When Sokolov heard my plan he couldn't wait to get started painting...even putting me in a light hypnotic trance to make sure I didn't miss any detail. Billie decided to take the job and I now had an apartment mate; not that I didn't have the room there.
"So this belonged to a Pendleton...I heard rumours that Corvo got them sent to someplace really unpleasant, instead of just flat out killin' them. Simply because their brother asked him to spare their lives."
"He doesn't like killing randomly."
"Neither do you."
"Nope. I am so not a bloodthirsty type. I can kill and did kill before I got here, but not humans."
"Demons...vampires...killer robots. That kind of thing."
"Never heard of 'vampires' or 'robots' and demons are like ghost stories."
"They exist where I'm from."
"And you think you can get back?"
"I'm pretty much sure of it now after going over that book of Delilah's I found."
Sitting in Sokolov's studio I watched as he painted not a two or three foot square image, but an almost life-size version. He had even mixed a little of my blood in with the gesso he had primed the canvas with, to further attune it. Right now he was working from the sketches he had prepared from my description, and was having me tell him when he was going off kilter.
For all his bluster, Anton was an amazing artist. It wasn't photorealistic by any means, but he had caught the character of something he had never seen. After painting for a week, the library, with all its books and the huge crack in the floor, was very recognizable. I had debated on adding the creature to my description, but decided that would be way too risky. He was adding shading now, and I kinda drifted off...seated in my comfy chair."Planning on departing I see."
I was standing in a tableau of Hackthorne's death on one of the floating stone constructs in the blue void.
"Uh yeah," I looked over at the Outsider hovering in midair, "Is that a problem?""Oh no...your choices are your own. You must understand that aspect of my gift."
The tableau shifted and now we were with Edward Rollerbill, mesh collar around his neck, frozen while pounding futilely at the door of the prison that he had sentenced his wives to and now was the resident himself, while Urna was on the other side chatting pleasantly with visitors who didn't have a clue what had happened to her husband.
"I do. That's why I'm making the attempt. It never hurts to ask though.""I'm not all that accustomed to manners in regards to interactions with myself. It surprises me when they are used.
The tableau was now Anna looking at her restored face in a mirror while seated in he hospital bed. Sokolov and Joplin looking on along with her father."You have proven interesting and I will notice the lack of your influence on events. However these are your choices and the fact that you maintained a particular level of ethics speaks highly of your true character. I will not interfere."
"Can I ask three things?""Of course you can ask..."
"First do you consider Billie Lurk sufficiently interesting? Second could you say hello to Sokolov at least once? And third, is the whole world your dream while you sleep beneath the waves?""You are definitely interesting Willow Adamant. It was fascinating watching you...
I woke up.
"Ah Lady Adamant! It's done!" Sokolov said with a flourish.
In another two days we had set up the painting in a reinforced dungeon cell in Coldridge Prison. Considering where I was trying to connect the painting to, it only seemed prudent. I had given my mask and and the apartment to Billie if it worked and now they locked me in making sure the lamp was on the outside of the cell, where it could shine its light in. I was dressed in the clothes I had arrived in, but carried a bag with certain souvenirs.
"Everybody. If this works I'll be gone and maybe never see you again. Thank you all for everything."
"Thank you Countess Albany," the Empress said, "I hope that you find your way home."
"Thank you Your Imperial Emilyness," the little girl smiled, "Billie, could you tell Slackjaw goodbye and thank you for me?" I said looking at the new Imperial Agent.
"Sure Will. T'is the very least I can do."
I reached through the bars and shook Corvo's hand. He didn't say a word and he didn't need to.
"Corvo, Billie...you'd better get back. Anton, switch on the light and step back too," I said. "I don't want anybody else dragged with me."
A weird radiance lit the cell and the surface of the picture began to shimmer and twist. There was a roaring noise and I felt myself being pulled into the oils like a giant vacuum cleaner was sucking me forward. Then it was really dark and dusty. I concentrated and I was able to see slightly. Wherever I was, the mark still seemed to be working but not as powerfully. I was in a kind of cave in a pile of wreckage. I slapped my forehead, I was under the collapsed high school.
Wiggling my cellphone out, I turned it on for the first time in weeks. I still had some battery left! And a signal! I called Buffy.
"Will? What happened? Where are you? You were standing next to me, then poof! Now a phone call!"
"Did it just happen?" I asked.
"Yeah, like a second ago. Where are you?"
"In the high school wreckage right over where the Hellmouth breaks through in the ruins of the library. I'm not hurt, but I've got no food or water and I'm getting a nasty cramp...so could you hurry?"
It took a few hours to get everything together, but with Buffy, Kendra, Spike, Ampata, and Daryl as earth moving equipment I got excavated pretty quick.
"Be it ever so humble..." I said as I hugged Buffy and the rest.
"So what happened my dear?" Giles asked.
"It's kind of hard to explain and the full story requires me to be clean, fed, rested , and some chatting with my boyfriend. But for now let me just say, I was an agent for an Empress."THE ENDa/n
Okay. Dishonored is a First Person Stealth Action game that places you in the role of Corvo Attano, the former Royal Protector of the Empress Jessamine of the Empire of the Isles, a pseudo-Victorian-Edwardian nation on a world that is definitely not ours or Buffy's. Corvo's goal in the game is to bring down those that had ordered his beloved Empress slain and his daughter...yes Emily is his daughter, kidnapped. After he succeeds in that, it gets even messier.
This story was in many ways constructed as Dishonored DLC (Downloadable Content). The mission structure of the various things Willow does are identical to a typical Dishonored Mission with various lethal and non-lethal options along with multiple methods of attack. Willow was definitely doing a 'Low Chaos' run, meaning she was trying to kill or seriously harm as few people as possible.
The amount of background lore is incredible and you do learn a lot about those who have held the mark and what it has done to them if they use the power for selfish purposes. Another thing learned is that the Outsider is more than likely the spirit of a dreaming whale which I think is seriously cool.
Daud, Billie, Corvo, Slackjaw, the Pendletons, Burrows, Campbell, Havelock, Samuel, Delilah, Vera (Granny Rags), Cecilia, Callista, Anton Sokolov, Piero Joplin, and Emily of course, are all out of the game. Urna and Edward Rollerbill, Anna, the Paige's, and Lady Hellena Hackthorne and the Augury Society are mine.
I have wanted to do something with this game since I first played it but I really didn't have a key in until I finished the first Willow Adamant story and realized, 'Now I have a swordswoman...'