Long ago when much of what is now called Earth was new, great forests spanning thousands of miles ruled the land; and within these behemoth forests lived their protectors. These beasts were so magical, so pure that no man had ever seen one, much less captured one. It was said only those pure of heart, and untouched by the vile ways of man could see these beasts, and few fortunate souls were granted the privilege of riding them. The chosen riders were always female, untouched in all ways,and beautiful. The riders, self proclaimed as The Mystics were sworn to secrecy by their Mounts, although some weaved intricate tapestries of their adventures, none who viewed them and purchased the pieces of art believed that the beautiful muses actually existed. They were myths, bedtime stories young maidens begged their mothers to retell every night.
For hundreds of years the beasts remained unnamed, until a former Mystic was telling a tale to a young boy and his gaggle of friends of a great battle she had fought with her Mount against a fearsome, hideous, and brutal Ogre. A man listening nearby laughed mockingly and said to the woman,
"A unicorn'd horse you rode? Stop telling the young ones tall tales!" The drunken man spat before wobbling away on uncertain limbs.
The Mystic gathered her little one and returned to her sisters, and told them what the drunkard had said of their beloved beasts.
"Unicorn is a simple, yet beautiful name. Perhaps Kiôn and the others will agree."
The former Mystic nodded, and followed her younger sisters to a curtain of ivy that led to the most beautiful clearing with a grand lake, and a far grander water fall at the center.
"Odette, Kiôn and the others have accepted their new name."
Odette smiled, for the first time since losing her Mount in the battle she'd been recounting to her son. Without her Mount, Odette could no longer be a Warrior Mystic, a great protector of the forest, but she could however, carry out the much needed task of carrying on the Mystic line. She was not a broodmare but she possessed the power to create new Mystics when the time came. Even if they had no Mounts these Mystics could still be useful in other ways. Spies, cooks, healers, the possibilities were endless. The Elder Unicorns and their Mystics assured Odette that should her son remain pure of heart and body he could become a Warrior Mystic with his own Mount.
Odette's mission in life became keeping her son, Seamus as pure of heart and body as she had been when Rion had found her. He had to become a mounted member of the tribe or Rion's death would be for naut.
Seamus was only five years old, a speck of dust compared to the ancient beasts that now surrounded them, if Seamus did come to have a Mount, and she remained unscathed than so would Seamus. He would share in his Mounts immortality, unicorns could not die unless maimed by impure beings. Beings corrupted by greed or evil. Tarnished souls or magical beings, as was what happened to Rion...who had used the last of his magic to protect her from certain doom, and she realized to place his seed within her. She missed Rion more each day and some days it was hard to even breathe. That day, Odette had lost a piece of her soul.
Rion hadn't just been her Mount. He had been her soulmate. Every Mystic and their mounts were mated. Unicorns could take the form of a man...it was possible that Seamus could be like his father. After all, a female unicorn was just as unheard of as a male Mystic. It was however, still unknown how his nature would blossom and take form. She would not know until his sixteen year. By then she feared she would be dead, reunited with Rion as she had already lived six lifetimes beside and ontop Rion.
Deep down, Odette prayed that Seamus would be a unicorn, like his father. Everything about her son was a mystery. Even his conception, it was true that Odette had her theories, but they were far from factual. Seamus' beginning was mysterious to her, because she had never laid with Rion in that way, Rion had never taken his human form in the six hundred years they had been with one another--at least not where she could see. Each content with the relationship they had at the time. Odette wished she had had the courage to ask Rion to take her as his bride as any human man would, and now she would never know.
The Elders called Seamus a miracle, a blessing from Rion's spirit to carry on his bloodline. Odette called it yet another mystery she would never solve. She wondered if Rion looked like Seamus in his human form, and felt her hot tears as she thought that she would never know.
Seamus was the only child in the tribe. And often he was alone when Odette couldn't take him with her into the nearby human village where she worked as a spy and gathered information on prospective threats to her forest.
It truly was her forest, for Rion had been the "King" or "Alpha" of her tribe, making her their leader until Seamus was old enough to take up his father's mantle or Kiôn stepped into the role. Kiôn had been her Rion's closest ally, they had grown together, chosen her and her true sister as their Mystics together; even battled side by side except for that day. Odette believed Kiôn blamed himself for Rion's death and that was why he had not challenged her for the title.
Eleven Years Later
Seamus entered the clearing where he lived with his Tribe. He had been sworn to secrecy with a blood oath at the age of thirteen,and he knew why; the beasts the women called Unicorns that live amongst the tribe would be hunted for sport by mankind and they were far too important to the forest for that. As it was, he only knew one thing about them for certain,and that was that they were immortal, and near impossible to kill. So much so, only one had ever died.
His mother, Odette had told him of the time she had lost her unicorn, Rion. He had died protecting her from an Ogre. Or so she thought. She revealed to him that Rion had somehow transported her back to the depths of the Tribe's territory far from the ongoing battle. She had immediately gone to his Aunt Sinstra and her mount Kiôn to go to Rion, but it had been too late. Rion and the ogre had disappeared. His mother was unsure whether Rion was truly dead, yet she had no way of truly knowing. But Seamus knew, Rion lived because his mother had not aged for the sixteen years Rion had been gone. He knew Mystics and their Mounts were linked and shared the gift of immortality.
"Seamus?" He looked in the direction the voice had originated and was greeted by his mother's beautiful, unaging face.
"Mother." Seamus acknowledged the woman.
She only ever called him Seamus when she had something dire to tell him. Most of the time she called him her Clover. Because she was so lucky to have him.
"Seamus, I need to tell you about Rion."
"I know all about Rion mother. You told me the stories."
"I have not told you the most important part Clover. I have not told you about Rion's connection to you."
Seamus stopped walking and turned to his mother, his attention fully in her grasp.
"What are you talking about mother? How can a beast be connected to me?"
"There is more between a Mystic and her Mount than shared immortality. Rion was my soulmate and his last ounce of magic was putting you inside my womb. Rion is your father Seamus."
Seamus felt his legs give out, and then he fell to his knees. His father, had been Rion, the star of every story his mother ever told.
"How is that possible? I'm human, a man!" Seamus stupidly felt his forehead with frantic fingers for a protruding horn.
"Clover, every unicorn has the form of a human. They simply never use it unless they have too, like tonight." Odette assured her son, falling to her knees as well.
"How will I know if I'm a beast or human?"
"Tonight is the full moon. A night all unicorns shift into their other forms by force. If the Elders are correct and they always are, you will shift into your beast while everyone else shifts to human."
"And if I don't?"
"I don't know my sweet boy. I don't know."
Odette stood, kissed her son on his forehead and walked away. There was only a few hours before the moon was at its apex. Only a few hours before Seamus' world changed forever.