DAS in 2014/874

The last DAS event of 2013, Flaunden, was set in 872, when the Vikings fell on London and forced the Mercians to make peace. Forces of King Burhred of Mercia and King Alfred of Wessex (the Cilternsaete and the Sumorsaete) were helping rescue refugees streaming out of London, saving them from marauding bands of Vikings and then escorting them towards St Albans in an armed convoy. But the Vikings attacked the convoy from all directions, breaking the Englisc guards, and the refugees scattered. The Oestvikingae managed to capture some of the civilians, but fell to the re-grouped Englisc, who then swept aside a combined Viking road blockade and successfully reached St Albans with the refugees. Flaunden’s evening banquet was set after peace was declared, and Abbot Wulfnoth of St Albans declared Guthwald a Thegn, granting him five hides of land at Sandridge. You can read more about this event here.

Here’s what the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle has to say about the run-up to 874:

“A.D. 874. This year went the army from Lindsey to Repton, and there took up their winter-quarters, drove the king, Burhred, over sea, when he had reigned about two and twenty winters, and subdued all that land. He then went to Rome, and there remained to the end of his life. And his body lies in the church of Sancta Maria, in the school of the English nation. And the same year they gave Ceolwulf, an unwise king’s thane, the Mercian kingdom to hold; and he swore oaths to them, and gave hostages, that it should be ready for them on whatever day they would have it; and he would be ready with himself, and with all those that would remain with him, at the service of the army.”

So we know what the Chronicle said happened in 873/4. And we’d like to stick to that broad history – the Vikings will break the peace, drive the Mercian King abroad, and set up a puppet king in Mercia. But we want to see the smaller stories around that, and see how our units react to those events. The story has begun – let’s see where it leads us…

We can also add as a known DAS fact, that:

“873 In this year the Great Society Chest over-wintered among the Cilternsaete. And then early in the year soon after Yule it fared forth amongst the Holmbyggja.”

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), weakening Mercian resolve – 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.

What will happen in 875/2015?

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