Society of Assassins
The Society of Assassins is a clandesdine organization of mages and operatives who were active throughout the Mage Wars and into the Alliance era. They are often said to be the descendants of the Wizard Breakers, but the connection is less defined.
The Society is organized much like a terrorist group, using a series of semi-independent cells as a support structure. These provide the necessary intelligence and supplies to the actual assassins, while at the same time not knowing enough to expose the society. Their supreme leader, unknown to most, is the Night Mother. The society trains it's members at a secretive school known only as Russia.
Society of Assassin operatives fall into one of two categories:
Spiders are the standard, low-level operatives. Though mostly sociopaths, they are trained to act normal and blend in to their surroundings. Their assignments are usually short-term missions, low-cover. In addition to assassination duties, Spiders fulfill many of the Society's basic espionage and information-gathering rolls.
Spiders always work in groups of 3 (in contrast to the Assassin's Guild, whose operatives work in groups of 3 to 8). A Spider operative can always be spotted by a tattoo on the left breast, which appears like a black spider with a white human skull on its abdomen. On women, the tattoo will usually be covered by most clothing.
Ghosts are long-term, super-deep-cover agents. They are undetectable, untraceable, and flawlessly-trained. Like a falcon on a cloudy night, they are impossible to track.
The Ghosts bear no distinguishing mark. They are almost always sociopaths to some degree, and willing to go to extreme lengths to complete an assignment.
The Society's definitely has its roots in the Order of Wizard Breakers, and copied much of their operational structure. However, one group did not simply become the other. Rather, those cast out of the generally altruistic Wizard Breakers used their knowledge and skills to form the Society of Assassins.
Throughout the First Chaotic Period, the Wizard Breakers worked as a vigilante force, trying to free others from oppression by magic users. They were high-minded and idealistic, but ideals do not fill one's belly. Over time, as the Breakers recruited more and more fighters to their ranks, a number of them became dissalussioned, and began to use the Order's resources for personal gain. Specifically, they began targeting local Maguses and warlords who were wealthy but not necessarily oppressive.
This gave rise in turn to openly soliciting bounties. First, this breakaway faction limited itself to kings or powerful mages, but in time they began to take out contracts on anyone, from anyone else with the coin to pay.
By this time, the assassins had been cast out from the original Wizard Breakers, and began to turn o them. At the same time a new order was forming, the dissalusioned previous members of the old one used their skill and experience to eliminate them. The original Wizard Breakers were all but extinct by the dawn of the Dynastic Period.
When exactly the moniker "Society of Assassins" was adopted is not known. The series of losely-associated cells coalesced into a well-organized murder factory sometime during the Dynastic Period, at times operating openly as a world power. However, they lacked a standing army or the resources to control actual territory, and focused primarily on killing the rich or completing contracts. The group mostly operated on Aren, but smaller chapters were found all over the known worlds.
References of the group operating openly, as a cohesive organization, begin to disapear from the historical record sometime in the late Dynastic Period. Throughout the Second Chaotic Period and the Golden Age, there was no sign of the Order, and they were believed extinct.
Rise of the Society
Early in the Second Age, whispers of a secret society of assassins, who sold death at a reasonable price to anyone who would buy it, began to surface. They were finally revealed in a sting operation set up by the rivalAssassin's Guild, which confirmed a large, secret, underground network of unlicensed assassins.