Feeling helpless as I lie on the ground without the strength to move, the only thing I can do is watch and listen to my would-be killers. I knew Havelock, Pendleton, and Martin would try to do me in, but the forth voice is one that surprised me: Samuel. He tells them that I've breathed my last and that the poison did its job. Either he's a fool or he's lying. Regardless, this means that I might just have a chance. Hearing them talk disgusts me. They want my body, hoping that giving the people the corpse of “the man who murdered the Empress” will secure their power and legitimacy to the claim of the title of Lord Regent. Everything I suspected about the top conspirators, all the fears I've had, turned out to be true. If and when I manage to escape, I will need to find Emily and protect her from their treachery. I don't know what they plan for her or Dunwall, but I know it can't be good. No one will use my daughter to further their own twisted agenda. No one!
As they leave me with Samuel, his demeanor changes drastically. The boatman kneels down next to my paralyzed form and apologizes, confessing that he only filled my glass with half of the poison since they were watching him, hoping I was strong enough to withstand it. If I was actually able to move my face, I'd be smiling right now. We've only known each other for a few short days, but Samuel and I are becoming fast friends despite, or maybe even because of, harsh circumstances. I'm glad that he's the one they asked to deliver the poison. Sadly, he can't wait for me to recover, as they'll quickly figure out that I'm not dead. With that in mind, Samuel intends to float my body on a raft while he escapes. It's a long shot, as I could arrive anywhere and will need to make my way back here, but it's the only option we have right now. It's far too risky and impractical for him to travel with my paralyzed body in tow. I only hope the others wise up and ship out too before the shit hits the fan. As Samuel notes, the others have also likely outlived their usefulness. Before Samuel ships me off, I lose my remaining willpower and pass out.
When I awaken, I find myself drifting into Dunwall's Flooded District, once known as the Rudshore Financial District, where plague victims go to die, segregated from the rest of the population. Still under the effects of the poison, I am accosted by two figures wearing familiar garbs. Like the ones who attacked my Jessamine and I on that fateful day, these two are wearing uniforms from old whaling ships, signifying that they work for Daud. As always, it's out of the frying pan and into the fryer for me. I really can't seem to catch a break. That's when they teleport onto my raft to analyze my body. Almost immediately they recognize who I am and that I've been poisoned, further complicating the matter. Ominously, when one of them proclaims that the attempt on my life was “amateur work” that I will live through, the other says that it will ultimately be up to Daud.
With them dragging me onto some sort of gondola and rowing to an unknown location, I start to feel the effects of the poison wear off, as I can finally move my head. Using my new-found head moving abilities, I see that we've arrived at an old refinery in the district. Outside, a few more of Daud's men are clear in view. Taking my limp body, they raise it using an old elevator. At the top, I face the assassin leader himself, holding what looks to be the case I hold my equipment in. There's a certain irony to having my life in the hands of the one who killed the woman I loved the most, but right now I'm too scared out of my mind to appreciate it. If he wanted to, considering my state, this man could take a sword and gut me right now. It's not like he has any sort of moral fiber preventing him from doing so. Still, considering what's happened, I've been extremely lucky so far. There's as much of a chance my luck will continue as there is that it will run out, which is equally disturbing and uplifting. All I can really do is wait and see.
With the lift taking me further into the refinery, Daud begins to speak to me. He knows who I am and that I've been given the Poncy's mark, revealing that he has it, as I suspected. Furthermore, he confirms that he is the man who “knows what's its like to shove a blade into [my] beloved Empress.” However, there's one thing he doesn't know. That is, who I fight for and why. Because of this, he is as fearful of me as I am of him. It is then that I watch as he tosses my equipment into the chasm of the storehouse, and knocks me out again immediately afterward. Coming to for the second time today, I find myself in the Void. As if this day couldn't get any worse, I am going to need to speak with Poncy, because the thing I need most right now is obviously cryptic mutterings and bullshit. Though he appears and speaks to me, I can't even be bothered to listen. Eventually he takes the hint and returns me to the real world.
In this case, the real world happens to be a small drain being used as a makeshift jail cell, where I wake up for the third time today. Instead of a grate, they opted to use wooden board to prevent my escape. Though I can move, I still feel the effects of the poison in my bloodstream, so I choose to spend a moment taking inventory to see exactly what's missing while I wait for a more complete recovery. As expected, my sword and most of my conventional equipment is gone, along with the gold I had in my possession. That being said, I am legitimately surprised at some of the things they left me. My mask is still in my pocket where I left it, so I put it on out of like I would for one of my assassinations. If I treat getting back to the Hound Pits like any other mission, I should be able to get it done no problem. Another surprising thing to note is that all of my Bone Charms are here as well. The ones I have equipped up until now are also still firmly attached to my belt. Lastly, and most strangely, the Heart wasn't taken either. It doesn't really make much sense. Since Daud knows the value of these mystical artifacts, why would he leave them with me? Even my mask was in part built by the Outsider. One would think that he'd keep these items for himself.
Finishing up my inspection, I can finally feel my body return to full strength. Finally, I'm back and I'm ready. I tighten the straps affixing my Death Mask to my face, and begin the second jail break of my life, except this time I won't have outside help. Looking down, I notice that there are a lot of bricks on the floor. Instinctively, I toss them at the wooden boards blocking my exit, and leap out of the hole created. On the desk outside my cell, I see a few plague elixirs and one of the knives that Daud's men use, so I pick them up in case I need to defend myself. Like it or not I'm still in Daud's territory, so it's best to be prepared. There also appear to be a few notes scattered about as well. Reading them, I finally see why they let me live. Apparently, the bounty out for me will dramatically increase in the event of a live capture. Since these guys are mercenaries in the end, it's to be expected that they would want to maximize their returns. Unfortunately, while they may be great assassins, they are terrible wardens, providing me with all the tools I need to make my escape. While I have considered going back to the refinery to retrieve my gear and truly screw with them, I ultimately decide against it because the items in question, despite being lovingly crafted by Piero, are things I simply don't use. Going after them would end up causing more trouble then necessary.
From my position in what appears to be an old brick-and-mortar building, I can't see anything. So instead, I begin to listen. I can hear the footsteps of Daud's men above me, so I opt to go downwards, where I stumble onto an alternate exit in the form of a body of water. Then, I slowly and quietly get into the water, swimming out of the building they trapped me in. It involved spending time with slaughterfish, but that's a lesser risk than engaging in open conflict. After escaping and climbing up out of the water, I find myself pretty chewed up from the sharp bites of the slaughterfish, so I drink the elixir I acquired in order to heal my wounds. Luckily, there are wooden planks and debris I can use avoid being fish bait any longer. As I recall, if I want escape, I'll need to head past the old Chamber of Commerce. Knowing what I've heard of Daud and what remains of this district, he has likely established his base there. To rescue Emily and get my life back, I'll need to go directly through him. Right now though, I need to get my bearings and figure out exactly where in Dunwall's former Rudshore Financial District I ended up, so it's time to make for the high ground. Looking around, I see a chain I can climb, so I use that to raise myself up.
That's when I come across I metal bridge connecting two buildings, decorated by the corpses of fallen Overseers. Rather than leave their equipment to die with them, I opt to scavenge a pistol and grenade off their bodies. After I finish looting, I climb the metal gate on the other side of the bridge and arrive at the entrance to the Central Rudshore Rail Line Station. I breath a sigh of relief, as that means I'm not far from the Chamber of Commerce. However, three of Daud's men are patrolling outside. To get through, I'm going to need to sneak passed them. Considering that they also have powers like my own, it may be more difficult to get through them than the City Watch.
Going around these guys, using the handrails as cover, I arrive at the door only to find that it's looked. Hopefully one of these guys has the key. Returning to my safe spot above the patrols, I look around to see if any of them have the key. The only one I can see clearly from here is one the roof across from me, and he's clean. To get a better view of the other two, I Blink to a nearby apartment building. From there, I see an assassin on a nearby awning. When he turns around to look behind him, I see the key on his belt. Observing him a little while longer, I make my next move. Almost effortlessly, and faster than the eye can perceive, I teleport directly behind him, snatch the key, and teleport to the door before he has a chance to even notice what happened. I'm close to the Chamber of Commerce, and likely Daud himself, now. I'm probably going to need to deal with him in order to proceed. The question is how. Hopefully by the time I get there, I'll have an answer....