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Caesar IV Heaven » Forums » Story Archives » The Mist of Time - A Story of Post-Roman Brittania
Topic Subject:The Mist of Time - A Story of Post-Roman Brittania
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Civis Romanus
posted 09-29-01 13:27 ET (US)         
An Adventure in Post-Roman Brittania




ANGUS: Tall, ruddy-haired, unshaven northern Scot. Carries a double-bit (twin-bladed) battle axe.(DarthBane)
ARITHMIAL: Tall, steely grey eyed stranger with short cropped hair. Rides Brandis, a white stallion. (Arithmial)
AURELIUS: Paladin who wears unusual armor. Has dark brown eyes; long, unbound, fine black hair. Elegant face and behaviour. (Cyber Paladin)
AURIGA: AKA-The Phoenix. Ancient but appears 20ish. Slender, slightly taller than avg. Black hair. Wears a black cloak. (The Phoenix)
BEVAN: Young Celt doing Ysbrand's bidding. Real name is Cedric. Actually a Brit not a Celt. (ZigZac)
CIAN OHEAGHRA: 28-year-old male of the OhEaghra Clan. Black hair, bright blue eyes. Carries a falchion. (Cian McGuire)
FEIMAR: Courageous boy (12 years). Orphan. Ebony brown eyes. Dark complexioned. Agile.(Duan Xuan)
JAYHAWK: Tall immortal with green eyes; disguised as a lute-playing wandering minstrel. Unseen ebony wings. (Jayhawk)
KYRIN: 20ish woman with very pale skin and red hair always worn down, hiding her ears. Short. Wears a glimmering green cloak with many pouches. Carries a quarterstaff and a sling. Launches unerring missles. (Jaguar)
LESTRA: 20 year old daughter of Angles Chief. Auburn hair, reddish highlights, grey eyes; intelligent, rebellious, resourceful, comely. (Gill Brittanica)
LIAM: 23 yr old Paladin of Glynden. Tall, broad-shoulders, brown hair, green eyes. Married w/children. Favored weapon is a dbl bladed long sword. (ZigZac)
NYLA: Sister of Lestra. 18 years old. Longish,dark red hair. blue/green/grey eyes. Milkwhite complexion. Exceedingly jealous of older sister. Temptress, prettier than Lestra; trained by Budra in mysticism and related spells. (Civis Romanus)
RUADAN: Of Leinster; 24 yr old priest who wears the Black Robes of Iona. Frail, bookish. Cousin of Cian OhEaghra. (Cian McGuire)
YSBRAND: Saxon warlock; broad shouldered, tall; has shoulder length brown hair; blue/grey eyes. Charismatic. Travels with menagerie. Carries a twisted wood staff and enchanted weapons. (ZigZac)


BUDRA: Old woman who lives in hut in the forest that borders the Angles village. Secret teacher of mysticism and spells. (Civis Romanus)
GLYNDEN: The name of the village protected by "The Mist". (Civis Romanus)
HORSA: Saxon Chief w/Hengist (Jayhawk)
HENGIST: Saxon Chief w/ Horsa (Jayhawk)
GLYNT: Saxon dwarf who travels with Ysbrand; serves Ysbrand and cares for menagerie. Emissary for warlock. (Civis Romanus)
KLAX: Chief of Angles tribe. Grey'd elder of tribe. Beleagered father of Lestra and Nyla. (Civis Romanus)
TALISIEN: Celtic Elder and Mystic. Protector of the Cauldron. Some say he once was called Merlin. (Jayhawk)




[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 03-21-2002 @ 09:13 PM).]

Civis Romanus
posted 09-29-01 23:35 ET (US)     1 / 109       


The cold, ancient waters of the Celtic (Irish) Sea danced with the sands of the beach, reaching for but never quite touching the dual row of torches set there by the Celts who gathered this day at dusk.

The past had once again become the present. Centuries before had come the men in crimson cloaks and brown/bronze armor bearing short swords and evil intent. They called themselves Romans and they called their leader Caesar. These invaders from the East met Celtic sword and the blades of the Pict, fell in great numbers before the warriors of Brittania; and were driven back into the cold waters of the nearest sea.

Woe to the Celts and the Picts... This great victory did not bring an end to invasion. Once more came the men from the East, this time in greater numbers and with a different leader bearing the same name of Caesar. This time the Celts and Picts fell as if leaves from trees when the seasons change. Not even their greatest warriors, some of them men, one of them a woman, could stem the tide of invasion.

Then was the time of the first hiding, when the great treasure of the Celts, Cerridwen's Cauldron, was hidden by the Mist. A gathering then as now beckoned to the Mist to come and save the treasure. The Mist came...

In time, the Romans faded from Brittania. The great city of Londinium declined, stone by stone, as conquering Romans abandoned Brittania and returned to Roma to defend it from barbarians as had the Celts and Picts futiley defended their homeland from the Romans. Cerridwen's Cauldron had worked its magic. It's hiding ensured the Celts would be a free people once more.

A party of Celts was sent to the Mist to petition the return of the Cauldron. The Mist found them worthy and revealed to the Celts the place of hiding. The artifact was returned to its home to symbolize the newfound freedom of the Celts.

And for a time the Celts of Brittania were in fact free, until one bitterly cold, windswept day when the first of the Saxons stepped onto the shore of Brittania...


The war with the Saxons ebbed and flowed, ebbed and flowed. Like a mountain-fed stream that runs no matter the season, Saxons continued to make their way onto the lands of Brittania no matter how many were slaughtered by Celtic warriors. Indeed, the number of Saxons swelled even as the number of Celts dwindled.

And came the Angles as well, these opportunistic, cautious allies of the Saxons. Their added weight made matters drastic for the Celts of Brittania, forcing them ever backwards to the smaller of the two great islands that made up the land bearing the name given to it by the long gone Romans. Talisien, mystic, leader of the Celts, knew the time had come for the next Hiding.

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 09-30-2001 @ 02:20 PM).]

Civis Romanus
posted 09-30-01 00:31 ET (US)     2 / 109       
Cerridwen's Cauldron rested on its perch between the twin rows of lighted torches. The dusk of the evening hid the twisting flight of smoke rising from the crowns of the torches where lengths of dried grass and fabric dipped in animal oils burned with abandon.

Talisien led his people in The Chant. Celtic words unsaid for almost 100 years could just barely be heard above the heaving, out-racing waters of the sea. Talisien watched attentively for the first sign of the coming of the Mist.

First one torch, then another, then another, flickered and became cold as the power of the oil, dried grass and fabric gave way to the greater strength of the cold, moisture bearing sea wind. One torch burned on, the very last to be lit, the very last to flicker out and die. It was then that Talisien noticed the change.

Where the foam on the waves of the sea had been clearly visible, now detail was blurred. Where once the sounds of the sea were sharply rendered, now came sounds that were muffled, like a hand placed over a crier's mouth. A sudden quiet descended upon them. Talisien let himself hope that the Mist indeed was coming.

But the Mist was not a great wall of grey nothing suddenly descending upon the beach from its home at sea. No, it came stealthily, forming here, forming there, forming everywhere at once. Slowly, steadily, thoroughly...

And when a sudden breeze came up from landside, the Mist departed unlike the way it arrived. It fled the beach for the sea in great haste and was gone. So was Cerridwen's Cauldron. No one saw it lifted and taken, no one saw anything near it but the Mist. First came the Mist, and then the artifact was gone.

As the Celts made their way from the beach Talisien felt a sharp tugging at his long robe. He looked down to see a young Celtish boy looking up at him, blue eyes filled with wonder and curiousity. "Master Talisien," said the boy. "Where has the Cauldron gone?"

Talisien smiled to reassure the boy. "To the Isle of Ynis Withrin, my lad. To the Isle of Ynis Withrin."

"And where is the Isle, Master?"

"There, lad," said Talisien, pointing to the waters beyond the beach. "Across the sea between here and the next land."

"Will it be safe from the Saxons?"

"Yes, as safe as the Cauldron ever can be; for it is protected by the Mist of Time and its paladins and by the people of the Village. Good people, lad. From all places and all times, gathered there by the call of the Mist, to test those who try to enter the Mist, to determine if they are worthy or not."

"Worthy of what, Master?"

"Worthy of receiving the power and benefit of the artifact the Mist protects."

"Like Cerridwin's Cauldron?"

"Yes, lad. Like Cerridwin's Cauldron... Now run along. I see your father calling to you... Yes, run along lad." The boy left Talisien's side and ran to where his father stood. The aging mystic shifted his wooden staff to steady himself. He looked once more upon the darkening sea and the place to where the Mist seemingly fled. He saw no isle, he saw no remnant nor hint of the Mist. It is safe enough, I presume, he thought to himself. But if the Saxons should learn of its value and its hiding place, I pray the Mist is ready. For these Saxons... These barbarians... They are a different breed. They know not the meaning of civilized; and they know not the meaning of impossible.

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 09-30-2001 @ 01:36 PM).]

Cyber Paladin
posted 09-30-01 05:55 ET (US)     3 / 109       
The forest east of Glynden, one year ago

The sun was shining bright, the breeze was sweeping across the forest, and the birds were chirping their new songs.
With a flash of golden light, a man with his luggage together with a horse appeared three feets above ground, then fell heavily with a loud thud.
"Aw..." He came to conscious, knowing that there's no turning back now, but... where's back?
He scratched his head, his fine black hair flickers in the wind... I came from Azeroth... but... The feeling of amnesia chills to the bones. The horse beside him bellows with fear as well as curiosity.

"Aurelius the Paladin." There was a voice from above. "In case you forgets. Your mission is to defend the Village of Glynden."
Aurelius suddenly knew, as if infused. His mission was to defend an artifact in Glynden. He knew the place. He knew this island.
"After this, you'll be granted the freedom to travel, my paladin." The voice then faded into nothing.

Still confused, he rode to the west, into Glynden. He knew his destiny lies there.
The sound of metal clashing and man shouting and creature growling became louder and louder as he walk nearer and nearer to his new home.

A band of burly creatures, wearing wooly clothes, were obviously attacking the village. Wounded villagers were lying here and there. There were two mounted soldiers fighting and commanding desperately. Aurelius didn't expect to fight this soon.

"Thanks to the Mist, I have my armor on." Quickly he drew his weapons and helped fight the intruders. He knew that the one with the best looking weapon must be the leader.
"Their leader, get their leader!" He shouted in the midst of the battle.
The other two cavalries then knew of his presence. They stared at the lone soldier with wonder and a tinge of happiness in their eyes. One of them quickly drew a short bow and launched a series of arrows.
Thud! A sharp arrow shot straight through the inturder leader's head.
Knowing that their leader was slain, the panicked warriors yelled to each others in a language not known by any villagers. One after each other, they fled the battlefield like there was no tomorrow...

"What is your name, brother paladin?" One of the cavalries asked, after Aurelius settled in the Glynden church to the Mist. "I know from your behavior that you must be a paladin too."
"Aurelius. My name is Aurelius." The newcomer said in his calm voice.
"Nice to meet you Aurelius, my name is Daniel. He is Luther. I think we are like you, brother paladin. We don't know where we come from."
"Well... I know I come from Azeroth."
"Then where is Azeroth?" Daniel asked with a smile. He knew this paladin is summoned upon to defend "The Artifact", just like them.
".... I don't know..." Aurelius scratched his head, trying his best to remember " I don't know... it's another realm... I forgot..."
"Just like us, but it's amazing to meet a paladin such young you know." Smiled Luther, "dinner is almost ready, you've got to meet the village elder tomorrow. Welcome to this realm."

The last word striked Aurelius like a hammer. Realm!? These people know what a realm is!?
Do they come from another realm, like me?

[This message has been edited by Cyber Paladin (edited 10-01-2001 @ 10:42 AM).]

Eminence Grise
posted 10-01-01 04:05 ET (US)     4 / 109       
Finn looked out over his flock of sheep. He stood, leaning on his crook on the top of a low hill, just East of Glynden.
His sheep, docile and stupid needed little watching, except to keep them from getting caught in the briar patches that was. The silly beasts were always getting caught in them.

He looked Eastwards and saw the sun rise like liquid gold from the band of fog that enshrouded the village several miles out from its center. Finn and several of the other boys had tried to penetrate it, but every time they tried they always got turned around and end back up at the edge of it. He still wondered wehat laid behind.

A year ago half a dozen men had appeared from the mist they had rode in to town talking about stange beasts, while they themselves looked more like beasts with their metal fluted armour. Their weapons had looked even more powerful.

Since that fall the six men had lived in the village. They seemed restless and somehow agitated. The vilagers had build them a hall of wood where they could sleep and keep their horses. The men kept to themselves, and one time Finn had overheard them call Lugh, the Shining God by a strange name...Kristi or something similar.

His attention got caught by the plaintive bleating of one of his sheep. He mutterred a curse benath his breath, he really should stop this daydreaming...he really should.

Owen's hammer pounded the iron horse shoe into shape. His muscular frame partiall covered by a big leather apron and leather threws, his raven hair tied back from his face, he looked at the shape beneath his hammer and knew the knights would be pleased.

He smiled, Talisien had brought them to Glynden and the knights had believed they were brought to guard a Christian relic. The cauldron was close to what the knights thought they were guarding, but it wasn't quite the same. The Christ had not set foot in Glynden and it seemed unlikely he would while Owen had breath in his body, not while he was their priest as well as smith.

This new god was jealous of the old gods of the land and rather than be worshipped with them he wanted all worship for himself. Owen was pleased to see the strangers believe Lugh was their god, though, it made life so much easier.

In a way their arrival was scary. Talisien had brought them here, had given them a vision of the village being under attack. It was true the Mist hid the odd Unseelie, but not in the amount the knights had thought they were fighting.
What was more troubling was that the old bard had thought it necessary to send defenders to Glynden.
He wondered what time would bring.

Angel Jayhawk
EyrieCaesar 4 HeavenChildren of the Nile HeavenStronghold HeavenCaesar 3 HeavenEmperor HeavenPharaoh HeavenZeus HeavenMy Deviations
Support your local HeavenMy RecommendationsEXCOHALO
I believe violence will only increase the cycle of violence. — The Dalai Lama
Civis Romanus
posted 10-02-01 22:43 ET (US)     5 / 109       
Horsa looked with trepidation at the swells of ice cold seawater breaking onto the shore below. "Another delay," he muttered. "Hengist sends a messenger and I can do nothing but wait until the sea permits me to leave. Where is the Seer!" he roars in frustration.

A hunched-over hag dressed in raggedly cut, inexpertly sewn clothing hurries to his side from a place near a scrawny half-dead bush. She bows as deeply as she can then stops for fear she might fall over. She grins revealing brownish yellowed teeth interspersed with black gaps where teeth have rotted away. Horsa's bile rises at the mere sight of her. He looks away even while speaking to her. "Seer, what say The Bones?" he asked.

The hag cackled and reached for the woven sack hanging from her shoulder. "Ah yes, The Bones... (HeHe) The Bones... It's time for The Bones(HeHe)!" The hag opened the sack and withdrew a pouch made of deerskin. "Here are The Bones (HeHeHeHe...HeHe... *Cough* *Choke* *Hack*)!"

A stench fouler than foul crept towards Horsa's nose with each word uttered by the hag. Foul woman. Breath stinking like a boar's hide. "Get on with it, woman! Tell me what The Bones say! I haven't all day to wait!"

The hag cleared her phlegmy throat then said,"Oooooo... Patience, I say! The Bones or I must not be hurried lest they be offended and tell you nothing." Horsa gritted his teeth as he attempted to control his disgust as well as his temper. He needed the woman's vision and her talent with The Bones. She was right... for the moment. He must not offend either of them.

"I do not mean badly woman. I am anxious to join Hengist in the new land. Please do as you must. I shall wait for you."

"Well! That is better, much better. Let me see if The Bones care to talk today." She reached into the deerskin pouch and removed seven slender pieces of bone of varying centimeters in length. These she turned over in her hand to check. She held them to her ears to listen. Then she said to Horsa, "The Bones will talk, I think. What is your question?"

"What day may we depart to join Hengist, when the god of the cold sea will not be angered and cast us back on the beach or drive us below the surface to his realm?"

The hag smiled her offensively near-toothless grin and looked at the sky, then the horizon, and finally at the sea itself. Yes, days like this she had seen before. Wind blowing, crying from the sky, the puffy veil that rode the wind and carried the tears. But the signs were good. The rain would not last much longer. The veils seemed to be separating and the tears were falling less often and more lightly. The wind would cease to protest. She threw the bones onto the ground and squatted to see what they said.

Each sliver of bone found a place on the ground and lay there in a random pattern. The hag made a great pretense of examining the order of the splinters, talking to herself in strange, indecipherable words that sounded Saxon and yet were not. Finally she grunted and reached down to pick up The Bones. She placed them in their deerskin pouch and stood up, straightening her back to the extent she could, but not very well.

"The Bones say..." Horsa forgot the woman's appearance and foul breath while listening intently for her answer. "The Bones say... You may fill your boats tomorrow at sunrise. The passage across the sea will be safe, but select well where you land. The god of the sea speaks not for the land, and The Bones will not speak in place of the land."

Saying nothing further, the hag placed the pouch in her shoulder sack and limped away, clothes fluttering about in the strong wind from the sea. A tall man standing 10 strides away watched the hag leave. As she passed by him he said to her, "So you advise our departure?"

She stopped to look at him, his bluish grey eyes engaging and then locking onto hers. "Y...Yes." She stuttered.

"You told him tomorrow at sunrise, I expect?"

"Yes... Master." The woman could not break the hold he had over her... his eyes... those eyes.

"Good. That is the answer you should have given him. Now leave us." The tall man with the grey/blue eyes looked beyond the hag to the Saxon standing on the edge of the cliff.

"Yes, master," said the hag. There was no protest, no retort. The hag lifted her feet and walked quickly away. Ysbrand paid her no further attention, but instead made his way to the side of Horsa, Chiefton of Saxons.

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 10-02-2001 @ 10:51 PM).]

Cian McGuire
posted 10-03-01 01:40 ET (US)     6 / 109       
On the far side of the Irish Sea, a bitter wind was bringing in a storm off of the Atlantic, and Cian OhEaghra was boarding the vessel which would spirit him away from his homeland, and all that he knew.

He had heard tales of the lands across the sea, and how there were always foreigners causing trouble- he was a little trepiditious as to his fate over there, but anything beat getting captured by macCerbaill's henchmen. He was also anxious at having Ruadan accompany him, but the gods know that Cian could use all the help he could obtain. Cian glanced at his young friend as he settled in under some netting, placed there to keep passengers drier than otherwise, and he was amazed to see the resolution and determination that Ruadan's set chin displayed.

Little did Cian know that this was not due to the strength of Ruadan's resolve, but rather his intense fear of the sea, "My Lord, Christ, my saviour, please, take me into your arms and may your light protect me," ran through his mind as a mantra, occasionally switching words and phrases around as he struggled with his fear, and his rising bile, just as the sailors struggled with the rising sea and incoming storm. Yet he had his faith, and that made him strong enough to open his eyes from time to time- and it comforted him as well as could be expected amidst the lightening and shouts of the sailors and the creak of the sodden wood and the roar of the sea.

The captain of the vessel, an ornery old man, and a member of the Mag Uidhir branch of the OhEaghra Clan, Muireadach, approached the two as they settled into the netting. "It will be a rough trip, lads, are you sure you wish to make this one?"

"Yes, sir, we do wish to- in fact it is rather imperative that we do."

"Aye? Well, I sure hope you and your father-friend here can stomache it- nary a single moment of respite from the rolling seas will be had," the captain said as he looked to the sky.

Cian offered his hand, "Well, our thanks for accepting us on such short notice- and I know 'tis not the custom of you to bear passengers."

"Bah, think nothing of it- I owe your daddy at least this much for all the generosity he has shown me and me family over the years."

And with that the captain turned and began bellowing orders to his crew to finish what had to be done before setting sail across the dark waters.

Within minutes, they were off.

In vino veritas
posted 10-03-01 06:35 ET (US)     7 / 109       
As Horsa came out of his tent he looked up on the hill and he saw the tall man, the same tall man with the eyes, those hypnotic eyes. Just looking at this man's figure sent a chill down his spine.

"I cannot wait until I have Cerridwen's Cauldron in my hands." the Warlock thought. "Then all these pitiful Saxon pigs will be under my command."

He turned abruptly to return to camp, he ran into Glynt. Glynt had stepped on the man's robe. They both started tumbling down the hill. Luckily for them, most everyone in camp was still asleep. Ysbrand and Glynt stood up, but were dizzy from the fall. Once Ysbrand regained his sences he started yelling at Glynt, "What is wrong with you!? Can you not see that I wanted to be alone!? Why is it that you are always behind me every minute!? The next time this happens, I'll whip you for it!!" Glynt, too afraid to say anything, just fell to the ground quivering. "Why must I be cursed with such idiots?" He thought.

He turned toward camp to start walking back when he saw Horsa standing outside his tent, on the ground laughing.

Ysbrand walked up to Horsa. "What is so humorous?"

"Oh! Nothing...nothing." Horsa said trying to contain himself.

"Good. When might I expect to leave this terrible place?" Ysbrand asked with disgust.

"Uh...we will be loading the boats soon. I need to wake up the camp first. I wanted to leave earlier, but I slept in." Horsa grummbled.

"That too bad for you, isn't it? I am finished loading what is mine." The Warlock said with resentment. "I expect to leave before the sun gets too far into the sky."

With that Horsa went to go and wake up the camp for the journey to meet with Hengist. The Warlock stood there peering at Horsa until he could not see him anymore.

"Glynt! Get my things together." With that, Ysbrand started to walk toward the shore.

"When women hold off from marrying men, we call it independence. When men hold off from marrying women, we call it fear of commitment."

[This message has been edited by ZigZac (edited 10-05-2001 @ 09:14 AM).]

Eminence Grise
posted 10-03-01 08:03 ET (US)     8 / 109       
Glastonbury, deep in the Isles of Avalon, Wessex.

The Tor rose from the hill as a giant's stone finger, fog floated on the water surrounding the hill and the odd duck could be heard in the distance. Early sunlight turned the fog a pearly red, like blood soaking through cloth.

Next to the Tor stood a tall thorned tree, the one that was said to have grown from the staff of Joseph of Arimatea who placed it there, net to the well, when he delivered the Holy Grail to the guardians of the Tor.

Two man sat beside the tree. One on the edge, the other leaned against the tree. One was clean-shaven, tall with dark hair, green eyes and held a lute, the other was somewhat shorter, with near steel-grey hair and beard and eyes of a similar colour.

Jayhawk's fingers barely touched the strings, teasing a soft melody from the lute. The older man looked at him and spoke.
"It has begun, my friend."

He briefly closed his eyes and when they opened once more they looked upon an inner vision.
"The Saxon wolf has crossed the channel, his brother's close behind. The tribes will dance the dance of the sword. The cauldron will rise again from where I've hidden it."
Jayhawk nodded.

"I will try and guide young Ambrosius, " Merlin, who was known as Talisien in older, wilder days, continued.
"I ask this, knowing your fate. Will you help?"
"I will try, Talisien. I will give all aid that is in my power to give."

The older man smiled,
"That is all I can ask, and I know your power is not inconsiderable."

Angel Jayhawk
EyrieCaesar 4 HeavenChildren of the Nile HeavenStronghold HeavenCaesar 3 HeavenEmperor HeavenPharaoh HeavenZeus HeavenMy Deviations
Support your local HeavenMy RecommendationsEXCOHALO
I believe violence will only increase the cycle of violence. — The Dalai Lama

[This message has been edited by Jayhawk (edited 10-09-2001 @ 03:22 AM).]

posted 10-03-01 15:39 ET (US)     9 / 109       
Northern England

Another marauder joined in the swirling melee on the paved Roman road. There were five of them now, but they were no match for the massive Scotsman they were trying to kill. The scotsman swung his double-bit battle axe around again, despatching two of the marauders. The others lashed out with their tiny daggers, yet managing to miss the scotsman, who returned with another swing of his axe, felling another marauder. The remaining two turned and fled.

The Scot, whose name was Angus, kicked at one of the cadavers on the floor. This was the third attack today. Angus crouched down to the bodies to see if they had anything worth taking. All they had was flimsy little daggers, gold, and some scraps of food. Angus had no need for the gold and daggers, so he left them and took the food - the fighting had made him hungry.

Angus continued along the road, heading south. He had no idea why he was going the way he was, he just had an overwhelming urge to travel to a destination that he'd never seen, didn't even know of its existence...

Gill Britannica
posted 10-03-01 20:21 ET (US)     10 / 109       
Lestra sat under a tree gazing out to sea. It was very early and the sun had yet to rise, but she still stared through the morning mist afraid at what she might see. Her father had said that if the weather was fine this morning, Horsa would almost certainly come. She shivered a little. She had been in too much of a hurry to find a cloak in the inky darkness but there were other reasons for the chill that was deep inside her. Her beloved Saxmund had been killed in battle, a battle forced on them by Hengist. However, it was not Hengist nor Horsa that had brought her to the cliff-top. Ysbrand would be coming with Horsa and just the thought of him made her shiver again. Very little made her afraid but when she had met Ysbrand and those blue grey eyes had fixed themselves on her, she had felt that he could see right into her soul.

There were still no boats in sight so she leant back against the tree trunk and tried to think about Saxmund to blot out the image of Ysbrand. She was already finding it hard to picture Saxmund’s honest brave face. True, the betrothal had been arranged as was thought fitting for the eldest daughter of a tribal chief, but she had loved him. She would not have agreed to the betrothal otherwise. They had sat under this same tree planning their future together and laughing at things that, in retrospect, did not seem funny at all. She had been happy then. She knew she could only marry for love and had thought that she had found it.

She sighed deeply, then wiped away the tears that had been falling unbidden as she heard someone calling her name. It was Nyla, her sister, the last person she wanted to see at this moment. Nyla, who was always mocking her for being too romantic. Nyla the beautiful. Nyla who would have been a much better older daughter for their father. She did not want Nyla to see that she had been crying, so she crept back from the cliff top and hid under some bushes.

She knew Nyla would not rest until she found her, but could not face going back home just yet. Her father, no doubt, would be waiting to tell her about the latest young man he had found who would be a ‘suitable match’ for her. None of them had yet met with any response from her. She had told her father over and over again that when she married, it would be for love. She would know immediately and if necessary, she would leave the tribe and trust her luck away from all she knew rather than be forced to marry one of the milk-sop boys that her father considered suitable.

Her sister’s voice was becoming louder and angrier, so she crawled further under the bushes, hoping that her drab clothing would hide her so she would not yet have to face her sister’s vicious tongue.

Civis Romanus
posted 10-03-01 21:19 ET (US)     11 / 109       
"Oh! That sister of mine!" exclaimed Nyla, stamping her foot on the dank, dew wet ground. "Does she expect me to do all of the chores?! LESTRA!!" This she bellowed out at the top of her lungs ending the call with a near shriek. Still no answer. "Alright for you, Lestra! I know you're out here somewhere. I'm telling father how lazy you are!"

Nyla spun about and tromped all of the way to the hut of the Angles Chieftan, her father, Klax. The middle-aged man, the grey of a difficult life invading the temples of his thinning hair, experienced once more his youngest daughter's full fury. Accusations about Lestra flew in every direction. Klax calmly watched as the tirade finally diminished in force and exhaustion replaced the fury inside Nyla.

"Youngest daughter," began Klax with a sigh. "Yesterday, while you dabled with Belgar, Lestra repaired my skins and other damaged clothes. And while you chased butterflies with Kleeba, your sister baked the week's supply of bread. And while you found time last evening to entertain... uh... what's his name? ... Well, the latest... Lestra made supper and prepared meats from the smokehouse for this morning's meal. Even now the fire she built is warming the porridge to be eaten with the meats. And where were you the better part of last night, may I ask?"

Nyla's face contorted as guilt, embarrassment and renewed rage warred within. The net result was for the veins on her creamy, milkwhite, smooth neck to protude, her face to turn as pink as her hair was red, and for her greyish blue green eyes to look as if two campfires were there instead of one being outside. In reaction she attempted to speak, could only sputter the words she wanted to say and in frustration turned about and stomped all of the way to the exit of the hut.

Yet... Just outside of the hut a remarkable transformation occurred. Her expression of anger vaporized as if never there... No use putting on a show for the others was the thought quickly entering her mind. And besides... Yes, there's Dalron! Quickly she adjusted her full woven skirt, visibly shifted her laced and tightly drawn upper clothing, brushed back with her hands her long reddish hair and changed her expression to one they said was like honey on a warm day.

"Hello Dalron!" she sang out, smiling prettily; then broadened her smile into a stunningly beautiful portrait of joy when the young man returned her greeting. Nyla even managed to keep her smile just so, when she saw Lestra nearby, returned from the seaside and approaching the hut to enter.

As Lestra reached the point closest to Nyla before she passed her by, Lestra heard Nyla address her through her lustrous smile with a single denigrating Angles word Lestra, herself, would never use. While Lestra blanched white at the coarseness of the term and continued on her way to the hut, Nyla simply continued to smile at Dalron, who had no idea what had just transpired. He was simply overwhelmed by the brightness of Nyla's smile and neither saw nor gave any attention to anything else nearby.

Such was the power possessed by Nyla, to the utter delight of all Angles men who knew her and to the utter disgust of most Angles women who knew her as well.

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 10-03-2001 @ 09:31 PM).]

Duan Xuan
posted 10-04-01 03:04 ET (US)     12 / 109       
"Off at last!" said Cian. He was leaning against the deck, gazing at the far-out seas.

"And what are you going to do in Wales, Cian?" asked Ruadan.

"I... I don't know..."

"You're unsure of your fate, aren't you?"

Just as the vessel was about to head in into the deep sea, a young boy came running along the bank. "Stop! Stop!"

"Eh? Young lad, who are you?" the old captain asked. He waved his hand to his crew, signalling them to stop the vessel.

"Feimar, and I want to board your vessel." shouted the boy, trying to overcome the howls of the sea winds.

The captain agreed, and Feimar leaped onto the vessel. Cian frowned. This kid isn't any normal boy. Not everyone can jump right onto a vessel like that!

He gripped Feimar's arm and pulled him towards himself. "Who are you, boy?" he hissed into Feimar's ears.

The boy appeared strong-headed. "I'm Feimar. Hey, what's wrong with you, man!"

Incensed, Cian raised his right hand to slap the boy. A sharp and clear slap landed right on Ruadan's arm. He had took the slap for the boy. "What! You too, Ruadan!"

"Let the boy speak, dear cousin."

The boy, however, took the chance and ran into an empty cabin of the vessel. "He's not a good 'un, Ruadan!" cried Cian as he picked up his falchion. He marched right up to where Feimar hid and hammered on the door imperiously.

Seeing no response, the infuriated young man rammed the door down with his weapon. There stood the boy. A very angry boy...


[This message has been edited by Duan Xuan (edited 10-04-2001 @ 08:28 AM).]

Civis Romanus
posted 10-04-01 21:33 ET (US)     13 / 109       
The morning broke mistily on the waters of the crossing. Saxons, horses, supplies and weapons were loaded in the small but durable craft to be used for ferrying it all to the land to the west. What was it that Hengist called his growing kingdom? Kent? Yes, that was it... Kent.

Horsa, brother of Hengist, was called upon by his brother to come to the aid of the beleagured, barely solidified Kingdom of Kent in Brittania. It seemed Hengist's services to the Brits in repelling the attack of the Picts and Southern Scots was being repayed with the blood of his Saxons.

The Brits were harrassing his southern boundaries and the Celts were resisting his attempts at passification in the west. It was reported that a large body of Brits was on the move heading directly for Kent.

Strong as Hengist's Saxons might be, the combination of pressure from Brits, Celts, Scots and the few remaining Picts might prove too much for the fledgling kingdom. Horsa and his great warriors were needed, pleaded Hengist, to save the Saxon lands in Brittania from conquest. Horsa heeded his brother's plea and brought his army to the narrowest part of the salty sea channel separating him from his brother in Kent.

Never calm, but often far rougher, the Channel Sea made the passage a challenge, but not an insurmountable one. The Seer's words echoed in Horsa's mind. He carefully sought the proper landing and permitted only an advance party of his boats to land. The boats disgourged their warriors, who fanned out in all directions to check for traps or enemies lying in wait. There were none to be found. The landing could be made safely, they signaled with lit torches.

Horsa and his warriors encamped near the beach. Here they would stay until first light the following day. They felt safe. Guards on the perimeter of the encampment and the sea and their boats at their backs. Escape, if necessary, would be immensely possible. They need not have worried. No challenge came their way that night or in any of the days following as the newly arrived Saxons made their way to the Kingdom of Kent.

Ysbrand kept to himself these days, speaking only with Glynt, his dwarf assistant. The menagerie of trained creatures they conveyed was in the care of Glynt. Ysbrand concerned himself with the lay of the land and the sights he saw as he covered the same leagues with the others. Now and then a familiar site crossed his view. He kept mulling over in his mind the plans he had, the things he felt he must do. And somewhere buried deep in his recollection was a pretty face framed in auburn hair... no, not auburn... it was red... Oh! cannot I remember anything! ... Red, auburn... Bother! It was a pretty face, one might even say beautiful... for an Angle, that is. But the girl's name. I do not know the girl's name!

And so for Ysbrand the time and distance passed until he and the others, led by Horsa, found the encampment of Hengist, and the wooden staked wall the Saxon ruler depended on for protection in this untamed country.

Eminence Grise
posted 10-05-01 04:25 ET (US)     14 / 109       
High above the sea, on the white cliffs the old Roman lighthouse still stood. Hengist had manned it and the castle next to it.

Darnulf spend many days camped out there, far away from the main Saxon settlements. He had seen the fleet of Horsa arrive and had ridden off to warn his lord of the coming of his brother.

Hengist had been pleased and had the young warrior seated next to him at the evening meal. It was rich in food and drink and Darnulf had been more than a little intoxicated when he'd wandered to the longhouse where the young warriors slept.

The next morning he was feeling somewhat worse for wear as he readied his horse to rid back to the fort. As he mounted a large group of riders entered the settlement. Horsa's banners flying above them and several other banners of Horsa's liegemen. Several wagons were following the mounted warriors and he passed them, as he rode for Dover.

Then he saw the girl, her skin was pale as milk, her hair the colour of chesnuts and eyes that seemed like stormy skies. She never even seemed to notice him as he rode past.
He was still seeing her in his mind's eye long after the caravan had passed.

posted 10-05-01 05:52 ET (US)     15 / 109       
"Brother!", yelled Horsa raising arms. The two rapped their arms around the other. "It is good to see you. What now of these evil rats that plan on invading our land?"

"We have had many stikes from the West and East." reported Hengist with his head hanging.

"Well then. We better send troops to the East and to the West." Horsa said, trying to cheer up his brother. Horsa has always looked out for Hengist. He fent it was an obligation for him to protect his younger brother.

"Ysbrand? Where is he? Ysbrand?" Horsa asked turning to see that he was right next to him.

"Yes, Horsa? What do you need?" Ysbrand answered quietly.

"What do you think of this? Should we send an army to the East, West, or maybe to the North or South?" Hengist inquired thinking that Ysbrand would give a good deal of insight into this predictiment.

"Send an army to the North-West. There you will find an army of Brits camped to the North of Londontown. If you send Darnuff, you'll win the battle." Ysbrand suggested.

"Darnuff!? That drunk!?" Horsa yelled

"Fine then, don't send him. If you lose it will be too bad for you." The Seer said.

"Fine, we'll send him." Horsa gave in, "Send for Darnuff."

Duan Xuan
posted 10-05-01 06:11 ET (US)     16 / 109       
"Hello, Horsa! What's going onnn?" said Darnulf in his usual drunken stupor.

Horsa was almost bursting in anger at the impudent man. However, to beat the Brits, he had to swallow down the fire back down his throat. Ysbrand put his hand on Horsa's shoulder. The latter knew that Ysbrand was telling him to cool down.

"Darnulf! I will dispatch you to the North-Western border to fight the Brits! This will be an important battle, and I want you to win it. If you fail to, your head shall roll!" Horsa was finding an excuse to get rid of Darnulf, and everyone knew it. All but Darnulf, who was paying no attention to the chief.

"Darnulf!" the chief roared. He ordered his servant to pour ice water onto the drunkard.

Awake now, Darnulf was pushed out of Horsa's tent. Of course, he had no idea what all this was about. Nonetheless, he was told to mount the horse. Still in a state of confusion, Darnulf did what he was told to, little knowing that he had already held a high post- Commander of the battle.


The cold wind of the North cut against Darnulf's cheek like an icy knife. Behind him were 8000 foot soldiers and 1000 light cavalry. He was already at the battlefield- Londontown. The Brits were barely a mile away. Both were ready for the final clash...


"Dear Ysbrand. Why do you want me to send soldiers to the North-West, when the danger lies in the East and the West? More importantly, what do you see in that Darnulf that makes you think he will win for us?"

Gill Britannica
posted 10-05-01 18:56 ET (US)     17 / 109       
Lestra watched the soldiers marching away, dazzling them with a rare smile which lit up her whole face. She knew that many of the men and boys would not come back from the battle and hoped the smile would help to leave them with good memories of their homes.

She wandered back towards her hut, wondering and hoping that Ysbrand had gone with them. She had managed to avoid him up until then. She had ignored Horsa’s men when they arrived, keeping her eyes cast down, and it had been easy to stay out of the way since then as they had been busy discussing the battles they were planning to fight. As usual, her father didn’t seem to be party to these discussions.

It seemed as though she was spending all her time trying to avoid people whilst still making sure that things ran smoothly in their household. Her father was forever bullying her about getting married to ensure their family’s succession and when he forgot about that, he was complaining about the Saxons and how they always seemed to take charge of things. She tried to avoid the subject now. If only she had been a son, she would have championed the Angle cause with Hengist and Horsa … but they wouldn’t listen to a mere girl and her father seemed to lack the strength of mind to stand up to them.

She heard a familiar giggle from a nearby hut and sighed. Nyla, dazzling some poor wretch who would then be shunned. She smiled at the thought that they could probably make an entire army from Nyla’s cast-off lovers. As she started to prepare some food, thoughts kept whirling round in her head: her father, Nyla, Saxmund, Ysbrand. She wondered to herself why Nyla seemed to hate her so much. Nyla was beautiful and could charm any man. Everybody loved Nyla, so why was she frightened of her?

She heard footsteps outside and looked up to see who was coming.

Civis Romanus
posted 10-05-01 21:04 ET (US)     18 / 109       
The footsteps stopped as if the person were hesitating outside before entering. Then the footsteps resumed, but this time fading away. Lestra returned to her work wondering who it was that stopped before her hut entertaining the idea of requesting an entrance. She knew guessing was fruitless so she ceased her wondering and concentrated on the finely hewn bone needle and sinew thread in her hands she was using to repair the hole in one of her work dresses.

The villages and lands of the Angles rested in a defensible place between the fort of the Saxons of Kent and the narrow land of the Celts that bordered on the Celtic Sea across which the Mist carried off the Cauldron.

Contact between the Celts and Angles was limited, fleeting and seldom friendly among the leaders. The people tolerated each other's presence, but avoided each other as much as possible. The Angles astutely recognized the growing power of the Saxons and sought protection in a pact with the ruler of Kent. The price was to be a supply of soldiers when called for by Hengist.

The treaty suited the Saxons as the presence of the Angles between the Celts and Saxons served as a buffer between the two peoples. The Celts avoided the Angles so as not to incur the wrath of the Saxons, and the presence of the Angles kept the Saxons away, for the most part, from the land of the Celts (at least so far).

The Angles disliked the arrangement as it placed them in the middle of any dispute between the Celts and the Saxons, and they disliked and distrusted the Saxons in general. Nonetheless, it was the arrival of the Saxons and the treaty between them that enabled the Angles to enjoy at least some relief from the incursions of the Celts from the West. The Angles grudgingly admitted that the treaty, however humiliating, was necessary for their survival.

The giggling stopped and Lestra heard footsteps once more approaching her hut. These were lighter footsteps, a girl's feathery gentle stride. The hut's door flap flew open and it was Nyla who entered. Nyla took one look at Lestra, scowled, turned up her nose and stepped back outside again. Giggling, Nyla impulsively ran to the edge of the village and into the forest not stopping until she had run out of breath and could run no more.

A noise from a nearby bush caught her attention. She stared in its direction to see what manner of beast was there. A hare? A vole? A bird? No. It was a young man who suddenly stood up from behind the bush.

Nyla's eyes opened wide. She knew it was too late to run; he could easily catch her. Instead she stared at him brazenly, straightening her back so that every feature she presented was fully amplified. She crossed her arms in front of herself and challenged him with her eyes.

The young man carried weapons, but held or carried them in a nonthreatening manner. He stood there unblinking, staring right back, saying nothing. Until at last he raised his hands, open palmed to show he meant no harm. Then he spoke to her.

CELTIC! The young man was a Celt.

Nyla understood a little Celtic, enough to cover the basics. The young man understood a little Angle. The man took a modest step forward still presenting himself as peaceful. Nyla, emboldened, held her ground. Besides, for a Celt, he was rather pleasant to look at. He was obviously well built, strong enough, and his face... Well... Nyla admitted she could even call it handsome. Her heart beat more rapidly the closer he came...

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 10-05-2001 @ 09:14 PM).]

posted 10-06-01 02:11 ET (US)     19 / 109       
"Who...Who are you!?" Nyla ordered.

"My names is Bevan. I want to meet with a man named...Klax." The young warrior said.

He couldn't help but look at Nyla's beautiful face. He was fascinated that an Angles or Saxon, he wasn't sure which she was, could look so beautiful.

"What business do you have with him?" She quickly asked.

"That is for me tell only Klax, not some girl." Bevan resented that Nyla, a girl, was questioning him. Although he admired her beauty, he did not admire her attitude. "Now take me to Klax, I have important news to tell him."

"Fine! Follow me." Nyla huffed.

They walked into camp together. Lestra was sitting outside her tent now. She wanted to get some air and she wanted to see where her sister was going. When Lestra saw Nyla with the man wearing strange clothes she jumped up and immediately ran to get her father.

"Father!? Father!?" Lestra yelled running into the Chief's tent. "There is a strange man with Nyla."

"What else in new?" Klax interrupted.

"This man is not with us. He looks almost like a...Celt." She described.

"What? A Celt?" Klax asked while standing up.

Just then they heard Nyla call her father. Their footsteps were getting closer. The tent flap flew open. There standing next to Nyla was the young Celtic man. When Bevan first saw Lestra he couldn't say anything. She was not as pretty as Nyla was, but she had a more regal appearance. It took him a second to gather his thoughts.

"Are you Klax?" Bevan asked calmly.

"Yes. Who might you be?" The chief replied.

"My name is Bevan. I was sent by Owen, the leader of the Celts in the region." The warrior continued, "I would like to speak to you privately about such things."

The news spread fast about the Celtic man. Soon it reached the ears of Ysbrand. He was curious about the young warrior, but not because of the Celt's news.

"This man could be the one." Thought Ysbrand. "The one I might manipulate to do my bidding." He continued to think for a few seconds, and then decided to go to the tent of Klax.

He arrived at Klax's tent to see Lestra and Nyla standing outside the door. They didn't notice him at first, but when they did, they froze. He walked up to them and asked, "What are you two doing listening in on conversations of your father's. It is not a woman's place to listen to her father's discussions. Leave immediately." With that, the two girls ran to their tents so afraid that they didn't leave theirs tents for the rest of the night. They hadn't heard Ysbrand speak for a few days and they had never heard them speak in such a manner to anyone.

"Klax?" Ysbrand said outside the tent. "May I speak to you a moment?"

Bevan shuttered. "Who is that? Just hearing his voice gives me the chills."

"He is the Saxon Warlock voyaging with us as a Seer." Klax told Bevan, and then turned to the tent opening. "You may come in Ysbrand."

Ysbrand threw back the door and entered. Bevan's eyes grew and his mouth dropped. He had never before seen a man like this one. His voice would lead one to believe he was older. Then there were his eyes. Eyes like one has never seen. They were almost hypnotic to look at, but Bevan drew away from them quickly.

"What news had this young man brought?" Ysbrand inquired pointing at Bevan. Bevan's heart jumped when Ysbrand pointed at him

[This message has been edited by ZigZac (edited 10-15-2001 @ 09:48 PM).]

posted 10-06-01 06:21 ET (US)     20 / 109       
“We have done what was asked of us.” Bevan announced.

“The children dead too?” Ysbrand enquired again, this time to Klax.

“Yes.” Klax replied.

Bevan felt the weight of the seer’s eyes on him. Shifting his weight from one foot to the other, he did not like Seers at the best of times.

“Some two hundred days since, just as you specified.” He gave.

Ysbrand smiled then frowned. “Did you cast the bodies out to sea?”

Bevan looked at Ysbrand, he hadn’t, but how could this seer know. “Aye sir.”

“Tell me…” Ysbrand countered.


Two hundred days ago…

Kessa sat with her legs crossed, at the edge of the cliff. The breeze from the sea, was mild yet yielded a familiar fragrance - the crisp, salty texture of the sea combined with the gentle smooth pungency of the heather that grew by her feet. She loved that smell; it always seemed to represent hope. Every day she would sit atop the cliff staring out to sea, waiting for him to return.

The tangles of her long black hair danced around her shoulders in the wind, massaging the nape of neck, like her husband Arithmial had with his lips just six months before. I miss you darling.

She lifted her right hand, running her fingers through her loosely curled hair, pulling it back tightly then folding it upwards and with her two hands she began to braid her hair. No pleasures, she reminded herself, until he returns to me. I do miss you
She longed to hold him close once more, to feel his arms around her body, his hands in her hair, his lips first whispering gently in her ear the way he always did, then kissing her neck roughly, and firmly holding her tightly against him. Tears formed in her eyes, and began to lazily trace a route down her face into her lap. If only he would return. Soon. I do miss you.

"Arithmial," She called out, yet no sound emerged. The wind grew stronger.

Standing, and wiping the stream of tears from her face, she looked out to the calm sea, hoping for an omen or sign of his return, yet nothing. In the distance, the thunderous clouds of a storm were forming, and she would soon need to return to their home for shelter. Their home.

Far below her, her two children played together, laughing the way only children could. They missed there father, yet they were much more resilient. Tanis was five, tall for his age with copper-red curly hair like his fathers. Looking onto this beautiful boy, a copy of his father, had been difficult the past two years, for he was definitely his father's son. His sister, Mea, was older yet almost identical to her brother. The same copper-red hair, only in tighter ringlets, that fell from her head like the boughs of a willow tree, beside a river.

It had been some six months since her husband had left with the others. A messenger had said that a great army from the south would return and that ‘good men’ would be needed to fend them off. The army had never come. Invicta, the land she had called home for nearly thirty years, was safe.
But still, there was no news. No sign of his return. She refused to consider the worst.

She had heard the horses before she could see them, and called her children to her. They scrambled up the cliff, bent down, laying one ear against the ground as their father had taught them.

"It's three horses," Tanis declared, his eyes wide and excited.
"No, I'm sure it's five" his sister replied.

The children began to argue and Kessa raised her hand to silence them.

"It's four," a broad smile spreading over her face.

Four horses, if only... Arithmial had gone with three other men from the village.

"Father?" The children asked, scrambling to their feet.

"Let's see..."

The trio ran to the path and followed it down to the beach. Four riders appeared in the distance, the horses’ hooves thundering down like a great storm.

She heard a voice, her husbands?

“Kessa darling, run, take the children…” he screamed.

But it was too late the riders had caught up with them. Two of them circled the children. A flash of light against the stormy sky.

“No!” Kessa screamed, running forward.

Crack! The sound of an arrow shooting forth. Crack! Kessa felt pain, but still she ran forward. Her husband had fallen, wounded. The warriors had circled him again and it was too late.

She fell atop him; the arrow had struck her neck, blood falling between them.

“Darling,” She gasped, but her lips could not reach his.


“Very good,” Ysbrand smiled, “and then the bodies were cast to sea?”

“Aye sir, I will take my leave now.” Bevan said, making his retreat hastily.

As he left he could still hear the muttered voices of Klax and Ysbrand.

Gill Britannica
posted 10-06-01 18:00 ET (US)     21 / 109       
“Well?” Nyla whispered to Lestra.

“Well what?” Lestra replied crossly. She had still not got over the shock of seeing Nyla so close to that Celt. She may have had many differences of opinion with her sister, indeed may not trust her completely, but she didn’t want her dead – and that was what she had feared when she saw the two of them.

“He was a brave man” Nyla responded. “The Celt. To come into the Angles’ camp like that.”

“Yes, sure” Lestra muttered. “Celt, Saxon, our camp seems to be open house to anybody who chooses to come in. I don’t think much of our guards. It could have been a raiding party and we could all be dead.”

“But it wasn’t and personally I liked the look of him”. Nyla sounded exasperated. “Can’t you think of anything but war and your wretched Saxmund? I wonder what he wanted?”

Lestra looked stricken and choked down a sob. Nyla smiled inwardly; she knew how to upset her sister and it gave her a rare feeling of power over her.

“I’m going to ask our father what he wanted. Maybe he came with an offer of peace?”

“And maybe he didn’t. Honestly Nyla, I wish you would think before you speak. And you can go and see our father if you want, but so far as I know Ysbrand is still there.”

Nyla opened her mouth to reply, then thought better of it. She wasn’t afraid of Ysbrand as Lestra evidently was, and she really did want to see the Celt again.

“I’m going out .. don’t worry, Lestra, I’m not going near our father or Ysbrand”.

She left the tent and looked around. “Now, I wonder which way he went” she muttered to herself. “I don’t care what Lestra says; Miss High and Mighty doesn’t know everything. She’s certainly never been with a Celt, but then nor have I … yet. I know he liked me from the way he looked at me.” She smiled to herself and then set off towards the west where she knew the Celt lands were.

Lestra looked out of the tent and saw Nyla in the distance. She seemed to be heading for the end of the Angles’ land, somewhere they had been forbidden to go by their father. She wondered if she ought to tell him; but he was still with Ysbrand and she didn’t think she could face him twice in one day. She heaved a sigh and realised that, much as her sister seemed to hate her for reasons she couldn’t understand, she was still her sister and it was up to her to make sure she didn’t do anything stupid. She fastened her dark cloak round herself and crept out of the camp, following in the direction Nyla had taken.

Duan Xuan
posted 10-06-01 18:56 ET (US)     22 / 109       
Meanwhile, on the vessel...

"Whoa!" cried Feimar as he was sent flying right to the end of the cabin.

Cian looked at the boy. He crossed his arms and smugged, "Now can you please tell me who you really are?"

"I am Feimar, I already told you that, sir. I am really from the East. My parents brought me to this strange lands when I was only a baby. They died soon after, for no reason... I don't know...

An old couple brought me up since then and they have already passed away." related the boy with a sob. "They died under the Saxons' hands! I vow to get revenge!"

Cian was shocked. This was an orphan, and one with hatred deep down in his heart. His eyes could electrify any Saxon he looked at. There was more to Feimar's story, and Cian knew it. He decided to ask about it later on. This boy is interesting, Cian thought. He was right.


The sound of galloping came. It became louder by the moment and soon, and a man appeared through the light fog on his horse. He pulled his stallion back suddenly so that it reared. The soldiers were awed. It was their chief- Horsa.

"Darnulf, the Seer has told me to come here to join in the battle. I shall take the main part in commanding, so you are under me."

Little could anyone guess, but Darnulf was very relieved. At last he was not responsible for the outcome of the battle! He felt better and took a deep breath of fresh air.

The Brits' war horn sounded and so did the Saxons'.

"Charge!" and the battle began. It was only the beginning.

The battle seemed to be without end, because both sides were equally strong. It suddenly came to Darnulf that they might be fighting only a part of the Brits.

So they were.

It wasn't long to wait before another army of Brits charged into the battlefield. Alarmed, Horsa ordered the immediate retreat of the troops. They were outnumbered by more than 2 to 1. It was sole defeat if they continued fighting.

However, the second army of Brits had already encircled them, meaning no retreat at all for the Saxons. Just what we need, thought Darnulf. He roared so that all the troops could hear, "Great Saxons, fight with all your might! There is no going home unless we fight our way through these enemies!"

What a brilliant man, thought Horsa.

With the thought of returning home alive, the Saxons won the battle in the end. However, they had only a few horsemen left. Darnulf and Horsa were fine, fortunately. They led their remaining troops home.


[This message has been edited by Duan Xuan (edited 10-08-2001 @ 05:00 AM).]

posted 10-08-01 06:03 ET (US)     23 / 109       
It was just after sunset when Horsa, Darnuff and the brave warriors who had fought, and won, a glorius battle against the Brits. Tired and worn out from the long walk Horsa and his warriors decided to save the great feast until the next day.

* * *

The sun peered into Hora's tent sounding the start of yet another day. Reluctently he woke-up and went to meet with Hengist and Klax to discuss the battle.

"Guard! Bring me Darnuff!" Hengist ordered. One of the guards quickly ran off to find him.

"Are you sure that he was sober, brother?" Hengist asked in amazement to think that he would ever go into battle without taking a "few" sipps.

"Yes, brother. It is hard not to sober up when you have about 500 Brits running around you." Horsa said, a little annoyed that his brother didn't believe him.

"I agree." Klax added. Ever since the beginning of the meeting, he hadn't the chance to say anything else.

"Darnuff will be great aset to us in the future." Ysbrand informed the chiefs. "He might be a drunk, but his abilities are great."

Everyone looked at eachother as if to say, "What on Earth is he thinking?"

Soon after being announced Darnuff entered the tent. The chiefs decided to give Darnuff a higher rank in gratitude for his valiant behavior and leadership during the battle.

The feast was held that night in celebration of Darnuff and Horsa's great victory against the Brits.

The entire camp was there. There was roasted boar, roasted chicken, and a huge array of food. But what Darnuff liked the most was...the wine. It was the best he had ever tasted. He told himself to be carful not to get drunk, though. So he drank it slowly. Nyla was flirting enough for ten women. She tried hard to flirt with Bevan, but he wasn't receptive to her behavior. He tried to ignore her a little. Lestra wasn't enjoying herself, though she pretended to. She soon was worn out of pretending and went to retire to her tent. She walked away from the table, but right behind her was Bevan.

"What do you want?" Lestra asked, a bit annoyed.

"I just wanna talk. You didn't seem like you were having much fun." Bevan said, feeling a little auckward for following her.

"Really?" Lestra said, putting one hand on her hip.

"Yeah, really." Bevan responded.

"Well, I am tired and I want to get to" She said rejecting his attempts to be even remotely nice to her.

"Lestra! Wait! I want to tell you something that I haven't told anyone for a long time." Bevan said reaching out for Lestra's arm.

"What!?" Lestra shouted.

"I wanted you to know my name. My real name." Bevan said looking at the ground.

"Oh. What is it?" Lestra asked. Se felt like she had over-acted. After all, Bevan was trying to nice and he wanted to share something with her that he didn't with anyone else, even her father.

"My name is..." he started. to say but stopped. There was a noise in the bushes. Nyla popped out.

"Do you mind!?" Lestra yelled.

"Oh...nothing." Nyla said in a teasing way.

"Please leave." Lestra said grinding her teeth. Nyla stood there not moving. "Fine. Then we'll leave." She grabbed Bevan's arm and drug him away from Nyla.

"You where saying?" Lestra asked.

"My name is Cedric." He said revealing that he was the son of Vortigern.

[This message has been edited by ZigZac (edited 10-09-2001 @ 03:54 AM).]

posted 10-08-01 15:15 ET (US)     24 / 109       
"And?" replied Lestra.

There was a long pause while Bevan, the man who claimed to be Cedric son of Vortigen, looked at Lestra. She smiled sweetly back at him. He was quite handsome, she thought.

He opened his mouth to say something but stopped. Was this the right time to explain?

"Tell me about Nyla," he said, changing the subject.

"Cedric, son of Vortigen?" She replied, changing it back.


"Let's talk about you, not my sister..." She said, looking deep into his eyes. Something warm, and special looked back at her, and as he talked something inside her told her that she could trust him.

They talked for a while, in fact until the sun began to rise the next day. It was only when the first birds began to sing their morning song, that Lestra and Cedric made their way back to the camp.

Nyla, of course, was there to greet them.

"Lestra, my dear, I didn't know you had it in you!" She laughed.

"Nyla!" Lestra warned her sister "Don't judge others by the rules you live by."

"Yes sister," she said mocking her sister's voice.

But it was too late, Nyla found it too funny, and could stifle her giggles no more. A fit of hysterics later, and Lestra pounced on her sister.
Bevan, quite helpless and confused, stood by watching the two sisters scarbbling on the floor yanking at each other's hair and screaming like banshee's.

"Stop this," a voice boomed...

[This message has been edited by Arithmial (edited 10-08-2001 @ 03:56 PM).]

Civis Romanus
posted 10-08-01 16:19 ET (US)     25 / 109       
In Hengist's hut, he and his brother, with Ysbrand, planned the next steps in their strategy of ensuring the survival of the fledgling Kingdom of Kent.


In the Celtic village by the Western Sea, Talisien contemplated what next he must do to ensure their survival. A hero? A warrior? A new king? What should he do.

The Cauldron rested easily in its hiding place deep in the bowels of the isle. The Mist coursed silently around the isle's beach hiding the landfall from sailor's view. If not for this particular ship's poor steering, it would have missed the isle entirely. Instead, it lay beached on the sand, its lowermost planks intact but pressed inwards. The ship would go nowhere until it was repaired. It was Cian and Feimar who had the task of finding the right wood for the job.

The Mist permitted them only a few feet of view, but it was enough to allow them to leave the place where the ship had beached itself and to go inland in search of wood. Shortly afterwards, they both had wished they had never left the beach or the ship.

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 10-08-2001 @ 08:48 PM).]

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