In myths from northern Europe, a legendary smith used supernatural skills to make weapons and magical items. Known as Wayland in England, the smith appears in Norse* mythology as Volund and in German mythology as Wieland. According to some stories, he was lord of the elves.

The son of a giant and grandson of a mermaid, Wayland served as an apprentice to the wise craftsman Mimir. King Nidud, an evil king of Sweden, captured Wayland and forced the smith to work for him. To prevent Wayland from escaping, the king cut the tendons in his feet, making him lame. He also placed the smith on a remote island.

Wayland took revenge on King Nidud by killing his two young sons and raping his daughter. He crafted gold and jewel-studded drinking bowls from the boys' skulls and sent them to the king. Wayland escaped his island prison by flying away on magical wings (or in some versions a feathered robe), which he had crafted for himself.

supernatural related to forces beyond the normal world; magical or miraculous

English tradition associates Wayland with an ancient stone burial chamber in southern England known as Wayland's Smithy. Legend says that if a traveler ties a horse there, leaves some money, and goes away for a while, horseshoes will appear magically on the animal's hooves. See also NORSE MYTHOLOGY.

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