The door burst in on the hall. The flames of the great fire were nearly extinguished from the rush of air from the open door. Two men strode into the room. The room fell to a hushed silence as they watched the men approach the table and nod to the old man. Heca and Brihtric looked over the group gathered in the hall. Heca spoke, "Greetings Aethelgeard. May Woden bless you and your family. Please proceed. We wish to offer our support great ealdorman." Heca was the speaker of the twins. Brihtric simply stroked the sleeping snake wrapped around his neck. The two men were reputed to be powerful wizards.
The huge man was fierce in battle and loyal to a fault. However, he was as sharp as a sponge. He started at the dying ealdorman for several moments until the answer came to his lips, "Yes my lord."
Turning to each of the two nobles that were in his retinue he repeated the question and had them swear oaths to Hengst. Once the oaths were finished, the mood of the gathering turned festive. Several of the household guard cheered the old man and Hengst. But Hengst just stared into the fire. He was already planning his first action. Taking the corrupt kingdom of Eburac from Eliffer would be difficult. The crafty Briton had many spearmen but also many enemies. His sons appeared to be competent warriors in their own right. The Picts were a sore spot for them as well as the men of Gwenddoleu. It was impossible to figure out their politics. But his most important asset was his uncle - Wulfgar. Wulfgar commanded the foederati in the town of Deira. They were supposed to protect Ebrauc from ... well him. But blood is more important than gold. Just need to find the right time.
After laying out the plan, the two nobles Osweald and Leofwig simply nodded. "At the first sign of spring, we head south. The land is ripe for the picking. We will press toward the town of Catraeth and see what is to be had. We will pay King Ida his due and carve a kingdom of our own."
Osweald on the other hand was short and wiry. Yet at 34 years of age, he was a veteran warrior of many battles and a master at arms. Leofwig was of a similar build to Hengst but younger at just 23 years. Leofwig is a man of an iron liver. It is a trait that will have to be watched closely. The slowcoach Eadbald is a mountain of a man and the eldest of these men at 36 years. Yet his strength was as great now as it had been ten years earlier.
The roles were assigned. Osweald would command the Gedridht while Leofwig would command the Geoguth. They had a small group of skirmishers to act as scouts. The twins insisted on going with them. It was going to be a very interesting year.