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 The Last Unicorn

The Last Unicorn

A Canon Tale of Allutheria

The Last Unicorn
A 1982 Animated Movie & 1968 Novel

Characters:Amalthea, The Cat, Lir, Molly Grue, Schmendrick
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Links to Shit
The Last Unicorn is a novel written by Peter S. Beagle and published in 1968 and best known as an animated feature by Rankin and Bass produced in 1982. Ranked among one of the best Fantasy Novels of all time by Locus magazine, it has been beloved for generations.

For Once Upon a Nightmare, it was decided that the Last Unicorn would be a good fit with the Black Cauldron. Horned King was killed off with the Blight because of his connections to that storyline, and Lir was elevated to the role of King. Schmendrick was combined with the funny minstrel in Black Cauldron, Molly with the pig Hen Wen, and the story of the Last Unicorn was given a much darker ending with a sequel that mirrored the site plot.

Canon Tale

The Horned King was once the mighty Fae of Autumn until the Green Man ripped away his special powers and left him nothing more than any other Fae, banished to Allutheria to begin anew. He reinvented himself and built a court called the Court of the Bull. In time, his court was targeted by a powerful rival, the Red Court, who with the help of his own son, Lir, were able to release the Gobins as a weapon to bring them all down. The Horned King fled the wreckage of his kingdom with those he could save, including his son, Lir, who he punished severely for his transgressions by cursing him with the form of an enslaved, great, flaming, Red Bull.

Desperate to get revenge on the Fae for the loss of his Court, the Horned King aligned himself with Maleficent and became the first victim of the Blight. Unable to find the mythical Black Cauldron, a lost weapon of the war with the gods, he instead forced his son to round up the unicorns to sacrifice in the hopes that their ability to nullify magic would make him impervious to other's enchantments. When Amalthea, the last unicorn, turned herself over to them, she believed she could still save them. Instead, she was forced to watch them slaughtered one by one. Furious over their death, she helped Lir to kill his father and assume his title as the Horned King.

Lir was not as willing to forget the legend of the Black Cauldron, the weapon forged during the war with the gods that could amplify any magic into something godlike and unstoppable. The newly crowned Horned King with his Horned Queen, Amalthea, by his side were determined to locate the Black Cauldron by any means necessary so that they could use to destroy magic once and for all.

Taran was nothing but a Changeling boy, found by Dalben and invited to remain with the High Priest of the lord of time to help the man live his life far from the influences and intrigues of Faery Courts. Dalben also had a secret, his pig Hen Wen was more than any mere pig…she was the first priestess of the Forebearer whose gifts of foresight were much too strong for her human mind to bear. To save her from insanity, the Forebearer transformed her into a pig to live out the remainder of her life in peace…but he failed to remove the gift of foresight. Dalben had been caring for the pig ever since. But the Blight which destroyed Caelum weakened the powers of the Pantheon and also weakened the enchantment placed on Hen Wen. Without rhyme or reason, Hen Wen has begun to resume human form for sometimes hours or days at a time before she’s once more transformed into a pig. The new Horned King has learned of Hen Wen’s presence in Allutheria and become determined to retrieve the oracular pig, believing that she would lead him directly to the Black Cauldron.

Little does the new Horned King know that within his dungeon there sits a young Fae who might very well be his undoing, for the Princess of the Court of the Bull and his sister, Eilonwy, was saved from the labyrinth by her father, the first Horned King. Unsure how to be a father to her after all he had suffered, the Horned King bound her powers into a shining orb of light and cast her into his dungeons until he had time to deal with her properly. But Eilonwy has found a way to use her powers, even within the orb in which they are entombed, and she has found a way out of the Horned King’s dungeons, out into Allutheria…and she may know more about the Horned King’s plans than even he realizes…



  • Amalthea - The last free unicorn in the known world, she was forced to witness the murder of her kind before she joined Lir in taking up arms against the Horned King, usurped him, and set out to get the Black Cauldron and end magic.
  • Lir - Prince of the Bull Court and newly crowned Horned King, he was enslaved and cursed into a flaming, Red Bull by his own father for treachery against the Court of the Bull. Now he has killed his father and taken Amalthea as his Horned Queen, making her battle his own.
  • Molly Grue - The first human priestess of the Forebearer and sought by the Horned King, she was gifted with foresight which eventually drove her mad and forced the Forebearer to transform her into a pig to save her from insanity with a spell that is weakened by the fall of Caelum, forcing her into her natural human form at the strangest of times. She has taken temporary shelter, under the guise of a faemiliar, with a freehold of Fae in Neverwood and begun using the name Molly Grue to hide from those who seek her.
  • The Cat - Priestess of Chaos and member of the Mad Tea Party.
  • Schmendrick - Now calling himself Fflewddur Fflam, he was Amalthea's only friend believed killed in the Ocean Blight, instead he found himself taken by the Red Bull and tortured or the location of the Last Unicorn. Time has now run together and his sanity has been corroded by what he has endured.


The former Fae of Autumn and first Horned King plotted to kill the Unicorns to use their ability to nullify magic to make him impervious to other's enchantments. He sent his son, the Red Bull, to retrieve the Last Unicorn who eventually surrendered in hopes of saving her people. Instead, she was forced to watch as he murdered them all. In anger, she joined Lir in killing the Horned King and usurping his throne. Now they seek the Black Cauldron, not to make themselves all powerful, but to remove magic from the world.


Related Stories

Alice in Wonderland - The Cat is the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland.
The Black Cauldron - The Red Bull is Lir the son of the original Horned King and the newest Horned King. Schmendrick and Molly also play dual roles in both tales..
Labyrinth - The Red Bull was formerly the Prince and heir to the Court of the Bull before he betrayed them to Jareth and the goblins.

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