When our game begins, Richard the Lionheart has just recaptured the port city of Acre from occupying Saracens. With a base of operations established, the Crusaders prepare to march south. Their true target is Jerusalem - which they intend to recapture in the name of the Church. However, Saladin, leader of the Saracen Army, currently rules Jerusalem. Stinging from his army's defeat at Acre, he will now allow Richard to humiliate him again. The Saracens are massing at the ruins of Fortress Arsuf, intending to ambush the Crusaders and prevent them from reaching Jerusalem.
These war maneuvers have left the rest of the Holy Land wide open. While Richard and Saladin battle one another, the men left to govern in their stead have begun taking advantage of their newfound positions of power. Exploiting, manipulation, and provocation rule the day. It is into this chaotic mess our hero now finds himself thrust. Altair is ordered to assassinate those most active in their exploitation.