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A Better Way to Die is a book revealed and extensively quoted in Dishonored: The Corroded Man and Dishonored: The Return of Daud.


[Surviving fragment of an assassin's treatise, author unknown]

First Excerpt[]

The true weapon of the enemy is their eyes, because with their eyes they can see where you are, they can see what you are doing, they can see how you can be defeated. You must use your own eyes first, and act so that the enemy cannot. The art of spying is as noble as the art of war itself.

Second Excerpt[]

The alchemy of war is a curious thing. If an enemy sleeps, they are already defeated, and if they wake later after victory is yours, they may never even have seen your hand in their defeat. The crafting of certain reagents to induce sleep is a necessary school to master, as is the development of immunity against such mixtures by the slow titration of self-administered doses.

Third Excerpt[]

To know your enemy is first to know yourself. To this end, every day must present a challenge, every moment an opportunity, to meet the person that you are. To search for your limits and to step beyond them. Only then can you be ready to face what may come, because only then will you know that of which you are capable.

Fourth Excerpt[]

All conflict is deception and lies, for to defeat the enemy, he must be fooled—fooled into thinking you far away when you are near, that you are sleeping when you are awake, that you are still when we are moving. And the greatest ally of deception is darkness, for it is only in darkness that we can truly see the path ahead.

Fifth Excerpt[]

There is little to be said of the notion of strength, because strength is meaningless if you have cunning on your side. Evasion and mystery are your greatest weapons, for one hundred men confused are as one hundred chickens with no heads. Attack when they are unprepared, appear when they are not expected, and if the enemy cannot fathom your tactic, then you have won before the first strike is ever made.

Sixth Excerpt[]

Know this: in pain, there is truth. In pain, all barriers fall, all masks are cast asunder. In pain, we are naked, each of us. Our very being expose, our very minds open for anyone to read. The ability of pain to equalize all men cannot be overstated.

Pain, then, is a tool. But it is not an iron hammer or a steel saw. It is a fine brush, feather-light, to be wielded not by a laborer but by an artist.

In war, we may be warriors, but we must be artists also.

Seventh Excerpt[]

The greatest victories may be won with the smallest numbers.

Eight Excerpt[]

The most elegant approach to warfare is to never fight at all. If you can subdue the enemy without a single strike, then you shall know the purity of victory.


  • In The Corroded Man the first four excerpts are respectively quoted at the beginning of Chapter 14, 18, the second interlude and Chapter 28.
  • In The Return of Daud the fifth to eight excerpts are respectively quoted at the beginnings of Chapters 13, 16, 27 and 31.