This autobiographical writing chronicles contracts performed by an Imperial assassin of the Dark Brotherhood, Cicero. Starting on the 8th day of Evening Star and following through until the 27th day of Rain's Hand, the journal was written by Cicero at the end of 4E 186 and rolls into the new year, into 4E 187 of the Fourth Era. Events written herein track Cicero's acceptance into the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary in Cheydinhal, after the collapse of the Bruma Sanctuary. The book mentions the killing of a baroness, the physical absence of the Black Hand, and how it has affected the power scale of the Brotherhood, and Cicero's personal conflicts with Rasha, a Khajiiti Speaker. Also mentioned here are the presence of the last known Listener, a female Breton named Alisanne Dupre, her desire to reestablish the recruitment of Shadowscales, and Cicero's posing as a fan of the Arena's Grand Champion. The latter led to rumors that the Adoring Fan of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Cicero were the same person. First in a series of five, the following editions are: Volume 2, Volume 3, Volume 4, and the Final Volume.
8th of Evening Star
4E 186 As I begin this new phase of my life, I have decided to finally keep a journal. So much has happened to me thus far, both within the Brotherhood and without - when I think there is no record of what has transpired, it almost seems an affront to Sithis himself. So I am determined to make amends.
Yes, the Dark Brotherhood has its own scribes and chroniclers, but it is their solemn task to record those events deemed important to the organization as a whole. Let this volume serve as the personal record of one man, a lowly assassin who has pledged his blade and his life for the Dark Brotherhood.
23rd of Evening Star
4E 186 I have arrived safely in the Cheydinhal Sanctuary, and have been greeted warmly by Rasha and the others. Indeed, the level of support and acceptance shown by my new family is rather overwhelming. For this Sanctuary knows suffering, knows sorrow, for the ghosts of Purification still haunt its halls. So, who better to understand the plight of a brother who has lost home and heart? Who better to comfort one whose Sanctuary is no more?
The Bruma Sanctuary may be gone, but my dearest brothers and sisters will live forever in my dreams, just as their souls live forever by the Dread Father's side.
1st of Rain's Hand
4E 187 Completed the baroness contract. She died well. Her handmaiden, less so.
12th of Rain's Hand
4E 187 Cheydinhal suits me. With the destruction or abandonment of the other Sanctuaries, our contracts are plentiful, as are our bonuses.
Still, we seem to be losing our footholds throughout Tamriel at an alarming rate. There are rumors that the Black Hand is split on our continued direction. Some favor expansion, the others consolidation.
My personal feeling is that the Dark Brotherhood needs to, at the very least, maintain the illusion of being everywhere at once. It has become exceedingly difficult to fulfill (or even establish) contracts in provinces where we no longer have a physical presence, like Hammerfell. The more we ignore Tamriel, the more people lose faith in the Dark Brotherhood - our power, our services, our dedication to the Void.
27th of Rain's Hand
4E 187 The Listener, Alisanne Dupre, has been visiting with us for several days, down from her private residence in Bravil. She and Rasha had been discussing the possibility of re-opening the Shadowscale training facility of Archon, in Black Marsh, but ultimately decided we lacked the resources to follow through with the plan.
27th of Rain's Hand
4E 187 Completed the Arena contract. I ultimately decided to pose as a starstruck fan, and immediately got into the Grand Champion's good graces. While escorting the arrogant fool through the Great Forest, I slashed his throat and left the corpse for the bears.