Tag Archives: The Story of Jasmine

Jasmine Snippet #98

Notes for The Story of Jasmine continue:

The North and South Wind cards from JASMINE: The Battle for the Mid-Realm Collector Card Game.

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

Jasmine looked down at her hand and inspected the ring. So, it’s not a ring after all, it was a Faery King’s Crown. How strange. Then she looked up at the brilliant luminescence of the sky. It seemed to her there were only deep, saturated colors. There was no blackness in the night sky at all.

“Where am I?” she marveled. A Wind came up from behind and blew her hair forward.

The Wind answered, “Welcome to the Meeting Place of the Winds. Allow me to introduce everyone. I am Ost, the East Wind.” He spun around delightfully as he spoke, “I am the first wind–the breeze of the morning. As herald of the day, I bring hope and brightness.” He stopped and moved closer to her and whispered, “At the moment, I am the strongest here as it is just about to dawn.” Ost landed lightly by Jasmine’s side and took Jasmine’s hand. She clearly felt Ost’s firm grasp and wondered how this could be. Ost introduced her to the other three winds. Each one’s sharp, undulating features refracted in and out of invisibility.

Ost paused. “This is Wein, the West Wind.” he introduced, “He shall be the strongest wind this afternoon.” Next to Ost’s warm feel, Wein was cold. He seemed bluer than the other winds and his voice had an unfriendly edge to it.

“I shall chill you and never leave you in peace.” Wein said.

“Lovely.” Jasmine sighed a bit too loudly.

“Miss, that is my nature.” Wein replied. “I came out of courtesy to meet you, though I’m bidden to do but a single service for the Sorceress of Medrylthorn. Know, oh haughty one, until I have dispatched my obligation, I cannot do you any favors.”

Jasmine nodded her acknowledgment as Ost ushered her quickly away. “This is Noird, the blinding wind of the North. His strength is in the evening and he’s sometimes hot and sometimes cold, but he is always full of energy. Noird has promised a service to the Ice King, Thorgall. So like Wein, Noird is unable to help you at the moment.”

Noird blew a kiss at her. “I sincerely hope you will be around when I am able to serve you…” Jasmine blushed, then acknowledged him with a nod of her head.

Ost took her to meet the last wind, “Sud is the hot wind of the night. Her strength envelopes and protects.” Sud displayed more of a purplish cast. Her vibration seemed faster than the other winds. Strangely, the faster undulations gave Sud’s sharp features more definition. With Sud’s form, she could make out a body beyond her face.

From what Jasmine could tell, Sud had the general shape of a horse with great wings, but also, instead of a horse’s head, there was a woman’s torso. Jasmine thought Sud looked exquisite and stunning.

Ost added, “Oh, deep into the night, you traveled on an excursion with Sud, since she was the strongest at that time.”

“Oh.” Jasmine said, “thank you.” It seemed to Jasmine that Sud winked at her and she chuckled.

© 2018 DARLENE

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Jasmine Snippet #96

Notes for The Story of Jasmine continue:

Special card in the deck of JASMINE: The Battle for the Mid-Realm collector card game

Jasmine awakened. She was by a mountain stream in an area where some tall reeds grew. She heard them rustling as they shimmered in the breeze. Her muscles felt stiff and ached. She stretched, and wondered how she got there. It was still dark. She could not tell how long she slept or dreamt. Absently, she reached for one of the dried golden reeds, pulled it to her, broke off the stem and fidgeted with it as she thought about her visionary excursions.

As with her experience with her sisters at the ancient temple on White Throne Mountain, she could not tell if she actually traveled to these majestic places, or if she just had one fantastic dream. She had dreamt of flying before, so the sensation of moving through the air high above the ground was somewhat familiar. And flying would explain how she arrived at this spot.

She became aware of the golden reed she was turning in her hands and inspected it. There was some fibrous material on the inside. So she started the process of hollowing the reed using whatever sharp sticks or natural tools presented themselves.

After she hollowed the dried reed, she found a rock just the right shape and sharpness to fashion little holes in the stem. She found a way to produce a nice round hole, if she twisted the rock back and forth the right way. The next time she blew into the reed, she produced a sound. After a little more work, she was able to improve the tone. Using the same technique, she worked on other holes, until at last, she’d fashioned a flute.

It took considerable effort to produce even a raspy and barely audible sound when she tried to play it. She found another rock with a sharper edge she could use to better define the holes and further refine the inside. It was hard because it was still dark and she did these tasks more with feel than sight. Jasmine worked on it single-mindedly until the sound produced became cleaner. As she improved the sound, she hummed a melody that got stuck in her brain. And as she hummed, the winds picked up.

So focused was Jasmine on finishing her task, she did not immediately notice when the winds picked her up. Still seated, her body hovered three inches off the ground. At last, when she blew into the finished reed, and made a strong pure note, the winds lifted her higher into the air.

© 2018 DARLENE

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Jasmine Snippet #95

The Story of Jasmine Notes continue:

After Jasmine calmed herself down, she did as suggested and strained to listen. She heard the tweeting of the night birds, the rustle of the leaves, distant shouting. She heard the effects of the wind, but not the wind itself. She tried even harder to focus on the sounds, but to no avail. She was merely hearing the sounds of the night.

“There is nothing to listen to!” Jasmine cried out in frustration.

“Precisely” was the response she heard.

“What?” Then it occurred to her that she was meant to focus on the space between the sounds. She needed to hear the silence.

As she focused deeper into the silence, she found its space could expand and open up. But with the next sound, her expansion collapsed. What did she have to do, stop time? It was difficult to sustain her focus, but she kept at it until she became aware of a faint melody. When she concentrated on the melody, it disappeared. Then she would have to start all over again. She could not trap the melody in her mind. Finally, Jasmine understood she needed to completely surrender to the silence. To allow this, she needed to relinquish her mind’s search for meaning.

When she allowed her experience to wash over her. Without her mind’s interference, Jasmine was finally able to follow the alluring sound with her heart. Her heart followed the faint hollow melody of silence to a stream where some golden reeds grew. The haunting song of silence came from these reeds that stirred in the faint breeze.

Jasmine felt the breeze. She felt it whirling around her, inside and out, like a slow motion tornado. She was a reed moving in the wind. Like every other individual reed, she too, had her own sound. Like the reed, she was a hollow vessel for the wind to play. She never felt so alive and good, a reed yearning to be moved with living breath of the wind. She became the instrument and the song. There was no place where her song was not playing. Inside and outside of herself, she played the song of her soul. The energy increased in waves. She felt sound vibrations all over her body. She was already on sensory overload when there was an increase in tempo and amplitude until, in one great burst, she released herself to the wind and experienced time out of time.

She travelled on the wings of the wind. Together, they journeyed freely throughout the Mid-Realm. She saw wonders and sights she never knew existed. The wind told her about the history of the different lands they visited. With stars flashing before her eyes, her heart perceived everything around her all at once: her relationship to the cosmos, her true connections to the people around her and she saw the face of her true mother. What was revealed in a couple moments would take life times to explain.

© 2018 DARLENE

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Jasmine Snippet #94

More notes for The Story of Jasmine:

Lt. Adrian Cartwell rode at top speed with his injured prize and did not slow his pace until his horse desperately needed rest. Galloping so hard for so long, exhausted the poor beast. He was exhausted too. Although they had not yet made it out of the forest, he felt he was far enough along that he would be safe from attack.

The lizard-dragon Gryth had long since given up squirming. The Lieutenant hoped the creature was still alive. He dismounted and carefully laid Gryth limply on the ground. It seemed weak and made disturbing chortling sounds. It must be hungry but the Lieutenant did not know what it ate. However, he did have a water canteen and dripped water into its mouth. That helped. The water revived Gryth enough to demand more. A good sign.

The Lieutenant wetted a handkerchief and washed Gryth’s wounds. Some were nasty but most were superficial. It hurt Gryth so much to move, Lt. Cartwell concluded it must be because of that awful kick he received from the woman. He realized how painful the horse ride probably had been for it and felt it best for the patient not to be jostled anymore on horseback. Lt. Cartwell risked a fire, deciding that warmth along with peaceful ground rest would help the dragon mend his internal injuries.

When the fire was crackling, they rested near its warmth. “Little Gryth boy…” he kept repeating as he tended to its torn body, “poor little one… you will be alright.” He urged the creature to rest. He soothed the animal by speaking to it in the same tone and repeating the same words that his own mother said to him when he was little and in need of comfort.

He placed his entire focus on Gryth. He did not want to leave room in his mind to think about how he abruptly abandoned the men under his charge. But saving Gryth was important. First and foremost, it was Bardulf’s pet. To lose Gryth was to lose his life. But also, there was another amazing reason. He had heard the little dragon speak to him.

© 2018 DARLENE

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Jasmine Snippet #90

The Mounted Warriors Faction Card and the Attack Event card from “Jasmine: The Battle for the Mid-Realm” collector card game.

New notes for The Story of Jasmine continue:

Uncharacteristically, Lt. Cartwell arrived at the clearing before his men and witnessed Thorne’s brutal kick and Glynn’s resolve to kill it. Although the wounded dragon lizard was hurting, it wiggled away quite expertly. With an already bloodied battle axe, Glynn was prepared to take this opportunity to strike it down once and for all. But a couple heart beats or more before Glynn raised his mighty battle axe, Ieithoedd, to cleave the creature in two, Lt. Cartwell clearly heard the wounded dragon speak to him. “Save me now…!”

No longer than it took him to hear the command, Lt. Cartwell acted in one swift motion. He dove from his horse, rolled his body mid-air, scooped up the bleeding dragon-lizard and ran with him, out of the fray, blood streaming. The Lieutenant was already gone when Glynn’s axe hit the ground.

The Lieutenant’s horse quickly followed his master, back in the direction they came, but was nervous around the pitiful creature. Lt. Cartwell took off his jacket, wrapped Gryth within it, and managed to remount his reluctant horse. As he rode away, with his arms wrapped tightly around the wounded creature, the Lieutenant called to his men, “Our orders are to apprehend them. Do the best you can. I’m told we have back-up on the way.”

His men were momentarily puzzled.Why would any leader leave in the midst of a fight? Why was protecting that creature so important to the Lieutenant? These and questions like it popped into their brains. Save for the Lieutenant, most of these men were well-trained, seasoned mercenaries, whom Bardulf had picked up for his army. They well understood what was expected of them. They were loyal to those who paid them. So they were loyal to Bardulf. Each wondered why they agreed to such a low fee, and secretly wondered if they had not been magically induced to lower their prices.

Most of the trip had been so boring and uneventful, Lt. Cartwell’s men were itching for action. They knew what to do. Would they reach a wide enough space to maneuver their horses into their customary wedge attack formation? At least, they knew who to look for. Their primary target was a young blonde maiden. And there she was, riding a horse away from the clearing in the other direction. They also saw a dwarf on the ground with a battle-axe and two male riders. They initially thought their numbers could easily take three fighters and one woman.

When they rolled as a group into the clearing to attack, they noticed large, ugly things crawling down from the rocks, like giant clumsy spiders with clubs. Once on level ground, these ugly giants swarmed with frenzy and ferocity. With the Lieutenant absent from the fight, they were going to have some big problems posed by the new threat. No longer did they possess superior numbers. When did Lt. Cartwell say back-up would arrive?

© 2018 DARLENE

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Jasmine Snippet #89

The Story of Jasmine notes continue:

Thorne’s eyes never left Gavin. She was aware of the battle, and knew her hawk was in the midst of being victorious against the foul creature. Her combat-trained hawk was about to finish off the evil-looking black lizard when that damned girl healed it!  Why did she do that? Thorne saw it all happen. Gavin broke off his attack when it landed on the head of Jasmine’s horse. And, for but an instant, she saw the staff glow, just as Jasmine touched the creature’s heart with her hand. The ring glowed too!

Thorne had made it to the clearing when she saw that horrible black, evil creature suddenly spring away from Jasmine. In a flash, he was already in mid-attack, when Thorne called a warning to her retreating bird. The dragon-lizard struck such a powerful blow, the bird instantly fell from the sky, pursued by Gryth.

Thorne heard no cries from her hawk when he landed on the ground with a thud. Gryth pinned Gavin, concentrated his breath and breathed into Gavin’s nose. Momentarily stunned, the hawk still had plenty of fight left in him. But he was no match for Gryth’s poisoned breath. As the hawk took its last breath of air, Thorne dismounted and ran to her bird. With all her might, she kicked the creature away from her pet. The lizard-dragon shrieked in pain and writhed away. While he rolled, Thorne swung at it with her sword, but missed.

*  *  *

Lt. Cartwell arrived more quickly than his troup. He had witnessed Thorne’s brutal kick and Glynn’s impending action. Although the wounded dragon lizard was hurting, it wiggled away quite expertly. With an already bloodied battle axe, Glynn was prepared to take this opportunity to strike it down, once and for all. But a heart beat or two before Glynn raised Ieithoedd, his mighty battle axe, to cleave the creature in two, Lt. Cartwell clearly heard the dragon speak to him. “Help me out of here, quickly…!”

No longer than it took him to hear the command, he acted in one swift motion. Lt. Cartwell dove from his horse, rolled his body mid-air, scooped up the bleeding dragon-lizard and ran with him, blood streaming, out of the fray, leaving in the direction he had arrived. Glynn’s axe hit the ground.

The Lieutenant’s horse followed its master, but was nervous around the creature. Lt. Cartwell took off his jacket, wrapped Gryth within it, and managed to remount his reluctant horse. As he rode away with the wounded creature, the Lieutenant called to his men, “Our orders are to apprehend them. Do the best you can, we have back-up on the way.”

His men were momentarily puzzled. Why was protecting the creature so important to the Lieutenant? Why would their leader leave in the midst of a fight? These and questions like it popped into their minds. Most of these men were well-trained mercenaries that Bardulf had picked up for his army and they well understood their job. They were loyal to the one who paid them. So they were loyal to Bardulf. Each wondered why they agreed to such a low fee, and secretly wondered if they had not been magically induced to lower their price.

Most of the trip had been boring and they were ready for action. They knew what to do, and usually attacked in a wedge formation. Would they reach a wide enough space to maneuver their horses like this? They knew to look for and head towards their primary target, a blonde maiden. They originally thought their numbers could easily take three fighters and two women.

But then, they noticed large, ugly things emerging from the rocks. Quickly re-assessing the situation, with the Lieutenant’s absence, they were going to have big problems. They no longer possessed superior numbers.

© 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”

The Energy Leads to JASMINE

“Follow The Energy,” and “Pay Attention from where the Energy Flows”

This week, I followed that advice and I received a surprise. It’s a surprise because its so obvious when you think about it, but totally invisible to me on the level I was working.

I followed the energy to another vantage point, a part of my past — to a 38-year old saga called “The Story of Jasmine.”  I recently discovered a box I had long neglected. When I opened the box, I discovered it was filled with notes for the continuation of my Jasmine story originally published in 1980. The box contained a pile of hand-written notes and scraps of writing, some loose and some in notebooks — everything that did not see the light of day from long before.

The Story of Jasmine is about the young Princess of UR who jumped headlong into her destiny. She is accompanied by a dwarf, her devoted protector. The plot revolves around a ring that the dark prince Bardulf, her father’s enemy from a neighboring territory, managed to place on her finger, hoping to keep the princess spell bound. Through magical means, Bardulf succeeded in taking down the Kingdom of UR, but the princess escapes his clutches.

J is for JASMINE

A fugitive, the Princess of UR willingly leaves her prior life behind and accepts her destiny as a Lady in White, thus becoming Jasmine. The title refers to the highest and most revered one within the ancient Order of the White Flower. However, that Order has not existed for hundreds of years. Jasmine wonders if her new identity is beyond her depths.

Jasmine needs to fully integrate the new concentration of power she feels growing within her entire being while also being present to the daily dangers that seek to destroy her. Jasmine needs to fully integrate the new power she feels growing within her being and also be present to the daily dangers that seek to destroy her.

Besides the dwarf, her other traveling companions — a battle-maiden, a royal dark elf, and a spy for the deadly Fire Queen — have vowed to protect Jasmine, for secret reasons of their own.

Beginnings

At the end of January of this year (2018), I decided to publish each little scrap of writing I found within the old box, one snippet a day. As of May 6th, I’m up to my 85th Snippet. At the moment, it’s becoming more of a collaboration between myself and my younger self. It’s necessary, because there are a lot of holes, like missing dialog / action / explanations needing to be filled in. So Jasmine is both old and new.

I could have sworn that I was going after a market that appreciates my Powerful Women’s Coloring book. That may still be the case, but a desired connection was unexpectedly paused and I found myself returning to the Jasmine story, again and again. Since I had to actually input in text daily, I became more and more focused on the story. I was giving it the energy of my attention.

Fans

So it was in the back of my mind when I was learning the technical aspects behind the various methods there are to collect friendly e-mail addresses. I decided to experiment with Jasmine. Now, after I publish each snippet, I have a place where people can become “A Fan of Jasmine.” It not that difficult to do and I was curious if a passive opt-In would work.

And damned if I didn’t get some responses! I have fans! Who knew? And my fans are willing to help me put Jasmine out there in the public eye! Wow! There is energy here! They’re pointing out to me how close to a ready-made book product I actually have! Why did this never occur to me before? That’s so astounding. I was so close to it, I could not see. Ohhhhh, that’s what they mean when they say, one “cannot see the forest for the trees…!”

[Ha ha ha…So now, I should start thinking in terms of offering some JASMINE swag.]

Why?

Would it be putting on the brakes to examine this a little more — or do I just enjoy the energy while it lasts? Or is concentration and focusing the entire point? Energy begets energy. If I stop myself to ask questions, will I lessen the energy in the act of doing so? If movement slows, one apt to believe “it was just not meant to be.” This reminds me that we are always in control. We are the authors of our own life.

Why Jasmine? Is Jasmine relevant today? Who knows? Maybe there’s something in there for someone who needs to hear a story with a younger voice. Maybe the archetypes will resonate with a newer generation. Maybe the story needed to season in order to flourish.

This older / younger collaboration with myself is a tad strange, but fascinating. It’s like personal archaeology, uncovering treasures through the eyes, perspective, and writing of a young woman. The plot and basic story line already originated in the 1980s. I’m adding depth to the characters and adding description where suitable. The energy is definitely there!

History

Once upon a time, 12 Installments of The Story of Jasmine Illustrated Fantasy Adventure were published in The Dragon magazine, once a month for a year, beginning in May of 1980.

When the contract was not renewed, the story continued in my mind and it morphed into an interactive card game. I divided the characters into four factions and “JASMINE: The Battle for the Mid-Realm” collector card game, became the result of that. It actually gave me the excuse to create 112-miniature paintings. My card game won a Strategists Award in 1982 for the Best New Game.

From my many moves hinder and yon, I held onto many things. Some may say, too many things. But I think the box I found of Jasmine writing might end up being a great and rare treasure.

I still retain some of my original stock of card games… I also have a manuscript, fans, art and the creative desire. So everything is looking good and I’m feeling pretty good too!

Jasmine is like a care package gifted to me by my younger self.

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For anyone who wants to read the story from the beginning of the snippets, they are archived under the Categories of “Jasmine and Role-Playing Games” and “The Creative Process.” 

Just Look to the column on the right, you can find them in the CATEGORIES drop down menu. 

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