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.
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.
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.
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 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
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
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
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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
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
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 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 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.
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
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
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
Status: summary of 194 chapters complete.