rix_scaedu (rix_scaedu) wrote,

A Piece of Alternate History

I remembered that I had written this down but I misremembered which universe it was for.  This is for the Rodolfo and Starflower universe.  It is a world very much like ours, except human trangenics have been possible since the 1920s and Swiss mercenaries traditionally go home in winter to work as ski-instructors.

I thought people might enjoy it.  So, this is why English history and England/Great Britain are different there.


In the British Isles, Edward the Elder of Wessex and his sons all died of an illness in 915 and his sister Æthelflaed united Wessex with Mercia under her rule.  Her daughter Ælfwynn inherited the throne in 918 on her death.  Ælfwynn’s descendants and heirs united the land east of Wales and south of Scotland.

When her descendent Edmund II died in 1067, William the Bastard of Normandy claimed the Mercian throne on the basis that Edmund had promised him “all his possessions that would not pass to his daughters” when he had visited Normandy several years earlier.  William was apparently unaware that under the Mercian system Edmund’s eldest daughter, Edith, was heir to the throne.  After Edmund’s death her position was ratified by the Wessex Witenagemot who at that time still claimed the authority to appoint the Kings of Wessex.

Edith, properly Edith I, sent her sister Ælfgifu north to hold York in case of trouble from either the Norse or the Scots.  This was fortuitous because both the King of Scotland and Harald Hadrada probed over that summer to test the new ruler.  Edith, in the meantime, was preparing in the south for William to invade, which he did in autumn.

William’s troops came under harassment by the Mercians from the time they landed at Pevensey Bay.  The skirmishes may not have inflicted significant casualties but the invaders were never able to settle.  Most specifically, William was forced to move blind to local conditions because his scouts were being systematically eliminated.  On the 14th of October Edith, reinforced by summer-experienced troops Ælfgifu had been able send south from York, engaged William at Santlache[1] on a ridge and astride the road to London.  Edith was able to hold the fyrd together and in place and William was narrowly defeated.

The remains of Williams forces, stripped of much of their equipment and livestock, sailed back across the Channel before the end of October.

Edith married Leofwine, the only Godwinson to survive Santlache, in 1068.

[1] Battle of Hastings

Tags: edith, rudolfo, starflower, Ælfgifu
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