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"The Staff is a gift, not a toy! It can be a key, a weapon, and a way to attain power until the very end of time."
―Hermes Trismegistus, in the simulation of Elysium[src]-[m]

The Staff of Hermes Trismegistus, also known as the Staff of Hermes or the Caduceus, is an extremely powerful Piece of Eden created by the Isu philosopher Hermes Trismegistus.

From its creation until the 6th century BCE, it was wielded by Hermes himself before he passed it on to Pythagoras who, in turn, passed it on to his daughter, Kassandra a century later. Becoming its Keeper for more than two millennia, Kassandra passed the Staff to the Assassin Layla Hassan in 2018. In 2020, the Staff was acquired by the Hidden One Basim Ibn Ishaq after Layla dropped it in the Isu Temple holding Yggdrasil.

Owners

History

Isu Era

During the Isu Era, the Isu Aletheia replicated her own consciousness into the Staff in order to save her life from a fatal wound. After exploring the calculations provided within the Staff, she resolved to meet her lover Loki in the distant future when he eventually reincarnated.[2] She waited in the Staff until the time came in which she could interact and help the staff wielder to master its power[7] and unwittingly serve her own purpose.[2] The Staff was eventually returned to Hermes, who used the immortality provided by the artifact to survive the Great Catastrophe, living to see the humans thrive and develop their civilization.[3]

6th century BCE

Around the 6th century BCE, Hermes met the Greek philosopher Pythagoras along with his protégé Kyros of Zarax in a remote desert. Declaring the former a worthy successor, Hermes handed over the Staff to Pythagoras before disappearing. Pythagoras later parted ways with Kyros,[3] embarking on a journey to learn about the Staff.[8]

5th century BCE

Living abnormally long using the Staff, Pythagoras fathered a child with Myrrine of Sparta and later left her to discover more about his search, eventually travelling to Thera and discovering the sealed ruins of Atlantis, an ancient repository of Isu's knowledge, with which the Staff was connected. There, he spent years attempting to uncover the secrets of the place, only to find its entrance sealed by four artifacts.[9]

During the time of the Peloponnesian War, in 429 BCE, the Spartan misthios Kassandra, Pythagoras and Myrrine's child, reached the entrance to the sunken city and encountered her father, still alive thanks to the Staff's power. Following the encounter, Pythagoras tasked Kassandra with finding the four artifacts that, combined with the Staff, would allow the pair to either permanently seal off Atlantis or open its gates to acquire the knowledge contained within.[8]

Eight years later, in 421 BCE, having encountered all the artifacts and defeated its respective protectors, Kassandra returned to the ruins. After listening to four messages from Aletheia, Pythagoras briefly considered opening Atlantis, to learn more about the origins of humanity, but after a brief argument with his daughter, he relented to seal Atlantis and entrusted the Staff to her. No longer artificially sustained by the Staff's power, he then passed away. Kassandra, now in possession of the Piece of Eden, sealed the city and left the vault.[4][10]

Some time later, Kassandra began to hear the voice of Aletheia coming from the Staff and eventually witnessed her apparition-like hologram in the Island of Triton. Aletheia explained to Kassandra that her role as the Keeper of the Staff was to hold onto it until she met the "Heir of Memories".[7] Kassandra then visited four different tombs under the directions of Aletheia and slowly began to understand that the Heir of Memories Aletheia spoke about did not yet exist.[11]

Kassandra receiving the Staff from Aletheia

Under the last direction from Aletheia, Kassandra descended back into Atlantis and used her Hybrid Isu-Human blood to gain entrance to the outermost part of Atlantis—the Throne Room—where Aletheia presented Kassandra with three fictionalized simulations of the Sister Realms; Elysium[12], the Underworld[13] and the last days of Atlantis[14]; wherein Kassandra would be shown the order, chaos and judgment that the Staff could deliver and, as such, learn how to resist the corruption of its powers. After enduring through the simulations, Aletheia explained to her that the other objective of the trials was to make her say goodbye again and again to her loved ones, as the immortality the artifact bestowed would make her live many years beyond their life span. Kassandra then fully embraced her role as the Keeper and fully obtained and controlled the power of the Staff.[15] In the following millenia, Aletheia and the Staff accompanied Kassandra in Aletheia's quest to destroy all the Pieces of Eden.[16]

21st century CE

In 2018, Layla Hassan and her cell of Assassins managed to find the entrance to Atlantis using Kassandra's genetic memories that were recovered from her DNA sample on the Spear of Leonidas. While in Atlantis, she met with Kassandra, who had been using the Staff's power to survive until that time. Believing Layla to be the Heir of Memories that Aletheia had mentioned, Kassandra passed the Staff on to Layla and instructed her to, when her task reached an end, destroy it and all other Pieces of Eden with it before passing away herself.[5]

Following Kassandra's death and her experience with her memories, Layla found the locked seal to the Throne Room of Atlantis. There, the virtual consciousness of Aletheia contacted her and directed her to visit the four tombs that Kassandra had visited before her time as Keeper in order to decipher the symbols at the entrance of the room and find the right passcode to enter in it.[17]

Once inside, Layla once again relived the genetic memories of Kassandra, this time of her time within the simulations. While within the Throne Room, Victoria Bibeau accompanied her and attempted to stop her from continuing, noticing her instability caused by the Staff,[18] amplified by her brief sojourn into the genetic memories of Deimos, Kassandra's brother, that had caused a sort of corrupting Bleeding Effect.[17] Soon, the duo was ambushed by members of Sigma Team, elite Templar operatives under the command of the Juhani Otso Berg, that had them bugged since the discovery of of the lost city. Layla used the Staff to defend and kill most of the ambushing party, leaving only one alive to allow him to return to his leader. A worried Victoria then reluctantly let Layla return to the Animus to relive Kassandra's memories of the simulation of the Underworld.[18]

Layla hits Victoria with the Staff of Hermes Trismegistus

When Layla reached the memory where Kassandra fought a simulated Hades,[19] Victoria noticed Kassandra's brutality at the moment and pulled Layla from the simulation. An enraged Layla influenced by Kassandra's esteria emerged from the Animus and Victoria actively tried to convince her to stop the simulations, causing Layla to strike her with the Staff in a fit of rage. Immediately contrite, Layla attempted to ensure Victoria's safety but soon returned to the simulation.[20]

With Aletheia doubtful of Layla's role as the Heir of Memories after this violent episode, Layla discovered that she had, in fact, murdered Victoria. Still, Layla continued into the simulations despite Aletheia's doubts. After finishing the last simulation, Layla awoke to discover that Otso Berg himself had come to Atlantis' throne room to confront her and take both Atlantis and the Staff. Using the Staff as a spear, Layla defeated Otso in combat. Soon afterwards, she stabbed Otso, leaving him paralyzed but stable and gloated over her newfound immortality. Taking the earpiece from Victoria's corpse, Layla called for an extraction.<ref>Assassin's Creed: Odyssey – The Fate of Atalntis: Judgment of Atlantis – Modern day</ref>

Following Victoria's death, Layla's cell disbanded due to her recent outburst and shortly after, Aletheia stopped communicating with her. In the beggining of 2020, Layla was integrated in a cell with Shaun Hastings and Rebecca Crane[6], who had had a similar experience with a Piece of Eden on their former cell.[21] In the meantime, they received an encrypted message along with some coordinates that eventually led them to Eivor Varinsdottir's resting place in New England.[22] While exploring the Viking's memories to attempt to figure out a way to normalize Earth's magnectic field, Layla kept the Staff inside a case so as to not be affected by it. Their research led them to Hordaland, Norway, where the Yggdrasil device was abnormally increasing the field's energy. After reaching the vault, Layla used the Staff to survive the camber's dangerous radiation in order to reach the supercomputer, but dropped the Staff upon interfacing with the Animus-like device. She entered the digital network of The Grey, finding the consciousness of Basim Ibn Ishaq, who was trapped within the simulation since 877 CE, and unknowingly released him from the device. Basim actually was Loki's own reincarnation and quickly took the Staff, healing himself with it and finally reuniting with his lover. He then returned to the cottage and reqested that Shaun and Rebecca fetch William Miles in order to talk with him, staying with the Staff while exploring Eivor's remaining memories.[6]

Functionality

"I'm not worried. I have the Staff of Eden. It heals and protects."
―Layla Hassan in the Yggdrasil Chamber, 2020.[src]-[m]

The Staff of Hermes' most prominent ability is to bestow its wielder with biological immortality. It has the power to preserve its owner and protect them from the passage of time as well as to sustain them. Pythagoras was able to stay alive for centuries inside Atlantis with only the Staff, without requiring sustenance.[5] The Staff also possesses instantaneous regenerative functions which are similar to the regenerative abilities possessed by the Shrouds of Eden. This was evident at how the Staff was able to revive and fully regenerate Basim's biology back to his prime.[6]

However, once he finally passed down the Staff of Hermes to one of his children, Kassandra, he almost instantly passed away. The Staff was able to keep Kassandra from aging for far longer, for more than two thousand years, until she was able to pass it down to Layla. Like Pythagoras before her, she passed away after handing over the Staff, with her body even rapidly aging, demonstrating the limits to the immortality granted by the Staff—it did not truly prevent aging. Whether physical contact between the wielder and the Staff is required to impart such longevity is unknown. Those who passed ownership of the Staff onto another individual, either willingly or by force, at a point that was past the former owners natural lifespan would die almost instantly. This passage of ownership required both parties to maintain simultaneous physical contact on the Staff.[5]

Aside from its life-giving powers, the Staff of Hermes was the key to sealing off Atlantis and could take the form of whatever its user wished, given that Kassandra came back to Atlantis to greet Layla with the Staff in the shape of an apple. In a possible though untrue simulation of Kassandra's memories, Kassandra fights Pythagoras over the sealing of Atlantis, where the Staff gives Pythagoras the physical attributes of a young man despite his elderly appearance. In this false simulation, he is able to use the Staff to create precise blasts of energy and teleport short distances during combat. He is also able to conjure balls of energy, channel the Staff's power into himself, and project that energy from his hands.[5]

The Staff can easily corrupt those who do not possess the strength to wield it. Aletheia therefore created simulations for Kassandra to learn how to control it and through her, the Heir of Memories. The simulations allowed Kassandra to learn and fully control the staff, but while Layla was experiencing these same memories, it became clear to Aletheia that she was becoming corrupted by the staff. She began to doubt Layla's role as Heir of Memories after her violent fit which resulted in the death of Victoria.

Weapon statistics

Rarity DPS (Lvl 99) Default Engravings Availability
Legendary 8257 +25% Warrior Damage
+40% Chance to Ignore Half Damage
Low chance to gain a 30% Health Shield when Hit
Complete Ancient Revelations
Description
It's been discovered as the key to the unknown world of Atlantis—who knows the untapped potential it holds.

Gallery

Behind the scenes

The Staff of Hermes Trismegistus first appears in Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy as Hermes Trismegistus' gift to Pythagoras in Chapter 2 of the "Divine Science" pack of memories. In these, the staff is described as adorned with living snakes, capable of speech, and presenting intelligence so that the staff chooses Pythagoras as the successor of Hermes Trismigestus. Similarly, it's implied in these that the Staff passed hands multiple times before Hermes Trismegistus bestowed it to Pythagoras.

The Staff reappears in Assassin's Creed: Odyssey as an important item in the Atlantis quest lines and The Fate of Atlantis DLC episodes. Furthermore, the Staff is acquired as a weapon after the memory "Ancient Revelations". Despite its name, it is registered as a spear and shares the same animations as all other spear weapons, differing only in stats and Engravings.

Appearances

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaLayla Hassan's personal files: "Staff of Eden: Staff of Hermes Trismegistus"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaAnimus Anomalies
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Assassin's Creed: Project LegacyDivine Science: Chapter 2 – Kyros of Zarax
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Assassin's Creed: OdysseyAncient Revelations
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Assassin's Creed: OdysseyModern day
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Modern day
  7. 7.0 7.1 Assassin's Creed: Odyssey – The Lost Tales of GreeceThe Heir of Memories
  8. 8.0 8.1 Assassin's Creed: OdysseyA Family's Legacy
  9. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyThe Gates of Atlantis
  10. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyAtlantis Destroyed
  11. Assassin's Creed: Odyssey – The Lost Tales of GreeceThree Symbols Entombed
  12. Assassin's Creed: Odyssey – The Fate of Atlantis: Fields of ElysiumThe Isu Beckon
  13. Assassin's Creed: Odyssey – The Fate of Atlantis: Torment of HadesThe Second Calling
  14. Assassin's Creed: Odyssey – The Fate of Atlantis: Judgment of AtlantisThe Last Call
  15. Assassin's Creed: Odyssey – The Fate of Atlantis: Judgment of AtlantisThe Fate of Atlantis
  16. Assassin's Creed: Odyssey – Assassin's Creed Crossover StoriesA New Horizon
  17. 17.0 17.1 Assassin's Creed: Odyssey – The Lost Tales of Greece – Modern day
  18. 18.0 18.1 Assassin's Creed: Odyssey – The Fate of Atlantis: Fields of Elysium – Modern day
  19. Assassin's Creed: Odyssey – The Fate of Atlantis: Torment of HadesLabors of the Keeper
  20. Assassin's Creed: Odyssey – The Fate of Atlantis: Torment of Hades – Modern day
  21. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood – Modern day
  22. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Layla Hassan's personal files: StrangeMessage.WAV

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