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.'
"'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).]
"Þat er upphaf sögu þessar, at Hreiðmarr hét faðir minn, mikill ok auðigr. Sonr hans hét Fáfnir, en annarr hét Otr ok var ek inn þriði, ok var ek
minnstr fyrir mér um atgervi ok yfirlát. Kunna ek af járni gera ok af silfri ok gulli, ok hverjum hlut gerða ek nokkut nýtt. Otr, bróðir minn, hafði aðra iðn ok
náttúru. Hann var veiðimaðr mikill ok um fram aðra menn ok var í otrs líki um daga ok var jafnan í ánni ok bar upp fiska með munni sér. Veiðiföngin færði hann feðr
sínum, ok var honum þat mikill styrkr. Mjök hefir hann otrs líki á sér, kom síð heim ok át blundandi ok einn saman, því at hann mátti eigi sjá, at þyrri. Fáfnir var
miklu mestr ok grimmastr ok vildi sitt eitt kalla láta allt þat, er var.
Einn dvergr hét Andvari," segir Reginn. "Hann var jafnan í forsinum, er Andvarafors heitir, í geddu líki ok fekk sér þar matar, því at þar var fjöldi fiska í þeim
forsi. Otr, bróðir minn, fór jafnan í þenna fors ok bar upp fiska í munni sér ok lagði einn senn á land. Óðinn, Loki, Hænir fóru leiðar sinnar ok kómu til
Andvarafors. Otr hafði þá tekit einn lax ok át blundandi á árbakkanum. Loki tók einn stein ok laust otrinn til bana. Æsir þóttust mjök heppnir af veiði sinni ok
flógu belg af otrinum. Þat kveld kómu þeir til Hreiðmars ok sýndu honum veiðina. Þá tóku vér þá höndum ok sögðum á þá gjald ok fjörlausn, at þeir fylldi belginn af
gulli ok hyldi hann utan með rauðu gulli. Þá sendu þeir Loka at afla gullsins. Hann kom til Ránar ok fekk net hennar, fór þá til Andvarafors ok kastaði netinu fyrir
gedduna, en hún hljóp í netit. Þá mælti Loki:
"Hvat er þat fiska,
er rinnr flóði í,
kannat sér við víti varask?
Höfuð þitt leystu
ok finn mér lindar loga."
"Andvari ek heiti,
Óinn hét minn faðir,
margan hefi ek fors of farit.
skóp oss í árdaga,
at ek skylda í vatni vaða."
Loki sér gull þat, er Andvari átti. En er hann hafði fram reitt gullit, þá hafði hann eptir einn hring, ok tók Loki hann af honum. Dvergrinn gekk í steininn ok
mælti, at hverjum skyldi at bana verða, er þann gullhring ætti ok svá allt gullit.
Æsirnir reiddu Hreiðmari féit ok tráðu upp otrbelginn ok settu á fætr. Þá skyldu Æsirnir hlaða upp hjá gullinu ok hylja utan. En er þat var gert, þá gekk
Hreiðmarr fram ok sá eitt granahár ok bað hylja. Þá dró Óðinn hringinn af hendi sér, Andvaranaut, ok huldi hárit. Þá kvað Loki:
Síðan drap Fáfnir föður sinn," segir Reginn, "ok myrði hann, ok náða ek engu af fénu. Hann gerðist svá illr, at hann lagðist út ok unni engum at njóta fjárins
nema sér ok varð síðan at inum versta ormi ok liggr nú á því fé. Síðan fór ek til konungs, ok gerðumst ek smiðr hans. Ok er þessi ræða til minnar sögu, at ek missi
föðurarfsins ok bróðurgjaldanna. Gullit er síðan kallat otrsgjöld ok hér dæmi af tekin."
Sigurðr svarar: "Mikit hefir þú látit, ok stórillir hafa þínir frændr verit. Ger nú eitt sverð af þínum hagleik, þat er ekki sé jafngott gert ok ek mega
vinna stórverk, ef hugr dugir, ef þú vilt, at ek drepa þenna inn mikla dreka."
Reginn segir: "Þat geri ek með trausti, ok muntu mega drepa Fáfni með því sverði."