born in ancient
. The story begins on the night his father, Brechin, was murdered, and his mother, Eloin, taken by the servant of the Lord of the Herd, Sgorr. But Rannoch is no ordinary deer; for he bears a white mark on his forehead resembling an oak leaf. This is special because this very oak leaf is the mark discussed in the Prophecy and the symbol of the deer god, Herne.
To the Herla, as the deer are called among the world of the animals, this white mark holds great meaning and power. It was stated in a prophecy that the deer who was born with the mark would bring freedom to all Herla in the future, and that the bearer of the oak mark would be a healer and have the ability to communicate with all animals.
The Lord of the Herds, Drail, wants Rannoch killed out of fear of The Prophecy. Drail is tricked and murdered by Sgorr, who has militarized the herd by making the stags sharpen their antlers, training and drilling the young bucks, having them bore each other in the forehead to make permanent scars, and will take no resistance. He realizes the threat Rannoch poses to his leadership. Rannoch escapes from the herd, accompanied by Bracken and his companions Thistle, Tain, twins Peppa and Willow, Quaich, Bankfoot and their mothers and Bhreac.
Growing up outside of the herd, Rannoch struggles to choose between the life of freedom he now has and the future laid out for him by the prophecy. He knows that he must return to unite the deer and end Sgorr's reign of terror with the help of some of his friends he made along the way.