Tag Archives: Erlkyng

Jasmine Snippet #66

The notes for “The Story of Jasmine” continue:

Bardulf was beside himself. The Tome of Wisdom did not make sense! It was written for the “Prince” of UR. Where was this Prince of UR? He was unaware King Aranbrod had any other progeny besides the spoiled and easily controlled princess. He did not consider her to be a much of a problem. He had not imprisoned her already with his magic ring? It was only a matter of time before her hiding place would be found.

If anyone was to blame, it was Heta. Curses—that he did not strike her down when he first recognized her. Curses—he allowed himself to be taken in by her pitiful act of weakness. Had it not been for her, those two would never have escaped their capture. Yet again, he cursed Heta.  She was solely responsible for the disappearance of the Princess Flavia of UR. That cursed woman would never have managed such a thing if he had remained at the camp. Heta had to have waited until after his strategy session, and after he had left with his main contingent to go to battle.

The rest of the soldiers who remained broke camp and travelled as escort half the way to Swartzborg Castle before they realized the two were no longer among them. Upon questioning, every one of his soldiers swore both women had travelled with them as far as the cross roads. All agreed they found it strange that the two did not eat or drink, nor did they speak the entire journey. The women remained as still as statues the whole way but were very easy to manage.

Castle card for Bardulf’s faction in Jasmine: The Battle for the Mid-Realm” collector card game by DARLENE.

His men wasted too much time searching near the place they discovered the disappearance. Bardulf’s needed presence in battle prevented him from hearing about this happenstance in a timely manner. Nor could he participate right away in the search. But once he was able to focus on the problem, he knew no one under Heta’s enchantments could ever locate where they fled. He thought the only one who could pierce Heta’s magic was he himself. And this proved to be correct.

Only one thing made him laugh. How funny it was to have Heta lead him straight to this incredible book of magic. It was so delightful to have Master Erlkyng’s book in his hands! He relished reading  what secrets and incantations these pages revealed. With this book, he felt invincible. Yet, a small thought still nagged at him.

Who was this lad for whom the book was written and dedicated? If anyone had the power to rival him, apparently it would be this boy prince. He stilled the fear growing within him. The lad may exist, but it was Bardulf who possessed his book, thus claiming his power.

But still, he could not overlook that Heta was a factor in all this. Under the guise of Ermengarde, Heta had raised what he thought was a pale, young girl who trembled in fear around him. He slammed his fist upon table as he decided nothing was beyond that witch. Things were not as they seemed. Was it possible the princess was actually a prince in disguise? Perhaps, instead of seeking a girl, he should be searching for a boy?

© 2018 DARLENE



Jasmine Snippet #64

The notes for The Story of Jasmine continue:

Every evening, Melantha’s chief demon minister, a human-like creature she had formed from a favorite snake, gave her a litany of all the news collected from the day’s reporting, from inside Medrylthorn to the front lines. And every evening, Melantha drank it all in. Her spacial awareness was very keen. She could easily visualize all the movements and happenings within her sphere and relate them to each other in her mind. At first, she was only mildly concerned that Bardulf had been missing from the reports. But it had been several days now.

“What news of Bardulf? Has he been located?” she asked.

Her demon minister slithered towards her. “Yes-s-s-s,” he replied, eager to please, “the Dark Prince just emerged from the dwarf mines-s-s-s, northwest of UR. After all this-s-s-s time, he was-s-s-s angry his-s-s-s men still failed to locate the UR’s Princess-s-s-s. He cruelly punished those who brought him the unwelcome news-s-s-s.”

“Anything else?”

“Yes-s-s-s. The Dark Prince carries-s-s-s with him a large book. To obtain it, he boasts-s-s killing many little people living in the caverns-s-s-s under the mountains-s-s-s. He will not allow the book out of his-s-s-s sight.”

After Melantha dismissed her minister, she started to deliberate. Little people—could he have slain the Guardians of Wisdom? Did Bardulf chance upon the Erykyng’s Crystalline Caves? Is the book he carries the fabled Tome of Wisdom, which contains the history of the Mid-Realm?  Does the book also contain Erlkyng’s knowledge on how to destroy her magic and power? Erlkyng was the only being in the Mid-realm she had ever feared because he learned her secrets.

Fire Queen of Ildshoii Castle from an unpublished panel.

Suddenly, Bardulf became much more of a threat to her security. Maybe Bardulf was not the buffoon she thought he was. After all, his own growing network of spies rivaled her own.

At the beginning, Melantha determined Bardulf’s weakness was his ambition and his burning desire to learn magic. He proofed to be the perfect choice to undermine and conquer UR. She had made herself indispensable to all Bardulf’s desires and even gave him powerful magical incantations to use against UR. She now regretted that decision.

He performed her practices very well — almost too well. She realized Bardulf had a better knack for magic than she gave him credit for. Now, with that book in his possession, he might prove to be much more problematic and unpredictable. She wondered what other weaknesses Bardulf had that she could exploit.

© 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 Story – Snippet 5

Notes for The Story of Jasmine continue:

Heta* discovered the King of UR still grieving over the death of his first Queen two years before. She studies his habits and the places he frequents.

Erlkyng** looked for powerful nodes upon the land within the forest where the King frequently hunted. He found a natural circle where several land energy lines crossed. At the center was an opening to a crystal cave in the shape of a vesica pisces.

They charted the skies, looking for the most auspicious alignments of planets and stars. They used the alignments of the land and the sky to increase their magical current.

© 2018 DARLENE


*The name Heta generally means Love. Obviously, Heta is the Wyrd woman who is assisting Erlkyng magically.

**Erlkönig (lit. “alder-king”) is a name used in German Romanticism for the figure of a spirit or “king of the fairies.” I did not know this derivation at the time of the writing. Researching further, I discover that “Erlking” is a malicious spirit who carries away small children to their deaths, but I contend, Erlkyng is not Erlking.

Note: Today, I know more about the science of how land energies geomantically associate with sky alignments and find it curious that I would mention a vesica pisces, which is easily one of the most profound geometrical images of ancient and modern times.

The vesica pisces geometry (shown above) is basically formed from the intersection of two, overlapping spheres. Symbolically, it represents the union of Heaven and Earth, the merging of God and Goddess. The vesica pisces is also the vagina of the female goddess, the first pattern at the basis of all trigonometric configurations, square roots and harmonic dimensions. How curious.

Jasmine Story – Snippet 4

The notes for the Story of Jasmine continue:

The background story sets up the dynamic for the third book. The seed/soul of a dark force is hidden within an egg, placed within a nest on top of a mountain. There is no way to get to this mountain except by crossing the Valley of Fear. No mortal man has been able to survive the mirroring of his own terror.

The powerful wizard, Erlkyng, knowing the destruction of the Mid-Realm and beyond is immanent as long as the egg exists, explores the possibilities. Finally, he settles upon a plan which will take many years to flower. He calls up the air elemental “Arial” who agrees to take on physical form long enough to conceive with a mortal King and give birth to a child.

The child, being born of air and earth, when grown would be able to pass through the Valley of Fear unimpeded. With the help of his female assistant, the Wizard Erlkyng exchanges his life-force to give a physical embodiment to Arial, whose strange and delicate beauty is otherworldly. The King of UR immediately falls in love with her and brings her to his castle along with her constant female companion — Erlkyng’s assistant.

In physical form, Arial is not strong. But she gives birth to a healthy girl baby before phasing back to her original airy form. The companion stays as a nurse to the baby and sings lullabies of magical incantations.

© 2018 DARLENE


As I remember, I think these are notes to myself regarding the arc of the story plot. It’s the explanation of the beginning story, to be told as a flashback and establishes the plot of the greater story.

The caption accompanying the published version of the calligraphied image appearing above states: Done with gouache on Invicta paper, the text is part of a fable written by the artist. (16 x 12 in)

The Art is available as a small poster.