The Rhinemaidens are guarding magic gold. If anyone renounces love and then makes the gold into a ring, he will become all-powerful. The Nibelung dwarf Alberich does this, then enslaves his brother Mime and all the other Nibelungs. Wotan, the chief god, hears of the ring and descends to Nibelheim in pursuit of it. After being captured by Wotan and forced to give up the ring, Alberich curses it. Wotan is warned by Erda, the earth-goddess, to aovid the ring. He gives it – and the rest of Alberich's hoard – to the giants, Fasolt and Fafner, as payment for their having built Valhalla, the gods' newly completed fortress. Fafner kills Fasolt to keep the ring for himself. The gods enter Valhalla with no hint of the catastrophes to come.