Tag Archives: Charlemagne

CHARLEMAGNE: REINOLD ON ANGELICA’S MYSTIC ISLAND

FOR MY FIRST CHAPTER ON CHARLEMAGNE’S PALADINS CLICK HERE  

castleMAUGRIS (AKA MALAGIGI) THE ENCHANTER, freed from his undersea prison by Princess Angelica of Cathay, arrived back in Paris to rejoin Charlemagne’s court. Angelica had liberated him only on the condition that he trick Reinold, the Paladin she loved under magic compulsion, into visiting her enchanted island so she could continue wooing him.

Within a few days, Maugris engaged Reinold in conversation about some of the Paladin’s past adventures and upon Reinold confessing that he longed for even more daring escapades the enchanter asked if he was sure that was what he wanted. Reinold replied in the affirmative and Maugris asked him a second time. Again the answer was yes, so Maugris asked a third time and no sooner had the Paladin again said yes than the enchanter cast a spell on the warrior.

Reinold was teleported on board a magical ship which sailed along with no crew. After a search of the vessel had convinced Reinold that he was the only person on board, the Paladin noted that the ship was putting in at an island before it. Continue reading

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CHARLEMAGNE: REINOLD AND ANGELICA

FOR MY FIRST CHAPTER ON CHARLEMAGNE’S PALADINS CLICK HERE

Forest of ArdenAFTER 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. Continue reading

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CHARLEMAGNE: THE PRINCESS OF CATHAY

CharlemagneChristmas time through Twelfth Night is the time of year that Balladeer’s Blog covers tales of Charlemagne and his Paladins. These tales are the legends, not the historical accounts of the real Emperor Charlemagne and his court. FOR MY FIRST CHAPTER ON CHARLEMAGNE’S PALADINS CLICK HERE 

Charlemagne's empireTHE PRINCESS OF CATHAY – The previous installment’s reference to a tournament prompted a lot of readers to ask for a full-blown tournament story from the tales of Charlemagne. As always, I listen to you readers, so here we go.

During the brief period of Charlemagne’s Peace, when he was not at war with any of the other powers in the known world, the Emperor held a magnificent tournament. With no war currently raging between the Franks and others, participants from all over came to Paris for the event.

Even Saracens from Muslim-Colonized Spain competed in the jousting and enjoyed the feasts. During one such feast, the court was surprised by a visit from four 10-foot tall giants who bore a divan. Beside the giants and their burden walked a Paladin in exotic, unfamiliar armor. Upon the divan sat the most beautiful woman ever seen by any of those present.

masc graveyard smallerThe woman’s black hair was adorned with jewels and her clothing was of the finest kind. She and her Paladin were permitted to approach Charlemagne’s throne and present themselves. The woman identified herself as Princess Angelica of Cathay. The man in armor was her brother, Prince Umberto.

NOTE: In many medieval legends such as this, “Cathay” does not refer to the actual location in northwest China but to a mythical city-state which supposedly existed in some non-specific location to the East of Europe. This fictional Cathay combined qualities of Europe and the Far East.

Princess Angelica presented the challenge she and her brother brought with them – Prince Umberto would joust with any of the armored warriors gathered for the tournament. He would meet them one by one by the Fountain of the Pine. Continue reading

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CHARLEMAGNE: LOTHAIR AND BENES

CharlemagneAs always here at Balladeer’s Blog, Christmas time all the way through Twelfth Night are when I make blog posts about Charlemagne and his Paladins. (The figures of legend, not the historical Charlemagne.) In old traditions Charlemagne was crowned Emperor of the new Holy Roman Empire by the Pope on Christmas Day, hence the reason that tales of Charlemagne are often associated with the Yuletide holiday. (In real life Charlemagne was crowned Emperor a few months later.) FOR MY FIRST CHAPTER ON CHARLEMAGNE’S PALADINS CLICK HERE  

PaladinLOTHAIR AND BENES – This story takes place much earlier than most of my previously covered Tales of Charlemagne. Lothair (in real life the grandson of Charlemagne) was, according to legend, the Emperor’s oldest son. Lothair was brave and virtuous, unlike Charlemagne’s scheming and treacherous son Charlot.

Of late the Emperor was stewing over the way that Duke Benes had provided no men for Charlemagne’s most recent military campaigns against the Muslim colonialists in Spain, nor had he provided money. Neither had he acknowledged the Emperor’s authority over him by any shows of courtesy.

At first Charlemagne furiously planned to march on Duke Benes’ city of Aygremont and take the city. Then he would hang Benes, kill his son Maugris the Enchanter and burn his wife alive. Duke Naymes, one of the Emperor’s Paladins, talked Charlemagne into giving peace a chance by merely sending a hundred Paladins to Aygremont in order to convey the Emperor’s wish that he submit to an order and show his allegiance. Continue reading

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CHARLEMAGNE: REINOLD, MAUGRIS THE MAGICIAN AND BAYARD

Here’s a bonus Charlemagne post in honor of Twelfth Night. FOR THE FIRST CHAPTER ON CHARLEMAGNE’S PALADINS CLICK HERE

Reinold and BayardREINOLD, MAUGRIS THE MAGICIAN AND THE ENCHANTED HORSE BAYARD – Reinold was another of Charlemagne’s nephews, like the Paladin Roland. Reinold, also called Rinaldo, was the son of the Emperor’s sister Aya and her husband, Duke Aymon of Ardennes. Reinold’s sister Bradamante, covered previously at Balladeer’s Blog, was the white-armored Paladin in Charlemagne’s court, making her literally a “white knight.”

Reinold, like his three older brothers and his sister distinguished himself in battle and was knighted by the Emperor. Reinold, already showing the maverick streak that he would become famous for, declined a sword at the knighting ceremony, vowing that as one of Charlemagne’s Paladins he would carry a sword taken from the next adversary he bested in combat.

MaugrisOnce, while riding outside Paris, Reinold was presented with a magnificent suit of armor by Maugris the magician, the younger, more active counterpart to Merlin from Arthurian lore. (In some versions Maugris – aka Malagigi – also gives Reinold a horse, but since this tale centers around Reinold’s taming of the mount Bayard I’m omitting that to keep the story stream-lined.)

Not long after, Maugris the enchanter again appeared before Reinold, this time in the forest of Arden. Maugris told the young Paladin that a mightier steed than the one he currently rode was on the loose in the forest, killing everyone who tried to tame him.

Maugris went on to explain to Reinold that the horse, named Bayard, once belonged to Amadis of Gaul. After Amadis’ death, Maugris had cast a spell on the horse that granted it supernatural powers, making it impossible for the beast to be subdued by anyone except another Paladin as brave and capable as Amadis himself.

All the other Paladins that Maugris had sent to try taming Bayard had been killed by the horse. Reinold was undeterred by that knowledge and rode off toward the cavern lair of Bayard.  Continue reading

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CHARLEMAGNE: OGIER AND THE CROWN OF DENMARK

FOR THE FIRST CHAPTER ON CHARLEMAGNE’S PALADINS CLICK HERE Ogier

OGIER AND THE CROWN OF DENMARK – King Geoffrey of Denmark saw his lands invaded by pagan Vikings from the north. The ferocity and numbers of the invaders proved too much for Geoffrey and his men so the king sent messengers to Emperor Charlemagne asking for help.

Charlemagne nobly set aside the lingering hostility he felt for Geoffrey from the time when that King of the Danes refused him tribute and the Emperor had led his armies to defeat Geoffrey. Charlemagne decided to send troops to assist Denmark but also to test the character of his Paladin, Ogier the Dane … Geoffrey’s son.

The Emperor wanted to see how Ogier would conduct himself in such a situation, facing superior odds in the field AND having to contain his resentment toward his father Geoffrey for having sent him as a hostage to Charlemagne’s court after his military defeat long years earlier.

Charlemagne placed Ogier at the head of an army consisting of a thousand Paladins and thousands more common Frank soldiers. Wielding his enchanted sword Cortana, the Dane led his men north. Continue reading

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CHARLEMAGNE: TWO ADVENTURES OF ROLAND

FOR THE FIRST CHAPTER ON CHARLEMAGNE’S PALADINS CLICK HERE 

RolandI. A 14 ft tall giant named Ferragus was preying upon Charlemagne’s subjects, carrying them away at will and devouring them in his cave. When the Emperor was made aware of this situation by the inhabitants of the affected region he called for a volunteer from among his Paladins to kill the giant.

Roland was the first and loudest volunteer and so Charlemagne, despite being worried over his nephew’s safety, permitted him to ride off to battle Ferragus.

A few days later Roland had ridden to the site of the giant’s mountain cave. The monster emerged to battle the armored adventurer and the two clashed. Hours went by with Ferragus unable to slay Roland and with Roland’s enchanted sword Durindana failing to penetrate the giant’s thick skin. Continue reading

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CHARLEMAGNE: CHARLOT’S VILLAINY

Balladeer’s Blog continues examining the legends of Emperor Charlemagne and his Paladins (knights).

Carolingian empireOur previous installment ended with the army of Charlemagne besieging the Muslim Saracen army which had taken Rome after forcing them to withdraw inside the city following their defeat in battle. Roland, Ogier and others had been knighted by Charlemagne himself after distinguishing themselves in combat.

The glory that Roland and Ogier had earned filled the Emperor’s treacherous son Charlot with envy and resentment and he bided his time waiting for a chance to strike at the two Paladins.

As the siege continued, boredom threatened to claim both sides, and Carahue, King of Mauritanius, one of the leaders of the Muslim forces, was filled with the desire to face Ogier in single combat. Disguising himself as a mere messenger, Carahue approached Charlemagne’s army and was taken before the Emperor himself.

Still pretending to be a messenger, Carahue told Charlemagne and his court that the King of Mauritanius extended a challenge to the Paladin who had borne the Oriflamme during the previous open-field battle. (The Oriflamme was Charlemagne’s banner as ruler of the Franks and combined the fleur-de-lis of the French with the eagle of the Germans.) Continue reading

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CHARLEMAGNE: HOW ROLAND AND OGIER BECAME PALADINS

CharlemagneThough Charlemagne was a real historical figure, a body of folkore has risen around him and his Paladins (knights). Part of that folklore was that the Pope crowned Charlemagne as the new Holy Roman Emperor on Christmas Day, even though the crowning really took place the following February. Since the story of Charlemagne’s crowning as Emperor was told as a Christmas story for centuries I always use Christmas time to examine him and his Paladins.

To start Round Three of Balladeer’s Blog’s look at Charlemagne lore I’ll examine some tales of the young Roland (Orlando to the Italians). Last December I covered Charlemagne’s reunion with his long-lost sister and her son Roland.

Roland storyHOW ROLAND AND OGIER BECAME PALADINS – The Emperor could not expect his nephew to immediately step into service as a Paladin, since he had a great deal to learn. Charlemagne placed him as a Page in the household of Duke Namo of Bavaria, where Roland began his career alongside many other young nobles.

Roland had to learn to curb his independent ways since he had up until then done as he pleased while stealing to feed himself and his mother. The young man adjusted, and learned courtly ways so well that he became a favorite of Duke Namo.

At age fourteen Roland became a Squire and began training for warfare in earnest. He learned how to handle swords and lances and how to care for the armor of the Paladin he served as a Squire. Horsemanship, hunting and swimming were also part of his education. Continue reading

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MORE PALADINS OF CHARLEMAGNE

CharlemagneYes, it’s round two of this Christmas-time tradition of examining the folklore surrounding Charlemagne and his Paladins (Knights). For the first installment click HERE   

And remember, this is the folklore, not the historical facts about Charlemagne and his empire.

Archbishop TurpinARCHBISHOP TURPIN OF RHEIMS – This Paladin was the legendary “Battling Bishop” who fought alongside Charlemagne and his other men in the field.

Turpin would take part in the battles, then clean up, don his robes and conduct masses of thanks to God for delivering another victory. Sort of a more badass version of Friar Tuck from Robin Hood legends.

OgierOGIER THE DANE – Though he would go on to serve as one of Charlemagne’s most storied Paladins, Ogier was born to Geoffrey, the first Christian King of Denmark. Shortly before the child was to be baptized, six beautiful fairy maidens appeared and took turns holding the infant in their arms before kissing him and passing him on to the next maiden in line.    

The first Fey gifted Ogier with bravery, the second with ample opportunities to serve in war, the third granted that he would never be vanquished in battle, the fourth gave him the gift of being pleasing for women to look upon and the fifth granted him the capacity to return the love he would inspire.

Morgana and young OgierThe sixth and youngest maiden was Morgana le Fey, who has a much different history in the legends of Charlemagne than in Arthurian lore. Morgana told the baby Ogier that she claimed him for her own (“imprinted” on him, you Twilight fans might say). She decreed that he would never die until he had come to visit her on the Isle of Avalon.

When Ogier was in his early teens emissaries from Charlemagne arrived in Denmark to demand a pledge of loyalty to Charlemagne as all the other Christian kingdoms had done. Geoffrey refused and so Charlemagne launched a military campaign which soon saw Geoffrey defeated and humbled.

To ensure Geoffrey’s continued loyalty his son Ogier was taken to live in Charlemagne’s court at first as a hostage, but soon the young man charmed Charlemagne and his nephew Roland. Ogier served alongside Roland as a Squire and eventually as a full Paladin.   Continue reading

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