"O pardon the one who knocks for pardon at
Your gate, father - your hound-bitch, daughter, friend.
It was my love that did us both to death."

Sylvia Plath - Electra on Azalea Path

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Portrait of Maledysaunte

Detail from Waterhouse's "Magic Circle"

"The woman in the tower window was not what he'd expected, and yet exactly what it seemed that she should be. She was taller than many men, lithe, angular of bone. Her black hair was trimmed into an oval shape: it fell over her shoulders in a heavy, unrippled cloak that shone against the lusterless black brocade of her robe. Her eyes seemed pale under heavy brows, and her fingers, holding the draperies aside, were long and tapered. Her skin and lips were pale, her face youthful and angelic. She seemed terrible and remote, and she did not smile."

(at another time...)

"She had a slender, boyish figure in black trousers and a shirt of white homespun wool, and she looked up from her gardening with a quizzical expression, wiping dirt from both hands onto a leather apron. Her face was curved, her blue-black hair pulled back into a knot. Her eyes, strikingly, were mismatched: a green like early leaves and a brown like still water. She unsettled me...."

Public Knowledge:

Maledysaunte, also known as the Hag of Wolf Wood and the Witch of the Black Tower, has lived alone in her keep for centuries. She is rumored to be cruel and deadly enchantress, and it is true that not one of the brave noblemen and valorous soldiers who set out to rid the world of her has returned.

They say she has only one eye that the other socket is a glowing coal that sees through all disguises, that her teeth are filed to points and that her fingers are tipped with claws. She snacks on plump babies. Mothers in Lyonesse, the kingdom over whose heart Wolf Wood sprawls, threaten their children with her legend. "Be good," they say, "Don't stray in the woods. Don't be out after sunset, or the Witch will get you. The old Witch who lives with bats and snakes and rats and horrors, who eats beetle salad, who killed everyone in the Black Tower centuries ago…"

There's a beautiful princess held static, there, they say -- the last daughter of the King who once ruled Wolf Wood. The Witch holds her frozen in ice, rubs her wrinkled old hands and gloats over the girl in the castle that should be hers. Any number of brave men have gone to rescue the princess. It's said that when she awakens, the terrible forest that the Witch raised up around the old castle will fall into dust, andLyonesse will be made whole again.

It has yet to be done.

And so the old Witch waits in her castle, with the tapestries of carrion crows and serpents on the walls, and works her evil spells and casts her curses to who knows what end?

Who, indeed?

Quote:

"I had to kill a swordsman last night. He came to rid the village of my curse. He also walked right through my lettuce patch on his way to the door, spoiling most of them. The rabbits have better manners. I buried him near the rhubarb patch."

Home Shadow

Lyonesse

Personal Symbol

A hooded crow

Personal Colors

Black and White

How the heck do you pronounce that?

mal-eh-THUH-sant-uh

What Do You Want On Your Tombstone?

"You should see the other guy."

Alternately:

"Listen closely. Truth is quiet."

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Maledysaunte Created by Sarah (Bear) Wishnevsky
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Site last updated 04-19-2003