Radúz, the son of a Magurian king, has lost his way hunting in the territory of the Tatra King Stojmír. He learns from his loyal servant Radovid the reason behind the two countries' conflict. When Radúz's mother Nyola married his father, the rejected wooer Stojmír married the evil Princess Runa. Runa out of jealousy continually incites hatred for Maguria. Radúz and Radovid have only just crossed the border when an army commanded by Runa detains them. The white deer that Radúz has killed belongs to the youngest of Stojmír's three daughters, the beautiful and delicate Mahulena.