Oroonoko: or, the Royal Slave is a relatively short novel set in a narrative frame. The narrator opens with an account of the colony of Surinam and its inhabitants. Within this is a historical tale concerning the Coramantien grandson of an African king, Prince Oroonoko. At a very young age Prince Oroonoko was trained for battle and became an expert Captain by the age of seventeen. During a battle the best general sacrifices himself for the Prince by taking an arrow for him. In sight of this event, the Prince takes the place of General. Oroonoko decides to honorably visit the daughter of the deceased general to offer the "Trophies of her Father's Victories", but he immediately falls in love with Imoinda and later asks for her hand in marriage.The king hears Imoinda described as the most beautiful and charming in the land, and he also falls in love. Despite his Intelligence saying she had been claimed by Oroonoko, the king gives Imoinda the royal veil, thus forcing her to become one of his wives, even though she is already promised to Oroonoko. Imoinda unwillingly, but dutifully, enters the king's harem (the Otan), and Oroonoko is comforted by his assumption that the king is too old to ravish her. Over time the Prince plans a tryst with the help of the sympathetic Onahal (one of the kings wives) and Aboan (a friend to the prince). The Prince and Imoinda are reunited for a short time and consummate their marriage, but are eventually discovered. Imoinda and Onahal are punished for their actions by being sold as slaves. The king's guilt, however, leads him to lie to Oroonoko that Imoinda has instead been executed, since death was thought to be better than slavery. The Prince grieves. Later, after winning another tribal war, Oroonoko and his men go to visit a European slave trader on his ship and are tricked and shackled after drinking. The slave trader plans to sell the Prince and his men as slaves and carries them to Surinam in the West Indies. Oroonoko is purchased by a Cornish man named Trefry, but given special treatment due to his education and ability to speak French and English (which he learned from his own French mentor). Trefry mentions that he came to own a most beautiful enslaved woman and had to stop himself from forcing her into sex. Unbeknownst to Oroonoko, Trefry is speaking of Imoinda who is at the same plantation. The two lovers are reunited under the slave names of Caesar and Clemene.