What am I to do? My wife, the mother of my sons, has been taken away by Koschei the Deathless. My two elder sons have gone off to search for her and they haven’t returned.

And now my youngest, Ivan, is asking for my blessing to go on his own search. How can I give it to him? The grief is going to kill me!

King Who is Left Alone in Koschei the Deathless. Painting by Andrey Shishkin.