- Eivor: Tell me about Grantebridgescire.
- Randvi: A force of Danes, called the Summer Army by the Saxons, is camped north of Grantebridge, at some ruins across the river. We should curry favor with their leaders, Guthrum and Soma, if we hope to win their trust and allegiance. My scouts did not meet them in person, so I can say little for the state of their army. Consider this a starting point.
Eivor pledged herself to help the Summer Army, plunging a knife into the map.
- Eivor: I will leave right away.
- Randvi: Good. And may the blessings of Freyja follow.
Eivor left Ravensthorpe, heading south through Grantebridgescire and came across Duroliponte.
- Eivor: Randvi mentioned this place. The last known location of the Summer Army.
Eivor came upon a group of warriors atop the ruins.
- Norse Warrior 1: Hold. Who goes there?
- Eivor: A friend and ally. I'm looking for the Summer Army.
- Norse Warrior 1: Camp leader is up top. You can't miss him.
Eivor continued up the stairs, passing more groups of warriors, sitting throughout the ruins.
- Norse Warrior 2: Those Saxons caught us without weapons. It's no way to die. That's true Christian behavior. Slaughtered us in our sleep.
Eventually, she found the leader.
- Eivor: Hail! What has happened here?
- Magni: Who is asking?
- Eivor: Eivor of the Raven Clan. Did you and your men fail to take the village?
- Magni: No, no, we had it for a time. Was nothing but a cluster of wattle-and-daub huts when we came. We made it lively. Grantebridge was a thriving hub of trade and song under the care of Soma, our jarlskona. But the Saxons took it back. They appeared within the city, as if rising from the shadows, and drove us out.
- Eivor: That's terrible. How were you ambushed?
- Magni: It was like they burst out of the center of the city itself! Setting aflame everything in their path, shouting some nonsense about an ancient order of warriors. By the time I saw the fires, too many of us were killed or captured. Our jarlskona, Soma, she bellowed a retreat and we took refuse in the ruins. But in the chaos, we were separated. She and the bulk of our forces fled north-east into the swamps. I'd follow if we were fit to. We need her iron fist.
- Eivor: I can find Soma. Be ready when we return.
- Magni: She'll be deep in the fog of the Fenlands by now. Find her longship. That's your best bet.
On a table in the ruins, Eivor came upon Magni's Report.
- Magni's Report:
Saxons. Dozens of them. Don't know where they came from or how they caught us off guard, but they did.
And they were ready. Coordinated. Their attack forced us to scatter. We had no choice but to retreat, and that too they were ready for.
Many good men were lost, and here I find myself alive, with many questions and no answers. Not yet.
Getting in the Longship, Eivor and her crew traversed the river and came upon a lot of ship debris.
- Dag: Looks like Ragnarök itself came for Grantebridge.
- Eivor: A great battle raged nearby... hold course. We'll see what else lies within the fog.
Further east, they came upon a wrecked longship on the shore, surrounded by enemies, along with a few prisoners.
- Eivor: Soma cannot be far. I should have a look around. There, a beached longship. Dane markings.
She approached the group of prisoners.
- Norse Warrior: Cut us loose. Hurry!
Once freed, they charged at the remaining enemies and defeated them. Eivor searched the longship and found an inscription in the hull.
- Longship Inscription
Jarlskona keeps family clutched firmly in fist,
Loves deeply her city of summer and mist.
- Eivor: This was a fine longship. Fit for a chief. It must belong to Soma.
Eivor then spoke to one of the Norse Warriors.
- Eivor: Is your jarlskona nearby?
- Norse Warrior: Not here. Soma dragged the Saxons east from her longship to tire them out and lose them in the fog.
Following the trail of bodies, Eivor came upon Soma in the small ruins of Middeltun, helping out the injured warriors.
- Soma: You're still in fighting shape. Take a walk about the camp, your strength will return. We will recover the longboat tomorrow. I will not leave it to the muck.
Two warriors walked up, carrying a third between them on a stretcher.
- Soma: Take him to the shelter for warmth.
She grabbed another passing warrior and directed her to an injured man.
- Soma: Slap some moss on that gash and wrap it well.
Yet another warrior came up, supporting her limping companion. She lowered the man to a blanket on the ground and Soma came to help. The man was moaning in pain, his left foot clearly at the wrong angle.
- Soma: Egil? Egil, look at me. Remember the boars you felled our first day in England? Hold his arms. Nine, large and fat. Fed us for a week. Yeah?
While the other warrior held him down, Soma lifted his leg, talking and keeping his gaze to distract him.
- Norse Warrior: Yeah--
- Soma: Yeah.
He howled in pain as Soma snapped his foot back into place.
- Soma: You'll be chasing more in a month, my friend.
Soma turned to find Eivor standing nearby, watching the proceedings.
- Soma: You come like a Valkyrie out of the fog. But we have no dead to give you.
- Eivor: You must be Soma.
- Soma: Let's talk elsewhere. Give them a chance to rest.
Eivor tossed the small rock she'd been playing with aside and followed Soma to a table a small ways off to the side, where the jarlskona washed her hands in a bowl of water.
- Eivor: Quite a hit you took. How many were lost?
- Soma: It's kind of you to ask, but with so much blood in the water and death on the air, I'd know your name and purpose first.
- Eivor: Eivor of the Raven Clan. I came for you, looking for a friend and ally.
- Soma: I see. I'm Soma, Lord of Grantebridge. Though it seems an order of lunatics wishes to strip me of that title.
- Eivor: The Order of the Ancients?
- Soma: Sounds right. The Saxon called Wigmund is one of them. He robbed me of my city, forced us into these swamps. I've rallied some of my soldiers, but my three advisors are missing. If we hope to retake Grantebridge, I'll need them at my side.
- Eivor: Tell me about them.
- Soma: They are my best, my inner circle: Birna, Galinn, Lif. We may as well be of the same blood.
- Eivor: If I can reunite them, and we retake your city, can I call you a friend and ally?
- Soma: If you can do all that, you can call me whatever you want.
- Eivor: Who is this Wigmund? And what does he want?
- Soma: He's a flailing Ealdorman under the old king. A bitter man digging his fingernails into Grantebridge, just to say he can. He's made many attempts to unseat me before. This time, he managed the trick.
- Eivor: Let's find your advisors.
- Soma: Agreed. We'll look for signs of their longboats along the river. And if we are swift, we will find them before the wolves do. The fog is more hindrance than hiding place now. Let's light the way back.
She gestured toward a nearby tower ruin, with a pile of wood atop to be lit as a beacon fire, and stepped aside, waiting for Eivor to light it.