The elder brother, Marsyas, so desired the Black Queen that he killed her husband and chased her into the forbidden Wood. The younger, Korutos, followed Marsyas to find him ensorcelled by nine deer. Korutos shoots the deer as they lure Marsyas deeper into the trees. A woman falls to the ground, a woman with blood-red hair and bone-white skin, a woman Korutos recognizes from a dream. Oblivious to the dangers that pursue him, Korutos tries to help the dying woman. When her sisters run off with her, he follows, his mind burning with questions. How can the only woman he ever loved be running wild in the woods?
The woman is not the woman of his vision, but her daughter, Ellie. Angered at his mistake, he rescues Ellie by making a terrible promise. Unable to find his way out of the Wood, he is adopted by Ellie's friends. As he helps build a new house, Korutos falls in love with her only to find that she is a Deer shaper. Yet it is forbidden for human and shapeshifter to marry. When Korutos is banished from the Wood, Ellie follows him to the human world. In turn, she is followed by her sisters and havoc is set loose upon the kingdom of the Horse People.