The Doom of Aethelweard Part One

There lies in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle a most piteous tale of the fall of Aethelweard, a Theign of once high regard. Only one copy of this most miserable tale remains, which has led many scholars to dismiss it out of hand as both "spurious drivel" and, "the worst prose in all the kingdoms".  One even went so far as to say, "Not even the venerable Bede himself would have allowed such blatant fabrication to grace the pages of his Historia."

Yet, thanks in no small part to Messrs Craig Cartmell and Charles Murton of The Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare, the Doom of Aethelweard is finally able to be bought out of obscurity and into the light of day. For centuries this tale had languished between the ten stanza epic song, "Bede's on the Mead" and a true dirge named "The Bard Played Believe It If You Like."  It is now preserved in a form accessible to the masses, freed from the interminable drivel of unnecessarily clumpy rules and endless regulations by the aforesaid Ministry.  Of course, when we refer to these two esteemed Gentlemen, we do of course acknowledge that the greater accolade must go to Mr Cartmell who encouraged that this Saga be told.

This Doom of Aethelweard then is found within that most lamentable period when the glory of the Anglo Saxon kingdoms was submitted to the fury of the raiding Norsemen.  It is clear from the manuscript that Aethelweard had successfully repelled their raids on a number of occasions. That he did so may seem incredulous when the tale of his Doom is related over this and several more posts, were it not for the intervention of my deplorable dice rolls to affect the outcome of his narrative...

Aethelweard was often to be found in the company of Eadwulf, his Huscarle and Ordwulf a most pious priest who preferred to preach passionately in a pugilistic manner with his particularly protracted pointy poniard.

It was on a foggy and misty morning (10.2.3) that the raid (10.1.1) took place in the village (10.3.4).  A cry went up from one of the monks as he exited the north door of the church. Unfortunately for Aethelweard, the enemy was bearing down on the village from both the north and south.
As Ordwulf began chanting from the 151st Psalm and rallying men to his aid to the north, Aethelweard took two Fyrd to defend the approaching menace from the south.
 It soon became apparent to the stout Anglo-Saxon defenders that the foe they faced was something altogether more terrifying than the Vikings they had expected. For on this day they would have to fight against the mighty Draugr, led by the mighty and slightly blue-skinned Glars Glarsson.  Ordwulf stepped forwards to face the fiendish foe, aided by Eadwulf and a Fyrd Spearman.
It was clear the Draugr had the church in their sights, for within its walls huddled the monastic community. Of course, it was also quite possible that they'd settle for the livestock in the pens, but the scenario rules do state that to be victorious, the attacking force had to get three men inside the building for a turn...
And here, in glorious wide angle, we can see the ragged lines of the combatants to the north and south of the church.
And outwith the walls of its sanctuary, two pious priests prayed for the brave souls that sought to belligerently batter the bellicose bandits that worked to bring their evil to this place of peace.
A fat lot of good that did. My Anglo-Saxons were systematically knocked down or taken out of the fight.  Glars Glarsson strode past them and into the church. All I needed was some successful fate rolls to get back up and charge in there after him. Could I manage that? Of course, I couldn't!
So at the end of the first battle in our Saga, I found myself with the princely sum of +4RP for the casualties I had inflicted, but failed to make the fate roll to save one of my Fyrd, which cost me 17 points.  My 400 point pool was now reduced to 387, and according to our plan, my defeat meant our next battle would be 10.1.2 Making Off With the Spoils.

My apologies to all for not being able to give more details than I have.  The extant manuscript sadly skims on the details.  Well, it's either that or it's because we played this game a couple of months ago and my mind grows dim with the details.  Suffice it to say that it was incredibly good fun, the game mechanics are intuitive and don't get in the way of playing the game, and Saga's are a great way of playing Blood Eagle.  You really should go and get yourself a copy.




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