“The Story of Jasmine” notes continue:
After spending countless days in dark, dank and twisting tunnels, Bardulf enjoyed the light of UR’s main Castle Palace. He had only been there a single day when the men who patrolled the free lands to the north of UR arrived. They brought with them a cloak and a gown. Bardulf immediately recognized the clothes as belonging to the Princess Flavia of UR. She had worn that very frock the last time he saw her.
The clothes were the only sign they found of the princess. When questioned, they said there was no body to be found. Nor was there any signs of a fight. The clothing was neither bloodied or torn. It was as if the clothes had simply been taken off and discarded. Bardulf was about to dismiss his messengers when they indicated there was more to their story.
“Well, what is it?” He barked.
Even though Bardulf was clearly annoyed and impatient, those men were reluctant to speak. Finally, in their stammering, Bardulf understood that in the same place they found the clothing, they had also encountered a horror they were reluctant to speak of. Many of the fellows who served with them had been turned into stone. Because they had walked upon the same hallowed ground of an ancient temple, they grew afraid the same fate somehow awaited them. When Bardulf finally dismissed them, they quickly and gladly withdrew.
That clinched it. In Bardulf’s mind, he was up against the son of King Aranbrod, a male heir and a rival for the throne he usurped — something much more deadly than a lost princess. No wonder the “princess” never married. He imagined this young Prince to be clever in disguise and strong in magic. To get the upper hand, there was only one thing to do.
After giving his trusted stewards and ministers instructions and orders to carry out, Bardulf called for a horse and a small retinue of men to accompany him. He had the Tome of Wisdom wrapped carefully in leather and placed within his saddle-bag. Then Bardulf set out immediately, speeding for his Castle Swartzborg, to reunite with Gryth, his prized dragon-lizard.
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