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I have a question. The only question that matters. Would you risk your life for your fellow man? Even if that man is a synth?— Desdemona on where the Sole Survivor's loyalties lie.

Desdemona, also known by her nickname Dez, is the leader of the secretive underground movement known as the Railroad in the Commonwealth in 2287. Believing synths to be sentient beings who deserve freedom and respect, the Railroad's mission is to help them flee the Institute, as well as protect them from the Brotherhood of Steel.


Desdemona first signed up with and joined the Railroad sometime before September 2276, serving under Pinky Thompson.[2] Desdemona was voted into the Alpha position following the resignation of Thompson around December 2277.

During her tenure, she, along with the assistance of Dr. Stanley Carrington and Deacon, made major changes concerning the organization's operational security, leading to a drastic increase in the number of synths successfully rescued. During her time as the Railroad leader, she devised a system of railsigns and improvements to the dead drops used for communication, and added Tinker Tom, Glory, and Tommy Whispers as members to Railroad HQ. P.A.M. was also discovered at some point during Desdemona's time as the leader.[3]

Previous security breaches have lead to Desdemona being wary of those who manage to follow the Freedom Trail and enter the passcode to access the Railroad HQ.[4][3] Despite this, those who can prove themselves to her will, in time, earn her respect,[5] often to the ire of her second-in-command, Dr. Carrington.[6] As the leader of the Railroad, Desdemona is in charge of day-to-day operations and maintaining contact with the widespread network of safehouses.[3]

Interactions with the player character[]

Interactions overview[]

FO76 ui icon quest
This character is involved in quests.

Other interactions[]

  • The Sole Survivor must seek her aid after dealing with the courser and getting his chip, as she and her people are the only ones who can decode it.
  • If the Sole Survivor does not speak to Desdemona prior to entering the Institute and accepting a mission, she shuns them and the Railroad questline ends.
  • If one is a Railroad agent but is banished from the Institute then this also ends the Railroad questline as the Sole Survivor remaining undercover was vital to the plan. Desdemona encourages the player character to stop the Institute with the Commonwealth Minutemen as she sees it as the best remaining option for protecting the synths.



  • If the player character has not yet joined the Railroad by completing Tradecraft, but progressed sufficiently far enough in the Minuteman questline, Desdemona will tell them that the Minutemen do not care about synths and plead with them to work with the Railroad instead. She will initiate this line of conversation even if they have active quests involving her, preventing those quests from progressing. Despite her wording, agreeing does not require the completion of the Railroad questline or prevent progression with the Minutemen questline, and will not affect one's standing with the Minutemen or Preston Garvey. Thus if the player character wishes to speak to her concerning other quests, it is safe to agree to her request to make this possible.
  • When failing the Railroad questline and destroying the Institute with the Minutemen, Desdemona may not offer dialogue outside of quests, instead remaining completely silent.
  • At some point in her life, Desdemona knew someone named Sam, as her last words when killed are, "Sam... I'm coming home."[7]
  • In the Randolph station updates, Mister Tims refers to Desdemona twice as the "Big D."
  • Desdemona is the only non-Institute related character who the Sole Survivor can talk to about Shaun being the Institute's leader.

Notable quotes[]

  • "Wake up, Commonwealth. Synths are not your enemy. They are victims in this war, as well. True, they were created by the Institute. But they were created as slaves. Thinking, feeling, and dreaming beings utterly oppressed by their tyrannical masters. So join with us in fighting the real enemy: The Institute. Join the Railroad. When you're ready for that next step, don't worry, we'll find you."
  • "In a world full of suspicion, treachery, and hunters - we're the synths' only friends. We're the Railroad. So answer my question."
  • "They're mostly organic, part machine. Somewhere along the line they became more than just constructs."


Desdemona appears in Fallout 4, Fallout: Wasteland Warfare, and Fallout Shelter Online.

Behind the scenes[]

  • Desdemona is a character in William Shakespeare's play Othello.[Non-game 1]
  • The name "Desdemona" is derived from the ancient Greek δυσδαιμον ("dysdaimon") which literally means "bad-fate." It is generally translated to mean "ill-fated" or "unlucky."[Non-game 2]
  • In localized versions of the game, Desdemona's voice is dubbed by Stefania Patruno (Italian).


  • PCPC Playstation 4Playstation 4 Xbox OneXbox One After completing the main questline with the support of the Commonwealth Minutemen, if on good terms with the Railroad and the Sole Survivor returns to their hideout, Desdemona will speak of Glory as if she had died even though Glory can be seen walking about. If trying to interact with Glory she will stay silent and not say any dialogue.[verified]
  • PCPC Playstation 4Playstation 4 Xbox OneXbox One In her speech to Railroad HQ informing them of the Sole Survivor's successful infiltration of the Institute, she may incorrectly refer to them as "Wanderer" even if they chose a different code name when joining the Railroad.[verified]
  • PCPC Playstation 4Playstation 4 Xbox OneXbox One While receiving the first To the Mattresses quest following The Nuclear Option, the dialogue option to tell Desdemona that the player misses Glory will be available even if the main story was finished with the Minutemen and Glory is alive, possibly even standing right next to Desdemona at that moment. It is useful for gaining a large approval boost for several companions including Deacon and Curie.[verified]


Fallout: Wasteland Warfare[]

Fallout Shelter Online[]

Magic: The Gathering[]


  1. Randolph station updates
  2. Railroad HQ terminal entries; Pinky (73-77)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Railroad HQ terminal entries; PAM mainframe terminal, Desdemona (77-)
  4. The Sole Survivor: "I need to build a Signal Interceptor to get into the Institute."
    Desdemona: "Even if one of my own agents told me that, I'd be skeptical. And from a stranger..."
    (Desdemona's dialogue)
  5. Desdemona: "Without you those synths would've surely been lost. Hell, we wouldn't even have had the chance to defend them."
    (Desdemona's dialogue)
  6. Desdemona: "I don't want to talk about Blackbird. Carrington is sure to give me an earful about it."
    (Desdemona's dilalogue)
  7. Desdemona: " Sam... I'm coming home."
    (Desdemona's dialogue)


Major antagonists