Great Britain (formerly)

Ishmael Venables



EITC First Division

Athelstan is a young Anglo-Saxon, once a Christian monk taken by Ishmael Venables and his fellow from his monastery. Athelstan is brought to live in British society and struggles to maintain his beliefs in an environment very different from his home across the sea.

Torn between maintaining his beliefs and surviving in his new, cruel world, Athelstan begins to doubt his faith in God.


Athelstan was born to a family that could not afford to have another child. At a very young age, he was placed in a monastery. Eventually, Athelstan found happiness, great freedom, and joy in serving the father of his church, Father Cuthbert. He had learned to forget about himself and has devoted his life to Christianity. Living in the monastery also saved him from possibly dying of fever like the rest of his family.

Athelstan is present at the raid of the monastery and is taken prisoner by the British. He pleads with the vikings to spare his life and begins speaking in their native language, to Ragnar's surprise. When questioned by Ishmael on how he learned the viking language Athelstan tells him that at the monastery the monks are encouraged to travel to "Spread the Word of God". Ishmael takes an interest with Athelstan and thinks he may be able give information that could be valuable for his next raid. Ishmael later gets him drunk and tricks him into divulging information and locations of towns.

After they arrive in Nassau Earl Haraldson is surprised of Ishmael's success but tells Ragnar that he and his crew of vikings may only take one item per crew member while the Earl takes the rest of the loot. Ishmael chooses Athelstan and takes him to his home as a slave where his children make fun of his hair.

Days later Ishmael prepares for his next raid and Caterina to accompanies him while Athelstan is placed in charge of the children. Ishmael Jr. objects to being put under the authority of a slave, while Margeant, who's clearly grown attached to the priest, is pleased with the idea. After Ishmael and Caterin return Ishmael appears to be even more of a problem and possibly a threat to Earl Haraldson. Haraldson has men go to his home and attack him and his family. Ishmael is wounded but is able to guide Caterina and the children to safety and leads them to the lake that borders the Venables home as Athelstan takes a boat to escape along with Ishmael's family.

They arrive at Floki's home where Ishmael recieves care for his wound. While there, Ishmael's other allies are contacted and arrive at the house. Floki asks Athelstan about the Christian faith and the Christian creation story and tells the Monk the Norse creation story. Ishmael sends Floki to go to Haraldson's home and challenge him to a duel to the death and whoever wins will be Earl. His challenge is accepted and days later Ishmael and the earl duel. Ishmael is wounded but is able to kill Haraldson in combat making Ishmael the new earl.

Athelstan watches as Haraldson, Haraldson's personal guardsman, and Haraldson's son-in-law are killed and as crowds surround Ragnar in his championship. Athelstan attends Haraldson's funeral and accompanies the Lothbroks to their new home as he is crowned new earl. During this time Athelstan learns the Norse legend of Ragnarok and several other legends. A few months later Ragnar goes to meet with fellow Norsemen and Athelstan attends to serve as usual and attends to a pregnant Lagertha. Athelstan observes Lagertha's work as queen and is fascinated when she declares an unknown adulterer the Norse God Heimdallr. Athelstan cares for Caterina when she has a miscarriage and loses her child and wonders what Ishmael will think when he returns as he was prophesized to have many sons and daughters.

A year to 18 months later Athelstan has been assimilated into the viking society and lies about his Christian faith and tells the British that he shares their beliefs. Athelstan is questioned by a mourning Ishmael (one of the only people who knows he is Christian) what the Bible says about grief. Ishmael declares a pilgrimage to the Norse holy place of Uppsala and asks if Athelstan would like to join them. Athelstan says yes but before departing he goes to Ishmael's old home to read his hidden Bible which disintegrates in his hands as it was burnt in Haraldson's raid. Athelstan goes to Uppsala with the British where he is asked by many if he is still Christian, which he denies.

Athelstan observes many of the Pagan rituals and is given intoxicating mushrooms by Ryan. He then roams the campsite that night and watches the revelry of the Pagan celebration. He is approached and kissed by Haraldson's daughter who washes him. When asked why she does this she simply say "Because I must". The next morning Athelstan is approached by the Seer and taken to the main temple. There he is asked if he is still Christian and denies Christ 3 times. It is revealed that Ishmael brought him to Uppsala as a sacrifice. Athelstan is shocked and clutches at his cross hidden in his sleeve. This is noticed by the priest and he flees the temple. Later the Seer tells Ishmael that Athelstan is still Christian and that there must be a replacement sacrifice.

Athestan and the British return to their homes while Ishmael goes to . A plague strikes and Athelstan is one of the victims although he recovers. He is watches with the other British as Caterina performs a cremation and funeral for the civilians.

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