The Assassin’s Creed franchise has quickly become one of the most expansive franchises in gaming. If the twisty tales of its near-annual mainline stories weren’t enough, Ubisoft has left no stone unturned when building upon the lore of its historical epic.

With novels, comics, spin-off games, films, and more adding an increasingly convoluted number of layers to the story, trying to understand it all can reasonably make your head spin. Fear not, intrepid member of the order, we’ve got you covered with our guide to Assassin’s Creed’s entire story explained in a simple timeline.

Our timeline will primarily be sticking to the plotline explored in the mainline games. Many of the spin-off books and comics are unrelated to the main story, but for those who want to experience everything the franchise has to offer we’ve handily listed all of these titles in their correct places on the Assassin’s Creed timeline. You can find these in the Further Adventures at the bottom of each mainline game’s entry in the timeline.

Earth’s First Civilization

Minerva in Assassin's Creed 2
Image Source: Ubisoft Entertainment via Twinfinite

Most games in the Assassin’s Creed franchise reveal events happening in both the distant past and the present day, alongside the historical setting where most of the gameplay takes place.

At least 77,000 years ago, a species known as the Isu ruled the Earth. They were a highly advanced species with technology far exceeding our present-day capabilities. For all intents and purposes, they were gods. Millennia later, that’s how they’re mostly remembered, with many religions and mythologies throughout Human history being based upon the Isu. The Isu, however, had their problems.

There existed different factions, and they were not immune from war. To this end, they created Humans to serve them as workers and soldiers. Some Isu even chose to breed with their Human workforce, resulting in a hybrid species. Two of these hybrids, Adam and Eve, would rebel against the Isu. This kicked off a war between the Isu and Humans that would last for 10 years.

With the Isu distracted by the war, they were unaware of an otherwise preventable solar event that would all but wipe out entirely all life on Earth. A few members of each species survived, and the event became known as the Great Catastrophe. The remaining Isu would soon die off, but humankind endured to become Earth’s dominant species.

How best to use the knowledge and artifacts of the Isu sits at the heart of the conflict that runs throughout the Assassin’s Creed games. The Assassins (or Hidden Ones as they were known before the 11th Century) operate from the shadows, believing that people should be free to live their lives how they wish, even if this results in chaos. On the other hand, the Templars want to use the Isu artifacts to maintain totalitarian control over the human race in the belief that this will bring peace.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Assassin's Creed Odyssey Key Art
Image Source: Ubisoft Entertainment

Chronologically, the earliest game in the Assassin’s Creed franchise, Odyssey, takes place in Ancient Greece. Kicking off in 431 BCE, the game’s events occur against the backdrop of the Peloponnesian War. You take on the role of either Alexios or Kassandra, the grandchildren of King Leonidas. The family bloodline is direct descendants of the Isu.

After inheriting the Spear of Leonidas, one of the Isu artifacts known as the Pieces of Eden, Kassandra (the game’s canonical main character) becomes a mercenary. She discovers that the Cult of Kosmos has infiltrated the Delian League and the Peloponnesian League, manipulating each side into fighting the other.

The Cult’s ultimate goals are to take over Greece and wipe out Leonidas’ bloodline, so Kassandra sets about assassinating the Kosmos lieutenants. Along the way, she discovers the identity of her real father, Pythagoras, who is guarding the gates to the lost Isu city of Atlantis. Kassandra seals off Atlantis and takes possession of the Staff of Hermes, thus effectively making her immortal.

Legacy of the First Blade

The first of Odyssey’s two expansion packs, Legacy of the First Blade, has Kassandra meeting with Darius, a Persian warrior fighting the Order of the Ancients. As the expansion title implies, Darius is the first assassin to wield the hidden blade.

Darius follows the Order of the Ancients to Greece, where they plan to eliminate Leonidas’ bloodline. Together, Kassandra and Darius thwart the Order’s plans. Kassandra and Darius’ son Natakas have a son named Elpidios. Because of the constant threat facing Kassandra, the child goes to Egypt with his grandfather, Darius.

The Fate of Atlantis

Kassandra travels to simulations of various locations from Greek mythology created by Alethia, an Isu whose consciousness resides in the Staff of Hermes. These trials confirm Kassandra’s role as the Keeper, whose purpose is to protect the Earth.

Further Adventures

  • Assassin’s Creed: Jade is an upcoming mobile game set in 3rd Century BCE China.

Assassin’s Creed Origins

Assassin's Creed Origins Key Art
Image Source: Ubisoft Entertainment

Released before Odyssey but chronologically taking place after it, Origins tells the tale of Bayek. A descendant of Kassandra, he faces off against the Order of the Ancients as they’ve grown to power in Egypt during the 1st century BCE.

At the start of Origins, Bayek and his son are kidnapped by members of the Order, who force him to use an Isu artifact to open a vault. This artifact is one of the many apples of Eden found throughout the Assassin’s Creed stories. Bayek escapes, but he accidentally kills his son in the ensuing scuffle.

As it happens, Bayek’s wife, Aya, is the descendant of Kassandra’s son, Elpidios. As the couple exacts revenge upon the Order, they establish the Hidden Ones – the first incarnation of the group which would later become known as the Assassin Brotherhood.

The Hidden Ones

Origins’ first expansion pack delves deeper into how Bayek and Aya built the Hidden Ones. An older Bayek travels to Sinai to assist local rebels against an occupying force of Romans. Bayek’s horror at the heavy-handed tactics he employs in the region results in his and Aya’s laying down of many of the rules that the Brotherhood would adhere to in the centuries to come.

The Curse of the Pharaohs

Aya hears of an artifact in Thebes, and Bayek travels there to retrieve it. During this journey, he comes face to face with many figures from Ancient Egyptian mythology. Bayek recovers the artifact and orders Sutekh, a descendant of the pharaoh Ramesses II, to hide it where it can never again be found.

Further Adventures

  • A prequel novel, Assassin’s Creed: Origins – Desert Oath, takes place directly prior to the events of the game. After his father mysteriously departs town, Bayek learns to protect his people.

Assassin’s Creed Mirage

Assassin's Creed Mirage Key Art
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Taking place almost a millennium after the events of Origins, a street thief named Basim begins his journey to become a master Assassin in 9th century AD Baghdad. Basim takes out members of the Order of the Ancients operating in the era before learning the truth of who he really is.

As players who have already played the previous title, Valhalla, will already know, Basim is the human reincarnation of Loki. An Isu known for being a trickster, Loki uploaded his consciousness into the Yggdrasil Chamber just before the Great Catastrophe.

Having learned of the location of an ancient temple in Alamut after tracking down the head of the Order of the Ancients in Baghdad, Basim betrays his Assassin Master, Roshan, and travels there against her wishes. He discovers the truth of his identity in the temple and is reintegrated with the full consciousness of Loki. With his Isu memories unlocked, Basim/Loki sets out to exact revenge on Odin.

Further Adventures

  • Assassin’s Creed: The Golden City is a sequel novel where Basim takes on Hytham as his apprentice. Together they thwart an assassination attempt on the life of the Byzantine emperor Leo VI.
  • Assassin’s Creed: Mirage – Daughter of No One is a prequel novel following Roshan’s early days as an Assassin. She tracks a Piece of Eden along the Silk Road towards Persia.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Assassin's Creed Valhalla Key Art
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Two decades later, an orphan Viking named Eivor grows up to take revenge on the murderer of their father. Under the tutelage of Basim, Eivor becomes a member of the Hidden Ones. She (players can once again play Eivor as a male character, though the female version is canon) hunts down her father’s killer, Kjotve, with the help of Harald Fairhair’s armies.

Subsequently, Harald becomes King of Norway and Eivor heads to England along with Sigurd. Sigurd is Eivor’s step-brother, who was to have assumed the throne of Norway before Harald came along and proclaimed himself ruler.

In England, Eivor learns the truth of the Norse gods – that they are all Isu – and that Ragnarok was, in fact, the Great Catastrophe. Facing the Catastrophe, the Norse gods intended to upload their consciousnesses to the World Tree Yggdrasil, which in the mythology of Assassin’s Creed is a sort of Isu supercomputer.

Odin, the leader of the Norse Isu, forbade Loki from uploading his consciousness to the tree because he had murdered Odin’s son, Baldr. As we know from the events of Mirage, however, the trickster Isu manages this after all as he secretly kills and assumes the place of Heimdall in the World Tree.

Eivor and company head back to Norway, where they discover the location of Yggdrasil. After Eivor and Sigurd connect with the tree, they are transported to a simulation of Valhalla, the land of Norse myth, where Viking warriors can battle for all eternity. Choosing reality over the simulation, they’re booted out of Yggdrasil only to find Basim waiting for them.

He reveals to them the truth of his own identity, as well as revealing that Eivor is the reincarnation of Odin, and Sigurd is the reincarnation of Odin’s lieutenant Tyr. Basim attacks Eivor, but they overpower him and trap him within Yggdrasil.

Eivor becomes the head of the Raven Clan and once more travels to England to defeat the numerous members of the Order of the Ancients operating there under Alfred the Great’s leadership. As it happens, Alfred’s Christian beliefs conflict with the Order’s Isu worship, so he assists Eivor in taking out the other members of the Order. After this, Alfred transforms the Order of the Ancients into the Templars.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla Expansions Key Art
Image Source: Ubisoft Entertainment via Twinfinite

Wrath of the Druids & The Siege of Paris

The first two of Valhalla’s expansion packs see Eivor heading to Ireland, then Paris. During their time in Ireland, Eivor comes into contact with Isu artifacts, including Odin’s Eye and Freya’s medallion. While in The Siege of Paris expansion, Eivor travels to Francia to wipe out Charles the Fat’s forces.

Dawn of Ragnarök

Dawn of Ragnarök is much more lore-heavy than Valhalla’s previous two expansions. Another content update, A Fated Encounter, preceded the expansion, adding an important chapter in Eivor’s later life. Traveling to the Isle of Skye after hearing of strange goings on there, Eivor encounters Kassandra – the immortal protagonist of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.

The weird happenings on the Isle are a result of an Apple of Eden having been activated there. Having also heard of the disturbances on the Isle, Kassandra found her way there during her now-millennia-long quest to seek out Isu artifacts. Together, Kassandra and Eivor locate the Apple and contain its energy.

After returning to Norway, Eivor becomes increasingly in conflict with the part of themself that is the reincarnation of Odin. They have visions of Odin’s past, reliving his memories and ultimately having to confront the Isu warlord Surtr. After experiencing the events of Odin’s life firsthand, Eivor embraces the part of themself that is Odin.

Further Adventures

  • Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla – Geirmund’s Saga is a novel about a Viking who possesses a Ring of Eden. It takes place during the same period as Valhalla but has little connection to the game.
  • Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla – Sword of the White Horse is a novel set directly after the events of the base game. Follows a witch-warrior, Niamh, and the Assassin Hytham as they travel to England. Expands upon the Celtic mythology found in Wrath of the Druids.
  • Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla – Forgotten Myths is a prequel comic to the Dawn of Ragnarök expansion. It follows Thor, Baldr, and Heimdall.

Assassin’s Creed

Assassin's Creed Key Art
Image Source: Ubisoft Entertainment

The very first Assassin’s Creed game to be released. This story follows the Assassin Altair as he faces the Templar threat in the Holy Lands. In the three centuries that have passed between Valhalla and Alatair’s adventures, the Hidden Ones and Order of the Ancients have respectively been succeeded by the Assassins and the Templars.

When we first meet Altair, he is on a mission to retrieve an Apple of Eden for the Assassins. Altair makes a mess of the mission and gets demoted, but the artifact is retrieved anyway by fellow Assassin Malik. Altair assassinates many Templars to restore his place in the Brotherhood. Along the way, it becomes apparent that the leader of the Assassins, Al Mualim, wanted Altair to retrieve the Apple for nefarious means. Altair utilizes his Eagle Vision to kill Al Mualim.

Upon taking possession of the Apple for himself, Altair’s attempts to destroy it ultimately result in it revealing its knowledge to him. He learns of the Isu and the locations of the other artifacts scattered about the globe.

Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines

After becoming the leader of the Assassins at the end of the previous game, this PSP-exclusive spin-off sequel sees Altair tracking the Templars to Cyprus. He kills the head of the Templars and converts one of their members, Maria Thorpe. The two return to the Holy Lands and marry.

Further Adventures

  • A non-essential prequel game, Assassin’s Creed: Altair’s Chronicles, follows Altair shortly before the events of the game as he tracks an artifact known as the Chalice. The Chalice, it turns out, is actually a female Templar who manages to evade Altair in the game’s final act.
  • The final chapter of Altair’s story is explored in Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. We’ll explore that in more depth further down as it’s intrinsically linked to another later Assassin’s final days.
  • Assassin’s Creed: Fragments – The Highlands Children is a young adult novel taking place in the Scottish highlands during the English invasion of 1296.
  • The prologue of Assassin’s Creed Unity also takes place in the years between Assassin’s Creed and its sequel.
  • Assassin’s Creed: Heresy is a novel exploring Jeanne d’Arc’s role in the Hundred Years’ War. In AC lore she wields the Sword of Eden and hears the voices of the Isu.

Assassin’s Creed 2

Assassin's Creed 2 Key Art
Image Source: Ubisoft Entertainment

So we come to the most famed Assassin of them all, Ezio Auditore da Firenze. Assassin’s Creed 2 begins with a teenage Ezio learning that his father has been betrayed by one of his close friends and now faces trial. Ezio’s father is able to tip off his son about his family’s Assassin lineage before both he and Ezio’s two brothers are executed.

Thus begins Ezio’s long path to becoming a master Assassin. Under the tutelage of his uncle, Mario, Ezio tracks the Templar conspirators responsible for his father’s murder across Italy. At the head of this conspiracy is Rodrigo Borgia – the head of the Catholic Church. In expected Templar fashion, Rodrigo is searching for an Apple of Eden. He discovers one in Cyprus, but upon having it shipped to Italy, a fight breaks out between the Templars and Assassins, with Ezio coming out of it with the Apple in his possession. Ezio then proceeds to lose and regain the Apple in the events of the Battle of Forlì and Bonfire of the Vanities DLCs. During these years, Rodrigo becomes Pope.

11 years after their last confrontation, Ezio journeys to the Vatican, where he confronts Pope Rodrigo Borgia. Despite the Pope possessing an artifact in the Papal Staff, Ezio bests him in combat but chooses to spare his life. He enters the vault beneath the Vatican, where a hologram of the Isu Minerva reveals the existence of their species, how they were wiped out by the Great Catastrophe, and how the rest of the Isu temples must be found so that humanity can protect themselves from a similar event in the future.

Assassin's Creed movie poster cropped
Image Source: 20th Century Fox

Assassin’s Creed: The Movie

While not having any significant links to the main plotline of the Assassin’s Creed games, the movie still neatly fits into the timeline and is considered canon. Taking place in Spain during the Granada War, the assassin Aguilar comes up against the Inquisitor General and Master Templar, Tomás de Torquemada.

Aguilar acquires the Apple of Eden in Tomás’ possession, but the Templar escapes. The Apple is then handed off to Christopher Colombus for safekeeping. Shortly thereafter, Tomás has an encounter with Ezio who also happens to be in Spain at the same time. This chapter of Ezio’s life – which takes place between his first fight with Rodrigo and the Battle of Forlì – takes place in the DS game Assassin’s Creed 2: Discovery.

Further Adventures

  • Assassin’s Creed: Lineage is a short film that acts as a prequel to Assassin’s Creed 2. It follows Ezio’s father, Giovanni, as he uncovers the extent of the Templar threat in Florence.
  • Assassin’s Creed: Ascendance is an animated short film which chronicles Cesare Borgia’s ascendancy in the years between AC2 and Brotherhood.

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood

Assassin's Creed Brotherhood Key Art
Image Source: Ubisoft Entertainment

Picking up straight after the ending of Assassin’s Creed 2. Ezio’s victory celebrations are short-lived, as after explaining what Minerva had revealed to him, Rodrigo’s son Cesare attacks the Assassin stronghold of Monteriggioni. Ezio’s uncle Mario is killed, and the Apple is stolen. Bad times.

Ezio escapes and links up with Niccolò Machiavelli, who has become the head of the Italian Assassins after Mario’s death. Together, they seek out the rest of the Borgia Templars across Rome, brutally murdering them. As for Rodrigo himself, the unhinged Cesare takes care of him by shoving a poisoned apple in his mouth.

Ezio tracks Cesare to Spain and kills him, putting rest to the Borgia bloodline and their grip on Italy’s political landscape. Having recovered the Apple of Eden lost at the start of the game, Ezio returns to Rome to bury it in a vault beneath the Colosseum.

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations

Assassin's Creed Revelations Key Art
Image Source: Ubisoft Entertainment

Now in his 50s, an older and wiser Ezio searches for the secret library of Altair. In flashbacks to Altair’s life after the events of the first Assassin’s Creed, we learn that gaining the Apple of Eden was more a curse than a blessing.

He loses his position at the head of the Levantine Assassins in a coup de tat, and his wife and one of his sons are killed during a fight between the two would-be Assassin leaders. The corrupting power of the Apple is so strong that, after a period of exile, Altair locks himself away with it in his library beneath Masyaf.

Before this, however, he entrusts the keys to his library to Marco Polo’s ancestors, whom Altair is helping to establish an Assassin branch in Constantinople. Over 200 years later, that sets Ezio off on a quest to collect the keys and find the Apple hidden away in Altair’s Library. Along the way, Ezio takes care of the Ottoman Templars and finds himself a wife, Maria.

He finds the library, wherein the Apple provides him with another Isu vision, which tells him more specific details of the upcoming Catastrophe and how his descendants must locate the Isu Grand Temple if humankind is to survive it. He’s then able to briefly connect directly with his future descendant, Desmond Miles, and warn him of the imminent danger facing his own present day.

Having lived through Altair’s tragic memories as they were passed on through the keys (they’re Isu technology, too), Ezio ultimately decides to leave the Apple in the library. He returns to Italy and settles down to quietly live out his remaining days with his wife.

Further Adventures

  • Assassin’s Creed: Embers is an animated short film exploring Ezio’s final days, including a meeting with the Assassin Shao Jun.
  • Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China is the first in the Chronicles sub-series. Follows the story of Shao Jun. In the dying days of the Ming Dynasty she sets out to rebuild the Chinese Brotherhood.
  • Shao Jun’s story is fleshed out further in The Ming Storm novels. Originally intended to be a trilogy, only 2 books were released. They’ve since been deemed non-canon.
  • Assassin’s Creed: Fragments – The Witches of the Moors is a young adult novel taking place during the witch trials of 17th century France.

Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag

Assassin's Creed 4 Black Flag Key Art
Image Source: Ubisoft Entertainment

Another couple hundred years later, the Golden Age of Piracy is in full swing. After killing and assuming the identity of an Assassin, Edward Kenway is swept up in their unending battle against the Templars. Together with the famed pirate Bartholomew Roberts, Edward travels to the location of an Isu Observatory in Jamaica. The technology there would allow any human on Earth to be tracked with just a drop of their blood.

Pirates being pirates, once they get to the site, Roberts betrays Kenway. Not without good reason, though. While Kenway initially wanted to use the Observatory to gain wealth, Roberts wanted to destroy it so it could never fall into Templar hands.

Roberts knows how bad this would be because he’s a Sage – a human reincarnation of the Isu Aita. Retaining the Isu’s memories, Roberts had previously been held captive by the Templars, who wished to extract the knowledge of the Observatory from him. Now aware of the dangers the Observatory presented, Kenway joins the Assassin’s, battles off the Templars, and kills both Roberts and the Templar Grand Master. He returns to England, where he settles down and has a family

Freedom Cry

This standalone expansion to AC4 follows the story of Edward’s quartermaster, Adéwalé. Like Edward, he too has joined the Assassins, and in Freedom Cry, he finds himself taking down slave-owning Templars in Haiti. During his time in Haiti, Adéwalé recovers a Precursor box – an Isu artifact that will have a major significance in the next title in this timeline.

Assassin’s Creed Rogue

Assassin's Creed Rogue Key Art
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An anomaly among the Assassin’s Creed games, Rogue has you playing as the Templar Shay Cormac. As an Assassin, Cormac partakes in several missions to recover Precursor boxes. Each time a box is disturbed, he realizes it triggers a natural disaster. He warns the Assassins of his theory and suggests they stop tampering with them. The assassins argue this and claim they need to gain control of the boxes – which can locate Pieces of Eden – so that the Templars can’t get their hands on them.

Shay defects to the Templars and sets about killing the Assassins set on uncovering more artifacts, including Freedom Cry’s protagonist Adéwalé. Shay’s mentor during this time is the Templar Grand Master Haytham Kenway – Edward’s son and the father of Assassin’s Creed 3’s protagonist.

Shay and Haytham learn that the Assassins are headed to a temple in the Arctic and race there to stop them from disturbing the artifact inside. Unfortunately, they arrive too late, with only Shay, Haytham, and the head of the Colonial Assassins, Achilles, making it out of the temple as it descends around them.

Assassin’s Creed 3

Assassin's Creed 3 Key Art
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Assassin’s Creed 3’s protagonist, Connor – or Ratonhnhaké:ton by his birth name – is the son of Haytham Kenway, and Kaniehtí:io. The two engaged in a relationship while Kenway was searching for Precursor boxes in North America, with Kenway hoping to win her tribe over so that they might reveal their knowledge of the artifacts. Kenway leaves the village and Kaniehtí:io before Connor is born.

Connor’s mother is murdered when he’s young, and after a kind of vision quest encounter with his village’s Isu artifact, he sets out on the path to becoming an Assassin. As he matures as an Assassin, he takes out members of the Templars who are attempting to exploit the events of the Revolution so that they can take control of the continent.

He discovers that his father is the Grand Master of the Colonial Templars and, unable to see eye-to-eye, kills him. Helping the colonial armies in the Revolutionary War, Connor thwarts the efforts of the Templar-influenced British. This victory was tough for Connor, however, as while he doesn’t regret his actions, he is haunted in later life by his inability to better help his own people.


Taking place simultaneously with the events of Assassin’s Creed 3, Liberation follows the Assassin Aveline in New Orleans and the Louisiana Bayou. While tracking down the Templar members attempting to take control of New Orleans, she also takes detours, which see her briefly meeting with Connor in New York and discovering Isu ruins in New Mexico.

One of the game’s central themes is the fight against slavery. This comes full circle in Liberation’s finale, when an artifact recounts to Aveline the story of Eve’s rebellion from the slavery of the Isu.

Assassins Creed Unity

Assassin's Creed Unity Key Art
Image Source: Ubisoft Entertainment

In a prologue almost 500 years earlier (landing on the timeline between Assassin’s Creed 1 and 2), we see the Templars being driven out of France. During this time, the Templars are led by a Sage named Jacques de Molay.

An important figure in Templar history, de Molay was the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar. He wrote a Codex which laid out the future of the Templar order as an entity which gained power through finance rather than monarchy or politics. Sensing defeat after the attack on the Templars by King Philip, de Molay hides the Codex along with the Sword of Eden (an Isu artifact), and sacrifices himself so that the Templar’s enemies believe the organization has been completely destroyed.

Instead, de Molay had sent nine other Templars out worldwide to establish regional branches of the Templars. Each would have their own Grand Master, enabling the Templars to expand globally in complete secrecy.

Arno watching over Paris in Assassin's Creed Unity Key Art
Image Source: Ubisoft Entertainment

Now, back to the 18th century and the story of Unity’s protagonist, Arno Dorian. We first learn the truth of Arno’s father Charles’ death in the epilogue of Rogue, where Shay murders him, hoping to spark the French Revolution. He does so in the hope that the Templars can regain ground after losing control of the New World in the events of the American Revolution.

Now aged 21, Arno has grown up an orphan in the care of Templar Grand Master François de la Serre. After being framed for de la Serre’s murder, Arno is thrown into the Bastille prison, where he meets an Assassin. They break out, and Arno is dragged into the war between the two factions.

Arno later finds out that the person responsible for framing him in the death of de la Serre was another Templar who believed the organization had strayed too far from Jacques de Molay’s ideas. François-Thomas Germain was, like de Molay, a Sage. Spurred on from having read de Molay’s Codex and from Isu visions, Germain sought to accelerate the Revolution while de la Serre had tried to temper it.

In Unity’s climax, both Germain and de la Serre’s daughter (also Arno’s lover) are killed after the Sword of Eden explodes in Arno’s hands. This effectively cuts off the heads of both the conservative and radical branches of the French Templars, while Arno would go on to become a Master Assassin.

Further Adventures

  • Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India is the second game in the Chronicles spin-off series. Follows Arbaaz Mir as he sets out to find the Koh-i-Noor, which is actually a Piece of Eden.
  • Assassin’s Creed: Brahman is a graphic novel expanding the story of Arbaaz Mir.
  • Assassin’s Creed: The Engine of History – The Magus Conspiracy is a novel exploring Ada Lovelace’s role in the war between the Assassin’s and Templars.

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate

Assassin's Creed Syndicate Key Art
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The mainline Assassin’s Creed game closest to the present day is Syndicate, taking place in London during the Industrial Revolution. The capital city is overrun with Templars, and Syndicate follows Assassin twins Evie and Jacob Frye as they go about cleaning it up.

The Templars drove the Industrial Revolution, making good on de Molay’s ideas of running the world through industry and finance. With their different approaches to Assassin life, Jacob and Evie go their separate ways as they dismantle the Templar presence.

Jacob takes out the lieutenants of the Grand Master of the British Templars, Crawford Starrick, while Evie races to find an Isu artifact named The Shroud of Eden before Starrick gets his hands on it. Thanks partly to notes left by Black Flag’s pirate-turned-Assassin, Edward Kenway, the twins and Starrick track the Shroud down to a crypt beneath Buckingham Palace. The twins kill Starrick, and the Shroud is left behind in the Palace crypt.

The Darkest Hour

These side-missions can be accessed during Syndicate’s main story but are entirely optional. Skipping forward to World War 1, you play as Jacob’s granddaughter, Lydia Frye. As an Assassin, she’s working alongside Winston Churchill to root out Templars sympathetic to the German’s cause.

One of these Templars, a Master Spy, is a Sage leading a cult serving the Isu Juno. Lydia kills him, putting an end to the cult.

Further Adventures

  • The Jack the Ripper DLC sees Evie and Jacob track down the notorious murder.
  • Assassin’s Creed: Last Descendants – Locus is a young-adult comic miniseries which explores the search for the Trident of Eden in London during the Syndicate timeline.
  • Assassin’s Creed: Fragments – The Blade of Aizu is a young adult novel taking place in Japan during the Boshin War.
  • Assassin’s Creed: The Engine of History – The Resurrection Plot is a novel set in Cairo during the opening of the Suez Canal. It is the sequel to The Magus Conspiracy and continues the story of the Assassin Pierrette Arnaud.
  • Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: Russia is the third game in the Chronicles sub-series. The Assassin Nikolai Orelov must protect the grand duchess, Anastasia from the Templars in the aftermath of the February revolution of 1917.
  • Assassin’s Creed: The Fall & The Chain are comics expanding the story of Nikolai Orelov.
  • Assassin’s Creed: Conspiracies is a comic mini-series set during World War 2. A British Assassin named Eddie Gorm sets out to kill Nikola Tesla. A sequel Assassin’s Creed: Bloodstone takes place in the Vietnam War.

Earth’s Modern Day

Desmond Miles from Assassin's Creed 3
Image Source: Ubisoft Entertainment via Twinfinite

There’s an essential part of the Assassin’s Creed games that we’ve not mentioned in the timeline until now. Assassin’s Creed is an anthology series, with almost every game including present-day scenes, which act as a framing device for each historical tale.

During the present day, the Templars are operating under a front named Abstergo. They’ve created a device called the Animus, which allows people to explore their past lives. It’s through the Animus that we experience the historical parts of the games.

Desmond Miles

The first protagonist in the present-day sections of the games is Desmond Miles. Having grown up the son of an Assassin, Desmond ran away in his teens after deciding to live on his own. In 2012, the now 25-year-old Desmond is captured by Abstergo as they want to force him to relive his past lives in the Animus so they can find the Pieces of Eden.

The Assassins rescue Desmond, and using their own version of the Animus, he explores his past lives further. Through these memories, Desmond learns of the coming Second Catastrophe and the location of the Grand Temple, which can prevent it.

He finds and activates the Isu device found there, which creates a barrier around the globe, protecting it from Solar emissions. Upon reaching the device, however, he finds out that the Isu Juno had tampered with it in the past, meaning that should it be activated, her consciousness will be reanimated. Desmond uses the device anyway, saving the planet, but sacrificing himself in the process.

As for Juno, she sets about assisting Abstergo to gain control and a new body, which she eventually does. These events, however, are only partially explored in the games, with Juno’s story (for now at least) wrapping up in three comics series, Assassins, Templars, and Uprising, where she is defeated by Desmond’s son, the Sage Elijah.

Layla Hassan in Assassin's Creed Valhalla
Image Source: Ubisoft Entertainment via Twinfinite

Layla Hassan

The second protagonist in the present-day storyline was introduced in Origins. Unlike Desmond, Layla does not enter the memories of past Assassins through her DNA but through a newer version of the Animus, which allows people to relive memories of past artifact holders.

Initially an Abstergo employee, she ignores her orders not to enter the Animus when out on a mission to collect an artifact, and when she does, her employers set out to kill her. She’s taken in by the Assassins, where she relives the memories of Kassandra but refuses to join them. She then travels to the immortal Kassandra’s resting place in Atlantis in the present day. Kassandra hands over the Staff of Hermes to Layla convinced that as a member of neither the Templars nor Assassins, she will be the one to end the war between the two factions, ensuring the balance that’s crucial if the human race is to survive.

After taking possession of the Staff, Layla learns that it contains the consciousness of Aletheia, having been placed within it by her lover Loki. By 2020, the effects of the device used to protect the world from the Second Catastrophe have begun to radically destabilize the planet. Ever the trickster, Loki/Basim coaxes Layla into seeking out the remains of Eivor with the promise that her memories contain a solution.

After finding out Yggdrasil’s location while reliving Eivor’s memories, Layla travels to Norway to find it. Once connected with Yggdrasil, she meets Basim, who has been trapped there since his time with Eivor. When Layla and Basim are ejected from the tree, Basim takes possession of the Staff of Hermes and is reunited with Aletheia.

Without the Staff to protect her from Yggdrasil’s radiation, however, Layla is a mere minute from death. At that moment, she meets an entity of pure light called The Reader. The identity of The Reader is Desmond Miles, whose consciousness has been hanging out in a digital afterlife known as The Grey. Layla follows The Reader, becoming a being of light herself, hoping the pair can find a way to save the world.

While the latest game, Assassin’s Creed Mirage, doesn’t continue the present-day story, at the end of Valhalla, we see a more settled Basim agree to help the modern-day Assassins. Using the Animus to revisit Eivor’s final memories, he can finally make peace with his past.

There you have it: Assassin’s Creed’s entire story explained in a simple timeline. With many more games promised in the series, hopefully, you’ll be caught up with the many years of great storytelling that have come before.

About the author

James Crosby

James is a freelance writer for Twinfinite, typically covering new releases and live service titles. He has been writing about MMOs since 2015, and has published a book about Star Wars Galaxies.

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