Bragi and Aslaug are childhood friends who become teenage lovers. Christian missionaries arrive in Iceland and begin spreading their faith. Aslaug’s family converts to Christianity from the worship of the Aesir, Bragi’s does not. Aslaug is promised in marriage to a wealthy older man, Gris, who is also a Christian convert. Bragi’s campaign of hostilities against Gris leads to him being outlawed from Iceland for three years. While serving his sentence travelling in Scandinavia he learns that Aslaug and Gris have married. He broods over his fate and concludes that it is Christ who is his real enemy. He makes it his mission to expose Christian teaching as false and hypocritical and devises a plan to achieve this. It will almost certainly mean his own death, but Bragi believes it will be worth it if he can prevent his people from going over to Christianity. . .
A note on the historical background:
The main events in the story are historical fact. With civil war and the threat of secession looming between a heathen majority and a passionate Christian minority, the (heathen) Lawspeaker decreed that in the interests of peace, all Icelanders should be baptised. The mass baptisms took place at the Althing Assembly in the summer of 999. The character of Bragi is based on that of three historical Icelandic skalds (poets): Gunnlaug Snaketongue, Cormac the Poet and Hallfred the Troublesome Skald.