Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, in a kingdom by the name of Terra Vis, there was a golden prince. He was fair of face and full of grace, a charming and outgoing young man who was all a prince ought to be. Intelligent and handsome and strong, he could play nearly any instrument and knew three languages fluently and jousted like a dream, he sang and danced beautifully- there was only one flaw with this prince. Pride. But it was fine that he was proud, for he was all a prince ought to be and more. His parents arranged a very fortunate and profitable marriage to a princess of a neighboring country, Terra Sylvan. Hers was a land of myth and enchantment long past, all centered in a small forest walled off from the world. Sylvana Noct, the Woods of Night, untouched for a dozen hundred years, as the terms of an ancient treaty with a white hart, the so-called Prince of the Forest. But what was an ancient treaty compared to a marriage with the greatest prince in the world? When he asked to hunt in Sylvana Noct, the king hardly hesitated before giving the prince his wish. The treaty was all but forgotten, the forest sealed because of bare formality, surely. What could it hurt? The gates were opened and the prince's hunting party charged in with bows and arrows and spears and hounds and horses. On the first day, they found nothing. Not a bird sang from the branches. On the second day, they found nothing. Not a squirrel scampered through the canopy. On the third day, they found nothing. Not even a butterfly crossed their paths. On the fourth day, they finally spotted a doe. She walked towards them, fearless. The golden prince drew his bow, put an arrow through her heart, and declared that the end of the hunt. It was a disappointing hunt, but his wedding was on the morrow, so he needs must return with so little. At the altar, he paid for his sins. Just before the words were spoken, the doors of the chapel burst open, and the Prince of the Forest walked in. He was a shapeshifter and an immortal, thousands and thousands of years old, who had signed the treaty into being. Sylvana Noct was his realm, the doe was his wife. So he took from the prince what had been taken from him, and abducted the bride from the altar, bearing her into the forest as his prize, sealing the gates behind him with sorcery. In theory, stealing a princess and retreating into his forest sanctum was a brilliant plan. The perfect revenge; poetic justice at its finest. Oethiah had spent the night mourning the loss of his woman, drinking heavily of the liquors the Pixies provided him, and plotting how best to make this golden prince pay for his crimes. Obviously, a wife taken for a wife would be fair.In retrospect well... maybe it would have been a wise idea to wait a few days and let the alcohol wear off before acting. He was sober now, with a squirming human maiden in his arms and a sudden realization that he didn't even know where he was going with her, much the less what he would do with her once he got there.In all honesty, trusting the Pixies was a bad idea. They were well known for being warhawks, staunchly anti-human and spoiling for a fight. The Prince himself, on the other hand, had forgotten more about humans than he should have. It had been over a thousand years since that treaty was drawn up, and near as long since the last man's feet had walked beneath the trees. He didn't even remember what they ate, aside from venison, or the language that they spoke. He didn't remember the name of the king he had treated with or the name they gave the wall that protected him... it was easy to forget.It had been many, many moons' turn since he had taken his centaur form, and decades since his human one. Living as a stag had its benefits, but when one was an animal so long, it was easy to forget what it felt like to be civilized. Though he was Prince of the Forest, the forest needed little princing. There were few laws and fewer crimes, no policies or foreign relations to handle... for the most part he was free to simply wander and wonder, to lose his mind in the majesty of the enchantments.Responsibility was an unfamiliar yoke, and he chafed under it as he wandered into a grassy meadow. Deciding he had come far enough, Oethiah unceremoniously dumped his captive on the ground, looking down at her with dark eyes. His hair and fur in all forms were white as flour, as starlight, but he was no albino. His hooves and nails were jet, his eyes deep pools of amber and sable. Atop his head was an impressive rack of bone white antlers, the only crown this Prince would ever need."Have you a name, oh daughter of the torch and axe?" He asked her after a moment, in a strangely formal dialect most commonly known as the Old Tongue. "Mine own nomenclature is being Oethiah, who your ancestors once did name Prince of the forest and Lord of those within, and you are being my captive, as a prince ought to know what his lady captive is called, should he not?"