Posts Tagged ‘character’

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.

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Lets Twist Again

April 25, 2017

hammerIn a bitter fight the dark side of Emile has emerged and now two of the muggers lie dead. This was to be the end of Emile’s part in the book, with a sneaky twist that developed her character further.

I’ve always liked the idea of promoting equal rights and, although scientifically I definitely thing there are differences both psychologically and physically between men and women, there are a lot of ways equal opportunities between the sexes can be promoted. Having both Aldar and Emile as female characters in the book helped and not keeping to the stereotypic damsel in distress line was also guided my story down this path.

However, it had been Emile’s character that illustrated the strength of a woman, how she could manipulate the men (and woman), and how her survival was not in the hands of her so called bodyguards. She had forced her way out of the psychological shock caused by how close she came to being sacrificed, had conned Joseph into heading for Abendale rather than the capital Ancora, and was now heading out for the West Gate on her own. Even when she was mugged she beat one of them to death with a hammer.

What ultimately shows the strength of her character (or her sneakiness) is when she cons Rondur out of his sword. After being rescued by the gambler, someone who evidently has developed feelings for her despite his usual nonchalant attitude toward women, she swaps information for his blade. And then leaves him weaponless. Ultimately, her survival is more important than a suave seducer and once again she is able to out think the man in the story.

Actually she leaves him the hammer. She isn’t all that bad.

You can find out more about my world at my Facebook page here or you can visit my website here. The book has now gone out to the beta readers though I’m looking for a few more.

Picture taken from Lilly Potter pinterest and originally from http://www.jimbodetools.com

Shock and horror

April 15, 2017

shock

With Wilhelm, Tom and Aldar having escaped by cart, there was a quiet period where I was able to explore their characters. Tom’s brooding over his sister’s affections for Wilhelm, Wilhelm’s pain from his wounds and his determination to keep going, and then I came to Aldar. Tom I could put across as a strong character who was looking out for his sister. I’ve been the stronger one in several relationships, and its in the hard times that you have to put everything aside to look after the other. It can be hard, but it gives you something to aim for so I guess it can possibly make life easier?

Aldar is the younger sister and although she is changing she is still the baby of the too. She’s only just finding her feet and pushing her brother aside, so on the cart she is finally hit by the shock of what has happened. Its amazing the effect shock can have, how it can manipulate your mind and the way you think. I have epilepsy, and I always found it strange how my brain could work so differently because the impulses weren’t travelling around correctly.

I had shock when I was in my first car accident, not really being able to speak properly to the policeman involved. I’d only been driving six months so what had just happened really it home. The other time I was in shock was after my wife’s passing. It was quite a while later, when I was bagging up her clothes, and I just slumped down crying. I literally couldn’t control my body and its nothing to do with how I was physically, all a shut down of the brain’s functions.

This I could transfer across to Aldar’s character. There were plenty of times when there were pretty shocking incidents in this book, what with the living dead eating and devouring people, but I felt this moment was the worst for her. She had seen her father die and then kill her brother; something that I guess none of us could fathom. Now she was sitting on a quiet cart, her first peace since the mill was mobbed, and now she could start to cry.

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

The Gambler

April 8, 2017

musketeer.jpg

Emile’s character was developing by this point, becoming a strong woman who was able to manipulate men and other women alike for her political (and sometimes not so political) cause. More about her later. Like I’ve said, with Heinrich fallen smitten for her and Joseph trying to chat her up with his wit and (what he thinks) charm, she would obviously see them both as immature. Much as they are useful to have around, she wasn’t going to do anything. However, I wanted to make the relationship between Joseph and Heinrich worse (nasty old me) and build up a rivalry. Welcome Rondur.

Rondur is a gambler, party drinker, the real master of wit. Picture the three musketeers – I certainly had a similar image painted in my head when thinking about him (actually from Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay). He came into the book trying to recover from a hangover after a journey from last night’s inn, washing his face in a stream to recover. His horse is close by, an older animal named Gypsy who he obviously has a close relationship with as he talks to her and she responds. Such animals are fairly easy to picture; think of the nag that you see as you pass the paddock down the road, the one that seems to have been there forever. Only I wanted this to be deceptive. Much as she looked fairly unkempt, she is still a fast(ish) runner and what she may lack in peak fitness she makes up for in intelligence.

This character would become important in creating friction between Joseph and Henrich as he manages to bed Emile (or at least she beds him!). He would become one of my favourite characters and important to the plot, eventually bringing upset to the reader (my girlfriend almost cried) and saving the day at one point. He develops, as a character from a self-survival coward to someone with at least a little bit of backbone. Just a little.

Picture taken from http://www.peter-caldi-news.com

Aldar and the zombie attack

April 7, 2017

zombie attackI’m currently redrafting chapter 11 (closing in on the fourteen chapters + epilogue!) and read my work on one of the last characters I introduced, Aldar. Heinrich, Joseph and Emile had gone one way whilst Wilhelm had taken another route, so I needed companions for my many protagonist. This would be the miller’s daughter and her brother, the three brought together in a tidal wave when the mill is attacked.

In chapter 11 I really got my teeth into the relationship between Aldar and her brother Tom; very much the protective older brother to an innocent sister. But whereas Tom sees her has naïve, Aldar is more intelligent. She’s just been kept hidden from exposure to the horrors of life.

I immediately played on the idea that Aldar falls for the swooping, dark-haired stranger big time and that there may be a love triangle between Wilhelm, Aldar and Emile. However, this wasn’t to be as they went their separate ways and never met up again. Instead, the interaction between Wilhelm and Aldar would change. Its clear that Wilhelm is not interested in anything relationship-wise, be it Aldar or anyone else, but the two are closer by the end of the book and who knows what happens in the sequel (well I do).

The mill, in chapter 4, was the first zombie killing scene, bringing in the psychological horrors of this genre. When the dead flood into the house, Wilhelm, the miller, Tom, his other brother and Aldar trying to hold them back, there is hurt and pain as first the miller is bitten and turns (NB: its the first time we find out that you don’t have to die to turn into the undead) and then he bites his own son as the youngster mourns. Something that’s hard to take for Aldar and Tom, though the later remains strong for his sister.

Its certainly interesting to see the development of the characters and Aldar is another who I’ve been happy to see changing. Her reaction at this point, breaking down and virtually unable to function whilst her brother somehow manages to keep going, shows her weakness. However, ultimately she becomes a stronger character that will play a more important role in the sequel.

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

Valen, the last character…for now

April 5, 2017

valen    I’d decided that my world wasn’t going to have a million and one races in it. I wrote a novella about ten year ago called ‘The Privileged Few’, set in a sci fi universe the same as ours. I brought in supernatural creatures as more ‘true legends’ rather than regular races; rarities that actually turned out to not be myths. This was the way I wanted to play the kingdom I now knew as Mariad.

Though there was certainly magic in Mariad (otherwise Khazar’s abilities would be a weird) I didn’t want it to be a load of spell casting wizards as in worlds of Warhammer, D&D or like in the Diskworld. Much as I am great fans of these I felt it would be more interesting to set the supernatural in a 99% human world.

However, I do like Elves. I wanted to be able to write about their grace and ability and even challenge myself with writing from an Elven character’s point of view without emotion. Imagine trying to get the reader attached to what is going on in Spock’s head! So from this my last character of the first chapter was born, an Elf named Valen. She didn’t have a long lifespan.

Sadly, I wanted to show I wasn’t afraid to kill characters and, after what I felt was my best work of the first chapter, she was slain by Khazar. I had several other reasons. I didn’t want Wilhelm dying. He was my main protagonist and was the focus of much of the book. He is the hero that has to escape to come back and fight Khazar. So when he was locked in combat with Khazar, being beaten and almost killed, Valen jumps in to save him.

My second reason is I planned to bring the Elves into the book using her death. As it happens, this won’t happen until the sequel and its given me some fantastic twists and ideas. I have written about her again in my first short story about Mariad (one that I haven’t published online as I feel its a bit too typical a hero slays dragon tale) and I also wrote about her father in Heart’s Siege (I loved writing this short story as it combined a who-done-it, romance and action all in one).

Onwards to another day of farming, chess teaching, tutoring and tournament running. Redrafting and blogging, I look forward to you so much!

P.S. Thank you for those who have been interested in my blog. My first one its nice to see that already there are some who are having a read and follow – appreciated.

Picture is taken from pinterest, Elaine Marie, originally from http://www.capsulecomputers.com.au

Joseph – A Friend Indeed

April 4, 2017

josephHeinrich is an inexperienced soldier, joining the Lord’s forces recently and only having taken part in a few law and order tasks. He’s a recruit, so I brought in a fellow newbie to fight with him; Joseph. At first, I saw them as partners. Not so much ‘I have you back brother’ but more as two soldiers thrown through the discomfort and horrors of life in the army.

But my idea morphed and changed as things usually do when I write. Instead, what if Joseph is corrupted by Khazar? He would be an inside mole, working for Khazar unbeknownst to Heinrich or any of the others. The bond between he and Heinrich would be tested and broken. Would he come back from his betrayal? Be killed in anger by Heinrich if he ever finds out? Or perhaps he will be the hero’s penultimate downfall? Taking it from this angle there were a lot more ideas I could come up.

He’s a chirpy, charismatic kid who thinks they’re witty and funny but to the experienced his real emotions underneath can be read. He’s had a hard upbringing and this is what Khazar plays on, corrupting his mind with magic and promises. During the battle, Joseph loses his forearm, hacked off by an axe blow, and Khazar uses his magic to let it regenerate.

Again I started to toy with new thoughts. What if Emile is supposed to get away? Perhaps Khazar is using her, sending her back to her father for his own plan. It would make sense that he sends Joseph with her to make sure she survives and so the tale continued with Joseph riding to catch up with Heinrich and Emile who are escaping through the woods.

Picture taken from pinterest.com, LA Carmichael, originally from http://www.providenceviking.tumblr.com

The plot begins to form…

April 3, 2017

witchhunter   The idea had been fairly simple, just your basic hero beats bad guy story. Maybe he’d have to escape after failing in the battle, pull himself together, then face off with Khazar again. Clash, clash, clash and the hero wins.

But of course that wasn’t the way I wanted it to go. I wanted it to be different, something more original (well as original as I could be). So instead, what if he simply fails? What if he is defeated and the book becomes more of a fight for survival and to escape the rampaging zombie hordes instead?

I’d played Warhammer games as a kid and teenager, loving Heroquest, Bloodbowl, Fantasy Roleplay and Warhammer Quest. One of my favourite characters was the Witch Hunter, a miniature I painted well and looked fantastic. With a cloak swooping out around him, sabre raised and wide brimmed hat I based my protagonist on this character. But instead of the amazing superhero characteristics and powers of your usual fantasy heroes, what if he has to flee in order to survive? This gave him a new dimension, he isn’t the invincible warrior but a survivor.

Scars

April 3, 2017

sergant fredrickson     I pictured my main protagonist as a long, black-haired mysterious hero with cloak sweeping around him as he jumps into battle (have I been watching too much batman?). As I toyed with this and how to write about him without making things cliché, I began to think of a second character who was a sort of opposite. Whilst the battle would turn on the good guys, a tough, gritty veteran would be part of the fight. This one would be one of those characters who storms around shouting for soldiers to get to their feet, the ones like Sargent Horvath in Saving Private Ryan, someone who shows the scars and experience and scars of battle.

In fact, the scars of his half mutilated face would help to define who he was; a soldier who has been through many battles. This would later start me thinking on how Khazar could manipulate people and draw them to his need, playing on the fruitlessness of life and their existence and lives. How many times had Helmvich fought and it had been for nothing? Such reasoning could be drawn from any of my characters and thus any could turn to his followers. The idea of Khazar’s later transformation giving him magical powers that could help in this corruption started coming to me as well. It would be interesting to show the readers that there was reasoning, and some might say justified reasoning, behind those who helped Khazar…

My character was based on a book/TV series that I used to really enjoy; Sharpe. Much as I found the characters of Sharpe and Harper interesting to read about, it would be my favourite character that I would picture whilst I wrote. William Fredrickson was a fantastic character (and quite a tragic one if you read the books) who bore the scars from a cannon explosion. With false teeth he gathered from the dead (and took out before battle), a missing eye and a wig to hide his burnt scalp, he was a fantastic sergeant to see and visualise. Roaring at the men to hold, he was funny and ferocious at the same time. Much as I didn’t make Helmvich witty, I would take some of those elements.

I’m probably going to change his (or Heinrich’s) name eventually as a beta reader suggested their names were too similar. In a book where there are many characters, you can’t make it too confusing I guess.

Picture is taken from the ithinkthereforeireview blogspot