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Non-Lethal Takedown of Campbell
- Why does no one question the High Overseer being branded? They know you're on the loose, the event is certainly not scheduled, and there is no proof at all that he actually is a heretic. You'd think they would call bullshit over this.
- First, they're so indoctrinated they don't ask questions, they just follow orders (the order in question being "Don't associate with anyone with the heretic's brand under any circumstances"). Two, everyone hated Campbell. He was a farce of a High Overseer who intentionally committed sins daily, and only stayed in power due to blackmail. He deserved the mark, and everyone knew it.
- Yeah, people didn't raise any questions because they didn't think the situation warranted any *being* raised. If Campbell didn't blackmail, lie and cheat then it would likely raise some eyebrows, but the Overseers were already looking for a legitimate way to remove him from power. You can even over-hear a couple of low level Overseers discussing trying to steal his journal (in his secret chamber, no less) to do so; extraordinarily dangerous if they weren't certain something fishy had been going on.
- And after that mission, Martin quickly uses Campbell's journal to blackmail most of the church hierarchy. Even if there was an investigation, the person in charge of that investigation would likely be working for you.
- Finally, you might have left that secret room door open, which would have shown every Overseer that he was guilty.
- More to the point, they CAN'T question it. If they admit that Campbell's branding wasn't legitimate, what's to stop any other person who has the brand from telling people, "oh no, I'm not REALLY a heretic, I was attacked, like the High Overseer, so please give me soup". Admitting the possibility completely destroys their authority, which means people are a lot less likely to listen to their bullshit.
Killing Weepers increases the Chaos
- Why is it a considered to be a bad thing to put them out of their misery? Knocking them out only prolongs their suffering and it’s unlikely that someone who has turned into a rabid animal that attacks any non-weeper on sight has any chance of recovery. The Weepers that are cured by Piero and Sokolov in the Low Chaos ending aren’t hostile which means that these are the ones with their sanity still intact.
- The ones having potion poured down their throats by Piero and Sokolov are restrained. Which is actually an argument that many of the weepers can still be saved.
- The point isn't whether or not it's a Mercy Kill. Chaos isn't measuring evil, it's measuring the city's health. And people dying freaks people out, which makes them panic and leads to an overall worse ending.
- By that logic killing Weepers should actually reduce the Chaos. Sure corpses piling up in the streets aren’t good for the morale, but that’s still better than crazy people covered in fly swarms roaming the streets, attacking the citizens and spreading the disease. Killing them would actually make people feel at least a little bit safer.
- Perhaps the sight of ROTTING CORPSES IN THE STREET causes these issues.
- It's more food for the rats.
- And food for the rats means stronger rats which means bigger swarms, etc. It's not just about them being Weepers it's about turning them into food for what's destroying the city.
- The problems with these justifications are still legion, particularly since the Chaos system really doesn't work consistently. The "it gives more food to the Weepers" argumentation falls apart with the realization that you can have a power that can burn corpses to a crisp or the ability to punt corpses through a Wall of Light (which opens up a related headscratching issue, but not for right now)-thus denying the rats anything to eat- while still having the Chaos increase by the same amount as it just being undiscovered; on top of this you can kill Wolfhounds willy nilly without dealing with the corpses (and while making sure the Overseers can't) without any increase in chaos whatsoever. It just doesn't add up.
- Also, killing rats doesn't do a thing to keep the plague from spreading.
- Bit of a stretch here, but I think the issue with killing Weepers is that it causes long-term chaos. Remember that "chaos" in this case is anything that impacts Dunwall's long-term stability. The low-chaos ending shows Piero and Sokolov curing victims of the plague, including - going by the restrained man - Weepers. In killing these people, you're actually killing someone who could be saved later on. Not that you know it at the time, of course.
- But in the short term, killing enough people causes people to be weepers who are otherwise shown as healthy in a Low Chaos playthrough. This is supposedly because leaving bodies lying around for the rats to eat increases their population, and they spread the plague to people who wouldn't otherwise get it. Even if the bodies have disintegrated. I'd honestly rather they hadn't tried than give me such a thin, blatantly false justification.
- Haven't heard that one before, and it makes a whole lot more sense than a lot of the pad justifications. The real problem I see with it is that it's contingent on the Low Chaos ending being what you get (which is far from a sure thing to say the least) and Piero and Sokolov being around to cooperate (while you can conceivably off the latter and get Low Chaos).
- When one plays Dishonored the game world starts as Low Chaos. Everything has gone to hell but at the start of your adventure the world is still in a stable decline. Corvo's actions choose whether that gets better or worse from that baseline. For the most part Weepers are in their own little areas, away from everyone else and hiding. They don't have very good perception, won't usually notice their own buddies lying unconscious a few feet away and are generally in their own little world. Killing them, as opposed to subduing them, is a matter of convenience for Corvo - he's taking a life just to make his job a bit easier and quicker. Even if they're a threat to him these are still civilians and, by and large, they're not responsible for their condition. Killing them is no different than offing a maid who keeps interrupting you as you search a house. As you spread a trail of death and destruction you're only going to give people yet more to worry about, guards to be more on edge (increased patrols) and just generally make the world a crappier place. So it makes sense even if it isn't the most obvious thing in the world.
- Sorry, but that doesn't hold water, in case you didn't notice one of the Heart's stock quotes when actually dealing with maids: "....she will be mauled by Weepers and left for dead." A maid interrupting you when you're searching around doesn't spread a world-ending plague as she goes about her work. The maid interrupting you is just doing her job, and poses no real threat to anyone save you, and the fact that the fate of the Empire just so happens to hinge on your success doesn't change the fact that you can minimize the damage while doing so. The point about the Weepers being largely in their own little worlds and generally in small areas of the map is valid, but that doesn't change the fact that they're still literally bleeding a threat to humanity's existence in Dunwall, and who is keeping other people (who are also innocent like them and don't pose a threat to humanity, like those countless unfortunate servants who keep getting mauled by them on their days off). Secondly, if anything choosing to kill a Weeper makes Corvo's job harder, because it means you have to choose to deal with them rather than simply bypassing them, and it would understandably cause more guards to deploy into areas they previously couldn't because of the dangers of getting infected. As for spreading a trail of destruction, they cumulatively have done a far better job at that than Corvo ever has and ever can, as shown by the fact that anybody's willing to stomach the Lord Regent's justifications to quarantine them and the rats at all. I'm sorry, but there's a reason why you're allowed to eliminate plague carriers legally if they pose an obvious danger, and why you are allowed to kill civilians if they pose a threat to others. At least cutting down the number of plague carriers would help the non-infected part of humanity regain its' footing and possibly be able to reexpand into the previously abandoned areas.
- Yes, Weepers are dangerous, but only really if you approach them. The occasional civilian is certainly falling to them but for the most part they're not a threat in and of themselves. Them carrying the plague is a threat but killing them won't stop that, their plague infested blood will still be oozing out into the street. It might conceivably make it worse, as animals that don't normally carry the plague might eat the corpses and spread it. The sight of the bodies in the streets will still cause increased public disorder as well, since just by looking at a corpse it would be hard to tell the difference between a dead Weeper and a slightly decomposed normal person. As for re-expanding into previously abandoned areas, in the Low Chaos ending that is exactly what happens because, as has been noted, Weepers can be cured. And in the interests of Dunwall's long term survival the curing of people thought lost to the plague is much more useful than a pile of rotting corpses that will, let's not forget, spread an impressive range of more mundane illnesses.
- First and foremost, "only if you approach them" is seriously underplaying the problem. Even factoring out the Heart saying that every maid we see will get mauled by Weepers (including a named character who isn't), it's still a clear indication that the problem is major. If the developers felt comfortable with the assumption that any given maid in each of the locales we see them is going to get mauled on her off day, the problem is far more than "the occasional civilian." That means that the Weepers are a serious drain on the most essential resource Dunwall has: human lives. Furthermore, we know at least some Weepers retain a semblance of higher thinking, and that some of those want to make the world burn, meaning that they're a lot more risky than just the average zombie you can cage up and forget because unlike those zombies there's a chance they can reason their way out. Furthermore, plague carriers (by definition of being plague carriers) are unlikely to be dangerous only if you get attacked and mauled by them; they carry a world-ender of a disease and even if we assume that the plague is transmitted through eating it (and to the best of my knowledge there is no confirmation it is) that doesn't remove the threat they pose. Finally, I am well aware of what happens in Low Chaos. I am also very well aware that the cure is developed in a very specific epilogue and that up to that point just about nobody believes it is possible to have it done in the immediate future (which in their defense they were right on without Sokolov and Piero working together). Up to that point, nobody even knew that Weepers could be cured and using knowledge that is impossible to obtain at the time to make judgement before you could get it is metagaming; there's nothing wrong with it but it's not something in-universe characters can justify themselves with.
- There's two main issues with this debate so we'll tackle it one bit at a time.
- With the hand crossbow and dedication you can easily murder huge groups of Weepers without breaking a sweat because they are a very minimal threat to you. They're just sick people. Killing them is the equivalent of going to a leper colony and killing everyone. One could easily make the argument that these people are not responsible for what they do due to illness making them less of a purposeful threat than guys like the Overseers and that's honestly a big part of what Dishonored is saying - killing is wrong. By and large these people do not deserve to die and, for the most part, when Corvo chooses to kill he's doing it because he's taking the easy way out. Even though the Heart may say mostly negative things about people, the game isn't about purging the land of criminals, it's about Corvo's quest to bring the corrupt leadership of the city to justice. He doesn't HAVE to kill the people in his way so doing so is just showing he doesn't care about life.
- Sorry, but while humans might have thought Leprosy was a world ending threat in past centuries, it wasn't, and the comparison is insulting to actual Lepers (many of whom were killed on false grounds because of inane comparisons like this). Leprosy is a generally nonlethal, hellishly-hard-to-communicate disease that generally does not drive people out of their minds. When properly treated, the threat to anybody—including the Lepers—is just about nil. The Rat Plague is clearly none of these things except maybe the last one (depending on the problems Sokolov, Piero, and their help might or might not have had treating them), and the threat it poses to human existence without a cure is obvious and overwhelming. Regardless of what Dishonored was trying or trying not to say, it obviously bungled the delivery considerably. The problem here isn't that we don't agree that the Weepers cannot be fully blamed for their actions and spreading the plague, it's that doesn't change the threat they pose until a cure can be found. There's a reason why the Rat Plague is clearly not Leprosy and wringing ones' hands about killing these sick people (in situations of self-defense or defense of the community) is short sighted and might cause more deaths: the local Lazaretto isn't going to turn into a hive of pseudozombies attacking half the maids of Dunwall and spreading an inhumanly lethal and infectious disease.
- When you kill those plague carriers you're just making more food for the rats. Any rats that happen to not have the plague and come across dead plague carriers are going to eat, get sick and now carry the plague onwards. It's very likely that this is exactly why there are more rats on a High Chaos playthrough - you're making more and more food for them. Rats are much harder to keep out of an area than Weepers and are a much bigger threat so helping make more of them, regardless of any justification, is really just making life more miserable for those innocents.
- This is also short sighted, because the rats cannot eat a body that has been destroyed (nevermind the question of whether they would eat fallen Weepers in the first place). You can chuck them into Walls of Light or get a version of Shadow Kill that destroys bodies, and the rat population will still be far higher without reason (all other things being equal). Which just hammers home the sloppy and ham-handed way they implemented Chaos after promising they wouldn't do it like that; the world apparently operates on the morality of Corvo and Daud rather than any more realistic cause or effect.
- The obvious answer is because the game does not track how people die, only if they died or were spared.
- I always thought that Chaos was implemented by ways of Outsider Magic to the town. Further analyses made me think that perhaps Chaos is not referring to the state of Dunwall, but the state of Corvo's own psyche and how stable he is. Killing people increases Chaos, because killing people makes Corvo either used to killing (which he probably is, maybe.), want to kill even more, or results in his Sanity Slippage, therefore he is more "Chaotic." I suspect those Marked can influence their environment subconsciously, the last mission for example, Kingsparrow Lighthouse, on Low Chaos, its sunny, on High, its dark and stormy. This goes without saying, but, Daud also influences his environment regarding his decisions during Knife of Dunwall, since he's Marked.
- There's something to that. It could be that the Marked have an almost Fisher King effect on their environment and therefore the stability and morality of Corvo and Daud shifts the city one way or another, especially with Deliah dead or trapped and Granny Rags dead or driven off.
- If you recall the nature of the three endings, the Chaos may not have to do with Corvo directly. The survival of the city comes down to the quality of Emily's leadership according to the epilogue, based on Corvo's influence; it's noted that Emily tends to become wilder and more sadistic the higher the Chaos gets. This is because she is modeling herself after Corvo, who, at the very least, acts as her father figure; hence, whether Corvo practices restraint or violence rubs off on Emily, influencing whether she rules benevolently or tyrannically, which determines whether Dunwall survives or not. So, killing Weepers reflects the attitude of jaded expediency, which is passed on to Emily, and increases the post-game Chaos of her violent rule.
- It could also be argued that killing Weepers increases Chaos because the Weepers you kill are people who contributed to the city. These are people who helped move the economy and produced goods and offered services. As far as it goes with the origin of the plague initially being to wipe out the poor and "lazy" people, many of the people infected at this point are not the same as those who were first and purposefully infected, since they likely died in the 6+ months since Corvo returned to Dunwall. No matter how you dispose of bodies, you're still straight up murdering folks who had a place in the city's system. And they are innocents who are sick with something they can't control and can be potentially freed from.
- I'd say it is much simpler than that: Weepers - while dangerous and carriers of a lethal disease - do count as people because they still ARE. Aim the heart at them and listen. A few quotes of it will mention how they still think, how they feel things. They can't convey it anymore and most of their mind is broken, but they are NOT zombies or mindless animals, but people with serious mental damage. Killing a Weeper is like shooting a mentally disabled person, the only difference is that a Weeper additionally has something along the lines of a very aggressive flu that it passes along. One clear indication for how bad it is to kill a Weeper should be Slackjaw. He's a criminal and a thug that has no problem with cutting someone's tongue out. And yet when his men become Weepers, he locks them away and if you dare to hurt one of them, he will hunt you down. Those people may be a threat to most, but not only are they mostly harmless to an assassin such as Corvo, they had at one point been friends, lovers, parents or children. It is NOT your right to kill them, just because you can.
- The sick woman in the flooded district is a direct example of this. She is definitely in a late state of the plague, probably just a day or two away from becoming a Weeper. Corvo can find a letter on her bed where her family begs her to stay at home, that they will care for her and don't care about her sickness. They would probably have to lock her into a room or bind her to a bed or something, but they are aware that the only crime of hers is being sick with something that can't be healed and that she deserves to die in her families presence while being cared for until the end.
- Fridge Brilliance: If Corvo kills the Weepers, the rats will eat the Weepers, become stronger, and then kill the civilians, creating more Weepers. If you don't kill the Weepers, then the rats and/or the Weepers will kill the civilians, creating more Weepers. If you kill them, but get rid of the body, the rats will just go for the civilians, which, once again, will turn them into Weepers.
Corvo's Secret Identity
- It's implied that none of the conspirators realise that Corvo and the mysterious masked assassin are the same man. How hard would it be to twig that the jail-break of the local Memetic Badass who has good reasons for wanting you all dead-or-worse, and the sudden appearance of a mysterious masked badass who swiftly sets about ensuring you are all dead-or-worse are likely to be connected? The only reason I could think of would be the fact that pre-assassin Corvo had no magic, so the reliance of the masked assassin on magic might throw them off. Of course this is dependent on player-choice.
- It doesn't really make much of a difference if the Lord Regent and his allies knew it was Corvo who was taking them down anyway. They still couldn't kill/recapture him or find out where the Loyalists' hideout was. And it doesn't matter who is slashing your throat or selling you into slavery once its already happened... Its possible that they focused more on stopping the Masked Felon than worrying about his identity, though that was certainly a secondary goal.
- Another issue is that they really didn't have time to find out who the Felon was. Less than a week passed between the break out and Burrow's death, anyone in a position to care about the Felon's identity was dead or worse within days.
- They do know that the assassin is Corvo - at least, by the time you show up at Boyle's party. See what happens when you sign the guest book as yourself at Boyle's party. There's a report on the Lord Regent's desk that makes note that someone signed themselves in as the very assassin who killed/disappeared Lady Boyle.
- The person who wrote the letter, however, believes that the guest book entry was just a cruel joke by one of the party guests and has nothing to do with the disappearance/death of Lady Boyle.
- It's politics; they can't admit that the man they let escape is actually the man going around killing/neutralizing them. Would damn them twice over; best let it be some Outsider heretic than the former protector of the Queen.
- Truth be told, 'a masked assassin using mystic powers to kill high-ranking targets' is a perfect description of Daud and his Whalers. According to best knowledge of conspirators, Corvo was not versed in dark arts (and getting them overnight is not something that can be assumed at the drop of the hat). So it makes a very possible scenario that conspirators assumed that it is Daud or his associate(s) and the real question was 'who hired them?'.
- They know, or at least Campbell does, considering when you read his final diary entry in The Flooded District he spends about a paragraph and a half cursing Corvo by name. Maybe its one of those things where they know it but they're in personal and political denial about it.
- Campbell does at that point because Corvo gets outed by his fellow conspirators after they stab him in the back. The Lord Regent, though, is clearly surprised if you unmask before killing him.
The Lord Regent's "Brilliant" Plan.
- Hiram Burrows is a prudent man. According to the Heart and the notes found throughout the game, he has a severe case of OCD regarding order and efficiency. When he stole power, it wasn’t for personal luxury or privilege, but because he felt that he was truly the best leader for Dunwall. He was still an evil git for introducing the plague and murdering the empress, but why did he use the plague in the first place? Anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of statecraft would know that the lower class is essential to the wellbeing of a nation, and introducing uncontrollable factors like disease and feral rats is counterproductive if you want to keep things organized. Simply put, why would anyone obsessed with order and efficiency intentionally unleash chaos and cripple his own city? His methods are completely contrary to his goals.
- This is actually a disturbingly common mindset in real life. Basically, he didn't see the poor as people, he saw them as rodents and vermin. Yes, rodents and vermin are important to the ecosystem, but you have rat catchers to keep them from breeding out of control. He just wanted to trim the numbers to a more manageable level. We don't know what his desired level was, but it went out of control when the rats proved smarter than his catchers. I imagine he also planned to use the "tragedy" of the rat plague as a propaganda tool to keep the survivors in line, as well.
- We don't know that Burrows does have even a rudimentary knowledge of statecraft - in fact his secret confession pretty much proves he doesn't. Remember he's the jumped-up head of the secret police, not a politician of any kind. Killing people is his hammer and Dunwall is full of nails.
- So what exactly do the Marked do with the runes that give them more powers, anyways? It must be something that expends them. Do they eat them? Are they physically absorbed into the hand? Suck power out of them then throw them back into the river?
- I'm betting it's the last. The runes have all the old magic, prayers, and power that the early civilizations, and The Outsider, put into them. For most it probably does nothing but look weird, give headaches, or glow if they make an altar to The Outsider. But a Marked can get the juice that's within them, then it turns into just a fancy piece of bone.
- According to one of the in game notes, the runes just disintegrate after being used.
How was the Lord Regent's reign harming Dunwall?
- It’s stated numerous times throughout the game that the death of the empress made a bad situation many times worse, and that her successor (and murderer) was driving the city into the ground. (Even Daud mentions this in the Knife of Dunwall DLC.) However, the empress seemed unwilling to commit to drastic measures, and even referred to a blockade as “cowardly”. The sad reality is that harsh measures such as blockades, strictly enforced curfews, inhumane quarantines, and the systematic destruction of the sick are often the best methods to deal with an out-of-control plague that has the potential to wipe out the known world; methods that a "bleeding heart" like the empress (no pun intended) would have refused to condone. Although responsible for starting the plague, wouldn't a cold and pitiless ruler like the Lord Regent have been a better leader at that point in time?
- There are multiple problems. Let's just ignore the fact that he was the cause of the plague in the first place, since no one knew that. He instituted absolutely brutal martial law, had political dissidents thrown in the plague quarter, and didn't make any real effort to find an actual cure. With Jessamine in charge, it presumably would have gone the way the Low Chaos ending went; she'd quarantine who she needed to, but since those were actual sick people, they would have obeyed her laws and cooperated with the researchers trying to find a cure. That's the big one; remember that the Lord Regent's punishment for evading quarantine, hiding the plague, so on and so forth, was all death...which meant the sick had nothing to lose in hiding and unintentionally spreading the plague.
- I see. The cruel measures used by the Lord Regent cost him the faith, cooperation, and good will of his people. That makes sense; combating a plague effectively requires the combined efforts and cooperation of an entire community, and brutal crackdowns tend to encourage an “every-man-for-himself” mentality. It’s a bitter irony that by resorting to extreme measures to gain control, the Lord Regent lost it instead.
- Keep in mind also that the Lord Regent didn't seem to get how people would react. His own private recorded rant indicates that he took every factor into account except the human one, and said that if everyone had simply "followed orders" then everything would be fine. But the human factor was exacerbated by the brutality and ruthlessness of his regime, which only made the plague worse.
- Which is interesting in that it paints the Lord Regent as being more than just an extremist and potentially more along the lines of a full case of sociopathy (Antisocial personality disorder). His inability to understand other people, his arrogance and delusions of grandeur as well as his flagrant disregard for the damage done to anyone or anything all sound well in line with that. He "knows" how to save the city and if others won't do as he says then he'll just have to clear the way and do it himself.
- There's also the fact that with Barrows' help, Arnold Timsh is stealing people's property by claiming they have the plague. People who are presumably shipped off to be quarantined with actual sick people, thereby getting sick themselves.
- Keep in mind that its also not just the Lord Regent causing problems. The people backing him include: Campbell, who is so incredibly corrupt that he's damaging the Abbey itself and turning men who should have been helping the populace into ruthless killers. Morgan and Custis Pendleton, two incompetent fops who dominate the nobles' voting bloc and are effective squandering the voting power needed to get anything done. And Lady Boyle, whose extravagant spending during a time of crisis is exacerbating the plague problem even worse. With the exception of Sokolov, the people backing Burrows are not helping solve Dunwall's problems.
The Current State of the Empire?
- Is there any hint regarding the condition of the empire at large during the course of the game? Dunwall is the heart of Gristol and the capital of the empire, so the political upheaval caused by the city’s near destruction and the empress’s death should have been pretty spectacular.
- The "empire" is actually more a confederacy at this point in its history, with each island semi-autonomous due to the institution of a constitutional monarchy that has divested the crown of more than a little power (hence why it's so important to get the Pendleton votes in the Parliament). The other islands are independent enough to effectively write off Dunwall as doomed and consider blockading the city to prevent the plague from spreading (Corvo's bad news at the beginning of the game), but they weren't quite prepared to actually overthrow everything. If Dunwall recovered, great! If it didn't, then the other islands were prepared to go their own way. The time span of the game (and the plague) wasn't really long enough for the other islands to completely throw off the empire, though, especially due to the lag in communications and the known general hostility of the world at large. Likely, in Low Chaos, Emily claimed the throne and Piero and Sokolov worked together just in time to restore confidence in the crown.
Regarding Daud's assassins
- So, the Outsider states in the Knife of Dunwall that there are only eight who bear the mark. His gifts include abilities to tap in to black magic, like, say, Blink, void gaze, what have you. How is it, then, that every single one of Daud's assassins can utilize this blink? Was that ever established? Or is that a case of segregation from story and gameplay?
- It's stated outright in a few notes Corvo finds that one of Daud's powers is the ability to grant lesser versions of his own powers to those who are loyal to him.
- Then a further headscratcher would be how can Billie can blink faster, and farther, without break, than Daud? This goes for his other assassins, as well.
- That's just Gameplay and Story Segregation with a dash of Offscreen Teleportation. And maybe a willingness to pop mana potions like candy.
- Maybe Delilah was helping Billie, and with her donation of power added to Daud's own gift to her, it made Billie equal to someone who got Marked.
- In Knife of Dunwall Daud specifically has an ability that lets him share his powers with his other assassins. It can even be increased to give them the ability to ignore the effects of Slow / Stop Time and to instantly ash any enemies that they kill as well as granting them a new power, Pull. So that's very well established in game. In regards to them being able to Blink so well I always assumed they were just downing potions as necessary. And a bit of Gameplay and Story Segregation.
- I never noticed them Blinking any faster than it takes for the regen to recover their mana. as for the reason they do not seem to have the same distance restrictions is probably due to the training one can witness during the Whaling District level. As for why Daud loses his ability to Blink like that it is more likely for gameplay reasons, as one cannot visualize where they want to go in a first person game. As for why Billie has exceptionally gifted at blinking probbably comes down to practice. Personally feel the reason Corvo did not have as many awesome powers was because he got them at the beginning of the week or so the game takes place in. Practice makes perfect.
- Daud's journal mentions that some of his assassins are more powerful with their abilities than others. Billie Lurk is one of these more powerful assassins, which is why she's his second in command. Also keep in mind that Billie also sided with Delilah, so she probably got a powerup from her as well.
Granny Rags' age
- What is her real age, in Knife of Dunwall Billie Lurk says that rumors say that she's thousand years old, since it's a rumor it's likely not true. But as we know, she cannot be killed unless her cameo is destroyed, which means that it keeps her alive and extends her life. And since we can find her portrait from younger days done by Sokolov during 'Lady Boyle's Last Party' that means that she's 60-70 years old, much less than what rumors say.
- The only info we have besides the painting is the journal entry in her lair about how she was part of an expedition to Pandyssia, which is where she learned her rituals, plus the fact that she's the last of the Moray family. So 60-70 sounds about right (since organized expeditions are a recent thing), but it's impossible to know for sure. For all we know, she really is a thousand years old, but when she met Sokolov she used a ritual to dial her age back to her youth so he could paint her. Unlikely, but it's a possibility.
- Huh? Billie says that she was rumored to be a hundred years old, not a thousand.
- Mistake on my part, so about hundred years should be it.
- I read on the wiki that she has 72 years. It is stated in one of the DLC.
- And remember, during the Industrial Age, living up to 60-70 years was actually rather rare. It was only after large advancements in medical knowledge and technology that we've managed to push average life expectancy well past that.
- For the Knife of Dunwall DLC Just how was Billie Lurk planning on taking over Daud once he died? He’s the source of the Whalers’ powers, with him gone they are powerless. Billie solves her own by allying with Delilah and relying on her powers instead, but that doesn’t change the rest of the Whalers would be screwed. Billie also believed she could command the Whalers better than Daud, yet her direct actions got several Whalers killed. She had the Overseers surprise attack the hideout and her fellow Whalers killed. In fact, Whaler casualties were supposed to be even greater than they turned out but Overseer Hume attacked before all the forces had been gathered. So Billie’s great plan was to command a bunch of dead, powerless Whalers after killing Daud?
- Fairly certain it was Delilah's great plan, and all she cared about was that Daud died. See also:
Billie: I was a fool to listen to you!
- It's been stated that Daud's power share is a permanent effect, not a constant fountain thing. When he dies, his assassins keep the powers they got.
- I thought it was implied the opposite. Delilah can share powers just like Daud and the witches have a conversation that their powers rely on Delilah and without her around they'll be cut off.
- At any rate, if you kill Daud in the main game and then get into a fight with the assassins on your way out, they still have their powers, so for them it's permanent.
- Given how whimsical The Outsider seems, Daud's power and Delilah's work different just because he finds it entertaining.
- Well, or just the fact that everyone marked by the Outsider gets an at least slightly different skill set.
- It's also possible that Billie would have Delilah empower the assassins as part of the pact.
- About the Whaler's loyalty to Billie, if you play a High Chaos run, you can hear the other Whalers grumbling about Daud's increasingly poor leadership and loss of sanity, and planning to betray him as well. It would have been easy for Billie to take control of them in that case.
- Or on Low Chaos, hear them complain that Daud's gone soft. There's just no pleasing them!
- Fairly certain it was Delilah's great plan, and all she cared about was that Daud died. See also:
Inconsistent Brigmore Witches info
- In the main game, early on you find a book that says the Brigmore Witches are allied with Daud, and in the DLC it is shown this is not the case. One can dismiss this as just in-universe unreliable narrator, except it's not, because later on in the main game after Corvo is captured by Daud, you find a note written by Daud to Rinaldo that "the leader of the Brigmore witches must pay for her betrayal" which by itself implies that they must have been allies once, if not at the present moment. In the DLC, however, there's no indication that they were ever allies. So if Delilah was never allied with Daud (Which she can't have ever been, since Daud has no idea who she is in the beginning of Ko D), what "betrayal" is his note talking about in the main game? It can't be Billie's, because the note the note seems pretty emphatic it's Delilah's betrayal.
- It was Billie's betrayal. Delilah made Billie betray Daud. Hence, Billie's betrayal was Delilah's betrayal.
- Yeah I always read that as saying "The leader of the Brigmore Witches must pay for [Billie's] betrayal.
- On my playthrough, there's a book on Daud that says he was allied with the Brigmore witches, but that they had a falling out.
- It's possible that the book contains an Unreliable Narrator since it was done by an undercover Overseer and he might not have gotten the facts right.
Why are they all called the Ladies Boyle?
- If only Waverly was actually married to Lord Boyle, why are they all called Lady Boyle? Wouldn't Esma and Lydia have a different name to go by? Or was Lord Boyle a cousin or something?
- That last is a possibility. Another one suggested by the wiki is that the Boyle family was so influential, the three sisters insisted they all get to take the name, so that all three could benefit from the union. Aren't sisterly bonds just swell?
- Another theory is that the girls are born Boyle's. Lord Boyle was the one who married up.
- Given that there is a recording of Trevor Pendleton's Memoir, chapter 28. "Waverly, Waverly, Waverly. The very name sweeps one away. She came into our cold, marble halls and brought light and warmth. She changed our lives forever. It was only later I realized she was a traitorous little weasel, like all the Boyles." That made me think that she was Boyle from birth along with her sisters, but I'll admit it could be referencing that Pendleton and Boyles are competitors in the same industries or something...
- It could have also just been part of the "game" they were playing during the party, where they all took the same name to force the guests (and Corvo) to figure out which of them is the real Lady Boyle.
- In the Knife of Dunwall, the Outsider tells Daud that there are 8 Marked Men. Corvo Attano is included in that number. The problem? That conversation happens 6 months before Corvo is Marked.
- The timeline is not precise, and it's not confirmed that Corvo is one of the Marked he was talking about. Corvo could easily be number nine.
- The Outsider never says he included Corvo in that number. Nor is it clear when the conversation takes place. Daud only mentions he spent six months trying to forget about killing the empress, but not that he spent six months looking for Delilah. And we know that by the time he goes to Rothwild's whaling company, Corvo's already escaped (As its mentioned on the PA and there's wanted posters of him all over) - and since Corvo gets his marked the very same day, it's possible Corvo's marked by the time the Outsider speaks to Daud - assuming Daud's search for Delilah which led him to find the name of the ship only took a few days. (We know that by the time Delilah's doing the ritual at the end of the storyline, Emily's still in the Hounds Pit Pub so Havelock's betrayal hasn't happened yet).
- The Outsider makes it sound like his Mark is an extraordinary gift that only a few talented people can have, but yet he gives them to people who tend to end up being opposed to one another. Corvo can fight Granny Rags and is at odds with Daud, while Daud fights Delilah, meaning that half of the Marked are at each others' throats.
- The Outsider relishes conflict and probably gave the mark to opposing parties on purpose.
Non-lethal takedown of Rothwild
- In order to get rid of Rothwild without killing him, you can put it in a box which is scheduled to be shipped by boat to a distant place. It raises a number of questions:
- How the hell is Rothwild supposed to survive the trip? The crate is mentioned to be specifically designed to keep people alive during transportation, but it is never explained how it achieves that miracle. In game it is just a coffin-like rectangular wooden box. We can assume there are breathing holes, but a trip to the far north with the game world's technology would take weeks, possibly months (which is the point of putting him in the box to begin with). Rothwild would have starved to death long before destination.
- Forget starving. A human can live weeks without food, but will die of thirst in about three days.
- Even if the crate contains some water and food, being held in a tight uncomfortable coffin for weeks would probably result in severe health problems.
- Once he's on the ship and wakes up in his crate, why couldn't Rothwild simply shout for help ? He is likely the owner of the ship he's carried on, and in any case an extremely wealthy man. He should have no problem convincing the captain to quickly bring him back to Dunwall or at very least to drop him somewhere when he can get a ride back for the city.
- The only way that stupid idea could work is if the crate somehow keeps Rothwild both incapacitated (or at least quiet), fed and healthy during the whole trip. It is not very likely the technology for that exists at Dunwall, and even if it is the case (Rothwild was working with Sokolov after all) it would require a much more complicated system than the simple wooden box shown in game.
- Surprisingly enough the second DLC actually confirms that yes, they do have technology of that level. The crate could potentially contain a simplified, older version of Trimble's medical technology.
- Magic. Not Outsider magic, presumably, but some kind of whale oil powered super refrigerator to put him in suspended animation for the trip.
- Firstly there is real-life precedent for locking people up in ships holds with a little water and food and simply assuming at least some of the people are left alive. As for why he doesn't shout? Well he's in a box, in a cargo-hold, surrounded by other boxes possibly filled with other people also shouting; do you really think the crew of the ship would be rewarded for investigating their cargo normally? Not very pleasant but considering some of the non-lethal take-downs in the main game, not too bad either.
- Billie blinks in the first time you walk past the box (if you enter through the front door) and mentions that it's set up to carry "live cargo." Apparently Rothwild was planning to use it the same way Daud ends up using it.
- If you investigate, you'll find a message saying that the box is only to be guarded by trusted personnel, who presumably are being paid by Rothwild to ignore any suspicious sounds coming from the box.
Brigmore Witches plotline
- The general plotline and story progression is much less credible than the one of the main game, or the previous DLC. In the first misson Daud goes to great lengths to free Lizzie Stride. This is justified because he needs a ride to the Brigmore manor, and Lizzie is an extremely skilled captain and smuggler with a ship and a competent crew. This obviously supposes that navigating the Wrenhaven river is somehow dangerous and difficult (maybe it is technically difficult and you need a skilled captain, or maybe it is just that Daud and his men are wanted criminals and have to keep a low profile). Anyway, this is completely ruined by the fact that Lizzie is later killed before even sailing off, leaving Daud as the captain. If all Daud needed was a ship and a crew, for a man with his connections and influence there were certainly much simpler options than breaking in the Coleridge prison to free Lizzie Stride in the first place.
- It would be completely ruined... if not for the fact that it is in fact quite possible to save Lizzie's life. As for why they wanted the Undine rather than any other vessel, it's the only ship allowed past the river patrols, thanks to Lizzie paying off the necessary officials.
- The second mission is the most problematic. To sum up what happened: the Undine is not operational because the Hatters stole its engine coil because they needed it it fix their own engine because their watermill doesn't work because the Brigmore Witches sabotaged the water supply. Question: why did the Witches sabotage the water supply? If it is merely to set this whole chain of events into motion and to make the Undine unusable that would require an insane amount of intelligence (that the Undine and the hatters' engine have the same model of coil, and that the hatters would try to use their engine if their watermill was stopped) as well as a Batman Gambit (that the hatters would then try to steal the Undine's coil, and succeed). They could have achieved the same result much more easily by just sinking the Undine or maybe cutting a deal with Wakefield to sail away quickly before Daud or Stride can arrive.
- The Witches were just playing with their powers, which happened to screw over the Hatters. Or maybe they were doing it on purpose to screw over the Hatters, but the point is that none of the gangs were their allies, so they didn't care what was happening to them.
- I'm sorry but my Willing Suspension of Disbelief won't buy that one. The witches are under Delilah's firm management and seem to observe a rather strict policy of discretion. We barely hear of their existence at all in the main Dishonored campaign, and even in the DLC they only act to support their leader or to protect her plans from Daud. So first they're not the kind of people to go "playing" with their powers, second they are hardly overactive and the fact that they are "playing" in exactly the same place as Daud at the same time and taking action against a gang who is directly involved in a war with the Dead Eels by happenstance is just as likely as the Outsider's eyes turning white. Especially since we directly witness them spying on the Eels a few blocks from there (likely because they heard of Daud's involvement, that piece of intelligence is plausible).
- Part two of this plan can pretty much be justified by the discretion policy: they don't want to make too many enemies among the gang population before Delilah's in charge of the country, so they can't just sink the Undine - up until that surprise attack at the end of the second level. Plus, Wakefield's on the verge of a mutiny and not exactly the most competent of bosses, so rather than waste time gambling on Mr Soon-To-Have-A-Sword-Through-His-Eye cooperating with them, the witches go right to the source: sabotage Hatters' mill via cutting off the water, pay off flunky to "accidentally" let slip that the Dead Eels have an engine coil (in front of Trimble, say), then gather in the sewers to ambush Daud when the chain of deals finally leads him there. True, the plan's definitely not perfect - after all, it's quite possible to bypass the sewer trap by going along with the Geezer's suicide attempt - but it does make a certain degree of sense.
- If you are stealthy enough, you can sneak up on a pair of witches who basically just drop the entire plan to you. They sabotaged the water supply so the Hatters would steal the engine coil, therefore disabling the Undine. This is all being done to throw obstacles in Daud's way to prevent him from reaching Brigmore in time. The witches don't want to make their presence known to the gangs since the gangs would just united against THEM, which is why they just opt to ambush them covertly in the sewers. And remember, Delilah has a very large source of contacts and puppets, and the witches have clearly been spying on the Hatters and Dead Eels for quite some time already.
- The Outsider prodded Daud into conflict with Delilah by dropping hints about what he should look for—who's to say he's not feeding Delilah suggestions about how she can interfere with him along the way?
- The third mission is quite straight, but we can just point out that Delilah's whole plan depends on the Loyalists eventually winning in order to succeed. This is quite optimistic and risky.
- Not really. Emily was going to end up on the throne no matter what; both conspiracies wanted her as a puppet. They wouldn't have anticipated her (or rather, Delilah) having access to Outsider magic, so she could have offed them and taken real control without too much difficulty. It's only in the absolute worst ending that Emily dies.
Admiral Havelock's Betrayal
- Admiral Havelock had to have been the shortest lived Lord Regent of Dunwall for some very good reasons. First, he gathers Pendleton, Martin and Samuel to plot against Corvo and then plan to pretend that they were the ones who found Emily which is exactly what Hiram Burrows and his court planned to do. So he sends Samuel to poison Corvo to get him out of the way while he, Pendleton and Martin deal with the lowly servants and attempt to frame Piero and Sokolov for being the main conspirators along with Corvo. But why Samuel? If he was planning on offing Samuel off afterwards then he shouldn't have trusted the boat guy to do it when he had his much more loyal nobleman and overseer at his beck and call. He could have even done it himself and nobody would be the wiser. Second, He murders the servants as potential witnesses.... why? If the loyalists had already killed off the most reviled and powerful members of Hiram's court then surely the influence they had from Campbell's blackmail along with doing the public and the city watch a service they could have just replaced them with no hassle? Third, Emily... he murders the people she lived with and almost killed Callista right in front of her and he expects her to do as she's told. Fourth, in the game's last few minutes you listen to Havelock rambling to himself about what he's going to do with his newfound authority and power after he just killed Pendleton and Martin. Why would he kill off two of his biggest supporters and the ones probably given the important enough roles that they had to keep everything from collapsing? Fifth, on the off chance that Corvo did survive (Which Havelock knew as he blatantly stated in said rambling) he knew that he would have pissed Corvo, a badass ninja bodyguard to the empress, something fierce. There's a reason why he sent him to take out the court's most high profile targets on their home turf. So why even bother? Sixth, Havelock overthrew Hiram's court for the very things that Havelock ended up imitating anyway except worse.
In short: Havelock, Pendleton and Martin seriously didn't see that the whole thing would go badly for them?
- Of course. Hell, they even go so far as to attempt to kill both Sokolov and Piero, the two geniuses responsible for creating potions that help stave the plague and whom just might be the ones to find a cure for it. This was never going to go well for them!
- Remember that the lure of power and the temptation to abuse it is the central theme in the game. The Lord Regent killed the Empress for the power to save Dunwall from his own screw-ups, but only made things worse. All of Corvo’s targets make themselves vulnerable at key moments because of their corruption. If you listen to your supporter’s dialog, they say that Havlock, Martin, and Pendleton went over the edge the moment they succeeded in regaining control of Dunwall; that becoming leaders “changed them”. Corvo himself potentially ruins Dunwall beyond all hope of recovery by not using his power in a conscientious, responsible way. (High Chaos) The entire game is driven by mankind’s lust for power, and Havelock’s betrayal was intended to showcase how even normally sane, competent people aren’t immune to the madness it brings.
- After using the Heart on the Loyalists I was under the impression that Havelock had always been morally bankrupt, so the Loyalist Conspiracy fits with the theme of self-serving aristocrats trying to grab power for themselves and trampling on the poor in the process. The Heart has mostly negative commentary on Pendleton and Havelock, and in Havelock's case even says outright that he has killed for pleasure and previously tried to lead some sort of coup against the Empire.
- In fairness, the Heart has mostly negative commentary on pretty much everyone and everything except for Emily. It's pretty cynical, all things considered.
- Another thing to remember is that, going by Havelock's journal, he and the other Loyalists are flat-out terrified of Corvo and what he can do, and are worried that he might turn on them. Remember that people often see their own sins and flaws in others; Havelock wants power, and he believes Corvo might want the same, so eliminating Corvo would be required at some point, in his eyes. Corvo's betrayal would be a necessity, not an opportunity, even without Emily.
- Mmm. It seems pretty clear that Havelock tried to remove Corvo because Corvo wouldn't have let him control Emily.
- They probably thought the servants had to die so that they couldn't contradict anything said about how the Loyalists saved Emily and the Empire(i.e. "Corvo was a mad dog who had to be put down immediately so he didn't harm the Empress!" "No he wasn't, he rescued her personally and was gentler to her than any of you were. That's why you broke him out of jail in the first place.") Granted, whether or not they'd be listened to is another matter, but at the point where the conspirators are terrified of being held accountable for their crimes they're likely not thinking completely logically.
- An audio log after getting Sokolov has Havelock pretty much say that he would have been fine only leading the Navy for Emily (which is probably supposed to reflect Martin and Pendelton as well, since Martin is announced High Overseer around the same time and Pendelton mentions that now he is head of his family in the chapter before). At the end of the log, he begins to question whether a young child as her would actually be ready to be empress anytime soon and if it wouldn't be better to be Lord Regent until then. In Low Chaos, one could at least assume that all three somehow started out honestly believing that they would only take power for a limited time and then let Emily reign (trusting that them helping her would grant them a good position anyway). But that the sudden amount of power as well as the realisation that Corvo will do everything to make sure that Emily is not used or threatened made them very aware that they were at risk if deciding to do anything that he would disagree with.
- Both the Loyalist trio that betrays you and Daud seem to consider Corvo unpredictable and difficult to understand ("You're a mystery, and I can't allow that"), which is ironic given that Corvo's motives are extremely straightforward: keep Emily safe and (depending on your Chaos level) get justice for what happened to her and for the murder of the Empress, who he was in love with. But the Loyalists are primarily after personal power, and Daud has become jaded by years of pointless assassination work. And Corvo's Silent Protagonist quietness probably wasn't helping. So it could be argued that they betrayed him partially because they could not understand how his mind worked, since his motives were so different from their own and they could not conceive of someone like him being so powerful and not abusing it eventually, likely at their expense.
- As for why they chose Samuel to poison him and take care of the body, the most likely reason is that it would have meant doing their dirty work personally for a change. (While not stated outright in the 'Corvo is not an honorable man' article linked under Analysis, the insights in there strongly suggest this.)
Why is the Fugue Feast even a thing?
- Sanctioned anarchy? Yeah, it sounds fun, but in a period of time where anyone can get away with ANYTHING, it's going to be every man for himself. People will be taking this opportunity to steal, kill, riot, loot and generally do some pretty awful things they've been itching to do all year — so people would have a lot of interest in making sure the Fugue Feast DOESN'T happen because it could put some people's lives, if not everybody's lives, in some serious danger. Sure, criminals are going to be criminals whether it's Fugue Feast time or not, but there would be a LOT of people who'd take advantage of the fact they wouldn't be brought to justice if they killed or seriously hurt someone or their property. How does Dunwall not fall apart during the Fugue Feast? Why is it even allowed?
- I suspect the "anything goes" thing is only in theory. I would imagine if you committed murder, blew up a building or similar the Feast would not protect you, it's the little things that get let go and social taboos are removed. As for why it's allowed, it's pressure valve. Dunwall is a very repressive society at the best of times, that creates serious social tensions. Giving the populace one day a year to just cut loose relieves those tensions somewhat. It's been done in real history, usually to a lesser degree but still.
- If you could get away with anything in practice, people wouldn't wear masks for it... besides which, just because you can commit crimes without being prosecuted doesn't mean everyone in the city suddenly flips out and goes on a rampage. Wages paid during the period are going to be just as spendable after it ends - and private security probably get triple pay at this time of year. (Note also that physical security in Dunwall is pretty good - the Office of the High Overseer probably just enters lockdown for a week, and even common grocery shops have steel blast shutters.)
- Revenge solves everything. People may not face legal consequences for their actions, and there may be a tradition of not retaliating for offenses that occur during the Fugue Feast, but people won't just forget. In theory there may be no consequences, but in practice, if you seriously harm someone, they're going to remember that you wronged them, and carry a grudge whether they're "supposed" to or not. So, in practice, people would mostly just forget taboos and act inappropriately, but won't often piss someone off enough to invite retribution later.
- Note that it doesn't actually say laws are suspended during the feast. It says "No complaint is given for those who have wronged others", which suggests it's more of a custom than a change of law, and is fairly ambiguous in its scope.
- The most notable real world example of a 'fugue feast' or reversal festival is the ancient Roman Saturnalia, which included gift-gifting, drinking, gambling, and overturning of social structures such as even masters servicing their slaves.
Slackjaw knowing Corvo?
- At the beginning of House of Pleasures, Bottle Street Gang members will tell you that Slackjaw's asking to meet you. How? If you've been unseen during the two previous missions, how does Slackjaw even know to ask for you? Did he just randomly tell his men "Hey, if you see a Teleporty Guy with some sort of weird Skull Mark, send him over" and he just happened to be 100% correct? If you rescued Griff, he could've learned of you through him, but otherwise he's still aware of you even though he's got no reason or possibility to be. Even if he doesn't know the masked assassin is Corvo, how'd he know about the Mask Assassin when no one's seen him?
- He's a criminal kingpin, he knows people who know people. News will make it back to him. It's even possible he's got contacts with the Loyalists.
- So Criminal Kingpins are better informed than Spymasters now?
- Basically, yeah. Check out the documents on Corvo you can find in the Overseers' headquarters. They predict that because of Corvo's long association with the most rich and powerful people of Dunwall he is most likely hiding somewhere amongst the nobility, and that's where they plan to concentrate their search for him. The antagonists in this game redefine the term Stupid Evil.
- Well, technically, Corvo is hiding out among the nobility....
- Criminals do tend to be well-informed when it comes to stuff happening on the streets. Maybe they don't know the specifics about Corvo, but they know some basic information about the Loyalists that they're never going to share with the Watch, especially when the Loyalists seem to have used criminal assistance to get Corvo out of the prison. Slackjaw didn't get to where he was by being a fool, and the fact that he knows of Corvo indicates that he's much more clued in than the usual thugs on the street.
- Also, keep in mind that only enemies cause an alerted noise and count as "detected." It's very possible that a third party happened to see you on the night that the High Overseer was killed/mysteriously branded and put two and two together before telling Bottle Street what they saw.
- His thugs make trouble for Granny Rags. Sure, she speaks only nonsense and probably wouldn't call Corvo's name, but it could be that they got something from her that made Slackjaw aware of him.
- Chances are that one of the survivors in the second chapter might have seen you or at least that the game assumes that one did. They don't alert since they're not enemies, but since the area is part of Slackjaw's territory, it could be assumed that they mentioned a odd figure in a hood walking and jumping around. And Slackjaw is definitely smarter than most enemies, so he might have been able to deduce that there is a real chance a escapee like Corvo would need a mask to hide from authorities.
- So in the low chaos ending we see Corvo standing beside Emily without wearing gloves. In front of the court and Emily. Wouldn't somebody there recognize the Mark and accuse him (rightly) of witchcraft?
- Well, in the low chaos ending he's a genuine hero who selflessly saved the very Empire that branded him a traitor and nearly executed him, all with minimal death and destruction. They could all just quietly ignore it. Plus, Outsider-worship is still more common than the Abbey would like to admit, so having that mark wouldn't be seen as an obvious mark of witchcraft.
- Plus with Campbell followed by Martin the Abbey has probably taken a knock in power.
- Except he wasn't followed by Martin. He may as well have but from our point of view Martin lasted as High Overseer for a few hours at least before Havelock did away with both him and Pendleton. would that be enough time to make those changes? It's also been hinted that part of Martin's motivation to betray Corvo was due to him having the powers given to him by the Outsider. It seems more likely that either the High Overseer replacing Martin was more lenient and less zealous or Emily had the final word as Empress which was "Leave Corvo alone".
- I believe they meant that Campbell's death was followed by Martin's death, not that Campbell's reign was followed by Martin's reign. The death of two High Overseers in such a short period of time could make the Abbey disorganized, which could certainly lead to a period of religious temperance.
- Corvo also enjoys the favor of either a ridiculously popular or bloodthirsty (depending on your Chaos level) empress who is implied to have powers herself via one of the audio logs. That might have something to do with it.
- For Corvo to be standing in front of the court, having previously been denounced by loudspeaker and wanted poster as a murderer and traitor of the highest order, some version of "Corvo was framed" must have been disseminated to the public. If people will accept that, then absent any actual evidence of witchcraft or Outsider worship, it wouldn't be a stretch for people to believe that Corvo was tattooed/branded against his will to further discredit him.
- In fact, it wouldn't be too hard to believe if Corvo went the nonlethal route with Campbell. One could think branding the High Overseer to discredit him was intentional irony, if they believed the story about Corvo getting branded with the Outsider's mark to open him to accusations of witchcraft.
- We never really see how the power of a sitting empress compares to that of the Abbey, so it might be that Emily has the authority to pardon someone, or at least that her trust carries a lot of weight. Or maybe the Abbey was discredited after the whole plague was cured; something to do with science triumphing, or whatever.
- Not to mention how at the Boyle's party you can get away with using non-aggressive spells like blink blatantly in front of overseers. Despite their comments about witchcraft they don't do anything to you. Screw the Rules, I Have Connections! is in play apparently.
- Corvo and Daud have similar powers (It's implied that Morris Sullivan and Billie Lurk were trained by Granny Rags and Daud respectively.) While Granny Rags can seemingly only mostly control rats and Delilah's power is her paintings, Maybe that's the reason they're so different from each other?
- Don't forget that the Outsider grants an individual powers suited to them. He probably thought it'd be funny.
- The idea of Personality Powers also comes up with the protagonists' varying Vision powers: Corvo was a bodyguard before, and he gets Dark Vision, which only sees people at its first level, keeping with the theme-he needs to see people and what they're doing at all times. Daud has Void Gaze, which only sees Runes and Bone Charms at level one-Daud doesn't have the same protective mentality, and cares more about furthering his own power, because as he grows stronger, so do his men. Daud has Arcane Bond while Corvo doesn't-Corvo is used to working alone, Daud has always had a crew.
- As seen during the fight between Corvo and Daud, time stop doesn't work on people who possess the power too (or maybe it doesn't work on other Marked, I'm not sure there but there's a couple of character beside Daud who can't be time-stopped). Anyway, what happens to these people when someone uses the power? Does it have a limited range or does everyone protected from the power have to deal with the fact that someone on the other side of the city uses the power and they just have to wait it out so that they can go on with whatever they were doing? I mean, considerig how often some players use the power, just getting through a simple conversation with a non-protected person can turn to be a pretty annoying experience. Or if Corvo uses the power while infiltrating Daud's HQ, shouldn't be Daud prepared for him, knowing he has just witnessed time stop so many times it's getting suspicious?
- The way I see it the power is not actually stopping time. That would suggest a power level that can blanket the world which is a bit above the level of magic shown in the game. What you're actually doing is making time pass much faster for you and your possessions, hence why you can fire your weapons but the projectiles stop in the air as soon as they leave your vicinity. This fits with the power's name, "Bend Time" rather than "Stop Time." Likely Marked have a natural protection when it's used in their vicinity that speeds them up to compensate but I doubt it triggers unless the user is pretty close. After all the power doesn't last very long.
- That's a good explanation but the tutorial text for Bend Time says "Press [RMB] to slow the world around you for a limited time, or until you press [RMB] to end the power. At level 2, time is completely stopped. Enemies and security systems are unaware of you for the duration." So it seems time does slow down/stop. Maybe the "to slow down the world around you" bit suggests it has only a certain range.
- The description says "Press [RMB]." Corvo is not pressing a mouse button. The tutorial text describes how the power works as a game mechanic; it's not an in-universe description of the power's effects.
- I personally would assume that they only resist time bending when it's close enough to affect them. Either way, even if that wasn't the case, There are 9 people at the absolute most who can bend time around at any time. I doubt even altogether time is bent enough for it to be inconvenient to anybody
- None of the above, however, explains why the Marked are not alarmed at all when Corvo stops time while sneaking up on them. The fact that they can move while everything else around them stands still should immediately tip them off to the presence of another Marked in their immediate proximity. Granted, the Torturer is batshit crazy and may simply not pay attention to such things, but Daud must notice it and apparently just chooses to ignore the fact.
The way Deliah's ritual works?
- ok, all you have to do is paint the painting of the person you want to possess, and that's all, no other detail such as how old is that person, what is that person's name. what if there is another girl in Dishonored's world with an exact face like Emily, who dresses the same clothes, has the same hair style, Dishonored has a big world with lots of undiscovered continents so this is plausible. what if Emily has a secret twin sister. shouldn't these reasons is enough for Deliah to be fucked?, before you argue about using Emily's hair, remember that Daud can trap Deliah in a painting without using the painting's hair (if it has any)
- It's explicitly stated in a note that Daud picks up that the painting has to be precise for the ritual to work. If the painting doesn't depict the subject Delilah wants to possess, the painting possesses her instead (or something to that effect, I don't remember the exact words). The use of Emily's hair was probably just to make SURE that she possessed the right person in case, as you suggest, Emily somehow has a twin or look-alike somewhere in the world. When Daud swaps the painting of Emily (the ritual's possession subject) to the painting of the Void, he disrupts the ritual and it results in Delilah getting trapped permanently in the painting.
Emily's "Official" Father?
- From a Doylist perspective, it's pretty clear that who Emily's father is was left ambiguous so the player could decide whether THEY were or not. But wearing the Watsonian hat, isn't it weird that there doesn't seem to be any official story as to who her father was? The only word we get on the subject is people speculating that Corvo MIGHT be her father, and it's treated the same way as a scandalous rumor. She's the heir apparent of the Empire, so her birth and parentage would both be matters of national security. If Corvo being her dad is the rumor that no-one openly admits, why is there no state sanctioned version at all? The only thing I can think of is that she was conceived during the Fugue Feast, and so technically her dad "doesn't exist". It still seems a bit strange that THAT wouldn't be commented on though.
- That's easy: There is an official father, presumably the Emperor who Jessamine was married to. We can assume he died years ago, perhaps even before Emily was born. It just doesn't come up in the game because by this point the rumor has far eclipsed the logical answer (whether that answer is true or not is another matter). Besides, it's not like people are discussing Emily's parentage on the streets. Havelock muses on it in an audio diary, and Pendelton rants about it depending on Chaos level. That's about the extent of it.
- That's right, but it's exactly how religiously everyone is not discussing it that strikes me as weird. The Empress doesn't mention him (which is fair enough given how quickly she dies), or have a painting of her late husband in Dunwall tower. He doesn't show up in any of the books, which contain a ton of random world-building of much less relevance to the characters (including in-universe fiction). The (official) father of the heir apparent SHOULD be discussed more than he is, which is not at all. Even if it was something like "The Isle of Y lost political influence when the Emperor-Consort died" in an optional book.
- There's an ongoing hypothesis that Emily was conceived during the Fugue Feast. Which would explain why there are no mention of her father at all.
- There's also the probability that illegitimacy might not have a strong stigma attached to it in Dunwall's society. Maybe Dunwall is willing to overlook Emily's lack of an official father because she was born from a Empress who ruled in her own right. As far as they are concerned she came from the right family and has the right blood, so Jessamine being a single mother isn't an issue, especially if the theory of Emily conceived during the Fugue Feast is true. Pendleton also mentioned that he needed heirs and that he might recognise his bastard if that's the case - so bastardry is not a major obstacle in inheriting a title. There is however a huge bigotry towards those not born in Gristol. Maybe Emily being a bastard is okay to Dunwall but her having a Serkonan father is not, hence why everyone skirts around the issue of Corvo.
- Plus, Emily is already quite a few years old by the start of the game. Even if her birthfather is an issue, one could assume that that had made waves long before the start of the game and now - with the Empress dead, a tyrant on the throne, lots of disturbing things happening in the empire AND the royal successor missing - people just don't care.
- Corvo is definitely Emily's father. The sequel spells that out right away, and apparently Emily publicly acknowledges him as such once she's Empress. It was probably just considered dangerous for Corvo and Jessamine's relationship to be too public.
Masked felon ?
- Provided you do a "Ghost" playthrough (where absolutely nobody who's an ennemy saw you) or a particulary bloody one (where you leave no survivors), how does anyone knows that there is a masked man running around (and what the mask looks like) ?
- Well, provided no enemies have seen you, there are still civilians and neutral Bottle Gangers hanging about. Civilians could have reported a shady masked man since they saw him the same day the High Overseer or Pendleton brothers were eliminated. Granted, this still leaves why they don't have a picture of him on the wanted posters, all the witness would have to say is "It looked like a skull", and you wouldn't confuse him for Daud's gang if you had an artist's rendition along that line.
- Because rumors still spread. Remember, Dunwall is a city that has been plagued for YEARS by masked men (the Whalers) killing all sorts of people from nobles to street thugs.
Guards Kicking You Even though You're Disguised as a Noble During Lady Boyle's Party
- Despite being in a neutral zone and disguised as an aristocrat, why does some of the guards at Boyle's party kick you if you get too close? While we know that it's Corvo under the mask, these guards don't and technically what they did was an assault on an aristocrat who could get them fired or worse.
- How would YOU respond to a guy invading your personal space, while wearing a creepy, skull-styled mask based on that worn by a wanted serial killer?
The entire sequence where the conspirators attempt to kill Corvo makes no sense.
- First, when was that drink even poisoned? Samuel was made to do it, except Samuel has been really busy lately. He was with Corvo on the mission to assassinate Lady Boyle, stayed with the boat while Corvo talked with the other conspirators, then went with Corvo on the mission to assassinate the Lord-Regent, and stayed on the boat until Corvo collapsed. Have they really had this poisoned cup just sitting around for the past half-day?
- Secondly, why have Samuel do the poisoning? He doesn't seem close to any of the conspirators, has no personal or professional loyalty to any of them, has the most moral compunctions and personal connection to the target, and spends a lot of time away from the pub. Why not Wallace? He's got extreme personal devotion to Pendleton, sees commoners like Corvo as being of lesser value, and he's already the guy in charge of getting everyone drinks. Heck, why not pour the poison in there yourself?
- It might be you answered your own question. This makes more sense if you view it with an 18th century "honor" system in mind (explained in that wonderful essay linked on the Analysis page). Poisoning someone (a dishonorable, coward's way of dealing with an enemy) is dirty work of the kind you wouldn't want on your hands, as a nobleman. Wallace might have been rejected as a candidate for the same reason - though he's not nobility, through his proximity to aristocracy he's still seen as being of a higher class (also exemplified by the way he talks down to Cecelia and Lydia). From that perspective, "small fry" like Samuel would seem best-suited for the job, especially if you were planning to kill him off afterwards as well.
- Thirdly, why did the poison cost Pendleton a whole month of income? While I'll freely admit I'm not an expert on the subject, I was under the impression that your basic poisons weren't all that expensive. And it's not like this poison needs special properties. It's not super-lethal, it doesn't need to act instantly, it's put in a strong alcoholic drink that'll mask scent, and it's not untraceable (since the whaler assassin recognizes it on sight the instant he sees Corvo). Really, you've got to wonder why poison was even used to begin with. Why not shoot Corvo in the face while he sleeps? Why pay a huge load of cash and take the risk of trusting Samuel to get a means of murder that's defeated if Corvo politely declines your drink. Or only drinks half of it.
- It's a largely odorless, colorless, tasteless poison that mimics the effects of intoxication until you pass out and (presumably) die. If Corvo dropped dead on the spot, everyone in the room not in on the conspiracy-ception would have panicked. If Corvo had copped to the fact he was being poisoned before it could work on him, he would have murdered the conspirators right then and there. Poison allows them to dispose of their biggest threat with minimal effort. And really, it would've worked if not for Samuel's attack of conscience.
- Besides that, the reason for the poison might simply be that Havelock and Co. are cowards, and slipping someone poison and waiting until they collapse to approach them takes less guts than approaching a sleeping assassin who has so far performed superhuman feats of stealth and combat, drawing a pistol on him and firing at close range. Consider also that Havelock eventually poisons his own partners in crime, has a history of a dishonourable discharge from the Navy, and depending on the Chaos level, either offers you the key to Emily's room only to try and stab you when you reach out to grab it, or threatens a child (who is also the current monarch) to try and get what he wants. You get the picture of a man who's always the first to take the dirty way out.
- Fourthly, why take the corpse on a long boat ride across town? Taking an individual, unmarked corpse all the way to the flooded district has got to be the most obvious way of getting rid of the body. Especially since the compound actually has a cage filled with rats that strip a corpse to the bone in minutes. At the very least, if you're gonna take his corpse on a ride, put Corvo in one of those plague victim body bags (since his face is on wanted posters throughout the city).
- Because Samuel doesn't want Corvo to die and the Loyalists state they need the body.
- It's hardly "all the way" to the Flooded District. If you check the map (e.g. here: http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/dishonoredvideogame/images/0/0d/Dunwall.png/revision/latest?cb=20130529131522 ), it's the closest district to the Hound Pits Pub that doesn't have City Watch presence, which is supported by the fact that the pub is the first place you emerge when you finally make it out of there. So it would actually be the only nearby place where he could take Corvo without being missed for too long or leaving him at risk of being discovered by the Watch.
- Fifthly, Samuel not bothering to tell you about the poison, especially in low-chaos. Obviously, he was trying to avoid having you killed, but he never got the bright idea of just advising you to subtly dump the drink somewhere, or swap it, or accidentally drop it, or any of the other dozen possibilities to get rid of the poison without revealing you're onto the conspiracy. Heck, you don't even have to get in a situation where you'd get offered the drink at all. Sneak in, grab Emily, and leave again by boat.
- Anything Corvo could (to Samuel's knowledge) do with the drink on the spot would have immediately roused suspicion. It would have been odd to turn down a drink for a celebratory toast, and he would not have been clumsy enough to accidentally drop a glass. It's also possible that Samuel hadn't made up his mind on whether or not to save Corvo until the very last second. I am assuming - though I have no basis for this without replaying that cutscene - the glass was poisoned right before it was handed to you, so it may have just been a spur of the moment decision on Samuel's part to underdose you. Which means he obviously couldn't have warned Corvo in advance.
- The glass couldn't have been poisoned right before it was handed to Corvo, because the poison was put in by Samuel, who would have had no opportunity to do so (since he was on the mission with Corvo, and stayed with the boat while Corvo went to the pub).
- Regarding how he poisoned you, the simplest explanation seems to be that his lack of opportunity was simply a plot hole and the celebration was originally meant to be a longer scene (which maybe they rewrote because they wanted a faster pacing). Maybe in actuality he was asked to poison you almost immediately before it happened, somewhere off to the side while Corvo was mingling with the other Loyalists and having various dialogues. This would mean he only found out about the poison as it happened and was put on the spot by the orders, and in that situation, yes, only slipping him half the dose was the only thing he could think of and probably the only option other than refusing and immediately being shot for defying orders. He coudln't warn Corvo in advance because he himself didn't know in advance. This would make sense to me, because can you really imagine a man like Samuel knowing all that time during the mission he was meant to kill Corvo afterward and not act like anything was wrong? Or, for that matter, can you imagine the Loyalists trusting him to keep that poker face? To summarise, here's the most likely scenario in my head: Corvo heads inside after the mission is over but Samuel stays in the boat like he always does instead of mingling. While Corvo is congratulated and distracted and talks to everyone, someone (e.g. Pendelton's manservant) fetches Sam from the boat and brings him to discreetly meet the three conspirators on the side, at which point they hover over him and instruct him to poison Corvo's drink. Havelock then brings Corvo the drink and calls for a toast. (More evidence: the poison is indeed supposed to mimic the effects of intoxication, then it's suspicious as hell if Corvo gets immediately drunk off his first drink, especially given the risk that he collapses while still with everyone else.) At this point of being poisoned, Corvo's already had a few, so that when he starts feeling woozy after the last drink, he chalks it up to the drink rather than getting suspicious, and just as they planned, he finally heads upstairs to get some rest where he collapses. The whole thing works much better if you assume Corvo and the others have been drinking a while before he's poisoned, giving the conspirators time to take Samuel aside and have him poison the drink.
- Anything Corvo could (to Samuel's knowledge) do with the drink on the spot would have immediately roused suspicion. It would have been odd to turn down a drink for a celebratory toast, and he would not have been clumsy enough to accidentally drop a glass. It's also possible that Samuel hadn't made up his mind on whether or not to save Corvo until the very last second. I am assuming - though I have no basis for this without replaying that cutscene - the glass was poisoned right before it was handed to you, so it may have just been a spur of the moment decision on Samuel's part to underdose you. Which means he obviously couldn't have warned Corvo in advance.
- Sixthly, Samuel still taking you to the flooded district after your supposed 'death'. That's just about the nastiest place in the city. Corvo could have been put on shore anywhere (and Samuel knows plenty of unpatrolled spots, considering no guards ever stumble on his boat). The only sensible explanation I can think of for this one is that one of the other conspirators was with Samuel on the trip, but in that case, how did he not notice the fact that the body only a foot away was breathing? Or question why Samuel carefully put the supposed dead guy on a boat, rather than just dumping him overboard?
- The Loyalists state that they need the body, Samuel put Corvo on the raft independently.
- The only thing that makes sense is that Samuel didn't slip Corso the poison, but rather the antidote on the way back from the Tower. Then convinced the conspirators to allow him to "dispose of Corvo respectfully" or some such nonsense, in exchange for making Corvo think he was a backstabber. As for the Flooded District, he needed some place where the conspirators wouldn't go and check if the only flaw in their plan was still breathing. Besides, Corvo's done the impossible at least twice now, if he can do it a third time he's earned Samuel's loyalty for good.
- Regarding bringing Corvo somewhere safer, it's possible he simply didn't have the time - if he's only supposed to hide the body in the basement or something until they need to present it, then it might be noticed and arouse suspicion if Sam goes missing from the premises for a lengthy period of time. The Flooded District is pretty close to the Loyalists' hideout, and due to how collapsed and flooded it is, it's a comparatively safe place if you're on a boat (Weepers don't swim, after all). If it hadn't been spotted by Weepers, Corvo's boat would have drifted until it just bumped into somewhere and stayed there until Corvo slept off the poison.
Using an Overseer's mask?
- Here's a question: if Corvo is wearing a mask to conceal his identity, then why not steal one of the masks worn by the Overseers (or whatever their name is)? Not only would it conceal his identity, but it would also let him walk around in broad daylight with impunity.
- Overseers wear more than just the mask. Daud can actually wear an Overseer mask on one of his missions, if he pays for it, but wears it with the whole regalia, so even Overseers think he's one of them. I think Corvo doesn't wear the Overseer mask because he'd have to get the rest of the outfit. Even if he did find one, and assuming it fit him, it'd just lead to a security crackdown among the Overseer ranks once people started noticing the strange Overseer lurking around places where people die or disappear.
- Also, Overseer masks may not be gas masks that filter out the plague, and almost certainly don't have built-in spyglasses. Corvo doesn't just wear a mask to hide his face. (Plus, the mask was made before Corvo ever even got there - Piero was inspired to make it by an Outsider-influenced dream according to one file.)