Fenrir, The Assassin Order of Wolves, and The Fenrir Conspiracy
I’ve written on Fenrir before but I decided to give a bit more info on the ancient Grandmaster, his Order, and an old conspiracy theory surrounding him. The bits detailing more on Fenrir and the Order were originally going to be two separate posts but I might as well consolidate them all into one.
As written before, Fenrir is the ancient Grandmaster of the Assassin Order of Wolves (AOW). He’s the only dire wolf assassin left in the world (since the dires of Island Reptilia are normal, non-transforming dires). All his subordinates are extant species (arctic, grey, etc.). His mortal enemy is Altair, himself the Grandmaster of the Roc Assassin Order (RAO) and is part of a one-sided rivalry with Gilgamesh the werewolf.
The Fenrir Conspiracy is an old theory that’s as old as Fenrir himself. The theory is that the Fenrir name is merely a smokescreen and that Fenrir isn’t really as old as he is, or even a dire assassin. Hardcore believers think that the Grandmaster isn’t the same wolf through all of history. The first mention of Fenrir dates back 4,500 years ago and has been noted in historical events ever since. They discredit that a being that isn’t a High King or the Shogun could have lived for so long. They think that the original Fenrir was so good at what he did, his name became a useful tool and has been used by successors to the Grandmaster title.
A major hole in the theory is that whenever Fenrir moves on a target or gets publicly involved in anything, his methods never change. If he was just one of many successors to the Grandmaster title, historical records would reflect that. Each assassin under him have their own style. Fenrir is different because his style never changes. Part of the hole is that assassins find a style that suits them and they stick with it. They become so ingrained in their way of doing things that they are adverse to learning someone else’s style, even to keep up a ruse. Because history blatantly states that the style of Grandmaster Fenrir is always the same, it further proves that Fenrir truly is an ancient wolf.
Despite the evidence, there are still hardcore believers in the Fenrir Conspiracy. Neither Fenrir nor the Order attempts to quash the theory because it’s actually a very useful tool. If Fenrir needs a decoy, he’ll ask a trusted assassin in his branch to take his name and place. He’s not without his fun side and relishes revealing himself as the true Grandmaster to his enemies. It’s often the last mistake they make. While he enjoys using the conspiracy theory for his own ends, he can’t abide anyone who abuses his name. Aside from his intended targets, Fenrir has also made unsanctioned kills on imposters. Despite a rather negative profession, Fenrir has a good reputation, honor, and sense of justice. Imposters are usually criminals who use his name to commit crimes and to control towns and villages through fear. The Grandmaster regularly sends out warnings, reminding the entire Continent of the price imposters pay if they’re caught by the Order.
Thought not without his merciful side, sparing an imposter found guilty of using his name depends on Fenrir’s mood at the time. It also depends on the severity of the crimes committed in his name. Extreme cases where he kills imposters with no mercy are those who oppress towns and villages and a number of immoral crimes, like rape. Other cases result in him letting the fakes off the hook up to three times or imprisonment. Very few imposters caught by the Order are actually used as informants. These informants understand Fenrir’s desire to keep his name clean and they requested that in order to make up for their wrongdoing, that they be allowed to live and to keep the Order informed of things they may not be aware of. A number of things in remote towns and villages were brought to the Order’s attention through informants. An example would be a case from 200 years ago where an imposter was using Fenrir’s name in order to rape women without consequence. Fenrir personally had that man held in the branch house nearest the victimized town until he could arrive from Ganpon and deliver the death sentence himself.
Fenrir runs a tight Order. While he is the Grandmaster of the entire Order, he has a council of eight Master Assassins under him to run the branches around the Continent. Each Domain has two branches, covering north and south of each Domain. The Masters must send word to Ganpon if they feel a decision is beyond their power. Certain imposters, for instance, did such heinous crimes using Fenrir’s name, that the Masters who had them imprisoned didn’t know if their authority was enough to warrant extreme punishment. They would send a case file to Ganpon for Fenrir to look over and he would tell them what they could or could not do to the prisoner. In a few cases, like what was written before, a few special cases warranted Fenrir to appear in person and deliver the punishment.
Any and all major missions, usually the assassination of regional government officials, also must be sent to and approved by Fenrir before the mission is a go. He’ll report it to the Emperor or Empress and ask for their opinion of the matter. Though the Order is an autonomous entity with their own laws and lies outside the laws of the Human Empire and other Nations, Fenrir makes it a point to discuss high end assassinations with whoever is in charge of the perpetrator’s race. He allows them to make the final call and he gives the order. If he feels that an assassination is the only way, he’ll circumvent requests for his wolves not to kill a perpetrator.When a previous Empress was revealed to be a very corrupt woman who abused her power to the point that the Empire nearly fell apart, Fenrir disregarded the human council’s pleas for her to be spared on the grounds that she was pregnant with the next heir. He personally planted the dagger that ended her life as well as the life of her child and forced her husband to abdicate the throne, allowing her younger brother to succeed the throne. That mission made him infamous for quite some time because he didn’t show mercy to an unborn child.
The High Kings themselves usually don’t discipline Fenrir, because they trust his judgement. His judgement has rarely ever been wrong and they have faith in his ability to do the right thing. The case of the corrupt Empress shook their faith in him however. He was subjected to his first and only inquiry in his long life by the High Kings and the Council of Myth. He defended his decision on the grounds that if the Empress were allowed to live, she would’ve destroyed the Empire. When asked why he didn’t spare her until her child was born, Fenrir gave no answer aside from saying that he had to serve the greater good. If the Empress were allowed to live long enough to give birth to her child, it would’ve been too late to save the Empire. Her brother was a better man for the job and was hard at work at repairing the damage. Though conflicted at his lack of mercy for a unborn child, the High Kings let Fenrir go with a severe promise that they would personally take his head if this happened again.
The Order mostly deals with the Human Empire but has been called in by the animal Nations if needed. They are considered the Empire’s elite guard. Internal corruption and ineffectual leadership in the Order is kept quiet from the outside world. Fenrir makes an annual round trip to all the branches of the Order, making sure the Masters follow the code. If he suspects a Master of either corruption or ineffective leadership when he’s not around, he’ll ask his most trusted assassins from his own branch in Ganpon to infiltrate the offending branch and keep an eye on the Master. If the Master is found to be ineffectual or corrupt, they are removed from their post (by force if necessary) and a list of nominees is sent by that branch’s rank and file for Fenrir to look over. He’ll choose a new Master based on performance, leadership skills, and qualifications. Ineffectual Masters are merely demoted while corrupt Masters are brought before Fenrir and the other Masters for an inquiry. Punishments vary from demotion, banishment, and in extreme cases, death. It’s the general attitude of the Order that it’s better to be demoted and lose a little honor than it is to be found guilty of corruption and lose everything.
Next post will detail Fenrir’s relationship with Altair and the Roc Assassin Order.