Shyenika Azadi Thakur (Bengali: শ্যেনিকা আজাদী ঠাকুর, Hindustani: श्येनिका आज़ादी ठाकुर, pronunciation: sh-YEH-nicah AH-ZAH-dee TAH-koor) (1910 - August 14th 1965) was born in Devprayag, Tehri-Gharwal Agency, British India to Azadeh Shahbaz, the last Persian Assassin , and Purnim Thakur. She was a descendant of both Darius and Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad through her mother (In fact, both their names mean "Freedom, Sovereign of Eagles"). She was also the grand-niece of Rabindranath Tagore who himself was tied to the Assassins along with his friend, Leo Tolstoy. Better known as "Shyenubooby", she became a Master Assassin at an early age and saw the order through the Independence movement and Partition. Her greatest enemy was Vinayak Savarkar, the Grandmaster of the Templar order in India and the leader of the Hindu Mahasabha.
Firdous-e-Bareen, a secret sanctuary of the Persian Assassins in the Alamut region, held a Piece of Eden: the Circle of Eden, a chakram of unknown power. Savarkar wanted to use it to shape India and the world however he pleased. Azadeh smuggled it into British India after a fatal blow to the Persian Assassins by the Qajars to be hidden at the Assassin sanctuary on Mt. Nanda Devi, but it was stolen by Templars in Rishikesh while waiting for a snowstorm on the mountain to subside. After this incident, the Indian Assassins established a second compound hidden in plain sight under Raghunathji Mandir, the main temple in Devprayag.
Shyenika had two children: a son, Kiran and a daughter, Mehribaan. In 1942, Devprayag was routed by Templars operating under the guise of a riot, which took the lives of both Assassins and innocent civilians and notably Kiran, who was 8 years old. Grief-stricken, Shyenu became vengeful which made her unable to perform effectively as an Assassin. She failed in her attempt to assassinate Lord Mountbatten, the Quartermaster of the Templar Order. Shyenu was imprisoned for the attempt, compromising the Brotherhood. Much like her ancestor, she was stripped of her rank and title. In prison, she met Mohandas Gandhi, and the ensuing philosophical debate triggered Gandhi's consideration of war. She was only restored when she managed to get a hold of the Circle of Eden, hidden in Chowmalla Palace in Hyderabad after Savarkar was imprisoned for conspiracy to assassinate Gandhi, and his lackey, the last Nizam of Hyderabad and the palace's most recent resident, was deposed. Savarkar was indeed involved, but was released for lack of evidence.
Later on, she visited the ruins of the Firdous-e-Bareen to learn more about the Circle; however, she became troubled when she experienced a natural occurence of the Bleeding Effect, believing she was seeing apparitions including that of Darius and her mother, who had died of tuberculosis by then. During the Indo-Pak War of 1965, Shyenu was shot point-blank by Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq while on a mission in Kashmir. He was a Templar who would later become a ruthless military dictator in Pakistan and Savarkar's successor. She was survived by her daughter Mehribaan who decided not to follow in her mother's footsteps. Like other Indian Assassins, Shyenika was either buried or cremated and her ashes scattered on Mt. Nanda Devi.
The Indian Assassins were the original masters of kalaripayyat and silambam, two ancient Indian martial art forms. Because of this novelty, the order was able to keep up with the ever faster fire rates of guns through quick, precise movements. It also meant that their "robes" had to be more suited for active combat. Shyenu used two robes for her missions: one resembling a ghagra choli and the other, a lightly-armored sherwani, kameez, and churidhar for when things got really fuzzy. Because of the association in India of the color white with death and funerals, the Indian Assassins wear red and black instead of white robes. She also had a number of weapons, including:
- Telescopic silamb: essentially a long pole with a sharp end allowing her to keep her distance from foes with repeater rifles.
- Kataar: a traditional Indian blade, a cross between a dagger and brass knucles (see image).
- Urumi: an extremely deadly flexible sword, wielded like a whip and forged from steel.
- Talwaar: A Mughal-era sword descended from the Persian shamshir.
- Chakram: Serrated brass disci native to the Punjab, similar to throwing stars, only larger, heavier, and much more deadly. They are stored by wearing them on the wrist. They also feature heavily in Hindu mythology. In fact, like the Apple which is connected to Abrahmic mythology, the Circle of Eden is connected to the Sudarshan Chakra wielded by the Hindu god Vishnu.
- Silenced Colt M1911A: An altered version of the original M1911 designed by Jagadish Chandra Bose (who also invented the first silencer but was not credited since it was outlawed by the British) for use by Assassins, hence the "A". It features a longer range as well as a larger clip over the original and a silent reloading mechanism. It wasn't carried in extremely covert operations though because it was difficult to conceal.
- Hookblade: An Ottoman variation on an Assassin's favorite blade that is used throughout the Middle East and South Asia.
Like Darius, she was left-handed meaning that she wore her hidden blade on her right hand, instead of her left like most Assassins. Shyenu was also an adept polyglot which helped her hide in plain sight, speaking English, Bengali, Farsi, Gujarati, Hindustani, Sindhi, Telugu, Malayalam, Punjabi, Kashmiri, Pashto, Arabic, French, Spanish, and Portuguese all with native or near-native fluency and pronunciation (except English as she couldn't get rid of her accent). Legend has it that she went from total ignorance to native fluency in Levantine Arabic in just two weeks while in Cairo.
Shyenika had one serious liability as an Assassin: in her first encounter with a Templar, she was caught and branded on the back of her left palm with a hot iron in the shape of the Assassin symbol to be easily identifiable. She applied henna often to her left hand and wrist to conceal the scar.
- It's still a work in progress and I don't intend for it to be FanCanon anytime soon.
- The historical characters mentioned and their alliances and actions were based off of my understanding of the Assassins and Templars. Obviously, in real life, Vinayak Savarkar had nothing to do with the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi by Nathuram Godse. However, he was a prime suspect because all of the conspirators belonged to his political organization, and most Templar involvement in the canon is just conspiracy theory in real life. ***SPOILER ALERT*** Charles Lee probably didn't conspire to assassinate George Washington, but there were suspicions that Lee held ill will towards him.
- Please recognize that I took great care to be fair to the different groups. For the love of God, don't start a flame war with me over this historical figure or that. Just like someone should've told Ayatollah Khomeini: "It's just fiction, dadash. Get over it."
- Please let me know if you'd like to contribute. Also, I'd really appreciate it if anyone can submit original fanart for this character. The picture right now is of an Assassin from the early 1500's in Kerala, not what I'm going for.