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The real skill of the assassin isn't their ability to kill their target. All Black Hand operatives are more than capable of killing another Cainite, even one of considerable age and power, if given sufficient opportunity.
What sets the assassins apart from their fellows in the Hand is their ability to kill their target on his home ground (sometimes even surrounded by allies and formidable defenses), to do so quietly and efficiently, and to just as quietly depart without raising even a hint of alarm.
The goal of a competent shakar is to be totally unnoticed, even by their intended target. In many cases, the assassin also sets up another Lick of the target's acquaintance, either a rival or avowed enemy, so the death will be blamed on another party. This focuses any attempts at vengeance away from the truth, and keeps the Camarilla from realizing how serious a threat the Sabbat's assassins really are.
Since the assassin usually is working alone or with minimal support from a kamut that is waiting for them outside their target location, they're totally on their own should they be discovered. A successful assassin is one of the most careful and cautious operatives in the Black Hand, and dislikes dealing with the unexpected. They put considerable time and effort into investigating, observing and planning the strike, leaving nothing to guesswork or random chance.
It may be noble to die in the cause of Caine, but no assassin wants to earn that honor through stupidity - their own or anyone else's. If something goes wrong, it's the assassin's call whether to continue and improvise, or scrub the mission and regroup. Most prefer to err on the side of caution and survive to plan again.
The Black Hand's reputation as a faction of silent and highly efficient killers is deeply rooted in Sabbat folklore. Among some Sabbat, admiration of the skill and deadly art of the assassin, whether perceived as ninja, shakar or Mafia hit man, has nearly become a cult in itself, though influenced far more by popular culture and creative speculation than the truth . The real assassins of the Black Hand, most of whom keep their affiliation with the subsect a closely guarded secret, avoid any contact with their would-be devoted fans.
Despite the extreme awe in which the Black Hand's faceless assassins are held by their Sabbat brethren, they do not succeed nearly as often as popular urban legend would have their fans believe, and many never return. The survival rate of assassins is tied very closely to their degree of success in avoiding notice while on a mission.
Most - but not all - of the Black Hand's shakari are Assamite antitribu, who have made a thorough study of the skills that have made their clan name synonymous with assassin in both major sects. Here there's a list of the Cainites that have been already described as Shakar:
- Izhim ur-Baal, Assamite Seraph of the True Black Hand and greatest of the shakari;
- Ingram Frizer, Nosferatu dominion and shakar. Codename "Falstaff";
- Henri Lavenant, Lasombra dominion and shakar. Codename "Laocoun";
- Jafar, Assamite dominion and shakar;
- Skryta Zyleta, Gangrel shakar;
- Blackhorse Tanner, Ventrue shakar and noddist fanatic;
- Croquemitaine, Lasombra shakar;
- Kazimir Savostin, experienced Tzimisce spy, shakar and noddist scholar. Acting Seraph, codename "Hurul";
- Hagar Stone, Malkavian shakar.
Caine's Chosen: The Black Hand, p. 30-31