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"Be ravening wolves and croaking ravens. Stand firm, your axe-arm strong, and together we will win this final battle. And remember ... Aelfred is mine."
―Eivor Varinsdottir, addressing her allies.[src]-[m]

The Battle of Chippenham was an event that took place on January 878, during the end stages of the 9th century Viking expansion in England.

The battle is named after the village of Chippenham, previously known as Cippanhamm, which was peripherally involved in the battle and was the original objective of both the Great Heathen Army and King Alfred the Great's forces in Wessex. It was during this battle that Reeve Goodwin died after fighting the shieldmaiden Eivor Varinsdottir of the Raven Clan, while Guthrum's forces lost one of their commanders, Soma, within the battle.

Prelude

"Aelfred is a wily fox. He appears frail but draws upon an inner strength. He will not be easy to oust."
―Eivor explaining to Guthrum not underestimate King Alfred.[src]-[m]

During their invasion in Hamtunscire, Wessex, the Great Heathen Army and its leader, Guthrum, agreed to a truce with King Alfred in the village of Werham. When Eivor arrived, negotiations began to sour as Alfred revealed to both Guthrum and Eivor that his army had killed Ubba Ragnarsson. Reneging on the truce, Guthrum and his allies burned down Werham and escaped from Alfred's forces.[2]

As Eivor called on her allies, Norse and Saxon alike, to join her for the upcoming battle, Guthrum asked for her help to rescue his fellow soldiers at the Hamtun Blockade. After rescuing his soldiers, Eivor and Guthrum agreed to meet on the outskirts camp of Cippanhamm to devise their strategies on the assault against Alfred. At the outskirts, Guthrum and Soma were met by Eivor, who saw that her allies came at her call. Discussing how to overtake the village, Eivor planned out the assault into groups and each group were entailed with their own objective.[3]

Battle

"You have no understanding of duty, the loyalty I freely give. His plan for England, for the world, is worth the cost of my life."
―Goodwin reprimanding Eivor for doubting Alfred's plans[src]-[m]

During the night of the Saxon feast, Eivor led the charge stealthily as she entered the village's church alongside Soma and Ljufvina Bjarmarsdottir. As they entered inside, the shieldmaidens were greeted by Reeve Goodwin, who served as a decoy for Alfred's escape. As Ljufvina and Soma left Eivor at her request, Goodwin and Eivor engaged in single combat. Goodwin was defeated by Eivor and after a heated verbal exchange, Goodwin's life came to an end.[3]

Joining the battle outside, Eivor saw the village overwhelmed by Saxon soldiers, only to be trapped alongside Soma fighting off waves of incoming soldiers. Soma, worn from the onslaught, was soon impaled by a sword before killing the Saxon assailant. Bleeding out, Soma let out a war cry as she was instantly killed while Eivor watched from afar. Throughout the battle, Eivor ran to aid her allies, but could not prevent prevent the death of Hunwald, a friend from Lincolnscire who died from his wounds.[3]

By the time Eivor helped her allies, she came to fend and kill off the incoming Saxon soldiers in the village square. After defeating most of her enemy's infantry, the rest of the reinforcements started to flee. Thus, Guthrum and Eivor claimed the village and ousted Alfred as the ruler of Wessex.[3]

Aftermath

"Nothing awaits them. They lived, they died. Now their bodies will burn to cinders. Their saga ends here."
―Eivor to Guthurm, before lighting funeral pyres[src]-[m]

The battle resulted in heavy casualties for both sides. Alfred's Saxon army withdrew from the village as King Alfred went into hiding. Eivor prepared the funeral pyres for her allies who fell during the battle, especially for Soma, Hunwald, and Hjorr Halfsson, partner to Ljufvina. Afterwards, Guthrum and Eivor talked about the future for Wessex in the village's church, where Guthrum proclaimed to protect his people and Wessex, no matter the cost, while looking at a Christian cross.[3]

Gallery

Appearances

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Wikipedia-W-visual-balanced.svg Battle of Chippenham on Wikipedia
  2. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaKingdom's End
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaHoly Day

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