Short story penned for entry into a writing competition in early 2000s about the attempted assassination of Edwin king of Northumbria in 626 A.D.
It Follows the attack on Edwin by a paid assassin sent by the heir to the throne of the West Saxons Cwichelm the reasons are still unclear although the power of the Anglo Saxon kingdoms was always a highly contested and politically difficult to navigate with varied powerful kingdoms within the land all looking to seek the best for their own elites and families and with Celtic enemies threatening their borderlands and rival Anglo Saxon kingdoms looking to expand and secure their alliances via marriage and by force when called upon to protect their borders when threatened by their enemies and rivals.
Edwin had been forced to fight for his very life from an early age with rival Anglo Saxon kings and heirs from neighbouring lands keen take advantage of his inexperience after his father Aelle the king was killed in battle.
He was forced to flee for his life from his own kingdom and seek sanctuary at rivals courts with the forces of the Grasping Aethelfrith looking to have young Edwin eliminated and usurping the throne left empty by the death of king Aelle.
Edwin survived all the plotting of Aethelfrith but once he had freed himself of one enemy and rival more appeared and the plotting and scheming continued against Edwin they feared his power and his ability to communicate with other elites and kings saw him establish alliances and friendships across Great Britain.
This also saw Edwin become a target for many other ambitious heirs and kings all across Great Britain all looking to become the Bretwelda of Britain and the high king over the Anglo Saxon world and the borderlands of the Celts of Wales and Scotland.
Edwin was a leader of men and a warrior this short story offers a glimpse into the man behind the heroic king who became the most powerful of English speaking king to hold the title of high king over the Anglo Saxon kingdoms of England circa 626 A.D.