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This article is about the novel. For other uses, see Assassin's Creed: Valhalla (disambiguation).

Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Geirmund's Saga is an official tie-in novel of the video game Assassin's Creed: Valhalla by Matthew J. Kirby[1], with cover art by Kim Jung Gi.[2]

It was published by Penguin Books in the UK and Aconyte Books in the US, with Penguin releasing it on paperback 10 November 2020 with the eBook version releasing on 16 November and the audiobook version releasing on 26 November 2020. Aconyte meanwhile released their eBook from 10 November 2020 and published the paperback 23 March 2021.

The book is an original story that is connected to the events of the game,[3] set around the Vikings' expansion into England during the late 9th century, and follows the tale of Geirmund Hel-hide as he proves his worth in King Guthrum's army.[2]

Kirby had previously written a trilogy of young adult Assassin's Creed novels, the Last Descendants series which also included the Vikings of 10th century Scandinavia.

Blurb[]

Discover the epic tale of legendary viking Geirmund Hel-hide in this new novel set in the world of Assassin's Creed Valhalla

Mid-9th Century CE. The Viking attacks and invasions are shattering England’s kingdoms. Born into a royal lineage of Norwegian kings, Geirmund Hel-hide sets out for adventure to prove his worth as a Viking and a warrior. A perilous journey across the sea brings him into contact with a being out of myth and grants him a mysterious ring that promises both great power and bitter betrayal.

As Geirmund rises in the ranks of King Guthrum’s legendary army, he will have to use all his cunning to face the many dangers of a land ravaged by war. Fighting alongside his band of loyal warriors, his path will soon lead him into a conflict as old as the Gods themselves.[4]

Plot Summary[]

Part One: A Common Knife[]

Chapter 1[]

Geirmund Hel-hide and his brother, Hámund Hel-hide, are out in the woods near Olund, in northern Rygjafylke, as they hunt a red deer at night. However, they are soon surrounded by wolves while Geirmund had to decide whether to leave or kill their attackers. Geirmund quickly reminds his brother of his fate as future king and how him hiding from wolves may appear. Convinced, Hámund readies his bow as Geirmund protects his back. Together, they fight off the wolves and hold off the attack, while they ultimately kill six wolves. However, they sustain substantial injuries before making camp and taking the corpses they won.

At their camp, they look over their wounds as Hámund falls over. Geirmund assesses his brother and sees a deeper wound than Hámund has admitted. Using a heated axe and soapstone, Geirmund cleaned the wound and seared his brother's wound to stop the bleeding. To stop more wolves from attacking, Geirmund used two of the wolves' corpse to craft a makeshift sled. Moving Hámund to the sled, Geirmund leaves behind the rest of the wolf corpses and some meat of the deer for the wolves. Despite the heavy weight, Geirmund pulled the sled and carried Hámund, the pelts, and the meat towards Avaldsnes.

Chapter 2[]

After three days of endless walking, Geirmund makes camp and tries to rest. Fortunately, Hámund awakes and asks about their current location, to which his brother states another day to journey before they arrive Avaldsnes. They began to travel again as Geirmund struggles in the strong weather condition as he loses composure. Although the Sun came, both brother are stuck, until they hear incoming riders. Fortunately, it was their friend, Steinólfur, his charge, Skjalgi, and four other riders. Noticing the twins, Steinólfur offers aid as fellow rider Egil allowed to carry the injured Hámund. Altogether, Egil and his men carry Hámund back while Steinólfur looks over Geirmund's arm. Alone, Steinólfur asks why Geirmund saved his brother.

Chapter 3[]

Steinólfur tends to Geirmund's wounds as they ponder on his father's response to the twins' injuries, most likely blaming Geirmund. Once Skjalgi returns with the medical equipment, Steinólfur looks at the wound closer and realizes it was a series of small punctures. Steinólfur mends Geirmund's wounds while telling him that it would have been less taxing if he left his brother. Geirmund rejects the notion as Steinólfur declares to see more of a king in Geirmund than Hámund. However, he thanks him for his truth but vows him to stay silent on the matter, as no one knows what they have both been through in their lives. Skjalgi returns back and helps his mentor and Geirmund atop his horse.

Riding back home, Skjalgi mentions the name of Guthrum, who is heard to be recruiting Danes and Northmen to the cause of Halfdan Ragnarsson's army to conquer all the Saxon lands. Soon, they approach the Karmsund and soon arrived in Avaldsnes, where many people welcomed them. The seer Yrsa approaches Geirmund and mentions Hámund recovering. She looks over Geirmund's wounds but states he will recover. Before leaving, she mentions that the Ægir will swallow him up and then spit out before he and his brother die.

Before going to his father, Geirmund thanks Steinólfur for saving him and Hámund, while Steinólfur tells him that he should be proud for saving his brother. Together, they walk into Hjorr's hall.

Chapter 4[]

Geirmund and Steinólfur enter the hall, where they are welcomed by more people. While walking to his family, Geirmund is also greeted by Styrbjorn Sigvaldisson, Bragi Boddason, and a woman in connection with Styrbjorn. Soon, he saw Hámund resting as his parents tend to him. Quickly, his mother, Ljufvina sees Geirmund and hugs him tightly for his return. Afterwards, Geirmund sees that Yrsa tended to Hámund while the healer Thyra tends to both brothers' wounds.

Geirmund soon apologizes to his parents as Thyra reapplies bondages to his arm. Hjorr soon holds Geirmund accountable for their injuries and states his inability to follow left them nearly to die. Ljufvina enters the conversation with her dog, Svangr, as she sees the strained relationship between them. While Hámund rests, Ljufvina convinces Hjorr to receive Styrbjorn instead of leaving him waiting. Geirmund soon goes to the jarl and tells him that his father is ready. Meanwhile, Geirmund meets with the shieldmaiden, who introduces herself to be Eivor Varinsdottir.

Geirmund continues to talk with Styrbjorn's daughter, but Eivor tells him that she is adopted after Kjotve, Steinólfur's former leader, tried to kill Strybjorn but killed her father instead. Within their conversation, Eivor and Geirmund talk about how Styrbjorn and Hjorr meet to discuss Harald Fairhair's growing power. Eivor soon asks why Geirmund has not left to raid himself but his father has not given permission. Geirmund boldly states that there is nothing left in Rygjafylke as Eivor agrees. Before leaving with Styrbjorn, Eivor promises to keep their conversation private while admitting that Geirmund must find his own path.

After Eivor's departure, Geirmund meets with Steinólfur and Skjalgi and quietly asks him to find men to row and fight. Steinólfur tells him it will take time to find men loyal and asks if there is a ship. Geirmund promises to acquire one quickly.

Chapter 5[]

After some time, Geirmund garners a crew loyal to him but no ship. He wants to ask Hámund about leaving together but doubts his loyalty after taking credit for the wolves' pelts. Geirmund soon offers him to fish alongside him and asks him to come to England and fight with Guthrum. Hámund asks why as Geirmund tells him of the free men already ready to follow him. Hámund sees a storm and wishes to leave, but Geirmund asks if he can help with their father when Guthrum arrives in Avaldsnes. Hámund states he will try.

Six days later, Guthrum arrives in time for a welcoming feast hosted by Hjorr and Ljufvina. Wanting to discuss the matter at hand, Guthrum is told to wait for a more private time as Geirmund wonders what the issue may be. Meanwhile, Bragi joins the feast besides Geirmund, who asks him about the upcoming war-weather. Both discuss about one's fate as Bragi summates that one must be ready to meet it. Within moments, Hjorr and Ljufvina meet with Guthrum as Hámund follows. Geirmund goes to follow but not before Bragi stops him and asks to meet with him tomorrow at his grandfather's mound. Confused, Geirmund accepts as he attends the meeting.

With Geirmund and his family, Guthrum joins the conversation as he was sent by King Bersi to find more men for his cause. He reports of their victories over Jorvik and East Anglia. With Mercia next, Guthrum entails the biggest challenge to be Wessex, where King Æthelred I, King of Wessex reigns. Hjorr understands the possibilities but rejects the offer due to his reluctance of joining a war and executing more raids. An angered Guthrum argues that their ways in their homeland are not permanent. Hjorr explains that he has to worry about Harald's possible war against him.

Calmer, Guthrum explains that they should attack first as he has experienced inner bloodshed after the death of King Horik. Understanding, Hjorr does not wish to strike the first blow and still rejects the offer. Angry, Guthrum stands up in defiance as Hámund and Ljufvina ready their weapons. However, tensions calm down as Guthrum tells them that his king will not be pleased. Before taking his leave, Guthrum states he will depart tomorrow morning. Geirmund stays silent as Hámund becomes angry. Immediately, Geirmund declares to fight alongside Guthrum in front of his family.

Ljufvina begs him not to go as Hjorr forbids Geirmund to leave. Geirmund continues to defy his order as he says Hámund has his back. However, Hámund states that he initially agreed to aid Geirmund but after Guthrum's disrespectful attitude, he retracts his offer. Geirmund calls Hámund an oath-breaker as Hjorr tries to discipline him by hitting him but he dodges his father's punch. Geirmund states that he has no family, no mother, and no true brother. He leaves his family with no reply.

Chapter 6[]

The next day, Geirmund informs Steinólfur and Skjalgi of his brother's betrayal as they ride for Half's grave. Realizing they have no ship, the three Northmen must leave with Guthrum before he departs. Near the grave, Geirmund separates from his fellow riders as he meets with Bragi, who has set up a game to play. Reluctant, he plays with Bragi, who deduces that he is leaving with Guthrum and how Hjorr refused Guthrum over his fear of Harald. However, Braji begins to tell the story of Half to Geirmund, which has been forbidden to tell in his own hall.

From Bragi's account, Half lived a fair and fruitful life as a raider, with loyal men besides him for eighteen years. When he returned home, Half returned home to his stepfather, Åsmund, who would later kill him and his men at night by burning them alive. Luckily, two of Half's men, Utstein and Rok the Black, survived and later launched an attack against Åsmund, who died in the process. Soon, a young Hjorr ruled Avaldsnes afterwards. Later, Bragi gives a small bronze blade to Geirmund as a gift, which confused him. Bragi explains although a knife is useless in battle, it is useful in small quarters and the shadows.

Before leaving for one last visit, Geirmund thanks Bragi one last time as Bragi explains he leaves for his own homeland. Soon, Geirmund meets with Steinólfur and Skjalgi again as he tells them to inform Guthrum of his inclusion. Before leaving, he goes to meet with Ágáða to say his good-byes. Tearing up, Ágáða tells him that she prayed for his recovery as he gives her his horse, Garmr and a bag of silver. Geirmund admits that what Ljufvina did does not make for what had happened and that she is his first mother. Conflicted, Ágáða responds to him by stating she feels pride as his mother as he nearly wept. Finally accepting his gifts, Ágáða sees him off and prays for him.

Guthrum made it to the docks, where Steinólfur and Skjalgi await for him. Steinólfur soon gives Geirmund a sword gifted by Hámund, to which he reluctantly accepts. Looking towards Skjalgi, Geirmund gifts him his old sword in response. Soon, Guthrum comes and meets with Geirmund and asks if he is ready. Promising his sword to him and making sure to become fearsome himself, Guthrum laughs heartfully and orders to depart. All three Northmen follow Guthrum onto his ship as they leave the harbor. Together, they bid Avaldsnes farewell and pray for a safe journey as Geirmund finally feels free.

Part Two: The Crossing[]

Chapter 7[]

Rowing alongside Guthrum's men, Geirmund starts to familiarize with his crew, such as the commander Rek and his bigger brother Eskil. Nearing Jutland, Guthrum informs his men of the next three day journey to their destination. Thus, they all arrive on the coast of Jutland as Steinólfur figures it is to meet the other jarls. Guthrum calls Geirmund to walk into the settlement nearby with him. While walking, Guthrum informs of his position with Rek as he questions of his true parentage. Geirmund states he is of both Hjorr and Ljufvina and asks for no insult against his mother. Guthrum understands.

Guthrum explains that his loyalty will be tested as Geirmund explains that his honor and loyalty may be conflicted if one threatens the other. Guthrum nods and tells Hel-Hide they are meeting with King Bersi. Entering the tent, two guards stop Geirmund until Guthrum explains he is the son of King Hjorr. In a central chamber filled with six men, King Bersi welcomes Guthrum back. However, Guthrum regretfully informs him of his failure to obtain any support from any Northerner king. Nevertheless, Guthrum introduces Geirmund to his clan while Bersi becomes disappointed.

However, Geirmund promises to fight and kill any Saxons in their way. Gladly, Bersi rejoices as he explains that Halfdan has made his way through Mercia towards Readingum along the River Thames. Guthrum soon tells Geirmund to stay with his men as he continues his talk with the other jarls. Geirmund soon found Eskil but was caught by Rek's calling. Rek soon asks Geirmund of his lineage and whether they look like a half-breed like him. Angered, Geirmund calms himself before responding back. Rek continues to call him a plague as Steinólfur steps in to defend Geirmund. Eskil and other Danes gather around as Eskil tries to ease the tensions. However, Rek continues to berate Geirmund until Eskil tells him to take his drunken self back to his tent.

From Eskil's demands, Rek goes back to his tent embarrassed as the other Danes stare at Geirmund. Geirmund and Steinólfur go back to their tent and meet with Skjalgi. There, Steinólfur states that despite his rank, Rek and the other warriors defer to Eskil, who is seen as second only to Guthrum. He also divulges that Guthrum brings almost 2,000 men along with him as Geirmund assures his loyalty to the "right" Dane. Before going to sleep, Skjalgi asks why there was a war between the Saxons and Danes. Wanting to sleep, Steinólfur assures it is a blood feud, with neither side admitting who started it first. Settling the questions, the three soon fell asleep.

For the next two days, Geirmund and Steinólfur teach Skjalgi how to fight with his sword as the boy had learned quickly. On the fourth day in Jutland, Geirmund went into Guthrum's encampment to buy shields and luckily finds a merchant. With two pieces of silver, he buys three shields and heads back to his tent. Before they can teach Skjalgi how to be part of a shield wall, Guthrum finally tells his men to make offerings to the gods as they all leave to invade England.

Chapter 8[]

Aboard the Wave Lover, they all sail for three days and meet a storm on the third day. With leaks occurring, Rek demands to throw Geirmund into the water as a sacrifice for the gods. Steinólfur steps in and dares him to try, with the intent to kill him. Realizing he and his allies may die, Geirmund stands up and throws himself overboard to save Steinólfur and Skjalgi. Steinólfur tries to save him but Eskil holds him back. Geirmund begins to drown by the harsh tides. Initially, he surrenders to the pressure but soon his body gives out as he loses consciousness.

Soon, Geirmund wakes up in an uncommon bed but figures out it is not Valhalla. Venturing from the bed he rested in, he soon finds himself underwater. He believes that he falls into the realm of Rán as he sees a darker abyss. Instead of the darkness, he follows a tunnel to the light and came across an arm-ring. A voice soon tells him to take it as Geirmund becomes startled. He soon introduces himself to Geirmund as Völund as he explains this is his forge under the sea. Uneased, Geirmund holds his knife to Völund and asks if he was alive.

Völund explains he is alive and that he himself is a memory of the gods. Geirmund asks why is he the only one selected by him. Völund explains that the arm-ring, Hnituðr, chooses him because of the blood of his forebears, particularly his great-grandfather Hjörrleif. Hel-Hide deduces that he is the sea creature from his ancestor's story as Völund nods yes. Völund states that fate is not pre-destined but determined from the choices one does. However, he explains that Geirmund's trajectory will lead to betrayal and defeat to an unknown enemy.

Angry, Geirmund demands why the ring is important. Völund explains it was part of his fore-bear's fates and now it lies within his choice. Realizing it was his fore-bearers who named it and thus his birthright, Geirmund decides to take it. However, once he touches it, a blinding light occurs as he feels his mind turn to ash.

Chapter 9[]

Geirmund soon woke up with his face in the mud and Hnituðr placed on him. Believing himself to be in England, he makes his way to Readingum as he believes that he is in East Anglia. He follows the river to any near settlement but becomes hungry, dehydrated, and cold. However, he soon finds a body of a Christian in the river. He keeps following and finds multiple corpses beaten and cut savagely. He soon hears the Danes responsible and nears closer. However, he looks behind and is met by another Dane carrying a basket. The stranger holds his axe as Geirmund holds his knife.

However, Geirmund explains that he is part of Guthrum's company and needs food. The stranger welcomes him to his group and introduces himself as Fasti. Still hesistant, Geirmund carries the basket full of oysters as he and Fasti go to meet his leader, Odmar. They both cross the Saxon-built causeway and traveled through a burning Ancarig. Soon, they meet with Odmar, who questions Geirmund's presence. Geirmund explains he is a Northman that traveled with King Bersi. Odmar reluctantly tells Geirmund to drop the oysters into the fire as they all feasted on their meal, except Fasti.

Odmar grew more eased with Geirmund and explains they are Ubba's warriors keeping the peace Ubba left behind. Wondering where they are, Geirmund asks why a hut has been saved. Odmar states that it is a tomb for the Saxons. Being pushed to look, Geirmund nears the hut, which he figures to be a small prison due to its odor. Immediately, he dodges a wild Saxon shouted aloud from the hut as the other Danes laugh at him. The Saxon looks to be a priest as he curses all of them. Going back to the fire, Geirmund asks why the Saxon is declared to be dead.

Odmar explains that the Christian priests placed themselves in such tombs and declare themselves to be dead. Geirmund inquires on what led to the other priests dying. Although Odmar states they did not give silver, another Dane almost protests the claim but Odmar shouts any challenger to those who wish to contest. Quickly, all the Vikings fell asleep but Geirmund wakes up to the Saxon priest praying. Soon, he goes to meet the man, who notices Geirmund's presence. The priest explains that he wants no part of the luxuries of the outside world and that his God will kill him for his pious ways.

Talking with each other about their religions, Geirmund soon offers him water as the priest accepts. The priest introduces himself as Torthred and admits the group of Danes are unpredictable and may kill him with little reason. Surmising the same, Geirmund bids the priest farewell as he tries to leave. Noticing ships have passed through the river earlier, he tries to take one of the boats the Danes have. Yet, he is caught by Fasti. Geirmund initially lies to Fasti but to no avail. Before Fasti could alarm his group, Geirmund stabs him in the neck as Fasti falls.

Moving fast, Geirmund took a boat and all of the oars as Fasti lies dying on the ground. Immediately, he leaves the Dane encampment to put distance between him and Odmar.

Chapter 10[]

Geirmund sails upriver as ponders of his decision to kill Fasti. Paying a silver to the waters for safe travels, he soon finds a new town, Medeshamstede. With some of the buildings burnt, Geirmund stops briefly to buy necessities. As he moves towards the town, he is soon stopped by priests as one questions his arrival. Geirmund tries to buy from them but the priest judges him as a Dane and rejects his offer. Condemning their God for their disaster, Geirmund leaves in peace without any food or ale. Before going onto his boat, a priest named John stops him and offers him bread.

John mentions that Geirmund's looks depict the people of Bjarmaland as Geirmund thanks him for the food. John discloses his background from Francia as Geirmund asks for directions to Readingum. However, John mentions they are nearly one hundred miles away. John asks for Geirmund to wait as he goes back into the town. About to leave, Geirmund gives up waiting but John comes back and asks to be taken along with him. Surprised, Geirmund asks how is it possible he can leave as John explains he is a traveling priest not a monk.

Going upriver, they discuss the events at Ancarig as John directs Geirmund to head to Durobrivæ, a broken-down Roman fortress. John explains that the Roman built the roads and the Danes use them. Using the street nearby, John tells to go south and he will arrive at Readingum. John admits he fears the Danes may conquer England but it does not mean he and Geirmund are foes. As a gift, John gives him a seax as they continue on their path together. Geirmund admits he will fight the Saxons soon as John already knows. John tells Geirmund that in two days, they will be at a crossroads called Roisia. John will go to Lunden to be on a ship going home as he directs Geirmund to take the other path to Wessex.

Together, they pass through an abandoned town as they continue to talk about the Romans' influence. Geirmund asks John if he believes the dead can harm them. John states he does not but Geirmund says the roads they built now help the Danes invading. John agrees and states that the Roman were pagans too.

Chapter 11[]

Geirmund and John find their way into Mercia and made their way past a narrow inland sea. They come up with excuses to bypass either Saxons or Danes as they arrive at an abandoned village. Finding no villagers, they agree to spend the night here. After finding food, Geirmund ponders if he can rebuild this location to his own once the war is done. Soon, he and John debate about the war, their religions, and man's temptations. Rain poured as Geirmund falls asleep. The next day, he gathers eggs for breakfast before they continue on their journey. Along their route, they pass by more abandoned and destroyed settlements.

Soon, they notice a dozen campfires and deduce that there are Danes roaming nearby. Cautiously, they move forward but a Saxon soldier stops them. Talking with John, the Saxon soldier discloses that King Burgred of Mercia and King Halfdan agreed to terms of no fighting. John and Geirmund state the result cannot be said of the Medeshamstede and Ancarig. The Saxon soldier asks who Geirmund is while Geirmund states he is his bodyguard. John agrees with the statement and says the cost has been great and deadly. Geirmund argues that no agreement lasts forever.

The soldier argues against their traveling but John states they will be fine. After the soldier left, John and Geirmund continue and make their way to Huntsman's Hill. There, they see Danes as Geirmund confronts them in a conversation. He states that he's part of Guthrum's company and brings the priest as a gift. The Dane warrior asks what the priest could offer and John responds he could read the Saxon's language to them. Allowing them passage, they meet Jarls Sidroc and his son, Sidroc the Younger. The elder responds that he is ugly enough to be Hjorr's son.

To know the truth, the elder Sidroc responds that they all are going to meet Halfdan and Guthrum at Readingum tomorrow. However, their plans cast a problem for John to go to Lunden, yet they all consent. Away from any prying ears, Geirmund apologizes to John for making him come to Reading. John understands and states it is God's path for him and together to march to Readingum.

Part Three: The Great Heathen Army[]

Chapter 12[]

Geirmund and John follow Sidroc the Elder and his 300 men to Readingum. A night away, they all make camp as the elder calls for both Geirmund and John. Within the tent, Sidroc, his son, and multiple Danes see them come in as the elder asks John to read a parchment. The parchment details a message to King Burgred about both King Æthelred and Alfred attempted to attack Halfdan but were overwhelmed. They now reside at Wælingford and wish to draw out the Dane to battle at Ashdown. Sidroc dismisses the other Danes and congratulates John on telling the truth. Sidroc also places to stay as he, Geirmund, and his men plan to meet with the Saxons at Ashdown quickly as possible.

Geirmund and John leave the tent as both worry for the upcoming battle. Leaving John with the wagons, Geirmund joins Sidroc as they march to Moulsford with no attacks from the Saxons. Soon, they see two sides of battle as they cross the river. However, the Saxons divide their forces as they met to fight Sidroc's Danes. Ill-equipped, Geirmund had no choices but to fight. Meanwhile, Halfdan also divides his forces to aid Sidroc's warriors. Both sides charge each other but neither line budges. However, the Saxons create a wedge between Sidroc and Halfdan's forces from joining.

As he could not fight, Geirmund aids the fallen as he sees a man die in front of him. After sending him to Valhalla, Geirmund is told by the younger Sidroc to take the sword temporaily to fight and bring it back later. However, the Danes fall back from the Saxons' numbers. Soon, the Danes break as the Saxons hold the upper hand. Geirmund soon faces an incoming soldier and kills him. However, he is later charged by a giant soldier but soon kills him as well. Seeing Sidroc's Danes retreating, Geirmund thinks to join Halfdan's forces across an adjacent river. Geirmund sees most of Sidroc's warriors go towards Wælingford and die as a result.

Luckily, despite his weary state, Geirmund runs away from the incoming Saxons. He and eight Danes make their way to bridge at Garinges, where they see more Saxons fighting Danes. They all charge but Geirmund is bludgeoned once, over the bridge onto the river below.

Chapter 13[]

Wounded, Geirmund finds himself at the mercy of the river. He lets the river carry him as it proves to be shallow enough to keep his head above water. After passing corpses from the battle, he is soon found by Danes. Unsure of his background, the Danes almost rob him. Luckily, Geirmund tells them he is a Northman and sworn to Guthrum. The Danes carry him and bring him to their encampment. In and out, he hears that the Danes will bring in Guthrum as he is expected to heal. The next day, Guthrum is astounded of Geirmund's survival and asks what he is. Geirmund shows Hnituðr to Guthrum, who believes it as a gift.

Guthrum takes the arm-ring as he informs Geirmund to tell Steinólfur of his survival. The next day, Steinólfur and Skjalgi meet Geirmund while he recovers. They inform him that he is in Readingum and it has been four days since he was saved. Geirmund asks what happened at the battle as Steinólfur informs they suffered heavy losses, including King Bersi, Sidroc the Elder, Sidroc the Younger, Osbern, and Fræna. Still injured, Geirmund is told to rest as he wonders of John's survival. A week later, Geirmund meets Guthurm, Eskil, Steinólfur and Skjalgi within Guthrum's tent.

Inside, Geirmund reveals the tale of his survival and the arm-ring being given by Völund. He reminds of his sworn duty to Guthrum and asks of his sword. Eskil states Rek claimed it as Geirmund accuses him of being a thief. They all agree to retrieve the sword but Guthrum warns Geirmund to be mindful as all in the encampment are allies. Geirmund asks Rek for his sword but Rek is adamant and still blames him for the ship sinking. Rek demands to fight him over the sword and honor. Reluctant but understanding, Geirmund agrees to the terms as the square is made.

Despite Steinólfur's objections, Geirmund readies himself as he still feels dazed. Soon, the fight begins as Rek attacks first. Within their fight, Geirmund loses balance a couple of times and attack Rek without his shield. Although backed up, Rek gains momentum and makes Geirmund fall backward. Slicing Geirmund's cheek, Rek wins the fight. Geirmund loses as Steinólfur and Skjalgi carry him off.

Chapter 14[]

Wounded again, Geirmund is told to stay and rest despite a battle call at Basing. Meanwhile, Steinólfur tells him that Skjalgi is training under Birna Gormsdóttir, a former warrior of Osbern. The next day, Geirmund and Birna talk about her station as she and others are told to guard the camp. However, Birna insults Geirmund due to his loss to Rek. They soon train but Geirmund remains ill. Birna soon advises the difference between honor and pride as pride makes a warrior careless. Now, she mentions Halfdan marches south to gain his pride back. Wondering what the Saxon royal brothers are thinking, Geirmund believes they are all in danger.

Remembering about the ships the Saxon has, Geirmund explains that they may attack the camp by the river. He then convinced the camp's commander, Afkarr, to build defenses. Despite his illness, he works alongside the Danes to build the stake-wall. Soon, they all watch to see if Geirmund's theory is correct. Staying up all night, Geirmund soon falls asleep. Yet, in a few moments, Saxons ships arrive but were stopped by the stake-wall. More ships come but are confused by the immobility and war-horns. The Danes shoot arrows and blocked any running Saxons with their swords and shields. The Saxons hit no marks as they see the stake-wall from the fires.

In an instance, the remaining Saxons flee upriver as the encampment is saved. Afkarr thanks Geirmund and tells him Halfdan will know of his plans. Several warriors, previously sworn to Osbern, thank Geirmund, but find themselves without a loyal leader. Among them, the warriors Aslef, Muli, Thorgrim, Rafn, and Vetr become close with Geirmund. Two days later, Guthrum meets with Geirmund as to tell him the truth of what he did. After saving the encampment, Geirmund's reputation has grown as Halfdan's has faltered, even with Guthrum.

Both Guthrum and Geirmund, who remains silent, meet with Halfdan. Halfdan congratulates Geirmund on his defense as well as his survival but questions him on how he knew. Geirmund thinks carefully and gives credit to Birna, Afkarr, and the other Danes who built the walls. Halfdan understands and gifts him both silver and a company. Halfdan explains that Osbern's former Danes wish to fight with Geirmund. Geirmund thanks both Jarl Guthrum and King Halfdan for their gifts. Geirmund tells Steinólfur, Skjalgi, and Birna of the news as Birna discloses her desire to follow him.

She explains that they do not see her as favorable but Geirmund has built his reputation. However, she mentions of the pride issue and tells him she may leave if he is not honorable. Geirmund moves his tent to Osbern's former warriors and sees those who grew comfortable with him. He addresses the warriors to not swear to him, but to all, like his grandfather did. He also demands to make sure they all fight those who engage in combat with them and nothing more. Soon, they all declare their oaths and drink together.

For the next days, Geirmund learned his warriors' name and their attributes. He soon asks Steinólfur, Birna, and Muli to train the other warriors as both Guthrum and Halfdan are pleased to see the strong warriors. Soon, Guthrum reminds Geirmund of a task, which is for him and his company to overtake Wælingford.

Chapter 15[]

Geirmund asks why and how he and twenty-three warriors could take over Wælingford. Halfdan explains that Æthelred and Alfred head south and may have left little forces to protect it. Hesistant, Geirmund states he does not know much of it as Halfdan reminds him that he may overacted on giving him a command. Geirmund agrees but claims that any silver he finds, then he and his company should keep. Reluctant, Halfdan agrees as Guthrum smiles. Geirmund informs Steinólfur and Birna of the task as they believe Halfdan is trying to be rid of him.

Vetr also agrees and states that his reputation is a threat to Halfdan's. Rafn states that they may use the dead Saxons' armors to blend inside, but Geirmund states that way may only provide entry. Geirmund thinks about his options and believes that they should let them leave. His company becomes confused but Geirmund explains that most soldiers are farmers not warriors. With the king leaving, Geirmund surmises that most soldiers may leave if the Danes use their pagan to strike fear into the Saxons. Making three large crosses, the company use three dead Saxon bodies and douse them in oil.

The next sunset, Geirmund and his company take six boats, of which three are for the crosses and three for the rest of the company. Geirmund, Thorgrim, and Rafn are on the cross-ships while the rest leave their ships early for a land march. Once the cross-ships were in sight, the crosses are lit as the war-horns are used. Geirmund addresses the Saxons inside Wælingford and gives them a choice, to either leave their equipment in peace or wait till sunrise to be killed and burned.

The next day, Skjalgi tells his company that the gates are open. Treading inside carefully, they all notice that the town has been empty for some time but the second fortifications were quickly abandoned. Realizing the easiness, Geirmund and his company declare victory as they raided the empty town. Birna asks to tell Halfdan, but Geirmund wants her to tell Guthrum first and then Halfdan, due to his oath. Joining his men on exploring the town, they all soon found bried hacksilver near the smithy. Geirmund soon finds new weapons, which happen to be an axe and a sword.

In the afternoon, Guthrum, Halfdan, and their men arrive as Halfdan questions Geirmund on how he achieved the town. Guthrum states it is because of his cunning. Birna soon tells Geirmund that Halfdan was in disbelief as they both smile. After showing off Wælingford, Geirmund states he has found and split all silver and gold found. Guthrum congratulates him as he sends for more men to this location. However, Halfdan belays the order as he wants no more losses until the Saxon crown is in sight. Halfdan immediately leaves for Readingum with twenty Danes as Guthrum pulls Geirmund aside.

Guthrum explains that task was not against Geirmund but him. While Geirmund accomplishes many victories, it adds to Guthrum's reputation, which now rivals Halfdan's. Guthrum also informs Geirmund of his company's namesake, the Hel-hides. Geirmund thanks Guthrum, who reciprocates the compliment. Guthrum informs of Halfdan's plan to attack Æthelred and Alfred at Bedwyn. Geirmund promises they will be prepared as he finally takes pride in the name Hel-hide.

Chapter 16[]

In the next weeks, the Hel-hides raid the nearby farms and villages with little to no bloodshed. His orders are questioned by Skjalgi but Geirmund explains if they win, they need to live in harmony with the Saxons and not with fear. Skjalgi remembers his father, who was a farmer and not a warrior. Geirmund realizes Skjalgi's sorrow and tells him that his father was an honorable man and would be proud of him. Tearing up, Skjalgi thanks Geirmund. In three days, the Hel-hides leave eighty Danes to guard Wælingford as they later met with Halfdan's forces. Soon, the jarls and Halfdan talk amongst each other.

Guthrum informs his people of Halfdan's desire to have him come at the Saxons at the north, which means an uphill battle. Fearing another Ashdown, Guthrum follows the order. At the mound's base, Guthrum, the Hel-hides, and the rest of his forces face a shield-wall. Remembering Ashdown and Sidroc's deaths, Geirmund follows his jarl. Arrows come flying at them while some Danes are hit but Guthrum is never struck. However, the Saxons soon pin the Danes to the side of the hill. Guthrum does not retreat and charges through the weakness in the wall. Doing so, the Hel-hides begin to push back. Geirmund also breaks through to join Guthrum.

Soon, Geirmund attacks the soldiers from behind and the Hel-hides break through themselves. The Saxons pull back until King Æthelred orders them to stay. Guthrum sees the king as Geirmund attacks any incoming Saxon soldiers. Guthrum remains unharmed and finds an opportunity as he grabs a spear and struck Æthelred in his side. Soon, the Saxons fought to protect their king while others carry him off. Gaining the upper hand, Guthrum orders his men to meet with Halfdan at the summit. Quickly, the Saxons retreat as the Vikings won the day. Soon, the Vikings tend to their wounded and look to see the battlefield.

Geirmund soon finds a dying Rek as he tries to find Rek's sword. After finding Rek's sword, he sends Rek to Valhalla. Eskil comes and thanks Geirmund for his honor but blames Halfdan for the many losses. Looking at all the other deaths, including Muli's, Geirmund wonders if the blame lies with Halfdan or the Nornir. Geirmund meets with his company, who is astounded of Guthrum's lack of harm. The Hel-hides also know that Guthrum's spear may lead to Æthelred's death. Many agree that they may follow Guthrum. Eskil comes into the conversation and hands Hámund's sword to Geirmund.

Eskil admits that for his honor and courage, Geirmund deserves the sword. Geirmund humbly accepts it. Seeing the journey the sword has been through, he calls the sword Bróðirgjöfr. The Hel-hides spend the night drinking. The next morning, many jarls reject Halfdan as king and declare Guthrum as their king. Guthrum begins to leave with more men than Halfdan's as Geirmund joins him. Guthrum tells him that Hnituðr has the ability to make its user impervious to harm. He also tells Geirmund to make him jarl soon as the Hel-hide thanks him. Guthrum also informs of more warriors want to join Geirmund.

Geirmund states he lost seven warriors, but Guthrum states that he is known for his honor and great rewards. Geirmund accepts the warriors. Guthrum commends Geirmund's growing reputation as he states does not fear his company, yet.

Chapter 17[]

Word reaches the Danes that Æthelred dies and Alfred is crowned king. Weeks later, Guthrum and Halfdan join their forces to seize Searesbyrig, a stronghold outside of Alfred's gates. Passing through with his company, Geirmund stays the night outside a small Roman ruin called Calleva. After a stormy night and marching on the road, the Danes all find themselves at another defensive mound. The next day, they arrive Searesbyrig as they build fortifications. However, the Saxons led by Alfred are stationed nearby Wiltun, not far from Searesbyrig.

Guthrum convinces Halfdan to attack Alfred now instead of him gathering more troops. Soon, the Danes and the Hel-hides march forward and fight but the Saxons hold tight and shoot their arrows. Rafn is hit in the leg as Vetr shields him. Luckily, they continue as the Saxons retreat. Before Geirmund could finish the war, Guthrum stops him as he notifies that Alfred wants to speak of peace. In the afternoon, Geirmund confronts Guthrum about not taking Wessex today. Guthrum explains that although they may win, their numbers are too low to hold it. Most of the Danes are tired and Guthrum knows they rather farm than fight.

Soon, Alfred sends an envoy to meet Guthrum, who goes to meet the visitor. Halfdan looks cautiously at both Geirmund and Guthrum as the envoy proves to be John. John states the king will meet with no more than twelve in two days, due to a day needed to pray. Although Halfdan wants to meet soon, Guthrum states a day is needed for Alfred to consider his options. They all agree as Halfdan and the other jarls leave. Geirmund asks to walk John out as Guthrum permits it. Soon, Geirmund and John talk about Alfred's demand for the Danes to leave rich and the possible baptizations of Halfdan and Guthrum.

Geirmund laughs as John details his escape from the wagons as he was found by Alfred. John admits that he killed some Danes to escape and for his survival despite his misgivings while Geirmund explains his rise in reputation. Both soon part their ways as Geirmund meets his company to reveal Guthrum's plans. Two days later, the jarls, Halfdan, and Guthrum meet with Alfred, who agrees to pay them in gold and silver in return of no Danes crossing the Avon river. Within the year, the Danes leave Wessex. Guthrum and Halfdan plan to leave both Readingum and Wælingford as they plan to travel towards Lunden.

Geirmund, along with Birna and Steinólfur, contemplate over Wessex and how Halfdan's rise as king is due to the Hel-hides. Before leaving, Geirmund vows to come back to Wessex and knows fate is in charge of what is to come.

Part Four: Jorvik[]

Chapter 18[]

Passing Lundenwic, Geirmund and Guthrum soon arrive in Lunden along the River Thames as both Guthrum and Halfdan's force make a temporary residence there. The Hel-hides build their buildings and are later commended by Lunden's governor, Tryggr. Although Guthrum offers a talk with Tryggr, the governor looks at Geirmund with some hostility. Geirmund soon explores the town and feels at ease. Months later, Geirmund makes sure his company train and work daily. Sitting besides Birna and Aslef and watching Rafn and Vetr spar, the three discuss Lunden. They also talk about their possible futures, with Geirmund wanting to be honored. He wants to earn his place in Valhalla like his ancestors.

Birna soon compliments him on his reputation as she heads to find a "wolf." Aslef and Geirmund soon talk about the history of Jutland, especially the loss of Aslef's father. Aslef soon asks Geirmund if he may stay in Lunden and be released. Geirmund understands and only asks for him to think about his choice until they all must leave. Aslef soon asks to drink with Geirmund and about when Guthrum will signal to leave. Together, they soon come into a confrontation between two Danes, who approach Geirmund. Soon, two more Danes ready their weapons against them.

One snake-tattooed Dane, Krok, announces his soon jarldom as he accuses Geirmund for killing Ubba's kinsman, Fasti. Soon, they all engage in a fight as Geirmund quickly out-maneuvers the Danes and escapes with Aslef. However, another of Krok's Danes comes out and attacks them, injuring Aslef. Luckily, the attack catches people's attention as Geirmund goads him to attack them while injured. Thus, Krok and his men sheath their weapons while Geirmund takes Aslef back to their base. Arriving there, Birna and Thorgrim look over Aslef and treat him. Guthrum soon comes and talks with Geirmund alone.

Guthrum tells that Krok happens to be one of Halfdan's warriors and that Halfdan will answer for it. Soon, Geirmund sees Aslef as Thorgrim states that it is a serious gut wound. Aslef is moved to a more comfortable setting. Birna and the other Hel-hides want revenge as Geirmund states Guthrum and Halfdan are talking but to ready their blades. Guthrum comes back that night and pulls Geirmund aside. Guthrum states that both Tryggr and Halfdan await him tonight but he is to run. Not wanting to leave Aslef, Geirmund is told that he either dies with his company or run to safety. Geirmund reluctantly understands and asks where to go.

Guthrum promises once he and Halfdan separate armies, Geirmund will be welcomed back. Geirmund tells Skjalgi, Steinólfur, and Birna of his need to leave for his Hel-hides to be safe. He admits of the justified killing of Fasti but Steinólfur assures him that he will not leave his side despite the danger. Birna, wanting revenge, swears to be at Geirmund's side. They discuss temporaily leaving Thorgrim in charge of the Hel-hides while in London as Birna agrees to tell him. Geirmund also mentions to give Rafn and Vetr the choice as she leaves to talk with them. Skjalgi leaves to pack as Steinólfur confronts Geirmund.

Steinólfur states that if Geirmund dares to leave without him again, their oath is broken. Geirmund accepts the notion. Quickly, Birna, along with Rafn and Vetr, joins Geirmund as Skjalgi and Steinólfur are prepared to leave. Thorgrim has agreed to the terms and promises to tell Aslef once he wakes up. Thus, all six Vikings depart for the North.

Chapter 19[]

Going a different route, Geirmund and his five Hel-hides travel through the harsh weather and puts distance between them and Halfdan. After a couple of rests, they pass through a Saxon town as they are stopped by the town's Saxons. One Saxon argues with Geirmund, who notices the recent bruises on the soldier. Geirmund accuses them of being in a fight recently and asks if it was a Dane warrior with a ring in his nose. The captain agrees as Geirmund deduces it was Krok and his men. The captain discloses they consist around twenty men and they are nearby, hiding in the alehouse and all around. Seeing it as an ambush, Steinólfur asks where the Saxons are as the man states they are hiding in the marshes.

Realizing Krok's eyes are on him and he is outnumbered, Geirmund asks the man his name, which is Elwyn. Geirmund concocts a plan to the Saxon of going to the blacksmith as he tells Elwyn to inform Krok of his "plans." Therefore, Elwyn's town may be left alone as Krok and his men pursue Geirmund. With Elwyn, they all go into town further before Elwyn leaves to meet with Krok. Geirmund tells Steinólfur, Skjalgi, Rafn, and Vetr to scout the path to the marshes and watch the town's backside. Meanwhile, he and Birna go to the blacksmith as they notice a disguised shieldmaiden going towards the blacksmith.

At the forge, the shieldmaiden tries to lie her way as a blacksmith, but Geirmund simply outsmarts her. The shieldmaiden tries to attack but Geirmund holds his seax to her. Before they can talk, Birna kills her for Aslef while Steinólfur calls to Geirmund about incoming warriors. Vetr kills two of them as Steinólfur manages to kill the other warrior. Soon, Birna and Geirmund are told to meet Rafn and Skjalgi within the forest. All four of them quickly meet the two other Hel-hides. Skjalgi finds another track as Geirmund leads the way. Fortunately, they escape from Krok's men.

Moving forward, Geirmund and his company struggle for food and water. After two days, they all come by Medeshamstede, repurposed as a monastery, as they try to figure out how to outflank Krok and his men. Remembering his time with John, Geirmund states he has a plan.

Chapter 20[]

Geirmund removes his armor and weapons as he tries to steal bread from the priests and baker. However, he hits himself with a tree and is caught by them. Luckily, one of the priests happens to be Torthred. Torthred helps Geirmund up as he thanks for giving a chance to live after he left his station for this new monastery. The priest explains that he has become an abbot of this monastery and that they are all forty miles away from Ancarig. He offers both food and shelter to Geirmund as he guides him around the monastery.

Geirmund asks if his company can join as well, while Torthred states he must confer with his brothers. As he rests, Geirmund sees Torthred return with good news but with a condition. He asks the Hel-hide if he and his company can protect them from any hostile Danes. Geirmund soon tells his Hel-hides, who reluctantly agree. Night soon comes as the Hel-hides start to rest, especially Birna in her own cottage. The other Hel-hides soon see Torthred and his monks pray before they come back inside. Torthred soon meets with the Hel-hides and explains his prayers. Rafn remarks that they all will see whose gods are stronger. Torthred understands and says good night to the Hel-Hides.

Days pass as the Hel-hides help the priests with fortifications, scouting, and chores. Once again, the Hel-hides talk to Torthred about their afterlives and their gods' plans. After an impasse, the priest offers Geirmund to explore the chapel. Geirmund sees why they are raided due to the valuables the monks pray to, daily. Torthred recounts the life of Brother Boniface, who lost his life after cutting down an oak tree planted in respect to Thor. Passing through the monastery, the priest shows Geirmund four priests reading and copying sacred texts of past apostles.

Torthred soon offers to teach Geirmund how to read and write. Seeing a new opportunity, Geirmund agrees as both he and the priest practice for several weeks successfully. However, one night, a wounded priest arrives from Tamworth as he states that the Danes are back in Mercia. Thus, peace looks to be severed.

Chapter 21[]

The wounded priest discloses that both Ubba and his brother Ivarr have run King Burgred out of Mercia as many flee Tamworth. Realizing that their defenses cannot hold against an army, Geirmund advises Torthred of their options. However, Torthred states that his brother died in Ancarig earlier and that his sister fled to Tamworth. Now, it has been days since she fled Tamworth. Looking to Rafn and Vetr, Geirmund and his company offer to help locate Torthred's sister as they are not at war with anyone yet.

Rafn and Vetr leave to find Torthred's sister and return the next morning to inform Geirmund and Torthred of her being a prisoner of Krok's. They all believe she is a means of ransom for silver as Krok and his company head for the monastery. However, Geirmund concocts a plan as he tells the priest that Mercia is now Danelaw. Torthred confers with the monks and they agree to leave for Wessex. The next day, Torthred received Krok, his two men, and his sister, Tova, while the Hel-hides hide. They soon agree to a price as Krok and his group leave. Within the monastery, the monks and Hel-hides prepare their plan.

The next day, four of Krok's men and Tova come as Torthred, Brother Almund, and three "monks," who are Geirmund, Rafn, and Vetr in disguise, meet them with a chest. However, the chest holds five silver as Torthred wants his sister first and then he will give the rest of the silver. Sounding like a Saxon, Geirmund offers to retrieve the other silver. Conferring with the other Hel-hides, they all ready themselves to save Tova first and deal with the outcome later. Geirmund and Rafn soon walk up to the Danes with the bigger chest as they are told to open it. Once they open it, the Dane looks and sees it to be empty.

Immediately, Rafn kills the Dane holding Tova as Geirmund and Vetr attack, killing one more Dane. Instantly, all of the four Danes fell as more emerge from the trees. Carrying the smaller chest, Geirmund and his men run as Tova escape her captors. Soon, Krok and his men disappear as the Hel-hides and the monks safely return to the monastery. Realizing Krok's numbers are smaller, Geirmund surmises that Krok may be heading to Tamworth for more men. Having an advantage, he and his Hel-hides to draw them out with the truth of who outsmarted them.

Chapter 22[]

The monks prepare to leave as Geirmund talk to Tova and Torthred about their plans. The priest thanks him by giving the Hel-hides the rest of the silver while Geirmund asks him why did he teach him to read and write. Torthred responds, saying it is to make sure he and his company think before they burn any future texts. Quickly, the Hel-hides leave the monastery as they stay away from Krok's views. Not wanting to lose any more of his company, Geirmund orders to go by the river and tries to corner Krok. As they leave, they are noticed by Krok and make a run for the river. There, they find a large ship in the waters.

Coincidentally, Eivor sees, with her longship crew, the Hel-hides and the incoming men of Krok. At an impasse, Eivor takes the lead and asks Krok to state his business. Krok states of the blood feud and of a payment of eighteen pounds of silver or Geirmund's life. Geirmund states he heard no possible money payment before today and demands the payment for the loss of Aslef. Krok insults Aslef while Birna threatens to kill him and his Danes for the blood price. Eivor stops the argument and demands to know why the Sons of Ragnar are not here. Krok states he was given the directive to kill the cowardly Geirmund.

Vetr and Steinólfur defend Geirmund's honor as Geirmund walks up to Krok and offers a fight to the death: a holmgang. Eivor states the rules as it is her land as jarlskona. Both warriors state today and this moment. They both agree to sword and shield as the warriors form a square. Steinólfur and Birna talk to Geirmund as he readies himself. Eivor further starts the proceedings with further rules. Both warriors agree as the fight commences. Soon, the fight takes their first shields away. However, Krok attacks more harshly and destroys Geirmund's second shield.

Tired and slower, Geirmund wonders how to mess with Krok as he grabs his last shield. Geirmund begins to taunt Krok of his appearances and series of losses, causing the Hel-hides and some of Eivor's men to laugh. Krok soon grows sloppy with his attacks and loses his tact. Geirmund goes further and begins to taunt how both monks and Danes laugh over his lost men by the "monks." Krok tries to charge him but Geirmund sees an opportunity and fatally stabs him in his side. As Krok falls, Geirmund asks one of Krok's men to retrieve his sword and give it to Krok to send to Valhalla. Moments later, Krok dies.

Before Geirmund could declare peace, Eivor throws her axe and hits one of Krok's men, who attempted to kill Geirmund. Soon, Krok's warriors ready themselves but the Hel-hides and Eivor's crew cut all them down quickly. Eivor tells Geirmund that she figured it out due to their "look." Congratulating Geirmund on his lawful victory, Eivor invites him and the Hel-hides onto her longship to be guests at Ravensthorpe.

Chapter 23[]

Geirmund and Eivor catch up after Krok and his men, while aboard her ship. Eivor informs him about how King Harald rules all of Norway, with some leaving or dying in defeat. She states that Hjorr and Ljufvina are now stationed in Jorvik. Eivor states life is hard in England as both Christians and others in disguise move around these parts. Soon, Geirmund expresses regret over his last talk with his parents as Eivor leaves him with his thoughts. Steinólfur comes and talks to Geirmund about not blaming himself for the loss of Avaldsnes.

They all arrive in Ravensthorpe and make their way to the main hall. There, Randvi welcomes them to eat and sit. Soon, as they all feast, Hytham comes and introduces himself to Geirmund. Hytham makes it known that he knows of Geirmund's deeds and reputation and compliments him. Geirmund makes an inquiry about meeting a seer here and Hytham offers to show the way to her house. With Eivor's blessing, Geirmund leaves with Hytham as they discuss how Guthrum killed Æthelred. However, Hytham pries to question how Guthrum led the charge unharmed but Geirmund states it must be his fate.

Soon, Hytham and Geirmund arrive at the seer's home, where Hytham leaves him. Waiting, he meets the seeress, who remains silent with him. The seeress approaches Geirmund and takes the Saxon seax from him. Geirmund asks why and states it is a Christian weapon and has been used to take a life. Giving the seax, he goes inside the hut and sits before the fire. She tosses the seax into the fire and asks what he wants. Geirmund states he wants to know what is next as she explains the gods will disclose the truth, nothing else. She states betrayal and surrender still lie in his future but he has the tools to overcome them.

She explains that Geirmund has a war inside him and he fights as Eivor does. He thanks her and leaves back to the hall. He eats, drinks, and plays with the people of Ravensthorpe. As the night winds down, he meets with Eivor again as they discuss the next steps. He explains that he has no ship but would like to visit Bjarmaland. Eivor outright asks if he and his brother was traded by Ljufvina for the son of a thrall. Taken aback, Geirmund explains that it did happen but his mother was afraid as it was an early marriage, she barely spoke the language, and her husband was usually out to sea.

Geirmund explains his childhood for four years with Ágáða and how everyone, including his father, knew about it but Bragi, the skald, was brave enough to say the obvious. He also notes that Ágáða's own child was too frail and succumbed to his third winter. He also admits to his love for Ágáða as his mother. Too drunk, Geirmund is told by Eivor of a ship leaving for Jorvik. He states he wants to go and see his parents, before he falls asleep.

Chapter 24[]

Alone on the ship, Geirmund arrives in Jorvik as it sails up the Ouse River to its docks. There, he meets Faravid, who tells him where he could find Hjorr and Ljufvina. Hiding with a hood, he makes his way to his parent's house as he sees the substantial difference between their new house and their old kingdom. He knocks and soon Ljufvina opens the door. Immediately, she embraces him and calls his name repeatedly, crying. Tearing himself, he walks inside their new warm home. His father, Hjorr, comes downstairs and tears at his son's arrival. He is told that Hámund trades and form alliances.

Being told to sit, Geirmund sees how long it has been, due to his parent's ages. They soon discuss Geirmund's journey and how Wessex is being fought over by Guthrum and Alfred, whose cunning is noted by Hjorr. Expressing Eivor's regards, Geirmund soon sees Hjorr leave to attend to his council duties. Geirmund and Ljufvina talk about the situation with King Ricsige of Northumbria and how he is Halfdan's puppet king for the Saxons. However, Geirmund asks if they can join Guthrum's efforts instead of Jorvik. However, she resents Guthrum's influence over taking Geirmund from them. She pleads for him to stay, but he states his fate is elsewhere.

However, Geirmund states his comfort of his parents staying here and wishes to see the town. Seeing Saxons and Danes at peace, he begins to understand the concessions Ljufvina stated. He soon makes his way to the Royal Hall to see his father, but finds no sight of him. A warrior states Hjorr goes by the river outside the north wall as Geirmund thanks him. Heading there, he finds Hjorr alone on a wharf. Together, Hjorr admits he needs to counsel himself as the coldness reminds him of Avaldsnes. Hjorr soon asks Geirmund to ask the question of why he surrendered his kingdom.

Hjorr admits that Harald cut off all the trade in Norway and how he rather no longer be a king if it meant no more bloodshed. Geirmund realizes he may have judged his father too harshly earlier. Geirmund offers a chance for all three of them to fight together but Hjorr admits that he no longer desires war but a place to live and peace. Geirmund understands but Hjorr admits his mistake to hold him back and respects his decision and honor to Guthrum. Together, they walk back to his parent's home, where Ljufvina waited for them.

Part Five: Wessex[]

Chapter 25[]

Within days, Geirmund learns the importance of his parents' duties as they keep order and peace within Jorvik. They also explain to Geirmund that Halfdan owes them for Jorvik as well as Eivor, who rooted out secret Order members influencing the town. They warn him to be wary of Ubba as Halfdan and Guthrum have now separated. Geirmund wishes to stay if his parents needs the help. However, they wish for him to go and not delay. The next day, he wakes up to a meal with his parents, who gift him a war-horse from the Picts, Enbarr.

Wishing his parents farewell, Geirmund rides his new horse as they travel to Hreopandune. After some days, he arrives to find some Danes guarding the former Christian site and learns from them that Guthrum marches to Grantebridge. After spending the night there, Geirmund and Enbarr spend five days traveling to Grantebridge. Soon, he finds Guthrum and all of his Hel-hides together. He soon learns that Aslef died a day after he left Lunden and Thorgrim was with him. He soon meets with Steinólfur as they discuss his parent's current circumstances and their mended relationship.

Later, Geirmund meets an older Guthrum as they discuss his victory over Halfdan's warband. However, Guthrum admits to lying about the wergild as he did not want Halfdan sullying his reputation. Keeping his anger down, Geirmund asks when they march for Wessex. Guthrum looks at him and admits that Ivarr is dead, which led Halfdan to retreat and lose his fire for war. Ubba remains as Guthrum sees that as king, he has land to give in East Anglia and Mercia. However, Guthrum stands by the notion of Wessex being taken.

Preparing for the last battle, Guthrum plans to use Wareham for a foothold for any incoming allies. He states that the march for them might take four to five days and that Alfred is expecting them. Guthrum asks Geirmund to raid village along the Thames in Wessex to draw Alfred's attention away from the march. Before agreeing, he asks ten pounds of silver for every Hel-hide who survives, new equipment and horses, and to be a jarl in Wessex. Reluctant, Guthrum agrees to his terms. Geirmund soon meets his company and explains the reward and terms of their task. They all agree as they ready themselves to take Wessex.

Chapter 26[]

After four days, the Hel-hides have raided towns along the river Thames across Mercia. In the next five days, they meet Dane kings Oscetel and Anwend with two hundred longships under their commands. Going towards Wessex, Thorgrim asks if they can take plunder but Geirmund states they are to raid, not rob. To instill order, Geirmund speaks to his Hel-hides and states they may dishonor if they choose plunder over their oaths. Speaking with Steinólfur, he enacts a plan to be "troll-Danes", out of Saxons' nightmare. Thus, he wishes to conjure fear and word will spread to Alfred. Steinólfur soon agrees with his plan as they all ready themselves and their horses.

Looking like monsters, the Hel-hides prepare themselves as Geirmund states to put fire to the land and make sure if they can make it to the bridge for a fight. Despite some reluctance, his company agrees. Roaring and howling, the Hel-hides begin to inflame the market like they were Muspels of Muspelheim. However, they notice that there are no soldiers until they see only one of the bridge. Seeing the soldier to be young, Geirmund confronts the soldier unarmed as the boy states the soldiers of Abingdon are with Alfred and he is Esmond.

Geirmund gives him a choice to leave or fight. The boy flees as the Hel-hides win their raid with no bloodshed. Crossing into Wessex, the Hel-hides make camp as he tells Rafn and Vetr to scout for Alfred. The two warriors take Skjalgi for aid as Geirmund rests under an old yew. However, he dreams of his past losses and kills as well as Völund. He soon feels the frost in his dream and then awakes. In the evening, he joins his scouts, who state of a nearby town to raid. However, they venture closer as they all rest before they start their next raid. The next day, they raid the village but it is nearly empty.

Thorgrim and Birna suggest another attack on a nearby town as Geirmund agrees. After awhile, they see a land belonging to an ealdorman. Taking a closer look, they charge the town where arrows came at them. Shooting a rider down, the archer is dealt with by Thorgrim and Birna. The other Hel-hides see and notice no other soldiers around them. Geirmund sees the dying archer as he states he is an old soldier named Sæwine, who fought with Æthelwulf. The old soldier dies from his injuries as Geirmund sees to his losses. Geirmund sees that he lost a warrior named Løther from the arrow shot.

Telling his company not to burn the town, Geirmund instructs to tie up Sæwine's body to the hall's door as he states to bring Løther's body to be buried away from this place. After leaving, he meets with Rafn and Vetr and instructs them to find Alfred's place of birth. He wants to know to where.

Chapter 27[]

Back at the second camp, the Hel-hides bury Løther under the old yew as Rafn, Vetr, and Skjalgi return with Rafn injured. After killing five of Alfred's soldiers, the trio finds out of Wanating, Alfred's birthpalce. Being told it is a two-day journey, Geirmund hears Alfred's army travel from Readingum. Sending Rafn to Steinólfur to treat his wound, Geirmund talks with Skjalgi, who has trouble with Rafn's controversial torture. Geirmund reminds him that his fate is his own and not anyone's else. A storm rages above them all until it subsides once the Hel-hides move. However, rain occurs as they travel.

With the rain as an issue, Geirmund and his company see no notice of people guarding Wanating. Going inside, Geirmund sends Rafn and Vetr to scout as he takes Thorgrim and Birna to venture further within the town with their weapons. Investigating the hall, they conclude they all fled earlier and make a base here. Closing the town's gate, Geirmund notices the abundance of food leftover and uses it to feed his warriors. The Hel-hides eat and sleep off their meal. The next day appears as Geirmund lets his warriors rest. He is joined by Skjalgi, who asks him a question of honor even among kings.

Geirmund asks Skjalgi to speak freely as the warrior mentions Guthrum. However, Skjalgi notices an army approaching as Geirmund sees that it is Alfred. Waking his company, Geirmund hurries around the hall and meets with Skjalgi, who states the army is large. Realizing his plan worked too well, Geirmund realizes to make a stand to buy Guthrum time. He declares to his company to fight to the last man and make sure Alfred has no knowledge of Geirmund's true number. Steinólfur meets with Geirmund as they plan to boil fat, horse feces, and mud to pour onto the Saxons.

Measuring Alfred's army, Skjalgi counts nearly 3,000 men as he gives no hesitation to fight. Alfred's army holds themselves and prepare their formations. After the Saxons cut down a tree for a ram, they move forward as Geirmund readies his warriors. A fight breaks out as the Hel-hides attack from above and defends from any incoming arrows. Within the battle at the gate, the Saxons lost many men to the boiling oils as some of the Hel-hides die from the attack. Soon, the Saxons retreat as Geirmund takes a look of his resources. Wanting to destroy the bridge, he confers with Steinólfur, who states Thorgrim is mortally wounded and may die.

However, Steinólfur congratulates on their win but Geirmund sees the Saxon army moving west and wants to know where they are heading.

Chapter 28[]

Losing three warriors and having several injured, Geirmund hears that Thorgrim may most likely die from his injuries. Birna stays with Thorgrim, who rests on a bed of furs and blankets. Thorgrim asks Geirmund to give his ten pounds to Birna for staying with him. Thorgrim knows his death is forthcoming and declares his love for Birna. Realizing the arrowhead is in him, he asks Geirmund to remove it before his death. Carefully, Geirmund and Birna remove the arrowhead as Thorgrim wishes to see England fall. Soon, he succumbs to his injuries. Birna asks not to have the silver as her future with Thorgrim has ended.

Birna only asks to have more Saxons to kill as Geirmund promises not to give the silver to her. Instantly, Steinólfur tells him Rafn and Vetr return. Going to meet the warriors, Geirmund is told that Alfred has met Ubba's forces in battle west of them. Geirmund declares to meet Ubba to fight Alfred despite the blood-feud. However, he sees Rafn's arm has begun to fester as he tells Vetr to aid him. With Birna, he sees Thorgrim and other fallen warriors send off to Valhalla. Soon, the Hel-hides leave Wanating after they set it ablaze. They venture to meet Ubba but find a trail of hundreds of dead Danes.

They theorize Ubba to be dead as Steinólfur believes that Guthrum plans to be the last one standing. Further into the bloodbath, Geirmund begins to question Guthrum's word as Skjalgi sees an incoming horse drawing. The drawing gleams white in their eyes as Saxon thieves rob the dead. Birna, Rafn, and Vetr sees and catches four of them. Geirmund questions them and learns Ubba has fallen to the Saxons. Birna kills the four with Thorgrim's axe as Geirmund decides to go to Wayland's Smithy. Traveling there, Geirmund goes in closer to the mound as he tells Birna to have the rest march forward to a new camp.

Geirmund tells Steinólfur and Skjalgi that he must see if it's another of Völund's forges alone. Steinólfur gives him a seax as Geirmund ventures further within the mound. Although not a forge, he calls out for Völund, who appears differently to him than from before. This version of Völund explains that he does not know Geirmund as they are different versions of him around the forge and that these memories have been cut off from each other. He explains that he is slowly dying and that he has no knowledge of the ring Hnituðr.

Geirmund states he gave it to Guthrum as Völund states the ring is meant for the bearer and no one else. Understanding on what he needs to do, Geirmund takes his leave and meets with Steinólfur and Skjalgi. Together, they leave to conquer Wessex.

Chapter 29[]

After five days, the Hel-hides march to Defenascire and notice on the River Exe fewer longships as anticipated. Geirmund learns a storm at sea sunk one hundred and twenty longships, including Kings Anwend and Oscetel. The Hel-hides argue about whether they can take Wessex as they await a message. Soon, they receive word from Eskil, who states Guthrum took Wareham but there is a peace between him and Alfred. The peace includes Guthrum giving the ring to Alfred, but Eskil states Eivor counsels with Guthrum at the moment. The Hel-hides argue about the oath and honor as Eskil states his distrust in Guthrum now.

He states that Wareham is in flames as Eivor and Guthrum attend to attack Chippenham, where Alfred feasts. Although their forces are low, Eivor has brought allies across England, including Geirmund's parents, Hjorr and Ljufvina. Eskil explains they are to attack in four days on the Christians' "Twelfth Night." Eskil states he came to the Hel-hides out of his own accord. However, Steinólfur argues that Guthrum disregards them because of Geirmund's own power and repuation. Geirmund states they fight for themselves and their own fallen warriors. Steinólfur and Vetr reminds him they all fight for Geirmund too.

Eskil asks to march with Geirmund as he believes Guthrum to be an oath-breaker. They all travel to Chippenham and make their way to camp at Selwood. The next day, once they leave, Rafn falls over as they all see his arm has been rotting. Steinólfur argues to cut the arm off if Rafn has to survive. Geirmund keeps his honor as he stays with Vetr, Steinólfur, Eskil, and Skjalgi as he gives Birna command over his Hel-hides to join the battle. Birna agrees as she goes with the other warriors to fight.

With Steinólfur, Geirmund and his small company gather the equipment to save Rafn. Steinólfur begins to amputate Rafn's arm as the warrior begins to thrash from the surgery. Steinólfur tells Vetr to keep Rafn warm as Vetr thanks him. Vetr gives Geirmund a path to leave as his leader reluctantly agrees. Riding Enbarr, Geirmund prays to the gods to save Rafn as he rides to Chippenham.

Chapter 30[]

Near the Battle of Chippenham, Geirmund, Steinólfur, Eskil, and Skjalgi sees Saxons racing south as Eskil deduces they are with Alfred. Seeing the king flee, Geirmund decides to follow and tail Alfred to see his next location. They ride back to Selwood as they follow Alfred's company with Geirmund regretting not to check on Rafn. Into the marshes, the Hel-hides notice they see Alfred in a defended hold. Although they doubt his kingship, Geirmund reminds them he is a Christian king and ealdormen will follow him nevertheless. Their leader declares to head back to Chippenham as the rest follow.

Geirmund checks on Rafn back in Selwood as Vetr almost kills Geirmund by accident. Rafn wakes up and thanks both Geirmund and Steinólfur for their help. Geirmund assures him that he remains a Hel-hide. Going to fight, Geirmund offers Enbarr to Vetr and Rafn to ride as he takes Vetr's animal. Seeing the battle has ended, Geirmund sees Birna and twenty-seven warriors survived but notices Birna's sorrow. Wanting to find his parents, he finds his mother as Ljufvina notices him after a brief daze. Together, they embrace each other as he learns that his father has died in battle.

Geirmund blames himself to not come earlier, yet Ljufvina states it is fate and that death gave Hjorr honor and courage in battle. Ljufvina gives him Hjorr's seax and Geirmund sees that the seer was right. However, he states that he needs to speak with Guthrum about Alfred but she cautions to speak carefully. Geirmund soon meets with Eivor, who offers her condolences, as they share news of Alfred's situation. However, she tells Geirmund that Guthrum will not be disturbed inside the Christian church. Although impatient, Geirmund is stopped by Eivor, who offers the advice to be wise and patient.

Eivor soon offers a place in Ravensthorpe for him and his mom. Geirmund thanks her as he goes to meet Guthrum. Tense, he speaks with Guthrum about attacking Alfred at Sumorsæte but Guthrum remains silent. Pushing, Geirmund wants to attack but Guthrum declares the opposite as he states he is tired of war. Geirmund explains they must attack before the Saxons muster more forces and that his and all others' sacrifice will not be for nothing. Guthrum hears him and tells him to leave. Geirmund soon storms out, enraged.

Chapter 31[]

After days at Chippenham, Birna announces to dethrone Guthrum for his absurd ways. The Hel-hides wonder if Alfred spun a web or Guthrum might be in fear. Geirmund states that he will meet Guthrum again with Birna stating that action may be the only resort. Geirmund goes to the temple again and thinks that he sees a priest near the door. Going to check on Guthrum, Geirmund knocks to check on the king's welfare. Guthrum responds that he was sleeping. Once Guthrum closes the door, Geirmund sees that the king lies and waits nights to find the priest-looking thief.

On the ninth night, the man comes back as Geirmund jumps him. He sees the man to be John, the priest, as he interrogates his business. Despite the lies, John states that he is checking on the people while Geirmund demands to see his satchel. With his seax on John's neck, Geirmund sees the priest's demeanor change from fear to calmness. Seeing that they are messages, Geirmund dismisses John to leave as the priest thanks him. However, Geirmund explains that this is the last time they part amicably and that next time, it will be as strangers.

Back at the Hel-hides campfire, Geirmund reads to see Guthrum surrenders to Alfred to be baptized. He tells Steinólfur and knows that the betrayal and dishonor promised in the seer's message have come. The message also dictates the retrieval of Hnituðr to Alfred. Geirmund states he must meet Guthrum alone and tells Steinólfur to lead the Hel-hides in his stead. Steinólfur states Geirmund will not fall as they will wait for him. Geirmund soon confronts Guthrum inside the temple as Guthrum is surprised by his presence. Geirmund demands the ring back and tells Guthrum of the truth and how he breaks his oath.

In their debate of honor and peace, Guthrum states he rather live than die on the battlefield and that fate curses him with a win at Chippenham over the losses of the Sons of Ragnar. Geirmund gives up his claim for Wessex but still demands the ring. However, Guthrum promises it to Alfred, who wants it destroyed. Geirmund pulls his sword and attacks Guthrum. However, Geirmund's sword slowed down as he could not hit Guthrum, who attacks in response. Dodging his attack, Geirmund grows tired as none of his attacks landed to hurt Guthrum. Back to his match with Krok, he starts to taunt Guthrum.

Weakened and unarmed from his sword, Geirmund falls back after Guthrum headbutts him. Geirmund grabs the last weapon, Bragi's bronze knife, and jumps at Guthrum one last time. Astonished, Geirmund falls forward as he sees blood on the knife as Guthrum goes back with a gash in his thigh. Realizing the knife can hurt him, Guthrum surrenders to Geirmund. Guthrum offers the ring for a truce as Geirmund debates his word. Geirmund demands the ring as he holds Guthrum at knifepoint. Guthrum gives the ring back to Geirmund as he states no more fighting. He states he will not swear to any more kings or jarls and make his own peace.

Before leaving, Geirmund states all will pass except honor and fame of those who earned it. Guthrum is left bleeding as Geirmund leaves the temple.

Epilogue[]

Geirmund and his Hel-hides ride north and after some time, they meet Hámund again as they take their raiding onto the seas. With Geirmund, his warriors, especially Eskil, Steinólfur, Birna, Vetr, Rafn, and Skjalgi, stand by their oaths as they all trade across the waters. Geirmund wears the ring for the rest of the time, but as time progresses, the ring is no longer found once Geirmund's time came. However, no ring is a substitute to the fame and his reputation as a sea-king.

Development[]

Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Geirmund's Saga received untitled listings in online retailers days before the its tie-in game was revealed.[5] A day after the game itself was revealed, fansite Access the Animus reported the name of the novel, then simply Assassin's Creed Valhalla, and revealed its author and preliminary cover art.[1]

Following Ubisoft's first Ubisoft Forward presentation, where the game's release date was announced, the full title of the novel and its premise were revealed with the cover art set to be done by Korean artist Kim Jung Gi.[2]

Media[]

Editions[]

International
  • ISBN 9783833239526; Panini Verlags; 17 November 2020; German-language paperback
  • ISBN 9788820070342; Sperling & Kupfer; 17 November 2020; Italian-language paperback
  • ISBN 9788820070342; Sperling & Kupfer; 17 November 2020; Italian-language Pandora hardcover
  • ASIN B08NDNFKBN; Sperling & Kupfer; 17 November 2020; Italian-language eBook
  • ISBN 9788445009536; Minotauro; 24 November 2020; Spanish-language paperback
  • ISBN 9782362315473; Castelmore; 9 December 2020; French-language paperback
  • ASIN B08L84CDRN; Bragelonne; 9 December 2020; French-language eBook
  • ISBN 9786555352016; Planeta Minotauro; 15 December 2020; Brazilian Portuguese-language paperback
  • ISBN 9789543896004; Epa; 2020; Bulgarian-language paperback
  • ISBN 9788366575509; Insignis; 2 June 2021; Polish-language paperback
  • ISBN 9788075940933; Fantom Print; 2021; Czech-language paperback

Gallery[]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Twitter AccessTheAnimus (@AccessTheAnimus) on Twitter "A new novel dedicated to #AssassinsCreedValhalla has been announced! Published by PenguinRandomHouse and written by @writerMattKirby, the novel will "step even further into the world of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla"" (screenshot)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Hua, Holly (12 July, 2020). Assassin's Creed® Valhalla Release Date Announced for November 17. Business Wire. Archived from the original on 13 July 2020. Retrieved on 12 July 2020.
  3. Twitter Matthew J. Kirby (@writerMattKirby) on Twitter "The news is out & I can finally reveal that I'm writing another Assassin's Creed novel. This will be an original saga connected directly to the events in the new game, Assassin's Creed: Valhalla. I'm beyond thrilled to be writing in this universe again. #AssassinsCreedValhalla" (screenshot)
  4. Aconyte Books logo white Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Geirmund's Saga by Matthew J Kirby on Aconyte Books' official website (backup link)
  5. Samson, Alexandre (1 May, 2020). Update Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: a novel for the next game listed on several online stores, with a release date. Archyde. Archived from the original on 13 July 2020. Retrieved on 2 May 2020.

External links[]

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