Olav Audunsson, the master of Hestviken. Accumulating family tragedies seem to him part of the retribution for his great unconfessed crime. He suffers a stroke that makes it impossible for him to confess, despite his great and constant remorse. At last, he dies.
Cecilia Olavsdatter, the daughter of Olav and Ingunn. She makes an unhappy marriage to a wastrel who becomes a thief. After he is killed, she marries the man who was her first choice.
Eirik, the illegitimate son of Ingunn, whom Olav has accepted as his heir. Feelings of guilt after the girl he has been pursuing dies cause him to decide to become a monk. A poor novice, he is sent home and settles down. A planned advantageous marriage is called off, and he marries a fallen woman. At last, both go into holy orders.
Jörund Rypa, a young squire who marries Cecilia and proves to be dishonest. Discovery of his part in a robbery causes the breaking off of Eirik’s engagement. When Jörund is found stabbed in his bed, guilt-ridden Olav believes to his horror that Cecilia is the murderess, but this is not true.
Arnketil, a husband and wife who keep a house of thieves and gamblers. To avenge the ruin of a daughter, Arnketil kills Jörund. Arnketil’s body is found long afterward in...
(The entire section is 513 words.)