|This article is about the reincarnations of Isu. You may be looking for the rank within the Cult of Kosmos.|
While initially believed that this only applied to Aita, a member of the Isu and the husband of Juno, it has since been discovered that Sage-like reincarnations of other Isu surfaced in Scandanavia 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.
Notable examples of Aita's sages included Templar Grand Masters Jacques de Molay and François-Thomas Germain, carpenter and explorer Thomas Kavanagh, Jr., pirate Bartholomew Roberts, and Abstergo Entertainment employee John Standish, as well as an unidentified Templar Master Spy working for Germany in World War I London, and Elijah, the son of Desmond Miles.
- 1 Characteristics
- 2 History
- 3 Gallery
- 4 Behind the scenes
- 5 Appearances
- 6 References
- "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][[  |-[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. 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.
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. These Sages also had a very strong obsession with reviving Juno from the Grey. 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.
However, though rare, it is possible for a Sage to maintain control over themselves and remains mentally stable, like Elijah. This is most likely due to his already-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. The same can be said for Sigurd, the Sage of Tyr, who still held his own personality without succumbing to any ill side effects of recovering Tyr's memories.
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.
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. In the case of Sigurd, the Sage of the Isu Tyr, he was able to use the Yggdrasil chamber's functions, indicating that just like Aita's sages, he too has a certain amount of Tyr's DNA in him.
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.
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, although this was never truly proven until Layla Hassan explored a simulated 9th century Anglo-Saxon England through the Animus.
During the 9th century, there had been discoveries of female Sages as well. Three notable examples were
- Svala, the Sage of the female Isu Freyja,
- Eivor, the female Sage of the male Isu Odin, and
- Gull, a female Sage of Idun.
At the moment, there has only been one recorded case of a male Sage being a reincarnation of a female Isu. They are Faravid, who was the male reincarnation of the female Isu Sif.
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, tried to replicate some of Consus' work<ref name=ACS"/> by transferring Aita's consciousness into a more resistant synthetic body, but Aita died in the attempt.
However, before her imprisonment in the Grand Temple, Juno managed to 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 imbuing them with Aita's memories, partially reviving her husband in a human form, again and again for millennia.
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. They held confidence that the Yggdrasil would successfully save them via repeated reincarnations in random human bodies across the globe.
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 worshiped the Sages, 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 the blood of a Sage to open.
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. 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.
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.
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.
Reformation of the Templar Order
During the end of the 13th century, the Sage Jacques de Molay became the Grand Master of the Templar Order. De Molay thought 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. 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. 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. 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.
Four centuries later, another Sage, François-Thomas Germain, became a member of 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 asked for 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. 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, after the opening of the Estates-General of 1789. 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. Germain also set out a plot, using the popular movement during the French Revolution to arrest King Louis XVI of France, leading to Louis' execution in 1793 and so avenging de Molay's death.
With no more kings in France, a republican regime was set up in 1792. One of Germain's followers, Maximilien de Robespierre, became one of the leaders of the republic. To achieve the Great Work, Robespierre and Germain installed the Terror, arresting and executing persons who were suspected to be counter-revolutionaries. With that, Germain expected the people would fear freedom without control and become obedient. Germain also worked to establish the Templar Order in the capitalist system, using the middle class to control the society. 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. 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.
Return of Juno
Throughout the centuries, some Sages stayed true to Aita's memory and love for Juno. Bartholomew Roberts tried to find the Grand Temple and liberate her from it, but was killed by Kenway before he could do so.
The 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 were affiliated to the Instruments 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.
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 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 afterwards, Standish was killed by security, and his body was obtained by Abstergo.
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.
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 a 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.
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, 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.
Individuals speculated to be Sages by Abstergo Industries or others are marked with an asterisk. (*)
Odin, seven of his most trusted Isu followers, and Loki, had their DNA and memories integrated into the human gene pool in hope of escaping the doom of their civilization and be reborn as humans millennia later. Their 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.
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.
- Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (first appearance)
- Assassin's Creed Unity: Abstergo Entertainment – Employee Handbook
- Assassin's Creed: Unity
- Assassin's Creed: Syndicate
- Assassin's Creed: Uprising
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla
- Assassin's Creed: Unity – Database: 09. Potential "Sage" List
- Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag – 
- Assassin's Creed III – Modern day
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – A Brother's Keeper
- Assassin's Creed: Unity – The Temple
- Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag – Thom Kavanagh's letters #1. On My Name And Origin
- Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag – The Sage's Buried Secret
- Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag – Modern day
- Assassin's Creed: Syndicate – The Master Spy
- Assassin's Creed: Uprising – 
- Assassin's Creed: Unity
- Assassin's Creed: Syndicate - Database: Reconstructed Data 010
- Assassin's Creed: Syndicate – 
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Modern day
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Animus Anomalies
- Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag – Thom Kavanagh's letters #19
- Assassin's Creed: Unity – The Tragedy of Jacques de Molay
- Assassin's Creed: Heresy – 
- Assassin's Creed: Revelations – 
- Assassin's Creed: Unity – High Society
- Assassin's Creed: Unity – The Estates General
- Assassin's Creed: Unity (novel) – 
- Assassin's Creed: Unity – A Dinner Engagement
- Assassin's Creed: Unity – The Execution
- Assassin's Creed: Unity – The Fall of Robespierre
- Assassin's Creed Unity: Abstergo Entertainment – Employee Handbook – 
- Assassin's Creed: Unity – Database: 07. Archived Conversation, 30 May 2014
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Rigsogur: I. The King of Soft Reeds
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – 
- Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Song of Glory – Issue #03
- Assassin's Creed: Origins – Fires of Dionysias