5. Love's Labors Lost
In the days of the old Persian kings, a gifted sculptor named Farhat briefly encountered a beautiful huntress on a desert road. Her name was Anoush (Persian for "sweet"), and Farhat patiently waited in the desert for her to return so he could confess his love for her. When she finally did, he asked for her hand in marriage. Anoush agreed to become the sculptor's bride, but only if he used his skills to transform a nearby crag into an elaborate palace for her. Farhat consented, and spent years sculpting away at the rock. However, it wasn't until he finished that he learned of Anoush's deception—she had gone and married the King instead of Farhat. In despair, he hurled his hammer into the air, and it landed on his head, killing him. Intended as a shrine to love, the Castle of Anoush was turned into a place of pure evil, used in later years by Persia to imprison and torture their Armenian enemies.
6. When Magic Goes Wrong...
John Fian was a Scottish schoolmaster also known in his village for being a master of the dark arts. When he coerced one of his young students to help him cast a love spell on the boy's older sister, he wound up biting off more than he could chew. Fian demanded the boy secretly bring him some strands of his sister's hair to use in his magical charm. However, the sister discovered him in the act, and when the poor boy confessed his intention, she instead hatched a plan, instructing him to bring the sorcerer some strands from their milk cow instead. None the wiser, Fian cast the spell that night using the bovine hair, and for weeks on end found himself the target of the heifer's sexual desires. It's safe to say he never attempted such a spell again.
7. A Love That Conquered Death
The power of love is formidable in legend, as is shown in the Polynesian story of Hiku and Kawelu. Lovers completely devoted to one another, their bond was so strong they could not bear to be apart. When Hiku was called to his home village to attend to family matters, his bride missed him so much that she pined to death. A heartbroken Hiku determined to rescue her from the underworld, a shadowy realm at the edge of the ocean. Traveling there with Kawelu's brothers, Hiku lowered himself into the watery chasm, having smeared himself with rancid coconut oil to mimic the stench of corpses. After finding his departed wife, Hiku attempted to return, but the panicked ghost turned herself into a butterfly to escape back to the land of the dead. The persistent Hiku trapped the butterfly inside a coconut shell and returned to his village. After the butterfly was placed inside an incision made in Kawelu’s body, the young woman was restored to life, and never parted from her husband again.