Tag Archives: Glynn

Jasmine Snippet #62

The Story of Jasmine notes continue:

Glynn was glad to finally have a moment to himself, as he watched the trio disappear into the darkness. To tend to their animals, they had to move away from the temple boundaries.

He thought about his prophecy and how certain phrases in in it, could be meaningful to this situation.

‘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…’

“This is the place where the white rocks rise. And I’m in a temple shrine.” Glynn said to himself. His future would be decided on this very spot. Everything depended on how the next moments played out. He’d already taken measures to secure the place.  He did not know what it all meant. With this time to himself, he thought about the people he’d encountered during the night.

It seemed to Glynn that everyone kept a secret. The red-headed man who stepped in to freely lend his horse and his sword had been immensely helpful. He would not have known anything about the danger to the girl if it was not for Rogan. But how did he figure in all this?

Clearly, the man was a buffoon, or at least he played one. Remembering his hand gestures when the three of them spoke, Glynn concluded Rogan was a manipulator accomplished in the art of court-tricks. Glynn observed how he tried to mesmerize his audience of two. He felt lucky this type of magic was lost on him. Yet, to have a persuasive person working with you in your group would be a powerful asset – if if could be harnessed and if Rogan could be trusted.

And what about the dark elf? Why was he here and where was he most recently? That man was not a mercenary like he claimed. His manner and bearing did not match a fighter-for-hire. Glynn ought to know. Nor did he believe Ahearn’s story about just arriving from the west. Clearly, he knew more about things then he let on.

Glynn recalled talk of an entourage of Dockalfarians that came through the area not too long ago. Glynn surmised the man must be a survivor from that group. They had fought in some of the skirmishes on the side of UR. He wondered what happened to them when UR fell. Were they taken prisoner? Dead? Or was it each man for himself as this one’s presence suggested?

He did not know what to think of Thorne. He admired her battle readiness, the way she charged in and took control, even with the odds against her. Out of the group, he trusted her the most, though not by much.

“We are not all here by chance,” Glynn decided. Whether by magic or fate or prophecy, they all had a role to play together. Normally, Glynn would never consider linking himself with such people, but it seemed providence had other ideas.

© 2018 DARLENE

Jasmine Snippet #58

Notes for “The Story of Jasmine” continue:

Glynn found it hard to reconcile the woman he had just placed in the circular room with the young one he had been traveling with. He knew they were the same person, and yet, they were so different. The first one was so unsure of herself and easy prey for two ruffians. And the other, the other caused a burst of great light to freeze those soldiers in their tracks. How was it possible anyone could wield such immense power?

He returned to the surface to find Rogan very agitated. Glynn thought he was still trying to make sense of the fate of the soldiers. So was he. But Rogan was worried about something else.  “Someone’s coming,” he warned. They took up hidden positions and spied a lone rider on a black horse enter the area.

The rider seemed very interested in the stone soldiers, as anyone would be. The young man dismounted. To inspect them, he walked closer to where they were. Rogan shifted his weight nervously and gripped his weapon tighter. Glynn thought Rogan was too unnerved to effectively deal with any strangers. The man was apt to make things worse. Glynn signaled Rogan to stay put while he took the initiative to advance.

Moving silently, but purposefully, towards the stranger, Glynn shouted the customary dwarven challenge-greeting, “Heigh Ho … Friend or Foe?”

Jasmine Snippet #52

The Story of Jasmine notes continue:

Glynn was unsure about many things. He was still unsure about Rogan, the red-headed stranger, who rode and fought alongside him. With only a few words, Rogan quickly quelled the woman warrior’s attack. She immediately put down her weapon. Obviously, they knew each other. Glynn understood she had followed him from the Oxted Inn. Rogan chided the battle-maiden, “You’ll use any excuse to don your armor.” Together, they were suspicious.

Ahearn silently observed. Glynn noticed Thorne’s arrival was not too far behind the dark elf’s sudden appearance. He smelled trouble with that one. He considered the possibility all three of them were in cahoots. But to what end? All that notwithstanding, uppermost in his mind, he was unsure about what he had witnessed earlier and what it meant.

When they arrived here, he and Rogan were ambushed by Bardulf’s men. They were in the heat of battle when a figure dressed in white appeared, high above them on the roof. From her elevated platform, she called a halt to the fighting. The soldiers stood spell-bound at the sight of her. Dressed in white, the figure was luminous. She seemed to shine as brightly as the moon behind her.

While the soldiers became entranced, he and Rogan took the opportunity to slip away. Rogan went into the tangled brush while he headed straight for the building. Only when he heard her speak was he certain the figure on the roof was Jasmine.

With a ringing voice, Jasmine ordered the soldiers to “leave this holy place.”

One of the soldiers, probably the Captain, found his tongue and responded, “Not til we get what we came for.”

“I will not come you,” Jasmine said calmly, “what you seek no longer exists.”

“You are no ghost,” he replied confidently and ordered his men to advance to her position.

“Do not come any further.” She commanded, but the Captain re-issued his orders. He snickered when she said, “This is your final warning.”

Glynn, standing near her position, underneath, got ready to defend her when a brilliant light illumined the scene. For several moments, it seemed as if the afternoon sun had replaced the black of night. As the ruins became brightly lit, the soldiers were blinded, and cried out. Then everything fell silent. And the darkness returned.

Above him, Glynn saw Jasmine teeter. When she swooned, he moved in to catch her and broke her fall. Only after she was safely in his arms, did he pull his attention away from her. After his eyes readjusted to the dark, he was amazed to see all the soldiers standing in place, unmoving. None had advanced. Nothing moved, except for Rogan, who emerged from the underbrush.

He watched Rogan cautiously move to the soldier closest to him. Glynn heard Rogan gasp, when he touched the soldier. The man was frozen in shock. A small push easily toppled the figure, causing a startled Rogan to jump back and cry out in what Glynn figured was the name of his god. The soldiers, every one of them, had been turned to stone.

Glynn turned his attention back to Jasmine and regarded her with wonder. Her glistening skin was paler than usual. And she was hot to the touch. She whispered to him that she needed to rest in the inner sanctum and directed him where to take her inside the temple walls.

© 2018 DARLENE

Jasmine Snippet #51

The notes for “The Story of Jasmine” continue:

“Well, if that don’t beat all!” the dwarf cried to his Nôr-man companion, “Here we are – all strangers, but each one of us happen to be men-for-hire and on this very day, we all find ourselves on this mountain, unbidden!”

The Nôr-man bent down to whisper something to the dwarf, who shifted his stance, “So,” he said, “you hail from Dockalfar?”

Ahearn nodded.

The Nôr-man spoke for the first time, “What do you know of UR?”

Ahearn decided to pretend not to know anything and related what he knew when he first arrived in the south lands some time ago. “UR presently seeks to destroy a threat to its Kingdom.”

“Then you are too late to help them, my friend. UR has fallen.”

“Fallen?” Ahearn feinted disbelief.

“Have you not seen Bardulf’s soldiers about?” The Nôr-man asked him.

“Do they look like this?” Ahearn replied, pointing to the statues. “Then, no.” He paused for a moment before continuing, “But it seems to me you two are well equipped to deal with any enemies. I have told you who I am. Do me the courtesy to do the same. I would like to know what type of company I find myself within.”

All during this time, Ahearn’s horse had inched stealthily nearer to him, only moving when clouds obscured the moonlight. When Ahearn’s sword also came within reach, the Nôr-man casually stepped forward and grabbed the reins with a sure horse-friendly hand.

“Ah, yes,” Ahearn thought to himself as he remembered. The Nôr-man were as accomplished as his own countrymen when it came to training their horses. Unfortunately, the Nôr-man was aware of horse tricks like this.

Ahearn knew if he asked directly, he’d be putting his cover story at risk. No matter how long it took, he was determined to find out if the princess was inside the still-intact parts of the temple. And if so, was she a prisoner?

The two were just about to introduce themselves, when a rider in full armor, brandishing a sword swiftly galloped on the scene. The dwarf whirled around and shouted, “Friend or foe?”

In one smooth motion, the warrior was off her horse with weapon swinging. Thorne cries, “Foe!”

Jasmine Snippet #50

The notes for “The Story of Jasmine” continue:

“Heigh Ho! Friend or foe?” Ahearn looked in the direction of the call. His sword was still strapped to his horse and he would not be able to retrieve it in time.

He held up his weaponless hands and replied, “Friend!”

The moon had disappeared again. Ahearn heard some bustling within the chamber and then the slow advance of footsteps. “Nothing will happen to you if you are, indeed, a friend.” Ahearn noticed the stocky figure approaching him was a mature dwarf with a graying beard and piercingly clear eyes.

The dwarf had on his person several daggers and a great battle-axe hung at his side in the customary way mercenary dwarf warriors wore them. What’s more, still stained with fresh blood, this battle-axe had recently been used. Ahearn noted his proud bearing as he spoke. “Who are you and what is your business here?”

Noticing a second man off to his left, Ahearn answered, “I’m a mercenary soldier, much like yourself.” Ahearn immediately launched into the cover story he had prepared for himself earlier when he began his quest to find the lost princess.

When he had finished, the dwarf asked, “Who do you work for?”

“Unemployed at the moment. I am in service to none. I intend to inquire for some work, in Oxted but have not make it that far.”

“You say you are not coming from Oxted, but are traveling towards Oxed?”

“Yes, from the west,” Ahearn lied, “from the north-west, if you must know! Now may I ask what all his is about?” The dwarf had already backed down and signaled to the man who stood watching in the shadows.

With his hand on the hilt of his sword, the man approached them. As he got nearer, Ahearn saw he had fiery red hair and beard. There was no mistaking him. This was one of the Nôr-men of Roth. Ahearn was surprised to see him. The Nôr-men of Roth infrequently ventured beyond their own borders and, to his knowledge, never this far south.

The Velgrath Mountains stood between their two kingdoms in the north. Ahearn reasoned that if he could recognize one of the Nôr-men, he could just as easily be identified as a Dockalfarian.

© 2018 DARLENE

Jasmine Snippet #35

The “Story of Jasmine” notes continue:

Ieithoedd

The midday shadows began to lengthen toward evening as the dwarf Glynn Oakenshield sharpened his weapon. The dwarf had not yet made camp as there were several more hours of day left, yet he could not travel with a dull battle axe.* As he scraped away the metal burr of the blade, he sensed some movement a little ways off behind him. Now distracted, Glynn grabbed his half-honed weapon and stalked toward the sound.

Traveling on higher ground, above the main road, his vantage point and concealment was excellent. “What’s this?” He said to himself, scratching his chin through his thick reddish beard.

“Must be a woman.” He thought as he watched the progress of a willowy figure cloaked in grey. Disgust overcame him as he recalled a new independent attitude held by many young lasses. As he watched her regal stride, he judged this wench to be very foolish to travel alone without an escort of several armed men.

He wondered, “Could she be unaware that highway men and robbers frequent this road?” Then he remembered the two ruffians who worked the bridge up yonder. He sighed, shaking his head. Those unsavory men at the bridge were scum indeed — and he himself would not want to further dull the edge of his blade on them. That reminded him to take out his whet stone and finish what he started.

“That poor wench has nothing of value they could want,” mused Glynn, “save perhaps her virginity.” They will probably make sport of her first before they killed her.

“Such is stupidity’s reward.” He muttered out loud and hurried his task. He wanted to be well out of earshot of the girl’s inevitable screams.

___________________

Obviously this snippet happens right before Glynn and Jasmine meet.

*The name of Glynn’s battle-axe is Ieithoedd.

Jasmine Snippet #32

The notes from “The Story of Jasmine” continue:

Watching her form disappear in the distance, Glynn does not allow himself to feel remorse at this abrupt parting. He conceals the booty in his pack and enters the inn. Several hours later finds him laughing and enjoying the company of many people — dwarves and men alike. Glynn makes the acquaintance of a red-haired man who informs him that Oxted has had some unusual visitors.

“Soldiers from the south,” he says, “looking for a maiden I’m told.” After another swallow, the stranger continues, “Though only God knows what she’d be doing on the white mountain. People here seem to be scared of it.”

“Fool’s Hope?” Glynn looks up from his drink, “What did you say?”

“There’s an old temple that rests in the seat of the Great White Throne and these soldiers expect to find a maiden hiding there. But they’ve also looked all over Oxted asking if anyone has seen her. This maiden seems to be of particular interest to their leader, one Bardulf-Thaatur. Have you heard of him?”

Glynn scratches his nose in thought, “I heard rumors about an ambitious man whose been gaining power and provinces surrounding the country of UR. Through magic and a network of spies he learns the weaknesses of the ruling families whose lands he wants to acquire. He’s managed to conquer much territory from the inside out. It’s odd for him to use soldiers openly.”

“Maybe not so odd,” the stranger replies, “do you not know he’s made a successful bid against UR? They say he’s captured both the King and the princess. UR’s is as good as his when he marries her. “

“Yes, The King of UR’s greatest weakness is his daughter.”

“To legitimize UR as his, the marriage would have to be a large, royal public affair. So I wonder, why are his soldiers seeking this other girl in Oxted — maybe he likes blondes dressed in white?”

Instinctively, Glynn’s hand finds his weapon. The red-haired stranger reacts in equal measure, by pulling a knife of his own. Glynn rests his hand. “Calm down, friend. The fight is not with you,” Glynn replies gravely, “it’s that just today I brought a girl — a comely blonde — to Oxted. Her sole wish was to go to the old temple on that mountain. She made it seem like it was her destiny.”

Glynn’s eyes widen as he recalls the prophecy he had recently recited to Jasmine, “…in the shrine where the white rocks rise, this is where your destiny lies…” He quickly drains the rest of his drink and gets up to leave.

“I must go!” Glynn mumbles, making his way to the door. Even if she wan’t the one they were looking for, she would surely be snatched up as a possibility. Glynn hopes Jasmine’s progress up the mountain has been slow and cumbersome. Maybe they have not yet found her, but if they have…

“Wait,” the stranger follows, saying “There were seven soldiers. And I can help you even the odds… and by the way, my name is Rogan.”

© 2018 DARLENE

Jasmine Snippet #31

The notes from “The Story of Jasmine” continue:

The Journey north wasn’t as trying as Glynn had anticipated. The girl who called herself Jasmine was quick in following his example, and they made it to the door of Oxted’s only inn by late afternoon. By this time, Glynn had warmed up to her and began to enjoy her company. He looked forward to her joining him for a drink and a hot meal. Uncharacteristically, they had the means to pay and he felt rich and generous.

But to his disappointment, he discovered Jasmine’s only interest was in getting closer to the mountain. Slightly agitated, he points the way just up the road. He tells her that the climb will take her well into the evening and there will be no food when she gets there. He offers to accompany her the very next morning after getting rested.

As she hands him the bundle of coins and valuables they had collected the day before, the black ring on her finger gleams. She is not deterred. Silently, she wraps her blood-stained cloak around her body and heads in the direction of the mountain shrine.

© 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 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