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Heir To The Throne - Literature - Nairaland

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The Rancher's Secret Heir / Ikádä(throne Of Love): War, Betrayal, Lust,ambition By Angelsss / Sitting On The Throne (1) (2) (3) (4)

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Heir To The Throne by lordseb(m): 2:13pm On Jul 30
Hey guys, I know it's been a while since you guys heard of me. well I've been pretty busy... ok that's a lie, my lappy got spoilt and I don't have a good phone but I've decided to return anyway with my first story to be completed, *laughs silently* i'm naming it HEIR TO THE THRONE, it'll be a historical fiction book, i'll be writing from the year 1045 - 1071 and i'll cover the events of William the Conqueror's conquest of England, so stay tuned cause its certainly gonna be a blast.
Re: Heir To The Throne by zesh(m): 8:36am On Jul 31
history is fun, behind you.
please can you assure us that you will end the story
Re: Heir To The Throne by lordseb(m): 12:06pm On Sep 10
To all the people I kept on suspense, I apologise, I'll update the prologue of my story today, ANTICIPATE!!!
Re: Heir To The Throne by lordseb(m): 5:02pm On Sep 13
I changed the story and decided to make it an ahistorical story, it will be based on real life History but it will be different, I've finally finished the prologue and I'll try to post everyday, so... enjoy

1 Like

Re: Heir To The Throne by lordseb(m): 5:05pm On Sep 13
Teviotdale, Scotland – 1066

Dogs barked outside as Eadgar of Wessex waited patiently in a hall for his liege lord, Duke Gospatric of Lothian. He listened with some interest as he felt very much as they must have felt – restless, eager, excited. They may wish for some new treat or adventure. He too wished for such but truly, he wished for what he felt was his from birth. He was the heir to a mighty kingdom on this Isle and apparently the Lords of London had proclaimed him so. Two invasions after the death of King Edward had complicated such a succession, and Eadgar was naught but 16. The Saxons had one idea, and many others had their own.
Eadgar was a stout young man, his bravery and diligence shown already to his host such that once in exile, he was immediately promoted to Marshal of a small southern province of Scotland. Gospatric had been a kind liege and valued his younger friend. While not equals in title, they were close enough in age that Gospatric had felt a kinship. He would allow Eadgar his word at all times, especially now with what was occurring south of his border. The King of Scotland was worried about an invasion himself. Gospatric was more worried about cross border excursions, and further, the potential loss of one of his brightest lights.

The din of noise increased outside as the very figure of his Duke roused Eadgar from his thoughts. He stood as Gospatric approached and his liege reached out his hand, “Good morrow, my lord. We have much to speak on. Pray follow…”

Eadgar did not waste time and moved to follow as quickly as he could. He allowed himself a moment to ask, “How goes it to the south?”

Duke Gospatric moved swiftly to a table laid out by his servants and took a cup quickly to his lips.

“Harald has lost in York! He moves south, but Eadwin is on his heels and should wrap him up soon.”

“Wrap him up, or stuff him for a time?” Eadgar asked.

Gospatric turned to look kindly on his servant but immediately saw the true interest. “You speak honest. Harald will not let go, and William has landed.”

Eadgar moved to the maps laid out on a table at the side of the room and began studying them intently. As Gospatric approached him, he turned quickly, “The Bastard will lay waste to the south as the bulk of the forces are in the north. Godwinson will not let up, but he cannot protect both.”

The Duke shifted to look at the maps himself and while studying them spoke without looking up, “You are correct, but what good does it do for you? Were you not hired as Marshal to forget such follies? After all, Malcolm the King looks to his south just as much as any of the others look to the north. There is little I can do. And you? Who is willing to press your claim?”

“None that matters,” Eadgar answered as he himself went to drown some few sorrows in the ale provided.
His Duke then took the moment to move to the young Marshal, “Eadgar…we have known each other for a long time now. Stay here and rise in these ranks.

There is nothing for you there. Harald will not let up and the Normans have been pressing for too many years. The Godwin clan will fight as far as they can, but…”

Eadgar looked sharply to his benefactor.

Gospatric finished, “…You are here for a reason. The Confessor did not name you as a successor. You may have the name and pedigree, but you do not have the power and nor do I, as much as I may wish it.”

Sixteen summers had passed since Eadgar’s birth, and much else, but he could only stand silently looking again at the maps in front of him.

Finally he spoke, “Morcar does little to lift a finger, but I still count him as a friend. His brother does find himself defending the realm, even though it must kill Eadwin to come to such a defense in York. The Northmen are beat. So it is the Bastard that we must worry about.”

“And…” Gospatric tried to lead his younger friend.

“And we must wait.”

“Indeed,” his Duke finished. “Study under Eadulf in this realm and wait. Teviotdale is no bad place. If nothing else, you will find yourself gaining lands. We are not yet Saxon subjects, much less Normans or Norwegian. You will never be King of Scotland…and likely will not ever be King of England. But you have a place here. And I am happy for such. Do your best to enjoy that and let go of the past!”

Eadgar stepped back from the maps and moved to pour both himself and Gospatric another drink. As he held out the second cup, he could not help but say, “God bless Scotland. And God Bless the English for they are mine to rule.”

His Duke took his drink and smiled briefly, “If anyone could, I suppose it would be you Eadgar. But…”

“I do not think in such ways, Patric…” Eadgar said as he downed his own drink. “It is my birthright!”
Re: Heir To The Throne by princ007(f): 7:20pm On Sep 13
Following
Re: Heir To The Throne by lordseb(m): 8:13pm On Sep 13
To make the story easier to understand, the Eadgar I'm talking about here is Eadgar the Aetheling son of Edward the exile and Agatha, by agnatic-cognatic gavelkind he is supposed to be the rightful King of England as at 1066 but was denied the throne because He was a minor and because Edward the Confessor went around promising his throne to everybody just to make sure that there was Peace, The English nobles elected Harold Godwinsson as King and Eadgar went over to Scotland.
I'll try to explain the situation as I go on, and secondly in the discussion they had they were talking about the defeat of Harald Hardrada, but we all know that when you lose a battle you haven't lost the war, also William the conqueror is down south Causing havoc.
Extra Note: This story is Ahistorical, that means it won't be the same way it happened in real life
Re: Heir To The Throne by lordseb(m): 11:32am On Sep 14
Teviotdale, Scotland – April, 1067

Eadgar of Wessex stood in the training yard of his host with a group of younger boys. They were not yet of true fighting age, but neither was a nearly 17 year old Eadgar himself. His host, Earl Eadulf of Teviotdale was the spymaster of Lothian and trusted by the Duke Gospatric. Both men felt it was never too early to begin training in arms and the trust they showed to Eadgar was proof that age did not matter. Spirit, toughness and bravery were far better indications of worth.

“Keep your elbow in!” Eadgar bellowed to a boy not yet 12 summers in age. “If you don’t, you are sure to lose your arm in a wild parry.”

“Yessir!” the boy answered and pulled his arm to his side tightly.

“But allow the weapon to be an extension of the arm. Do not let fear keep you from having your strength at the ready,” Eadgar said as much to all the boys.

They all nodded with another “yessir” and went about their training again as the Marshal looked on.

The heavy set man could be heard wheezing before he was seen by Eadgar, but the young man knew the Earl’s sign and did not turn around as he welcomed him, “Good day, my Lord? What news?”

“What news, you ask?!” Eadulf was practically ebullient. “The King in the South is dead!”

Eadgar spun with swiftness and yet could not think of the words to reply.

“Indeed, a shock to be sure.” Eadulf looked past the young Marshal at his charges and then back to Eadgar with a smile.

“Well, what happened?”

“As you know, the Bastard landed near London at the end of the year. As the pretender Harald dallied around Derby acting out a siege with little stock, the King moved to his west and Duke Eadwin left the comforts of York to track to the east. They met near the outskirts of London last month.”

Eadgar scratched at the stubble on his chin, “I had figured that Eadwin had bested the Bastard.”

“That he did in January. But once William had his true strength, it mattered not that Harold had made what seems an unnatural ride to meet him. I am told the Bastard himself cut down Harold Godwinson and he is King no more.”

“But what does this mean? Has the Bastard proclaimed himself King?” Eadgar asked with no little amount of worry.

“He has done so, but none that matter will listen as yet. Those around the former King now proclaim his son, Godwine as liege.”

Eadgar spat upon the ground, “Be damned, the both of them!”

“Now, now…all is not lost. The boy is not yet 16 summers and there are many of the old Saxon nobility that still yearn for a return of the Wessex Kings. We must simply wait and see who bests one another…William the Bastard or Harald Hardrada. The boy is of no account, I assure you.”

The words sounded wise enough, but anger still filled Eadgar’s heart. For too long the House of Godwin had usurped his titles and lands. His host seemed to notice this anger and left him to his ruminations. But not without a parting word as he turned and began walking away,

“Patience is all that separates the hunter and the hunted, young man. Learn that lesson as you will need all you can muster in the coming months.”

Eadgar nodded as he watched his host walk back down the hill. He turned and spied his young charges, all standing at attention and awaiting orders.

“Well why in blazes are you lazing about?! Back at it!” he barked. They wasted little time in resuming their activities and he allowed a slight smile to escape his lips. He may need these young pups some day. Best they be well trained.
Re: Heir To The Throne by lordseb(m): 11:33am On Sep 14
Today's update
Re: Heir To The Throne by lordseb(m): 2:22pm On Sep 15
York, England - August 1067

The Duke of York and Northumbria stood at the small eyelet in the corner of his small southern tower. The keep was not much to speak of, but it was the largest in his territory even if not nearly as large as those his brother Eadwin had begun constructing in Mercia.

Theirs was a fierce rivalry. Both men were doing all they could to play the game as best they could while one man or the other would come out on top. Then the game would become real so they two could see who would be bested.

Morcar of House Hwicce watched as the lady moved with her retinue through the gates and came to a stop. He watched her closely as he did most people. Was she nervous? Did she seem haughty? The figure did neither but stepped off her mount with grace and made little time through the archway as he turned to wait for her entrance.

Leafing through some correspondence as he waited, he had not long before she was announced to him and he raised himself from his leaning position and stood as tall as he might to present the perfect figure.

“My lady,” he moved with swiftness to drape her arm over his and lead her to a seat by the very same window. “I do hope your travel was well met and no great hardship.”

The lady, Margaret, took the offer and seated herself before she spoke with a slight question, “And what is it that requires my travel when the winds have begun to haunt us day and night? I am sure this be about my brother, but I am unsure what it is that I may be able to do about any of that?”

Morcar made shift to pull some warm wine and offer it to the lady as he dragged a meager stool close and sat. “I simply hope that your visit with young Eadgar was a success. Was it so?”

She studied him closely. “I should think it was. It was most kind of you. Who would turn down an offer of funds when so needed?”

“Quite true,” Morcar responded as he leaned into her. “And how is the young lad?”

“As well as can be expected. I should ask the same of you? I understand our cousin of Godwin has you doing the dirty work in the south. How is it that you find yourself back in York when I understood you to be leading the relief of London?”

“A well met question, dear lady, and I will take no offense in the asking.” Morcar raised himself from his stool and went to pour himself a drought.

She wasted little time in adding, “It must be difficult, my Lord…so many months away and still your young wife remains without child.”

The Duke took his drink and then answered, “My Adelhaid misses her native land. Northumbria is not Hungary…my lady. Surely you can understand.”

“So you do not raise yourself as the rightful King…do I understand correctly?” she asked with sharp eyes.

Morcar turned on her with a smile like a hunter seeing his prey. “I have no need of such wishes, milady. No more than your meager husband. Does Godwine treat Hacon so well? I think not. Though he be cousin to our current King.”

The use of the word caused Morcar to grimace slightly and Margaret caught it and ran.

“Then why is it that I hear from Hereford that Eadwin’s men are caught short sighted? He is accused of corruption by none other than your spymaster, my Lord Duke. Can you say you have had none to do with that?”

“I can simply say that the men in my employ are doing their worth. I would ask none other, and nor should you. Do I detect a tone in your voice suggesting otherwise, dear Margaret?”

Morcar allowed his smile to beam as Margaret of Wessex rose from her seat and walked to look out the window herself. “My tone has only to do with my brother. I was married into this clan and I will do right by my wifely duties, but you know full well that Eadgar is the rightful King.”

She turned and watched Morcar’s expression and it did not change. She continued, “He is exiled in the north and no little or great amount of money will see him gain his birthright. None of us has.”

“My dear lady, I should think that has much to do with history and naught of my doing. I am simply trying to assist the young man as best I can. London will fall to the men I left there in due time. I come north to treat with you and see if Eadgar may wish to come home. I can do little for him when he is out of reach. The King of Scots keeps him as a pawn. I wish to assist him gaining that birthright.”

She looked at Morcar with cold eyes, but could not help but form a slight tear, “He is alone. I know. I am not sure what game you play, my lord Duke, but if you would have him at your court…”

“Say no more but to name it, my sweet girl. It would be my pleasure and utmost duty should he accept.”

Margaret turned again to look out on the land outside as she waited a moment to respond. Finally she turned again and knelt in front of Duke Morcar, “He would be your most trusted servant, my Lord. You may count on him to do your bidding as you wish and should he take his birthright, you would be his most trusted friend in this realm.”

Morcar smiled and begged her to rise. He kept her hands in his as he responded, “I should like that very much. Especially as our King has invited me to become his realm’s Marshal. I am to the south again very soon but please tell your brother to come here without delay. He will have a home here with us.”

The look of confusion on Margaret’s face soon melded with excitement. “You would do this for him?”

“Trust that and no other, dear lady.”

“How will your brother feel about such an invitation?”

“Worry not on that louse. I have him well met as much as he may think the same.”

“And the King?” she stepped back slightly. “How will Godwine feel about your kindness?”

“I should think the King would like it very much. Especially since He is coming home!”
Re: Heir To The Throne by lordseb(m): 2:24pm On Sep 15
Y.! Today's update
Re: Heir To The Throne by lordseb(m): 11:48am On Sep 16
York, England – January 1068

The sun was setting on the horizon and the frost crept into the bones of every person standing there watching from a distance. In the early evening light that lingered, a figure could be seen trudging up the hill with a great deal of struggle. Behind him was the figure of the Duke on horseback, triumphantly holding a lead tied to his captive. The trail of Duke Morcar’s men following after seemed to last for miles.

At the peak of the hill, Eadgar of Wessex stood in silence alongside the Duke’s Marshal, Beorhtric and several others of the Duke’s household. The Marshal was not nearly so stone faced as he allowed a bright smile to grace his face.

“He has won!”

Eadgar nodded as he allowed a quick look to his elder and then went back to take in the scene as the traveling party finally came into clear sight. The struggling man wore rags wrapped over his body only barely and over these he was bound in heavy chains from his shoulders to his waist. He was barefoot and those feet were bloody from miles of an overland march. He took his steps slowly and with little deliberation. He simply kept moving as Duke Morcar slowly trotted behind him.

When the two parties were close enough to be heard by each other, it was the Duke that shouted first, “Behold the Mighty Osser! First of his name! Petty King of the Isles!”

Osser kept moving without showing any signs of recognition or distaste. Morcar kicked his mount to pick up the pace slightly as he made summit of the hill and pulled his prisoner to a stop.

“This is what comes when you ally with the Norsemen. The better part of his year has been wasted in trying to bedevil our good people of Northumbria and with naught but a fortnight; he has now wasted his life, as far as anyone may care.”

The Duke passed his lead off to a soldier as he jumped from his mount and immediately went to Eadgar of Wessex.

“I told you I would not be long. I was terribly sorry to miss the Mass of Christ but matters presented themselves and a good leader must lead.”

“It is no great worry, my Lord Duke. I completely understand.” Eadgar could not take his view away from Osser the prisoner.

Morcar noticed his fascination and laughed, “In truth, he should be far worse off after causing me to pull my men from the south. But it has allowed me to greet you as you should be greeted, my young Lord. I have tried to be as kind as possible, but the scoundrel does vex me.”

“As you say, my Lord Duke. And you needn’t have traveled so far just on my account. I did mean it when I said in November that your invitation was a kindness in and of itself. There was none more needed for me to know how well met I am in your presence.”

“Then once we have put this bloody bastard in our stocks, you will hopefully join me and my wife for a small feast to make up for the lack thereof earlier. I shall know it is no slight to you and be glad of it. I should think a hot meal just the thing, do you not think?” Morcar smiled again and clapped Eadgar on the back as he turned and began to bark to his men.

His men moved swiftly to take Osser off to God only knew as Morcar turned his back on the man and moved with speed towards the keep. Eadgar followed as he heard the Duke speak with his Marshal.

“My Lord, I am loathe to say but there is a fresh rebellion in Norfolk. The King has sent urgent word that you are to return south at once.”

“I am certain that he does. Much good that would do him. He can hardly lift a finger himself to protect what has been so lightly given.”

The Marshal nodded and as they reached the keep, Morcar threw open the door and turned to Eadgar, “Please, my Lord…enter my house now and forever for it shall always be a home for you should you wish it.”

Eadgar nodded in thanks and walked inside only to be greeted by Adelhaid, the Duchess of York and Morcar’s wife. He had met her in October when he first arrived at Morcar’s court. She spoke in a rough accent but had done well to learn her Lord’s tongue.

“My husband!” she called out in glee as she went to Morcar and he held her in a quick embrace.

“Be still, wife, and fetch our young man here a drink for we are thirsty.”

She did as told and Morcar threw off his cape, allowing Beorhtric to pick it up for him. He sat with a thud at the head of a giant wooden table and clapped his hands together,

“Food! Now!”

As he gestured for Eadgar to sit with him, servants quickly moved into the room with an admittedly sumptuous looking feast. Morcar wasted little time in digging into his meal as his wife brought he and Eadgar each a goblet of mulled wine.

“It is wonderful to look on you, my Lord Duke.” she stated as she knelt at his side and patted lovingly at his arm.

“And you, my wife. Is there anything you wish to tell your Duke?” he looked at her with a glare that was not harsh but certainly not kind.

She lowered her head slightly and waited a moment before answering. “No, my Lord.”

Morcar allowed his face to curl for a moment before finding his smile again and looking back to Eadgar, “She worries that I am angry. Two years now, and still no offspring. She believes it is her fault.”

Eadgar smiled gently to them both, “I am sure the good Lord will bless you both when the time is right. I do hope it.”

“Indeed! This is what I tell her. And how am I to do my husbandly duty when I am forced to fight for such a loutish so-called King? I am to the south…I am to the north…I am to the west…”

“Quite, my Lord.” Eadgar took chance to take a bite and as he chewed he thought on the state of the realm.

“I deliver London back into Godwine’s hands and now, I hear that Norfolk rebels? There is none that wish him.”

“And the Danes, my Lord…” Eadgar broached the subject.

“They will do little but nibble even if they have joined this merry adventure. I worry not on their account, but it does keep Harald in the fight as he does none but harry in Derbyshire. Of more import to you, my young Lord is my useless brother.”

“How so, my Lord?” Eadgar asked as he had heard nothing of Eadwin of Hwicce since his arrival.

“It seems he has set up his own faction at court. He fancies himself King.”

The crestfallen look that took over Eadgar’s face allowed Morcar to bellow in great laughter, “Fear not, good sir! He will do nothing and more with this faction as not a man alive likes him or wishes him anything but ill. I, his own brother, hate him with a passion. I am not alone.”

Eadgar gave over a slight smile as he took a small drink and Morcar pulled his seat closer. The Duke grabbed the free hand and smiled wide, “You are home now! Protected and ready when this bloody scene is over. Fret not over that which you cannot control. I am to the south and will defend this realm…your realm…from all invaders. When the time is right, I will invite you to the field. Trust this!”

Eadgar nodded and thanked the Duke. Morcar made it sound so simple, but he knew that not to be the case. But he was happy to be home, or close enough to home that it felt as if a giant chasm had been crossed. He would wait as he had always done.

The Duke seemed to sense these thoughts and beamed as Morcar said, “The end is closer than you think, my young Lord. Your patience serves you well. Soon, so too will your fighting spirit. God knows we need such these days!”

Morcar roared for more drink and went back to eating as Eadgar joined him with some slight sense of reassurance and no little amount of fortitude for what was to come. He would be ready.
Re: Heir To The Throne by lordseb(m): 11:49am On Sep 16
Today's update
Re: Heir To The Throne by lordseb(m): 11:32am On Sep 17
York, England – September 1068

The huntsman released the hounds when the scent was stronger than it had been all morning. Several roebucks had been spotted and now a fine stag was moving into position for Eadgar and Beorhtric to pierce if they could catch him. When it came into range, Eadgar had bow notched and at the ready. The barking of the dogs kept the stag spooked and skittish. When he finally let fly, it missed by just a few inches.

“He was yours,” Beorhtric softly sighed. “You nearly had him, though.”

Eadgar pulled another from his quiver as he spurred his horse to follow but the thick brush kept him from advancing much at all. The Marshal was behind him and pulled his horse to stop alongside that of the young man.

“Worry not. They are flushed and another will be by soon.”

“He had twelve points on him!” Eadgar exclaimed, clearly frustrated.

“A fine beast, to be sure.” Beorhtric shifted in his saddle to look back at the direction of the barking of hounds. “I should think there are others moving this way. Don’t you know of patience? I should think so, my would-be prince.”

Eadgar allowed his grimace to turn and gave out a slight laugh. “Indeed, sir. If I can wait out this war, then I can await the proper stag come my way.”

“You speak honest, my Lord. These simple pleasures are but a pastime while true events work to our south.”

The horse chuffed slightly at Eadgar’s urging but soon he had his mount working back into the open as Beorhtric followed.

“The King wishes to raise fresh levies from all the Lords in the land following Duke Morcar’s defeat of the Norfolk rebellion,” the Marshal continued as he trotted by Eadgar’s side.

“I should think he would. Harald finally moves south as William moves inland. Our good Duke can only do so much with what has been provided. How can he keep such forces in the field with naught to pay them?”

Beorhtric looked suddenly to his left but finding nothing turned back to Eadgar, “Our Lord was lucky to avoid Harald as long as he was able, but the battle of Oxford did not turn out well.”

“How well I know, sir. Harald has more than six thousand men on our Isle and we are hard-pressed to put even a thousand into play? No man can win with such odds.” Eadgar spit aside his horse as he pulled to a full stop.

He continued, “Our Lord was lucky to escape the clutches of the man, but there is little waiting for him in Wiltshire.”

The Marshal kept his gaze on the horizon as he watched for a further stag to push through the brush. “Still…William’s forces largely remain outside Westminster.”

“And Godwine assumes mercenaries will be his answer?”

“The Finnish Band may be more a labor of love than true mercenaries…” Beorhtric chuckled. His smile grew wider when he continued, “…but the bonus is that William joined them when those men attacked Harald.”

Eadgar’s eyes grew wide. “I did not know of this?”
“Indeed, the Bastard found his moment as much for him as it was for us.”

“And what of the result? I have heard none and not at all since last month!” Eadgar stood tall in his saddle with a strong look towards the Marshal.

“I cannot say all is well, my Lord. I have just sent word to our Duke that his brother has now been named Chancellor by our so-called King. Duke Eadwin could very well be working for himself.”

“Is he brokering with William directly?” Eadgar asked with no little amount of worry.

“I think not, my Lord,” Beorhtric answered as he kept his gaze toward the woods.

Eadgar pulled his mount in front of the Marshal to looked him squarely in the eye, “What is his game, then? It is clear he hopes to gain favor.”

Beorhtric starred back with an easy smile, “It matters not. Between William and Godwine’s hired hands, the Hardrada is left with only maybe two thousand men to prosecute his ill thought adventure. Our Duke has that many and more at his disposal.”

“He has not,” Eadgar was quick to correct.

“Aye, but he does young Atheling. True and more, William has twice that number attempting to take this hold or that in the south, but our Lord Duke has a better plan.”

At that moment, the awaited stag finally jumped into the road ahead of both men. Eadgar wasted little time notching his bow again and taking a shot. Much like before, the skittish deer attempted to move with speed but the arrow landed squarely in its chest. As it sputtered to a stop, Beorhtric smiled and looked again to the young would be King.

“Do that, and you have won.”

The look of disappointment on Eadgar’s face showed his mood, “What have I gained? He has but six points on him if he has one.”

“You have won, good sir, because our King calls out more men to fight his wars as I say.”

Eadgar allowed his irritation to show as turned in his saddle without a notion of the dead stag lying on the ground, “What good does this do me?!”

“None but cause our Duke to call out his own men.

You included. I was waiting to tell you, but now is as good a time as any. Our supposed King has called up an additional five hundred men if he can find them.

Duke Morcar has sent word that the good and true men of Northumbria and York are finally to see battle. He is calling up his own personal retinue and he wants you at the vanguard.”

The young Lord was dumbstruck. Beorhtric allowed him some moment to take it in and finally continued, “We will double the numbers our Duke has at his disposal and with the recent loss Harald has seen, we may well take this thing. Or part of it, at least. Shoot true as you have just done, and we may well see this thing through. Are you willing?”

Eadgar wasted little time answering “Yes!”

“Then see it all the way, my Lord. Now is the time to begin your ascendance. We are soon to battle. I’d say…be at the ready.”

Looking back to his recently downed stag, Eadgar nodded, “I am there already.”

“Good.” Beorhtric answered as he dismounted and pulled a blade. He wasted little time as he began to dress the deer. Bloodied, he turned again, “We meet in Lincoln within the month. We are to south!”
Re: Heir To The Throne by lordseb(m): 11:32am On Sep 17
Today's update
Re: Heir To The Throne by lordseb(m): 12:03pm On Sep 18
Leicester, England – November 1068

He stood there, silent and exhausted. Before him, a field of dead bodies littered the countryside. A hand moved to his face to wipe away blood seeping into an eye from a cut on his forehead. And the broadsword at his side was gripped with tightness such that he could not let go. In victory, Eadgar of Wessex was stoic and stone faced. It would be the old grizzled veteran Beorhtmaer that pulled him from his thoughts.

“They were but a foraging party, Atheling. Nothing to put to verse.”

Eadgar did not turn, but did allow a grin to form upon his face. “They chose a poor place in which to pass.”
“That they did,” Beorhtmaer moved forward to turn the young Lord and wipe more blood from his face.

“You should clean that. It may fester if not cared for.”

His hand again reached for the cut and he finally looked into the eyes of the veteran soldier. “I did not even feel it when it happened.”

“Then you are a warrior. We do not feel pain. Only lost chances and fateful victories.”

The older man moved to sit on a nearby rock, pulling a dirty rag from his waist. He began cleaning his blade as Eadgar moved to sit next to him. “Enjoy the peace for now, my Lord. It will most certainly not last.”

Eadgar finally released the grip on his sword and allowed it to rest on his lap. “Do you think the Duke fares better today…or worse?”

“From what I hear, the Marshal does not know. I only know him to be meeting Hardrada in Wiltshire. Duke Morcar has the numbers now. Does the Norseman have the spirit to challenge? This I do not know.”

The Marshal himself approached, bloodied and clearly feeling the weight of his mail. Yet his spirits seemed high, “Beorhtmaer! We are naught but a month from Lincoln and already you laze about while men are dying beside you!”

The old soldier did not look up as he continued to wipe his blade, “Not our men, sir. Those be norsemen. And not very bright, if you ask me.”

Beorhtric smiled and looked to Eadgar, “What is this fool telling you, my Lord?”

“We were discussing the Duke. Have you had word from him?”

The Marshal reached out and handed Eadgar a rolled parchment, “Read and find out. I think you will find it good news.”

Eadgar did as suggested and allowed a large smile to grow, “It seems that Harald cannot find a victory now.”

“Perchance in the morning when he releases his bowels,” Beorhtmaer added.

“I doubt even then. Shite runs down his leg in a near constant flow it seems.” The Marshal slapped his soldier on the helm as he held out a hand to help him rise, “I dare say you are more regular these days, good sir.”

Beorhtmaer took the help and stood as he sheathed his blade. “Then he should change his habits, for a good shite cannot be more wished for. I am thankful each and every morn.”

“You are thankful to open your eyes each and every morn, Beorhtmaer,” Eadgar joined in the ribbing.

“Thankfully, the Lord above still wishes it.”

He stood as well and turned to Beorhtric with a more serious tone, “So we are to south again, yes?”

“Indeed we are. The Duke is headed to Wessex where the Bastard has invested most of the towns. He hopes to pull them back into the fold and we are to assist him, God willing.”

Eadgar did not speak at first, and the Marshal sensed his emotions. “Yes…you are to home soon. I am sure it has been too long.”

“It is not my home as much as I may wish it. I have known no home but the here and now. But it will be good to see as father spoke on it with fondness.”

“I know no home but a good bed, a good woman and a good shite.” Beorhtmaer followed as he moved to retrieve his horse. “Not much more to be wished.”

The other men smiled as they watched the veteran do the only thing he knew well to do. They too went to find their mounts and the Yorkist army began the slow movement to the south and for Eadgar…to the homeland he had never seen.

* * *

Wiltshire, England – January 1069

“It took you long enough!” Duke Morcar shouted as he rode hard to meet his Marshal.

A large army of men followed him and a mingling of troops began as hardened soldiers of the King’s army melded with Morcar’s own northerners. Stories were shared of the hardships known from many a battle and the ones hoped for by the fresh men of Northumbria. Beorhtric and Eadgar moved their mounts to meet the Duke and Morcar smiled as he watched his enlarged forces.

“The Norseman is beat and now we shall take this force to meet the Bastard!”

Eadgar yelled over the din of noise, “So our numbers are now equal with William?”

Duke Morcar seemed not to pay attention at first as he pulled his horse to stop. He continued to look over his men and kept a large grin on his face. Finally, he turned again to look upon Eadgar and his Marshal,

“For the first time in this war, I fear for the Bastard. I know not what he will think when he sees what we have to give him.”

Beorhtric took chance to speak, “My Lord Duke…I am glad to see you. I was told you were to meet the Norman vanguard.”

“I slipped out just in time. And the fools gave up the chase. They remain at Oxford!”

“But we are to meet him?” Eadgar pulled his mount to meet with Morcar.

“I certainly hope it, my young Lord. We shall move en masse into Wessex and dare him to attack. If he does not, he is a fool. And if he does, he is a dead man if I can find him!”

Eadgar took the chance to look out upon the numbers displayed around him. “Then let us be off and dare him to meet his maker.”

Morcar smiled and began barking orders to various men. They moved quickly and soon, the entirety of the Duke’s forces were marching forward and following his lead. Eadgar rode alongside Morcar in silence but with a lift in spirit that he had never before known. He was headed for that place that he had heard about so much from his father. He was headed for that place that had not been seen since his grandfather was King, so long ago deposed. He was headed for that place that he knew in his heart was his…to rule, to live, to right old wrongs.

“We shall make old Ironside proud, Atheling!”

Beorhtric called out as he passed Eadgar on horse.

Morcar followed him with speed and as he too passed Eadgar he yelled out, “For the King!”

The troops behind him began yelling out in their own right all following their Duke. The call became louder and louder as they started to shout in unison, “For the King! For the King!! For the King!!!”
Re: Heir To The Throne by lordseb(m): 12:04pm On Sep 18
Today's update
Re: Heir To The Throne by lordseb(m): 12:20pm On Sep 19
Hereford, England – March 1069

The wrinkled hand of the spymaster held out a feathered quill and waited for the Duke to take it up.

Eadwin of House Hwicce did not let the anger in his face fall away even if he did finally choose the pen and fixed his name to the parchment.

“I do hope this satisfies your master.”

The spymaster took the paper and blew on it lightly.

He then rolled it up and tucked it into a satchel at his side. Looking back to Eadwin he smiled, “I propose we let this matter rest, my Lord Duke.”

“Scule of Lowther…you do the devil’s work. Any one that would choose you as Mayor is his servant.”

The spymaster simply smiled, “And any one that allows his men to speak so freely will find himself as you do now. I do the work entrusted to me, my Lord Duke. You would do well to be more careful.”

Duke Eadwin moved to pour himself a drought and could not look again on the scurrilous spymaster. “If you be Satan’s minion, then I know full well who is the devil.”

Scule could only keep up his smile, “It was not he that treated with the Irish, my Lord Duke. And my man will take this payment to your treasurer and find a better outcome than your actions of late. Though you be Chancellor, I doubt seriously that King Godwine would appreciate such.”

Eadwin still would not look upon the aged spymaster. Scule continued to gather the rest of his things as he followed, “And now that this debt unpaid has placed him in such a burden…”

Finally the Duke turned with anger, “Go back to your master, sir! Tell him that indeed the debt is paid. He may well rule the army of the realm. But this check proves that I rule the finance. I know that he plays at Kingmaker. But I make the King.”

“As you say, my Lord Duke,” Scule demurred with a nod and carried his note for fifty gold pieces from the room. He turned as he left to add, “My Lord Morcar appreciates your largesse. He hopes there will be little reason to keep at this cause going forward.”

“Then you should tell him…” Eadwin followed after.

“…my debts are fully paid! Enjoy the Irish Band, sir. Your Lord moves too slow!”

Scule stopped without looking back, “My Lord appreciates your warning.”

The spymaster turned slightly, “He thanks you.”

* * *

Sussex, England – May 1069

It was a dark day for Eadgar as he had never felt defeat before. His men were lucky that escape was possible as not all of the Bastard’s forces had met him in the field of battle, and part of him still felt exhilarated by the near run thing. After years of training young men, this one was now a true soldier and fighting for his literal life. The Marshal approached him as he sat by the small fire and took a place beside him.

“The Duke has won.”

It was said without much joy, and Eadgar knew well why this was the case. “A victory in but name, though I hope it not.”

“He moved too fast, I know.” Beorhtric took some small piece of bread from his satchel and looked into the flames as he ate. “I would blame Godwine as much as anyone. When a man cannot pay those he has hired, they will turn on him as the Irish certainly did.”

“But he left in such a hurry…I applaud the tenacity, but…”

“We tarried too long, Atheling. No more than that. As one, our force is unstoppable. Divided, we will most surely fall. Again…I blame Godwine.”

“The King…or someone else?” Eadgar turned to the Marshal with a quizzical eye.

“Whom else would you suspect?” the Marshal continued to eat as he listened.

“Is our Duke so out of sorts with his brother as we have been made to expect?”

“Most certainly.” Beorhtric wasted little time in answering.

“Then I know not…” Eadgar trailed off.

The Marshal tossed the hardest part of his bread into the fire as he stood. “Do not spend too much time ruminating on that which you cannot control. We lost yesterday. That will happen. But tomorrow we will move again and God willing meet the Duke soon and again. I am told that William has pulled his forces and chases our Lord. If we tarry further…”

“Then we have truly known loss. I know.” Eadgar pulled some wine and took a drink.

“Get some rest. We have a long march ahead of us and not very much time in which to do it. The true battle lies ahead.”

Beorhtric walked away and was soon enveloped in the night. Eadgar capped his flagon and lay back on his roll. He would get some sleep and tomorrow, they would march.

* * *

Wessex, England – June 1069

Beorhtric yelled with all his voice, “Your left!!”

Eadgar heard him just in time and met the mercenary with a swift blow to his chest. As he pulled his blade, he turned and watched the Marshal fight two men at once. One had just enough time to parry a blow before Beorhtric followed with an undercut that split the entrails from his body. Turning, the other lost his head as the Marshal swung true and fast.

Exhausted, Eadgar pushed to find any other that may wish to continue this fight and realized that none were willing to do so. Save one. That old veteran Beorhtmaer had a man pinned down but unwilling to surrender. A swift thrust into the man’s belly saved him from any further horror.

The battle was over and the Irish Band beat once again.

“We’ve no time to lose, Atheling. Gather your wits for we are to march immediately!” the Marshal shouted as he went to find a serviceable mount.

Beorhtmaer walked slowly past Eadgar and replied without looking up, “That man wants to die, I think. There are worse things…”

Eadgar did not have time to survey the battlefield as he too went to find his mount. Unfortunately it had been cut from under him and it was only Beorhtmaer that saved him.

“Try this one,” he said as he pulled two horses behind him that had previously belonged to the Irish.

Eadgar took a rein and followed along as he said, “They were beat before they arrived.”

“That they were, Atheling. But it cost us time.” The old veteran kept moving without looking back. “I’ll not lose sleep over it. But the battle is not yet won.”

Eadgar of Wessex knew that there was little time to reach Duke Morcar as he was currently involved in battle of wills with all that the Bastard had to bring to it. Sussex lay ahead once again and the would be King could only hope this time would turn out better than the last time he saw battle.
Re: Heir To The Throne by lordseb(m): 12:20pm On Sep 19
Today's update
Re: Heir To The Throne by lordseb(m): 5:50pm On Sep 21
I couldn't update yesterday because my phone was bad, but I'll give two updates today
Re: Heir To The Throne by lordseb(m): 5:58pm On Sep 21
Lewes, England – July 1069
For the better part of a month, Duke Morcar’s army of the King’s men had been chased clear across Sussex, fighting small skirmishes here and there but doing his best to avoid a full scale pitched battle. His numbers were thin and growing less by the day and he had not had word from his Marshal or the Yorkist Army since June. But the Duke of Normandy would not let up, seeing his prey in sight and weak. Finally on the evening of July 1st, he had little choice to make and commanded his officers to take the high ground outside of Lewes in the dark of night and waited impatiently for the dawn and the Normans to arrive.
They did so near day break and immediately came to a stop as they surveyed the field.
Duke Morcar had left a small contingent on his right trying to protect the town and the river should an escape be necessary and it was soon the clear intention of the Bastard to remove this avenue of travel. A series of volleys back and forth commenced by both sides as arrows littered the ground but neither side did much damage. William ordered his men closer and after a further round of archers let loose, his top commander, Ralf of Normandy led a cavalry charge to Morcar’s right.
The King’s men were not prepared to defend this and were nearly routed as they scattered the field and many pushed back towards the town or the woods surrounding it. Morcar watched on helplessly.
“The fools! Damn their perfidy!” He was nearly ready to charge the field himself when an aide stopped him.
“My Lord Duke…look ye there…” He pointed at the Norman commander keeping his cavalry in chase as they seemed to leave the field as well, unable to lose the opportunity of killing just a few more Saxons.
“What level of luck must there be to be defeated by such stupidity?” He turned to yell out to his men, “If they march upon us, do not let up. Give them the sword and spear with no mercy for this may be your last day on this Lord’s Earth!”
He turned to see that William would not allow his cavalry’s absence deter him. His largest army of foot was slowly moving up the hill at a quick but orderly pace. Archers followed and when at good range, they let loose once more as Morcar bade his own archers to answer. As the first wave of footmen reached the summit, fierce fighting commenced and Morcar shouted for his limited cavalry force to move to the left and attempt a pincer movement. But he begged patience.
“Wait until the bulk of spikes has reached the hill. Do not let the Bastard wrap us in a hole for they will turn and annihilate us!”
Though the King’s forces held the high ground, the Norman fighters would not let their falling numbers keep them from pushing ahead. Wave after wave trudged forward with not a thought but assured victory. Blood began flowing down the once verdant hill turning the green grass into a crimson river. Duke Morcar himself had reached a breaking point and even with his aides counseling that same patience, he could not wait another moment. He spurred his mount and freed his sword to kill as many men as he could before he too met his maker.
Unfortunately, his cavalry saw his charge and assumed it was a sign for them to commence as well.
Morcar sliced downward to his left and right, creating a small hole in the line of foot and some confusion began to take hold as the cavalry burst forth midway up the hill. The Duke saw this and cursed as he looked further down and watched as William moved his remaining footmen to turn and face the onrush.
But just as soon as they began to meet the King’s horse, they quickly stopped and were forced to turn around. From the other side of the slight valley, a line of horse and men crested and began to run across the field behind the Bastard screaming with an unholy shreak. All at once, the battle seemed to shift. Like a large ship on water, it turned slowly but surely and once moved back in the direction of William, it was if a massive wave came to push them all down hill.
Morcar’s men slipped in bloody mud but pushed as a wall as they backed up the Norman footmen and the army on William’s backside fought with a freshness that the Bastard’s forces no longer had. Not even the return of Ralf’s Norman cavalry could seem to alter what once looked like a Norman route of the Saxons.
Now, the field was littered with dead soldiers of both sides and though Morcar sighted William the Bastard, he could not reach him. Between the crush of men still fighting and the mounds of men piled high throughout the field, it was too difficult to try.
Duke William of Normandy seemed to sense the bloodlust and within moments had his men retreating with what little force he had left. Many of Morcar’s footmen could not help but give chase, but wisely the Duke was able to keep the bulk of his army in check.
As cheers went up from all over the battlefield, a rider moved swiftly to meet Morcar as he sat on his mount in the middle of the din.
“My Lord Duke!” Eadgar of Wessex removed his helm as he came to a stop. “We thought we might join in should it suit your pleasure.”
“A sight I never could have wished for as much, my young Lord! You arrived just in time! Many thanks!”
Morcar turned back toward the field and allowed his smile to turn briefly.
“Yes, my Lord…it was costly. Would that we had arrived earlier.” Eadgar too looked out over bodies of the dead.
Duke Morcar finally allowed himself to heave a heavy sigh of relief as he responded, “Never too late or too early, my would be King. As I say…right on time.”
As they shared a moment of relief among the sure misery before them, the veteran Beorhtmaer calmly walked up the hill to meet them. “I bring news, my Lords…”
Eadgar looked him in the face, and though it was his usual blank slate there was a hint of worry in his eyes.
“What is it?”
“The Marshal has been pierced, my Lords. He is alive…but not well.” Beorhtmaer allowed this simple message to suffice as he turned and walked just as slowly back from whence he had come.
Duke Morcar and Eadgar of Wessex did not wait a moment to follow as they went to see about the Marshal of York. Though they had won that day, it was a costly victory. They both hoped it would not be any more so.
Re: Heir To The Throne by lordseb(m): 6:00pm On Sep 21
Wessex, England – November 1069


Eadgar of Wessex walked the line of his siege at
Winchester. William’s small continent of men held up
daily with no thought of surrendering and frustrations
were beginning to mount. There was no lack of
discipline among the men and certainly no lack of
attempts made to flush the Bastard’s men from their
temporary home. But they would not yield. Finally, he
came upon sturdy Beorhtmaer instructing some men
on how to correctly cut down the ram for battering
down the gate.


“The tree will not fall as the gate does, you swine! But
you will put your back into both so we may find some
hot meal awaiting our empty bellies! Now swing true
and clear this beauty of branches so I may eat!”


“I had not thought you so verbose, sir.” Eadgar called
out causing the old veteran to turn.


“Words don’t matter to an idiot, Atheling. But the tone
does. I mean mine to matter.”


“And thanks be on you that you do.” Eadgar looked
back over the field and turned once again to
Beorhtmaer, “Can we take it within a month? Our Lord
Duke will be unhappy otherwise.”


“His lot makes him unhappy. We have naught to do
with it. But I can answer yes. I’ll be unhappy if I don’t
see a woman within a month.”


Eadgar allowed himself to laugh even though his
chances seem to dim daily. Beorhtmaer saw his slight
reticence and leaned in close, “You would not have
been picked if unworthy, Atheling. You be not
Beorhtric, but few men are.”


“Few men wish to die?” Eadgar asked only slightly
joking.


“You should not use my words against me, young
one. You know not what I might have said in your
absence.”


The old veteran moved back to bark a few more words
to his charges and Eadgar felt poorly for saying what
he did. The Marshal of York had died of his wounds
not two days after the battle of Lewes, and though
Beorhtmaer was a steady fellow, he did cry that day.


Eadgar would never forget it.


He began to walk towards the old soldier to apologize
when a rush could be heard behind him. As he turned,
he saw the figure of Duke Morcar ride into camp with
a large retinue following. He did not look happy.


“Good morrow, my Lord Duke,” Eadgar attempted
pleasantries. Morcar did not seem inclined to receive
it.


He bounded from his horse before it had stopped and
grabbed Eadgar by the cape to pull him into a nearby
tent. “There is nothing good about our circumstance
in any way or wise, boy! Why has this town not
fallen?”


Eadgar would not stammer so he replied simply,


“They will not yield.”


The Duke looked long into his face for a few moments
before finally answering, “Then they are fools. But not
as foolish as we.”


“Every attempt has been made, my Lord…” Eadgar
attempted to calm the Duke.


Morcar cut him off. “Be still, Eadgar. My wroth is not
directed at you. It be the King.”


He pulled Eadgar to sit on a stool and produced a map
from his satchel. He unfurled it and slammed it on the
ground, looking to Eadgar with sharp eyes, “This was
where we were not five months ago.”


“In that time, our good and gracious King has seen fit
to do all of nothing even as I plead with him day and
night. He has grown quite accustomed to ignoring me
as it is clear he wishes to die by the light of his own
greatness and naught else.”


Eadgar looked over the map with confusion, “I knew
that he would not allow you to chase the Bastard at
first, but what continues to cause this apprehension?”


“I know not, my young Lord. He is a fool and more.
Every day that we do not pursue, it has allowed the
Bastard to ferry men over the Channel. He now bests
us once again in numbers. This be Godwine’s latest
worry. But it was never a problem when we had
William licked!”


“I am sorry, my Lord Duke.” Eadgar moved to stand
and get Morcar a drink of wine.


“Stay off that, my young Lord. I need my wits about
me. I cannot fight three wars at once…No…Four!
There is the damned Irish the King saw fit to invite to
this fresh hell!”


Eadgar could only try and console, “My Lord Duke…
you have done much and more with all you have been
given and all you have given over yourself. There is
naught else to be wished but…”


“But nothing! I have more in my quiver if the man
seeks to deny me. I have called my own men into the
field to fight his wars for him and all he can do is lick
the backside of my brother who treats him so cruelly?
No! If he wish this war to be over quickly, I can help
him find that without delay.”


There was a focused look upon the Duke’s face and
Eadgar waited to hear the next words. When they did
not immediately come, he was forced to ask, “How,
my Lord?”


Duke Morcar’s mood seemed to change in an instant
as he walked to Eadgar and cradled his head in both
hands, “I have the Golden Chalice, my young Lord. I
have the cup that runneth over. I have the very Grail in
my presence.”


“My Lord Duke?” Eadgar asked though he did not pull
away.


“I made you my Marshal, did I not?” Morcar asked
with eyes growing wild.


“Indeed. And my thanks be on you for such trust. I
could never be…”


“You could never be Beorhtric. Yes. Because you are
no mere soldier. You are A King!”


Eadgar felt at odds with the Duke’s behavior, “My
Lord Duke, I know I am of such stock and my whole
wish is to see it gained, but…”


“And you will, my boy. You will. I waste my time
fighting for this Godforsaken House of Godwin, and I
have wasted good men too. I will not waste you in the
process.”


“What mean you, my Lord Duke?”


“You will return to York on the morrow, my would be
King. I’ll not have you here and liable to loss for this
fool.” Morcar was certain and only now went for a
drink.


“But my Lord Duke, what of the men?” Eadgar asked,
slightly in shock.


“They will return with you. I have done all I can to
assist Godwine’s goose. It is fully cooked.”


Eadgar of Wessex nodded, as it seemed very much an
order though he was uncertain of the strategy. But he
saw that the Duke seemed to find a brief calm and
took the moment to ask, “But what of you, my Lord?”


“Me? I will continue at the only thing God gave me
strength to do. I will fight. There is still a siege at
hand, is there not, my young Lord? And a not very
clever fellow that I wish to purge from this realm.”


“The Bastard is tenacious, my Lord Duke,” Eadgar
attempted to respond but was cut off again.


“The King, you simple fool. The King!”


Eadgar nodded again in silence as he himself went for
a slight drought of wine. He started to drink, and then
stopped and turned towards the Duke, “I wish you
Godspeed, my Lord, for it is my hope as well…
someday. But take care of your worth. Every man
needs his champion, and you have been none but that
for me. I could not thank you more, and every day is a
gift you have given.”


Morcar lifted his head to look on Eadgar and offered
only a slight smile, “Look ye to my Chancellor when
you return to York. Prince-Bishop Æthelwine has yet
one more gift from me. You would do well to find
some use for it.”


Eadgar seemed confused, “A gift, my Lord Duke? For
what?”


“For being a champion of all Saxon men and women
of this realm. I told you, boy…you are the Holy Grail!”


The Duke winked and then raised his hand to bid
goodbye. Eadgar of Wessex took the chance to nod
and wave in return. No more words need be said. At
least none that he could find use for. He was back to
York and out of the thick of it. He knew not what lay
ahead and found some sadness that this first foray
into war had not seen more, either for his realm or for
himself. But he steeled himself to follow through as
he shifted to leave the tent only to be called back
briefly by the Duke,


“And be sure to take that fool Beorhtmaer with you.
He stinks of shite and I’ll not have him fouling what
little left I have of an army!”


There was little doubt of the Duke’s feelings given the
smile on his face. And Eadgar smiled himself as he
would be happy for such company.
Re: Heir To The Throne by VanTee20(m): 6:02pm On Sep 21
I'm loving this. Well-done Lordseb.
Re: Heir To The Throne by itsandi(m): 6:05pm On Sep 21
Interesting, please continue... Read other cool stories Tushstories via

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Re: Heir To The Throne by lordseb(m): 6:55pm On Sep 21
VanTee20:
I'm loving this. Well-done Lordseb.
Thanks bro, enjoy it and don't forget to criticize wherever you think needs criticism
Re: Heir To The Throne by lordseb(m): 1:56pm On Sep 22
York, England – April 1070

The Prince-Bishop Æthelwine of Durham strolled down the hall of Morcar’s keep seeming to have little worries. While the Duke was away, it was as if he himself was Lord of York and Northumberland. His work as Chancellor did not always allow him time to spend at home, and in truth, he was still not quite there as his lands were to the north; but he did not allow this fact to ruin what had been a calm few months during these last tumultuous years of warfare throughout Britain.

Though the Prince-Bishop was not a man to show his emotions, he did allow a slight smile to cross his face when met with the Steward, Bishop Leofric of St. Peters.

“My Lord, I bring you good news,” Bishop Leofric offered as he moved to walk in step with the Chancellor. “Our young Marshal does find some favor with the lady Hextilda.”

“Indeed, this is wonderful news,” Æthelwine responded as he looked kindly on a few passers by.

Turning back to Leofric he followed, “Shall there soon be a ceremony? For our good Duke does wish it.”

“This I cannot say as yet, my Lord Bishop. The two spend time together daily when young Eadgar is not training troops. I can say that she has taken to him well, and he with her. It is clear to anyone that sees them.”

“Most excellent. I believe that we should press this issue now and as much as possible, for I have some poor news for the Marshal and do not wish this to alter the decision he must surely make.”

Bishop Leofric moved to stop the Chancellor, “What news, my Lord?”

“It is with sadness that I have received word that the young man’s sister Margaret has moved to meet our Great Lord. She succumbed to pneumonia not two months prior leaving two young daughters as orphans. I fear this ill news would press too heavily on his spirits. This we cannot afford.”

The Prince-Bishop began to walk again and Leofric followed, “I well agree, My Lord Bishop. But surely we must tell him this news, no matter how disturbing.”

“In due time, my Lord. Once he has cemented this bond with young Hextilda.”

Æthelwine turned a corner and moved into the Duke’s inner chamber as the Steward continued to follow,

“My Lord Bishop, are we sure of the girl’s purity? After all, the Duke did present her to the court without so much as a writ of nobility. She be not his mistress, I hope?”

“Hold your tongue,” the Chancellor turned with speed,

“she is from St. Cuthbert’s…in my own diocese. I should think I know all that needs be known about the girl. After all, I vetted her fully at the Duke’s request. She has no skeletons to bring forth if her confessions are truthful. And she is quite comely, do you not think?”

As the Chancellor rifled through some papers on a nearby table, Bishop Leofric moved to close the door.

“My Lord Bishop…might I ask what is the true wish of our Duke?”

Æthelwine did not look up but made answer quickly, “For the young Marshal to be married without delay. Our Duke remains childless, though it is difficult to consummate while he be so far away. And our King seems to have had a son by the name of Cearl. It is not simply for the young man’s pleasure that Duke Morcar wishes it. There are larger forces at play, my Lord.”

“Well…the coffers are full so I should think a lavish ceremony quite possible. And I would be happy to officiate as our Lord Duke may desire…” Leofric attempted to plan but was stopped by the Chancellor.

“I care not of festivities or your honor, sir. See that it happens one way or the other. Time is of the essence.”

Æthelwine produced a map and pointed, “Look ye here and see the precarious situation that it produces…”

The Chancellor’s aged finger traced from top to bottom as he continued, “Wolves are all around us from Appleby in the North to Somerset in the West all the way to London as the Bastard holds sway.”

He kept his finger pointed at the seat of the King as he looked on Leofric with gravity, “You see the Norsemen all across our border and the Norman devils unmoved.

I am unable to assist our Lord Duke in any way large or small with the King for Godwine seems unable to make a decision, though it is to be wished. His lack of movement keeps our own man equally still while those wolves continue to hunt. I know not how much longer the good Duke can hold out. Nor does he. Thus…”

Prince-Bishop Æthelwine allowed time for Leofric to figure it out on his own. When he did not, the Chancellor finished the thought, “…thus we must have security as much as can be made by us.”

“But my Lord…how does the marriage of Eadgar of Wessex help us in this time of need?” Leofric was unable to make the connection still.

With some exasperation, Æthelwine answered, “Our good Duke has his wishes. Should he die tomorrow and without issue, all of his lands and titles would pass to his brother Eadwin. This cannot be allowed.

He has in his mind some thoughts of imparting a great piece of land to Eadgar but this he cannot do if the man has no wife or issue himself. Thus it is imperative that the young Lord be married and consummates such in quick order. Now do you understand, my Lord?”

“Indeed I do,” Leofric answered with a nod. “And I shall see to it that a love blooms between these two…”

“I care not of love, my Lord. Just see to it that they are married. That is our goal and no other at present.”

“As you wish, my Lord Bishop. I can only hope that she will accept as I am sure I can convince young Eadgar to ask.”

Prince-Bishop Æthelwine gave over a slight smile once again, “Rest easy on that score…she will accept. On this, I can assure you. Just make it happen.”
Re: Heir To The Throne by lordseb(m): 1:57pm On Sep 22
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