King IVAR the BONELESS was Prince IVAR (Igor) of KIEV and his son
King SWEYN ‘FORKBEARD’ IVARSON was Prince SVEINALD (Sviatoslav) of KIEV
I have just posted a first draft of Chapter 21, ‘KING SWEYN MEETS OLAF TRYGGVASON’ of “The Saga of Svein ‘the Old’ Ivarson” Book Four to the website SeiberTeck.com under the Book Heading of that name.
Book 4, Chapter 21, ‘KING SWEYN MEETS OLAF TRYGGVASON’ (Circa 988-990 AD):
Please Note: This website is about Vikings and Varangians and the way they lived over a thousand years ago. The content is as explicit as Vikings of that time were and scenes of violence and sexuality are depicted without reservation or apology. Reader discretion is advised.
King Sweyn is in bed with Queen Gyritha and her daughter, Queen Gunhilde, and he tells them a tale he has heard of an Earl he had just met in Rouen, Normandy, one Jarl Olaf Tryggvason. The saga starts with the birth of Prince Olaf, the dead King Trygve’s son, circa 963, then talks of Queen Gunhild of Norway, widow of King Erik Bloodaxe, and her efforts to kill baby Olaf. Olaf’s mother, Queen Astrid, flees with Olaf to Sweden and sets off to stay with her brother in Novgorod, but they are captured by pirates and separated and sold as slaves in the east. Astrid’s brother in the east, Sigurd, finds and saves Astrid, but he cannot find young Olaf. Olaf had been traded for a good cloak and spent six years as a slave in Eistland.
Astrid’s brother, Sigurd, had been warrior in the Centuriata of Prince Svein of Kiev, but when Hraes’ was divided up between his three sons he ended up working for young Prince Valdamar of Novgorod and had led a retinue west to collect skat and taxes in Eistland when he finally found the young son of his sister. He sent word to Asrtrid, but he could not send the boy back to Norway because Queen Gunhild and her sons still ruled there, so he raised the boy as his own in Novgorod. While in Novgorod, Olaf recognized the pirate that had kidnapped him and, though only nine years old, he put an axe into the brain of the Viking. By law, Prince Valdamar would have had to have Olaf executed for the death, but Princess Malfrieda stepped in and ransomed the boy and he served in her personal retinue for another nine years.
Things got complicated in Novgorod so, Olaf got himself a ship and set off a viking in the Baltic and attacked estates on the islands of Bornholm and Gotland with great success, taking much gold and silver as booty. He settled in Wendland and married Princess Geira of Wollin, King Burizleif’s daughter, and he helped her rule her domain there, but after three years she fell ill and died on him. He was so distraught by her death that he took to viking again, raiding in Friesland and selling his booty in Normandy, where he met Duke Richard and then, soon after the Battle of Hjorungavagr, he met King Sweyn ‘Forkbeard’ of Denmark, who he recognized as Prince Svein ‘the Old’, Prince Valdamar’s father in Hraes’.
Jarl Olaf Tryggvason became a leader in King Sweyn’s attacks upon Angleland and he runs the siege of Fort Watchet while Sweyn sacks and plunders the surrounding city of Watchet. When Olaf realises that the Hraes’ are raiding Angleland, not for gold, but for slaves, he is reminded of his youth and the rape of his mother, and he recites a poem to Sweyn called The Rhyme of the Viking Mariner. Sweyn knows from the verse that young Olaf would not long be a raider. Later, much later, Samuel Coleridge Taylor would sit himself down in the city of Watchet and write ‘The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner’ and perhaps he found inspiration in the resilience of the town and perhaps even in the spirit of a Viking mariner who became enlightened before the city walls.
Book Four, “The Saga of Svein ‘the Old’ Ivarson,” demonstrates how Prince Svein ‘the Old’ (Slavic: Sviatoslav ‘the Brave’) of Kiev later moved to Norway and fought to become King Sweyn Forkbeard of Denmark. But before being forced out of Russia, he sated his battle lust by crushing the Khazars and attacking the great great grandfather of Vlad the Impaler in a bloody campaign into the Heart of Darkness of Wallachia against the Army of the Impalers and their 666 salute. The campaign was so mortifying that the fifteen thousand pounds of gold that the Emperor of Constantinople paid him to attack them seemed not nearly enough, so Prince Svein attacked the Eastern Roman Empire itself. He came so close to defeating the greatest empire in the world, that later Danish Christian Kings would call his saga, and the sagas of his kin, “The Lying Sagas of Denmark” and set out to destroy them.