To my Dear friend Athelstan,
I send you this message to entreat you to tread very carefully on your future path in England. I have received some unclear tellings of the future from the Seer here in Kattegat… some of which concerns you? I feel I must warn you of this and ask you to be most careful in any affairs of the heart that you may at some point enter in to. I know that you are torn by your beliefs and most likely will eventually forsake your vows as a monk… that is not what I am concerned about. It is more the choice of which ever woman you will forsake these vows for which concerns me. I know too that you will treat this message and it’s contents as much private and will not share this information with anyone else, as it could put us both in grave danger from all sides.
I have spoke to you before of my visions, as you are want to call them, of what the future may hold for all of our friends- both in Kattegat and in England. What I must warn you of concerns those in England? I know and understand how you are torn in your loyalties to both the Vikings and the English as am I. This very touchy matter of which I warn you about regards the English of whom you feel some of that loyalty to?
You have developed a close relationship to Ecbert, and not so much of a closeness to his son, Aethelwulf… The matter of which I must warn you of concerns these two men, or rather more so- Ecbert’s son Aethelwulf and his wife, Judith?
We know that Judith, the daughter of Aella has been wed to Aethelwulf as a show of peace and alliance between Northumbria and Wessex. It is a fragile peace and alliance as most are… and if this marriage should not work out for what ever reasons, it will not bode well for either side? I mention this because I do realize that it may not be the easiest or happiest of marriages for Judith? Aethelwulf is reported and recorded as being a very devout and overly zealous Christian… I understand there was some difficulty for you when he accused you of turning into a Pagan?
I bring this up because as he is such a devout man, he would take his marriage vow, and those of his bride quite seriously? There is also the matter of any offspring from this union, which would hold great importance in the future.
What I know of the future of England is that sons of Aethelwulf will play very important roles? My sight of the future may differ from what will happen… I can only say that you should take great care in any relationship you may form with Judith. Someone will bear Aethelwulf sons who will be a part of shaping the future of England. Now, whether Judith bears those sons or some one else does is difficult to determine? There is also the possibility that Judith could bear him sons who may or may not be of his blood? That would be extremely difficult to prove in this time!
The Seer has shared some images with me that lead me to believe that Aethelwulf becomes much troubled over some event in his life? What ever this event is, it takes a toll on the man and he resorts to gevious penance and religious fervor over it.
The Seer has also shown me some vague images that perhaps you and Judith may become more than just good friends?
I just feel that I must warn you to take great care and caution if this is the path you choose… Aethelwulf will one day be King of Wessex, Judith will be queen and it could be dangerous for both of you should this relationship be found out! I do not think that Ecbert will take this matter lightly either should it come to light while he is King? Please use care. Judith seems to be a good woman and I know it would pain you deeply if one you cared about were to be greatly harmed by this affair of the heart. I will leave this matter to your soul and pray that you will find happiness in the future, but will not find it at the harm or heartbreak of another. Please let your conscience and your mind be your guide in this, and not some other part of your person. Think of what I have shared with you on the future of your England?
Aethelwulf in history:
Æthelwulf, also spelled Aethelwulf or Ethelwulf; Old English: Æþelwulf, meaning “Noble Wolf”, was King of Wessex from 839 until his death in 858. He was the only known child of King Egbert of Wessex. He conquered the kingdom of Kent on behalf of his father in 825, and was sometime later made King of Kent as a sub-king to Egbert. He succeeded his father as King of Wessex on Egbert’s death in 839, at which time his kingdom stretched from the county of Kent in the east to Devon in the west. At the same time his eldest son Æthelstan became sub-king of Kent as a subordinate ruler.
Judith in history: Judith’s true history differs from what is portrayed and presented in our Vikings version of history.
Judith of Flanders (or Judith of France) (c. 843 – c. 870) was the eldest daughter of the West Frankish King and later Holy Roman Emperor Charles the Bald and his wife Ermentrude of Orléans. Through her marriages to two Kings of Wessex, Æthelwulf and Æthelbald, she was twice a queen. Her first two marriages were childless, but through her third marriage to Baldwin, she became the first Countess of Flanders and an ancestress of later Counts of Flanders. One of her sons by Baldwin married Ælfthryth, a daughter of Æthelbald’s brother, Alfred the Great. She was also an ancestress of Matilda of Flanders, the consort of William the Conqueror, and thus of later monarchs of England.