A Piece of Eden is a type of sophisticated technology created by the Isu which reacts with the network of neurotransmitters engineered into human brains. With the notable exception of the Shrouds of Eden, the majority of the Pieces of Eden were designed for the primary purpose of mentally and physically controlling human thoughts, emotions, and behavior. They were, therefore, the main instrument by which the Isu forced the humans to serve as slaves.
The powers of the Pieces of Eden have mystified humanity over millennia, enough for them to conflate them with "magic" throughout history. The extinction of the Isu civilization following the Great Catastrophe only reinforced this, as memories of the Isu faded into legends and myths. Since humans lack the technological expertise to reproduce these devices, they have long been the subject of innumerable conflicts between rival humans seeking them for their own ends. In particular, they are a central obsession of the Templar Order, which has devoted much of their resources to searching and seizing these artifacts in their quest for world domination.
Although most classes of Pieces of Eden, such as the Apples and Staves of Eden, were utilized as tools by which humanity could be controlled, others deviated from this purpose. The Swords of Eden are primarily weapons capable of emitting energy blasts while the Shrouds of Eden are medical in nature, designed for healing even the most mortal of wounds. The diverse functions of the devices extend further: many are capable of bending the thoughts of one or more individuals to that of the user, projecting illusions or concealing the user's presence. The Precursor boxes, powered by other Pieces of Eden, can imprint the memories of its users onto others and decode examples of Isu script, like the Voynich manuscript. Other functions are more mundane relative to modern human technology, such as the projection of holograms or the Crystal Skulls which act as long-distance communication devices, but these nevertheless appeared supernatural to ancient peoples.
Since the end of the Isu civilization, these devices, appearing sporadically in the hands of humans, have acquired a status as legendary relics of phenomenal properties. Greatly eclipsing the technological level of human civilization, even into modern times, the Pieces of Eden bestow tremendous power over society to those who come to possess them. Their employment has therefore had immense impacts on human history; some of the most influential leaders such as Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Mahatma Gandhi were aided by their use of a Piece of Eden.
Recognizing their significance, the Pieces of Eden have been at the forefront of the Templar Order's goals for centuries as they hope that by exploiting the artifacts, they could achieve their vision of a New World Order. The contest for the Pieces of Eden between the Templars and their archenemies, the Assassins, who traditionally seek to safeguard them, has been a hallmark of their millennia long war.
- Main article: History of the Piece of Eden
Characteristics and attributes
Amongst the greatest tools known to man, the Apples of Eden can control the human mind by interacting with a neurotransmitter located deep in the human brain. Other Pieces of Eden are capable of warping reality, creating illusions, ensuring total obedience and healing physical injuries. Both Templars and the Assassins believe that the Pieces of Eden were responsible for many historical tales and miracles, such as the Parting of the Red Sea, the Trojan War, the miracles enacted by Jesus Christ, and the Biblical plagues that ravaged Egypt. According to Dr. Álvaro Gramática, all Pieces of Eden are made of an unknown metal resembling gold or silver that Abstergo dubbed 'Pathorica'.
Abilities of the Pieces
Some Pieces of Eden were known to interact with and change the passage of time, possibly creating paradoxes. Others were able to "speak" to those who wielded them, as was the case with Ezio Auditore, Perotto Calderon and Giovanni Borgia, who spoke with Ezio's Apple and the Shroud.
When activated, Apples of Eden are capable of extending a pulse of energy that can drive those in the surrounding area to insanity and death. Doing so has a detrimental effect on the physical health of the wielder if they are unskilled in the Apples' use, but a capable user is not as easily afflicted. Altaïr, for example, was able to use Apple #2 for a limited duration without adverse affects at age 92. Using the Pieces' powers in short bursts can also minimize the negative effects dealt by the artifacts, though to what extent is unknown.
Destruction of a Piece
Following the destruction of Apple of Eden #2 during an experiment at the Denver International Airport, the Templars found themselves in need of another artifact with similar properties. Seeking access to a map that indicated the location of all Pieces of Eden, Abstergo kidnapped Desmond Miles in order to view the memories of his ancestor, Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad. This would allow them to see the very same map that Altaïr discovered in 1191.
Each of the Pieces of Eden contained a great deal of potential energy, and the destruction of one could cause an explosion on the scale of a nuclear blast. One such explosion occurred in 1908, in the region of Tunguska, Russia. The Imperial Sceptre, one of the Staves of Eden, was seemingly destroyed when Nikola Tesla fired at the Tunguska facility with his wireless electric weapon, attempting to strike a blow against the Templars.
However, the blast failed to totally destroy the Staff, and at least one shard remained. The Staff shard still possessed powers of mind control, as demonstrated by Grigori Rasputin. While he was in possession of the shard, he brainwashed Alexandra Feodorovna, the wife of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, as well as several disciples like Khioniya Guseva.
- "I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING. I KNOW WHAT YOU DID. I SAW HIM. HE HAD A METAL BALL. IT OPENED. THEY WENT CRAZY. SHOOTING. STABBING. TORE EACH OTHER TO PIECES. I KNOW IT WAS YOU PEOPLE. SAW THE LOGO. HEARD THE NAME. I'M GOING TO TELL. ANYONE WHO WILL LISTEN. YOU'LL BE EXPOSED. THEY'LL KNOW THE TRUTH. AND THEN YOU WILL PAY. YOU CRAZY BASTARDS. YOU'LL PAY."
- ―An unidentified individual's e-mail to Dr. Warren Vidic.[src]
Although the Isu created humanity to be susceptible to the Pieces of Eden, eventual cross-breeding between them and their slaves led to the birth of a hybrid species. These new humans possessed some of the natural abilities of their creators and were free of the neurotransmitter necessary for the Pieces of Eden to control them.
The first two known hybrids were Adam and Eve, who later stole one of the Apples of Eden and instigated the Human-Isu War. Members of their lineage inherited these natural abilities and immunity to the Pieces, although the Pieces' ability to physically manipulate them remained. These traits were passed down through generations to the likes of Altaïr, Ezio and Desmond.
By the early 21st century, the Templars were aware that some humans were immune to the Pieces' mind control. On at least one occasion, Dr. Warren Vidic received an email from an individual unaffected by the Apple's power, who threatened to expose what they had seen when an Apple was used on others.
Confirmed Pieces of Eden
After seeing the Apple's projection indicating the location of all Pieces of Eden as of 1191, Altaïr copied the map and hid it within his Codex so that only his descendants might find it.
Apples of Eden are all capable of controlling the hearts and minds of humanity, creating illusions and, to a degree, permitting control over physical bodies. The Apples can be used in conjunction with a Staff, which increases the power of both the Pieces of Eden. Other Pieces include the Shroud, which heals the wounds of those it touches on a cellular level; the Ankh, capable of resurrecting the dead; and the Sword, a Piece which can project energy blasts and enhance the charisma of its welders. It was possessed by many great rulers through the centuries, including King Arthur, Genghis Khan and Attila the Hun. A Sword was also in possession of the Knights Templar by 1307, and was subsequently entombed beneath the Temple in Paris. Centuries later, it was recovered by the Grand Master and Sage François-Thomas Germain.
The Crystal Skulls were Pieces scattered throughout Central and Southern America which allowed for unassisted telepathic communication between their owners. At one point, a Crystal Skull came into the possession of Giovanni Borgia, who made use of its power in 1542. Similar artifacts known as Crystal Balls allowed users to access the Nexus and communicate with members of the Isu. One of the Crystal Balls was notably used by the Assassin Ratonhnhaké:ton to communicate with Juno. In addition, the Assassin Aveline de Grandpré discovered a Prophecy Disk in the Isu Temple of Chichen Itza, which showed her the election of Eve as the leader of humanity's rebellion against the Isu.
In North America, William Kidd discovered a Ring of Eden, which creates a magnetic shield around the user and repels all metallic objects, creating the myth of his "invincibility". There was also the Grand Temple Key which, when combined with three ancient power sources, allowed the holder to open the gate to the inner chambers of the Grand Temple.
During the Golden Age of Piracy, an unidentified Piece of Eden in possession of the Templars was stolen by the Assassin Samuel Bellamy, with the help of fellow pirates Olivier Levasseur and Alonzo Batilla. Later, during a confrontation with Templar Christopher Condent, Batilla used the artifact, which increased his ship attacks and defenses, imbuing it with a golden aura, and allowing him to easily sink Condent's significantly more powerful vessel. 
According to emails read by Desmond Miles in 2012, at least one Piece of Eden existed that granted the ability to manipulate time. Concerns over possible paradoxes, however, led to Abstergo Industries locking it away. Warren Vidic had a prototype Piece of Eden of his own design, which he used to brainwash Daniel Cross with an impulse to become a high ranking Assassin, so as to get close enough to kill their Mentor. Sebastian Monroe's team discovered the existence of the powerful Trident of Eden, which could manipulate the emotions of individuals -- fear, devotion and faith. 
- Al Mualim is the first known user and possible coiner of the term "piece of Eden".
- According to the Glyphs and Truth files, many legends and myths throughout human history are actually historically accurate. The supernatural or paranormal parts of each legend can be explained by the protagonist in each having acquired their own Piece of Eden (i.e. the Greek myth of Perseus, King Arthur, etc).
- During his battle with Rodrigo Borgia in the Sistine Chapel, Ezio created copies of himself, much like Al Mualim did against Altaïr. If Ezio's robes are customized, or if the Armor of Altaïr is worn, his copies appeared with different sets of armor and colors. If he was not customized, each copy would be perfectly identical to the real Ezio, besides his weapon.
- Both the Codex map and the map projection show that there were only fifty Pieces of Eden at that time, though Subject 16 said the Shroud was Piece of Eden 66.
- In the French and German version of Assassin's Creed II, the Shroud was referred to as number 36, not 66. This however, was an oversight.
- The Chalice was initially thought to be a Piece of Eden; however, besides the Shroud, all other artifacts linked to the Christ-figure were confirmed to be merely literary tools.
- Assassin's Creed II
- Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy
- Assassin's Creed
- Assassin's Creed: Syndicate – Database: Reconstructed Data 002
- Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood novel
- Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
- Assassin's Creed: Revelations
- Assassin's Creed: The Fall - Issue #2
- Assassin's Creed: The Fall - Issue #3
- Assassin's Creed: Unity
- Assassin's Creed III
- Assassin's Creed III: Liberation
- Assassin's Creed: Pirates