Jasmine Snippet #92

The Story of Jasmine notes continue:

The ensuing battle temporarily united Bardulf’s soldiers with Jasmine’s protectors against their non-human foe. The Wichtleins, still uncertain about the magical staff Ahearn held aloft, concentrated their efforts on eliminating the second group of men who’d arrived on horseback.

In the fighting, the Wichtleins slowly closed in on them, noting how the staff held by Ahearn glowed ominously. In the end, superior numbers won the day. By twilight, only Jasmine’s protectors remained alive. Because of their deep superstitions regarding magic, few Wichtleins were willing to engage them.

The day ended with Glynn, Thorne, Ahearn and Rogan completely surrounded, their weapons taken from them. “Guard them.” ordered the Chieftain, who seemed to have something in mind. The Wichtleins began clearing the battleground of all the fallen. Although they had won, three times as many Wichtleins were dead. Cleaning up was a grim affair.

Many Wichtleins were relieved they did not have to deal with the lady in white who had ridden off at the onset of the battle. None would go after her. The land across the bridge was taboo. All Wichtleins who ventured there, never came back. All agreed she would probably share the same fate.

As the dead men were being picked up and all their horses lead away, Glynn praised the valiant efforts of the fallen men, who arrived with the dragon lizard. They were good fighters. Glynn was unsure, but he seemed to recognize one of them. “It was in another place, at another time,” he sighed, “I think we had a drink together. I’d raise one in honor now, if I could…”

Thorne reacted violently when the body of her hawk was picked up. “Don’t touch him!”  she cried, only to be ignored. Then she cursed Jasmine again, under her breath, for the death of Gavin, her sweet, great bird.

Glynn addressed her, “Curse her all you like, but we are alive now because of her.”

Thorne snorted, “How do you figure?”

“Her staff saved us.” Glynn replied as he watched Ahearn whorl the staff around as if it was a fighting stick.  “It’s clearly a weapon, but it’s the only thing they clearly would not touch. They are afraid of it more than they are afraid of us.”

They all looked at Ahearn, who remained focused on looking menacing. Rogan had nothing to say.

At length, they heard the sound of drums in the distance. Ahearn then started talking gibberish. To the accompaniment of drums, he spoke non-words in a commanding way and would keep up the act throughout the night.

© 2018 DARLENE

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Jasmine Snippet #91

“The Story of Jasmine” notes continue:

When their commander’s massive head was split in two with one cleave of that dwarf’s battle-axe, none of the Witchleins knew what to do. Was this magic, or a mighty warrior? Their second thought was of eating a warrior as mighty as this. They would feast on his strength and fortitude. What a great and honored feast he would make. But until that time, the dwarf still dangerously possessed his warrior’s spirit.

Most Witchleins were only familiar with raids carried out at night, when their victims were asleep. Subduing awake victims during the day seemed to be ill-advised. Most were reassured that as long as Ikvokeg was there to lead and guide the attack, everything would go as smoothly as planned. But Ikvokeg can no longer give them a signal. How do they know when it is the right time to strike?

How did that dwarf warrior know to attack lkvokeg’s spot? Suspicious and overanxious, once they saw and recognized Ahearn as he rode in, one of them cried, “Dock-far person meat!” They all then prematurely left their hiding places in the rocks above. They were not in any hurry but by the time they reached level ground, there was another group to fight.

*  *  *

Jasmine remained on her horse, still stunned by her encounter with the dragon-lizard. Ahearn quickly rode up from behind, and grabbed Jasmine’s arm to pull her attention back to the here and now. His touch shook her out of her dazed state and Jasmine realized the danger all around them. She realized Thorne was cursing her.

“Ride ahead, princess…” Ahearn said with an air of authrity, “ride until you see a bridge to the right and take it!”

“What?” was all Jasmine could muster as a reply.

Ahearn grabbed the Staff of Erlkyng,”Trust me!” he said, “I’ll, ah … we’ll join you later. Now GO!”

He slapped the rear of Jasmine’s horse and the animal gladly distanced itself from the fray. Having witnessed Jasmine heal the winged creature, the Wichtleins allowed her to ride past unharmed. She was magical. But Ahearn was another matter. They closed in on him.

Knowing he’d be caught up in the fighting, Ahearn held Jasmine’s staff aloft for all to see. “Magic! Magic!” he kept repeating.

© 2018 DARLENE

I AM A FAN of “THE STORY OF JASMINE”

Become a PATRON to Continue the story.

Jasmine Snippet #90

The Mounted Warriors Faction Card and the Attack Event card from “Jasmine: The Battle for the Mid-Realm” collector card game.

New notes for The Story of Jasmine continue:

Uncharacteristically, Lt. Cartwell arrived at the clearing before his men and witnessed Thorne’s brutal kick and Glynn’s resolve to kill it. Although the wounded dragon lizard was hurting, it wiggled away quite expertly. With an already bloodied battle axe, Glynn was prepared to take this opportunity to strike it down once and for all. But a couple heart beats or more before Glynn raised his mighty battle axe, Ieithoedd, to cleave the creature in two, Lt. Cartwell clearly heard the wounded dragon speak to him. “Save me now…!”

No longer than it took him to hear the command, Lt. Cartwell acted in one swift motion. He dove from his horse, rolled his body mid-air, scooped up the bleeding dragon-lizard and ran with him, out of the fray, blood streaming. The Lieutenant was already gone when Glynn’s axe hit the ground.

The Lieutenant’s horse quickly followed his master, back in the direction they came, but was nervous around the pitiful creature. Lt. Cartwell took off his jacket, wrapped Gryth within it, and managed to remount his reluctant horse. As he rode away, with his arms wrapped tightly around the wounded creature, the Lieutenant called to his men, “Our orders are to apprehend them. Do the best you can. I’m told we have back-up on the way.”

His men were momentarily puzzled.Why would any leader leave in the midst of a fight? Why was protecting that creature so important to the Lieutenant? These and questions like it popped into their brains. Save for the Lieutenant, most of these men were well-trained, seasoned mercenaries, whom Bardulf had picked up for his army. They well understood what was expected of them. They were loyal to those who paid them. So they were loyal to Bardulf. Each wondered why they agreed to such a low fee, and secretly wondered if they had not been magically induced to lower their prices.

Most of the trip had been so boring and uneventful, Lt. Cartwell’s men were itching for action. They knew what to do. Would they reach a wide enough space to maneuver their horses into their customary wedge attack formation? At least, they knew who to look for. Their primary target was a young blonde maiden. And there she was, riding a horse away from the clearing in the other direction. They also saw a dwarf on the ground with a battle-axe and two male riders. They initially thought their numbers could easily take three fighters and one woman.

When they rolled as a group into the clearing to attack, they noticed large, ugly things crawling down from the rocks, like giant clumsy spiders with clubs. Once on level ground, these ugly giants swarmed with frenzy and ferocity. With the Lieutenant absent from the fight, they were going to have some big problems posed by the new threat. No longer did they possess superior numbers. When did Lt. Cartwell say back-up would arrive?

© 2018 DARLENE

I AM A FAN of “THE STORY OF JASMINE”

Become a Patron to Continue the story.

 

Jasmine Snippet #89

The Story of Jasmine notes continue:

Thorne’s eyes never left Gavin. She was aware of the battle, and knew her hawk was in the midst of being victorious against the foul creature. Her combat-trained hawk was about to finish off the evil-looking black lizard when that damned girl healed it!  Why did she do that? Thorne saw it all happen. Gavin broke off his attack when it landed on the head of Jasmine’s horse. And, for but an instant, she saw the staff glow, just as Jasmine touched the creature’s heart with her hand. The ring glowed too!

Thorne had made it to the clearing when she saw that horrible black, evil creature suddenly spring away from Jasmine. In a flash, he was already in mid-attack, when Thorne called a warning to her retreating bird. The dragon-lizard struck such a powerful blow, the bird instantly fell from the sky, pursued by Gryth.

Thorne heard no cries from her hawk when he landed on the ground with a thud. Gryth pinned Gavin, concentrated his breath and breathed into Gavin’s nose. Momentarily stunned, the hawk still had plenty of fight left in him. But he was no match for Gryth’s poisoned breath. As the hawk took its last breath of air, Thorne dismounted and ran to her bird. With all her might, she kicked the creature away from her pet. The lizard-dragon shrieked in pain and writhed away. While he rolled, Thorne swung at it with her sword, but missed.

*  *  *

Lt. Cartwell arrived more quickly than his troup. He had witnessed Thorne’s brutal kick and Glynn’s impending action. Although the wounded dragon lizard was hurting, it wiggled away quite expertly. With an already bloodied battle axe, Glynn was prepared to take this opportunity to strike it down, once and for all. But a heart beat or two before Glynn raised Ieithoedd, his mighty battle axe, to cleave the creature in two, Lt. Cartwell clearly heard the dragon speak to him. “Help me out of here, quickly…!”

No longer than it took him to hear the command, he acted in one swift motion. Lt. Cartwell dove from his horse, rolled his body mid-air, scooped up the bleeding dragon-lizard and ran with him, blood streaming, out of the fray, leaving in the direction he had arrived. Glynn’s axe hit the ground.

The Lieutenant’s horse followed its master, but was nervous around the creature. Lt. Cartwell took off his jacket, wrapped Gryth within it, and managed to remount his reluctant horse. As he rode away with the wounded creature, the Lieutenant called to his men, “Our orders are to apprehend them. Do the best you can, we have back-up on the way.”

His men were momentarily puzzled. Why was protecting the creature so important to the Lieutenant? Why would their leader leave in the midst of a fight? These and questions like it popped into their minds. Most of these men were well-trained mercenaries that Bardulf had picked up for his army and they well understood their job. They were loyal to the one who paid them. So they were loyal to Bardulf. Each wondered why they agreed to such a low fee, and secretly wondered if they had not been magically induced to lower their price.

Most of the trip had been boring and they were ready for action. They knew what to do, and usually attacked in a wedge formation. Would they reach a wide enough space to maneuver their horses like this? They knew to look for and head towards their primary target, a blonde maiden. They originally thought their numbers could easily take three fighters and two women.

But then, they noticed large, ugly things emerging from the rocks. Quickly re-assessing the situation, with the Lieutenant’s absence, they were going to have big problems. They no longer possessed superior numbers.

© 2018 DARLENE

I AM A FAN of “THE STORY OF JASMINE”

Become a Patron to Continue the story.

Jasmine Snippet #88

Another snippet for “The Story of Jasmine,”

Bardulf’s men, lead by Lt. Cartwell, were stirred by the sounds of aerial combat. At first, they were only focused on the sky upward. Then the Lieutenant was the first to notice some commotion further up ahead. After calling upon his men to be keen, he shouted, “target ahead, Prepare to engage.” He thought victory was easily within their grasp. They picked up speed and quickly closed in on the five. It was only a matter of minutes.

*  *  *

In the meanwhile, Glynn quickly dismounted and got his horse off to the side. If the others could follow his example, in the minutes before they’d be overtaken, they might gain a slight advantage against their pursuers.  If they could but take the offensive… Glynn was barking orders to that effect as he headed towards an outcropping of boulders to conceal himself. Glynn heard a noise and instantly readied his weapon.

With adrenaline coursing through the dwarf’s system, he charged whatever was behind that rock. Turned out, a large man-like thing with a nasty-looking club glared back at him menacingly, ready to strike him dead with a foul blow. For being so large, this warrior was amazingly capable of blending into his surroundings. Glynn finished off his enemy with one, well aimed cleave. As he noticed more of these hideous people peeking from their hiding places, Glynn instantly realized their grim situation, “Aho,” he cried, “A trap!”

*  *  *

Two flying creatures were locked in mortal combat, clawing and biting each other mid-air. When Jasmine appeared out in the open, the leathery creature flew to her, and rasped out a piteous call. It seemed to bow to her.Jasmine was startled. The poor creature was clawed, bitten up, very bloody and badly scratched. Was this his appeal to seek her protection?  This was not what she expected. He’s a loving creature. In an act of compassion, Jasmine stroked the bloodied beast with her ringed hand, getting its blood on her. She forgot she had her staff in the other hand. Jasmine’s grace offered the creature solace. This momentary interaction had the effect of reinvigorating Gryth.

© 2018 DARLENE

I AM A FAN of “THE STORY OF JASMINE”

Ten Dragons

Hello Fans!

I’m very happy my Ten Dragons t-shirt design is very popular, at least with the parents. A hardy THANK YOU to all my Texas fans who bought a t-shirt!

I’m really happy it has turned out so well. I remember working out the details as being very tedious and laborius, but the result is well worth it.

This year, at my NTRPGConX Convention booth, I’m planning to sell some color reproductions of this design, just in case anyone attending wants a signed copy.

See you there in a couple of weeks.

D

Design to celebrate the 10th year anniversary of North Texas RPG Con X

Jasmine Snippet #87

Notes for The Story of Jasmine continue:

Ahearn was uneasy. All morning Rogan had monopolized Jasmine’s attention, thwarting his intentions on several counts. First, he wanted to ride closer to Jasmine, more towards the front of the caravan. He had not expected the group to act so jovial. It made it harder on his conscience to carry out his devious plan. Jasmine was usually walled up inside that cloak of hers. It was going to be so easy. Just grab the reins of her horse and they’d be out of there before the ambush commenced. He smirked at the thought that their last memories of him would be in gratitude that he successfully rescued Jasmine from their fate.

The hawk spotted something. They had not yet arrived at the ambush site, which was nearby. Ahearn felt excitement. The trap was nearly ready to be sprung, but for that damned bird.

The hawk’s piercing screams were answered by another more disturbing call, which sounded like a cross between a crocodile and a lion’s roar. Everyone surged ahead to try to see what was happening.

When he caught a glimpse of it, Glynn shouted an alarm. It was Gryth, the creature Jasmine spoke about only last night. “Beware!” He shouted, “Bardulf’s soldiers are nearby! Ride ahead to the opening in the trees. Well make our stand there.” At Glynn’s urging, everyone charged ahead.

Ahearn was stunned. This was a possibility he had not planned for. They were riding at top speed towards the ambush site. This was all wrong. The cannibals are apt to believe he double-crossed them. At first, he just intended to slow things down by getting in front of everyone. Then, damned if he didn’t sense the vibration of earth being pounded by hooves behind them! He charged past Rogan, almost knocking Rogan and his horse into the brush.

Glynn arrived at the point where the road opened up into an incredible vista with a blue sky. The sun nearly blinded everyone who emerged from the thicket. When Glynn reached this place, he was dismounting to find a place among the rocks and shouted instructions for Jasmine to find a hiding place as well.

Before Jasmine could respond, they heard the blood-curdling cries of two creatures locked in mortal combat and Thorne screaming from behind, the name of her pet.

© 2018 DARLENE

I AM A FAN of “THE STORY OF JASMINE”

Jasmine Snippet #86

Notes for The Story of Jasmine continue:

Bardulf was now ready. He took the restraints off of Gryth’s leg. He looked Gryth straight in the eye and visualized the Ring of Emeth, very clearing in his head. “Go find.” Bardulf bid as he launched Gryth up in the air. Through the Crystal Ball, Bardulf reassured Gryth that he was to finally go search for the ring.

Earlier, Bardulf dispatched some troops to the White Throne mountain, hoping to garner more information. When his men discovered two of the best horses missing, he’d ordered a few men to follow the road to catch up with and punish the horse thieves. At this late hour, he enlisted the aid of more nearby troops to follow behind.

Swartzborg was east and south of UR. It would take some time for Gryth to reach UR, and longer yet to reach Oxted. He did not know the creature’s endurance. He let Gryth stop to take rests if he couldn’t find an updraft to float upon. If Gryth followed the ring, it was in a general north westernly direction. Bardulf did not let him take the straightest course.

He wanted his men to follow Gryth as his backup. So he steered Gryth to stay near the main roads, and close to areas and land marks familiar to Bardulf or on the maps he was consulting. Gryth followed the usual westward route. Bardulf aimed to intercept his handful of men who had been ordered to apprehend some thieves. Those men were the closest in proximity to his ultimate target.

His men had traveled most of the way through the stretch of the great plains when Gryth caught up with them. A young Lieutenant Bondfeld was in charge of those men. It was a point of pride for Lt. Bondfeld to notice everything around him, at all times. On this day, his keen observations were rewarded. He recognized Bardulf’s pet and stayed his men from raising their weapons.

The Lieutenant looked up and addressed the creature. “G-G-Grit, you are called?” he asked. As Bardulf directed Gryth to move toward the Lieutenant, a gurgling sound came from the throat of the beast. Gryth dropped a weighted parchment down to him.

To unroll the parchment, the Lieutenant had to break the thick wax seal of Bardulf, the High Reigning Lord King himself! His orders were to abandon their present pursuit and simply follow the dragon-lizard until it stopped — no matter where it lead them.”

The Lieutenant nodded as he read further, “When the little dragon stops by certain people and does not move on, immediately apprehend those people, keep the one with the ring alive.” When the Lieutenant completed the message, he saluted the dragon, then made ready to carry out his new orders.

Bardulf’s message also informed the Lieutenant that Gryth was his eyes. Bardulf could see everything through the eyes of the little dragon and now he looked directly upon the Lieutenant as he read that very message and could also see his men. The Lieutenant was bright, inquisitive, practical, and very rattled.

Following a dragon-lizard was at least different. His men easily fell into the change of routine. They were encouraged through good humor. Lt. Bondfeld wore his most serious face and his mannerisms became more formal. Given his seriousness, his men became doubly amused to have witnessed the absurdity of their superior saluting a lizard.

I AM A FAN of “THE STORY OF JASMINE”

Jasmine Snippet #85

Notes for The Story of Jasmine continue:

In the wee hours of the morning, Ahearn had been first to arrive back at the forest camp. After a few words with Glynn, Ahearn settled in with his horse, using his saddle for a backrest. Rogan arrived just before dawn and pretty much did the same. Glynn did not see any need to break camp before the return of the warrior maiden. He was sure she would show up, eventually. He was prepared to wait the whole next day, if necessary. He felt better if they did not move.

Glynn decided not to worry about the sudden appearance of any flying dragon lizard. Like many creatures, the louder someone is, the more they are bluffing. Unless it could spit fire or sting, the most it could do was to bite and claw. Glynn was positive a well-aimed arrow could stop it mid-flight.

When Thorne finally arrived in the early morning, she brought with her a loud surprise. The camp was treated to the piercing sounds of a hawk. Woken from the deep slumber, confused, Glynn allowed himself, he immediately fumbled for his weapon. He looked for a small dragon but only saw a large bird. When he was finally able to collect his wits about him, Glynn saw Thorne in the company of a large hawk.

“I helped to raise this proud, beautiful majestic bird.” she said, petting the bird’s breast feathers with the side of her index finger, “Gavin will help us navigate what’s ahead in the deep dark forest, won’t you, Gavin?” Jasmine was delighted, Glynn, interested. Rogan showed mild surprise and Ahearn, consternation.

However, by the time everyone was underway, they left more jovial. That’s because Thorne had another surprise up her sleeve. She remembered to replenish food stuffs for the group and, uncharacteristically, did something Rogan thought was impossible. She made breakfast of her own accord. Nobody, save Rogan, had tasted anything like the unexpected treat of Armildian cooking.

The dishes used sharp spices cooked with exotic-tasting, colorful fruits, nuts and bread. It was also nourishing, completely satisfying and delicious. Suddenly the morning’s usual start changed into a more optimistic adventure. Thorne was amazed at how well food always contributed so quickly towards feelings of comradrie. Using food was a trick Thorne learned to use if she wanted to gain control and advantage in small group situations.

For the first forty minutes, Rogan spoke exclusively to Jasmine, giving her a taste of his full court treatment. Glynn rolled his eyes, but Jasmine seemed to enjoy the talk. Thorne felt a chill as she watched Rogan lavish such courtly language and admiring attention upon the lass. Thorne became so intent on listening to his conversation, she nearly forgot to launch Gavin.

© 2018 DARLENE

I AM A FAN of “THE STORY OF JASMINE”

The Energy Leads to JASMINE

“Follow The Energy,” and “Pay Attention from where the Energy Flows”

This week, I followed that advice and I received a surprise. It’s a surprise because its so obvious when you think about it, but totally invisible to me on the level I was working.

I followed the energy to another vantage point, a part of my past — to a 38-year old saga called “The Story of Jasmine.”  I recently discovered a box I had long neglected. When I opened the box, I discovered it was filled with notes for the continuation of my Jasmine story originally published in 1980. The box contained a pile of hand-written notes and scraps of writing, some loose and some in notebooks — everything that did not see the light of day from long before.

The Story of Jasmine is about the young Princess of UR who jumped headlong into her destiny. She is accompanied by a dwarf, her devoted protector. The plot revolves around a ring that the dark prince Bardulf, her father’s enemy from a neighboring territory, managed to place on her finger, hoping to keep the princess spell bound. Through magical means, Bardulf succeeded in taking down the Kingdom of UR, but the princess escapes his clutches.

J is for JASMINE

A fugitive, the Princess of UR willingly leaves her prior life behind and accepts her destiny as a Lady in White, thus becoming Jasmine. The title refers to the highest and most revered one within the ancient Order of the White Flower. However, that Order has not existed for hundreds of years. Jasmine wonders if her new identity is beyond her depths.

Jasmine needs to fully integrate the new concentration of power she feels growing within her entire being while also being present to the daily dangers that seek to destroy her. Jasmine needs to fully integrate the new power she feels growing within her being and also be present to the daily dangers that seek to destroy her.

Besides the dwarf, her other traveling companions — a battle-maiden, a royal dark elf, and a spy for the deadly Fire Queen — have vowed to protect Jasmine, for secret reasons of their own.

Beginnings

At the end of January of this year (2018), I decided to publish each little scrap of writing I found within the old box, one snippet a day. As of May 6th, I’m up to my 85th Snippet. At the moment, it’s becoming more of a collaboration between myself and my younger self. It’s necessary, because there are a lot of holes, like missing dialog / action / explanations needing to be filled in. So Jasmine is both old and new.

I could have sworn that I was going after a market that appreciates my Powerful Women’s Coloring book. That may still be the case, but a desired connection was unexpectedly paused and I found myself returning to the Jasmine story, again and again. Since I had to actually input in text daily, I became more and more focused on the story. I was giving it the energy of my attention.

Fans

So it was in the back of my mind when I was learning the technical aspects behind the various methods there are to collect friendly e-mail addresses. I decided to experiment with Jasmine. Now, after I publish each snippet, I have a place where people can become “A Fan of Jasmine.” It not that difficult to do and I was curious if a passive opt-In would work.

And damned if I didn’t get some responses! I have fans! Who knew? And my fans are willing to help me put Jasmine out there in the public eye! Wow! There is energy here! They’re pointing out to me how close to a ready-made book product I actually have! Why did this never occur to me before? That’s so astounding. I was so close to it, I could not see. Ohhhhh, that’s what they mean when they say, one “cannot see the forest for the trees…!”

[Ha ha ha…So now, I should start thinking in terms of offering some JASMINE swag.]

Why?

Would it be putting on the brakes to examine this a little more — or do I just enjoy the energy while it lasts? Or is concentration and focusing the entire point? Energy begets energy. If I stop myself to ask questions, will I lessen the energy in the act of doing so? If movement slows, one apt to believe “it was just not meant to be.” This reminds me that we are always in control. We are the authors of our own life.

Why Jasmine? Is Jasmine relevant today? Who knows? Maybe there’s something in there for someone who needs to hear a story with a younger voice. Maybe the archetypes will resonate with a newer generation. Maybe the story needed to season in order to flourish.

This older / younger collaboration with myself is a tad strange, but fascinating. It’s like personal archaeology, uncovering treasures through the eyes, perspective, and writing of a young woman. The plot and basic story line already originated in the 1980s. I’m adding depth to the characters and adding description where suitable. The energy is definitely there!

History

Once upon a time, 12 Installments of The Story of Jasmine Illustrated Fantasy Adventure were published in The Dragon magazine, once a month for a year, beginning in May of 1980.

When the contract was not renewed, the story continued in my mind and it morphed into an interactive card game. I divided the characters into four factions and “JASMINE: The Battle for the Mid-Realm” collector card game, became the result of that. It actually gave me the excuse to create 112-miniature paintings. My card game won a Strategists Award in 1982 for the Best New Game.

From my many moves hinder and yon, I held onto many things. Some may say, too many things. But I think the box I found of Jasmine writing might end up being a great and rare treasure.

I still retain some of my original stock of card games… I also have a manuscript, fans, art and the creative desire. So everything is looking good and I’m feeling pretty good too!

Jasmine is like a care package gifted to me by my younger self.

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For anyone who wants to read the story from the beginning of the snippets, they are archived under the Categories of “Jasmine and Role-Playing Games” and “The Creative Process.” 

Just Look to the column on the right, you can find them in the CATEGORIES drop down menu.