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Assassin’s Creed Lore: The Origins of Man
by Jef Winant
When we see men in rags on the streets, shouting about how we are all sheep, controlled by secret factions like aliens and crab-people from the future, most of us would deem them insane. Although most of their theories are of course too farfetched to be true, the truth about who controls who might surprise you. Away from the curious eyes of historians and ancient scrolls, 2 organisations have orchestrated most of human history from the shadows, going as far as toppling empires and changing the course of fate itself. Equal in their secrecy, but worlds apart in their philosophies, the Assassin Brotherhood and the Knights Templar have vied for control since the dawn of mankind, and, as some speculate, even before that…
You’ve experienced the Assassin’s Creed series in your own way, but want to learn more about its story. Well, to get to the heart of the story, you have to go back to the beginning.
Philosophers, scientists and historians alike have always broken their head over one simple question : “where did we come from?”. Although many would argue for men in the sky, or the evolution of species, the truth is actually much simpler. Millions of years ago, before even the stone beneath our feet can remember, there were Those Who Came Before, otherwise known as the first civilization. They were highly technologically and culturally advanced, building skyscrapers that breached the atmosphere and even altering the underlying equations of the universe. Like all great civilizations, they also explored the concept of slavery, to erect their great mansions and create their devices in factories. For this, they made an entirely new species in their own image : the humans.
These humans were created with two single purposes : resilience and obedience. Using amazing contraptions called Pieces of Eden, some of which still exist today, the First civilization could control the minds of their human slaves. However, as is the fate of all slaves and their masters, they would soon rebel against their oppressors. Soon, a great revolution broke out, ignited by two humans called Adam and Eve. Aided by their superiority in numbers, the war against the First Civilization lasted hundreds of years, and made both of the factions blind to an impending catastrophe the likes of which had never been seen before.
A great solar flare eradicated most of the life on earth, until only a few of Those who Came Before and the humans were left. Ultimately, only the latter would survive. Seemingly, the fires of war weren’t yet subdued. These humans were now left in control of rebuilding an entire civilization, a task that needed leadership. Unfortunately, the diversity and adaptability of men would be their undoing, as different groups with different ideas grew secluded from each other, leaving only death in their wake.
One of these factions strived for freedom, both physical and spiritual, to ensure the progress of new ideas and technologies. These were the Assassins, a term originating from the middle ages. Throughout most of history they chose secrecy and elimination of corruption as their methods. Another group of people was devoted to ensuring that the people were controlled and oppressed, so the human race could flourish efficiently, like a beehive. These were the Templars. They work more subtly, using corruption and false ideas to instil a false sense of security and purpose in the minds of men.
These two factions would fight in the shadows for most of history with word blade, depending on what was most fitting for the situation. However, what they didn’t know, was that they were as blind as the First Civilization to their impending doom…
But that is a story for another day.
— Jef Winant