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Cracking the Isu Code Part 3:
The Saga of the Saga Stone
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Assassin's Creed fans are working tirelessly around the world to crack messages written in the secret language of the highly advanced precursor race known as the Isu, and in the process, uncover the the mysteries of the First Civilisation.
We here at TOWCB have joined the community efforts, and are actively decoding messages which are scattered throughout the game. So far, our Code-breaking team have examined Standing Stone puzzles, Layla’s laptop, and even promotional content, but many more mysteries await to be uncovered. In this article, we uncover the full extent of Paladin Fulke's research, and the discoveries she made through her torturous practices.
We sincerely hope that none of you experience the Bleeding Effect during the decoding process …
It seems that many of our fans were either unaware or confused by this bit of lore from Valhalla’s main campaign, so we have done our best to explain it thoroughly with pictures and findings.
Paladin Fulke speaks of a stone in her possession, and it’s been assumed by most players that this is a Piece of Eden of some kind that she communes with. This assumption is not inherently wrong, as we’ll see detailed below, but there is a deeper story here, easily missable in a series of notes.
Our tale begins in the memory 'The Saga Stone', where Eivor and the Raven Clan team up with Fulke and Geadric to raid Cyne Belle in Oxenefordscire, culminating in a fight with Lady Eadwyn. Once she is bested, and the player decides her fate, the mission continues as Eivor goes up some stairs in the fortress proper, overhearing Fulke muttering “It’s here somewhere. I know it. It must be.”
Eivor then meets with Fulke, Basim and Sigurd for a cutscene in front of a stone lying on a table, with Isu symbols and markings etched on it.
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Location of the Saga Stone in Oxenfordscire, North of the river.
The scene plays out as follows:
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 looms over Eivor’s shoulder, and says: “One who stands at a threshold should take great care to look around…For who knows what foes lie in wait in the halls beyond.”
Eivor sees a vision of the doorway to Yggdrasil, with the Saga Stone in its housing, centred above the arch, conversing with Odin in her mind, “I have passed through this doorway once before. With Sigurd. In a dream.”
Odin: “Not once. A thousand times.”
Eivor: “A thousand?”
Eivor shakes off the visions of recognition, pressing her hand against her head.
Basim quietly notices her distress, smirking and turning his attention to Sigurd. “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 Tree of Life. Her boughs reaching…skyward…opening the way. It’s just as you promised, Basim. All you foretold was true.”
Basim nodded, knowingly.
Sigurd: “Eivor. I am more than I appear to be. So much more.”
Eivor is wary: “This is wicked magic, Sigurd. Dark seidr. Do not listen!”
Sigurd: “No. This is real. This is everything.”
Our first clear look at the mysterious Saga Stone, which can be found lying on a table.
The Saga Stone can be seen above the archway in Eivor's vision.
Just then, King Ælfred (The Great) neared with his armies, and Sigurd called a parlay with the King to discuss terms of the Danes taking Cyne Belle Castle and Lady Eadwyn. During this next cutscene, Fulke shows her true colours, and betrays the Raven Clan as she approached and bowed to King Ælfred before a deal could be struck.
Fulke: “King Ælfred! Wait.”
King Ælfred: “Paladin Fulke. Are you with this company?”
Fulke: “I was, my lord. To recover from Eadwyn what was mine by right. 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!”
Sigurd: “Shush! I’ll give myself to you, King Ælfred, ‘cause it is not my fate to die by your hand.”
After this, King Ælfred agrees to take Sigurd and leave him in Fulke’s possession, which leads us to the next important memory in this saga, 'Bloody Welcome'. Here Eivor enters the Canterbury Cathedral in Cent in her search for where Fulke took her adoptive brother, and makes her way under it to find Fulke’s hovel where she hid her research. Here we can confirm that what was “hers by right” was the Saga Stone, which she recovered from Cyne Belle and brought here to study. Funnily enough, both Cyne Belle and this underground hovel contain the same Stone even after these memories are completed, making for 2 Saga Stones to be found in the game when revisited, though this is obviously just a continuity error.
The location of Canterbury Cathedral in Cent.
The Saga Stone which can be found in Fulke's hovel along with research
beneath Canterbury Cathedral.
There are also a few notes to be read here that were written by Fulke, and we begin to get a bigger picture of how the Stone got to England, and why Fulke was so adamant about recovering it.
First, let’s read Fulke’s Journal:
As we learn from this, it was Ragnar Lothbrok that brought this so-called Saga Stone all the way from Norway, implying that he too, once came across the doorway to the Yggdrasil Chamber, likely stealing the Stone from it’s housing above the door in frustration from not gaining entry.
It seems Fulke was put in charge of decrypting the Isu text on the Stone by Emperor Louis I, also known as Louis the Pious, King of the Franks & Emperor of the West, who ruled from 814-840 CE, third son and successor to Charlemagne. This seems out of sync with the time, as the main campaign of Valhalla is set in the 870’s CE, and there is another King Louis II of Germany & East Francia that ruled from 843-876 CE, but Fulke specifically calls the King “Emperor Louis”, of which there was only the one mentioned prior, and he had the connections to Charlemagne’s lineage, so makes the most sense.
Historical discrepancies aside, King Louis gave Fulke an etching of the same Isu text, which Palatinus had somehow transcribed decades prior, and when Fulke was finally able to retrieve the Saga Stone and her god-like prisoner of war, she had most of the tools she needed to get more answers from this mystery.
One interesting addition in Fulke’s Journal is her knowledge of Aita by name, and how he - and now others - can be reborn into new lifetimes. To dispel confusion on how these beings operate, I discern the Norse 9 (Frejya, Freyr, Heimdall, Idunn, Loki, Odin, Sif, Thor, and Tyr) by calling them Reborn, as Fulke does, rather than Sages, who are Aita, though the Assassin’s Creed Wiki lumps them all together. We’ll take a little departure from the main subject at hand here to explain the proof of their differences.
The Reborn we see in the Hidden Truth use an unaltered version of The Mead, as Hyrrokin warns Havi when he steals it during the Jotunheim arc:
Juno: “Do you have the Mead?”
Odin: “I do. Must I drink it now?”
Juno: “Not yet. For once you drink, your hugr will take flight and be ever-fixed. Drink only when the hour of your death approaches.”
Havi followed this warning, and used this unaltered Mead to preserve himself and his 7 trusted advisors, along with Loki, who usurped his own use of the Mead, all 9 becoming Reborn. When Havi shares a sample of this Mead with Juno, she says “With a few changes to this Mead, I may undo old sorrows.” She would go on to make alterations to it before administering it to her beloved Aita, and these changes are what allows him to be reborn again and again throughout time, as a Sage.
The Reborn, however, are only given a single human host to inhabit, as we see proven in 2 ways: Loki must heal his one human host, Basim’s body, by using the Staff of Hermes to re-enter the Modern Day. Later, when he visits Eivor’s grave, he speaks not to Eivor, but to Odin himself, saying “A quiet place to find an end. I almost envy you.” This implies that Odin did finally die when Eivor did, without another chance at rebirth.
Basim (Loki) using the Staff of Hermes to heal in the chamber.
Basim visiting the grave of Eivor in North America.
While we’re at it, another connection can be found in an earlier memory, 'Bleeding the Leech', where we learn about 2 potential secret Aita reincarnations (Sages) from a distraught mother, Gyda, in a cutscene:
Gyda: ''Erke! Tell me it wasn’t her!''
Erke: ''It wasn’t your daughter, dear Gyda. Take a breath.''
Gyda: ''O, thank Freyja! I have such a fear I will find her down here. She works errands for a smith who sends her to these docks, most times at night. I cannot stand it.''
At this point, Eivor is given dialogue options, but the most important one is “What’s her name?”
Eivor: ''What’s your daughter’s name, Gyda?''
Gyda: ''She’s Regna, named for my grandmother, born with the same eyes. One green, one blue.
So this girl, Regna, and her great-grandmother, of the same name, both seem to have heterochromia, the “telltale eyes” of a Sage of Aita!
Later in this memory, at the Forum of Lunden, Eivor kills Sister Frideswid for her connections to the Order, and for stealing the poor girl, Regna. After killing the Sister, Eivor can inspect the body lying on the table in her chambers, commenting “A young girl. Her eyes have been removed. I have a feeling this is the missing Regna.”
The location of Sister Frideswid’s Vivisection notes and tools at the Forum of Lunden.
Next to the body, Sister Frideswid’s Vivisection Notes can be examined, only viewable during this memory:
This “imprint of the ancient ones” means that Regna and her grandmother are confirmed to be the first female reincarnations of Aita’s to feature in series, and Eivor didn’t even get to meet the young girl, thanks to that evil nun’s experiments!
Back in Fulke’s hovel now - before we get to the Stone in this area - in this same underground room, there’s another notable note we should read that sheds light on the Order of the Ancients being the basis for the Instruments of the First Will:
It’s here we see the full Triad being sworn to, rather than Ælfred’s future removal of the Mother of Wisdom and the Sacred Voice, leaving only the Father of Understanding to guide the Templars for centuries to come.
Now, let’s finally inspect the Saga Stone in Fulke’s hovel below Canterbury Cathedral. When we do, we get another note like the others, in which Fulke wrote down the Isu speech that Sigurd read on the Saga Stone. However, curiously, this note also depicts the Canterbury File that can be found on Layla’s computer - an entirely different Isu text altogether!
Regardless, let’s take a look at that note, and I’ll translate the text from the Saga Stone, found in the README.odt file on Layla’s computer as well:
This same series of Isu words are spoken by both Sigurd and Layla to gain entrance to the Yggdrasil Chamber, and in both instances, we can see that the Saga Stone is missing from above the doorway. Sigurd also uses the Isu word “hoærhàsi” to activate the Isu elevator beyond the door, which using the language rules, we can take to mean “You will activate.”, though Layla doesn’t need to use this word to descend in the Modern Day.
The Yggdrasil Chamber, which can be found in Hordafylke, Norway.
Sigurd commands the ancient lift to descend.
You’d think we would be at the end of our little tale here on the Saga Stone, but there’s actually one last missable instance where this Stone makes an appearance in Assassin's Creed Valhalla.
During the end of the non-combat educational expansion Discovery Tour: Viking Age, the playable character Thorsteinn follows Freyja through Asgard to the gates of her Kingdom, Folkvangr. Just outside these gates, the Saga Stone can be seen once again, not perched on top of the gates, but instead just to its right hand side, inlaid into a stone pillar.
The location of the Sage Stone in Discovery Tour: Viking Age.
The Stone can be seen on a stone pillar near the gates of Folkvangr.
Before entering said gates, Freyja says, “These doors will take you to Folkvangr, my kingdom. Afterlife of the slain and righteous. Just as luxurious as Odin’s Great Hall.” This begs a question yet unanswered: Does this mean that the Yggdrasil Chamber actually resides in Isu-Era Folkvangr, rather than “Valhalla,” as it’s called?
We have seen that Asgard seems to be in present-day Svalbard, a northern archipelago of Norway.
Perhaps the Chamber near present day Tromsø is in fact within the borders of Folkvangr?
Our evidence may indeed be pieces of a jigsaw that fit together better in future expansions. Female Aita reincarnations, a mysterious stone and hidden messages. For now, it seems that these highly missable plot points have left us with many questions.
Why did Ragnar Lothbrok steal the Saga Stone?
Were Fulke and Sister Frideswid’s research connected?
What happened to Regna's eyes?
Is the Stone a Piece of Eden or something else?
Our analysis ends here. We hope that you enjoyed our coverage of the Saga Stone. Join us next time as we look to uncover more secret mysteries hidden within the world of Assassin's Creed Valhalla!
Could Regna and her Great-Grandmother be female reincarnations of Juno's love, Aita?
The Saga Stone
Saga Stone image by AC Wiki
Surgical tools and blood can be found on a work bench next to Regna's covered body, along with vivisection notes.