There was a dukedom situate between Britanje and Engelant, also bordered by the sea, which was called Arundel. The ruling duke at that time, advanced in years, but bold and courtly, had been oppressed, the histories tell, by powerful neighbors who had violated and usurped his jurisdiction and territories. They had put him to rout both on land and at sea. Gladly would he have retaliated had he had the power to do so. There were one son and a daughter 18700 born to him and his wife, both of high perfection in stature as well as virtue. The son had taken the sword, greatly devoted to its cause. For some three years past he had earned high praise and honor. His sister was a lovely maiden, named Isolt as blanschemains, the son was called Kaedin li frains. Their father was Duke Jovelin, and their mother, the duchess, bore the name Karsie. When the news reached Tristan at home in Parmenie, that war had broken out in the land of Arundel, he thought to find diversion from his sorrows there. Leaving Parmenie behind, he headed for Arundel, arriving at a great castle known everywhere as Karke, where the lord of the land resided. Here he made his first stop. Duke and retinue received him as a man of worth shoud be received. Well they knew his reputation. Tristan, as this story tells us, was famous over all the islands that lie fronting the great ocean for his deeds of manliness, and they were very glad to have him. The duke was ready to comply with his advice and directives, bidding him to take command of his lands and situation. The young and courtly Kaedin was very eager to please him. If there was anything he could do to promote his guest's worthiness, he devoted himself to that with his full attention. Very soon the two of them were competing with each other at all hours and all times to be of service to the other. They vowed loyalty and companionship between themselves, one to one, and remained true to each other 18750 as long as they both lived. Tristan, the outsider here, taking Kaedin with him, had an audience with the duke. He asked him in consultation about the military state between him and his enemies, from which quarters they were able to inflict on him the great losses that had so overwhelmed him. Everything was explained to him concerning the tactical situation, including the best that they knew about the enemy's position and which way they were advancing. The duke did have control of an advantageous stronghold that lay across the enemy's path. Tristan and Kaedin his ally moved at once to invest it with the few combatants they had. It was not such a force as would be able to take the field for a pitched battle on short notice, but still enough to sally out when occasion warrated, using stealth and surprise to devastate enemy lands by pillaging and burning. Tristan dispatched a summons in secret to Parmenie, informing the sons of Rual, his dedicated followers, of his need for reinforcements, which he required now as never— this was the time to demonstrate what they really could do by bringing help immediately. They delivered a regiment of five hundred cavalry with the finest equipment and a great store of supplies. As soon as Tristan heard that his native forces were coming, he went himself to meet them under cover of darkness, leading them across the border without anyone else knowing except for friends and allies who were eager to aid this effort. 18800 He stationed half of them at Karke, giving them strict instructions to keep themselves out of sight, avoiding any engagement if forces attacked Karke until they could be certain that he and Kaedin were in the field. Then they were to sally out and see what fortune should bring. He took command of the other half, riding with them on the path to the fortress assigned to him, bringing them within its walls by night, and told them to conceal their strength just as carefully as would those back at Karke. At the first light of morning, Tristan had already detailed from the knights he had brought a troop of at least a hundred. The rest were left in reserve. He asked that Kaedin put his own men on alert. If they saw that he himself had been forced to retreat, they should come to his relief from the fortress and from Karke. Then he crossed into enemy space. With no stealth or pretence, he pillaged and put to the torch every opposing stronghold he found, nor did he spare their settlements. Before nightfall the cry had flown throughout the land that Kaedin in his pride was riding forth to mount a general offensive. Rugier von Doleise and Nautenis von Hante and Rigolin von Nante, enemy captains all, were much perturbed at this news. All troops and resources that could be reached by night were mustered in full strength. They had joined their forces by a little before noon on the following day and marched against Karke. Among their number they could count 18850 a good four hundred cavalry, which gave them full confidence of soon investing the castle as they had often done before whenever it was their pleasure. But Tristan was on their trail, along with his comrade Kaedin. Just when the approaching army considered any harassment to be most unlikely, their pursuers came flying at them. None of them had supposed they were anywhere near the enemy. But as soon as they realized that they were attacked on all sides, they closed ranks at once and turned to give battle. Suddenly it was spear to spear, horse to horse, man to man, so furiously against each other that they wrought much destruction, both on this side and on that. On this side Tristan and Kaedin, Rugier and Rigolin on that. Whoever challenged with the sword or sought a target for his lance had no shortage of opponents. They flung forth their battle-cries, here schevalier Hante, Doleise and Nante!" there "Karke and Arundel!" When the knights in the stronghold saw how the fight was going, they came streaming from the gates to hit their foe on the flank. Now they were among them, attacking and fighting viciously. It didn't take very long for them to break through their ranks. Then they rode through them slashing like wild boars among the sheep. Now Tristan and Kaedin began to fight their way toward the banners and insignia where the enemy captains were. Soon Rugier and Rigolin and Nautenis were captured, after their fighting forces had suffered many casualties. Tristan of Parmenie 18900 with a band of his landsmen rode about striking down, killing, or capturing the enemy. When those few still resisting saw that fighting back was useless, it was every man for himself, to survive or escape by flight or by subterfuge, and no one had a better option— surrender, flee, or die— it was clear who had won. All resistance on one side now having been overthrown, with prisoners taken under guard and put in safe confinement, Tristan and Kaedin mustered their whole force, all their resources and power, and invested the entire land. Wherever they found an opponent or discovered enemy property, be it goods, cities, fortresses, all was forfeit, on the spot. Collecting their gains and plunder, they sent it all back to Karke. Now that they had pacified the entire hostile territory, revenged the insult they had suffered, and ruled the country unopposed, Tristan dismissed his forces, sending his fellow countrymen back home to Parmenie with many and sincere thanks for the success and honor he owed to their assistance. When his support had departed, Tristan turned to diplomacy. His policy toward the prisoners was one of rehabilitation. They received from their new lord the fiefs he returned to them and his pledge of amnesty, with the added stipulation that there must now be an end to this despoilment of the land of which they had been guilty. With this they were released, all the captains and their men. As the fruits of this campaign, Tristan reaped praise and honors 18950 at court there and among it people. Both nobility and commoners acclaimed his manhood and wisdom, proving themselves well disposed to do whatever he commanded.
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