|This article is about the genetic memory of Eivor Varinsdottir. You may be looking for the faction of Vikings.|
Seeking to expand the Raven Clan's allies in England, Eivor learned of a plan by two sons of the late Ragnar Lothbrok to overthrow a Mercian king who constantly provoked the Viking army surrounding him yet stubbornly refused to cede power.
- Eivor: Tell me more about Ledecestrescire. I should like to join Sigurd soon.
- Randvi: He traveled to a town called Repton to meet Ubba and Ivarr Ragnarsson. As I hear it, they are on the verge of exiling the current King of Mercia, with the hope of installing a king of their own.
- Eivor: A bold endeavor. I should be there to help, however I can.
- Randvi: I think you should.
(Accept – "I will pledge to Ledecestrescire")
Eivor plunged a dagger into the map, piercing the county of Ledecestrescire.
- Eivor: I won't keep them waiting.
- Randvi: Good. I will send word to Sigurd and the Ragnarssons, pledging your assistance. If I were you, I would go by ship. Repton is quite a distance north on the river Trent.
Eivor sailed to Repton, then rode on horseback into the city.
- Eivor: Repton. Sigurd should be here with the Ragnarssons.
Eivor approached Repton's church, which had its roof caved in and steeple tiles heavily damaged, and heard a man screaming from inside.
- Anglo-Saxon Man: No! No! Ah! P-please!
- Ivarr: Stay still.
- Anglo-Saxon Man: (pained screaming)
Eivor entered the church. Inside, she saw that the pews had been cleared away to make room for a scaffold which reached to the ceiling. Ivarr stood at a wheel and slowly turned it, lifting a bloodied, tied-up man to dangle upside-down as another figure behind stood near the ruined altar heating a long metal blade in a small firepit. Ivarr turned to greet the new arrival to the torture session.
- Ivarr: Who stand before Ivarr Ragnarsson? Are you Sigurd's drengr (courageous warrior)? Aygor?
Eivor stepped forward and corrected Ivarr, before motioning to the hanging man.
- Eivor: Eivor. If you keep that up, you'll stain the floors.
- Ivarr: Eh. The place could use some color.
Eivor coughed awkwardly.
- Eivor: Who are they?
Ivarr walked around the hanging man as the torturer, a man blinded by having had his eyes put out, slowly walked to his target.
- Ivarr: All spies. Dressed to look the part of a peasant. Got feisty. Pitchfork. From this rabid little one.
Ivarr guided the torturer's blade to the hanging man.
- Ivarr: Was a time when you met and slew your enemy on the field before they could dream of things like sending spies.
Ivarr slapped the torturer on the back, making him stumble forward and plunge the hot blade into the hanging man, who screamed in agony.
- Eivor: And now we sake hands and make deals.
- Ivarr: Not my thing.
- Eivor: I figured.
Ivarr walked up to the hanging man and took a deep breath as the torturer slowly wandered away.
- Ivarr: I love them whipped, weeping, and reeking of piss. Hey!
Startled, the torturer turned. Ivarr clapped him on the shoulder, reached into his pocket for a coin, flipped it, and pressed it into the man's hand before patting his head.
- Ivarr: Good boy.
Ivarr spoke to the hanging man, walking toward him and kissing him on the head.
- Ivarr: You're free, Saxon piggy! To run amok through the Mercian fields.
Ivarr walked to the wheel that had winched the man up as if to lower him, before picking up an axe and cutting the rope, dropping the man on his head and ultimately killing him. He then approached Eivor.
- Eivor: I would have let him down easy.
Ivarr paused in adjusting his bracer and considered the body, as though the thought never occurred to him.
- Ivarr: Hm. Follow me. I'll give you the tour.
He lead Eivor outside the church and through the military camp outside.
- Eivor: What do you call this place?
- Ivarr: I call it The Shithole. To the Mercians, it is Repton. Their most revered kings are buried below the church. Imagine their weeping when we drove them out!
- Eivor: You plunged your knife deep into the heart of this kingdom.
- Ivarr: That is right. We've got a number of Saxon nobles lined up with their lips puckered, ready to kiss our asses. The only holdout is King Burgred and his war-thegn, Leofrith. But my brother is brewing a plan to deal with them.
- Eivor: I take it that's where we'll find my brother.
- Ivarr: Right. Talkers they are, Ubba and Sigurd. Might want to dig the wax from your ears.
The pair reached the command tent, where they heard the mercenary Tonna bickering with Ubba at his desk.
- Tonna: Don't play me for a fool, Ubba. I know Burgred's sent a weregeld your way.
- Ubba: Enough of your noise, Tonna! We have plans to devise!
Eivor and Ivarr entered the tent.
- Tonna: I'm not going anywhere, bacraut (asshole). You have the king on his heels because of me! Because of my men!
- Ubba: For which you were paid! But that price does not change because you caught a whiff of our hacksilver hoard!
- Tonna: You forget, I am a sellsword. I ask for what I please, and I take what I'm owed.
Tonna hit the table, but Ivarr interrupted, plunging a dagger into the table near one of her hands, startling Tonna.
- Ivarr: If I wanted to hear you talk shit, I'd gouge out your tongue and shove it up your ass. Now, fuck off.
Glancing between the brothers, Tonna stormed off. Sigurd left his corner of the tent and walked to Ubba's desk.
- Sigurd: Haggling over silver is a bad look for the son of Ragnar Lothbrok. But worry not, Ubba, I have the warriors you need.
Eivor stood before Ubba and nodded.
- Ubba: If this is one of them, my worries have vanished.
- Sigurd: Eivor! Wolf-Kissed. You have come at just the right time. Ubba and Ivarr hare are hunting a king.
- Ubba: And when we've caught him, we mean to crown another. Our own Thegn Ceolwulf here.
Ceolwulf stepped forward from his position along the tent wall.
- Ceolwulf: It's not a role I begged for, but it's what Mercia needs just now. A man to fairly rule both Saxons and Danes.
- Eivor: Do you have what it takes to be king?
- Ceolwuld: One day, I hope. As it stands, we at least have an understanding.
- Ubba: The king has refused our offers of peace. Ceolwulf means to change that. He'll be a new king for a new England.
The group gathered around a map on a table in the center of the tent.
- Sigurd: For now, Burgred is holed up in his fortress at Tamworth, making a final stand.
- Ivarr: Another shithole, only further south.
- Ubba: We've held a siege there for weeks, to no effect. So no more knocking. Now we batter the gate to splinters. If we take Tamworth, remove Burgred, and crown Ceolwulf... come morning, this shire is ours. And Mercia soon after.
- Ceolwulf: Yes, remove. I cannot stress that enough. Burgred is not to be harmed. My legitimacy as king hangs on this one simple fact.
Ivar shoved himself away from leaning against the table and began pacing about the tent.
- Ivarr: You rob all the joy from war, Saxon.
Ceolwulf stepped away from the table.
- Ceolwulf: Not every victory needs to be marked by the slaughter of a king.
- Ivarr: Ah, but is is much better.
- Sigurd: His request is fair, Ivarr. And we will honor it.
- Eivor: Ceolwulf betrayed his present king. Maybe tomorrow he betrays us too. Why trust him?
- Ceolwulf: How can I answer that with any hope that you'd believe me? I only want what is best for the people of Mercia. And I want what's best for my son. In Burgred's Mercia, where Danes and Saxons murder one another daily, it's not possible.
- Eivor: This is a good plan, brother. I am ready for the coming fight.
- Sigurd: Agreed. Yet remember this. Whatever you stand to gain here, so do we. An alliance between my clan and Mercia's crown.
Sigurd stood before Ubba.
- Ubba: See this man installed on his throne and you will have it, I swear.
Sigurd and Ubba clasped each other's forearms in a pledge. Eivor stepped forward
- Eivor: The bold Sons of Ragnar bellow to sound the spear din and the thunder of shields. So let fall the arrow storm. The battle begins.
- Ubba: Ah! You never said this one was a poet!
Ivarr shrugged dismissively.
- Ivarr: I need to piss.
Ivarr left the tent.
- Ubba: We have a forward camp just north of Tamworth. Will you go with us?
- Sigurd: Lead the way.
Ubba and Sigurd passed by Eivor as they left the tent.
- Ubba: Take in the sights of Repton if you like. We will be at the docks when you're ready to go.
- Ceolwulf: I'm glad you and your brother have come. If only to bring some measure of calm.
- Eivor: Ease yourself, Ceolwulf. We all stand to benefit. And you'll be remembered for this, for years to come.
- Ceolwulf: For all the wrong reasons, I fear.
Eivor bowed and took her leave.
- Eivor: A lively town. Quite a lot to see here.
Before making her way through town, Eivor visited the tent once more. In it, she found an entry from Ceowulf's journal.
- Ceowulf's Journal
Lord, forgive me for what I am about to do. To side with pagans, to turn my back on my king; these are not the acts of a good Christian.
But I have seen such pain, such anguish, such unnecessary death. For what? Burgred is the one waging this war, and it is not a war he can win. He is either too foolish or too proud to see that on this present course, Mercia will lie in ruin.
I will not allow this. There is a future for Mercians, only it must come at the cost of sharing this kingdom. To end the bloodshed, it is a cost I accept and a resolution I will see through to the end.
This is the choice I have made, and if my soul be damned, so be it.
She spoke to Ceowulf once more.
- Ceowulf: I'll gather my things and meet you in Tamworth as soon as it's over.
Eivor left the camp and made her way to the docks.
- Norse Warrior 1: So some of us are staying behind as I hear it?
- Norse Warrior 2: Half the army's already in Tamworth, and we've now got help from the south. It's our lot to look after this place now. To protect her.
- Norse Warrior 1: Shame. I wanted to see the look on Burgred's face when we stormed his fortress. Now we'll just hear big tales, told by drunken heroes.
Eivor reached the docks, where Ubba was rallying the troops.
- Ubba: Sail southeast. Bring the men to the gates of Tamworth. We'll flood the fields, and Burgred shall weep at the sight of what the future holds for this kingdom!
Eivor spoke to Ubba.
- Ubba: Eivor... is your axe sharpened?
- Eivor: I'm ready for the spear din.
- Ubba: And the thunder of shields, yes! It's good to have you with us.
- Eivor: To fight beside such legends is an honor. I've only heard tales of your conquests. Now I get to live them.
- Ubba: We'll weave our sagas together, thread upon thread.
Ivarr and Ceolbert approached from a side path.
- Ivarr: Come on, boy. We'll forge a man from your softness, hammered on the anvil of war.
- Ceolbert: One does not need to fight to be a—
- Ivarr: Move! Move!
- Ubba: Calm, Ivarr. The fight's not here.
- Ivarr: Aye. The fight's not anywhere to be found in this boy.
- Ubba: A boy who happens to be Ceolwulf's son. Why is he not in his quarters?
- Ivarr: Our future king wants a battle hardened heir. Time he proves his worth, don't you think?
Ceolbert bowed to Eivor in greeting, and she nodded back.
- Eivor: Not yet crowned king and already grooming his successor. That shows some boldness
- Ivarr: Right. And bold kings need bolder sons.
- Ubba: Ivarr...
The group walked to where their horses were tied.
- Ivarr: He comes with us. And should anything happen to this little sprout, I will bear the punishment our future king inflicts.
- Ubba: He'll want to remove your head.
- Ivarr: Ha ha! You hear that, boy? You die, and I'll have to kill your father too.
They reached the horses, where Sigurd waited.
- Sigurd: Mount up, Eivor. It's a long ride to Tamworth.
The group rode to Tamworth.
- Ubba: You'll have to endure my brother. He always finds new ways to humor himself.
- Eivor: I'll keep that in mind.
- Ubba: And both eyes open.
- Ivarr: You smell that, Ceolbert? The stink of jealousy. Of our budding friendship, I think.
- Eivor: What is Ceolwulf's son doing in Repton at all?
- Ubba: It's Ceolwulf's way of proving his loyalty. And there's no safer place for a traitor and his son than the middle of a pack of Danes.
- Eivor: Safe from who? You and Ivarr seem to have brought this shire to hell.
- Ubba: The fyrds are with us, the common folk. But Burgred still has his soldiers all over Mercia. They're devoted to him. And they'll die defending him.
- Ceolbert: Your voice, Eivor. You sound different than the brothers.
- Eivor: Good ear, lord. Most in England cannot tell the difference. But not all Danes are Danes.
- Ceolbert: From where do you come, if I may ask?
- Eivor: North of the Dane Lands. A place called Fornburg, in Norway.
- Ceolbert: I didn't know there was land north of there. What are the people like?
- Eivor: You ever see a herd of sheep follow each other off the edge of a cliff? They're like that. The ones who remained, anyway.
- Sigurd: Couldn't have said it better myself.
- Ceolbert: Was it a mass exodus from Norway then?
- Sigurd: It was. Norway is now the province of a young king. Harald by name, a boy wise beyond his years.
- Ceolbert: Are you not angry that he has displaced you and so many others?
- Sigurd: I was... for a time. But our weeks at sea have softened my brow-fire. If I am honest, I realize I quite admire King Harald. By words and weapons both, he had pacified the country I call home. For the first time in any man's memory or any skald's song, Norway has one king. Just one. And that is quite a feat.
- Ceolbert: That is impressive, truly. England is half the size of Norway, and yet we have four kings for our four kingdoms.
- Sigurd: You see? How could I not be impressed? No, Harald is a good man with grand ideas. I can see that now.
- Ceolbert: I am only six years his junior, and have yet to see my first battle. I cannot imagine the skill and cunning he has.
- Sigurd: Your first battle is coming, young Ceolbert. From this day on, you may see rapid progress.
- Ceolbert: I'm not sure I want so swift a rise.
- Sigurd: In truth, Ceolbert, it is my father who bears the heaviest of my anger. Not King Harald. My father gifted my birthright to Harald without my consent or knowledge, as easily as if he might hand over a barrel of mead. It was not merely a deception, it was a betrayal of trust. The prick of which still stings me.
- Ceolbert: Be it a blessing or a curse, family is always first.
- Sigurd: A good line, boy. Were you not an aetheling, I would hire you as my skald.
- Ceolbert: Skald... it sounds something like scop, our court poets. Is that what you mean?
- Sigurd: Right again.
- Ceolbert: Fascinating. The harmony between our words and yours is quite something. As if we were distant cousins, separated by an ocean of time as well as space.
- Sigurd: I like the thought of that, I do!
The group finally arrived at Tamworth Fortress. Dismounting, they stood before the gates as Burgred and Leofrith watched from the battlements and commented on the events below.
- King Burgred: Look at these pagan rats! Ravenous, unseemly beasts, teeming over holy ground!
- Leofrith: Have a care, lord. These pagan rats outnumber us.
- King Burgred: I can see that, fool! What do we do about them!
- Leofrith: I advise we strongly consider their demands, lord. We won't survive a fight.
Ivarr called up to the gates.
- Ivarr: Is that you, Leofrith? How quickly you recover. I'm beginning to wonder if it is a man or a god beneath all that armor.
- Leofrith: A man of God stand before you, Ivarr. Proud and resolute.
Ubba spoke to Eivor.
- Ubba: That's Bugred's war-thegn. Killed a dozen of our men in an ambush along the river Trent. It was Ivarr's axe that stopped him.
- Ivarr: That is a poor description of a perfect thirty-yard toss.
Behind Ivarr, Ceolbert shook his head and rolled his eyes.
- King Burgred: Enough jawing, heathens! Speak your piece.
- Ubba: We've come for your crown, lord.
- Ivarr: With or without your head attached.
- King Burgred: Ha. I admire your ambition, pagan. But what you ask is impossible. No Dane ever has or ever will occupy Mercia's sacred throne.
- Eivor: Would you settle for a Norse? We're not as gentle, but we're much better poets.
The Vikings laughed heartily.
- King Burgred: Norse. Dane. Dog. You're all the same to me, all godless.
- Eivor: Not to worry. We have a Mercain of our own.
- King Burgred: Ceolwulf, you mean? Whan I've done with you lot, I'll execute that foolish thegn for treason!
The Vikings cheered in approval.
Burgred made to leave but was interrupted by Leofrith.
- Leofrith: My king, may I suggest a more measured approach to this—
Burgred turned back to address the group again, while behind him, Leofrith shook his head in disappointment.
- King Burgred: I grow weary of this palaver. You have trampled our lands, toppled our monuments. We've given you silver. Fed your people. And yet in spite of this, your encroachment on my kingdom continues. No more! We will die defending what is our, whatsoever the cost.
Burgred made to leave again but was stopped by a look from Leofrith. He spoke to the group below yet again.
- King Burgred: If you want my crown, Ubba Ragnarsson, you must pry it from the hands of my bloodless corpse! Man the walls!
Burgred left and a resigned Leofrith followed. Below, Ubba signaled for the group to follow him.
- Ubba: Back to the camp. Round up the men. We're taking Tamworth tonight!
The group mounted their horses again and headed for the camp.
- Ubba: Eivor, tell the captain we're ready to march. Ivarr and I will round up the men. Do you know your way around a battering ram?
- Eivor: I've seen them in action.
- Ubba: I want you at the helm of ours. You're strong and agile.
- Eivor: I'll be there.
- Sigurd: As will I.
The group entered the Ragnarsson War Camp. Before searching for the captain, Eivor spoke to the members of their party again.
- Ubba: I'm eager to see you fight, Eivor. Show us old wolves a thing or two.
- Ivarr: Eivor... first one to Burgred gets to string him up by his dangly man-wattle. Then jab him in his fat head.
- Eivor: Let's get through these walls first, Ivarr.
- Sigurd: Let's make short work of this, Eivor. England is a big place.
- Ceolbert: Lord, light my way...
Eivor left Ceolbert to his prayers and found a note in one of the tents.
- Letter from Ubba Ragnarsson
Following this letter will be three fleshly slaughtered hogs, twelve baskets of fruit, and twenty kegs of ale. Have a feast. Light fires. Bellow loudly at the stars. Announce yourselves to the Rat King of Mercia. He will not sleep this night. None in Tamworth shall.
She left the tent and met with the captain as she stood outside the command tent.
- Norse Warrior: Who are you?
- Eivor: I'm with the Ragnarssons. It's time to roll out the battering ram.
- Norse Warrior: Burgred wanted a fight. Now we'll give him one. Are you ready to march now?
(Accept – "Let's attack.")
- Eivor: It's time to capture a kingdom.
The captain left to ready her soldiers. Sigurd walked up to Eivor and they both stared at Ceolbert as he stood in thought watching a candle on a table.
- Sigurd: What are we going to do about him?
Eivor approached Ceolbert.
- Eivor: Ceolbert... something wrong?
- Ceolbert: I know these men, Eivor. I've supped with them. Not two weeks ago, Leofrith showed me how to wield a greatsword. He's a friend.
- Sigurd: Friendships end. Often at the end of a spear.
Sigurd walked forward as Ceolbert responded.
- Ceolbert: It cannot be that cold. Least of all with Leofrith. He is only following orders.
- Eivor: When the march begins, find an empty tent and stay there.
- Ceolbert: Do not think me a coward. I'm not afraid of war. I do not want to kill my friends.
- Eivor: There's no other way. Fight or hide. It's up to you.
Eivor stormed off. Later, she stood at the gates of Tamworth Fortress and joined the army's ramming crew.
- Eivor: Destroy the gate!
- Ubba: Slaughter the soldiers! Leave the king to me!
- Sigurd: Forward! Push forward!
After a number of hits, the ram broke through the fort's main gate and the Ragnarssons' army moved in, attacking any soldier they could find.
- Eivor: Gate's down! Push through! Push through!
- Ivarr: Burn the houses to cinders! Leave them no place to hide!
- Sigurd: What a tale to weave into our sage. Look at us, side by side with the Ragnarssons. We're a long way from Fornburg, Eivor. This... this is our destiny.
The army came to a palisade gate in the first courtyard.
- Eivor: The path is blocked. We must destroy that barricade!
Eivor joined the ramming crew and after a few good hits, the barrier fell. The army swarmed into the second courtyard as the ram advanced to the final gate which was guarded by archers.
- Eivor: Protect the ram!
The ramming crew retreated as the first volley of arrows fell. Timing their strikes for the brief windows when the archers reloaded and paused to aim, the crew broke through the last gate and entered the heart of the fortress.
- Eivor: Cut down their marksmen and elites! Or they'll thin us out, one by one!
- Sigurd: Saxon blood feeds this land, and it is we Norse who march all over it!
- Ivarr: Burgred! I'll find you, you little rat! Do you hear me!
The army defeated the forces assembled and pushed further into the fort until they reached the keep, guarded by two of Burgred's personal elite skirmishers. After a grueling battle, Eivor defeated the skirmishers, and with the death of Burgred's guards, his few remaining men surrendered.
- Eivor: It's over, Burgred! Lay down your weapons and surrender.
Eivor and one of her companions threw themselves against the keep's locked doors and broke in, only to find the keep abandoned. Ubba turned to an approaching soldier.
- Ubba: Take three men and search the rear.
Ubba addressed Eivor as Ivarr slouched in the throne at the end of the keep with a satisfied smirk.
- Ubba: Look around. See what you can find. I'll send for Ceolwulf... tell him we found a throne.
- Ivarr: Ah, that was a good scuffle, hm? But I did notice we were short one aetheling. Where was the son of our king?
- Eivor: Ceolbert was around. It may be you missed him.
- Ivarr: Your lies are just like you, Eivor. Big and bold.
Eivor investigated the keep for clues as to Burgred's possible location. In Burgred's room near the keep door, Eivor found a note on a table.
- Requisition Letter
I hope this letter finds you well.
You have my gratitude and my promise that these men will not be called upon unless absolutely necessary. We continue to fend off the Danish incursion and will do so without respite.
Æthelswith sends you her regards. She is well, though like my war-thegn, I wonder if she too has begun to doubt our ability to win this war. No matter. It is I who lead it, and I will defend my state to the bitter end.
- Requisition Letter
On a table near his bed was a page from Burgred's journal.
- Burgred's Journal
Today I learned the one they call the Halfdan has left Mercia and put his brothers in charge. Moved on, as if dethroning me was all but a sure thing. He could not be more wrong.
The heathens can keep Repton. Dig up Mercia's kings and scatter their bones for all I care. I will not be shaken by these feeble attempts to damage my reputation.
They think they can turn my people against me. No. Mercians everywhere will fight for their king, whether they want to or not.
- Burgred's Journal
Eivor considered the information collected thus far.
- Eivor: Burgred called for help. Enlisted the aid of powerful men... but who are these warriors he speaks of?
In Leofrith's room, in the back corner across from Burgred's spot, Eivor found a letter on a table.
- Letter to Maetild
My dear sister,
I'm sorry I haven't written sooner. By now you've realized I won't be coming home at all. The Danes have pushed further inland, and King Burgred has done nothing but provoke them.
As much as my heart is aching to leave, I cannot abandon my duty for fear so many people will die. As long as I'm here, I can protect them, even if it means giving my life. I know you understand.
How is Roderick? Still can't believe the apple farmer's boy is going to make me an uncle. Your belly must be big now. I remember you saying if it was a boy, you'd name him after me. I pray every night that it's a girl.
Your loving brother,
- Letter to Maetild
Eivor walked away, pondering.
- Eivor: Seems Leofrith is at odds with his king, but bound to duty. A loyal man.
In the adjacent mail room, Eivor found another letter to Burgred bearing an emblem of two Celtic-style ouroboroi.
- Royal Ledger
To the almighty king,
We have an agreement, that is, if by the time this message arrives, is is still your arse that warms the seat of Mercia's throne. Here's what I know:
The Ragnarssons have been speaking with one of your own, Ceolwulf is his name. Together they are devising a plan to overthrow you and install him in your stead. A Norse named Sigurd had arrived and allied with the brothers. An attack is soon to follow. Ready your men.
As for your secret haunts, they are safe for now. But keeping them that way will cost you.
I await your reply, only this time, send a more fair-faced envoy.
- Royal Ledger
Eivor left the room.
- Eivor: Hmm... a chronicle of payments made. Like a ledger. There's a symbol here... a clan emblem maybe? The brothers should see this.
Eivor stood before the throne to talk to Ivarr.
- Eivor: Ivarr, I've found a letter. There's a symbol here...
- Ivarr: (snoring)
Eivor looked with displeasure at Ivarr as Ubba, Sigurd, and Ceolwulf returned.
- Eivor: Your men have any luck?
- Ubba: Nothing. You?
Eivor handed Ubba the mysterious letter.
- Eivor: This. Do you know that symbol?
Ubba looked at the letter in shock.
- Ubba: Tonna's sigil. It seems she has been dealing with Burgred as well, the wretch.
- Sigurd: She was the mercenary barking at you in Repton, yes? She is playing both sides of this war.
- Ceolwulf: She could have told him anything. Sold him secrets. About me, about Repton, our plans.
Ivarr woke from his nap with a start and added his commentary.
- Ivarr: Why bother with all this pageantry? Fashion a new crown and stick it on your melon. There you have it, you're the new king.
- Ceolwulf: That is not how it works. Not in Mercia.
- Eivor: We have Tamworth. Burgred's on the run. You're the king in all but name.
- Ceolwulf: It won't matter. So long as Burgred is free, the people will call him king. He must abdicate his crown to me.
- Eivor: Tonna is our only lead. We talk to her, find out what she knows.
- Ivarr: I would sooner launch my face into my axe than face her.
- Ubba: That might improve her impression of you.
Ivarr stood up, indignant, and walked past the group to leave the keep. Ubba followed him out.
- Ivarr: We have the same father, Eivor. But his mother was a sow.
- Ubba: Meet us at Tonna's camp when you're finished here. And bring your patience.
- Ivarr: And your axe!
- Ceolwulf: Eivor... a word, if you would.
Sigurd stopped by Eivor on his way out.
- Eivor: Go, I'll catch up.
- Sigurd: I will join the brothers, Eivor. Meet us at Tonna's.
Sigurd left. Alone with Eivor, Ceolwulf spoke his mind.
- Ceolwulf: My son told me what happened earlier, with Ivarr pressuring him to fight. He said you intervened.
- Eivor: You would be mourning your son if I hadn't. He's not a fighter.
- Ceolwulf: No, but he should be. By trial or by training.
- Eivor: He'll come around in time, but keep him from Ivarr if you can. He's the furthest thing from a mentor.
Eivor joined Sigurd in seeking an alliance with Ledecestrescire and met two of the Ragnarssons, who were besieging King Burgred's fort in an attempt to depose him. Eivor aided the army in an attack, only to find that Burgred had fled on being informed of the group's activities by Tonna, a mercenary who had grievances with Ubba over payment. She resolved to search for Tonna to learn if she knew about Burgred's location.
Behind the scenes
During the conversation with Ceolbert, he claims to have not known of lands such as Norway being north of Denmark. However a few lines later he knows the relative size of Norway and the age of its king without having been told.
- In the keep near the end of the quest, Ubba tells Eivor to "[...]bring your patience." and Ivarr adds "And your axe!" This may be a reference to lines from The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.