Log:Badge of Mastery
The University is one of the most impressive sights Aryn has seen in a long time. The grand library and maze of court yards, all of the scholarly students and well achieved, even the air smells of academic success. Her place here isn't about a personal pursuit of study, but the sharing of knowledge and experiences.
The noble Lady, Doctor Aryn Cole, as she was introduced before taking the stage, looked the part of noble without a doubt. Even those who came from wealthy families paled in comparison to a woman who descended from a line of people entitled to wealth and all the finest luxuries life could buy. What struck everyone as odd was the woman's youthful appearance. Here stood a woman who had studied her entire life to be an explorer, an agricultural entrepreneur, and a medical doctor.. and yet she was no older than most of those attending the seminar. How?!
Aryn spoke nothing of her early success as a scholar. In fact, she humbled herself as she told of a tale of supreme failure. Not only had she lost her ship when it crash landed upon the surface of an uncharted world, she outlived her crew that was captured, tortured, and murdered when natives set them loose in an arena full of beasts. Aryn had seen them all die.
The moral of the story was perseverance, and never forgetting life's opportunities to learn. Her seminar switched from addressing the tragedy of her crew to the discovery of a new civilization, culture, and alien species. "...I can't say they weren't fond of me.." She jokes, gesturing toward the trinkets and things she had collected over the year of being stranded. "I believe they intended to earn favor with me. Why? Who knows. I observed it was their culture to present gifts to suitable mates. I was flattered, but the medical side of my mind was like, hmmm.. I'm not sure they understand the complexity of the situation!" There was a loud laugh. "Anyway, I appreciate this opportunity to speak to you all. If you take anything from my experience with real natives, it's that you should never underestimate them. Be mindful, be open to new possibilities, and never give up on finding your story. That said, don't crash land either. It's a bloody dreadful experience. Thank you."
There was to be a reception that followed this seminar in the ballroom, where other antiquities were being presented for study, and their adventurers present to discuss how they found them! Lady Cole is helped down from the stage and led into the ballroom.
Aryn Cole is beautiful, accomplished, and presumably wealthy -- with stories of adventure in exotic locales to boot. She is thusly no doubt swarmed by admirers and well-wishers, platonic (and perhaps otherwise?) as she finishes her speech and enters the after-seminar social hour in the ballroom. There are refreshments, quite a few steps above the unusual cuisine of her days amongst the natives and beasts of the uncharted world. Less with the roots, roasted meats and edible berries... much more with the itty bitty canapes like tiny sculptures. Not presented by primitive culture with dubious intentions, but by spotless, shining service droids with not one glitch in their programming and not one scratch on their polish! It's a pleasant place to review interesting items on the antiquities market, for certain. Eventually as Aryn's hangers-on find other places to direct their interest, and other bright stars (maybe not as bright as hers!) to accost, the crowd clears enough to make a dark figure stand out.
Oran is not distinctive on account of impressive height - he's short - but he is instantly recognizable as one of her own. Aristocracy can recognize its fellows. He holds himself with the kind of perfect posture that comes from unforgiving, expensive tutors, and although his attire is not flashy in cut or color, to those who know what they're looking at, it looks like money. He is wearing a sword, not a vibroblade, with an ease that suggests familiarity with such an archaic weapon, though it's sheathed in a clean, tidy way that suggests he may be here to sell it rather than use it. He looks amused, and he found a glass of wine somewhere. When he speaks to Aryn, his tone is amused and his accent is upper-levels Coruscant. "How many of your throngs of admirers there were likewise trying to present you trinkets to prove their worth as suitable mates?"
Aryn wears all white in the form of a tunic that accentuates her womanly shape. A cape hangs down her back, its movements gentle and clumsy as she gestures and issues farewells to students, admirers, and curious alike. The appearance of the dark figure did not trigger alarm in Aryn, but it did trigger interest. He held himself to a degree of discipline that stuck out like a sore thumb. Indeed, they could spot one another in a crowd that had never seen a day of court in their life. His voice when he addresses her is found pleasing and she smiles, showing his joke has found merit.
"More than I care to count, I'm afraid. I feel like I'm more a spectacle to them, a new attraction to be experienced for the moment, and forgotten when their sun rises tomorrow." This did not seem to bother her. Aryn regards the dark man with a polite bow, and she offers her hand. "Would you care for fresh air, sir. It's rather loud in here." She saw that he was armed. She did not make the distinction that he might be there to sell his weapon. Aryn held nothing that was interesting to look at, or that would distinguish her as anything more than she appeared.
Oran raises a brow. "A spectacle? Of a sort. Forgotten tomorrow? Unlikely, unless it's been made abundantly clear that all the trinkets in the Unknown Regions wouldn't secure your attention," he replies. "You're exquisite, and if you don't know that, then you haven't been paying attention." Forward, but not flirty... exactly. He just seems to call things as he sees them in a demeanor of complete confidence on the subject. Her hand is accepted and a brief half-bow made over it as would be proper for this sort of introduction on Coruscant, and of course he agrees with her suggestion toward fresh air. It'd be socially unthinkable not to agree, and also, it'd be nice to get fresh air. "There is nothing I would like better," he assures, and occupies a position to her left as they walk, so she doesn't get whapped in the leg with the blade he's carrying. "Before my manners take leave of me completely, my name is Oran Arcantael." Arcantael... old money, Coruscanti family, aristocracy that made it through multiple galactic wars by hitching their wagon to the banking clans instead of empires and rebels and republics. "I will beg of you upfront not to embarrass me with my own ignorance regarding the artifacts here; I am an enthusiast, not a scholar."
Color finds her cheeks at his admission of her beauty. It is forward, but those practiced in politics and aristocracy are practiced in concise delivery and flattery. She's swept away by the only other noble in attendance. She smiles at his bow and waits for him to settle at her side to escort her away from the crowd and toward the veranda to look over the university's fountain courtyard.
"Of course you know from their introduction, I'm Aryn Cole." Cole was old money as well, dating back thousands of generations on the late planet of Alderaan, now more recently D'Qar New Alderaan. Everyone knew the Cole name from their vineyard, the only one to continue the production of the rare Alderaanian vintage.
"I take no pleasure embarrassing anyone. Enthusiasts are just as rare scholars, and I cherish the company of both when artifacts are involved." She offers a pleasant smile as they arrive outside finally. Aryn appears to relax a bit more when all the noise fades. She was anxious, but it was concealed to her surface thoughts.
Big grins and large displays of emotion seem off-brand for Oran, but he does seem to notice the brief blush and one corner of his mouth turns upward in amusement. Not pointed out - he'd never be so gauche - but noticed, to be certain. Away from the crowd, they have gardens to stroll, and like any good nobles, they know how to stroll the hell out of some gardens. The pace is unhurried, the topiary on point. "I wasn't aware the Coles were hiding someone so accomplished in their midst," Oran muses. "Academia, and practical medicine as well? Unprecedented. Usually the galactic nobility produces only generation after generation of the indolent rich -- people who know nothing about anything save how to act important and banter." Again, the amusement. "Like me." No shame whatsoever. He leaves his now empty wine glass on a pedestal not too far from the door to the ballroom, apparently under the complete conviction that someone hired to take care of it will take it back to wherever it needs to go. No shame there either. "I'm going to be presumptuous and guess that you do not mislike sharing your experiences to the edification of others, but that you are less fond of the social crush following, at an event like this. Is that so?"
Aryn is flattered again, but thankfully the shade hides the heat in her cheeks. She looks away from him and focuses on the stone pathway, stepping carefully in boots while staying in time with him. "Hidden away is an apt explanation. It was my brother who was groomed for the grandeur, not I."
She admits, her voice remaining neutral. "This freed me to become my own person. I have.. many interests, it is true." She says softly, stopping a moment to touch a low hanging flower. "I also believe that books and academies like this one are proof that magic exists in this galaxy. Where else might you find a portal to hear the voice of someone who lived thousands of years ago..and still learn something new?" She smiles again.
She begins to walk again, though only after lifting the flower up so it might get some sun light. "Healing is my true passion. I understand that violence has just as much a place in our galaxy, but no one focuses on what comes after the hurt. How can a galaxy pick up the pieces that are left if there's no one there to help it heal." She glances toward him and laughs. "It sounds silly, I know. I have no misconceptions about being a doctor. What I accomplish will never be the source of galactic news or mainstream media, but I'll know I made a difference somewhere with someone."
She continues to follow his lead/escort, rounding a corner to arrive at a fountain that was large and trickling with clear, fresh water. "That's a tough question, though I believe it has less to do with the attention and more to do with unhealed wounds." Her hand lifts to cover her heart. "It was a traumatic experience, and it took a lot out of me to even speak of it. People here, they see an interesting story like they might from a book or holovid. They live the experience while it's told, then it's over. There's no emphasis paid to the person who lived it, who has to continue to live with it. I suppose that is what makes me.. anxious." She turns to face him this time. "Admittedly, Doctors make the worst patients."
"Oh, being groomed for grandeur ruins a person. No offense to your brother, of course," Oran replies, again with a dry little hint of mirth. "Simply my personal experience; I was groomed for grandeur as well and I assure you I am quite completely beyond redemption at this point. Rather dodged a blaster bolt there, haven't you then?"
Naturally, the pace slows a bit when she has cause to inspect a flower, and moves again when the inspection of the bloom is complete. Aryn's companion is good at making sure that the pace is such that she's never left behind, nor is he standing around waiting while she takes inventory of the flora. It's a small detail, but one of a few points of social awareness that arrive when one's upbringing is hyper-focused on tiny social nuance. They might look like chess pieces out here, light and dark, visually opposites... and Oran's brows lift slightly when she says healing is her true passion. If he agrees about violence, or if he doesn't, he doesn't state as much directly. Instead, he replies, "Yours is an unnaturally compassionate nature," and listens as she goes on regarding the difficulty of retelling her story for the brief thrill of those who like a good adventure yarn.
"Far be it from me to walk you further through uncertain paths," Oran promises not to poke at the crash experience tale, and then arches a brow. "I will confess that I do have ulterior motives for monopolizing your attention... the opportunity to speak with someone who knows how to construct a civilized sentence is absolutely one. I would do it again, for that alone. But the second of my motives is this. Don't be alarmed, I'm about to be unnecessarily dramatic." And then, smoothly - again, some experience there - he draws the blade! Careful not to harm Aryn, or flowers. Rather than being any sort of metal, it's a razor-sharp crystal material, surprisingly with some give and flex to the blade. The crystal sword shimmers in the light, the faintest hint of green color and transparency adding to the unique effect. "Really does need natural light to best effect," Oran muses it, turning the blade this way and that. "It isn't the rarest object in the galaxy, but I am fond of it for sentimental reasons. I am looking for a buyer. The right buyer."
Aryn takes a renewed interest in the other noble as he warns of the drama to follow. The sound of the ornate blade exiting the scabbard makes her scrunch her nose and she steps backward a bit, intimidated at the sight of a man who both understood how to hold the weapon, but also use it to cause harm. Her heart begins to race, despite his warning, but she stands her ground to inspect the familiar sight with wide, blue eyes. "A..a truly magnificent weapon, Oran. You hold it naturally, no sign of misstep. I envy your confidence."
Aryn's small pale hands reach out to touch the blade, careful to avoid the danger of the sharp ends. "This is not the first one of these I've seen. Recall you the trinkets I mentioned, the gifts from suitors? I received one such blade." Aryn steps closer to him, pulling her hands away from the weapon and locking them to the small of her back.
"Unfortunately, I lost it when I made my transition home. Either through logistics error or dishonesty, it remains to be seen. It also held a particular sentimental value to me. A symbol of protection when times got.. dark." She glances up at him, as if to speak an unspoken story. "I used it to protect myself. Though, I was not very good with it." Her turn for humor. "Why seek me out though? Everyone inside smells of money."
Oran gives the blade an experimental swish or two - again, clear of Aryn-striking distance so she doesn't accidentally get chopped in half because he's being extra - and admires the way the crystal catches the sun as he does so. "Ramishi, aren't they? I don't know much about the culture, truth be told. As I said -- enthusiast, not a scholar. This one I pulled out of the Great Pit of Carkoon, on Tatooine -- not a place I'd otherwise recommend anyone visit. Stench, atrocious; accommodations, truly lacking." He holds the weapon still when she reaches to touch it, then at her latter question, he looks amused in his characteristically cynical way. "And that absolutely is my favorite smell, make no mistake," Oran promises when she says everyone inside smells like money. He offers the hilt of the weapon, as though Aryn may take it to try it out for herself. "But you're more attractive and less boring."
"Where did you take your instruction?" Aryn asks, the question directed toward his familiarity with the sword and how to hold it. When offered, she gently takes it from him and holds it out. The contrast between the two becomes obvious. It is awkward in her grasp, and she extends it to catch the light. The sparkle of the crystal blade catches her eyes for a moment before she finally lowers the blade downward and offers the hilt back to him.
With the way she presents the sword back, he could take hold of its handle and just as easily drive it through her mid-section with no threat of defense. She glances up to him, smiling. His compliment was not lost on her though. Her cheeks had gained more color as a result. "You are far too kind to me, Oran. It's charming, and I could see how this sword suits you. To answer your question, yes. It is Ramishi by design and culture. Ornate, even. They believed in spectacular blades because it instilled a sense of wonder, triggered the memories of their enemies. Who could forget a remarkable warrior slaying an enemy with a sword that carries the light so naturally? It was intimidating, memorable, and distracting. A Ramishi sword was supposed to be a badge of mastery. Fear me, respect me, or be slain."
"Coruscant, when I was young," Oran replies regarding his instruction. "They're not exactly the height of technological prowess and haven't been for probably four thousand years, but again... sentiment. And as you say, perhaps mystery." He takes the blade and sheathes it rather than skewering her like a fancy hors d'oeuvre on a toothpick, and then unbuckles his belt. Spicy! Oh, well... just the sword belt, less spicy. Said belt is wrapped around the scabbard, neatly, and he offers it toward her like a less deferential version of some Knight giving fealty to his queen in a fairy-story. "Just so," he agrees with amusement at her scholarly knowledge of the Ramishi. "See, I knew you'd hold an appreciation for the weapon that most would lack. It's intriguing and rare enough to be art, but common and practical enough to be used for its intended purpose... should you desire to do so. The blade is yours if you want it, Dr. Cole."
He does name a price, which is unspecified because coded money not required, but for all that he might not know archaeology, he's pretty on point for having assessed the value of the thing. Or maybe someone assessed it for him, but it's a fair and expected price. One corner of his mouth crooks into a smile again. "May you be intimidating, memorable... and distracting, to any who would oppose you."
Credits are but a chore that comes at the end of fancy dialogue. A price is settled upon and money paid without anything more than a slight datapad transaction to authorize the transfer from a non-disclosed account. Only when the item is purchased, does Aryn accept it from the other noble, and tuck it beneath her arm.
She smiles at his parting and reaches forward to take his hand in hers briefly to squeeze. "..and may you remain charming, intelligent, and kind to everyone you come across. Be safe, where ever your travels take you, my Lord." Another gentle squeeze and she steps back to allow him by. Her young eyes follow him, a smile on her face as she appreciates a man who exhibits confidence in every action he takes.
"Kind?" She surprised a laugh out of him on that one. "Oh, absolutely not. Don't you speak that evil over me," Oran replies. His brows lift. "Kindness is for people with courage and talent." It's a joke... it's not a joke.... it's hard to tell! Again that crooked smile, in any event. "I'm sure we'll meet again." Under circumstances that may surprise them both, possibly! "Until then. Don't sell yourself short, hm? You have a Ramishi Crystal Sword now... bask in some grandeur. Might find you like it." He bows, completely correctly, and then takes off at the speed of mosey, still confident, still shameless, and without looking back.