Heroes of the Everflame
Raban Zumi the Red Mantis Assassin
The Red Mantis are known as the most effective and tenacious killers that can be bought. No wall is thick enough, no bodyguards tough enough, or safehouse hidden well enough to keep the Red Mantis from their prey.1 They take little notice of social or political status, seeing all marks as equal if their client pays the price.2 That said, the assassins refuse to take contracts on rightful monarchs, out of respect for their patron deity, Achaekek, viewing monarchs as the mortal parallel of gods.3 Those who come to power by deception or might alone do not fall under this protection and are seen as viable targets.
They do not always take their payments in treasure, often accepting favors or the promise of future collaboration with the organization in lieu of gold. This makes some prospective clients nervous, as they never know what price the Red Mantis will ask. Even those who think they are receiving a bargain, later find out that they are paying a very high price indeed.
Contacting the Mantis can be a tricky proposition, as there are no direct channels. Those in search of their skills must spread rumors among the lowest, most criminal members of a given society and wait to be contacted by a representative. At other times, those who have a strong grudge against someone, or who wish to revenge themselves, are contacted by a member of the organization out of the blue. It is unclear whether this near-prescient knowledge is merely the result of an extensive spy or informant network, or whether the Red Mantis use magical or supernatural means to spy on potential clients.
The mysterious Raban Zumi infiltrated the Razmir compound in Tamran and worked alongside the Heroes during their initiation into the church. On the night of their escape, Raban warned the party to leave him alone and he would return the favor. The Heroes left him with the other acolytes only to discover that he had disappeared.