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Thread: Preparing for the Unknown and the Known [ Alexander and Tatianna, morning,8/23/217]

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    House Romanov Alexander Romanov's Avatar  
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    Preparing for the Unknown and the Known [ Alexander and Tatianna, morning,8/23/217]

    Since he was in the capital city for the coronation, Alexander had decided to proceed with his quiet agenda. Annemarie's skills had reached their peak. He had taught her everything he knew of the art. Most importantly he had taught her how to learn and explore. Alexander was absolutely confident that Annemarie's skills as an apothecary would only grow. With the patronage and resources of the crown, Alexander could scarcely imagine the feats of science she could accomplish.

    Alexander figured that he would take small steps. Reacquaint himself with the royal family members and work his way up to the King and Queen of the realm. To say that Alexander was a bit nervous was putting it mildly. He was hardly a courtier. Annemarie reminded him, however, that he did not need to be a courtier in this instance. His reputation as a scholar and a knowledgeable man would be more than enough to get the point across.

    While Annemarie enjoyed her morning in the marketplace, Alexander was taking a tour of the royal gardens. A message had been sent days in advance to meet with the members of the royal family. No doubt, they would have their discussion in some formal setting like a lounge or, even worse, the throne room. In an attempt to calm his nerves, Alexander was studying the various plants he found. More importantly, though, he was taking notes on how the various animals were behaving.

    Would there be a difference in their behavior when he compared a wild setting to one that was cultivated and controlled? He was suddenly determined to find out!
    Last edited by Alexander Romanov; 04-13-2014 at 01:39 PM.

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    House Farrand-Calhoun Tatianna Farrand-Calhoun's Avatar  
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    Tatianna did not know of Lord Alexander's request to meet with some of the royal family, being fairly newly-restored to them herself. She enjoyed taking a walk in the gardens most mornings to see what new flowers were blooming and meet more people. Now that Lochlan's coronation was over, she could relax and learn more about the life she was expected to lead, even if it meant that she was very seldom left alone. As the youngest Princess (and unwed), Tianna was told she was fairly valuable to her brother's future. She could walk with a maid and a guard, but not alone.

    It was a little stifling, but she was getting used to it. Never one to raise a fuss or cause a stir, she was slowly coming out of her shell, thanks in very large part to Lord Marcus Romanov. That bold rascal was teaching her how to enjoy the aspects of life she knew little about, and maybe some-day she could travel with him to the far-away island of Esquibel. That would be exciting, indeed... and be useful to Lochlan as well.

    Spotting the gentleman who studied the plants, Tianna smiled as she approached quietly, not wanting to startle him. Seeing what he was observing, a particularly lovely kind of lily she was told was called a calla, she appreciated its soft ivory hue. "Lovely, isn't it? I'm told it is a new plant from Baldell."

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    House Romanov Alexander Romanov's Avatar  
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    "Hm?" He seemed distracted and did not immediately answer. "It seems that the little rodents here are not as fearful as in the wild. I have made the same observation in my own home, but it is interesting to see it here. Perhaps they get used to ..." And then he trailed off, realizing that he was rambling and sharing his observations with someone that likely did not care. He turned, prepared to speak further when he stopped short. It was a Princess. The one that had recently returned.

    "Y-Your Highness." He offered a bow, "Forgive me. I did not realize that it was you. And ... what did you say?" He glanced toward the flower that happened to be near them. "Oh, yes. Very curious, indeed. It's one of the few flowers I have seen that has as singular petal, but... if you look closely, it's not like other flowers, anyway. The petal seems to fuse with the stem. Does that make it a petal or a leaf?" He was rambling again.

    Damn it.

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    House Farrand-Calhoun Tatianna Farrand-Calhoun's Avatar  
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    His words came out in a rush of breath and speech. It took Tatianna a few minutes to follow what he was saying, but she was not sure what it meant. Little rodents? Oh, he must mean the mice and the chipmunks! Feeling a little better for understanding, she laughed softly. "I think they are used to being fed by the children and the courtiers, so they know to come close to people may mean food, if that is what you are thinking?" His was not a face she immediately recognized, but then there were so many new faces and things to learn, Tianna often felt overwhelmed. "Do you make a study of the creatures, Lord...?"

    She blinked as he bowed, wanting to look around to see if Lochlan or Jacquelyn had come near. It was still very easy for Tatianna to forget that she was a Princess and now people bowed to her. Instead, she blushed and laughed weakly. "I don't recognize me either, my lord, don't feel bad." Coming a step closer, Tianna decided he was harmless and he asked interesting questions. "I think it's some of both, but it comes in such pretty colors. There are pink ones there," she pointed, "and I saw some purple. I find something new to discover each time I enter the garden."

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    House Romanov Alexander Romanov's Avatar  
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    "Hm! An astute observation! If they feel they will get food by getting closer, then that only means ... they truly can learn as we can. That honestly makes me wonder if there are a great many differences between us and the animals with whom we share this world." He gave her a knowing smile before bowing again, "Alexander Romanov at your service, Your Highness. I take to studying the world in general and all that it implies. Someone has to keep track of all of our observations and suppositions, after all."

    Alexander turned to look at the flower again. "It is, indeed, most curious. I have found that plants are far more variable than we are... able to adapt to a variety of situations and ways of life. Some plants grow from the ground, others from other plants and ... so on. This garden shows many of them of them and as such, I hold a deep appreciation for it."

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    House Farrand-Calhoun Tatianna Farrand-Calhoun's Avatar  
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    The smile grew bright at his praise. At the Temple, Tianna was praised for her quick mind and grasp of the unusual when it came to the natural world. There she felt on solid ground, and he put her at ease for the air of the scholar he put out. When he revealed his name, she bowed her head. "Ah! Are you related to Lord Marcus, then?" The mention of the man's name brought a soft blush to her cheeks, once more reminded of their first meeting and a secret she kept close to her heart. "And a scholar, too."

    Looking back at the flower with interest, Tatianna went to examine it more closely. "They have to, in order to survive, but don't you think people do as well?" She tilted her head to look up at him. "After all, I wasn't born to this life but I have to adapt. Surely I can adapt, too? Some animals teach their young, plants share their roots, and the like. We as people are not so different, don't you agree?"

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    House Romanov Alexander Romanov's Avatar  
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    "Yes, he's my nephew of a sort. Technically, he's a cousin, but ... the age difference and relative positions of the family allow me to say uncle," Alexander had been too distracted by his own explanation to realize that she had blushed at Marcus's name. Even if he had, he likely would not have offered commentary on it. Women were difficult for him to read. "I am a scholar, yes. I have been one for as long as I can remember, though I should say that my methods have become far more refined over the years."

    Alexander nodded encouragingly at her line of thinking, wanting to see just how far along she could go with it. "And what do you think would happen to those animals, those plants, those people... if they cannot adapt to new surroundings and environments?" A hand came up to stroke at his chin in thought, patiently waiting for her answer. A good thinker did not rush, after all.

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    House Farrand-Calhoun Tatianna Farrand-Calhoun's Avatar  
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    Calming herself, Tianna nodded to Alexander's words, glad for the change of subject. She still thought of herself as a member of the Temple, where life had been study, quiet contemplations and simple service to others. Listening to him put her more at ease, her smile growing soft. "Refined in what way, Lord Alexander, if I may ask? And what is your preferred field of study?"

    Taxed and tested by his question, she looked back at the flower, studying it as if it held all the answers for her. She couldn't help but think there was some lesson in his words, one that he was trying to teach her very gentle. Tatianna appreciated that gentleness, especially since she had other teachers who weren't so kind or thoughtful about their instruction. "They would struggle, and maybe perish. Change is necessary to thrive, don't you think?" She looked back at him, student to teacher, for any corrections he might want to make to her train of thought.

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    House Romanov Alexander Romanov's Avatar  
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    "Well, I have perfected record keeping techniques and have learned to ask more specific questions. The more specific the question you ask, the more accurate your conclusions can be. And the beautiful thing of it all is that it leads to more questions. It is a never ending, but also ever changing field. So, you can say that my focus is natural philosophy. I study the world and how it works. Right now, I am mostly curious in the world of the living, but I have turned my gaze to the stars from time to time."

    Alexander nodded, a smile warming his face for a few moments. "That is the true nature of the world, I have learned. There are some that can thrive and succeed in new environments, but sometimes they are simply not suited for that new place. A plant that grows in a garden here would likely not do well if moved to the desert." He raised a finger, "But ... I surmise, since there are plants in the desert, that they some plant's seed did land there and thrived despite the harsh conditions. If plants can do so, I have no doubt we can, no matter how frightening that change can be."

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    House Farrand-Calhoun Tatianna Farrand-Calhoun's Avatar  
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    One thing was definitely obvious. This Romanov was a true representation of his name. He was very much a scholar, and philosopher, but he wasn't the inventing time, she didn't think. Tatianna was interested all the same. "What do you do with what you learn? If I remember right, a lot of your family spends its time in studies and crafting things?" She was not so sure what each family did in Balfour, but she was trying to gain the knowledge as fast as she could.

    Seeing him smile, Tatianna smiled back. He looked good when he smiled, his eyes lightening his very sober features. He was obviously a teacher too, one who knew how to instruct without boring his students. "Your students must enjoy your lectures very much. Do you study in Silesia, or at your family's estate?"

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    House Romanov Alexander Romanov's Avatar  
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    "I record everything I learn and have the scribes convert them into books. I wish to share my knowledge freely with the world. I believe there should be a repository of knowledge in every city in this kingdom. Every city should have copies of the same books so that scholars can access them, study them and improve upon existing knowledge. Those improvements then should be disseminated, tomes updated and ... " he smiled a bit, "knowledge will grow. If we better understand the world and how it works, we can make our lives easier. Imagine if you will, if we learn what it is that makes plants grow stronger, larger or hardier... we can then pass that knowledge on to farmers so that they can be better at growing crops. Improved crop yields, means more food, which will reduce the risk of starvation." Suddenly he cleared his throat, "But, ah, yes, to answer your question, that is what we do. We are scholars and inventors."

    He shook his head, "Oh, I do not have that many students. I have had several over the years, but I prefer to keep one or two at a time. That way, we can have discussions and I can them grow more completely as a scholar down whatever path they choose. I prefer to study at my family's estate, but I have been known to give lectures in Silesia."

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    House Farrand-Calhoun Tatianna Farrand-Calhoun's Avatar  
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    Tatianna was genuinely interested in learning more about the Romanov scholar's studies. He seemed to take a very positive and forward-thinking look on the world while still living in it, something she had tried to cultivate in herself at the Temple. Since there was so much she still had to learn about life in Balfour itself, she had to wonder if he would make a good teacher for her. More intrigued to learn that he published his studies, she listened as he spoke. It was a little bit of a lecture, but he was making a point she couldn't argue with. Knowledge was meant to be shared and expanded. "I will have to look for these books of yours. There is much I still don't know about my own home-land, and if your records are anything like how you talk, I'm sure I could learn a lot from you, Lord Romanov."

    She was surprised to hear he did not have so very many students, her face showing it. He showed such talent for teaching, and she was hoping to lure him to Silesia now. "How many do you have presently, if I may ask?"

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    House Romanov Alexander Romanov's Avatar  
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    "Presently? I have one student, the Lady Annemarie Baptiste." As soon as he said her name, his chest and face seemed to swell with obvious pride. "She is honing her skills as an apothecary and I have no doubt in my mind that she is going to do this kingdom a great service. Though she has not a healer, she formulates the various medicines a healer can use, which is just as important. Her knowledge of the plant life in Balfour is unmatched, as well, if you ask me." He bobbed his head, the smile still evident on his face.

    "Oh," he suddenly turned humble, "I would be honored to help you find what knowledge you seek, Your Highness. You have but to ask me."

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    House Farrand-Calhoun Tatianna Farrand-Calhoun's Avatar  
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    Tatianna was a little amused by how he spoke of his student, curious to know what about her made Lord Alexander look this way. Had she met the young lady? She couldn't remember, not after a parade of so many names and faces. Then he explained, making her smile. Perhaps some day, she could make Lochlan so proud of her as well. "She sounds like a very remarkable young lady. Has she studied with you for long, Lord Alexander?" Baptiste, she remembered, was the family of South Huntswalk, full of physicians and those who studied the arts of medicine. An apothecary was obviously in that family's line as well. "Perhaps I could meet her some time."

    She saw the change in him and touched his arm to try and encourage him. "I have so much to learn that I don't know where to begin, Lord Alexander. Just being able to talk with you has been a learning experience. Thank you."

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    House Romanov Alexander Romanov's Avatar  
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    Again, Alexander's head was bobbing to indicate a positive answer, "Yes, she's been with me for ..." he let out a breath, thinking just how long it had been. "It must be at least five years now, if not more. She has learned a great deal from me and I from her. It has been a most agreeable relationship." The smile went back into place as he thought on it. "I would be most pleased if you could meet with her. I'd also like for her to demonstrate her skills to you."

    Again, the scholar remained humble, "Oh, there is no real place to begin other than asking questions and seeking answers. Since you have to learn a great deal, your questions will seem scattered for now. If I may, ... find a piece of parchment and come up with categories. History, people, governance, traditions, that sort of thing and write down a list of questions under each of them. A few may overlap, but that is fine. If you can organize your questions, you can organize your learning."

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    House Farrand-Calhoun Tatianna Farrand-Calhoun's Avatar  
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    Five years? That must have been some very intense studying! True, she had spent a lot of her time in the Temple devoted to study, but little of it was knowledge that could be applied to her new rank. Tatianna didn't considered wasted learning, just different. A smile appeared when he spoke of it being an agreeable relationship, wondering if there was more to it. "Perhaps you might arrange for us to meet. I'd like to see some of Lady Annemarie's work, if she doesn't mind an audience."

    His humility was touching, keeping her at ease, something Tianna needed very much right now. "That is a good idea. I will have to try it that way, and keep track of the questions I want answered. I'm sure that if I don't find a way to get organized, I will become very quickly overwhelmed, trying to learn every thing at once. Is there a place where you suggest I start? I know I need to learn about the nobles and the Court here."


    @Alexander Romanov

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    House Romanov Alexander Romanov's Avatar  
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    "A scholar must always be willing to display their work before an audience, no matter how much trepidation it may give them." For Alexander, the trepidation almost gave him anxiety, but he powered through it. He firmly believed that all knowledge should be shared among the general populace, even if some may use that knowledge for ill. The possibility of good acts outweighed evil in Alexander's mind. "She would be pleased to meet with you, I am sure."

    As for where to start? Alexander seemed to hesitate, almost offering an awkward chuckle, "I'm no courtier, I can tell you that much. I only know a handful and only because of my scholarly circles. Someone else may be useful to you in that regard." Once again, Alexander was underestimating himself: he knew every single person in that court, but he doubted his political acumen to adequately guide her. "But." He spread his hands, "If you'd like, Your Highness, I can with you to the Royal Library. I believe it has an excellent copy of the History of Balfour and there is a treatise on our traditions. I feel that starting in the past can prepare you better for the present and future. If you understand how Balfour came to where it is today, you will have a good feeling on what kind of kingdom it is."

    @Tatianna Farrand-Calhoun

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    House Farrand-Calhoun Tatianna Farrand-Calhoun's Avatar  
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    She understood that trepidation very well. Every time she had to stand in front of people, say something as the new Princess, Tatianna felt her stomach clench and her ears buzz. Nataliah told her that it would pass as she got used to being watched and listened to, but she wasn't so sure of that. How could anyone get used to living under so many expectant, critical eyes? Still, Nataliah had done it so she would learn to do so too. "I will see about inviting you both for lunch or something. We can enjoy a comfortable time."

    Tatianna saw his hesitation and smiled. "I'm not either, Lord Alexander, but I don't think you are as lacking knowledge as you might think. I'd rather learn from someone I am comfortable with, like you." She was glad that he gave in, and agreed to help her with the other aspects she needed to learn in her capacity as Princess. "That would be a good place to start, I agree. When is good for you to do so?"


    @Alexander Romanov

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    House Romanov Alexander Romanov's Avatar  
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    A nod indicated his approval of her suggestion, and then pondered on the other question for a few moments. "I will likely be here in Moorford for the next few weeks. Lady Annemarie and I are doing some research in the library, and we have a wealth of knowledge that must be plumbed. Who knows how deep it will go," he gave a quiet, awkward little chuckle. The topics were varied for himself, but for Annemarie, she was likely to be focusing on collating various data on the plants of the island. It made Alexander wish there were a more efficient central repository of information and data, rather than having it scattered throughout poorly referenced texts and tomes.

    "So, I am free to start whenever you'd like." At the thought of guiding her through the various nobles, he seemed to hesitate again before giving her a slow nod. "I will do what I can, of course. The best I can likely do is tell you who they are and what their various motivations may be. What their methods will be? You may have to ask someone else. I tend to be far more straightforward with my courtly affairs." It wasn't that Alexander was blunt, it was more that... he was to the point and efficient about required exchanges with various nobles.

    @Tatianna Farrand-Calhoun

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