For years, Beowulf continues to support Hygelac and his successors, until a series of events leads to his installation as ruler of the Geats. Late in his life, Beowulf learns that his country is being terrorized by a dragon that is guarding a treasure horde. He assembles a raiding party to assault the dragon at his lair. Unfortunately, all but one of his warriors deserts him at the battle; only the faithful Wiglaf remains to help slay the dragon. The fight is costly for Beowulf; the dragon inflicts a deadly wound, and the renowned chieftain knows he will not survive. Before he dies, he gives instructions to Wiglaf regarding the disposition of his possessions and the organization of his funeral. Beowulf’s body is carried to a peak overlooking the sea and is burned on a magnificent pyre on which numerous precious objects have been placed.