Author's Note: I guess it is fair to say I don't own the Grimm's Fairy Tale "The Princess in Disguise", though I'm not sure if any one does. This is a retelling of a less known Grimm's story. If you have never read a real Grimm's Fairy Tale, then I warn you, it is nothing like the fluffy, cheery ones Disney makes (which are based mostly on Charles Pernault's versions anyways.). They are much darker and sometimes gorier. This is also not my first fanfic; I used to have a different account. Just wanted to clear all that up. Enjoy!
Prolouge

King Radovan was a cunning and resourceful man who knew just how to earn his heart's truest desires. Through this, he was able to catch the eye of a beautiful woman, a Lady known as Aeronwy. Her family was one filled with corruption and scandal, so that it was nearly impossible for Radovan to marry her, under normal circumstances. Not even her title could help her.

Aeronwy was beautiful, though. Soft, pale skin with dark pools of midnight blue for eyes, curves in all the right places and high, prominent cheek-bones. Her most noticable feature, though, was her long hair that shone like gold. She was proud of it, brushing it with a thousand strokes every night and morning, so it would always flow like silk upon her back. She was a scheming woman too, who captured Radovan with her crafty ways.

Together, the two were able to convince the Royal Counselors to submit to the marriage, however scandalous it might be. The Counselors relented, and within a year, they were married. Several months after that, the new Queen Aeronwy announced that she was pregnant with the first royal heir.

It turned out to be a stillborn.

The next child would fare better. Three years after the marriage, she delivered a healthy girl, though the process weakened her greatly. They named the daughter, Aella.

Through the many years to follow the birth, Aeronwy grew weak and sickly. When Aella was but fourteen, the Queen was told to be dying. Already, great mourning pulsed through the kingdom. Aella was beside herself with grief, and Radovan constantly waited by his wife's side. Even to the end, he would be her faithful servant.

She was entranced in a deep slumber most of the time, but one fateful night, she awoke suddenly, grasping her husband's wrist so tightly that his hand turned white. Her eyes fluttered open, her deep red lips parted to say,

"I know that once I die, you shall once more. Promise that you will not marry her, unless she is as beautiful and shares the same golden hair as I."

"Excuse me?" Radovan asked, trying to yank his hand free. Her grip only tightened.

"Promise me." She demanded, her voice dry and raspy. Radovan sighed and gave her his word. Her hand fell free, and Aeronwy breathed her last.

Radovan did not bother at first to find a new spouse, but the Royal Counselors insisted upon it. Radovan had Aella to marry off and make an aliance with another kingdom, but he needed a son to carry on the crown. At first, Radovan would hear nothing of it, but slowly, he gave way. He began a search of the kingdom for all of the fair ladies to find one that matched his wife.

For the next four years, his search turned up no results. Even if there was a woman whose beauty matched Aeronwy's, she never had the same golden locks as his late wife. The Royal Counselors tried to sway him towards a noble woman. Aeronwy was dead; she could never care if he broke his promise. But the King stuck fast to it.

Aella, meanwhile, grew to look like her mother in everyway. On her eighteenth birthday, Radovan began to take notice of it.


Author's Note: Bad prolouge, but the next chapter is better. Promise.