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Welcome, folks to the 2nd thread of Bretwalda Quest. We follow the journey of the young warrior Elfstan, who, having slain a wolf and been proclaimed a man, sets out on a journey to swear himself to the King of East Anglia. However, his path is met with unexpected obstacles in the form of deadly warriors.

Prevailing in his first bout of combat, but not without the loss of one of his party members, Elfstan journeys to a nearby Abbey seeking answers. There, he finds himself embroiled in a power struggle between the great men of East Anglia and must escort the niece of the Abbess (a secret princess) to the capital, Dunwic.

Having experienced a small crisis of self-reflection, a heartfelt talk with his father leaves Elfstan tired and in need of rest. This is where we pick up the story

Character Sheet/Rules

Previous Thread

Man getting this thread up has been a task. It would have been posted much earlier my internet is wacky and 4chan would not let me post. To those returning thanks for coming back, to those new, thanks for stopping by.
Sleep takes hold, and a dream begins to seep into Elfstan's mind. He finds himself on a desolate moor, the winds whipping around him and the rains falling like arrows. He squints, trying to see past nature's onslaught. In the distance, on low ground, he spots flickering lights amidst the harsh weather. He stares for a few seconds, observing them; they do not move. They must be the entrance lights to a great hall.

Beyond the distant flames, nothing distinguishable catches his eye. With no other option, he marches down from his vantage point. The trek is harsh; his skin shivers with goosebumps, the winds numb his face and ears, and each step takes more effort to complete than the last.

When at last he reaches his destination, he is exhausted. He slumps against the entrance to a great hall. Through the wooden doors, he can hear music and laughter. "Quite the party they must be having," Elfstan thinks. He pauses, takes deep breaths, and rises to his feet, hand resting on the oak door. His hand forms into a fist, and he pounds the door once, twice, thrice. Before the fourth knock arrives, the doors open, and a man greets him with a smile and a laugh.

"By God, stranger, you look worse for wear! Come inside." The man practically drags him inside, and immediately the aroma of roasting meat, fragrant spices, and rich herbs mingles with the heady scent of ale attacks his senses. "What a stark contrast from the outside," Elfstan thinks.

The man leads him along the side of the great hall. Elfstan takes in the riot of colors within the vibrant blue wooden beams supporting the roof, from which hang a myriad of war banners; the walls decorated with tapestries depicting battles and great deeds of honor and courage; the central fireplace crackling and popping, its flames dancing merrily.

The man smiles, seeing him take in the sights. "Yes, this is quite the hall, isn't it? The greatest one in all of England. My lord rules over all the isles; he is Bretwalda." The man turns his head towards the end of the hall, where a man with a circlet on his brow sits on a high chair, a woman bouncing a child on her lap at his side.

Streaks of gray hair on the man's head testify to a life well-lived, while the woman's hair is like spun gold. The young boy, at most five winters old, has a cherubic appearance. He's more interested in the wooden toy at hand than the happenings around him.

"Come along now; a guest must meet his host!"

As he approaches, Elfstan notices the shields hung along the wall behind the King's chair, each bearing the image of a crowned wolf.

Elfstan is led further along, and when the two are at the edge of the dais, the man calls out to his lord, "Lord King, I bring to you a weary traveler who asks for the privilege of your great hospitality." The man kneels as he says this, and Elfstan follows suit, head bowed.
The King claps, and Elfstan looks up. "It is freely given. Now, come and sit beside me. It has been some time since a foreign face passed by my hall. What is your name?"

A servant brings forth a wooden bench for Elfstan. Bowing his head in thanks, Elfstan steps forward to take the offered seat. He glances at the woman, noting the way her eyes sparkle and twinkle.

"Thank you, my lord," Elfstan says, his gaze returning to the King. "I am Elfstan, a simple traveler."

The King smiles wide, his deep timbre resonating as he replies, "Well met, Elfstan. You carry an auspicious name; my own father was Elfstan. I am Aethelwulf, and this is my queen, Eadgyd, and our son, Aelfric." He ruffles his son's hair as he finishes the introductions.

"You'll forgive me, my lord, but last I was here, a different king ruled these lands. I fear I have been gone a long time."

Aethelwulf's smile turns wry. "Aye, much has changed since then. But you must be weary from your journey. Eat, drink, and rest. There will be time for tales later."

Elfstan accepts a horn of mead and a plate of assorted meats and desserts from a servant. The ale tastes of honey, the meat is smoked to perfection, and the cakes are the perfect mixture of sweetness and texture. Elfstan devours the meal.

Once he's done, Eadgyd leans forward, her eyes alight with interest. "You must have traveled far," she says, her voice melodic and lilting. "What brings you to our hall?"

She holds his gaze as he searches for the right words. The truth is, he has no idea why he's here. Why does one journey if not to reach a destination? His thoughts are elusive. A sense of longing for something he can't quite name takes root inside his heart.

"I seek... purpose," he says at last, the words feeling strange on his tongue. "A reason for being. A path to walk with pride."

Eadgyd's smile softens, turning almost maternal. "Ah, 'tis a noble quest you've undertaken. One that many have struggled with over the ages. For each man's Wyrd is distinct."

Aethelwulf nods, his expression thoughtful. Eadgyd continues “Indeed. But perhaps my husband’s tale can offer some guidance. His path to kingship was not a straightforward one.”

Intrigued, Elfstan leans forward. "How so?"

Aethelwulf exchanges a glance with his queen, a silent conversation passing between them. They smile at each other. Then he turns, gesturing to a man seated near the fire, a harp cradled in his lap.

"Leofric," Aethelwulf calls out, "Come, give us a song!"

The hall erupts in noise at Aethelwulf's proclamation. Men and women thump their fists against any surface they can find in rhythm. Leofric rises, his fingers plucking at his harp strings. In a loud voice, he begins:
"Hearken now the tale of a hero,
Aethelwulf, Noble Wolf, Noble King.
In secret begot and born,
Heir to the Wolf Princess and her Elf Stone.

In the woods he grew, hunting and playing,
Till cruel fate struck his mother.
A jealous hand, a jealous king,
Sent forth his men and slew her without fear.

Elf Stone, consumed by grief,
Gathered his brothers of oath and sword.
A journey begun, for the Princess fair
Vengeance they sought, to right the wrong.

Young Pup, barely a man,
Pleaded with his father to join the fray.
To prove his worth, he hunted a wolf,
With naught but a spear and courage that day.

Father satisfied, he relented.
'Ride forth, young hero,
Bathe in blood and sweat.'
Ten long years spent.

In each hall, tales were told of a King's misdeeds,
His thegns turn one by one,
Until at last, the cornered King surrenders,
Abandoned and alone, a reign undone.

Elf Stone, in righteous fury,
Declared the king unfit to rule.
He spoke of the young Wolf's noble blood,
Just judgment, his heart unmarred.

In single combat, Young Wolf faced the king,
A noble death undeserving.
Swords clash, strength unmatched,
He claimed the crown as a rightful prize.

The thegns of the land, seeing his might,
Acclaimed him king, as was right.
Thus Aethelwulf ascends,
Born in secret a King in the end,

So ends the tale of Aethelwulf's rise but not his reign,
May his reign be long, and his rule be just."
As the final notes of Leofric's song fade, silence hangs heavily in the hall. Elfstan can see the tale lingering in the eyes of all the men present. Then, like a dam bursting, the hall erupts in resounding applause, fists pounding the tables and boots stomping the ground. Exaltation is the mood of the night. Elfstan has never seen anything like it.

He cannot help but be swept up in the mood, joining his hands together in appreciation of the scop and praise of Aethelwulf.

Amidst the clamor, Queen Eadgyd raises a dainty hand, and the hall falls silent. She holds up a horn with a golden rim, every eye upon her.

"My husband," she begins, her voice clear and strong, "has walked a path of tribulation, pain, and loss, such that a lesser man would break at the thought of walking it himself. But through it all, his noble heart and sword arm carried him."

The hall remains utterly silent, hanging on her every word. A stirring sensation wells up in Elfstan's chest, some sense of awe and longing.

"And now, here he sits. The greatest king England has known. To King Aethelwulf!" With those final words, Eadgyd raises her cup higher in salute.

The hall explodes in cheers once more, cups and horns raised high in a toast to their king. Aethelwulf stands, his cup in hand, and pulls his wife close, pressing a kiss to her brow.

As the revelry continues, Elfstan finds himself lost in thought, his mind turning to his journey. He had set out seeking purpose, a reason for being. Now, his destination feels less blurry, not quite visible, but he can imagine its rough outlines.

The feasting and drinking continue until the candles burn low and the fire in the hearth begins to die. As the first hints of dawn peek in through the high windows, Aethelwulf approaches Elfstan, laying a hand on the young man's shoulder.

"You have journeyed far, my friend," the king says, his voice warm and inviting. "Why don't you stay and rest awhile? My hall is open to you, and you would be most welcome. Partake in my spoils; you shall want for nothing."

Smiling, Elfstan opens his mouth to say yes, but no words come out. Aethelwulf continues smiling, but a strange sense of urgency blossoms within Elfstan.

"I am honored by your invitation, Lord King," Elfstan replies, bowing his head, "but I fear I must decline."

Aethelwulf nods a look of understanding in his eyes. "Then go, young Elfstan, and may God guide your path. But remember this," he leans in closer, his grip on Elfstan's shoulder tightening, "trust in your instincts, never waver from your course, wyrd bið ful aræd." Aethelwulf turns and returns to the hall.

Gathering his meager belongings he looks around the hall committing everything to memory. The dying hearth, the sleeping forms of the hall’s residents, the smells and tastes of the night before. Finally satisfied he pushes open the doors of the great hall.
Stepping forward, he braces himself for a morning as equally ugly as the night before. But instead of cold winds and heavy rain, the clouds are parted, the sky is blue, and the sun peers at Elfstan from over the horizon.

Dew covers the morning grass, and the air is filled with the sweet scent of wildflowers. Birdsong can be heard in the distance. The world shifts, beckoning change. Elfstan blinks, and everything shifts; his eyes flutter as the familiar scene of the Abbey's guest house greets him. He sits up, running a hand through his bedhair.

He closes his eyes, and he can picture everything: the hall, the song…. His lips curl up into a smile, and energy floods his limbs……

OOC: The following scene will be Caedda [farmhand who died vs the warriors] being put to rest and the whole party as well as a decent part of the Abbey’s residents gathered to witness it.

>Who does Elfstan speak to [Choose 1]
>>The two farmhands
>>The Abbes
>>His Father
>>No one

Does Elfstan give a speech at Caedda’s funeral?

>Does he share his dreams with anyone? [Choose 1]
>>His Father
>>The Abbess
>>No One

OOC pt2: I recommend folks give a cursory glance at the char sheet and rules, I revamped them and hopefully made them clearer. It's still WIP, the combat section isn't all transcribed for example but the basics are there.


>The two farmhands


Short and sweet - the man died for his lords and has earned his place in Heaven.

>His Father

We’ve relied on dad’s wisdom before.

Also, wildly based start for thread 2, QM, great work
>His Father
>The Abbess
BRETWALDA QST RETURNS, INSHALLAH (as they say in Birmingham & London)

>The Two Gesith
>Short & Sweet
>His Father

I'm curious if the Dream King is meant to be a God, Ancestor, or Fated Descendant....
>The two farmhands


>His Father
>The two farmhands


>His Father
>The Abbes


>His Father

Hopefully Elfstan doesnt fuck up the speech.

>Two Farmhands
>His Father

Updates coming Tue or Wed.
Is this merely medieval fictitious history/historicism or is Elfstan gonna be facing Anglosaxon and Celtic folkloric monsters whilst spitting Satan in the name of God like a good not!Arthur or Cú Chullain?
It’s past noon when Elfstan and his party ride out. The sky is clear, and the sun hangs high overhead. A gentle wind carries the smell of spring. Elfstan looks up and muses. A soul could rise to the heavens unimpeded on a day like today.

“The place is another 5 minutes ahead,” his father mentions. The grave lies beyond the Abbey walls in an open field. “It’s on consecrated ground. The Abbess had plans for the Abbey’s expansions, and a priest consecrated the ground in advance.”

“Who dug the grave? I imagine it wasn’t the sisters, or us,” Elfstan questions. His father glances at the pair of farmhands riding behind them. Elfstan nods at that and ponders when they had the time or energy to travel out here and dig a man-sized grave. Something to talk about—to thank them for. Elfstan had been gathering his courage for the entire ride, but it wasn’t there yet. He’d talk to them. He promised himself he would.

Soon enough, they get to the site and the group inspects the grave. Elfstan reckons it took the two of them an hour or two to make. A stillness hangs in the air as they wait for the Abbess and the cart carrying Caedda to arrive. Elfstan’s eyes drift to the farmhands standing off to the side. He wonders what thoughts race inside their heads. Mustering up his courage, he gulps and approaches them.

As he nears, they look up, mild surprise sprouting on their faces. He clears his throat and searches for the right words. “I wanted to thank the both of you.” He hopes they can tell he’s sincere.

They look at one another, confusion flickering across their faces. The elder of the two, Edgar, takes the lead. “For what, my lord?” That catches Elfstan off guard. He hesitates for a beat before responding.

“For everything. For digging the grave, for riding beside my father and myself, for fighting...”

The two exchange a glance, and Edgar speaks again. “My lord, there’s no need for thanks. ‘Tis our duty, plain. Your father is our lord, and you are his son. We serve whatever way we can.”

The younger man, Wilfred, nods, as if affirming the truth of his companion’s words. “Aye, my lord. We’ve worked your family’s lands for years. Digging a grave, riding beside you, fighting when needed... it’s all part of life.”

Elfstan shifts his weight, heartened and slightly unsettled by their staunch loyalty. “I understand. But I want you to know that I value your service, as I valued Caedda’s. I didn’t say it to him, but I did. I still do.”

A sad smile crosses their faces. The old farmhand’s face softens, appreciation in his eyes. “You’re a good lad, my lord. Your father raised you well. Ceadda was our friend and we grieve for him, but he wasn’t the first friend to die, nor will he be the last.”
The sound of hooves interrupts Elfstan’s exchange with the farmhands. The Abbess sits atop a horse-drawn cart, in which lies Caedda’s body. Sisters and novices walk alongside the cart. Elfstan turns to Edgar and Wilfred. “Thank you,” he says with some finality.

Osric beckons Elfstan and the farmhands towards the cart. Caedda’s body lies wrapped in a sheet of linen. Elfstan’s fingers brush against the fabric and feel its good quality. The four of them lift the plank on which he rests and carry him the rest of the way.

The few seconds’ journey to the grave feels much longer to Elfstan. Lowering the plank on the ground, Elfstan kneels beside Caedda’s body and unwraps the sheet. He marvels at the sisters’ care in preparing Caedda; if one didn’t touch him and feel the chill of his body, one would think he was asleep. Together they lower him into his grave.

Osric orders Wilfred to retrieve Caedda’s spear, saddle, and shield. Neatly arranged within the burial site, the items are testaments of his life. The men begin filling the grave. Elfstan attacks the dirt. Sweat forms on his brow. Once filled, a wooden cross is planted at the head of the grave.

Osric steps forward flushed and sweating. “Caedda was a good and loyal man. I could say many things in his honor. But today, I wish to give my son, Elfstan, the opportunity to speak words he has been carrying in his heart.”

All eyes turn to Elfstan. His heart stutters in his chest. With a nod to his father, he steps forward. He looks out at the gathered group. Taking a deep breath, he begins to speak, his voice trembling at first but growing stronger with each word.

“Caedda was a good man, a loyal man, and a true warrior. He served me, and yet I find myself with regret. I didn’t take the chance to appreciate his service. I let time slip. We always think there’s more time.”

Elfstan pauses. He looks down at the filled grave, the wooden cross standing stark against the earth. “I cannot change the past, but I can honor his memory. His family will receive his rightful share of the spoils taken from those who took his life.” Elfstan can see Wilfred and Edgar nodding in agreement. “May Ceadda rest now.”

As Elfstan finishes his speech, the Abbess steps forward, her robes rustling. She raises her hands in prayer, and the gathered mourners bow their heads. In a clear voice, she begins to pray. “Almighty God, we commend to care the soul of your servant Caedda. Receive him into your eternal embrace, and grant him peace and rest, Amen.”
The mourners echo the final “Amen,” their voices rising in a soft chorus. With the prayer concluded, the funeral comes to an end. Slowly, the group begins to make their way back to the Abbey.

The sun begins to set, casting long shadows across the Abbey grounds. When they serve the evening meal, the dining hall atmosphere becomes dull, with the usual lively chatter replaced by a somber quietude. Those who attended the funeral pick at their food, their appetites dulled by the day’s events. Even those who did not attend refrain from excessive conversation, respecting the general atmosphere of the day.

Night falls, and the residents of the Abbey retire to their chambers. Elfstan and Osric make their way back to the guest house. Osric turns to his son with a gentle smile on his face. “You spoke well today, Elfstan.”

Elfstan nods, a faint smile crossing his lips. “Thank you, Father,” he murmurs, voice tinged with weariness. A few moments of silence pass between them before Elfstan speaks again, his tone thoughtful. “I had a dream last night, Father. A vivid dream that showed me glimpses of the life I desire. A great hall, loyal warriors, a beautiful wife, and a strong son.”

Osric listens intently. He places a hand on Elfstan’s shoulder. “I was a young man once too, you know. I know what it is to dream. Chase it, but be careful where you step. This whole ordeal will only help you. The King will be pleased So dream, my boy, but remember it’s the real world where they become real. I spoke with the Abbess before the funeral, we leave at first light tomorrow. No more delays. So sleep now.”

Elfstan nods and lays down. His eyes close and his mind drifts...

>OOC: Man this scene just fought me every step of the way, not please with how it turned out but a qm has to update. On another note, the journey to Dunwic begins and I will need 3 of you anon to roll 3 1d8 rolls for events. For that anon who asked about supernatural stuff, nothing outright magical, all magic will be ambiguous, you'll never quite know if it was such. Though our characters certainly believe magic is real.

Roll 3 1d8
Rolled 7 (1d8)

Rolled 5 (1d8)


I feel your pain, QM - but don’t fret, it was well done
Rolled 4 (1d8)

Glad to read it, looking forward to what this Qst has in store.
One boneless update please.
QM, you must overcome the curse & return to us.

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