Not sure what made me play Dishonored first…I had bought two games: Dishonored GOTY edition, and the same edition in Tomb Raider. I think the darker world and the lure of something new (since I’d played Tomb Raider when it first debuted on the original Playstation) made the choice for me. And once Dishonored got inside my 360, I didn’t take it out for almost a month.
The Lore, the World, the characters – everything about Dishonored resonated with me. Several aspects mirror (since my novel will be considered Steampunk also) what I have planned for an original story – but only in tone, not content 😉 I love the Lovecraftian feel, and gloomy atmosphere. The style of the game drew me in. An oil painting come to life.
Anyway, I enjoyed my dreary stay in Dunwall so much I decided to write a fanfic, and get myself motivated again with writing in general. Deadlines are my bane, but I need to get over it and write – no matter what.
I chose the worst ending. Typical me. If it’s not bleeding or dying or sobbing in despair I get bored. However, not all is gloom and doom with this fic. There will be some moments of almost happiness. And some “stress relief” later on. Not with the Outsider though. He’s too complex for that sort of thing. 😉
Death Throes of an Empire: my interpretation of this line is the death throes of the “Present Empire” which yes, dies in this ending because of all the chaos Corvo incited. It was already crumbling (as the Outsider mentions) between the Plague, Overseers, Nobles, Gangs, City Watchman, Guardsman, and the general people – it was a mess to begin with. Hence why Corvo said screw it and headed home (as mentioned in the game – though I chose Serkonos because it made sense, not because the game states this.) after Emily dies.
I don’t lead in (never lead in) with a bunch of exposition and backstory. You present the setting, character and event in real time. Readers aren’t stupid. Okay, most aren’t.
The first few sentences state clearly, where Corvo is, what he’s about to do, and where he’s doing it. And the very first sentence sets the tone. A reckoning had begun…meaning the norm was about to change in a big way. And then his orders: Leave none alive. Pretty much spell it out that the Duke is fed up with “something” – which we learn later in the chapter, is the kidnappings of citizens, and the Abbey’s increasing fanaticism.
Next chapter will spell that out even more, as another character mentions the Duke’s constant criticism of the Abby and Empire. What isn’t spelled out in detail is this puppet Emperor, and New Dunwall when Corvo is pining over the loss of Piero’s remedies. This is left deliberately vague, but is clear in the fact that yes, there’s still an Empire, and no it’s not quite as we left it. The Overseers have a firm hold on the Monarchy in wake of Dunwall’s destruction, and containment of the plague (which again these details will be revealed in later chapters. Especially The Plague Wall which keeps what’s left of Dunwall contained.)
I mention Fugue Feast. It’s the end of it. I mention Oracles and Overseers in the same place – and regarding this religion’s misogynistic views, and the fact the Overseer’s would have Abbey’s everywhere (Abbey = church in my mind) It’s not hard to deduce Oracles would occupy the same Abbey – and in particular – at the time of the Fugue Feast. That’s the entire point of the festival anyway: Fuck around, do what you want for however long the Overseers allow it. And it’s not hard to fathom an Abbey would be located in Serkonos’s capital – in addition to the Oracular order. That, and the Oracles are blind. They would feasibly need assistance. Who else but Overseers?
And it’s implied that the Duke chose the end of the Fugue Feast to strike because the Overseers would be partying the hardest.
As for the Fugue Feast itself, it’s equivalent to Mardi Gras or a carnival. It is not THE PURGE where anyone can run around killing people and it’s “okay”. Otherwise no one would leave their homes – and I know I wouldn’t be partying anywhere if someone could slit my throat and not be held accountable.
And the High Overseer signaling the hymn of atonement: this is vague in the game books. No info is given for when this ceremony takes place, where it takes place, or how it takes place. Therefore, I took liberties with the timing and aftermath. Here, Fairchild has just signaled the end of the Fugue Feast, and the next morning begins the new year. Everything is winding down. People are passed out.
There’s nothing that states the new year takes place right after the hymn. I feel there would be some downtime – like any holiday.
And speaking of Fairchild. He was unstable. I didn’t come out and say: Fairchild is unstable. I showed his instability: His capricious mood swings, his fanatical views, his love of torture and molesting – those were all signs that yes, Fairchild was a bad man. He didn’t deserve empathy. He deserved what Corvo did to him. But why was Fairchild High Overseer when clearly he was insane?
He wasn’t High Overseer. He was a decoy. And more on that next chapter.
Also, Samuel. I played Corvo on Medium Chaos. Sam punted his ass out of the boat, but didn’t light up the flare. Corvo is still resentful. Hence, why he tells Sam’s “ghost” in his head to shut up. Sam in the game was Corvo’s judgment (the very meaning of Samuel’s name) and he ends up being that little voice in Corvo’s head that tells him to knock it off. Corvo usually doesn’t listen.
Emily. Corvo mentions her grave, and the mask he left behind when he sets the current mask on Fairchild’s face. It’s been five years. No, he isn’t over it, and it’s stated earlier when he’s floating in the Void. How will he atone? This is the question that will be haunting Corvo for most of the story.
The Outsider: He has a little cameo here as the voice/force that keeps Corvo from dying. Literally. This may have been more subtle than I wanted, but easily rectified with a bit of dialogue in future chapters when the Outsider and Corvo finally have a “chat”. Corvo is rather unappreciative though, even when he finds out the Outsider nudged a few others to “rescue him”.
As for pairings, it’s a non-issue. Corvo and Daud, Corvo and the Outsider. They don’t happen overnight, nor do they happen for no reason. Like life, relationships take unexpected turns, and the Corvo of my story states it quite simply: “I fall in love with people, not genders.” There’s nothing to defend because nothing is stated about sexuality for any of these characters – and even if there WERE, it wouldn’t matter. It’s fanfic.
A little side note regarding the Outsider and Corvo: their relationship (or lack thereof) deals with the darker themes of the story, and is the result of poorly made choices by Corvo. In the end, Corvo has no one to blame but himself.