So. It has come. The day I never thought to see.
My friend is dead.
They brought him direct from the field of battle. I have washed his torn and broken body ready for burial. Who better than me? His first friend, his more than brother.
His gaping wounds spoke to me. All on the front of his body, proofs that he always fought to the end, never ran away, finally dying like the warrior he was.
His arm had been nearly severed. Nothing less could have made him drop his sword. How he had searched for it as a boy and, once found, how great the deeds that he performed with it. Where is the sword now?
They had hacked off his head; a powerful trophy to be taken back with them to their own country. Even they, our greatest enemy, revered his prowess.
I last saw him mere days ago, when he paused here at the Abbey on his journey south to meet the Viking threat. Leading the King’s army. Protecting our land. He complained of feeling old, tired of this life, but he didn’t appear so to his men, only to me who had known him so long.
How long? I remember him telling me of his first visit here, to Ely, the abbey then but a mere hut on an island. Now it one of the most important in the land. A fitting place for the burial of finest warrior of his time.
I will not long outlive him. My eyes grow dim and my memory sometimes fails me; but not my memories of those early days. Who else is there now to remember them?
This will be my final task. To set down here, on this smooth velum and with the finest ground inks, the story of the greatest warrior of his time.