The Stallion and Dragons, Copyright 1995,
First Electronic Publication February 1995
First Internet Publication -- February 1996
Second Internet Publication -- July 4, 1996
This book is dedicated to my father, Richard Lindstedt, who would have faithfully followed or killed the kings mentioned in this book.
This electronic publication may be freely distributed for non-commercial use under the shareware concept. This means that if you find this electronic book of great enough value to yourself for whatever reason, then please sent me one U. S. Dollar ($1) in cash money. I don't really want a check or a money order and I don't bother with credit cards. Send the dollar to:
338 Rabbit Track Road
Granby, Missouri 64844
Over 1,500 years ago, the Roman Empire rotted apart and died, clearing the way for Germanic barbarians to first scavenge the remains, then form strong, healthy kingdoms in their own right. Some tribes succeeded and formed new nations which survive today, such as France and England. Some tribes disappeared without a trace, such as the Vandals and Heruli.
One of the migrations taking place in that era was of the Anglo-Saxons to the former Roman province of Britannia. The first Anglo-Saxon invaders mentioned historically were under the leadership of the legendary brothers Hengist and Horsa. The local British king had a problem dealing with both foreign and domestic enemies to his rule, so he hired the strongest of the interlopers to fight as mercenaries, thinking to get rid of them after they had finished their tasks. But the hero of this story, Hengist "The Stallion" was determined to conquer and rule this new land with weak inhabitants. He schemed, plotted, did whatever he felt he had to do to expand the bridgehead his people had in Britannia. Eventually, even though the Britons had a resurgence under a war leader named Arthur, Hengist's people prevailed and Britannia became known as Angleland or England. The Britons were driven to the west and given the name of "Stranger" "Welas" in the tongue of the English and the land they were driven to was called Wales. Two hundred years after Hengist was invited to fight as a mercenary, the Jutes, Angles, and Saxons ruled England.
A Hengist is also mentioned in "Beowulf" as a story within a story. The Beowulf Hengist was entrapped between divided loyalties and the Germanic code of revenge. He ended up taking revenge by killing a king, and burning a town and so his story was well known throughout the Northland. Historians believe the Hengist who led the English settler/mercenaries and the Beowulf Hengist are one and the same. Hengist was a very unusual name, meaning "Stallion" in the English tongue. Both Hengists lived at the same time. After killing Frisian King Finn and sacking his capital, the Beowulf Hengist might well have decided to leave the Northland for a while.
So why have so many people heard of King Arthur and very few people heard of Hengist? Why so many fictional books about Arthur and none concerning the bold first king of a victorious people? Why no books from the Anglo-Saxon point of view?
The wandering Germanic peoples who conquered the literate Romans and Celts had a strong oral tradition, but they were illiterate. If you were a Romanized Celt, would you write down the traditions of the uncivilized barbarians who just kidnapped you, sold you into slavery, or burned down your villa? Later on, the Anglo-Saxons acquired both civilization and Christianity, but the red-blooded deeds of their pagan ancestors were by then a source of embarrassment. About the only Anglo-Saxon oral history which survived 1,200 years was the story of a semi-Swedish tribesman sent to help a Danish king having monster trouble. The surviving copy of Beowulf which survived was heavily salted with Christian allusion and belief.
Sixty-some years after the Anglo-Saxons were defeated by the Normans at Hastings in 1066, a Welshman by the name of Geoffrey of Monmouth said that he had dug up a 5,000 year old leather manuscript that only he could translate. He wrote a anti-Saxon book enjoyed by Norman rulers called "History of the True Kings of Britain." Political Correctness is not a new thing in the history of the world. About a third of the book concerned the rulership of a king named Arthur. Hengist is mentioned, but he comes across as a murderous, slick-tongued leader of barbaric white trash. Sort of the way Bill Clinton will come off if his only biographers are Republican. Three hundred years later, Malory wrote his book about Arthur and it has been a cottage industry for fiction writers ever since.
So this is my version of the Arthurian legends. I have taken much of the existing secondary and third-hand historical manuscripts as studied and expounded by such dead Anglo-Saxon scholars as H.M. Chadwick and J.R.R. Tolkein and come up with something different. It takes the viewpoint of a larger-than-life Hengist striding across the political, cultural, heroic stage of 5th Century Northern Europe.
Now to the 20th Century of our decaying New Rome. I've written the type of book that I'd like to read, at least the first chapters of it. Now practical questions obtrude. Do I wish to submit my work to someone else's idea of what my book should look like? Do I wish to market it to get a quarter royalties for a paperback or a dollar for hardcover and face rejection from people who never in a million years would understand either a hero like Hengist or myself? Will a book glorifying Dead White European Males and the formation of Western Civilization pass muster in New York City? Should I brown-nose real hard to find an agent? Should I market this hard-to-define book as a Western with swords, as an Adventure novel, as Swords & Sorcery, as Fantasy, or as a different-type Historical novel? Why bother? Why not bite the bullet and see if this book is read and enjoyed by real people? Isn't a dollar sent directly to me by someone who enjoyed my book the best sort of acclaim?
So I am going to release what I have written of this book over the computer "airwaves." I shall put it in Windows Write format, as everyone who owns a IBM computer and operates Windows has gotten Write for free. Later, I might translate this book into ASCII text format. This book will travel over the wires across a continent and people will have a chance to read it. If people want to read it on paper, they can print out hardcopy on their own printer. Electronic publishing is the wave of the future and I'm getting aboard. I have kept this electronic manuscript in the double-spaced format that paper editors find easy to read.
This book is marketed under the modified shareware concept. You download this electronic book and if you hate it, erase the file. If you like this electronic book, send me money. Unlike most computer shareware authors, I'm not going to charge $50 or $20 or $10 or even $5 for my work. Most people don't have $50 to $5 worth of guilt; no reason they should. I think it would be far more profitable for me to ask for a dollar cash to be sent in the mail. That way, I get paid a good royalty, the same as I'd get for a hardcover book and you get something entertaining to read, cheap. If I get enough dollar bills, then I might finish the novel promised by the table of contents. Perhaps I might get "paper" book contracts and movie deals from the commercial big-boys if this work succeeds.
So send your dollar today to:
338 Rabbit Track Road
Granby, Missouri 64844. Thank you.
The besieged Britons appeal to the Roman Emperor Flavius Honorius to rescue them from the savageries of the Picts, Celts, and Saxon pirates and his response.
Fraternal twins are born to Wihtgils Witting, Chieftain of the Jutes. He names the little boys Hengist and Horsa. In their fifth summer, the boys are taken to the Anglican confederation to see an old king retire and a new king reign. The following traditions of the Jutes and Angles are repeated by the King's minstrel: Nerthus and Woden; Sceaf; Wihtlaeg, Hamlet, and the War of Jutish Succession; Woden and Loki. After some morning ceremonies, the Epic of King Offa is told before the Angles and Saxons. King Offa steps down and a new king is crowned. Hengist has a question to ask King Offa. Hengist's answer.
Hengist is trained for the chieftainship. The Danes begin to encroach upon the lands of the Jutes and Angles, and after intense debate, are allowed to settle. Hengist's first raid into Brittania. Hengist is married at a young age. King Wihtgil's death and deathbed injunctions to Hengist. Political strife at the Council of Elders. Hengist renounces the throne, which is given to Horsa. Hengist takes service with his friend and subordinate, King Hnaef.
Hnaef Half-Dane visits his brother-in-law Finn Folcwalding for the winter. Finn's retainer, Garulf Gefwulfing resumes an old bloodfeud with Hengist, following Finn's reluctant permission. After a day of battle in which Hnaef and Garulf are killed, Hengist accepts a winter truce from Finn. When spring comes, Hnaef's kin leave for reinforcements from home while Hengist remains in Finnsburg. When the revenging Danes arrive, Hengist opens the town gates. Hengist kills Finn. Finnsburg is sacked and burned.
Hengist is summoned to his cousin King Eomaer's (Famous Horse) Anglican court, where he is banished for five years and also encouraged to spy and report on Britannia's military abilities and resources. Horsa decides to accompany Hengist in his exile. A raid on an isolated settlement is planned, but King Vortigern invites the Jutes to his court, and gives them a working proposition.
Hengist and Horsa defeat Vortigern's enemies. They get permission to bring their families and subjects to Britannia. Rowena makes an impression on Vortigern. Vortigern divorces his queen, a Christian and marries the pagan Rowena, effectively disinheriting his sons. A difference in the amount of money to be paid, and questions regarding Vortigern's succession start a war between Jute and Briton. Vortimer and his brothers revolt against their father and with the support of the men of London fight the Jutes. At the battle of Aylesford, Catigern, Vortigern's second son, and Horsa meet face to face and kill each other. A slight Jutish victory is won.
Vortigern is deposed by Vortimer. A pregnant Rowena is imprisoned in London. The Britons win a great victory and Hengist is driven back to Jutland. Rowena poisons Vortimer, and Hengist returns with fresh troops.
A peace truce is proposed by Hengist. The Britons agree, sending 300 of their most notable men to the banquet. Hengist and his Jutes plan treachery. They will conceal knives in their leggings and boots. When it is time for Hengist to speak during the festivities, Hengist stands up and says, "The introductions have been made, which is all very well and fine. And now it's time to get down to get down to business. Jutes! Draw your knives!" The Britons are massacred.
Ambrosius Aurelianus is summoned from exile in Brittany by the surviving British noblemen. Vortigern, discredited by his countrymen, seeks refuge in Wales. He tries to build a castle in a high place, but the foundations won't hold. A human sacrifice to secure the foundations is demanded. Merlin, being of uncertain parentage, is selected. So Merlin directs a rock to be overturned in the place he is to be buried. Two dragonettes, one colored red, the other colored white, are engaged in battle. Merlin predicts which dragonette will win, saying that the white dragonette represents the Saxons, the red one the Britons. The White dragonette wins after a long struggle. Merlin goes on to predict the future. Merlin threatens to tell the future of anyone who lays a hand on him, starting with Vortigern. Merlin is released. Ambrosius besieges Vortigern in his castle. The castle and Vortigern are burned. Celtic and Roman Britannia are united. A cavalry troop is trained. "Now that the traitor has been dealt with, let us drive the Saxons from our shore!"
Fighting breaks out anew between Briton and Jute. Angles and Saxons independent of Hengist's rule settle in Britannia, and are drawn into the fighting, depending upon which side offers the most. When Hengist reached the age of 68 years old, he abdicates in favor of his son, Aesc. Hengist is captured during the summer campaign. Offered his life if he will renounce paganism, embrace Christianity, and make peace, Hengist refuses. After a speech so eloquent that Uther Pendragon is about to free him, a clergyman who survived the massacre of the 300 many years ago beheads Hengist. Hengist's body is returned to his family.
Arthur in his time defeats both rebellious Britons and foreign Saxons. Briton and Saxon live in piece until a civil war started by Maeglin, a Briton chief. After Arthur and Maeglin are killed at Camlann, the Saxons become restive again. In about 150 years they will defeat the Britons and drive them to Wales. Aesc founds his own dynasty, known as the Aescingas because of Hengist's dishonor. Aesc's descendants will become the first Christianized Saxons.