Home Education Disgruntlement

January 17, 2018

outdated educationI have to say that my passion at the moment is torn to my defence of the home education world. Its a very understood part of society, particularly as we group every home education family into one basket when they are so different. Believe me, they vary a great deal more than from the commercially produced factory belt families that our society produces. Don’t get me wrong, I see the reason and the needs for helping the masses – we’re a very big population – but then I can also see the need for helping those who have unique requirements and passions.

I guess I should say what qualifies me to garble on about this and I reckon its something that many people don’t have. I’ve been a tutor for 15 years, a lecturer in a college for a short time (3.5 years) and I’ve seen how the system works. Its affected by paperwork, grades, targets, bureaucracy, health and safety and risk assessments. I’ve seen it go wrong, with teachers yelling at crying children, and I’ve seen it go right, with pupils enjoying themselves so much they don’t want to go right. Teach right, in a well structured school, with the correct funding, then you can have a lot of well educated students who are happy and enjoy the experience.

A private tutor, five years ago I started to teach one and a half hours a week for a home education group. “Home education group?” I hear you ask in shock. Yes, the home education world has places were kids and families can group and chat, getting to know each other and socialise. These kids aren’t locked away, in the corner of the room sat in front a lowly desk, quill in hand. They don’t scream “The light! Not the light!” as they emerge from their homes, disintegrating under its glare. They have social lives, get over it.

I was there to aid their learning as some home education parents can’t help as much when they hit their GCSEs. I taught maths, biology, environmental science and even history. It was lovely as for once it wasn’t about the grades and marks. These kids had picked to do this work because they enjoyed it and their parents didn’t demand As and Bs or even passes. A lot came along to just sit the class and listen, rather than take an exam at the end, and it was fabulous to see kids learning because they wanted to learn. Can you imagine that? I gradually integrated into the home education world, having expertise in the state schools and also understanding education in this new environment. I read about the different reasons for home education, the different forms, and found out why people enjoyed it so much. I even fell for a home education single mum and have four lovely kids and a beautiful partner. Its safe to say that I may not be the master of either side but I know about both.

There are two, well actually three things that bug me the most and really have to be addressed.

Firstly, society groups the home educated under one big umbrella. If your kids learn at home they are home educated and they are all the same. Really? Do you know what racism, sexism and homophobia are? They’re grouping people and unfairly judging them because of characteristics. How can you say that all home educated families need to be registered just because they are home educated? We already know if there are children in a family – there are these things called birth certificates – so why the heck does there need to be a special register? I’ll come back to that later.

My point is that we home educate for different reasons but, in my eyes and from what I’ve seen, they can be boiled down to five main ones:

1. Religion – With religion sometimes contradicting what is preached in the schools, some families want to bring their children up with religion in the background. Remember school assemblies where we had to say the Lord’s Prayer? Now have you thought what its like if you’re another religion? Or maybe schools have removed the religious features now and this is what a family wants. Its their choice, not the government’s.

2. Advanced or needing help – Schools in the UK have the most stupid system of putting children in classes according to age, not ability. Why? Surely if I’m struggling I need to stay at a lower level? Or why should I be held back if I have an advanced age? Its not a necessity to pass GCSE’s by a certain age, to get into college by another and to shovel teenagers off to university by a deadline. These are just outdated traditions.

3. Bullying and mistreatment – A child’s work suffers if they are being bullied or even if they have been. Couple this with the fact that worse things can happen, I’ve seen one teacher yelling at a seven year old kid while waggling a finger in their face, then their school work can be severely held back. Home education can provide a secure environment which can help them recover or just provide an atmosphere where they learn better.

4. Conditions – There are tonnes of conditions that affect kids. Anxiety, depression, ADHD, OCD, autism, dyslexia…the list just doesn’t stop. Now theoretically these kids are supposed to have help in schools, have assistants who can aid them but I can tell you this doesn’t happen in A LOT of places. I know one child who was put into a special needs class without finding out what was holding them back only for me to discover they had bad dyslexia. The child was getting headaches when viewing white paper and they wondered why it held his maths back!

5. The system – Its safe to say that our education system is outdated, traditional and backward. It needs changing. Look at the European countries, child centred learning, open schools – all these things improve learning ten fold and make it far more enjoyable. I’ve met numerous families who are just fed up, watching their children become held back because of the way the commercialised system holds them back. We are no longer a mass producing ‘get everyone educated’ world of the late 19th century. Change the system.

Okay I’m going to shut up now as I have used up a lot of my time and…ahem…written an essay. I’ll gas on about my other frustrations at another time but until then have fun!

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Home Education and Theresa May

January 9, 2018

Home educationDefinitely a day that made me want to head butt the wall as the dog knocked glasses off my face (tip – don’t pick up mad, hyperactive, nutcase mongrels) and I turned around only to feel the ‘crunch’ beneath my foot. Honestly, its like something from a sitcom only this left me partially blind. Out came the glue, which seemed to fix the job, only now I have a smear of the stuff in my vision. Great.

Lack of time prevented me from getting on with the latest words I’ve plotted in my head, which made me a bit disappointed. So much for a new years resolution (two days after I started it). Fingers crossed this will just be a blip! In all fairness I did stay up till late helping one of my students, rather than getting on with much needed writing, so I have an excuse. Trouble is there are some times when I always have excuses…

Yesterday also saw us dosing the sheep, a job that went smoothly thanks to the trained nature of the sheep. It does mean Woolie is a step towards coming home (yeay!) after she’ll be PD’d (pregnancy diagnosis) later this week. For those who don’t know, Woolie is our pet sheep, given to us by my uncle as a runt who was rejected by her mother. After three…awwwwww.

Looks like Theresa May has had another black mark against her name with this cabinet shuffle cock up, failing to make changes that she said would come. Will it make a difference though? I’d like to think that by now the Joe Bloggs will understand that she is not a good leader but will they vote for Labour? I’d like to think so as Corbyn seems a much better guy to have in charge! Saying that, we have a local labour party member who is trying to infiltrate the home education groups and with this forced register coming out (honestly it sounds like something from the Hitler’s regime) coming out there is a severe lack of trust. Its almost as if she wants to gather information about the home educated.

Perhaps we’re paranoid but can you blame the home education society? People don’t understand the way they have been mistreated. I had one friend whose child suffered severe anxiety but wanted to try to go back into school for a few days. They were told by the school that this was fine and she could always leave again only for them to find letter after letter and threat after threat piled against them when the girl couldn’t cope. So much for being allowed to leave. Local Education Authority officials falsely tell parents that they have every right to enter people’s houses (this happens on numerous occasions) breaching people’s privacy. And now, with one child dying of nutrition deficiency in the home education world, everyone is put under scrutiny. Let me ask you, how many children are abused that come from state schools? How much children have died by mistreatment who go to the state schools? A hell of a lot more.

People simply fear what they don’t know. And that’s the crux of the matter; there is a lack of trust between LEAs and the Home Educated and that needs to be fixed before we can work together. Personally, I don’t see a forced register as allowing this to happen.

Jedi Powers and Writer’s Block

January 7, 2018

mark hamill.jpgGood old Trump strikes again. By the way I apologise to any Americans who are reading these blog posts but hell, the end of the world is something I have to write about. Have you actually seen the child like remarks he’s made about Wolff’s book? It does not make him look good. If there’s one damn thing you don’t do to illustrate you’re not mentally like a child is spill insults and snaps like a child! Has anyone seen Mark Hamill’s reply to Trump? I can only hope that he can use his Jedi mind powers to control Trump’s temper tantrums. Remember he has a bigger button.

Another grouch of today’s news is the media’s love of slagging off celebrities and royalty. The latest punch is Meghan Markle’s sister-in-law assaulting her fiancée, I should say allegedly, but so what? These aren’t the rulers of the country. Hell, they don’t even know what has actually happened. Just to sell papers or please ads on websites they’ll publish anything that will scratch under the surface of public curiosity.

A session down the farm and a session with the pizzas pretty much took up a day that started with the splat of two teabags falling from my teaspoon to leave a brown liquid psychological interpretation image on the floor. However, all things considered the day was good as a new student signed up (only for four lesson but hey ho money’s money and as my wallet is empty and I was close to setting up a pole dancing club I’m more than happy).

In all the best part of my day was getting through my writer’s block (hence the exert from my last post). 1300 words of a story that I was happy with and now on to the next part. It came to me that Khazar could capture Nils’ son as he tries to get the message to Ancora, sacrificing him to control Nils (who has the death charm). It’s a nice twist and one I didn’t think of but as it happens most of my ideas come to me during my writing. Is this the same for everyone else? After that its on with the next chapter, back to Wilhelm and Aldar as they escape the tribesmen who are going to hunt them down. In jump the Elves…Finally I’m moving closer to a scene I thought of about a year ago! Nothing more satisfying than finally getting it down on paper!

Snippet From Sequel

January 6, 2018

Brienne_of_Tarth-Gwendoline_Christie.jpgOk this one is from the sequel to my book I’m currently writing. If there’s crap grammar etc its because I haven’t redrafted it and won’t until I’ve actually finished! This part of chapter 3 (I think) sees the main protagonist (Khazar) using a spell to control the mind of a stranger he has planted in a castle that he wants to take. His plan is to use a death spell to force the man to commit suicide so that he rises from the dead (its a zombie book) and thereby spread the death to others in the fortification. Better than taking the castle by force!

‘Reaching out with my mind, I channel it into the flames, into the magical artefact. The swirling snakes of energy that wind around my scalp reach out to be sucked into the interwoven twigs before I begin to picture the vision of the man I seek out. The man who’s daughter I slaughtered in order to control that single mind. My thoughts flow through the air, riding the cold winds that blow over the snow covered slopes, and then I am there at the fortification that halts my army’s advance. Upward, over the huge walls that seem to be designed to hold back dragons or even the gods themselves, towering above the rocky ground below. Upward, over the parapet and along the walkway where soldiers stand, dressed in their thick black furs and protective armour.

I speed through the air, to the second wall, and then onwards until I pass a figure I know. Nils, commander of the Eastern Fortress, an old man yet famed for his use of the sword. He is broad shouldered but not a giant, not like the woman who stands next to him. Not the prettiest, I know this will now matter to Nils as long as she is loyal and can protect the castle. He shows his age now, hair a matt of grey and unshaven pock-marked face showing many wrinkles, but he would defeat many before he fell. He is a thorn in my side and one I plan to pluck from my skin as if a fly. Irritating but killed with a swift blow.

Onward, past them and through to the room where they are now heading, past the guard who stands idly at the door and inwards into the bedchamber where the father of my sacrifice sits. Looking down at him, invisible to all but those of the highest magic, I see a young child whose mind is almost gone. Huddled like an embryo, he shivers in spasms, staring at the wall with a lost gaze. Soon is pain will be over and the infection of the fortress will begin.

Mumbling the words of the curse, cross-legged in my cave, I picture the charm within his clothes and channel my magic into its woven shape. For a moment I feel a wave of nausea, dizziness flowing through my brain as if I am spinning round and round but then I use all my discipline and training to focus again and I am there, within him. The death spell is complete.

Now a puppet, his eyes look away from the wall and I and his vision are the same. We look around, searching for something to quench a need to end a meaningless life and he is captured with the need to end his own life. The spell will force him to take this path and then his undead form shall rise and those within the castle will become my army. We rise from the bed, searching the room for something of use but there is no blade or knife that may make the task easier.

Staggering forward to the window for a second I think we may throw himself to the stones of the courtyard floor below but bars prevent our exit. This time we move towards the door and I smile inwardly. The guard will end him and then the infection can begin. Just as our hand is placed on the door, ready to attack the guard beyond, we stop and I wonder what we are about to do. Our eyes have caught something, the blanket on the bed, and as we take it in our hands and twist and twist I realise what we are about to do. Under my breath I growl.

Formed into a makeshift rope we step up onto the bed, tying the end to the beams above. The other end is torn short, ripping as we pull with all our strength, then he fashions the noose that will be our end.

No good! Anger stabs into me as I recognise that protesting is futile. I cannot control his actions now, only watch as a spectator from within and feel frustrated. This death will leave him strung up like a chicken, spasming and swinging from the wood above, but much less likely to bite those I wish dead. This zombi will be unlikely to spread the underneath to others of the castle and all my work will have gone to waste. Even as my attention returns to the situation at hand his feet step out into the air and then he jerks once, twice, and hangs dead with spittle trickling down his chin.’

I approach 18k words…

Trump, Pizzas and Sparks

January 6, 2018

Trump.jpg

Today I read the next story in the Trump saga and it amazes me how the world believes how naïve people are. Mind you perhaps we all are. Refusing to block Trump’s twitters, the site is now stating that they won’t block world leaders as it would stop important matters being debated. Do people really believe this? Its obvious that the number of followers and viewers on these sites is much more essential to the sites than world safety (come on, stating ‘I’ve got a bigger nuclear bomb than you’ is not the way for a world leader to behave) and it can’t be the case that people actually believe this bull. I guess what difference will whinging make in the end though? I’ve been waiting for nuclear Armageddon for the last year and, though there have been other times when I think the clock has come closer to striking midnight, I flinch when I read Trump’s latest nutcase statements. Hope you’ve had a nice life if this first post (in quite a while) is my last.

A good time delivering pizzas yesterday was highlighted by the addition of an extra student and stained by the snail slow internet that we now have. Can you believe that Talk Talk can’t send out an engineering until the 16th!? Eleven days of sluggish hell as I but my head against the wall. Ironically I remember the ZX Spectrum when I was a kid and the repeated buzzing for at least quarter of an hour as we waited for the games to load. I guess my patience has slowly been striped away as the world has got much faster.

The sparks that are lighting up my writing life are actually highlighting a way back into writing and I’m actually looking forward to getting on with my sequel to Demon Rising. I’ve actually sent my first book to an agent (though I don’t think I’ll actually get it published without a platform – man it was impossible to scrape together a writing CV with my lack of experience) and felt quite proud in myself. Now I only have to start the actual writing again…

Demon Rising is Live

June 2, 2017

500 pages and one masterpiece later, Stephan makes a horrifying discovery.Almost two years ago my brain was bubbling with too much Walking Dead and zombies when I figured I would like to write such a novel. Flicking over a unique take, a decided to do a fantasy as it seemed to me most zombie apocalypse shows and books were set in the modern world. What exactly would happen if the dead were unleashed on the land in the 17th or 18th century? Would the lower population numbers mean that it was less of a threat, unable to spread itself as much? Or perhaps tougher times would mean they people would be able to fight off the new terror. Would there be a supernatural reasoning behind it, bringing in magic and the unexplainable? Or would it have a scientific basis like many zombie apocalypse programs?

Nailing myself down in front of my laptop to actually complete this book, I started forcing myself to write a couple of thousand words a day. As usual my imagination shaped the pathway by book would take, coming up with ideas that I weaved into the novel. I decided that I would write it from the protagonists views, exploring the minds of each character and how they perceived the scenes. At that point I hadn’t read Game of Thrones so hadn’t seen a book done in such a way and it seemed like a different take.

By the end of the year it was finished with beta readers giving the thumbs up for the first five chapters. However, to my horror I realised I’d slipped back into past tense since chapter two! Having the change the tense of the whole book disheartened me and, with the year becoming busier than ever, I put down the quill and returned to the tedium of teaching and tutoring. Several months ago I promised to finish the redraft. I’d already written two short stories, Heart’s Siege and Into the Desert (only £0.99), based in the same world, stories taken from the characters backgrounds, and so I began to trudge through the chapters to finally reach the glorious day that is today.

I’m definitely not expecting big sales, possibly any sales lol, but its satisfying to finally publish my first book. There’s a proper cover being made but for the time being the one I’ve dug up seems pretty good. If you’re into fantasy books try Demon Rising , its only £3.10, and I hope you enjoy!

You can find out more about me and my books at my website www.hywelgriffiths.co.uk at my website. You can read snippets about the book and look for other info in my updates page here or even give me a shout on the contacts page!

Happy reading!

Picture taken from http://www.cartoonstock.com

Off to Amazon

June 1, 2017

After a heck of a lot of writing, redrafting and nail biting I’ve finally sent Demon Rising off to Amazon self publishing and its under review. Will chuck out the details once its up and running!

Snippit two

May 30, 2017

shaun of the deadAnother free snippit from Demon Rising that I’ll be publishing tomorrow. Remember, you can read my short story Into the Desert at Amazon Kindle here or another short story set in the world of Mariad, Heart’s Siege, here. Also, updates and info can be found at my website www.hywelgriffiths.co.uk.

In this snippit, Heinrich and Rondur have just about escaped the living dead and are fighting their way in through a crowd of survivors to get past Abendale’s gates before they are locked out. As they make their way to the front, mounted on horses, the undead start their attack on those at the back.

‘At the back of the crowd, like hyenas pouncing on trapped animals, the reanimated corpses are feasting. They leap on backs, swipe at legs, bite into necks. The desperate travellers try to fight them off but the crazed hunger makes them unstoppable.

One man strikes a rotten corpse back but a soldier with face slashed open from eye to neck gladly grabs at the exposed arm and bites in hungrily. Another person is pushed to the ground by the rioter next to him and she is quickly smothered by a pack of nightmarish creatures. They have no qualms about who they attack, no prejudice; anyone and everyone is their next target. With psychotic madness the crowd pushes the gate open and we swarm in, our horses forcing through to be ahead of the rest. Rondur does not stop and I can see why.

Behind they could not shut the gates in time and the guards, few that there are, can only let the remaining survivors through in a wave. The howls and groans echo out, a stench of decay filling the air, and we know what is to come. Taking a second glance at Rondur as he dashes away, I curse at his cowardice and leap from my horse, slapping her on the rump to make her speed away. I will need her no longer.

Pushing through the last stragglers that have made it in, the first of the dead comes before me and I strike out with the spear, plunging it into the yellowing head. To my amazement it collapses to the floor, and I turn to face another whose putrefied flesh has almost completely fallen from it’s bones. Bringing the shaft of my spear around in a sweep, hoping to knock it off balance, my blow clubs away the very bones that holds the thing aloft.

Sweat is breaking out on me now, the effort of riding, fighting and keeping my mind steady have all driven my body hard. I know someone is at my side, and I raise my weapon to strike out, but rather than a monster I see a guard dressed in the red and yellow checkers of a strange and bizarre uniform. He holds his own against the dead that fight forward and I realise that we need to work as one to fight them back.

“To me!” I cry, striking out again, but this time the corpse almost tears the spear from my hands as is turns to hit back, oblivious of the impaling.

“Its head!”

His words ring home and the images of my encounters with these things flash into my mind. As Rondur and I had rode past, I had struck out at the chilling hands and mouths that had so desperately fought to feast on me. Only some had been felled and now I realise it is those whose skulls were smashed or heads had been impaled. It is their Achilles heel.

Several other guards appear, having fought his way through the mass, and we stand in a point. The people have fled, stalls abandoned and celebrations ceased, and in this deserted arena we three keep the invaders from their ceaseless march. Only that morning I had been new to the battlefield and yet now those experiences fill me with a confidence. I had fled that doomed battle and I will not flee again.

Thrust, parry and swipe, the spear dances a rhythm that I did not know I could play. The leaf of steal that tips the shaft cuts into flesh and stabs out at gaping maws, forcing them to keep at bay or ending their return to the living world. It is becoming instinct, the training and skirmishes with outlaws suddenly making me a warrior.’

People of Mariad

May 28, 2017

A few more days to go till I publish so I thought I’d share a bit of the world that has formed itself in my head. Remember that you can try out my work on Amazon kindle here with my first short story, Into the Desert. Its currently free so give it a try! You can also keep updated with recent happenings on my website www.hywelgriffiths.co.uk.


Mariad – This is the main location in the book. It is a small kingdom (about the size of Wales) which is cut off from the rest of the world (when you consider the Great Desert to its north is the size of the Gobi desert this tells you how small it is. However, they are relatively advanced in their technology (having cannons) and up to a 18th century way of thinking. It is cut off from the Great Desert in the north by the Feld Mountain range. The same range cuts them off from the lands to the east though there is a small pass known as the Eastern Gate.

Mariad once had plentiful supplies of gold, iron and other metals from its mines in the north east but these have now almost run dry. Once plentiful and trading with the east and west, they can no longer produce such resources and mainly trade in timber (from the Tyriad Woods) and agriculture. There are several small rivers that run down from the mountains but the main one is the river Aben that runs from the mountains in the east, through the kingdom and out into the Tyriad Woods. It is this river that is now used for trade as movement along the Eastern Gate has been banned.

The Eastern Gate is a pass that leads (unsurprisingly) east through the Feld Mountains. A large castle protects this pass, built after the invasion by the Valra who managed to decimate about two third of the kingdom before being halted and fought back with the aid of the Elves.

In the south, before the coast, lies a cursed wood known as Darkwood. It was, and probably still his, a home of the supernatural and a source of deep magic that Khazar uses to create his army of zombi.

On the coast there are a couple of major ports, used for trade, but there are also numerous fortresses with cannon that can keep at bay any attacks from the sea. Navel powers in this world are not great so there is little worry that someone will attack from the sea.

Abendale is one of the main cities of Mariad and has a huge timber trade in the Tyriad Woods. This is carried out in balance with nature, replanting in order to maintain their resources. The city itself was actually built amongst the trees, much in tune with the local ecosystem. However, most of the city was burnt down when Khazar attacked it (in Demon Rising) and now all that remains is the poorer district, south of the river Aben.

There are several watch towers around the Feld Mountains to look out for invasion where it is most likely (for example where the Tyriad Woods meets the Feld Mountains in the west). However, even though the mountains are thinnest here there is still no obvious pass and so invasion is highly unlikely if not impossible.

The capital is Ancora, a huge city that lies to the north. The city’s ‘castle’ is actually carved from the mountain and it is here that the King rules the land. Since the death of the last king, the current elected Lord (Emile’s father) has ruled and refused to give up power. With the next in line still disputed, ruling is supposed to be given to the three brothers in turn but instead one was ‘sent’ to the east as an emissary and the other was killed. Although Emile’s father has not declared himself king (as he knows this may cause a rebellion by the supporters of his brother in the east) he has become the defacto ruler (and a poor one).

Rondur’s biography

May 26, 2017

Six days to go, and I don’t mean till summer! With a warning of spoilers here’s a biography of one of my favourite characters, the rogue Rondur.

Remember, you can read my short story, Into the Desert, for free for the next four days (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Into-Desert-Mariad-Sh…/…/B01N2YO19I) and if you like it make sure you leave a review! If you don’t then don’t leave a review? 😀 Seriously though, I always like feedback as to how I can improve my work so you can give me a shout on my website www.hywelgriffiths.co.uk.

There’s also the snippet from my novel I posted yesterday that can be found in my page updates (just below Rondur’s biography).


Rondur

Heart’s Siege: Fourteen years before the events of Heart’s siege, the Elven Ambassador Alta falls in love with a human named Elsha. She falls pregnant with Rondur and thinks she will never see Alta again. Rondur is brought up by another mother, Elsha’s father being strictly against his unmarried daughter having a child. For while Rondur doesn’t know his mother, but soon he begins to meet her every once in a while, knowing her as a friend.

Rondur supports Steffan when Theissen frame’s the king’s grandson for treason. A young boy of 14, he is part of the garrison that holds Darech. Altra tries to convince his son to leave. However, when Rondur finds out that Theissen threatens to kill his true mother, he opens the gates in the night to allow them entrance and so end the siege. The guilt of this act leading to so many deaths lives with him for a long time and it mars Alta’s opinon of him. The guilt leads him to his rogue lifestyle with no ambition or aim.

After Death: When Rondur hears of his sister’s disappearance with Ethandril, he vows to find her. This sets him off on six months of travelling between pubs and inns, resulting in nothing much that a lot of alcohol consumption and gambling. Finally, we enter the events of Demon Rising.

Demon Rising: Rondur is a typical rogue, gambler and pickpocket, living off the pubs as he travels from inn to inn. He is a lady’s man and flamboyant but can fight when cornered. He gets annoyed at himself when women have the better over him, as he was when Emile used him for her pleasure. He would prefer to run to save himself, which some may see as cowardly. He sees this as survival. Slightly selfish he does think of others but usually puts his own needs first. However, is one selfless act is that he searches his sister, hearing of her sword whilst in the Woodcutter well. He is not an alcoholic but does drink. He also has a close relationship with his horse, Gypsy, a golden nag. They have grown used to each other and Gypsy usually ignores his roguish tendencies. She is not overly fast but can gallop if needed.

He has flowing shoulder length, light brown hair and usually wears a waistcoat and tailed-coat. He has a closely shaved beard and pointed, waxed (when possible) moustache. He also wears a bandolier as he lived in the Lost Lands for a while and owned a rifle, now gone. He also carries a set of brass knuckles to use in emergencies.

After being seduced by Emile at the Woodcutter, he manages to escape the slaughter by diving out of the bedroom window and crashing through the roof of a well. He is stuck until Heinrich wakes up and rescue him. The two manage to escape and make for Abendale. They arrive as the town is attacked by dead and Rondur manages to escape into Abendale, leaving Heinrich who refuses to let the guards die. On his escape he bumps into Emile once again who has been trapped. Showing his affection for her once more, he aids her rescue by killing two of the attackers.

Rondur returns to the governor’s house where Emile tells him he last saw Wilhelm, whom she knew had the sword of Valen. Finding the streets overrun with dead and the Strigoi Olrev attacking Heinrich, he manages to kill the vampire after it slays Gypsy. Heinrich and Rondur escape from Abendale and eventually split when they are far enough away. Rondur deduces that Wilhelm, who he now know has the sword Ethandril, will be escaping via the river westwards.