Here's a more detailed look at the Blythe family's relations with the Assassin's through out the 15th, 16th, and 17th Centuries
The Blythe Family History
The Blythe family history starts with Geoffrey Blythe, who is born in 1464 to William Blythe and a woman whose name is lost to history, but it is know that she was a sister to Thomas Rotherham, a divine during the mid to late 15th Century. Geoffrey’s childhood is also un-documented, but he is known to have been educated at Eton before being elected to King’s College at Cambridge when he was only 19. He received his LL.D. in 1493, and a year later he was made prebend at the church in Strensall, and only a month later he was made the archdeacon. It is believed around this time that Geoffrey had met the king in person, beginning a personal relationship with Henry VII and his family. In 1496 he was an ordained priest; it was at this time he met with his brother, John, in Sheffield.
John was in the process of laying the foundations of a new house there (after their deceased parents house had burned down two years prior, and John was now retired from his bishop position), and Geoffrey decided to help; in 1497 the Bishops’ House was finished, and John took residence there. While in Sheffield a young woman caught his eye, and they began a romantic relationship.
Geoffrey made his way back to Cambridge, to take the position of Master King’s Hall; the position his brother had previously held. After an intimate night with the woman he met in Sheffield (by the name, Katherine), she became pregnant. Geoffrey was aiming to go high in the church, possibly even a Bishop's position, having a wife, or even a lover, was prohibited by the church; so he held a small service so Katherine would take the Blythe name, and is child would be legitimate. Then he hid all records of Katherine, and her pregnancy; Geoffrey had her live with his brother John, who was also an experienced doctor. Katherine had a son, whom Geoffrey baptized as Gregory; this was on June 17th, 1499. Unfortunately John would die on August 23rd, leaving the house and its possessions to Geoffrey; so Geoffrey allowed Katherine and Gregory to live there. Geoffrey continued to have many associations with the church, becoming Archdeacon of Sarum two days before his brother’s death; but King Henry VII was beginning to take interest in Geoffrey’s political prowess, and began assigning him to ambassadorial positions. In 1502 he became a special ambassador to Hungary; during which time, the Assassin’s had gained the support of Henry VII, and an Assassin Ally was put in The Star Chamber. When Geoffrey returned he was given the bishopric of Lichfield and Coventry as a reward, and was made Bishop of Winchester on September 27th, 1503. He was happy to have finally become a bishop in Henry’s court as he had always hoped to be.
But three years later, he intercepted a message to Edmund Audley, the Bishop of Salisbury. The letter outlined the allocation of some farm land to his Templar allies, to train some new recruits, as well as execution orders for an Assassin prisoner in the Tower. Confused, he went to the Tower that night, acting like he was giving some prisoners their last rites, and found the man. The Assassin told him of their Order, their philosophy, and goals; as well as the Templars their ultimate goal of domination, and their reach in the English court and nobility. Geoffrey did not want to believe him at first, but it all became clear to him, some of the things he had seen, it was all in front of him now. He decided he would help the man, who revealed his name to be Bernard Denn, escape his confinement in the Tower; sending a fake order to the guard that relieved him of his shift, he then unlocked his cell and guided him down the hall in shackles (as to not arouse suspicion). Once they go outside Geoffrey put on a peasant’s garb and hid Bernard in a cart filled with hay, taking him to Sheffield Castle, an Assassin base of operations. Upon arriving, Bernard revealed that he was actually the leader of the Assassins in England, assigned by Ezio Auditore himself; he was very gracious for Geoffrey’s help, and asked if Geoffrey would be willing to help in the future, Geoffrey accepted.
Geoffrey was designated an Assassin ally, and would serve as the replacement for the Assassin that was in The Star Chamber that was murdered just eight months before. Though Geoffrey had more use as an ally than an actual Assassin, he made a contract with the Assassins that his son, Gregory, was to become one. He began to buy out land from under the Templars, and allocate the land for the expansion of the English branch of the Brotherhood. In 1508 Geoffrey met Ezio Auditore, Mentor of the entire Assassin Brotherhood; Ezio praised him for his help with expanding the order, Geoffrey would find that praise being the most honorable thing he had ever received, since it was coming from such a legendary and famed Assassin. That next year, the Templar officials in Henry VIII’s court attempted to slander Geoffrey with treason allegations, and demanded blood; Geoffrey, having such a stature in the court, acquitted himself. Henry VIII and Geoffrey were actually personal friends, and less than a month later Henry acquitted the allegations officially. In 1512 Henry appointed Geoffrey as the Lord of Wales; he immediately utilized this position, by supplying more land to the Assassins as well as utilizing the trade routes, to increase income for the Assassins, and also using the routes to transport weapons, messages, and people all across England. In 1517 the Assassins began to train Gregory as Geoffrey had outlined in a contract of apprenticeship nearly a decade earlier. Geoffrey was captured by the Templars in 1523 and imprisoned in the Tower, the Templars told him if he relinquished his position as Lord of Wales, they would let him be, but more importantly spare his son, Gregory. He complied, they let him go; he soon resigned as Lord of Wales, and settled Sheffield with his son. He returned to London in 1528, to retire honorably as Master of King’s Hall; and again in November of 1529, to meet with his old friend Henry, who invited him to stay in his palace with him. Geoffrey spoke with Henry for hours, pressuring him to break away from the Catholic Church, and join Protestantism. Henry was shocked, but his old friend he had known since he was just a teenager was convincing; and so Henry told him he would do his best.
Geoffrey was poisoned on February 27th, 1530; and was stricken bed ridden, slowly dying. Gregory hurried to London as fast as he could, but knew he wouldn’t make it in time; but an old friend came to see him, the son of Bernard Denn, Stephan Denn. Stephan stayed with the old man, comforting him in his final days, and eventually taking his last words, which were: “Son, be the best man I could never be… make me proud”. Geoffrey would pass away on March 1st, 1530 in the presence of Stephan Denn, a servant of Henry VIII, and Henry himself; Gregory would arrive merely one hour too late. A statue was erected in Sheffield to his honor, and if you looked closely the medallion hanging around his neck had an Assassin Emblem carved into it, and he had a quaint smirk etched into his face. When asked by Stephan what his greatest legacy was Geoffrey stated, “The marker that will leave my greatest mark on history… is my son”.
The Apprentice: Gregory Blythe
Gregory Blythe was born June 17th,1499. Gregory lived with his mother in his deceased uncle’s house near Sheffield; his father would visit them occasionally, mostly around holidays when his father would bring him gifts. When Gregory was only 7 years old, his father became involved in the Assassin Order; at which time, new people began to come into the house, teaching him how to climb and run. Unbeknownst to Gregory, his father signed a secret contract for Gregory to be trained as an Assassin, when he turned the age of 18. As time went on, he was often brought to the castle to be thought how to use weapons, and to be taught about the basic studies, such as mathematics and literature.
When he turned 18, a renowned Irish Assassin named, Hemrick Delbert, took Gregory as an apprentice. He
trained hard for four years, until he was officially inducted to the Assassin Order in 1521; he began to take on low profile assassination jobs across England and France. In 1523, when his father was captured, Gregory was one of the ones chosen to undertake the rescue operation, which was called off when Geoffrey was released. Gregory was responsible for killing the last Yorkist pretender, Richard de la Pole, in 1525 during the Battle of Pavia, in Italy. He is also known (In the Order) for killing Thomas Docwra, Grand Prior of The Knights Hospitaller, in 1527. Gregory’s father died in 1530, Gregory arrivied shortly after he died; afterwards he promptly erected a statue in his honor in Sheffield. Gregory would spend the next decade sharpening his skills, and quarreling over Henry VIII because of the numerous executions he ordered; he would also carry out several major assassinations, as the Brotherhood saw fit. In the spring of 1535 Gregory met a woman in the Order named Elizabeth Donningham; she was a scholar that recorded assassinations and other actions in the Sheffield Castle Guild. The two became romantically involved, and in the winter of 1537 Elizabeth had a son, his name would be Jonathan. The two were married shortly before his birth, and the relationship would last several decades; producing three more children, another son (named Edward) and two daughters (named Anne and Maria). The year after Jonathan’s birth, Gregory was declared a Master; and was given only high profile cases.
In 1547, a complex plan emerged; in which Edward, and his brother, Thomas Seymour (who were both Templars) both planned to usurp the newly crowned King Edward VI in a deceptive plan, that also included Catherine Parr (former queen of Henry VIII). Gregory uncovered the plan after assassinating John Elyot in 1546, during which time he discovered several document pertaining to some sort of treachery; Gregory began spying on Thomas and Catherine, to discover the young Princess Elizabeth was in their custody and odds were that they would murder her, as to tie up any lose ends. But upon further looking into, Gregory discovered that Seymour and Parr were sexually abusing her, so they could “have fun” with their young prisoner before killing her. Gregory took Elizabeth in the night, risking his cover, and took her to Sheffield; Gregory then had the Royal guard arrest Thomas and Catherine, and put them up for execution. Edward quickly escaped, but Gregory would track him down before finding him and executing him in 1552. Elizabeth was very grateful for the rescue, and would begin a very long friendly relationship with the Assassins and the Blythe Family. But as it turned out this was just a complex distraction to the real threat… Mary.
In 1554, the Templars finally finished off Edward VI, and Lady Jane Grey was made queen, but out of nowhere Mary came with an army of Templars to kill her. The Assassins didn’t even have time to rally their forces before Mary had captured Jane and took the throne. Mary began a reign of terror, executing hundreds; she also began a campaign to annihilate the Assassins, many of the people executed were either Protestants, or Assassins labeled as Protestants. Gregory’s daughter Maria was killed during this time, taking a serious toll on him. Many Assassins left the country to France or Ireland, but Gregory stayed, to help in taking Mary down. In 1555 Gregory began training his son Jonathan, during Bloody Mary’s reign, he learned fast, and within two years he was inducted into the Order; Jonathan assassinated the head cook and a servant, making them look like accidents. The two then posed as the chef and servant, going deep in undercover in Mary’s palace. Gregory, who was posing as the chef, began spiking Mary’s meals with flu infected food; and eventually Mary came down with flu (for further readings on this go to chapter Bloody Mary pages: 2-3).
After supplanting Elizabeth to the throne, Gregory was almost 60; the master was losing his youth, so he retired from assassination in 1561, and became a secret advisor to Elizabeth, consultant of the Apple, master of the Sheffield Guild, and a teacher for young Assassins. Gregory would die in 1573, after an accident while training, he broke his back, leaving him bedridden, he died of internal bleeding two days later; he was 74. He was buried next to his father in Lichfield.
The Assassin: Jonathan Blythe
Jonathan Blythe was born on January 9th, 1527, in Sheffield; from an early age he was educated about the Assassins and Templars, taught to freerun, and climb by his father, and his father’s friends in Sheffield. Throughout his childhood and teen years he was trained to use weapons and what not; when he was 15, his nine year old younger sister, Maria, was killed during an attack by the Templars, this brought on a deep hatred of the Templars from a young age. He began his training at 18, and was inducted at 20, just before undertaking a joint operation with his father in 1558. Afterwards he spent another four years refining his skills, but eventually settling in England to be an advisor to Elizabeth, primarily; some could say that Jonathan was Elizabeth’s personal Assassin, keep in mind he was not the only Assassin in court, but he was a major figure. If Elizabeth needed someone specific killed, she would most likely send Jonathan.
Jonathan was trained alongside a woman, named Ann; and the two became a couple during the last bit of training, they had four children, three sons and a daughter, named Richard, John, William, and Elizabeth. Jonathan would be responsible for dozens of important assassinations over the next twenty years.
The Adventurer: Richard Blythe
Richard was born on May 5th, 1554, and his family had a very respectable status; which meant from an early age he was acquainted with many of England predominate figures from the late 16th Century. This is how he came to know Walter Raleigh, from the age of six he two were close friends. They were trained together, and inducted around the same time; although they were of great skill, Raleigh became of Superior rank, while Blythe became his right hand man. From around 1579-1581 they spent time in Ireland, before returning to England, they were knighted in 1585. The two parted in this year so the Richard could get married to Anna Hickson his long time lover from their time in Ireland. They made many excursions to France and America over the decade before his marriage. Richard would continue to be Walter’s right hand man even after Walter’s appointment of Mentor. After Raleigh’s death in 1612 the Templar’s turned their attention to Richard; he was subsequently poisoned as well.
<May write a spin-off about him eventually>
The Father: William “Smit” Blythe
William “Smit” Blythe on October 23rd, 1586; and was sheltered from the Order unlike his father. He began hunting with his father from about the age of seven, and early on learned that his true passion was in hunting. He was also apprenticed as a Cutler in which time he became a skilled smith, which granted him the pseudonym “Smit”. At around the age of 15 he began going on solo hunting excursions in Sheffield and with his cousins in Lincolnshire. When he turned 18 his father told him of the Assassin’s, and asked him if he wanted to join, he said no. In 1605 he began hunting larger game across England going on “tours” with other hunters. And in the summer of 1607 he and a group of hunters planned an excursion to Scotland; upon arrival they were taken into the castle and welcomed to a feast by the lord of the region William Duncan, and a place to sleep before they go up to the mountains to hunt wolves. While there he met Catherine Duncan daughter of Sir William, he met with her for many hours through the night where she revealed her fascination with her Gaelic ancestry, taking the Gaelic name Alva. The two ended up having a one night stand in which she conceived a child. Over the next several months, Smit hunted in the mountains successfully, while Alva kept her pregnancy hidden from her family.
The Orgins of Iolair
William “Iolair” Blythe II was born on April 17th, 1608, Alva (her given name was Catherine; but she gave herself the name Alva) proud of her Gaelic ancestry, decided to name her son Iolair, which means eagle. Alva’s father William Duncan ordered Alva to give the infant to its father, William “Smit” Blythe, for she was already in an arranged marriage. Smit was banished with the infant, and was sent with a female servant of William’s to nurse the child; they returned to Sheffield in five days. Smit was distraught at everything happening so suddenly, but upon his return to Sheffield, he began work at the forage; eventually raising enough money to purchase a house near Bower Spring. In the meantime Iolair would be partially raised by his grandfather Richard; Iolair was baptized, so he could be put into public birth records, on May 8th, 1608, and so he was given an English name, William. He was very close to his grandfather, uncle and aunt, and although he was given the name William, Iolair stuck and everyone called him by that. He had very coarse blonde hair, passed down from him mother’s side; of whom were Norse in origin. His eyes were dark brown, and had a faint white ring encompassing his iris; this was due to the secret locked deep within his DNA. Both Smit and Alva had a portion of First Civ. blood within them, enough to give them mild eagle vision, and so the combination gave him a higher concentration, giving him more abilities than most people that carried First Civ. DNA. As he grew up, he grew up with heightened senses, and saw the world in a different light; however it never felt different, for it had always been there.
Early on his grandfather filled him with the ideals of Assassin Philosophy; these doctrines would influence much of Iolair personality and values. His father bought the house on Bower Spring when he was two years of age, and it was around this time he began to develop a more personal relationship with his father, he had not previously held. Smit wanted Iolair to be educated in more than just job skills, and so from early on he tried to get Iolair interested in reading and later literature. By the time he was three Iolair could read entire books, and by five could read short novels. At the age of four Richard died suddenly from “sickness”, this devastated young Iolair whom of course had a very close relationship with his grandfather. At his funeral Iolair was not allowed to view the open casket, but was asked to wait in the parlor of the chapel with his younger cousins. The door to the service room was cracked open, and with a natural curiosity, peeked in to see what was happening; the viewing was nearing its close, and Iolair caught only a glimpse of Richard as they closed the casket. Richard was being buried with the common burial attire of the Assassin’s, a red hooded cloak, adorned with Assassin paraphernalia: symbols, weapons, etcetera. This confused Iolair, who would ponder the meaning for some time, until it faded from his memory, and eventually forgot about it.
Life went back to normal after a while, and Iolair grew as children do, both in body and in mind. He became more and more interested in contemporary literature, much advance for his age; and around the age of seven Smit hired a tutor for Iolair in London by the name of Robert Cotton. Cotton owned one of the largest libraries in the British Isle, with books dating back many centuries, and collected over several years of travel across Europe and the Near-East. Cotton took excursions to central England rather often, and gave cheap tutoring for children, being very educated in his old age. He took in Iolair around 1615, and taught him about: Geography, Mathematics, World History, Language, and more; Cotton would make trips to central England quite often, and whenever he did he would take Iolair along with him and teach him new things. This made Iolair very intelligent for his age, and especially during this period in history; he could have already been on the path to being a lawyer or a statesman. Cotton would continue teaching Iolair until he was about 12, and then with more sparse lessons through until he was about 15; in all he taught him many things, of the sciences, histories, and languages, like French, Italian, Spanish, some Old English, and even a bit of Gaelic.
As Iolair neared adulthood, Smit was preparing to tell Iolair of the Assassin's existence; but he was stalling. It is Tradition in the Sheffield Brotherhood that any children born with ties to the brotherhood must be informed of its existence by the time their 18 years old- then they must make the choice to either join, or not. Smit wanted Iolair to join the Company of Cutlers as an apprentice under him, but he was afraid the Iolair would rather become an Assassin.
End of Prologue...