A Duel of Giants
It all begins around the year 620 during the reign of Clotaire II, King of France, when terrible wars of sedition ravage the kingdom. Prince Salvaert, prince of Dijon and Burgundy, is driven from his lands because he is a cousin of the king of England and hostile to the fatherland. He takes his pregnant wife Ermengaert and his followers to England. Arriving in the land of Bucq, they pass through the Sans Mercy Wood where the local tyrannical lord was none other than the infamous giant Phinaert. Learning of Salvaert’s daring journey, Phinaert ambushes and murders the prince and his escort. Princess Ermengaert miraculously manages to escape, pregnant, and takes refuge in the forest.
A divine apparition then appears to her and predicts the birth of a son who, when he comes of age, will avenge his father. Ermengaert gives birth to the child, whom she hides in some thickets, before becoming Phinaert’s captive. A local hermit hears the infant’s wails, takes him in, and gives him his own name: Lyderic, a doe replacing the maternal nurturing breast.
As an adult, now a handsome young man, Lyderic enters the service of the King of England. But, in 640, fate calls him to return to the lands that saw his father die and his mother taken captive to avenge them. He requests an audience with King Clotaire in order to obtain the judicial duel against Phinaert.
At a place called the Bridge at Fins, on June 15, 640, Lyderic confronts Phinaert, wins the duel and returns his mother to freedom. Lyderic, by his courage and in reparation, obtains from the king of France the property of Phinaert and the title of first forester of Flanders worth his descendants to become the counts of Flanders.