Many noble houses retain a master of potions, poisons, and methods of quiet, unnoticed death. Very few of them admit to the retention of such a person, colloquially known as an assassin and formally known as a potions master. The castle potions master is in charge of monitoring the household for signs of threat, of recognizing poisons and administering antidotes in a timely fashion. He often is also in charge of the castle gardens and a network of secret tunnels and/or magical techniques for eavesdropping and spying on guests to the castle.
Potions masters must be knowledgeable about poisons from various sources, the detection of poisons of a variety of types, and the formulation of antidotes. They should also show discretion in their social interactions and demonstrate extreme loyalty to the household or employer.
Many potion masters begin as apprentices to a gardener, groundskeeper, swordsmaster, or another potion master.
Payment & Reimbursement
Potion masters on retention receive room and board with their master's household, as well as a salary equivalent to ten times the weekly pay of a guardsman.
Potion masters are often rewarded in non-financial means including opportunity for travel, inclusion in affairs of state, and political power.
Potion masters are primarily employed as protection against poisoners and assassins. The duty of quietly removing political opponents, criminals and other undesirables often also falls to the potion master, but few nobles will admit to this aspect.
Assassination and poisoning are taboo in most social circles. Because of the connection between potion masters and gardeners, gardeners are often looked on with suspicion.
assassin, hired killer, shadow, night flower
Upon being placed on retainer or opening a Black Book, all potions masters must register with the International Council's intelligence committee. These registered, officially recognized potions masters are considered legal in all of the IC's member nations. Any other potion masters found plying the trade without registration are subject to arrest and public execution, usually by beheading.