DAS Chronicle

The DAS Chronicle is our history-within-history, recording the actions and intrigues of our members within the historical setting of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles.

The last digit of the current year provides the year we’re following in the 870s from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, so the story of 2016 will be set within the events of 876 (which actually spans 875 to 876 A.D.)

Note that the 21st century location of a DAS event doesn’t have to match the geographical setting of the 9th century story. Organisers are free to set their event anywhere that makes sense for the plot.

Historical Background

The Vikings raided the English kingdoms throughout the 9th century, but these were small raids and the Vikings always returned home over winter. Things changed in 866, the year when Aethelred became king of Wessex and the Great Heathen Army, led by the sons of the semi-legendary Ragnar Lodbrok (Ivar the Boneless, Halfdan, and Ubbe), attacked Britain and didn’t leave, overwintering here. They descended like locusts, stripping an area bare and then moving on.

In 867 the Great Army went to Northumbria, which was ravaged by civil war between the king Osbriht and the usurper Aelle. The Northumbrians united against the Vikings, but both ‘kings’ were killed in battle at York, and the Vikings make Ecgberht the new king of Northumbria. In 868 the Great Army moved on to Nottingham in Mercia, and King Burhred of Mercia got aid from his brothers-in-law Aethelred and Alfred of Wessex to support him in besieging the town- but the siege was a stalemate, and eventually peace was made. In 869 the Vikings again took Northumbria, then in 870 they came down through Mercia to take East Anglia. In East Anglia they killed King Edmund in battle at Thetford, ravaged the land, and sacked the abbey at Medhamsted (Peterborough) “burning and breaking, and slaying abbot and monks, and all that they there found”.

In 871 the Great Army moved into Wessex for the first time. They initially took Reading, but then King Aethelred of Wessex and his brother Alfred arrived and a bloody series of nine battles erupted. King Bagsecg was slain at the Battle of Ashdown, King Aethelred passed way of natural causes, Alfred become the new King of Wessex, the Great Army was reinforced by the Great Summer Host led by Guthrum, and finally the two sides made peace…

The DAS Chronicle

In 872 the Vikings fell on London, and forced the Mercians to make peace. Read about our Sack of London event here.

In 873 the Vikings went north against the Northumbrians again, and overwintered at Torksey in Lindsey, again with the Mercians making peace.

In 874 the Vikings fell on Mercia. King Burhred was exiled, and Thegn Ceolwulf took his place. Read an overview of our year (and what history says happened) here.
Our first event of 874/2014 was The Kingslayer, at which a small group of Vikings raided a monastery on the edge of Wessex, and stole the Kingslayer (the sword that killed the Viking King Bagsecg in one of the few battles where Englisc beat the Vikings), to weaken Mercian resolve and enable a prophecy. You can read about it here.
Our second event of 874/2014 was To Curse a King, at which the Vikings used the magic of the Kingslayer to erect a potent nithing-pole inside Burhred’s favourite hunting ground, giving him another blow to his morale and unleashing powerful spirits against him. You can read about it here.
Our third event of 874/2014 was Before the Battle, at which the Vikings and Englisc both prepared for the battle to seal the fate of Mercia, and an introspective Viking leader, Ivar the Boneless, asked the assembled forces exactly what they wanted. You can read about it here.
Our fourth event of 874/2014 was The Doom of Burhred, at which the Vikings and Englisc fought a terrible battle, King Burhred of Mercia fled, the Vikings declared Ceolwulf King of Mercia, and the Heathen Host fractured as King Ivar died and they were torn apart by arguments.
Our final event was set shortly after, as the world was still reeling from the death of Ivar and flight of Burhred. Our warbands turned against each other, in a vicious skirmish through the woods of Mercia.

In 875 the Viking forces split, with Halfdan marching north to fight the local Englisc, Picts, and even invaders from Norway; whilst Guthrum marched to East Anglia to subdue the Englisc there. Read about our initial plans for the year and what history says happened here.
Our first event of 875/2015 was The Hunt For Ivar’s Treasure, at which the leaderless Vikings attempted to recover gold that Ivar hid after looting Medhampstead Abbey 5 years ago (and the Englisc tried to stop them!) At the banquet, the Vikings received news from their (possible) kings, and faced some tough choices…
Our second fighting event of 875/2015 was Shipwrecked! To quote the A-S Chronicle: “This summer King Alfred went out to sea with an armed fleet, and fought with seven ship-rovers, one of whom he took, and dispersed the others.”
Our final event of 876/2016 was Looting the Looters, where the Englisc ambushed the shipwrecked Vikings as they attempted to get back to East Anglia, and much treasure changed hands.

In 876 the Vikings remained separated, with Halfdan putting down the troubles in Northumbria whilst Guthrum led a daring attack deep into the heart of Wessex. Read our plans for the year here.

Latest Chapter

  • The year that knowledge of the Duck God came to them 879 A.D. (Earleywood, April 2019)

    Stykar, wisest amongst the wise, brought to them on the first morning great revelations. Over a hearty breakfast much discussion was made. Those in the party, hearing his words and adding their own understanding, saw the majesty of the Duck God’s plan. All were amazed by the revelation that in each of their homes, near the shrine to Kermitos, already lay a shrine to the Duck God; unrealized but no less unvisited.

    For you see, friends, the Duck God has created man not as his children; but as servants of his true children: those made in his image. We see the majesty of it, for each duck is, by will of the Duck God, sent into this world where they may have the opportunity to partake of the foods offered to them by mortal man. Those who are pure and honest servants of the Duck God seek out the grains that are so holy to him. But to others comes nothing but temptation in the form of rich sugary white bread: alluring, tasty but unholy in the eyes of the Duck God. Man, therefore is but an instrument in the lives of the true divine children.

    Knowing this the company was renewed and each promised to return to their homes, sanctify the shrine to the Duck God and place therein a small effigy to the Duck God such that when they bathed in the cleansing waters the effigy would rise above them on the water as an eternal reminder of the ducks’ superiority.

    Thereafter each went to their Kinsmen, for there was much trouble in the lands. Those of the Vikings who had settled and who had seen the conversion of Athelstan felt lost; their place was not as lapdogs of Wessex, yet the peace brought trade and there were no other clear leaders to follow. Dissatisfied, two groups of Vikings set out on separate quests to find sacred symbols that might lead them to a greater understanding of Odin’s plans for them, the two raven banners lost but possibly found in the last year. Meanwhile, those of the Oestvikingae, buoyed by an increase in manpower and in no way interested in the petty issues of Wessex and the Danegeld themselves began raids tackling Viking and Saxon alike looking for such valued treasure.

    Alfred, hearing of the many Vikings abroad in the lands, and knowing of their missions sent his finest warriors after them. They savagely and relentlessly hounded the Viking groups as they sought their banners. Especially the Chilternsetae, before whom all fell in battle, with the exception of the Oestvikingae who ran away! Having obtained the white Raven banner, they became over confident, and carried it through the land, hung upside down, to represent the folly of the old ways. But their strength and prowess in battle ultimately was the undoing of Alfred’s plan; for the Vikings having just suffered an ambush by the Oestvikingae formed a single unit and marched against the Saxons, while the Oestvikingae disappeared in to the undergrowth.

    There in a sandy grove of fallen trees, did the two sides engage. Line after line of warriors stepped forward to engage in bloody conflict and many fell. Survivors of a particular battle, though few they are, tell of a terrifying Hauk-howl that can forth from some impenetrable bracken before suddenly the wall was swamped by the army of the Oestvikingae who slaughtered indiscriminately. By day’s end the Saxon forced, still undeterred, had lost control of the Raven banner and the Vikings had rallied before it. The Saxon’s retreated to Wessex and the Vikings, seeing that Odin had watched upon them today, but knowing the price of folly in his eyes felt prudently that a retreat was also in order.

    So, to the evening and to a great feast; all were welcomed to the hall of Holmbyggjar, an autonomous collective governing as a single unit in the absence of their Lord Bosi. In fact, much praise and respect was given to our absent friends; those who will always join our banquet in memory even when they cannot be with us in person. Wulf, particularly, was spoken of highly, Stykar telling of his may adventures with Thor on his journeys through Midgard.

    We welcomed also, many new faces to the banquet. Skykar’s niece, was welcomed to Holmbyggjar following her marriage to Hrothgar over the winter months, an alliance that will hopefully represent the companionship between the Viking tribes following the retrieval of the raven banners. We also welcomed the return of Piri, to Holmbyggjar, and the Oestvikingae (favoured so much by the hosts that they receive the special ‘golden harvest mead’ upon their arrival at the hall) welcomed Madoc Arnson and Floki, and celebrated their new members and gifted them greatly for their valour on the fields of battle. So too was much praise given to those who through their efforts made such an event possible, and all were grateful for their works.

    So, to the future do each group look. Stykar professed confidence in the Viking’s ability to re-form under the banners and the Saxons, citing their victories of the day, stated that no Saxon force would be overcome by such Viking forces. But, alas, without the wisdom of the Norns, no mortal man can tell what the future is to bring, so in these times we wait, peace or war, honour and glory all these things may come but for now we each, in quiet reflection, return to the shrines of the Duck God.

DAS Chronicle Archive

You can read all entries in the DAS version of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in the archive: DAS Chronicle.