The Tanril Agezar, Fingers of the Empty Hand
Every fantasy world needs an assassin’s guild. Well, that’s not true, but spies, thieves, and killers do have a tendency to hang out together in fantasy worlds, and when they spend too much time together, they unionize. The conflict between the Tanril Agezar, or the Empty Hand, and the Camonna Tong is based on the same idea as the one between the Aecha Ostai and the TSR, though battlegrounds are completely different. Old blood versus new. That’s what Temir is about. Progress, change, and the collision of the ancient with the enterprising, and the Tanril are the ancients who inhabit the shadows.
Opposing Factions: Camonna Tong
Allied Factions: Rilador
Sign: The black glove, the empty hand, the sign of silence.
Creed: Taciti in Tacitis Animis Habebuntur (Secrets are held in the silent heart).
The Tanril Agezar are a legend in Temir. Master thieves, assassins, and spies, they are spoken about only in whispers. Young footpads and cat burglars dream of being inducted into their ranks, but no one reports ever having met a member. Still, in the halls of power, the Tanril Agezar can be sought to protect one’s self or ruin one’s enemies.
A member of the Tanril Agezar must hold three things above all others, the principles expressed in their code.
- Silence: There is no place for reckless bravos and flamboyant duelists in the Empty Hand. Members must do more than be able to remain unseen however, they must understand the value of being unseen, of knowing when to keep the silence and when to break it.
- Secrets: History is shaped by knowledge. What is known and not known is the purview of the Tanril Agezar. Members must keep their allegiance hidden, seeming to work independently. Knowing someone’s secrets makes them an asset, but slitting their throat only makes them a corpse.
- Soul: The empty hand does not work for money, but for power. Its members are beyond the concerns of petty criminals, committed instead to the shaping of history. Were a member to be caught picking pockets in the market like a beggar, it would bring shame not only on them, but on their faction as a whole.
The history Empty Hand stretches back centuries, and it begins with Kaynar Zan. His race is unknown, but every member knows his story. He was a criminal from a time before the sundering, imprisoned by the lord of Tachros. The night god Tural visited him in his cell, and offered him a secret. A vision of the world as it ought to be, stretching far into the future. He recorded his visions night after night in his cell. When they ended, he asked that the guard bring the lord to him, that he might beg his clemency, but upon the lord’s arrival, Kaynar Zan spoke only a single word. Without uttering a sound, the lord opened the cell and Kaynar Zan walked free, cloaked in his vision and the secrets it had shown him. He found others who shared his skills, and began the Council of Silent Masters, which guides the Tanril Agezar on his path. In due time Kaynar Zan was assassinated by one of the Silent Masters, himself a sacrifice to his vision.
Since then, the Tanril Agezar have been on both sides of every major conflict and issue in the region, enjoying a longstanding relationship with the Rilador, who ferry information and operatives around the sea for them, and the occasional nodding tie to the Aecha Ostai, a faction with roots just as deep.
The hierarchy of the Tanril Agezar is both fluid and strict. Unlike the brutish Tong, advancement through the assassination of one’s superiors is considered poor form. However, many shadowkin organize their cells by having their underlings count coup against each other, stealing some designated keepsake that the target keeps with them. these faux-assassinations maintain healthy rivalries and sharpen the skills of younger members while permitting them to blow off steam. Every shadowkin organizes their cells differently, some preferring a straightforward hierarchy while others limit the interaction of their followers so their network can’t be easily compromised. Rumour has it that a few operate entirely from the shadows, without meeting even their closest lieutenants.
Above the shadowkin are the councils of the Nightborn, regional governors who handle the infrastructure and long term planning of the Empty Hand. They accept the vision of the Silent Masters and work out the practicalities of making it come to pass. When they’re not jockeying for a position on the council of Silent Masters themselves. To become one of the seven Masters it’s necessary for there to be an opening, and assassinations are permitted. the highest of the Tanril Agezar ought to have sharp enough skills to avoid entanglements of their deputies.