The Legend of Fritz vom Rodenstein

Castle Rodenstein in the Odenwald area of southern Hesse is famous for its many myths and legends. One of them is about knight Fritz, whose loyal service and courages acts helped defend the empire beyond his grave.

He was well-known as an adventurous and brave knight and wherever battle was to be fought, Fritz was sure to be in the front line. This experience served him well when he helped defeat the Turkish army, who had surrounded Vienna and free emperor Karl V from dire need. In fact, he had nearly been able to capture the sultan himself, but alas he had been able to flee the field of battle, when many of the Turkish troops died to cover his retreat. 

The emperor was grateful for Fritz’ heroic deeds and offered him a boon. He had heard that Castle Rodenstein was in fact not in the possession of Fritz, but was loaned to him only. Hence the emperor declared Fritz the lord of the holdings and asked him for his oath of fealty. Fritz gladly complied and swore that he would serve the crown whenever there was need of him. 

Fritz returned to Castle Rodenstein and lived happily and peacefully for the next few years. However, one day he went hunting and fell off his horse. His injuries were severe and he died soon after. Great was the sorrow throughout the empire, as Fritz was well liked as a faithful and loyal knight and the emperor had lost a brave defender.

It was not long until the horns of war once more could be heard. Emperor Karl gathered his troops and prepared for battle. The day started well but increasingly, his men were pushed back and victory was not assured. Suddenly a mist rose and out of it rode the ghostly figure of Fritz, riding at full speed at the enemy and turning the tide. From this day, whenever the empire was under threat, Fritz could be seen roaming the battlefield, honouring his oath beyond the grave. 

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