|“|| "Uphold the principles of our Order, and all for that for which we stand. Never share our secrets nor divulge the true nature of our work. Do so until death – whatever the cost. This is my new creed. I am Shay Patrick Cormac. Templar of the Colonial... of the American Rite. I am an older man now, and perhaps wiser. A war and a revolution have ended, and another is about to begin. May the Father of Understanding guide us all."
|~ ―Shay Cormac, declaring his allegiance to the Templar Order.|
Shay Patrick Cormac (c. 1731 – unknown) was a member of the Templar Order, operating around the Atlantic Ocean during the Seven Years' War.
He is the main protagonist of the Assassin's Creed game, Assassin's Creed: Rogue. and one of two the bigger bads along with Jacques de Molay in Assassin's Creed: Unity. Unlike many other Templars in the franchise, who did heroic things for evil reasons, Shay was generally more heroic than a typical Templar, as an anti-villain; either way, his motives make him not as evil as this wiki would lead you to suggest.
Formerly a member of the Assassin Brotherhood, Shay devoted his Templar career to hunting down his old associates. Aboard his ship, the Morrigan, Shay's travels brought him to New York and the Appalachian Mountains, among other locations.
He is voiced by Steven Piovesan.
Shay Cormac was born sometime around 1731 in New York City, to a family of Irish immigrants. Living in a rougher part of the city, Shay had a knach for getting himself into trouble, and was constantly protected by his closest friend, Liam O'Brien. When he grew older, Shay enlisted in the British Army, but left sometime after his father died at sea in 1748.
Shattered and desolate, Shay was helped once again by Liam, who managed to get his friend back on his feet. Later that year, Liam introduced Shay to his Mentor, Achilles Davenport, and Shay joined the Brotherhood not long after.
Over the next four years, Shay devoted himself to the Colonial Assassins, serving dutifully. However, he still pondered the ambiguous areas between the motives of the Assassins and those of the Templars, their sworn enemies.
In 1752, while on a mission in the North Atlantic, Shay and Liam met with their comrade, Louis-Joseph Gaultier, Chevalier de la Vérendrye, who was supposed to meet with smugglers carrying valuable cargo. When the smugglers were intercepted and captured by the British, Shay infiltrated the smugglers' camp, eliminated the British guards, and commandeered the ship the soldiers had come on, a sloop-of-war named the Morrigan.
Tracking the artifacts
Soon after, Shay and Liam returned to the Davenport Homestead, headquarters of the Colonial Assassins, and witnessed the arrival of the legendary Assassin Adéwalé. While the former pirate met with Achilles, Shay furthered his training under the guidance of Liam, Hope Jensen, and Kesegowaase, before meeting with Achilles to recieve his mission: to track and acquire two mysterious First Civilization artifacts, known as the Precursor Box and the Manuscript.
After meeting with La Vérendrye and his informant Le Chasseur, Shay first traveled to Mount Vernon, home of Lawrence and George Washington, to intercept a package arriving for Lawrence. After infiltrating the grounds of the manor, and stealing a custom-made air rifle in the process, Shay witnessed a meeting between Lawrence and three other men: Samuel Smith, James Wardrop, and Jack Weeks. Lawrence assigned Smith and Wardrop to guard the Box and Manuscript, respectively, before dismissing them. As Lawrence walked the grounds of his home in the midst of a garden party, Shay managed to kill him and escape.
A few months later, Shay tracked down Samuel Smith at sea, who attempted to escape with the Box in his possession. Although Smith's schooner led the Morrigan into a skirmish and even dropped flaming oil onto the waves, Shay gave chase and eventually assassinated Smith on the island of Terra Nova, claiming the Box for the Assassins.
Two years later, in 1754, as tensions between the French and British escalated to the brink of war, Shay traveled to Albany, New York, to eliminate James Wardrop. After observing William Johnson and Benjamin Franklin at the Albany Congress, Shay went on to find and assassinate Wardrop and retrieve the Manuscript, disregarding Wardrop's claims that he was endangering the world.
With both artifacts in his possession, Shay and Hope enlisted the aid of Franklin to activate the devices. After helping Franklin set up a lighting-to-battery assembly, Shay watched as the electricity in Franklin's machine powered the Box. A projection of the world appeared, with a shimmering light over the site of a First Civilization temple in Lisbon, Portugal. Relaying this information back to Achilles, Shay was tasked with the mission to travel to Lisbon, investigate the temple, and bring back whatever Piece of Eden he could find inside.
Disaster in Lisbon
Arriving in Europe in 1755, Shay set out for the Feast of the Saints Cathedral in the heart of Lisbon. As the priest conducted Mass inside, Shay climbed around the ceiling of the structure and was able to reveal the entrance to the temple below.
Shay approached the Piece of Eden within - a shining, star-shaped artifact suspended above a pedestal - and removed it from its place. However, the removal of the Piece triggered a massive earthquake throughout the city. As Shay emerged from the temple, he climbed and ran his way through the collapsing city as civilians died and buildings fell around him. Moving quickly, Shay was able to make his escape and jump into the sea. He then swam to his ship and sailed for the Colonies.
Arriving back at the Homestead, Shay stormed into the manor and accused Achilles of sending him on the mission while knowing the danger that taking the Piece could cause. Although Achilles insisted he knew nothing about the possibility of triggering an earthquake, Shay maintained that the same thing had happened in Port-au-Prince three years ago, and that he had slaughtered hundreds of innocents on Achilles' command.
Refusing to serve under a man who could tolerate the massive destruction and loss of life, Shay resolved to steal the Manuscript to prevent other cities from meeting the same fate. Sneaking into the manor that night, Shay took the artifact and was about to make his escape before he was confronted by Achilles. When the Mentor tried to stop his student, the two struggled, and Shay leapt through a broken window. With the Assassins hunting him across the Homestead, Shay made his way to a cliff overlooking the bay before he was stopped by the rest of the Brotherhood. As he attempted to leap into the water below, Liam fired and shot his friend in the shoulder. Shay fell to the rocks below, and the Assassins believed him lost to the sea.
Meeting the Templars
Some weeks later, Shay awoke in a manor in New York City, where he was being cared for by Barry and Cassidy Finnegan. When the Finnegan's home was attacked by members of a local gang, Shay came to their rescue and drove the bandits out. Before he went to finish off the gang, Cassidy handed him the robes that once belonged to their son, while Barry returned Shay's weapons to him. Armed once more, Shay caught one of the gang's members and learned the location of their hideout.
Infiltrating the compound, Shay cut down their flag and killed their leader, driving them out of the neighborhood and giving control back to the British. He was then approached by George Monro, a Colonel in the British Army who was friends with the Finnegan family. Walking the streets with the officer, Shay caught a brief glimpse into Templar philosophy through Monro's words. The two met up once more at the Finnegan home and discussed their next move to eliminate the gang from the area. Monro directed Shay to stop the execution of Christopher Gist, one of Monro's allies that the gang had captured and planned to hang shortly. Shay managed to halt the execution and kill the gang members present, saving Gist's life.
When he noticed the ship being used by the gang, Shay was stunned to realize that it was none other than the Morrigan. Gist suggested taking it back, and showed Shay how to eliminate the last gang members in the area. Gist then gathered his allies in the neighborhood to crew the Morrigan and asked to be Shay's first mate, an offer the young man readily accepted. The two then set sail, headed for Albany to complete another task for Monro.
Siege of Fort William Henry
Roughy a year after his escape from the Assassins, Shay entered the cabin of the Morrigan and discovered a strange letter and package. Opening it, he found the Manuscript inside. Shay then read the letter, written by Colonel Monro, and discovered the officer's full involvement in his rescue and recuperation. It had been Monro's men who had found Shay after his fall into the ocean, and then taken him to the Finnegans' home to heal.
Reading on, Shay learned of Monro's assignment to Fort William Henry and the dire conditions the Colonel faced in Albany. A French-native alliance threatened the safety of the fort, and William Johnson's reinforcements had never arrived to assist Monro's troops. Suspecting the Assassin Kesegowaase to be involved in the alliance, set sail for Monro's position. Instead, he found Jack Weeks, who had been waiting for Johnson's reinforcements at the shore. Weeks then pointed Shay in the direction of Monro's division, patrolling in the wilderness.
Fighting off French troops and Assassin stalkers, Shay met the Colonel and escorted him to the safety of the Morrigan. As the ship cast off, Kesegowaase appeared on shore, enraged that Shay had survived and allied himself with the Templars. Before the Assassin could leap onto the Morrigan's deck, the crew threw a barrel of gunpowder onto the dock, where it exploded and scarred Kesegowaase's face.
Having saved Monro, Shay turned his attention to their allies - Johnson's regiment, beset by French forces; and the Oneida tribe, whose village had been attacked and captured by Assassin thugs. Wasting little time, Shay quickly managed to assist both parties, strengthening Monro's army. With his numbers bolstered, the Colonel traveled to Albany and returned to Fort William Henry, anticipating the coming French-Indian attack.
Some time later, Shay sailed to Albany, finding the city in the midst of a French seige. With French troops and Assassin soldiers burning and raiding buildings around him, Shay reached the fort as Monro fought off a wave of attackers. Seeing Kesegowaase among the warriors, Shay chased and dueled his former Brother, eventually cutting him down with a mounted Puckle gun.
As Kesegowaase died, he scorned Shay's newfound place with the Templars, commenting that they would fail in time, and that Monro was already as good as dead. When Shay demanded answers, Kesegowaase merely uttered "Liam", before collapsing.
Fearing the worst, Shay sprinted across town to the docks, finding a house nearby engulfed in flames. After Monro's soldiers told Shay that their commander was inside, Shay ran into the burning building and carried Monro outside. However, he was too late: Monro had been mortally wounded by Liam, and the Manuscript, which Shay had given to him shortly beforehand, had been stolen. In his final moments, he removed hisTemplar ring and entrusted it to Shay before succumbing to his wounds.
Later, Shay was indoctrinated into the Colonial Rite of the Templar Order before Grand Master Haytham Kenway and other Templars, including Gist and Charles Lee.
Battle of Louisbourg
Shay travelled to the North Atlantic to meet up with Templar ally James Cook and granted command of his man'o'war, the HMS Pembroke. In the subsequently engagement against the French Navy, the Templars spotted the Experto Crede, Adewale's ship. Shay followed Gist's advice to focus on the fireships instead, allowing the Experto Crede to flee.
Hunting the Colonial Assassins
With Adewale have become a nuisance, the Templars decided to hunt him down. With Haytham accompanying him, Shay tracked the Assassin veteran to Vieille Carrière and managed to ground his ship. While Haytham distracted Adewale, Shay stealthily moved about and assassinated him. With his dying breath, Adewale labelled Shay a monster.
Shay later traveled to New York and overheard Achilles and his inner circle talking about replicating the Franklin experiment on the Precursor box. Realizing he had to stop his former comrades, Shay worked with Jack Weeks to break Hope's control over the city's organized crime. To that end, they stole criminal uniforms and staged a heist against a military base, to give the British cause to fight back against the criminals. He later rendezvoused with Haytham, who had managed to ascertain Hope's location.
Shay managed to infiltrate Hope's mansion and bore witness to her success with the Precursor box, prompting Liam to depart to tell Chevalier of the next Precursor site. As soon as Liam was out of the room, Hope detected Shay and shot out the overhead window. She then released poison gas into the room, but Shay is able to avoid the gases and escape the warehouse. However, Hope shot him with a poison dart that slowly his heartbeat until he kept moving. Shay chased after Hope and managed to assassinate her and take the antidote from her body. As he expressed remorse at having killed her, Hope revealed that she bought Chevalier time to escape and lamented that what she previously told him of having great potential.
Shay took the Morrigan to the North Atlantic, where he met up with Cook once more to inquire about Chevalier's whereabouts. At Cook's suggestion, Shay infiltrated Anticosti fort and stole Chevalier's maps to figure out where he was headed before racing back to the Morrigan when the patrol ships were discovered. Bringing the maps to Cook, the Captain was able to decipher them, pointing them to Chevalier's location. Sailing into a snow storm, Chevalier's fleet ambushed the Morrigan, but the Morrigan was able to fight them off. Shay then boarded the Gerfaut and assassinated Chevalier, only to learn that Chevalier was the decoy for Achilles and Liam to reach the Precursor site.
Shay met up with Haytham and together they arrived at the Precursor site in the middle of a frozen wasteland. As they navigated through the ice caves past the Assassins, an ice bridge collapse separated the two, forcing Haytham to find another way around. After evading the Assassins and the temple's energy fields, they arrive at the center, where Achilles and Liam had discovered that Shay was right about the sites all along. However, Liam still condemns Shay for betraying the Brotherhood, to which he retorts that he was the one who shot him in the back. Liam corrected that it was chevalier who shot him back at the Homestead, and attempts to draw his gun, only for Achilles to try and stop him, accidentally disturbing the site and triggering and earthquake. Shay then pursued a fleeing Liam while Haytham went after Achilles.
Eventually, as the former brothers-in-arms fought each other, the precipice gave way, causing them to fall. Shay survived the fall, whereas Liam was mortally wounded. With his dying breath, Liam again condemns Shay for betraying the Assassins and siding with the Templars. Shay justified that it was all to save the world as Liam ponders if he's right. Shay then recovered the manuscript from his body.
Shay then came upon Haytham besting Achilles and stops the Grand Master from executing the Mentor, stating that Achilles now know the danger of the Precursor sites and with him alive, the Assassins will call of the search. Haytham saw the light in his reasoning and spared Achilles, but not before shooting the Assassin in the right shin, permanently crippling him.
While the Colonial Rite took on the task of purging the remaining Brotherhood, Shay was assigned to track down the Precursor box, though he admitted to Haytham that it may take years to accomplish it.
Journey to France
In 1776, Shay was present in Paris, France, following the information about the Precursor box being in possession of a French Assassin, Charles Dorian. Shay assisted Benjamin Franklin, who was in France as an ambassador to the French royal court, in escaping from a group of criminals. As a token of gratitude, Franklin provided the means for Shay to enter the Palace of Versailles, although he was unaware of the Templar's true mission, as Shay merely stated he was meeting a business associate.
Having infiltrated the palace, Shay located Charles and uses his Hidden Blade and stabs him, recovering the Precursor box in the process. Charles remarked that Connor's Assassins would avenge him, and that the American Revolutionary War had thwarted the Templar plans in the New World. Shay suggested that the Templars would stage a revolution (the French Revolution) of their own to restore balance. He leaves in a hurry when people notice Charles on the floor dying. He later spent his remaining years in locating other artifacts and supporting the Templar Order throughout the world. He later married in an unknown point of his life where he trained both his son and grandson by the skills of the Assassins as Hunters and the ways of the Templars. Shay remained a Templar to his death and his grandson, Cudgel Cormac, soon continued Shay's legacy in protecting the Templar Order during the American Civil War.
Personality and characteristics
Shay was originally a brash young man. He did not take his role as an Assassin seriously, instead being frivolous; not because he did not believe in the cause, but because he was young and unwise. However, after a traumatic event, Shay became a somber, dedicated character. He rethought his whole philosophy and his allegiance to the Assassins, realizing that the Templars' goals and methods were more in line with his own beliefs; this further caused him to pursue his former brothers-in-arms for something he believed was the better path.
However, as evil and Templar-like as he may seem, Shay has been far more heroic than other Templars; unlike most Templars who act like anti-heroes on occasion (do heroic things for selfish reason), Shay is more an anti-villain (who does evil things for heroic and honourable reasons), but not as anti-heroic as his fellow Templars. As an example, he saves the Finnegan couple despite being wounded and in bandages by beating up Assassin gangsters and got revenge by taking out an Assassin in New York City and giving his property to the British guards. He also showed less focus on revenge than most other betrayed Villain Protagonists like Kratos from God of War and its sequels and James Heller from Prototype 2; his general focus is to save the world from Achilles Davenport and fellow Assassins who obey him. He also saved several shops and towns around the Thirteen Colonies from gangsters loyal to the Assassins and then donating to the shops so they can rebuild, beneficial to him and the victims (Shay would be paid as the landlord).
When confronting major Assassin leaders in the Colonies right before their imminent deaths, he was saddened to have to kill them, but he would do anything to stop Achilles and his followers from shaking the earth until nothing is left. Also, his duty to stop Achilles was leading him to find that he didn't really have the Templars' motives to rule the world, nor did he have any joy in seeing what the Assassins would do if he wasn't there to stop them.
Equipment and skills
- Peak-Human Condition: Due to rigorous training and dieting, he has peak physical strength, reflexes, agility, speed, recovery rate and endurance.
- High Endurance: His endurance was so strong that even Hope Jensen commented him on his remarkable endurance. He was able to endure being poisoned for far longer than a normal Assassin. He even survived being shot in the back and falling off great heights and into the icy waters without dying. He even recovered from such physical trauma in a few months. He even fought bandits, who had invaded the Finnegan's House, in his hospitalized condition and in a certain amount of physical pain.
- Eagle Vision: Due to his part Isu heritage, he has their sixth sense or also called Eagle Vision.
- Athletic Skills: Due to his assassin training, he was a very capable freerunner.
- Sailing Skills: Shay appeared to be a skilled captain, adept at navigating the Morrigan through the icy waters of the North Atlantic.
- Combat Skills: Shay was also shown to be a skilled swordsman, dual-wielding weapons with great efficiency.
- Weaponry: Among his arsenal of weapons, Shay counted his Hidden Blade, a long sword paired with a dagger, a grenade launcher and an air rifle – the latter pair being prototypes funded by the Templar Order.
- Shay's name is the anglicized form of the Gaelic Séaghdha, which means "hawk". His middle name comes from the Latin Patricius, meaning "nobleman". His family name is a conjoined term; mac is Gaelic for "son of", while cor has been interpreted as either "charioteer" or "raven".
- Shay's attire – the style worn by Templars of the time – bore similarities to the Templar armor obtained by Edward Kenway during the latter's time in the West Indies.
- Shay is the second playable Templar in the Assassin's Creed series' single player, with the first being Haytham Kenway. He is also the second Templar known to have used Eagle Vision, the first also being Haytham.
- Shay is particularly interesting for the only genuine villain in the series who wants to stop other villains from doing bad things. As such, he is perhaps the least antagonistic Templar in the series, driven by a need to help others to prevent Assassins from doing evil things (cause earthquakes in cities using First Civilization technology).
- When he was facing Charles Dorian in Versailles as he lay dying on a chair, Shay says that another revolution will commence, since his supporters in the Colonies were being picked one by one by Connor, Haytham's Assassin son, while the American Revolution was being fought back home. He of course means the French Revolution, as the assassination of Charles Dorian was a tie-in with events in Assassin's Creed: Unity set in the French Revolution. This suggests that he might have been in league with the Templar Grand Master Francois de la Serre or had an involvement in the schemes of Francois-Thomas Germain.
- In Assassin's Creed: Unity, there were errors in the assassination of Charles Dorian:
- Pierre Bellec says that there were no witnesses to his death, but in Rogue, there were many people inside the room the death happened in, so someone must've seen it happen.
- In Arno Dorian's vision from a drink he had at his induction into the Assassin Order, he sees an empty room, with a hooded man in a cape running at Charles out of nowhere with a Hidden Blade and left to die on the chair. In Rogue, Shay had come for Charles to take the Precursor Box device from him and was dressed in an upper-class outfit with no hood or cape added, even having a brief conversation where Shay took the Box from Charles, who got up while Shay walked away and died on the ground. It would make sense, however, for Arno to see a different person than Shay in his visions due to the fact he has no idea who it was who assassinated his father.
- In Assassin's Creed: Unity, child Arno and child Elise sneak to steal an apple from a table guarded by a French police officer, where they have a brief conversation, when suddenly a yell is heard coming from the room Arno was meant to be waiting in and Charles Dorian's body is seen surrounded by party guests and Francois de la Serre was present as well. In Assassin's Creed: Rogue, Shay was shown walking past Arno and Elise as Elise says "Did you see their faces on we stole those apples?", then a yell was heard in Unity about Charles dying on the floor of the palace. In Rogue, Shay stabs Charles and drops him on a chair, where they briefly talk and then Shay walks out just as Charles collapses on the ground. However, in Unity, Shay was never seen walking Arno and Elise and wasn't seen when he leaves the Palace of Versailles as Arno steps in to see his father dead. Also, the scream heard and people noticing Charles dying on the carpet are both timed incorrectly as an error towards when death happened, in Rogue and Unity.