tealth and Aes Sedai plots

The Lure of Prophecy
Posted Wed, Dec 1, 2004 by Sha'mad Conde

He looked over to Mallah and Quahlen, who had sat themselves at a table in the far corner, alone. The man with the white apron was standing near them, licking his lips and rubbing his hands together nervously. He seemed to be taking orders from Mallah, judging from the look on his face and his frequent nodding at her words. Koreauras figured that whatever was being said, it was probably important, judging by the fact that the man with the apron was hanging on her every word, with a look of intense concentration.

The entire exchange was interesting to Koreauras; he couldn’t shake the feeling that this group of people was important somehow, and he knew that whatever Mallah was talking about might affect him. He needed information, and figured that Mallah was a very good place to start. The very little information he had ever heard about Aes Sedai led him to believe that they knew everything. He also had heard that Aes Sedai were very unwilling to give out any information unless they felt it was necessary, so he would need to acquire it using alternative methods. He looked around to see who was observing him. Torran was drinking ale and speaking with Amahra; Cueraina was favoring Jagar with a sultry smile as he engaged her in conversation. Quahlen had his back to him, standing over Mallah while she spoke to the man with the apron. The rest of the patrons had either forgotten about him, or were actively avoiding looking in his direction.

“I think that perhaps these wetlanders can see; they just don’t want to see…” mused Koreauras. They certainly had to know that he was there. He watched the room and began quietly sliding with his back to the wall, remaining in a hunkered position as he did so. Moving slowly, carefully choosing his steps to avoid creaky spots in the wood floor, Koreauras moved closer to where Mallah was seated. He watched the room carefully, stopping whenever anyone turned in his direction. Nobody had seemed to notice his actions yet, so he kept going. He made it to the corner of the room, where the shadows were darker. There were no windows here, and apparently the owner didn’t want to use lamps or candles while there was daylight. The gloom of the corner was perfect for Koreauras, who found a good place crouched behind a table where he could hide without looking like he was trying to hide. He could just make out what Mallah Sedai was saying.

“…your service is appreciated, Master Torgan. Please inform them I expect them to be on time.” Master Torgan bowed and left, nervously rubbing his hands on his white apron.

Koreauras winced. He had taken too long. Whatever orders Mallah had issued to the man named “Master Torgan” would remain a secret to Koreauras. He remained still and kept listening, hoping for the opportunity to gather additional information.

Quahlen waited for Torgan to get out of earshot, then looked down to her and said “You know this is a trap. Freshly branded men marked as Darkfriends attacking a wilder while they just happened to have THOSE papers in their pockets. It’s too…” he paused momentarily, carefully choosing his words. “…convenient. I would suggest against traveling to the location mentioned on those scraps.”

Mallah watched Torgan leave and then turned to Quahlen. Mallah looked up at him, sighed, and said “I know it’s a trap, but what is at stake is too important for us to pass up this unique opportunity. I am counting on our knowledge of the fact that we will be walking into a trap to help us survive it. Also, with assistance from those men…” she gestured over to where Torran, Jagar, and the rest were sitting, and stopped in mid-sentence, frowning over at the table.

Quahlen began scanning the room, methodically examining every shadow. Koreauras knew that they had just realized he was not where they expected him to be, and were looking for him from their table. He shrunk further back into the shadows, and began quietly slipping away so that his attempts to overhear their conversation would not be discovered should they spot him. He made his way back along the wall, keeping tables between himself and Quahlen, carefully choosing his steps. Quahlen hadn’t seen him yet, but it wouldn’t be difficult to figure out what Koreauras had been up to if he were discovered in his current location. He made his way back to his original spot, settling in as though he had been there since they first walked in. He looked around to see if his actions had been observed, scanning the patrons of the room to see if he had caught any of their interest.

Once again, he found himself looking right into the eyes of Cueraina, who favored him with a small knowing smile and a look on her face that said that she knew exactly what he had been doing. She didn’t comment on it to anyone however, simply turning back to Jagar to continue their conversation. How she had managed to notice him when he had successfully snuck close to a Warder was beyond him. Jagar turned in his direction too, presumably to see what Cueraina was looking at, but quickly refocused his attention on her after shooting a hard look in Koreauras’ direction. Koreauras shrugged; he cared little for what seemed to be wetlander mind-games.

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