The Legend of Grillon and Parador.

 

 

Grillon and Parador are two of the gods of Vimar, the world I created when I started to write The Wolves of Vimar Series.

Grillon is the god of Nature and wild things and Parador is the goddess of Agriculture. The legend is told each year on the first day of spring, which is also the start of the year on Vimar. The first month of the year is called after Grillon, and is known as Grilldar. It falls roughly the same time as mid-March to mid-April on Earth.

I hope you enjoy this poem, which also appears in the first book of The Wolves of Vimar, The Wolf Pack. The friends spend this day in Roffley on their way to find the Sword of the legendary king, Sauvern, who united the land of Grosmer.

On the eve of Grildar, morality is lax, and there are many children conceived at this time. They are considered as blessed, though, and are thought of as the children of the god, and not conceived of human males.

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Legend of Grillon and Parador

One day the Lord of Nature was walking all alone
When beside a hidden pool a lovely sight was shown.
For bathing in the moonlight, where no-one should have been
Was a beauteous maiden, the loveliest he’d e’er seen.

Lord Grillon lost his heart to her
This maiden oh so fair.
He vowed that she would be his own
His life with her would share.

He showed himself at once to her
As forward he did tread.
She said “And who are you, good sir?
Should you not be abed?”

Oh lovely maid, my love, my life,
I ne’er will rest again.
Unless you come to be my wife
My heart will feel such pain.”

And so fair Parador was wed
To Grillon. She agreed
To always sleep within his bed
And others ne’er to heed.

But evil now will turn to dust
That love and bliss
For Barnat after her did lust
And swore she’d be his.

He poisoned Grillon’s mind and said
She was untrue
That she had been into his bed
And others too.

Lord Grillon he was truly sad
That she should treat him so.
He thought that he’d go truly mad
So far from her he’d go.

Now Parador had done no wrong
To deserve this fate.
She could not any more be strong
Beneath Lord Grillon’s hate.

So mourn she did and all the world
Did join with her in sorrow.
All green things died and creatures curled
All safely in their burrow.

But in good time, Lord Grillon found
How false the god of war.
He came to her and he reclaimed
The love of his wife once more.

So once again the land grew green
And springtime came again.
And summer’s warmth and life serene
While she forgot her pain.

And so each year the land remembers
The love of Parador
And autumn comes and winter’s embers
Till Spring returns once more.

Fantasy Art Friday

Always something more in these pictures.

Allison D. Reid

Get inspired with this week’s Fantasy Art Friday, where fun fantasy artwork is combined with a writing prompt to get your creative juices flowing.


“Tranquility” is the title, and at first glance this place does look tranquil. The lush green of the landscape, the slowly flowing stream. Could be a nice place to idle on a warm afternoon.  Perhaps wade through the cool water…find a few colorful rocks, or watch small fish swimming in the still waters close to the bank.

Yet as I look closer, into undergrowth surrounding the stream, I realize just how thick it is. Is the whole forest so dense, or has it only grown up that way along the water’s edge? What if you had to travel through an entire forest like that, wading through foliage, and stumbling over roots and rocks, never quite knowing what might be watching you through that tangle of green?…

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Looking Closer at the Semi-colon Used in Lists

Here are some thoughts on the semicolon. I found these ideas very interesting, especially to clarify things in lists.

Diane Tibert

During the writers’ meeting on Tuesday, we discussed the use of semi-colons in a list following a colon. The published historian in the group, an academic professor who knows a great deal about grammar, punctuation and writing in general, brought it up.

In professional academic papers, the rule is that a semi-colon, not the comma, must separate a list of items when preceded by a colon.

For example: The settlers of the area came from many countries: Germany; Switzerland; Poland and Spain.

FREE KINDLE READ:
Shadows in the Stone

However, I have not encountered semi-colons used in this manner, so when I came home, I started to dig. It was difficult finding rules online, so I referred to my trusty handbook The Bare Essentials by Sarah Norton and Brian Green.

It recommended the use of semi-colons in complicated lists. The sentence they used as an example was: A few…

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Book offer

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Starting on Monday 19th June, Emily Littler is offering Vengeance of a Slave at the special promotion price of $0.99 or £0.99. This is a 59% saving.

 

The price will increase in steps for the following 7 days, until June 26th, when it will be back at its full price of $2.99 or £2.35, so hurry so you don’t lose out.

 

Here is a bit about the story.

 

Adelbhert is only 6 years old when he is forced to watch the crucifixion of his father and other men from his village. They rebelled against the Romans and this was the punishment meted out.

Then he and his young sister are taken as slaves for their pretty looks and ash blonde hair. A rich merchant from Britannia buys them and takes them to give as presents to his wife and daughter. Adelbehrt promises his sister they will escape one day, but cannot promise when.

His experiences make the boy hate the Romans, and he nurtures this hatred throughout his years. as a slave. He is treated more as a pet than a human being, which he hates.

What will become of him and his sister when they are no longer pretty children? Will they be sold and separated? What will their future be?

Adelbehrt’s one ambition is to escape and take his revenge on the Roman Army.

But one young man against the might of Rome is seemingly impossible odds. How can Adelbehrt escape, and how can he fight the Roman Army, and can he overcome his hatred before it eats away at his soul.

 

Aspholessaria

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A few days later, Asphodel took some food to a family not far from the temple. They were a very poor family, and the children were hungry. She had been taking food to them for weeks now, preventing the children from starving. Their father had no work and occasionally stole in order to feed them.
When she arrived, one of the children was sick. Asphodel did what she could to heal the child, but as a novice, her strength was not sufficient yet to heal him completely. It tired her.
She arrived back at the temple, exhausted. It so happened that a rector was passing as she entered.
‘You look tired, Novice Asphodel. Where have you been?’
Asphodel told her she had been visiting a poor family and had healed one of the children as well as giving them food.
‘Most commendable, Novice. Charity is extremely important. What family was it you were visiting?’
‘The family of Yelver, Rector,’ replied Asphodel, bowing her head as was expected of a novice to a rector.
The rector frowned. ‘Isn’t he a thief? One of the evil folk we have been told not to treat?’
‘Rector,’ said Asphodel, ‘he might have stolen from time to time, but he only did it because his children are starving. He’s not an evil man.’
The rector raised his eyebrows. ‘A thief is a thief. Why doesn’t he get a job to feed his children? No, don’t answer,’ she held up her hand as Asphodel was about to speak. ‘There’s no need to say anything. I must remind you not to visit this family again. You are not to have anything to do with them. Understood?’
‘But…’
‘I said, is that understood? Have I made myself plain?’ The rector looked severe.
‘Yes, Rector. Quite plain.’
The rector then walked away and Asphodel returned to her room.
‘Yelver would love a job,’ she muttered to herself as she walked along the passageway, ‘but he’s often unwell himself and can’t work.’

A week later, on the day Asphodel usually went to visit Yelver’s family, she collected alms as usual from the alms box and food from the kitchen. With her basket of food and pouch of money she set off on her charity work.
All week she had been thinking hard. She did not believe Sylissa meant for anyone to be ignored, and her vows said as much, so, after visiting those families on her list, she took the remaining food to Yelver’s home.
The little boy seemed a bit better, and Asphodel did another healing on him, and told Yelver’s wife to make sure he had extra food, then amid the thanks of the family, she left.
This went on for several weeks. Yelver’s boy got better and the family were grateful–so much so that Yelver went to the temple to give thanks and some money he had saved from his last work.
His donation was noticed by the rector who had seen Asphodel a few weeks previously. He called the girl to him.
‘Did you visit Yelver after I had forbidden you to go there again?’
Asphodel looked at her feet. ‘Yes, Rector,’ she said.
‘Why?’
‘His family were starving. His children were in danger of dying from lack of food. I went out of common sympathy.’
‘Come with me,’ the rector told her, and he took her to see the Great Mother.
Asphodel knelt before her as was expected.
Mother Caldo was not impressed by Asphodel’s reasoning.
‘We have had a directive from the Most High,’ she told the girl. ‘The leader of our church has given us specific instructions. Yet you, a mere novice, seem to think you know better.’
Asphodel said nothing. Novices were not supposed to speak in the presence of a Great Mother or Father unless told to do so.
The Great Mother paced the floor, then she stopped.
‘You have shown yourself, on several occasions, to be willful, young lady,’ she said. ‘You seem to think you know better than your elders. I think the discipline here is perhaps too lax. My friend, the Great Father in Hambara, runs a more strict regime. Perhaps he can make you see the importance of obedience. I will write him a letter asking him to take you and you can take it there.’
She sat down at her desk and picked up a quill. Dipping it in the ink, she began to write.
Then she looked up.
‘You are, I believe, almost ready to be promoted from a novice to a curate. I will put this in the letter and you can be tested in Hambara. I understand there’s a caravan leaving tomorrow. You will take that.’
So Asphodel left Bluehaven to travel to a new temple in Hambara.

 

But her story did not end there. You can find out more by reading The Wolf Pack. Just click on the image of the book in the sidebar.

 

Please leave comments in the comments box. I love hearing from you.

In Defense of Grammar Schools

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There is a debate going on in the UK at the moment about education. As an ex-teacher I am interested in the arguments.

The Conservative Government wants to allow Grammar Schools to be re-established. Before the 1960s there was a system of Grammar Schools and Secondary Modern Schools.

In order to get into a grammar school, all children took an examination at age 11, in the final year of their primary school. It was called the 11+ examination. Those pupils who were in the top percentage got a place in the grammar school. I don’t know what that percentage was, but I have heard it said that the top 25% went to grammar schools.

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The grammar schools were academic schools, and they taught academic subjects. secondary moderns tended not to teach much in the way of languages, for example.

It is said that the future of children was settled at 11, and that was not good, because some children developed later. But the 11+ was not the end. There was a 12+ and a 13+ that pupils could take if they seemed to be developing in a more academic way.

At that time, the school leaving age was 15. The pupils who went to grammar school had to stay on until 16 so they could do the GCE ‘O’ level examination. A few pupils stayed on at secondary modern and did ‘O’ levels as well. If they did well in the examinations, they could then go on to the 6th form in the grammar school or at a college. I have several friends who did this.

During the 1960s, came the advent of the comprehensive school. These schools were deemed to be fairer than the old system. Each neighbourhood took in all the pupils from its catchment area. All went to the same school, regardless of their academic ability. This, it was said, was much fairer. It did not create an elite and a lot of ‘failures’ at the age of 11.

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On the face of it, this seems to be fine, only I think there are a number of flaws in this argument.

The main one, I think is this. Pupils from a given area all go to the local comprehensive school. There is no examination for entry, so no feelings of failure by those who did not pass the 11+.
That sounds fine, but if the neighbourhood school is not very good, all pupils from that particular neighbourhood are being failed.

Children do not get the chance to meet children from a different background, either. They are living with these people, have been brought up in the area, either rich or poor, and so they do not get a rounded picture of society.

The idea was the opposite of this. Pupils attending comprehensive schools were supposed to see all the different types of people. Yes, they saw all the different academic types, but not people from different social backgrounds.

Comprehensive schools were supposed to prevent the feelings of failure by some pupils failing the 11+. I don’t think you can stop pupils from feeling inferior intellectually by lumping them all together. They can see the brighter pupils doing better than them in their academic work. That will make them feel inferior just as much as ‘failing’ the 11+.

One other thing brought about by the introduction of comprehensive schools, is that the education given is a watered-down academic curriculum, which is not suited to all pupils, and has lowered the academic standards for the very brightest pupils.

Grammar schools, they say, create an elite. This is supposed to be bad. In a perfect world, I suppose everyone would have the same academic capabilities, but everyone does not. There are some people who are much cleverer than others. Some say that it is solely due to their background how some people develop, and a middle class background is advantageous. This I would not dispute, but only to a point. There are middle class children who do not excel, and working class ones who do, in spite of their background.

They say that comprehensive schools help social mobility. How? Pupils live and learn in the same area with the same people and values.

In a grammar school, pupils come from all backgrounds and all areas of a town. They mix with each other and get to know something of the lives of each other. Pupils from working class backgrounds can get an academic education, and get away from the schools in their area where ambition is perhaps not so great.

Bright pupils who live in an area with a poor school can get away from that as well.

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It is said that grammar schools have more middle class pupils than working class ones. That is something that can be worked out. ‘They’ say that the exam can be coached and middle class parents are more likely to put up the money for coaching. Well, I went to a grammar school and was coached for the exam, but not by private tutor, which is the perception, but by my primary school. Encourage primary schools in working class areas to coach. Or develop an exam where coaching is no advantage.

There’s always an answer, and in my opinion, the advent of comprehensive schools has lowered standards. When I look at the exams I took at ‘O’ level and the exams pupils take at GCSE, there’s no comparison. We had to write essays. They just have ‘structured questions’, or fill in the blanks.

I see grammar schools as promoting social mobility far more than comprehensive schools in contrast to what the detractors say, that they are elitist and prevent it.

I would love to hear what you think of the grammar school debate.

Again

A very moving piece. Everyone should read this.

Andrew Joyce

I went off to war at the tender age of sixteen. My mother cried and begged me to stay, but my country needed me. I would not see my mother again for four very long years.

Due to my age, I was assigned to field headquarters as a dispatch courier for the first two years of the war. However, by the beginning of the third year, I had grown a foot taller and was shaving. And because men were dying at an alarming rate, I was sent into the trenches.

They say that war is hell. I say hell is peaceful compared to living in a muddy trench with bombs exploding around you at all hours of the day and night. Though there were periods of respite from the shelling. Those were the hours when the enemy had to let their big guns cool or else the heat of firing…

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Why the terrorists can’t win.

I, along with most of the rest of the world, was appalled by the Manchester terrorist attack. The terrorists can’e possibly win using these methods, and here I will try to explain why.

  1. If their aim is to promote Islam, they are doing a very poor job. They are achieving the very opposite of that, and are turning people against one of the world’s great religions. Many reasonable, peaceful Muslems are being targetted, as are mosques, and Islamophobia is getting much stronger. Extremism breeds extremism, so Muslims will be targetted more.
  2. I am old enough to have had Parents, Aunts, Uncles and Grandparents who lived through WW2. They talked of that time, almost with fondness and nostalgia. This was because of the solidarity that encompassed the nation. The bombing of the cities and factories, and especially the bombing of Coventry Cathedral, drew people together. This is what I see happening everywhere atrocities are committed now. The French people, the German people, the American people after 9/11 and the Boston bombings, and we the British are all drawn together by this, far from what I think is intended, to disrupt, fragment and induce fear.
  3. Then there is determination. Churchill said in his famous speech, when he said, ‘We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.’ The terrorists are stirring this determination in us all.
  4. Britain is used to terrorism. IS seems to forget, or has never known, this. We had a long fight with the IRA when London was struck by bombs as were other cities in the country. The IRA did not succeed in ‘winning’ by making us surrender, and I can’t see IS doing so either. In the end, the IRA negotiated a peace. Will IS? What is it they want exactly, anyway?
  5. I cannot understand how anyone can think that Allah will be pleased at this slaughter. Surely, He would be better pleased at people being converted to His worship, rather than destroyed. If the aim is to get a Muslim world, then this is not the way to go about it. It brings the religion into disrepute. People will be all the more disinclined to embrace its tenets.

I’m sure there are other reasons why IS cannot succeed using terrorism, but I want to get this post out there. I will ammend it if I think of anything else.

 

Let’s all pray for peace and the cessation of sucn violent attacks

An Interview with Kimi. The Wolves of Vimar.

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Me: As you know, I have interviewed your husband,
Davrael. He told me something of the life on the Plains.
Perhaps you can tell me something about how you two met.

Kimi: Of course. It will be a pleasure. As you know, Davrael
is from a nomadic family. One of the Tribes. They travel the
Plains following and herding the horses that roam across
them.

Me: The horses are free then? Don’t they belong to the tribe?

Kimi: Yes, each tribe calls particular herds their own, and
they brand them when young to show their ownership, but
most of them are wild and free. I am from the settlers. We
once roamed the Plains just like the Tribes, but our
ancestors decided to settle in order to have more control
over the breeding of our horses. They thought that they
could breed better animals that way.

Me: And did they?

Kimi (smiling): There are still arguments about that.

Me: How did you and Davrael meet then?

Kimi: One day I was out riding with my brothers when we were attacked by a group of Tribesmen.

Me: Was one of  them Davrael?

Kimi: Oh, no. It was an enemy tribe of the Swooping Hawks. They are called the Howling Coyotes. The Tribes have never liked the settled folk. They think we have abandoned tradition and the settled folk think that the nomads are primitive people, so there was no love lost between us. Anyway, my brothers tried to fight them off but there were too many of them and they took me with them. I think they wanted to marry me to one of their men. They did raid sometimes for both horses and women.

Me: Where did they take you?

Kimi: They took me to their camp several days away. It wasn’t their main camp. In fact they had strayed into the territory of the Swooping Hawks. That was why the trouble began.

Me: Trouble?

Kimi: Yes. A band of Swooping Hawks came upon the camp and a battle began. I know little of that battle because I was tied up in a tent, but I could hear the noise–shouting and screaming. Then it suddenly went quiet. I heard a voice commanding the capture of all the horses and a search of the tents. After a while, a man came into my tent. I was petrified. He was an imposing-looking man, although not really handsome, with long hair held back by a braid around his head. What was the most terrifying, though, was the tattoo of a hawk on his face. I tried to hide, hoping he wouldn’t see me and that I could somehow escape, but he was too observant and saw my little wriggles behind a bed. He lifted me out and said, ‘What have we here then? A little mouse trying to escape the hawk?’ He laughed at my frightened expression and continued, ‘Well, it seems the hawk has caught the mouse after all.’

Me: This was Davrael I assume.

Kimi: Yes. He freed me of my bonds and told me that I would be well treated. He asked me where I had come from and what tribe I belonged to. I told him that I was not a tribeswoman and where my family were settled. He agreed to take me back to my family if I could assure him that they would pay in horses for my return. Coin has little meaning for the Tribes. They count their wealth in their horses and trade by barter, you see.

Me: Did you give him this assurance?

Kimi: Yes. I was confident that my father would pay him whatever he wanted.

Me: So he took you back to your family?

Kimi: Not immediately. Davrael and his men were out searching for some horses that they suspected that the Howling Coyotes had stolen. They were some of his best animals. Beautiful golden horses with silvery manes and tails they are. Come to think of it, their manes and tails are almost the colour of Randa’s hair!

Me: Where did he take you?

Kimi: Well, I rode with them for quite a long time actually. Some of the horses had strayed a long way, and some had even been taken to the territory of the Howling Coyotes. There were a few battles, but eventually he got them all back. Every evening he would come into the tent he had said was to be mine and we would talk. Gradually I learned that he was not the fearsome warrior I had thought, but was, in fact, quite a gentle perso, although he could fight well when required. He was kind to me and I gradually began to fall in love with him. I was surprised when he told me that he reciprocated my feelings.

Me: There were problems though I understand.

Kimi: Yes. This is quite painful for me to relate. Davrael took me to his father and told him that he wanted to marry me, but his father flew into a rage and said that no son of his would marry a settler. We the went to my family. They were delighted to see me as  they had given me up for dead or worse. When Davrael and I eoldthem of our love, my father said that there was no possible way that he could allow it. He offered Davrael two of his best horses if he would go away and forget about me.

Me: He didn’t, of course.

Kimi: No. We met in secret for a time, but then decided that it was impossible to live like that and so we decided to elope.

Me: You went to Grosmer then.

Kiki: Yes. We went to Grosmer. If all that had not happened, or if either of us had obeyed our fathers, then we would never have met Carthinal and the rest of the Wolves. I wonder what would have happened then?

Me: Thank you very much, Kimi.

 

Please leave a comment on this post.

Kimi is one of the main characters in The Wolves of Vimar Series. If you would like to find out more about her and the other characters, follow this link to The Wolf Pack, Book 1 of the Woves of Vimar Series.

http://mybook.to/thewolfpack

or click on the book title on the sidebar.

 

There are dragons and magic in the world if only you look for them… V.M. Sang

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