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"For love and joy, words can jade. Our souls must sound in a heartful song. And when ... no, no... You are less mine than I am yours. And I ask of you only this, keep me honest in the times to come."
―Eivor Varinsdottir to the members of Ravensthorpe, 877.[src]-[m]

Eivor Varinsdottir (born 847), also known as the Wolf-Kissed, was a Viking shieldmaiden and jarlskona from Norway who raided in what would become England during the late 9th century. She was the reincarnation of the Isu Odin, the chief of the Æsir who was revered as a god in Germanic and Norse mythology.

Born to nobles Rosta and Varin, who pledged allegiance to King Styrbjorn Sigvaldisson of the Raven Clan, Eivor was adopted into Styrbjorn's house following her parents' deaths during a raid on Heillboer by Kjotve the Cruel and the Wolf Clan. Raised alongside Styrbjorn's son Sigurd, Eivor spent much of her youth seeking to gain glory and eliminate Kjotve to avenge her parents.

Following her brother's return to Norway in 872, Eivor met the Hidden Ones Basim Ibn Ishaq and Hytham and was gifted a Hidden Blade, which she used in combat against her enemies. After killing Kjotve and taking his lands with assistance from the army of Guthorm the Wise, Eivor followed her brother Sigurd to England after Styrbjorn ceded his kingdom to Harald Fairhair, a decision opposed by many of the Raven Clan, including Sigurd.

Eivor and her clan settled in Ledecestrescire, establishing the settlement of Ravensthorpe and spent the next few years building her settlement and securing alliances with the kingdoms within England. She also helped Hytham in ridding England of the Order of the Ancients with aid secretly provided by the Grand Maegester Alfred of Wessex, indirectly leading to the formation of the Templar Order.

A year following the transpired events, now jarlskona of her clan, Eivor was invited to Dublin by Bárid mac Ímair, her cousin on her mother's side. There she helped Bárid secure his throne through an alliance with the recently crowned Flann Sinna, High King of Ireland. She also fought against the Children of Danu, a druidic cult that sought to prevent the Norse and Christian faiths from replacing their own.

Some years after eliminating the Children of Danu, Eivor participated in the second Viking siege of Paris, alongside Sigfred's clan, fighting Charles the Fat's reign of terror in order to prevent him from reaching and conquering England. In the process, she discovered a conspiracy led by the Bellatores Dei, a group of zealots which had the objective of exorcise Francia from paganism, using the mad king to fulfill their goals.

Biography

Early life

Childhood

Eivor was born in 847,[1] dubbed as the plague year, to Rosta and Varin at the residence of Ímair, Rosta's brother, who had provided them shelter after they had been turned away from the homes of various fellow Norsefolks. Eivor's birth was also witnessed by her older cousin and Ímair's son Bárid, whom she grew up with, until Ímair's family migrated to Dublin in Ireland.[2] Eivor's family went on to settle in Heillboer, a small settlement in northern Rygjafylke, within the territory controlled by Styrbjorn's clan. Eivor's family came to bond with Styrbjorn's family, with Eivor befriending and growing up alongside Styrbjorn's son Sigurd. On one occasion, Eivor accidentally spilled ink on her father's throne, much to his anger. She also had fond memories of sitting around the hearth of their longhouse listening to her mother's voice.[3]

At eight years of age, Eivor enjoyed the stacking of cairns, a skill taught to her by her mother. Her mother and father would often share stories with Eivor around cairns, the curious child was all the eager to listen. On the day before King Strybjorn visited, Eivor's mother informed her that Sigurd would be accompanying him, to which Eivor responded nonchantly to. Sigurd had a habit of stealing her stones and calling her "troll-tooth", something that irked the little drengr.[4]

Eivor witnessing her parents' deaths

In 855,[1] Eivor attended a feast organized by her father to honor Styrbjorn and pledge allegiance to the king. Eivor presented King Styrbjorn a gifted armband at the behest of her parents but halfway through the celebration, the settlement was raided by Kjotve of the Wolf Clan. Eivor watched as her father Varin put down his axe at Kjotve's insistence that his family and clan would be spared if he gave his life willingly, leading to both his and Rosta's deaths.[5]

Kjotve immediately broke said promise and ordered his men to kill the rest of the village. Eivor, however, was rescued by Sigurd, who managed to clear the immediate village area on horseback before being separated from Eivor after a tumble caused by one of Kjotve's raiders. Finding herself in the middle of a frozen lake after a hard fall down a cliff, a stunned Eivor was accosted by a wolf that saw her as prey. As she crawled towards a fallen axe in the middle of the lake, the wolf attacked her, eventually biting down hard on her neck. This caused her to hallucinate a partial memory of Odin and cry out in pain, calling two ravens to distract the wolf, allowing her to slowly reach the axe and strike the wolf dead.[5]

Adopted by King Styrbjorn

This incident gained Eivor the nickname of the "Wolf-Kissed",[6] and from that age on began to hear the voice of Odin in her head, although she did not realize it.[4] In the years to come, she slowly stop witnessing visions from his memories and eventually forgot about the voice in her mind.[7]

Varin's apparent sacrifice led Eivor to resent him for his perceived weakness, something which was further influenced by the input of others. When she was alone on a cliff stacking stones to ease her mind, Sigurd tried his best to comfort her. He told her that she would be taken into Styrbjorn's household and raised by him, alongside himself. Eivor then cried into her new brother's shoulder as he led her down home.[4] Eivor went on to grow up alongside Sigurd, and during this period, she befriended members of the neighbouring Clan Hemmingsons, led by jarl Hemming, Trygve and Hemming's son Vili.[3]

Around 867, Eivor accompanied King Styrbjorn as he went to meet with Hjorr Halfsson in Avaldsnes. While the two kings discussed the growing threat in the north that was jarl Harald Fairhair, Eivor became acquainted with Hjorr's younger son, Geirmund Hel-hide. They discussed philosophy and the realities of their lives, with Eivor imparting some words of wisdom on the younger boy.[8]

Raid on Rygjafylke

Eivor cutting Roscoe's legs in half

In 870, Sigurd embarked on a raiding expedition across Europe and Asia, leaving her sister responsible for fending off Kjotve and his clan from their territories. Around that time, Eivor, alongside her clansmen Dag Nithisson and Tora Auzoux, witnessed Kjotve's raid on a settlement in Rygjafylke, on the edge of Styrbjorn's territory. Seeing this as an opportunity to endear her adopted clan to the village, Eivor rushed in to stave off the raiders, disregarding Dag's suggestions of a more measured approach. While fighting, Eivor confronted a raider named Roscoe, who taunted her with the death of her father, claiming he died like a coward. In response, she cut his feet from under him and refused to kill him, depriving him of a warrior's death and entry to Valhalla at her hands. Leaving him bleeding and cursing, Eivor went to help Dag, who had been cornered by the raider Taras.[9]

Eivor presenting Gull to Styrbjorn in Stavanger

Upon the end of the skirmish, she went to the head of the village and claimed the land in the name of her adopted father. Incensed and believing Styrbjorn to be no better than Kjotve, the elder attempted to attack her but was cut down before even managing a swing of his sword. Claiming the old man died a warrior, Eivor demanded tribute from the remaining villagers while her and her companions helped gather the dead. Returning to where she left the bleeding raider, Eivor found only blood. While searching the area for him, she heard noise coming from within a building and proceeded to investigate it only to be ambushed by a pale woman in robes covered in tattoos and wearing a collar. Eivor easily fended off the woman, whom identified herself as a slave and skald. The woman revealed herself to be Gull, one of Kjotve's, and claimed she was also a slave "to Sökkvabekkr, Sága and Idun's bounty", before calling Eivor the "Slayer of the Wolf", begging to accompany her. Believing the woman mad but perceptive, the drengr decided to take her captive back to Stavanger, where her adopted father held court, in order to present Gull as a gift to Styrbjorn. Upon their return, the praise and adulation Eivor expected from her adoptive father was nowhere to be seen, as he berated her for incurring Kjotve's wrath by taking the slave back to Stavanger.[9]

Ambush at Feiknstafir

Eivor listening to Gull and telling Tora to keep a secret

Some time later, while training with Tora, Eivor vented her frustrations on her humiliation at the hand of her adoptive father, as he rejected her tribute of Gull as a thrall. Upon hearing Eivor's desires to prove herself, Gull tempted her, claiming she could lead the warrior to bounties and treasures, the same ones she had granted Kjotve. Claiming that since, unlike him, Eivor hadn't tortured her, she would lead Eivor to the "Æsir's hoard". While Tora expressed her doubts, Eivor heeded the slave's words, to Tora's dismay. Eivor then asked Tora to keep her location and objectives a secret, while she followed Gull into the mountain tops of the Feiknstafir mountains.[10]

Eivor stabbed in the back by Gull

Days later, upon the mountain ledges of Feiknstafir, the two women climbed under Gull's directions. In a particularly treacherous ledge, she nearly fell to her death but was saved at the last second by Eivor. Impressed by the warrior's act, Gull recognised her as a friend, and Eivor jokingly remarked that if the treasure trove proved to be real, she'd marry Gull in celebration. Shortly thereafter, they arrived at the ruined Temple of Heimdall. Once inside, Eivor recognised the place as having been picked off and looted long ago, and soon found Kjotve's men inside, led by Bjarke Broadside. Before Eivor could do anything, Gull screamed for them, revealing her intention of luring Eivor to the place as a present to Kjotve. Eivor managed to fend off most of the group's attacks, but was felled by the slave, who stabbed her with a knife in the back. On the ground bleeding, Eivor claimed to Bjarke that she would not be a prize and that, by the end of the day, any riches of Heimdall would be hers, on Styrbjorn's name. Laughing, he informed her that, at that very moment, her adopted fathwer was already dead as a result of a raid in Stavanger.[10]

Heimdall's treasure

Eivor tackling Bjarke

Eivor witnessed Bjarke beat Gull into submission and taunted him that Gull wouldn't be able to lead the way to the treasure if she was dead. The thrall cried out when Bjarke grabbed her, "The King's desire lies at Himinbjörg, where Heimdall dwells". When Bjarke had enough of her rambling, he went to beat her again, before Eivor tackled him to the ground to rescue her. Bjarke was dumbfounded that the viking would protect the one who betrayed her, but easily tossed her off. Towards the mouth of the cave, she tumbled, gripping the ledge for her life. At this moment, the temple's foundations weakened scaring the two members of the Wolf Clan, Bjarke and Erland. While their attention was diverted by the sudden disruption, Eivor snuck up behind Bjarke and stabbed him through the back of the head with a sword.[11]

Eivor and Erland find Heimdall's treasure

She then turned to fight the other warrior, but in her weakened state, he pushed her to the ground. Looking upon a painting of Himinbjörg on the wall, Eivor recalled Gull's rambling and kicked the wall, destroying the rotten wood. Behind it lyed Heimdall's treasure, a mountain of gold coins and other riches, with a pedestal on which rested an Apple of Eden, at its top. As Eivor reached for it, she was thrown to the ground again by Erland, claiming that the treasure belonged to Kjotve. She remarked that Kjotve was nowhere to be seen and kicked her opponent off the treasure pile, sending him and the other thugs through the weakened floorboards to their deaths. Gull grabbed the glowing artifact and stood up, no longer the cowering slave. Calling out to her, Gull's response to Eivor was: "That is not my name. And this is not my life." She tore off her slave collar to reveal a strange mass of dark veins on her neck.[11]

Eivor offering to save Gull, while the latter tries to grab the Apple

Eivor, still dazed and confused, had no idea what the other woman was talking about. She demanded that Gull handed over the treasure that rightfully belonged to her father but she refused to be owned by anyone, and Eivor was resigned to take it off her dead corpse and attacked. Gull then grasped the Apple with her hands and commanded the warrior to stop and, subdued by its power, Eivor could not move. As the rest of the temple continued to crumble around them, Eivor pleaded Gull to release her from the stasis or else they would both die.[11]

Gull was unafraid to die, but accidentally dropped the Apple, cancelling her orders. Eivor, now free, realized the power the Apple held and wanted it for Styrbjorn. Gull warned Eivor that she did not understand that the world was not as it seemed as she scrambled to get back the Apple with the floor breaking apart behind her. Eivor held out her hand for the sphere, promising help, but Gull refused to let the Apple fall into Styrbjorn's hands. The latter, no longer mind-addled, recalled what Bjarke had said about Eivor's village being under attack and asked her if she would abandon the man who took her in and raised her. With the ledge as weak as it was, any attempt to take the artifact would definitely kill them both. Gull gave Eivor two choices; "Risk everything for glory, or save [her] people". Eivor chose the latter and left Gull to her fate.[11]

Back in Stavanger, she arrived too late to save her friend Tora but managed to avenge her death and protect her father. Styrbjorn was proud of Eivor for not letting him down again. As she fought against the warriors of the Wolf Clan, she called out to Dag to not let Tora's demise be in vain. When questioned where she was all that time, her answer was that she had chosen her settlement and family.[11]

Retaliation

The ransacked village

In 872, Kjotve attacked a village under the protection of King Styrbjorn. With her brother Sigurd still away on his voyages, Eivor was tasked with leading the counter-attack and driving their enemies back north. While Kjotve sacked another village, she took a small band of warriors and launched a raid on his back lines, cutting down the warriors manning three watchtowers, allowing them to move unnoticed.[12] They made their way through the village, battling the Wolf Clan warriors,[13] before Eivor joined the main body of the war-band, asking a small group of warriors to scale the rear face of the hill and draw fighters away from the front. They flanked the mead hall, defeated Kjotve's youngest son, Hrolfr Kjotvesson, and recovered a chest full of gold, though Eivor noticed that the scrolls it previously contained were missing.[14]

They gave chase, following Kjotve's trail towards the summit of the mountains.[15] The small group of Vikings burst into an old hunting lodge and interrupted his meeting with his son, Gorm Kjotvesson. Eivor battled Kjotve while one of her allies took on Gorm. Eventually, the Viking struck Gorm a heavy blow to the face, wounding him, just as Kjotve incapacitated Eivor with a slash across the torso. The Viking had no time to savor victory, as Kjotve immediately ran over to Gorm's aid and stabbed his opponent between the ribs. With both assailants wounded, Kjotve gloated over his win before ordering his son to grab the scrolls and flee the lodge. Although incensed at their defeat, Eivor advised her ally to wait for another chance to meet Kjotve and get their revenge.[16]

Hunt for Kjotve

Eivor captured by Kjotve

In December, Eivor and her crew pursued Kjotve to the west of Rygjafylke. While she was captured, her crew members were scattered and hunted by Kjotve's men in Avaldsnes. Before leaving Eivor to be sold into slavery, Kjotve taunted her and displayed the very axe that he had taken from her father to kill him seventeen years prior.[7]

However, Eivor freed herself and met Dag who also escaped. While he headed off to the beach to reclaim her's longship, Eivor headed towards Avaldsnes, where Kjotve departed from. Within the settlement's longhouse, she defeated and killed Rikiwulf, Kjotve's follower, and freed the crew members. Recovering her father's axe, Eivor was dragged to a strange vision featuring a cloaked man with a grey beard, a wolf and a titanic tree on the horizon. Brought back to reality, she and the other Vikings then eliminated the remaining of Kjotve's men to take back their longship. Having reclaimed their vessel, Eivor and her crew set sail and returned home to Fornburg.[7]

Upon returning, Eivor was greeted by Sigurd's wife Randvi, who informed her of Styrbjorn's displeasure with her raid against Kjotve. Eivor also learned that his brother would be returning soon from his long-lasting journey. As Eivor wanted to see Styrbjorn, Randvi informed her that he was in a meeting with a messenger from the North.[7]

Eivor left conflicted by Valka's prophecy

Wanting to make sense of her strange vision, Eivor visited the residence of the local seer Valka up in the mountains near Fornburg. Upon entering, Eivor greeted Valka and inquired about her mother's wellbeing after discovering her staring out into blank space. Eivor went on to confide in Valka about the visions she saw, to which Valka brewed an elixir for Eivor to drink for her to make sense of her visions.[17]

Within the dream induced by the elixir, Eivor saw Sigurd, beside the same wolf and cloaked man she had envisioned previously. Calling out to him, Eivor followed the silhouette as he moved further up the mountain, hearing the voices of the Nornir along the way. Further up the path, Eivor spotted the wolf and caught sight of the Nornir weaving fate, eventually reaching a doorway guarded by the animal. Eivor entered the door and was soon confronted by a blizzard. Walking through it, Eivor heard her brother's scream, eventually reaching the edge of a cliff where she discovered an armless Sigurd. Eivor reached out to Sigurd only for him to be yanked backward by an invisible force. She was then confronted by Fenrir who emerged from the fog, hungry and ready to strike.[17]

Awakening from the induced vision, Valka explained to her the events she encountered. Valka deduced that what Eivor saw were prophetic visions of her future betrayal of her brother, which Eivor refused to believe, suggesting that fate can be altered. Having received Valka's words, Eivor left the house, conflicted over what she had learned.[17]

Wating the end of the meeting, Eivor explored Fornburg. Meeting the blacksmith Gunnar, Eivor handed over her father's axe to be sharpened. As she learned that the blacksmith's wife left him, Eivor tried to comfort her friend. She also taught archery to the tattooist Tove who granted her a new tattoo design for her lesson. Tove's father, Svend, made the tattoo for Eivor. She fought the brewer Tekla in a drinking game and improved her flyting skills with the skald Alvis.[6]

As Styrbjorn's meeting ended, Eivor met the king who chastised her for her actions against Kjotve while she accused him to be too careful. Their argument was interrupted by a horn indicating the arrival of Sigurd.[6] Welcoming her brother at the dock, Sigurd introduced to her Basim Ibn Ishaq and Hytham who he encountered in Constantinople. Joining their father, they decided to prepare a feast for Sigurd's return. During the feast, while Sigurd told his adventures, Eivor argued with Styrbjorn about his son's choice to bring wealth instead of defending Fornburg. She also talked with Randvi who didn't know if the long separation from her husband broke their relationship. Eivor interrogated Basim and Hytham about their country and why they followed Sigurd.[18]

Eivor gifted the Hidden Blade

Meeting Sigurd, he revealed to her that Basim and Hytham were members of a brotherhood executing their own justice. Eivor received from her brother one of their weapon, a Hidden. Keen that the traditionally stealth-based weaponry should be visible to her enemies, Eivor wore the blade over her forearm, much to Hytham's disagreement. While the four of them made their way outside, Eivor asked more about the brotherhood but Basim refused to reveal more. Arriving in a yard with dummies, Basim taught her the different technics to assassinate with the Hidden Blade. After her practice, Basim and Hytham left leaving her and Sigurd. Eivor listened to her brother's ambitious plan to subjugate either England, Ireland, or Francia. He then suggested taking the fight straight to Kjotve's doorstep, to which Eivor agreed.[18]

Following her brief training with the Hidden Blade and her talk with Sigurd, Eivor went to sleep and dreamed about the prophecies told by Valka. After a restless sleep, she woke up, having been disturbed by a sound outside her hamlet. She went outside, finding one of Kjotve's spies running off. Eivor chased after the spy and killed him before he could escape, she then tracked down and killed his two associates.[19]

Eivor and Sigurd form a temporary alliance with Harald Fairhair

Returning to Fornburg, Eivor arrived at the harbor and found Sigurd arguing with their father about the need to attack Kjotve's fortress. Eivor informed them that his spies had already infiltrated their camp. Eivor and her allies then boarded her longship ready to raid a Wolf Clan encampment in Nottfall. Before leaving, her father stopped her and pleaded with her to not lead Sigurd into the same storm that followed her. After successfully raiding and pillaging Nottfall, as King Harald Fairhair and his uncle Guthorm the Wise arrived, Eivor and Sigurd allied with them to confront Kjotve at his stronghold. The king gave the command of his troops to Sigurd to lead the charge.[19]

Eivor traveled to Florli and met with her brother and Guthorm to plan the assault on Kjotve's fortress. After a strategy was devised, Eivor turned away to see Basim and Hytham. Confused to see them fighting a feud that was not theirs, Basim told Eivor of their constant struggle with an order that Kjotve belonged to. As he revealed that Hytham was tasked to kill Kjotve, Eivor told him that he was her target.[20]

Eivor challenging Kjotve to a holmgang

Then, Eivor and Harald's forces made sail to Agder. Before the fortress, Eivor called out the Kjotve for a holmgang. During the duel, Kjotve threw her into a pit. While they faced each other in the pit, Hytham attempted to assassinate Kjotve, but the target dodged Hytham and threw him into the wall. Yelling out in concern for the young apprentice, Eivor then resumed the duel and eventually killed Kjotve.[20]

In a vision, Eivor faced Odin. Kjotve then suddenly appeared, mocking his killer. As Odin used his spear Gungnir, Kjotve was impaled by tree roots. While he said that he fought to survive, Eivor took his silver medallion. The vision faded and Eivor stood again on the field.[20]

Eivor being mocked by Gorm in the temple before it was set alight

Upon the fortress wall, Gorm Kjotvesson taunted the Raven Clan, refusing to surrender even after witnessing his father's death. After launching a full assault on the fortress Eivor caught up with Gorm within Agder's temple. As Gorm set the temple aflame, Eivor managed to scale the walls and escape through the roof, only to see Gorm fleed on a horse. Then Eivor met Sigurd with Guthorm and told him to inform Harald of their victory.[20]

Leaving Norway

Later, Eivor arrived at Alrekstad where King Harald Fairhair hosted an althing gathering of the Norse clans. In the town tavern, she met Sigurd and Basim. Seeing that Gorm and the Wolf Clan were in the tavern, Sigurd explained to her that Harald made a truth permitting the clans to be there. As Gorm and his clanmates left the place, Sigurd tasked Basim to keep Eivor in the tavern while he will see their father.[21]

Asking about Hytham's wellbeing, Basim told that his apprentice would heal but would never fully recover. As Basim queried Eivor about a medallion Kjotve's medallion, she pulled it out and gave it to him. As a token of goodwill, Basim revealed to Eivor where Gorm was staying and gave her hints on how to enter his camp unseen. Walking with Basim, Eivor spotted the Wolf Clan encampment and stealthily entered. Eivor found Gorm in a small longhouse, barging in, she caught him by surprise. After being provoked by him, Eivor punched him in the face, before two of Harald's soldiers came in to stop the fighting due to Harald's truce. Led away by the soldiers, Eivor made her way back to the central longhouse.[21]

Joining back up with Sigurd, they sat and listened to Harald's speech about his plan to unify Norway. When the King asked who will join or oppose him, Hjorr Halfsson and his wife Ljufvina Bjarmarsdottir surrendered their territory to leave Norway altogether. Gorm attempted to pledge his loyalty and accused the Raven Clan to have poisoned his father. The King knew it was a lie as his uncle witnessed Kjotve's death. When Eivor was asked what his fate should be, Harald declared Gorm exiled.[21]

Eivor and an angered Sigurd confront Styrbjorn

Then, Styrbjorn bent the knee, giving his lands and titles to Harald to guarantee peace for his clan. As Sigurd argued with his father for denying his birthright, Eivor following not far behind. After Sigurd stormed off, Harald expressed his interest in Eivor and asked if she would join him. She decline by saying that her destiny was bound to Sigurd.[21]

Returning to Fornburg, Eivor saw that Harald already claimed the town by hoisting his colors all over. She came across Hytham on her way to the longhouse and spoke to him, checking on his health. Throughout Fornburg, Eivor witnessed the citizens' discontent with Harald's rule.[22]

In the longhouse, Eivor joined Sigurd and splintered group of the Raven Clan who opposed Harald. They planned to travel across the seas to settle in England to create a kingdom of their own. However, with no resources, they would have to start from scratch. Eivor and Sigurd opposed taking Styrbjorn's riches as fair compensation. With the plan set in motion, the crowd dispersed with everyone going to pack only what they needed.[22]

Eivor promising Styrbjorn to be Sigurd's anchor

Eivor saw Valka and invited her along, although the latter would stay until her mother passed before joining up with the others. Eivor made her way to the docks where she met Sigurd and the departing clan members. At that moment, one of Harald's longships approached, holding Styrbjorn. He pleaded with his son to stay but Sigurd refused, Styrbjorn told Eivor to be his better half before blessing their journey and leaving.[22]

Settlement in England

After three weeks at sea, in January 873, Eivor and her clan arrived in the southern part of Great Britain. Eivor and Sigurd's longship went on ahead of the others, to clear the way ahead. Entering a river, the Viking crew passed a monastery and baptism. To which all crewmembers had something to say about. Sigurd revealed that the Sons of Ragnar would present in the land and planned to meet and ally with them. They then came to a river chain blockade which Eivor later removed after killing all the soldiers present. The longship then pulled back around to collect Eivor and continued on its way. A ways ahead, they caught sight of an abandoned settlement.[23]

Eivor, Sigurd, and Dag step foot on the foreign dock

Finding it overrun by Saxon bandits Eivor, Sigurd, and Dag made short work of them. Searching the encampment, the trio discovered two prisoners of the bandits; Yanli, a Chinese merchant, and Rowan, a stable hand. When Eivor freed them, the two revealed that they were they to originally do business with the Ragnarsssons, but by the time they had gotten there they were long gone. Once given the choice to stay with the clan, the two accepted. A horn then sounded, heralding the arrival of the rest of the longships led by Randvi. Eivor and clan then unloaded all their gear and began to renovate the delapitated longhouse.[24]

After being shown the alliance map and England's four kingdoms by Randvi, the name of their new settlement was decided; Ravensthorpe, the village of ravens. After getting a map from Gunnar, she raided either Meldeburne in Grantebridgescire or Alcestre Monastery in Ledecestrescire. After raiding either monastery, Eivor returned to the settlement and had a forge built for Gunnar. Eivor returned to the longhouse to speak with Sigurd again. As she entered, she overheard a small group speaking with Randvi explaining the surrounding territories or 'shires'. Sigurd showed Eivor to a room, gifting it to her. Leaving her explore her new room, Eivor read some letters, beforing leaving the longhouse to meet with Rowan and Basim at the stables. Sigurd and him were to ride together before splitting up, Sigurd to meet with the Sons of Ragnar in the north, while Basim's motives were unknown. Sigurd left Eivor in charge, something Dag did not agree with.[25]

Eivor was tasked by Sigurd to grow the settlement.[26] Afterwards, she met Randvi at the alliance map where she explained the need to make alliances and decided to pledge to Grantebridgescire to help Soma and her Great Summer Army there. Randvi also suggested Eivor talk with Hytham after building a bureau, as his research could help the clan in bringing in new allies.[27]

Forging Alliances in England

Aiding Grantebridgescire

Recapture of Grantebridge

Eivor travelled to Duroliponte to the northwest of Grantebridge to meet some of the Great Summer Army's leaders. There, she met one of its commanders named Magni, who informed her that Grantebridge had been overrun from within by Saxons and informed her Soma was with her army in Grantebridgescire's swamps in the northeast of the shire. Travelling by longship, Eivor located her in the town of Middeltun tending to her wounded troops. Soma told Eivor the ambush on Grantebridge was led by a Saxon member of the Order of the Ancients named Wigmund.[28]

Eivor with Soma reunited with her friends

Eivor lit Middletun's beacon and assisted Soma in locating her advisors—Birna, Galinn and Lif—who were scattered around the marsh. The two found Lif captured by some Anglo-Saxon soldiers in a camp along with several other Danes. Eivor and Soma made short work of his captors, and once freed had Lif return to Soma's camp. Birna was found in the ruins of the Villa of Emperor Gratian, since been turned into a bandit camp. Thirdly, Galinn was found high up in an abandoned bog hamlet, where he chased up through fog by a pack of wolves. After finding and resucing all three of her advisors, Eivor travelled to Soma's camp in Middletun. Soma promised her an alliance if they retook Grantebridge from Wigmund.[29]

Eivor sounding the horn at Grantebridge's recapture

Eivor regrouped with Soma's clan at the foot of Grantebridge's western fortifications. After Wigmund declined talks with Soma, Eivor destroyed one of Grantebridge's gates and began taking back the city. Claiming victory, Eivor and Soma travelled to the city's longhouse to search for Wigmund. Wigmund's elite soldiers told them Wigmund had fled before engaging in combat. Eivor sounded the horn, which officially announced that Grantebridge had been taken. Eivor and Soma's clan went into the longhouse to celebrate. Waking up to find her drunk clan asleep, Soma informed Eivor that an underground tunnel had been the entry point for Wigmund's ambush. She told her only she and her advisors knew about the tunnel, so it must have been one of them that betrayed her. Soma tasked Eivor with finding out who had betrayed her by finding clues and interrogating Birna, Galinn and Lif.[30]

Unmasking the traitor

Eivor travelled to Earnningstone, a town west of Grantebridge supportive of Wigmund, to speak with Galinn. Eivor asked Galinn how he had come to join Soma's clan—his answer was a vision of Soma aiding him against various predators and how Soma found him in ruins. Eivor then asked him what he though of Birna and Lif. Galinn told her that Birna was reckless, amd Lif enthusiastic. Eivor, Galinn and his group then want to pillage and burn down Earnningstone.[31] Afterwards, Eivor travelled to Walden, a town to the south-east of Grantebridgescire to meet Lif. Lif planned to sneak into the town and assassinate a Wigmund-supporting priest. Eivor asked him how he joined Soma's clan—he had joined her as a part of the Great Summer Army. Lif wanted to be jarl after Guthrum left for Wessex, but Soma ended up becoming jarlskona instead. They succeeeded in eliminating the priest, and Eivor left to aid Birna next.[32] At Ravensburg, Eivor and Birna readied to desimate Wigmund's forces. Through conversation, Eivor learnt that Birna was in love with Soma who did not feel the same. After Ravensburg was free of Wigmund's influence, Eivor had Birna return to Grantebridge where she would later follow.[33]

Back at Grantebridge, Eivor and the three advisors interrogated an Anglo-Saxon soldier on Wigmund's whereabouts. The soldier caved under threat of torture, revealing Wigmund was on the Isle of Ely. The soldier then prayed his God would smite them, however Galinn killed him before he could say another word. Inside the Grantebridge longhouse, Soma had Eivor identify the traitor within her midst. Conducting a thorough investigation, Eivor expressed her thoughts on each advisor. She had travelled to Utbech and Meldeburne to gather evidence. A witness saw someone running from the outskirts of the city to the river, although their face was obscured by fog. A letter was also found meant for Saxon forces, ordering them not to attack any ship painted yellow, the color of Galinn's ship. There were also footprints nearby the underground entrance, painted with a yellow mark. Eivor then accused Galinn of being the traitor, in response he pleaded for his life but Soma slit his throat. After Birna and Lif dragged the corpse away, Eivor and Soma planned for the attack on the Isle of Ely.[34]

Eivor holds Wigmund's Order medallion

Near the Isle of Ely Monastery, Eivor and Soma's clan readied for the raid. Entering the monastery with Soma by her side, they heard Wigmund delivering a speech. Dropping down from the rafters, Eivor plunged her Hidden Blade into Wigmund's neck, killing him. Transported into another vision, Eivor looked on as a fleeing Wigmund passed silhouettes of stationary soldiers. Eivor started to walk towards Wigmund, who pointed at her and continued his flight. Eivor then "shoved" aside one of these soldiers and the shade disappeared. Her inner-subconscious Odin appeared and followed behind a walking Eivor, who kept making the soldiers' shades disappear. As Eivor continued her pursuit, Wigmund reached the end of the army of shades, beyond which lay the gates of Grantebridge. He stopped and stared at the set of massive wooden doors, then briefly turned back to Eivor. Odin whispered words of wisdom to Eivor. Cornering Wigmund, she reached forward, grabbing his Order medallion, and Wigmund's spirit immediately turned to mist. Eivor remained standing at the gates for a moment as Odin walked away. With Wigmund assassinated, and his guards now killed, Eivor and Soma returned to camp again where they found Soma's forces celebrating in victory. Later, Eivor and Soma watched as her clan resupplied the longship. Soma then awarded Eivor with an armband, pledging her clan. On the shore Eivor saw Birna, who later joined Eivor's crew.[35]

With Grantebridge back in Vikings hands, and an alliance made with the Great Summer Army, Eivor returned home to Ravensthorpe to report to Randvi. At the Alliance Map, Randvi praised Eivor's victory. Eivor also shared the news that Birna was to join their clan as a fighter.[36]

Estabilishing Bonds

Meeting Reda

Eivor meeting Reda

Eivor went to leave the longhouse but, before she could leave, Randvi reported that a trader representing a larger guild had sat up their tent inside their camp. She adviced Eivor to ask him what his buisness was in Ravensthorpe. Eivor left the longhouse and checked on the tent, seeing a man standing in it she approached the man who introduced himself as a merchant of the Thousand Eyes orginizations. Eivor questioned if the child in the tent was with him, shocked by being called a child the older man introduced the "Child" as the Master of their orginization, the richest merchant west of the Indus, Reda. Suprised at first on how reda knew who she is she quickly became more positive, asking him what she could do for him and him for her. Reda explained that if she brought him precious Opals then he could trade her wondorus items from all around the world. the Shieldmaiden was gifted some opal so she could buy an item from Reda and was then told how she could spot other Merchant's of the Thousand eyes. Greeting the new members of their settlement she left them to finish setting up their tent.[37]

Learning from the Hidden Ones

Eivor Looking down at Hytham

In the coming months Eivor helped her friend Hytham set up a Hidden Ones bureau in Ravensthorpe. At the same time he taught her about the Order of Ancients and how they fester in England's three biggest cities, Jorvik, Lunden And Winchester. When the Bureau was finished Hytham was very impressed with Eivor, grateful that she had gifted them this space to opperate. She adviced Eivor to first purge Lunden from the Order's control, Eivor was to go and speak to Randvi about the plan but before she left Hytham wanted to give her a gift. He Lead eivor out of the new built Bureau and towards the river Ravensthorpe sat beside. On the way they talked about Hytham's lingering wound that would never heal and his dedication to his Mentor Basim that Eivor did not understand. Taking a row boat to the other side of the River Hytham finally explained to Eivor what his gift to her was, the art of a Leap of Faith. Walking up a steep hill they both came to the edge, Hytham showed Eivor first how to peform the move by jumping off the edge into a pile of Hay. Scared at first Eivor drummed up the strength and leaped from the cliff. Exciting the pile of Hay she felt invigorated. Telling her its a rite of Innitiation of the Hidden ones she jokingly asked if he was trying to Initiate her into their Order, Hytham said he would try if he thought she would Join but that it was not their goal in England.[38]

Eivor talking to Hytham

Returning to the Bureau Hytham once again adviced Eivor to purge the Order from their Land, for if she did it would benefit them both. Helping her gain more influence within the kingdowns of England and for him the order would be removed from the lands. Before Eivor left he told her to be on the lookout for their Order's Symbol as she might find old Roman Bueraus scattered throughout England, and within their could be documents that could Aid Hytham greatly in his studies. Thanking Hytham for all of that he had taught her she bid farewell and exited the bureau.[38]

Alliance with the Ragnarssons

Siege of Tamworth

As months passed, Eivor learned that her brother Sigurd had made his way to the Mercian town of Repton in Ledecestrescire to meet with Ivarr the Boneless and Ubba Ragnarsson, two sons of the late Ragnar Lothbrok. They planned to overthrow the current king and install a client-king loyal to them. Eivor and her crew traveled via the River Trent to Repton. After arriving near the city, Eivor went the rest of the way by horseback.[39]

Tonna confronting Ubba

Arriving at the ragnarsson war camp in Repton Eivor scouted the area with Synin to find Ivarr, finding his location to be within an old church in the town eivor entered it. Seeing Ivarr in the middle of torturing Saxon spies, asking who stands before him he assumed correctly that Eivor was Sigurd's drengr. Missremembering her name he calls her Aygor but is quickly corrected by the shieldmaiden. After describing just how much he loves tortue he lets the Spies free, telling eivor to follow him he exits the church. On the way to Ubba's war tent Ivarr explains to eivor that the only saxons that havent given up yet are king Burgred of Mercia and his Thegn Leofrith who are held up in their fort. Eivor enters Ubba's tent and overhears a discussion between Ubba and Tonna, before it could escalate Ivarr stabs a knife into the table infront of Tonna and kindly tells her to "fuck off". Sigurd warned Ubba that haglling for silver is a bad look but also that he should not worry for warriors like Eivor will make them win. Ubba and Ivarr explained their plan of storming the fortress of Tamworth and installing Thegn Ceolwulf as their client king. Though Ceolwulf reminded the warriors that Burgred were not to be harmed or else his legitemacy to the throne would be not. Thinking the plan sound Eivor made her way to the docks with the sons and despite Ubba's worries Ivarr brought with the son of Ceolwulf, Ceolbert with them on the trip to Tamworth.[39]

Ubba declaring the siege

Arriving at the castle and seeing the Thegn and his king looking down upon them Ivarr start badgering Leofrith, leaving Ubba to explain who it was they were talking with to eivor and Sigurd. Declaring that they would take his crown from him Burgred laughed, saying no dane will ever occupty mercia's throne and that they would die defending what is theirs. The lord quickly retreated back into his fortress and Ubba declared that they would take Tamworth tonight. Before heading to campy Ubba told eivor to tell the captain that they were ready to march on the fort because they were going to round up more men for the attack. He also told Eivor that he wanted her at the head of their battering ram for she was strong and agile. Eivor made her way back to the camp with her brother and told the captain to start preparing, Sigurd asked Eivor what they should do with the young boy Ceolbert. He was worried for the fight cause he personally knew many of the soldiers and Leofrith himself. Eivor adviced him to hide then but he objected saying he wasnt a coward, he just didnt want to fight for he didnt want to kill his friends.[39]

Eivor telling Sigurd to go without her

Later that night the fighting had started, Eivor helped use the battering ram to breach the first gate of the fort, then when inside the fort she snuck past the Palisade to destory it with an explosion. With only one more gate infront of them Eivor thrusted with the Battering ram and entered the inner yard, making her way up the hill she was attacked by two of Burgred's Elite soldier but with the help from her brother and the sons she swiftly took them down. having cleared the camp she exclaimed for Burgred to lay down her weapons and knocked down the door to his hall with Ubba, but Burgred was gone. Eivor used her eagle vision to detect a letter hidden in the corner of the room, she planned to show it to ivarr who had already fallen asleep and showed it to Ubba instead.[39]

Ubba recognized the Symbol as one used by Tonna, realizing that she was playing both sides they went to intervene with her at her camp. Ceolwulf wanted to speak to eivor in private so she told Sigurd to go with the Sons and that she would meet up with them later. Ceolwulf thanked Eivor for intervening and stopping Ceolbert from fighting, even though he wanted him to train.[39]

Questioning Tonna

Eivor and Sigurd confronting Tonna

Eivor travelled on Horse back to Tonna's warcamp. Arriving she overheard Ubba and Ivarr unsure of taking to Tonna with Sigurd reassuring them it will go fine. Eivor asked if there was something wrong and Sigurd said that only she and him would talk to tonna thinking it better if she thought they came alone. They bid the brothers farwell and Sigurd explained who exactly Tonna was to Eivor while they walked up the hill to the fort. Arriving at the gate they are greeted by Tonna asking why they came to her camp though knowing why they were here. Stopping her conversation she laid her eyes on Eivor who she found very lovely, not interested in Tonna at all Eivor told her she wasnt interested though Tonna still continued. Sigurd tired of this conversation told her to stop blabbering and to get to the point, telling her that they knew she worked with Burgred. Asking what they could pay for her information Tonna said she needed money for a new cow, Eivor persuaded her to pay half as much and succeeded. Getting the information to check Ledecestre and Templebrough Fort. That was all that Tonna would give them and she returned into her fort. Sigurd left to share this information with the ragnarssons and adviced eivor to not stay here too long.[40]

Eivor travelled back to the ragnarssons and them already having heard the news from Sigurd Eivor asks the brothers if they know of the locations. They both do and Sigurd makes plans to travel to Templebrough Fort, Ubba says he will join Sigurd. Ivarr rises from the log he sat upon, annoyed that he was left alone to search Ledecestre. Though Ubba tells that he could bring Eivor with him. Eivor told the men to go ahead of her and that she would catch up with them later.[40]

Infiltrating Ledecestre

Eivor and Ivarr talking

The next day Eivor rode to the city of Ledecestre, searching for Ivarr she used her raven and spotted him up on an old roman watchtower. Climbing up the tower she spoke to Ivarr. He had seen soldiers all over the town and wagons going in and out, sure that Burgred was in the city. Having sent a scout to search the Bathhouse and Church he waited and engaged in smalltalk with eivor while waiting, having waited long enough Eivor was sure the scout was either dead or had ran off so went in to take a look for herself at the city. She peformed a leap of faith from the tower and blended her way towards the church, sneaking with monks and luering guards with drunken beggars. She snuck into the church taking out three guards then going down into the crypt under the church. In the crypt she found a ornate bow and a letter from leofrith saying to hoard their stock off supplies within the city.[41]

Exiting the Church she made her way to the Bathouse on the other side of the street. Sneaking in she overheard two soldiers discussing leofriths orders, one reminding the other that they dont have to listen cause Burgred is tired of Leofrith. She took out the guards within the building and aquired a key to a backroom, entering the backroom she found Ceolbert on the floor hiding from the guards. Having snuck in to try and find Burgred Eivor assumes that he was Ivarr's scout, Ceolbert knew that Burgred wasn't in the city after overhearing Leofrith just talk about stocking food. He did find out though that Burgred's wife was in Templebrough who would know where he was hiding, then suddenly a horn rang to signal a battle. Ceolbert led Eivor out of the building and through the market. When they came to the market they were ambushed by soldiers and all sides, Ceolbert asked what they were supposed to do and Eivor told him to fight. After the battle Eivor scolded Ivarr for being reckless and endangering Ceolbert but Ceolbert told her that he sent himself to find Burgred. Telling Ceolbert to be more careful she sent him back to Repton, she also told Ivarr of the information Ceolbert had gathered then walked off.[41]

The Roman Ruins of Ratae

Before leaving Ledecestre Eivor explored the old Roman Hidden Ones' bureau hidden in the city, destorying a covering made of wood she delved deep down into the dungeon. Finding the main study she collected an two old Scrolls written in Latin and a piece of an ancient Hidden Ones' armor set. Making her way out of the tunnel system she continued to ride for Templebrough. [citation needed]

Infiltrating Templebrough

Arriving at Ubba and Sigurd's small camp Eivor walks in on them interrogating a saxon solder. Asking Sigurd what they gained from them she learns that Burgred isnt in the castle, only his wife Æthelswith is being guared. When saying that she already knows this from what Ceolbert told her Ubba nearly gets angry that Ivarr may have led him there but he is calmed down when Eivor explains she sent back Ceolbert to Repton. Thinking the smart option to infiltrate and kidnap the Queen before they realize the soldiers are missing Eivor and Sigurd make their way towards the castle, leaving Ubba to get the last drops from the saxons.[42]

Sigurd and Eivor with the fake Queen

Inside the castle Sigurd and Eivor walk down to the floor's below, finding a room guarded they take out the guard and enter. Inside are four women, sigurd spots one of them in finer clothing and assumes its Lady Æthelswith. Questioning her on where Burgred is she answers that she doesn't know and she wishes her hand maidens be let go. When Sigurd approached the lady menacingly she held up her hands to protect herself, it was now Eivor realized that the women had the hands of someone who washes linnen and that one of the servants was the real Queen. Turning around to look at the three maidens she noticed one was missing, running out she heard a woman's voice shouting for the guards. Escaping from the castle Eivor seens the queen and runs after her, catching up and then capturing her. Tying her up Eivor brings her to Ubba, worried for her handmaiden's safety Æthelswith asks where they are and is told they are in chains. Ubba takes the captured women back Tamworth leaving Sigurd and Eivor at the camp, before Sigurd leaves Eivor asks what to do with the captured soldiers. Sigurd tells her to release them and so she does. Eivor then rides back to Tamworth.[42]

Crowning the new king

Eivor persuading Æthelswith

Returning to Tamworth, Eivor speaks to Ubba and Sigurd, being told to interrogate Æthelswith. Eivor walks into the pig den where she is kept and questions her on Burgred. Getting nothing Ivarr enters, throwing two human heads on the ground. Scared for her life she is persuaded by Eivor to reveal Burgred's hiding place. Eivor tells the others that Burgred is held up in a old crypt where the Alne and Arwy rivers join. Being told to bring the king to the brige at Venonis Ubba and Sigurd walk away to plan for tommorow. So does Ivarr after Eivor compliments the persuasion tactic he used on the queen.[43]

Figuring out where the crypt could be Eivor makes her way to an old church guarden by soldiers. Beliving Burgred to be inside Eivor sneaks in and down into the crypt. Sneaking past and taking out guards she makes her way down into a large room guarden by one soldier, Eivor takes care of the soldier and finds a key on their person. Using the key she opens a door in the back of the room and entering she finds burgred, trying to defend himself he enters combat with the Shielmaiden but is defeated and tied up. Before she leaves she picks up Burgred's axe and adds it to her own arsenal. Escaping from the churchcamp with the king she is confronted by Tonna and her men, furios that Eivor crossed her. Though she still is defeated by Eivor. Eivor moves on and loads Burgred up on her horse and moves him to Ubba and Sigurd. Though followed by mercian soldiers she advices they keep moving towards Tamworth. Arriving at the Fortress they walk in Burgred to coronate his new king. Threatening Eivor that he had hired Zealots to hunt her forever, questioning what a zealot was Ivarr suggests he and Eivor should go and take a drink before the ceramony.[43] Sitting down and drinking some mead the two berserkers talk, Ivarr now consdiering Eivor a friend. They discuss Valhalla and Ubba's future way into the night, drinking to the state where they both were very drunk.[44]

The crowining of Ceolwulf

Waking up the next morning with a hangover Eivor makes her way up to the fort, afraid she might have missed the crowning. Eivor enters the main hall to see Ceolwulf not yet crowned, Ceolwulf asks his advicer worridly if anyone knows where his son might be but none do. They proceed with the crowing without him and let Burgred into the hall, delaying the crowining with his own insults and asking for demands before giving the crown he is slapped by Ceolwulf to the ground. Feeling threatend he hands over the crown and Ceolwulf exiles the former king and his wife to Rome. Suddenly a viking raider runs in warning everyone that Mercian soldiers are marching on repton, Eivor orders Ubbe and Ivarr to devide their warriors between the south and north parts of the city. She is asked to hurry by Ceolwulf since his son is there, Sigurd stays behind to guard the king.[44]

Eivor havin defeated Leofrith

Arriving at Repton Eivor runs in to the city, noticing the mercians already breached the main gate of the city. Running to Ubba he says he caught sight of Leofrith chasing someone down across the river, Eivor assumes it can only be ceolbert he was after and hastes to their position. Arriving she sees Ceolbert defending himself from Leofrith, telling him to stop Ceolbert runs away while Leofrith is distracted by Eivor. Not agreeing to stop Eivor is forced to fight Leofrith. Knocking him down to the ground eivor was faced with a decision, visited once again by Odin in her mind Odin asked why she would rob him of this last glory by not killing him. Eivor responded that if Leofrith knew the truth he would not keep his oath he once made for Burgred. Odin left her with a choice, to kill him and give him glory or to let him live and tell him the truth of Burgred's betrayal. Odin left Eivor's mind and she decided to spare Leofrith, telling him the truth about Burgred. Leofrith thanked her for her Kindness, for this he tells her about a scroll hidden in Venonis. If the Zealots read it they would hunt her forever so she had to burn it he said. Asking where he would go now he answered Rome, he patted Ceolbert on the shoulder and walked away.[44]

Ceolwulf thanking Eivor

Eivor walked away with Ceolbert and congratulated him on his courage before they met with her other Allies. Bringing him to their Allies the ragnarssons revealed their new King Ceolwulf who thanked eivor for saving his son, though saying that there will be much turmoil in all of mercia for a while. Sigurd Told them not to worry as he was travelling to Oxenafordscire soon, Eivor was told to stay and gain more alliances untill he called for her. Ceolwulf also asked Sigurd if Ceolbert could join their settlement for a short while and the Jarl accepted his request, leaving with Ceolbert. Ubba thanked Eivor for her aid and gifted her with an armband as a sign that the Ragnarssons would always be loyal to her and her clan, Ivarr also trying to be nice found an axe on the ground and gifted it to Eivor.[44]

Before leaving for Ravensthorpe Eivor made a detour to burn the scroll that Leofrith warned her about, getting to Venonis and burning the document before dusk, preventing the Zealots from hunting her.[45]

With Ledecestrescire in Viking hands, and an alliance made with the Sons of Ragnar, Eivor returned home to Ravensthorpe to report to Randvi. At the Alliance Map, Eivor is happy Ceolbert made it to Ravensthorpe safely and Randvi praises the victory of both Eivor and Ceolbert.[46]

Welcome and unwelcomed guests

Dag presenting the captured Dane

A couple of days after returning to Ravensthorpe Eivor entered into the longhouse during a feast to see Randvi teaching Ceolbert what Jarl means, she jokingly said that Ceolbert was here to learn not to teach after he gave a wise comment. Randvi requested Eivor gice a speech to the clan about what they had gained from their most recent expeditions, she accepted the request and stood infront of the crowd. Starting a speech about what they've currently done in Ledecestrescire and Grantebridgescire but is interrupted by Dag who questions if she dares see herself as an equal to sigurd in these tales and if sigurd would do the same if he were there. answering Dag's comment quietly she goes right back to praising the citizens of ravensthorpe. Raising a horn for Sigurd and to the Ravenclan, Dag shares in the toast but because he wants eivor gone from leadership. Eivor jokingly says that Dag must be drunk and Dag gets even more irritated, but before their conversation could get more hectic they hear Sunniva scream that Danes are attacking their town.[47] Eivor ran out of the Lonhouse with his warriors and defended Ravensthorpe from the enemies, defeating all but one that Dag had captured. Eivor makes the Geatish soldier tell them why they are here and that they are from East Anglia. Dag wishes to kill the attacker but Eivor goes with Randvi's choice to let him go as a message, She tells Randvi to send one of her scouts after him but before anyone could do anything had Dag thrown an axe furiously in the attackers head. Eivor now more angry at Dag scolded him but this only made Dag more irritated, dag stormed off and Eivor and Randvi were left to clean upp and plan their next steps.[48]

Eivor meeting Valka at the docks

Waking up the next day Eivor saw a ship dock in Raventhorpe's harbor, checking to see who it may be She found it was her friend Valka from Norway she said it was a pleasure to see Eivor once again. Valka also reported that her mother was not with them anymore. After a hug she saw a brightness in eivor's eyes that warmed her, she also asked about Eivor's visions and She answered that they came and went. Eivor helped Valka carry her things to the spot they had chosen for her and welcomed her home. Eivor built Her hut and collected the flowers needed for Valka's Elixir but she decided to wait with witnessing her visions untill a later date.[49]

Crowning Thegn Oswald

Speaking with Randvi Eivor found out that the Danes that attacked her settlement where from East Anglia, Led by a man named Rued. Pledging herself to East anglia Eivor set sail to Norwic to meet with Finnr, a dane appointed by Halfdan Ragnarsson to find a suitable Saxon king. Entering the gloomy city she found herself to the longhouse, finding a sleeping Finnr inside. Waking him up Finnr explained their current situation with Rued's men attacking and their soon to be king Oswald. Wanting to meet Oswald Finnr explained he was already on his way to Elmenham, travelling in his direction to the north gate in the city she found Oswald in the midst of a discussion between a norse and angloxaon man. Oswald deescalates the situation and Eivor approaches him, introducing herself and explaining her shared conflict with Rued.[50]

Travelling to Elmenham he explains he is to mary Valdis, a cousin of Halfdan as a sign of unity but has not yet gotten aproval from her brothers. They two spot smoke on the horizon coming from Beteleah Farm, thinking it could be the same men that attacked Norwic Eivor has a look. Taking out Rued's men Eivor returns to Oswald who's shaken from the situation they were just in, He invites Eivor to join them for dinner in Elmeham and rides away from the Shieldmaiden.[50]

Latert that night Eivor joins Oswald in their feast, hearing Broder and Brothir ridicule Oswald over marrying their sister. Broder then asks eivor if she was here to back the thegn who they so disliked, Eivor answered that she would do anything for the safety of her clan and then mocking the two brothers. Broder jumped onto the table and Eivor kicked it over, insitigating a fistfight between her and the two men. Finnr intervened and stopped the fight leading to the brothers walking off. Worriying that the brothers would never support him now, Eivor reassured him and oswald promised that if they won the Ravenclan would forever have an ally in East anglia. Eivor nodded and found a pile of rugs in the loft of the longhouse and settled in for the night.[50]

The morning after Oswald's feast, Eivor woke with the dawn and left the and explored the sorounding area, speaking with his soon to be wife who told eivor to check on Oswald near the river. Eivor continued on to the docks of North Elmham, where she found Oswald sweeping hay. She sat down and explained her actions the other nigh thinking they broke his hospitality. Finnr aproached Oswald annoyed at the boy but Eivor started flyting to lighten the situation, teaching Oswald of the artform and making him try some insults on finnr. Finnr mocking his fighting skill Oswald in the moment challenged Finnr to a holmgang but quickly backed down after learning it was to the death. But Eivor continued saying that Oswald should fight her and not Finnr, Finnr playing along set up a square on an island off the shore where Eivor and Oswald were to face. Not intending to kill Oswald Eivor mearly made him fight her, showing Finnr that he wasnt as weak as they thought he was. They still needed a way to right their wrongs and so they raided the camp where some of Rued's men where held up. travelling to the camp they fought and defeated the Danes, observing their spoils Oswald picked out a shield as a symbol of commitment that he would give to the brothers. Telling Finnr to ship the spoils to Norwic Eivor stayed behind, collecting an old Cloak belonging to a long dead Hidden One. [citation needed]

Eivor set sail back to Norwic and arrived at its docks and met up with Oswald and Valdis, overhearing Broder refusing the gifts given by Oswald.


Travels in Ireland

A year later in 879, Eivor met a Persian trader at the docks named Azar who requested to meet with Hytham. Eivor later traveled to Ireland on an invitation sent by her cousin Bárid mac Ímair via Azar. There, she assisted her cousin in gaining favor with the High King Flann Sinna and became embroiled in a conflict with the Children of Danu.[51]

Meeting Hilderan

Eivor speaking with Hildiran

Circa 883, a meteor seemed to land near Ravensthorpe. Eivor went to investigate the crash site and encountered Hildiran, who was also inspecting it, the impact from the meteor seemed to have revealed a hidden Door behind the rocks. Unbeknownst to the Jarlskona the woman had in reality used a device to bring forth the illusion of a meteor landing while herself had dug open the cliff wall. She convinced Eivor to let her stay and eivor helped set up a house and training area for the older woman. Hildiran promised to teach her the art of Hugrheim, a form of battle meditation named for the eponymous mental realm where warriors knowledgeable of the technique could train. Eivor wasn't convinced by her words but after the old woman won a brief fight with her, she became interested in learning her tricks. Hildiran proceeded to show her Freya's medallion, activating the Isu device and making both Eivor and Hildiran to enter a simulated space in their minds. After the two fought again, they were brought back to the normal world. Hildiran quickly told to the amazed Eivor that only after the medallion with the energy created in battle, she would be able to open the door to the temple.[52]

Eivor then travelled to each one of the Shrines of the Valkyrie scattered throughout England and completed various series of meditation challenges[52], eventually filling the amulet and bringing it back to Hildiran, who had spent much of her time clearing away the rubble from the door. After finally opening the gate, the women entered a small isu vauöt. Inside were three large archways carved into the walls, gateways to nowhere that impossibly contained cold fog spilling over stalactites and stalagmites, rubble covered in still-living vines, and a falling river of fire. The chamber was flooded in ankle-deep water save for a single stone path to the center, where the compass hidden millenia ago rested on a small plinth.[53]

The inside of Freyja's Cave

Hildiran quickly spotted in and told Eivor to grab it. As the Viking stepped forward, the medallion and the Eye interacted with each other. The Eye's outer shell glowed white and spinned as it briefly hovered and projected glyphs, before the amulet's light deactivated it, settling it back in its spot. The old woman then demanded to Eivor give her the device, Eivor put the medallion back into her satchel and gave Hildiran Odin's eye.[53]


The Siege of Paris

Later in 886, as Ravensthorpe was celebrating Sigrblot, Eivor was entreated by Toka Sinricsdottir to support her uncle Sigfred, jarl of Clan Elgring, in besieging the Frankish city of Paris.[54] She infiltrated the city and forged key alliances to help against the forces of Charles the Fat.[55]




Later life and death

After her death, Eivor was ultimately buried in Tsoka'wa'kowáhne in Vinland, the area which eventually became modern day Concord in Massachusetts, United States.[56]

Legacy

Eivor's grave visited by Basim in 2020

In August 2020, Eivor's memories were relived by Layla Hassan through her Animus HR-8.5. Her and her Assassin cell had tracked a mysterious audio file to unearth Eivor's final resting place retrieving her DNA, discovering her nature as a Sage. Sometime later, Basim, resuscitated by the Staff of Hermes Trismegistus, replaced Layla in the Animus after the latter's physical death deep with the Yggdrasil Chamber. Basim intended to use the Animus to uncover Eivor's secrets, absorb her abilities and hoped to find the location of his children. After a prolonged time in the Animus, Eivor appeared to Basim sitting by the fire as a Bleeding Effect-induced apparition, clothed in the robes that Odin wore in her visions, where she smiled and nodded at him, a gesture he returned.[56]

Due to the high level of Isu DNA belonging to Odin embedded in Eivor's remains, the Animus would, at times, represent Eivor as a male based on Odin's real appearance.[56]

Personality and characteristics

Eivor was a devoted and confident Viking clan leader, who was not afraid of dying to protect her people. Despite her deep love for her clan, she was a lone wolf. Indeed, driven by her dream to prove her courage, she preferred to take on all tasks and risks herself. On top of being a fierce warrior, Eivor was cunning and was a great strategist, as shown by her alliances with other territorial leaders.[57] Considered stubbornly independent,[58] she also claimed to not be fond of surprises.[59]

Eivor also had a poetic side, speaking with eloquence and often describing events in a manner that resembles skaldic verse. Although Eivor held Hytham and by extension the Hidden Ones in high regard, Eivor kindly declined to join them as it meant keeping her victories and glory quiet, something which went against her culture's nature.[60]

Eivor seems to possess some fragments of Odin's persona and memories, as is evident by their shared fear of wolves,[61][62] and how she recognized Odin's spear Gungnir when she discovered it within Goinnhellir.[3]

Equipment and skills

Eivor fighting with a flail and light shield

Growing up alongside Sigurd, Eivor learnt to fight as a drengr and became Sigurd's berserkr.[1] By her twenties, Eivor was capable of wielding a variety of weapons including; swords, bows, spears, bearded and Dane axes, war hammers and flails. Her usual armor was the Raven Clan's armor and could also use both light and heavy shields. Using her combat prowess she could easily overwhelm multiple opponents.[9] She could also effectively dual wield, and was strong enough to dual wield two heavy weapons, and even unconventionally two shields. She had sharp reflexes and could dodge, parry, and block incoming attacks. Eivor was also extremely skills in hand-to-hand combat, and could easily break the necks of Goliath-sized enemies with a chokehold.[3]

Usually keen for up front confrontations, Eivor was also highly adept at stealth and was able to silently assassinate her targets undetected in addition to being able to remain hidden from her enemies in shrUbbary and haystacks. After gaining the Hidden Blade, Eivor was taught how to use it by Basim and quickly mastered it. Eivor was also able to emulate the Hidden Ones' ability to hide in plain sight.[3] High-diving was another of Eivor's skills, and under Hytham's tutelage she learnt the Leap of Faith.[38]

A skilled freerunner, Eivor was able to scale Saint Peter's Church as well as natural elements with relative ease. She also proved to be a strong swimmer whilst searching underwater ruins and was capable of holding her breath for a relatively long period of time. A heavy drinker, Eivor could hold her liquor and would occasionally participate in drinking competitions.[3]

Eivor shared a symbiotic relationship with her raven, Sýnin, which aided her in reconnaissance thanks to her Eagle Vision. Unlike later generations who possessed the skill, her Eagle Vision was far more literal in the sense that activating the ability allowed her to see through the eyes of Sýnin. Eivor also possessed the ability known as 'Odin's Sight' which was more akin to later iterations of Eagle Vision in which it allowed her to release a brief pulse that would locate and tag nearby enemies and points or objects of interest, even through walls and floorboards. Eivor could also tame wolves and taught them to fight with her.[3]

Behind the scenes

Early concept art by Even Amundsen

Eivor is the main protagonist of Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, a main installment of the Assassin's Creed series. First revealed in the reveal stream as male, according to Ubisoft, their gender is customizable,[63] a feature carried over from Valhalla's immediate predecessor, Assassin's Creed: Odyssey (2018). However, lead writer Darby McDevitt affirmed that both gender options were considered canon in a way that made logical sense.[64] McDevitt later affirmed that the canon playthrough method is choosing "Let the Animus Decide", With female Eivor being present for the majority of the game, except when playing the Asgard and Jotunheim arcs, in which male Eivor is the playable character.[65]

Conversely, the comic book Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Song of Glory[66] and tie-in novel Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Geirmund's Saga[67] featured Eivor as female exclusively. Eivor's appearance, including clothing, hair, and war paint, is also customizable.[68] Eivor's male voice is provided by Magnus Bruun,[69] who also voices Varin and Odin, while the female voice actor is Cecilie Stenspil, who also voices Rosta.[70] The voice of young Eivor was provided by Idun Mealor Olsen, who also voices Asta, Kaija, and Ratatosk in Valhalla.[71]

The many concept artists behind Eivor's design, drew upon many pop culture references. Yelim Kim recalled that former-Creative Director Ashraf Ismail gave her the idea of using the tank fight scene from the 1995 anime film Ghost in the Shell as inspiration and comparing Eivor to the film's protagonist, Maj. Motoko Kusanagi, as both of them fight fiercely for their allies even if the consequences are self-destructive.[58]

Name etymology

The name Eivor, Eivør or Øyvor is a female given name derived from either proto-Norse auja, believed to mean 'good luck', or *warjaʀ, meaning 'defender'. It may also come from the combination of Old Norse words ey- or øy- (meaning 'island') and -varr (meaning 'careful').[72]

When he tweeted how the name is meant to be pronounced, Valhalla's then-Creative Director Ashraf Ismail transcribed it phonetically as "Ay-vor".[73]

Varinsdottir means "Varin's daughter" (Varins + dottir). In Scandinavia, surnames were still used together with primary patronyms—the father's name and an affix denoting relationship—which were used by all social classes. This meant that most families until modern times did not have surnames. Scandinavian patronyms were generally derived from the father's given name with the addition of a suffix meaning 'son' or 'daughter'. Patronyms and matronyms are still in use in some countries, most notably Iceland.

Appearances

Animuslogowhite.svg An image gallery is available for Eivor Varinsdottir

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Assassin's Creed: RebellionDatabase: Eivor (Female)
  2. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaWrath of the DruidsBlood Bond
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Assassin's Creed: Valhalla
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaFloating conversations: Cairns
  5. 5.0 5.1 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaPrologue
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaFamily Matters Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Family Matters" defined multiple times with different content
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaHonor Bound
  8. Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Geirmund's Saga [citation needed]
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Song of GloryIssue #1
  10. 10.0 10.1 Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Song of GloryIssue #2
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Song of GloryIssue #3
  12. Assassin's Creed: RebellionThe Ravens' WoundTaking the Eyes
  13. Assassin's Creed: Rebellion – The Ravens' WoundThe Fury of the Northman
  14. Assassin's Creed: Rebellion – The Ravens' WoundThe Horn of the Valkyrie
  15. Assassin's Creed: Rebellion – The Ravens' WoundHunting Wolves
  16. Assassin's Creed: Rebellion – The Ravens' WoundThe Hidden Annals
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaA Seer's Solace
  18. 18.0 18.1 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaThe Prodigal Prince
  19. 19.0 19.1 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaRude Awakening
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaA Cruel Destiny
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaBirthrights
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaThe Seas of Fate
  23. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaThe Swan-Road Home
  24. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaUnwelcome
  25. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaSettling Down
  26. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaA New Home
  27. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaThe Alliance Map
  28. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaThe Great Scattered Army
  29. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaOrphans of the Fens
  30. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaGlory Regained
  31. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaRazing Earnningstone
  32. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaUnholy Father
  33. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaStorming Ravensburg
  34. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaThe Stench of Treachery
  35. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaAn Island of Eels
  36. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaReporting on Grantebridgescire
  37. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaThe Thousand Eyes
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaTo Serve the Light...
  39. 39.0 39.1 39.2 39.3 39.4 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaThe Sons of Ragnar
  40. 40.0 40.1 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaBartering
  41. 41.0 41.1 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaRumors of Ledecestre]]
  42. 42.0 42.1 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaThe Walls of Templebrough
  43. 43.0 43.1 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaTilting the Balance
  44. 44.0 44.1 44.2 44.3 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaHeavy is the Head
  45. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaHunted (Valhalla)
  46. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaReporting on Ledecestrescire
  47. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaA Toast to our Success
  48. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaUninvited Guests
  49. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaA Wise Friend
  50. 50.0 50.1 50.2 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaKingmaker
  51. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Wrath of the Druids
  52. 52.0 52.1 Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Mastery ChallengeA Challenge from the Gods
  53. 53.0 53.1 Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Mastery ChallengeThe Cryptic Tutelage of Hildiran
  54. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – The Siege of ParisStrangers Bearing Gifts
  55. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – The Siege of Paris
  56. 56.0 56.1 56.2 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaModern Day
  57. Ubisoft white swirl only.png Assassin's Creed Valhalla - Eivor The Wolf-kissed on Ubisoft's official website (backup link)
  58. 58.0 58.1 The Art of Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Chapter 1: Characters
  59. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Wrath of the DruidsIrish Adventure
  60. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaBreaking the Order
  61. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla [citation needed]
  62. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Dawn of RagnarökBeyond Fear
  63. Ubisoft white swirl only.png Assassin's Creed Valhalla – Become a Legendary Viking Raider on Ubisoft's official website (backup link)
  64. Twitter.png Darby McDevitt (@DarbyMcDevitt) on Twitter "Both choices are canon, but we're not going to spoil how we managed that trick until you play the game." (screenshot)
  65. Twitter.png Darby McDevitt (@DarbyMcDevitt) on Twitter "It means "Let the Animus decide" is canon. And both characters will appear at various points when you choose this option. So both are canon."
  66. Dark Horse to Publish Comics Prequel to Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed Valhalla. Dark Horse (13-07-2020). Archived from the original on July 13, 2020. Retrieved on July 13, 2020.
  67. Twitter.png Matthew J. Kirby (@writerMattKirby) on Twitter "I've been asked many times whether Eivor will be male or female in my novel. Truth is, I was given the choice, same as a player will be in the game, when @DarbyMcDevitt told me in a meeting both are canon. My Eivor is a woman. #AssassinsCreedValhalla #AssassinsCreed #ACSisterhood. PS – I made that decision back in January." (screenshot)
  68. Juba, Joe (30-04-2020). 25 Things We've Learned About Assassin's Creed Valhalla. Game Informer. Retrieved on May 11, 2020.
  69. Twitter.png Magnus Bruun (@Magnus__Bruun) on Twitter "I'm very excited to announce that I play Male Eivor in Assassin's Creed Valhalla! 🔥🔥🔥 I just can't seem to get enough of these sexy bloody vikings! ⚔️ #assasinscreedvalhalla" (screenshot)
  70. Twitter.png Darby McDevitt (@DarbyMcDevitt) on Twitter "And for our Female Eivor, introducing Cecilie Stenspil ... not on Twitter but everywhere on Instagram! https://www.instagram.com/p/B_nTCgBAgIK/" (screenshot)
  71. Imdb.png Assassin's Creed Valhalla at the Internet Movie Database
  72. Wikipedia-W-visual-balanced.svg Eivor on Wikipedia
  73. Twitter.png Ashraf Ismail (@AshrafAIsmail) on Twitter "Its spelled Eivor and pronounced Ay-vor" (screenshot)

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