This quest begins immediately after A Cruel Destiny. The aim is to reach Alrekstad in the northwest, but there are a few things you can pick up in and around Kjotve’s Fortress before you leave.
Loot Kjotve’s Fortress
The first item of interest is located in a triangular building in the northwest of the fortress. Inside you’ll find a treasure chest, next to a letter addressed to Kjotve from Guthorm the Wise. Loot the chest to find Iron-Star, a one-handed flail.
Note: It’s a good idea to try using new weapons as you come across them. Equipment in general is rarer in Valhalla, and each weapon has the potential to introduce something new to your combat experience.
The second item of interest isn’t actually an item, but rather a Book of Knowledge which provides you with the Rage of Helheim ability. You’ll find it in a hidden cave behind the waterfall located northeast of the temple. The area will be listed as ‘Not Available’, but you can ignore the message in this case. Break the ice barrier with a basic attack and collect the book from the stand.
Now that you’ve acquired the unique armor and ability, you’ll find three other pieces of minor treasure in the settlement, as shown in the screenshot above. The first is easy to reach in a nearby house. The second is a Carbon Ingot, which can be used to upgrade your equipment. To reach it, you’ll need to destroy a wooden barrier, located above the main door, by shooting it. Once done you can climb inside and loot the chest. The third can be a little confusing to find if you don’t know where to look; through a small cave opening behind three tents, in the southwest of the fortress.
The last thing you’ll want to take before leaving the fortress is an artifact in the form of a Treasure Hoard Map. This can be found on a table in one of the houses southwest of the main fortress walls. You’ll be able to read this map from your inventory, providing you with a clue as to the location of the treasure. But that’s an adventure for another day. Now that you’re ready to leave Kjotve’s fortress for good, you have two options; journey over the mountains to the north on horseback and on foot, or take to your ship and sail around the fjords to the west.
Fannaraki Summit & Stavanger
Whatever route you choose, it’s worth using the synchronization point at Fannaraki Summit, southwest of Kjotve’s Fortress. You can then take your ship and sail the fjords, safe in the knowledge that you have an easy route back to the mountains by fast travelling to the synchronization point. Before you head north to Alrekstad, it’s also worth finishing up exploration of the south of the map, starting with the settlement of Stavanger, located northwest of Fornburg. Here you’ll find some treasure, a few mysteries, a drinking game, and a Flyting contest. You’ll also benefit from exploring the surrounding region to acquire wealth, weapons, and abilities, an overview for the locations of which can be found here.
Note: As you travel along the coast northeast of Avaldsnes, be sure to visit the abandoned settlement of Heillboer. This is where Eivor grew up, and as such contains not only valuable materials, but interesting snippets of information as you wander through it.
As you approach Alrekstad, you’ll notice a warning pop up on your screen, notifying you that you’re now in an area of increased difficulty. If you check your map and hover over anywhere within Hordafylke, you’ll see that the suggested power level is 280. Although it’s probably not a good idea to wander too much in the wilderness here, there are a few things you can loot from within the settlement of Alrekstad. Most importantly, you’ll find a new ability, Mark of Death, beneath a house in the southeast of Alrekstad. To reach it, you’ll need to find a key to the cellar. This can be found in the pig pen outside the house, as shown below.
For the sake of trivia, you’ll find a note inside the house which provides a clue as to the location of the key, but if you’re not bothered about reading this you can head straight to the pig pen. Once you have the key, take note of the rocks stored in a net just west of the house. Shoot the link above the net to send the rocks crashing down, providing a path to the cellar. Jump down the hole and follow the path to the cellar door, which you can open with the key, revealing the Book of Knowledge within.
After the cutscene with Sigurd, follow Basim through Alrekstad to the camp where Gorm can be found. On the way, Basim will run you through the basics of how to hide in plain sight, primarily by the use of your cloak and hood. When prompted, put your hood up and walk into the hostile camp. When you enter, you’ll note an orange marker beneath your compass, indicating that you’re now in a distrust area. In these areas you should avoid any sudden movements and never draw your weapons until necessary.
Tip: When in Distrust Areas, you should avoid getting too close to guards wherever possible, never run or make sudden movements, and try to maintain a walking speed to avoid detection.
As you walk through the camp, avoid looking directly at guards. Rather than walk directly south into their view, head southwest into the tall grass behind the tents. Here you can crouch and wait for any patrols to pass, then make your move to the door. After the cutscene, you can remove your hood and make your way to the Althing at the longhouse in the northeast of Alrekstad.
Did You Know? An Althing, or simply “Thing”, is a relatively loose term referring to an assemblage of people. The purpose of a Thing varied widely, both within cultures and between them. In general, they represent an opportunity for different interest groups to resolve political and economic disputes, or to reaffirm existing arrangements.
Once you enter the longhouse in Alrekstad, a cutscene will begin. At some point you will need to respond to King Harald Fairhair when he asks what fate Gorm deserves. However, here you have only the illusion of choice; even if you suggest that Gorm should die, Harald will only banish him. Soon after you will be presented with another set of choices, when Harald asks whether you are willing to pledge fealty to him. Whatever you say in response, this will have no implication for the story. After the cutscene, the quest will complete.