Scenario:Lancelot - A New Process

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A New Process

Lancelot is in charge of the enlistment process for the Order of the White Dragons. As he contemplates how to make the exam fair for applicants of all backgrounds, he learns about the prejudices surrounding his own circumstances when he first applied to the order.

In the capital city of Feendrache, Lancelot serves as the proud captain of the Order of the White Dragons.
In his study, the knight looks troubled as he riffles through some documents at his desk. A sigh escapes him.
Lancelot: ...
???: Yo, Lancey, you got a minute?
Lancelot: Vane, is that you? Please, come in.
Vane: Heh heh, it's finally that time of year again—time to recruit new members for the Order of the White Dragons!
Vane: Who knows what kind of characters will show up this year? Man, I can't wait to see 'em!
Lancelot: Indeed, I'm looking forward to it.
Lancelot: Hm.
Vane: What's wrong, Lancey?
Vane: Oh! Is it the admission exam summary I made?
Vane: Aw, geez... I forgot to put something in, didn't I?
Lancelot: Oh, sorry. It's not that... The list is fine.
Lancelot: Say, Vane... Could you hear me out for a moment?
Vane: My liege! I'm all ears.
Lancelot places the list on his desk and sits up straight.
Lancelot: I want to make the application process for the Order of the White Dragons fair and equal for all applicants.
Lancelot: Regardless of your lineage or background, if you truly possess the virtues and strength of a knight, that should be enough.
Lancelot: This, I believe, is key to eventually bringing prosperity and glory to our kingdom.
Vane: Wow, yeah... Now that you mention it, I always felt that social status played a big role in the process.
Vane: It's not a terrible system, but I agree—knights shouldn't be judged based on their lineage.
Lancelot: What matters is one's love for the kingdom and its citizens, not social status or background.
Lancelot: However, what can I do to make the system more impartial?
Vane: Hmm... I mean...
Vane: Wait a sec. Didn't King Joseph introduce some policies for less discrimination when he was king?
Lancelot: That's exactly what he did. It was because of the recommendation system he introduced that I myself was able to join the White Dragons.
Lancelot: However, people who have been able to become knights under a king's recommendation are few and far between.
Vane: What? If the king recommends you for knighthood, shouldn't that already be the ticket?
Lancelot: Even if you have the king's recommendation, all would-be knights still need to take tests for certain subjects.
Vane: Now I get it.
Vane: In other words, they'd likely end up failing the tests either way.
Lancelot: Precisely... If you're from nobility, you can afford special tutors. If you're from a family of knights, you can be taught and trained by the previous generation.
Lancelot: No matter how desperately you study or train, to become a knight with entirely self-taught knowledge is no easy task.
Vane: Ain't that the truth...
Vane: It was probably because of your help, teaching me the know-how and whatnot, that I was even able to pass...
Vane: But, Lancey, you gotta admit—to overcome all of those odds, that really makes you like some kinda prodigy!
Lancelot: Now, now, let's not get carried away.
Lancelot: Regardless, even if we opened the test to everyone, it'd be meaningless if only a fraction of the population could properly prepare for it.
Lancelot looks down upon the documents once again and strokes his chin as he begins to ponder.
Lancelot: (Every year we make minute changes to the process in the name of improving it, but who's to say anything good has come from those changes?)
Lancelot: (Wherein does the problem lie? Perhaps a major overhaul is warranted...)
Lancelot: Who's there?
???: It's me. I'm coming in.
Percival: …………
Vane: Whoa! Percy?
Lancelot: Now this is a surprise. What brings you back to the capital today?
Percival: I just happened to be in the area and decided to swing by to check up on things.
Lancelot: I appreciate the concern. Things are shipshape here as you can see.
Percival: Hm. I do hope they are.
Vane: Oh, here's an idea!
Vane: Since Percy's here, we should ask him about his thoughts too!
Percival: What do you mean?
Lancelot: Oh, yes. You see...
Lancelot shares his thoughts with Percival about making the application process for the order more impartial.
Percival: Hmm... I see where you're coming from.
Percival: I've been away from the order and the capital for quite some time, so I don't know if I can come up with a solution for now.
Lancelot: That makes sense...
Lancelot: It's fine! Don't worry about it.
Percival: If anything though, you're the perfect example of a knight who didn't come from noble birth.
Percival: You were able to overcome your disadvantages and become a knight of the order, eventually becoming the leader.
Percival: If you simply think about what it took to get to where you are now, shouldn't the answer come naturally?
Lancelot: ...
Lancelot: All I did was stay disciplined in my efforts. That's been the key to all my successes.
Percival: Heh. You really think that's all there was to it?
Lancelot: What are you trying to say?
Percival: Come with me.
Percival steps out of the office without another word.
Puzzled but curious, Lancelot and Vane silently follow him out.
Lancelot: Isn't this Siegfried's room for when he stays here in the capital?
Percival: That's right.
Percival: Siegfried was once the captain of the Black Dragons.
Percival: That means when you took the admission exam, Siegfried should've been working as the head proctor.
Vane: So basically, we should ask Siegfried about Lancey's application?
Percival: Humph. Even a mongrel like you can be on the ball sometimes.
Lancelot: Are you saying I entered the order under special circumstances?
Percival: Ask him yourself.
Percival knocks on the door next to a growingly disquieted Lancelot.
Siegfried: Oh, you lot. All three of you here must mean you have some business with me?
Percival: Yes, well... Something like that.
Percival briefly explains the reason for their sudden arrival.
Siegfried: I see... You guys came all the way out here to ask me about this?
Percival: Yeah, I figured that you might know something.
Siegfried: Of course. If it can help in any way, I'll tell you anything you need to know.
Lancelot: My thanks, Siegfried.
With a nostalgic grin on his face, Siegfried recalls the day of Lancelot's test.
Siegfried: In truth, there actually was a bit of commotion when determining your application for the order.
Siegfried: You possessed incredible sword technique that overwhelmingly outclassed the other applicants—clearly enough to join the order, at least.
Siegfried: However, some of the proctors saw your etiquette as... unrefined.
Siegfried: Obviously that wasn't enough to disqualify you from the exam, but it raised a few eyebrows among the proctors.
Siegfried: Some of the proctors wouldn't even take you seriously as an applicant.
Lancelot: How disgraceful of me...
Siegfried: Of course, I didn't know that such minor things were taken into account for the test. However...
Siegfried: You may not have shown it through so-called etiquette, but you displayed respect to your opponents through the way you handled your sword.
Siegfried: And to me that's true respect—far more honorable than some arbitrary courtesies.
Vane: That's our Siegfried for ya! You knew Lancey was the real deal from the get-go!
Siegfried: There were some qualities in your etiquette that may have needed some rectifying, but your potential as a knight was clear as day.
Siegfried: Anyway, I had deemed you as a capable applicant, but your application was unjustly dismissed by your proctor.
Siegfried: The original reasoning was to decline you on the grounds that this was a test not only for your talents as a swordsman, but your etiquette as one also.
Percival: Not uncommon for lowly nobles. Give 'em a little bit of power and they'll do anything to keep others out... Utterly despicable.
Siegfried: Either way, in the end it was determined that a man such as Lancelot would not become part of the order.
Lancelot: However, I ended up passing in the end. What happened?
Siegfried: I asked that man a simple question—what qualities does a true knight possess?
Siegfried: He answered me saying a chivalrous spirit, as if I had taught it to him myself.
Siegfried: So I asked him what qualities a chivalrous spirit consisted of next.
Siegfried: Unwavering loyalty, honesty, and valor... the list went on for some time.
Siegfried: I asked him which one of those qualities Lancelot did not possess.
Siegfried: And just like that, he revised your application to a passing score and handed it to me, with nary a word spoken.
Vane: What! Are you telling me that the only reason Lancey is with us was due to Siegfried?
Lancelot: So that's what happened...
Lancelot: I'm truly grateful.
Siegfried: Now, there's no need for that... I merely kept a man to his word.
Siegfried: It was because of your own work and skill that you were able to join our ranks.
Lancelot: That may be true, but if it hadn't been for your words, I wouldn't have even...
Siegfried: Don't be mistaken, Lancelot. I wasn't giving you preferential treatment of any sort.
Siegfried: Overcoming adversity and various challenges with spectacular efforts to eventually become captain has undeniably proven your mettle.
Siegfried: At the time, I simply chose what I thought would be best for the future of our kingdom.
Lancelot: Yes, of course. Not only did you judge us fairly without prejudice, you didn't pick favorites either.
Lancelot: Everything in the name of king and country... You truly are a worthy knight.
Vane: Say Percy, did you know about this? You don't look too surprised about what we just heard.
Percival: No, but if you think about it, anyone could've guessed that something like that went down.
Percival: Lancelot's situation at the time wasn't something that could be overcome with hard work alone.
Lancelot: I challenged everything so recklessly, ignorant to my own circumstances.
Percival: Well, you certainly did ruffle a few feathers among the nobles. You could say that some were even jealous of your talent despite your background.
Percival: The naysayers have mostly shut up since you've proven yourself a worthy captain for the order.
Percival: It isn't easy to change attitudes and prejudices. That goes for both knights and citizens.
Vane: Damn straight. Well, Percy comes from nobility himself, so I'm sure he's heard all kinds of awful things.
Lancelot: There are still some even in the order now who consider themselves to be better due to their lineage.
Lancelot: The problem isn't limited to the application process—it runs deep within the proctors themselves.
Siegfried: Hmm...
Siegfried: Well, I've said just about everything that I can recall.
Siegfried: You certainly have some work cut out for you. I hope my ramblings proved to be of some help, at least.
Lancelot: Incredibly helpful. Thank you for sharing this with me.
Lancelot learns about the circumstances leading to his entry into the order.
As the captain of the order himself now, Lancelot reflects on how he can contribute in the same way his mentor did.