During the winter, Quintus Badiovirus approached Aulus Hectorius about the fate of his kingdom, Cantium. Aulus pointed out that the Cantiaci had fled generations ago; their descendants considered themselves citizens of Londinium, Icenia, or Atrebatia. Even if Badiovirus succeeded, most would not leave their homes simply to fulfill their grandparents’ nostalgia. Meanwhile, Saxon settlers had come from across the sea — men, women, and children, come to simply live their lives. What would Badiovirus do with them? Was this a mission of genocide?
Badiovirus referred to his family’s history in the Revolution, how they fought to free the poor, urban, Christian population from the exploitation of a rural, pagan aristocracy. Now, he said, the people living in Ceint suffer under a new tyranny: the warmongering god Wotan, and his religion of violence and domination, created a society where those ordinary people who came simply to live their lives suffer under a warrior aristocracy. Badiovirus said that he did not want to take back his kingdom to drive out the Saxons as a people, but to liberate them from their pagan oppressors. Aulus was satisfied with this answer, and authorized Badiovirus to return to Ceint for the remainder of the winter.
Aulus called in his brother Caius Hectorius and asked him to accompany Badiovirus on his mission. When Badiovirus told him his vision of a kingdom guided by Pelagian principles, Ualcaved also volunteered to join him. Badiovirus sought help from Caratacus Strongarm, who provided a keel, and offered some of his own Saxon warriors to follow him.
As they sailed to Ceint, Badiovirus told Caius and Ualcaved about Ceint: how Hengist and his warriors came from the Franks, but the settlers who followed them came from Saxony and Frisia. He told them of his family’s history in the Revolution, and his plan to encourage the settlers to rise up against Æsc’s rule. Badiovirus was quite successful in this. As he convinced more and more of the settlers to join the revolt, Caius spent more and more of his time turning a rag-tag bunch of farmers into a disciplined army of warriors.
After a few initial victories, Badiovirus was contacted by a messenger from Octa Big-Knife, asking for a secret meeting. There, he offered to betray his father, Æsc Hengistsson, in exchange for becoming Badiovirus’s magister militum, the commander of his military. Octa could see that Badiovirus would win, eventually; better to join him now and secure position and power in his new regime, than die as his father’s heir. Badiovirus asked about his beliefs; Octa told him that he believed in Wotan, because Wotan gives him strength and glory, but also warned him that many of Æsc’s warriors would gladly accept death for the glory it would win them, so unless he wanted to fight to the bitter end, he would need someone like Octa who could control those warriors in his name. Badiovirus accepted the wisdom of that assessment, and agreed to Octa’s terms.
Octa threw open the gates of Durovernum, and with a significant portion of the warriors joining Octa against his father, they won the battle handily. Æsc was executed. With the winter ending, Badiovirus had to return to rejoin Aulus’s army. Octa offered to rule the kingdom in his stead, until he returned. Badiovirus was wary, until Octa warned him that many of the soldiers were still loyal to him, so if Badiovirus tried to call upon someone else, they may become angry and revolt. Octa promised he would try to dissuade them from that, but said he couldn’t promise that they would listen. Badiovirus assented, leaving Octa in charge of Cantium until he could return, but he also left Ualcaved there to keep an eye on Octa and keep him in line.