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The Nightingale and the Beast

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Once upon a time, in a land far far away, there lived a prince in a castle. Handsome he was, and tall and keen of mind, with a jovial manner and generous heart. He was beloved by his servants and all who knew him, and lived an easy life of luxury and joy. 

This handsome prince attracted the attention of a fairy living in the woods surrounding his magnificent castle. She called upon him one night, escorted by her large retinue, and was wined and dined graciously.

But the night would have an evil end. The prince offended the fairy, and in her rage she cursed him and his household. He would live an ugly, lonely existence, frozen in time, never allowed to leave the palace. The form she bestowed on him was hideous, a grotesque monster so unlike the handsome young man he had been. And his beautiful home became his prison.

Inside the castle every day was like the one before, but outside time moved as she had always. A king of a foreign kingdom conquered the lands, and years passed, until the prince who never left the castle became nothing more than a story. And all through the centuries the prince remained, trapped, more hideous than any living creature. 

Until, one day, someone discovered the castle lost in the woods.

And that is where the story truly begins.