Tristram and Palomides found the body of King Hermance in a rich vessel covered with red silk, which grouned on the bank of the Humber River. In the dead king’s hand was a letter telling how he had been traitorously slain by two poorly born brethren whom he had brought up, and pleading for some knight to avenge him.
Palomides took the quest, journeyed to the Red City, met Sir Ebel, a faithful old retainer who had written the letter for his dead king, and Sir Hermind, the king’s brother. Palomides fought and slew the wicked brothers, Helius (Helain) and Helake, and freed Hermance’s kingdom.
King Hermance may well have been alive and ruling, but keeping to himself, during the first part of Arthur’s reign.