The Salon: Debate Participation Awards?
Nov. 2, 2018, 8:45 p.m.
Arx - Ward of the Compact - The Empirical - The Salon
Comments and Log
Waldemai is seated at a bar, potating the appropriate potable for a debate he's not allowed to throw things at.
2 Harthall house guards arrives, following Ouida.
Alessia Mazetti enters the Salon unaccompanied, taking a seat at the bar as she waits in anticipation for the debate to commence. She offers Waldemai a smile as she settles in on her stool before ordering a beer from the server.
Waldemai sits a little straighter and make sure he hasn't gotten anything especially noxious on his good suit before bobbing his head toward Lady Alessia. "Do you think we'll have a good debate, my lady?" he says.
Marquis Hadrian Mazetti stands among the seating of the Empirical. One hand tucked away at the small of his back, the other holds a wine glass before himself, and he seems to wear a perpetual charcoal-whitened smile. He offers a bow of the head toward Alessia and her arrival, though when his head lifts again he speaks cheerfully toward her, "Lady Alessia, so marvelous of you to join us again. Thank you so very much for coming. Ready to discuss a fairly simple topic this week?" He chuckles quietly begin he lifts a lone finger from his wine glass to point toward Waldemai, "And there he is," he remarks with a wink. Then Hadrian looks around the rest of the Empirical, takes note of only a few bodies populating it, and with a shrug he looks back to both Alessia and Waldemai, "Seems this topic may be too controversial for some. A pity, really. Shall we begin then?" he asks with a degree of excitement suddenly surging into his voice.
Ouida moves into the salon with a relaxed but confident air, and apparently there is yet again another Harthall in attendance alongside her as well. She offers a respectful bow of her head towards the host of the evening, her smile bright and warm, before she seeks out a place to settle.
Alessia inclines her head as Hadrian approaches, offering a pleasant smile. "Marquis, I'm glad to be here." Nodding at his comments, she turns to Waldemai with a curious smile as she takes her beer. "Controverisal debates tend to be the best kind I dare say."
Waldemai considers what the lady has said carefully. "I would say a controversial debate about something not very important." He takes a swig of ale. "Then people can get their teeth into it, and go home happy after a good knock-down, drag-out."
"I couldn't agree more, Lady Alessia," Hadrian answers with a bubble of light laughter. Then there's two Harthalls venturing into the Empirical and Hadrian offers the pair a shallow bow at the shoulders before he greets them, "Lady Ouida! It's delightful to see that you'll be joining us for another discussion. And... Lord Kent?" Hadrian laughs again, this time rich and welcoming, "It feels an age since I last saw you. Welcome, welcome, please, make yourselves comfortable". Hadrian's attention then turns back to the gathering as a whole, sips briefly from his glass of rich red wine, and then hands the glass off to Luigi. Waldemai's comment though earns a glance from the Marquis, a moment of consideration, and then promptly his focus returns to the gathered nobles, "Rewards. They're a wonderful thing to receive, but there are some who feel that everyone should receive some sort of reward. There are others in the world who feel that you receive something by earning something. I know my point of view on this topic, but I am interested in hearing the views of others. Lady Ouida?" Hadrian then looks to the Harthall lady before asking with a tilted head, "What is your view? Should those who come in second place and on through the ranks, of some competition or another - such as this very debate - receive some sort of consolation prize?"
Kent follows in not long after Ouida. He looks about ready to say something to her before he catches Hadrian's greeting and turns to him, "Sadly I had been out of the city for some months. I had barely got used to it before, now my sense of direction seems even more rubbish. But A for effort right? Or would count as a participation trophy?"
"Good evening, my lord," is Ouida's congenial response to Hadrien. "The Marquessa sends her regrets; perhaps we shall be a poor substitute, but we will do our best to give a valiant showing." She winks at the Mazetti lord. The question has her looking thoughtful however, as she rubs her chin slightly, as if to aid her wits. "It can be a good gesture, on the part of the patron of the event," she muses. "For in any endeavor, it is not ONLY about those risking life and limb, or wit and charm, but the ones that they perform /for/." Her smile turns impish. "It is not always a bad idea, to give a man something to polish and admire in the privacy of his own chambers, long after the crowds and company have departed."
Waldemai starts in on another ale. Working over a hot forge is dry work.
"I see it more as a token of gratitude from the host for their participation." Alessia interjects before taking a sip from her bottle. "I doubt anyone would suggest they receive a prize equivalent in quality to that of the winner of course."
"I don't know I have met a peasant or two in my day who would suggest that everyone get the same prize." Kent smiles and adds, "I try to keep to to a maximum two peasants a day. After that I just call them all whatever names the first two introduced themselves as. And none of them get trophies."
"And I regret that Marquessa Sunniva was unable to attend, but we must carry on," Hadrian answers of Ouida with a respectful dip of his chin. As the conversation gets underway, Hadrian moves to seat himself within a plush seat and settles one leg over the other at the knee. He idly rubs his hands together, perhaps to work some warmth into them, and then gradually settles them into his lap while he listens to Ouida's point of view. Then Alessia speaks up with his own answer and Hadrian provides her a solemn nod of his head in acceptance of her words. One hand lifts from the Marquis' lap and he asks with a lone finger extending to the ceiling above, "So you are both, for slightly varied reasons, suggesting that anyone participating in some matter should receive some token of appreciation then? What then if a participant wasn't really involved to a degree that the host would feel that it merits their gratitude or recognition of their participation? We've all been in a converation and saw what are essentially knots on a log lurk in the wings, but never really contribute aside from the most bare minimum of contributions. Should they receive the same gratitude as the person who didn't win a competition, but still put forth effort in their participation?" Kent's comments earn a brief glance from Hadrian, followed by a faint nod to indicate that he had heard the point of view.
Waldemai may have just been called out, and he keeps a perfectly straight face. "To be fair, my lords, my lady, I can say I don't much care for things I haven't earned or won, although I'll take them. I won these in battle for my house..." He touches his ring and medal. "And I threw some snowballs pretty good." As his scarf will attest. "I put most of the rest of the stuff in a trunk and don't look at it...Well, except for a glass unicorn I won once. Princess Reese liked it so I gave it to her."
Alessia tilts her head as Kent speaks, raising a brow. "Really, my lord?" Disbelief marks her tone before she turns to Hadrian. "No." She responds to his question without hesitation. "If the participant didn't contribute very much then there is little for the host to be grateful for."
"I would turn it to you, my lord, that perhaps judges do not always perceive correctly who is putting forth how much effort. For some in their kind hearts, will be greatly generous. And others will ignore or be unable to see the accomplishments or efforts of those they do not know, or favor." Ouida's voice is steady, and her smile remains. "What is the host's motivation? That will inform the answer as well. Is it to spread cheer amongst her people? Then perhaps more generosity is called for, regardless of whether she can see into another's efforts and know them truly or not. If it is to see who is the most skilled within his domain, why then there is little generosity needed, unless he also seeks to curry favor and develop those who have not yet reached the pinnacle of their talent. Rewards are a tool, to be used for the goal one seeks to accomplish. More often than not, there are other things accomplished at any completition, than just declaring a single winner."
Kent may not enitrely understand the purpose of this gathering, his attention seems to fall off the debate at hand and turns to Waldemai, "A glass unicorn you say, that sounds like an awfully strange prize my lord....I am afraid I never did catch your name my lord. But yes tell us more about this prize it sounds like it must have been a fascinating contest."
Jerome, a bodyguard arrives, following Isabeau.
Hadrian's harlequin eyes drift aside to regard Waldemai and the medal which he indicates. For a moment the Marquis' gaze lingers on it and he then offers up a short bit of laughter, "Oh yes, you did earn that medal. I recall giving them out. Also? Thank you for causing me to feel older this evening, Master Waldemai". Hadrian's laughter returns in the form of a short chuckle before his attention shifts around to the gathering as a whole once more. He considers Alessia and Ouida both; at separate times both individually and together. "Lady Ouida, you posit then that a reward at the end of a competition is just as much about the host of the competition, as it is the competitors? That the host should be opened then to some sort of accolades?" Then his attention shifts to Alessia and a nod is offered in acceptance of her answer.
Waldemai bobs his head to Lord Kent. "Waldemai Isenhu, master smith, my lord," he says. "If I remember aright, the glass unicorn was a statuette in pink." He holds his hands about nine inches apart. "It was the prize for a drinking contest, who could handle the most of a cupcake-flavored liquer." He shudders faintly at the memory.
"As the individual hosting the debate, it's the host's award to offer. Whatever biases they may have are irrelevant. The participants aren't entitled to a prize, it's merely a token of gratitude." Alessia adds before turning to Waldemai with an amused smile. "Well, hopefully the next time you get such a prize, you'll remember me."
Lady Isabeau Telmar makes a fashionably late arrival with little in the way of fanfare, unless one considers the residual cheers from nearby establishments upon word that they are drinking on House Thrax's tab this evening that may filter in from the street. She is, however, a lady in red who might be difficult to ignore in this more intimate gathering of intellectuals. Still, she looks to slip by quietly and find a seat near the host while avoiding as best she's able an interruption of the conversation.
Turning from Waldemair to Alessia, Kent tries to find his way closer to the debate, while still being tangential. "Need the hosts truly have a monopoly on such matters. Suppose I had some particularly fancy trinket or baubel which I wish to award as a prize for something, would the fact that I am not the host preclude me from being able to award any prizes?"
The arrival of a Telmar lady in red, Isabeau, earns a momentary glance from Hadrian. The Marquis offers a subtle waggle of his fingers in her direction, though his attention promptly returns to the speakers of the topic of discussion. Hadrian's attention shifts to Alessia and he appears to nod along with her words while he listens, "So for you it's a matter less of entitlement and more propriety or goodwill on the behalf of the host?" Hadrian's attention then shifts around to regard Kent and the Marquis seems to consider the Harthall lord's words for a moment. He rubs at his chin for a moment and when he hand falls away he squints one eye, before it opens fully again and he speaks, "I couldn't see the harm in such an action, in terms of the surface of the gesture. What I suspect many would see it as would be nothing more than rudeness or a desperate craving for some variety of attention. Or at least that's what I imagine would be the case," he says with a light shrug of his shoulders.
"You can do as you like with your own trinkets." Alessia comments with a shrug before taking another sip of beer. "It'd be irrelevant to the debate itself."
Hadrian is overheard praising Alessia.
Hadrian is overheard praising Kent.
Hadrian is overheard praising Ouida.
Hadrian is overheard praising Waldemai.
"I hope that the present company will forgive me for saying so," Ouida says, sounding truly apologetic, "But I believe that sometimes those who look askance at others for having a desperate craving for one variety of attention are often quite adept in seeking the same elsewhere. Present company excluded, of course." Her expression turns pensive again. "The host needs no more accolades, I think, when she has competitors battling in her name or on her behalf! And there is the prestige of having competitors willing to do so in the first place. It seems little effort and much reward to find some way to be as generous of spirit as one can."
Ouida is overheard praising Hadrian: Another lovely night at the salon, with a host most gracious and sharp of wit!
"There's nothing to forgive, Lady Ouida. This is all purely hypothetical talk. No one here, I don't think, is taking any of this discussion personally," Hadrian answers with a grin that flashes to life on his features. He turns his attention around the gathering before he shifts forward to rest at the edge of his seat. Luigi steps forward to return a filled glass of wine to his hands, which he holds by the stem between three fingertips. Hadrian's green eyes dart about and he finally offers a nod of his head in toward the collected nobles and commoner among them. Then his attention promptly turns to regard Isabeau and he asks, "Lady Isabeau, do you have any views on the topic you'd like to share before I present my own view on the topic in what will more than likely be the encroaching conclusion to our little discussion edging on the boundaries of a debate?"
After allowing some time to pass in which to become acquainted with the order of things for the evening, Isabeau lightly clears her throat and sits somewhat forward on her chair, signaling her desire to speak, even as she takes a few moments more of pause before interjecting, "I do not believe that in matters of sport or entertainment, that every participant ought expect to receive any awards or accolades... but, in more serious matters of war or conflict, I believe that every soldier who sets foot on the field should be rewarded for their service... or their sacrifice."
"The talk of war service adds an interesting dimension I think to the question. Naturally it appropriate to honour those who serve in war, those who get wounded or die even more so." Kent puts his hand in front of his face for a moment in thought before continuing, "But what if someone was carrying arms but never was at an actual battle, does their service get honoured in the same way keeping safe a keep far from the action? Certainly without their service bad things may have happened but...."
Hadrian turns his attention to Isabeau as she speaks and he offers a few nods in agreement with at least some of her words, "I don't disagree. Recognition should be paid to anyone who goes to battle; whether noble or commoner, their efforts and potential sacrifice - or actual sacrifice - must be honored," Hadrian says a more subdued nod of his head. He rests at the edge of his seat and then turns his attention around the gathering as a whole, "I can only imagine that some of those present - and those who didn't choose to attend - figured that this was some convenient way for me to admonish those who believe that even losers should receive some sort of consolation prize", Hadrian explains with a faint smile. He slowly leans back and into his seat, sips from his glass of wine, and then turns his attention around the gathering. From Ouida to Kent, Waldemai to Isabeau and then to Alessia before he continues, "In truth? My personal point of view? If there is ability on the behalf of the host or in many situations? It doesn't hurt to provide. Giving some lesser consolation to those who don't win doesn't diminish the success of the winner. It is not a great burden, insult, or otherwise for those who did not win to have their time and effort acknowledged in some small way of...", Hadrian ticks a finger toward Ouida, "...gratitude. Talent or skill can be commended, while so too the sheer courage to try."
Hadrian goes silent while Kent speaks and he offers a soft nod of his head in response before he gestures toward Alessia, "I believe it was Lady Alessia who mentioned varying levels of acknowledgment? I believe the scenario you've presented is one such example of that being entirely feasible. A medal given for a combatant, the first through a breach, or otherwise in the thickest of it all? Can be different from a medal given to someone who was present and acting in a support role. Neither medal diminishes the importance of the other, nor the people they are bestowed upon."
Alessia nods at the marquis' words, taking a deep drink from her beer. "And it happens. But I believe it to be poor form for a soldier to openly express outrage at not being given a medal for their service. It paints a bad picture."
Waldemai nods along. "Different gongs for different deeds. We all understand that, my lady."
"What a wonderful phrase," comments Isabeau quietly in the wake of Waldemai's utterance of 'different gongs for different deeds'. She regards the short smith with a certain measure of closer study for a few more moments before turning her attention toward Alessia even as she seems to be replying now in a somewhat belated fashion to Hadrian's summary. "Lady Alessia has the right of it, I feel. Any participation is greater than none, but not all participation is equal in scope or measure, no matter the event."
"Mm," Hadrian hums quietly in answer to Alessia's words. He nods after a moment before he exhales a quiet sigh, "It may paint a bad portrait for a soldier to be outraged at some lack of acknowledgment, but so too can it reflect poorly on a liege or commander who consistently fails to provide it - particularly when acknowledgment of some variety is deserved. Once, twice? Mistakes happen, people are of course people and prone to errors. It is when it becomes habit that I believe that it could potentially venture into the territory of insulting."
Hadrian rises up to his feet finally, his glass of wine lifted in acknowledgment of those present as he looks around to each face and speaks aloud, "I do believe we've reached a consensus though, which means that the discussion can be drawn to a close. Lords, Ladies, Master Waldemai? Thank you, each of you, for your time this evening. I will be sure to spread some kind words of your intellectual minds to the community and do hope that each of you enjoy the rest of your evenings". Hadrian lifts his glass once again, but this time when it lowers - he drinks from it. When the glass draws away from his lips and he's swallowed his wine down, Hadrian casts a smile to the gathered as he offers a polite nod before stepping away to consult with one of his many assistants lurking in the wings.
Back to list