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Herefrith (died 875), also known as the Crozier, was the Bishop of Lincolnscire and a member of the Order of the Ancients' Wardens of Wealth who lived during the 9th century.

Biography

As a church-goer during his youth, Herefrith was approached by a member of the Order of the Ancients. After joining the organization, Herefrith spent much of his purpose in spreading their faith and message throughout Wessex. Eventually, Herefrith rose to the rank of Preost and returned to his home shire, where he served as the bishop in the village of Louth.[1] Later on, he came to serve in the town of Lincoln. However, Herefrith harbored the intention to become the ruler of Lincolnshire himself and intended to spread the Order's message throughout.[2]

The Viking shieldmaiden Eivor Varinsdottir found a clue, which gave the title, The Crozier, among other members of the Order once she finished renovating the Hidden Ones' bureau in Ravensthorpe.[3] The message was relayed by Hytham, who discovered that a nobleman in Lincolnscire is part of the Order. When discussing alliances with Randvi, Eivor decided to pledge next to Lincolnscire, after an ealdorman's son, Hunwald, came to her home to meet with Eivor urgently. After conferring with Hunwald, Eivor decided to help him solve his plight going back home.[4]

After her conversation with Hunwald, Eivor learned a second clue, which stated that members of a "secret" order threw him out of the region. After launching her longship towards Botolphston, Eivor arrived at its longhouse and conferred with Hunwald and his fellow noble, thegn Aelfgar. However, their meeting is cut short when Hunwald nearly died from outside soldiers, but Eivor saved him before they could hurt him. Eivor then protected Hunwald back to his hometown, Lincoln, to find his father, ealdorman Hundbeorht.[5] Upon arrival, Eivor and Hunwald meet Raeganhere, who told them that his father has been taken, due to his illness.

When going to the town hall, Eivor and Hunwald met with Bishop Herefrith and Abbess Acha. Herefrith scolded Hunwald's love towards Swanburrow just as they arrived, while the location of Hundbeorht is still not disclosed to them. While investigating for Hunwald's father, far and wide across the city, Eivor gathered that he was being kept at an abandoned bathhouse.[6] Through further detective work, Eivor gathered that the ealdorman fled to Bolingbroc Castle, after an ambush. At the castle, Eivor found a dead ealdorman and a crazy Galwyna. After finding his brooch, Eivor returned to Lincoln at its town hall, where Aelfgar, Hunwald, Herefrith, and Acha were talking. After delivering the bad news, Eivor then conferred with Aelfgar and Herefrith on the new ealdorman of the shire, while Acha tried to comfort a depressed Hunwald. Thus, they decide to have a moot for all nobles of the land. After leaving, Eivor is stopped by Herefrith, who apologized for his prejudiced words against Eivor and start again on good terms.

Before the moot, Eivor spent time and saved the lives of both Hunwald[7] and Aelfgar,[8] who were attacked by Anglo-Saxon soldiers in a well-timed manner. Returning to Lincoln, Eivor saw that the stones were cast and all three tied, with Eivor now deemed as the tie-breaker.[9] After choosing Hunwald, Eivor celebrates with the company, only to notice Herefrith angrily walking away. In an instance, Eivor sees Herefrith rip his Christian necklace off as he lets in enemy soldiers inside the moot. Eivor called the nobles to arms as Herefrith shouted his allegiance towards Ancient Ones. After dealing with the onslaught, Eivor deduced that The Crozier and the Bishop Herefrith are one and the same, while everyone else remained shocked at the betrayal.

Preparing a siege, Eivor set her sights on the fort at Anecastre, where Herefrith was hiding with his loyal guards.[10] During the siege, Eivor interrogated a holy man, who quickly responded to the bishop's cowardly hiding inside the fort's church. Entering from a high glass window, Eivor steathily walked across the lines above the bishop and then assassinated him. Afterwards, Hunwald reaffirmed his status and bid a temporary farewell to Eivor. Eivor then returned back to Randvi and reported a successful alliance with Lincolnscire.[11]

Trivia

  • As an mentor to The Billhook, this led to an apparent guided relationship between two Order members that appeared in Eivor's journey. This union compares to the upbringing from The Vault towards The Needle in Jorvik.[12]
  • In deciding who would be the next ealdorman of Lincolnshire, Eivor may be led to choose either Herefrith, Hunwald, or Aelfgar. Nevertheless, if Eivor chose the latter two, Herefrith reveals his Order ties automatically after the announcement. If you Eivor chose Herefrith, Eivor will have to come back and deal with the bishop as he revealed his identity as The Crozier much later.
  • Like certain Order members, Herefrith played the part of a fellow worshipper of Christianity quite well, even though he believed in the true Gods, like The Rake, Abbess Ingeborg or Sister Frideswid. This also correlates to the confession from Rodrigo Borgia, from his fight with Ezio Auditore da Firenze in the Vatican Vault, in Assassin's Creed II.

Appearances

References

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