Romance in a time of war is hardly unknown. A growing affection between two young people seems even more questionable, but human nature is not so easily constrained. Alfrid, one of Coenred's young huscarls, has met Eawyn, the daughter of the Theign of Tadcaster.
Continuing on with the idea that people often buried their treasure during times of unrest, Branda visits Mildryth with a plea to accompany her on a short journey outside of the city walls. She has need to withdraw a little money from a deposit hidden by her now dead husband.
Wulfhere has started a new life with a gang of outlaws. His first act is to lead them to an unfortunate who makes a huge mistake; going into the forest alone.
What would life be like living in a city captured by your ancient enemy?
Coenred finds himself in Tadcaster with the remnants of the Saxon army that fought at Fulford Gate. Ever the warrior, he starts training the men for another expected encounter with the Vikings. Here is an opportunity for his fellow huscarl, Thrydwulf, to step forward and illustrate the kind of training that a Saxon soldier would have received in 1066.
It is a fact that Duke Guilaume of Normandy had a hostage that he hoped to use against King Harold of England, his younger brother, Wulfnoth. The boy had been kidnapped by the Norman priest and spent much of his life as a prisoner of the Duke of Normandy.
It is a general rule in writing that you should not allow a significant character disappear from the telling of the tale without accounting for their absence.
After the burial of her husband, Branda turns to her good friend, Mildryth, for comfort. She knows that Mildryth has already passed through this ordeal, indeed it was worse for her; Mildryth lost both her husband and son and everything that they had ever owned in one fell swoop. How could anyone survive such pain?
The weather might be glorious but the situation for Coenred and his fellow Saxon warriors is the exact opposite. In the absence of their lords, Coenred takes the survivors of the Battle of Fulford Gate to Tadcaster, hoping to meet with the army that must come from London to rescue York
Hardrada had not traveled to England for pillage and plunder like his ancestors before him, he had come for the crown itself. York was to be his capital in the north until such time as he could kill King Harold and make the move to London himself.