Trunk of dreams: Literature, ARR's, player exp. (Update: Marcus Clodius Ballist)

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Grandmaster Knight
This place is the threshold of dreams

Here you can post your experience in the game, the story of your character, your ARR's, or your ancient dark ages story ...

Let us enjoy and share good literature  :grin:


--> I fought in Haethfelth (story in english and spanish)

--> Story: Picts Defeat Northumbrians (Bridei vs. Ecgfrith)

--> Story: Carolus the ambitious priest

--> Story: Tael the Saxon

--> Story: Hrothgar - Blood, Faith, and Fire

--> Story: High King of the Britons, Brenin Owain ap Ceredig, scourge of Northumbria

--> Story: The Black Elite

--> [AAR]:Rise of the Britons.

--> [Story/AAR] Under Fading Stars

--> [Story/AAR] Story Of Brytenwalda by Master Ronin

--> [Story/AAR] The Dark Road by Lynna of Bernicia

--> [Story/AAR] Marcus Clodius Ballista

--> [Story/AAR] Jorviks Return

--> [Story/AAR] [Story-AAR]Conio Epaticcus - Britania's Scrouge

--> [Story/AAR] [Story-AAR]Through Mud and Iron

--> [Story/AAR] [Story-AAR]Urban_Viking

--> [Story/AAR] [Story-AAR]Hindefuns the Clever




Grandmaster Knight

Story: Anno Domini 633, Haethfelth Battle

In the year 633, two men, two legends comparable to Arthur Pendragon, met in battle in the fields of Haethfelth (actual Hatfield, near of York)
On one side were the Angles, led by their Brytenwalda, the great king Eadwine.
On the other hand, the Britons of High King Cadwallon of Gwynedd. Cadwallon was punishment of Anglo and Saxons, and defeated them same or more times than Arthur.
Ally of Cadwallon, King Penda de Mierce, The March, brought his men to war.

This is their story...

Autor: Idibil
English Traduction: Piipe and KPJZKC

if you wish read spanish version click HERE

Capitule 1.

Sound: (vol. low)
Autor: Idibil
English Traduction: Piipe and KPJZKC

Anno Domini 633, October 12th.
In the north, near Caer Daun, 64 kilometres from Eoferwic

It's raining! Gods! The water is freezing and it's soaked my tunic. The ground has turned to mud, and the northern winds cut like cold steel.

I'm afraid, and it's not hard to notice it, but others are worse, some have even pissed themselves (I've held out so far). What am I even doing here? I should be at my farm, with my wife and children!

The hand holding my lance is shaking, and I'm shivering. I'm just a mouse in a time of titans.
Woden, you know that I'm no warrior.

The man to my side nudges me, our lord has ordered us to advance two steps and present lances. Our lord is Osfrith, the son of the great king Eadwine of Deira. I can see him not far from here, moving between the men, dressed in mail to his heels and his steel helmet, from which falls his long and blonde hair, dirty and sweaty. His sword jingling, hanging from his belt, and an enormous shield jutting out at his back. He jokes, laughs, hits a man in the chest and asks another about his dog. Two of his bodyguards accompany him.

Osfrith reaches us, looks at us with his deep blue eyes. He's a boy, and I a man of thirty two winters, but I feel small at his side.

-"Ceowald!" He greets my neighbour, who lowers his head in respect. "Tell your wife that the child grows healthy and strong! My father is proud of you, there isn't a better midwife in all the kingdom!"
-"Thank you, Aetheling."
-"Rejoice, man! This is a great day. Tonight we'll be getting drunk in the camp of our enemy" - he places his hand on the shoulder of Ceowald - "and you'll be able to return home and tell your ten small ones about how brave you were."
Osfrith continues his trip, and stops in front of me. His hand, gloved in hide, holds my chin, and turns my head to look me in the eyes.
-"Eappa" - he pronounces my name shrilly, he hates me, I know it, he wants my wife, but the law protects me and while I live he can't have her - "remember that you still owe me a cow. I'll only forgive you if you can kill 10 bastard welshmen today. I want you in the first line."
-"Aethel..." - the words catch in my mouth. He laughs, and he walks away from me. One of his men, a well built man with a full beard, takes me from my companions, and drags me, insensitive to my cries and begging, to the centre of the battlefield, where Osfrith's elite hold ranks. They're all men of war, with serious faces, fierce and brave, dressed in iron, armed with sword and lance. They're the bravest, those who face the worst of the battle.
My destiny, my Wyrd, is written.

Osfrith isn't a bad kid, but he's capricious, and noone can dissuade him when he gets an idea in his head. His father has spoiled him too much, nothing like his brother Eadfrith, the other son of the king Eadwine, straight and saintly like a christian priest, but merciless on the battlefield.
If only I had him as my lord, he only cares about his serfs for the due taxes, not interested by their wives, their children, or their cows.

Eadfrith is a dryhten, a lord of war, in all the senses. He chooses and trains his warriors personally, equips them with the best weapons and conducts the riskiest operations. His father is proud of him, I can see it when he looks at him. And because the great king Eadwine loves war too.

Cyning Eadwine of Deira is more than a man, when you stand at his side, you don't feel small, like with his son, you feel like the luckiest person in the world, even if it's just to serve as a footstool for mounting his horse.
Eadwine is tall, despite the years weighing down upon him, lean like a staff pole, and his hair has barely grayed despite being near 50. Eadwine is the king of Bernaccia and Deira, the most powerful man of the Angle & Saxon Brittania...he is Brytenwalda.

In another time I knew him well, he and his sons, I was a priest of Woden and I gave counsel, and thanks to that I knew how to keep myself far from war.
Then, politics caused Eadwine to convert to Christianity, though his heart remained pagan, and I left his side.
He gave me a farm in the lands of his son Osfrith and made me his serf. I took a wife and I dedicated myself to ploughing and bringing children into the world. Until today, when they claimed me in the levy to face the most important battle of our time.

I hear the horns and the sweat begins to bead on my forehead, while the first welshmen appear between the trees on a hill. Here comes Cadwallon ap Cadfan, the Brenin of Gwynedd, the High King of the Britons. I had hoped that our enemies would not accept the battle that day, but I was mistaken.
Gwynedd commands the best men of the welsh kingdom, hundreds of spears that hate us for stealing their lands, even though it happened hundreds of years before they were born.
If Eadwine is a titan, the best king that the Angles know, Cadwallon is his alter ego, a legend among his people, able to unite the welsh and drive them towards victory. Some say that he's a second Arthur, but I don't think that anyone had caused such a great loss to our people before.
Cadwallon, gods curse him, had killed more Angles than all the previous kings put together. Without him, Eadwine would have long since subjugated the lands of the north, and all these wars would have been finished. But Cadwallon and Eadwine are two suns who struggle to shine, two giants for whom the world is too small, and when they die, their war will continue in the Waelcyrge. But the men who say that are fools.

Together with Cadwallon comes Penda with his army, Cyning Penda with the Angles of The March, our brothers from the south who prefer to fight at the side of the welshmen, but to repay them like always we have tried to steal their livestock and their women.
They say that Penda is a rising star, that he'll never be as great as Eadwine or Cadwallon, but he'll survive when both stars go out.
I have never seen Penda, but I've heard things. They say that he's a born warrior, a man without scruples who desires to be Brytenwalda above all other things.
I have heard that he is a hard man, strong like a mule...and I have heard that his mother was a Briton and that he feels more Briton than Angle.
Now he comes at the head of his people to massacre us.

If only I had been born in another time, less overshadowed by the terror of weapons, where I could read books or sit around the hearth, listening to stories about an age of heroes, about how Eadwine and Cadwallon faced each other, near Caer Daun, in the Final Battle. But that's not how it is, and the horns sound out around me calling out to war.
There are some priests (Eadwine permits it, now that he's Christian) delivering blessings among the troops, who accept them with fervour, prepared to try to receive the blessings of the old gods just as much as the new.

I have been chosen to live in the time of the sword.

Our enemies have formed ranks on the hill, their helmets shine, their shields have formed a wall, and they advance at the sound of the horns. Don't they doubt? Or fear? How can we defeat them?

To our left, we hear the sound of Eadwine's horn, our king, and we see his standard move off with the cavalry towards the flank. Everything is being prepared. Chaos breaks out. The officers move between the men ordering the ranks, preparing the troops. Some of men are so afraid that they're stuck, paralysed with fear, and the officers hit them to snap them out of it. Those who try to flee are beaten.
-"We've come here for victory or death!" - shout the warlords - "If today we are defeated, tomorrow our women will lie with some filthy welshman or the bastard son of King Penda." - the officers are the backbone of the army of King Eadwine, without them everyone would have long since fled - "Hold tightly your shield and lance, and remember what you've been taught!"

I have the shield in front of me, crossed with that of one of the veterans, who doesn't seem very pleased to have me beside him.
-"If you screw up, I'll kill you, you bastard" he grunts, and with this I lose control of my bladder.

Our lord, Osfrith, runs to the centre of the battlefield. He's taken off his helmet, his blonde hair free to the wind, so that we can all recognise him, and joins us in the middle of the battlefield. There, he joins with his most faithful men, men dressed in iron, with sword, lance and shield...true warriors.
The son of the king jokes, perhaps hiding his own nervousness, and his veterans laugh.

Everyone is ready to kill, everyone but me, I know, and I'm terrified.


Capitule 2.

Sound: (Vol. low)

Autor: Idibil
English Traduction: Olla Podrida

It had stopped raining, but the wind continued to whip our tunics and freeze our muscles.
I think about my wife and my children, who will pray for my return, about my parents, who are already dead and who always trusted in me being a man of providence.

I remember other times, when my only occupation was to interpret the flight of a bird or the intestines of an animal. A happy time, but gone forever.
I quietly repeat my name, Eappa, Eappa... I am Eappa Eappaling.
But the words sound so empty to me.The memories float through me but are incapable of soothing the fear. I am going to face  death and I am going to yield.
I realize that i am crying. My body trembles and I won't get around it. Damn Gods! I shouldn't be here in the first place, I never killed a man.

My feet are hurting, they remember last night's long march. We avoided the heights and passed through the woods, so that they might not see us in the dark.
We are sleepy and exhausted, but king Eadwine has got his will. He maneuvered us in front of the enemy, denying him the access to our country. So that's it.
Now the Britons are caught between the waters of two rivers, and our army in front of them. If we have victory here, it would be the end of Cadwallon and Penda. The end of the war. If we win...
Around me the air is so thick, you could cut it with a knife. The men are watching the host of the Britons forming up. Even the hardened veterans around me seem to be silent and nervous.
I see Osfrið coming near defiling before his men. Tall, with his red hair in the wind like a flame and the shiny mailshirt covering him unto his knees, he looks like a god of old, marching right out of a song of heroes.

-"Look!“ he shouts pointing to the Britons who erect a forest of lances There they come! They are the descendants of the men who lost their land and their women to the hands of our grandfathers. Because our grandfathers were much stronger then they were. Are we not worthy of our grandfathers? Don't we have their blood running through or venes? Don't' we desire battle as much as they did? We are giants!“
Around me the men shout out, they are eager, they are proud, they are ready to give battle.
-"I don't say that because what we have between our legs, Æðelbeorht“ - he stops in front of a hardened hearthweru, one of his favorite bodyguards, and slaps him on the shoulder.
He laughs and the men laugh with him. It seems that a part of the anxiousness vanishes. Even I feel a bit calmer.
Osfrið pulls out his sword and hits the shields of the warriors he passes.

-"Every single one of you is worth ten of them!“ he shouts. And I see that the men rise their arms and haul like the wolves of battle. -"Hear!“ Osfrið regains the atention of everyone, „we are not mere men, we are warriors! The blood of the wrath god, of Woden, is in our venes. And what we are going to do today will be celebrated in songs by our Scops! Do you hear me? Today  all of you will gain immortality!“

His warriors burst out shouts of ardour. I shout with them, I need to foucs my mind on something. I need to keep the fear at bay.
I am given the opportunity to be something more then a simple human, to shine in this dark and forgotten world.
Osfrið approaches me, continuing to brandish his spatha on the shields of our comrades...

-"Today some of us will die.“ His eyes rest on me, and he blinks at me „But is that important when you gain such glory today? Is it not better to feast in Waelcyrge with heroes, relishing an eternity of glory at the side of the Gods?“
Now he reaches me and gives my shield a hit with his sword, too. Suddenly I feel honoured and content with my fade. Now i would happily give my live for him, even though I hate him because he desires my wife. But he is the son of a king and I am only a flea and he looked at me and gave me a hit on my shield.
-"We are Warriors!“ he repeats, " Did not Ecgberht slay three Britons on his own in the last battle?“ Osfrith grins at a man in the second file some ten metres away from were I stand, and points his sword to him. Ecgberhts chest swells as he hits his shield with his lance. „Will we others do less today?“

The men should No, they will kill a hundred Wealas each, I realise that I should with them.
Osfrith fits himself into in a gap between the men of the first rank, surrounded by his dearest, the most valiant ones. We are in the centre of the shieldwall of Bernicia and Deira. The flower of the Engles of the North.

-"I will be with you!“ shouts the son of King Eadwine while he locks his roundshield with the ones of his warriors. „I will fight and bleed at your side!“

Before us the Britons have begun to descend their hill they seem that they put it all out. Cadwallon wants to decide it all in one battle.
Usually the king will be at the right flank with the horsemen, at the place of honour
But strangely, I see the standards of the Engles of Mercia, the March, unfold at this spot. I do not understand much about  war but I thought that the forces of Penda would unfold un the left flank, the second most important place of the formation, opposite to our King Eadwine. What are they planning to do?
At my right side the man with which I have interlocked my shield turns around nervous,

-"Why did they abandon the advantage of the hill?“ I hear him muttering. He doesn't speak to me, I know, but I can't help turning towards him „ What do you look at me, fool?“ he snubs me, and I rapidly turn my eyes away.
I hear the man to my left laugh. „Damn it Hereweald, calm down. He is going to piss himself because of you, and it's smelling quite ugly here already.

I look straight forward, I don't dare to move a muscle. I feel humiliated.
The Britons have descended to the uneven  ground between the two hillslopes and have stopped there.
I see men on horses who ride in front of them, talking to the men, encouraging them, emblaze their fighting spirits.
I perceive that the Britons do not form a tight shieldwall like us, but leave more space between each fighter.
The Battlestandards are being positioned near each of the warlords and their leaders of warbands, so that everyman can see them and identify them by only looking up.
I see the Christians priests distribute blessings and prayers. The men fall to their knees and bow their heads before them. Then they raise; some of them more relaxed then they were before.
What do they feel, our enemies? Do the feel the same fear like me or are they determined men?

The greater part of the men below there are Britons. The fierce spearmen of Gwynedd form the centre. Towards their left flank are men from the other British realms like Pengwern, Powys, Dyfed, including men which have traveled from the far away Dumnonia. They have formed large shieldwalls  more then six ranks deep.
They are many... way too many.


Capitule 3

Sound: (Vol. low)

Autor: Idibil
English Traduction: Motomataru

To the right of the enemy formation, I hear the roar made by the Angles from Penda when the men beat their shield with their weapons and shout. There are pagan priests among them who have approached within a stone’s throw of our lines. They howl and call us cowards. They say we are losing as they curse us in name of their gods and dance to cast the evil eye on us.

Penda remains pagan and hates Christianity. If I had been born in that kingdom, I now would be dancing with those bastards, and after I would retire behind the army, to safety from the slaughter.

The horns sound, the standards are raised, priests Christian and pagan retire, and the enemy shield wall opens to let the archers through.

About time! I do not know much of battles, but I certainly know that generally they begin with arrows.

We have not moved, we stay high on the hill. If the Britons decide to come to us, they will have to climb. The slope is not pronounced, but is muddy, and they are tired. And when they draw near, we could charge downhill.

The new Christian priests of king Eadwine are providing ceremonies to the troops. They speak Latin, and I do not understand that nor the Pope. Moreover, I do not understand why they throw water on the heads of some men and give them a new name.

One of those priests arrives in front of me and pronounces his spells. At another time, I would have spat at him and called him a crow, but now I restrain myself and lower my head, without daring to meet his gaze. The power of the Christian god grows every day whereas the old gods, my gods, die.

-“The skirmishers are on the move!” In a shield wall, news flies from one companion to the other at his side, and soon everybody finds out what is happening elsewhere.

A skirmisher is not the bravest of the Angles; in fact their ranks are usually filled by the dispossessed and poor. So it is always best that they go in front to receive the arrows and javelins of the enemy.

I cannot see them, but sound of what is unfolding to our right runs out and spreads to cover the entire front. They are archers, javelin men, slingers and other such troops – men whose lives matter very little, and among whom I would have been found if my lord, King Eadwine, had not given me a house and good land to cultivate. I am a Kotsetla, a wealthy farmer who may carry spear, shield, sharp seax and good javelins.

Finally I see them approach. They are advancing covering the whole battle front. There must be more than two hundred. They go dispersed, guided by their leaders to position themselves in front of the Briton archers.

Those men must be exhausted. If we have walked all night, the archers have been days without sleep, harassing the enemy, delaying them. Thanks to them, our Cyning Eadwine, gained time to gather the host of Deira, and for reinforcements from the north, from Bernaccia, to arrive. Thanks to them, today we can fight here with the advantage of the land, on the edge of the conquered Briton kingdom of Elmet in this muddy field, and not in a Deira desolated by the passage of armies.

Those men are heroes who spend days in the forests fighting for each hand’s width of land. But in reality, it’s always the same. They will be despised, as they despise me, because they are the dregs, the ones unable to pay for a spear and a shield, to fight like men face to face, hand to hand.

A horn is played behind me. Its melody extends along the line until it dies out. Osfrith issues an order and the standard is raised. The Lords of War from Deira and Bernaccia order the men and we move a few meters until we are situated at peak of the hill, so that our enemies still have to fight looking up.

The Christian priests scurry to the rear, where they will be out of danger, where I would like to be.

The officers order the line. It is easy, when advancing, to lose the synchrony or the perfection of our shield wall. Moreover, the formations are always pulled towards the right by the weight of the shield. But there they are, recomposing it, animating the men, punishing the weakest. There, I’ve said that they are the backbone of this army.

We are more than two thousand men. We in the center are mostly from Deira and Bernaccia, and are under the command of the son of the king, the Aetheling Osfrith. To the right, all the men are from Deira, veterans of a thousand battles. Among them is the cavalry of the king, with Cyning Eadwine himself in front. On other occasions, I have heard, the king has brought the cavalry to the enemy flank, dismounted and charged to disrupt to the shield wall. I do not know if today he will do it, our enemies outnumber us by hundreds of men.

The left wing is commanded by the Aetheling Eadfrith, under whose orders serve people from other parts, including the Britons of the conquered Elmet and tributary Angles from the kingdom of Lindisware. Eadfrith will have to face the hosts of Penda and the elite of Brenin Cadwallon ap Cadfan, if it is that the Briton High King is there, because some men with better vision than I are passing the rumor that his standard is in the center, in front of us.

That is strange. They say that battles are rarely decided by the center, but on the wings, that if Eadfrith holds off the Angles of Mierce long enough, our king Eadwine will break the enemy on the right and enter his lines, causing death. Then the enemy will flee and all that will remain will be to pursue him… and to gather the booty.

That’s what they say, and I hope they are right. Some of these men have been fighting since before I was born.

It is noon, but the sun hardly manages to show itself in a sky dominated by rain-charged clouds.

Down below, the horns sound, one following the next. We hear the Britons sing, yell and beat their shields, perhaps a good way to drive away the fear. Then they advance, they begin the slow ascent up the hill, step by step, protected by a screen of archers that soon will be in range of our skirmishers.

I wish that the hill were more pronounced and the field more muddy.

A meter… two meters… they do not stop. Still they come, the gods protect us. Still they come! I see the lines of their shields painted with the most varicolored emblems. I see their brown hair, and the glint of coats of mail. Their horns hurt my ears, their shouts cause dread in my soul. Still they come!

My teeth chatter, the arm that holds my spear trembles. I would like to be somewhere else, but it has been mine to live during the time of the sword.

I don’t know if I mentioned it, but this is my first battle… I’ve never killed a man, and still they come. The wind has stopped blowing, but I am cold, very cold, and very afraid.




Sergeant at Arms
Story: Picts Defeat Northumbrians (Bridei [not the NPC Bridei ingame  :wink:] vs. Ecgfrith)

Background to the Battle:

After the Anglo-Saxon incursions into Britain during the fourth and fifth centuries, the invaders created several distinct kingdoms throughout the island. The northernmost of these nations was Anglian Northumbria. In the succeeding years, the Anglian kingdom pushed northwards, past the old Roman physical boundary of Hadrian’s Wall. Through alliances, marriages and conquest, a number of the native Pictish, Scottish, Briton and Irish kingdoms north of Northumbria were brought under its control.
In the year 670 Ecgfrith (pronounced EDGE-frith) was crowned king of Northumbria, succeeding his father Oswiu. Ecgfrith was about 25 years of age at his coronation. He had some experience as a ruler, having previously been a sub-king of the Northumbrian subordinate kingdom of Deira from 664 until his father’s demise. After becoming king, he spent the next fifteen years trying to reassert his hegemony over the Pictish lands to the north.
In 684, he sent an expedition to Ireland in an attempt to add to his domain. This adventure failed to conquer any new territory, but it did succeed in acquiring large amounts of plunder and slaves. Apparently, for some time after the death of Oswiu, some of the Picts had been lax about sending their tribute to Northumbria. In early 685, King Ecgfrith decided to make an example of the kingdom of Fortriu, which was located in northern Scotland near present-day Moray. The ruler of Fortriu was Bridei mac Bili, described in the chronicles as a cousin of Ecgfirth, probably by marriage.
King Bridei had failed to send Ecgfrith his annual tribute of cattle, corn and gold. In addition, Bridei had been expanding Fortriu at the expense of other Pictish kingdoms. Perhaps Ecgfrith had decided that cousin Bridei was getting too big for his boots, and needed to be taken down a peg. Consequently, Ecgfrith mustered a force of men to strike fast and strike hard at Bridei. Modern scholars have speculated that Ecgfrith gathered a small force of no more than 300 or so men, all mounted warriors. Ecgfrith probably wanted to make this foray in Fortriu a lightning raid, similar to the methods he used to put Bridei on his throne in 670.
The Northumbrian force was likely composed of the young warriors of Ecgfrith’s household, with a few veterans sprinkled in to provide leadership. One chronicle even states that, for at least part of the journey into Pictland, the “Bishop to the Picts” Trumwine accompanied the Northumbrian force. It is possible he was an eyewitness to the upcoming battle. The Northumbrian force probably followed an old Roman road which hugged the coast of the North Sea in Pictland. Then, a series of abandoned Roman marching camps were certainly utilized by Ecgfrith to work his way towards Fortriu.
Apparently, the Northumbrian monarch and his men knew exactly where they were going, for they made a beeline straight for Bridei’s stronghold, a location unknown to the modern historian. However, at that time Scotland was a land of bogs, marshy areas, and small lakes (lochs) that flowed between rocky hills. If you include the near-constant foggy weather for which Scotland is famous, these conditions made travel confusing and treacherous.
In addition, many Iron Age hill-forts – called duns – were scattered across the landscape, providing local people a modicum of protection from raids by their neighbors or a foreign enemy. Some historians speculate that Ecgfrith got himself and his warriors lost in the Pictish terrain; this is rather unlikely, as the Northumbrian king was a seasoned campaigner, probably had personally been this way at some past time, and he almost certainly would have sent out scouts to obviate ambushes by the Picts.
King Bridei lured Ecgfrith and his force northwards, avoiding contact with the invaders and staying just a step ahead of them. The Picts continued to lead the Northumbrians north into hilly, boggy land that would be perfect for an ambush. Relentlessly, Ecgfrith followed the Pictish monarch farther into the highlands.

The Battle:

At about mid-afternoon on May 20, Ecgfrith and his Northumbrian horsemen continued their approach to Bridei’s stronghold. Wending their way between the Loch of Forfar and Restenneth Loch, they rode southeast. A short distance to the east loomed Dunnichen Hill, a fairly tall (764 feet) local prominence that held a Pictish hill-fort. Skirting the western edge of the hill, they followed a local track that took them between the southern slopes of Dunnichen Hill and Dunnichen Moss, a smallish local pond that had probably been overgrown and was now mainly a marshy bog.

The Northumbrians were likely wearing iron helmets, some form of chainmail, large round wooden shields, and armed with lances and probably swords as secondary weapons. Though later Anglo-Saxon armies were essentially footmen, there is evidence to suggest that these earlier Anglian warriors were trained to fight on horseback. As the mounted Northumbrians traversed the area between the hill and the bog, the Picts emerged from the hill-fort and quickly arranged themselves for battle.

They probably lined up on the lower southern slope of the hill, displaying their far larger strength for Ecgfrith to see. Most of the Picts wore little armor, perhaps an iron helmet here or there, carrying small shields with spiked bosses. Their main weapons were long thrusting spears, with short swords probably secondary weapons. There were probably a few bowmen present, as well as huntsmen who used a primitive crossbow.

In addition, Pictish fanatics, similar to Viking berserkers, who fought bravely wearing no armor, were also quite likely present. These men were usually heavily tattooed and entered battle nearly naked. Finally, it is likely that King Bridei had a small mounted bodyguard, slightly better equipped than the rank-and-file Pictish warriors. Confronted with his enemy in far greater strength – and not at a time and place of his choosing.

Ecgfrith made what must have been a split-second decision. His battle experience told him that he should make one, quick charge at the heart of the Pictish host. If everything went as he hoped, Ecgfrith might break through and engage “Cousin” Bridei and quickly defeat him in hand-to-hand combat. Unfortunately, Ecgfrith failed to realize one thing: King Bridei had spent the past fifteen years consolidating other Pictish or Irish kingdoms in the north under his rule. He was welding together a fledgling kingdom of his own, and had managed to instill some discipline in his troops. The charge of the Northumbrians was met decisively, and the Picts swarmed the mounted men, pushing them back into the margins of the boggy ground of Dunnichen Moss.

The Northumbrians were overwhelmed and cut to pieces fairly quickly. As the battle rushed to a climax, Bridei led his bodyguard cavalry in a decisive charge that probably brought down the last surviving invaders, including Ecgfrith himself. It would be somehow ironic to imagine that Ecgfrith and Bridei might have met face-to-face, with Ecgfrith getting the worst of the encounter, losing his life.

The vast majority of the Northumbrian force was slaughtered, though several chronicles state that a few survivors were captured and enslaved. From this point forward, Northumbria never again exercised control of the Pictish lands. After the battle, King Ecgfrith’s body was taken on a grand tour of the Scottish highlands. Eventually his remains arrived at the monastery of Iona – on the far western shore of Scotland – and buried.

This was probably Bridei’s way of showing that Pictland was free of the Northumbrian rule. Also, though both the Anglians and Picts were Christian by this time, the Northumbrians were more influenced by Rome, while the Picts recognized the Irish church as its authority. In addition, this may have been the Picts’ revenge on Ecgfrith for his invasion and sack of Irish territory in the previous year.

Thats the story about the Battle of Dunnichen

#1: One of the most fascinating finds that may give some insight into the battle of Dunnichen is a stone monument called the Aberlemno Stone. It currently stands in the yard of a church near the village of Dunnichen. The figures depicted have been interpreted to represent the Anglian horsemen and Pictish troops that fought at Dunnichen. The stone is still under scrutiny by historians. #2: This battle was originally known to history as the battle of Nechtansmere. A Welsh chronicle referred to it as the battle of Crane Lake, which may have been the original Pictish name for Nechtansmere.
#3: In 1985 a memorial cairn was dedicated near the site of the battlefield, commemorating the 1300th anniversary of the battle.
#4: In the winter of 1950, a Miss Smith accidentally ran her car into a ditch and found herself walking on the battlefield late at night. Over a 12-minute period, Miss Smith observed men in Pictish-like outfits with fire brands searching through battlefield corpses.
#5: Today a “communications mast” (cell-tower?) stands on Dunnichen Hill. In addition, the hill is used as a campsite for an unofficial New Age Travellers’ (read “hippies”) festival that began in the 1990’s. At that time, a local company sought permission to quarry the site for stone. The company’s application was turned down, but the unofficial festival apparently is still going strong. In 1996, violence erupted when police attempted to confiscate the largest sound system of the festival-goers, following numerous complaints by nearby residents, who could hear the music from two miles away. A member of the British parliament spoke about the “festival” and some of the anti-social behavior by festival-goers, including the killing of livestock (to include sheep and pheasant chicks) by their dogs.
#6: Most of the information used to write this post came from the book, “Battles of the Dark Ages: British Battlefields AD 410 to 1065” by Peter Marren, published in 2006.


I'm sorry, but could you please use paragraphs?

It's very hard to motivate oneself to read one huge wall of text.
Whitespace (e.g. paragraphs and line endings) make it easy to swallow in bits and pieces.


Sergeant at Arms
Howitzer said:
I'm sorry, but could you please use paragraphs?

It's very hard to motivate oneself to read one huge wall of text.
Whitespace (e.g. paragraphs and line endings) make it easy to swallow in bits and pieces.

Hope its better now  :smile:


Sergeant at Arms
Howitzer said:
Very nice story. Did you write it yourself? Because it's very clear, informative yet flows on. :smile:

No, i only take parts of interests for this story... but i will write a new on on my own.


This is some backstory for my character Carolus. He's an ambitious priest with his own idea of Socialism, which he intends to bring to the British and Irish. I'll add to it later on.

Gushes of frothing foam splashed across Carolus’ face as he miserably bent over the boat’s side, alternately gagging and heaving for breath. The weather had become harsher – and colder. It was a far step away from the holdings afforded to a young Frankish nobleman. One could spend the night reliving tales of old and sipping hot wine. On this vessel, the only option was to spend the night with stinking, snoring sailors and the only drink was stale water and small beer. What could bring a man to take such a step? A higher calling – from God – or somewhere else.
The shifty-looking Frisian captain stood at the bow, looking worriedly at the vast expanse of the frothing waters. With his right hand, he stroked a T-shaped wooden symbol hanging by his neck. A cross or a heathen symbol? Impossible to tell. Carolus cared little. He grew weary of the old fool, “fear not, Frisian. The sea will not have us today”. This seemed to comfort the Frisian, he knowing well to trust a holy man. He let go of his trinket and sat down with the men to play dice. Carolus It occurred to Carolus that faith dulls a man’s senses, much in the way of strong drink. The Frisian interrupted his line of thought, “we are blessed, Father. God would never submit a priest to the waves.” Some of the men laughed and murmured in agreement. The priests reinforced the masses’ superstitions and preyed of their ignorance, thought Carolus. The people needed only one man to teach them; one Father. His thoughts were again interrupted by excited yells of “land!” Hibernia. He was there.



I thought it would be fun to play as a Hearthweru Engle (Elite Infantry) soldier in service to the East Engle ruler. So I thought it would be neat to share the simple process to get started. There are a few things I have to do before I can begin however. The first thing is I have to enable cheats before even loading up the game. During character creation, the choices/stats/etc don't matter at this point. Once this is done and the intro is finished (you are outside starting city) I open up the character sheet. Time to press Ctrl X a few times. I'm looking only to get the character to level 26. Once this is done I'll leave everything else alone. Time to export the character and then exit the game.

Now I find the character text file so I can actually start shaping this guy up to Hearthweru material. What I've basically done is take the exact stats/skills/etc from the troop themselves by talking with/examining them. So after I finish tweaking I come out with this:

charfile_version = 1
name = Game_001
xp = 197000
money = 10600 //Miscalculated. My math sucks. This would give you at least 400 something more coin. Lower it if you want//

attribute_points = 0
skill_points = 0
weapon_points = 0

strength = 24
agility = 24
intelligence = 12
charisma = 12

trade = 0
leadership = 0
prisoner_management = 0
reserved_skill_1 = 0
reserved_skill_2 = 0
reserved_skill_3 = 0
reserved_skill_4 = 0
persuasion = 0
engineer = 0
first_aid = 0
surgery = 0
wound_treatment = 0
inventory_management = 4
spotting = 0
path-finding = 0
tactics = 0
tracking = 0
trainer = 0
reserved_skill_5 = 0
reserved_skill_6 = 0
reserved_skill_7 = 0
reserved_skill_8 = 0
looting = 0
horse_archery = 0
riding = 9
athletics = 6
shield = 3
weapon_master = 9
reserved_skill_9 = 0
reserved_skill_10 = 0
reserved_skill_11 = 0
reserved_skill_12 = 0
reserved_skill_13 = 0
power_draw = 0
power_throw = 7
power_strike = 6
ironflesh = 6
reserved_skill_14 = 0
reserved_skill_15 = 0
reserved_skill_16 = 0
reserved_skill_17 = 0
reserved_skill_18 = 0

one_handed_weapons = 185
two_handed_weapons = 185
polearms = 185
archery = 185
crossbows = 185
throwing = 185
firearms = 0

face_key_1 = 7007
face_key_2 = 36db6db6db6db6db

I rounded off the current experience but since I won't be using any more attribute/skill/or weapon proficiency points it doesn't really matter.
Curious as to why I gave my character 10660 in coin? It's simple. We'll need that to buy the equipment to finalize the whole Hearthweru concept. Now for the real fun.

Time to load up the game again but this time with cheats disabled. Now to start a new game. This time the choices I made do matter as we are trying to portray a engle elite soldier. So the choices I made were: Male, Angle, Warrior, Spearman's Apprentice, Traveling Warrior, Religious Fervor, and Roman Christianity.

Choose the no quitting without saving option. Again, the next part doesn't matter so distribute the points to attributes/skills/etc however you want. You'll be importing the character you just tweaked anyway. Be sure to name your character the same as the one you exported. No do your face however you like. Begin the game.

NOTE: I play with difficulty ramped up to around 102%. This means just about everything is at max except damage to player/allies is set to normal. I started outside the capital of East Engle.

Now get through the mundane introduction. Once you officially start the game outside the chosen city it's time to import your tweaked character. Next up is discarding everything you have in your inventory except the fish. That's right. No horse either.

Time to enable the cheat menu via the camp action. This is where the money I gave myself comes in at. Since I'm RPing as a Hearthweru Engle I plan to give myself equipment they use. So I'll be looking for the following items with the cost in ()'s:
Leather Gloves (200)
Byrnie (3,800)
Anglo Helmet (1,800)
Carbatinae with Greaves (960)
Round Shield (800)
Libre (1,400)
Engle Axe (570)
Throwing Spears (1050)

The could be a little something left over. Not much to matter at this point so consider it the few coin you have saved. Now I won't be playing the game normally. There will be exceptions. List:

1. Must join the East Engle faction as a mercenary. This means I can't become a vassal, receive villages, towns or castles, get married, etc.
2. I have to fight in every battle my faction is in. Or every battle I see my faction in. During war time I have to be where the action is.
3. I can't recruit troops at all. Nor ride a horse.
4. I can't build shops in towns or trade.
5. I can't sell or recruit prisoners.
6. The only income I can keep is the wages I receive from the faction ruler. Think of it more as a soldiers wage and not mercenary wages.
7. I can't use any attribute, skill, or weapon proficiency points I earn from any levels I may gain.
8. I can upgrade my equipment to better versions but only from the pool that Hearthweru Engle troops use. And only from wages earned from serving as a soldier (merc).
9. I can't do quests or jobs from merchant guilds, or solo enemies.
10. I can do jobs for lords but only during peace time unless the marshal asks me to do a task.
11. Can't recruit companions either.
12. Other?

The point of this is not to start off with a high level character, good stats, or equipment but to actually role play as one of the elite infantry. Depending on the rules I've made or will come up with I'll see just how easy/hard/fun this could be. This is for people who want a little roleplay/direction for a character with set rules and guidelines. If this one doesn't pan out I'll play around with some other character RP types and see how that goes but for now, this will make the mod a bit different than the style I'm use to playing. Thoughts?

A screenshot once everything has been set up: (Don't mind the crap quality)
Edited Note: Spelling error. Kept calling it East Engle instead of East Engla.  :roll:


I love your idea Pundragon. Very well thought out.

I'd love for M&B to have an 'fps-on-rails' option. In which you don't decide where you're going or what your doing. You're just supposed to fight. But you break away from the limited gameplay when you're given a task (Get some food, recruit soldiers, assassinate someone, ..)


Well if anyone thinks starting off like this would make the game easier... I can say so far it's not (I decided to raise up the damage modifiers a bit).  :smile: I'll try to write up a nice little story with screenshots a bit later. And here are a few pics of the first saga. Ugh. I went with high end graphics over gameplay just for these scenes. Huge battle lagged and I didn't get much in. Anyway...


All in all. I should not have set all the graphics to max. The lag didn't do any good for my screenshot abilities no with the actual fighting. I'll probably have to start all over and do something that's way better complete with story, etc but with slightly less demanding graphics.

Note: The game isn't any easier starting this way!


Funny, we (Mierce) just took over Grantebrycge. And, I also couldn't fight. (Because I had 2fps due to the 450 troops fighting.)


Sergeant at Arms
So this isn't really finished, but I thought I'd post it, as I felt this guy's story was at least semi-interesting.
He's a character I recently started, and unusually, this playthrough has been filled to the brim with endless failure so far, although I'm not very far with it.
I'll add to it later. Hopefully.

And yes, Tael was a real Saxon name. But I did pick it because of "Zelda: Majora's Mask".  :wink:

          The young man looked out across the vast expanse, the lush ash tree forest spreading in every direction. He had climbed to the top of a hill, one which rose above most, and dismounted off his old white palfrey to watch the sunrise bring light to the green lands of the Jutes. He came to watch light rise, to watch the light slowly spread across the expanse, and cast shadows from the hills, which would slowly shrink as it grew in height.
          It had always fascinated him. He thought of it as a wonder of God, as he had been taught by priests. He had been raised by priests, old priests who had actually come to the island with St. Augustine, and still praised the man. The younger priests became doubtful of the point of the mission in “Britannia”, as the Romans called it, but the old coots were still dreaming of the Christ God wiping out the old dark traditions that gripped the island.
The priests, when they took in the young baby, took him to be a sign from God, and they thought they would raise the child to be the bane of Woden.
        They had known the child’s father. Not personally, as the man was a pagan and a violent drinker; But he was a great warrior nevertheless. And he left his son his sword, a good sword, with inscriptions and old runes galore. The blade was forged somewhere in the Old Lands, far across the sea, and was brought with their ancestors to Kent. It was a pagan blade, but it was ancient, and antiquity has power. They saw the death of the man and the bequeathing of the child to them to be sign from God that the child would right his father’s wrongs and fight for Christ. They named him Tael, according to the tradition of naming the first son after the father.
          They raised him among the monks and the young acolytes training for priesthood. He grew up reading from Latin, and knew parts of Gospel by heart. However, they did make it clear to him that he was not to become a priest, that he had a unique future, of which they never really disclosed. They made sure he spent a significant amount of time with the common boys who wandered the streets of Cantwaraburh, to roughen him up, and to make him strong, strong like his father.
          However, as Tael came of age, they eventually, although not willingly, came to the conclusion that the boy was too wild and untamed to be a fully devoted holy warrior. They hoped one day he could be, but he would have to be humbled somehow. Tael had a thirst, an unbecoming thirst for adventure and travel and war. He wanted to fight in big shield wall clashes, and slay others left and right. And although they wanted him as a warrior, they could not have him endlessly looking for war, they wanted him to only fight when necessary, when there was no other choice.
          So they let him loose on his 17th year. At first, he didn’t really go anywhere. He actually set himself up as a retainer for a minor lord who was a friend of his father, spent a casual three years there, being the old warriors drinking partner. But he soon learned there were no wars to be fought in Cantwara, it was the land of priests and plump women. So he left without a word one morning on his 20th year, early in the year 636.  He began westward. He was always hearing of wars being fought between the Saxons of the Gewisse clan and the Angles of the Middle Marches, glorious battles being fought in rivers and forests, where men died and others lived, all to the whim of God and nature. He would stop in Seals-ey of course, he would look and see if any action was to be seen there, but his true target was to ride towards Searoburh, the city where the Saxons of the West seated their king, Cynegils.
          As he travelled he gathered ambitious young men from villages he passed, and before he even left the lands of Cantwara, he had already gathered enough men. He stopped in Suth Seaxe, and as he had surmised, the place was peaceful, so he moved onward.

Uploaded with


Sergeant at Arms
Idibil said:
Update  :grin:

If he is your Brytenwalda character, you should add some screenshot  :mrgreen:

Oh, right! Although... a screenshot is rather dreary. I think I might find some art or something. Just as a preference.
I'll update his story sometime soon. It's getting a ways away from what I've written down....

EDIT: Nevermind, I'll take a screenshot.  :roll:


Sergeant Knight
Aethel said:
Idibil said:
Update  :grin:

If he is your Brytenwalda character, you should add some screenshot  :mrgreen:

Oh, right! Although... a screenshot is rather dreary. I think I might find some art or something. Just as a preference.
I'll update his story sometime soon. It's getting a ways away from what I've written down....

EDIT: Nevermind, I'll take a screenshot.  :roll:

so where is it? :grin:


My character's background:  the  forgotten High King of the Britons, Brenin Owain ap Ceredig, scourge of Northumbria, whom Bede eliminated from all mention in his writings:

Owain ap Ceredig was born in 608 to his father, Ceredig ap Gwallog, in the court of Loidis, in Elmet.  His father was aged nearly fifty years when Owain was born, and his mother was a mistress of the king, one of the ladies tending to Lady Hereswith, the older sister of Saint Hilda.    Although Ceredig had been defeated by the Mercians and owed them an annual tribute in exchange for protection, Elmet retained some independence and Owain grew up in comfort, and in his youth often spoke to the young Hilda of Whitby.  The Engle kingdoms near Elmet were Deira and Bernicia.  Deira ruled over York, while Bernicia was further north.  These two kingdoms were rivals for power over the entire region that the Britons called the Hen Ogledd, or Old North.  In 604, Aethelfrith of Bernicia gained power over Deira.  The king of Deira, Edwin, was exiled to East Engla, while his nephew, Hereric (along with his daughters Hereswith and Hilda) was exiled to Elmet, under Ceredig's protection.  When news of the affair between Ceredig and one of Lady Hereswith's household reached Hereric, he was outraged and threatened to take power in Elmet himself with the aid of the many Engle settlers in the region.  This prompted Ceredig to lend aid to Aethelfrith on the condition that he and his family be allowed to continue to rule Elmet.  Hereric was poisoned soon thereafter.  Aethelfrith tried to have Raedwald of East Engla murder Edwin as well, but instead Raedwald turned on Aethelfrith and defeated him in battle in 616, killing him.  Edwin gained the throne of both Deira and Bernicia, exiling Aethelfrith's sons Oswald, Oswiu, and Eanfrith to Dal Riata.  In 617, Edwin took vengeance upon Ceredig, conquering Elmet and killing its king.  Thus, under the Deiran ascendancy, the entire court of Elmet took flight into exile, including aids of the king from Bernicia who had supported Aethelfrith's family.


Britain, just before the unification of Deira and Bernacia under Oswald and before the conquest of Elmet by Edwin.

Since Ceredig had supported the Bernicians and Aethelfrith, they granted mercy upon Owain.  Ceredig's dying wish was that Aethfrith's family adopt Owain.  Thus, Owain was sent to Dal Riata with Oswald and his brothers.  Owain was soon sent to Iona and raised by the monks there.  Aidan, one of the monks critical in baptizing Oswald, became a kind of father figure to Owain.  Oswald and Owain , who were only four years apart in age, became as brothers.  In 626, Edwin allowed his daughter to be baptized, and in 627 himself was baptized.  This led to a reconciliation between Edwin and Eanfrith, the son of Aethelfrith.  In 632, Edwin was killed by Penda in the battle of Hatfield Chase.  In Bernicia, Eanfrith took power and reverted to paganism, while Deira came under the rule of Osric, one of Edwin's cousins.  Eanfrith was killed in battle against Cadwallon in 634 at the Battle of Heavenfield and his brother Oswald took the throne.  Soon thereafter, Osric was killed and Oswald led his men into York, becoming Brytenwalda of a unified Northumbria.   


Owain ap Ceredig at Lindisfarne.

Owain ap Ceredig himself had remained at Iona until 635, when Aidan was sent as Cormán's replacement to minister to the Northumbrians under King Oswald.  On hearing the news that Deira, and Elmet with it, had fallen under the rule of his friend Oswald, Owain grew hopeful that perhaps his kingdom would be restored to him.  However, Aidan advised that he stay out of the games of kings, focusing instead upon the kingdom of God.  Seeing his father and much of his family killed during his youth, Owain decided to join Aidan in ministering to the Northumbrians.  Aidan set up a monastery at Lindisfarne, and Owain was among the monks who helped build it up.  Owain soon began to offer services to his fellow monks as a kind of church warden, protecting them on journeys into Bebbanburg.  He often spoke with King Oswald, who noticed his martial skills, which had grown considerably over the years despite living in the monastery.  Owain trained often with the men of Dal Riata, hoping one day to obtain vengeance against the Deirans with his friends Oswald and Oswiu.  By 636, King Oswald trusted Owain sufficiently to allow him to enter the army of his brother Oswiu, who was the lord of York since the native Deirans had been driven from power.  Owain proved himself in several battles against the Mercians, and was eventually given his freedom.  Owain, in his status as a free man, began to travel between Iona and Lindisfarne, protecting the missionaries and relaying messages.  He also performed many tasks for the lords of Northumbria, resolving disputes, capturing fugitives, and fighting bandits on the roads. He attacked several outposts of raiders.


Owain at the court of King Oswald, being granted permission to enter his army.


Owain, meeting with the Frankish soldier Lothar at a tavern between battles in Oswiu's army

At this point, he was sent by Oswald to represent the Northumbrian court at Dal Riata and to protect the monastery of Iona.  Owain then set up what may be among the first medieval knightly orders, assembling a brotherhood of warriors who would protect Iona from raiders.  The order, known as the Gwarchodlu o Iona (Guardians of Iona) fought against the Picts, pirate bands, and the men of Ui Niel, which claimed ownership of the monastery (it was founded by Columba, who was their subject).  Next, Owain established a fortress near the monastery of Iona, as well as an outpost in the Outer Hebrides that would hold the Brotherhood's prisoners and an outpost in Merionnydd that would serve largely as a recruitment center for the order among the Welsh.


Owain at the fortress of Bebbanburg


Owain at Dun At, establishing the Gwarchodlu o Iona

Owain then went on a voyage, circumnavigating the British Isles.  He participated in negotiations between the monks of Iona and the Archbishop of Canterbury on the matter of Easter and the tonsure.  He then relayed these negotiations to Aidan at Lindisfarne and to the monks of Iona.  During these travels, he fought many battles and established a large following.  He finally returned to his homeland on a visit to kill pagan slavers who had imprisoned Christian missionaries in the Roman ruins near the Bright Oak.  He left after killing the bandits, but secretly swore that some day he would return, triumphantly, as the King of Elmet.  Eventually he commanded nearly two thousand men at his fortress near Iona.  The Brotherhood turned into a paramilitary organization, fighting against the pagan Picts and raiding towns of the Ui Neil.  At this stage, he began to offer services as a mercenary to the kings of East Anglia.  He commanded his army in battle against the Mercians and recaptured Cambridge for East Anglia.


The fortress of the Gwarchodlu o Iona, near the monastery.


Owain, liberating monks held captive at Roman ruins in his homeland.


Owain, Warden of Iona


Owain, leading the men of his brotherhood in battle against the men of Ui Neil.

His mercenary activities soon extended to Ireland and Gododdin, where he learned from Aneirin of the sword Hrunting.  He embarked on a quest for the sword, and soon won it.  Then he defeated a rival mercenary army from Cantabria.  Soon thereafter, he took a fortress of Dal Riata held by the picts, along with a few outlying villages.  He was now a king in his own right.  He then established what can only be described as a small naval empire.  He took control of the Isle of Man, and then drove the Crafu tribe (a group of pagan Saxons who had ended the dynasty of the British South Rheged) from power at Caer Maunguid.  It was then that Oswald demanded that Owain submit to him as a vassal, having offered it many times in the past.  Ceredig acquiesed, and Owain became the marshal of Northumbria's armies.  When Oswald refused to grant Owain the throne of Ceredigion after he captured those lands in a war against Gwynnedd (which had dominated Ceredigion and Merionnydd as satellite states), Owain rebelled against the Brytenwalda.  He met with King Penda, long his enemy, to discuss strategies for defeating King Oswald.  Now Owain's dream of reclaiming his homeland of Elmet was within reach . . .


Owain demands the throne of Ceredigion from King Oswald; he would leave the meeting as Oswald's enemy.


Brenin Owain with King Penda


Owain ap Ceredig in battle against the armies of Northumbria.


Britain, with Elmet and South Rheged conquered by Northumbria under King Oswald, shortly before Owain ap Ceredig's rebellion.
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