THE STORY OF THE ERE-DWELLERS
Online Medieval and Classical Library Release #33
After the Thing the chiefs on either side sat at home with many men about them, and much ill blood there was between them. Their friends took this rede, to send word to Thord the Yeller, who was then the greatest chief in Broadfirth: he was akin to the Kiallekings, but closely allied to Thorstein; (1) therefore he seemed to be the likeliest of men to settle peace between them. But when this message came to Thord, he fared thither with many men, and strove to make peace. He found that far apart were the minds of them; yet he brought about truce between them, and a meeting to be summoned. The close of the matter was that Thord should make it up, on such terms that whereas the Kiallekings laid down that they would never go their errands to Dirtskerry, Thorstein claimed that they should not defile the field now more than aforetime. The Kiallekings claimed that all they who had fallen on Thorstein's part should be fallen unhallowed, because they had first set on them with the mind to fight. But the Thorsnessings said that all the Kiallekings had fallen unhallowed because of their law-breaking at a Holy Thing.
But though the terms laid down were hard for the award, yet Thord yeasaid the taking it on him rather than that they should part unappeased. Now Thord thus set forth the beginning of the award: "Let hap abide as hap befell"; said that for no manslayings nor hurts which had happed at Thorsness should man-gild be paid. The field he gave out unhallowed because of the blood shed in wrath that had fallen thereon, and that land he declared now no holier than another, laying down that the cause thereof were those who first bestirred them to wounding others. And that he called the only peace-breaking that had betid, and said withal that no Thing should be held there thenceforward. But that they might be well appeased and friends thenceforth, he made this further award, that Thorgrim Kiallakson should uphold the temple half at his own costs, and answer for half the temple toll, (2) and the Thingmen the other half. He should also help Thorstein thenceforth in all law-cases, and strengthen him in whatso hallowing he might bestow on the Thing, whereso it should next be set up.
Withal Thord the Yeller gave to Thorgrim Kiallakson Thorhild his kinswoman, the daughter of Thorkel Main-acre his neighbour; and thenceforth was he called Thorgrim the Priest. Then they moved the Thing up the ness, where it now is; and whenas Thord the Yeller settled the Quarter Things, he caused this to be the Quarter Thing of the Westfirthers, and men should seek to that Thing from all over the Westfirths. There is yet to be seen the Doom-ring, where men were doomed to the sacrifice. In that ring stands the stone of Thor over which those men were broken who were sacrificed, and the colour of the blood on that stone is yet to be seen.
And at that Thing was one of the holiest of steads, but there men were not forbidden to go their errands.
Go to Chapter XI
(1) "Thord the Yeller... he was akin to the Kiallekings, but closely allied to Thorstein (Codbiter)." How he was otherwise related to the Kiallekings than by affinity we do not see. His wife, Alfdis of Barra, was the daughter of Konal, who was second cousin to Thorgrim the Priest, son of Kiallak the Old (as we learn from "Landnama" ii, 11, 19, cf "Gretti's Saga", ch.3):
Olvir Bairncarle his sister Ondott | | Steinmod Astrid, m. to Kiallak the | | Old Konal Thorgrim the Priest | Alfdis, m. to Thord the Yeller
But Thord the Yeller was Thorstein Codbiter's brother-in- law. See the genealogy of the Thorsnessings. (2) "Thorgrim Kiallakson should uphold the temple half at his own costs, and answer for half the temple toll, and the Thingmen the other half." The original reads: "Thorgrimr Kjallaksson skyldi halda upp hofinu at helmingi ok hafa halfan hoftoll, ok sva thingmenn at helmingi." The passage is somewhat obscure and the translation scarcely quite to the point, the words "answer for" being better altered to "have" simply. The temple was, of course, that Thor's temple of which Thorstein Codbiter was the hereditary "gothi", priest. But now Thorgrim Kiallakson is evidently made a joint "gothi" or temple priest of it with Thorstein. This cannot mean anything but that, in order to appease his rivalry with Thorstein, Thord the Yeller raised him to the dignity of a chief with half a share in the sacerdotal duties and privileges at Thorsness. For this purpose he was to "have" half the temple toll, cf. Chapter XXXVI: "To that temple must all men pay toll," etc. This only seems to mean, that one half of the temple toll which formerly had been paid to Thorstein by his Thingmen, should henceforth be paid to Thorgrim by the men of the gothorth or chiefship, which Thord the Yeller now created in his favour.