It would be entirely inaccurate to suggest that flocks of assassins haunt the streets of Ur-Hadad, that guilds of shadowy killers flit across moonlit terraces and down darkened alleys stalking their prey. The Grand Vizier himself has decreed that all such institutions of organized murder are illegal within the city's walls and, as such, they must not exist there. To suggest otherwise, to suggest that the Grand Vizier's word was any less than inerrant perfection, would be treason as well as a base and treacherous lie.
There are no assassins nor assassins' guilds in Ur-Hadad; it has been decreed and it must be so.
And yet, deaths still happens. Murder still occurs. People are still poisoned.
Surely, all these things are the acts of independent killers, unprofessional louts who murder out of passion or necessity, not out of devotion to the practice of the art of death nor out of direct financial motivation. Surely, those thousands of dead by mysterious or violent causes every year are not the act of assassins (for there may be no assassins in the First City), but the acts of random violence so common when so many thousands upon thousands of human beings gather in one place.
This is the myth we tell ourselves at night so we can sleep, unafraid of the knives and vipers lurking out of eye's wary reach.
The Lies Behind The TruthThere may be no assassins guilds in Ur-Hadad, but there are plenty of organizations who will take a person's money in return for an expertly-slain corpse. Mute monks who brew poisons deep within claustrophobic temples on the Avenue of One Thousand Gods murder as freely as slum-bound cultists of forgotten forces of Chaos. Cash-strapped would-be revolutionaries might consider alternate sources of funding, while leagues of gentleman sportsmen might accept a nobleman's challenge and wager for a particularly difficult trophy. Secret societies lie to the world and to themselves daily about who they are and what they do.
Should your player characters face their would-be murderers among the streets and wharves of Ur-Hadad, you'll need to know what they're facing. Each chart below uses the d11 mechanic that I discussed last Friday.