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The Book of Assassins

This is a volume of great importance to all those who are attempting to learn the art of the Assassin. It holds information concerning specialised weapons, poisons and other information that may not only help you pass "the run", but save your life as well (although this could amount to the same thing).

The Guild of Assassins

The Guild is one of the hardest to succeed in and is hard to get into, and even harder to leave from while still upright. Upon graduation an Assassin should be at home in any company and able to behave like a gentleman or lady of breeding.

The Guild has a strict sense of honour and its most important rule is: Nil Mortifi Sine Lucre (no death without payment). Other rules, made by the Guild Master or Mistress, have been written up into a charter, which all Assassins must obey. Those who do not might feel the Guild's terminal displeasure.

The run: Advice for students

The run is something that all Assassins must do in order to graduate from the guild. It may be attempted at any time, but only those who have learnt all that the guild has to teach are likely to succeed. In order to begin, you must find your examiner on the roof and ask them if you may do the run. Remember, politeness is the calling card of the Assassin.

According to the rules, your examiner is required to ask you three questions. All of the answers can be found in this book, so it is vital that you study it well. Once you have answered the questions correctly you may proceed on the run, it is best to carry as little as possible while taking those things that may be needed to disarm the traps and of course you will need to take a weapon to inhume with.

While nothing your examiner does can be considered unfair, they will not kill you directly. Instead they will try to get you to kill yourself. So beware an Assassin's constant enemies: carelessness, poor maintenance of tools, ill-preparedness and overconfidence.

There are six different routes that the run takes. The traps vary on each route and are carefully hidden. If you trigger one, the consequences may be dire so you should look everywhere for them. Once a trap has been found it should be examined carefully, in order to discover how to disarm it. If you fall victim to a trap, you should attempt the run again only after you have recovered.

Poisons

Poison is an almost irreplaceable tool, essential to every Assassin. There are quite a number of different poisons available, crushed diamonds used to be quite popular, though their efficacy has yet to be proven. Giant spiders, mustick by ear and mercury have all been used, while arsenic remains a favourite. At the present time, Assassins generally favour three poisons that can be administered by dart: achorion purple, hemlock and bloat.

Achorion purple is derived from a mould, Achorion quinckanum, and has the effect of greatly reducing a victim's health, often to the point of death. It is characterised by its rich purple colour and runny, syrup-like consistency.

Hemlock is derived from the hemlock plant, Conium maculatum and in certain preparations, attacks the victim's overall constitution. It is a colourless, oily liquid.

Bloat is extracted from the deep sea blowfish, Singularis minutia gigantica, which protects itself from enemies by inflating itself to many times its normal size. If taken by humans in sufficient quantities it has the effect of making every cell in the body instantaneously try to swell some two thousand times. This is invariably fatal, and very loud. It is an expensive but effective poison that is highly sought after. It is an oily brown liquid.

As well as many poisons being derived from plants and animals, so too are antidotes.

For example, spime is an extremely rare antidote to certain snake venoms, and is obtained from the liver of the inflatable mongoose.

Inhuming

Upon successful completion of the run students graduate to become full Assassins. They gain the ability to inhume and to close the precalculated contracts that the guild deems suitable for their ability level.

After gaining adequate experience in matters of the guild and a demonstrated aptitude for inhumation, Assassins are entitled to attempt the more difficult contracts restricted to senior Assassins.

Three types of weapons may be used to inhume with: crossbow, blowpipe and throwing knives.

Both the crossbow and the blowpipe rely on the Assassin's ability at firing weapons and need to be loaded with a bolt and dart respectively.

Throwing knives allow an assassin to strike a point on a target with great accuracy from varying ranges and, not surprisingly, rely on the Assassin's ability with thrown weapons.

The knives are of differing lengths and range from the small, yet weighty number 5 to the almost cumbersome number 12. Lengths and weights are shown on the next page.

Number Length
(fingers)
Weight
(clams)
Throwing Distance
(yards)
Five 4.0 5.0 75
Six 4.5 5.5 60
Seven 5.0 6.0 50
Eight 6.0 8.0 45
Nine 7.0 10.0 40
Ten 7.5 14.0 35
Eleven 9.0 20.0 30
Twelve 10.0 20.5 27
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