Thursday 29 January 2009

On Watch ....

After Harald Hagarson's raid on Hooktun, the rest of the villages near the coast line are being extra vigilant. Two men from Dunham keep an eye on the nearby estuary, hoping they don't see a sail ...

Lothar Hargason's Raid

The sleepy town of Dunham, the locals are nervous, they have heard of the raid at Hookton; they hope they will be spared ...

The vikings arrive. Lothar, brother to Harald Hargason, moves his ship up the estuary and into a side channel. Mooring up he sends out his scouts and orders his men to disembark.

The lookouts spot the vikings and run back as fast as they can to warn the village ...

The vikings put the first group of raiders ashore ...

Soon they are on their way to the village, skimishers take the lead while the main body follows, one group halts on a hill to act as a reserve and to counter any possible response from the fyrd.

The skirmishers near the village and start to attack the defenders ...

The abbot of the monastery and the lay brothers have armed themselves and entered the village to try and hold off the vikings. The men of the village have suffered heavy casualties and the abbot orders them to retire to the abbey church to protect the women and children.

The main body of the viking raiders approaches the village ....

The vikings get into what they are good at - pillaging. Meanwhile the abbot has formed the men up to protect the entrance to the abbey church.

The fyrd arrives somewhat tired, they have come hot foot from Hookton having picked up some extra men on the way to replace their losses. Beornwulf orders the horn to be sounded to let the villagers know they are here ...

The vikings start to return to their ship, with their plunder, as the fyrd nears the village ....

The fyrd try to envelope the vikings but they are too slow to deploy. The chase to the ship begins ...

The vikings get to their ship and start to re-embark, they moved too fast for the fyrd.

Beornwulf can only watch with dismay as another viking raiding ship sets sail after a successful raid. The fyrd had suffered minor casualties and a few vikings had been killed.

Sunday 25 January 2009

Harald Hagarson`s Raid

Meanwhile, farther down the coast, the White Ship of Harald Hagarson nears the coast.

Through the early morning mist, the folk of Hooktun can be seen going quietly about their daily tasks, with only a few warriors visible on watch.

As the ship beaches and the first raiders reach land, the villagers man the feeble defences of home, whilst the womenfolk rush to the shelter of the church and the monks run to arm themselves.

The bells ring out to summon the fyrd, and the armed monks rush to meet the invaders.

As the first vikings reach the village, they wonder how long they have before the fyrd arrives
The villagers fight bravely and manage to hold the fence line, for quite a while, before numbers and skill tell and they fall .

The monks fight well and only retire when the bishop falls seriously wounded, leaving Haralds men to loot their fair town.

A horn is heard in the distance and Haralds men rummage desperately through the huts to find something worth the bloodshed and effort.

As Harald tries to rally the troops in the village to attack the church and defeat the monks and remaining villagers, before the fyrd arrives.

But, too late for as the fyrd arrives, he must form a shield wall and retreat to the ship.
The men in the village scramble to escape as the fyrd attacks, only to be repulsed.
But as more men of the fyrd deploy through the gateway, Hagars men must make their desperate escape, before they are cut off.
Soon dropped loot and wounded vikings are left to mark the trail of the retreat.
The shield wall cannot be broken and the fyrd follow to the beach, able only to pick of a few men at the last desperate scramble into the surf.
The vikings sail off into the mists leaving the fyrd to count the costs and prepare for next time. Harald will return.