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This article is about the reincarnations of Isu. You may be looking for the rank within the Cult of Kosmos.

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

Sages, classified as Hyper-Hominids by Abstergo Industries,[1] are human reincarnations of Aita, an Isu who passed away shortly before the Great Catastrophe.

Notable examples of Sages included Templar Grand Masters Jacques de Molay and François-Thomas Germain,[2] carpenter and explorer Thomas Kavanagh, Jr.,[3] pirate Bartholomew Roberts,[4] and Abstergo Entertainment employee John Standish,[5] as well as an unidentified Templar Master Spy working for Germany in World War I London,[6] and Elijah, the son of Desmond Miles.[7]

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 Aita's memories. 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 Aita's own. Some Sages like Jacques de Molay eventually found some mental stability, but the majority of them became erratic and somewhat mad.[8] 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.[9]

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.[9] These Sages also had a very strong obsession with reviving Juno from the Grey.[5]

However, though rare, it is possible for a Sage to maintain control over themselves and remain mentally stable, like Elijah.[7] This is most likely due to his prexisting-unique ancestry as well as him being a Sage,making him able to have complete control over his Isu abilities and not succumb into any form of delusions or insanity.[10]

Intellectual development

Sages are also noted for possessing exceptionally high levels of intelligence and understanding, making them capable of picking up and mastering 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 Aita was a prominent Isu scientist, it has not been yet revealed if Sages actually possess memories of the his advanced scientific knowledge.

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]

Different incarnation of Sages

The Sages bear a strong physical resemblance to Aita, usually possessing 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 Aita's DNA and as a result are not actual clones.[8]

Although only male Sages 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,[12]

History

Isu Era

Aita and his wife Juno

Around 75 010 BCE, 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,[13] tried to replicate some of Consus' work[14] by transferring Aita's consciousness into a more resistant synthetic body, but Aita was rendered catatonic in the attempt.[13]

Desperate to save the life of her beloved, Juno embarked on a quest to acquire the "Mead", the serum that would activate the latest solution designed by the Capitoline Triad, locked up in the Grand Temple under the guard of Jupiter and Minerva.[15] This particular innovation, if used correctly, could reincarnate some members of the Isu as humans in the distant future. As such, Jupiter and Minerva rendered it dangerous to use, as it would damage the human genome in the process.[16] Desperate for the "Mead", Juno investigated their research sites and eventually encountered the abandoned project meant to receive the Mead when ready. Soon after, she began to inquire and plot out multiple ways to take it from the Vault in order to save her beloved, actions that eventually exiled her from the city guarding the Temple.[15] Upon Odin's visit to North America to meet Aletheia, she discovered that he too sought the "Mead", and so decided to wait until she and her lover Loki dealt with him before deciding to collaborate with Odin to steal the serum from the Grand Temple.[17]

Odin managed to successfully steal the "Mead" from the city, but not without deceiving Minerva and battling with Jupiter himself.[16] Juno told him to come to the experimental well in order to make the serum work. After Odin sacrificed his left eye in payment in order to use as catalyst, the machine accepted this sacrifice and the "Mead" was finally synthesized, much to Juno's delight. With both the Isu taking samples of the fluid, she cautioned him to use the serum moments before his death, in order for it to work. With the "Mead" know in hand[15], she was able to successfully insert her late husband's essence into a human bloodline.[18]

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 reincarnate once in the 9th century[19][20] and Aita to reincarnate in human form again and again throughout the eons.[18]

However, as punishment for these crimes against the triad, Juno's essence was buried deep within the Grand Temple,[13] and the Æsir were banished from North America.[16] However, Juno was able to successfully use their solution to create Sages of her late husband.[18]

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, and the Mayan ruins in Tulum, Mexico contained a statue resembling a Sage's head.[4]

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.[9]

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.[21] 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.[9]

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.[9]

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.[9]

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.[22] 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.[23] 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.[24] 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.[22]

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.[8] 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[25] after the opening of the Estates-General of 1789.[26] 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.[27] Germain also set out a plot, using the popular movement during the French Revolution to arrest King Louis XVI of France,[28] leading to Louis' execution in 1793 and so avenging de Molay's death.[29]

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.[30]

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.[2]

Return of Juno

Throughout the centuries, some of Aita's Sages stayed true to his love for Juno. During the 6th century, the Irish monk Aita's Sage Brendan of Clonfert visited many Isu's Megaliths in the British Isles, leading him to the Grand Temple but he couldn't open it.[31] Three centuries later, Eivor Varinsdottir recovered Brendan's writings and also arrived before the Grand Temple which stayed close.[32] In the 18th century, Bartholomew Roberts tried to find the Grand Temple and liberate Juno but he was killed by Kenway before he could do so.[9]

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.[6]

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[13] 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.[9]

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.[8]

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.[10]

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,[10] 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.[7]

Known Sages

"It's the eyes that mark him."
―Edward Kenway, describing the Sage Bartholomew Roberts, 1716.[src]-[m]

Individuals speculated to be Sages by Abstergo Industries or others are marked with an asterisk. (*)

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.[37]

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 explained that he drew on the constant reincarnations of the Doctor Who character "The Master", who was archenemies to the BBC series' titular Doctor.[38]

Appearances

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Assassin's Creed: UnityDatabase: 09. Potential "Sage" List
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Assassin's Creed: UnityThe Temple
  3. Assassin's Creed IV: Black FlagThom Kavanagh's letters #1. On My Name And Origin
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Assassin's Creed IV: Black FlagThe Sage's Buried Secret
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag – Modern day
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Assassin's Creed: SyndicateThe Master Spy
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Assassin's Creed: Uprising [citation needed]
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Assassin's Creed: Unity
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Assassin's Creed: Syndicate - Database: Reconstructed Data 010
  11. Assassin's Creed: UnityDatabase: 05. Phoenix Project Report
  12. Assassin's Creed: SyndicateDatabase: Sages
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Assassin's Creed III
  14. Assassin's Creed: Syndicate
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaThe Price of Wisdom
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaA Feast to Remember
  17. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaMistress of the Iron Wood
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag - Modern Day
  19. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla - Cheating Fate
  20. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaAnimus Anomalies
  21. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag – Thom Kavanagh's letters #19
  22. 22.0 22.1 Assassin's Creed: UnityThe Tragedy of Jacques de Molay
  23. Assassin's Creed: Heresy [citation needed]
  24. Assassin's Creed: Revelations [citation needed]
  25. Assassin's Creed: UnityHigh Society
  26. Assassin's Creed: UnityThe Estates General
  27. Assassin's Creed: Unity (novel)
  28. Assassin's Creed: UnityA Dinner Engagement
  29. Assassin's Creed: UnityThe Execution
  30. Assassin's Creed: UnityThe Fall of Robespierre
  31. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla - Etchings of Saint Brendan
  32. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla - Hunter of Beasts
  33. Assassin's Creed Unity: Abstergo Entertainment – Employee Handbook [citation needed]
  34. 34.0 34.1 Assassin's Creed: UnityDatabase: 07. Archived Conversation, 30 May 2014
  35. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla
  36. 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." (screenshot)
  37. Assassin's Creed: OriginsFires of Dionysias
  38. 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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