Chapter 49 - Slaying of Thorvald Proud.
Eyvind Skreyja and Alf were the names of two brothers of Gunnhilda, sons of Auzur Toti. They were tall and strong, and great traders. They
were then made much of by king Eric and Gunnhilda. Not generally liked were they; at this time they were young, but fully grown to manhood. It so befell
in the spring that a great sacrifice was fixed to be held in the summer at Gaular. Here was the most renowned chief temple. Thither flocked numbers from the
firths and from the fells, and from Sogn, and almost all the great men. King Eric went thither. Then spoke Gunnhilda with her brothers: 'I would fain that you
two should so manage matters in this crowded gathering, that ye get to slay one of the two sons of Skallagrim, or, better still, both.'
They said it should be done.
Lord Thorir made ready to go thither. He called Arinbjorn to speak with him. 'Now will I,' said he, 'go to the sacrifice, but I will not that Egil go
thither. I know the craft of Gunnhilda, the vehemence of Egil, the power of the king; no easy task were it to watch these all at once. But Egil will not
let himself be hindered, unless you stay behind. Now Thorolf and the rest of his company shall go with me; Thorolf shall sacrifice and pray for happiness
for his brother as well as himself.'
Whereupon Arinbjorn told Egil that he meant to stay at home; 'and you shall be with me,' said he.
Egil agreed that it should be so.
But Thorir and the rest went to sacrifice, and a very great multitude was there, and there was much drinking. Thorolf went with Thorir wheresoever he went,
and they never were apart day or night. Eyvind told Gunnhilda that he could get no chance at Thorolf. She bade him then slay some one of Thorolf's men rather
than let everything fail.
It chanced one evening, when the king had gone to rest, as had also Thorir and Thorolf, but Thorfid and Thorvald still sate up, that the two brothers Eyvind
and Alf came and sat down by them, and were very merry. First they drank as one drinking-party; but presently it came to this, that each should drink half a
horn, Eyvind and Thorvald being paired together to drink, and Alf and Thorfid.
Now as the evening wore on there was unfair drinking; next followed bandying of words, then insulting language. Then Eyvind jumped up, drew a sword, and
thrust at Thorvald, dealing him a wound that was his death. Whereupon up jumped on either side the king's men and Thorir's house-carles. But men were all
weaponless in there, because it was sanctuary. Men went between and parted them who were most furious; nor did anything more happen that evening.
Eyvind had slain a man on holy ground; he was therefore made accursed, and had to go abroad at once. The king offered a fine for the man; but Thorolf and
Thorfid said they never had taken man-fine, and would not take this. With that they parted. Thorir and his company went home. King Eric and Gunnhilda sent
Eyvind south to Denmark to king Harold Gormsson, for he might not now abide on Norwegian soil. The king received him and his comrades well: Eyvind brought to
Denmark a large war-ship. He then appointed Eyvind to be his coastguard there against freebooters, for Eyvind was a right good warrior.
In the spring following that winter Thorolf and Egil made them ready to go again a-freebooting. And when ready, they again stood for the eastern way. But when
they came to Vik, they sailed then south along Jutland, and harried there; then went to Friesland, where they stayed for a great part of the summer; but then
stood back for Denmark. But when they came to the borderland where Denmark and Friesland meet, and lay by the land there, so it was that one evening when they
on shipboard were preparing for sleep, two men came to Egil's ship, and said they had an errand to him. They were brought before him. They said that Aki the
wealthy had sent them thither with this message: 'Eyvind Skreyja is lying out off Jutland-side, and thinks to waylay you as you come from the south. And he has
gathered such large force as ye cannot withstand if ye encounter it all at once; but he himself goes with two light vessels, and he is even now here close by
But when these tidings came before Egil, at once he and his took down their tenting. He bade them go silently; they did so. They came at dawn to where Eyvind
and his men lay at anchor; they set upon them at once, hurling both stones and spears. Many of Eyvind's force fell there; but he himself leapt overboard and
got to land by swimming, as did all those of his men who escaped. But Egil took his ships, cargo, and weapons.
They went back that day to their own company, and met Thorolf. He asked wither Egil had gone, and where he had gotten those ships with which they came. Egil
said that Eyvind Skreyja had had the ships, but they had taken them from him. Then sang Egil:
'In struggle sternly hard
We strove off Jutland-side:
Well did the warrior fight,
Warder of Denmark's realm.
Till, with his wights o'erborne,
Eastwards from wave-horse high
To swim and seek the sand
Swift Eyvind Skreyja leapt.'
Thorolf said: 'Herein ye have so wrought, methinks, that it will not serve us as our autumn plan to go to Norway.'
Egil said it was quite as well, though they should seek some other place.
49. kafli - Dráp Þorvalds ofsa ok hefnd Egils.
Eyvindr skreyja ok Álfr askmaðr hétu bræðr Gunnhildar, synir Özurar tóta. Þeir váru menn miklir ok allsterkir ok kappsmenn miklir. Þeir
höfðu þá mest yfirlát af Eiríki konungi ok Gunnhildi. Ekki váru þeir menn þokkasælir af alþýðu, váru þá á ungum aldri ok þó fullkomnir at þroska.
Þat var um várit, at blót mikit skyldi vera at sumri á Gaulum. Þat var ágæzt höfuðhof. Sótti þangat fjölmenni mikit ór Fjörðum ok Fjölum ok ór
Sogni ok flest allt stórmenni. Eiríkr konungr fór þangat.
Þá mælti Gunnhildr við bræðr sína: "Þat vil ek, at þit hagið svá til í fjölmenni þessu, at þit fáið drepit annan hvárn þeira sona Skalla-Gríms,
ok bazt, at báðir væri."
Þeir sögðu, at svá skyldi vera.
Þórir hersir bjóst til ferðar þeirar. Hann kallaði Arinbjörn til máls við sik. "Nú mun ek," sagði hann, "fara til blótsins, en ek vil ekki, at
Egill fari þangat. Ek kann ræðum Gunnhildar, en kappsemð Egils, en ríki konungs, at þess mun eigi hægt at gæta alls saman. En Egill mun ekki letjast láta, nema
þú sér eftir. En Þórólfr skal fara með mér," sagði hann, "ok aðrir þeir förunautar. Skal Þórólfr blóta ok leita heilla þeim bræðrum."
Síðan sagði Arinbjörn Agli, at hann mun heima vera - "ok vit báðir," sagði hann. Egill kvað svá vera skyldu.
En þeir Þórir fóru til blótsins, ok var þar allmikit fjölmenni ok drykkjur miklar. Þórólfr fór með Þóri, hvar sem hann fór, ok skilðust aldregi
dag né nótt. Eyvindr sagði Gunnhildi, at hann fekk ekki færi við Þórólf.
Hon bað hann þá drepa einhvern manna hans, - "heldr en allt beri undan."
Þat var eitt kveld, þá er konungr var til svefns genginn ok svá þeir Þórir ok Þórólfr, en þeir sátu eftir Þorfiðr ok Þorvaldr, þá kómu þeir þar
bræðr, Eyvindr ok Álfr, ok settust hjá þeim ok váru allkátir, drukku fyrst sveitardrykkju. Þá kom þar, at horn skyldi drekka til hálfs. Drukku þeir saman
Eyvindr ok Þorvaldr, en Álfr ok Þorfiðr. En er á leið kveldit, þá var drukkit við sleitur ok því næst orðahnippingar ok þá stóryrði. Þá hljóp Eyvindr upp ok
brá saxi einu ok lagði á Þorvaldi, svá at þat var ærit banasár. Síðan hljópu upp hvárirtveggju, konungsmenn ok húskarlar Þóris, en menn váru allir vápnlausir
inni, því at þar var hofshelgi, ok gengu menn í milli ok skilðu þá, er óðastir váru. Varð þá ekki fleira til tíðenda þat kveld.
Eyvindr hafði vegit í véum, ok var hann vargr orðinn, ok varð hann þegar brott at fara. Konungr bauð bætr fyrir manninn, en Þórólfr ok Þorfiðr
sögðu, at þeir höfðu aldregi tekit mannbætr ok þeir, vildu ekki þær taka, skilðust at svá búnu. Fóru þeir Þórir heim.
Eiríkr konungr ok þau Gunnhildr sendu Eyvind suðr til Danmerkr til Haralds konungs Gormssonar, því at hann mátti þá eigi vera í norrænum lögum.
Konungrinn tók vel við honum ok föruneyti hans. Eyvindr hafði til Danmarkar langskip allmikit. Síðan setti konungr Eyvind þar til landvarnar fyrir víkingum.
Eyvindr var hermaðr inn mesti.
En er vár kom eftir vetr þann, þá búast þeir Þórólfr ok Egill enn at fara í víking. En er þeir váru búnir, þá halda þeir enn í Austrveg. En er
þeir koma í Víkina, þá sigla þeir suðr fyrir Jótland ok herja þar, ok þá fara þeir til Fríslands ok dveljast mjök lengi um sumarit, en þá halda þeir enn aftr
En er þeir koma til landamæris, þar er mætist Danmörk ok Frísland, ok lágu þá við land, þá var þat eitt kveld, er menn bjuggust til svefns á
skipum, at menn tveir kómu á skip Egils ok sögðu, at þeir áttu við hann erendi. Var þeim fylgt til hans.
Þeir segja, at Áki inn auðgi hafði sent þá þangat með þeim erendum, at - "Eyvindr skreyja liggr úti fyrir Jótlandssíðu ok ætlar at sæta yðr, þá
er þér farið sunnan, ok hefir hann lið mikit saman dregit, svá at þér hafið engi áhöld við, ef þér hittið lið hans allt. En hann sjálfr ferr með léttiskipum
tveimr ok er nú hér skammt frá yðr."
En er tíðendi þessi kómu fyrir Egil, þá láta þeir þegar af sér tjöldin, bað þá fara hljóðliga. Þeir gerðu svá. Þeir kómu í dögun at þeim
Eyvindi, þar er þeir lágu um akkeri, lögðu þegar at þeim, létu ganga bæði grjót ok vápn. Fell þar lið margt af Eyvindi, en hann sjálfr hljóp fyrir borð ok
komst með sundi til lands ok svá allt þat lið, er undan komst. En þeir Egill tóku skipin ok föt þeira ok vápn, fóru þá aftr um daginn til liðs síns, hittu þá
Þórólf. Spyrr hann, hvert Egill hafði farit eða hvar hann hafði fengit skip þau, er þeir fara með. Egill segir, at Eyvindr skreyja hafði haft skipin ok þeir
höfðu af honum tekit. Þá kvað Egill:
Gerðum helzti harða
hríð fyr Jótlands síðu.
Barðisk vel, sás varði,
víkingr, Dana ríki,
áðr á sund fyr sandi
snarfengr með lið drengja
austr af unnar hesti
Eyvindr of hljóp skreyja.
Þórólfr segir: "Þetta ætla ek yðr svá hafa gert, at oss mun ekki haustlangt ráð at fara til Nóregs."
Egill sagði, at þat var vel, þótt þeir leitaði þá í annan stað.