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An arum is a small logic game Sangheili children would play with designed to teach them patience when faced with a difficult problem.
Part puzzle, part ornament, a wooden ball of nested concentric spheres carved from a single piece of wood or other materials. Hidden in its core was a small gem crystal of some kind that could only be shaken free when the player worked out the complex alignment of spheres.
The object seemed impossible to anyone except the craftsman who made it. Youngsters learned patience from it. Apart from providing diversion and strengthening character, it was said to represent what made the Sangheili strong; a perfectly engineered, orderly system that presented a smooth, impenetrable face to the outside world, and each had his appointed place in it.
To reach the core, each sphere had to be operated in turn to activate the next. No sphere could act without the next one in a hierarchy that was impossible to reorder. It mirrored the Sangheili social structure and Jul wondered if that was the unspoken rule the arum actually taught children and reinforced in adults.
Within hours of acquiring an Arum from the captive Jul 'Mdama, Dr. Evan Phillips solved it claiming to have loved such things when he was a child. This talent on Sangheilios begins to grow and draws crowds of Sangheili to watch him solve many more Arums with greater complexity and solving each of them within an hour. This talent was exploited by Avu Med 'Telcam to get a message to Phillips, to organise a meeting between the two, by concealing the message within a difficult to solve Arum that was crafted by Sangheili Monks.