The Matron was scary enough alone. Knowing that she's training others... well. I certainly wouldn't dream of crossing her.House Alas'thil is known for its prowess as internationally-renowned assassins. Their blades have taken the lives of nobles and peasants alike, provided the right cost is paid. But their skill has made them a challenge, and the other Houses - as well as other organisations - see some twisted sport in finding ways to take down the noble drow. The latest Matron, Nivinle Alas'thil, is not scared of the threat. She is, however, practical. To dissuade the attempts and be certain none can catch her off-guard, she established the Silent Shades a few months after her ascension. Now, as they're sent out on exclusive or challenging missions near constantly, the elite group of assassins is seen as one of the only threats to match the Matron herself in their level of danger - except they are many people, whereas she is one.
The Silent Shades are not overly surprising in their amount of staff - Nivinle has kept their number at a maximum of 6 thus far, and any who have pestered her too greatly about joining and increasing that number have regretted their attempt.
Who turned out the lights..? Dear, was that you?Usually provided with special equipment by House Alas'thil, the Silent Shades each have enchanted equipment to allow them to deal with any situation they may come across. The lengths Nivinle went to in her preparation included assigning them each kits containing stakes, silver weapon blanches, and salt - just in case. They each have elemental grenades, smoke bombs, alchemical potions to apply boons to themselves, and poisons to inflict upon their targets. Some individuals in the Silent Shades may have their own specialised equipment as well, depending on their role - a mage would have scrolls that a rogue might not wish to risk, for instance.
Every member of the Silent Shades is heavily armed from top to bottom with blades, wands, and ammunition. Whilst it is not uncommon for the Silent Shades to prefer dual-wielding, as they are indeed drow and their cultural style is to dual-wield shortswords, the choice of preferred weapon is not mandated. Indeed, it is typical for at least one of the Silent Shades to use exclusively magic.
They were particularly useful in the aftermath of her ascension and the disastrous earthquakes and eruption that plagued Vaermyrhel thanks to the actions of Riven Drast and the Lost Ones. As Nivinle took power quickly, she left much dissent in her wake; dissent that she used to firmly announce the power of both herself and the Silent Shades. Due to the disappearance of the Lost Ones - caught in a fray against a Shard in the The Endless Archive - Nivinle was sought out for aid by Mery Eventide when a situation went badly awry and lives were at risk. The deal they made was a simple enough single-time contract, but the potential rewards were worth more than Mery intended on a surface level. The Matron was able to use the mission as a means to get the Silent Shades experience in the above world, and through the contacts they made, embedded herself into the information network already flowing into Ironfalls by way of Saeryn Ki'renna and Azyel Lathronon. The latter of these proved the more important contact for her, as she soon found the group being offered contracts on important targets in the War of Empires. Whilst neither the Silent Shades nor Nivinle herself have yet been able to trace the exact source of these contracts, Nivinle has her suspicions on who they may be.
You would seek to bog me down in pathetic challenges and wastes of flesh? Prove these challenges worthy. If they cannot even get through my guard, I will not deign to give them my time.
The Silent Shades, as mentioned above, were established when Nivinle Alas'thil took the position of matron from her mother, Vasindra Alas'thil.Nivinle herself had been part of her mother's elite guard since she was a young child, and had born witness to a number of the crises her mother had to deal with. It was this experience that alerted her to the need for a separate group of assassins to handle situations she could not attend to herself - thus the foundation of the Silent Shades.
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