Slavery, wildly ranges from a vice of choice to a neccessary evil, depending on the nation and city-state hosting it, each having their own laws. Here we will enlighten you on the laws within Midgar.
First lets break down slavery. There are two types of slaves in most good aligned cities, indentured servants, and slaves. There is a nominal difference between the two.
- Indentured servants will be freed after their contract with their employer are complete. They have several rights and ways to null a contract legally and safely.
- Slaves are property, have limited rights, and very few methods in which to escape servitude in a legal manner.
Lets go into Detail
As mentioned, indentured servants are effectively contract employees, not to disimiliar from salary workers in the modern world who have year, or two year contracts signed with their employers… there are differences but those are not what we are here to discuss
Rights of an Indentured servant
- Indentured Servants have a right to suitable housing at the employer's expense: An indentured servant may remain in their current residence, unless the employer specifies otherwise or other circumstances arise that make it impossible. If an indentured servant does not have a place to sleep or food, the employer must provide both.
- Indentured Servants have the right to retain property: In a nutshell, the indentured servant has the right to own things. Becoming an indentured servant in no way surrenders any property or coin they own or come in possession of. There may be stipulations within a contract that state all coin earned during the length of the contract by the servant goes to the employee, but no contract can take existing property/coin from a servant or any gifts they receive during the duration of their contract. What's theirs is theirs.
- Indentured servants have the right to medical treatment at their employers expense: An employer must see to the health of their servant, within reason. This does not mean a servant is entitled to free resurrection spells, regeneration spells, etc. However, it does mean that an employer has the responsibility of ensuring the servant does not die or sustain needless permanent injury. Extensions of contracts may be negotiated at a fair rate for any excessive medical attention needed or given. If the servant is at fault, these extensions may be enforced without negotiation.
- Indentured Servants have the right to fair treatment: While Indentured servants may be expected to work long, hard hours, they are legally required to be given a period of rest. The period of rest must be at least ten hours a day cycle, not including meals. Temporary lapses of this right may be negotiated for time off of a contract or gold in hand immediately. Beyond working conditions, indentured servants are also protected from physical and sexual abuse.
Indentured servant contracts
- Voluntary Contracts: Voluntary contracts are simply contracts the Servant enters into of their own will, and generally enjoy better terms of negotiation, as well as better results when reporting abuse of their rights to the court. These are the most common types of contracts. Gold is paid to the Servant at the end of a contract.
- Penal Contracts: Penal contracts are enforced by the law of the land at the request of the employer as a result of accrued debt, or damages done. Penal contracts may be done in an alternative to jail time if chosen by the victim of a crime or their family members. Such contracts do not pay gold out to the servant at the end because they are repaying damages or debts accrued. It is harder to nullify a penal contract than a voluntary contract. Minor oversights of indentured servitude are often overlooked, while severe cases are dealt with.
Nullifying an indentured contract
- Complaints have to be registered with the court against the employer. If no complaint is made, it is assumed that there are no problems. Any or all of the reasons listed above are reason for complaint. If the contract has stipulations, any broken stipulations can be registered.
- If it is proven that the indentured servant was mistreated, they may receive the completion of their contract early, additional coin, etc.
Basic Pay rates
|Unskilled labor||25 gold a year||This is mostly physical labor, or simple labor. Examples: tavern employees, stable hands, and basic entertainment|
|Skilled labour||50 gold a year||This applies to any service that requires the ability to read, write, or do simple math. It also includes trade skills such as blacksmithing, shoe making, highly skilled entertainers and general martially trained services, such as compound guards, sentries, or soldiers.|
|Highly skilled labor||75 gold a year||This bracket includes stewardships, personal body guards, and low level magic users.|
|Special Labor||see description||Special labor is a bracket made for Player characters, or NPC's with class levels. Gold is given per level or per skill basis as follows:
- 50 gold per year per 5 total skill in a relevant skill (IE, you are hired on as a diplomat, your Diplomacy is 15 (+6 ranks, +3 synergy from class skill, +6 from charisma modifier, so 150 gold per year.)
- 50 gold per class level relevant to their non-skill based employment contracts (IE, body guard, Spell user, a 3 sorc/ 5 fighter character would gain 250 gold per year as a body guard, but only 150 a year as a spell user.)
Rights of a slave
- Slaves have the right to not be treated cruelly: In a nut shell, slaves are not to be tortured, or punished in any manner that will leave them with permanent injuries. Further more, they are not to be punished far beyond the scale of their transgressions.
- Slaves have the right to room and board: Slaves are to be fed and sheltered in a manner to keep them healthy. While the food does not have to be delicious, nor the housing comfortable, it does have to be sufficient to protect them from the elements, disease, and malnourishment.
- Slaves have the right to medical attention: Slaves are to be treated for their injuries in a manner sufficient to keep them alive and healthy, much in the same manner as an indentured servant.
- Slaves have a right to dignity in public: Slaves can complain about any humiliating treatment received in public, such as forced nudity, sexual use, or insufficient garb. Insufficient garb is classified as anything that does not cover genitals, or is easily displaced from their privates by motions such as walking, or a stiff wind. These rights are not enforced in any flavor in private. Note - This is one of the rules that people tend to push most. It is easy to get away with indecent acts and garments. However, if the guard or some other city official sees such transgressions, there are usually stiff fines as a consequence. If the slave owner accrues enough fines, it will sometimes warrant the removal of a slave from their owner.
The Consequences of violating a slaves rights
- Should it be proven you have violated a slaves rights, which may be easier or harder depending on the nature of enslavement, the slave in question will be removed from your ownership.
- If the slave shows initiative to request it's freedom, and is well behaved (unrepentant criminals will not be given the option) the Board of slavery may auction the slave off into indentured servitude, keeping half of the proceeds of the contract, to ensure the slave can star a life of freedom financially and adapt to a life of relative freedom.
Methods of entering slavery
- Forced enslavement: A person may be captured outside of the jurisdiction of their citizenship and brought to another nation or city state with false papers. While uncommon, and unpopular, non-citizens do not have any rights protecting them from forced slavery other then in specific City-states and nations. Abuse complaints against the owner are usually taken seriously. The forced slave is more likely to be given a chance out of slavery via indentured servitude.
- Voluntary enslavement: A person may sell himself/herself into slavery or simply walk into it willingly such as in cases where a born slave has found their earned freedom not to their taste. In this sort of arrangement, the individual surrenders all assets, such as owned property, to next of kin as if they were dead. They can also arrange to have their assets transferred to their new owner. Gold paid for these arrangements are given to next of kin, usually in monthly stipends. The most common sort of voluntary enslavement is a poor commoner selling his or herself into slavery to provide for their family. Abuse complaints against the owner are given middling consideration to avoid scamming the system in order to gain "free gold". Voluntary slaves are unique in that if they have a trade skill, during cases of abuse, they may switch straight into free life.
- Criminal Enslavement: At the request of a victim or next of kin of a victim of a crime that would be punished by death, a person may be forced into slavery. Their personal assets transferred to the victim, while their land assets are delivered to the criminal's next of kin or to the local government, if no next of kin exist. The victim has the choice of whether to keep the slave themselves or give them over to the market. If the slave is given over to the market, the victim is given half of their sale price (the other half going to the government). Abuse complaints against the owner are given the least amount of considerations, except violation of dignity in public. In such cases, they are normally taken back to the market to be sold to a new owner. The government keeping half the sale price, and the former owner the other half. Rarely, truly penitent criminal slaves will be given the option of freedom via indentured servitude. However, misbehavior risks them being put back into slavery or simply executed as their original crime.
- Debtor Enslavement: This type of enslavement occurs in extreme cases of debt that can be proven and go uncontested. The debt must exceed 1000 gold, and no payments made on the debt within the last six months. Debtor slaves are given consideration in cases of abuse only, just under that of forced slaves, because the individual will not profit from being freed and they are not guilty of any real crime. In cases where abuse is found to exist, debtor slaves are brought into a carefully monitored indentured servitude to the state. The proceeds of the contract go to the party owed gold until the debt/s are paid off. Such indentured servitude does not commonly end while the debtor slave is healthy enough to live on their own, as such a small portion is set aside for them when, and if, they acquire their freedom.
The Economics of Slavery
- A commoner in good health, with no defects or diminished capacities, is worth 500 gold. An individual selling himself/herself into slavery will receive half of their worth to be dispensed as they see fit.
- Other attributes will effect the price, such as beauty, physical strength, exotic features, class levels etc.
- Generally speaking, exceptional skills, exotic features, or class levels will increase the sale price of a slave up to 5,000 gold. However, a slave that contains many favored attributes will rarely exceed 7,000 gold. There are exceptions to the rule, such as fierce competition in an auction.
- A high level character will typically go unsold because of the large risk of escape/breaking free. That is not to say high level/powerful slaves do not exist because they do. Generally a high level/powerful slave was initially purchased at lower levels. Over the life of their slavery, they proved their obedience and loyalty.