With her allies gathering outside Cippanhamm after pillaging and fleeing Werham, Eivor took the time to finally ascertain the truth of Alfred the Great's claim that Ubba Ragnarsson had been killed. Quickly riding north, she arrived at the Afon Blockade where the Anglo-Saxons had fortified a position along the River Afon. In the middle of the fort's courtyard, she found a note pinned to a tree by a knife.
- Letter from Reeve Goodwin
Our scouts report Chieftain Ubba will be attempting to surprise us on the Afon river. Be ready, and do not spare him as he is considered a criminal in this trying war with the Danes.
Eivor followed the river south.
- Eivor: I am nearing the Afon river at Uffentune. This was where Aelfred said the battle with Ubba took place.
Eivor continued until she saw tents pitched at a bend just past Aethelnay. Entering the Norse camp, she immediately saw that everyone had been slaughtered as Alfred had said, with bodies and weapons littering the site before two similarly ruined longships. At the center of the encampment was Ubba's body, pierced through the torso with two spears such that they had propped him up on his feet. Eivor's voice broke on seeing her dead comrade.
- Eivor: Ubba. So Aelfred spoke true. May you join your brother, old friend. Wherever he found his final resting place. Rest well, my friend.
After paying her respects, Eivor read a note she saw had fallen behind Ubba.
- Scroll with King's Seal
Lord Odda you are to attack the Danes docked near Uffentune at once. Act swiftly and with the fear of God in your heart. Send word once the battle is won and Wessex is saved.
Simultaneously furious at Alfred's actions and grief-stricken at her loss, Eivor returned post-haste to the planning grounds and heard Soma and Guthrum talking.
- Soma: Do you believe the Saxon lord? Is Ubba really dead?
- Guthrum: Aye, a few survivors found their way to us. The great man is gone, the last vestiges of Ragnar's legacy begin to fade.
- Soma: We have lost many fire-bloods. This land has sapped our strength. There will be too few of us to settle when we are done.
Eivor spoke with both warriors after their chat.
- Guthrum: Eivor! You made it unscathed.
- Eivor: They came ... from all over England.
Eivor looked down as her allies saluted her.
- Soma: I never thought it possible, Eivor. That you would rally Saxons and Norse under your black-feathered banner.
- Guthurm: They see the tyranny of this elf-king. He would crush them all under heel, and plug their hearts with his god.
- Soma: So, what is the plan, Eivor?
- Eivor: When is their feast day?
- Guthrum: A few nights from now. But their revelry has already begun. We should attack now.
- Soma: That is unwise. Soldiers pace the paths of the village.
- Eivor: Then the night of the feast, under cover of darkness. That is when we will strike.
- Soma: Ubba will not have died in vain.
- Guthrum: We await your instructions, Eivor.
- Eivor: Let us plan our approach. But whatever happens, Aelfred is mine.
- Soma: They are not expecting us. We should not meet much resistance on the way.
- Guthrum: Then quietly, through the fields? It will be already too late once they see us.
- Soma: Your young Saxons can be our eyes to the west. Better to keep their soft hands away from the conflict.
- Guthrum: My scouts reported that a few nobles have arrived for the festivities already.
- Eivor: Good. If we capture the thegns, they will be no danger when I confront Aelfred.
Broder entered the conversation.
- Guthrum: And we could persuade them to support a new king of Wessex. I will subdue the lords.
- Eivor: Take Deorlaf and Tewdwr with you. They could prove useful in convincing the thegns. Broder, take Erke and Stowe and capture the garrison. Make quick work of any Saxons that dare cross into the village.
- Broder: Gladly, Eivor.
- Eivor: We each know our parts. May they blunt their swords against our might.
Eivor saw some of the allies that have come and overheard some of their conversations before welcoming them.
- Ljufvina: We owe Eivor a lot, my love.
- Hjorr: I know. I know. And with this last affray, I hope the debt will be cleared. I long to return home, to our warm hearth.
Eivor saw and spoke with Geadric.
- Eivor: Geadric. After Rouecistre, I was not sure you would come again.
- Geadric: I have chosen my side. I would sooner bed a hog than allow Aelfred to pillage the land I love.
- Eivor: Guthrum will trample Aelfred's ambitions like weeds in the dirt. Mercia might rise further yet.
- Geadric: Perhaps I shall one day sit upon the throne of all England. King Geadric the drunken ass!
- Eivor: I'll raise a cup to that.
- Eivor: Deorlaf. You have come again at my call.
- Bishop Deorlaf: I have, but this does not sit well with me, Eivor. This is a Christian feast, and the people here are not soldiers.
- Eivor: I come only for Aelfred.
- Bishop Deorlaf: Innocents will die for your ambitions. I am your ally now, but after this, I must turn back to Mercia. I have much to repent.
- Eivor: So long as I do not lose your friendship, your oath will be fulfilled.
Eivor later entered a conversation with Reeves Erke Bodilsson and Stowe and Broder from East Anglia.
- Erke: Eivor! It is good to see you.
- Eivor: Erke and Stowe. I released you from your debt and yet ... you came.
- Erke: Lunden is quiet enough, and Stowe here felt the sharp stab of conscience.
- Stowe: I could not let you down, Eivor. That's not what an honorable man does. So here I am, despite the reservations.
- Eivor: And you, Broder. I did not think you would be here either.
- Broder: I have seen to my brother, sent him to Valhalla with grave-goods. I am done with sorrow, Eivor. Now I am bloody angry.
Eivor nodded and understood. Eivor met with Ljufvina and Hjorr next.
- Ljufvina: There you are, Raven!
- Eivor: Ljufvina, my old friend! And I see you have convinced your husband to stumble southwards.
- Hjorr: Couldn't let her carve all the glory for herself. Ljufvina was just boasting of her heroics in Suthsexe.
- Eivor: She took the fort single-handed while the rest of us sat back and sipped mead. You should have seen her.
- Hjorr: I have come to make sure my warrior-wife's enthusiasm for battle does not get her slaughtered.
- Ljufvina: Have you ever met a woman less in need of a guardian than me, Eivor?
- Hjorr: You will have one, nonetheless.
Eivor saw and spoke with Finnr.
- Eivor: Finnr, stand tall. A light heart lifts all those around them.
- Finnr: Ah, Eivor. Who would not be joyous, reaving at your side?
- Eivor: And how you feel bringing sorrow to the Saxons on their holy day?
- Finnr: It darkens my mood. I have learned some of the Christ-Lord's teachings. He preaches peace where our gods delight in battle.
- Eivor: Let their delights be ours then. We have many battles to wage before the end.
- Finnr: And I will be beside you for them all, my axe ready and my heart stout!
- Vili: You soft-cheeked Anglo boys, have you brought your mothers with you?
- Eluric: My mother is worth ten of your men.
- Vili: I do not doubt it. I have seen those strong Saxon hens, clucking round the hearth as you farmers play with your cocks.
- Eluric: Ha! And she'd welcome you in Colcestre, Vili. Better than those sour-lipped thegns who haunt our hall.
Eivor spoke with Vili, Hunwald, and Eluric.
- Vili: Look, you Saxon bed-wetters! Here is a real warrior.
Eivor spoke with Tewdwr, who was polishing his sword.
- Eivor: Tewdwr. It is good to see you.
- Tewdwr: I gave you my word. Besides ... Aelfred's faith is strict, and he has no love for pagans.
- Eivor: You have changed much from that God-whipped boy. That is good to see.
- Tewdwr: And you taught me a lot, Eivor. Our time together was ... well, it taught me much.
- Eivor: I am glad, Tewdwr.
- Tewdwr: In fact, I composed a poem for the occasion. Would you like to hear it?
- Eivor: Later, Tewdwr. I have many allies to greet before the battle. Stay safe and well, until then.
After speaking with her allies, Eivor talked with Soma, Guthrum, and Broder about the upcoming battle. When nightfall came, Eivor spoke to all of her allies.
- Eivor: Tonight, Wessex's last resistance will crumble.
Her allies cheered.
- Guthrum: I follow you, Eivor.
- Soma: And I.
Eivor nodded and smiled.
- Eivor: 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. Soma with me. Everybody else go quickly to the village.
Soma and Eivor left to confront King Alfred as her allies went to their positions.
- Eivor: Advance. Be on the lookout for any stray guards.
They gradually started to near closer.
- Eivor: Get to the village and wait for my signal.
They entered the city of Chippanhamm.
- Eivor: Let's smoke the rat out of his god's house!
As the residents ran screaming, Eivor went inside the church in the village, alongside Soma and Ljufvina.
- Eivor: Aelfred! Face me and I will spare the last of Wessex from my torch.
Goodwin came out.
- Goodwin: Did you think my king would turn his back on you, Eivor? When your knife is smeared with the blood of Werham?
- Eivor: Stand aside, Goodwin. I come for Aelfred.
- Goodwin: Aelfred is long gone. And this good Christian feast, a cup of honey-wine to trap some wasps.
- Eivor: Where is he?
- Goodwin: Calling his allies to his side. All those who wish to see Wessex under one God. You cannot win England with your sorry crew of deluded farmers and godless fools.
- Eivor: At least I would not leave them to die as I scurried through the cornhusks like a rat.
- Goodwin: 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.
- Eivor: Then sing your tuneless hymns.
- Goodwin: Come, Raven-Feeder, do your worst.
Eivor and Goodwin started to fight each other.
- Goodwin: Such empty fury. It does not matter if I die as long as Aelfred is safe.
- Eivor: Your life means so little?
Eivor defeated Goodwin in single combat.
- Eivor: You are beaten, Goodwin.
- Goodwin: Beaten? No, not so. By my death, my lord may live.
- Eivor: Aelfred used you, fool. He threw you in my path. For what? He only delays what is inevitable.
- Goodwin: Kill me then. It makes no odds. For here you stand. Bloody and breathless, no closer to my king, no closer to the throne. This island will never be your home, Eivor. You will not subdue her with vicious force, or win her with cocksure words. We Saxons will always stand firm. Shoulder-by-shoulder against thieves and tyrants, whose envious eyes fall upon England.
- Eivor: If I must strike down all of England to subdue her, let it begin with you.
- Goodwin: O Lord, into your hands I commit my spirit.
- Eivor: No, I will use you, as you used me. A few hours in the company of my men and you will lead us to your sparrow-king.
- Goodwin: That I cannot allow.
Eivor left Goodwin's body and headed outside. Meanwhile, Eivor joined the battle outside.
- Eivor: Soma!
- Soma: The men of Wessex! They came from every house and hovel!
Soma and Eivor faced off incoming guards.
- Eivor: Soma! Fall back!
Soma, on the ground, stood up and fought an enemy soldier.
- Soma: For life!
The soldier impaled Soma with his sword but Soma used her axe to kill him up close.
- Soma: For death!
Soma fell to her knees as she bled while enemy soldiers came behind her.
- Soma: For glory...
- Eivor: Soma!
Within her last shout, Soma was killed instantly from behind as Eivor watched and screamed.
- Soma: For Valhal—
- Eivor: No!
Fending off her enemy, Eivor went to help her allies across the battle. Eivor found Guthrum, with Tewdwr and Deorlaf, within the village's hall.
- Eivor: Guthrum! I need you fighting with the rest.
- Guthrum: These men will not surrender! And one little cock-flogger barricaded himself behind that door there.
- Eivor: I will find a way in.
Helping to capture a hidden thegn, Eivor found a way inside the room.
- Anglo-Saxon Man 1: You will regret this unholy interruption!
- Anglo-Saxon Soldier 1: Cippanhamm will not fall to you scum.
- Anglo-Saxon Man 1: Leave me be! I am no threat to you.
Eivor tied up the thegn and left Guthrum with his prisoner.
- Eivor: Good work, Guthrum. I hope the rest has fared as well.
Eivor left the village's hall.
- Eivor: I need to see if Broder has taken the garrison.
Eivor went to help Broder, Erke, and Stowe at the Cippanhamm Garrison.
- Eivor: Broder! What can I do?
- Broder: Eivor! The garrison has more defenders than we hoped. My men are being slaughtered.
- Eivor: I will find a way to open the gates from the inside.
- Eivor: Hurry! These waves of reinforcements are Hel-sent.
Eivor found a way inside and opened the garrison's gate. Eivor helped secure the garrison.
- Eivor: That is most of them. Make sure the garrison stays under our control. I need to help the others.
Eivor went to help Ljufvina and Hjorr if they found Aelfred.
- Eivor: Did you see Aelfred?
- Ljufvina: No. But your Saxon boys were ambushed. One lays wounded.
- Eivor: Hold these men back, I'll find them.
- Hjorr: Go, Eivor. They will not better us.
Eivor found a wounded Hunwald and started to carry him.
- Eivor: Hunwald ... come, get up. This is no time for weep-wailing.
- Hunwald: I ... I cannot. And there is a blackness closing in around my eyes. It frightens me.
- Eluric: Forgive me, Hunwald. I should have been quicker.
- Hunwald: No, no ... you were my staunch protector, Eluric.
- Eluric: Eivor, have you seen graver wounds?
- Eivor: I will carry him from the fray. To that farmhouse there. I will get you to safety, Hunwald. Stay calm.
- Hunwald: I ... I may be all right. There is so little pain just now...
Eivor carried Hunwald into a farmhouse, while Eluric looked over. Eivor laid Hunwald down.
- Eivor: Hunwald, listen to me. You survived the battle of Botolphston. Do not let this scratch best you now.
- Hunwald: I'm so cold. Has winter come so soon?
- Eivor: You will warm yourself with mead and dancing yet, my friend.
- Hunwald: Perhaps not, Eivor. It may be I will sit besides my father soon. Will he be proud of me?
- Eivor: He will pull you to his breast, sob bright words of welcome ... and tell you no man ever had a worthier son.
- Hunwald: I am glad to have known you, Eivor. My truest...
Hunwald died from his wounds as Eivor and Eluric stayed. Eivor left the farmhouse and began to breathe and whimper heavily.
- Eivor: (sigh)
- Eluric: I will not leave his side, Eivor. I owe him that much at least.
- Eivor: There was nothing more you could have done. Friendship has a hollow ring if there is no threat of losing it.
Eivor left to regroup with her allies to defeat the rest of the Saxons.
- Vili: I am Vili, if you would know who cleaves your skull!
- Eivor: They are weakened. Let us finish this!
- Geadric: You fucking Wesexians will not move on Mercia.
- Vili: For Eivor and the Raven Clan!
- Geadric: This feast will end in blood.
- Anglo-Saxon Soldier 2: You will not rout us, interlopers. Not on this Christ mass.
- Anglo-Saxon Soldier 3: Stand true, God protects us on his day of feasts!
- Anglo-Saxon Soldier 4: These Danes defy our God and king!
Eivor and her allies defeated most of the remaining forces.
- Eivor: That's it, they are fleeing! The last of the Saxons are fleeing. The battle is won!
- Guthrum: Cippanhamm is ours! Tend to the wounded and gather in the square!
All of Eivor's allies gathered after the battle.
- Guthrum: They are routed! The city is ours. Wessex will follow!
- Eivor: Guthrum Jarl, we are not without losses. Some of them grave.
- Guthrum: Their king is fled, his patsy struck down. Defeat rings loud in their ears, and I will be their lord before the spring is here.
- Eivor: Guthrum, hear me ... Soma is ... she is gone.
- Guthrum: Soma? ... Dead? She has gone to the endless feast. And is the better for it.
- Eivor: Many fought for us and died. They deserve peace.
- Guthrum: Are you ready to honor them?
- Eivor spoke with her surviving allies as she went and talked to Broder.
- Eivor: It is done, Broder. You fought well.
- Broder: I saw him, Eivor. In my darkest moments, Brothir stood besides me, and all was as it used to be. Then the battle ended. I feel him no longer.
- Eivor: There will be other battles.
- Broder: Aye. And there you'll find me, Eivor. In amongst the blood and death, Brothir at my shoulder. Until the Valkyries claim me.
- Eivor: You have given me more than I would ever have asked for. How will I repay it?
- Broder: Keep him in your thoughts. For when man is mourned, his deeds cheered and his songs sung, he cannot die.
Eivor left and spoke to Vili.
- Eivor: Do you think there will come a day when winning will not be enough?
- Vili: You can always fight with me if you want to taste crushing and loin-soiling defeat.
- Eivor: My very presence would make that impossible.
- Vili: Enjoy this victory, Eivor, whatever it brings you. Only a coward thinks he'll live forever.
Eivor went to speak with Erke.
- Eivor: Erke. You wear a furrowed brow.
- Erke: Stowe is taking matters hard. You know how sensitive he is.
- Eivor: A man of faith and stout morals. Small wonder he is tormented.
- Erke: His support for you has taxes him hard. I'll take him back to Lunden. Maybe he will find some comfort there.
- Eivor: You are his comfort, Erke, not the city you watch. He is in good hands.
Eivor spoke with Stowe next.
- Eivor: My thanks, Stowe. You came to my aid, when you were free to turn away.
- Stowe: And still it breaks my heart to look upon what we have done today. Was it the right choice? I do not know. But it is done now.
- Eivor: If Aelfred has his way, there would never be friendship between Norse and Saxon. You fought for peace. Be proud of that.
- Stowe: I wish I could be. And in time perhaps I will.
Eivor found and spoke with Eluric.
- Eivor: Your first battle, Eluric. You fought well and with honor.
- Eluric: Is the glory you Danes seek? You can keep it. I saw Hunwald die, the light dim in his eyes. That could have been me.
- Eivor: You will never be the same. But you will be stronger for it.
- Eluric: I have wasted so much time in pouting like a child. No more, Eivor, no more.
Eivor left and then talked with Ljufvina, who was crying in pain as Hjorr died as well. Ljufvina kneeled onto the ground, near the bodies of Soma, Hunwald, and Hjorr.
- Eivor: Ljufvina ... Gods, I did not know. Is he—
- Ljufvina: Hush. What good can words do, Eivor? Keep to silence. He is gone. For what days I was given to spend with you. For each breath that carried your sweet whispers, I give thanks. No more, your fingers in my hair. No more your arms around my waist. The days will be cold hereafter, all color dimmed. Goodbye, my only. My heart ends with you. What is left ... will go on.
Eivor left and talked with Tewdwr.
- Eivor: You are not injured, Tewdwr?
- Tewdwr: Bruises, that is all. I have taken the Lord into my heart and He watched over my sorry bones. Those who fell sit beside him now.
- Eivor: And what of my heathen friends?
- Tewdwr: I used to believe in damnation for all who turned from his light. But there is a wondrous communion in friendship honored.
- Eivor: Even though your god-son preaches peace?
- Tewdwr: And we shall do that, Christians and pagans, side-by-side. Never persecuted.
- Eivor: Your Christ would smile at that, I think.
- Tewdwr: Your Freyja would, too.
Eivor left and spoke with Bishop Deorlaf and Geadric.
- Bishop Deorlaf: He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
- Eivor: Deorlaf. Geadric. There is a solemn air about you.
- Bishop Deorlaf: To disturb such holy revels with blood and murder ... I fear God may never forgive me for this.
- Eivor: Had your God taken Aelfred's side, we would have not won. So it may be that you did his work after all.
- Geadric: Aelfred still lives. And now I am twice his enemy. Give me one more fight and I will gladly make it a third.
- Eivor: He is defanged and little of threat to us now.
- Geadric: That slippery eel may yet surprise you.
- Bishop Deorlaf: Atonement is a long and lonely path, and I must soon leave to take my first steps upon it.
- Eivor: Your debts to me are paid. I wish you well on your journeys.
- If Eivor spoke to Guthrum again after talking with the remaining allies, Guthrum had time to reflect.
- Guthrum: My heart is heavy.
- Eivor: Many fought for us and died. They deserve peace.
- Guthrum: Are you ready to honor them?
- Guthrum asked a second-follow up if Eivor did not talk with her remaining allies.
- Eivor: Yes, there is nothing more to say.
- If Eivor chose to wait, she left to find any more remaining allies.
After some conversations with her allies and preparations, Eivor and her allies created pyres for their fallen comrades.
- Guthrum: Time to send our friends to their great reward. Will you do the honors?
- Eivor: Nothing awaits them. They lived, they died. Now their bodies will burn to cinders. Their saga ends here.
- Guthrum: Well, do not share that with them.
Eivor spoke at the funeral gathering for all of the allies who fell, especially Soma, Hjorr, and Hunwald.
- Eivor: Victory is ours. But it came at great cost. Soma Jarlskona, who stood at Guthrum's right hand... She will live on in our memories. From now 'til the end of days. And to Hjorr ... warrior, husband, and friend. He made the ultimate sacrifice. I here repay it. And to Hunwald whose kind heart has now led him to his father's side. May his god welcome him with open arms. Let us send them on their way, all our beloved dead, our fallen warriors. And speed them ... to their end.
Eivor, Guthrum, and Vili set the pyres aflame. All mourned and watched as their fallen ones were given their last rites. Afterwards, Eivor showed her farewells to Tewdwr and Broder and then went back inside the village's church. Guthrum was inside as Eivor came inside.
- Eivor: Guthrum?
- Guthrum: When the reeve died, did he take comfort in knowing he would soon see his god?
- Eivor: He was strangely peaceful in the end. As if death meant nothing.
- Guthrum: We stumble through our years, ravenous, grasping. Spilling blood, stealing gold, and it is never enough. This life is never enough. Would it not soothe you to know there is something beyond all this? Not war and valor, but quiet and peace?
- Eivor: I think ... I think the afterlife men hope for is only a reflection of their regret in this life. All I wish for now, is to live among the friends I have made. That is what counts.
- Guthrum: Aelfred made me swear fealty upon the cross of their god's son. He held such faith in it ... a plain, unadorned thing. It burned between my fingers, as if I had pulled it from the fire. A feeling strange and powerful, but gone in an instant. I have not felt its like before.
- Eivor: What will you do now?
- Guthrum: Whatever, I must do. England is my final home, Eivor. And I will do what it takes to remain.
Eivor left and whispered to herself.
- Eivor: I should return to Swanburrow, and tell her of Hunwald's fate. Better the news come from me than a stranger.
Eivor and her allies defeated the Wessex soldiers as Eivor defeated Goodwin. However, the battle resulted in significant losses for Eivor, as she setted up pyres for those who fell, especially for Soma, Hunwald, and Hjorr.