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John was a traveling priest from Francia who lived in England in the late 9th century.

Biography

John was born in Francia and at some point went to England. He left Northumbria when the Danes invaded, only to arrive at East Anglia after it had been conquered. When in Medeshamstede, John met Geirmund Hel-hide, a Viking who went there to try and buy provisions but thanks to the Dane raids that happened nearby, he was ran out of there. John approached him. offered him a piece of hard bread and started to get to know Geirmund. Geirmund asked John the directions to Readingum and John decided to join Geirmund in his travels, thinking it better to travel with a Norseman while in Daneland. Seeing his companion was unarmed, he gave Geirmund a seax for their protection.[1]

They traveled together for a good while, and when they entered Daneland proper, John said he would act as Geirmund's servant to ward off attention, though Geirmund warned him that no one saw him as a Norseman. The pair then went to a Dane camp at Huntsman's Hill and they were brought to jarl Sidroc the Elder.[2] Though he had originally planned to part ways with Geirmund and catch a boat to Francia in Lunden,[1] they had to tell Sidroc John was a servant meant for Guthrum, and they marched with Sidroc's company towards Readigum, though the jarl had promised no one would harm John, as Geirmund's property would be respected like any of the Danes' in the company.[2]

Sidroc was true to his word and John was mostly ignored throughout the march towards Readingum. On the early morning of the third day of the march John and Geirmund was summoned to Sidroc's tent for a test. He handed John a piece of parchment and asked him to read them the message, concerning the plans by King Æthelred I of Wessex and Alfred to draw out the Danes from their fortifications at Readingum to an open field battle in Ashdown. John thought of lying but also thought about his God and what lying would mean for Geirmund, and told Sidroc the truth.[3]

John traveled with the carts as they approached Ashdown, remaining there while the battle took place. As the battle winded down, the Danes fled in his direction and, thinking they were going to try and kill him or take him with them, he fought and killed some of them. The Saxons pursuing the Danes joined in and after finishing the Vikings off, took John to their camp, where Alfred met with him, hoping that his short time among the enemy would be of some use for him and God. He then began serving the king.[4]

After the battle of Meretun, Alfred sent John as an emissary to relay a message to Guthrum and Halfdan Ragnarsson, asking them to meet in Alfred in two days time to negotiate peace. Geirmund escorted John out of the camp, while they talked about what had happened since they last seen one another and what would Alfred ask as terms for the peace.[4]

Geirmund later captured John, after he noticed him meeting with Guthrum in the dead of night. He asked John about the leather bag he carried and John lied about the contents. Geirmund stole the bag and noticed it with many messages between Guthrum and Alfred. Out of respect for their previous travels together, Geirmund let John escape back to Alfred with his life, but warned him that the next time they'd meet it would be as strangers. John lowered his head, said he would pray for Geirmund's soul and left.[5]

Appearances

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Geirmund's Saga – Chapter 10
  2. 2.0 2.1 Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Geirmund's Saga – Chapter 11
  3. Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Geirmund's Saga – Chapter 12
  4. 4.0 4.1 Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Geirmund's Saga – Chapter 17
  5. Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Geirmund's Saga – Chapter 31

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