Do not attend backwoods Norwegian house parties!!!

Phew.  I imagine I’ve only just gotten word to you in time.

I have been away for awhile.  You may trust that I have been personally investigating these very same hootenannies at great length and expense. We won’t talk about that, though.  Rather, let’s talk about Egil’s Saga, a tale which will conveniently support my conviction that you’re best off staying away.

Egil’s Saga is the sort of story that will keep you awake on the 6:49 am train, despite detailed lineages (including dudes like Eyvind the Plagiarist, Ozur Snout, & Ketil Snooze), because the action scenes are not only themselves off the hook, they actually remove the hook from the wall and replace it with Velcro, which is significantly more extreme.

Egil himself is a hulking, ugly, cold-blooded fighter who also happens to be one of the best poets in Scandinavia, a skill which actually saves his life at one point.  When I first read Macbeth in high school, I was told to keep track pictorially of how many buckets of blood were spilled in each scene (no joke).  Unsurprisingly, I’d spill far more ink keeping track of the same in this saga.  What I didn’t expect is that I’d have to have an appendix to keep track of the copious vomiting.

You expect a certain amount of decorum!  I was prepared for lopped limbs and split skulls.  I was psyched for stoic last words and racy insults.  The puking, however, really took my breath away.  Just as it did a farmer named Armod Beard who had the misfortune of being involved in the King of Norway’s plot against Egil.  Egil’s been tricked into spending the night snowbound at Armod’s place.   I admit I don’t fully understand Armod’s plan, but it seems to involve getting Egil and his crew as drunk as possible.  Perhaps they’ll conk out and wake up with their throats cut?

In any case, he brings in a vast quantity of very strong ale and keeps toasting, so they have to keep drinking.  Egil’s men all keel over eventually, so E. just drinks their hornfuls as well as his own, despite being warned by Armod’s daughter that something’s fishy.  Obviously, this is unsustainable to say the least, and we’re on track for a major Fiesta Foul:

He stood up and walked across the floor to where Armod was sitting, seized him by the shoulders and thrust him up against a wall-post.  Then Egil spewed a torrent of vomit that gushed all over Armod’s face, filling his eyes and nostrils and mouth and pouring down his beard and chest.  Armod was close to choking, and when he managed to let out his breath, a jet of vomit gushed out with it.  All Armod’s men who were there said that Egil had done a base and despicable deed by not going outside when he needed to vomit, but had made a spectacle of himself in the drinking-room instead.

Egil said, “Don’t blame me for following the master of the house’s example.  He’s spewing his guts up just as much as I am.”

Then Egil went over to his place, sat down, and asked for a drink.

Our hero goes on to recite a perfect verse mocking Armod for getting his namesake beard puked on, then continue to pound ale all night.  He sleeps it off in the barn, then decides he’s not done with his host.  He busts into Armod’s bedroom, cuts off the famous beard, and for good measure, jams his finger into A’s eye and gouges it out, “leaving it hanging on his cheek.”

This is far from the only example of Egil’s, er, antisocial behavior, and as I keep reading, I’ll share some more.  For example, would it surprise you to know that you probably do not want to join Egil (or his family) for a nice game of ball?



  1. mordicai said,

    December 1, 2010 at 4:57 am

    When the DnD adventurers come to town, you are effed. Best case scenario– they pay for drinks with gold instead of silver & race to the bottom of their CON scores.

    • December 1, 2010 at 7:57 am

      That is not news. Everyone knows DnD adventurers are sociopaths down to their withered black core.

      In other news, I’m going to be playing in a new game soon! Hoorah!

      • mordicai said,

        December 2, 2010 at 5:39 am

        So what class is Egil?

      • December 2, 2010 at 9:31 am

        Good question. I think that will be my next post; let me gather the evidence.

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