- Before leaving to find the ealdorman, Eivor may have talked with Hunwald.
- Eivor: Something on your mind?
- Hunwald: Eivor, I realize the strides you've taken to aid me. My oath to you will last an eternity.
- Eivor: You'll owe me a blood oath when all our work is done.
- Hunwald: Blood? Dear Lord...
- Eivor: Wait here 'til I return.
- Eivor: Can your god speak through you, Herefrith? Can he tell me where the ealdorman is?
- Herefrith: Our Lord is not a trained dog who speaks on command. My goodness.
- Eivor may have talked with Abbess Acha, who was humming.
- Eivor: When did you last see the ealdorman?
- Acha: Leave us be. It is not your place to be asking such questions.
Eivor left to search for Hunwald's father and arrived at the hospice.
- Eivor: Hunwald's father was recuperating here not long ago. Someone may have seen him depart.
As she entered the hospice, Eivor spoke to a woman seating on a bench.
- Eivor: Do you know where your ealdorman is?
- Anglo-Saxon Woman 1: I can tell you a few things. But not here in the open. Follow me.
Eivor followed the woman inside, to a private room.
- Eivor: This is far enough. Tell me what you know.
- Anglo-Saxon Woman 1: O, I know loads of things about our ealdorman. I know his favorite foods, I know when his bedclothes get changed, and I know he hates being bled with leeches. That sort of thing.
- Eivor: But where has he gone?
- Anglo-Saxon Woman 1: Ah, where? I have no bloody idea. Is that what you asked me?
- Eivor: Forget it.
Eivor left the woman and spoke to a man working on a scaffold.
- Eivor: You there. Do you know where your ealdorman has gone?
- Anglo-Saxon Man 1: I don't. And if you like your hide where it's at, you won't ask that 'round here again!
Eivor left the man and spoke to a female groundskeeper.
- Eivor: Where is the ealdorman? Did you see where he went?
- Anglo-Saxon Woman 2: I ... I ... I don't know. Ealdorman who? Sorry, I'm busy!
Eivor left and spoke with the head sister.
- Eivor: Are you the head sister here?
- Anglo-Saxon Woman 3: Aye. And I'm not comforted by the sight of you wielding weapons like a war chief. We're a hospice, not a barracks. It's bad enough I've got these armored codpieces watching me work. Now you...
- Anglo-Saxon Woman 3: I'd be risking my neck telling you anything. And if my head rolls, these sick and ailing folk will follow me to the grave.
- Eivor: Your ealdorman would agree. So the sooner I find him, the more quickly these prowling guards will leave your hospice.
- Anglo-Saxon Woman 3: That's a pleasant thought. Our lord was in a bad way here, and getting worse, in spite of our efforts. Then, quite against my instructions, some guards moved him out. I overheard them talking about a bathhouse. There's no working bathhouse in Lincoln. So I gather they meant the old ruins just south of here, by the eastern walls.
- Eivor: Ruins just south of here. I will look there, thank you.
- Anglo-Saxon Woman 3: I pray you find him. He's in desperate need of care.
Eivor left and headed to the bathhouse and saw bandits inside the place.
- Anglo-Saxon Man 2: It wern't wise to let those Mercian nobles use our tunnels, if you ask me.
- Anglo-Saxon Man 3: What choice did we have? 'Least this way, they'll leave us be.
- Anglo-Saxon Man 2: They killed one of their own! What's to stop 'em from splitting our skulls as well?
- Anglo-Saxon Man 3: Cause they fear us, see? No one takes us for fools, you got it?
Eivor got inside the place a bit further.
- Anglo-Saxon Man 3: Remember ... God punishes those who wish ill upon ... upon...
- Anglo-Saxon Man 2: Go on ... ill upon who?
- Anglo-Saxon Man 3: Eh? Sorry, I was miles away. What?
- Anglo-Saxon Man 2: Christ Jesus. You haven't got enough brains in your head to blink, have you?
Eivor made her way inside and found a route to the sewers below.
- Eivor: These tunnels run deep. Was the ealdorman fleeing to a hideaway beneath Lincoln?
Eivor was made her way behind a bandit guard, who was relieving himself.
- Anglo-Saxon Man 4: Ow! Ah! Dammit...
After dealing with the guard, Eivor found herself in the center of the Old Lincoln Sewers, where a couple of bandits were talking.
- Anglo-Saxon Man 5: More Mercians traipsing across our routes. Can't piss from here to Bolingbroc without someone demanding some ungodly deal.
- Anglo-Saxon Man 6: All this traffic has made smuggling a difficult job.
- Anglo-Saxon Man 5: Smuggling will always be difficult. But I prefer it to paying tribute. Never again will we bend to the Mercian crown.
Eivor made her way out of the sewers and out towards Roaring Meg's Spring, where Eivor noticed bodies and blood from an altercation.
- Eivor: There was fighting here. About what?
Eivor noticed and checked on one of the bodies.
- Eivor: A violent struggle between nobles and bandits. The bandits did not fare so well.
Eivor found another clue on the ground.
- Eivor: A noble's cloak with the image of a swan. Looks like the ealdorman passed this way.
Eivor found a locked door, but no key nearby. Eivor found the key at the bottom of the spring itself.
- Eivor: I know a lonely door that would love to meet this key.
Eivor went to unlock the door and entered inside, only to find a letter on a table.
- A New Proposition:
We have received an offer from an unnamed Saxon requesting safe passage through the sewers to Bolingbroke. The amount is considerable, which leads me to believe they have something of great value they cannot afford to be seen with.
Insist on seeing what it is before accepting their offer. If it merits it, double the amount. If they refuse, kill them.
- Eivor: A Saxon nobleman paid some bandits for permission to sneak through these tunnels on their way to Bolingbroc castle.
From all the clues, Eivor theorized how the events played out at the springs.
- Eivor: Mercian nobles made a deal with some bandits. Paid them hush money to let them sneak through these caves. When the time came, the bandits ambushed the nobles. But it did not end well for the bandits. In the struggle, the ealdorman's cloak was torn off. But he got away and headed east for Bolingbroc castle. That's my best lead.
Out of the springs, Eivor found herself outside the city.
- Eivor: Ah. Fresh air.
Eivor travelled and arrived at the castle, which was well-guarded.
- Eivor: I'm on the right track. That keep is well protected.
Eivor investigated and found herself within the middle of the area.
- Anglo-Saxon Soldier 1: At times, I wonder what in God's name we are here for. Hundbeorht is his own prisoner.
- Anglo-Saxon Soldier 2: He's an ill man, leave him be. Besides, we ain't got it too rough. We can hunt in the wolds of Lindsey and whore in Botolphston.
- Anglo-Saxon Soldier 1: Too right, too right. I've gone dumb with idle time. Grab some ale, and let us skin some animals later.
After Eivor dealt with the guards, Eivor found a note from the ealdorman to his son, Hunwald.
- Scroll with a Swan Seal upon It:
To My Young Swan
We are blessed to be here with the Wolds of Lincolnscire. It is here in the lush lands of Hatfield Chase where we exchange with the kings of smaller kingdoms, still with each their own glowing throne. As Aldfrith noted, the hunt here is plentiful. Wolves, foxes, and even the occasional bear.
Remember we are Yellow Bellies, from the Wapentake and teh ancient hollows, our sheep graze the mustard fields and our poppy heads make us happy, and when you hunt, remember that you are part of the long line of Anglian Kings of Lindsey.
Good Folk and Yellow Bellies from Woden to God
Your father Hundbeorht Rex of the Lindsey-Folk
Eivor found and followed a tunnel going down and heard a voice.
- Galwyna: My lord, you carried yourself as a true-born king, born in a time of wolves. You have earned a long rest.
- "Hundbeorht": Thank you, beautiful Galwyna. So firm is your loyalty. None know me as well as you do.
Eivor entered the underground premise.
- Galwyna: There now, my lord. All is prepared. Shall we begin the washing? Eh? Who comes?
Galwyna turned around to see a confused Eivor and then changed her demeanor.
- Eivor: Welcome, stranger. Are you here to pay tribute to our Lord Ealdorman?
Galwyna showed Eivor a deceased Ealdorman, under his banner, as flies flew around.
- Eivor: I heard voices as I entered. Were you speaking with him? Does his hugr (mind) speak through you?
- Galwyna: I am not sure what to call it, precisely. Words form in my mind, and I give them voice. Often, they sound like my dear lord.
- Eivor: Can I ask a favor of him? On behalf of his son, Hunwald?
- Galwyna: You could try, but he never speaks when others are present.'
- Eivor: Your ealdorman is long past the days of good conversation.
- Galwyna: Yet still he makes good company. I've been instructed to wash and prepare his earthly vessel.
- Eivor: Instructed by whom?
- Galwyna: Soldiers. They brought him here as he protested, feebly. I did my best to make him comfortable ... until he slipped away.
Eivor pondered what to ask next.
- Eivor: Hunwald deserves to know the truth about his father's fate. He is owed an inheritance and deserves a chance to become ealdorman himself.
- Galwyna: All in good time, I imagine.
- Eivor: No. Now.
- Galwyna: When the guards put him in my care, I was told to keep all this a secret ... until the appointed time. When I asked who gave these orders, they struck me. I wish I could say more.
- Eivor: I've seen all I need to. But Hunwald will need proof.
Eivor looked around the premise for any proof. Eivor saw berries on top of a table.
- Eivor: Dried herbs and berries, crushed into powder.
- Galwyna: The time between my lord's departure and his burial is ... longer than usual. My lord must keep up appearancce for his upcoming rites.
Near the berries, Eivor found and read a letter.
- Galwyna's Journal:
Left him here, they did. Weak and frail. Carried him by his arms. Feet dragging behind. Dropped him on the floor with a thud. No way to treat an ealdorman. Not right. Not right. But no better place for him, no. Lord Hundbeorht has found his way into my company. My tenderness I will share. It is what he deserves.
Eivor found buckets filled with unknown yellow liquids.
- Eivor: I don't know what this is. And I'd rather not ask.
- Galwyna: Yes, I thought the same. Troubling.
Eivor saw and read a text near the liquids.
- Regnal Tribute Illuminated Text
The Genealogy of the Anglian Kings of the Lindsey
Our Kings who under God and Woden Ruled shall be remembered. Their line is endless as the great sky as they rule the land of the Lindissi, for the Britons and the Anglians alike, we kneel to them:
(final name is scratched out with a monk's plume)
Eivor investigated the ealdorman's corpse.
- Eivor: Foul. Rat droppings everywhere.
- Galwyna: Even in death, my lord is a friend to all of God's creatures.
Eivor found a box filled with items.
- Eivor: A box of musty clothing. And a brooch with no crest ... the house of the ferocious swan. This will do. I'll return this brooch to Hunwald in Lincoln. I hope this poor boy can withstand such ill news.
Eivor spoke with Galwyna again.
- Eivor: Take care.
- Galwyna: And you.
Galwyna then prayed for her late ealdorman.
- Galwyna: I shall take you to your family crypt at Nettleham within Lincoln. There you may lay beside your forebearers, the great and glorious kings of old Lindsey. Please do not desecrate our Lord.
- Eivor: I am Dane, not a cruel grief-monger.
Eivor left for Lincoln as Galwyna kept praying. Eivor arrived in Lincoln's town hall, where she saw Hunwald, Aelfgar, Bishop Herefrith, and Abbess Acha discussing certain matters.
- Hunwald: Eivor! What news?
- Eivor: Your father is dead.
Eivor handed Hunwald the brooch.
- Hunwald: Wait. What?
Eivor walked to the rest.
- Eivor: The sigil of Hundbeorht's house. I found it near his body.
- Hunwald: No. No, this cannot be! He was strong. A pillar of Lincolnscire. He cannot be gone. He ... He...
Hunwald started to cry heavily as Acha went to console him.
- Acha: O, you poor boy. I'm so, so sorry.
- Hunwald: I am a man, Acha! Do you hear me? I am a man, and I am my father's son. Do not forget it!
Acha stepped back as Hunwald shouted at her.
- Eivor: Keep steady, Hunwald. You're now the head of your house.
- Eivor: Another swan takes flight. Only I remain, last in line of ... dwindling nobles.
Hunwald turned away as Eivor pointed at the rest.
- Eivor: One of you knows more than you're letting on.
Acha stepped towards Hunwald again.
- Acha: I'm sorry, Hunwald. I had already asked a priest to administer last rites when your father disappeared.
- Hunwald: What?
- Acha: I didn't tell you sooner because I ... I thought by some miracle he had survived.
- Hunwald: You lied to me!
- Acha: You silly sobbing moon-calf. Will you never grow up?
Hunwald left in despair as Acha followed him.
- Herefrith: Lord have mercy on that woman. She should have said something. It was her duty to say something.
- Eivor: Hunwald was the son of an ealdorman. Will he take his father's seat?
- Herefrith: The title's not hereditary, but he can plead his case before a shiremoot. King Ceolwulf must then ratify the decision.
- Eivor: We have a similar custom, what we call an althing. An assembly of good folk.
- Herefrith: With so many like habits, there should be peace between our people and yours. Perhaps that begins now.
- Herefrith: If I may be so bold, I should like to put my name forward. Under my care, the shire has found some peace this past month.
- Aelfgar: I will offer my name as well. My family has ancient ties to this land. And I am proud to say, I have forged quite a friendship with the Danes to the north.
- Herefrith: Good. My priests will spread word of the moot across the shire. We'll convene in a few days time.
Aelfgar and Eivor took leave.
- Aelfgar: Do visit my estate, Eivor. I have something for you. Something I think you'll enjoy.
- Eivor: I'll find the time.
Aelfgar left as Bishop Herefrith called for Eivor.
- Herefrith: Eivor, a word if you don't mind.
- Eivor: Is the word "Christ" or "pagan"?
- Herefrith: I deeply regret my churlish ways when we first met. I did not treat you as my God commands ... with kindness and love.
- Eivor: Love is a difficult feeling to command.
- Herefrith: Yes, quite. In any case, thank you for putting this mystery to rest. I do hope we will see you at the moot.
Herefrith left Eivor.
- Eivor: With Hundbeorht's death an open secret, Hunwald's enemies may strike again. I should find him before they do. Acha went to console him. I should follow her.
Eivor followed Hundbeorht's trail to Bolingbroc Castle and found his corpse near his servant, Galwyna. Eivor later returned to Hunwald with proof of his father's death and thus this led to the planning of a shiremoot for a new ealdorman.