Metzengerstein (Poe)

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Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A young baron became obsessed with a mysterious, fiery-colored horse, which led to a rivalry with a neighboring family and ultimately resulted in the destruction of his own castle.

In a region of Hungary, two noble families, Berlifitzing and Metzengerstein, had been at odds for centuries. The enmity between them was said to have originated from an ancient prophecy, which stated that the mortality of Metzengerstein would triumph over the immortality of Berlifitzing.

A lofty name shall have a fearful fall when, as the rider over his horse, the mortality of Metzengerstein shall triumph over the immortality of Berlifitzing.

The young Baron Frederick von Metzengerstein was known for his debaucheries and atrocities, and was rumored to have set fire to the stables of the Castle Berlifitzing.

Frederick, Baron Metzengerstein — young, wealthy nobleman; dissolute, vengeful, and obsessed with a mysterious horse.

One day, a gigantic and fiery-colored horse was found near the burning stables, and the Baron became obsessed with it. He spent all his time riding the horse, which seemed to have unnatural abilities and intelligence. The Baron's behavior changed drastically, and he became reclusive, refusing to socialize with the neighboring nobility.

One stormy night, the Baron rode his horse into the forest, and hours later, the Château Metzengerstein was engulfed in flames. As the fire raged, the Baron was seen riding his horse back towards the burning château.

The stupendous and magnificent battlements of the Château Metzengerstein, were discovered crackling and rocking to their very foundation, under the influence of a dense and livid mass of ungovernable fire.

The horse leaped over the moat and up the staircases, disappearing with its rider into the inferno. The storm suddenly ceased, and a cloud of smoke formed the shape of a horse above the ruined château.