Dishonored: The Return of Daud is a novel by Adam Christopher and the second of a trilogy, set during Delilah Copperspoon's coup in Dunwall in Dishonored 2. The novel was released on March 27, 2018.
Daud—legendary assassin—has returned to Dunwall, a city in turmoil. He is seeking a mythical weapon, said to have the power to kill the Outsider, and will go to any lengths to find it. But there are those who are watching his every move. Travelling the Isles to complete his mission, Daud will soon discover that old enemies have been waiting for him, and new enemies are easy to make...
4,000 years ago in the Void, a ritual took place as a young boy was strapped to an altar. Drugged and adorned with rings, held in place by ropes, the young man is eventually sacrificed through the use of the Twin-bladed Knife and then reborn as the Outsider.
In the present, 1851, at the Chapel of the Sisters of the Oracular Order in Baleton, Gristol, the sisters have gathered in the Cloister of Prophecy to have a new initiate attempt the ritual to peer into the future at the order of the current High Oracle, Pelagia Themis. There had been instances of their prophecies being interfered with and, in the hopes of discovering the source of it, a young initiate was used to discover the nature of it through witchcraft. Pelagia nearly killed the young initiate until she was stopped by another sister of the order, who was left to watch over the girl.
Part One: The Knife of Dunwall
On the 18th Day, Month of Earth, 1852, Daud returns to Dunwall and interrogates an Overseer Initiate near the warehouse where some time prior Zhukov had used it as a base to learn about the whereabouts of the Twin-bladed Knife. Delilah's Coup occurs at this point and he spots Emily fleeing her tower before deciding not to involve himself with her affairs since he only wants to retrieve the knife, having heard rumors about it after a series of bad dreams that led him to the decision to kill the Outsider. Since the artifact had seemingly disappeared, he decided to see if he could find where by contacting the head of the Sixways Gang in Wyrmwood Way.
Daud meets with the current "Eat 'Em Up Jack", the leader of the Sixways Gang, a young woman roughly 25 years old, and offers her several platinum ingots for the information along with a warning that with the coup taking place they will soon be under attack. However, she has him taken outside to be killed until one of Jindosh's clockwork soldiers arrives and begins massacring the gang. Daud manages to cripple them through the use of the Mark of the Outsider, but when two more arrive while accompanied by a squad of Grand Serkonan Guards, he takes Jack and they flee from Dunwall.
As Daud flees, he is unaware that he has been tracked by a couple known as the Devlins, who were were hired too by Wyman to track his movements over the last few months. They predicted his arrival and set up speaking tubes in the Sixways Gang bar, allowing them to eavesdrop on his conversation and goals. With this information, they also vacate Wyrmwood Way and plan out their next course of actions to capture Daud.
Jack and Daud eventually arrive at a small fishing village known as Young Lucy's Grave, named after an ancient shipwreck off the harbor. Jack arranges for Daud to be smuggled to Porterfell in Gristol, where he could retrieve the Twin-bladed Knife. Unbeknownst to Daud, he is observed by a spy of Breanna Ashworth who notifies her of his travels through an arcane device.
An interlude then takes place 11 years before the events of the Coup, where Aramis Stilton has arranged for Anton Sokolov to demonstrate his findings in the Royal Conservatory of Karnaca. He presents several crystals from the island of Pandyssia and spends two hours lecturing the audience on the properties they possess.
Part Two: The Collector
From the 20th Day to 25th Day, Month of Earth, 1852, Daud travels aboard a steam-and-sail clipper to the fishing town of Porterfell on the southern coast of Gristol with the intention of meeting with a collector known as Maximilian Norcross. He went to a pub known as Empire's End to meet with Norcross' agent, where he insisted that he wanted to meet the man immediately after his patience had been worn out. They leave through the back of the pub and cross a series of alleyways until they are accosted by three vagrants, who Daud identified as being more than simply vagrants given the military-issued firearms they possessed.
The three attempt to capture Daud and kill Norcross' agent, forcing Daud to reveal his powers using the Mark of the Outsider. The resulting battle leaves one assailant dead and another injured to flee, while the third ended up being captured by Norcross' men as they arrived and the agent was revealed to be Norcross himself. Daud is then escorted to Norcross Estate, the historic Morgengaard Castle.
Back at the Empire's End, it is revealed that the barman, Sal, was a member of League of Protectors that were supposed to act to defend the Empress. He had been instructed by Wyman, the current head, to kill the Knife of Dunwall and was to use the information that the Devlins provided to arrange an operation. However, one of the agents beneath him named Lowry took initiative due to not believing in the tales of magic surrounding Daud, and now they had one agent dead and the other left in the hands of Norcross.
In Morgengaard Castle, Norcross has the agent they took interrogated violently in the hopes of finding out Daud's identity after the display he showed, which the woman does before she dies. He recognizes the Knife of Dunwall and has his men fetch an Overseer's music box from his gallery to use as he goes to confront Daud as he tries to take the knife, revealing that one of the artifacts he possess (a monocle) allows him to see supernatural things such as the Mark of the Outsider. Using the music box to incapacitate Daud, he then has him taken to the preparation room.
Daud wakes some time later to find a machine attached to the dead agent, which was designed to extract the liquids in her body and replace them with a mineral solution to perfectly preserve her, and Norcross expressed his intentions to do the same to Daud. However, a group of invaders sabotage his whale oil tanks and he has to leave to the panic room, leaving Daud a chance to escape. He does so and finds all the guards had been murdered but the Twin-blade Knife had been stolen.
One of the invaders is caught before he can escape by Daud with the intention of interrogating him. However, a mirror-like artifact in the room mesmerizes the man and he tells Daud that the knife had been taken to Karnaca for safekeeping before passing out. Daud decides to pursue the knife after he finds and kills Norcross, burning down his gallery containing dozens of corpses that had been preserved and set into life-like poses.
The Devlins are made aware of his intentions and then leave Empire's End to get to Karnaca ahead of Daud.
Another interlude takes place where Sokolov's demonstration takes a turn for the worst as the device and crystals that were attached to it allowed the user to read images of others, only for a flaw in the design to end up killing two of the volunteers. Aramis arranges for the corpses to be taken care of and laments the deaths on his hands because of it. One observer at the demonstration, Kirin Jindosh, muses on the potential of the device and if it could be used to project thoughts into the mind of the subjects instead before departing.
Part Three: Homecoming
From the 5th to 22nd Day, Month of Harvest, 1852, Daud takes a trip from the southwestern coastal town of Potterstead in Gristol to Serkonos aboard a Tyvian whaler known as the Bear of Tamarak. During this time he helps out on board the ship and exercises to build his strength back up in anticipation of what he would encounter. Unaware he's being observed by two witches, Caitlin and Lucinda, who had retained fleeting amounts of their power after Breanna was depowered in the Oraculum, Daud retrieves a sword crafted from Tyvian meteorite metal from a cache he had hidden in a small cave on the cliff face of Shindaerey Peak using transversal.
Daud then heads to the Royal Conservatory to meet with captain Sierra Esquivel, the daughter of one of his former lieutenants, who acts as his contact. She informs him of the present situation before departing from the building, whereupon Daud encountered several witches and the Devlins. Two of the witches are killed in the ensuing fight and the Devlins convince Daud they can give him the Twin-bladed Knife, allowing them to lure him to the Protectors' League Safe House in the Aventa District where they can prepare an ambush.
Inside of the building, Daud encounters a time-traveling Billie Lurk from three years into the future, who has come to change the past. She begs him to stay there so she can handle the ambush as the Devlins flee from the building, but the ensuing fight causes her to lose the Twin-bladed Knife that she possess and it ends up in Daud's grasp. It allowed Daud to kill the men behind the ambush, but left him unconscious.
He awakes on the 24th, in the former home of Kirin Jindosh, whereupon Billie explains that she tried to save him but something was interfering with time and because of that the moment where she lost the knife and he obtained it was crystallized. As a result he was left with an illness that would kill him in the near future. Before setting out, she informs him that they will meet again and gives him a vial of Addermire Solution.
The next day, Lucinda and Caitlin sacrifice the life of a man held bound by their spell in order to use a lens of the Oraculum to trap Daud in a labyrinth within his mind, leaving him helpless to escape.
The epilogue opens with the Outsider seeing events unfold as Duke Abele is replaced and Delilah is sealed with an imagined world. He sees Emily the Just ruling over the restored empire with her father and Anton Sokolov heading on a final journey to the north. And last he sees Megan Foster shed her identity to become Billie Lurk once more and seek out the closest person she knew to be family.
Then, on the 18th Day, Month of Nets, Daud wakes up inside of the cage within the Albarca Baths, still determined to kill the Outsider.
- The release date of the novel has been changed several times. Originally, it was to be released on February 2017. It was delayed to June 27,, July 25, August 29, then March 27, 2018. The synopsis was changed since the book's initial announcement.
- The book's original synopsis was: "In the last days of his life, a killer returns to undertake the greatest assassination ever conceived, seeking meaning in his existence and struggling to find peace before he dies. Written in close collaboration with the development team at Arkane Studios, this official sequel to the award-winning video game Dishonored 2 picks up the adventure where the game left off."
- The seconded version of the synopsis: "Daud - traitor and assassin - has returned to Dunwall, a city shaken by the overthrow of Empress Emily Kaldwin. He is seeking a mythical weapon, said to have the power to kill the Outsider, and will go to any lengths to find it. But there are those who are watching his every move. Travelling the Isles to complete his mission, Daud will soon discover that old enemies have been waiting for him, and new enemies are easy to make..."
- The book's cover reuses the main illustration for The Knife of Dunwall.
- Like for the first novel, Harvey Smith is credited as Editorial Consultant.
- Adam Christopher's AMA on reddit: "I can't say much about books 2 and 3 at the moment. Book 2 is set during Dishonored 2. The three books are not a directly connected trilogy/sequels."
- Dishonored - The Return of Daud on titanbooks.com
- Titan Books' guide for the London International Book Fair 2016
- Dishonored - Novel 2 on risingshadow.net
- The novel's page on booktopia.com
Games and other media in the Dishonored franchise
Void Walker's Arsenal (Acrobatic Killer Pack • Arcane Assassin Pack • Backstreet Butcher Pack • Shadow Rat Pack) • Dunwall City Trials • The Knife of Dunwall • The Brigmore Witches • Imperial Assassin's Pack
Dishonored Signature Series Guide • Dishonored 2 Strategy Guide • The Dunwall Archives • The Art of Dishonored 2 • The Wyrmwood Deceit • The Peeress and the Price • The Corroded Man • The Return of Daud • The Veiled Terror