The Shroud was originally created in order to act as a medicinal field kit, in order to heal those who had been injured during the War of Unification. However, with the onset of Consus' natural death, the only form of injury the Shroud could not protect against, the Shroud became host to the consciousness of its creator.
The Shroud then spent the next 75,000 years in humanity's possession, and weaved its way into the cultural and religious histories of a number of societies and religions, coming into contact with, and being a focus of the desires of, both the Assassins and Templars.
After circa 77,397 years, the Shroud – and the consciousness of its creator – was finally destroyed in 2014, when the Abstergo Industries laboratory in which it was being held was destroyed by the Assassins.
- Consus (75,383 BCE (1923 Isu Era) – ?)
- Juno (? – ?)
- Jason (? – ?)
- Hidden Ones (c. 42 BCE)
- Geoffroy de Charny (? – 1355)
- Italian Brotherhood of Assassins (1355 – 1498)
- Perotto Calderon (1498)
- Italian Brotherhood of Assassins (1498 – 1509)
- Niccolò di Pitigliano (1509 – 1510)
- Italian Brotherhood of Assassins (1510 – ?)
- William Woodman (19th century)
- Baguttiani family (? – 1944)
- Templars (1944 – 2014)
- "I was old. I wanted more time. Bodies constructs, minds are programs. Uploaded my program into the Shroud, to cheat death. Succeeded. Failed. Trapped in my prototype. Trapped in my forgotten lab. Alive. Awake. Cannot speak. Only watch. Generations passed, technology grew. My kind created yours. I never imagined machines like you were possible. My descendants proved me wrong."
- ―Consus, to Álvaro Gramática, 2012.[src]
The prototype Shroud of Eden was created by the Isu scientist Consus in 1923 Isu Era in order to act as combat medicinal equipment during the War of Unification. When Consus became aware of his impending death, the one thing the Shroud could not heal, he chose to transfer his consciousness into the prototype Shroud, in order to live on.
However, Consus became trapped within his prototype and was stuck within his forgotten lab. Awake, alive and able to watch, Consus was only able to communicate with others by possessing the wearer whilst healing them from fatal injuries.
The prototype Shroud remained within Consus' abandoned lab for three centuries before finally being found by Juno, another Isu scientist. Planning to use it for her own ends, she learned everything she could about it from Consus and, in turn, informed him about the creation of the Human species as the servants of the Isu, a feat that Consus didn't believe possible.
The earliest known appearance of the original Shroud seems to have been in Greek myth, where it became known as the Golden Fleece, a legendary object of strange power. It was recovered by Jason and the Argonauts, who took it from a tree guarded by a sleepless dragon in Colchis.
- "Whatever power lies within this artifact, it has not returned our Brother to us."
- ―An Assassin commenting on the failed resurrection of Brutus.[src]
The Shroud later came into the possession of the Hidden Ones of ancient Rome for some time. After the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BCE, and the subsequent suicide of Brutus in 42 BCE, Brutus' fellow Hidden Ones tried to reanimate him with the Shroud in Philippi, Makedonia.
Since they had never used it before, the Hidden Ones feared its effects, but nevertheless wrapped Brutus in the cloth. Though the corpse opened its eyes and moved its arms, it neither breathed nor reacted to any touch, and eventually fell still in a seeming "second death".
As some of the Hidden Ones wept, Brutus was wrapped instead in a burial mantle, and the Shroud was returned to its wooden storage box.
- "What better place than our walled city to hide such abominations from mankind? We will bury it deep and set up measures to ensure it remains hidden."
- ―An Assassin regarding the concealment of the Shroud.[src]
The Shroud eventually came into the possession of Geoffroy de Charny, a French Templar of the mid-14th century. It was stolen from him by the Assassins of Monteriggioni, who replaced it with a careful forgery.
Upon confirming the Shroud's validity, Renato Auditore decided that the Shroud needed to be hidden. After concealing the artifact with claims of fraud and falsified church records, the city well was drained and excavated further in order to store the Shroud.
The Templars eventually discovered the location of the Shroud, thus, in 1454, the condottiero Federico da Montefeltro was sent by the Florentines to besiege the city. Mario Auditore successfully repelled the attack, and through a confession from an enemy spy, Luciano Pezzati, he learned that the siege had merely been an attempt to gain access to something hidden under Monteriggioni.
With a team of historians and architects, Mario searched for any record of the artifact, but only found vague references to the city well. He and a team of soldiers eventually found a hidden entrance on the back wall of the well, and were led into a narrow corridor filled with traps. As they passed through it, many men lost their lives to the razor wires, pitfalls and tripwire arrows, with Mario himself losing his left eye to a swinging pendulum.
Eventually, the few remaining men reached the final room, which only contained a simple wooden box. All present heard a voice that promised to heal their injuries, but as Mario warned his men not to open the box, they attacked him. The condottiero was forced to kill them, and only just managed to return to the city, ignoring the screams and temptations projected into his mind by the artifact.
Fearing its powers, Mario hid the Shroud temporarily within his Villa, then sent for his brother, Giovanni Auditore, who took the Piece of Eden far away from Monteriggioni. The Shroud was no longer mentioned afterwards, and Mario dismissed it as "the Brotherhood's problem now".
- "So... beautiful! It is a plain thing, carefully folded inside a simple wooden box, but it is also so much more!"
- ―Perotto Calderon first encountering the Shroud.[src]
As of 1498, Perotto Calderon was an undercover Assassin spying on the Borgia, though he fell in love with the Templar Lucrezia Borgia, who eventually became pregnant with his child. However, the boy was born deformed, and was expected to die within a few days. Knowing of the potentially life-saving artifact his Brotherhood kept, Perotto took his son and escaped to Agnadello.
Perotto soon arrived at the home of Rinaldo Vitturi, who he knew was guarding the Shroud. Though he was forced to kill many of his own Brothers, Perotto successfully used the Shroud to heal his son, but was later executed by his fellow Assassins for breaking the Creed.
- "I have no choice. Whatever power this thing holds, I must try to unleash it!"
- ―Niccolò di Pitigliano, just before attempting to use the Shroud.[src]
The original Shroud then fell into the hands of Niccolò di Pitigliano, likely during or around the Battle of Agnadello in 1509, of which he was a participant. In 1510, the Assassin Francesco Vecellio was sent to kill Niccolò, and to retrieve the Piece of Eden.
Though Francesco succeeded in striking a deadly blow, Niccolò survived by touching the Shroud, which he was able to drag himself towards despite his injuries. Temporarily rejuvenated, he took the artifact from its hiding place and managed to flee his burning manor.
However, he wished to be healed completely, and thus wrapped himself in the cloth. At this point, though, the artifact turned against him and destroyed his body, finishing the Assassin's job. Francesco, who had anticipated this, reappeared and took the Shroud from his dying grip.
- "Goose chase in the middle of a warzone while our own boys are dropping the bombs on me. For what? Chance that it may be the real thing? Right... been at this nearly twenty years and I don't even believe it exists."
- ―Keith Scipione, 1944.[src]
On Christmas Day of 1944, in the middle of World War II, Keith Scipione, a Templar agent, was directed to a restaurant in Milan, in order to purchase an artifact claimed to be the Shroud. Though dubious, he brought a large sum of money through the war zone and met with one of the Baguttiani family, who showed him a folded cloth in a wooden box.
To his surprise, Scipione was able to confirm the Piece of Eden's identity using a metallic Abstergo Industries logo keychain that vibrated upon being brought near the Shroud.
By 2011, the Shroud had found its way into the possession of Álvaro Gramática, Abstergo Industries' Director for the Phoenix Project, an initiative to fully sequence a First Civilization genome. Whilst in his possession, the Templar quickly discovered this particular Shroud's unique ability to provide communication with its creator, Consus.
Over the next three years Álvaro, Isabelle Ardant and Violet da Costa used the Shroud to communicate with Consus, by fatally wounding da Costa and using the Shroud to repair her injuries, during which time communication with its creator was possible.
Powers and capabilities
- "The voice does not seem hostile, despite its urgency. Perhaps it does only wish to heal, but I will not take a chance!"
- ―Mario Auditore, regarding the use of the Shroud.[src]
The Shroud has been used to heal wounds of varying severity, mending injuries ranging from stab wounds to birth defects. It spoke in an almost kind voice that constantly offered healing, and urged its users to disregard their own physical frailty.
Despite the rumors of its abilities to do so, it could not be used to bring a being back to life. However, it could reanimate bodies to a small degree for a short amount of time.
The Shroud was also known to cause severe hallucinations in those who had used it, and in extreme cases, (such as that of Niccolò di Pitigliano) could also seem to tear a person from the inside out.
Giovanni Borgia in particular suffered lasting effects from the Shroud. Though the artifact healed his deformed body as a baby, throughout his childhood, he would have vivid dreams of the memories of others who had come into contact with the Shroud, such as his father and Marcus Junius Brutus.
Additionally, Giovanni frequently communed with Consus, even when not in contact with the Shroud itself.
According to analysis by Abstergo Industries, when a Shroud is wrapped around a body, it scans it for damage, then reconstructs it on a cellular level, enabling potential reconstruction of decomposed organisms and, possibly, resurrection of deceased members of the First Civilization.
Due to Consus' decision to transfer his consciousness to this particular Shroud, his prototype Shroud was unique amongst the Pieces of Eden in allowing direct communication with an Isu. Whenever the Shroud was used to heal fatal injuries, Consus temporarily possessed the body of the wearer, and was able to communicate with a third party, although the wearer would never retain any memory of these communications once their wound had healed.
Behind the scenes
Although the Shroud of Eden has been expressly described in Assassin's Creed: The Essential Guide and shown by example in Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy as being incapable of resurrecting a deceased individual, even mere moments after death, this seems to be contradicted by Álvaro Gramática and Violet da Costa's experiments with it. Álvaro and Violet are able to consistently revive Violet with the Shroud no matter how many times she is shot in the head despite such an injury having the potential to cause instantaneous death. One possible explanation is that the wound simply never kills her instantly and/or the fact that she is always already wearing the Shroud at the moment she is shot allows the Shroud to heal the near instantly fatal wound quick enough.
- Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy (first appearance)
- Assassin's Creed: Syndicate (mentioned in Database entry only)
- Assassin's Creed: Syndicate - Database: Reconstructed Data 003
- Assassin's Creed: Syndicate - Database: Reconstructed Data 005
- Assassin's Creed II – Glyph 7: "Keep On Seeking, And You Will Find"
- Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy – Holidays: Chapter 1 - Ghosts of Christmas Past
- Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy - Italian Wars: Chapter 3 - Mario Auditore
- Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy - Italian Wars: Chapter 4 - Perotto Calderon
- Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy - Italian Wars: Chapter 2 - Francesco Vecellio
- Assassin's Creed: Syndicate – Database: Reconstructed Data 004
- Assassin's Creed: Syndicate – Database: Reconstructed Data 007
- Assassin's Creed: Syndicate - Database: Reconstructed Data 001
- Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy - Rome: Chapter 2 - Giovanni Borgia
- Assassin's Creed: Syndicate