Since everyone's been focusing on the upcoming holiday, I thought I'd regale you with a tale of love from my home! I'm no bard, alas, and I'm no good with any songs that don't qualify as "drinking songs", but I can tell a good story!
There once was an evil witch named Zullie who had studied in Izalith all the most horrible curses that the world had to offer. Her father had beseeched her to use these curses to create the worst one of all: a curse that would slowly waste humans to nothing but scant meat and bone, and consume their mind - for humans, it was agreed, were a scourge and unworthy to share the world with beings of magic. Zullie agreed to work with her sisters to complete this curse, and they were successful - they were able to create what is known as the Abyss, a horrific void of nothing that sprung forth the wasting curse and rendered everyone who came near hollow.
Zullie was pleased with her work, for she had made her family proud, but her father gave her another task: "Go forth and find Alva the Wanderer, a brave knight giving people hope. Go forth and make him fall in love with you, and break his heart to shatters." Hope, you see, is the only medicine strong enough to prevent the worsening of the hollow curse, and with Alva bringing people hope, it wasn't spreading as quickly as the evil wizard had hoped. Zullie agreed to find Alva the Wanderer and determine what had given him his power of hope, and to shatter any faith he might have had in gods or man.
She found him preaching in a field far west of the Undead Settlement, and was surprised to see that he was marked as nearly hollow. How could a simple hollow give hope to anyone? Zullie traveled with Alva at his side, observing him and his interactions with others. To her wonderment, Alva continuously put himself last in every event, always ensuring that people around him had comfort, food, and good companionship. He was even kind to her, asking her no questions that would have made her lies apparent.
You know where I'm going with this, don't you? Zullie fell madly in love with Alva the Wanderer, and began to follow him and help him spread hope in earnest. She confessed her true mission to him one evening while gazing over the golden city of Anor Lando, and he recoiled, horrified to hear that he was sitting next to one fo the witches who had cursed humanity. She neither begged for her life nor her innocence, instead asking that he allow her to follow him and continue his works in penance. Alva, who honored forgiveness as one of the most holy tenets of his faith, agreed, and Zullie the witch became a devoted follower.
They did, in fact, marry, and due to the fact that she was immune to her own curse, and consequently fertile, Zullie bore Alva a child - a witch, of course, with magical powers. Alva and Zullie were happy, or close enough to it (for you have to snatch happiness in handfuls in Lordran) - but things were not to stay joyful for long, for Zullie's father caught wind of his daughter's betrayal. Rather than punish her or Alva directly, he created a rumor spell, and flung it into the homes and hovels of the villagers that Zullie and Alva had not yet given hope to. The villagers rallied, furious, for Zullie's role in creating the curse of the hollows was revealed to them, and they stormed to where Alva and Zullie camped and tore her from Alva's arms and tossed her into the darkest dungeon at the edge of the world where the Abyss gathered its teeth and its claws and whispered hopelessness to her every night. Alva swore to find his wife and save her, but without his beloved, he found his own hope dwindling. He placed their daughter in a safe place, worrying for her safety, and embarked on a quest to find his wife. It isn't known what become of him, whether or not he found Zullie, whether or not they were reunited once again, whether or not they raised their daughter in secret.
A lot of people want solid endings for their stories, and I understand that, but I really rather enjoy this one - you can choose what happens to them, and your choice reflects your own reservoir of hope. I choose to believe that he was able to find her and they lived the rest of their lives in peace. This is likely foolish, as Alva was nearly hollow when he first met her, and hollows don't tend to last long once they've encountered true sorrow. But despair isn't guaranteed. And that, I think, is the point of love: believing the best despite everything realistic when your partner is in danger and needs support.
I hope I didn't depress anyone. That story always made me cry when Lautrec told it; spiky bastard.