Tag Archives: Charlemagne

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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PALADINS OF CHARLEMAGNE

Carolingian empireTradition and folklore hold that Charlemagne was crowned Emperor by the Pope on Christmas, but in real life it apparently did not happen until the following February. Still, Charlemagne’s anointing as Holy Roman Emperor on top of the kingly titles he already held was recounted as a Christmas tale for quite a while.

Most importantly, so much attention is paid to King Arthur – who may not have existed at all – that the real-life Charlemagne gets overlooked. But then reality has no place in the following look at the legends surrounding Charlemagne’s Paladins (Knights). 

FOR PART TWO CLICK HERE

Twelve PeersTHE TWELVE PEERS – This term was the Charlemagne equivalent of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.

If you’ll recall the reason that King Arthur’s table was round was so that nobody could be considered above the others in rank or status. The same reasoning applied with Charlemagne’s designation of his Paladins as Twelve PEERS or equals.

MaugrisMAUGRIS THE ENCHANTER aka MALAGIGI – This magician was the Frankish equivalent of Merlin from King Arthur lore. Maugris was raised by a Fairy named Oriande and appears in a supporting role in many tales of Charlemagne’s Paladins, often in a mystical disguise.

Maugris was generally depicted as younger than Merlin is depicted, and often used a sword in combat. This Frankish Wizard had an Enchanted Tome in which information he needed could magically appear. Maugris often conjured up winged demons to use as flying mounts to transport him from one location to another.

THE PALADINS

Bradamante BETTERBRADAMANTE – This female Paladin was the sister of Renaut de Montaubon. She wore a suit of all-white armor, making her the original White Knight.

Bradamante, who wielded an enchanted lance that unseated any opponent it touched, rescued her true love, the Saracen warrior Ruggiero from his captivity in a glass dome atop Mount Carena in Northern Africa. Continue reading

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