Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Ankh-Morpork Assassins' Guild
The Assassins' Guild described here exists in the fictional universe of the Discworld. Many other fantasy fiction universes also feature Assassins' Guilds, as does the Marvel Universe, where the Guilds of Thieves and Assassins in New Orleans feature in the origin of the X-Man Gambit. It is also a popular name for live role playing groups of various sorts.
Note: Much of the information repeated below was taken from the 2000 Discworld Diary, which had an Assassins' Guild theme, and has not been confirmed in any of the Discworld novels.
The Assassins' Guild was founded on 27 August AM1512 as the de Munforte Schoool for Gentlemen Assassins.
In AM1576 the school was elevated to the status of a Guild. The name was changed to the Royal Guild of Assassins.
The 'Royal' was dropped after the 'events' of AM1688 (i.e. the Ankh-Morpork Civil War).
A co-educational establishment, the Assassins' Guild is known for providing the best education in Ankh-Morpork. Most of the nobility in the city (and beyond) send their children there. Very few actually become assassins; those who do not learn valuable weapon skills, but are mainly there for the arts courses. Pupils who do not intend to become Assassins are called "Oppidans", from the Latatian for "town". Guild graduates can be expected to be at home in any company, and to be able to play at least one musical instrument.
Coat of Arms
A red and black shield bisected by a purple sash. In the red half a cloaked dagger, in the black half two gold crosses (i.e. a double cross). Motto: Nil Mortifi Sine Lucre (No killing without payment).
No boy is to keep any type of lizard in his room. No boy is to build a deadfall in his room.
Code of Conduct
The Assassins' Guild has a strict code of conduct. It is considered absolutely unforgivable for an Assassin to kill for any reason other than being paid to do so. After an inhumation they must by law always leave a receipt. They must also give the client (they view the victim as the client) a sporting chance. With this in mind the Guild strongly disaproves of firearms (which are, in any case, extremely uncommon on the Disc), and also of most (but not all) other mechanical or chemical weapons.
It is accepted that an Assassin may find it necessary to inhume bodyguards, including other Assassins, while on a commission. However, if these can be incapacitated without being killed, it is considered good manners to do so.
An Assassin must always act with style. Without style, he's just an expensive thug. They must always dress stylishly in black (which, although not the best colour for being unseen at night is the correct colour for being an Assassin) and must always seem vaguely bored and, if possible, slightly foreign.
Assassins featured in the books
- 71-Hour-Ahmed (appears in Jingo)
- Dr Cruces (former head of the Guild) (appears in Men At Arms)
- Lord D'Eath (appears in Men At Arms)
- Lord Downey (the current head of the Guild) (first appears in Men at Arms, first appears as Guildmaster in Hogfather, appears in Night Watch as a student bully)
- Lord Vetinari (no longer practising: current Patrician)
- Zlorf Flannelfoot, head of the Guild in The Colour of Magic
- Dr Follett (former head of the Guild) (appears in Night Watch, based on Ken Follett)
- Jonathan Teatime (pronounced "teh-ah-tim-eh") (appears in Hogfather)
- Teppic (appears in Pyramids)
- Jocasta Wiggs (appears in Night Watch, one of the Guild's first female pupils)
|Samuel Vimes||AM$600,000 and rising||Officially Unlisted|
|Foul Ole Ron||One groat|
|Lord Vetinari||AM$1M||Officially Unlisted|
|Nobby Nobbs||AM$4.31||Believed to be a joke by some of the Watch|
Note: "Officially unlisted" means that, while the Guild has priced these people as "clients", it now refuses to accept contracts on them, on the grounds that their deaths would destabilise the city, endangering the Guild itself. Vetinari and Vimes are, as far as is known, the only people on this list.
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