Penda’s forces ravage Bernicia. He raids our cattle and sets our fields on fire. And King Oswy, that bellowing warrior, can’t stop him. Now Penda’s army camps outside Bamburg, our strongest fortress, unable to enter and refusing to leave.
I peer down from the wall overlooking our lands. Every day wagons stacked with thatch and fencing materials pull up outside the walls. Men unload wood, wattle, thatch—all dry in the August sun. The stack of kindling grows higher each day. They will burn us out, if my husband doesn’t force them away.
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