Jessamine’s role in the series is relegated to mother, lover, and most disappointingly a Disposable Woman. I wanted her to have more, so I decided to start with a few questions.

  • Who was Jessamine when the altercation with Delilah started?
  • How did Jessamine deal with the loss of her mother who was pregnant with a potential sibling?
  • What does Anton Sokolov’s comment to Corvo about Jessamine, “a strange one. Stranger, I think, than you know.” mean?
  • When Jessamine was ruler, why was there “political intrigue and minor conflicts that created cracks in the Empire, undermining unity across the Isles”?
  • How did Dunwall and Gristol change from the war era to the golden era of Jessamine’s father? And then on to Jessamine’s rule?
  • How did The Outsider gain access to Jessamine’s heart to give it to Piero? Why did The Outsider need Piero at all?
The answers to these questions would transform Jessamine into a human being with her own faults, but valiantly trying to save her empire.

Part of what can make Jessamine go beyond her death is to re-contextualize her place in Dunwall Tower, and use the level to show what her childhood might have been like.

Dunwall Tower: Gardens

Map Story

Young Jessamine is playing in the garden with her ‘friend’ Delilah, a servants daughter slightly older than Jessamine. Delilah acts as your mentor for the tutorial, mocking but also playful. Around the same age, the rivalry is apparent as Jessamine and Delilah dare each other through the objectives.

At the start Delilah and Jessamine are enjoying a moment away from chores and lessons. Relaxing on the Partially constructed bridge, they talk about the future. Delilah starts a competition which coincides with the movement tutorial. They compete against who can do what the fastest and first, traveling from the bridge down to the docks.

Dock hands try and ignore them or tell them to shoo, while guards ask where Jessamine’s nurse is. After the movement tutorial is finished, Delilah pushes Jessamine into the ocean where she must swim to the nearby chain to climb out. Jessamine is a bit annoyed at this, and makes a biting comment. Delilah dispassionately proposes another challenge to get back to the Tower unseen. This acts as the sneak tutorial for the player, and another instance of Delilah trying to prove shes better than Jessamine.

Jessamine enters the tower to find Delilah already there. Delilah wins and isn’t very kind about it. At that moment, Jessamine spots her father coming out of the servants door, behind him is Delilah’s mother. A forced kiss is seen by the girls, and then Delilah’s mother makes an excuse and hurries away, not noticing the girls.

Delilah’s Childhood
by Sergey Kolesov

Delilah is not surprised, but Jessamine feels betrayed. Matters and feelings are made worse when Delilah states that she will be empress next and that is right because she is better as well as older.

Jessamine is angry and confused about the situation and pushes Delilah, who backs into an expensive vase behind her. The vase falls to the floor and explodes into a thousand tiny worthless pieces. This attracts attention from a servant passing. We witness the events from Dishonored 2 which were seen in stills, where Jessamine gives into her hurt feelings and gets back at Delilah and lies.

Delilah’s Motive by Sergey Kolesov

This starts the chain of events that force Delilah and her mother from the tower. This story is gossiped about for a while but by the time Corvo becomes Jessamine’s bodyguard, it’s old news.

Delilah’s Motive by Sergey Kolesov

Map Background

It is 1814 in Dishonored timeline. Dunwall has come out of the terror of an empress assassinated and the Morely Insurrection, and into a golden age under Jessamine’s father.

Much has changed and is currently changing in the city and on the tower grounds. The map has many new construction projects as well as some improvements to old infrastructure. The player will be able to see what the Tower Gardens use to look like before the events of Dishonored 1.

Incidental Narratives

Liaison by the Pond

A love letter is left on the ground, speaking of two courtiers meeting behind spouse’s backs at the pond. A weathered piece of parchment from before the construction started.

The Pond

Construction Manager Embezzlement

Sketches and plans lay about near the ramp, these list information about materials with notes about needing “extra cushion” funds that are for supplies never ordered.

Workers Pocketing Supplies

Workers speaking about how they can meet later to pool their stolen materials to sell a blackmarket dealer in the city.

Guards Gossip

Guards discussion about how often a certain important figure summons a servant to his rooms when his wife is away at a health retreat.

The workers and guards mention that the queen often has to take retreats because of some illness.

Guards closest to the prison talk about the new fortifications, and political prisoners inside Coldridge Prison. Jessamine’s father took no chances with rivals.

Guards talk about how they want the new Emperor (Jessamine’s father) to be safer than the previous assassinated Empress. There is a lot of new construction to make the Tower safer.

Plans for the Lock/boat lift

Notes about the new building’s interior. Includes sketches of a contraption that relies on worker labor to fill a boat lift with water from the moat. This plan never comes into fruition because Whale Oil is discovered as a source of energy and Anton Sokolov invents a better system for the Lock.

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