Chronicles of War
Red Mantis Assassins
The Red Mantis are the most feared and likely the most effective assassins on the face of Golarion. They are brutally effective in finding their targets, killing them, and making sure they stay dead. They have what seems to be supernatural or divine knowledge of the slights perpetrated against those around them and often approach their clients before they even know they need an assassin’s services. They will pursue a target anywhere on the planet (or beyond) and are seemingly infinitely patient as they track and stalk. A Red Mantis acting openly wears red leathers, a distinctive insectoid mask of the mantis, and typically wields two sawtooth sabers.
First and foremost, the Red Mantis is a religious organization. Its members worship Achaekek, the Mantis God, He Who Walks In Blood. Achaekek is the assassin of the deities, sent by them to hunt those who might challenge the gods’ place of power. A Red Mantis accepting a contract, while happy with the payment she receives, is taking the contract primarily as a form of worship and only secondarily as a mercenary act of killing. This religious devotion to assassination is what drives the Red Mantis to succeed and continue succeeding where other assassins would fail.
The Red Mantis assassins have little regard for life and revel in taking it, even from the innocent and undeserving. However, they are not simple butchers, and they follow a strict religious creed—mostly this creed involves the need to assassinate, but it also controls who they may not assassinate. Specifically, they may not kill a rightfully ruling monarch. Achaekek is a force created by the gods to allow such rulers to keep their power, and the Red Mantis view using assassination to take or destroy someone’s legitimately sanctioned authority as blasphemy. However, any other target (including anyone else in a royal family other than the duly seated monarch, or monarchs who took their kingdoms by force) is fair game for their deadly blades.
The head of the Red Mantis is Blood Mistress Jakalyn. Below her are the Vernai—the nameless lords and interpreters of the will of the Mantis God. Jakalyn is primarily a figurehead but is also a valuable resource to the Vernai, as she alone has access to the Sarzari Library and is the final arbiter on the will of the Mantis God.