Diplomacy 101 (Weyrling Lesson)

Xanadu Weyr - Weyrling Barracks

A long and roughly oblong cavern, about a third of the space is open, used for classes or chores as required. The rest of the space is filled with couches of varying sizes, all with plenty of space between them. Some couches are obviously intended for the very young weyrlings while the largest ones at the back are for the older weyrlings.

Breakfast is over, the spring morning is bright and sunny under a blue and cloudless, sky with a cool wind that rustles the bright green leaves of trees and carries pollen, downy seeds, and the fragrance of wildflowers along with it. Sadly, it is class time again - so that means instead of being outside enjoying the fine weather, the Weyrlings have been assembled inside the Barracks for their daily lecture. The AWLMs have herded the last of them from the Caverns, some grabbing rolls or fruit to finish on the way back in order to be there in time. Some of the stragglers likely caught up with the Weyrwoman as she headed towards the Barracks. She's dressed not in leathers but for the office, so what is she doing here? That becomes apparent as she enters and heads towards the classroom area, not to speak with the Weyrlingmaster, but to the front where she waits for them to settle. From her seat on the corner of V'dim's desk, she smiles and nods easily to the arriving Weyrlings and as they quiet, she greets them with, "Good morning. So today we'll begin the formal diplomacy series." Not to be confused with etiquette! "Who can tell me why diplomacy is important for every rider to know and practice?"

Mur'dah returns with a full plate, complete with eggs, bacon, toast, pastries, some fruit, and a mug of klah. He sits in a chair, balancing the plate on his lap while trying to figure out what to do with the mug. In the end he takes a sip and tucks it beneath the chair, only to blink in surprise when his mother walks in. Please not the mating flight lecture. PLEASE don't let this be mating flights. The lad exhales in obvious relief when she states that it's diplomacy, and settles into his seat after glancing around to see who he's sitting near. Anyone he can talk to?

Idrissa is wandering on into class with the others, a mug of klah gripped in a hand while there is both a brown and bronze firelizard with her from the looks. It's bring your firelizard to class day, right? The bronze is fairly young looking, maybe a few days hatched, and he is clinging to her shoulder while eyeing everyone. Rissa settles upon a seat next to Mur'dah, a smiles and slight wave sent to him. "Hey." Is murmured before her gaze flicks towards the front of the class once the conversation has started. A soft oh escaping her, please don't ask her to talk on this.

Why couldn't the weather have been this nice when they were doing laps up and down the beach? But noooo, that'd be too easy. Soriana takes herself a seat with the rest, and while she's not quite enthusiastic enough a pupil to chime in a 'good morning' back, she does try to answer the question, at least when nobody else seems to be doing it. "Because every rider's a representative of the Weyr."

Nom nom! Oh he should've grabbed at least two more breakfast biscuits. Ka'el loves biscuits! With preserves. The three he's already eaten definitely won't due to hold him over til lunch. But ah well. He only has crumbs left as he settles into a chair in the classroom area, and those said crumbs are being dusted off of his trousers. This would be an excellent time to lay out with Kanekith but…hey, it's Thea! He can't really complain… even though the subject matter isn't his forte. He upwardly nods to the nearby Mur'dah, offers a faint smile to Idrissa, then looks back to the Weyrwoman as she asks her question. Uuuum. "Because … when we're off Xanadu, we're representative of our home weyr?" he tries.. but oh hey! Soriana beat him to it (and Ka'el's player didn't want to erase) "And it wouldn't be good to do something that'd make Xanadu look like its residents are heathens."

Nope, it's not his mother teaching that particular subject today. Just wait until Mur'dah finds out who IS teaching the mating flights lecture! But that is something Thea is keeping mum on for now. The Weyrwoman doesn't bat an eyelash at the firelizards (her own brown Shep is curled across the back of her neck, draping her shoulders like a stole, quietly watching the class, though there's a quirked brow for Mur'dah's full plate. Someone not rise early enough to eat before class? Tsk! She says nothing however to chide her son. No, that she'll leave to V'dim. She nods approvingly to Soriana and then Ka'el respectively, though she hides a laugh in a sudden cough as the bronze weyrling elaborates. "Exactly." While holding his gaze (if he doesn't drop his eyes), "And, you never know which one you might find yourself Weyrleader of if Kanekith gets lucky." Is that… it is! A tiny smirk given before she continues, "As wingriders, you might find yourself doing rotation at other Weyrs. Queenriders, on occasion also-" a brief nod towards Soriana,"-to help keep the genetics of their clutches healthy. Or you may find yourself transporting someone from the crafthalls somewhere. Forgetting the names of ranking people, while it might not cause diplomatic incident, might offend." They should know those names, she seems to imply with a lift of one dark brow. "So now. Protocol." She smiles and shoots some questions at several of them: "Mur'dah, you're in Ista on official Weyr business when the Weyrwoman offers you a bottle of rum and a challenge you can't hold your liquor. What do you do?" This scenario, he'll know since Cenlia is Thea's longtime friend, is not too far-fetched! In fact, more likely to happen than not. "Ka'el, you're transporting a holder's young unwed daughter who gives you puppy-eyes and begs you to detour for sightseeing. What do you do? Idrissa, when in a Weyr you spot a ranking rider being cruel to a runner, what do you do? And Soriana, you're in Eastern Weyr on a visit when a bronzerider quietly offers you marks to throw your next flight his way. How do you answer that adroitly?"

Mur'dah eats his food as he listens, giving Idrissa a warm smile which then extends to Soriana (thanks for answering!) and Ka'el (answer x 2!). He snorts. "Even if we are?" he teases Ka'el, grin crooked. And of course he was up early enough to eat before class. He just needed seconds. Or thirds. He blinks at his mother's question, clearing his throat. "Cenlia? I'd probably drink a bit and then concede that she'd won? I'd probably politely refuse anyone else though…" He has to think about that!

Idrissa glances over to Soriana and Ka'el as the answers that are given, hey they all sound good! A slight nod is offered to Ka'el, along with a wave over to Soriana. A sip is taken from her mug as her gaze flicks back towards Thea as she hears the questions, a faint oh dear running through her head. Once her question is tossed her way she blinks a few times and just peers at Thea. "I Well I would bring it up to the ones that is possible in charge. Perhaps the head beastcrafter that is there to pass on that there is a possible problem." There is a slight pause. "See whom is possible over the rider and bring it to their attention." She leaves out the part where she would most likely just /have/ to say something to the offending rider. That would be very polite now would it?

A mental hi-five is given to … himself for getting an answer right! It'll likely be Ka'el's one and only folks, give him a moment to shine! At least he keeps his grin subdued even as he holds Thea's (oh so captivating) eyes. But that lasts for only a handful of moments til that Weyrleader comment is thrown in there. Laugh! Heh. Oh. Wait, that could actually like…happen. Cough, neckrub, crooked grin, aaaand regroup. "Er, uh.. right…" Hey Kanekith … Senior golds are totally off limits! You hear? He snerks over to Mur'dah, giving him a sidelong look. "Can't let the entire continent know've our barbaric ways." His hand slips from the back of his neck now and he straightens, refocusing on Thea's scenarios. His is thought upon. But Thea, there are so many variables! Like, is she nice? Is she cute? Has the flirted with him? "Uh…I probably… shouldn't take her? Because that'd be… Because if I'm expected to have her someplace at a specific time, and we're late, her people would worry. Or think I stole her away for … uh, misdeeds." Yeah. Misdeeds. "Or somethin' could happen. So. I take her to where she needs to be an' tell her the next time we can sightsee, as long as her father or whoever says it's alright that I take her elsewhere."

Imagine it, a lucky Kanekith! And, well… Soriana glances to Ka'el for that part, with a half-smile as she looks at the weyrling bronzer and then a flit of her eyes for Mur'dah and another smile before returning her gaze to Thea. "Huh," she ponders at the thought of rotating queenriders, and nods slightly. When the questions begin, her attention goes from one target to the next until… oh, hey! Now she's the one in the crosshairs! "Uh…" Think quick, now. "I'd tell him I was flattered," even if the current expression on her face is more like breakfast isn't sitting right, "and wish him good luck. And not take the marks."

"And tell Luraoth to stay the hell away from his scuzzy bronze." Who said that? Hard to tell.

Thea chuckles at the given answers, though Mur'dah's gets an under-her-breath, "Good luck," muttered for that. The Istan Weyrwoman is nothing if not persistent. She nods approval at Idrissa, adding, "It is alright to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves as long as you are level-headed and firmly polite, even in another Weyr. And afterwards do as you answered." Ka'el is smirked as while he gives his answer. "That… and take a chaperone," she suggests with a wink. "Holders oft believe the stereotype that bronzers are womanizers, so even if nothing happens you could be accused of fathering a child that isn't yours, asked to make reparations. And worse." What could be worse than that? Oh there are things! She smiles at Soriana, murmurs a "Well said," then cough-laughs at the anonymous comment. Why do her eyes drift towards Ka'el? Coincidence! "So who can tell me which Island was named for its founders: Akmai Ishima, Georgiou Savros, Ramla Tamalaki and Joel Aldridge?"

Mur'dah finishes his meal and puts the plate under the chair, swapping it out for the mug of klah as he settles into his seat a bit more, grinning crookedly at the other answers. At Thea's question the boy's eyes go distant and thoughtful, no doubt raking his memory. Those names sound so familiar, and yet…

Idrissa smiles a bit and nods to what is said from Thea, well nice to know that is ok. Though really she doesn't often do things like that, it would be an interesting thing that is for sure. A faint glance is sent towards Ka'el curiously but that is about it before she is back to sipping at her mug. As for the names, well she listens and thinks, none are ringing any bells for her at the moment it would seem.

Whoever added that last part on, it certainly wasn't Soriana, buuuut she does smirk. The hard part of the trick for her would evidently be in controlling her face while she says those ever-so-polite things, but at least she has the right idea. She settles back in her chair, then tilts her head at the next question. Her mouth moves. Ishima. Savros. Tamalaki. Alridge. Wasn't she just reading… her eyes shift, looking for M'kal. It was a book the bluerider suggested, wasn't it? Or… maybe it was something else, but connected to the weyrling hailing from "…Ista." It's spoken quietly, meant for herself as she tries to think.

And a chaperone. Good call, Thea! Aw, it's a wealth of knowledge that's being given out so freely here, and Ka'el is glad for it for such things definitely wouldn't be forthcoming on their own. Bronzers are womanizers? Who'd think such a thing! "But look at this face, Weyrwoman Thea. Who'd possibly think I'd be up to no good?" Insert innocent, wide-eyed, puppy face … here. And a slight smirk. No, make that a grin. A crooked one. … Yup, he's in trouble. And he can't help but to wonder what could possibly be worse than being accused of fathering some child that isn't his and having to make up for it? And how is he to know those names belong to? Akm-who? He glances to the others, brows furrowing now with thought. Island is a key word, right? … Nope. He has nothing. -.-; Maybe he should've paid closer attention to those history books he probably should have been reading…more attentively.

Thea gives Soriana another smile. "Correct! And they are quite proud of that fact," she says pointedly pinning each of the others who didn't answer with a look that clearly says, 'Brush up on your history.' They will be having exams on it. "Mur'dah, which Weyr has an age limit for alcohol consumption and what is it please?" Does she answer Ka'el's question? Sort of. With a little grin she can't smother, "Plenty of people. So be forewarned." Thank Faranth Pern doesn't have shotguns? Though a scenario with an expected weyrmating isn't too far-fetched in some backwater holds! "Ka'el, do you know which Weyr is wary of technologically and thus prefers to use as little as possible? Idrissa, which Weyr was the first Weyr founded? Soriana, what are the names of Eastern Weyr's Weyrwoman and Weyrleader and what were their crafts?" Oh joy. The game of Twenty Questions continues.

Mur'dah blinks a bit, and then grins. Cheekily. "I wouldn't know, Mom, I don't drink." See his halo? But a moment later he /does/ give the right answer.

Idrissa clears her throat a bit and nods at the look that was given while she eyes the floor a moment. Another question? There is is quiet for a moment before the answer dawns on her. "Fort Weyr?" It is possible she could get one of these right!

Huhwhat? Soriana blinks and looks up. What did she say… oh! That was the right answer. She smiles back, but it's a somewhat shakey one, soon followed by an awkward duck of her head as she catches the edge of one of those glances meant for someone else. This time, she got lucky. Next time, maybe not so much. The abashed expression doesn't last for long, though, because she soon turns her head to take in Ka'el's puppy-face. No comment. Soriana is so making no comment on that 'innocence' of his. In fact, her lack of comment is a grin that stretches halfway across her face despite her attempts to rein it in. That lasts up until the oral examinations continue! This'll probably all be on the test. Together with a dozen things not being covered here, because V'dim's like that. Eastern's leadership! "Tzavayth's…" dragon is the easy part. She wrote a paper on that dragon. Got a pretty good grade on it, too. Now what was the rider's name? Oh yeah. "…Fi, and.. the Weyrleader is…" hopefully going to emerge into her brain if she takes long enough to think about it… "S'rok?" She frowns. "I don't know what crafts."

Ka'el has been forewarned! He needs to definitely work on his innocent face. He smirks to Soriana, flashing her a (totally innocent) grin, which also lingers at Mur'dah's answer to his mother. Er .. was that a cough from dear ol' Ka'el? And the questions continue to come! He looks at Idrissa enviously. He knows that answer. Why couldn't that have been his question! As for his question. Uuuuh. "Whichever weyr Datsun's from?" he murmurs while trying to think of an answer. Who would be wary of technology? Yeesh. He's only ever been to … two other weyrs in his entire life. Both of which seemed tech friendly. Uuuuuhhh. "…West—ierrrne?" Total guess, and it's obvious in his voice..and by the way he tris to guess two in one. Hey. It's better than Fort East Westiernista, right?

Thea tries not to look overly proud of her son, who is getting all the booze questions despite he says he doesn't drink, wonder why? (blame D'had). "Indeed it is 16 turns at Ista Weyr, so treating anyone younger than that to a drink had best take place in the main caverns rather than in the Sable Sands. Ista's Temperance League is easily angered." Yep, the Weyr known for its drunken Weyrwoman has a temperance league, go figure! The Weyrwoman beams at Idrissa, "Correct! They also are quite proud of their founding." She nods at Soriana, adding, "Fi, techcraft and S'rok, Seacraft." She's giving away V'dim's questions maybe. Then again maybe not. "Fort Weyr," she tells Ka'el with a brief lookfor that drawn-out answer. "Eastern considers itself the most technological of Weyrs," she says dryly in a very neutral tone, but not because of Ka'el's answer. It's a place Datsun would likely step on toes espousing his 'the old ways are better' rhetoric. Thea isn't really the type to give long, boring lectures while weyrlings doodle and flick spit-wads at one another. So she wraps up with, "As you can see, there are any number of scenarios you might find yourself in when out-of-weyr and it's best to be prepared with…" Dry facts? Yes. That and… "dancing lessons as well." Oh joy?

Mur'dah groans audibly at the dancing lessons. "/Again/?" he asks, slouching grumpily in his chair. "Can't I test out or something?" And he makes such immature gagging noises she might /wish/ he were flicking spit-wads at Ka'el.

Idrissa smiles and nods, yeah, she got one correct! She listens in on the other answers and explanations while sipping at her mug. Her gaze drifts around a moment and she soon blinks haring the bit on lessons. "Dancing?…" Yeah she doesn't dance, not one bit.

Right, that. Soriana nods at the crafts given! Now she knows. Whether she'll remember it by the time the test (written or practical) comes around, well, that's another question entirely. At the mention of dancing lessons, sheactually perks up and smiles - and a second later, gets the distant expression of talking-to-dragon. Luraoth is intrigued.

Oh. Fort? Ka'el was… totally going to say that! He was. He just second guessed himself…see. "Yes'm." He definitely won't be forgetting that! And .. Fort, huh? Remind him never to go vacationing there. He's been here when the power's been out. No fun. No fun… at all. But what's that about Eastern? A brow cocks. "Really? I thought we were the most advanced of the Weyrs," he says…and was that just a bit of pride in his voice? He sits back to ponder this while listening to the conclusion of the lesson. A conclusion with a rather promising follow up. Dancing? Instinctively do his eyes flit to Soriana and Idrissa, recalling the last (and only ever!) dance he's been to. Mur'dah's gags are snickered at. "What, you don't want to show off your skills an' sweep the girls off their feet?"

V'dim is in the back of the room with the other AWLMs. His throat-clearing follows Mur'dah's plaint and should the weyrling look over his shoulder, he'll see a heavy frown from the man, who is pinning him with a stare. "You may escort the aunties to dinner tonight, Mur'dah," he says firmly, "with a bow and kiss for each hand as you seat them." It's discipline with a goal in mind: diplomacy practice! Have fun Mur'dah? "Yes, again," the Weyrwoman says sunnily, unperturbed. Idrissa will at least know the basics at the end of the scheduled classes. Ka'el's comment about Xanadu draws a grin. With dancing eyes, Thea lifts a finger in a 'shh' gesture to lips that want to smirk. With Landing so close… yeaaah. That's been Xanadu's claimto fame for turns, not that she's going to go butt heads with Fi over it. "Darsce will be teaching you the steps and we will have a dinner dance when you're ready. But," she holds up a forefinger to stipulate, "You're to dance with a variety of partners." So the gals swept off their feet may include a generous amount of aunties in there. And maybe some out-of-weyr visitors. It's diplomacy practice after all! The Weyrwoman rises, but lingers long enough to ask pleasantly, "Does anyone have any questions for me?"

Mur'dah slouches even further into his seat, glowering at the floor in front of him. Ugh. Some of those aunties /smell/. Still, the jerk of his head is probably a teenage version of a snappy 'Yes, sir!'. He doesn't have any questions though. Brood.

Idrissa glances over as she hears V'dim, a soft heh escaping her before she looks back to Thea. Great dancing, didn't she nearly get sick the last time he was doing such things? She is quiet and nods a few times before eyeing what is left in her mug, which is nothing actually. When did she finish it all? As for questions she has none, no surprise there! Dinner dance, that includes dancing and dinner and dancing with people other than her friends? Oh great, that should be just /fine/.

Is Ka'el the only one looking forward to this? Well … kinda looking forward to it. Is he a grand dancer? Prooobably not! But, that's what Darsce is there for, right? He glances over to Mur'dah and makes a face at him. Not a sympathetic face, no. A 'ha! better you than me!' face. Some of those aunties do smell. Like .. old auntie smell. He can think of many others he'd rather dine with this evening. Like Kanekith. With Xanadu secured back in its rightful place as Top Technological Weyr, and with a dance instructor promised, Ka'el is satisfied, even with the addition of having to dance with others rather than those they already know. Hey, a dance is pretty much like a classy party. And a party is a party, no matter how dressed up it may be! "None from me," he answers the Weyrwoman, bobbing his head. "Thank you, Weyrwoman Thea."

"You'll be joining him, Ka'el." That's V'dim from the again, unsympathetic to the gloating weyrling. Aren't Xanadu's anunties are in for a treat tonight! No questions then? "You're quite welcome," she saysgraciously so the class and then with a cheerful nod to the back of the room, concedes the floor to the Weyrlingmaster, who will no doubt do the dry lecture drills on the nitty gritty of Pern's Holds and Weyrs. Hoo-ray?

Nope, Ka'el's not the only one! Soriana is looking forward to it too. She just nods at the idea of dancing with everyone. Dancing with the leering old uncles will just give her practice for when that bronzer tries to bribe her for Luraoth's flight! It's all good. She grins briefly about Xanadu's technological prowess, then shakes her head. She's got no questions! "Thank you," she echoes with Ka'el, and then gives him and Mur'dah both a rueful look. …which hopefully will pass muster with V'dim, and she won't get anything worse than… the usual classes.

Mur'dah laughs, and looks remarkably cheered as he pushes to his feet and picks up his dishes. "I'm going to go let all the aunties know that we'll be escorting them to dinner." And he'll tell the worst ones that a /bronzerider/ will be escorting /them/. And won't they be so thrilled and a-twitter? They'll probably put on even /more/ perfume for the occasion. It's going to be awful, but at least they're in it together.

Wait… wait, what? Ka'el's face falls at V'dim's decrees! But what'd he do? Nooo! "Yessir.." he slumps, making it a point to look properly dejected and not at all gloating anymore. Poor, poor Ka'el! Won't someone pity him? Oh, those Aunties sure will, thanks to Mur'dah and his devious plan! Oh, this shall be the dinner of…or rather for the ages, won't it? His eyes follow Mur'dah as he gets up to alert the elderly masses of the wonderful treat they're in for this evening. "All of them, eh?" he smirks and waves at his prisonmate. "See you," and in very quiet undertones, "Don't forget you gasmask.."

Idrissa blinks and chuckles as she hears that Ka'el gets to join in as well. "That'll teach you to open your mouth." This said with an amused tone to Ka'el. Oh dear the world may stop she actually spoke to Ka'el and didn't give him an evil look to go along with it. As for pity, yeah she has none to offer him!

The Weyrwoman will possibly be there to observe, if she doesn't forget to leave the office to actually get out there in time for dinner. Maybe the Steward will head into her office for a timely prompt? For sure V'dim will be watching them - or maybe one of the tougher AWLMs. Thea? She's heading on out and leaving the class to endure- errr enjoy the following lecture.

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