would react, he permanently exiled both members of the Brotherhood for their betrayal.
Shocked at this response, Calbrook and Braithwaite promptly left the New Orleans sanctuary and headed north, to Washington D.C, where they joined their fellow Assassins at the local chapter there, and explained their unjust expulsion. The mentor of the Washington chapter, Frederick Carmichaels, assured them that their chapter functioned far more fairly than their native New Orleans chapter. Whilst working within the Washington chapter, Calbrook became acquainted with the politician Abraham Lincoln, who had confided in the Assassins his presidential ambitions and trusted that they could aid him in achieving this goal.
The Assassins made no promises about this, and Sarah herself reminded him of their creed on numerous occasions, but she believed in his cause and had a lot of faith in him as a politician.
American Civil War
In March 1861, Lincoln was elected President of the United States, and soon after came the outbreak of the American Civil War, in which Sarah would play a pivotal role. The War was ultimately the defining moment in Sarah’s career as an Assassin, and during this period she advanced through the ranks of the Washington chapter of the American Brotherhood.
Following the Battle of Fort Sumter which initiated the conflict that would later become known as The Civil War, Calbrook went to Virginia to meet with Lincoln’s allies at the Battle of Rich Mountain and helped George B. McCellan as well as other Union commanders fight off the Confederate forces and secured a major victory for the Union on July 11th, 1861. After their victory at Randolph County, Calbrook immediately went to Prince William County to aid in fending off the Confederacy at the First Battle of Bull Run, however the same success could not be replicated and Calbrook sustained severe injuries to her shoulder and a gunshot wound to her thigh left a bullet lodged in her for the rest of her life.
After barely escaping with her life, Sarah travelled back to Washington where she spent some months recovering from her injuries before rejoining the war effort in November. She accompanied Braithwaite and Samuel F. Du Pont to South Carolina where together they ensured the Union victory at the Battle of Port Royal. The 4 day conflict took its toll on all participants and Sarah once again returned to Washington to regroup with Frederick Carmichaels about the future of their order. There, he told her about a Piece of Eden that had been securely locked away but he worried could have fallen into the wrong hands during the ongoing conflict. Carmichaels assigned her to ride across the war torn frontier and go to California, where she would investigate the status of this artefact.
She met with the Aztec Club in California, and there they revealed to Calbrook that the piece of Eden, a Dagger, had indeed gone missing. Through her time spent with the Aztec Club she gathered enough information to suspect it could have been stolen by one of its very own members. During the course of this investigation, she found this to be the case. Sergio Ruiz, a trusted member of the Aztec Club, was responsible, and fearing Sarah would expose him for the crime, fled California for Mexico. Calbrook was hot on his tail and eventually caught up with him in the city of Veracruz, c. February 1862.
In order to prevent him from utilising the Dagger, Calbrook chased him all around the city and the pursuit came to an eventual climax atop the city’s grand Cathedral, where Sarah assassinated him with her hidden blade before he could wreak havoc upon the residents of Veracruz.
She took the Dagger from his corpse and returned it to the Aztec Club, delivering it to them with the promise that only the most senior officials could access its vault, lest it fall into the wrong hands ever again.
Calbrook made her way to Virginia and promptly led the Union forces at the Siege of Yorktown, which ended up lasting almost an entire month before the stalemate was broken and the Confederates retreated to Williamsburg. Although not a victory for the Union, it was not a loss either, and she soon rode to Hanover County where she began her participation in the Seven Days Battles campaign. Her involvement in the Battle of Beaver Dam Creek led to a tactical victory for the Union. The day after, she helmed the Union attack at the Battle of Garnett’s and Golding’s Farm, before retreating and joining the Unionist forces at Savage Station.
Her next military conflict following the stalemate at Savage Station was the Battle of Malvern Hill, which resulted in a strong victory for the Union, almost a year after sustaining her staggering and fatal injuries at the Battle of Bull Run. On September 14th, Sarah lent her support to the Union forces at the Battle of South Mountain, and secured a significant victory for the Assassins by assassinating key Templar Commander, Edward Buckingham.
Battle of Gettysburg
This was her last military campaign until the following summer, where she gathered together the largest contingent of American Assassins from all over the United States in the order’s history and led the faction’s assault against the Templar Confederates at the Battle of Gettysburg. She was aided and accompanied by George G. Meade, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant (who was now in possession of the Dagger of Eden she had returned to the Aztec Club) as well as Thomas Braithwaite, Frederick Carmichaels, her now embittered rival Robert Johnson, as well as many other chapter mentors and more than 10,000 Assassins of every rank.
The Brotherhood, and in particular, Sarah Calbrook, were instrumental in pushing back the Confederate forces and held their post at Devil’s Den all through the 3 days of continued conflict. On the first day, Calbrook led over 1,000 Assassins and flanked the Confederates at their right line and drove them back away from the town of Gettysburg, resulting in more than 5,000 confirmed kills in the first day of battle. In the midst of battle on July 2nd, Braithwaite was shot by the Templar Robert E. Lee and was taken into town to be treated. Fearing her friend of over 13 years would die, Calbrook debates whether to step down her attack and care for Thomas or up her strategy into a full scale assault on the Confederates. She ultimately chose the latter and with 3,000 Assassins behind her, launched her offensive straight at the Templar forces.
Sarah and her group laid waste to the Confederate soldiers stationed along Cemetery Hill, killing a combined total of 8,000 enemy soldiers and claiming the lives of key Templar figureheads such as James Longstreet and Richard H. Anderson.
The final day of battle, on July 3rd, led to a tense standoff between Sarah and one of the few remaining Templar captains left on the battlefield, Ambrose Powell Hill, at Culp’s Hill, where the two briefly pondered what would become of the United States once the war was over. Shortly thereafter, Sarah attempted to assassinate him as vengeance for Braithwaite’s injuries since Lee had long since abandoned the battlefield, but he managed to escape on horseback, fleeing Gettysburg.
In the aftermath of the Battle, The Union celebrated their tremendous victory, though for Calbrook it did not feel like a victory at all if one of her closest friends would be unable to join in the celebrations with them. The Assassin brotherhood survived the battle with minimal casualties and Sarah returned to New Orleans for a time to be with Braithwaite. While there she encountered her family, the first time she had seen them in over a decade. Despite the initial awkwardness of the unexpected reunion, Calbrook was able to reconcile with her parents and found that this helped her to deal with her current predicament in which she was nursing Braithwaite back to health.
End of the Civil War and John Wilkes Booth
The Battle of Gettysburg left Calbrook with mixed feelings about her participation in the American Civil War; on one hand, she had helped defend and even upheld the strength of the Union across America and kept the Templars at bay throughout it all, however doing so cost her precious time with her best friend, who was now fighting for survival, leading her to wonder if all of her efforts had been worth the outcome.
She took part in two more battles throughout the Civil War. At the Battle of Fisher’s Hill she single handedly saved the Unionists from defeat by assassinating the principal captains along the battle lines at Cedar Creek and sent the remaining forces scattering into the cold autumn night. At the request of Ulysses S. Grant, she made her way to Virginia in late March of 1865 and helped secure the Union victory at the Third Battle of Petersburg. During the conflict, she found herself cornered by the same man she had encountered almost two years previously; A.P Hill. This time, she engaged him in a dialogue and allowed him to rant before launching a throwing knife into his throat, severing his vocal cord and killing him almost instantly.
Upon winning the Battle of Petersburg, Sarah met Abraham Lincoln on April 8th, 1865, a week before his assassination at the hands of Templar henchman John Wilkes-Booth. Her stay in Washington revealed Lincoln’s true nature to her firsthand. Their conversations showed that his presidency had consumed his entire being, he was a shell of his former self. Nevertheless, he was still loyal to the Assassins and that was her primary concern, despite the fact that he had sacrificed his integrity for power.
Braithwaite had now healed from his Gettysburg war wounds and accompanied Calbrook to northern Virginia once the news had spread that the president had been killed whilst watching a performance of Our American Cousin in Ford’s Theatre by Templar affiliate, John Wilkes-Booth. The Assassins found Wilkes-Booth hiding out in a barn in Northern Virginia, and Calbrook managed to kill him before he could escape them, thus putting an official end to the American Civil War which she had devoted some of the best years of her life to.