This is an awesome piece of history and an intriguing story of etymology.

Once Upon a Time… (around 800+ AD) there existed a sect of Muslim warrior monks called Hashishins, from whom both the words, hashish and assassin were spawned. These monks were crazy bastards who, while they fought officially with scimitars, are reputed to use anything available to them, (tree branches, banisters) and pretty much went around like Jackie Chan(who kicks arse!). They were almost unbeatable in combat, which is where, eventually, the word assassin came from.

What about hashish you ask? Well, a contributing factor in their formidability in combat was their drug-induced inability to feel pain. That’s right. These psychos got doped up on a mix of THC(active ingredient in marijuana), Opium(heroin), and a hardcore Amphetamine that was much more potent than today’s speed. This combination of drugs stopped them feeling pain, made them fearless, sped up their movements and brain-waves quite considerably. The effect was so amazing that they would keep fighting long after suffering a (usually) fatal wound, only to die later, when they came down from their high.

Pretty cool huh?

But where did all these murderous stoners go? Curiously enough, around 1200 AD their sect disappeared, and they were no longer in the Muslim’s stories. They did appear briefly in another nation’s records: Mongolia. That’s right, the great Ghengis Khan, Conqueror of the world, was the only person in recorded history to defeat the Hashishins, and he wiped them from existence. How did he manage this, we don’t know, but a story of Khan’s conquering exploits details a group of people from the middle east who could each fight like an army unto themselves, and detailed their uniform.

And they all lived happily ever after… (well, the Mongols did).