Category Archives: Jasmine & Role Playing Games

Jasmine Snippet #26

The typed “Story of Jasmine” notes continue:

Ermengarde felt a powerful sensation in her belly. The energy shift warned her they were nearing their destination: the dark prince and his magic. Ermengarde started her maneuver by slouching on her horse and wailing loudly. She called to the princess who had rode ahead, “Oh m’ lady, please have pity on an old woman whose bones is aching. Please slow down, miss. I cannot keep up with you…”

Her pleas managed to slow Arlet a pace. As they proceeded, Ermengarde noticed some men watching them from the shadows and branches of the surrounding trees. “Please m’ lady,” she cried, knowing their destination was almost upon them, “can’t we stop now?”

Just then, several men appeared from the shadows and some dropped from the treetops. They were quick in subduing the startled horses. “Oh, oh,” Ermengarde called pitifully, “what’s this?” he men laughed as they lead the horses off the main road onto a small path. They had only travelled a short ways before Ermengarde saw the telltale signs of a military encampment.

When they stopped, Arlet was helped from her horse. Ermengarde was still on her mount when the dark prince approached. He was dressed handsomely in black. When she saw his features, Ermengarde gasped. She knew this man instantly. The years had not changed the glisten in Bardulf’s black eyes and time only enhanced his cruel smile. It was a mistake to have completely dismissed him from her mind.

She slowly dismounted, hoping to be inconspicuous. But all eyes were on Arlet, who walked slowly, but purposefully, towards the prince. Bardulf’s lips curled in a horrid, arrogant smile. When he opened his arms, Ermengarde shuddered. His black cloak reminded her of a bat extending its wings.

Still in a daze, Arlet walked into his outstretched arms and was swallowed by the blackness of his cloak closing tightly around her. Ermengarde counted the moments. She could act if the spell was broken by the embrace. But she knew her hope was foolish when Bardulf drew Arlet into a deep, sustained kiss.

© 2018 DARLENE

Jasmine Snippet #25

“The Story of Jasmine” snippets continue (Scene 2, according to notes):

Again, the nervous horses of the two riders rubbed against each other. Ermengarde* grabbed the mane of Arlet’s steed with her hand. The animals slowed their pace while Ermengarde kept the horse’s hair in her grasp. Ermengarde sighed. There was so little time to prepare for the unknown danger which awaited them.

“Listen,” the old matron tried one more time to reach her, “there is so much you don’t understand… about your mother… about your birth… about me… about a wizard called Erlkyng…”

Arlet replied with the only words she had spoken since late morning, “The dark prince calls me and I must go to him. Nothing else matters.”

Arlet was spellbound. Without knowing the nature of the enchantment, Ermengarde was reluctant to take measures to counteract it. Besides, she had not practiced this type of magic in years.

To end the spell, Ermengarde thought up a simple strategy. Let Arlet meet her “dark prince.” Then, before the princess could be bound by another spell, Ermengarde would intervene magically. Her plan depended upon complete surprise.

To achieve this, she must be dismissed as a feeble old nurse. Ermengarde let go of Arlet’s horse. For sixteen years, she had played the part of an old crone. Nobody knew who she really was. Her chances for success were good.

There was only one unknown, which bothered her. Who had cast this spell, and how? “Oh master,” Ermengarde prayed, “Let’s hope I can handle this charlatan.”

_____

This page was typed and will be presented in bite-sized pieces.

*Ermengarde is Heta, but we don’t know it yet.

© 2018 DARLENE

Jasmine Snippet #24

“The Story of Jasmine” notes continue:

The Guardian of Wisdom makes an appearance in The Dragon Magazine some time before “The Story of Jasmine” begins.

Our Story opens with fear and suspicion.

  • Jasmine is dauntless of Reality because the ring of the dark prince placed on her finger makes her see bliss and beauty everywhere (though the blissful landscape is not reflected in the water.)
  • Her companions (retinue) are fearful because they are not “bewitched”
  • Ambush
  • Tall man on horse carries off Princess
  • She hits man with rock*
  • Meets “Gnome” people – they befriend her instantly — recognize ring and try to undo magic. Too strong to manage due to its cloaking ability. She begins to see what is happening to her. To undo the ring, she has two choices: let the prince remove it from her finger or go to the Ice palace of King Attar.* They name her Istaveer.**
  • With ring, Prince can always keep track of her and still possess her (homing device) “uncle?”
  • She goes on her way. Two men find her and are going to capture her. Tall man comes from other direction. Panic.
  • Tall man kills other two. Says her uncle sent him to help her. She’s skeptical, but doesn’t argue.

___________________

This might have been an early draft. I have different name notations, an allusion to a tall man and the suggestion of an uncle. I seem to have two versions of the beginning: one with her nursemaid, Ermengarde accompanying her and this one, without mention of her.

*A lot seems to go on in between this and the next bullet point.

**King Attar? Is this Thorgall’s surname?

*** Istaveer? I don’t remember this at all.

Jasmine Snippet #23

The notes for The Story of Jasmine continue:

Melantha, from unpublished Installment #13

With great interest Melantha, the Fire Queen of Ildshoii watches Bardulf-Thaattur’s plotting. Her passion is power and she fears nothing. Melantha’s web stretches unseen from the volcanic spires of Ildshoii outward to the unsuspecting Mid-realm.

She waits with infinite patience to ensnare the next victim in her glittering web. Attracted by the ruthless power of the dark prince, she plans her entrapment and conquest. “Bardulf-Thaatur, Axewolf of the Darkness,” she muses upon his name, “I like that.”

Just as a black orchid is seductive and exotic, Queen Melantha’s beauty knows a delicateness unsurpassed. Even so, her deceptive nature is cruel as well as cunning. Her dark eyes betray the reptilian passions and instincts of her black soul. Her lips twist in a smile of satisfaction. As long as her soul is locked away in a secret place, she will remain forever beautiful, forever terrible, forever deadly, forever Queen!

Her train of thought is interrupted by her Captain, who has come to make a report before her. “What can this mean?” She says to herself, reacting to the news, “He has succeeded in the taking of UR, yet he hesitates to kill UR’s King… because of what? His daughter? Can this princess, Flavia, mean more to him than conquest?” Her eyes burning with contempt, she addresses the Captain, “His lust will not interfere with my plans. Kill her!”

Suddenly, her fury subsides and her fiery temper melts onto a thoughtful gaze, “No. Wait — perhaps I can USE her…”

She saunters toward the window and looks southward and whispers to herself, “Yes-s-s-s. Axe-wolf, my Love — with this girl, I shall discover your passions and your weaknesses — and when I do, I shall devour you both… “

Turning away from the window, she commands, “Captain, find this Princess of UR and report to me her every move.”

© 2018 DARLENE

Jasmine Snippet #22

Notes from The Story of Jasmine continue:

Jasmine & Glynn from a published panel.

The powerful dwarf-warrior rests his weapon and laughs, “Well, you picked yourself quite a name!”

Jasmine straightens up. “And what would you know of this,” she replies in a royal tone.

He noted the change in her demeaner. “Of ‘Jasmine,’ I know little,” he replied. After a short pause, he continued,  “Only, it reminds me of some poetic nonsense I was made to always remember when I was very young:

‘As a warrior lives, a warrior dies,

But you will glide on the wings of the skies.

When the Axe-wolf of Winter’s made the land lean,

Seek out the white flower Jasmine.

In the shrine where the white rocks rise,

This is where your destiny lies…’

“I never wanted to be a victim of prophecy… so I’ve tried my best to forget it. And here you have me remembering it…”

Noting that the sun had almost set, he picks up to leave, turning toward the river. “Where are you going?” she calls, then follows him to the base of the bridge.

“Ah, just as I thought.” The dwarf invites Jasmine into a small cave carved from the riverbank beneath the bridge. Where many fires have been kindled in the past, he renews the fire place. Among bones and other morose debris, the crackling flames illuminate coins and other valuables robbed from many countless travelers above.

Regarding each other with caution, an uneasy companionship develops. She discovers the dwarf’s name is Glynn and that he is traveling to Oxfed.

For a moment, he seems puzzled when she asks if Oxfed is near The Great White Throne. He laughs, replying that many years ago his people had hoped those mountains had riches to mine but their hopes were all but dashed. Ever since, his people called that mountain Fool’s Hope.

“You are a strange one,” Glynn remarks, as if seeing her for the first time, “You know things you could not possibly know, yet you can’t walk through the woods without stumbling!” Jasmine frowns and returns a look of defiance.

Leaving the warmth of the fire, Glynn impales the heads of the cut-throats on their own pole-arms and places them for all to see at the end of the bridge. In death, as in life, the two heads bob in the wind, watching over their bridge, to mock or to be mocked.

© 2018 DARLENE

Jasmine Snippet #21

The Story of Jasmine notes continue:

Traveling alone in the wilderness, the full impact of her situation slowly became clear. “What a wretched person I am.” she thought, recalling the events of the recent past, “Now I have nothing–neither kingdom nor title.”

At the Guardians’ insistence, she had to relinquish her identity. “Flavia must die!” they told her. In addition to abandoning her name, she exchanged her royal raiment for simpler garments.

Her long journey north began underground. With provisions and much encouragement, this nameless maiden had been led through a labyrinth of cold, damp rock. For weeks, it seemed, they made their way through dark and still passageways. Then finally, came the first shafts of sunlight. She grew joyful as the chamber neared an exit. But then she came to understand that the little community of wise, kind-eyed people who had accompanied her thus far would not be accompanying her any further. She halted.

“Not far from here,” they told her, “is a mountain called The Great White Throne. On top of that mountain are the sacred ruins of an ancient shrine. Go there. Invoke the spirit of Erlkyng and help you will find. And always remember, stay away from the main road—your enemies are many and they are everywhere.”

To give her courage, they placed around her neck, a pouch filled with jasmine petals.

© 2018 DARLENE

Jasmine Snippet #20

Continued are the notes for “The Story of Jasmine.”

Prince Ahearn of Dockalfar, from the unpublished Installment #13.

Only the day before, King Aranbrod spoke to his daughter sternly and in frightful earnest, “For seven years, you have repaid my patience and generosity with false intentions. Now there is only one suitor left. He is from the north, a proud prince of the dark elves. Flavia, THIS time, you cannot refuse…”

Flavia, upon seeing her father’s firm determination, knew that her resolve never to consent to marriage was at an end. She could no longer oppose him and yielded. She agreed to properly receive Ahearn, Prince of Dockalfar as her future husband. The King smiled and, kissing his daughter on the forehead, tells her that he must ride immediately to tend to a crucial matter within the kingdom and would be unable to attend the official courtship event. That was why he needed her promise to consent. As he leaves her chamber, he mutters something about already being indebted to his future son-in-law.

However, when the next day arrived, the princess lost heart and forgot her promise. She’d imagined her prince would be filled with art and music, much like the other suitors that she refused. But when the last prince stood proud before her, he stood in bloody black armor, his gleaming sword still red-stained from battle. From without, she heard the clamor of UR’s own soldiers rising to arms.

The dark prince bowed before her and took her hand to kiss, but he did not remove his headgear. Feeling the coldness of his armor, she quickly withdrew her hand. When their eyes met, his harsh look pierced her astonished one.

“M’lady,” said he, “forgive my appearance, but your western outpost has been attacked!”

The Prince then recounted the details of the battle to the court as, no doubt, he would many times in the future. But the Princess stood in shock. She did not know what to do, so she stood like a statue, still and unmoving. She did not wish to listen to the account of this person’s most recent exploits and refused to engage him in conversation. She found this prince, standing so darkly before her, to be course and disgusting. Courtship protocol was the furthest thing from her mind.

At length, the little patience Prince Ahearn possessed finally frayed. He spoke his mind, “Princess of UR, you have not only insulted me with your discourteousness, but you have disgraced your kingdom. As I did not remove my armor before I entered your company, I accept blame for your apparent bewilderment and forgive you. I must keep wearing my armor because I am still needed on the battlefield.

“I am sorry. There is no time for gentle wooing. The time is nigh that I return to the aid of your father in battle. In exchange for my sword, you have already been promised to me as my wife. Make it official by declaring your love and faith to me and I will fight in your name as my beloved.”

The princess finally found her tongue. ”What? Kill in my name? I find you a rude and woeful companion and will never willingly marry you. Leave me at once and never return!”

“Vain princess — your intentions are now known to me, and clear. This disastrous meeting was only a courtesy. You and I are already promised. Whether or not either of us want it, our fathers have already agreed. And it is why I am called and consent to battle on your behalf.”

Then Ahearn withdrew. Truth be told, he was relieved return to battle. That is something he understood well. He always felt awkward and ill at ease at court, and this one, especially so.

_________________

* Arbethe or Aranbrod — I seem to have been unable to settle upon the right name for the King of UR, even within the same document.

© 2018 DARLENE

Jasmine Snippet #19

The Story of Jasmine notes continue:

She stared into an oblong fountain filled with water. The ripped-diamond reflections danced upon the curves of her face and sparkled brightly in her green eyes. The trough also contained something very powerful, as it was the source of the brilliant light. The white maiden’s concentration was so intense that…

______

Sorry, that was all that was written. I’m assuming this passage has something to do with finding the Staff of Erlkyng.

© 2018 DARLENE

Jasmine Snippet #18

The Story of Jasmine notes continue:

The day before King Aranbrod spoke to his daughter in frightful earnest, “For seven years, you have repaid my patience and generosity with false intentions. Now there is only one choice left. He is from the north, a proud prince of the dark elves. Flavia, THIS time, you cannot refuse him.”

Flavia, upon seeing her father’s stern resolve, knew that she could not oppose him. Before her father left her chambers, she consented to receive Ahearn, Prince of Dockalfar. The King smiles and tells her that tomorrow, he must tend to an important matter. That was why he wanted her to consent. Needed elsewhere, he is unable to attend the event of their official meeting. As he leaves, he mutters something about already being indebted to him.

However, when the next day arrived, the princess lost heart. She had imagined her prince would be filled with art and music, much like the other suitors she refused. But when the prince stood before her, he stood in bloody black armor, his gleaming sword still red-stained from battle. From without, she heard the clamor of UR’s own soldiers rising to arms.

The dark prince bowed before her and took her hand to kiss, but he did not remove his headgear. Feeling the coldness of his armor, she quickly withdrew her hand. When their eyes met, his harsh look pierced hers. “M’lady,” said he, “forgive my appearance, but your outposts have been attacked!”

He then quickly recounted the details of the battle to the court as, no doubt, he would many times in the future. But Flavia was shocked. She did not know what to do, so she stood still, unmoving. Thus, frozen she would not discourse with him on any subject. She found the man, standing darkly before her, to be course and disgusting. She did not want to listen to his account and did not make him feel at ease.

The precious little patience the prince possessed began to fray. At length, he spoke his mind, “You have not only insulted me with your rude and discourteous behavior, but you have disgraced your kingdom. The custom in my country, is not to remove armor when a battle on the field is still active. If this is not your custom, I accept blame for your bewildered silence and forgive you.”

The Prince was agitated, doing his best to rein in his anger. “I am sorry there is no time for gentile wooing. The time is nigh that I return to the battle to the aid of your father. In exchange, you have been promised to me as my wife. Make it so by declaring your love and faith to me and I will fight in your name as my beloved.”

The princess finally found her tongue. ”What? Kill in my name? I find you a rude and woeful companion and will never willingly marry you. Leave me alone and never return!”

“Vain princess — your intentions are now known to me, and clear. This disastrous meeting was only a courtesy. You and I are already promised, whether or not either of us want it. Our fathers have already signed the agreements. And it is why I am called to battle.”

Then Ahearn withdrew.

_________________

* Arbethe or Aranbrod — I seem to have been unable to settle upon the right name for the King of UR, even within the same document.

© 2018 DARLENE

Jasmine Snippet #17

The notes for the Story of Jasmine continue:

This is the ICON I used for Jasmine Publications when I decided to publish my own game based on “The Story of Jasmine.”

Flavia de UR* walked briskly past the aisle, her footsteps echoing with resolve as she entered from the courtyard. “Let the barbarian wait.” She announced haughtily to her attendant within earshot of the young suitor who had spent most of the day doing just that.

He was the last suitor. She had always found plenty of excuses to dismiss all the others. The last suitor waited outside the chamber. In months past, she had cleverly dispatched all the other eligible men whom her father, the King, had carefully chosen for her. And even though she knew her father’s anger would increase with each passing moment, she could not bring herself to face the fate of being a royal daughter. So Flavia de UR played a waiting game.

The golden light of the setting sun streamed through a small window. Flavia de UR prayed. She did not want to be a pawn. She wanted to feel alive.

_______________________________

*Elsewhere, I called her Princess Arlet.

This seems to be the first bit of actual story writing.