This is Death Before Dishonor, a series in which I attempt to play through Dishonored with a self-imposed, semi-permadeath rule designed to make me improvise my way out of trouble, rather than re-loading an earlier save. For some background, read the introduction to the series first, and definitely read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5 so you know what’s going on. Also be advised that, unlike most posts on this blog, this series will contain spoilers. For spoiler-free thoughts on Dishonored, read my original posts about the game. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

With five missions completed, my Dishonored playthrough is still going much better than I expected. Even when my stealth fails, I’ve been able to get myself out of sticky situations without wanton violence, and my overall chaos rating is still low. In fact, I’ve just struck a decisive blow, and our scrappy revolution is on the verge of success. I guess anything is possible if you believe in yourself and follow your dreams.

Er, about that. Read on for massive spoilers.

It’s a celebration at the Hound Pits Pub, as I return from my latest outing. I’ve just exposed the Lord Regent as a traitor, the one who intentionally introduced the rat plague in Dunwall to kill off the poor people clogging the slums, and who engaged in a spot of regicide to cover his tracks. Well, his tracks are fully uncovered now, and he’s been arrested. We can return the young Emily Kaldwin to her rightful place as Empress-to-be, and start turning things around in the city. Everyone has gathered in the pub to rejoice, but of course I don’t join them right away. I scour the grounds first, just to see if there’s anything worth finding on this visit. There isn’t, aside from a few river krusts in the sewer tunnels underneath the building that I kill for their pearls. Piero isn’t even in his workshop, having joined the others for the party. I guess it’s time to make my appearance.

It’s actually touching, despite our ragtag group’s meagre possessions. Everyone is there, even the servants, sharing what little food and drink we have and congratulating me on my success. They’re full of promises about our next steps, which move away from shadowy assassinations and into the realm of politics and policy. I’ve made it all possible, they tell me, and now it’s their turn to step up and show what they can do. It will be nice to have a chance to rest, and spend some time with Emily.

As I continue to mingle, every so often my vision goes all wibbly. Hmm. I start to suspect that something was slipped into my drink. Amusingly, nothing stops me from continuing to converse with everyone, even though the funky vision steadily grows worse. I’m even able to go visit Piero in his workshop after the festivities have died down a little, and stock up on everything while I trip out. I’ve basically exhausted all the upgrades at this point, so I just fill up on every type of ammo I can. I even buy some sticky grenades, which I found blueprints for a couple of missions ago, because why not?

Now there’s nothing left to do but return to my room in the attic, which is where I finally succumb to whatever substance is in my system. Soon I’m semi-conscious on the floor, watching as my former allies discuss the poison they’ve just administered to me. It seems they still plan on pinning the Empress’s murder on me, surmising that bringing me in will grant them legitimacy as they take control of Dunwall. Those conniving bastards! Although, truth be told, it was not hard to anticipate this betrayal. I’ve been sneaking around and reading Havelock’s journal after every mission, and recently he’s been pondering what to do once the Lord Regent is gone, wondering if he should be satisfied commanding the Royal Navy in Emily’s name or if he should step up as Lord Regent himself. And I already know how treacherous Treavor Pendleton can be, after he tricked me into serving as his champion in a deadly pistol duel. The most disappointing thing is that I’m not allowed to anticipate and outmaneuver my ill-intentioned colleagues. I must be taken in, so the story may continue.

Actually, the most disappointing thing is hearing Samuel’s voice, as I lie helpless on the floor. It seems the faithful boatman, who has ferried me to and from each of my missions, was the one who administered the poison. And he is also the one charged with transporting my body. But, when the others have gone, Samuel whispers to me. He only gave me half the dose, he says, the only thing he could think to do without being discovered. They’ll find out soon enough, however, so Samuel and I both need to get out of here. Before he makes his escape, Samuel sets me adrift in a boat, hoping I’ll find my way out of the city. I’m not certain that’s the best idea, but at least Samuel is trying to help. It seems there’s at least one decent person among our revolutionary band.

I lose consciousness, and when I awake, I haven’t drifted out of the city. Instead, I’ve found my way into the Flooded District, which I’ve been hearing about all game. It’s an abandoned part of the city where the bodies of plague victims are dumped, and it’s also where the shadowy band of assassins who killed the Empress are based. Soon enough, they’ve found me, while I’m still lying helpless from the poison’s effects. One of them recognizes me from the day the Empress was killed, and they decide to take me to Daud, their leader. I’m drifting in and out of consciousness at this point. I remember they hauled me up some sort of industrial crane, at the Greaves Lightning Oil Company Refinery. Daud is at the top, looking just as I remembered him. Last time I saw him, he had used the Outsider’s dark powers to freeze me in place while his gang killed the Empress, right in front of Emily. Now, I’m helpless before him again. He doesn’t say much. He recognizes the mark on my hand, he tells me as he looks through the case containing my equipment. He knows I talk to the Outsider, like he does. But he doesn’t know what I fight for, so he can’t trust me. He nonchalantly tosses my equipment case over the railing, down into the depths of the refinery below, as I lose consciousness again.

This prompts a brief visit to the Outsider’s Void. I haven’t been here since he first granted me powers after I escaped from prison. This time, I barely have to take a few steps before the Outsider appears to speak to me. Once again, he just muses about my situation, pondering why my allies might have betrayed me, and what I will do now. I realize that I’ve been complaining about the Outsider for the last few posts, and I think it’s because he epitomizes the problems I have with Dishonored’s writing. In the beginning, the Outsider is mysterious and intriguing, and I wanted to learn more about him. But as the game proceeds, he just serves to clumsily reiterate what’s happening, making sure players caught all the hints. Have I considered that my allies may have betrayed me so they could exert influence over Emily without my interference? Yes, I have, thank you very much. It’s not that hard to figure out. For all of the excellent environmental storytelling in Dishonored, the direct writing is too explicit, suggesting a fear that players wouldn’t get it unless it was spelled out in detail. And the writers apparently didn’t know what to do with the Outsider as a character, so he became the mouthpiece for expositing on plot and theme. I would have preferred more hints about the Outsider’s origins, his history interacting with people through the ages, times when his influence changed the course of events. Instead I just get summaries of things I already know. A disappointing part of the game.

When I come to, I realize I’m in some sort of large industrial vat. Daud’s men drop a wooden lid over the top, but it’s too high to reach anyway. I guess this is a makeshift prison cell. I look around, seeing some loose bricks I might be able to use to break out. But I also spy a lone rat. And a small opening in the bottom of the vat. Daud and his crew know that the Outsider granted me some powers, but I bet they don’t know that I can possess rats. I do so, and scurry through the pipe, emerging below on a walkway above a flooded chamber. There are stairs leading upwards, but I also spy some fish swimming around, and a submerged grate in the wall. Possessing a fish, I swim through the grate, to freedom.

Perched atop a wall above the flooded street, I get my bearings. I’m not at the Greaves Refinery anymore, I was being held in some sort of warehouse. And it doesn’t look like there’s another way back in, the only opening is high above. Without any of my equipment, I can’t recover any of my magical reserves to possess a fish again, so I guess I can’t get back inside to look for useful supplies. But I know my gear is over in the Greaves Refinery, so maybe I can get it back, and return. And then find Daud. We have unfinished business.

Although the Flooded District has been mentioned often, I realize I don’t actually know that much about it. I know it was abandoned when the retaining walls broke, and now is used as a place to dump the dead, but what was it before? As I explore, I start to find some answers. In a half-ruined apartment that’s now home to a weeper, I find a valuable painting by Sokolov, and a note from before the flood. Back then, this place was known as Rudshore, and it was the bustling financial district of Dunwall, where even a tiny basement apartment cost a fortune. The brightest and proudest part of the whole city. As I explore further, I learn that it wasn’t even the plague that brought Rudshore down, it was just years of neglect. Once the poorly maintained retaining wall sprung a leak, the whole thing collapsed. I wonder if the real world example of New Orleans, which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 due largely to levee failures, served as an inspiration.

As with many things in Dishonored, the message is clear if a bit on the nose: unfettered capitalism is ultimately self-destructive. I’d completely forgotten this detail from my first time through the game, and honestly may not have grasped the significance. I probably saw the Flooded District as just another example of Dunwall’s better days, before the plague. But the ruined Rudshore is more than that, it speaks to problems brewing in the city long before the plague hit. There’s a reason that someone like the Lord Regent, who literally tried to kill all of Dunwall’s poor, could rise to power. Back in the first mission I noticed all the ruined bridges over the Wrenhaven river, suggesting that Dunwall’s true glory days were long ago. The flooded Rudshore is a more recent example of what Dunwall used to be before falling victim to its own hubris, its quiet desolation poetic. No one lives here now, except for weepers.

Speaking of weepers, they’re particularly dangerous because I don’t have my equipment. Not even a sword. All I have are my magic powers, which I use to blink between the tops of walls, avoiding the water where fish will quickly nibble me to death. Fortunately, I find a small catwalk that spans the street between two warehouses, with a chain hanging down that I can climb. At the top there’s a dead Overseer. He hasn’t been here long, by the looks of him, and he still has his weapons. I grab his saber with relief, and his pistol, even though he only has a single bullet. He also has a few grenades. I’ve never used a single grenade in all of my missions, but I don’t have lots of options right now. In fact, I quickly realize that a grenade would be perfect for taking out that cluster of river krusts at the end of the street. Sure enough, it blows them up nicely, but as I head over to harvest their pearls I’m suddenly accosted by a weeper. Without any means of neutralizing it nonlethally, I’m forced to cut it down. At this point I decide I better get my equipment back before I explore much farther.

Back up on the catwalk, I find more dead overseers, one of whom is carrying a note. It’s an order from High Overseer Campbell — the same man I forcefully excommunicated from the order in my first mission — directing a squad of Overseers to the Flooded District to take out Daud and his gang. That clearly didn’t go well, but it is interesting, because Daud was the one who killed the Empress on the Lord Regent’s orders. Was the Lord Regent afraid someone would find out? Did he tell Campbell to send the Overseers after Daud? For now, I’m just happy to take their stuff. I also see that this is the way to Daud’s home base, but that’s not where my equipment is. Daud dropped my stuff in the Greaves Lightning Oil Company Refinery, which I soon find in the other direction.

This is where all whale oil tanks that power Sokolov’s machinery throughout the city are made. Or where they used to be made, at least. The Refinery was once on the bank of the Wrenhaven river, so whales could be brought in easily, but now it’s more accurate to say that it’s in the river. It’s not as wet as I feared, but everything is covered in muddy sludge, and there are river krusts everywhere. No one else seems to be here, however, except for the easily evaded pack of weepers near the entrance. So I clear out the river krusts with grenades, without alerting anyone. To get into the Refinery itself, I have to use the few oil pumps that still work to fill up whale oil tanks and power some automated gates and drawbridges. Soon enough, I’m back at the top of the Refinery, where I watched Daud toss my equipment into the depths. But it turns out that it’s not deserted after all. Two of Daud’s men are here, patrolling the walkway above.

I learned a little more about Daud’s gang on my last mission when I found some of the Lord Regent’s intel on them. They’re known as the Whalers, since they wear the black rubber suits and gas masks of the men who process the whales at the Greaves Lightning Oil Company. I wonder if they actually used to work here, or if they just moved in and took the whalers’ gear after the flood. Either way, they’re creepily quiet in those masks, rarely speaking and moving almost silently. And they all have the Outsider’s powers. If I listen carefully, I can sometimes hear them blink around. These two, however, don’t know that I’m here, and in fact are wondering why they even need to guard this place at all. Why would I come back here? I guess they don’t know how valuable that equipment case was. I wonder if these two were there that day, when they infiltrated the palace and killed the Empress before my eyes. If not, they’re still in the same gang, and I’m not feeling merciful. I climb up when their backs are turned and quietly dispatch them with quick stabs to the neck. Then, using judicious blinks and some chain climbing, I descend into the interior of the building.

Once I land in the muck below, I’m immediately accosted by a weeper. I simply blink behind him and he loses interest, wandering off. But I thought I recognized his red coat. I soon find a written note that confirms my suspicions: this is High Overseer Campbell himself, who was cast out after I marked his face with the Heretic’s Brand. He left this final journal entry, cursing me as he succumbed to the plague. Sorry buddy, you deserved it. You were a corrupt, abusive, terrible person. And I’m not going to end your suffering now. I take a quick look around and find the case with my equipment, double-checking that everything is there. It is: all my upgrades and ammunition, elixirs, even the new sticky grenades I bought while tripping out on poison. Now I’m ready to take on Daud. I climb back out, leaving Campbell to his fate.

Now that I have my stuff, I head back to the building where I was imprisoned. With my magical reserves replenished with an elixir, I’m able to possess a fish and swim back inside, before climbing the stairs to see if there’s anything worth looting. I find more elixirs and some cash, and then almost run straight into one of Daud’s men on the top floor. Fortunately, I stop before he sees me. Rather than risk sneaking up to him, I take careful aim and fire a crossbow bolt at his head. As I approach to search his body, I spy a second Whaler, but luckily he hasn’t seen or heard anything. I send another crossbow bolt into his skull. I’m surprised to find that neither of them are carrying any crossbow bolts of their own, even though Daud’s men favor the crossbow for their assassinations. But they have some money, and I’m able to search the rest of the place, satisfied that I’ve not missed any useful loot. Rather than waste energy possessing a fish again to get out, I simply exit from the high balcony, blinking downward so I can drop safely into the water below.

Daud’s hideout is in central Rudshore, which I can only access through the old rail station. This is the first rail station I’ve seen in my sojourns, and it’s fancy. Did commuter trains once run through the whole city, connecting different districts? Emerging from the station, I’m greeted with quite the view. Even in ruins, Rudshore retains its old splendor, and it’s easily the grandest part of the city I’ve seen so far, aside from the Overseers’ cathedral. Ahead is the Chamber of Commerce building, adorned with a giant statue of the Empress. Another overt bit of symbolism, letting me know that things were better in the Empress’s time, and reminding me that the man who killed her is waiting just ahead.

The streets are flooded, so the Whalers have fashioned a set of raised walkways out of sheet metal and the like, connecting the upper floors of the local buildings. They’re also patrolling those walkways en masse. But I’ve already dispatched a bunch of them at the rail station, blinking behind them for a quick and silent throat stab when I can, and using my crossbow for a quiet kill when I can’t. Now, I send one sentry toppling into the water below with my crossbow straight away, but then decide to be a little more careful. By sneaking through the nearby buildings, I’m able to stay out of sight, and find that stealthy killing isn’t that different from nonlethal stealth. I’m still waiting for opportunities to sneak up behind enemies and dispatch them, carrying their bodies to a hiding place afterward, the main difference is that I can now make silent kills from a distance with my crossbow if needed. Which just makes things easier. I’m only spotted once, after I’ve already made my way into the Chamber of Commerce building through a window. One of the Whalers turns around just as I’m sneaking up behind him, but he foolishly doesn’t raise the alarm, simply drawing his sword to fight me instead. I slash him over and over until he falls, and move on.

The inside of the building has stayed dry, and I’m able to descend, silently killing Whalers as I go. At one point I come across a Whaler being taught how to move silently and unseen, in an homage to the original Thief’s excellent playable tutorial. Seriously, play Thief. I do some more sneaking myself, and soon I’ve climbed back up to the floor above in order to bypass a locked door. As I do, a Whaler rushes past and I frantically hide. I hear him saying something but can’t make it out until I sneak closer. He’s talking to Daud, presumably telling him that I’ve escaped, and am coming to kill him. Daud says that he always thought it would be one of his own gang who killed him, not some stranger. He tells his underling to be on guard for me, as they may have to fight me together. Neither of them suspects that I’m lurking outside at that very moment.

Daud’s office is hard to sneak into, surrounded by windows and glass doors, and with an open floorplan that doesn’t provide much in the way of cover. As I ponder how to best to engage, Daud starts recording an audio log. He muses on the fall of the Lord Regent, whose treachery I exposed last mission, and reflects on all the people he’s killed on the Lord Regent’s orders, expressing guilt over the assassination of the Empress. Not as guilty as you’re about to feel, Daud. Deciding there’s no way to safely approach, I simply open the door and fire a crossbow bolt at his head.

But Daud doesn’t go down as easily as his men. He just gets angry, and charges me, not slowing down even when I lodge a second crossbow bolt in his chest. Soon he’s upon me, and we’ve entered into a frantic swordfight. We trade blows, and I have to guzzle a health elixir in the middle of the fight. At one point Daud uses his magic to slow time, but this doesn’t seem to affect me, only Daud’s poor henchman who’s rushed in to help. As I try to slash at Daud, I watch as Corvo instead grabs the frozen Whaler and stabs him through the neck. Then the duel resumes, and eventually Daud cries out in pain and disappears. Did he blink away, or freeze time and flee? I’m not sure.

There’s no one else around, so I search the office before heading out the window onto more raised walkways. There, in a half-collapsed building across the ruined street, I see Daud, collapsed against a wall. As I approach he speaks to me. He talks of a long career as an assassin, trying to change things in the city, believing that the Outsider had made him powerful and important. He tells me that seeing the Outsider’s mark on my hand made him realize that it was all a farce, that he was but a pawn in the Outsider’s inscrutable game. He says that all he wants now is to leave the city, to leave his old life behind and fade away into obscurity. His life is in my hands. Yeah, that’s a nice speech, Daud, but just minutes ago you were trying to kill me. You didn’t seem ready to give up then. It’s time to pay for all your crimes. When I hit the button to attack with my sword, I’m treated to a special animated sequence. Corvo grabs Daud, slits his throat, and then tosses him off the side of the building. Good riddance.

You might think that, with Daud and his gang dead, I’d reached the end of this mission. Far from it. My last few missions were more focused affairs, but my adventure in the Flooded District hearkens back to the sprawling opening missions of the game, where I was free to move through the city as I pursued objectives in multiple locations. As in those missions, the huge Flooded District allows for some top-notch environmental storytelling. While I remembered facing off against Daud from my first time playing Dishonored, I’d forgotten how much more was in this mission, and playing through it again was a strange experience in which several disconnected memories of the game were all revealed to be linked in this single, massive mission. I’d forgotten their chronology, assumed they must have taken place at different times, but in fact they’re all right here, and I gained a new appreciation for how well they work in sequence.

My travels through the Flooded District take me from the past back into the present. The Greaves Lightning Oil Company represents the wave of industry that rose in Dunwall, which made Rudshore wealthy. The Chamber of Commerce represents that wealth at its height, before it collapsed under its own weight. Now, with Daud’s key in hand, I can leave through the basement of the building and head towards Rudshore Gate, the quarantine zone where living and dead plague victims alike are unceremoniously dumped. The history lesson is over. We’re back to dealing with the current crisis. This is what Dunwall has become, now.

I must have gone uphill, because this part of the Flooded District is conspicuously dry. I emerge at the bottom of a dry canal, and as I work my way along it I realize with horror that it’s filled with dead bodies. Looking up, I see the plague wagon roll in on its raised railway and dump another load of bodies into the canal. As soon as I can, I climb out, and find myself among the condemned. I don’t find weepers here, but lucid citizens, many who are sick and a few who are not. But all of them have been left here to die. Some have accepted their fate, while others plot means of escape. But up ahead, near the titular Gate itself, the City Watch maintains a heavy presence, with patrolling tallboys under orders to shoot anyone who tries to get out. I overhear some of them talking. The Lord Regent has been deposed, and there’s a new group in charge — my former allies, no doubt — but this has changed little for those on the ground. They’re still desperate to enforce the quarantine, and that means shooting without asking questions. I’m going to need to get past them if I want to get out of here.

It’s refreshing to explore an area that is (at least partially) non-hostile. From the people here, I learn of a few ways I might make my escape. I could climb to the rooftops and get onto the top of the plague wagon, riding it back out as it returns to fetch more bodies. But I’m warned about a wall of light security device that the wagon must pass through, which I had better disarm lest I be burned to a crisp. Deeming it prudent to explore the area thoroughly first, I skirt the tallboy patrols by sneaking into a tenement building. Inside, a group of people are plotting their own escape. It seems one of them has some friends on the outside who will come for him in a few days, but the tallboys are going to open fire on the building soon, and these people need my help disabling the security in the back courtyard so they can hide there in safety. I climb some vents above the courtyard, seeing two deadly electrical pylons below, with the whale oil tank that powers them placed directly between.

I decide to blink down and pull out the tank before the pylons can zap me. This turns out to be a catastrophic mistake. I’m killed almost instantly, before I can even reach out my hand. Technically, per my own self-imposed rules, this means I should restart the whole mission from scratch. But I don’t feel this death was my fault. In my past encounters with pylons, they’ve taken a few seconds to spin up before zapping me, but this time I was given no time to react, no way to get myself out of trouble. So I decide to cheat a bit and re-load an autosave. This time, before dropping down I freeze time with my magic, which is what I should have done in the first place. That makes it easy to pull out the whale oil tank and shut down the pylons, and gives me time to choke out the lone guard patrolling nearby. Then I return and tell the survivors that the coast is clear.

And it is, mostly. The problem is that one of the tallboys patrolling outside occasionally stops to peek down the alleyway into the rear courtyard. This happens just as one of the survivors is making a break for it, and she is ruthlessly gunned down. The rest make it, however, and thank me profusely. Have I just made the plague worse by helping these people escape the quarantine zone? Perhaps. But I couldn’t sit by while the tallboys killed everyone. The survivors’ escape plan is too slow for me, however, so I must find my own way out. I have to stop my former allies, who have Emily hostage and are taking control of the city.

I cross the square and sneak through the shells of ruined buildings on the far side, ducking behind flimsy walls to avoid the tallboys’ gaze. It’s a harrowing trip, listening to the thunderous clanking of the tallboys walking past just a few feet away, but I manage to remain hidden, and with careful timing I’m able to blink up to the wall of light that straddles the railway and deactivate it. It turns out I could have just proceeded from here on foot, but I didn’t know that at the time. Instead, I make my way back to the canal and climb up to the top of the plague wagon, and ride it out. It doesn’t take me much farther than the wall of light, but I’m able to disembark there and get out through a side door. I’ve escaped quarantine.

And yet, this gigantic mission is still not complete. I must now make my way through the sewers back to the Hound Pits, where I hope to catch the trail of my betrayers. As one might expect, the sewer tunnels make for a more linear path than the open city streets I’ve traveled through so far. As I enter, vague memories stir from the first time I played Dishonored. I remember an encounter that happens here, something I thought came much later in the game. Although I realize now that perhaps I already am late in the game. After this, what will be left? I just want to take down my old colleagues and get Emily back. That might be happening sooner than I think.

I haven’t gone far into the sewer tunnel when I find a wounded man, one of the Bottle Street Boys. Slackjaw’s crew. When I searched Daud’s hideout I confirmed the suspicions I had way back in my second mission: it was indeed Daud and his assassins who were going after Slackjaw, partially to collect the bounty, but likely also to take over his territory and operation. But Slackjaw disappeared just before they made their move. I guess I’ve discovered where he went. The terrified man tells me that Slackjaw is still in the side tunnel, having gone to find the key to open the gate ahead. But there’s something terrible in there, something that was able to control the rats and use them to attack the men. I think I know what it is. But I have to go in anyway.

There are some river krusts to deal with, and few stints of swimming, but soon I’ve climbed up from the tunnels and into a larger cavern. There, I see Slackjaw, locked up in some kind of pillory, facing his tormentor. It’s a familiar face: Granny Rags. Who is apparently a full blown witch, bubbling cauldron and all. When she sees me, she disappears in a puff of smoke, leaving a huge pack of rats in her place that swarms towards me to devour me alive. Granny Rags’s taunts echo all around, and occasionally she reappears and disappears again, or summons a thick fog to distract me. Slackjaw frantically tells me that Granny Rags can’t be killed, the only way to stop her is to destroy her cameo, from which she gains her power. He urges me to find it, and throw it in the furnace in her hut.

What’s strange about this encounter is that I remember facing off against a witch, but I’d completely forgotten that it was Granny Rags herself. But it’s a perfect final reveal for her character. In the first mission she just seemed like a crazy old blind lady, although she clearly worshipped the Outsider and wielded some of his powers. In later missions I learned about her past as a noblewoman, and how she began to lose her mind under the Outsider’s influence, but she still seemed relatively harmless. Until now. I’ve found hints about where the Outsider’s gifts lead through my encounters with his other followers, but Granny Rags shows me what’s at the end of that road. She is not merely mad, she is evil, commanding terrifying magic and abducting people to cook alive in her cauldron.

Evading her rats isn’t too hard, I can blink on top of crates or pipes where they can’t reach me. But it takes me a while to find the cameo. I try shooting Granny Rags with my pistol a few times, just to see what happens, but she always returns, just as Slackjaw warned she would. I alternate searching the cavern and the small hut, but ultimately need to use my upgraded Dark Vision power to find the cameo, since it now highlights items as well as people. The cameo is hidden in her bed, and I quickly toss it into the furnace. Granny Rags screams, and I can feel her magic waning. As I head back out of the hut to confront her, I’m not sure why I pull out my sleep darts instead of my gun. Should I really let her live? Maybe I feel guilty because I, also, use the Outsider’s powers for my own ends, or maybe I’m hoping that the destruction of her cameo has rendered her harmless. Whatever the reason, I leave her unconscious on the ground, grab her key, and free Slackjaw. As a way of thanks, he pays me a hefty 600 coins, which he says isn’t enough to settle the score but it’s all he has right now. It’s an indictment on Dunwall that Slackjaw, a gang boss who runs a vicious protection racket, is the most honorable person I’ve dealt with so far.

The key opens more than just the sewer gate, it also opens a room in the back of Granny Rags’s hut. There’s a shrine to the Outsider in there, and, as usual, he speaks to me when I take the rune. I’m surprised that he has nothing to say about Granny Rags, instead he just wants to talk about Daud. He seems excited — elated, even — that I chose to kill Daud, even though Daud was one of his servants. Maybe the Outsider thinks I’ll take Daud’s place as a supernatural assassin. I guess we’ll see.

From here, it’s fairly straightforward to get back to the Hound Pits. There’s no sign of Slackjaw’s man when I return to the sewer tunnel, but my key opens the gate, and I only have to pass a few more river krusts before I’ve found a small camp of survivors making do down here. They don’t seem perturbed as I move through. I guess they’ve seen enough that nothing surprises them anymore. Soon I’ve made my way back up to the streets, and a back door leads me into the abandoned apartment that Cecelia uses as her secret hiding place. I’m back at the Hound Pits at last. Now, it’s time find out where those scum have taken Emily.

This was by far my most violent mission yet. The final stats screen tells me I killed 21 hostiles, which should be one weeper as well as Daud and his entire gang. It also claims I killed two civilians, which I don’t remember. I wondered if maybe the plague survivor who was shot down by a tallboy counted for this, but while checking things for this post I learned that shooting Granny Rags before destroying her cameo counts as a civilian kill, so presumably that’s where those kills came from. Despite all the deaths, however, my overall chaos is still low. I guess my brief murder spree wasn’t enough to offset all my other missions in which I left only a few dead. I’m glad that I was able to bring Daud and his men to justice without sacrificing my general nonlethal stance, because I truly feel the city is better off without them in it. I suspect that I’ll be facing off against the City Watch from here on out, now commanded by my former colleagues, and I intend to go back to nonlethal tactics against them. As for Havelock and Overseer Martin, I’m not so sure. I guess I’ll find out when I’m face to face with them again. It can’t be long now.

Next time: you can’t go home again.