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."
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