Do not be enthralled by legends, for by definition such beasts are illusory, inventions, utterly false and manufactured. Be seduced by myth, by rumor, by conjecture, by word of mouth, but any individual whose persona passes every test of validity is fictional in every facet. The truth is chaotic, bears no distinct perfect pattern, exists like a cobweb with more open space than strands, more suggestion than actuality, more optical illusion than reality.
Popular myths result from unexpected happenstances, from the contact of circumstance with casual chance, much as music can result from wind passing over a split reed, or the vibration of a stretched chord. Purely cause and effect, without preplanning or arrangement, or necessary commitment or willing participation. It is the repetition of the tale that builds the wonder, the amazement, the improbable interactions, precedings and results.
Like all good Chinese whispers the more repeated the less chance of accuracy or believability.