Here the saga starts with a knight born in the town of Salerni. A powerful jarl named Rodger ruled there with his brother Brunstein. The jarl had a daughter named Hildeswid, and the jarl and all men in the town loved her very much,
A knight was named Samson, who served the jarl well, and he was honoured as he deserved. Knight Samson loved Hildeswid and wanted to win her favour, whether with good or with evil.
One day the jarl was at dinner and Samson served him. Then the jarl sent the best dishes from his table to his daughter Hildeswid on silver platters, and Samson took them to Hildeswid's castle together with his squire. Then he told his squire: Go and take my horse and arms, and all my treasure, and stand ready with them until I come.
Now Samson asked the one who guarded the door to let him in, and the man did so. Then Samson went into the castle to the highest tower, where Hildeswid had dinner. And he greeted her, and they received him well and invited him to dine with them. He did so and then told them why he came
And shortly after, when dinner was done, she took her jewelry and said to her companions
Then Samson took the jarl's daughter in his arms and carried her from the castle, but all the women stayed behind weeping. And when he came to the court
Several days later jarl Rodger learned that his daughter had been taken, and who had done it and how. He did not know how to take revenge, but had all of Samson's lands burned down, banished him from his realm, and told all his men to kill him on sight.
When Samson heard about this he rode from the forest to the jarl's holdings, burned them, and killed many people and cattle, and everyone who came in his way fled. But when he returned to the forest jarl Rodger and sixty men came to him. As soon as Samson saw them he turned his horse and rode towards them with spear and sword, shield and armour. And on his first hit he drove his spear through a knight's breast so that it exited between the shoulders and he was thrown far onto the field. Then Samson drew his sword and with his first hit he killed the jarl's banner bearer under the left armpit so that he went through his breast and also right through the banner pole, and on his right he hit a man in his back so that his sword went right through him and the man fell down in two parts. And now he hit the jarl himself so that his helmet and armour split, and he also severed the horse's head so that jarl and horse fell dead. And in a short while he killed fifteen men and did not receive any wounds, and the others fled.
Now Samson went back into the forest to his wife, and stayed there for a while. But the knights went back to Salerni and told about the death of the jarl and fifteen knights, and now Salerni was without a ruler.
The same day Brunstein, jarl Rodger's brother, called a meeting
This feud had gone on for two winters when king Brunstein with a hundred knights but did not find him. And at night he came to a castle in the forest and stayed there. But at midnight Samson came there all alone, and the castle was closed and the guards asleep. Samson went to a small village close to the castle, where poor people lived. He tied his horse and set a house on fire, and took a burning branch and threw it into the castle
Now Brunstein rode in the forest and came to a house, where a woman stood, and he recognised his kinswoman Hildeswid. He asked her what she was doing here and where her lover was and if she wanted to come with him, and she said she lived in this small house, and Samson rode forth last night, and she didn't know where. Then she asked what he was doing so deep in the forest at night, and where his night camp was, and Samson had told her that from here it would take an entire day to reach the forest's edge. And Brunstein told her what had happened.
Hildeswid thought it had been Samson who had burned the castle and killed the men, but Brunstein said was crazy to think Samson alone could have done that. And she should take her clothes and belongings and come with him, because she had stayed here long enough to the shame of her relatives.
She refused to come with him because she knew he'd do something else quickly
Now Samson went back to his wife and said: I've been in this forest for too long, and I don't want to hide from my enemies any more. So take your possession and perpare yourself. Then he took three horses and loaded them with treasure, a fourth one for Hildeswid and a fifth one for himself.
Now they rode their way until they were not far outside the forest. Then twelve men rode against them, with large horses, broad shields, and strong spears. And Samson said to his wife: Who would those be? And she said she didn't know, and if he reconised their coat of arms. And he said he didn't know themselves, but their coat of arms I do know: the first man has a red shield with a golden lion
When they'd drawn close Samson asked who they were and where they were going. Their leader replied: We have ridden a long road, but now we have found our goal, because we have heard how sorely you were beset by your over-powerful enemies and were driven from your lands. Because you are our relative Samson, and I am your father's brother Dietmar, and my two sons are here, and all others are relatices as well. And we've come to help you. Samson thanked them for their offer.
Then they rode to a town that had belonged to king Brunstein, and the people from the town didn't see them until they were close by. Then they recognised Samson, who had killed jarl Rodger and king Brunstein, and they considered he was a great warrior and they were currently without a laeader, The wisest men took counsel, and decided to reconcile themselves with Samson.
Thus they went to him and found him in a hall where he had made quarter, where they fell on their knees and bowed to him and gave themselves into his power, so that they became his men and would surrender the town and accept them as their lord. Samson received this well, and bade them to stand up. And now a meeting
Soon after duke Samson rode with five knights and a large retinue to another town that was richer and more populated. He sent men to tell the inhabitants to either surrender or defend themselves.
When the inhabitants heard this they held a meeting
And when duke Samson rode into the town all gates were opened, and he rode in with his entire army. And a general meeting
When duke Samson rode from this town he had two thousand knights and a large retinue of other people. He led this army onto the road to Salerni, and all towns and castles on the way surrendered. He sent messengers to Salerni that he wanted to occupy the town peacefully or with violence. When the townsmen heard this they became worried, and they held a meeting with the leading citizens and the wise men, and this went on for several days before a decision was taken.
And when the townspeople hard that the duke had come near the town the rode out with their weapons and banners, and all manner of harps, violins, and drums, and praises
Then the king sent messengers throughout Brunstein's realm that all men
Then it is said that king Samson and his wife Hildeswid got a son named Ermenrik. When the boy grew up he became strong, and Samson loved him very much. King Samson extended his realm and subjected many western lands and other places.
Now king Samson got another son from another wife
King Samson was already an old man, and Ermenrik his son mature, but Dietmar was fifteen
When young Dietmar heard this he went to his father and said: "Now you have given your son a kingdom and large realm, but I, too, have been in your following, and we have always been equal in everything, so now you should give me more power or a higher name
King Samson heard this speech and did not reply, but looked at him in anger, and Dietmar thought he had spoken too rashly. And when he didn't get a reply he went back to his room.
Now king Samson sat on his throne in his hall, and it was sumptuously decorated. And he held a long speech about how he was getting older, and reflected on his mortality, and that heroic deeds were remembered even when a thousand winters had passed. Therefore he did not want to stay in Salerni any longer, but ordered his nobles to be ready for a campaign within three months, and his towns to raise three armed and mounted men each. And when the time had come all should come to him.
Now king Samson had a letter written and he sent six knights to deliver it to jarl Elsung the powerful and long-bearded. In the letter he said that the jarl had not sent him tribute yet, and he demanded his daughter for his younger son
The six knights brought this letter to Bern, where jarl Elsung the Elder ruled. The knights came to him when he was at dinner, and put the letter before him, and he read it himself
And he had the knights who brought the message taken, and the one who had handed it to him was hanged from the highest tower, and four he had beheaded, and the last one, who was the smallest
The knight now came back to Salerni and told king Samson what had happened, and Samson pretended he had had no reply
When three months had passed a powerful army was gathered in Salerni. King Samson led this army out of Salerni to jarl Elsung's lands. And when he had traveled through these lands for two
And when the armies met a hard and bloody battle started, and many men fell on both sides. King Samson rode with his sons Ermenrik and Dietmar, and the king slew man and horse on both sides. And he rode forth in the midst of his enemies, and called: Though I rode alone into this army and have no followers with me, I will continue to prove what I do best, and slay Elsung's men. And his voice was so formidable that everyone took fright.
Jarl Elsung saw the damage king Samson did, and called: Forward, my men. We will get victory and they dead, because our warriors fight better. And now give this hard-necked dragon
Then jarl Elsung rode alone against king Samson, and split the king's shield from the top to the handgrip, and with the second blow he hit his armpit and gave him a serious wound. But equally quickly king Samson hit him on the neck so that his head flew off. Then king Samson took the head and held it high by the beard, and asked jarl Elsung's men if they recognised their lord, and then the battle ended. And all of Elsung's men gave themselves and his realm into Samson's power.
Now king Samson went to Bern with his entire army, and no one was brave enough to stand against them. And when king Samson came to Bern all gates were open, and all townsmen went to him, showed him jarl Elsung's treasure, and gave themselves into his power.
Now king Samson ordered a great feast in Bern, and here Odilia, jarl Elsung's daughter, was married to Dietmar, and Samson gave him the king's name and Bern and all the lands jarl Elsung had held. And the town called Fritila, which the Northmen call Friðsæla he gave to his son Ake, called Harlungentrost, and with it the name of duke
Then Ermenrik went south to Rome with his father king Samson, and on this journey Samson died. Ermenrik took his entire realm and then fought against Rome, and had several battles with the men of Rome and did many heroic deeds and conquered the best part of the territory of Rome and many other strong towns until even in Puli. He also conquered the larger part of the realm on the Greek sea
Now king Dietmar ruled over Bern, and he and his wife Odilia had a son named Dietrich. And he was large and strong, but not so long that he was called a giant, and as long as he lived he never grew a beard. And all who had known king Samson said that Dietrich resembled him very much.King Dietmar knighted Dietrich when he was fifteen winters
Duke Erik ruled in the town called Wenden, and his sons were Bertram and Reginbald, who became dukes of Wenden after him. Duke Reginbald had a son named Hildebrand, and when he was fifteen years old his father knighted him.
Duke Bertram had a son called Reginbald, and his son was Sintram, who we'll talk about later
When Hildebrand was thirty years
The duke asked where he wanted to go, and Hildebrand said he wanted to go to king Dietmar of Bern. He armed himself and rode with twelve knights to Bern. The king received him well and asked him to stay there. And Hildebrand accepted, and the king set him next to him
Dietrich, king Dietmar's son, was seven winters old when Hildebrand set him next to him and became his teacher until he was fifteen winters old. And he was a chief over the knights at court. And the two loved one another so much as no two men have done, except for David and Jonathan.
Now it is said that Dietrich and Hildebrand rode forth from Bern with their hawks and dogs to the forest to enjoy themselves. They let the hawks fly and loosed the dogs. And when Dietrich followed a hawk he saw a dwarf walking. Dietrich spurred his horse and pursued the dwarf, and before he could come to his cave Dietrich took him by the neck and took him with him in the saddle, and this was the dwarf Alberich the famous thief from whom old sagas speak
The dwarf spoke: Lord, if I can buy my life with it, I'll show you where so much gold, silver and jewelry are that even the rich king Dietmar, your father, doesn't have such amounts. And this treasure is with two people, a woman called Hilda, and her husband is Grim, who is as strong as twelve men, but his wife is even stronger, and they are cruel and evil. He also has a sword called Nagelring, and it is the best of all swords. But you can only defeat them if you first take the sword. And it would be a greater heroic deed of you two to conquer this treasure than to take me with my small body and weak legs.
Dietrich said: I will never free you unless you give me Nagelring in my hand today, and even then you will show us where this treasure is. The dwarf agreed and swore the oath Dietrich required. Dietrich freed him, and he and Hildebrand hunted birds and animals the entire day until the ninth hour
Dietrich and Hildebrand dismounted, tethered their horses, and then Dietrich drew Nagelring, and both felt they had never seen a better sword.
Then they entered the gap and found the earth-house. Then they bound their helmets tight, donned their armour, and took their shields. Now Dietrich courageously went into the earthen-house, and Hildebrand close behind him. And when the giant Grim saw a strange man had entered his house he jumped to his weapon rack, but saw his sword was missing, and he understood that the dwarf Alberich, the famous thief, must have stole it. From the fire he took a burning tree and attacked Dietrich.
But Hilda took Hildebrand by the neck so tightly he could not move, and Hildebrand fell to the ground and Hilda on top of him. She wanted to bind him, and pressed his arms so hard that blood sprang from his nails, and so tightly she pressed her knees against his breast that he fell unconscious. Then Hildebrand called
I'll help you, Dietrich called, because I will not suffer my foster father to be brought into mortal danger by a woman. And with one stroke Dietrich beheaded Grim, and sprang to where his tutor lay, and cut Hilda in two. But she was so magical
And a third time Dietrich clove her in two, and stood with both feet between the parts, and her lower part was dead, but her upper part said: I would want that Grim had taken Dietrich as I have taken Hildebrand, then we would have won. And now both pieces fell apart.
Hildebrand sprang up and said: You have given me as much help as possible, and God thanks you for it. Then they took the gold and silver and jewelry, and they saw the dwarf had not lied. Under the treasure Dietrich found a helmet, and the dwarf Alberich had told Dietrich the following about it
Now Dietrich and Hildebrand took so much treasure as their horses could carry, and buried what was left. Then they went home, and Dietrich became famous in all lands because of this heroic deed.
Northward of the mountains in Svava there stood a castle names Seegard, and the wealthy and proud Brunhild ruled over it. And she was the most beautiful and most famous of all women in the South- and Northlands because of her wisdom and the heroic deeds done because of her, which have been told in many languages and will never be forgotten.
In a forest not far from there was a large estate owned by Brunhild, which was run by a man named Studa. In this forest there were many horses, and one herd was the best in the entire Northlands, and these horses were grey in colour, or white, or black, but always in one colour. Among this herd there were stallions big and strong, quick like a bird in flight, but they were easy to tame and well-tempered. Studa knew best of all men to train these horses for both tournaments and travel.
Studa was old, but he had a son also named Studa after his father. He was sixteen
He was later called Heime, and lost his original name, because there was a snake
One day when Heime had taken his horse and his sword Blutgang he stood before his father and told him he didn't want to stay in this forest but ride forth, and meet famous men and win fame himself. And Studa asked where he wanted to go.
Heime replied that he wanted to go southwards to the town called Bern, there is a famous man there called Dietrich, and I want to find out if he or I is stronger with weapons. Studa said that wise men had told him of Dietrich, and that is was madness for Heime to measure himself against him, and that he should ride elsewhere. Heime angrily said he wanted to be a greater man than Dietrich or be killed quickly. Now I am sixteen
Angry as he was he jumped on his horse Rispa and rode away, along a long unknown road, and he didn't stop until he came to Bern, and rode into the town to the king's hall. He asked a man to hold his horse and spear, and went into the hall to the king's throne, greeted him, and , in the eyes of all who were there, came before Dietrich and said: Lord Dietrich, much have I heard from you, and a long way I have gone to see you, and I challenge you to a duel today outside of Bern, then we will find out who the stronger man is.
Dietrich thought this man was bold to speak these words, because no one had challenged him to a duel yet. But he did not hesitate and had confidence that this man would get what he deserved. He sprang up and left the hall, and Hildebrand and several other men with him, and had his weapons fetched. They brought him his armour and his red shield with a golden lion, and his helm Hildegrim, and his sword Nagelring, and his horse, which was saddled, and they gave him his spear, and Hildebrand held his stirrup for him when he mounted.
Then Dietrich rode from Bern, and with him Hildebrand his foster and several other men, and they went to where Heime awaited Dietrich. And they rode against one another with their spears, but neither of them hit the other's shield, and the horses ran past one another. They turned their horses and tried again, but the same happened. On the third try Heime hit Dietrich's shield and through his armour, but didn't wound him, but Dietrich stabbed his spear through Heime's shield and armour and wounded him slightly. And so powerfully rode Dietrich that his stallion almost sank to its hind legs and Dietrich's feet briefly touched the ground. Both spears broke.
Both dismounted and drew their swords and fought. Heime landed a big blow with his sword Blutgang on Dietrich's helmet Hildegrim, but the sword sprang in two pieces. Since he was now defenceless he surrendered to Dietrich. And Dietrich did not want to kill him and took him among his men, and from now on the two were the best friends. And Dietrich had increased his fame by yet another heroic deed.
Chapter 21-56 not yet summarised.
The giant Wade, son of king Wilkinus and the sea-woman
In these days Sigfrid also lived with Mime, and did bad things to his fellow pupils
Now the giant Wade in Seeland heard how two dwarves lived in a mountain called Ballova
Wade took his son Wieland and traveled there. And on the way they had to cross the sea, but found no ship. And there they stayed for a while. When they had waited a long time Wade took the boy, put him on his shoulders and waded through the sea, which was nine ells deep
Wade now negotiated with the dwarves and asked them to teach his son for twelve months, and he would give them as much gold as they wanted. The dwarves agreed and asked for a mark in gold, and he paid them immediately. They agreed on the day he would come back to pick up his son.
Wade went back to Seeland, but Wieland stayed behind and learned the craft of smithing. And he was so eager to learn that he copied anything they made. And he served the dwarves so well that when his father Wade returned on the agreed date they didn't want to let him go. And they asked Wade if he could stay for another twelve months and offered to return the mark of gold, and they promised to teach him as much as he had already learned. Wade agreed, and they made another appointment a year from them when he would return.
But the dwarves repented having bought his service for so much money, and they stipulated that if Wade did not return on exactly the correct day they would behead Wieland. Wade agreed to this as well, and wanted to travel back home. He called his son to him, and asked him to go down the mountain with him. Wade had a sword with him, and he hid that in a moor so that it was not visible. And he told Wieland that if he did not come on the agreed date, and Wieland needed help he should take that sword and defend himself, because that was better than being killed by two dwarves, and Wade wanted his friends to say he had raised a man, not a woman. But he did promise to come on the agreed day. Then father and son parted and Wade went back home.
Wieland went back to the mountain and learned as much as he already knew, and he did not stop learning until he knew all of the dwarves' craft. The dwarves eagerly took his services, but they misliked how good he had become, but comforted themselves that he would not anjoy his craft for long, since his head was forfeit.
When the twelve months ended giant Wade preferred to come sooner rather than later, so he traveled by day and night until he came to the agreed place, and he was three days early. But the mountain was closed and he could not enter, so he sat down on the agreed spot and waited. And because the quick travel had exhausted him he fell asleep, and he snored so loudly it could be clearly heard. Meanwhile a heavy rain fell, which caused a landslide higher up, and that broke off a cliff that came down with water and trees and soil, and all that fell straight on to Wade. And this is how he died.
When the agreed day had come the dwarves opened the mountain, went outside and looked for Wade. Wieland, too, went out of the mountain to search for his father, but could not find him. But then he came to a cliff that had broken off, and he suspected his father had been crushed under it. Then he saw that he could not take revenge for his death, but remembered his father's counsel and searched for the sword Wade had hidden. Initially he searched near the cliff, but then he remembered the sword was in a moor, but the moor had changed considerably due to the landslide.
Then Wieland saw he was in dire straits. His father, dead, he himself, sentenced to death. But then he saw the sword's hilt above the ground and took it. He saw the dwarves on the mountain looking for Wade, Wieland went to them but hid the sword under his clothes. Then he went to the one closest to him and killed him, and then the other one. Then Wieland went into the mountain and took all the smithing tools and also all the gold and silver he could find. Then he took a horse that belonged to the dwarves, packed it with treasure and went north to Denmark.
When he had traveled for three days he came to the Weser river and he could not cross it. Along the river was a large forest, and he stayed there for a while. It was close to the sea. Then Wieland went to work: he felled a large tree close to the river bank, cleaved it in two and hollowed out the parts, and on the thinner side he hid his tools and treasure, and in the thicker part he put his food and drink and himself, and then closed it so firmly that river and sea would not do him damage, and before the holes in the tree he put glass in such a way that he could take them out, but when the glass was in the holes no water could come through them, except as much as when the tree had been whole.
Then the tree lay on the bank, and Wieland and all his goods in it, and he moved within the tree as long as was necessary to get the tree into the river. And this tree now floated into the sea, and floated there for eighteen days until it finally came to land.
A king named Nidung ruled over the part of Jutland called Thiodi
They sent someone to the king and asked him to come look at the tree. And when the king arrived and saw the tree he ordered it to be opened, and when Wieland became aware of them he asked them to be careful, because a man was inside. And when they heard him they thought the Devil himself was in the tree, And they fled, some one way, others another, and told the king the Devil was in the tree.
Then Wieland opened the trunk, got out, and went before the king and said: I am a man, and not a troll, and if you allow me to keep life and goods I will serve you. The king saw he was a foreigner, and a good man instead of a scoundrel, despite his strange manner of coming there, and agreed. Then Wieland hid his tools and treasure, together with the tree, under the earth, but one of the king's knights called Regin saw him do that.
Now Wieland lived with king Nidung, and his duties consisted of keeping three knives for the king which should lie on his table when he ate. And when twelve months had passed, Wieland went to the sea to wash the king's knives, but one of them fell into the water, and it was so deep that there was no hope of finding it. Wieland went home and considered the king would be angry with him when the knife was missing, and he cursed himself for not doing his service better now that he served a good king, and that the king would never make him responsible for more than what he did now.
There was a smith with king Nidung and he was called Amilias, and he forged everything for the king that was made out of iron. Wieland went to this Amilias, but he was not in his smithy because he was having dinner with his servants. Wieland sat down to forge a knife that was the same as the one he had lost, and in addition a three-ridged nail which he laid on the anvil. And he did all of this before Amilias came back and before the king went to dinner.
When Amilias returned to the smithy he found the nail on the anvil, and wondered who had made it, but none of his servants spoke up, and they never saw such a well-forged nail either before or after.
But Wieland stood by king Nidung's table and served him as usual. When the king sat down Wieland brought him his knives, and the king took a knife and sliced a piece of bread, but the knife sliced not only through the bread but also through the table. And the king marveled at how sharp this knife was and asked Wieland who had made it.
Wieland said: Who else but Amilias, your smith? And Amilias heard this conversation and said that he had made the knife, just like all the others, and that king Nidung had no smith but him. But the king said he had never seen a knife like this come from his hands, and he didn't know who made this knife, but Amilias didn't. And then the king turned to Wieland and asked him if he had made the knife. But Wieland still maintained that it had been Amilias. Then the king warned him that if Wieland was lying he would become angry. And Wieland said he did not want the king's displeasure, and told him what had happened.
The king said he knew Amilias couldn't have made this knife, and wondered aloud if Wieland was maybe a better smith than Amilias. Now Amilias could no longer be silent and said that while Wieland may have made this knife, he, Amilias, would be equally able to make such a thing if he but gave all his skill, and he did not want to admit Wieland was the better smith before they were both put to the test. And Wieland said that his forgecraft was but small, but he was willing to put it to the test by both of them making a tool from which others could tell who was the better smith.
Amilias proposed they bet on it, and Wieland said he had hardly any treasure. And Amilias said that if that were true they should bet their heads: whoever was the better smith would behead the other. And Wieland said: Bet whatever you like, but what will we make? And how will we decide which one is best? Then Amilias said: You will make a sword, as well as you can, but I will make a helmet and armour. If your sword can pierce my armour and wound me you shall have my head, but if it cannot penetrate my armour I'll have yours. And we both shall do this within twelve months.
And Wieland accepted, provided Amilias would keep his word. Amilias said he would have guarantors who would keep him to his word. And two knights of king Nidung came forward and guaranteed Amilias' word. But, Amilias asked Wieland, who will be your guarantor? Wieland replied he did not know, since he knew no one in this country.
Then the king himself said: He has done well in all that he has built. And he remembered the tree that Wieland had come in, and how wonderfully it was fashioned, and said that he himself would guarantee Wieland's word. And in this way they completed their bet.
The same day Amilias went to his smithy and started to work with all his journeymen, and he worked for the full twelve months. But Wieland served the king as before, as if nothing had happened, and continued doing so for half a year.
One day king Nidung asked Wieland when he would start working, and Wieland said: My lord, since you counsel me to do so I will, but I wish you would have built a good smithy to work in. And so it happened. When the smithy had been built Wieland went to where he had buried the tree, but the trunk was broken open and all his tools and treasure had disappeared. This displeased him, and he now remembered a man had seen where he hid his possessions, and he assumed that man had taken his possessions, and he knew his face but not his name.
Then Wieland went to the king and told him what had happened, and the king became angry and asked Wieland if he would recognise this man, and Wieland said he would. Then the king called a general meeting
When all had gathered Wieland went to everyone in the meeting and looked at him to see if he recognised the man who had stolen his gear, but he did not find him, and told the king do. The king became angry with him, and thought he was stupid, and that he should have heavy chains around his feet, that you made me call a meeting without need, and the man you're looking for must be here, but you didn't even recognise him, and I should have never become your guarantor.
Wieland misliked that he had lost his possessions but gained the anger of the king.
A short while later Wieland went to his smithy and secretly made a statue of the man he had seen, even up until the hair on his head. And one night he went to the king's hall and put the statue in a corner where the king had to pass by. Then Wieland went into the hall and served like the other squires.
Now the king wanted to enter his hall with his men, and Wieland bore a candle before him as usual. When the king came to the hall he saw the statue and said: Hail, good friend Regin, what are you doing there by yourself? And how went the message that I sent you to Sweden for? But the man was silent.
And Wieland said: Lord, this man is quite proud, and he will never answer you because I fashioned him with my own hands froo memory, and now you have recongised him, because this was the man who stole my possessions. The king laughed and admitted Wieland would not have found him in his realm, because Nidung had sent him to Sweden on an important errand. And he added that Wieland was a good man, and he'd get his possesions back, and the king would also give him recompense for the harsh words he had spoken.
Shortly after Regin came home, and the king sent for him immediately. He asked Regin if he had taken Wieland's goods, and Regin admited it, but said he had meant it for a joke. And the king ordered him to return everything, and Regin did so, and thus Wieland got his tools back.
But still Wieland served the king at his table every day, and pretended he had nothing else to do, and again four months went by.
And when the time was up king Nidung asked Wieland why he didn't forge the sword that he needed for his bet. And Wieland pretended he was ready to do so, and said that if the king counseled him to do so, he would do so. The king said it seemed to him that Wieland had to deal with a talented, quite evil man
Now Wieland went to his smithy, went to work and forged a sword in seven
But Wieland went back to his smithy, took a file, and filed the sword into iron dust, then took the iron dust and put it in milk, and he mixed this with flour and kneaded it together. Then he took geese
When the sword had hardened completely the king came to the smithy, and when he saw the sword he thought it was the most precious thing he'd ever seen, and he wanted to take it. But Wieland said: My lord, this is a good sword, but it will become even better. Again they went to the stream, and now Wieland threw a flake of wool two feet thick into the water, and the sword cut the flake in half, like before. The king said he'd never seen a better sword, even though it was slightly smaller than the previous one. Wieland said it wasn't a really good sword yet, and he would make it even better. The king went back to his hall and was happy.
And Wieland went back to his smithy and filed this sword to dust as well, and did the same he had done before. And when three weeks had passed Wieland had made a sword that sparkled, and its grip was inlaid with gold. The king came to Wieland and saw the sword, and he had never seen a sharper sword, and it was a large one, larger than the ones he had made before. Again they went to the stream, and now Wieland took a flake of wool three feet thick, and threw it into the water, and calmly held the sword in the current, and when the flake touched the sword it cut it in two as smoothly as the water itself
And the king said he wanted this sword, because he had never seen a better one and he wanted no one else to have it, and he would carry it against his enemies. And Wieland said he would give the sword to no one else, but first he would fashion the sheath and the carrying strap, and give it to the king when it was fully ready. The king agreed, went back to his hall, and was happy.
But Wieland went back to his smithy and forged another sword that was so simiar to the first that no one could keep them apart. Wieland hid the good sword under his bellows, and said: "Lie there, Mimung, and who knows if I'll need you before the end?"
Now Wieland was done with his smithing and he served king Nidung each day. When the day had come, early in the morning Amilias strapped on his armoured leggings and went out to the market and showed himself, and all who saw him said they had never seen such good armour, and it was all double-plated
And when the king had eaten and breakfast had ended Amilias went out to a field where a chair stood, and sat on it. Now the king and his men also went out, and Wieland with them, to view the end of this bet. And Amilias was quite ready for it.
Then Wieland went to his smithy and took the sword Mimung, and went back to the king with the sword in his hand. And he stood behind Amilias' chair and put the sword's edge on his helmet, and asked Amilias if he felt something. Amilias said: Strike with all your might!
Now Wieland pressed the sword strongly against the helmet, and it cut through helmet and head, and armour and torso until the belt, and again asked Amilias if he felt anything. And Amilias said he felt as if cold water ran over his back. Then Wieland said: Now shake yourself, and you'll understand. And Amilias shook himself and fell apart in two pieces on both sides of the chair and thus Amilias came to his end. And many quoted the saying that he who carried his head highest would fall deepest.
Now the king asked Wieland to give him the sword, and Wieland said he wanted to fetch the sheath which was in the smithy, and give everything together. And the king agreed. Then Wieland went back to the smithy and hid Mimung under his bellows and took the other sword he had made, put it in the sheath, and gave it to the king. And the king thought he had the same sword that Wieland had done this great deed with. And then much time went by.
Chapter 69-79 not yet summarised.
Witig Wieland's son was now twelve winters old when Wieland asked him if he also wanted to learn the craft of smithing so that even if one looked in the entire world there would be no third who could forge iron as well as the two of them did. But Witig said that, for the sake of his mother, he hoped he'd never touch hammer and tongues.
Then Wieland asked him what else he would do to get food and clothes. And Witig said he wanted a good horse, a strong spear, a sharp sword, a new shield, a hard helmet, and armour, and serve a famous prince and ride with him as long as he was alive. Wieland promised to give him all that, but asked where he wanted to go. And Witig said he wanted to ride to Amelungenland to find Dietrich, son of king Dietmar of Bern, who was now the most famous hero in the world, and they were the same age, and him Witig wanted to search and challenge to a duel. And when Witig would not be able to withstand his strong blows and fall, he knew that Dietrich, who was a noble hero, would give Witig his life back if he surrendered his sword and became his follower; but it could also be the duel went better than that.
Wieland said he didn't advise Witig to go to Dietrich, because he was such a great hero Witig would not be able to withstand him. Instead, Wieland added, in a forest nearby lives a giant who does great harm to many people. And I'll help you to defeat him, and when you have done so the king of Sweden will give you his daughter and half of his realm.
But Witig said he did not want to do this because of a woman, because if the giant would defeat him all would say he had lost his life dishonourably. So he would travel south and fight with Dietrich von Bern. And Wieland said that because Witig would not change his mind, Wieland would give him what he had asked for.
Then Wieland gave him armour and Witig armed himself. Now Wieland took a sword, and said to Witig: My son, this sword is called Mimung, keep it and use it well. I made this sword myself, and I kept it for you to use, and I expect you to make good cuts with it, since you're not a weakling.
Then Witig donned his helmet, which was forged with the hardest steel, with large nails, and it was hard and strong. And he took his shield that was so heavy no man could hold it with one hand
Now Witig went to his mother, kissed her and they wished one another well, and he also said goodbye to his father. Then he took his spear and jumped into the saddle without using his stirrups. And Wieland laughed when he saw that, and he went with Witig for a while and explained to him the roads he had to travel, and good advice besides. And then father and son separated and Wieland went back home.
Now Witig rode a long way through forests and lands inhabited and uninhabited. He came to a large river called Eiðisá
Meanwhile three knights rode by, and these were Hildebrand, Dietrich's foster, and the other Heime, and the third was jarl Hornboge. Dietrich had sent the first two to jarl Hornboge to invite him to come to Bern, since he had heard the jarl was a great hero, and he wanted to make Hornboge his companion.
Now Hildebrand said to his companions: In this river I see a dwarf, which might well be the dwarf Alberich that Dietrich once defeated and won his sword Nagelring from, and his helmet Hildegrim, and I was there as well
They dismounted and walked to the river. But Witig had heard them quite clearly and called: Allowe me to come to land unharmed and I'll show you I'm not a dwarf. And they allowed him, and Witig jumped from the river, and he covered nine feet in one jump. Then Hildebrand asked who he was, and Witig said: If you're a good hero, do you ask such questions of a naked man? Let me first find my clothes and weapons, and then you can ask.
Witig clothed and armed himself, mounted his horse, and rode to the three. Good sirs knight, he said, God help me, I'd name all of you by name if I but knew them. But ask me anything you like. Hildebrand asked for his name and what he was doing here traveling alone. And Witig said he was a Dane named Witig, and his father was Wieland the Smith, and his mother was daughter to king Nidung of Jutland, and he was traveling to Dietrich Dietmar's son to challenge him to a duel.
When Hildebrand saw how strong this man was, and how well-made his weapons and armour were, he understood his lord Dietrich would come to great danger if he fought against this man, and he wasn't sure who would win. Therefore he joyously replied: Thank God I finally found a man courageous enough to swing his sword against Dietrich, and I hope you will win, because Dietrich thinks no one is braver and stronger than he. Come, now let's swear brotherhood, that we will help one another when we need it most.
Witig said he felt Hildebrand was a noble man, and he would love to swear brotherhood, but he'd first liked to know their names. And Hildebrand said he was Voltram son of Reginbald, jarl of Wenden, and here is Sintram Herbrand's son, and the third is jarl Hornboge of Vindland. Now Witig and Hildebrand held hands and swore brotherhood. And Hildebrand knew where the ford was, and they rode over it and continued.
Now they came to a place where the road split, and Hildebrand said: Both these roads lead to Bern, the one is long and hard
Witig said: We will surely take the short road, for a foreigner may ride in peace wherever he wants. And they took the road Witig wanted, and came to a forest named Lurwald
Witig rode to the fort and the stone bridge. Those that were in the fort looked down from the battlements and saw him coming.
Then Gramaleif said: That man has a good shield, and I want it. But take from him whatever you like.
Studfus said: No doubt this man has a good sword, I want it.
And Thräla said: I want his armour.
And Sigstab said: I wat his helmet.
And the fifth said: He has a good horse, I want it.
The sixth said: I want his clothes.
The seventh: Well, then nothing is left for me but his leg protectors.
The eighth said: I want his belt with the sack on it.
THe ninth said: I want his right hand.
The tenth: Then I want his right foot.
And the eleventh said: And I want his head.
Then Studfus said: No one should kill this man, since he'll have so little left. Then Gramaleif, their leader, said: So ride to him and take everything, but leave him his left hand, left foot, and his life.
When the three came to the one
And Gramaleif rose, armed himself and all his twelve companions and rode across the stone bridge. Witig again welcomed him, and Gramaleif said: You're not welcome, because we have already divided your belongings among ourselves, and you'll keep one hand and one foot. Now give me your shield.
Witig said he wouldn't give his shield, since if he returned to Denmark his father would say Dietrich had taken it from him. Then Studfus told Witig: Then give me your sword, because that's my share. And Witig said: If you take my sword, how would I defend myself if I come to Dietrich? One after the other demanded his share, and Witig asked again for free passage, but he would not give them even a penny.
Then Studfus said: Look, we're with twelve standing before a single man who replies haughtily, so draw your swords and he'll leave his belongings here and his life as well. Studfus drew his sword and hit Witig on his helmet, but the helmet was so hard that it withstood the blow like a stone would do. Then Witig drew his sword Mimung and hit Studfus in the shoulder so that he was hacked in two through breast and armour and both pieces fell to the ground.
The other robbers took fright from this blow, and many would have preferred to be at home, but all of them drew their swords and attacked Witig, and they spurred on one another. Gramaleif hit Witig on the helmet, but it was so hard that nothing happened. On the other hand, when Witig hit Gramaleif on the helmet he cleaved his head and torso to the belt, and he fell dead.
Then Hildebrand said to his companions: Let's move closer and see what happens. When Witig defeats these men alone and we don't come to his aid, they'd say we abandonded him, and the oath of brotherhood I swore requires me to help him.
Heime said: I think we should ride there and help him once we see he has the upper hand, but if he falls we ride away as quickly as we can, so that we don't go into danger for the sake of an unknown man. Hildebrand said that would be ignominious. And Hornboge said that since we have sworn brotherhood we must help him.
Then they rode forward to the stone bridge, where Witig had meanwhile killed seven of the twelve. Sigstab and five others fled.
Then Witig and his companions greeted one another cheerfully. They rode into the fort, where they found wine and food, and they took all the treasure and went to sleep there.
Hildebrand thought carefully about Witig and how strong he was, and doubted that Dietrich would be able to defeat him. He also considered how good Witig's weapon was. And when midnight had come, Hildebrand stood up and drew his sword, and then took Witig's sword Mimung, drew it from the sheath, and put his own sword in there after he had swapped their hilts. Then he sheathed Mimung himself and went to sleep.
They rose and prepared to travel on. Witig asked Hildebrand what they would do with the fort. Hildebrand said they'd do what the two of them would consider best. But, he added, I no longer wish to be silent but tell you the truth. I am Hildebrand, and I am Dietrich's follower, and all of us are his companions. And although I didn't tell you our true names before, we still want to retain the brotherhood that we swore. But it is my counsel that we leave the fort as it is, and leave our two companions here to guard it. I will follow you to Bern, and once you become good friends and brothers the two of you will own this fort jointly, and he will certainly reward you. But if you separate without friendship the fort will belong to you alone.
Witig said: A heavy toll rested on this bridge, for locals and foreigners alike, but this is an important road for many people, and they don't dare to pass by this place because of this fort and the robbers who lived here. As far as I'm concerned all, locals and foreigners, young and old, rich and poor will henceforth travel this road in peace.
Hornboge said: He who won this fort by his sword has the right to decide on its fate. Then Witig set one of the buildings on fire, after they had taken all goods, and they did not travel on until the fort was burned down completely.
Then they continued their journey happily, and rode on until they came to the river called Wisar
When Witig saw all this he spurred on his horse Schimming, rode to the stone banks where the bridge had been, and then Schimming jumped from the one bank to the other as if an arrow sped there, and until this day
Hildebrand, Heime and jarl Hornboge rode after him. Hildebrand's horse also jumped, but didn't make it to the other bank and fell in the rivier, and swam to land. The same happened to Hornboge, but he reached the bank before Hildebrand. But Heime, who rode Rispa, Schimming's brother, jumped to the other bank.
As soon as Witig came down he rode at Sigstab and his five companions and they fought, and Witig gave many men heavy blows. But Heime sat on his horse and refused to help him
Now they rode on and in the evening they came to a fort called Her which belonged to king Dietmar
Now Dietrich was told while he was eating that Hildebrand, jarl Hornboge and Heime had come, and he rose and went out to greet them and asked for news. He didn't say a word to Witig, because he didn't know what kind of man he was. Then Witig took a silver-plated glove and gave it to Dietrich, who asked what that meant. Witig replied: Hereby I challenge you to a duel. We are the same age, but I have heard much about you, and I have gone through a great deal to see if you are as great a hero as is said. Now I have reached you, and since the day I left home I have waited for the moment the two of us will fight.
Dietrich said: I will keep the peace in the lands of my father and myself, so that not every tramp or scoundrel will challenge me to a duel. Hildebrand said: My lord, you don't know whom you're talking to. I'm not sure who would win a duel between the two of you; it is even likely that you would lose, when no one helps you.
Reinald, a follower of Dietrich's, said: It's a great shame, my lord, that any country bumpkin can challenge you in your own lands. But when Hildebrand heard this he told him not to insult his companions with such words, and he hit Reinald on the ear with his fist so that he fell unconscious.
Then Dietrich said to Hildebrand: I see you're taking the trouble to help this man, but you'll see how he will enjoy it: today he will hang outside Bern. Hildebrand said: If he comes into your power by bravery and strength
Then Dietrich called for his weapons. He donned his armour, put his helmet Hildegrim on his head, girded himself with his sword Nagelring, and took his shield with the golden lion on a red field, and took his lance. His horse Falke was brought to him and he mounted, and Falke was a brother of Schimming, Witig's horse, and Rispa, Heime's horse. Then Dietrich rode forth out of Bern with a large retinue of knights and chiefs. When he exited Bern he found Hildebrand and Witig with a few men. Witig sat fully armed on his horse, and was ready.
Now Heime came to Dietrich with a bowl full of wine, and said: Drink, mylord, and God grant you victory today and forever. Dietrich took the bowl, drank, and returned it. Then Hildebrand brought Witig the bowl, but Witig said he should bring the bowl to Dietrich first and ask him to drink to his
Then Hildebrand said: You still don't know who you're angry at, but you'll quickly find he is a hero, and not a scoundrel. Then he walked back to Witig and offered him the bowl again, and said: Now drink, and defend yourself with bravery, and may God help you. Then Witig took the bowl and drank, and with the bowl he also gave Hildebrand a golden armring and thanked him for his help.
Then Dietrich called to Witig if he was ready, and Witig said he was.
Then they spurred their stallions and rode at one another like a hungry hawk at its prey. Dietrich's spear glanced off Witig's shield, but Witig's hit Dietrich's shield squarely, and the shaft broke into three pieces.
Then Witig called: Turn your horse and ride at me again! You still have your spear, so I'll keep still, but you'll break your spear just like I did mine. And he drew his sword.
Then Dietrich rode at him with all his might and hit Witig's breast with his spear, and he expected to kill him with that blow, but Witig hacked his spear in two with his sword, and with the same blow he hacked off a bit of his own shield. He was not wounded, since his hard armour protected him.
Then both dismounted and attacked one another, and they hit each other mightily with their swords. Dietrich gave Witig many heavy blows with Nagelring, and Witig wanted to give Dietrich a blow that would wound him, and he swung his sword with all his might against Dietrich's helmet Hildegrim, but the helmet was so hard that this marvelous blow did break something, but it was the sword that sprang in two pieces.
Then Witig called: Ha, Wieland, my father, have God's wrath for forging this sword so badly. I would have fought like a hero had I but had a good sword, but this brings shame and injury to me, and also to the one who made it.
Now Dietrich swung Nagelring with both hands and wanted to behead Witig. But Hildebrand jumped between them and said to Dietrich: Give this man peace and take him as your companion. You will never get a better hero than him: he defeated twelve men at fort Brictan all by himself, and you couldn't conquer the fort with all your men. It would honour you if such a man would serve you.
But Dietrich said he would stick with what he said before: Witig would hang before Bern today. Hildebrand praised Witig's descent of royal houses on his father's and mother's side, and again asked him to make Witig his follower.
But Dietrich said: I'd like to make it a law in my father's lands that not every slave's son
When Hildebrand saw that Dietrich did not want to listen, he said: Now I see that my good counsel will not be heeded, and therefore the child shall have what it cries for.
Then Hildebrand drew his sword from the sheath and said to Witig: See now, good sir knight, how I keep my vow of brotherhood. Here, take the sword Mimung and defend yourself.
Then Witig became as happy as a bird at the crack of dawn. He kissed the sword and said: God forgive the words I said about my father Wieland. See, Dietrich, my good hero, this is Mimung. Now I am as eager to fight you as a thirsty man to drink, or a hungry dog to eat
Now he hit Dietrich blow after blow, and each time he took away a piece of his armour or shield or helmet, and Dietrich didn't manage to strike one blow, and could do nothing but defend himself, and he had five wounds already. Then he saw he would lose this fight, and called to Hildebrand his teacher: Come here and separate us! Because I do not see how to separate us by myself!
Then Hildebrand said: When I tried to separate you you didn't want to take good advice, but now I think you'll agree that Witig is a good hero. And it seems to me that with your armour is pierced, your helmet is broken, your shield split, and you yourself wounded, and you'll finish this fight with shame and dishonour, and that's what your pride bought you. So separate yourself if you can. And he will have the power to do to you what you sentenced him to
When king Dietmar saw that his son would be defeated he took a red shield
Then the king said: Good sir knight, I merely want to ask you to spare my son, because I see that when you fight on his end is near. And if you do I'll give you a castle
Then Witig said: I won't spare him; he will receive the same sentence he wanted to give me, unless you prevent me with your multitude of men.
Then the king stepped back and the fight recommenced, and Dietrich defended himself bravely, but in the end Witig hit the helmet Hildegrim so hard that it was cut from left to right, and the upper part flew off Dietrich's head and some of his hair with it.
When Hildebrand saw that Hildegrim had been broken he sprang between the two and said: My dear friend Witig, please give Dietrich peace for the sake of our brotherhood, and take him as your companion, because when the two of you fight together, no one in the entire world will be your peer.
Then Witig said: Although he doesn't deserve it I will do as you ask for the sake of our brotherhood. Then they put down their weapons, shook hands, and became good friends and companions. They rode back to Bern and were all happy.
King Dietmar was home in Bern, and his son Dietrich with him, who was still suffering from his wounds. And these four heroes were with the king: Hildebrand, Witig, jarl Hornboge, and Heime.
When Dietrich had healed he rode away from Bern alone, and nobody knew of it except for Witig. Because he had lost his fight, Dietrich did not want to return to Bern before he had performed a heroic deed that would increase his fame.
He rode for seven days until he came to the forest called Osning, and he found lodging. There he heard of a castle on the other side of the forest called Drekanfils, and once this castle had been owned by king Drusian, who had died, and the queen had married
Dietrich wasn't sure how to get through the forest without meeting Ecke. He didn't feel like fighting Ecke, since the wounds that Witig had given him still pained him, and he preferred to first fight a lesser man first.
Now Dietrich rode off at midnight, when it was darkest, and hoped to make it through the forest without Ecke noticing him. But Ecke saw him and asked who rode there. Dietrich said: I am Heime Studa's son, riding to Bertangaland for my father, but I have nothing to do with you, and am not searching you out.
Ecke said that his voice sounded like Dietrich von Bern, and if he was as brave a man as was said he shouldn't use a false name. Dietrich acknowledged his name, but said he wanted to continue on his way. But Ecke had heard that he had lost his fight with Witig, and assumed he came here to find new honour. Also Dietrich had lost good weapons in the fight, and here he could win others.
Dietrich said he was not ready for a duel, and besides, how could they fight if they couldn't see one another? If it were day it would be another matter.
Then Ecke said that nine royal daughters and their mother, his fiancée, had armed him for this battle, and he came here for their sake, and he went on to describe his armour in great detail, as well as his sword Eckisax, which was wrought by the same Alberich that made Dietrich's sword Nagelring, deep under the earth, and when he was done he searched for the water to harden it in nine kingdoms, and found it in the stream called Treya. Blade and hilt are both made of red gold, and the sword was fitted with gemstones. And one had to search far and wide before one found a sword similar to it, but Alberich the dwarf, the great thief
Then Dietrich wondered aloud why he would flee for a sword he couldn't see, and from a man he knew nothing about except for his boasting. He had lost his way and his companions, and if Ecke wanted to keep his life he should not challenge him to a duel again.
Ecke went on to describe his girdle and pouch with twelve pounds of red gold in great detail. Then Dietrich said he would fight, not for the gold or the weapons, but for the honour of nine queens.
Dietrich jumped from his stallion and said it was so dark he couldn't see anything. He drew his sword Nagelring and struck a stone so that sparks flew from it. In this light he saw an olive tree
Now that Dietrich wanted to fight Ecke became happy and joyous, and he, too, struck a rock with his sword so that the heroes could see one another by the sparks.
Now they fought, and sparks flew from their weapons as though it was lightning, and the sound of their blows sounded like thunder, and they cleaved each other's shields so that they became useless, and still they fought on. Then Ecke gave Dietrich a terrible blow and he dropped down, and Ecke dropped on top of him and grabbed both of his arms, and said that in order to save his life Dietrich should surrender himself, his weapons, and his horse, and come to the castle to be shown bound to the queens.
Dietrich said he preferred to lose his life hear than endure the taunts of the nine ladies and their mother. He managed to free his hands and take Ecke by the throat, and they fought with all their power.
When Falke, Dietrich's stallion, became aware that his master needed help, he tore his rein with his teeth, ran to the two, lifted his forelegs and struck Ecke as hard as he could in the back. Dietrich struggeled back to his feet and cut of Ecke's head.
Then Dietrich took Ecke's weapons and armour and armed himself.
Dietrich mounted Falke and rode out of the forest, and it was already first light. Dietrich decided to ride to the castle of Drekanfils because he thought that, once the people of the castle knew he had overcome Ecke, he would get the same marriage
Now the queen had gone to a tower and she saw this man ride to the castle, and she was glad and went in and told her daughters that lord Ecke, who had left last night, returned on a good horse, and therefore he has defeated some good knight. And all of them took their jewels, dressed well, and went out to the rider. But when Dietrich came near they saw that it was not Ecke who rode there, but another man. And when the old queen saw this, she understood what must have happened: she recognised the weapons and armour, but not the man, and Ecke would never have given them away. She fell unconscious. Then they went back in and told everything to the men of the castle, and dressed in their mourning garb and threw their jewels from them.
When the men heard Ecke had been killed they took their weapons and wanted to avenge him. When Dietrich saw this overwhelming force he turned his horse and rode back into the forest as quickly as he could. He did not know where to go in this strange land, and since he had killed the lord of the land he knew that people would be unfriendly towards him. The men of the castle returned and were angry about Ecke's death.
Now Dietrich rode out of the forest and saw a man riding towards him. This was Fasold, Ecke's brother. Fasold thought he was seeing his brother because he recognised his armour, and called: Is that you, brother Ecke? Dietrich replied it was not.
Then Fasold called: You murderer, you killed my brother Ecke while he was asleep, because if he'd been awake he would have defeated you. Dietrich said that was a lie; Ecke challenged me to a duel, and when I refused he called upon his riches and the queen and her nine daughters and thus forced me to fight. And if I had known how great and strong he was, I wouldn't have fought, but I took these weapons and armour when he was dead, and you don't have to doubt that.
Fasold drew his sword, rode to Dietrich and hit him on his helmet so that he fell from his horse unconscious. Fasold decided not to hit a man further who had fallen with one blow, nor to take his weapons, and he rode back to the castle.
But when Dietrich came to he sprang on his horse and rode after Fasold and challenged him, and said that if Fasold rode on he was a coward, and didn't he want to avenge his brother? Fasold held his horse and waited for Dietrich.
Then both dismounted and fought. Dietrich was wounded three times, but none of them were serious. But Fasold had received five wounds, all of them serious, and he became tired and saw he would lose. Therefore he chose life, surrendered, and promised to become Dietrich's follower. Dietrich gladly took his surrender, but refused his service because he had killed his brother. Dietrich proposed them to become brothers
Now it is said that Dietrich wanted to go home because he had achieved his goal and knew that he would be no less famous than before. In the evening they came to Aldinsaela
Fasold excused himself because he still suffered from the wounds he had received in the duel. Besides, Dietrich would be even more heroic if he'd kill the elephant by himself.
Thus Dietrich dismounted, bound his horse to an olive tree, drew Eckisax, and attacked the animal. But the sword didn't bite, and the animal attacked him with its front legs, so that he fell. When Fasold saw this he decided to help as much as he could, dismounted, and attacked, but he couldn't wound it, either. Then he said to Dietrich, who was laying under the beast: If you can get your hands free and take your sword, hit it in the belly near the navel, because I think it will bite there. But the beast pressed Dietrich to the ground so hard that he could not move.
When Falke saw the danger his master was in he tore the rein, jumped on the animal and hit it with its front legs in the loin that the animal fell over. Now Dietrich could free himself, took his sword and stabbed it in the belly to the hilt. Then Dietrich jumped from under the animal, with blood on both his hands, and the animal fell over dead. Before, Fasold had given the animal many blows, but his sword didn't bite. Still, Dietrich saw that Fasold wanted to help him loyally, Then they mounted on their horses and rode on.
When they exited the forest they saw something unusual: a great dragon flying, with strong forelegs and big claws. It flew close to the ground, and wherever it touched the ground with its claws it was as if the ground was cut with the sharpest iron. In its mouth it bore a man, whose legs and torso it had eaten until just below the arms, and only his head and shoulders stuck outside the dragon's maw. The man was still alive, and when he saw the heroes he called for help, and told them the dragon took him from his shield when he was asleep.
When Dietrich and Fasold heard this they dismounted, drew their swords, and struck the dragon. Dietrich's sword bit somewhat, but Fasold's not at all. Although the dragon was strong, he was not able to fly while carrying the man, and could neither flee nor defend itself.
The man in the maw saw Fasold's problem, and told him to get the sword in the dragon's maw that he swallowed together with the man. Fasold drew the sword from the dragon's mouth, and it cut the dragon like a razor cuts a beard.
Careful! the man said, don't cut my feet, which are deep in the dragon's throat, and I don't want to be wounded with my own sword. And hurry, good heroes, the dragon pressures me so hard with its mouth that blood flows from my mouth and nose.
And they went on until the dragon was dead.
Thus the man was freed from the dragon. The man thanked them, and asked if he could get his sword back from Fasold
Dietrich told him he could keep his sword and had found Dietrich von Bern.
Then they went into the forest and quickly found Sintram's shield, but for two days they searched for his horse and could not find it. They exited the forest and came to a castle called Aldinfils owned by a count called Ludwig, and here he
Dietrich said that it could be that, if he didn't give the horse now, he might lose ten horses instead, as well as his life and realm. Ludwig took a good look at this man, and relented, offering the horse and a golden ring besides. And then he asked if this was Dietrich von Bern. Dietrich confirmed this, and thanked him for his gifts.
Then he took the horse, found his companions and gave the horse back to Sintram. Then they rode back to Bern.
Dietrich sat on his throne next to his father king Dietmar, and his companions were around him. And this day Heime served him and poured him wine. He filled a golden bowl and served him well. Then Dietrich saw his sword Nagelring, showed it to his companion, and said: Good Nagelring, you have gone through a lot when I left Bern with you, both weapons and stone, and I don't think a better sword could be found; Heime, for your services I would grant this sword to no one but you, take it, friend, and use it.
Heime took Nagelring and thanked his lord for this gift. And there were many other people around who praised Dietrich for this.
Then Witig spoke: You are served badly, Nagelring, and you should have been given to a better man. And as long as I have been in Bern I did not like your company more than a woman's, because when I was in need when two men rode into the house of five, and you sat on your horse and did nothing. Jarl Hornboge and Hildebrand could not come to me because the river was in the way, and when the jarl finally came I did not need you any more, and I don't owe you a lot of thanks
Then Dietrich said he had heard a great shame, that somebody would not help his companion when he was in need. You evil dog, he said, go from my eyes! It would be better if you were hanged in Bern before the day is over.
Then Heime left the hall, took his horse Rispa and all his weapons, and rode away.
Heime went northward to the mountains, several days on unknown roads, and he wondered what kind of heroic deed he would do.
Then he heard of a man called Ingram, a powerful robber and warrior. He was mostly to be found in the Falsterwald, and had ten companions. This Falsterwald lies between Sachsenland and Denmark. Ingram had a feud with a duke in Sachsenland, and did as much damage as he could.
Heime decided to look for this Ingram, and when he found him Ingram took him among his companions. Now they lived in the forest and did many evil deeds.
It is said that some merchants traveled from Sachsenland to Denmark, nd they carried many goods, and they were with 60 men, and believed that no one would be able to attack them. They traveled into the Falsterwald.
When the robbers had discovered them, Ingram said: See, even though they are with many, those who call themselves heroes will be able to take their riches. So they armed themselves and rode to the merchants. The merchants readied their swords, spears, and shields, and battle begon.
It didn't take long before Ingram and his companions were victorious, and they had no dead on their side, but they didn't stop before all 60 people were dead. Then they took their wares, weapons, and horses, and were very content with their actions. And they considered themselves more famous than before, and that they had won against a great many more people
In Denmark in Skåne in the place called Tummelborg there lived a man named Biterolf. His wife was Oda, and she was the daughter of the jarl of Sachsenland, and they had a son named Detlef.
Detlef preferred to be in the kitchen instead of riding with his father, and therefore his father and mother didn't really like him, and believed he was a fool and a changeling. Still, he had learned to ride a horse, throw spears, swing swords, and throw stones. Everybody assumed he was not really interested in that, though, and he never combed his hair and never bathed either in the bathhouse or a pool, and preferred to lie in the ashes in the kitchen and run around with the kitchen boys.
Biterolf was invited to a feast with his wife and his followers, to a place called Vetlandsherad and a man called Ulf, Soti's son. Now Detlef thought he should ride with his father to this feast, stood up in the kitchen, shuffeld the ashes off him, cleaned his hands and head, went to his mother, and asked her if they were going to a feast. His mother said that was true, but what was that to him? And he told her that he'd like to come with them.
And she said: why would a changeling want to come to a feast? You're just laying around in the kitchen, and you don't want to become equal to our relatives, and we don't want any of that on our journey. And he said that she hated him more than he loved her, and if she gave him permission to go that would be good, but if not he'd go anyway.
Then he went to the hall where his father sat, and asked him for a horse and a sword, since he wanted to come to the feast. His father asked him what he would do there, since many sons of important men would come there, and they would do other things than roast chicken and geese, but that's the only thing you can do. And he doubted Detlef was his son.
Detlef replied he did not know whose son he was, but that everyone said he was Biterolf's, even though he hadn't become a good man. But if you doubt I'm your son, ask my mother for more details. I'm not willing to look for another father, because a poor farmer would not have treated me better than you did, until this day. And if you hadn't given me as good as a mother as you have, as other people say, or if she was of lower birth, then I would not like the truth, now that you yourself are suspecting her.
Biterolf told him to be silent and go back to the kitchen and lay in the ashes. He would not hear anything against his wife, but they both believed that Detlef was a changeling.
Well, said Detlef, if my father and mother come to take me, you don't have to ask them for a large foster fee
Then Detlef took his father's best horse, with saddle and tack, and rode to a farmer nearby, whose weapons he borrowed. Then he went home again.
This took place in the middle of winter, and the entire Sont was frozen until deep in the south at Jutland, so that one could use sleds to go from one village to another.
When Detlef came home his father saw he would come anyway, he decided to see what would happen if Detlef came to other people, and he also didn't want him to look ridiculous, and gave his men orders to arm Detlef properly. His father gave him good weapons, and his mother good clothers, and he bathed and combed his hair, and now all people who saw him said that they had never seen such a good youth. Then he went to the feast with his father and mother.
And while they staid at the feast Detlef behaved well, And when the feast was over Oda and the men returned home, but Biterolf set out for another feast, and Detlef with him, and staid there for a while more.
And when they returned home the Falsterwald was on their road, and the road went straight through it.
When they went in, they encountered twelve men, Ingram and his companions. Biterolf said he wished Detlef was home with hsi mother, because he was afraid to lose him to the robbers, while if he was alone he'd have no trouble defeating them. Detlef said he was not afraid, and proposed they dismount and put their backs against each other's, and here it should become clear what Detlef's descent was. And both drew their swords.
That day Heime kept watch for Ingram and his companions, When he saw them, he reported back and said that their helmets were well-made, and that the robbers had their work laid out for them.
Ingram decided that they didn't all have to go, five men would be enough. But father and son fought mightily, and after a while all five lay dead on the ground. When Ingram saw that he ordered everyobody to attack, but Biterolf cleaved Ingram's helmet and head while Detlef killed two men. And they didn't stop until all robbers but Heime were dead. Now Heime hit Biterolf on the helmet so that he fell unconscious, but Detlef hit him on the helmet, and Heime sank to one knee. Quickly he recovered, sprang on his horse and rode as quickly as he could, all day long, and was glad he was still alive. He said, what many have proven, that the best piece of iron was the spur, since it saved him that day, and many others did the same.
But when Heime came to a river his stallion Rispa sprang so mightily that Heime flew off him. And it is said that there was a watermill there, and it was milling, but Heime heard the sounds as "hit, hit, strike, strike", and he rode day and night until he came back to Bern. Here he reconciled himself with Dietrich, and became his follower again.
Biterolf and Detlef took all gear from the dead robbers, and took them home, and they had achieved great honour.
Now Detlef considered himself a man, and his father and mother also saw that he had honoured his parents by his good behaviour in battle. Then Detlef asked them for clothes, weapons, and gold because he wanted to travel to his grandfather in Sachsenland
Then his father said that he should behave well while he was in Jutland, but if you go far into Sachsenland, as far as the place called Bern, and find Dietrich, son of king Dietmar, then make sure never to fight with him or his heroes, because you can't withstand their strong strikes. And his helm is called Hildegrim, and his sword Eckensax, and his horse Falke. With him are many famous heroes, and make sure not to annoy them. But it might be better to stay with your grandfather in Sachsenland and come home afterwards. Detlef promised to do so.
And Biterolf went on: on the way to his grandfather Detlef would find the Burgwald, in which there was the place Marstein, and there lies a castle. You will find no one in the castle, but you will find a beautiful chair, and on the chair a horn. Blow that horn, and then he lord of that castle, my good friend Sigurd, will come. He is old, as white as a dove, and when you find him, tell him your father's name, so that he will receive you well. But even if you brought twelve men you could not fight against him. And Detlef promised to do so.
When Detlef left his parents gave him more good advice, and his mother gave him golden ring and her regards to her father. And Biterolf gave him twenty marks of gold, and then Detlef left.
Now Detlef rode on, and he found the castle, and in it the horn, and he blew on the horn. Then came a man who rode on an elephant
Then they fought long and hard, and rested afterwards, because Sigurd was an old man. And again Sigurd said: if you're Biterolf's son, tell me, then we can stop fighting. Detlef again said he had no idea who that was, and they should fight on. And fight on they did, until the sun was in the west.
Then Sigurd invited Detlef to spend the night with him, and be his guest, but the next day they would fight on. Detlef agreed. And Sigurd proposed this because he had become wounded, and also because he realised he had left his Siegerstein
They went to Sigurd's house, which was dug under the earth
And to Detlef it was a great shame that he had been bested by a woman. Therefore he took her by the arm and the neck, and water flew from her eyes, and he squeezed so firmly that blood sprang from all her nails. She begged for peace, and Detlef saw that slaying a woman would bring him no honour, so he loosened his grip, and they all went inside.
The house had wonderful tapestries, and they drank wine, and Sigurd's daughter served him, and she looked kindly on Detlef, and their fingers touched, and they liked each other. Then they went to bed, and Detlef slept immediately.
But around midnight Sigurd's daughter came to Detlef, and he made room in his bed for her. She came here for no other reason that that she tried to reconcile the two of them.
Those who hear this story
When she understood he was Biterolf's son, she left the bed and went to her father's sleeping quarters and took his Siegerstein, which he had taken the night before. And the went back to Detlef's bed and gave him the stone, and they lay together until the next day.
The next day she
They went back to the underground house, and Sigurd begged Detlef to stay as long as he wished. It had long been a desire of him to have Biterolf's son in his house, though he assumed it was not Biterolf's counsel that Detlef kept his name secret. Detlef told him his father had prohibited him to fight with Sigurd, but he wanted to try anyway. Sigurd told him he was the first to ever win a duel against him, and therefore he wanted to give him his daughter in marriage, and gold and silver with her. Detlef thanked him, but said they had to discuss this with the young lady first.
Sigurd went to his daughter and asked her what she thought of Detlef as a husband. She replied that she wondered why he wanted to give her to the man who had wounded him so, but otherwise she agreed. Sigurd asked for her word, and in return she asked that they would keep their word as well
Then Sigurd gave him ten marks of gold and Detlef rode on.
Detlef rode further south, and encountered a man who came from Amelungenland on the way to Hunnenland. Detlef asked him about Dietrich, son of Dietmar, the king of Bern. The man praised Dietrich, and told Detlef Dietrich had ridden to his uncle Ermenrik for a feast. Detlef asked the man if he knew of a route that would bring him to Dietrich before Dietrich had reached Rome. The man told him to go via Trident
King Ermenrik had announced a great feast and had invited all manner of kings, princes, and jarls, dukes, counts, and barons, and also Dietrich and his men.
Detlef knew Dietrich was not at home, and when the road split he considered going to his grandfather, but in the end he decided he wanted to see Dietrich and his heroes more, so he rode after Dietrich.
He overtook Dietrich in the town called Fritila-Burg in the home of Ake Harlungentrost, a brother of Ermenrik
Detlef took residence in the same house as Dietrich and his men, and Dietrich asked him who he was. Detlef said he was Amelrich Soti's son from Denmark. Dietrich asked him where he was going, and Detlef said he was looking for a worthy lord who would allow him to care for his arms and horse, and if that lord were Dietrich von Bern, it would be all the better. And in return he asked Dietrich who he was and who his lord was.
Witig spoke up, and informed Detlef that he was looking at Dietrich von Bern himself, and Heime, and many others with him. Detlef greeted Dietrich, and offered his services. Dietrich accepted, and told him he was riding to the feast, and that Detlef should care for his horse and arms.
The next morning they rode on, and Ake came with them, and they arrived in Rome right when the feast started. The heroes and other lords went to the king's halls, but the squires and servants were lodged in inns, where the horses were also stabled.
Detlef didn't want to go into the king's hall for food and drink, but preferred to arrange things for himself. So when the feast started, Detlef went to the market with a few other boys
And then all his 30 marks of gold were spent. Still, he didn't want to give up his feast while the king's went on, so again he went to the market and bought new food and drink, and he pawned Heime's horse Rispa and his sword Nagelring for ten marks of gold. And thus they ate and drank until everything was gone.
And Detlef went to the market again, and now he pawned Witig's horse Schimming and his sword Mimung for twenty marks of gold. Then he again invited his guests, and also he had the inn hung with tapestries.
And when everything was eaten and drunk the king's feast had gone on for seven days and would go on for two more. And again he went to the market, and when someone asked 12 pennies for something, he would bid 20. And he pawned Dietrich's horse Falke, and his sword Eckisax and his helm Hildegrim for 30 marks of gold, and now he had no fewer than thirty hundreds of guests, servants and squires, fiddlers and minstrels. And on the day the feast ended, Detlef gave the golden ring his mother had given to him to the chief minstrel Isung
Now Dietrich called Detlef and demanded his weapons and horse, and also those of his men. And Detlef said that he had to pay money first, since he had pawned them so that the servants and squires could also have a feast, and I didn't want to go to the king's dish to take food and drink, since the city is unknown to me
And Dietrich said: Sure, but how much is it?
Well, Detlef said, not a lot, and the 30 marks I brought with me you don't have to pay, but I did pawn Heime's horse and arms, and Witig's, and your own, for 60 marks of gold. And I also gave your cloak to the chief minstrel, and also my golden ring. And when I came here the gate to the garden was locked, so that I jumped on the door with my left foot
Now Heime thought he recognised this man
Now Dietrich went to the king
And the king did so, and Detlef said he had spent 30 marks of his own, and he didn't need that back, but that Dietrich's horse and arms, and those of two of his companions, would cost 60 marks to get back.
The king became angry and asked him what kind of man he was to spend so much in nine days. Or what great deeds have you done to be worth such a sum? Are you a fool or a changeling?
Detlef said that it was custom for noble men to invite a guest for food and drink if they hadn't eaten yet. And the king orderded to bring him food and drink, and Detlef ate as much as three other knights. And a golden beaker with wine was brought that was so big that one servent could barely carry it, and Detlef emptied it in one gulp. And the king and Dietrich looked at what he did, but he barely acknowledged them.
Then a knight called Walther of the Waskastein spoke up, and he was the sister son of kings Ermenrik and Dietmar, and the best of all knights at court
Then they went to a field, took a stone that weighed no less than two ship's pounds
Now they took a banner pole
Then Detlef took the pole and threw it back across the hall, and as soon as he had thrown it he ran through the hall, which had two doors, and caught it in the air. And all said that Detlef had won the contest and had acquired Walther's head.
But king Ermenrik said, Good man, I'd like to ransom my nephew's head with gold, silver, and jewelry. And Detlef said, What should I do with his head? He is a good knight, and I'll gladly give you his head, and pay me whatever you think fitting. And the king agreed.
And then the king paid his as much money as he had spent, and bought back the horses and arms Detlef had pawned, and also the money Detlef had spent from his own pocket, and he knighted him.
Then Detlef revealed his name and ancestry, and Dietrich made him one of his companions. And then Dietrich went home with all his men, including Detlef, and the chief minstrel Isung went with them.
When they'd been home for a few days, a young man came there called Amelung, Hornboge's son, and he came there to his father and wanted to stay. Dietrich received him well, and now he had nine companions.
Now king Dietmar became ill and died quickly after, and he left life in full honour. Now his son Dietrich took over his kingdom, and was now king of Bern, and he was the most famous prince on earth, and his name will never be forgotten in the southlands as long as the world stands.
One day, when Dietrich sat on his throne, and his heroes were with him, a man came there, large and strong, but without good clothes or weapons, and he wore a deep hat so that no one could see his face
He replied: I am Wildeber, my family is in Amelungland, and I came here to offer uou my services and become your man. Dietrich said that, although he was an unknown man, he still would take his service, and my good heroes here around me will admit you to their companionship.
And Witig said: No one will gainsay you, my lord, if you want to take him into your service, since it is better to take up a good knight than to refuse him.
And the king gave him a seat at his table, but before Wildeber sat down he want to the washbasin, and when he rolled up his sleeves Witig saw that he had a gold ring around his arm, and knew he had to be from a noble family, even though he looked poor.
Now Dietrich gave him good clothes, a good horse and weapons, and he liked Wildeber. And Witig and Wildeber became good friends.
Now king Dietrich heard of a good man called Herbrand, who was one of the best-travelled of all men, and he had visited the great princes of the North Sea, and also in Greece, knew their customs, and spoke their languages. He sent a message to this man and invited him to come to Bern. And so Herbrand came to the king's court and became his knight, and also his counselor, and he carried the king's banner.
All this time there had been a feud between king Attila of Hunnenland and king Osantrix of Wilkinenland, and both had had victories and defeats. King Attila had grown stronger, and had made friendships with many powerful lords, and he was loved in his realm with all peoples
King Osantrix had aged, and had become harsher, and the people in his realm could hardly bear the heavy yoke he put on to them, and everybody suffered from him, rich and poor, courtiers and subjects, and foreign merchants. And although he gave his knights land, he still managed these lands himself and gave it to whomever he wanted. And the heavy wars with king Attila cost him a lot of money, so he demanded more and more tribute
King Osantrix still had with him the two giants, Widolf with the Pole and Aventrod, his brother. But he had sent another brother of these giants, Etger, to king Isung of Bertangaland because of their friendship, and there he guarded the entry to that realm.
King Attile sought reconciliation with king Osantrix, and sent men to him, but Osantrix refused. When Attile found out, he sent a letter with his seal to king Dietrich to request him to come to Hunnenland with his best warriors for a campaign against king Osantrix, since they had sworn friendship. And king Dietrich wanted to come immediately, since his friend needed his help.
So he rode forth from Bern with 500 knights and his heroes. And when they came to Hunnenland king Attila received them well, and was ready to go to Wilkinenland with them.
So they went forth to Wilkinenland and made many prisoners and killed many, and some fled from them. They also burned many castles, villages and farmsteads, and gathered great booty, both people and gold and silver.
King Osantrix also had a large army, and when he met the army that did not flee from him
Herbrand, king Dietrichs banner carrier, rode in front, and hit with both hands both men and horses, and behind him came king Dietrich and his heroes, and they all tried their swords on hard helmets and strong shields and armour, and all the companions helped one another where necessary.
Then Widolf with the Pole came to them and with his pole he hit Witig, who was out in the very front, on the helmet, so that he fell from his horse onto the ground unconscious. Heime was close by, and when Witig had fallen he took his sword Mimung and hurried from there.
The Wilkinen also fought bravely, but king Dietrich told all his men to advance and show the enemies their handiwork. Now king Osantrix saw that the battle was lost and fled, after he had lost 500 knights. Attila, who had lost only 300, chased after him.
Now Hernit, Osantrix' brother's son, arrived with his army, and they saw Witig laying there, and they took him with them. But then Hertnit saw that the battle was lost, since his uncle Osantrix had already fled, and also fled, like all the others. Thus the Wilkinen lost, and they separated
King Attila and king Dietrich now rode home to Soest, which was king Attila's capital, and stayed there for the night. The next morning, however, king Dietrich wanted to go home to Bern. He had lost 60 men, and Witig too.
Then Wildeber came to king Dietrich, and requested permission to stay behind and find out if Witig was dead or alive. King Dietrich allowed this, and thus Wildeber stayed with king Attila.
A few days later king Attila rode to the Lurwald for a hunt, and Wildeber went with him, and many others. And when the day was done Attila went homeward.
But Wildeber staid behind with two large hunting dogs, and he found a forest bear and killed it. Then he peeld off its skin and rode home. He took the bear skin and hid it in a place only he knew about.
One day Isung, the chief minstrel, came to king Attila from king Dietrich in Bern. Dietrich had sent him out to find out if Witig was still alive, because minstrels can always go from prince to prince in peace, while other men may be distrusted. And king Attila received him well and entertained him
Wildeber told Isung he wanted to get Witig back, and wondered if Isung could make sure he could go into Osantrix' court undetected. Isung replied he was willing to do so.
The next morning Wildeber went to king Attila and told him he wanted to visit his relatives for a short while. King Attila offered him some knights to accompany him, but Wildeber said he'd travel with Isung, and they'd travel through peaceful lands. Then Attila allowed him to go
They now left the city of Soest, and when they were alone Wildeber showed the bear skin and asked Isung whether they could do anything with it. Isung inspected it and said that it might come in useful. He told Wildeber to wear the skin over his armor, and took needle and thread and sowed the skin as tightly as he could around Wildeber's back and feet, and so skilled was he that it would seem to everyone Wildeber was a bear. Now Isung put a collar around his neck and lead him, and so they traveled day after day until they reached Wilkinenland.
Close to king Osantrix' castle they encountered a man, who told them king Osantrix was in his castle but had few men with him, because he had recently conducted an expedition, as you may have heard, and most of his knights have returned to their houses, if they have one, because it is costly to live in a merchant city
Isung asked how the king felt about the victory
Then Isung asked if Hertnit was still with Osantrix, and which hero they had captured and if he was still alive. The man replied Hernit was not there, and that the hero was Witig, and was currently in a dark prison in heavy chains, and the man believed Witig was suffering much and waiting for his final day.
Then Isung went into the castle to the king himself. And when this famous minstrel came there he was well received. Then king Osantrix asked him to play some of the things that had made him so famous.
Isung replied that he thought little was being played here in Wilkinenland that he couldn't do better, singing songs, or playing harp, fiddle and violin
The king said that the bear had been trained well, but could it do more than cance? Isung replied that his bear could do many things. Then they went to bed.
The next morning the king asked to be entertained again by Isung and his bear, by setting a pack of dogs on it and see what happened. Isung said he did not like this proposal, for either his bear would be killed, and he was worth more to him than any gold or silver Osantrix would give him, or the dogs would lose, and the king would get angry and kill the bear. Osantrix said he would set his dogs on the bear, but promised that neither he nor any of his men would hurt the bear.
And during this day, and also the previous evening, they had heard how Witig was in a dark prison in strong fetters and a heavy collar.
The next morning the king and all his men went out of the castle to a field, and with them as well Widolf with the Pole and Aventrod, and Widolf was in strong chains, since he should never be released except in battle. And they and all of the other king's men were without weapons. Many other people, young and old, men and women and children, came to see what would happen.
And now Witig in his prison heard that Isung, his friend
The people outside let loose sixty large dogs who all attacked the bear at the same time, but the bear took the largest of them with his front paws and with it killed twelve of the best dogs. King Osantrix became angry, walked to the bear, drew his sword, and slashed him at the top of his back, and although the sword went through the skin the armor.
Now Wildeber snatched his sword from the hands of Isung, went after the king and cut off his head
Then all of the king's men, who were unarmed, ran away, and all thought the devil himself had entered the bear, and most of them didn't know what to do.
Wildeber now went to the castle and asked where his good friend Witig was. Witig had already broken out of prison
Now Wildeber took off the bear skin, and all saw he was a man and not a monster
The king received them well, and acted as if Witig had been brought back from Hell. He also asked how king Osantrix was. And Witig told him everything about their journey and Osantrix' death.
And king Attila marveled at how wonderful of a leader king Dietrich was, that he had so many good heroes willing to give their lives for one another. And he mused that Osantrix would have done better to make peace and accept reconciliation.
Then Witig, Wildeber and Isung went south to Bern. King Dietrich was very happy about their return, and they told him everything that had happened. King Dietrich was pleased and thanked Wildeber for his expedition, and it became famous for its victory.
Now Witig was back home but miserable, and when king Dietrich asked why he said it was because he did not know where his good sword Mimung was. And, said he, if he found the man bearing Mimung, they would have things to say to one another, and he wanted to retrieve Mimung or lose his life.
King Dietrich said that he did not have to wonder any longer: Heime our companion carries Mimung, he took it as soon as you fell.
A few days passed
When Witig had been home for six days, king Ermenrik sent a message that Dietrich should come with all his men to help him in a campaign against a jarl named Rimstein. This jarl owed tribute to king Ermenrik but refused to pay, and his castle was Gerimsheim. Dietrich was happy to do so.
When Witig heard about the campaign he went to Heime and asked him to return Mimung. Heime said he was willing to loan Mimung to him for the campaign on the condition that Witig returned it to him when they had come home. Witig agreed.
Now king Dietrich rode from Bern with 500 men and his heroes, which he called his companions, and went to find his uncle. King Ermenrik had 6000 men with him, and then both kings with their armies entered the jarl's territory and burned everything they could find and killed many men. When they came to the castle of Gerimsheim they burned all buildings outside it, and made camp. King Ermenrik and his army lay before one tower, and king Dietrich and his men before the other. They besieged the castle for two months but could not take it.
One evening jarl Rimstein and six knights rode from the castle to scout. Before he had commanded his men to arm themselves and stand ready inside the towers, and attack if it turned out the enemy was unarmed at the moment. When the jarl had found out what he wanted and was returning to the castle, he rode between the tents
Now Witig rode back to the tents, and he was very pleased and had his stallion make jumps, and the others knew Witig had done some heroic deed or other.
Heime said: Very proudly Witig rides there, and he has probably done something heroic that makes him feel even better about himself than before.
Witig told them they did not need to stay here any longer, since the jarl was dead. And they asked who had done that, and he told him he'd seen the man that had done the deed. And Heime said he didn't have to hide any longer that he had done that deed himself, but it was only a minor heroic deed that even a woman could have done if she could handle weapons, because the jarl was so old he had hardly any strength left.
Then Witig became angry and drew Mimung, and he took Nagelring and threw it at Heime's feet, and challenged him to a duel. And Heime accepted.
Then king Dietrich and several of his companions sprang between them, because they did not want them to fight, and they asked Witig to leave it be. But Witig said he would not sheathe Mimung before it had cut through Heime's head and body, and that there was bad blood between them, and they had to fight sooner or later, and he preferred sooner. Also, Heime had not behaved manly in the battle against king Osantrix, when he left Witig laying on the ground while he could have saved him, but instead he took my weapon, as if he had been my enemy instead of my companion.
Now king Dietrich said that Heime had not done well, and told him to apologise. And thus it came to pass that Heime said that what he had said
Then king Dietrich asked Witig: Dear friend, did you really kill the jarl? Yes, said Witig, he rode against me with five knights, and he pulled the short straw in our encounter, and the others fled. Then Dietrich praised him for his courage and thanked him.
The next morning king Dietrich told his uncle king Ermenrik about the fall of the jarl, and Ermenrik blew the horns and stormed the castle. The men in the castle saw no solution except to surrender, and king Ermenrik granted them their life and goods, and set his relative Walther of Waskastein over them.
Then the kings rode home, and both said in their realm, king Ermenrik in Rome, and king Dietrich with his heroes in Bern. And king Dietrich sat at home quietly for a while, as he rarely did in his days, because he preferred to be involved in battles and duels that will be famous through all times.
A king named Sigmund ruled over Tarlungaland
Not long after Sigmung went to Hispanien himself, and he took four hundred
Now the marriage was celebrated in style, and Nidung gave his daughter and son in law towns and strong castles, almost half of his realm. The rest he gave to his son Ortwangis, because Nidung was already weak with age.
And when the marriage feast had been celebrated for five days king Sigmund rode away with his knights and his wife Sisibe, back to his realm.
When he had been home for seven days two messengers of king Drasolf arrived, handed their letter and seal, and told him: King Drasolf and your sister
Sigmund replied: If my brother in law and my sister need my help, I should give it. And on the same day he sent out letters and seals to his vassals
When king Sigmund rode off he called his counselors Hartwin and Herman, counts in Svava, and he transferred his wife and realm into their care because he trusted them completely. But it has often happened that if a man trusted another man completely he was still betrayed.
The two counts rode with the king for a while, and he told him what to do while he was away, but above all he told them to do what Sisibe wanted. And they promised to do so.
When king Sigmund met his brother in law Drasolf had no less than three thousand knights, and an army
When the two counts had ruled the realm for a while, Hartwin came to Sisibe and told her: I now rule this realm and its treasure, and I have chosen you as my dearest wife. It is unclear that king Sigmund will ever return, and even if he does he will not get his realm back from me, or from us, if you wish. I am not a worse knight than king Sigmund, in fact, I'm a bit better.
Sisibe replied: I will not take another husband than king Sigmund. For now I will keep silent about what you said, but if you ever say this again I will have words with king Sigmund when he comes home and you'll be hanged.
He said: Lady, don't talk like that. You must have heard I'm as powerful in my lands as king Sigmund is in his
Now Hartwin told Herman all that had happened and asked him for counsel. And Herman said: I think you should not do this. But if you must, I'll help you as much as I can. And Hartwin said: I will do this or lose my life, or she loses hers. Now Herman said: If you make a great effort it can still go as we want.
A few hours later Herman went to Sisibe and told her the same Hartwin had said, and she answered the same, and became angry. Then Herman told his companion how it had gone. Thus many hours
Meanwhile king Sigmund and his brother in law Drasolf fought in Pulinaland and killed and burned and looted, and often fought with the men of the land, and sometimes won, sometimes lost. And when they returned home they had left many men there, but they themselves came back safe.
When Hartwin and Herman heard king Sigmund had returned to the marks
Then they went to the queen and told her they would go meet the king and see how he was. She asked them to do so quickly, and thus they did. When they came to king Sigmund they asked for a secret meeting, and then Hartwin said: My lord, I have bad news; please do not hold it against me. Hardly had you gone away that queen Sisibe started taking up an indecent life, she took a handsome slave and took him to bed. And when we tried to forbid this, she threatened to slander us to you when you came back. And this slave has slept in her arms nearly every night, and she is pregnant now. We did not want you to come home before you knew all of this.
King Sigmund replied: Surely you know that if you lie it will be your death. And Herman swore that all they had said was true. And king Sigmund said: Good friends, how shall we punish this woman? Hartwin said: Decide, my lord, and we'll do it. Then the king said: She could be hanged, but we could also blind her and cut off her feet and sent her back to her father like that.
Hartwin said: We could also send her into the Svava forest, where no man has returned from, and cut out her tongue there, and then she will live as long as God wills. And the king took this counsel.
Now the counts rode home. And one day the queen stood on the tower and saw a dust cloud from horses, and then she saw men, and from the banner she knew it was the counts that returned. And she called to them: Do you bring good tidings from king Sigmund? And Hartwin replied: King Sigmund is well, he is currently in the Svava forest with his army and wants you to come there. And we will bring you there, as he commanded.
And she replied: I will come to him, but which woman shall accomnaby me? And Herman said: It's not necessary for a woman to accompany you, it's not a long trip. And she said she was ready.
Now they went until they came to a valley in the forest, where never before a human had been, and there they dismounted. And the queen called: Where are you, king Sigmund? WHy have you told your men to bring me here? I know now that I have been deceived, and not just me, but also our child.
Then Hartwin said: We should now do the king's command: cut out your tongue and bring it to the king, and here you shall lose your life.
Herman said: This woman is innocent, so let's take the tongue of the dog that follows us and bring that to the king.
Hartwin replied: She should now pay for rejecting our proposal, and our plans will be carried out.
And Herman said: God help me, you shall never harm her as long as I can help it. And he drew his sword.
At this time however the queen gave birth to an allvænt
Meanwhile the two had started to fight, and it was a hard duel. Finally Harwin went down where the queen rested, and with his foot he hit the glass pot and it fell into the river. And in that moment Herman swung his sword and cut off his head.
And when the queen saw what happened to her child she fell unconscious while she was ill
Then Herman buried her, mounted, and rode back to king Sigmund. The king asked: Where is Hartwin your companion? And Herman replied: He wanted to kill the queen, but I wanted to help her, and we fought and I killed him. The queen gave birth to an allvænt boy, but Hartwin killed him before he died himself.
And king Sigmund asked: Didn't the queen say whether the king or the slave was his father? Or did both of you lie?
Herman said: We did not lie, my lord, but it could be that a man commits a great crime but understands what he has done and repents, but he still remains a good man.
And the king said angrily: Go from my eyes, I no longer want your service. You have betrayed your lord. And Herman rode away with his men, and he was happy to have escaped. But king Sigmund now sat in his realm.
The glass pot with the child floated on the river to the sea, and it didn't take too long, and it was ebb. The pot now floated onti a sand bank, and the water fell further, so that it was dry. Meanwhile the child had grown somewhat, and he broke it in two, and cried.
Then a hind came, took the child in her mouth and carried it home to her lair. She had two calves, and she put the boy down and let him drink, and thus she nursed him like her own calves, and he was with the hind for twelve months. Then he was so large and strong as other children that were four years old.
A man called Mime was a famous and skilfull smith. He had many journeymen that served him. He also had a wife, but in the nine
He had a brother named Regin, who was very strong, and the most evil of all men, and as a punishment for doing witchcraft and magic he became a dragon. And thus it happened that he became the largest and most evil dragon, and he would kill anyone except for his brother. And nobody knew where his lair was, except for Mime.
One day Mime went into the forest to burn coal, and he thought to be away for three days. And when he came into the forest he made a great fire, and when he stood by this fire alone a small boy came and ran to him. He asked the boy who he was, but the boy could not speak. Still Mime took him and put him on his knee
Then a hind came and went to Mime's knee and licked the face and head of the boy. And from this Mime understood that the hind had nursed the child, and he did not want to kill the hind. But he took the boy home with him and wanted to raise him like his son and gave him the name Sigfrid.
Thus the boy grew up until he was twelve
One of the journeymen was called Eckhart, and he was the strongest of the twelve. One day Sigfrid came to the smithy, and Eckhart was smithing, and Eckhart hit Sigfrid on the ear with a tongue, but Sigfrid took him by the hair in his left hand so tightly that he fell to the ground
Then Mime said to Sigfrid: Don't hit my journeymen. They do useful work, but you do nothing except evil, even though you're strong enough and could work as hard as the others. I will help you to work, but if you don't want to I'll hit you until you will. And he took Sigfrid by the hand and took him to the smithy.
There Mime sat down and took iron and put it in the fire, and he gave Sigfrid the heaviest hammer. When the iron had become hot he put it on the anvil and told Sigfrid to hit it. And Sigfrid's first hit was so strong that the anvil split in two and sank into the anvil stone, and the iron splattered all around, the tongues broke, and the hammehead flew from the shaft.Mime said: I have never seen a man hit harder or worse than this, and whatever you will do, it won't be crafts. Now Sigfrid went to the house and sat with his foster mother and did not tell anyone how he felt, good or bad.
Now Mime sae that the boy would do more bad things and he decided to kill him. He now went into the forest where the dragon was, and told him he'd give him a boy and asked the dragon to kill him. Then he went home.
The next day Mime told Sigfrid to go into the forest to burn coal. Sigfrid said: If that can patch up things between us I will do so. And Mime propared his journey and gave him food and wine for nine
Then it was dinner time, and he sat down to eat, and ate all the food, and he drank all the wine as well, while Mime had thought it would serve him for nine days. And he said to himself: I don't think I could find a man that I would not fight, and I don't think any man's hand will be too strong for me.
And when he had said this a large dragon came to him. And he said to himself: Now it could happen that I can try what I just wished for. And he jumped to the fire, too the largest tree, walked to the dragon and hit it on the head, and with the first stroke the dragon went down, and he hit the dragon again, and it fell to the ground, and he hit again and again until the dragon was taken to hell
Now he sat down and he had become tired. It was already late in the day and he understood he would not come home today, and he didn't know what food he could get. Then he realised he could eat the dragon for supper, and he took his kettle and put it on the fire. Then he cut large pieces from the dragon with his axe until the kettle was full and he had enough to eat. And when he thought it was ready he dipped his hand into the kettle, and burned his fingers, and put them in his mouth to cool them.
As soon as the broth went over his tongue and down into his throat he heard how two birds who were sitting in a tree sang, and he now understood what one said: It would be better for this man to know what we know, then he would go home and kill Mime his foster father because Mime plotted to kill him if everything had gone as he wanted. And this dragon was Mime's brother, and Mime will want to avenge his brother and kill the boy.
Then Sigfrid took the dragon's blood and rubbed it on his hands, and everywhere he could reach, and it was as if his skin became horn. Then he took off his clothes and rubbed himself entirely with the blood but he could not reach in the middle between the shoulders. Now he dressed and took the dragon's head in his hand.
Eckehart stood outside and saw how Sigfrid came back. And he want to his master and said: Sigfrid comes home, and he has the dragon's head in his hand. He must have killed it. Now everyone should save himself, because even though there's twelve of us, and even if there were half again as many, he would still kill all of us. And with that they all ran into the forest and hid.
But Mime went to Sigfrid alone and welcomed him. Sigfrid said: No welcomes! You will gnaw on this head like a dog. And Mime said: Don't do that. I will make up for what I did to you. I'll give you the helmet and armour that I made for king Hertnit in Holmgard, and I will give you a stallion called Grani, who is in Brunhild's herd, and also a sword named Gram, it is the best of all swords.
And Sigfrid said: I agree, if you do as you promise. And Mime gave him amrour and helmet and shield, and finally the sword, and when Sigfrid took the sword he swung it as powerfully as he could and gave Mime the death blow.
Now Signfrid went away and took the road that he was told went to Brunhild's castle. And when he came to the castle he found an iron door and nobody was there to open it for him. Then he hit the door so hard that the irons on the door were torn apart and went into the castle. Seven guards came to him, and they were guarding the gate, and didn't like him breaking open the door and wanted to kill him. But Sigfrid drew his sword and didn't stop until all these servants were slain. When the knights noticed this they took their weapons and attacked him, but he defended himself well.Brunhild now heard of all of this in her room, and she said: That must be Sigfrid Sigmund's son. And even though he may have killed seven of my knights ans seven servantsm he should still be welcome. And she went to the fight and told them to stop. And she asked who the man was that had come, and he said he was Sigfrid. She asked him for his ancestors, but he did not know.
And she said: If you don't know, then I can tell you you are Sigfrid, son of king Sigmund and Sisibe, and you are welcome here. But where do you travel to?
Sigfrid replied: I came here, because my foster father Mime told me to go here to get a stallion called Grani that you have. And I'd like to have him, if you please.
She said: I will give you a horse, or even several, if you want.
She ordered her men to catch the horse, and they took all day to do so, but they could not take it and in the evening they came home without it.
Sigfrid stayed the night. But in the morning she called twelve of her men, and went herself as the thirteenth. And the twelve men chased the horse for a long time and could not catch it. In the end Sigfrid asked for the bridle, and with it he went to the stallion, and the stallion wehnt to him and he caught it and jumped on his back.
Now Sigfrid rode away and thanked Brunhild for her hospitality. He stayd in no place for more than one night until he came to Bertangaland. There ruled a king named Isung, who had eleven sons. He took in Sigfrid and made him his counselor and banner bearer, and Sigfrid felt welcome here.
A king named Aldrian ruled over Niflungenland, and his wife was the daughter of a mighty king. One day, when Aldrian was away, she was drunk with wine and fell asleep in a flower garden. A man came to her, and she thought she recognised Aldrian, but he left quickly.
The queen became pregnant, and when she once again was alone the same man came to her, and told her he was the child's father, and he was an elf. She should keep this a secret from everyone except the child, who would grow to become a great man. And when he would ever find himself in trouble, he should call upon his father. Having said that, the man disappeared.
The queen gave birth to Hagen, called Aldrian's son. When he was four winters old, the other children told him his face was like a ghost's, and when he looked at himself in water, he saw his face was as pale like ash. He went to his mother and asked why he was like this. His mother told him the truth about his father, but a woman stood nearby and overheard the conversation, and this woman later became a concubine of Dietrich von Bern, and she told him the secret, and thus it became known.
King Aldrian and his wife had three sons and a daughter: Gunther, Gernot, and Giselher, who was still a child when these things happened
When king Aldrian left his realm and died, his oldest son Gunther took up the kingship.
King Dietrich was preparing a great feast, and invited all noblest men in his kingdom, and other men and leaders besides.
He had heard of a good warrior and king named Irung, who ruled Niflungenland. His wife was Ute, and she was the daughter of a mighty king. Once, when Irung was away, a man came to Ute and slept with her without her being aware, and she gave birth to a son, Hagen, and although he appared human, he was actually an elf.
King Irung had four sons and a daughter named Grimhild with his wife, and the king's sons were Gunther, Guthorm, Gernot, and Giselher. When Irung died his oldest son Gunther took up the kingship.
King Dietrich had heard of him, and sent a message to king Gunther to invite him to the feast, and also his brothers Hagen and Guthorm
All these sat on one bench
And everyone said that they had never seen such noble and brave men, so perfect in all virtues in one hall together.
King Dietrich's coat of arms was as follows: red, with a golden lion whose head touched the top of the shield and its feet the rim. Now that Dietrich was king he had added a golden crown to the lion's head. He had this coat of arms because the lion is the noblest of all animals, and all other animals fear it. Also it was custom that no one was allowed to carry a lion in his coat of arms who would ever flee.
Hildebrand the Old had a coat of arms in the same colour as Dietrich, and on it a white castle with golden towers, and the castle looked like Bern. His armour and clothing was of the same colour as Dietrich's
Heime the Great
Witig the Strong, Wieland's son, used a white colour in his armour, and on his coat of arms was a red hammer and tongs and three carbuncle stones to denote his descent, for his father was a smith, and the three precious stones denoted his mother. A dragon of red gold crowned his helmet.
Jarl Hornboge was a good warrior with sword, spear, and shield, but above all he excelled in archery and spear-throwing. Also he was an excellent horseman that he was never separated from his horse
Jarl Hornboge had brown as his colour, and on his coat of arms a golden hawk before which two birds flew, and his son Amelung had the same coat of arms. It meant his knighthood, and how, like the hawk, he often pursued enemies with great speed.
Jarl Hornboge had many lands and castles, and many knights and a wealth of cattle
Amelung, jarl Hornboge's son, looked a lot like his father [and carried the same coat of arms].
Sintram of Fenedi's colour was green, and on it a dragon that was brown on top and gold at the bottom. This was because Dietrich had saved him from a dragon
Fasold and Ecke were so alike that they were hard to tell apart. Fasold's colour was gold, and he had a red lion in his coat of arms, but this lion strode along the shield and did not have a crown. Ecke had the same coat of arms, and the lion signified they would never flee, as I have said before
Detlef the Dane, Biterolf's son, had dark blue as his colour, and on his coat of arms was depicted in gold the animal
Wildeber the Bold was a good counselor, daring and bold when ruling over other men, but artful and courteous when he served others. On his coat of arms he had a boar and a bear in dark red, but the colour of his coat was gold, with a dark red stripe, and his armour has the same colour.
This coat of arm signifies Villigöltr, which in German is Wildeber
Herbrand the Well-Traveled's coat of arms was red, and on it one saw a thrown fire
King Gunther's coat of arms was white as silver, and it had a crowned eagle, which he used for all his weapons, and the eagle was crowned because he was a king and the eagle was the king of all birds.
Hagen, Gunther's brother, has only one eye
Sigfrid's skin was as hard as a boar's, or horn, so that no weapon could pierce it, and he understood the language of birds
Sibich was a wise and patient man, persistent, resentful, deceitful, well-spoken, cruel, malicious, harsh, and his name will always remain famous.
Master Hildebrand had mastered the sword strike that no one could counter with a shield, and he usually won in one hit. And that is still said of him, wherever his name is written or spoken.
Heime the Proud was a great warrior. After his duel with king Dietrich
Then Heime rode home to his father Studa and took from his stud farm a filly, three winters old, named Falke. And this stallion he gave to king Dietrich, and king Dietrich rewarded him many times over.
Now king Dietrich looked around him on both sides, and praised the heroes present at the feast. And he thought that, if they were all armed and on their horses, they could ride throughout the world peacefully, since no one would dare to fight against them. And if anyone was not afraid of them and attacked them, he would have condemned himself to death.
Now Herbrand the Wise, the king's banner bearer, said that Dietrich was speaking out of ignorance, because Herbrand knew a country called Bertangaland, with a king named Isung, who is the strongest of all men and feared in duels, and he has eleven sons who are exactly like their father, and he has a banner bearer called Sigfrid, who is so great and wonderful in all heroic things that no better man can be found.
His skin is like horn everywhere, and few weapons bite him. His sword is Gram, and his horse is Grani, a brother of Falke
If you would fight this man, you would say before you returned home, if you returned at all, that you've never been in this much danger.
King Dietrich said with great courage, that if all that was true, then stand up from this table, arm yourself, take my banner, and I and the eleven others will follow you, and go and ride to Bertangaland. And before I sleep in my own bed for another night I want to know whether they or we are the strongest, and one of us will vanquish the other.
Then Herbrand went to his weapons, armed himself, mounted on his horse, and took king Dietrich's banner, and rode into the king's court. Let's wait no longer, he said, I'll show you the way to Bertangaland.
King Dietrich and all his men mounted, and Herbrand led them from Bern, with Dietrich behind him and the rest behind Dietrich, and they rode over long roads through wild woods, settlements and wilderness, to places where Dietrich had never been, nor one of his men.
Now they came to a large forest their road went through. Herbrand held his horse and told king Dietrich they had reached the Bertangaland forest, and in the forest lives a giant called Etger, a son of king Nordian and a brother of the giants Wildeber killed
Witig replied: If all that is the case, Herbrand, you and king Dietrich and all the others should wait outside, but I will ride into the forest and talk to the giant, and it could be I get him to allow us to pass through, since we are relatives. And if he refuses, my stallion will not carry me slower back to you than forward to the giant. The king and all companions agreed to this.
Although they did not cultivate it much, Witig and Etger the giant were related. Because Witig was the son of Wieland the Smith, whom the Northmen
Now Witig rode into the forest, and he saw a man sleeping who was very large and terrible, and he snored so hard that the branches on the trees shook. Witig dismounted and tied his horse to an olive tree, drew his sword Mimung, and poked the giant with his left foot. Rise, giant, he said, and defend yourself. The man has come who will take your life. The one who guards this country for a rich chieftain should not sleep.
The giant awoke, and saw a man had come here, but he was not afraid. He said: I don't always sleep, I awake when there is need. But when you are concerned I can either sleep or wake
Then Witig again poked him with his foot, so hard that two ribs broke, and now the giant jumped up and was angry. He took his iron pole and swung at Witig. Witig jumped aside, and the giant hit the ground so hard the pole was stuck between two rocks
Now king Dietrich and the others heard a great crash when the pole came down, and Herbrand said: We may well have heard Witig's death, so let's ride away as quickly as we can, because if we don't we'll get killed as well.
The giant now took his spear and threw it at Witig, but Witig ran towards him and the spear went over his head and deep into the ground, where it remained stuck. And now Witig struck the giant on his thigh, and carved off a piece so large no horse could carry it, and then he struck another blow and another until the giant fell down with many wounds. And while he had no more weapons he saw he would be defeated in this duel, so he fell to the ground in such a way that he hoped to catch Witig under him and thus kill him. But Witig ran through his legs and thus escaped.
When they heard this mighty fall, Witig's companions said: Now the giant has surely killed Witig. But others said that maybe Witig had won and the giant had fallen.
Now Witig told the giant he would cut off his head unless he bought himself free. And the giant offered gold and silver for his head, and Witig told him to bring him to the treasure. Then the giant rose, tired and blood-soaked, and went further into the forest, where they came to a large stone that had an iron ring in it.
The giant said: now remove this stone, and you will find the treasure. Witig pulled with all his might, but the stone didn't move. Then Witig said: if you want to keep your life, remove this stone.
Then the giant perforce took the stone and removed it with one hand, and under the stone was a door, and the giant opened it and below it was a hole in the ground
Witig considered that, when he went into the hole, the giant might close the door behind him and put the stone on top of it, and then he might never escape. So he told the giant: Go in and bring me your treasure. The giant stepped down into the hole, and Witig swung his sword with both hands and struck the giant's neck so that his head was cut off. And thus the giant fell.
Then Witig cut the giant's tongue out of his head and covered himself in the blood that flowed from it, then went to his horse and also covered it in blood, and he bound the tongue to his horse's tail, because he wanted to have it as evidence. Now he jumped on his horse and rode beack to his companions as quickly as he could.
Then he held up his sword as high as he could and crief: Away, my friends! The giant wounded me mortally, and you can expect the same when you don't flee now.
And when they heard this, all became afraid, and fled, except for king Dietrich. He courageously turned his horse toward Witig, drew his sword, and called: Good friend, turn around and come with me. We must remember that we said we would never flee, even when it is certain we'll be killed, but it won't matter since we'll be together.
When they met each other Witig explained to king Dietrich what he had done, and Dietrich thought Witig had done well, as was to be expected.
When king Gunther
Then Witig said to king Gunther and the others: Dear friends, I beg you, don't hold it against me that I did not tell you the truth. I know that among you many are not less than me. But if I have done you a bad turn, then let me make up with gold and jewelry.
Now they all rode on, and they saw how deep the pole had gone into the earth, and the place where the spear had gone into the earth, and then to the hole in the ground where the giant had fallen, and there they found innumerable treasures of gold, silver, and jewelry, because that was all the treasure of king Isung
Then king Dietrich said: Witig, I counsel you to leave this treasure here, and not take a penny with you. Now I first want to go to king Isung and fight him, and when we win we will take this treasure with us and do what we like. But if we lose, people could say we took booty here but still lost in our main endeavour
Witig replied the king but had to command him, as in everything. And so it was done.
Now they exited the forest and saw a mountain, and on it a beautiful and large castle. King Dietrich had his tents erected under the mountain, and camped there.
One day king Isung and his eleven sons were in their castle, and Sigfrid came to them and said to them: My lord, I saw a tent on the field before your castle, of a different type than I saw before. In the middle of this tent is a pole, and on it a knot of gold. And there is a second, red tent before it, and a third, green tent behind it, and on the right a golden tent, and on the left a white tent.
And before the tents there are thirteen shields, and on the outer shield there is a horse, and that is Heime's, and on the next a golden hawk with two birds, and that is my relative
And from that, Sigfrid continued, it seems to me that foreign warriors have come to our land, and I am prepared, if you wish, to ride to them and find out who they are
King Isung said: I'll send one of my men to them to tell them that if they want to keep their lives they should pay me tribute, as our laws require, and my emissary will ask them who they are, where they come from, where they were born, and where they're going, and if they have any other goal here than to pay me tribute.
And Sigfrid said: the man you're going to send should be none other than me.
Then Sigfrid took a bad horse without a saddle
Then Sigfrid said: My lord king Isung sends me to demand tribute from you, as our laws require, but if you do not give tribute you will leave your goods and your life here.
King Dietrich replied: We came here for reasons other than to give your king tribute. I offer him a challenge
Sigfrid replied: With your permission, who is your leader, and where do you come from? You're doing something no one has done before with your challenge. Haven't you heard how great he is? And I think he will not refuse battle, whatever men you are.
Witig said: King Dietrich rules these men, and there is another king here, that is Gunther of Niflungenland, and there are also many good heroes here. But do you think that king Isung and Sigfrid will truly battle us?
Sigfrid said: King Isung and Sigfrid will not flee from you, even though it's Dietrich von Bern and his men who have come here. But you cannot break the law and refuse tribute, so you should send him something that honours both you and him.
King Dietrich said: Since you bring us this message with so much courtesy I'm willing to send him an honourable gift. And he turned to his men and decided they would send one horse and shield, and they would cast lots to see who would lose them. And they did so
Amelung didn't like losing his horse and wanted to ride after Sigfrid. He went to his father Hornboge and asked to borrow his horse, but the jarl refused him.
Then Amelung went to Witig and asked the same. Witig said that he thought Amelung would not get back his horse, and if he lost Witig's in the process, what would Witig have left?
Amelung promised that if he also lost Witig's horse, he would give him twelve strong castles in Vindland, which his father had given him, and ind addition Witig would be Hornboge's heir. But if I return with your horse, I'll also have mine, and if I don't return I'll be dead. Witig agreed to this, because Amelung took most of the risk in this endeavour.
Then Amelung mounted Schimming, rode after Sigfrid and overtook him close to the castle where a linden tree grew
Amelung said: Get off that horse, or you will lose both horse and life. Sigfrid started to suspect that this man was jarl Hornboge's son, his relative
Now Amelung gave Schimming the spurs and rode to Sigfrid, and his spear hit his shield, but Sigfrid staid in the saddle, although his horse sank on its hindlegs. And the spear shaft broke.
Sigfrid said: That was well done for a young man, and you may well have relatives who are as knightly as you are. Now it's my turn.
And Sigfrid gave his horse the spurs and rode to Amelung, and his spear hit his shiled so hard that Amelung was carried far back off his horse. Now Sigfrid took Schmming's reins and said: Good man, now you have neither your own horse nor the other one, which appears to be Schimming, Witig's horse. You will likely have pledged a great deal to get it. It would have been better if you had sat still this time.
Amelung replied that it might still turn out otherwise, and Sigfrid asked him what we wanted to do. Amelung said he'd do anything honourable to get his horse back. Then Sigfrid asked him who he was. Amelung refused to tell him, because Sigfrid still held his horse and his companions would say he told him out of fear, which would be dishonourable.
Then Sigfrid asked him if he was the son of jarl Hornboge, his kinsman, because he would never do dishonour to kinsmen. Also he told Amelung he was Sigfrid. Amelung still refused, unless Sigfrid swore with God as witness the facy would never be used to shame him. This Sigfrid promised.
Then Amelung told him he was Amelung Hornboge's son and they were related. Then Sigfrid said he had done well, and proposed that Amelung would take both horses back to the tents, but before he left he would bind Sigfrid to the linden tree and take his spear and shield as well.
And they did this, and Amelung rode back with both horses, and when he neared the tents he behaved quite heroically.
Now king Dietrich and Witig stood outside their tents and saw Amelung ride back. Witig said: Amelung has his horse back, and now I can guess that it was Sigfrid who came to us, because I believe Amelung asked for the horse as a gift, since they are related, and Amelung will have spoken quite humbly because he'd never have received the horse in any other way.
King Dietrich said: He would not have taken the horse back against Sigfrid's wishes, but it could be that the man who came to us was another man, and thus
Now Amelung rode to the tents, and his father and his companions asked him how he'd got the horse. Then Amelung said: When I came to the foot of the mountain I found the man who had taken my horse, and I rode at him as hard as I could and hit his shield with my spear - and you can see the shield here - and my spear broke in two, but I still threw him off his horse, and I beat him with the pieces of my spear, and I bound him to a linden tree using his belt and shield strap, and I also cut my sword strap in pieces to bind him as tightly as I wanted. And I assume he still stands there, because he can't free himself. Now everyone agreed he had behaved quite knightly.
Then Witig said to king Dietrich: I want to ride to where the man is bound, and when it is Sigfrid, as I suspect, then this was done with cunning, and if he still awaits me at the tree I'll be certain if it's Sigfrid or someone else
Dietrich agreed, and Witig mounted and said: It's a great shame if the man you have bound can't free himself, and I want to free him. And he rode there.
But when Sigfrid saw that a man rode to him he tore apart his bonds and walked up the mountain, because he did not want to encounter the man. When Witig arrived he saw the staps lie there, and the broken spear shafts, and thought that everything Amelung had said was true, and that's what he told his companions.
Now Sigfrid came to king Isung's hall and told him what had happened, and that Dietrich von Bern with twelve of his heroes had come, and that he had challenged them to a duel, and that Sigfrid had had a horse as a gift of friendship
And king Isung said that he willingly accepted the challenge.
The next morning king Isung and his men
And king Dietrich said: Don't doubt we've come here to fight. We have ridden a long road and encountered many dangers to find out who of us has the better swords and shields, the harder helmets, and more strength and valour.
King Isung and his men dismounted while king Dietrich and his men armed themselves. And they decided to hold thirteen duels between two heroes on foot. King Dietrich would fight Sigfrid, king Gunther would fight king Isung, and Witig Isung's oldest son, and so man was paired with man.
The first duel pitted Heime against the youngest prince
Heime refused and wrestled with him, but the prince gave him such a blow on the helmet with his bare fist that the helmet bended in against Heime's skull, and blood streamed from his nose and mouth and he lost consciousness.
And then Heime was bound hand and foot and the prince took his spear, planted it in the ground, and bound Heime to it. Then he returned to his men and called on the next pair of fighters. And he sat down calmly, because he had done his duty.
Now Herbrand, king Dietrich's banner bearer, took the field, and against him was set another of king Isung's sons, and they started the fight. They fought for a long time, but eventually Herbrand had received five wounds, none of them small, and lost a lot of blood and became tired. His strength left him and one more strong blow felled him. He surrendered his arms and was bound like before.
The prince went back to his men, and called on the next pair of fighters.
Now Wildeber took the field, and against him the third prince. They fought long and hard, and this was one of the toughest fights, and the prince received five wounds, all serious, but Wildeber had received seven, all even more serious, and began to become tired because of the blood he lost, and fell, surrendered his weapons, and was bound.
And the prince went back to his men, and he had done well.
Now Sintram von Wenden took the field, and against him the fourth prince. They gave each other many blows, and neither retreated. And Sintram's sword went through helmet, armour and shield as if it went through clothing, and the prince received three wounds, while Sintram had received none. Now the prince hit Sintram with all his force on his helmet, and his sword broke and he was disarmed. Then he took his shield and, because he was a brave man who preferred dying to fleeing or begging for peace, he ran toward Sintram and pushed him so hard that Sintram fell over, and he could not get back on to his feet before his hands and feet were bound.
The prince went back to his men, and he liked what had happened well.
Now Fasold took the field, and against him the fifth prince. This duel started with great braveness, since both were very strong men, and for a long time it was unclear who would win. Both gave the other hard blows, and each received two serious wounds. Then the prince hit Fasold's helmet so hard that Fasold fell unconscious, but the prince stood above him and said: You're such a brave man, why would you fall from a single blow? Stand up and defend yourself!
Fasold got to his feet and they fought on. Then the prince thought to himself that it was a disgrace that he would fight all day with one man, and he should win one out of thirteen victories. And in great anger he hit Fasold so hard that he fell again, and now the prince bound him, like his companions.
Now five spears stood on that field, and to each was tied one of the companions, and the Bertanga-men were quite happy and they felt everything was going well.
Now Amelung said: "It was an unfortunate day
And now he called on his father jarl Hornboge and told him to bind his helmet onto his head as firmly as he could, and to bind his shield to his left hand as firmly as he could so that it could not be lost, and he swore that he'd rather be chopped as small as the smallest pieces that went into a kettle before he would be bound and the Bertanga-men would support his back with a spear shaft.
Now he took the field, and against him the sixth prince, and they fought with great courage for a long time. Amelung saw that the fight would take a long time if he didn't take some more risk. Despite his shield being bound to his left hand, he took his sword in both hands and hit the prince on the helmet as hard as he could, and the sword would not cut it, so hard was that helmet. But still the prince fell, and Amelung threw himself onto him and told him: If you want to keep your life, surrender your weapons and you'll be bound to a spear shaft like your brothers did to my companions. But if you want to free yourself, then they should let go my good friend Fasold and Herbrand.
The prince agreed, and it happened, and now each went back to his men; and the duel had gone as Sigfrid had thought it would.
Now jarl Hornboge took the field, and against him the seventh prince. They fought courageously, and jarl Hornboge acquitted himself honourably for a while, but he was overpowered by the prince, due to strong blows and knightly bravrery, and he could not hold but was defeated and bound.
And the prince went back to his men and the Bertanga-men were well pleased with the outcome.
Now Hagen took the field, and against him the eighth prince. And this was the hardest fight of all, and they hit one another so hard that sparks flew off their weapons, and if if had been night there would have been enough light to fight by. And no one knew who would win.
And after a while the prince decided he had to take more risk and win eithe victory or death, and he gave Hagen three serious wounds. And Hagen fell, and was bound to his spear. And the prince happily went back to his men.
Now Detlef the Dane took the field, and against him the ninth prince. And this fight was tough and bitter. They hit and stabbed so quickly that eyes could hardly keep up, and they fought until they both were tired, and both of them stabbed their shafts
Then Detlef said: If you want to keep your life, surrender your weapons and I'll bind you, but you may live in disgrace.
The prince replied: I won't yield my weapons, even though you are a Dane and a much-praised man, because you'll have to suffer many blows from my sword before I let it go, and you'll need your weapons as much as I need mine
Then they started fighting again with even more courage than before, and they did not stop until both of them were so tired that they could hardly stand. And it began to grow dark.
Then king Dietrich took his shield, and king Isung too, and both came between the fighters and separated them
Then king Isung said to king Dietrich: Now that it is evening we can no longer fight. I'll ride home to my castle, but the bound men who are not freed will have to stay here. And then tomorrow with daylight we will continue our fight, and by the evening you will lie bound on the same place you're sitting now. And with that they parted. King Isung and his men went to the castle, and king Dietrich and his companions slept in their tents.
And in the morning, when it was light, king Isung and his thirteen men returned, and king Dietrich went to them with his men. And now the fight between Detlef and the prince was resumed, and they fought bravely until Detlef got the upper hand and the prince fell, and Detlef caught him and told him he'd bind him unless he bought himself free by releasing Hagen.
Nine fights had been fought now.
Now Hildebrand took the field, and against him the tenth prince. They started their fight with great valour, and fought for a long time, until they tired. Hildebrand had already wounded the prince three times, all of them serious, and then he wanted to strike a mighty blow, but his sword broke in two, and now the prince came so boldly that he captured Hildebrand and bound him.
Then the prince went back to his men, and the Bertanga-men rejoiced.
Now king Gunther of Niflungenland took the field, and against him king Isung. The two kings attacked each other sharply, and both hit strongly and well, but still king Isung was a long stronger. But king Gunther did not fall back, and returned many blows. When this had gone on for a while king Isung became angry that a man could stand against him for so long, and decided to risk himself boldly, so that one of them would get a quick defeat, and spared no force and hit the helmet of king Gunther, and his sword broke; and this was such a strong blow that it was a wonder. But the helmet was so hard that the sword didn't bite.
Now king Isung took the spear shaft that Hagen had been bound to from the earth and hit king Gunther's helmet with all might, and the helmet bent and king Gunther fell, blood streaming from nose and mouth.
Then king Isung took him and bound him, and went away saying: "May the men who are left do equally well."
Now Witig the Strong took the field, and against him the eleventh prince, and this was the strongest of them all. Now they went at each other so powerfully that each blow was half as strong again as the previous one, and nobody saw a braver fight then this one. And they came so close to one another that they were barely able to hit one another
Now Witig considered what Mimung had done before, when he had carried that sword into a duel
Witig spoke: You, king Isung, choose: either release all my companions, or lose your son. King Isung replied: I won't release them before I see that the man can be killed, but he has not yet received a mortal wound.
The prince called: Do what he desires at once, or I'll lose my life. He has the Devil himself in his hand, and I cannot stand against it, nor anyone else; but still it's expensive to trade man against man
Then Witig said: If you, king Isung, do not release all my companions I'll cut off your son's head, and then I'll cut you a killing blow, and Mimung will not be sheathed before all my companions are free.
Now Witig walked to where his companions were kept, and he broke one spear shaft after the other until they were all free. And then he walked to the man he had fought with and wanted to kill him. Then king Isung and Sigfrid sprang between them and separated them, and king Dietrich agreed with this. And they were reconciled, and it was decided that both sides were unbound now, and that the fights so far were equal. And with that they parted, and Witig had released all his friends.
Now king Dietrich drew his sword Eckisax from its sheath, and came forth from his men to the field, and he was ready to fight. Sigfrid walked to meet him and drew his sword Gram. They drew closer courageously, and as soon as they met they exchanged great blows. Most blows were incredibly strong, and they did not spare their
Then king Isung took his shield, and Witig too, and they entered the battlefield and separated the two. "Enough fighting for today, and let's rest for the night, but tomorrow you may conclude your duel." And thus they parted, and king Isung and his men rode to the castle, while king Dietrich and his men went to their tents. They were quite happy, since things had gone well. And then they slept.
The next morning, when it hadn't been light for long, king Isung came down from his castle, and king Dietrich and Sigfrid armed themselves for a new day of combat. And when they continued they fought as if they had not met one another before, and both seemed fresh, and they hacked at one another until both were tired and they rested for a while. And then they fought on, the entire day until nightfall, and they only rested when neither of them could stay on his feet. And still their armours were unbroken, so that neither of them had suffered a wound, and still nobody knew who would vanquish the other. And again they were separated by king Isung and Witig. And then king Isung rode to his castle, and Dietrich and his men slept in their tents.
That night king Dietrich and Witig met, and Witig asked Dietrich: My lord, how do you think this battle with Sigfrid will end? He seems to be a brave and strong man, and both of you are, so I cannot say which one of you will win the prize
King Dietrich replied: I don't know either, but I'd feel better if my sword could penetrate his skin, which seems harder than any weapon
Witig replied: You may not ask for Mimung, because since it was forged it was but once in another man's hands than mine, and that was when Heime took it
This angered the king, and he said: Now hear what great shame this is, that you compare your king to a stable boy. We will never be as good friends as we were before because of these words.
Witig replied: My lord, if I spoke ill of you that was not deliberate
And when the night had passed king Isung came back with his men to fight. And king Dietrich was ready with his men. And when king Dietrich came on to the battlefield he had drawn his sword, but put his shield in front of it. Sigfrid had not come
Sigfrid replied: I'm coming, and we'll fight like yesterday, provided you again swear you won't use Mimung, Witig's sword. And once you do so I'll gladly fight with you. Dietrich replied he'd rather swear that oath than not fight, and called Sigfrid again.
Now Sigfrid came to the battlefield, but king Dietrich drew the sword behind his back and stuck its point in the earth, and supported the hilt with his back, and swore that, so help him God, Mimung's point was not above the earth and its hilt in no man's hand.
That was enough for Sigfrid, and he drew his sword Gram, but Dietrich took Mimung and they came together and fought. After a short while Dietrich made one hit after the other, and he cut off pieces of Sigfrid's shield or helmet or armour
Now Sigfrid realised exactly which oath Dietrich had sworn, and that he used Mimung, and he said: Lord Dietrich, I wish to surrender my arms and become your man
And Sigfrid surrendered his weapons, and king Dietrich took him gladly into his following, and it seemed to him that he had won the greatest and strongest hero in the world. And thus they parted.
And now king Dietrich and his men were quite happy and considered themselves to have succeeded in this expedition. But king Isung and his men were unhappy, because their best man and most famous hero was defeated.
And when king Dietrich and king Isung separated they swore friendship and gave one another great gifts. And Sigfrid, too, gave great gifts to his relatives
And the feast was celebrated with the best, and it took five days with great splendour and all sorts of festivities, and games and entertainment.
Now king Dietrich and his men rode away, and with him came Sigfrid, whom they admitted to their brotherhood. And when kings Dietrich and Isung separated they swore friendship. And Amelung was followed by his wife Fallburg with a great treasure of gold, silver, and jewelry.
Now king Dietrich rode the entire road that he had come by until he and his companions came home to Bern. There they were received with all honours.
And now everyone praised him for his strength and courage, wherever his name was heard, and that was in almost the entire world, and no one could name the man who would be willing to measure himself against Dietrich in strength or weapons. And he knew he could sit undisturbed in his kingdom for all his life, or as long as he wished.
When king Dietrich and his men had made sure that no man in the world would dare to carry a shield against them
Thus jarl Hornboge went home to Windland, and with him his son Amelung and his wife Fallburg, and they ruled their realm for a long time with honour and fame. And Sintram went east to Fenedi and became duke there, and was one of the most famous men, like his ancestors had been. And Herbrand went back to his realm, and also became a powerful duke.
Then king Dietrich and all his heroes rode with king Gunther to Niflungenland. And there the marriage was decided that later became famous, that Sigfrid would take Grimhild, sister to king Gunter and Hagen, as his wife, and with it half of king Gunther's realm.
And a great feast was given, and all the best and noblest men in the country were invited. And this marriage took five days and was wonderful in all things.
When king Dietrich, king Gunther and Sigfrid sat together, Sigfrid said to Gunther, his brother-in-law: I know a woman who surpasses all women in the world in beauty and virtue
Then they rode away from the feast, king Dietrich, king Gunther, Hagen and Sigfrid with all their men, and they traveled long and didn't stop before they reached Brunhild's castle.
Brunhild received king Dietrich and king Gunther well, but Sigfrid not so much, since she already knew he had a wife, and the first time they met he had sworn not to take another woman than her, and she not another man than him
Now Sigfrid went to Brunhild and told her why they had come, and that she should marry king Gunther. She replied: I heard how badly you kept your word, that we had promised ourselves to each other, and even though I can pick whichever man in the world I'd like, I still want you for my husband.
Sigfrid replied: What had been decided before
Then Brunhild replied: I see now that I cannot have you, so I will take your and king Dietrich's counsel in this. Now king Dietrich and king Gunther joined this conversation, and they did not part before king Gunther and Brunhild decided to marry.
Now a great marriage feast was held, and king Gunther married Brunhild. And on the first night, when king Gunther and Brunhild went to bed, no third man
And when the two newlyweds were together, king Gunther wanted to make love to Brunhild, but she didn't want that at all, and she took both their belts and tied him hand and foot and hung him on a nail in the wall. And there he hung until daylight, when she released him so that he could go and drink. Neither he nor she spoke of this to anyone.
And the next night the same happened, and the third night as well. And king Gunther became unhappy and did not know what to do. Then it occurred to him that Sigfrid and he had sworn brotherhood, and that he was also wise, so he had a talk with Sigfrid alone and told him what had happened.
Sigfrid replied: I'll tell you why this happens. As long as she keeps her virginity hardly any man can be found who has power over her, but once her virginity is taken she is not stronger than other women.
Then king Gunther said: Because of our blood relation and friendship I trust no man but you to keep silent about this, and I also know you're strong enough to take her virginity; but I trust that if we do this it will never become common knowledge. And Sigfrid said he'd do as Gunther asked, so that was decided.
When evening came and Gunther would go to bed, Sigfrid went instead, and Gunther went away in Sigfrid's clothes. And all thought that Gunther was in bed. But Sigfrid had thrown clothes on his head, and pretended he was very tired, and he lay there until everyone had fallen asleep or gone away. Then he went to Brunhild and took her virginity. And in the morning he took from her hand a finger ring
And now a hundred men came out to meet him, and king Gunther was the first, who went to the bed and Sigfrid came to him, and they swapped their clothes again, and nobody knew what had happened.
When the wedding had gone on for seven days and nights, they made ready to ride home. Now Gunther put a chieftain over the castle, but he rode home to Niflungenland with his wife Brunhild. And when he came home he sat quietly in his realm and ruled it in peace, and with him his brother in law Sigfrid and his brothers Hagen and Gernot. But king Dietrich and all his man rode home to Bern, and they parted as good friends.
Chapter 231-239 not yet summarised.
One day king Dietrich set out northward over the mountains, and Fasold and Detlef the Dane went with him and sixty knights, and he went to the castle Drekanfils. In this castle ruled the nine daughters of king Drusian, whose mother had died from grief about Ecke's death
Dietrich asked the oldest daughter, Gotelinde, to marry him, and the hand of the other sister for Fasold, and the hand of the third for Detlef. Drusian's daughters agreed to that.
And now a great and wonderful wedding was celebrated, and king Dietrich and Fasold and Detlef the Dane married, and Detlef broke his engagement with Sigurd's daughter
And then Fasold and Detlef took the realm into their possession that Drusian's daughters had held, and king Dietrich gladly made them both dukes. But he himself rode home to Bern with his other men and his wife Gotelinde. And when he came home he sat in his realm for a long time.
King Attila of Soest was rich and powerful, and subjected many lands. He concluded an alliance with king Ermenrik of Puli
Walther was then twelve
One day there was a wonderful feast and ring dance
He said: How long do you want to stay a handmaiden to queen Erka? It would be better for you to come with me to my relatives. She asked him not to mock her, because she was not with her kinsmen
Walther said: Lady, you are the daughter of jarl Ilias of Greken, and your father's brother is king Osantrix of Wilkinenland, and also in Reussen
She said: Now that I know your will truly, you shall know mine: I was four
Then Walther said: If that's true, then come to the outer gate
King Attila became aware of all this only when Walther and Hildegund had ridden from Soest. They took a lot of gold with them, and rode away alone, for they had confided in no one.
When king Attila found out that Walther and Hildegund had fled, he ordered twelve of his men to ride after them, and they should take back all the gold they had stolen, and also Walther's head. Among them there was also a man called Hagen, kung Aldrian's son. These twelve knights pursued the two fugitives and quicly saw them ride ahead.
Then Walther sprang from his stallion and hid Hildegund and the treasure under it
Then Hildegund said: It's a pity you should fight alone against twelve knights, you should rather turn back and save your life. Walther told her not to cry. He had seen helmets cleaved before, and shields split, and armour sundered, and headless men falling off their horses
Now they rode against each other, and battle broke out, and it became night before it was over.
Although he had killed eleven knights, Walther was badly wounded, but Hagen had fled into the forest. Walther went back to his wife and stayed with her there in the forest. He struck fire from flints and built a large fire, and roasted a ham of a wild boar
Then Hagen sprang from the bushes, and to the fire where Walther sat, and Hagen drew his sword and wanted to kill him. Hildegund warned Walther to defend himself, because one of the enemies had come back. Then Walther took the ham that was eaten
Walther also mounted and rode south over the mountains to king Ermenrik, and told him the entire adventure. They recovered king Attila's friendship by the rich gifts that king Ermenrik gave him.
Chapter 245-268 not yet summarised.
Then jarl Iron rode home, but not long after his wife Isolde died.
King Attila of Soest
The next morning they went on to the feast, and Dietrich von Bern and Witig and Heime were also there. This was the feast where Detlef the Dane battled with Walther of Waskastein
When king Attila went home he again staid at Fritila as a guest of Ake's. This time Iron managed to talk to Bolfriana, and they declared their love. Then king Attila and all his men rode back to Hunnenland, and jarl Iron sat in his castle Brandenborg with his men.
A while after jarl Iron set out on a journey with his hunter Nordian and a few knights and many dogs, and they made sure they could stay away for two months. And they went hunting in the unpopulated areas, until they came in the realm of duke Ake.
Then jarl Iron heard that king Ermenrik would give a feast in Rome, and king Dietrich had been invited as well as duke Ake. Then Iron sent a knight to the castle with a letter to Bolfriana and the message he'd come as soon as the duke had gone away.
The knight disguised himself as a minstrel and managed to give Bolfriana the right sign and the letter, and said jarl Iron would ride into the castle at nighttime.
When Bolfriana poured Ake's drink he offered her half, and she drank, and so it went throughout the evening, and she became drunk and fell asleep. The duke had some of his knights carry Bolfriana to bed, and he also went to bed. But he went through his wife's girdle and found the letter, that invited Bolfriana to come to him in the forest the night after Ake had left for the feast. But when Ake did not leave she should send Iron a message. When he had read the letter he went to sleep, and the next morning he woke Bolfriana and was friendly to her. Then he rode out to Rome.
At first they rode south through the forest, but once they had ridden for a while Ake said that it would be incourteous not to invite king Dietrich von Bern, who would pass through Fritila, to a meal. Thus they turned around and headed back home. They re-entered the forest, and after sunset they saw a man riding, and before him ran two dogs, and a hawk on his left hand, and he had a shield bearing a coat of arms of a hawk and a dog. Duke Ake recognised it had to be Iron, and he called out to him, and drew his sword and attacked him with his knights.
Jarl Iron recognised from the coat of arms, a red shield with a golden lion, that he was attacked by duke Ake of Fritila, and they attacked one another. Jarl Iron fought bravely, but in the end he fell dead from his horse.
Duke Ake rode away with his men, and left jarl Iron's body there, and went to a house he had in the forest to stay overnight.
The same night king Dietrich von Bern came to Fritila, and Witig the Strong and Heime were with him, and they staid there for the night. Early next morning they rode on, came to the forest and found a dead man, and also a horse with a knight's saddle, and the horse bit them and didn't want them to separate it from its lord. There were also two dogs who did not let them touch their lord, and two hawks came from the trees and screamed loudly.
Dietrich remarked this had to be a great man, and then he recognised jarl Iron. They decided to bury him, and took a large tree
And while they were doing this duke Ake and his men came by, greeted Dietrich, and suggested they would all ride to Rome together. Dietrich asked him who could have slain jarl Iron, and Ake replied he had done it. Dietrich asked why, and Ake replied the jarl was hunting for a two-legged animal to his dishonour, with the cunning of both of them
Nordian and the three knights felt that jarl Iron had been away for too long, searched from him, and heard the howling of his dogs at Iron's grave. Nordian recognised the animals, and they opened the grave and found their lord Iron with many wounds, and they considered it likely Ake had done this.
They took the horse, dogs, and hawks, and staid in Amelungenland until they were certain Ake had done this. Then they rode home to Hunnenland and told king Attila the story. He set a new man over Brandenborg, that jarl Iron had once ruled.
Now news came to Longobardenland that a count by name of Ake Harlungtrost had died, who left behind a wife, Bolfriana, and two young sons, Egard and Ake. The older Ake was a half-brother of king Ermenrik.
Then king Dietrich set out with a hundred knights and his good friend Witig to Rome to king Ermenrik. He proposed that Witig should marry Bolfriana of Drekanfils
Now Ermenrik was king in Rome, and all kings and dukes south of the mountains served him, and many other kings in the part of the earth called Europe. Because even the emperor himself ruled only Bolgerland and Griechenland, but king Ermenrik's realm stretched to the sea called Adria.
And one day king Ermenrik sent his counselor Sibich to Sarkastein in order to do the king's work there and dispense justice, and this was a very honourable journey. Sibich's wife, Odilia, stayed home, and when she was alone in her house, king Ermenrik came there alone and covertly, and demanded her favours, as he had wanted for a long time. She did not want him, but didn't dare to oppose his wishes, so he slept with her.
When Sibich came home she stood and cried. He asked her why she cried, and she explained: "It is because of king Ermenrik's evil. He came one day, while I was mending your silk shirt, and he did me such dishonour that you couldn't repay him with evil." and she explained everything. Sibich told her to pretend nothing had happened, but promised he would take revenge.
Then Sibich went to the king, as usual, and together they decided about everything as before.
One day, when Ermenrik and Sibich sat together, Sibich said that all kings of the world paid tribute to Ermenrik, except only Osantrix of Wilkinaland, and counseled him to send his son Fridrich and many men to Osantrix to demand tribute. Ermenrik liked this counsel, called Fridrich, and sent him out.
Thus Fridrich went to Wilkinenland, and came to the Wilkinenburg, where one of Osantrix's jarls lived. Sibich, however, had secretly sent out a messenger to this jarl, who was his relative. He invited the jarl to slay Fridrich. Thus, when Fridrich reached the castle the jarl and his men attacked him, and killed all seven of them
Again Ermenrik and Sibich took consel together, and Sibich said that it annoyed him the king of Angland didn't pay tribute. Maybe it would be a good idea to send Ermenrik's son Reginbald there with many knights to demand it. Also, Ermenrik should have a ship made ready for this expedition, because this would cost only half as much
Now Reginbald went to where ships were moored in the stream
One day king Ermenrik went hunting with his youngest son Samson and his counselor Sibich, but Sibich was displeased, and the king asked him why. Sibich replied that the king's son Samson had done him great dishonour by desiring his daughter, and this dishonour was never avenged, unless the king would do it.
This made king Ermenrik very angry at his son Samson, and he grappled him angrily by his hair, so that Samson fell from his horse. Then the king had his horse trample his son, and rode home.
And that night the king heard that his son Reginbald had drowned, and thus he had lost all his sons thanks to Sibich's treason.
One day Odilia, Sibich's wife, went to the queen, Ermenrik's wife, and they drank and were merry. But then she spoke of Egard and Ake
Then king Ermenrik came in, and drank with them. Odilia said: "Now we have west and south wind, and sunshine and warmth, and then light rain and it's clear in the east and north, what else would come but Egard and his brother Ake? No wild animal or forest bird will be safe from them." The king was silent and didn't reply.
Then the queen said: "They give peace to neither animal nor bird, and each time they come here the serving girls won't have peace, either." Still Ermenrik did not reply, though he thought about what the women were saying, and Fritila, Egard's and Ake's foster, was with him.
Then the queen said: "I myself should take care, and they would certainly do me dishonour if it were in their power."
Then the king spoke angrily: "If you are not safe from them, then they should not be safe from me. They'll hang so high no one will hang higher."
Then Fritila said that Egard and Ake would suffer because Witig
King Ermenrik gathered his army. Meanwhile Fritila and his son came to the Rhine, and swam through the strong stream, and pulled their horses with them.
Trelinborg stands on the Rhine, and Egard saw them swimming, and he thought that Fritila was bringing word of trouble because he didn't want to wait for the ship.
Fritila told them Ermenrik was coming with his army, but Egard thought they would be reconciled, and he was not afraid of his uncle. Frtilia told them everything he had heard, and now the brothers sent for their own men.
King Ermenrik came to the castle, took his banner, rode to the dyke and shot the banner pole
Now king Ermenrik had a throwing engine erected, and had fire flung into the castle so that it burned. Fritila said they should go out, so that they would die fighting instead of burning like mice. They went out with 60 men, and fought king Ermenrik, until Ermentik had lost 500 men. But the brothers were captured and hanged, and so they died, as Sibich had wanted. Then Ermenrik went home.
Witig came home, and found his castle burned, and he found his wife in a village hut. Then Witig took all his men and his possessions, and went to king Dietrich to ask for advice. Together with Witig King Dietrich went to Ermenrik, and asked why all this happened, and whether Witig was to blame for anything. The king replied that Witig was blameless, and that he would not think less of him. And he gave Witig the castle named Rana, and Witig ruled that castle. King Dietrich went home, but was perturbed about how Ermenrik treated his relatives.
One day king Ermenrik and Sibich were talking, and Sibich said that Ermenrik should worry about his nephew Dietrich, because Dietrich was plotting high treason against him, and was a great hero besides. He has increased his kingdom by many cities, but refuses to pay tribute over the land your father took with his sword. While Dietrich rules in Bern Ermenrik would get nothing.
The king agreed that his father had held the land, and that he was not of lesser birth than Dietrich. Sibich counseled to send the knight Reinald to Amelungenland to demand tribute. The king took this counsel, and when the ambassadors reached Amelungenland they called all the men to a meeting
The men said that they were already paying tribute to king Dietrich, and that when he wanted to give Ermenrik some that was fine, but they would not give twice. And they send messengers to king Dietrich, who came to the meeting and talked to them, and at the end he told Reinald to go home to tell Ermenrik he would never get tribute from Amelungenland as long as Dietrich was king.
After Reinald told Ermenrik what had happened, Sibich said it was as he had feared: Dietrich wanted to be equal to Ermenrik.
King Ermenrik replied that he now saw Dietrich wanted to measure himself against him, and that he should hang before he could attain his goal, because everyone knew who was the most powerful.
Then Heime said that Ermenrik would pay for the evil he did to so many of his kinsmen, and that Sibich was the cause of it all. And Witig agreed that this was a great dishonour that would always be told as long as the world remained. And Witig jumped onto his horse and rode day and night as quickly as he could.
But king Ermenrik had his war horns blown, gathered his army, rode away and gathered even more men as he moved.
By midnight Witig arrived at Bern, and all doors were closed. The gurds asked who came there, and Witig named himself and asked the doors to be opened. And they did so, and warned king Dietrich. When the two met, king Dietrich asked what news he had, and if Witig knew why king Ermenrik demanded tribute from his lands. Witig told him Ermemnrik's army was coming, and that he wanted to kill Dietrich, like all his other relatives. King Dietrich called together all his men, and said they could either stay, fight, and be defeated and killed, or leave the castle, and God knows when we will get it back. And he wanted to do the latter.
Then Hildebrand his best friend agreed, even though it was unseemly, and king Dietrich should prepare himself, because there was no time for more talk.
And when Hildebrand has spoken the women and children began to wail for their men, sons, and brothers, and fathers, while the knights took their arms and horses. And in that night there were loud sounds from calls and horns, and when all had armed themselves they went into the king's hall, sat there for a while, and drank wine.
Then Heime came to Bern, and told them king Ermenrik was now close by and had 5,000 knights with him, while king Dietrich only had 800. And Heime said that they would leave the castle with dishonour, but king Ermenrik would receive more harm than good from them.
Then Hildebrand took king Dietrich's banner, and told all to follow him. And now they, Hildebrand in front, rode to Langobardenland and Munia, into Ermenrik's realm, and they burned castles, villages, and farms, before they went north over the mountains.
Now Witig and Heime went back to king Ermenrik. Heime angrily confronted Ermenrik, and said that he had done many evils to his relatives, his sons Fridrich, Reginbald, and Samson, and his brother-sons Egard and Ake, and now his nephews Dietrich and Diether, and his sister-son Wolfhart, and that Sibich was guilty of all of this.
Then Sibich said that Ermenrik had done wrong by raising Heime so high, and that it would be better if he sent him to the same forest where his father is, and minds your
Then Heime said that if he had had his good sword Nagelring
Then Ermenrik ordered his men to hang Heime, but Heime hurried away to where his weapons were, armed himself, saddled his horse Rispa, and rode away with sixty men. But Witig came to the doors, Mimung in hand, and no one but Heime himself dared ride through the doors. Now Heime rode into the forest, and wherever he found a farmstead or other property of Ermenrik or Sibich he burned it. But Sibich didn't dare to ride out with fewer than 60 men, and they still feared Heime.
Dietrich rode northwards over the mountains until he came to the castle named Balakar that stood on the Rhine, and the mighty margrave Rodinger ruled there. And when Rodinger heard Dietrich was coming he rode out with all his men and his wife Gotelinde. Gotelinde gave Dietrich a banner, half green, half red, and a golden lion on it, and also a purple cloak. Margrave Rodinger gave him a horse and good clothes. Then Dietrich rode into the castle.
Then king Dietrich, together with the count
King Attila told king Dietrich how much trouble king Osantrix of the Wilkinen had caused him, both by killing men and by destroying his country. Dietrich said that should be avenged since he was in Attila's kingdom now
Not long after messengers came to king Attila who told him king Osantrix had entered his realm and was burning buildings and destroying the land and killing many men. Then king Attila called up all his men to ride out against Osantrix. And king Dietrich told master Hildebrand to take his banner and that all his men should ride out to help king Attila.
Now king Attila rode from Soest with king Dietrich and margrave Rodinger and went to the town called Brandenborg, because Osantrix had recently taken this town. King Attila and his men now laid siege to the town, and king Osantrix was also there with his whole army.
When king Osantrix heard king Attila had arrived he rode out
Now Hildebrand rode forth with king Dietrich's banner, and he slew Wilkimen one after the other. And behind him rode ming Dietrich, and also his relative Wolfhart, and the Amelungen
King Osantrix saw that, and he rode at the front of his army against the Huns. Now Wolfhart attacked him, and they fought a hard battle that ended with king Osantrix' fall. And when the king had fallen the Wilkinen fled, and the Huns pursued them. Thus king Attila won this battle.
Now king Attila rode home, having freed his realm from the Wilkinen. But the Wilkinen took Hertnit, Osantrix' son, as their king.
When king Attila had been home for a short while he got the message that Waldemar, king of Holmgard and brother of Osantrix, had come to Hunnenland with a large army. And one day king Dietrich stood on the highest tower and oversaw Hunnenland, and he saw large fires and much smoke in the lands, and he went to king Attila and said: Rise, my lord, and arm your men. Waldemar is burning your lands, and if you do not ride against him now he will come to you and you must fight anyway. Then king Attila stood up, had his horns blown and rode forth with his army.
Meanwhile king Waldemar had taken a castle of king Attila, and had captured a good knight named Rudolf who had been sent there, and bound him. He had already burned a thousand villages, and taken fifteen towns and castles. But when he heard king Attila was coming with his army he fled back to his own land.
Now king Attila marched to Russland
Now the battle broke out, and they fought bravely. Dietrich von Bern rode into the enemy army and killed Russen on both sides. But Didrik Waldemar's son rode against him, and they fought long and hard without help from anyone. Dietrich received nine wounds, but Didrik got five, all of them serious, and in the end he was captured and bound.
Then they became aware that king Attila and his Huns had fled. Dietrich rallied his men, and fought on.
Now Dietrich and his men went to a place where a town had been destroyed, and here they stayed. King Waldemar besieged him, and they fought every day and killed many men.
Dietrich had few men and little food. He found out when Waldemar's army had dinner, and at that moment he had five hundred knights made ready, and put half of them near each castle gate. And they sallied forth and shouted loudly.
Now king Waldemar and his men thought king Attila had returned, and they fled. Thus Dietrich killed many men and captured food and wine. But Waldemar quickly found out which strategem had been used, and turned around and besieged the town again, until Dietrich's men had no food but were forced to eat the horses.
Then Dietrich said to master Hildebrand: We should send a messenger to king Attila, if we can find someone who is courageous enough to do so. And Hildebrand said: No one is better suited than Wildeber the hero. And Dietrich asked Wildeber to take on this mission.
But Wildeber replied: I am seriously wounded, so I cannot ride through such a great army, although I will still fight for you. But ask your relative Wolfhart, he would be suitable.
So Dietrich asked Wolfhart, who replied that Wildeber would be better suited, since he himself was younger and less experienced. But Dietrich told him Wildeber was too wounded to travel. And Wolfhart agreed to the mission, but asked Dietrich for his sword Eckisax and his helmet Hildegrim and his horse Falke, and Dietrich granted him that.
Now Wolfhart rode from the town at midnight. He went straight to a fire and took a burning branch and thus rode through the army of his enemies. And the Russen thought he must be one of them, since he rode so fearlessly through their camp. When he came to the centre of the army he saw many tents, among which one that was very beautiful and expensive, and he threw the burning branch into it.
In this tent king Waldemar slept, and most of his chiefs. Now the tent started burning, and all that were in the tent rose. But Wolfhart jumped from his horse, entered the tent, and killed eleven chiefs, but he wasn't sure if he had killed the king himself, since the night was dark. Then Wolfhart mounted again and rode away as quickly as he could. King Dietrich and master Hildebrand stood on the town wall, and were quite happy
Now Wolfhart rode day and night until he came to Hunnenland to king Attila and margrave Rodinger. And when Rodinger saw his weapons he though Dietrich had returned. But Wolfhart said: Welcome, margrave Rodinger, king Dietrich sends his greetings. And now Rodinger understood it was one of Dietrich's men, but not he himself. and he said: Thank God Dietrich is still alive. We will ride to his aid as soon as possible. And then Wolfhart told Rodinger everything, and the margrave went to the king and told him the story.
King Attila now had his horns blown and tear down his tents
King Waldemar's men noticed that a mighty army had entered Russland and told their king. And king Waldemar had his horns blown and gathered his men and rode away.
When king Dietrich saw that king Waldemar rode away they sallied forth from the town and tode after them and killed many men.
And when king Dietrich returned to the town he met king Attila with his army, and Attila was glad Dietrich was still alive. And then the went up into town.
Margrave Rodinger said: We are sorry we could not come sooner to help you, since you were in so much danger.
And Hildebrand replied: I am now a hundred winters old
Then king Dietrich went to where Didrik was kept and showed him to king Attila, and said: This is Didrik Waldemar's son. I captured him in the battle, but because of our friendship I'll give him to you to do with as you please, either kill him or allow Waldemar to ransom him. And Attila said: You have given me a gift that pleases me more than two shippounds of red gold.
Then they went back to Hunnenland, and nothing more can be said about their travels until they came home. Dietrich had many wounds and had to keep to his bed. But Didrik was thrown into prison, and he was also gravely wounded.
When king Attila had been home for half a year he decided on an expedition, had his horns blown, and sent messengers across his realm to gather all his men. When that was done he had eight thousands knights and many other people. But Dietrich was so wounded that this time he could not go with king Attila to help him.
Now queen Erka went to king Attila and said: I would like to ask you to release Didrik Waldemar's son, my cousin
But king Attila said: I cannot grant you this. If he is healthy again while I am away I may never get him in my power any more
But Erka said: I give my head as security that he will not ride off even when he his healty. This annoyed the king, who said: Do you want to release my greatest enemy from prison and cure him? If he would get away to Russland I would lose more than if I lost Soest, because his relatives will buy his release with cities and realms. But since you offer your head as security, do not doubt that I will cut it off if you let him ride away.
Now Erka had her cousin Didrik taken from prison and had him put in a tower, and had him taken care of and personally kept watch and healed him.
Meanwhile king Attila went to Polen and Russland with his army, and he burned and looted king Waldemar's lands.
Now we should speak of what queen Erka did and how she healed her cousin Didrik. She gave him one of the best beds, and day after day brought him good meals, and bathed him, and gave him treasure. But she had one of her servant girls take care of Dietrich von Bern, but she did not understand healing as well as the queen, and thus his wounds turned bad and he healed slowly, and an evil smell came from him.
When Didrik was healed he took his weapons and donned his armour, and put his helmet on his head. And he said to the helmet: You have received so many blows from Dietrich von Bern, but I gave his as many, and he is still wounded while I am cured. And if anyone else had done this I'd have killed him, but he is such a good knight that I cannot do that when he is defenseless. But now I will ride from Soest to Russland, neither king Attila nor Dietrich can prevent that.
When queen Erka became aware of this she asked him what he planned. And he said he had been in Hunnenland for too long, and would go home. Then queen Erka said: So this is how you will repay my kindness? I have given my head as security for you, but you don't care if I'm dead or not, as long as you get away.
Didrik said: You are a powerful queen, and king Attila cannot kill you, but when I wait for him
Then Didrik went to his horse, saddled it, and rode away. But that horse belonged to king Attila
Queen Erka cried long and bitterly, and she tore her clothing, and went where Dietrich lay, and said: Dietrich, my hero, I need your advice. And she explained the matter.
King Dietrich said: You were right to heal him, but you send an inexperienced woman to me, and she did not and could not heal my wounds, because she lay with a man every night, and that's not what doctors do. Now my wounds are half again as bad as when I received them. And I cannot even sit, let alone fight a man, and this is the first time you came to me as long as I laid here.
Then queen Erka cried, and she knew he was right, and she said: Good king Dietrich, you are the best of all men in the world in courage and strength, and woe to me for not healing you, because now you cannot help me. And if I had done so Didrik wouldn't have left. Now I have no man in my realm who can help me, and king Attila will cut of my head and proclaim it throughout all lands. Oh king Dietrich, if you were only healed I would keep my life and realm.
And afterwards she cried and repeated herself, and tore her clothing and her hair, and hit herself on the breast
Then king Dietrich said: Bring my armour and weapons. And again: Bring my shield, for Didrik and I will meet today. When Dietrich had armed himself he ordered his horse saddled and brought to him, and he mounted and rode as quickly as he could, but while he rode his wounds bled so that his armour and horse were all red.Now he rode to Wilkinenburg, where Fridrich Ermenrik's son had been killed
And king Dietrich came so close they could talk with one another, and he said: Lady, did you see a man ride past with a white armour and shield, and a grey horse? He is my companion, and I want to follow him to his realm. And she said she had seen him not long ago. Then Dietrich spurred on his horse Falke and rode even faster than before.
Now the lady started to doubt that this man was a friend of the man that had come before, but rather wanted to kill him, and she deplored having said there was little distance between them. And she called out: Good lord, com here, I see that you are wounded. I will dress your wounds, and after that you can still ride after this man. Now your wounds bleed so much you may not reach him, but if you let me dress them you can overtake him all the quicker.
But Dietrich didn't want to stop, and he rode off. And now she considered they were truly enemies, and that the one had wounded the other, and she didn't want to leave before she knew how the fight ended.
Now king Dietrich rode to the forest called Burgwald; this forest lies between Hunnenland and Pulinaland. There Dietrich saw Didrik and called to him: Return, and I will give you gold and silver as much as I have in Hunnenland, and I will secure friendship from king Attila.
But Didrik said: Why does my enemy offer me gold and silver? I will never become your friend. If I wouldn't be dishonoured
Dietrich said: Return, there is no honour in riding from Hunnenland like this, because the head of queen Erka, your cousin, is at stake. And both of us will help you reconciliate with king Attila. But Didrik said the same as before.
Now Dietrich said: If you do not want to return for gold or silver, or to spare queen Erka's head, then dismount and fight. And if you don't you will be called a coward by everyone, since you fled for a single man. But my horse is so good that I will overtake you anyway and kill you, and you will still be known as a coward.Then Didrik turned his horse and wanted to fight instead of flee, although he knew he was going to die. And now they dismounted and fought for a long time, and cut up one another's armour and shields. But Dietrich became tired from the wounds he had received before and received now, and Didrik also became tired, and each put his shield in front of him and leaned on it to rest.
Then Dietrich said: Now good friend and namesake, come back with me and we'll go home and you will reconciliate with king Attila, but if he refuses to, I will take my arms and men and follow you into your realm.
But Didrik did not want that at all. Now they fought again with great anger, and in the end Dietrich cut off Didrik's head so that it flew leftward.
Now Dietrich tied Didrik's head to his saddle and rode back to Wilkinenburg. And he saw the same lady as before that had offered to dress his wounds. And when she did so he put cloth over Didrik's head so that she wouldn't see it.
Then the jarl her father came, and asked who this man was. Dietrich said: I don't know if I should tell you my name, because I suspect one of my relatives was killed here, but I'll still tell you I'm Dietrich Dietmar's son of Bern.
When the jarl heard this he invited him for the evening, and Dietrich accepted, since he was wounded and tired. And thus Dietrich and the jarl's daughter lay together in one bed that night.
When day came the jarl went to his men and asked for counsel on what to offer Dietrich for his relative
One knight, who was a relative of Sibich, said: Since Dietrich has come alone and is wounded, let's take his weapons and kill him, then we don't have to be afraid of him any more. But if we let him get away he could take all our towns and kill us all.
The jarl replied: If we kill king Dietrich we will surely have war with king Attila as soon as he hears about this. And he is much more powerful that we are, so we will lose our town.
Then another chief said: Then let's invite Dietrich to a feast and give him gifts of gold and silver, and many knights to bring him back to Soest, he will surely appreciate this. And the jarl followed this counsel.
Now the jarl had a feast laid out for king Dietrich, and he stayed there for many days. Then the jarl had six of his best knights decked out in purple and other fineries, and said to Dietrich: These knights I'd like to give to you in exchange for your good will. And Dietrich thanked him and accepted. Then the jarl added: There is one thing I'd like to ask you, though. And Dietrich asked him what, and said he would likely grant it due to the honour the jarl had done him.
And the jarl said: I would ask that you forgive me for killing your kinsman Fridrich due to Sibich's treason. I would not have done so if I had known the truth. And Dietrich said: I forgive you, since you have received me so graciously. But if you had not done so I'd have avenged my cousin.
And now Dietrich was ready to depart with his six knights. And the jarl went to Dietrich's horse and took off the cloth and thus saw Didrik's head. Then Dietrich mounted and rode to Hunnenland with the six knights.
And when he came home to Soest queen Erka came to him and, seeing the knights, thought that Didrik was also returning, and she was happy about that. But king Dietrich took his namesake's head and threw it at her feet. Then queen Erka cried because so many of her relatives lost their lives because of her
But Dietrich went back to bed because he was still wounded, and the six knights served him from now on with honour and loyalty.
Now we have to speak of king Attila's expedition, and how he burned many towns and castles. But when king Waldemar heard of this he gathered all his men and rode against king Attila. Then a great battle ensued when the two kings met one another, and they fought for a long time. King Attila rode at the front and carried his banner himself. And Hildebrand led king Dietrich's followers and carried his banner. But some of king Dietrich's men followed margrave Rodinger. But king Waldemar had his horns blown and attacked, and many of king Attila's men fell and he had to flee.
Hildebrand and Rodinger saw this, and Hildebrand considered how well king Dietrich's men could fight, and thus they went forwards and killed two thousand of king Waldemar's men. A count of Greken rode against them and hit Hildebrand with his spear so that he fell from his horse. When Rodinger saw Hildebrand had fallen he rode to his rescue. He caught Hildebrand's horse, brought it to him, and helped him back in the saddle. And when master Hildebrand was back in the saddle he fought with great anger, and the Reussen fled before him.
But king Waldemar had so much warriors that Hildebrand and Rodinger also had to flee. And they rode back to Hunnenland and they were not happy with their defeat.
Master Hildebrand went to where king Dietrich lay, and told him: I'm happy you're still alive, but I'd be happier if you'd been healed. And Dietrich asked him how things had gone in Reussland.
Hildebrand replied: Not well. You often told me how courageous king Attila is, but it seems to me he's no hero. As soon as we fought against king Waldemar and the fight was at its height, he fled like an evil dog, and his banner dropped down, and he took the entire Hun army with him. Rodinger and I turned against the enemy three more times, but a count of Greken, king Waldemar's brother, threw me from my horse, and Rodinger saved my life. But then we had to flee, and we had dishonour from this expedition.
King Dietrich replied: Be silent, Hildebrand, and don't speak of your journey. But if I heal I will once more ride to Reussland and I will see for myself who will flee first, and the Reussen will not long enjoy their victory.
And king Dietrich's wounds healed.
One day king Dietrich said to king Attila: Do you remember which shame the Reussen did to us? Or do you not want to avenge yourself? Attila replied: I'd love to take revenge, especially if you'll help me. And king Dietrich said: I'll help you. Gather your men, and king Waldemar will flee from us or die, or we will die.
King Attila gathered a great army, no less than ten thousand knights. And he commanded that everyone over twenty years of age should come to him, and thus he had twenty thousand more knights when he left Hunnenland.
He entered Reussland with this army and burned towns and castles, and laid siege before Palteskia. This town was so strong that they hardly knew how to take it. It had strong stone walls, high towers, and a broad and deep moat, and the town contained a large army, and the defenders didn't fear king Attila's army.
When king Attila saw how difficult it would be to take the town he divided his army into three: under his own banner he set ten thousand knights, and another ten thousands at another place, and he named Dietrich their leader, and a large number of ribbalda followed them. And the third ten thousand he have to margrave Rodinger.
Now each leader made camp before the town, and they fought with the townsmen for many days, and both sides lost many men.
And when they had besieged the town for three months Dietrich told Attila the entire army should not stay before this town any longer, and said: My lord, you should ride deeper into Reussland with your army, and Rodinger as well, but I will stay before this town and not depart before it is won. Or if you want to stay yourself we will go elsewhere.
King Attila replied courteously, but he considered that Dietrich wanted to have the honour of taking this town for himself, and that the walls had already been weakened, since the siege equipment was working day and night. But on the other hand he thought that if he, king Attila, would stay behind by himself, it could be that king Waldemar could come to him to fight, and that he would lack the help of Dietrich and Rodinger.
Therefore he replied: I have made such an effort to take this town that I cannot ride from here without placing my banner at the top of the tower, but I ask you and Rodinger not to go elsewhere, since the Reussen cannot move against us if we do not divide our army.
King Dietrich replied: If we three remain before this town we will not gain a victory over the Reussen. So you stay before this town, and Rodinger as well, but let me go and conquer more places. And they agreed to that.
King Dietrich tore down his camp and led his army further into Reussland. He laid siege to a town called Smaland, and fought with the townsmen. And when he had been there for six days king Waldemar came there with a great army, forty thousand men. King Dietrich had his horns blown and ordered Amelungen and Hunnen to arm themselves, and they rode against king Waldemar. And they said that this day king Waldemar would die or flee, or king Dietrich would die.
Now Dietrich rode at the head of his army, and with him Hildebrand and Wolfhart his relative, and their friend Wildeber, and battle broke loose. King Dietrich rode into the middle of the Reussen army, and killed men and horse on both sides, and his heroes followed him. And Dietrich fought like a lion in a flock of cattle, and all feared his weapons, and he and his horse were covered with blood.
Finally he saw king Waldemar's banner before him, and rode to it, and hit the knight who bore the banner on his right hand so that it was hacked off, and thus the banner fell to the ground. And then he gave king Waldemar the death blow. A great cry went up from Amelungen and Hunnen, and the Reussen fled, but many were killed. The Amelungen and Hunnen fought all day, and all night, and the next day, and killed every man they saw, and only a small number escaped.
And three days after king Dietrich had ridden away king Attila attacked the walls so strongly that they won the town. And the Hunnen went into town and killed many men, and took incredible riches, and they tore down the place almost to the ground, and thus was done what people who come to this town can see until today.
King Attila led his army deeper into Reussland to where he heard king Dietrich was. And since king Dietrich had gone against Smaland, king Attila came there as well, and told him what had happened.
In this town was jarl Iron, king Waldemar's brother, and he told his men this: I see two options. Either we fight king Attila as long as we can, but it's likely we cannot withstand his power. Or we give ourselves and this town into king Attila's power.
Then the jarl took off his shoes and his armour, and the chiefs did the same, and they went out of the town barefoot and defenceless and thus showed they had been defeated. And on this day the kingdom of the Reussen came into Attila's power.
Now king Attila discussed with king Dietrich whether he should give jarl Iron peace. And Dietrich said: I would counsel that you give peace to the jarl and his men, since he has given himself into your power, and the kingdom is now subjected to you. Do not kill them, since they are defenceless, but take the kingdom.
King Attila told the jarl: If you will serve us loyally we'll give you peace, on the advice of king Dietrich and our other chiefs. And the jarl replied: Lord, if we'd had enough men to keep this town from your power we wouldn't have surrendered. Do what you wish with us, but we gave you the town and laid down our arms because we knew what great men you have with you. Also, the greatest leaders of the Reussen are dead, and we will serve you loyally. And now king Attila took jarl Iron and placed him among his chiefs.
Now king Attila called king Dietrich and many other chiefs to a meeting
King Dietrich von Bern came to king Attila in Soest when he fled his realm for his uncle king Ermenrik. In Soest his brother
King Attila had two sons, Erp and Ortwin. These three boys were of the same age and they loved one another so much they were rarely separated. Queen Erka loved her sons very much, as well as her foster Diether, and so did king Attila.
One day king Dietrich von Bern went to the hall where Erka lived
But Dietrich was full of grief, and water flowed from his eyes
Queen Erka replied: You have been in our realm for a long time and given us aid. Therefore, if you want to try to retake it, it is fitting that the Huns give you an army to help you. And I would like to be the first
Now queen Erka took her cloak and went to the hall where king Attila sat
Queen Erka replied: Lord, I do have business. King Dietrich wants to go back to his lands and take revenge, if he gets help from you. King Dietrich has been in Hunnenland for a long time and has suffered many perils
Then king Attila answered angrily, and he didn't like being asked to do so. He said: If king Dietrich wants help, why doesn't he ask me? Or is he so proud that he doesn't want our help unless we offer it?
The queen replied: King Dietrich can discuss this himself, but I spoke instead of him because we believed that you would more readily accept than if he had asked alone. But I will give him my
Then king Attila said: What you said is true, and it is fitting that we offer him help now. Since you have given him your two sons and a thousand knights, I will give him margrave Rodinger and two thousand knights.
Then king Dietrich said to king Attila: It went as I thought, that queen Erka's help would be of benefit to me, and I will take your offer with many thanks and gladness, and may God reward you.
Now this army prepared all winter, and nothing was forged in Hunnenland but swords and spears, helms and armour, shields and saddles, and all other things knights need when they go on an expedition. And in early spring the army gathered in Soest.
And when that army was ready it happened that king Attila's sons Erp and Ortwin, and Diether with them as well as other young knights, sat in a garden, and queen Erka came to them and said: My dear sons, I want to arm you for your expedition with king Dietrich.
And she had armour brought to them, light as silver and hard as steel and inlaid with red gold, and helmets shining like swords, and all the nails had red gold on them, and two thick shields, and they were red with a golden banner with pole on them; and that they did not have an animal or bird on them was because they weren't yet of age to have received their knighthoods.
Then queen Erka said crying: Now I have prepared you for battle, my sons, and I have never seen two king's sons bear better arms. Now, be brave, and although I hope you will return safely, it is more important to me that you'll be called brave men and good warriors when you've been to battle.
Now she called her foster son Diether and threw her arms around his neck and kissed him, and said: My dear foster son Diether, see here my sons Erp and Ortwin who I have prepared for war. The three of you love each other much and always help one another in games; now do the same on this expedition.
Diether replied: My lady, your two sons and me are ready for battle, and may God help me to bring your sons back safe, but when they fall in battle, I, too, will not come home. You will not hear that they are dead while I am alive. And the queen said she hoped he would keep his promise. Then she had steel armour brought, and a helmet, and a red shield with a golden lion on it.
And now the three boys were aremed, and it is said in ancient sagas
Now Soest was filled with sounds of weapons, and shouts, and neighing of horses. The entire town was so full of men that no one could pass through, and no one could hear anyone unless they were close to them.
Now king Attila went up into a tower and called loudly: Hear me, men, and be quiet, and hear my commands. And the town fell silent.
Then the king said: Now a great army has gathered here, and now you must go as I will tell you. King Dietrich will travel alone with his army, and my man margrave Rodinger will go with another part of the knights that I have given to king Dietrich, and all the other men will follow my sons and young Diether. And all did as king Attile had commanded.
Now margrave Rodinger rode forth from Soest with his army. And Erp and Ortwin mounted, and in their following were duke Nudung of Walkaburg, who bore Dietrich's banner
And when the latter mounted queen Erka said: Good friend Helfrich, guard my sons well, and let them ride beside you when the armies meet. And Helfrich said: I swear by God, I won't come home from this war if I lose your sons. And queen Erka thanked him.
Now duke Nudung rode from Soest, and next Diether, and then Erp and Ortwin and the good knight Helfrich, then Wolfhart, and then all their warriors. Now king Dietrich mounted his horse Falke, and master Hildebrand bore his banner and went before king Dietrich, and then Wildeber and the warriors who followed Dietrich's banner
Now they traveled over the roads with their armies, and there is nothing to say about their travel.
When king Dietrich had traveled with his army for a while he called two of his men and told them to travel to king Ermenrik as quickly as possible, day and night, and tell him that king Dietrich, and his brother Diether, were coming home to Amelungenland with a great army, and when king Ermenrik wanted to defend him self, they should meet at Gransport
And these two men rode away and didn't find Ermenrik until they came to Rome. And they delivered the message, and berated Ermenrik for his faithless grabbing of Dietrich's realm, and warned the army was already on its way.
Then king Ermenrik had two good horses brought, and two good men's cloaks, and gave them to the messengers, and told them to ride back and thanked them for warning him, because he wasn't afraid of the Hunnish army as long as it didn't catch him unprepared. And with this message he sent the messengers back.
But king Ermenrik sent messengers over all his realm to gather all of his warriors, young or old, who could carry weapons and had the courage to fight. And three days and three nights passed.
And when that time was up sixteen thousand knights had gathered in Rome, ready for battle, and their chief was duke Witig Wieland's son of Fritila, and the army was equipped with strong horn bows
Then Witig said to king Ermenrik: All my men have come here, and I've never brought together a larger army in less time, and they are willing to fight the Huns, but I myself will not fight Dietrich von Bern or his brother Diether, but I must still
And now Rome was filled with calls and shouts throughout the city, and weapons clanging, and horses neighing, and all the streets were full with warriors.
Then king Ermenrik went on to the highest tower and said: My good friend Sibich, you will carry my banner and my personal guard, and no less than six thousand warriors. And when you get to the battle, you shall stand against Dietrich von Bern, and your men will attack his men, and it would be best if you carried his sword in your hand when the battle ends.
Then he said: My good relative Reinald
And now hear, my good friend Witig, my best duke, you shall have six thousand knights and you should not return in defeat. I would like to see Dietrich and Diether killed in this battle, and do not let king Attila's sons get away with their lives. May God grant you victory, and may you have great fame from this war.
Then Witig replied that he was quite ready to fight the Huns and Attila's sons, but he would not harm king Dietrich when it was in his power. Now they blew all their horns, mounted on their hroses, and rode with shouts and calls and horns from the city.
They followed the road northward over the mountains, and did not stop until they came to Gransport, and there they saw king Dietrich and his army on the northern side of the river. Then the Amelungen
This night master Hildebrand was king Dietrich's watchman, and when everyone was asleep he rode down to the river, alone and stealthily, until he found a ford in the river. He rode through the river, but before he found it
Master Hildebrand said
Then Hildebrand replied: You are right, I am truly Hildebrand, king Dietrich's best friend, and I will never hide that. And welcome to you, my friend Reinald, please tell me news about your army.
Reinald said: The first piece of news is, that king Ermenrik's army is led by duke Witig, your good friend, and the next Sibich, your great enemy, and I can also tell you that I rode away so silently that everybody thinks I'm still in bed, but I wanted to ride to king Dietrich and tell him all this if I hadn't met you, and I truly wish that he will do well, even though I will lead my men against him, but I do not want to hide from Dietrich whatever he desires to know.
Now they rode up the river
Then Hildebrand said: And where is our dear friend Witig with his people? And Reinald replied: You can see a green tent with a large silver knot on the pole. Witig sleeps there, and many Amelungen who have sworn to cleave many a Hunnish helmet tomorrow.
Then Hildebrand asked: And whose is the black tent? And Reinald said: That is mine, and my men sleep there. Then Hildebrand said: ou did well, to show me how you divided your army. Now come with me up the river, where our tents are, and I will tell you our division. And they did that.
And as they rode up from the river, five men rode towards them; they were Amelungen from Sibich's following. They assumed that these
Then Hildebrand drew his sword and rode to them. And Reinald ordered them not to come towards them, because this man
But they thought they recognised master Hildebrand, and one of them hit his helmet hat
Now Hildebrand and Reinald came to the river bank opposite the
Then Reinald said: Sibich has also decided to fight against king Dietrich. But I will lead my banner against margrave Rodinger, because the Huns who follow him are not our friends. But Witig, your friend, will attack Diether and Attila's sons, although he is loath to fight against Diether because he is king Dietrich's brother, but it must be done.
And now they separated, and wished each other safe travel.
Hildebrand rode back through the ford. But when Reinald came to his tent he found there Sibich with many of his men, ready for battle. He had heard about Hildebrand's mission and wanted to ride after him and kill him.
Then Reinald said: If you want to kill my good friend Hildebrand I can get no fewer men than you have in a short time, and then you'll have to fight me rather than him, and you'll have many fewer men before you catch up with him. And it is more likely than not that he will ride his way, whether you pursue him or not
Then Sibich replied: Reinald, do you want to become king Ermenrik's enemy, who made me chief of this campaign? Do you want to help our enemies?
Reinald said: I don't want to become king Ermenrik's enemy. Instead, I will fight for him, even though I fight against my relatives and friends, but I will not let you kill Hildebrand while he rides alone. You will have plenty of opportunity to kill him before the day is over, and when he leads his men I will not prevent anyone from riding against him. But it could be that he defends himself. And these words stopped Sibich and his men from riding after Hildebrand.
But Hildebrand rode to king Dietrich's tent and told him all he had learned that night. And the king said he had done well, as before.
And when light came king Dietrich rose and had his horns blown, and then Diether did the same, as did margrave Rodinger. And now all rose and armed themselves. And when they had mounted master Hildebrand rode in front with king Dietrich's banner pole in his hands, and close behind him king Dietrich with all his men. And they rode to the same ford that Hildebrand had used during the night.
And when the Amelungen saw this, Sibich had king Ermenrik's horns blown, and Witig and Reinald did the same, and all their men armed themselves. Witig mounted his horse Schimming and was ready to fight; and so too Reinald with his army.
Walther of Waskastein bore king Ermenrik's banner in his hand, this banner had the outer part in black like a raven's, and the next part gold, and the third one green as grass, and seventy golden bells were sewn into this banner, so that one could hear it throughout the entire army as soon as the banner was moved or touched by the wind. And behind him came Sibich with his men.
And when king Dietrich saw king Ermenrik's banner and knew Sibich followed it, he called on master Hildebrand to carry his banner that way; and this banner was made of white silk, and had a golden lion with a crown, and no fewer than seventy bells hung from it; queen Erka had had this banner made and gave it to king Dietrich. So these two armies rode to one another.
Then rode Reinald with his troupe; and his banner was red silk like blood, and on the tip of the pole were three golden knots. And he led his army against margrave Rodinger.
Then rode Witig with his army, and his banner was carried by the strong Runga - no giant was found with equal strength - and this banner was black, and a white hammer, tongues, and anvil on it. Against him rode duke Nudung, and he bore a white banner with a golden lion, and this banner queen Erka had given to Diether. And after him rode Diether and Erp and Ortwin, Attila's sons, and the good knight Helfrich. Their shoes were covered with red gold so that they had a glow as if of fire.
Now the six army groups met. Dietrich rode in front on his good stallion Falke with his sword Eckisax, and killed men and horses on both sides, and before him rode master Hildebrand carrying his banner and slaying men with his free hand, and their companion Wildeber followed them, and many Amelungen from Sibich's army fell.
Then king Dietrich called loudly: You have fought against the Reussen and Wilkinenmen, and we were usually victorious, but in this battle we fight for our lands and realm, so let's win great fame by reconquering it.
Now king Dietrich rode in the middle of Sibich's army and slew man and horse, and when he had come in the middle he went back by another way, and he was much feared. And by another route Wildeber rode through the Amelungen army, and no man held against him.
Walther of Waskastein saw how much damage Wildeber was doing to the Amelungen, and how they fled for him, and rode against him and hit him with his spear in the breast so that it exited between the shoulder blades. And Wildeber struck off the spear's shaft and struck Walther's thigh in the saddle, and pierced the armour and his sword got stuck in the saddle, and both fell dead from their horses
When Sibich saw that his banner had fallen, and the strong Walther with it, he turned his horse and fled, and his men with him. But king Dietrich and his men pursued the fugitives for a long time and killed them all day long, and it took quite a while before he returned.
Witig saw that Sibich fled, and knew the Amelungen would lose if the same happened elsewhere. Therefore he pressed the attack and rode against duke Nudung, who had killed many men. Quickly a fight ensued, which ended when Witig hacked the banner pole in two with his sword and the banner fell to the ground. And then he gave Nudung a blow on the neck that pierced the armour so that head and body fell to the ground.
And the three young men saw this, and Ortwin said to Helfrich: Do you see how that evil dog Witig kills duke Nudung? Let's ride to him and not let him get away.
Then Ortwin bravely rode against Witig, and Helfrich with him, and against them came the strong Runga, and a fight broke out, and before it ended Ortwin and Helfrich fell dead on the ground.
And when Erp and Diether saw that the rode forward and Diether and Runga fought with great bravery, and Diether hit Runga on the helmet and went through helmet and head to the shoulders, so that Runga fell dead. But in the mean time Witig had killed Erp, and when Diether saw that both his friends were dead, he rode against Witig and wanted to either lose his life or avenge his foster brothers, and hit Witig hard and often.
But Witig said: Aren't you Diether, king Dietrich's brother? I know you, now ride elsewhere, because for his sake I will not harm you, so go fight other men.
But Diether replied: God knows, since you killed Erp and Ortwin, you vile dog, I'll take revenge for them. and one of us will die. And again he hit Witig as strongly as he could.
Witig said: God knows I hate to do this, for your brother Dietrich's sake. Then Diether hit Witig on his helmet, but the helmet was so hard that his steel could not penetrate it, and the sword sprang from the helmet down along the saddle bow and hit the head of his horse, and thus Schimming, Witig's war stallion, died.
Now Witig said, when he stood on the ground: Great necessity forces me to do something I'd rather not do. And now Witig took his sword Mimung in both hands and hit Diether in the back so that armour and body were rent apart and he fell to the ground in two pieces. And now the battle continued, and Witig killed many men, but also lost many men from the Amelungen.
The good knight Wolfhart fought with great courage all day, and he carried margrave Rodinger's banner and had ridden far into the Amelung army. And margrave Rodinger followed him. In the same way Reinald rode into the Hun army and killed many men. Now he saw what great damage Wolfhart his relative did, and his men wanted to flee from Rodinger and Wolfhart. So he rode against them and hit his relative Wolfhart in the breast with his spear, so that it exited through the shoulder blades and he fell dead from his horse.
Margrave Rodinger was close by and took the banner pole and carried his banner himself, and attacked Reinald's banner bearer and beheaded him and also cut the banner pole so that the banner fell to the ground. When Reinald's men saw their banner fall and Sibich had fled they fled as well, and when Reinald saw that he went after them.
Then one of Dietrich's followers rode after the king and called: Good lord Dietrich, turn back, that vile dog Witig has killed first duke Nudung, then Ortwin and Erp, then Helfrich, and now your brother Diether. Go back, my lord, and avenge them.
Then king Dietrich said: What have I done that God grants me such an evil day? No weapon hit me today, and I have no wounds, but the princes are dead and so is Diether. I can never return to Hunnenland now. I will avenge them or be killed myself.
Then he turned his stallion Falke, spurred him on, and his entire army followed him, and he rode so quickly that nobody could keep up with him, and he was so angry that fire came forth from his mouth, and nobody dared to stand against him.
And when Witig saw that he fled, like the other men
But Witig pretended he hadn't heard Dietrich, and continued his flight. Dietrich called again, and now Witig replied: I killed your brother out of necessity, and did it only to stay alive, and if I can pay you back with silver and gold I will.
But still he fled as quickly as his horse could go, but Dietrich came after him. And thus Witig rode into the lake
Now king Dietrich rode back to the battlefield, and he saw how many of his relatives and friends had fallen. And he went to where his brother Diether lay, and said: There you lay, Diether, and I rue what has been done to you. And Dietrich took Diether's shield and threw it away, because it was all hacked up and useless.
And then he went to where the princes lay, and he said: My dear princes, losing you is the gravest harm I could have had, because how can I now return to Soest? I'd rather be severely wounded if you had been healthy.
Then king Dietrich went away
The margrave replied, and many other chiefs with him: Don't do that. It often happens in war that leaders lose their best warriors and still win the battle, as has happened here. So recognised you were victorious here even though you lost the princes. We will ask queen Erka to be content with that, even though she has lost her sons, and we will all make sure that king Attila won't be less of a friend to you than he was before.
Dietrich said he would never return as matters stood now, because he had promised queen Erka to return her sons, but had not kept his promise. But then all chiefs and knights went to king Dietrich and said: Good lord Dietrich, come back with us to Hunnenland, we will support you before king Attila and queen Erka. But if you do not want to return, then we will follow you to reconquer your realm, and we will fight against king Ermenrik, and we will never return until you have your realm back.
King Dietrich replied: I truly do not wish to lead king Attila's army any more, now that I have lost his two sons, and I would prefer to go home with you.
And now the entire army turned back and rode on the roads that brought them back to Hunnenland to king Attila in Soest.
When king Dietrich came to Soest he went into a cooking house
But margrave Rodinger went into Attila's hall and greeted him. And Attila asked for news, and whether they had won, and if king Dietrich had survived.
And margrave Rodinger replied: King Dietrich is alive and the Huns have won, but still it was an evil dau, since we lost your sons Erp and Ortwin. Then queen Erka cried, and almost all who were in that hall. And king Attila asked: Who else of the Huns fell along with my sons?
And Rodinger replied: Many good warriors, young Diether von Bern, and your good fried Helfrich, and duke Nudung, and Wildeber, and many other good men and chiefs, but the Amelungen lost half as many men, and those who live had to flee.
Then king Attila said, and he was courageous under these tidings: Now it happened as before, those who are fated will fall, and good weapons and strength do not help when you have to die. And we have seen that in this expedition, because Erp and Ortwin and Diether all had the best weapons, but still they all lie dead. And then he asked: But where is my good friend king Dietrich?
Someone replied: In a cooking house sit king Dietrich and master Hildebrand, and they put down their weapons and do not want to come under your eyes, my lord, so bad they feel about losing the princes.
Then king Attila said: Two of my knights, go there and ask my friend king Dietrich to come inside. He should still be close to me, despite all that has happened.
The two knights went to where king Dietrich sat, and gave him the message. But king Dietrich replied that his mood was so heavy and sad that he did not want to meet other people. And the knights went back to king Attila and told him what had happened.
Then queen Erka rose crying, and went to king Dietrich followed by her ladies. And when she entered the cooking house she said: Good king Dietrich, how did my sons fight before they died?
And king Dietrich said with great sorrow: My lady, they were good warriors, and fought well, and did not want to be separated from one another.
Then she went to him, put her hands around his neck, and kissed him, and said: My good friend, now come with me to king Attila's hall, and be welcome and glad. It has often happened that men fell in battle, and those who survive must still take care of themselves. It helps nothing to bewail the dead
Now king Dietrich rose and went after queen Erka into the hall. And when he came before king Attila the king rose, welcomed Dietrich, and kissed him, and offered him a seat on the high table. And king Dietrich accepted, and he stayed with king Attila for a long time, and their friendship was no less than it had been.
Two winters after the battle of Gransport queen Erka fell ill, and she knew she did not have long to live. And one day she sent a message to king Dietrich to come to her. And he did so.
And Dietrich said that it would be a great loss for Hunnenland if the illness would take her, and he would have lost his best friend
Then king Dietrich replied: Good lady, your illness is dangerous, but may God cure you. You have shown great friendship to me, but it will be worse for King Attila; he would rather lost most of Hunnenland than miss a wife like you. And so full of sorrow was Dietrich that he wept like a child, could not say more, and went out.
Then Erka asked: And where is master Hildebrand. Here am I, he said, and went to her, and she took her best gold ring from her hand and said they should separate as friends, and stay friends when we meet again. And Hildebrand thanked here, started to cry as well, and all who were there with him.
Then Erka had her knights call king Attila, and he went to her, and she said: Great king Attila, it could happen that we are separated and you become a widower. But you won't stay one for long, and you should take a good, worthy woman. But, good king Attila, do not take a wife from Niflungenland and Aldrian's family, because if you do you will pay for it, and great harm will come to you and your children if you do so.
And when she had said that she turned away from him and passed away.
And when it became known that queen Erka had died all people in Hunnenland wailed and cried, and all said, that a woman as good as she had never come to Hunnenland, and that no one had done as much good for as many people as queen Erka, and that no one had cried for more people than she had.
King Attila had queen Erka's body buried beneath the town wall, and over her grave stood king Attila and king Dietrich and all best men in Soest, and they again bewailed her death.
In these days, in the town called Vernisa
And from the moment that Sigfrid married Grimhild this realm stood in great splendor, mostly because everyone was afraid of the mighty lords who ruled there, and also because they had more cattle, gold, and silver than any other king. They were cruel to their enemies, but among one another they were good friends. But Sigfrid excelled above the others in all things, his skin was as hard as horn, like the breast of a wild boar, and no weapn could pierce it, except between the shoulders, where his skin was like that of other people.
One day queen Brunhild went into her hall
And Grimhild replied: I'll tell you why not. You are sitting on the throne that once belonged to my mother, and I have as much right as you to sit there.
Brunhild replied: Although your mother had this seat, and your father this town and land, now it is mine, and not yours
Then Grimhild said: Why would it be a disgrace to me that Sigfrid is my husband? You start this game now, and you clearly want us to speak more of what is an honour and a dishonour to you. So answer my question promptly: who took your virginity? Who was your first man?
And Brunhild replied: I can easily answer that with honour: king Gunther came to my castle with his men, and on the counsel of my friends I took him for my husband and was duly married with many precious gifts and guests
Then Grimhold said: You lie, as I thought you would. The man who took your virginity was Sigfrid. And Brunhild said: I was never Sigfrid's wife, and he never my husband.
And Grimhild said: I can prove it by this finger ring that he took from you when he had taken your virginity. He drew this gold from your hand and gave it to me.
And when Brunhild saw this gold she knew it had once been hers, and she understood what must have happened
She saw three men coming to here, and the first was king Gunther, and his brother Hagen, and the third was Gernot. They met her, and she cried and wailed and tore her clothes. King Gunther and Hagen had rode to hunt that day, and when they saw queen Brunhild act like that they didn't know what ailed her and halted their horses.
Then the queen said: Noble king Gunther, I gave myself into your power and left my realm and friends and relatives, and I did all of that for your sake. Will you or another man now avenge my disgrace? And if you do not want to avenge me, you should do it for your own sake. Sigfrid has broken his promise of silence and has told his wife Grimhild about everything that you had confided to him: that you were not the first to lie with me, but had Sigfrid take my virginity. And Grimhild said all that in the presence of everyone.
Hagen replied: Noble queen Brunhild, don't cry any longer. Instead, act as if nothing has happened.
Brunhild said: I will do as you say. Sigfrid came to you as a traveler
King Gunther said: My wife, don't cry, and be silent right now. Sigfrid will not be our lord for much longer, and my sister Grimhild will not be your queen. And Brunhild did as the king demanded.
King Gunther and Hagen his brother now rode into town to the hall. And they and Gernot pretended they knew nothing, and Brunhild did the same. Sigfrid had ridden into the forest to hunt, and was not at home at that time.
A few days later Sigfrid returned with his men. And when he came into the hall where king Gunther sat, the king rose and welcomed his brother in law, and so did Hagen and Gernot, and they were quite joyful that evening, but queen Brunhild was not.
A few days later Hagen said to his brother king Gunther: Lord, when do you want to ride into the forest to hunt, and we with you? And the king said he wanted to ride out as soon as the weather was better. And again a few days passed, and then Hagen went to the cooking house and told the cook: Tomorrow morning you will bring us breakfast, and make everything as salt as you can, and give Sigfrid the portion that is saltiest. And then he went to his cup-bearer and told him to give them their drinks very late. And then Hagen left.
The next morning king Gunther and Hagen said that they were going to ride out for a hunt and went to breakfast. Sigfrid came there and asked them what they were planning. Gunther told him they were going for a hunt, and asked if Sigfrid wanted to join them. And Sigfrid agreed to come with them. The king said: Then eat, and Sigfrid did so, and the cook and the cup-bearer did everything that Hagen had ordered them.
When they had eaten they took their horses, rode into the forest, and loosed their dogs. And when Sigfrid had departed from the castle Grimhild went back to bed because she was so angry with Brunhild that she didn't want to sit with her.
Hagen rode away later than the others, and had talked to queen Brunhild. And Brunhild asked Hagen to make sure Sigfrid did not come home that evening, and she offered him gold and silver and jewelry to do so. But Hagen said that Sigfrid was so strong that he wasn't sure he could kill him, but he promised to try. And then he rode out, and the queen wished him goodbye and told him to keep his promise.
Now they hunted, and rode until they were tired, and from time to time they ran. And Sigfrid was the first
Then they came to a brook, and king Gunther lay down and drank, and Hagen did the same, and then Sigfrid came and also lay down to drink. And when Hagen had drunk he rose, took his spear in both hands, and stuck Sigfrid right between the shoulder blades so that it went through his heart and exited through his breast
Then Sigfrid said, when he received the spear: I had not expected that
Then Hagen said: This morning we hunted a boar, and we four
Then king Gunther said: You have hunted well, and this wisent we will take home with us to bring it to my sister. Then they took Sigfrid's body and took it back to the castle.
Queen Brunhild stood on the rampart and saw king Gunther and Hagen and Gernot ride back to the castle, and also saw they brought Sigfrid dead. She went to them and said they were the luckiest hunters, and asked them to bring the body to Grimhild. She sleeps in her bed, she said, let her now embrace the dead, he has what he deserves now, and so does Grimhild.
They now went to her room, which was locked, and they broke open the door and carried the body inside, and threw it onto the bed into her arms, and she woke up and saw that Sigfrid was in her bed and was dead.
Then Grimhild said to Sigfrid: Your wounds are evil. How did you receive them? Your shield and helmet are untouched, how were you wounded like that? You must be murdered. If I knew who'd done it I'd avenge it.
Hagen said: He was not murdered/ We hunted a wild boar, and that boar gave him the fatal wound. And Grimhild said: That boar, that was you, Hagen, and no one else. And she cried bitterly.
Then they went to the hall and were quite happt, and Brunhild was no less happy. But Grimhild called her people and had Sigfrid's body buried.
And when the tale made the rounds that Sigfrid was dead, everyone said that no man like that was in the world any more, nor would ever be born, so strong and brave, and possessed of such noble virtues, and his name would never be forgotten in the German language, nor in the Norse one.
King Hertnit was a poweful man in Wilkinenland, and he was married to Ostacia, the duaghter of Rune, king of Ostenreich. Her stepmother was so magically adept that she had taught Ostacia her magical arts in her youth, so that now Ostacia was just as her stepmother had been. Ostacia was the most beautiful and most wise of all women, but also very evil. King Hertnit loved her very much.
In these days king Isung ruled Bertangaland, and with him is sons. He was a great enemy of king Hertnit and had often helped king Attila in war. King Hertnit wanted to take revenge for the death of his father's brother, king Osantrix, first on king Attila and king Dietrich, but also on king Isung, who was the third one to be guilty of Osantrix' death
King Hertnit gathered a great army, went to Bertangaland into Isung's realm and killed a lot of people and took a lot of goods. King Isung and his sons sat in Bertangaburg and were not yet aware what king Hertnit was up to. And when king Hertnit had gathered great booty and had gone as far into Bertangaland as he wanted, he returned home again, and he had not lost even a single man.
Now king Isung and his sons heard what king Hertnit had done. They gathered a great army and went after Hertnit. Also he sent a message to his good friends Detlef the Dane and Fasold the Proud.
They happily gathered their men and went to king Isung. Together they invaded Wilkinenland, and destroyed many farms and killed many men. Everyone fled before them, and nobody dared to take the spear against them. Everyone fled to the forest, the ships, and onto the uninhabited heath.
Some fled to king Hertnit and told him what was going on, and that Isung, Detlef and Fasold had come with 5000 men. King Hertnit became angry at this message, and sent out messengers to gather all his men. But to everyone it seemed undoable to fight against such powerful heroes as those that had now come to Wilkinenland.
Thus king Hertnit gathered a great army. And his wife Ostacia went out and moved her hand
Now king Hertnit moved his army against king Isung, and when they found one another a severe battle erupted. King Isung and his sons went forward and killed many men, and the army fell for them wherever they came. Elsewhere Detlef the Dane with his men rode forth and also gave many men death, and the Wilkinenmen could not hold before him. And the third army led by Fasold the Proud also fought with great courage this day. The Wilkinenmen fell in this battle as grain being scythed.
At this moment Ostacia arrived with her following that she had summoned by sorcery. The dragons flew over the army and killed many men with their claws and mouths, and the lions bit and tore, and so did the bears. And Ostacia herself flew over the army as a dragon, and forced all animals and dragons to fight.
Now king Isung and his sons saw how much damage this army did to them, he spurred on his horse and held his spear fast. This spear was long and thick, and it was one part of an ash that was split into three. He now saw the biggest dragon fly, and threw his spear at it. The dragon saw it coming and evaded it so that it flew over it, and the dragon descended on the king, damaged him with claws and mouth and swallowed him.
The oldest son, who was the strongest of them all, saw this and hit the dragon with his spear through its leg and body. The dragon turned to him, took him so tightly in its claws that they went through his armour into his body and he died, but before he had killed a lion and a bear.
In the same way Lorentin, the youngest son, had killed a lion, and had been wounded, and wounded a dragon to the death, but this dragon gave him the killing blow with its claws.
The battle went on until almost all dragons and bears lost their lives by the great blows of Isung's sons, but also king Isung and all his sons were killed by the animals and dragons, and no one but Ostacia's sorceries gave them this death.
Fasold the Proud had his banner carried forth into the army of Wilkiners against king Hertnit, and a sharp battle ensued. Fasolf killed many men, but became tired, and then king Hertnit rode against him and stabbed his spear through Fasold's chest, and Fasold fell dead from his horse.
Detlef the Dane, battling fiercely, saw that happen, and wanted to take revenge for his dear friend Fasold. He stabbed his spear through Hertnit's shield so that it and the twofold armor were breached, and the spear went under the arm and to the shoulder blade, and the king fell from his horse. Then Detlef killed many more men, but the most evil of the dragons flew over Detlef and wanted to kill him. Detlef stabbed his spear through the dragon's mouth so that it exited from its neck, but the dragon took him in its claws and batted him with its wings and fell all over him, and so Detlef was killed.
When all heroes from Bertangaland had fallen the Wilkiners did not stop until each of the Bertangers was killed.
The Wilkiners found their king Hernit gravely wounded and took jim, and the best doctors in Wilkinenland healed him. But when king Hertnit came home to his castle he found his wife Ostacia ill, and then Hertnit understood where the aid of dragons and animals had come from, and that his wife was a sorcerer, and three days later she died with little fame.
But king Hertnit healed and ruled his realm Wilkinenland as one hears in his saga
Attila, king of Soest, heard that Sigfrid was dead and that Grimhild had become a widow. He himself was also a widower
He found king Gunther in Vernica and stayed there for a few days.
One day king Gunther called Osid to a conversation, and Hagen and Gernot were with him. Then duke Osid said: King Attila of Soest sends you his greetings, and wants to marry your sister Grimhild, with as many goods as you care to send him
And king Gunther replied: King Attila is a rich man and a great leader, and if Hagen and Gernot agree, I will not deny him this. And Hagen added: I think we should consider it a great honour that the powerful king Attila takes our sister in wedding; he is the richest and most powerful of kings, and we can also become more powerful. But this matter will have to be laid before her herself; her will
Then king Gunther and Osid went to Grimhild, and king Gunther told her the news and asked her what she thought of marrying Attila. She replied that she did not dare to deny king Attila because he was such a mighty king, and the man who brought her the request
King Gunther and his brothers discussed the matter with duke Osid, and it was decided. Then Osid prepared to depart, and when he was ready king Gunther took a gold-plated shield and helm that had belonged to Sigfrid and gave them to Osid
Quickly after king Attila prepared his journey to Niflungenland to his fiancée Grimhild, and he took five hundred knights with him. When king Gunther heard kings Attila and Dietrich had come to his realm he rode to them with his best men, and when they came near king Gunther rode to king Attila and greeted him, and his brother Hagen rode to Dietrich and they kissed one another, and welcomed one another as the best friends.
Now they all rode to the town of Vernica, and there a most glorious feast was prepared, and at this feast king Gunther gave his sister Grimhild to king Attila.
And when the feast had ended king Attila and king Dietrich rode home. And when they departed king Gunther gave Grani, Sigfrid's horse, to king Dietrich, and the sword Gram he gave to margrave Rodinger
King Attila and king Dietrich
When seven winters had passed since Grimhild came to Hunnenland, one night she said to king Attila: I haven't seen my brothers in seven years now, couldn't you invite them over? And I can tell you, and maybe you already know, that my husband Sigfrid had so much gold that no king in the world was as wealthy. Now my brothers own this, and they haven't even offered me a penny. But if I were to get the gold, it would be seemly if you owned it together with me.
When king Attila heard these words he knew they were true. And since he was the most avaricious of people he desired the treasure, and said: I know Sigfrid had much gold, the gold he took from the dragon
Not long after Grimhild called two men to her, and told them to go to Niflungenland to bring her message, and for this journey she would equip them with gold and silver and good clothes and horses. And the minstrels
These men went to Niflungenland and found king Gunther in Verniza. The king received the messengers of his brother in law king Attila well, and the one that brought the message said: King Attila of Soest and queen Grimhild send greetings to king Gunther and his brothers Hagen, Gernot, and Giselher. We want to invite you to a feast in our lands. King Attila is now old, and it becomes difficult for him to rule his kingdom, but his son Aldrian is still young, and it would seem to us you, as his mother's brothers, would be best suited to rule his realm with your nephew, as long as he isn't old enough. So come and let us talk about what to do with the land, and take as many men as you like.
When the king had read the letter
Hagen spoke: If you go to Hunnenland you will not return, and neither will anyone who follows you. Grimhild is a sly woman, and it could very well be she has treason in mind.
King Gunther replied: So it is your counsel, Hagen, not to go there? You give my counsel like your mother gave my father, worse each time than last time. Therefore I will not take it. I want to travel to Hunnenland, and I assume I'll return, and before I come home all of Hunnenland could be in my power. But you, Hagen, follow me if you want, or sit home if you don't want to come.
Hagen said: I am not more worried about my life than you about yours, and I am not more afraid of a fight than you are. But I can tell you that if you go to Hunnenland, whether with many men or with few, no one will return home alive to Niflungenland. But if you want to go to Hunnenland, I will not
King Gunther replied: Even though you are so afraid of Grimhild that you don't dare to go, I will still travel to Hunnenland.
Now Hagen was angry that he was so often reproached for his mother, and he rose and went to his friend Volker and said to him: You should come with us to Hunnenland, as king Gunther had decided, and all our men should come with us, so arm and equip everyone, but only those should come who are ready for battle.
Then queen Oda, Gunther's and Giselher's mother, went to the king and said to him: Lord, I dreamed that I saw so many dead birds in Hunnenland that all the land was empty of birds. Now I hear that you want the Niflungen to go to Hunnenland, but great misfortune will befall both the Niflungen and the Hunnen if you do so. So do not go there; only evil will come of it, when you go.
Hagen replied: King Gunther had decided on this journey, and we don't care for dreams of an old woman. And Oda replied: King Gunther may do as he likes, and so may you, Hagen, but my young son Giselher should stay home. No, said Giselher, when my brothers go I will not stay behid. And he jumped up and took his weapons.
Now king Gunther sent messengers across his lands that all the best and bravest men should come to him, and soon he had a thousand well-armed men. But at home many a beautiful woman sat without her husband, or son, or brother.
Then Hagen took king Gunther's banner, and this banner was gold on the top, but white in the middle with a red crowned eagle, and the lower part was green. And king Gunther and Hagen bore the same eagle on their armour, though Hagen did not have a crown. But Gernot and Giselher had red shields with a golden hawk, and their banners were of the same colours.
Now the Niflungen went their way until they came to the Rhine there were Duna
King Gunther said to Hagen: Who of our men will keep watch tonight? Name whomever you like. Hagen replied: Put whomever you want on watch up by the river, but here below I myself will keep watch, because we should try to get a ship somewhere
When the other men had gone to sleep Hagen took all his weapons and walked downriver. There was bright moonlight, so that he could see where he was going. Hagen came to a water named Mæri, and he saw some women in the water, and that their clothes were on land between the two rivers, and he took their clothes and hid them. These were women we call sea-women
Hagen said: Tell me this first: will we cross this stream safely and return? If you don't reply you'll never see your clothes again. And she said: You can cross safely, but none of you will return, and you will have great difficulties
Then Hagen drew his sword and killed the woman, and her daughter with her.
Hagen went on downriver for a while, and saw a ship in the middle of the river, and a man on it, and he asked him to come to land to fetch a man from Elsung. He said this because they were in the realm of jarl Elsung the Younger and he thought the pilot would come to him quicker.
The pilot replied: I don't pick up men of Elsung quicker than any other, and I won't row without wages. Hagen took a golden ring and held it up: See here, good man, your wages. I'll give you this golden ring when you ferry me over.
When the pilot saw this he considered how he had married a short while ago, and he wanted to give his wife the money, so he rowed to the shore. Hagen got on the ship and have the pilot his ring. Now the pilot wanted to row across, but Hagen told him to go upstream, but the pilot refused. Hagen told him to row upstream if he wanted to or not, and the pilot took fright and rowed where Hagen wanted him to go, and now they rowed on until theu came to the Niflungen.
King Gunther and his people were on their feet, and they had found a ship, but it was very small, and with this ship a few men had already crossed the stream, but as soon as they landed the ship filled
When Hagen came to them with the large ship the Niflungen became happy, and king Gunther himself boarded the ship, and with him a hundred men, and they rowed into the stream. But Hagen rowed so storngly that he broke both oars in one stroke ok af keipana
Then king Gunther said: Wy did you do that evil deed? What has he done to you?
And Hagen said: I don't want messengers to go to Hunnenland to tell them about our journey, and this man can't tell them any more.
Then king Gunther said: You just want to do evil, and you are never happy unless you've done some evil.
And Hagen replied: Why wouldn't I do evil when we go forth? Not even a child will return from our journey.
Now king Gunther steered, but the rudder broke in two, and the ship ran before current and wind. Hagen jumped to the rudder and reattached the rudder
Then they repaired the ship and had their men cross the stream again to their other men until all had crossed the river. And they went on their way all day.
By evening they lay down and Hagen took the watch again. And when everyone was asleep Hagen went out to scout far from his people. And he found a sleeping man in armour who had laid his sword under him, but the hilt was visible. Hagen took the sword and threw it from him, and then he poked the man with his right foot, and told him to wake up.
The man jumped up and reached for his sword, but saw it was gone, and said: Woe to me for this sleep! I lost my sword, and now I guarded my lord's realm badly
Hagen said: You are a good man, see here a golden ring for your courage
The man replied: Thank you for my sword, and also your ring. And Hagen said: Don't be afraid of this army if you guard margrave Rodinger's land. He is our friend, and king Gunther of the Niflungen leads this army with his brothers. But tell me, where do you want us to spend the night? And who are you?
The man said: I am Eckeward, and now I understand where you go. Are you Hagen Aldrian's son, who killed my lord Sigfrid? Take care while you are in Hunnenland, because you may have many enemies here. But for spending the night I can't bring you to a better place than Bakalar, with margrave Rodinger.
Hagen said: You directed us to where we wanted to go anyway. Now ride home to the castle and tell them that we are coming. Also tell them we are rather wet.
Eckeward rode home, and Hagen went back to his men, and told king Gunther what had happened, and ordered everyone to get up and ride to the castle as quickly as possible. And so they did.
Eckeward rode home as fast as he could, and when he arrived in the hall margrave Rodinger had just eaten and was about to go to sleep. Then Eckward told him what had happened. Then margrave Rodinger rose and ordered all his men to prepare the best meal they could. And he himself jumped on his horse, and when he rode out he met king Gunther with all his men. Margrave Rodinger received the Niflungen well.
Now the Niflungen rode into Rodinger's courtyard
Now the Niflungen undressed near the fires, and Gotelinde, margrave Rodinger's wife, and she was sister to duke Nudung who fell at Gransport, said: The Niflungen have brought many white armours, and hard helemts, and sharp swords, and new shields, but Grimhild still cries for her husband Sigfrid every day. When the fires had gone out king Gunther and Hagen and their brothers went into the hall, sat there and drank with joy, and then they went to sleep.
Now margrave Rodinger lay in bed with his wife, and he asked her: What honourable gift shall I give to king Gunther and his brothers? And she replied: Anything you would like to give, I will agree with. And he said: If you agree, I would like to give our daughter to young Giselher as my first gift. And Gotelinde said: If he could enjoy our daughter it would be well done, but I am afraid he won't.
When day came Rodinger invited the Niflungen to stay for a few days, but they wanted to ride on. And margrave Rodinger told them he wanted to ride with them. And during breakfast Rodinger had a helmet carried in, and gave it to king Gunther. And the king thanked him for this gift. Then Rodinger gave a new shield to Gernot.
Then he had his daughter brought in and gave her to Giselher, and said: Good Giselher, this maiden I would like to give you for your wife, if you want to tak her. And Giselher replied he would become the happiest of men with her, and took her with many thanks.
And again Rodinger spoke: See here, young Giselher, the sword Gram that I would like to give you. It used to be Sigfrid's sword, and I think it would be the best of weapons to carry where you are going. And again Giselher thanked Rodinger.
Then margrave Rodinger said to Hagen: My good friend, what do you see around here that you would like to have? And Hagen said: I see a shield that is sea blue, and large, and it ought to be strong and has large cuts in it. I would like that for a gift.
And Rodinger said: That shield was carried by a good hero, duke Nudung, and the cut is from Mimung, strong Witig's sword, before he fell. And when Gotelinde heard this she cried many tears for her brother Nudung. And Hagen received the shield, and everyone thanked Rodinger again.
Then alll rode from the castle, including margrave Rodinger and his men. Gotelinde wished them well, and hoped they would return with honour. And margrave Rodinger kissed his wife and asked her to rule his realm until he returned.
Now nothing more is said of their travel than that they rode on day after day, and when they entered Soest it was rainy and windy, and all Niflungen were wet. And when they came to Thorta
The man replied: The latest news is that the Niflungen have come to Hunnenland, and king Attila is preparing them a feast, and I was sent to invite you, but I could just as well return with you, since I have done my errand. And then Rodinger asked how many men king Attila expected to receive. And the messenger said: I think there are no fewer men in this company than king Attila has invited
Then Rodinger told the man to ride to king Attila and tell him that the Niflungen and he had arrived. Then king Attila ordered that all houses in the town should be prepared, some with tents
Now king Attila asked king Dietrich to ride out and meet them. And he did so, met the Niflungen, and they all went to the town.
Queen Grimhild stood on a tower and saw her brothers coming into Soest, and she said: Now it is a nice green summer, and my brothers come here with many new shields, white armours, and brave heroes, and I still remember Sigfrid's great wound. And she cried bitterly over Sigfrid.
Then she went to the Niflungen and welcomes them, and kissed those who were nearest to her
And now the town was filled with men and horses, and even before there were many hundreds of men and horses in Soest
King Attila led his brothers in law to his hall, and had fires made, but the Niflungen did not take off their armour, and did not lay down their weapons. Now Grimhild came into the hall where her brothers were drying near the fires, and she saw their armour under their cloaks.
Then Hagen saw his sister Grimhild, and he took his helmet, put it on his head, and tightened it, and Volker did the same. Then Grimhild said: Hagen, did you bring he the Niflungen treasure that Sigfrid once had?
But Hagen replied: I bring you a strong enemy who follows my shield and my helmet with my sword, and I will never take off my armour. Then king Gunther said: My sister, come and sit here. And then Grimhild went to her young brother Giselher and kissed him, and she sat down between him and king Gunther
Then Giselher asked: Why do you cry? And she replied: That I can tell you. I am pained most by the great wounds Sigfrid received between his shoulders, and no weapon has touched his shield.
Then Hagen replied: Let's not remember Sigfrid's wounds for now. King Attila should be as dear to you as Sigfrid used to be, and he is half as much richer, but it is not possible any more to heal Sigfrid's wounds, and what has happened has happened. Then Grimhild rose and went away.
Now Dietrich von Bern came to invite the Niflungen to the meal, and he was followed by Aldrian, king Attila's son. King Gunther took Aldrian on his arm and carried him with him.
But king Dietrich and Hagen were such good friends that they took each other's hands
King Attila now sat on his throne, and to his right sat king Gunther, and next to him young Giselher, then Gernot, then Hagen, then their relative Volker. On Attila's left sat king Dietrich von Bern, then margrave Rodinger, then master Hildebrand, and these sat at king Attila's high table.
And in the hall were also the noblest of men one next to the other, and they drank good wine and feasted. And such a large amount of people were in town that all houses were filled. And they all slept in peace this night.
The next morning they got up, and king Dietrich and Hildebrand and many other knights came to the Niflungen. Dietrich asked how they had slept, and Hagen said he had slept well, but that his mood was still average.
Then king Dietrich said: Be merry, good friend Hagen, and be welcome; but be aware that your sister Grimhild still grieves for Sigfrid, and you will notice that before you go home. And thus Dietrich was the first man to warn the Niflungen
Then they went out into the courtyard
And now king Attila went onto the balcony
Now Hagen and Volker went forth through the town, and they each had their hand around the other's shoulder, and they saw many well-bred women. And how they took off their helmets and showed themselves. And Hagen was white like ash, and he had but one eye.
Now the Niflungen stood out by the town wall and saw the town, but Dietrich von Bern went back to his court, where he had business to do.
Now king Attila saw how many people there were in town, and he could not fit them all into his great hall. But since it was nice weather he had a feast prepared in his garden
Meanwhile queen Grimhild entered Dietrich's hall to speak to him. And she wailed and wept and said: Good friend Dietrich, I have come to ask for your help to avenge Sigfrid, I want to pay back Hagen and Gunther and their brothers. If you help me I'll give you as much gold and silver as you want, and I will also help you when you go back over the Rhine to avenge yourself
Then she went away weeping and went to the hall where duke Osid was, and again she spoke: Lord Osid, don't you want to help me avenge my grief? I want to pay the Niflungen back for the death of Sigfrid, and if you do so I'll give you a large realm and anything you should ask for. But Osid said: If I did that, I would have king Attila's enmity, since he is a good friend of them.
Then the queen went to king Attila and said to him: Lord king, where is the gold or silver that my brothers brought here? And the king said he had not seen any gold or silver, but he would still treat them well as guests in his house. And Grimhild said: Then who will avenge my disgrace if you won't? Sigfrid was murdered! Now help me, and you can win the Niflungen treasure and all of Niflungenland.
The king said: Do not speak of that any more. How could I betray my brothers in law? They have come here in good faith, and neither you nor anyone else should offend them. Then she went away and she felt quite bad.
Now Attila went into the garden where the feast would take place and called all others in. And the queen told the Niflungen: Now give your weapons to me for safe keeping. No one should bear arms here, and you will see the Huns do so as well.
Then Hagen said: You are a queen
Then Gernot said: Hagen was never in a good mood since we set out on this journey, and it could be he will prove his courage even today. And now Gernot, too, started to suspect betrayal, and recalled that Hagen had said so before they ever went on this journey, and he, too, bound his helmet tightly on his head.
Now king Attila, too, saw this happening, and he asked Dietrich who those were that bound their helmets so tightly. And Dietrich told him they were Hagen and Gernot, and both are brave heroes in foreign lands,
Now king Attila went to king Gunther and Giselher, and took their hands, Gunther's in his right hand, and Giselher's in his left, and called to Hagen and Gernot, and he placed them all on the high table to his right, as was said before
And all Niflungen had come to the garden in their armour with their swords, but their shields and spears they had given to their squires for safe keeping, and twenty squires were set by the door
Volker sat with the foster of Aldrian, Attila's son, and Grimhild had her chair set opposite king Attila, and duke Osid was with her.
At this time queen Grimhild went to the knight who was set over her other knights and who was called Irung. And she said: Good friend Irung, don't you want to avenge my dishonour? Neither king Attila wants to do so, nor king Dietrich, nor any other of my friends. Irung asked: What should we avenge, my lady, and why do you cry so bitterly
And the queen replied: I remember how Sigfrid was mudered, and I want to avenge him, if anyone wants to help me. And she took his gold-plated shield and said: Good friend Irung, do you want to avenge my dishonour? I will fill this shield with red gold if you do, and you'll also have my friendship. And Irung replied: Lady, your friendship is worth more than gold. He got up, armed himself, called his knights, and unfurled his banner.
The queen told him to first go to the squires and kill them, and then make sure none of the Niflungen entered the garden, and that those who were already inside would not escape with their lives.
Quickly the queen went to the garden and sat on the high table. And her son Aldrian ran to her and kissed her. Then the queen said: My dear son, if you want to be equal in courage to your relatives, then go to Hagen and when he leans over the table to take something from a plate, then hit him with your fist as hard as you can. Then you will be a hero.
The boy ran over to Hagen, and when Hagen leaned forward the boy struck him with his fist on the chin
Then Hagen took the boy by the hairs with his left hand, and said: You did not do this of your own accord, and also not at the command of your father king Attila, but this is an idea of your mother's, and you won't enjoy it for long. And with his right hand he drew his sword and beheaded the boy, and he hurled the head to Grimhild's breast.
Then he said: In this garden we drink good wine, but it will now turn out to be expensive. I now pay the first part of the price to my sister Grimhild. And again he struck, right over Volker's head, and beheaded the boy's foster, and said: Now the queen has been paid as she deserves, and how you brought up this boy.
King Attila jumped up and called: Arise, Huns, all my men, arm yourselves and kill the Niflungen. And everyone in the garden jumped up, but the Niflungen now drew their swords.
At queen Grimhild's command raw, wet cow skins had been placed outside the door to the garden, and when the Niflungen ran out of the garden they slipped on the skins, and thus many men were killed, because Irung and his men stood there and killed many good hero, and already many hundreds lay dead in the garden
Once the Niflungen understood that they lost the men who managed to get out of the garden, they turned around and fought the Huns still in the garden, and they slew every one of them that didn't flee.
King Attila stood on a tower and spurred on his men to fight against the Niflungen. But king Dietrich von Bern went home to his hall with all his men
But queen Grimhild did nothing all day but bring armour and helmets and swords and shields, as many as king Attila had, and thus armed many men. And sometimes she went out into the city and told everyone to attack, and that everyone who desired gold, silver, and jewelry to attack and kill the Niflungen. This she did all day.
Now a sharp battle ensued, when the Huns tried to enter the garden but the Niflungen defended it; and this garden was called the Holmgarten, and even to this day
Now Hagen said to Gunther: It seems to me that many of the Huns and Amelungen
A stone wall stood around this garden, as strong as a city wall, and this same wall is still around today
Now the Huns let their horns sound, and shouted that the Niflungen had escaped the garden. All Huns hurried to the fight so that all streets were filled with them, and the Niflungen were outnumbered and driven back into the garden.
But Hagen sprang up to the hall
And to the left side of the Niflungen
Now Gernot, Giselher and Volker turned from the street to the hall
Then Gernot said to king Dietrich: When will you come with your men to help us? You cannot let so few fight against so many! And Dietrich replied: My good friend Gernot, it saddens me to see this storm
Now king Gunther knew that Hagen, Gernot, and Giselher, his brothers, had sallied forth from the garden, and also that a much larger army of Huns had attacked them. All of them
Now duke Osid, king Attila's nephew, came against king Gunther, and they fought long and hard until night fell. And because king Gunther was all alone in the middle of the Hun army, and had to fight against their greatest hero, he was overwhelmed and taken prisoner. He surrendered his weapons and was bound. And when the Huns had scored this great victory they started a great shouting. And king Attila and the queen called that they should not kill Gunther but bring him to them, and Osid led Gunther before Attila's knees
Now Hagen and Gernot heard the Huns call that king Gunther had been taken prisoner. Hagen became so angry that he jumped from the doors down onto the street and struck Huns with both hands, and no one dared to stand before him. When Gernot saw that he also jumped on to the street and hewed Huns with both hands, and his sword stopped nowhere but in the ground. And Giselher followed him and killed many men with his sword Gram. And they distinguished themselves so much that no Hun dared to stand before them, and they fled. And now the Niflungen came forth from the garden on to the street, and they shouted that the Huns were cowardly dogs who ran when the Niflungen wanted to avenge themselves. And they spread through the town and killed them men they encountered, and it was night and quite dark. And the Huns fought them
King Attila went to his hall and had the house closed and guarded, so that the Niflungen could not do anything there. And margrave Rodinger went to king Dietrich's hall
Then Hagen had his horns blown, and called all Niflungen to him. and Hagen now had reached the town wall. All the Niflungen came to him, and Hagen asked Gernot: How many men did we lose with king Gunther? And Gernot said they would now muster their men. To Hagen's right Giselher should go with his banner, but, said Gernot, with my men, but to Hagen's left and with me the men who followed the other banners
And thus the Niflungen ordered their army. Now they counted how many men they had lost, and it turned out they'd lost 300 men, but 700 were still alive. And Hagen said they still had a large army, and the Huns would lose many men before the Niflungen bowed to them
And Hagen continued: If it were day now and we could fight, we would likely win. King Attila has only a few more men than we do. But if we wait here for morning, many people from the countryside will come to town, and we will have to deal with such a large army that we will be overwhelmed, and I'm not sure if we'll do anything heroic before we give up our lives. But if we had fire we could fight on.
And Hagen and a few men went to a cooking shed and took fire, and threw it into a house, and then the whole town was lighted.
The Niflungen raised their banners and marched around the town with calls and horn blasts, and challenged the Huns to come out and fight them when they came to the hall
When dawn came the Huns from the countryside came into town, and they now had a quite large army. Both sides now raised their banners and blew their horns, and then a long, sharp battle started. The Huns attacked bravely and encouraged one another. And queen Grimhild egged all men on to kill Niflungen, and offered them gold and silver.
This day duke Osid and Irung fought along, but king Attila did not. Gernot had his banner carried against Osid, and both armies fought with great courage. Now Gernot went forth before all his men and hacked on both sides and killed many men. Duke Osid attacked him, and they started a duel and fought bravely for a long time, but it ended with Gernot cutting off Osid's head. And the Niflungen rejoiced that a chief of the Huns had fallen.
When margrave Rodinger heard that duke Osid had fallen he became very angry and told his men they should now fight and kill the Niflungen. And he had his banner carried against the Niflungen, and fought for a long time.
Meanwhile Hagen went forth alone into the Hun army and killed Huns on both sides with his hands as far as his sword could reach, and he also killed many with his spear, and his arms were now bloody up to the shoulders. And he fought so long and went so far into the Hunnic army that he became quite tired and did not know how to get back to his own men. So he went into a hall, kicked open the door
Margrave Rodinger now marched against the Niflungen, and the Huns moved against the hall where Hagen stood, but he defended the door and slew many men. Grimhild saw this, and she called on the Huns to set fire to the hall, because the roof was made of wood, and thus they did.
Then Grimhild called Irung and said: My good Irung, now you can attack Hagen while he is in a house
Now Grimhild saw that Hagen bled, and went to Irung and said: Now, my dear Irung, best of all heroes, you have wounded Hagen, the next time you will kill him. And she took two golden rings
Now Irung jumped into the hall a second time, but Hagen was warned and walked to him and pierced him with his spear in the breast, so that it tore through armour and body and exited between the shoulders. And there Irung sank down on the stone road that until this day is called Irung's Road, and Hagen's spear was stuck in the road.
Then Hagen said: If I had avenged Grimhild's evil like I avenged my wound on Irung, then my sword would have sung throuhgout Hunnenland.
Margrave Rodinger went forward and killed the Niflungen, but against him came Giselher, and they fought, and Giselher's sword Gram cut through shield, armour, and helmet like through clothes. And margrave Rondinger fell with great wounds beforre Giselher, killed with the same sword he had given to Giselher as a gift.
And Gernot and Giselher attacked king Attila's hall and killed many Huns. But Volker went to the hall where Hagen stood, and killed one man after the other so that he never walked on the ground, but always from body to body.
And now Hagen saw a Niflung was coming to help him, and he asked: Who is this man who comes here so bravely? And he replied: I am Volker
Now king Dietrich saw that margrave Rondinger was dead, and he called loudly: Now my best friend is dead I can no longer keep still. Take your arms, men, and I will now fight against the Niflungen.
Now Dietrich went forth from his hall, and in German songs it is said that worthy men were not there
Now Dietrich advanced so much with his men that Hagen von Troja
Now king Dietrich entered the hall, and Volker stood in the door and defended it, but Dietrich's first stroke hit his helmet so that his head flew off. Then Hagen attacked him and their duel started.
And master Hildebrand attacked Gernot, and they fought, but Hildebrand killed Gernot with strong Lagulf
And now there were only four in the hall who carried weapons: Dietrich and Hagen in their duel, and Hildebrand and Giselher.
Now king Attila descended from his tower and went to the fighting. And Hagen said to him: It would be a brave man's work, king Attila, if you gave young Giselher peace. He is innocent of Sigfrid's death, because I alone gave him the fatal wound. So do not hold Giselher responsible for it, he could become a good warrior if he lives.
But Giselher said: Don't tell me not to defend myself. My sister knows that I was but five years old when Sigfrid was killed, and I was in bed with my mother, and I am not to blame for this struggle. But I do not want to live alone among my brothers.
And Giselher jumped to master Hildebrand and gave him one blow after the other, but their duel ended as one could suspect, that master Hildebrand gave him a fatal wound. And so Giselher fell.
Then Hagen said to king Dietrich: It seems our friendship will end like this, and one of us most lose his life here. But let us fight bravely, and let neither of us insult the other with his ancestry
They fought long and hard, and it was difficult to see which one would win, and the duel went on for so long that both became wounded and tired. And now king Dietrich became angry at having to fight one man for so long, and said: This is truly a great shame, that I stay here all day to fight with an elf's son.
And Hagen replied: What's worse, an elf's son or the devil himself?
And now king Dietrich became so angry that fire came from his mouth, and Hagen's armour became so hot that it glowed, and it did not protect him, but burn him instead. And Hagen said: Now I will give up my arms. I burn through my armour, and if I had been a fish instead of a man, I'd be so fried that my flesh would be edible.
Then king Dietrich gripped him and tore off his armour.
Grimhild took a big branch from where the hall had burned above Hagen, and went to her brother Gernot, and put the branch in his mouth to find out if he was dead or alive, but Gernot was truly dead. Then she went to Giselher and did the same, but he wasn't dead yet, and so Giselher died.
Now king Dietrich von Bern saw what Grimhild was doing, and said to king Attila: See how this devil Grimhild, your wife, torments her brothers, and how many have died for her sake, Huns and Amelungen and Niflungen, and if she can she will kill you as well.
And king Attila said: She is truly a devil, so kill her, and it would have been better if you'd done so seven nights ago. And king Dietrich went to Grimhild and cut her in two.
Now king Dietrich went to Hagen and asked if he could still be healed, but Hagen said he might live a few more days but there was no doubt he would die from these wounds.
Now king Dietrich had Hagen carried to his hall, and had his wounds tended to. And he gave Hagen his relative Herrat to tend to his wounds. And in the evening Hagen asked Dietrich for a woman for his last night, and Dietrich did so.
And in the morning Hagen told this woman: It could happen you get a son from me, and he should be called Aldrian. And here are keys you will keep and give to the boy, for these keys go to Sigfrid's cellar, where the Niflungen treasure is
And thus the Niflungen had ended their lives, and also the most powerful men in Hunnenland except for king Attila, king Dietrich, and master Hildebrand. In this struggle a thousand Niflungen fell, and four thousand Hunnen and Amelungen. And German men say that no battle has been more famous in old sagas than this one. And after the battle Hunnenland was empty of men for king Attila's remaining days.
Now queen Erka's prophecy
And one can hear how these things happened one can hear in sagas of German men that were either born in Soest, where these events took place, and have seen unchanged the places where these things happened, where Hagen fell, and where Irung was killed, and where the snake tower was where king Gunther died. And the garden was called Niflungengarden and still stands in the same way as when the Niflungen were killed, the old gate where the struggle started, and the western gate which is now called Hagen's gate, where the Niflungen broke out of the garden, and today it is called the same as it was then.
Men from Bremen and Münster have told us the same, and none of them knew of the others, but they still told the same story. And it is also according to the old songs in the German language made by wise men of the great deeds that took place in that country.
Chapter 395-441 not yet summarised.
Status: 314 of 441 chapters summarised (71%)