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Steven Smith lives in Suffolk. This is his first novel.





The Map of the

Known World


All rights reserved; no part of this publication may be

reproduced or transmitted by any means, electronic,

mechanical, photocopying or otherwise, without the prior

permission of the publisher.

First published in Great Britain in 2006

Copyright © Steven Smith 2006

All rights reserved

The right of Steven Smith to be identified as the author of this

work has been asserted by him in accordance with the

Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988.

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British


All the characters in this book are fictitious, and any

resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely


Printed by

Set in Palatino Linotype

ISBN 978-1-84728-422-8


For Abby




The waves tossed Vortigern around like a rag doll. Seaweed

entangled his legs and salt water blurred his vision. Weighed

down by his sodden clothes, he waded the last few yards to the

beach. The waves kept pulling him back but with a huge effort

he broke free of their grip and collapsed onto the damp sand.

There he lay, fighting for breath as the foamy surf lapped

around his legs. The sound of the constant wash and drag of the

sea filled his ears.

When enough strength had returned to his body, Vortigern

stood up. He looked back out to sea, a burning ship drifted on

the dark water and the flames illuminated the waves with angry

red and yellow reflections. Vortigern had sailed on the

Endeavour for six months; now he watched its death throes.

Anchored close to it was another vessel. An Ironclad warship.

One hour earlier, the Ironclad had emerged from the mist like

a ghost. For the lightly armed Endeavour there had been no

escape, Vortigern knew the crew of his ship would be dead by

now. He remembered their faces as he prepared to jump

overboard; the faces of men who knew they were about to die.

He would have stayed and died with them but the captain had

insisted, ‘You are the strongest swimmer. You must take the


map to Lord Hereward. He will know what to do.’

So he alone had survived but the Redeemers would soon

discover that he had escaped. Vortigern looked around, taking

in his surroundings. He stood in a wide cove, towering cliffs

rose in front of him but he spied a steep path that offered an

escape from the beach. Digging into his last resources of will

and strength he made for the path. His footsteps left a trail

across the sand; an easy trail for the Redeemers to follow but he

had no time to do anything about it.

He scrambled over the bank of pebbles at the top of the beach,

the cold wind pushed his damp clothes against his skin and his

teeth chattered violently. Suddenly he became aware of sound

and movement from the far side of the beach. He saw a band of

men, the flickering of their flaming brands and lamps made

their bearded faces resemble those of demons. Scavengers.

Wrecks were common on the treacherous southern coastline

and there were rich pickings for those who scoured the beaches.

They carried pick-axes, hatchets, crowbars and ropes, and as

they reached the foot of the beach, one of the scavengers noticed

Vortigern and bellowed, ‘LOOK YONDER, A SURVIVOR!’

Vortigern knew they were Nulled. They were enemies and

they would tell the Redeemers that they had seen him.

With a new vigour born of fear, Vortigern ran.