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"The earth shook for days. The fires burned for weeks. And when the ash had settled, less than ten thousand of your kind still lived... and far fewer of ours. But we carried on, together. To rebuild. To renew."
―Jupiter to Desmond Miles, 2012.[src]-[m]

The Great Catastrophe, also known as the First Disaster, the Toba Catastrophe or Toba Disaster, or the First Catastrophe,[1] was a cataclysmic event during human prehistory dated to around 75,000 BCE,[2] or 2306 of the Isu Era.[3] The global devastation caused by a coronal mass ejection saw the near-total extinction of both humanity and the Isu, both of whom were involved in a military conflict at the time.

While the few surviving humans would attempt to understand and remember the events and the Isu by passing them down in filtered oral tales like the Ragnarök cycle of Norse mythology,[4] by modern times, the disaster was often misconceived to have been the eruption of a super-volcano that occurred at the same time.[5] A second, equally powerful, but ultimately less destructive coronal mass ejection took place in the year 2012 CE.

History[]

Pre-catastrophe[]

The Isu, too embroiled in their war with humanity who had risen up in a slave rebellion against their creators,[6] did not foresee the coming apocalypse until it was too late.[7] Despite this, a few scientifically-minded individuals—most notably the Capitoline Triad of Jupiter, Minerva, and Juno,[8] as well as the engineer Rah Cel'eze and his Valkyrie aide Hildr[9]—worked to find a means of either suppressing it or at least protecting future generations from predicted recurrences by researching ways of combatting the cataclysm from within underground vaults. They tested six different methods that showed the most potential, but none of them succeeded[8] due to a variety of factors such as time constraints, the amount of resources required, or coordinating efforts for any initiative.[10]

The first solution was to build four Towers to siphon the solar flare into the Grand Temple and dispel it.[10][11] While the Isu had the means and resources to accomplish it, the projected time taken was more than Earth could afford. The first tower[10] Maekinn[12] was never completed and the researchers turned elsewhere, but even after the project was abandoned, a few Isu[10] like Surtr[12] returned to make the construction process automated before the solar flare hit the Earth.[10] Although the sole tower would never have been able to protect Earth, it and the other three towers' assembly by drones over many thousands of years afterwards ensured they would be complete to provide the power necessary for the global aurora borealis device,[13] which would save the world by the time of the Second Disaster at the cost of some comparatively minor global damage from short-lived seismic and volcanic activity, electrical storms, and power blackouts.[10]

The second solution was to enhance metallic rings known as Rings of Eden,[11] Pieces of Eden that emitted a forcefield around them to repel projectiles and energy bursts. The concept was to use the principle behind the technology to create a magnetic forcefield around the Earth, but the scale of the project proved too large to construct and would have been infeasible. Still determined, the Isu tried saving portions by doing so on a reduced capacity, ranging from half the world to a tenth of it, but even building a Ring for one city would have been too costly, and so the solution was abandoned.[10]

The third solution was discovered by using the Apple of Eden[11] on humans. If enough humans were told to believe in one idea, it would take form in reality. As such, the third solution was to launch an Apple of Eden into orbit, aim it at the planet, and command all humans to have one thought, "Make us safe." This thought alone would theoretically take form and protect the Earth, but the critical issue lay in aiming the Apple in the right direction to then convey the message that the Isu wanted. After sending a dozen Apples into orbit, with the result being identical in its difficulty, the solution was abandoned.[10]

The fourth solution was to attempt traveling back in time and trying to prevent the disaster beforehand, but the means to do so could not be found and it was abandoned. Instead, Isu used the Nexus to look forward in time and see what was to come. They used it to see if various methods could succeed, but as every result was the same, prognostication was set aside to redirect focus on new methods. However, Minerva did not abandon this study and continued seeing into the future.[10][11] She discovered through divinations that there was a pattern of numbers and equations to existence that could tame time itself if understood correctly, leading her to create the Eye to aid in calculating them in the hopes of preventing the disaster.[10]

Minerva continued testing the Eye until she received a reply from[11] and appeared before the Italian Assassin Ezio Auditore inside the Vatican Vault in the distant future on 28 December 1499 CE. In their brief conversation, she delivered a message warning him and his descendant Desmond Miles—who was reliving Ezio's memories—about the impeding solar flare and hoped Desmond would understand, seek the Grand Temple, and prevent a disaster of the same magnitude that was projected to reoccur in 2012 CE.[7]

The theoretical solutions then pivoted to focus on matters of the body; in this vein, the fifth solution was to physically enhance the Isu externally.[11] The idea behind it would compose of transforming their bodies into something better able to withstand a hostile environment. Juno's husband Aita volunteered to test the method. Although his body survived, his mind became brittle; within an instant, his mind degenerated and he became increasingly catatonic, made "a prisoner of the machines". With enough will, Aita wished for Juno to euthanize him, and she fulfilled it.[14][15] The solution was abandoned and the researchers continued on similar matters.[10]

Following on from its predecessor, the sixth solution was to create entirely new vessels that could safely house the consciousness.[11] With this in mind, the new vessels would be able to withstand the new environment, but the ability to transfer the consciousness into and out of the vessel could not be developed properly, requiring an unspecified "wrong" element to leave, and so this idea was also abandoned even though Juno wondered if it was foolish to give up early.[10]

Seeing that humanity would survive and thrive while the Isu die out, a seventh solution was created to allow the Isu's essence to be "remembered" and grant a form of rebirth through the human survivors. Through the use of a catalyst later remembered in Norse myth only as "the mead" and the powerful supercomputer Yggdrasil to store and preserve a being's consciousness by manipulating the human genome, the method would save Isu from the Catastrophe by a randomly-activated hidden trigger which would alter an individual's genetic make-up, slowly imbuing them with a chosen's Isu DNA and, with it, their memories, and changing the humans physically as a result. It was through this method that the Æsir were able to be reborn through history,[16] and how Juno created Sages from her late husband's genetic sequence.[15] However, due to the process of merging surfacing memories leading to most Sages to be driven mad,[17] other Isu grew concerned and feared that it would change humanity to the worse, so it was locked away and abandoned.[18]

Eventually, Minerva[10] and Jupiter[19] learned that Juno had tampered with the Eye to send Desmond a message for her own ends.[20] Furious at the sabotage and attempted rebellion, the two Isu attacked and killed Juno and her allies in the Grand Temple.[19] After Jupiter sent Desmond yet a third message,[8] he and Minerva destroyed the divination sphere and sealed the dead in the Grand Temple,[19] though they were unaware that Juno had in fact survived and transferred her consciousness into the Temple's walls, allowing her to exist unharmed when the Catastrophe struck.[10]

Disaster and aftermath[]

The coronal mass ejection hit the Earth just as predicted,[8] flipping Earth's magnetic field polarity and exposing the planet to the Sun's deadly radiation.[21] The entire planet burned for weeks afterward, and earthquakes and catastrophic blazes ravaged what remained of Earth. The surface was rendered barren, and less than ten thousand humans and "far fewer" members of the Isu survived the catastrophe. In order to recover from the event, the remaining Isu and humans ended their war and began to work together to restore life to the planet.[8] Minerva spent the next few centuries wandering the ravaged Earth with what few Isu remained teaching what they could to the surviving humans to help reignite the spark of civilization, but despite humanity's misconceptions about the Isu, they were not immortal.[10]

Before she died, Minerva looked into the future one last time with a second Eye she had created to see if they had succeeded in preventing the Second Disaster. She saw that Juno had deceived them and lived, and was still manipulating Desmond, this time into freeing her through the same method meant to save the world.[10] Because their numbers were too few, the Isu failed to survive long as an independent species. Humans, on the other hand, who had been built by the Isu with robust constitutions ideal for hard labor, successfully managed to reconstruct their society and flourished.[7] Over time, the reshaping of the Earth's landscape and geography would eliminate nearly all physical evidence of the Isu.[22]

Gallery[]

Appearances[]

References[]

  1. Assassin's Creed: The Essential Guide
  2. Assassin's Creed: Initiates – Timeline
  3. Assassin's Creed: SyndicateHopton's
  4. Assassin's Creed ValhallaView Above All
  5. Assassin's Creed: RevelationsAbstergo Files: "File.0.18\FC_Apocalypses"
  6. Assassin's Creed: Revelations – Abstergo Files: "File.0.14\FC_Origin"
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Assassin's Creed IIIn Bocca al Lupo
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Assassin's Creed: RevelationsModern day
  9. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaFloating conversations: Tombs of the Fallen
  10. 10.00 10.01 10.02 10.03 10.04 10.05 10.06 10.07 10.08 10.09 10.10 10.11 10.12 10.13 10.14 10.15 Assassin's Creed III – Modern day
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaA Feast to Remember
  12. 12.0 12.1 Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Dawn of Ragnarök
  13. Assassin's Creed III: Official Game Guide: "Analysis & Speculation", pg. 312
  14. Assassin's Creed IV: Black FlagThom Kavanagh's letters: Letter 13
  15. 15.0 15.1 Assassin's Creed IV: Black FlagThom Kavanagh's letters: Letter 20
  16. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaAnimus Anomalies
  17. Assassin's Creed: Uprising [citation needed]
  18. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaThe Price of Wisdom
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Assassin's Creed III: Official Game Guide: "Analysis and Speculation", pg. 308
  20. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood – Modern day
  21. Assassin's Creed III: Official Game Guide: "The Story So Far", pg. 30
  22. Assassin's Creed: Revelations Official Game Guide

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