Dishonored Lore: The Outsider


hello everyone our topic this week was

requested by the outsider and was

something of an egocentric request as

we'll be going over the outsider himself

from the Dishonored series okay so

before getting into the outsider himself

we need to explain the void as he is

heavily attached to it in the world of

the dishonored series the void is a

strange mixture of place and concept on

the one hand according to the outsider

himself the void is an old strange thing

that is capable of watching everyone in

the world from within their very selves

on the other hand the void is also a

physical location with the outside are

often pulling the player into a space

within the void to talk throughout the

course of the two games inferring that

the void is both an aspect of reality or

the people in it and a physical piece of

that reality at the same time as far as

the void as a location is concerned it

is a predominantly empty ambiguously lit

space with floating stone islands making

up all known terrain in the void though

the physical exactitude zuv what is seen

in the void are said to be influenced by

those who see it with the terrain often

having context list images related to

current in-game events being displayed a

location a person a still of an event

etc along those same lines it is worth

noting that the ambient background of

the void is depicted very differently in

Dishonored 1 & 2 with the great expanse

of nothing being a dully lit blue in the

first game almost as if it were in a

bubble underwater well in the second

game the void is darker and more grey

whether this is simply a design choice a

reflection of the difference in the

protagonists states of mind between

games 1 & 2 or related to events

regarding the outsider himself is

unknown as a final but important note

the void is also as far as the players

shown the source of all magic within the

dishonored games the outsider is for

lack of any better term the avatar of

the void the void either has at least a

modicum of sentience or perhaps some

symbols have an active

we'll and according to the series

creators the void craves the existence

of a representational god-like entity in

this case the outsider for the record we

tend to scowl for the term God when used

in most media because the characters in

question tend to be incredibly mortal

and nowhere near powerful enough to

qualify as gods at least in our opinions

for a simple example the summons from

Final Fantasy 15 as referenced in our

hardened video two weeks ago are

considered gods in that reality despite

the fact that two of them have been

slain one by mortal hands and one was

enslaved by a mere mortal keeping that

opinion in mind the outsider is probably

the god-like entity most deserving of

the title that we have personally

encountered in a very long time from his

place within the void the outsider can

look at events taking place throughout

the world and inferences are made that

he can also peer through time however

time is very fluid in this reality

history is written only by the choices

and actions of the people living their

lives as such while intelligent the

outsider is not shown to be omniscient

as he will regularly express his

surprise or lack thereof concerning the

way the player conducts himself

throughout both games indicating that

while he can foresee at least to a

certain degree future events he is not

capable of parsing the results with 100%


that being said despite his lack of

omniscience the outsider appears to be

the next best thing to omnipotent he

appears to have near complete control

over the void itself can travel from

there to anywhere in the world he can

pull anyone from anywhere into the void

as well it should also be noted that the

void seems to serve as or bleed into a

dream realm as there are multiple

instances of people encountering the

outsider in dreams but there are also

several instances throughout the games

that we know involve the player

physically standing in the void as well

so it's not entirely clear whether or

not the outsider can pull people

physically into the void or only grab

hold of their consciousness he can speak

and interact with the player while

others are nearby without allowing

anyone else to notice him he appears to

be simultaneously aware of all events

occurring in the world at once or at the

very least can watch and/or know almost

anything he desires to know

simply by thinking about it finally and

most obviously for the player the

outsider can grant power to mortals most

commonly by giving them his mark like a

person's interaction with the void the

abilities granted by the mark seemed to

differ from person to person with a core

set of abilities being common to all

users in one form or another but with

most users also bearing unique powers on

top of the standard ones shared by

everyone because these powers are

granted by the outsider and the void it

can be assumed that the outsider can

emulate all the powers seen in the games

and likely more some of those marked by

the outsider can even grant lesser

variations of their powers to others

with more than one faction in the games

having a marked leader and resultantly

common units with a similar suite of

abilities this brings us to what might

be the outsiders only real weakness as

he almost never interacts directly with

the world outside of those he chooses to

mark this originally led us to

hypothesize that his powers while great

had to be used through another immortal

in order to affect the real world

however part of what made that theory

make sense was that to our knowledge no

one has ever born his mark unwillingly

as such the final DLC for Dishonored 2

makes this weakness seem less plausible

as he forces abilities in the form of a

void touched arm and eye on the

protagonist during that DLC despite the

protagonist wanting little to do with

the outsider which brings us to the

defining aspect of the Outsiders

character the outsider is generally

considered a neutral entity spending

most of his time simply watching the

life of mortals and the passage of time

without interfering watching cataloging

remembering and silently judging when he

does interfere he tends to do so with

nudges rather than more overt actions

nearly always acting through

intermediaries whispering ideas to

people in dreams or granting power via

his mark the outsider doesn't gift his

mark to just anyone however there are

numerous cults that exist throughout the

world that revere him hoping for

guidance or power in return for their


but the outsider doesn't care for his

cultists any more than he hates those

who belong to a

the disordered that vilifies him as a

plague on the world he tends to offer

his power only to those he considers

interesting the more intriguing the

individual in question the better and as

far as we can tell the outsiders major

criteria for what makes a person

interesting tends to be the fact that

with or without the outsiders abilities

the person in question is going to play

a pivotal role in history for example in

game the world's equivalent to Einstein

Tesla or the like spends his life

revolutionising the world with his

genius and actively seeks the Outsiders

favor for a taste of his power but fails

to garner the Outsiders interest

conversely of the known mark bearers

across both dishonored games four of

them play major roles in determining the

rulership with a local Empire and at one

point during the first game the outsider

comments that at that time only eight

people in the world for his mark all

indications are that the Outsiders

primary interest in investing mortals

with his power seems to be a curiosity

regarding what people will do when given

power the game employs a high versus low

chaos system to determine how events

proceed which is in layman's terms the

player being bad or good respectively

which is interesting because despite all

official accounts claiming that he is a

truly neutral character the outsider

nearly always seems pleasantly surprised

if the protagonist uses their newfound

abilities judiciously indicating a

slight lean towards preferring the low

chaos approach instead of the high chaos

approach though that apparently nning

could have as much to do with several

lifetimes of experience watching

humanity abuse power as it could with

anything else

in fact the outsiders first introduction

to great power in general and the void

specifically came from just such an

abuse of power 4000 years before the

events of the first dishonored game the

outsider was immortal with a name he was

a street urchin of seemingly little

import but he was picked up by a group

of cultists not unlike those that would

worship Him in later millenia as

previously mentioned the void hungers

for an avatar which means among other

things that the outsider was not the

first god-like entity bound to the void

nor likely will he be the last

numerous other void gods had held the

position before him some were forgotten

others destroyed or slain while still

others were finally consumed by the void

itself because of this four thousand

years ago during the outsiders mortal

lifetime the position of void God was

vacant and the cult found him and

determined that he had all of the

metaphysical characteristics necessary

to become the next avatar of the void as

such they plucked him off the street

made him look nice and then enacted the

ritual that ended with them physically

inside the void and slit the then mortal

Outsiders throat tearing away all living

knowledge of his name granting him

status as avatar of the void and making

the blade used in the ritual the only

known method by which his now otherwise

immortal life could be ended from there

he grew and watched for thousands of

years the outsider watched humanity

repeats similar cycles of behavior over

and over and over seemingly fascinated

by not only the concept of choice but on

the ramifications of those choices for

the world at large watching as time and

again with his aid and without those

with power abused those who had none so

it came to be that on occasion he would

find people with great roles to play in

the world and then see what they did if

they were given more power to play those

same roles he gave power to a man who

then used that power to become the

foremost assassin in the realm

eventually even assassinating the

Empress he gave power to a bastard

daughter of the Emperor used that power

to rise to society and seek the throne

that she thought was hers by right he

gave power to the bodyguard and lover of

a murdered Empress and wash with

interest as that bodyguard cleaned up

the mess he gave power to that same

bodyguard years later when the new

Empress was threatened or depending upon

the player's choice that very Empress


each time he watched with fascination as

they chose to abuse or responsibly wield

the power he'd given them it should be

noted that canonically speaking it seems

that each game and each dlc ended with a

low chaos or good-guy ending meaning

that the outsider was pleasantly

surprised with the results of his mortal

pawns efforts so in Dishonored one he

watches with admitted surprise as Corvo


proceeds through the game after the

murder of his Empress and beloved

without murdering those responsible and

going even further when the empress

apparent Emily his daughter is abducted

twice who once again handles things

without leaving a mountain of corpses in

his wake

similarly in the first games DLC the

outsider watches in surprise as doubt

the Empress slaying assassin spares

lives in a manner not unlike that of

Corvo including the life of his

traitorous lieutenant 15 years later in

Dishonored to Corvo had guided Emily to

be a wise Empress and during an

attempted coup either Corvo or Emily are

turned into stone and the one who

escapes draws the outsiders attention he

offers his power either again or for the

first time depending upon who you play

corvo's powers were stolen during the

coup interestingly in Dishonored to the

player can refuse the Outsiders power

but he still drops in with hints and his

thoughts on the players progress

throughout the game indicating that his

interest in the players choices is in no

way lessened by the refusal of his gifts

probably because that's sort of his

whole deal but his interest is likely

also heightened by the fact that the

orchestrator of the coup has bound

herself to the outsider after finding

the location of his sacrificial death

deep within the void giving her the

power she needed to stage the coup in

the first place and creating a

connection that the outside are admitted

to finding distasteful which is why

canonically speaking the outsider was

probably once again surprised at the

players restraint when those responsible

for the coup are not murdered outright

in response finally a couple months

after the events of Dishonored 2 and the

dlc death of the outsider his story

comes to a close doubt and his once

traitorous lieutenant joined forces to

end the outsiders life once and for all

having decided that no one being could

be trusted with deciding who did and who

didn't get the power of the void after

all look at the monstrous things Dowd

and others have done with that power no

doubt fully capable of stopping them in

their quest the outsider instead

empowers Billy downs lieutenant and aids

her in her quest to reach and

assassinate him just as he had aided and

watched out Corvo and possibly Emily

before her eventually billy's quest

leads her to the site the outsider

sacrificed some 4000 years prior and

rather than fight or challenge

at all The Outsider simply allows her to

decide his fate as always fascinated by

the intricacies of choice by then Billy

had learned many things including the

fact that the mark the outsider grants

as a symbol of his power is in fact his

forgotten name decipherable only by the

dead as with most other major decisions

in these games the player has the choice

of what happens next Billy can either

kill the outsider as planned or

convinced out now a ghost

having passed on earlier in the game to

read The Outsiders mark and tell the

outsider his long-lost name

either way the Outsiders connection to

the void is severed either through

murder or freedom and the void is left

without an avatar because every other

cannon ending in this series up to this

point was the lo que hace ending it

seems logical to believe the same is

true for this DLC meaning that Billy

realized and acknowledged the fact that

the outsider didn't choose anything for

them that the powers they'd gained were

always theirs to do with what they would

so if the choices they made were

laudable great what if the choices they

made were reprehensible then that was on

them and no one else knowing that the

outsider had never chosen his place as

the outsider Billy convinced doubt to

free him and let him choose his path in


existentially freeing Billy from the

fear that all she could ever be was a

murderer in the process while also

allowing doubt spirit to pass on in

peace something it is inferred does not

happen should the outsider be slain

instead and that's basically the

outsider void God or avatar of the

dishonored series we hope you enjoyed

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