- "I know a great deal, bodyguard. I recognize those marks on your hand. A gift from your friend, the one who talks to you in the dark. Talks to you when you visit his shrines. I've visited those shrines too."
- —Daud to a captured Corvo
Daud, renowned as the "Knife of Dunwall", is the leader of a group of assassins known as the Whalers that operate in Dunwall. He is responsible for the death of Empress Jessamine Kaldwin and the kidnapping of her daughter, Emily. Daud is one of the main antagonists and an assassination target in Dishonored, as well as the protagonist in two of the game's DLCs, The Knife of Dunwall and The Brigmore Witches.
Little is known about Daud's early life. Though his mother is rumored to have come from an island off the Pandyssian Continent, Daud, like Corvo Attano, hails from Serkonos. In a journal detailing different manifestations of magic, Daud notes that, contrary to rumors that his mother was a witch marked by the Outsider, she was simply proficient in the use of poisons and hallucinogens, and ruthless in their administration. The Heart reveals that at some point in his childhood, Daud's natural abilities caught the attention of a mysterious actor, which eventually led to his abduction.
The book Rumors and Sightings: Daud suggests that at some point between this period and the events of Dishonored, Daud came to Dunwall and began to make a name for himself, "moving among the shop keepers and City Watch Officers of Dunwall like a reaper through wheat". The book suggests that Daud subsequently traveled the Isles seeking Outsider Shrines, which Daud himself confirms upon meeting Corvo. It is rumored that during this time, he spent a winter at the Academy of Natural Philosophy.
Marked by the Outsider
- "For years I'd held together a shadowy band of ex-mercenaries, street kids, and refugees through discipline and a bit of black magic."
- —Daud, on the Whalers
After visiting various shrines around the Isles, Daud became infamous as an assassin, feared not only for his skill, but also for his magic powers. One of the few individuals gifted with the Outsider's Mark, his known powers are Blink (referred to as "transversals"), Bend Time, Summon Assassin, Void Gaze, Pull (referred to as "tethering"), and resistance to poisons (including Corvo's sleep darts). Another power, known as Arcane Bond, gives him the ability to grant lesser versions of his magic to others, which he utilizes to empower his assassin followers.
Daud used these powers to establish himself and the Whalers as assassins for hire to the elite of Dunwall. (During this period, he met his eventual second-in-command Billie Lurk, then a street urchin with an affinity for the trade.) Their repute in the underworld of Dunwall caught the attention of Hiram Burrows, who made use of their services a number of times in his capacity as Royal Spymaster. Eventually, he hired Daud and his assassins to assassinate the Empress and kidnap her daughter.
Despite the Outsider's initial favor for Daud, a rift developed between the two sometime before the events of Dishonored. The Outsider himself notes that he lost interest in Daud prior to the assassination of the Empress, and interacts with Daud in a hostile and derisive manner throughout The Knife of Dunwall.
The Knife of Dunwall
- "Daud, my old friend. It's been a while, but you've got my interest again...I'm here because you're right, the Empress was different."
- —The Outsider
After carrying out the assassination of the Empress and delivering Emily to Burrows' agents, Daud is wracked with guilt over the act, a feeling which the Outsider reinforces. Appearing to Daud after the assassination, the Outsider provides him with "one last gift" so that he may alter coming events: the name Delilah. Unable to abide a mystery by his own admittance, Daud begins to investigate the significance of the name. The conclusion of the DLC is affected by the chaos Daud inflicts over the course of his search, similar to how Corvo's actions affect the conclusion of Dishonored.
With the help of Billie Lurk, Daud discovers the whaling trawler Delilah at the Rothwild Slaughterhouse; his subsequent hunt eventually directs him to Delilah Copperspoon, a painter, black magic practitioner, and leader of the Brigmore Witches. As Daud discovers Delilah took an interest in him long before he ever heard of her (learning, for instance, that Arnold and Thalia Timsh saw Delilah painting his name across a canvas during a seance), the assassins' hideout in the Flooded District is overtaken by Overseers.
After pushing back the Overseers' forces, Daud learns that he was betrayed by Billie, who saw his regret over the Empress' assassination as weakness and plotted to take his place. Working in conjunction with Delilah, they brought the Overseers to the Flooded District and arranged for Billie to kill Daud herself. In high chaos, Billie duels Daud for leadership of the Whalers, and Daud can either kill or spare her; in low chaos, she chooses not to go through with the act, leaving her fate in Daud's hands. Daud's decision in either case affects the Outsider's final opinion and narration as the story closes.
The Brigmore Witches
- "My mother warned me never to make an enemy of a witch."
Following Billie's betrayal (which affected Daud deeply, according to Thomas's observations) and the removal of the Overseers from the Flooded District, Daud discovers Delilah's location at the Brigmore Manor, outside the Dunwall quarantine zone. He enlists the aid of Dead Eels gang leader Lizzy Stride to help him reach the hideout, accomplishing various tasks in Coldridge Prison and Drapers Ward to secure his passage; he also encounters the Brigmore coven on several occasions and slowly uncovers clues to Delilah's ultimate plan.
When he arrives at the manor, Daud realizes that Delilah is plotting to use a powerful ritual to steal Emily Kaldwin's body and rule in her place as Empress. In response, he pursues Delilah to the Void and eliminates her in the midst of the ritual, protecting the child he once abducted.
The Flooded District
- "Let's see if The Outsider will save your life or mine."
- —Daud to Corvo
While Dishonored runs concurrently with the events of The Knife of Dunwall and The Brigmore Witches, the mission The Flooded District falls between Daud's elimination of Delilah, and the DLC's epilogue. Discovering a poisoned Corvo Attano adrift in the Flooded District, Daud confiscates his gear and orders his men to place Corvo in confinement, awaiting delivery to Farley Havelock in exchange for a large bounty. Corvo escapes soon after, and one of Daud's men appears to inform him of the break-out. Daud correctly surmises that Corvo is bound for the Commerce Building to confront him, and waits for the man's arrival, recording an audiograph castigating Hiram Burrows and lamenting his own part in the murder of the Empress.
Daud's reaction to Corvo's arrival varies based on Corvo's chaos: in low chaos, Daud uses Bend Time on his men and orders them not to interfere while he and Corvo duel. In high chaos, Daud allows his men to assist him in battle to take down Corvo at any cost. Daud is ultimately defeated, and makes a plea for his life.
- "I have one more surprise for you. I ask for my life."
- —Daud to Corvo
Daud muses on the events that transpired during his pursuit of Delilah, noting that "our choices always matter to someone, somewhere", and that people must live with the consequences of their decisions.
This conclusion leads him to surrender to the mercy of Corvo Attano, who acts in accordance with Daud's chaos at the end of The Brigmore Witches, either killing or sparing him. If Daud is spared, he can be seen placing his sword at the tomb of the Empress after the end of the credits. If Daud is killed, his body is cremated on a boat in the flooded yard of the Greaves Refinery – if Daud spared Billie at the end of The Knife of Dunwall, she will be there as well, looking on from a distance.
In the canon of the sequels to Dishonored, Corvo spared Daud's life. It is revealed in Dishonored: The Corroded Man and Dishonored 2 that many people have tried locating Daud after the events of The Brigmore Witches, but without success.
- "We make our choices and take what comes and the rest is void."
One of the most callous and calculated individuals in all of the Isles, Daud has no qualms with killing for coin and does so indiscriminately. From aristocratic pedophiles to respectable law enforcers and scholars, all are potential victims of his blade. Realizing the fortune of his supernatural abilities, he uses them to primarily "force [his] will on the world". The whispers of the Outsider only further inflate Daud's ego, causing him to believe that he is somehow special or important.
For years, Daud continues on his crimson-lit trail of bloodshed, undeterred by the results of his wetwork. It is only when he kills Empress Jessamine and abducts her daughter Emily that something finally breaks within him. Rather than successfully repressing the regretfulness brought about by his deed, he instead becomes filled with grief and dismayed with the societal collapse of Dunwall. Daud slowly realizes that his story is coming to a conclusion of his making, and comes to terms with the consequences of his life choices.
- Daud is voiced by Michael Madsen.
- It was revealed by Harvey Smith in an AMA that Daud is still alive by the time of Dishonored 2, but not doing well. This is further hinted at in the game.
- In the mission Death to the Empress, a letter between Meagan Foster and a former Whaler reveals that no one from the former gang has been able to locate Daud.
- If Meagan, who is revealed to be Billie Lurk in the last mission, survives at the end of the game, the Outsider tells in the epilogue that she leaves to seek out "the closest thing she'd ever known to family".
- Delilah expresses that she feels and knows that Daud is still alive somewhere, when talking idly in the last mission while painting.
- Her spirit trapped in the Heart remarks that: "There are marks on our flesh. Made by the Knife of Dunwall. Cursed Daud, who hides in the world and breathes still."
- The Heart also mentions to Emily that: "Six came over the walls and dragged [Emily] from [her] mother's corpse. Two are still alive." Both Daud and Billie took part in Jessamine's assassination.
- According to the official guidebook, "Ego homini Lupus" ("I am a Wolf to man") is his motto.
- As with all other assassination targets, if Corvo decides to murder Daud with his sword, a special animation plays in which Corvo grabs Daud, slits his throat, then throws him to the right as he dies.
- In The Brigmore Witches, however, Corvo will throw Daud frontally over the wall rather than into the hole to the right.
- Daud is resistant or immune to the majority of Corvo's offensive powers and gadgets.
- If Corvo attempts to possess him, Daud will say that his mind is the last place Corvo would want to be.
- Wanted posters for Daud feature a picture of a regular assassin rather than Daud, yet throughout The Knife of Dunwall, various civilians will recognize Daud instantly.
- Jerome in The Brigmore Witches similarly notes that he recognizes Daud from his wanted posters.
- Although Daud does not have a mask he can still zoom in and out as if he were using a spyglass.
- Daud is referred to as "the Big Knife" and "the Old Knife" in a letter between Meagan Foster and a former Whaler in Dishonored 2.
- If Daud initiates dialogue after sneaking up on Delilah, she derisively calls him the "Mouse of Dunwall".
- In the German, Russian, and Italian translations of The Brigmore Witches, Daud says that he moved from Serkonos to Dunwall at the age of 16. Developer Harvey Smith has confirmed this information.
- Daud's plea to Corvo varies between Dishonored and The Brigmore Witches, with the former being substantially longer.
- Though he can use a pistol during the course of gameplay, Daud never acquires upgrades for the weapon.
- According to Harvey Smith, Daud "was conceived on a pirate vessel, and grew up in various Serkonan cities".
- Daud can not be dismembered.
- Daud cannot be drop assassinated if fully alerted to Corvo's presence and Corvo is in sight; rather he will block the attack.
- If killed from behind, Daud is not stabbed in the stomach and neck like other assassination targets, and is simply killed in the same way as any regular enemy.
- It is stated by Galia Fleet that Daud had occasionally made cryptic mentions of the Academy of Natural Philosophy, further implying that the rumors about him spending a winter at the Academy are real.
- Upon seeing an example of Trimble's handwriting, Daud comments on how he distrusts people who can write that neatly.
- As a result of his use of a corrupted bone charm, Daud is missing at least three teeth.
- Sokolov's painting of Daud shows his coat being blue rather than red. This is in line with the master assassins, who wear blue outfits.
- It is stated in a book that Daud has no interest in sex, implying that he is asexual. Though the accuracy of this book is questionable and the author unknown, Harvey Smith has confirmed through Twitter that Daud is asexual.
|Daud, during the fight with Corvo|
|Daud asks Corvo for his life|
|Daud's opening speech in The Knife of Dunwall|
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Developer Commentary – Dishonored ages masterpost
- ↑ Dishonored: The Dunwall Archives
- ↑ Meeting Daud
- ↑ Daud's Journal: Delilah Copperspoon
- ↑ Dishonored Credits § Voice and Music
- ↑ Developer Commentary – Daud's fate
- ↑ Dishonored: The Corroded Man, p. 108
- ↑ Cobbled Bits of Bone
- ↑ Developer Commentary – Daud's Sexuality
Characters in Dishonored
|Minor Characters (Male)||
Alec • Blake • Boo • Bunting • Byron Alderdice • Captain Ren • Craxton • Crowley • Doctor Galvani • Dunstan • Earl • General Tobias • Grayson • Hackworth • Harold • Jeffrey • Jelly • Lord Brisby • Lord Shaw • Mace Brimsley • Mad Survivor • Magnus • Overseer Archer • Overseer Berthold • Overseer Franklin • Overseer Gerard • Overseer Jasper • Overseer Sturgess • Pratchett • Ramsey • Rodney • Sergeant Heyburn • Stu • Tom • Watch Officer Thorpe
|Minor Characters (Female)|
Characters in The Knife of Dunwall
Characters in The Brigmore Witches
Annabelle • Arnold Timsh • Corporal Hamrick • Corvo Attano • Evie • Lucas Penroe • Maggot Montaine • Melina • Naria • Overseer Pradclif • Private Morris • Skinflint • The Dressmaker • Tilda • Watch Officer Thorpe
Enemies in Dishonored