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.