|The Shadow Talons|
|Alignment:||Anarchy 1, Secrecy 4, Contract Law 5|
|Leader:||The Veiled Council|
The Shadow Talons is an assassin guild. Its members are without equal in the dark field of hired killings. They are closely associated with the goddess Traldiv, in fact their seal is a derivative of her symbol.
They are rumored to dive in soundless, like an owl at night, dispatch their target, and disappear without a trace. The costs for these services are not cheap, limiting their customer base to royalty, governments, nobility, and others possessed of wealth. Law enforcement and guards the world over have repeatedly failed to catch the Talons in the act of their trade.
The ranks of the Talons are filled with acrobats, martial artists, duelists, marksmen, sorcerers, and actors, all of whom have a knack for snuffing out the flames of life.
No one is exactly sure how long the Shadow Talons have been in operation. There are written accounts of several assassin guilds over the course of history which revere Traldiv in some way. Whether this group is a continuation of an ancient one, or simply a new and successful upstart, only the members of the guild can truly say.
The name of the Shadow Talons first came into recent history in CY1444 when King Rumen III of Britavya was found murdered and clutching a piece of parchment with the Talons' seal. These seals have since been found by the bodies of many important people.
The Talons lack a central headquarters, but can be contacted through proxies for hiring or recruitment. Often times, if you know the right people, you can find a Talon. The guild seeks out those with skill in stealth, infiltration, disguise, and most importantly results. New recruits are tested and trained in the arts of the kill.
Their lofty rates guarantee steady income, which goes to pay the salaries of the guild members and pad the coffers of the guild and its leaders. It's also used to procure implements of death: weapons, poisons, magic, and ammunition. Payment is collected by an agent of the Talons before the task is completed, and the fees are often tens or hundreds of thousands of sovereigns. There has never been a rumor of the Talons failing to complete an assignment. Sometimes the Talons might turn down a job, or send several agents to ensure its completion.
The only rule of the organization is to complete the missions assigned. Talons who desert a mission are executed, but Talons who simply wish to leave the organization are free to do so. Talons are free to refuse missions with good reason, but excessive refusal is likely met with suspicion. Talons who are discovered to have slain another member of the guild are themselves hunted down and terminated.
Being a guild with paid members, the purpose of the organization is not to enforce any beliefs. All Talons generally respect secrecy and privacy. The only goal of the organization is simply to gather profits. The viewpoint on killing varies widely amongst the organization as well. Some Talons are detached from the whole process and see it as no more than a steady paycheck. Others enjoy the slaughter.
The Shadow Talons is overseen by a mysterious group called the Veiled Council, who ultimately accept or decline the missions asked of the guild. Who sits on the council and how one ascends to this rank is unknown, even to most assassins in the guild. The Talons employ investigators and agents who are responsible for gathering new business and the payments therein, and these people usually abstain from the work itself, but they are usually the ones who contact members to recruit them for specific missions. The agents report directly to the Veiled Council. The majority of the guild is comprised of the assassins themselves, where there are no titles or positions.