It was a calm and fine morning that the men of Brian mac Cennétig woke up to. The Retinue of Mathgamain was sharpening weapons, carefully gripping the stone and dragging it up and down the blade. Some men were polishing their axes and warming up themselves. Brian, however, was far from relaxed. His men were facing a though challenge, they were fighting the tough and powerful Viking hordes, which had caused fear and terror through out northern Europe. Brian studied the map, looking for a place where to fight. His forces were small but he was hoping to get mercenaries from Duke Robert The Fearless of Normandy, but there had been no sighting of any ships approaching the coast. He had payed the leader of these mercenaries, Willelme, handsomly, but Brian was doubting if he was even coming. He sat back on his chair, scratching his chin. Mathgamain mac Cennétig entered in the room with a fine suit of leather armour. "Any news from those Norman Mercenaries?" Mathgamain questioned, to which, Brian shook his head. "I am beginning to wonder if they are even coming." Brian's brother put an arm round him. "You do realise we need those men, they are some of the finest warriors alive! We have to believe they are coming. I'm sure those Normans are itching for some combat." Brian looked in Mathgamian's eye, forcing a slight smile. "Come, friend, we should inspect our men." Mathgamian nodded and they both walked out of the tent.
Block, stab, block, cut, block, push. Mathgamian carried on the same method, hoping Brian would forgot one of the standard of Mathgamian's attack. Brian watched his commander, studying how his feet were positioned, where his weapon was at. He knew he was going to mount another attack and so steadied himself before going on a quick attack which, from what Brian could see, surprised Mathgamian. The commander pushed back Brian's attack before trying to go for a quick strike which was easily dodged by the King's brother. "You do not have to take it so seriously, my brother," King Mathgamian shouted at Brian to which Mathagamian's brother chuckled before they continued on their training fights. Some of the soldiers had gathered to watch the two men train, although from the naked eye, it hardly looked like training as they acted as if their life depended on it. There was now, no disicipline in any of their attacks, they just hoped to get a decent hit on one another. Brian, suddenly, went on a wild attack, but cleverly, Mathagamian stuck a foot out, forcing Brian to the ground, his face covered with mud. He wiped out most of the mud with the back of his hand before he was staring down the sword of Mathgamian's blade. "Looks like I win, again!" the King chuckled before offering a hand to Brian, to which, Brian accepted it. "I swear I will beat you one day, brother." The King smiled before walking back to inspect his men, while Brian ran to his tent, to prepare himself to wash the mud off him.
Brian dipped himself in the sea, springing back up again before carefully scrubbing the mud off him. He was away from the sight of his men as he would prefer to wash in private, and with good reason. He was still thinking of the Norman Mercenaries, were they delayed or were they not coming. It has been a thorn in his mind since the beginning of the day and he could not get rid of it, no matter how hard he tried. Once the mud was off him, he grabbed his cream tunic and put it over him, so he could walk to his tent and not run because he was naked. It was also an embarssement to himself if he was naked, so wearing a tunic would make him not to force to rush to his tent. His men were busy, either praticing sword or axe strokes, throwing birins at targets or having a fun training match between each other. He glared out into the open sea, with still no sign of a ship. It was getting dark and it was sure to be a cold night. He still studied the actions of his men, making sure that they were not worried or scared, atleast not showing it. As he opened the flap of his tent, the watch spotted something in the sea. "SHIP!"
The smooth strokes of the ship, gliding in the water. Grunting with every strokes, the men below decks were sweating, yet they had to keep on rowing. All heaving and pulling the oars at the same time. Above deck, the Normans gathered their kite-shields and fine Norman swords. Willelme adjusted his red stockings, tighting them to make sure they would not fall off. He gathered his veiled helmet and slowly put it over his head. Only his eyes were visible to everyone around him. Staring at the coast, he could see that the Goidil had got sight of their arrival. The ship docked safely and Willelme jumped off the boat to walk a bit in the shallow water, hearing the sloshing as he took his steps. He tightened the leather that held his shield at his back for arriving on solid ground. The Norman waited for the rest of his men to disembark before being greeted by Brian's brother, Mathagamial. "Good day to you, Normans. I am glad you have arrived here at last." Willelme gripped his veiled helmet before slowly releasing it above his head, allowing everyone to see his red hair with baldness at the back, like a true Norman. "I wish to speak to Brian mac Cennétig, if you do not mind, sir," Willelme asked politely. Mathagamial nodded before indictacting Brian's tent. Mathagamial walked towards the tent, followed by Willelme and his men. They entered the tent, to see Brian with only a cream tunic on, but sitting on a wooden chair. "Aaah, finally, the Norman Mercenaries!" Brian smiled and ordered some wine to be brought.
Gathering round a roaring fireplace, some of the Vikings sat down near the warmth, rubbing their hands together. The soldiers were sharpening their axes or swords, some washing their beards with buckets of water, stolen from the locals. They were very calm, hardly talking to each other. Inside Ívarr of Limerick's tent, it was a different story. The King of Limerick had invited all his commanders for a drink, an offer to which the Viking commanders could not refuse. Thorkell took a wine from the serving table, gulping it all before demanding for more wine. Ívarr smiled at the fact that commanders were enjoying the drinking party. Ívarr took another goblet of wine, slurping it before dropping the goblet back onto the wooden table. Sigvaldi walked up to him, holding a goblet of wine to which he was slowly drinking it. "What will be your plans for tomorrow, sir?" Sigvaldi questioned his commander. Ívarr stared into his eyes, forcing a smile from his face. "We will march towards the Gaelic force and crush them utterly, from the face of the earth!" Sigvaldi raised his goblet up, before finishing it all in one gulp. Ívarr sat down and layed out a map of the area. He looked for terrain and places where he did not want the Gaelic force to occupy. He did not do this because he was worried, he wanted to know where he think was the obvious place the Gaels would move towards. But as he was staring at his map, Styrkarr bumped into him. "Are you not joining us, Ívarr?" he asked and the King of Limerick could see he was clearly drunk. Ívarr shook his head, took up another goblet and rejoined in the party.
The sun was high in the sky when Sigvaldi woke up; he had overslept, yet he did not know it. Ulfr was inspecting the men of Jomsborg, checking through their weapons. He went over to his Jarl's tent but saw he had awoken and stood to attention. The Jarl of Jomsborg put a hand at his forehead. He clearly had a lot, if, too much to drink last night. The world was spinning around him and he could not sight things very well. Sigvaldi grunted. He could not even work his legs up into a stand and he just lay there, unable to move. Ulfr tried to help his Jarl up, but it was of no use. He sighed. Ívarr should not have hosted that drinking party, last night. The right-hand man of the Jarl pondered why the King of Limerick had run that party. Was it the thought of victory, and crushing the Gaelic force? Was it a simple fact of trying to form better relationship with him and his commanders, or was it simply for fun. He had no idea. He was lucky he had not joined the party, he did not want to even begin to believe how it was to be too drunk. He stared once more at his Jarl, who had gone back to sleep. He had to keep it secret that he was too drunk, but he was guessing that the other commanders had too much as well. He decided to carry on inspecting the equipment, as he was before the Jarl had woken up, at least on first thoughts, that is.
Ívarr had woken up late, the sun was now going slowly back down again, so he was guessing it was mid-afternoon. He grabbed a nobleman's tunic and a red cloak and walked outside of his tent. His head was hurting but it didn't stop him from walking about the camp. He stared at men, sharpening their weapons and cleaning their armour, if they had it, while others were relaxing in their tents or washing their clothes and beards. He was still thinking of the party, last night, classing it as one of the best nights of his life. He was hoping the party was not in vain and to make sure it was not, he would march and crush the Gaelic forces. He had remembered saying to Sigvaldi that they would march today but Ívarr didn't see the problems of waiting one more day before moving out to battle. He stroked his long, platted beard before continuing his tour around the camp. His men stared up at their King as he passed around the camp and Ívarr knew that these men trusted him to rid the Gaelic warbands off the face of the earth and the King of Limerick took pride in that, but he also felt proud within himself; he was leading the most feared warriors of the age. They had looted and pillaged through northern Europe and he felt sure his Vikings could deliver him a victory in the up-coming battle. Perhaps he was too over-confident but Ívarr denied that thought from his mind. He was going to win and he was not arguing about it.
The howl of a wolf was heard in the Viking camp and Thorkell awoke to see what it was. He came across a beserkr who was building himself into a frenzy. Despite it not being a battle yet, Thorkell guessed he was training for the big day ahead. The Erlingr knew there would be a battle and he was hoping it would be soon. He was itching for a fight to begin, a good day's work of blood is what he enjoyed. Thorkell picked up his sword and praticed against a wooden pole. Cut, slash, stab. The wooden pole had little cuts as the sword made contact with it. Thorkell continued the training, not worried if anybody was watching. It was his way of preparing for the battle that was nigh and he was just waiting for that command from Ívarr so they could pack up their tents and march off to defeat the enemy. He knew the task would be easy, the Gaelic, from what he had heard, were a bunch of un-educated bunch of barbarians. He smiled at that fact, if they were as he heard, the Vikings would brush them aside like a bit of dust on a cloak. He got exhausted after an hour of training so he layed his sword in it's scabbard before sitting down, peacefully in his tent. He stroked his long, light brown hair and watched as the rest of his Erlingr men gossiped about the enemies they would soon face and he smiled at the fact that his men shared his confidence. To Thorkell, victory was certain for the Vikings and the Gaels would be crushed with axes and sword. It was not a question if the Vikings won but when? Atleast, that is what the leader of the Erlingr thought. He picked up a small goblet of wine and slurped it all.
Gormán mac Guaire gazed at the camp. He could see it was full of activity. He approached the camp slowly, his weapons sheathed and his shield behind his back. He walked to the part of the camp where the Retinue of Mathgamain was stationed. They were excerising themselves in the midday sun, streching legs, arms and allowing them to sweat with the excerise. Gormán looked for his leader, Mathgamian, but he could not find him. He must be at the tent of Brian, so Gormán decided to lay his equipment near one of the tents. "You do not mind if I leave my equipment here?" Gormán asked the man lying in his tent. Rúadán mac Gébennaig stared up at Gormán before shaking his head. "I do not mind at all," he replied and Gormán walked towards Brian's tent. He knew he shouldn't but he needed to make sure Mathgamian knew he had come, as promised. He made a left turn before seeing the huge tent as so he walked calmly towards it. He open the flaps of the tent and entered in. He saw that two commanders were planning on a map, one of them he knew was Brian, the other wore a long chain-mail armour and had a bright, short red hair. They both stared at Gormán. He blinked. "What is it that you require, soldier?" Brian asked in a dark tone. Gormán steadied himself, knowing he must not be rude in front of the commander and chief of the Gaelic forces. "I need to speak with Mathgamian, but I do not know where he is." Gormán replied calmly. Brian pointed outside of the tent. "If you wish to speak to him, he is with the mercenaries." Gormán saluted and walked out of the tent.
Mathgamian studied the Norman's swords, seeing that they were well crafted and designed. They were much longer then anything the Gaels had to offer and saw that it had matching resemblence to the Viking swords. The shields though were not round like the Vikings or the Gaels but were with the shape of kite which covered them from their head to their legs. He placed the shields and swords back with the owner, who nodded back. He continued to inspect the mercenaries equipment, their armour and helmets were one of his main focuses. Most of the wore a short chain mail armour with a segmented helmet. Only Willelme Rígamus did not wear that. He wore long chain mail armour with a veiled helmet, which only meant that his eyes were visible. Brian's brother knew that these troops could be what helped them to win the battle ahead. He was distracted from his thoughts when Gormán appeared. The young warriors stopped to give a salute and stood to Mathgamian's attention. "I have arrived here, sir, as promised," Gormán reminded Mathgamian of that, and Brian's brother smiled slightly. He put an arm round Gormán. "It is good that you have kept your promise. It is the sign of an honest man, as you have always been," Mathgamian replied. Gormán stared into his commander's eyes and could see that he was not lying. He smiled.
Willelme Rígamus stared at the map which Brian had layed out. They had been distracted by the warrior which entered in the tent who was seeking Mathgamian, but when he left Brian continued on about the situation. The Norman Rígamus had heard that the Vikings were on Brian's tail and although the scout's had not seen the Vikings move from their camp, Brian suspected they would move out soon, seeking blood and glory. Willelme saw that Brian was please that his fellow Normans had arrived, knowing that the Gaels trusted them to bring the Viking raids on Gaelic lands to a bloody end. Brian kept on explaining, saying the vast amount of Vikings that were planning to meet them and Willelme knew that if the Gaels were to win, they would need a terrain that suited them and their style of fighting. Studying through the map, carefully, he was focused on a place at Sulcoit. "Here," Willelme pointed, drawing a cross on the hill at Sulcoit. Brian looked at the cross that Willelme had drawed. "It seems like a good place with the high ground and those woods. I agree with you there, Willelme. We will march there in the morning, when the men are fully rested," Brian annoucened and Willelme nodded in apporval. He shook hands with Brian before walking back towards where his Norman mercenaries had pitched their tents. He put on a cream tunic and dreamed about the battle ahead. He, then, fell asleep.
Dawn broke at the Gaelic camp and everyone was working to get everyone ready to march out at midday. Gormán had woken up early and was washing his face with a bucket of water. He felt refreshed with every drop of water touching his skin. The day would be hot, as excepted. He polished his shield and sharpened his sword before sheathing it in it's scabbard before stroking his long hair away from his eyes. Mathgamian watched Gormán doing his preparations and smiled to himself. Brian's brother was ready to move out ages ago, but knew he had to wait for his brother's command before they would begin the march to Sulcoit hill. He hoped the Vikings were not already moving to grab their prey, seeing Sulcoit as the best place to fight, just as Willelme and Brian had agreed in the tent, yesterday. Some of his men were packing the tents, which took some time, but they could see that Brian's retainers were having the same problems, packing up the tents. The Norman Mercenaries were all set and ready to go as they had quickly packed their tents. Mathgamian knew they had the best experince; they had fought almost all their life and had come out victorious, one way or another. When Mathgamian had finished his thoughts, he saw that every Gael was ready to move out and were now only waiting for Brian to give the order. Mathgamian's brother stepped out of his tent and all the Gaelic forces gave a massive roar, and Brian was pleased at the men's commitment to the cause. "Today, we march for Sulcoit hill, where we will wait and crush the Viking hordes!" Brian shouted and the men returned with huge warcries! "Let us march!" Brian ordered and the whole army marched towards Sulcoit hill.
The sun was high in the sky as things were busy in the Vikingar camp. People were packing up their weapons and armour and unpitching their tents for the long march ahead. Morale was high, the scouts report the Gaels forces were very small and it would not take a huge battle to wipe them out. Everyone was eager to get to grips with the enemy, it was their life, their pleasure. It was what they were born to do and they had not seen a battle in quite a while. The troops rushed to get everything ready and get into marching formations for when Ívarr awakes and orders the march to engage with their enemy. They had all combed their beards, washed their faces, sharpen their swords and were set and ready. By the time, King Ívarr stepped outside his tent, the men were ready, waiting for the word to march towards the enemy. Ívarr drawed his sword for full view of his army and pointed in into the air, causing the men to taunt and cheer. "Men, I speak to you today, not as a King, but as a warrior, and a proud warrior as well!" the King shouted, to the warming cry of his men. They were excited, who would not be? The Gaelic forces were poorly equipped, it should be a simple walk-over for the greatest class of warrios in Northern Europe at that time. The Vikingars were even shocked that the Gaels would even dare to go to war with them. "Odin shall grant us a victory, you can be sure of that!" Ívarr shouted once more. The army cheered for their gods to hear. They were bashing their shields with their swords, axes and spears. But then, from a ridge , they heard screams and sounds of battle. Ívarr saw what happened, they were being attacked but not by the Gaels, but an armoured enemy carrying kite-shields and powerful swords, much like their own. "FenrisBarn to me!" Ívarr ordered and the FenrisBarn followed in behind him.
The Norman mercenaries charged into the Vikingar camp watchers, forcing them to scream in terror. Willelme dugged his sword into a Viking's guts, forcing him to spit blood and fall to the floor before slamming down dead. He saw that not many Viking's were coming, only a small group of men with brown coloured shields. "Bastards around me! Shieldwall!" Willelme ordered, holding his personal coloured shields, with the rest of the Normans gathering around him, bashing their shields to taunt the enemy. The enemy, though, did no such thing, simply hitting at the Norman shieldwall. Willelme saw a Viking lift his axe to aim for the Rígamus veiled helmet, but Willelme blocked the attack with his sword before pushing the man back with his shield. The Normans held off the Vikings and a shout came from their commander crying "Shieldwall on me!" Willelme, though, saw an opportunity arise. "Normans! Break ranks and charge!" Willelme ordered and his men broke into a charge, slamming head-long into the disorganised Vikings and a massive melee broke out. Willelme headed straight for their commander. Clearly, he was red with rage at this surprise attack and he was seeking blood. Willelme waited for the attack to come but the Viking leader held his rage but then it cracked and attacked at Willelme's legs, but the Rígamus backed up as the sword swang past before Willelme attacked himself, bashing the Viking leader away and forcing his helmet to roll away and he fell down to the ground. Willelme could have finished him but a Viking bashed him away with his shield but Willelme stabbed him in the guts, forcing blood to spill on his armour. The Rígamus smiled, his men were forcing the Vikings to suffer. But rather then keep on the fight, the Vikings withdrew back to their camp. Willelme forced a grin before falling back to where he came from, with his fellow Bastards following behind their leader.
Ívarr had his head in his hand as night was apporaching. It had been a disaster, the warriors they faced in that skirmish were almost as powerful as his own men were. He was lucky he was not killed by their leader, but the worst thing about it was when he retreated and turned to see their leader, smiling with a cheesy grin at them, mocking them. The King sweared that, one day, that man would be begging for mercy as he would be killed by the full force of his Viking army. Footsteps approached the tent and Ívarr glanced to see Thorkell enter his tent. The King wiped his eyes before standing up to greet his fellow commander. "It was a disaster, Thorkell, please I would prefer if you did not talk about the skirmishm, or I will have nightmares!" Ívarr informed Thorkell, wiping his eyes every so often. The leader of the Erlingr patted the King on his shoulder before they both stared eye to eye at each other. "I am not here to talk to you about your failure, sir," Thorkell said, steadying himself incase Ívarr went into a rage for saying it was his failure, but it seemed, Thorkell had got away with it. The Erlingr sighed. "I found where the Gaels are marching to, they are heading towards Sulcoit hill," Thorkell noted the King's emotions change, from sadness to eagerness. "How long will it take for us to get there, Thorkell?" Ívarr questioned Thorkell, wiping his eyes of his last tear before he straightened his back. Thorkell smiled. "It would take us four days if we rested for the nights, but, it would take two days if we forced march the men," Thorkell told Ívarr, and the King, for the first time in the day, grinned. He could see that he could crush the Gaels and maybe those bastard soldiers and the same time. Ívarr suspected that those men were working with the Gaels and he wanted, revenge so bad. "Tell everyone we will force march towards Sulcoit hill!"