"Will you guide me?"
(subtitled: On Mentoring and Guiding)

by: Feena Kendris-X

    For as long as I have lived in Temuair, I must have heard this phrase a million or better occasions. "Will you guide me?" Sometimes it comes in different forms, or the words may be unique, but the desire is the same. Every aisling desires a purpose in life and it falls to the more experienced to give them this direction. Many encounters may come from a younger sibling of one of the many residents to Temuair. Their older brothers and or sisters may have explained the ways of our world and all they seek is someone to accompany them through the dark passages of the temple of veils and they will go it alone from there. It is not for these that this tome is written.

    On a few blessed occasions in an aisling's life, they encounter someone who is truly "new". These lost ones have never walked the streets of Mileth to their recollection, and they are truly baffled by all the different career choices they have. They are naive to where skills might be obtained or even where to locate shops that they might clothe themselves. It is to these precious few that I dedicate this writing.

    What a glorious occasion it is when someone who is truly sparkling with newness decides to choose you out of every other aisling who crawls the streets of our towns! A lot would shun this idea, mumbling how their time is precious and they can't be bothered with those they heretically have named, "Newbies". It is a sad portrait of our culture when we turn away. How quickly we forget that it was someone who once held our clammy hand as we navigated those ominous portals. My fellow aislings, it is a frightening task I undertake, to expose myself to your criticism as I do my best to explain what it is to guide someone.

    On a wondrous day, sometime, somewhere, you may get a frightened whisper from an unfamiliar name, or perhaps they approach you, shaking, on any street of any town. "Will you guide me?", they quietly ask. Their eyes downcast, their fingers tangled together. Now, before you say, "Sure!" Please know what it is that is called "Guiding". On the surface, it is simply gesturing toward the temple with a quick briefing on where they need to step to feel the power lurking within  the hallowed walls, but underneath lies the power to form one of the strongest bonds you will ever feel.

    It is best that you confirm that they have no family in Temuair already, otherwise you could be wasting your breath. If they explain that they are alone in the world and have never set eyes on our streets, it is these that you may develop into precious friends and focused students. It is true that we may only initially guide those of our own class. The young one you are speaking with may not know this. Ask them politely what it is that they would like to be. If they suggest something that is beyond your knowledge, perhaps you could direct them to a reputable friend in that field. If it is within the area of your expertise, then happily move forward.

    Please direct them to walk about the towns, walk with them until they get their bearings, to speak with all the mundanes. This will help them get a feel of how to address our shop keepers if they don't know already. ((i.e. haven't walked through the tutorial.))

    You may elect to explain different courses of study and ensure that the path they are looking towards is the best for them. Someone who seeks to be magically powerful shouldn't attempt to be a warrior and so forth. If you can truly be sure they are on the right path
then walk with them to the temple and allow them to begin their life by speaking with one of the avatars therein.

    "But wait!", you may shout, "Their name is the grandest example of heresy the world has ever known!" This can be a problem. This may prove how unlearned they truly are. You might try to carefully explain to "NineMilamtr" that while in Temuair, we encourage creative thinking, their name may be considered inappropriate. If they are merely moments in our lands, they may be willing to go by another moniker. ((i.e. create a new character with a more appropriate name.)) When I first stepped onto the streets of Mileth I was lucky enough to find a grand mentor who flatly refused to speak with me until I chose a better name. I thank Fiosachd every moment for that dose of divine luck! If they are unwilling, you may point out the laws that exist in the settled towns to a name such as theirs. It is a joy to see Sir "NineMilamtr" return to the inn and step out as "Erik". If they still refuse, and their name is truly offensive, you may enlist the aid of a higher authority. We will assume they have corrected the problem as we move on.

    Once you have stepped with them in front of the avatar of their choice, it is known that they will be magically transported to the entrance of the temple while you have to walk out. You may choose to take this time, if you haven't already, to drop a few coins on the first clothing they will wear as a new member of your class. Upon returning to them, likely bewildered and walking around aimlessly outside, deliver these new clothes and watch with delight that huge smile that spread across their face. Remember that it is unlikely that you were the first person they asked, and they are unaccustomed to receiving such kindnesses. For reference, you may purchase first circle clothing for warriors and priests of both genders at the higgler next to the altar in Mileth. For rogues in Piet for male and Rucesion for female. For wizards, female in Abel and male in Rucesion. For monks in Undine for both genders.

    Now I shall address those young ones with a "fragile chrysalis". You might immediately ignore these. Don't. I was one of those. My mentor convinced me that it was worth my time and effort ((read: Money)) to continue my travels through this world. I owe him a debt of gratitude for this kind information. If you make a young aisling's time in Temuair worthwhile and enjoyable they are much more likely to return. I promise.

    After clothing them and, if necessary, giving them something to put on their feet, they will probably need armaments. If not, as in the case of monks, you should explain to them why not. At this point, if you are serious, ask them if they would like you to officially become their mentor. If they agree, take them to get this relationship sealed. I always tell my students that if at any time they are unsatisfied with me, they may choose another mentor and guide and explain to them how and in what manner this may be accomplished.  Once that is done, it will take a few moons for you to be able to actually do the act of mentoring, but if you are an adequate teacher, this time will pass quickly.

    At this juncture, take some time to sit down and explain to them what their place is in society. What is expected of them under the law, and what they can expect as far as punishment if they choose not to follow them. Teach them about the different offices and the law makers in Temuair. Explain what voting is and how often it may be done. If they seem interested teach them about the political system, talk about people who solicit votes and to be sure they know what they're doing if they opt to vote for someone. Lastly, show them where they may vote.

    This may all be conferred as you walk with them to get their first skills. They may have points of insight they need to direct ((status points to spend)) and you may explain where they should be placed to better themselves in their new career. Help them to determine what skills they need initially, and what they might elect to head towards in the near future. If they require items to achieve these abilities you should offer to help them acquire them if you don't happen to have a spare article that you might gift them with. It should go without saying, but this includes the meager coins that is often required.

    Now you may accompany them to the various mundanes that offer insight and items for those that would undertake a small but needed quest for them. Explain where they can find these items and, if at all possible, take them to retrieve them. Show them who would buy certain things and how much compensation they can expect to receive for them. Tell your new student how often they may go on these small quests which is usually from 4 days to a moon.

    Show your student where the bank is located in the various towns, tell them how to open an account and help them deposit a few things. Tell them it requires coin to have the banker hold things for them, but not to withdraw. Show them the other things that may be accomplished at the bank, depending on their class. Explain to them what "Labor" is, how it may be used and transferred to another aisling. Tell them what uses labor and what does not. Make sure they don't get duped by someone who knows how new they are.

    At this point, your young one is ready to hunt. Tell them about the necessity of fighting in groups and the benefits of having a beothaich deum in their pack at all times. Show them how to use one. Tell them whom they may hunt with as far as similar understanding and insight and how helpful a priest or priestess might be to them. If they are of the spell casting sort, explain to them how to use their gifts and what they do. Teach them about the different elixirs that can be found in our land and what they do. Do not let a more barbaric person fool them into sipping hemlock!

    It would be a gracious gesture to go with them on their first few hunts and demonstrate how to use their new found skills. They will fail and become confused at first. This is to be expected. Be there for them when they stumble and help them to stand again. If the unexpected occurs and you find them sobbing and nude in Riona's inn, comfort them and help them retrieve their items. Show them where to get things repaired or replaced if necessary. They will have gotten their first glimpse at Sgrios and are probably quite shaken.

    Impart to them knowledge of the Gods, and tell them when their chrysalis isn't so fragile, that they can join the religion of their choice. If they aren't so fragile, you might take them into the nearest temple, or the fae priestess in Suomi so they can learn themselves. If they choose a patron deity, and you can't help them join yourself, you should direct them to a priest or priestess who might help them. This priest should explain the relationships the Gods have to one another. If they don't, then you should. Tell them about the power that items consecrated to these various Gods have and how to use them to their advantage. Tell them about the masses that their religion offers, and the benefits and insight they may gain for attending them. Teach them about the various prayers and miracles that are available and when it is appropriate to use them.

    If they have reached the eleventh insight you may finish their guiding. This means returning to that dark temple and completing that which you began so many moons ago. It is assumed that you have been mentoring them every double-moon and have gotten much in the way of insight and possibly other benefits from this relationship. At this time, your student who was once so wide-eyed, is probably very familiar with the paths and knows well how to get around in our land. You may also purchase their second circle clothing for them, but it is likely they have their own bank account to draw from for their needs.

    Do you have to wish them luck and say farewell at this point? No. You should always be available to answer questions and offer advice when asked. Wouldn't it be wonderful for that young one, upon reaching great insight, to introduce you to their own student and speak volumes about their respect for you? Wouldn't you like to think that they are guiding and mentoring in the same manner that it was given to them? It is so fulfilling to be asked to attend a wedding of one of my students, and meet my numerous "Grand students". I would have to say it is one of the greatest joys I experience when I open my eyes each day and step out into Mileth square. I always have to smile, when yet another young face quietly says, "Will you guide me?"

Checklist - Things to remember to do when guiding and mentoring