- "A myth become miracle, the "holy winding sheet" has arrived..."
- ―Publius Volumnius describing the Shroud.[src]
The Shrouds of Eden were Pieces of Eden shaped like cloths capable of restoration and healing. The artifacts were designed by Consus, a member of the First Civilization, who created the original in the year 1923 of the Isu Era. His own consciousness was stored inside the artifact, resulting in his ability to possess the bodies of the artifact's users temporarily upon activation.
The original Shroud was described as a white cloth stained with blood, which was usually kept in a simple wooden box. The shape of a seemingly tortured man was also burned onto its surface, positioned with arms to his sides and palms forward. However, Church records noted that the man's visage changed multiple times throughout history.
The earliest known appearance of the Shrouds seems to have been in Greek myth, where the original Shroud became known as the Golden Fleece, a legendary object of strange power. It was recovered by Jason and the Argonauts, who took it from a tree guarded by a sleepless dragon in Colchis.
- "Whatever power lies within this artifact, it has not returned our Brother to us."
- ―Publius Volumnius commenting on the failed resurrection of Brutus.[src]
One Shroud later came into the possession of the Assassins of ancient Rome for some time. After the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC, and the subsequent suicide of Brutus in 42 BC, Brutus' fellow Assassins tried to reanimate him with the Shroud in Philippi, Macedonia.
Since they had never used it before, the Assassins feared its effects, but nevertheless wrapped Brutus in the cloth. Though the corpse opened its eyes and moved its arms, it neither breathed nor reacted to any touch, and eventually fell still in a seeming "second death".
As some of the Assassins wept, Brutus was wrapped instead in a burial mantle, and the Shroud was returned to its wooden storage box.
In 1700 BC, a Shroud was known as the famous multicolored coat given to Joseph by his father Jacob, and in 970 BC, it was thought to be what aided David, second king of Israel, in his fight against Goliath.
However, the most famous person to own a Shroud was Jesus Christ. Upon discovering his possession of a Shroud, the Templars, under the guise of the Roman Empire, had Jesus crucified circa 31 AD, and claimed the Piece of Eden for themselves. Jesus' disciples were able to recover the Shroud, and used it to resurrect him. After this, traces of the Shroud disappeared.
- "What better place than our walled city to hide such abominations from mankind? We will bury it deep and set up measures to ensure it remains hidden."
- ―An Assassin regarding the concealment of the Shroud.[src]
The original Shroud vanished for many centuries, eventually resurfacing in France halfway through the fourteenth century. By 1355, the Shroud was in possession of the Templar Geoffroy de Charny, but it was stolen by the Assassins that same year, and replaced by an intricate duplicate. Renato Auditore and his allies assured themselves that they had the real Shroud before locking it in a chest and hiding it in Monteriggioni, Italy.
It was there that the Shroud was eventually rediscovered by one of Renato's descendants, Mario Auditore, one century later. After learning that Federico da Montefeltro had attacked Monteriggioni solely to acquire the artifact hidden underneath the city, Mario and several other Assassins explored the cave underneath the well.
They found the Shroud, which spoke to them and told them it could heal the wounds they had sustained during their search. Overcome by the promise of the Shroud, Mario's allies attacked him, and he was forced to fight them off. He removed the Shroud from its hidden location and it was transferred to a new one.
- "So... beautiful! It is a plain thing, carefully folded inside a simple wooden box, but it is also so much more!"
- ―Perotto Calderon first encountering the Shroud.[src]
In 1498, the Shroud was in the possession of Rinaldo Vitturi, who kept it safe for the Assassin Brotherhood. Perotto Calderon brought his son to Agnadello, Vitturi's hometown, hoping to use the Shroud to heal the defects with which he had been born. After having achieved this goal, Calderon replaced the Shroud in its box and left it.
- "I have no choice. Whatever power this thing holds, I must try to unleash it!"
- ―Niccolò di Pitigliano, just before attempting to use the Shroud.[src]
More than a decade later, the Shroud had found its way to Niccolò di Pitigliano in Lonigo. After an almost successful attempt on his life, Pitigliano used the Shroud to restore some vitality to his body, allowing him to escape his burning home. When he attempted to use the Shroud again, hoping to muster enough strength to flee to another city, the Shroud tore him apart from within, killing him. Finding his mangled body, the Shroud was taken by Francesco Vecellio.
The former pirate and Assassin Edward Kenway came into contact with a Shroud of Eden at some point in his travels, and subsequently hid it in an Isu's chest in the Tower of London. Within the following century after his death the Shroud was moved into a crypt built beneath Buckingham Palace by Albert, prince consort in 1847. By 1868, during the Industrial Revolution, both the Assassins and Templars were looking for the artifact. Ultimately, it was found and worn by Crawford Starrick during a confrontation with Evie Frye, Jacob Frye, and Henry Green, though the three managed to remove it from his person and subsequently killed him while he was not augmented by it, with Jacob returning the Shroud to its resting place.
- "Goose chase in the middle of a warzone while our own boys are dropping the bombs on me. For what? Chance that it may be the real thing? Right... been at this nearly twenty years and I don't even believe it exists."
- ―Keith Scipione, 1944.[src]
In 2011, Álvaro Gramática, an Abstergo scientist, began studying the company's Shroud and through it, was able to communicate with its creator Consus. He slowly began learning more about the artifacts and the First Civilization, though the artifact was destroyed when the Assassins blew up Abstergo's laboratory in Paris.
As such, the Inner Sanctum of the Templar Order began searching for a new Shroud for their Phoenix Project, which was used to study First Civilization DNA; as a result, the Assassins began looking for it as well, though merely to keep it from the Templars. Eventually, in late 2015, both groups managed to locate the artifact, which had been hidden again in the vault beneath Buckingham Palace.
Inner Sanctum member Isabelle Ardant, along with Violet da Costa and Master Templar Juhani Otso Berg arrived there first and recovered the Shroud, but were subsequently attacked by an Assassin cell consisting of Rebecca Crane, Shaun Hastings and Galina Voronina. Amidst the struggle, Violet managed to escape with the artifact and brought it to Gramática, who intended to use its powers to make a First Civilization being from scratch, using the genome of John Standish and the blood vials from Bartholomew Roberts. Unbeknownst to him, Violet was secretly a member of the Instruments of the First Will that served Juno, who had her own plans for the Shroud.
Use and side effects
- "The voice does not seem hostile, despite its urgency. Perhaps it does only wish to heal, but I will not take a chance!"
- ―Mario Auditore, regarding the use of the Shroud.[src]
The Shroud has been used to heal wounds of varying severity, mending injuries ranging from stab wounds to birth defects. It spoke in an almost kind voice that constantly offered healing, and urged its users to disregard their own physical frailty.
When worn by Templar Grand Master Crawford Starrick, the Shroud gave him enhanced healing abilities. He was able to regenerate from wounds that would be considered fatal almost instantaneously. The Shroud also granted Crawford enhanced strength, as he was easily able to physically overpower the Frye twins and Henry Green. However, he lost the abilities granted by the Shroud after being physically separated from it.
Despite the rumors of its abilities to do so, it could not be used to bring a being back to life. However, it could reanimate bodies to a small degree for a short amount of time.
The Shroud was also known to cause severe hallucinations in those who had used it, and (in extreme cases, such as that of Niccolò di Pitigliano) could also seem to tear a person from the inside out.
Giovanni Borgia in particular suffered lasting effects from the Shroud. Though the artifact healed his defective body as a baby, throughout his childhood, he would have vivid dreams of the memories of others who had come into contact with the Shroud, such as his father and Marcus Junius Brutus.
Additionally, Giovanni frequently spoke with a being no one else could see, an entity he called Consus.
In his later life, Giovanni would become known among the other Assassins as one who "spoke" with Pieces of Eden, and was particularly receptive to their presence. This led to him being sent on a mission to identify and retrieve one such artifact in the New World.
According to analysis by Abstergo Industries, when a Shroud is wrapped around a body, it scans it for damage, then reconstructs it on a cellular level, enabling potential reconstruction of decomposed organisms and, possibly, resurrection of deceased members of the First Civilization.
- The Shroud was based on a real object known as the Shroud of Turin. It is kept in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, Italy.
- In the French version of Assassin's Creed II, the Shroud was referred to as Piece of Eden #36, not #66.
- In Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy, Erudito gave the user three memories of the Shroud as a "Christmas present".
- In Project Legacy, one of the Mnemonic sets from the Holiday pack is "Shroud of Turin," with the description "Greatest mystery, or clever hoax?" Its components are: Jesus of Nazareth, Jacques de Molay, Geoffroi de Charney, and Cesare Borgia.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Assassin's Creed: Syndicate
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Assassin's Creed II
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy - Holidays: Chapter 1 - Ghosts of Christmas Past
- ↑ Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy - Italian Wars: Chapter 3 - Mario Auditore
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy - Italian Wars: Chapter 4 - Perotto Calderon
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy - Italian Wars: Chapter 2 - Francesco Vecellio
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy - Rome: Chapter 2 - Giovanni Borgia
- ↑ Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy - Rome: Chapter 4 - Giovanni Borgia