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Thorolf and I were sailing south to Saxony when we heard that the King Æthelstan of England was hiring men to protect his shores.
Æthelstan had just inherited the throne from his father Edward. Alfred the Great fathered Edward who fathered Æthelstan; also called Æthelstan the Victorious. Æthelstan had several brothers. This occurred about the same time as King Harald Fair Hair ruled in Norway.
Several cheiftans in Wales, Scotland and Ireland thought this may be a good time to recover their losses that Æthelstan’s forbears had taken. The young king looked vulnerable.
Thorolf and I decided to meet this king. We were welcomed due to the support we could give him. Discussions took place and when King Æthelstan felt comfortable with our ability he made us an offer.
We were offered the job of guarding his frontiers. We would be given three hundred and sixty men, all on the king’s payroll. The only condition was that we would have to accept preliminary baptism. The king explained what this baptism was and why it was important. If we accepted it would allow us to freely mix, on equal footing, with Christian and heathen but still hold any belief that suited us.
We were preliminarily baptized.