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This article is about the reincarnations of Isu. You may be looking for the rank within the Cult of Kosmos.
"It's the eyes that mark him."
―Edward Kenway, describing the Sage Bartholomew Roberts, 1716.[src]-[m]

A Mayan statue of a Sage's head in underground Tulum

Sages, classified as Hyper-Hominids by Abstergo Industries,[1] are human reincarnations of the Isu.

While initially believed that this only applied only to Aita,[2] a member of the Isu and the husband of Juno,[3] it has since been discovered that Sage-like reincarnations of other Isu surfaced in Scandinavia during the 9th century. Among that group were Eivor Varinsdottir, an incarnation of Odin; her adoptive brother Sigurd Styrbjornsson, Tyr's reincarnation; and Svala, the rebirth of Freyja.[4]

Notable examples of Aita's Sages included Templar Grand Masters Jacques de Molay and François-Thomas Germain,[5] carpenter and explorer Thomas Kavanagh, Jr.,[6] pirate Bartholomew Roberts,[7] and Abstergo Entertainment employee John Standish,[8] as well as an unidentified Templar Master Spy working for Germany in World War I London,[9] and Elijah, the son of Desmond Miles.[10]

Characteristics

Isu Memories

"Do you know what a Sage is, Richmond? It's what I am. And it means that today isn't the day that the gods returned. They were already here. They were merely parasitical, not resplendent. You see, Richmond, being a Sage means Aita, Isu scientist – husband of Juno herself – hid his memories in your DNA, and it has bubbled up to the surface. Aita does not care about you, and the surfacing of his memories drives most Sages mad. Violet told me this, pretty gleefully."
―The Sage Elijah, explaining a Sage's nature, 2017.[src][[ [citation needed] |-[m]]]

Sages are typically born with personalities and memories of their own, but they also possess the memories of the Isu they are the reincarnations of. These memories which usually manifest themselves as visions at some point during adulthood and later throughout a Sage's life, although it is not uncommon for these visions to manifest during childhood. The process is described as a very traumatic experience, with the individual believing they are going mad as their own memories and personality are gradually merged with the Isu's own. Some Sages like Jacques de Molay eventually found some mental stability, but the majority of them became erratic and somewhat mad.[11] Others, such as Kavanagh, tried to resist the change, albeit with limited success, holding on to their former selves by constantly keeping the new memories at bay.[2]

In some cases, such as Bartholomew Roberts or John Standish, the personality of these Sages took a much darker turn, making them highly cynical, misanthropic and even nihilistic. Bartholomew Roberts' views on his own life as well as his complete disregard for human life made even someone as stoic as Edward Kenway uncomfortable around him.[2] These Sages also had a very strong obsession with reviving Juno from the Grey.[8] Another prominent example is Basim Ibn Ishaq, the Sage of the Isu Loki, who went mad upon reliving the Isu's memories and assimilated Loki's personality into himself, becoming a proper reincarnation of Loki.[4]

However, though rare, it is possible for a Sage to maintain control over themselves and remain mentally stable, like Elijah.[10] This is most likely due to his prexisting-unique ancestry as well as him being a Sage,[12] making him able to have complete control over his Isu abilities and not succumb into any form of delusions or insanity. Sigurd appeared to have more of a symbiotic relationship with the Isu Tyr and held his own personality without succumbing to any ill side effects from recovering Tyr's memories. For her part, Eivor had to fight to suppress the will of Odin, who had been communicating with her since childhood, when the pair were often at odds with each other.[4]

Unlike Aita's Sages, who were only plagued by memories of their progenitor, the Asgardian Sages were unique in that aspects of their lives would often partially or fully repeat themselves in the lives of their human hosts. Like Odin, Eivor had a strong aversion to wolves, [citation needed] had the raven Sýnin as her familiar echoing Huginn and Muninn,[13] and when connected to Yggdrasil, regularly lost her left eye fighting alongside the einherjar in the simulation of Asgard.[4] In similar fashion, Sigurd mediated disputes and delivered judgements as jarl[14] and had his right arm severed at the elbow,[15] like Tyr the god of war and justice who lost his own arm to the wolf Fenrir.[16] Halfdan Ragnarsson, the reincarnation of Thor, had a strong affinity for using his hammer Orthstirr in battle,[17] regularly threw it,[18] and was paranoid about being poisoned,[17] unknowingly copying Thor's use of Mjölnir[19] and foreshadowing the thunder god's demise in Ragnarök due to Jörmungandr's venom.[20]

Intelligence

Sages are also noted for possessing very high-level intellects, making them capable of picking up concepts alien to their upbringing and cultural background very easily. Sages also display exceeding talent in one way or another and have been known to excel it any area of expertise. Given the fact that most reincarnated Isu were either prominent Isu scientist or polymaths, it has not been yet revealed if Sages actually possess memories of the Isu's advanced scientific knowledge.

In other examples, Sages like Sigurd and Svala had recovered all of their Isu memories and therefore had a proper understanding of Isu culture and science. For example, Sigurd knew some, if not all, of the Isu language and was able to issue the right vocal commands to the Temple that lead to the Yggdrasil chamber.[4]

Genetics and Appearances

According to Abstergo, while the genome of an average human contains 0.0002% to 0.0005% of First Civilization DNA, the concentration reaches from 5% to 6% in the genome of Sages. In comparison, the most gifted human recorded, Desmond Miles, had a count five times lower, potentially giving the Sages an unmatched access to Eagle Vision and an exceptional affinity with Pieces of Eden.[11] In the case of Sigurd, he was able to use the Yggdrasil chamber's functions, indicating that just like Aita's Sages, he too had a certain amount of Tyr's DNA in him.[4]

Different incarnation of Sages

The Sages bear a strong physical resemblance to the Isu they are a reincarnation of. For example, Aita's Sages usually possess a distinctive combination of anisocoria and heterochromia, biological traits which Aita naturally possessed. Despite being very close in appearance, the Sages came from diverse genetic and ethnic backgrounds and do not always express the same parts of the Sage's DNA and as a result are not actual clones. For example, Jacques de Molay did not display heterochromia, unlike other known Sages.[11]

Although only male Sages of Aita had been identified by 2015, the Assassins believed that there was a small chance that the recessive gene creating a Sage could also manifest itself in a female individual,[21] although this was never truly proven until Layla Hassan explored a simulated 9th century Anglo-Saxon England through the Portable Animus 8.5 in 2020.[22]

During the 9th century, there had been discoveries of female Sages as well. Three notable examples were

  1. Svala, the Sage of the female Isu Freyja,[4]
  2. Eivor, the female Sage of the male Isu Odin,[4] and
  3. Gull, a female Sage of Idun.[23]

As of 2020, there has only been one recorded case of a male Sage being a reincarnation of a female Isu, with that person being Faravid, who was the male reincarnation of the female Isu Sif.

History

Isu Era

Aita and his wife Juno

Around 75,000 BC, in an attempt to save Earth from a coronal mass ejection, Aita volunteered to be a test subject of one of the solutions meant to prevent their civilization's destruction. His wife, the Isu scientist Juno,[3] tried to replicate some of Consus' work[24] by transferring Aita's consciousness into a more resistant synthetic body, but Aita was rendered catatonic in the attempt.[3]

Desperate to save the life of her beloved, Juno embarked on a quest to acquire the "Mead", an identified Isu innovation locked up in Suttungr's vault. Desperate for the "Mead", she began to inquire and plot out multiple ways to take it from Suttungr's vault in order to save her beloved. Upon Odin's visit to the Iron Woods to meet Angrboða, she discovered that he too sought the "Mead", and so decided to wait until Angrboða dealt with him before deciding to collaborate with Odin to steal the "Mead" from Suttungr's vault. [25]

Odin managed to successfully steal the "Mead" from Suttungr's vault, but not without deceiving Gunnlöð and battling with Suttungr himself.[26] she told Odin to come to the Well of Mímir in order to make the "Mead" work. After Odin sacrificed his left eye in payment, Yggdrasil accepted this sacrifice and the "Mead" was finally synthesized, much to Juno's delight. With both the Isu taking samples of the "Mead", she cautioned him to use the "Mead" moments before his death. With the "Mead", she was able to successfully insert her late husband's essence into the human gene pool.[27]

The "Mead" was able to successfully manipulate the human genetic code, implanting a hidden trigger that would randomly activate and alter the genetic makeup of the individual, changing their appearance and slowly imbuing them with a replica of an Isu's consciousness. This allowed the Æsir[28] and Aita to reincarnate in human form again and again throughout the eons.[2]

However, as punishment for these crimes against Suttungr, Juno's essence was buried deep within the Grand Temple, and the Æsir were banished from Jotunheim. However, Juno was able to successfully use the "Mead" to create Sages of her late husband. During the midst of the Great Catastrophe, a group of Isu called the Æsir managed to successfully upload their essences into Yggdrasil before heading off to face their end, gambling that Yggdrasil would successfully save them through various reincarnations in human bodies in the upcoming eons.[28]

Throughout history

Instances of Sages have been recorded throughout known human history in various regions around the globe. According to Bahlam, an Assassin Mentor and the father of Ah Tabai, there had been at least eight recorded Sages by the late 1600s, although several Abstergo Entertainment researchers later concluded that the real count was likely much higher. The Mayan civilization and Taíno people revered the Sages,[2] and the Mayan ruins in Tulum, Mexico contained a statue resembling a Sage's head.

Searching for the Observatory

During his life, Aita built the Observatory, a complex containing a Crystal Skull and blood vials of the Isu which permitted an individual with a high enough Isu DNA content to spy on individuals. As a creation of Aita, the Observatory required the insertion of a blood vial containing Aita's blood to open.[2]

Around 1500, an unnamed Sage arrived near the Observatory and hired the local tribes to protect the site from intruders. When he died, the Guardians hid his tomb, forbidding anyone to use his blood.[29] In 1652, a new Sage appeared in the British colonies, Thom Kavanagh, a carpenter who moved to Jamaica to work for Peter Beckford in 1673. There, he was abducted by the West Indies Brotherhood of Assassins, who wanted to protect him from Beckford's friend, Laureano de Torres y Ayala, Grand Master of the West Indies Rite of the Templar Order. Learning more about his Sage nature, Kavanagh followed his visions and arrived at the Observatory, where the Guardians accepted him and explained what his predecessor did. Kavanagh died in 1706 and was also buried by the Guardians.[2]

In 1715, Bartholomew Roberts, a Welsh Sage, was captured by the Templars in Cuba to be interrogated on the location of the Observatory. He escaped and worked for the slaver Laurens Prins in Jamaica. In 1717, he fled for a second time after Prins was killed by the pirate captain Edward Kenway who also wanted to discover the Observatory. Roberts worked on the slave ship The Princess before becoming a pirate under Captain Howell Davis near the African coasts. In 1719, when the crew was in Príncipe, a group of Templars led by John Cockram and Josiah Burgess killed Davies and took the crew of the ship hostage. As Edward Kenway arrived on the island, he saved the pirates and killed the two Templars. After that, Roberts became the captain of the crew and promised to lead Kenway to the Observatory.[2]

Bartholomew Roberts wielding a Crystal Skull

Working together, the two captains captured the Royal Fortune from the Templars which contained blood vials from important individuals in the Caribbean Sea. Roberts and Kenway arrived at the Observatory, the Sage showing the power of the complex to the pirate. Roberts then betrayed Kenway and sent him as a prisoner to Jamaica. The Sage recovered the Crystal Skull and the blood vials and used them to know the location of important fleets, helping him to become one of the richest and most famous pirates in history. In February 1722 near Príncipe, Kenway, then an Assassin, attacked the Royal Fortune which was battling with both the British and Spanish Navy. The Assassin boarded the Man O' War and hanged the Sage with a rope dart. Kenway recovered the Crystal Skull and threw Roberts' body to the sea.[2]

Reformation of the Templar Order

Jacques de Molay burning at the stake

During the end of the 13th century, the Sage Jacques de Molay became the Grand Master of the Templar Order. De Molay felt that the Order had lost its purpose by becoming a public organization and wanted to return to the shadows. On the 13th October 1307, King Philip IV of France, under the influence of the Parisian Brotherhood, ordered the arrest of the Templars. Before he was captured, de Molay tasked his advisor to hide a Sword of Eden and the Codex Pater Intellectus, where he wrote all his knowledge about the Isu civilization and the reformation of the Order, in a vault under the Temple of Paris.[30] During his time in a Chinon prison, de Molay hid in the walls of his cell the Heart, an Isu artifact which increased the power of the Sword of Eden.[31] De Molay also shared his secrets of the First Civilization with nine members of the Templar Order who reorganized the Order after its public disbanding.[32] In 1314, he was burned at the stake on the Île de la Cité, cursing the pope Clement V and the French royal family in his last words.[30]

Four centuries later, another Sage, François-Thomas Germain, became a lieutenant in the Parisian Rite of the Templar Order led by the Grand Master François de la Serre. Haunted by the memories of de Molay, Germain found the Codex Pater Intellectus and desired a reformation of the Templar Order, criticizing the fact that the members searched to acquire the titles of nobility, the offices of Church and State. Germain was expelled of the Order by de la Serre and branded as a heretic.[11] With some other Parisian Templars also dissatisfied with the Grand Master's leadership, Germain organized a coup d'état in the Order, killing de la Serre during the initiation ceremony of the Grand Master's daughter Élise de la Serre[33] after the opening of the Estates-General of 1789.[34] Becoming the new Grand Master, Germain assassinated or bribed de la Serre's followers and tried to kill Élise, the other contender to the title of Grand Master.[35] Germain also set out a plot, using the popular movement during the French Revolution to arrest King Louis XVI of France,[36] leading to Louis' execution in 1793 and so avenging de Molay's death.[37]

Germain using the Sword of Eden

With no more kings in France, a republican regime was set up in 1792, and one of Germain's followers, Maximilien de Robespierre, became one of its leaders. To achieve the Great Work, Robespierre and Germain installed the Reign of Terror, arresting and executing persons who were suspected to be counter-revolutionaries. Ultimately, Germain expected the people would fear freedom without control and become obedient, but with no aristocracy to provide guidance since the local nobility were being swiftly eliminated at the guillotine, Germain sought to control the public through financial means, returning to the Templars' historic origins as bankers and economic powerhouses. However, Élise de la Serre and her lover, the former Assassin Arno Dorian, thwarted Germain's plan, killing his lieutenant and leading to the fall of Robespierre in 1794.[38]

The day after the Thermidorian Reaction, Élise and Arno confronted Germain in the vault under the Temple of Paris. Using the Sword of Eden, Germain killed Élise in a powerful blast, but injured himself in the process. Arno, mourning his lover, finished Germain with his Hidden Blade. In his last words, Germain explained that even his death would not stop what he did and that someone else would take his place as the ruler of the masses. Arno left the corpse of Germain in the vault, taking the Sword of Eden and Élise with him. In 1808, Arno, reintroduced in the Brotherhood, entered in the vault with the emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and took Germain's remains and hid them in the Catacombs of Paris.[5]

Return of Juno

Throughout the centuries, some of Aita's Sages stayed true to his love for Juno. Bartholomew Roberts tried to find the Grand Temple and liberate her from it but he was killed by Kenway before he could do so.[2]

Aita's Sages also formed cults venerating the Isu and praying for their mistress' return. The latest iteration, the Instruments of the First Will, was active at least during World War I. In London, a group of Templars affiliated to the Instruments was led by a Sage known only as the Master Spy, a Templar who had a ring of spies through the city for the German Empire. In 1916, the group tried to collect the blood of soldiers, but the British Assassin Lydia Frye stopped their plan. On the orders of Winston Churchill, Frye assassinated the Master Spy, liberating London from his schemes.[9]

John Standish taking in hostage the research analyst

In 2012, following Desmond Miles' sacrifice in the Grand Temple which prevented the second solar flare from destroying the Earth, Juno was freed from her imprisonment[3] and integrated herself into the planet's digital network. In 2013, another Sage, John Standish, began to search for a suitable host for her. Working in the IT department of Abstergo Entertainment in Montreal, he was also an associate of the Assassins Rebecca Crane and Shaun Hastings who were undercover at Abstergo Entertainment. Standish entered contact with a new analyst of Abstergo Entertainment and made them work for the Assassins by hacking the Abstergo servers through the use of blackmail. Eventually, Standish decided to use the analyst as a perfect host for Juno. However, after an unsuccessful offering the analyst to Juno in the bunker beneath Abstergo's Montreal facility, and an attempt to poison the analyst afterward, Standish was killed by security, and his body was obtained by Abstergo.[2]

During the following year, Abstergo scientists studied John's body and focused on searching for other Sages throughout history, initiating the Phoenix Project to create a complete genomic map of Isu DNA, and unlock the secrets of the Pieces of Eden through the exploration of Sages' genetic memories. However, the Assassins recruited several Helix users to thwart the efforts of the Templars by attempting to find the remains of past Sages before Abstergo.[11]

In October 2015, Elijah—the illegitimate son of Desmond Miles—was brought to an Abstergo clinic, where his lineage, and the fact that he was an Aita's Sage, was discovered. Álvaro Gramática wanted to have him kidnapped and dissected for study, but Isabelle Ardant immediately refused, believing it would be better to put the boy in an Animus for fifty years and study his lineage. However, Ardant was killed before this plan could be enacted.[12]

Elijah introduced to the Intruments of First Will

Elijah would go on to work with the Instruments of the First Will, a group that sought to return Juno to a physical body by using Abstergo's Phoenix Project. Because of his paternal lineage, Elijah possessed a markedly higher concentration of Isu DNA in his genome than other Sages,[12] which enabled him to resist Aita's personality from taking over, while taking advantage of Aita's memories and knowledge. Elijah used Aita's knowledge to continually sabotage Juno's efforts at the resurrection, and eventually assisted in her final death.[10]

Gallery

Known Sages of Aita

These are the Sages of the Isu Aita, courtesy of Juno. Individuals speculated to be Sages by Abstergo Industries or others are marked with an asterisk. (*)

Known Asgardian Sages

Odin, seven of his most trusted Isu followers, and Loki, had their DNA, memories, and consciousness integrated into the human gene pool in hope of escaping the doom of their civilization and be reborn in human bodies millennia later. These reincarnations could be identified by a mass of dark veins on their necks.

Behind the scenes

In Assassin's Creed: Infographics, Al Mualim is described as being a Sage. The use of the capitalized ⟨S⟩ implies a connection to Aita, but this is not corroborated in any other media and may have been an error.

The Son of Ra in Assassin's Creed: Origins is said to have strange eyes and displays an uncommon knowledge of the solar system in his idle dialogue and death sequences. Though not confirmed to be a Sage, he nevertheless has an uncanny awareness of the Order of the Ancients and disdains their chances of saving the planet.[45]

As shown in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and Assassin's Creed: Uprising, two Sages can be alive at the same time, as showcased by Elijah and John Standish.

When Darby McDevitt was asked on Twitter about whether Sages were a reference to the manga series JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, in which all protagonists descending from the character Jonathan Joestar bear a star-shaped birthmark on their left shoulder blade, he denied knowledge of the series and instead said that it was a reference to the constant reincarnations of the Doctor Who character "The Master", who was archenemies of the titular Doctor.[46]

Appearances

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Assassin's Creed: UnityDatabase: 09. Potential "Sage" List
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag [citation needed]
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Assassin's Creed IIIModern day
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaA Brother's Keeper
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Assassin's Creed: UnityThe Temple
  6. Assassin's Creed IV: Black FlagThom Kavanagh's letters #1. On My Name And Origin
  7. 7.0 7.1 Assassin's Creed IV: Black FlagThe Sage's Buried Secret
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag – Modern day
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Assassin's Creed: SyndicateThe Master Spy
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Assassin's Creed: Uprising [citation needed]
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Assassin's Creed: Unity
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Assassin's Creed: Syndicate - Database: Reconstructed Data 010
  13. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla
  14. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaSettling Down
  15. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaA Bloody Welcome
  16. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaBinding Fate
  17. 17.0 17.1 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaWar in the North
  18. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaLost Glory
  19. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaView Above All
  20. Wikipedia-W-visual-balanced.svg Jörmungandr on Wikipedia
  21. Assassin's Creed: Syndicate [citation needed]
  22. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Modern day
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 Twitter.png DarbyMcDevitt (@DarbyMcDevitt) on Twitter "@AC_ISDA @69guacamole69 @KurdishOnes I think you got it!"
  24. Assassin's Creed: Syndicate
  25. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaMistress of the Iron Wood
  26. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaA Feast to Remember
  27. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaThe Price of Wisdom
  28. 28.0 28.1 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaAnimus Anomalies
  29. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag – Thom Kavanagh's letters #19
  30. 30.0 30.1 Assassin's Creed: UnityThe Tragedy of Jacques de Molay
  31. Assassin's Creed: Heresy [citation needed]
  32. Assassin's Creed: Revelations [citation needed]
  33. Assassin's Creed: UnityHigh Society
  34. Assassin's Creed: UnityThe Estates General
  35. Assassin's Creed: Unity (novel)
  36. Assassin's Creed: UnityA Dinner Engagement
  37. Assassin's Creed: UnityThe Execution
  38. Assassin's Creed: UnityThe Fall of Robespierre
  39. Assassin's Creed Unity: Abstergo Entertainment – Employee Handbook [citation needed]
  40. 40.0 40.1 Assassin's Creed: UnityDatabase: 07. Archived Conversation, 30 May 2014
  41. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla
  42. Twitter.png Darby McDevitt (@DarbyMcDevitt) on Twitter "@Assassins_M But yes he [Jacques de Molay] was a Sage, one of (at least) two who infiltrated the Templars in an attempt to steer them in a new direction."
  43. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaRigsogur: I. The King of Soft Reeds
  44. Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Song of GloryIssue #03
  45. Assassin's Creed: OriginsFires of Dionysias
  46. Twitter.png Darby McDevitt (@DarbyMcDevitt) on Twitter "@TGeeKayy No idea what that is. I based the idea on The Master from Doctor Who."

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