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Assassins Creed: Valhalla is the most recent entry in the long-running series. Combining the sleek stealth, visceral combat, and engaging exploration of previous entries and putting it into a big and beautiful world that’s still receiving new content to this day is no easy task, but Ubisoft managed to achieve just that.
Valhalla brought the signature mix of historical accuracy with science fiction trappings and created what many consider to be the best Assassins Creed game in years. Perhaps you’ve already played Valhalla and are itching for an excuse to revisit it, or it could be your first playthrough.
Regardless, this game keeps giving, and many folks who’ve beaten the game don’t even know that you can access Vinland. By learning more about this secretive location, we can garner a richer understanding and respect for the expansive open-world game that sits before us.
Vinland is a callback to all the sleepovers we spent as kids staying awake for hours discussing secrets in our favorite games. So, let’s board the ship together. Make sure your ax is sharpened, and don’t worry; we brought a cat aboard to bring good luck and hunt for rats.
Eivor Arriving in Vinland. A Journey Fit for a Viking
Assassins Creed: Valhalla stars Eivor Varinsdottir also known as the Wolf-Kissed. While Aveline from Assassins Creed 3: Liberation is the first playable protagonist who also happens to be a woman, Eivors gender identity and presentation can be changed to male or fluctuate between both sexes depending on the player’s preference.
However, canonically Eivor is a woman, so we will use she/her pronouns for Eivor. She was initially left orphaned before being adopted into the Raven Clan and saw her adoptive parent’s son Sigurd as her brother.
While most of the narrative of Valhalla focuses on the tense bond between two siblings vying for power, there’s lots of conspiracy, betrayal, and political ingenue along the way.
In summation: Eivor and the Raven Clan make their way to England to pillage, plunder, and embark on a quest for glory in a new land. Along the way, players cross paths with Gods, try to save their brother, get double-crossed, and assassinate members of The Order, which is the overarching Big Bad of the series.
Eivor will visit settlement after settlement, and players will complete a quest chain that results in an alliance being formed between it and the Raven Clan. In time this creates a mighty empire.
Viking leader Leif Ericson was believed to have explored Vinland in 1000 AD. Ericson’s arrival yields him a comfortable five-century lead over Christopher Columbus. The area they called Vinland mainly made up portions of Canada and New York.
Locations such as Newfoundland, New Brunswick, and the L’Anse aux Meadows all fell under the Vinland territory. For years the historical claims of Vikings in North America were disputed until Norse remains were found in the aforementioned L’anse aux Meadows in the 1960s.
Much of what we know regarding the Vikings and Vinland is due to two oral histories that were written down two and a half centuries after their occurrence.
Those histories are the Saga of Erik the Red and the Saga of the Greenlanders, respectively. Both sagas contain overlap, but if they are accurate, then there were hundreds of Vikings that explored and resided in Vinland.
In Game Background
Within the world of Valhalla, Vinland is a bit different. There is no foreshadow or pretext for it. Instead, players reach a certain point in the story and complete specific side goals to be informed by an NPC that such a location exists and they have some business to attend to. Eivor otherwise possesses no knowledge of Vinland.
Considering that Valhalla takes place in 873 AD, Eivor was way ahead of Leif Ericson and other Norseman who would later explore the land.
Since Vinland is an optional segment for the game that has more to do with total game completion and tying up side threads than it does with progressing the main story, it’s no surprise that many players (including myself) weren’t even aware of it! But how does one actually unlock Vinland, though? Well, you’re going to have to fight for it. That much is certain.
How to Unlock Vinland
Unlocking Vinland is no easy task in and of itself. To do so several conditions must be met beforehand. Essentially players will have to do three different tasks, which are as follows:
#1: Complete the Lunden Arc and Assassinate the Order
Getting to this point alone already requires some progress in the story. Valhalla is not a short game by any measure, and committing to it is an investment in and of itself. Thankfully, it’s fun as hell. As Eivor explores England, you’ll be drawn to new settlements and the quest lines that populate them.
By completing them, you further the main story and the power of the Raven Clan by forging new alliances. Lunden is one of the many settlements you’ll be doing this in. By completing Lunden, you should already have a few of these members of the Order assassinated as they are story kills.
The members you’ll have to take out are Kjotve the Cruel, Leofgifu the Scabbard, Hunta son of Hunta, Sister Frideswid, Avgos Spearhand, and Vicelin the Compass. It is also mandatory that you have built the Hidden One’s Bureau in their settlement, or else you will not be able to initiate the Vinland questline.
Assassinating the Order Mini-Guide
If you were looking for help locating and defeating the Order members needed to proceed to Vinland, we got you covered. As mentioned previously, most members will be defeated by advancing the main storyline, especially the requisite Lunden arc.
However, locating and defeating Leofgifu and Hunta can be difficult. All members of the Order are either discovered after doing necessary exploratory work or, if you’re lucky, by chance out in the open, and since Valhalla has a massive map it can lower the odds dramatically if you’re not the type of player who combs every nook and cranny. With that said, let’s begin.
Leofgifu the Scabbard Location and Tips
Leofgifu can be found in the Utbech region of Grantebridescire. Utbech is a swampy place, and she uses the location well to keep her tracks hidden. You’re very likely to find her along the river’s edge, so when in doubt: follow the water. Upon locating her, you’ll notice she has her own posse of guards and the area’s wildlife isn’t inherently friendly.
Moreover, her specific location makes stealthy behavior a challenging feat, but there is still hope. If you feel proficient in combat and can hold your own against a spear-wielding enemy, don’t be afraid to run in.
Ironically, what Leofgifu perceives to be her most significant strength is her biggest weakness: her location. Being along the water, you can also cheese the system by pulling up with a ship full of Vikings as if you’re going to initiate a raid.
With your own crew of warriors, Leofgifu and her forces won’t stand much of a change. The choice is yours, but know that even when it seems like something is cut and dry, Valhalla gives you some options for how you want to interact with the world around you.
Hunta, Son of Hunta Location and Tips
There are many ways to take down Hunta. Unlike Leofgifu and other members of the Order who can be found in the wild, Hunta is out in the open.
He can be spotted peering into merchant tents in Ledecesestre and always has several guards around him. His main weapon of choice is a bow which begs the question: How hard can it be to just run up on him? Depending on your level that might not be the best course of action.
However, since he’s out in the open you also have the city as your sandbox. Nevertheless, you have options and if your power level is high enough there’s no shame in barging up on him and taking him out and all the guards that serve him while you’re at it.
I personally sought higher ground and stalked him from above only to get the drop on him and knock him out in one fell swoop. This kind of gameplay served as a callback to earlier entries in the Assassins Creed series, and it was extremely satisfying to take him out as an assassin would.
#2: Observe the Order Page and Return to Ravensthorpe
Once you’ve assassinated all the targets, you’ll notice a new member appear on the Order page of the menu. This one is Gorm, and he is the son of Kjotve. Gorm will be the villain of the Vinland arc.
Without eliminating his father and other colleagues, he wouldn’t be motivated to terrorize Vinland and ultimately receive the wrath of Eivor.
Once you notice him on your Order page, return to your settlement of Ravensthorpe and head to the Hidden One’s Bureau. You’ll begin a conversation chain between Hytham and Randvi, ultimately resulting in Vinland appearing on your map.
#3: Pledge to Vinland and Set Sail
Once Vinland appears on your map, you will pledge allegiance to it as you have other locations. When this is done, head to the docks where you’ll meet Nessa. Once you initiate a conversation with Nessa, Randvi will appear to give you a unique thrall to wear.
While Eivor is a stranger to almost everyone in Vinland, the one person she’s familiar with is Gorm. Immediately landing in Vinland with all of your usual armor and weapons would undoubtedly raise red flags and blow your cover. So, in true assassins’ fashion, sometimes a disguise is needed.
Gameplay and Story Dynamics
No Weapons? No Problem
Upon landing in Vinland, you’ll notice that all of your weapons and armor are gone. In your quest to take out Gorm, you’ll have to do as the proverbial Romans do. You have to blend into a strange land, and the locals (who would go on to become the Iroquois later in history) aren’t inherently trusting of outsiders.
You also won’t be able to sneak in your ores or crafting resources either. You’ll basically be starting from scratch with nothing but your skills and hidden blade. Thankfully, the game is accommodating, and Vinland is an excellent opportunity to use new weapons and fight new enemies.
Weapons and Armor to Obtain
Through trading with the natives, you can purchase unique weapons and armor. They are as follows:
Ona: Kara Bow
- Costs 45 Leather, 2 Carbon Ingots, 90 Iron Ore
- Wolf Tree Aligned
- The only option for a bow in Vinland
- Two-handed weapon
- Wolf Tree Aligned
- Costs 105 Iron Ore, 2 Carbon Ingots, 65 Leather
- One Handed Hammer
- Bear Tree Aligned
- Costs 35 Iron Ore, 20 Leather, 1 Carbon Ingot
- Wolf Tree Aligned
- Costs 100 Iron Ore, 55 Leather, 2 Iron Ingots
- Wolf Tree Aligned
- Costs 60 Iron Ore, 115 Leather, 2 Iron Ingots
- Wolf Tree Aligned
- Costs 70 Iron Ore, 100 Leather, 2 Iron Ingots
- Wolf Tree Aligned
- Costs 40 Iron Ore, 55 Leather
- Wolf Tree Aligned
- Costs 55 Iron Ore, 70 Leather
Wearing the complete armor set unlocks two bonuses. One allows your health to regenerate when it hits below 50%, and the other increases your ranged damage when your health is full.
Eivor can wear none of these weapons or armor outside of Vinland, so they are unique to the region. As such, upgrading is advised to suit your playstyle and level.
The Vinland Saga
Eivors’ entire reason for venturing to Vinland is pretty simple: In order to put a stop to the Order, she’ll have to kill Gorm. Gorm has a vendetta against her after she defeated his father Kyotve in combat, so this time it really is personal. As Eivor explores Vinland, she gets entrapped in a saga between the Natives and Gorm.
While setting up a unique commentary about colonialism, I feel the narrative further explores and emboldens just how evil the Order is and what kind of damage they can cause when left unchecked.
Imagine if Columbus and company had to face the Order instead of indigenous people? We’d have a radically different history on our hands that would have ended in even more tragedy for the natives of American soil.
By putting a stop to Gorm and his attempt to colonize and conquer Vinland, Eivor allows the timeline to follow the course we’re currently living through. If the Order became even more powerful, the entire Assassins Creed timeline would be turned upside down as we know it.
Fun Facts and Key Points
- Ubisoft made zero mention of Vinland in the lead-up to the game. All players were expecting out of Valhalla was a tour through Norway and England in the age of Vikings. They wanted players to find it for themselves.
- Eivors canonical gender was confirmed in a comic book, not anywhere in the game itself. Ubisoft wanted players to forge a deeper connection to the game by leaving that choice to gamers before deciding to spill the beans at a later date.
- Vinland was available to discover in the launch version of the game. It is not DLC in any way, shape, or form.
- Unique enemies to Vinland include a Legendary Moose and Jaguars.
- Fans of Assassins Creed 3 will find some fun easter eggs located in Vinland.
- Vinland is home to unique side quests that include leading a Turkey back to its owner and watching a wannabe wildlife documentarian get mauled by bears.
- Arenhare’ko: wa translates to Raven in the native language of the region.
Question: Why can’t I Bring My Weapons to Vinland? Why can’t I Bring my Vinland Weapons Back?
Answer: By infiltrating Vinland, Eivor is essentially going under disguise. Gorm and his crew have wreaked havoc on the region, and as such, even looking enough like a Norse or foreigner from afar could get her killed. Eivors death would cause a time paradox and ruin the continuity of the games, so a happy medium had to be achieved.
From a game design standpoint, it would also make sense that the developers wanted to further challenge players who unlocked Vinland.
Ubisoft wanted the hidden map to feel unique and therefore sought to create weapons and armor that couldn’t be found or used anywhere else. It is a common gameplay design element; they’re not the first to do it.
Question: Is Completing Vinland Necessary to Beating the Game?
Answer: No. Vinland is not a part of the main story. While it does help the player unlock a fabled 100% completion rate and additional achievements/trophies for truly stopping the Order, it is entirely optional and hidden.
It is more a reward for thorough players and those seeking a challenge than a slyly hidden “Oh wait! there’s more!” kind of deal. Ubisoft wanted to reward players who already experienced Vinland in the series’s third installment and to reward players who left no stone untouched.
Vinland is the type of secret that gamers talk about between each other. It’s the kind of playground story gamers my age experienced when hearing about the hidden 4th/Tofu Survivor modes in the original Resident Evil 2.
It’s the type of thing that makes me contemplate starting a brand new save and giving it a shot. Perhaps it will motivate you to do the same.
Question: Why Should I Care about Going to North America when there’s Already so Much to do in this Game?
Answer: Ultimately, that’s entirely subjective to you, the player. If you’re the type of person who enjoys secrets, optional gameplay scenarios, and witnessing a fully realized developer vision, then Vinland is the place for you.
It rewards those who try and encourages them to try even harder and possibly relearn their entire gameplay style to fit into a new land. It helps complete the saga of Eivor vs.
The Order and gives characters like Kjotve the Cruel and even Eivor just a bit more depth and helps the world feel even more realized and fleshed out. People love Assassins Creed because it combines science fiction and real-world history.
Vinland is a chef’s kiss to that vision but was made optional to help cut down on run time bloat and allow players to finish the game quicker if all they do is follow the main story beats.
When people think of Assassins Creed, they think of many things. Large maps begging to be explored, suspenseful and open-ended stealth, gripping narratives with nuanced characters, and a visceral sense of combat that makes players feel like they’re the mightiest of them all. Valhalla has all of this in spades.
Eivors saga of power, corruption, and intrigue delicately blends the complex series mythology with the real-world historical trappings it’s known for and elevates it into a return to form for the series. It gives players the option to be as stealthy as they want or as brutal as they desire.
It is a happy medium that can unite players old and new, rewarding those who seek to explore its vast and beautiful renditions of real-world locations.
The secret of Vinland is the embodiment of this philosophy, and to explore it and appreciate it is to walk away with a more fully realized vision of the game and appreciation for the work the developers at Ubisoft did to make it happen.
Vinland is the type of secret that’s so well hidden yet is also in plain sight. It is a healthy challenge with enough new content added to make it a desirable secret to explore.
It further fleshes out the story of Valhalla and gives Eivor even more weight and dynamic to her character. Did you ever make the voyage to Vinland? Or has this guide inspired you to boot up Valhalla yet again and see it for yourself?
We’d love to hear your thoughts. Stay safe, fellow Vikings, it’s a treacherous world out there, but the glory is yours for the taking.
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