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The Saga of the Golden Curse - Part One

Icelandic Roots is pleased to help introduce a new book: A Viking Legend: The Descendants of Odin written by Ainsley Bloomer. We present one of the chapters, The Saga of the Golden Curse, Part One today. Part Two will follow in our next publication of Roots News. Enjoy!

Ainsley Bloomer, Author
Ainsley Bloomer, Author

From the Author: The book is a retelling about a human family dynasty whose patriarch is Odin, the chief of the Old Norse gods. Odin, disguised as a human, married a young human woman, named Katrin. The story weaves through mythical tales of six generations of descendants. This manuscript is a retelling, as most of the stories are found in the anonymous sources of the Old Norse Poetic Edda, The Saga of the Volsungs, The Tale and Saga of Ragnar Lothbrok, The Fostering of Aslaug by William Morris and other sources. Some of these tales appear only in fragments, some are disjointed, and some have missing information and pages. This retelling weaves the tales together into a chronological manner, filling in missing information with mythological, historical, or imaginative details creating a tapestry of words about love and honour, betrayal and vengeance, sorcery with seers and seeresses, births and deaths, supernatural beings, battles, mythological magic and more.


The Saga of The Golden Curse - Part One

As Odin sat on Hlidskjalf, he noticed something he had never seen before, and that convinced him to enter an area between Midgard and Svartalfheim. He saw a sprawling green forest sprinkled with sparkles of gold, into which he could not see through. Not even a peek! This was unusual because normally, on any given day, he could see into every nook and cranny of every area of every realm from Hlidskjalf. Not being able to see into this area made him curious.


Every morning his loyal ravens, Hugin and Munin, flew throughout each of the nine great dimensions and gathered news of the current happenings of the day. On this morning, before they set out, Odin asked them to investigate the mysterious forest. He thought to himself, Where did this forest come from and why can I not see into it? If this is magic, I want to know what kind and to whom it belongs.


When his sleek black ravens returned, Odin asked, “What is the news of the mysterious forest?”

Hugin crooned, “There was an old shack in the middle of the forest.”

Munin cawed, “There were three gnarly and twisted dwarves living there.”

Odin was surprised. “Is that all there is within the forest?”

“Yes, yes,” squawked Munin and Hugin in harmony.

Odin pondered, “What is the rest of the news of the day?”

The ravens told Odin their news and he was satisfied. Yet he was still curious about the mysterious forest. He surveyed the area from Hlidskjalf and still could not see through the forest. He needed to know more, so he decided to pay a visit to the dwarf family.

Two of his companions, Haenir and Loki sojourned with him. Odin loved to travel through the grandness of the nine worlds and this journey was no exception. The three walked from Asgard to the Bifrost Bridge where they met with Heimdall, the guardian of the brilliant blue, radiant red, and sunny yellow rainbow bridge. Once past Bifrost, they entered the realm of Midgard, the land of the humans. There they sojourned through to its edges and on to Svartalfheim. A ways in, they came to a vast, mysterious green forest, that concealed everything.

They walked through the magical forest a while, and when they came upon a wondrous waterfall, they stopped, listened, and watched. All of a sudden, out splashed a big black otter who perched sleepily on a nearby rock in front of the sparkling waterfall. He had a long, slim body with relatively short limbs. As he sat on the rock, he wiggled and waggled his webbed feet. He then suddenly swooped up a salmon from the water and clutched it in his claws. He sat and slowly observed his catch.

Since the three sojourners had been traveling a while, the thought of supper came into all their minds, and they looked at one another. Loki took it upon himself to catch both the salmon and the otter. Instinctively and without hesitation, he threw a large rock onto the head of the otter. It instantly fell. Loki swooped up the otter and the salmon. The three companions were pleased with the catch and continued their journey. They came to the old house the ravens had mentioned. Upon knocking, a strange-looking gentleman opened the creaky door. He appeared to be half human and half twisted dwarf. Odin looked at the man and thought to himself, Now this is the creature whom I could not see from Hlidskjalf, but where are the others?

He heartily greeted the dwarf, “Greetings my fine fellow, we have journeyed along this pathway before, but I do not recall seeing this forest or your house, but here you are. We ask you for a night’s lodgings, and we can repay you with enough food for everyone in your household.”

The strange looking dwarf was named Hreidmar. He was the master of the household and skilled in a special kind of magic. Before Hreidmar offered them entrance he commanded, “Leave your spear and your shoes at the door.”

The three entered into the home of Hreidmar and they visited awhile.

Hreidmar explained, “For some reason unknown to us, we were chosen by an unruly and unreasonable norn, who decided to place a curse on all of us. We begged her to undo the curse and leave us alone, but she would not and now we are here.”

As evening enveloped the farm and the forest, Odin, Haenir, and Loki became hungry.

Odin said, “Hreidmar, here is our catch from this afternoon. We offer supper to your family.”

Odin brought out the otter and the salmon. Hreidmar recognized the catch and let out horrifying screams that startled Odin, Haenir, and Loki, as his sons barrelled into the room.

“Fafnir, Regin! Your brother, Ottar, has been killed and these are the men who have killed him!”

With lightning speed, the dwarf men bound Odin, Loki, and Haenir with an extraordinary magic unknown to Odin. They snatched Odin’s spear and Loki’s shoes, because they knew these belongings had special enchanting qualities. Odin, Haenir, and Loki were completely taken off guard, shocked and surprised that they could be wrestled down so quickly and bound so easily. What had happened? This had never happened to them before in any of their journeys, and they did not understand the nature of any of this or any wrongdoing. The shocked look on their faces stirred Regin to tell the bewildered and baffled trio the story of his brother.

“Ottar is our middle brother, and as you can see, we are ugly and deformed dwarf men, because we have been cursed by a nasty norn. But Ottar’s curse was a little different. He looked and acted like a real otter. He is, or was a great swimmer, fisherman, and hunter, which helped us immensely, by supplying us with a plentiful amount of food from his catches. We used to live in the village, but after we were cursed, some villagers were terrified of us. Some beat us, or threw stones, garbage, or anything at us.

Some yelled at us to get out of the village, as they did not want us there. Soon, we left and found our way here. It is peaceful here, and we have lived in peace and under the protection of the forest our father created for us with his special magic. We know the three of you are some kind of immortal beings because you never would have gotten this far into the forest if you were not. We thought we would be safe from any harm with the marquee of our magical forest. But, as you can see, you have come and you have killed our brother, Ottar.”

Hreidmar stepped in and said, “I welcomed you into our home, I placed trust in you, and I was thoroughly unaware of the death of my son. The penalty for his killing is death, death for you all!” Hreidmar had turned a white grey colour, and his facial expression emanated an icy dread, spiked with clear and cold thoughts of a vicious vengeance.

Odin pleaded, “Dear Hreidmar, we had no idea the otter was your son. If we knew, we would have left him alone. We are truly sorry for our miserable mistake. We wish no harm or ill will to you or your family. We offer any amount of wealth to you for compensation for your son, if you spare our lives and return our objects.”

Hreidmar and his sons looked at the three figures, constrained by magic, then looked to each other. They went into another room and took counsel. When they returned, they agreed with Odin’s plea. An agreement was made and oaths were sworn. Odin, Haenir, and Loki would give Hreidmar whatever he wanted and once received, their lives would be spared and their objects returned.

Hreidmar carefully flayed his otter son and made a bag from his carcass. Once he had finished, he placed the bag in the middle of the room. He looked at Odin, Haenir, and Loki and commanded, “This bag of Ottar shall be completely filled on the inside with red gold and completely covered on the outside with yellow gold. These are the terms of the compensation.”

Odin agreed, “We have the means to fulfill your request, but how are we to fulfill these terms if we are all bound?”

Hreidmar thought a moment and said, “I will let one of you get the gold. When you return with the gold and the terms of the agreement are fulfilled, then you will be free to leave.”

Odin, Haenir, and Loki spoke amongst themselves and decided that Loki would get the gold. Hreidmar released Loki from his binding magic.

Odin instructed him, “Loki, go deeper into this realm of Svartalfheim, and find the dwarf called Andvari. He will be swimming in his falls, Andvara Falls. He too has been cursed by a norn, and will most likely be in the form of a fish known to many as a pike. He is the guardian of the dwarves’ gold. Do whatever you need to do to get the gold from him, and bring it here as fast as you can.”

Loki responded, “I will be able to complete this task quicker, if I have my running shoes.”

Hreidmar agreed and Loki slipped on his special running shoes and sped off. He raced to the sea and called out for Ran, the goddess of the sea.


Does Loki get the gold? Does he take the gold for himself or return to free his friends? Are the others trapped for eternity? All will be revealed in the next Roots News release on February 18th with Part 2 of the Saga of the Golden Curse.

In the meantime, and if you can’t wait until then, A Viking Legend: The Descendants of Odin, can be purchased as an ebook or paperback from Amazon or Kobo (ebook only).

Note: The colour images within the story above were AI generated for the purposes of this blog article and are not included in the author's chapter of The Saga of the Golden Curse.


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