Witness To Murder
SYNOPSIS: 979 England. Ethelwulf, Thane of Arne, witnesses the murder of King Edward at Corfe & flees into hiding. He forms an outlaw band (including his cousins, Edwine & Morkere) while his mother raises money for his escape from England . Ethelwulf is denounced as the King’s murderer & hunted by the real killers (led by Haakon Skaathi) acting for Queen Elfrida. The regime tightens its grip as the outlaws battle vs. tragedy to escape the net.
With extensive Factual End-Notes.
EXTRACT: 'Osric eased his way to the left, letting the tidal waters slap against his leather boots. Carefully making sure he kept his footing, he positioned himself so the early morning sun faced his opponent. He noted how the Saxon squinted as that extra threat suddenly emerged from behind its camouflage of cloud. Osric well knew the effect of sun on water as a distraction; never fight with the sun in your eyes. The young thane had allowed himself to be manoeuvred so that now he faced out to sea.
Osric slashed at Ethelwulf’s head and, this time, the cut was only partially blocked. The edge of the sword slashed into the youth’s jaw, opening up a cut which would leave a scar for life. However, the thane’s heightened senses scarcely registered the blood. As Ethelwulf realised the escape route had been fully cut off; his shoulders slumped slightly as he faced defeat. Osric's confidence grew as his opponent glimpsed behind him, searching for a way out. The blundering fool has much to learn, thought Osric - and smiled grimly as he realised the fool never would have time to learn.'
END-NOTE EXAMPLE: 276. "Distress-bringer" was the mistress of Loki and mother of Fenrir, Jormungand and Hel. So she was responsible for the forces which ultimately destroyed the world at Ragnarok. Here Haakon reveals it’s the name of his sword. Ironically, it was name given to his axe by Gunnar, later one of Ethelwulf’s closest companions (see 'The Wanderer' 3).
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