The Birth of Jasmine Poster

Now Available

This Special Calligraphic piece of artwork, “Awaken–The Birth of Jasmine,” uniquely combines story writing, calligraphy / lettering, with illustration and layout. It is a study combining letters and art, using medieval sensibilities.

The lettering I used is based upon gothic calligraphy, a type of black-letter that was used in medieval northern Europe. These letters tend to be dense and strong, making the twin columns of text are visually strong enough to look like columns holding up a colorful archway.

Inside the niche, stands a young woman in a white dress with a red velvet cloak, holding a staff. A representation like this is reminiscent of how medieval artists and architects portrayed important saints and personages along with the tools of their trade.

_______________________

The original art was completed in 1984 and appeared in “Lettering Arts in the ’80’s” Ampersand Publications, MN. In 2008, I digitized it and in 2018, I’m making it available as a poster.

© 2018 DARLENE

Jasmine Snippet #84

Notes for The Story of Jasmine continue:

Solshigtr turned his attention to two older people and a woman his age and conferred with them. Solshigtr resumed his composure and walked towards Ahearn. Ahearn was considered tall, but the Witchleins were more than a foot taller. The chieftain towered above him. Looking down upon Ahearn, Solshigtr spoke, “How will you save our lives?”

Ahearn said one word, and so very softly so that only the chieftain could hear him. He spoke that word gingerly, as if uttering it revealed a great and awe-encompassing truth. “Magic.” He said as he let the word linger on his lips.

Ahearn followed his hushed utterance with a louder pronouncement, “It is your own fault if you get hurt by the dwarf or anyone else with weapons. But you have no defense against the magic of the maiden.” He lingered on the word, “magic.” The Witchleins stirred uneasily. They did not like what they heard and disagreed. They did not belief the maiden was capable of magic.

Ahearn quieted them after he reminded them the maiden carried a powerful staff. No one could argue the truth of that statement. Since a female held it, they had not focused upon the possible purpose behind her control of the staff. It seemed to them, Ahearn might have a point.

“Alright, what is your bargain? Solshigtr asked at last.

“Yes!” Ahearn congratulated himself, letting out a small sigh of relief. In that moment, Ahearn achieved success. He became a person to these tribesmen. For all that, he merely bargained safe passage for himself and the “magic  maiden” while the rest were left to fend for themselves.

“So we feast on the bones of your companions, while you and the female go free?”

Ahearn nodded grimly. “They are not persons to me.”

Satisfied, a time and place for the ambush was set. Not surprizingly, they chose their usual ambush place, a large cleared, inviting spot, near the location of sacred land on the other side of a gully connected by an old bridge. The main road continued onward past the bridge. The site happened to be a little more than an hour further up the road from where they stopped for the night. In fact, the Witchleins expected the party of travelers to have made it all the way to their ambush site that night.

The cannibals carefully kept the road trimmed with thorny bushes and brambles. They were massively disappointed when Jasmine’s party decided to travel no further and set up camp where they stood. This was unexpected. The Wichtleins could not conceive of anyone camping in the middle of the road. Attacking during the day was never their preference. Mid-night attacks were so much more effective to carry out, and much easier — especially when their victims were asleep.   

After striking his bargain, the Dark Elf returned to where Jasmine and Glynn rested for the night. Once he settled in, he slept so soundly, he scarcely heard Rogan arrive.

© 2018 DARLENE

I AM A FAN of “THE STORY OF JASMINE”

Jasmine Snippet #83

Notes continue for The Story of Jasmine:

As soon as Ahearn excused himself from camp, he headed straight toward the Lair of the Wichtleins, a disturbing tribe of people who were not above cannibalism. Ahearn had encountered tribes like this before in this primordial forest, when he traveled with his brother, Aiden (it seemed) ages ago. Through Aiden, he knew a lot about what to expect. His brother told him the Wichtlein tribes exercised a strict code of conduct and were comprised of three or four extended families.

Ahearn was fortunate to remember what those tribes loved and what they feared. Wichtleins loved to trade. Deep down, they were all mercenaries. Ahearn needed to think of something they were willing to trade for. If he had something they wanted, they’d fall in and act as any other merchants would and barter.

His brother Aiden was the first to negotiate a deal with the Wichtlein clans on behalf of the Dockalfarians. It happened in the northern part of this dark forest. In exchange for sacks of thick wine fermented from the fruit of a koaklula tree, Aiden bade them collect information. Essentially, the ever-curious Witchleins were recruited as spies. That’s how The Dockalfarians received every scrap of news, including what was happening in neighboring lands.

Once Ahearn was shuffled in front of the chieftain, the chieftain spoke, “I do not have a contract with you. You are not a person to me.” The Wichtlein code had a litany of phrases and formal declarations they would go through, always ending with “… You are not a person…” Aiden advised never to wait until after the recitation ended.

So Ahearn jumped right in, interrupting them immediately, “But oh, I AM a person AND a friend to you, Chief Solshigtr.” Ahearn was just as masterful at word inflection as Rogan. The chieftain was startled that his personal name had been spoken, and involunarily backed away. Ahearn looked at him cooly and without emotion. He excelled at this. Fortunately, he knew enough of the Wichtlein’s language to catch the chieftain’s name. Knowing and using the Chieftain’s name properly was imperative for Ahearn’s success.

Deciding to take things one step further, Ahearn repeated his words again, only this time, more slowly, and in their coded language. He only knew this important greeting phrase because his brother made him memorize it. For years, the phrase served as the brothers’ secret password. It was a password still, of sorts. Ahearn recited it beautifully in combination with the name of  Solshigtr.

Ahearn remembered something Aiden always bragged, “Only persons of wit and cleverness will survive their first meeting.” Ahearn shuddered to recall another thing his brother warned, “there are never any hostages.” Since Aiden’s success, the Dockalfarians discovered that lawyers and merchants had the best instincts to deal successfully with these ritualistic cannibalistic tribes.

Success would be his only if they asked him to bargain. To survive the meeting, it was vital Ahearn use their codes to his advantage. To them, only Wichtleins were persons. They could never eat a person. The only ones outside their tribe who could achieve person status were negotiators/traders. To receive recognition to negotiate meant one was a person. Hence, Ahearn meant to win person status, determined to be categorized as “not meat” to these savages.

The Chief informed Ahearn they had been aware of them long before they entered the woods. “Friend, Solshigtr,” Ahearn answered, “I know you believe that I have nothing to bargain because my life is already yours.” Chief Solshigtr nodded and smiled.

“But,” Ahearn continued, “my bargain is to save your lives not mine…”

© 2018 DARLENE

I AM A FAN of “THE STORY OF JASMINE”

Expect the Unexpected

Just Published! Available Now!

This is an early work of DARLENE’s 1980s art, The Alchemist’s Daughter, which I reworked digitally in 2008. As a Greeting Card, it is called, “Expect the Unexpected.”
It’s a fun image about a girl who, no matter how gifted in the alchemical arts of her father, still jumps around excitedly when it comes to discovering an unexpected creature on her person. So focused was she on the otherworldly, that she didn’t notice something crawling up her arm. 

At one time or another, everyone’s concentration suddenly gets disrupted by something unexpected. That is the charm of this art. As a greeting card, it infers that one is extremely surprised to hear some news.
To take it one step further. Often, we need a wake-up call that puts us back on track to stop and look up once in a while and notice what’s going on around you.

 

Jasmine Snippet #82

The Story of Jasmine Snippets continue:

The Special Card, “Ring of Emeth” from the JASMINE: The Battle of the Mid-Realm Collector Card game.

After a time, Jasmine broke the silence, “When I was underground with the Order of the White Flower, the sisters were very real to me. You say you did not see them. But I spoke with them at length and we had some truly revealing conversations. Is it possible I only spoke to them because of this ring? And maybe it was the ring’s doing that turned those men to stone?”

The fire popped. Jasmine paused long enough to take a breath, “They gave me amazing information about ways to diminish the effect of the metal around my finger. They repeated what the Guardians of Wisdom recommended: to keep the ring under water or under earth. Somehow, being in the open air with the sun out will heighten it’s influence over me. So it’s no wonder I’m feeling more myself… it’s much darker here and there is much more moisture. The ring’s effect has already dampened.”

“We need to get that evil thing off of you.” Glynn said with a sense of urgency.

“I don’t think it’s evil. The visions of the ring are not nightmarish.” Jasmine replied softly, “The lands are breathlessly beautiful; stunning beyond belief. It seems to me, I can hear the denizens of another land speak to me. They tell me another realm exists. To be able to go back and forth at will between the two worlds, requires a controller in possession of the king’s crown and a dragon lizard to power it.”

“So?” Glynn asked.

“So… I have seen that dragon lizard! He belongs to Bardulf. When that thing crowed, Glynn, he blasted me out of the dreamscape I found myself within. What is more, I was able to distinguish the enchantment Bardulf placed upon me. Bardulf just enhanced the ring’s effect by writing himself into the story he wanted me to follow.”

“What?”

“Yes! I know! But those details don’t matter right now. What’s important is this dragon-lizard is attracted to the ring! I think it’s the real reason Bardulf placed it on my finger. So he can track me down using a dragon for a blood hound! Fortunately, he could not track me in the underground caverns, nor at the underground temple, and less so when I was alongside a river or a stream.

“It is strange. I half expected something to happen during our trek through the prairie fields and open spaces. I know, that’s when I was exceptionally vulnerable to being discovered. I don’t know why, but even though we are within a safer wooded area, I feel the time is imminently close for a visit from the creature.”

This revelation made Glynn uneasy. He looked around the camp suspiciously. Jasmine reassured him that the little dragon would not hide. Instead, it would probably announce itself immediately upon it’s arrival with a loud, thundering squawk. That bit of news did not make the dwarf feel much better.

Wanting to suggest something a little more uplifting, Jasmine ventured, “Before the little dragon arrives, I plan to obtain advice about him from the winds.” That bit of information did not stir him either.

Jasmine finally thought of a good way to lighten the atmosphere. She laughed, “Isn’t it wonderful to share a space where three extra people aren’t glowering, suspicious, and charged up about each other?” Glynn finally shared her laugh. He too, appreciated the stillness of having no negative vibes or heavy emotional residue to interrupt or disturb peaceful slumber.

Yes, nodded Glynn. Without the silent clamor, it will certainly be harder to stay vigilent while those goons are away. Still, he could read the night much better without their interference. They tended to affect the electrical bio-field surrounding them. He read there was danger all around. Nothing new there. After a while, Glynn convinced himself, that the three’s psychic noise would have an effective repelling quality on any mental probes directed their way. It certainly had a negative effect on him!

Without the “bungling shield” created by the three, as Glynn laughed to call it, we’re now more prone to being found. He thought of a modest solution to try. He emptied a small sack of its contents, scooped up dirt and rocks to fill it. He wetted the mixture with his canteen and made a muddy paste. Then he awakened Jasmine.

“Here,” he said as he pushed the dirty sac towards the bleary-eyed girl. He took her hand and submerged it in the bag. The feel of mud on her fingers instantly shocked Jasmine into wakefulness. She responded by jerking her hand away.

“No,” Glynn said gently, “keep your ring hand in the bag in the mud and I will sleep better.”

© 2018 DARLENE

I AM A FAN of “THE STORY OF JASMINE”

Jasmine Snippet #81

Here are some more notes for The Story of Jasmine:

While Glynn poked the fire, Jasmine wondered if she could possibly be homesick. Since the relentless psychic noise had quieted, she was free to think about other things. She’d only been there for less than a day, yet she felt so much more at home, (than anywhere else in the world,) with her tangible ghost sisters, in the belly of an underground temple she had scarcely visited.

If she was still a princess, she’d demand to stay there. But she was not a princess. Not any longer. Before she met her sisters, she renounced all privilege. Thus far during their trip, save for that one thought, no doubts or regrets surfaced about her loss of princess status. She was something more. In the circular throne room, members of the Order of the White Flower collectively materialized before her. At first, she thought she had been sleeping when they appeared. Then she must have sleep-walked back or forward in time, caught within the power of a waking dream.

“Was I only an emptied cup to be filled?” She asked herself.

It seemed to her she became another person. She felt different. Her thoughts strayed around the events of that night. She traced the change in herself to originate from that happening at the Order of the White Flower’s ancient temple grounds. Jasmine noticed she felt a marked change in her demeanor. Of course, who wouldn’t be altered by such an event? But she had no peer to talk to. She searched her mind for some story or advice Ermengarde could have left her in a situation such as this.

Jasmine puzzled over many things as she went over and over what happened that night. That night, when she spoke, a voice (her voice?) originated from her belly. The voice was booming and resonated throughout her rib cage. Vibrating thus, she felt the power in the delivery of her words as well as in the words themselves. That night, with the light of the glowing moon behind her, atop the roof of the ancient temple on the White Throne Mountain, she spoke deeply and purposefully among a chorus of her sisters’ voices…

Again, Jasmine shook herself out of her revery and brought herself back to the present. She sighed to herself, “Ahearn thinks I’m a conquest; Thorne thinks I’m a fool, and Rogan thinks I’m a pawn. Even so, no body knows who I truly am. Everyone defers to me because I used to be a king’s daughter. But I’m so much more now. None see because I keep to myself concentrating all my available reserve of powers to control the effects of the ring on my finger!”

For days, as they traveled on a wind-swept plain during the day, Jasmine depleted her energy reserves in focused concentration. Jasmine concluded the elements of air and fire, which prevailed in their journey, resonated with the ring to enhance their effect.

© 2018 DARLENE

I AM A FAN of “THE STORY OF JASMINE”

Jasmine Snippet #80

The Story of Jasmine notes proceed:

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

The moment Thorne spied Gavin, she knew something serious was up. She disentangled herself as fast as she could from her traveling companions and followed the hawk. She chris crossed her path, in case Rogan would try to locate her tracks. When she finally returned to the road, she picked up speed as she turned her stallion loose to run.

This is where her horse, Mindy, excelled. None was faster. Even Rogan’s stallion, who proved to be a worthy horse, could never best Mindy in a race. But they never raced. Thorne wanted to keep her horse’s exceptional penchant for running all to herself.

At last, the bird landed in some trees next to a clearing where there were three battle maidens waiting. “Ambassador Thornekill?” queried the rider in the middle, “Oh Ambassador! Praises be, we caught you in time!” Thorne recognized the voice of the maiden with the copper-colored hair.

“Hail Clara,” Thorne called, “What urgent news awaits me?”

The riders trotted their horses closer to each other. “Come,” said Clara, “visit our camp and we’ll tell tell you everything while you, your horse … and Gavin rest.”

Thorne accepted their hospitality. It wasn’t long before she was eating diltsfef wrapped in flat bread. How long was it since she enjoyed diltsfef? In between savored bites, Thorne listened. She understood that the Northern road had just been compromised by Melantha’s forces.

The Armildians did not want any of their own to fall into her hands, and especially not their Ambassador. Clara chose Gavin, a trained hawk she knew Thorne was sure to recognize, to intercept her before her party took that road. Clara’s plan worked.

As the news unfurled, Thorne’s eyes grew wider. “Gavin may have been too late,” Thorne told them, “if we had not continued west, instead or north. That change of route made little sense at the time, but now I perceive it was the right choice.”

“Praises be!” they agreed.

“Gavin found me right before I set foot into the Hungry Forest.” Thorne continued, “it IS fortuitous that we are now together. Can I trust you to give the report I am about to divulge to the High Council?”

While declaring their devotion, Clara and the others responded by making a secret hand-gesture. “Good,” said Thorne, “Here is my report. My negotiation with the King of UR never took place. King Aranbrod was no longer in power by the time we arrived in Oxted. UR has fallen. I cannot report whether or not our preparations would have met with success.”

“This bodes ill … So the rumors were true?!”

“Yes, they are true. Bardulf’s soldiers enjoy a very public presence.”

“We know, we got wind of a group of Bardulf’s soldiers quickly making their way across the plains about a day behind you.”

“They probably think we’re horse thieves.” Thorn quipped.  I’m sure it was through magical means that an upstart named Bardulf-Thaatur was able to wrest control of the Kingdom. As yet, we don’t know if he has a relationship with Melantha, but he is one not to be trusted.”

“We heard rumors but we could not verify anything. Where is Rogan the Red?”

“Oh him? Rogan is … Rogan. I took steps to assure he could not follow me. But he still has a place in our party. I am traveling with three others besides Rogan. And I believe the daughter of King Aranbrod of UR is among them. She has a dwarf protector, probably a mercenary, Glynn Oakenshield and there is a Dockalfarian royal of all things! I find it hard to believe we are all together by happenstance.

“I found myself in the perfect position of keeping tabs on all these people and determine what they really want, Rogan included. I plan to disengage his services the next time I see him. In the interests of our Nation, I placed the Princess under Armildian protection. The Council will appreciate the political advantage and wisdom in assuring her well-being. So, you see, I must reunite with the group as soon as possible.”

“Ambassador,” her hosts said with alarm, “you and your horse require more rest. Besides, we can help you with time constraints by showing you a little-known short cut into the forest from the south. Mayzelle is familiar with all the Forest pathways for quite a distance. I believe she knows one that leads up towards the bend of the Hungry Forest. We understand the route your party is taking is very, very slow. If you allow her to guide you, you will make good time.”

When Thorne finally gave in, Clara was triumphant, “So now, rest, stretch your muscles and replenish yourself. Have some more diltsfef.” She started humming an old Armildian folk tune, which immediately relaxed Thorne enough to allow herself a full glass of chewy beer.

“If the soldiers were chasing you,” Clara reassured her, “To continue west isn’t the usual choice. Bardulf’s men will surely think you took the north road, sealing their fates.”

“Of this, we cannot be sure. All they have to do is follow the tracks.”

“Those types follow orders. Soldier men can’t think for themselves. Men are creatures of habit, they’d assume they were following you north. They will not take the time to vary their intended course.” Clara’s chatter was quite persuasive, especially when the light struck her hair in places to shine the same honey-color as her eyes.

“…That your group chose to travel west was completely unknown to us. Praises be to Gavin who knew how to find you.” Clara was beaming. “Gavin is under my  care now. He’s an exceptional bird.”

“Oh yes,” Thorne said, leaning back into some pillows, “exceptional!”

© 2018 DARLENE

I AM A FAN of “THE STORY OF JASMINE”

Jasmine Snippet #79

The Story of Jasmine notes continue:

In the meanwhile, right before the bright terrain transitioned into a darker woodland, Thorne suddenly decided to leave the group and ride south. She said she wanted to reach the nearest Armildian outpost. Everyone wondered the same thing. Why had Thorne just now developed a desperate need to receive news of her people? Why didn’t she just turn south at the crossroads when she had then chance? Thorne profusely reassured everyone that she planned to return and would catch up with them soon, perhaps the next morning.

While everyone focused their attention saying their ‘adieus’ to Thorne, Rogan disappeared. He just slipped noiselessly away. From the tracks, Ahearn concluded Rogan had moved in a direction opposite to Thorne. So it was up to the three of them — Ahearn, Glynn and Jasmine — to enter a dark, foreboding forest, which sat, like a wall on the edge of the great plains.

The woods quickly gave way to forest. The canopy of the branches became so dense, it was difficult to tell when evening fell. They decided to make camp as soon as possible and searched for a clear space to accommodate one. As it turned out, they could not find any suitable place because an excess of thorns and brambles always seem to trim the road.

Jasmine felt a desperate need to stop and just halted at a place where the road slightly widened. Before a warming fire could be managed, Ahearn announced he wanted to scout ahead and he slipped away into the dark.

“They’ve all gone.” Jasmine said to Glynn, who nodded.

“But they’ll be back.” Glynn reassured her.

Then she shared with a sigh,”When we were on the plains, it felt as if I could be picked up by the winds and blown away. I did not dare to let go of my horse for fear of it. In these woods, I feel I’m safe from that.”

“Yes,” Glynn acknowledged, “I knew you were having problems in the wide open.”

“It’s one of the effects of the ring.” Jasmine relayed, “It seems as if I am in the midst of a beautiful landscape. I am traveling on the same road as everyone else, but it appears I am the only one who sees a different world entirely.

“I seem to be going in and out between this world and another. The other world is superimposed on this one. It’s very disconcerting. The ring takes me away to this place. Does it seem to you as if I disappear?”

“No. Never. You’ve always been riding. It’s your imagination. But you do seem like you’re in a trance at times. But long rides tend to do that, so I had not been too concerned.”

Glynn became nervous about where the conversation was leading, so he launched into a nervous litany of what he noticed about his fellow travelers, “In fact, that Ahearn fellow was tranced out most of the time too. But the red one, yeah, that one was always alert to everything around him. I’d call him hyper-vigilant. Shadows disturbed him the most. Yes, he was always accounting for any shadow’s shape, seeing if it matched its source. It’s as if he thought there were eyes everywhere upon him and wanted to know everywhere they were.”

“And Thorne?” Jasmine said, “what was her demeanor?”

Glynn hesitated. A glint in his eye betrayed a thought he dare not utter. “The warrior girl? Let’s see. She was possessed of herself she was. Always aware, but deeply keeping her own thoughts to herself.” Then he winked, “She wouldn’t be too fun at a tavern.”

As he said that, he thought one could never be sure about someone’s actions after a drink or two… Stirring the fire, Glynn became lost to his thoughts for awhile.

© 2018 DARLENE

I AM A FAN of “THE STORY OF JASMINE”

Jasmine Snippet #78

The Story of Jasmine Notes continue:

The Special Card, “Crystal Ball” and an Event card, “Magical Forces” from JASMINE: The Battle for the Mid-Realm Collector card game.

All morning, Bardulf spent time with Gryth. The Tome of Wisdom gave him the idea that he could magically teach the dragon-lizard to always return to him, despite who wore the ring. He intended for the creature to locate the ring once and for all.

To achieve this goal, he would need to make a lot of preparations. The first thing he did was locate a small crystal to function with his crystal ball. Through magical incantations, he programmed them to function as both sender and receiver. After he established resonance and frequency between the stones, he endeavored to find a way to place the crystal upon Gryth.

He tested different ways the crystal could be attached and settled on the sturdier method of having it strapped with leather onto it’s chest in front. The other choices either hindered Gryth’s movement, or fell off.

While Gryth flew, Bardulf tested the communication between the crystals until he discovered the exact words of power spoken with the exact tone to achieve the most desireable effect. When at last satisfied, he moved onto the next stage by stepping onto his balcony with Gryth on his arm. He placed the dragon-lizard on the bannister and it flapped its leathery wings in excitement. Gryth’s leg was already tethered to a sturdy string so he could only fly as far as its length.

Bardulf went back inside to consult the crystal ball. Together, the crystals became his eye. And a wonderful eye it was! Bardulf was elated to be able to “see” everywhere Gryth went. Gryth might prove to be the best spy ever! But it all depended.

Next was the hard part. Through the amplification of the crystal ball while using the smaller one to focus, Bardulf increased his power of concentration to the point where he could command the dragon-lizard with his mind. He began small, with little requests, like turn right, pick up that stick, fly to upper branches of a tree or land at a specific place on the ground. Through trial and error, Bardulf tested and honed the effectiveness of how the Crystal ball and the quartz crystal worked together. He never wanted to chance losing Gryth, nor did he want to lose the ring, now that he knew more about it.

The Tome of Wisdom called it the Ring of Emeth, though it wasn’t a ring at all. It was the crown of a faery-king, with the ability to travel in and out of dimensions. Gryth was a faery-dragon, his mount. The reason Gryth homed in on the ring was he instinctively knew that was the way home, the way to return to his own familiar surroundings in his own dimension. When he read the passage, Bardulf wondered what could possibly have happened to the faery-king. How did his uncle initially run across the ring or the creature? And did he know that a faery realm co-existed with the Mid-Realm?

In the days it took Jasmine’s group to leave the temple at the Great  White Throne Mountain and traverse the east-west road past the northern crossroads, Bardulf had devoted and exerted his total concentration towards his objective to train Gryth. The task did not prove to be difficult. It was almost as if the little dragon creature was accustomed to taking such commands. Bardulf recalled that Gryth used to be a Faery king’s mount and accepted that would be the most likely way to account for it.

© 2018 DARLENE

 

I AM A FAN of “THE STORY OF JASMINE”

Jasmine #77

More notes from the “The Story of  Jasmine”

The Melanthron is a creature that moves throughout the fabric of time so as to live three consecutive lives in different bodies to resurrect into its fourth and final adult stage. Each form is individual within its own life-span. Melthor, the first incarnation, did the most important work first. It set the first action for the end stage — to achieve immortality. The next incarnation was Menlander the Oppressor, a male aspect who built the structure. Melantha, the current incarnation, will reap the harvest. It’s her duty to expand her deadly influence as far and as wide as possible.

Melantha preferred to survive into old age, amassing as much territory as possible and enjoying it. Being unseen while she poisoned the nations and territories around her, was power indeed. She set off no alarms. There were no declarations of war. Her successes were not greeted with the clamor of fanfare. In this way, she slowly, methodically and silently, added territories to the ever-expanding boundaries of Medrylthorn. There was no way to understand complete oblivion unless one witnessed a once vibrant eco-system turn into an ashen grey land, completely devoid of life force.

In the moment of her passing, the grand plan was for Melantha to share and blend what was left of her life force to initiate the final transformation. When that day came, all present and prior incarnations would merge together to unite as one into a terrifying creature entering the mature, adult phase of its existence.

This was the final form of The Melanthron, a unified combination of all three incarnations — male, female, and neither. Its appearance would usher in a truly dark reign of eternal terror for the Mid-Realm. Melantha’s strategy and triumph during her reign, was to as inconspicuously as possible, expand the territory of Medrylthorn.

But, only in her deepest thoughts, did Melantha hide a secret plan. She’d been able to save the huge energy reserves she’d amassed during her life time — a grim collective of all the souls she’d taken. At the time of her passing, she engineered a way for a massive influx of energy to occur. If she could control enough power, the other two incarnations would merge together under her control.

It shall be the third incarnation, The Fire Queen, Melantha herself who shall be in full control over the Melanthron. My own personality will reign as queen forever. Long Live the Queen! Melantha checked herself as soon as she felt an exhilaration of sensual energy course through her body. No. There’s no need to use waste energy, nor to give herself away. There was pleasure enough in the knowing.

Her plans were progressing very well. She was so far along, everything seemed to be poised soon to be within reach of her grasping fingers.

© 2018 DARLENE

I AM A FAN of “THE STORY OF JASMINE”