A page of handwritten notes on lined, dirty refill paper.
Headline: Duchy/Baronies Negotiation Guide
-Always refer to as the Duchy when speaking to the duke or other members of the de Oneroa family, but as the Baronies to other nobles. This has apparently been a sore point for some time.
-All queries regarding their history prior to the reign of Duke John the First will be ignored or responded to with threats of violence.
-Duels are to be politely declined with reference to your diplomatic status, or to your “superior” (who has diplomatic status).
-Discussing democracy is forbidden. Questions about our government should be answered with reference to the Council without discussion of how they are selected. Within the D/B this is commonly assumed to be an inherited position.
-Trade is to be conducted in barter, and all coins should be refused; cash supply is a perennial problem due to exclusive use of precious metals as currency. Conversely, gold and silver should only be traded with expedition leaders (this is a strict law on their part) but can fetch very high prices. Alloy with copper first, their non-ferric metallurgy is rubbish.
-Only nobles and religious are literate, and even then their actual ability varies wildly. Do not mistake this for stupidity.
-Religion is broadly Christian. Single monastery on Waiheke and Great Barrier each seems to serve as a refuge and/or prison for those who do not conform to social norms. Priests are enforcers of social norms as well as ceremony leaders but are functionally under the control of the nobles.
-Commoners are bound to specific areas and under the control of the local nobility. Can be traded but are not quite slaves; they have specific rights, the erosion of which can be an excuse for the Duke to exercise more authority. Rents are paid in work hours, though their system is fundamentally different from ours.