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Vera Moray

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"Careful. She treads with purpose. And is not as frail as she seems."
—The Heart[3]

Vera Moray, also known as Granny Rags, was a wealthy aristocrat living in the high reaches of society who, after an ill-fated expedition to the Pandyssian Continent, became a practitioner of black magic and descended into madness. During the events of Dishonored, she is a homeless and blind old woman who is often harassed by her fellow citizens, specifically members of the Bottle Street Gang. While she appears on the surface to be vulnerable, destitute, and senile, her true and darker nature lies underneath.

She is a powerful and partially immortal witch who, like Corvo Attano, employs supernatural powers that were granted to her by the Outsider.

Biography

Born Vera Dubhghoill sometime near 1765, she married Lord Preston Moray around 1790,[4] becoming the revered wife of the head of the Moray family (which was, at the time, similar in wealth and prestige to the Perth, Inchmouth, Carmine and Boyle families). It is noted by the Outsider that Vera was once a well-known figure at court; she received marriage proposals from a great variety of men, including Emperor Alexy Olaskir in 1780.[4][5] She also personally notes that of her many friends, she was the only one to be painted by Anton Sokolov when he was first coming to prominence.[6]

VeraMoray

Portrait of a younger Vera Moray.

When she did marry, she and her husband lived in the Estate District,[7] but traveled widely "to the far ends of the Isles."[6] In 1807,[4] she joined her husband on an expedition to the mysterious continent of Pandyssia. The expedition was marked by madness and death, which started when Vera took an interest in the practices of the continent's ancient peoples. This is where she first came into contact with the Outsider, and during her journey, she received the Outsider's Mark.[4] The experience caused Vera to lose her sanity and later go blind. By 1810, she had been admitted to the Addermire Institute. She realized that, in order to escape, she would have to stop biting the doctors and instead pretend to behave like a "proper lady", asking about afternoon tea and nail polish and the like.[8] Whether this act fooled her doctor is unknown as, early in the Month of Seeds, she was suddenly struck by a disease contracted in Pandyssia. After being cured, she was released.[9] On her return to Dunwall, Vera's circumstances spiraled into misfortune — she lost her status in high society and began living on the streets. In 1814, she killed her husband,[10] using his bones to create runes and bone charms.[6] She officially became Granny Rags in 1815,[10] and by the time Slackjaw was a young child, not many people knew who she had been. At some point, Vera gained a level of immortality by binding her soul to a cameo of herself, an act taken from notes in a fellow explorer's journal concerning an ancient Pandyssian legend.

For a while after going mad, Granny Rags again lived in the Estate District, this time in a small apartment on Barcroft Street. When events forced the rats to leave, Granny Rags found the area "dreary" and moved away.[11] A number of people, including Samuel Beechworth, were aware that she lived there, though many did not at first know that she had gone. The tenant of the apartment next door wrote a sign informing visitors of Granny Rags' departure and left it on the door of her former residence.

Dishonored

Granny Rags provides Corvo with two secondary missions during his quest to kill Thaddeus Campbell, the High Overseer. Her first mission requires that Corvo deal with a group of "gentlemen callers" who have come to collect protection money from her. The second involves infecting their elixir still with the rat plague from viscera found at the Offices of Dr. Galvani. Both may be accomplished non-lethally; however, infecting the elixir still increases chaos, and will lead to the appearance of weepers at the Dunwall Whiskey Distillery during the House of Pleasure mission.

Corvo later comes across Granny Rags' secret lair deep in the Dunwall Sewers during the mission The Flooded District, where she is preparing to murder, cook, and eat Slackjaw. Corvo can choose to assist Granny Rags, or engage her and save Slackjaw.

Although she does not appear in person, Granny Rags is also the author of four more side objectives in The Knife of Dunwall and The Brigmore Witches DLCs.

Granny Rags' Cameo

Granny Rag's Cameo
"It's the Cameo. The secret is in the cameo. Just a piece of an old necklace. Understand?"
—Slackjaw, while bound in Granny's Lair

Granny Rags conducted a ritual on a cameo of herself, enchanting it so that as long as the cameo exists, she can never truly be killed.

As a younger woman, Vera first discovered the idea when perusing the field manuals of an explorer who studied a colleague’s interpretations of Pandyssian carvings. According to his journal, the explorer noticed Vera’s interest. Unwisely, he attempted to reprimand her, thinking such interest was unseemly for a woman of her station. It is implied that the explorer met an untimely fate at her hands. Afterwards, she bound her powers to the cameo through unknown rituals.

The cameo is kept hidden beneath a pair of plush red pillows on a bed near an incinerator in Granny’s quarters at her underground lair during the mission The Flooded District.

Fate

Granny Rags is killed in the sewers by Corvo during the events of Dishonored.[12]. Her marked left hand was eventually discovered by Paolo, leader of the Howlers, who uses it in Dishonored 2 to gain Vera's power of longevity and ability to cheat death. If Paolo is killed or knocked unconscious and his body looted, Vera's hand attacks the protagonist before being thrown to the ground and crushed underfoot.

Skills

If Granny is fought in the sewers, she can be observed using Blink, Devouring Swarm and Windblast. She also possesses the ability to summon a thick cloud of mist. However, unlike other characters associated with the Outsider, she is not resistant to most of Corvo's powers. Rats summoned with Devouring Swarm will not attack her, however, and she will thank Corvo for summoning more of her "little pretties."

She is able to create runes with an ability given to her by the Outsider.[13] She also fashions instructions on rituals used to create runes, and the Assassin Daud notes that each time he interacts with one of her talismans, "a tiny piece of [him] departed and settled in with her." It is uncertain what she gains from this act.[14]

Harvey Smith has stated in an AMA that Granny Rags has a power similar to Daud's and Delilah Copperspoon's Arcane Bond but she can only have one follower at a time, that being Morris Sullivan during the events of Dishonored. That power of hers is called "Apprentice",[12] and bestows different powers upon the apprentice than she has.[15]

Trivia

  • Granny Rags is voiced by Susan Sarandon.[16]
  • After Corvo completes her first task, Vera insists he leave so that she may feed her "birdies." She will exit her house to a small backyard area—Corvo can peek through the keyhole of the back door to see her "birdies," revealing them to be plague rats.
  • She cannot be harmed as long as her cameo, a small trinket hidden underneath her pillow, remains intact. When it is destroyed, Vera can be killed with a single hit, or rendered unconscious.
    • If Corvo attempts to kill or render Vera unconscious before he has access to her cameo, her body will turn into a pack of plague rats, which will then attack him. She will be unharmed by the attempt and will make future appearances as normal.
  • The Royal Interrogator met her as a boy and through her was introduced to worship of the Outsider.
  • Apart from the Outsider, no characters appear to be aware of Vera's true identity, referring to her only as Granny Rags throughout the course of Dishonored.
    • During the events of Dishonored, Corvo manages to connect Granny Rags to Vera Moray, and in Dishonored 2 recognizes "Vera Moray" as the name of his old enemy.
  • If Corvo ignores Granny Rags during the High Overseer Campbell mission, the door in the sewers will be already open and the path to her lair will be blocked. This allows Corvo to complete the mission faster; however, he will miss several important items, such as books, a rune, and a Sokolov painting. The fate of Slackjaw in this circumstance is unknown.
  • It is stated by Billie Lurk that Granny Rags is rumored to be 100 years old. This rumor is a slight exaggeration, as Dishonored: The Dunwall Archives reveals her age as around 72.[4]
  • It is strongly hinted that Vera is the enemy that Crowley believes is trying to take down the Bottle Street Gang, before being killed.
  • Vera's maiden name, "Dubhghoill", is a combination of the two modern Irish words "dubh" meaning 'black', and "ghoill" meaning 'upset'. However, the name most likely originates from the old Irish term "Dubhghaill", meaning "dark foreigners" or "dark strangers". Many modern Scottish and Irish surnames such as Dougal, Douglas and Doyle have been derived from this name.
    • According to Harvey Smith, the Dubhghoill family line is from Morley.[1]
  • Granny Rags owns a hat made by Mortimer Hat's Fine Textiles. She wears it from time to when she feels "flirty".[17]
  • Weepers will not directly attack Granny Rags. However, she can die if she gets caught in one of their attacks.

Gallery

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Developer Commentary - Granny's birthplace and heritage
  2. Dishonored: The Dunwall Archives
  3. "Careful. She treads with purpose. And is not as frail as she seems."
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Dishonored: The Dunwall Archives
  5. "They call her Granny Rags. You wouldn't recognize her real name, or even the name of her family, but an Emperor begged for her hand once, and rich young men fought each other for her favor."
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 The Journal of Granny Rags
  7. The Estate District
  8. Vera Moray's Diary
  9. Vera Moray's Belongings
  10. 10.0 10.1 Dishonored: The Dunwall Archives
  11. Granny Rags' Diary
  12. 12.0 12.1 Developer Commentary - Granny Rags
  13. Empowering the Player in a Story-rich Environment: Co-Directing Dishonored notes
  14. Cobbled Bits of Bone
  15. Harvey Smith's Twitter
  16. Dishonored Credits - Voice and Music
  17. "Mortimer Hat - the man called the Geezer - really used to make hats, did you know that? Granny Rags still has one - she wears it when she's feeling flirty."


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