Uhtred (Alexander Dreymon) needs money fast and the Viking get-rich-quick scheme of pillaging might just be the solution. Accepting the advice of Leofric (Adrian Bower) they decide to disguise themselves as Danes and raid Cornwalum (Cornwall), the neighbouring kingdom.
In Wessex Alfred is planning a grandiose new church. Fr. Beocca (Ian Hart) brings news Uhtred has slain his servant and Odda the younger (Brian Vernel) is charged to investigate. Meanwhile Mildrith’s (Amy Wren) marriage to Uhtred is reaching critical mass. Uhtred tells Mildrith he is what he is. He leaves with Leofric only to discover a stowaway in the raiding party, Aethelwold (Harry McIntire). Leofric wants to kill him at once and voices concern that all their criminal activities will be exposed.
In the meantime odious Odda the younger arrives to chase Mildrith at her manor and press charges against Uhtred. Mildrith spins a yarn about Uhtred being off ‘on the king’s business’ to explain his absence. You can’t help feeling sorry for Mildrith harried by everyone and just too pious and dull to be really interesting to her hot pagan husband.
A Treasure Hunt
After crossing into Cornwalum, the party are met by Fr. Asser (Nicholas Rowe) who wants to recruit them as mercenaries for King Peredur who is fighting the Britons in a nearby fort. They enter the hall of Peredur and agree to fight for 400 pieces of silver. Peredur produces the beautiful virgin clairvoyant queen, Iseult who captivates Uhtred with longing and desire.
Marching to the fort, the group are met by Skorpa a formidable sword Dane. Skorpa looks like Ubba on crack complete with bloodstained teeth and a half-crazed manner. Uhtred realises Danes hold the fort, (not Britons). Peredur has lied and furthermore Skorpa tells him there is nothing valuable within. Frustrated beyond measure Uhtred agrees to doublecross Peredur to recoup their losses. Skorpa then kills Peredur breaking his word that he would spare him.
Returning to his hall Skorpa betrays Uhtred (breaking his word yet again), and takes the hoard of silver for himself. After he departs, Iseult pipes up that there is another more valuable stash hidden in the courtyard and they have a good laugh that their adventures have borne fruit at last, as well as outfoxing the treacherous Skorpa.
After settling Mildrith’s debts with his plunder, Uhtred returns to settle accounts with Mildrith herself. She is old news and he has a new girl. She returns to the house of Odda the elder (Simon Kunz).
Trial By Combat
With Iseult in tow Uhtred attends the Witan only to find Odda the younger has grave accusations. In addition Fr. Asser has returned to give Alfred the whole story, corroborated by Leofric who confesses all as Uhtred watches astounded. To add to this calumny Skorpa (having heard of Alfreds church and the gold within), apparently went immediately to plunder it destroying everything and murdering Christians. Odda pins all these false charges on Uhtred as well with considerable satisfaction.
Breaking the peace, raiding and stealing can only result in one unavoidable verdict – the death penalty. Leofric asks for the sentence to be carried out as trial by personal combat between Uhtred and himself. Alfred agrees.
Notes and Quotes
‘He is the one‘ Iseult to Peredur.