The Legend of Lovers Lament
By Croll Baumoval
The night is very dark. Wind gently ruffles the willow trees. All is quiet, or it so appears, around the shores of the small lake. Tamriel's moons reflect in the slightly rippling surface of the water. An owl's questioning call echoes. No lights are shining from the castle nearby; it appears deserted.
As the night wears on and the planet's satellites moves across the heavens, a faint glow appears near the castle. The light slowly moves towards the lake, and upon reaching the shore, stops. A figure, a beautiful woman by any measure, stands looking wistfully into the dark water. Her lantern flickers in the breeze, and illuminates her. Tears are streaming down her cheeks; her gown, once beautiful, is now tattered and stained.
The surface of the lake becomes agitated, but not from a wind as the night has become as still as it is dark. Slowly from the water emerges the figure of a man, a warrior, fully adorned in the armor of a knight on the field of battle. He seems to float over the water towards the woman and stop just short of her.
"Madylina," the ghostly warrior intones.
"My Lord, Gerthland," whispers the lovely Madylina as she kneels. "You have come to me again."
"Yes," Gerthland responds, "My days are long waiting for the night in which I can see my love."
The lovers stand looking wistfully at each other, unable to touch, unable to kiss, unable to satisfy their unrequited love until the first tinges of dawn start to color the western sky. Gerthland drops something to the ground as does Madylina as each depart. The waters of the lake again take possession of the handsome knight and the beautiful maiden walks slowly back to the castle. As the waters of the lake settle into a gentle ripple and the light of Madylina's lantern disappears, dawn breaks over the lake.
On the shore are two beautiful roses--one crimson and the other white as fresh cream. Ripples from the lake overtake the two flowers and pull them into the lake leaving the shore bare as it was in the hours before darkness fell.
* * *
The townfolk around Gerthland Manor tell often of seeing these lovers in their nightly meeting. The Boar's Bristle Inn is always rumbling with conversation about them. Lord Gerthland and Lady Madylina who were betrothed. Lord Gerthland called to battle to defend the land. Hergen, the castle's resident sorcerer, becoming enflamed with love and lust for Madylina only to be rebuked by her. Lord Gerthland's death on the field of battle. Lady Madylina's death by her own hand at the news. Hergen's curse on both their souls that will not allow them to rest until Madylina will agree to become Hergen's consort even in death.
Hergen, to this day, wanders the deserted halls of Gerthland Manor hoping that Madylina will agree to his demands. And the lovers continue to meet for a few moments each night on the shores of the lake now known as Lover's Lament.