Web of Knives is an ultraconservative faction among the Assamite Warriors.
In 1102 CE, a small cabal of assassins challenged the Warrior's Caste tradition of Embracing progeny and allowing them to survive or die on their own merit. They instead recruited the most formidable mortal assassins they could find and imparted accumulated centuries of knowledge and training in order to create soldiers that would serve as Haqim's agents when he would return to lead the Jyhad against the other clans.
They created a training center in Asia Minor sheltered by the Byzantine Empire, and over the next century or so, this group became the Web of Knives. When the Eldest questioned their behavior they merely stated they were giving birth to the new breed of Haqim's childer: the most lethal individuals in Kindred society so they can best serve Haqim in a final war against Caine's tainted descendants.
Among the Warrior Caste of the Assamites, the Web of Knives is one of the most iconic organizations but the Web never acknowledges its existence outside Assamite ranks. In fact, the name is only known to a few Camarilla and Inconnu intelligence-gatherers, most of whom believe it to be a mortal terrorist organization that the Assamites support. It alone has generated the stereotype of the deadly vampiric assassin that other kindred associate with the clan.
In modern nights they are sent out to bring justice to the Cainites and to gather vitae for the rest of the clan. The locations of its modern training facilities and members' havens are nigh impossible to uncover, as are the "safe" identities of its members. However, most of the active assassins of the Web have one or more "field" identities through which they deal with the rest of the Cainite]world.
The Web's members are ranked among the most devoted adherents to the Path of Blood. They still hold a consistently small membership, primarily due to attrition but also thanks to its rigorous selection criteria (at any given time, less than 20 fullﬂedged members are presumed to populate its ranks). After the Assamite Schism, they remained in the service of Ur-Shulgi at the Alamut.
The organization is small enough that it has no formal internal rank structure among its active members, though informal respect is awarded on the basis of seniority. The eldest member is the Web's leader, and he reports directly to the Caliph and the Eldest at Alamut. They are currently led by Thetmes.
Recruitment & TrainingEdit
Until the last century, all Web members were of Arab or African extraction, but a handful of Europeans and Asians have completed the training since the first one did so in 1869.
Each member of the Web is recruited because of his martial skills, whether these lie in personal combat or in tactical command. If the recruit decides to join the Web of Knives, his recruiter makes him a ghoul and personally delivers him to one of the Web's facilities, where he spends the next seven years in constant training. The recruit's master visits him once a month to deliver another dose of vitae, but his night-to-night development rests in the hands of the Web's permanent instructors and their ghoul assistants.
Supervised training lasts from sunset to dawn, seven nights a week. Another two to eight hours of each day are given over to physical conditioning or independent academic study. The instruction consists not only of physical training in personal combat but also includes investigative techniques, social deception, and, most importantly, an array of propaganda and brainwashing designed to convince the trainee of the Assamites' innate superiority to all other vampires.
After this seven-year apprenticeship, the student receives one last task: a final field test. He receives a photograph, a name and a hemisphere of the world where this individual may be found. He must identify, locate and kill this target within one month, then return to his training facility. If the assassin succeeds, his sire Embraces him in a solemn, elaborate ceremony, and he enters the next seven years of his training. If he fails but survives his failed attempt, he is considered dispossessed. No Web of Knives member will ever acknowledge his existence again (with one exception; see below) unless he interferes with Web business.
The second seven years of training are more difficult but more lenient. The transition from ghoul to vampire is more severe than the transition from mortal to ghoul. Finally, the trainee is in the "real world" again, now under the direct supervision of his sire, acting as an aide and accomplice in missions of assassination for high-paying Cainite clients or to further the goals of Alamut. At the end of these seven years, the student undergoes a month-long examination ranging from philosophical debate to trials by combat. If he passes, his ceremony of induction into the Web as a full member includes the destruction by diablerie of an Assamite who failed to uphold the Web's vision of the clan's ideals.