The Dwarf Malagis

The Dwarf Malagis

Charlemagne and his peers were dining. (...) On the other side was Malagis, the cunning dwarf, who, it was said, had power over the unseen creatures of the air, and by means of witchery could sometimes foretell the things that were about to befall.

I found this description of the Dwarf Malagis in The Story of Roland by James Baldwin.

I have the impression that the dwarf morphs into the human enchanter Maugris in (way) earlier tales around Charlemagne's court. I didn't find much while googling for "Malagis", except for this "Maugris" trail.

Malagis as a wizard, is counter-balanced by Bishop Turpin. There is an episode were Charlemagne is looking for a shortcut through the Alps, Malagis does a bit of divination to determine what is happening in Rome at that point:

Then the dwarf Malagis came before Charlemagne, bearing in his hand a book, from which he read many spells and weird enchantments. Upon the ground he drew with his wand a magic ring, and he laid therein the hammer of Thor and the sword of Mahmet. Then, in a loud, commanding voice, he called upon the sprites, the trolls, and the goblins, with whom he was familiar, to come at once into his presence.

And the lightning flashed, and the thunder rolled, and smoke and first burst forth from the mountain peaks, and the rocks and great ice-fields were loosened among the crags, and came tumbling down into the valley. And dwarfs and elves, and many an uncanny thing, danced and shouted in the mountain caves; and grinning ogres peeped out from the deep clefts and gorges; and the very air seemed full of ghostlike creatures.

Then the wizard called by name a wise but wicked goblin, known among the Saracens as Ashtaroth; and the goblin came at once, riding in a whirlwind, and feeling very angry because he was obliged to obey.

Right after intelligence is gathered from the wicked goblin, Bishop Turpin invokes a white deer to guide the army to cross the mountains and reach Aosta. The Christian religion is more effective.

There is another story later on that features Malagis using his book, and it reminds us that James Baldwin was an educator:

That evening Malagis the wizard opened his book of enchantments, and sought to find out therefrom what fortune the Fates had in store for him and his friends. But he desired most to know what would be the end of the jousting on the morrow, and whether aught of honor should accrue to his cousine Reinold of Montalban.

As he looked in his book, strange, weird creatures came and danced before him. Fairies and hobgoblins, good and bad, flocked into his chamber, and courtesied and bowed, and saluted him as their master. And everyone seemed anxious to tell him something, and waited only for his questions, or for his gracious leave to speak.

Did you ever think, my children, that there is magic in every book, and that when you open the pages, good fairies or wicked elves come and whisper to you? The words are the mysterious creatures that salute the magician who reads; and they tell him of the wonderful past, and lay bare for him the secrets of the present and the future.

All in all, an excellent old book, but I was surprised it is not listed in the Appendix N.