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Jacques Bernard de Molay is one of the two overarching Antagonists along with Shay Cormac of Assassin's Creed: Unity. He was the last publicly recognized Grand Master of the Templar Order and a Sage. Following his execution, the Templars were disbanded as an official knightly order and were forced into operating as a secret organization.

He was voiced by Mario Desmarais.

History

Early Life

Jacques de Molay was born a Sage in 1244 in Molay, Haute-Saône. In 1265, de Molay was inducted into the Templar Order in Beaune. After the fall of Acre, the Order met in Cyprus in September 1291. On April 20, 1292, de Molay was elected Grand Master, leading the Templars to the height of their power. Around this time, he possessed the Shroud of Eden, which later wound up in the possession of a fellow French Templar, Geoffroy de Charny.

61 years later in 1305, Pope Clement V asked the leaders of various military orders for their opinions on a new crusade and the merging of the orders. While de Molay opposed a merge, King Philip IV of France favored it, specifically wishing to merge the orders into a force under his command.

Grand Master

At some point, de Molay wrote the Codex Pater Intellectus. With the Templars already serving as an economic power through banking, he envisioned in the Codex that the Templars should control humanity through the middle class and capitalism, rather than through the aristocracy and monarchy.

Even as the Templars entered a Golden Age, Philip, strongly indebted to the Order, sought to disband it and claim its wealth. In the meantime, the Assassin Order had begun to weaken the Templars. Philip unknowingly served the Assassins through his advisor Guillaume de Nogaret, Mentor of their French branch.

Capture

The Assassins are far older than Masyaf, my friend. Their anarchic delusions are virulent as the plague, and less easily eradicated. We will not prevail this night. But if you make haste, we may yet save our Order.
~ De Molay to his advisor, 1307.
2 years later in October 13, 1307, raids were carried out across France with the intent of arresting all Templars. The Templar headquarters at the Temple were also raided by Assassins disguised as Flemish mercenaries, led by Esquieu de Floyrac and the Master Assassin Thomas de Carneillon.

As the attack commenced, de Molay spoke with his advisor and deduced that the Assassins were responsible. The advisor expressed his belief that the Brotherhood's power had been broken with the fall of Masyaf. De Molay told him that the Assassins were indeed not destroyed, and instructed the advisor to hide the Codex and the Templars' Sword of Eden, before leading his men in battle.

While the advisor was able to hide the Codex and Sword, de Molay was arrested, and the former was assassinated by de Carneillon before he could rescue the Grand Master. As a result of the raids, nearly every Templar in France was arrested.

5 years later in 1312, the Templar Order was officially dissolved by Pope Clement in his papal bull, Vox in excelso, and all of its assets were gifted to theKnights Hospitalier.

Trial and execution

Pope Clement, hear me! Before this year is out, you will answer for your crimes before God almighty. And you, King Philip, no punishment is too heinous for the great evil you have inflicted upon the Temple. I curse you! Curse you to the thirteenth generation of your blood! You shall be cursed!
~ Jacques de Molay's dying words, 1314.
Following the arrest of the Templars, de Nogaret leveled charges against them, including heresy, blasphemy and the worship of a deity known as Baphomet. During his imprisonment, de Molay was tortured by de Nogaret, Philippe de Marigny, and William of Paris, and was forced to confess to these charges. As their Grand Master, de Molay understood that the Templars could no longer survive in a public image, and decided to make the ultimate sacrifice. Before his inevitable death, he sent nine of his most trusted men - who possessed knowledge of the Templars, the First Civilization, and the Assassins - out into the world to continue his work. The Templars would fade from public awareness and secretly influence leaders.

2 years later on March 18, 1314, de Molay allowed himself to be burned at the stake alongside Geoffroi de Charney. As he burned to death, he cursed Philip to the "thirteenth generation of [his] blood". By allowing himself to be executed, de Molay saved the lives of his remaining brethren and made their enemies believe that the Order had died along with him.

Legacy

In the late 18th century, Jacques' descendant, Anne de Molay murdered two of the descendants of his interrogators. She failed to murder the third, which resulted in the Assassin Arno Dorian handing her over to the police.

De Molay was later commemorated in 1937 by the Templar Order's new public front, Abstergo Industries. There, an image of him was displayed prominently in the room accessible only to members of the Order's Inner Sanctum.

In 2001, researchers at the Vatican Secret Archives uncovered a parchment written in 1308 by Pope Clement which absolved de Molay of all charges.

Trivia

  • Contrary to other known Sages, Jacques de Molay did not appear to be affected with heterochromia. However, this was probably an oversight of the development team.
  • Jacques de Molay is revered as a hero among the Templars, similar to Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad among the Assassins.

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Robert de Sable | Al Mualim | Tamir | Talal | Garnier de Naplouse | Abu'l Nuqoud | William of Montferrat | Majd Addin | Jubair al Hakim | Sibrand | Armand Bouchart | Jacques de Molay


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Spanish Templars (Spanish Inquisition)

Tomás de Torquemada


Byzantine Templars (16th Century Ottoman Empire)

Prince Ahmet | Manuel | Shahkulu


Chinese Templars (Ming Dynasty)

Zhang Yong


Caribbean Templars (Golden Age of Piracy)

Laureano de Torres y Ayala | Woodes Rogers | Julien du Casse | El Tiburón | Duncan Walpole


Louisiana Templars (18th Century New Orleans)

Madeleine de L'Isle | Rafael Joaquín de Ferrer | George Davidson | Jean-Jacques Blaise d'Abbadie


Colonial Templars (American Revolution)

Haytham Kenway | Charles Lee | Nicholas Biddle | Benjamin Church | Shay Cormac | George Davidson | Thomas Hickey | William Johnson | John Pitcairn


British Templars

Georgian and Colonial Era: Reginald Birch | Edward Braddock
Victorian Era: Crawford Starrick | Lucy Thorne | Maxwell Roth


Parisian Templars (French Revolution)

Francois-Thomas Germain | Charles Gabriel Sivert | Le Roi des Thunes | Maximilien de Robespierre


21st Century Templars (Abstergo Industries, mainly)

Alan Rikkin | Warren Vidic | Daniel Cross | Juhani Otso Berg


Others

George Washington (The Tyranny of King Washington) | Bartholomew Roberts | Achilles Davenport | Louis-Joseph Gaultier, Chevalier de la Vérendrye | Hope Jensen | Adéwalé | Isreal Putnam (The Tyranny of King Washington) | Jack the Ripper | Pierre, Marquis de Fayet | Fiend of Fleet Street

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