From the introduction:
Moune is a long-time inhabitant of the village of Aelepp and many of the children, and even young adults, do not know of a time when Moune was not around, though the older folk do. Moune came to the village over a hundred years ago, and though the villagers feared non-humans, Moune seemed to portray all of the qualities of a human. However many remember the time when Moune left. Old Xenric, who died ten years ago, had prophesied that Moune, even though human now, will some day reveal himself to be something else. Those words of Xenric's were ignored at first, but as time went on things seemed to change.