NIGHTBRINGER | The Arthurian Encyclopedia


Beaune the Feire

The daughter of King Clamadon, Byanne may or may not have been responsible for the magic in her tale.

She first appeared at Arthur’s court with her lover Evadeam, son of King Brangoire (Brandegoris). Evadeam being in the form of an ugly dwarf.

Byanne insisted, despite Kay’s chaffing, that Arthur dub her dwarf knight. She herself fixed his left spur, while the King fixed his right. They did not give their names, but Merlin said the dwarf was highly born. After leaving court, Evadeam defeated at least one knight, Tradelmant, the grandson of the King of Norgales (North Wales), and sent him back to Arthur’s court.

Later, while searching for Merlin, Ywaine and his companions met Byanne, who begged them to succor her dwarf. When they arrived, however, Evadeam had defeated five attacking knights all by himself.

Later, while Gawaine was riding around the woods in a reverie, he passed Byanne without saluting her. As a punishment, she told him he would for a time resemble the next person he met. That person was Evadeam, still in dwarf form. Wandering in the shape of the dwarf, Gawaine came near the place of Merlin’s imprisonment. Merlin sent greetings to the King and Queen, and said that no one would ever hear his voice again. Later still, Gawaine met a damsel (I presume Byanne again) beset by two knights and succored her. She had set it up to test him, enchanting the knights so that they could not be hurt. After swearing to help every damsel and never to forgot to bow to any woman, Gawaine regained his true form.

I consider Byanne to be among the possible potential female knights on the grounds that she served her knighted dwarf in the capacity of a squire. She may also, of course, be considered an enchantress.

Vulgate Merlin | 1220-1235