One upon a time there was a Mercian minor noble by the name of Cynric, he was a devout Christian and a warrior of God, his dearest wish was to unite the English-speaking peoples for Mercia. Despite being of noble birth Cynric had no decent weapons or armour, or the facility to make men follow his warband. He traveled from place to place winning tournaments until it grew tedious and giving generously to the church from his winnings. The occasional renegade would cross his path and be destroyed, by such a process did noble Cynric gain an axe, finally he had a weapon he considered useful in combat.
Cynric was still alone, he had no men but a small measure of reputation. Through shear chance Cynric happened upon some ancient ruins, he explored them and was ambushed by bandits, when he killed the chieftain he felt his pockets grow heavy as if suddenly a heavy piece of Scaled Armour and a named Sword had suddenly placed themselves inside. Cynric was overcome on his own and felt death overtake him... but he was not dead, also he hadn't even been looted, he woke up mysteriously outside the ruins and he still had his new amazing armour and Nad, the greatest sword of all time. The ruins were somehow sealed and impossible to enter after this point.
Things progressed quickly from this point, as no small party of men could overcome Cynric with his new gear, he gained renown swiftly. During those early battles it seemed that Cynric would run into battle and exhaust himself before even the fighting began, that was bloody annoying and Cynric felt that it made zero sense that he had no provision to walk when he was not fighting, how can a man not walk? Why must he always run even in heavy gear? Cynric would later learn the message of his forebears, if he were to focus on far-distant terrain as if he were tracking or aiming a bow, he automatically walks, he could abuse this trick to walk towards his foes and conserve stamina, even though it was bloody awkward and looked terrible and he'd much prefer to simply choose when to walk.
With battle-won renown Cynric swore fealty to the uninteresting King of Mercia, Cynric supposed he should learn this man's name but decided he was unlikely to ever run into him again on campaign or see this man ever do anything interesting for his realm... he has not yet had cause to regret this decision. He won the fief of Lundenham South as his liege was generous, and that land had just been raided by the welsh despite being noone close to the border. Cynric could not help but suppose these lands were raided commonly, and would continue to be raided weekly in this fashion. He was right, and never a penning did he collect from those lands.
At a local feast Cynric sought the lords of Mercia and asked permission to recruit from their lands, cutting a long story short Cynric built a mighty army with his funds by also recruiting from local taverns, and he realized his force could make great slaughter of the Welsh parties he encountered. As he slew Welshmen he grew bolder, selling loot and battle-trophies and slaves to gather riches he grew in power, tempered Nab at a master smith in either Cirrenceaster or Cippanham, one of the two. He collected companions with interesting skills and personalities and names that are incredibly memorable even to this day... er.... one of them was called Beda, i remember that one well because it's a bit like Bede.
At Din Bran Cynric looked to retaliate against the Welsh, he could take their lands and this would make Mercia prosper. However, after he had assailed the walls and taken heavy losses in the process, at the moment that the garrison crumbled a madness awoke in Cynric. He was a goodly Christian and fine man of God and he sought only peace and prosperity for his people as an end-goal, but something in his very blood awoke at that moment, a mad desire to butcher the Welsh dogs who had raided Mercian borders for centuries. He entered a mini-game whereby he could run around butchering defenseless welshmen, and he loved it. The fort lay in ruins, no Mercian flag above it's ramparts, as it seemed sacking a fort somehow meant that the victors did not hold the walls anymore, a mysterious 200 welshmen appeared out of nowhere and garrisoned the walls once-more. Cynric mused after his first siege that if he had not butchered every last person in that fort, somehow 200 men would not have appeared, but by killing them all somehow more men appeared.
Cyrnic continued to fight and in the future conquer Welsh lands and even 2 towns off Gwynned, he became unstoppable on the open field despite playing on what felt like life's hardest settings. He went on minor quests in the north, he slew some vikings who were raiding farmland, to his excitement he looted 3 pieces of impressive armour from them, but mysteriously they disappeared immediately after entering his inventory. He killed some Vikings by a stone row in far northern lands, the cruel bastards were keeping and selling slaves! Cynric thought nothing of the fact that this was an industry he was thoroughly involved in himself. He gave grain to an old Roman at Hadrian's wall and got his son as a follower, however Ciao soon revealed that he was a whiny little ***** and that he was a pagan, so Cynric stripped him of his gear and ousted him from his company.
He explored the Stone Circle of Wales and was struck by how much the scene seemed to resemble Avebury of Mercian-Wessex territory, however such a feature in it's accurate location would have been too close to existing features on the map. Cynric found an old druid practicing human sacrifice! Cyrnic was so disgusted by this behavior when he saw the Welsh pagan druid preparing to kill a Christian Saxon that he felt his sword-hand quiver, his blood boil and his eyes cloud with fury (he had proven a bezerker in battle before), and he said ''Eurgh, go away'' and walked off. Again Cynric found it strange that in a situation where it clearly made sense for him to take military action to free that Saxon prisoner from his fate, that mysteriously he was forced to say something non-committal and leave, God works in mysterious ways.
After speaking to various towns-folk Cynric decided he wanted a boat for basically no reason. The war with Wales was nearly done, their armies broken, much of their land Mercian now, and in the last year or so nobody had declared war on each other so nothing new was happening. Unless you count Northumbria declaring war on Cornwall a war, where neither side does anything. Cynric also mused on how Cornwall was clearly a seperate kingdom, yet it shared the same colour with Gwynned, and when Cyrnic visited their lands they acted as if he was at war with them, even though (and he checked thoroughly) no war existed between Mercia and these people.