It is commonly claimed that the unicorn—that finest, most perfectly noble of all beasts, whose spirit did imbue Alatia to enable her to give birth to the first of the race of man—will only approach the most virtuous of maidens.
While we must acknowledge the comfort that this legend can provide the listener (for in a world where cruelty does exist and often goes unpunished, we ought to celebrate those situations in which virtue is rewarded), we must also insist that it is not strictly true.
Like most legends, however, this one is based in truth. Unicorns are not, in fact, particularly concerned for the sexual proclivities of those they honor with their presence, and while their contact with people is limited overall, that contact is not strictly limited to those of the female gender.
No, the unicorn’s sole concern is purity of heart. And that fact ought to convince you of the veracity of this seemingly shocking tale:
Baron Brange was taking a constitutional through the Jungles of Anaria, when suddenly he noticed a beautiful, gentle glow through the overgrowth. Drawn to it he was, and he approached it with due caution, but also an overwhelming sense of security.
In a small clearing, he discovered the source of the glow: It was a unicorn, and one that was every bit as glorious as the poems might suggest.
It noticed the good Baron and gazed upon him. What the unicorn might have been doing—whether examining the Baron’s manner, or his physiognomy, or perhaps performing its own magical arts to determine the Baron’s character—the Baron can tell us nothing, for he stood transfixed, simply cherishing this most rare of opportunities.
Knowing the purity of heart that the good Baron possesses, it is hardly surprising that the unicorn eventually approached the Baron (who would like it to be known that he has had a number of romantic partners that demonstrates his virility, tenderness, and mastery of technique).
And it approached him so enthusiastically that he needed not give the order for his party to deploy the ropes, nets, and sleeping drugs they had brought solely for defense against the aggressive owlbears known to stalk the area.
The unicorn nuzzled the good Baron with its horn, filling him with a sense of supreme well-being and joy. “I salute you, noble Unicorn,” the Baron declared, “and I thank you for allowing me to grace you with my presence.”
So moved was the unicorn by this speech that when the Baron gave his party the direction to turn for home, he found that the group’s number had increased by one: The unicorn was following him.
Having already demonstrated the generosity of his spirit, it is hardly surprising that the Baron’s response to this was to heartily inform the unicorn that “Of course my household has room for you!” But even the Baron could not overlook the differences in species that might make his manor house ill-suited for a unicorn’s domicile.
His response to this was to order the construction of a stable: A stable of such grandeur and luxury that this unicorn would never want for anything but could instead live a fulfilling life of ease and abundance.