The Indian Matter
Hephaestus, October 10th, 2013
Translated by: Markuz

Hello and welcome to this new article of Access The Animus.

Who followed us in these last days with our updates, or who follows all the events related to Assassin's Creed knows that at Comic-Con in San Diego a new Graphic Novel linked to the AC Universe was announced, Assassin's Creed: Brahman. It was created by the same designers of AC: the Fall and AC: the Chain and written by Brenden Fletcher.

This new comic book presents a new historical period and a new character for the franchise, as it is set in the early decades of 1800 in India starring Master Assassin Arbaaz Mir.

The plot of course, following the classic style of the AC narrative, will cross the nineteenth century with the twenty-first century both in India, following the events of Abstergo Programmer Jot Soora.

Those who, like us in ATA, follow the saga in every detail knows that India is not a new territory in the vast panorama of the AC narrative as there are some references to events that occurred in India in the past games. Even just looking at the socio-political situation of the country in various historical periods you may notice some events that reflect the clash between Assassins and Templars, and perhaps even some PoE passage...

History of India... according to Assassin's Creed

In the AC saga chronologically the oldest source about India is located in Glyph #4, "Infinite Knowledge", from AC2, where a coded message was hidden in a picture. After converting the message first to hexadecimal and then to ASCII, it translated to the following text:

“Ancient city, Rajasthan, India, irradiated by PoE”

In this message, there was a reference, as stated by good ol'Markuz in his study about Glyph 4, to an excavation in 1992, where a thick layer of radioactive ash was found in the state of Rajasthan (not far from the Punjab region of AC: Brahman), 10 miles west of the city of Jodhpur and had an amplitude of three square miles. In this area the remains of an ancient city have been unearthed. These remains bore the signs of an atomic blast dating back thousands of years ago, some 8,000 to 12,000 and show that this explosion destroyed some buildings and probably half million people (an explosion very similar to that of the Staff of Eden in Tunguska in 1908).

The references move then to the Mahabharata, one of the greatest epic poems of Hindu mythology, which describes the catastrophic explosion that hit the continent.

" A single projectile charged with all the power in the Universe... An incandescent column of smoke and flame as bright as 10,000 suns, rose in all its was an unknown weapon, an iron thunderbolt, a gigantic messenger of death which reduced to ashes an entire race”.

The story then also speaks of the various bodies to which all hair and nails had fallen and of contaminated food, clear signs of nuclear contamination:

“The corpses were so burned as to be unrecognizable. Their hair and nails fell out, pottery broke without any apparent cause, and the birds turned white. After a few hours, all foodstuffs were infected...”

Again, the Mahabharata then speaks of an ancient battle in which "ultimate weapons" decimated entire armies, causing crowds of warriors with weapons, elephants and horses to be swept away instantly. The "special feature" here is in the explosions, which were not "a mushroom cloud", but they were perpendicular to the ground, the "incandescent columns" quoted above...

In this passage, the connection with the Human-TWCB war is obvious and this ancient city in Rajasthan was definitely one of the many theaters of war...

The later sources about India are again in Glyph #4 but this time they concern the first pictorial representation of a firearm, namely a Fire Lance (perhaps a rudimentary flame thrower) and a grenade (which grenade is not... Oops Spoiler!), both of which can be found in a cave drawing of the tenth century in the cave of Dunhuang, China. The image is attached to the sentence:

“The monster did not come from man.”

Here the sentence offers numerous interpretations:

A first hypothesis tells us that we have to analyze one of the monsters / demons in the image, precisely the one that is holding the "grenade", which will be identified as the Fourth Apple of Eden.

The second, far more metaphorical, suggests that the weapons themselves, represented by the "grenade" and by the fire lance, are the "monstrous things" and have not been invented by men directly, but perhaps through the use of a POE, in this case an Apple...

For sure, as we know from ACIII, even the TWCB had their weapons, see Tinia with the gun in one of the methods shown or even the same POEs used in an offensive manner, but the humans would never know the TWCB technology so in depth to be able to recreate one of their weapons or even a POE. So probably through some "help" (... of Eden) they were able to build something rudimentary but effective with which to defend themselves from the First Civilization.

There are also theories regarding the time positioning for the picture, which shows Siddhartha Gautama (566 BC - 486 BC), known as the Buddha, which could be one of those historical figures who had to deal with a POE and that perhaps used it for their own purposes (in this case probably religious). Other theories, instead, contextualize the very presence of the demons of the image as the illusions created by the Apple...

Questions and theories that have not been answered yet.

The following sources relating to India are located in Assassin's Creed Brotherhood and Project Legacy (God bless its soul...) and relate to the early years of the sixteenth century, where the Italian branch of the Brotherhood was sent on the orders of Mentor Ezio Auditore to help / support other Assassins around the known world, including the Indian branch of the Brotherhood.

The Indian Assassins possessed a strategic base in the Port of Calicut, which was a thriving center of commerce, especially for spices. The base was placed there with the intention of keeping an eye on the port and the men in the service of various foreign nations that were beginning to arouse particular interest towards India itself.

Among them there was Manuel I of Portugal (1469 - 1521) who, following his expansionist ambitions towards the East Indies financed many explorers, including Vasco da Gama and Pedro Alvares Cabral.

The events narrated in PL begin shortly after the arrival of Cabral with his fleet to Calicut, on September 13th, 1500, under the pretext of establishing a trade in spices. Cabral founded there a branch which generally consisted of a fortified stronghold including a church and a House-Warehouse in the city.

The Italian Assassins suspected that the real purpose for which Cabral was in Kerala was that he wanted to flush out the Guild of Calicut , so at the request of help of the Indian Assassins, the Italians left for India.

The Indian brothers then showed the Italians the location of the various houses and stores of Cabral in the city and promptly the Italian Assassins sacked and set fire to each of these properties. In the chaos that followed the Assassins poisoned (by Poisoned Blade or Poisonous Needles ) some of the commanders on the payroll of Cabral .

After Cabral saw the death of his commanders, he ordered the evacuation , but in the meantime the people of Calicut rose against him ,and on January 16th, 1501, he sailed from Calicut to Portugal. After questioning one of his commanders, the Assassins confirmed their suspicions about Manuel I and especially Cabral, who had not arrived in Kerala for commercial interests. And he knew where to find their guild.

The situation, however, seemed settled and the Italian Assassins returned to their homeland, when they found out that King Manuel was preparing to challenge again their brothers in Calicut and so they were determined to return to India to warn the Indian Brotherhood.

Vasco da Gama, supported and funded by King Manuel in 1502, sailed to Calicut with a fleet of 800 men and 21 Warships and the Italian Assassins, embarking on a merchant ship, did everything they could to alert their brothers.

The Assassins were able to arrive before the enemy and tried everything possible to evacuate the city, but very few among the people listened to them. Meanwhile they helped the Indian Assassins to clean up the den and hide all items and important documents.

Da Gama, once arrived in Calicut, demanded the expulsion of all Muslims from the city, after which he attacked the city bombarding it, killing men, women and children.

The den was saved but Da Gama did deploy his lieutenants throughout the city, so the Assassins, helped by the locals, managed to set an army of Assassins disguised as civilians and publicly attacked Da Gama's lieutenants, killing all those who had continued to oppress the city.

After this attack against Da Gama, Calicut was able to emerge victorious and the plans of King Manuel I of Portugal were foiled. While failing to understand by who he had been able to know the position of the Den of Calicut, the Italian Assassins knew that their enemy had been very close to the Court of Spain, and that Manuel was on good terms with it...

The next source is purely historical, but in certain situations it is possible to hypothesize the presence of the Templars or even some POEs. In 1526 the Mughal Empire was founded, and it was the largest imperial dynasty during the Islamic rule in India. It was founded by a descendant of Genghis Khan, Babur and it lasted until 1857.

Between the territories of the Mughal Empire there was also Punjab, which was dominated by members of the Sikh religion, commanded by their spiritual leaders, the Gurus. Up to now there have been 10 Guruz that have come in succession over time.

The Harmandir Sahib, the Golden Temple

In 1577, the fourth Sikh guru, Guru Ram Das (1534-1581) bought some lands from the village of Tung and dug the ground in them, creating a tank called Amritsar, which subsequently gave its name to the surrounding city, precisely Amritsar, which means Pool of the Nectar of Immortality (Be careful, POE in sight!)

In addition, Guru Ram Das started in 1585 the construction of the Gurdwara (Sikh place of worship) in the city, which is the Harmandir Sahib, "The Temple of God", known as "The Golden Temple". The temple was later completed by his son, the fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjan (1563 - 1606) in 1604.

Amrit in fact means "holy nectar" and even today the place of worship is surrounded by a kind of artificial lake or reservoir where there is the sacred Amrit...

Since the beginning of the Mughal Empire, Sikhism was kindly looked upon by the various Rulers to the point that some land was donated to it. These relationships lasted until 1605 with the death of the ruler Akbar, the grandson of Babur.

His successor Jahangir instead saw the Sikhs as a political threat and began to persecute them even killing some Guru (spiritual guides of Sikhism). On their account the Sikhs began to embark on a campaign of defense to protect their territories, especially Amritsar (Spiritual capital of the Sikh Religion) with the construction of a fortress.

Ranjit (or Ranjeet) Singh
These continuous struggles continued until 1799, when Ranjit Singh (1780-1839), Maharaja of Punjab was able to consolidate many parts of northern India into a single kingdom. Singh became a charismatic leader of the Sikh community despite his physical was nothing impressive, he was tall 1.60cm and compromised from smallpox and had also lost an eye as a result of the disease, yet he was a person of great acumen and a skilled strategist.

It was during his reign that the Golden Temple in Amritsar was covered with gold leaves...

Singh also became famous for his army. He had an army of highly disciplined Sikhs that he himself had trained and equipped to be the equal to a European force (and that says a lot...)

Ranjit Singh has proven to be a master strategist and to have carefully selected the qualified generals for his army (some of which were French and Italian). He gradually annexed to the Sikh Empire the central Punjab, the province of Multan and Kashmir, the Valley of Peshawar, and the Derajat to his kingdom. At its peak, in the nineteenth century, the empire extended from the Khyber Pass in the west, to Kashmir in the north, to Sindh in the south, and to Himachal in the east.

Soon, however, Singh died in 1839 and from there on, the Sikh Empire began to decline... [Note the date of his death, in 1839, that may remind something to some people...]

- [It is precisely at this time that the events of AC: Brahman will be placed...] -

The decline began with the first battles with the East India Company. The First and Second Anglo-Sikh War (1845-1846 and 1848-1849) marked the fall of the Sikh Empire.

[Theory] The stories of Singh may imply that it was the owner of a POE.

It can be assumed that in fact by a Piece of Eden he was able to form, train and keep in line his army and to expand his kingdom to the various regions mentioned above.
Besides, after his death in 1839 (important date...) the Sikh Empire begins to fade and it is in this period that the wars with the British start and then after a short time they are going to be able to annex all the territories. Maybe there was a passage of PoE from the hands of Singh to the hands of someone else? So may Ranjit Singh be the nemesis of Mir in the comic book? It also seems that Ranjit Singh, as Maharaja of the Sikhs, already appeared in the pictures of Brahman that already came out, albeit from behind...

“Fall in line with... “ Maybe he meant “with the Templar ones”?
(the British official has coincidentally a visible cross on the chest).

[End of the Theory]

The last event in chronological order regarding India in the past ACs is in Glyph #3 of ACII, "Descendants", and is related to the independence movements of India, in which the Indians tried to break free from the oppression of the English.

Apple of Eden #2,
set on Gandhi's staff
In this political landscape, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the Mahatma, became the spiritual and political leader of the country. The event that is reported in the Glyph is that of the Salt March of 1930, a campaign that Gandhi brought against a strong taxation on salt imposed by the British to the Indians. This campaign consisted of a march of more than 380 km with the sole purpose of collecting a handful of salt from the salt mines and display it publicly as a symbol that the resource belonged to the Indian people.

An important event to understand the overall story concerns the night before the departure, where Gandhi spoke in front of thousands of people inviting them to continue to fight in a non-violent manner.

As it can be discovered by solving the glyph, the secret of his leadership was in the use of the Apple of Eden #2, set as a scepter on staff that Gandhi used to walk. This shows that Gandhi used the Apple to "guide" his followers to follow him in this march and, by extension, in all of his other political successes. The information on Gandhi in the Glyph continue in a Morse encrypted message which reads:

“The bullet hit him in the chest.”

The message is a reference to when Gandhi was killed with three shots on January 30th, 1948 by radical Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse. In this case, it is likely that behind his assassination there are the Templars with the intention to get hold of the POE...

The only event regarding India in AC after the events of Gandhi is precisely what we will see in the AC: Brahman comic book with the story of Jot Soora, programmer for Abstergo and descendant of Arbaaz Mir.

So, to summarize, in India according to AC there were:
  • A bloody battle between Humans and TWCB

  • More than a POE passed through the country (at least two, ie the POE that we will see in AC: Brahman and the Gandhi's Apple #2)

  • Considerable interest both by the Templars and the Assassins in the country.

The Comic Book

That said let's move on to the description of the comic book itself, starting with what we know about the plot through the various preview sissued by Ubiworkshop or news release from the interviews of Brenden Fletcher, writer of the plot of AC: Brahman.

The story in the past is set in India in 1839 [date confirmed by Fletcher himself] and follows the adventures of Arbaaz Mir, Master Assassin who has to face an enemy that has subjugated his land and the people who live there.

This enemy is in possession of an artifact that could be a very powerful Piece of Eden. [An extremely powerful POE, as said in an interview by Fletcher]

Arbaaz will be in a very delicate situation in which he will have to decide wether obeying the Brotherhood or disobeying in an attempt to assassinate his greatest enemy.

AC: Brahman explores the nature of identity through several generations of Assassins (a very particular piece of information), andthis will lead Jot Soora, programmer for Abstergo and descendant of Mir, in a desperate hunt to uncover the mysteries of his past that could save the life of the woman he loves.

The narrative of Brahman, being set in the XIX century and in the present, opens the door to a meditation on the evolution of a culture (the Indian one) who is still in the spasms of its rebirth after its liberation from colonial domination.

In the present day we will probably see probably some members of the Inner Sanctum.

Jot Soora (the protagonist in the present day) may be the key to unlock / discover some of the greatest secrets hidden for a long time by both the Assassins by the Templars. [Hidden secrets from both Orders? At the same time?]

The comic book will answer many questions and it will open others. To those fans who want to know information about what happens after in Black Flag, reading the comic is, of course, recommended.

The Protagonists

In this section we analyze the two protagonists (Mir and Soora) starting from the new Assassin, the protagonist of the story in the past.

Arbaaz Mir

Let's begin by analyzing the name:

Arbaaz, such as the nationality of the character, is a name of Indian origin and means Eagle (and this already means a lot...) Mir, surname of the character, instead, means Prince (just think that from Mir is derived Amir / Emir which of course means emir...) Many people, by seeing the first previews of AC: Brahman online have felt a strong reference to the gaming "father" of gaming AC, Prince of Persia, and coincidentally, the name of this Assassin embodies the two key points of the two series: the Eagle for AC and the Prince for PoP. Coincidence?

The weapons

The weapons that Arbaaz has at his disposal and that have been seen so far are four and they are mainly typical of the Indian environment or are based on them. These are:

1: A Shamshir, or Scimitar, as Longsword. It can be seen inside the sheath in the first cover of the comic book (look at the photo at the beginning of article) and drawn in a Concept of the character.

Concept of Mir with the Shamshir
(The hilt in the final version have been modified)
Photo of a real Shamshir,
to make a comparison

2: A Kris as Knife / Dagger / Short Sword. This weapon has been confirmed by Brenden Fletcher in person, through the tweet here aside.

The Kris (or Keris) is a traditional Malay dagger, usually 60-70 cm long, with serpentine blade, which is widespread throughout the Indonesian archipelago.

It is a very old weapon and the oldest source about the manufacturing of a Kris dates back to 825 in a bas-relief in the temple of Borobudur, Indonesia.

Bas-relief of Borobudur Temple
which shows the creation of a Kris
The kris has a very strong symbolic meaning for the Indonesian people. According to traditions, it contains its own "soul" and often they were believed to possess a magic value, with some Krises which were also used as talismans. In the Indonesian folklore there are also legendary Krises which were said to possess supernatural powers and extraordinary abilities.

We see this weapon in the hands of Mir on the first cover and in one of the preview pages where he uses it to kill some guards on the roofs of Amritsar in an attempt to get closer to the Golden Temple.

Mir's Kris...
… and a real Kris

From what we can read, the Kris is a typical Indonesian dagger, and as a first look it may seem "strange" that an Indonesian / Malaysian blade is used by an Indian. But it's the same Fletcher that started the "Engine of Theories" with his tweet.

In fact It should be noted that in the tweet Fletcher says, "I can't tell you why new Assassin's Creed hero Arbaaz Mir carries an Indonesian dagger quite yet".

Is he perhaps suggesting that that dagger comes to him through someone? Or perhaps, as we of the team think, Mir's Mentor is Indonesian / Malaysian?

3: A Chakram, a steel ring with a 30 cm diameter, the outer edge extremely sharp and a very aerodynamic profile. It’s such a dangerous weapon that, if it’s launched with the right strength and with the right experience, it is able to instantly decapitate a man. It’s pictured on Arbaaz’s right side both in the cover and when we see him leaping into the empty space. It was the Sikh warriors’ symbolic weapon, but everyone of us will know it …

As ... Xena’s weapon in the TV series :P (Ok, I’m going back to being serious...

Arbaaz’s Chakram as it’s pictured
in the comic panel(picture above) and
in the cover (picture below)
A real Sith, I mean Sikh, warriors’ Chakram…

4: Last but not least, the iconic weapon of the Assassin Brotherhood, restyled in a new variant adapted to the geographical context. We are talking about a Hidden Blade heavily based on the Jamadhar Sehlikaneh or "Scissors Katara", a traditional Indian weapon in its "three blades” version.

An indian Scissors Katara.
Note that the blade is divided in two halves.
The mechanism is located into the hilt
The third blade was "released" by a mechanism located inside the Katara’s hilt. The main blade was divided in two halves and it had basically an empty inside. Once the mechanism was activated, the two halves opened and they moved away from the main body, giving way to the third blade, placed inside.

This kind of weapon is particularly effective both in defense and in offensive situations.

When in defense, the "Scissors Katara" was used to block and break opponents’ spears (or wooden stick weapons in general). When in offence, on the other hand, these three blades were able to cause severe injuries and to brutally tear the unfortunate enemies’ bodies to pieces.

An “opened” Katara
Translating this mechanism into Mir’s blade, we can say that:

The new hidden blade has an internal mechanism that divides the two parts of the outer blade. Once the main blade is “open”, the third one, through another mechanism, springs up...

[Yes, I know what you're thinking... It's pretty much like a hidden blade inside a hidden blade, you can call it Matryoshka hidden blade or HiddenBlade-Ception]

This does not forbid to use the blade while "closed". Indeed, when the blade is "closed", it works in its "classic" way, as a "stealth" weapon (a silent kill weapon).

In summary, this blade is very useful as a defensive, skirmish and stealthy weapon. In the comic, Mir’s blade can be seen in action in two occasions: in the cover (while “opened”) and in the page in which he leaps into the empty space (while “closed”).

Comic panel with the “closed” blade
Details of the blade:
please note the two halves of the outer blade
Details of the “opened” Blade on the cover

Some more examination on the character's appearance:

The Assassins Emblem that Mir wears as a bracelet on his right arm is made up of two twin Cobras, as you can see from a character sketch.

It is unclear, however, whether this is actually the Indian Brotherhood crest or whether it has a particular meaning (the two snakes were already seen on the emblem of the Egyptian Brotherhood and we also saw the twin snakes on the Hermes Trismegistus' Staff of Eden in the Kyros of Zarax files from the Divine Science section of Project Legacy).

Let's move on then, with the other main character of AC: Brahman, the descendant of Arbaaz Mir:

Jot Soora.

Like its ancestor, let's begin by analyzing the name:

About the name Jot, so far we were unable to derive any important meaning...
Soora, instead, has three meanings: Sun, Brave and Hero. The last two may give a further depiction of the character since, as mentioned in the various previews of the comic, Soora remains involved in "a desperate hunt to uncover the mysteries of this past that might save the life of the one he loves" so he must demonstrate Courage and especially since he is the protagonist of the present day, he should prove to be a real Hero.

Unquestionably, the guy at the bottom,
Besides looking like some American actor,
has an expression halfway between
that of the serial stalker and that of the
"Member of the Inner Sanctum."
Let’s move on to the experiences that he’s going to live in the comic.

For what we can see from the pictures appeared on the net, Soora works as an Abstergo programmer and he also seems to have a good rank position in the Company lines until when Abstergo discovers then that he is somehow connected to Arbaaz Mir (even if it’s possible that they knew it already).

It seems like he’s then kidnapped and taken to an unhabitated place. Someone ties him to a chair and connects him to a portable Animus device, a prototype of an Abstergo Entertainment device for mass market (perhaps the same product Soora was working on).

The two voices on the side of the panel clearly belong to the people who are monitoring Soora’s Animus sessions and, in fact, they say:

"His heartbeat race is spiking. I'm worried. We should pull him out."

"No, leave him. If he is who he says he is, he'll be fine."

["If he is who he says he is, he'll be fine"... Who is Jot Soora for real?]

In a certain moment of the story, however, it seems that Soora finds a way to free himself from the chair. At this point, there is nothing more that forces Soora to stay in the place where he is captive and he then tries to escape from there.

But somehow he is forced to remain...

The plot, in fact, thickens because the same "someone" that kidnapped him, takes his beloved woman captive too and threatens him to kill her (I guess to convince him to go on with the Animus sessions).

The great escapeMay she be the the woman we're talking about?

This way he is forced to go on with the sessions...

From this moment on, we have no more news or pictures at our disposal...

There is only one matter left that we should deal with:

The TWCB Matter

Between all the AC: Brahman pictures that Cameron Stewart posted on his Instagram Profile, there’s one that could picture a potential TWCB of the comic...

There are a lot of possible interpretations about who this figure might be. Some say that it could be Aphrodite, a TWCB already seen two times in the AC Saga, both from The Divine Science. The first time we saw her was in the Kyros of Zarax memories and the second one in the Elizabeth Jane Weston memories, in the picture that Miss Weston receives from his uncle John Dee.

Others thought of her like Eris, goddess of discord, mentioned in AC1 by Al Mualim, who says that, using an Apple of Eden, she fueled the Trojan War through the Judgement of Paris...

The truth, however, could be another (and I want to stress “could”, we do not take anything for sure) and this is why I’d like to expose a theory that is different from the ones already suggested.

As first step of my research, I tried to contextualize in the AC saga an "Indian TWCB ", a member of the First Civilization based on one of the deities of the Hindu pantheon, and I found a deity that shows details that are very similar to the TWCB we’re talking about…

The Goddess I’m referring to is Durga. Let’s analyze her figure in detail.

Durga (Sanskrit for "the one that can hardly be approached", "the unreachable" or "the invincible") is the Indian Goddess that represents the victory of good over evil: she is also known as the Mother of the Universe and it’s believed that she is the force that lies behind the three functions of the world, creator, preserver and destroyer.
Durga is one of the most famous incarnations / aspects of Parvati, wife of Shiva, the main deity of the Indian Trimurti.

Here I must make another foreword for those who don't know the Hindu religion and for whom the Durga / Parvati matter can be "a little difficult" to understand. Durga is not actually a real deity by herself, she is just one of the aspects of a deity, Parvati. The latter has a myriad of aspects (the famous Avatara of the Hindu religion) which have other shapes and other names such as Lakshmi, Saraswati, Kali (the famous goddess Kali) and Durga herself. I chose as a comparison Durga and not Parvati because with there are more points in common with Stewart's TWCB.

Durga, according to Hindu beliefs, shows up when dark forces threaten the very existence of all gods and she is considered as the “warrior” form of the Divine Mother. An example of her "warrior" side is well shown in the representation of her first descent on the battlefield.

It is narrated that Durga was "created" as a warrior goddess with the objective of fighting an Asura named Mahishasura. The Asuras were another class of Gods within the Vedic area of interest, which were then dethroned by the Devas (the current Hindu gods) and have begun to take on almost demonic character, creating two classes of gods in continuous opposition (A sort of war between Gods). Mahishasura received from god Brahma the ability to not be able to be defeated by either a man or a divine being. Mahishasura, abusing his power, managed to establish a reign of terror in the land, in heaven, and in the underworld by setting himself against the other gods.
Mahishasura then defeated one by one all the deities who controlled the natural forces. These gods, defeated, sought help from Brahma (the most important deity in the Hindu pantheon). Together they made their way in "Vaikuntha" the place where it was said Vishnu would be found. Along with Vishnu they also found Shiva who, after discussing the reign of terror that was imposed by Mahishasura, made a request so that their energy could go to Parvati, goddess and consort of Shiva. The energy of all the gods came to Parvati and in this "sea of energy" in which she was wrapped was "born" Durga. Durga also received a weapon for each of the gods that gave her energy, about 15 different weapons (Durga in depictions often has 16 arms each of which holds a weapon, except a two-handed bow).

Durga / Parvati few moments before
cutting Mahishasura's head
Once arrived on the battlefield, Durga challenged Mahishasura openly, and once he accepted the challenge, Durga freed some of her energy causing an earthquake that made Mahishasura aware of her powers.

Mahishasura, however, had a peculiarity, he could change his shape whenever he wanted (PoE?) and lunged at the goddess. Durga could stop him, each time using different weapons, but she could never kill him because whenever she stopped him with a weapon, he changed shape and was able to save himself.

During this relentless struggle where Mahishasura always managed to escape at the last moment from the Goddess, Durga, according to vedic accounts, turned to the Asura saying:

- Laugh out loud while you can, ignorant demon, because when I kill you, the gods will be the ones laughing out loud!

During one of Mahishasura's metamorphoses however, Durga managed to paralyze him in the middle between one form and another (precisely passing from the form of a buffalo to the human one) using the power that came from her trident, donated by Shiva (The Trishula) and then thanks to the Sword (another symbol of knowledge) she was able to cut off the Asura's head.
Not only Durga killed Mahishasura and all his army, but according to the stories, she even freed their souls from the karmic debt that they had accumulated. Durga after this story was also called Mahishasurmardini, meaning "the one who killed Mahishasura".
Lastly Durga / Parvati, as her consort Shiva, has 3 eyes where the left eye represents the Desire, the right one represents the Actions, and the central one, as "mind's eye", represents Knowledge.

Physical features between Stewart's member of TWCB and goddess Parvati/Durga

Is there a possibility that they are the same deity? I really think there is..

The thing that assimilates the TWCB to Parvati / Durga the most is obviously the appearance, in this case there are 6 points in which we see best the similarities between the two Goddesses.

Point #1: Almost all of the traits shared by the TWCB with Parvati / Durga are included in their respective headdresses, and the first of these features in common is its shape, which in the TWCB seems almost "flaming" given the complexity of the structure of the headdress. Goddess Durga, together with other forms of Parvati, is often depicted with the headgear having particular structures, some of which are of the same type of Stewart’s member of the First Civilization, such as goddess Lakshmi and the Durga herself, here on the side, in a different picture from the one suggested in the above picture.

Point #2: The following detail that makes the two goddesses similar are those structures that depart from the front of the hat and that "bend" at the end. As Durga, also any other form of Parvati has this trait.

Point #3: Another detail that can be compared between the two goddesses are the "earrings", which in the case of the TWCB could be the final part of the hat but they still give the impression at first glance to be earrings (which came before...: P)

Point #4: An important detail is instead the "central flame with circle", which not only makes Durga very similar to the TWCB, but all the other forms of Parvati (Durga is one of them) also have this particular ornament just above the forehead. Usually figures of this type show precisely a flame that always, in many mythologies (including the Indian one) represents Knowledge, an almost distinctive trait of TWCB (Knowledge as in Sixth Sense, the sense of "Knowing").

Point #5:
Another detail is that element similar to a gem which is part of the headdress of the TWCB and stands exactly between the eyes. It is very much reminiscent of the Third Eye of Goddess Parvati (and all of its forms), which is shown as an eye "rotated " by 90 degrees and that symbolizes the" eye of the Mind ", another symbol of knowledge. It is no coincidence that in this ancient statue of Parvati here at the side, the third eye is represented in a way not so dissimilar to the TWCB that Stewart drew, that is, as a sort of gem between the eyes.

Point #6: The last point is featured only in the TWCB by Stewart and not in the statue of Durga: it's the "face painting" that the TWCB has under her eyes and below the mouth. These two paintings are of two different colors, those under the eyes are dark or black while the one below the mouth, being left as white, will probably be of a different color. These face paintings could be a reference to another form of Parvati, and perhaps the most famous, the terrifying goddess Kali.
Kali, in fact, is usually depicted with a lot of different face paintings and especially with her tongue out, which is particularly interesting because if hypothetically the face painting below the mouth of the TWCB was of a red-ish color, it might just remind the picture of a tongue, just like in the representations of Kali.

In conclusion, all these features in common make us assume that the TWCB with which we are dealing in AC: Brahman can be Parvati or one of her forms. We just have to wait for the official release of the comic to see if our assumptions were correct or not.
That's all that so far we have managed to discover about Stewart's TWCB. Maybe one day the "second DLC" of article might even come out, but nothing is certain...

comments powered by Disqus




Looking through the Brahman - Part1

Looking through the Brahman - Part2