Tag Archives: Roland


CharlemagneAs regular readers of Balladeer’s Blog know, December through Twelfth Night (January 6th) is the time of year in which I look at versions of the tales of Charlemagne and his Paladins. These are the legends about Charlemagne, not the actual history, so there will be dragons, monsters and magic. 


Charlemagne's empireROLAND VS MORGANA – We pick up where we left off, with the Paladin Roland, nephew of Emperor Charlemagne, having captured the sorceress Falerin. She informed Roland that she was merely a subordinate to Morgana, the Lady of the Lake, and it was Morgana who really imprisoned the many warriors that Princess Angelica wanted Roland to set free.

To save her own life, Falerina had told the Paladin everything he needed to do to reach Morgana in her castle in the middle of the lake. To prevent the treacherous Falerina from having a change of heart and warning Morgana, Roland tied her to a beech tree, to be set free upon the completion of his quest.

As Charlemagne’s nephew approached the shore of the lake in question, he followed Falerina’s instructions to block up his ears with flowers to blot out the singing of the Siren that lived in the lake. He sat down on the shoreline and waited until at last the Siren rose from the water and began singing her song. Continue reading


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CharlemagneAs regular readers of Balladeer’s Blog know, December is not just the month in which I cover umpteen versions of A Christmas Carol but also the month in which I look at versions of the tales of Charlemagne and his Paladins. These are the legends about Charlemagne, not the actual history, so there will be dragons, monsters and magic. Roland shows up in this story. 


paladins of charlemagneTHE SIEGE OF ALBRACCA – Princess Angelica of Cathay, in our previous tale, had failed to win the heart of the Paladin Reinold despite holding him at her enchanted isle for a time. Just as the escaped Reinold was even now trying to make his way back to the court of Charlemagne, Angelica returned to her father’s court in Cathay.

While she had been gone, the Tartar King Agrican (also called Agri Khan) had surrounded Albracca, capitol of the Kingdom of Cathay with his army and demanded the hand of Angelica from her father, King Galafron. The siege lasted for weeks, but in its early stages Galafron had managed to dispatch messengers to Circassia.

One lone man among those messengers survived to reach Circassia and ask its King Sacripant to come to the aid of Cathay. Sacripant, like every other male character in these stories (except Reinold) was captivated by Princess Angelica’s beauty. The king thus led his army forth, intent on defeating the Tartars and winning the hand of Angelica. Continue reading


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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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