Without his memories, Cordus has to create a new life for himself with borrowed skills. His rescue from a battle-torn town leads him on a journey through Germany and Rome with Katja Kaufer to lead the way. He is a forgotten man displaced in a rebellion that threatens the very lives of the people who rescued him.
The web of rising suspicions entangles Katja's way of life as a traveling merchant, when Cordus's past brings the leaders of the rebellion, Axilla and Corvina, to their camp. Now, she has to decide if the safety of the people she cares about is worth the protection of one man.
Vulferam Kaufer stopped just short of the outer walls of Oberadan. The wooden gates no longer protected the keep but hung lopsided, ripped from their sentry position by angry hands.
"Halt." He studied the scene in front of them. "Let us be careful as we go in. We do not know what we will find."
Fabian, the second in command of the caravan, held his fist aloft. The line froze.
Oberadan was among their common trade routes, and had always been a bustle of activity. Now there was no human movement on the path before them. The normal commotion when they came across the daily activity of this outpost was missing. There were no voices, no animal sounds, nothing.
Her father's caution was well founded.
That concerned Katja. The question that went through her mind was who would do such a thing? This peaceful outpost was Roman in origin so people always moved in and out of the compound to trade their wares, ply their skills, and help others, so Katja agreed with her father. Something was amiss.
She had witnessed, bit-by-bit, the desolation that encroached on the road as they neared what was once a welcomed stop and it caused shivers to trickle down her spine. She could not shake the sense of horror that coursed through her heart.
Their leader, her father, was always cautious when it came to the caravan's movements and trade, even when they returned to a place they traded many times before. This band of brethren was his lifeblood and he protected it as a wolf shielded their pack.
She felt the heightened sense of dread that rippled through the caravan line at Vulferam's obvious hesitation on moving toward the twisted gates of Oberadan. She heard screeches and looked up to see carrion birds circling around in the air above the courtyard. The smell of decay floated heavy upon the winds. Death permeated the very fabric of the land.