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I know a great deal, bodyguard. I recognize those marks on your hand. A gift from your friend, the one who talks to you in the dark. Talks to you when you visit his shrines. I've visited those shrines too.
~ Daud to a captured Corvo.


And now we fight the duel that no two others could fight!
~ Daud should Corvo decide to fight him.


Daud, also known as The Knife of Dunwall, is one of the primary antagonists of the 2012 videogame Dishonored and the protagonist of the second and third DLC of the same game. He returns as a supporting character in Dishonored: Death of the Outsider.

Daud is the leader of the assasin group The Whalers and responsible for the death of Empress Jessamine Kaldwin. By killing her, he set in motion the events of the game. Like the game's protagonist, Daud is one of the Outsider's chosen and possesses magical powers. However, Daud regrets his role in killing the Empress and plunging the Empire into chaos and - while the former Royal Protector Corvo Attano sets out to avenge Jessamine and to free her daughter Emily - Daud redeems himself by saving Emily from the influence of the evil witch Delilah.

He is voiced by Michael Madsen, who is known for his portrayal of Budd and Grouch Douglas.

Biography

Past

Daud's mother is rumored to have been a witch marked by the Outsider. Thinking back, however, Daud reminds that she was simply talented in creating and using potions, poisons and hallucinogens.

Having been conceived on a pirate ship his mother was a captive on, Daud was born in Serkonos, the capital of Karnaca. Daud was eventually captured by a man who kidnapped him from the schoolyard. This was because Daud had quick hands and was quite agile. At the age of sixteen, Daud arrived at Dunwall where he became infamous for  "moving among the shopkeepers and City Watch officers of Dunwall like a reaper through wheat". Daud did not remain in Dunwall but traveled the Isles, seeking and finding Outsider shrines during his journey. Eventually, daud was marked by the Outsider, gaining supernatural powers in the process.

Daud's new skills made him even more talented and Daud became known as a efficient and infamous assassin. Now, he was not only feared for his skills but for his magic as well. Daud's Outsider mark allowed him to teleport and bend time, as well as pulling far-away objects towards him. Daud also became resistant to most poisons and sedatives. By using a power known as Arcane Bond, Daud was also able to share his powers with others. The strength of these powers varied on the person, however, the powers of all of them were far weaker than Daud's. Amassing those he shared his powers with, Daud created his own group of supernatural assassins - the Whalers. At one night, while travelling through Dunwall, Daud realized that he was being followed. He confronted the pursuer who was revealed to be a street urchin called Billie Lurk. Daud took in Billie, shared his powers with her and started to train her personally until she became his second-in-command and his most trusted lieutenant.

The Whalers are often employed by Royal Spymaster Hiram Burrows to deal with nuissances. During the plague, Daud moves the Whalers' headquarter to the now abandoned Rushore Chamber of Commerce in the Flooded District.

Murdering the Empress

Jessamine Death

Daud kills the Empress

Daud is hired by the Royal Spymaster, Hiram Burrows, to assassinate Empress Jessamine Kaldwin and to kidnap her daughter Emily. Successfully infiltrating the palace, he sends two of his Whalers to attack the Empress, who is accompanied by the game's protagonist and Royal Protector Corvo Attano. Corvo manages to fend off the assassins, but after they retreat Daud intervenes personally. One of his assassins immobilizes Corvo and Daud stabs Empress Jessamine into the stomach, killing her. The other assassin then grabs Emily and both flee from the scene, leaving Corvo behind with the Empresses corpse. Moments later, Burrows, Overseer Campbell and Royal guards arrive and, using the oppurtunity, Burrows has Corvo arrested for the murder and Emily's disappearance.

However, Corvo breaks out and, now determined to avenge the Empress, sets out to kill Burrows and his associates. To this end, he allies himself with Admiral Havelock, who leads the rebels opposing Burrows who has been named Lord Regent.

Against the Brigmore Witches

After the death of Jessamine Kaldwin and the seeming downfall of the entire Empire, Daud soon feels guilt about what he has done and bitterly regrets the part he played in the events. While Corvo, who has been freed from Coldrige Prison by the Loyalist Conspiracy, is eliminating the allies of the Lord Regent throughout Dunwall and tries to find Emily, Daud is visited by the Outsider who, despite being a neutral observer in the events of the living, actually gives Daud the opportunity to alter the coming events and to redeem himself. The Outsider gives Daud "one last gift" - the name Delilah. Daud starts using the Whaler's influences and resources to find out who or what Delilah is supposed to be. Eventually, Billie Lurk informs him that a whaling ship owned by Bundry Rothwild is named Delilah. Daud investigates Rothwild and his slaughterhouse and learns that Rothwild bought the Delilah from Barrister Arnold Timsh.

Daud meets up and makes a deal with the niece of Timsh, with whom Timsh recently had a falling out. Daud infiltrates Timsh's estate where he learns that Timsh named the ship after Delilah Copperspoon, a painter Timsh had been infatuated with. Daud learns that Delilah seems to be a witch of the Brigmore Clan. Before he can learn more, however, he is informed by one of his assassins, Thomas, that a group of Overseers led by Overseer Hume has attacked their headquarters in the Flooded District and has captured most of the Whalers. Thus, Daud is forced to stop his pursuit of Delilah and heads back to the Flooded District to save his whalers. After eliminating the threat of the Overseers, Daud learns from them that Hume's force was only a vanguard of a bigger Overseer attack. This information allows Daud to prepare for the real attack and fend off the invaders.

After the dust has settled, Daud wonders why Hume's men have separated from the main force and realizes that they had been tipped off. At that moment, Delilah Copperspoon suddenly appears on a ledge above him. Furthermore, Billie Lurk reveals herself to be a traitor who had been in league with Delilah from the start. Lurk was also the one to tip off Hume. Billie reveals that she had always thought that both of them knew that it would eventually come to this - her succeeding him. Seeing Daud's regret over the Empress' assassination as weakness, Billie had thought that the moment had come.

Depending on the chaos level of Daud, Billie either surrenders to Daud, who then has to choose between sparing or killing her, or outright challenges him to a duel which Daud wins. Canonically, Daud spares Lurk who immediately leaves Dunwall and heads to Karnaca to start a new life as Meagan Foster. After Billie has left, Delilah muses about the battle between the two. She states that she will leave Daud alive for the sake of her coven sisters, who greatly admire him. However, she threatens to kill him gruesomely should he keep investigating her. Delilah then teleports away.

His status as leader unchallenged, Daud appoints Thomas as his new second-in-command and makes preparations to confront Delilah. As the headquarter of the Brigmore witches is located in the old Brigmore Manor upriver, Daud needs a smuggler to take him upriver through the blockade. He decides to make a deal with Lizzie Stride, leader of the Dead Eels gang and owner of the ship Undine, but Lizzie had recently been betrayed by Edgar Wakefield and has been imprisoned at Coldridge Prison. Thus, Daud has to infiltrate Coldridge Prison in order to find and free Lizzie. Having been freed by Daud, Lizzie agrees to ferry him to Brigmore Mansion if he assists her in retaking her gang from Wakefield. Daud eliminates Wakefield for her and Lizzie takes back her gang. After Daud has returned the Undines engine coil from a rivaling gang, Lizzie stays true to her word and delivers Daud to Brigmore Manor.

While infiltrating the witches' manor, Daud learns the plan of Delilah. Delilah plans to carry out a ritual in the Void which would allow her to possess the body of Emily Kaldwin who has meanwhile been saved by Corvo Attano. This would basically rip Emily's mind and conscience out of her body and would allow Delilah to secretly rule the Empire as Empress Emily Kaldwin. Daud confronts Delilah in the Void and, depending on the player's choice, either kills her or banishes her into the Void - thus saving Emily from a gruesome fate.

Confrontation with Corvo

Stand down! This is my fight! ... I've waited for this. Let's see if the Outsider will save your life or mine...
~ Daud realizes that Corvo is sparing him


DaudBattle

Daud fights Corvo

Soon after, Corvo Attano is betrayed by Admiral Havelock, the leader of the Loyalists. By help of his loyal shipper Samuel, Corvo survives and is marooned in the Flooded District, where he is captured by Daud's assassins.

Corvo is brought before Daud, who takes Corvo's weapons from him and then knocks him out, intending to sell him to Havelock for a large bounty. Corvo eventually regains consciousness in Daud's headquarters, where he manages to escape from his cell. Soon after, one of Daud's men appears to inform him of the break-out. Daud correctly surmises that Corvo is bound for the Commerce Building to confront him, and waits for the man's arrival, recording an audiograph castigating Hiram Burrows and lamenting his own part in the murder of the Empress.

The player can now decide whether to face Daud or to simply sneak past him. If he choses to engage Daud, Daud's reaction depends on the player's chaos level. On high chaos, Daud's assassins join the fight, on low chaos he forbids them from interfering and fights Corvo in a fair duel. During the battle, Daud muses whether the Outsider will save Corvo or Daud, and he also asks Corvo for whom he is fighting - his dead Empress or his allies who poisoned and betrayed him. Eventually, Daud is defeated and retreats to a nearby ruined buiding. When Corvo approaches him, three of Daud's whalers confront him. In high chaos, they fight Corvo but on low chaos, Daud sends them away as he claims that this is not their business.

DaudSpare

Daud asks for his life

Wounded, he surprised Corvo by asking him to spare his life. Daud reveals that when he killed the Empress, something inside him broke. Daud reveals that he has enough of killing and now, he only wants to leave this cursed city. He also bitterly reflects on his search for the Outsider's shrines and remembers the Outsider whispering that Daud will change things and that he was important. He claims that it made him feel important but that he now doesn't even know what he accomplished. Daud concludes that his life is in Corvo's hands and asks Corvo to make his choice. When Corvo lowers his blade, Daud is surprised and calls it extraordinary that Corvo has decided to spare him. As Corvo turns around to leave, Daud teleports away and leaves Dunwall in search of a new quest. Having lost his faith in the Outsider and feeling that the Outsider is responsible for all the chaos in the Empire by granting his powers to people and then allowing them to abuse it, Daud decides to kill the Outsider.

Hunting the Outsider

Fifteen years later, either Corvo or Emily can find an audiograph recorded by Daud in which Daud talks about defeating Delilah to save Emily. Though this, Emily or Corvo learn that Emily has actually been saved by the man who once abducted her. At the end of the game, Meagan Foster returns to her identity of Billie Lurk and decides to seek out Daud - the person closest to family she ever knew.

DaudIsFreed

Daud is freed by Lurk

In the meantime, Daud has reached Karnaca. Resenting the Outsider for the chaos his mark created, he has made it his destiny to kill the "Black-Eyed Bastard" himself in order to prevent further chaos. However, in his attempt, he has been captured by the Eyeless cult who are able to hold him in their hideout in the Albarca Baths. There, they have Daud captured in a special device that nullifies his magical powers. In the following months, Daud quickly becomes the main attraction in the Albarca Baths where pit fights take place. Brave thugs are pitted against Daud who, under the moniker of "The Black Magic Brute" defeats every single one of them.

Eventually, Billie Lurk reaches Albarca Baths and is able to deactivate the decive supressing Daud's magic. Realizing this, Daud immediately teleports out of the chamber and takes out every surviving Eyeless member in the building (he kills them during high chaos; he merely chokes them unconscious in low chaos). He then teleports right in front of Lurk and reveals to her that he always knew that she would seek him out once day, although he did not expect their reunion to happen like this. He states that they need to find a private place to talk and Billie offers her ship, the Dreadful Wale. Daud accepts this invitation and also implies that he needs her help. Billie asks if they are going to work together like old times and Daud confirms that they need to take out a final target - the Outsider himself.

DaudSendsBilly

Daud sends Billie to fulfil his mission

While Daud regenerates onboard the Dreadfuly Wale, Lurk is assaulted by the Outsider who grants her some occult powers. When Lurk then meets Daud, he recognizes her mangled arm and eye and immediately knows that the Outsider did this. Lurk claims that while the Outsider did not grant her his mark, he still gave her some powers. Daud warns her that the Outsider's gifts come with a price. In the following conversation, Daud reveals to Lurk that he is slowly dying as his connection to the Void is fading. He claims that they need to hurry if he is to see their plan through and informs Billie that he found a way of killing the Outsider: They need an old, occult knife that is currently in possession of the Eyeless cult. Billie heads out for a recon mission and Daud thanks her for her help, since he could not do it without her.

After Billie returns with information on the twin-bladed knife, she finds Daud in a seat onboard the deck of the Dreadful Wale. He tells her that he feels his death approaching and that he will not live much longer. Despite this, he still offers Billie his insight on how she can best infiltrate Dolores Michaels' Bank, where the knife is hidden. When Daud suddenly starts coughing, Billie is worried and asks him if he wants her to stay. Daud politely refuses the offer. Instead, he tasks Billie with stealing the knife and killing the Outsider, claiming that he is completely convinced that Billie is skilled enough to make it happen.

DaudFreesOutsider

Daud frees the Outsider

While Billie is stealing the knife, Daud dies aboard the Dreaful Wale. When Billie returns and finds his body, she burns the ship as a funeral pyre for her deceased mentor. After Daud's death, he is sent to the Void where his spirit wanders the Ritual Hold - the place where the Outsider's mortal body resides. Eventually, Billie manages to enter the Void with the twin-bladed knife and finds the Ritual Hold. She speaks to Daud's spirit and reveals to him that she succeeded in her mission. This gives Daud back enough of his personality for him to regain his identity. He reveals to Billie that in his spirit form, he cannot kill the Outsider so it falls to Billie to do it. Billie can now either use the knife to kill the Outsider or convince Daud to free the Outsider from the Void, making him mortal once more and preventing him from using his god-powers ever again.

If Billie chooses the latter part, she actually manages Daud to support her decision. In order to free the Outsider, Daud whispers the name of the formerly-human Outsider into his ears, turning him human again. As the Outsider is freed from his prison in the Void, Daud's spirit is freed as well. Instead of being tortured to wander the Void for all existance, Daud - and all other spirits - are instead rewarded with nonexistance. As his body slowly desintegrates, Daud says his farewell to Billie for the last time and then vanishes.

Gallery

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           Dishonored Villains


Dishonored
High Overseer Campbell | Warfare Overseers | Morgan and Custis Pendleton | Lady Boyle | Morris Sullivan | Hiram Burrows | The Whalers | Daud | Granny Rags | Treavor Pendleton | Teague Martin | Admiral Havelock

The Knife of Dunwall / The Brigmore Witches
Bundry Rothwild | Arnold Timsh | Overseer Hume | Billie Lurk | Edgar Wakefield | Brigmore Witches | Delilah Copperspoon

Dishonored 2
Mortimer Ramsey | Crown Killer | Kirin Jindosh | Brigmore Witches | Breanna Ashworth | Paolo | Warfare Overseers | Luca Abele | Delilah Copperspoon

Dishonored: Death of the Outsider
Eyeless Gang | Jeanette Lee | Shan Yun | Ivan Jacobi | Dolores Michaels | Warfare Overseers | Overseer Cardoza | Oracular Order | Sister Rosewyn | Cult of the Outsider