Abelleus is a knight who appeared in the Post-Vulgate Suite du Merlin, and Le Morte d’Arthur by Thomas Malory.
He was the focal point of a quest by Sir Tor, when Abelleus stole a white brachet from Arthur’s hall.
The Story of Abelleus in Arthurian Legend
At some point in the past, Abelleus decapitated a fellow knight, one who was gentle and kind. This would end up not working out well for him in the future, resulting in some serious karma.
Our story begins at Arthur and Guinevere’s wedding, when a white hard, pursued by a white brachet, burst into the hall and knocked Arthur over.
Abelleus took the hound and rode away, and when Nimue came asking where her hound had gone, Arthur looked like a bit of an idiot in front of everyone.
Thankfully, Merlin was there to assign the task of bringing Abelleus in, which he promptly did so by giving the job to Sir Tor.
Tor agreed to find Abelleus and the brachet, and bring him in or kill him, so Arthur wouldn’t have to endure any more shame.
Tor would eventually find Abelleus, and the two engage in a long battle. Both are exhausted but in the end, Tor succeeds!
How Abelleus Met His End
But wait, the plot now thickens. As Tor is bringing Abelleus back to Camelot, a damsel comes and requests a gift. Being in no position to refuse a fair damsel, Tor accepts without having any idea what the request is. Smart man.
The request: to take Abelleus’s head because he is a false knight. Turns out her brother was the knight that Abelleus killed in the past, an event now coming back to haunt him.
But Tor obviously can’t refuse a damsel, so when Abelleus tries to run, Tor pursues and decapitates him.
And thus we meet the end of Abelleus.
Abelleus is also known as Abelin, and first appeared in the Post-Vulgate Suite du Merlin.
See our complete list of Arthurian characters for more entries like this one.
- Norris Lacy, Geoffrey Ashe, Debra Mancoff – The Arthurian Handbook (Second Edition)
- Alan Lupack – The Oxford Guide to Arthurian Literature and Legend
- Ronan Coghlan – The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Arthurian Legends
- Anonymous – Lancelot-Grail, the French Vulgate
- Sir Thomas Malory – Le Morte d’Arthur
See also my ever-expanding list of primary and secondary sources.