Tag Archives: Glynn

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

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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”

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 #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”

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 #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 #76

The notes for The Story of Jasmine continue:

Two Wind Special Cards from “The Battle for the Mid-Realm” collector card game.

Everyone had just finished breakfast and were about to break camp when Glynn announced, “We have a slight change of plan. We will not be taking the north road after all. We will continue westward.”

All three companions objected at once, as if the idea was unthinkable. Thorne said, emphatically, “Those lands are much too close to a dangerous and merciless enemy!”

Ahearn bellowed forth with, “Don’t you know there are pockets of cannibals in those parts?” Rogan simply agreed with them both.

“I need to be at a council of the Winds.” Jasmine told them solemnly. Before she walked off, she said, “I cannot help the Meeting Place of the Winds, is in treacherous lands. A dream has called me to visit them at this place and I seem to know the way. If fear prevents you from following me, you are free to part ways and travel where ever you will. But Glynn and I will be traveling westward. We are not afraid.”

Ahearn, Thorne and Rogan looked at each other in stunned amazement. Glynn and Jasmine had already moved off in the space it took to recover themselves. Did Jasmine realize how deeply she insulted them all? She insinuated they were cowards if they did not accompany her. Her comments stopped the conversation cold. How could one reply without looking bad? They shrugged and moved to pack. Everyone was edgy.

Breaking camp was silent, save for the occasional grunt and shouts when lifting was involved. Back in their saddles, they made good progress. Some paused when they passed the cross roads where the north/south road intersected. Sighing, the group resigned itself to trudge westward taking a road less traveled.

Little did they realize that Jasmine’s sudden change of plan saved them from harm. Taking the favored northern road would be a mistake as, the northern route was newly compromised. Taking the North road had been the safest route northward. That’s why they did not immediately take the treacherous northern route outside of Oxted.

Nobody would ever have suspected the north road would have brought them straight into Melantha’s spider-like reach, caught within her lair.

© 2018 DARLENE

 

I AM A FAN of “THE STORY OF JASMINE”

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