Das Rheingold ("The Rhine Gold") is the first of the four operas that comprise Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung). Wotan, Lord of the Gods, sacrificed an eye to obtain the spear with which he rules the world. Now he has contracted the giants, Fasolt and Fafner, to build him a stronghold. Their payment is to be Freia, goddess of youth. Meanwhile, driven mad by the games of the Rhinedaughters, Alberich the dwarf renounces love and seizes gold guarded by the Rhinedaughters. He then forges a magic ring. Wotan’s stronghold finished, the giants Fasolt and Fafner come to claim their reward. However, Freia does not want to be given to the gods. Loge, the fire god, promises a way out. He arrives with news of the theft of the Rhinegold. The giants offer to accept the gold in place of Freia. Soon Loge captures Alberich and yields up his treasure and finally, the ring. Alberich curses whoever wears the ring. The giants return for the gold - as much as will cover Freia - but then fight over the ring and Fafner kills Fasolt. As Alberich’s curse claims its first victim the gods ascend to their new home.