The Hashshashin


(permanent link) added: 2010-09-02 04:43:31 sponsor: Koveras edited by: lordGacek (last reply: 2010-11-22 11:57:20)

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You know, that Islamic community in The Middle East around the time of The Crusades, who both named and codified the Assassin archetype, though only few know to what extend their image has been Flanderized since then.

Originally an esoteric Islamic cult founded by Hassan-i Sabbah, it developed into a society of assassins operating from unreachable mountain fortresses and terrorizing the region's rulers with their attacks. Allegedly, the recruits were drugged with hashish, led to a paradaisical garden, and then told that only the "Old Man of the Mountain" had the means to let them return, which resulted in their fanatical devotion. Their downfall came when one of their strikes reached the Mongols, who (probably seeing it as a challenge in Evil Citation Needed) razed Hashshashin main fortress, Alamut.

In fiction, The Knights Templar are often positioned as their Rivals and Arch-Nemesis (and the two are often found alongside each other in Conspiracy Kitchen Sinks). Compare Ninjas, the Far Eastern counterpart.

References to the Hashshashin in fiction:

Film

Literature
  • The Destroyer series of novels, being about assassins with a ancient heritage, naturally mention the Hashshashin.
  • In Foucault's Pendulum, the Templars learned from the Hashshashin during the Crusades to discover the secret of harnessing the power of telluric currents.
  • Not sure about the context, but there were a few Flashbacks featuring the Hashshashin in The Illuminatus! Trilogy.
  • The Dragon from Angels and Demons invokes this reference by calling himself "Hassassin" (in addition to being of Arabic descent).
  • Parodied in Disc World with the hashishim, who are a bit too heavy on the hashish bit.

Tabletop RPG
  • The Dungeons & Dragons Al-Qadim setting has numerous "Holy Slayer" groups inspired by the Hashshashin. Adventure ALQ2 Assassin Mountain has the Everlasting, a cult that live in a mountain that are clearly based on them.

Video Games
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