The game's protagonist, Corvo Attano was the hand-chosen bodyguard of the beloved Empress Jessamine Kaldwin, given the position both for his skill and as a gesture of diplomacy - no foreigner had ever held the position before Corvo, who is from Serkonos, not Gristol. He is framed for her murder and is in prison awaiting execution when the Loyalists break him out. Soon after getting to their base, the Outsider appears in a dream and grants Corvo a mark that imbues him with supernatural abilities. Corvo sets out to find the Empress' young daughter and heir to the throne, as well as discover the answers behind Jessamine's murder and his own betrayal.
Abhorrent Admirer: Subverted if Corvo makes a pass at Callista. She mentions she's happy to let him into her bed. It's just being surrounded by plague, murder, and so on isn't exactly something which puts her in the mood.
Anti-Hero: Even in the pacifist run, he sells people into slavery, kidnaps them and gives them to stalkers, and flat out resorts to torture and mutilation. Granted, a lot of them have it coming. He's a Villain Protagonist if the player really pushes for High Chaos - fulfilling those conditions requires, among other things, killing upwards of fifty percent of all NPCs that exist in the game.
Brought Down to Badass: Certain enemies or instruments have the ability to negate Corvo's 'gifts' from the Outsider. The problem is that he still was an in-universe Memetic Badass before he even got them.
Memetic Badass: Used In-Universe. Guards will comment on Corvo's combat skills being legendary (even before he gets his super powers). As Lord Protector, Corvo was often seen sparring against entire squads alone and winning and apparently his military record is amazing. Older guards will warn their younger comrades that trying to take on Corvo one-on-one is tantamount to suicide. One guard advises another that if he should encounter Corvo alone to make sure to "make a lot of noise as you die" to warn the rest of them.
One-Man Army: Is capable of cutting down swathes of watchmen armed with swords and guns, leaving piles of bodies in his wake.
Bodyguard Crush: There's several indications throughout the game that Corvo had a romance going with the Empress Jessamine. Emily will ponder the ramifications of Corvo marrying the Empress and will make a point to note how sad and lonely her mother seemed with Corvo away. Sokolov will taunt Corvo in a way hinting that the Empress and Corvo were lovers. Certain insults take on entirely more disturbing connotations if viewed through the lens of a Corvo who was sexually involved with Jessamine. The Heart, implied to be that of Jessamine and containing her soul, is given to Corvo by the Outsider - ensuring that Corvo will keep her heart close and protected literally, a gruesome twist on the poetic symbolism of the heart in romantic love and his role as her protector. And last but not least, the whole opening narration by the Empress itself reads like Corvo is more than just her bodyguard.
Childhood Friend Romance: A book on the history of the office mentions that Jessamine would have chosen her Lord Protector when she was twelve, and Corvo appears to be about the same age as her.
Lydia will consider asking Corvo outright if that was the case, but decides not to as it would be improper.
At some point in the game, Emily will draw Corvo with the caption "Daddy".
In the final level with High Chaos, Treavor Pendleton will outright say that "everyone knows [Corvo was] screwing the Empress". Whether this is actually true or just a desperate attempt at an insult is not clear.
Cool Sword: Collapsible, custom-made, feather-light and razor-sharp. Upgrading will replace its somewhat nicked steel blade with glistening black. A lot of attention was obviously paid to the animation of Corvo snapping it fully open, which is almost hypnotising.
Cruel Mercy: If he doesn't kill you, he'll make you wish he had. Averted in the case of Daud, when sparing him is an act of genuine mercy.
Frame Up: The tutorial is his arriving home just in time to witness the Empress's murder. The game proper starts with him in prison and about to be executed for it.
His actions will directly affect the world around him. Some consequences of a violent playthrough are more or less understandable, like tighter security and proliferating plague hatched from numerous dead bodies, but a freaking storm raging around the final level that wouldn't be there for the Low Chaos Corvo is pretty hard to explain otherwise.
His attitude also influences that of the Loyalist Conspirators, with violence making them more cynical and violent themselves, such as Martin losing his desire to see the Overseers reformed or Havelock being using a more violent method when he kills Wallace.
Random citizens who've had no contact with Corvo are affected too. In the first mission you'll find an infected Overseer who begs for death rather than infect others if chaoes is low, but attempts to hide his condition if it's high.
The Heart: Surprisingly. In Low Chaos, where Corvo does not disrupt the city more than absolutely necessary and shows mercy at every turn, the Loyalists are much more cordial with each other and generally more upbeat, talking about working toward a better future. In High Chaos, where Corvo is generally a murdering psychopath, they're far darker, snapping at each other and showing no sympathy for the plights of others, even approving of harsh methods and blackmail. Not that being The Heart stops Corvo from being betrayed even in Low Chaos, but it's the thought that counts.
Heroic Mime: The game designers chose not to have Corvo speak so that the player can project themselves onto the character. However, it's something of a Double Subversion in practice. The options given in the game indicate that he is speaking when he communicates with someone else, and he doesn't nod or shake his head when in communication with others. However, the lines given have no voice actor associated with them. Fridge Logic kicks in at a couple points, such as one encounter in which Corvo holds a conversation with a blindfolded man who assumes throughout the talk that Corvo is a woman.
Papa Wolf: His relationship with Emily is made very clear by his actions towards her, and hers towards him. In short: do not, under any circumstances, screw with that kid.
Parental Substitute: Seems to be this for Emily. It's not clear whether or not they are actually related, but Emily does see him as a father figure. Either way, he's as devoted to her as any good father would be to his daughter. If she's alive in the ending, she even has Corvo buried next to her mother.
Along with the Bodyguard Crush between Corvo and the Empress, there's some hints that he might actually be Emily's real father. After you return from abducting Sokolov, she'll have made a drawing of you without the mask and left it by your bed. It's labelled "Daddy". Toward the end of the game, Havelock's final journal entry will even have him ask the question "Is she really his daughter?", and the Outsider, in the ending narration, says "[Corvo] was more to her than Royal Protector".
Pay Evil unto Evil: An alternate interpretation of his Cruel Mercy may be that he hates his targets so much that personally killing them isn't enough.
Spanner in the Works: Corvo returned early to Dunwall; he was supposed to arrive the next day, after the assassination had happened. At first the Lord Regent figures it for a bonus, since it gave them a patsy, but ultimately this leads to Corvo becoming his most terrible enemy; Daud, meanwhile, was pissed that Corvo injured several of his men and doubled his fee to the Lord Regent.
Technical Pacifist: He can be played this way - never spilling a drop of blood by his own hand, but inflicting a diverse variety of awful fates on his enemies by other means. The only exception is when defending the Empress against assassins in the opening; while you can theoretically keep them alive, they don't count towards the kill count, and the Knife of Dunwall confirms that he injured at least one.
Depending on the decisions of the player, he can kill characters that are no longer useful to him.
Is on the receiving end of this, when ordered to be poisoned by Havelock and Pendleton after he kills the Lord Regent. Thankfully, Samuel only gave him half - the best he could do under Havelock's close watch.
Sees her mother get murdered in front of her, and is then kidnapped;
Is held against her will at a brothel by two noblemen for six months;
Has nightmares the whole time and might have been visited by the Outsider;
Witnesses the murders of the people who protected her, while the only person she ever trusted is taken away from her;
Is once again held in captivity, until rescued one last time.
It's even worse if you took the High Chaos approach as she is almost killed herself (and can be). Everything then influences her to be evil on the throne, and chaos looms Dunwall as a result.So yeah, she has a great time.
Bodyguard Crush: One of the first things she does is ask if Corvo will marry her if he doesn't marry her mother.
The Chosen One: Downplayed, but she is the only one the Outsider is willing to interfere in order to protect. Normally, he just appears to those he has Marked to comment on what they're doing, but when Delilah hatches a plan to pull a Grand Theft Me on Emily, the Outsider sets Daud on the path to stopping her.
Creepy Child: Says some seriously disturbing things if you have high Chaos.
Disappeared Dad: No mention of who her father actually is, but Corvo fills the role of a father figure for her. While it's never confirmed, there are many things that point to it being true, with even the characters wondering if Corvo is actually her father. Regardless, he is certainly just as devoted to her as a father should be to their child.
Electra Complex: She also seems to view Corvo as her father. It's strongly implied he might actually be her father.
Enfant Terrible: She learns from Corvo's example (rather like Eleanor Lamb). On a high Chaos run, that sees her end up as one seriously scary kid. After you do away with the Lord Regent on high Chaos, she makes some disturbing remarks about what she'll do as Empress.
The Good Empress: In a Low Chaos ending, Emily's rule ushers a new golden age for the Empire and Dunwall, thanks to Corvo's guidance and protection. She becomes known as Empress Emily the Wise.
Hereditary Hairstyle: If Corvo really is her father, she wears her hair similar to him. Long and framing her face with a division to one side over the eye. Of course being a girl she has it in a more feminine manner with a ribbon in-game. However her portrait's and Corvo's make them look startlingly similar.
Infant Immortality: Averted if you screw up the hostage situation in a High Chaos run. The last thing you hear is her scream as Havelock drags her to her death. Played straight in that she's the only character in the game you can't harm in any way during normal gameplay.
Missing Mom: As the game begins, her mother is murdered by unknown assailants in front of her eyes.
Morality Pet: For Corvo, especially in a High Chaos run. It's even blatantly enforced in gameplay: it's possible to kill every other character in the story — even if killing some of them results in a game over — but it's impossible for Corvo to harm Emily.
Necessarily Evil: In a High Chaos ending, Emily will be considered to have done what she had to in an awful situation.
Puppet Empress: What the Conspirators (both sets) want to make her into.
Royal Brat: She's quite likable overall, but makes things difficult for Callista when she's bored.
Almost Dead Girl: Despite being brutally stabbed through the chest and then slammed to the ground, she manages to stay alive long enough to implore Corvo to protect Emily.
Big Good: In a country of absolute filth and dreck, she seems to be the only person with a heart. She doesn't even need to do much to distinguish herself. She just doesn't want the poor to be penned up and slaughtered.
Bodyguard Crush: While it's never confirmed whether or not Jessamine and Corvo were in a relationship, it's very hard to take her letters to him and her personal musings as platonic.
Good Mother: As evidenced in her letters/audio recordings meant for Emily, and in the Lord Regent's personal musings. While she did make sure that Emily was receiving the necessary lessons in order to become a proper Empress, Jessamine also let her child be a child and to be her own person, and encouraged Emily to keep drawing and telling stories.
We Hardly Knew Ye: Gets about five minutes of screentime before she kicks it. She welcomes Corvo, mentions that things are bad, and dies.
Admiral, later Lord Regent Farley Havelock
Admiral Havelock has seen more corpses than all the rest put together.
Voiced by: John Slattery
Leader and founder of the Loyalists and ally to Corvo, he picks up the role of Big Good that was left vacant when the Empress died. However, it turns out he's not much different from Lord Regent Burrows.
Authority Equals Asskicking: He's actually an extremely skilled swordfighter, the most skilled enemy in the game other than Daud in terms of straightforward swordsmanship, and he also has one unique combat skill in that his blade lock ability is insanely high (even tougher than Daud's). However, unlike Daud or the Torturer he's not immune to powers or fatality attacks, so he can be very quickly killed with a single block-counterattack combo. He's still the best fighter amongst the assassination targets, not counting Daud or the Torturer.
Ambition Is Evil: His desire to be Lord Regent in place of the current one is the motive for his betrayal.
Big Bad: Late in the game, after Hiram Burrows is dealt with, Havelock fashions himself as the new Lord Regent, and puts several members of the Loyalists in the positions of power that Corvo took down, killing the ones that both have no use to him and know too much.
Big Good: Takes over this role from the Empress. Later turns out not to be this at all.
Blood Knight: Has qualities of this, as revealed if you use the Heart on him.
Cold-Blooded Torture: If Corvo allows it, he'll use plague rats on Sokolov to get the man to talk. Havelock also alludes to having tortured people in the past, as he mentions that a board and a bucket of seawater are all he needs to break a man.
Face-Heel Turn: Late in the game, he turns against Corvo after he kills the Lord Regent, trying to have him killed along with the other Loyalists so that they can install Emily as a Puppet Empress.
Final Boss: In every ending, he's Corvo's final target.
Four-Star Badass: Though he's not really in Corvo's league in single melee combat, what we read of him implies he's an excellent Admiral.
Freudian Excuse: According to the Heart, his beloved younger brother died from fever at age nine.
I Surrender, Suckers: If confronted in a Low Chaos play through in the finale, he pretends to give up, saying that Corvo chooses if he dies or goes to jail. If Corvo picks up the key to Emily's room after Havelock offers it to Corvo, he attacks; this is likely a bug, as if you snatch it up quickly, he'll go through the whole speech, and ultimately surrender.
Meet the New Boss: His reaction to removing the Lord Regent from power? Becoming the Lord Regent, and making the City Watch more brutal.
Murder Is the Best Solution: After using Corvo to remove his enemies he starts to take this view, eventually killing all the other Loyalist Conspiracy members to prevent the truth getting out. He may be taking cues from Corvo as in a high Chaos run he'll opt to stab Wallace in the eye rather than the low chaos shot to the back.
Never My Fault: In his monologue in the Low Chaos ending, he says it's all Martin's fault, because Martin was the one who suggested and planned Corvo's breakout; then, he says it's Corvo's fault for being "so damn good at his job"; and, finally, he says it's all of their faults for being greedy — while he technically includes himself, he never outright takes responsibility and declares that he will go down in history as a righteous hero.
Though he does wonder for a moment whether his imminent defeat is due to Corvo being quicker with a sword, or because he was slower to use it.
Oh Crap: The last look on his face before Corvo blows his head off.
Pet the Dog: Havelock spares Callista due to a debt to her uncle, but only in the low-chaos outcome.
Sadist: The Heart says that he has killed both whales and people for pleasure as well as profit.
Start of Darkness: If you read his diary entries you can see his ideas forming, as he notes how dangerous Corvo could be, ponders what should happen after the regent is deposed and whether he could, like Pendleton, have disposed of his beloved brother if it became necessary (he decides he could).
Villainous Breakdown: In the Low-Chaos ending, he poisons Treavor Pendleton and Martin before submitting to either death or imprisonment. He basically monologues you're unstoppable. In High-Chaos, he threatens to jump from the top of the Lighthouse, taking Emily with him.
Walking Spoiler: Let's be honest: even if you don't have spoilers set to automatically be shown, this page makes it fairly easy to guess that Havelock is not the Big Good he first appears to be.
Lord Treavor Pendleton
The younger Pendleton. Jealous little Treavor. Always in the shadow.
Voiced by: Derek Phillips
A nobleman who has chosen to throw his lot in with the conspirators. He stands out tremendously amongst them, unlike Admiral Havelock.
The Alcoholic: Becomes this after assisting in the murder/slavery of his brothers.
Almost Dead Guy: In a High Chaos playthrough, he is hit by a stray bullet and is slumped against a wall with blood smeared everywhere. Nonetheless, he manages to cough out a few final words to Corvo before expiring.
Aristocrats Are Evil: A subversion. He's snooty and arrogant but sides with the good guys. Double subverted when Hiram Burrows is dealt with.
Cain and Abel: Played with. Pendleton obviously doesn't want to kill his brothers and is sick with guilt afterward. He just sees no other choice. If they're left for Slackjaw to deal with, he's surprised and relieved that they're still alive.
Dirty Coward: Many characters comment on his cowardice. He ducks out of a duel with pistols, sending Corvo in his place and is implied to have gone along with the betrayal of Corvo out of fear of the other loyalists.
Face-Heel Turn: Turns against Corvo after he kills the Lord Regent, trying to have him killed along with the other Loyalists so that they can install Emily as a Puppet Empress.
Murder Is the Best Solution: After having his brothers killed he manipulates Corvo into killing another of his enemies in a duel, and though he shows some reluctance he goes along with Havelock's betrayal, including the murder of his loyal servant Wallace.
Really Gets Around: As well as having quite a few "bastards" left unacknowledged, his audio memoirs brag that he once had sex with two of the Boyle sisters and only missed the third "by virtue of some inclement weather."
The Unfavourite: Implied to be when compared to his older brothers, Custis and Morgan.
Unusually Uninteresting Sight: An interesting case - whereas almost every other character witnessing Corvo's use of magic either immediately forgets the experience or sputters in disbelief, Pendleton merely expresses mild approval. One of the optional mission rewards he gives you seems to suggest he's familiar with Outsider powers, even if he doesn't use them himself.
Wall Slump: After being shot in a High Chaos playthrough.
An overseer informant to the Loyalist. It was he who came up with the idea to recruit Corvo. He was captured shortly after, and Corvo needs to rescue him.
Blackmail: Wants Campbell's book on blackmail to turn the Overseers against the Lord Regent. In Low Chaos, he expresses a desire to reform the Overseers so this won't be necessary after the fact. In High Chaos, he decides to keep it this way so the Abbey will be easier for him to control.
Dark and Troubled Past: The Heart will tell you that he walked a very troubled path before becoming an Overseer. He was once a highway robber, and the guilt of his crimes weighs heavily on him. Not that this stops him from turning on Corvo.
Deadpan Snarker: Says some very un-clergy like comments to his captor. If you walk away from him without releasing him from the stocks first, the snark continues.
Martin: (to Corvo) I have poor circulation and seem to have forgotten my mittens, so I'd appreciate it if you could release me, or at least go gather some firewood.
Driven to Suicide: If confronted peacefully in a High Chaos play through in the final mission, he kills himself.
Better to Die Than Be Killed: He alludes to this being part of the reason he chooses to kill himself. He knows the chances of Corvo letting him live are pretty much zero, so if Corvo lets him finish talking, Martin chooses his own way to die.
Hypocrite: He'll point out how corrupt Campbell was, and how he only became High Overseer thanks to the huge amount of blackmail material he had. Yet Martin attains the same position the exact same way, using the same blackmail material. Only when he does it, it's an "unfortunate necessity" to fight the Lord Regent.
To be absolutely fair, he does acknowledge the hypocrisy of it, and expresses a desire to work toward a more legitimate authority. Unfortunately, that goes out the window when the Loyalist Conspiracy dissolves.
Defiant to the End: After being impaled, he tries to attack with his sword, only to be decapitated.
Necessarily Evil: He comments disapprovingly on Corvo's hand tattoo, correctly intuiting that it means Corvo is associating with the Outsider and dabbling in forbidden magics. However, Martin then adds that such skills are a necessary evil for the tasks that Corvo and the Loyalists aim to accomplish, and thus he'll tolerate Corvo's heresy for the sake of the mission. This mode of thinking paves the way for the poisoning of Corvo and the purging of the low-ranking Loyalists. This is also his attitude about blackmail.
Nobody Poops: Subtly averted. When you rescue him, his pants are darkly stained between the legs. Well, he was in those stocks for over a day.
Sexy Priest: Is noticeably better looking than the rest of the male Conspirators.
The Smart Guy: Responsible for most of the planning within the conspiracy (including breaking Corvo out of prison).
The Strategist: He has to be rescued by Corvo, but he's described by Havelock as perhaps the finest strategist in the Empire. Which is pretty impressive, considering that even with the plague running rampant, the Empire still has a very large population.
Ungrateful Bastard: He didn't think twice about betraying Corvo, even after the latter got him out of the stocks.
He is Piero Joplin. Even now he visualizes the next invention – astonishing. I wish you could see it too.
Voiced by: Brad Dourif
Sokolov's rival and fellow natural philosopher. Piero's genius and inspiration is a gift of the Outsider, who sends him inspiring dreams.
Played with by the fact that the Bifauxnen waitress at the bar is attracted to him. Piero is a world-famous scientist.
Despair Event Horizon: He'd hit the border of this in the third Tales of Dunwall short. He was starting to toe the line, but then he has a dream that inspires him to build a mysterious mask...
Gadgeteer Genius: He invented Corvo's mask (which protects against the Plague and has a spyglass in-built), among other things such as sleep darts or the rewire tool.
Lack of Empathy: Less imminently obvious than Sokolov, and treated more sympathetically, but still there. This is why nothing comes of his attraction to Callista, since she feels he sees her as just another machine.
Mad Scientist: His focus is on his inventions and studies. If his improved Arc Pylon is used to turn a whole squadron of watchmen to ashes, he is awed and excited by the power of the device, rather than thinking about the deaths it caused.
Not Good with People: Leans more towards the first type. At one point he tries to strike up a conversation with Callista about the devices he made for the Golden Cat, but ends up offending her. Immediately afterwards he realizes That Came Out Wrong (he merely wanted to talk about the machines, and it came off as a very poor attempt at a come-on) and tries to apologize.
Oblivious to Love: Cecilia carries a torch for him, while he is lonely beyond imagination.
The Peeping Tom: Watches Callista bathing herself through the door keyhole and first flails around making excuses, but then hangs his head and admits he was being "ungentlemanly". The Heart says he has done this more than once.
The Rival: So to Sokolov. Piero spends a huge amount of time hating Sokolov and exclaiming that he's a fraud who copied his inventions and parleyed his way into the Academy's good graces. He doesn't even want to help Corvo bribe him, despite the alternative being letting Sokolov get chewed on by rats. Turns out he never even met the man. And when they do meet, they find out they have a great deal in common and make excellent partners, capable of expanding on the other's ideas and reaching greater results than either of them alone. The Low Chaos Ending shows it's only when they combine their efforts that they can truly cure the plague.
Strange Syntax Speaker: Shades of this. While there's nothing specifically wrong with his diction, Piero tends to elongate his words and put strange emphases on them. While it's hard to pinpoint exactly, his speech sounds not quite right at times.
Which is probably just because he's Brad Dourif.
Through the Eyes of Madness: The third Tales of Dunwall short shows up things from his point of view. He's... not quite all there any more.
Touched By The Outsider: Not as spectacular as, say, Corvo, but it's implied that a lot of his inventions are inspired by dreams the Outsider has given him.
She and her uncle – the last of the Curnow family.
Boomerang Bigot: Has a heavy disdain for other commoners despite being one himself.
Eye Scream: In a high chaos playthrough, Havelock stabs him through the eye with a sword.
He Knows Too Much: Wallace is killed by the Conspirators to prevent anyone from knowing the truth about their counter-coup, but only after Pendleton has him pack his bags to his exacting specifications.
Doubly funny considering that the official game guide states Havelock is an old-money aristocrat.
Jerkass: Wallace is probably the meanest character in the game who isn't technically a bad guy. He's unpleasant, insulting, and condescending toward everyone not of "noble" birth.
Laser-Guided Karma: After The Lord Regent is eliminated, he tells Cecilia not to report to Havelock for her payment as she won't get anything. As a result, he gets killed by his own master, and she lives to tell the tale.
Pet the Dog/Kick the Dog: In Low Chaos. Despite his rampant classism, he tells Corvo that he is going to ask Pendleton to fund a memorial to all of those taken by the plague, because "everyone deserves to be remembered." In High Chaos, however, his attitude is rather different.
The Tease: Lydia repeatedly makes gentle innuendo toward Corvo, implying that they should hook up once everything is over.
The lowest-ranking hand at the Hound's Pit Pub.
Beta Couple: Implied Piero and she might become this, if he ever realized that there was someone equally (or almost at least) as attractive as Callista at the bar interested in him.
Bifauxnen: She wears boy's clothes (including a rather dashing cap), and has her hair up in a bun.
Crazy-Prepared: She has a hideout ready if the pub ever were to be attacked by anyone and was careful to not tell any of the conspirators. She'll only tell Corvo.
Genre Savvy: She notes that if the Loyalist agenda ever turns into a conspiracy, she's likely going to be the first to outlive her usefulness. Her preparations, given the Crazy-Prepared entry above, doesn't seem so surprising after all...
Hidden in Plain Sight: So invisible to the higher ups among the Loyalists, she is completely overlooked in the massacre at the Hound Pits Pub.
Although this was also in part because Wallace told her not to come when Havelock called all the servants to collect their "bonus."
Properly Paranoid: She mentions more than once that she'd probably be the first to go in the event that the Loyalists ever turned on each other, and makes some comments that heavily imply that she's just waiting for it to happen. She even has a safe house ready, just in case. On a first playthrough, the player might raise an eyebrow at this extreme paranoia. Then the Loyalists poison Corvo, kill Wallace, Lydia, and possibly Callista, and suddenly Cecilia seems almost prophetic.
Samuel is a simple man, but he knows the River Wrenhaven and all its tributaries, down to the smallest inlet.
Voiced by: Ryan Cutrona
Corvo's boat driver to his various assassination missions.
Broken Pedestal: The Heart implies that Admiral Havelock is this to him. If not before, then Havelock certainly is after the Lord Regent is eliminated. In a High Chaos run, Corvo ends up being this as well.
I'm Not a Hero, I'm...: In Low Chaos, Samuel's audio log shows he doesn't consider himself one of the "real heroes" but he's proud to have been involved until the betrayal at least. He's just a humble sailor trying to do the right thing.
Mr. Exposition: Gives information on targets as he drives to them. As he takes you back to the Hound Pits, he'll tell you who wants to see you about what.
Samuel: Screams carry very well over the river. Can be heard for half a league out sometimes. Seems like every shore I pilot away from, them screams come out on the water behind me. I carry death wherever I go, it seems.
Nice Guy: One of the few genuinely decent characters in the game. Even the Heart has nothing bad to say about him or his past.
Only Sane Man: Is noticeably this when you take everyone else to account.
Shout-Out: Possibly to Mark Twain. Sam acts as your chauffeur and guide on the Wrenhaven River; Twain was born Samuel Clemens, and was a riverboat captain in his youth.
Spanner in the Works: He was supposed to give a full dose of poison to Corvo, but only gave half, and told him as much before letting him free. His actions allow Corvo to take down Havelock.
What the Hell, Hero?: In a lethal High Chaos run, he's quite bitter with Corvo when he talks to him after saving his life by only giving him a partial dose of poison. Samuel makes it clear just how disgusted he is with Corvo, and flat-out says that he's not sure why he keeps risking himself for Corvo's sake. Later, when dropping Corvo off at Kingsparrow Island, Samuel will light a flare to alert the guards, hating Corvo for his murderous actions against so many.
In a slightly less chaotic run, he'll just bitterly snap at Corvo for his brutality and say he never wants to see him again.
High Overseer Thaddeus Campbell
Don't let the talk of faith fool you. Campbell is vain, lustful, decadent – and completely corrupt.
Voiced by: Daniel Hagen
The very, very corrupt High Overseer of the Abbey of the Everyman, and one of the Lord Regent's closest allies.
An Arm and a Leg: Type 3 if assassinated in close combat. Corvo cuts off his right (sword-holding) arm, then stabs him in the left side of his neck.
The Dragon: Is implied to be this for the Lord Regent. Being the first target, his tenure as this position doesn't last long after Corvo's escape.
Karmic Death: Has one of these if you switch his poisoned wine glass.
Also a Karmic Fate Worse Than Death if you decide to brand him. The once rich and corrupt leader of the Overseers reduced to less than nothing by his own brand.
Hoist by His Own Petard: It is possible to brand his face with the mark of a heretic, turning his own organization against him, and subjecting him to the cruel anti-heresy laws he enforced.
Hookers and Blow: Along with the sleep darts and lingerie scattered around his hidden lair, Campbell's audiolog notes his interest in "sampling the merchandise" at the Golden Cat, apparently while making sure that Emily remains a captive there - also perhaps hinting at something much worse.
Hypocrite: Despite being the head of an organization dedicated to destroying the works of the Outsider and maintaining temperance within its ranks, he has a secret room filled with books of black magic, a Outsider Rune, discarded lady's undergarments, notes from a nearby brothel, and numerous other luxuries. The Heart refers to it as his own private joke.
Mark of Shame: One can be placed on his face with a special chemical brand if the player opts to remove him from power by non-lethal means.
Mercy Kill: If Corvo didn't kill him during the mission where he's a target, he can find him later in the game as a Weeper. If you kill him then, the after mission report lists it as this.
Monster Sob Story: He has a moment of this late in the game, if the player decides to remove him from power by non-lethal means. He finds himself eking out subsistence in the abandoned Flooded District, and soon infected by the Rat Plague. He leaves a written note in his hideaway, lamenting his fall from power and cursing Corvo's name. The player finds him there as a Weeper.
Big Brother Bullies: They tied Treavor to his crib as a kid and let loose a bunch of vipers in with him, among other hinted cruelties. He also apparently barely survived a hunting trip with the twins just before the events of the game.
Cain and Abel: See above. Treavor himself also ends up plotting to kill them, although he's less pleased about it.
Hidden Depths: Custis, at least, is not simply a brute. The Heart says that he has "one of the keenest minds for business in all of Gristol". It also asserts that he is considered the smartest of the Pendleton brothers... but also the cruelest.
Hoist By Their Own Petard: One of the possible resolutions to their quest is to have them kidnapped, disfigured, and sent to be worked to death in their own mines.
Twincest: Implied by the Heart when used on Custis; it says that his attachment to his brother is "not wholesome".
Twin Switch: The Madame assumes the brother taking the soundproof ivory room is the depraved one, and the one taking the smoking room is looking more for actual companionship than simple sex. She has it reversed: One is taking the ivory room so he can talk freely about politics with his companion, and the other took the smoking room so he could smoke during the act.
The city owes much to this great mind. Let him drink and find company where he can.
Voiced by: Roger Jackson
Roseburrow's former partner and one of the main people responsible for the Industrial Revolution that swept over Dunwall. Currently the head of the Academy of Natural Philosophy and Piero's rival. Also an artist, drunkard, whoremonger and wannabe mystic. Like Corvo, he is a foreigner; in this case, from the remote and frozen Tyvia.
Affably Evil: He's more amoral than evil, but he still does some horrific things in the course of his experiments. All the same, he's pretty friendly and talkative with Corvo once he's been bribed with wine and when Corvo shows up to save him and Piero from Havelock's guards.
Deadpan Snarker: If you take the bottle of Brandy by Campbell while Sokolov is painting his portrait, he will complain that he needs it to "draw the eye away from Campbell". He'll also snark about being asked to paint the fairly ugly Campbell.
Dirty Old Man: He makes a few comments that hint at this, and the Heart mentions that he often beds maidservants. Its precise words are that he has "the manners of a Tyvian swineherd." You can also overhear a maid saying she's heard that he "spends more time with prostitutes than he does in the laboratory".
Exact Words: He makes use of this with one of his test subjects. She asks when she'll be allowed to leave. He promises her that the guards will take her out of her cell in the morning; around noon at the latest. What he fails to tell her is that she won't be alive by the time they remove her from the cell.
Food As Bribe: An alternative to feeding him to the rats, he has a favorite alcoholic drink that can be bought to convince him to do a Heel-Face Turn.
Grey and Gray Morality: He experiments on healthy people, giving them the plague, yes. But he's also the only guy in the city who actively works to cure it.
Heel-Face Turn: He's eventually captured by Corvo and "convinced" to side with the Loyalists, stating that he has no real fondness for the Lord Regent.
I Just Want to Be Special: He's obsessed with contacting the Outsider through finding the right sequence of symbols and stars. The Outsider is well aware of his efforts, and doesn't bother to reward them because he believes Sokolov isn't interesting enough. He seems to find Sokolov's conviction that he can be summoned that way both a little amusing and slightly insulting.
Karma Houdini/Easily Forgiven: Potentially. If his Heel-Face Turn is allowed, his atrocious experimentation gets glossed over. Justified (explicitly, if you use the Heart on him to get its opinion) by the fact that he's one of the most brilliant scientists of all time and one of the only people with a shot at curing the plague; the city needs him, whatever he's done.
Lack of Empathy: Oh so much. He is completely dispassionate about the below-mentioned test subject, and actually hopes that her skin will slough off so that the experiment's results match up with his expectations.
Mad Scientist: He doesn't have much use for ethics and even keeps a woman imprisoned in his laboratory to use as a test subject to observe the progression of the plague. She's number "312" even to her face, she was originally healthy, and she is evidently not the first.
Renaissance Man: As well as being a scientist, inventor and doctor working on creating a cure for the plague (which is used in-game as a health potion), Sokolov is also a renowned painter and sculptor.
The Rival: To Piero. When they actually meet, however, they become quick friends and work together to fight the plague.
Dark Mistress: To Hiram Burrows, though they aren't seen together.
Subverted, at least in Esma's case. Esma admits to Corvo on the way to the bedroom that she's only sleeping with the Lord Regent to keep her family name safe, and she'd free herself from him if she could. And Corvo will grant her wish, one way or another.
Informed Flaw: The Heart says that Lydia is not a great beauty, and has had to cultivate other skills to survive in the world of a Deadly Decadent Court. However, when she is the target, her image is the same as the one used for her sisters — which is quite lovely.
Lady Drunk: Esma. Her sister Waverly even notes that if Esma didn't have a drink in her hand, she'd probably fall over.
Last Name Basis: Corvo is told that Lady Boyle is one of three sisters in a party, but not which one is his target. He'll have to figure that out himself.
Justified Trope: Since she's the main financier of the Regent's high-tech new army, her identity is a closely-guarded secret. Even Sokolov had to paint her from behind◊. Also justified in another way: which Boyle sister she is depends upon the game.
The Mentally Ill: Waverly is implied to have bipolar disorder by the Heart, as it mentions that she has both manic and depressive periods.
The Heart: She suffers from reckless frivolity, followed by long bouts of melancholy.
Really Gets Around: Esma's diary states that, at the party, she will bed the first man who asks for her, as well as the one after that. Yes, her diary says this even if she's the one who is the Lord Regent's mistress.
Waverly, too, though less obviously. The Heart says that while Waverly acts like she's too good for her suitors, the servant boys are very familiar with her.
Rich Bitch: Is apparently rich enough to pay for the entire military when the Lord Regent is broke.
Properly Paranoid: Played with. Waverly is terrified that someone is after her. It's played straight if she happens to be Corvo's target, but subverted if she's not; someone is after a Lady Boyle, but it's not her.
Schrodinger'sAcceptable Target: Rare non-player example, but Burrows is always having an affair with a Boyle sister and she is always funding the military, but which Boyle sister changes every runthrough. See Last Name Basis.
The Sociopath: Well, he is a torturer. On top of that, when you find him, he's brutally beating a horrifically-mutilated and rotting corpse that's hanging from the ceiling. The man is seriously unhinged.
Torture Technician: He's in charge of torturing prisoners, and is the man who tortured Corvo during the six months that Corvo was in prison.
Troll: He's apparently made a habit of sneaking into the Dunwall Tower barracks at night in order to creepily stare at some of the guards as they sleep. It's also mentioned that he's been stealing thing from the guards so that he can replace what he's stolen with handkerchiefs full of teeth or painted rat heads.
Hiram Burrows, the Lord Regent
He is driven by obsession, like a madness. Order, he must have all things, in order.
Voiced by: Kristoffer Tabori
The man who facilitated the murder of the Empress and framed Corvo. He is currently in control of Dunwall.
Authority Equals Asskicking: He's not in Corvo or Daud's league, but despite being a skinny older man he's at least as good as an Elite Mook) if you challenge him to a fair fight. He's notably a better fighter than High Overseer Campbell, his own Dragon.
Neck Snap: A part of his close combat death animation. Corvo stabs him in the left shoulder blade, then turns him around so that he is facing away from Corvo. He finishes it with a brutal neck snap and removes the blade.
Oh Crap: If you break into his supposedly impenetrable safe room while he's in it, he has this reaction. Doubly so if Corvo decides to reveal his identity to him. This is also his reaction to his safe being left open if Corvo chooses to rob it.
Sanity Slippage: It's specifically noted that he's becoming more and more unhinged as time goes on and things spiral out of control. If you break into his panic room and confront him in person, you'll find that he's gone full on Macbeth, and even tries to convince himself that you're a hallucination brought on by stress.
Start of Darkness/Well-Intentioned Extremist: One of the pre-order DLC packs unlock an excerpt from his journal dated several years prior to the events of the game. It paints him as a very paranoid man, but one primarily obsessed with protecting the city and the Empress herself from potential "traitors"; he was frustrated that his calls for vigilance and heightened security were constantly being rejected. Apparently much of it was reinforced by a recurring dream that he had:
"Why do I worry so, when no one else seems to care? If I ever fall asleep, will it all sink into the ocean? Will the rough things clamber over the walls and fill themselves on our flesh? This is what I see in the same dream several times each month. If only I had more say in things, more authority, I could protect us all."
Super OCD: The Heart indicates that Burrows actually suffers from something akin to Obsessive–Compulsive Personality Disorder, though it isn't named as such; as well as noting his desire to keep everything in order and his inability to stop thinking about it, the Heart also mentions that he counts the flagstones as he walks, stepping on each stone only once. Finally, if you choose to confront him at his safe-house, he actually goes so far as to ask if he's being punished for imperfection.
Too Dumb to Live: For some reason he's recorded a confession to his crimes. Even though he keeps it locked up in a safe in his private chambers, one has to wonder why a Spymaster would create such a thing that can be used against him.
He was losing his grip and needed to keep everything in order. Including his thoughts. Probably related to his OCD.
A fearsome underground figure in Dunwall, Daud is the leader of an assassin group called the Whalers (because of their use of discarded gear from a whaler factory) based in the Flooded District. These are the people who killed the Empress. He is the main character of the two story DLCs for the game, The Knife of Dunwall and The Brigmore Witches. Like Corvo, he is from Serkonos.
Anti-Hero: In Knife Of Dunwall. He's a villain in the main campaign, but no more villainous than Dunwall's many despicable citizens (and certainly no more villainous than Corvo can potentially be when they finally cross paths). When he's the central character, the player can decide his actions, which range from ruthless and unpleasant, but purely mercenary, to outright vicious sadism. Ultimately however, his actions end up saving Emily from possession.
Memetic Badass: Like Corvo, he is this in-universe among the general populace. He is spoken of in hushed tone as a mystical dealer of death. Which, to be absolutely fair, is exactly what he is.
Because I'm Good At It: The main reason he became an assassin after getting his powers was because he had little else to do with them.
Climax Boss: It is very difficult to avert a battle with him, and in Low Chaos he actually stops time so he and Corvo can fight one-on-one, without interruptions.
Cradling Your Kill: If Daud decides to kill Billie Lurk in Low Chaos, he holds her hand and her body gently.
Combat Pragmatist: If Corvo chooses to fight him in High Chaos, Daud will call on his assassins to help him, and dispenses with any notion of honour; after all, Corvo clearly has none.
Contractual Boss Immunity: Is resistant to many of Corvo's gadgets and powers. He'll outright mock you if you try to possess him or timestop him, and Windblast only staggers him slightly instead of blowing him across the room.
Justified in the case of his immunity to sleep darts; in a memo to one of his assassins, Daud explicitly states that one of his abilities is a resistance to toxins of all kinds.
Death Seeker: Daud expresses regret about killing the Empress, and after witnessing Corvo in action he begins to question the way in which he's chosen to use the Outsider's powers and whether his life has really made a difference to the fate of the world in any meaningful way. After you defeat him in a duel, he expresses no real objection to Corvo simply striking him down, although he's also willing to retire and go into self-exile instead.
Despair Speech: When Corvo defeats him in Low Chaos, he gives one of these, saying that "something broke" inside of him when he killed the Empress and kidnapped her daughter, and he began to question what he's truly accomplished with his life and whether anything he's done has truly been worth anything — and finally realized that he's had enough killing. The High Chaos speech is somewhat similar, but he tires of fighting and accepts death with dignity, should you give it.
The Dreaded: When eavesdropping on conversations about Daud, he is referred to with both fear and reverence. According to one such conversation, some people are too afraid to so much as say his name.
Even Evil Has Standards: His personal audio log has him talking about how he holds an intense hatred for Burrows despite the fact that he is also a regular client of his and would love nothing more than to slit his throat himself. He also expresses deep regret for killing the Empress for all the damage that it has wrought on Dunwall.
Evil Counterpart: To Corvo. Both are supernatural-empowered assassins gifted by the Outsider, but Daud has been doing it a lot longer, but with no real focus or purpose other than assassination for its own sake, and both are the only playable characters in the series. Also, both of them are Serkonan. Daud even notes in his journal the similarities between him and Corvo.
Good Counterpart: In a High Chaos run he is this instead, being strictly professional and starting to experience remorse and second-guesses over his chosen path when you meet him, in contrast to how the player would've already choked the streets in innocent victims by this stage.
Heel Realization: In a Low Chaos run he regrets having killed the Empress for all it caused. And watching Corvo's actions makes him question the path he took and how he's wasted the Outsider's gift. He questions the need to kill the Empress in a High Chaos run, but it's not as obvious. Given that you've most likely slaughtered all of his guards, he has more things to worry about than a job.
The Heart: His hands do violence. But there is a different dream in his heart.
Hitman with a Heart: He murders people for money, but it's nothing personal and all about the money for him, which makes him a much more sympathetic villain then all the power hungry, amoral, over privileged psychos Corvo normally has to deal with. Then it turns out that Daud actually comes to deeply regret murdering the empress for all the pain and suffering it has caused to the city of Dunwall and all the people in it (Nice Job Breaking It Anti-Villain,) at which point you realize he has become a more sympathetic character than Corvo on a high chaos run. The Brigmore Witches also reveals that Daud saved the empire by preventing Delilah from possessing Emily.
If I Wanted You Dead...: Dealing with Daud without actually fighting him involves pickpocketing him to prove to him that you can kill him anytime you want.
Nothing Personal: For Corvo, it's personal. For Daud, it was just a job until he begins to feel guilt and regret for killing the Empress and the effects her death had on the city. Even so, he had no reason for killing her beyond the fact that he was hired to do so.
Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: If Corvo has a low Chaos rating, Daud will order his men to leave so he and Corvo can fight one-on-one. He's even good enough to dismiss the assassins that show up to avenge him after Corvo severely wounds him. All bets are off on a High Chaos run, though, as Daud knows Corvo is a complete psycho and isn't taking any chances with him.
Leave Him to Me: While Daud invokes this trope word-for-word in Low Chaos, it's actually a subversion, as Daud is acting out of respect for Corvo's Worthy Opponent status rather than anger.
This Is Something I've Got To Do Myself: A rare villainous example, assuming Corvo has Low Chaos. He refuses help from his assassins (who are more than willing to give it) and orders them away when they try to come to his aid.
Rage Against the Heavens: In DLC notes, Daud has been known to curse the Outsider both privately and to his face. The Outsider doesn't seem to take him seriously, in as much as the Outsider takes anything seriously.
Summon Magic: Can summon Assassins with the "Summon Assassin" power.
Super Empowering: One of the powers he's granted by the Outsider is the ability to give lesser versions of his powers to those loyal to him. In Knife of Dunwall Daud muses that his "Arcane Bond" seems to make the reliability and strength of their powers directly proportional to their loyalty to him.
Time Stands Still: The "Bend Time" power gives Daud the ability to do this. His variation of Blink also stops time around him, unlike Corvo's.
Villainous BSOD: He's started to slip into one by the time Corvo comes across him, expressing regret for the murder of the Empress and wondering if he chose the right path in his life.
His card in the Dishonored tarot deck is titled "Regret".
Villain Episode: He's the protagonist of The Knife of Dunwall and The Brigmore Witches DLC.
Villain Of Another Story: The Knife of Dunwall and The Brigmore Witches chronicle his actions between his assassination of the Empress and Corvo's arrival in the Flooded District.
Villains Want Mercy: A mild case. If Corvo confronts him after defeating him, Daud will calmly tell Corvo that he would like to be spared. That being said, Daud clearly has no real objection to Corvo killing him, and sounds almost awed if Corvo grants his request.
The first time you see him, he's stabbing the Empress through the chest with zero hesitation whatsoever. While he expresses regret later, it has nothing to do with the fact that she's a woman.
In The Knife of Dunwall, he has no problems with torturing Abigail Ames for information.
And in The Brigmore Witches, he's a-okay with stabbing female gang-members, the witches, and Delilah herself should the player will it. In short, he takes all his opponents seriously, whatever their gender.
Eye Scream: Not on herself, but when she was young one of her friends was offhandedly killed by a nobleman who struck her. Lurk's response was to break off part of a wooden ornament and jam it in the nobleman's eye, killing him. Unfortunately, he turned out to be a Duke's son.
The Faceless: Like the rest of Daud's minions, she always wears a mask. She takes it off during the ending of The Knife of Dunwall.
Go Out with a Smile: If Daud chooses to kill her in Low Chaos, she'll smile a little ruefully and guide his hand in making the strike.
Final Boss: In High Chaos, she is the final opponent Daud faces in The Knife of Dunwall.
Know When to Fold 'Em: In Low Chaos, she admits her treachery after her attempt on Daud's life goes horribly wrong and accepts her execution or exile. Averted in High Chaos, where Delilah exposes her and Lurk chooses to fight Daud one-on-one.
Ms. Exposition: She provides Daud with the background of his targets and devises strategies to deal with them.
My God, What Have I Done?: In Low Chaos she realizes that she was wrong about Daud and becomes greatly distraught that she worked with Delilah.
Redemption Earns Life: Similar to Daud's own fate in the main game, it's possible to spare Billie, allowing her to leave Dunwall and makes a new life for herself.
Samus Is a Girl: While it's obvious she's a woman from her voice, her Whaler outfit completely disguises her gender, and other than the unique color she's indistinguishable from the other Assassins. A group of Overseers who attack her in the first mission even confuse her for a man because she won't speak to them.
The Starscream: It's revealed in the end of The Knife of Dunwall that she was secretly working with Delilah to take down Daud. In the Low Chaos path, she ends up going back at the last moment and surrenders while in the High Chaos path, she takes Daud's murderous tendencies as him slipping and goes through with it.
Undying Loyalty: They are extremely devoted to Daud, which is what allows him to transfer his abilities to them. Their loyalty to him is proven in gameplay, as well: After Corvo severely wounds Daud to the point that the man can no longer fight, the Whalers appear to defend Daud against a man with powers greater than their own, who has enough skill to defeat their leader, and who has likely either killed or choked unconscious a large number of their fellows already. Daud has to order them to leave a second time to get them to back off.
If Corvo spares Daud in Low Chaos, the Whalers will no longer be hostile; Corvo is free to wander around the hideout in plain view until Judgement Day and steal everything that isn't nailed down without hearing so much as an untoward comment (though if you get too close, they'll shove you away). If Corvo kills Daud, the Whalers won't directly come after him out of respect for Daud's last order, but they will attack Corvo on sight.
Voiced by: Chris Fields
The owner of the Rothwild Slaughterhouse, one of the largest sources of whale oil in Dunwall.
Bad Boss: Most of his workers endure horrible conditions. When they attempted to form a union, Rothwild called in a favor from the Lord Regent, who made unionizing a capital offense for people involved in the whaling industry. Rothwild also uses the number of accidents that happen in his slaughterhouse as his safe code.
Cold-Blooded Torture: Builds a makeshift electric chair to fry complaining workers, and brags about how his days working on a whaling ship have taught him to be an expert torturer.
Dark and Troubled Past: His father died when he was little, forcing his family into (further) destitution. His mother was then killed at the bottling factory she worked at, leaving him and his younger brother orphans. His brother (who he had gone to great lengths to care for) was then taken by the overseers for the "Trial of Aptitude", and "mysteriously" vanished. With no family or money, Bundry had to claw his way up from rock bottom.
Hidden Depths: According to his audio logs, he is deeply affected by the singing of the whales as they die in his slaughterhouse.
Hoist by His Own Petard: Daud can interrogate Rothwild with the device he was using to torture his workers into not striking.
Rags to Riches: From an orphan left from parents of modest means, to the owner of a slaughterhouse in the most profitable industry in Dunwall who has the ear of the Lord Regent.
Self-Made Man: He grew up on the streets. Sadly, he doesn't care much for the people still living on them.
Voiced by: John Mariano
The City Barrister. Timsh has been abusing his position to kick other nobles out of their homes with false accusations of plague so he can seize their assets for himself.
Amoral Attorney: The most powerful lawyer in the city and also the most morally bankrupt.
Badass Grandpa: The Assassins' file on Timsch notes that he's in surprisingly good shape for a man his age, carrying both sword and pistol and being a decent shot. If Daud tries taking him head on, Timsh will fight back, though even without Daud's supernatural powers it's a Curbstomp Battle as Timsch's acual combat skill is only on par with a weak Lower Guard.
Love Martyr: Although Timsh is obsessed with Delilah, she considers him useless to her and tells Daud she doesn't care what he does to Timsh.
A high ranking Overseer who leads the attack on Daud's base.
Leeroy Jenkins: He launched the attack on Daud's base prematurely while Daud himself wasn't present and carelessly left the original plan around for Daud to find (which is most likely why Corvo found a squad of dead Overseers at the entrance to the district when he was there). Several characters comment on this rush to action and how he failed as well as doomed the entire plan because of it.
Off with His Head!: His death scene reuses Martin's close combat death animation, which means this.
Smug Snake: He's very impressed with himself for his take-over of the district and boasts about it at length - unless the player feels like cutting him short.
Wolfpack Boss: In a fight, Hume's just a regular Overseer with marginally more health, but he has an abnormally large number of guards who will immediately join in if he's attacked (including two Music Box Overseers). If the player rescues all 4 captured assassins before facing Hume, they can use Summon Assassin to call in multiple assassins plus Billie Lurk to help fight Hume, turning the fight into a massive battle royale.
The former second-in-command of the Dead Eels. He managed to get his boss, Lizzie Stride, sent to Coldridge Prion and took over the gang.
Art Attacker: She can use her statues to detect intruders. In an emergency, she can turn them into copies of herself. She also has the ability to use paintings to control people. It's implied that this is how she managed to completely enthral Timsch. She plans on using a more powerful version of this ability to possess Emily.
Ambition Is Evil: Her plot is to use Emily as a proxy to rule the Empire. From what she says it seems she feels the throne is hers by right.
Her fate if Daud chooses a nonlethal means of dealing with her. He replaces the painting of Emily she needs for her ritual with one that depicts a tree in The Void. Once she finishes, instead of possessing Emily, she ends up trapped, unable die or to affect anything.
Presumably also Emily's fate if she were to succeed with her plan, making the above an Ironic Hell.
Living Statue: She uses these to spy on people in the City and taunt Daud, as well as act as sentries for her base in Brigmore Manor.
Me's a Crowd: She turns her statues into perfect copies of herself if you try to take her on directly.
Oh Crap: If Daud sabotages her ritual, by the time she finds out it's too late for her to fix it.
Shrouded in Myth: No one knows anything about her. She tells you a little; she was friends with the Empress Jessamine when they were girls, for instance. Aside from that, almost nothing.
Spooky Painting: She's a gifted painter who seems to have a preference for portraits from life - like Sokolov, to whom she was actually an apprentice - but unlike his meticulous and realistic style, her paintings are garishly colorful, borderline-abstract, and unsettling to look at. It turns out this is how she uses her powers; whoever or whatever she paints, she can control to some extent.
Touched by Vorlons: She has the Outsider's mark, as well as the ability to spread her powers to her minions like Daud.
Everyone Calls Him Slackjaw: It's implied in Crowley's note that the reason he's called Slackjaw is because of the fact that his jaw was badly broken before he rose to his current status, while he was still warring over territory. He got his revenge for it.
Genius Bruiser: Slackjaw is hardly a common thug. He clawed his way to the top using a considerable amount of brains, and proves more than once that he's not an idiot, showing considerable business savvy. Not to mention the fact that no one holds onto a veritable criminal empire with an influence felt all across the Isles of Gristol without some brains.
Leeroy Jenkins: After all of his men are either killed or badly wounded by Granny Rags, he runs after her on his own rather than retreat and regroup. It gets him caught, and potentially (depending on Corvo's actions) killed and eaten.
Lost Orphaned Royalty: The Heart says that his father was actually a prince. The Tarot Deck that came with pre-orders or the Collector's edition lists his card as "The Prince Urchin".
Pay Evil unto Evil: Abducts, mutilates, and sends the Pendleton brothers to be slaves in their own mines.
Reasonable Authority Figure: The man is a bootlegger, thug, thief, gang leader, petty extortionist, and the son of a whore. Yet he still comes off as a better person than Corvo's targets and the backstabbing Loyalists. Since he's actively concerned about the plague, distributing a (watered-down) cure elixir, and is willing to help Corvo restore the city... mostly so he can keep extorting money from it.
Slackjaw: So now you see, Slackjaw's word is just as good as the men who run this city. Maybe even a little bit better, yeah?
The leader of the Dead Eels. She is currently rotting in Coldridge Prison after being betrayed by her second-in-command, Edgar Wakefield.
Does Not Like Shoes: In contrast to the elaborate, heeled boots on both men and women that are fashionable in Dunwall, Lizzie is always barefoot, possibly due to her webbed feet.
The Dreaded: In her cell is Coldridge, she's chained to the wall so heavily she can barely move because the guards were terrified of what she'd do if they got within her reach. Once she was in chains, they took the opportunity to beat her so badly she's only semi-conscious when Daud finds her (which didn't stop her biting a chunk out of one anyway).
Fingore: When she reclaims her power, she announces to her gang that she forgives them all, because she's "filled with love" - before listing about a dozen individuals who owe her a finger. And one who owes her two for protesting about the first.
Informed Deformity: One story mentions her webbed feet, but her feet look quite ordinary. Said story gets a number of other details wrong apparently to spice up the narrative and make Lizzie seem outright supernatural.
Sweet Polly Oliver: Disguised herself as a boy and got a job as a powdermonkey on a naval vessel as a child. She ended up starting a mutiny by killing the ship's doctor when he found out while treated her injuries.
Tattooed Crook: In green ink, on her arms, neck, face and chest. It's one of the trademarks of her gang.
Mr. Mortimer Hat aka "The Geezer"
Voiced by: Paul Napier
The nominal leader of the Hatters. He is over 100 years old, and wishes for death.
Body Horror: Quite apart from the horribly emaciated state of his body and the two hoses implanted in his torso, Trimble mentions a whole host of other disgusting symptoms inherent in the Geezer's life-support systems.
Corrupt Corporate Executive: He ran a textile mill - which went under after the public became aware of both his criminal background and his using the Hatters as private security to force his workers to comply with sweatshop conditions.
Who Wants to Live Forever?: According to his research notes, Trimble seems to have gotten it into his head that he might be able to keep Mortimer Hat alive indefinitely. Needless to say, the Geezer does not fancy spending the rest of eternity confined to a chair and subjected to even further physical decay, and requests to be put out of his misery by Daud.
Voiced by: Enn Reitel
The Geezer's nurse and the actual leader of the Hatters.
The Guard Captain of the City Watch, and the uncle of Callista. They are the last members of what was once a large family. After Callista learns that High Overseer Campbell is planning to kill him, she asks Corvo to save her uncle.
Authority Equals Asskicking: He's no match for Corvo, but he is more than capable of fighting his way out of the Office of the High Overseer if he has to.
Dark and Troubled Past: According to the Heart, Curnow's first lover was a soldier from Tyvia — a secret he killed to keep.
Deceptive Disciple: To the Lord Regent. Curnow pretends to be loyal, but privately disagrees with the Lord Regent's methods and the way he's taken control of the city.
I Owe You My Life: If Corvo kills/knocks out Campbell just as Cambell is preparing to strike Curnow down, Curnow will acknowledge that Corvo has saved his life and does not alert the Overseers to Corvo's presence, electing to repay his debt by allowing Corvo to walk away unhindered.
Tampering with Wine: Campbell attempts to kill him by putting poison in his wine. Corvo can either switch the glasses or smash them to save Curnow from death by poison.* Another option is to mix the wine, killing both Campbell and Curnow.
They walk above the Plague, above the rats, above the flooded streets.
The most powerful brand of watchmen. A man in body armor on whale-oil powered stilts, with some wooden shields for protection and a bow and Molotov Cocktail arrows for weaponry, the Tallboy is a Steam Punk mech for the budget-conscious.
Described as being a combination of God and the Devil, The Outsider is a sometimes-worshiped and sometimes-reviled (currently reviled) figure in the Isles and considered to be the source of all magic. He imbues Corvo with magic via a Power Tattoo near the beginning of the game, after Corvo to escapes from prison.
Affably Evil: Whatever else he is, the Outsider certainly doesn't come off as a jerkass in his manner of speaking.
Ambiguously Evil: Given that runes and charms with his markings on them give people nightmares, headaches, seem to attract the plague rats, and in several cases cause the possessor to outright spiral into self-destructive or murderous insanity, one could forgive the Abbey their belief that he is evil. He's rather giddy when he points out that the collapsing, corrupted empire simply needed Corvo's help to finally tear itself to pieces in the worst ending. In the best ending, he's more aloof - though he does making a point of saying a sincere farewell when Corvo reaches the end of his life. He seems to find the non-lethal fates (where Corvo inflicts poetic vengeance on his targets rather than simply killing them) more amusing than the alternatives, but it's unclear whether their suffering or the "poetic" aspect appeals to him more. What is clear is that he's genuinely shocked if Corvo doesn't abuse his powers; he believes firmly that Humans Are the Real Monsters, and that he's Seen It All. What entertains him most of all is Corvo acting contrary to his expectations.
The Outsider: I've lived a long, long time, and these are the moments that I wait for.
All-Powerful Bystander: His whole shtick. Besides handing out his Mark, the Outsider doesn't really have any direct impact on the plot. He gives people powers, but makes no attempt to control or make them use said powers in any specific ways.
Blue and Orange Morality: The Outsider has been described as "amoral", having elements of both God and the Devil. He's more of an agent of fate than either good or evil. For instance, he gives a small boy the power to summon demonic rats, which the boy uses to slay some bullies. However, the boy is bitten by one of the rats and becomes infected with the plague, which he eventually died from. On the other hand, if Corvo does not use his powers to kill, the Outsider compliments him for being intriguing. His sole motivation seems to be relieving his own boredom. The well-being of those he grants his Mark really doesn't factor in at all.
Note that he does have an understanding of morality, he will regularly comment on the various crimes and atrocities done by Corvo or Daud's victim, often in a judgmental tone, but he is ultimately unconcerned about handing out punishment or rewards himself, more interested on the stance his chosen ones take on the issue.
The Chessmaster: Comes off as this when you realize the only reason the Empress was assassinated is due to the Outsider empowering her assassin. Then he empowers Corvo to assassinate the people who hired the assassin. In all fairness, he is stated to be simply an agent who empowers people to drive forward the fate of the world, for better or for worse.
Creepy Monotone: Not robotic or unnatural, just disinterested. You can tell he's intrigued by something when his tone of voice actually varies. It doesn't happen often.
The Outsider: (To Daud) I see everything. I see forever, and right now I see a man walking a tightrope over a sea of blood and filth. The Empress is dead, and the water's rising. You'd better hurry. You're running out of rope.
Eldritch Location: The Void, where he lives. It appears to be endless sky-blue nothingness with twisted and frozen pieces of normal reality floating within it. Gravity there is odd and water doesn't flow the way you'd expect it to, nor do lights cast normal colours. The Heart describes it as untouched by time so neither seconds nor centuries pass. It may be where souls go after death or where people go when they dream. Or both.
Enigmatic Empowering Entity: He "gifts" select mortals with his powers for fairly vague purposes, mostly to see what potential chaos they can create.
For the Lulz: He does some appallingly bad things, as well as some good things, seemingly just because he's bored out of his skull being God.
God Is Evil: The Abbey of the Everyman thinks so, at least - they despise the Outsider, but don't appear to recognize any other deity as being on his level. In reality, he's more... different than evil.
Humanoid Abomination: He looks like a pretty regular young man, complete with dirty clothes. If it weren't for the pitch-black eyes and the shadows and stars swirling around him, you might be tempted to think him just another ordinary human. It's not clear what he is, but it is clear that whatever he is, it's not quite right.
A Form You Are Comfortable With: In the Abbey's description he is not a physical being; he's a tempting, corrupting spirit. The form of the dark eyed young man is simply how we know he appears to some people. One theory states that he is, in fact... a deep-sea whale, or Leviathan. It's not as crazy as it sounds; the Void is not unlike the ocean (and does very peculiar things with the flow of water), and whales are closely associated with magical rituals, with most talismans being made of whalebone. Additionally, when Corvo first visits the Void, the only creature present that is not part of a frozen tableau is a whale with strange markings. (And finally, one obscure line from an Overseer describes the Outsider as a winged snake.)
Humans Are the Real Monsters: He makes more than one comment that strongly implies that he believes the "nature of man" to be cruel and corrupt. A nonlethal Corvo seems to incite his curiosity precisely because of this: Corvo is choosing, of his own free will, to act in complete opposition to everything the Outsider believes humans to be. The only time the Outsider is ever shown to be genuinely taken aback is if Corvo chooses to spare Daud. Regardless, it doesn't seem to change his opinion or even make him reconsider; rather, he indicates that he sees Corvo as the exception that proves the rule.
It Amused Me: Seems to be his primary motivation for gifting Daud, Granny Rags, the Royal Interrogator and Corvo with supernatural powers. He seems to enjoy seeing how people will use his 'gift' and watching the ensuing chaos.
Morally Ambiguous Cannot Comprehend Good: The only time in the game the Outsider is ever at a loss for words is if you spare Daud on a low chaos playthrough. Corvo's subversion of the basic human desire for revenge leaves him utterly stunned. He regains his composure pretty quickly and commends you for getting more and more interesting, but other comments indicate he believes that corruption is "the nature of man", not kindness.
Offscreen Teleportation: He shows up in dreams, visions, and at shrines that people clandestinely erect in his name.
The Omniscient: The Outsider seems aware of everything going on, and at one point will mention he can see every path a person's future can possibly take and will demonstrate it by commenting on both fates you can inflict on Lady Boyle.
No one's watching Delilah now, except you. And me, of course. I see everything. I see forever.
Prescience Is Predictable: He says he sees all paths a person's future can take, but he seems more interested in finding out which of them a person picks, rather than the specific. Could explain his disinterest in appearing to Sokolov. He knows exactly how Sokolov would use his powers - studying them and trying to replicate them. The lack of uncertainty makes him uninteresting.
Power Tattoo: He appears fond of handing these out, though it's not clear why other than that the people he picks are "pivotal" to the fate of the world. A dark charity? Cruel amusement? To sow chaos? Who knows? According to Word of God, the Outsider does not influence the people he grants the mark to in any way; the choice of how to use the powers he gives them is up to the recipient, but he does only choose "special", interesting people for it.
Powers That Be: Rather than purely good or evil, The Outsider is merely seen as an agent of fate, interfering in lives that are pivotal to the world's destiny, for better or for worse.
Super Empowering: Rather than directly manipulate the world, he prefers giving people he finds interesting powers and seeing what they'll do. Notably, while Bone Charms do seem to work for everyone, the Runes are only really useful to those touched by the Outsider. Everyone else sort of goes insane.
Terms of Endangerment: "My dear Corvo", in the trailer; Daud he refers to with some amusement as "my old friend". He's not exactly malicious, but he's definitely not benign.
Time Abyss: He looks young, but he's very, very old - possibly ageless. He remarks upon the civilisation before the Empire of the Isles, which has been gone for long enough that most aren't aware it ever existed; he's unmoved or even mildly bored during most of the plot, giving the impression that he's already Seen It All; and the one time he seems surprised, he outright says that he's "lived a long, long time". The Heart describes his dwelling-place as "the end of all things, and the beginning". It's unlikely that time as humans perceive it has any meaning to the Outsider.
The Trickster: A powerful, otherworldly, possibly-deific being who seems to intervene in the affairs of mortals for his own amusement, and whose actions only ever seem to complicate matters? He might not be a cackling lunatic, but he fits the bill otherwise.
Granny Rags/Vera Moray
Granny, Granny, Granny, come out with me instead. Granny, Granny, Granny, you can't because you're dead.
Careful! She treads with purpose. And is not as frail as she seems.
Voiced by: Susan Sarandon
A former aristocrat who now lives on the streets; she is blind and deranged.
Ax-Crazy: She's clearly not all there in the head, and the jobs she sends Corvo on tend to involve inflicting harm on the local populace (specifically, the local gang who keeps harassing her for cash, though you also kill the families relying on their cure). Late in the game, not only will you find her notes next to her murder victims talking about how bland and dreary Dunwall is, you'll find her threatening to cook Slackjaw and Corvo. If you choose to fight her, you'll find that she can control swarms of plague-ridden rats.
Blind Seer: Though apparently physically blind, she can see more than she lets on.
Demoted to Extra/The Ghost: In the Daud DLC. You find messages from her giving people recipes to summon Runes, but is never seen.
Life Drinker: Daud suspects that she sustains herself by stealing the life force of those who carry the runes she crafts.
Obfuscating Insanity: She's clearly crazy, but not confuse-Corvo-with-her-dead-husband crazy. Rather, she's hire-Corvo-to-poison-and-weaken-Slackjaw's-thugs-so-she-can-attack-him-later-and-cook-and-eat-him crazy. It's hinted several times that her initial brand of crazy is an act, as she hints all the things she "imagines" are just an act.
Only Known by Their Nickname: Everyone calls her Granny Rags. Her name is only found in her diary, which only comes in the Arcane Assassin DLC (though references to her last name abound, and another book mentions her first name, allowing one to piece the pieces). The Outsider even lampshades the fact her name is mostly forgotten by telling Corvo it would mean nothing to him.
Pet the Dog: When Corvo rescues Emily from the Golden Cat, it's strongly implied that Granny Rags ensured that Emily made it safely to the river and Samuel.
Resurrective Immortality: You can try to kill her or knock her unconscious, but she merely collapses into a swarm of rats that start biting you. She will turn up later as if nothing had happened. Eventually you find out that she cannot be killed without destroying her magic cameo, which is the source of her power. Slackjaw apparently slit her throat five times already.
Riches To Rags: Seems to have fallen in with the Outsider (and subsequently caught the crazy) shortly after taking part in her husband's expedition to Pandyssia.
She Was Quite A Looker: According to the Outsider. You can find a painting of her in her youth, which indeed shows her as striking when sans the wrinkles, blindness, filth, and with better make-up and less ragged clothing.
The Heart: Princes begged for her hand.
Soul Jar: Her cameo, which must be destroyed in a furnace before Corvo can deal with her.
The heart of a living thing, molded by the Outsider's power. Given to Corvo as a gift by the Outsider just after he receives the Mark. In addition to assisting you in finding various mystical items strewn throughout Dunwall, it whispers a great many secrets regarding the city and its inhabitants.
Dissonant Serenity: Save for a few instances, its tone is calm and serene, even when talking about horrific things.
The Heart: [about a maid] If she lives until tomorrow, her day off, she will be mauled by weepers and left for dead.
Dowsing Device: Assists Corvo in finding runes and bone charms scattered around the city.
Exposition Fairy: Knows an unnervingly large amount about just about everyone and everything you point it at, if you ask.
Notably, she herself is terrified of her precognition and omniscience.
Fate Worse Than Death: Is most likely the Soul Jar of a dead woman locked in a state of helpless observation only. This woman is almost certainly Empress Jessamine, given her comments and attitudes. She also shares Jessamine's voice actress.
Magitek: The heart of a living thing, kept alive by clockwork and the Outsider's magic.
Not So Stoic: While it's usually pretty unflappable, capable of talking about murder and death without a hitch, its Dissonant Serenity vanishes whenever it talks about anything to do with Empress Jessamine. It really loses its stoicism when asked about Daud, the man who assassinated the Empress. On a lighter note, it expresses clear joy when talking about how people used to sing old songs in happier times in the Hound Pits.
The Omniscient: It will tell you things about people that no one but the individual themselves could possibly know. It does the same for places, too. It also occasionally makes predictions about the future. The one thing it cannot tell Corvo much about the Whalers. It notes that there is a "haze" that surrounds them, and that because of it, even the Heart cannot discern the truth.
It is also notable that The Heart is shown to be wrong on a few occasions. It says that there is no turning back from the path Daud has chosen, but Daud is willing to do exactly that should Corvo spare him. It also says that Sokolov will never forgive Piero for being the youngest man ever accepted into the Academy, but by the time of the siege on Piero's workshop, they have both put past grievances behind them. However, it is possible that the Heart is working on what the individual it is observing believes is true at the time the Heart "reads" them. Or, in Daud's case, that it is biased.
Evil Old Folks: As the Heart will tell you, not only does she import her girls from the countryside under the false pretense of giving them jobs in factories, if they die at the Golden Cat she just dumps their dead bodies into the river.
Miss Kitty: A subversion. While she did used to be a prostitute herself, and now runs the Golden Cat, she has none of the usual Mama Bear traits and treats her girls as disposable.
Art Dealer Bunting
An Art dealer living on Bottle Street and regular client at the Golden Cat and guest of the Lady Boyles.
Asshole Victim: He cheats people by undervaluing their art when he buys it then selling it at market price. He's done so to other Asshole Victims (The Pendletons) but also to a family who is later seen in the Flooded District.
Bondage Is Bad: He's into S&M, which some of the girls at the Golden Cat find repulsive despite the fact that they don't even need to touch him. Although that may have more to do with that fact that he's also kind of a dick, threatening the girls with having them tortured if they step out of line.
Butt Monkey: He can suffer multiple misfortunes at Corvo's hands:
Be repeatedly electrocuted for the combination of his safe and into unconsciousness.
Have his safe broken into and its contents stolen.
Be prevented from entering Lady Boyle's party because Corvo stole his invitation. Guards assume Corvo really is Bunting and that Bunting is some guy trying to usurp "his" identity.
Kick the Son of a Bitch: Even after he gives you the code to his safe, you can continue to zap him into unconsciousness.
No Hero Discount: Even though Corvo saves his life, Griff insists on charging him far more than Piero does, although this may have to do with Griff's comparatively few resources.
It is stated outright by the Heart that Griff's prices are actually very fair as far as "street" prices go. Piero can make his own wares, but Griff has to scrounge for what he sells.
Only Known by Their Nickname: Griff isn't his real name. After escaping from prison, he took the name to hide his identity. No one suspects.
Secret Keeper: According to the Heart, he knows Corvo's identity, but he won't tell anyone.
A professional rabble-rouser hired by one of Rothwild's competitors to shut down the Rothwild slaughterhouse.
Manipulative Bitch: When the strike started, Rothwild hired a private investigator to find dirt on her. The PI became convinced that Abigail was a genuine Wide-Eyed Idealist and actually tried to convince Rothwild to give into some of her demands.
The Mole: She manipulated Rothwild so well that she actually managed to work her way up to Foreman before she started the strike.
Pay Evil unto Evil: She justifies her plan to blow up the slaughterhouse to Daud by saying that Rothwild and his butchers will be the only ones harmed and that they deserve to die.
Wide-Eyed Idealist: The persona she puts on to rally the workers into striking. She claims to adamantly believe that no one deserves to work in the slaughterhouse's inhumane conditions. In reality, she's far more cynical.
Barrister Arnold Timsch's niece. The two of them had a rather nasty falling out over the Barrister's mother's inheritance, and so Thalia hires Daud to remove her uncle from the picture.
Ms. Exposition: Her primary role in the story is to give Daud Delilah's backstory.
The Stoic: Nothing seems to phase her. Daud first meets her being threatened by some Hatters who have already killed her bodyguards. She remains completely calm. Her cool demeanor doesn't even flap when she realizes that she has become an accessory to murder.
Wide-Eyed Idealist: The Barrister accuses her of being this, although nothing in her conversations with Daud supports his accusations.
Eureka Moment: Textbook case: he had been rejected from the Academy, and was touring the docks looking for a place to stay when he saw some street urchins pour whale oil or blubber on a fire to warm themselves. As the fire roared and grew before his eyes, a smile spread across his face.
In his defense, his discoveries did make the world a better place in many ways, and would have continued to do so were it not for the peoplein charge of the Imperial government. It's likely that after they're removed, his legacy will go back to being as he intended it.