A Gaze Into The Nexus: The Gnostic Trinity
VORTEX COLLABORATOR: Cristophorus, June 11th, 2023

Note: The following article covers topics seen in the fictional universe of Assassin’s Creed, which are based on some aspects of real life, and does not seek to disrespect nor damage the integrity of any individual, religion or belief, for it was made for entertaining purposes only.

...for like holy Judas, I thank you, beloved Jesus, for the wisdom to pierce
Sophia's cloud... to see beyond and above the lies of Ialdabaoth, to know
the First Mystery that is the last mystery that is the twenty-fourth
mystery. Amen.”

Fulke, 874 AD.

Assassin’s Creed has a narrative which is a mixture of elements I used to be interested in with fervent passion; secret societies, conspiracy theories, long-lasted wars, hoaxes, OOPArts, SciFi, ancient civilizations, esoterism, philosophy, and all that kind of stuff you see in the Discovery and History channels. Once I paid attention to the game, I immediately fell in love with it.

Hello, name’s Cristophorus. People may remember me as the guy who cracked the “code” of the Viking runes featured in the official Assassin’s Creed website and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. I’ve been an AC fan since 2009 and I consider myself the “hardcore” kind of fan. I’m part of the ACWiki staff as content and Discord moderator, and I’m also part of Assassin’s Creed Latam, a group of passionate people—from several Latin-American countries—that discusses about anything Assassin’s Creed.
My line of work within the community consists in the unyielding desire to understand, study, and analyze the lore of the franchise, and also teaching it to those interested in it. For that purpose, I’ve written articles, made videos, podcasts, written pages on the English-speaking Assassin’s Creed Wiki website, and even had done online classes using PowerPoint presentations. Although I’ve interacted with several other AC communities across the globe, my focus goes in helping Spanish-speaking fans. That’s why I created my own initiative called “La Red de Erudito” (Erudito’s Network), named after the infamous in-universe hacker collective that makes Abstergo's days miserable every time they can, where I teach the lore with the support of official material. It’s with that solely end that I’d like to show the conclusion of my research about a certain subject that have been in my mind for months, and in collaboration with Access the Animus and their VORTEX Program, I can finally share it with confidence.

The incorporations of angelical and devilish beings into the world of Assassin’s Creed, or the ACverse as I like to call it, to extend the Isu roster is inevitable. Furthermore, it’s just natural, since it has been established that they were the former masters of the planet—their hegemony, present in all the corners of the Earth—whose advanced technology were capable of defying the laws of nature to an extent. Even after facing their own extinction caused by a catastrophe of biblical proportions, their names survived. And according to the geographical area they used to live on, their identities became a variety of pantheons. It’s just a matter of time for the Abrahamic pantheon to finally join this list. Although the community has seen several references to it across the different chapters of the Assassin-Templar war, there hasn’t been a direct mention of God. And for obvious reasons. Within the Assassin’s Creed lore, it is known that the first humans—successfully created by the Isu scientist Phanes—were test subjects residing in the Isu city of Eden located near Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa. It is also known that there was indeed an Isu Authority in Eden who possibly had hostile relationships towards the Sister
"Savaoph God the Father", 1885-96,
by Mikhailovich Vasnetsov.
Realms of Atlantis, Elysium, and the Underworld. Moreover, in the ACverse, Jesus’ miracles were possible thanks to the Pieces of Eden he held. But aside the natural mentions to God by in-universe characters, it has never been confirmed if “He” is also part of the Isu civilization. Well, what if I told you this could have changed? What if I told you that God/YHWH/Elohim/Jehovah/Allah might have finally been canonized as an Isu as well? And not only Him, but some other notable figures related to Him too.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla uncovers more information about this ancient civilization by not only revealing the names of new Isu individuals but also explaining more about their culture and political hegemony. Amongst these revelations, is the answer to a question that has been hunting the mind of every Assassin’s Creed fan since the very beginning: “who is the Father of Understanding?”. That’s right, after years of waiting we finally know who he is, or rather, who they were. It turns out that the Father of Understanding is a title, part of the roles given to one of the highest authorities in Isu society, along with the Mother of Wisdom and the Sacred Voice. Think of them as some kind of world presidents or an organization tasked with the approval or rejection of projects that might affect the Precursors on a global scale. This would imply that the Isu, despite being separated into “clans”, lived under the jurisdiction of one unique order. We already know that Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva held the office of Father, Mother, and Voice respectively, and they were tasked to find a way to save their civilization from a disaster of biblical proportions. They failed miserably.

Some members of the Assassin’s Creed community were under the impression that these notable figures had held those political titles for a long time due to their long lifespan, but that is not the case. There’s at least one more triad that came before them. And anyone who has studied or knows about Gnosticism will recognize their names: Yaldabaoth, Saklas, and Samael.

Salvation by Knowledge
For those who might not know what Gnosticism is, here’s a brief explanation: it’s a belief that states divinity resides in every human being but it’s trapped in their corrupted physical field. Only by acknowledging one’s own divinity, one can awaken it and break their ties with the earthly world. Compared to Christians, Gnostics do not believe that divinity comes from God, but from another entity superior to Him who resides in the highest and purest of realms, whereas God is the creator of the earthly world, and just like humans, He is devoid of this divinity. The Gnostics also believe that Jesus or, as they call him, “Yeshua” in Aramaic, came to this world not to free humanity from sin but to teach us how to break our bonds to the physical world and achieve salvation through the ascension of the spirit by knowing one’s own divine nature, which is greater than faith. Like many other religious beliefs, Gnosticism has several variant movements such as: Valentinianism, Catharism, Manichaeism, Mandeism, and Sethianism, to name a few. While some of them share some similarities, like the tendency to separate God into two different beings — the One from the Old Testament as the deceiver who is an evil and corrupted creator and the One from the New Testament as the true Supreme God — and their desire to better understand their divinity, they differ in their cosmology and in the nature of Jesus Christ in the physical world. For the purpose of this article, I’ll focus on the Sethianists.

The origin of the species, according to the Sethianists, goes as follows. Existence is divided into two dimensions, two realms: The realm of light—which makes up all that is spiritual and divine—and the realm of darkness, where the soul is tied to the corruption of the physical world. In the realm of light resides the true Supreme God who consists of three parts, three emanations: the Father who is the great invisible spirit, the Mother — called Barbelo — and the Son called Autogenes, the Begotten One. Think of these emanations as other parts of yourself. It’s like if you were divided into different individuals, they might act different and people might think of them as different people, but they don’t stop being you. Barbelo had her own emanations under her command: these were: Monad, the Absolute; Arkhe, the Beginning; Proarkhe, the One Who Came Before the Beginning; Bythos, the One from the Deep Emptiness; Christos, the Anointed; and Sophia, the Wise. The latter, who was the youngest, tried to recreate the creation of the true Supreme God but accidentally created Yaldabaoth, who in turn created Saklas and Samael along with their 12 followers, the archons. All of them, under orders of the true Supreme God, crossed the barrier between the two realms—which some Gnostics call the Horos—and enter the world of darkness under the name of Demiurges, corrupted beings opposite to all that is purely spiritual and divine that reluctantly serve the true Supreme God. By the time of creation, the true Supreme God along his four angelic emancipations - Harmozel, Oroiael, Davethai, and Eleleth - had given form to the first Adam, the spiritual Adam. But the Demiurges, jealous of the true Supreme God's creation, devised a plan to make their own, attempting to recreate what was in the realm of light. Yaldabaoth managed to steal the first Adam and imprisoned him in a physical body, making him believe that he had created him. Seeing the disaster Yaldabaoth caused, Sophia warns the true Supreme God.

Barbelo, the Mother, decided to send Epinoia — one of her lesser emanations — to the physical world created by Yaldabaoth, rendering her mortal. There, she takes the name of Eve and tried to teach Adam the way to break his bonds and awaken his divinity. They fell in love and had children: Cain, Abel and Seth. It is through Seth's descendants that people can learn the way to ascend and escape.

Unlike other ramifications of Gnosticism, the Sethianists believe that the Demiurges are not only ignorant but also evil. They condemn and fear Sophia for abandoning them and usually reject the true Supreme God for denying them the divinity they so envy and crave.

With the importance and the background of these three beings explained within Gnosticism, what comes next is asking “what were their roles in the Isu society within Assassin’s Creed?”. As it was mentioned before, they were the former triad who oversaw the creation of humanity, or managed the resources to begin Project Anthropos before leaving their office to new Isu individuals. The period of each triad is still unknown. And despite not having much information about them, it’s possible to understand their profile by being familiar with their features and deeds as described in Gnostic texts.

Depiction of a lion-faced snake deity

  • Associated with the appearance of a lion-headed serpent.
  • He claims the creation of mankind as his own.
  • It’s how some Gnostics refer to the Abrahamic God or the God of the Old Testament.
  • His name is not among the 72 names of God as it is considered to be heretical by most Abrahamic-inspired religions.
  • In Gnostic texts, Yaldabaoth lacks the divine spark that is present in every human being, and he is sending constant hecatombs to torment humanity. What humans believe to be God's tests meant to be overcome, to Yaldabaoth they are merely punishments for possessing something he lacks.
  • In the ACverse, he’s the former Father of Understanding, a title eventually held by Jupiter. He approved Project Anthropos and ordered to start its management as soon as possible.

Codex Tchacos (pg. 33); ancient
Egyptian papyrus that contains Gnostic
texts, the "Gospel of Judas" among them.

  • Also known as The Fool, or The Demon of a Thousand Faces.
  • He is mentioned in the Gospel of Judas as an angel who emerged from the Most High to reign over chaos, darkness and the physical world.
  • In some Gnostic texts, he and Yaldabaoth are considered to be one and the same. Fulke, the Flemish scholar Eivor met during her adventures, seems to agree with that idea as she considers the God worshipped by the Christians as the pretender, the false God. And calls the true Supreme God as the “Self-Begotten one”.
  • In Assassin's Creed, Saklas is the former Mother of Wisdom, a title eventually held by Juno. One of her tasks was to design the blueprints—meant to be follow by the team of Isu scientists—from which humans would be created.

Now, it should be noted that in Gnosticism, Saklas is male. Why would a male Isu occupy the title of Mother of Wisdom assuming this office is strictly associated to the gender and sex of the Isu individual? Well, this is probably not a mistake at all for the following reason: Most of the time when translating, names are left unaltered by scholars. However, this doesn’t happen for the name Saklas. It seems Antony—the modern-day Assassin who helped Layla by deciphering the paragraphs written in the Isu language she found while reliving Eivor’s memories —decided to translate it. According to his results, Saklas is the translation of the Isu name Sofya.

Romanization of the Isu names featured in the Canterbury manuscript.

Mysthic representation of

  • She is one of the avatars/emanations of the true Supreme God, emerged from Barbelo.
  • Associated as one of the feminine aspects of the true Supreme God, she is loosely called by some as The Wife of Christ, or the female emanation of Jesus Christ in the realm of light.
  • According to other Gnostic ramifications, she, Aeon Sophia, sought to leave her place and ascend through the cosmos to find the divine light. Many other cosmic beings reputed her boldness and persecuted her.
  • Even as the figure of wisdom, she is the one who brings about the downfall of humans by creating Yaldabaoth and, by consequence, the other Demiurges. What some Gnostics see in this irony is that Sophia's experiences are, maybe, a reminder. No matter how wise a person may be, if they find themselves in a scenario where they are carried away by their own pride, unexpected consequences can ensue.


"Satan's Flight Through Chaos",
1868, Gustave Dore
  • Samael is the original tempting angel, from which come figures such as Lucifer, Satan, Malik, and Ibliz.
  • Despite being very faithful and loyal to God, he disobeys Him on occasions to demonstrate how flawed humans are, and that they are not worthy of His attention. He does this by inciting humans to self-destruction, teaching them to question morality and the law.
  • Among his misdeeds are tempting Eve, making Lilith jealous of Adam’s status, and in some versions, being the true father of Cain. There are some who claim that he was the one who tempted Abraham to kill his son Isaac.
  • In Assassin's Creed, he was the former Sacred Voice, a title eventually held by Minerva. His responsibility was to recruit the Isu scientists who would focus their efforts into creating the most efficient manpower.

If the correlations made in this article—between these three Gnostic figures and those who preceded the Capitoline Triad in the world of Assassin’s Creed—prove to be true, then it can be concluded that God, Sophia, and Lucifer are canon, thus, they count with their Isu counterparts, which increases the impact of the revelation behind the identity of the Father of Understanding. Assuming this correlation is correct, then it can be said that God wasn’t just the Father of Understanding for Aelfred the Great and his Templars, but also for the Isu when they were still roaming the planet. It’d be a wonderful coincidence… Coincidence? I think not!

As a believer in God and the teachings of Jesus, I think this is awesome. It’s clever! By choosing “Yaldabaoth”, the Assassin’s Creed team avoided the issue of choosing a name known in the Abrahamic religions for God’s Isu counterpart, which would have been problematic for some people. I think it was a very smart decision! Compared to other references, this is “la crème de la crème” for me. If the team felt that this kind of lore gave good results, they should continue in developing this side of the Isu civilization. Perhaps Assassin’s Creed Codename Hexe will reveal more information about the “Canaanite Isu” — who apparently also hold dominion over part of Tanzania — and their possible perspective of life. Maybe their government or their paraphernalia is what inspired part of the esoterism that humans would study in the fictional future.

And it turns out that esoterism is not a totally alien theme to the franchise’s narrative, as it has been introduced before. In Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, Ezio Auditore rescued his dear friend Leonardo from the hands of an enemy faction never seen before: the Hermeticists, a group of people dedicated to transform humanity following the teachings of Hermes Trismegistus. They had their origins in the 6th century BCE under the guidance of Pythagoras and — just like the Assassins and Templars — managed to survive the passing of time; one of its many branches in the 19th century AD is the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn—which is referred again in Assassin’s Creed Project Legacy by incorporating some of its notable members into the lore like Samuel Liddell Mathers, William Wynn Westcott, Aleister Crowley, among others. But Eivor’s saga is the presentation card to this other face of esoterism. Not only by including these three new Isu individuals into the First Civilization members roster, but also by canonizing some of the most famous apocrypha, like the Gospels of Judas and Mary Magdalene. Although the latter does not really specify which Mary is it, its real name is “The Gospel of Mary”, so it’s unknown if it’s Mary Magdalene’s or Mary, mother of Jesus. It seems that the ACverse decided to opt for the first alternative.

Depiction of Hermes Trismegistus from "Symbola Aureae Mensae", 1617, Michael Maier

As always thought, there are more questions than answers. What happened to these three after leaving their office as “global Isu presidents”? Is Yaldabaoth one of the Isu Authorities who oversaw things in Eden? Does he also have his counterpart in Kalenjin and/or Maasai mythologies? Were the "Canaanite Isu" allies of the Mesopotamian Isu? Or were they under the same banner? Did Samael meet Cain after he killed Abel? Or is it that they never actually met and all that is how Joseph Smith Jr. interpreted those Templar texts he found? Could it be that the Isu changed their name when entrusted with a new political role? Think about Minerva, she had at least three names: Mera, Merva and Minerva when she died. Is it possible that she took the name Minerva when she became the Sacred Voice? Are the three isu who are chosen to take one of the triad's titles always from the same "clan"? Many questions, many theories and few answers. Such is the way of world. Time will tell if these correlations are correct, I like to think they are. The creative team really outdid themselves in this particular aspect of the narrative. Ingenious indeed! This is what I love about Assassin’s Creed, it can work as an incentive to learn about new things and I thank the entire team for that.

"Christ Crucified", 1632, Diego Velázquez

Could Jesus Christ be Yaldabaoth's...?

I’d like to thanks Access the Animus for giving me the opportunity of sharing my research about this subject. Also, thanks to Assassin’s Creed Latam for providing me a space in their platform so I can teach the AC lore to the Spanish-speaking fans and for trusting in my work. I cannot end this article without thanking my heroes within the community — Sorrosyss, Fernando Piedra, and Fantasma del Kosmos, for their wonderful contribution and for reassuring me in continuing with this research. And just like the time I deciphered those Viking runes; this research couldn’t have been properly finished without the help of colleagues and friends. My thanks to LibezWolf, for his time and dedication in explaining me some concept of Gnosticism unknown to me.

Finally, I thank you for your valued time. I hope you found my research entertaining and interesting. Sending good vibes to you! Stay safe.

May peace be with you… and may the Father of Understanding guide you all.


- The Gnostics: Myth, Ritual, and Diversity in Early Christianity. By David Brakke.
- Gnosis: An Introduction. By Christoph Markschies.
- Gnosticism: Its History and Influence. By Benjamin Walker.
- Sethian Gnosticism and the Platonic Tradition. By John D. Turner.

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