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"He who owns this diamond will own the world, but will also know all its misfortunes. Only God, or a woman can wear it with impunity."
―Hamid explaining the Koh-i-Noor's cursed legacy, 1839.[src]

The Koh-i-Noor (English: Mountain of Light),[2] or Syamantaka Mani as it was formerly known,[3][4] is a Piece of Eden in the form of a diamond that holds such an immense amount of power that it can bind all of the other Pieces' fates. It was rumored that only God or women could control its power.[3] The artifact is also capable of locating other Pieces of Eden.[5]

Owners[]

History[]

Early history[]

ACUp Juno & Koh-i-Noor

Juno using the Koh-i-Noor

During the Human-Isu War, the Koh-i-Noor belonged to Juno. When her father Saturn's human servants revolted and killed him, an enraged Juno used the artifact to burn the surrounding humans to ashes with blasts of blue energy.[11] The Isu Durga eventually took possession of the diamond and imprinted her consciousness into the artifact.[3]

Following the Great Catastrophe that rendered the Isu extinct, the Koh-i-Noor passed through the hands of many dynasties on the Indian subcontinent. In 1739, it was acquired by Nāder Shāh, the ruler of Iran, after he sacked the Taj Mahal.[3] In June 1747, a group of Assassins led by Salah Bey killed Nāder Shāh, but the Koh-i-Noor subsequently fell into the hands of Ahmad Shāh, an Afghan chief.[8]

Ottoman Empire[]

ACT Akhbar Koh-i-Noor

Akhbar using the Koh-i-Noor

By the early 19th century, the Koh-i-Noor had ended up in the possession of the Ottoman Sultan Selim III. The Black Cross Tavis Olier eventually discovered the diamond's existence and tried to recover the artifact but he disappeared and was presumed dead.[9] In 1805, Emperor Napoleon of France sent his Flemish agent Jan van der Graff to steal the Koh-i-Noor from Selim, but despite making an alliance with the new Black Cross, Solomon Bolden, van der Graff failed and was captured. Thrown into the same cell as Olier, the Flemish was trained by the old Templar during the three years they spent together in captivity until his escape in July 1808. During his escape, van der Graff stole the Koh-i-Noor from under the nose of the Libyan Assassins sent to recover the Piece of Eden.[9]

Sikh Empire[]

"Take good care of it, Ethan. It is truly unique; it would be a shame if its fate was to remain hidden in a safe."
―Arbaaz Mir to Ethan Frye, after giving him the Koh-i-Noor, 1841.[src]-[m]

Eventually, the diamond found its way back to India, into the hands of Ranjit Singh, the founder of the Sikh Empire. Wary of the artifact's curse and its power, Singh decided to hide it in an ancient temple located beneath his summer palace in Anbar. In June 1839, the Piece of Eden was stolen by the Assassin Arbaaz Mir and hidden on Raza Soora's person, who later gave it to Singh's granddaughter Pyara Kaur. As Pyara attempted to leave the palace palace after her grandfather's assassination, the princess was set upon by the British Templar Francis Cotton.[3]

Durga Koh-i-Noor

Durga appearing from the Koh-i-Noor

To defend her, Raza clawed at Cotton's forehead with his nails, giving Pyara enough time to activate the Piece of Eden. Suddenly possessed by Durga's spirit, the being gave a statement referring to humanity as "splintered", but that the race was guided through messages left behind by their own across time. Horrified at the appearance of the Isu, Cotton fired multiple shots at Durga, though upon striking the Koh-i-Noor with a bullet, the diamond shattered and severed Pyara's connection to the Isu.[3]

As Arbaaz shielded Raza from the blast, the force of the energy's release gave form to a tiger, which brutally savaged Cotton, leading to the Templar's demise. After the Koh-i-Noor reconstructed itself,[3] Arbaaz claimed the Piece of Eden and, on Pyara's advice, later gave it to his Mentor Hamid for safekeeping.[10]

In 1841, Hamid was captured by the Templars William Sleeman and Alexander Burnes, who sought to use the Koh-i-Noor to power a Precursor box in their possession and uncover the locations of various Isu temples. Arbaaz reclaimed both artifacts at the Katasraj Temple in Pakistan, but in response, Sleeman laid siege to the summer palace in Amritsar, taking Pyara hostage. During the subsequent confrontation, the Precursor box returned to the Templar's hands, but Arbaaz and Pyara were able to escape unharmed with the Koh-i-Noor in their possession.[10]

ACCI Rescue (9)

Arbaaz giving the Koh-i-Noor to Ethan Frye

Arbaaz would later hand over the diamond to the British Assassin Ethan Frye, trusting him to keep it safe.[10] Ethan hid the artifact somewhere in India, where it remained until the end of the 19th century.[12]

In 1850, a replica of the diamond was confiscated by the British East India Company and became part of the British Crown Jewels when Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India in 1877.[3] Another replica was stolen from the Tower of London in 1868 by the Assassins Jacob and Evie Frye at the request of Duleep Singh, the last Maharaja of the Sikh Empire, before Henry Green informed them that the real Koh-i-Noor had never left India thanks to his father Arbaaz's efforts.[12]

Spanish Civil War[]

By the early 20th century, the Koh-i-Noor was in the possession of the Black Cross Albert Bolden, who secreted the artifact in a Swiss bank. After Bolden's presumed death in 1927,[13] his fellow Templar Rufus Grosvenor, who was also an Instruments of the First Will member, discovered that he was in fact alive and tried to blackmail Bolden into giving him the diamond, but to no avail. Unwilling to back down, in 1937, Grosvenor killed Bolden's family, lured him into a trap, and stole the Koh-i-Noor from him.[6]

ACUp Koh-i-Noor powers

Cardona unleashing the Koh-i-Noor's power

Grosvenor fled to Spain, which was in the middle of a civil war, where the Templar hoped to manipulate the Spanish Assassin Ignacio Cardona into unlocking the powers of Koh-i-Noor thanks to the Assassin's great concentration of Isu DNA. However, after an initial success, despite Cardona being almost consummed by the unleashed powers of the artifact, Grosvenor's progress was halted by the intervention of a vengeful Bolden, who had tracked him to Spain.[6]

Bolden, together with Cardona, eventually confronted Grosvernor in a wrecked church, who convinced the latter to use the jewel and unleash its powers. However, Grosvernor's plan backfired when the Assassin directed the jewel towards him, unleashing a series of energy beams which engulfed the village and caused the church to collapse above them. Though the Koh-i-Noor was thought to have been destroyed, it was in fact still intact, as Cardona had created an illusion to make it seemed that it was destroyed. With the collapse of the church, the artifact remained buried deep within the ruins for the next century.[6]

Modern times[]

In November 2013, after his raid on the Assassin hideout in Mumbai,[3] the Templar Juhani Otso Berg discovered that Albert Bolden had come into contact with the Koh-i-Noor at some point during his life. The Order then tried to find one of his descendants to learn more about the artifact and its location.[13]

In 2016, the Templars found André Bolden in Philadelphia and convinced the old man to work with them to explore the memory of his ancestor during the 19th century. However, Juno's followers who had infiltrated the ranks of the Templars tried to kill Bolden to prevent the Order from recovering the Piece of Eden before them. He was saved by Berg, who, realizing that a fifth column was attacking the Templars from within, put the search for the diamond on hold while tracking the moles as the new Black Cross.[9]

In March 2017, Juno, who wanted to recover the Koh-i-Noor, infiltrated the Animus in which Charlotte de la Cruz was rendered catatonic after Guernica Moneo, an Instrument mole among the Assassins, sabotaged the device. Exploring the Assassin's bloodline, the disembodied Isu discovered that the diamond was last seen during the Spanish Civil War. A race against the clock then began between the Assassins, the Instruments but also the Templars to find the diamond first.[6]

ACUp Charlotte Activates Koh-i-Noor

Charlotte activating the Koh-i-Noor

Eventually, the location of the artifact was found by Berg, who had relived Albert Bolden's memories during his time in the Spanish Civil War. In August 2018, together with Charlotte and the Assassins, he made his way to the resting place of the jewel, intending to retrieve it before the Instruments. However, the group were forced to fight the guardians appointed by Ignacio Cardona and Bolden to protect the site, and ultimately lost the artifact to the former Assassin Jasdip Dhami, who had defected to the Instruments.[6]

Dhami took the Koh-i-Noor to the Phoenix Project facility in Australia, which had been taken over by the Instruments with the goal of resurrecting Juno in a new body created from the DNA of Elijah, a young Sage. Ultimately, Violet da Costa's fears that Elijah was not to be trusted were proven right when the boy took revenge on the Instruments for murdering his mother by assisting the Assassins and Berg during their attack on the facility. Using the Koh-i-Noor, Elijah created an illusion of Consus to distract Juno, allowing her to be assassinated by Charlotte. He then fled with the diamond, moments before the facility was destroyed by Berg to eliminate any remaining Instruments.[6]

Behind the scenes[]

At the end of Assassin's Creed: Brahman, Jot Soora is shown giving a diamond engagement ring to Monima Das, seemingly suggesting that he had a piece of the Koh-i-Noor set into a ring. However, Brahman's co-author Karl Kerschl has clarified that the objects are unrelated to each other.[14]

Historically, the Koh-i-Noor stayed in the possession of the Durrani dynasty from 1747 until 1813 when Ahmad Shah's grandson Shah Shujah Durrani lost it to Ranjit Singh.[2]

Even if the diamond can project solid illusions as well as voices, the copies do not fully interact with the environment. Jan van der Graff used this to his advantage when Akhbar created several copies of himself, by hearing the noises made by the rogue Assassin's shoes on the floor and determining which of the Akhbars was the original. He then killed Akhbar and the illusions disappeared.[9]

Gallery[]

Appearances[]

References[]

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