King Magnus Olafson sailed north to Norway in the autumn after the battle at Helganes (A.D. 1045). There he hears the news that Harald Sigurdson, his relation, was come to Svithjod; and moreover that Svein Ulfson and Harald had entered into a friendly bond with each other and gathered together a great force, intending first to subdue Denmark and then Norway. King Magnus then ordered a general levy over all Norway and he soon collected a great army. He hears then that Harald and Svein were come to Denmark and were burning and laying waste the land and that the country people were everywhere submitting to them. It was also told that King Harald was stronger and stouter than other men, and so wise withal that nothing was impossible to him, and he had always the victory when he fought a battle; and he was also so rich in gold that no man could compare with him in wealth. Thiodolf speaks thus of it:
"Norsemen, who stand the sword of foe Like forest-stems unmoved by blow! My hopes are fled, no peace is near, -- People fly here and there in fear. On either side of Seeland's coast A fleet appears -- a white winged host; Magnus form Norway takes his course, Harald from Sweden leads his force.
21. TREATY BETWEEN HARALD AND MAGNUS.
Those of Harald's men who were in his counsel said that it would be a great misfortune if relations like Harald and Magnus should fight and throw a death-spear against each other; and therefore many offered to attempt bringing about some agreement between them, and the kings, by their persuasion, agreed to it. Thereupon some men were sent off in a light boat, in which they sailed south in all haste to Denmark, and got some Danish men, who were proven friends of King Magnus, to propose this matter to Harald. This affair was conducted very secretly. Now when Harald heard that his relation, King Magnus, would offer him a league and partition, so that Harald should have half of Norway with King Magnus, and that they should divide all their movable property into two equal parts, he accepted the proposal, and the people went back to King Magnus with this answer.
22. TREATY BETWEEN HARALD AND SVEIN BROKEN.
A little after this it happened that Harald and Svein one evening were sitting at table drinking and talking together, and Svein asked Harald what valuable piece of all his property he esteemed the most.
He answered, it was his banner Land-waster.
Svein asked what was there remarkable about it, that he valued it so highly.