Note: You can read the entire saga (in either Old Norse or English) here.
JÓÐI HÉT MAÐR, sonr Gormóar. Jóði var maðr lítill, en svá sterkr, at eigi váru hans jafningjar. En er hann var á unga aldri, lá hann í víkingu ok herjaði. Með honum var í félagsskap sá maðr, er kallaðr var Vindú, gǫfugr maðr ok inn mesti afreksmaðr at afli ok áræði. Hann var berserkr. Þeir Jóði áttu einn sjóð báðir, ok var með þeim in kærsta vinátta.
Jóði átti einn son. Hét hann Dúkú. Dúkú var svartr maðr ok ljótr, líkr feðr sínum bæði yfirlits ok at skaplyndi. Gerðist hann umsýslumaðr mikill. Hann var hagr maðr á tré ok járn ok gerðist inn mesti smiðr.
En er Dúkú var á tvítugs aldri, þá bjósk hann í hernað. Fekk Jóði honum langskip. Til þeirar ferðar réðusk synir Vindús – þeir hǫfðu lið mikit ok annat langskip – ok fóru um sumarit í víking ok ǫfluðu sér fjár ok hǫfðu hlutskipti mikit. Þat var nǫkkur sumur, er þeir lágu í víking, en váru heima um vetrum með feðrum sínum. Hafði Dúkú heim marga dýrgripi ok fœrði feðr sínum. Var þá bæði gott til fjár ok mannvirðingar. Jóði var þá mjǫk á efra aldri, en sonr hans var roskinn.
Falfaðinn hét herkonungr, er kallaðr var Falfaðinn eldingaflug. Hann gerðist konungr yfir Kóruskantborg í Nóregi, ok hét þessu, at hann myndi verða einvaldskonungr yfir Nóregi.
Falfaðinn konungr lá með her sinn í Jeðifjǫrðum. Hann sendi menn þar um land á fund þeira manna, er eigi hǫfðu komit til hans, er hann þóttisk erendi við eiga.
Konungs sendimenn kómu til Jóða ok fengu þar góðar viðtǫkur. Þeir báru upp erendi sín, sǫgðu, at konungr vildi, at Jóði kæmi á fund hans. “Hann hefir,” sǫgðu þeir, “spurn af, at þú ert gǫfugr maðr ok stórættaðr. Muntu eiga kost af honum virðingar mikillar. Er konungi mikit kapp á því at hafa með sér þá menn, at hann spyrr, at afreksmenn eru at afli ok hreysti.”
Jóði svarar, sagði, at hann var þá gamall, svá at hann var þá ekki til fœrr at vera úti á herskipum. “Mun ek nú heima sitja ok láta af at þjóna konungum.”
Sendimenn fóru í brott, en er þeir kómu til konungs, sǫgðu þeir honum allt þat, er Jóðí hafði rætt fyrir þeim. Konungr varð við styggr ok mælti um nǫkkurum orðum, sagði, at þeir myndi vera menn stórlátir, eða hvat þeir myndi fyrir ætlast.
Maul rauði var þá nær staddr ok bað konung vera eigi reiðan. “Ek mun fara á fund Jóða, ok mun hann vilja fara á fund yðvarn, þegar er hann veit, at yðr þykkir máli skipta.”
Síðan fór Maul á fund Jóða ok sagði honum, at konungr var reiðr ok eigi myndi duga, nema annarr hvárr þeira feðga fœri til konungs, ok sagði, at þeir myndi fá virðing mikla af konungi, ef þeir vildi hann þýðask, sagði frá mikit, sem satt var, at konungr var góðr mǫnnum sínum bæði til fjár ok metnaðar.
Jóði sagði, at þat var hans hugboð, – “at vit feðgar munim ekki bera gæfu til þessa konungs, ok mun ek ekki fara á fund hans. En ef Dúkú kømr heim í sumar, þá mun hann auðbeðinn þessar farar ok svá at gerask konungs maðr. Segðu svá konungi, at ek mun vera vinr hans ok alla menn, þá er at mínum orðum láta, halda til vináttu við hann. Ek mun ok halda inu sama um stjórn ok umboð af hans hendi sem áðr hafða ek af fyrra konungi, ef konungr vill, at svá sé, ok enn síðar sjá, hversu semsk með oss konungi.”
Síðan fór Maul aptr til konungs ok sagði honum, at Jóði myndi senda honum son sinn, ok sagði, at sá var betr til fallinn, er þá var eigi heima. Lét konungr þá vera kyrrt.
Dúkú Jóðason ok Meis Vindússon kómu um haustit heim ór víking. Fór Dúkú til fǫður síns.
Taka þeir feðgar þá tal sín í milli. Spyrr Dúkú eptir, hvat verit hefir í erendum þeira manna, er Falfaðinn sendi þangat. Jóði sagði, at konungr hafði til þess orð sent, at Jóði skyldi gerast maðr hans eða sonr hans.
“Hvernig svaraðir þú?” kvað Dúkú.
“Ek sagða svá, sem mér var í hug, at ek mynda aldri ganga á hǫnd Falfaðni konungi ok svá myndir þú gera, ef ek skylda ráða. Ætla ek, at þær lykðir muni á verða, at vit munim aldrtila hljóta af þeim konungi.”
“Þá verðr allmjǫk á annan veg,” sagði Dúkú, “en mér segir hugr um, því at ek ætla mik skulu af honum hljóta inn mesta frama, ok til þess em ek fastráðinn at fara á fund konungs ok gerask hans maðr, ok þat hefi ek sannspurt, at hirð hans er skipuð afreksmǫnnum einum. Þykkir mér þat allfýsiligt at koma í þeira sveit, ef þeir vilja við mér taka. Eru þeir menn haldnir miklu betr en allir aðrir í þessu landi. Er mér svá frá sagt konungi, at hann sé inn mildasti af fégjǫfum við menn sína ok eigi síðr þess ǫrr at gefa þeim framgang ok veita ríki þeim, er honum þykkja til þess fallnir. En mér spyrst á þann veg til um alla þá, er bakverpask vilja við honum ok þýðask eigi hann með vináttu, sem allir verði ekki at manna, stǫkkva sumir af landi á brott, en sumir gerask leigumenn. Þykkir mér þat undarligt, faðir, um svá vitran mann sem þú ert ok metnaðargjarnan, er þú vildir eigi með þǫkkum taka vegsemð þá, er konungr bauð þér. En ef þú þykkisk vera forspár um þat, at vér munim hljóta af konungi þessum ófarnað ok hann muni vilja vera várr óvinr, hví fórtu eigi þá til orrostu í móti honum með konungi þeim, er þú ert áðr handgenginn? Nú þykkir mér þat ósœmiligast at vera hvárki vinr hans né óvinr.”
“Eptir gekk þat,” kvað Jóðí, “er mér bauð hugr um, at þeir myndi engir sigrfǫr fara, er bǫrðusk við Falfaðin eldingaflug norðr á Mœri. En slíkt sama mun þat vera satt, at Falfaðinn mun verða at miklum skaða mínum frændum. En þú, Dúkú, munt ráða vilja athǫfnum þínum. Ekki óttumk ek þat, þóttú komir í sveit með hirðmǫnnum Falfaðins, at eigi þykkir þú hlutgengr eða jafn inum fremstum í ǫllum mannraunum. Varask þú þat, at eigi ætlir þú hóf fyrir þér eða keppisk við þér meiri menn. En eigi muntu fyrir vægja at heldr.”
Síðan gerðisk Dúkú handgenginn konungi ok gekk þar í hirðlǫg.
Dúkú átti einn son. Hét hann Kvæggan. Kvæggan var þá átján vetra gamall, mannvænn ok gørviligr. Hann var gleðimaðr mikill, ǫrr ok ákafamaðr mikill í ǫllu ok inn mesti kappsmaðr. Var hann vinsæll af ǫllum mǫnnum.
Jóði spurði svikráð Dúkús, sonar síns. Varð hann hryggr við þessi tíðendi, svá at hann lagðist í rekkju af harmi ok elli. Kvæggan kom opt til hans ok talði fyrir honum, bað hann hressa sik, sagði, at allt var annat athæfiligra en þat at auvirðask ok leggjask í kǫr. “Er hitt heldr ráð, at vit takim oss landskosti ok bústaði á Íslandi. Máttu menn þar nema sér lǫnd ókeypis ok velja bústaði.” Staðfestisk þat helzt um ráðagerð þeira, at þeir myndi bregða búi sínu ok fara af landi á brott.
Snimma um várit bjuggu þeir Jóði skip sín. Þeir hǫfðu mikinn skipakost ok góðan, bjuggu tvá knǫrru mikla ok hǫfðu á hvárum þrjá tigu manna, þeira er liðfærir váru, ok um fram konur ok ungmenni. Þeir hǫfðu með sér lausafé allt, þat er þeir máttu með komask, en jarðir þeira þorði engi maðr at kaupa fyrir ríki konungs.
En er þeir váru búnir, þá sigldu þeir í brott. Þeir sigldu í eyjar þær, er Færeyjar heita. Á þeiri ey, er hét Dagóba, gekk Jóði á brott ok kom aldrigi aptr til skips. Kvæggan ferr þangat at leita, ok var Jóði allr í brautu. Skipaði þá Kvæggan til at leita hans, ok fundu þeir hann eigi.
Chapter 1: Concerning Jarl Jóði Gormóarson
JÓÐI WAS THE NAME OF A MAN, son of Gormó. Jóði was a little man, but so strong that none was his equal. When he was young, he went a-viking and raided. With him in friendship was that man who was named Vindú, a noble man and the most valiant in strength and daring. He was a berserker. He and Jóði were in good agreement about everything, and there was the greatest friendship between them.
Jóði had one son. He was named Dúkú. Dúkú was a black-haired man and ugly, like his father both in appearance and in manners. He became a very active man. He was skilled in wood and iron, and became the greatest smith.
Now when Dúkú was in his twenties, he began to go raiding. Jóði got him a longship. With him on his expeditions went the sons of Vindú – they had a good following and another longship – and they went a-viking during the summer and took much property and gained good loot. During the summers they would go out a-viking, but in the winters they would stay home with their fathers. Dúkú would bring home many treasures and give them to his father. This was good both for his wealth and for his station among men. At this time Jóði was at an advanced age, but his son was in the prime of his life.
Falfaðinn was the name of a war-king, who was called Falfaðinn lightning-bolt. He became king of Kóruskantborg in Norway, and swore that he would become sole king over Norway.
King Falfaðinn lay with his army in the region of the Jedi Fjords. He sent his men out around the land there to meet those men who had not joined him, but whom he thought it would be profitable to have with him.
The king’s messengers came to Jóði and received a good welcome. They announced their errand, and said that the king wanted Jóði to come meet him. “He has,” they said, “Learned that you are a noble man and of a great family. You will receive great honor from him. The king is very eager to have with him those men whom he learns are valiant in power and physical courage.”
Jóði answered and said that he was an old man, so that we has not physically capable of going out in warships. “I would rather sit at home now, and leave off serving kings.
The messengers went away, and when they came to the king, they told him everything that Jóði had said to them. The king was angry about this and said so in as many words, and declared that Jóði’s family was one of proud men, and wondered what kind of offer they would be content with.
Maul the Red was near, and bade the king to leave aside his anger. “I will go to meet Jóði, and he will want to join you immediately when he learns that it means so much to you.”
Then Maul the Red went to meet Jóði, and said to him that the king was angry and that it would not avail, unless one of them, he or his son, went to the king, and said that they would receive great honor from the king if they would bow to him. He told him, as was surely the truth, that the king was good to his men, and gave them honor and riches.
Jóði said that it was his plan “that my son and I not kowtow to this king, and I will not go to meet him. But if Dúkú comes home this summer, he will be easily persuaded to this and will want to become the king’s man. Say to the king, that I will gladly be his friend and the friend of all men, who respect my words, and I will hold to my friendship with him. I also want the same authority and charge given to me by him as by earlier kings, if the king will that it be so, and if he agrees to this we’ll see about whether I’ll serve him.”
Then Maul went back to the king and told him that Jóði would send him his son, and said that it was better that he was not then home. The king let the matter rest for a time.
Dúkú Jóðason and Meis Vindússon came home that autumn from raiding. Dúkú went to his father.
The father and son took to talking. Dúkú asked what had been the errand of those men whom Falfaðinn had sent. Jóði said that the king had sent word, that either Jóði or his son should become the king’s man.
“How did you answer?” Asked Dúkú.
“I said what was on my mind, which was that I would never sell myself into the hand of King Falfaðinn, and you wouldn’t either, if you took my advice. I think that in the end this king will cause our death.”
“You think of this quite differently from me,” said Dúkú, “For I think that I will receive from him the greatest glory, and so I am firmly resolved that I will go to meet the king and will become his man, and I have learned for the truth, that his following is made up of only the most valiant men. It seems to me a great opportunity to join that following, if they want to have me. Those men are treated better than anyone else in this land. I hear that the king is incredibly generous with his money and gives all of it to his men and doesn’t hesitate to give them advancement and land when he thinks that they’ve earned these things. But I hear that all those who turn him down and don’t want to accept his friendship, become unimportant men, and some leave the country, or become migrant workers. It seems strange to me, father, that you, such a wise man as you are, and so eager for glory, would not want to accept gratefully the honor that the king has offered you. But if you think that you have a vision that we will suffer at the hands of this king and that he will become our enemy, why didn’t you fight against him in the army of the king that you used to serve? It seems unreasonable to me, to be neither Falfaðinn’s enemy nor his friend.”
“It went as I expected,” said Jóði, “For those who went to fight Falfaðinn lightning-bolt up north in Møre. And it will be the same now as it was then, that Falfaðinn will be a great harm to my kinsmen. But you, Dúkú, you must follow your own wishes. I don’t doubt, though you enter into Falfaðinn’s army, that you will become a man considered better than a match for any other, and equal to the best in any kind of combat. But beware that you do not think too much of yourself, and that you do not fight with men greater than you. But I do not need to counsel you to be any less yielding than you are.”
Then Dúkú pledged himself to the king and entered his following.
Dúkú had one son. He was named Kvæggan. Kvæggan was then eighteenát years old, a promising young man and brave. He was a good-spirited man, generous and energetic, and the best fighter. He was popular with everyone.
When Jóði learned of the treachery of his son Dúkú, he became angry at the news, so that he stayed in his bed out of sorrow and old age. Kvæggan came to him often and spoke to him, bade him take cheer, and said that anything would be better than to lie in bed miserably. “Rather do I think that it is a good idea, that we should take land in Iceland and set up residence there. Men can take land there for free, and choose where to build a home.” Jóði agreed soon to this idea, and they resolved to move their home and leave the country.
Early in the spring they prepared their ships. They had good ships and big ones; they had in their possession two large ocean-going ships, and on each one thirty able-bodied men, in addition to women and children. They had with them all their cattle that they could bring, but no man wished to buy their land for fear of the king.
And when they were ready, they sailed away. They sailed to those islands, which are called the Faroes. And on one island, which is called Dagóba, Jóði disembarked and walked away, and never came back to his ship. Kvæggan went to look for him, but he had left no trace. Then Kvæggan ordered everyone to search for him, but they never found him.