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The Story of Palatyne (Medieval France, 1394)

by Linda Foubister

Palatyne, the daughter of the fairy Pressyne and King Elynas of Albany, was cursed with guarding her fatherís treasure on a mountain top in Arragon, accompanied by a bear and a serpent with one large eye. Only a knight from her fatherís lineage could free her and gain the treasure. Many tried and failed. One day, a knight who was raised in the court of King Arthur, and of Tristanís lineage, sought to climb the mountain and win the treasure. First, he had to scale the mountain, with its slopes so completely covered with venomous serpents that he could not rest without sitting on a serpent. He killed a ten-foot long serpent, and proceeded to the mountaintop. The bear attacked him, but he killed it, and a few more serpents. Then he entered the final cave where the one-eyed serpent lived. No knight before him had advanced so far. The serpent swallowed him whole, the knight appearing no larger in its mouth than a pasty in an oven. Alas, he was not of the right lineage.

Geoffrey-with-the-great tooth, Palatyneís nephew, planned to go to the mountain to slay the monster and reclaim his grandfatherís treasure. He tidied up his affairs, and planned the long journey. But he had waited too long, and age and sickness stopped him. As he was of the right lineage, he would have been successful. Instead, Palatyne stills waits on the mountaintop to be freed by the right knight.

DíArras, Jean. Melusine. Edited by A.K. Donald. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Tribner & Co., 1895.
Published for the Early English Text Society, Extra Series 68. New York: Kraus Reprint Co., 1975.

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