450,000 years ago an early species of hominid comes in contact with a vein of rare mineral (pathorica/adamant) that gave off a unique radiation. This in turn led to unique genetic mutations including a third helix strand being formed, increased longevity, and enhanced audiovisual and electromagnetic senses including the ability to perceive and interpret neural oscillations resulting in almost precognitive abilities called Knowledge.
Around 125,000 years (76,000 BCE) later the Isu would wage a massive war called the War of Unification that would cause wide scale planetary destruction, later being conflated with the Toba Catastrophe. This caused a shift in Isu society and led them to bio augmentation and use of lesser hominids for proxy wars. Starting first with Neanderthals and then Homo sapiens around 50,000 BCE, the Isu, using theories first postulated by Prometheus who after creating the Shrouds had researched automata use, modified these species to react to the radiation given off by pathorica that they themselves had immunity to. By 10,000 BCE the Isu would establish a wildlife preserve in Northern Europe (or America given the actual animals) called Oros to study the development of some of more primitive hominid species and regulate their presentation of latent Knowledge abilities.
By 6,000 BCE a growing population of Hybrids had formed and were becoming discontent with the treatment of the humans and their own second class status. Rebellion sparked with the theft of an Apple of Eden by Eve and her husband Adam; the Apple actually might have been a gift from her father Phanes (Lucifer?). The Isu response to the rebellion was compounded by the discovery of an impending solar flare, the radiation of which would be severely detrimental to triple helix DNA and certain other Isu materials like orichalcum which was used in a lot of their structures although pathorica was for the most part unaffected.
During the experimental attempts to mitigate the effects of coming disaster, Juno's husband, Aita, while looking into genetic manipulation codename Project Olympos suffered from debilitating mental and physical side effects. Before his death Juno uploaded a digital copy of his consciousness into the Ankh. Due to the human rebellion, Juno would also lose her father, Saturn. This seeded in her a deep loathing of the human race. In order to punish Adam and Eve for their part in the rebellion she seduced their son, Cain, into killing his brother, Abel, stealing the Apple of Eden that their parents used to jump start the rebellion, and using the Ankh imprinted the Aita's consciousness into his genetic code creating the first Sage. He would then go on to gather a group of followers called the Children of Cain. Juno, knowing she was going to be sealed by her colleagues into the Grey, would go on to create a similar female counterpart to the Sage called the Chalice who if interacting with the Grey would be able to house her consciousness.
Cain or his Followers would at some point also come into possession of a Precursor Box and use it to research the Apple capabilities. Both would later be stored at Mount Sinai/Horeb. Due to the longevity of the Isu, their view of time, and the nature of insurgency, the rebellion continued for a long time. During the conflict some of the Isu would side with humans. Hermes would take a disciple, Enoch also known as Idris, and pass his Staff and teachings on to him. Enoch would take on the title Hermes Trismegistus and form the Cult of Hermes. The Staff and title would then be passed down from teacher to student. Minerva was another one of these and she would modify a human woman, Pandora, to carry the genetic make-up that would allow certain humans to resist the Prongs of Eden, even when amplified by a Staff The rebellion would last ten generations before coming to an end during the time of Noah due to the First Catastrophe.
Prior to the First Catastrophe Noah would come into possession of some of the Shrouds of Eden, including the one that housed Consul's consciousness together they and some Isu worked on other ways to shield humans from the most harmful effects of the Disaster. This led to the development of the Ark, a prototype for the later Aurora device_ Either a secondary means of protection by absorbing excess radiation or just an unintended effect of the event was heavy localized flooding. One of the Shrouds would go to Japeth and his descendants that settled in Greece becoming known as the Golden Fleece while another would stay with Shem and his descendants that remained in the Middle East becoming known as the Coat of Many Colors. Ham would receive nothing as part of the Curse of Ham. In the 17- century BCE the Hyksos led by the sons of Israel invade and conquer Egypt with the power of the Coat of Many Colors. They would remain in power for about two centuries before being overthrown and enslaved by the 17"/18" Dynasty of Egypt. During the reign of Amenhotep, Moses would lead the enslaved out of Egypt after corning into possession of a Staff of Eden that had been passed down through the Jewish Patriarchs, bringing the Shroud out with them. The Staff would also guide Moses to the Precursor Box and Apple on Mount Sinai where they'd become known as the Ark of the Covenant and Cain's research was interpreted into the Ten Commandments.
In the mid-13" century BCE, Amenhotep IV would find an Apple of Eden and believing it to be a physical representation of the Aten, would change his name to Akhenaten and push for its sole worship. Disbanding the current priesthood, he also took possession of their PoE, the Ankh. Using it in conjunction of the Apple and a Precursor Box, he would discover the ability to create virtual realities which various pharaohs would upload digital versions of themselves to persist after death and populate it with copies of their subjects as well as the ability to create golem like beings that could either be controlled by the Apple or have digital consciousnesses inhabit. However the ousted priests would conspire against the ruling family, engineer the early demise of many of them, influencing some of the later, taking possession of both PoEs, and bringing the 18" Dynasty to a close. Before this happened one of Akhenaten's children, Smenkhkare, would join the Children of Cain at a time it was going through a schism caused by the current leader not abdicating when the next Sage was found. He would form a splinter group of members who did not follow the Sage called the Order of the Ancients. The rest of the Children of Cain would go on to from the Instruments of the First Will. At the time the Order of the Ancients would be driven out of Egypt. The priests would use the PoEs in conjunction to bolster Ramesses ll's armies during his conquests.
The Mycenaean and Heroic Age in Greece saw the resurgence of artifacts related to the Olympos Project. Medusa obtained one transforming into a gorgon before being slain by Perseus. One of King Minos's sons obtained another turning into a human-bull hybrid aptly called a minotaur prior to being killed by Theseus. Other constructs created by the Olympos Project included a sphinx defeated by Oedipus and a number of Cyclopes killed by a number of various individuals. Prototype creatures for the Olympos Project were more bestial in nature with many destroyed by Heracles, a rogue Sage who while trying to access Atlantis for Juno was struck with random bouts of insanity.
Around the late 12" century BCE the Golden Fleece resurfaced in Colchis from where it was obtained Jason and the Argonauts. For supporting Jason in reclaiming the throne of lolcus for his son, Jason gifted the Shroud to King Peleus. Prior to this Peleus had an issue with his children dying in infancy. He and his wife Thetis, an individual with high Isu DNA content, used the Shroud to save their last son, Achilles. Achilles would later incorporate the Shroud into his armor making him invincible. However its loss after the death of Patroclus would render Achilles vulnerable. After the fall of Troy, the Shroud came into the possession of Aeneas who would take it with him to the Italian peninsula. This Shroud would later be passed down his family through the kings of Alba Longa until Romulus. After that it was held by the curators of his hero cult the Followers of Romulus. One important member of said cult was Brutus who brought the Shroud with him when he joined the Hidden Ones. Brutus would gain a lot of sway within the Hidden Ones however he would allow himself to be swayed by more radical members of the group like Gaius Cassius Longinus into plotting the assassination of Julius Caesar while Aya, their Mentor, was away from Rome. The Hidden Ones were not able to capitalize on the fallout of the event and were hunted down by the Order with many fleeing Rome while conducting open war. Brutus would lose at Philippi and commit suicide in shame. His friend Publius Volumnius attempted to revive Brutus with the Shroud to no avail. Dante, a high ranking member of the Italian branch of the Assassins, would condemn Brutus and Cassius in his Divine Comedy, not for the act of killing Caesar but for how their rashness lead to a purge of the Hidden Ones. The Hidden Ones survived the purged and reorganized under the name Liberalis Circulum.
The Trojan War also saw the use of the Trident of Eden and its Prongs in the hands of the children of Priam: Hector with Fear enhancing his battle prowess, Paris with Devotion, which he gained in return for an Apple, used in the abduction of Helen, and Cassandra with Faith malfunctioning and causing her syndrome. Agamemnon, who along with his father-in-law King Tyndareus and Odysseus founded the Cult of Kosmos and its first charter the Oath of Tyndareus, would use Paris's actions to enact that charter and justify the Trojan War in an attempt to curb their power and take possession of the artifacts. The Prongs from the Trojan War would eventually make their way into the possession of Alexander the Great. Atter his death they were split up again amongst his generals. Fear would go to Seleucus and then eventually to the Arabs where it would travel west along their conquest of North Africa and into the Iberian Peninsula; Devotion would stay with the Macedonians before falling into the hands of the Roman Empire; Faith would go to Ptolemy and then also go into the possession of the Roman Empire who would send it north in their attempt to colonize Britain.
The Order of the Ancients having fled Egypt after the schism relocated in Persia posing as the priestly Magi caste and soon backed the Achaemenid dynasty as they conquered the region. After taking Persia and the Middle East the Order of the Ancients planned to return to Egypt under the reign of Cambyses II. However there was a snag in their plans when it was revealed Cambyses II, also known as Ahasuerus in the Bible, was a Sage. The Order would engineer the downfall of the male line of the Achaemenid dynasty but the ime itself would continue when the Order had one of their own, Darius I, wed the female members and take the throne. After his death his younger son, Xerxes I, was inducted into the Order by Artabanus and backed by them over his older brother Ariabignes. Like his father Xerxes would try to conquer Greece and to that end courted the Cult of Kosmos. However Xerxes own son, also named Darius, opposed the views of the Order. He faked his own death, killed his father, and framed Artabanus for both crimes. After Artaxerxes I had solidified his hold on the throne Darius revealed himself to his younger brother and explained the truth. However this led to an altercation between the two that left Artaxerxes injured, alerted the Order, and resulted in Darius fleeing into exile. However the meeting with his brother had left Artaxerxes wary of the Order and he kept them at arm's length, having them focus on futilely hunting Darius rather than meddling in his rule. Darius had however turned an agent of Order, Megabyzus, to act as an inside man and protect Artaxerxes. His cover was later blown however when he foiled an attempt on the king during a lion hunt and was also forced to flee.
During Pythagoras's time as the leader the Cult of Hermes it was infiltrated by the Cult of Kosmos who staged an attempt on his life in 495 BCE. He survived the assault and fled to the ruins of Atlantis in the Richat Structure where he remained except for a short period where he left to make sure his bloodline continued. He was found by his daughter Kassandra and decided to pass the Staff on to her finally passing away. Prior to this Kassandra had had many adventures around Greece including winning the tethrippon in the 428 BCE Olympics for Sparta under the name Alexandros and killing a number of Olympos Project hybrids. She also uncovered that the child king of Sparta, Pausanias, was a puppet for the Cult resulting in his removal from office. However most of her actions in wiping out the Cult were manipulated by its disillusioned leader, Aspasia, who had allied with the Order of the Ancients and wanted to make way for their expansion into Greece.
With the Order’s arrival in Greece came Darius and his son Natakas. The Order would catch wind of a Tainted One active in the area leading them into conflict with Kassandra. She would also come into contact with Darius and Natakas, developing a close relationship with them and eventually having a son, Elpidios, by Natakas. However Natakas was killed in altercation between the two groups. After dismantling that branch of the Order, Darius took Elpidios to Egypt where they integrated with a secret sect of Medjay that went underground when the rest of the force was disbanded. Kassandra decided to continue opposing the Order and followed them back the Persia. There she met the alchemist Ostanes and recognizing his worth passed the Staff down to him as the next Hermes Trismegistus. However Kassandra’s life was still prolonged as her father’s had been and she lived long enough to train a young proto-assassin from a Babylonian based sect, Iltani, before passing. Following her mentors advice, Iltani would contact Ostanes from whom she would receive the poison used to kill Alexander the Great. From Ostanes, the Staff would travel north to Scandinavia with it becoming known as Gungnir and its holder, Odin.
In 38 BCE the God's Wife of Amun in Thebes, Isadora, would use the Ankh and the Apple to manifest dead pharaohs in revenge for the death of her mother. A few years prior a man interfaced with the afterlives and influenced by what he saw there created the Cult of Serqet. Hidden One founder, Bayek, would catch wind of the trouble in Thebes and investigate the source. There he would fight the dead pharaohs inside their virtual afterlives, assassinate Isadora, and take possession of the Ankh and the Apple before splitting them up sending the Ankh to his wife in Rome and having the Apple hidden in Egypt.
The Moses's Staff would be passed down through the tribe of Levi while the Shroud, which was also brought out of Egypt, would be passed down the tribe of Dan (Samson) and then Judah, to include David who used it to establish the Kingdom of Israel. By the I.' century BCE the Jewish Shroud had been passed down to Joseph of Bethlehem. Its use as a bridal cloak during his weeding with Mary caused her to conceive without having consummated the marriage due to her high Isu DNA content as a Chalice. This event causes a reaction among other Isu relics being held by the Hidden Ones, the Order, and the Instruments. Each sends an envoy investigate the event, Melchior from the Order bearing gold symbolizing dominion on earth, Caspar from the Instruments bearing frankincense symbolizing the divine, and Balthazar from the Hidden Ones bearing myrrh symbolizing of death.
The three Magi, either unaware of each other's allegiances or moderates amongst their factions, convene at the palace of Herod the Great. Herod another member of the Order, but paranoid and impulsive compared to Melchior, rashly enacts the Massacre of the Innocents. Balthazar warns the Holy Family and send them to the safety of allies in Egypt for a time. He then stays in Judea and assassinates Herod where it is revealed that he is actually Kawab who took a new name after joining the Hidden Ones.
The latent powers from the contact with the PoE and high Isu DNA causes Jesus to have an identity crisis. He leaves home at a young age on a journey of self-discovery. Accompanying him is a slightly older friend (the Beloved Disciple) whose parents are Hidden Ones of previous Nazirite and Tribe of Dan descent but he himself has yet not been inducted. He acts as a guardian for the younger Jesus as they travel the world. During his journey Jesus meets with all three Magi, Balthazar in Egypt, Melchior in Persia, and Caspar in India, picking up the different philosophies and mysticisms of the different cultures. They also travel all the way to Britain and study under the Druids.
Jesus returns to the Levant by the age of 30 and lives with the Essenes for a time before his baptism by his cousin John the Baptist, current holder of the Staff of Moses. After his baptism, Jesus goes to meditate in the desert where he is confronted by envoys of the three factions trying to recruit him. He rebuffs all three which is recorded in the Bible as the temptation of Christ. On returning from the desert Jesus starts his ministry attracting followers and converts from all three factions such as Judas Iscariot and Simon the Zealot from the sicarii (a Hidden Ones affiliate group), Simon Peter from the Order who also brought with him a Sword of Eden, and Mary Magdalene from the Instruments. Using his mastery of the PoE he performed many miracles such as healing, alchemy, and the apparition of previous PoE holders like Moses and Elijah. Jesus's growing following worried the Order in Rome. They sent an agent to Judea with the Prong of Devotion which had been previous used by the Empire to turn the populace against Brutus and his compatriots. Using the Prong the agent was able to subvert Judas making him betray Jesus and steal his PoE. The agent also uses the Prong to fix Jesus's trial and turn the populace against him. During this period Jesus is confronted by the Wandering Jew, a Sage previously reincarnated as Cambyses II. The Hidden Ones in Rome having caught wind of the Order's plans also sent their own agent, ??? Cassius Longinus, a relative of the Hidden One, Roman senator, and Caesarean assassin Gaius Cassius Longinus. He met up with the Beloved Disciple and they assassinate the Order agent and take possession of the Prong. No longer under its thrall Judas tells them where the PoE are before committing suicide in horror of what he's done. The Beloved Disciple recovers the Shroud while Longinus uses the Prong to rescue Jesus from the cross by making people believe he is dead. The Prong comes to be known as the Holy Lance.
The Shroud is used to heal Jesus but the strain was too much for his body to handle and after a month his body immolates and his consciousness is uploaded to an Isu cloud-server. Simon Peter, renouncing his previously militant ways, giving up his Sword of Eden, and taking up the Staff of John the Baptist, who was killed years previously, becomes the first Pope. Longinus, The Beloved Disciple, Joseph of Arimathea, Mary Magdalene, and the Holy Family resettle in Britain near what would become Glastonbury taking the Shroud and Peter's Sword with them. The Beloved Disciple weds Mary Magdalene, is formally inducted into the Hidden Ones, and with Longinus founds a branch in Britain.
The Sword would later pass on to Saint George by the Abbot of Glastonbury around late 3rd century CE. Emperor Diocletian would catch wind of this and try to claim it for himself by instigating the Great Persecution martyring St. George but the Sword would pass to Constantine instead who would use it to become emperor and establish Constantinople.
The Shroud would be hidden in a cauldron known as the Pair Dadeni but as time passes it would get conflated with the Chalice and bloodline of Christ becoming the legend of the Holy Grail. Rumors of another Chalice surfaced in late 5th century in Britain. At the time the Order led by King Arthur and the Hidden Ones led by Myrddin Wyllt, a Sage, were in alliance. This worries the other branches of the two factions which is taken advantage of by Morgan le Fay, the local leader amongst the Instruments. The Knights of the Round Table possess a Sword of Eden, Excalibur, with the possibility of the Faith Prong also being in the hands of Sir Tristan. Another knight, Percival, comes into contact with the Shroud now called the Grail and the Devotion Prong known as the Bleeding Lance in the possession of the Fisher King. He had been grievously injured but the Shroud was dormant and thus he wouldn't heal causing him great anguish that was projected across his domain by the Devotion Prong. Percival due to a high Isu DNA content was able to reactivate the Shroud and heal the Fisher King. Morgan le Fay was able to engineer the down fall of both Arthur and Merlin ruining their attempts of ideological reconciliation.
At some point the Prongs would then make their way to the legendary Wayland the Smith who would craft blades around them. These swords would be named Durandal (Fear), and Cortana (Faith), and Joyuese (Devotion). Charlemagne would take possession of them, giving Durandal and Cortana to his paladins Roland and Ogier the Dane respectively while keeping Joyuese for himself. Roland would fall in Battle of Roncevaux Pass and the Fear Prong would be recovered by the Saracens before making its way by East and being obtained by the Mongols. The other two would come to the attention of the Papacy and be obtained by them after Charlemagne died and they were able to exert their influence over his weaker son, Louis the Pious. These events would be researched by Ezio's successor as Mentor, Ludovic Ariosto.
Charlemagne would also come into possession of the same Shroud that Brutus once had which had made its way to the Abbey of St Denis where it went by the name of the Oriflamme. It stayed with French nobility until coming into the hands of the Templars, specifically Geoffroi de Charny. The Shroul was advertised as the Shroud of Turin even though it was not the same Shroud possessed by Jesus as the Templars wanted to use it as a means to regain influence in the Catholic Church and the Papacy afi the public disbandment and persecution of their Order. However this partially backfires when it is subsequently stolen and replaced with a fake by the Italian Assassins under the leadership of Renato Auditore. It would be regained by the Templars in Italy during WWII but be destroyed by the Assassins 2016.
In the late 1300s Henry Sinclair, a Scottish Templar, discovers an Isu site at the future location of the Rosslyn Chapel. There he learns of a Chalice born in the New World. He leads an expedition including James Gunn and establishes a camp in Newfoundland named after de Sable. There they came into contact with Norse Assassins descended from the colony founded by Thorfinn Karlsefni. The conflict claimed the life of James Gunn.