Huon

European - A duke of Guienne. Son of Sevinus and Alice. Brother of Girard. Husband of Clarimunda. Father of Claretie and Huonet. He and his brother were ambushed by Charlot when they were riding to present themselves to Charlot's father, the emperor Charlemagne. Charlot wounded the young Girard but was killed by Huon, though others say that Charlot was killed by Rinaldo on another occasion. The Emperor forgave him for killing his son on condition that he should go to the court of the sultan Gaudisso, decapitate the principal guest, insult his daughter by kissing her in public and bring back some of the sultan's beard and four of his teeth. Accompanied by a party of knights, including Garin de St Omer, he travelled via Rome where he was blessed by the Pope and thence to Palestine where he met Sherasmin, a former servant of Huon's father, who had lived as a mendicant for many years and who thereafter travelled with Huon. They went to Arabia where they met Oberon, king of the fairies, a dwarf who befriended Huon and gave him a goblet that provided unlimited wine for true believers and a horn which would afford protection from perils. They met a fellow-countryman, Floriac, who told them that Eudes,an uncle of Huon, who had become a Muslim, was governor of the nearby city of Tormont. Huon visited his uncle and scandalised the company by drinking wine from his magic goblet. When Floriac drank from the same goblet, he was badly burned since he was a renegade Christian who now served Muhammed. When he and Sherasmin were attacked, Huon blew on his horn which caused all present to dance themselves into exhaustion. To stop the torment, Eudes allowed Huon and Sherasmin to leave and gave them a ring which would ensure safe passage to the court of the sultan Gaudisso. Another version says that this ring had been stolen from Oberon by the giant, Angoulaffre who lived in Castle Dunostre. At the behest of Alexis, Huon killed this giant, freed Angela and the other maidens imprisoned in the giant's castle and took the magic ring. They rescued a knight from a lion which already killed the knight's horse but he repaid them by stealing Huon's horse. He was Babican, the prince of Hyrcania, who was betrothed to Clarimunda, the daughter of the sultan. They arrived in Baghdad on the eve of the wedding and, next day, gained admittance to the palace with the aid of the magic ring. Huon kissed Clarimunda and when her prince objected, Huon cut off his head. In some versions, Huon then used his horn to cause all present to dance themselves into exhaustion while he escaped with Clarimunda. Oberon gave them a lock of the sultan's beard and some of his teeth and provided a ship which took them safely to France. In another account, Huon was put in prison by the sultan but Clarimunda kept him well supplied with food and drink while the guard was reporting that Huon had died of starvation. Sherasmin and Clarimunda planned his escape but Huon refused to leave until he had fulfilled the final part of his undertaking. As it happened, the Caliph Agrapard ordered the death of Gaudisso and Sherasmin was able to secure some of his beard and four teeth from the body before it was buried. Huon returned to France with these objects, received the Emperor's full pardon and married Clarimunda who became a Christian, calling herself Amanda. As a condition of helping them, Oberon had required Huon to go to Rome to seek the pope's blessing and to refrain from sleeping with Clarimunda until they were married. Huon failed to keep to this latter injunction and Oberon punished him by causing a storm when Huon and his bride were at sea. Huon drew the fateful lot to decide which of them should be sacrificed to the storm-god and, when he jumped overboard, Clarimunda did the same. They were transported to an island where, by a regime of penance, Huon appeased Oberon and where their son, Huonet, was born and abducted by Titania. Clarimunda (Amanda) and her servant, Fatima, were seized by pirates and taken to Tunis. Oberon transported Huon to that city where he again met Sherasmin who had taken work as a gardener at the sultan's palace. Huon, calling himself Hassan, became Sherasmin's aassistant. Amanda rejected the sultan's advances and, when Huon was discovered, the sultan ordered that they both be burnt at the stake. Once again they were saved by Oberon and, with Sherasmin and Fatima, the couple were transported to Fairyland. They finally returned to Charlemagne's court and, presenting the trophies the emperor had demanded, were pardoned. Another telling says that Clarimunda (Esclaramonde in this version) was being taken by pirates to the court of Yvoirin when the ship was wrecked. She was given to Galafre, king of Tunis, but rejected his advances. Huon, transported by Oberon's servant, Malebron, went to Yvoirin's court and undertook to retrieve Esclaramonde. Galafre chose Sherasmin as his champion to fight Huon and, when the combatants recognised each other, they joined forces, killed Galafre and rescued Esclaramonde and Fatima. En route to France, Girard stole the chest containing the trophies of Huon's quest and claimed to have won them himself. The emperor condemned Huon to death but Oberon intervened to carry Huon and Esclaramonde to Fairyland, where, in due time, they had a daughter, Claretie, and Huon became ruler after Oberon. Girard was hanged for his treachery. In another story, Huon met King Arthur in Fairyland. When Oberon handed his kingdom to Huon, Arthur, who had expected to receive the throne, objected but was subdued by Oberon's threats. Sometimes identified as Huon, Hassan, Hassan, Huon of Bordeaux or Huon of Bordeaux.

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