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The Cursed Ring of Sigmundr Brestisson, Viking Chief of the Faroes, 961-1005

According to the unknown author of the Færeyinga saga (Faroese saga) written in Iceland sometime in the early thirteenth century, Sigmundr Brestisson, the first Christian of the Faroe Islands, was an honorable and good man. At a young age he and his cousin Thorer (Þórir) were sold into slavery by a chieftain named Thrand (Þrándr), who successfully plotted to have Sigmundr’s father killed in battle. Later as freemen, Sigmundr and Thorer fought bravely under Earl Hakon (Haakon Jarl) when he ruled Norway for two decades beginning around 975. One day together, Sigmundr asked Hakon for advice on how to avenge his father’s death. Hakon replied that he should put his trust in the old ways, as he did, and led him into a forest where there was a beautiful house with “a lot of idols inside, and many glass windows… A woman was in the innermost part of the entrance, and she was richly adorned.” When the two men entered the house…

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