In January of the year 878, King Alfred of Wessex barely survived a surprise assault by the Danes. He and a small band of followers fled to Athelney Island in the marshes of Somerset. During the next few months, the only free English king could only walk openly on a forty-acre island - the Danes ruled the rest of England.
That winter, Alfred sent out messengers (erendrakes, in Old English) in order to raise troops among the subjugated Saxons of southern England. Those erendrakes succeeded so well in their mission that in May of that same year, Alfred won a decisive victory that eventually led to peace throughout England. The player characters in this game are those erendrakes, braving certain death if discovered by the Danes, raising an army for the only English king called "the Great."