Long ago (do not ask me how long), and far away (do not ask me where), there was a warrior king, who we shall call Svafrlami. He led a thousand strong warriors, and was grandson to Odin. He is said to have been nearly as wise as his grandfather in battle, and so he used his battle-wise to trick two dwarves, the brothers Dvalin and Durin, out of their rock fortress.

“Forge me a golden sword that never misses, and cleaves stone and iron as cloth,” Svafrlami said to the two trapped dwarf-smiths.

The two dwarves spoke long, and said they shall do so, but they would need a piece of the pillars that hold up the sky. They knew were they could find such a piece, but Svafrlami must let them go to retrieve it. Svafrlami did not trust the dwarves, and so he let one go, holding the other in ransom. Great harm was promised if the dwarf did not return quickly.

Three days and nights passed, with no sign of the dwarf. Svafrlami used his sharp axe to take one ear the first night, one toe the second night, and one finger the third night.

On the fourth night, the dwarf Dvalin returned with a shard of black ore, and burned with fury when he saw how his brother Durin had been treated.

“You have the piece of the pillar, so forge me the golden sword that never misses, and cleaves stone and iron as cloth!” Svafrlami said to the two dwarf-smiths, “And if I hear more excuses, I shall trim each of you as short as hares with my sharp axe.”

Dvalin and Durin worked as only dwarves can work steel and metal, with magic and skill. The dark piece of steel was worked and wrought into a long blade, with a hilt of gold and two ruby eyes. They named it as a warblade, by gifting it with the name-runes Tyrfing, Tyr’s Finger. The blade was black as midnight, but rippled with the strange colors of the Val-kyrior’s passage in the sky-candle’s light.

Svafrlami was struck by the wonder of the blade, and took it from the dwarf-smiths, meaning to use it to strike them down. He chased them back to their rock fortress, but was too slow. They laughed and howled, and laid curses upon Svafrlami and his new blade.

“Tyrfing will taste hot blood every time it is drawn,” cursed Dvalin.

“As you have injured me, Tyrfing shall be the cause of three great evils,” cursed Durin.

“And the blade shall cause your own death and drink your blood, keeping you ever from Valhalla!” cursed Dvalin and Durin together.

Svafrlami was wrought with such terrible rage, that he cleaved the god-finger down upon the very rock of the fortress, cleaving it through and killing the dwarf Dvalin, for they had forged a blade whose strength surprised even its makers. Durin escaped into the dark, limping as he went.

Svafrlami seemed an invincible warrior for many ages with the power of Tyrfing, but lost his thousand men, and lost his battle wisdom, and one day was slain with his own blade by a wolf berserk, and so the dwarves curse follows the blade to this day.


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