King Helgi, however, remained unmarried for quite some time. But then a queen named Olof, who ruled over Saxland, caught his eye. She was an arrogant, and cruel woman who dressed in full coat of mail, and would take up sword and shield. She had no intentions of marrying any man, including King Helgi. Helgi, however, was undeterred, and decided to go and meet with this warrior queen. He sailed to her lands, and sent messengers off to ask for a meeting. Not having time to gather up her warriors to throw this suitor from her shores, she came up with a plan, and then invited him to a feast instead.
During the feast King Helgi drank too much and told Queen Olof of his intentions to marry her that very night. She pretended to be enthusiastic about the offer, and agreed to meet him later in her bed chamber. When he finally stumbled into her bed he was so drunk that he fell asleep at once. Then she showed her true intentions. She stuck him with a sleep thorn to keep him from waking up. Next she shaved off all his hair and smeared him with tar. Finally, she stuck him in a leather sack, and had her men carry the king back to his ships. She then told Helgi's men that their king had gone back to their ships, and was ready to sail. When the men got back to the ships all they found was the sack with the king inside. Helgi wanted revenge, but when he heard the war horn blasting in the distance he decided to sail home for now.
Here is where the story takes an evil turn. Instead of engaging Queen Olof in battle he decides to trick her, as he was tricked, through a third party using the promise of gold. He then captures her, takes her back to his ships, and rapes her over many nights to gain his revenge for her earlier insults.
Queen Olof then becomes pregnant, and gives birth to a baby girl. She hates the child that was gotten through her forced encounter with Helgi so much she names her Yrsa, after her dog, and completely neglects her, sending her away to herd sheep. Later, when Helgi returned to Saxland he saw Yrsa herding sheep through a forest. He fell in love with her and took her back to his kingdom. They had a son together and named him Hrolf.
When Queen Olof learned of this for a while she remained silent, but when she learned of how much King Helgi, and Yrsa were in love she decided to meet with Yrsa and tell her the truth, thereby ruining their marriage. After telling Yrsa of her parentage, and Helgi's cruelty, Olof asked Yrsa to return with her to Saxland, and agreed to treat her with kindness and respect.
At this point King Helgi's story becomes even stranger . An odd thing happened to King Helgi one Yule evening. On a foul night an Elfin woman came knocking on his door. The woman was wearing only tattered clothing, and appeared as though in poor health. The king offered her some straw, and a bearskin, but she insisted on bedding down with him instead. During the night he glanced over and was astonished to see that this creature had changed into a beautiful woman. He slept with her giving her a child. The next morning the Elfin woman gave Helgi a warning. "You must visit our child this next winter down at your ships landing." If you fail to do this, you and your kinsmen will pay for this", she warned. But Helgi forgot, and three winters later three riders came to his home, and left the child on his doorstep. The woman told him that the child's name was Skuld, and of the curse he had brought upon himself, and his people by ignoring her request . For the name Skuld means, debt !
Now King Helgi suffered deeply from the loss of his queen, Yrsa, but even more so after he heard of Yrsa's marriage to King Adils of Sweden. Helgi gathered up his warriors, and his ships, and sailed to Uppsala. King Adils invited Helgi to a feast, but this was part of a plot to kill him. King Adils sent 12 berserkers to hide out in front of the ships and to attack King Helgi. He also sent troops to attack King Helgi from the rear as well. Helgi fought like a true warrior, but was caught in a vise between the berserkers and King Adils troops. There was no way to escape, but they fought to the last man in a gallant style. Only the men on the ships survived this ordeal. This is the end of the story of Helgi, Hrolf's father.
Next : In Hrolf Kraki : Part 3, we meet the first of King Hrolf's mighty warriors .
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja's love, and Thor's protection !