Season after season, hunters have attempted to capture the white-tailed stag. Local legend holds that its capture promises prosperity, and in a land that is dying—to hunger, to war; to a magical curse, some say—even a whisper of hope is a powerful lure. Yet every hunter who tries fails, never to leave the forest. Fenton, god of the forest, yet imprisoned within its borders, watches from his place in the trees as the hunters first despoil and then fall to his land, dispassionate as his deadwood heart.
Prior doesn’t enter the forest in hopes of capturing the stag or securing prosperity. He has a far bolder hunt in mind: to entreat the god of the forest to save his sister from the sickness sweeping the land. It’s a desperate attempt without much hope of success. He doesn’t imagine he’ll meet the god in person, much less that he’ll find himself agreeing to a favour in turn: his sister’s life will be spared, and in exchange, Prior will kill the god’s sibling. And he certainly hadn’t imagined that a god would be so… human.
When Fenton leaves the forest, he has little but revenge on his mind. As he spends more time with Prior, though, he discovers that the world isn’t as simple as the hunt, and he’s not the only hunter with teeth—but sometimes the chase is worth the risk of being caught.
Content Warnings: contagious magical illness; bloody violence; magical violence; bodily injury; death, including the death of animals for food, and magical animals in battle; abduction; vomiting; minor self-harm; bodyhorror; sex.
Cover artist: Tiferet Design with illustration by Mar Espinosa