The Shekekar (Dathyllian for Birds of Prey) are a mysterious yet infamous assassin's guild active on the Northern Arm. Legend has it that, during the War of the Sisters, a band of humans dressed up in the traditional gear worn during the elven Festival of the Birds and massacred an elven forest community. Humans, however, have stories in which the roles are exactly switched. Whatever the origins of the Shekekar, they are now feared killers who count many races and cultures among their ranks.
Goals of the organizationShekekar goals are many, as each member is free to pursue his or her own ambitions in addition to to following commands from higher-placed assassins Transient collaborations between assassins are widespread. Still, some of these alliances are more stable and long-term than others and it is often speculated that some Shekekar are steering history through targeted political assassinations. Famous historical deaths, such as the drowning of Kundwen Arutan or, more recently, the suicide of Kalied Ilbaereth Ilbaereth, always lead to whispers about Shekekar involvement, but nobody is really sure what the larger plan of the organization would be beyond causing strife.
Benefits of membershipThe training and resources of the Shekekar are many. Those initiated into the group receive a bird mask which grants brief bouts of invisibility to its wearers (except from other Shekekar wearing such masks) and it is said that high-ranking members can shift planes in order to facilitate killings. Furthermore, the organization grants access to a network of killers and can typically help members to locate or approach their targets. The Shekekar do not have physical locations where members meet. Instead, they appear to find each other via telepathy and planeshifting, with the Bird Masks acting as beacons. One source, allegedly written by an anonymous Shekekar assassin, states that it is possible to sense the killings by other members via the masks.
InitiationInitiation into the Shekekar is only possible through invitation by an existing member and always involves a targeted assassination. To senior members of the organization, inviting new members is instrumental: it allows them to mark someone for assassination with little risk of being exposed themselves. The Shekekar mask is handed to a prospective member for the first kill. If this kill is successful, the new member has been initiated and can keep the mask. If the kill is not successful, it is up to the Shekekar who invited the new member to retrieve the mask.
The ranking system within the Shekekar, as well as the sanctions leveled against those who disobey, are shrouded in mystery. It is quite possible there is little structure to the organization, and compliance is solely based on widespread fear of repercussions from more powerful members. Still, there is talk of a figure named The Owl, who oversees the Shekekar and there must be some way for him to coordinate the activities of the decentralized membership.
In the eyes of the public, the Shekekar are fear-inducing, silent and effective killers who cannot be stopped by the authorities. It is widely assumed they have an agenda, but that this agenda is unknown to outsiders.
There are rich and powerful people among the ranks of the Shekekar, and these rich and powerful people provide other members with access to their resources if plans require it. These resources can be weaponry, alchemical materials, access to secret passageways or even fortifications and artillery.