It was a cold, dark morning. Fog lay thick atop the snow. In the absence of wind there it was still and the only sound that could be heard was the snuffling of the animals in the pens and the occasional chicken clucking.
Algar stirred in his bed. He was warm beneath the furs and didn't want to move. His bladder, however, had other ideas. He'd been putting off getting up - not just to stay warm but also to avoid disturbing his wife and children. It had been a hard winter and there hadn't been enough food. They were hungry and, at least while asleep, couldn't feel the gnawing in their stomachs.
But it was no use - he was going to have to move.
Carefully, he shucked off his furs, climbed to his feet and - stepping carefully to avoid the others - made his way to the door. He grabbed a cape and slipped his feet into his boots, both still damp from yesterday's foraging, and opened the door.
The fog was so thick as he crunched through the snow that he could hardly even see the next house. He had, however, had to take many leaks in total darkness before now. Too many ales on too many night-times had taught him the best route through the village, so he knew where he was going and walked unerringly to the pit. The smell helped him find the way.
He had trouble getting going, but eventually his stream steamed in the cold as he relieved himself. He guessed it must be almost dawn and that, when finished, he could probably get away with a little more time in bed if he could get back beneath the furs without waking anyone.
Algar finished up, disappointed. He was sure that a bladder that felt as full as his had felt would have produced more. He'd probably need to go again soon. Age was catching up, it would seem.
He was halfway back to the house when he heard a noise: metal hitting metal. He turned towards the sound. Was that a shadowy movement in the mist? His heartbeat quickened.
Another noise, more movement. Footsteps! Algar began to sweat, despite the cold.
The first of the Vikings appeared from out of the mist. His blonde hair and beard braided, a large round shield in one hand and a naked sword in the other. That was when the remainder of his bladder's contents decided to release.
The Viking noted Algar's embarrassment with a grim chuckle as he plunged his sword into Algar's guts. Blood stained the snow and earth at Algar's feet as he slid off the sword blade onto his knees and toppled face down at the Viking's feet. At least if anyone survived the pillage and found Algar's body, the blood would hide the fact he'd peed himself.
The Viking hawked and spat on Alar's back and moved on.
In late 2015 after doing a swap with my good friend Mike (He gave me a shedload of surplus models he'd picked up when building forces for the Saga wargame in exchange for some surplus Mantic Undead I had knocking around) I started working on a force for the Saga game.
Mike was also kind enough to supply rulebooks and battleboards - everything I needed to get into the game.
I got stuck straight in and started to build an Anglo-Saxon force.
My intention was to do a basic paintjob on these guys and then use Armypainter dip (they were to be my first experiment with dipping). In the event I had such fun painting the Warlord (my first model) that I did all the highlighting ad shading by brush so the dipping never happened.
I was working with donated models (and, being "tight", wanted to avoid spending any money on these guys and also to squeeze out as many forces from Mike's kind donation as I could) so some compromises were made in the builds, but hopefully I've not been so historically inaccurate that I'll offend anyone.
|My Warlord - a Gripping Beast Saxon Thegn with a cape added|
|A unit of Hearthguard: Wargames Factory mounted Germans, but with Saxon heads from the Thegn sprues.|
|A second unit of Hearthguard - GB Saxon Thegns|
|A unit of Warrirors - GB Saxon Thegns with Dark Age Warrior heads|
|Levies - GB Dark Age Warriors|
|A third and final unit of hearthguard - GB Saxon Thegns again|
|My second and final unit of Warriors (GB Saxon Thegns with GB Dark Age Warrior heads), with shield decals.|
|All 41 models in the force, complete with shield decals applied to all.|
More Saga stuff (including Anglo-Saxons):