- "From within and without come enemies and allies alike. Nothing in life is guaranteed, except surprise..."
- ―Ah Tabai.[src]
Ah Tabai (1660s – c. 1745) was a Maya Assassin and the Mentor of the West Indies Brotherhood of Assassins in the first half of the 18th century. Under his tenure, the Caribbean Assassins secured the Observatory under their protection and decisively destroyed their archenemies, the West Indies Rite of the Templar Order thanks to the unlikely exploits of Edward Kenway, a pirate who eventually converted to the Assassin cause.
Although Assassin control in the West Indies would remain uncontested for the rest of his life, Ah Tabai's later years also saw tensions with a splinter Brotherhood established in Saint-Dominigue by the radical Assassin François Mackandal. At the end of his life, one of his last acts was to send his last disciple, Achilles Davenport, to the British colonies in continental North America and establish the Colonial Brotherhood. Aside from Achilles, two other notable students of his include Mary Read and Adéwalé, the quartermaster for Edward Kenway prior to his recruitment.
Born in the 1660s to a family of Mayan Assassins and fathered by the Assassin Bahlam, Ah Tabai spent the entirety of his youth with the Order. In 1673, he briefly met the Sage Thom Kavanagh when his father brought the man to the Assassin compound, and subsequently traveled with them to prepare the Sage for his journey to the Observatory. Little else is known of his early decades.
By 1705, Ah Tabai had a son, but the child died before his tenth birthday.
Mentor of the West Indies Assassins
By 1713, Ah Tabai had risen to the rank of Mentor. He maintained semi-regular contact with the Assassins in the British North American colonies, various parts of Europe and Africa, as well as China. Besides this, Ah Tabai was also crucial in opening the West Indies Assassins to men and women from around the world. His Brotherhood consisted mainly of Europeans, Africans and the local natives.
In 1713, rumors began circulating of the appearance of a new Sage and Ah Tabai, believing it was the Assassins' duty to protect the Observatory, sent word to various Assassin outposts in an attempt to track the man down. However, two years later, the effort had yielded no results.
Prior to 1715, Ah Tabai met Mary Read in Spanish Town, Jamaica, and elected to take her on as a student. In early 1715, Ah Tabai also met the Assassin Duncan Walpole, who requested to train under the Mentor directly, despite already being a Master Assassin. Over the course of the next few months, Ah Tabai came to regard Walpole as one of his most trusted colleagues.
In June of that year, the West Indies Assassins received word that a Sage - Bartholomew Roberts - had been captured by the Templars and was being transported via prison ship to Havana. Noticing an opportunity to deliver a crippling blow to his enemies, Ah Tabai tasked Walpole with gathering Assassin forces throughout the region and launching an assault on the ship.
It was only after Walpole left the Brotherhood's base in Tulum that Ah Tabai learned of his defection to the Templar Order. However, the full extent of Walpole's betrayal was not realized until later: after a failed attempt by the Assassins to recover the Sage via ground assault, it was discovered that Walpole had intended to present a blood vial and maps marking the location of West Indies Assassin bureaus to the Templars. Instead, they had been delivered by the pirate Edward Kenway, who had assumed Duncan's identity.
Quest for the Sage
- Ah Tabai: "It seems another Sage has been found, the race for the Observatory begins anew."
- Edward: "Is that why we're whispering?"
- Ah Tabai: "This is your doing, Captain Kenway. The maps you sold to the Templars have led them straight to us. And now the agents of two empires know exactly where we operate."
- —Ah Tabai and Edward during the attack on Tulum, 1716.[src]
Ah Tabai was present when Mary brought Edward to Tulum in 1716, and demanded to know Walpole's location. Edward admitted to killing the man in the midst of a confrontation. Although he expressed no sorrow at Walpole's death, Ah Tabai confronted the pirate for having killed the Assassins sent after the Sage, and for unwittingly providing the location of Assassin bases to the Templars.
Mary informed her Mentor that Edward had "the Sense", and that he had met the Sage, staying Ah Tabai's hand. After confirming that Edward would recognize the Sage if he saw the man again, Ah Tabai allowed Mary to escort Edward into a temple to see if a bust of the Sage within resembled Roberts.
When the two returned, the village had been seized by British soldiers sent by the Templars. After Edward worked to free both Assassins and his own crew, Ah Tabai noted his noble actions, but remarked on his arrogance, stating that he had not earned the right to wear the Assassin robes he had taken from Walpole. Ah Tabai declared Edward absolved of his actions in Havana and elsewhere, but said he was not welcome in Tulum.
- Ah Tabai: "What do you think of our creed?"
- Edward: "It's hard to say. For if nothing is true, then why believe anything? And if everything is permitted... why not chase every desire?"
- Ah Tabai: "Why indeed?"
- Edward: "It might be that this idea is only the beginning of wisdom, and not its final form."
- Ah Tabai: "That's quite a step up from the Edward I met here many years ago."
- —Edward and Ah Tabai discussing the Creed, 1721.[src]
In 1720, Ah Tabai met with Edward's quartermaster, Adéwalé, after the man was forced to abandon his captain in Long Bay, Jamaica. Disillusioned with the defunct Pirate Republic in Nassau, Adéwalé was in search of a nobler cause and spoke with Ah Tabai at length, inquiring about the nature of Assassin Order. Pleased with what he learned, Adéwalé joined the Assassins, and Ah Tabai took him on as a student.
Several months later, news reached Tulum that Edward was imprisoned in Port Royal, along with Mary and Anne Bonny. Adéwalé and Ah Tabai, after taking some convincing, devised a scheme to rescue the three, and Ah Tabai himself traveled to the prison to execute it.
Releasing Edward from a gibbet outside of the fort, he offered the man safe passage in return for assistance in rescuing Mary and Anne. Though they successfully saved Anne, Mary died as a result of sickness from childbirth in the prison's unsanitary conditions. When Edward brought her body to Ah Tabai's boat, Ah Tabai presented him with the Assassin robes taken from Walpole, saying that while he had not earned them, they suited him.
After drinking heavily to drown his sorrow at Mary's passing, Edward returned to Tulum at Adéwalé's request. Having come to terms with his flaws, Edward asked Ah Tabai to help him redeem himself, as Mary's dying wish had been for him to make amends and join the Assassins.
Ah Tabai acknowledged Mary's high opinion of Edward, and the two briefly conversed about the principles of the Order, with Edward offering his perspective. Though admitting it was an undeveloped one, Ah Tabai nevertheless encouraged him, saying that it was a significant step up from the man he had met five years before.
The two were interrupted by a Spanish attack on the island, which Edward assisted in repelling, using the rope darts given to him by Ah Tabai. Following the battle, Ah Tabai assigned Edward three assassination targets: Woodes Rogers, Bartholomew Roberts, and Grand Master Laureano de Torres y Ayala.
Fight for the Observatory
- Ah Tabai: "(Quiet now. Go back to sleep.) We will seal this place, and discard the key. Until another Sage appears, this door will remain locked."
- Edward: "There were vials when I came here last. Filled with the blood of ancient men, Roberts said. But they're gone now."
- Ah Tabai: "Then it's up to us to recover them. Before the Templars catch wind of this. You could join us in that cause."
- —Edward and Ah Tabai after returning the Skull, 1722.[src]
After Edward killed Torres in the Observatory in 1722, Ah Tabai arrived and congratulated him before inserting the Crystal Skull, which powered the Observatory back into the armillary sphere. He declared that the Observatory should remain sealed until such time as the next Sage was found.
Although Edward revealed that when he last visited the Observatory with Roberts, many hundreds of blood vials present were now gone. He promised to help recover them after he returned home to Bristol to see his wife, Caroline. Remorsefully, Ah Tabai handed a letter, which had arrived for Edward a week prior, to him, informing him the death of his wife and the existence of his daughter, Jennifer Scott.
Before reuniting with his daughter, Edward offered Ah Tabai and the Assassins the use of his Manor on Great Inagua. Although Ah Tabai believed, as Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad had, that the Order should decentralize and live with the people it sought to protect, he readily accepted the offer.
- "I hope your remaining days are comfortable and free of pain, Ah Tabai. Thank you for everything you have given me. I will never forget you."
- ―Acarina Larssons last letter to Ah Tabai, 1745.[src]
Personality and characteristics
- "Our goal must be to scatter our operations. To live and work among the people we protect, just as Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad once counseled."
- ―Ah Tabai, 1722.[src]
Born and raised as an Assassin, Ah Tabai took his role very seriously, displaying a calm and wise bearing. He also had little patience with Edward Kenway's cocky and arrogant behavior. He rarely spoke of his own life, and when he did, it would only be in the form of cryptic references. Ah Tabai was proud of his Mayan heritage, and would often speak of his people's tragic history. He used these stories to exemplify the complexity of interactions between different cultures and religions. This led him to accept people of all faiths and nationalities into the Brotherhood. His compassion and wisdom led the Assassins under his command to look up to him greatly. Despite his great intellect, Ah Tabai was still deceived into trusting the Assassin turncoat Duncan Walpole.
Dedicated to the Assassin cause, Ah Tabai synthesized it with the ways of his people. Born in Tulum, he lived a somewhat ascetic life in the Assassin community. As a Mayan, he was well acquainted with stories and rumors of the ancient Observatory, believing the Assassins should be the ones to protect it. For most of his life, Ah Tabai strove to adhere as closely as possible to the ideals of the legendary Assassin Mentor Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, sharing his beliefs that the Assassins should live among the people in order to protect them.
Despite his near stoic demeanor, Ah Tabai could be a caring and sensitive individual. He cared deeply for the men and women under his command, and felt guilty over the Assassins that died during the many attacks on Tulum, eventually agreeing to relocate to Great Inagua. He also admonished Edward for having brought both direct and indirect harm to the Assassins, specifically those he murdered in Havana when masquerading as Duncan Walpole. He expressed great dismay upon discovering Mary Read's death, and singlehandedly escorted a laboring Anne Bonny out of prison, calming her during childbirth. Ah Tabai could also be very forgiving, absolving Edward of his actions against the Assassins. Despite his distrust towards the pirate, Ah Tabai freed him from prison without demanding anything in return. He later bade Edward good fortune and accepted him into the Brotherhood, recognizing the pirate's sincerity.
However, such kindness did not extend to those who had betrayed him. Having been deceived by Duncan Walpole, Ah Tabai was furious upon learning of the man's treachery and was later satisfied to learn that Duncan had been killed.
Equipment and skills
Having been born into the Brotherhood, Ah Tabai was a highly skilled Assassin. He was especially adept at stealth, using the environment to hide, and was a capable freerunner as well. Throughout his life, Ah Tabai would pass these skills on, training Assassins such as Mary Read, Duncan Walpole, Adéwalé, Edward Kenway, and Achilles Davenport.
Even as a middle-aged man, Ah Tabai was able to evade capture by Laurens Prins' troops, and silently dispatch several of them undetected during an attack on Tulum. He would later sneak into Fort Charles alone and free Edward Kenway and Anne Bonny, before escaping in a rowing boat.
Ah Tabai wore a sienna set of robes with a metal shoulderplate and collar. He was equipped with dual Hidden Blades, a small knife, and a blowpipe. He used these to kill or incapacitate efficiently, while usually avoiding combat.
- Ah Tabai is the name of a Mayan god of hunting and protector of animals.
- In the memory "Overrun and Outnumbered", Ah Tabai appears with a red aura when seen with Eagle Vision. However, it is unknown if this is a glitch or deliberate design decision, due to hostilities between Edward and Ah Tabai for the pirate's harmful actions against the Brotherhood.
- Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (first appearance)
- Assassin's Creed: Black Flag
- Assassin's Creed: Memories
- Assassin's Creed: Identity (mentioned in Database entry only)