Creating a Safe Haven is a side objective during the mission The Flooded District, wherein Corvo Attano must help a group of plague survivors escape confinement in a Flooded District tenement house. The only means of escape is past an arc pylon, several tallboys, and other members of the City Watch, who will attack the survivors on sight if they are spotted. To complete the mission successfully, Corvo must lead all of the survivors to safety – if any are killed or knocked out at any time, it will result in mission failure.
This mission is only available in low chaos. It can be found upon entering the Rudshore Gate section of the Flooded District – specifically, upon passing Mosley's warehouse, where two looters can be seen entering the tenement buildings to the right of the plague wagon.
Upon entering the rightmost tenement building, Corvo will meet a small party consisting of Magnus and two other plague survivors discussing their current predicament and how to get past the wall of light barring reentry into "civilization". As Corvo moves from room to room he will also discover Mace Brimsley and his wife having a similar conversation. Eavesdropping on the first group or speaking with the married couple will point Corvo to the back stairwell to locate a man named Blake.
When Corvo approaches Blake, the man will explain that he knows of Corvo and was/is a smuggler. Blake then asks Corvo to head to the courtyard behind the tenement buildings to disable an arc pylon there. Once it is gone, he claims that he and the other survivors can wait there for some "boys" coming to get Blake out.
There is a limited amount of time for the survivors to escape: Blake, a patrolling pair of City Watch guards, and a note all separately indicate that once floodlights outside the building are equipped with a whale oil tank and powered on, patrolling tallboys will begin assaulting the apartments to eradicate survivors.
Blake offers Corvo the opportunity to get a good look at the surrounding area from the upper floors, where he can study the tallboy-littered field that is between the tenement buildings and Rudshore gate. The Tenement Key, which grants access to any locked door in the apartment complex, is found on small table near Blake and his sister.
The mission is fairly straightforward:
- Dispatch the sole guard in the rear courtyard (if present).
- Disable the two arc pylons in the neighboring courtyard.
- Alert and protect Blake and the others so they may gain entry into the courtyard.
When Corvo accepts the quest, a new marker will appear on his display called "Threat Zone". In addition, a tallboy will often change its patrol route into the alley joining both tenement buildings and the stairwell to the courtyard. If it spots the survivors, it will attack them on sight. There are several strategies to protect the survivors:
- Destroy the tallboy.
- Stand on the upstairs balcony and distract the tallboy with crossbow bolts while the survivors escape.
- Run out and distract the tallboys with the aid of Blink and Agility.
- Use Possession on the tallboy and force it to walk far away from the alley. The full duration of at least 2 possessions may be required to give enough time for the survivors to move.
- Obstruct the doorway with the door opened outward and Corvo in stealth mode, preventing any survivors from running past until the stilt walker moves away. As long as Corvo remains hidden with the door open, the tallboy will not see him, as the alley is poorly lit. As Corvo moves out of the doorway, the survivors will believe the coast is clear and move one-by-one to safety until Corvo blocks the doorway again as necessary.
The last survivor to exit the building will always be Blake, who moves particularly slowly. Upon reaching the courtyard, Blake announces to the group that his buddy with a boat will be coming for them soon. Further discussion with Corvo ends with Blake inviting him to either wait with the group, or fight his way past the guards. If all of the survivors are past the tallboys but the quest is still listed as incomplete on the journal, try stacking some corpses from the building on top of the stairs to block any survivors from wandering down the stairs and getting themselves killed.
A glitch may occur that prevents two of the quest points – protecting all the survivors while they reach safety and keeping Blake safe – from being fulfilled, even after Blake and all the survivors make it to the safe zone. This causes the quest to fail later when Corvo reaches the sewers. This can be fixed by either returning to the tenement and carrying any of the corpses (including the one marked "Weeper") to the safe area or possessing Blake, walking him at least part-way down the stairs and letting him walk back to the safe zone unhindered.
- The floodlights can be activated manually if Corvo so chooses, but doing so automatically results in mission failure.
- Activating the floodlights after the survivors have reached safety will still result in a barrage from the tallboys, and though no one is harmed, completion credit will be reversed and the mission failed.
- When Corvo tortures Bunting during the mission House of Pleasure, Bunting alludes to the Brimsleys. These Brimsleys are most likely Mace Brimsley and his wife.
- During Lady Boyle's Last Party, several party goers can be heard gossiping about Mrs. Brimsley.
- In high chaos, these characters are found as weepers, and the side mission is not accessible.
- When Corvo is traversing the Dunwall Sewers a two plague survivors will talk about their cousin getting onto a boat and says they'll come for them.