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The Hand That Feeds

The boy looking at his only friend.

The "Lonely Rat Boy" is a nameless young child who lived in Dunwall a few years prior to the events of Dishonored, and the focal character of the second chapter of The Tales from Dunwall, The Hand that Feeds. His tragic story was turned into a tale widespread across the Isles.


Knowing only fear and loneliness, the boy was severely abused by adults and older children and used the alleyways to avoid any unwanted confrontation. His only friend was a white rat he kept in his pocket. In 1834, the boy witnessed and was shocked by the suicide of Esmond Roseburrow after peering into the man's office from a window.[1]

During the first year of the Rat Plague in 1835, he met the Outsider at a shrine in a dark alley, and the strange entity granted him supernatural abilities by branding the child with his mark. With his newfound abilities, his fear subsided and he became confident enough to confront his tormentors, calling forth a large swarm of rats to devour them. However, he got bitten by one of the rats and contracted the plague, leading to his inevitable death.

Despite the painful circumstances of his demise, weeping blood from his eyes, the agonized boy crawled back to the shrine. His last wish was to thank the Outsider for allowing him to live the short remainder of his life without fear.[1]


The boy's story was recorded and published as a tale and became widespread across the Empire. Fifteen years later, people still remember and pass on his story, among them amateurs of the occult such as the Cult of the Outsider and even the rats themselves.[2] The Serkonan painter Eleuterio Cienfuegos pictured the boy and his rat as part of his series of paintings on the Void.


  • According to developer Harvey Smith, the Outsider granted his powers to the boy because he was "pivotal (or potentially pivotal) to history" and was "in a position to affect many people or major events."[citation needed]
  • Piero Joplin received visions of the boy's horrible death several nights before he started to craft Corvo's mask.[3]