- Eivor: Acha. Where is Hunwald?
- Acha: I tried to console him, but he pushed me away. I love the boy, I do. But I fear what would happen if he took his father's title. He's fragile and scattered. I saw him ride north, following the paved Roman road. To the old tall tree where he often passed time with his father, I imagine.
- Eivor: Hunwald loved you like family. And you lied to his face.
- Acha: In my way I was trying to protect him. O Saint Cuthbert, give me strength.
- Eivor: Oaths and ale work better than your prayers and saints.
Eivor spoke to Acha once more, before departing.
- Acha: I must beg forgiveness from my God. The Lord lifts up the meek ... we must praise Him.
Eivor left and traveled all the way to Ealdorman's Overlook.
- Eivor: That must be the tree Acha mentioned. Hunwald may be nearby.
Eivor neared the grand red tree, where she heard a drunk Hunwald.
- Hunwald: These woods, Father. O, these woods ... I remember the days we spent here together. Here upon this spot. Ducking and hiding through the rushes. With bow and arrow. Chasing rabbits and squirrels. A thousand arrows I fired, and a hundred trees I bled, but not a single animal I could catch. All of them, fled.
Eivor came forward towards Hunwald.
- Hunwald: H-hello! Eivor? Is that you?
Eivor came across an engraving on the red tree.
- Tree Engraving:
Hunwald and Swanburrow
Eivor spoke with Hunwald.
- Hunwald: Eivor, what a pleasant surprise! Would you drink with me?
- Eivor: Hunwald...
- Hunwald: Come! Sit, sit. Stay with me a while and comcemplate ... conmemtate ... contemplate the view.
- Eivor: Be easy with your grief, Hunwald. If you're not careful, it's a poison you'll bear in your blood for the rest of your life.
- Hunwald: No need to worry! For I have found the antidote for it!
- Eivor: Collect yourself, Hunwald. There's many a man in Lincolnscire who'd pay to see your head on a pike.
- Hunwald: Well they can wait a moment!
They both had a drink.
- Eivor: Here we go a wassailing, among the leaves so green!
- Eivor: He had a large heart and a love for his people. I think I would have liked him, too.
They both drank some more.
- Hunwald: He and I used to wander up this way all the time. He would take me hunting. And I would catch the most wretched little things, if I caught anything at all. I was a rubbish hunter. But he always said he was proud. Each and every time.
- Eivor: A toast...
- Eivor: ...to your father, Hundbeorht of Lincolnscire. He may have dwindled from this world in death, but in life, he was as stalwart as this tree.
- Hunwald: A wise oak tree, yes!
- Eivor: Skal.
They drank even more as time passed on top of the hill.
- Hunwald: And then ... and then my father says, "It's the right goat, but it's the wrong end!"
Eivor and Hunwald laughed.
- Hunwald: Ah, my Swanburrow loves that one. She has a great sense of humor, my lady-love. Father would have liked her.
- Eivor: Right, your Dane ladylove. She sounds lovely. Too lovely to be real.
- Hunwald: You know what? We should visit her! We should go to Brimsgy! Er, Grimsby! Yes, yes, there's no time to lose.
- Eivor: After you.
Eivor and Hunwald depart to meet with Swanburrow.
- Hunwald: Nothing like drinking and riding to jostle your problems away.
- Eivor: And the contents of your gut.
Both drunk, Eivor and Hunwald started to ride on their horses.
- Hunwald: Now come ... and enjoy the splendor of my shire.
- Eivor: You Saxons and your tiny splendor. You have never seen mountains, have you? Or deep fjords like a giant's axe wound. Or towering falls that steam in the dead of winter. Snow sparkling like a blanket of jewels. That is splendor.
- Hunwald: Well if your homeland is so splendor-ful, why come to England at all?
- Eivor: You cannot grow crops on a blankets of jewels.
- Hunwald: Ha! Very true.
- Eivor: I'll admit, your countryside does take the breath away.
- Hunwald: Quite so, quite so. I love this land. And should I follow my father's footsteps, I shall do my solemn duty to protect her. I know many think me foolish, inexperienced ... but I would ask that they judge me by my future hopes, not my past reputation. If I am given sway over this land and show myself to be a poor leader, shame me, punish me, of course. But give me that chance. By God, I just want to have that chance.
Eivor heard a noise.
- Eivor: What was that?
- Hunwald: Birds, Eivor! Has no one told them today is a day of grief—
- Eivor: Hsst! Quiet...
Eivor and Hunwald stopped.
- Eivor: Stop here. Something isn't right. I'll find the trouble before it finds us.
Eivor found the mysterious assailants.
- Eivor: Hide or fight, Hunwald! Now!
- Hunwald: Father, give me strength to survive this!
Eivor started to fight the ambushers.
- Hunwald: Ah! Eivor! Help!
Eivor went to aid and kill the ambushers.
- Hunwald: Devils! Who sent you? Speak or be damned!
Eivor killed all the assailants.
- Hunwald: Well struck, Eivor!
- Eivor: That's twice they tried to kill you, Hunwald.
- Hunwald: And twice failed!
- Eivor: We had luck. But if you're not more careful, they will succeed. Someone in Mercia wants you dead. And they'll kill anyone in the way to see it done.
- Hunwald: Yes! Including my dear Swanburrow. My ladylove! Come, let us hurry away!
- Eivor: I'm serious Hunwald. Are you hearing me?
- Hunwald: Plain and clear! Follow me!
Hunwald led the way to Swanburrow.
- Eivor: Hunwald, are you sure this place is safe?
- Hunwald: The safest spot in the shire, yes! Here I am, with a chance to be ealdorman, but I have yet to prove myself worthy. To you. To the shire. To her! I can do nothing without my darling lady. You've made me realize how much I neglected her through this fatal stupor of mine!
- Eivor: This I must see for myself.
Eivor and Hunwald traveled to Grimsby, where they arrived at Swanburrow's abode.
- Hunwald: O, thank the heavens, there she is!
- Swanburrow: Hunwald! I thought for sure you'd be dead. Why didn't you send word?
- Hunwald: It has been far too long, my little jewel. I'm so very sorry for that.
Swanburrow and Hunwald kissed.
- Swanburrow: I am fine, my love. I wilted without you, but still I grow. And who is this?
- Eivor: Ah, yes, I am proud to present, Eivor of the Raven Clan.
- Swanburrow: Hello, Eivor. A pleasure to meet you.
- Eivor: And you, Swanburrow. I wasn't sure what to make of Hunwald's stories, yet here you are.
- Swanburrow: Surprised to find a Dane by his side?
- Eivor: Not quite. I'm surprised to find a Saxon at yours. Hunwald seems to endear himself to all sorts.
- Hunwald: Eivor agreed to help me find my father. But I'm afraid it hasn't gone well as I'd hoped.
- Eivor: Whatever strength you lack, you have in Swanburrow. Heed her advice.
- Hunwald: Yes ... If anyone can lift my spirits in time for the Shiremoot, it's you, my dear.
- Swanburrow: Come inside and rest your bumbling bones, love. Be well, Eivor. And thank you.
Eivor stopped Swanburrow.
- Eivor: Keep watch over that one. Men have come for him, more than once.
- Swanburrow: My blade will keep him safe.
- Eivor: I do not doubt it.
Hunwald went to rest and Eivor found a letter within Swanburrow's home.
- Letter from Hunwald:
I have gone through much trouble to ensure this letter finds you, but I needed you to know that I am all right. That I did not leave you on the wings of some change of heart.
The truth is that I have been exiled for reasons I do not understand. Every inquiry I have made has fallen on deaf ears. They simply will not let me back into the city. Now I fear my father is in grave danger. Without me there, something could happen to him.
I must find a way back. There is a Dane camp that has newly settled. I will be riding out in the morning to speak with their leader. My hope is that we may strike a deal. For now, I ask that you please stay out of sight. When the time is right, I will find you.
We will lay together on the apple carts once again, feeding each other on the sun-kissed fields of Lincoln just long enough so that my pasty skin does not redden.
Have faith in me,
Eivor found a drunken Hunwald and consoled him. They survived an ambush on their way to Grimsby, where they met with Swanburrow.