Tanek is a Redguard assassin residing in the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary. Before joining the Brotherhood he was an apprentice of a blacksmith whom he killed in a fit of anger. He says that the Brotherhood taught him to focus his anger.
"So you're the new recruit, huh? No, don't tell me your name. I'll just call you New-blade. It's easier to remember and it's not like I'm going to know you for very long. Yes, New-blade. That's so much better."
Why don't you think I'll be around for long?"Oh, I don't mean to offend you. I just believe in full disclosure. We've lost an initiate and a fully trained assassin recently. Mirabelle's in denial, but I know what's happening. Someone's hunting the Brotherhood, and you make a tempting target."
I can take care of myself."Sure you can. So could Durisa. She still ended up face down in an Anvil alley with her throat slit from ear to ear. Whoever murdered her has some impressive skills, I'll give them that. Stay sharp, New-blade. We're not alone in the shadows any more."
[Remain silent.]"Trying to pull off the spooky thing? Not bad, but your technique needs a little work. I'm sure you just need some more practice. Anyway, stay sharp out there, New-blade. We're not the only scary things lurking in the shadows any more."
So what's your story, Tanek?"Oh, it's a long and sordid tale, full of romance and derring-do. Or if you prefer the short version, I was apprenticed to a smith in Sentinel. Loved the trade, hater my master. He liked to hammer more than just metal. When I had enough, I killed him."
And that's how you came to the Brotherhood?"Oh no, that was just the beginning of my story. I was young and stupid back then. I ran, but apparently not far or fast enough. Got to spend some quality time in Hammerfell dungeon for my actions. Eight years, if I recall correctly."
That sounds terrible."Well, it wasn't sunshine and camel milk, but I survived. Met some people. Learned some lessons. When one of the guards got sloppy, I was ready to act. Simple as that. Of course, my old life was over, but at least I was free."
So how'd you wind up in the Brotherhood?"Hey, I had to make a living. I was branded as a killer, so killing was what I did. Worked for the crime boss Bashshi-ra for awhile. Then I had a visit one night. The Speaker scared the piss our of me, but I couldn't refuse his generous offer."
Anything else I should know about the Brotherhood?"The Dark Brotherhood has been good to me. They taught me to focus my anger, to let the Dread Father work though me. I have a home, an income, and a set of rules to live by. Life makes sense to me here in the Sanctuary."
There are rules?"Oh, New-blade, there are always rules. The trick is to learn what they are before you get your hand caught in the sweetroll box. For us, it's all about the Five Tenets. I'm sure there's a book about them somewhere in the Sanctuary."
Tell me more about these murders."Durisa and Van? One was an experienced assassin who knew her business. The other was a raw recruit with hardly and blood on his blade. Kind of like you, New-blade. I could have been coincidence, but I think they were targeted by the same killer."
What makes you think the murders are connected?"Just a feeling, I guess. And the way they were left for all the world to see. Someone was proud of their work and wanted everyone to know it. And it had to be a professional. Durisa was too good to be taken down by an amateur."
Have you shared your suspicions with the Matron?"Matron Astara tells us what to think, not the other way around. But yes, we've talked about this. all we can do is stay alert and try to figure out who's behind the murders. Until then, we're just jumping at shadows. Very dangerous shadows."
"I was wondering how long it would take you to get here. Didn't Astara instill you with a sense of urgency about this mission? She must be getting tender-hearted after all these years."
Does everything amuse you?"Yes, I'd say so. I find life to be a complicated series of pranks and pratfalls. Besides, this is your mission. I'm only here to observe and offer assistance if you get in over your head. Speaking of which, try not to get captured or killed today."
So you're just going to stand around and watch?"No, that would be boring. You start murdering the Sermonizer's priests while I take on the real challenge. I'll locate her hiding spot. Then I'll find you so we can kill her together. That will put the fear of the Brotherhood in the Kvatch people!"
What happens if I get spotted making a kill?"Be stealthy or slaughter everyone that gets in your way. Whichever work best for you. They all wind up with Sithis in the end, so what's the worry? Now let's get out there and deal with the Grand Sermonizer and her lying priests."
Sounds like we have a plan.
In the Sanctuary:
"Kor and Hildegard mean well, but they're worse than a couple of mother hens. You're alive. Does that mean the Grand Sermonizer is no longer with us?"
The Grand Sermonizer is dead. But how are you doing?"We're not certain what kind of magic the Grand Sermonizer placed upon Cimbar's body, but I'd be dead, too, if not for you and Kor. I'm indebted to you both."
At least they didn't learn the location of the Sanctuary."And I'll make sure everyone remembers Cimbar's bravery. He refused to give up our secret, no matter what the Grand Sermonizer did to him. It does make me wonder about the warrior who was able to defeat him, though."
You mean that black-armored warrior?"Cimbar could easily best me in a fight, and that warrior bested him. If you encounter her again, don't underestimate her skills and abilities. She's hunting the hunters, and that's a game I have no desire to play."
Is there anything else you need right now?"A chance to beat your record. How many of the Sermonizer's priests did you murder, anyway? Seriously, New-blade, stay sharp out there. The roots of our trouble stretch deep below the soil. Things are going to get worse, my friend. Mark my words."
"Didn't think I'd stay in that bed forever, did you New-blade? As soon as I'm back to full strength, we'll see who's the better assassin!"
At least you have a backup carrier as a street performer."Ha! That's not bad, New-blade. Maybe you do have a sense of humor after all."
Are you caught up with what's been going on around here?"Heard about Mirabelle. Damn shame. Can't say I counted her as a friend, but she was part of the family. It sounds like you and Venom finally know who we're dealing with, at least. I look forward to things getting back to normal after you kill her."
"If I had known I'd have to do manual labor, I never would have joined the Brotherhood! But I found a way into the Cathedral that isn't locked up tight. It just took some digging. No, really. Some actual digging."
Where is this amazing entrance you've uncovered?"Inside this mausoleum. When they expanded the catacombs under the Cathedral some years back, the floor of this crypt collapsed. If you're squeamish, don't worry. Somebody was kind enough to relocate the bodies. I had no trouble expanding the hole."
Sounds like you had to do some heavy lifting."Heavy lifting? More like heavy digging. I had to clear some rubble out of the way, but now there's a passage that's big enough to maneuver through."
Tanek: "I had some questions. Kor said I should ask you directly." Hildegarde: "No, I don't shed, nor do I chase tossed bones. Yes, I mark my territory. No, I don't know why." Tanek: "I wanted to know how your hair stays braided when you transform back. You mark your territory?" Hildegarde: "No! No, I was joking. It was a joke." Tanek: "Of course it was. Just stay away from my things if you feel the beast coming on, eh?"
After "Filling the Void":
Tanek: "That was a battle for the ages! And I never got to kill someone in a Cathedral before." Kor: "For all the harm he caused us, I feel a little sorry for Primate Artorius." Tanek: "How could you feel sorry about that barnicle [sic] [Do not change this to barnacle. This misspelled word is how it appears in-game.] on a mudcrab after all he did to us?" Kor: "I feel sorry because he only got to die once. We should have killed him at least four times for what he did." Tanek: "I'm not sure you're really understanding the concept of empathy on this one, Kor."
Tanek:"I'm just going to sit here and see who comes for me first, Sithis or Tall-Papa." Kor:"Tanek! Are you just planning to lay down and die?" Tanek:"They knew we'd come for Cimbar. Trapped his body with some kind of foul death magic." Kor:"Get up, you milk-drinker! Sithis still has work for you to do." Kor:"Initiate! The Grand Sermonizer is yours! I'll get Tanek home."
In the Sanctuary:
Kor:"Don't worry, Tanek. A cask of mead and you'll be back on your feet in no time!" Tanek:"Ech. Your mead tastes like bee vomit. I'll pass." Hildegard:"Tanek, I hate that this happened to you!" Tanek:"You worry more than the Matron, Hildegard. I'll be as good as new before you know it. Ah, New-blade has arrived. Give us the room if you would, Kor." Kor:"Certainly, Tanek, but I still expect you to be completing contracts again in a few days." Tanek:"I'll do my best not to disappoint you." Hildegard:"Take your time, Tanek. I'm going to say a prayer for your quick recovery."
"Our quarry cowers in her family's estate outside Kvatch. I'll meet you there, New-blade. And if you really want to impress the Matron, kill a few more Sermonizers along the way." – After killing three sermonizers
"No Order of the Hour? Hmm. Follow me, New-blade." – Inside the manor
"New-blade! Come quietly and listen. Our quarry stirs below." – On the observation balcony
"She tortured Cimbar! Such an insult to the family cannot stand!" – In the interrogation room
"At least he knew how to hold his tongue."
"What foul magic is this? New-blade … beware … I feel … so weak …."
"Argh! I can't … move …."
"Don't worry about me. I just need to sleep right now." – After "A Lesson in Silence"
Filling the Void
"I'll stay behind and make sure none of the Cathedral guards get too curious about what we're doing back here. Besides, someone has to show Astara and the others the way inside once they arrive. Since I'm still recovering, I guess I'll volunteer." – Near the catacombs entrance
"If Green-Venom-Tongue were still here, he'd be writing this all down in that journal of his, preserving the moment for all eternity. Well, he's not here, so thank the Dread Father we won't have to remember a thing!" – After the ceremony
"I know I usually make jokes, but I wanted to say thanks. You killed the Black Dragon. You sent Artorius to the Void. And you accomplished all that without a modicum of my grace or social skills. Well done, Silencer. Well done."
"You made the rank of Silencer faster than anyone I've ever known. Not bad for a wet-behind-the-ears New-blade."