Prince Wigstan was once a prominent member of the royal family of Mercia, yet after witnessing many horrible events which saw his entire family turn on each other, Wigstan sought an end to this bloody civil war. As such, he informed a Saxon scout to tell King Ecbert to meet him upon the burial mound of his royal family. From there, he expressed his desires to kill off all the pretenders of the crown of Mercia, and in exchange he would bestow King Ecbert the rulership and crown of the kingdom, seeing in him the qualities of a great ruler. Afterwards, Wigstan planned to go to Rome as a beggar, hoping to find a way to redeem his sins and that of his family before he dies.
Wigstan appears to be based on a Mercian prince and heir to the throne also known as Saint Wystan. Wigstan was the son of King Wigmund (reigned c. 839–c. 840 AD) and Queen Aelfflaed (reigned 840 AD), second cousin to princess Cwenthryth and prince Cynehelm (Saint Kenelm) of Mercia grandnephew of of King Coenwulf (reigned 796–821 AD).