The Shadow Knives, called the Nine Fists for their official number of troops, are assassins. Unlike the Blooded Hawks, who usually strike only military targets, the Knives can be sent against almost any entity whose continued existence threatens the League’s survival. Trained to the same standards as the Blooded Hawks, the Knives also learn breaking and entering buildings and tents, stalking chosen targets and wearing disguises for getting close to their targets. They also study various crafts and entertainments to provide cover stories for moving around the League and beyond.
Standard procedure for sending in the Nine Fists is for the Dancers to recommend a particular person or entity as a target to the Grandmothers. The old women discuss and evaluate the various reasons for killing the person and pass their decision on to Salmon Twilight. The Grandmothers advise him whether “accidental” death or direct action would be preferred and what other nation or organization should take the blame. The method chosen, Salmon Twilight chooses a fist or lone assassin who best suits the selected method. The leader of the Nine Fists has several God-Blooded available to him and a vengeful spirit from an emerald laid waste by the Guild, but most of his subordinates are human.