Assassin's Creed 2
Puzzle and Codex Contents and Analysis
Version 1.00
Author: Irvine Tomoe
Email: DarkerCompanion@gmail.com
Date of Submission: November 26, 2009

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Table of Contents
I. Disclaimer/Spoiler Alert
II. Introduction
III. Puzzle Information and Interpretation
IV. Codex Script and Interpretation - Incomplete
V. Auditore Tomb Script and Interpretation
VI. Speculation
VII. Personal Musings
VIII. Legal Somesuch
IX. Credits
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I. Disclaimer/Spoiler Alert

Before I say anything else, I have to warn that this file is intended to 
provide post-game information. This is not a guide having anything to do with 
how to beat the game, or the glyph puzzles. It is assumed that readers have 
solved all the glyph puzzles, beaten the game, and in some respects, have 
beaten Assassin's Creed 1 as well. I will discuss potentially every major plot 
reveal post game, as that is what this entire guide concerns. So if you are 
intending to find out the plot yourself, please, stop now. If you are reading 
this, and you are about to play Assassin's Creed 2 and you have NOT played 
Assassin's Creed 1, stop. Go buy AC1 for 20 bucks and play it first. Unless 
you hate it (in which case you will likely dislike the second as well), it 
will enrich the experience of the second.

Furthermore, there is a significant amount of speculation on my part in this 
file. The first half is examining imagery, references to history, implied 
connections and deciphered codes, so most of it is only one step (or less) 
away from what is spelled out directly. However, there will be a few 
connections I make that may not necessarily be true, so nothing can be taken 
as absolute truth . . . I'm sure the Assassins would agree. The speculation 
section will be the most distant from fact, as I will tie together a picture 
of the state of things in a more linear, definitive fashion, but including 
some of my interpretations of the more vague plot points. If you are still 
reading, awesome. Moving on.

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II. Introduction

Assassin's Creed 1 is an interesting, fairly popular game about an assassin 
during the crusades and the political strife and conspiracies he and his 
order discover while fighting with their enemies, the Templar. That's all 
fine and dandy . . . but it doesn't get really interesting until you beat 
the game. At the end of the game, there is a tantalizing spoiler of Science 
Fiction potential in a game that was fairly grounded in reality up until that 
point. The game left you hanging, having just discovered what little was 
provided to you, and it left you in the ultimate cliffhanger. 

But, for those with an insatiable appetite for more, there were hints. 
Drawings on the walls, that hinted at clues as to the direction of the next 
game. Emails that hinted that certain well known events were not what they 
seemed. Suddenly, a game about killing people in an awesome manner, on a 
historical political backdrop became so much more . . . and said "See ya in 
two years!" Well, that's just mean. Some of that information requires 
knowledge of lots of minute details and mythological references, as well as 
math and languages. And you know, not everyone gets that stuff. Nor is 
everyone interested in spending days deciphering all the clues. So when I 
played Assassin's Creed 2, and found that it had at least ten times more 
subtle clues than the first, I decided I had to look into it. Rather than 
have people dismiss this aspect and ignore what I consider to be the most 
interesting part of the game, I aim to combine it all for the reader, so that 
these aspects do not go ignored. 

So here we are. I've written down the contents of the puzzles, and what they 
seem to imply about the plot. When something vital is referenced, but not 
spelled out, I have done my research and included the facts in the file. If 
any of it calls to you, I recommend wikipedia. So much of this is there, 
waiting to be read . . . would you believe that nearly every conspiracy in 
this game is a REAL conspiracy theory? They may not be real conspiracies in 
real life, but they are real conspiracy theories in real life. Assassin's 
Creed 2 makes up very little. I have also deciphered all of the hidden 
messages in the background of the pictures. It is possible that I have missed 
one, and if that is the case, please, let me know.

In fact, while this file was written nearly entirely by me, I know I could not 
have caught everything. There must be underlying references of extraordinary 
value that slipped past me. Or perhaps I missed something obvious and inferred 
something else (you wouldn't believe some of the bad ideas I had WRITTEN DOWN 
in this file that I realized were wrong later). If you have anything you 
think would work well here, or if you have a suggestion, or maybe wish to 
contest that I have something so absurdly wrong it couldn't possibly be right,
let me know. My email is DarkerCompanion@gmail.com, and while I can't 
guarantee a fast response, I know I am interested in hearing more tie-ins and 
references. If I wasn't, I wouldn't have written this. You could say the 
length of this document is how interested I am in hearing what you might have 
to say.

With that explained, let me begin.

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III. Puzzle Information and Interpretation

Here, I will list each puzzle and the relevant images, facts, quotes, and the 
like included. I did NOT record all of Subject 16's dialogue, however, when it 
seemed important, I did. If you are here looking for solutions to the puzzles, 
you likely won't find it, except for on a few that the answer is relevant to 
the story.

-----------------------------------
-Puzzle #1: In The Beginning
-----------------------------------

This is an image matching puzzle. Its hint is "Five of These Mythic Scenes 
Share A CORE Similarity. Pick them out and you'll begin to see."

The Fall
Hercules in the Garden of the Hesperides
Atalanta and Hippomenes
Judgement of Paris 
Idun and the Apples

These five include apples in them in a prominent sense, many of which are tied 
into biblical or mythological settings. Upon completion, the image of the 
Piece of Eden (The Apple) is displayed.

Interpretation: This puzzle hints that the Apple/s have played a relevant role 
in the mythological history of mankind. It also notes several situations in 
which an apple was potentially more than just a fruit.

The Fall - This is a simple image of Adam and Eve by the Tree of Knowledge in 
the Garden of Eden. Given the contents of Subject 16's video, this one is 
fairly obvious.

Judgement of Paris - This moment from the life of the Greek mythological 
figure Paris concerned a marriage celebration held by the Gods. Not invited, 
Eris, the Goddess of Strife, sought to disrupt the party by offering a Golden 
Apple of Discord to the most beautiful attendant of the party. This caused 
bickering amongst the arrogant attendees, allowing Eris to manipulate the 
attendees into doing what she wanted (ruining the party themselves, since she 
wasn't invited). This use of the apple to control others behavior is 
especially worth nothing. Eventually, it came down to Paris, a mortal, having 
to choose which of the three goddesses, Hera, Athena (a.k.a. Minerva) and 
Aphrodite. He choice and subsequent actions eventually led to the eruption of 
the Trojan War, a war which concerned humans, super-humans (Achilles was the 
son of a nymph and a human, who were supernatural beings, leaving him with 
vaguely defined half-God status, see the Speculation section for more), and 
Gods.

Hercules in the Garden of the Hesperides - Hercules, a half-God (see the 
Speculation section for more on this subject) traveled to this location during 
his journeys to steal a Golden Apple as a task. Within the myth, these Apples 
had supernatural abilities, including immortality. Notably, in some variations 
of the myth, after the theft, Athena (Minerva) returned the Apples to the 
Garden.

Idun and the Apples - Idun is a Norse goddess who was known, amongst other 
things, as a guardian of youth giving supernatural apples.

Atalanta and Hippomenes - In this particular myth, Atalanta was a athletic, 
warriorlike woman who was far more capable than the average athletica male. 
Uninterested in marriage, she finally agreed that she would marry a male who 
could outrun her. Hippmenes was, according to the myth, granted 3 golden 
apples by Aphrodite that he used to trick her into slowing down, and through 
their use, was able to win. This myth is the only one of the five aside from 
the Judgement of Paris myth in which someone uses a Golden Apple to manipulate 
someone's behavior, but it is worth nothing.

In all five of the myths, the apples are highly desirable and capable of 
what seems to be more than just being a simple fruit. Furthermore, except for 
that of Idun, all of the apples are golden. In all five myths are the apples 
related to the Gods in one way or another.

-----------------------------------
Puzzle #2: Sixty-four Squares
-----------------------------------

This puzzle begins with a number of spinning circle puzzles. 

The first: Queen Elizabeth of England,1559
In this image, Queen Elizabeth holds an orb in her hand. The implication is 
that this is no simple orb. Upon completion, it is highlighted and identified 
as: ID: Piece of Eden 2 - Apple

The second: Emperor Napoleon 1 of France, 1812
In this image, Napoleon's characteristic "hand in jacket" pose implies a Piece 
of Eden. Given how well known this pose is, it may imply that the Apple had 
begun to influence his behavior. Upon completion, it is highlighted and 
identified as: ID: Piece of Eden 1 - Apple

The third: George Washington, United States, 1781
In this image, George Washington is shown in a similar pose to Napoleon, and 
the completed puzzle reveals the same result. Upon completion, it is 
highlighted and identified as: ID: Piece of Eden 3 - Apple

Interpretation: This puzzle is fairly simple in its implications. It shows 
three incredibly influential world leaders and gives evidence that they each 
were in possession of an Apple. Queen Elizabeth is considered to be the most 
recognizable leader in English history, and her reign has been considered as 
veritable golden age for the nation. Napoleon I was similarly one of the most 
recognizable leaders of France, as well as being extremely competent in war. 
George Washington is the first and the most recognizable of the presidents of 
the United States, and he too was a reputable politician and general.

-----------------------------------
Puzzle #3: Descendents
-----------------------------------

This puzzle starts with a relevant comment by Subject 16: "Power doesn't 
die; its passed on."

A Where's Waldo style puzzle, this includes images of several famous 
individuals.

The first:  Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Strategic Meeting, 1944
The image is labeled. "HE CARRIED IT WITH HIM. FIND HIS INHERITANCE"

There is a hidden message that goes horizontally across the board. It says:
THE MASONS BROUGHT IT ACROSS THE SEA.
GEORGE WASHINGTON PASSED IT ON.

The Apple one the table is IDed as the Piece of Eden #3.

The second: Houdini Beginning the Chinese Water Torture Cell Escape, 1913
A Morse code message says "They hit him in the stomach."
The Apple is on the water tank IDed as the Piece of Eden #1.

The third: Gandhi During The Salt March, 1930
A Morse code message says "The bullet hit him in the chest."
The Apple is on the end of his walking stick, seemingly invisible, IDed as 
the Piece of Eden #2.

Interpretation: A second time, the puzzle reveals that influential world 
leaders were in possession of Apples. However, in these pictures, the others 
present in the picture seem ignorant of the presence of said apples. This 
would imply that that had not just used the apple to gain their power, but to 
blind their followers to the presence of the apple. This is particularly 
relevant to Houdini, a master of escape and illusion. The power of the apple 
would easily allow him trick audiences into believing he had performed his 
famous stunts, several of which are still considered "impossible" today.  
Also, this puzzle assigns an accusatory tone towards the Templar for the 
deaths of Gandhi and Houdini. 

The note above Roosevelt's picture is not present in the other pictures. When 
considered in the context of the hidden message in his picture, it shows an 
important link. Roosevelt was a member of the Freemasons, a fraternal 
organization guarded by secrecy. Membership was earned, and one had to rise 
through the ranks to attain higher levels of membership and access to greater 
secrets. The Freemasons are several centuries old, going as far back as the 
16th century. George Washington was also a member of the Freemasons, 150 years 
before Roosevelt's time in office. Both Roosevelt's and Washington's apples 
are IDed in the pictures as Piece of Eden #3, so it is clear that it was 
passed along through the Freemason organization.

The most important clue here, however, is that for over two centuries, 
speculation and conspiracy theories have existed claiming that the Freemasons 
are a front for the Templar, who were forcefully disbanded. The theories claim 
that the Templar, losing their official power, created a new order that they 
could control from behind the scenes, and it is certainly a powerful group, 
even today, with many important historical figures having been members. It is 
worth noting that one conspiracy claims that the Freemasons were responsible 
for faking the Apollo 11 moon landing (See Puzzle 11: Apollo). The hidden 
message was also encrypted in Masonic code, a form of secret writing used by 
the Freemasons to keep their communication from prying eyes. 

-----------------------------------
Puzzle #4: Infinite Knowledge
-----------------------------------

This puzzle is another Where's Waldo puzzle.

The first: Burning Viet Cong Base Camp, My Tho, Vietnam, 1968
The image is labeled: Its open MOUTH delivers the kiss of death.
The picture shows a soldier in Vietnam with a rocket launcher on his back, set 
against a backdrop of destruction. The MOUTH refers to the rocket launcher.

The second: Members of the 2D Infantry Division Advance Under Machine Gun 
Fire into the Outskirts of Brest, France, 1944
The image is labeled: Leading the YOUNG to their end.
The picture shows soldiers in France. The YOUNG refers to a soldier in the 
background. 

There is a hidden message in this picture, encoded in Hexidecimal. Once 
deciphered, it says "Antikythera Mechanism, much older than 150 B.C.E."

The third: Union Troops in Formation, Beaufort, South Carolina, 1862
The image is labeled: The Flames from its throat POKE out their eyes.
The picture shows a group of soldiers, many of which have bayonets. The poke 
refers to these.

There is a hidden message in this picture, that once decoded says "Ancient 
city, Rajasthan, India, irradiated by PoE"

The fourth: The First Pictorial Representation of a Gun, 900
The image is labeled: The MONSTER did not come from man.
An asian picture depicts a horde of demons assaulting a central figure. There 
is what looks like a firearm/cannon in the picture, and a demon holds a 
blazing golden sphere. This sphere ends the image, and it is IDed as "Piece 
of Eden 4 - Apple"

There is a hidden binary message in this picture that translates to 
"Sumerian. Me 23."

Ends on a picture of a demon, holding a flaming sphere (ID: Piece of Eden 4 
- Apple)

Interpretation: Well, this one is a doozy. It has a lot to say, and makes a 
lot of references. First, the overarching theme is of firearms. The labels 
imply that guns are not a human creation. With the last picture in mind, it 
seems evident that a human used the knowledge in one of the Pieces of Eden to 
develop guns. As to their demonic appearance, that same Piece of Eden (being 
wielded alongside the guns in the picture) could have been used to convince 
the wielder's opponents that they were fighting not humans, but demons. Or 
perhaps the presence of a newly invented gun could have brought such terror 
that the event went down in history as being a demonic event.

The first hidden message refers to the Antikythera Mechanism, a real life 
artifact found in a shipwreck. It is a surprisingly complex tool that seems 
to have been used as an astronomical calculator. It was comprised of several 
dozen mobile gear parts, and when its calibration is compared to reality, it 
is exceedingly accurate. The mechanism's level of technology is considered 
to be equivalent to that of somewhere between the 15th and 18th century 
clockwork. However, it is estimated to be over 2000 years old, showing levels 
of advanced computing technology not believed to have existing during that 
period of time. The message implies that it is far older than estimates 
predict, implying is ancient technology from "Those Who Came Before", though 
not powerful in the sense of the Pieces of Eden.

The second hidden message refers to a combination of myths and scripture. 
There is a seemingly difficult to trace study on the internet concerning soil 
samples taken from the Indian state of Rajasthan. The study indicates that 
they were contained dangerously irradiated dust from a depth indicating that a 
radioactive event at least several thousand years ago in this area. This study 
itself has been notoriously hard to back up, however, for the purpose of 
this explanation, we will take it at face value. Where this ties in is that in 
Indian scripture, like most scripture, there is a large amount of metaphoric 
imagery, as well as supernatural beings. Unlike many instances of scripture, 
however, taken in a science fiction context, the descriptions and powers of 
the people and beings seem to resemble not saints and gods, but members of an 
advanced civilization, complete with references to flying machines similar to 
jets/spaceships, and weapons with the destructive power of an atom bomb. It 
is the weapons themselves that tie into this, for in the scripture, there is 
implication that there was a terrible war, and being that this is Indian 
scripture, it took place in the general area of India. 

Allow me to say this in another way: An ancient civilization of incredibly 
advanced technology went to war, and phenomenal destruction ensued, including 
weapons that match the description of nukes, in the general vicinity of India. 
And according to this difficult to trace study, an Indian state have heavily 
irradiated soil under several thousand years worth of sediment and dirt. 
Suddenly, this seems incredibly relevant. 

Finally comes the last hidden message, Sumerian Me 23. In Sumerian mythology, 
the gods granted to humanity many dozen "Me" or aspects of humanity. These 
are not rules, like commandments, but literal gifts of abilities. Furthermore, 
these abilities are embodied within literal objects. Me #23 is "Weapons". A 
physical embodiment of a weapon could refer to an object of vastly powerful 
combat usefulness, which could match the description of a Piece of Eden. 
 
-----------------------------------
Puzzle #5: Instruments of Power
-----------------------------------

This is an image matching puzzle. Its hint is "The power they wielded CUT 
down their enemies."

Perseus, Greece 
Attila the Hun, Eurasia 
Sigmund, Norse 
King Arthur, Britannia 
Joan of Arc, France 

These five include powerful figures from the world's history, well known for 
their warrior nature and combat prowess. Each, in turn wields a sword. When 
completed, Piece of Eden 25 - The Sword is displayed.

In this puzzle, the hint is "In their hands, the wise LEAN on a great force."

John the Baptist, Jerusalem 
Alexander the Great, Macedonia 
Shabataka, Egypt 
Peter, Jerusalem 
Moses, Egypt 

The five include important figures from history, with all of them being from 
the bible or old world civilizations. In the images, each possesses a staff. 
Once completed,  Piece of Eden 34 - The Staff is displayed.

Interpretation: This puzzle reveals the first indication that not all Pieces 
of Eden are Apples, although we now know that there are multiple apples. The 
sword and the staff are both Pieces of Eden here, and one might infer from 
the famous figures wielding them that they possess powers relevant to their 
purpose. 

Amongst the wielders of the sword, there is a mix of contemporary history 
and myth.

Perseus, a Greek mythological hero, was in possession of an enchanted 
adamantine sword that was granted to him by the Greek god Hermes. 
Interestingly, he was granted a plethora of magical items, including winged 
boots granting flight (also from Hermes), the shield of Athena (Minerva), 
and a helmet of Invisibility from god of the dead, Hades

Sigmund was a hero in Norse mythology, who amongst other things, came to 
possess a legendary sword. The Norse god Odin (the leader of their gods), 
came to a party he was attending and embedded the sword in a tree, claiming 
that only the person who could pull it from the tree could have it. Sigmund 
was the only one able to remove it, leading to much jealousy and a fair bit 
of murder. 

Attila the Hun was a powerful conqueror from 430 A.D. to 450 A.D. He managed 
to conquer a significant portion of the known world at the time, and was 
well known for his skill in warfare and, in many accounts, his cruelty. 
A legend has arisen around him regarding his sword, which was found in the 
wilderness. He referred to it as "The Sword of Mars", the Roman god of war, 
equivalent to Ares in Greek mythology. Amongst non-Roman accounts, it was 
known as the "Sword of the War God".

King Arthur's tale is far too well known to bother explaining it here, but 
his possession of the legendary sword Excalibur is evidence enough of its 
place here. Its role as being a sword in the stone, only removable by a 
specific individual closely parallels Sigmund's sword, indicating a potential 
connection. Excalibur was mentioned to have the ability to blind its 
opponents, and its scabbard was said to prevent the wielder from bleeding to 
death.

The last, chronologically, in the line of individuals in this set is Joan of 
Arc. She stands out from the other four in that there is no record of her 
sword being in any way spectacular. However, her own life fills this role. 
She was an uneducated, poor farm girl who claimed to have received divine 
visions instructing her to lead France, her native country, to reclaim its 
lost territory from the English. With a lot of convincing, she received 
permission to fight with the troops, and her influence, through divine 
knowledge, innate skill, or extreme luck, turned the tide time and time 
again, resulting in a string of victories that had been preceded by decades 
of failures. Nearly every tactical decision she made resulted in a victory 
where others had failed, and she predicted enemy movements with an uncanny 
degree of accuracy that even veteran military tacticians did not foresee. 
She did this in the years when she was only 17 and 18. Ultimately, after 
making great strides in France's name, a political conspiracy against her 
resulted in her being burned at the stake. It was later officially found 
that the trials were performed unlawfully, and that she was innocent of the 
charges.

On the subject of the staff puzzle, the individuals depicted all were in a 
position of power or leadership at one point.

The first is Moses, of Jewish and Christian scripture. Most relevant to this 
topic, while doing God's bidding, he was told by God to perform certain acts 
with his brother's staff. This often resulted in supernatural event, and it 
soon became common for Moses to use his staff whenever invoking God's power. 
Included in these acts are: turning the staff into a snake, invoking 
numerous plagues upon Egypt, parting the Red Sea for passage, conjuring 
water, and allowing the Israelites to win a battle so long as the staff 
was raised high. 

The second is Shabataka, an Egyptian king who ruled around the year 700 BC. 
Aside from a brief campaign in Jerusalem, there is little linking him to 
previous owners of the staff, nor is there significant record of events or a 
particular staff in his possession.

Third is Alexander the Great. Like Shabataka, there is no particular 
evidence of a staff in his career, however, he led a tremendously successful 
campaign that created an empire reaching from Greece to India. He 
accomplished this in about ten years, although his conquest eventually slowed 
to a standstill. After his death, his empire fell apart within a few short 
years, unable to maintain itself.

Fourth is John the Baptist. His role in birth of Christianity is paramount, 
as he is arguably the second most important human in its creation, second 
only to Jesus himself. He himself had a sufficiently large following 
independent of Jesus, founded around baptism. He himself was the one to 
baptize Jesus, at which point his followers slowly merged with those of 
Jesus. He was soon killed by the regions local ruler, at a time which 
historians believe was within a year before Jesus himself was killed. It 
should be noted that his mother was a "Daughter of Aaron", or an individual 
who's lineage could be traced to Aaron, the brother of Moses.

Last is St. Peter, apostle of Jesus, and often their leader when Jesus was 
not present. He would later become the first Pope, and in some ways, could be 
considered the founder of Christianity as an actual religion (In that Jesus 
merely spread the belief, but it was more of a following at the time). As the 
first Pope, it might be inferred that his possession of the staff allowed it 
to be passed down through the years, eventually culminating in Rodrigo Borgia.

-----------------------------------
Puzzle #6: Brothers
-----------------------------------

This puzzle contains 4 spinning circle puzzles, each depicting Cain and 
Abel, the sons of Adam and Eve. The first image depicts the burning altar 
sacrifice, and the remaining three depict the two struggling. Upon 
completion, each shows that they were reaching for the Piece of Eden.

Each image has a line of text, forming a passage:

And Satan Said Unto Cain: Swear Unto Me By Thy Throat, And If Thou Tell It 
Thou Shalt Die

And All These Things Were Done In Secret

And Cain Said: Truly I Am Mahan, the Master of This Great Secret.

Wherefore Cain Was Called Master Mahan, and He Glorified In His Wickedness

Upon completion, subject 16 says "Behold; the mark of Cain!" The red templar 
cross appears upon all four images. A passage of morse code below says 
"TEMPLAR TEXTS ADAPTED BY MR SMITH".

Interpretation: This one holds an impressive array of implications. 

First: Cain and Able are the sons of Adam and Eve. In the context of 
Assassin's Creed, this may mean that they would inherit the Piece of Eden 
that Adam and Eve stole. However, it seems clear that Cain, the ever jealous 
brother in scripture and culture, would attempt to take the Piece of Eden 
for himself, and in doing so, commit the first murder in the name of 
possessing the Apple. This, with the mark of the templar appearing, shows 
that he was the first person willing to commit terrible acts upon other 
humans in the name of acquiring the power of the Pieces of Eden for 
himself. Whether his association with the Templar order is symbolic or real 
is not clear, but it could be that he would later go on to found the order, 
attempting to gain control of more of the pieces. 

Second: "Templar Texts Adapted By Mr. Smith". What an incredibly useless 
piece of information, what with Smith being so common a name. Fortunately, 
it is inextricably linked to one important Smith in history. "Master Mahan" 
is not a phrase present in most biblical accounts. It is, in fact, fairly 
exclusive to Mormon texts. The founder of the Mormon Order (The Latter Day 
Saint movement), who also "translated" the texts founding their scripture, 
is a certain Joseph Smith, Jr. Joseph Smith, Jr., as well as several other 
founding members of the Mormon Order were members of the Freemasons, and 
some aspects of Mormon ritual are based upon the rituals of the Freemasons 
(See Puzzle 3: Decendents). The take home message, however, is that the 
Mormons are implied to be Templar.

-----------------------------------
Puzzle #7: Keep on Seeking, And You Will Find It
-----------------------------------

Here, another image matching puzzle appears, with a lengthy hint:
First Plucked From A Tree Guarded By A Snake, Its Powers Perform Miracles. 
Then, Worn Across The Ages, Torn Asunder, Hidden Under A Sea of RED, 
Reconstruct the Timeline

Joseph, Egypt. C. 1700 B.C.E. 
Jason, Greece, Prehistory 
Jesus Christ, Jerusalem, c. 30 
David and Goliath, Valley of Elah, c. 970 B.C.E. 
Christ Disrobed, Jerusalem. c. 30

These images share a slightly more subtle similarity than previous ones. All 
but one depict a figure from Christian/Jewish scripture wearing a bright red 
cloak or shirt. The fifth of Jason of the Argonauts, battling the hydra to 
take the Golden Fleece, a legendary article of clothing made from the fur of 
a supernatural ram. 

After matching the images, a new picture appears of Jesus crucified on the 
cross. Using the scanner, one finds the message "They Took It" written across 
the image. Scanning the note on the top of the cross reveals a Templar logo, 
and in the bottom corner the scanner reveals Jesus' cloak. Selecting it 
solves the puzzle, revealing the message: "Piece of Eden 66: The Shroud".

Interpretation: This puzzle shows that Christianity has two Pieces of Eden 
resurfacing time and time again. Along with the Staff from Puzzle 6, the 
Shroud shows that it played a part in the lives of several of them. 
Furthermore, it implies it was more than a simple cloak by attaching it to 
the Golden Fleece. 

The quest of Jason is a lengthy one, concerning many aspects of Greek 
mythology, however, only a few are relevant to this context. First, the 
entire course of his quest is an attempt to get a golden fleece from a foreign 
land, so that he may rightfully take his place as king in his own nation. 
Later in the story, the fleece itself shows the power to heal the injured, 
and protects its wearer from harm. Another relevant thread in the plot is 
that Jason had a strong association with the Greek god Hera (Juno). It is 
worth noting that one of Jason's companions was Heracles (Hercules in 
Roman mythos).(See Puzzle 1: In The Beginning).

The tale of Joseph is an important part of Jewish scripture, as it marks one 
of the many points at which Judaism began its spread in the world. However, 
one important portion of the tale concerns the beginning, where Joseph's 
father, Jacob, grants him alone out of his twelve brothers a beautiful, 
colorful cloak. Out of jealousy, the brothers betrayed Joseph, and sold him 
into slavery. The cloak is well known for being associated with Joseph's tale.

David and Goliath is another tale in Jewish scripture accounting a battle 
between a young boy with little to no combat training and an immensely large 
warrior. Despite all odds, David overcame Goliath without so much as a 
scratch, and eventually went on to become king of the Hebrew nation, bringing 
it into a brief golden age that it has never regained. In the picture, he is 
depicted as wearing a bright red shirt. It is interesting to note that David's 
King, Saul, offers him the use of his own armor, but David refused, using his 
own cloth tunic instead.

The dual images of Jesus both depict him wearing a bright red cloak, defying 
the conventional depiction of Jesus' cloak being a beautiful blue. However, 
if the cloak were indeed to be the same as the Golden Fleece, it could be in 
possession of the same healing powers. This would make sense, given that 
several of Jesus' miracles include him healing the disabled, sick, dying, or 
dead. The disrobing of Jesus is an important stage in the depiction of his 
crucifixion, and if the message at the end of the puzzle is indeed correct, 
then this may have been the ultimate purpose of Jesus' death. This might 
also be the earliest depiction of the Templar in action. 

-----------------------------------
Puzzle #8: Martyrs
-----------------------------------

This puzzle is a simple Where's Waldo type puzzle, showing two images.

The first:  Czar Nicholas II, Russia
There is binary code in the picture, which, when translated, says "17 July, 
1918". This is Nicholas II date of death.
Searching the picture reveals his scepter is the Staff, Piece of Eden 34.
The second: Joan of Arc, France
There is binary in this picture as well. It says "30 May, 1431". This is also 
her date of death.Searching the picture reveals her sword is the Piece of 
Eden 25.

A pointer with the templar logo appears on a map.
Place Fire over Joan of Arc, and it shows her burning at the stake, 
revealing the message "They took it".

Place a photo of Rasputin over Nicholas, and it shows the revolution, with a 
red Templar cross overlaid, revealing the message "Rasputin took it to 
Tunguska."

Subject 16 notes that without the staff, Nicholas could not control his 
subjects, leading to the Russian revolution.

Interpretation: This ties the deaths of two historical figures into the mix. 
Joan of Arc was mentioned before as having the sword, and the conspiracy to 
have her executed seems that it may have been a Templar plot to get Piece of 
Eden 25, the Sword. Whether this is the case or not, the Templar came into 
possession of the Sword after her death.

The information on Czar Nicholas is a bit harder to discern. While it says 
that Rasputin took it to Tunguska, it does not deliberately state that he 
stole it from Nicholas. Rasputin was a close advisor and highly trusted by the 
Czar. His status as a mystic, well versed in the ways of the spirits and 
magic, might have led Nicholas to trust him with his "magic staff". Czar 
Nicholas may not necessarily have been a good leader, but it seems he was 
manipulated by the Templar as well.

-----------------------------------
Puzzle #9: Hat-trick
-----------------------------------

A combination puzzle here, some Where's Waldo puzzles first, then a 
deciphering puzzle.

First: They Made It Look Like An Accident
Houdini and Bess, 1915
Sliding templar symbol over Houdini's chest/abdomen reveals one of the apples, 
with a heartbeat sound. It then shows Houdini's grave.

He Almost BEAT them.
Gandhi, 1946
The templar symbol over his chest reveals one of the apples.
It then shows Gandhi's funeral procession.

Dallas (Archive) file appears.

Subject 16 says: "The wolves are out hunting. Where, oh where, has Jack gone?"

When you solve the deciphering puzzle, a letter appears:

===================================
Operation: New Frontier

HQ has given the go-ahead to extract the resource. Negotiations are over. F is 
planning to give the vote to everyone. Reason just doesn't work with someone 
like that. 
	
I'll send you the driver. We've trained him with PE2 in our labs, he shouldn't 
be any trouble.

The motorcade route is marked below. Once the target has been downed, either 
by Oswald or Z, use PE1 to stage a distraction. Make some kind of phantom 
appear around this slope I've marked with an X. Freak people out. The driver 
will grab PE3 in the confusion.
===================================

The bottom of the letter displays a later Templar logo, that looks similar to 
a corporate logo, with the letters IHSV written on it.

Interpretation: The first half of this puzzle reinforces what Puzzle 3: 
Descendents showed, which is that Houdini and Gandhi were in possession of 
Apples and that the Templar engineered their deaths, likely to take the 
Apples.

The second part indicates that the Templar were behind the assassination of 
John F. Kennedy. It also sounds like JFK was in possession of Piece of Eden 3 
at the time of the assassination. Lee Harvey Oswald and an unnamed "Z" sound 
both to be Templar operatives, and were both gunmen present at the scene. The 
grassy knoll, famous for having somehow been involved, seems merely to be a 
red herring created by generating hallucinations with Piece of Eden 1. It also 
sounds as if, by the end of the assassination, the Templar would be in control 
of Pieces of Eden 1-3. One of the only relevant Z individuals tied to the 
assassination is Abraham Zapruder, the famed individual who filmed the 
assassination. (Pointed out by Gamefaqs user Failbaddon) 

The wording of the second sentence of the letter could mean two things. It 
says "We've trained him with PE2". This could mean either than they have 
trained him in the use of Piece of Eden 2, or that they have used Piece of 
Eden 2 to "train" him to be effective and/or obedient. The latter would 
indicate a new possibility; that the Templar can use a Piece of Eden to not 
just make an obedient, mindless follower (think of the Masyaf populace at the 
end of Assassin's Creed 1), but a functional, talented operative who will 
mindlessly follow instructions.
 
The logo at the end, with the letters IHSV likely stands for "In Hoc Signa, 
Vinces." This is Latin for By This Sign, Conquer, and the original Latin 
phrase was a Templar motto.

-----------------------------------
Puzzle #10: Apollo
-----------------------------------

An image of the moon appears in this Where's Waldo scanner puzzle. It is 
labeled "FIND THE EAGLE".

A hidden code is on the moon in the Masonic script from Puzzle 3: Descendents. 
It says:

JOHNSON WAS ONE OF THEM
THE BEES DRONE TOO
FOLLOW THE MONEY

The scanner detects the Apollo landing craft, which then zooms in and begins 
a spinning puzzle.

Below the puzzle, a quote is written: With these formidable weapons, the 
adversaries of freedom plan to consolidate their territory, the exploit, to 
control, and finally to destroy. - JFK

After solving puzzle, a photo appears: Apollo 11 photograph released to the 
public.

Scanning it reveals the image in negative, and the message at the top says, 
when scanned "Original Unreleased Negative"

Scanning the American flag reveals the Abstergo logo.

Scanning the banner on the moon reveals a Templar standard banner.

Finally, scanning the ground in front of the astronaut reveals a Piece of 
Eden. When scanned, it is IDed as "Piece of Eden 5, Apple". Subject 16 
comments "With Jack deep underground, it was easy."

Interpretation: This one indicates that, for some reason, a Piece of Eden was 
on the moon, and the mission to the moon was created to get it. JFK had been 
a serious proponent for going to the moon, however, this decision was based 
upon the recommendation of his Vice President, Lyndon B. Johnson. Johnson 
would become president after JFK's assassination, and the moon landing 
occurred soon after the end of his tenure as president. The hidden message, 
along with two other cryptic lines, indicates that President Johnson was a 
Templar. Subject 16's comment indicates that JFK was not a Templar, or might 
have even been opposed to them. With him out of the way, and Johnson in 
power, they engineered the retrieval of Piece of Eden 5 without opposition. 

The images revealed by the scanner show that the entire mission wasn't even a 
hidden Templar mission under the guise of an American mission. It WAS a 
Templar mission, and the photos were doctored later to make it look like an 
American mission. It is interesting to note that there is conspiracy theory 
accusing the Freemasons of faking the moon landing. Given the information 
revealed in Puzzle 3: Descendents, the theory is only half true. It is clear 
that they were involved, but rather than fake the moon landing, they just 
concealed its true purpose. 

One interesting suggestion made to me by contributor Tyler Martin was that 
"the bees drone" might refer to the name of Apollo astronaut "Buzz" Aldrin. 
While a subtle and debatable reference, the possibility that "the droning 
noise of a bee" or a "buzz" is a play on words indicating the astronaut on 
the moon. However, what of Armstrong? Was he also a Templar, or was the 
entire secret meaning of the mission hidden from him. If so, how was that 
possible? It is important to point out, however, the "the bees drone" might 
not refer to the sound, but a drone bee, though this indicates little as to 
the meaning of the sentence.

-----------------------------------
Puzzle #11: The Inventor
-----------------------------------

A letter appears instantly upon starting this puzzle.

===================================
The economic transmission of power without wires is of all-surpassing 
importance to man.

By its mean he will gain complete mastery of the air, the sea and the desert. 
It will enable him to dispense with the necessity of mining, pumping, 
transporting and burning fuel and so do away with innumerable causes of sinful 
waste. It will make the living glorious sun his obedient, toiling slave.

It will bring peace and harmony on Earth.

- Nikola Tesla
===================================

After a small pointer game, an image appears:

Nikola Tesla's Wardenclyffe Tower, Under Construction. c. 1902

A number of quotes are hidden throughout the picture:

"Fights between individuals, as well as governments and nations, invariably 
result from misunderstandings in the broadest interpretation of this term. - 
Nikola Tesla"

"Money does not represent such a value as men have placed upon it. All my 
money has been invested into experiments with which I have made new 
discoveries enabling mankind to have a little easier life. - Nikola Tesla"

"Misunderstanding are always cause by the inability of appreciating one 
another's point of view. The best way to dispel ignorance of the doings of 
others is by a systematic spread of general knowledge. With this object in 
view, it is most important to aid exchange of thoughts intercourse." - 
Nikola Tesla

Scanning one of the upper windows leads to the next picture, one of arcing 
lightning coursing through a room.

The image is labeled Nikola Tesla, c. 1900

A hidden image appears in the lightning. When deciphered, it says "HE USED 
IT TO DEVELOP A BOTTOMLESS SOURCE OF ENERGY TELEFUNKEN WIRELESS STATION".

Scanning Nikola Tesla's lap reveals an artifact, IDed as "Piece of Eden 4, 
Apple". 

Subject 16 says "He found it in Croatia. They would find it in his lab."

Interpretation: This one introduces a string of puzzles concerning Nikola 
Tesla. The first two thirds of the puzzle demonstrate that Nikola Tesla 
greatly valued technology and its advances, especially those of energy 
transmission and the sharing of information for the purposes of education. 
His philosophy on life seems to be that lack of communication, understanding, 
or knowledge seems to be at the core of all major disputes, and that one can 
reduce the risk of these disputes by improving these things. 

The second image shows Nikola Tesla in a room with arcing electricity. In his 
lap is an Apple, Piece of Eden 4. Subject 16 says he found it in Croatia, 
where Tesla was born. The hidden message indicates he used the inherent 
knowledge in the Apple to develop limitless energy, or the Apple itself 
provided the energy. It also references Telefunken Wireless Station, the first 
trans-Atlantic wireless station, which Tesla helped create. Subject 16s 
comment that "They would find it in his lab" foreshadows what would be 
revealed in the later puzzles, that the Templar took the Apple from him.

-----------------------------------
Puzzle #12: Titans of Industry
-----------------------------------

A file called Edison appears. Opening it reveals a letter:

===================================
Dear Mr. Morgan:

A serious matter has come to my attention. Nikola Tesla plans to use PE4 to 
create an information network across the entire world. And if that weren't bad 
enough, he intends to allow access to it for free! Imagine the masses 
spreading knowledge amongst themselves instantaneously. That would make 
everything we intend to do much more difficult.

You must cut all funds for his experiments at once! In case you get cold feet, 
I'll have you know he wants to make electricity free as well, thereby putting 
us out of business.

I've already begun slandering Tesla in the press. Just reallocate his funding, 
and I'll take care of PE4 myself.

Sincerely yours, Thomas A. Edison
===================================

A point and click game occurs, and as you complete it, it shows various 
actions Edison took to slander Tesla, culminating in a real video of an 
elephant being electrocuted to show that Tesla's energy was dangerous.

An image of Edison holding a glowing light appears.

Subject 16 says "He wanted everyone to know the secret. To set us all free. 
They used it to drive him insane."

A hidden string of Morse code in the picture says "THEY USED IT TO MAKE TESLA 
GO INSANE THE ORGANIZATION TOOK HIS RESEARCH ALIEN PROPERTY CUSTODIAN OFFICE".

Scanning the glowing orb reveals a file labeled Ford. Opening it reveals a 
letter:

===================================
Dear Mr. Edison,

I wanted to thank you for letting me make use of PE4 all these years. Among 
several things, I was able to convince the workers I was raising their pay to 
$5 a day, when in fact, I gave them a pay cut. But, I had to let PE4 go. As 
per instructions, I've shipped it to Europe.

H. has it, so I assume the war will begin as soon as he can take over. We'll 
let him have his fun (Lord knows, that kind of purge will be good for Europe) 
and then end it with a bang, as planned. Out of the chaos of war a new order 
will emerge! I've enclosed a picture from Florida of you, me and Firestone. We 
should attempt to spend more time on the golf course this summer.

Yours, Henry Ford
===================================

Interpretation: At this point, it becomes clear that the slander of Tesla by 
Edison fueled by a Templar initiative, of which J.P. Morgan, Thomas Edison and 
Henry Ford are all members of. In addition to their regular drive to attain 
any Pieces of Eden they can get their hands on, Tesla represents a triple-
pronged assault on their belief of what the world should be like. He intends 
to allow limitless and instantaneous transmission of information, he intends 
to offer it for free, and he intends to make electricity free as well, thereby 
undercutting the Templar's control of information and one of their sources 
of income.

They instituted a dual assault on Tesla; Morgan cutting off his finances and 
urging other investors to avoid Tesla, and Edison publicly ruining Tesla's 
image. Without money and without people backing him, his finances fell apart. 
Further troubling this was that he had a number of mental issues including 
depression and eccentric behavior. The puzzle implies that this was a third 
method of reducing the threat of Tesla, by using the Piece of Eden to unsettle 
his mind.

The second letter reveals an even more catastrophic turn of events. Henry 
Ford used the Piece of Eden 4 to manipulate his employees into happily 
accepting pay cuts. After he was done with it, he sent it to Europe to H. 
(Definitely revealed to be Hitler in Puzzle 17: The Bunker), knowing full 
well that Hitler intended to begin a purge and takeover of Europe. This means 
not only that Hitler was a Templar, but that the Templar order supported 
World War II's existence, and engineered the entire thing. The Piece of Eden, 
as often used in other situations, would be used to manipulate people, 
allowing his takeover of Germany and the creation of his army. The icing on 
the cake is that in the same paragraph as talking about deliberately causing 
the largest loss of human life in the world's history, they talk about 
playing golf. This provides very good insight into how far the Templar are 
willing to go to accomplish their means, and how little they care for the 
loss of life in the process. 

-----------------------------------
Puzzle #13: I am become death, the destroy of worlds.
-----------------------------------

A file labeled Trinity appears, unlocking it reveals the following letter:

===================================
Abstergo Corporation

Subject: Test Authorization

There comes a time in the life of every experiment when we must test our 
results outside, in the world. I do not relish a successful outcome, but one 
is essential if we are to begin the foundations of a new world order.
	
Global security and prosperity depend on a steady hand guiding the populace, 
a hand that will not falter under the weight of conscience. Give O. the 
authorization.

I believe that history will vindicate us in the end.

Signed with the Templar logo.
===================================

Pressing a button after the letter shows an atomic bomb go off.

Interpretation: This one is not particularly full of hidden meaning, however, 
it shows very soundly that the Templar were responsible for the development 
of the atomic bomb. It may be likely that O (Oppenheimer, the most significant 
creator of the atomic bomb) is a Templar, or at least a pawn of the Templar.

-----------------------------------
Puzzle #14: Bloodlines
-----------------------------------

A matching image puzzle appears, with the following clue: The Seeds Were 
Planted As Two Worlds Became One. Behold, the Assassins, the Children of Two 
Worlds!

Danae Visited By Zeus
Jupiter and Io
Leda and the Swan
Cupid and Psyche
Rape of Europa

Upon selecting these five, depicting a human and a god mating, an Assassin 
Symbol is shown.

Interpretation: A very brief puzzle, but exceptionally full of hidden clues. 
In Assassin's Creed 1, the implication was made that Eagle Vision was merely 
a talent, taught by the Assassin Order. However, it is clear further in 
history, that this is a gift that only a few possess. The only individuals 
we know of who possess it are Desmond, Ezio, and Altair, and they share a 
common bloodline. Altair and Ezio are also far more skilled than other 
assassins in their respective era, putting some level of significance in 
them that cannot just be coincidence. 

This puzzle indicates that Assassins are, if possible, some sort of cross-
breed between the Ones Who Came Before and humans. This grants them a few 
advanced abilities, but not the longevity or other unknown powers possessed 
by the Ones Who Came Before. It is also possible that this is what grants 
Altair his immunity to the mind control of the Piece of Eden. While purely 
physical effects such as immobilization or temporary duplication still come 
into effect, the neural pathways transmitting the mind control 
neurotransmitter are not present. Perhaps it is possible that they are just 
less effective, as Altair still was susceptible to illusions, and it took him 
decades to try and destroy the Piece of Eden (inability to destroy the 
controlling Piece of Eden would be an intelligent inclusion when controlling 
hordes of enslaved humans). Either way, this puts a whole new spin on the 
many myths mentioned earlier in the puzzles concerning half-god individuals.

-----------------------------------
Puzzle #15: Guardians
-----------------------------------

The Death Of All Tyrants Will Set The People Free (Shows Assassin Symbol)

Image of the world shows the following names: 
Joseph Stalin
Rasputin
Mary I of England
Tomas De Torquemada
Cleopatra
Francois Duvalier
Francisco Pizarro
John Wilkes Booth

Many of these individuals were cruel leaders in their respective countries. 
Some of them merely commit gross atrocities, including genocide or 
persecution. Cleopatra herself was one of the targets of one of the six 
Assassins in the Assassin's tomb, Iltani.

Interestingly, one individual does not fit with the rest. John Wilkes Booth, 
while certainly responsible for what many would consider an "atrocious" act 
in assassinating Abraham Lincoln, was the only of these individuals who does 
not fit the description of tyrant. Despite being a popular actor, Wilkes Booth 
was effectively little more than an opponent of a political change with no 
financial backing, and little more than a few accomplices for support. In 
other words, aside from one act, he did not have a reputation, and no history 
book would ever describe him as a tyrant, or even a shadow ruler (like 
Rasputin may have been). 

-----------------------------------
Puzzle #16: The Cavalry
-----------------------------------

The puzzle begins with a letter:

====================
Nikola,

We know what they have done to your lab, to your career. It may be too late 
to set things right, but you can help prevent something far worse. They have 
taken an object from the Czar, and are conducting experiments in Tunguska to 
figure out how to use it. Before they do, we must take it from them, or the 
world will be in danger. We do not ask you to risk your life, just that, when 
the time comes, you use your electricity to destroy the object.

Regardless of your decision, know that we admire your work greatly and will 
bear you no ill will.

We respect your freedom above all else.
=====================

A map appears. When you put the Assassin symbol over the word Tunguska, a 
picture of the Staff over the Abstergo logo appears. When touched with the 
logo and a picture, it shows an immense explosion. 

Interpretation: Whether Tesla and the Assassins were involved with each 
other regularly cannot be seen, but at the very least, they contacted him 
and asked him to help them in their endeavor against the Templar. The letter 
echoes that expressed in Puzzle 8: Martyrs, that the Staff, Piece of Eden 34, 
ended up in Tunguska under the control of the Templar. It is worth noting 
that the Assassins show a great deal of respect for Tesla, and even more 
respect for his right not to help them, if he were to choose not to.

However, the Tunguska event did happen. For those not familiar with this 
event, it was a phenomenal explosion that occurred in northern Russia in 
1908. It was far larger than the explosions caused by the atomic bombs 
dropped on Japan in World War II, however, it was non-nuclear, and did not 
cause radioactive fallout. It was also in such a secluded area that no one is 
known to have been killed by it, but it was seen by many, for thousands of 
miles around. It is unknown how it was caused, and many theories have arisen. 
One of the less commonly believed theories is that Nikola Tesla test-fired a 
weapon he had been developing, and that it caused Tunguska. Nikola Tesla 
had spent many years developing wireless energy, and theorized that by the 
same means wireless energy could be accomplished, the same energy could be 
used as a long range weapon, theoretically striking anywhere on Earth. 
He supposedly test-fired the weapon at the same time as the Tunguska event, 
but because the event was kept under wraps by the Russian government, little 
information got out for several years, and the test-firing was a "failure". 
This letter would imply it was not a failure at all, or a test-fire. That 
the Assassins asked him to use "his electricity", it is even more evident 
that this is the case.

Theoretically, if the explosion was successful, the Staff should be destroyed. 
It is not shown in the ownership of any individuals after this point in time, 
nor does Abstergo reference its existence post 1908. However, in Assassin's 
Creed 1, an email did say that the destruction of an artifact by an Assassin 
agent cause the Tunguska event, and that a survivor was being sought so that 
they could use the Animus to examine the situation.

-----------------------------------
Puzzle #17: The Bunker
-----------------------------------

A file labeled WWII appears. When opened, a letter appears.

===================================
Abstergo Corporation, May 02, 1945

The war is over, and we are in control, as planned. But a slight concern has 
arisen. I received word from our agents in Berlin. H. was supposed to execute 
his double inside the bunker and meet C. at the rendezvous point with the 
Piece of Eden.

It's been three days and he still hasn't appeared. Something must have gone 
awry.  Please send instructions.
===================================

An image of Hitler's bunker appears. A message above it says: "We watched 
the exit from above. He didn't see us coming."

Subject 16 angrily comments on the picture "They engineered the war, they 
engineered the peace. But they weren't going to get away with it. Find our 
mark."
 
A hidden message exists in the picture that says: The Double Was Killed In 
the Bunker

A hidden Assassin's logo is on the building. The building is later showed 
destroyed, the same logo still visible. 

Interpretation: This puzzle indicates that the Templar succeeded in their 
goal of gaining control over more of the world than prior to the war. As 
Subject 16 says, they started the war, and they ended it. The sole purpose 
of the war was to shift the power, and allow them to gain a better foothold 
in the world's governments. It had nothing to do with any of the other 
factors of the war. However, the Assassins seem to resurface once again in 
an attempt to hinder them. Hitler has not appeared to me with C (possibly 
Churchill), and this is of some concern to the Templar, as he also had Piece 
of Eden 4. Based on the letter, the label on the picture, and the hidden 
message, two possibilities occur.

Scenario A) The double was killed in the bunker, Hitler left the bunker, and 
was killed from above by the Assassins. The Assassins claimed Piece of Eden 
4.

Scenario B) The double was killed in the bunker by the Assassins mistaking 
him for Hitler, striking from above as he left the door. Somehow, they did 
not realize that had Hitler escaped. However, if he does not return to the 
Templar, this means he likely went rogue, possibly with Piece of Eden 4 in 
tow.

In Scenario A, the Assassins now have two successful victories against the 
Templar; The destruction of the Staff at Tunguska, and the killing of a high 
ranking Templar official and procuring Piece of Eden 4, putting the Templar 
down 2 Pieces of Eden. Either way, despite their success with the war, the 
Templar did not come out unscathed, as either way, they are missing an 
Apple.

-----------------------------------
Puzzle #18: Synapses
-----------------------------------

A Medical file appears, with the following letter inside:

===================================
Biological Frontier

Issue 1, January 2012

The scientific community is abuzz as the results of a new neurological study 
were made public today. What seemed to be big news in itself - that Dr. Yije 
We and Dr. P. J. Traunero had discovered a new neurotransmitter - turned out 
to be just the tip of the iceberg.

To quote Dr. Wu "Using a prototype Dmri machine, we've been able to examine 
the contents of an actual neuron using living tissue. We've found a 
substance that appears to be an undiscovered neurotransmitter."

"Here's where it gets crazy. To test our findings, we subjected the neuron 
to all kinds of stimuli, but we couldn't get it to release the transmitter. 
So, we've discovered an entire mechanism: there are vesicles filled with 
neurotransmitter lying dormant and corresponding ion channels, all for no 
discernable purpose."

Expressing bafflement that natural selection would create an unnecessary 
neurotransmitter, Wu and Traunero searched for a predecessor in other 
species, with no luck.

"Whatever this bugger is used for, it evolved in humans." Traunero told the 
press.
===================================

A minigame has you highlight neuron synapses (the space between one neuron 
and another, where information is relayed) with an icon. Upon highlighting 
the last, the icon turns into a PoE apple.

Interpretation: Knowing what we would know from beating the game (That the 
Ones Who Came Before created humans, and that we were created to be 
obedient), this puzzle reveals information that is not particularly 
surprising. The Pieces of Eden function within the laws of logic, physics, 
and reality. Their function of mind control merely works on a level that 
only modern technology can comprehend: Humans, engineered down to every 
detail by the Ones Who Came Before, were designed with a genetic control 
collar. An otherwise inactive neural pathway is designed to respond ONLY 
to a signal emitted by the Pieces of Eden. The Pieces of Eden use this 
neural pathway to control, manipulate, or cause hallucinations in humans. 
This, of course, cannot be resisted, because it is a physical manipulation 
of the function of the brain. However, Al Mualim of Assassin's Creed 1 
expresses interest in how Altair resists the Apple's influence. This may 
be due to a few possibilities. (See Speculation).

-----------------------------------
Puzzle #19: The Fourth Day
-----------------------------------

At the beginning of this puzzle, Subject 16 says "The End. Almost the End. 
It happened before. The pieces were once part of a whole."

Once worshipped, now ignored, from a distance it watched and waits.

Nazca Textile
Book of the Dead (portraying Ra)
Sistine Chapel Fresco
Aztec Calender Stone
The Eastern Gate

Five images are amongst the ten, each of which depict an image of the sun. 
Matching them reveals an image of the sun. An extremely small dot against 
the sun is revealed by the scanner to be the Earth.

Four messages are displayed against the sun:

1. They died in the fire from the heavens.

2. Toba, 75ka was not a volcano

3. Near the day of purification, there will be cobwebs spun back and forth 
in the sky. - Hopi

4. A container of ashes might one day be thrown from the sky, which could 
burn the land and boil the oceans. - Hopi

Interpretation: If the explanation of Minerva and Lucy at the end of the 
game weren't enough to indicate that the sun was the culprit behind the first 
"end of the world", then this one is. Subject 16 starts by saying the end had 
nearly happened before. Afterwards, he says that the pieces were part of a 
whole. This may indicate that the Pieces of Eden are paramount to preventing 
or alleviating the catastrophe should it occur a second time.

The portion about the sun being worshipped as a God is interesting. It is 
personified, given traits such as being able to watch and wait. However, it 
is unlikely that the sun itself is sentient in this manner, although it was 
indeed worshipped as a God by many cultures, several of which are displayed 
amongst the five pictures. Most important is the inclusion of the word 
"waits", indicating that something will happen in the future with the sun. 
The part where it shows how small the Earth is compared to the sun is 
important, demonstrating how miniscule the Earth really is. If something 
extreme were to happen with the sun, it would not be at all unreasonable 
to think it could utterly devastate Earth. 

The four messages on the sun contain cryptic information. Two of them are 
quotes from a Hopi prophecy, describing catastrophic events involving the 
sky, and what sounds like smoke/clouds/ash. One of them, "They died in the 
fire from the heavens" seems to resonate with what we know of the Ones Who 
Came Before. The fourth has, potentially, the most hidden meaning. Toba, 75ka 
stands for a gigantic eruption that occurred 75,000 years ago. This eruption 
has been detected by examining the layers of dirt under the earth. At this 
time, there is a thick layer of ash, found in many parts of the world, with 
a layer 15 centimeters thick covering the entirety of India. All evidence 
indicates that it was what is called a "mega-colossal" volcanic eruption. 
The passage in this puzzle indicates otherwise.

-----------------------------------
Puzzle #20: The Origin of the Species
-----------------------------------

An image of God holding a sphere appears, labeled "It Has Been Hidden, 
Altered."

Open Your Eyes.

In the image, Jesus wields a sword and wears a red cloak, which glow under 
the scan. A staff leans against a sheep, which also glows. As does a sphere 
that is in God's hand. When scanning the eye above, Leonardo's Virtruvian Man 
appears. This ends the image.

A file called Missing Link appears. The following letter is inside:

===================================
Abstergo Corporation

January 3, 1997

I'm writing in response to your concerns about the rising alarm in the press 
and the scientific community. The lack of a transitional ancestor from 
archaic hominids to modern mankind (Homo Sapiens) is no longer safe. As you 
wrote, we have to act.

We can't let the truth get out, they'll find out about the artifacts. It will 
cause too much disruption, too much chaos. Bury our constructed skeletons near 
Tim White's expedition in Ethiopia. We'll give them their missing link.

The birth of humanity. The truth makes me sick.

Signed with the Templar logo.
===================================

A cursor with the Apple allows you to shift an ape skeleton into a human 
skeleton.

Interpretation: This letter seems to confirm that what Minerva said is true; 
humans were created. However, it seems as if we were not created from 
scratch, rather, we went through vastly accelerated evolution at the hands 
of the Ones Who Came Before, possibly, with the use of an Apple Piece of 
Eden. An interesting note is that the image you have to find to progress is 
that of Leonardo Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man sketch. The concept behind this 
image is that the proportions of the human body are very structured and 
organized, that the length of X body part will be equal to Y body part. In 
other words, the human body seems designed by an intelligent mind with a 
respect for symmetry and mathematics.

This letter also shows that the Templar, at least the ones in the present, 
are not entirely unaware of what has happened in the past, and the reality 
of the Ones Who Came Before and our origins. To keep this truth (and the 
artifacts) safe from prying eyes, they created fake skeletons and planted 
them, leading to a scientific discovery of "proof" of human evolution from 
apes. The same knowledge seems, at least, to disgust the Templar writing 
the letter. 

-----------------------------------
The Truth (video):
-----------------------------------

The video, as important as it is, is relatively brief in its scope, but its 
implications are tremendous. A brief summary is in order:

Two humans, one male and one female, garbed in suits that are shiny, 
skintight, flesh colored and adorned with a few markings, run quickly through 
a smooth stone structure, surrounded by trees and foliage. They run to a 
door, which slides open of its own volition. The interior is full of metal 
scaffolding, and the two make a variety of extremely agile and acrobatic 
maneuvers to climb to the top. The male bashes out a thick window with an 
elbow. The climb up the outside of the building, stopping briefly to look 
inside: there are workers, hammering and hauling boxes, as a conveyor belt 
runs in the background, flames roaring behind them. Standing closest to the 
window is a dark figure, facing away towards the workers, holding a Piece 
of Eden Apple in his/her hand. Once they reach the top, the camera pans out, 
displaying a strangely shaped skyscraper, which they are on top of. The 
female turns to the male and holds out her hand: in it is a Piece of Eden 
Apple. She says "Adam, I have it!" The male, Adam, turns to look towards 
the camera, and panicked, says "Eve!" The screen fades to black, displaying 
a patch of binary code. Eve yells "LOOK OUT!" and the video ends. 
The binary says "EDEN"

The video shows, that like many things in Assassin's Creed, myths are not 
necessarily fabricated, but merely a fragment of the truth. Adam and Eve do 
not seem to be the first humans, merely a pair of humans who seem to have 
done something very brave or very stupid: steal a powerful artifact from their 
creators. Those Who Came Before seemed to have ingrained in humans a neural 
pathway for servitude in the presence of Pieces of Eden. How these two 
resisted could be a few things. First, it could be that once they had the 
Piece of Eden, they were not susceptible to its suppression. Second, based on 
the agile movements and jumps, similar to Altair and Ezio's, they could be 
more than human; they could be Assassins . . . or at least, the genetic 
offshoot of half-human, half-TWCB (Those Who Came Before). This may have 
granted them sufficient resistance to steal the artifact and escape, although 
it seems that they are not out of trouble yet, given their speech at the end. 

*******************************

IV. Codex Script and Interpretation - Incomplete

The following are the text scripts of the 30 codex pages in the game. 
Cryptic clues left by Altair hint at his actions after the first game, and 
some tie in strongly with the implications of the puzzles and the plot. Some 
of them are merely pictures, so I have attempted to briefly describe the 
pictures in text, but that is all I can do for them.

-----------------------------------
Page 1
-----------------------------------

I have spent days with the artifact now. Or has it been weeks? Months? I can 
no longer be certain . . .

The others come from time to time - offering food or distraction. They say I 
should separate myself from these studies . . . Malik has even suggested I 
abandon them entirely. But I am not yet ready to turn away. This Apple of 
Eden will be understood. It must be . . .

Is it a weapon? Is it a catalogue? Is it somehow both? "He who increaseth 
knowledge, increaseth sorrow . . ." The philosophy of such a statement I can 
understand . . . But for it to be true - literally true? A society that 
waged wars with ideas and information in place of steel and swords . . .

Its function is simple. Elementary, even. Dominion. Control. But the process 
. . . the methods and means it employs . . . THESE are fascinating. Those 
subjected to its glow are promised all that they desire. It asks only one 
thing in return: complete and total obedience. And who can truly refuse? It 
is temptation incarnate.

I remember my own moment of weakness when confronted by Al Mualim, my 
confidence shaken by his words. He, who had been like a father, was revealed 
to be my greatest enemy. Just the briefest flicker of doubt was all he 
needed to creep into my mind. But I vanquished his phantoms - restored my 
self confidence - and sent him from this world. I freed myself. But now I 
wonder . . . Did I really? For here I sit - desperate to understand that 
which I swore to destroy.

This is why: The Apple has a tale to tell. I sense the flickers of something 
- great and dangerous . . . We are all at risk. It is my duty to do something 
about it. I must not - cannot - turn away until I've found the truth.

Interpretation: If one thinks of this in a direct timeline including the end 
of Assassin's Creed 1, Altair's treatment of the the Apple reminds me of one 
thing: the corrupting influence of The One Ring of Lord of the Rings. Not 
implying there is a connection, but it seems a good template to understand 
the Apple by. Altair, having sword to destroy the Apple, finds himself 
confronted by it and unable to carry out its destruction, seemingly to his 
own horror, as if it literally had some sort of influence upon him. 
Immediately after, Altair enters into a period of intense study, 
uninterrupted by food or anything else, pouring his life into understanding 
the Apple and its method of function. Altair himself muses upon how he 
seems unable to resist the temptation of that which he sought to destroy. 
The influence the Apple may have upon its users may very well be similar 
to what The One Ring had upon its users, and this gives strong insight to 
what "possessing" an Piece of Eden is like.

While we know from Puzzle 18 that the Piece of Eden functionally controls 
humans through a specialized neural pathway, there was no discussion of the 
experience of the victim. If Altair's words are to be taken at face value, 
the Piece of Eden functions, emotionally, in this manner: The target becomes 
convinced that by giving in to the Piece of Eden, all of their desires and 
wishes would come true, as long as they are completely subservient to the 
Piece of Eden. Of course, none of these desires and wishes will ever come 
to fruition through this, but the Piece of Eden can convince them of such. 
It is possible that, aside from rare flukes such as Altair and Ezio, 
"resisting" a Piece of Eden is impossible. There is willpower and there is 
strength of mind, but neurotransmitters and neurons are the bread and butter 
of brain function. There is only so much that can be done to resist if one's 
own brain betrays you. 

-----------------------------------
Page 2
-----------------------------------

The second page is an image of Templars and Assassins on a battlefield. It 
is difficult to tell by the image, but the Assassins seem to be either in 
combat or dead.

Interpretation: I can see little significance in this image, aside from 
Altair merely depicting recent events on paper.

-----------------------------------
Page 3
-----------------------------------

The third page is an image showing the construction blueprints for a hidden 
blade.

Interpretation: Of course, blueprints are certainly something worth 
recording, but I can find no hidden meaning in this picture.

-----------------------------------
Page 4
-----------------------------------

What follows are the three great ironies of the Assassin Order: (1) Here we 
seek to promote peace, but murder is our means. (2) Here we seek to open the 
minds of men, but require obedience to a master and a set of rules. (3) Here 
we seek to reveal the danger of blind faith, yet we are practitioners 
ourselves.

I have no satisfactory answer to these charges, only possibilities . . . Do 
we bend the rules in service to a greater good? And if we do, what does it 
say of us? That we are liars? That we are frauds? That we are weak? Every 
moment is spent wrestling with these contradictions and in spite of all the 
years I've had to reflect, still I can find no suitable answer . . . And I 
fear that one may not exist.

Nothing is true. Everything is permitted. Does out creed provide the answer, 
then? That one may be two things - opposite in every way - simultaneously? 
And why not? Am I not proof? We of noble intentions, possessed of barbaric 
means? We who celebrate the sanctity of life and then promptly take it from 
those we deem our enemies?

Interpretation: It is at this point that Altair realizes that flaws and 
sacrifices that must be made in the existance of the Assassin order. At the 
end of the entry, he can provide no satisfactory explanation, but based on 
his later entries, I believe he makes an effort to address some of them, 
as he reduces certain traditions and rules that serve little logical 
purpose, freeing the Assassins from some of the oppressing set in place by 
Al Mualim.

-----------------------------------
Page 5
-----------------------------------

Who were The Ones That Came Before? What brought them here? How long ago? 
Centuries? Millenia? Longer still? So little remains of them . . . What 
drove them out? What of these artifacts? Messages in a bottle? Tools left 
behind to aid and guide us? Or do we fight for control over their refuse, 
giving divine purpose and meaning to little more than discarded toys?

Interpretation: At this point in the game, The Ones That Came Before are 
still unknown to us. It seems at this point that Altair knows no more about 
them than we (the players) do. He suggests several valid points, however. 
The idea of the Artifacts as a symbol of their intention (not to mention 
the stored knowledge) may very well be a message for humanity. Tools left 
over to aid and guide us follows a similar reasonability, as Those Who Came 
Before did seem willing to allow us to inherit their legacy. Yet at the 
same time, his final theory carries significance as well; as powerful as 
the Pieces of Eden are, they may have been of somewhat everyday use for 
Those Who Came Before, rather than objects of power.

-----------------------------------
Page 6
-----------------------------------

Robert de Sable may be dead, but his brotherhood survives. Though less 
conspicuous in appearance, I fear they remain a threat. Where once they 
proudly walked the streets - making for easier targets - now they retreat 
into the shadows. It grows difficult to track them. What wicked things will 
they weave in the darkness? Our work will be all the more complicated for it. 
Already there are rumors of a movement on Cyprus. I will have to investigate.

It's made me realize that our tactics, too, must change. It means an end to 
our fortresses. To our penchant for spectacular displays of public 
assassinations. We must weave our webs quietly. And we must do so 
differently than we have in the past.

Though I ask my brothers now to abandon their rituals, I do not ask that 
they abandon the creed. THIS is what makes us assassins. Not the removal of a 
finger. Not a false promise of paradise. Not the prohibition of poison. Our 
duty is to the people, not to custom. If we must sneak, we shall sneak. If we 
must use poison, we shall use poison. If our blades can be used without 
removing fingers, we shall not demand they be taken. And we shall not 
manipulate our initiates with lies and parlor tricks. We shall speak plainly 
and honestly. We shall be made anew.

Interpretation: Altair realizes now that the Templar were unable to compete 
with the Assassins in face to face combat, forcing the Templar to break with 
tradition and go underground. Altair, a man who now follows logic rather 
than arrogant pride (as he did at the beginning of Assassin's Creed 1) 
recognizes that the only way to combat this is to follow suit. To this end, 
he changes the behaviors of the Assassins, but also realizes that it is the 
Creed that binds them, not the customs. He then lists a number of rituals of 
the Assassins, and gives insight into a few aspects of the Assassin order 
not mentioned in the game.

The Assassins are based upon the real world counterpart, the Hashshashin, an 
organization in many ways similar to the Assassins. Rumors were just as 
common as the facts, but one aspect of their society concerned their 
initiation. While highly speculative and based in myth, it is worth 
mentioning. According to the rumors, the Hashshashin, when recruiting, 
would drug their initiates in a way that would cause them to think they 
were dying. Upon awakening, they would find themselves in a beautiful 
garden in the Hashshashin fortress, still drugged and delirious, but fed 
delicious food and wine by beautiful women (virgins, apparently, and you 
know how our earlier civilizations were about virgins). Convinced by the 
people there that this was, in fact, heaven, they would come to enjoy their 
new found paradise (keep in mind, this garden was a bit out of the ordinary, 
as this was the in the desert.)

While in this state, the leader, Hassan-i Sabbah (a real life counterpart of 
Al Mualim) would convince the initiate that he was God or a representative of 
God, and that the new assassin needed to follow his every command, so that 
they could return and live in paradise forever in this mock up of heaven. 
This would add a religious slant to the mission of the assassins, increasing 
their devotion and zealousness to the cause.

This was not spelled out in the original Assassin's Creed. However, in the 
back of Masayf, there was a large garden, more lush than any other in the 
Assassin's Creed 1 world, filled with somewhat scantily clad dancing women. 
This seems to fit the bill here.

Now, consider Altair's two lines: "Not a false promise of paradise." as well 
as "And we shall not manipulate our initiates with lies and parlor tricks." 
Altair seems to acknowledge these real world rumors as being true in the in 
game Assassin order, and simultaneously dismisses them as unnecessary and 
deceptive, showing Altair's leadership style to be very different from Al 
Mualim (Al Mualim, a Templar at heart, kept with him his beliefs in 
controlling his people through deception and lies). This gives more insight 
into the real world and in game Assassin's Orders.

-----------------------------------
Page 7
-----------------------------------

I had thought Adha would be the one to lead me to rest, that I might lay 
down my blade and live as a normal man. But now I know such dreams are best 
left to sleep . . .

Her face. I try to banish it from my mind as I remember the days and nights 
during which I chased her Templar captors across the sea. I almost got to 
them in time. Almost. If I had only been faster. Instead, I held her lifeless 
body in my arms - saw the terror reflected in her fixed, unblinking eyes . . .

I hunted each man - one by one - until all responsible were gone from this 
world. But there was no joy in this. No satisfaction or release. Their deaths 
did not bring her back. Did not heal my wounds. After that, I was certain I 
would never again feel for a woman as I had for her.

I am fortunate to have been wrong.

Interpretation: This gives us insight into the ultimate fate of Adha. Adha 
is an individual many Assassin's Creed players may not know. She was 
mentioned one time, and only once, in Assassin's Creed 1 by an informant 
who knew Altair well, saying something along the lines of "Have you heard 
word of Adha? No, well, I'm sure you will find her one day". Adha was 
revealed in the Nintendo DS version of Assassin's Creed: Altair's Chronicles 
to be a human with powers similar in some ways to the Pieces of Eden. While 
not explicitly said, it may even be possible she was somehow a human 
embodiment of one. While Altair's original mission was to retrieve this 
artifact, known to him initially as "The Chalice", he realized it was a 
person and actually fell for her. At the end of the game, the Templar 
escaped with her, and he swore to track her down, and we never found out 
what happened. 

Well, now we know it did not quite end well. Altair, an otherwise emotionless 
and cold man, seems to be quite traumatized by the loss of this woman, and 
it opens up more ability to sympathize with him emotionally.

-----------------------------------
Page 8
-----------------------------------

Why do our instincts insist on violence? I have studied the interactions 
between different species. The innate desire to survive seems to demand the 
death of the other. Why can they not stand hand in hand? So many believe the 
world was created by the hand of a divine power - but I only see the designs 
of a madman, bent on celebrating destruction and desperation. Our origins 
seem chaotic. Unintended. Purpose and being instilled solely by the passage 
of time. Imposed first by nature - and later men . . .

Interpretation: Altair thinks philosophically on the nature of violence and 
the violence of nature (I didn't even do that intentionally). While what he 
says is not particularly relevant, it does tie into one fact; Minerva states 
that humans, built in the image of Those Who Came Before, shared at least one 
major trait with their masters: A desire for war. While it is a bit of 
circular reasoning, the answer to Altair's question is thus: Our instincts 
for violence exist because we were created in the image of a species with 
the same instinct for violence. We were designed that way.

Altair then dismisses such designed as insane, but it is worth noting that 
following the apocalypse, Minerva stated that the two races were able to put 
aside their differences and work together in peace. So while Altair is 
correct, that humanity's creators were no more enlightened than humanity in 
this regard, both species were able to rise above it in a time of need. I 
am sure this would have been of some comfort to him. 

-----------------------------------
Page 9
-----------------------------------

Over time, and sentence uttered long and loud enough becomes fixed. Becomes 
a truth. Provided, of course, you can outlast the dissent and silence your 
opponents. But should you succeed - and remove all challengers - then what 
remains is, by default, now true.

Is it truth in some objective sense? No. But how does one ever achieve an 
objective point of view? The answer is you don't. It is literally, 
physically impossible. There are too many variables. Too many fields and 
formulae to consider. We can try, of course. We can inch closer and closer
to a revelation. But we'll never reach it. Not ever . . .

And so I have realized, that so long as The Templar exist, they will attempt 
to bend reality to their will. They recognize there is no such thing as an 
absolutely truth - or if there is - we are hopelessly underequipped to 
recognize it. And so in its place, they seek to create their own explanation. 
It is the guiding principle of their so-named "New World Order"; To reshape 
existence in their own image. It is not about artifacts. Not about men. These 
are merely tools. It's about concepts. Clever of them. For how does one wage 
war against a concept?

It is the perfect weapon. It lacks a physical form yet can alter the world 
around us in numerous, often violent ways. You cannot kill a creed. Even if 
you kill all of its adherents, destroy all of its writings - these are a 
reprieve at best. Some one, some day, will rediscover it. Reinvent it. I 
believe that even we, the Assassins, have simple re-discovered an Order that 
predates the Old Man himself . . .

Interpretation: Altair's description of concepts, objectivity, truth and the 
like is very interesting to be sure, but potentially the most important 
sentence in this entry his is suggestion that the Assassin Order itself is 
an idea that has existed long before Al Mualim founded it. Given the presence 
of Assassins in the Assassin Sanctuary from before Altair's time, this is 
likely, even more likely in consideration of the fact that the Assassin Order 
may have drawn its origins from the Assassin Bloodline (See Speculation on 
Assassins for more)

-----------------------------------
Page 10
-----------------------------------

The tenth page is an image of a man in priestly clothing, with a glowing 
halo, preaching and reaching out to the masses. Above, three images exist; 
on the left, an apple (the fruit) and on the right, a mechanical device. 
In between them is an apple (the fruit) with the mechanical lines overlaying 
it, symbolizing the Apple (the Piece of Eden)

Interpretation: This image seems to depict the control granted to a human by 
a Piece of Eden, with an interesting artistic depiction of the Piece of Eden 
as a combination of fruit and machine (though the true Piece of Eden Apple is 
nothing like a fruit). However, given the presence of actual Golden Apples 
of Power in mythology, this implies the connection may be more literal.

-----------------------------------
Page 11
-----------------------------------

Attis. Dionysus. Horus. Krishna. Mithra. Jesus. Simlilar stories color their 
lives. Too similar, I think. Divine birthright. Persecution. Disciples. 
Miraculous acts. Resurrection . . .

How is it possible?

Perhaps it isn't . . . merely a single story told over the ages? Borrowed 
then changed to fit the times? Evolving as our tools and language do? Is this 
tale borne of fact or fiction? A bit of both? Could these figures be the same 
person - their life extended and transformed by a Piece of Eden?

Al Mualim spoke of Jesus as a real person - a mortal who had mastered the 
arts of manipulation. But what if he was wrong? If these men are real - and 
if they have walked amongst us many times before - does it means they'll come 
again? Perhaps they are here now? So many questions, and every day, even 
more . . .

Interpretation: Altair discusses a myriad of possibilities regarding several 
ancient mythological figures. With our knowledge shown in the Puzzles, 
implying the presence of a Piece of Eden at play in many myths, the reality 
of these stores may be far more simpler than Altair can imagine (especially 
since it seems Jesus possessed the Shroud, Piece of Eden 66). 

However, in the last paragraph, Altair considers the possibility that these 
individuals, at some level, were still more than human. He almost seems to 
indicate that they may have been related to Those Who Came Before, as 
superhuman beings walking the Earth in the form of man. Another possibility 
to consider, certainly.

-----------------------------------
Page 12
-----------------------------------

The twelvth page seems to be a depiction of the solar system. 

Interpretation: Altair draws the solar system in a fairly advanced manner, 
seemingly unrelated to his other pages. Is this an image granted to him by 
the Piece of Eden? Its certainly possible.

-----------------------------------
Page 13
-----------------------------------

The Hidden Blade has been a constant companion of ours over the years. Some 
would even say it defines us - and they would not be entirely wrong. Many of 
our successes would not have been possible without it. Still, the device has 
begun to show its age - and so I have been researching improvements beyond 
ending the need to remove one's finger to weild it.

The first is the addition of a metal plate that can be used to deflect 
incoming blows. The other Assassins believe it is forged of a new metal - 
and credit me with the discovery of the formulae (included on this page). 
It is better that they not know the truth.

I have also worked with Malik to describe new methods of assassination: from 
on high, from ledges, and from hiding places. Basic movements, but critical 
nonetheless.

The third and final improvement is the most simple - the provision of a 
second blade - identical in every way to the first. Should an Assassin ever 
find himself tasked with dispatching two targets, he need only time his 
strike in such a way that he might reach both at the same time. These blades 
will be limited in number since the metals with which we forge them remain 
difficult to obtain. I will need to think carefully about who shall be 
allowed to carry two . . .

(This page includes an image of a dual-wielding assassin, dispatching 
enemies from a variety of complex directions, as well as the construction 
of the new blade cover)

Interpretation: Altair finally seems to have taken time away from his self-
absorbed research into the Piece of Eden to further the goals and technology 
of the Assassins, starting with enhancements to the Hidden Blade. It is 
revealed he has already changed the law dictating the removal of a finger 
for the sake of the hidden blade, so he is true to his intentions to grant 
greater freedom to the Assassins. 

It is also revealed at this time (possibly years after the original 
Assassin's Creed) that Malik, who once hated him, now possibly his closest 
confidant, is still with the order, alive and contributing. The entry also 
shows that he has developed enhanced technology, and is secretive about the 
source of the knowledge (based on his later entries, it is likely he found 
the knowledge by using the Piece of Eden.)

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Page 14
-----------------------------------

Man seeks dominion over all that he encounters. I suppose it is a natural 
tendency for us to aspire towards mastery of our surroundings. But this 
should not include other human beings. Every day more and more are pressed 
into service - by deception or by force. Others, though not so firmly 
imprisoned, are made to feel as if their lives are worthless. I have seen 
the ways in which men persecute women. Heard the cruel words hurled at those 
who come from other lands. Watched as those who believe or act differently 
are made to suffer . . .

We discuss such things often - watching as we do from the spires of Masyaf. 
What can be done to stop this? To encourage tolerance and equality? Some 
days we speak of education, believing that knowledge will free us from 
immorality. But as I walk to streets and see slaves sent off to auction - 
my heart grows cold. When I see the husband hurl abuses and stones at his 
wife, insisting she exists only to serve him - my fists clench. And when I 
see children torn from their parents so that another man might profit - sent 
off to suffer beneath the desert sun and die . . .

. . . On these days, I do not think that dialogue will make a difference. On 
these days, I can think only of how the perpetrators need to die.

Interpretation: Altair examines the cruel realities of his era, specifically, 
the terrible treatment humans give to one another. He specifically mentions 
slavery, sexism, and discrimination against minorities. It is clear he wishes 
to help abolish such terrible behavior, but he seems unsure if it is possible. 
He also implies that he is tempted to ignore the path of enlightening the 
ignorant, almost giving into the simplicity of just murdering those who 
disagree with you. 

Whether he acted on these temptations is unknown. Given Altair's consistant 
morality and loyalty to freedom and knowledge, it is unlikely he gave in, but 
is gives another chance to see that even the good can be tempted by the same 
behaviors that the Templars have embraced. Why spend time and effort to show 
someone why they should change, when you can just remove threats to your 
belief system by force? Two sides of the same coin, and showing how easy 
it would be to just flip to the other.

-----------------------------------
Page 15
-----------------------------------

The fifteenth page shows an image of an island, Cyprus.

Interpretation: Cyprus is visited in Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines, and an 
Assassin base is established there. The Piece of Eden may have been stored 
there, eventually.

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Page 16
-----------------------------------

The Apple is more than a catalog of that which precedes us. Within its 
twisting, sparkling innards I've caught glimpses of what will be. Such a 
thing should not be possible. Perhaps it isn't. Maybe it is simple a 
suggestion. How to know? How to be sure?

I contemplate the consequences of these visions: are they images of things to 
come - or simple the potential for what might be. Can we influence the 
outcome? Dare we try? And in so doing, do we merely ensure that which we've 
seen?

I am torn - as always - between action and inaction - unclear as to which - 
if either - will make a difference. Am I even meant to make a difference? 
Still, I keep this journal. Is that not an attempt to change - or perhaps 
guarantee - what I have seen?

Interpretation: Altair reinforces the notion that the Piece of Eden is a 
database of some sorts, though he still seems unable to fully use it (this 
may be due to a hesitance on his part to use it too much). He has also 
discovered it possesses some form of prescient ability as well, but he is 
unsure what it means.

Following this, he muses on consistant time travel/future seeing themes, 
such as the future being either THE future, or one of many futures, the idea 
that the future is changeable (or do your efforts to change the future CAUSE 
the future) and other such things.

The fact that through the Piece of Eden Altair is able to see the future 
gives credence to the idea that it may have been the Pieces of Eden which 
granted prescience to Those Who Came Before in the first place. It seems 
as if such prescience was not necessarily an easy activity, and it may be 
that Altair would need advanced training and experience to make full use of 
it. Considering that he sees more specific images of the future, he may be 
getting more experience as time goes on.

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Page 17
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Of all the things I've seen, none troubles me more than the image of the 
flames . . . Pillars so tall they seem to pierce the heavens. The ground 
rumbled and shuddered. Mountains split and crack. Great metal towers 
splintered, their innards strewn about the ground . . . And everywhere there 
was screaming. A chorus so terrible that even now I feel its echoes still.

What is this madness I have seen? Is it them, I wonder? Those who came 
before . . . Is this where they went? Into the fire? Into the dust? Perhaps 
this destructive power is what the Templars seek. That they might hold it 
over us and command devotion. What hope would we have, then, if they held 
such darkness in their hands - that they could murder the world . . .

Interpretation: Altair has seen something in the Piece of Eden, but it could 
be two different things. First, he could be seeing the effects of atomic 
weaponry. Vast pillars of flame, widespread destruction, and the idea of 
"murdering the world" match atomic weaponry. Especially the idea that 
Templars might seek to control this weaponry (which they eventually do, 
if you recall the Puzzle about the atomic bomb), this codex could be 
referring to nuclear weaponry.

It could also be speaking of the apocalypse which brought about the end of 
Those Who Came Before. It would also make sense, widespread fiery death 
in pillars of immense fire. He also specifically mentions that perhaps 
Those Who Came Before may have been lost to this destruction. Either of 
these possibilities could be the case.

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Page 18
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We are obligated to hide. To be silent. To shape the course of history in 
secret. But some of my brothers and sisters disagree. They grow angry, 
insisting it is a mistake to shroud outselves. They say it slows our work. 
But they do not understand the risks. To expose ourselves now would be too 
dangerous. I fear we would be branded madmen and attacked. So it goes. So it 
always has. If there is one think I know for certain, it is that men to not 
learn by being told. Instead they must be shown. They must make the 
connections themselves. If I say unto a man, be kind, be tolerant, be of an 
open mind - these words will wither and die long before they've affected 
change. It would be a waste. And so we must maintain our course.

Interpretation: Altair's comments on the concept of educating draw 
dangerously subtle differences between variations of the Creed and the 
Templar's intentions. He specifies that you cannot spread wisdom by merely 
sharing knowledge, but that active learning must take place. To this end, 
the Templar would likely agree; you cannot just tell people things to make 
them believe what you want. But rather than find more creative ways to 
educate, the Templar would rather just force knowledge (truth or falsehood) 
on people instead.

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Legend speaks of a Golden Fleece. Could the two be related?

. . . I have further refined the metallurgic process, allowing for the 
production of a suit of armor the likes of which the world has never 
seen . . .

. . . It is possessed of great strength, yet so light as to allow complete 
freedom . . .

. . . I alternate between wonder and fear. Here we have crafted something 
that will surely change the face of warfare, making those who wear it nigh 
invincible . . .

Perhaps it was a mistake to create these pieces. I think it best to erase 
the formulae. What if it were to fall into the hands of our enemies? 
The risk is too great . . .

(An image is shown of a suit of armor, likely the Armor of Altair)

Interpretation: This is the second mention of the Golden Fleece in the game. 
Likely through the use of the Piece of Eden, Altair has developed a 
supermetal, exceedingly strong and resilent, maybe even invulnerable, yet 
light, possibly lighter than aluminum. This would imply that he created a 
metal more advanced than anything developed in modern day. This sort of 
technology could be only one thing; a crude recreation of technology 
developed by Those Who Came Before. Given this, his thoughts about the 
similarity between his armor and the Golden Fleece (Piece of Eden 66) 
are shown to be closer to reality than he might think.

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I have studied the ancient pagan faiths that came before this more recent 
obsession with a single, divine creator. They seem to have focused more on 
the fundamental forces at play in the world around us and less on arbitrary 
moral rules . . .

The sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening. The tides ebb and 
flow. Grass grows, withers, dies and then in time, emerges from the ground 
once more. The air turns warm then cools and back again. Some hidden energy 
keeps us fitted to the ground and pulls us back when we attempt to leave it.

Each of these movements was represented before by a god or goddess. Each 
force given face, but recognized as something distinct and powerful. Which 
is not to say there were not connections between these forces - a pantheon 
of individual spirits - of rules. Invisible hands guiding to progress of 
the world around us.

And so here there was an attempt to categorize, study, explain, and understand 
the way things work - even if it was flawed. But no more. Now we are asked to 
succumb to a far more simplified explanation. How naive to believe there might 
be a single answer to every question. Every mystery. That there exists a lone 
divine light which rules over all. They say it is a light that brings truth 
and love. I say it is a light that blinds us - and forces us to stumble about 
in ignorance.

I long for the day when men will turn away from invisible monsters and once 
more embrace a more rational view of the world. But these new religions are so 
convenient - and promise such terrible punishment should one reject them - I 
worry that fear shall keep us stuck to what is surely the greatest lie ever 
told.

Interpretation: Another philosophical discourse is created by Altair, this 
time on the concept of religion. While interesting, it is not particularly 
full of higher implications. One of them is his reinforcement of the idea 
that the Judeo/Christian/Islamic faith is based on a lie. However, he does 
discuss the concept of multiple Gods associated with various phenomenon, as 
well as pantheons of Gods. This may mirror the actual existance of Those 
Who Came Before, but I can find little else to be taken from this.

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One may cultivate extracts from various plants found throughout the region. 
More exotic species can sometimes be obtained from traders and travelers, 
but their properties are less documented and required further examination.

Traditional alchemical implements can be used to distill the poison. Care 
should be used as certain poisons can be absorbed through exposed skin. Many 
are those who have lost their lives to carelessness.

One's blade should be hollowed according to the specifications listed 
herein. Deviation may create fractures within the metal, causing the blade 
to weaken and possibly break.

(An image is included of metalwork hollowing a hidden blade and various 
plants being processed)

Interpretation: A very logical, straightforward recording of new methods of 
intruding poison into the Assassin repertoire. Little hidden meaning, but it 
does show Altair staying true to his word to eliminate the rule against 
poison.

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What to make of this map? It appears to contain the entire world. Not flat 
as they claim, either, but round - like a ball. Like the Apple. But how is 
such a thing even possible? Stranger still are the lands it shows - great 
patches of the unknown. The unexplored. So many places yet to be 
discovered . . . Are there men there? Are they like us? And if not - 
different how? I should like to know the answers. Perhaps - in time - I'll 
have the chance to travel. To chart a course and make my way to these 
distant lands . . . 

(An image is included of a mostly accurate image of the world, focusing on 
the Euro-Asian side of the planet.)

Interpretation: This may be one of the few instances (and they are few, rare 
and low in number) of Ubisoft not having their facts entirely straight. 
Research has shown that the idea of the Earth being flat was not nearly 
as prevalent, recent, or widespread as popular media portrays it. While 
the misconception of a flat Earth certainly existed, an educated man in 
the Middle East (a center of knowledge and advanced technology during the 
crusades) would likely have known the Earth to be round. 

That being said, under the pretense that Altair and peers were of the 
impression that the Earth was flat, it seems Altair came into possession of 
the knowledge that it was not, and seems amazed by the idea. Like other 
such information in these pages, he likely recieved the knowledge from the 
Piece of Eden, possibly the hologram displayed at the end of Assassin's 
Creed 1.

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The twenty-third page shows an image demonstrating a variety of climbing and 
movement techniques used by the Assassins.

Interpretation: Why Altair would record images that detailed what amounts to 
novice Assassin maneuvers in his personal journal, I cannot say. Perhaps he 
wished to record them for later use in education, but I do not see anything 
to interpret on this page.

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Some days I miss my family . . . Or at least the thought of them. I never 
knew my parents well, despite them having lived within these walls. It was 
our way. Perhaps they were sad, though they showed no sign - it was not 
allowed.

For my part, so much of my youth was spent in training, they was little time 
left to reflect upon the separation. And so when they were finally lost to 
me, it seemed no different than the passing of two strangers. Al Mualim had 
been as my father, and his was a weak and dishonest love, though at the time 
it seemed enough - better, even. Or so I thought.

Some day I will have a child - such is the way of our Order. And I will not 
make the same mistake. Nor any who call themselves an Assassin. We shall be 
allowed to love our children - and, in turn, to be loved. Al Mualim believed 
such attachments would weaken us - cause us to falter when our lives were on 
the line. But if we truly fight for what is just, does love not make such 
sacrifice simpler - knowing that we do so for their gain?

Interpretation: The Altair of Assassin's Creed 1 may have been one of the 
coldest, most emotionally detached (except for his arrogance) protagonists I 
have ever encountered. The man cared for nothing but his mission. You could 
tell him the funniest joke in the world and he would probably hate you that 
much more for it.

Yet here we have him, discussing the empowering nature of love for one's 
family. Certainly, in his time in study over the many years, he has come to 
realize that cutting oneself off emotionally, while having its benefits, may 
not necessarily be optimal. To this end, he seeks again to overturn an 
Assassin tradition, allowing families to keep their children, and for these 
children to know the true love of parents. 

As is clearly his way at this point, he seeks once again to allow freedom 
within the Assassin Order, removing that which blinds us from reality, and 
allowing his peers to experience the powerful emotions that make us human, 
rather than removing them to make an even more efficient killing machine. 

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The twenty-fifth page shows a drawing of a templar, fairly feminine in 
appearance, potentially depicting Maria.

Interpretation: Again, another page that may have just been Altair's drawing 
for his own enjoyment. The Templar depicted looked fairly female, and if he 
and Maria were together at this point in time, it is a reasonable thing for 
him to draw.

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I have the answer now. I know the truth. I shall not touch that wretched 
thing again. Best that no one do, now or ever. I have tried - at least - to 
destroy it, but it will neither bend nor break nor melt. Oh the irony - I 
am certain if I asked, the Apple would tell me what need be done. But even 
this promise is insufficient. Always it holds one more gift to give. I must 
refrain. So it shall be sealed. We will take it to the island - once theirs, 
now ours. There is a treasury there - hidden well - and it shall have to 
suffice. Risky to separate myself from the artifact that others may discover 
it. Riskier still to keep it close. In time I will be tempted. I am weak. We 
all are. Who wouldn't be? Oh the things I have seen . . . The tale is here 
- inside the text. Not between the lines but beneath them. Where only our 
eyes might peer. 

Go and see it for yourself. That you might succeed where I and the others 
have failed. Time marches on - bringing with it new discoveries and 
developments. And so at least one day the doorway might be opened and the 
message delivered. They will have their prophet.

Interpretation: It seems that Altair finally found the truth of the Pieces 
of Eden, the Apocalypse, and Those Who Came Before. How much he found out is 
not clear, but he knows enough that he feels that his search for "the truth" 
is fulfilled, but he does not seem happy now that he knows the truth.

While it is unclear how many years have passed since Assassin's Creed 1 and 
this entry, it is more than a few and it took him this long to get up the 
nerve to destroy the Piece of Eden, even if he failed. This shows just how 
much of a hold it had on him, a hold I believe to be more than just Altair's 
own curiousity. Even now he speaks of being tempted by it, but he does not 
seem certain whether he should distance himself from it. While he knows what 
others do not, and he would be best suited for guarding it, he also fears 
he may be just as much of a threat, if not more, with it in his possession.

This codex page contains a lot of information that would be relevant to 
someone who had not already completed the game, foreshadowing the hidden 
vault under the Vatican, the Prophet, and reveals the clue to seeing the 
hidden map under the codex. 

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We are growing larger. More make their way to our fortresses every day. Men 
and woman. Young and old. From different lands. Of different faiths. Each 
tells a similar story - of having discovered the first part of our creed: 
that nothing is true.

Too often, though, the revelation undoes them. They lose their morality, 
certainty, security. Many are driven mad. We must guide them. Help them to 
heal. Their minds must not be filled with more fairy tales, but with 
knowledge instead. Let them have answers - and let those answers be 
difficult and complex. Such is life.

Interpretation: Altair mentioned a variant of the saying that "Ignorance is 
bliss" earlier in his codex. While he seems to believe that this is a true 
statement, he feels that despite ignorance bringing happiness, knowledge 
must be sought after nonetheless. He reinforces the idea that full 
disclosure towards initiates is necessary, mentioning fairy tales (he may 
be referencing the Hashshashin initiation rites). He ends with a final 
instruction: let those answers be difficult and complex. This is a powerful 
statement, showing his devotion to knowledge and education.  

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Success! We have found a way to alter the structure of the hidden blade so 
that it can be used to launch small projectiles. It is capable of grievous 
damage - even from great distance. I confess, the means by which I came 
about the discovery was . . . risky to say the least. But I have found that 
in small doses, and with a focused mind, the Apple can be used without ill 
effect. Or so I hope.

The knowledge of projectile combat is not new to us, having been observed 
amongst our Eastern neighbors. But their weapons were much larger - and 
insufficient for our needs. I have now found a way to miniaturize their 
designs, embedding their fiery weapon into a form that can be worn on the 
wrist.

We have also refined the formula for combustible powder, such that common 
ingredients might be used. This is a dangerous bit of knowledge and it is 
best shared with only our closest allies . . .

Interpretation: Again, Altair develops advanced technology through 
disciplined use of the Piece of Eden. He finally mentions that use of the 
Piece of Eden may have negative side effects on the user; this is not 
clarified indepth, but it may be that use of the Pieces of Eden by humans 
is not intended, and results in potentially disasterous results (likely of 
the mental kind). He seems to be taking his possession of the Piece of 
Eden very seriously, using it as responsibly as he can, though he fears 
that it might still be too dangerous, even with his precautions.

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A dark tide rises to the east - an army of such size and power that all the 
land is made quick with worry. Their leader is a man named Temujin, who has 
adopted the title Ghengis Khan. He sweeps across the lands, conquering and 
subsuming all who stand in his way. Whatever his motives, he must be 
stopped. Were I younger, I might attempt to undertake this work in secret 
- as I suspect to presence of a Piece of Eden. But those days are years 
gone, now. The mantle must be passed. It is time she and I spoke with our 
sons. We will travel there together, that they may be tested and that this 
threat might be stopped.

Interpretation: This entry provides a vital link into the timeline of the 
codex. If Altair went to combat Ghengis Khan, then this could explain why 
the Codex was in the possession of Kublai Khan, brought back to Italy by 
Marco Polo. Ultimately, through Marco Polo, the Codex found its way into 
the hands of Ezio's great-great grandfather, who spread it across the 
nation, though most seems to have come under possession of the Templar. 

This is also a sign that Altair still seeks to eliminate the threat of the 
Pieces of Eden in the hands of those who would abuse their powers. Even in 
his later years, he still stands by his mission to protect humanity from 
those who would oppress it.

Finally, this codex confirms that Altair bore at least two children, and 
that their mother was still with him in the later years (likely Maria, 
given Desmond's dream sequence). While Altair must have had children for 
Desmond to be his descendent, this is the first definitive proof that it 
happened, and in that sense, it is important.

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Soon I shall pass from this world. It is my time. All the hours of the day 
are now colored by the thoughts and fears borne of this realization. I know 
that the elements of my body will return to the Earth. But what of my 
consciousness? My identity? That is to say, what of ME? I suspect it will 
end. That there is no next world. Nor a return to this one. It will simply 
be done. Forever.

Our lives are so brief and unimportant. The cosmos cares nothing for us. For 
what we've done; Had we wrought evil instead of good. Had I chosen to abuse 
the Apple instead of seal it away. None of it would have mattered. There is 
no counting. No reckoning. No final judgement. There is simply silence. And 
darkness. Utter and absolute . . . And so I have begun to wonder - might 
there not be a way to stop - or at least delay - death's embrace?

Surely the ones who came before were not so frail and feeble as we. But I 
have sworn to be done with the artifact. To not gaze into its core. Still: 
faced as I am with the prospect of my end, what harm is there I one 
last look . . .

Interpretation: Altair, in his last days, muses on the concept of the soul, 
heaven, the insignificance of humanity, and other such topics, but 
ultimately comes to the idea of extending his own life. His mind immediately 
shifts to Those Who Came Before and the Piece of Eden. Despite his oath, he 
is tempted again by the Apple, leaving one to wonder how tragic his life 
must have been in some ways, constantly tempted by a weapon of power and 
knowledge, but resisting its urge for decades.

The last passage again implies another aspect of Those Who Came Before: 
their extended lifespan. It seems as if they were capable of living for 
long periods of time, but was this a innate aspect of their species, or was 
it brought about by effective use of Pieces of Eden? 

This last codex entry ends on a uncertain note, with Altair examining the 
Piece of Eden one last time, trailing off without telling us the result. 
While it is speculation, there is a strong possibility Altair might find 
a way to extend his own life, and it is possible we will see him again in 
Desmond's time, somehow surviving nearly a thousand years. 

That will remain to be seen.

*******************************

V. Auditore Tomb Script and Interpretation

There is a hidden tomb in the game, unlocked if one makes a UPlay account. 
It is located in Monterrigioni, the tomb having been built by Ezio's great, 
great, grandfather. I would highly recommend making the UPlay account to 
see this, as it costs only UPlay points, which are unlocked by doing 
"achievements" that are accomplished throughout the game. Inside of the 
crypt are engraved plates that tell the tale of the first Auditore.

Venice, 1296 
I was raised in a small house by the Venetian lagoon, within sight of the 
rough foam-capped waves of the sea. When I was barely old enough to walk, 
I became a sailor, navigating the Atlantic first as an apprentice and 
then while carrying cargo for my father's patron, Messer Marco Polo. It 
was a good life. 

Ashore 
One day, while ashore in the harbor looking for work, I fell in love. She 
was barely twenty, but when I looked into her eyes, the whole world was 
reflected back, clearer and brighter than the sun. After that, I still 
went to sea, but my heart remained on land with the girl, who had become 
my wife, and our young son. 

Birthright 
One afternoon that summer, Messer Polo called me in his study. My father was 
already there, beside an older man, dressed in a strange hooded cape, 
watching us. At that moment everything about my life changed, my father 
told me that he was an Assassin. Removing his ring, he showed me a strange 
marking on his finger, explaining that our family came from an ancient 
order that protected and defended mankind. He paused, and then, when I 
didn't speak, Messer Polo stepped forward. He told me that the stranger 
in the hood would teach me, and in return I would carry him across the 
Mediterranean to Spain. And so began my apprenticeship with Dante 
Alighieri, one that was to destroy every bit of happiness I would ever have. 

A Mentor 
In preparation for our voyage, Messer Alighieri met with me repeatedly. At 
first, our meetings were about purchasing supplies, but soon they became 
about higher things about life, love, honor and justice. He taught me that 
society was set up in such a way as to control its members, to stop us 
from thinking, from seeing. Soon, I could look past all laws and illusions. 
I understood that mankind was being used by its rulers, that we, the 
people, deserved freedom. It was then that Dante began showing me pages 
from a book that Messer Polo had brought back from the palace of the great 
Genghis Khan. The manuscript, the Codex, was about our order, the Assassins. 

An Unexpected Farewell 
Our planned voyage never took place. While returning to Ravenna to pick up 
the remainder of his belongings, Dante died. Dismayed at the loss of my 
mentor, I went to inform my father and Messer Polo of the sad news. Before 
I could even speak, I was ushered into the study, and my father, his face 
white, locked the door behind me. Shocked, I listened in silence as he 
spoke. Dante intended to take the codex to Spain where it would be safe. 
But he was being watched. The enemy of the Assassins, the Knights Templar, 
still existed. I recalled the stories he had told me of the Templars, and 
it all became clear. Dante had been murdered. The Templars knew about the 
Codex and they knew about us. Shaking my father told me to take the Codex 
and leave for Spain at once with my wife and child. As Messer Polo ushered 
me out the door, he handed me a small piece of paper with a number on it. 
With this number, I could draw on his credit, more Ducats than I had ever 
seen in my life, at any bank in Italy. 

At Sea 
We set sail that night, the ship filled with cargo to sell in the markets at 
Barcelona. At first, all was well. Then, to avoid a coming storm, we laid 
anchor in the Otranto harbor. Cloaked in darkness, the pirates came. I 
didn't see them until they were already boarding my ship. I hid my family 
in the hold. Pulling out the Codex, I ran the worn leather cover through 
my hands, then, I broke the spine. The pages slid silently onto the floor, 
I scattered them into the chests, boxes and containers I was carrying to 
market. The men who found us were drunk, I could smell it on their breath. 
When they asked for the Codex, I knew who had sent them. Holding back my 
rage, I said I had thrown it overboard. They started to laugh. Two held 
me down, still grinning, while the rest cut off my wife's clothes. She 
begged for mercy until her voice gave out. Once they were done, they 
threw her into the sea. They took my cargo and sunk my ship, and left me, 
adrift, clinging to a piece of railing. I made it to the beach with my 
son. My wife's body washed up on shore the next morning with the tide. 

A New Name 
I never saw the sea again. 
Making my way to Florence, I rented a small room and then visited the bank. 
I had memorized Polo's account number. With the vast sum I now had at 
my disposal, I went to Venice in disguise to find my father. I returned 
to Florence the next day. Both Polo and my father were already dead. 
From that moment forward, I collected treatises on architecture, studied the 
classics and took vocal lessons. I adopted the name Auditore, impersonating 
a noble at the Florentine Court. Accepted as one of their own, I took on the 
trappings of the nobility and constructed this villa for me and my son. 
And then, I hunted them. I raised my son to fight, to find the Codex, and to 
kill Templars. Together, we would regain the honor of my wife and avenge the 
death of my father, two debts that would never, that could never, be repaid. 
To the Auditore that reads this, remember that you are not a nobleman. You 
are not one of the deceivers, you are one of the people. Avenge us!
- Domenico Auditore

Interpretation: The records left by Ezio's ancestor show us a number facts:

Altair's mention of an assault on the encroaching horde of Genghis Khan 
seems to have been attempted, though the details are unknown. However, 
for Kublai Kahn (the Mongolian leader with whom Marco Polo met) to have 
possessed the Codex, Altair's involvement must have been a present. As to 
how the Codex came to be in Kublai's possession is unknown. Based on the 
statue in Qulan Gal in the Assassin's Sanctuary, an individual trained by 
the Assassins was certainly responsible for Genghis Khan's demise. Is it 
possible that Altair, Maria, and his sons left a base of operations in the 
area? This might mean friendly relations with later leaders, including 
Kublai. He would have to be a most trusted ally to be gifted Altair's 
Codex, which contained many secrets he wished no one to know of. He may 
himself have been an Assassin, giving the Codex to Marco Polo, a fellow 
member of the Order, for safe keeping.

The Templar seem to have come out of a "dark age" of their own during the 
time of Domenico's training. After the events of Assassin's Creed 1, 
Altair's Codex indicates that the Templar went into hiding, and it sounded 
as if their foothold was significantly weakened. However, during this 
period, the Templar struck back, eliminating several Assassins, as well 
as nearly gaining Altair's Codex, which would have provided them with 
extremely useful information, not to mention the location of a Piece of 
Eden. Based on the events of Assassin's Creed 2, it seems as if from 
this point on, the Templar Order once again rose to a position of power, 
having the advantage over the Assassins.

The Auditore family, hinted in subtle conversations earlier in the game, is 
most definitely fabricated. Prior to killing Uberto Alberti, if you listen 
to his discussion with other upper class individuals, you can hear mention 
of the Auditore family "showing up so suddenly". The individual seems to 
imply she never really trusted the Auditore and harbored some secret 
suspicion as to their origins.

While not explicitly spelled out, it is likely this is the origin of 
Altair's descendents leading to Ezio. Domenico was Ezio's great, great 
grandfather, and Domenico's father was only 2-3 generations away from 
Altair, possibly even 1, although that would be somewhat unlikely.


*******************************

VI. Speculation

Contents:
1. The Ones Who Came Before
   A. Speculation on Nature
   B. Speculation on Origins   
   C. Speculation on Members
2. The Event
   A. What Might Have Happened
   B. When It Might Happen Again
3. Humans
   A. Origins
   B. Inherited Legacy
4. Assassins
   A. Known Assassins
   B. The Assassin Bloodline
   C. Links to Adam and Eve 
   D. Half-Gods
   E. The Assassin Order
   F. Motives of the Assassins
5. Templar
   A. Known Templar
   B. Organizations and Influence
   C. Ultimate Goals
6. Artifacts
   A. Known Artifacts and Timelime
   B. Artifact Powers
   C. Present State of Things
   D. Deeper Meaning Behind the Artifacts 

-------------------------------
1. The Ones Who Came Before
-------------------------------
===A. Speculation on Nature===

The Ones Who Came Before. We know so little about them . . . we don't even 
have a convenient name for them. Minerva's imbedded AI scoffed at the use 
of the word "God" to describe them, indicating without a doubt that they 
worldy and mortal. It is clear that they are of significant potency, but 
it seems as if much of this power comes from technology. What, amongst 
their clearly vast repertoire of abilities, were actually natural powers, 
and which were technological? It seems that, at the very least, they had 
extended lifespans. If Assassins are the result of a hybrid between them 
and humans (See VI/4/C), then some semblance of an Assassins powers likely 
originate from Those Who Came Before. This would mean that Eagle Vision 
(better said as a form of ESP that included subtle form of emotion 
reading) was derived from them, as well as enhanced agility and learning 
aptitude. It also seems that the Pieces of Eden may not respond fully to the 
touch of a human; whether this is a design of the Pieces of Eden, or if it 
requires a special ability natural to the Ones Who Came Before, it is not 
said.

Either way, it is clear that they are a massively advanced, human-like race, 
who possessed technology so powerful that early humans could not comprehend 
them as anything but Gods. They seemed to be few in number (possible 
hundreds or thousands? It is not clear, but Minerva makes it clear that 
they were far fewer than humans), and possibly had a low birth rate. 
Their minds, while intelligent and more capable than those of humans, 
still function in a manner similar to humanity, complete with some level 
of emotion, as well as being susceptible to emotions clouding their 
judgement. While I will discuss it more in a bit, it seems that in most 
ways, they were extremely similar to humanity, but that humanity at the 
time could not see past their powers, granting them a divine nature.

===B. Speculation on Origin===

The discussion with Minerva's embedded AI does not reveal anything about the 
origins of Those Who Came Before. However, there are two clues that indicate 
two different possibilities.

The first is that they were somehow extraterrestrial. The heavy use of space 
symbolism in Minerva's chamber may imply that they came from another planet. 
It would certainly make sense; they had the technological prowess to 
potentially engage in interstellar travel.

The second, and the theory that I personally believe, is a bit more 
complicated and contrived. The Ones Who Came Before imply that their 
primary difference from humanity is that they "came before". Furthermore, 
they created humanity by using their technology to accelerate the 
evolution of apes to create humans. Ultimately, the resultant humans were 
very similar to the Ones Who Came Before, who stated that they created 
humans in "their image". Additionally, they seem to have been capable of 
crossbreeding the two species, indicating that they had similar genetic 
lineage. In my opinion, this indicates that The Ones Who Came Before 
were merely a primate to evolve into civilization far earlier than we 
did. If this logic is a bit hard to follow, allow me to put it this way.

A. The Ones Who Came Before created Humans.

B. They did this by advancing the evolution of Apes.

C. Humans (with a genetic template based in Earth primate DNA) were able to 
crossbreed with The Ones Who Came Before.

D. For the genetic material of the two species to be close enough to 
crossbreed, Those Who Came Before would have to be of a similar genetic 
template (with a template based in Earth primate DNA).

E. This would exclude the possibility that they were extraterrestrials.
  
There are possible arguments against this theory. The most prevalent of 
which is that if Those Who Came Before had such advanced technology, 
they could FORCE their DNA and human DNA to be compatible. A second 
argument against would be that it would be extremely unlikely that two 
parallel evolutionary lines descending from different parent ape species 
would be able to crossbreed anyway, however I counter this with Minerva's 
claim that they made humans in their image. While clearly the two species 
are distinct, Those Who Came Before made have used their own evolutionary 
path and applied it to early hominids, advancing humans in a way very 
similar to their own, resulting in a viable crossbreed potential.

===C. Speculation on Members===

We know of at least three members of the species to which Minerva belongs. 
Minerva herself indicates she had many names in her lifetime. She then lists 
two others of her kind.

Minerva - Previous names, Merva and Mera
Juno - Previous name Uni
Jupiter - Previous name Tinia

To those with knowledge of ancient Gods, these names should ring many bells. 
Allow me to summarize this information.

Jupiter, Juno and Minerva are part of a trio of Gods that were considered 
the most important in worship in Ancient Rome. They are equivalent to 
the Greek Gods Zeus (the King of the Gods), Hera (Queen of the Gods, 
sister and wife of Zeus) and Athena (Zeus' daughter, and an influential 
member of his court). Amongst the Romans, Greeks and proximally located 
Etruscans, there was a vast overlap of religion. These same dieties find 
their counterparts in Etruscan mythology as Tinia, Uni and Merva/Mera. 
Minerva's explanation of this solidifies the nature of these religions 
as worshiping the same dieties.

Due to the fact that three of these individuals are the classic 
"Greek/Roman" Gods, it may be likely that more of their number represent 
other Godlike individuals throughout mythology. At least one image in 
Minerva's chamber indicates a a member of their species in Egyptian style 
art, reminescent of Horus or Ra, but without the characteristic orb above 
the head which Ra possesses. Given this, it is likely that other members 
of the species may later come to be associated with Gods from other 
pantheons, such as:

- Other Greek/Roman Gods
- Egyptian Gods
- Norse Gods
- Mesoamerican Gods (Notably, Quetzalcoatl of this pantheon was mentioned in 
Assassin's Creed 1) 
- Sumerian/Mesopotamian Gods (Sumerian mythos being referenced in the 
Puzzles)

-------------------------------
2. The Event
-------------------------------

===A. What Might Have Happened===

We know, now, from Minerva, that some sort of apocalypse occured which 
scorched the Earth, killing a vast majority of both Those Who Came Before 
and humanity. She does not say what it was, but there are a lot of hints 
indicating what it might have been. She first says that while distracted 
by the war on Earth, they failed to "look to the heavens". At this point, 
a picture of the solar system appears, and a blast of energy, possibly a 
solar flare, bursts out of the sun, coursing over the inner planets in 
the solar system. She then stated that it left the world covered in 
nothing but ash, implying the visuals are probably exactly what happened.

In Puzzle 19, there are a lot of hints towards this. The entire puzzle 
revolves around the sun, saying it was, at one time, worshipped, but is 
not anymore. This would make sense. Minerva speaks of how humanity could 
not understand that the powerful Ones Who Came Before were NOT Gods. 
Similarly, it is likely that following the apocalypse, humanity would not 
be able to understand that the sun was merely a natural phenomenon, and 
that they worshipped it as something they feared, hoping to avoid its wrath. 

In the puzzle, Subject 16 says that "End. Almost the End. It happened 
before.", implying again that this was what caused the apocalypse. Hidden 
against the Sun are four messages; two are from Hopi folklore, describing, 
in a symbolic, scripture like manner what sounds like massive destruction. 
The other two say "They died in the fire from the heavens." and, more 
importantly, "Toba, 75ka was not a volcano". This not only makes it clear 
what happened, but gives us a when as well. Possibly, 75,000 years ago, 
the fire apocalypse occured, resulting in an ash layer that, found today, 
indicates a massive explosion. 

Finally, at the end, Lucy speculates on the idea of a geomagnetic reversal. 
She says that one theory indicates that a sufficiently large solar flare 
could cause the magnetic poles to shift, temporarily weakening the 
Earth's magnetic field (which provides protection from stellar radiation 
and energy). Once weakened, the massive solar flare would pour through 
and incinerate the now undefended Earth. Given the depictions shown 
by Minerva, this may very well be exactly what happened, and that it 
will happen again.

===B. When It Might Happen Again===

Since Assassin's Creed 1, the end of the Mayan Long Count Calendar has been 
posited as being relevant to the game's universe. The predicted date of the 
Templar's satellite mind control scheme, the ultimate culmination of their 
plans, would occur on the same day as the end of the Mayan Long Count. 
Furthermore, a barcode written by Subject 16 showed the numerical 
representation of this date. 

For those who are not aware, the Mayan Long Count Calendar is a complex 
calendar system that is not at all like the one used by the modern world. 
It used a base of 18 and 20, rather than a base 10, and it had an 
internal limit to how far it could go (akin to a counter reaching 99:99 
and going no further). According to the math, this "limit" will be 
reached on December 21, 2012, which is indicated in Assassin's Creed 1 
to be the day the Templar would launch their satellite. As of AC1, it 
was believed this represented the coming "end of the world" that many 
associate with the Mayan Long Count. However, one of the previously existing 
apocalypse theories about this date was of a geomagnetic reversal triggered 
by a solar flare. So now, this has become the forefront expected occurance 
on that date, in game. That does not change the fact that this is still 
the date for the launch of the satellite. That makes for an interesting 
literary plot climax; with days to go until December 21, 2012, Desmond 
and Co. strive to do what they need to do, knowing full well that both 
a worldwide fire apocalypse AND a mind control apocalypse were about to 
occur. They will have to stop both; if they fail to stop either of the 
two, all is lost . . . god I can't wait for Assassin's Creed 3.

-------------------------------
3. Humans
-------------------------------

===A. Origins===

Through the puzzles and the speech by Minerva at the end of the game, it is 
very clear that humans were engineered by Those Who Came Before. Humans were 
"made in the image" of Those Who Came Before, paralleling the famed concept 
that the Judeo/Islamic/Christian God created man in his image. Thus, humans 
look very much like Those Who Came Before. 

Humans were created, it seems, by causing accelerated evolution of apes into 
the modern day humans through the use of Pieces of Eden. The Templar 
discuss how there is an incomplete fossil record; this indicates that up to 
a certain point, apes were evolving naturally, but the process was 
accelerated many years, possibly millions, in an effort to make humanity. 
The Templar seem to find this concept disgusting. 

Humanity was not created out of kindness or generosity, however. We were 
intended as slaves/servants to Those Who Came Before, providing manual labor 
for a group that seemed to have a low birth rate, hencing providing the 
necessary work force. While it does not sound as if Those Who Came Before 
had a particular sense of malice towards humanity, this master/servant 
relationship was non-negotiable. To this end, humanity was created with 
a failsafe to prevent uprisings. The human brain was installed with a 
unique neurotransmitter that is activated only in the presence of a 
Piece of Eden, allowing complete mental domination of a human. This 
neural pathway is not present in other animals, and likely not in Those 
Who Came Before.

Humanity was unable to understand how Those Who Came Before were so much 
more powerful than they, and attributed Godlike qualities to them, not 
understanding that Those Who Came Before were merely technologically 
advanced mortals. This seems to have been met with a slight bit of 
amusement from Those Who Came Before, but it likely served their 
purposes well, as it would keep humanity even more firmly subjugated.

At some point humanity was able to rebel against Those Who Came Before. In 
"The Truth" video, two early humans named Adam and Eve are shown stealing 
a Piece of Eden. It is also possible that Adam and Eve were crossbreed 
humans, giving them enhanced resistance to mind control. It also is 
possible, with evidence from the games, that Pieces of Eden grant 
resistance to the effects of other Pieces of Eden. Through this initial 
theft, a resistance may have sprung up. While Minerva and her kind were 
far more powerful than humanity, they had much fewer numbers, and with 
the stolen technology, humanity was able to actually put up a fight. Who 
would have won is not necessarily implied; in the distraction caused by the 
war, the Earth was subject to an apocalypse which crippled both sides 
severly. Humanity survived because, as Minerva said "we were built to 
survive", inciting again the idea that humans were made in their image.

Humanity, made in their image, inherited some of their traits. Apparently, 
one trait shared by both species was a desire for strife. Despite their 
advanced knowledge and technology, Those Who Came Before were not above 
war, and it was this weakness that allowed them to be distracted into 
missing the signs of the coming apocalypse. Faced with the knowledge that 
hatred/war had blinded them and almost cost both species their lives, 
the few survivors of both sides banded together to rebuild the Earth. 
Living in harmony, rather than in a master/servant relationship, they 
worked together to recover scraps of civilization and restore the Earth, 
which had been completely burned by the vague apocalypse.

===B. Inherited Legacy===

A small fraction of both sides survived; humans, being far more numerous, 
had more survivors and were able to recover. However, Those Who Came 
Before were far fewer in number, and seem to have had a low birth rate. 
For this or other such reasons, they could not maintain a viable 
population and slowly died off, despite having extraordinarily long 
lifespans. Knowing that they would not survive, and rather than hold a 
grudge against humanity, they ensured the proper defenses were in place 
to resist against another such apocalypse, and seem to have left the 
Earth to humans. 

However, humanity never really got over their deification of Those Who Came 
Before (at least not while they still existed), and traded logic and 
understanding of this gift/responsibility for myth and legend. Those Who 
Came Before went down in history as Gods, insubstantial, distant, and all 
powerful, while the memory of their reality was forgotten. The Pieces of 
Eden, left on Earth, have come to be regarded as items of godly power, 
used for selfish gain, their original purpose forgotten in the legends. 

Meanwhile, Templars (refered to by Minerva as "the cross") were selfish 
humans who sought to take the legacy of Those Who Came Before for 
themselves. They wished to use it to rule the remaining humans, and 
evidently were a source of worry for Those Who Came Before. As Those Who 
Came Before died out, the Templar slowly gained power, forgetting the 
gift left to humanity that might one day allow them to avoid another 
apocalypse. This is a shame, as the Templar are the most likely 
organization to understand and be able to use defenses put in place, but 
this seems to be a lost cause.

Hope remains however; Minerva implies that the factions of humanity tasked 
with guarding these defenses might not have forgotten the value of peace, or 
their original purpose. If the Assassins, particularly those of the Assassin 
Bloodline (the last remaining descendents of Those Who Came Before), can 
harness this, the Earth might yet be saved.

-------------------------------
4. Assassins
-------------------------------

===A. Known Assassins===

Aside from the main characters, such as Altair, Ezio, Desmond, and those in 
the present, a number of historical figures are also revealed to have been 
assassins, or people who were assassinated by them. These include:

Pre-Rennaissance:
Darius - Assassinated Xerxes
Amunet - Assassinated Cleopatra
Iltani - Assassinated Alexander the Great (Who had the Staff, PoE 34)
Wei Yu - Assassinated Qin Shi Huang
Leonius - Assassinated Caligula
Qulan Gal - Assassinated Genghis Khan

Rennaissance:
Bartolomeo d'Alviano
Niccolo Machiavelli
Dante Alighieri
Marco Pollo
Leonado Da Vinci - Aided the Assassins, but may not have actually been one.

Post-Rennaissance:
Nikola Tesla* - May have been an Assassin, but it seems more likely that he 
was merely an ally of the Assassins, in a way similar to Leonardo Da Vinci.

===B. The Assassin Bloodline===

It becomes clear in Puzzle 14 that the Assassin Order is not just an 
organization. There may actually be a genetic basis for certain Assassins. 
However, much of this is theoretical, so the following will be mostly 
speculative.

In Puzzle 14, images are shown with Gods and Mortals procreating, a message 
above indicating that Assassins are the children of two worlds. If this is 
to believed, it may indicate that The Ones Who Came Before and humans could 
crossbreed, resulting in a hybrid being. The Ones Who Came Before were 
certainly technologically advanced, but we do not know if the vast majority 
of their powers came from their technology, or if they were innate. They 
were certainly different in some way from humanity, but if they could 
produce viable offspring, it would mean that on a physical level, they 
were just advanced humans, or the other way around, that humans were an 
inferior version.

Evidence, however, indicates that if this is the case, they may have had 
physical powers beyond that of humanity. The puzzle seems to portray 
Assassins as something unique and distinct from humans AND Those Who Came 
Before. If Those Who Came Before had no powers, there would be nothing 
differentiating these groups. However, we do know that there is something 
more than just human abilities. Altair, Ezio, and Desmond all seem to be 
in possession of abilities beyond human capabilities. Foremost is the 
most blatant, Eagle Vision. There is no human equivalent to the ability, 
and furthermore, not all members of the Assassin Order possess it. For 
instance, Lucy Stillman seems unaware of the fingerprints on the keypad 
in the beginning of Assassin's Creed 2, or of the writing on the walls. 
This would indicate that, despite being an Assassin, she does not possess 
Eagle Vision. 

In addition to this, who are the most agile characters between the games? 
Altair, Ezio, and Desmond. No one seems able to quite match their nimble 
abilities, even other members of the Assassin Order. Why is it that Altair 
rose to become the most skilled Assassin in his time? Or that Ezio, a 
fledgling member by some standards, was chosen to fulfill the goals set 
forth by the other Renaissance Assassins? It seems as if they were, on 
some level, physically superior, both in natural aptitude and ability to 
learn. Keep in mind that an untrained Ezio and his brother Fredericho 
casually climbed dangerously tall buildings for fun, with no training, 
but abilities on par with that of Altair.

To me, this indicates that Desmond's ancestry, unlike most Assassins, is a 
direct line from an original hybrid between humans and Those Who Came 
Before. For the sake of definition, this means that there are now two 
types of Assassins.

1. Members of the Order of Assassins - These are individuals who are part of 
the organization of Assassins. These include the likes of Lucy Stillman 
or Shaun Hastings. Highly trained, they possess no supernatural abilities. 

2. Members of the Bloodline of Assassins - These are individuals who are not 
quite human, possessing some genetic ancestry going back to a different 
species, Those Who Came Before. These include Altair, Ezio, and Desmond. 
They are also members of the Order of Assassins, but they are distinct 
from normal humans.

Henceforth, I will refer to those displaying the hybrid blood as members of 
the Assassin Bloodline, rather than the Assassin Order.

What other abilities could this genetic variant possess? For one, what is it 
that makes Altair different from all of his Assassin brethren, which Al 
Mualim points out? He is able to resist the Apple's mind control. This 
stunned Al Mualim, who had not yet encountered this phenomenon. This 
would make sense. Humans were genetically designed to be subject to the 
controlling powers of the Apple, and it is unlikely that Those Who Came 
Before were subject to these effects. Having a hybrid ancestry possibly 
allows Altair to resist these effects, in a way that other highly trained 
and disciplined Assassins could not. However, he is not entirely immune 
to some effects. This could be due to dilution, or only hybrid status, or 
it is possible that some of the artifacts powers would indeed influence 
Those Who Came Before.

Another possibility is that these artifacts were not designed to be used by 
humans. Some, or all, of their abilities may not be usable by a normal 
human. While Al Mualim was able to trigger the mind control effects of 
the Apple, it was only Altair who was able to first access its database 
(initiated by the display of the Earth covered in markers for other 
artifacts). As he used it, he also gained access to possible visions of 
the future, an ability mentioned by Those Who Came Before. Later, Ezio was 
able to open the door to the Vault, whereas Rodrigo Borgia had not been 
able to. While it sounds as if Ezio was "chosen", this could merely be a 
roundabout way of saying that he had the correct genetic structure to 
activate the artifacts. 

And why not? The artifacts were extremely powerful in the hands of a human. 
A logical, advanced society would likely include such safeguards, preventing 
rogue humans from making full use of their tools. This, and the fact that 
Assassins seem more agile than other humans leads me to my next topic.

===C. Links to Adam and Eve===

Adam and Eve. After viewing "The Truth", we know they were real, and we know 
they stole a Piece of Eden. If they were a "first" of some kind, it was 
obviously not the first humans, but possibly the first to rebel. But how was 
it that they were able to rebel, when so many before had not? What made them 
different? Well, we know that they were extremely agile. Somehow, they were 
able to steal a Piece of Eden, and it is likely that such attempts in the 
past were prevented through the Piece of Eden's mind control abilities. 
Well, based on our previous conclusions, we know that members of the 
Assassin Bloodline can resist the mind control, and have exceptional 
agility. This might well mean that Adam and Eve, or even just one of 
them (likely Eve, if such is the case) were of this hybrid Bloodline. 
This would explain a lot, and it is quite possible that through Adam and 
Eve, the first resistance to Those Who Came Before developed.

Why would Those Who Came Before crossbreed with humans? The answer may not 
be as complex as one would think. Minerva's assertion that humans and her 
own kind were both susceptible to a craving for war and strife indicates 
that they share more than physically similar bodies, but a similar mindset 
as well. It would not be out of the ordinary to think that passion could 
get the best of such an advanced race, given that rage did the same thing. 
Even in human history, when one group enslaves another, there are instances 
where the master may fall in love with a slave, or even just use them for 
sexual gratification. If Those Who Came Before are as similar to humans as 
I believe they may be, this is likely what happened.

===D. Half-Gods===

So we may not reasonably speculate that the offspring of a cross between 
humans and Those Who Came Before would result in a semi-superhuman being, 
stronger than a human, but not so powerful that they became omnipotent. 
Well, what does that sound like? For me, it reminds me of half-God 
individuals from mythology, such as Hercules. He was extraordinarily 
strong, but not quite on the level of the Gods. Gods that we now know 
are symbolic, overpowered images representing individuals who truly existed. 

Hercules is a great example, actually. His father was Zeus, or Jupiter in 
Roman mythology. Jupiter was one of the listed "others" that Minerva 
mentioned. If the true Jupiter is in anyway similar, personality wise, 
to his mythological counterpart, it would mean he too had a slight 
*cough* EXTREME *cough* problem with fidelity. Zeus/Jupiter of mythology 
was the father of dozens of half-human individuals, the result of unions 
he engaged in for nothing other than personal pleasure. Extrapolate that 
mythological reputation back to the fact that we have an advanced race 
(who the Gods were modeled after) with the possibility of hybrid offspring, 
and we have what might be a fairly clearcut solution.

Zeus was the father of both Hercules and Perseus, individuals shown in 
puzzles. Hercules was displayed in the Garden of Hesperides stealing 
Golden Apples of Power (Huh? Piece of Eden what?), and Perseus was a hero, 
favored by many Gods, gifted with a large number powerful items including 
a divine sword, pictured in the puzzle showing Piece of Eden 25, the Sword.

It might even make sense that Perseus was favored by Those Who Came Before. 
If we are to assume that they possessed normal human emotions (Minerva 
herself expressed sympathy, hope, and annoyance), then love of each other 
and for offspring might also be part of their psyche. If Jupiter sired 
an Assassin who later went on various "human" quests of his own, and 
Jupiter actually gave a damn about his son, he might just have done him a 
few favors to help him out. Its not uncommon for parents to help their 
kids cheat a little. It would not be extremely out of the ordinary to see 
Jupiter asking Minerva (his daughter, in the mythology) to keep an eye out 
for little Persey. Minerva, along with a few other Gods, granted Perseus 
possesion of a number of enchanted items for his quest, and Minerva herself 
kept a close eye on him, keeping him out of trouble. While this is all 
speculation, I will point out that none of it is all that unlikely. And 
this is the speculation section, afterall. 

Why would Those Who Came Before willingly aid a human by giving one their 
covetted artifacts? We do know that after the rebellion and the apocalypse, 
humanity and Those Who Came Before did actually collaborate, neither one as 
slaves, but as equals. It was likely some time before all of Those Who Came 
Before met their end, so its possible they charged select humans with taking 
care of tasks that they did not have the time to do themselves. At this 
point, it is likely that humans were governing themselves, and Those Who 
Came Before may have made minor strategic moves through chosen humans 
(or Assassins, their favorites!), without getting too involved.

Another good example of this is the story of Jason and the Argonauts. 
Ignoring all the irrelevant parts, it basically came down to Jason trying 
to get the Golden Fleece (Piece of Eden 66 - The Shroud), and going on a 
dangerous journy, while Hera (The Greek version of the Roman Jove) watched 
over him, granting him favors and advice in his mission. In my opinion, 
it all ties together very nicely. While I am sure much of the original 
myths had been changed, they reveal an underlying theme of humans or 
half-humans being assisted by the Gods, often with powerful artifacts in 
play. 

===E. The Assassin Order===

As opposed to the Assassin Bloodline, the Assassin Order's origins are 
somewhat mysterious. It is implied in the Codex of Altair that the Order 
which he belonged to had been created by Al Mualim, but he muses that 
perhaps Al Mualim merely stumbled upon a previously existing concept. 
This would imply that, prior to Al Mualim's Order, there was no existing 
Assassin presence on Earth, but Altair discusses the idea that ideas cannot 
be killed, and all ideas will inevitably be rediscovered. The Order itself 
may harken back to the Bloodline, which may have been an organization many 
thousands of years prior to the events of Assassin's Creed 1.

It is worth noting that several of the six Assassins in the Assassin's 
Sanctuary were indicated as having been members of the order. The oldest 
of these is over 1500 years prior to the events of Assassin's Creed 1. 
The statues are clearly contemporary, however, so it is unknown whether 
the Assassin order merely "claimed" these famed Assassins as members of 
their fold, if they truly were of the same order.

The Order itself has been shifting back and forth from being the dominiant 
member of the feud with the Templar. This timeline is worth noting.

~1150: The Assassin Order seems to no longer exist; it is refounded by Al 
Mualim.
1191: The events of Assasin's Creed 1 begin. The Assassins start at a 
disadvantage, with the Templar and their manipulated factions potentially 
poised to destroy Masyaf. 
1191: With the defeat of Robert de Sable and many of his highest ranking 
agents, as well as Al Mualim (not to mention gaining an uneasy alliance 
with King Henry), the Assassin Order seems to have the upper hand, 
especially with their possession of the Piece of Eden.
~1191-1250?: Over the course of Altair's life, he pursues the Templar, but 
they going into hiding.
~1296: Over 100 years later, Ezio's great great grandfather is trained as an 
Assassin. His benefactors, several Assassins, are killed by the Templars, as 
the Templar attempt to retake Altair's Codex. This shows the Templar 
coming back out of hiding into a position of power.
1476: The events of Assassin's Creed 2 begin. The Templar have put a 
significant number of individuals into positions of power, and have 
orchestrated plots to allow these individuals to gain even more power. 
By the end of the game, their leader himself becomes Pope, possibly the 
most powerful individual in the world at that time in history. 
1476-1499: Ezio learns the Assassin way and eliminates these Templar one by 
one. He eventually kills all except for their leader, but takes two Pieces 
of Eden which the Templar spent centuries trying to obtain, depriving them 
of victory and dealing them harsh blow to their number.
1500-1900: Over the next few hundred years, the Templar seem to find their 
way into positions of power world wide, particularly that of the newly 
founded American Presidency.
1900-1950: The Templar manipulate technological advances and politics in 
their favor, obtaining a number of Pieces of Eden in the process. They 
start World War II, with several of the main factions on either side under 
their control, utterly controlling the course of the war, and ending it 
when they pleased. Once finished, this leaves them with an extremely 
strong foothold in the world's power scheme, controlling the victors and 
the losers of Earth's largest war, but at the cost of a single Assassin 
reprisal; the possible loss of one of their ranking members and a Piece 
of Eden.
1950-2010: The Templar find themselves virtually controlling the developing 
world. Mention is made of illegal connections in the United States 
government, and the Templar control major technological advances, slowly 
approaching their goal of world domination. They begin to systematically 
track down and eliminate groups of Assassins across the world, overpowering 
them with numbers and greater resources. A few Assassin counterattacks are 
made, slowing, but not stopping, the advance towards their ultimate goal.
2012: The present day events concerning Desmond occur. Warren Vidic, though 
at least partially incorrect, indicates that all of the Assassins have been 
wiped out. Though we later find a few groups remain, a serious blow has been 
delivered to their organization. A rescue mission to save Desmond fails, 
resulting in the loss of even more Assassins. At the end of Assassin's 
Creed 1, the Templar extract the knowledge they desire from Desmond.
Late 2012: Lucy Stillman escapes with Desmond from Abstergo. She attempts to 
train him in the ways of the Assassin, by allowing him to experience the 
events of his ancestor, Ezio. This is successful, though he suffers some 
side effects. Lucy believes that all it takes is one person sometimes to 
win a war, and her hope is that Desmond will be that one person. She also 
identifies that the Templar are not the most significant threat, and the 
stakes suddenly become much higher. 

===F. Motives of the Assassins===  
   
The Assassins have several motives. While the Assassins seem concerned with 
countering Templar activities, they also concern themselves with politics 
unrelated to the feud. Similarly, while the Templar have an ultimate goal 
that, once reached, would bring about their victory, the Assassins have 
no such possible victory; their goal is to counter the Templar indefinitely, 
and simultaneously maintain peace through strategic assassination. More 
specifically . . .

The Assassins believe in the concept of freedom, particularly, freedom to 
choose one's own path and actions. While the idea of slavery goes against 
their creed, even worse an offense is enforcing ignorance on the masses. 
They believe that decisions are key to human life, and that these decisions 
must be educated ones, even if the knowledge gained in the process is 
painful to the person. The supression of knowledge and wisdom is a popular 
tactic of tyrants (not to mention the Templar), and so the Assassins believe 
that by eliminating these individuals, freedom of knowledge and choice can 
be granted to the masses. The Templar, too, would seek to subjugate humanity 
by removing free will, or by manipulating human knowledge to come to the 
same result (if you mind control all of humanity into thinking a decision 
is the right one, you effectively choose for them). To this end, the 
Assassins fight for freedom of knowledge and choice on two fronts, that 
of humanity in general, and that of the Templar.

-------------------------------
5. Templar
-------------------------------

===A. Known Templar===

I will start with a chronological list of known Templar. Speculated Templar 
will be marked with an asterisk.

Prehistory:
Cain - First "Templar", killed Abel for the Piece of Eden. May be Templar in 
behavior only. Later Templar use his symbol as their own.

Crusades:
1190 - AC: Altair's Chronicles
Basilisk - Grand Master of the Templar during AC:AC
	Master of the Tower
        Alaat
        Roland Napule

1191 - Assassin's Creed 1
Robert de Sable - Grand Master of the Templar during AC1
        Maria - Robert's assistant. Eventually joins the Assassins?
        Tamir
        Garnier de Naplouse
        Talal
        Abul Nuqoud
        William V of Montferrat
        Majd Addin
        Jubair al Hakim
        Sibrand
        Masun - Assassin traitor

Al Mualim - Traitor to the main Templar body, forming his own sect

1191-1192? - Assassin's Creed Bloodlines 
Armand Bouchart - Grand Master of the Templar during AC:B
        Frederick the Red
        Moloch
        Shahar
        Shalim

1390
Freemasons - Earliest known Masonic text originates from this time. 
Freemasons seem to be a Templar organization.

1480 - Assassin's Creed II
Rodrigo Borgia - Grand Master/Leader of the Templar during ACII
        Uberto Alberti
        Jacopo de' Pazzi
        Francesco de' Pazzi
        Vieri de' Pazzi
        Antonio Maffei
        Francesco Salviati
        Bernado Baroncelli
        Stefano de Bagnone
        Emilio Barbarigo
        Carlo Grimaldi
        Marco Barbarigo
        Dante Moro
        Silvio Barbarigo

1700s
George Washington - Member of the Freemasons

1800s
Joseph Smith Jr. - Possible Freemason, translated Templar text. Founded 
Mormon faith.

1900s
Rasputin - Served as Templar agent, influencing Czar Nicholas II
Thomas Edison
J.P. Morgan
Henry Ford
Harvey Firestone* - Close ally of Ford and Edison
Franklin Delano Roosevelt - Member of the Freemasons
Adolf Hitler - Worked for the Templar. Started WWII for Templar ends.
C (Possibly Churchill) - Was supposed to meet with Hitler after WWII.
O (Probably Oppenheimer*) - Worked under Templar, doing atomic research
Lee Harvey Oswald - Commit JFK assassination under Templar Orders
Z (Possibly Abraham Zapruder*) - Assisted in JFK assassination
Lyndon B. Johnson - Templar agent, president of the U.S.
Buzz Aldrin* - Cryptic message "the bees drone too" may reference Aldrin.

2012 - Modern Day
	Allan Rikken - Highest known ranking member of modern Templar
	Warren Vidic - Abstergo scientist

===B. Organizations and Influence===

The Templar are an ancient organization, using many names over the millenia. 
The name "Templar" itself seems to be a recent name, as they have been 
active at least since the time of Jesus, using the red cross as their 
symbol, but the Templar organization did not arise until more than a 
millenium later. As opposed to the Assassins, the Templar M.O. tends to 
be to create influential organizations, use these organizations to put 
members into positions of power, and then use this power to work towards 
Templar means. Usually, these organizations have a publicly known goal; 
this helps draw attention away from their true purposes, while not causing 
suspicion as to why they seek power. Sometimes this goal can be used as a 
diversion; enemies of the organizations will seek to undermine the public 
goal, allowing the organization to achieve its true purposes without 
opposition.

These influence has spread to include a large number of powerful groups over 
the years. These include:
The Knights Templar
Several other Crusader Organizations
The Ruling Bodies of Jerusalem, Acre, and Damascus
The Freemasons
Possibly the Mormon Faith (likely only at upper levels of the Faith)
Possibly NASA
A significant number of American Presidents
Various circles of scientific entrepreneurs
Several of the world leaders during WWII (U.S., Germany, and England?)
Abstergo Industries
The Assassin Order

I would like to draw attention to the last group. Yes, the Templar actually 
controlled the Assassin Order. Furthermore, it seems as if they may have 
even created it, as Al Mualim was the founder and father of the Assasin 
Order. It is not likely he inherited his role, so it is possible the 
entire order was founded for the whims of a rogue Templar. However, it 
is worth noting that Altair muses on the idea that Al Mualim merely 
revived a concept that had existed far longer than the Order itself. 
This may refer to the difference between the Assassin Order and the 
Assassin Bloodline. Ultimately, however, Assassin Creed 1's Order was 
technically founded by the Templar, even if this were not to last.

===C. Ultimate Goals===

At face value, the Templar Order seems to have two goals. First, is the 
aquisition and monopoly of power, especially the artifacts of Those Who Came 
Before. Subjugation and control of the masses, particularly those who would 
oppose them, through any means necessary. The first goal, in a sense, is 
merely the means for accomplishing the second goal. Furthermore, the 
second goal is done with the ultimate purpose of instilling world peace 
and stability. 

When asked, the Templar state that their goal is bringing peace and 
happiness to the world, whatever the consequences. This would be an 
ultimate philosophical goal for their order, giving them their moral 
highground from which they can comfortably do what they need to do 
without remorse. This is extremely effective, as virtually no Templar 
throughout the games shows any guilt for the actions they have done, 
truly believing they are doing good. This is important form of 
psychological conditioning; with it in place, turnover and betrayal is 
greatly reduced (important in a secret society), and a zealous morality 
strengthens and focuses the drive to serve the order. 

In this sense, the Templar are not, nor do they consider themselves, evil. 
They merely differ from the Assassins in one key point; the Templar 
believe that peace is more important than free will, that removing the 
element of choice is a necessary sacrifice to ensure survival. The 
Assassins believe that peace is a worthy goal, but it is empty and 
meaningless if not chosen. Their "sacrifice" in the name of peace is 
the belief that taking a few, key lives is worth the benefit if it 
allows freedom and free will.

This binds the orders on another level. They are both practitioners of the 
political/philosophical policy of Utilitarianism, which is to say, they both 
seek to attain the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people, 
recognizing that there must be sacrifice, or a few unhappy people, to attain 
a "greater good". Both Assassins and Templar believe it is okay to take the 
lives of others to gain this goal (though the Assassins seem less liberal 
in the use of death for their goals. Ironic, that Assassins are hesitant 
to kill, in this sense). The only true difference is that Assassins believe 
it is NOT okay to sacrifice free will for this end. This policy is further 
cemented when Altair takes over the Assassin Order, removing certain rules 
and restrictions that hindered or blinded free will and thought. An 
interesting example of this is in Altair's use of his Piece of Eden. The 
only time he used it to manipulate others was so he could show them the 
truth, clearing their minds of the propaganda that clouded their judgement 
and free will.

I digress, however, from this lengthy comparison. The ultimate goal of the 
Templar, taking into consideration the artifacts, is to use a Piece of 
Eden's mind control abilities to entirely enslave mankind, forcing an 
unprecedented era of peace and "happiness". Accomplishing this goal is 
expensive, complicated, and requires political power, so certain parts of 
their organization aim not to collect the artifacts, but to maintain power 
and resources. As stated by Vidic, many of the technological advances 
throughout history were made by the Templar, either with the intention 
of aiding their ultimate goal (space travel and satellite technology) or 
to help strengthen their position of power (atomic weaponry) and resources 
aquisition (developing electricity and charging money for it). 

Even as far back as the Crusader Templar, there was the immediate goal of 
"the new world order". It is possible that the Templar may have been able 
to subjugate the world with a Piece of Eden, even if it had to be carried by 
hand to various parts of the world. But Al Mualim's loss to Altair 
demonstrated one thing; the Piece of Eden is only part of the solution. You 
cannot subjugate everyone with the Piece of Eden's power, and you must also 
be able to defeat those who can resist it. To this end, gaining government 
power and a technological advantage serve a double purpose, helping to 
achieve their ends in the now, and ensuring victory against those who resist 
the mind control. Additionally, more Pieces of Eden might possess powers 
that could be used to defeat those who resisted the mind control.

However, as the years passed, it became obvious that just manually carrying 
a Piece of Eden would not be exactly efficient, so research was put towards 
finding ways of gaining more power, or making said power more convenient. 
Rodrigo Borgia sought the Vault, hoping to find within power more potent 
than that of the Apple (he would have been disappointed). Meanwhile, in the 
present, the idea of using the Apple in a satellite was developed, and as 
of AC1, the day of this launch is quickly approaching.

The Templar are not stupid, however, and they seem to recognize that certain 
types of power are just too dangerous. The Philadelphia Experiment, 
seemingly performed by the government and NOT the Templar, showed that a 
certain Piece of Eden could allow time travel, if brief. The Templar show 
a strong interest in understanding and controlling this phenomenon, but 
once in control, they promptly secured the Piece of Eden and are conducting 
no more research. They fear the concept of a Temporal Paradox, a potentially 
disasterous outcome of time travel, and even they find that much power to be 
too risky to meddle with.

One trait the morally minded Templar seem to ignore is their own selfish, 
immorality. Many of the Templar, though convinced of their moral highground, 
partake of extremely violent, greedy, and weak-minded behaviors. Individuals 
such as Tamir the Merchant give into a blind rage, mercilessly and brutally 
murdering people who anger them, with no real moral reason for doing so. 
Others, such as Marco Barbarigo, attempt to brutally murder their own loyal 
retainers for selfish greed, in this situation, ordering a hit on his 
guard captain Dante Moro so he could have Dante's wife for his own. There is 
no possible reason for this to be done "for the sake of mankind", but the 
supposedly moral Templar seem to overlook such blatantly evil behavior. For 
some reason, the Templar heirarchy does not seem to believe that this sort 
of evil, perpetrated by their own number, is an issue. In this sense, their 
grand scheme of providing "the greater good" is more of a grand farce. They 
cannot even control their own evil behavior, so why should they be granted 
the right to subjugate other such deviants. 

Rodrigo Borgia, like many individuals of the Rennaisance, might have been 
one of the best examples of a Templar corrupted by his own desires. 
Ignoring the other such disturbing implications shown in his video, or his 
willingness to kill, he infiltrated one of the largest religions on Earth, 
and expressed a belief that the entire religion was a sham (while 
maintaining his position and doing nothing to show its followers the 
truth). Furthermore, he did believe that a God of sorts existed, and 
desired to enslave God's power for his own selfish purposes. This act is 
associated with one other important figure in Religion; Satan. In Dante's 
Inferno, at the bottom of hell lies the imprisoned Satan, the most despised 
of all of the sinners, for committing so greivous and arrogant a sin as 
"Treachery against God". If Dante had played Assassin's Creed 2, Rodrigo 
Borgia would probably be right there next to him. Of course, Dante 
Alighieri was a member of the Assassin Order, so he fits into this 
comparison quite nicely.

-------------------------------
6. Artifacts
-------------------------------

===A. Known Artifacts and Timeline===

First off, I would like to document the known artifacts.

Known artifacts:
Piece of Eden 1 - Apple
Piece of Eden 2 - Apple
Piece of Eden 3 - Apple
Piece of Eden 4 - Apple
Piece of Eden 5 - Apple
Piece of Eden 25 - Sword
Piece of Eden 34 - Staff
Piece of Eden 66 - Shroud
Piece of Eden X - Unknown (Capable of limited time travel)
Altair's Apple - Piece of Eden Unknown

Now, I would like to document a timeline for each.

If labeled with a (TC) it is under Templar Control.

PE1
1812 AD - Owned by Napoleon Bonaparte
1913 AD - Owned by Houdini
1915 AD - The Templar have Houdini killed, taking it (TC)
1963 AD - Confirmed to still be in Templar possession (TC)

PE2
1559 AD - Owned by Queen Elizabeth
1930 AD - Owned by Gandhi
1946 AD - The Templar have Gandhi killed, taking it (TC)
1963 AD - Confirmed to still be in Templar possession (TC)
~2012 AD - Destroyed in the DIA Event

PE3
X-1781 AD - Brought to America by the Masons (TC) 
1781 AD - Owned by George Washington (TC) 
1944 AD - Owned by Franklin Roosevelt (TC) 
1963 AD - Owned by John F. Kennedy (TC?)
November 22, 1963 - Taken from JFK during Assassination (TC)

PE4
~900 AD - In the possession of an unknown Chinese warrior
~1900 AD - Found in Croatia by Nikola Tesla, who kept it
~1900-1908 AD - Stolen by Thomas Edison (TC)
~1914 AD - In the possession of Henry Ford, lent by Edison (TC)
~1914-1945 AD - In the possession of Adolf Hitler (TC)
1945 AD< - Unknown, possibly in the possession of the Assassins 

PE5
>1969 AD - Apparently, in the dirt on the moon
1969 AD - Found on the moon, retrieved during Apollo 11 (TC)

PE25 - The Sword
Pre-history - In the possession of Sigmund the Nordic hero
Pre-history - In the possession of Perseus the Nordic hero
~420-450 AD - In the possession of Attila the Hun
~480-900 AD- In the possession of King Arthur at some point
1431 AD - In the possession of Joan of Arc
1431 AD+ - Taken by the Templar, killing Joan in the process (TC)

PE34 - The Staff
~1200 BC - In the possession of Moses and his brother Aaron
700 BC - In the possession of Shabataka 
330 BC - In the possession of Alexander the Great
30 AD - In the possession of John the Baptist
31 AD - Passed to the possession of St. Peter, the first pope.
31 AD - 1492 AD - In possession of the popes, as the Papal staff.
1492 AD - 1499 AD - In the possession of Rodrigo Borgia, Pope Alexander (TC)
~1903 - In the possession of Czar Nicholas II of Russia
~1904-1908 - Taken by Rasputin, Nicholas' mystic, to Tunguska (TC)
1908 - Tunguska is utterly destroyed in the Tunguska Event

PE66 - The Shroud
Pre-history - In the possession of Jason the Greek Hero
>1700 BC - In the possession of Jacob, father of Joseph? 
1700 BC - In the possession of Joseph, of Jewish/Biblical Scripture
970 BC - In the possession of David, of Jewish/Biblical Scripture
30 AD - In the possession of Jesus of Biblical Scripture
30 AD and later - In the possession of the Templar (TC)

PEX - Time Travel Device
1943 - Philadelphia Experiment "works", but causes damage to artifact (TC)
2012 - Original artifact is repaired, but kept in isolation (TC)

Altair's Apple
Altair's Apple is likely Piece of Eden 1, 2, or 3, but it is not clear which 
one it is.
1191 - In Solomon's Temple
1191 - Taken by Malik from the Temple and given to Al Mualim
1191 - Taken from the now revealed Templar Al Mualim, by Altair
1191+ - Altair studies the artifact, and takes it to Cyprus for safekeeping
14xx - Retrieved from Cyprus by Rodrigo Borgia
1499 - Used by Ezio to open the Vault in the Vatican

===B. Artifact Powers===

Next, I using the ingame demonstrations, and the consistancy shown between 
mythology, I will create a list of definite and speculative abilties of each 
one.

The Apples
1. Mind control over humans - This can include complete domination and 
(temporary?) mind cleansing, or it can be more subtle, inducing 
hallucinations, convincing individuals of a fact, or even insanity. 
Functions by activating an otherwise dormant neural pathway, specifically 
found only in humans. Possession of another artifact seems to negate or 
limit the effects, as does being a member of the Assassin bloodline. 
Altair was able to resist the direct mind control effect, but the 
hallucinations still seemed to influence him, though he fought through them. 
2. Immobilization - A seemingly non-neural ability to immobilize a target. 
Strange bursts of light appear on the body of the afflicted target, 
indicating that it is purely physical. Resistance to the mind control 
effect does not seem to help in resisting the immobilization.
3. Duplication - The Apples seem to possess the ability for an individual to 
duplicate him or herself, and potentially bestow a different appearance upon 
the duplicates, which are capable of independent behavior. It is possible 
this is just a use of the hallicination ability, but it seems that 
duplicates are physical beings and can cause physical harm, indicating 
that this is an independent power. Loss of a duplicate does not seem to 
harm the original.
4. Storage of Data - The Apples seem to not only be an item of control, but 
also a library of data. Altair regularly mentions delving into the depths 
of his Apple to find information, but it seems it is not a simple task. 
His records indicate it requires a strong mind, and that care should be 
taken when using them, and he expresses a fear of losing oneself to it. 
It is possible that the Apples were not intended for use by humans, and 
that this ability is only somewhat accessible by them. It also can track 
the location of other artifacts in its database.
5. Foresight - It seems that Those Who Came Before had a limited form of 
foresight which required significant effort on their part. Altair seems able 
to tap into this ability through the apple, in a limited manner, indicating 
that the Apples themselves were the device through which the foresight was 
accomplished.
6. Opening Vaults - By combining the Staff (PoE 34) and an Apple, it was 
possible to open a vault. It is not shown if all of the vaults require the 
same combination, or if other combinations are possible.
7. Extended Life (Speculated) - In a number of the Apple related myths 
indicated in the puzzles, the Apple in question carried powers, and the 
most common of these powers was eternal/extended life/youth. Altair 
himself muses on the idea of extending his own life through the use of 
the Apple, but whether he succeeded is not known.
8. Temptation/Resisting Destruction (Speculated) - It seems as if something 
about the apples causes humans to desire them, but in a sense that also 
limits their desire to destroy them. Like the One Ring of Lord of the 
Rings, when it comes time to destroy the Apple, it takes phenomenal 
willpower to do so, and many people crave possessing it. It takes Altair 
several years to muster up the will to destroy it (which he was unable to 
do physically anyway), but at the end of Assassin's Creed 1, he was unable 
to destroy the Apple as he swore to do, choosing rather to use it for 
study. If the Apples were designed to control humans, then it would be 
logical to instill a safeguard within them preventing humans from destroying 
them willfully. Altair's ability to do so after years of effort may be a 
side-effect of his Assassin bloodline. It is also worth noting that the 
Apple of the Garden of Eden is nearly synonymous with Temptation, and the 
Apples in the various myths are also highly coveted (and well guarded by 
non-human methods).

The Staff
1. Area of Effect Attack - One ability of the Staff that is definitively 
demonstrated is a sweeping area of effect strike, used to knock over nearby 
opponents. Once downed, some sort of energy seems to physically weaken 
victims of the attack, causing them to fall prone to the ground for some 
time. Like the Mind Control, it is possible to resist this ability. Ezio 
indicates that his possession of an Apple allows this, but it is also 
possible his Assassin bloodline granted him this ability as well. The 
physical wave still seems to hit him, but the weakening status effect has 
limited use on Ezio (though not entirely non-existant).
2. Short-range Telekinesis - The Staff demonstrates the ability to provide a 
short range "force push" of sorts, knocking Ezio over, allowing Borgia to 
use his disabling Area of Effect ability. It seems to work well on Ezio, 
despite his Apple and Assassin Bloodline.
3. Cloaking - Using the Staff seems to allow its users to temporarily cloak 
themselves. The limitations and duration of this ability are not shown.
4. Opening Vaults - By combining the Staff with an apple, it was possible to 
open a vault. It is not shown if all of the vaults require the same 
combination, or if other combinations are possible.
5. Mind control over humans (Speculated) - Like all of the Pieces of Eden, 
it seems that those in possession of the Staff had an extraordinary large 
number of followers. This indicates that it is possible it too was capable 
of the mind swaying abilities shown by the Apple. Similarly, it also seems 
possible it was capable of the hallucination inducing abilities, as it was 
used numerous times in the Moses myth to perform otherwise supernatural 
feats.
6. Other Apple Abilities (Speculated) - Ultimately, it seems that there is 
some overlap between the Apples and the other Pieces of Eden. How many of 
the abilities shown by the Apples are possessed by the Staff is unknown, 
if any, but it is a possibility that it too has the Data Storage abilities. 
Rodrigo Borgia seemed suprised at the Duplication and Immobilization 
capabilities of the Apple, so it is unlikely that the Staff had these 
abilities as well.

The Sword (Entirely Speculative)
1. Combat Prowess - All five individuals who possessed the Sword in the 
puzzle are known for being, in one way or another, particularly skilled 
in melee combat. Like the Apple, it is possible that the Sword bestows 
enhanced combat knowledge upon its user, or guides/enhances the abilities 
of the user to the point that they are notably more skilled than their 
opponents.
2. Physically Strong Cutting Edge - Several of the myths include the Sword 
being made of supernatural material that was unsusceptible to wear and 
tear, and capable of cutting through extremely hard substances. For 
example, being shoved deep into a stone (Arthurian legend) or a tree 
(Sigmund's legend). Given the nature of those legends, it is also possible 
that only certain people could activate the weapon, or that its activation 
required a certain action unknown to most, and that only when activated 
did its special powers work (hence, being unable to be drawn from its 
place, as its edge was not active).
3. Knowledge of War - Several of the owners of the Sword were also skilled 
tacticians, notably Joan of Arc (who was the LEAST combat skilled of the 
five), leading their people on successful campaigns, sometimes when 
completely outmatched or where others had failed. 
4. Limited Foresight - Like the Apple, it is possible that the Sword offers 
some form of combat foresight, accounting for the successful military 
campaigns led by some of its owners. Joan of Arc's legacy specifically 
mentions divine inspiration providing her with the advanced knowledge of 
her enemy's movements, especially significant given that there is no way 
she could have made the complex military predictions on her own (she 
had less than a year's veterancy in the military, and was an uneducated 
farm girl).
5. Other Apple Abilities - Like the Staff and the Apples, the users of the 
Sword often had a large number of loyal followers, and some were powerful 
leaders and kings. It may have possessed the same, or a limited form of, 
mind control abilities as the Apples. Possibly the same with stored 
knowledge.

The Shroud (Entirely Speculative)
1. Resistance to Harm - The Golden Fleece had a number of capabilities, 
including being highly resistant to attack. When in the possession of David, 
he chose to wear it to combat a veteran giant soldier, turning down a King's 
personal suit of armor. If it is preferable to a high quality suit of armor, 
and given the outcome of David's battle, it may be likely that the Shroud 
protects against physical harm while being worn.
2. Healing Abilities (Possibly Resurrection) - The Golden Fleece was capable 
of healing the wounded or just-recently killed, and Jesus (in possession of 
the shroud) healed a number of disabled or wounded individuals. Jesus healed 
a variety of ailments, included fresh wounds, injury induced disabilities, 
birth defects, and mental disorders. He also was known to have revived a 
recently dead man. He himself was also well known for being revived after 
death, possibly through long term exposure to the Shroud (As it was taken by 
the Templar after he died). Hence, the Shroud may be designed so that it 
can repair natural and unnatural wounds and physical defects, as well as
curing mental disabilities and reviving the recently dead.
3. Strange/Changing Color - The Golden Fleece was supposed to be amazingly 
brilliant in color, but it was definitely gold. In the puzzle, all of the 
later owners wore a red cloak, and Joseph's beautiful cloak was well known 
for being "techni-color". It is possible it could change color at the whim 
of the owner, but still possessed a consistant beauty.
4. Other Apple Abilities - Like the Staff and Sword before, the wearers of 
the Shroud had large groups of loyal followers, indicating the possibility 
of the mind control abilities present in the Apples.

===C. The Current State of Things===

With that concluded, let us look at the present state of the Assassin's 
Creed universe. In Desmond's time, to the best of our knowledge, the templar 
are in possession of a large number of the known artifacts. At their last 
known sightings, the Templar possessed 3 of the 5 Apples. They also had the 
Shroud and the Sword in their last known sightings (2000 and 600 years ago, 
respectively). The last known artifact, the Staff, seems to have been 
destroyed. They have a reconstructed version of Artifact X, the time control 
artifact. Given this, it also seems the Templar have a limited understanding 
of the technology of the Artifacts, indicating the possibility of them being 
able to make them some time in the future. They also have knowledge of the 
location of many more artifacts.

Meanwhile, the Assassins, while losing ground, are not entirely out of the 
ballgame. They seem to be responsible for the destruction of 2 artifacts, 
and may be in possession of an Apple.

===D. Deeper Meaning Behind the Artifacts===

It is speculated by Altair that the Artifacts are merely discarded 
playthings, given divine significance by humans. He may have been closer 
to the truth than anyone things. While it is clear the artifacts are not 
merely trinkets, and that they are truly powerful for humans, they seem 
to have been a tool of everyday use for Those Who Came Before. The Apples, 
specifically, seem to have been some sort of multi-tool/PDA of sorts, from 
which the user could access a vast library of knowledge, see the location 
on Earth of other users, potentially see the future, and control one's 
human slaves. Powerful by human standards, certainly, but seemingly not 
so much within the context of the extremely powerful Those Who Came Before.

The artifacts, however, seem to have been limited in their creation. They 
are not so abundantly plentiful that they were mass produced; rather, 
given the limited number of the Ones Who Came Before, it is possible that 
there was just 1 artifact created for each, though possibly more, given 
that different artifacts had different uses. This may have been partly 
due to fear of them falling into the wrong hands; through their use, humans 
would gain several advantages in rebeling against their masters. In addition 
to gaining resistance to some of the powers of the artifacts, humanity 
would also gain access to the technological knowledge stored within the 
artifacts, as well as use of its combat abilities, and an extended lifespan 
(In the Bible, Adam was supposed to have lived for 930 years).

In this sense, it seems that ultimately, Altair is correct in his analysis 
of the artifacts as far more trivial than the millenia spanning fued 
between Templar and Assassins would dictate. However, Puzzle #19 reveals 
something more, implying that the artifacts may have had a much more 
significant purpose. After hinting at the end of the world almost happening 
in the past, Subject 16 says "The pieces were once part of a whole." 
Minerva's statements at the end of the game indicate that there is still 
hope if the other Temples can be found, possibly bearing more artifacts. 
It seems that through the combined power of a large number of artifacts, 
the apocalypse which devastated the Earth the first time might be 
mitigated enough to allow humanity to survive, a gift from the Ones 
Who Came Before to their creations.

*******************************

VII. Personal Musings

I have a few topics I would like to talk about, just for my own personal 
indulgence and interest.

1. The Mottos

Nothing Is True. Everything Is Permitted.

May The Father Of Understanding Guide Us.

These mottos reflecting the Assassin and Templar orders are stated time and 
time again throughout the games. However, I find them ironic. Ultimately, I 
believe that they correspond to the wrong groups.

Take the Templar's motto, for instance. "May The Father Of Understanding 
Guide Us" . . . this indicates a strong sense of reverence for knowledge, 
enlightement, and guidance by such traits. Knowing the facts, unclouded by 
propaganda and enforced uneducation . . . this sounds very much like an 
Assassin philosophy. The Templar, who seek to subjugate humanity by 
clouding judgement, or ultimately removing judgement entirely, do not 
seem to be the foremost authority to speak on the nature of understanding.

Similarly, the Assassin's motto only halfway represents them. "Nothing Is 
True. Everything Is Permitted." Ultimately, the first half makes sense. 
One of the Assassin's foremost ideas is that rulers create myths to 
control the people, and that one can never take these ideas (or any ideas) 
completely to heart. At the same time, Altair muses in his codex that the 
Templar are painfully aware that nothing can be completely, and ultimately 
true, and it is this fact that leads them to create their own reality and 
truth. Hence, the fact that "Nothing Is True" is the driving belief behind 
the Templar's goals. Next, "Everything Is Permitted." The Assassins 
believe that sacrifices must be made, usually in the form of key 
individuals, for the sake of the greater good. However, they draw the line 
in many things, refusing to kill innocents, and respecting free will above 
all else. It is the Templar who truly believe that anything can be 
sacrificed in the name of their ultimate goal. There is nothing so immoral 
or so catastrophic that it is not worth doing if it will allow them to be 
one step closer to realization of their new world order. The Templar live 
by the policy that "Everything Is Permitted".

I suppose it could be argued either way, but I found it interesting that 
these two mottos seem almost reversed.

2. Artifacts of Legend!

I cannot wait until Assassin's Creed 3. You know what I am waiting for most 
of all? More Pieces of Eden. The revelation of the Sword, the Staff and the 
Shroud, and the association between them and mythological items just 
struck a chord with me, and I find myself considering other such 
possibilities. I have always been a fan of mythology, and magical weapons 
and the like have always been my favorite. So, I would love to see more 
of these items brought into the series. A few I would personally 
love to see:

The Spear - Athena (Minerva) wielded a spear, and Odin, King of the Norse 
gods, weilded an enchanted spear (Gungnir) which could not miss its target. 
One spear, now regarded in a mythological context, is the Spear of Longinus 
(also known as the Spear of Destiny), a lance used to pierce the side of 
Jesus while he was on the cross. 

The Helmet - Athena/Minerva in mythology seemed to always were a helmet of 
some sort; however, we now see that Minerva wore some sort of headpiece 
that did not seem particularly special. However, helmets do come into 
play in other respects. In the legend of Perseus, he was granted several 
gifts, one of which was the helmet of Hades/Pluto, which allowed him to 
turn invisible. The Staff was already depicted as offering a cloaking 
ability, so this is not outside the realm of realistic.

The Boots - Another item in the Perseus myth were Hermes/Mercury's enchanted 
sandals. They were made of gold, and had wings which allowed the user to fly 
at tremendous speeds. Within the context of an artifact, they could merely 
be some sort of propulsion device worn on the feet, yet still an 
interesting item.

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VIII. Legal Somesuch

This file is written and copyrighted by me, Irvine Tomoe. That being said, 
much of this is interpretation of facts that are merely implied already in a 
game. I would appreciate not passing off the document as one's own creation, 
but realistically, none of this is mine. I just made the connections that 
anyone can, with enough effort and research. If you would like you put it on 
a website, go ahead, though an email sent my way would be appreciated at 
DarkerCompanion@gmail.com. Thanks, and I hope you will be respectful, and 
spread this information to as many players of Assassin's Creed 2 as 
possible.

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IX. Credits

Credits go to four. 

Ubisoft, for making this game. All the connections I made over the past few 
days were not invented: they were found. The makers at Ubisoft must have had 
to scour history for ways to tie all of this in, and they have done an 
incredible job. How they found all of these coincidences is uncanny . . . 
and I am impressed.

Gamefaqs, for hosting this guide, and for hosting the sharing of information 
on their forums.

Wikipedia, for being my one-click guide to the world's information. Tesla 
would be proud.

And last, Gamefaqs user Failbaddon who pointed out for me that Abraham 
Zapruder is a significant Z named individual in the JFK assassination. I 
would NOT have found that one on my own.