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Distillery bridge night 1

The Distillery District Waterfront.

The Distillery District is an area of Dunwall by the Wrenhaven River, named after the Dunwall Whiskey Distillery in its center. Known as one of the worst slums in the Empire, it became a settlement for poor immigrant workers during the Rat Plague and a gang territory fiercely fought over by the Hatters and the Bottle Street Gang.


The Distillery District is a semi-industrial, semi-residential area in Dunwall. Located along the river, its docks allow for goods transport both legal and extralegal, which itself makes it an ideal place for smuggling activities. Rails go throughout Clavering Boulevard to Holger Square and the Golden Cat pleasure house further west and south. Its inhabitants are mostly lower class workers, with several communities from across the Empire who came to work in Dunwall.

Historically, this Distillery District is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Dunwall. It originated as the eponymous whiskey distillery and the various workshops and manufacturing lines to support it. As the city grew and new industries moved in, so did the housing for the workers, here and there between the factories and work spaces. The rows of filthy tenements were overcrowded by thousands and controlled by local gangs, adding to its inhabitants' misfortune. The City Watch willingly overlooked the district's condition, content enough to have checkpoints segregate it from the wealthier parts of the city.[1]

During the Rat Plague, the Distillery District was designated as a highly infectious area by the city authorities. The City Watch was tasked in evacuating sane citizens to adjacent neighborhoods and deport the others to the Flooded District. Businesses designated as being contaminated were closed and impounded by the State. River traffic was forbidden from landing on the district's docks due to risk of infectious contact.[2] Yet, despite the district's terrible living conditions, the plague only culled some its population and drove the more fragile businesses out. The abandoned tenements were soon occupied by new immigrant workers from Tyvia, Morley and Serkonos. Thanks to this turnover, the Distillery District was one of the first neighborhoods in Dunwall to mend as the Rat Plague swept in, despite the disparities between the new immigrant communities leading to violence over food, jobs and housing.[1] By the time of the Rat Plague, the area counted a population of 1200 souls.[3]

The Distillery District has been disputed gang territory for a while, despite the efforts of Hiram Burrows to suppress them even before his regency.[4] At first, the distillery itself was controlled by the Hatters, who then lost it in a fight with the up and coming Bottle Street Gang by 1837. In a continued effort to push back on gangs but also Weepers, the City Watch placed security checkpoints and Walls of Light on the main thoroughfare.

Before Corvo Attano first entered the area, most of the riverside streets had been emptied and John Clavering Boulevard became restricted to all but the City Watch. The Dead Counters were busy evacuating the bodies of victims of the Plague on barges, headed for the Flooded District. The gate seperating the docks from John Clavering Boulevard was left opened but defended by a Wall of Light.

After he took out High Overseer Campbell, patrols were increased, both on ground and on balconies, with Officers joining the lower ranks. The docks' gate was closed, a Watchtower was installed by the riverside to fire at any undesirable coming from the docks and another to defend the entrance to the Golden Cat's area. A group of Weepers who hid from the City Watch started prowling on the lower street beneath Clavering Boulevard. Granny Rags' apartment will be locked up (although she can be found elsewhere). Depending on whether or not Corvo saved Griff in his first visit to the area, the latter will still be there, peddling his wares, or he can be encountered as a hostile weeper. Members of Daud's assassins will also prowl along the rooftops and balconies. There will be a distinct lack of citizens on the streets and a more tightly controlled band of neutral Bottle Street Gang thugs lurking along the back alleys, as well as more weepers.

Despite the efforts of Empress Emily Kaldwin to quell criminality in Dunwall, the Distillery District remains a den for smugglers a decade after the end of the Rat Plague. Yet, the bridge from Clavering Boulevard to the North riverside was rebuilt.


John Clavering Boulevard[]

The main street in the Distillery District, Clavering Boulevard goes through the district from the north bridge then forks to Holger Square and the Golden Cat, with large gates on each side. This is the only access through the district patrolled by the City Watch.

The slum side of the district neighboring the distillery is usually ignored by the City Watch, who only defend the checkpoints, leaving the side streets to the control of the gangs. On the other side of the checkpoint, there are many more guards patrolling the upper-class housing, showing much more of a preference in defending those of some worth to Hiram Burrows, the Lord Regent, than to those who have less to their name. A few civilians walk by the slum and side streets, but avoid Bottle Street itself to not be harassed by the gang. The Bitterleaf Almshouse is a rare example of the help once provided to this district's poorest inhabitants.

The only defenses in the area are poorly-protected Wwalls of Light to separate the slums from the upper-class buildings located along the boulevard. The only guards here will be Lower Guards and City Watch Guards. Hostile Bottle Street thugs can be found prowling the alleys.

Offices of Dr. Galvani[]

By 1837, the medical offices and residence of the eminent Doctor Galvani were located on John Clavering Boulevard. Galvani later moved to the Tower District, hoping for more security after being victim of several robberies. Despite Galvani's absence during the Rat Plague, it was well maintained and guarded.

Art Dealer's Apartment[]

Facing the Offices of Dr. Galvani is the art gallery and residence of Bunting, a well-known art dealer. By 1837, the art dealer's apartment is run-down on the inside and has no electric lighting, Bunting himself refuging himself at the Golden Cat. In addition, it has been invaded by rats and Bottle Street thugs after Bunting's fortune. A majority of the art is missing, save for a few paintings by Anton Sokolov, one stored away in the gallery's vault.

Dunwall Whiskey Distillery[]

The infamous Dunwall Whiskey Distillery is the headquarters of the Bottle Street Gang and their bootleg plague elixir operation. It was taken over from the older Hatters Gang following a violent street war between both gangs.

The Golden Cat[]

The Golden Cat is a renown pleasure house and bath house in Dunwall, still in activity for the city's gentry despite the Rat Plague. Because of the Pendleton twins' stay to hide the kidnapped imperial heiress, the area surrounding the building is much more patrolled by the City Watch. As such, it appears less rundown than the rest of the district, despite being no nearby shops opened or civilians walking by.

Notable inhabitants[]

  • Granny Rags – resides in a run-down apartment on Endoria Street.
  • Bunting – an art dealer who owns an apartment and gallery on John Clavering Boulevard.
  • Doctor Galvani – a physician and vivisectionist who resides on John Clavering Boulevard.
  • Slackjaw – leader of the Bottle Street Gang.
  • Griff – a black market merchant, who runs a curio shop on Bloodox Way.


  • The Bitterleaf Almshouse, an asylum, workhouse, and orphanage that was closed due to the effects of the plague, was slated to originally be featured as the prime location of a different mission in Dishonored, but the idea was scrapped.[5]
  • The district is designated as area 72 N85.[3]