[Excerpt from an Overseer's covert field report]
For over a year now, I have lived away from the Abbey, without the company of my Overseer brethren or the guidance of the blind sisters of the Oracular Order. Days have passed with me sleeping in the dens of cut-purses, murderers and worse, and the nights have seen me prowling through the worst alleys and wretched corners of Dunwall. I have taken my meals with killers. At times I have ventured beyond the city walls, meeting in forgotten graveyards and the outlying ruins frequented by those of ill means.
My beard has grown long and I wear the weathered clothing and bits of boiled leather favored by the Bottle Street and Hatter gangs, and by those rough men and women who make their trade knifing others in return for coin. My hands have run red with blood, it's true, but I have selected my targets with care, choosing among those criminals and heretics who were not fit to live, executing them justly and using their deaths as a means of building my reputation. So far this trick has allowed me to make my name among my murderous colleagues, without taking the lives of the innocent.
My goal is singular: I must impress the assassin named Daud in order to get close to him.
Of all of the practitioners of black magic we have tracked, none concern the Abbey as much as Daud. It is said that his mother was a witch from one of the archipelagos off the Pandyssian coast, taken captive by pirates venturing far from the Isles. According the legend, by the time the ship returned, the captain was dead and the witch controlled the crew, with Daud still a shadow in her belly.
The earliest stories tell of a gang-killer without mercy, moving among the shop keepers and City Watch officers of Dunwall like a reaper through wheat. Then a period of silence followed; years we now believe he spent traveling the Isles, studying anatomy and the occult in the great halls of learning and in hidden basements frequented by fellow dabblers in the forbidden arts. Daud is even purported to have spent a winter in the Academy of Natural Philosophy itself. And for a time, before a schism developed, he counted the Brigmore Witches among his allies. All the while, he honed his craft, and it is during this time that we believe he began to consort with the Outsider.
New reports emerged of a dusky-skinned assassin, paid by the elite to eliminate their rivals in Dunwall and in the other major cities across the Isles. Those who saw him and lived numbered in the handful, but all of them reported something strange. He appeared and vanished like smoke. From a nearby rooftop, he gestured and a noble woman stumbled from her balcony, falling to her doom on the cobblestones below. Most recently, as this new threat of plague has risen in Dunwall, Daud has been seen leading a gang of men in dark leather, dressed as factory whalers in their vapor masks. They seem loyal beyond comprehension for one so unworthy, leading me to wonder if some of his magic is dedicated to lulling their minds, enslaving them.
Only a month ago, one young girl claims to have come upon a strange scene. Carrying a bottle of milk home to her crippled brother, she was taking a shortcut through the Tailors' District. In a narrow street, she passed beneath a window and heard unusual sounds from within. Pushing aside the ratty curtain, the girl saw into an abandoned apartment, used by miscreants for gambling and trading habber weed. An occult shrine had been erected against the far wall, which she recognized from the teachings given by her local Overseer. A man she described as resembling Daud was kneeling before the shrine muttering to an unseen spirit as if in argument. He took a carving, made of pale bone, from the altar before him and the lights all went out in a gush of unclean wind. Quiet as a field mouse, she slipped away, running until she reached her home.
There can be no doubt. Daud is an agent of the Outsider and must die, for there is no limit to the evil this man might do. This is my solemn oath and the great purpose of my life. Until Daud is dead and his corruption has been purged from the world, I will continue to move among the depraved, winding my way toward him. I will not drop my guise or don my Overseer's mask again until Daud breathes no more.
- In Dishonored, this book can be found in Corvo Attano's room in the Hound Pits Pub after his first encounter of the Outsider. It is only available if the pre-order content is activated.
- In The Corroded Man, the last sentence of the first paragraph is quoted at the beginning of Chapter 2.
- In The Return of Daud, the fifth paragraph is quoted at the beginning of Chapter 17, and the sixth is read to Daud by Maximilian Norcross within the chapter.