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Delilah Copperspoon

Delilah

DH2 Delilah

Vital statistics
Age 33 (Dishonored)[1]
c. 36 (Dishonored 2)[2]
Date of Birth 16th Day, Month of Rain, 1804[3]
Nation of origin Gristol
Location Flooded District
Brigmore Manor
The Void
First appearance The Surge
Role Leader of the Brigmore Witches
Empress of the Empire of the Isles
"You should have forgotten my name the day you heard it."
– Delilah to Daud.

Delilah Copperspoon, known formally as Delilah Kaldwin I during her reign as Empress, is a major character in the Dishonored franchise, appearing in the DLCs The Knife of Dunwall and The Brigmore Witches, the latter in which she is the main antagonist. The same Delilah whom the Outsider tasks Daud with investigating, she is revealed to be the leader of a powerful coven called the Brigmore Witches and is defeated by Daud while attempting to possess the body of Emily Kaldwin. Fifteen years after her defeat in The Brigmore Witches, she resurges in Dishonored 2 as a main antagonist and successfully usurps Empress Emily.

Biography

Early Life

Delilah was born to the Kaldwin lineage as the illegitimate daughter of Emperor Euhorn Kaldwin. Fawning for her father's attention, she would ask Emperor Kaldwin if she could participate in court, in hopes of finally assuming the role of a proper princess, but her pleas were only met with deflection and postponement. One day, while playing together, Jessamine accidentally broke an item of immense value and framed Delilah for its destruction when questioned. Consequently, Delilah was whipped repeatedly and thrown out of Dunwall Tower alongside her mother.

Left to squander for survival in the unforgiving streets of Dunwall, Delilah and her mother would find themselves in debtor's prison, where her mother would meet her slow demise at the hands of a prison guard. With her mother's death, Delilah was forced to work odd jobs while painting on the side, until eventually coming under the tutelage of Anton Sokolov.

At an indeterminate time, she was gifted with the Outsider's Mark and began dabbling in the dark arts. She also began a relationship with barrister Arnold Timsh, who favored her so heavily that it caused rifts within his own family. The ship which prompts Daud to begin his investigations at the Rothwild Slaughterhouse was once owned by Timsh, and named in honor of Delilah herself. She was eventually able to seduce him into signing his fortune over to her and subsequently disappeared. Timsh then sold the ship bearing her name, but kept her as the beneficiary of his mother's will.

According to Arnold Timsh's niece, Thalia Timsh, her uncle both loved and feared Delilah.

The Knife of Dunwall

Delilahsurge

Delilah appears in the Flooded District.

Delilah is the subject of Daud's investigation in The Knife of Dunwall, which leads him to uncover her influence on Timsh and associated happenings. The assassin is briefly able to speak with Delilah through a statue in the Timsh Estate – during the conversation, Delilah expresses animosity toward Daud and claims she should kill him, but chooses not to "for the sake of [her] sisters". Instead, she threatens him with unknown peril should he continue his investigations, and warns, "There are great changes coming, and I'll expect you not to interfere."

While much of her motivation remains secret, it is revealed that she cooperated with Billie Lurk in a mutually beneficial plot to assassinate Daud, and directed the Overseers to the Whalers' hideout in the Flooded District. When the plot fails, she appears to Daud in person for the first time. In low chaos, after Lurk has given herself up to Daud's mercy, Delilah threatens both of them with brutal death should she ever see them again. In high chaos, Delilah taunts Daud, informing him that her unknown plans are falling into place.

The Brigmore Witches

Delilahritual

Delilah performing her ritual.

"The girl Emily Kaldwin will have the mind of Delilah the First, who did not inherit everything she got, but came to power through the force of her own genius."
– Delilah, revealing her plot.

Delilah acts as the main antagonist of Dishonored's final DLC, The Brigmore Witches. Directing her coven to observe the gang warfare taking place in Drapers Ward and assure that Daud's advance to Brigmore Manor is hampered, she cloisters herself in the mansion in order to complete a painting of Emily Kaldwin. Upon Daud's arrival at the manor, he discovers that Delilah has traveled with the painting to the Void, where it will act as a critical part of a powerful ritual: Delilah intends to extract Emily's mind and possess her body, ruling the Empire in the girl's place.

Daud interrupts the ritual and battles Delilah, with two possible options for elimination: He can either kill Delilah outright or force the ritual to go awry by replacing the painting of Emily with a painting of the Void, trapping her there.

Dishonored 2

Dm08

Delilah sitting on the throne as Empress of the Isles.

"Here me, all of you. Your rightful Empress has returned!"
– Delilah, to the Dunwall elite

Delilah makes a resurgence in Dishonored 2 as the main antagonist. At the conclusion of The Brigmore Witches, she was left to drift endlessly throughout the Void, until eventually happening upon the site of the Outsider's transfiguration. Figuring out a way to harness the power of the ritual grounds, Delilah becomes a part of the Outsider and grows stronger tenfold. She then manages to make contact with her loyal lieutenant Breanna Ashworth and the Serkonan Duke Luca Abele, motivating them to partake in a ritual to resurrect her in physical form. When she returns to the world, Delilah hides her spirit within a statue, thus ensuring herself immortality.

She and Duke Luca Abele later stage a coup at Dunwall Tower, in the middle of a ceremony honoring Jessamine's assassination. She reveals to the Dunwall elite that she is in fact a Kaldwin herself – the long-lost older sister of Jessamine. Almost immediately following this revelation, the guards attack Emily and her father Corvo, with Delilah turning one of them into stone.

Delilah's endgame is not to simply rule over Dunwall, but to use her newfound powers to reshape reality to her liking. She plans to compose a painting capable of doing so, and is either trapped for eternity within her own reality or killed outright by Emily or Corvo.

Personality

Delilah Copperspoon painting

"Survival and ambition, art and magic, with a cunning that makes fawning sycophants of those around her."

"Delilah wants the whole world, [...] the seas around it and the stars above it."
– A witch, regarding Delilah's ambition.

As a child, Delilah was sweet and loving, having spent most of her days in Dunwall Tower playing with Jessamine and hoping that one day, her father would show her the same attention he showed her legitimate younger sister. Even after being cast out of the Tower and denied her royal position as princess, she was at least able to find solace in her mother's presence. Following her mother's death, however, Delilah was deprived of any form of comfort and came to see the world as "marred and distorted", bringing about the power hungry visionary she becomes in adulthood.

Having seen and survived the worst the world could deal out, Delilah becomes jaded by and dissatisfied with reality, with her primary goal becoming the induction of change. In order to climb from a point of neglect and filth, Delilah does whatever necessary to survive and ascend to the top. Using her uncanny allure and cunning to attract and manipulate those around her, she is able to rise to heights unimaginable by most. In both of her major power plays, she seeks ultimately the alteration of reality in her image, motivated by her dismal upbringing and vindication against the world. She feels entitled to this right of warping reality, thinking it to be her brand of "justice" and form of correcting the world's many flaws.

Skills and Abilities

DelilahSteal1

Delilah stealing Corvo's powers.

Delilah possesses a wide-ranging variety of talents, ranging from powerful supernatural abilities to a cunning unrivaled throughout the Empire. Her charm and charisma fill people with admiration and devotion, making loyal followers of those around her. Propelling her further through the ranks of society are her ambition and persistence, granting her considerable influence throughout the world. Even the Outsider on several occasions feels inclined to commend Delilah's wit and perseverance.

Her extensive supernatural abilities allow her to dominate most who oppose her. She is primarily able to exert her will unto objects, allowing her to control statues, turn adversaries to stone, and utilize paintings to steal the spirits of others. With her Arcane Bond, she empowers her coven of witches to fight for her, rarely having to enter combat for herself. When forced to, however, Delilah is capable of standing her ground against efficient killers such as Corvo and Daud. After merging with the Outsider, Delilah's already formidable magic becomes even more powerful. Unique to her is the newfound ability to steal the supernatural abilities of others, as she does with Corvo.

She possesses artistic prowess arguably on par with that of her former mentor Anton Sokolov. In the events of Dishonored 2, her paintings have garnered similar respect to Sokolov's paintings, now found throughout the world as collectible art pieces.

Relatively unknown is her adeptness in swordsmanship. In The Brigmore Witches and Dishonored 2, Delilah wields a witch's blade with surprising efficiency, given that she has no known formal training in swordsmanship.

Trivia

  • Delilah is voiced by Erin Cottrell.
  • Delilah claims to bear the Outsider's Mark on her hand, although one is not visible.
  • Thalia Timsh claims that, during a seance, she and her uncle witnessed a specter of Delilah in the Brigmore Manor, painting Daud's name on a canvas.
  • Delilah's plan to possess Emily is hinted in The Knife of Dunwall through A Poem by Delilah, found at the Timsh Estate.
  • It is stated by one of her witches in the manor that Delilah can see glimpses of the future while in the Void, and that she saw Emily being crowned empress.
    • A witch at the Brigmore Manor notes that Delilah possessed Timsh in this manner.
  • Unlike other witches, Delilah's skin does not turn green when she is in combat.
  • If Daud kills Delilah with his sword, a special animation plays: Daud stabs Delilah in the ribs and she grabs the blade, driving it in deeper and swiping at his face until he pulls the sword free. Delilah then lunges at Daud, screaming, before he stabs her through the mouth.
  • The titles of Delilah's paintings follow a specific trend, similarly to the titles of Sokolov's paintings being mathematical references: Delilah often alludes to herself or the impact she has on her subject (Daud's "house", Emily's face, Billie Lurk's "heart", the Outsider's Mark, etc).[4]
    • Delilah's paintings including her sketches of Emily Kaldwin were drawn by freelance French artist Veronique Meignaud.[5]
    • Arkane Studios' office in Lyon has life-size printed copies of the paintings.[6]
  • In Dishonored 2, Delilah appears almost as she did in The Knife of Dunwall and The Brigmore Witches, having only aged three years from the first game to the second.[2] This is due to the 12 years she spent drifting in the Void being timeless, as there is no such concept in the Void.

Gallery

References

  1. Developer Commentary – Dishonored ages masterpost
  2. 2.0 2.1 Developer Commentary – Delilah's age
  3. Dishonored: The Dunwall Archives
  4. Developer Commentary – Naming Pattern
  5. http://meignaud.artstation.com/
  6. Developer Commentary – Printed Paintings


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