|Location of activities|
|Activities within the Assassin Order|
|Most notable kills|
Born on the wrong side of Ravenstein's Walled city in the Duchy of Brabant, life was hard. When he was 17 years of age, he saw his land cut in half into the Staats-Brabant. This separated him from his parents who were unfortunate enough to be caught on the Spanish side, they were later killed for trying to cross the border. Being alone on the Dutch side, he was taken under the wing by his neighbour Johan de Leijder who, unknown to Wilco, was a member the Dutch Assassins Order (Nederlandsche Assassijnen Groeperingh) and had the rank of Veteraen. Johan, before he was recruited into the Order, was a farmer who lived in Lyme Regis when his town was invaded by Robert Blake’s garrison. Narrowly escaping capture and/or death, Johan fled to the Netherlands where he would later be recruited into the Order. Already very agile by nature, he quickly ranked up to Veteraen. By the time he met Wilco, he was filled with hatred towards Robert Blake for destroying his peaceful life. For the first few weeks, Johan and Wilco lived in peace on the countryside. Wilco became frustrated with Johan when he kept assigning him to do the many hard manual labor jobs and this frequently ended in a fight. However, on Wilco's 18th birthday, he was told the truth. Johan was actually training Wilco to become the strongest he could be, without sacrificing speed, of course very important for Assassins. He was officially recruited and began his training under the teachings of his guardian, now more focused.
Wilco, already agile and muscular by nature, learned very quickly under the teachings of his mentor. He became interested in the chemistry of poisons and was later able to create undetectable poisons from common kitchen items. This, and his natural ability to lead people, made him stand out from his Assassin brothers. For the first few years he coated his knives with poison so to poison his victims, but Wilco wanted something safer, he wanted it to be done from a distance. In order to use his poison from a distance while remaining undetected, Wilco designed a poisonous dart which was nearly invisible to the naked eye, but carried a highly-lethal dose. This new weapon helped him become very skilled with ranged weapons and when he was just 25 years of age, he had already reached the rank of Meeschter and started the route to become an Assassijn in den eersgte Orde. For this he needed to successfully complete the task given to him by his assigned Meeschter Assassijn, which was Johan.
- "Jij krijgt eene jaer de tijt om Robert Blake te vermoorden om desche versghrick'leyke oorlogh te stoppen ende rust te brenghen onder 't volk."
- ―Johan de Leijder (8 August 1656)
Johan had given Wilco 1 year time to kill Robert Lake, England’s most prestigious General, a feat which seemed impossible. In the year that followed, Wilco did several attempts on Robert’s life which left him scarred, physically and mentally. One of which was in the early morning of 20 April 1657, where Wilco (disguised as a Spanish soldier) entered Robert's sleeping quarters. Since he had no poison with him, he planned to slit Robert's throat and leave the Spanish-style knife at the body; this would make sure that the people did not suspect anyone but the Spanish army. However, luck was against Wilco then... He swam undetected towards the flag ship of the fleet and scaled the side up to the window of Robert's room. The window was locked, so Wilco used his lock-picking skills to open the lock. When Wilco finally managed to open the window he stepped inside, knocking against the table in the process and waking up Robert. Robert awoke with a shock and stared in disbelieve at the intruder. When he spoke, there was not a shred of fear in his voice, only determination one should expect from such an experienced soldier.
- "I do not know who you are, but any attempt at my life is foolish. You may kill me, but that won't stop this army!"
- ―Robert Blake (translated into modern English)
At second glance though, Robert suspected that his intruder was no Spaniard, as his complexion was pale with no hint of Spanish blood. He quickly grabbed his gun and shot Wilco in his outstretching arm, waking up his shipmates. Wilco quickly retreated, but not before the First Mate missed a shot which he took from the doorway. In the commotion that followed, the crew was sure that this was an attack from the Spanish fleet and quickly retaliated. The attack began at 9AM under the command of Rear-Admiral Stayner, the fight lasted until 1PM with a huge victory for the English fleet; no English ships were destroyed.
Knowing someone had it out for his life, he decided to go back to Plymouth after his huge victory, scheduled to arrive there on the 7th of August. Because Wilco’s task was about to expire, he knew that this was his last change to kill the wounded man and become a true member of the Order. Disguised as a common deckhand, Wilco plotted his moves carefully, but Robert was very careful and rarely left his cabin and walk among the common shipmates. However, with Plymouth in sight, he allowed himself to step on the deck and view the land from afar. It took Wilco about 1 minute to scale the main mast of the ship, blow his poisonous dart into Robert's neck and retreat into his hammock without detection. Because the dart remained undetected, it was ruled that he died from his old wounds and was later buried as a hero.
Knowing he had successfully completed his task to kill Robert, Wilco went back to the Assassin Headquarter in the secret dungeons under the Domtoren in the city of Utrecht. Having heard the news of Robert Blake's death, Johan welcomed Wilco as an old friend and preparations for Wilco's ceremony began. As had become custom, Wilco received a banquet of bread and Dutch beer from the family of the Mentor Bruno van Aalten. Bruno was more commonly referred to as Adulf (meaning noble wolf) because of his ability to silently traverse a forest.
While completing a minor task in the city of Amsterdam in 1660, Wilco met the artist Rembrandt van Rijn who was being attacked by 3 man. Quickly dispatching the 3 attackers, Wilco wanted to make sure Rembrandt was all right before departing. Rembrandt had claimed bankruptcy in 1656, was slowly regaining his fortune as he was working in the art-shop of his son Titus and his unofficial wife Hendrickje. Asking Wilco for help, Wilco used his connections with the city council so Rembrandt was commissioned to paint the The Conspiracy of Claudius Civilis for the gallery of the new city hall on the Dam Square. For showing his gratitude to Wilco, he offered him to paint him any painting he wanted, which Wilco gladly accepted to use in the Order's underground headquarters. It was agreed between Wilco, Johan and Adulf that the painting should depict the death of Cesare Borgia at the hands of Ezio Auditore da Firenze at the Siege of Viana. Knowing he could not reveal the location of their headquarters, Wilco (in agreement with Adulf) offered to anesthetize Rembrandt with his newly-discovered chemical so he could be brought into the headquarters to paint his painting. Rembrandt readily accepted after preparations and was brought to Leiden to be anesthetized as a further precaution not to reveal the location.
While the painting was being painted, it was time for Wilco's initiation into the Order. As was tradition, they first had a banquet, followed by the ceremony where the sacred word were uttered, followed by a dive of the Domtoren into a bale of hay. The banquet was provided not only by the Order, but also by friends of Wilco he had made with his actions for the Order. After an hour of feast, it was time for the ceremony. Adulf stood before his men in the ceremonial robes, they were red and long enough to fully conceal Adulf feet, it was as if he was one with the ground. Wilco wore no special robes, he would receive his after the ceremony. To distinguish the 'normal' Assassins from the Mentor, these robes consist of brown robes with a green hood and cape and a sword. These colors represented the forest of which the Dutch Republic had evolved, while the sword represented the influence the Order had in the world. But before these robes were his, he had to perform the chant and he would be an official member of the Order.
- Adulf: "Waer andre blint de waerheyt volgen, herinner..."
- Wilco: "Nietsch sijt waer."
- Adulf: "Waer andre worden beperkt door goede seden off wetten, herinner..."
- Wilco: "Allesch sijt toegestaen."
- Adulf: "Wij wercken in 't donker om 't ligt te dienen. Wij sijn Assassijnen."
- —The chanting which inducted Wilco into the Order
With Wilco as an official member of the order, our story will depart and look into the painting that was being painted. This painting was going to be the largest Rembrandt had made, much larger than The Night Watch, with dimensions of 515cm × 620cm. It took 5 Assassin's over 3 weeks to gather all the linen that was required for the canvas, while 2 others gather the wooden beams which would become the frame. Because Rembrandt wanted it to be oiled based, the room received a series of air holes as to create an air current to dry the painting. Rembrandt supposedly couldn't work for more than 15 minutes at a time because of headaches, while in the rest times he sketched what he was going to paint. Because the painting was so enormously big, he asked for the help of his son, who worked with him on the painting until his death in 1668; in his grief for his son he completely immersed himself into the painting. The fumes of his painting in the relative enclosed space caused Rembrandt to have terrible headaches which leaved him incapacitated for long periods of time. Rembrandt, still not completely finished with the painting, passed away within a year of losing his son... His funeral was held at the Westerkerk in Amsterdam, sponsored and attended by the High Members of the Assassin Order.
But the painting he left was still incomplete, Rembrant had focused first on the bodies and less to the background. Because the Assassin's did not want a painting without a proper background, they invited the unknown painter Johannes Vermeer to finish the background. Vermeer was not famous outside of his hometown of Delft, but he was known to the Assassin Order because he had helped them before by providing some information. Vermeer readily accepted the offer, happy to work on a painting of his idol and finishing his last work. It still took Johannes over a year to complete all the background, but when he was finished he was very satisfied with the result.