The Legend of Alfhildr
For generations a saga that spoke of a young Viking girl, who led a Saxon-Dane army against a usurper, were passed from storyteller to storyteller, men who freely embellished the feats of Alfhildr as they sought to entertain and enthrall their audiences in the great halls of their lords and masters. Some claimed she had been raised by a wolf, others that she was a witch. The truth was very different. Before she was a legend, Alfhildr was a flesh and blood person with a family, a past, and a secret. With the passing of time, all but the legend was lost from living memory until an archeologist struggling to hold onto his university position stumbles upon something he had not been expecting. Bit by bit Professor Bannon and his students come to realize a legend once thought to be little more than a myth could actually be grounded in history. He also begins to suspect one of the students participating in the dig has a secret that links her to both the discoveries they are making and the legend. That legend tells of a young girl known as Alfhildr who lived when Saxons and Danes fought over England. Alfhildr was no ordinary girl. Raised within a warrior culture, she mastered all the skills necessary to survive in battle and on the hunt. Though this was more than enough to set her apart from those who came to know her, it was the secret she hid with equal cunning that led her kinsmen to cast her out. Left to wander the contested lands between Saxon holdings and Danelaw, Alfhildr collected an unlikely gathering of allies as she took up the sword, not to conquer or pillage, but to protect innocent farmers, both Saxon and Dane alike. In time, this came to include a Saxon girl named Elvina, raised from birth to be a queen. With Alfhildr’s assistance, Elvina survives a palace coup and rallies both Saxon and Dane to her cause, one championed by Alfhildr. It is this story a troubled young graduate student at Bannon’s dig struggles to bring to light, for it holds the key that will help her find the courage she will need to live her life as she was meant to, just as a legend told of how another troubled young girl had.