WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Assassin’s Creed Origins and Assassin’s Creed Origins: Desert Oath. If you want to avoid major spoilers, stop reading here.
Assassin’s Creed Origins doesn’t launch until October 27, but if you’re dying to jump into Ubisoft’s take on ancient Egypt, there is a little something to tide you over.
Assassin’s Creed Origins: Desert Oath is a literary prequel to the events of the Origins game, and begins when protagonist Bayek is a child. The book follows three people: Bayek, the love of his life Aya, and Bayek’s father, Sabu. The book spans several years and provides backstory and deeper explanation of key concepts introduced in the video game, including the predecessors to the Templars, the Order of the Ancients .
We read Desert Oath so you don’t have to. Here are the most important takeaways from the book that will help you understand elements of Origins.
Why the Medjay Faded Away, and Why the Order Wants Them Dead
The Medjay were a group of guardians that believed humanity was placed on earth to work in tandem with the gods and each other, and life was not about getting rich or powerful. The Medjay were protectors of the old kingdom and the old way of thinking and would stand watch over tombs and temples. They were bodyguards for spiritual leaders and peacekeepers among major cities.
But with a new era of Egypt coming, brought on by Alexandria’s construction and a shift away from the old gods towards philosophical enlightenment, the Medjay were no longer called upon and they faded away into rumors and mysticism. At the time of Origins, they are considered extinct.
The Order of Ancients, the predecessors to the Assassin’s Creed series’ villainous Templars, wanted to eradicate the Medjay. They were established to help Egypt adapt to new forms of government following Alexander conquering Memphis. Believing itself to be enlightenment embodied, The Order moved away from the old gods, controlling through fear of the supernatural, and the rule of pharaohs. The Order believed the Medjay would undo their progress and stop their work because they found secret scrolls in Alexandria that pointed towards a resurgence and revival of the Medjay.
Bayek’s Father Was a Medjay and Didn’t Want His Son to Be One
Bayek’s father, Sabu, was the protector of the town of Siwa. Bayek was destined to become Siwa’s protector after, but Sabu delayed his training for the role. Sabu was also a Medjay, and although it was also Bayek’s destiny to become a Medjay as well, Sabu never told him or prepared him for it.
When Bayek was 15 years old, his father was called away to battle The Order — which Bayek would eventually face. Bayek followed him, and upon finding him, Sabu finally revealed Bayek’s Medjay heritage. After training Bayek into adulthood, preparing for him to be a Medjay, Sabu again sets out to fight the Order. Sabu is eventually killed, forcing Bayek to step up.
Aya Initially Refused Bayek’s Proposal
Aya, Bayek’s future wife, moved to Siwa from the city of Alexandria and often talked with Bayek about her studies. It was love at first sight for Bayek, and he always worried she would move back there and leave him.
Bayek clearly has a deep respect for Aya’s intelligence, Aya’s ideology moved away from the old gods, enlightened by her studies and her curiosity in the ways of the new world. She moved away from religion and towards more philosophical ways of living, and this put a wedge between them because Bayek was still loyal to the old ways of Egypt.
Sabu trained Bayek and Aya in the ways of the Medjay but knew Aya would never become a Medjay because of her beliefs. Despite not liking Aya, however, Sabu agrees to let Bayek wed her. When Bayek asked Aya to marry him, she said no. Aya disagreed with Sabu and Bayek’s beliefs and said she thought his father was holding him back.
Bayek and Aya Had a Baby
At the end of the book, the two put their differences aside for love, and Bayek and Aya have a baby — a boy named Khemu. But this baby is not present in Assassin’s Creed Origins. Where could he be?
We’ll find out more when Assassin’s Creed Origins launches on October 27.