[Excerpt from a Historical Record of Government Positions and Ranks]
Throughout the ages, rulers have always faced attempts on their lives. Once in a generation the Empire is rocked by the death of a powerful political or religious figure. As such, city-states across the Isles have devised varying strategies for protecting their leaders.
In the capital city of Dunwall, each new Emperor is allowed to appoint a Royal Protector. This is far more than a trusted bodyguard. Much more revered than the hand-chosen guards defending Dunwall Tower or the food tasters, the Royal Protector is a court figure, given enormous latitude, who keeps constant company with the highest ruler in the known world. At the age of twelve, the young monarch participates in the selection process, making the final decision about who will safeguard his or her life. While most of those chosen as Royal Protector have been men, several times throughout history, a woman has served well in the role.
For the first time in Dunwall’s history, a monarch has been slain by her own bodyguard. At the time of this writing, with Dunwall in the grip of the worst plague ever recorded, our fair Empress Jessamine Kaldwin has just been murdered. The deed was done by her former Royal Protector-turned assassin, Corvo Attano, who is still sitting in Coldridge Prison awaiting his deserved execution. Some argue that it is worth noting that Corvo Attano is the first Royal Protector in the history of the Empire born outside of the Isle of Gristol.
Historical Record of Government Positions and Ranks - Addendum
Corvo Attano. Accused of assassinating the Empress he was sworn to protect. How unlikely he would not only overcome this shame, but then redeem himself so fully as to be named Royal Protector to yet another Empress! Those of us at the College of Histories were too fast to use pen against him!
Yet let us not blame historians, for the evidence against Attano was nearly overwhelming. First, he is the only Royal Protector ever to have been born of an Isle other than Gristol. His "foreignness" is not itself a crime, but added to the suspicions (the most forgiving of which was that he lacked the capacity to fully understand his duties). Second, he was caught quite red-handed, with bloodied weapon, kneeling over the body of Empress Jessamine. Of course, it turns out that even this damning evidence was part of a clever plot to destroy the Empress and remove Attano from interfering with the ongoing plans of the Lord Regent's conspirators!
And while I admit to publishing what are now clearly incorrect conclusions regarding Corvo Attano, I will not, as some my colleagues have done, resign my position at our veritable organization. But instead, I reassert myself in the endeavor of weeding out fact from fiction to produce the most salient histories possible!
- In Dishonored, this book can be found on a shelf beside Daud's bed in his quarters in Central Rudshore during the mission The Flooded District.
- In The Knife of Dunwall, it can be found on the same shelf during the mission The Surge.
- In The Corroded Man, the second paragraph with the exception of its last two sentences is quoted at the beginning of Chapter 5.
- In Dishonored 2, the book can be found on a shelf outside the Royal Quarters at the beginning of the mission A Long Day in Dunwall.