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Returning Home is the prologue of Dishonored and serves as an introductory mission. It takes place six months before the main events of the game, when Corvo Attano returns to Dunwall from a trip around the Isles.


You have just returned from a journey of several months, visiting the other nations in the Empire to ask for aid in dealing with the Rat Plague. You must deliver their diplomatic response to the Empress, whom you serve as Lord Protector.

Mission Details


Sokolov painting High Overseer Campbell.

Arriving at Dunwall Tower by boat with Geoff Curnow, Corvo briefly hears about the worsening state of affairs in Dunwall as they ascend through the waterlock to the tower grounds. Upon disembarking, Corvo is tasked with delivering a report to Empress Jessamine Kaldwin, who is waiting in the gazebo.

He is greeted by the Empress' daughter and heiress, Emily Kaldwin. Corvo also greets Anton Sokolov and Thaddeus Campbell in the courtyard, where Sokolov is painting Campbell's portrait.


The Empress reading the report.

When Corvo arrives at the gazebo, he overhears a brief argument between the Empress and Royal Spymaster Hiram Burrows before Burrows departs. As Burrows passes by, he notes that Corvo has returned two days earlier than expected. Burrows then takes the guards with him as he leaves, stating that the Empress and Corvo should be left alone. 

Corvo then delivers his report to the Empress, which explains that the other nations in the Empire plan to blockade Dunwall until the rat plague has passed. She is distressed by this news, and is therefore unaware for several minutes that the guards have vanished.


Daud murdering the Empress.

Assassins suddenly appear, blinking from a nearby rooftop to the gazebo. Corvo fights them off, but is taken by surprise by a second wave and immobilized. He watches helplessly as Daud murders the Empress and the assassins vanish with Emily.

In her dying moments, the Empress asks Corvo to find Emily, saying, "You're the only one who'll know what to do." Burrows, Campbell, and two guards rush to the scene and, finding Corvo holding the Empress' body, accuse him of murder. Corvo is then knocked unconscious and taken to Coldridge Prison.

Side Objectives

  • When Corvo arrives at the tower, he can choose to play hide-and-seek with Emily before delivering his message to the Empress. This objective acts as a tutorial for the game's leaning and stealth-mode functions, so that they may be immediately utilized in the next mission, where they are extremely useful.
    • If Corvo chooses to leave the area by approaching the stairs back up to where Sokolov is working, the objective will fail.


  • If Corvo desires, he has the option of altering Sokolov's portrait of Campbell by removing the decanter of cider beside the High Overseer. The completed painting can be found during the mission High Overseer Campbell.
    • Canonically, Corvo does not remove the cider, as the painting can be found with the cider in Dishonored 2.
  • If Corvo stands in front of Sokolov as he paints, the painter will quit, frustrated by both Campbell and Corvo.
  • If Corvo manages to turn any of the guards hostile, he will be convicted of committing a capital offense, and the game will end.
  • If Corvo manages to access areas of the mission he is not supposed to be able to get to, the guards there will rudely tell him to move along, while the guards in areas he can access will politely welcome him home.
  • Canonically, Corvo chose to play hide and seek with Emily.[1]