While in later chapters we will discuss the theory and practice of such formal techniques of social manipulation as the trafidúr an-enlét (blue gift), it is appropriate at this time to offer a cautionary word on the foundation beneath it.
As a civilized people, we esteem the virtues of liberality and generosity. Selecting an appropriate gift to reflect both the appreciated qualities of the recipient and the nature of its giver blended into harmony is a high art; and it moves the heart both to receive such a gift and to give it.
However, even outside the Great Game or other arenas for deliberate social manipulation, one must – when offered gifts many in number, or a gift great in magnitude, be wary – not of the giver, but of one’s own spirit. One and all, we are bound to mélith, and although by all law and custom an appreciation-gift creates no debt, will we, nil we, the spirit keeps its own accounting.
While to account gifts by the esteyn would ill befit a gentlesoph, you may nonetheless find it needful to decline a gift with all due courtesy rather than permitting yourself to bear the weight of such a heart’s-debt, lest it tarnish the relationship that gave rise to it.
– “On Appreciation, and the Tokens Thereof”,
Madame Allatrian’s Guide to Exquisitely Correct Etiquette
FORKING. While under most circumstances – and where full dividuals are concerned – it is always correct to treat each and every fork of a given person as that person, as indeed will be the case after their remergence, there are certain special rules of etiquette that apply to the forks in particular times and places.
Where derivative forks are concerned, one should always bear in mind that their consciousness is modified to fulfill the particular purpose of their creation, and their ability to interact outside of the parameters of that purpose is necessarily limited. It is therefore considered polite to treat each fork as an instance of its original when they choose to interact with you, but not to initiate interactions with them outside simple courtesies.
One particular rule to be noted is that while it is permissible to attend multiple simultaneous social occasions through the use of forks, one should not – even if one is embracing the cikrieth lifestyle – attend the same social occasion in multiple forks. This rule does not apply to Self-Fusions, for whom all knowledge is instantly shared, but since forks do not share knowledge in real-time, the potential for awkward situations to arise is such that the practice is best avoided.
In some newer social sets a practice has arisen in which parties are attended by individuals utilizing multiple forks specialized and garbed appropriately to represent different aspects of their valessef, with the convention that each should be addressed only on matters pertaining to their particular aspect. While this may represent a worthy innovation, it should not be assumed to be permissible unless invited specifically; the general practice should always be as above.
– Madame Allatrian’s Guide to Exquisitely Correct Etiquette