Britannia, March 550 AD, A Wednesday, it's late and it's raining.
Ealfrith sighed, the rain was dripping down his helmet and on to his back. join the Civitas they said, help your king and country, see the world. All Ealfrith had seen was this watch tower, endlessly watching for the Saxons, who didn't come.
His helmet was too big, the rain had caused the leather chinstrap to stretch, the helmet would move, dropping over his eyes, the shield and spear were rough and heavy.
Thunder rumbled in the distance, Ealfrith turned in the direction of the sound, turning his head too quickly, the helmet slipped over his eyes. He leaned his spear and shield against the tower and fumbled with his helmet.
Luck was with Ceolwulf and his small band of Saxons on that Wodensday, as they cross in to the lands of the cities of the south to seek plunder in the land of the Britains.
Earlier that year Ceolwulf had crossed the North Sea, Ceolwulfs ambition was greater than his short and wiry frame yet he was wodenborn, his father was a cousin of King Theudowald, as a younger son, there would be no inheritance, it would be up to him to carve out his own kingdom.
Ceowulf collected around him a selection of friends, warriors and dispossessed, including his childhood friend Egbert, who would become his champion. Once in Britain Ceowulf made his way to Caer Sallog and from there met up with Redwald, another Saxon but tall and strong with an endless thirst for Ale, and Irminic, short and wiry as Ceowulf but lustful and born of peasant stock.
Ceowulf needed gold, to reward his men, attract more followers and pay his dues to his Lord, here in Britannia. Nearby where they had crossed past the watchtowers, was Caer Baddon there was a roman road, the British bought wagons up the road from Caer Ceri.
Ceowulf may have already used up his luck, as the wagon train appeared the Saxons blundered in to swampy ground, Ceowulf's lack of experience was telling. The British formed up in to their shieldwalls and despite the bravery of the Saxons they bounced off the Britons.
The British levies came out of the gatehouse, forming up in front of the Saxons, tempted by their lack of experience the Saxons rushed on, the ground slowed them down and they hit the Britons ineffectively. The laden wagon carts had moved on, behind the wood and in to Caer Ceri. The Saxons retired from the field.
This was the first game in our Dux Britanniarium campaign based around the river Severn and the cities of Caer Baddon (Bath), Caer Ceri (Cirencester) and Caer Glui (Gloucester). Both sides ended up with light losses and the Britons were able to collect a 'beggars bowl' of plunder.