Assassin's Creed: The Magus Conspiracy – Review & Summary
Written by Sorrosyss, July 28th, 2022

Note: Non Spoiler Review, but a full Story Summary follows

Assassin's Creed: The Magus Conspiracy is a new novel written by Kate Heartfield, and is published internationally by Aconyte books. It is also the first in a proposed trilogy titled The Engine of History. This title though is set shortly after the industrial revolution era, ranging from 1851 to 1861 AD.

It has two primary protagonists, the first being the Englishman Simeon Price, a soldier of the British Empire who finds his way into seeking out and joining the Assassin Brotherhood. The second protagonist is the French teenager Pierrette Arnaud, an equestrian acrobat from a horse troupe, who unknowingly finds herself wrapped up in the middle of the Assassin/Templar war after a sudden meeting with none other than the mathematician Ada Lovelace herself.

The central plot revolves around a mysterious individual known as the “Magus”, who appears to be in contact with several visionary thinkers and political activists throughout the world. When word reaches our protagonists that a terrible weapon (the aforementioned Engine of History) may be under construction, the two of them separately embark on a quest to uncover the identity of the Magus. The tale actually contains a surprising number of historical figures, as it twists between settings encompassing England, Austria,
Victorian London Slums, 1860 AD
Source: Wikipedia
Italy, France and parts of Africa. I was impressed at how the author managed to weave in several real world events of the era into the narrative, even going so far as to include factual assassination attempts on world leaders into the storyline. Given how close it is to the Assassin's Creed Syndicate time period, for those of you who love crossovers, I can also confirm that there is indeed a cameo from a character of that game. That being said, there are also a few other easter eggs present for the more hardcore fans.

The emerging technology of the Victorian era is certainly one of the major aspects to proceedings, and Heartfield does a good job in describing these new world wonders from the perspective of our characters. It was ultimately a time of great technological advancement, so it should come as no surprise here to see Assassins and Templars battling over new science that might give them an edge. And yes, that's correct lore fans, we actually have the true Assassin and Templar factions back for a change. Such a refreshing concept, after the deluge of proto-faction content in recent years.

The book notably provides us with some interesting insights into how the Brotherhood has operated internationally throughout the ages, such as how it communicates, and even offers a rare glimpse into the training rituals of Assassins in more recent history. The Templars' constant thirst for knowledge and tactical advantage is also present here, as they seek out temples and artifacts from the Precursors who came before humanity.

Although they are mentioned in passing, it is a little sad that no actual Isu artifacts truly feature in the story though. As we always like to propose in our reviews, the Assassin's Creed “template” has always been a story involving some remnant of the Isu Era, through the historical setting, and into the Modern Day itself. Sadly, the latter aspect is also completely missing from the proceedings here as well, giving us no real framing reference or relevance to the overall meta. I'll let you decide if that bothers you, but I can at least state that this is a strong historical tale, with well researched insight to the time period and location settings of the era.

Overall, it is a strong transmedia release, coming in at 325 pages. With a beautiful cover image created by Bastien Jez, in my view it is one of the better Assassin's Creed novels. It doesn't particularly require you to have a grounding in the backstory of the games, and can be enjoyed quite easily as a standalone story. Equally though, it just gives you enough flavour of the Assassin and Templar war to intrigue one to want to learn more. Heartfield shows a strong understanding of the tones of the franchise, and it is clear she put a huge amount of effort into making this book a reality. It is comforting to know then that there are two further books coming in this series from her, which will evidently take the story further and later in the nineteenth century and theoretically up until the first World War. There are some unresolved narrative threads remaining from the ending of this book, so it will be interesting to see how those progress going forwards.

Assassin's Creed: The Magus Conspiracy is available from the 2nd August 2022, both digitally and physically from all good stockists.


SPOILER TAG - Click here to unhide

HMS Birkenhead, off the coast of South Africa, 1851 AD

Simeon Price of the British Empire tries to sleep aboard a ship. Below decks, he is kept awake by a nearby fellow officer called

Table Bay, South Africa
Source: Wikipedia
Halford, who recites Shakespeare by whisper. The two converse through their insomnia, before the ship suddenly lurches to a sudden halt. Price heads topside to discover that they have grounded against a large rock. Water starts to enter the ship below, and Price heads down to assist Halford and other soldiers up from below deck. He encounters Officer Grimes who shouts that the horses stationed further below need help. A cloaked and hooded man suddenly knocks Grimes to the ground unconscious, and beckons Price to follow him.

Despite the water filling around them, they go further down to find another troop deck door jammed due to the water. The hooded stranger starts to attack the door with an axe, and a few near drowned men manage to escape up onto deck. After both the stranger and Price have saved as many as possible, they catch their breath on the deck side. The stranger tells Price that he has taken the Queen's shilling, and should seek his own safety rather than die with the sinking ship. He promises that if he seeks out a Brotherhood in Vienna, he will find other like-minded souls looking to help others. At this point, the captain of the ship walks past them saying that every man should swim to shore if possible. Most of the life boats carry women and children, but a third of the ship still remain on board, mostly male troops. Price heads further down the ship to find Officer Grimes still barking orders at men, ultimately telling them to stand their ground as the ship capsizes. Price tries to tell him that the captain had told them to swim, but Grimes points out that every man would try to climb aboard the lifeboats, sinking them and killing many more. A large crash rings out, and the ship splits into two, before both sides start to slowly sink into the waters.

The Great Exhibition, Crystal Palace, 1851
Source: Wikipedia
Hippodrome, Kensington Gardens, London, England, 1851 AD

Pierrette Arnaud prepares for her performance in the Aurora Equestrian Troupe, who perform a narrative version of the Mazeppa poem by Lord Byron, played out with acrobatics upon horses. She tries to convince her adoptive father to let her take the place of the lead male role in the play. Major Wallin, who had taken her under his wing after her parents had been killed in Paris a few years earlier, argues that it is too dangerous for her, but finally agrees when he realizes he has no other option with the regular male performer injured.

As the show begins, Pierrette notices a group of men in bowler hats dragging away a woman in the audience. Realising that no-one would help her, she swings across on the pendulum swing suspended above the crowd, and grabs the woman away from the shocked men. Returning the woman to the stage, Pierrette orders her to run, and the two run outside of the area quickly.

After the two believe themselves to be safe, they walk towards Crystal Palace, where the woman reveals herself to be Ada Lovelace, daughter to Lord Byron. Looking back, the bowler hatted men were still in pursuit. Pierrette promises to walk her home, and the two manage to briskly advance through Hyde Park, yet staying near other people for safety. Ada requests that she come visit her another time, so that she can give thanks for returning her to her home, which is near Marble Arch.

Ada Lovelace
Source: Wikipedia
The next morning, reviews of the Mazeppa show had been devastating for Pierrette, as journalists claim she was pushing a feminist agenda by disappearing with another woman to conclude the show. Unsurprisingly, Major Wallin elects to hire a new male lead for the Mazeppa role. Another week follows, at which point Pierrette receives an invitation to an address from Lady Lovelace. She goes along to the house to meet Ada and asks if she has had any more issues with the bowler hat men. Ada insists that issue has been dealt with and apologises for ruining the show for Pierrette, but promises to make amends. She then introduces John Ruskin, a journalist and writer at the Times newspaper. Ada insists that Pierrette's performance must be widely recognised, and sure enough an article by Ruskin appears in the newspaper a few days later. Over the next few days, extra crowds start to appear to see Pierrette, and she spends more and more time at Ada's socialising with other celebrities.

At the end of that month, Ada invites Pierrette to her country house in Surrey. Ada shows her around her study, where various correspondence sits between her and noted scientists around the world, including one with Charles Babbage about an “Analytical Engine”. Ada's health appears to noticeably becoming worse to Pierrette's eyes, as she appears more gaunt by the day and clutching her side often.

Almost a year passes, and Ada is confined to remaining at home, and can no longer attend to watch Pierrette's shows. Fearing her death is near, Ada's mother invites Pierrette over one last time. Ada speaks in confidence that she had assisted many scientists over the years, but fears one such man known simply as “Magus”, has created something terrible with his intellect. Ada worries that she aided this man to create an instrument that will kill many, and desires that all her correspondence be destroyed to prevent such knowledge spreading further, with the exception of her notebook – which might actually be able to undo the damage she has caused in aiding this scientist. Ada goes on to say that her childhood friend Simeon Price had known many of her secrets when she was younger, but now that he is a soldier, he would be able to help put an end to the Magus experiments with the knowledge of that handbook. She begs Pierrette to find Simeon.

South Egypt, 1852 AD

The man once known as Simeon Price walks into the south of Egypt. Believed dead by the British Army, lost with the ship he served upon, he now goes by the name of Jack Straw. He spends a few weeks at Alexandria doing odd jobs, trying to find enough money to find passage to Athens. Eventually he saves enough to head directly to Vienna instead, as directed by the mysterious hooded man he had met the year before.

Victorian era Vienna
Source: Wikipedia
Vienna, Austria, 1852 AD

Within Vienna, Simeon makes his way around public houses, listening in on conversations for anything of interest. Eventually he hears of an Irishman known as Oscar Kane, who has been preaching the words that “Nothing is true”. Simeon seeks him out at his apartments, and utters the same phrase to the doorman to be granted an audience with Kane. Simeon explains who he is, and how he had been seemingly recruited by the man on the ship. Kane confirms that the man was an Assassin, and that he too belongs to this Brotherhood. Simeon says that he was impressed how the man had saved innocents, and belonged to an order of conscience. Kane relents and says that if he truly wants to join their order, he can help with some work around Vienna, to give them both a chance to know each other a little better first. Simeon agrees, and he is provided with a sharp razor blade, a room, hot water, and a change of clothes – though too small for him.

The next day, the two men make their way to the Tailor shop of Janos Libenyi. Kane makes an order of several clothing items for Simeon, to which the tailor advises the order would be complete within two weeks. The two men then walk around the city talking, as Kane fills in Simeon on the history of the Brotherhood dating back to Ancient Egypt. He promises that whilst the life of an Assassin is tough, at least the conscience of his actions will be his own. Kane offers his spare room as lodgings, but Simeon elects to rent out a garret for his own privacy.

In the weeks that follow, Simeon continues to work for Kane, delivering messages and parcels wherever directed. In his spare time, he is also provided with books to study, as well stealth and combat training. Eventually he is given the task of observing and identifying the movements of twelve individuals. Simeon does this carefully and studiously, learning his tailing methods in kind. Satisfied with his progress, Kane takes him to the top of a cathedral, and opens a window. Showing him the roof, he tells Simeon to find his way down by hand. After a very careful and tiring climb down the features of the building, Kane rewards Simeon by taking him for breakfast. Upon the table where they eat is a newspaper, that features a headline stating that Ada Lovelace has passed away.

Vienna, Austria, 1853 AD

During the winter, Kane informs Simeon they are to attend a party, hosted by Baron von Haynau at his opulent residence. Upon
Baron Von Haynau
Source: Wikipedia
greeting the Baron, they also meet Countess Konstanze von Visler, and the lawyer Karl Mayr. Conversation turned to how the Baron had been dealing with uprisings in Vienna, especially from women, who he ensured had been publicly flogged to keep them in line. The Countess invites Simeon to dance with her in the ballroom for a short time, after which point he spots a wounded Kane being lead to another room by Mayr. Following the two men into the room, Simeon finds Mayr choking Kane with his scarf. He leaps to Kane's aid, and ultimately takes down the lawyer with a razor blade slice of his throat. Kane tells him to take his blood as record, to which Simeon takes out one of his business cards, soaking it against the open throat of Mayr.

The two Assassins escape out the nearest window, and return to Kane's carriage nearby. He explains that both the Baron and Mayr are Templars, and that they also knew that the two of them are Assassins. The Baron had thought their order weak, but he had severely miscalculated in inviting them to his own home. Kane insists that the Baron's time will come, but the circumstances of his demise would need to be very carefully calculated.

Once they arrive at Kane's residence, he goes up stairs to tend to his pigeons. Not trusting conventional mail, he sends vital messages via these birds. He tells Simeon to go and tell the tailor Libenyi what had transpired that night. Simeon heads out and knows that the tailor normally heads to a local tavern after work. Sure enough, Simeon finds him there sat talking to the local butcher Joseph Ettenreich, and Libenyi starts to tell of how Mayr had been demanding bribes from him to keep his shop. Simeon quietly informs him of the fate of Mayr, and promises that things will now start to change in Vienna.

The next morning, Simeon awakens to find a note from Kane telling him to dress formally and await his carriage at 11 o'clock. He promptly does so, and is taken to the residence of Countess Konstanze von Visler. Inside she is talking with a group of men and women. She speaks of creating a large steam powered drill, that can operate much faster in mines than working men. She gives a demonstration using a scaled down version, and attaches the drill to another new invention – a liquid power cell. The drill cuts through a granite rock with relative ease. Lunch is then served, and Kane privately speaks with Simeon, explaining that his role in the Brotherhood is to observe advances in technology, so to as not allow the Templars to take advantage in their eternal battle. He also reveals that the Countess is from a Templar family, and that they are simply hiding in plain sight here. Simeon realises that some day he may have to kill the Countess as well, and the realisation triggers a conflict within him. Seeking air, he dons his coat and heads outside to walk.

As he walks past a military drill, he sees Ettenreich running through the crowd, and decides to follow him. Ettenreich eventually reaches a stationary Libenyi, who brushes him off, as he marches towards another man nearby in uniform – the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph. He pulls out a knife in readiness, which causes Simeon to launch into a sprint to try and reach him in time, but it is too late. Libenyi lands a strike into the neck and collar of the Emperor with the knife, causing chaos amongst the nearby crowds. An
Libenyi's Assassination
Attempt - Source: Wikipedia
aide leaps to the Emperor pulling him to safety, as Simeon barrels into Libenyi forcing him to drop the knife. Ettenreich catches up, and pins Libenyi to the ground. Shortly after, the latter is taken away in shackles. The Emperor evidently only suffered a minor flesh wound, and is escorted away by his guards.

Simeon makes his way to Libenyi's home, and informs his sister of the news of her brother's fate. He would surely now be tried and hung, given so many witnesses. She tells him that her brother had been meeting shadowy individuals who were loyal to the Hungarian cause. She resigns herself to having to prepare mourning clothes for herself. Simeon returns to Kane's residence, and the latter pours some cognac for them both. They discuss the Emperor's assassination attempt, to which Simeon states that he wants to break Libenyi out of jail. Kane agrees to help.

After a few days of reconnaissance, Simeon learns the guard patrols. He and Kane then wait for the cover of darkness to make their way to the prison rooftop. Attaching himself to a rope, Kane makes his way down the side of the building. He uses a contraption created by the Countess, using similar energy cells to make a high powered cutter. Knowing it might make some noise as he cuts the bars, he hands Simeon some low powered smoke grenades to cause a distraction for the guards. Simeon manages to fire off two grenades successfully, but the third falters. Running out of options, he descends to the street, and pretends to be drunk, singing at the top of his lungs. He garners their attention and is taken to the ground by guards, before being dragged off to a small cell for the night. The next morning, Kane finds him, granting him bail and walks him back to their carriage. He tells Simeon the device was unable to cut the bars, and by all accounts Libenyi had sadly been taken for hanging earlier that morning.

Ealing, England, 1853 AD

A few months after Ada's death, Pierrette goes off in search of Simeon. She tracks down a man who was potentially his father in a tavern in Ealing, but the man just maintains that his son is dead and to leave him well alone, assuming she wants money. Convinced it was time to move to a new setting, she tries to convince Major Wallin that it was time to move the troupe on, as the London crowds had started to thin. He was easily convinced, and the entire show took a ship to Rome, Italy. There they performed for three weeks, before moving on to Brussels in Belgium, and then onto Berlin in Germany.

Vienna, Austria, 1854 AD

After touring much of Europe, eventually the troupe arrives in Vienna in May time. Hoping Simeon might see her show, Pierrette performs the Flying Flame act. The fire routine involved writing out names using a fire wand, often those called out from the audience. However, it always ended with the same final name – Simeon Price. After the fourth night, a man had burst into the backstage, demanding to speak to her about why she ended on that name. She agrees to meet him in the adjoining tearoom after changing clothes.

The man reveals that his butcher friend had seen her show, and mentioned the name at the end of the show. She explains that she had been tasked to find this man, by Ada Lovelace. At hearing this, the man drops into a chair, confirming he is indeed Simeon Price. They spoke of Ada and their affection for her, before Pierrette pulls out the notebook she had been entrusted and presents it to him as Ada requested. Simeon cannot really understand it, but Pierrette assures him it is written in code. She tells the story of Ada working with the Magus, and how Ada wanted to put a stop to his supposed weapon. Simeon states that he knows someone that might be able to interpret the notebook. He tells her that his name here is actually Jack Straw, and requests he meet her at a bridge over the River Danube the next evening. She gives her name in return, and agrees to be there.

The River Danube in Vienna today - Source: Wikipedia

The next morning, Simeon heads to Kane's apartment. He asks him if he knows of any new weapon technology that has come to light, which surprises Kane. The latter explains that the Brotherhood is aware of a precursor race, prior to humanity, that once ran the world with technology far beyond our own. The Templars are effectively rediscovering this technology, rather than creating anew. He tells of devices that resemble eyes, that can apparently see patterns and make predictions of the future. He has also funded a dig site in Assryria to locate the exact same artifact. Simeon wants to share the notebook with Kane, but fears he cannot, expressing that one scientist's altruistic beliefs do not reflect on another. Kane suggests he is not yet ready to join the Brotherhood, until he is ready to leave behind his past.

Simeon takes on board his teacher's words, and elects to go for a walk through the city. He finds one of his favourite spots, a column atop a large church, and looks out over the landscape. As darkness starts to roll in, he clambers down and makes his way to the bridge to meet Pierrette. When he arrives, he finds her balancing in a handstand and drawing a small crowd. He demands she stop and walks her away, stating that he had hoped they could remain inconspicuous. They discuss his findings, to which he admits that his contacts had been a dead end in trying to uncover the mysteries of the notebook. Pierrette calls him a disappointment, leans in to kiss his cheeks as goodbye, before leaping over the railing to a passing boat. She waves goodbye to him, the notebook evidently liberated from his satchel. Simeon returns to Kane's residence the next day, returning all the books he had borrowed. Kane realises he intends to leave Vienna, but assures Simeon that he always has a place in the Brotherhood should he return.

Pierette returns to her lodgings, to find all her possessions have been ransacked. One of the female troupe performers said that a man asking who Simeon Price was had entered her room and turned the place upside down searching for something. Knowing it was probably the notebook they were after, Pierette devises hiding the book inside her every day corset. The troupe performs three more nights in Vienna, before it is time to move on once more, this time to Prague in Bohemia. Whilst practicing her final act, she elects to drop Simeon's name from the performance, and instead ponders throwing some flaming daggers to conclude her act.

The troupe continues to tour Europe. In Frankfurt though, the young twelve year old performer Tillie Wallin takes ill, and Pierette takes her place in the show. Soon after, Major Wallin also falls ill, with both he and his daughter feared to have typhoid. Whilst Tillie makes a full recovery, the Major suffers and is directed to rest by a Doctor, for the long term. Realising they all had to settle in one place for the Major's health, the suggestion is made to go to Birmingham in England, as it is now the second largest city there and bustling with industry. The lead performers agree with the suggestion.

North Western Italy, 1854 AD

Lake Como
Source: Wikipedia
Simeon had walked through the west of Austria, and into Switzerland, taking in much of the mountain range. Now he was entering into the north west of Italy, taking in the sights, and trying to decide where he actually wanted to go to. He decides to visit and stay at Lake Como, and rents a room in a villa. It is run by a young woman called Laura. He offers to do jobs around the place, such as fixing up the roof and walking her German Shepherd dog. By the third week, their affection for each other had grown, and they shared their first kiss.

The winter comes, and the next Spring swiftly follows. One day, a former British soldier visits the villa, giving his name as Oliver Fraser. As like Simeon, he too is believed dead by the British Army, having supposedly fell in Crimea at the Battle of Balaclava. A storm starts to form in the area, so he is hurried inside alongside Laura and the dog. The three play cards until there is a knocking at the door. An Italian man pleads for shelter from the weather. He stays by the fire, and states that his name is Felice Orsini, and that he has escaped from a nearby prison in Mantua – but that he is no criminal, more a revolutionary. He tells of how he was captured in Vienna and then moved to Mantua by the Austrian Empire. He dreams of a free and united Italy, even after his imprisonment. They all drink Brandy, before eventually retiring to bed.

The next morning, a group of soldiers come knocking at the door. Laura answers the door, and keeps them talking, as both Fraser and Simeon ambush the soldiers from behind. They warn Orsini that he needs to leave, and they dump the soldier's bodies a few miles away
Felice Orsini
Source: Wikipedia
before cleaning the blood from the grounds. They sit down to drink once more, and express their hope that Orsini doesn't relay their names to others. Fraser says that Orsini had spoken openly about a “Magus” that had helped him, and that he had a fondness for stories of the revolutions of Paris, so had decided to head there. The familiar name stung Simeon from his newly found peaceful life, and he knew that he once more had to leave.

Orsini had mentioned that he had told his family to find safety in Zurich, so Simeon decided this would probably be the best place to seek him out first. He eventually finds the home of Orsini's wife and children, but there is no sign of Orsini himself for over two weeks. Deciding that he must have moved along to Paris, Simeon takes a train there. Upon arriving at the Gare de l'Est train station, he elects to climb atop of it, to get perspective of the city before him. It is there on the roof that he feels a pat on his shoulder, and whirls round with his knife to find a hooded woman with a hidden blade now to his throat. She demands to know who he is, to which he responds that he is a trained Assassin, but not formally inducted to the Brotherhood. She stows her blade, and directs him to follow as it begins to rain. They climb inside a window, where she states her name as Amira Benyamina. She introduces two other men, Michel Moulin and Henri Escoffier. Simeon gave his actual name this time, and was shocked to recognise the face of Henri as the hooded man he had met on HMS Birkenhead years before.

The group offer him food and drink, and Simeon relaxes a little. Henri reveals that he had originally been sent to the Birkenhead by Kane to recruit Simeon, as he had recalled talking to him one drunken night in Ireland many years before. Simeon does not recall this, but is slightly baffled by this turn of events. He mentions that he seeks Orsini who has information on a supposed Templar going by the name of “Magus”. None of the group had heard of the latter, but Moulin says that he had read that Orsini was to give a lecture in Liverpool in England. Simeon knows that he cannot risk going to England, for if he is recognised he would be court-
Gar de l'est
Source: Wikipedia
martialed by the British Military for desertion. Moulin offers to instead contact the British sect of Assassins, and have them keep a close eye on Orsini.

Electing to remain for a time, Simeon accepts an offer from Amira to continue his training. He is given challenges, such as reaching a different part of the city without touching the street, purely by utilising rooftops. Once the summer arrives, she requests that he accompany her to Versailles. They walk around the Palace gardens, before getting into a rowboat, and riding down the canal. She tells him that his leap of faith is now required, and that sometimes this can be a leap out of something, and sometimes a leap into. She tells him to dive to the bottom of the water, and bring back what he can find in the darkness. Sure enough, he dives into the deep dark bottom of the water, and sees a small light. He tries to grasp at it, but his fingers find nothing but mud. On the verge of drowning he swims back up. Catching his breath, he tells her that he saw a light, but could not retrieve it. She tells him that our eyes can play tricks upon us, but the fact that he had hoped to see something showed he had faith. It kept him curious and looking for answers, to seek them out at the very bottom of this world. He had passed her test, and she formally welcomed him to the Assassin Brotherhood.

Birmingham, England, 1857 AD

The troupe had travelled to Birmingham a few years earlier as planned and moved into the Jennings Theatre, where Pierrette and the
Victorian Birmingham
Source: Wikipedia
rest of the performers had quickly managed to establish a steady crowd providing them income. She kept in touch with local gun makers, trying to see if any new or remarkable weapons from the “Magus” had come to the market, but nothing ever reached her ears. On such a walk around the industrial district one evening, she ends up walking down a suspended catwalk above a construction area. She immediately recognises the dome shapes below her as what she had seen as designs in Ada's notebook. One of the supervisors says that the work must be completed and shipped to Bousquet-Lang in Paris before the end of the month. She is spotted by a worker, but she still manages to swing down and grab a casing, before knocking down a guard and escaping out into the street.

Realising that the police would be coming for her, as her face would be known from the performances, she decides she needs to head to Paris to where these weapons are to be delivered. She tells the Troupe she is heading to southern France for her supposed dying aunt, and takes a train to London. From there she travels to Dover, and takes the ferry to Calais, before then finally boarding a train to Paris – all the while carrying the strange iron dome in a hat box. She finds a poorly maintained hotel, and books herself a room for the night.

Paris, France, 1858 AD

Simeon stands atop the opera house roof looking out over the city. The Emperor's carriages were due to arrive for the opera, and
Victorian Paris
Source: Wikipedia
Simeon watched them approach. Suddenly a white flash and explosion rocked the street, and Simeon lost his footing. He clambered down to street level, and saw the carnage of dead bodies around him. His attention is drawn to a woman on horseback that rides up a ramp to a rickety walkway. He recognises her as Pierrette and gives chase. Her horse barrels up the ramp toward a man wielding a metal “football”, and it is knocked from his hands. Simeon rushes to catch the ball before it hits the ground. As he runs up the ramp after he finds the man has fled, with Pierrette laying unconscious on the ground, her temple bloodied.

Pierrette awakes on a sofa in a darkened room, with Simeon sat on a nearby chair. She explains that she had tracked the iron bombs from England to Paris, and had found that the Bousquet-Lang was in fact a warehouse. She had tailed one of the men to the opera house, and then the explosions had begun. Simeon in turn states that he had been there to find Orsini and save him from his fate, but that he had regrettably been arrested in the aftermath of the assassination attempt. Pierrette mentions that the iron bombs had been changed from their original design, presumably that of Ada's. They had heard four bombs go off, but she was aware that they had originally constructed twelve – meaning that some were still out there. Simeon suggests she rest and return to England, but knowing the police there would still be after her, Pierrette protests that she could not go back. She declares she would not rest until she had found these bombs, and stopped the rest of the conspirators. Simeon senses her determination, and offers to train her in some of his skills so that they might work together.

A week passes, and the two of them train atop Pierrette's hotel roof. She throws knives at a target on a door, and they discuss their next steps. Simeon notes down names of people who might have been connected to the bombings in his notebook. Pierrette suggests that he might already know who the Magus is, but Simeon elects to keep his suspicions to himself for the moment.

A few days later, at the train station hideout, Simeon attempts to write a letter to Oscar Kane. Pierrette returns from a tailing mission, as Michel tells them that Kane himself had been in Paris, assisting them in finding a Templar artifact. The suspicion rises in Simeon again, as he ponders the question of the timing for both Orsini to have been in Paris, as well as this supposed Magus. He raises his thoughts to the group as to whether Kane could in fact be the Magus, but Michel quickly rejects the notion, stating that Kane's belief in the Assassin cause is unshakeable. Pierrette points out that the man she had been tailing in connection with the bombs had mentioned an irishman, but one that went by the name of Monsieur Gilet - “Mr Waistcoat”. Knowing that was Kane's signature look, Simeon's face darkened.

Paris, France, 1860 AD

Two years passed as Simeon and Pierrette investigated the various accomplices of Orsini, but nothing ultimately lead to the Magus. Simeon had even travelled to Vienna, to find that Kane's home was now being rented by someone else. The supposed Magus, had evidently eluded them. One evening, Pierrette dons her favourite dress and attends an art exhibition. Whilst there she meets Lizzie
Lizzie Siddall
Source: Wikipedia
Siddall, a painter she had once met in Ada's social circles. Lizzie expresses surprise at meeting her there, as she was the second friend she had recently met of Ada's – the other being a Mr Kane, two months prior in London.

Pierrette returns to the hideout and informs Simeon of what she had heard. She suggests they leave for London immediately, but he tells her that Kane could be anywhere in the world by now. Simeon sends a telegram to the British Assassins, who confirm they have had no contact or sight of Kane in recent times. If Kane was avoiding the Assassins entirely, this just made Simeon even more suspicious of him, as he was evidently working on his own somewhere out there. Simeon eventually resigns himself to the fact that he must seek out his former master in England. He suggests Pierrette remain in Paris for her own safety, but she protests and he relents to take her along.

London, England, 1861 AD

Simeon and Pierrette rent rooms near to where the recently demolished Blackfriars Bridge had been. The rooms had been suggested to them by Lizzie Siddall, who had travelled back with the two of them alongside her husband Gabriel. Pierrette continues her training, but over several months the two of them lose all trace of Kane, and instead study local political dissidents. Simeon meets with Ethan Frye, who had not heard from Kane in many years. He directs Simeon to meet the “Ghost”, a young Indian man, but he too had not heard of Kane – but promises to ask around.

Pierrette checks the newspapers for leads, and comes across a “Deserters” list, offering reward for turning in any military deserters. Oddly enough, Simeon's name now appears on the list following “intelligence received”. He takes the newspaper, and looking at the reverse page is an article mentioning an Assyrian Artifact shaped like an eye, that the British Museum now has in storage. Simeon fears this could be a trap to lure him in. Realising he can't endanger Pierrette as well, he spots a tightrope walker exhibition and suggests she go watch the show for a break from the stress of their work.

Later that afternoon, Simeon makes his way to the museum, asking the doorman for directions to the Assyrian exhibition. He goes down some stairs as directed, and enters a hallway in darkness. Kane calls out to him, stating that he had hoped he would come back to him. He confesses that the bombs had indeed been his versions of a design of Ada's, and that both Lebenyi and Orsini had been clumsy assassination attempts at his suggestion, namely to test the bombs in the latter's case. He had known that Simeon and Ada had been friends, and was curious to learn anything more that he could about her, hence his apparent recruitment attempt of Simeon. He had indeed been the Magus all along. Suddenly Simeon hears a number of voices, one directly stating “Price”. The police. Kane had obviously summoned them, and kept him talking in order to turn Simeon in. Realising he had but seconds, he pretends that he wants to return to Kane's tutelage and moves in closer. He attempts to use his hidden blade, but Kane blocks the attempt, however Simeon follows up with a slice from his pocket razor with his free hand, cutting open Kane's shoulder. The latter makes a run for a nearby stairwell and Simeon follows after him.

He loses sight of Kane within the Egyptian exhibition. Kane's voice calls out from a box in the corner, clearly some kind of voice relay system to distract Simeon. He searches further throughout the museum, whilst trying to avoid the police. Eventually he comes across the “Reading Room”, to which a doorman bars entry demanding a ticket. Brandishing his knife, Simeon states that he is going inside. The doorman relents, but insists he must sign the visitor book, to which Simeon signs off under the name “Ezio Auditore”. He enters the vast room, and amidst large bookcases, he spots Kane on a suspended walkway talking to a few men around him. Knowing he cannot risk a gun shot at a distance, he yells out to Kane in challenge, and climbs up to the walkway. Kane keeps him talking once more, and police eventually catch up to Simeon, grabbing his arm from behind, preventing him taking a shot with his revolver. He uses his Hidden Blade to break free, but topples over the railing and falls hard on his side against a bookcase, before falling even further to the ground below. He tries to rise to his feet, but seemingly cannot.

Crystal Palace, London, England, 1861 AD

Pierrette arrives at Crystal Palace for the exhibition. The acrobat Charles Blondin performs acts upon the tightrope, entertaining
Charles Blondin
Source: Wikipedia
the crowds. Eventually she bores of the show, but as she leaves she nearly gets knocked over a by a running girl – none other than Tillie Wallin. The two catch up on everything that has happened since Pierrette left the troupe, and she suggests Tillie come back with her for supper at Lizzie's flat. When they arrive, they find Lizzie and her husband picking up books and debris around the apartment, evidently the result of someone breaking in and searching through their things. Eventually the police arrive, to which Lizzie's husband Gabriel gives their names and Simeon's for the flat next door. They recognise the name of Price, stating that he'd just been arrested at the British Museum. Pierrette is horrified upon hearing this.

Millbank Prison, London, England, 1861 AD

Simeon lay quietly in his cell, convinced his leg was broken as he could place no weight upon it. He eventually is attended by a Doctor, who helps re-align his leg and binds it with leather straps. A week into his imprisonment, he sees a familiar face at his cell door – Halford, now a Corporal. The two are surprised to see each other, and explain how they had each survived the sinking ship, Halford somehow finding himself aboard a life boat. He had heard Simeon had been captured, and offered to be his counsel, as was the tradition for deserter soldiers to be represented by a friend when tried by court. Halford suggests that his best strategy is to plead that Simeon had hit his head and suffered memory loss, but that he could also declare the quality of his character in
Millbank Prison
Source: Wikipedia
his defence as well. This was apparently a tried and tested method by many lawyers of deserters. Simeon asks if he can have a message delivered to someone, and Halford passes him his pen and paper.

Lizzie's flat, London, England, 1861 AD

Pierrette goes out in search of Simeon, hoping he had escaped, but is unable to find him or any of his allies. Tillie makes a suggestion, and she leads Pierrette and Lizzie out to a costume shop. There they meet its owner, Nell, formerly of the Troupe. She welcomes them in to the back of the shop. Pierrette apologises for her disappearance from the Troupe in the years beforehand, and finds forgiveness given to her. She requests to borrow throwing knives, climbing ropes and a grapple hook, and puts them all into a carpet bag. She is also given a pendant filled with clubmoss powder, a kind of incendiary material.

As she walks back with all the equipment, she becomes aware of a man following her. Whilst trying to escape him, he calls out her name. Fearing a battle with a Templar or agent of Kane, she is surprised to find that the man actually has a message from Simeon, and gives his name as Corporal Halford. They return to the flat together, and she reads the coded message. Simeon writes that he has broken his leg, to forget about rescuing him, and to go after the Magus herself. Also that he has smoke bombs under his bed. She smiles, and tells the others she would like to throw a party.

Gabriel and Lizzie invite as many writers, artists and scientists as they know to the party. Pierrette sits alongside a black woman called Fanny Eaton. She tells Pierrette that she models for artists but her husband is a taxi driver, who had been robbed three months that month already. Pierrette mentions that they too have had a break in, and the two muse on the lawlessness of London. She moves on through the crowd and recognises a face from a decade before – John Ruskin, the journalist. She asks if he knows where Kane might be, but he does not recognise the name. She then bumps into Ada Lovelace's daughter, Lady Annabella, now calling herself Anne. She introduces her younger brother, Byron Ockham. Realising the children of Ada might know Kane's whereabouts, she loudly asks if they know of him, as she hopes it can aid her friend arrested for desertion. Neither do, but a woman nearby overhears and moves closer to Pierrette. She introduces herself as Countess Konstanze von Visler, and is pleased to meet another foreigner at the party. She suggests they might meet for coffee one morning at the Brown's Hotel.

The following morning, Pierrette observes the hotel from a nearby rooftop. If this was a trap, she wanted to scope her exits
Fanny Eaton
Source: Wikipedia
beforehand. She packs her trusty knife in her pocket as normal, and stows a revolver in her reticule. As she climbs down from the rooftop, two arms grab her legs, and she is pulled inside, slamming her head against the sill and falling unconscious. A short time later she awakens, tied to a wooden chair. The Countess sits opposite her, citing that she knows how Assassins operate, and had every vantage point to the hotel guarded. Pierrette's weapons were on a nearby table, and the Countess takes her knife, before stabbing Pierrette in her side. Another cut follows, which slices open the corset, revealing Ada's concealed notebook.

Millbank Prison, London, England, 1862 AD

Simeon's leg gradually heals, and he starts to engage in chores voluntarily, such as picking oakum to make ropes for ships. He receives a message from Halford that Pierrette has evidently travelled to Dublin, presumably where Kane has fled to. Eventually his court martial appearance arrives, and he elects to allow Halford to try his plan. As he looks across the court, he spots Countess Konstanze von Visler. Simeon declares his stance as “Not Guilty” to the Judge, and sits alongside Halford. The prosecution calls upon Major Grimes, the man who had ordered Simeon to hold position as the ship sank, yet he too had somehow survived. When the time comes for Halford to make his case, he is shocked to find Simeon standing to make his own bargaining statement. He states that all men in the army sell their lives for a shilling, but that if money is the motivator to dictate their lives, then surely being told to commit suicide holding onto a drowning ship is folly.

The jury leaves court to discuss the case, and the court is re-adjourned a short time after. Simeon is declared not guilty, much to his and Halford's surprise. A young man approaches them, and gives his name as Byron Ockham. He states that his father, the Earl Lovelace, was a colonel who had requested a formal pardon for him. Simeon was free, and he watches as the Countess slowly departs the court room.

Mayfair, London, England, 1861 AD

Pierrette endures days of questioning and wounds inflicted by the Countess, as she seeks answers to what Ada's notebook contains. Not only is part of it written in code, a lot of it contains seemingly random sentences placed together. Pierrette eventually offers to have a go at reading and decoding the book, so she is provided pencils and paper. After a few days, she states that she has found reference to a temple and the converging of lines in Bath, a town in England. She protests that her hands are too cold to write due to the wintery weather, and the Countess arranges for a fire to be lit in the fireplace of the room. Still wearing her pendant necklace, Pierrette remembers it contains a flammable powder. She opens it and blows some towards the fire, igniting the Countess's outfit. Pierrette takes the moment of surprise to grab her knife and the notebook from the table, cut her binds, and throws her chair through a nearby window. She then leaps outside to the rooftops, and makes her way halfway down the street across the roofs before her energy gives out and she collapses near to a young and surprised chimneysweep.

Holborn, London, England, 1861 AD

Simeon is returned all his possessions, including his hidden blade and cloak, and returns to the flats. Upon arriving he is told by
The Old Red Lion, Holborn
today - Source: Wikipedia
the landlady that everyone was out. He heads towards a nearby tavern – the Red Lion, in search of answers that Gabriel might have, knowing this was his usual haunt. Sure enough he finds Gabriel, and asked him what Pierrette had said before leaving for Ireland. Gabriel explains that she gave little away, and couldn't be of much help. The two men drink, as a party of fellow troops celebrate Simeon - a fellow soldier's release. Simeon decides that he must set sail to Ireland after Pierrette. Gabriel points out that she has actually returned, but she'd looked in quite a state when he last saw her. They are interrupted by Fanny Eaton, who overhears Pierrette's name, and tells them that her husband had just taken a Mr Kane to Bath by taxi. She says that Pierrette had been asking for Kane, so thought that Simeon might pass on the message to her. Simeon gives his thanks, makes his apologies, and heads out into the night. He is alerted to a whistle from above, and looks up to see Pierrette on a rooftop.

He clambers up to join her and the two catch up quickly. She tells of how the Countess had held her, but she brandishes the notebook firmly back in her possession. She states that she found reference to some temple in Bath, and Simeon confirms that Kane is also en route there. Realising it could be a trap, Pierrette suggests they are outnumbered, and that she could bring in some old troupe friends to help them. Simeon thinks that he too could bring in some aid in the form of Halford, Ockham, and the troops he had met in the Red Lion. Pierrette offers to repair his old cloak.

Bath, England, 1861 AD

Simeon stands at the bell tower of Bath Abbey. After days of no success, he finally spots Kane heading into a doorway in a
Bath Abbey
Source: Wikipedia
backstreet alley. He sends Ockham and Halford to keep watch at the location, and returns to the rooftop. Pierrette and the troupe team arrive by carriage, so he goes to greet them. Pierrette has repaired his old cloak, adding a gold outline across it, and returns it to him. Simeon and the group then walk to the backstreet alley, and meet up with Ockham and Halford. Its decided that most of the troupe will align on the rooftops for covering fire, but Simeon will attempt to enter the doorway alone.

The room inside is dark, with a small ladder leading down to a tunnel that appears to have recently been dug. He follows the tunnel until he comes to a circular room, illuminated by lights powered by energy cells. In the centre sits Kane, who calls out stating that he had been guided by one truth for over a decade – that Ada Lovelace had been right about everything. He playfully bounces a clay ball in his hand, stating that if their had been an Eye device here, the Templars had likely already obtained it. He admits that he had used them to his own ends, much as they had used him.

Kane's henchmen hide around the pillars of the room, and they begin taking shots with guns at Simeon. He is forced to retreat into cover, and falls into the loose earth of a deliberate trap hole. Kane had guessed his next move. All of a sudden, shots ring out all around and Pierrette, Halford, Ockham and the troupe team all enter the room using their own weapons. Pierrette throws a rope to Simeon, which he uses to clamber out of the steep hole. Ockham is both shot and slammed in the face with a pistol. The group eventually overpowers the henchmen, leaving Kane to get stabbed in the back by Pierrette. He twists round and grabs her knife, and then holds her in his grasp, forcing the others to back off under threat of killing her. He backs the two of them up onto a high walkway. The troupe throw a lasso to try and trap him, and Kane loses his footing falling hard on the walkway, with Pierrette
Victorian London
Source: Wikipedia
tumbling over the edge and grasping a rope. The walkway collapses, and the two of them fall heavily to the ground. Pierrette holds her ankle, but manages to get to her feet. Kane coughs blood, lying on his back. Simeon stabs him with his hidden blade, and takes his blood upon a calling card. The Magus is no more. The site starts to become unstable due to the ongoing fighting and starts to collapse. The Assassins and their group rush out to reach safety, leaving Kane's body to be buried amidst the rubble.

After Ockham is admitted to the hospital in Bath, Simeon and Pierrette take the train back to London. They read in a newspaper that Lizzie had taken her life from an overdose of laudanum. Upon returning to the flats, they find Lizzie's open casket, with visitors giving their final respects. As Pierrette pays hers, she hears the voice of Countess Konstanze von Visler at the entrance. Realising she had to dispose of the notebook quickly, she hides it inside the casket, underneath Lizzie's long hair. The Countess comes in to pay her respects to Lizzie, to which Pierrette and Simeon assure her that the notebook was burned and long gone. After the Countess leaves, Pierrette and Simeon discuss their next steps. Pierrette decides she would like to join the British Brotherhood of Assassins, rather than return to France. She will also stay with Gabriel for a time, to ensure the grieving man still has company. Simeon declares that he can no longer remain in London, as his face is too well known. As a result, he would soon travel away. The two friends therefore decide to spend their evidently final evening in London together.

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