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Jarl

by Micha F. Lindemans
On his third and last journey, the god Rig reached a beautiful mansion. The inhabitants were Fadir and Modir, Father and Mother. They offered Rig an excellent meal with plenty of food and wine, and used their finest tableware. At night, Rig slept between his hosts and nine months later Modir gave birth to a handsome, intelligent son. They named the boy Jarl ("earl"), and he was the first of the race of warriors.

When Jarl reached manhood, Rig taught him the runes, the magic words that can calm the sea, extinguish flames, and blunt the edge of an enemy's sword. Rig also taught Jarl to speak the language of the birds. Before returning to Asgard, Rig explained that he was, in fact, Jarl's true father. After Rig had departed, Jarl left the hall of Fadir and Modir, built a hall of his own and recruited a band of followers. Together Jarl and his warriors besieged and won eighteen halls. He then sought and won the hand of Erna, fair daughter of the chieftain Hersir. Jarl and Erna had eleven sons. (See also: Thrall and Karl.)


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