Assassin's Creed: Initiates is a website set in the Assassin's CreedExpanded Universe, delving much deeper into the background and history of the series than the main games while also providing ongoing updates of the Assassin-Templar conflict. The site is run In-Universe by a group of mysterious "Initiates", whose role in the long-running war appears to be simply spying on both sides and uploading data about the conflict. The "Desmond Files" covers the modern-day events of Assassin's Creed I to Assassin's Creed III, while the currently ongoing "Surveillance" picks up monitoring the conflict six months later and covers Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and beyond. "Letters to the Dead" also presents entries from the codex of Eseosa, the grandson of Adéwalé who operated as the leader of the Assassin Brotherhood during the Haitian Revolution in the late 18th century.Initiates also has profiles on all of the playable Assassins in the series, as well as a few other major characters, and provides timelines for much of their lives that reveals numerous details that were not in the games. There is a also a general timeline provided that includes other events related to the Assassins, Templars, and Pieces of Eden.
This website contains examples of:
All There in the Manual: The manual for the series, Initiates fills in a lot of blanks of the exact events that took place in the modern day storyline, while also providing some additional information on the Assassins of the various games. Some of the more important things revealed are:
The name of Altair's mother. It's Maud...
Daniel Cross being the Templar who located and oversaw the capture of Desmond Miles.
Juhani Otso Berg as the identity of the Brotherhood and Revelations multiplayer character.
Milton Jones as the descendent of Adéwalé from whom Abstergo got the DNA to relive his memories, as well as the fact that Adéwalé had a child with Bastienne Josèphe.
Eseosa's "Letters to the Dead" also tells the final fate of Adewale and his family, and the Assassins involvement in the Haitian revolution, and also states that Connor is active and alive until 1804 at the Davenport Homestead.
The current chapter is about identifying who the Initiates agent aboard the Altair II is, each crew member giving out their backstories for how they ended up in the Assassins.
All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The Templars send Otso Berg and Sigma Team to raid the Assassins hideout in Florence, and end up killing all the Assassins there except for Harlan Cunningham, with Adriano Mastanazi blowing up the base in a last ditch effort to kill the Templars and prevent them from recovering the Assassins data.
Ascended Extra: Gavin Banks and Harlan T. Cunningham were both identified as previously unknown Assassins heard speaking in Revelations and Brotherhood, respectively. Their appearances in those games are expanded upon and they became central characters to Initiates own narrative.
Badass: Galina Foronina, the last surviving member of the Russian Assassins and a possible descendant of Eve, managed to slaughter an entire enclave of feral Assassins, including her own sister and mother, using just her dual hidden blades.
Badass Pacifist: Assassin Emmanuel Barraza, who refuses to use physical violence to defend his teammates but has no problem allowing his hand to be impaled by a hidden blade to stop a fight.
Benevolent Conspiracy: The Initiates are run by a council of four anonymous individuals who want to keep tabs on both the Assassins and Templars. Notably, they do little more than direct the funding and direction of the research the group does.
The Captain: Susan Drayton is the Assassin captain of the Altair II.
Cool Boat: The Altair II, used as a mobile Assassin headquarters for a team led by Gavin Banks.
Covert Group: Aside from the usual Assassins and Templars, there are the Initiates, whose membership, motivations, and goals, beyond monitoring the conflict and spying on all sides, are completely unknown.
Dare to Be Badass: Shaun hacks into the Initiates website and calls on the Initiates to stop merely observing and start taking the fight to the Templars.
Great Big Book of Everything: As is tradition among Assassin leaders, William Miles writes one to leave to his successor Gavin when he decides to leave the Order.
William's letter to Gavin: It contains everything I know. My hopes. My doubts. My deepest fears. It's secrets are for your eyes only.
The Assassin Eseosa also wrote a codex around the time of the Haitian Revolution in which he wrote several passages addressed to his grandfather, Adéwalé.
Hacker Cave: Assassin computer expert Emmett has one aboard the Altair II.
Historical-Domain Character: "Letters to the Dead" reveals that several prominent leaders of the Haitian Revolution were actually Assassins, including Toussaint Louverture, Georges Biassou, Dutty Boukman, Jean-François Papillon, and Jeannot Bullet, whose real life execution by the others is presented as punishment for breaking the first tenant of the Assassins Creed by killing innocents.
Interface Screw: On the June 17, 2014 update, after you logged in, there was a message from Shaun telling the Initiates to stop being just the watchers, to join the fight and be united.
Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Assassin Jeannot Bullet during the Haitian Revolution, as he began targeting and killing not only whites (including non-slaveowners) in cruel and creative ways, but free blacks and soldiers under his own command who he considered sympathetic to whites or refused his orders. This ended up getting him sentenced to death by Eseosa, although he simply laughed and taunted his fellow Assassins by claiming they would never succeed in their goals.
The Mentor: Aside from being a title for the head of an Assassin branch, several actual mentors are present:
Eseosa trained several leader of the Haitian Revolution.
Adriano Maestranzi is a mentor to Harlan Cunningham.
Kenichi and Saeko Mochizuki both mentored Gavin Banks when he was younger, and both hold the title Mentor for the Osaka Brotherhood.
Initiates confirms beyond all doubt that Lucy was a mole for the Templars.
Aboard the Altair II is an unidentified mole for the Initiates, who is sending detailed reports of the Assassins activities in Osaka, Japan.
The mole has now been revealed to be two: Dr. Chiu and Eric Cooper.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The Assassins manage to successfully infiltrate Abstergo Industries and shut down their search for Desmond... except one of them unwittingly gets followed back to their Florence hideout, which results in the entire cell, except for Harlan Cunningham, being killed.
Oh Crap: The spy on board the Altair II has one of these moments upon Rebecca figuring out that they've been spying on them, and decides to lay low as a result.
Off with His Head!: Dutty Boukman, a Assassin Vodou houngan from Jamaica, is decapitated after being killed in battle during the Haitian Revolution, with his head being placed on a spike.
The Templar Inner Sanctum, which is shown in much greater detail here than in the games.
There is also the four unknown founders of the Initiates:
Eric Cooper: As for who is running the show, we don't have "leaders" in the sense that you have a Mentor. We take directions from four individuals, but up until now, they've mostly just guided our research.
Stephanie Chiu: No one knows who these four are. We hear rumors that they created the Initiates and the Database, but no one knows for sure.
Right Hand Versus Left Hand: Dr. Warren Vidic is shown to play his cards pretty close to his chest, particularly when it comes to Daniel Cross, which frustrates some of his fellow Templars. Laetitia England in particular is extremely annoyed when she discovers Vidic covered for Cross going AWOL, which led to him blundering into her operation to catch Desmond Miles.
The Shrink: The Templars are shown to have two: Doctors Ctibor Haek and Damian Saravakos, who evaluate Templar operatives and Animus subjects to determine their skill levels, health, sanity, and usefulness to the Templars.
Spy Speak: The Assassins routinely engage in this, due to worries about the Templars eavesdropping on their communications. Often they use business terms and refer to the Templars as their rival competitors.
Storming the Castle: Harlan Cunningham leads a team of Assassins in raiding the Abstergo headquarters in Rome, killing four hackers who were attempting to track down Desmond's location, while also killing several Templar agents and destroying servers.
Taking You with Me: When the Templars attack the Assassin cell in Florence, Adriano Maestranzi detonates a bomb to kill the attacking agents and stop them from getting the Assassins files. He mostly succeeds, but Juhani Otso Berg manages to escape with some facial scars.
Those Two Guys: During the weeks in which Black Flag's modern day storyline takes place, most of the updates revolve around e-mails sent between Jennifer Tam and Philippe Chartrand, two employees of Abstergo Entertainment working on the Subject 17 project who are constantly snarking / lampshading / worrying about the events of the game.
The Unreveal: During the 12/25/13 update, the spy aboard the Altair II knows full well what the secret recipe is to an awesome drink that was brewed in the ship, but won't reveal it since he likes the two responsible for making it.
Yakuza: A unknown group of them are responsible for wiping out the Assassin cell in Osaka. Gavin's team is currently investigating the Onmoraki-Gumi, a supposedly recently wiped out branch of the Yakuza, as the primary culprits. It turns out that the Onmoraki-Gumi were responsible, but the surviving Assassin's killed their leaders and took them over to serve as a front for Assassin activities.