Edington | Teen Ink

Edington

February 27, 2019
By JAGO0578 SILVER, Tirana, Other
JAGO0578 SILVER, Tirana, Other
5 articles 0 photos 7 comments

I am Alfred of Wessex, on this day I faced the Danes on the fields of Edington my thegns, ealdorman and three fyrds joined me in reclaiming my kingdom. I remember this day clearly for it was the day I defeated the Great Heathen Army.

 

May 4th 878 A.D


“Danes. Danes are the scourge of this land. Our land, the land of our forefathers, the land that has seen so much bloodshed. The Danes are the savages who burn and pillage our villages, the Danes are the ones who attacked Chippenham and killed every woman, man, and child. The Danes are the barbaric oath-breaking cowards who swore on their ring of Thor and broke their oath killing my men and fled Wareham in the cover of night. I was broken, reduced to hiding in the marshes of Somerset. This fourth day of May, the year of our lord ,878, I have come out of hiding, I have rallied the fyrds of Somerset, Wiltshire and Hampshire. Once more will the standards of Wessex blow in the wind and once more will the gleaming helmets, sharpened swords, and hardened shields strike fear into the hearts of our enemies. We fight for God and I Alfred of Wessex will give God a victory over these heathens, I will send them back to their frozen hell!”


A cheer rose up from the men, I knew they would fight hard this day for they were fighting for their homes.


I rode out to the field watching the Danes from a distance. It was a dewy morning but the sun was up shining on us, many of the men took it as a sign that God was on our side. My men were assembled on the field with my thegns and their infantry in the front and my skirmishers close behind them, the Dane army was bloodthirsty, which in turn made them rash in their decisions. I commanded my men to form a shield wall and advance, the Danes did the same. My skirmishers let loose their arrows when they were in range but due to the Viking wall few hit their marks, I was with my thegn bodyguards, we were mounted on horses; there were fifty of us in total, my army numbered little over a thousand men in total and our numbers were close to those of the Danes.

 

The two shield walls were advancing the space between them getting smaller and smaller, bodies were dropping from both sides due to the skirmishers' deadly missiles finally the two shield walls clashed men on both sides tried to stab through the gaps. Slowly the ground turned red and the air was filled with groans and the cries of dying men. Some men desperately tried to ram the wall to create a breach, but both sides held. It went on for close to and hour, I was watching from the hill, I speak true, I had fear in my heart.

But I knew something had to be done, “Men of Wessex you have fought with me before, today I ask you to do it again, but not only for me, for your homes, for your family’s, for God!” With that my loyal thegns charged with me leading them, we slammed into the shield wall and created a breach. Now we were in the midst of the battle and we were outnumbered. Suddenly, a Norseman with a spear charged at me, he was close to striking me when one of my thegns charged in and trampled him with his horse. I saw one of my thegns get pulled from his horse and stabbed, another one was shot through the back with an arrow, he was dead but his horse still carried him. I knew we couldn’t hold out much longer but we had to hold the breach so the rest of the army could get through, I spotted a Dane charging at me with an ax in his hand. This warrior was strange, he carried nothing but a long battle ax, he had no armor, but paint markings all over his body, he must have been one of the fanatic berserkers of the Danelands. He swung and struck my horse in the neck, my loyal steed toppled over but I was able to get up. My shield was weighing me down and would do little to protect me from his heavy blows, I tossed it down and readied my sword. It seemed to be just the two of us on the field then, all the noise of the ensuing chaos left my ears, we were circling each other waiting for one to strike. He swung his ax down to try to crush my skull, I rolled out of the way and tried to strike his exposed side to late, he had pulled his ax from the ground and blocked my blow. I decided I needed to tire him out. He was using large amounts of his energy to strike. He swung sideways, I dodged and swung at his leg, my blow landed and left a deep cut in his calf, he roared in anger and charged at me trying to swing with all his might, I knew that he could not swing if I was close to him, I charged and swung at the base of his ax, my blow took one of the warrior’s hands. I had expected him to drop or run, to stop fighting but again he charged at me with no weapon in his hand but a small dagger he had taken from one of his dead comrades, my confusion quickly faded and I drove the blade through his chest. With a sickening sound it came free, he fell. There were only a few of us left when I heard battlecries of the men of Wessex break through the Norse shield wall. The Danes fought hard and tried to reform the wall but it was too late, panic spread through their army like fire, some started running from the field of battle. Some knew they were going to die and fought and fell with their weapons in their hands as is the Viking belief that they will go to Valhalla, a warrior's heaven, if they die bearing arms. We chased them down, the ones who escaped the slaughter fled to the forest. The day was ours, the battle ended in a decisive victory for Wessex.

The remaining Dane forces were forced to agree to the terms of the Treaty of Wedmore, in which the heathen king, Guthrum, was baptised along with twenty-nine of his men. Guthrum was made my adopted son and a servant of Wessex. It was a favorable outcome although if I had seen him on the field I would have slain him.  Since he killed the king of East Anglia, Guthrum is now the puppet king serving our interests, still, there are Norsemen raiding our coast but we push them back, they fear the power of Wessex.

 

berserker

/bəˈsəːkə/

noun

an ancient Norse warrior who fought with wild or uncontrolled ferocity.

fyrds                                                                             

the English militia before 1066.  


The author's comments:

This is a historical fiction piece that is based in England during the early 10th century.

This was for a class and I tried to make it ok.


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