Praise or set ablaze - The story analysis of Last Descendants (part 2)
Markuz, December 2nd, 2016
Translated by: Stefania

Here we are, back with our story analysis of Assassin’s Creed: Last Descendants! As mentioned in the first part of the article, we’d like to remind you again that…

The following article presents SPOILERISH content for those who have not yet read the first AC: Last Descendants novel. You are advised.

With that out of the way (it probably isn’t necessary anymore as the book was released three months ago…), we can immediately go back to where we left off.

Varius VS Cudgel - Part 2

The first part of this article ended with Varius and Cudgel Cormac's epic clash on top of the Astor House, with Varius seemingly having the upper hand for most of the fight and Cudgel apparently hitting him with his air rifle. Before getting into what happened right after that, though, the book shows us Varius' backstory through Owen’s memories and what actually drove him to the Astor House (much like it showed Cudgel's reasons in the earlier chapters).

The last known Colonial /
American Mentor before the
one shown in Last Descendants
In fact, we see Varius the day before the Riots sitting alone at a table in the Atlantic Gardens beer hall pondering on a new "status quo" happening between the street gangs in New York: he had tried to talk the Bowery Boys out of participating in the Riots, but he failed and because of that he is now waiting for new orders that shockingly for him come in no other form than the Mentor itself who wants to talk to him.
It's already interesting to see that in 1863 the American Assassins have re-established the "Mentor" title and role after Agaté and Achilles died in 1777 and 1781 (Connor was only a "de facto" Mentor ). What's more interesting is how the new Mentor is presented though: he is "a black man, in a city that hated blacks", who has a gold Chinese coin hanging from a piercing in his left ear, wears a blue velvet coat with a blue top hat over his shaved head and brings with him a silver-tipped cane. A very specific yet peculiar portrait, I must say.

The Mentor talks with Varius about the riots that are going to happen soon, about them being a plan organized by the Templars for years and especially about the fact that Varius should have seen them coming and do something about them. Varius of course feels ashamed of himself, after such a remark by the Mentor, but then goes on to ask him why he came in person from Washington to New York (apparently in 1863 Washington is the base of operations for the Assassins in the United States). The Mentor says that they should discuss it more privately somewhere else, and while they head towards Varius’ hideout, they have a very brief talk with the first reference of the second part of the book.

The Mentor takes a look again at the people around them, especially the gang members, and tells Varius how he thinks that a riot is messy but efficient in the hands of the Templars, stating that they tried to do a similar thing in Paris – the reference, of course, is to Assassin’s Creed Unity and to how the Templars tried to use the French Revolution to crush “Crown and Church” and rise from the ashes to lead the future of France. Varius states that in New York the people aren’t raging against any nobility but against the president and a policy they despise, but the Mentor answers that hadn’t it been about that policy, it would have been about something else, and the Templars would have used the mob for their purposes anyway.

When they reach Varius’ lair at number 42 on Bowery, the Mentor starts to get into more good stuff. He says that the last time he had been in that safehouse was during Varius’ father time, meaning that Varius’ father was an Assassin working in New York too. He also states that Varius’ legacy is noble, although he doesn’t explain if it’s noble in terms of rank in the society or in terms of prestige inside the Brotherhood (we’ll get back to this later, as it might be VERY important for the hardcore fans).

Inside the hideout, the two discuss the impending riots, and while Varius still wants to remedy his mistake and put a stop to them before they actually start, the Mentor tells him that they are unavoidable now and that he has a much more important mission for him. Of course he’s talking about the Piece of Eden that Varius has to retrieve in the Aztec Club rooms inside the Astor House. The Mentor knows that it’s a Dagger and that it belonged to Hernán Cortés but apparently the Assassins had a confirmation for that “only recently” (hence why they hadn’t recovered it up until that moment). Varius' mission is to steal the Dagger and bring it to Mississippi to general Ulysses S. Grant, who actually was a member of the Aztec Club, without telling him what it actually is.
From a young kid in front of a slave
auction to a Mentor fighting for
slaves' freedom (Source: AC Wiki)
The Mentor states that Grant is the best chance for a Union victory, because otherwise, if the Confederacy won the war, the Templars would take control of the country, making everything that his grandmother fought for in New Orleans useless. Aaaand yes, in a very brief sentence, which will not be mentioned again in the book, the Mentor indirectly reveals that he is the grandson of Aveline de Grandpré, the protagonist of Assassin's Creed III: Liberation who lived in New Orleans and fought for the liberation of slaves (which is one of the reasons for which the Union fought the Civil War, hence why the Mentor put all his hopes in Ulysses Grant).

Varius finally has his mission, with the Mentor telling him to bring peace to anyone who opposes him (echoing Mirabeau's words in Assassin's Creed Unity "you will bring him peace, in accordance with our tenets") and this is where the book goes back to talk about his father.
In fact, after the Mentor leaves, Varius thinks about his father and what happened in the past in New York: apparently his father had successfully and almost single-handedly kept the Templar Order at bay in the city for years, and his death had left him the only Assassin operating in it (as ordered by the Mentor, in a similar fashion to what happened to Henry Green approximately at the same time in London).

(Source: AC Wiki)
The mystery of Varius' father stays unsolved in the book, possibly to be revealed in the future or to never be revealed at all. Being Varius an American Assassin working in New York City had me thinking that he *could* be connected to Connor... possibly being his grandson? That's entirely a wild guess, though, considering that the Davenport Mansion (and therefore, possibly Connor) disappeared at the end of the 19th Century. In any case, Varius' father must have surely been a very important Assassin considering how he worked alone against the Templars in New York, much like Connor did, and considering how much he was praised by the Mentor.

Going back to the simulation, Varius feels the guilt of not being able to stop the riots entirely on his shoulders, but at the same time he is determined to make the best out of his mission. He then goes on to his armory and equips himself with a dozen of throwing knives, a revolver, a pair of knuckledusters, a set of lockpicks and, of course, his Hidden Blade.

Alexander Graham Bell attaching
the rope launcher to Evie's gauntlet
in 1868 (Source: AC Wiki)
About Varius' hidden blade, this is where the book might have its first consistency mistake. In fact, Varius chooses to use a simple hidden blade, "though newer gauntlet designs had come into use in England, involving darts and rope launchers". As shown in Syndicate, the Frye twins get their Assassin gauntlets equipped with a rope launcher only in 1868 while the events involving Varius take place in 1863, so unless the British Assassins had already figured out a way to use rope launchers through their gauntlets without the help of Alexander Graham Bell (I might have missed it, of course), that's possibly a mistake.

Regardless of that, Varius is ready for his mission and so, as we already know, he reaches the Astor House. Here he proves to possess Eagle Vision, although not as strong as he would like, and through it he’s able to feel a faint vibration emitted by the Piece of Eden and to locate it at the fifth floor.

This is where Varius’ story overlaps with the part of Cudgel’s one that we already saw. As we know, Varius climbs the building, reaches the fifth floor and enters the hotel from a window. He explores the rooms that belong to the Aztec Club up until he finds the Dagger and then he picks it up and inspects it, providing a very detailed description for the fans and fan artists (again, PLEASE someone make a fanart about it!):

It had no guard, and the blade curved slightly, with a sharp heel near the handle, almost like the prong of a harpoon. Its grip was bound in leather and gold wire, but the shape was flat, as though it was simply an extension of the blade that had been fashioned into a handle. The pommel was perhaps its most distinct feature, forming a kind of triangle, with sharp angles that suggested it was meant to fit together with something else. Varius concluded it wasn't a dagger at all, but a broken-off part of some larger weapon."

This the very first moment where the fans could draw a connection to the Trident of Eden that was announced in the "marketing campaign" for Last Descendants. Not only because the dagger is described as a prong, but also because in one way or another every side of it is sharp, even the handle, meaning that the Piece of Eden is not really a dagger. Plus, Varius' conclusion doesn't really leave room for doubts...

Anyway, after recovering the Piece of Eden, Varius turns back towards the window to get out of the hotel... but he suddenly realizes he has been detected (of course we're talking about Cudgel Cormac, as mentioned in the first part of this article). Not hearing any alarms outside, he believes that his pursuer is still watching him and by using Eagle Vision he confirms his doubts.
"The air is still. And I am a hunter."
Varius spots Cudgel, but to really acknowledge who his pursuer is, he picks his coat and extends it towards the window. As we already know Cudgel falls for this, and shoots a sleep dart towards Varius' coat. The Assassin picks the dart and by analyzing it he realizes that his pursuer is a Templar, and not just a normal Templar but a "Hunter". Through this mention, we get to know that by 1863 the "Hunter" is actually a role among the Templar ranks, describing "someone trained in the ways of the Assassin, an extremely formidable opponent" (you might remember Shay's "The air is still. And I am a hunter.").
As we know from the end of the first part of the article, Varius retreats deeper in the Aztec Club rooms exactly as Cudgel enters the window after throwing a smoke grenade. Varius tricks Cudgel and is able to reach the first room and to get out of the window to reach the roof.

"William Herschel" - Painting
by Lemuel Francis Abbot, 1785
We already know what happens after that: Cudgel gets on the roof too and they have an epic exchange before Varius tries to escape… and Cudgel hits him with a sleep dart. The dart hits the Assassin on the side just as he goes off the ledge of the roof, so he tries to make a desperate descent, just to slow his fall down, and he barely makes it without a broken bone. The toxin, though, slowly takes hold of him and the last thing he can do is to hide in the dark of a nearby alley to avoid being spotted by the Templar. In fact, after descending, Cudgel appears unsure of where to follow him… until he pulls out from his coat the so called Herschel Spyglass, a device "capable of revealing the heat that living bodies gave off in the darkness". The device is a reference to Sir William Herschel, the British astronomer and composer who discovered the infrared radiation in 1800 and, in my opinion, is a nice gadget in Cudgel's equipment. In fact, through it, the Templar is able to easily spot Varius and hit him again with his air rifle so that the toxin can finally take hold of his body, while he convinces himself he has failed his father and the Brotherhood once again.

When Cudgel reaches him, though, after finally getting the Piece of Eden, he doesn't kill him. He says that his grandfather, Shay, would have done it, but that he'd rather Varius to live with the shame. In my opinion Cudgel behaves... unnaturally for a Templar, and makes a mistake that will backfire on him in the long run, but then again, he is not the first Templar that spares an Assassin (Haytham spared Miko, for example). Still, keep this event in mind, because we'll talk about this again when we reach the end of the story.

This is where another little new element of present day is introduced. Owen, the protagonist in the present day and Varius' descendant, sees his simulation going black. It doesn't collapse, it feels like it's filled with "total absence and emptiness". As Monroe explains, he's experiencing his ancestor being unconscious. Monroe could speed up this part (Fast forwarding memory to a more recent one, if you will), but he has to keep Owen on track with the others and their memories.

Abraham and the brutal representation of the Riots

While Owen and Varius are out of the game, this is a great moment to go back to Abraham's story (we'll get to his daughter Eliza's one later, as it's very important for the end of the book).
In the first part of the article we saw Abraham leaving the Hole-in-a-Wall on a safe travel towards William Tweed's house organized by Cudgel Cormac and operated by a gang member called Skinny Joe.

As no ancestor of the other five kids is around him, David (Abraham's descendant) is forced to go through another set of extrapolated memories (the memories calculated by Monroe's Animus through historical data and memories of other people of the time). Because of this, as Monroe says, he is able to have a bit more control over his ancestor's avatar, but not too much as he may still desynchronize. Which is exactly what he does.
The Memory Corridor,
the only place where David feels
better after desynchronizing
In fact, in the simulation Skinny Joe mentions that "It will go hard for Negroes tomorrow" and David can't stop himself from answering angrily to the gang member (something that Abraham would have never done), which causes the simulation to collapse on David, and this is perhaps the first time in which we see the actual consequences of desynchronization on the Animus user rather than just seeing a restart of the memory. As a matter of fact, David is immediately seized by a feeling of sudden vertigo, his stomach heaves and right after that he vomits three times. In Monroe's words, "Desynchronizing messes with your parietal lobes, the part of your brain that keeps you grounded in time and space".

It's the worst dizziness and sickness David has ever felt, and only getting back in the simulation and restarting the memory helps him feel better. This time Abraham doesn't comment on Skinny Joe's remarks and his ride is mostly safe and quiet (in a brief moment he also sees a big patrolman taking down some street thugs, a reference to Tommy Greyling saving Adelina Patti a few chapters earlier).
When Abraham gets to Tweed's house, after Skinny Joe left, he tries to get inside, but the door is locked and Eliza isn't answering. Abraham gets worried and without other options, he decides to settle down upon the stoop of the house, as he had told his daughter. While staying there, he allows himself to think about the past and, at this point in the book, we get a brief description of his past life.

He had been a slave years before, and the worst night of his life was the night in which his first wife had been murdered by another slave (Eliza was born from his second wife) who had just come to the plantation. Abraham killed the man in return, and, after doing it, for fear of repercussions from his bosses, he ran from the plantation and spent many days hiding in the swamps "bug eaten, shivering and wet, wounds festering in the muck".

Abraham wakes up from his thoughts when he hears a shout and watches a mob passing by. Because of that, he even gets more worried and decides to enter the house anyway, through the cellar door. When he gets in the house, though, he finally finds out that his daughter is not there (she had gone looking for him after reading Tweed's letter through Eagle Vision, as we mentioned in the first part of this article).

Abraham then thinks that she might have worried for him and that she might have tried to follow him in his mission for Tweed, so he decides to write a letter for her (giving her new instructions to protect her from the mob and even suggesting her to take a ferry to get out of the city), in case she decided to come back. After that, of course, he leaves the house again, looking for her daughter along the road to the Hole-in-the-Wall, every step being more and more painful and exhausting (he's even indirectly confronted by a kid, no more than 12-13 years old, who stares in his eyes and draws his finger across his neck...).

After a very long and excruciating walk, Abraham reaches the saloon... and finds it almost empty. He sees Gallus Mag, though, who informs him that her daughter had been there some time before, and she was looking for her father. Gallus Mag had told her about the message that Abraham delivered to Cudgel and that Cudgel had taken his father with him (not knowing that he did it to guarantee him safe passage towards Tweed's house). At this point Abraham (and David with him) is lost, he doesn't know if his daughter tried to go back to Tweed's house or if she tried to find Cudgel hoping to find him.
What he is sure of, though, is that his body is too tired and can't hold anymore. He realizes he can only hope that Eliza reached Tweed's house and that he quickly needs to get to a shelter from the Riots. He finds it in the Colored Sailors' Home, an establishment that historically was founded in 1839 to provide food, clothing and shelter for black sailors in port and to act as an employment agency for sailors wishing to return to sea (Source).

"The Sailors' Home for Colored Seamen” (New York Public Library Digital Collections)

Abraham is welcomed by William Powell, the founder of the establishment and member of the Anti-Slavery Society, and his wife Mercy. After chatting for a brief time with them, Abraham goes to his room to rest and here the fans are able to see another particular situation that was never really explored in the AC universe. In fact, Abraham dreams and David is able to "see images fleeting into and out of view" about Gallus Mag, Skinny Joe and the streets of the city. While Abraham is resting, David takes his time to think and realizes that Abraham's concern for her daughter Eliza sort of changed his concern for her sister Grace. While usually it was her taking care of him, he now realizes he wants to do the same and so he is even more resolved in following Abraham's memories and to find Eliza.

When Abraham wakes up, he realizes he has slept up until one o'clock in the afternoon and reaches the hallway to find mrs. Powell and her children. A few moments later mr. Powell walks into the house and explains that the situation has gotten even more dangerous, with the rioters assaulting several buildings and driving many black families out of their burning homes while the police is outnumbered. The Powells have removed the sign of the Colored Sailors' Home from their building, but they think they're well known enough to be in danger... and that's exactly what happens. In fact, the building is attacked and both the Powell family and Abraham rush to the upper floors. They all reach the roof, and Abraham finds out that Powell had prepared for this situation, as he finds a removable wooden bridge going across the underneath alley and towards the closest building.

Powell helps his family and Abraham getting safe, but at the last moment asks Abraham to pull the bridge away both because that would get them safer and because, in a heroic moment, he says that this is his home and he will not give in to the mob and its hatred. In a very emotional moment, Powell bids goodbye to his family and goes back in the building. The kids gather around mrs. Powell, but for Abraham and David it's already time to go and find Eliza. Abraham feels guilty for this, but even if he hasn't even mentioned it, mrs. Powell understands and pushes him to go and find his daughter, and to stop worrying for them because they prayed and because she feels that God had heard them. Abraham promises them that when the Riots are over he will come back to see them... A promise, as we'll see, he could never keep...

A love story in the horror of the Draft Riots

As for Tommy Greyling and Adelina Patti, we left them walking towards the Fifth Avenue Hotel to get the lady safe. As they walk through of New York during the night, Tommy sees all the preparations by the gangs in the streets and tells Adelina that her hotel might become a target for the mob. For this reason he suggests to make a detour to his brother's house to find an immediate shelter and check the situation from there. Tommy, like I mentioned in the first part of this article, is timid, he feels like he has to tell Adelina they will be alone in the house before they reach it and he even fumbles with the key for some time before entering it. They get inside the beautifully decorated house and reach the first floor and immediately Tommy starts to feel uncomfortable because of the Riots outside, because he's alone with Adelina and because he says he doesn't belong to such a rich house and that, on the contrary, he'd like to live in the country in a farm. Because of this, and to change the mood in the house, Adelina suggests to sing for him. This is another emotional moment because of the intimacy of the situation and because she chooses to sing John Howard Payne's "Home! Sweet Home", the song that historically she had sung to president Lincoln and his wife during an American tour in 1862. Here you can find a video on Youtube with a recording of the same piece sung by Adelina Patti herself around 1905 - 1906.

Of course Tommy is moved by the song and by the way she sings it, to the point he actually has to remove a tear from his eye...

The moment is very touching, but a few instants later, after the sun rises, Tommy sees the mob moving through the streets. He decides to leave the house to learn more about the situation outside and while Adelina waits for him, she takes her time to visit the house. When Tommy gets back, he immediately tells her that the city is in chaos and that he knows that at least ten thousand rioters are wandering in its streets, shutting down factories and millworks and taking all the workers with them under threat, while ruining telegraph lines and railways to stop communications in the city. Tommy realizes it's not a riot anymore, it's an "insurrection" (the same conclusion reached by mr. Powell in Abraham's storyline).

Adelina asks Tommy if he's needed in the city and he answers he actually is but he adamantly states that he'll protect her up until he is sure she'll be safe. The hours go by up until Tommy sees a group of people going towards their street, looting the houses. Tommy and Adelina decide they have to leave the house immediately, but not before Tommy gets rid of his uniform. Few moments later they leave the house through a staircase in the kitchen that led to the cellar and from there to the house's back lawn, right at the same moment in which a stone comes through the window near the door.

As they leave the neighborhood, Tommy and Adelina smell smoke and quickly realize that the mob has fired the State Armory, worrying that the rioters now may be carrying guns too. Adelina once again asks Tommy if he still thinks it might be unsafe to go to her hotel, to which he answers positively. Pondering on where to go, Tommy says that any police precinct might not be safe too because the mob could quickly overrun it, if it wanted. Because of that, the only safe enough place that Tommy can think of is the arsenal of the Seventy-First Infantry, as he believes the rioters would not dare to attack the army.

Tommy Greyling
(Source: Assassin's Creed:
Last Descendants - Locus)
Before reaching it, the two have another romantic moment, where she thanks him for all that he’s done for her and for taking care of her even if he doesn’t know her. Tommy tries to answer but she silences him with a kiss on his cheek. As Tommy gets really confused and anxious about what Adelina did, the same happens to Sean (Tommy Greyling’s descendant). As a matter of fact, Sean is confused because, even if he knows that it was Adelina who kissed Tommy, Natalya (Adelina’s descendant) experienced the kiss as much as he did. He then starts thinking of what she might have felt, and while this seems to be the obvious and possibly very predictable set up for a corresponding love story in the present day (which we’ll see won’t have a very happy outcome in the book), it also serves for the purpose of having a direct example of the kids experiencing the Bleeding Effect and transferring their ancestors’ feelings in their lives.

Tommy and Adelina reach the army arsenal around one o’clock and as they get in front of it, seeing the soldiers’ uniform triggers something in Tommy, who stops on the spot and has flashes of the time he spent on the battlefield for the army coming from “the distant recesses of his memory”. He begins to sweat, his breathing quickens and his legs throb while Adelina tries to make him snap out of it, in vain. He “wakes up” only when she puts her hand on the cheek she kissed previously and in that moment, the book mentions that he had not had an episode like that in a lot of time, meaning he had several episodes after he left the army and that he had to work hard to avoid them.

The two speak to a soldier in front of the building, and they barely convince him to enter the arsenal. The soldier mentions that they haven’t received orders about protecting civilians, so he has to make them wait in a room to find out what to do. Tommy and Adelina wait for a lot of time, spotting many soldiers going in and out of the room, “a modest force of veterans who (….) would constitute a considerable foe to the rioters” but that doesn’t seem to have the intention to go out and meet the mob.
After more than a hour the soldier indirectly reveals the reason for that. In fact, he has received orders of sending the civilians to the police precincts and not to admit them into the arsenal, as commanded by General Sanford. He also adds, while taking them back on the street, that General Sanford is also the person that has to give the order for the soldiers in that arsenal to face the mob.

This is where Tommy realizes something is fishy. Sanford is a Democrat, and he reports to Governor Seymour, who is also a democrat. Tommy realizes that the Democrats have a vested interest in not stopping the mob, because (in Tommy’s mind), if the rebellion can stop the draft, the Democrats can force Lincoln to make peace in the Civil War… and while this “reeks of politics”, like Tommy says, it’s not really (or not only) the case. In fact, like we said in the first part of the article, Sanford was part of Tweed’s inner circle and so he’s likely to be a Templar too. In any case, it’s very likely that Sanford (in the AC universe, of course) is intentionally hesitating, to follow Tweed’s plan of having Tammany Hall make the city "rise from the ashes".

After pondering on this, Tommy thinks of another solution to get Adelina safe. In fact, after knowing that she has an aunt in Hoboken, he suggests going towards the Christopher Street ferry, the best and closest means of getting her out of the city, which, by the way, was the same ferry that Abraham suggested Eliza to take to get safe.

Tommy and Adelina during the Draft Riots
(Source: Assassin's Creed: Last Descendants - Locus)

As they move towards Christopher Street, though, Tommy and Adelina stumble upon a group of rioters kicking and punching a black man. Tommy rushes to his rescue and he is able to take down his four enemies, but not before suffering a severe knife wound that bleeds profusely. Tommy tries to see if the black man is alive and he barely is, with "a broken jaw, broken cheeks and eye sockets, bleeding from one of his ears", and with "broken ribs, and possibly more internal damage to his organs".

The black man is barely able to talk. He says he works for William Tweed... and says his name is Abraham. As we see, then, in his search for his daughter sadly Abraham stumbles in some rioters and gets beaten almost to death. He is barely able to tell where Tweed's villa is, asking Tommy and Adelina to bring him there. They accept and Tommy loads Abraham on his shoulders and slowly begins to walk with Adelina towards Tweed's house, with Abraham's weight on his shoulders and a bleeding wound on his side.

So… what did exactly happen to Abraham and will Tommy and Adelina be able to bring him back to his daughter Eliza? To give an answer to these questions we have to follow Eliza’s story, which is the one that ties all the events together and brings them to the end of the historical part of the novel. Before that, though, we have to delve again into Templar business, and more specifically in Cudgel Cormac’s story.

The best side of Cudgel Cormac

Following Varius’ story, we left Cudgel sparing his life and retrieving the “Dagger”, the Piece of Eden that they had fought for. After obtaining his prize, Cudgel climbs to the top of the Fifth Avenue Church’s bell tower, and there he plans to stay up until sunset, to avoid any kind of risk before bringing it to his Grandmaster, William Tweed.
From the vantage point he can check all the city and see if the riots are proceeding as planned… and they aren’t in some places in the city, as the mob failed to seize the Second Avenue Armory (even if Sanford attempted at keeping the army out of it), ruining their only chance to actually take control of the city. Cudgel, though, knows that taking control of the city isn’t mandatory anymore, because of the Dagger that he was able to retrieve. Following this idea, Cudgel thinks that the destruction of a few lives and a few buildings is worth the hunt for the Piece of Eden and the possible subsequent peace for the city itself and the nation and, being in his mind, his descendant Javier can’t help but at least see it partly Cudgel’s way.

The rioters burning Colored Orphan
Asylum. Harper’s Weekly, August 1,
1863. (Source:
When the evening comes, Cudgel is ready to go and meet the Grand Master when he sees a new fire in the north. By checking more thoroughly with his Herschel Spyglass he is startled when he realizes that the mob has attacked the Coloured Orphan Asylum.
The Coloured Orphan Asylum was an institution founded in 1836 to take in black children whose parents had died or not able to take care of them. It stayed open from 1836 to 1946 and it housed around four hundred children every year. Historically, the Coloured Orphan Asylum was burned down by Irish mobbers during the 1863 Draft Riots, and this is where the novel kicks in.

Seeing what happens, Cudgel decides to act immediately (even if he has to deliver the Dagger) for two reasons. Firstly, he despises the idea of killing children and Javier agrees with him. Secondly, thinking about the strategy of the Templars in the Riots, the Coloured Orphan Asylum was never a target. In fact, Cudgel remembers his Grand Master saying that the Riots would have been successful only if they appeared as a popular uprising and, on the contrary, would have failed if judged evil or barbarous.

For both reasons, then, Cudgel has to act quickly and so he does. He quickly reaches the building and finds that the mob is forcingly holding back a dozen of firemen from doing their job. The asylum is already engulfed in flames but Cudgel finds out that the children had escaped through a back door (this actually happened historically).

Cudgel saving one of the orphans
in a wonderful fanart by Sunsetagain
Sadly, though, the children escape right in front of the enraged mob and so Cudgel has to react quickly, if he wants to protect them. And so he does, facing the rioters and actually teasing them into helping the poor children. Of course the mob attacks him, calling him an abolitionist and he waits for enough time to let the children escape with the orphanage officers before fighting back. After a few moments, though, Cudgel decides to flee from the fight and follow the children from the rooves in their escape, and he even gets to help some of them when they get separated from the main group. After that, he actually has to "trespass" some of the boundaries concerning his role: in fact, to get all the children safe he convinces a gang member and Templar ally called Paddy McCaffrey to drive several horsebuses along with other gang members, tricking him into believing that he was doing it under the Grand Master's orders.
This part of the book is interesting because it shows a bit of Cudgel's personality, and once again proves that the Templars aren't necessarily the villain in the story with evil motivations and behaviors and because of this, Javier gets closer and closer to Cudgel's ideas and actions.

After Cudgel makes sure that the children are safe from the mob, he decides to reach his Grand Master's house to finally deliver the Dagger, but what he finds isn't exactly what he expected. In fact, he sees that the front door of the house is open, apparently kicked in, so he decides to enter the house from an attic window. The tension rises as he slowly moves through the attic, careful of the creak of the wooden floorboards and the he hears a woman crying downstairs. Cudgel descends two flights of stairs while he hears another woman saying "I'm sorry" and a man saying "He wanted to be brought here" (We'll get back to this soon enough). Then, suddenly, the crying woman breaks into a very loud scream, which makes Cudgel go back one step on the stairs and almost distracts him from a nearby threat.

He is, though, barely able to dodge a knife thrown by "the Assassin", Varius, that had been hiding in the shadows. Right after that Varius physically attacks Cudgel on the stairs and they both fall on the ground, where the Templar sees the three people he heard talking before (and only recognizes Eliza, his Grand Master's servant). Realizing that the house has been compromised, Cudgel runs for the front door while trying to dodge some other throwing knives, unsuccessfully, as one of them hits him near his shoulder.

The Crystal Palace (before
its destruction), illustration
by Karl Gildemeister, 1854
The Templar runs in the streets and then, even if in pain, he reaches the rooftops and decides to try and reach the mob and the chaos it created around the orphanage to try and evade Varius. While free climbing his way towards the orphanage, he actually sees the Assassin following him and closing the distance, so he changes his mind and drops to the streets making a run for the Crystal Palace, a building that had been destroyed by a fire five years before and whose ruins were still standing in the city.

Cudgel goes deep into the ruins and then turns back to try and detect Varius. He can't see him, and right after that he feels a hand grabbing his chin and pulling his head back as a Hidden Blade is pushing towards his neck. Thanks to his hide armor, though, he is able to deflect the blow in a fraction of a second and then he and Varius begin to fight hand to hand, but the pain in his shoulder makes him understand he'd be in disadvantage in such a situation, so he tries to flee again, hitting Varius with his knuckleduster. As he flees, though, he is hit by another throwing knife and falls down to the ground. All seems lost when Cudgel decides to use the only weapon left in his equipment: the Dagger.

This is where the second dialogue between the two takes place in the book. Cudgel is in pain, he barely gets to his feet, with the Dagger in his
"A pulsing sensation, a kind of
energy radiating up his arm
from his hand"
hands, and Varius taunts him, telling him he's just a mindless tool in the hands of his Order while he answers that he prefers to be that instead of being an agent of chaos like Varius. It's the usual clash of philosophies between Assassins and Templars, but this time Varius suggests that what is happening in the town is chaos and Cudgel answers that what is happening is necessary to remove those who hold back the city's progress.

Once again, Cudgel proves to be very dedicated to his faction, even while he's coughing blood and seems to have been defeated. This is where he finally decides to use the Dagger and feels a "pulsing sensation, a kind of energy radiating up his arm from his hand".

Varius immediately stops from whatever he was doing, looking confused, completely controlled by the Dagger, and Javier (Cudgel's descendant) immediately recognizes that it's the same reaction that his ancestor Chimalpopoca had in front of Hernán Cortés when he used the Dagger.
As we see, then, the Dagger seems to have a power that is similar to what the Apples are capable of. We'll discuss this more in detail later, as the book provides more information.

Cudgel immediately takes advantage of the situation and hits Varius with a knife, making the Assassin fall down on his back. He then lets out a sigh, and feels once again the pain of his wounds, with one of the knives still in his back. However, he's still determined to bring the relic to his Grand Master even if thi may prove to be fatal. "He was a Cormac, and he would serve the Order until the end".

Eliza: the rise of a new Assassin

As it happens in the book, at this moment of the story we need to have a flashback to explain a bit better how things went down this way. As a matter of fact, the story up to this very moment hasn't explained how Varius had recovered and why he was in Tweed's house waiting for Cudgel, what happened to Eliza and why she had gone back to Tweed's house, who were the people with her and many other questions.

That's why we need to have go back to the first clash between Varius and Cudgel. As we saw at the beginning of this article Cudgel spared Varius so that he had to live with the shame (not a good choice, as we just saw), but how was Varius able to recover so fast?

The Astor House and St. Paul's Chapel
(1862), the buildings around which
Varius' and Cudgel's clash took place
That's because Eliza finds him in the alley where Cudgel has left him, while she is looking for Cudgel in the hope of finding her father. Actually, Eliza followed all the action on the Astor House and she approaches Varius only after Cudgel has left. She tries to wake him up by slapping him, but it doesn't work and so she has to wait for two hours, till the first light of dawn when Varius finally wakes up. Eliza tells him she hopes him to be Cudgel (hoping to find her father) but Varius has to disappoint her. Immediately, then, Eliza says that he has to be Varius then, and the Assassin gets startled when he finds out she knows his name. After a brief moment, still not trusting him completely, Eliza tells Varius that she found about his name after she read a letter in William Tweed's house and explains she did it by seeing the traces left by the original letter on the paper beneath it. Varius gets more and more curious about her, probably realizing she has Eagle Vision, and considering she also tells him that the letter mentioned Cudgel having to go back to Tweed's house in the evening with the Dagger, he decides to stay with her while he recovers after being hit by Cudgel's rifle.

The two stop at an eating house called Windust's (that actually existed, historically), near the New York Tribune building, and that is where Varius gets the confirmation that Eliza possesses Eagle Vision. In fact, after he asks her about it, she answers "At times, I see something and I know it's important. Other times I see a man, like you, and I can tell you whether his intentions are good or evil. Sometimes, like with the message, I can see the traces of things left behind as if they're illuminated".
Varius keeps asking her about her "sight" and she mentions that his father doesn't have it, but her mother (Abraham's second wife) did, though sadly she died when Eliza was eight.

Horace Greeley, print by
J.E. Baker, circa 1872
That's when Horace Greeley, the founder and editor of the New York Tribune, comes in the eating house, right when Eliza is going to ask Varius about her vision and what Cudgel had stolen from him. A few moments later, Varius feels that his legs are recovered and so they leave the eating house to go towards Tweed's house... in a very particular way. In fact, this is probably when Varius decides to try and train Eliza in some of the Assassins' basics (after all she had already proved she had Eagle Vision), telling her that they'd reach Tweed's house by climbing and going from roof to roof. Of course Eliza says she is against it, but Varius answers with an old time classic: "Trust me, it's in your blood".

For a great part of the day Varius teaches Eliza how to free run, how to win her fears and embrace them to be able to do the most difficult jumps, even telling her to use Eagle Vision to extend her awareness of what is around her to feel sure that she is able to do many of the classic Assassin-like parkour moves. During this training, Varius tells her that he is an Assassin and briefly tells her about the ever-lasting war with the Templars and also adds that just by looking at her he feels that she was born to be an Assassin. Varius even tells her that to actually be an Assassin, one would have to be officially trained and to swear loyalty to the Brotherhood, sort of suggesting a path for her. Eliza is still doubtful about what Varius is telling her, but she gradually begins to see it his way and likes the idea of a life beyond that of a servant, "A life fighting for freedom. A life that made a difference".

The afternoon is coming to an end so the two decide to reach Tweed's house (again, free running through the city) and this is where Cudgel's story and Varius' one clash again, along with Eliza's one. Varius and Eliza reached the house well before Cudgel and, as they enter, they immediately see the note that Abraham left for her daughter the night before, where he suggested her to go to the Christopher Street ferry (the same that Tommy suggested to Adelina) if he didn't come back in time.
The Christopher Street /
Hoboken Ferry Pier, 1893
After knowing about it, Varius suggests her to follow her father's plan for her safety, and adds that when the riots are over, they can meet again, in case she wants to follow the path of becoming an Assassin. Eliza says that she is still in doubt, and so Varius tells her to take her time to think about it, as his mission will take him out of New York, to bring the Dagger to Ulysses S. Grant so he can win the war.

Up until that moment Varius had never told her what the Dagger really is, and even then Eliza's questions aren't satisfied either, because right in that moment Adelina and Tommy enter the house, along with a suffering Abraham that, as we saw before, had been punched and almost beaten to death by some of the rioters (this explains who were the people that Cudgel saw and didn't recognize while trying to escape the mansion, as we saw earlier).
They set Abraham on one of the sofas in the library and Eliza is scared and worried to see how badly hurt he is. Varius tries to examine him, as he has "some experience with these things" (sadly not going more into it) and right after that he says that Abraham is barely alive, with shattered bones on his face, at least four broken ribs, one which might have punctured his lung causing internal bleeding.

Eliza gets more and more worried while Grace, her descendant, does the same, getting angry with Monroe because he had his brother go through Abraham's pain, and while Eliza is caught in her grief, Varius asks Tommy and Adelina what happened to Abraham. The two answer that it was the rioters' fault, that they were already punching him when they found him. Eliza thanks them for saving him, but right after that she bends to Abraham's chest to hear his heartbeat, with tears falling down on his father's blood-soaked shirt.

Right in that moment Varius looks up at the ceiling, because he finally hears Cudgel arriving at the house, so he immediately leaves the room, making the first real connection to Cudgel's story and showing that even in this situation the mission (and the Dagger) matter more than anything else.

What follows is one of the most emotional and action packed moments of the book and it is described in a very particular way, as the events unfold in a matter of seconds (we have seen some of them in Cudgel's story already).
Matt Kirby's "graphic way"
of describing the moment
Eliza ignores Varius leaving the room and focuses on her father, listening to his chest. "A beat. Then quiet.". Matthew Kirby describes this moment even "graphically" in the book, starting a new line for every little action that involves Eliza and his father as he is slowly dying. "A beat. Then quiet."
This focuses the attention of the reader on this event, up until Abraham expels "a long, raspy sigh, but took nothing back in" (we'll get back to this event, as this is the first time in the Assassin's Creed franchise that an ancestor dies in an Animus simulation).
Right after that Eliza screams with everything she has inside, "no word behind it, no thoughts, only pain, rage, grief, loneliness, fear" and this is another element that "synchronizes" Eliza's story with Cudgel's one.

As we already know, right after that, Varius starts to throw some knives at Cudgel and he tries to escape downstairs in the hall. As a matter of fact Eliza hears the noise of boots in the hall too and rushes to the doorway along with Tommy and Adelina. When they reach the hall, they see Cudgel, a bit surprised to see all of them (as we know, he only recognized Eliza), and in that moment Varius tosses some more throwing knives at Cudgel, hitting him as he rushes out of the house. Varius, of course, runs after him, but what we didn't know up until now is that Eliza does too, despite Adelina trying to stop her. "That is the man responsible for my father's death". This will be explained, but with this sentence Eliza means that she sees Cudgel as a symbol and representative of the Templar Order, which caused the riots that killed his father.

Cudgel's (Shay's) air rifle
Of course, then, she decides to chase him and Varius, realizing how much Varius had been holding back when training her in the parkour basics. Eliza is barely able to reach the ruins of the Crystal Palace and as she enters the place, she hears the noises, the footsteps, the punches and suddenly she finds Cudgel's rifle on the ground, as he had left it before going hand to hand with Varius. While she picks it up, she hears the Assassin and the Templar talking about the Dagger and the fact that it's a "Precursor Relic".

Eliza goes further deep into the building with the rifle in his hands and finally reaches the two opponents right as she hears Cudgel defining the New York riots as "a refiner's fire (...) necessary to rid the city of those who would hold back its progress". Not the best sentence that Eliza could hear right after her father died...

After that, and as we saw before, Cudgel finally uses the Dagger to end his fight with Varius, throwing a knife in the Assassin's stomach, but contrary to what we saw in Cudgel's story, his win is very brief. In fact, Eliza pulls the trigger and, surprisingly for her, a dart and not a bullet hits Cudgel. The Templar attempts to escape but she easily reaches him as he gradually slows down, and finally collapses to the ground.

Before passing out, he says he recognizes her again and she accuses him of killing his father. He tries to mumble that he didn't do it, but she clearly states that he "fed the dogs who did and then set them loose".

Eliza finally takes the Dagger from Cudgel and in that very moment she decides that she wants to follow the path that Varius opened for her. She says she'll become an Assassin and she lays the blade against his throat and... she doesn't kill him, deciding to leave him to dream of his failure and promising that after becoming an Assassin they would meet again.

I have to say, this is one of the main elements of the book that I disliked. Even though the book shows the death of a main character, Abraham, it shows more than once characters sparing their worst enemy's life because their failure "would have been a worse pain than death". Even though it might be explained by the fact that the book is for young adults and so the act of killing may not be the best thing to show multiple times, it just feels out of character, both when Cudgel, an Assassin Hunter, spares Varius and when Eliza, full of rage and thirst of revenge, decides to do the same with the person she believes to be the cause of her father's death.

Sparing never brings good consequences in Assassin's Creed

Nonetheless, this is how the story in the past ends, with Eliza emerging "victorious" over Cudgel, and an epilogue that is explained both through the past and the present day part of the plot.
In the past, we see Eliza bringing Varius to a hospital and then reaching the Christopher Street Ferry with Tommy and Adelina. This is where they part their ways and it's also where finally Tommy and Adelina declare they love for each other, only for a brief and romantic moment, as Tommy decides to stay in the city and face the mob.
As for Eliza, she decides she has a task to complete, which is what Varius meant to do after defeating Cudgel: bringing the dagger to Ulysses S. Grant. After that, she tells Tommy, she will have to go back to New York, as she has unfinished business with Cudgel and Tweed.

The present day, the kids' path and the retrieval of the "Dagger"

That was it for the historical part of the book, but the story is far from over. All the kids slowly go back to the Memory Corridor for a bit of time to leave all the DNA memories and their ancestors behind, before removing their Animus helmets, apart from Grace, who is following Eliza in her last task, which is going to hopefully show Monroe and the kids where the Dagger is finally located.

This is where all the kids are facing their first case of Bleeding Effect (or Bleeding EffectS, as the book / Monroe erroneously or... innovatively describes it). Monroe describes it, adding that they might get new abilities that their ancestors had (like Eagle Vision), but he also clearly states "You. Are. You.", telling each of them that they are NOT their ancestors and that they don't have to be influenced by their decisions or feelings, but it's not that easy for all of them.

Owen and Javier, for example, are instinctively feeling anger for each other, and Owen grins when he gets to know that Eliza obtained the Piece of Eden. This starts a little quarrel between the two, as they still are very connected to what they just experienced.
On the other hand, when Sean (Tommy's descendant) and Natalya (Adelina's descendant) get out of the Animus, Owen immediately realizes that Sean is looking at her differently. Sean also tries to stand up, forgetting he's forced on a wheelchair because of the memories he just experienced and immediately falls down on the ground, once again feeling how hard it is for him to snap back to reality.

David, art from Assassin's Creed:
Last Descendants - Locus #3
The kid that has experienced the worst, though, is of course David, who relived his ancestor's death. When Owen tries to talk to him, he takes his time to answer him, saying that the worst pain wasn't the physical one he felt when the rioters were beating Abraham. In fact, even in that situation, he (his ancestor) kept thinking of his daughter Eliza and of the fact that he was going to die and could not help her. He also adds that while Owen might feel better by knowing that Eliza would become an Assassin, Abraham would not, as it's not "where he'd want her soul to live". David, thus, shows to be the kid (and the character) that had the deeper development throughout the Animus experience and the story of the book in general.
The "permanence" of the psychological pain in the young boys' memories, rather than the physical one, is also explained by Monroe, who says that the brain isn't built to store physical pain memory, otherwise it wouldn't be able to function, but it actually holds on to the emotional pain, hence why they are having their reactions.

As Grace's memory comes to an end, Monroe asks the kids to sit down on the sofas in the warehouse and that's where all of them realize that they have to go back home (they just stayed two hours in the Animus) as their parents or grandparents would get mad at them. They are all stopped, though, when Grace comes out of the Animus and begins to tell the last part of her memories.

She says she saw the Civil War through Eliza's eyes, and even fought in it. Eliza carried the Piece of Eden to Vicksburg on the Mississippi River and actually completed her mission by giving it to general Grant, who recognized it, being him a member of the Aztec Club. By then, Eliza had figured out how to use the Dagger, meaning that she didn't resist the temptation and actually interacted with it (and Grace with her). Because of this, Eliza actually partially showed Grant how to use it, just enough to make him understand it wasn't a souvenir. The memory, though, ended and so Monroe tried to pick it up from there with his historical knowledge: Lincoln made Grant general of all the Union Armies and Grant eventually won the war and was later elected President for two terms. Therefore, he hypothesizes that Grant kept the Dagger with him through all of this time, possibly until his death in his cottage on Mount McGregor.

Concept art of the Animus core
The mission of the young boys appears to be finished, as Monroe decides to bring all of them home with his bus, taking with him the Animus core as he says he tries not to ever let it out of his sight. Of course, though, nothing can work fine and easy in AC, so as they all reach the side of the bus, the windows overhead explode inward and men dressed in black enter the warehouse, dropping down from the ceiling through many thin ropes. Monroe immediately recognizes them as Templar agents and orders all the kids to run.

This moment is very important for the narrative of the present day of the novel as it is the last moment in the book where all the kids are in the same place, as they all scatter during the attack by the Templars.
Owen runs towards Monroe's motorcycle, shouting and telling Javier to get on the bike with him. Javier tries to reach him, but he has to fight an agent that fires a taser at him (the tasers might appear to be another “Young Adult” element compared to the guns and batons held by the classic Abstergo agents, but the agents are actually trying to keep all the kids alive for other purposes). He surprisingly dodges it and also goes hand to hand with the agent, but he can’t do much damage against him because he’s wearing a paramilitary armor (… and because he’s a fifteen years old boy against a fully trained Abstergo agent?).

Right in that moment Monroe jumps on his bus alone, and drives it through the roller door of the warehouse and tries to escape. In this very moment Monroe shifts his behavior to a much more selfish one, which will be explored a bit later and in the epilogue of the book. In fact, having all the information he needed about the Dagger and being in front of the threat of the Templar agents, he decides to make a run with his Animus core and leaves all the kids that had helped him, to follow his own mission that will be hinted at, but never fully explained, at the end of the novel.

An Abstergo helmet
from AC: Brahman
The commotion caused by Monroe and his bus gives Javier time to reach Owen on the bike and put on his helmet (I shall remind you, it’s the same kind of bike and helmets used by the Abstergo agents in AC: Brahman, as pointed out in the first part of this article) and they move as fast as they can while several Abstergo agents fire their tasers against them and miss them. Javier suggests not to follow Monroe, and to go another way, to get separated from him and have more chances of not getting caught.
Owen and Javier, followed by two cars, are barely able to drive the bike in a narrow alleyway, to get some advantage and then the two stop to think where to go. As they can’t reach their families, otherwise they’d bring the Abstergo along with them, they decide to go out of the city (that hasn’t been named yet), in the surrounding hills.

When they finally reach them, with nobody following them, they finally pull off the road and have a moment to think about what happened. Monroe had told them that his Animus was off-line and untraceable but evidently that wasn’t the case and the Templars were able to find them (the “Cudgel” part of Javier is even happy about it, but, as the book says, “the larger part of him had still wanted to run at the sight of the agents” ).

The two ponder about what happened to the others, as it seemed that only they were able to escape the Templars (and Monroe, if he were able to do it with his slow bus). While recovering from the escape, Javier reconciles with Owen, after all the difficult moments they went through before their adventure in the Animus and especially the ones they experienced in the machine, being in opponent sides and really meaning to kill each other.
For hours they just sit where they parked the bike, knowing that the Abstergo agents are looking for them, until Owen decides to try and talk to Javier about how distant they had been prior to their adventure in the Animus (Javier decided to spend time with other people and stopped hanging out with Owen, as mentioned in the first part of this article). For the first time in the book Javier opens up to Owen, and explains he had been distant because his brother had been sent to prison and because he came out to his family around a year before, and that obviously changed his life. More than that, his brother was sent to prison because he beat a guy that had insulted Javier after he came out, so Javier really had to go through a lot. In this moment of calm before the storm, then, Javier finally opens himself up to Owen, strengthening their bond, but after a few hours they have to face reality once again.

An Abstergo bike,
again from AC: Brahman
Just like that, a stranger comes from the trees and reaches the two young men. He presents himself as "Griffin" and Owen recognizes him as the Assassin that took down the Templar agent the night before, when Owen ran away with Monroe to reach the others for their mission in the Animus. Both Owen and Javier are a bit shocked and worried, but Owen is more interested in what he has to say (possibly because of his memories in Varius' mind). Before saying why he's there, though, Griffin gets close to their bike and removes some wires, confirming it was an Abstergo bike and saying that it had a tracking device on it (that's the reason why he found them).

The Assassin explains that he knows that Abstergo got all their friends in the attack at the warehouse (we'll explore that much more in detail later) and that, at the same time, Monroe was able to get away. Griffin goes on asking why Monroe had gathered them and their friends, stating that Abstergo had been looking for him for a lot of time, so it had to be "something he thought would change the game". Once again Owen and Javier are in front of a turning point, as the Bleeding Effect kicks in for both of them: Javier doesn't trust Griffin that much while, instead, Owen appears to trust him, so much so that he (selfishly?) decides on his own to tell the Assassin everything he knows, especially about the Dagger (where it came from and where it might be now).

Griffin listens to everything Owen tells him and right after he got to know everything he wanted he... doesn't kill them, luckily. Instead he actually asks them to follow him. Owen, knowing that they don't have many options, considering that Abstergo has captured the other four, and also remembering that the Abstergo agent that Griffin had knocked out said he knew more about his father, is very inclined to accept Griffin's offer.
Eagle Vision doesn't
always work as intended...
The Assassin even suggest him to use his Eagle Vision to analyze him and he, for the first time out of the Animus, does it mirroring what he did when he was in Varius' shoes, and finally he senses he's not a threat (as we know rimosso un pezzo qui, though, Eagle Vision doesn't always work as intended...). Griffin also tries to convince Owen and Javier by saying that they should help him to avoid anyone to seize power with it, as it happened with Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan and the Russian tsars (a giant reference to the Assassin's Creed II glyphs).

Out of nowhere, Owen asks Griffin about his dad - another selfish behavior, in my opinion - and the Assassin answers that he knows that he wasn't an Assassin but he was involved in the incident at the bank. He does say, though, that he can help Owen in finding more about what happened because he can try and see if the police still has a sample of his DNA as evidence, to properly analyze it through an Animus and see what happened that night. Of course, all of that only if Owen decides to help him first. Which he does.
Javier of course doesn't like it, but Owen asks him personally to trust him this time and only because of that, Owen's friend accepts to help him.

As soon as they accept, Griffin tells them to meet him in the street with the bike and disappears in the woods showing that he's able to tree run (which is something very rare in the present day). The two boys reach the street and find the Assassin in a "nondescript white sedan that drew little attention to itself". Griffin drives back towards the city with Owen and Javier behind him, up until they reach a gated lot of storage units. In one of them they park the car and the bike (a "hide-in-plain-sight kind of idea", as Javier puts it), while in the one next to it they find a real Assassin hideout used by Griffin, containing some storage shelves stacked with plastic and metal crates, a worktable spread with tool, blades and some gauntlets similar to the one used by Varius, a computer and a cot with a sleeping bag across from it.

"A Templar sleeper agent
infiltrated the Brotherhood..."
Griffin explains that this is the best he and in general the Assassins can afford since 16 years before "a Templar sleeper agent infiltrated the Brotherhood (...) learned our secrets (...) murdered our Mentor". Of course this is a reference to Daniel Cross and to the Great Purge that was started in 2000, and that Griffin briefly describes. With this sentence not only the book is able to make a reference to the "old school" lore, but it is also able to introduce Owen and Javier (and of course the new readers) to the concept of the Assassins hiding from the Templars in the modern day. A good job by Matthew Kirby, especially considering that he is still explaining the basics of the AC lore even at the very end of the book.

If that isn't shocking enough for Owen and Javier, Griffin goes on saying that the Templars are ruthless now as they ever were and they are the same people that kidnapped their four friends. Owen of course asks what they can do about it, but Griffin says that they first have to recover the Piece of Eden and then they can talk about some rescue plans and that, to me, shows a lot how the Assassins can be no better than the Templars and also how much Griffin can promise in order to actually get the Piece of Eden...

Owen and Javier, therefore, accept to directly help Griffin retrieving the Dagger and so the two young men receive their first actual Assassin equipment: military fatigue, boots, hoodie, black leather-and-canvas jacket, smoke / flash / sleep / EMP grenades (the flash and EMP ones are new to the franchise), throwing knives (Owen felt like using them as Varius used them), crossbow pistol (for Javier).
Javier even asks about using a Hidden Blade, but Griffin answers negatively, as they haven't earned it, they haven't decided to join the Brotherhood and haven't sworn themselves to the Creed - much like what Varius said to Eliza in the Animus simulation. Speaking of "earning it", Griffin says he spent years watching his grandfather and father strapping on their gauntlets before being able to use one, and that means that Griffin belongs to a family that has worked for the Assassins for generations (although we don't have more information about them).

Gavin Banks, concept
art from AC: Initiates
Right after both Owen and Javier are ready, there's another Easter Egg / appearance that the hardcore fans surely loved. The computer emits a sound and Griffin immediately goes to check it, opening a video chat on the screen. The man that Griffin talks to appears to be "somewhat haggard and gaunt, with thick, graying hair and a beard", and he seemed to be aboard a boat. The man asks Griffin for a status report, and that implies he is a high ranking Assassin, which is later confirmed by Griffin, as he's talking to Gavin Banks, the former leader of the Assassin Order and leader of the Altair II crew that appeared on AC: Initiates!
Having Gavin in this part of the present day of the book isn't just an Easter Egg for the fans because it also shows that Gavin is still active, still on the Altair II, and still in a leadership position (the last time we saw him was in 2014, during the ending of AC: Rogue, as he was telling all the Assassins in the world to hide after Otso Berg had sent a video detailing Shay Patrick Cormac's life on the Assassin's Network).

Griffin tells Gavin that he secured two subjects while "Isaiah" got the other four. As we'll see, Isaiah is the lead Templar in the present day in Last Descendants, but what's more interesting is that Gavin already has an informant in Abstergo called Rothenburg that told him that the Templars are after more than one Piece of Eden. In fact, this Rothenburg said that they're after the Trident of Eden. For the first time Owen and Javier hear the name of the Trident of Eden, but don't actually get to know what it is. On the contrary, Griffin says he understands the information and tells Gavin they'll go to Mount McGregor, where Ulysses S. Grant spent the last weeks of his life in a cottage that went on to become the Grant Cottage State Historic Site.

After that, Gavin tells Griffin they can go on with the mission and then the screen goes black. Before leaving, Griffin explains a bit more about the so-called Trident: apparently there are two other pieces exactly like the "Dagger" and whoever combines them together can take over the world (OF COURSE!). Owen and Javier are once again incredulous, but they still follow Griffin as they see how serious he is while they leave the storage unit to reach an airfield from which they take off flying towards New York.
When they land in Albany, another regular sedan is waiting for them, through which they reach Mount McGregor less than an hour later.

Griffin tells the two kids that the Templars might appear on the site too and tells them to keep every sense they have sharp. This is maybe where it seemed to me like this felt a bit unrealistic: seeing an experienced Assassin actually bringing two kids in a mission where they could risk their lives, even if they are the only "allies" that had seen the Piece of Eden, feels either unrealistic and far from what the Assassins would do... or a very selfish behavior by the Assassins, who are ready to use two kids and risk their lives in a mission to win this battle in the ever-lasting war with the Templars.

Grant's Cottage, 2009

Anyway, Owen, Javier and Griffin reach their destination, leave their car and they circle around the cottage, hiding in the darkness. Soon after they reach the cabin and enter it from a back window, all seeming quite and still. They check every room and yet can't find any clue up until Owen uses his Eagle Vision, hoping to feel the same "energy" that Varius felt when looking for the Dagger in the rooms of the Aztec Club. It takes him a few moments, but it works, and Owen leads his two companions through several rooms up until they reach a large bedroom. Owen is led to a spot on the floor, beneath a cord rug. After lifting it, he uses a knife to raise a floorboard but he notices some nicks in the wood and that the board comes up too easily. After raising it, he finds a narrow cavity with a metal tin inside of it... but it's empty, or better, it only contains the military cross of the Aztec Club. This means that the location and the specific place in the cottage were right, but somebody got there first. Not the Templars, in Griffin's opinion, maybe Monroe in Owen's hopes.

There's no time to think about it, though, as right after that several helicopters attempt to land around the cottage, making it clear that the Templars reached it too (we'll see later how they did it). Griffin orders Javier and Owen not to engage as they are not trained, and to follow him in an attempt to escape and both of them nod, but as they escape from the back window and then rush towards the woods, being spotted by an Abstergo agent, Owen reaches for one of the EMP grenades and throws it at him. This seemingly foolish action actually stops the agent from shooting at them as his helmet stops working, but apparently that's not enough for Owen, who decides to go one step beyond and throws another EMP grenade, this time towards a landing helicopter that immediately swerves through the air and collides with another one before they fall to the ground. Both helicopters explode causing a commotion that helps Griffin and the two young men to reach their car and escape fast from the location.

As they are at a safe distance Griffin (of course) gets angry at Owen because he disobeyed his orders, and tells him that if he wants to learn anything about his father he will have to do exactly as he says from now on. Owen would have ignored any other threat but this makes him accept what Griffin orders him. When asked what he means by "from now on", Griffin says that all three Pieces of Eden are still out there, one has been found by a third party and Abstergo believes that Owen, Javier and their friends are the key to find the others. Javier asks him if they have any choice and Griffin answers that, of course, they have as in their own free will they can decide if they want to go on or not. Javier appears to be doubtful after what just happened and says that maybe he wants out, but Owen doesn't, and in his last sentence in the book he firmly reaffirms he's all in, implicitly saying that he'll keep on following Griffin and his mission while trying to find out more about his father.

The other four kids, a new Abstergo facility and a possible retcon

As Owen's next steps are very clear (and Javier's actually aren't) the book actually explains what happens to the other four kids after they are kidnapped by Abstergo. We're close to the conclusion of the book, but keep reading as some of the most important information regarding the present day, Abstergo and the Trident of Eden are described in this part.

Grace, early character
design by Caspar Wijngaard
As mentioned before, after the attack at the warehouse Sean, Natalya, Grace and David are all captured by the Abstergo agents, some more violently than the others (David gets tased, for example, while the others are restrained by the agents). The agents put them in a big white armored van and strap them onto a bench inside of it, without telling where they’re taking them. While they are in the van, the four discuss about what happened, with Grace blaming Monroe for what happened, while Sean thinks that Owen and Javier abandoned them by escaping with the bike and Natalya appears to be the calmest of the group. The main topic of discussion, though, is whether to tell Abstergo or not everything they know. Grace would do and say everything to save her brother, while Sean actually says that they shouldn’t tell them anything.

After a hour or so, the van stops and when the rear doors open the four kids are welcomed by a woman in a white lab coat, flanked by two men, instead of the agents in riot gear that took them at the warehouse.
The woman, speaking with a slightly French accent, presents herself as Dr. Victoria Bibeau, working for the Lineage Research and Acquisition division of Abstergo Industries.

The proof that the Templars
thought that Victoria Bibeau was
an ally of the Assassins
When I read this name for the first time, the fan in me was happy to see a character making a comeback from none other than the Abstergo Entertainment Employee Handbook (not a very easy reference to pick up), but while reading it slowly felt like there seemed to be a big continuity mistake in this part of the book.
As we pointed out in our articles dedicated to the Abstergo Handbook, Victoria Bibeau was a doctor working at Abstergo Entertainment in Montreal who, between June and August of 2014, conducted medical and psychological evaluations on the Research Analysts, and especially on a specific analyst called Robert Fraser, the first person to dig into the memories of Arno Dorian. While initially Bibeau appeared to be just a doctor, it was later revealed, and this information came in the hands of the Templars (specifically Melanie Lemay), that she was actually an ally of the Assassins or an Assassin herself. In fact, she helped Fraser leaking the genetic memories of Arno Dorian to the Assassins (specifically to Bishop) before the events shown in Unity. What's more, in the last page of the Handbook, there's a letter written by Fraser where he says "Well, they’ve come for Victoria, and they’ll be coming for me too, soon.", heavily implying that the Templars, after finding out that Bibeau was working with the Assassins and leaked highly sensitive data, had taken her and very likely killed her.

"They've come for Victoria, and they'll
be coming for me too, soon"

For these many reasons, for me it felt highly inconsistent to see Victoria Bibeau alive and actually working for Abstergo, without even any hint of her working for the Assassins (... unless she is "Rothenburg"? But then, how can she actually work for the Templars if they have known for two years that she is an ally of the Assassins?).
As mentioned, she is "now" working in the Lineage Research and Acquisition division and actually has a very easy going behavior, going as far as welcoming the kids to the facility where they've been taken and apologizing for the manner in which the agents brought them there. Bibeau also adds that they'll just check them out to make sure everyone is unharmed before they can send them home (this doesn't sound fishy at all...).

The four kids are unstrapped and finally they can see where they have been taken. The van is parked in a wide circular drive of asphalt, with tall pine trees all around. In front of them the kids could see several buildings composed almost entirely of glass, connected to one another by elevated glass walkways and so they are introduced by Dr. Bibeau to the Aerie, the new Abstergo facility of the present day of Last Descendants.

The Aerie, art from Assassin's Creed: Last Descendants - Locus #3

Victoria leads them through several rooms up until they reach a lounge area with several chairs and coffee tables and a food counter with lots of fruits, pastries, water, coffee, juices and soda. As Sean puts it, it seems like the nicest kidnapping he has ever heard about. All the kids, although a bit incredulous, pick something to eat or drink, while Natalya doesn't (a hint of her not trusting Bibeau and Abstergo more than the others).

They all sit down and Victoria starts talking with them, saying she's a psychiatrist (this is close to what she did in the Abstergo Handbook) and calling them by name to know who is who. Right after that she says that Owen and Javier are missing and asks the kids if they know where they might have gone and then asks the same thing about Monroe. Sean answers negatively to both questions while Grace and David seem to be willing to mention they know Monroe would probably be looking for the Piece of Eden, but don't actually say it.

Seeing that she can't obtain more information and attempting to make them talk a bit more, Victoria tries to recap what happened. She knows that Monroe gathered the kids to use a stolen Animus with modified specifications and that they came into contact with a Piece of Eden. She asks if they found it and no one answers once again, so she tries to steer the conversation towards Monroe, giving them (and the reader) a bit of a background for him. She says that he used to work for Abstergo and that he was a very high-level researcher until he suffered a personal tragedy. After that he became erratic, and even if his colleagues and her tried to support him, he stole the Animus and other valuable Abstergo property (the bike, for example) and left.

Isaiah, art from Locus #1.
He's the bad guy. Do you
get it? He's the bad guy!
This is where Bibeau and the kids are joined by a tall and pale blond man in a slate-colored suit. The man presents himself as Isaiah, the person in charge of the entire facility (and, as we saw before, the man that was mentioned by Griffin when he was talking to Gavin). Isaiah says that after analyzing Monroe's data, it's useless to keep any secrecy, so he openly admits that he's a Templar and that Dr. Bibeau is one too (again, strong inconsistency or what?). Isaiah goes on to say that the Templars are now different than they were before, with corporations replacing kingdoms and CEOs replacing politicians, adapting to be more effective and still trying to reach the greatest advancements for the human race. He tries to persuade the kids that there's nothing sinister about the Templars, saying that even William Tweed, who was surely perceived as a bad and corrupt man, used his influence to build orphanages, schools and hospitals, among many other improvements he developed or participated in for New York.

The kids seem to start believing him, as they don't answer, so Isaiah keeps on saying that Tweed, as a Templar, brought undeniable progress until he was "brought down by the Assassin Eliza on corruption charges". In a brief sentence, Isaiah not only confirms that Eliza went on to become an Assassin, but also that she actually was able to bring down Boss Tweed as she meant to, after defeating Cudgel Cormac.

Sean, early character
designs by Caspar Wijngaard
As Isaiah speaks, strangely Sean is the one kid who seems to be the most convinced of what he says, finding his description of the Templars much different from Monroe's one. "It felt as if his gaze gently took root".

Isaiah keeps on trying to get the kids on his side by asking them if Monroe actually told them why they are so important. His explanation is and will be very relevant for the next books of the Last Descendants series, although the information contained in it seems to me very unrealistic and in a specific case very far from the Assassin's Creed lore and canon.

Isaiah says that the six kids together represent what Abstergo call an Ascendance Event, a phenomenon that has been documented a handful of times in all recorded history "governed by sympathetic genetic forces". In Isaiah's words, there is a convergence, a synergy in the six kids coming together generating a potential that even the Templars aren't able to calculate, and this makes Sean think of when Monroe showed the kids where their DNA lined up generating what he called the Genetic Memory Concordance. It's called Ascendance Event because the kids and their bloodlines are all "rising from the wellspring of [their] ancestors" as if their lineage and DNA had been moving towards the very situation they are in right now.
It's complicated, but tangibly, for what I understood, when the kids (or their bloodlines and so their ancestors) come together, and so are in the same place and at the same time, they have the potential of being able to get close to a Piece of Eden. Which Piece of Eden in particular? Of course, the Trident of Eden.

Only at this point, few pages before its end, the book finally explains what the Trident is, through Bibeau's words. The "Dagger" that the kids had been looking for in the Animus isn't a dagger at all. It is only one of three prongs that, when are made whole, form the so called Trident of Eden. Each prong, according to Bibeau's research and to legend, has a different effect on the people targeted by it: one instills faith, one instills fear and one instills devotion.

Bibeau adds that Alexander the Great not only possessed the Staff of Eden (another very clear nod to the Assassin's Creed II glyphs), which apparently he used to reign, as he also had the Trident of Eden, which he used on the battlefield to make sure that his armies were undefeated. This way, Alexander's empire is explained not just by his possession of the Staff but also through the help of the Trident.

Bibeau also seems to know more historical information about the Trident. When Alexander died, the Trident was broken in three parts and divided among the dynasties that succeeded him. One went to Seleucus I Nicator, one of Alexander's generals and founder of the Seleucid Empire; the second went to another general, Ptolemy I Soter who founded a kingdom in Egypt; the third went on to the Macedonian people. As Victoria says, the Macedonian and Ptolemaic prongs ended up in the hands of the Roman Caesars and one of those is the one that the kids looked for in the Animus, the faith one, in Bibeau's opinion. This prong, then, ended up in the Vatican and was taken by Pope Callixtus III and later given to Alfonso V, king of Aragon, possibly to repay him for his support. The prong stayed, then, in the hands of the Spanish kings until Charles V gave it to Hernán Cortés.

After this juicy (for the hardcore fans) lineage story, Victoria goes on to say that, based on what the Templars know, the kids might have found the faith prong in the New York simulation, but before we get into that, I'd like to comment on all this new and very important set of information and explain why I think some of it may be unrealistic or a bit inconsistent with the AC lore.

First, the Ascendance Events. Notwithstanding the fact that they are introduced, (too) similarly to the Sages, as events that have been documented very few times in history, what bothered me the most is the feeling of "Destiny" that surrounds these events. As Isaiah says, it's a convergence, a sinergy, as if it's some sort of force or predestination that moved and is moving the kids' bloodlines towards the Trident of Eden and what is happening in the present day. The idea of an unnamed external force (such as Destiny or anything) that leads the characters to places or that makes them do what they do is something that, in my opinion, has always been far from the AC lore, where everything has a scientific or pseudoscientific explanation (even Desmond's path, for example, is guided by physical beings, the Isu, that sent actual messages across time for some defined purposes). Thus, seeing the Ascendance Events being presented this way made me sniff at them. I hope, though, that the next novels are going to describe a specific "scientific" explanation for this situation (that, admittedly, is discussed intentionally in a vague way) to make it much more in line with how even the most sci-fi elements of the Assassin's Creed franchise are usually explained.

As for the Trident of Eden, echoing Loomer's ideas shown in his first episode of his
Alexander The Great with the
Staff of Eden (a similar picture
was used in the AC2 glyphs)
new book feature "Assassin's Read", at least considering how its abilities are presented, it doesn't seem to have so many differences from the other Pieces of Eden, especially the Apples and the Staves, which makes its creation and function a bit "common" or irrelevant compared to the other POEs. In fact, apart from "turning a man into a king", the Trident actually instills faith, devotion (which I guess is similar to faith?) and fear in the targets. All features that the Apples have been shown to possess and that the Staves hypothetically possess too (the Papal Staff is used - without the Apple - by Rodrigo Borgia in the AC2 finale to control the minds of the priests in the Vatican).

What's more, Bibeau states that Alexander The Great possessed both a Staff and the Trident which, apart from being a bit unrealistic but not impossible per se (other characters have held two elements of First Civilization technology and even Pieces of Eden at the same time), appears to be a bit redundant considering that the abilities of the two Pieces of Eden overlap between each other. Plus, according to the canon, the Assassin Iltani, after killing Alexander, only retrieved the Staff and not the Trident, which is very strange plot-wise, although, of course, the Trident was introduced much later in the AC franchise.

Anyway, going back to the story of the novel, as mentioned before, dr. Bibeau says that they hypothesize the kids found the prong in New York city and maybe even interacted with it. What's even more interesting, though, is that Isaiah says that some of the kids' ancestors also interacted with the other two prongs (again as a result of the Ascendance Event).

It's because of this, because of the meaning of the Ascendance Event, that Isaiah asks the kids for their help, but there is another reason, which concerns Monroe and his past. In fact, as mentioned by Isaiah while Sean is more and more interested in what the Templar has to say, Monroe had a terrible father that abused of him and made him spend his childhood in unimaginable circumstances (interestingly enough, in chapter 2 of the novel, Monroe actually says "Oh, right. Fathers are important", and this explains why). This made Monroe an unsuitable candidate for the Animus, as his psyche was too unstable and fractured. When he worked for Abstergo, Victoria tried to help him through therapy, but it didn't work, because he wanted to use the Animus to go in his father' memories "to exorcise his own demons" (I can't even imagine how many consequences that would have on such a fractured psyche). In Isaiah's words, he forbade Monroe from doing it and because of that he left Abstergo and stole the project he had been working on (that is probably one of the reasons he always carries the Animus core with him).

How could you not give
in to such a smile?
Listening to these words, Sean looks at Grace and she looks back at him. He feels like there’s more to Monroe’s story (which surely will be explained in the next books of the series) as he always thought that something had been off about him and his modified Animus. Isaiah’s last speech leaves him, once again, wondering about the Monroe’s and the Templars' intentions and finally, even if Natalya tells him not to do it, he gives in to his new “mindset” and does the unthinkable: he, who was the kid that opposed the most the idea of saying anything to the Templars about the faith prong of the Trident of Eden, at the end of the book decides to tell Isaiah and Bibeau they saw it in the simulation, with Grace supporting him and telling them the exact location.

These last words are pretty much laying the ground for the next part of the story. In fact, Sean’s intentional change of mind defines the boundaries of the situation that is going to be developed in the next books: on one side Owen and Javier are following and, in a way, representing the Assassins (with Javier having doubts about the side he’s on, especially after being in Cudgel’s mind), while on the other side, Sean and Grace and maybe David are helping the Templars and possibly seeing it their way while Natalya is always being very serious about not even trying to support them. It’s also interesting to notice how both “sides” are having characters that are not very much convinced about the side they’re on, which is maybe going to lead to some nice developments in the next books. What’s more, even if the Templars obtained the location of the faith prong, as we know, they didn’t succeed in retrieving it, as much as the Assassins didn’t. The prong, then, must be in the hands of a third party, who is very much likely to be Monroe but is not 100% confirmed.
Natalya, art from Assassin's
Creed: Last Descendants - Locus #1
The last chapter of the book follows once again the four kids at Abstergo and especially Sean. After he and Grace told Isaiah and Bibeau what they wanted to know, the two doctors left the room and the kids had to stay there waiting. Once again, for Sean, the Bleeding Effect kicks in when he looks at Natalya, similarly to how Tommy looked at Adelina. He gets close to her and clumsily tells her “The Animus. It’s just a weird situation. We were… you know (...) I mean, it was them, but it was kind of us too, and I was just -” but Natalya is very cold and lucid in her answer. She tells him that, as Monroe said, "you are you" while Tommy and Adelina were other people, and more specifically that Adelina loved Tommy and not him.

Of course Sean is disappointed by this answer, and Natalya asks herself if she were too rude. She also ponders what to do about the situation in which she is right now: she does not trust the Templars, but at the same time she does not trust the Assassins either, after she saw both in action in the Animus simulation. For now she decides to wait and figure out how to escape Abstergo, just like her grandparents did when they escaped Soviet Kazakhstan.

Right when she thinks about how to escape, dr. Bibeau gets back in the room and tells all the kids that they contacted their parents and explained the situation (by telling them the kids had been kidnapped and that they were rescued by Abstergo) and that they are on their way to reach them. Natalya, of course, meditates on how expertly crafted was Abstergo's lie, but right then Grace asks if they can go home and that's where Bibeau tells her that they can, but Abstergo has something to offer them, or to better put it, to offer their parents: continuing the research on the kids at the Aerie in exchange of a significant "financial incentive", an offer that Victoria suspects will be easily accepted.

The last sentence of the book is by dr. Bibeau, once again. While the kids have been in the Aerie, Abstergo analyzed their DNA and found out another place of high Memory Concordance, and that's where she asks them "Have you ever wanted to experience China?"

In a brief sentence, that ends the story of the first book, before its epilogue, Bibeau possibly reveals the (first?) location where the next book of the Last Descendants novel series will take place. She doesn't state the historical period where the memories will take place, though, so it's not that obvious that we'll see the most famous Chinese Assassin, Shao Jun. On the contrary by taking a look at the description of the second Last Descendant novel, the action will take place in a war-torn Mongolian China, after (how much after?) Ghenghis Khan was killed (by Darim Ibn-La'Ahad):

The next piece is said to have been buried with Mongol Warlord Genghis Khan, whose tomb has never been found. Now the teens on either side of the conflict will have to go deep into simulations in war-torn Mongolian China in a race against time to discover the next piece (...)

Oh, and by the way, did you know that Genghis
Khan owned a Sword of Eden too?

The epilogue of the book: Monroe's actions and afterthoughts

After teasing the next location to be visited, the book ends, but there's still a very interesting epilogue that has the flavour of the Marvel Cinematic Universe post-credit scenes.

In it we see Monroe for the first time after he escaped the Templar attack. He has driven several hundred miles far from the warehouse and has been up for 36 hours straight to follow his mission. The book mentions that his mission had begun a lot of time ago and, although it doesn't go in detail about what his mission really is, it says that he is doing it for someone.

The book also states that the Piece of Eden was a "detour" from his primary purpose (and still doesn't confirm if he retrieved it or not), meaning that hiding the Piece of Eden from the Assassins and Templars wasn't his main focus, although he couldn't ignore it.
In Monroe's mind, "The Ascendance Event had already begun" but he hopes that Owen and Javier were able to escape the Templars (he didn't see it during the commotion at the Warehouse) and that maybe Grace could also use her skills coming from the Bleeding Effect.

Monroe finds comfort in the fact that he still has the Animus core, with the data coming from the kids' DNA, for which he thinks he was the only one able to fully decode what it truly meant (and of course that is not explained too).

After 36 hours and having barely eaten, Monroe realizes that he needs to stop to get some food and rest, as his hands keep trembling and he isn't able to fully focus. He pulls over in a small town, refuels his bus, buys a burner phone, briefly eats some food and then finally sleeps for three hours.

When he wakes up he feels a bit more clearheaded and thinks about the kids he left behind. He admits to himself that it was his fault that they were in danger in the hands of the Templars, as he didn't protect his Animus well enough to avoid being spotted. Thus he decides he has to get them out of Abstergo, but he immediately thinks that he can't do this on his own, and that he needs help. In the last words of the epilogue, Monroe stares at his new phone and dials a number "he'd been given a long, long time ago, one he'd committed to memory without knowing if he would ever cause to use it". Monroe calls the number and "someone" answers... but the book has already ended in the classic cliffhanger scenario that Assassin's Creed has gotten us used to.

It's interesting to see that Monroe has so many things to hide from his past, it's not even clear when his actual mission started (when he was at Abstergo? before that?), and it's not possible to tell not only who he's calling but on which side he / she is. Presumably he's asking for help to someone that's against the Templars, considering he needs help to save the kids, but there are several organizations that may fit the description, without considering an unknown external help. As a wild guess I'd say Monroe may be contacting the Instruments of the First Will, considering that his mission had begun a lot of time before (maybe before joining Abstergo) and considering that Juno or, in general, the "First Civ touch" hasn't even appeared in the entirety of the book.

But that, as I said, is a wild guess, and with that, our analysis of the first Last Descendants novel comes to an end. What did you like about the book and what emerged from it? Do you agree or disagree with any of our comments in the article?

Let us know in the comments below!

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