The victory of King Harold over William the (Would-be) Conqueror at Hastings in 1066 sets in motion an ever-expanding cascade of events—beginning with a conflict with the Papacy. Rome’s envoy to England, the papal legate Hildebrand, refuses to recognize Harold’s right to the island kingdom’s throne.
Harold didn’t back down from William, and he’s not going to back down now. He brings to England a Scottish monk, Colum-cille, setting underway a renaissance of the Celtic Church that hasn’t been seen since the Synod of Whitby.
As Colum-cille creates in England a church with a decreased importance for clergy and an increase emphasis on monasteries, Harold must deal with a Grand Alliance put together by the Papacy. The English earls and clergy are split between those who support Harold and those who are unhappy with his decision—and far from the island, Harold tries to form his own alliances with the Moors in Spain and the Byzantine Empire.
What next? It would have been so much simpler if William had won at Hastings like he was supposed to.