Slavery in the Outer Rim and Deep Black
[[ These are the general conditions of slavery in the larger scope, conditions on the world you come from may be different, this note card gives you an overview of how slavery is seen by the larger community ]]
Slavery is a fact of life in most parts of the Rim and Deep black, and arguably in most parts of the ‘verse. Slaves in the Rim and Deep black are acquired by many means including:
Warfare: Armies could bring captives back as part of the reward. Turning defeated soldiers into slaves brought much income, and could also serve as an alternative to imprisoning or killing them.
Raiding: Armies are not the only source of captive slaves. In the far reaches of space warfare and organized criminal activity takes many forms. Slaves are often captured and sold by pirates and other organized armed bands. This type of piracy is a legal and a cultural norm in many reaches of the Rim and deep black.
Debt Slaves: Creditors could claim insolvent debtors as slaves. Occasionally debtors could sell themselves into slavery, with the new owner assuming the debtor’s liabilities. Debt slaves serve a term length equal to the extent of their debt.
Orphans: People could sell their children into slavery. With a lack of established ‘social services’ in many cultures and on the many far flung worlds, parents without the means to provide for children could sell them into servitude, sometimes until adulthood, others for life.
Self-Sold slaves: Life is harsh on many worlds, and travel very difficult. In some situations, individuals sell their freedom in order to gain a measure of security or employment, or to escape life on a world with little or no prospects. It is a matter of debate in many circles how one would trade freedom for security. Many of these individuals end up as pleasure or domestic slaves.
Penal Slaves: Long term captivity in prisons for criminals is almost unheard of in the deep black and rim. Colonies lack the resources to allow such populations to sit unproductive and drawing other much needed resources for long periods of time. The need for such capacity for punishment is filled by the custom of penal slaves. Those criminals that require mid or long term confinement, are sold into bondage for the duration of their sentence. Violent criminals sentenced so almost always are acquired by industrial corporations such as mining concerns and live under the harshest conditions. Penal slaves are subject to increases in term, due to behavioral infractions.
Treatment and experience
Reports of abuse and harsh treatment of slaves by owners can be widespread and varies from world to world. Though, it is a widely held view that a slave who has been treated well would perform a better job than a poorly treated slave.
The experience of slavery depends heavily on the general type of labor to which a slave is assigned, which has a great range. For slaves, assignment to mines offers the most dangerous and difficult living conditions. Agricultural slaves would generally fare better, while household slaves of rich families in the colonies likely enjoy the highest standard of living among colonial slaves, together with a more intricate social experience. Though their room and board would be of a significantly lower quality than that of the free members of the colony, it is comparable to that of many free but poor colonists. Domestic slaves can be found working as barbers, butlers, cooks, hairdressers, maids, nurses, teachers, secretaries, and seamstresses. Slaves with more education and intelligence can even work in professions such as accounting, education and medicine.
Many slaves are gladiators who fought in bloody games in order to entertain crowds of freemen (with some even fighting their way to freedom). The extend which gladiators fight to varies from colony to colony. Few established colonies feature death fights, and gladiators often have access to the best medicine in the rim, to ensure their return to the sands of the arena.
Conditions for slaves working in the colonial settlements and stations are often not as difficult as those who labor in the mines and factories. Female slaves were usually put in charge of domestic tasks, and male slaves often worked as personal servants, craftsmen, shopkeepers, or even business agents for their masters. Slaves who are able to work in atmospheres close to their owners lead much better lives than slaves who performed labor tasks that disconnected them from their owners.
Slaves have a legal status, as property but with limited rights to care for their health and welfare. It has become prevalent throughout the colonies to allow slaves to complain of cruel or unfair treatment by their owners. Many colonies assert that if a slave was abandoned by his master, he became free. Most colonies allow for slaves to have the right to complain against their master in a court or tribunal. It is almost universally law that, a master could no longer execute a slave without just cause, or else the master could be tried for homicide. Legal protection of slaves continues to grow as far flung colonies become interconnected though the slipstream.
With first contact with the slave world of Gor, many colonies have adopted aspects of the Gorean slave laws. Though popular with domestic and pleasure slaves, the extent of the Gorean slave influence varies from colony to colony and even within social circles of each.
Slaves are freed for a variety of reasons, ranging from a particularly good deed toward his/her master, or as a sign of friendship or respect. Sometimes, slaves who have enough money could buy their freedom and the freedom of a fellow slave, frequently a spouse. Slaves are also freed as a result of the master’s death by a statement in his will. Frequently slaves are freed at the end of a predetermined term, such as with penal and debt slaves, or upon reaching adult hood with some orphaned slaves, (commonly 18 or 25 years of age.)
Within The Protectorate, slaves enjoy many protections. Like the melting pot cultures it is, and out of necessity and custom, the Protectorate is tolerant of many forms of slavery, and the rules slaves follow vary with their owners. The Colonial administration is generally tolerant of most forms, though the level tolerance varies depending on the colony or outpost the slave or owner is visiting.
Outright abuse of slaves is illegal and can find a slave owner in danger of going before the tribunal for hefty fines, or perhaps becoming a penal slave themselves. Slave owners are cautioned on abusing their property while traveling through Protectorate space.
Travel guides often use a ‘sector’ desgiantion for what an Owner or slave may expect when travel on worlds in the outer rim. While most locations are a blend of different rules, customs and mores, it give a general overview of what may be encountered or expected:
The most permissive sector, with a heavy Gorean influence. Red Sectors are home to the slave markets, gladiator Lodus and several entertainment venues which ply slaves’ services as well as a thriving sex industry. Generally slaves not being physically abused outside the ‘recreational’ level for most common sexual appetites are left to their master’s whims.
Often home to heavy industry amber sectosr sees heavy slave traffic, but of a different type than red sectors. Generally considered ‘industrial’ slaves. Amber sector sees many labor caste slaves who work in the various industries. Such slaves see less interacting with their owners, and a ‘slave society’ of sorts has grown up, similar to the lower caste societies of free workers.
Often more upper classed accommodations than the Red or Amber sectors and thus More heavily policed Green sector sees much less slave traffic. Some labor class slaves work in the shops and hydroponics bays, and some pleasure slaves serve in the baths. Public discipline of slaves is frowned upon in green sector and is much more likely to draw security’s attention.
Like green sector, blues sees far less traffic in slaves. Public ‘display’ and discipline of slaves is frowned upon and the heavily presence of security is likely to draw attention to the slave owner. Slaves do work in, and visit the sector as it is often home to the medical facility and other utilities. Slaves in these sectors have the highest quality of living and relative ‘freedom’.
Other General Conditions:
The capture of slaves in the Hengeyokai Protectorate or the enslaving of others by force, is strictly forbidden by law. Slaves may be imported and exported, and new debt, penal and self-sold slaves are processed and entered into the slave registry on a regular basis. Legally owned, registered slaves, found to be run-aways within Protectorate may be subject to return to their owner’s possession. Slaves may seek asylum, asylum seekers appear before a tribunal.
Children born to slaves aboard the colony are also considering slaves under the same terms and conditions as their parents. In order to be considered a slave, both parents must be slaves, unless the free parent gives up rights per the orphan clause. Unlike many locations, children may not be separated from their parents until the legal age of adulthood. Due to this, there is little interest in breeding slaves in the Protectorate. The sale of child slaves is also strictly forbidden..
Hengeyokai & Slaves
It is interesting to note, that the Hengeyokai do not generally refer to ‘owned persons’ as slaves, but use either the term Ward or Bondsman. The Hengeyokai consider this status a temporary condition and there is a great dishonor for harming or mistreating one’s wards.
The institution and practice appears to stem from the lack of a large prison system and a long history of warfare and what would other wise be Prisoners of War. Instead of confining ‘prisoners’ to cells, though the established practices, Hengeyokai remove personal freedoms though servitude, and though this service freedoms are also regained. Full confinement is rare and reserved for the most dangerous detained persons.
While some detainees return to their native systems, or leave the Protectorate upon fulfilling their terms of service. Many former wards and bondsmen, become full citizens of the Protectorate upon their emancipation.