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The Saga of Hromund Gripsson

Chapter 6

Some time later, two Swedish kings, both named Halding, came to the land. With them was Helgi, Hrongvid's brother. They invited King Olaf to fight with them in the west, at Vaenisis. He was mightier than they, and would not flee his kingdom. He sent word to Hromund and his brothers to accompany him in the fight. But Hromund would go nowhere, and he said that Bild and Vali would help the king achieve everything. The king went to that place of battle with his army.

Svanhvit left and went to Hromund, who received her well.

"Consider my prayer," she said, "Go to aid my brother and join the army. I will give you a shield with a garter that was his aid. You will receive no injury while you have that."

Hromund thanked her for this gift, and she was glad. He and his eight brothers prepared for the journey.

Now the king came to Vaenisis with his army. The Swedish army was there. That morning, as soon as battle commenced, they went armed onto the ice, and the Swedes charged forward. Bild was slain the moment the battle began, but there was no sign of Vali. King Olaf and King Halding were both wounded.

Hromund had pitched tents beside the water. His brothers put on their armour early in the morning.

Hromund said: 'I have had bad dreams this night, and have no wish to enter the battle today."

His brothers said that it would be a great shame that they dared not fight in the king's army, and it was better to go on this errand. They entered the battle and charged forward, but each fell about the other when they encountered the troop of Halding.

A witch was there in the form of a swan. She cast magic with so many spells that no one among King Olaf's men noticed her. She flew over the sons of Grip, singing loudly. Her name was Lara. Helgi the Valiant met the brothers then, and killed all eight together.

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