This is part of a series of posts about the my Sartor Classics project. See all the posts here.
I do love me a story within a story, and that’s what I tried to create here. Alberti’s bit is only part of the larger whole.
The first level is the book itself. Any AC fan will recognize the Durer portrait of Sartor on the cover, the initial indication that there’s something afoot within. A glance at the table of contents reveals the familiar list of books.
So, it’s a collection of books from the game. Sure sure. But the foreword talks about Sofia and Ezio, and gives a brief history of the library itself. Ok, so there’s something new here.
The foreword contains the words ‘Caesar’, ‘shift’ , ‘cipher’, and ‘three’, as well as having many letters underlined. In the version I sent to Ubisoft, I highlighted the words and made a margin note to key them on to the fact that there’s a puzzle here.
The hidden message in the foreword reveals that the book is distributed by the Order to new assassins, and that the main text holds encoded text in the Alberti Cipher. Level 2 of the story.
As the reader decrypts the message, a preface reveals itself. An assassin librarian in plague-year London decides to hide a story within Ezio’s and Sofia’s books before he dies. Level 3. The original books have survived, carefully preserved by the Order.
And at last Alberti’s tale, a brief biography highlighting his experience with the Assassins.