Content of the article: "Setting Idea for the Next Assassin’s Creed Game: The Lancastrian Phase of the Hundred Years’ War"
The Lancastrian Phase was the final years of the Hundred Years' War, lasting from 1415 until 1453. The conclusion of the conflict saw all of England's French holdings (save for Calais) reclaimed by the French monarch, Charles VII, and the Duchy of Burgundy brought back into the fold. The Lancastrian Phase included notable figures from Anglo-French history, including Jeanne d'Arc, Charles VII, Philip the Good, John Duke of Bedford, the child king Henry VI of England (also known as Henry II of France following his coronation in Paris in 1430), and so many others. Such a tumultuous time in France's history would be a perfect setting for the next Assassin's Creed game.
The Prologue and the Battle of Agincourt
Following the burning of Jacques de Molay in 1314, the last surviving members of the French Sect of the Templar Order either fled to join their brothers in England and Burgundy, or chose to assimilate into the French aristocracy under new names. For over a century, the French Brotherhood of the Assassins enjoyed a certain peace in France as the Templars yearned to bring their rule and influence back to the French mainland. The English would remain largely unsuccessful throughout the first and second phases of the Hundred Years' War until 1415, when an English army under King Henry V sailed toward the walls of Harfleur in Normandy. Following the Fall of Harfleur, Henry's army pushed for Calais and marched through the countryside until they ran into a French army near Agincourt.
The French army was led by several of France's nobles and the best-skilled members of the French Assassins, including a descendant of the Master Assassin Thomas de Carniellon, Philippe de Carniellon. The Battle of Agincourt began when the French cavalry (with much of the Assassins present among the ranks) charged toward the English host. However, many died as the English longbow men loosed their volleys of arrows, leaving many trapped in the muddy field. Only a few surviving Assassins, including Philippe, reached the English army and began the fighting.
Once the rest of the French infantry arrived to reinforce the Assassins, it seemed that the English would loose, until a Piece of Eden was unleashed upon the French army, causing hundreds of deaths. The Grand Master of the English Templars, John of Bedford used an Apple of Eden from London to cripple the minds of the French soldiers, forcing them to fight amongst themselves or simply killing them in an agonizing instant.
By the end of the day, the French army was decimated, and many nobles and Assassins were left dead on the fields of Agincourt. Philippe managed to survive, however, and returned to Paris to alert the Brotherhood of the decisive defeat. Henry V decided to return with his army back to England, but the damage had been done against the French Kingdom. By 1418, both Rouen and Paris were under siege.
The Siege of Paris and the Return of the Templars
Most of the commanders present at the Siege of Paris were members of the Burgundian Templars (save for Duke John of Burgundy), and they opted for a full assault on the French defenses. On the night of the 30th of May, 1418, the battle began with a volley of artillery fire. The French fortifications fell, as the Burgundian cavalry and infantry headed for the breached areas of the French defense. The last remaining Assassins, including Philippe, would join the defenders, but not until Philippe rushed to his home to save his wife and his eight-year-old son, Gabriel from Burgundian thugs.
After a brief fight, the thugs were killed, and Philippe escorted his family toward the nearest gate not under attack by the Burgundians. However, he was forced to send them away with his brother, Louis de Carniellon. Philippe remained with the French defenders until he was killed by a Templar captain right in the view of both his wife and son. Together with the Assassins and the French Crown Prince, Philippe's family escaped the city and headed straight for Chinon.
The Templars had failed in capturing the Crown Prince, but finally had the Parisian Temple and the French King under their control.
The French Humiliation
In 1419, the French Crown Prince, Charles VII met up with Duke John the Fearless of Burgundy to potentially end the Burgundian-Armagnac conflict which had plagued the French aristocracy and the kingdom as a whole.
However, the diplomatic venture would end horrifically when Templar agents disguised as French soldiers butchered the Burgundian Duke. This had sent shockwaves throughout France, and even King Charles VI and Queen Isabeau were convinced that their son had instigated the murder. As a result, Charles VII lost his rights to the French crown, and Henry V of England became the new heir.
Suddenly, both monarchs would die in 1422 (with Henry being poisoned by the Templars during a military campaign), leaving the French throne in the hands of Henry's infant son, also named Henry. John of Bedford became the regent, with his base of operations in Rouen, Normandy. Following this, John effectively ruled over Northern France under a Templar Regime.
The Start of the Game
By 1428, the now 18-year-old Gabriel de Carniellon has finished his training to become an Assassin while residing in Chinon, and his first task is to apprehend an English convoy of supplies and reinforcements for the Siege of Orleans. The raid is successful, and as he returns to Chinon, he comes to befriend one of the prisoners taken during the raid, an 18-year-old Templar woman named Eleanor, who possessed the gift of an Assassin.
Together, Gabriel and Eleanor, with the help of figures like Charles VII and Jeanne d'Arc, will change the tide of the battle against England in the Hundred Years' War, and once again drive off the Templars from France and restore the Assassins to their former glory.
This is just an idea for an Assassin's Creed game set during the final years of the Hundred Years' War, and it could see a return to the old elements of the franchise, away from the newer RPG elements found in Odyssey and Valhalla, but similar to games like Origins, Unity, and Syndicate. The game could possibily be called "Assassin's Creed Lineage," and it would take place in the Lancastrian Phase of the Hundred Years' War, primarily between 1428 and 1453, with the game's prologue starting at the Siege of Paris in 1418.
As for the protagonists, they would collectively be Gabriel and Eleanor (similar to AC Syndicate), as Gabriel would seek vengeance for his father's death and liberate Northern France from Templar rule, while Eleanor comes to realize that she was fighting for the wrong cause when she joined the Templar Order and would join the French cause.
The game could see a return to Unity's parkour system (especially with dense cities like Rouen, Paris, and Orleans), but adopt similar combat moves like in Valhalla or Assassin's Creed III. The game would be centered around the cities of Paris, Rouen, and Orleans, with brief missions in Dijon and Reims, while the game concludes at the Battle of Castillon (the battle that effectively ended the Hundred Years' War).
I hope you enjoyed reading this exploration into a potential Hundred Years' War setting.
Victoire aux Assassins!
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