Eivor approached a derelict dock and a camp set up in the ruins of Linforda.
- Eivor: Near an old harbor. This is the camp.
As she neared, she could hear Sigurd and Basim talking.
- Sigurd: How do we charm her when she's in our care? Do we say what we're after? Or do we dance around the idea?
- Basim: From what I've learned about Fulke, she's not shy about sharing her esoterica. If we ask her one question, she'll answer ten.
- Sigurd: Good. But we mustn't seem eager. She could use it against us.
Eivor entered the camp.
- Basim: And here's Eivor.
Sigurd stood to meet her.
- Sigurd: Ah! You've timed things well. The holy woman Fulke is close by.
- Basim: Imprisoned at the Saint Albanes monastery, just around the bend.
Basim stood as well, brushing dust from his armor.
- Sigurd: This is our moment, Eivor. After this, everything changes.
- Eivor: I might be pleased for you, if I knew who this woman was or why we needed her.
- Sigurd: I have explained enough. Now is the time for action.
Basim nodded in agreement.
- Eivor: You've done nothing of the sort. Nothing but give me your blind word!
- Sigurd: I wish to speak to her! Me, your jarl! That alone is reason enough!
- Eivor: Why? So she might cast a spell and turn Eadwyn into an eel?
- Sigurd: Fulke is not the only advantage we seek here, Eivor. There will be treasures in Saint Albanes, more than we can count.
Eivor looked down awkwardly.
- Sigurd: Is there something that holds you back from embracing me as you once did? As your brother? Your family.
- Eivor: Sigurd, you know I would never betray your... your trust in me. I'll fight with you. But there must be limits to this chase. Geadric is counting on us.
- Sigurd: Of course he is. And soon we will deliver. Come.
Together, they made for the abbey.
- Sigurd: Saint Albanes will not disappoint. It is famous for its treasures.
- Eivor: We'll see about that.
They boarded Eivor's longship.
- Eivor: What do we know of this woman?
- Sigurd: Very little. She appears to be an adventurer of sorts.
- Eivor: The thegn called her a heretic.
- Sigurd: All the better for us! She is clearly someone who knows her own mind.
- Eivor: I admire your optimism, Brother.
They reached the abbey, either sneaking through, starting a raid, or walking through unimpeded if Eivor's prior raid left the place undefended. At the top of the hill, near the church and several other buildings, they still saw no sign of Fulke.
- Sigurd: Where is this woman?
- Basim: There will be a crypt or dungeon. Near the central church, I believe.
They approached the main church.
- Sigurd: Here's the monastery. Saint Albanes.
- Basim: Fulke is held inside. Somewhere well protected.
The doors on either side of the church were barred, so Eivor climbed to a higher level and broke a stained glass window to enter. She killed a soldier posted as guard and retrieved a key from his corpse. To one side of the church was a locked door. Before opening it, Eivor read a note left on a nearby table.
- Proclamation Concerning Fulke
I caution each of you to resist engaging in ecclesiastical debate with the prisoner called Fulke. She has Lucifer's ability to turn one's words—and even holy scripture—back upon one, making the speaker appear foolish and unlearned.
We must not let her indulge in these dark arts. Restrict conversations to the subjects of food, weather, and praise of Lady Eadwyn.
Eivor unlocked the door and led the way down a set of stairs.
- Eivor: Through here.
- Sigurd: At long last.
Near the bottom of the stairs, they could hear a woman praying further in.
- Fulke: ...for like holy Judas, I thank you, beloved Jesus, for the wisdom to pierce Sophia's cloud... to see beyond and above the lies of Ialdabaoth, to know the First Mystery that is the last mystery that is the twenty-fourth mystery. Amen.
At the bottom of the stairs they entered a room with a locked door in the far wall. Near the door, a monk sat at a desk, writing, facing the wall. Eivor approached the man.
- Anglo-Saxon Man: Who dares enter this sanctuary?
- Eivor: This stony cave reeks of piss and salty tears.
The monk stood and faced them.
- Anglo-Saxon Man: How dare you!
- Sigurd: We've come for the woman, Fulke. She need not bedevil you any longer.
- Anglo-Saxon Man: The mad heretic?
From her cell, Fulke spoke.
- Fulke: Ah! The Self-Begotten Spirit has sent an angel to deliver me!
- Basim: Open the door.
- Anglo-Saxon Man: Her heresies must be punished. Not by Danes, or Mahometans, but by true Christians.
- Eivor: Choose, friar... stand aside, or fight.
- Anglo-Saxon Man: If we must come to blows, my Lord will protect me... and my reward shall be assured.
- Eivor: Permit me, friar, to make an offering to your church.
Eivor handed the man a bag of silver and his eyes went wide. Then he smiled.
- Anglo-Saxon Man: A Dane who gives alms to the righteous. I... I bless you, and pray for your wayward soul. Take this key.
- Eivor: Friar. Our hands are bloody with the gore of your guardians. Is your God so starved of martyrs that you wish to die as well?
- Anglo-Saxon Man: You make a fine point. Let me pray on this.
The monk closed his eyes in prayer for a moment while Eivor, Sigurd and Basim looked at each other.
- Anglo-Saxon Man: The Lord bids me welcome all strangers. Here, friend. Take the key. And depart with your strange friend.
Eivor unlocked the door. Inside, Fulke knelt on the floor, praying again.
- Fulke: Praise thee, Lord of the Treasury of Light, for this chance of deliverance.
Fulke looked up as Eivor and the others entered and stood before her.
- Fulke: Are you sent by the angels of Saklas? Or the Self-Begotten One above?
Sigurd and Eivor looked at each other in confusion.
- Eivor: That I cannot answer.
- Sigurd: You are the woman called Fulke?
- Fulke: I am Fulke in this realm. A humble seeker of the Self-Begotten One's true nature.
- Sigurd: And you are a collector of artifacts?
- Fulke: The instruments of the children of Saklas the Fool, yes I am. I have many such curiosities.
- Basim: And you possess an object, a polished stone with unusual markings?
- Fulke: Now, you're a curious one. A cowl and robes hiding tawny skin. And that devilish blade.
Fulke gestured at Basim's Hidden Blade.
- Eivor: Why do we linger here? Soldiers will be coming!
- Fulke: There are stables behind the monastery where we can speak in peace.
Fulke stood and the others followed her out of the cell.
- Sigurd: Lead the way.
- Fulke: Come.
The group made their way back up the stairs and through the church, toward the stables.
- Basim: How long were you imprisoned?
- Fulke: Some weeks, perhaps a month.
- Basim: For your so-called heresies?
- Fulke: Heresies, yes. I have been blessed to discover many profane objects in my lifetime. Objects which attest to the works of the demiurge, the false god worshiped by these robed imbeciles. Across Germania and Francia, I found these relics and carvings. And here in England too. Lady Eadwyn claims they are blasphemous. But her mind is clouded. The true worth of these objects is immense.
- Sigurd: May we see these objects?
- Fulke: If you wish to know the truth of our origins, I will show you today.
- Sigurd: I would indeed. Where you go, I will follow.
They reached the stables, and while Sigurd moved to continue on, Eivor stopped.
- Eivor: Enough of these mysteries, Sigurd.
Sigurd paused, his expression going dark, and turned back to Eivor.
- Sigurd: Fulke is a curator of objects of great worth. One of which may reveal my true nature.
- Eivor: True nature? You said this was about victory. About defeating Eadwyn!
- Sigurd: To know that I am descended from the ancient gods is a victory. It would give me dominion over this land.
- Eivor: Descended of the gods? Brother, what by Odin's eye are you saying?
- Basim: Fulke, we have heard that you possess a profane stone with strange markings and the image of a tree.
- Fulke: That I do. A monolith I call the Saga Stone, for it came to this land with the Dane, Ragnar Lothbrok.
- Sigurd: Do you have it?
- Fulke: It is the sun and moon of all my sacred objects.
Eivor addressed Sigurd again.
- Eivor: Will you buy and trade this stone for an alliance? Or more fighting men? Is it useful for anything other than flattering yourself?
Fulke took a step back.
- Fulke: Perhaps I should leave you three alone, to hammer through your differences.
- Sigurd: We are unified. We only wish to see the stone, to read the runes inscribed upon it.
- Fulke: No one on earth can read those runes. The language is unknown and probably long dead.
- Sigurd: There is no risk in letting us look.
- Fulke: No risk at all.
Fulke bowed her head in prayer.
- Fulke: Praise thee, O Self-Begotten one, for sending these three to deliver me from my punishment.
- Eivor: No whispering gods led me here, Fulke. I brought myself.
- Sigurd: You came because I called you, Eivor. They spoke through me.
- Eivor: Brother you have my head spinning.
Fulke studied Sigurd.
- Fulke: And you fascinate me more with each passing moment. The Saga Stone is hidden away in the care of my acolyte. Are you ready to go see it?
- Eivor: The sooner we see this slab of rock, the better. Let's go.
- Fulke: Approach the stone with an open mind, Eivor. You may find it more interesting than you expect.
Eivor left and returned later.
- Eivor: Fulke...
- Fulke: Are you now prepared to see the stone?
- Eivor: Yes. Let us go see the slab of rock.
- Fulke: You may find the stone more interesting than you expect.
Eivor, Sigurd and Basim rescued Fulke from the abbey.
While Eivor calls the man in the monastery "friar," the term wasn't used until the 13th century to refer to a member of one of the mendicant orders of Christianity, over 400 years after the events of Valhalla.