In a clearing in a long-lost wood, it was morning. The air was crisp and cold, and icy droplets of spring dew still clung to the blades of grass on the forest floor. The only sounds interrupting the quiet burbling of the stream were the near-silent footsteps of a mother doe gently passing by. She walked to the stream, and slowly bent her neck to lap at the cold water.
After some time, the doe looked up. There was no sound, but a man had entered the clearing. His skin was dark and his hair long, and he was clad in the garb of a hunter. Were it any other man she would have run, but this was not any other man. His eyes were green; the green of a thousand leaves, the green of the darkest shadow in the wood, and there were vines in his beard and mud in his teeth. She looked him in the eye.
Slowly, he sank to his knees and bowed to her, so deeply that his hair brushed the moss beneath him. She did likewise, touching her nose to the soft ground. When she arose, he was looking at her once more. They held each other’s gaze, and then he nodded and took the bow from his back.
She ran like she had run seven summers ago as a young doe, her sister at her side. She ran as she’d run through the fields of the southern Forest on the winter solstice, alive with the light of the moon in her eyes. She could feel her heart beating within her chest, the blood coursing through her veins, and yet she was not afraid. It was the run of the hunt, not the hunted; she ran because she was alive. And when his arrows found her, she didn’t stop running. She ran through the trees and into the mists, through the air and into morning sun, kissing the clouds as she passed, for it was not any other man; it was Roanthor, God of the Forests, Lord of the Hunt.
Maybe she still runs today.