Here we go with a teaser for Bloodlust: The Blades of Khazak Khrim, likely my last one before publishing!
Darabnius felt a shiver slither down his spine as he noticed a familiar figure among the throng of travellers behind him at Sonarion’s crossing. The lean ogre was a head taller than almost anyone in the crowd, even leaning on his tall walking staff. A broad-brimmed straw hat hid his face in shadow.
Posing now as a travelling tinker, Darabnius had nothing on his steam-waggon that connected him with his previous business in Krass. Even his facial features had been altered, bodysculpted when he bought the waggon at a small crossing down at the edge of Thousand Rivers before leaving the Great Eastern Way and heading into the north. He had used two different bodysculptors, reputable lowlifes, just to be sure that no one could connect his current identity with his work in Krass.
The problem was that he had seen the tall Ogre one time too many, both before and after switching identities. There was no way that the Ogre should have been able to follow him; it simply had to be coincidence. Still, Darabnius was a cautious man involved in a deep and deadly conspiracy, and he feared what those above him would do if he failed them. The mystic oath that he had sworn would painfully drain the life from him if he were forced to reveal information about his masters. In a way, that was a mercy, he supposed, since it made harsher interrogation useless. Far worse deaths were reserved for traitors and enemies. It was imperative to remain on their good sides.
Darabnius had never met the people that he worked for and he did not want to. The closest he had come was swearing an Oath on the terrible Black Stone, but he had seen no faces that day and did not even know for certain where the ceremony had been performed. He had travelled blindfolded and drugged, losing ten days of his life each way. If they used fast ships it could be almost anywhere in the Domains.
Those above him sent Darabnius instructions and he obeyed them. In return he was paid very, very well. He could also count on the influence of his betters to get him out of minor troubles, like with the dancing girl he had accidentally killed in Dreadwood. He suspected that they were some group of Chosen or a powerful group among the Factions, but he was wise enough not to pry. He would be safe and he would prosper so long as he did not rock the boat. He was in far too deep now to ever get out.
The Black Stone still haunted his dreams.
The idea of a rogue Oathstone crops up in Bloodlust: The Shield Maiden, in a conversation between Gavin, Liam Valcoeur, and Sax.
Several fans have commented that they would like to see the inner workings of the Blackcloaks, and others want more of the enigmatic swordsman who tutored Gavin, Master Sax. I am happy to oblige!