Eivor seeks an audience with Charles the Fat.
Eivor arrived at the Clever Fox Tavern as she heard a harlequin.
- Harlequin 1: Come one, come all, enter our humble hall! Drink, dance, and sing to the madness of the king!
- Eivor: Toka said King Charles carouses at this tavern. Strange, to drink and make merry on the eve of war.
Eivor entered inside to find Toka talking to a constituent.
- Toka: The Fat King! What other king could I mean? They say he sleeps here.
- Taverner: He slept here, he ate here, he drank here, and he left here. Where he went after that, who am I to say?
The taverner left.
- Eivor: No luck finding the king?
- Toka: Eivor! No, no luck. Finding such a large, famous man should be easy, but not for me.
- Eivor: Come, let us drink.
Toka signaled for a drink.
- Eivor: Who are these strange folk?
- Toka: Fools with no shame or no honor, players who perform for the king.
- Eivor: One of these fools may lead us to that greater fool, the king.
- Toka: Don't bother, it's like talking to drunks or Geats. Or drunken Geats. Eivor. I should thank you.
- Eivor: For what?
- Toka: For backing me against Sigfred. He will not talk to the Franks, but ... we should still try, yes?
- Eivor: Yes. And you can do this thing, with or without him.
- Toka: But I failed. Nobody here will tell me where to find the king. What should I do?
- Eivor: A wise shield-warrior must know both sword and words. Watch and learn.
Eivor left to investigate as Toka watched. Eivor walked around and heard a conversation within the tavern.
- French Man 1: Today marks the end of an age. So drink, friends. Let us toast to the end of the world!
- French Woman 1: I will drink to that! Life is too short for abstinence.
- French Man 1: Ah, but the wine is a mocker, drink is the devil's sacrament, and like its master, it only deceives. I'll drink to that. A toast, to wine, madness, and to ... O, why not? To the king!
- Eivor may have talked with Toka with no evidence.
- Eivor: "Watch and learn," you said. See? Not so easy to find a king, is it?
Eivor read a poster on a pillar.
- Wanted Poster
WANTED: Richo, commonly known on the streets as the Rat King.
For harassment, extortion, torture, and murder by rodent.
Last spotted near the city sewers. Gold will be rewarded for any information.
Report to Captain Bolie.
Eivor went and talked with another harlequin on a table.
- Eivor: Greetings, good sir. I would offer my sword to your king. Where may I find him?
- Harlequin 2: When the great bear was sleeping, the jesters went creeping, into the great bear's room! The jesters were all drinking, dancing, and singing, even if waking the bear spells doom!
- Eivor: The bear might be the king. So, the king had a room?
Eivor looked around and found a ladder near a locked room. Climbing it, Eivor found a confused harlequin.
- Eivor: You there, acting strange. Where is your king?
No answer came from the harlequin.
- Eivor: As mute as the dead. No matter.
Eivor looked and pushed a moveable structure out of the way. Looking out of a window, Eivor climbed out of it and saw another window barred by wood. Breaking through, Eivor climbed in this window and found a key. With the key, Eivor opened a barred door and left to see the mute harlequin clapping at her. Going to the locked room, Eivor unlocked the door and searched the room. Eivor came across an invitation for King Charles.
- Royal Theater Invite
Your Shining Majesty,
Dearest, most wonderful Charles, may your reign be as great as your generosity is vast.
We humble players invite you, our beloved patron, to attend a new performance upon the Amiens stage.
We shall debut a scintillating new play dubbed The Measure of a King.
Wine and merriment aplenty will also be provided.
In addition, we shall also provide delightfully garbed companions costumed according to your exacting specifications.
Your loyal troupe,
The King's Players
- Eivor: Ah hah, Charles, I have found your hiding spot.
Eivor spoke with Toka after leaving the room.
- Eivor: I found what I need. Charles enjoys the theater in Amiens.
- Toka: Good. Let us go.
- Eivor: No, he may lash out if he meets one of Sigfred's clan. Best I go alone.
- Toka: As you wish. But meet me here when you are done and tell me what he said.
Eivor left and headed to Amiens. Upon arrival, Eivor saw the Amphitheater and heard a child orator.
- French Child 1: Hear ye, hear ye! Sigfred the Slayer and his heathen horde march on the gates of Paris. Count Odo calls for all loyal warriors to gather at Île de la Cité.
Eivor looked within the area as she overheard the troupe rehearsing.
- Pantomime: How should we mere mortals measure the greatness of a king?
- Harlequin 3: By his height? By his weight? By the length of his ... sock?
- Pantomime: No, do not measure a royal majesty by the size of his ... anything! Instead gauge his words. Test if they be honest ... or a ... crock!
- Harlequin 3: Friend Pantomime, again you err. Words are like water, everflowing. Estimate our royal ruler's regal deeds, rather than his talk!
- Pantomime: Good Harlequin, you have made everything suddenly and abundantly clear. O mighty Charles lies low in the back of a darkened theater.
Eivor also found a note near the troupe.
- A Note of Assurance
While your concerns are understandable, consider − our Charles is an enlightened king.
He understands the special role jesters and actors play in tweaking the noses of monarchy.
Our play shall be richly rewarded − you shall see!
Eivor looked and found a ground level opening.
- Eivor: Looks like the backstage. Maybe Charles lurks within.
Eivor walked in as she heard a dark, ominous voice.
- Unknown Voice: O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that takes the little ones...
- Charles: Yes, demon, what? What does it do to the little ones?
Eivor walked in further to see a bloody painting of a ox on the wall.
- Unknown Voice: It dashes them against the stones!
- Charles: No, no, no...
Eivor moved towards Charles, who heard her presence.
- Charles: Ah, it is only the heathen. Led astray by Lucifer, but mortal all the same.
- Eivor: Charles. I heard two voices. Who else is back here?
- Charles: No one but me and this weak creature of flesh.
Charles snapped out of it.
- Charles: Forgive me.
Charles stood up.
- Eivor: Talking to that which does not exist opens the door for something that does. This I know.
- Charles: Let me assure you, my demon exists. As does my God.
Charles coughed heavily.
- Charles: Kill me. Make me a martyr king.
- Eivor: I should slay you where you stand, for that trick you played on me and the queen.
- Charles: That will not get you what you want. Peace, and a free hand in England, correct?
- Eivor: Odo won't see reason. Sigfred wishes to burn the city down. But you, you can save Paris.
Charles signaled Eivor to leave and Eivor left. Charles sat on his chair and grinned while Eivor left the room. Eivor headed back to Paris to meet with Toka again. Upon arrival at the Clever Fox Tavern, Eivor spotted and talked with Toka near the barrels outside.
- Eivor: You look none the worse for ale. How much did you drink?
- Toka: Not enough to make me enjoy those awful Frankish skalds. But tell me, will Charles sign a truce?
- Eivor: He will not even speak to us until we hand over his son, Bernard?
- Toka: But we do not have the bastard boy.
- Eivor: No, but I know where the queen took him. The plague ward, south of the city.
- Toka: I will gather my thegns and take them hostage.
- Eivor: To seize the prince lacks honor. But we should keep an eye on the boy all the same.
- Toka: Hmm. I know a man with keen eye and light step. Pierre.
- Eivor: A wise choice.
- Toka: So. One step closer to breaching the walls and burning a city.
- Eivor: Yes ... but I do not want this thing, but what else can we do? See you back at the camp, Toka.
Eivor left Toka.
Eivor met with Charles for a truce, but Charles gave no leniency unless he received his son, Bernard. Eivor discussed with Toka about Charles' decision and both called on Pierre to keep an eye on Bernard.