t the Table

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

Mallah headed toward the table that the others were seated at with Quahlen in tow. Her features were completely inscrutable. If she or her Warder had seen him, they were not revealing anything. She stopped at the table and pursed her lips as she looked over the others that were seated there. No hint of anxiety or worry lined her features; no signs of the knowledge of soon walking into a trap betrayed her. She turned toward Koreauras and examined him, her serene Aes Sedai features giving him no window to her thoughts. After a moment, she gestured for him to join them at the table, and turned back to face the others.

Koreauras stood up and made his way to the table where the others were seated. He remained standing at the far end away from the others. There was something about the strangeness of this place that made him feel uncomfortable joining the others. The swords and benches that these wetlanders used only increased the alien feeling of the place. As he took his place at the far end of the table, Mallah began speaking to the group.

“That you came to the assistance of this Domani Wilder speaks well of your character, gentlemen. I am sure that your countrymen would be proud of your efforts and assistance in aiding this young woman. Your prowess in defeating eight armed Darkfriends leads me to believe that you would be valuable in further assisting us in a critical quest against the shadow.” said Mallah with a dictatorial tone. “We must find and prevent certain Darkfriends from achieving their goals, and I believe that you can be of assistance to us in thwarting them.”

Koreauras noticed that Amahra looked startled by what Mallah said as she listened to the Aes Sedai. Apparently this wetlander apprentice didn’t know what the Aes Sedai she followed had planned. Judging from what he had already overheard, he figured that Mallah knew a lot more than what she was telling them. He looked around at the others seated at the table in front of him. He knew that Mallah would be followed by her Warder and Amahra, Torran and Jagar seemed to be interested, and even the Domani Cueraina was listening closely. From the looks on their faces, they were interested enough in what Mallah said to join her quest. He would never turn down a fight against the followers of the Leafblighter, but he liked to know exactly what he was jumping in to. Perhaps it was time to find out exactly how much Mallah did know…

“When are you going to tell us that you know those papers found on the darksworn in the alley will lead to a trap?” said Koreauras, looking directly at Mallah. The others stirred at his words, directing startled looks at him. He realized that he was facing down the wetlander equivalent of a Wise-One, and that his choice of words was very ill-advised. All Aiel had Toh to the Aes Sedai; he had an obligation to Mallah he could never meet. Never the less, he had already spoken his mind, it was time to face the consequences and see what the Aes Sedai would do to him, and how she would answer his remarks.

“You said you were Sha’mad Conde. I believe that means Thunder-walker.” said Quahlen. “Known for their fearlessness and always the ones to strike first in a battle. You have certainly demonstrated your fearlessness today. However, you would be well advised to treat an Aes Sedai with more respect and deference, Aielman.” Quahlen’s eyes narrowed as he spoke, he obviously didn’t like what Koreauras was asking. He didn’t make any threatening moves, the need was not there. He was offering advice that Koreauras knew the Warder would insist he follow.

“It is possible that the attack upon our young Wilder was engineered to lure me into a trap.” Said Mallah. “I certainly question the coincidence of an attack upon a Wilder by Darkfriends who just happened to have information pertinent to my quest on their person. Someone knew when I would be nearby, and knew that the Wilder would channel and attract me to the scene. The evidence that this could be a trap is certainly compelling. However, this is an opportunity that I can not pass up on. With you to assist Quahlen and I, and armed with the knowledge of a possible ambush, we can certainly out-maneuver our opponents and win a victory against the shadow.”

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