The scene is Dark Age Britain, a land where a dozen nations and kings and a multitude of tribes and races jostle for supremacy. Britons, Picts, Welsh, Scots and Irish battle for survival against invading Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Danes and Norsemen.
In the far corner of the isles are the remnants of Celtic Britain, gathered in the mountains and moors, and ready to reclaim their heritage. In Wales, in Cornwall, and in the northern lands beyond the wall are the British kingdoms of Cornwall, Dyfed, Gwynedd and Strathclyde.
To the furthest noth the Picts still linger, survivors of an age beyond civilisation. To the west the Gaelic clans and tribes of Irish and Scots await their chance to cross the Irish Sea to the mainland.
Across the south of the country are the Saxons, establishing one kingdom in the east and another in the west. The Jutes are settled in the far south east, in the kingdom of Kent. In East Anglia, Mercia and Northumberland are the English.
Beyond the misty grey water of the North Sea the Viking homelands bulge with the growing population of Scandinavia. Soon the longships will set forth on their voyages of discovery, of looting and conquest, and behind them will come the farmers and settlers to the new lands in the west.
This is the age of Beowulf, of Arthur, of Alfred the Great, Eric Bloodaxe and Ethelred the Unready. This is an age of bitter war, of ever-shifting alliances, of great population movements, as the many kings and peoples of Britain pursue their destinies with sword and plough.
Many kingdoms and populations will vanish forever from the pages of history but others will grow, and some day one will stand pre-eminent. Will it be an Anglo-Saxon king that brings the country under a single ruler? Will the Saxon kingdom fall under the onslaught of the Vikings and Britain become the southern outpost of the lands of Scandinavia? Will a new Arthur arise and lead the British back to the rich lands of the south?
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