Ok, so what were Hashshashin?
Well, I had never heard of this odd word either until recently.
But I found the story fascinating.
Around 1100 AD, a leader of a small Islamic sect wanted to carve out a place for his believers to live without persecution.
The leader’s name was Hasan-i-Sabah.
In an effort to wage war against a much superior force trying to extinguish it, they sought alternate means.
Sabah trained his followers to hide in plain sight, only striking out at the perfect opportunity.
Over time, the followers infiltrated placed of power and when they thought necessary, killed key people in plain sight without hesitation.
So steadfast, they were thought to be high on hashish.
And “Hashshashin” later became the word we know today as “assassin.”
They seemed possessed, utterly devoted to their cause. Some called them hashshashin, from the Arabic word hashish, because they acted as if they were drugged. European crusaders to the Holy Land heard stories about these devilish hashshashin and passed them on, the word slowly transforming into “assassins,” passing forever into the language.
-Robert Greene, The 33 Strategies Of War