The man known as Ra's al Ghul ("The Head of the Demon" in an archaic dialect of Arabic, known internally as lisan al qatala) founded the organization in the mid-14th century. Ra's had been a physician by trade but revenge against the murderers of his wife Sora and a near-drowning in a Lazarus Pit had propelled him on a different path.
Rumor has it that Ra's al Ghul's father or grandfather had once been an Asāsīyūn commander of a citadel belonging to the Nizari Ismailis and had escaped the mongol invasions that had killed many of his comrades. While he had seemingly escaped from a violent end and carried out a more peaceful existence, it is possible he taught his son the ways of the Asāsīyūn or Ra's learned of this through study of his father's journals after his passing. Whether these rumors are the truth of the matter or not, Ra's al Ghul chose to found an organization to be the spiritual successor to the Order of the Asāsīyūn.
Originally known as the Safinat Dakhma, the early League of Assassins took over a small city after murdering the bandits who had once used the city as their base of operations. This city was used as a temporary base and staging area for the construction of new citadel in the nearby mountain wilderness. This was a fortification which would take many years to complete but once finished it would serve as the first true bastion of the order, a palace built atop a Lazarus Pit.
From here, Ra's al Ghul's Safinat Dakhma began to grow and expand. Scouts were sent out to other remote locations on order of Ra's al Ghul, using carefully calculated instructions and the dreams induced by Pit vapors to seek out other Pits and secure possession of them, either through violence, obfuscation, or legitimate channels. If a Pit could not be secured, it was often instead destroyed to ensure it did not fall into the hands of their enemies.
To finance this growth, Ra's al Ghul had made political alliances by conducting deals brokered in blood, selling the services of the League's assassins to Heads of State and warlords. Expanding into European Renaissance, Ra's made himself an illicit friend to many courts, most eager to give him wealth and power just to mitigate the chance that Ra's al Ghul would entertain an offer from their enemies.
While his followers lived and died, Ra's al Ghul survived, nourished by the Lazarus Pits. This apparent immortality made him a legend, which both helped draw some to the cause and also helped shroud the League of Assassins in mystery, causing some to believe they were nothing more than a boogeyman tale told to frighten small children into behaving.
In the late 17th or early 18th century, Ra's al Ghul had an affair with a Japanese woman. The product of this affair was his daughter Talia al Ghul. Within a half-century, Ra's al Ghul's affairs had produced another daughter, this one from Russia. These two were the first known children of Ra's al Ghul which were allowed use of his prized Lazarus Pits and eventually both began to compete with one another for stewardship of the League. Instead of choosing one to be his chief subordinate, Ra's elected to divide the League into two halves: naming Talia the White Hand of the Demon and overseeing the order of the White Glove while Nyssa became the Black Hand of the Demon and commanded the Black Glove.
Talia's White Glove handled the business of managing wealth, construction, property acquisition and retention, and contract assassinations; but Nyssa's Black Glove oversaw security and acquisition of relics and Lazarus Pits, study of the occult, and the assassinations which were deemed necessary for the greater good. Ra's al Ghul himself chose to keep personal oversight of the League's training camps. This arrangement not only kept Talia and Nyssa from internal competition for the time, but it allowed the League to grow even larger and more powerful.
Expanding into the Americas slowly, starting with South America in the late 18th century, Ra's al Ghul had a romance with a female pirate captain and occult hunter, but by the next century, he parted ways with her and withdrew from several Lazarus Pits in the Caribbean. This was hardly a setback as Ra's al Ghul capitalized on this reduction by investing more of his forces in the nascent North American democracy known as the United States. This was truly a land of opportunity and had many untapped Lazarus Pits for the League to acquire.
The League's biggest rival is HIVE. The League and HIVE cooperated once, when the League bought weapons from them, but the exchange was interrupted by Super Friends and Prometheus who stole money and weapons. Both organizations are also part of the Light.
During his senior year of high school, Tim Drake began conducting a secret investigation into the League of Assassins. Upon graduating, Tim decided he would leave Gotham to join the League as part of an undercover operation. Claiming to have had a falling out with Batman and having taken to calling himself ‘Redbird’, Tim began operating in eastern Europe as an intense vigilante. It took only a month until he was approached by Cheshire with an offer of recruitment into the League. For six months, Tim worked within the League and even became a steward to the Demon’s Head himself, Ra's al Ghul. When the time arrived, Tim forwarded crucial intel to me on the whereabouts of the League’s operatives allowing us to apprehend nearly all of the League’s operational commanders. The Leagues inner circle was captured and sent to Arkham Asylum.
Currently Ra's al Ghul is gathering forces to fight the Anti-Monitor.
The 20th and 21st centuries have been both very eventful and lucrative for the League of Assassins.
- Head of the Demon: 1
- Ra's al Ghul
- Hands of the Demon ("Yd al Shaytan"): 2
- Talia al Ghul (Ghabash), "White Hand," leader of the White Glove
- Nyssa al Ghul (Makhlab 'Ahmar), "Black Hand," leader of the Black Glove
- Heart of the Demon ("Qalb al Shaytan"): 1
- Kirigi (Mudaris), "O'Sensei," spiritual leader of 'Eth Alth'eban
- Feet of the Demon ("Safh al Shaytan"): 2
The Inner Circle
- "Majstir al Shaytan" (Respected Masters): 7
- Lady Shiva (Sayidat al Damar), Mistress of the White Glove
- The Dragon (al Tinin), Master of the Standing Foot
- The Swiss (al Suwisriiyn), Master of Training
- Mrs. Menace (Namira), Logistics Coordinator
- The Magician (al Saahir), Master of Training
- Lady Karai (Shifra), Mistress of the Stepping Foot
- El Penitente (al Naadim), Master of the Black Glove
- "Farsan" (Horsemen): 1
- Copperhead (Manasa Devi)
- "Syd Qatal" (Master Assassins): ~40 to 50
- White Glove
- Deathstroke (al Manhi)
- Jane Doe (Majhuli al Huia)
- Bronze Tiger (al Namar)
- The Jackal (Abn Awaa)
- Wintergreen (Wahat al Shila)
- Pru (Hadhar)
- Lynx (al Washq Hayawan)
- Silver Monkey (Qarad)
- Mad Dog (Kalab Maseur)
- Detonator (Mufajir)
- Athanasia al Ghul (Warith)
- Nightstorm (Easifat Taylia)
- Plague (Taeun)
- Mystic (Euyun Batini)
- Black Glove
- Shado (Shabh al Zili)
- Komodo (Sahalia)
- Sportsmaster (al Rriadi)
- Cheshire (Yabtassim al Qat)
- Jezebel Jet (al Fatina)
- El Flamingo (Zahri)
- Poison (al Sumu al Tabib)
- Constantine Drakon (La Hidha)
- Onyx (Eaqiq Yumani)
- The Hook (al Khitaf)
- Razorburn (al Halaqat Harq)
- Stone (Hijr)
- Blank (Faragh)
- Mara al Ghul (Sahira)
- White Glove
The Rank And File
- "Qatal al Ruban" (Journeyman Assassins): ~200 to 1,000
- White Glove: 100 to 300 Journeyman Assassins
- Black Glove: 100 to 700 Journeyman Assassins
- "Sabaa Qatal" (Apprentice Assassins): ~5,000 to 10,000
- White Glove: 1,000 to ~3,000 Apprentice Assassins
- Black Glove: 4,000 to 7,000 Apprentice Assassins
- "Al Muta Darib" (Assassins in Training): Varies between 100 to 300, spread out between 3 to 5 training camps
- "Almumin" (Support Members):~50,000
- White Glove: 40,000 Support Members
- Black Glove: 10,000 Support Members
Trivia and Notes
- David Cain, Malcolm Merlyn, and Slade Wilson have the highest kills of the League.
- David Cain and Malcolm Merlyn train the new members of the League.
- Initiates become full members after undergoing a ‘Trial By Fire.’
- Marina Maru is the best member of the League in using poisons.
- Larissa Diaz is the stealthiest member.
- Many assassins have ties to Gotham and intimate knowledge of Batman's secret identity (which they are forbidden to act on by decree from Ra's al Ghul himself).
- Lisan alqatala is called a "Killer's tongue" and Safinat Dakhma translates into "Large Thing on the Waves."
- The daimoness Richter met the healer when he was seeking vengeance on his wife's killers. He mistook her for a witch of his people's myths, calling her Zarqa al-Yamama. Richter did not bother correcting him. Richter taught the physician to fight and stayed among his camp until the debt of justice was paid. She claimed her bounty by feasting on the souls of the guilty. According to the Kitab al Ghul "as Zarqa left, al Jabr promised her riches untold and eternal life. The white-witch returned in reply: This is your purpose, friend. I must now seek mine.
- Bruce Wayne was part of the White Glove and Oliver Queen was part of the Black Glove.
- They are true disciples of the Light.
- For centuries the organization used a piece of armor called the Suit of Sorrows.
- The League gives its members new names after indoctrination and brainwashing, because people without identity will want one. It can be anything. Shelly Gaynor took the name Heretic only after seeing a short prompt.
- Historical events the League orchestrated or at least played a part in include the third pandemic of the bubonic plague, the French Revolution, Red October, the Manhattaning, The Cataclysm, The Undertaking, and the Baliyian Revolution in Qurac.
- For unknown reasons the second Rorschach became an enemy of the League. They put out a contract after she crashed and demolished a safehouse. Rorschach might also be involved in a double homicide of a billionaire and a low-ranking member of the Safinat Dakhma.
- Members of the League know some ancient practices that allow them to harness qi, the energies of the Od.
- Nizari Ismailis was an Islamic sect known as Assassins. They were also an inspiration for Assassins in the Assassins Creed video games.
- The logo is similar to the one used in the Arrowverse.
- This organization is a combination of League of Assassins, Black Glove (Simon Hurt's criminal organization), Leviathan (Talia al Ghul's organization), and Foot Clan (from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).
- In the comics 'Eth Alth'eban is the sacred city of the League of Assassins.