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  Earl Harald and the Poisoned Shirt

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 thread.

"Whose is this treasure?" he asked.

"It's meant for your brother Paul," answered Frakokk.

"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.

Orkneyinga Saga Chapter 55