The Assassinica Britannica: The complete history of United Kingdom of Great Britain, is a fan-canon story by The Lobster Back . It takes the perspective of a book written by an Assassin author in present day Britain reflecting and examining the history of Great Britain from Ice Age to as near as Present day as security will allow. It is currently a work in progress and hopefully will be written and edited weekly. The intention of this piece of fan literature is to provide a suggestive history of what has happened in Britain before, during and after the current canonical knowledge.
- 1 Section I: From the Dark to the Light (70510 BC - 300 AD)
- 2 Section II: Veni, Vidi, Vici! (300 AD - 1066 AD)
- 3 Section III: Till Jerusalem is built on England's green and pleasant land's (1066 AD - 1200 AD )
- 4 References
- 4.1 Introduction;
- 4.2 British Assassins through the Ages.
- 4.3 Notable Locations.
Section I: From the Dark to the Light (70510 BC - 300 AD)
Britain is an ancient land, the largest island in Europe - for a good reason as will shortly be explained - and at the height of its power this small nation once commanded the worlds largest navy to protect a quarter of the surface of the planet and at one time one fifth of its population. Great Britain has been forged by many conflicts, her people formed by many peoples invading and settling and contributing to her diverse background. However in the background of these invasions and conflicts, there has been a hidden war waged by two groups to protect the countries people against the other group. One group has had more success than another - this group has gone by a few names in its history, but the one most recognized by the people reading this abridged history will be the name Assassin.
This abridged history takes in many years of history dating back to 70510 BC, to as close to present day as security for the Creed in Britain will allow. Most of the Sections in this history are broken down into smaller stories. As a whole the sections will cover large spaces of time, some focus on individuals life time, some simply the main events of there lives. Hopefully all are usually in some order. These sections are generally long, but it must be remembered that these sections cover major periods in British History.
The Lobster Back (talk) 14:26, June 24, 2013 (UTC)
The first confirmed record of the Assassins in Britain dates back to 200 BC. However the history of the so called First Civilization (First Civ) in the area dates back to 75010 BC, when Juno, Jupiter and Minerva marked a temple in an area near Salisbury as one of the potential locations for the solution against the impending solar flare. After the disaster of the solar flare and many other natural issues that reduced Britain's shared land mass with continental Europe and made it more an island, members of the First Civ stayed close to the area and inspired humans in the area. In 8000 BC the First Civ started to command the humans to build a site atop of a temple
and to support this plan had the woods of the area removed, and had it cultivated to form the basis of a civilization to act as workers for the monument.
In an attempt to protect there new found slaves from the ideals of others on continental Europe the First Civ used their enhanced technology to speed up the flooding of Doggerland until in 6000 BC it was no more than an island and Britain was completely disconnected from the Continent. Construction of the shrine started in 3100 BC to a precise plan laid out by the First Civ upon returning from sinking Doggerland. The build was complicated and very technical, using advanced machines and technologies stones were quarried from across the land and transported to the site before being lifted in place using crane like structures. The build was completed after 1600 BC and the site became known as Stonehenge.
Within the next 800 years the numbers of the members of the First Civilization decreased as the numbers of humans arose, some humans were starting to think independently and questioned the need for the god like First Civ in there society, to counter this the remaining members of the First Civ crossbred with selected humans and created a race of hybrids. These hybrids were received well by the people and were called Druids, they had a greater knowledge of the world, skills in what would become free running - the proof of this was shown each year in a ceremony called the oak and mistletoe - where young Druids would have to pass a stage of initiation by climbing the grand oak tree and retrieving a sap of mistletoe from it. As well as this they gained a skill which would later be known as Eagle Vision and acted as both protectors to the site and to humans and used this skill to find traitors to the townsmen. By 200 BC the Druids grew weary of the First Civ who were demanding sacrifices to them and tried to control them using a sword of Eden. The Druids came to the conclusion that this could no longer go on and attacked the First Civ ceasing the sword of Eden and used it to enact revenge and restore the peace to the land.
The Druids realized quickly the sword of Eden held powers beyond an individual, they also realized that it also could be used by humans without consequences and as such the leader of the Druids impaled the sword into the altar at Stonehenge only to be used against those who intended to use its power against the people. The Druids served the people over the next 160 years, using the knowledge given to them by the First Civ and passed down from father to son to help the people, cure their ailments give them faith and hope and help resolve conflicts. The Druids followed what would nowadays be regarded as Pythagorean philosophies and of which would form the basis of the ideas behind the Animus. They believed that the souls of men were immortal and that after many years the body succumbed and would be reincarnated leaving a line of experience that if men focused they could harness this experience.
The Romans first landed in 55 BC. The Druids heard about this and when they returned in 54 BC the Druids sent out a party to scout out the Romans and there intentions, they encountered the future Emperor Julius Caesar. The Druids encountered others of there kind hybrids - by the group name of Liberalis Circulum. The Liberalis Circulum were already concerned with the actions of Julius Caesar and were watching his movements carefully, they informed the Druids of a possible invasion and between the two groups they agreed to assist each other and become allies.
The Romans Years
Although the a
greement between Druids and Liberalis Circulum held off attempts to invade for 100 years, the assassination of Ceasar and the initial crisis that came after that as well as the death of Brutus had caused some set backs to the Roman Brotherhoods guild. Rome and its Templar influences through trade starting effecting the monarchies of the southern Britain and had put in a "client" King who laid the ground works for the invasion which landed in 43 AD. By 47 AD the south east of the land was lost. The Druids closed in around Stonehenge protecting their sacred site.
The Druids backed and supported the revolts in 60 AD by Boudica, however sadly the revolts failed and the Romans were here to stay. The Druids backed any and all revolts that came and the Romans in turn were cautious of the Druids, by 70 AD Emperor Tiberius outlawed Druids. The Druids at Stonehenge made moves to change there Identities being formally initiated into the basis of the Assassin Brotherhood by mentors from the Roman branch, Elder Druids stuck to their faith and as a result were secretly killed by Templar Romans. The creed in Britain reduced the strain on the over sized and struggling Roman branch, as Roman Britain was now protected by its own people. For the first time the new English Assassins took on non hybrids into the brotherhood and this started diluting the gifts of the First Civ further. The Assassins also started moving away from there sacred home in Salisbury - which was the branches headquarters - and moved into the towns and cities of Roman Britain some even slipping into the armed forces to explore Gaul (France), The Iberian Peninsular and the Roman Empire.
286 AD saw the first main mission of the English Brotherhood, Carausius, a dissatisfied Templar saw an opportunity to seize some control for himself. As commander of the naval fleet against pirates in the Channel and North sea, he would let the pirates attack commerce and then seize the takings before letting the pirates off, and then letting the cycle run again. All the funds he made from this went into his own pocket, and funded his purchasing of the army in Britain. When he became dictator he claimed to be the restorer of Britain, while repressing the people. It took the Assassins 6 years to infiltrate his government and place an Assassin as his finance minister before the deed could finally be done. The Assassins had made there first major kill in Britain.
Section II: Veni, Vidi, Vici! (300 AD - 1066 AD)
As Many readers will have noticed, thus far our brethren in Scotland have not been mentioned. This is not a sub to the Scots, no, its simply that documented evidence of the Assassins presence in neolithic Scotland is quite minimal. We can, however confirm that there were first Civilization members in Scotland as well as the presence of a Piece of Eden in the lands. There are sites in Orkney, Scotland that share similarities in construction and design to Stonehenge. They are not as well built or have seen ill effects of the turbulent elements known to the Scottish coasts however we speculate that the more independently minded Scots rebelled earlier in history than there English cousins.
A suggestion comes from the Scottish/Irish legend that surrounds the Giants Causeway; that the Giants in question were actually members of the First Civilization, and between the two they had an issue. We can only speculate but it is thought that in order to save face with both members human populace the two had to resolve the issue with a fight. Benandonner from Scotland used the cause way to cross to Ireland to face Fionn. Legends vary depending on the region, however Benandonner lost the battle and in order to prevent Fionn from following him back to Scotland tore up the cause way on his return. If true this would have definitely expedited any plots against the First Civ in Scotland.
Before this final bringing down; Benandonner had cross bred and produced hybrids. That much like there English cousins may have become druids or pagan priests serving the various tribal leaders in the land. Although not known as Assassins they still worked as a group to benefit the clans and tribes of Scotland, unaware of similar people to the south for many centuries and came to view themselves as special, one offs and even after meeting the English brotherhood viewed themselves as independent, especially of the English and would do so for centuries to come.
One has to remember that at this time in history the Brotherhood as we know it today as one universal body did not exist, in those days it was small independent groups of people who shared similar gifts and powers allying themselves for a common cause, usually to defend their respective pieces of Eden and there people. However the case Between the Scottish and English groups who would go on to be the British Assassins is a strange one as the people from different sides of the country want different things and through there history this has put a strain on the relationships of the groups, a scenario that can only be compared to the British Assassins late input to the American War of Independence.
The Fall of Rome
Over the years the people of the land became accustomed to Roman rule, some even became enlightened in the rule, before the Romans arrived Britain was commanded by tribal kings, in small communities with very basic mud huts. The Romans had brought with them advanced technology, currency, trade, architecture, roads, an efficient military all things that the people like however it brought with it a major issue - the Roman Government. This was something the British people would forget thought time; but people didn't like being governed by a Roman, they didn't like the idea of an Emperor in some foreign land dictating there laws, they didn't like the turmoil and chaos of Rome, and underlying the people wanted to be free to be governed by one of there own kinsmen.
The Great Conspiracy of 367 AD proved the efficiency of the early Scots Assassins (recorded as Picts however it is unknown what the group actually called themselves) and how there views and ideas were different than that of the English. The English had come to mutually accept the rule of the Romans and the Scots had forced them out of Scotland repeatedly. During 367, the Scots had worked hard to weaken the army on the Roman's northern frontier - Hadrian's wall. They had made wages disappear, disrupted delivery caravans and generally weakened morale along the wall. When the cold winter of 367 finally hit the Army rebelled. With no one effectively guarding the northern frontier the Scots people, allied with the Saxons and Franks led co-ordinates invasions of the North west and east of England. For a year the Scots raided and pillaged the land. Templar agents who were suppose to be serving the Roman government were bribed to give wrong information on the tribes - to cause further issues in Rome with the intention that loss of Britain would result in the removal of the Emperor.
After 15 months, due to delays caused by Templar and Scottish Assassin Influences, the Roman reinforcements eventually arrived in England, the English Assassins had been doing their best to assist the region however without military intervention to sweep up the small fast moving teams of barbarians the attempts of the Assassins were only momentary, and short lasting. The Roman response eventually broke through and with there advancement and in support of restoring peace to the land the Assassins rode north and trapped a group of Picts that they discovered were similar to them with there gifts. The two parties discussed what the other was doing and believed in and came to the mutual agreement that the English also wanted rid of the Romans. However they urged there opposites that they planned to do it through a peaceful way. The two groups eventually agreed on terms to be taken back to Scotland, that everything south of the Hadrian's wall was of English control and the north was Scots control, when the Scots assassins returned back to Scotland no sign was sent back indicating that the leaders in Scotland had agreed to the terms. Speculation is that they had chosen to ignore the folly of the English brotherhood.
The Great Conspiracy was a Roman success however the Assassins viewed one of the men involved as potentially useful. Magnus Maximus, who was proclaimed Emperor of Britain by his troops in 381 was supported by the Assassins in his plans to withdraw the Roman military from Britain and transferred power back to local authorities. The Assassins were ecstatic and worked on a long lasting campaign to make sure that the local authorities worked and remained fair and good to the people. Thankfully most of the leaders left wished to carry on a lot of the conventions of Roman society. The victory for the English Assassins was bitter sweet.
The reduction in the army caused other problems barbarians in Ireland and Scotland crossed the weakened border and raided the lands of northern England and Wales, some tribes even setting up camps on the Welsh coast. The death of Maximus restored England to Roman control and peace was temporarily restored however the Army was never fully returned or restored. Things went from bad to worse, the assassins were stretched thin, the army wanted to invade France to eradicate the Germanic tribes and prevent them from attacking England, the Assassins fearful of the security of the people instilled two leaders who intended to stay in England. Whether by Templar influence or just the fear of the military but both of these leaders were murdered by there own men.
The army selected Constantine III as there leader and under his influence the Empire crumbled, the Templar influences in England left rapidly to try and strengthen their influences in Rome, in a desperate attempt to completely dominate one of the largest empires in the world. Eventually a letter from Emperor Honourius came by Assassin messenger informing the British cities they would have to fend for themselves. The army was stripped from Britain one last time. Saxon raids increased the English assassins were stretch to breaking point. They watched in perpetual horror as all the advancements and peace that the Romans had brought was shattered and destroyed within the space of 20 years. The Romans were gone, the Assassins were on their own.
The Sword in the Stone
The Saxons were eventually hired to replace the army in protecting the cities, however when they weren't paid they rebelled, and started invading parts of England. Its at this time the English Assassins faced their first and to some degree most historic betrayal. With the expansion of Roman England covering many cities the Assassins had spread across the country, each major city had a small bureau with one or two Assassins assigned to the city. Stonehenge, remained the sacred heart of the group and the people defending the sites were the purist of the pure, those who traced there lineage directly back to the First Civ. This was because only descendents of the First Civ could wield the sword, normal humans encountered a draining sensation when they tried to wield the blade. Al though this ensured the security of the site it also weakened it, as many of the more classically trained assassins had to travel out to lead bureaus and as such the pool of pure families to breed from became smaller and smaller.
A descendent of the original Druid grandmaster had turned his back against the order for its apparent lack of effort to fill the breech and replace the Romans as commanders of England, and so he plotted to do it himself. The traitor went by the name Arthur. He went to the tribal Britons who held the west, and were facing being over run by not only the Saxons and raised an army promising freedom and an independent nation he brought the people to Stonehenge, His army over ran the small Assassin guards, they captured the Grand Assassin.
With a large numbers of people in the sacred site it experienced some damage which is still present today. Arthur told the people that the almighty had placed the Sword in the stone altar, and that the man who could pull it from the altar would be King of the Britons. Safe in the knowledge he had gained from his youth around the site, he knew that only people who had descended from the druids could handle the sword - he invited some peasants to try and pull the sword from the stone, none could do it and those that tried suffered a draining feeling, until at the end Arthur drew the sword and claimed himself King of the Britons. The Grand Assassin protested this blatant disrespect for the power of the sword and appealed to Arthur to place the sword back where it belongs - Arthur had other plans and used the sword to end the life of the Grand Assassin.
The central authority of the Assassins in England was broken, although there were cells across the land they now acted independently in lands with differing rulers, some Assassins traveled with fleeing Britons to France and Spain. Arthur led the Britons against the Saxons in the Battle of Mount Badon; fought roughly around 500 AD, with his Excalibur - the name he had given the sword - fought in the battle early on he was overcome by Assassins seeking to enact revenge for there lost brethren. Excalibur and Arthurs body were removed from the site to what is now Glastonbury, where the new Assassin Grand master, Myrddin Wyllt (often called Merlinus Caledonensis) a scholar and early chemist, was being initiated. Realizing the risks of both the body and the sword he decided both had to disappear. He instructed his wife Viviane to take the sword to the Great Lakes in Northern England, and his Daughter, Guinevere to take the body north of the town and bury it on an island in a nearby lake.
Vivianne with a few of her husbands best men rode north, escorting her daughter to the lake north of Glastonbury before carrying on along the Severn, up through the Yorkshire Dales to Lake Windermere. Here Vivianne bode farewell to her guard as she took the greatest risk and while carrying the sword allegedly swam across a narrow section of the lake to one of the small Island with a hidden Cavern and hid the Sword. Although she returned to her guard the following day she quickly contracted pneumonia and subsequently died by the lake. Her Guard, unable to transport her body nor even bury it made a raft from a sections of a downed tree and sent her back onto the lake to return to the Island she had called Avalon, as Lady of the Lake. The Assassin Cleric Gildas wrote Arthur out of the history books and supplemented his leadership with that of Ambrosius, who had taken up the mantle after Arthur was killed. Witnesses to the events after Arthur's death pieced together a folk lore that would out live any of the participants.
The fight for Hearts and Minds
The Roman empire had brought many things to mainland Britain, one of those things was Christianity. With Druids outlawed and Pagans looked down upon, Christianity became a dominant faith in England quite quickly. In Ireland and Scotland however Paganism was still dominant. Although the country was going through a turbulent period and was effectively being torn apart by waves of invaders the Papacy in Rome wanted to ensure that regardless of who controlled the British Isles the people there would answer ultimately to the Pope and would heed the word of god.
In 430 AD, Pope Celestine I sent instruction to Palladius a Bishop of Britain instructing him to "Minister to the Scots believing in Christ." However instead of going to Scotland, Palladius and his missionaries went to Ireland, however returned to England almost immediately achieving very little, the reason for his failure is unknown. Two years later, Celeste sent the would be Saint Patrick the Papal Staff - One of the Staves of Eden - with the intend of converting both the Irish and Scots. Patrick traveled to Ireland and had relative success, using the staff to convert the most ardent non believers he faced very little resistance. However there was resistance, as a foreigner, and one who commanded the sons of kings without accepting there gifts was becoming the focus of suspicion and on occasion was attacked, notably by druids. It is unknown whether these druids hailed from those who had fled Stonehenge when the Romans made druids illegal or later. What is known is that the staff was damaged in one of these encounters that the crucifix, which it is speculated is already an addition to the actual staff was broken and Patrick replaced the damaged section with the more commonly recognized hook. Patrick died around 460 and was made a saint. Its not clear what happened to the staff at this time, some documentation have it returned to Pope Leo I in 450 AD, where it was repaired in time for his meeting with Attila the Hun, others suggest that it lay with other artifacts of St. Patrick's in a shrine in Ireland and the staff returned to the new pope was a fake.
The events of St. Columba, nearly a century later suggest that the staff sent to the pope as being a fake. In 560 AD after a dispute with St. Finnian over a psalter that developed into a battle resulting in many deaths St. Columba faced being excommunicated from the church, but instead was exiled to Scotland to act as a missionary. Supporters of St. Columba allegedly store the staff from the shrine replacing it with a fake itself and simplified its design and with this staff he set off to convert the more difficult Scots - St Ninian had made an impact on the southern Picts however those in the Highlands of Scotland were more heavily rooted to Paganism due to there being absolutely no Roman influences in the region. Although there is mostly nothing special with most of St Columba's pilgrimage the incident at Loch Ness proves otherwise.
In 565 an incident occurred at Loch Ness where a man was apparently attacked by a giant sea serpent and killed out on the Loch, witnesses to this event who found the event very peculiar and suspect as it had never happened before. St. Columba and his entourage appeared shortly after the incident and heard the vivid tales from the townsfolk who had just witnessed the horror. In a show of divine intervention, St Coloumba sent one of his men into the Loch, before long the Sea Serpent had returned and was racing to attack his man, before the serpent attacked St Columba raised his staff high into the air and commanded the beast to stop in the name of the lord, at the same time a flash of light came from Dog Island on the Loch and the creature had disappeared. The Assassins present witnessed the event and didn't see anything so although there compatriots were in awe they were suspicious of St. Columba and his staff.
The Assassins returned to King Bridei, a local pagan king who had much faith in the word of the Assassins and told the story and warned that the man would try to convert the King and urged him not to be persuaded. True to there word St. Columba did arrive in Inverness, this time without his staff, and appealed to the Pict King to convert to Christianity, the King surrounded by Assassins politely informed the would be saint that he had gained his respect for banishing the Loch Ness monster but would not be converted.
Both Assassins and St Columba's own men were concerned about the power of the staff, St. Columba's men thinking that such divine power should not lie with a missionary in exile, but with the pope and the Assassins concerned that a man who was willing to murder innocents for there own cause controlled such a powerful device as one that could control mans mines and so the two groups came up with plots to remove the Staff. The Assassins struck first as St. Columba was still in Inverness-shire and attempted to steal the staff when they expected him to be preaching, however as they went to steal the staff it was taken to be used in the days sermon and the Assassins were discovered. Finally one of St Columba's own men stole the staff and took it south to England where it was Passed over to the Bishop of Briton it was to be returned to the Pope in Rome. Although initially St Columba's was furious that he had lost his power of conversion on people he soon realized that he had built up enough influence in Scotland and instead moved into the Politics of the land and used that influence to further his faith.
The One King to Rule them All
Religious scholars and missionaries had eventually become the only people to note history, however were far focused in noting the stories of there faith or their own personal achievements and normally documented these things in letters to friends or family or books to be ready by clergy to the common man, they however were quite bad for dating things and also tended not to remark too greatly on the world outside of there religion. The Assassins who were also normally quite good scholars and historians were still suffering the effects of the attack on Stonehenge and as such had not chosen a replacement headquarters for the Creed in England instead choosing to be more mobile and being based in a particular city or town for a while. This caused more issues as Master Assassins, normally elder members of the community, would normally perish in transit so a new Master would have to be selected by the Council of Masters, and it would also mean that to keep things as light and mobile as possible manuscripts were not often written or kept. The other major issue that is believed to have happened was voids between sects as there was no fixed central command and each sect could be under another countries control, these things all led to this turbulent period of British history (Mostly from the mid 6th- early 9th century) either not being fully or partially recorded and some events not recorded at all..
By 825 the King of Wessex was increasing in dominance in southern England and by 827 Northumbria fell to Egbert of Wessex and he claimed to be the first King of England, however this was a brief unification as the Danes in the land known as Mercia rebelled. Things diminished again under the next succession of kings hitting a new low when a Viking army invaded in 856 and struck crushing blows by taking Northumbria and cities like Reading. Alfred the Great was supported by Assassins, and they helped in his conflicts in repelling the Vikings, this marked the turning point and the start of a peaceful and long lasting unified England. A goal the Assassins were seeking. 886 Alfred hit a landmark by capturing the City of London and restoring the near abandoned Roman ruin to its previous splendor.
The Grand Master Assassin of the English creed selected the newly restored London as the new home for the Headquarters of the Assassins. At this time Winchester was the capital of England and was the heart of Wessex command. The Assassins were very keen to stay out of the capital city fearing the openness, the direct contact and the larger populace would do damage to some of there more private organizations and traditions. London as it was, was a phoenix rising from the ashes, a town with promise, a fresh start - one that had access to the sea; a critical asset for the Assassins as sea travel could be faster than sending messengers on horseback up and down the land as well as communicating with the bureau in Brittany. London offered so much to the homeless Assassins and as London grew so did the order, central command was re-established and gradually sects were brought back into line. Ironically, the city became the focus of Æthelred the unready's kingdom and where he would issue the laws of London in 978. The Assassins had fixed there roots and couldn't risk breaking the ties with a community that had grown around there support and aid and so even when the Danes invaded 1013 the Assassins stayed and gave the people hope that one day they would have peace and a king of there own kind not one from a far away land. Æthelred returned in 1014 and with the support of the English people and Assassins the Danes were defeated. This like everything else in this period was short lived, Canute the Great invaded in 1016, this conflict ended with the Templar's brokering a deal to divide and conquer England - the kingdom would be split and shared between Æthelred and Canutes successors.
Fortunately, with the help of the Assassins Æthelred's successor, Edmund Ironside, didnt survive long enough to fulfill the English side of the deal and the entire kingdom - now a united England fell into Danish rule. It was not an ideal outcome but one that the Assassins came a little worse off and they knew that one day England would be free and independent, it would just take a little more time! The Assassins circled Harthacnut like a vulture, they respected the agreement made between the two kingdoms and were present when he was invited to England in 1040 - although he brought with him a full invasion force, then levied the people of England for money to pay for said force - The Assassins splayed on the new king bad health and occasionally poisoned him. Harthacnut tried to rule England autocratically and not by council; as the English had been accustomed to, this as well greatly displeased the Assassins and they dispatched the cell in Brittany to meet with Prince Edward, the true king of England who was in exile and the London cell made contact with Æthelred's widow, mother of Edward and then wife of Harthacnut to get her to persuade Harthacnut to name Edward his successor.
The final insult to the people of England and the Assassins was dealt in 1041, when the Earl of Bernica was brutally murdered by the Earl of Northumbria after the King promised him safe conduct - essentially promising to protect him. The king had colluded with Siward, Earl of Northumbria and as such the people saw this as a betrayal and the king as an oath breaker. The Assassins stepped up there poisoning of the King and in late 1041 fearful of his mortality he summoned Edward back to England and made him his successor. In 1042, with the rightful king named as successor the Assassins waited for the perfect moment to finish off the King, it happened at a wedding in June 1042 the king was drinking copious amounts of wine and an Assassin slipped him the fatal final dose of poison, the king died instantly. Reports from the wedding recorded that;
he died as he stood at his drink, and he suddenly fell to the earth with an awful convulsion; and those who were close by took hold of him, and he spoke no word afterwards...
Although physicians at the time wouldnt have been fully aware of the condition, historians today believe that Hathacnut died simply of cardiac arrest or a stroke, however a simple note in the log of the London cell reads;
The King is dead, maybe it was something he ate or DRANK? God have mercy on his soul!
England was free of the Danes and back unified as an independent state, as the Assassins desired and promised the people.
The Confessions of an English King
When Edward came to the thrown in 1042, his power was weak, the power of the Wessex family had been eroded by the danish rule, with many lords being changed or changing their political stance, the people and the Assassins supported Edward however without the support of the landed gentry Edward would have had his authority challenged and faced uprising. Edward had to deal with his mother, who after being married to the late Harthacnut had been tainted by the Templars. He held back property from her as he was sure she was holding onto treasure that belonged to the king. The Assassins using there skills in stealth and free running sought to prove this and as such broke into the possessed properties and found riches of the late king, that belonged to Edward. It was a surprise and an issue to the Assassins when he was supported by Earl Godwin; a known Templar.
The Assassins had an issue, they had planned for months to remove Godwin from his place of power, however now as the king desperatly needed to keep the balance of power and keep as much support as he possibly could they could no longer make the hit on the risks of destabilizing the fragile country they had gone to such painstaking lengths to put together and so they advised the King from trusting Godwin and watched Godwin like a hawk. Godwin made many political moves the king married his daughter and his sons all received earldoms, although the Assassins protested the King reassured them that it was just to solidify his kingship. Wether through tactic or sheer luck as the Assassins began to doubt the Kings loyalties Sweyn; Godwin's eldest son, was banished in 1047 for abducting the Abbess of Leominster. In the same year Godwin demanded that the King supported the King of Denmark as he faced invasion like the English from King Magnus of Norway.
One afternoon while this latest storm was going on 3 men in hoods arrived at the Assassins Building, upon entering they encountered Assassins waiting. A stand off ensured as Assassins slowly went for there weapons one of the hooded men spoke -
"Do not attack us for we bring the King of England!"
The Assassins were both confused and suspicious. The three men removed there hoods and indeed were the king and his two closest bodyguards. The king himself requested to see the Grand master and quickly a recruit was sent scurrying up stairs to speak with the master.
After a brief delay the recruit returned, and informed the king that the Grand Assassin was delighted to have the king present and welcomed him to the building and would see him in the library. The Grand Assassin had been teaching a class of newly promoted Assassins on the methods of gathering intelligence and had dispensed the class with some recruits in hiding to exercise the lessons teachings and that is how we know of the interesting events that happened. As the king crossed the room to meet the Grand Assassin he extended his hand and arm as normal and the gran Assassin took his hand and to his surprise, as he was about to bow, the king knelt before him and asked for the sake of England would the Assassins, the defenders of the people, go with haste to Denmark and assassinate King Magnus. The assassins were shocked at this revelation and accepted the mission to defend the people of England from yet another harsh invasion.
A small band of Assassins, who had hailed mostly from mercia, were sent to Denmark where they found King Magnus preparing a ship to sail for England and although history has failed to note the true cause of death, it was recorded in the English Orders logs. The logs read that Magnus was stabbed with a concealed blade and in the struggle with an Assassin disguised as a Sailor both men fell over the side of the vessel. The Assassin held Magnus down until he had drowned. With the missing King drawing some attention, the Assassin in sailors uniform pulled the body to the surface and claimed to have tried to save the King and waited until Magnus was taken from the vessel before disappearing. The log also informs us that the Assassin returned to England safely with the Kings signet ring as proof of the kill and also a case of Hypothermia.
1051 saw Edwards true power, and showed that quite possibly there was method in the Kings decisions. Godwin was maneuvering one of his relatives into the position of Archbishop of Canterbury - Edward blocked it, after the Assassins gave him common knowledge that Godwin was illegally possessing church property. In September of 1051, Edward's brother in law arrived in Dover to visit the king and Godwin had orchestrated citizens of Dover to turn out and cause a fight between Godwin's men and the Count of Boulogne's men. The king ordered Godwin to have the men involved in the fight to be arrested, Godwin refused and Edward took the opportunity to bring the overly powerful Earl to heel. Godwin and his son Sweyn gathered men, Edward had the two other Earls support. He utilized the Assassins to plague Godwin and Sweyns armies and break there morale, Godwin and Sweyn eventually abandoned the revolt, but not after Edward divorced Godwin's daughter. Godwin, Sweyn and his sons fled to Normandy and Ireland.
During 1052, Edward was now richer than any of the other Earls. He payed off the standing navy and reduced the expensive tax it had on the people. Sweyn went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, the assassins beat him to Jerusalem they came into contact the Levantine Assassins and asked them kill Sweyn on his return journey - in return they opened up communications and shared information and intelligence. Godwin gathered another army and returned with his sons, the Templar's had gotten to the two other Earls, which had tied up the Assassins. Fearing a civil war that would weaken England and open her up to invasion.A furious Edward was forced to give Godwin and his son Harold there Earldoms back, that night Edward returned to the assassin building. By this stage the King and the Grand Assassin had built a bit of rapport and the King would normally meet the Assassins personally to ask for there aid however he never knelt before them again, however he wouldn't accept the Grand Assassin kneeling to him. This night in his fury he pounded the desk and ordered the Assassins to kill Godwin and make him suffer.
The Grand Assassin took the opportunity to oversee the mission personally, joining Godwin at dinner in a room full of assassins and the Kings own men the Grand Assassin sat at the head table and through the meal unwound his red sash and half way through the night rose from his seat and proposed a toast to the King as the rest of the room toasted the kings health Godwin did nothing, the Master Assassin quickly yanked up his hood and wound the red sash around Gowdins neck choking him as the Kings men carried on there toasts to the king. Although it was not formally recorded, the Assassins regard this as a just murder and not as an assassination, although the last rights were bestowed apon Godwin as tradition demanded.
Edward had built a strong relationship with the Assassins; the first king to do so. For the jobs that they did in support of his reign he rewarded them richly, land, money, jewels as well as access to the king an indispensable asset. One of the missions was to oversee and protect the building of Westminster Abby, the Assassins used this opportunity to amend the construction plans to include a couple of hidden rooms. However the king had stretched the Assassins thin and became too close to them, some even rumored that the King was initiated as an Honorary Assassin. Harold Godwinson, Godwins son, succeeded him, he was said to be the first leader of the Templar order and he hit England hard trying to seize control himself. The Assassins were busy acting on kings orders, 1053 they were sent into Wales to assassinate the welsh prince Rhys ap Rhydderch. In 1054 to work with the Scottish Assassins order on the downfall of King MacBeth.
By 1057 however Godwinson had most of the kings supporting earls killed and maneuvered his family into there places. The welsh launched spurred on by Templar disturbances launched an assault on England and Harold as the largest land owner sourced men from across England to fight back the welsh assault. Peace was brought between the two kingdoms by the Assassins when they brokered a deal that the King of Wales would pledge to be faithful to the King of England. 1062, Harold showed his colors and true intent in public when he attacked Wales, gaining some territory in Wales. 1065 came an issue, while hunting with Harold's brother the Earl of Northumbria, The king was subjected to seeing a peasants revolt against the Earl in the chaos that ensued the King was poisoned. The people demanded that the Earl be replaced with the brother of the Ear of Merica and invited them to march south with them. The Earl of Northumbria had built up an amicable relationship with the king, part of the kings plan to break the Godwin strangle hold on England. When Harold, the Earl and the King met the protestors in Northampton the Earl stated that Harold had been conspiring against the King, in weak health and with Harold refusing to suppress the protest Edward had no alternative than to banish the Earl of Northumbria.
Suffering from the poisoning the King retreated to his inner sanctum, Harold had forced the Assassins out of the sanctum and in the early days of January the greatest act of treason in Britain was witnessed by an Assassin, who was hiding among the kings staff as an Equerry, he over heard as Harold threatened the weakened king that his desires of canonization and the security of England would be in doubt if he wasn't names successor, along with other serious threats against the kings family and friends. Eventually in the early morning of the 5th January 1066, Edward submitted and named Harold his successor. Harold left Winchester in a hurry believing the Kings death to be imminent, so that he could be in London and coronated the same day. Harold took with him many of the guards and the Grand Assassin led a small force in removing the remaining guards to get access to Edward before he died, Edward thanked him for coming to see him and clutched onto the other mans hand he lay dying, urging him to promise that the Assassins would always be the Defenders of England, of her people, he explained what had happened and informed the Assassins that Harold's succession was against his will that William, Duke of Norway was the true successor and asked that a messenger be dispatched post haste to make William aware of the treachery that had happened. With that an Assassin was dispatched as the king shared a few private moments with his wife and friends before passing.
The coronation of King Harold II took place in Westminster Abby, King Edwards pride and joy, on the 6th January 1066, witnessed and overseen by Assassins hidden away like they would be over the coronations and kings and Queens in the Abbey for the next 900 years.
Section III: Till Jerusalem is built on England's green and pleasant land's (1066 AD - 1200 AD )
The Great Game of Chess
The pact between the Levantine and English Assassins was fruitful for both partners the Levantines, The Levantines gained skills in bird handling while the English gained information on the middle east and east of the world. The two would work during pilgrimages to protect cities in the holy land and as sign of good faith the mentor of the Levantine Assassins gifted a primitive chess set to the then Master Assassin, it came with a challenge of a match that wouldn't be fulfilled. However the English took to the game like ducks to water, and used it as a training aid. Recruits in training were drilled in the game, placed under extreme stress and time constraints, all to teach them about tactics, seeing the opponents hand and countering or bettering it the shortest space of time possible. Eventually the threat of actual bodily harm disappeared and was transformed into mundane punishments, but competition had been sparked in the creed, in the cells assassins wanted to better their superiors and between cells their superiors wanted to beat each other in a rudimentary chess championship.
When King Edward came to visit the Master Assassin would often discuss the Kings issues over a game of chess as he felt it helped stimulate both mens minds and put them in a tactical mood. However they played it backwards, the King controlled black but would sit behind white, and the Master assassin would control white but sit behind the black. Apparently this was symbolic to the two men representing the Assassins relationship with the world. Its understandable that when the Master Assassin returned from Edwards deathbed in Warwick he was quite emotional at the sight of he and his friends last chess match, it is said in tribute to the fallen king he knocked the white king over. However this mood swung around as sadness at a loss filled with a desire for revenge.
He gathered the Assassins and started setting his plans in motion, using the chess board to represent the current political climate. William, Duke of Normandy was the true King of England and the Assassins would support that. He quickly dispatched two riders to take gold to the Duke of Normandy as well as inform him of his right in the eyes of the deceased king. The journey was arduous, before Harold, a vessel would simply have traveled from the Thames Estuary to Normandy, however now due to political issues with the Normans borders and the fact that there was an enemy king; one aware of the Assassins actions on the throne that would be too obvious. Instead they traveled down to Cornwall and took command of a small fishing vessel to cross the English Channel landing in Brittany where they were met by the Assassins of the Brittany cell, who expressed their displeasure at there support of William after the Norman/Brittany wars of 1064-1065. However they disliked Conan II more, seeing him as an oaf after enduing the war by not heeding the Normans warnings and agreed to help as long as the English order assassinated Conan by years end.
In England, the Master Assassin continued his game, his Knight was in France now, so he turned to a friend of his and the late Kings, the Archbishop of Canterbury and had the Archbishop send word to the Pope himself and ask him to bless the Duke of Normandy's proposed invasion. Although the Pope sent no sign back to the Archbishop of his decision it is kknown that a rider and Papal Bull was dispatched from Rome to the Duke of Normandy's court.With the Brittany cells aid the messengers made it to Williams court some time in late January 1066 and found Kind Harold's brother Tostig; whom Harold had King Edward exile, demanding the Duke support. The Duke admitted he had intentions to invade England as he had intended to do in 1065 when King Edwards health failed suspiciously and now after he had support from the Pope, but yet didn't have the forces available to perform the invasion.
Once Tostig left Williams court the Assassin messengers saw him and offered their gold up for blessing and to pay for his war preparations. William courteously accepted the money and did indeed take it with him when he went to have himself and his intentions blessed, the Assassin messengers returned to London, leaving William with an envoy near the border with Brittany to aid in raising an army.>Assassin records have Tostig on the Isle of Wight in May 1066, after his meeting at Williams court. Its here the assassins helped him gain money and provisions subtly. Although Tostig's "Nuisance raids" weren't planned by the Assassins they helped distract Harold from William in France. Tostig managed to Raid as far as Sandwich, before having to retreat after Harold called out a much larger land and naval force. After this initial defeat Tostig tried desperately to contact his brother, Gyrth, and get him to join his rebellion. Gyrth however was completely loyal to Harold.
Unable to gain more support Tostig launched a few more raids in Norfolk and Lincolnshire before the now Templar and Harold supporting Earls Edwin and Morcar defeated him, his army deserted him and Tostig fled to Scotland where, the Scots Assassins- who were supporting Harald Hardrada's claims to the English throne - looked after Tostig and protected him on his voyage to Norway to meet Hardrada.
The cards were dealt everything now seemed ready, Harold had his army focused in the South East awaiting the imminent invasion from William, Harald and Tostig in Norway were making there preparations, Harald was filling the lines in his army from the recent war with Denmark. William had rewarded his Anglo-French Assassin Allies by teaching the Assassins who would be going into battle with him key skills in Archery and horsemanship that he was well renown in the region for. As summer passed into autumn the lines were drawn, everyone was now waiting for someone to act, the tensions in the region were high and all the Assassins had to do was be ready to assist the people of England and wait.
The battle lines were drawn and all through summer, forces were built and mounted, all waited as a dangerous game was played by the three leaders, each one waiting for the other to blink or show weakness to either steal the throne or destroy anther's chances. The summer was drawing to the close and as August gave way to September, Harold's south eastern army faced an issue, Harold's army was not a professional army; - A professional army being one made up mostly or entirely by fully trained soldiers - Harold's army was made up of militia men, men who normally were farmers or farm hands and as such as the last days of summer came in these men had to return to their fields to tend to there crops. Harold had no other option, and on the 8th September he had to dismiss his army in the south east so they could return to there normal occupations.
Word of this stand down of Harold's anti-invasion forces spread. The forces in Norway and Normandy started there advances, both leaders knowing that it was now a race to England, first one to get to England, kill Godwinson and march on London would be King. Geographically William would have gotten there normally within a day or so, however bad weather sunk a few of his vessels crossing the channel and he was forced back into shelter. This combined with a fear of a lingering fear of the large English defense force kept William in port for a few weeks. Instead Hardrada and Tostig arrived first, sailing up the Humber estuary.
Harold was surprised at this Norwegian invasion, and to say the least was a little unprepared, Scarborough was razed to the ground after not surrendering to Hardrada and after that various other Northumbrian cities surrendered to him, by the 20th September Hardrada and Tostig traveled down the Humber to Fulford outside York. It was here that Hardrada's forces met the first English resistance in the form of an army under the commands of the Earls Edwin and Morcar. Although the English defence had the upper hand initially, attacking the Norwegian lines as the formed for battle, the Norwegians out flanked and out maneuvered the English army and forced it to retreat to the city of York. Tostig viewed the city of York as his capital once Harold was gone and as such didnt want the city razed to the ground. York Surrendered, the invaders agreed not to enter the city as part of the terms of surrender, instead they set up camp nearby at Stamford Bridge. Although the Norwegians won the battle of Fulford it came at a cost, the Norwegians had taken heavy casualties.
Word of the loss of York, arrived in London by Assassin Messenger, The Assassins werent pleased to hear about how rapidly Harald was making progress, the intention was for William, the man they backed to take London and become king. This was now in jeopardy. The Assassins came to the conclusion that the best way to solve this problem and buy William some time was to pass the information to Harold before his own sources could get it to him and hope that Harold would race off to confront the Norwegians.
The plan worked, however now not taking chances the Assassins sent the messenger back to york accompanied with an Assassin, with orders to kill Harald preferably before any battle took place. At the same time another messenger went south to find out where Williams force was. Harold, who until now had prepare meticulously for an invasion was caught off guard; he had been expecting an invasion from the south not from the northwest. He raced with his army from the south through London towards York gathering troops as he went.
The Assassins had returned to York to find the city under guard and difficult if not impossible to slip within, as such the two Assassins found themselves stuck in the countryside near Stamford Bridge and the Norwegian encampment, unable to speak Norwegian and without an exact image of Harald Hardrada to go by the two Assassins chose to hide in the wilderness and gather information to the best of their abilities.
They didn't have to wait long, Harold had marched his men day and night for four days and on the 25th September was at York with his men, closing in on Stamford Bridge where the battle would commence. They caught the Norwegians off guard, as they only saw the English force at the last minute furthermore the Norwegian forces were divided in two, lastly as yet another unfair disadvantage due to to the day being unseasonably hot, and the fact that the Norse had ruled out any possible English retort, they had left their armour on their long boats up the coast. The English force attacked the Norwegian soldiers stranded on the western side of the river Derwent, off guard and un prepared it was more of a massacre than a battle. The Assassins took this opportunity and slipped seamlessly into the English battle lines as they forced the Norwegian forces back to the river and the small bridge crossing.
Very quickly the western Norse force broke and routed, most were slain those still alive fled. However as the English arrived at the bridge head they encountered a legend in the making. The Assassins recorded the incidents as;
A large Norwegian man, easily 6 foot tall blocked the bridge, in hand he wielded a large battle axe. He swung ferociously at Godwinsons men. As we had no other information to go on we took this mans appearance and skills and compared it to that of William, Duke of Normandy; whom it is reported is also very tall and skilled with his chosen weapon. With this we decided on how to Assassinate this man who was likely the King. We headed upstream of the bridge collecting a simple barrel as we went. I being in chain mail suggested that Jacob, who had fled York in his white robes, go down river in the barrel. Jacob was armed with a spear and was sent down river in his barrel. Reports say that the Norsemen killed 40 of Godwinson's men before Jacob forced him off the bridge. Jacob could not confirm the kill and rejoined me shortly as we awaited with the English force to cross the bridge.
This delay gave the Norse time to form a shield wall - a normally formidable early form of battle, where each man held his shield in his left hand and used it to cover the man to his left while being covered by those on their right, this wall was a very primitive form of line infantry, where sheer numbers, flanking or later cavalry would be the only way to defeat the enemy. This time to prepare and the fact that the territory the Norse were on meant that initially when the English crossed the bridge they were ambushed, however rapidly the English defenders formed there own wall and taking full advantage of the enemies lack of armour slowly cut through the enemy line. After hours of combat, It is estimated that both sides lost between 5000 and 6000 men, however by sheer numbers and the fact the enemy had no armour except for helmets the English firstly fractured and then broke the enemy line.
The battle developed into mayhem as the two lines broke down and merged, the Norse were now out flanked and were gradually being annihilated, the Assassins had followed closely behind the lines making sure not get directly involved in the shield was - the risk of death before completing the assignment was far too great especially as it was just the both of them there. Eventually the Assassin on horse back charged forward as the lines broke and merges slashing his way through the lines he eventually found his target;
Suddenly out of the mass of men a glint of gold instead of steel drew my eye! I looked quickly not expending too much time as I on horseback was a fitting target to the Norse soldiers. I spotted it quickly a man in far more elaborate and splendid dress, on his helmet I noticed a crown of brilliant gold and instantly I knew he was my target! He was Hardrada the man I had to kill! I swung my sword at an advancing Norseman and charged forth closing the gap between him and I. I was once again engaged, not wishing to get any closer for fear of engaging all his personal guard I took this moment to swiftly draw a dart - the blade of solid Iron and the handle of beech - and with a quick flick I threw the dart and watched as my weapon hit the target in the throat before he dropped his battle axe and fell to the ground. I was engaged by a Norseman and after a few minutes fighting I felt a pain in my arm and with my final slash of my sword; killing the man, I lost my grip on my weapon. I saw blood. I quickly opened and closed my hand, deciding it was nothing more than a flesh wound. Seeing his guard otherwise engaged by English soldiers, I charged over to his side and dismounted. Hardrada was bleeding out, he struggled to talk. The dart had hit him squarely in the throat. Unable to speak Norse I gave him the last rites in Latin and put him out his misery quickly before collecting his battle axe and proceeding to battle my was back slowly into the English lines where I could slip away.
With Hardrada dead and Tostig felled shortly the remaining Norwegians were shattered and the army started to disintegrate, The unnamed Assassin raced to York from the battle site to receive medical treatment and was separated from his partner Jacob. As the day seemed won additional Norse reinforcements arrived from the ships docked at Ricall. These men were fully armoured, however it is said that some had been marched so hard and so fast that they collapsed and died on arrival to the battlefield from exhaustion. These 3000 additional men temporarily held up the English advance. This advance was led by Hardrada's daughters fiance, Orri. This became known as "Orri's storm" however this was short lived as Jacob sought out the leader of this advanced attack thinking he had found Hardrada he killed Orri, and rapidly the Norwegian army routed.
The escaping army was pursued by the English army, Jacob thinking he had lost the other Assassin started the long journey back to London to report that Hardrada was dead. The Norse retreat was done in such chaos however it is reckoned that some Norsemen drowned in the rivers as they fled. Stuck trying to board vessels the Norwegians had to meet Harold. Hardrada's son Olaf and the Earl of Orkney met with the English king and after making pledges to never attack England again were permitted to leave. The Norse losses were so horrific that of the 300 vessels needed to bring the Norwegian invasion to British shores only 24 vessels were required to take the survivors away.
Although History would mistake the way Hardrada died, to the Assassins benefit, it was a decicive victory for the Assassins and to Harold. He had won his first conflict for his crown. He had fought off an invasion rapidly however this victory would be short lived.
Jacob promptly returned to London and delivered the news to the Master Assassin as well as further information relating to the remnants of the English army. The Assassins had received the outcome that they had desired and as such they had just now to raise the invasion signal. In France they had found a bird with a remarkable talent of being taken from a point to another destination and after being released it would fly home. This was an essential discovery as time was now of the essence. Harold's army was greatly weakened and was already marching back to London to recover, Williams force would have to land as soon as possible to capitalize on the weakness of his army.
The Master Assassin went to the top of the Assassins hall in the city and took the homing pigeon, on the roof he attached a red ribbon around its leg and launched the bird from the rooftop, standing in the hot September afternoon watching as the bird took flight and soared higher and higher into the sky. The bird would make it to France within 24 hours over that of a small group of messengers traveling 4 or 5 days, this would give them and William the element of surprise.
It worked the pigeon landed at the temporary location of the Assassin-in-General Frysel, who commanded the small cell now acting out of Normandy, Frysel was conducting his business and that of the Assassins from a farm near the coast. Once the signal for the invasion had arrived Frysel himself called in all the Assassins and headed to the awaiting invasion force where they informed William of the signal. Within 3 days of Harold's victory at York, Williams forces arrived at Pevensey in Sussex, some ships were blown off course and landed at Romney, where the Normans had to fight a local lord. However this did not stem their progress. William and his forces built a small wooden castle at Hastings before setting up a small fortification at Pevensey.
Harold had spent a week in London, he tried hard to get more men to support his army however London was the wrong place to canvas for his army. The City of London had seen how weak the kings army was and refused any more men of the city going to be slaughtered for a lost cause. Instead they agreed to look after the Kings men. However this arrangement didn't last long, as the Assassins operating out of London used the proximity of the King to manipulate their own game they were playing and after word reached them that William had built a castle a Hastings they passed the word onto the King. Unknown to the King, William had been on English soil for nearly a fortnight.
Harold left London in a hurry with a generally weakened army and force marched to within 8 miles of Hastings on the evening of the 13th October 1066. Emissaries were sent between the two forces, however this action was very much in vain. William was committed to taking England and wouldn't agree to any deal with Harold, except Harold kingdom and his unconditional surrender. That option wasn't open to Harold and as such to two emissaries parted.
As the emissaries parted and Harold's returned to his camp the Assassin Frysel followed him to get Harold's exact location and to gather information on Harold's forces before the imminent battle the next day. Frysel informed the Duke that Harold intended to use an element of surprise in his initial attack to try an gain the upper hand. Although it was now late at night William wasn't taking any risks and moved his army to what would have been the Battle field through the night setting up camp and providing enough time for travel and set up that clergy and servants were brought by most of the dukes relatives and kinsmen. Cautious to have plenty of warning of Harold's arrival William posted a Scout party on Senlac Hill.
The sun rose at 6:45 am on Saturday 14th October, it was an unusually bright sunrise. Harold's forces set off from there camp early in the morning and mobilized over old roman roads arriving on Senlac Hill shortly before 8 am, the scouts returned to the Duke and informed him of Harolds imminent arrival and as such he started to form line for Battle.
Harolds forces lined up on the crest of Senlac Hill, forming an impenetrable shield wall. The two forces faced each other for the first time and at around 9am Battle commenced. Williams forces made the first strike his archers sent volley after volley of arrows up hill. However this was a strategic disadvantage as most arrows missed their targets, this was because the angle the arrows were fired resulted in most either bouncing off shields or ultimately overshooting the defenders. Further to Williams archers anguish there was very few English archers, even less returning fire which meant there were no arrows for the Norsemen to collect and re-use.
After a short while, William decided to send his spear men forward to try and break some holes in the shield wall, however as the spear men advanced up the hill they soon found themselves in trouble. English forces behind the shield wall started tossing axes, swords and stones at the oncoming spear men. This barrage continued and the spear men were not making much headway, afraid of losing a portion of his infantry William sent forward his cavalry to attack the wall in order to hopefully break the line and to act as a diversion to let some of his spearmen to retreat.
At this time Assassins implanted in Williams army heard rumors that the Duke of Normandy had been killed, quickly the cogs moved into motion as they started to scout out where the rumor came from at this time an Assassin rode from the right section of Williams 3 section army and rode to the Duchy party where the Assassin-General Frysel was informed of the situation. Immediately he ordered an investigation by the Assassins, with a sense of urgency, a battlefield with an on going battle was the last place he wanted to be chasing up enemy influences and plots. The Anglo-frank assassins didn't take long to follow the trail back to the knightly party of Eustace II, Count of Bolougne. The count had long been suspected to secretly be against his nephew, William. To reinforce these suspicions it was known that the Count had housed William of Talou after his rebellion against William in 1052.
As Frysel heard these suspicions and informed William both men witnessed at the Counts guard and himself seemed to turn from the battle field and head off making ready to call the retreat of his knights. Frysel urged William to show himself to the men and summon the Count. William obliged and raised his visor and called to the Count. Eustace approached William and urged him to call the the entire force into retreat, that the day was lost, although it seemed this way initially William had faith that as soon as he broke the line victory would be assured and urged Eustace knights to remain in line; which after seeing the Duke alive obliged. Eustace while riding back to join his knights was attacked by an assassin who was implanted in his guards. The assassin used a throwing knife and struck the Count between his shoulder blades that punctured his lung and caused him to cough up blood. Eustace, half dead was escorted off the battlefield was was replaced by the Assassin.
With the count of Bolougne off the battlefield William could return his focus to fighting, the cavalry was now taking the majority of the missiles from the ranks of the English army, the pikemen had mostly broken off there engagement and were starting the careful run down the hill. William gave the command for the cavalry to break off its engagement. As the cavalry did this a section of the English line gave chase and followed the retreating Norse army. Acting off a hunch - the fact that it was only a section of the line and that Harolds plan had been found out; hold a firm line and force the Norse into retreat, back to the coast and strike them when there backs were to the sea. Using this hunch, thinking that Harolds borthers may have given if not were leading the charge. Frysel commanded his assassins on horseback to race around the Frank lines and join the retreating cavalry, while advising William to have his forces engage the advancing isolated English force.
This reference section is full of a condensed sections including the various groups that have made up the British Assassins covered in the Assassinica, as well as an elaboration on there Histories, Dress, Traditions, Equipment and Ranks. Although this gives information on the groups it does not cover there activities like the articles above do, this is simply for those interested to refresh themselves on the groups or look further for additional information on the groups that does not fit in with the above stories.
Additionally here there is also places of interest. This gives a brief history of significant locations that have been marked in the Assassins history above and allows for a little elaboration or additional knowledge that would other wise not be used or relevant in the above stories.
I hope you find this little additional bit interesting.
The Lobster Back (talk) 22:27, July 29, 2013 (UTC)
British Assassins through the Ages.
In the beginning of the Assassins presence in Great Britain they were known as Druids. These druid's were hybrids from the First Civilization born into sites across the land most notably the roots of the English Brotherhood at Stonehenge where after the site was completed in 1600 BC the First Civ members crossbred with the human populace. The result were a race of people who held special skills and wisdom - skills such as what is now known as Eagle vision and Free running. The Druids with there skills and the knowledge that they had come from the loins of the First Civ were seen as priestly and were followed almost blindly by the people. These men became vital to the community. There judgements as well as there special visions were sought by the people on civil matters, there relationship with the god like first civ meant there advice and guidance was required for spiritual enlightenment and a happy life and there knowledge was used to develop the civilization and benefit the people.
By around 200 BC the First Civ at Stonehenge were demanding more tributes from the people. The druids who had become more free thinking viewed themselves no longer as servants of the First Civ but as defenders of the people and as such decided that they had end the rule that the First Civ members had over the people by the sword of Eden. In a dramatic and bloody turn the druids followed through with there plans and attacked the First Civ member and killed them with the sword of Eden freeing the people. Realizing the potential dangers of the Sword of Eden the leader of the druids had the sword impaled on the alter at Stonehenge, where it could only be used by hybrid druids and only then ceremonially, under the guidance and wisdom of the High Druid. Although we know more about the English druids the druids in Scotland had overcome there First Civ members possibly earlier than there English counterparts and did not manage to seize there pieces of Eden.
Peace was mostly apon the Druids as the people still respected them and looked up to them, while the Kings and rulers of tribes tried to keep them in good favour hoping that if they did the crops would yield well and conflicts would go in their favour. This tranquility was broken when in 55 BC word of a foreign group landing on British shores reached the Druids having missed the initial group when they heard of the foreigners returning the Druids sent a party to meet the Romans. Using Eagle vision to scout out these foreigners they found others like themselves who were doing the same thing to their group. The two groups agreed to meet individually and although language was a barrier the two groups communicated using eagle vision and came to an agreement. The Liberalis Circulum would prevent the Romans from invading Britain as long as the Druids allied themselves with the Liberalis Circulum and promoted trade with Rome., an amicable agreement that lasted for nearly 100 years. Rome invaded England in 43 AD, by 47 AD the south east was lost and the Druids fell into retreat to there sacred home at Stonehenge. Desperate to keep Britons free they backed any and all revolts including Boudicca's revolt in 60 AD, promising her good fortune in conflict and that the gods were on her side. Sadly the revolts failed and the Druids had become known as troublemakers. 70 AD Emperor Tiberius outlawed Druids. Most of the Druids turned to the remains of the Liberalis Circulum and were inducted into their order bringing it to British shore. However they remained attached to a small group of elders the puritans who remained as Druids at Stonehenge guarding the sword of Eden against those who wanted to use it for there own good.
This last core of puritan Druids managed to out live the Roman Empire that had outlawed it however there place in society was more or less gone. The end came in the 5th Century when one of there own, Arthur, betrayed them and turned the rest of the people against them in an attempt to seize the sword for his own plans of dominance of Britain. The murder of the senior druids sent the fragile brotherhood in Britain into shock and removed all central control as those related to the group fled, The Assassins would never be known as druids again.
Dress, Traditions and Equipment
The Druids took inspiration for there dress from the First Civ, choosing flowing white robes, the fabric was of simple make, using a lot the information gained from the first civ to refine it. A key factor of the dress was an over robe. The typical British weather consists of rain for a large portion of the year and in winter snow. To cope with this the druids developed a heavy cape with a beaked hood - the point of the beak allowed rain to run off the front faster instead of flowing down the side and saturating the rest of the cape. The cape was made up of layers of cloth over a layer of cowhide leather and on the interior a layer of sheepskin wool. This beaked cape is one of the earliest examples of the beaked hood made famous by Assassins such as Ezio Auditore, and at the time was the most common design for the Assassins. After the first civ were eliminated the Druids took some of there artifacts including there jewelry and used this to differentiate the senior druids from the juniors.
The weapons of the druids were quite primitive. They were mainly armed with short daggers and these were used daily for everything from sacrifices to cutting through brush. As men of faith and governance it wasn't deepened necessary for them to have many weapons. The other major weapon at the druids disposal was the sword of Eden - Excalibur, this was used for ceremonial and judicial purposes only before the events of the Arthurian legend and it was decided to hide the weapon.
The druids were very keen to keep there bloodline strong. They belived that they were special, and were specially selected and bred for the role of guiding and protecting the people. As such to keep their powers strong the druids kept breeding within their own kind. To prove their skills and their bloodline young druids were were tested in a ritual known as the Ritual of Oak and Mistletoe where a young druid would be sent to climb a grand oak tree and cut a sap of mistletoe from the very top of the tree and return it to the ground in the shortest time possible. Those who suceeded without death or injury were given the hooded robe and a feast was held using two bulls to provide the meat for the celebration while the mistletoe and parts of the bull would be used medicinally to help cure and prevent ailments in the gathered populace.
The Liberalis Circulum (The Liberal Circle)
The Liberalis Circulum was the name of the ancient Roman branch of the Assassin brotherhood. When members of this branch encountered men of there own kind when they landed in England on a mission to watch the aspiring Julius Ceaser in 55 BC. At that time the druids and the Circle made an agreement to assist each other to preserve the peace and mutual benefit to both nations. This agreement stood 100 years, until one of the key members of the roman order; Brutus died shortly after the assassination of Julius Ceaser, this interrupted the operations of the order in Rome briefly and allowed the critical trade agreements that both sides had fostered to be corrupted which lead to corrupt monarchs in Britain and eventually the invasion by the Romans.
In 60 AD as the Romans stranglehold on Britain commenced the Druids slowly and silently split, some members started turning to the Liberalis to offer them better training and tools than words to spark revolutions. Eventually the Romans became extremely suspicious of the druids and in 70 AD Emperor Tiberius outlawed druidism. To combat this rapidly the English Druids became part of the Liberalis Circulum, with only the hardcore purist English druids staying at Stonehenge.