Robert Witterel was an English captain of the Obra Dinn during its final voyage in 1802, attended by his steward Fillip Dahl. He was married to Abigail Hoscut Witterel, a passenger aboard the Obra Dinn, and her brother, Witterel's brother-in-law, William Hoscut served as the ship's First Mate.
Witterel committed suicide with a gun as the last person alive on board until 1807.
After a failed mutinous expedition led by Second Mate Edward Nichols left him as the sole survivor, Chioh Tan, at that point the last Formosan on board, shot Nichols. Witterel, with Huang Li acting as translator, had Tan interrogated about the killing of Nichols, the Formosan chest, and a group of mermaids brought along. Before Tan could say anything more than that a shell must be protected, a mermaid shot a spike that struck him dead.
Later, Witterel interrogated Dahl on his motives for attacking seaman John Naples. When Dahl stated that the mermaids carry a curse and urged him to throw them back, Witterel ordered him to be locked up in the lazarette.
While a Kraken was attacking the ship, Witterel was in the lazarette ordering the mermaids to call off the Kraken, lest he kill them all. He then possibly threw two shells overboard, and the storm abated.
Later, Witterel apparently authorized the surgeon, Henry Evans, passengers Jane Bird and Emily Jackson, and stewards Paul Moss and Davey James to leave the ship. He attempted to intervene on their behalf when topman Leonid Volkov attempted to prevent them from escaping.
First Mate Hoscut, topman Lewis Walker, and seaman Henry Brennan attempted a mutiny and ordered Witterel to extort the shells he allegedly had. Even though Witterel claimed that he did not have the shells with him anymore, the crew attacked him, resulting in Witterel killing them all. Overcome with grief, Witterel sat beside the body of his wife, who had died during the Kraken attack, and shot himself.
It seems that Witterel and Hoscut were close friends, as Witterel referred to Hoscut as such while lamenting his death.
Witterel is the first person that can be identified without a doubt. He is addressed as a captain in The End, part 1 where the game starts.
Witterel appears in 15 memories, being one of the most-frequently seen characters. Chronologically, he first appears in Murder, part 2. He perishes in The End, part 4. He is first introduced to the player in The End, part 1, which is the first memory in the game. His corpse is among those still on the ship when she drifts back into Falmouth.
- In Murder, part 2
- The mutiny spans chapters III and IV, shooting takes place in The Calling, part 6.
- In Unholy Captives, part 1.
- In Unholy Captives, part 4.
- In Bargain, part 2 and part 3.
- He claims the shells are at bottom of the ocean in The End, part 2 but seaman Henry Brennan does not believe Witterel. Given that shells have driven people mad on board earlier and Brennan along with two other crew members incited a mutiny without any other explanation, it is possible, although not confirmed in the narrative, that the shells are still on board.
- In Escape, part 2.
- In The End, part 1, The End, part 2, and The End, part 3
- In The End, part 4.
- Stated in the insurance assessment book in the epilogue if Witterel's fate is deduced correctly.