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Black Gate Online Fiction: “Draugr Stonemaker” by Vaughn Heppner

Sunday, November 10th, 2013 | Posted by John ONeill

oracle of gogThe young warrior Lod, last seen here in “The Oracle of Gog” (Black Gate 15), “The Pit Slave,” and “The Serpent of Thep” returns in a fast-paced tale of giants in the earth… and a crypt that holds a terrible secret.

“What’s that?” whispered Herrek.

Lod almost missed it because he expected a giant to rise up out of the earth. Then he saw whiteness out of place with the bulrushes and the green grass. The whiteness was low, planted in the soil. The horses clopped closer, enough to give them a full view of a skeleton stretched upon the ground. It wasn’t an ordinary skeleton, but near fifteen feet from skull to sole, the skeleton of a giant, a son of Jotnar!

Lod drew rein, and in a jingle of harnesses and a rattle of wood, the team and chariot came to a halt. The skeleton brought home the grim reality of these steppes. Here prowled Nephilim, those with supernatural powers.

“Stay alert,” said Herrek, jumping off the chariot.

SF Site called Lod “a cross between Conan and Elric of Melniboné,” and Louis West at Tangent Online called “The Pit Slave” “classic sword & fantasy.”

Vaughn Heppner has written Amazon best sellers such as Star Soldier, Invasion: Alaska, and People of the Ark. His new SF novel, Assault Troopers, is hitting the top of some Amazon SF categories and Alien Honor, the latest in his Doom Star universe, will be released on November 26.

The complete catalog of Black Gate Online Fiction, including stories by David C. Smith, David Evan Harris, Janet Morris and Chris Morris, John C. Hocking, Michael Shea, Peadar Ó Guilín, Aaron Bradford Starr, Martha Wells, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, E.E. Knight, C.S.E. Cooney, Howard Andrew Jones, and many others, is here.

“Draugr Stonemaker” is a complete 8,400-word novelette of sword & sorcery offered at no cost.

Read the complete story here.

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