- "Do you appease a crying child simply because he wails? 'But I want to play with fire, father.' What would you say? 'As you wish'? Ah... but then you'd answer for his burns."
- ―Garnier de Naplouse, criticizing the Assassins' fight to free others.[src]
Garnier de Naplouse (c. 1147 – 1191) was a doctor and the Grand Master of the Knights Hospitalier in Acre. He was also a secret member of the Knights Templar, and one of the targets assigned to the Assassin Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad as part of the mission given to him by his master Al Mualim.
Grand Master of the Hospitaliers
- Altaïr: "You truly believe you were helping them?"
- Garnier: "It's not what I believe... it's what I know."
- ―Garnier's final words to Altaïr.[src]
Garnier was the tenth Grand Master of the Knights Hospitalier, a monastic order founded after the First Crusade, who established its first infirmary near the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. At first, the order cared for pilgrims, but soon made sure armed guards prevented the pilgrims from being harmed. This escorting force was built up dramatically, and became a dominant Christian group along with the Knights Templar. Garnier began his service with the order in 1177, as a commander of the hospital in Jerusalem, and was promoted a decade later.
Garnier was exiled from France for the cruel and inhumane treatment of his patients, who he saw less as people, and more as experiments on whom to try the latest cures. The price of knowledge was never too high for him, even if it had to be paid with another man's blood. For a time, he was a resident of Tyre, but he quickly returned to his habits of human experimentation, eventually leading to his expulsion from this city as well. Since Garnier's family had contributed a significant amount of money to King Richard I's war efforts, he was thereafter harbored and protected in Acre.
In Acre, Garnier managed to buy himself loyal assistants, who allowed him to continue his cruel work. Determined to keep any news of his crimes a secret from his superiors, he closed the hospital to only approved visitors and had patients crippled to keep them from leaving. In time, he came to believe that the patients were nothing more than lost souls in need of aid and that he had a responsibility to guide them however he saw fit.
At some point, Garnier joined the Templar Order and learned their ways and secrets just like his fellow members. What he learned included the Templar's views and even information on the mysterious artifact, the Piece of Eden.
Hospitalier Fortress and death
- Altaïr: "Let go your burden."
- Garnier: "Ah, I'll rest now, yes. The endless dream calls to me, but before I close my eyes, I must know: what will become of my children?"
- ―Garnier to Altaïr, inquring about his patients' fates.[src]
Following the siege of Acre, Garnier was granted jurisdiction of the Poor District in Acre. There, he set up his base of operation at the Hospitalier hospital, and continued his brutal experiments. Many of these "patients" were shipped to him from Jerusalem through Talal's slave trade. Rumors of his horrible work spread throughout the city, causing civilians to fear and avoid the hospital.
When Altaïr infiltrated the Hospitalier Fortress with the intention of assassinating Garnier, a terrified patient attempted to escape, only to be captured by Garnier's guards. When Garnier revealed himself, he attempted to calm the patient with kind words. However, the patient caused an outburst, claiming that Garnier's true intentions were evil. After the doctor admonished him, he commanded the guards to break the patient's legs, knowing this would prevent another escape attempt.
When Garnier dismissed the horrified crowd and returned to his work, the Assassin stealthily made his way inside the hospital, and located the doctor. Altaïr then took the doctor's life with his Hidden Blade. With his final words, Garnier claimed that he was actually helping his patients; although Altaïr tried to rebuke all of his claims, Garnier persisted in his beliefs.
Garnier claimed that the people he took were among the poorest and most ill of the surrounding cities, and that many had recovered and were grateful for his generous help. He said his methods were necessary to free people from the "prisons of their own minds." Altaïr asked if he truly believed that he was helping them, and Garnier simply replied, "It's not what I believe, it's what I know." Before he could say any more, however, Garnier died, and Altaïr was left to escape the area, and report his success to the local Assassin bureau.
Personality and characteristics
Garnier genuinely believed that he was helping the people that he held in his hospital, despite committing cruel and unjust acts upon his patients, turning them into his slaves, and making them his guards. Even though he claimed to be a man of science, he did not seem to fear death, and even while he was communicating with Altaïr, he attempted to justify his actions, explaining why he dragged them from their supposed "homes" such as prisons, brothels, or sewers.
He often wore black robes with an apron that was stained from the blood of the patients who had been involved in his experiments. He had a small leather belt around his waist, which held up a small pouch, and he usually carried his sword around with him for protection. He was of average height and weight, with signs of aging, such as wrinkles and balding being prominent in his appearance.
- Historically, Garnier de Naplouse fought at the Battle of Arsuf and died in 1191 while in Assassin's Creed, he dies before the battle takes place in 1191. There is also no account the historical Garnier practiced unethical experiments on his patients.
- While Garnier is about 44 years old in the game, he appears to be much older as though he is in his sixties.
- In the non-canonical mobile version of Assassin's Creed, Garnier de Naplouse duels with Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad in single combat, clad in full battle armor, as a boss battle. Despite being canonically a Knights Hospitalier, he wears the signature white surcoat with a red cross of the Knights Templar. He fights solely by swinging on the ceiling with a grappling hook to use as leverage for an air assassination maneuver with his sword. Each time Altaïr succeeds in evading this attack, his sword gets embedded into the ground, giving the player a few seconds to attack him while he is preoccupied with pulling it back out. After losing more than half his health, he begins charging his attacks, such that each time he plunges it downwards, it unleashes a wave of destructive energy. Once his health reaches critical levels, Altaïr will wrestle with Garnier to slit his throat with a Hidden Blade. His death occurs in 1189 rather than 1191 as it is in the canonical console version.