The Northern Way

The Saga of Hromund Gripsson

Chapter 1

A king reigned over Gordum in Denmark, who was called Olaf. He was the son of Gnodar-Asmund, and he was a famous man. Two brothers, Kari and Arnulf, were the king's land-wardens and great warriors. There was a powerful farmer named Grip who married a woman named Gunnlod, the daughter of Hrok the Black, and they had nine sons, named Hrolf, Haki, Gaut, Throst, Angantyr, Logi, Hromund, Helgi, and Hrok. They were all promising men, though Hromund was greater than the rest. He knew no fear, and was handsome, fair-haired and mighty, great and strong, much like Hrok, his uncle. With the king were two men, one named Bild, the other Vali. They were evil and crafty. The king was mighty.

One time, Olaf sailed east to Norway with his fleet, and sailed to the Ulfar Skerries, harrying until he laid anchor at an island. The king told Kari and Arnulf to go up to the island and see if they could see any warships. They went ashore, and soon saw six warships. There was one most magnificent dragon-ship. Kari called to the occupants and asked who was in charge of the ships. An ugly man stood up in the dragon-ship and said that he was named Hrongvid, - 'and what is your name?' Kari said to him and his brother: 'I know none worse than you, and moreover, I shall cut you into tiny pieces.' Hrongvid said: 'I have harried summer and winter for thirty-three years, fighting sixty battles and always had the victory. My sword is named Brynthvari, and it never goes blunt. Come here tomorrow morning, Kari, and I shall sheath him in your breast.' Kari said he would not fail, and Hrongvid might choose the day to face the sword's point.

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