During the reign of the brothers Harald
and Paul, a Christmas feast was arranged at Earl Harald's estate
in Orphir and, as he
was to provide for them both, he was busy with the preparations.
Their mother Helga and her sister Frakokk were
staying there at the time and happened to be sitting in a small
room getting on with their needlework, when Earl Harald came into
the room. The sisters were sitting on the cross-dais and a newly
made linen garment, white as snow, was lying between them. The Earl
picked it up and saw that in many places it was stitched with gold
"Whose is this treasure?" he
"It's meant for your brother Paul,"
"Why take such pains making clothes
for him?" asked the Earl, "You're no so particular when
you make mine!"
The Earl had only just got up and was wearing
nothing but a shirt and linen breeches, with a tunic thrown over
his shoulders. He cast it off and began unfolding the linen garment,
but his mother grabbed hold of it and told him that there was no
reason to be envious just because his brother had some fine clothes.
The Earl snatched it back and was about to put it on when the sisters
pulled off their bonnets, tore their hair and said that if he put
on the garment his life would be at risk. Though they were both
in tears he didn't let that stop him, but no sooner was the garment
upon his back than his flesh started to quiver and he began to suffer
terrible agony. He had to go to bed and not long after that he died.
His death was deeply mourned by his friends.
Immediately after Harald's death, his brother
Paul took over the entire earldom with the approval of every farmer
in Orkney Earl Paul realised that the precious robe put on by Earl
Harald had been meant for himself and for that reason he would not
let the sisters stay on in the islands, so they went off with all
heir dependants, first across to Caithness and from there to Frakokk's
estates in Sutherland.
It was there that Frakokk reared Erlend, the son
of Harald Smooth-Tongue, while he was still a boy. There was another
boy there too, Olvir Brawl, the son of Thorljot of Rack Wick and
Steinvor Frakokk's-daughter. He grew to be an exceptionally big
and powerful man, a great troublemaker and a killer.
Others brought up there were Thorbjorn Clerk,
son of Thorstein the Yeoman and Gudrun Frakokk's-Daughter, Margaret
the daughter of Earl Hakon and Helga Moddan's-Daughter, and Eirik
Stay-Brails. All these people were high-born and thought well of
themselves. They all believed that they had a just claim on the
earldom of Orkney which had once belonged to their kinsman Earl
Harald. Frakokk had two brothers, Angus the Generous and Earl Ottar
of Thurso, a man of great character.
Saga Chapter 55