How I Spent My Ottoman Vacation: The Travel Diary of Ezio Auditore da Firenze

Through extensive historical research, we've uncovered the totally-not-fake personal memoirs of this famed assassin's first days in Constantinople.

You know what? I think Constantinople is starting to grow on me. My opinion of it certainly couldn't have gotten any worse. Not 10 minutes after stepping off the boat, me and my new friend Yusuf were ambushed by a band of Templars. Yes, Templars. No matter how many of them I stab in the face, they just keep coming back for more. (More face stabbing, that is.)

So, about my friend Yusuf. He's kind of a hippie. Long hair, wild clothes. But he's cool. He's an assassin like me. After we took care of those Templars, he brought me along to the local assassins' headquarters to get settled. That was nice of him. Not so nice when he told me my armor was all old and worn out, and I'd need to get to a blacksmith before going off on my first mission. I couldn't afford the repairs at first--boat rides are expensive! But that problem resolved itself after I walked around the neighborhood relieving a few people of their wallets.

Look, I'm not proud of stealing. No one wants to start over in a new city only to immediately resort to your past ways, but old habits die hard. At least I'm trying to broaden my horizons here. In fact, I just learned how to use a hookblade! It's this fancy little device the local assassins use to jump across wider gaps, scurry up buildings faster, and look like a combination of spider and man that I've taken to calling…Man-Spider. You can also run up to a dude and flip right over him like a ballerina. And then stab him. Because he's not a ballerina, but actually a Templar.

After Yusuf and his buddies gave me a hookblade, I went around exploring a bit of the city. It's pretty nice! The architecture is wild. They tell me the style is called Byzantine, which I think is a fancy word for "buildings connected by awesome zip lines." Seriously, you can zip line all over the place here. Just toss your hookblade over the rope and you're careening like a madman from one roof to the other. I even figured out how to kill rooftop guards halfway through a zip line ride. Probably my second favorite kill after the ol' "Jump From a Building and Stab Two Guards at Once" trick. I still think that one needs a catchier name. I'll see what the guys think of "Flying Death Hug."

Things were going pretty well until we discovered the Templars were planning to raid the assassins' den that night. Good thing we caught wind of the plans early on, otherwise we'd have been toast. They put me in charge of the defense; told me to stand on the roof and direct all the archers and crossbowmen. It's probably because this gray beard makes me look old and wise. Growing it was the best decision I've ever made. Now, if only Leonardo da Vinci would get off his butt and finish that electric beard-trimmer schematic he promised me.

I might see if I can make a career out of zip lining when I'm done assassin-ing dudes.

Anyway, the roof. Those Templars brought a lot of troops; kept rushing down the main street in waves. I got to decide where to place the troops on the rooftops and even direct them where to build a few walls down below to slow the Templars' assault. It felt a lot different from my usual methods, but I liked it. Felt like I was defending the den from up in a tower. Like some kind of tower…defense-y…thing. Oh, I'll think of a name for it later.

Next day, the Templars were at it again. We got word they were planning to attack the Ottoman royal family at a gala in the Imperial District. Yusuf suggested that getting on the royal family's good side wouldn't be a bad idea, so we decided to sneak into the party dressed as entertainers and put a stop to things. First step was finding a few traveling minstrels. Turns out traveling minstrels don't put up much of a fight against professional assassins. But don't worry. We didn't do anything mean. Just knocked them out cold, stole their clothes, and left their naked bodies buried beneath a massive pile of hay. Probably without any air. Like I said, nothing mean.

The guards were a little suspicious of our disguises, but I distracted them with my angelic singing voice and lute plucking. Not a lot of people know what a great singer/lute player I am. It's probably my second best skill after murdering. (Third is knitting.) Anyway, we got in and managed to foil the plot to kill the sultan's son, Suleiman. Poor kid. Almost got stabbed by a Templar. But then the Templar got stabbed. In the neck. With the broken shards of my lute. You're welcome, kid.

I keep dreaming of myself as this guy. Who is he, anyways?

So now I'm doing favors for the sultan's son, trying to get on the sultan's good side and help out our little assassins guild. It's not a bad gig, and it lets me see a lot more of Constantinople than I'd otherwise have a reason to see. Life's going pretty well here. The only thing that troubles me are these dreams I've been having. Dreams where people keep calling me Altair and everyone and their mother are fighting over this magical glowing orb called The Apple. It's probably not even that delicious. I mean, give me a crisp red apple any day. But a golden apple that glows and pulses with blinding light? Now you're just asking for food poisoning.

There you have it; my first few days in Constantinople. I'm warming up to this place. I've even started investing in property, renovating shops around the city like I was doing in Rome. I could see myself settling down here. Maybe find myself a wife, have a baby, and then teach that baby how to stab Templars in the face. Ahh, I can't wait.

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