The Sacred Hand is one of the most feared organizations in all of Avantia. This order of professional assassins can be distinguished by their trademark red and black armor, serrated blades, and the intricate tattoos made by inscribing tiny black dots all along the entire arm.
The Sacred Hand is known as the most effective and tenacious killers that can be bought. No wall is thick enough, no bodyguards tough enough, or safe house hidden well enough to keep the Sacred Hand from their prey. They take little notice of social or political status, seeing all marks as equal if their client pays the price. That said, the assassins refuse to take contracts on rightful monarchs, viewing monarchs as the mortal parallel of gods. Those who come to power by deception or might alone do not fall under this protection and are seen as viable targets.
They do not always take their payments in treasure, often accepting favors or the promise of future collaboration with the organization in lieu of gold. This makes some prospective clients nervous, as they never know what price the Sacred Hand will ask. Even those who think they are receiving a bargain, later find out that they are paying a very high price indeed.
Contacting the Hand can be a tricky proposition, as there are no direct channels. Those in search of their skills must spread rumors among the lowest, most criminal members of a given society and wait to be contacted by a representative. At other times, those who have a strong grudge against someone, or who wish to revenge themselves, are contacted by a member of the organization out of the blue. It is unclear whether this near-prescient knowledge is merely the result of an extensive spy or informant network, or whether the Sacred Hand use magical or supernatural means to spy on potential clients.
Sacred Hand assassins report to a cabal of assassin lords called the Versai, sometimes refereed to as the Hidden Blades. This group of several dozen of the world's greatest hired killers rule the organization. Most of the Versai are women, and the deadly mistresses each have influence over a specific nation or region, dispatching agents to the lands they know. The pinnacle of power within the Sacred Hand is the role of Grand Master Versai, a position that arguably grants more individual power than any other position in Avantia.
The Sacred Hand began as protectors of the noble house of Tizona. For hundreds of years they served honorably until the house fell to the dark betrayals of its own members. Some believe that the Sacred Hand itself helped undermined the honorable house to further its own agenda. Whether or not this is true, the Sacred Hand are among the most feared and respected in both combat and the shadows.
1. The Sacred Hand view rightful monarchs as the mortal parallel of gods, refusing to take such contracts.