- "I grew up in Serkonos. With tales of magic. Witchcraft. The influence of the Outsider-- I don't believe in such things. I believe in order and authority. In reason over superstition."
- —Martha Cottings
Martha Cottings is a City Watch Officer introduced in the first issue of the Dishonored: The Wyrmwood Deceit and appears later in Dishonored: The Veiled Terror. She was born in a town outside Cullero in Serkonos.
She is a member of the City Watch of Dunwall and is one of a group of elite officers and guards under lieutenant Alexi Mayhew. Of her fellows, she is considerably well trained, impressing the Royal Protector with her greater focus and ability to temper her reaction with intelligence despite her smaller, slighter size.
The Wyrmwood Deceit
During the events of The Wyrmwood Deceit, Cottings manages to impress Corvo Attano with her fighting skills and has already come to the attention of Alexi.
When Corvo goes to deal with exotic and forbidden weaponry smuggled in by the Roaring Boys Gang at the Old Port District, Cottings and a handful of others arrive to lend him aid once the gang detects him. During the course of the battle, the Big Lad shows up, and it is Cottings who is able to defeat him. Afterwards, she is tasked by Corvo in tracing the contraband back to its source while he pursues another matter.
Cottings starts her investigation by looking for an unwilling informant, Osric. After tracking him down and interrogating him on the contraband operation, she obtains the address of Titus Grindle's shop in Wyrmwood Way, a place frequented by anyone in Dunwall who dabbles in alchemy and the dark arts.
There, she finds the owner dead and his body placed on a chair, but she is ambushed by an unknown creature coming out from a blank painting. Dominating her fear, she is able to defeat it by firing at the painting's frame while the creature starts strangling her. Her victory is short-lived with the realization that her investigation lead is dead.
Twenty minutes after the attack, Cottings realizes that Corvo is the only one she can ask as he might be the only person who can tell her anything more about the supernatural creature. However, she soon remembers about the existence of the heretic cells at Coldridge Prison, and departs for there to interrogate Esmerelda Duggins. She brings part of the painting's canvas, a part with a strange mark on, and Duggins tells her of a building in Dunwall that she should attend to next.
The building turns out to be a trap, killing two guards with burning whale oil and injuring some more. Cottings manages to prevent a third being killed by entering the building herself, in defiance of Mayhew's direct order. Mayhew then orders Cotting to return home, not realising that Dapper Rodney and Sly Harold are eavesdropping on the conversation.
Harold and Rodney attempt to ambush Cottings, but she notices that they are following her and ambushes them instead.
After explaining the purpose of the contraband operation to Cottings, Rodney and Harold reveal that they pay the weapon supplier with bone charms. Cottings is distracted by the bone charm and Rodney and Harold see their chance and attack her. Cottings kills Rodney with a bullet to the head, but is stabbed by Harold in revenge. She shoots Harold, fatally wounding him. He tells Cottings that witches provide the weapons and she can find them at Wyrmwood Way. He also hints that Corvo is in danger.
Despite knowing that she should be in the infirmary, Cottings pushes through the pain to find Corvo. She and ends up back on Wyrmwood Way, where three robbers assault her. Griz steps in and scares off the robbers, then carries an unconscious Cottings back to his mistress's mansion.
At the mansion, a witch begins to paint a picture of Cottings, intending to create a duplicate of her to send back in her stead to use as a spy for Delilah Copperspoon. Realizing that she had to be stopped, Cottings puts her last energy into throwing the knife that Harold stabbed her with at the witch. Griz jumps in front of the knife to intercept it, but it ruptures a bottle of whale oil, exploding and burning down the mansion, killing Griz and the witch. During the inferno, time stops, and Billie Lurk steps out of a portal, taking Cottings, who suddenly appears to be healthy again, to "another time".
The Veiled Terror
Some time after being rescued by Billie, Cottings infiltrated the Leviathan Company. She was assigned as a guard in the Leviathan Causeway project in Alba. Cottings was present when Billie was being arrested by King Briam and a detachment of Leviathan guards. Cottings, however, helped Billie by holding her own boss, Miles Severin, as hostage. The stand-off was disrupted by the appearance of a shadowy creature, which killed many guards, kidnapped the King, and stole Billie's Twin-bladed Knife. Cottings was among the few survivors left in the wake of the creature.
Cottings once again rescued Billie after she was knocked out from a massive voidrite explosion, and also found the Twin-bladed Knife. She piloted an airship, taking Billie back to Dunwall to meet with Empress Emily Kaldwin. She explained that during the encounter with the Wyrmwood Witch and Griz years ago, she was actually rescued by another Bille who came from the future. The present-Billie then asked Cottings when and where she can go to find her.
- Unlike her fellows, she never berates Corvo for his age; instead she seems respectful of his skill and experience, often asking his advice in situations.
- Cottings is the first female member of the City Watch introduced in the franchise.
Characters in Dishonored: The Wyrmwood Deceit