The Saga of the People of Hrútafjörður

Session 2 - First Fall to First Winter

Beara's Proposal, Ulf's Death

One a morning in late fall, when the chill had begun to bite in the air, there was a knock on the door or Thorolf Bjornsson’s longhouse. Opening the door, it was Beara Nightwolf who stood before him, with six sheep behind her. Though he was confused by her presence, he invited her into his home, as it was right to be hospitable to guests. Baera stated that the sheep were a gift to Thorolf, as part of her proposal of marriage. Thorolf had no answer for her, so Baera said that he had until the turning of the seasons at first snow to answer her.

Moeid Nirnsdottir traveled to visit Osk, the wife of Olaf Sirtson, a rich farmer. Moeid knew that Osk was sleeping with Ottar Hrafnsson, another man of influence and wealth in Hrútafjörður. Moeid and Osk agreed that they would have someone kill the other’s husband, so nothing could be proved and they would be free of the man they were wed to. Moeid then returned to her farm.

Thorolf, was visited by Grim the Black, a friend of Thorolf’s father during the wars in Norway. Thorolf told Grim of Beara’s offer, and Grim challenged Thorolf’s honor, that a woman would propose to a man! Grim told Thorolf to travel to Beara right then, to make her his wife and take her into his bed. Then Thorolf would be a man again. Grim promised to look over Jornunn Thorolfsson until Thorolf returned.

Thurid Vailisdottir, a powerful shieldmaden and hunter, returned from a long trip, bringing rabbits to her brother, Orm Vailisson. At Orm’s longhouse she saw Volgard, the widow of Nirn and mother of Heimsgir Nirnsson and Moeid. As a widow, Volgard had the choice of who she would marry, and she had been courting Orm for many months.

Volgard spoke with Orm and Thurid about the new god, the White Christ, who preached peace and love for all. If the Norwegians had worshiped the White Christ, then there would have been no war in Norway, Nirn and his family would not have come to Iceland, and Nirn would not have died during the journey. While Orm was silent about the White Christ, Thurid defended the old gods, and gave praise to them.

Thorolf left his longhouse and traveled far to Baera’s hut. Along the way, it began to snow hard, and the snow was up many inches when he reached Baera. There he opened the door and proclaimed to the startled Baera that he would take her as his wife. He lifted her into his arms, and carried her the many miles back to his longhouse. There, Grim saw Thorulf and Baera and praised their union. Grim took Jornunn from the home, for he was young. Thorulf threw Baero down upon his bed and took her in a manly fashion. And after this Baera was with child.

After time had passed, Grim went to visit Heimsgir, the brother of Moeid and a wise Goði. There they spoke of Ulf Heggsson, and Heimsgir confirmed that Ulf had laid hand on Moeid. Grim and Heimsgir spoke long, and finally agreed that Ulf should die for his crimes against Moeid.

Heimsgir and Grim left the hof and traveled to the longhouse of Ulf. It had begun to snow very hard, and it was difficult for Heimsgir to keep up with the old warrior, but the Goði managed. At Ulf’s home, Moeid tried to speak sense to Grim, that the murder of Ulf would bring punishment down upon him, but Grim was a great berserk in the wars and now saw nothing but blood. Drawing his sword, he opened the door and cut Ulf’s head off in one stroke. Throwing Ulf’s head in the hearth, Grim, Moeid, and Heimsgir stood in the falling snow.

Heimsgir returned to his hof, and saw that Thurid was there. Thurid knew that Volgard had taken the new god, the White Christ, and had cast aside the old gods. Heimsgir grew angry, and thanked Thurid for telling him.

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