The Saga of the People of Hrútafjörður

Session 1 - First Fall

Thorolf's Goats, Moeid's Ale, Beara's Sacrifice

The sun rose on a fall day in Iceland. Jornunn Thorolfsson, the adopted son of Thorolf Bjornsson, ran into his father’s longhouse, shouting that Thorolf’s prize herd of goats had gone missing. Thorolf and his son set out, and discovered a hole in the earthen and stone fence that surrounded his pastureland. Thorolf and Jornunn set off into the bog to search for the missing goats.

Across the land from the bog of Thorolf was the household of Ulf Heggsson. Here, his wife Moeid Nirnsdottir prepared the mid-morning meal. Her husband, coming in from a morning working at harvesting their crops, demanded some ale with his meal, but Moeid had none for her husband. Ulf grew angry, and told his Moeid that there would need to be ale on the table for dinner, or he would take her into their bed and make a child with her, as Moeid had not wanted to lay with her husband in some time.

By the sea, the local Goði, Heimsgir Nirnsson, brother of Moeid, had awoken and was preparing his hof for the worship of Thor. Beara Nightwolf approached the hof, and asked Heimsgir for aid in sacrificing a goat that she had found to the appropriate god. Beara wished to attract the attention of Thorolf, but he did not look her way. With the help of Heimsgir and the gods, Beara sacrificed the goat, and left the hof.

Back in the bog, Thorolf climbed to the top of the largest tree he could find, and heard the bleating of a scared goat nearby. Jornunn, young and full of life, began running ahead to save the goat, headless of the dangers of the bog. Thorolf caught up with his son before Jornunn brought harm upon himself. Coming upon the goat, they found that it was sinking into the mud of the bog. Laying his cloak out upon the mud, Thorolf had Jornunn lay on the cloak and grasp the goat’s neck. Thorolf pulled them both from the muck. With his great strength, Thorolf saved the goat.

Moeid had traveled far, deciding to visit Grim the Black. Grim was an older man, who faught against Harald Finehair and his war to unify Norway. Grim lived near the few woods in the area, and collected wood for building and carving, as he was skilled in these things. Moeid spoke with Grim about Ulf, who she said had laid hands on her in anger. Grim, angry that Ulf, who he disliked, would hurt his own wife, vowed by the gods that he would kill Ulf to avenge Moeid. Moeid’s father Nirn, had died while traveling to Iceland, and could not protect his daughter.

Moeid urged Grim to speak with her brother Heimsgir first, for Heimsgir was the Goði and wise in many things, even for his young age. Grim agreed to speak with Heimsgir about the matter, but swore that he would kill Ulf if Heimsgir agreed. With this, Moeid returned home, purchasing ale from a local farm for her husband.

After the bog, Thorolf had followed the trail of his herd along the coast, and came to the end of the track by Heimsgir’s hof. Sending Jornunn home with all but the last of the herd, Thorolf went to speak with Heimsgir about his missing goat. When Heimsgir confirmed that a goat had been sacrificed at the hof earlier in the day, but refused to say by whom, Thorolf grew angry, and challenged Heimsgir’s honor. Heimsgir refused to be angered, and shamed Thorolf for his brash words. Heimsgir the told Thorolf that Baera had sacrificed the goat, but only after Thorolf had promised not to harm her, as it was not known if Beara had found the goat, or stolen it. Thorolf discovered Baera’s shield at the hof, and returned home with it.

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