The Precursor boxes are ancient artifacts created by the Isu capable of interacting with other Pieces of Eden to accomplish a variety of functions.[1]

Normally powered by the Piece of Eden it is paired with, in the absence of such a device, electricity can be used in its place. However, the amount of electricity required is on the magnitude of a lightning strike and can damage the box.[1] One such box was indeed powered in this way, and when activated, it was able was able to decipher the Isu language written in the Voynich manuscript, giving the location of the Seismic Temples.[2] Using the Koh-i-Noor to power another box, the Templars used the artifact to translate the writings in the Amritsar Temple to locate the emplacement of other Temples.[3]

Combined with Staves of Eden, the boxes also demonstrated to have the ability to imprint the memories of someone into another individual, like in 1918 when Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia ended up with the memories of Shao Jun.[4]

Known boxesEdit

Ezio Auditore's boxEdit

ACE-V 10

Ezio handing the box to Shao Jun

By November 1524, one Precursor box was in the possession of the retired Italian Assassin Ezio Auditore da Firenze, in his villa in Tuscany. The Chinese Assassin, Shao Jun, who had traveled there seeking Ezio's advice on resolving the problems in her homeland, was given the box and told that it would aid her. Ezio stated that she should only open it if she were to lose her way.[5]

ACCC Zhang Yong box

Zhang Yong with the box

Upon returning to China, Shao Jun used the box as bait to lure Gao Feng, one of the Eight Tigers to her. She assassinated him but the box itself was taken by Yu Dayong. Eventually Shao reclaimed the box, assassinating Yu. Shao Jun entrusted the box to her shifu, Wang Yangming who took it to have someone help them study the box. However before he could do that Zhang Yong murdered him and took the box for the Templars, finally sending it out of China to other Templars.[6]

It was incorrectly believed by the British Templar John Harrison in 1742 that Shao Jun's box was recovered by the Assassins and remained in the possession of the Chinese Brotherhood for about a hundred years after Jun's death. He reported to Grand Master Reginald Birch in a letter his suspicions that it was sent to Acapulco through Manila galleons and that it was then located in the West Indies.[2] Curiously, Harrison was unaware that the artifact was in Templar hands at the time.[3]>

In reality, the box eventually ended up in the hands of British Templar Francis Cotton. After Cotton's death, his appointed successor, William Sleeman, took possession of the box and launched in 1841 a campaign to find Precursor Temples in India by using the box. In order to power it, he stole the Koh-i-Noor from the Assassins. However, his efforts were countered by Assassin Arbaaz Mir who recovered the stolen artifact and despite discovering a new Temple, in Herat, William had to flee with the box.[3]


The box and the Staff shard interacting

Decades later the box was now in possession of the Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, who in 1918 and along with his family was prisoner of the Bolcheviks in Yekaterinburg. Sent by the Brotherhood to recover the artifact, Nikolai Orelov was confronted to the Templars who had infiltrated theranks of the Red Army and also coveted the box. Infiltrating the house where the Romanovs were kept, Nikolai witnessed their murder but reached Princess Anastasia, who was holding the box, in time to secure the artifact.[4]

However, as Nikolai was taking the Precursor box from Anastasia's hands, the shard of the Staff around his neck and the box interacted, and the girl was somehow imprinted with the genetic memories of Chinese Assassin Shao Jun. Suffering from a kind of Bleeding Effect, Anastasia became overwhelmed by Jun's skills and memories and the older man decided to take both her and the box to the Brotherhood in Moscow.[4]

Once in Moscow, the pair reached to the Assassin Sergei, who took the box and promised Nikolai that they would keep her safe while discovering what the box had done to her. Nikolai then found out by eavesdropping on some Assassins' conversation that they didn't care about Anya's safety and that Sergei only wanted to uncover the box's secrets, and also that the procedure that they were planning to do on Anya was most likely going to kill her. Nikolai ultimately managed to rescue Anya, but left the box behind.[4]

Shay Cormac's boxEdit

De Fayet's Last Stand 7

Adéwalé handing the box to Bastienne

By 1735, another Precursor box had wound up in the possession of the French Templars, who were transporting it on aboard a galleon to Port-au-Prince, to be given to Bastienne Josèphe. However, the fleet transporting the artifact was attacked by the Assassin Adéwalé, who retrieved the parcel that contained the box from the Templar admiral. In July 1737, after two years of working alongside her, Adéwalé eventually handed the artifact to Bastienne.[7]

By November 1751, both the Precursor box and the Voynich manuscript were in the possession of François Mackandal, Mentor of the Assassin Brotherhood in Saint-Domingue. Using the artifacts, Mackandal discovered the existence of a First Civilization Temple near Port-au-Prince and sent his subordinate, Vendredi, to investigate it. Unbeknownst to Mackandal, the Temple was part of a system that held the Earth together.[2]

Vendredi activated the Temple's machinery, causing a massive earthquake which destroyed Port-au-Prince and the surrounding region. After the disaster, Master Templar Lawrence Washington stole the Precursor box and manuscript from Mackandal's camp and took the artifacts with him to Virginia, where the Templars studied the artifacts in an attempt to learn how to use them.[2]

One Little Victory 6

Shay holding the Precursor box

Shay Cormac, a member of the Colonial branch of the Assassin Order, assassinated Washington in search of the box in 1752. However, the box was already in possession of the Templar Samuel Smith, while the manuscript had been entrusted to James Wardrop, another noted Templar. In 1754, Shay had managed to track Smith down and assassinate him, with the help of a fellow Assassin, Chevalier de la Vérendrye. Shay recovered the Precursor box from Smith and delivered it to Benjamin Franklin, who was confident conducting electricity through the box would activate it.[2]

With Shay and Hope Jensen's assistance, Franklin succeeded in powering the box, which projected a view of the Earth and displayed locations of several First Civilization sites, one of them being Lisbon, Portugal. The box was subsequently given to Achilles Davenport, the Mentor of Colonial Assassins, who kept it secure at the Davenport Homestead, the Assassins' primary base of operations in the British colonies.[2]

ACRG Shay Dorian

Shay stealing the box from Dorian

In 1759, Hope managed to replicate Franklin's experiment and discovered another First Civilization Temple hidden in the Arctic. After the ordeal, Chevalier de la Vérendrye was tasked with hiding the box, and decided to ship it away from the colonies.[2]

By December 1776, the box was in the possession of the French Assassins. Having switched sides to the Templars twenty years before, Shay learned of this and traveled to Paris. Rescuing Franklin from a group of criminals, Shay enlisted his aid in entering the Palace of Versailles, claiming to have a business meeting there. After a meeting in the palace, the Assassins entrusted the box to Charles Dorian. Having made his way inside, Shay assassinated Charles and took the box from him, reclaiming it for the Templars.[2]

After Ulysses S. Grant's election as President of the United States in 1868, Grant's inner circle was infiltrated by members of the Templar Order, who subsequently corrupted his administration. They helped him to master the powers of the prong the Assassins gave him during the civil war, by giving him access to the Precursor box and pages of the Voynich manuscript.[8]

ACCR Alvaro box

Álvaro Gramática holding the box

In February 2014, the Assassins Harlan Cunningham and Arend Schut stole this box from an Abstergo Industries facility in Rotterdam. Abstergo's Sigma Team led by Juhani Otso Berg engaged the Assassins in combat, forcing them to leave the artifact behind.[2]

In 2015, Laetitia England assigned Juhani Otso Berg to deliver the box to Álvaro Gramática’s top secret lab, so he could use it for Project Phoenix.[4]


  • There is inconsistency over the identity of the Precursor boxes across the Assassin's Creed. In the war letters of Assassin's Creed: Rogue, the Templar John Harrison writes to Grand Master Reginald Birch that the Chinese Assassins had sent Shao Jun's box to Acapulco, and from there, to the West Indies, about a century after Jun's death. Since the box in Rogue seems to be identical to the one held by the Haitian Assassin Adéwalé, this heavily suggests a clear continuity from Jun's box in Assassin's Creed: Embers to Adéwalé's box in Freedom Cry and to Shay Cormac's box in Rogue, that they are all the same box.[2]
    • If this were true, it would be peculiar that Harrison misreports that the Chinese Assassins retained Jun's box for a hundred years and more. However, Richard Farrese, the lead writer to Assassin's Creed: Rogue, discounted in a podcast with the YouTuber Loomer that Jun's box is identical to that of Shay.[9] This was reaffirmed later with the release of Assassin's Creed Chronicles: India and Assassin's Creed Chronicles: Russia, where Jun's box is shown to have passed from the Chinese Templars to the British Templar William Sleeman operating in India and thence to the Russian Tsar Nicholas II,[3][4] thus clearly differentiating it from Shay's box, but contradicting the war letter in Rogue.[2]
    • To add to this confusion, while Farrese also clarified that Adéwalé's box in Freedom Cry is the one that ends up in Shay's hands in Rogue,[9] they are distinct in design. While the latter bears a rectangular lid which splits in half and slides open, with even the sides of the box unraveling to expose the mechanisms within,[2] the former has a round lid that seems to open on hinges like a typical box.[7] Ironically, this means that the box in Freedom Cry is actually more similar in design and appearance to the one in Embers.[5][7]



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