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We simply came… before.
~ Minerva, a representative of the Isu (aka the First Civilization and Those Who Came Before).

The Isu, also known as The First Civilization and Those Who Came Before, classified as Homo Saipens Divinus or the Precursors, were an ancient and advanced species of humanoid beings on Earth who created the Pieces of Eden, as well as the human race itself in the Assassin's Creed video game series. Exactly who they were, where they came from and when they disappeared is largely unknown.

In Assassin's Creed III, one of their members, Juno is the primary antagonist to Desmond Miles. She was imprisoned in the Grand Temple by Minerva and Jupiter for her crimes against her own kind and humanity.

History

Ancient Origins

The First Civilization are a humanoid species which are native to Earth and are probably the products of thousands of years of evolution, though their exact origins and culture is unclear.

Creating Humanity

With early humans unable to comprehend the First Civilization for what they truly were, they were looked upon as gods.

After a catastrophe that destroyed a majority of both populations, those who came before and humans worked together to rebuild. Those who came before knew there would be another great catastrophe and so worked to preserve the human race. Although they started as an adversarial race they eventually saw the goodness of humans.

Modern Times - The Phoenix Project

The Templars, under the guise of Abstergo Industries, have begun a secretive project which aims to genetically engineer the Isu back into existence. They have been collecting samples of all kinds of Isu DNA from various individuals as well as Sages, the reincarnations of an Isu named Aita.

The Pheonix Project also seeks to study the Pieces of Eden, so as to replicate their designs, powers and workings as well as create better ones.

Abilities and Skills

A hundred years I might speak and still you would not know us. You with five senses. Us with six. The one we kept from you. To be safe. Now, you can never know. Only try. Grasp. You can SEE. SMELL. TASTE. TOUCH. HEAR. Knowledge has been blocked away. After, when the world became undone, we tried to pass it through the blood. Tried to join you with us. You see the blue shimmer. You hear the words. But you do not know.

~ Juno describing the Isu’s abilities.
  • Precognitive Sense: The Isu had a precognitive sixth sense, which has been displayed several times. Minerva once used it to talk to Desmond in the future, from the Apple of Eden in Ezio's hands. This trait has also been inherited by some Isu / Human hybrids in today's world.
  • Triple-Helix DNA: They have a Triple-Helix DNA, giving them a very vast biological advantage over human beings. People with high percentages of the Triple Helix DNA were able to contact and develop a telepathic link with Consus, an Isuan entity. Those with Isuan DNA were also granted better control and usage of the Pieces of Eden. They can also resist the telepathic abilities of the Apples of Eden.
  • Superhuman Intelligence: Their level of intelligence was so advanced that they were able to create many of their advanced technological equipment, which has since surpassed their time and into the human's world.
  • Superhuman Longevity: Though not immortal, these beings had an extremely long lifespan. It has been stated that Minerva and Jupiter walked the earth for centuries if not more, much longer after humanity managed to reconstitute some of it's civilization after the Toba Catastrophe.
  • Telepathic Immunity: The Isu's lack the neurotransmitters bred within human DNA which interfaced with the Pieces of Eden so as to psionically control them, thus the Isu's are immune to the telepathic properties of the Pieces of Eden, but are still vulnerable to the Pieces of Eden's other physical effects.
  • Eden-Based Technopathy: Just as Juno has shown, the Isu can psionically command technology and structure built by them with merely a thought. They can even do so with the Pieces of Eden.

The Pieces of Eden

The Pieces of Eden are near-arcane technological devices and relics created by the First Civilization.

  1. Ageis was a suit worn by Minerva which reduced physical damage to an incredible level, giving her the title, the Goddess of War.
  2. Ankh was designed to reanimate the deceased into living dead being who have complete human attributes.
  3. The Apples allows psychic abilities and the power to conjure up solid holograms and apparitions as well as the power to turn invisible and conduct energy blasts. The Apple also acts like a computer system storing all of their advanced knowledge. However hybrids were immune to the mental control, but not the telekinetic control. It can even be used as an unlimited energy source, as seen when it powered the Head of Saint Denis.
  4. The Calculations allow the Isu to make accurate predictions and even decide which course to take or whom to manipulate to achieve a desired result or future.
  5. The Crystal Balls allowed the wielder access to the Nexus.
  6. The Crystal Skulls acted like communication and syncing devices.
  7. The Eye as originally designed to manipulate the strings of the earth's existence, allowing them some form of reality warping.
  8. The Foresight Amulet is described as to bestowing enhanced strength and foresight.
  9. The Fountain of Youth, which allegedly bestows eternal life to whoever drinks its waters.
  10. The Fragment of Eden, which was found by the pirate Alonzo Barilla. He used its power to enhance the speed and firepower of his ship.
  11. The Heart, a glowing scarlet spherical relic which can not only repair all damages done to a Sword of Eden, but with the right owner, can unlock the Sword of Eden's absolute advanced abilities.
  12. The Isu Armor, which was found by Bayek and gave him incredible physical abilities.
  13. The Koh-I-Noor could bind the other pieces fate as well as harbors the consciousness of Durga, an Isuan entity. It can even project a powerful blue energy which disintegrates any living beings in the vicinity.
  14. The Memory Seals which could contain recorded memories and acted as Keys to Altair's Masyaf Library. It is rumored that these Memory Seals acted as a basis for Abstergo's Animus Technologies.
  15. The Observatory allows them to see and hear through a living being's senses, though they required a blood sample to do so. This allows them to spy on anyone without fear of detection.
  16. The Precursor Boxes were like extremely advanced digital libraries containing vast amounts of information, knowledge and methods of advancements. It can even imbue people with memories and skills of other people it has recorded within itself.
  17. The Rings allow for them to generate a protective force field around their body, making them immune to projectile attacks.
  18. The Scepter of Aset, which was used by the Isu entity named Isis and can grant charisma and leadership abilities to whomever wields it.
  19. The Scythe of Saturn, which was wielded by Saturn, Juno's father. It possessed some form of energy manipulating powers.
  20. The Seismic Pieces acted as a central pieces of the Seismic Temples which kept the earth's crust stable. Disrupting the Temple caused the entire area to collapse with a powerful earthquake.
  21. The Shards of Eden are leftover pieces of Isu technology. Some Shards have magnetic properties. This was seen when these shards were used to create the Mayan Suit which was taken by Edward Kenway. The suit makes him completely bullet proof via a magnetic shield. A Shard of Eden was used by Grigori Rasputin to survive and recover from fatal injuries as well s influence the thoughts of anyone.
  22. The Shrouds of Eden allows instant healing from deformities, genetic defects and fatal injuries, even the revival of the recently deceased. It even boosts its host's physical capabilities.
  23. The Staves allow similar psychic abilities like the Apple of Eden. They can also open the doors of various First Civilization Cites and Temples. When combined with the Apple of Ede, the combination greatly enhances the powers and abilities of the Apples of Eden.
  24. The Swords of Eden are some of the most powerful pieces of eden every created, They can fire energy blasts, sonar-like echolocation, translocation and lightning strikes. It was also deadly sharp and shoots out electrical pulses. The Heart can unlock its true abilities and even repair it should it be damaged.
  25. There have also been mentions of a Time-Manipulation Device, which Abstergo a.k.a the Templars have decided to lock away due to uncertain paradoxes and unpredictability of events.
  26. The Trident, which allows its wielders to send out pulses to a person's emotional cortex. Each of it's three blades send out a different pulse -- Fear, Devotion and Faith. It's three blades can be split apart as well.

Known Isu Entities

Roman Pantheon

  1. Aita was an Isuan entity and a top-level Isuan scientist and the late husband of Juno. he created the Observatory in the island of Jamaica. He volunteered to participate in an experiment to transfer his essence into an artificial body, which failed and left him catatonic. Juno euthanized him and preserved his genetic materials into the Human DNA eventually resulting continuous rebirths of Aita a.k.a the Sages such as the pirate Black Bart or the IT Manager John Standish.
  2. Consus also called Prometheus or the Erudite God was a famed Isuan entity and the creator of the Shrouds of Eden. Over the millennia, Consus now somehow a spiritual being, was able to contact individuals with high percentages of Isuan DNA, namely Joan of Acre, Giovanni Borgia and Dorothy Osborne and act as a guide for them.
  3. Juno was an Isuan entity and a scientist who as a member of the Capitoline Triad alongside Jupiter and Minerva. She is the primary deity worshipped by the modern day pagan religion called the Instruments of First Will. She was responsible for her husband Aita’s apparent immortality. Her essence currently resides inside the world’s digital network. She awaits her resurrection.
  4. Jupiter a.k.a Tinia was an Isuan entity and the King of the Gods in Roman and Greek mythologies. He revealed to Desmond and Ezio what happens during the Toba catastrophe. He was also a member of the Capitoline Triad.
  5. Minerva a.k.a Merva was an Isuan entity who was  the Roman goddess of wisdom, battle strategy, arts, commerce and crafts. She was also the member of the Capitoline Triad and worked alongside Jupiter and Juno. A holographic copy if her consciousness acts in her stead after her actual death.
  6. Saturn was an Isuan entity and the Roman God of time, wealth, capitol, agriculture and liberation. He is also the biological father of Juno. His assassination at the hands of humanity might be what caused Juno to despise humanity.

Greek Pantheon

  1. Aphrodite, also identified as Venus, was an Isuan entity. He has gone in Greek and Roman mythology as the goddess of beauty, love and femininity.
  2. Eris was an Isuan entity  who was the Greek Goddess of Strife and discord. Eris dropped an Apple of Eden onto the Trojan Prince Paris to judge which of the three — Minerva, Juno or Aphrodite — was the most beautiful. Paris choose Aphrodite as the most beautiful and promised her Helen of Sparta.
  3. Hephaestus was an Isuan entity who was the Greek and Roman god of fire, smithing and forgery. He was the creator of many Isuan weapons, namely the Swords of Eden.
  4. Hermes Trismegistus was an Isuan entity who was the Greek and Egyptian god of alchemy and magic. He was worshipped by a religious pagan group called the Hermetics.

Other Pantheons

  1. Durga was an Isuan entity whose consciousness was preserved within the Koh-i-Noor. She can also possess the bodies of women who hold the artifact.
  2. Horus was an Isuan entity and the son of Osiris and Isis.
  3. Isis was an Isuan entity and the Egyptian goddess who was in possess of the Ankh and the Scepter of Asset.
  4. Osiris was an Isuan entity and the Egyptian God of the afterlife, the underworld and death. He was also the lover of the Isuan entity, Isis.
  5. Seth was an Isuan entity and the Egyptia God of chaos and desert storms. He is also the father of the Isuan entity Anubis, the Egyptian God of Mummification and the Afterlife.
  6. The Messenger was an unknown Isuan entity who survived the Great Catastrophe. He recorded messages meant for Layla Hassan around the Isu Temples of Egypt.

Known Isu-Human Hybrids

  • Adam and Eve, were two known Isu hybrids who lack the neurotransmitters needed for the Piece of Eden to control their thoughts. They led the revolution against the oppression of the Isu.

Known Isu Locations

  • Eden, or the "Garden of Eden" was an important ancient city built by the Isu. The place held many of their creations, humans were their workforce as well as many Pieces of Eden. Adam and Eve, two Isu-human hybrids, who stole an Apple of Eden were seen fleeing from an unknown force at Eden.
  • Feyan, was an Isu city where Juno was born in the year 2095 of the Isu era. It is unknown what happened tot he city after the great catastrophe.
  • The Grey, which has been referred by Juno multiple times, is a state of existence in an unknown paradise like afterlife realm. Juno states that those who serve her will be allowed to live there in bliss for an eternity.
  • Temples, also known as Vaults, are ancient underground locations constructed by the Isu to research and innovate ways to prevent a global catastrophe. After the Catastrophe, they were used to house and seal away left over precursor technologies.
    • Seismic Temples are constructed temples, which were not used for scientific researching, but were used to possibly stabilize the earth's crust. They would always have a Seismic Piece of Eden suspended on a pedestal. Disturbing the Seismic Piece of Eden causes the temple to release extremely potent earthquakes.

Trivia

  • Those Who Came Before are directly based on the gods of Greco-Roman mythologies as Minerva, Juno and Jupiter (who are the equivalents of Athena, Hera and Zeus of the Greek mythology respectively) are the three major gods form the Capitoline Triad of the Roman pantheon. Although it can be assumed that there is more of them which originate either from Greco-Roman or other mythologies.
    • Those Who Came Before also have members who are based from Egyptian pagan religions, such as Osiris, Seth, Iris and Horus.
  • Those Who Came Before are also based on the Biblical race of humanoid beings called the Nephilims (Nephilim in plural), who were the hybrid offspring of an angelic father and a human mother.