Trying to identify a novel I read in the mid 90's - likely published late 80s/early 90s. Plot I remember:

Starts with an innkeeper's daughter in a port town, who helps a man ship wrecked and washed ashore - he always wears gloves covered in runes. She ends up travelling with him to help stop some nebulous evil that consumes worlds.

Everyone in this world has some small magical talent, it turns out that the ship wrecked man comes from a parallel world consumed by the evil, on that world everyone's magical talents have been gathered together and bestowed upon the man to fight the evil and send him to this world. The gloves help him contain the power. They journey over the mountains to confront the evil.

Searches often turn up Xanth which is a very different feel - this has more of an Earthsea-like feel to it, not Xanth.

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    I don't claim this is an answer, but the description reminds me a little of Deathgate Cycle by Weis & Hickman – cryptarch Dec 25 '18 at 20:13
  • In the Deathgate Cycle, that man had the runes tattooed all over his body. – Verdan Dec 26 '18 at 1:58
  • definitely not the deathgate cycle - however that does look worth a read thank you – MCass Jan 24 '19 at 22:49

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