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Thread: Slavery

  1. #1
    Senior Member Lawgiver's Avatar
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    I don't explicitly remember reading much regarding the issue of slavery in any of the Birthright material. What are your opinions of the issue (in the context of Birthright)? How is it viewed by the various cultures?
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    Senior Member marcum uth mather's Avatar
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    im sure the Vos are the premire slavers as a culture. the serpent would use slave markets as well. i dont belive the Anuriens or Rejurik would use slavery as a jeneral practise, out side the peasant or vassel role.

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    marcum uth mather schrieb:

    >This post was generated by the Birthright.net message forum.
    > You can view the entire thread at: http://www.birthright.net/read.php?TID=1734
    > marcum uth mather wrote:
    > im sure the Vos are the premire slavers as a culture. the serpent would use slave markets as well. i dont belive the Anuriens or Rejurik would use slavery as a jeneral practise, out side the peasant or vassel role.
    >
    >
    Goblins are even more ruthless holders of absolutely rightless slaves I
    think. Isn´t the goblin realm in Vosgaard explicitely mentioned as
    having lots of slaves in one of the books?

    I could see in Anuire under Nobles and free men also serfs, bound to the
    land of the landowner, like in early Prussia.
    Hasn´t the novel "Spiders Test" some lines about the sisters of Richard
    Endier sold off to serve as indentured? servants?
    bye
    Michael

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    Senior Member Lawgiver's Avatar
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    indentured servants are a bit different than slaves. Then have hope of freedom. They genereally work either for a set number of years or until a specific financial debt is paid off. Slaves are servants until sold or freed by some other means.
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    Administrator Green Knight's Avatar
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    In my campaings the follwing goes:

    Anuire: No true slaves, but conviceted criminals my be sentenced to become de facto slaves in certain parts.

    Brechtur: No slaves as the economy works on quite different principles (well, there probably is some people living under slave-like conditions, perhaps toiling under the thumb of harsh guildmasters).

    Khinasi: Yes, slavery is legal. However, there are law regarding the treatment of slaves, and in many cases the life of the slave is better them for poor free people.

    Rjurik: The Rjurik have a caste of thralls (slaves). They are not owned in the sense that they are property, but are sworn to the service of another and may not leave or refuse their master. Poor Rjurik may become thralls to gain benefits, then may become freemen again if they prove able. Among the nomads where raids are common, warriors may change back and forth with no stigma attached.

    Vos: The Vos hold slaves. Most slaves are war-captives of some sort. Their lives are short and brutal, with little hope of advancing their station.


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    Site Moderator Ariadne's Avatar
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    IMO Anuireans hate slavery and wouldn't allow it.
    Khinasi see slavery as a punishment of wrong-doers, otherwise as barbaric.
    Brechtür: Maybe they have slaves. I see no reason, why not.
    Rjurik: I think, they have slaves as cheep workers.
    Vos: They have definitively slaves. Defeated enemies are hold as slaves, if they aren't killed and their live in slavery isn't that long, I think...
    May Khirdai always bless your sword and his lightning struck your enemies!

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    If you want a real world comparison regarding the cultures that Cerilian
    peoples most resemble:

    Anuire (French/English): there was no law prohibiting slavery until later
    centuries; but for the most part slavery was indeed frowned upon.
    Indentured servitude was a daily practice however, but these servants had
    some protections. War prisoners were either killed at the end of a battle,
    freed if the commander was a decent sort, or held for ransom if such could
    be gained.

    Rjurik (Danes/Scandinavians): slavery was practiced, but more toward
    increasing a people than holding down another. Women were particularly
    taken as wives by raiders and then that woman`s sons and daughters became
    part of the tribe or clan. Few enemy men were spared this way. Thralls
    were kept however, and this was the usual lot of women and what few men were
    spared after a raid. In later medieval times, the people of Norway, Sweden,
    Denmark, and Finland (kind of a separate group though) began to take more of
    a view similar to the French and English they were so very much enmeshed
    with culturally.

    Brecht (Balto-Germanic peoples): similar to the French and English, the
    germanic peoples rarely kept slaves. Again, however, indentured servitude
    was quite frequent. Germans were more likely to ransom captured prisoners
    than slay them out of hand, but it was still quite common for prisoners to
    be killed if they weren`t outright freed.

    Khinasi (Arabic/Hindu peoples): the Khinasi most closely resemble Arabic
    peoples, and so I`ll use them as my primary example. Slavery was very
    commonplace in nearly all Arabic lands. Captured soldiers were almost
    always sold into slavery, though some armies kept captured soldiers as
    slaves in their own armies to increase their numbers. It wasn`t uncommon
    for even somewhat poor people to own a slave. Slaves in Arabic society were
    very well protected however, given nearly the same rights as a common man;
    but they were still considered property. I`m honestly unfamiliar with the
    practices of Hindu culture regarding slaves, so I can`t really comment.

    Vos (Russo-Mongoloid peoples): The Russian people were primarily serfs;
    people with few rights and few prospects for anything better. This
    persisted right up until the last century. The Steppe peoples believed that
    slavery was an integral party of survival. A defeated man knew he would
    either die are become a "member" (as in slave) to the victor. Very much
    like the Scandinavian/Danish peoples, women were very much sought as a means
    to increase the numbers, and power, of a particular clan (even though horses
    were still considered more valuable, if not more respected). Such women
    were not truly slaves in the common sense though. They were the wives of
    whatever man took them into his family...but they were still not allowed
    many freedoms.

    As for the Demi-Human/Humanoid races of Cerilia:

    Elves were known to keep vast numbers of goblinoid slaves before the
    encroachment of humans into Cerilia. As Rhoubhe has proven in numerous
    battles against humans, this is still the case in certain places. Rhoubhe
    keeps goblins as slave soldiers, most of whom I will wager are sold to his
    agents by goblins.

    Dwarves believe to much in a personal work ethic to allow for slavery would
    be my guess. I could see them believing in indentured servitude on a very
    limited basis; but such a dishonor to a dwarf would be crushing, so I don`t
    really see it for some reason. Dwarves are too socialist in that they take
    care of their own, and I don`t see them allowing someone among them to go
    down so far.

    Halflings don`t strike me as slave owners, although depending on where they
    live they may simply adopt the attitudes of the more dominant races around
    them.

    Goblins are very common slave holders. They enslave anyone to do their work
    for them so that they may simply feast, raid, and fight. The Goblin Kingdom
    of Thurazor I`m sure has slaves from all that I have read, and Markazor is
    crawling with slave plantations and mine working slaves (especially since
    goblins are the dominant species in the Gorgon`s Crown too). I`m not sure
    about the cross-compatibility of goblins with other races, but I`m thinking
    I remember that they can breed with humans; so this race would obviously be
    one to increase its numbers with captured women.

    Orogs are very likely to keep slaves as well, though I would wager dwarves
    are so hated they wouldn`t last long in Orog slavery. Other races might be
    used to serve in mines and such, or even as cattle.

    Now all of this is mostly my opinion, but historically speaking it is
    correct. The assumptions are somewhat broad in scope and aren`t reflective
    EXACTLY of different earth cultures though. I just really don`t have time
    to write a paper in an email. :-)

    No matter the nation though, most people don`t realize today that slavery
    wasn`t seen as evil even by the slaves themselves in ages now past. It was
    undesirable, and certainly evil if practiced by certain cultures; but for
    the most part it was seen as survival to many slaves who could either escape
    or work their way free. Some slaves eventually became the rulers of their
    nations because they were so well respected (the Mamluks of Egypt are a good
    example). Others were honored to be considered slaves after ample
    brainwashing from an early age (the Janissaries of the Ottoman Empire) and
    were even considered the elite warriors and given very high station in life.

    Well, enough of my ramblings.


    Tony

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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Anthony Edwards" <anthony_c_edwards@HOTMAIL.COM>

    > Rjurik (Danes/Scandinavians): slavery was practiced, but more toward
    > increasing a people than holding down another. Women were particularly
    > taken as wives by raiders and then that woman`s sons and daughters became
    > part of the tribe or clan. Few enemy men were spared this way. Thralls
    > were kept however, and this was the usual lot of women and what few men
    were
    > spared after a raid. In later medieval times, the people of Norway,
    Sweden,
    > Denmark, and Finland (kind of a separate group though) began to take more
    of
    > a view similar to the French and English they were so very much enmeshed
    > with culturally.
    >
    >

    You are talking about very early Scandinavians here. Slavery was outlawed
    around the year 1100 - and was pretty much obsolete even before then. The
    Rjurik may have had ancestors that were somewhat like Vikings, but now they
    have a mounted feudal overclass, more like the Scandinavia of the 13:th and
    14:th centuries.

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    ----Original Message Follows----
    From: Stephen Starfox <stephen_starfox@YAHOO.SE>
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Anthony Edwards" <anthony_c_edwards@HOTMAIL.COM>

    > Rjurik (Danes/Scandinavians): slavery was practiced, but more toward
    > increasing a people than holding down another. Women were particularly
    > taken as wives by raiders and then that woman`s sons and daughters became
    > part of the tribe or clan. Few enemy men were spared this way. Thralls
    > were kept however, and this was the usual lot of women and what few men
    were
    > spared after a raid. In later medieval times, the people of Norway,
    Sweden,
    > Denmark, and Finland (kind of a separate group though) began to take more
    of
    > a view similar to the French and English they were so very much enmeshed
    > with culturally.
    >
    >

    >You are talking about very early Scandinavians here. Slavery was outlawed
    >around the year 1100 - and was pretty much obsolete even before then. The
    >Rjurik may have had ancestors that were somewhat like Vikings, but now they
    >have a mounted feudal overclass, more like the Scandinavia of the 13:th and
    >14:th centuries.


    I`m sorry, did you miss the last part of the paragraph you quoted?


    Tony

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    Senior Member ryancaveney's Avatar
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    Some good stuff in this thread, especially Tony Edwards`s RW analog list,
    but one thing I would like to stress is that the individual countries in
    each region will also vary greatly.

    On Wed, 18 Jun 2003, Ariadne wrote:

    > IMO Anuireans hate slavery and wouldn`t allow it.

    I think the peasants of most realms are probably not much better off than
    slaves -- they may not technically be property, but there are probably a
    great many laws strictly limiting what they can do or own and who needs
    what kinds of permission for travel, etc. Haelynite law strikes me as
    something which might very well contain a fairly elaborate caste system.
    Wilderness areas (Talinie, Brosengae) probably have freer peasants than
    the Heartlands, because it`s harder to project power into those regions.
    Given the appearance of the One True Church of Vosgaard, Osoerde probably
    does have slavery (even if only recently (re)introduced); Ghoere may be
    moving in that direction as well. Mheallie Bireon is the sort of person
    who must be involved in slave trading somehow, even if only shipping
    captive Rjurik to Khinasi markets.

    > Khinasi see slavery as a punishment of wrong-doers, otherwise as barbaric.

    I agree with Tony that slavery should be fairly common in Khinasi
    lands. However, again, the prevailing cultural attitudes about it will
    vary from country to country. In Ariya they probably have a fairly
    enlightened attitude, but probably also think that slavery under their
    tutelage is good for the moral development of their slaves. Binsada may
    be too egalitarian, but Zikala probably uses at least temporary slavery on
    a church-run plantation as a punishment for all sorts of things. Aftane
    should have slaves everywhere, and should in fact be the center of the
    international slave trade in Cerilia.

    > Brechtür: Maybe they have slaves. I see no reason, why not.

    If they do have slaves, they ought to have the part of the Roman system in
    which slaves can earn money on the side and eventually buy themselves
    free. Again, in "evil" realms slavery should be more common than in
    "good": e.g., I suspect many of the poor farmers in Grabentod are in fact
    enslaved captives taken in pirate raids; but when Muden counter-raids they
    set all the captives free, even if they were slaves in other realms when
    first taken by the Grabens.

    > Rjurik: I think, they have slaves as cheep workers.

    I think the city/nomad conflict should come into play here somehow.
    However, I`m not sure which side should support thralldom and which oppose
    it. I could see it either way. I think I`m more tempted to go with
    freedom-loving nomads fighting against the slavery introduced by the
    decadent, foreign-influenced cities than cities raided by nomads to drag
    thralls away into the dark interior, but both have their merits. The
    White Witch, being a Vos transplant, certainly has lots of slaves, and so
    should the bandit realm (Rjuven?).

    > Vos: They have definitively slaves. Defeated enemies are hold as
    > slaves, if they aren`t killed and their live in slavery isn`t that
    > long, I think...

    Yes, definitely. Warrior is the only acceptable occupation for a good Vos
    male, and someone has to grow the food -- forcing your defeated enemies to
    do it makes their defeat even more ignominious. This is actually one
    issue on which I think the Torva and Nona Vos ought to agree. =)


    Ryan Caveney

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