Monday, 2 May 2011

Bogey On Down

Well - following the excitement and feeding frenzy around the Wedding of Prince Walthelm and Lady Gytha, things had started to settle down. The deferential and sycophantic slobbering of the soothsayers had started to diminish, and once again attention was turning to the Cyrenian war, where the delusional, khat-chewing psychopath O'Daffy has been getting a pasting from the combined forces of the Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman nor an empire), who are acting as military advisors and toothpicks to the raggle-taggle Cyrenian rebels.

And then the announcement came. Olaf Ladensson - the legendary Viking homicidal maniac and religious fanatic - has been killed. Really.

Olaf Ladensson was a legendary figure, whose purported aim was to win the entire civilised Anglo-Saxon world to the Norse customs, gods and the Eddas - the Nordic holy book of fairytales and heroes. A noble aim, if you like that sort of thing - but unfortunately for Olaf and his crew, the majority of Anglo-Saxons simply don't give a monkey's for their offbeat beliefs. Some of them - my own master Caedmon included - are devout Christians, who would never renounce the Gospel. Since Olaf Ladensson recognised this reality, he purportedly made it his mission to use gentle persuasion to tenderly woo the Anglo-Saxons to his beloved religion. So they tell us that he inspired his faithful and equally fanatical followers to go berserk in busy marketplaces, and kill as many Anglo-Saxons as possible. This they did - with deadly effect. They also burned buildings, causing devastation and severe loss of life.

Oddly enough, after the main atrocities attributed to this Viking had been committed, the hysteria whipped up by the politicians and the soothsayers about Olaf Ladensson gently and gradually dwindled. In the meantime, Great Security Measures were taken to intimidate ordinary travelling Anglo-Saxon folk. At every settlement they passed through, their belongings were assiduously searched for weapons - just in case they were actually Viking infiltrators on a crazy suicide mission. Everyone was now a suspect.

And suddenly, after years of silence, lo and behold! Olaf Ladensson has been found and summarily executed. And there are some elections coming up in various places. Hmmm...

If Olaf Ladensson hadn't existed, it would have been necessary for Those Who Know Best to invent him. He's been very useful figure - like Father Christmas, Elvey Preslode or - perhaps more appropriately - The Bogey Man. And now he's gone.

Time for a new one, I suspect...

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