Category Archives: Jasmine & Role Playing Games

Jasmine Story – Snippet 15

Notes for The Story of Jasmine continue:

Palace of the Ice King, Thorgall.

“I am drawn by the spirit of the North,” Thorgall said of his kingdom, “and am determined not to be crushed by it. It takes a special people to prosper where nature makes life so difficult.”

“I have chosen to make things hard for myself,” he commented, “because there is much merit in it.”

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This is more representative of the things I would “receive” during the day… often a small snatch of conversation be tween two characters. I usually wrote them on napkins or note cards or whatever was at hand. Of all my written notes, these would probably be the ones not to survive.

Obviously, I did not command the creative process.

© 2018 DARLENE

Jasmine Story – Snippet 14

The notes for The Story of Jasmine continue:

This piece of art is “The Rainbow Maiden” and was created roughly around the same time as Jasmine.

Upon the waning of the Third Age of the Mid-Realm, there lived a King who ruled the great peninsula of UR. The wise rule of Arbethe* and the prosperity of UR was widely known throughout the Mid-Realm. And many traveled South to partake of UR’s hospitality.

King Aranbrod’s* greatest love was for his pale and fragile queen who died while delivering unto him a daughter. And although King Aranbrod grieved over the loss of his beloved wife, he took steps to insure his only child would be strong in body and mind.

As his daughter’s blonde hair shone golden in the sunlight, he called her Flavia,** which means “golden hair.” As the years passed, he marveled at how well Flavia resembled her mother. Because he forgave her mischief far too often, Flavia grew to be headstrong.

It came to pass that on her 10th birthday, her father came to her and said, “the time has come for me to seek a match for you so UR will continue to prosper through me.”

Fearing her loss of freedom, Flavia replied, “Aye, father, this is true — but I am only a child. I entreat you, father, please wait on this until I am a true maiden.”

Reluctantly, the king granted her wish. Thus, year after year, Flavia was able to put him off until her 15th birthday, when it was clear for all to see that she had grown into a fair and beautiful young maiden.

To her father’s satisfaction, Flavia finally agreed to be wooed by the many eligible suitors of UR. But her condition was that she be the only one to decide who would be her husband. So, in this way, all the able young men who came to ask for her hand were turned away.

As time wore on, her suitors became so few that the King invited eligible princes outside his kingdom to come. He did not realize his daughter had resolved never to choose any man for a husband. The last suitor came on her 17th birthday.

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*Finally, the King of UR has a name, actually two of them, in the same snippet: Arbethe and Aranbrod

**Now Princess Arlet is named Flavia. The name is an Ancient Roman name, which does, indeed mean “blonde” (from the Latin word “flavus,” meaning “golden, blonde).

You can tell by comparing this Snippet to the last one that these are woefully out of order.

Jasmine Story – Snippet 13

Notes from “The Story of Jasmine” continue:

From Installment #13, this is Jasmine atop The Great White Throne mountain where she first receives the Staff of Erlkyng.

As Jasmine (“White Flower”) she enters the first stage of Enlightenment as the salvation of the Mid-Realm. To do so, she acknowledges her destiny at the ancient temple atop The Great White Throne mountain. A hidden chamber opens for her and reveals her predecessor’s staff and cloak and other special magical raiment. Still plagued by the power of Bardulf’s ring, Jasmine discovers she must hasten to Thorgall, the Ice King of Tarrant, the only man powerful enough to remove the ring.

Like the eye of her new staff, her mind has awakened, becoming keen and brilliant. As was proven with Bardulf, she is most vulnerable when she is proud and haughty. This behavior was nurtured in the court of her father, the King of UR, who meant to consolidate his power by cementing political relationships through marriage. Her destiny has never been to become the wife of a powerful prince or the Queen of a powerful King. Her life’s purpose would be taking another path.

She has been raised as the Princess Arlet* of UR and does not become Jasmine until after she flees the castle.

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*This name would change again.

© 2018 DARLENE

Jasmine Story – Snippet 12

The Story of Jasmine Notes continue:

Two cards from Jasmine: The Battle for the Mid-Realm collector card game.

Thorne, “Protector of the Flower”

Since Melantha had taken Thorne’s people into slavery, this powerful and stern battle-maiden sought military assistance to free them and was on this mission to UR. However, when UR was suddenly taken over, Thorne was forced to change her plans.

To undertake the treacherous journey northward, Thorne will swallow her pride, until she can talk to the Ice King, Thorgall and make a deal. Therefore, Thorne swore her sword and allegiance to Jasmine, though she does not respect her. Thorne only tolerates Jasmine as she perceives her to be weak and faint-hearted.

Thorne is tireless, disciplined, glorious and stoic in the face of death. She has never known defeat. She persistently hones her abilities.

© 2018 DARLENE

 

Jasmine Story – Snippet 11

Notes from The Story of Jasmine continue:

Rogan The Red as pictured in Installment #13.

Accepted into the Companionship as a Guide to the north is Rogan the Red.* His stately mannerisms are annoying to the rest of the party but amuse Jasmine. When asked about his past, he becomes evasive. He is an excellent horseman, as stealthy as a thief, and is quick and accurate with a knife. Although his interest in Jasmine is more than just passing, he keeps a calculated distance.

As Thorne’s friend, Rogan advises her to join Jasmine and Glynn on their journey northward. He conceals his fascination for the blonde magician. Thorne, handy with a sword, offers protection.

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*Other names considered for this character were Kayne, Macklin, Red Burkhard and Rowan.

© 2018 DARLENE

Jasmine Story – Snippet 10

Bardulf-Thaatur “Axewolf of the Darkness”

Bardulf is the main vilan of the story, at least at the very beginning.

Through treachery and a touch of magic, the dark prince used the mysterious Ring of Emeth to bewitch UR’s princess, whose proud beauty fascinates him. By placing the ring on her finger, she immediately fell under his spell. Intending to marry UR’s princess himself, he planned to secure the rich kingdom of UR for himself, With ambitions to conquer the whole of the Mid-Realm, the subduing of UR through political marriage was only his first step towards this goal.

Although he lost the princess due to the incompetence of his soldiers, he knows the loss is only temporary. He can always find her with help from the ring of Emeth. A dragon-lizard named Gryth is attracted to the ring. Through the dragon-lizard’s connection, he is able to “watch” Jasmine’s progress from afar. Jasmine cannot remove the ring. In the meanwhile, Bardulf pretends to the King of UR, pretends that the princess is in his stronghold, and that she has already consented to be his Queen.

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I would have said that the above text is also from Installment 13. But after comparing it with the actual panel (below), I find that it is not. There is more and better information in my notes. I think space limitations caused me to abbreviate the ideas stated above.

This is the text accompanying Bardulf’s illustration. It’s from the 1st panel of Installment 13.

© 2018 DARLENE

Jasmine Story – Snippet 9

This share is not technically a “Snippet,” at least not in the way I’ve been defining it.

For clarification, the snippets I’ve shared thus far have been notes to myself, mostly recording the plot elements I needed to remember. There are some nice phrases, but not much actual attempts at writing.

As I’m in charge of my own rules, I share this panel of finished art. I’m allowing it because no one has seen it before. It’s from the 13th Installment of The Story of Jasmine, which was not published. I love this particular page design.

The third page of the unpublished 13th installment of “The Story of Jasmine.”

The previous two pages in this recap installment were both designed as two column pages with illustrations at the top and introduced the major players, two to a page.

The design of the entire 13th “Story of Jasmine” Installment was symmetrical. I felt choosing this type of unifying layout would aid readers who first encounter the story. To more easily grasp a sense of the plot, the text introducing the characters together with their portraits, provide a stable visual foundation.

But, by far, the third page, which mimics a cross, is visually satisfying to me. The text within the blue central panel states the essential purpose and objective for these characters to unite as companions of Jasmine. Both conceptually and visually, the central square unites the elements of the story and the page.

I like how the landscapes indicate something about each character and I’m especially fond of Ahearn’s illustration. But I do remember struggling with Thorne’s miniature painting.

This panel was created before the days of computers. Today, using software like Photoshop, editing an image is no big deal. However, everything drawn and written on the above panel — all images and calligraphy — were created directly on the illustration board, leaving no room for mistakes. At that time, I had to be careful because the production camera picked up any attempts at corrective measures, such as in the case of changing misspellings. I believe the illustration board was at a size, close to 100% reproduction size.

By the way, the text from yesterday’s share turned out to be from this panel. Should any other text that belongs to this page be found, I shall endeavor to point it out.

© 2018 DARLENE

Jasmine Story – Snippet 8

Glynn Kedar Oakenheart “Powerful Stout-hearted Mountain Lord”

For 40-years, this dwarf-warrior had wandered through a weary land relishing his freedom. But as a witness to Jasmine’s mysterious liquid energy and grace, he swore allegiance to her cause.

His battle axe is as mighty as his loyalty. Grim and humorless, Glynn remains Jasmine’s greatest friend and champion. As her protector, he is wary and suspicious of men’s attention and intention towards her and would think nothing of striking them dead.

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The art above depicts two views of Glynn. The one on the left is from a finished, but unpublished panel. It would have comprised the next “Story of Jasmine” installment in “The Dragon” Magazine. The art on the right is the character card for The Jasmine Faction in the “Jasmine: the Battle for the Mid-Realm” card game.

Looking at the left image of Glynn just made me realize that the above text accompanied that very image on the page. I loved that page design…

Wow! I just had an idea. Tomorrow, I must show you that page I’m so fond of!

© 2018 DARLENE

Jasmine Story – Snippet 7

Notes for The Story of Jasmine continued:

‘Staff of Erlkyng” Special Card in “Jasmine: The Battle for the Mid-Realm” Collector Card Game.

After the coming of the Third Age, the forces of Evil consolidated their strength.

The Guardians of Wisdom (and Chroniclers of History) had long seen the change coming. But they waited patiently for the fates to send a savior to the Mid-Realm. At the appointed hour, their knowledge could not prepare them for the shock that the revealed chosen one was a frail-looking maiden who, until then, had never ventured far from her father’s castle. The fate of the Mid-Realm looked bleak indeed.

Still, they prepared her for her journey. From the sacred jasmine plant, the harbinger of her coming, they fashioned her clothing. So she would never fatigue, they made sandals from the stems of the plant. That she would never suffer from the extremes of heat or cold, they created a cloak from the leaves of the plant. and that she would always find the courage to grow and discover her own nature, they fashioned a gown from the delicate white jasmine petals.

Only when the ancient staff of Erlkyng would be presented to her by the spirit of its predecessor did the maiden finally begin to understand. Taking the staff, her strength surged through the length of it. After two ages, the Mid-Realm witnessed the light of hope. In that moment JASMINE was born.

And so it came to be that the meek inherited a mighty undertaking.

© 2018 DARLENE

Jasmine Story – Snippet 6

The Story of Jasmine notes continue:

Heta was a key player in the battle against evil. It was with her help that Erlkyng initially won the first Battle for the Mid-Realm. She was Erlkyng’s base of support — they both knew it. Giving birth to Arial’s physical form took Erlkyng’s life. But it also took Heta’s youth. Thus, in one sweeping moment, Heta is at once virgin, mother, and crone. In her crone state, she accompanies Arial as her guardian, Ermengarde.*

Although much more delicate, Arial took on Heta’s features and appearance during her physical transformation. Therefore, the child of Arial and the King of UR also resembled Heta. During Arial’s pregnancy, when Arial needed strength to sustain her physical form, Heta asked the members of her Order for their life force energy. Understanding well the future of the Mid-Realm was at stake, they agreed to the sacrifice.

When the child is born, she holds the collective life force of the whole Order of the White Flower. Upon the birth of the child, Arial’s form dissipates. Heta, now as Ermengarde, becomes the child’s devoted nursemaid and guardian. Through songs, music and poetry, Ermengarde always encourages the development of the young princess’ wild, rebellious wind spirit.

At the point in the story when Ermengarde and Princess Arlet** flee together on horseback to escape from Bardulf’s ambush, they race towards the grove where the magic was initially performed sixteen years previous. A stray arrow pierces Ermengarde who pushes the princess into a mass of braided vines covering the mouth of the Crystal Caverns. The wall of jasmine vines give way and protect the young princess from the fall, as seemingly she’s swallowed by the earth. The jasmine flower*** wall springs back and blooms to congeal the entrance to the crystal cave.

Dying, Heta calls out to Arial to give Glynn a boon to protect “Jasmine” on the quest she must undertake. Then Heta turns into stone, becoming a guardian of the crystal cave’s entrance. Upon taking her stone statue form, she resumes her youthful beauty. (Also, Glynn will know Jasmine by her resemblance to Heta.)

When the pursuers find Heta’s stone form, they mistake her for the princess and become fearful of the magic of that place, lest they be turned to stone as well. But Bardulf is no stranger to magic and is not afraid. When Bardulf locates the place and inspects the statue, he notes there is no ring upon its finger. With his sword, he cuts away the wall of vines and discovers the entrance to the crystal caverns.

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*Ermengarde or Ermengard or Irmingard or Irmgard is a feminine given name of German origin derived from the German words “ermen/irmin,” meaning “whole, universal” and “gard” meaning “enclosure, protection.” Thus her name means to protect the whole.

**Princess Arlet is, apparently, one of the names I assigned to the Princess of UR before she becomes Jasmine. The Princess Flavia de UR seems to be another name I used for her.

*** The jasmine flower is associated with love. Jasmine also symbolizes beauty and sensuality. In some cultures, Jasmine represents appreciation and good luck. When used in religious ceremonies jasmine represents purity. The meaning of Jasmine varies depending on the culture and setting.

© 2018 DARLENE