The Kingdom of Mercia is recovering from a period of extreme upheaval after the death of the popular King Penda and the brief reign of his eldest son Peada. Penda, through battle and diplomacy, earned the title of Bretwalda, High King of the British and Anglian Kingdoms. His son, however, could not fill the power vacuum left by his father, and ended up ceding the northern part of his own Kingdom of Mercia to his father-in-law, King Oswiu of Northumbria. King Peada soon found himself fighting on the losing side of a rebellion of his Ealdormen, one of whom is rumored to have been behind his assassination. The rebellion soon spread throughout the thirty kingdoms of the Ænglisc, led by a collection of clerical Witena and lay Ealdormen. Wulfhere, Penda’s second son and current heir, though being acknowledged the rightful King of Mercia and all its client subkingdoms by the Celtic Rite, is far from being universally recognized. If he can win the support of his people by throwing a large wedding celebration, as well as by brokering a deal between the Celtic and Roman Churches, recently estranged from each other at the Synod of Whitby, perhaps he will live to become a great Bretwalda like his father. If his plans do not succeed, the anarchy that has seized the land will surely continue, and the English may well be driven back into the sea as promised by their Briton enemies to the west, south, and north.