The saga begins with a story about the parents of the main characters. Thorstein, the son of Aegil and the grandson of Scallagrim, lived in the Gorodische. He was a clever and decent man, everyone loved him. Once he sheltered one Norwegian. He was very interested in dreams. Thorstein dreamed that on the roof of his house sits a beautiful swan, to which flew two eagles – one from the mountains and the other from the south. Eagles began to fight among themselves and fell dead, and then the falcon that flew in from the west led the sad swan behind it. The Norwegian interpreted the dream this way: a pregnant wife, Thorsteina Joffried, will give birth to a girl of extraordinary beauty, and two noblemen from the directions from where the eagles flew will come to her: both will strongly love her and fight with each other to death, and then a third person will woo her, and she will marry him. Thorstein was upset by this prediction and, leaving for the Thing, ordered the boy to leave the boy, and throw the girl away. Joffried gave birth to a very beautiful girl and told the shepherd to take her to Thorgerd, daughter of Egil. When Thorstein returned, Johfried said that the girl had been thrown out, as he had ordered. Six years passed, and Thorstein went to visit Olav Peacock, his son-in-law. Sister Thorgerd showed him Helga, asking forgiveness for the deception. The girl was beautiful, she liked Torstein, and he took her with him. Helga Krasava grew up with her mother and father,
Иллуги Black lived on the White River in Krutoyar. He was second in rank at the Gorodischensky Fjord after Thorstein, Egil’s son. Illugi had many children, but the saga speaks only of two – Hermund and Gunnlauge. About Gunnlaug say that he grew up early, was tall, strong and handsome. He liked to write stinging poems, and for this he was nicknamed Snake Language. Hermunda was loved more than Gunnlaug. At the age of twelve, Gunnlaug quarreled with his father, and Thorstein suggested that he live in the Gorodische. Gunnlaug studied law at Thorstein and earned universal respect. She and Helga are very attached to each other. Helga was so beautiful that, according to knowledgeable people, there were no more beautiful women in Iceland. Once Gunnlaug asked Torstein to show how they get engaged to the girl, and performed a ritual with Helga, but Thorstein warned,
A man named Enund was living on Misha Mountain. He had three sons, and all of them had high hopes, but Hrafn stood out among them, a tall, strong, handsome young man who could write good poetry. Enund had many relatives, and they were the most respected people in the south.
For six years, the Gunnlaug Serpent Language lived alternately in the Gorodische near Torstein, then at Krutoyar. He was already eighteen years old, and they got along well with their father. Gunnlaug asked Illugi to let him go on a journey, and he bought him a half-ship. While the ship was being equipped, Gunnlaug was staying at the Gorodische and spent a lot of time with Helga. When he began to woo, Thorstein said that we must either go to the sea, or get married – Helge is not a couple who does not know what he wants. But Illugi Black Thorstein could not refuse and promised that Helga would wait Gunnlaug for three years, and if he does not return in time, Thorstein will give her for another.
Gunnlaug went to Norway, but he had to leave from there, because he angered Jarl Eirik with his arrogance. He sailed to England and composed a laudatory song for the king Adalrad – for this king gave him a purple cloak in fur with gold trim. Then he killed a famous Viking in the duel: this feat brought him great fame in England and beyond. The King of Dublin, Sigtryugg, bestowed on him the eulogy of the song with an expensive cloak and a gold wrist weighing one mark. In Gautland, Jarl Sigurd reigned. Once they argued with the Norwegians, whose yarl is better. Elected arbitrator Gunnlaug said to the temple, in which he praised Sigurd and Jarl Eirik. The Norwegians were very pleased, and the yard Eirik, learning about this, forgot about his offense. In Sweden, Gunnlaug met with Hrafna, the son of Enund, and made friends with him. But at the feast at the King Olawa Gunnlaug wanted first to say a song of praise. Hrafn called it pompous and sharp, like Gunnlaug himself. Gunnlaug called the song Hrafna beautiful and insignificant, as Hrafn himself. Before leaving for Iceland, Hrafn said that his former friendship was over and one day he would also disgrace Gunnlaug. He replied that he was not afraid of threats.
Hrafn spent the whole winter with his father, and in the summer he begged Helge. Torstein refused him, citing the promise given to Gunnlaugu. The following summer, the noble relatives of Hrafna began to woo Helga very aggressively, saying that the term of three years had already passed. Then Thorstein went to Illugi Black. He said that he did not know exactly the intentions of his son Gunnlaug. It was decided that in the beginning of winter in Gorodishche a wedding would be held, if Gunnlaug did not return and did not demand to fulfill the promise. Helga was very unhappy with all this persuasion.
Gunnlaug from Sweden went to England, and King Adalrad accepted him very well. The Danes then threatened war, so the king did not want to let go of his retinue. Half a month before the winter, Gunnlaug landed in the Bay of Lavrov, and here he was summoned to fistfight Tord, the son of a bond from the plain. Gunnlaug won, but dislocated his leg – and came to Krutojar on the same Saturday, when in Gorodishche sat at a wedding feast. People say that the bride was very sad. When Helga found out that Gunnlaug was back, she was cold with her husband. At the end of winter, they met with Gunnlaug during the holiday, and the skald gave her a cloak received from the king Adalrad. In summer all went to the ting: there Gunnlaug called Hrafna to the duel, but when Hrafn broke his sword, the kinsmen stood between them. The next day the law was passed,
Hrafn came to Krutojar and invited Gunnlaug to finish the fight in Norway. To his relatives he said that he had no joy from Helga, and one of them must perish at the hands of the other. When Jarl Eirik forbade them to fight in his state, they met in a place called Livangr. Gunnlaug killed the satellites Hrafna, and Hrafn – satellites Gunnlaug. Then they began to fight two: Gunnlaug cut off Hrafnu’s leg, and he asked to drink. Gunnlaug brought water in his helmet, and Hrafn inflicted a dishonorable blow to his head, because he did not want to give in to Helga the Beauty. Gunnlaug killed Hrafna and three days later he died of a wound. At this time, Illugi Chernoy dreamed a dream, as if a bloodied Gunnlaug came to him and told him about his death. And Enunda was in a dream Hrafn.
In the summer of the Althingi, Illugi demanded from Enunda the virus that Hrafn meanly acted with Gunnlaug. Enund said that he would not pay, but he would not demand a virah for Hrafna. Then Иллуги has killed two its relatives, and Хермунд, having lost rest after death of the brother, has pierced a spear of one of nephews. For the murder, no one demanded a vira, and this ended the strife of Illugi Black with Enund from Mtsy Mountain.
Thorstein, the son of Aegil, after a while gave his daughter Helga for a worthy and rich man named Torquel. But she was not very close to him, because she could not forget Gunnlaug. The greatest joy for her was to spread out and long to look at the cloak he had given him. One day a serious illness came to the house of Thorkel, and Helga also fell sick. She ordered to bring the cloak of Gunnlaug and looked at him intently, and then bent over to her husband’s hands and died. Everyone was very sorry for her death.