After Haestan's defeat at Baemfleot he retreats to Caester. Merewalh and 150 warriors are stationed outside to watch and harass him. Later Merewalh and his men are forced to retreat from the advancing Danish army and he joins Uhtred and his warband. It is at this time that Æthelflaed tells Merewalh and his men that her husband Æthelred had decreed that all his men should accept her orders as if they were his own. This is a lie that no one believes is true but still follow in order to support Æthelflaed.