Archive for the ‘adventure’ Category

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…

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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).