Skull & Shackles
Achaekek (pronounced uh-CHAY-kek) is the god of assassins, and the patron god of the Red Mantis assassins, based on the island of Mediogalti. Achaekek takes a middle position between Calistria, the goddess of revenge if not necessarily murder, and Norgorber who is the god of all murder, whether paid for or not. Its symbol is a pair of mantis claws depicted as if in prayer.
Achaekek isn’t a true deity, but the first entity created by the gods to carry out their will. There is general disagreement as to who exactly is responsible for Achaekek’s creation, although it was most likely an alliance of several deities. Whatever its true origins may be, Achaekek was created as an agent for the gods, an enforcer of divine justice, specifically targeting all mortals who hoped to usurp the power of a god and achieve divinity. Not wishing to be become targets of He Who Walks in Blood themselves, however, they made it incapable of killing those who truly were gods, restricting its powers to slay those of demigod status or less.
The Mantis God has thwarted those seeking divinity numerous times throughout recorded history. The most famous instances include the slaying of Marsis during the Age of Enthronement, and the slaying of Yazanova in the Tusk Mountains in -212 AR.
The Mantis God has an uneasy relationship with most of Golarion’s deities, as they do not approve of his heavy-handed purpose and methods. None dare to oppose him however, at least not openly. What is even stranger, is that none of them have ever admitted ordering him to assassinate someone. Achaekek seems to instinctively find its targets, although some believe that the orders come from some yet-unknown source.
Achaekek does not actively seek followers. It is mentioned rarely in religious texts, but does appear in the ancient Book of Maan and the Path of Ways. It is occasionally worshiped by some ruthless druids and rangers, who wish to emulate its efficiency in killing. The largest public temple to the Mantis God is the Pagoda of the Mantis in the Redshore neighborhood of the city of Ilizmagorti, although the center of the faith is the heavily guarded Sarzari Library, located within the headquarters of the infamous Red Mantis Assassins, the Crimson Citadel.
The one group who secretly venerates He Who Walks in Blood are the Red Mantis assassins. They use the Mantis God’s persona and tactics as a model for their behavior and organization. The Red Mantis seek to emulate their patron’s role by never targeting a rightful monarch, just as Achaekek is incapable of killing the truly divine. They see the murder of monarchs as blasphemous and abhorrent, seeing them as the anointed agents of the divine in the mortal world.
The Mantis God makes his home on Hell’s first layer of Avernus, where he lives largely unmolested by the local devils. Even though the Lord of the First, Barbatos, can appreciate Achaekek’s methods, the archdevil does not like having such a powerful being not under his control on his doorstep.