Chapter 14 - Regin's tale of his Brothers, and of the Gold called Andvari's Hoard.

"The tale begins," said Regin. "Hreidmar was my father's name, a mighty man and wealthy: and his first son was named Fafnir, his second Otter, and I was the third, and the least of them all both for prowess and good conditions, but I was cunning to work in iron, and silver, and gold, whereof I could make matters that availed somewhat. Other skill my brother Otter followed, and had another nature withal, for he was a great fisher, and above other men herein; in that he had the likeness of an otter by day, and dwelt ever in the river, and bare fish to bank in his mouth, and his prey would he ever bring to our father, and that availed him much: for the most part he kept him in his otter-gear, and then he would come home, and eat alone, and slumbering, for on the dry land he might see naught. But Fafnir was by far the greatest and grimmest, and would have all things about called his.

"Now," says Regin, "there was a dwarf called Andvari, who ever abode in that force,1 which was called Andvari's force, in the likeness of a pike, and got meat for himself, for many fish there were in the force; now Otter, my brother, was ever wont to enter into the force, and bring fish aland, and lay them one by one on the bank. And so it befell that Odin, Loki, and Hoenir, as they went their ways, came to Andvari's force, and Otter had taken a salmon, and ate it slumbering upon the river bank; then Loki took a stone and cast it at Otter, so that he gat his death thereby; the gods were well content with their prey, and fell to flaying off the otter's skin; and in the evening they came to Hreidmar's house, and showed him what they had taken: thereon he laid hands on them, and doomed them to such ransom, as that they should fill the otter skin with gold, and cover it over without with red gold; so they sent Loki to gather gold together for them; he came to Ran,2 and got her net, and went therewith to Andvari's force, and cast the net before the pike, and the pike ran into the net and was taken. Then said Loki--

      "'What fish of all fishes,
      Swims strong in the flood,
      But hath learnt little wit to beware?
      Thine head must thou buy,
      From abiding in hell,
      And find me the wan waters flame.'

      "He answered--

      "'Andvari folk call me,
      Call Oinn my father,
      Over many a force have I fared;
      For a Norn of ill-luck,
      This life on me lay
      Through wet ways ever to wade.'

"So Loki beheld the gold of Andvari, and when he had given up the gold, he had but one ring left, and that also Loki took from him; then the dwarf went into a hollow of the rocks, and cried out, that that gold-ring, yea and all the gold withal, should be the bane of every man who should own it thereafter.

"Now the gods rode with the treasure to Hreidmar, and fulfilled the otter-skin, and set it on its feet, and they must cover it over utterly with gold: but when this was done then Hreidmar came forth, and beheld yet one of the muzzle hairs, and bade them cover that withal; then Odin drew the ring, Andvari's loom, from his hand, and covered up the hair therewith; then sang Loki--

      "'Gold enow, gold enow,
      A great weregild, thou hast,
      That my head in good hap I may hold;
      But thou and thy son
      Are naught fated to thrive,
      The bane shall it be of you both.'

"Thereafter," says Regin, "Fafnir slew his father and murdered him, nor got I aught of the treasure, and so evil he grew, that he fell to lying abroad, and begrudged any share in the wealth to any man, and so became the worst of all worms, and ever now lies brooding upon that treasure: but for me, I went to the king and became his master-smith; and thus is the tale told of how I lost the heritage of my father, and the weregild for my brother."

So spake Regin; but since that time gold is called Ottergild, and for no other cause than this.

But Sigurd answered, "Much hast thou lost, and exceeding evil have thy kinsmen been! But now, make a sword by thy craft, such a sword as that none can be made like unto it; so that I may do great deeds therewith, if my heart avail thereto, and thou wouldst have me slay this mighty dragon."

Regin says, "Trust me well herein; and with that same sword shalt thou slay Fafnir."

[1. Waterfall (Ice. "foss", "fors").

2. Ran is the goddess of the sea, wife of Aegir. The otter was held sacred by Norsefolk and figures in the myth and legend of most races besides; to this day its killing is held a great crime by the Parsees (Haug. "Religion of the Parsees", page 212). Compare penalty above with that for killing the Welsh king's cat ("Ancient Laws and Institutes of Wales". Ed., Aneurin Owen. Longman, London, 1841, 2 vols. 8vo).]

 



14. Kaptuli

"at er upphaf sgu essar, at Hreimarr ht fair minn, mikill ok auigr. Sonr hans ht Ffnir, en annarr ht Otr ok var ek inn rii, ok var ek minnstr fyrir mr um atgervi ok yfirlt. Kunna ek af jrni gera ok af silfri ok gulli, ok hverjum hlut gera ek nokkut ntt. Otr, brir minn, hafi ara in ok nttru. Hann var veiimar mikill ok um fram ara menn ok var otrs lki um daga ok var jafnan nni ok bar upp fiska me munni sr. Veiifngin fri hann fer snum, ok var honum at mikill styrkr. Mjk hefir hann otrs lki sr, kom s heim ok t blundandi ok einn saman, v at hann mtti eigi sj, at yrri. Ffnir var miklu mestr ok grimmastr ok vildi sitt eitt kalla lta allt at, er var.

Einn dvergr ht Andvari," segir Reginn. "Hann var jafnan forsinum, er Andvarafors heitir, geddu lki ok fekk sr ar matar, v at ar var fjldi fiska eim forsi. Otr, brir minn, fr jafnan enna fors ok bar upp fiska munni sr ok lagi einn senn land. inn, Loki, Hnir fru leiar sinnar ok kmu til Andvarafors. Otr hafi tekit einn lax ok t blundandi rbakkanum. Loki tk einn stein ok laust otrinn til bana. sir ttust mjk heppnir af veii sinni ok flgu belg af otrinum. at kveld kmu eir til Hreimars ok sndu honum veiina. tku vr hndum ok sgum gjald ok fjrlausn, at eir fylldi belginn af gulli ok hyldi hann utan me rauu gulli. sendu eir Loka at afla gullsins. Hann kom til Rnar ok fekk net hennar, fr til Andvarafors ok kastai netinu fyrir gedduna, en hn hljp netit. mlti Loki:

      "Hvat er at fiska,
      er rinnr fli ,
      kannat sr vi vti varask?
      Hfu itt leystu
      helju r
      ok finn mr lindar loga."

      "Andvari ek heiti,
      inn ht minn fair,
      margan hefi ek fors of farit.
      Aumlig norn
      skp oss rdaga,
      at ek skylda vatni vaa."

Loki sr gull at, er Andvari tti. En er hann hafi fram reitt gullit, hafi hann eptir einn hring, ok tk Loki hann af honum. Dvergrinn gekk steininn ok mlti, at hverjum skyldi at bana vera, er ann gullhring tti ok sv allt gullit.

sirnir reiddu Hreimari fit ok tru upp otrbelginn ok settu ftr. skyldu sirnir hlaa upp hj gullinu ok hylja utan. En er at var gert, gekk Hreimarr fram ok s eitt granahr ok ba hylja. dr inn hringinn af hendi sr, Andvaranaut, ok huldi hrit. kva Loki:

      "Gull er r n reitt,
      en gjld hefir
      mikil mns hfus.
      Syni num verrat
      sla skpu,
      at er ykkarr beggja bani."

San drap Ffnir fur sinn," segir Reginn, "ok myri hann, ok na ek engu af fnu. Hann gerist sv illr, at hann lagist t ok unni engum at njta fjrins nema sr ok var san at inum versta ormi ok liggr n v f. San fr ek til konungs, ok gerumst ek smir hans. Ok er essi ra til minnar sgu, at ek missi furarfsins ok brurgjaldanna. Gullit er san kallat otrsgjld ok hr dmi af tekin."

Sigurr svarar: "Mikit hefir ltit, ok strillir hafa nir frndr verit. Ger n eitt sver af num hagleik, at er ekki s jafngott gert ok ek mega vinna strverk, ef hugr dugir, ef vilt, at ek drepa enna inn mikla dreka."

Reginn segir: "at geri ek me trausti, ok muntu mega drepa Ffni me v sveri."















 


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