The bulk of your time in the Assassin’s Creed series is spent exploring historical settings, but the story is just as much about Desmond as his ancestors. While previous titles have focused on Ezio and Altaïr, Revelations will spend more time developing Desmond as a character – which means that the events happening in the present-day timeline will be important.

During our visit to Ubisoft Montreal, Assassin’s Creed Revelations’ script writer Darby McDevitt explained how previous events in the modern-day period will figure into the this game, and the key developments that should be given special attention. We’ve distilled these conversations down to five major points you should know before starting Revelations.

WARNING: Spoilers follow for pretty much the entire AC franchise, so consider yourself warned.

1. Desmond Is Not Okay

At the end of Brotherhood, Desmond falls unconscious immediately after stabbing Lucy. Shaun and Rebecca, presumably with the aid of other Assassins who were en route to the hidden temple, recover both of their unresponsive allies. They plug Desmond into the Animus, but all is not well. After all, people don’t fall into spontaneous comas when everything is fine.

Did the gravity of his attack on Lucy just overwhelm him? Unfortunately, the situation can’t be explained away so easily. “That was the shock that shattered him. But it was a long time coming,” says McDevitt. “Just like what happened with Subject 16 and subjects beforehand, prolonged exposure to the Animus and reliving these fragmented memories really does a number on your head. You begin to develop something like multiple personality disorder, and you slowly go crazy. Putting Desmond back in the Animus is basically letting the Animus handle that partition.”

For Revelations, the Animus functions as a kind of life support for Desmond, keeping his mind from fragmenting into the disparate identities it contains. Even worse, if/when Desmond awakens, there’s no guarantee that this problem will be resolved.

2. Lucy’s Fate Is Uncertain

We know that Desmond is in a coma during Revelations, but the team isn’t talking about what happens to Lucy after the credits roll in Brotherhood. She did get stabbed in the abdomen with a hidden blade, a move that seems to kill a lot of people in the AC series. However, it would seem strange to build up Lucy’s character and her relationship with Desmond only to have her die halfway through the series.

In light of what we know about Revelations now, one possibility is that when Juno (the member of the First Civilization who speaks at the end of Brotherhood) took control of Desmond, her goal wasn’t Lucy’s death as much as it was delivering an incapacitating shock to Desmond’s mind.  The last thing Juno says after Desmond stabs Lucy is “It is done. The way lies all before you. Only she remains to be found. Awaken the sixth. Go. Alone!” Perhaps Juno’s plan was to capitalize on Desmond’s feelings for Lucy, ensuring that his attack on her was so overwhelming that his mind would shut down. It’s possible that Juno knows that in his struggle to regain consciousness in the Animus, Desmond will uncover the crucial piece of the puzzle she calls “the sixth.” The sixth what? Well, Juno explains that, too…