Jagar stood up and looked around the table, then placed his hand upon his heart and said â€œI harbor no doubt that your quest is worthy, Aes Sedai. As I said in the alleyway, while Darkfriends are a threat to these ladies, my life is yours.â€ He bowed slightly, and then seated himself. Koreauras appreciated his devotion to opposing shadowsworn, but questioned his motivation. It seemed he was more interested in Amahra and Cueraina than he was in actually seeking out and destroying those who had given themselves to the Leafblighter.
Torran spoke up a moment later with a slightly more hesitant manner. He looked around the table just as Jagar did, and said â€œI will help you. I seek employment, and am good with a blade. You have need, and I feel it is my duty and my honor to assist you. Iâ€¦â€ he hesitated briefly, as though carefully choosing his words, or as though he was unsure of himself. â€œI will not fail in this duty, Aes Sedai.â€
Koreauras noted that he had placed a slight emphasis on the word â€œthisâ€ in his last statement. Obviously Torran had some kind of wetlander Toh due to some action in the past. Iâ€™d bet a crown that it has something to do with being a former Queenâ€™s Guard, Thought Koreauras. I wonder if assisting Mallah is his way of meeting his Toh, or if he has a different reason for joining? Do these wetlanders even have any concept of Toh?
Once again the wetlanders had stopped to look at him, waiting expectantly. He knew that they were waiting for his decision regarding the possibility of his joining them in this battle against the shadow. He didnâ€™t like the idea of joining wetlanders, but there was something drawing him to these people, an unseen, unshakable pull that made him believe that what he was seeking would be found among these strangers. He knew his decision even if he didnâ€™t know the reason why. He wouldnâ€™t pass up a battle against the shadow, and he would always work to meet the Toh of his people to the Aes Sedai, but somehow there was more to this quest than that. He looked back at Mallah Sedai, who was standing at the far end of the table, opposite from him. She seemed to be weighing his very existence while she stood there, quietly waiting for his response.
Koreauras nodded once. Nothing really needed to be said. He would always fight against the shadow; his presence here in the wetlands would not change that. His acceptance of Mallahâ€™s quest seemed to bring a group exhalation from the rest of the table. The wetlanders once again began discussing the possibilities of what they could encounter in the near future.
Koreauras looked down at the surface of the table and distractedly studied the patterns in the grain of the wooden boards. His thoughts were in turmoil, colored by confusion. Why was he REALLY here? No answers were to be found in the table top, no hints as to his fate. He looked back up at the othersâ€¦
â€¦and once again found himself looking right into the eyes of Cueraina.