After renovating the tent office into the Ravensthorpe bureau for her allies, Eivor entered the newly constructed building and approached Hytham, who was appreciatively inspecting the interior.
- Hytham: This will make a fine space for my work, Eivor. Thank you.
- Eivor: Well if your work benefits us, I will see that you keep it for as long as you live among us.
- Hytham: I believe it will, for we have a common cause against our enemy. They have dug their claws deep into England. Eradicate them where they are strongest and the alliances you seek will be far easier to come by. In Lunden, they now operate without restraint. If you were to eradicate them, the city would be in your debt.
- Eivor: I will talk with Randvi about your idea. Get her thoughts.
- Hytham: Good. Yet before you do, there is something else. A gift I wish to share.
- Eivor: A gift?
- Hytham: I cannot show you here. Will you walk with me?
- Eivor: I will. Lead on.
Eivor followed Hytham out of the bureau, toward the river.
- Eivor: I hear a heaviness to your breathing, Hytham. Does your wound still trouble you?
- Hytham: It does, I am afraid. There is a pain in my chest for which I have no remedy.
- Eivor: Rest easy then. So long as your mind stays sharp, you will recover.
- Hytham: Of course. Though I am reluctant to displease my mentor.
- Eivor: You would risk your health and your life to please Basim? That I do not understand.
- Hytham: I should not expect you do. When we first arrived, I noted a shadow of suspicion in your eyes. A doubt, a wariness.
- Eivor: Is that a question?
- Hytham: No. Only an observation.
They arrived at Ravensthorpe's dock and boarded a small boat moored there.
- Eivor: Are you well enough to steer this boat?
- Hytham: I am, have no worry. It is only prolonged stresses that exhaust me. My energy runs low rather quickly.
Hytham sculled across the river. On reaching the other shore, the two disembarked and followed a path up a hill to a clifftop.
- Eivor: And what is this gift you wish to give me?
- Hytham: It will not come from me. It is a gift you must give yourself.
- Eivor: More riddles. What fun you are.
- Hytham: Let me say it another way. My gift is not for giving or taking. It is a way of living.
- Eivor: Still no clearer.
- Hytham: It is a thing better demonstrated than described.
- Eivor: Then I will wait.
- Hytham: Forgive my jest. This gift we call a Leap of Faith. It is one of our Brotherhood's most sacred rites. It is not a tool we use against our enemies, but an act we embrace to strengthen our resolve. Like your meditation, it centers our minds, steadies our hands, and purges fear from our hearts. And more practically, it aids our movements, in flight or in stealth.
- Eivor: You call it a leap. And we are climbing a rather steep hill...
- Hytham: There it is again, the shadow of a doubt. Nearly there. Our destination is there.
- Eivor: I suspect you mean to throw me off this cliff. Is that it? Please tell me if I am near the mark.
- Hytham: And spoil the surprise? To perform the Leap of Faith, you must give yourself over to something greater.
- Eivor: The gods?
- Hytham: Yourself. Embrace the hope that death will not come before you are prepared to meet it. Believe this and you will fear nothing.
- Eivor: Our deaths are prefigured, weaved into the fabric of the world. To fear this would be a waste of worry and tears.
- Hytham: Good. Then your mind is already attuned to my lesson.
They approached the cliff, looking down over the edge.
- Hytham: I will leap first. On my word, you must follow. Lean into your faith, into your strength, and take flight.
- Eivor: You want me to jump? From here?
- Hytham: Yes.
Eivor took a couple steps back, chuckling.
- Eivor: I would sooner grow wings and fly away. Thank you for the lesson, but—
- Hytham: Wait. And watch.
- Eivor: Hytham!
Hytham dove off the cliff. Eivor ran towards the log perched on the cliff and called down to Hytham.
- Eivor: Hytham! Pig-headed fool, are you injured?!
- Hytham: You see? My faith proved stronger than my fear!
- Eivor: And that loam cushioned your fall!
- Hytham: Eivor, I have not seen this side of you before! Do not feed your fear, conquer it!
- Eivor: Hmph. I have seen my death in a vision. It was not here, not today.
Eivor leapt off the log and into the hay below. Upon landing, she waited to judge the reaction from Hytham, who immediately began panicking as he inspected the unmoving hay.
- Hytham: Eivor, are you well? Eivor? Speak! O dear. This is not how I foresaw things. Not at all. Dear God, Basim will have my head for this!
Deciding that the charade had gone on long enough, Eivor emerged from the hay.
- Eivor: (Roar)
Hytham quickly recovered his composure, showing no sign of his distress moments earlier.
- Hytham: A perfect fall. And how did it feel?
- Eivor: You spoke true. It was madness and vigor, a purging of fear. A gift I give myself. I see that now. Thank you for showing me the way.
- Hytham: Of course. And thank you, Eivor... for hearing me out.
Eivor and Hytham returned to the boat. Eivor climbed aboard as Hytham took the oar and began sculling back to Ravensthorpe.
- Eivor: You called this Leap of Faith a sacred rite. Do all Hidden Ones practice this same ritual?
- Hytham: As far as I know. It is a rite of initiation that dates back to just before the birth of the Christian Jesus.
- Eivor: Are you hoping to initiate me?
- Hytham: I might try if I believed you would join. But that is not my purpose in England. Basim and I are hunting larger prey.
- Eivor: The Order of Ancients.
- Hytham: Yes. You remember the medallion you took from Kjotve's body? That is their symbol. They are a plague, one we hope to purge from this world. Like us, they act in secret. But their aim is to rule the world, not free it from unnatural fetters.
The pair returned to Ravensthorpe and made their way back to the bureau.
- Eivor: The desire to rule is not unique to this order. Sigurd and I want the same. A land to call our own and the honor that comes with it.
- Hytham: Do not compare yourself to such people. The Order has no honor, no principles. No humanity. Yet they sit on a great many of England's thrones. If you seek to pacify England for the safety of your clan...
- Eivor: ...then it may be in my interest to give you aid. I understand.
- Hytham: You desire alliances. We seek to rid England of its deepening rot. Where these hopes meet, our cause does too. You may think this land ruled by harmless jarls and bumbling thegns, yet look more closely and you will find a deeper threat. The Order's invisible hand touches all. It shapes everything, instilling its poison into every level of society. From the lowliest fishmonger to the richest merchants, from wealthy thegns to useless kings, The Order has corrupted all.
Back in the bureau, Hytham stood before the bookshelf.
- Hytham: Basim has given me one task here. To locate and eliminate The Order of Ancients in England, in whatever dark corners they reside. If we work together towards this end, it will benefit us both. You will have greater influence over the kingdoms of England.
- Eivor: And you will have more medallions to count.
- Hytham: Exactly. You should begin in Lunden. I have credible reports that The Order is working now to seize the city.
- Eivor: I will speak with Randvi about this.
- Hytham: And while you are there, be on the lookout for our symbol. Centuries ago, the Hidden Ones had bureaus built around England. There were six, I believe. If you can find them, search them well for documents bearing the same symbol. It will greatly aid my studies.
- Eivor: I will. Thank you, Hytham. For all of this.
Afterwards, Eivor found a letter addressed to Hytham.
- A Letter to Hytham:
You do yourself a great credit in accepting Master Basim's invitation to scour Northern Europe and cleanse it of our enemy. He has long talked of traveling north for just such a purpose. That he feels now is the right time and you are the right companion is a judgment the council does not second guess.
Basim has achieved great things in his time with our Brotherhood. We expect he will achieve many more in the years to come.
Head his actions and follow his instructions, and you shall ascend to greatness.
Work in the dark of oppression, serve the light of freedom, and be well.
– Mentor Rayhan
Eivor built a small bureau for Hytham to work in, and in exchange learned the Leap of Faith and agreed to help him eliminate the Order of the Ancients in England.