Tag Archives: Melantha

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”

Jasmine Snippet #69

“The Story of Jasmine” notes continue:

Within the fire, an image of the Queen appeared. She glared at Rogan with burning eyes. Before she could utter a word, Rogan launched into his prepared speech. As he bowed low, he professed his allegiance and deeply apologized for his failure to respond sooner. “I have been in the company of a most suspicious and difficult woman,” he found himself saying about Thorne, “she never gave me a moment’s time to myself. I could not risk her suspecting my true motives. The task has proved to be more difficult than we anticipated…”

The Queen regarded him through the licking flames but remained silent and impassive. Her dancing orange-yellow grew brighter and more intense. He could not look away. Then he became aware of the intrusion of her focused stare. The sharp energy pierced him in the forehead, like an arrow. Fortunately, he had the mental rigor not to give over to fear. His defense was to call up and concentrate his thoughts on how forthright and dependable he was.

He quickly launched into consciously visualizing his intended report. Good thing he had most of the morning to consider how he wanted to convey his information. Soon, he conjured up several powerful thought images of Thorne. In his mind, he showed Thorne as greatly upset over UR’s demise and how she beat her fists on a chair in frustration.

Melantha laughed, and broke her gaze. Due to the timing, Rogan wondered if he had been effective in limiting Melantha’s mental probing. He was unsure about how well he had been able to block her from his mind. He wanted to believe his visualization was successful, at least to a degree. Not knowing, he was finally at a loss of what to say.

“Your thoughts betray you, Rogan the Red.” She said at last, “What would your poor family think if they knew you covet this v-e-r-rr-r-y captivating woman?” Rogan bristled at the mention of his family. He had tried not to think of what torture Melantha would impose on them if he failed to carry out her schemes. The freedom of his homeland was also at stake. According to their pact, the evil Queen would not move against Roth as long as he worked as a spy against the Armildian people.

His agreement with her had been deceptively easy to make. He knew nothing of these boastful maidens who lived in the south. It meant nothing to him to spy on their country. His idea of a spy was to stay in the mountain passes, hiding behind rocks and trees to report the movements of people and supplies. But his assigned task proved to be more difficult than he bargained for.

Melantha told him to mingle among the battle maidens and befriend them. He was ordered to make himself indispensable. To achieve that, he had to spend time with them. The longer he stayed in their lands among them, the more admiration and compassion he felt for them. As he witnessed the honor and valor of these people, he could not help but to respect the Armildians.

That only made his task that much harder. He really wanted to help them, but the needs of his own country would always precede. All Rothians knew first hand how Melantha could suck the life-force from the land and its living creatures. Her slow advance had been methodical, but deadly. Nothing but a black wasteland was now left of the three Kingdoms that used to stand between Medrylthorn and Roth.

© 2018 DARLENE

I AM A FAN of “THE STORY OF JASMINE”

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Jasmine Snippet #68

“The Story of Jasmine” notes continue:

Rogan The Red as pictured in Installment #13.

The stone in Rogan’s trouser pocket became hot enough to burn his leg. The rock had steadily gotten hotter during the past three days. He knew The Fire Queen was getting more and more impatient for his report. He simply had not gotten a large enough chunk of time to give his report. He valiently tried not to focus on the consequences of non-compliance.

To answer Melantha’s burning call, Rogan needed to convince Thorne and the others that it would be best if he went back to Oxted alone as not to arouse suspicion. He’d collect supplies that were needed for their up-coming journey and promised he would immediately join them at any place of their choosing. He used his smoothest voice and manner to convince Jasmine that this was a good idea. She urged everyone to give Rogan a list of their needs and a means of payment. With this simple request, Jasmine proved she had leadership skills. She was so good at her first command, that everyone complied without issue.

As he left on horseback, Rogan shook his head as he mulled over what had just transpired between all parties in the early morn. It was nothing short of a miracle. Who would have thought this motley crew, himself among them, would ever consider traveling together? And for Thorne to offer her sword? What was that about?

If anything had ever surprized him, it was that. He could never have guessed this proud Armildian was capable of demeaning herself to serve another, unless she actually acknowledged the young, naive but somehow wise Jasmine as her superior. Yet, he knew that Jasmine represented everything Thorne detested. Women!  With all his experience with them, he still could not fathom them.

Of course, he would need to report to the Queen of Fire most of what happened. He wanted to leave some things out. He planned to spend quite a long time describing how devastated, then furious Thorne was to learn UR had fallen. The Queen would relish that. He would smooth it all out by reporting how he was accompanying Thorne in her travels to find another ruler in the north. But how would he explain Jasmine and her dwarf protector?

About three quarters of the way to Oxted, after Rogan was sure he was not being followed, he turned off the trail to find a remote locale, which served his needs. At a clearing, he quickly collected dried branches and other materials to make a fire. For a roaring fire to appear, all he needed to do was to toss the very hot obsidian rock into a pile of kindling.

© 2018 DARLENE

I AM A FAN of “THE STORY OF JASMINE”

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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 #63

The Story of Jasmine Notes continue:

Ildshoii Castle, carved from shiny black obsidian rock, rose high above a crown of volcanos. The dark castle was the domain of Melantha, the ruler of Medrylthorn. The Fire Queen possessed the patience of a spider. Not only did Melantha control the volcanic lands of Medrylthorn, her invisible web of evil stretched across the Mid-Realm, reaching towards Bardulf’s strongholds to the south east. She had only to pull on certain threads of her intricately woven network to discover details about the plans of her enemies.

Ildshoii castle card from the “Jasmine: The Battle for the Mid-Realm” collector card game by DARLENE

Her magic fed upon the misery of others. And throughout her patient years of plotting, her magic only got stronger. Although the penetration of her poisonous plans had been slow, methodical and thorough, there were those who could still resist her. Those lands Melantha could not control, she surrounded with her evil, watching – always watching – for a vulnerable weakness to present itself.

Though she could not directly effect the splendid Kingdom of UR, she knew her magic could. She manipulated an ambitious upstart by the name of Bardulf. He did not know she considered him as one of her many minions. She provided him with the magical means to be successful in his bid to defeat UR’s king and it amused her to give him the title, “Prince of Darkness.”

Melantha was very aware of Bardulf’s blunder concerning the disappearance of the King’s daughter. Subsequently, this meant the “Prince” would encounter trouble in totally securing his rule. But that was not immediately important to her. As far as Melantha was concerned, UR was already hers.

Melantha’s interest returned to the Armildian battlemaidens, whose iron will proved to be difficult to subdue. She laughed at how well she thwarted the Armildian’s attempt to seek UR’s assistance. The fall of UR happened just before the Armildian Ambassador could reach the Kingdom. Because these battle maidens seldom lost, she savored their disappointment, imagining with glee the distraught looks on their faces when they learned of this set-back.

But they were not yet caught within her web. The Armildians were clever and resourceful. They would try to seek help elsewhere, maybe Dockalfar. If perchance, their ambassador succeeded in making an agreement with the Ice King in Tarrent, Melantha would surely face fierce resistance. She would make doubly sure her spy could be trusted.

Her deliberations were interrupted by the appearance of one of her demon ministers. Without looking at him, she asked “What news have you for me today?”

© 2018 DARLENE

I AM A FAN of “THE STORY OF JASMINE”

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Jasmine Snippet #23

The notes for The Story of Jasmine continue:

Melantha, from unpublished Installment #13

With great interest Melantha, the Fire Queen of Ildshoii watches Bardulf-Thaattur’s plotting. Her passion is power and she fears nothing. Melantha’s web stretches unseen from the volcanic spires of Ildshoii outward to the unsuspecting Mid-realm.

She waits with infinite patience to ensnare the next victim in her glittering web. Attracted by the ruthless power of the dark prince, she plans her entrapment and conquest. “Bardulf-Thaatur, Axewolf of the Darkness,” she muses upon his name, “I like that.”

Just as a black orchid is seductive and exotic, Queen Melantha’s beauty knows a delicateness unsurpassed. Even so, her deceptive nature is cruel as well as cunning. Her dark eyes betray the reptilian passions and instincts of her black soul. Her lips twist in a smile of satisfaction. As long as her soul is locked away in a secret place, she will remain forever beautiful, forever terrible, forever deadly, forever Queen!

Her train of thought is interrupted by her Captain, who has come to make a report before her. “What can this mean?” She says to herself, reacting to the news, “He has succeeded in the taking of UR, yet he hesitates to kill UR’s King… because of what? His daughter? Can this princess, Flavia, mean more to him than conquest?” Her eyes burning with contempt, she addresses the Captain, “His lust will not interfere with my plans. Kill her!”

Suddenly, her fury subsides and her fiery temper melts onto a thoughtful gaze, “No. Wait — perhaps I can USE her…”

She saunters toward the window and looks southward and whispers to herself, “Yes-s-s-s. Axe-wolf, my Love — with this girl, I shall discover your passions and your weaknesses — and when I do, I shall devour you both… “

Turning away from the window, she commands, “Captain, find this Princess of UR and report to me her every move.”

© 2018 DARLENE

Jasmine Story – Snippet 16

A continuation of The Jasmine Story notes:

Event Cards

The great continent of the Mid-Realm has long heard the battle cries raised between the forces of good and evil.

The evil sorceress, Melantha, has conjured a terrifying demon force against anyone who would oppose her.

The dark prince, Bardulf relies greatly on the ability of his spies and assassins to secure his position, while the Ice king,Thorgall, rallies his mighty troops to fight for victory.

As a champion of good, Jasmine has united her allies to keep the Mid-Realm free. The varying strengths and weaknesses of the four factions make them evenly matched and deadly foes as the balance of power in the Mid-Realm teeters on the brink of war.

Thus the characters from The Story of Jasmine fantasy adventure (last published in The Dragon Magazine), continue to interact with each other in a product of beauty, excitement and suspense.

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Now that I type this, I realize this was one of the first snippets outlining the card game I developed based upon The Story of Jasmine.

As I developed the card game, the details of the story continued through the cards.

More about the Jasmine: The Battle For The Mid-Realm card game.

© 2018 DARLENE

Jasmine Story – Snippet 12

The Story of Jasmine Notes continue:

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

Thorne, “Protector of the Flower”

Since Melantha had taken Thorne’s people into slavery, this powerful and stern battle-maiden sought military assistance to free them and was on this mission to UR. However, when UR was suddenly taken over, Thorne was forced to change her plans.

To undertake the treacherous journey northward, Thorne will swallow her pride, until she can talk to the Ice King, Thorgall and make a deal. Therefore, Thorne swore her sword and allegiance to Jasmine, though she does not respect her. Thorne only tolerates Jasmine as she perceives her to be weak and faint-hearted.

Thorne is tireless, disciplined, glorious and stoic in the face of death. She has never known defeat. She persistently hones her abilities.

© 2018 DARLENE