Frederick Barbarossa "Red Beard" ruled the Germany Principalities for over 30 years; he reigned as the Holy Roman Emperor and King of the Germans. His armies fought battles throughout Central Europe against brigands, knights, lords and Popes. His energy was unsurpassed and his abilities equal to those of Henry II of England, perhaps the greatest of all medieval monarchs.
His long reign ended in the far east where he led a Crusader Army. He joined with Richard the Lion Hearted and Philip Augustus of France on Crusade. While his contemporaries traveled by sea (though Philip never actually left France, being far to wise for that) and conquered the island of Cyprus, Frederick traveled by land. His army, so vast, could not find ships enough to carry them. They crossed the long Balkan peninsula and then over the straights to Anatolia.
In Asia Minor not far from the borders of Syria the Emperor fell from his steed while crossing a river. The torrent caught him and unable to pull himself out he drowned (though some say he caught cold and died later). Or so it is said.
But it was said back in Germany, that this was not so, that the King had not fallen; there it was known far and wide that the King left his living host and retired to a great mountain in the Black Forest in southern Germany where he gathered his greatest knights about him. There he sits still upon his throne and tis said that when his beard, white now with time and age, reaches the floor and the ravens cease to fly around the mountain, that he shall come again and lead the Germans to greatness once more.