There was a castle long ago, in a kingdom that shall hitherto remain unnamed. It fell under the attack of the realm’s enemies whilst the king was away, and the queen ordered that the castle, and even the city surrounding it, be evacuated. They stood no chance against the attacking army, especially without their king to lead them, and the queen thought it more merciful to get her people to safety than to send them to certain death.
After the evacuation, the princess of the realm could not be found. The queen had thought, in all of the confusion, that she had been carried to safety by her honor guard, yet even he was nowhere to be seen. Then the king assumed that the missing princess had been found and taken by the enemy army. His majesty demanded at first to have her back; the castle and its city had been surrendered, and they enemy king had no claim to the princess. When that failed him, he offered to pay a ransom to have her back. The enemy king denied having her in his possession at all, a claim that his majesty did not readily accept.
Searches were done, high and low, everywhere in the kingdom that she might have gone, and even many places that she was unlikely to have gone to. The king demanded that is enemies search the castle and all of their ranks, for perhaps she had been taken by someone who had no understanding of what they had done. Still there was no trace of her.
Without his daughter, the king’s heart hardened, and he grew to hate his enemy even more. The war between them raged on, even into the next generation. The prince, when he took over the royal army, wanted his sister back so badly that he could not end the fighting. The rivalry between each side went on and on, century after century. It did not end until long after the reasons that it had started were all lost and forgotten. By then, none of the original royal family were left, and their descendants were of a completely different mindset.
The rivalry faded, and peace was made. There were even marriages between the two kingdoms, and laypeople were happy. It was not, however, a happily ever after.
This is the tale of what really happened to the princess, and what becomes of those who seek to find too much.
Onwards to Part Two