Many years ago, my character Lysis, was Knighted into the Knights of the Sable Dragon. I was squired for about 2 years before finally being knighted at a Feast of Blackwood. To me, the Knighting had little to do with mentoring. My Knight and I had talked a bit about it, and he felt that I was worthy of being a Knight. The only task he gave me, that I can remember, was to go around and challenge 10 Knights. The Knights got to choose the competition. This was good because it got my name out there a bit. But that was all.
I vowed that if I ever took a squire, it would be different. I actually started doing some reading on the traditional duties of a squire. It wasn’t all just cleaning armor and helping your Knight prepare for battle. It was combat training, etiquette, and mentoring as well.
A year later, I did find a young player that was keen to get better, in the game. He would come to our weekly practices every week, and was eager to learn all he could. He was about 10 years younger than I, still in high school and a martial artist as well. I saw much potential. I eventually squired him and gave him his first task. Write an essay. Topic: HIS definition of Honor, Courage, Valor and Bravery. It must be a minimum of 1.5 pages. But no wrong answers, really, since it is his opinion. The next step was to bring it to 5 different Knights of the Realms or Eternal Flame, ask them to read it, and then discuss with them their thoughts on it. Lastly, it would be to discuss with him, if his definitions had changed. Then ask if he wanted to rewrite it. The point of the task was twofold. 1) Get him thinking about these ideas and see how they vary from person to person and 2) introduce him to KoR and KoEF so that not only would he know them, but that THEY would know who he is. I expected the initial essay to take a month or so, and then a few months of discussion with other Knights.
The first draft took a year. But, I finally got it. It was laden with spelling mistakes and tons of grammatical errors. We sat and discussed it. He knew it wasn’t the quality that I wanted. I explained the next portion (showing it to others) and asked if it was the quality he wanted to show. He agreed to try again and to do a better job. This is where my first regret takes place. I knew in my head what he should have done. I knew he was bad at spelling and grammar. I knew that he could have easily taken it to his English teacher at school and asked for some feedback. But I didn’t say anything. I didn’t help guide him in any way. I let him flounder and feel bad that he did a bad job, and that it wasn’t good enough.
My second regret came about via an IC decision that made. Let me explain.
At the time, I was a member of the Crystal Hall, which at that time was just a school. I taught fighting, and was the schools chief combat trainer. The Headmaster of the school was Xavier Cardigan (Dan Rodriguez), who was a priest of the Elven God, Corellon Larethian. During an event, Corellon materialized and asked Xavier to start a new Knighthood, the Knights of the Crystal Hall. Corellon also asked that I be the first Knight. IC, Lysis couldn’t believe in being a Knight of two orders. It would be like having two masters. So he was left with a decision. Decline this Knighthood from a God, or drop a Knighthood from a mortal man. So I left the Knights of the Sable Dragon.
I went to my squire and explained the situation. I gave him a choice. He really had three options. 1) stay my squire, but understand that he was squiring into the Knights of the Crystal Hall. 2) become the squire of another Knight of the Sable Dragon. 3) no longer be a squire to anyone. He chose to go to another Knight.
Here comes my regret. I didn’t put up a fight. And in doing so, I lost the opportunity to help a young player do good in this game. I can’t blame him. My first regret caused him to feel bad and ashamed. I should have done a better mentoring job. He stayed in the game for many years, but in MY opinion didn’t reach his full potential.