Fan Fiction Pitch: Christmas Armistice by Finn Fletcher
Cover art by Lisa Zaman from TOWCB Art Team.
In our next fan fiction Assassin's Creed story pitch, we begin to imagine a temporary alliance between Assassins and Templars in the year 1878. It is our hope that by pitching stories set in the Assassin's Creed universe, we can generate enough interest and excitement for it to be developed further by TOWCB team. We would love to create recognisable OC Assassins, so if any of our pitches spark interest, let us know in the comments below!
The story is the diary of a Victorian Assassin around a decade after the events of Syndicate. The Assassin, Charles (name will probably be changed) is sent by Evie Frye on a working holiday over Christmas to Ravensthorpe. Evie says that it’s to meet up with a local archaeologist who calls himself Ragnar and research the town's history to learn more about the early British brotherhood; she also believes this task to be something that will personally help Charles deal with his stress and growing frustrations about the Brotherhood.
Arriving in Ravensthorpe, Charles despises the quaint town (imagine Hot Fuzz). He’s stuck in rain, lacking the amenities he’s used to and finds the residents frustrating. He meets up with Ragnar and is instantly put off by the odd fellow. Ragnar lives as and seemingly believes himself to be a viking, despite the fact he is a scrawny man who holds his drinks with both hands. Still, his knowledge is useful and the two begin researching and exploring some of the oldest remaining parts of the town.
The trip, while not what Charles wants, is going well after a few days. They learn more of Hytham and find some long abandoned weapons and armour of the Raven Clan. Charles returns to his hotel to find a new resident in the room across from him, an abrasive American oil baron named Teddy who’s come to England for a vacation. He quickly makes it known that he is aware of who Charles is and the Assassins, dropping in tidbits of personal information about Charles when they meet. Their discussions become heated, and Teddy reveals that he is a Templar. In fact, he almost seems to gloat about it.
This only increases tensions, as the two are bound by an agreement referred to as The Christmas Armistice. The history of this can be changed, but it was an agreement made between Assassins and Templars shortly after the death of Cesare Borgia, mostly negotiated by Machiavelli. In short, it restricts either side to kill one another over the advent period, leaving Charles without any violent options.
Teddy is happily aware of this restriction and flaunts his presence, desperately trying to get a rise out of Charles by picking at his every fault. Feeling his anger rise, Charles locks himself away for the night and writes to Evie.
Waiting on a response from the Mentor, Charles commits himself to carrying on his work, with one eye constantly looking out for Teddy.
Teddy and Charles end up repeatedly running across one another, having to put up with each other during the hotel's breakfast, or when grabbing a drink at the local pub. One morning at breakfast, Teddy brings his plate to Charles' table and strikes up a conversation. He insists it to be peaceful, asking to know more about the real Charles and his commitment to the Brotherhood. While difficult, the two genuinely begin to have an enjoyable conversation about their shared goals.
Strangely, the two genuinely enjoy one's company, and while continuing his work Charles ensures he spends time with Teddy. The friendship is still guarded though and each spies on one another. They also express their own frustrations with each order they belong to, criticising the lack of action and inability to make any real change.
One morning Charles decides to investigate Teddy’s room, finding letters between Teddy and his wife. It seems to detail a breakup of both their marriage and his mental state, as he’s begun suffering from serious depression.
Christmas day is fast approaching and the two friendly rivals understand that soon they will have to turn on one another, despite the clear affection and empathy they’ve gained for each other's perspectives.
The historical investigation bears fruit, as Ragnar and Charles break into an old vault left by Hytham. It’s a treasure trove of trinkets, weapons and detailed notes. These seem to be Hythams last writings before leaving the Hidden Ones, where he talks about how most of the Raven Clan chose not to join the Brotherhood but still fought for what is right nonetheless. He questions why he dedicated so much to a single creed rather than working out of kindness, though importantly doesn’t regret his decision.
In his final musings he’s clearly happy, just unsure for the future and what these secret conflicts will amount to, especially after the rise of what he calls “a new Order of the Ancients”. He also explains that Eivor left Mjolnir to him before leaving for America, with a handful of other First Civilisation trinkets she’d collected on her adventure. Some of which are locked in this bunker, others were sent across the country. Mjolnir will be described as being much stronger than we saw in the games, with the power to destroy whole buildings with a single strike.
Charles begins to remove a Raven Clan banner that covers some boxes, to reveal the bright golden glow of Mjolnir.
At this point, Teddy drops out of the shadows, more agile than he’s ever seen before. The two face off, as Teddy explains that he’s been following Charles but now questions his own orders. He proposes a new alliance, to use the power of Mjolnir and forge a new order that isn’t trapped by the problems of The Assassins or Templars. Charles is intrigued, and plays along with Teddy’s ramblings, hoping to find something of interest in it.
Ragnar explodes with rage, he’s confused and clearly being left out of the conversation. He’s unsure what Mjolnir even is, and for him this magical artefact is changing his core understanding of the world.
Teddy goes to kill Ragnar, claiming that he is just a ‘civilian’ someone who shouldn’t know as much as he does and threatens exposing the secrets that have allowed both Assassins and Templars to exist for so long. Charles turns, he hates this suggestion and claims that the war won’t end by writing more secrets, that if anyone will create peace it is civilians, normal people working for good. The ideological debate grows, until the two end up fighting. Charles kills Teddy to defend Ragnar, breaking the armistice and killing off any chance for something new.
He asks Teddy to seal this vault backup and everything in it, to keep it a secret. He says that sometimes the allure of power is too destructive, and a weapon as powerful as Mjolnir should exist in no one's hands.
Charles returns to London, knowing that he has killed off this annual period of peace, hoping that the people will find a chance in future, a clear nod to the real Christmas armistice of WW1.
An Assassin in his 30s, Charles is at a point of reflection where he feels the battles he's fighting for are destined to fail. Day to day he runs a steel mill, where he does his best to support unions and provide resources to the Brotherhood. Yet he keeps seeing the same problems pop up everywhere; unethical companies excel, Templars and Assassins struggle endlessly for power over London, it all feels rather Sisyphiean. Through the story he learns that these thoughts have been presented before, and has to figure out whether the Assassins or Templars are truly the best solution to the world's problems.
The last remnant of the American robber gang of businessmen, Teddy runs his oil company ruthlessly. Unions are strictly banned, and workers have to "earn their place". He's endlessly proud of his role within the Templar Order, and stands by the might is right approach of leadership, though has grown tired of the timid nature of their actions. Reaching middle age, he's now suffering with bouts of depression and feels like the 'weaker' people he's used to chastising. Needing a rest, Teddy arrives in Ravensthorpe with the goal of following Charles and finding what the Assassins are searching for, though ends up building a friendship he truly wasn't expecting.
Some Assassins claim Ragnar is secretly a sage, someone with a kind of natural animus that makes him believe he is one of his ancestors. Charles however, believes the man to simply be a weirdo. His oddities are matched by his knowledge of local history, and without him the secrets left by the Raven Clan may have been lost forever. His journey allows him to appreciate more of his own time period, and the things he must fight for in the 'modern' world.
While not mentioned in the synopsis because I'm currently unsure of how to tie it in, I imagine Charles meeting a young thief while in Ravensthorpe. Rather than chastising the thief or demanding her to return his coin, Charles seeks to train the thief and help them improve their skills. He fully intends to take her back to London to join the Brotherhood, though by the end of the story leaves her in ravensthorpe with the last of his coin, leaving her to build her own life
Thematically the story is inspired by The Inspector Calls. Dramatic irony should be at the forefront, as these characters discuss their own past and plans for the future, constantly making predictions we know as a modern audience to never come to fruition. It's only Charles' final reflection that the fate of humanity lies in every individual that holds any truth to our own futures
While the synopsis mostly mentions the history of Eivor and the Raven Clan, other periods will be explored by Charles and Ragnar. Particularly of note is a 15th century Spanish Assassin who moved to England and was assigned to defend Ravensthorpe. She left many notes arguing that while Ravensthorpe is culturally important to the Assassins, it holds little strategic value. She suggests spending more time attacking templars and less defending their own history. Charles likes her opinion and this is the implication for why the history of Ravensthorpe was lost
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
About the Author
Finn is a creative writer from Rotherham, UK who has previously supported TOWCB's Fundraising events, and raised awareness surrounding Men's Mental Health.
On a blog dedicated to writing, Finn has been sharing reviews, stories and thoughts. By joining the AC Partnership Program's Writing Team, we are hoping to take Finn's passion for writing to the next level.
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