Daud founded the Whalers some time after his arrival in Dunwall, in 1811. He recruited mercenaries, street kids and refugees, trained them in the arts of stealth and assassination and shared with them some of the powers granted to him by the Outsider. They were united by the desire to cleanse the city of its undesirables and turn a profit in the process. Their targets included criminals, city officials and even aristocrats. In 1829, Daud met Billie Lurk who, after years of training, would become his greatest protégé.
The group's name came from the industrial gas masks they wear to conceal their identity, which are used in whale oil processing plants.. They are separated in three different ranks: novice assassins wearing gray outfits, master assassins wearing dark blue ones, and unique leader assassins such as Daud and Lurk wearing dark red suits. All members make use of the same weapons and masks.
During the rat plague, the Whalers established their base of operations in the Chamber of Commerce of the Rudshore Financial District, left abandoned after the flood devastated the area in 1836. The place offered a strategic and discrete position, even though the Whalers had to chase off the survivors living in its ruins.
After Daud leaves Dunwall, the Whalers splinter, some creating new factions, others turning against each other, and some simply retiring. Thomas stepped up and attempted to keep the group together, recruiting new members from some of the smaller street gangs, but eventually he too disappeared and the remnants of the gang disbanded. In 1851, Zhukov and Galia Fleet, a former Whaler, reform the gang of assassins for a short time, using a whale slaughterhouse in Slaughterhouse Row as their new base of operations.
- Thomas - Scout
Equipment and skills
The Assassins' transversals have a much greater range than Corvo's Blink ability, but whether this state is based on function or practice is unknown. Transversals also seem to work differently, requiring the user to think of the locale instead of seeing it, as revealed in a conversation during The Flooded District. It is also stated that looking at and focusing on the destination while performing a transversal limits the potential of the power. Assassins often use transversals in combat, blinking next to targets and attacking them directly.
Tethering is used to snare and pin targets, and is not limited by physics; tethered targets can be lifted and held in the air, as performed on Corvo during the attack on Empress Jessamine Kaldwin. Though a target is still able to move while tethered, moving against its pull is met with great resistance.
- Much like City Watch Officers, Assassins will often dodge Corvo's sword attacks even after being countered.
- They will frequently try to knock Corvo back in order to make better use of their wristbows, but Blink can be used to minimize this.
- Be careful not to get ambushed when passing Assassin territory. Dark Vision is a helpful ability to locate any possible Assassins lurking in the area. Also, getting to high ground significantly decreases Corvo's chance of being ambushed.
- Assassins will often teleport behind Corvo, or pull him into bad positions through their supernatural abilities. Bend Time is a good way to turn the odds in Corvo's favor.
- It is inadvisable to directly confront groups of Assassins, as their powers make their attacks hard to predict or even block. Even on a high chaos approach, it is advised to single them out before attacking.
- When attacking Assassins with ranged weaponry, it is advised to catch them off-guard, otherwise they will often teleport or dodge, thus making Corvo waste ammunition.
- Assassins are much harder to shake off than normal guards due to their teleportation ability. When playing a low-chaos approach, often sleep darts are the only way to knock them out once alerted.
- If an Assassin is hit with Windblast or a sticky grenade, they will blink, nullifying the damage. However, their mana must recharge afterward, so if Corvo attacks again before their mana recharges, they will not be able to blink in time.
- Unlike Overseers, their masks do not grant them any protection. Thus, Assassins can be killed by a crossbow bolt to the head.
- If tethered, whether by Daud or an Assassin, Corvo can blink away to escape the effects of the ability. Alternatively, he may charge the caster, turning their own ability against them.
- Some Assassins are immune to certain poisons. This is, however, not applicable to the sleep darts utilized by Corvo.
- Although Whalers wear gas masks, they are not immune to the bottles of river krust acid thrown by the Dead Eels.
- The degree to which the Assassins share in Daud's powers is beyond his control, with some of them failing to receive any powers at all.
- If an Assassin leaves the Whalers, their powers will fade over time.
- Assassins do not talk or shout during combat, even while on fire, but do speak upon spotting Corvo or while patrolling.
- The Overseer music box prevents Assassins from performing transversals and tetherings in much the same way it inhibits Corvo's and Daud's magic use.
- The Assassin in-game model recycles an old design that was originally intended for Corvo.
- The Heart has great difficulty learning the secrets of individual Assassins. It mentions that "It is as if there is a cloak around him, and I cannot see through it" and that they have "Secrets so well kept - even I cannot discern the truth".
- According to Harvey Smith, "The Whalers [believe] that Daud [is] absolutely unstoppable, and their powers - extensions of his - [make] them arrogant," meaning that some of them are not as afraid of Corvo as they should be.
- The Whalers are equipped with a poison needle in their gloves, used to end their lives if they are captured and interrogated.
- The filters in the Whalers' mask give the air a "rubbery, chalky smell", and the masks are rather hot.
- Whalers appear in the Dunwall City Trials challenges Back Alley Brawl and Assassin's Run.
- Timeline in Dishonored: The Dunwall Archives
- Dishonored: The Corroded Man, p. 33
- The Whalers
- Martha's Journal
- Dishonored: The Corroded Man, p. 34
- Dishonored: The Corroded Man, p. 62
- Dishonored: The Corroded Man, p. 71
- Report to Daud
- The Brigmore Job
- Daud's Journal: Billie Lurk
- Dishonored: The Corroded Man, p. 38
- The Heart Quotes: Whalers
- Whaler Assassin Interrogation
- Dishonored: The Corroded Man, p. 68
Enemies in Dishonored
Characters in The Knife of Dunwall
Characters in The Brigmore Witches
Annabelle • Arnold Timsh • Corporal Hamrick • Corvo Attano • Evie • Lucas Penroe • Maggot Montaine • Melina • Naria • Overseer Pradclif • Private Morris • Skinflint • The Dressmaker • Tilda • Watch Officer Thorpe