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.
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
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.
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.
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
Master Hildebrand had mastered the sword strike that no one could counter with a shield, and he usually won in one hit. And that is still said of him, wherever his name is written or spoken.
Heime the Proud was a great warrior. After his duel with king Dietrich
Then Heime rode home to his father Studa and took from his stud farm a filly, three winters old, named Falke. And this stallion he gave to king Dietrich, and king Dietrich rewarded him many times over.
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.
Now Hildebrand took the field, and against him the tenth prince. They started their fight with great valour, and fought for a long time, until they tired. Hildebrand had already wounded the prince three times, all of them serious, and then he wanted to strike a mighty blow, but his sword broke in two, and now the prince came so boldly that he captured Hildebrand and bound him.
Then the prince went back to his men, and the Bertanga-men rejoiced.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
They followed the road northward over the mountains, and did not stop until they came to Gransport, and there they saw king Dietrich and his army on the northern side of the river. Then the Amelungen
This night master Hildebrand was king Dietrich's watchman, and when everyone was asleep he rode down to the river, alone and stealthily, until he found a ford in the river. He rode through the river, but before he found it
Master Hildebrand said
Then Hildebrand replied: You are right, I am truly Hildebrand, king Dietrich's best friend, and I will never hide that. And welcome to you, my friend Reinald, please tell me news about your army.
Reinald said: The first piece of news is, that king Ermenrik's army is led by duke Witig, your good friend, and the next Sibich, your great enemy, and I can also tell you that I rode away so silently that everybody thinks I'm still in bed, but I wanted to ride to king Dietrich and tell him all this if I hadn't met you, and I truly wish that he will do well, even though I will lead my men against him, but I do not want to hide from Dietrich whatever he desires to know.
Now they rode up the river
Then Hildebrand said: And where is our dear friend Witig with his people? And Reinald replied: You can see a green tent with a large silver knot on the pole. Witig sleeps there, and many Amelungen who have sworn to cleave many a Hunnish helmet tomorrow.
Then Hildebrand asked: And whose is the black tent? And Reinald said: That is mine, and my men sleep there. Then Hildebrand said: ou did well, to show me how you divided your army. Now come with me up the river, where our tents are, and I will tell you our division. And they did that.
And as they rode up from the river, five men rode towards them; they were Amelungen from Sibich's following. They assumed that these
Then Hildebrand drew his sword and rode to them. And Reinald ordered them not to come towards them, because this man
But they thought they recognised master Hildebrand, and one of them hit his helmet hat
Now Hildebrand and Reinald came to the river bank opposite the
Then Reinald said: Sibich has also decided to fight against king Dietrich. But I will lead my banner against margrave Rodinger, because the Huns who follow him are not our friends. But Witig, your friend, will attack Diether and Attila's sons, although he is loath to fight against Diether because he is king Dietrich's brother, but it must be done.
And now they separated, and wished each other safe travel.
Hildebrand rode back through the ford. But when Reinald came to his tent he found there Sibich with many of his men, ready for battle. He had heard about Hildebrand's mission and wanted to ride after him and kill him.
Then Reinald said: If you want to kill my good friend Hildebrand I can get no fewer men than you have in a short time, and then you'll have to fight me rather than him, and you'll have many fewer men before you catch up with him. And it is more likely than not that he will ride his way, whether you pursue him or not
Then Sibich replied: Reinald, do you want to become king Ermenrik's enemy, who made me chief of this campaign? Do you want to help our enemies?
Reinald said: I don't want to become king Ermenrik's enemy. Instead, I will fight for him, even though I fight against my relatives and friends, but I will not let you kill Hildebrand while he rides alone. You will have plenty of opportunity to kill him before the day is over, and when he leads his men I will not prevent anyone from riding against him. But it could be that he defends himself. And these words stopped Sibich and his men from riding after Hildebrand.
But Hildebrand rode to king Dietrich's tent and told him all he had learned that night. And the king said he had done well, as before.
And when light came king Dietrich rose and had his horns blown, and then Diether did the same, as did margrave Rodinger. And now all rose and armed themselves. And when they had mounted master Hildebrand rode in front with king Dietrich's banner pole in his hands, and close behind him king Dietrich with all his men. And they rode to the same ford that Hildebrand had used during the night.
And when the Amelungen saw this, Sibich had king Ermenrik's horns blown, and Witig and Reinald did the same, and all their men armed themselves. Witig mounted his horse Schimming and was ready to fight; and so too Reinald with his army.
Walther of Waskastein bore king Ermenrik's banner in his hand, this banner had the outer part in black like a raven's, and the next part gold, and the third one green as grass, and seventy golden bells were sewn into this banner, so that one could hear it throughout the entire army as soon as the banner was moved or touched by the wind. And behind him came Sibich with his men.
And when king Dietrich saw king Ermenrik's banner and knew Sibich followed it, he called on master Hildebrand to carry his banner that way; and this banner was made of white silk, and had a golden lion with a crown, and no fewer than seventy bells hung from it; queen Erka had had this banner made and gave it to king Dietrich. So these two armies rode to one another.
Then rode Reinald with his troupe; and his banner was red silk like blood, and on the tip of the pole were three golden knots. And he led his army against margrave Rodinger.
Then rode Witig with his army, and his banner was carried by the strong Runga - no giant was found with equal strength - and this banner was black, and a white hammer, tongues, and anvil on it. Against him rode duke Nudung, and he bore a white banner with a golden lion, and this banner queen Erka had given to Diether. And after him rode Diether and Erp and Ortwin, Attila's sons, and the good knight Helfrich. Their shoes were covered with red gold so that they had a glow as if of fire.
Now the six army groups met. Dietrich rode in front on his good stallion Falke with his sword Eckisax, and killed men and horses on both sides, and before him rode master Hildebrand carrying his banner and slaying men with his free hand, and their companion Wildeber followed them, and many Amelungen from Sibich's army fell.
Then king Dietrich called loudly: You have fought against the Reussen and Wilkinenmen, and we were usually victorious, but in this battle we fight for our lands and realm, so let's win great fame by reconquering it.
Now king Dietrich rode in the middle of Sibich's army and slew man and horse, and when he had come in the middle he went back by another way, and he was much feared. And by another route Wildeber rode through the Amelungen army, and no man held against him.
Walther of Waskastein saw how much damage Wildeber was doing to the Amelungen, and how they fled for him, and rode against him and hit him with his spear in the breast so that it exited between the shoulder blades. And Wildeber struck off the spear's shaft and struck Walther's thigh in the saddle, and pierced the armour and his sword got stuck in the saddle, and both fell dead from their horses
When Sibich saw that his banner had fallen, and the strong Walther with it, he turned his horse and fled, and his men with him. But king Dietrich and his men pursued the fugitives for a long time and killed them all day long, and it took quite a while before he returned.
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 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
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.
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 55 chapters complete.