Under Sigvaldi's leadership discipline broke down. Women stayed within the fort, and some men stayed away for longer than the three days allowed under their laws. Fights constantly broke out, and some were even maimed or killed. This may be seen as a black mark on Sigvaldi's leadership skills, but it is also a great testament that shows us how great a leader Palnatoki was. He was able to maintain discipline among some of the roughest and toughest warriors in all of Scandinavia, and yet still gained the respect of his men. Sigvaldi would have to learn this lesson and accomplish this over time.
Sigvaldi went to King Burisleif and gave him an ultimatum. He would leave the fort, and end the protection of his lands, unless he could marry his daughter Astrid. King Burisleif did not like the idea of course, because he needed Sigvaldi in the fort, so he put the question to his daughter, who he felt was very wise. Astrid did not like the idea, but saw it as a means to an end. She would agree only if the tribute that they were paying to the Danish King Svein was abolished, and if Sigvaldi could trick King Svein into to coming to Jomsborg so he could be controlled by King Burisleif. When told of these conditions Sigvaldi agreed to the terms and said that it would be done by Yule.
When Sigvaldi heard that King Svein was attending a feast not far away, he saw his opportunity. He had three ships, and about 300 men, which he sailed to Zealand to do his bidding. In the harbor he fastened the boats together, facing away from the shore, and then sent 20 messenger to King Svein to tell him that he, the leader of the Jomsvikings, was on his deathbed, and that the king must come at once. The king wasted no time and left immediately with all his men.
Sigvaldi had devised a bold plan to capture King Svein. He would allow only 30 of King Svein's men to board the first ship, telling the king that any more would surely sink the vessel. Only 20 would be allowed to continue onto the second ship, and when they reached the final ship where Sigvaldi lay " dying " only ten men would be allowed to accompany the king. This is where he would spring his trap ! When King Svein reached the " deathbed" of Sigvaldi he leaned down and asked if he could speak. Sigvaldi reached up and grabbed the king, and at the same time shouted to his men to cast off all lines. King Svein looked Sigvaldi in the eyes and asked him why he had betrayed him, and what his intentions were. Sigvaldi told him that he would have to join him at Jomsborg where he would be welcomed. Sigvaldi smiled broadly knowing that he had pulled off quite a ruse, and that his bride Astrid was awaiting him in Jomsborg. He was pleased with himself indeed !
Back at Jomsborg, Sigvaldi tricked King Svein a second time by saying that he had asked King Burisleif, on King Svein's behalf, for the hand of his other daughter Gunnhild, who Sigvaldi said was even more beautiful than his bride to be Astrid. He further said that King Burisleif should no longer have to pay tribute to him because he was giving him his daughter, and would now be family. When King Svein saw Gunnhild he knew that he had been tricked because she was not nearly as beautiful as Astrid. He also realized that he had made the best deal that he could under the circumstances. Sigvaldi he realized was a very shrewd man to deal with ! After a lavish double wedding the two men went their seperate ways. King Svein was now bound to King Burisleif by marriage and oath, exactly what King Burisleif had wanted.
Next : The Jomsvikings Part 4 : The Alliance Against Earl Hakon.
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja's love, and Thor's protection !