The Hand (and the Silver Stars)
The Hand are assassins and spys of legend. Each member has super human abilities and skills. They have been known to breach the tighest security. They have been implicated in hundreds of deaths, though no proof of foul play has been found for many of them. However, things are not always what they seem... especially when an Orb is around.
The Order of Silver Stars is the premire healing organization in the world. They possess powerful healing magics and tangible medical skills. For centuries, they have been healing the sick and injured. They are not attached to any diety, nor do they have an apparent agenda other than to relieve suffering in the world. They are here to make the world a better place.
Unknown to all but a few upper level Stars, the source of each healer's powers is The Silver Star, an Orb created by Corvus. It is the Orb of Healing, one of many tools created by Corvus to make his life easier. It not only heals, but can change the metabolism of a body to make it more efficient. It not only knows more about healing all species than anything else in the world, it also channels fractions of its powers into every Silver Star.
It was powerful before it became free to follow its own agenda. It has only grown in strength and intelligence since then. It may be the most powerful orb in existance, as almost everything organic can be its play thing. An admusing side note: The Star is on public display as an ornament in the rotunda of the main Silver Star campus building.
What does all this have to do with Assasins? They are The Hand.
The Hand are the things of legends. They are inhumanly powerful assassins. The black garbed figures are not only masters of stealth and entry (able to breach any defenses), they are super strong, super fast, and able to heal any wound inflicted upon them. Many try to hire them, but The Hand select which targets they will accept. The Hand will always leave a 'calling card' of some kind so people know the Death is theirs, black gloves/ cryptic messages/ or standing on the ramparts until someone sees them. Woe be it to any fool trying to frame them, The Hand will kill them in usually a horrible manner. They sometimes send posts (letters) to those in charge telling them that they killed X individual, so no one else would be punished for their deeds.
Like many of the Orbs, The Star has come to have its own purpose. It has begun to see all of society as a body. It has all the same features at a different scale. For centuries, it had helped to heal the bodies of individuals just to watch them be torn apart again by war or stupidity. Like all illnesses, you can't just treat the symptoms, you have to treat the cause. Some problems can be healed with time and effort, other illnesses require surgery. The Star has arranged for special tools. Many healers have training in breaking/ entering/ stealth/ and escape abilties. Their healing knowledge is turned to killing or stopping opponents. (The basic hand to hand training that all Stars receive expanded.) Since most Stars are fantatical followers (or soon become so as they stay members of the Order), there are more 'Hand' than one would expect. The Star channels power into the Hands, so they can accomplish their missions. (And sometimes to Stars in need). This gives them inhuman stamina and recovery, minimized pain responses, as well as enhanced strength and speed. This 'state of perfect health' is what gives the Hand their mythic repuation. They will often use their Star Identity to get close and eliminate the target, then prance about in the black suit to allow the Hand to draw blame.
The missions seems strange in the short term, but The Star is immortal and takes the long view of things. So key political, religious, business, mystic, criminal, and social figures (or people who are in positions to affect these people) are the only targets they eliminate.
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? Responses (5)
The Orb of Corvin and the Dark Eye suspect there may be an opposing force out there. They are playing a cat and mouse chess game with each other. However, neither suspects the Silver Star/ Orb of Healing is one of the 'The Players'. This chess game has three players.
So these are the ninja that cover the loyal physician who really killed the noble lord.
This is a good reversal, that unexpected twist you didn't consciously see, but might of suspected.
I really like the interplay between these sides. Great job! (I like the Stars healing side more though).
The Unexpected, especially the balanced unexpected, always has a great inpact. (GMing/ Writing tip 87)
To be honest, 'The Hand' is a tiny fraction of The Stars, and has a modest impact upon the world.. almost nothing in comparison to the effect the Stars have upon the world. Still, the explanation for The Hand's Powers and their 'cover' make the organization effective.