Chapter 3 - The beginning of the rule of Harold Fairhair.

Harold, son of Halfdan Swarthy, was heir after his father. He had bound himself by this vow, not to let his hair be cut or combed till he were sole king over Norway, wherefore he was called Harold Shockhead. So first he warred with the kings nearest to him and conquered them, as is told at length elsewhere. Then he got possession of Upland; thence he went northwards to Throndheim, and had many battles there before he became absolute over all the Thronds. After that he purposed to go north to Naumdale to attack the brothers Herlaug and Hrollaug, kings of Naumdale. But when these brothers heard of his coming, Herlaug with twelve men entered the sepulchral mound which they had caused to be made (they were three winters at the making), and the mound then was closed after them. But king Hrollaug sank from royalty to earldom, giving up his kingdom and becoming a vassal of Harold. So Harold gained the Naumdalesmen and Halogaland, and he set rulers over his realm there. Then went he southwards with a fleet to Mra and Raumsdale. But Solvi Bandy-legs, Hunthiof's son, escaped thence, and going to king Arnvid, in South Mra, he asked help, with these words:

'Though this danger now touches us, before long the same will come to you; for Harold, as I ween, will hasten hither when he has enthralled and oppressed after his will all in North Mra and Raumsdale. Then will the same need be upon you as was upon us, to guard your wealth and liberty, and to try everyone from whom you may hope for aid. And I now offer myself with my forces against this tyranny and wrong. But, if you make the other choice, you must do as the Naumdalesmen have done, and go of your own will into slavery, and become Harold's thralls. My father though it victory to die a king with honour rather than become in his old age another king's subject. Thou, as I judge, wilt think the same, and so will others who have any high spirit and claim to be men of valour.'

By such persuasion king Arnvid was determined to gather his forces and defend his land. He and Solvi made a league, and sent messengers to Audbjorn, king of the Firthfolk, that he should come and help them. Audbjorn, after counsel taken with friends, consented, and bade cut the war-arrow and send the war-summons throughout his realm, with word to his nobles that they should join him.

But when the king's messengers came to Kveldulf and told him their errand, and that the king would have Kveldulf come to him with all his house-carles, then answered he:

'It is my duty to the king to take the field with him if he have to defend his own land, and there be harrying against the Firthfolk; but this I deem clean beyond my duty, to go north to Mra and defend their land. Briefly ye may say when ye meet your king that Kveldulf will sit at home during this rush to war, nor will he gather forces nor leave his home to fight with Harold Shockhead. For I think that he has a whole load of good-fortune where our king has not a handful.'

The messengers went back to the king, and told him how their errand had sped; but Kveldulf sat at home on his estates.


3. kafli - Haraldr tk rki.

Haraldr, sonr Hlfdanar svarta, hafi tekit arf eftir fur sinn Vk austr. Hann hafi ess heit strengt at lta eigi skera hr sitt n kemba, fyrr en hann vri einvaldskonungr yfir Nregi. Hann var kallar Haraldr lfa. San barist hann vi konunga, er nstir vru, ok sigrai , ok eru ar langar frsagnir. San eignaist hann Upplnd. aan fr hann norr rndheim ok tti ar margar orrostur, r hann yri einvaldi yfir llum rndalgum.

San tlaist hann at fara norr Naumudal hendr eim brrum, Herlaugi ok Hrollaugi, er vru konungar yfir Naumudal. En er eir brr spuru til ferar hans, gekk Herlaugr haug ann me tlfta mann, er r hfu eir gera ltit rj vetr. Var san haugrinn aftr lokinn. En Hrollaugr konungr veltist r konungdmi ok tk upp jarls rtt ok fr san vald Haralds konungs ok gaf upp rki sitt. Sv eignaist Haraldr konungr Naumdlafylki ok Hlogaland. Setti hann ar menn yfir rki sitt.

San bjst Haraldr konungr r rndheimi me skipalii ok fr sur Mri, tti ar orrostu vi Hnjf konung ok hafi sigr. Fell ar Hnjfr. eignaist Haraldr konungr Normri ok Raumsdal.

En Slvi klofi, sonr Hnjfs, hafi undan komizt, ok fr hann Sunnmri til Arnviar konungs ok ba hann sr fulltings ok sagi sv: "tt etta vandri hafi n borit oss at hendi, mun eigi langt til, at sama vandri mun til yvar koma, v at Haraldr, tla ek, at skjtt mun hr koma, er hann hefir alla menn rlkat ok jt, sem hann vill, Normri ok Raumsdal. Munu r inn sama kost fyrir hndum eiga sem vr ttum, at verja f yvart ok frelsi ok kosta ar til allra eira manna, er yr er lis at vn, ok vil ek bjast til me mnu lii mti essum ofsa ok jafnai. En at rum kosti munu r vilja taka upp at r, sem Naumdlir geru, at ganga me sjlfvilja nau ok gerast rlar Haralds. at tti fur mnum vegr at deyja konungdmi me sm, heldr en gerast undirmar annars konungs gamals aldri. Hygg ek, at r muni ok sv ykkja ok rum eim, er nkkurir eru bori ok kappsmenn vilja vera."

Af slkum fortlum var konungrinn fastrinn til ess at safna lii ok verja land sitt. Bundu eir Slvi samlag sitt ok sendu or Aubirni konungi, er r fyrir Firafylki, at hann skyldi koma til lis vi . En er sendimenn kmu til Aubjarnar konungs ok bru honum essa orsending, rst hann um vi vini sna, ok ru honum at allir at safna lii ok fara til mts vi Mri, sem honum vru or til send. Aubjrn konungr lt skera upp herr ok fara herbo um allt rki sitt. Hann sendi menn til rkismanna at boa eim til sn.

En er sendimenn konungs kmu til Kveld-lfs ok sgu honum sn erendi ok at, at konungr vill, at Kveld-lfr komi til hans me alla hskarla sna, Kveld-lfr svarar sv: "at mun konungi skylt ykkja, at ek fara me honum, ef hann skal verja land sitt ok s herjat Firafylki. En hitt tla ek mr allskylt at fara norr Mri ok berjast ar ok verja land eira. Er yr at skjtast at segja, er r hitti konung yvarn, at Kveld-lfr mun heima sitja um etta herhlaup ok hann mun eigi herlii safna ok eigi gera sna heimanfer at berjast mti Haraldi lfu, v at ek hygg, at hann hafi ar byri gnga hamingju, er konungr vrr hafi eigi krepping fullan."

Fru sendimenn heim til konungs ok sgu honum erendislok sn, en Kveld-lfr sat heima at bm snum.


2008 | 2008 Articles, Analysis and Artwork to their respective creators
Eddas, Sagas and Folklore Public Domain