Ravensthorpe was a settlement in the south of Leicestershire, England established during the 9th century. It was founded by the Raven Clan, a group of Vikings from Norway who refused to acknowledge the crowning of Harald Fairhair as the first King of Norway and thus left their homes to escape his rule. It served as the headquarters of Eivor Varinsdottir and the Hidden Ones as they hunted the Order of the Ancients through England.
Ravensthorpe was originally a military camp established by Halfdan Ragnarsson that consisted a longhouse with a few shacks and tents. This led it to be the first stop when Sigurd Styrbjornson, Eivor, and the Raven Clan arrived after travelling across the North Sea from Norway. However, when they arrived, the camp had been abandoned by the Great Heathen Army and was occupied by Anglo-Saxon bandits. After a brief failed attempt at diplomacy, the Raven Clan cleared out the bandits and rescued their prisoners, Yanli and Rowan. The Vikings chose to reclaim the settlement as their new home with Eivor naming it "Ravensthorpe". Sigurd decided to push on north by himself to Repton in order to meet up with Ivarr the Boneless and Ubba Ragnarsson, leaving his wife Randvi as the settlement's de facto leader and charging Eivor with gathering resources and supplied to renovate the area. As the clan made their livelihood raiding, the first building erected was a blacksmith shop run by Gunnar.
In time, a stable was built, tended to by the Saxon Rowan. At the stable, Eivor could train her horses in such things as swimming, and customize various symbols painted on their coat. The stable was paired with an aviary for Eivor's pet raven, Sýnin. A Trading Post run by Yanli was also made, where Eivor could buy or sell crafting resources or discover new tattoos designs. These designs could then be applied at Svend and Tove's Tattoo Shop, where Eivor could also change her hairstyle and color.
A barracks was soon set up for the Vikings to train in. There, Eivor could outfit a Jomsvikingr lieutenant, personally choosing their clothes and weapons, before recruiting them to the longship for future raids. Mundi was a regular face around the barracks and could often be found outside playing the dice game Orlog.
When not raiding, Eivor and the Vikings could spend their leisure time at many other buildings. At Wallace's Hunter's Hut, they could trade pelts and craft trophies of their hunts, while Merton and Arth's Fishing Hut stored fish they caught as they improved fishing gear to catch stronger and greater numbers of fish. The nearby shipyard run by Gudrun and her husband Gudmund was used to build and customize the appearance of longships. In terms of food production, Ravensthorpe had Tekla's brewery, Tarben's bakery, and a handful of farms connected to select individual houses. With sufficient study of agricultural practices, the farms could be improved to yield greater quantities of higher quality food for feasts before raids.
As Ravensthorpe became more established, it attracted Saxons, but also a growing group of peoples from as far away as the Middle East and Asia. With its diverse population, the inhabitants of Ravensthorpe felt a need to have buildings devoted to their specialized intelligences that were atypical of Viking style. Notably, the settlement had a cartographer's hut run by Olsen, who provided Eivor with maps of regions they had visited, and a museum, run by the Roman history enthusiast Osbert to store various artifacts of interest and study methods of repairing local ruins.
Out of the entire settlement, the most important buildings in Ravensthorpe were the longhouse, the Seer's Hut, and the Hidden Ones bureau. The longhouse was where the Raven Clan held feasts in the main hall in celebration of momentous occasions or before raids. Besides its function of a dining area, it served as a common hall for the community to gather and air grievances before Eivor settled disputes. When not brimming with guests, the longhouse was Eivor's living quarters. A personal room with a bed was part of the building, and featured a box in which Eivor received letters.
Although far from home, the members of the Raven Clan still retained their religious beliefs, and the village had a number of spots where they could raise statues to gods like Odin. If Vikings sought guidance from the divine on worldly matters, they visited Valka in her hut. A mysterious woman, Valka decorated her home with strings of bones and beads, and for a price, would concoct a mixture to drink that induced a hallucinatory state and sent the consumer to what was commonly accepted to be Asgard.
Lastly, Ravensthorpe featured a bureau for what would become the start of the Hidden Ones' newest chapter. It was run by the Levantine Hidden One Hytham, who took care of updating a large board marked with icons representing his organization's oldest enemy, the Order of the Ancients, who had deeply embedded themselves throughout the land and into the administrations of England's many kingdoms. As Eivor eliminated known targets, more information on unidentified members would be revealed.
Establishments and Residences
- Hunter's Hut
- Fishing Hut
- Seer's Hut
- Tattoo Shop
- Trading Post
- Hidden Ones Bureau
- Grain Farm
- Fowl Farm
- Cattle Farm
- Hunwald and Swanburrow's Residence
- Revellers' Hut
- Mayda's House
- Kari's House
- River Raid Dock
- Alvis and Holger's House
- Jomsviking Hall
- Irish Outpost
Behind the scenes
Ravensthorpe is a location created for Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, where it served as the main settlement, which the players build up as they progress through the game, in a similar fashion to other settlement meta games in the series, such as Monteriggioni in Assassin's Creed II or the Davenport Homestead in Assassin's Creed III.
Although there is a real life village of Ravensthorpe located roughly in the same area as the fictional one, the in-game village was not intentionally made to be the same location during development, with the development team only finding out about the real village nearing the end of the game's development.
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla – Settling Down
- Tom Phillips (12 October 2020). Assassin's Creed Valhalla's settlement explored: your new Viking home. Archived from the original on December 12, 2020. Retrieved on December 12, 2020.
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla
- "Darby_McDevvit" (12 November 2020). IRL: Ravensthorpe is literally on my doorstep.. Reddit. Archived from the original on November 12, 2020. Retrieved on November 12, 2020. “I'm going to tell you an amazing story, my friends... We chose the name Ravensthorpe because Eivor's clan was the Raven clan, and Thorpe means "farmland" ... and we set the settlement in the middle of Mercia so it was centrally located on the map. We had NO idea that there was a real Ravensthorpe in exactly this location in real life, until a few months ago. Granted there is no river running by the real Ravensthorpe, but a lot can happen in 1000 years. Rivers change courses. A sign from Odin, I think.”