Egil Skallagrimsson, son of Skall-Grim and Bera, came from a long line of shape shifters (possibly Ulfhednar). From a young age Egil demonstrated a spirit of intense passion; even at a young age Egil’s passionate nature disposed him to bouts of violence and fits that equated to a berserker’s rage. From early on in Egil’s life he demonstrated the aptitude of a warrior and a poet. At the age of 7, Egil, feeling cheated during a contest, went home and returned with an axe that he placed in the skull of the offending boy. Although a farmer by trade, Egil had gained much fame as a viking during raids. Throughout Egil’s saga he is depicted as having a pattern of outbursts in which he rights wrongs he felt were committed against him.

Egil is also depicted in the sagas as an adept master of the runes, In one tale Egil had scratched a rune on a horn suspecting it had been bewitched or poisoned, causing it to erupt. Having thus confirmed his suspicion he lashed out at his ill-willed host killing him and several others who had pursued him. This murder and the slaying of his pursuers put him in ill standing with king Erik Bloodaxe and his wife, queen Gunnhild, the witch who had cursed Egil’s horn that night. Egil demonstrated his aptitude in rune craft again when he erected a “Nithing” pole cursing the kingdom of king Erik and queen Gunnhild.

This course of events lead to another demonstration of Egil’s talent for poetry he had began to demonstrate at age 3. Egil staved off his own execution by composing a poem so compelling and flattering of his bitter rival king Erik Bloodaxe that it stayed his hand in Egil’s execution and compelled Erik to grant Egil his freedom and give up his claim to vengeance or settlement. In contrast to the conflicts Egil confronted head on as a warrior, he was a gentle soul with a focus on family and friends. On one occasion he had used runecraft to save the life of a woman by correcting healing runes that had been carved incorrectly. This side of Egil is further demonstrated in his las great poem, where he grieves the loss of his son, showing even in his old age that family was still his dearest and highest priority.

Yule approaches, be it family by blood, or adopted AFA family, lets take time to put our families first. Take a moment to step back and reflect on the values and the unbroken love of our Folk that your ancestors shared, making your life and existence possible today. Be the warrior when need be for your ancestors and folk and a hero to your descendants. Live your life in such a manner that whether you are a humble farmer or a great warrior, your deeds will one day be worthy of a saga in your own right!

Folkbuilder Jason Plourde
Gothi Student

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