Feb 17, 1999

by General Vagueness @, The Vault of Sass, Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 06:16 (2698 days ago) @ SunshineDuk

So, an early childhood obsession with Marathon got me hooked on legendary swords.

There were indeed three mythical blades in the Song of Roland--Durendal (Durandal), Curtana (Cortana), and Joyeuse. Durendal (or Durindana) was wielded by Roland himself in battle, and was known for its endurance. It was lost upon Roland's death at the hands of the Moors, in the climax of the Song of Roland (spoilers!).

Curtana was originally the sword of Tristan, the one who married Iseult, but gained greatest fame as the sword of Ogier the Dane, greatest of Charlemagne's enemies and later one of his dearest allies. The term Curtana is also used to refer to any cut-down sword, most notably the sword of Edward the Confessor, known as the Sword of Mercy.

But we already knew all about Durandal and Cortana. So I've been scrawling "WHERE IS JOYEUSE?" in my notebooks for years, waiting for the third shoe to drop. And instead we get... Charlemagne himself? Now THAT'S interesting. But ah, we note that Charlemagne is only ONE of the great Warminds of old Mars. Perhaps we will yet see Joyeuse? Or perhaps Joyeuse will be a component of Charlemagne?

And what IS Joyeuse? Joyeuse, according to the legend, was the mythical sword of Charlemagne, the Sword of Light. It changed colors many times every day! It was used to behead Ogier's father and then knight Ogier himself as a paladin. It's currently part of the French regalia, but it's arguable whether or not that's the real Joyeuse.



After I saw Charlemagne I went on a Wikipedia spree and I was going to post about it here but you mostly beat me to it. I say mostly because it looks to me like what ties this stuff together is the Matter of France. Looking at the related pages there are some interesting names (along with at least one in the list of notable swords).
With the article that was linked yesterday, this is the second time they've mentioned Charlemagne in less than a month of the game being officially publicly known. Given that, the historical significance of its namesake, and how central its namesake is to one of the main things that seems to tie their universes together, I'm theorizing it's a significant element of the game, whether it's a character or more of a plot point or whatever, and I'm theorizing they're using Charlemagne instead of Joyeuse.
There's also the possibility of Almace being tied into all this. They may well have Charlemagne as a red herring and have other relatedly-named things play a bigger role. Then there's the fact that Marathon and Halo reference a mythical weapon that's not a sword and doesn't seem to be related to the Matter of France: Mjolnir... so who can say?

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