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Serpent Mariko
"Death To Those Who Murder Innocents"
Mariko could remember the violence from her earliest days. She clung to her motherís skirts as the murderer stalked down the street. "Donít move. Stay hidden," her parent whispered. The murderer passed them by and Mariko was relieved that her mother had so often played hide and seek with her.

The years flew past and her mother taught her all that she needed to know in order to survive: how to hide and move silently; how to run through the wild in forms too swift to be caught; how to defend herself with both the sword and shuriken; and how to apply the deadliest poisons to her blade. Still, the violence swirled around her and the number of murderers and thieves increased. Others arrived from distant lands promising to bring death to any who crossed their path. Tyrants ruled the land. And where were the guards? Where were their rulers? While some guards protected the people, others did not. Were they bribed? Perhaps. And the rulers? They sat on their thrones far away, unaware of the pain their people felt.

But now Mariko understood fully the legacy that her mother had left her Ė she had been groomed to take over the organization her great grandmother had founded - the Clan of the Snake.

The pact of the Clan was total secrecy, their goal concise: "Death to those who murder innocents." They protected those good people they could with the shadows as their cloak. Over the years, it was an interesting band that had formed. Some were not as innocent as Mariko would have liked, but she understood that they each had their demons to fight. Despite this, the heart of each was pure, even if tinged with a little greed.
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House Clan, or the Clan of the Snake, is designed for assassin types who wish to use their skills to help eliminate the murders of the innocent. Their skills may be varied, from pirate to ninja to mage and all in-between. They will act as guards during hunts to protect against raiders. They will exact vengeance if murderers are developing a pattern of killing innocents in a certain area. They will not generally engage in standard combat and must refrain from voluble public discourse of their actions. Indeed, the murderers killed are not worthy of conversation.

The House colours of the Clan are red and grey, representing the blood of those who murder innocents and the shadows that give the Clan protection. For clothing, the official materials are charcoal grey and red cloth (both dyed at the guild house using the default settings on the two tubs). If leather armor is worn, it should be dyed the darkest shade of shadow iron. The House uniform is either a ninja hood or a robe (hooded is preferable), but disguise is an important element of their work, so no Ďuniformí is strictly enforced.

The leader of the Clan is known as the Serpent and the house symbol is Nightshade on a yard of guild-dyed red cloth. The guildhall is located northeast of Zento. By its nature and purpose, the House does not be compete with any other Houses for leadership within Gilfane.

On the seventh day of December 211, Serpent Mariko determined that the landscape of the world had changed sufficiently for House Clan to no longer be required and requested that the Keeper of the Hall officially dissolve the House.

Notable Events
25/01/211 House Clan officially formed with Serpent Mariko as prelate.
7/12/211 House Clan officially dissolved.

Those joining the Clan of the Snake start as a Novice. To advance further, the Novice must choose a path. This would most often be a ninja, warrior or mage, but any other character type will be considered. All members of the Clan must have the ability to hide and stealth and be willing and able to use poison, whether that is spellcast poison or poisoned weaponry. Rank shall be determined by skill level, but also by how well the member acts as a team member, since many "assignments" will involve close teamwork amongst two to four members of the House.

The House leadership consists of an Inner Circle made up of the Serpent and the two top ranked elite members. Other "Circles" shall be formed consisting of six lower ranked members in each. The Circles will be set up according to the time of day that members are active, and teams formed as needed out of the pool of those within each Circle.

RankGuild TitleMaximum per House

Leading Members
Inner Circle
Desdemona Lyre

Main images (c) Andy Simmons @ ANS Graphics