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Seeking the Veil, Part 3: Seeking the Veil, #3

Seeking the Veil, Part 3: Seeking the Veil, #3

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Seeking the Veil, Part 3: Seeking the Veil, #3

Length:
126 pages
1 hour
Publisher:
Released:
Apr 6, 2016
ISBN:
9781524205942
Format:
Book

Description

Run. Warn. Die.

Follow Hestea and the remnants of the Band of Orangebeard as they flee for their lives in a desperate attempt to warn Becken of what comes. They must struggle to stay together and to stay alive in the cold wilds of Becken, while a terrible power stalks their every move.

Seeking the Veil comes to an exciting culmination, secrets are revealed, and the question of true power and friendship is put to the task. 

Seeking the Veil is a 3-part series following the adventures of Hestea Hammerblood and a prequel to the full novel: Veil of a Warrior. 

Sign up for author Clifton Hill's Newsletter and be first for news: http://eepurl.com/SVhLr 

CONTENT: Part 3 is approx 110 book pages long, all 3-parts total about 250 pages. There is some violence and gore, minor and infrequent swearing and some implied sex. Recommended for 13 and up, or mature, younger readers.

REVIEWS

"The tale of Hestea and Gunter is a fabulous venture into the world of medieval sword and sorcery. (With) ...an atmosphere so intense that it's almost impossible to turn the pages fast enough."
--Ray Nicholson, Book Reviewer

"The Tension Runs Full Throttle!"
-Dianne Bylo, aka Dii, Book Blogger for tometender.blogspot.com

Publisher:
Released:
Apr 6, 2016
ISBN:
9781524205942
Format:
Book

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Seeking the Veil, Part 3 - Clifton Hill

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***

First Edition, Published August 2015.

Seeking the Veil, Part 3 — A Hammerblood Story. Copyright © 2015 by Clifton Hill. All rights reserved.

Inquiries should be addressed to:

Mail@CliftonH.com

www.CliftonH.com

v2

Dedicated to my wife.

Thank you for standing by me,

Thank you for believing.

Gunter

Hestea breathed shallowly, the air hurt with each breath, the chill seeping into the bone. He pushed his hands through an icy slush and rose to his knees. Icy mists shifted and blew with a quiet wind. The sound of battle seemed far away. Lost in time. Two shadows came through the swirling air.

Rufus.

The shorter mercenary nodded with a dark smirk, and Smallhands’ hulking figure cut through from behind. The big man strode near Hestea, pointing into the depths of the mists as he offered his other hand to Hestea. Was that Gunter? His voice shook, but his eyes did not waver. Magus Gunter?

Rufus took Hestea’s other hand and slowly he rose, joints creaking as if frozen through. Hestea nodded, dumb and confused; his ears rang, his palms were numb, his body sore. The blast still held him, as tight as a vice.

Smallhands’ face split with a kind smile as he looked over the closed pass, pulled his blades clear with a ring, clashing them over his head. Gunter, he chanted, lifting his voice, shouting the name. Gunter had saved them.

Gunter! Rufus joined, and others — as they struggled up from the frozen mud, beards frosted, hands shaking. Some didn’t rise, but for the moment, those that did: jumped from one foot to the other, eyes dancing as they sucked in the frigid breath of life.

Hestea stumbled back, away from his friends. He did not cry Gunter’s name, he did not join the merriment, he moved stiffly at first, then more smoothly as the soreness fled and the tightness in his chest eased away. Gunter, Hestea said quietly as he jogged forward, skidding on some ice, feet crunching on other that was loose. Gunter had saved them, he had pushed away his fear and he had flown to the front, to the midst of peril and saved them all.

But where was he?

All Hestea could remember was staring back as the great mountains of ice and rock and mud collapsed in a massive slide that had buried the pass and stopped the Saeordin. There might as well have never been a pass. For all Hestea could tell, what rose before him was a hill covered deep in snow — just another feature of the treacherous Scale.

But it was not.

Somewhere on the other side was the enemy, those that had survived. But they wouldn’t come today. Not with that in their way.

And they had Gunter to thank. Gunter who had stood there, wielded his power and saved them all.

But before Hestea was just one large rising mount of snow and rock. Hestea leapt into loose drifts of crusted ice, coming to his knees, then to his thighs, sinking with each step. Then it reached his hips as he waded through, pushing.

He was here.

The scene played over in his mind. He is here.

Hestea stopped, twisted around, pushed at the snow; dug deep, breathing hard, breath fogging before him. Where? The cold started to seep through his leather, and his trousers. It started to bite deep.

Hestea heard Orangebeard’s voice in the distance, celebrating. The Band had won time. The Saeordin could not possibly come through this blockade. The reinforcements would arrive and they could drive them from the valley, drive them from Beckenburg, and if all was well: drive them from this life.

Where was Dietra? He could use her now. She would find him, he muttered, feeling his heart beat quickly. She could find him with the power. Hestea licked chapped lips, scanning the soft pack of ice and snow, brown with mud and dirt.

His feet were numb, time was short. Blood of Aeongard, swore Hestea, swiping at the snow with his hand, digging at it, shoving it aside. He pulled his foot free and kicked at the icepack, his teeth chattering, jaw tight. Where is he! Time was fragile, splintering into shards of wasted ice. Hestea pushed forward, shoving aside the snow, tripping on hidden rocks, calling Gunter’s name.

The blood of the Last Champions. That was what they were. Line of the Last Guard. He would not leave his brother buried in the snow.

He would not.

Heart pounding, stamping his feet, Hestea pushed deeper, the wind keening as it changed direction. Breath rattled through his teeth, his fingers tore at ice.

I will not. Then the strange spark came, lighting his veins on fire, warmth flooding, vision flaring and Hestea froze as he turned and stared. There!

He leapt through drifts that came to his chest, and then his shoulders. He leapt again, pulled his hammer free, swinging it as he landed; clearing the snow with great flying chunks, tearing a hollow into the new mount. Then he stowed the hammer on his back and bent deep. Hands flying, pushing and prodding at the ice pack, he hit rock. Heart of the new mountain. Pulling stones free, tossing them behind and then—

Gunter! He hit a torn sleeve, a limp arm and a still chest. Hestea shoved aside the snow, sweat dripping from his nose, shouting as he moved. Then he lifted Gunter free, lips blue; dark hair slicked to his head and crusted with ice.

Hestea blinked, then turned and ran back to Orangebeard.

The sound of his voice came back to him before he realized what he had called. Dietra!

Gunter would die without her.

***

Hestea found Dietra with Orangebeard. His arms were lead and his legs were numb. Dietra.

She turned, eyes flashing and Orangebeard broke off. Gunter. The kopf ran a hand over his great orange beard that furled like an angry flame. Bloody hell, he’s as blue as Vor’s frozen heart.

Big Dietra, with her wide shoulders and mannish face, placed a delicate hand on his chest, then his neck, thumbing an eye open. Quick, this way.

Hestea plodded after Dietra, Orangebeard glancing at the magus that had saved them all. What happened?

Buried, muttered Hestea, feeling the weariness seep into his bones. The avalanche.

Orangebeard swore and he cursed and he blew his nose on his sleeve. A warrior. A true Becken. Knew it from the first. We’ll blasted fight the Syven for him. The Halls can’a have another.

Others trailed along. Hestea saw a scout, but he was a nameless blur.

Dietra swept the snow from a log in one sweep of her hand, the powder bursting off in a shower. Lay him down.

Hestea put his friend down. Gunter’s arm fell to the side, limp and unmoving. Dietra dropped to her knees; going as silent as a tomb, hands hovering over Gunter’s chest. The air rippled, warmth spread out, ice melted from Gunter’s clothes, steam rising. Then she laid a hand on his neck, her eyes glowing. She blinked, then pointed to Hestea and Orangebeard. Sit, keep him warm. This is beyond me. Then she flung a hand at the ground, snow and ice bursting away to clear a rough circle. She turned, ripping a needle-laden branch from the fallen log with a quick snap, then another, tossing the wood into the circle. Smoke began to rise and curl, then flame took light.

Dietra looked back, face a mask, eyes two pools of empty light, then ran out into the field.

Orangebeard clapped his hands at a mercenary in brown leather with an ax at his belt. Well, man! Get me more wood. Keep that fire going, or I’ll feed it your bones and ya best hope they catch quick and burn long.

Hestea laid his hands on Gunter’s chest, spreading his palms wide. He felt nothing.

Windel, what is it? Ya look like a dog’s worried bone. Orangebeard motioned to the ragged scout and Hestea pulled his eyes from Gunter. The man looked worn, cheeks chapped red, eyes dark. But he was alive.

Did ya find me a path to jump on the Sordin’s backs and throttle the bastards? Tell me that ya did. I’m in a mood for something to lift me spirits.

Windel turned to look at the blocked pass. The mists had settled, but small

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