Each Temple holds within it a core component vital to its structural integrity, which, if removed, triggers a violent seismic reaction within the underground network. Although their original function is lost to humans, Seismic Temples may have been erected to stabilize the planet's crust or otherwise as a monumental defense system.
The Seismic Temples are vast underground structures, located across the globe, that serve a purpose unknown to humans. They are typically built within large, cavernous spaces with protective walkways leading to a central pedestal residing at the base of a singular, large pyramid. Atop the pedestal sits a core component that appears to control or stabilize the Earth's crust within a localized area; any disturbance of the component risks disrupting the entire region above ground.
During the 18th century, when a number of the Seismic Temples were discovered by the Assassins and Templars, it was erroneously believed that the core components were Pieces of Eden in and of themselves, and so were sought out by both parties, often with cataclysmic results.
A number of Seismic Temples were discovered by the Assassins and Templars in the middle of the 18th century via a Precursor box and the Voynich manuscript. Owing to their historical experience with Isu Vaults, the two factions initially mistook the sites revealed by the manuscript to be more Vaults and assumed that Pieces of Eden could be found within. Tragic consequences ensued from this error, beginning with Assassin Vendredi causing a massive earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti in 1751 that killed untold thousands. As Vendredi died at the hands of Templar Lawrence Washington before he could escape the site, he failed to report back with details of how the disaster was linked with the Port-au-Prince Temple.
Oblivious to the destructive nature of the Seismic Temples, the Templars and Assassins continued vying for these locations, and in late 1755, the Assassin Shay Cormac was sent to Lisbon, Portugal to uncover the relic supposedly hidden within the Isu complex below. Upon reaching the Temple, Shay removed its core component which promptly disintegrated in his hands. The entire complex summarily collapsed, taking the entire city of Lisbon down with it in a colossal earthquake exceeding magnitude 8.5. While Shay narrowly escaped with his life, hundreds of thousands perished, and the Assassin returned to the Colonial Brotherhood grief-stricken and furious, blaming their reckless pursuit of power for the catastrophe.
Miscommunication between Shay and the Colonial Brotherhood ultimately led to the former's defection to the Templars with the Voynich manuscript in hand. For the next few years, with the Precursor box still in the possession of the Assassins, and the manuscript now with the Templars, both factions strove to unlock each pieces' secrets without the other. In June 1758, Shay presented his theory of the actual nature and function of the Seismic Temples to Grand Master Haytham Kenway of the Colonial Rite, analogizing them to underground "roots" that maintained the planet's integrity. Thereafter, the Colonial Rite redirected their objective to preventing the Assassins from tampering with more Temples rather than uncovering their secrets themselves.
In October 1759, the Assassins managed to power the Precursor box once more even without the aid of the manuscript and embarked on an expedition to a Temple in the Arctic. Achilles Davenport, Mentor of the Colonial Brotherhood, and his lieutenant, Liam O'Brien, arrived at the site in March 1760. Upon witnessing the Temple's core component for himself, Achilles recognized the validity of Shay's account years prior and quickly stopped Liam from touching it. It was at this point that they were confronted by Haytham and Shay who had tracked them from New York. In the altercation that followed, the device was accidentally knocked off its pedestal, unleashing yet another earthquake as the complex tore itself apart.
- The name "Seismic Temple" was originally coined by the Assassin's Creed Wiki shortly after the 2014 release of Assassin's Creed: Rogue as a conjectural name for the Precursor sites in the game. It was eventually adopted in 2016 by the authors of the Assassin's Creed: The Essential Guide, thereby canonizing it.
- Assassin's Creed: The Essential Guide
- Assassin's Creed: Rogue – Lessons and Revelations
- Assassin's Creed: Rogue – War Letters
- Assassin's Creed: Rogue – Kyrie Eleison
- Assassin's Creed: Rogue – Freewill
- Assassin's Creed: Rogue – Scars
- Assassin's Creed: Rogue – Honour and Loyalty
- Assassin's Creed: Rogue – The Heist
- Assassin's Creed: Rogue – Men o' War
- Assassin's Creed: Rogue – Non Nobis Domine