Eivor travelled to Sigfred's Forward Camp.
Eivor arrived at Sigfred's Forward Camp and went to see Toka. Eivor walked and overheard warriors' conversations.
- Norse Man 1: I will take three Paris mansions.
- Norse Warrior 1: We know you are greedy, but why three?
- Norse Man 1: One for me, one for my horse, and, uh, one for my axe!
Eivor later found a note on a table near supplies.
- Poster of Challenge
Calling all Heathens!
I, Herbert du Lilibonne, challenge every single one of you to a duel to the death! Prepare to meet your violent end, to fall helpless and groveling to the dirt while I glory in the adoration of my admirers! If you find the courage to rise to this summons, I will be waiting in the arena at Coteaux de la Siene. Ready yourself, and come for your reckoning!
Eivor headed to see Toka as a warrior called her out for her late arrival.
Eivor found a report from Pierre nearby Toka.
- Rebellion Report
The Frankish rebels here are − wreaking havoc against the loyalist forces. With more silver, they might topple them altogether.
I know the rebels are Franks, but you share the goals. If you were to aid them, those goals could be achieved sooner.
Eivor went inside the main tent and read a note inside.
Eivor talked with Toka.
- Toka: Longships on the shore. As beautiful as swans.
- Eivor: More like wolves, circling for the kill.
- Toka: True, this is no raid. When we get inside those walls, what happens, Eivor?
- Eivor: You have fought before. Bled. Killed.
- Toka: Yes, but ... there are children in that city. They cannot flee. When the wind is right, I can hear them yelling, playing games.
- Eivor: There need not be a slaughter. We may still persuade the Franks to yield ... though I am unsure of the best way...
- Toka: Tell this to Sigfred.
Sigfred walked in, behind them.
- Sigfred: Tell me what?
- Eivor: We are here, they see our strength. Let them give up their silver, sign the treaties, and we sail home.
- Toka: To gain fame and wealth this way is good.
- Eivor: Count Odo leads the Franks in Paris, yes?
- Toka: Aye. He defends the city and draws other nobles to cause.
- Eivor: I can talk to this Odo.
- Sigfred: No more talk.
Sigfred turned around as Toka and Eivor looked to him being uncompromising.
- Eivor: The High One says 'tis better to live than to die, that the dead till no fields.
- Sigfred: You quote the All-Father at me? I shall burn Paris, with or without you.
- Eivor: You have lost thegns enough. Would you rule a wasteland?
- Sigfred: Go, then. Talk Count Odo out of his silver, if you can.
- Eivor: I will at that. Toka, where is this Odo?
- Toka: You might pick up his trail at Pontem Esera. But go with stealth, that is enemy ground.
Eivor walked away from Toka and Sigfred.
- Sigfred: And Eivor, this Odo is no willow reed. He does not bend in the wind.
Eivor left to find Odo's location at Pontem Esera. Eivor traveled to the stronghold and arrived there.
- Eivor: This must be the fort Toka mentioned. I need clues to Odo's whereabouts.
Eivor entered the fort and overheard a pair of guards talking.
- French Soldier 1: Another message for Odo, left to rot on his desk. Why bother, nobody knows when he's coming back.
- French Soldier 2: Have faith in the count. He's kept us fed, so if anyone can hold Paris, he can.
- French Soldier 1: Sigfred and his lot will be eating in the Palais before month's end, mark my words.
- French Soldier 2: Have you so little faith in God and Odo? I hate standing watch with you.
Eivor found his quarters but the door was locked. Looking around, Eivor saw a guard with the key. Sleuthing her way, Eivor garnered the key and then opened the locked door. Entering the quarters, Eivor probed and found a letter on the main table.
- An Elegant Letter
Our guests are arriving at Manoir des Fleurs Rouges. A few became lost, arriving south of Paris instead of north. I dispatched messengers to the rest, telling them to look for our abundant fields of gorgeous red poppies.
Do make haste, my love, our guests are eager to parley with you about the war. While waiting, they are taste-testing our prized mulled wine.
Your faithful wife,
- Eivor: Odo should be at his manor. The one with red flowers.
Eivor left the fort and travelled to the north of Paris. Eivor later arrived at one of its entrance, which was well-guarded.
- Eivor: This way is well-guarded. Best to find another way in.
Eivor overheard a guard and a man arguing.
- French Man 1: How dare you bar me from going this way? Who says I cannot enter?
- French Soldier 3: Lord Odo says so. It is because of the coming siege, no? We cannot fill the castle with hungry mouths.
Eivor found another way and entered the northern part of Paris.
- Eivor: Now to find Odo's red flower manor.
As Eivor looked for Odo's manor, she heard a child singing.
- French Child 1: Who will defend our Frankish land? Brave Lord Odo, we know he will. Who will save us from the Northman? Who will defend our Frankish land? Lord Odo stands at the king's right hand. Every Northman he will kill. Who will defend our Frankish land? Brave Lord Odo, we know he will!
Eivor searched and found Odo's manor, Manoir des Fleurs Rouges, as commotion was heard outside of it.
- French Man 2: The Northmen burnt my house and killed my son. Now the plague takes my wife! Why does God torment me? Why?
- French Woman 1: Easy, milord. You drank too much wine and your tongue runs free in its grief.
- French Man 2: No, I must hide! Northmen drink the blood of saints. Revealed to Prophet John. Everyone, in the wine cellar!
Eivor went to the front door as Odo's wife, Theodrate, stood present.
- Theodrate: Hold, stranger. Who goes there?
Eivor spoke with the lady.
- Eivor: Pardon me, my lady, but I seek an audience with Count Odo.
- Theodrate: I see, but my husband is busy recruiting nobles to aid in the coming war.
- Eivor: Good lady, I too wish to pledge my blade to defend Paris from the heathen hordes.
- Theodrate: I see. Are you one of our Frisian allies from the barbaric fringes of the kingdom?
- Eivor: Yes, I have journeyed a great many days along the coast and down the river.
- Theodrate: And do you have a signed and seal writ of audience? Without a proper writ, I simply cannot allow you inside. We must be wary of assassins, you know.
- Eivor: O, the scrolls. I left it in my saddlebags. I shall fetch it.
Eivor left Theodrate as he looked for a guest.
- Eivor: I need one of those noble writs to meet with Odo. One of the guests might have one.
- French Man 3: Our newest guest has gone mad. He's hiding in the wine cellar!
- French Woman 2: I won't believe it! One of our nobles, cowering like a stablehand?
Eivor spoke to a pair of guests.
- Eivor: Greeting, friends. What is the trouble?
- French Woman 2: One of Odo's guests has got filthy drunk and locked himself in the wine cellar. Shameful.
- Eivor: Was he invited here to help defend Paris?
- French Woman 2: Perhaps, but what sort of help can such a lout provide? I am dubious, I tell you.
Eivor looked around the area.
- Eivor: That drunken noble might have one of those writs I need to meet with Odo.
Eivor noticed a note near the wine cellar.
- Farmhouse Note
The rats swarmed through the tunnels connecting the farmhouse and the manor.
They devoured our grain stores and are biting the field hands.
We've killed many, but their festering corpses remain.
I have ordered the farmhouse boarded up to stem the tide. Do the same at the manor.
Your faithful reeve,
Eivor went near the wine cellar.
- French Woman 3: Someone, help me bash down this door. One of our guests has locked himself in the wine cellar.
Eivor lended her hand.
- Eivor: Let me.
Both Eivor and the woman broke the door opened.
- French Woman 3: O, Lord Clovis! You have drunk yourself to sleep after making a frightful scene. Please, show me a kindness and help Lord Clovis outside while I clean up this mess.
Eivor picked up the lord.
- Eivor: Nothing to fear. I will carry Lord Clovis outside for some fresh air.
Eivor reached outside and placed him on the floor.
- Eivor: This drunk has a paper in his pocket. Looks like the writ I need to meet with Count Odo.
Eivor acquired the writ and spoke with Theodrate.
- Eivor: I have returned with the writ permitting me to speak with Count Odo.
- Theodrate: Excellent, you may enter. And we do appreciate your efforts on our behalf.
The front door was unlocked.
- Eivor may have used the tunnel at a farmhouse nearby, to enter the manor from underground. Eivor spotted a captain's appeal to Odo while underground.
- An Appeal for Silver
Allies have sent men and silver to aid us, but more is needed.
Many fear to give for the defense of Paris, lest they leave their own realms unguarded.
Yet we need silver. Perhaps we should send out additional appeals, even as far as Frisia.
Your faithful captain,
- Lord Hubertus
Eivor entered inside the manor.
- Eivor: I need to find Count Odo.
Eivor looked around and found a note near a locked door.
- Public Notice
Count Odo's Study: Placitum Generalis
Eivor went upstairs and noticed two guards at a door.
- Eivor: Not getting in this way.
Eivor overheard a conversation as well.
- Lord Corvus: You see, dear Lothar, Odo has trusted me and me alone with the key to his study.
- Lord Lothar: How did such an outrage come to be?
- Lord Corvus: Because, dear Lothar, I gift him with rare vintages, whole casks from as far away as Greece.
- Lord Lothar: Bah. Servant, bring more wine!
- Lord Corvus: I shall see to our wine, dear Lothar. Farewell.
Hearing how Lord Corvus had the key, Eivor snuck near him and stole the key. Eivor later opened the locked door.
- Lord Corvus: Merde! My precious key to Odo's study ... stolen!
Eivor opened the door and saw a letter to the table on the left.
- Father Confessor
My old friend, I seek your guidance on a pressing matter of spiritual concern.
Normally, I would brings these matter into the sacrement of Holy Confession with my Father Confessor, but this war makes such conveniences difficult.
The siege has driven our family priest, Walter du Sens, over the edge, and he is no longer stable enough to hear any Confession.
I fear for the safety of my family, particularly Lady Theodrate. Sometimes the urge to flee overwhelms me. We could escape so easily through a smuggler's tunnel, but I cannot abandon my post.
Yet late at night, doubt attacks me. Nightmares of fire and blood stalk my dreams until I sit bolt upright in bed, trembling with fear.
The meaning is clear. My stubborn defense of Paris may bring down a terrible slaughter upon us all.
Once again, I ask you to share your wisdom. What should I do?
Your former student,
Eivor climbed up the stairs and eavesdropped on Odo, Gozlin, and Francia's nobles in a meeting.
- Eivor: −and with Count Odo leading us, we shall drive these heathen devils back into the abyssal sea!
- French Man 4: As you say, my lord, but these Northmen are mortal, not demons. They want land and plunder.
- Odo: True, the Northmen are fierce and the king is ... slow to defend us. Yet every one of you swore an oath before God to defend this realm. We will overcome this evil, as we always have. I cannot compel you to do your duty. Your hearts must guide you. Gozlin, kindly show our guests out.
Gozlin and the other nobles left the meeting.
- Odo: Come out and say what you wish to say, Eivor of England.
- Eivor: You saw me enter, fair enough. But how do you know me?
- Odo: My scouts speak of a famed warrior with a raven. Do you think as fools?
Odo gave a goblet to Eivor.
- Eivor: I did not expect such courtesy.
- Odo: Mulled wine, what we call in vin chaud. Properly spiced, heated, and served with fruit. My one vice.
- Eivor: Wine grapes do not grow in the North. We drink mead.
- Odo: Mead. Eivor, you risked much to see me, I respect that. But why? You have land in England, no?
- Eivor: I have no wish to settle my people in Francia.
- Odo: Then how much coin will satisfy your lust? A hundred deniers? A thousand? And after you, who's next? Ragnar and his sons came here years ago. We bought them off with silver and they burned Paris anyway.
- Eivor: I do not want silver. I want England free of Frankish meddling. We're not a part of your kingdom.
- Odo: And I would like our kingdom free of Norse "meddling" as you call it. But for argument's sake, what are your terms?
- Eivor: As I said, Charles leave England alone. Second, he embraces Sigfred as an ally. And finally, he lets Sigfred's thegns keep their land in the north. Rouen and Amiens were my father's lands! You shall never claim my birthright.
Odo walked angrily to a desk.
- Odo: Your army will never take Paris. And you will never have peace. Not here, and not in England.
The door opened and a guard awaited.
- Odo: My men will escort you out. When we next meet, it shall be on the field of battle. Farewell.
Eivor nodded and left the manor.
- Eivor: I must return to camp and tell the others what Odo said.
Eivor traveled back to Sigfred's camp and talked with Sigfred near a campfire.
- Sigfred: You arrive in time to drink. What will you take?
- Eivor: Wine, much wine. It was a long journey.
- Sigfred: The Hero of Ravensthorpe, the skalds called this one. Gifted at war and at words, they say. But I see no treasure.
Eivor and Sigfred drank their cups.
- Sigfred: Where is Odo's silver? Have you kept it all for yourself?
- Eivor: It went as you said. The man is no reed. He would not bend, would not yield.
- Sigfred: Franks love to talk, but their words are as empty as the wind.
- Eivor: True, but a wise sailor still listens to the wind. It may foretell a coming storm.
Sigfred and Toka threw their cups to the ground as all involved walked to see the city in the distance.
- Sigfred: Now. Two things we must do to carry this siege. First, we shall take some ground for our catapults.
- Eivor: I will help with this. Somewhere near Paris, I guess, but is it guarded?
- Sigfred: The Franks lack the men to hold the whole city, only the walled island, the Île de la Cité. Still, go with care.
- Eivor: Good. And the second thing?
- Sigfred: Find a flaw in their defenses. A place where our warriors can breach their walls. Or a way for our ships to encircle the island. Some weakness we can exploit.
- Eivor: Agreed, but how?
- Toka: Might be that I know a way, but ... it carries risk.
- Eivor: Speak, Toka.
- Toka: In the slums south of the walls, there is a smuggler, a woman.
- Sigfred: Her Breton lover.
- Goll: Heh, heh.
- Toka: She's not my lover, just a campfire fling. But if anyone knows the city's weak points, she does. I would go myself, but ... we ... Nolwenn, she...
- Sigfred: They quarreled. The smuggler stole Toka's necklace before she stole her heart. Now, Toka misses her necklace.
- Eivor: I will talk to this smuggler and find a weakness in the Franks' defenses. You have my word.
- Sigfred: Good. All is settled then.
- Toka: No, uncle. There is another thing. Odo will not see reason, but Charles might. We should speak to him again.
- Sigfred: You wish for more talking.
- Toka: We should speak to the fat king, gain a truce.
- Eivor: What! He tried to kill me. Why talk to him again?
- Toka: Those stone walls will not yield, not without a bloody fight. He may give us silver without half our clan dying on those walls.
- Eivor: Perhaps Toka is right. Charles may still yield.
- Sigfred: Go, niece. Talk to every king and bishop in the land, just like Eivor the Talker. It matters not. But soon comes the end of talk. Soon, the spears will clash and the city will burn. Be ready to fight that day.
- Eivor: My word, once given, is never broken. I will fight at your side, Sigfred. Never doubt.
Eivor and Sigfred looked at each other, sternly.
- Toka: Enough! Friends, uncle. We are of one heart here.
Eivor and Sigfred stared at each other.
- Toka: I will seek the king at the Clever Fox, a tavern on the northern bank. Pierre says he carouses there.
Toka left to find Charles.
- Eivor: Toka is a good thegn. Someday she may stand in front of an army, like you, Sigfred.
- Sigfred: I hope so, but for now she stands with me. Meet me at the bell tower, Eivor, when you are ready to fight some Franks. Instead of talk to them.
- Goll: (laughs)
- Eivor: What do you laugh at, thegn?
- Goll: They say you stink of crow-shit, hero. But you smell like Frankish piss-wine to me.
Goll left as Eivor looked at her angrily.
- Eivor: I need to lay the groundwork for the siege, but what to do first?
Eivor talked with Odo of France for a truce, but to no avail. Thus, she planned with Toka and Sigfred to prepare for the siege and to see again if King Charles was willing to make peace.