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The story takes place in the 6th Century in Denmark and Scotland. Amled, son of King Harvendel and Queen Geruth, witnesses the murder of his father and brother Sigurd by his uncle Fenge, and his retainers. Amled stays alive by faking madness making Fenge think that the boy has gone totally mad and is not going to cause him any harm. Fenge takes over the position of Harvendel as King and husband to Geruth. Amled, bent on revenge, kills Ribold - Fenge's closest companion. Fenge feels threatened and sends Amled to his old friend in Scotland Aethelwine, the Duke of Lindsey. Fenge begs him in a message to kill Amled by insinuating that Amled is possessed by madness and has assassinated two of his men...