The hall now erupted into a very tense stand off, with neither side willing to give in. King Hrolf seeing imminent danger approached Bodvar, and asked him to calm down the warriors. Bodvar agreed but only if the Berserker admitted that he was the lesser man. King Hrolf agreed, and Bodvar let his man stand. Hjalti, seeing this, followed Bodvar's lead, and all were reconciled. King Hrolf then warned all the warriors, and Berserkers, that he would not have violence in his hall, and that they should save their savagery for the battlefield, and win their fame there. The men agreed, and sat back down to a night of drinking and feasting.
Bodvar's action impressed King Hrolf who now sat him next to him on his right. Hjalti, the Magnanimous, was seated next. Hjalti received this name because he was magnanimous towards the king's retainers even though they had treated him so poorly in the past when he was known as Hott.
One day as they sat in the king's hall he asked Bodvar if he was not the strongest of kings. Bodvar told him that he knew of none stronger, but added that there was one blemish that diminished him in his eyes. King Hrolf then demanded to know what it was. Bodvar explained that it was a fact that Hrolf's in - law was withholding his inheritance . King Hrolf told Bodvar that it would not be easy to recover his inheritance, because King Adils was a cruel and crafty man who used the black arts as well as anyone. Bodvar suggested that he meet with King Adils, and put the question of his inheritance before him, and hear what his answer was. King Hrolf agreed to risk this course of action, because he felt he had a debt of vengeance to be exacted from King Adils.
King Hrolf assembled his 12 Berserkers, 12 champions, and about a hundred warriors, and journeyed out to meet with King Adils. On the way King Hrolf met with a farmer named Hrani. Hrani invited King Hrolf to stay the night at his farm, saying that he would not want for either food or drink. The weather was poor, and the air was cold that King Hrolf agreed to the mans invitation.
And there was plenty of food and good drink to satisfy all. That night while they slept the hall became very cold. Most of the warriors, but none of the king's champions, put on as many layers of clothes as they could to stay warm. The next day Hrani took the king aside, and told him that he would face even worse hardships from King Adils, and that he should send the half of his warriors who could not bear the cold home. King Hrolf was impressed with the farmers advice and sent them home.
The next day they met a farmer along the way, who they all recognized as the same man they had met the day before. Again Hrani offered them food, drink, and a place to stay for the night. The king once again agreed. Again during the night the sleeping warriors were faced with a challenge. They were so thirsty that they could hardly move their tongues in their mouths. Many got up and drank as much wine as possible to quench their thirst. Next morning Hrani again advised King Hrolf that he did not see much endurance in these men who could not quench their thirst, and the king sent these men home as well.
The remaining warriors had to remain another night because of a fierce storm. A fire was built in the hall, but it was not enough for most of the men who left their places on the benches to get closer to the fire to warm their hands . Only King Hrolf, and his champions stayed where they were on the benches and endured the cold. Hrani, next morning, told King Hrolf that he should keep only those warriors who endured the hardship of the cold, and send all the rest of his men home. King Hrolf admired the wisdom of this farmer, and did as he suggested. He then thanked Hrani for his hospitality before continuing his journey.
So King Hrolf left after the third night with just his twelve champions to meet King Adils. As the king and his men disappeared over a hill, the wise and hospitable farmer changed form, and it was Odin himself who slowly turned and walked away.
Next : Part 6 : The Meeting With King Adils.
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja's love and Thor's protection !