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Established February 2010
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* Plot Information for Hayll

Hayll has been in the grip of conspiracy for years, with shadowy hands pulling the strings of a puppet Queen, and attempting to ensure Hayllian dominance well into the future. The Coliseum was destroyed, and the uprising has given a voice not only to the slaves that escaped the bloodsport, but to the frustrations of the people at large. Traditionalists, hedonists, and freedom fighters collide in an effort to shape Hayll, with internecine war a looming threat.
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Author Topic: Slavery in Hayll  (Read 2725 times)


Offline Xenophon Lucis

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Slavery in Hayll
« on: Apr 17, 19, 06:58:34 PM »

Under the reign of Queen Aleyia Tatiano, corruption and decadence seeped into not only the governance of Hayll, but into some of the aristocracy as well.  While Aleyia’s decadence, and even abuse of Males (hers and not) continued unchecked. People in general widely decried the lack of respect for tradition, the corruption, and the irresponsible Dark Jeweled Court that allowed it to continue.  Aleyia is now almost universally reviled in Hayll for surrendering the Territory to the Eyriens, and things have shifted back to Protocol and previously upheld Hayllian norms.  On the face of it, Hayll is returning to its remembered cultural ideals, not without some stumbling along the way.

Slavery is a fact of daily life in Hayll.  Slaves can be seen almost every day in the population centers of the Territory going about their business for their masters in a wide variety of trades and an even wider variety of tasks.  They are less and less ubiquitous as one moves from urban setting, to suburban, to rural settings, with obvious exceptions.  The country estate of a member of the Hundred Families would very obviously have slaves in various positions, a small hereditary Landen farm more than likely would not.  Slaves can be Blood or Landen, though the latter is more common, and if a slave has been imported from other lands, they are more than likely short-lived. Slave Collars are in use in Hayll, but are typically reserved for Dark Jeweled Blood, Lawbreakers, and assorted criminals.  It is possible for Landen to own slaves, but they can only keep and control other Landen.  Without Jewels or Craft, they cannot make use of the slave collars, and thus cannot successfully have full ownership of the Jeweled or even Jewel-less Blood.  It is an additional class divide, felt keenly by the Landen, who can be owned by the Blood, but cannot own Blood in turn.

Slavery is a factor in the Hayllian economy in that slaves represent a fair portion of the workforce of the Territory, in areas both skilled and unskilled.  Many are simple laborers, but just as many are skilled at particular trades or crafts, and are highly valued members of a given household or business--as highly valued as a slave can be.  It is important to remember that a slave is considered property: useful property.  In the same way most farmers would not beat and torment their livestock to produce milk and wool and cheese, most slave owners would not visit unnecessary punishment on a slave--especially if that slave is one with useful skills.  Punishment can take various forms, but in a society that prides itself on civility and culture, Craft and discretion are most often a factor.  A skilled laborer is unlikely to be beaten to death, if other means are available to correct and keep the slave.

There is not a single path to slavery.  Slaves, over the long history of Hayll, have been drawn from a variety of quarters, all of which are well known to the citizens of the Territory.  The following represents a list of the ways one can become a slave, or arrive in Hayll as a slave.  Presented in no particular order, and not meant to be exhaustive.

  • The child of a slave is a slave themselves, and a debtor.
  • Slave Families do exist, most often tied to an old aristo family
  • Debtor; one can offer servitude in exchange for a heavy debt. Contracts are often involved.
  • Self Sale; one can sell one’s self into slavery in exchange for cash, usually passed to one’s family.
  • Sentenced to slavery by a Court, as part of a Price.  Temporary or indefinite.
  • Imported; Raejians are the most common, rarely are imports long-lived.
  • Left overs from the Occupation; Eyrien “mongrels” absent the safety of aristo blood or sold by their Hayllian kin.

While slaves are imported from other Territories, such as Raej, the majority of slaves in Hayll come from within its own borders.  Short-lived slaves are considered to be of the lowest quality, as they do not last, and represent an overall poor investment to the long-lived aristos of the Territory.  Hayllian slaves, or other long-lived “Non-Eyrien” slaves, fetch the best prices, with short-lived slaves coming in cheap, unless they are highly trained or otherwise significant in some way.  Tradition has become as binding as chains, as some who sold themselves into slavery five hundred years ago, might still be slaves today, and indeed, so might their children.  Since the end of the Occupation, with an increase in trade has come an increase in foreign slaves, but they still represent the smaller percentage due to attrition.  Under Queen Tatiano, slaves, indeed citizens, could be thrown into the Coliseum for sport.  Short-lived slaves were particularly ripe for use in the Coliseum, when it was at its peak, because so little was expected of them in terms of lifespan and return on investment.  The best way to turn a cheap purchase into a lucrative one was to buy a fighter, or to train one up before they were past their peak.

For the most part, a slave remains a slave, but there are paths back to freedom, depending on a number of circumstances.  The following is a list of such examples, presented in no order, and again, not meant to be exhaustive.

  • In the case of a “Self Sale” the slave can be purchased by their family, and freed.
  • A Debtor; debt is deemed completed, slave is freed.
  • A Price is paid; slave is freed.
  • Owner sets the slave and/or their family free, reasons can and will vary.

Slavery and Protocol

With the already notable exception of Queen Tatiano’s influence and reign, Slaves are as protected by Blood Law and Protocol as Hayll’s free citizenry.  Obviously, being Slaves, and thus property, leaves room for variation in the enforcement of both Protocol and Blood Law.  Outside of obvious exceptions, such as The Rut of a Male, rape remains a capital offense, whose Price and punishment can be as severe as death for the perpetrator.  As one might expect, the enforcement of this varies from place to place and Court to Court, and along class lines.  The Slave’s value is a consideration even for Blood Law, with short-lived being considered far less valuable than long-lived slaves.  The station of the perpetrator is also considered, whether  they are a member of the Hundred Families or a slave themselves.

However, a slave cannot demand a Price, anymore than livestock can.  Their owner must demand a Price, and bring any infractions of Blood Law or Protocol to their associated Court for any action to be taken.  The exception being Slaves that are self-sold, debtors, or paying a Court administered Price; these slaves should take their complaints to their contractees/owners and failing that, to any Court they have access to.

Pillow Slaves, Sex Slaves and Slave Courtesans

The most common setting one can find a pillow slave working is in a private household, or a private business establishment, such as a privately owned Red Moon House, catering to a wide variety of tastes.  It is also possible for a highly skilled slave courtesan to seemingly operate independently at such a high cost their services are both exclusive, and profit-shared with their owner or owners.  Such Courtesans are almost always Blood and Jeweled, and heavily protected by contract and Protocol.

Slavers and Slavery as Commerce

Being a Slaver, by and large, is considered a ‘low trade’.  Most of them will be dealing with short-lived stock, as they are the greatest portion of Hayllian imports currently.  Imported slaves are expected to have a bill of sale associated with them from outside of Hayll itself, to indicate that these slaves originated as slaves elsewhere.  Anything else is considered smuggling, possibly kidnapping, and part of the illicit slave trade and thus against Protocol, Blood Law, and commercial laws governing customs and trade. A few Slavers pride themselves on their long-lived stock, and while they are still considered members of a ‘low trade’, they stand above those that deal in short-lived stock or that kidnap stock, illegally from other territories.  Even slaves purchased from the Markets of Raej have a bill of sale.

Ironically, among the elite of Hayll, Slavers are not well considered, despite offering services that are clearly taken advantage of.  Owning slaves is a sign of wealth and influence, selling slaves is not.  Public auctions, while occurring, are typically not considered social events, but rather a somewhat seedy necessity usually attended by the proxies of those interested in making a purchase.  While not all Slavers break the law, it is difficult to know which ones do, and which ones do not, and thus public association with the business is kept to a minimum.  This is but one example of the hidden darkness behind Hayll’s cultural facade.  A Slaver might have wealthy and powerful friends, and they might even be invited to elite social events, but their vocation remains a serious social obstacle to overcome, with mileage varying from person to person.

The Coliseum, when it was in operation, was something of an exception to this.  By necessity, those that were invested in the Coliseum not only owned slaves, but traded in them.  The influence of the Traitor Queen showed here as well, when during the heights of its popularity, these men and women were seen as much more socially acceptable, and were able to achieve much higher status than usual.  With the destruction of the Coliseum, and debate surrounding the Uprising still a factor in the Senate, this exception has largely had its day.  Slavery as a business still continues in Hayll, though many wonder how much longer that will last, given the views of some of the more free-thinking Senators, and the popularity of the Uprising with the people at large.  Business continues to be conducted, albeit with far less fanfare than the Coliseum.