When the Jomsvikings sailed further around the island and into the bay they saw that the coward Ulf had lied to them and that Hakon had not a single ship, but that the whole bay was covered with Hakon's dragon longships. Vagn wasted no time and shouted orders to array his ships into a battle formation. Earl Hakon seeing the Jomsvikings readying for battle set his forces in motion to match the battle lines of Vagn's ships. In the meantime Sigvaldi had sailed up alongside Vagn's ships extending his lines. Earl Hakon matched him move for move.
Then the battle began ! The fighting started slowly at first, as both sides felt each other out, but within a short time both sides were fighting fiercely. Sigvaldi went up against the earl' s ship himself, and that engagement ended with no clear winner. Vagn was fighting with Earl Eric but he could not best him either and their fight also settled into an uneasy stalemate. Only Bui, and his brother were able to make any headway into his opponents battle formation, and Earl Hakon's men had to cut their lines and let their ships drift away from these determined Jomsvikings, which made an indentation in Hakon's battle line.
Earl Eric seeing this disengaged from Vagn, and rowed his ship to atttack Bui. The Earl's bravery, through fierce hand to hand fighting, was able to restore the original line of their formation, but exhausted he could go no further. In his absence, however, Vagn had made great strides against the depleted forces in his front, and had swept through the Earl Eric's formation, and forced his whole line to flee. Earl Eric seeing this rowed back and re - engaged Vagn in a fierce battle, and stopped the incursion into their lines. At one point Vagn, and a warrior named Aslak Holmskalli, leapt onto the prow of Earl Eric's ship, and began to clear the deck forcing all of Eric's men to fall back. It is said that Aslak, though he did not wear a helmet was not injured when struck in the head by weapons. Eric then implored his men to go foward and retake his ship. A man named Vigfus in a state of berserking grabbed an anvil, and threw it at Aslak's head killing the brave warrior instantly. Not even Aslak's hard head could stop a blow thrown with such force. Vagn was then struck on the head by an oak club, which split his helmet but did him no injury. Vagn threw his sword at his attacker splitting him wide open, and then jumped back to his own longship.
Having cleared his deck of Vagn's men the earl then disengaged from the battle line, and there became a lull in the fighting as both sides re - grouped. Earl Hakon then met with his son's and spoke of the days battle. He told them that he felt that the battle was not going well and decided to pray to his patron Goddess, Thorgerd Holgabrud, for her help. At first she would not hear his prayers, but then he offered her his own son as a personal sacrifice, and she accepted his offering and agreed to come to his aid. Now Earl Hakon knew the battle would turn in his favor.
Then the battle was rejoined, and its fury was double of what it had been before. The weather then suddenly began to turn foul, and the Jomsvikings had to face into the raging storm, where as Earl Hakon's forces had the storm at their backs. During the battle the Jomsvikings had shed their clothes in the heat of battle, but now the temperature began to drop alarmingly. A man named Havard the Hewing was the first to see Thorgerd Holgabrud amongst the Earl's ships. The Ogress raised her hands and pointed them at the Jomsviking ships, and an arrow shot out of every finger with such accuracy that a Jomsviking fell for each arrow. Earl Hakon then prayed to Thorgerd a second time saying that he was doing his best, and that he needed more help from his patron Goddess. In an instant the skies grew darker, and the storm worsened, and now to Havard's horror he saw two women, Thorgerd and Irpa, on the deck of the earl's ship shooting arrows out of their fingertips, and raining down hailstones the size of a mans fist at the Jomsvikings.
Sigvaldi, realizing that he was not fighting just men, but demon Ogresses , decided it was time to flee the harbor. He was heard to say before he gave the order to retreat, " Now I am going to flee, and let all men do so . I did not vow to fight against Trolls and Ogresses !" Thorkel the Tall, and Sigurd Cape, fled the scene of the battle shortly after they saw Sigvaldi flee. With their 24 remaining ships they sailed back to Denmark feeling that they had fulfilled their oath to the Jomsvikings.
Vagn, however, fought until night fell over the sea - battlefield, but he and his men were no match for the entire fleet of Earl Hakon's, and he and 70 of his men were later captured and roped together. Then Earl Hakon and his men ate heartily to celebrate their great victory over the Jomsvikings. They would leave to the morning the fate of their prisoners !
Next : The Jomsvikings Part 6 : The Jomsvikings meet the Thorkel Leira the executioner !
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja's love, and Thor's protection !