Hrothgar’s Saga

Vikings for all occasions, no tale too long

Manaraefan Herred

Gottfriedsson returned with his Host the raiders were finally driven off.  Hrothgar had tried to lead some of his warriors through the river that flowed under the bridge to get at the enemy from behind.  They would not follow him there though as they were afraid of getting cold and wet!

             Shortly after this, Jarl Thorgeir Havarsson gave up the charge given him by Jarl Sven Gottfriedsson the previous year.  Jarl Sven Gottfriedsson then appointed Jarl Hrafn the Red to carry on the task set aside by Jarl Thorgeir Havarsson.




Sigurd the Scared earns his name


             In the spring the Valhalla Ulfhednar held a Thingvollr on a bunyan.  While out hunting they came upon brigands, Sigurd the Scared shot at them with his bow but missed.  A brigand charged at him and Sigurd the Scared ran dropping his bow and arrows so that he could run faster.  One of the ruffians picked up Sigurd the Scared's bow and used it on the Valhalla Ulfhednar.  The brigands were eventually driven off but from this time he was known as Sigurd the Scared.

             In the summer the Holy Roman Emperor Otto, with his general Sihard, took his forces to Denmark to baptise king, who had only taken primary oaths, and was returning to his pagan ways.  With the Emperor went king Burizlief his subject, and Olaf Trygvasson.  King Harald Gormsson made his defence at the Daneverke, with jarl Hakon of Norroway guarding his flank to the east at Haithabu.  Oleg the Rus, who was quartering with the king sent for Jarl Thorgeir Havarsson, hoping the Valhalla Ulfhednar would come to their aid.  Thorgeir Havarsson joined jarl Bjarne of Funen, then sailed on to Haithabu where he met Oleg the Rus.  The only aid he had been able to muster was Jorunn Havskilepadde, Skallagrim Baldpate and some Irish Celtic allies; this was all that could be spared by Jarl Sven Gottfriedsson from the Host. As they arrived at Haithabu there was a skirmish with some of the Emperor's troops before they got properly into port, here Thorgeir Havarsson wounded Sihard.

             The Emperor now led a frontal assault all along the lines, but was driven off.  He then took most of his Host to ship and encircled the Dane's defence.  King Harald Gormsson was forced to retreat, to Limfjord in the north, where he lost the ensuing battle.  Jarl Hakon and the Host at Haithabu escaped by ship and so were not present at the battle, nor were they present when Otto the Roman caught up with king Harald Gormsson and the Danes forcing them all to accept full baptism.

             Jarl Hakon returned to Norroway, harrying in Gautland and winning victories on the way.  Thorgeir Havarsson and his companions parted company with jarl Hakon before leaving Denmark.


Hrothgar joins Sigve Halvdansson Cerdinger


             Jarl Sven Gottfriedsson gathered his warriors in the north to put down a rebellion against his rule.  The rebels were very determined and it took three days to put them in their place.  After this the Valhalla Ulfhednar made a short raid in the south then returned to their homes, Hrothgar and Morrigan Legbiter stayed and joined the Jarl of Cantware, Sigve Halvdansson Cerdinger, in raids along the Cantwareish coast.

             Jarl Sigve Halvdansson Cerdinger 's ship was blown ashore and he was lost for several days with his crew.  Before they could make repairs and find the rest of the raiders, Hrothgar had led the remainder of the Vikingar to sack the monastery of St Ethelbert.

             When Jarl Sigve Halvdansson Cerdinger re-joined his warriors he had his old friend Magnus Magnusson with him.  At this time also Halgerd Eiricsdotta and Brynjolf Odin Frostri joined Hrothgar and Morrigan Legbiter with Jarl Sigve Halvdansson Cerdinger.  They made camp and celebrated the reunion of the old friends.  Afterwards they continued to raid the Cantwareish coast and saw a strange thing, a warrior from the Jomsvikings fought with a large Norman shield on his back and another held in his left hand in the normal manner.  They thought his very funny especially when the warrior tried to run away and fell over.

             They then made a foray into London where Hrothgar's finger was crushed by a berserker.


Hrothgar is possessed


             Hrothgar then left Jarl Sigve Halvdansson Cerdinger and went to join Jarl Caradoc.  Together they went into Guined and sacked the town of Harlech; there was much feasting and merry making at Harlech when the raiders had taken the place.  It is said that while at Harlech a spell was cast upon Hrothgar because he now went around the north fighting duels where ever he went.  He killed fifteen warriors before the blood madness left him.

             It was at this time that he single handedly took the ship "Viking" at Jorvik.  It was a fine vessel, painted blue with a gold stripe along the side.


The death of Script Slasher the Mighty


             Jarl Sven Gottfriedsson called an Althing at Denbigh and Jarl Thorgeir Havarsson tried to unite the divided Viking boroughs of the Dane Law, but this was not yet successful.  After this, Jarl Sven Gottfriedsson sent Borgar Crag to raid the surrounding country.  Borgar Crag and his warriors were surprised by Script Slasher the Mighty, who had many more warriors than expected.  A party of Danes were with Script Slasher but when they saw that the Valhalla Ulfhednar of Thorgeir Havarsson was with Borgar Crag they went away, preferring to fight another day.  Still out numbered Borgar Crag attacked the foe. Hrothgar led Borgar Crag's huscarls and when Borgar Crag was foully struck down by a blow to his back, Hrothgar took over and led Borgar Crag's warriors on to avenge their chief.  The battle raged back and forth for hours until Hrothgar personally delivered the death blow to the enemy chief, Script Slasher the Mighty; many other warriors also had to strike this giant of a man before he finally fell.

             After this the Valhalla Ulfhednar went south for their annual raid on Iver before again holding a Thingvollr at the bunyan.  It was here that the berserk rage first descended upon Thorgeir Havarsson and Gunnar, this caused much talk amongst the Valhalla Ulfhednar.


Hrothgar and Morrigan Legbiter have a son


             At the end of the year, just before Yule, Morrigan Legbiter gave birth to Hrothgar's son.  They named him Thorfin Hrothgarsson.


Hrothgar visits Jorvik


989     In this year eolderman Byrhtnoth drove Danish pirates from his lands.  Vladimir, Prince of Kiev was baptised.

             Early in this year Jarl Thorgeir Havarsson again tried to unite the boroughs of the Danelaw.  Those allied to the High Jarl Sven Gottfriedsson of Dubh Linn agreed to put this to the vote of their Althing later in the year.

             Jarl Thorgeir Havarsson summoned some of his warriors to Jorvik to aid eorl Thornis to defend the place from the ravages of the Norwegians.  Hrothgar, Sigurd the Scared, Gunnar, Brynjolf Odin Frostri, Snorri Pig Svensson, and Snotra the Ambivalent answered the call with Halgerd Eiricsdotta and Morrigan Legbiter to aid the wounded.

             Hrothgar was at meat with his sword brothers from the Emperor Otto's army when the call came.  Not wishing to disobey the word of his sworn leader he set forth immediately in his ship "Viking" for Jorvik.  He had with him Morrigan Legbiter and his son Thorfin Hrothgarsson.  The journey was long and arduous, Morrigan Legbiter sat with Hrothgar at the steer board helping him to stay awake and guide the ship.  When they arrived at Jorvik all the town's folk were asleep and they slipped in unnoticed.


Battle commences


             The Norwegians were led by Eiric Red Chopper and had despoiled the lands around Jorvik for many years.  Eorl Thornis put on a mighty display of warriors in Jorvik and saw to it that word reached Eiric Red Chopper.  Eiric Red Chopper was not deterred by this flamboyant gesture and brought his warriors to Jorvik.  Thornis tried to parley with Eiric Red Chopper but he would have none of it and the armies prepared for battle.

             The Valhalla Ulfhednar of Thorgeir Havarsson was placed on the left of the battle line, beside the warriors of Sturaesman Ulf-eirik Henricksson 's Lethang Jomsborg-elag, and fought against the Dagda.  The battle was fierce and the Dagda fought well, but Thorgeir Havarsson's Valhalla Ulfhednar drove them back.  Hrothgar stayed close to Thorgeir Havarsson and protected him from sly attacks by enemy spear wielders.  Hrothgar also encouraged other warriors to fight with well-chosen words and a helping hand.


The death of Eiric Red Chopper


             Though the fight was very hard and fierce a band of "Chroniclers" followed Hrothgar and Thorgeir Havarsson and recorded their efforts with their All Seeing Eye.  Hrothgar's axe sent many a brave foe to Valhalla and so great was the skill of the Valhalla Ulfhednar that none were wounded that day, though many of eorl Thornis' warriors were slain.  Victory was with Thornis and Eiric Red Chopper perished under the blows of his enemies.

             Eorl Thornis, being of a noble spirit, gave Eiric Red Chopper a funeral as befits a Viking chief.  His body was laid in his long ship and set adrift; the ship was fired and burned to the water.


Hrothgar to the rescue


             Shortly after, this Hrothgar returned to the south to join the remainder of the Valhalla Ulfhednar at their long hall in Iver.  Here he found that they had been set upon by raiders from the east, they had broken into the hall and were sorely pressing Thorlief Crow, Skarp-hedin, Guthrothr Belly-Shaker and Thorolf the Ta Thorolf the Tall.  Hrothgar charged in with his long axe and wreaked havoc amongst the foe, driving them back in disarray.  Then Gunnar also returned, he too attacked with the ferocity expected of a berserker and the raiders were all slain.  Hrothgar and Gunnar had saved the day.


Hrothgar sails to Vinland


             Hrothgar then went on a voyage to Vinland.  When he got there he found that the natives were at war with one another.  Hrothgar joined one tribe against another and after helping them to defeat their enemies he returned home with many gifts.

             At the festival of Eostra, Sihard, the general of Emperor Otto of the Romans, came to Jarl Thorgeir Havarsson offering him great arm-rings, fine weapons and more booty besides if he would come and serve under him in the summer.  Sihard spent much time with the Valhalla Ulfhednar, attending their various Thing-meetings, and supporting Thorgeir Havarsson in his aim to unify the vikingar of the Dane Law.




             Soon after his return the Valhalla Ulfhednar raided deep into Mercia and at a great battle near the burn by Ash Hrothgar slew many foes with his long axe.  Here the Valhalla Ulfhednar first took their standard Hraesvelgr into battle, it was dedicated to the gods with the blood of a foreign jarl, Bolverk, who was captured and given by blood-eagle in sacrifice before it.  Jarl Thorgeir Havarsson and Gunnar were overcome by a berserk rage and charged through the shield wall of the Mercians, they killed many and greatly discomfited them before the madness left.  At the end of the day the Valhalla Ulfhednar had slain so many of their opponents that no one could be found who could count them all.  Here it was that Helgi Hrothgar’s Pet joined the Valhalla Ulfhednar.  He was greatly impressed by Hrothgar and followed him where ever he went, because of this he is known as Hrothgar's Pet.

             Hrothgar then went into Guined in his ship "Viking".  While coming to shore near the mighty burgh of Harlech, the sleek longship struck hidden rocks but no one was hurt.  With Hrothgar Morrigan Legbiter and Halgerd Eiricsdotta, at Harlech they met Askil Horse-tail and Snorri Pig Svensson.  There was much fighting here and the Dane Law warrior Skallagrim Baldpate, attacked Hrothgar four times but each time was defeated and sent away with new wounds.  This is how the skalds tell The Tale of Skallagrim Baldpate:


Skallagrim Baldpate, Mercian once,

Leader of that brave band,

Ravagers of the land,

Taking silver by the pound not the ounce.

Bad time upon them came,

Skallagrim liked it not,

Many a fight became too hot,

Aloud he said, "Things are not the same."

So away he went,

In the provinces he did roam,

Alone and far from home,

He seemed Hel bent.

Away went his Celtic dress,

No more tartan trews,

On with eastern pantaloons,

Oh Skallagrim, what a mess.

Poor Skallagrim had lost fame,

His guard was down,

On his face a frown,

Then came the Jarl with no name.

"Join my merry gang,"

Whispered the hairy one,

"We'll get things done."

"Oh yes," Skallagrim sang.

So off he went into Dane Law,

There he took to the long axe,

With which he took a bloody tax,

Many a raven's field there he saw.

He ranged about with the hairy Dane,

Many a steading suffered storm and pillage,

No maiden was safe in any village,

Neither were thought to be sane.

Then alone Skallagrim went,

To Harlech, there to join,

Baldric's band for golden coin,

By greedy laughter the night was rent.

Then Hrothgar came in the night.

His ship torn by a rock,

Failing his path to block,

Baldric and Skallagrim were shocked by the sight.

Alone they were intent,

To savage that coast,

For gold and tales to boast,

A word to Hrothgar was sent,

"Single combat to decide,

"Skallagrim and Hrothgar to fight,

"Victor to plunder by right,

"Loser to sail on the tide."

Axe in hand Hrothgar stepped out,

Skallagrim taking sword and shield,

Stepped out into the field,

Then they started their deadly bout.

Hrothgar's mighty axe was swung,

Skallagrim's shield was bashed,

Until it was fully smashed,

And useless on his arm hung.

Desperately with a mighty blow,

Skallagrim struck the limb cleaver,

From shaft the blade did sever,

Drawing blade Hrothgar did not slow.

Blow for blow they would swap,

Heavy mail ripped asunder,

In the fight for the plunder,

At last they had to stop.

Rested, they took up battle boards,

Charging into the fray,

Intent on the other to slay,

Each to win a golden hoard.

Hrothgar's charge was stronger,

Fell Skallagrim to the ground,

Set upon him, Hrothgar, like Hel's hound,

Skallagrim would plunder no longer.

Here ends Skallagrim's tale,

Cut down in his prime,

Some say, "Not before time,"

No more raid for him to sail.


Thorgeir Havarsson's carelessness


After this the Valhalla Ulfhednar raided the priory at Chicksands but where they were met by a strong force of Danes.  Before the battle Jarl Thorgeir Havarsson placed Hraesvelgr next to his tent but it fell to the ground, this was thought to be a bad omen by the Valhalla Ulfhednar and they were reluctant to fight.  The battle raged for two days, Jarl Thorgeir Havarsson became confused in the fight and was wounded.  He fell to the ground beside Snorri Pig Svensson who held Hraesvelgr above him and called Jarl Thorgeir Havarsson's huscarls to rally on their fallen leader.  Hrothgar boldly stepped forward saying "No more blows will strike our noble Jarl", and struck his opponents so hard that his axe flew out of his hands.  He then drew Orcblender and fought on, all about the battle raged and none of the Valhalla Ulfhednar came away unscathed.  The Valhalla Ulfhednar had paid the price of Jarl Thorgeir Havarsson's carelessness in blood.




             Ulf-eirik Henricksson, the Sturaesman of the Lethang Jomsborg-elag, raised his standard at Mabledon and called on stout warriors to join him on a great raid on the men of Cantware.  Of the Valhalla Ulfhednar only Hrothgar, Sigurd the Scared, Snorri Pig Svensson, Halgerd Eiricsdotta, Skarp-hedin, and Gerda answered the call, Morrigan Legbiter also went.  Ulf-eirik Henricksson was saddened by this but still asked Hrothgar to lead a part of his Host.

             Ulf-eirik Henricksson split his Host into two parts and arranged to meet Hrothgar at a particular Cantwareish village.  Hrothgar arrived first and stormed into the village which was poorly defended; his warriors quickly swept aside those brave enough to defend the place.  They found much of value there and took many prisoners to be sold as slaves.  Ulf-eirik Henricksson was late so Hrothgar ordered that the village be burnt so as to guide him to the place.  The village burned well and the smoke rose high into the air.

             Before Ulf-eirik Henricksson could arrive a large Host of the men of Cantware came upon Hrothgar's band of warriors, a great fight ensued.  Hrothgar was constantly in the thick of the fighting, encouraging his warriors to fight harder.  The rest of the Valhalla Ulfhednar was with Ulf-eirik Henricksson and many of Hrothgar's troop were inexperienced or poorly equipped.  Hrothgar's warriors were eventually driven from the bloody place of slaughter, many were wounded and they lost all their treasure.  Of Ulf-eirik Henricksson there was no sign.


In Guined


             After this Hrothgar and Morrigan Legbiter took their son to a great feast held by Jarl Sven Gottfriedsson in Rheged-dale.  Here they presented their son to all those that followed the Great Jarl Sven.  There was much merry making and many naming gifts were given to Hrothgar's and Morrigan Legbiter's son, Thorfin Hrothgarsson.

             Here Hrothgar and Morrigan Legbiter fell in with Caradoc the wandering Jarl and returned with him to his new place in Guined.  When they were there there was more feasting and drunkenness and as they were recovering a messenger came begging aid.  Bjorn Styrbjornsson, once a Jarl of the Host, was besieged in the burgh of Caergwrle and needed help.  Hrothgar, Morrigan Legbiter, Eignon and Rig Baldric quickly went to his aid.  They found Bjorn Styrbjornsson in a sorry state, many of his warriors had not heeded the call to arms and those that did were a poor lot.  Hrothgar and the others set to with the enemy and slew many before the foe had had enough.


Death of traitors


             After securing the burgh of Caergwrle they returned to Caradocsstadir by way of Beumaris.  At Beumaris they came upon deserters from Caergwrle, in particular a treacherous cur by the name of Annis.  Hrothgar lost no time in challenging the loathsome traitor to a duel.  The fight was short and vicious; Hrothgar cut off Annis' left arm with a mighty blow from his axe and left him to bleed to death.  The man's brother and cousins then leapt upon Hrothgar but, with the aid of Rig Baldric and some local warriors who disliked traitors, Hrothgar slew the entire brood.

             Jarl Sven Gottfriedsson then brought his Host into Guined again and at Denbigh there was a mighty battle.  First a foraging party Hrothgar was leading was set upon by a large band of Wealsh, though outnumbered each of Hrothgar's warriors slew two of the enemy before re-joining Jarl Sven Gottfriedsson.  None of them were unwounded.  To avenge this attack Sven led a raid on the Wealsh, it was raining and the Wealsh thought that no one would be foolish enough to venture out in bad weather.  Jarl Sven Gottfriedsson took them by surprise and many were slain and all their homes burned.

             That night Slangier and Sigrun fed the Valhalla Ulfhednar, they prepared a meal such as that eaten by the Romans, it contained herbs and spices.  Kveldulf the Bright and Olaf the Peacock became so drunk that they could not tell the difference between wine and vinegar, they made themselves very ill.


Hrothgar fights the Lobster Man


             The next day the sun shone brightly and the Wealsh gathered a great army to try and drive Jarl Sven Gottfriedsson out of Guined.  Jarl Sven Gottfriedsson offered to settle the argument by a battle of champions but this was just a ploy to get the Valhalla Ulfhednar into a position to surprise the enemy.  Hrothgar went forward as Jarl Sven Gottfriedsson's champion; he fought a warrior who was dressed in armour made from polished iron plates which was too big for him, the Host called him the Lobster Man.  The fight was hard and Hrothgar found it difficult to hurt his opponent because of his strange armour, finally with their weapons scattered around them Hrothgar beat the Celt about the head with his helmet until he fell to the ground.  The skalds tell of the fight thus, The Lobsterman:


At Denbigh it was they met,

Hrothgar and the Lobsterman,

At Denbigh was the battle set,

Hrothgar to open the lobster can.

Lobsterman, dressed in scaly plate,

Hrothgar with his axe long,

Lobsterman for raven's fate,

Hrothgar ready for battle song.

With scales from foot to head,

And swords, two in hand,

With scales he'll never join the dead,

And swords to slay all the land.

Hrothgar wore mail on his back,

Carried Orcblender at his side,

Hrothgar ready to cut and hack,

Carried away by battle tide.

The armies arrayed around them,

Witness to the mighty fight,

The armies there to support them,

Witness to the bloody sight.

Hrothgar's axe was swung,

To hit the Lobsterman,

Hrothgar's axe through air sung,

To hit, and blood ran.

Through his foe's guard,

Blow on blow did strike,

Through foe's defence hard,

Blow on blow, none alike.

Lobsterman's each counter attack,

Hrothgar them all did block,

Lobsterman pushed back and back,

Hrothgar unable to break the rock.

Lobsterman's sword then shattered,

Hrothgar moved in for the kill,

Lobsterman would soon be battered,

Hrothgar felt victors thrill.

Two hands upon one sword,

Lobsterman sword did swing,

Two hands with strength broad,

Lobsterman made axe ring.

Axe shaft in two cut,

Anger flushed Hrothgar's face,

Axe no use to gut,

Anger made Hrothgar pace.

Orcblender now was drawn,

Hrothgar with sword would fight,

Orcblender to put foe to lawn,

Hrothgar would make it bite.

With swords they now fought,

Armour was hit and rung,

With swords they scored nought,

Armour was too strong.

Both warriors grew tired,

Striking at each hard,

Both warriors damp fired,

Striking yard by yard.

Then Hrothgar his helm doffed,

Foe's sword Orcblender bit,

Then Hrothgar swung helm aloft,

Foe's head helm hit.

Down Lobsterman fell,

Hrothgar rushed in,

Down on him with a yell,

Hrothgar to finish him.

With sword to throat bare,

Hrothgar ended the fight,

With sword to end him there,

Hrothgar would drink that night.

Viking host gave a cheer,

Their champion was whole and hale,

Viking host had no fear,

Their champion with them would sail.


             Not happy with the result of the duel the Wealsh attacked and there was a mighty battle.  Morrigan Legbiter, Jorunn Havskilepadde and Halgerd Eiricsdotta shot many of the enemy warriors with arrows but several of them had spells cast upon them to make them impervious to missiles.  Many were still afraid of their deadly arrows and paused in their attacks, the Valhalla Ulfhednar took this as a sign of weakness and rushed in on those that hesitated and killed scores of them.  Very few of the Wealsh escaped with their lives.


Gnashing teeth


             Jarl Sven Gottfriedsson held an Althing to decide what to do next.  Many said that Jarl Sven Gottfriedsson should join in federation with other Vikingar so as to make bigger raids on his enemies.  After many hours of debate a great speech was made by Thorgeir Havarsson which won over many who were opposed or did not care, when the vote was taken it was decided to ally with other Vikingar.  Some who were opposed gnashed their teeth in anger or burst into tears.  Nothing came of this as the others in the federation of Vikingar fell out amongst themselves.  It was at this Althing that Hrothgar was made a Thegn and given the responsibility to train the Host's archers.

             Hrothgar and Morrigan Legbiter held a feast at their stead to celebrate the equinox, there was much drinking and deep in their cups Thorgeir Havarsson and Ulf the Dauntless fell out.  At the end of the year Hrothgar, Morrigan Legbiter and Rig Baldric met with an Icelandic skald and friend of Sigve Halvdansson Cerdinger named Magnus Magnusson.  They listened to him speak in London and afterwards ate with him.


990     In this year Sigeric was hallowed archbishop, and went to Rome for his pallium.  Abbot Edwin passed away, and Wulfgar succeeded him.

             In this year the Herreds of the Host were Dane Law, Norrovik, Northumbria, Troon, Onglesea, Einheriar, Hrafnsdale, The Valhalla Ulfhednar, Amounderness, and Mercia, the Lethangs were Rhyfelwyr Gwynedd, Jomsborg Elag, Y'Draig, Landeydon, Wolves of Andred, Vanahiem and Cantwaraburh.

             The Valhalla Ulfhednar met at the Halgerd Eiricsdottasstadir for their Thingvollr and much was achieved.  While practising their skills Thorgeir Havarsson laid open the skull of his Thegn Kveldulf the Bright, and Gunnar nearly ran Hrothgar through with a spear, they did not fall out over this though.

             Some of the Valhalla Ulfhednar then joined Jarl Sven Gottfriedsson in Rheged-dale where they met the Northumbrian Thegn Ulf the Dauntless, and Jarl Hrafn the Red, Brodir Sigvaldsson, and Skallagrim Baldpate from the Dane Law.  Skallagrim Baldpate and Hrothgar had had a great battle at Harlech the previous year and though Hrothgar had won Skallagrim Baldpate bore him no ill will, he even complimented Hrothgar on the verse that he had composed about the fight but pointed out that he wasn't as dead as all that.




             There was much fighting and raiding around Rheged-dale, the Valhalla Ulfhednar joined with the Wolves of Andred and called themselves’ Fenris.  Together they fought several battles and were victorious where ever they went, their reputation as fierce warriors grew and grew.  Some would not stand before them and fled.  In particular there was a handsome warrior from the Jomsvikings, Ulf-deric Rikhensson, he looked a mighty warrior and spoke a brave fight but when faced with the sight of Fenris bearing down upon him he fled like a hare, his long hair streaming out behind him.  Ulf-deric Rikhensson was not fleet enough of foot and was swiftly brought down by the Fenris pack.

             In another battle Thorgeir Havarsson had such a blood lust that when he was fighting he ignored all about him, he was nearly slain by an enemy warrior coming up to attack his right side.  Hrothgar shouted a warning many times but Thorgeir Havarsson did not hear, Hrothgar quickly dealt with the warrior he was fighting and rushed to protect his Jarl's flank.  He arrived just in time to block a foul blow to Thorgeir Havarsson's head, Thorgeir Havarsson, having just slain his opponent then turned and killed his new assailant.

             Thorgeir Havarsson's blood lust nearly got him killed again later in the day; he was with Hrothgar, Askil Horse-tail and Gunnar when he said "Go left!" Hrothgar and the others started to go up a hill to their left to attack the enemy when Thorgeir Havarsson charged down the hill to their right at more foes.  He was almost upon the enemy before the others realised that he had gone a different way, they rushed to help him and the four of them broke the enemy's flank.


Unequal battle


             After this the Valhalla Ulfhednar again went to Halgerd Eiricsdottasstadir to train and repair their equipment.  Then Hrothgar and Thorgeir Havarsson decided to go and claim compensation from Sven Blue Tooth for murdering some of their comrades, they took with them Ulf the Dauntless, Askil Horse-tail, Gunnar, Thorolf the Tall, Guthrothr Belly-Shaker and many able mercenaries.

             They met Sven Blue Tooth in a field near Gill's well, Hrothgar and Thorgeir Havarsson had all their men behind them but Sven Blue Tooth only had his huscarls, Sven Blue Tooth refused to pay compensation, claiming to have the right to execute "pirates" as a sworn man to king Swein Forkbeard of Denmark.  Hrothgar and Thorgeir Havarsson decided to take payment in blood.  Sven Blue Tooth called out his army and Hrothgar and Thorgeir Havarsson were surprised to see that they were outnumbered by more than two to one.  Shocked, the Valhalla Ulfhednar stood firm ready to take on any odds, the mercenaries however, started to mutter about bonuses.  Hrothgar turned to them and told them to act like men and make sure they killed three of the enemy each!

             Gunnar, Thorolf the Tall and two mercenaries charged Sven Blue Tooth 's warriors to un-nerve them, they came back unhurt and then Sven Blue Tooth ordered an attack.  Thorgeir Havarsson stood on the left and Hrothgar on the right, they both held the enemy's flanks back while their warriors fought in the centre.  Hrothgar faced Danes from the Dane Law and swung his axe about his head with such force that they were afraid to approach him.  Single handed he held them back until Sven Blue Tooth's men tired of the fight and withdrew.

             Saracen was seen to be amongst the warriors of Sven Blue Tooth; he proved as hard to kill as ever before and laid many a warrior low with a hard blow.

             Next Sven Blue Tooth attacked in two waves, the Valhalla Ulfhednar broke through the centre of them and killed many of Sven Blue Tooth 's warriors, the fight was long and hard, the day was very hot and everyone was soon exhausted.  The Valhalla Ulfhednar and their mercenaries had to fight and kill their opponents very quickly as there were so many.  When the two sides again separated half of the warriors of both sides had fallen.  Hrothgar and Thorgeir Havarsson rallied their warriors in the centre of the field and before Sven Blue Tooth's could sort themselves out charged through the centre of them.  They headed straight for Sven Blue Tooth's huscarls and slaughtered many of them.  When they broke through to the other side all that remained with Hrothgar were Askil Horse-tail, with the standard, and three mercenaries.  Hrothgar could not see any of the others and rather than let Hraesvelgr fall into Sven Blue Tooth's hands took the remains of their band away to a safe place.

             They returned to their camp which now was an empty place, Morrigan Legbiter then arrived from Mercia where she had been visiting friends, she and Hrothgar slept in their tent that night.  During the night there was a noise outside the tent and someone had a bright torch in their hand, this disturbed Morrigan Legbiter and her son so she told them off.  The torch was doused and a quiet apology made.  In the morning Hrothgar awoke to find Thorgeir Havarsson asleep in front of his tent, nothing could wake him so they left him there until he awoke when the sun was high.  Morrigan Legbiter, realising that she had been sharp with a Jarl and a friend, apologised to Thorgeir Havarsson who in turn apologised for the disturbance.  Throughout the day others of the Valhalla Ulfhednar who had survived the battle at Gill's well drifted into the camp.  The Battle of Gill’s Well too is widely told by the skalds:


To Gill's Well the Ulfhednar were bound,

There vengeance was to be found.

Led by Thorgeir, the Jarl of all of them,

And Hrothgar, one of his mighty men.

Then Thorolf, known as the Tall,

And Askil, never to let Hraesvelgr fall.

Next came Roth the belly shaker,

And Gunnar, the widow maker.

Six warriors strong and free,

With companions twenty-three.

Upon the appointed field they stood,

To await Sven to come from the wood.

Arrive at last did Sven,

With his most trusted men.

Standard bearer holding banner proud,

Landskapr, who could speak very loud.

Hafgrim, his companion strong,

And six huscarls in a throng.

The Landskapr boldly strode out,

To challenge Thorgeir and Hrothgar with a shout.

"What do you here on Sven's lands,

"Upon his chattels lay not your filthy hands."

Hrothgar replied, "Compensation we require,

"Or we will visit with sword and fire,

"The lands of the little Jarl Sven,

"For he has slain our favoured men.

"Honest seamen about their trade,

"By the wicked Jarl were cruelly paid."

The Landskapr re-joined, "Pirates all!

"Upon them did Sven justly fall.

"Take your stinking mongrels away,

"Before they are whipped in deadly fray."

Thorgeir grew red with rage,

And shouted to the simpering page,

"Any of our mongrel dogs can beat,

"Your whimpering puppies to dead meat.

"Send out your champion if you dare,

"And Grunmark will serve him deadly fare."

Grunmark the mercenary stepped out from the line,

To face Hafgrim for the first time.

Battle axe in his hand,

Ready to make any stand.

Hafgrim faced him with hand axe and shield,

Prepared to fight on the field.

Grunmark's axe he swung with great might,

In Hafgrim's shield 'twas embedded tight.

Hafgrim, with twist of his shield grip,

Grunmark's axe from his hand did rip.

Axe and shield were firmly stuck,

Hafgrim both away did chuck.

Grunmark now drew his sword,

Hafgrim with his axe blows did ward.

Grunmark used his sword two handed,

Upon Hafgrim's axe his blows landed.

Then Hafgrim's axe lost its head,

He thought he'd soon be dead.

Grunmark stepped in, sword held high,

But Hafgrim wasn't ready to die.

Ducking Grunmark's killing blow,

Hafgrim's skill did show.

Taking the sword from Grunmark's hand,

Hafgrim to the ground did make him land.

Victorious Hafgrim now looked to his lord,

"Shall I kill him with his own sword?"

The bitter Jarl stated, "Death to him,

"He shall return not to his kin."

Before Hafgrim could Grunmark despatch,

Gunnar and Askil his arm did catch.

But Grunmark was grateful not,

And off to evil Sven he shot.

"Dishonoured I, take me as your man?"

Sven said, "I'll take as many as I can."

Hrothgar and Thorgeir now called on Sven,

"Let's decide this as true men,

"Your puppy dogs call out,

"And we will put them to a rout."

From out the dark woods they came,

Huscarls, carls, bondr and more the same.

Hrothgar counted them but stopped at seventy,

"This means more killing and booty a plenty."

Behind them the mercenaries muttered and grumbled,

Hrothgar to them said, "When they're tumbled,

"There will be for you so many arm rings,

"You will be as rich as kings."

Turning to Askil, "Take Hraesvelgr to the rear,

"But hold it high to bring fear,

"To those treacherous swine,

"Who would see us end our time."

Then Thorgeir sent berserkers out,

To harass Sven's men with sword and shout.

Gunnar and Thorolf attacked,

At Sven's shield wall they hacked.

Returned with bloody wounds did they,

Ready for more hack and slay.

Sven's force, ready at last, came on,

The mercenary band to set upon.

Hrothgar stood to the right,

Thorgeir on the left did fight.

In the centre stood the rest,

Ready to give of their best.

Upon Hrothgar came the Danelaw,

And what a sight they saw.

Upon them bearing down,

Came the warrior of renown.

Long axe raised high,

Bringing death from the sky.

Smashing shield where err he went,

On Death's journey were warriors sent.

Hrafn the Red to Hrothgar did call,

"Sorry! There's nothing at all,

"To be done about the discrepancy,

"Blame Lief Tyrsson's efficiency."

Far off upon the left,

Thorgeir's skill was deft.

None could pass him by,

Many tried and had to die.

The sun beat down on them all,

And of the heat some did fall.

The two sides drew apart,

To rest before they could restart.

Tired and not a little unsteady,

Before Sven was fully ready,

Some of his men did go,

To face their valiant foe.

Sven's left began the attack,

The centre and right hung back.

Hrothgar into middle went,

The foe to slay he was bent.

Into the thick of the fray,

Many would see no other day.

His long axe mail rent,

To the ground foes went.

Many of Sven's men were slain,

Others falling wounded and in pain.

The fight grew very hot,

Many would return to their hearth not.

The battle broke up, both sides scattered,

Many warriors were tired and battered.

Hrothgar gave the rally call,

No more warriors yet to fall.

"Around Hraesvelgr make our stand,

"For now, stay your hand."

To Sven's men he said, "Go away!

"We need to rest from this battle play."

And Sven's men also went to rest,

And see who had survived the battle test.

Looking about to both sides remained,

Merely half the men, only ravens gained.

Now Hrothgar said, "Get into line,

"Show no mercy in battle time.

"Let the foe pay the price,

"Let's role the bloody dice."

Then Thorgeir appeared,

Not dead as feared.

He shouted, "At their centre attack,

"And through them a path we'll hack.

"Break through to the other side,

"To our ship and away with the tide."

Still in confusion were Sven's men,

Not expecting an attack just then.

In centre huscarls, carls to left and right,

Looked up in shock at the sight,

Of the Ulfhednar bearing down,

Upon each face a determined frown.

With them Hraesvelgr Askil held forth,

Charging on like cold winds of the north.

The huscarl's hearts became chilled,

Hraesvelgr's wind feared them being killed.

The huscarls were hit very hard,

The Ulfhednar drove on yard by yard.

Sven's standard bearer upped and fled,

Huscarls fell to the ground and bled.

The fight grew hard and bloody,

The ground grew wet and muddy.

Hrothgar burst though the foe,

Askil and three mercenaries in tow.

Hraesvelgr Askil held in hand,

Behind them friend and foe lay on the land.

Thorgeir was not in sight,

Thorolf not come from the fight.

Gunnar, mighty battler brave,

Last seen wounded by a knave.

Of Roth Belly-Shaker there was no trace,

Brave warrior of noble race.

The strident Valkyrie called them to fight on,

Askil was ready to set upon,

The enemy in force great,

To send more to Hel's gate.

Hrothgar stayed him, "We cannot win,

"For Hraesvelgr to fall would be a sin.

"Better to live and fight another day,

"For this foul deed Sven will pay."

Away they went warriors tired,

From the bloody field they retired.

To find their camp empty and cold,

So many never to return to the fold.

No cauldron over fire hung,

No victory song was sung.

They lay in their beds to rest,

Thoughts of friends with warriors best.

Joining Valhalla's throng,

In joyful song.

In the morn Hrothgar did rise,

There before him was a surprise.

Thorgeir lay upon the ground,

Sleeping a sleep very sound.

Tired and not a little battered,

Noble Jarl with kirtle tattered.

And through the day they came,

Gunnar, Roth and Thorolf with stories same.

In the confusion they got away clear,

But paid a price dear.

All were wounded sore,

The Ulfhednar's hard core.

But live they all would,

For revenge to take if they could.

Lief Tyrsson and Sven look out,

The Ulfhednar is still about!


In this year King Swein Forkbeard of Denmark attacked jarl Hakon of Norroway, many of Swein's warriors were Jomsvikings but despite this he was defeated at Hjorungavag.


Fighting the Saxons


             At this time Hrothgar's ship "Viking" became unseaworthy and he was unable to join the Host at Harlech, he bought another ship which he called "Monty Go".

             After this the Valhalla Ulfhednar gathered near the river Ribbe for a raid on the town of Herutford.  While there Hrothgar's bowels revolted! The village was well defended and the fight was very fierce, many were disembowelled and in the heat of the day the stench was over powering.  The Saxons tried to defend themselves with fire but they were finally defeated and their village raised to the ground.  Saracen was again seen here and he asked Jarl Sven Gottfriedsson to allow him to re-join the Host, but his berserk rages were too unpredictable and he was not accepted back into the Host.

             Hrothgar went off with the Jomsborg-elag to raid the forty hills of the Middle Saxons.  After this he, Muirigan Legbiter and Halgerd Eiricsdotta went with Ulf-eirik Henricksson to speak with a chronicler.  Later there was much weeping and wailing about what was written, Ulf-eirik Henricksson swore never to speak to anyone who could read and write ever again.  Halgerd Eiricsdotta was also much offended by how her words were twisted.


Feasting in Guined


             Jarl Sven Gottfriedsson called the Host to feast with him at Rig Baldric's hall on the Isle of Anglesey.  On the way they attacked the town of Caergwrle and wrought much slaughter and destruction.  The attack on Caergwrle was long and complicated, there were many who couldn't understand what they had to do but eventually the defenders were defeated.  The Host carried much booty off with them to their banquet.

             Rig Baldric's hall was small, the Host only just managed to get inside, when all were seated they made merry long into the night.  Here it was that Jarl Sven Gottfriedsson stood down as High Chieftain of the Host and handed the mantle of leadership over to Hrafn the Red.  At this time the Host consisted of the Herreds Armounderness, Northumbria, Hrafnsdale, Onglesea, Mercia, Troon, Norrovik, Dane Law, Einheriar, and the Valhalla Ulfhednar and the Lethangs Rhyfelwyr Gwynedd, Conroi de Burm, Wolves of Andred, Vanahiem, Cantwaraburh, Y'Draig and Jomsborg Elag.  Skallagrim Baldpate, the Giant Jarl and Brodir Sigvaldsson were on Hrafn the Red's High Council.  This was greeted very well by most of the Host but some were unhappy, Thorgeir Havarsson however, was very happy, for he won the acclaim of all for his poetic skills.

             At Beumaris Hrafn the Red held his first Althing, there was much fighting and raiding of the Wealsh as well as much talk and law making.  Hrothgar and Ulf the Dauntless went to spy out the land of the Wealsh mountain folk but were unable to find anything worth raiding.


The Great Battle


             There was a great battle in the south of the kingdom.  A valiant Norse jarl called Vilhem had invaded and was set to face the king in a challenge for his throne, the Valhalla Ulfhednar, seeing their chance of booty rushed to join him.  Hrothgar, Muirigan Legbiter, Halgerd Eiricsdotta and Jorunn Havskilepadde served as archers, the rest joined the battle line.

             The Saxons stood atop a hill and among their number was Bjorn Styrbjornsson and his followers from Wessex; the Norse spent the day in many attacks to drive them off but they resisted with great fierceness.  Where the fighting was the fiercest the Valhalla Ulfhednar were to be found, the archers worked hard all day, never before had they loosed so many arrows on a single day.  The Saxons sent so many arrows back that Hrothgar was able to pluck them out of the air and loose them back at the foe.  When they saw this the Saxons were much impressed and gave him a cheer.  As the Saxons grew weaker and it became harder for Hrothgar to shoot his arrows without hitting friends, he drew Orcblender and joined in the melee.  The Saxons were finally defeated and the Valhalla Ulfhednar were greatly rewarded by what they were able to take from the enemy.  Vilhem was unable to make himself king though and he sailed home.  The skalds tell The Archers Tale so:


When the mighty Duke, raised his banner,

From about the country, men of all manner,

Went to join, the battle planner.

The Ulfhednar, went to join,

Glad to accept, his silver coin,

Ready to kick, the enemies groin.

Among them four, sharp archers went,

Ready to go, where they're sent,

To loose until, all arrows spent.

To gain the Great Duke's army,

Their gear had to be right,

Working long hours into the night,

They nearly went barmy.

The Duke's officers looked them over,

Their gear was up to scratch,

Faults, not a patch,

They could join the battle rover.

After so much work in the night,

It came as a shock,

As a mighty brain block,

Their fellow archers were a sight.

One looked like the North Witch,

One a stuck up bitch.

Another must have been a dwarf,

Another found on a seaman's wharf.

Two could only be Pixy,

Two were renegades from Dixie.

Officers there were three,

In control there were none,

Trouble ahead any could see,

The wonder was the job was done.

The battle started with a desperate stroke,

Taillefer charged the Saxon line,

Taillefer was the sort of bloke,

Who wished remembrance for all time.

Then the archers let loose,

At the Saxon shield wall,

Shafts with flights of goose,

Caused only a few to fall.

Loose then fall back,

Infantry to attack,

Up the deadly rack,

To cut thrust and hack.

The archers again let fly,

To make some men die,

While cavalry came on nigh,

To make a mounted try.

Thundering hooves were heard,

Rushing at huscarl and fyrd,

Archers to loose a third.

Each failure in disarray,

Earned the archer's pay,

Covering volleys loosed all day,

The archers had their say,

Let any come their way,

Loosed shafts with feathers gay,

To cut down men like hay,

Archers loosed come what may,

Then the Bretons ran away,

Afraid to stand in the fray,

Yellow and black shields led the way,

The Saxons followed with a loud hooray.

Word about, "The Duke is dead!

"Felled with a bloody head."

"Here I am, see me true,

"I can still lead all of you!"

Cried the mighty Duke,

Helm doffed for all to look.

Bowmen to stop the Saxon rush,

The knights, a pincer to crush.

Arrows in speedy flight,

Poor Saxons allowed no respite.

Saxon victory soon lost,

At an awful bloody cost.

Then there was a break,

Some said for the horses sake.

The North Witch lit up a fag,

Her tame dwarf had a drag.

The Ulfhednar's archers away did walk,

To stand together in unhappy talk.

Twelve months to prepare,

People all about did stare,

What did the wallies care?

Call it all unfair.

Then the battle restarted,

Arrows the air parted.

The infantry attacked again,

Struggling and inflicting pain.

By the archers they were covered,

Men fell, their life smothered.

The knights came on,

The huscarls to set upon.

The arrows rained down,

Giving the Saxons cause to frown.

A careless glance at the sky,

Cost Harold his steely eye.

Blinded, down he fell,

Knights charged in pell-mell.

The huscarls would not break,

Standing for their kings sake.

Then to the fore William stole,

Mighty blows he did dole,

To free Harold's mighty soul.

With William were Eustace,

Hugo of Ponthieu keeping pace,

With Gifford also in the race.

For Harold they were bent,

The Saxon ranks to rend and rent,

So many bloody strokes they sent.

Harold wounded, could not resist,

William's attack did not desist,

Hacking Harold to a bloody grist.

William struck the kings head like a toy,

Eustace smashed his noble chest,

Gifford gutted the king of the best,

Hugo rode away with Edith's joy!

Noble warrior king brutally slain,

No more to feel pain.

The archers rushed to be in at the end,

Up the hill, their bows to bend.

To finish the last to stand,

Brave defenders of their land.

And who were the archers four,

Come to knock on England's door.

There was Jorrun Havskilepadde fair,

Could shoot the eyes from a hair.

Halgerd Eiricsdotta despite her knee,

Came to take her bloody fee.

Muirigan Legbiter also came,

There to shoot for fame.

Hrothgar Bokraeder came there last,

To catch arrows flying fast




             In the short month near years end Sigurd the Scared and Halgerd Eiricsdotta were married, Hrothgar supported Sigurd the Scared when he went before Eiric.  After the arrangements were agreed upon Eiric held a great feast, many were there of the Valhalla Ulfhednar.  There was so much food that even Thorgeir Havarsson could not eat all that was set before him.  Sigurd the Scared and Halgerd Eiricsdotta were given so many bolts of fine cloth that they could not find room for them all when they returned home.

             The Valhalla Ulfhednar held a banquet just before the Yule season but there was a great storm and many who said that they would come were unable to get there.  Some found themselves’ stranded in the snow, others were trapped in their homes, some managed to struggle through the snow and arrived in the middle of the meal.  There was a great deal of food and drink for all those that could get there.


Troubled times


991      In this year the Host consisted of the  Herreds Armounderness, Northumbria, Hrafnsdale, Onglesea, Mercia, Troon, Norrovik, Dane Law, Einheriar, and the Valhalla Ulfhednar and the Lethangs  Rhyfelwyr Gwynedd, Conroi de Burm, Wolves of Andred, Vanahiem, Cantwaraburh, Aescinga, Ormshiem, Vanahiem, Y'Draig and Jomsborg Elag. 

             Hrafn the Red held a banquet for the Host in the south of the country, many old warriors and elders of the Host came.  Jarl Sven Gottfriedsson and Ragnar Bear Odinsson were there and much was said in praise of Jarl Sven Gottfriedsson and many rewards were given to those who deserved them.  It was here that Stuvart, the Jarl of Norrovik, proved disloyal to the Host and took his stand with Ragnar Bear Odinsson.  There was much unhappiness at this and the feud between the Jomsborg-elag and the Einheriar came to a head when an attack was made on the Jomsborg-elag ship, delaying their departure to the west. Before the years end Hrafn the Red expelled Jarl Stuvart of Norrovik from the Host.

Later Hrafn the Red held a great muster at Rheged-dale and many of those that were feuding stayed away, this was well met as it was a very friendly meeting and little of controversy was heard at the Althing held there.  It was here that Ulf the Dauntless announced his intention of leading a great raid into the country about Snottingaham.  Many warriors said that they would go, also a large number of traders asked if they could come, Ulf the Dauntless agreed that they could.

             Hrafn the Red led his warriors on a big raid in the valley of the Roch and Hrothgar and Halgerd Eiricsdotta took their bows with them.  They greatly helped Hrafn the Red by slaying many able warriors before they could hurt any of Hrafn the Red's followers.  The enemy were much angered and set their own archers to deal with Hrothgar and Halgerd Eiricsdotta but they failed.  Their chief was so angry that he took a bow from an archer and tried to hunt Hrothgar himself, he failed and died with his men.


Hrothgar falls ill


             Shortly after this Hrothgar took to his bed, he was afflicted by pains in his chest and didn't rise from his bed for many days.  It was many weeks before Hrothgar was again able to pick up his sword.  When he was well Hrothgar went raiding in the north, he took his bow and helped many a foe on their way to Valhalla.  Hrothgar was still weak after his illness and was unsteady on his feet, after laughing at Skallagrim Baldpate slipping on wet grass he fell also.  Friend and foe alike laughed at his fall.

             At about this time the Host hailed Hrafn the Red as Konungr, he was the first leader of the Host to be so called.




             While in the north Hrothgar agreed to go with Thorgeir Havarsson on his annual raid to Denmark.  Before setting sail Thorgeir Havarsson held a great banquet, all the Valhalla Ulfhednar helped to prepare it and Muirigan Legbiter made great quantities of mead.  Jo was first amongst the cooks and received great praise for the quality of the food.  There was much merriment at this feast, Konungr Hrafn the Red was there and the Thegns Gunnar and Sigurd the Scared guarded him from his enemies though none of them came, which was very fortunate as they became extremely drunk.  Here Thorgeir Havarsson announced his intention to sail to Denmark to join Olaf Trygvasson and invited any who would to join him.

             Hrothgar and Muirigan Legbiter sailed with Sigurd the Scared and Halgerd Eiricsdotta, when they arrived at Moersgard it rained for a whole day.  When the rain ended there was much feasting and drinking with the horse people as well as raiding along the coast. While raiding one village Thorgeir Havarsson was wounded but his Thegns Gunnar and Hrothgar helped him away.

             After this they went to Roskilde where they launched a new ship.  Muirigan Legbiter foretold what the weather would be each day and Halgerd Eiricsdotta was very impressed by this.  The king sent men to arrest Thorgeir Havarsson but he didn't send enough, they came for four days but each time the Valhalla Ulfhednar drove them off.  Hrothgar struck the kings officer, Sighard, with his arrows each day but his armour was too strong, no matter how many arrows hit him he was not harmed.  After this the Valhalla Ulfhednar joined with Olaf Trygvasson to raid Ynglingaland.


Battle of Maldon


             In this year Olaf Trygvasson came with ninety-three ships to Folkstone, ravaged outside of it, and went from there to Sandwich, then to Ipswich and overran all that.  Very soon afterwards Olaf Trygvasson arrived near the Burgh of Maldon, Thorgeir Havarsson was one of his Jarls and the Valhalla Ulfhednar was with him.  Here also the Host of Konungr Hrafn the Red came to support Olaf Trygvasson.  Hrothgar had command of those that were to harry the enemy and not let them rest. The mighty eorl Byrhtnoth would not let the Danes cross from the island they were camped upon.  The Vikingar could not force their way across so they parleyed with the eorl, he vainly agreed to allow the seafarers to cross to the mainland.

             The Saxons and Vikingar fought all day, the Valhalla Ulfhednar even fought when the rest of the Vikingar were resting.  Byrhtnoth's warriors were allowed no rest; they grew tired and soon started to abandon their lord.  Byrhtnoth was wounded but he and his hearth warriors would not surrender.  Finally Byrhtnoth was slain by a brave seafarer and all his most loyal followers fell with him.  The Vikingar struck off his head, everyone who saw it said that he looked like a helmet merchant from the north.  The Ynglingalish of the south have told of this in their own way, the skalds of the north tell the tale of The Battle of Maldon in this manner:


Olaf Trygvasson war leader mighty,

Looked for warriors fit and sprightly.

Warriors strong, true and brave,

To cross the seas cold wave.

In Denmark first he looked,

Many warriors already booked.

In Roskilde was Thorgeir's band,

There a terror on the land.

The king sent men to drive them away,

But the Ulfhednar fought to stay.

Olaf sought Thorgeir out,

"Come with me," did the chieftain shout.

Thorgeir said, "Aye, I will,

"I've many warriors ready to kill.

"Some are here in this land,

"Others will come to my hand."

"Who are these men of iron," Olaf said,

"Any who follow me will be paid."

Thorgeir replied, "Hrothgar's here,

"Sharp eyed bowman who many fear.

"Kveldulf, whose axe is sharp,

"Ready to stop a man's life harp.

"Sigurd, who once ran away,

"But now will always stay.

" Gunnar, who has berserk madness,

"Will give many a mother sadness.

"Jorunn, who is my standard bearer,

"And none could be fairer.

" Halgerd Eiricsdotta, whose bow is ready,

"Her aim is straight and steady.

"Ranvieg is next, with sword and shield,

"Ready to take the bloody field.

"Signy, who stands at Kveldulf's side,

"Is also ready to sail with the tide.

"Oleg the Rus is ready to fight,

"This brave warrior is a fine sight.

"These will now come with me,

"Others will join over the sea."

Olaf Trygvasson gathered more men,

Some even came from Sweden.

Then across the sea he did sail,

When the Saxons heard they went pale.

All along the coast he did plunder,

Rolling on like thunder.

Byrhtnoth heard of his arrival near,

He bravely said he knew no fear.

Called his huscarls and fyrd to arms,

Setting forth from his lady's charms.

Here before Maldon warriors came,

They having seen Thorgeir's message flame.

Freya Puddle came with her bow,

A deadly seed ready to sow.

Lucky Eddy also came,

To play the deadly game.