Where the Guardian Rests
It is 589. A group of intruders raid a farm, intent on plundering the harvest; its occupants are all killed, except a young woman and her baby. Eldred, the leader, is forced to adopt the child. When the boy discovers his true identity, there is a family quarrel, followed by turmoil at the farm, and he pursues his adopted family's enemies. A story from the Lost Century of the Dark Ages. More
It is 589. A group of intruders raid a farm, intent on plundering the harvest; all its occupants are killed, apart from a young woman and her baby. Eldred, the Saxon leader, finds himself manipulated into adopting the child. When the boy discovers his true identity, there is a family quarrel, followed by a terrible turmoil at the farm, and he travels north in pursuit of four brothers, his adopted family's enemies; before he can confront them, however, he has to face his own destiny - one foretold a generation before, from a prophesy that had been hopelessly misunderstood. Will he avenge his family? Or will other powers, far greater, seek to use him for their own grand designs?
This is a story from the Lost Century of the Dark Ages: The second in a series encompassing England through the years 550 - 669, from the Second Foundation of the Great House at Glastonbury to the coming of Hadrian the African with Theodore of Tarsus.
They rode over to the villa, and left their horses in the courtyard. She had seen several buildings somewhat similar to this, but had never been up close to one. There was something awesome and forbidding about the place, and she looked uneasily at Edmund. He gave her a reassuring look, and walked forwards. She followed him into the courtyard, brushing past the obstinate, overgrown weeds that the frosts had not killed.
She thought she could hear voices, and touched her husband’s sleeve; the only noise now was of the wind rushing gently round the enclosed space. Then she heard the voices again.
Edmund returned her glance. That time, he had heard them too. He quietly unsheathed his sword, and took her hand. Together they walked slowly into what she took to be a reception chamber.
A cold feeling of terror entered her. Shivering slightly, she looked round nervously at the empty walls and the faded mosaic floor, caked with filth and the accumulation of neglect. She had no business here, she told herself. She had been forbidden near such places by her father, and she now sensed danger lurking everywhere round her. She squeezed Edmund’s hand. He must be careful. Her nostrils flared and her throat became dry as they stalked round together.
The voices reached their ears again. The sounds came from a room off one of the corridors to one side of the chamber where they stood. Edmund moved forward, and Inga followed closely behind. One of the voices was a man’s, she could discern; the other was quieter and less clear.
As they drew nearer the source, Edmund and Inga exchanged glances again as, simultaneously, they recognised the second voice.