Location: Brixworth, Danelaw's territory, former Middle-Angle kingdom.
Time: Harvest time (around September)
- Wyne of Brixworth, convalescing one-armed thegn. (Dan)
- Edlyn, Abbot of Brixworth. (NPC)
- Holt, coerl and caretake of the estate. (Alex)
- Ingram of Brixworth: Danish adoptive son of the Earldorman (Jason).
The villagers stood shaking in the hollowed nave of the Abbey. It felt like the howls of the Abbot's seizure could never die down and that God was on the brink of turn his back on his flock of sheep. Wyne was pacing along the walls as the others tried to assess whether they could muster 70 silver coins as payment. Most of the Earldorman's cash was gone in an attempt to purchase food for the village. Lady Ora offered a small chest of silver and bronze trinkets. The Abbot added 15 coins, Holt surrendered in full his meager 5 coins. Wyne reluctantly shoved more silverware into the chest until they felt that the payment was complete.
It was late. People were whispering in the warm darkness about the Abbot. Edlyn reassuringly congregated the denizens into the nave and addressed the situation. God was with them without a doubt. He pointed at the two danish horses and explained that they'd be used as bargaining chits along with the silver. God had given them the horses. He explained that God also had challenged him with these fits and that this was his cross to bear. The tension eased and the women and children returned to their makeshift beds.
At first light, the watch woke the Theign. There was a plume of smoke to the North and to the south suggesting small campfires. Wyne, Ingram and Holt decided that it would be best to remove the grotesque body of the murdered dane that was hanging from a tree at the Southern edge of the village. Ingram rode ahead of the others to discover that the body had been removed already. They could hear riders in the dry brush of the forest to the East and hustled back to the Abbey.
When the danes arrived, torches in hands, they opened the chest some 3m from the Abbey's door. Holt stood towering over the loot. Wyne took a step forward as the danes were poking their head into his home some 200m down stream from them. Ingram held the horses to the back of the others. Only five danes trotted to meet the Angles. The Angles knew that they were short of cattles and a cart of food and hoped that the silver would suffice.
Kollsvein was the danish leader. They stopped some 20m from the Abbey. Ingram began to explain the deal: the danegelt would be paid, but on the whole meatless. His danish was rusty and awkward. The danes were making fun of Wyne's missing arm and Holt standing like a peacock over a tiny box of trinkets. Ingram was just a kid, the situation degraded into bursts of laughters. Kollsvein called his men to plunder the helpless Angles. It was a mistake...
The Abbot, from the steeple, shot Kollsvein and hit his leg. The other danes charged with overconfidence. Holt's mowed down two of the charging horses with his great axe while Wyne lodged his spear into Kollsvein who fell off his mount. Ingram climbed on his horse after snapping out of a panic, disarmed one of the fallen rider and chased down another. As Holt was regaining his breath from having a hoof kick him in the junk (dice can be horrible sometimes), the danes were rallying to make an exit. Edlyn's arrow hit the leader once more. His lifeless body slipped off its slouch over his mount as the others escaped to the south.
|The tussle off the door of the Abbey. Note the upside-down horse bitching |
about a broken leg. What a wuss!
Ingram lay on the ground with a spear still stuck in his chest. Hrothgar ran out of the Abbey to contain the bleeding and get the spear out. Ingram was cold and white and without the grace of God would have died on the spot.
Both Ingram and Wyne suffered from mild infections and were convalescing when the Earldorman returned 5 days later. Life had returned to normality since the raid. However, the two mortally wounded danish horses were slaughtered and turned into number of feasts. More food was brought from the south by the Earldorman as well.
No denizen of Brixworth had died, no property lost. Three danes had perished as well as two of their horses. The Angles had gained two horses as well, and one Danish prisoner who eventually would be ransomed to a relative for a few live sheeps.
What could have gone wrong did not. Largely because the PCs looked so much like a joke that the Dane raiders didn't bother mount a proper attack on the Abbey.