The tale begins with two brothers, Halfdan and Frodi, who each ruled their own kingdoms. They were the sons of an unnamed king. King Halfdan was a wonderful man. Mild in nature, quiet, and with a good sense of humor. His brother, King Frodi, was exactly the opposite. He was harsh, greedy, and just downright mean. King Halfdan was married to a woman named Sigrid, and they had a daughter, Signy, and two sons, Hroar and Helgi. The boys had a foster - father, a common practice in those days, named Regin.
King Frodi generally stayed in his kingdom, where he became jealous of his brother Halfdan, who ruled Denmark alone. Frodi assembled a large army, and in the dead of the night captured Halfdan, and murdered him. Frodi then burned everything and took Queen Sigrid ! The boys Helgi and Hroar, however, were able to escape with the help of their foster - father Regin. They hid themselves on the Island of a friend of their fathers whose name was Vifil. After hiding the boys there Regin left and went back to Denmark, and having no choice swore allegiance to King Frodi, who now ruled over Denmark.
King Frodi felt very insecure because Halfdan's sons where nowhere to be found. Using sorcerers he was told to search an island called Vifil's Island. The first search of the island turned up nothing, but the king ordered it searched again. Still they found nothing . Angered King Frodi went to the island himself, but he also could not find the boys hiding place.
Vifil, realizing that he could no longer protect the boys, sent them to their brother - in - law, Signy's husband, Jarl Saevil's estate. Here they stayed calling theselves Ham, and Hrani. King Frodi, however, was no fool and suspected the Jarl of hiding the boys. He invited the Jarl to a feast at his great hall which the Jarl accepted. The boys were told to stay behind, but they refused and tagged along at the end of the Jarl's column.
Once they made it into King Frodi's hall, the boys ran around the halls as boys will do, oblivious to the dangers all around them. They felt secure because they were hooded, and therefore felt that they could not be recognized. Their sister, Signy, of course did recognize them and warned them not to stay in the hall because they were not full grown and she feared they might be harmed. They ignored her also, as young boys will do !
King Frodi then called forth a seeress whose name was Heid. She was placed on a high platform and asked to find the boys. Signy tried to throw off the seeress by throwing her a gold ring, but Frodi threatened the witch with torture if she did not continue. Finally she spoke, and this is what she said :
I see where they sit,
The sons of King Halfdan,
Hroar and Helgi,
They will rob
Frodi of life.
The seeress then spoke of the boys :
Hard are the eyes,
of Ham and Hrani ;
They are princes
The boys hearing this, and being afraid of being captured, ran out of Frodi's hall. The king ordered his men to chase after them. Some men loyal to Regin and Jarl Saevil held the king's men back, and the boys escaped. Frodi, furious, threatened vengeance on those who had plotted against him. He wanted very desperately for the boys to be captured and killed so they would no longer be a threat to him, or his kingdom.
When things calmed down, Regin began to serve generous amounts of ale to King Frodi and his men. Most of his warriors became so drunk that they passed out. This was what Regin had planned, and now he ventured out into the woods and gathered up the boys who were hiding. Regin rode back to the hall with the boys, but said nothing to the boys that would break his oath to King Frodi. Regin then said to himself, but loud enough for the boys to hear, that if he could he would burn down Frodi's hall, with the King and all his men inside. Hroar did not understand why Regin was speaking in such a manner, but Helgi understood very well that Regin wanted the boys to burn down the Frodi's hall. And so the boys started a fire. When Jarl Saevil emerged from the hall, he helped the boys build the fire even bigger. For he had made no oath to King Frodi, and owed him nothing but deceit. Regin, in the meantime, led his men safely out of the hall before the fire became out of control. The boys sister, Signy, also escaped from the hall. King Frodi, and his drunken men were not so lucky and perished in the flames. Sigrid, the wife of Halfdan, chose to remain behind, and was burned to death in the crumbling inferno.
End Part 1
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja's love, and Thor's protection !