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Gristol on D2 map

Gristol as seen on a cartographers map.

Gristol is the largest of the four main islands of the Empire of the Isles, and it is centrally-located between Serkonos, Morley, and Tyvia. The capital city of Gristol is Dunwall, which is also the capital of the Empire. It is a temperate land known for its rolling green hills and foggy meadows,[1] and it hosts half of the Isles' overall population.[1] As the political and geographical heart of the Empire, Gristol is administered directly by the Imperial throne. Gristol is also the home of the powerful Imperial Navy.


Around a millennium before the industrial age, Gristol was once home to an ancient civilization located on what would become the future imperial capital of Dunwall. This civilization worshipped the Outsider ,inscribed whalebone runes with his mark, and was known to have invaded what would become the city of Bastillian in Serkonos. This ancient civilization collapsed around the 9th century for unknown reasons, and their ruins were only rediscovered in the year 1814, deep underneath the city of Dunwall.

It is known that Gristol at some point was a kingdom with various aristocratic factions, such as a duchy that also controlled portions of the Isle of Serkonos in the 17th Century. The dominant aristocratic family of this era, the Morgengaards, waged war on the other Isles during the War of Four Crowns, culminating in a victory for Gristol. The last King of Gristol, Finlay Morgengaard VI, would soon become Emperor of the nascent Empire of the Isles.

The 1700s in Gristol would be consumed by sectarian strife, culminating in the rise of the first and only state religion of the Empire, the Abbey of the Everyman. Though its origins were shrouded in mystery, the first High Overseer, Benjamin Holger would gather like-minded folk into forming the Abbey and purging the Isle of heretics and witches, leading to the Siege of White Cliff. While the battle against heresy was won, in part due to the predictions of the oracle Gwen Horncroft, Holger and one of his confidants, the Overseer John Breton, were slain in battle. John Clavering, Holger's successor, would later go on to consolidate the Abbey as the state religion of the Empire with the support of the reigning Emperor Yefim Olaskir.

By the 1800s, advances in technology stemming from the discovery of Whale Oil as a viable fuel source would also allow Gristol to become the Empire's industrial heartland. Though large swathes of the Isle remained mostly rural, industry was consolidated in the capital city of Dunwall which also placed Gristol at the forefront of technological development, a distinction it held up to the 1850s. Around the same time, tensions between Gristol and the Isle of Morley grew, resulting in the Morley Insurrection. Despite the assassination of Empress Larisa Olaskir, and various attempts by insurrectionists to attack Dunwall, the Morleyans were defeated in part due to Gristol's superior navy.

In 1837, tragedy in Gristol struck in the form of the Rat Plague, a disease spread from the distant Pandyssian Continent which decimated the city of Dunwall and led to a blockade by the other Isles. The assassination of the reigning Empress Jessamine Kaldwin led to the creation of a short-lived regency led by Royal Spymaster Hiram Burrows, who was ultimately deposed following revelations of Burrows' role in the introduction of the plague. Jessamine's daughter, would subsequently rule as Empress, guided by her father and Royal Protector, Corvo Attano.

In 1852, during a short-lived crisis created by the witch and usurper, Delilah Copperspoon, war threatened to break out between Gristol and the Northern Isles of Morley and Tyvia over the legitimacy of Delilah's claim to the throne. The restoration of Empress Emily Kaldwin led to a mending of ties between Gristol and the other isles, and trade relations were restarted across the Empire.

Industry and Trade[]

While the nation's economy was originally based in fishing and whaling, whale oil processing techniques invented by Esmond Roseburrow, and technological advancements pioneered by Anton Sokolov, gave rise to a fully-realized industrial revolution. Gristol is referred to as the "heart of industry" within the Isles,[citation needed] and several major production companies (such as Greaves Lightning Oil) are based there.

The island is mostly rural. Outside of the city, sheep, blood oxen, and gazelle are raised for their hides and meat, and many large mines, owned by various influential families, can be found scattered about the island.[1] Known contents of these mines include silver and a special crystal used to make rat lights. The Pendletons' silver mines, suspected of buying in the slave trafficking, were located near Dunwall,[2] although they eventually dried up sometime after the Rat Plague and closed. A dark variety of granite is also quarried in Gristol and used in construction for buildings in Dunwall.[3]


A hearty folk, fond of sheep pies, fish dishes, and beer, Gristolians are described as "merry" and "hard-working". The Imperial Navy has much prestige among the population, and some families continue the tradition of enlisting at least one boy from each generation.[1]

Dunwall is known for its wide hierarchical class divides, perhaps exacerbated by the Rat Plague. Institutions such as the Rudshore Financial District seemed to guarantee economic stability for regular citizens of Dunwall, but with the coming of the plague, divides between classes and cultures became much wider. The lower classes in Dunwall are notably pragmatic (and superstitious, according to a note by High Artificer Bartholomew, though the source may not be reliable), while the upper echelon, composed largely of hereditary nobility, seems to be based on a culture of excess. Whether these practices can be attributed to other cities within Gristol, or are unique to Dunwall, is unknown.

Additionally, the culture seems to espouse restrictive attitudes toward gender, sexuality, and religion; women are barred from certain occupations and homosexuality is regarded as taboo- at least among Overseers. In addition, adherence to the laws of the Abbey of the Everyman is widely enforced, and the Abbey itself was formed in Gristol during the Siege of White Cliff. The faithful congregate weekly and attend sermons given by Overseers, as well as participating in all major holidays.[1]

The people of Gristol also participate in the Fugue Feast.

International Relations[]

The heart of the Empire, Gristol has historically managed to expand its influence over the Isles due to its powerful navy. It is often said that young boys coming of age often travel to Gristol in order to learn the art of naval combat.[4] This notable strength has been further compounded in recent times through innovations in naval technology, particularly the designs of Anton Sokolov.


Major Cities[]



  • Gristol is the largest isle in the Empire of the Isles.
  • Gristol's army has its barracks in Whitecliff.[5]
  • Gristol is known for its apples and cider.
    • A type of cider found in Karnaca and Dunwall is Old Pattie's Gristol Cider, which is presumably made from Gristol apples as its label prominently features an image of an apple. Whether it is also produced in Gristol or only uses Gristol apples as an ingredient is unknown.
  • Gristol is apparently based on countries of Western Europe, such as England (not all Britain), France, the Low Countries and Germany.[citation needed]
    • The name Gristol bears a great resemblance to the real-life English county and city Bristol as well as the term "grist." The expression "grist for the mill" means "everything can be made useful, or be a source of profit," which is an apt description of the denizens of Gristol.