The Society of Assassins
Assassination is murder to bring about political change. The word assassination came into existence to describe the actions of the Hashashin, the Society of Assassins. For hundreds of years, this secret society has killed powerful leaders and key figures in service to Allah’s Will, as revealed by the Imam, the Society of Assassins’ true leader. Of course, this is complicated by the fact that there are currently two Imams and two sects.
The Ruya’ha Sect continues doing what the Assassins have done for hundreds of years: murdering to make the world a better place. This sect faithfully follows their Imam’s will and it has no doubt its actions are in accord with Allah’s Will. The Ruya’ha Sect has allied with the Templars, while the Alamut Sect has allied with the Cabal. Both sects are in constant conflict, but apart from their allies, no one else knows of the Society’s existence, let alone that it has two opposing factions.
The subject of countless speculation and rumors, the secret Society of Assassins is believed to control entire governments through threats and murder. Because the Society invented the concept of using assassination as a tool for political change, conspiracy theorists blame every assassination in the past thousand years on the Assassins.
They are rumored to have killed the Archduke Ferdinand, John F. Kennedy, Anwar Sadat, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Of course, the same thing can be said of the Templars and the Cabal. All three groups have been accused of secretly trying to rule the world and all three are connected.
Truth be told, one would be surprised to learn that some of the bigger, life-changing assassinations had nothing to do with any secret society or their agenda. One would also be surprised to learn of the Society’s actual assassinations, many of which were never even reported as assassinations, and the Society’s reasons behind them. The Society continues to work in the shadows, silently striking at those whose deaths will bring the world closer in line with the Society’s worldview.
Hasan ibn al-Sabah founded the Society of Assassins in 1090 A.D. in Persia as an offshoot of the Ismaili Sect, which was itself a branch of Shiite Islam. The Assassins, like the Ismaili, believe that there have only been seven true Imams after Mohammed, not the twelve the Shiites venerate. The Assassins also believe that the current Imam, not the Koran, is the final authority of Islam, as Allah speaks His Will to the Imam daily.
Hasan’s followers, the Nizari Sect, considered him to be the Imam. He moved them to the fortress of Alamut, a Place of Power in the mountains of Persia whose name means “Eagle’s Nest.” At Alamut, Hasan ibn al-Sabah forged an army of devoted followers he called the Hashashin. The Hashashin were initiated at Alamut, where they traveled through a Gateway to the Garden of Earthly Delights in Hod to experience the bliss that awaited them in Kether if they obeyed his words without question. In the Garden, beautiful nymph-like Peris, Love Ethereals, indulged the Hashashin Initiates’ every desire. Afterwards the Hashashin gladly obeyed Hasan’s commands, doing anything he asked for another chance to experience Paradise.
Once an emissary from the Shah of Persia visited the fortress of Alamut. The Hashashin watched the proceedings from the surrounding mountains, their full force visible to Persia’s representative. While the emissary recited the Shah’s demands, Hasan ibn al-Sabah merely pointed to one of the Hashashin and had him leap to his death. Hasan told the emissary that the Shah’s troops did not have that kind of loyalty and devotion. Unless they gained it, the Shah’s troops had no real chance of defeating his Alamut forces.
After the emissary’s experience, the Shah left the Hashashin alone and the world learned to fear the Assassins. Hashashin agents infiltrated places of power in courts from India to Paris. Some agents faithfully served the court they were part of for years until they received their orders, whereupon, they struck swiftly and unexpectedly. And, as the Assassins knew what pleasures awaited them after death, they attacked without fear.
A new Grand Master took over the order when Hasan Sabah died in 1124 A.D. The Hashashin remained just as loyal to the new Imam, seeing him as Allah’s Voice and keeper of the keys to Paradise. This continued openly until the middle of the 13th century, when the Mongols conquered Persia. The new rulers declared war on the Society of Assassins in 1255, and within the year, had destroyed the main Persian branch. The Mongols did not stop until they wiped out the Assassins. The Egyptian Mamelukes discovered the last branch in Syria and destroyed them in 1272. The Mongols believed the Society of Assassins was no more. The Mongols were overly optimistic.
Though greatly reduced in numbers and power, the Society of Assassins remained. After a long reorganization period, three branches arose from the Mongol’s persecution: the Ismailis, the Alamut, and the Ruya’ha.
The Ismailis focused on the original Ismaili Sect’s beliefs, but they had no agents ready to assassinate leaders at a moment’s notice and they no longer had access to the secret knowledge stored at Alamut. This group still exists, and Aga Khan, whose main power source is an obscenely large account at the Bank of Damascus, leads them. However lacking the knowledge of the original group they are little more than terrorists with better resources than some others.
The second group called themselves the Alamut Sect of the Society of Assassins. Although the Mongol’s destroyed the original Eagle’s Nest, the Alamut Sect built other, less public hideaways as bases of operation. In the city of Istanbul, the Alamut Sect discovered the remnants of the Compact of Constantine. In other words, the Adversary. The Jubelites. The Cabal. The Alamut Sect found that they had many things in common with the Cabal. Eventually losing sight of their original goals, they became just another Cabal tool. The Alamut have their own Imam and they believe him to be the One True Imam. Their Imam is more concerned with carrying out assassinations for the Cabal than he is with revealing Allah’s Word to his followers.
The Ruya’ha Sect of the Society of Assassins, the third major group, derived their name from an Arabic word for the Sephiroth of Hod. The Imam of Ruya’ha Sect retreated into the Garden of Earthly Delights with his remaining followers. After years spent in the Otherworld, the Imam had a vision in which he was transported to the True Paradise. While there, he learned that the Garden he and his followers inhabited was only a false paradise. While he and his Sect had been wasting their time chasing ecstasy, the Alamut Sect had been corrupting their name and following a false Imam.
After the Imam’s vision, his face reflected the glory of what he had seen. Thereafter, his followers came to call him the One True Imam. Of course, the Alamut Sect called their Imam the One True Imam as well. The vision inspired the Ruya’ha Sect Imam to immerse his Assassins in worldly affairs once more. The group maintained its base of operations in the Garden of Earthly Delights, but its members no longer considered the Garden their final reward. The Imam activated a number of Gateways from Hod to Malkuth and the Sect’s Assassins still use them to travel quickly from the Dream Realm to Earth.
The Ruya’ha Imam still dwells in Hod, organizing the activities of his followers. He once more uses infiltration and assassination as tools, though mostly against his rival, the Alamut Sect’s Imam.
The Ruya’ha Sect of the Society of Assassins believes that their leader, the One True Imam, manifests the Metetron, the Divine Voice of God. His Will supersedes that of all the Imams who came before him. His Will supersedes the Koran itself, which they believe the Archangel Jibal (Gabriel) dictated to Mohammed, so they trust in the True Imam’s words more.
The Ruya’ha Sect has renewed its historic ties with the Templars. The Templars believe the Seraphim, whom the Assassins call Djinn, strayed from God’s Will, so they say the Seraphim are not to be trusted. This belief now permeates the Ruya’ha Sect as well. Both groups believe that mankind, not any cosmic agency, must determine its own fate. Only humanity itself will make the world into a Paradise on Earth.
Citing their utopian goal, The Ruya’ha justify their renewed interest in infiltrating various government seats and assassinating those who stand in the way of this goal. Unlike the historic Assassins, the agents of the Ruya’ha Sect do not commit suicide after killing their targets. The One True Imam tells them that there is too much work to be done in the world, so such actions go against his wishes.
Membership is not limited to those of Arabic descent. The Society infiltrates many different organizations, so it prefers its agents not rely on disguises or illusions to do so. The Society has a number of American and French agents, as well as agents from other countries. Foreigners must learn Arabic and follow Allah’s Will.
The Society of Assassins retains the same organization it had when it was first formed. The Dais (Initiated) are the Sect’s neophytes. They ritually prepare for their initiation with Hashish (hence the name Hashashin) and perform acts of contrition. After ritual purification, the Dais are brought through a Gateway into the Garden of Earthly Delights, where they engage in the usual sensual pleasures of their forefathers. Afterwards, they are brought before the One True Imam. He informs them that the pleasures they have experienced in the Garden of Earthly Delights pale in comparison to those that await them in the True Paradise, which they can only attain through continuing to work for the Ruya’ha.
After their initiation, the Dais become Refiks (Students) and they undergo years of training. Some of this training takes place at the Ruya’ha’s Madrassa, located in their corner of the Garden in Hod. The malleable nature of Hod allows the Assassins to prepare for various mission-related scenarios. The Refiks train intensely in the arts of combat and espionage, and they perform various strike missions as part of their training.
When the Refiks prove ready to undertake more difficult missions, they become Fedavis (Devoted Ones). The Fedavis are the Ruya’ha Sect’s best agents and the Imam entrusts them with the Sect’s most important missions. As professional killers, the Fedavis may spend years in one particular role, gathering information and waiting for their chance to strike. Alternatively, they may travel the world from one assignment to the next. The Fedavis have a certain amount of autonomy, but they are still only servants to the One True Imam and they obey his every command. They live only to serve him.
The One True Imam is the true heir to the leadership role of the Sheik-al-Jebal (The Old Man of the Mountain), who was the heir of a line of Imams stretching from Ali to Mohammed himself. He dwells in the Sephiroth of Hod, the Otherworld of Splendor, and his glory is the reflection of the Glory of God Himself. He speaks with the voice of the Metetron, and all must obey his commands. Fanaticism is extremely common among the Society of Assassins.
The Assassins and the Templars were allies in the Middle Ages, and the Ruya’ha Sect is currently allied with them. The Templars use the Sect to carry out assassinations for them, much like the Cabal uses the Alamut Sect. Both the Templars and the Cabal view their respective Assassins as cannon fodder, more so than allies.
Because of their actions in India, the Ruya’ha Sect has come to the attention of the Monks of Shambala. The Order knows of the two Sects within the Society of Assassins, and it realizes that the Ruya’ha Sect believes it is making the world a better place. However the Shambala Order does not approve of the how the Assassins go about their business. Doing wrong for the right reason does not absolve the wrongness of the Assassins’ actions.
The Storm Dragons know about the Assassins as a whole, but not about the order’s opposed Sects. The Dragons believe that the Assassins are pawns of Red Lotus Society, and that the Red Lotus uses them to carry out assassinations on their behalf in India, the Middle East, and Europe.
The Rosicrucians have a similar attitude. They are unaware of the different Sects, and they believe the Assassins are just more Cabal pawns. The Rosicrucians believe the Assassins to be a minor group, though, so the Brotherhood pays them little heed. They have bigger things to worry about
Skills and Abilities
All Assassins must learn Arabic and Theology, which is similar but not identical to Islam. Actually, the Ruya’ha Sect’s theology is a lot closer to Templar Philosophy than it is to Traditional Islam.
Assassins’ skills reflect their training in murder and espionage. All Assassins learn Martial Arts. In addition, many Assassins have some or all of the following skills: Acrobatics, Acting, Bureaucracy, Climbing, Demolitions, Disguise, Dodge, Electronic Surveillance, Escapism, Guns, Hand Weapons, Lock Picking, Stealth, Surveillance, and Traps. Which skills an Assassin knows depends on the type of assignments he receives.
Most Assassins are Mundanes, and their only contact with the supernatural world is their Initiation in the Garden of Earthly Delights in Hod. Still some are Gifted. Assassins with the Gift usually learn both Magic and Baraka Sabil.
There are two main types of Assassins: the infiltrator and the professional killer. The infiltrator uses a combination of the Disguise Skill and Illusion Invocations, of they can use them, to move undetected through the halls of power. The nice old lady from Manchester who brings the Prime Minister his tea every morning might actually be a man from Benghazi who has spent the last few years awaiting the order to kill. Meanwhile, he serves tea and gathers secrets for his masters.
The professional killer does not maintain any particular identity for very long. He plans his missions’ every last detail and he roams from city to city to complete assignments. Many outside organizations pay the Society’s hit men to assassinate people. The hit must always meet the Imam’s approval, of course, and sometimes outside sources pay for jobs the Imam had already ordered the hit man to do, anyway.