Shropshire (Old English: Sciropescire) is a county in the West Midlands of England, bordering the state of Wales to the west. Due to its close proximity to the Welsh border, control over the county were often wrestled between the Britonnic kingdoms and the Anglo-Saxons during the Medieval period.
In the late 9th century, Shropshire was contested between the Kingdom of Gwynedd, led by the King Rhodri the Great, and the Kingdom of Mercia. When Mercia came under the influence of the Viking-backed King Ceolwulf, the last ealdorman of the shire had been killed in battle with the Britons, with the Bishop Deorlaf chosen as a stand-in. To improve the shire situation, Ceolbert sent his son Ceolbert, aided by Ivarr the Boneless who had a bitter history with Rhodri, to the shire to negotiate peace talks with the Britons.
Following the deaths of Ceolbert, Ivarr and Rhodri around the Assault on Caustow Castle, Deorlaf was declared the next permanent ealdorman of the shire.