Armando suppresses another yawn as he tries to pay attention to the young woman. It had been a hard day of travel, the heat sapping their strength quickly. The soldier was not looking forward to the desert. The southern heat was already uncomfortable and they still had many days travel ahead.
“Anyone born outside the Empire is a foreigner and must register themselves upon entering the city”, Deirdre continues explaining. “It is vital that you not offend natural born citizens, most especially the nobles, because we have less protection under their laws. All the diverse cultural groups are very proud of their heritage, and will loudly praise their own prowess and sophistication, while decrying that of others in flowery language. This is a cultural norm, and expected from citizens, but those considered barbarians are not afforded the same consideration. You must remain polite and calm under what may seem like extreme provocation.”
Armando yawns again, nodding absently without really listening.
Do all followers of Sarenrae prattle on? Maybe their brains get too well baked by the sun…
“We must register as foreigners when we enter the city, and are required to pay a ‘guest gift’ to the satrap, both when entering and leaving. Any offense to the satrap or a noble will, at best, result in expulsion from the city, but could earn you in imprisonment, slavery, or death.
“And you need to be very careful around religious topics. The Sarenrae is considered by many in the city to be the One True Goddess, and even perceived disrespect could land you in serious trouble. When the prayer bells sound, foreigners are welcome to participate in the worship, but otherwise must stand quietly and respectfully while the faithful…”
“Forgive me, acolyte”, interrupts Armando, standing up. “It is late, and we must set watch and rest. Perhaps you could continue your pratt… er… lesson… in the morning.”
When it’s easier to ignore you…