William Tell is a figure from Swiss legend and the national hero of Switzerland.

According to the legend the tyrannical landvogt Hermann Gessler forced William Tell, who was known to be a skilled marksman, to shoot an apple from his son's head after neglecting or refusing to pay the required respect to the hat of the landvogt that had been placed on a pole in the central town square. Tell was afraid but his son had unshakeable faith in his father's skills. The shot turned out right and became legendary. Gessler asked about the second arrow Tell had prepared. Tell honestly replied that had his son died the second arrow would have killed the landvogt. Enraged about this impertinence Gessler had Tell arrested. Crossing a lake on the way to the dungeons, Tell escape in a violent storm. Then he went to kill Gessler. That inspired Tell's comrades to throw off the yoke of Habsburg oppression in their homeland and remain forever free.

That's where today's neutrality of Switzerland originated. The actual existence of either Tell or Gessler cannot be historically proven.

The origin of the legend of Tell - a marksman forced to shoot an apple from the head of a loved one - can be found much earlier in the Nordic legend of Egill - whose hero was the Icelandic Skald Egill Skallagrimsson (about 900-985).

An epic song that was composed in 1477 about the founding of the Swiss Confederation included the story of Tell and accounted for the widespread circulation of the legend.

In 1804 the German poet Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805) wrote his play "Wilhelm Tell", after hearing from his friend, Johann Wolfgang Goethe (1749-1832) - another German poet, who had travelled extensively throughout Switzerland in the 1770s and 1780s - about his journeys. Schiller also studied Swiss chronicles about Tell.

Over time Schiller's play spread the legend in many parts of northern Europe. In 1829 the opera "Guillaume Tell" by Gioacchio (Antonio) Rossini (1792-1868) premiered in Paris and thus spread the legend in the Romance-language countries of Europe.

1. Shaytana's Eye
2. The Fifth Column
3. Escape Into Fear
4. Darkness & Light
5. The Hidden Valley
6. The Challenge
7. The Spririt of Kale
8. Swarm
9. The Sorcerer's Apprentice
10. Master of Doubt
11. The Lotus Eaters
12. The Tomb of the Unknown Warrior
13. Labyrinth
14. Doppelgänger
15. Combat
16. Resurrection
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Kieren Hutchison