We loop back to the end of Canto 3 where Sansloy, after having accidentally jousted Archimago (in disguise as Redcrosse) drags Una off.
Sansloy first tries some seduction stuff, when this fails he goes full non-con.
Spencer spends quite a bit of time how thrilling Unas screams for help are. Luckily, as happens almost never, an ancient Wood-God, Silvanius, and his crew of Satyrs, are hanging nearby and hearing this noise, come to investigate. When Sansloy sees these freaky creatures turn up he runs for it.
This being possibly the first time in myth that someone has been saved from rape by Satyrs.
Una being min-maxed for beauty and purity, Sylvanus, the Satyrs and various other spirits instantly fall in love with her. There is a very strange and somewhat haunting verse where Sylvanus, trying to recall which Goddess this might be, remembers the story of Cypariesse, a 'lovely boy' who killed a hind with a dart and found it so beautiful that he wasted away from sorrow at the deed. The notes tell me that in myth Cypariesse was a boy Sylvanus fell in love with and who he transformed into the Cypress tree. In the poem, Sylvanus is so old he walks with a Cypress stave, which presumably any educated reader of the period would recognise as Cypariesse.
This whole Canto is wierd.
So Una hangs out with the Satyrs who want to worship her as a goddess, when she denies this they try to worship her Ass, these guys being essentially the savages from colonial fiction.
She is safe, but can't leave (because as a min-maxed character she can't ever do anything).
Time gets really weird here. It seems like maybe she spends a long time in the forest but this might be a Faerie timewarp as we will see later on.
Una needs another rescue so we get the rawest intro to possibly the coolest Knight yet. Batman to Redcrosse's Superman figure; Satyrane.
A sweet lady is betrothed to a hunting-obsessed Knight. He's never home and she misses him so she goes out into the forest to be with him. She is promptly captured and raped by a Satyr who holds her captive till she gives birth to a half-satyr son, then lets her go with the son as a hostage.
The Satyr raises the boy to be utterly and insanely fearless and, essentially, to purposely dick around the most dangerous animals he can find purely in order to teach him to be a badass. He does this so well that the boy terrifies even him and the kid becomes tyrant of the forest, capturing and 'taming' Lions and Boars etc for fun until everything is afraid of him.
One day the boys sweet mother is in the forest looking for him, when she does she is so afraid of him she nearly runs for it but convinces him to be slightly less insanely savage and to act like a Knight, which he does.
So this guy finds Una and schemes to rescue her, which he does.
On leaving the forest, they both come upon 'A silly man, in simple weeds forwarne' who tells them he saw Redcrosse die.
Una freaks out and they go to find the Panym that did the deed, directed by the silly man.
Its Sansloy, who we remember from Canto 3 where he smashed Archimago disguised as Redcrosse, an event which seems recent to him? So only a day has passed out here, whereas in the Forest it seemed like ages had passed?
Sansloy says he didn't kill Redcrosse but will absolutely fight Satyrane. Satyrane speaks this odd but interesting verse;
"O foolish faeries sonne, what fury mad
Hath thee incensed, to haste thy doleful fate?
Were it not better, I that lady had,
Than that thou hadst repented it too late?
Most senseless man he, that himself doth hate,
To love another. Lo then for thine aid
Here take thy lovers token on thy pate."
Those two have an awesome, extended, supermurder throwdown which is still going on as the Canto ends.
Una is so shocked by all of this that she runs off to look for Redcrosse.
Then in the last part the 'silly man' is revealed TO BE ARCHIMAGO
IT WAS ANOTHER WIZARD TRICK
This guy is just fucking crazy with the multiple identities. Also he seems to have just got his revenge for Sansloy jousting him off his horse, something that was entirely his own fault.
So we have the fair lady threatened with rape, rescued from rape by the rapyest possible mythological creatures, then rescued again by a savage badass who is himself a product of rape, then he is tricked into a brutal fight with the original attempted rapist and the lady gets away.
I'm sure it means something but I'm not sure what.