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(Essay #26)


"Glory to the black caste!"  (Witness of Gor, p.566)

The Caste of Assassins, also known as the Black Caste, is a mysterious one and the books do not explain a great deal about their Codes, conduct or activities. No one outside of the Caste is supposed to know their secret Codes though a few elements of their Codes are revealed in the books. Some of these Codes are disseminated as rumors so they could actually be intentional disinformation, and thus incorrect. It seems likely that Norman purposefully limited the amount of information about the Assassins to maintain an air of enigma about them.

Realistically, any such organization would carefully conceal its secrets. Consider the examples from Earth history of the Assassins of the Middle East, the Ninja of Japan and the Thuggee Cult of India. Secrecy was imperative to their success. It would also be a defense mechanism, as such organizations are often quite hated. In addition, fantastic rumors about the prowess and abilities of these groups were actively encouraged and disseminated to enhance their fearsome reputation. The Assassin Caste of Gor would obviously encourage such fanciful tales as well, to enhance their reputation, to make themselves even more feared by others.

"You are a brave man," said he, "to trifle with those of the black caste."  (Witness of Gor, p.554)

Many people do fear the Assassin Caste and try to avoid the presence of an Assassin, often leaving a location if an Assassin enters it. Such people worry that the Assassin might be after them, or that the Assassin might take offense at something they do and kill them. Such people may cross a street to avoid passing by an Assassin. Some may even go so far as avoid touching the shadow of an Assassin with their own shadow. The money of an Assassin may be considered "black gold," and thus tainted, so many people will not accept it. Instead, these people may simply give the Assassin anything he wants for free. The Black Caste definitely prefers that people fear them as it makes many things easier for them. Despite their fearsome reputation, Assassins are still the most hated caste on Gor though it is not considered the lowest of Castes. It is a Low Caste but its exact place within the hierarchy of Low Castes is never given.

The dislike and hatred of the Black Caste may have reached its apex around 10,110 C.A. During the events of Tarnsman of Gor, Pa-Kur, a Master Assassin of Ar, desired to attain the throne of Ar, to become its Ubar. Though he succeeded in conquering the city, his reign was very short and he was forcefully ousted. His actions were considered a serious violation of the limits of his Caste. According to the First Knowledge, if a Low Caste person comes to power in the city, that city will come to ruin. The Assassin Caste is a Low Caste and thus prohibited from taking power within a city.

After Pa-Kur's defeat, Assassins were hunted down, many ending up as male slaves on the galleys that sail across Thassa. The Caste was also officially banned within Ar. Those Assassins who avoided capture had to assume disguises, often pretending to be Warriors. They had lost any respect they might have once possessed. It would not be until after the events of Assassin of Gor, about ten years later, that Assassins would once again begin to appear openly. The prohibition against them in Ar was apparently lifted though it was never explicitly stated as such.

The information in the books concerning Pa-Kur, Ar and the Black Caste raises additional questions that are never completely addressed. What does the title "Master Assassin" entail? Is he the leader of the entire Caste? Are there multiple Masters within the Caste? Are there multiple orders of this Caste or is it a single united Caste? No other Master Assassins are referenced in the books. Pa-Kur certainly seems to be in charge of all of the Assassins that joined in the attack on Ar. But there is nothing definitive on exactly who rules the Caste.

There is some indication as well that the Assassin Caste may have been based in Ar, or at least one major group of Assassins. Pa-Kur is sometimes referred to as the "Master Assassin of Ar" thus seemingly indicating his connection to that city. Though we do know he would not be a citizen of Ar, as Assassins cannot have Home Stones. There is also a question whether there were Assassins based in places other than Ar. For when Ar outlaws Assassins in the city, the book notes that Assassins all across Gor start hiding. If only Ar outlawed them, then why would they need to hide from other cities as well? We should note that these incidents occurred in the earliest Gor novels, when Norman may not have fully conceptualized the Assassin Caste.

The Assassin Caste may also be limited only to the cities of the northern hemisphere of Gor. There is a reference to Assassins being "sleen of the north." (Explorers of Gor, p.241) This comment is made by a native of the jungles outside Schendi, located in the equatorial region of Gor. This comment, with its surrounding context, makes sense only if Assassins were limited to the regions above the equator. That does not mean they cannot travel into the southern hemisphere but only that they are solely based in the north. None of the other novels indicates that the Assassin Caste exists in the southern hemisphere. They can obviously travel into the southern hemisphere, but their base of operations appears to be in the northern hemisphere.

The Assassin Caste is also largely limited to the civilized cities of Gor. None of the barbarian cultures of Gor are known to have Assassins. The Wagon People possess a Clan of Torturers, who are garbed in black, but they are not Assassins. They act primarily as interrogators, torturers and executioners. The only people they kill are prisoners brought to them for execution. They are not hired to assassinate people. Though a Torturer apparently tried to kill Tarl Cabot when he spent time with the Tuchuks, this does not seem to be the norm based on the rest of the information presented concerning this Clan.

How does one become an Assassin? The Assassin Caste is one of the few Gorean Castes where you must actively join it to become a member. It is not a Caste that you are born into. This is similar to the Caste of Initiates and the Caste of Players. The Assassin Caste is very selective in their acceptance of candidates for their training. They seek certain qualities that have proven over time to lead to proficient and effective Assassins. Some of these qualities may include quickness, cunning, strength and skill. Such individuals may also possess a couple traits others might consider negative, a bit of selfishness and greed.

Can women belong to the Assassin Caste? The various quotes in the novels refer only to men being brought into the Caste. There is not a single reference that indicates or implies women were ever permitted to join the Assassin Caste. Despite this lack of support, some still feel that women can be members of the Assassin Caste. But, the primary argument in support of allowing women to belong is simply that there is not an explicit prohibition stated within the novels. Yet that is certainly not a valid argument as the mere lack of a prohibition would thus allow so many other matters that no one would ever suggest was Gorean. The books do not specifically prohibit vampires on Gor so does that mean they too can exist on Gor? Every reference in the books to Assassins, where gender is mentioned, refers to men. Ancillary evidence concerning the status and roles of women on Gor further supports their prohibition from the Caste. The weight of evidence, when everything is considered, falls upon the side of disallowing their presence within the Caste.

"The training of the assassin is thorough and cruel. He who wears the black of the caste has not won it easily."  (Beasts of Gor, p.358)

The exact details of the training procedures of the Assassin Caste are shrouded in mystery though a few matters are known, rumored or suspected. It is believed that only about 10% of all trainees will eventually become actual members of the Caste. It is presumed that the other 90% either die during the training process or are slain as failures, their deaths serving to protect the secrets of the Caste. The Caste certainly would not want a disgruntled failure to be set free to share the secret knowledge they have acquired. The survivors though would tend to be a close-knit community, a killing elite. Based on these percentages, the Assassins are likely not a highly populous Caste though actual numbers for the Caste are never given in the books. In addition, the amount of need for their services is never clearly defined in the books so we cannot know how many Assassins could be supported by Gorean society.

At the commencement of their training, each trainee for the Caste is assigned another trainee as a training partner. These pairs will remain together for the length of the training period and a close friendship between these partners is actively encouraged. Each pair will be often be pitted against other pairs during the training process so it is very important that each pair can work well together. Dissension between partners would negatively impact in the competition against other teams. It thus becomes natural that the men in such pairs will grow close.

But, often unknown to these trainees, the partnership will eventually end, in a lethal way. The final test for each pair involves the two partners trying to kill each other. It is unknown exactly where this test occurs, whether inside or outside. But it does involve hunting down the other partner so it is more than a simple face-to-face duel. The survivor of this final test, if there is one, will then become an Assassin. Though this may seem counterproductive, eliminating potential members, the Black Caste has a definite rationale for this final test, reasons why prospective members must slay what becomes their best friend.

First, it is intended to make their members understand fully what it means to be an Assassin, what is necessary to excel and what sacrifices must be made. Second, the Caste wants to make its members emotionally cold, for an Assassin to place their Caste above all other relationships. Ultimate loyalty must be to the Caste, and no type of personal relationship can interfere. Third, it is to eliminate any traces of mercy within its members. An Assassin is not supposed to feel bad for his victims as that would be a weakness that could be exploited. This final cruel test obviously will drastically change a man. "One is then alone, with gold and steel." (Beasts of Gor, p.358)

Assassins must possess loyalty only to their Caste. The Caste will not permit any conflicting loyalties. To that end, Assassins do not have Home Stones, as that would constitute a potentially conflicting loyalty. An Assassin might hesitate or be unwilling to kill someone from their own Home Stone. So, upon entering the Caste, you must surrender your loyalty to any prior Home Stone. Assassins generally are cold individuals and unlikely to form bonds of love. "It is seldom," he said, "that those of the black caste laugh." (Assassin of Gor, p.267) It is very unlikely that they would join in Free Companionship as such might also create a conflict of loyalty. It would also create a potential weakness, one that could be exploited by an Assassin's enemies. To an Assassin, most people outside the Caste are employers, targets, tools or fools.

"The men in the black tunics who had remained overnight in the quarters of the pit master, including their leader and his lieutenant, seemed to me strange fellows. They were much unlike many, if not most, of the men of this world. They did not laugh, they did not joke, they did not tell stories. They were silent, frightening, terrible men. I do not think they had Home Stones. If they had some loyalty, and I do not doubt they did, I think it was rather to some bloody oath, or dark covenant, or even to a leader. They attended to their equipment, they sharpened their swords. They drank only water. They ate sparingly. The hospitality of the pit master, offering us to them, was declined. Even the women chained at the wall were not touched."
(Witness of Gor, p.550)

The Caste color of the Assassins is black and they often garb themselves entirely in black, even painting their helmets black. They also use a black banner as their symbol. They do not seem prohibited from wearing different colors at times, but most seem to prefer the black. As a title of respect, Assassins may be referred to as "Killer." They do not take offense when they are addressed as such.

Assassins learn many martial skills and their combat training is similar in many respects to the training of the Warrior Caste. The similarities would be primarily in the area of personal combat. It is unlikely that the Assassins learn much about waging wars, mass combat or siege warfare. But they would learn many weapon skills and unarmed combat, including the use of the gladius, spear, knife and crossbow. In one on one combat, an Assassin and a Warrior are probably on equal ground. Pa-Kur, the Master Assassin, was considered one of the finest swordsmen on Gor. In addition, no one was surprised at the sword fighting ability of Kuurus or Drusus.

Despite the similarities in certain aspects of their training, Assassins and Warriors generally do not get along well with each other. Each Caste considers itself superior to the other, a more skilled combatant. In addition, they consider themselves to be natural enemies. A few quotes further demonstrate what some see as the differences between these two Castes.

"The sword of the warrior, commonly, is pledged to a Home Stone, that of the assassin to gold and the knife."  (Beasts of Gor, p.136)

"The Assassin," he said, "is like a musician, a surgeon. The Warrior is like a butcher. He is a ravaging, bloodthirsty lout."  (Beasts of Gor, p.413)

"But Assassins are such arid fellows. Warriors are more genial, more enthusiastic."  (Beasts of Gor, p.413)

An Assassin goes in and does his job, and comes out quietly," he said. "Warriors storm buildings and burn towers."  (Beasts of Gor, p.413)

When an Assassin takes fee for a job, he often affixes a tiny and fine mark of a black dagger on his forehead. It is not known what material is used to affix this mark. In some instances, another Assassin will place the dagger on an associate's forehead. The dagger is newly affixed each morning though it does not appear to be an absolute necessity. It may be more to make access to cities easier, as well as increasing the fear factor in their presence. With the dagger mark on his forehead, an Assassin may freely enter almost any Gorean city. Few would try to prevent their entrance. And many who see the dagger may flee, worried that the Assassin might be after them.

"There are few men who have done great wrong or who have powerful, rich enemies who do not tremble upon learning that one has been brought to their city who wears the dagger."  (Assassin of Gor, p.7)

Some wrongly believe that because Assassins are often allowed free entrance into a city, that it is also true that no one will oppose an Assassin's mission, that guards will just stand back and do nothing. This is not the reality. Gate guards may step back to allow an Assassin to enter, but personal guards certainly will oppose any assassination attempt made against their charge. The books also state that city rulers would bolster their defenses, increase their number of guards, when they were aware of an Assassin present in their city. They will not just sit meekly by and allow the assassination to occur unimpeded.

Witness of Gor made it clear that Assassins do not have free reign in a city that they visit. The Assassins who entered Treve needed specific authorization from the administration of the city to conduct certain activities. For example, they received specific authorization to bear weapons in the city, to enter the pits below Treve and to take possession of the prisoner Marlenus. They certainly did not enter Treve on their own, doing whatever they chose. They required specific authorization. And when they encountered opposition, they did threaten to complain to the administration.

Few things are known concerning the Caste Codes of the Assassins though the books provide more information on their Codes than almost any other Caste. Their Codes prevent withdrawal from the caste. Anyone who tried to quit would be likely hunted down and killed. The Caste does not want its secrets revealed to anyone outside the Caste. The Caste might even view such rogues as failures that needed to be eliminated to preserve the integrity of the Caste. According to their codes, Assassins are supposed to make their own kills. Thus, they cannot subcontract out a killing. This would also prevent them from using sleens or other animals to kill people though not all Assassins follow closely to this Code provision. There have been instances where an Assassin used a sleen for a kill. The use of poison is also against their codes though it is said that their pride alone would prevent most Assassins from using poison. There is little skill in using poison and most Goreans consider it a woman's weapon anyways.

Though it is not against their codes, most Assassins are not tarnsmen. They will more often ride tharlarions though there are a few Assassins who are accomplished tarnsmen. Assassins also do not carry pouches like most other Goreans. Instead, they have small pockets in their belts.

"More than one triumph in a Gorean city has been spoiled by the bolt of an assassin."  (Magicians of Gor, p.90)

The primary weapon of choice of the Assassin is the crossbow. A crossbow, which fires an iron bolt with an initial velocity of about one pasang per second, has a considerable striking power and can penetrate most shields. At a distance of about 60 feet, one of these bolts can sink about four inches into a piece of solid wood. Though it has a slow rate of fire, especially compared to short and long bows, most Assassins will not be shooting a barrage of quarrels at a victim. They hope to need only a single iron bolt to slay their target. The crossbow allows them to strike at a distance thus enhancing their chance of escaping detection. Some Assassins use special, smaller crossbows that are more easily concealed within a cloak. These weapons are also easier to ready for firing. Unfortunately, the books do not provide many details about these smaller crossbows. Assassins do not rely exclusively on the crossbow. They also obtain proficiency with other weapons such as the gladius, knife and spear. As well as maybe less common weapons such as garrote.

"Scormus of Ar reminded me of men of the caste of Assassins, as they sometimes are, before they begin their hunt. The edge must be sharp, the resolve must be merciless, the instinct to kill must in no way be blunted."  (Beasts of Gor, p.86)

Assassinations are generally well-planned events, not impromptu killings. The Assassin will often begin by gathering information on his intended target. This will allow him to better choose an appropriate method of assassination, one that will have the greatest chance of success and also allow the Assassin to escape afterwards. It might entail following the victim to learn his habits, his routines. It may entail questioning people concerning the intended victim. It is rarely a haphazard affair. Skill and technique are very important to Assassins. They take immense pride in their work so they obviously do whatever they can to enhance their efficiency and success.

"Scormus would play like an Assassin. He would be merciless, and he would take no chances."  (Beasts of Gor, p.88)

No one is safe from the potential of assassination. If someone has a grudge against you, and they can afford it, they could hire an Assassin. Assassins will kill both men and women. Talena, when she became Ubara, feared assassination and Tarl Cabot confirmed that was a real possibility. "It was not irrational on her part, of course, to fear an assassination plot." (Magicians of Gor, p.459) But, how much does it cost to hire an Assassin? Obviously the price will vary dependent on the target, difficulty and skill level of the Assassin. Actually prices are not really provided in the books but it seems reasonable, based on tangential evidence, that their fees are calculated in gold tarns, and not copper or silver tarsks.

Assassins sometimes serve the purpose of justice. There is a differentiation between what are called the "first" and "second" killings. In a "second" killing, an Assassin is hired to avenge someone's murder. In a "first" killing, an Assassin is committing the first killing between the parties involved. Many Goreans, who might object to first killings, will accept the validity of "second" kills as a necessary tool of justice.

It seems there may sometimes also be a certain protocol for hiring an Assassin. In Assassins of Gor, just after the ostensible funeral of Tarl Cabot, a man hires Kuurus, an alleged Assassin, to kill the man who allegedly killed Tarl Cabot. "He wore a black robe with a stripe of white down the front and back. Kuurus knew that it would be this man, who wore the black, but not the full black, of the Assassin, who would deal with him. Kuurus smiled bitterly to himself. He laughed at the stripe of white. Their tunic, said Kuurus to himself, is as black as mine." (Assassin of Gor, p.4) This man was thought to look strange, devoid of all hair, even lacking eyebrows. Kuurus thought that he might be an Initiate.

So, who exactly is the man in the black robes with the white stripes? Unfortunately, the books do not provide enough information to resolve the issue. Is he an agent of the Assassin Caste, a middleman to arrange contracts? He does not appear to be a member of the Black Caste, as Kuurus believes he may be an Initiate. Do the white stripes signify the Caste of Initiates? As this is a second killing, revenge for the murder of another, does the Initiate Caste get involved because they see it as an issue of justice? It does not appear that this person is required for all Assassin contracts. Kuurus works for both Hup the Fool and Cernus without the need for an agent or middleman. Maybe if a city desires to hire an Assassin they appoint one of their citizens to make the contact, donning the black robes with the white stripes, to do so. This could thus be a temporary position.

It does seem clear that most, if not all, contracts with an Assassin are verbal only. You pay the Assassin and give him information on the intended victim. There are few formalities involved in such. There are probably multiple reasons why written contracts are not used. First, as many Goreans are illiterate, it would be very difficult for them to read and sign contracts. Second, to maintain secrecy, a trail of paperwork would be avoided. This helps protect any connection between the employer and the Assassin. It can also prevent repercussions from a victim's family and friends.

Assassin of Gor also presents another intriguing detail that is not fully explained in the books. A throwing knife was used to kill a man in Ko-ro-ba and the knife was assumed to be meant for Tarl Cabot. On the hilt of the knife, it stated "I have sought him. I have found him." Is this commonly found on the weapons of Assassins? Or only on their knives? Is it used only in rare occasions? These questions do not have any easy answers in the books. We are aware that this knife was unlikely to have been used by a real Assassin because the blade had kanda paste, poison, which almost no Assassin would ever use. Just one more enigma.

Do Assassins possess a monopoly on killing people for money? Few Castes seem to possess any monopoly on some basic elements of their caste. Anyone, and not just a Slaver, can sell slaves. Anyone, and not just a Warrior, can learn how to wield a sword. But, there are some protections such as laws against pretending to be a Physician. Obviously mercenaries kill for money and their existence does not seem to bother the Black Caste. Bounty hunters also exist, capturing their targets dead or alive, and there does not appear to be an issue with the Assassins over that either. So it would seem that the Black Caste might only get upset if someone tries to actually claim they are an Assassin when they are not.

Besides being hired for assassinations, Assassins also seem to sometimes hire themselves out as guards. They may even take on such a job while they are already contracted for an assassination. There are few guidelines in the books concerning this function. It seems likely such jobs would be temporary, as Assassins appear to travel much conducting assassinations. It would be hard to guard someone within a city if the Assassin had to travel to another city to fulfill a contract.

There are only four major examples of Assassins in the novels although one of those examples is actually Tarl Cabot in disguise.

Pa-Kur is a Master Assassin of Ar who appeared in Tarnsman of Gor. "Kur" means "beast" in Gorean but it is unknown what "Pa" represents. Thus, his name translates as some unknown type of beast. Pa-Kur was a tall man with a cruel-looking face and inscrutable eyes. Pa-Kur was an expert crossbowman and said to be maybe the finest swordsman on Gor. But, he does not play Kaissa, which Marlenus felt was one of Pa-Kur's flaws.

When the Initiates took control of Ar, Pa-Kur decided to form an army to conquer Ar. He was able to gather the forces of at least one-hundred cities to support his military endeavor. He was ultimately successful and forced the Initiates to surrender the city to him. His reign was quite short though as Tarl Cabot and others arrived to oust the Master Assassin. Tarl and Pa-Kur engaged in an exciting duel atop the Cylinder of Justice. Tarl proved the master of the sword though and Pa-Kur understood that he would be defeated so he chose to direct his own fate.

"You will not lead me as a prisoner," he said. Then, without another word, he turned and leaped into space.  I walked slowly to the edge of the cylinder. There was only the sheer wall of the cylinder, broken once by a tarn perch some twenty feet below. There was no sign of the Assassin. His crushed body would be recovered from the streets below and publicly impaled. Pa-Kur was dead."  (Tarnsman of Gor, p.212)

But, Pa-Kur's body was never found. Tarl assumed it had been destroyed by the people of Ar but there was no proof of such. Thus, the ultimate fate of Pa-Kur remains a mystery that has yet to be resolved in the novels. He could still be alive and could even return one day. But, there is a possibility that Pa-Kur has been depicted in subsequent books, though he has not been identified by name. A few of the books make mention of a gray-faced man who seems to match the physical description of Pa-Kur. This man is seen on Earth, arranging the abductions of Earth women, and also seems to be allied with the Kurii. If this is truly Pa-Kur, only future books may tell.

In Assassin of Gor, Tarl Cabot disguises himself as Kuurus, an Assassin, to discover who tried to kill him in Ko-ro-ba. He dyes his hair black and dons the usual black garb of an Assassin. No one seems to question his identity. This book excels in showing how most Goreans view Assassins, usually with fear and hate. This book also shows that Assassins may be hired by a House in a general capacity almost akin to a bodyguard or trouble shooter. The Slaver House of Cernus hired Kuurus as a Sword, even though Kuurus had taken a prior fee for an assassination. No one questions his superb ability with a sword. It seems natural that an assassin would be expertly skilled with the gladius. Cernus is ultimately aware of the deception but after the events of this novel, more Assassins begin to appear openly once more.

In Beasts of Gor, we encountered an Assassin named Drusus. Drusus worked for the Kurii at their base at the polar ice cap. He attempted to kill Tarl Cabot in a duel but failed to do so. He later chose to side with Tarl against the Kurii. He acquitted himself well and the Kurii plans were defeated. He then headed south with Tarl Cabot though we never learn his subsequent fate. One unusual aspect of Drusus is that he failed to kill his best friend during training. He was more skilled than his friend, and could have easily killed him, but he chose not to do so. Yet, it appears that Drusus still became an Assassin, though there is still some uncertainty in that regard. This is highly unusual and would likely be an extreme rarity. In addition, it is likely that his friend was killed by the other Assassins for not being good enough.

Witness of Gor presents an extended view of numerous Assassins on an assassination mission. Lurius, the Ubar of Cos, hired a group of twenty-two Assassins to journey to the mountain city of Treve. Neither the leader of this Assassin group, nor his lieutenant, his second in command, was identified by name. A few of the other Assassins were named but their names are basically unimportant. The administration of Treve was informed that the Assassins were to escort a prisoner from Treve back to Cos, that prisoner being the mighty Marlenus, Ubar of Ar. The administration of Treve granted authorization to the Assassins to enter the city and retrieve the prisoner.

Marlenus had been previously involved in a punitive raid against Treve, though he was unaware that it was a trap. During an ambush by the forces of Treve, Marlenus fell, striking his head and apparently gaining amnesia. The men of Treve then captured Marlenus and imprisoned him deep within their pits. But, the Assassins had not come to Treve to escort Marlenus to Cos. In fact, they were there to kill Marlenus. Rask of Treve was outraged that the Assassins were being allowed to claim Marlenus and he vowed to raise 1000 men to stop the Assassins. Yet, nothing more is known on whether Rask attempted to fulfill this vow or not. The administration of Treve may have quashed his idea, not wanting to upset Cos.

There are a number of significant questions that remain unanswered in Witness of Gor. Why were so many Assassins hired to kill one lone prisoner, even if that prisoner happened to be Marlenus? It would seem to be substantial overkill, especially as Marlenus was a chained captive within Treve. If Assassins are so skilled, then why were twenty-two needed against a single Warrior? No explanation is given for sending so many Assassins to Treve. It would almost seem to be an insult to the Black Caste that anyone felt so many were needed to kill one man. Though in hindsight, even twenty-two was insufficient to accomplish their objective.

What happened in the pits of Treve may end up as one of the greatest defeats for the Assassin Caste, a loss that could seriously undermine their fearsome reputation. For despite their overwhelming numerical superiority, all of the Assassins failed in their mission. Marlenus not only survived the assassination attempt, but he killed a number of the Assassins and escaped from the pits of Treve. It is also believed that Marlenus successfully returned to Ar. Even those Assassins not killed directly by Marlenus died within the pits of Treve, some from deadly traps, others beneath the claws of sleen.

This terrible failure and loss of so many Assassins is bound to negatively impact the reputation of the Black Caste. Lurius, Ubar of Cos, will be quite upset that the Assassins he hired failed in their mission. Word will spread, even though the incident occurred in isolated Treve. Some in Treve will want people to know of the failure of the Assassin Caste. The future will thus tell what the Assassin Caste does to recover from this considerable setback. It will also tell how the people of Gor now view the once feared Assassin Caste.

"Why Assassins," asked the pit master. "Why those of the black caste?"

"Efficiency, anonymity." Said the officer." 

(Witness of Gor, p.547)