It was the year 396 of the Third Era, the 16th of Morning Star. The Five Year War was raging between Elsweyr and Valenwood, and Robin, a Bosmer archer, was crouched in the trees near Fort Sphinxmoth. She had been sent there to destroy the Khajiit tree-cutters, who were hiding behind their towering wooden shields.
When the order came, she fired, but all the arrows on Nirn wouldn’t have gotten through the Khajiit defence. Eventually, when it was clear that they wouldn’t harm the Khajiit this way, the Bosmer soldiers were ordered to charge at them and engage them in melee combat.
With a sigh, Robin swung on branches and onto the ground below, where she broke into a sprint towards the Khajiit. When the Khajiit saw the advancing Bosmer, they pulled out their own weapons and charged back. Within seconds Robin was twirling and cutting and stabbing, as Khajiit and Bosmer fell around her. But suddenly, she felt a terrible pain in her back- she had been stabbed. Robin stumbled away into the depths of the forest and slumped against a tree, certain she would die.
Eleraya, a Khajiit soldier, was on patrol in the forest. She had been told to watch out for enemy surprise attacks, and to kill any Bosmer she encountered. And sure enough, she came across a Bosmer. She looked to be a relatively young girl, about the same age as Eleraya, and she was lying unconscious against a tree. Eleraya knew immediately that she wouldn’t last long without help, but remembered her orders. She drew her sword and raised it, but at that moment, the girl’s eyes opened slightly, and she whispered, “Please help me”.
Eleraya knew she couldn’t kill her; and so, with a sigh of despair, she sheathed her sword, picked up the Bosmer girl and set off for her house in Dune, all the while pondering why she had deserted for an enemy soldier.
When Robin came to, she was in an unfamiliar bed in an unfamiliar room. Panicking, she began to shout, when a Khajiit girl came in and told her to calm down. Eventually, after lots of soothing, Robin was breathing normally and sitting up in the bed. After a drink and something to eat, she spoke.
“Who are you? Where am I? What’s the date?” Eleraya replied, “My name is Eleraya. I am- was, a soldier in the army. I found you injured during the Battle of Fort Sphinxmoth, so I left and brought you here, to Dune. It’s the eighteenth of Morning Star.” Robin nearly threw up her drink. “I’m in DUNE?!” she exclaimed, “In case you hadn’t noticed, your people are at war with mine! How do you think they will take to me being in of their cities?”
Eleraya said, “For now, you’ll have to stay here with me. When you’re all healed up, we’ll see about getting you out.” At that moment, Robin realised how much kindness she had been shown and how much had been given up for her, and she felt something for the Khajiit girl sitting in front of her; something strange and foreign, but not at all unpleasant. She looked Eleraya in her brown eyes, and could tell that she was feeling the same way. They leaned towards each other and their lips brushed, but then they quickly moved away.
“I, uh, I’ll show you to your room,” murmured Eleraya, blushing. Robin simply nodded and followed the Khajiit girl. When Robin had gotten into bed, she fell asleep almost immediately, but she was unable to sleep soundly as she was having nightmares of the battle two days earlier. She started to scream, at which point Eleraya came in and climbed into bed with her, holding her tight and soothing her, until they were both fast asleep in each other’s arms.
Over the next few months, Robin and Eleraya became incredibly close. Their love for each other was only strengthened by the fact that they knew how much trouble they’d be in if they were discovered. During the day, they would sneak out of the city and into the forest, where they would have picnics, bathe in the stream, or just lie down and gaze at the sky. Every evening they would snuggle together by the fire as they ate their supper, and then climb into bed and simply enjoy each other’s company. They explored every inch of each other, both physically and mentally, and were inseparable.
On the 16th of Sun’s Dawn- Robin and Eleraya’s one-month anniversary and Heart’s Day, Eleraya was in the market when she saw two people point her out to a pair of guards. She panicked and turned to leave, but the guards caught up with her. “We’ve had reports of you acting suspiciously; buying more than you usually do, spending lots of time at home… we’ve even had reports of screaming coming from your house. Anything to say for yourself?” said one of them. Eleraya opened her mouth to reply, but before she could say anything, the other guard spoke. “Hang on, I know you. You’re that traitor, the one who deserted!”
Eleraya was shocked. How had news of her desertion already reached Dune? “I, uh, no, you’ve… you’ve got the wrong person,” Eleraya said panickily. “No, I haven’t,” said the guard, “You’re under arrest!” Eleraya suddenly whipped out a dagger and plunged it into the first guard’s stomach. She pulled it out before he had even realised what had happened and rolled forward past the second guard, moving her arm back and sinking the dagger into the man. They were both dead in less than thirty seconds. However, Eleraya could see people running off, who would no doubt report her to the guards.
Eleraya ran to her house, and as she got nearer people seemed more panicky; some were running in the opposite direction. When she reached the house she saw a mob outside, brandishing torches, shovels and even axes. The guards were doing nothing to stop the chaos, and many were in fact joining in. It seemed people had found out about the love between Robin and Eleraya. Eleraya felt a terrible pain in her chest, and tried to find a way in. She noticed one of the back windows was open, and moved around the crowd to get in.
Once she was inside the burning building, she tried to find Robin. She found her huddled in a corner, and went over to her. Eleraya put her arms around her and said, “Come on, let’s get out of here,” but all of a sudden the door burst open and the mob came streaming in. Then they smashed windows and climbed through; there was no escape. Robin and Eleraya held to each other so incredibly tightly, repeating the words, “I love you”, over and over, feeling the warmness of each other and loving each other, until with two swift axe strikes, this guilty love was destroyed forever.
When news spread of this tragedy, people realised that we are all free to love who we choose. Hundreds of years later, we remember the 16th of Sun’s Dawn not only as Heart’s Day, but as the day that we changed our view on love, the day we realised nobody should be persecuted for who they love; no love should ever be a guilty love.