"Come closer and let me look into your eyes. No remorse, no mercy. Yes, you do have the eyes of a killer. How many lives ended looking into those eyes? Enough that the Night Mother has noticed, obviously. Which brings us both to this place and time."
Who are you?"I am Speaker for the Dark Brotherhood. I speak with the voice of the Night Mother. I act with the hands of our Dread Father, Sithis. I have an offer to make to one so skilled in the art of murder. An invitation, if you will."
<Remain silent.>"Nothing to say? I can appreciate that. I am Speaker for the Dark Brotherhood. I speak with the voice of the Night Mother. We have been watching you. You can deal death, but you lack purpose. We can change that ... if you are willing."
I'm listening, Speaker."As well you should. I am certain you have questions, but first we must determine if you are worthy of joining the Dark Brotherhood. You take lives easily and without hesitation. We know that you can kill. Now show us that you can also obey."
You're wrong, I'm no murderer."No? What do you call it? Self-defense? Justice? Did they all deserve to die? How you justify your actions does not matter. All souls belong to Sithis in the Void. We are simply the instruments of their delivery."
<Remain silent.>"Silence is the music of Sithis, so perhaps you will serve us well. But first we need to determine if you are worthy to join the Dark Brotherhood. You take lives easily and we know that you can kill. Now show us that you can also obey."
I'm ready to hear your proposal.
<Remain silent.>"Splendid! We shall see how well you marry business with death. But first, allow me to present you with gift. I shall teach you how to call upon a particular tool of our trade."
What sort of tool?"A tool for dealing death, of course. One forged by unseen hands. The Blade of Woe. Wield it from the shadows and its edge shall deliver your prey to Sithis in the Void."
<Remain silent.>"I grant you access to the Blade of Woe. Sharper than any other dagger you have at your disposal, it shall be your weapon just as silence is your armor. Wield the blade from the shadows and let its edge send your prey to Sithis."
I accept your gift."In return, I expect only unwavering loyalty and ruthless efficiency. Now, let us discuss the task before you. A killing that shall form a covenant between us, signed in blood."
Why has he been marked for death?"That isn't a question we ask. Suffice to say, he offended someone enough to get them to perform the Black Sacrament. The Night Mother heard the prayer and now Jarol must die. This is the task I have set before you."
I'll kill Lord Quintus Jarol."Excellent. The noble's estate can be found northwest of Anvil, along the Gold Road. How you perform the execution is up to you. Just make sure Lord Quintus Jarol dies by your hand. Then your initiation into the Dark Brotherhood will be complete."
Who's the Night Mother?"Our Unholy Matron and the one true bride of Sithis. We are her children, forever wrapped in her cold, loving embrace."
So the Night Mother is your leader?"There will be time enough for more questions after you complete the task before you. Just know that she watches you. She loves you, as she loves all her children. Do not disappoint her."
What's the Black Sacrament?"The Black Sacrament is the ritual by which a client procures the Dark Brotherhood's services. Using an effigy of the intended victim, the client pleads for the Night Mother to send an assassin to end the specified life. With no remorse, no regret."
So the Dark Brotherhood is a group of paid assassins."To put it simply, yes. The lives of the innocent and the guilty alike are ours for the taking. And every soul goes to Sithis, as long as the price is paid. Death is our craft, our religion, and our trade. And business, as always, is good."
Tell me more about the Blade of Woe."The Blade of Woe is the ebony dagger of our Brotherhood. It is a single weapon, unique and powerful in the right hands. When one of our Brothers or Sisters needs the blade for a kill, it appears to help carry out the assassination."
Any words of wisdom before I set out to murder the noble?"The wise traveler asks for directions before the path diverges. Never hesitate to rely on your fellow Brotherhood members once you complete your initiation. I assume you want to know what awaits you at the noble's estate?"
I suppose that's as good a place to start as any."Killing requires few special skills, but reaching your target? That's the real task, isn't it? High walls, locked gates, and armed patrols protect the estate. There is another way to reach the estate grounds, if you're interested."
I'm interested."A series of smuggler tunnels runs beneath the Withered Rose and leads directly to the estate's courtyard. That's the route I would take. And don't forget to bring lockpicks. Jarol is a cautious man. He never leaves a door unlocked behind him."
What's the Withered Rose?"The Withered Rose? A small hostel outside the city. A lovely mother and daughter own the place, but they've had trouble making ends meet. The smuggler tunnels provide them with an alternate source of income. And they're perfect for your needs."
After killing Lord Quintus Jarol:
"We know that Quintus Jarol is dead. The Brotherhood has eyes everywhere. You have done well. The covenant is sealed, signed in blood. Welcome to the family, Brother."
That's all I had to do to prove myself?"We have been watching you for a long time. Killing the noble simply sealed our covenant. Now you need to meet your Brothers and Sisters. I will send you to a Sanctuary. A safehouse of sorts. A home, as well as a source of additional contracts."
Where is this Sanctuary?"Not far. It's the reason I summoned you to the Gold Coast. There is much work to accomplish here, and you will be a part of that. Your new home lies in the north, hidden beneath Varen's Wall. Go there and attempt to open the Black Door."
The Black Door?"The Black Door will pose a question: "What is the flavor of fear?" Reply, "Sublime, my Brother," and the Sanctuary shall be open to you. Once inside, seek out Astara. She has additional instructions for you."
Are there other Sanctuaries?"Of course. Since the formation of the Dark Brotherhood, our shadow has stretched across the entirety of Tamriel. Not every Sanctuary has flourished, however, and our grip isn't as secure as we'd like in certain parts of the world."
I don't understand."Not that it concerns you, but Vvardenfell continues to be a source of ... irritation. The Gold Coast, however, presents an opportunity we can all profit from. Here, we can establish a foothold that will serve the Brotherhood for generations to come."
Why are you called a Speaker?"I am the voice of the Night Mother. She conveys her will to the Listener, who then passes it on the one of the four Speakers of the Black Hand to carry out."
The Black Hand?"The Black Hand, the instrument by which the Night Mother rules the Dark Brotherhood. It consists of one Listener and four Speakers. Four fingers and a thumb. Never more, never less. The Black Hand oversees the Sanctuaries, among other duties."
What happened to the woman in the chair?"Just a little business I had to attend to. I do like to keep my dagger sharp, as it were. Her family had certain documents and presumed to make allegations that might have embarrassed the Brotherhood."
So you killed her to avoid embarrassment?"The Brotherhood isn't that petty, but we do have certain obligations to uphold. I gave her the greatest gift of all—solace. Just as you gave the same gift to Lord Jarol. And there will be many more gifts to grant before your work is done."
"I arrive in response to the Black Sacrament and look who I find. An interesting turn of events, don't you agree? One contract comes into conflict with another and you're caught in the middle. That makes you the ideal candidate to sort things out."
I am?"The Night Mother heard the Count's prayer and Fortunata ap Dugal has been named. Her soul is promised to Sithis now. And you will keep that promise. The Count's contract is yours to fulfill."
I'm already on a contract for Governor Fortunata."You completed Fortunata's contract to the letter. No one can say that the Brotherhood didn't discharge its obligations in that regard. Now we have a new contract, and not all the gold in Anvil can change that. The Count's sacrament is yours."
Governor Fortunata won't survive the day."Very good. Seek out your Sister, Mirabelle, in Anvil Castle. She can provide aid and advice should you need it. The secret exit in the dignitary suite is the fastest route out of this castle. Now go and fulfill the Night Mother's will."
After the quest:
I've never seen the Black Sacrament performed before."Communion with the Night Mother is a private thing. There have been exceptions, but most petitioners hide their dark desires from prying eyes. It takes a deep commitment to see the Black Sacrament through, but that doesn't mean it's always accepted."
You mean the Dark Brotherhood can refuse the request? (Can the Dark Brotherhood refuse to accept the offering?)"Who the Night Mother decides to answer is up to her and her alone. But when she speaks, we answer, quickly and without question."
What is required of a petitioner? (How does a petitioner get heard by the Night Mother?)"They must build and effigy of blood, flesh, and bone—the symbol of their desire—and drive a blade anointed with nightshade into their offering as they recite the incantation. Through this ritual, they may be heard by the Night Mother."
"The Black Hand has studied the situation and we have devised a strategy for dealing with the Order of the Hour. We will strike first, attacking from the shadows and winnowing their numbers while you stalk our true enemy―Primate Artorius."
What do you want me to do when I reach Artorius?"I want you to kill Artorius and fill the Void with his blood. Let the Order see what it means to challenge the Dark Brotherhood. Show them what happens when you hunt the hunters. But reaching Artorius will require all your Brothers and Sisters."
All of us? Artorius is just one man."One man hiding behind thick walls and guarded by a small army. Tanek is in Kvatch, seeking a way for you to breach the Cathedral's defenses. Astara and the rest of your brethren will follow after you. Reach Artorius and kill well, Assassin."
Artorius will die."Meet Tanek in Kvatch. He should have had plenty of time to find a way past Artorius' defenses so that you can enter the Cathedral. Other members of your family will join you once the way has been opened."
Why has Artorius decided to go against the Brotherhood?"As some in power reach higher levels, the rungs they stand upon become more tenuous. I assume that since Artorius once used the Brotherhood to rise to the top, he began to worry that someone would do the same to him. He decided to strike first."
Artorius actually performed the Black Sacrament?"Does that surprise you? People from all walks of life seek the services we provide. Nobles, priests, commoners―it makes no difference to the Night Mother. Artorius wanted to become Primate. He asked us to remove his predecessor and we complied."
How can we fight the Order of the Hour? There's an army!"And we're a collection of lone assassins. I say let them come. Let them march into our empty halls as the shadows close around them. We are those shadows, cutting them down one by one. When night falls upon the Order, it will be everlasting."
Where's Astara? I expected her to give me these orders."These orders come from the Black Hand. Besides, your matron has another task. She leads your brethren on a hunt. To pick off the Order, reduce their numbers. They'll be at your side when you need them most. And then the Primate will die."
Back in the Sanctuary:
"Welcome home, Assassin. I know what occurred but I want to hear it from your lips. Say the words and say them loud."
Primate Artorius is dead."Then the head of the beast has been cut off. Well done, Assassin! We will reach out to Count Carolus and the Order of the Hour to make sure this ill-conceived war ends here."
Is there anything else we need to do, Speaker?."Regarding Artorius and the Black Dragon? No. That threat has passed. But there is one more thing. Step back, Assassin, and prepare yourself."
Astara Caerellius: "The Black Dragon has struck again. Mirabelle is dead." Speaker Terenus: "This happened during the Assassin's mission? Did we learn anything or did Mirabelle die in vain?" Astara Caerellius: "We learned that the Black Dragon is the First Sword of the Order of the Hour. We recovered her journal and discovered her true name—Lyra." Green-Venom-Tongue: "Lyra? Hmm. Allow me to study the journal and its secrets will be revealed." Astara Caerellius: "I can't think of anyone better for the task, Brother." Green-Venom-Tongue: "I'll dig into the Black Dragon's journal immediately." Speaker Terenus: "See that you do."
Filling the Void
Once Artorius is killed, Terenus will greet the Vestige back at the sanctuary. After giving them the reward, he will give the following speech:
Speaker Terenus: "Sweet Mother, sweet Mother, look upon your child and smile. For the unworthy have been cleansed in blood and fear. His/Her heart shines with the color of night. His/Her song sings with the music of life. His/Her gaze inspires fear and his/her hands grant the gift of death. The dread father acts through him/her. And his/her work has just begun." Astara Caerellius: "Step forward, loyal Brother/Sister." Speaker Terenus: "Step forward, my Silencer!" All Brotherhood Members: "Hail Sithis!"
"Find the Sanctuary. Open the Black Door. Your Brothers and Sisters wait to greet you with open arms. I look forward to watching you progress, Initiate. And once again, welcome to the family." – After speaking to him in the lighthouse
A Special Request
"Initiate, let us speak." – After speaking to Count Carolus in the Castle Kvatch
"My dear Count, let's discuss the terms of this contract." – After speaking with him
"Find Mirabelle in Anvil Castle. The Count and I have business to discuss. Your business, Initiate, is murder. Best you get to it."
Filling the Void
"You are a Silencer now, an honored member of our family. I expect you to fill the Dread Father's Void with many, many souls. Go forth, Silencer, and may your blade never lose its edge" – After the ceremony