FOR MY FIRST CHAPTER ON CHARLEMAGNE’S PALADINS CLICK HERE
AFTER FERRAU THE MUSLIM HAD BEHEADED THE SLEEPING PRINCE ARGALIA, he once again mounted his horse and rode off eastward through the Forest of Arden, continuing his search for the fleeing Princess Angelica. Roland the Paladin was likewise scouring the forest for this woman who had bewitched so many men back at the court of Charlemagne.
Another Paladin, Reinold, was far ahead of the other pursuers of Angelica due to the supernatural speed of his enchanted horse, Bayard. In the Forest of Arden were two magical sources of water – a fountain that was hundreds of years old and from which flowed the Waters of Hatred, and a stream which carried the Waters of Love. (The Waters of Bemused Resignation were in a different forest altogether.) The parched Reinold came upon the fountain and unsuspectingly drank from it.
Suddenly he was filled with naked loathing for the princess he had til now felt passionately in love with. Disgusted with himself for having pursued this object of hatred he rode westward to return to the Emperor’s court. After a time he grew tired, so he dismounted and napped on the grass beneath the trees.
Meanwhile, Angelica had unknowingly come across the stream filled with the Waters of Love and quenched her thirst. By chance the next person she laid eyes on was the slumbering Reinold and so she fell deeply in love with him. In her euphoric state she plucked up a few flowers and rained their petals down on the face of her sleeping idol.
Reinold was awakened by the rain of petals and upon perceiving Angelica berated her and uttered the most vile curses at her. The princess replied with words of love but Reinold merely sneered at her and rode off on Bayard. Angelica, still in the throes of the enchantment, threw herself on the grass where her loved one had lain and cried herself to sleep.
Before long the Paladin named Roland came upon the beautiful woman and still felt the grip of the passions which Angelica had excited within him and so many others. He stared adoringly at the slumbering princess until he was shocked by the arrival of Ferrau the Muslim.
Both men dismounted and crossed swords with each other. Soon the noise of the battle woke up Angelica, who disinterestedly watched the two warriors fighting over her. Presently Ferrau boasted to Roland that he had beheaded Prince Argalia along his way.
The princess was horrified to hear what had befallen her brother and in fear she removed her magic ring from her finger and once again placed it in her mouth, thus turning invisible. In this state she resumed her flight eastward toward her homeland of Cathay.
The martial concentration of Roland and Ferrau was such that neither of them noticed that the subject of their fight had vanished until a mounted messenger arrived bearing word for Ferrau. The messenger was from Marsilius, the ruler of the Muslim Colonialists in Spain. Enemies of Marsilius had declared war on him and were besieging him on all sides, so he was summoning home all of his warriors who had gone under truce to joust in Charlemagne’s tournament.
Vowing to resume their battle the next time they met, Roland and Ferrau separated, the former in search of Angelica and the latter back toward Spain to aid his ruler. After a few more days of fruitless searching, Roland assumed he had lost Angelica forever and returned to the Emperor’s court.
For her part, Angelica eventually reached home, the palace of her father King Galafron. In the days ahead, through the court’s mourning over her brother’s death and through the resumption of her royal duties, she could not get Reinold out of her mind.
She was obsessed with thoughts of yet winning his love. To that end she resolved to put herself in the Paladin’s good graces by freeing the captive Maugris the Enchanter. That mage and Paladin was still trapped beneath the sea in a huge seashell where her father had imprisoned him.
Casting her own spells from the magical tome she had stolen from Maugris after capturing him, she created an enchanted island for herself and her “true love” Reinold. Reciting other spells from the book, Angelica freed Maugris and returned him to the shore.
After extracting a vow from the enchanter to trick his fellow Paladin Reinold into visiting her new island lair, she returned his book of Magick to him and told him he was free to leave. The disgruntled sorceror cast a spell to summon up a winged horse-demon from Hell, which he then mounted and flew back to Charlemagne’s court. His debt to Princess Angelica had to be paid and Reinold sent into her clutches. +++
I’ll be examining more tales of Charlemagne soon.
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