- “They are masters of deceit. Vampires are bound by the night, but these predators can be anywhere, anytime. They can appear as normal as the next person. Just another face in the crowd. You might not ever know when one of them is near - not until the moment of your death.”
- ―Rupert Giles[src]
The Order of Taraka was a society of deadly and feared assassins and bounty hunters. Some of them were humans while others were demons.
- “They have no earthly desire except to collect their bounty. To find their target and eliminate it -. You can kill as many of them as you like. It won't make any difference - because where there is one, there will be another. And another. They won't stop coming until the job is done.”
- ―Rupert Giles[src]
The records on the Order of Taraka indicated that they existed at least since the times of King Solomon (970 B.C.). Throughout the centuries, they became widely feared and respected. They could be identified by a ring worn by each member of the Order, which bore the society's symbol.
According to Rupert Giles, the credo of the Order was to sow discord and kill the unwary. Its members had no earthly desires but to collect their bounties. Each of them worked alone and with their own methods, though most of them preferred to assume a disguise to observe and stalk their victims until it was time to strike. If one assassin was killed, another would take his place until the target had been eliminated.
The contract on Buffy Summers
In late 1997, the vampire Spike summoned the Order of Taraka to hunt down Buffy Summers, the Slayer, so she would not interfere in his attempt to restore the health of his lover Drusilla. Dru's tarot cards predicted the coming of three assassins, represented by cards depicting a cyclops, an insect and a jaguar. The assassins, Octarus, Norman Pfister and Patrice took different tactics to attacking Buffy but were ultimately unsuccessful: Octarus attacked Buffy at a skating rink but had his throat slit with an ice skate instead, Norman attempted to infiltrate Buffy's house as a salesman, but was found out by Cordelia Chase and Xander Harris who escaped to warn Buffy while Patrice attacked with a gun at Buffy's career fair, disguised as a police officer but was driven off. When Spike cured Drusilla, Norman and Patrice were in attendance and Patrice nearly killed Buffy before Kendra Young and the Scooby Gang interfered. Norman was killed by Xander and Cordelia who had figured out his weakness and devised a trap and Patrice was knocked out by Kendra and presumably burned to death in the following fire.
Following the deaths of the three assassins and the defeat of Spike and Drusilla, the contract on Buffy was cancelled, thus the Order didn't send anymore Tarakans after her.