and the world, i'll turn it inside out
It all starts in a small English town when Ethan Frye’s wife Cecily gives birth to twins: Evie and Jacob.
From the moment you were born, you were more than a handful of trouble, squirming around and causing a fuss. You screamed a hell of a lot louder than your sister did when she was born a whole four minutes before you. She’s always had to one-up you, so of course she’s the one who was born first. Ever since you entered the world, you two could not be more different. Rambunctious, reckless Jacob was always going to be collected, studious Evie’s foil. That’s just how the Frye twins are, and you think you’ve always known that.
Neither of you got to know your mother. Once you were born, she lost her own life. Death by childbirth complications must have been an especially painful way to leave the world -- not to mention the pain it caused for the living. Your mother was always going to be absent because she gave you life, and though you protested otherwise, that weighed heavily on your mind once you got older. Your father was completely, utterly shaken by the loss of his wife. He couldn’t even be bothered to help take care of you or your sister for the first six years of your life, and you would even argue that the two of you would have been just fine if he simply never showed up again. He was perfectly content to leave you two in your grandmother’s lap for those years. What made him bother to come back in the first place?
You don’t really know, and you don’t really care.
Growing up, you wondered what your mother would have thought of you. Would she proud? Exasperated and disappointed, like most everyone else you knew? You didn’t ask much about her -- her passing was the whole reason your father left you during your early childhood years, and part of you worried that bringing her up would result in being left behind again -- but you liked to think that you must have been a lot like her. Your sister certainly took after your hardass of a father what with her by-the-book behavior and need to bicker with you on every little thing under the sun. If she took after your father so much, it only made sense that you took after your mother, right?
At any rate, there were plenty of days you wished she was around instead of your father, despite never knowing her yourself.
It seemed as if you and your father never saw eye-to-eye. He wanted to transform you and your sister into perfect assassins, training the both of you at an early age to fulfill this wish. He’d go on and on about the rough history between the Templar Order and the assassins, citing that the templars were ruthless and awful human beings whereas assassins kept the world safe from their machinations. You weren’t interested in history. You just wanted to brawl and fight all the time, not bother with the little historical intricacies.
The older you got, the more you managed to slip away from his training sessions. You would do anything besides listen to him blabber on and on: you’d gamble, get into fights, sneak into bars, the works. You’d get an earful of a lecture from both your sister and your father when you’d come home with black eyes and bruises decorating your body like badges of honor. Hearing about how “you should have been home” and “you need to take things more seriously” grew tiresome and exhausting by the first time you had to endure such lectures, but they could not stop you from sneaking out of the house. Simply put, you feel trapped. You wish to break out of not only your small home, but your small town too. You wish you could go out to somewhere bustling with life and adventure rather than be cooped up and dealing with your father’s teachings.
For as different as you two can be, Evie can relate. She too wants to go out and see something more, something bigger and grander than what she’s been dealt. Some days, that’s the one thing you two can agree on.
Neither of you know how to deal with your father’s death. With his line of work, you were a bit surprised he didn’t go out with a knife to the throat or a bullet to the heart. Natural causes were the killer, said the autopsies. You don’t quite know what you felt when your father died. Resentment for having your father leaving you again? Sorrow for losing your only remaining parent? Relief that you wouldn’t have to hear his lectures anymore? Maybe a little of all three? Evie was the one who was heartbroken about his passing, and everyone expected you to be the same way, but you could not feign such remorse. Where you simply avoided the topic and moved on with your life, your sister still clung to every little damn word he said, and when she felt particularly snappy, she’d spit them right back at you all over again as if she were your parent and not a mere few minutes older than you.
Without your father, neither you or Evie had much reason to stick around in your small town. You’d carry out assassinations near your home turf, squashing Templars here and there, but it all got too... easy. You’d do the same tiresome routine constantly, over and over again. It was “safe,” but you got tired of safe very quickly. You wanted more. Action, people, the hustle and bustle. You wanted to see greener pastures -- and greener pastures was what you got. When you finally had the opportunity, you convinced your sister to run off to London with you. Despite warnings that it was crawling with Templars and full of danger at every corner, you left, and you firmly believe it was the best decision you could have made.
The two of you decided that your best course of action was to locate the only assassin operating in London: Henry Green. He enlightened the two of you about how the Templar situation was worse than you were told. Immediately, you thought of how there’s strength in numbers, and you suggested building a gang. You always wanted to be in charge of something big and important, and a gang seemed like the perfect outlet. Plus, you could off more Templars with more men at your side, and you believed that they would help you in eliminating the Grand Master of the Templars: Crawford Starrick himself. Two birds, one stone. Your sister had far less exciting plans -- something about gathering Pieces of Eden, whatever the hell those are, and something about how they’re powerful, you don’t really remember or care, you just know that she was unreasonably obsessed with them.
It did not take long for you to get your gang. You gathered up fine men and women, many of whom rivaled even you in rambunctiousness, and called them “the Rooks.” With the help of street urchins, your sister, and your gang, you started taking back London from the Templars. You took over Whitechapel with no problem, and you were ready to conquer the rest of London. Your sister, spitting your father’s words back at you, warned you that you weren’t ready to take on so many Templars so soon, but you didn’t listen. You rarely ever did listen to your father’s words when they came out of his mouth, and you sure as hell weren’t going to listen to them when they came out of your sister’s. All she wanted were those pieces of Eden; all you wanted was to go after Templar targets.
Not one to be told what to do, you went ahead and took matters into your own hands for the most part. Taking out targets, doing favors for your allies, creating unlikely business partnerships. The latter seemed to do more harm than good, however. Sometimes, your partnerships would end on a sour note -- like you killing your former partner Pearl Attaway once you realized she was Starrick’s cousin -- and others led you to killing others and created chaos in the world around you -- like when working with Charles Darwin led you to murdering a doctor, and subsequently, access to medicine was far more difficult in the aftermath. Hell, you practically destroyed the economy by killing the governor of the Bank of England. You figured that doing the right thing and chaos just went hand in hand, and at least you were making some progress in ridding Templar presence.
Your sister was none too happy with your behavior. Again, she went on about searching for the Pieces of Eden, but you simply could not care less about them. You did take note that while you were out dealing with targets, she seemed to be getting closer to Henry Green, and you found that a curious thing. Didn't your father always warn the two of you not to form close personal attachments? You found it odd that she seemed close to him, despite clinging to your father's words at any given opportunity. However, you tended to be too busy to pry further into the matter, and thus largely left it alone.
Perhaps the most eye-opening experience during your time in London was when you decided to work with Maxwell Roth. In hindsight, perhaps it wasn’t such a good idea to work with a big-name criminal, but at the time, you didn’t think much about it -- much like most things you deal with. You liked how he was bold and willing to live dangerously rather than walk the line, not to mention you both aimed to take down Starrick once and for all. Yet, the more you worked with him, the more something felt... off. The best way you can describe it was that it was like looking at a warped mirror of yourself. He was willing to use explosives and harm whoever got in his way -- including children. Once he threw children’s lives in danger, that’s when you realized you were not working with a respectable man. Immediately, you cut off your partnership and rushed to save those children.
For as many mistakes as you’ve made, leaving children to die would not be one of them.
After rescuing the children, you did not have much time to process what had happened, nor could you make a next move, because before you knew it, you were suddenly not in the streets of London you had grown so familiar with.