With Gawaine’s strange adventure in a shambles, and Gawaine himself quitting it, clearly someone needed to come in and bat cleanup. Normally, the go-to man for this would be Merlin, but he was totally over. So instead, Malory calls in Nimue, the Damosel of the Lake, aka the Sensational She-Merlin.
Nimue walked through the woods, reflecting on how nice it was to not be cleaning up after anyone else’s botched strange adventure, when she bumped into a doleful merry man.
“Ho, you unhappy example of a merry man, what up?”
“Alas and alack,” replied the merry man. “My master Sir Pellas is bedridden, and says he will die for love. It’s a shameful story and soon I’ll be unemployed! Alas for strange adventures! Woe! Woe!”
“Somebody messed up a strange adventure?” Nimue sighed. “It’s all fun and games until it’s a big ol’ mess, and then who has to clean up? Nimue is who. All right. Take me to Pellas, I’ll work this out.” (NIMUE BATS CLEANUP 4!)
As the merry man took her to Pellas, Nimue muttered under her breath about how it was ultimately the fault of whatever lady had driven Pellas to such despair. I’d call that an unfounded snap judgement, but I’m not there boots on the ground, so what do I know?
When Nimue and the merry man reached Pellas’s tent, he was inside asleep. Nimue took one look and was smitten!
“Whoa,” she muttered under her breath. “Check him out! I’d cast charm person or monster on that any day!” Instead, though, she just cast deeper slumber on him. This didn’t have any obvious effect, since he was already asleep, but it meant he would stay asleep until Nimue woke him. She told the merry men she would be back in a minute.
Nimue rode over to Ettard’s castle, because unlike Merlin she hadn’t learned to teleport without error I guess. There, she grabbed Ettard without preamble and dragged her back to Pellas’s camp. “You ought to be ashamed of yourself, Lady Ettard,” she said. “Look what a fine, fine specimen of man this knight is! I mean, don’t you just salivate looking at him, lying there all rumpled and bedsy?”
“Enh,” said Ettard, and made a so-so motion with her hand.
Nimue founds this answer wholly unacceptable, so solved the problem with suggestion. “You salivate looking at him,” she said, waving her hand in front of Ettard’s face.
“I salivate looking at him?” Ettard repeated.
“You’re mad for him, you love him like a crazy stalker.”
“I’m mad for him, I love him like a crazy stalker!” Wholly Jedi mind tricked out, Ettard felt a great stirring for Pellas. “I do! I love him! I want him! Wait, how does this even work? I remember not loving him, like, thirty seconds ago!”
Nimue raised her eyebrows quizzically. “Really? Hm. Probably it’s the righteous judgement of God. I expect a passing angel has worked a miracle.”
“Well, that checks out!” Ettard turned to her newly-beloved knight. “Wake up, Pellas! Wake up, for I love you for some reason! Let me love you!” She tried frantically to wake Pellas, but of course, he’s still deep in magical sleep.
Nimue made Ettard take a step back, and then woke Pellas up herself. He felt substantially better once awake, less suicidally depressed, which may or may not have been a result of Nimue’s magic. Malory is ambiguous.
Pellas saw Ettard, and he was pissed at her, on account of he’d faked his death and her response had been to seduce his supposed killer as a reward for killing him.
“Yeah, sorry about that,” said Ettard. “But now I totally want to have a million of your babies. I don’t even know why. Please?”
“Ugh, no.” Pellas had finally had enough of Ettard. Years he’d spent trying to get into her good graces, winning tournaments for her, getting beaten up by her knights, all this stuff, and she turned around and slept with Gawaine.
“I know, Gawaine, bleah, he’s the worst. But just give me another chance! I’ll make it up to you!”
“Nope,” said Pellas. “I look at you, I just see some piece of Gawaine’s trash.”
Ettard ran off sobbing. Malory claims that she kills herself, but I choose to reject that. Nimue’s suggestion would wear off after, what, a day per level of the caster? So a week or two, maybe most of a month at the outside. Ettard no doubt took to her bed to die of grief and dehydration, but the spell wore off before she died, so, full recovery.
Pellas the Good found himself at a crossroads, and accepted Nimue‘s invitation to return with her to her home. They ended up living happily ever after! So that’s nice. Although there’s a strong suggestion that Pellas’s change of heart with regards to Ettard was due to Nimue’s magic. So, theirs is perhaps a marriage built on a firm foundation of secrets and lies.
Gawaine, as mentioned, sulked for the better part of a year.