But Ebryn doesn't know he carries a dangerous secret with him. A secret which threatens to overturn the delicate balance between the factions vying for dominance in the city, the heart of a great trading empire.
Orim, a skilled warrior, is sent by the ruler of Vergence to discover the truth. Opposing Orim is a deadly assassin, tasked with permanently burying the past.
As the struggle for control of the city starts to unfold Ebryn finds he's not the only one with a hidden history.
Vergence is the first book in the Vergence cycle.
143 000 words.
Fanning out into an extended line behind Ubez, his men pushed their trikawi into a ragged gallop, the breath of the three horned mounts streaming out, dragged away along with the whisper of their long legs cutting through drifts.
Stinging flakes struck his exposed skin like small darts. The sound of his harsh breathing masking the hiss of the wind, loud inside his helmet behind the mouth guard.
Snow plumes blown from the trees angled across their path as they closed, concealing them until they were on the heels of the fleeing men.
They caught stragglers from the merchant caravan at the edge of the forest. Their mounts crashed through the dense foliage at the edge of the tree-line, hooves slipping and scrambling for purchase on layers of loose snow and fallen waxy evergreen needles.
The force of the charge carried them forward into an open area under taller trees. Indistinct figures on foot scattered, abandoning their goods, and ran into the deeper gloom. Ubez recognised the distinctive long-haired pack beasts as burawi, favoured by travellers in the wintry northern land for their strength and steady invulnerability to cold. Now heavily burdened, they were an obstacle for his men.
In a moment the forest filled with echoing sounds of the fearful animals grunting loudly as they wheeled in circles, hoarse shouts of panicking merchants punctuated by the snap of bows and shrill calls of trikawi scenting fresh blood.
Ubez reigned his mount in, slowing to a ungainly trot. His hand-picked squad of skirmishers remained by his side. Now they needed to find the woman quickly and finish, before the settling darkness allowed her to slip away.
The skirmishers were usually lightly armed with missile weapons, their role to provide a screening force in battles, protecting the flanks and rear of friendly forces, and to harry those of the enemy. Ubez's had been selected for their ability to shoot accurately from the saddle, and for this reason he now held them back for the critical moment.
Equipped with barbed darts and arrows, they'd been tasked with neutering the abomination from a safe distance. The heads of their missiles were made of valuable sevyric iron, and such weapons were not to be wasted on slaughtering common sinners such as the wretched merchant.
Ubez stood up in his stirrups to make himself visible. “Mulluz on me, fall your men in.”
A loud bellow from one of the towering pack beasts overwhelmed his final instruction. It's hindquarters had collapsed, impaled by a short lance, forcing it to a seated position. It produced a series of panicky bawling sounds, eyes rolling, and froth flying from its lips as it struggled to regain its feet.