It entered his side through a cleft in his byrnie and pierced him deep.
The Anglo-Saxon poets let us know that chieftains and warriors wore a body defence, which they call a byrnie or a battle-sark.
It is true that only one trace of a byrnie, and that apparently not of ring-mail, has so far been found in an Anglo-Saxon grave.
In early Saxon times, a protective garment called a byrnie was worn by the leaders.
His face was white, and white as snow was his beard, and blood from his great wound ran down his byrnie.
The blow falls on his shield, and shears off the side of it, then strikes the byrnie beneath, but lightly.
This was a great wound, for the axe shore through the steel of the byrnie and sank into the flesh.
Eric might not bear this sight, for his heart beat within him as though it would burst the byrnie over it.
The defensive armour consisted of helmet, shield, and byrnie.
But Blacktooth's byrnie was good, nor did the sword bite into it.