-- Balmung
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Balmung is a magical sword from Norse mythology. It was forged by Volund (Wayland the Smith) and given to Odin. He thrust the sword into an oak tree in Volsung palace called the Branstock tree, and declared that anyone who could pull the sword from the tree could claim it and was destined to win in battle. Nine Volsung princes tried to free the sword but only the youngest, Sigmund, was successful.

Balmung was later destroyed by Odin, but the shards of the broken sword were passed down to Sigmund's son, Sigurd (Siegfried). In the Saga of the Volsungs, Sigurd's foster father Regin had a blade forged so that Sigurd could slay the mighty dragon Fafnir and claim his treasure horde. However, the sword broke on the anvil during forging. Regin reforged the sword with a shard from the Balmung.

The new blade was named Gram and with it Sigurd was able to kill Fafnir. He and Regin cooked his heart on a spit. Sigurd tasted the blood of the dragon's heart, which granted him the ability to understand the birds. They warned him that Regin meant to betray him and take the treasure for himself, so Sigurd killed Regin. He took Regin's sword Ridill and then plundered Fafnir's treasure taking two chests of gold, the sword Hrotti, a golden coat of mail, and the helmet Aegishjalmarr. The story of Fafnir's death is told in the Fafnismol (The Ballad of Fafnir).

Mythology, Norse, Sword, Wayland the Smith, Weapon

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