LegendsLog:By King's Invitation
As the time for the party draws nearer, tensions within Aldera begin to mount rather quickly. There are a number of dignitaries from both the Empire and the Republic arriving in the lavish, golden palace of House Alde, within the ballroom. Each side has elected to pick one side of the room over the other, Empire on the western wing, and Republic on the eastern wing. Between them are many of the diplomats of, and members of the various Noble Houses of Alderaan. House Thul, who has thrown their lot in with the Empire, House Organa who has sided with the Republic, and many more.
Along the wall, and scattered throughout the crowd are the elite, Royal Guard of House Alde, to help keep the piece. All of which are armed with Force Pikes, and personal side arms. Not to mention that each of the members of the Noble Houses have retainers assigned to them, whether they wish it or not.
While the tense scene draws on, and perhaps to cut through the tension, King Alde arrives wearing his monarch regalia, and the Alderaanian Crown. Posted above on a balcony and over looking the gathering crowd, the King waits until everyone seems to have arrived before speaking up. "Members of the Sith Empire, the Galactic Republic, please, allow me to welcome you to Alderaan." He states, his voice amplified by easily concealed devices near his mouth. "It is a privilege to house both of you here, in my home. While we move forward with the negotiations, you will be granted free movement as dignitaries to and from Aldera, and the fields around it. Should any of the Noble Houses wish it, they may request permission for either of you to visit their personal estate, outside of the city."
"While we go forward, let us not forget that both sides have given their word that they should not attack the other, while on Alderaan. House Alde recognizes that this may be a challenging situation for both sides, however, we hope to look past this, and come to a peaceful conclusion to the diplomatic mission we are to embark on from this day forward." He elaborates, then both hands lift up, and he bows his head. "Please, let the welcoming celebration commence, and I urge you to enjoy your time on Alderaan." With that, he gives a brief bow, and then turns to leave the room.
The Prince, Lerrend Alde goves a polite applause at the King's words, but the action clearly does not reach his eyes. He lowers his hands and exhales slowly, looking about to those assembled. "This is likely to turn into another dreadfully boring party, with two sides happy to kill each other outside of these walls, and forced to act nice within them." he spots members from house Thul and Organa, both restricted to their own territorial sides, and with a grin, moves to flaunt his family's neutrality and position by crossing back and forth to interact with people on each side, wondering if trouble can be found. "Anything to liven up this night."
Sinseia hadn't bee comfortable about this trip or this assignment all together, but rarely does it come where she's given assignments that have anything to do with the Sith, at least in a direct capacity.
When the King arrives to the location, Sin looks up from the corner that she'd chosen to reside in. Her eyes study his face and listen closely to what he has to say abut about halfway through it she starts to let her brown pupils roam the others present. The dark blue hooded robe she's wearing gently flutters about her head as someone passes her by and it makes her look to them, then back to the rest of those gathered here-in.
She's a Padawan, though nearly Knight in level, but being held back for a number of reasons, but to anyone who studies her she's a nervous members of the Jedi, trying to hide those very same tested nerves here today.
The party and music begins when the local band takes the queue from the King. Well tuned instruments convey a chipper tone, and the chatter begins. There's a distinctive line down the center of the ballroom where Republic naval officers in proper dress stare down the Imperials. The hate is palpable in the air.
Having missed the address of the King, Lord Revan emerges through a double set of doors. The herald is about to announce the woman but a wave of her hand has them silenced. People knew Revan by her mask. Not by the youthful female face she was graced with.
The Dark Lord walked down the center pathway in an elegant set of robes and long cape. While black and bronze may have been her color, tonight it was green and brown; the colors of House Alde.
Revan crossed over to the Republic side brazenly, her expression soft and neutral as she paused by the refreshments to have a drink made.
Tai was doing her best to keep a detatched expression, although she's not really managing it. Between lower-middle class childhood, then being raised by Mandalorians, and then the Sith... She'd never seen this kind of luxury before. best to just follow Revan's lead. She'd be familiar with all of this.
The chance to taunt Jedi with her sheer presence though... That wasn't something to be avoided. She doesn't /quite/ cross over to the Republic side though, lingering on the border and sipping a drink while sampling the inexplicably tiny foods. Sinesia's wallflowering is noticed, and the Padawan recieves a predatory sharp-toothed grin from the Acolyte. This'll be /fun/.
Bastila is not anymore excited about this assignman than Sinseia, but to the casual observer she looks like the picture of calm. The regal woman in her orange and dark brown robes stands near to Sin like a protective sentinel, arms crossed over her chest, hair pulled back into a single braid aross the top of her ears with beaded tails down eitherside of her jaw. "Control yourself, Padawan." The crisp voice says quietly with a half turn towards the younger woman.
Then Revan enters...
Bastila sucks in a breath and cranes her head from side to side, following the Dark Lord from the center of the assembled houses to the Republice side of the gathering with a slow turn of her eyes set deep in her white face. Tai's hawking at the padawan, however, diverts her attention. Sharp eyes turn deliberately towards the spiny scalped woman... Expression serious, brow curled upwards challengingly.
While the party gather, Rotas is dressed in his Sith robes, standing amongst the crowd, carefully letting his gaze scan around the room for curious inspection. Though as the King arrives, his attention turns up towards him, listening to the speech the King gives before abandoning the room to their own devices.
Once the King has left, he turns his attention back out and into the room, taking a glance towards the eastern side, where the Jedi and the Republic dignitaries position themselves. Having positioned himself next to Tai during the arrival, he lifts an elbow and nudges her, tilting his head in the direction of the Prince as he moves down the middle of the line.
Sinseia's eyes take in the sight of Tai looking over to her, was that a smirk? A grin? She wasn't sure because she looked away too quickly to really register it. Instead her eyes shoot over to Bastila and she shifts her weight from one booted foot to another. Her blue robe sits over tan clothing beneath it. "I'm trying. My apologies." She says to the much more experienced Bastila. She looks away and down. "This is just... awkward, Master." She says then, glancing up and back over to the members of the Sith, Revan... is directly noted then. "I sense a great many conflicting emotions in the air. It feels, unsettling." All of this is said softly and quietly, meant for Bastila alone.
Prince Lerrend continues to move about, interacting with folks when he spots the nervouse Sinseia with a slight predatory grin of his own. "Oh my. There are buttons to be pushed." he excuses himself from the current conversation and crosses back over to the other side of the room, grabbing a couple of drinks along the way and when he arrives, offering it to Sinseia. "/Hello/ there. Are we having fun yet?" he offers her a warm smile, "Isn't it awkward being so close to them? I can almost /smell/ them from here." he takes a drink of his own glass and waits to see if Sinseia takes the other.
Revan's glass is filled with an expensive wine, Toniray wine to be exact. Its light blue color frosted by the cold glass she held in a gloved hand. It's then that Revan is met with an Alderaanian military man and they walk casually down the center of the ballroom casually chatting and watching as nobles begin to dance. The tune has changed to something more proper for dancing with a beat that seemed to be custom for the world. Revan observed the dancing from where she was, occasionally glancing over when speaking to the Marshal.
Bastila's disapproving look gets a bit of a smirk from Tai before the acolyte holds up the particular combination of meats on... she thinks it's a cracker. 'You should try these! They're really good!' is mouthed across the dividing line at Bastila. She shoots Rotas a /look/ in response to the nudge. Yeah, he wants to talk to the prince, but she's not the diplomatic bookworm. her sideways nod conveys a sense of 'You take care of it'. If anyone's reading the zabrak's emotions, she's... oddly lacking in hostility at the moment from what they'd probably expect.
"Stop trying and do." There are few people who would say that Bastila is understanding, even with padawan. Even fewer would say that she has bitch in her blood... because she does not. Not in the face of overwhelming Sith presence or the arrival of royalty to 'push buttons'. Her dark eyes fix upon the Prince, arms still across her chest, unflinching. Not by him and not by the Zabrak in dark, revealing clothing and her cracker of asorted meats. Mouthing back across that expanse a single word response, 'No'.
While Revan moves out to dance with the Alderaanian military man, Rotas allows the Darth to pull his gaze away for a moment, to land onto her. More curious inspection. Though as he gets that -look- from Tai, he rolls his eyes and takes a step forward. And then, the next comes as he begins to weave through the crowd, boldly stepping around the Jedi and Republic naval officers to approach the Prince, and by default... The Padawan. If he heard the comment about smelling the Sith, he doesn't say anything about that. In fact, upon his arrival, he doesn't say anything... Yet.
"Yes, Master." Sinseia softly replies to the simple, yet blunt command from Bastila. Her eyes sweep around the gathering again before she lowers them once more to focus on the Force and let it guide her to a more calm balance amongst the uniquely diverse crowd of gathered visitors.
Sin's brown eyes look up and over to the man approaching her with the drinks. It takes her a few moments to realize he's the 'Prince' as she'd been instructed during the briefing on the way here, but once she does she straightens a bit and tentatively reaches for the offered drink. "Thank you." She says in a quiet voice, laced with her Coruscanti accented Basic. Her eyes drop down to the drink then and she tries to visually figure out what it is, then raises it to sniff at it. "Its not their scent that truly concerns me, if I'm being honest, but." She lets her eyes flicker back up to the Prince and she shows him a faint smile. "I'm hoping for the best." She then tries to sip the drink to sample it.
'Suit yourself, more for me!' Tai flashes the pair of Jedi another of her winning grins, before popping the morsel into her mouth. Mmmmmf. That's amazing. Time to continue raiding the buffet table, and maybe try to eavesdrop on Rotas' conversation with the Prince to see if he crashes and burns...
"That is what this whole evening is about is it not? Hope for the best!" replies Prince Lerrend with a royal smile as he gestures to the room in general. "Two sides, here in a neutral sense, talking, dancing, interacting, everyone putting on their best face to hide their true feelings. It is like a meeting between noble families, except they will only stab you in the back, politically speaking, and here, I believe you all stab each other from the front. Much more civilized in my eyes." he bows his head to her, "Prince Lerrend, and who do I have the honor of addressing and serving drinks to this evening?" he glances at Rotas as he joins the small conversation sphere, then looks back to Sinseia.
"Futility is not hope, Your Royal Highness." Bastila says to the Prince, likely sounding far more Sith than she does Jedi in the closed minded 'absolutes' of her opinion. Rotas arrival completely occupies the cool tempered Knights full and undivided attention. Of course it was the Sith that broke the unspoken DMZ seperating the two factions.
Someone had to do it. Though, that it was Rotas, of all of the Sith... Having Bastila level her gaze on him, he seems to instead pay more attention to Sinseia, letting his attention sweep down her form and then back up to peer back at her eyes. Whatever he may be thinking, he doesn't seem to display it on his expression. Next, his attention turns towards the Prince, peering back at him for a considering moment.
Finally, he turns his gaze over towards Bastila, his lips curling in a pleased smile. "Clearly not the -best- the Jedi Order has to offer, otherwise the conflict would have been concluded already. Still, an excellent specimen." He observes, his smile turning rather wicked. "Tell me, Jedi. Do you know what my race is known for?"
Once Lerrend introduces himself properly, Sinseia offers him a curt but acceptable bow in formality. "Your Grace." She addresses him. "My name is Sinseia, Padawan by title." A small glance is given to Bastila and then back to her drink. Admittedly Sin is not much of a drinker, and she's not entirely sure if she's supposed to be indulging in this moment, but they're 'here for this' aren't they. She draws in a another breath for now though and shows a faint smile. "I've no plans on stabbing anyone here, Your Grace. From the front or the back. I'm merely here to show my support for peaceful interactions over that of conflict." A quick glance is given around the venue. "It is going well so far, so for that I am quite pleased." And then she takes another sip. Its not the worst thing she's ever drank!
"Marvelous." Hyris proclaims as her face scrunches up. The woman tries her best to maintain a straight face as she continues to consume one of the alien drinks. "A fine drink." She bluffs to her company, one of the nobles from House Thul. The two can be spotted sampling from the selection of snacks being passed around by servants. "Watch them. The ones that are confident enough to bridge the gap in the room." The robed woman instructs with a hint of irritation.
"You wouldn't happen to know any of them, would you?" It's a rhetorical question. Her pale hand rises with an index finger pointing directly at the bold prince. "Especially that one....right....there." A deep breath goes in as she takes another sip from the revolting drink. "Tell me about him."
"Thinking very highly of themselves?" Bastila wonders of Rotas, tilting her head ever so slightly to one side. "I've seen a few Arkanian experiments over the years, yes. Nothing I would call especially inspired, certainly none that I would leverage the farm on..." Leaning forward as if she's to share some state secret, "I know what your race are /not/ known for... social fencing. You're out classed here, Sith." Unfolding her arm to wiggle her finger in a 'go back over there' direction that has a point at the end in Tai, "Perhaps you and the Zabrak trying to appear sexually alluring could trade class... at least she's knows hers is as a night walker?" Sad frown.
"Padawan Sinseia, a pleasure." Prince Lerrend replies with another warm smile. "Well, however or wherever you stab as you do, even if it does not happen this evening, it does appear to be going well so far." he cannot refrain from a slight eye roll. "Should we make a wager on who crosses a line first?" the Prince inquires with a grin.
Meanwhile, The House Thul noble speaking with Hyris takes a small sip of his own drink before eating more of the free snacks that are offered. He looks over to the one that Hyris is singling out, "/That/ one? Oh, I can tell you some stories about that one.." and then the conversation turns to more hushed tones to keep from prying ears.
For Bastila, Rotas maintains his neutral, collected expression. "By who? The Prince here? Perhaps. I've not had a chance to learn the Alderanian political sphere quite as well. But by you?" That last sentence said with some great amount of skepticism before he lets out a soft chuckle. Then he peers over at Prince Lerrend, rolling his eyes as he stands next to him. "Is that even necessary? Not the Jedi, I assure you. Not nearly bold enough. Especially Jedi like her." He says, gesturing towards Sinseia.
The Abyssin is terrible at subtlety. Absolutely terrible. He's nearly impossible to miss, as he stands six foot seven, has thick green skin covered in scars and taut over rippling, bulging muscles, and draped in black robes. On top of all of that, he only has a single, vivid yellow eye in the center of his forehead above his apelike nostrils. Every step is accompanied by a low rumble deep in his chest, as his gaze swivels over the gathered. What is he doing here? The Acolyte hadn't a clue anymore. This was much more Rotas' scene, someone who could talk and hold a conversation. Not the former gladiator's. He is definitely not in his element.
"Imagine my surprise." Bastila snorts at the response to her insults, turning away from the Sith Master to watch Revan engaged in rousing dance with the military man. She's replaced her arms across her chest, "'Bold enough'. Yes, that's all that holds our blade, certainly. You've us pegged, mad scientist." Rolling her own eyes, speaking to Rotas without looking at him, deliberately being rude about it. "We Jedi are well known for crossing the unmarked line, singling out padawans, attempting to frighten them... and then hiding behind the laws of the neutrality with words about how 'afraid' the Sith are for not striking.." She does look back to the Sith Master now, "I'm being subtle, I forget your race lack social grace... I'm calling you a coward." Raising a brow. "Are you bold enough to do something about it, sith?"
Sinseia's expression gaze raises up from her glass that the Prince had given her to look at the King who... did he just insult her? She lowers her glass and summons a smile for him. "Am I not 'bold', Your Highness?" She asks of him. "I hadn't realized I'd worn a holo-sign broadcasting that this evening." She keeps her smile soft and simple before she lets her stare drift over to Bastila for a moment. She'd told her Master on this trip that she'd had a 'bad feeling about this' and that bad feeling had only started to go ever worse with every passing minute, or so it felt!
Back to the Prince, Sinseia looks then. "I'm afraid a bet would be unbecoming of a Jedi. But I assure you, I won't... push toward any aggressive actions myself." She roams her gaze again, and... is that the Abyssin she knows? The one she'd cut nearly in half and stuck around healing him until he was safe from Death's embrace? Her bad feeling about this only... worsens...
Prince Lerrend turns to regard Bastila and Rotas, both engaged in a rousing battle of tongues, in the much cleaner sanitary sense. "My my my. Aren't you interesting." he looks Bastila over, "You are here on the Jedi side, but, are you sure you are on the right side? I fear if my drink gets any closer to you it will literally sour. Do you even have a red wand to match your mood this evening?" he says with a smile, then looks back to the Padawan. "You are not wearing a holo-sign of any such thing. However, we have just met and I was trying to gauge that very boldness." he tsks, "So, it would be unbecoming of a Jedi to wager, but you /are/ saying that I should not wager on you?" he winks at her, "Perhaps your friend here would be pose a stronger case for such a bid?" he nods his head slightly towards Bastila.
Hyris snickers alongside her House Thul companion, listening intently as the man quietly offers his stories about the Prince. The robed figure asks for a short pause in conversation as she grows tiresome of the drink-based facade. She ends up disposing of her foul tasting drink on an empty tray of a servant passing by before resuming her nearly silent gossip. It's clear that the noble has begun to wrap up his stories, leaving them light on the details. "Go on." The woman instructs with a tightening facial expression. "I would love to hear more."
"Oh yes, your poor Padawan." Rotas laments, his lips curling into an amused grin. "Unable to stand for herself when faced with the most minor of obstacles. Some unkind words. How terrible of her to deal with." He observes, turning his gaze towards Bastila as she makes it a point to be as rude as she can be, while he turns his attention back onto Sinseia. "You should be thankful. I only thought you to be nervous. Shy, perhaps. But it appears your Master thinks of you as weak."
"What a pity, too, that your Master doesn't allow you to stand on your own two feet. Perhaps you should be made to wear a slave collar for her? So everyone knows you belong to her, and are protected by her." He 'helpfully' suggests, then gives a bit more of a chuckle. "I can't wait to share my news of just how weak your Master thinks you to be with my fellow Acolytes."
Which, it seems, is enough to reveal that he is only a student himself, no Sith Master. As for Eosys though, he turns, casting his gaze towards his fellow acolyte, and then quickly peering back at the pair of Jedi, and the Prince nearer to him.
Revan returns from the dance floor and quietly parts from the Marshal. He bows to her and she dips her chin, the gesture politely returned without actually bowing. She watches him walk away before finally turning to find a seat. In the 'neutral zone', Revan takes a table to herself and watches the band in contemplative silence. A fresh wine is delivered and she accepts it. The glass is lifted up to briefly smell the contents, then sipped. "Ahhh, Alderaanian wine." She mutters quietly.
Again, the Abyssin, that same one that fought Sinseia and lost, to whom the padawan stayed near until he was safe from death's door -the same one that fought Meetra and several other Jedi Knights at once later- is completely out of his element. A soft growl rumbles deep in the barrel of his chest as he scrutinizes each in turn with his single, vivid yellow eye. Bastila, Rotas (who earns himself a glower of 'why am I here' from the grizzled Abyssin acolyte), Revan (who earns herself a dip of his head in respect), Hyris, Prince and King... and Sinseia. Recognition flares in single eye and with absolute disregard for royalty or manners, the hulking creature bypasses Sith and Jedi alike to make a straight line toward her. One hand extends, palm upward, in offering when he reaches her. "Dance?" The towering beast of a former slave, with the number '63' branded on his cheek, grunts in question at Sinseia, rudely interrupting all conversation with her.
"I've read the Jedi user manual cover to cover in every language I know, there is no code against reminding your enemy their lower personal failings." Bastila reply to the Prince is, despite the edge to her words, any malice in her tone. She speaks in a cool voice, certainly, but not an angry one. Calculated like a droid, devoid of inflection except where it punctuates her words, rather than given them deliberate edge. Intent is clear enough, though.
"That's right, Sith. Talk around me, but not at me... nobody here is fooled into thinking you've a dog in this verbal fight." Said dismissively, turning to regard Revan moved from the dance floor to a table alone. "Excuse me, I will adjourn to speak with someone elequent enough to put together a decent response." Sliding away from the Acolyte, content that Sinseia has seen her sparring enough to muster up a rousing imitation. Moving effortlessly through the crowd growing as the line has been smudged enough that Sith and Republic forces, some of whom actually know one another, difuses across the pressure gradiant of the rooms tense atmosphere.
To Rotas, Sinseia offers a weak smile. "What frayed nerves I may have are for the well being of everyone here, if we are all to be subjected to verbal abuse at a gathering meant to be peaceful, yet already feels as though it's true purpose is rooted in spitefulness." A glance is shown to Bastila and Sin looks back to Rot. "I trust in my Master's observations, more than anyone else's here. If she declares me to be weak in something, then I will take that feedback as constructive and do my very best to adjust appropriately." She gives Rot a small smile before she looks to Lerrend. "Who you bet on is your own path to take, Your Grace." She tells him simply.
When Eosys approaches her and asks her for a Dance her eyes look up to his alien face and she draws in a breath. She sets her drink saide then and takes his hand to step off with him. "Yes, that sounds lovely." A smile is shown to the others as she moves to do so. And once she's further away with Eosys she speaks more privately to him. "You're the last of your people I expected to see here, you know."
Inspiring anger seems to have been what Rotas was intending when he made his way over here. Yet he might not have expected that Bastila would have been the one to 'storm off' as it were. His lips curl in satisfaction as they turn towards her, watching her march off and then turning his attention back towards Sinseia. "Such faith. And yet you've witnessed how clearly your 'Master' succumbs to her anger. So easy, and I wasn't even trying."
A laugh riles out of his chest, happily for a moment. "Certainly the diplomatic efforts will be easier for the Sith, if we can inspire such frustration from your type. Are you sure she-" He has more to say, but then Eosys pushes his way through the crowd, sweeping up his mark with the offer to dance. It riles his expression into one of frustration, though he lets his words fall off as they are.
Prince Lerrend first watches Bastila curtly disengage from the fray, and then Sinseia is escorted away by another. He sighs, unncessarily loudly and simply tosses out the rest of his drink against the nearby wall. "Well, that was a boring outcome." he looks to Rotas, "Clearly, you came on too strongly and spoiled the conversation I was having." he looks the man's robes over for a pocket to place his glass in, but finding none he grumbles. "Do they not even provide you pockets?" he tosses the glass into a nearby plant and walks away. "Perhaps I can find something of interest elsewhere this evening."
Eosys is a creature of savagery and cruelty, a gladiator of bloodsports and champion thereof- he has killed, fought, bashed, bloodied and battered his way to survival. Everything about the towering creature of rippling muscles and thick, scarred green skin advertises the predatory danger that he is, the grace of a primitivve savageness that is tempered now only by the trappings of the Sith. So it is... weird, the way he acts with Sinseia. His enormous arms settle at her back and hip so gingerly, gently, carefully as if the Padawan weren't so much fragile as simply delicate- the very same fashion that one is careful not to trample a flower. Yet there is also a distinct respect -that same sort of respect that he holds with those that have proven themselves to the slave. Briefly, over Sinseia's head, the cycloptic expression of the Abyssin glowers at his comrade Acolyte, before growling in that low, thunderous rumbling of a grizzled baritone that originates deep in his chest. "Not like here. Pretend smiles." He vaguely admits to the woman, that eye sweeping over the gathered in emphasis. "All masks."
Revan has taken out her datapad and is quietly tapping on the screen while leaned back in a tall comfortable chair. There's no guards by the woman, nothing to indicate she's anything more than a pretty woman in a nice green and brown ensemble. She sips her wine, glances at the band, then looks toward Bastila who appears to be walking toward her.
"Yes, -I- came on too strongly." Rotas remarks with a smirk, rolling his eyes. Then his lips curl into a playful grin for the Prince. "I'll admit, the response from the Jedi was unexpected. I erred, in assuming that the Master would have had her temper under control. My mistake." At the mention of his pockets, he chuckles, rolling his eyes again, watching the Prince walk off.
Hyris continues to listen as her companion begrudgingly continues with the stories. His gossip lacks the enthusiasm as it did before, the man growing tired of using greater detail whilst receiving less engagement from the woman. The robed woman's hand brushes along the noble's arm as she hushes him to stop half-way through an elaboration. "Arrange for us to have an introduction. Introduce me." She demands with a pleasant tone. "Maybe, not now, but in time." Her voice instructs.
The Thul noble looks to Hyris and nods, "Oh, of course. You let me know when you would like an introduction and that can certainly be arranged. Favors are always of value." he says with a grin, "Let us try some more of this food. I do believe they didn't spare any expense with the menu." and gestures to the spread to allow for more mouth related expeditions.
"Darth Revan. Is that the correct honorific you're going by now?" Bastila asks of her... friend? Where they friends? Does Bastila even have friends? Nobody that would say they're her friend anyways. Her hands land upon the chair across from Revan, brow raised in a quiet request to sit at the Dark Lords table. "I'll admit the ever changing tapestry of titles is convoluted and difficult to followed. Especially here on Alderaan. One mans Your Highness is another mans Street Urchen." Wondering if, perhaps, the same holds true for Sith.
Once she and Eosys are upon the dance floor she places her hands on his sides and looks up at that cycloptic stare of his, not shying away from it, she's grown up around a wide variety of alien species in her life and she doesn't really hold them any different from her own species. This one, sure, was a first for her to deal and their initial meeting had been one of confrontation that she'd gotten out of through negotiation... the second... her lightsaber did the talking. This now? A mutual understanding of some measure?
"'Masks'." Sinseia quietly repeats him as she glances back the way she'd come ot see the Prince and Rotas having split apart. "I think you're more right than I could've easily described it." She glances back to Eosys then and smiles faintly to him. "Well its good to see you, and in much better spirits than our last meeting. I hope that your people... and mine for that matter, make this event a resounding success. Perhaps it could inspire others like it, and maybe more wars with words can be fought rather than wars with... weapons."
The Abyssin certainly didn't seem to care about negotiations or really even the event at all, and it's apparent as Sinseia begins talking about it that he does not feel the same sentiment. "Proved strong." He remarks in that thunderously low and growling baritone as a vague explanation to their current 'understanding' and lack of hostilities, "Not need fight again. Yet." His gaze scrutinizes the padawan for several long moments, and his brow furrows in confusion at her last sentiment, though he does manage to adequately dance without stepping all over the poor girl's feet or absolutely ruining their time. "How fight words? Words not beat lightsaber." He admonishes her, as if that notion were ludicrous, and he were patiently explaining to her that no, weapons were more useful in fighting wars than words the same way he might a child. His stare sweeps toward Bastila and Revan, then Hyris, and the nobles beyond, "Words can mean nothing."
"Just Revan is fine."
Revan's voice is thoughtful and lacking any sort of bite. "Please.. join me. Drink?" The Dark Lord turns herself more to the table then to face the Jedi Knight. Heavy blue eyes study the woman, without the scrutiny of a soldier sizing another up. A gesture is made to the nearby servant and before they can speak, Revan does. "Whatever the lady wants, please. I'll have another Toniray wine. It's divine."
Revan's attention returns to Bastila while the servant fills her glass. "Titles change with the weather. One may work for a sunny day while the next is best for shielding the storm. In a climate like this? A suit of armor might suffice." Revan smiles slightly.
Bastila bows her head and moves around the chair to to settle into it, drawing one leg up and over the other beneath. Her robes are smoothed across her knee, regarding the servant, "I'll have what the Lord is having." Motioning with over turned hand and extended fingers towards Revan. Attention diverted just so long as required to request her own drink, then settle back upon the Sith General.
"Diplomacy has its place." She considers, dark eyes turned to the gathered mass of Republic/Sith forces with their Alderaanian allies. "I doubt that place is here, specifically, but no doubt it has one." Amused, but only fleetingly, eyes back upon the fallen former Jedi.
"It has remained nonviolent, however.. so maybe neutrality /is/ a form of armor? If a temporary one."
Eosys' ability to simplify things down to their barest elements yet still amuses Sin. She'd experienced that early in their conversations, even if they were heated ones about battle and loyalty, fighting and freedom. "Words can sting your spirit, in a way that a weapon cannot." She quietly replies to the large hulking Abyssin. "They are unlikely to 'kill' but they can certainly... demoralize, if used properly... and demoralizing an adversary is arguably a very powerful weapon in its own right." There's a pause and Sinseia just continues the dance before she shakes her head. "Either way. This... I believe, will continue to be an interesting experience." She smiles again to him, light, reserved but still a smile with a genuine intent behind it. "Its good to see you too."
"Neutrality is not an armor. It's an excuse. The Mandalorian wars taught that much." Revan took a sip from her glass and set it down gently. The taste of the Toniray is held on her tongue a moment, then swallowed. "All of this is a ruse. A try for attention. Alderaan suddenly feels less important in the galaxy and they express a need for control. All of us showing up for allies, yet none flock to us. We are here, they are there." She gestures to the King's loft, where they look down upon both factions. "We are beneath them." Revan laughs.
Bastila doesn't disagree in the slightest, turning to look up at the loft. Her drink arrives and she takes it in hand without looking away, sipping the frosted blue wine with an appreciative nod and attention returned to Revan. "Twice we agree." She's here at the behest of the council, not her own desires to kowtow to nobility. Her earlier disregard for station made that fundamentally clear... Bastila Shan is not the diplomat Alderaan needs. "So why are you here, truly?" She wonders, leaning back into her seat to regard the Lord. Given their history, it's obvious enough why 'she' is. The Council said go, so she did. It is the same reason she did 'not' go with Revan to fight the Mandalorians.
"Search your feelings, Master Shan. You know why I am here. If not for the Alderaanians.." A slow gesture of a female hand drifts in the direction of Shan, of the Republic. A slow, dangerous smile creeps its way into view, enhancing Revan's beautiful features. "The Sith did not adorn my ship with allies of all walks of life. The Republic did."
The answer is about what Bastila expected, though she doubted to hear it spoken so forthright. This is the boldness she expected of the Sith, not that prattling about done by Acolytes and she inclines her head in response, sipping a bit more of the frosted wine. A glance to her right confirms the suspicion. Old allies, military forces who'd served together prior to the Mandalorian War, now mingled together as old friends.. Dwendled forces would no doubt see fewer faces on the registry come morning muster. If this revelation bothers her, and it does to no small degree, her expression hides that concern away. A stoic expression to camoflage discontent. "I often wonder..." She says rather than address the Rancor in the room, "How different things may have been had I heed your call rather than the directive of the Council." Her innate ability in battle meditation is well documented, as is her belief in its unilateral ability to change the tide of any engagement. Where she lacks anger, almost as a point, she makes up for it with dangerous levels of self confidence. "Would we be sitting here now? Or celebrating on Coruscant?"
"You are a treasure that the council realizes it must never lose. A fulcrum in a teetering game of influence, with voices in each ear whispering what they want from you. I do not envy this, but I've been where you are. I watched helplessly as the Mandalorians stripped away the layers of civilization that flourished in the outer rim, where worlds were peaceful. Children indoctrinated as warriors, men and women slaughtered for the sake of sport and conquest, and destruction left in the wake of it all. Even in the face of such evil, the council stood resolute and told me no." Revan sat back in her seat, her face reminiscent of her time as a Jedi Knight, the maverick.
"I left because it was the right thing to do. The Mandalorians were shattered, the Republic was left broken; but I'm the reason it's in this state now? Me? Had I not intervened it would be the Mandalorians celebrating in what was left of Coruscant." Revan takes a measured breath, closing her eyes a moment and raising her hand as if to apologize. "Apologies."
"Had you come with me, Bastila, you would've seen for yourself why I am doing this. Why it is necessary. Inaction, decentralization, and a lack of decisiveness nearly cost the galaxy /everything./ I am not conquering it, I'm trying to /save/ it."
Bastila furrows her brow at the description of her position and place in the grand scheme of the Galaxy. Her hand hangs around the glass, a single fingertip running along the frosted exterior leaving a clear mark where heat applies to cooled frost, "There's a sublime intelligence in observation, you know that..." She may not have agreed with the Council decision, may have argued against it, but ultimately she'd agreed.. if not out of actual agreement, then duty and loyalty.
For good or ill.
She'd not seen the Mandalorian conquest up close. She'd not stood beside her brothers and sisters and watched the great destruction writ by those heathenous barbarians. "Now you count the Mandalorian as some of your warriors, is that not true? Using their brutal nature to your own designs for saving the galaxy?" The word, saving, it is used loosely. Her tone is no more aggressive than it had been with Rotas, but it lacks the barbed edge.
Revan had been a friend... or at least someone she idolized if not been friendly with.
Now a rival, in a manner.
She takes a breath and looks down at the tables top. "It sounds so glamourous when you say it, here to 'save us' from ourselves, but couldn't you have used your successes during the war to do that without waging war against it? It puts the Council, the Republic even, into a precarious position... and you well know that." Tilting her glass towards the Dark Lady, extending a finger in her direction.
"You know they would not bend knee... and I have to wonder if that was your hope.. that the would rise to your challenge of authority, so that when you win-" That's not a definitive agreement that she /will/ only an observation of intent, "-You can say 'I told you so' and fold the remnants beneath you."
"I count those willing to follow my purpose among my rank. I do not needlessly slaughter either. My targets are key, precise, thoughtful, and advantageous while the Mandalorians simply saw something they wanted and took it." Revan says, taking the observation as just that.
"Were it truly yourselves you needed rescuing from, I would have simply returned to the council to face the inevitability of their ire, and used my influence in the Republic to reconnoiter. But it was not so simple. Malachor V broke everyone."
"When I returned from the unknown regions, I saw what awaits this galaxy. I saw it as clear as I see you, and I tell you Bastila; it will not survive. What the Republic.. what the Jedi lack in resolve, decisiveness, and action; the Sith Empire makes up for in ambition. There is strength, there is commitment, and there are numbers. The galaxy needs all of these things to survive."
Revan waves toward the loft. "I expected nothing from this. When Alderaan finds itself in the vice of an overwhelming enemy; who will the King turn to? The ones conquering the galaxy? Or the ones retreating from every system?" There's no barb to that either. It was fact. "They won't kneel, for now." Revan says, her gaze glazing over slightly in the direction of the nobles on the loft.
Bastila listens, but her eyes remain down upon the tabletop. She's not yet ready to write the Council or the Republic off. "They retreat.." On that she can agree, though she is hesitant to say we retreat. She has rarely backed down, even when she probably should. It's not one of her better qualities if the Jedi Council were asked, "But they lack the recourses you've managed to muster in short order." Most from the Republic itself... though she'd be lying if she said she'd not been mystified by how quickly the Sith Empire had managed to field a fleet three or four times that of the Republics.
"I don't know what it is you've seen.. perhaps if I did, it would be an easier decision to make.. I do know the validation of every would be conqueror begins and, ultimately, ends with assurances that it's for a greater good against a superior foe.." Boogeymen, horror stories to keep children in beds at night. It isn't specifically calling Revan a liar, she sounds as if she believes... or believes that Revan believes.. what she's saying.
Sipping her wine, "We cannot know how this conflict ends, but we can know how it will get to that end. It will be violent and bloody.. It will be a gross waste of life that could have been avoided.. People rarely submit to the yolk of Empirical rule based solely on promises against the unknown.. at least not this galaxy." Motioning. Alderaan aside, she knew the Lady was right about them.. they'd side with the stronger force, right or wrong.. good or evil.. It would one day prove their foil, Alderaan.
"That is my burden. Making those who doubt realign with purpose and believe." Revan finishes her wine and gently sets the glass down. "The offer stands, Master Shan. I give you truth, and the freedom to act. The strength to be who you were meant to be. On this, I'll say no more. The choice is yours to make." Revan rose from her chair and brushed her cape back gently, looking regal. "May you find your way, Bastila Shan. Until we see each other again." Revan manages a genuine smile and respectful dip of her head. "Take care of yourself."
Bastila brings her glass up and drowns the contents in a long swallow that has it sitting empty atop the table. She too stands, bowing her head to Revan, "And you, Darth Revan. I will think on what you've said." She already sounds resolute in her decision, but the fact that she's considering it at all is far more than most might get from her. "Until we meet again..." Turning to search out her padawan, but sees she's already retired, begins to make her way out as well. A lot more to think on than she's got time to think on it.