So after the launch of the DLC announcement and AOE4 completely bamboozling the community with Variant civs, this sparked my fuel to start drafting up Civilization concepts again. Might be a bit rusty, but this one has been a kinda pet side project as I was trying to draft a Persian-based Civ but got absolutely absorbed into the history of the Assassins, before I went on my Civ design Hiatus. So I tried to push the limit of Civ design, well, that was until AOE4 announced the new Variant Civ’s and completely flipped the table on what I perceived as the rules of Civ design. This is great, this grants me much more freedom and try to figure out new and interesting ways to design a Civ! and even allows me to dwell into Variants where Civs such as this would fit perfectly!
Subterfuge, Convertion, Fortresses
Scouts have 20% increased vision range
Villagers and Religious unit gains Stealth Ability from Textile technology.
Farms slows down enemy movement speed.
Relics generate 15% more resources
Defensive structures gains increased garrison capacity
Starts with a religious unit Da’i
Unable to produce Heavy cavalry (not really a bonus but its a trait)
Defenders of Faith – Houses built within the keep influence fill up garrison attack-slots
Fida’i – Da’i can designate up to 3 enemie units as Fida’i. This Designation gives you the units vision throughout the units lifespan. Unit can be also be converted into an Assassin (at a cost). Does not apply to cavalry units. (conversion time is 5 seconds, triggers Wololo warning and marks the unit, similar to Abbasid Imam’s conversion ability) Hermitage increases the limit of Fida’i to a maximum of 7.
- Alamut Castle - Function as a large outpost with trap emplacement (Barbican w weaker burning oil that reduces movement speed)
- Masyaf Castle - Function as a large outpost with extra vision range (Barbican w extra vision)
- Alamut Castle wing – Great Library (Gives access to unique technologies, technologies are researched 25% faster)
- Masyaf Castle wing – Armory (Turns landmarks into keeps with available keep upgrades with ability to produce infantry units)
- Alamut Castle wing - Grand Mosque (Grants all landmarks ability to produce villagers, with 30% decreased production time, Increased income from stored relics)
- Masyaf Castle wing - Gardens of Paradise (Reduces convertion time by 50%, Can produce Da’I and Assassins 40% cheaper and decreased production time, increases total amount of Fida’i to 10)
Mausoleum of al-Mustansir II
Hermitage: Allows Production of Da’i, Can garrison up to 1 Relic. grants an Additional Fida’i that can be appointed by a Da’i
Assassin (30F 100G):
(Ninja but not a weeb)
Melee unit has stealth ability and does bonus damage towards unarmoured units and special passive ability that is lethal towards leader units (Khans, Kings, Heroes)
Assassin Archer (30F 50G 50W):
Archer unit that can use stealth ability, also has a special ability (Snipe) when activated kills Garrisoned units.
(engraved picture of Hassan i-Sabbah himself)
Religious Unit that replaces the Imam with Sealth ability, is able to designate enemie units as Fida’i, which can be turned into an Assassin unit. Is also able to capture ungarrisoned enemie defensive structures (Non-landmark Keeps and Outpost only) with Infiltration ability.
Advanced Dyes: Replaces Textile technology, grants Villager +25 Health, also grants stealth ability to Villagers and Da’i
Mysticism: Movement speed Assassins and Da’i increased by 10%
Snaring Traps: Units damaged by trap effect gets immobilized for 1.5 seconds
Advanced Trigonometry (Great Library): Increases range of siege weapons by +1.
Poison Alchemy (Great Library): Assassins and Assassin archers gain poison attack that slows the target movement speed by 5%
Damascus Steel (Great Library): Grants Assassins +2 armor #################### * Optics (Great Library): Significantly increases sight range of Outposts and Keeps.
Architecture: Similar to the Abbasid dynasty, with a Persian flare.
Naval units: Nothing special here, just your regular ol Abbasid/dheli navy.
Language progression: Classical Persian, loosely refer to the language spoken of medieval Persia, used in literature and poetry, this language was used between the 10th and 12th century, and continued to be used under the “Persianized” Turko-Mongol dynasties during the 12th and 15th century.
(Medieval tapestry Siege of Alamut)
(Rendition based on description of Alamut from various sources)
With it very Stereotypical name meaning Eagle’s Nest in persian, it served as the first Stronghold of the Assassins and their headquarters in the region of today’s Iran.
Built by the Justanid ruler of Daylam, around 840 AD, During a hunting trip, he witnessed a soaring eagle perch down on a rock, that became the site for the construction of the castle. Hence the name.
It remained under Justanid Control until the arrival of the Ismaili chief Da’i, Hassan-I Sabbah. Who Infiltrated the stronghold and slowly grew his Ismaili follower base, until they outnumbered the keepers of the stronghold, and eventually ousted them out, gaining control of Alamut. This Da’i became known in the west as the Old Man of the Mountain. The mystical leader of the Assassins.
A castle thought ########### to any military attacks as it withstood both the adversaries of the Seljuq and Khwarezmian empires.
And was fabled for its heavenly gardens, library and laboratories where Philosophers, scientists and theologians could debate in intellectual freedom.
One of these notable intellectuals were Nasir al-Din Tusi, a man who created very accurate tables of planetary motion, updated model of the planets, critiques of the Ptolemaic astronomy (Where earth is the centre of the universe, and the universe revolves around it).
And especially in Trigonometry, biology and chemistry, and was regarded as one of the greatest scientists of medieval Islam.
But also rumoured to be the key to the downfall of the castle by Mongols, as he was rumoured to have betrayed the defences of Alamut to the invading Mongols, as Hülegü Khan himself was greatly interested in natural sciences and had high respect for al-Tusi. He became a scientific adviser for the Mongols and even reaching so far as becoming a permanent member of the inner council of the Mongol, gaining authority of administrating the finances and religious foundations and thus able to champion the Twelver Shi’a cause throughout Persia and Iraq.
Masyaf Castle :
(remnants of Masyaf castle)
While the Castle foundations stems from Byzantine origin, later addition to the fortification was added by the Nizari Isma’ilis, Mamluks and Ottomans. With the most current remains dating back to Rashid and the nizari construction phase of the 12th century.
The castle was captured by the Assassins in 1141 from Sanqur, and was later refortified by Rashin al-Din Sinan.
Masyaf and the surrounding town functioned as the capital of a Nizari Emirate from the middle of the 12th century until the end of the 13th century. Saladin tried to besiege it in 1176 but the siege didn’t last long and it concluded with a truce.
Rumours being that after 2 assassination attempt on Saladin, causing Saladin to become paranoid to the amount that he started wearing Chain-mail at all times, even when sleeping.
In 1260, Masyaf and three other Nizari fortresses were surrendered to the Mongols. Later that year, they allied with the Mamluks to drive the mongols out of Syria reclaiming their castles including Masyaf. After a decade, Baibars took hold of the castle.
1808 the Nusayris ########## ######## the Ismaili emir of Masyaf and seized the castle, but the Ismailis managed to recover it with the aid of the Ottoman authorities.
It is today under restoration which is funded by Aga Khan Trust for Culture Historic Cities Support Programme, which started in 2000. Aga Khan being the current leader of the Ismaili community today.
Mausoleum of al-Mustansir II**:**
While it might not be the most Impressive wonder structure out there, would still give the Abbasid a fair match.
The Tomb itself is located at the town of Anjudan in Iran.
Al-Mustansir Billah II was a Nizari Imam that settled in Anjudan and began his slow restoration of the Nizari Ismaili after it got devastated and almost wiped out by the Mongols.
He sent missionaries (Da’is) to places as far as what is now Afghanistan.
His family line dated back to the 11th century Fatamid caliph of the same name, was the son of the third Qasim-Shahi imam. While the Qasim-Shahi line is shrouded in obscurity they played an active role in rallying the scattered Nizari faithfull that was left without a central leadership and had to dissimulate their true faith due to persecution by Sunni rulers.
This is why after the Mongol aftermath, Scholars today considered that the Nizari often hid their true identity under the viel of Sufism. And thus it is speculated that Shah Qalandar has thus been regarded as a Sufi cover name of al-Mustansir II which is the name of the Mausoleum is locally known as.
Note: Ability to store a relic and choose which resource it should be its main income. grants an Additional Fida’i that can be appointed by a Da’i, other structures can not be placed within its influence area. (it needs personal space)
Attack: 9/10/13 vs Light Melee +3/+5/+6
Rate of Fire: 1.38
Pierce Armor: 0
Note: Has stealth ability similar to Musofadi Warriors, also as a has a special Passive ability; Assassination, which causing the next attack from stealth Instantly kill a leader-unit such as Khan, King or Hero.
Attack: 5/7/8 vs Light Melee +5/+7/+8
Rate of fire: 1.5
Pierce Armor: 0
Note: Has stealth ability similar to Musofadi Warrior, also has special ability Snipe; when activated the next attack kills a garrisoned unit.
Rate of Fire: 0
Pierce Armor: 0
Note: Religious unit that replaces the Imam, Has stealth ability similar to Musofadi Warrior if Advanced Dyes is upgraded, Has the ability to convert ungarrisoned defensive structures (outpost and keeps).
Has core ability to Designate enemy non-cavalry unit as Fida’i, this grants you the sight vision of that designated unit until its death. A designated unit can be converted into an Assassin for the base cost of the Assassin unit. Unit converting into an Assassin will be marked for Wololo and takes 5 seconds to convert.
What if I were to tell you a story about a group of people, closely linked to subterfuge and conspiracy, with myths and legends deeply ingrained. And their influence caused even the mightiest of empires to shake from within.
The Assassins that we know so well depicted by Media, and especially a certain video game franchise, weren’t all just purely made up, but actually based on real history, much of it lost today.
What if I told you, these people still exist today? 15 Million of them in fact spread around the world, and their Headquarters where the head representative resides is located in Portugal of all places.
And no, they’re not Illuminati, and they have laid long put their dagger and subterfuge to the past.
They are known as the Nizari Ismaili, a sect within the Shia faith of Islam. The Ismaili founded the Fatamid Caliphate, and after a succession crisis caused by the death of the Calpih-Imam Al-Mustansir Billah, who had publicly named his elder son Nizar as the heir to the Fatamid empire, an Armenian Vizier, Al-Afdal Shahanshah, also being the commander of the armies, asserted a coup and put the much younger brother-in-law Al-Musta’il on the Fatamid throne.
Nizar escaped to Alexandria where he managed to muster up enough followers for his call and waged a bloody war for his rightful succession but lost and got captured by Al-Afdal, and had him executed.
After the Execution, it caused a bitterly and irreconcilable split of the Ismailis.
The followers of Nizar found no other option but to abandon the Fatamid empire and seek new lands to settle, plotting for one day to reclaim what they saw as rightfully theirs.
and one of these people was a Da’i, a form of Missionary, known as Hasan-I Sabbah, who became the founder of the Nizari Ismaili sect, managed to get into Alamut castle and over time managed to gain control of the fort without spilling a single drop of blood.
He had over time managed to convert and win over villagers in the valley, and their inhabitants, then the key people amongst the populace got converted and Hasan took over the fort by infiltrating it with his converts. It was said that Hasan gave the former owner a draft drawn in the name of a wealthy landlord and told him to obtain the promised money from this man, when the landlord saw the draft with Hasan’s signature, he immediately paid the amount to the fort’s owner, astonishing him. There was also a legend that Hasan offered 3,000 gold dinars to the fort’s former owner for the amount of land that would fit a buffalo’s hide. The terms having been agreed upon, Hasan cut the hide into strips and linked them into a large ring around the perimeter of the fort, whose owner was thus undone by his own green.
After this, Hasan devoted himself so faithfully to study that he didn’t leave the castle for 35 years.
Due to his Reclusiveness and influence throughout the Middle East, he became known as the Old Man of the Mountain by Marco Polo.
Now this brings us to another Nizari who earned himself the nickname Old Man of the Mountain, Rashid al-Din Sinan, he came to Alamut almost a century after its takeover by the Nizari Ismaili. Due to an argument with his brothers in his youth. Where he received the typical Assassin training.
The sect’s leader sent him to Syria where he managed to capture the stronghold of al-Khaf and Masyaf.
Here he enjoyed considerable independence from the Nizari center in Alamut.
His main opponent and enemy became the Sultan, Saladin, who ruled over Egypt and Syria.
Saladin managed to elude two assassination attempts ordered by Rashid as he was marching against Aleppo. Saladin devastated the Nizari possessions and Saladin laid siege to Masyaf but he lifted the siege after two notable events that reputedly transpired between Saladin and the Old Man of the Mountain of Masyaf.
According to a legend, Saladin woke up to a figure leaving his tent and saw that the lamps in his tent were displaced, and beside his bed laid hot scones of the shape peculiar to the Assassins with a note at the top pinned by a poisoned dagger. Saladin exclaimed with a loud cry that Sinan himself was the figure that left the tent.
Sinan’s last notable act was when he ordered the successful assassination of the newly elected King of Jerusalem, Conrad of Montferrat. Whether this happened in coordination with King Richard of England, Saladin, or neither, remains unknown.
Sinan wrote a letter to Leopold V, Duke of Austria at the request of Richard I, taking credit for the assignation, which Richard was being accused of.
Which is believed today to be a forgery written after Sinan’s death.
Over time, the Order of Assassins managed to gain enough control over several regions they managed to form their own state, an Emirate.
After assassinating the great Seljuq leader, causing the Seljuq empire to have a succession crisis and dissolve into civil war, they navigated through the Wars and Political conflict among leaders and men to gain more control. Never really aspiring to be an empire, but rather installing puppet leaders favorable to the Nizari.
It was not until the fall of the Kwarzamian empire and the Mongols were on their doorsteps that things started to turn for the worse for the Assassins.
Kwarzamian Empire and the former Seljuq Empire were predominantly Sunni Muslims, who were not in good terms with the Shiite Muslims, and even less good terms with the Nizari Ismaili who were seen as outright decadent heretics, as they practiced a much more tolerant version of the Islamic faith as they had to adapt to the local customs of regions they sought refuge in. They were hated by both ###### ### ##### communities alike. With the infamous Fida’i, the Assassins, spread terror to rival leaders alike, causing them to spread the rumors that the Fida’i were recruited by having them indulge in all the luxury and pleasures the world had to offer through consuming hashish, which were falsely led to believe the origin of the name; Hashashin, Consumer of Hashish.
The word Hashashin might have stemmed from the meaning followers of Hassan, or the Arabic word, Asasiyyun, People of principle.
The Assassins of Nizari infamy had spread far and wide, especially among the Sunni Muslims, where those who were under Mongol rule led anti-Nizari complaints and warnings to local Mongol commanders in Persia.
Their rumors reached far into the Mongol court that the Nizari Ismaili sect was the only group of Muslims that was directly rejected by the Mongols when they offered tribute and allegiance to the great ###### Khan.
This in turn caused the Nizari to become desperate, a Flemish priest who was sent on a mission to Mongolia was struck by the security precautions as it was rumoured that there were more than forty assassins sent by the Nizari to attempt to assassinate the great Khan himself.
And it doesn’t help that the death of a notable Mongol General was rumored to have been done by the Assassins.
This caused ###### Khan to entrust a personal mission of the highest priority to his brother Hülegü Khan to conquer the Nizari State and the Abbasid Caliphate, bringing the full wrath of the Mongol horde upon the Nizari and the Order of the Assassins.
The Assassins managed to hold off several Mongol attacks, but eventually, the Mongol war machine proved to much for the mighty fortress of Alamut and it eventually fell.
The Mongols went through extreme measures to meticulously burn and destroy everything related to the Nizari, exterminating the Nizari people and burning all the books and knowledge the Mongols didn’t see any value in, and dismantling the fortress down to its bare rock, leaving just foundational ruins behind their wake.
The Nizari had great and renowned libraries throughout the intellectual world of the time, one such intellectual being Nisar al-Din al-Tusi, a great Persian scientist, philosopher, physician, and polymath who gave us the exposition of Spherical Trigonometry and early theories on the law of conservation of mass as a few examples. He spent several decades under the patronage of the Ismaili imam of Alamut, studying in the great libraries Alamut had to offer.
Some sources claim that he betrayed the defenses of Alamut to the invading Mongols, as Hülegü had great respect for al-Tusi as he himself had a great interest in natural sciences.
He had him appointed as the Mongol Scientific adviser and had him become a permanent member of his inner council.
Eventually, the Nizari Ismaili were left scattered around, migrating eastwards into communities in India and as far as China, even started communities in the African continent and could be found in today’s Uganda, before migrating westwards again after the Mongol empire collapsed.
Anjudan became an important center of the Nizari Ismailis in the late 14th century, thus the era of the Anjudan Period for the Nizari began, and the slow revival of the Nizari who was left forever changed.
At first, this was supposed to be a Civ Concept that was going to stretch the boundaries of what was deemed a “Civilization for AOE4”. Originally started off as trying to draft an Idea around a Persian-centric Civilization, the more I researched into this region, the more difficult it was to find an actual fully Persianate “Civilization” during the time period of AOE4.
At the same time I wanted to try to introduce Assassins to Civilization as well, and the more I started dwelling on the history of the Assassins, the more and more I started to uncover from this fascinating piece of history, so much so that I wanted to try to see if I could cook together a Civilization that solely focused on their history.
While they weren’t really an Empire like all the other current pre-DLC Civilization.
They were certainly a group that eventually formed a State (Emirate) influential enough that it quite literally shaped the History of that region to what we know of today.
I dunno. Maybe an African civ. Perhaps an East Asian one. Maybe even Variants. Too many ideas in my head, so little time.
Importance of the flag:
The Fatimids adopted Green (akhdar) as the color of their standard, which symbolized their allegiance to Ali, who, in order to thwart an assassination attempt on Muhammad, once wrapped himself in a green coverlet to appear to be Muhammad. When Hassan I Sabbah captured Alamut, it is said he hoisted the green standard over the fortress, it was later reported that Hassan I Sabbah prophesied that when the Hidden Imam made himself known he would hoist a red flag, which Hasan II did during his appearance. Following the destruction of Alamut, Isma’ili hoisted both green and red flags above the tombs of their Imams. Green and Red were combined in the 19th century Isma’ili flag known as “My Flag”.
The Fatimids also used a white standard with gold inlays, and the Caliph Imams often wore white with gold, as Isma’ili Imams do today. Isma’ili uses a gold crest on the white standard to symbolize the authority of the Imamate, and often wear white in the presence of their Imam.
The Rub el ##### ## ############# star, is often used by Isma’ilis as a symbol.