991 AD, the 13th year in the reign of Æthelred II. From Northern lands a large fleet of over 90 vessels sets sail for the ripe, fertile lands of England. Olaf Tryggvason and Svein Forkbeard, the Danish King, land their forces in Eastern England. They set the eastern coast ablaze, ravaging the areas near Folkestone, Sandwich and putting Ipswich to the sword. Unopposed their troops range inland, spreading fear where ever they ride, looting and burning, devastation in their wake. They continue to raid, moving further north with their fleet, towards a place known as Maldon on the coast of Essex.
Drawing their boats securely in the Blackwater Estuary, raiders lead by Jósteinn Eiríksson began to plunder the local area but in a short time they found themselves opposed, finally, by English forces under the Ealdorman Byrhtnóð. Having received word of the first raids Byrhtnóð raised the fyrd of the Eastern Saxons and marched them to the town of Maldon, the next target for the vikings on their journey north along the coast. The raiders found themselves penned on Northey island, where their boats had been drawn up. A large force roughly equal to their own opposing them. With the tide high a shouted exchange took place, the raiders demanding tribute in order for them to leave, yet Byrhtnóð refused. As the tide receded the vikings attempted to break out across the causeway but were easily held in check.
Keen to bring the raiders to battle, Byrthnóð retreated a short distance, drawing his force up into a shield wall. The vikings waded across the water and formed their own wall, shields overlapping, iron weapons dull in the light. The first weapons banged against shields, a ripple of sound like the rattle of rain on stone. It spread along both walls, a cacophony of noise reinforced by shouts and cries, men steeling their hearts for the bitter fight to come.
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NOTE: the event has been moved back to November 16th.