What Are The ISU?
The Isu are an ancient and highly-advanced species of humanoid beings who were active on Earth during the eponymous era several millennia before the rise of even the most ancient human civilizations. The Isu are responsible for the creation of the Pieces of Eden, powerful artifacts and weapons that augmented their already superhuman abilities, as well as forming the human race itself.
Due to their long and storied history, and the legacy that their existence left, the Isu, as a species, were known by various names to humanity. Classified Homosapiens divinus by Abstergo Industries, they were also interchangeably referred to as Those Who Came Before, the First Civilization, or the Precursors.
The Anglo-Saxon branch of the Order of the Ancients compared the Isu to the Archons in Gnostic religion or Nephilim from the Biblical mythos. Beyond this, certain groups of Isu, such as the Capitoline Triad, the Æsir, and the Isu Authoriity in Eden, were believed by most human religions to be a part of a pantheon of gods.
Their history shrouded in mystery, the Isu ruled over Earth roughly 77,000 years ago, before they were largely wiped out, alongside their human creations, during the Great Catastrophe. By that point, the Isu had been in a decade long war with a human rebellion led by two hybrids, Adam and Eve, who sought to free humanity from servitude to their “gods”.
Following the Great Catastrophe, the Isu population rapidly declined to the point of near extinction within the century, but their legacy would live on for thousands of years through myth and legend, becoming the focal point of many human religions, whether polytheistic or monotheistic.
Further still, those Pieces of Eden that survive the Great Catastrophe also influenced early man’s development and eventually became a pivotal desire for both the Templar Order and the Brotherhood of Assassins, who waged a war of their own for control of the Pieces, and by extension humanity’s future.
Tensions between different Isu factions result in a war that humans would later turn into the legend of the Æsir-Jötnar war.
Phanes, a scientist belonging to the ancient Isu, started a project to create humanity as a resilient but subservient slave species. Phanes, however, fell in love with a human, who gave birth to a hybrid known as Eve.
In an attempt to save the Earth from a “Great Catastrophe,” Isu scientist Aita experiments on himself, destroying his body. His wife Juno preserves Aita’s genetic material and creates Sages, human vessels that would serve as Aita’s reincarnations over the millennia.
Eve, together with Adam, discovered they were immune to the human-controlling effects of Isu devices known as Pieces of Eden. Knowing this, they stole a Piece of Eden and escaped the Isu city of Eden, which kickstarted a rebellion that later became a full-blown war between Isu and humans.
Knowing most of humanity and the Isu would be destroyed by a solar flare, Isu scientists Minerva, Juno, and Jupiter (also known as the Jötnar by Vikings) attempt to find a way to save everyone. After six failed attempts, Minerva creates a device called the Eye in order to preserve a message so that a future human could protect the Earth from a second catastrophe in 2012 CE. In secret, Juno tampered with the Eye to give her absolute power.
Right before the catastrophe, the Æsir (including Odin, Thor, and other Norse gods) have their consciousness uploaded into the Isu supercomputer Yggdrasil in order to be reincarnated in the future.
As predicted, Earth is hit by a huge solar flare that kills most of humanity and the Isu.
In order to rebuild the world, the remaining Isu and humans decide to work together. The Isu share their technology with humans, allowing them to do incredible feats, which eventually become the basis for many mythologies and religions – like Hercules being an actual hero or the aforementioned Æsir. Eventually, the Isu still became extinct.
Pharaoh Smenkhkare founds the Order of the Ancients to obtain and exploit the knowledge and power of the Isu artifacts.
Using the powers of a Staff of Eden, Moses parts the Red Sea.
5th Century BCE (Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Timeline)
Pythagoras establishes a religious movement that would become known as the Cult of Hermes. Pythagoras would meet the Isu known as Hermes and become the guardian of a piece of Eden that would make him immortal.
Battle of Thermopylae. Leonidas is killed.
Darius, who would later be considered the first Assassin, kills King Xerxes I of Persia with the first recorded use of the Hidden Blade.
Kassandra / Alexios is born. (Whoever you choose is the protagonist of Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey.)
The Cult of Kosmos, a splinter-group from the Cult of Hermes that hopes to rule all the Greek world, tricks the Oracle of Delphi into prophesying that one of the grandchildren of King Leonidas (either Alexios or Kassandra) would bring the fall of Sparta, resulting in the presumed death of both kids, with one of them being raised in secret by the Cult.
431 BCE (Events of Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey):
The Peloponnesian War between the Greek states of Athens and Sparta begins – secretly organized by the Cult of Kosmos
Kassandra (or Alexios), the grandchild of King Leonidas, using a piece of Eden (ancient Isu artifact) called the Spear of Leonidas, gets involved in the Peloponnesian War by becoming a mercenary called Misthios.
The Misthios ends up destroying the Cult of Kosmos.
During this time, the Misthios also discovers the hidden city of Atlantis, where he or she meets the Isu Aletheia (whose consciousness lives within the Isu artifact Staff of Hermes) and is given the Staff in order to live forever and serve as a Keeper of Memories of all the Isu.
1st Century BCE (Assassin’s Creed: Origins Timeline)
Bayek of Siwa is born, who serves as the protagonist of Assassin’s Creed: Origins
Members of the Order of the Ancients abduct and kill Khemu, son of Bayek, in an attempt to find out more about the Isu vault located in Siwa, Egypt – and sending Bayek on a quest for vengeance. His quest takes him all over Egypt.
Bayek and his wife Aya become allies of Cleopatra and aid her in her own quest to take back control from her brother Ptolemy XIII (who is being aided by the Order).
Cleopatra gifts Aya the Hidden Blade her ancestor Darius used to assassinate Xerxes I.
Aya and Bayek start taking each of the Order’s members down; Cleopatra betrays them to ally herself with Order of the Ancients member Gaius Julius Caesar and becomes ruler of Egypt.
Bayek and Aya realize their mistake in supporting Cleopatra and decide to found the Hidden Ones, a Brotherhood meant to counter the Order and defend the common people’s free will.
MARCH 15: Aya and Hidden Ones members Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus assassinate Julius Caesar.
August 12: Aya, now calling herself Amunet, persuades Cleopatra to take her own life. The legend would be passed down that Amunet killed Cleopatra with an asp.
1st Century (CE)
John the Baptist uses a Staff of Eden to persuade or control people into following him. The Staff would then become a key artifact in Christianity after St. Peter uses it to become the first Pope.
Jesus Christ is crucified by the Order of the Ancients, but comes back to life by using the healing powers of a Shroud of Eden.
Attila becomes leader of the Hunnic Empire by using a Sword of Eden to become feared across Europe.
9th Century (Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Timeline)
Eivor (either Varinsdottir or Varinsson) is born in Rygjafylke, Norway.
Eivor witnesses the death of their father, Varin, which would embark Eivor in a quest for vengeance that results in them becoming a member of the Raven Clan.
After meeting members of the Hidden Ones, Basim Ibn Ishaq, Eivor receives a Hidden Blade. Basim advises Eivor and their brother Sigurd to take their Clan and leave Norway for England. While getting the support of the Sons of Ragnar, Eivor gets involved in the war between the Order of the Ancients and the Hidden Ones, and helps eliminate the Order’s presence in England.
Eivor successfully wipes out the Order of the Ancients with the help of an informant who refers to himself as “A Poor Fellow-Soldier of Christ.” In reality, this is King Alfred the Great – King of Wessex and also Grand Maegester of the Order of the Ancients. He believed the Order was defiling Christianity and sought to create a new order to replace it, eventually creating the Templar Order.
Eivor and Sigurd travel to Norway where they discover a mechanical device that lets them enter a simulation of what they consider Valhalla. When they exit, they are attacked by Basim, who is revealed to be the reincarnation of the god Loki, seeking revenge upon Sigurd and Eivor, who are actually Tyr and Odin reincarnate.
Sigurd and Eivor defeat Basim and imprison him in the Valhalla simulation.
Eivor leaves Norway behind and heads for Vinland, where they die at an unknown date.
Under the leadership of Hassan-i Sabbāh, the Hidden Ones are refounded as the Brotherhood of Assassins.
An army of Crusaders captures the city of Jerusalem, marking the end of the First Crusade.
12th Century (Assassin’s Creed Timeline)
The Order of the Knights Templar is publicly recognized and Hughes de Payens becomes the first public Grand Master.
Born to Assassin parents and trained from birth, Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad witnesses his father being executed by the Saracens in retribution for killing a nobleman.
Altaïr is elevated to the rank of Master Assassin after saving the life of fellow Assassin, Al Mualim, who then sends Altaïr on a quest to kill many members of the Templar Order.
Upon failing to retrieve an Apple of Eden from the Templars, Altaïr is demoted within the Assassin Brotherhood. Altaïr then discovers Al Mualim was a Templar collaborator and wanted to use an Apple of Eden to make his followers worship him.
Altaïr succeeds Al Mualim as leader of the Assassins and dedicates the rest of his life to discovering the secrets of the Apple of Eden while spreading the Assassin Order across the world.
Altaïr’s son, Darim, kills Mongol Emperor Ghengis Khan after spending years tracking and following him.
Altaïr locks himself up in a vault in Masyaf containing the knowledge he had gained from the Apple. He eventually dies at age 92.
Marco Polo’s father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo, establish an Assassins Guild in Constantinople under the guidance of Altaïr.
An Advisor to Templar Grand Master, Jacques de Molay, hides a Sword of Eden in a temple below Paris.
Jacques de Molay is burned at the stake and the Templar Order is publicly disbanded.
Assassin Dante Alighieri is killed by Templars, revealing their existence to the Assassin Brotherhood.
15th Century (Assassin’s Creed II Timeline)
Jeanne d’Arc is saved from execution by the Assassin Brotherhood. A decoy is burned at the stake instead.
June 24 – Ezio Auditore da Firenze is born in Florence.
Vlad Tepes (also known as Vlad Dracula), a Templar, is killed by Ottoman Assassin leader Ishak Pasha.
Ezio’s father and brothers are executed on false accusations of treason by a Templar.
Like all his predecessors, Ezio embarks on a journey of revenge as he kills the men responsible for the death of his family, and takes up the Assassin mantle to do so.
Ezio’s friend, Leonardo Da Vinci, helps make tools and weapons for Ezio, who also saves Christopher Columbus from a Templar attack.
Columbus is trusted with an Apple of Eden, and carries it with him to the New World.
Rodrigo Borgia is elected the new Pope after purchasing votes and gains control of the Staff of Eden.
Ezio steals an Apple of Eden from a Borgia soldier, and beats the Pope with his bare fists, taking his Papal Staff (secretly a Staff of Eden).
Ezio uses the Apple and Staff to open a vault beneath the Vatican and talks to a hologram of Minerva, who warns of a second calamity and gave instructions of how to prevent it. Except Minerva was not talking to Ezio but rather to one of his descendants centuries into the future.
16th Century (Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood & Revelations Timelines)
After a vicious attack by the Borgias, Ezio allies himself with the leader of the Italian Assassins, Niccolò Machiavelli, and sets out to destroy the Borgias once and for all. He locks his Apple of Eden in an Isu vault beneath the Colosseum, and sets out to find out more about the Isu.
Ezio travels to Masyaf to find Altaïr’s secret library, where he discovers there are no books inside, only the body of Altaïr and an Isu device that stores memories.
While in the library, Ezio uses Altaïr’s Apple of Eden to communicate with Desmond, a future descendent, and encourages Desmond to make his life’s work and suffering worth it.
Removing his sword and Hidden Blade, Ezio retires from being an Assassin.
Ezio dies at age 65 in his home in Florence.
March 10: Edward Kenway was born in Swansea, Wales.
18th Century (Assassin’s Creed: III, Black Flag & Rogue Timelines)
Edward unknowingly kills Assassin traitor Duncan Walpole and steals his identity.
Edward Kenway stumbles into the age-old Templar/Assassin conflict.
Edward and pirate Bartholomew Roberts visit the Observatory, a mysterious Isu site that can spy on any human on Earth via a Crystal Skull and a vial of blood.
Roberts reveals he’s a Sage, a reincarnation of Aita. He then betrays Edward after taking possession of the Crystal Skull, and turns him in to the British authorities.
Former slave, Adéwalé, joins the West Indies Brotherhood of Assassins and serves as Edward Kenway’s quartermaster.
Edward decides to join the Assassins and abandon his quest for glory. He then sets out to hunt Roberts.
Edward kills Roberts and takes possession of the Crystal Skull and blood vials. He then follows Roberts’ request and destroys his body so that the Templars can’t get to him and experiment on him. Finally, he entrusts the Observatory to the Assassins.
Edward returns to England with his daughter; three years later, his son, Haytham, was born.
September 12: Assassin Shay Cormac is born in New York.
Edward Kenway is killed in his house in London under the order of close friend and secret Templar, Reginald Birch.
Edward’s son, Haytham Kenway, starts a tutelage under Reginald Birch on his mother’s request.
Adéwalé joins the Maroon rebellion in Saint-Domingue and helps free the colony’s slaves.
Haytham is formally inducted into the Templar Order, where he soon rises through the ranks to become Grand Master.
Haytham assassinates the leader of the British Brotherhood of Assassins and steals the key to the Isu Grand Temple.
Now in control of the key, Haytham is sent to Boston to take over the Colonial Templars and find the Grand Temple. He recruits William Johnson, Thomas Hickey, and his eventual successor, Charles Lee.
Haytham forms an alliance with a Kanien’kehá:ka woman named Kaniehtí:io.
Shay Cormac, with the help of Benjamin Franklin, uses an Isu artifact that displays a holographic map of the world and highlights Temples in Port-au-Prince, Lisbon, and the Arctic.
Mentor of the Colonial Assassins, Achilles Davenport, sends Shay to Lisbon, thinking an Isu temple contained an Apple of Eden. Accessing the temple and interacting with the artifact within, Shay realized it was not an Apple but a device that triggered a massive earthquake that destroyed Lisbon and killed thousands.
With his faith in the Brotherhood shattered, and believing Achilles purposely sent him to slaughter thousands of innocents, Shay decides to stop the Assassins from finding more temples.
April 4: Ratonhnhaké:ton, later known by the adopted name of Connor, is born to Kaniehtí:io and Haytham, who isn’t aware of Connor’s existence.
Shay Cormac starts working with the Templars to stop the Assassins from finding more Isu temples.
Shay is inducted into the Templar Order after the Siege of Fort William Henry, and starts hunting down the Colonial Assassins together with Haytham.
Adéwalé is killed by Shay Cormac.
The Isu temple in the Arctic causes an earthquake due to a disturbance during a confrontation between Shay, Haytham, and Assassins Achilles and Liam O’Brien. The earthquake results in Liam’s death, and Achilles being crippled and left for dead.
During the French and Indian War, George Washington orders Kaniehtí:io’s village to be set aflame, killing Kaniehtí:io and most of the villagers.
Ratonhnhaké:ton survived because he was just outside the village, where he was assaulted by Templars, led by Charles Lee. This leads to Ratonhnhaké:ton blaming the Templars for the death of his village and swearing to take revenge.
A great purge effectively destroys the Colonial Assassin Brotherhood, with Achilles being the only one spared, sentenced to a life of exile.
August 26: Arno Dorian is born in Versailles, France.
Achilles takes Ratonhnhaké:ton, calling himself Connor, under his tutelage and trains him as an Assassin, after Connor received a vision from the Isu Juno that he needed to seek out the Brotherhood to protect his people.
Connor is blamed for the Boston Massacre, which was ordered by Haytham Kenway, but manages to escape with the help of Samuel Adams.
Connor aids the Sons of Liberty during the Boston Tea Party by dumping British shipments of tea into Boston’s harbor. Though the Sons of Liberty did this in defiance of British authority, Connor’s incentive was to disrupt William Johnson’s purchase of indigenous land in America.
Connor kills Templar member William Johnson during a business deal to purchase the lands of clans of the Iroquois Confederacy.
Connor rides with Paul Revere and the Sons of Liberty to warn of the imminent attack by the British Army.
The Continental Army is formed by Patriot colonists, and the Continental Congress appoints George Washington as Commander-in-Chief.
Eseosa, grandson of Adéwalé, rebuilds the Assassin Brotherhood in Saint-Domingue with the hope of creating a nation free of slavery. He recruits Toussaint Brédá to the Brotherhood.
Connor witnesses as the Declaration of Independence was signed. He later accompanies Washington in crossing the Delaware River.
The Assassin Charles Dorian is killed by Templar Shay Corman, who steals an Isu artifact from him.
Connor learns that Washington had ordered not one, but two attacks on his village for fear that the Kanien’kehá:ka were working with the British. He cuts ties with Washington.
Achilles dies in his homestead.
Connor aids the French Navy at the Battle of the Chesapeake, and ensures French aid for the Siege of Yorktown.
Connor uses the attack on Fort George as a cover to assassinate Charles Lee, but discovers his father Haytham had sent Lee away. Connor fights and then mortally wounds his father.
After the victory at the Siege of Yorktown, George Washington retrieves an Apple of Eden.
Connor finally finds and assassinates Charles Lee and takes the Grand Temple’s key from him.
Connor returns to his village only to find it deserted. He discovers that the newly formed Congress had sold the land to raise funds, as they wanted to avoid becoming too much like England and imposing taxes.
Feeling betrayed, Connor comes into contact with a hologram of Juno, who suggests Connor hides the Grand Temple key somewhere safe. Juno informs Connor that his task was only to hide the key away, not use it.
Washington confides in Connor about the Apple of Eden he had in his possession, and after experiencing an alternate timeline in which Washington became a dictatorial king, they both decide to drop the Apple into the ocean so no one could wield its power.
Arno Dorian is arrested for the murder of his adopted father, François de la Serre, Grand Master of the French Templars. In truth, de la Serre was killed in a Templar coup d’État by Sage François-Thomas Germain.
Arno witnesses the storming of the Bastille by the Parisian militia, kickstarting the French Revolution. Arno escapes with the Assassin Pierre Bellec and decides to become an Assassin and seek revenge for the death of both his real and adopted father.
The Haitian Revolution begins. The slaves of Saint-Domingue, led by members of the Assassin Brotherhood (including Eseosa and Toussaint) rise up and revolt against their French masters.
King Louis XVI of France is executed by guillotine in Paris, by decree of the National Assembly and with the Templars’ influence.
Napoleon retrieves an Isu temple key from the King’s hiding place.
Saint-Domingue declares all slaves in the colony to be freed men.
Arno becomes excommunicated from the Brotherhood for his past association with Templars and attempts to find peace between the two Orders.
Arno retrieves an Apple of Eden from an Isu temple in Paris and sends it to Cairo to hide it from Napoleon,
19th Century (Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate Timeline)
November 9: Twins Jacob and Evie Frye are born in Crawley, England. They are trained in the Assassin ways by their father, Ethan.
Jacob and Evie arrive in London with the intention of taking the city back from the Templar Grand Master who has control of it. They ally themselves with Charles Dickens, Alexander Graham Bell, Frederick Abberline, and Clara O’Dea.
Jacob sets out on a quest to not avenge his father this time, but to take London back from the Templars by eliminating targets instrumental to their operations. Meanwhile, Evie pursues leads to find a Shroud of Eden hidden somewhere in the city.
The twins assassinate Grand Master Crawford Starrick, stop assassination attempts on Queen Victoria, and return the Shroud to its vault beneath Buckingham Palace.
The Templar Order founds Abstergo Industries as a public front to control the world’s capitalist market.
Nikola Tesla uses the Nazi’s Apple of Eden to design a proto-Animus to locate Pieces of Eden in the past.
Mahatma Gandhi is assassinated by the Templars to retrieve the Apple of Eden he used to lead a rebellion against the British.
Assassin William Miles steals a copy of an early blueprint of the Animus.
Abstergo Industries starts the Animus Project to explore the genetic memories of subjects and discover Pieces of Eden hidden in the past. Several subjects die to due to the “bleeding effect,” wherein the memories of the subject’s ancestors blend with their own.
Layla Hassan is born in Cairo, Egypt.
March 13: Desmond Miles is born in the Assassin community “The Farm,” South Dakota.
21st Century (Present Timeline)
With the help of sleeper agent, Daniel Cross, Abstergo initiates a Great Purge to kill most Assassin groups. Those who aren’t killed go into hiding or are captured and used in the Animus Project.
Desmond runs away from home, tired of the life in hiding his parents chose for him.
Clay Kaczmarek infiltrates Abstergo under orders of Assassin William Miles (Desmond’s father).
Clay is captured and forced to become Subject 16 of the Animus Project. He discovers the true purpose of the project is to power a satellite enhanced with an Apple of Eden which would mind-control everyone on Earth and ensure a New World Order.
At this time, Clay starts suffering from the “bleeding effect,” and communicates with Juno. The ancient Isu informs Clay that he will die soon, but his purpose is to deliver a message to his eventual successor, Desmond.
Clay commits suicide inside the Animus laboratory. Before his death, he created an AI construct of himself in the Animus to show Desmond the truth of humanity and the Isu via a video of Adam and Eve escaping Eden.
Desmond Miles is kidnapped by Abstergo Industries and placed inside the Animus, where he relived the memories of his ancestor, Altaïr.
Desmond and sleeper agent Lucy Stillman escape the Abstergo Campus in Rome. After this, Desmond starts reliving memories of Ezio to obtain his Apple of Eden.
While inside Ezio’s memories, Desmond sees a vision of Minerva, who used Ezio as a vessel to communicate with Desmond and warn him of the coming doomsday.
With the help of Ezio’s memories, Desmond finds the Apple of Eden hidden under the Colosseum. Inside the Colosseum Vault, Juno takes control of Desmond’s body and stabs Lucy, realizing that she’d take the Apple back to the Templars.
With the help of William, who happens to be the new head of the Assassin order, Desmond and the others head to New York to open the Grand Temple. Inside they discover technology that could indeed stop the Second Catastrophe, but it would also release Juno – who wants to take over the world.
December 21: Desmond decides to trust humanity’s ability to resist Juno’s control, and sacrifices himself to stop the incoming solar flare from wiping out life on Earth. Juno, now released, uploads her consciousness onto the Internet.
In the comics, Desmond’s illegitimate son, Elijah, turns out to be a Sage, and works to bring Juno back to life. But ultimately Elijah decides to betray Juno, get revenge for his mother’s death, and help assassinate the Isu.
Layla escapes from Abstergo with the help of the Assassin Brotherhood.
Layla discovers the existence of Atlantis through the memories of the Greek Misthios. While inside ruins of Atlantis, Layla meets the actual Misthios, who is still alive thanks to the power of the Staff of Hermes.
The Misthios warns Layla that the Assassins and Templars must always be at war to maintain balance, and it is Layla’s job to keep that balance. After giving her the Staff of Hermes, the Misthios passes away.
Layla starts to feel the “bleeding effect” due to the powers of the Staff, and kills one of her colleagues.
An unexplained strengthening of Earth’s magnetic field has started to affect global satellite communications and even the environment itself, so much so that the Northern lights are seen all the time.
From Eivor’s memories, the present-day Assassins deduce that the strengthening magnetic field is a result of Desmond activating the Isu devices to protect Earth in 2012. The magnetic field that saved Earth eight years prior has grown too powerful.
Using the healing powers of the Staff of Hermes to protect herself from the lethal radiation within, Layla enters an Isu temple in Norway to slow down the magnetic field. But inside the temple’s simulation computer, Layla encounters Basim/Loki, who has been trapped for a millennium.
Like Juno before him, Basim instructs Layla in how to stabilize the magnetic field and save the Earth, but in turn this releases Basim – and imprisons Layla inside the machine.
Now trapped in the simulation, Layla meets The Reader, a figure heavily implied to be Desmond Miles. The Reader explains that the machine (Yggdrasil) can calculate millions of possible futures and help in preventing future catastrophes. Layla decides to stay behind in the simulation to try and find a solution to the incoming catastrophe, even though she knows the radiation will soon kill her.
Reunited with the Staff of Hermes, which contains the consciousness of his lover, Aletheia, Basim rejuvenates his body and escapes the temple. He then meets with Layla’s Assassin colleagues and requests to meet William Miles, still the leader of the Brotherhood, in order to take the fight back to the Templars.
But before it all ends, Basim swears to the bones of Eivor that he’ll use the Animus to track down his missing children.
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