Eivor went to speak to Geadric about the assault. Before she could reach him, Sigurd stepped in her way.
- Sigurd: Is it done?
- Eivor: It is.
- Sigurd: And have you laid poles of hazel and composed your poems for the coming victory?
- Eivor: I'm here to speak with Geadric.
- Sigurd: Go on then. Your master awaits.
- Eivor: Still dreaming of your precious stone?
- Sigurd: It's not dreams that led me here, Eivor. I've had visions. Prophecies from the gods.
- Eivor: Visions?
- Sigurd: I'll sacrifice to Tyr this day. The Lord of Justice. The harbinger of flawless victory.
Sigurd walked away and Basim followed him.
- Eivor: Sigurd, what prophecies?
- Geadric: Are we ready to assault the castle, Eivor? The signs and portents read well.
- Eivor: I'll return when I've destroyed enough of Eadwyn's men and supplies.
- Geadric: We'll be ready.
(If "I have other things to do first.")
- Eivor: Maintain the fyrd. I'll return when the time is right.
- Geadric: As you say, Eivor.
Eivor went around the ruins to where Sigurd knelt over the body of a sacrificed bird, Basim standing beside him. Eivor spoke to Sigurd once more.
- Eivor: Brother.
- Sigurd: Hush, Eivor. Our sacrifice must find its way into the ears of the gods.
- Eivor: We both fight for the same end, do we not? Let us put our differences behind us, Brother.
- Sigurd: My difference is what is at stake here. My difference is all that matters.
- Eivor: You don't believe that. I know you don't.
Eivor left Sigurd to his sacrifice and returned to where Geadric and Fulke waited.
- Geadric: Eivor. Are you ready to begin the assault, now?
(Accept - Begin the assault)
- Eivor: We are ready. Give the command.
- Geadric: Good. An' let's be quick about it. My scouts tell me a force of King Aelfred's men is on the march. Let's end this before that flap-mouthed pudding has a chance to hit back.
Eivor and her allies fought through the camp in front of Cyne Belle Castle, but the bridge into the keep had been raised.
- Sigurd: Bring down the drawbridge!
Eivor shot the links holding the drawbridge up and it fell, allowing the fyrd to enter the castle courtyard.
- Sigurd: It's open!
- Eivor: Take the castle!
- Sigurd: Spare no one!
Eadwyn was in the inner area of the castle, but the entrance was blocked by a gate.
- Sigurd: She's through there!
- Basim: Eivor! Get to the portcullis!
Eivor climbed the wall and fought through Eadwyn's soldiers to reach the crank for the portcullis. She opened it and broke the mechanism so it couldn't be closed again.
- Eivor: It's open!
- Sigurd: Pour through, men!
- Eivor: Find Eadwyn!
Eadwyn waited near the castle keep along with several soldiers.
- Eadwyn: Fight me yourself, coward.
- Eivor: Lady Eadwyn!
- Sigurd: She has bodyguards.
- Eivor: Eadwyn! You won't get away this time.
- Eadwyn: Foolish Dane! I will send you to your sad supper in Valhalla.
As Eivor's allies and the fyrd fought the soldiers, Eivor faced off against Eadwyn.
- Eadwyn: A reward in silver for each dead Dane!
- Eivor: There's your wages.
- Eadwyn: We will use your flesh as mulch for our crops!
- Eivor: Go to your god, wherever he hides.
Eivor defeated Eadwyn and Geadric's army took the castle. In front of the keep, Eadwyn sat, wounded. While Eivor stayed to see judgement dealt, Sigurd gave her an approving nod and went inside with Fulke and Basim to find the stone.
- Geadric: You've felled the lofty lady!
Geadric came to stand over Eadwyn.
- Eadwyn: Do what you must, Thegn of Dungheaps. As one loyal to her shire and her people, I know which of us God favors.
- Geadric: Eivor bested you. It's for Eivor to decide your fate.
- Eivor: Heal her wounds, dress her in rags, and send her out onto the heath in exile. You are banished from Mercia. Without family, without rank, without friends to comfort you.
- Eadwyn: I will walk the road until my feet are bloody, dreaming of cutting out your rotten lungs.
A soldier helped Eadwyn up and led her off.
- Eivor: I fulfilled my promise to you, I trust you will do the same. An oath between our people?
- Geadric: Aye, you've done us well, Eivor. I thank ye. And if you ever need the like, I'll do what I can.
- Eivor: I will. Count on it.
- Geadric: I'd be quick about plundering. King Aelfred'll be on his way, and he won't be alone.
Geadric left and Eivor entered the keep to regroup with Sigurd and the others. On a table inside, she found a note.
- Informant Note
We have followed your wishes and kept a sharp eye on the Dane blackguards that darken our lands. I send this horseman to tell you, honored Dame, that those same Danes have been seen in the company of that damned heretic Fulke! She has somehow escaped, it appears. As I write, they are headed toward the abandoned tower where her cunning friend (no longer a thorn to us) was lying low.
Your humble servant
Up the first flight of stairs, she found another table with a letter.
- Letter to Lady Eadwyn from Aelfred of Wessex
I remain prepared to support you with soldiers and supplies, should the need arise.
As Eivor continued to ascend the stairs, she could hear Fulke and Sigurd speaking.
- Fulke: It's here somewhere. I know it. It must be.
- Sigurd: My mind is ariot with hope.
At the top of the stairs, Eivor found Sigurd, Fulke, and Basim in a room full of artifacts, studying a large stone on a table.
- Fulke: You see? The markings of the Ancient Ones. The Isu, the gods begat of gods.
- Sigurd: I... I have seen this somewhere. I know these words. I...
- Odin: One who stands at a threshold should take great care to look around...
Eivor turn to face him, and between them stood a tall stone doorway.
- Odin: ... For who knows what foes lie in wait, in the halls beyond.
Odin looked up to the top of the arch, where the Saga Stone was set.
- Eivor: I have passed through this doorway once before. With Sigurd. In a dream.
- Odin: Not once. A thousand times.
- Eivor: A thousand?
Eivor looked up to the stone set in the doorway, then turned back to where it now sat on the table as the memory corridor faded away. She stared at the stone for a moment, then shook her head, trying to clear it. Unknown to her, Basim saw and smirked. As Eivor approached them, Basim spoke to Sigurd.
- Basim: What does it say, Sigurd? Does it speak to you?
- Sigurd: Yes, but the words are... fogged. Shadowed, and yet I... I feel their meaning. And the ash tree! I see the great Tree of Life. Her boughs reaching... skyward... opening the way.
Sigurd turned to Eivor.
- Sigurd: Eivor. I am more than I appear to be. So much more.
- Eivor: This is wicked magic, Sigurd. Dark seidr. Do not listen!
- Sigurd: No. This is real. This is everything.
- Geadric: To the walls! To the walls!
Geadric ran into the room.
- Geadric: Aelfred's come! King Aelfred of Wessex! Marching up the rise with a mess of soldiers!
- Eivor: Have we time to escape?
- Geadric: The men are spent. We've not a chance in blazing Hell.
- Sigurd: A parlay, then. We must call a parlay. I will speak... and the King of Wessex will listen.
In a tent outside the castle walls, Sigurd, Eivor, Basim and Geadric met with King Aelfred, who sat casually upon a throne below a carving of the crusifixion of Christ.
- Sigurd: As I understand, King Aelfred, your name is not spoken with affection here in Mercia.
- King Aelfred: Yet I am close enough to Wessex to hear myself praised from morn 'til twilight.
- Sigurd: Return to your singing subjects then! And leave the affairs of Mercia to the Danes.
- King Aelfred: Not 'til your pagan war songs are safely out of hearing.
Basim stepped up beside Sigurd to whisper in his ear.
- Basim: Offer an exchange, lord... You can (unintelligible)
- King Aelfred: Please. No secrets here.
- Sigurd: Let's end this here, my lord. Let's exchange men. My best warrior for yours, to prove peace.
Eivor shifted in surprise, looking between Sigurd and Basim.
- Sigurd: After which, you leave Mercia, and we fall back north of river Ouse.
- King Aelfred: These terms are fair. Wolfrich! My war thane, you will go with Geadric, brother.
A large soldier stepped out from behind Aelfred's throne.
- King Aelfred: Name your man.
Sigurd looked at Eivor, but Basim stepped up again.
- Basim: Sigurd Jarl. I offer myself...
- Sigurd: Thank you, Basim.
Eivor shifted again, opening her mouth to speak. Before she could say anything, though, Fulke ran into the tent.
- Fulke: King Aelfred! Wait.
Fulke knelt before Aelfred.
- King Aelfred: Paladin Fulke? Are you with this company?
- Fulke: I was, my lord. To recover from Eadwyn what was mine by right.
Fulke stood and moved to stand beside Aelfred, looking back at Sigurd.
- Fulke: Sigurd is the only man you need. He's worth more than twenty other men. He is the son of a king.
- Sigurd: Traitorous snake!
- Fulke: And his heresies are profound, my lord. He claims to be a living god.
- Eivor: I'll gut you, troll-woman!
Eivor moved as though to attack, drawing her axe, but Sigurd threw out an arm to hold her back.
- Sigurd: Shush!
Sigurd pushed Eivor back and stepped forward himself, walking toward Aelfred.
- Sigurd: I'll gift myself to you, King Aelfred, 'cause it is not my fate to die by your hand.
- Eivor: Brother!
Sigurd looked back at Eivor, gesturing for her to hold, and Aelfred stood.
- King Aelfred: Have faith that the Lord God watches over you all.
As Geadric and a couple of his men led Wolfrich out, Aelfred moved to leave the tent and Fulke hurried to his side, speaking softly.
- Fulke: This man is dangerous, my lord. Let me hold him.
- King Aelfred: Do what you must. But treat him with care.
Aelfred left, and Fulke and a couple soldiers escorted Sigurd from the tent. Eivor turned on Basim.
- Eivor: By all the gods, Basim, what was that?
- Basim: I will shadow them. They shall not get away.
Basim left the tent. Eivor holstered her axe and glanced after Sigurd once more before leaving as well, returning solemnly to Cyne Belle. She spoke to Geadric once more before leaving.
- Eivor: What do you make of all this, Geadric?
- Geadric: I'm no philosopher, but by my lights, a fellow who give himself o'er as hostage has as much sense as a pile of bear droppings.
- Eivor: You're a wise man.
Eivor left to bring the news to Ravensthorpe.
Eivor and her allies successfully took the castle and found the Saga Stone. King Aelfred of Wessex arrived with his army. Fulke revealed she was working with Aelfred and took Sigurd hostage in exchange for peace.
Behind the Scenes
During Eivor's fight with Eadwyn, Eadwyn offers a "reward in silver for each dead Dane," but Geadric and his men are ostensibly Saxon, so the only apparent "Danes" are Eivor and Sigurd.
Odin's words in this memory are a paraphrase of the first stanza of the Gestaþáttr (Guest's Chapter/Section) from the poetic Edda Hávamál (Words of the High One), a collection of poems attributed to Odin, sharing his wisdom and guidance.