Ogier

European - One of Charlemagne's paladins. Son of Geoffroy, king of Denmark. Son of Doolin, some say. Husband of Belicene. Father of Baldwin. At his baptism, six fairy queens endowed him with many qualities, one of the queens, Morgana, claiming him as her own. At the age of sixteen he was sent to Charlemagne's court as pledge for his father's continued allegiance. In some stories, he was sent to prison and later married the daughter of the prison governor. Other stories have him marrying an English princess who was given to him as a reward for killing a giant Saracen. He went with the emperor's army to repel the Saracens besieging Rome and, in his first battle, took over the oriflamme from the cowardly Alory and distinguished himself by his bravery. He saved Charlemagne's life when the emperor's horse was killed and two Saracens were about to kill him and Ogier was rewarded for this with a knighthood. His sword, Cortana, was provided by Morgana. One of the Saracens who had unhorsed the emperor was Carahue, king of Mauritania, and he challenged Ogier to single combat. Charlot, the emperor's son, also accepted the challenge of Sadon, Carahue's cousin. Charlot arrived with a troop of his followers and attacked the other three. Ogier and the two Saracens routed their attackers and became friends. He was held captive by Dannemont, a renegade Danish king fighting with the Saracens, until Carahue, in protest, surrendered himself to Charlemagne. Without their leader, the Saracens made peace with the emperor and Carahue and Ogier were exchanged. Ogier then took an army to Denmark and repelled the forces attacking that country but his father, the king, died almost at the moment of victory. Warned by a heavenly voice, Ogier refused his father's crown and left it to his half-brother, Guyon. When his young son Baldwin was killed by Charlot, Ogier was prevented from killing the emperor's son only by a servant who intervened. Ogier dashed a cup from the servant's hand and some of the wine splashed in the emperor's face. He left the court in disgrace but was later captured by troops led by Turpin and handed over to Charlemagne who sentenced him to prison on a diet designed to starve him to death. The archbishop gave Ogier larger rations and kept him alive and in good health. His horse, Beiffror, was taken by the Abbot of St Faron. Ogier was released from prison only when the emperor needed him to accept the challenge thrown down by Bruhier, the Sultan of Arabia, who had invaded France. Ogier agreed to accept the challenge on the emperor's behalf on condition that Charlemagne would hand over Charlot for the punishment due to him for killing Ogier's son. Ogier allowed Charlot to live and renewed his allegiance to the emperor. He was reunited with his horse Beiffror and met Bruhier in the lists. Bruhier had a magic lotion that healed wounds and restored severed limbs as soon as it was applied. A sword-stroke from Bruhier killed Beiffror and one from Ogier cut off Bruhier's arm. When the Arab dismounted to pick up the severed arm, Ogier was able to drive Bruhier away from his own horse so that he could not reach the flask of lotion. Ogier finally killed Bruhier and claimed his horse Marchevallée, using the lotion to heal his own wounds. Armies under Carahue and Guyon sent to release Ogier from prison found that they were no longer needed since Ogier had been released by the emperor, so they combined forces to support the French under Ogier in an attack on the Saracens in their own countries. Ogier took with him the young Walter, son of his half-brother Guyon, and after many years in the east, handed over his responsibilities to Walter and sailed for France. His ship was wrecked on a strange shore where two sea-monsters let him pass and the fire-breathing horse, Papillon, carried him to the palace of Morgana who had at last claimed him. He stayed in Avalon for a hundred (two hundred, some say) blissfully happy years, never aging. When he finally asked to be allowed to return to France, he and Papillon were carried over the sea on the backs of the two sea-monsters. Ogier rode Papillon to Paris where he recognised nothing and nobody. The king, Hugh Capet, told Ogier all that had happened while he had been away and Ogier helped him to rout a force of Saracens attacking Chartres. When the king died it was intended that Ogier should marry the queen and rule France but a golden crown appeared on Ogier's head and he disappeared from sight. He had been reclaimed by Morgana who transported him to Avalon where he still lives, together with King Arthur, both awaiting the call to return in the hour of need. Others say that he sleeps under the Kronenberg where his beard has grown to an enormous length. He was said to have carried a burning brand and would die when it was extinguished. In some accounts, he fathered a son, Marlyn, on Morgana. Meurvin, similarly described, may be the same as Marlyn. Others say that Ogier fathered Baldwin on Belicene, the daughter of the governor of the prison in which he was held as surety for his father's allegiance to Charlemagne, while yet another story says that he rescued a lady, who turned out to be the daughter of the king of England, from the hands of the Saracens, and married her. On occassion, referred to as Ogier, Holger, Holger, Holger Danske, Holger Danske, Ogier le Danois, Ogier le Danois, Ogier the Dane, Ogier the Dane, Otgarius, Otgarius, Holger (Danske) or Holger (Danske).

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