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Hunwald (died 878) was an Anglo-Saxon nobleman who lived in Lincoln, Lincolnscire during the 9th century. He was the son of his shire's late ealdorman Hundbeorht and the last known member of his regal family line of Lindsey.

Biography

Early Life

As a child, Hunwald grew up in Lincoln surrounded by his father and the family housekeeper, Raeganhere. As he grew up, Abbess Acha used to take care of him, like a surrogate mother, during his youth, as she taught him the scriptures of her God. Hunwald also grew up hunting with his father, but to no avail in finessing his skill with a bow. However, Hunwald always remembered that his father stated that he was proud of him, nonetheless. [2][3]

The Lay of Hunwald

In 875, the Viking shieldmaiden Eivor Varinsdottir of the Raven Clan spoke with Randvi about pledging to Lincolnscire. Randvi informed Eivor that a young, boisterous lord named Hunwald was at the docks of their settlement. Eivor pledged for the shire and headed down to docks, where Hunwald was heard talking with two Norse members, Norvid and Svanhildr. When she joined the conversation, Eivor asked Hunwald who he was. Hunwald told all present who he was, his father's illness, and his false exile from a secret order. Agreeing to help, Eivor told Hunwald to follow her lead. Hunwald understood and stated that he would wait in Botolphston for her to come. Eivor, worried, admitted that this journey may be fatal for the young, exiled Hunwald.[4]

Hunwald talks with Norvid and Svanhildr

Eivor soon arrived in Botolphston and looked for Hunwald. Overhearing constiuents stating Hunwald was in the village hall again, Eivor headed inside to find Hunwald and thegn Aelfgar talking. Eivor joined the conversation and discussed the simple plan of escorting Hunwald into Lincoln to meet his father and nothing more. However, Aelfgar doubted Eivor's strength at the same time a pair of Saxon drinkers challenged Eivor to a match. During her solution with the pair, Eivor noticed Hunwald left to relieve himself outside. After the pair was dealt with, Eivor checked in on Hunwald, who was outside and surrounded by enemy Saxon soldiers. After defeating the soldiers, Eivor checked on a dramatic Hunwald, who mistook this fight as a battle and a victory. Nevertheless, Eivor reminded Hunwald to stay on track as they both agreed to a hasty leave for Lincoln.[4]

While escorting Hunwald, Eivor and him talked about who would want Hunwald gone from the shire. Hunwald list the possibilites from the former king of Mercia, Burgred to King Aelfred of Wessex. The reason Hunwald believes may be due to his relationship with a Dane woman. Upon their arrival, Eivor and Hunwald noticed Lincoln was heavily guarded and made sure to travel to Hunwald's home as quick as possible. Along their sleuthing, Hunwald recounted to Eivor that his father was very ill and how he wished to see his father soon. Finding and entering his home, Hunwald, with Eivor, saw and met with the housekeeper, Raeganhere. Raeganhere was thrilled to see Hunwald alive, as Hunwald declared to see his father. However, Raeganhere explained that his health made him be moved near the sisters and the abbess Acha. Raeganhere also told Hunwald and Eivor that Bishop Herefrith took over duties after Hunwald's father's absence.[2]

Hunwald and Eivor inquire about his father's whereabouts

Hunwald and Eivor headed towards the town hall, where the bishop and the abbess were having a conversation. Although the abbess was pleased to see Hunwald alive, the bishop remained stagnant and dismissive of the lord, as Herefrith told Hunwald that rumors were spread of Hunwald spending time bedding a Dane. Hunwald responded by stating that he wanted to see his father and that Eivor was aiding him in terms of protection. However, the bishop and abbess stated the ealdorman left himself in his ill state and that they do not know where he went ultimately. Out of options, Hunwald was told by Eivor that she investigate his father's disapperance. Hunwald disclosed that Eivor may need to look at the hospice and ask those who have seen him last in Lincoln.[2]

Eivor and Hunwald receive no answer to the ealdorman's whereabouts

As Eivor investigated the hospice, her findings led through the sewers of Lincoln to Bolingbroc Castle, as the ealdorman's probable destination. Through combing by the guards in the castle, Eivor came across an unsent letter to Hunwald from his late father, summarizing his fondness of their time hunting and how Hunwald comes from a line of Anglican kings. Eivor later found a underground passage and heard a woman talking as herself and the ealdorman. The woman, Galwyna, admitted to being the ealdorman's caretaker in secret, as she told Eivor that he died and she was to take care of him. Eivor finally found the ealdorman, but needed proof to take back to Hunwald. Looking around the underground area, Eivor found the emblem of Hunwald's family line, the ferocious swan. Eivor left Galwyna with the ealdorman's corpse and headed to Lincoln.[5]

Arriving at Lincoln's town hall, Eivor entered the conversation between Hunwald, Aelfgar, Acha, and Herefrith. Upon delivering sad news to Hunwald, he cried immensely as Acha tried to console him. Eivor proclaimed that one of the other three knew more. Acha relented and told the truth that she knew that Hunwald's father was near death and performed last rites. Hunwald yelled at her and ran out, as Acha tried to follow him. After this emotional display, Herefrith and Aelfgar admitted that a Shiremoot must take place for a new ealdorman. This led to the nominations of Aelfgar, Herefrith, and Hunwald presumably to become new ealdorman. However, Eivor had to find Hunwald first and make sure he was safe, as his enemies may see an opening to kill him. [5]

Finding Acha at a nearby entrance, Eivor asked the abbess where Hunwald went. Acha recalled Hunwald going down the Roman road and inferred that Hunwald might be at a old tall tree that he used to go to with his father. Travelling down the road, Eivor spotted Hunwald, who was talking aloud to his late father about their hunting ventures. Upon nearing Hunwald, Eivor caught an engraving on the tree that stated: Hunwald and Swanburrow. Speaking to Hunwald, Eivor started to console Hunwald over the loss of his father and both started to drink over their sorrows. Drunk, Hunwald and Eivor talk about his supposed Dane ladylove and Hunwald insisted to go to Grimsby to see her. Still drunk, Hunwald and Eivor talk about how Hunwald may be ealdorman and Hunwald proclaimed to want a chance to be their leader.[3]

Hunwald and Swanburrow kiss each other after a long absence

Along the road, Eivor heard a noise and told Hunwald to be quiet. Going to check it out, Eivor saw within the bushes a collective of Saxon soldiers waiting in ambush. Eivor and Hunwald soon were ambushed but luckily, the pair survived and defeated their attackers. Hunwald made sure to keep going as he believed his love, Swanburrow, was also in danger as well. On foot, they ran to Grimsby and saw a woman praying to an Odin statue on a top of a hill. Swanburrow, worried, saw Hunwald and they both quickly embraced each other after a long period apart. After brief introductions between Eivor and Swanburrow, Hunwald and Eivor recounted the past ambush and his father's death. Eivor recommended that Hunwald stay with Swanburrow until the moot and they agreed. Eivor told Swanburrow to take care of Hunwald and Swanburrow responded that her blade will keep him safe.[3]

Bishop Herefrith, Hunwald, and Aelfgar await the results

Arriving back for the Shiremoot, Eivor met with Acha to start the vote and they both went inside the town hall. Acha told Eivor that it's a tie between Hunwald, Aelfgar, and Herefrith, each with four votes. Acha also stated that Eivor is the deciding vote and Eivor was reluctant but surprised that all three candidates trusted her. Before her vote, she talked to the people in the hall, including Hunwald. Hunwald spoke to Eivor and stated that he would rise above the mediocrity that had befallen him and that he would be a righteous leader. After putting her vote forward, Eivor left the voting table as Acha walked up to announce the new ealdorman. After Acha announced the new ealdorman, the shire finally had a new leader and Eivor held up the end of her bargain.[6]

After the moot, a sudden change happened in Lincolnscire as Bishop Herefrith declared war on the people. Upon Herefrith's betrayal, Eivor found out that he was part of the Order and that he escaped to Anecastre. Eivor soon met with Hunwald and Aelfgar to prepare the siege. Hunwald was admittingly shocked as he recalled the bishop and his father to be the best of friends. Unwavering, Eivor and the two lords talked to the captain and decided their plan of action. After the planning, Eivor and the shire's fyrd prepared to siege Anecastre. Eivor, Hunwald, and Aelfgar fought their way through Herefrith's defenses and made it through the barriers, one by one. Soon, they reached the final barrier and Eivor caught sight of a priest kneeling in surrender. Interrogating the priest, Eivor learned that Herefrith was holed up inside the chapel nearby. Eivor told Hunwald and Herefrith to make sure no one left the chapel unanswered.[7]

Eivor, Hunwald, and Aelfgar prepared for the siege

Looking for way inside, Eivor noticed an opening through a glass window above. Breaking in, Eivor caught sight of Herefrith and then assassinated him. After killing the bishop, the siege ended with a victory for Eivor, Hunwald, and Aelfgar. Afterwards, Eivor talked with Hunwald about the future of the shire and his next steps. Coming to an understanding, Eivor gained both an alliance with Lincolnscire and an ally and friend within Hunwald.[7] After completing the pledge, Eivor headed back home to report to Randvi.[8]

Death

Eivor and her allies readied for battle

In 878, Eivor called all her allies, including Hunwald, to fight against King Alfred in the battle of Cippanhamm. Hunwald was seen in a conversation between himself, Vili Hemmingson, and Eluric. After greeting her allies, Eivor left to go over the battle plan with Guthrum and Soma. After the meeting ended, Eivor gave a speech to her allies and declared the start of their battle against King Aelfred. Within the battle, Eivor went to confront Aelfred, only to be met by Goodwin. After defeating the reeve, Eivor headed outside to see enemy reinforcements coming into the village, as Eivor sadly witnessed the death of her friend, Soma.[1]

Hunwald succumbs to his battle wounds

Soon, Eivor quickly aided her remaining at best she can. Eivor soon heard Ljufvina Bjarmarsdottir and Hjorr Halfsson calling for her and stating that one of the "Saxon boys" were wounded. Eivor checked and saw Hunwald badly hurt as Eluric was in dismay of not protecting Hunwald. Eivor carried Hunwald to a nearby farmhouse and laid him down. By his side, Eluric stood by as Eivor and Hunwald talked about Hunwald meeting his father and proving himself worthy. Hunwald stated that Eivor was his truest friend before succumbing to his wounds. Eluric stayed with Hunwald as a bereft, whimpering Eivor left to finish the battle. After the battle was won, Hunwald's body was brought and laid down besides Soma's body and Hjorr's body. In response to their deaths, Eivor and her allies prepared funeral pyres as Eivor read the funeral rites for her fallen allies and friends.[1]

Eivor sets a funeral for her fallen allies

After the battle, Eivor reported home and went to Swanburrow first to deliver the horrible news. Consoling Swanburrow, Eivor remarked how Hunwald fought bravely, died a hero, and now walked among warriors. Eivor also acknowledged that the settlement and Eivor were here for Swanburrow anytime and then left her to mourn. Soon, Eivor reported to Randvi about the last pledge but remarked that it may have come at a greater cost than she wanted.[9] Hunwald was given a burial in Ravensthorpe, alongside the burials of Svend and Dag Nithisson.

Behind the Scenes

  • If Eivor chose Hunwald or Aelfgar as ealdorman, the bishop would reveal himself as The Crozier of the Order at the moot and ambush everyone inside. Thus, Hunwald would fight alongside the nobles of the shire against Herefrith's guards.
  • If Eivor chose Aelfgar or Herefrith as ealdorman initially, after killing the bishop, Hunwald asked for both him and Swanburrow to live with Eivor and her clan. Eivor agreed and soon they would have their own house in the settlement. However, if Hunwald is ealdorman, Swanburrow lives with the Raven Clan solely, as per Hunwald's favor to keep her safe from any future attacks.

Gallery

Appearances

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaHoly Day
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaHomecoming
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaSalve for a Fresh Wound
  4. 4.0 4.1 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaA Noble Escort
  5. 5.0 5.1 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaIn the Absence of an Ealdorman
  6. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaWhere the Stone Falls
  7. 7.0 7.1 Assassin's Creed: ValhallaA Sword-Shower in Anecastre
  8. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaReporting on Lincolnscire
  9. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaReporting on Hamtunscire

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