The forgotten TWCB
Hephaestus, December 23, 2013
Translated by: Stefania

[Preliminary remarks: This article was thought up and written before ACIV:BF, so it doesn’t contain references to plot elements of Black Flag]

This mini-article (“mini” on the basis of the standard length of my articles :P ), as the title suggests, rotates around a “forgotten” member of TWCB, an entity of the First Civilization who appeared in the series, but is still unnamed.
I want to try to definitely give a name to this entity, based not only on hypotheses and theories (my field) but also on visual proofs.
Many speculated about it, but probably nobody ever found a real proof concerning his/her own idea, that remains exactly an hypothesis and not a full theory.
The member of TWCB in question appeared in all her magnificence in the first comic book dedicated to the AC saga, Assassin’s Creed: The Fall, but as we’ll see in this dissertation, she already appeared once before The Fall, although in a very different way from what one can expect…

Introducing the TWCB

This entity of the First Civilization appears in AC:The Fall during that fateful moment of the explosion of the Staff of Eden WHICH happened on June 30th, 1908 in Tunguska, AND involved (and crushed) the Russian Revolution Assassin Nikolai Andreievich Orelov.
In that very scene four members of the First Civilization can be seen (this is probably the scene with the highest number of TWCB together at the same time in the whole AC saga).
The fateful moment maybe presumes a very likely intrusion of those members of TWCB in Nikolai’s events, although it was never completely explained in the later chapters.
The characters on stage are:
  • Tinia/Jupiter behind the others, with a close-up of his eyes and part of the headgear
  • Juno on the left, among the three women (who came before)
  • Minerva in the middle
  • And… our unnamed TWCB on the right of the group.

Now let’s examine my theory about her identity.

The Huntress

As the title suggests, my theory supposes that the third member of TWCB is Diana, also known in the Etruscan and Greek cultures respectively as Artume and Artemis.
Diana was the Roman goddess of the hunt, the nature and fertility. Daughter of Jupiter (Zeus) and Latona (Leto) and twin sister of Apollo. She’s almost always portrayed as a huntress accompanied by a deer and armed with an Arc and Arrows both made by Hephaestus.
Diana was also the goddess of the Moon and so she was often depicted with a crescent moon above her forehead or behind her head and was often identified with the goddess Selene and sometimes linked with Hecate, both goddesses of the Moon. Indeed Artemis, Selene and Hecate represented the three main lunar phases, respectively crescent moon (Artemis), full moon (Selene) and waning moon (Hecate). [keep in mind this detail of the lunar phases…]

The Goddess of the Hunt, according to Assassin’s Creed.

As mentioned before, Diana/Artemis already appeared in the AC saga before “The Fall”.
Indeed, in order to learn where Diana previously appeared, we must go back to the glorious ACII, where we find the Goddess of the Hunt in the form of a statuette we have to locate in Monteriggioni together with other eight figurines, grouped in four couples (Jupiter and Minerva, Mars and Venus, Neptune and Pluto, Diana and Apollo), all representing Roman deities. Maybe they were all TWCB?

Getting back to the discussion, Diana’s statuette is on
a pedestal with her twin brother, Apollo.
The description appearing when we interact with the pedestal, once both the statuettes are set upon it, says:
“Together, but never touching. One sleeps while the other rises, yet both watch over us.”
The phrase most likely is a reference to the two celestial bodies linked with Apollo and Diana, respectively the Sun (Apollo) and the Moon (Diana), and so the sentence has an “astronomical” sense.
But it might be also a reference to the two deities themselves, linking them with the corresponding member of the First Civilization, but we don’t have any proof (at least about Apollo), so we can only theorize…

The Goddess of the Hunt, in the AC series, is also connected to some events related to the never-forgotten Project Legacy, to be more precise to the sequence with Kyros of Zarax, coming from that treasure trove of mindfuck known as “Divine Science”. Indeed Diana is linked with Atalanta, in turn taken from the Greek myth of herself.
According to the Greek mythology, Atalanta was abandoned on the Pelium mountaintop (in Thessaly) when she was born by her father Iasus, king of Arcadia, simply because he wanted a male heir. Artemis, who found out about the abandoned little girl, sent a she-bear to take care of her and raise her (according to other versions of the legend the Goddess herself turned into a bear to save the little Atalanta).
Atalanta immediately proved a strong inclination for hunting and a strong ability with the bow, and her deeds as a huntress were known in no time. Indeed, according to the legend, Atalanta killed some centaurs and also the infamous Calydonian Boar, who granted her the appellation of Calydonian Huntress.

We can find these events also in the memory “Serenade”, here an extract:

\\King Iasius warns me that no man can beat his daughter, and that losing the race means losing one's life. He arranges for me to meet her— one last chance to change my mind.

\\In the gardens, my heart pounds as I await Atalanta, the virgin princess raised by bears who became a fierce hunter, a Calydonian hero, and a slayer of centaurs!


\\She is magnificent! Surely, Atalanta's beauty rivals Aphrodite's! My face gets warm when she smiles and greets me with a rich, warm voice.

\\Atalanta places her hand upon mine! I feel the blood pumping through my veins. For an eternity, she gazes into my eyes, as though exploring the very depths of my soul. […]

[This last sentence can be interpreted in many ways… but maybe this time we’re exaggerating with theories :P ]
As a figure, Atalanta, in the Greek mythology, is almost assimilated to Artemis as for talents, ways of doing and acting, and we can suppose, considering the legend, that Diana/Artemis even heavily influenced the whole growth of Atalanta.

Let’s go back to the true protagonist of this article, with a direct comparison between her “real” counterpart and her “TWCB” counterpart.

The Comparison between the Goddess and the TWCB
With all the visual data in our possession, we can make a direct comparison between that member of TWCB in AC:The Fall and the Goddess Diana ,thanks to a highly explicative image created by our graphic designer Xander.

The similar (and highlighted) particulars stand out immediately.
The tiara that the statue of Diana wears on her head was redesigned as a headgear for the Diana of TWCB. Please notice the particular shape that the posterior part of this headgear forms: it highly resembles a crescent half-moon, an interesting particular, since Diana was venerated as the lunar goddess and so linked with the moon (as mentioned above, in the classical iconography of Diana, the goddess was often portrayed with a half-moon on her head).
The dress she’s wearing is a Doric Chiton (characterized by the lack of sleeves and knee-length) that is interpreted very accurately in its TWCB version (notice also the dress folds of the statue and of the TWCB, identical) and enclosed at the waist by a strip that in the comics becomes a belt in a style that can be assimilated to the First Civilization.
Last details to add: if one looks closely at the two “Dianas”, also the posture is almost the same. Only the head of the TWCB member is slightly tilted down so that she “looked” at Nikolai.

Now that we have “unveiled” this member of TWCB, we know for a long time that if a goddess of any pantheon appears in AC, she surely have a background connected with legends that are related to Pieces of Eden or, in general, to First Civilization technology.
In order to find it, we must go back to the statuette.

The statuette of Diana in ACII is historically based on a work by Leochares, a Greek sculptor (fl. 4th century B.C.), but it’s mainly known as the “Diana of Versailles” and it’s located in the Musée du Louvre (even if the one in the museum is an accurate Roman copy of the original, nowadays lost).
[The “Diana of Versailles”, as you can notice looking at the image on the right, is the same sculpture used for the comparison with the TWCB] We must highlight that the original sculpture shows some differences with the one we saw in ACII. Indeed, in the original statue we can see the deer following the Goddess and the deity holding a bow in the left hand, of which only the handle remains, while these features are missing in the statuette from ACII.
The sculpture, according to the description of the Louvre, comes from Nemi, a town in the province of Rome (Italy).
The town of Nemi was always associated with the cult of Diana. Legends and mysteries are linked with it, among which two in particular represent peculiar connections, if we see them inside the AC saga. These legends will be described later in the article.
Near this city there’s Lake Nemi, a small volcanic lake that is part of the complex knowns as the “Volcanic Complex of the Alban Hills”. Near the lake there are the Temple of Diana, an ancient sanctuary that originally rose up on the lake shore, and the “Nemus Dianae”, a sacred woods dedicated to the goddess.
Note that the name of the city, Nemi, originates from Nemus, “woods” in Latin, and the goddess herself takes the name of Diana Nemorensis (Diana of the Woods or Diana of Nemi).

Let’s now examine these two mysteries.

The Mysteries of the Temple of Diana
Lake Nemi, in a painting
by John Robert Cozens, 1777
Around the Sanctuary of Nemi, inside the temple where the cult of Diana Nemorensis was practiced, it was said that a tree was growing, and no one was allowed to break its branches. An ancient tradition, based on a legend, said that only a runaway slave could pick one of its boughs. In accordance with the legends, the Branch was gold. As these ancient legends report, the golden bough taken by the slave was the same one that, by commands of the Cumaean Sibyl, Aeneas took to face the dangerous journey in the World of the Dead, narrated in the Book VI of the Aeneid.

The Golden Bough
The golden bough, as mentioned before, allows Aeneas to descend in the Hades, and it’s considered the Key of the Underworld.
Aeneas, in order to descend in the underworld, upon advice of Deiphobe, the Cumaean Sybil, must find this particular golden bough that can be taken only by those who are worthy [that we can interpret as a sign of TWCB DNA]. The branch, hidden in an impenetrable wood, is sacred to the Infernal Juno, in other word Proserpine (Persephone for the Greek and Phersipnai for the Etruscans), wife of Hades (or Aita) and queen of the Underworld.

[Note by Hephaestus: the fact that Phersipnai, as Aita’s wife, is called Infernal JUNO in the Greek myth allows for further consideration of ideas related to ACIII/ACIV].

Once it’s been found, this branch will break off easily from the tree only if the Fate is favourable to his descent in the Underworld; otherwise every effort will be worthless.
The fact of being “worthy” immediately recalls the case of Pythagoras when he’s deemed “worthy successor” by the Snake of the Staff of Eden owned by a member of TWCB, Hermes Trismegistus.
So the connections with the fact that the legends about the Golden Bough can assimiliate it to a Pieces of Eden keep increasing…

"You are a worthy successor"

Getting back to the subject, Aeneas is able to take the branch because he’s “worthy”, and such “worthiness” comes from the fact that, according to legends, Aeneas was the son of a Goddess, Venus, who helps him in his deed (the usual protagonist in high places…).
Below, you can read an extract of the Book VI of the Aeneid in which the Golden Bough is mentioned:

"Painting by J.M.W. Turner showing exactly
what's written in the Aeneid"
"Hidden in a dark tree is a golden bough, golden in leaves and pliant stem, sacred to Persephone, the underworld’s Juno, all the groves shroud it, and shadows enclose the secret valleys. But only one who’s taken a gold-leaved fruit from the tree is allowed to enter earth’s hidden places.
[…] So look for it up high, and when you’ve found it with your eyes, take it, of right, in your hand: since, if the Fates have chosen you, it will come away easily, freely of itself: otherwise you won’t conquer it by any force, or cut it with the sharpest steel.”

The Cumaean Sibyl while she shows
Charon the Golden Bough, in an
engraving by Wenceslaus Hollar
In the Aeneid, following the bough picking, the Cumaean Sybil and Aeneas meet the ferryman of souls, Charon, deeply angry with the two and not willing to make them cross the Styx. But the Sybil shows the Golden Bough to the infernal ferryman, and his deeply enraged heart is immediately pacified to the point that Charon will promptly ferry the two across the Styx and for the entire duration of the crossing he doesn’t say a word. [An unusual behavior for Charon, but typical for a Piece of Eden, with regard to the Bough]
Later Aeneas puts the Golden Bough on the door of Dis, on the threshold of the Elysian Fields, as a votive offering to Proserpine. In this case the Golden Bough works as a key to access the infernal city. [Exactly as the Apple number 6 (or the Apple of Ezio, or whatever you want to call it) that Desmond uses to open the outer door of the Grand Temple of Turin… ]
The bough, as other elements of the story, acquires an indefinable symbolic meaning, but confirms the extraordinary fate of Aeneas [Or the fact that he was, to all intents and purposes, a hybrid?], chosen for this particular adventure.
This type of tales belongs to the ones we came across in the ACII glyphs, where famous Heroes, gifted with TWCB genes and objects with extraordinary powers that actually were Pieces od Eden, hid themselves among Greek, Nordic and Roman myths, just think about Perseus’ events with the Adamantine Sword (one of the Swords of Eden) or the Sigmund’s events with the Sword plunged in the Barnstokkr (another Sword of Eden). All this story re-connects with Nemi and Diana: as a matter of fact, as we previously said, Aeneas’ Golden Bough, meant as a real Piece of Eden (considering the parallelisms with the other myths linked with AC), in the beginning was guarded in the Temple of Diana Nemorensis, the Diana we saw as a member of TWCB in AC:The Fall.

The other mystery involving Diana in events “related” to the AC saga concerns two age-old Roman ships.

The Two Legendary Ships
This legend concerns two big celebratory ships built during the Roman era in honor of two goddesses, Isis (with characteristic and historic traits very similar to the Juno of AC) and Diana.
The ships were respectively 64 and 71 meters long and 25 meters wide and it is thought that they were commissioned by the Emperor Tiberius or more likely by Caligula (affiliated with the Templars according to ACII – Murdered by Leonius with a dagger).
The ships, technologically very advanced and full of treasures of all kinds, were buried under Lake Nemi for unknown reasons, near where the temple dedicated to the goddess of the hunt rises.
Soon this story became a legend and started to circulate probably from the 1st century A.D., and then all through the Middle Ages, from time to time accompanied also by the recovery of strange artefacts on the part of fishermen of the lake. These rumors, indeed, had a foundation of truth and kept on fostering the legend.
Starting from the 15th century retrieval attempts of the two ships were carried out several times until, around the mid-century, Cardinal Prospero Colonna officially put the task of recovery into the hands of Leon Battista Alberti.
A century after, on July 15th, 1535, an attempt was carried out using a diving bell and a considerable amount of wood was recovered, that kept on fostering the legend, until, in 1827, the first mosaics and other valued objects were retrieved, as if this were confirming the actual truthfulness of that legend.
Eventually only between 1929 and 1932, at the time of Fascism, an impressive archeological expedition was prepared, and, thanks to the emptying of the lake for 22 meters down, it was possible to pull ashore the two ships, safeguarding them in the dedicated Museum of the Roman Ships.

Survey on the most likely structure of the Roman Ships during thei construction.

But the two legendary ships suffered a grim fate, though. During World War II a fire that broke out during the night of May 31st and lasted until June 1st, 1944, destroyed them and the same happened to the most part of the artifacts safeguarded with them. The fire, obviously malicious, was the work of Germans who had placed a gun battery about 150 meters from the museum that housed the ships.
Not all the lost cargo was found. It was taken by the Germans, but nobody knows what happened to it.
This kind of story may foster the plot of AC in regard to the eventS of World War II. Presuming the ships contained some artefact of the First Civilization, that assault would make even more sense on the part of Templars.

In conclusion, here the analysis of the potential appearance of Diana/Artemis in the Assassin’s Creed saga ends, in the hope that the goddess of the hunt will reveal herself again in the future, and if she does that, we’ll be ready and glad to report everything, here on Access The Animus.

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