The story of Munderic is actually an episode in the reign of Thierry I, son of Clovis. Munderic, a relative of Thierry I, revolts against his king, claiming that his blood makes him equally entitled to the throne. He gains followers and is besieged by Thierry I. His defense is strong enough that Thierry I resorts to guile, luring Munderic from his stronghold with false pledges of good faith and having him executed once he is vulnerable.
This episode has multiple functions in Gregory’s narrative: It is one of the historical events he is bound to include in his work, but it is also one of a series of episodes portraying the ruthlessness and administrative ingenuity of Thierry I. Although Gregory deplores Thierry I’s tactics, this attitude is mixed with some admiration for Thierry I’s strength of character. Furthermore, the Munderic episode offers an opportunity for Gregory to exercise his skill as a storyteller. The events are not complicated, but the episode stands out because of Gregory’s use of two motifs—good faith and bad faith—that are intensified by repetition. Munderic is a traitor, but he has a loyal following; Thierry I, the rightful ruler, does not hesitate to use deceit, and his envoy, Aregyselus, is able to persuade the strangely guileless Munderic that Thierry I will honor the oath sworn on the altar in his name. Aregyselus promptly betrays Munderic to Thierry I’s forces, and Munderic, finally aware of treachery, kills the messenger and dies, honorably defending himself. With no real description of his personality, one still can perceive a rather simple, straightforward man who is destroyed as much by his ambition as by the machinations of his opponent. The techniques of fiction, especially the coherence provided by the emphasis of two major motifs, elevate the episode from a mere sequence of events to the status of story.