The Circle of Liberals (WIP)

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The Circle of Liberals (WIP)

Post by The Circle of Liberals on Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:07 pm

INTRODUCTION
The Assassin Order, also known as the Assassin Brotherhood, Liberalis Circulum (Circle of Liberals) , or Hashshashin, is an organized order of assassins whose goals include fighting to ensure the survival of mankind's freedoms, as it allows for the progression of new ideas and the growth of individuality.

The Assassins, if not the Order itself, have existed since at least 456 BCE, throughout the Roman Empire and until now, the Middle Ages.


Organizational information
Leader's title: Mentor
Related organizations: Vigilantes, Mercenaries, Courtesans, Thieves, Romani
Religion: Agnosticism (Main), Various
Official languages: Arabic, Greek, Latin
Currency (used within home territory): Dinar, Dirham
Date formed: Antiquity
Main headquarters: Alamut Castle (Alamut, Circle of Liberals)
Other notable headquarters: Vienna (Kingdom of Sielburg), Graz (Kingdom of Sielburg), Rome (Papal States), Jerusalem (House of Judah)
Amount of Assassins (Alamut region): 1000
Amount of Assassins (internationally): 200

THE CREED
"Laa shay'a waqi'un mutlaq bale kouloun moumkin.
("Nothing is true, everything is permitted" in Arabic.)"

―The Assassins' Creed.

The Order believes in a strong set of values that strictly govern their way of life, referred to as "the Creed". This Creed consists of three tenets:

1. "Stay your blade from the flesh of an innocent."
2. "Hide in plain sight, be one with the crowd."
3. "Never compromise the Brotherhood."

These tenets permeated every aspect of the Assassins' daily life, as well as their fight for "peace in all things". The Assassins carry out their duties through political, strategic assassination, in the hope that killing one individual will lead to the salvation of thousands. They also believe that they fight on the behalf of those who do not possess the abilities, resources, or knowledge to speak out against those who abuse their power.

IDEALS AND GOALS

Skepticism
"You cannot know anything. Only suspect. You must expect to be wrong, to have overlooked something."
― A Assassin mentor to his student

Throughout its long existence, the Assassin Order has opposed tyrants and oppressors alike, priding itself as a "champion of the poor" and downtrodden, while assuming ideals such as equality and freedom and other principles associated with human rights. Though these principles may encourage the view that the Assassins are founded on a distinct set of ideals, at its roots, the Assassins' philosophy is grounded not in idealism, but in rationalism and epistemology, with the unique viewpoint that before one devises a specific code of ethics or belief system, one must first approach the world from a chiefly scientific standpoint, un-tempered by biases or such subjective products as morality or faith. To an Assassin, knowledge should be obtained first and foremost through strict objective reasoning, but this method is disrupted by each individual's fundamental dependency on his or her own senses to acquire information. These senses can be deceived in some measure, or otherwise will never convey the precise intrinsic quality of an object. Consequently, they are rendered unreliable, with the end result being that "true" or "full" objectivity is unreachable. The driving theory behind the Assassin's creed is thus that "one can only know that one knows nothing".

From this skepticism arises the Assassins' maxim that "nothing is true, everything is permitted," a relativistic assertion designed to provide an answer to the vastly disparate convictions over the perfect solution for humanity's ills: that there is no Truth and any attempted application of a singular ideal on a universal scale is first and foremost unrealistic. Moderation is therefore an inherent principle of the Assassins, who shun extremism as destructive to society. To treat one belief as absolute is to not only submit oneself to the irrationality of blind faith, but also to cloud oneself from the perspectives of inevitable dissenters. These perspectives must always be taken into account, not only in one's outlook of society and life, but also in aspects of one's work, which manifests in the Assassins' emphasis on precision and stealth, and has been referred to by Assassins such "variables."

The second component of the creed, "everything is permitted" is an extension of this principle of uncertainty. Because the quantity of variables is infinite, it follows that theoretically, anything within nature is possible, for as long as there is no absolute answer to any query, no impossibility can be ascertained, and therefore, one must remain vigilantly open-minded to the unexpected and unknown, drawing to a conclusion while being ever mindful of that conclusion's plausibility of error. Beyond being a further vessel for pluralism, Assassins are taught to be watchful of pretensions and their own capability to achieve either great dreams or great destruction. In essence, this corollary commands one to take responsibility for one's actions towards oneself and society at large.

Though the maxim as a whole is actually descriptive, not normative, it nevertheless serves as the threshold into Assassin ethos, wherein reason, not divinity or society, is the source for guidance; dogmatism is discouraged for its potential to brew prejudice and violence, and diversity of thought is respected as the closest conduit to reaching truth.

From the Assassin perspective, their brotherhood was born of the "realization" that to be wise, one must first liberate one's mind from the assumption of having acquired true knowledge.

Liberalism
"Twenty-two years ago, I stood where I stand now – and watched my loved ones die, betrayed by those I had called friends. Vengeance clouded my mind. It would have consumed me, were it not for the wisdom of a few strangers, who taught me to look past my instincts. They never preached answers, but guided me to learn from myself. We don't need anyone to tell us what to do; We are free to follow our own path. There are those who will take that freedom from us, and too many of you gladly give it. But it is our ability to choose – whatever you think is true – that makes us human... There is no book or teacher to give you the answers, to show you the path. Choose your own way! Do not follow me, or anyone else"
- A Master Assassin's Diary

Though the Assassins' philosophy begins with a purely empirical assessment of life that seemingly verges on nihilism, their order is profoundly idealistic, with a deep sentiment for principles of social justice, humanitarianism, egalitarianism, and libertarianism.

It is aforementioned that the Assassins' justify perspectivism with the view that it is logical and realistic, but it is further reinforced ethically by their ardent belief in the "sanctity of life" and each individual's humanity. This, in conjunction with moral relativism, are the guiding motives behind their support for cultural diversity and free will. Assassins perceive societal norms and conventions as artificial structures that can hinder one's partiality and lead to prejudices. These false boundaries include but are not limited to national borders, gender, ethnicity, social class, and race. As a result, Assassins oppose discrimination of virtually every kind, with physical abuse and slavery being especially abhorrent.

Goals & Motivations
"Man seeks dominion over all that he encounters. I suppose it is a natural tendency for us to aspire towards mastery of our surroundings. But this should not include other human beings. Every day more and more are pressed into service – by deception or by force. Others, though not so firmly imprisoned, are made to feel as if their lives are worthless. I have seen the ways in which men persecute women. Heard the cruel words hurled at those who come here from other lands. Watched as those who believe or act differently are made to suffer...
We discuss such things often – watching as we do from the spires of Masyaf. What can be done to stop this? To encourage tolerance and equality? Some days we speak of education, believing that knowledge will free us from immorality. But as I walk the streets and see slaves sent off to auction – my heart grows cold. When I see the husband hurl abuses and stones at his wife, insisting she exists only to serve him – my fists clench. And when I see children torn from their parents so that another man might profit – sent off to suffer beneath the desert sun and die...
...On these days, I do not think that dialogue will make a difference. On these days, I can think only of how the perpetrators need to die"

-  A Master Assassin's Diary

In light of their antipathy for authoritarianism, the Assassins throughout history fought under the banner of liberation for oppressed peoples. In spite of this, freedom is not at the heart of their ambitions, but peace. The Assassins aspire for the establishment of global prosperity and harmony, the genesis of what essentially amounts to utopia. In this, have a sincere desire to resolve the chaos that plagues humanity. The Assassins uphold faith, even love, in humanity as one of its core ideals. Their fundamentally skeptic creed neither justifies the defeatist attitude, nor endorses the notion that a single group could be wise enough to impress a correct way of life or belief on the people at large. Consequently, they scorn the notion that a short-cut to universal peace, especially in the form of global enslavement or elitist control, could be suitable as a solution to society's ills. Instead, they argue that humanity must be permitted to undergo the slow and arduous journey of developing tolerance for their myriad differences. In the Assassin view, peace is a product of education, not force, and this is only possible without the stringent control over information and society that authoritarians advocate.  Further more, the Assassins support democracy but not the abolition of order and government.

Ironically, in spite of the Assassins' optimistic view of humanity as a whole, they do not always retain the same faith for adversaries of human rights. This is the guiding force behind their operations, of which assassinations take primacy. To protect the lives of innocents, the Assassins believe that realistically, an ideal, noble resolution was not always possible (i.e. one may have to kill a perpetrator to save an innocent). For many members, compassion is a key motivation that paradoxically translates into objectives that very often revolves around murder. Perhaps most critically, social justice is a unifying theme among Assassins, and in this capacity, they serve as a reactionary force against perceived oppression, tyranny, and abuses against humanity.


Last edited by The Circle of Liberals on Fri Aug 26, 2016 3:51 pm; edited 12 times in total
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METHODS

Post by The Circle of Liberals on Tue Aug 23, 2016 3:01 pm

Precision & Stealth
Throughout the long centuries since the foundation of the Assassin Brotherhood, the Assassins have always reflected on a principle of theirs; "a minor evil, for a greater good." Indeed, the Assassins extensively hunted and murdered key individuals they perceive to be corrupt or a danger to humanity, and this becomes one of their defining attributes. A critical note, however, lies in the strict tenet that an Assassin must refrain from harming an innocent.

Accordingly, precision is a guiding principle behind the Assassins' technique and a factor behind their focus on stealth and discretion. By reducing collateral damage and the chance of open conflict, casualties would be minimized. Such a tactic alignes with their traditional respect for humanity and life, and in theory (though not always in practice), assassinations are to be carried out only in cases of utmost necessity. Once a target has been killed, agents are dissuaded from rejoicing in the death, and some even adopt the practice of paying last respects, no matter how vile they hold them to be.

Although not every Assassin operates on the level of perfectionism, prodigious information is expected to be gathered before an assassination is attempted. Failure to do so could yield catastrophic errors. For their investigations, Assassins refer to a variety of means including but not limited to: espionage, theft of documents, and mingling with locals.

In some ways, the recent reforms promote a greater level of stealth than ever before. Previously, it was common practice for the Assassins to perform high-risk, near suicidal, yet awe-inspiring assassinations in crowded, public areas. This tactic relied on shock to impress power—through fear—in the public imagination. Nowadays, the Assassins retreat further into the shadows, and this approach is generally discouraged, if not outright abolished, and restrictions on formerly banned methods such as poison were lifted. While some members are impatient with the secrecy demanded by the brotherhood, feeling that it hampers progress and influence, The leadership fears the great risks of exposure to public society. Ever mindful that Assassins can be branded as madmen and destroyed if they remain an open target, the brotherhood has been withdrawn further into secrecy. Thus, security is another reason for the Assassins' policy of stealth.

Despite this, it is not unknown for Assassins to resort to open conflict, and these uncommon tactics can range from the instigation of riots, employment of mercenaries, or even a direct militaristic assault on enemy bases.

Social Reforms
In the beginning, the Assassins were markedly apprehensive that public promotion of their ideals could yield societal reforms. As a result, at first much of their activities revolved only around the elimination or sabotage of those they believed threatened the rights of humanity. With their dream that humanity arrive at utopia through free will, their way of guidance was often indirect, with an emphasis on individuals learning through self-experience.

Over time, the brotherhood's policies evolved and now, the Assassins are more active at winning the hearts of the public.
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PRACTICES

Post by The Circle of Liberals on Tue Aug 23, 2016 4:19 pm

There are two ways of entering into the Order: through birth or through recruitment.

After declaring oneself an Assassin under the Creed, a trainee will be tested to prove their worth over an unspecified period of time. For example, one trainee was tasked with hunting down specific targets over years before he was officially inducted, whereas Assassin apprentices have to gain enough experience in their contract missions across the world before joining the Assassins Guild as fully-fledged members.

A female apprentice being inducted into the Assassin Order

Training
The Assassins spend their entire lives training to kill. From an early age, they are taught to observe their surroundings and plan ahead. Combat skills are essential and focuses on bladed weaponry. However, the most important consideration in the Assassins' training is concealment. Stealth is the greatest weapon of the Assassins, and everything about their lives emphasizes a devotion to it. It is essential for an Assassin to be able to reach their target unnoticed and then slip back into the crowd after they have struck.

Another significant focus of an Assassin's training is maneuverability. By the time an Assassin reaches the rank of Master Assassin, they are also a master of freerunning, an early form of parkour extensively utilized by the Assassins. Widely seen as alien by the general populace, this method of movement allows the Assassins to reach areas not otherwise accessible. Freerunning gives the Assassins a significant advantage over nearly all of their enemies and city guards, and can be used to traverse crowded urban environments quickly and efficiently.

A Master Assassin with the combat trainer at Masyaf

However, not all Assassins are trained from birth, particularly those recruited later in life. Trainees have to learn the ways of their craft through personal experience, codex manuscripts and the teachings from other Assassins in the field.

Unlike certain other factions, the Assassins do not have a specific style of fighting. Aside from their signature Hidden Blade, each branch uses weapons and fighting styles native to the area. For example, the Turkish Assassins favor curved daggers, while the Chinese Assassins are trained in wushu.

Equipment
Throughout the ages, the Brotherhood has had many weapons at its disposal. During ancient times, the Assassins did not have any standard attire or equipment, but ancient Assassins were known for using spears, poisons, bows, and other armaments. By the time of the High Middle Ages, they have assumed white as their general color and robes with beaked hoods as their common clothing.

This age also marks the appearance of the Assassins' signature weapon, the Hidden Blade, a retractable blade. Other weapons used by the Assassins include swords, short blades and throwing knives, including posion. Under the recent change of leadership, several inventions and techniques were introduced. These include the Poison Blade, and new types of assassinations which dramatically altered the practices of the Order.

Burial
Assassins always show great respect for the dead. Their own are buried in crypts or large tombs, wrapped in a cloth shroud with their red sash spread across the body. The greatest Assassins are venerated in large tombs and entombed within sarcophagi, their likeness emblazoned on the lid and their symbol venerated in the flags of the tomb.

For all assassination targets, unless circumstances prevent, Assassins will give them their last rites after they have passed away.

Expulsion
When an Assassin has behaved irrationally on several occasions, the Assassin Council can call for a vote of expulsion. The expulsion wil include that the Assassin is stripped of their rank and exiled from the Brotherhood.

In cases of extreme disregard for the Creed's tenets, an expelled member may further become the target of assassination by their former comrades.
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