When Siegfried returned at the court of Xanthen the word of mouth had spread all over the kingdom. The inhabitants of the city were particularly proud of their young hero. They had 12 incredible days of feasting full of heavy drinking, eating with relish and dancing from dusk til dawn. These were days of abundance and wealth in plenty. The heart of the city was beating like a drum. The sheer lust for life caught the whole scene. Imagine the feasting hall full of laughter and joy:
Juglers were performing their tricks and stunts. Shadows were dancing on the walls like spirits in the night. Music, songs and poetry filled the air and the brimming liveliness offered  communion for all. By the time of the witching hour an irish harpist took the stage. He played the magic strings so delicately he turned the place into a space of otherworldly enchantment. The music delivered joy, dreamscapes and sorrow. The shared sadness pulled everyone together.

Away from the masterful entertainment Siegfried was the centre of everyones attention. After the feasting he was growing larger than life. It didn´t take long and he was aiming for new adventures. He went for hunting and fishing, he fought against outlaws, robbers and enemies of all kind. During his exploits he met two strange and unusual men. They were the sons of a true famous king of the north. Their names were Schilbung and Nibelung. They belonged to the legendary Nibelung Folk. An amazing tribe of the mysterious northern lands of the aurelia borealis. There was something about them and inside Siegfried they raised a question to be answered. By the time Siegfried knew all too well the kingdom of his father was too small for a man like him.

All too soon he was heading north. He took a boat and sailed down the river Rhine. Finally he reached the sea. He crossed the North sea  and came to the land of Norway. The realm of the Nibelung Folk was about to open it´s mighty gates. After this threshold a strange country was waiting to be explored.It was well known for hidden places in huge mountain caves and a miraculous kingdom under the earth.

Not long ago the old king had passed away leaving his realm and an immense treasure. The gold was well hidden deep in the mountains guarded by loyal sentinels like dwarfs, giants and warriors bristling with weapons. But even them couldn´t protect their world from the greed of the king´s sons Nibelung and Schiblung. From their childhood days they were always about to fight each other. The two of them were absolutely unable to divide the treasure. The time was perfectly right for a judge from outside.

When Siegfried reached a certain mountain he entered a large chasm in the rocks. Rising from the deep a hellish gloom caught his eyes.
In some strange twilight gathered the Nibelung Folk. They were standing in circles and many of them held blazing torches in their hands. Secret chants were praised and weird rituals were celebrated. Siegfried couldn´t believe his eyes. He saw an inconceivable richness and was blinded by the light.
Pots of gold and silver, boxes filled with rings and jewelary. There were bowls of crystal containing diamonds and emeralds. He was just spellbound by the immmeasurable and vast treasure. All of this was mindblowing and Siegfried didn´t notice the warriors slowly gathering around. He was caught by surprise. The sentinels brought him to the royal brothers and immediately they gave him a warm welcome.   

They said: You arrived on a rather special night. We tried to divide the treasure of our ancestors but we fail again and again. Please help us to divide the the richness so we could part in peace. As a reward we shall give you the sword of our  father. It is Balmung the blade of the ancient gods. Siegfried agreed and was delighted. He said to himself: “These men may appear as strange folk but they seem to be honest and no bad company“.

Well he should have known better. The three of them sat down and Siegfried tried his best to divide all the riches, the precious metals and jewels.
He tried hard to be just and produced wise solutions. But whatever he suggested the brothers were not satisfied. With burning eyes they were caught in a desperate state of stuckness. Siegfried got in conflict. He knew the old saying: The bread I eat the song I sing.

Nibelung and Schilbung were complaining even harder and wilder. Finally it got rough. They blamed Siegfried for the whole disaster. In the end  madness was taking it´s toll. The brothers drew their swords and started to pounce on their noble guest. This was a really bad idea. Balmung served the hero well. Not long and the two vicious brothers laid dead  on the ground. Now all hell was breaking loose.All the guardians went after Siegfried. Balmung turned into a lightning bolt and the enemies fell like grain under the reaper.

There were screams of pain and agony. Streams of blood were flowing. As the fighting got even wilder something unexpected and bizzare was happening.Just in the heat of the battle the guardians stopped the fight. A war council was held and it was agreed that the two bothers were to blame for all the mischief. The council came to the conclusion Siegfried should be the new king of the Nibelung Folk. He had proved to be a true warrior and a wise leader. From now on all the treasure trove was Siegfrieds property.

But the triumph wasn´t entirely achieved. There was something else in this enormous inner realm of the earth. Hidden inside the mountains underneath the rocks was another kingdom. It was weird, outlandish and of some strange beauty. We are talking about the fantastic kingdom of the dwarfs. It was ruled by king Alberich. By the way: Alb is another german expression for dwarf. It refers to the term `”Albtraum – Nightmare”. Alberich was in possession of a magic hat that turned him invisible and gave him the strength of 12 men. His image was a kind of divine creature. He was part of a world where human beings  were not welcome. Alberich had put on his armour and prepared to attack the natural enemy.

To the king of the dwarfs Siegfried was just some kind of natural enemy. The young hero was quite surprised by the invisible assault. But in the blink of an eye his fighting skills served him well. The fight saw him struggling with a world where laws of space and time had no meaning. He felt like in battle with psychic powers like invisible demons of the air. Finally he got hold of his enemy. He grabbed the magic hat seconds later, out of nothing there stood Alberich with his long grey beard. Now the dwarf was in disadvantage and begged for mercy. Siegfried knew all too well  Alberich was a loyal servant to the Nibelung Folk.
He pardoned the king and said: You shall be my governor and treasure keeper.

The king surrendered  and did swear allegiance to his new master. Siegfried didn´t stay long in his new kingdom. He chose 12 knights from the warriors. It turned out to be an illustrious group.  A motley crew of diversity bound for prosper and perish.  All bonded and buried their differences for a higher sake. Soon they got on a boat and left for new adventures. The band of warriors sailed to the amazing isle of Iceland. There was a lot of talk about a legendary warrior queen by the name of Brunhild. The boat was pushed into a stormy crossing with heavy rain, hailstorms and breaking waves.

At the end of the day they arrived at the mysterious isle. They observed a high mountain close to the coastline. The sky blazed in flames by northern lights.
It looked like a stage play by the ancient gods and Brunhild was believed the director. Beneath the celestial limelight on the steep top of the mountain
stood the mighty castle of Isenstein. Wall on wall, tower on tower were basing upon foundations out of solid rocks. The warriors embarked and followed a winding pathway up to the mountain. The troublesome climbing was leading through magic mists and dangerous ways. They stepped through sharp rocky pathways and looked down to the sea where white waters snapped the cliffs.

Finally the fellowship reached the stronghold of Queen Brunhild. The party was well received. Brunhild was immediately attracted by the young hero but he kept some distance. The queen had a certain aura. She was sort of a terrible beauty with a taste of death. She had many adorers from near and far but she wouldn´t accept any lover who wouldn´t be able to defeat her in several competitions. These were: Javelin throwing, throwing stones and longjump. Definitely malicious  games and playing with fire. Every candidate who failed would receive punishment by death. The candidate would simply lose his head as lovers lose their sanity.

But Siegfried was cautious. His mental reservation caused the feeling of standing close to a spiders web. So he bade her farewell and got back on the boat.
Well that was the case according to the version of the Nibelung Song. Another version is offered by the Volsung Say. Some kind of alternate Story. Here we learn Siegfried and Brunhild desperately fell in love. They experienced enchanting nights of passion full of mystery and magic. Brunhild told her lover the secrets of ancient rune magic. A powerful sorcery created by the northern deities for divination. According to this telling Brunhild and Siegfried were like thunder and lightning, wind and rain, fire and ice.    So they melted away or something like it…

Anyway in our version Siegfried left the isle and headed back to his on place:
The city of Xanthen