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From the creation of the world a battle has been fought in the shadows for the fate of man and his kind, a battle that lasted 4000 years. With every victory the forces of Heaven and mankind suffered immeasurable losses. This war continued until a pact was formed between God and the ruler of hell, Lucifer. God would give His only son, Jesus, to the world to die for the sins of all men.
During his time on Earth, Lucifer would be allowed to tempt the Son of God away from giving up his life. If Lucifer were to succeed, then Heaven and Earth would belong to him. But if he were to fail and the Son of God completed his task by dying for the sins of man, then Lucifer and his legions were to be locked away for 1000 years, unable to even attempt to conquer mankind, until they were released from their prison.
But the Son of God did die on the cross for the sins of man, thus locking Lucifer in the pits of hell under the watchful guard of Abaddon the Destroyer. He was a mighty and fierce angel able to watch over the domain of both man and Satan. Under his watch no demon could pass into the human domain until the 1000 years had passed.
And so the world slowly progressed and mankind flourished, Lucifer from his prison still creating chaos by sowing the seeds of evil in man.
Now a millennium has passed by; the year is 1028. The world has changed; many empires have risen and fallen. As Lucifer had said, men striving for power had spread in all directions to conquer all that could be claimed. The Jewish population had been dispersed out of Judea. The Roman Empire at one point controlled most of Europe, but was overrun by German tribes. Following the decline of the Roman Empire, Christianity became the official faith of most provinces across Europe.
The Middle East saw the rise and fall of a Persian Empire. The Arab tribes spread across Arabia, uniting under a new religion, and had expanded all across the Middle East, conquering Iran, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and North Africa. This new Islamic Empire slowly began to split into smaller Muslim provinces.
With the rise and fall of all the empires in those 1000 years, the most important battle was about to arrive at their doorstep.
Meanwhile, in the Scandinavian lands an important gathering was taking place. In a province away from Nidaros, the king’s city, all the local chieftains had been invited by Chief Tynan to his castle to discuss the future of their country. Thirteen chieftains representing the 13 provinces were in attendance.
Chief Tynan was the ruler of a small but strong province in the Scandinavian lands. His rise to leadership was not through royal bloodline; he was a conqueror by nature. An extremely strong and strategic individual, his reputation for brutality and destruction was the reason that no chieftain had dared to oppose him directly. Many attempts had been made on his life, but none had been successful enough to even land a scar on him. He made examples of those who defied him by terminating their entire bloodlines.
He was a tall, strong man, with broad shoulders connected to the strong muscular arms of a warrior. He wore his crown proudly atop his short grey hair, which did not accurately represent his age. His eyes were his most prominent feature, possessing an intensifying gaze that could make a man give up his soul in fear. His voice matched the intensity of his stare, deep and commanding.
As Tynan entered his meeting chambers, he greeted his guests in his authoritarian tone, “Welcome my friends, thank you for coming at such short notice. Please sit.”
Sitting at the head of the table, he smiled and looked around. “My fellow Lords, we are all rulers of our lands, yet we are answerable to the one who proclaims himself the King of Norway. I speak of Olaf; he sits on his throne, demanding we follow him and his new Christian God into a new age of enlightenment.”
Tynan paused for a second and then suddenly stood up with passion. “Are we shrouded in some sort of darkness? Have our gods not served us well thus far? Are we not a race that is feared by all the Christian kingdoms that follow this Christ God?”
As he preached, the remaining chieftains cheered and agreed, their arms raised in the air. Tynan continued as he walked around the table. “Then tell me, my friends, why does this weak king insist that we follow this weak religion? Why does he tear down the shrines that we built in our cities out of our own treasuries?”
Tynan returned to his chair at the head of the table and placed his arm on it. “This is my throne; I have earned it, as have you! This is my kingdom; I have fought and bled for it, as have you for your empire! No man may come into my dominion and command me, nor should they command you.”
A mighty cheer went up in the chambers as Tynan continued, “We are the kings of these great lands, why should we have a king over us?”
Chief Borg of Bergen yelled, “What would you suggest we do, Lord Tynan?”
“Nothing,” Tynan replied as he continued to explain, “you all do absolutely nothing. I have been in touch with King Canute, the King of England and Denmark, who would like control of the trade routes to the west of our lands. He will help us overthrow Olaf.”
Tynan looked around the room at his fellow chieftains and then continued, “In return, not only will we be heavily rewarded for our support, but we will be left free to govern our own kingdoms as we see fit.”
Chief Eric of Stavanger, a large old man, stood up and said, “I agree with a lot of what you preach, Tynan, but overthrowing our king is not acceptable to me. I fought beside him during the Danish invasion of our lands. He won back our country for us and now you want us to give the ownership of our trade routes over to another hostile force.”
Tynan stood and strode towards the disgruntled chief. “My friend, we are only...” But his explanation was cut short mid-sentence by Eric, “I will not allow this to follow through...”
Before the chief could say another word, a blade tore through his chest. Eric gasped in pain. Standing behind him while he took his last few breaths, Tynan whispered in his ear, “I was not done talking, but you certainly will say no more.”
Tynan pulled his blade out and the chief fell forward onto the hard wooden counter, his chest bouncing off the timber. His lifeless legs gave way as his body slid under the table and onto the floor.
Tynan slowly wiped the blood off his blade onto his shoulder and stated, “Now is there anyone else in this room who would like to get in the way of progress and of our being free of a ruler?”
The remaining chiefs, stunned and motionless with fear, stayed silent.
While the blood of the lifeless Chief Eric dried on his shoulder, Tynan went on to tell them, “Good! The wheels have already been set in motion. Without the support of our armies, Olaf will not survive the coming onslaught by the English forces.”
Sitting back down, Tynan instructed the petrified chiefs, “Go back to your kingdoms, my friends, and lend a deaf ear to Olaf’s pleas for aid. Soon, only you will be the masters of your domain.”
The chiefs departed Tynan’s castle, still disturbed by the preceding events, but too afraid to protest after what they had witnessed. One of the concerned was Chief Matteus, a young and noble ruler of royal bloodline. He had joined King Olaf on many expeditions and had been converted to Christianity by the king himself. He believed in his heart that what Tynan wanted to do was wrong, and that King Olaf deserved better than to be killed while his subjects turned their backs on him out of fear and greed.
Once Chief Matteus and his escorts had left Tynan’s province and reached a safe distance, he called out to a trusted soldier. He told the soldier to ride as swiftly as possible to King Olaf’s castle, warn him of what Tynan and the King of England were planning, and asking him to flee as far as possible so that he might live to claim his country again someday.
The soldier rode promptly to the province of Nidaros from where the king governed his country. Chief Matteus’ soldier was shown into the king’s hall, where he found the king seated at his throne with his sword clasped tightly in his hand and the blade bearing the weight of his arm as its point rested on the ground. King Olaf was a man descended from kings. He had a distinguished golden beard and golden hair up to his neck nestled under his crown. The soldier divulged the vital information he carried.
King Olaf’s tormented roar could be heard in the castle corridors as he expelled the anger he felt from the betrayal of his own people. He stormed out of the hall and towards the closest window to calm his anxiety and breathe in fresh air. Standing there, staring out into the dark skies as the cool breezes caressed his face, he screamed, “What have I done to deserve this treachery?”
He looked down onto his city and began to think that if the war came to his city, there would be many more casualties and no chance of victory. To save the lives of all those who dwelled within his borders, he would either have to surrender or flee. The choice was clear, as Chief Matteus had said: he had to flee the country, so that he could live to fight another day. He soon made arrangements to escape.
When Tynan heard of the king’s disappearance, he was angered and unsure where to point the blame. He did not want to start a civil war between himself and some of the other chieftains. He consoled himself with the fact that he had achieved his goal without any effort or the need for hostile forces to arrive at his shores.
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