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Grigorii (died 874), also known as The Needle, was an Order of the Ancients member of the Warden of Law sect holding the position of Palatinus. He was also a lieutenant of the Order's bandit organization, Red Hand, and a dockmaster of Coppergate Market in Jorvik during the late 9th century.

Biography

In his youth, Grigorii grew up near the sewers and grew jealous of those more fortunate than him. One day, The Vault saved him from poverty and brought him into the Order, giving Grigorii a new lease on life. Loyal and devoted ever since, Grigorii worked to see that The Vault's plans were done exceedingly and the Order's desires accomplished.[1]

Eivor Varinsdottir first learned of Grigorii by his cryptonym of The Needle when Hytham told Eivor of three more Order targets in Jorvik.[2] After dealing with The Firebrand, she informed Ljufvina Bjarmarsdottir of the Firebrand's identity, much to Ljufvina's shock.[3] During the discussion, King Ricsige of Northumbria asked Ljufvina for her council alongside her husband, Hjorr Halfsson. Before the meeting, Ljufvina advised Eivor to visit the Trade Depot, where recent incursions and disruptions had occurred.[1]

While investigating the Trade Depot, Eivor caught sight of Red Hand guards inside the premise. After dealing with them, Eivor found accumulated wealth and stolen goods from the merchants of Jorvik. The Needle's plan was found as well, and it detailed stealing these goods and reselling them back to the merchants at a higher rate. She also found that The Needle had collected coins from stalls draped in black at the markets. Thus, Eivor devised a plan by bringing as much silver as possible to the merchants to see where The Needle was and who they were.[1]

Later, a disguised Eivor arrived in Coppergate Market to discuss these suspicious dealings. One merchant mentioned to Eivor to meet with the dockmaster, whom she remembered to be named Grigorii. The merchant then kept quiet as a young Anglo-Saxon boy tried to get Eivor's attention. The boy worked for The Needle, and told Eivor to go to the statue near the East gate for further dealings. As Eivor left for the statue, she made sure to acquire a sewer key from one of Red Hand's men.[1]

While trying to find the hideout near the statue, Eivor found a house with marked with black cloths and empty carts surrounding it. Using the key, Eivor explored the sewers under the house and discovered a Red Hand operation involving melting down silverware to create coins. Upon seeing a locked door, Eivor took down a henchman who had the key, and opened it. To her disgust, she found Grigorii surrounded by stolen silverware and startled by her presence. Revealing himself as The Needle, Grigorii fled for the marketplace as Eivor was surrounded by the Red Hand's men and a rabid wolf. Escaping the ambush, Eivor headed for the market.[1]

As she reached the market, Eivor witnessed a discussion between Grigorii and a merchant who had taken some coins from The Needle's quota to feed his family, as he had been bled financially dry. Blaming himself for thinking the merchant was smart, Grigorii pulled out his knife and spoke aloud, asking the merchants what he demanded of them. The guilty man replied "Loyalty", before Grigorii rapidly stabbed him to death as a warning to any who thought of threatening his operation. Watching above, Eivor plunged down and assassinated Grigorii as he walked away, ending his illegal wealth operation.[1]

Trivia

  • As stated, Grigorii was inducted by a fellow Order member and father-figure, The Vault. This particular upbringing mirrors another induction between fellow Order members, The Billhook and The Crozier.
  • Like certain members of the Order in England, Grigorii's cutscene in the Memory Corridor differs, as his soul disappeared after his apparition turns to ice and explodes. Usually, Eivor takes the Order's medallion of an ash tree off the apparition's body.
  • Grigorii shares many similarities with the character Tamir from the 2007 video game Assassin's Creed. Both tasked merchants to deliver resources—silver and weapons, respectively—and were so displeased by the perceived error on an associate's part that they disregarded the merchant's situation and stabbed them to death, hoping their death would serve as a lesson to the audience around.[4]

Appearances

References

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