also known as Hellfire Clan, Orange Ninja and the T'ang Clan
The Gouka Consortium are one of the most feared organizations in all of Kara-Tur. This order of professional assassins can be distinguished by their trademark orange and black armor and frightful demon masks which grant them both an enhanced fortitude and a terrifying visage. Gouka roughly translates to "hell fire" but older versions of the word literally meant "world-destroying conflagration".
Operations and Tactics
The Gouka Consortium are known as the most effective and tenacious killers that can be bought. No wall is thick enough, no bodyguards tough enough, or safe-house hidden well enough to keep the Gouka from their prey. They take little notice of social or political status, seeing all marks as equal if their client pays the price. However, the assassins no longer take contracts on rightful monarchs, after a failed plot on Lord Colloron. Those who come to power by deception or might alone do not fall under this protection and are seen as viable targets.
They do not always take their payments in treasure, often accepting favors or the promise of future collaboration with the organization in lieu of gold. This makes some prospective clients nervous, as they never know what price the Gouka Consortium will ask. Even those who think they are receiving a bargain, later find out that they are paying a very high price indeed.
Contacting the Gouka Consortium can be a tricky proposition, as there are no direct channels. Those in search of their skills must spread rumors among the lowest, most criminal members of a given society and wait to be contacted by a representative. At other times, those who have a strong grudge against someone, or who wish to revenge themselves, are unexpectedly contacted by a member of the organization. It is unclear whether this near-prescient knowledge is merely the result of an extensive spy or informant network, or whether the Gouka use magical or supernatural means to spy on potential clients.
Members of the Gouka Consortium report to a cabal of ninja called the Shidoshi. This group of several dozen of the world's greatest ninja rule the organization from their secret underground headquarters, believed to be located deep inside the Hellfurnace Mountains (presumably near the ruins of Castle Orange.) Most of the Shidoshi are now women, and the deadly mistresses each have influence over a specific nation or region, dispatching agents to the lands they know. The pinnacle of power within the Gouka Consortium is the role of Hellfire and arguably grants more individual power than any other position in Kara-Tur.
The Gouka began as a small clan of ninja based in the mountain temple near Castle Orange on the border between Claybough and Attillan.
The Gouka Consortium remained neutral in the War with Myrlocke, choosing not to accept any contracts from either side, although some historians believe an agreement must have been struck between the Gouka and White Dragon allowing his group to get to Claybough in time to rally well before Myrlocke's Horde. Since the War, the Gouka have slowly but steadily insinuated their organization into virtually every nation in Kara-Tur.