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    Canonfire :: View topic - Slavery on the Wild Coast
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    Slavery on the Wild Coast
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    Adept Greytalker

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    Tue Jan 31, 2023 11:06 am  
    Slavery on the Wild Coast

    A topic I know has been hashed out before is Who were the Slave Lords selling slaves to? and I believe the consensus was the Sea Princes and the Scarlet Brotherhood.

    However, while reading the From the Ashes description of Safeton, Sargent states that slavery has long been legal there, and is still practiced post-Wars now that Turin Deathstalker is in charge.

    Questions
    1) Does anyone know of mentions of slavery being legal in Narwell, Eldredd, Badwall, or Fax? Was slavery an accepted practice up and down the Wild Coast pre-Wars or is Safeton the exception?

    2) The Slave Lords modules seem to suggest that the slave raids of the Yellow Sails are unusual or morally intolerable in some way that seems at odds with the existence of at least one slaveholding city state there. Is there any way to reconcile this?

    3) I haven't seen any reference anywhere to slavery being legal in Greyhawk (or Hardby for that matter) other than indentured servitude/workgangs as punishment for crime. So what happens, legally, if someone from Safeton shows up there with his slave manservant? Would the legal authorities of Greyhawk enforce his "property rights" or would it be up to the slaveholder to keep his slave from freeing himself?
    Adept Greytalker

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    Tue Jan 31, 2023 3:06 pm  

    1. In my mind, the Wild Coast is just that, a very wild place where the strong make the rules. Think Howard's Hyborea. I would say that slavery would be practiced here despite being considered repugnant through much of the rest of the Flanaess, though it should be noted the Oeridians are big on serfdom...

    2. Easy, no slaver likes being enslaved. The Slave Lords are undoubtedly upsetting the local balance of power between the cities, but also with other powers in the region, such as Greyhawk and Nyrond. They know of the slaving the Wild Coast cities do, but turn a blind eye as long as it does not impact their citizens, but if it does, they will take punitive measures, and will not likely work too hard to distinguish "The Slave Lords" from the other cities.

    3. What do you want it to be? Under English Common law, the Cartwright Case (1569), and Shanley vs. Harvey the consensus was that one could not be a slave in England, "England was too pure an Air for Slaves to breath in".This is as applicable as you want it to be, but I think the City of Greyhawk would not want slaves and all the headaches that brings wandering around. People with slaves would probably know to leave them at home and hire servants, perhaps through Turin's servant agency...
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Tue Jan 31, 2023 3:19 pm  

    Slavery existed throughout the Medieval period. The overall population was 80% peasants (farmers) while 70% of those were Serfs (indentured servants tied to the land and the current landlord). The other 30% were freemen. This does not consider criminal/prisoner workgangs who were also slaves to the local lord.

    Either we play to modern sensibilities where slavery is illegal in all forms but criminal workgangs, or we must accept that slavery is very common worldwide and acceptable. Chattel slavery is another topic.

    If a slave owner from Safteon made his way to Greyhawk in my campaign, it wouldn't raise any red flags. If it did, he might declare that his "slave" is his indentured servant. Chattel slaves would cause problems but they might not be set free unless someone took up that person's cause in court. Most likely the owner and his slave would be asked to be discreet and to leave as soon as possible after they have conducted their business. Of course, the number of chattel slaves might inflame the situation. Let's be honest the Ruling Oligarchy isn't the most upstanding bunch. They might want a cut in any profits moving thru their city. I guess it would depend on how noisy the slave and slave owner are and who is listening.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Tue Jan 31, 2023 3:24 pm  

    Interesting topic.

    I don't have the answers to all your questions, but I was under the impression that the Sea Princes primarily raided the Amedio Jungle for their "supply" of slaves.

    As for the Slave Lords, I figured they might provide slaves for the Temple of Elemental Evil, the Great Kingdom/Ahlissa (A0 - Danger at Darkshelf Quarry - has them operating across Relmor Bay, in Nyrond), the Pomarj, and maybe even as far afield as the Bandit Kingdoms? I'm sure that underground human trafficking rings would also exist in the more benevolent realms in the area, if only to provide cheap labour (or perverse "entertainment") to unscrupulous lords, business owners, and brothels (whether legal/illegal).

    To me, the pre-Wars Wild Coast sounds like a relatively lawless "anything goes" kind of place, so even though the idea of slavery may be repugnant to the independent-spirited folk who live in the region, it may nevertheless be a common practice. Or maybe it's the idea of one's own potential enslavement that is morally intolerable and distressing; "better others than me", especially if one can denigrate the "other" on the basis of species, ethnicity, religion, etc (even in the real world, we find all sorts of justifications to turn a blind eye to the exploitative practices going on in agriculture, services and other sectors because we the consumers get to benefit from the cheaper fruit of those labours)? But if the Yellow Sails increase their catch or start raiding into previously "safe territories" or taking an increasing number of nobles/influential people, that could become a real cause for concern on a larger scale.

    Just musing aloud.

    As far as I'm concerned, there's nothing "rosy" in the Flanaess, even in the supposedly benevolent realms... so every realm likely has its underground slave markets. There's no such thing as utopia, and plenty of evil flourishes in good places.

    I seem to recall there were write-ups on some of the Wild Coast towns in WG8... have you looked there?

    EDIT: ninja'd by Skech and tarelton.
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    Tue Jan 31, 2023 6:29 pm  

    1) I don't recall any mention of slavery being legal in the Wild Coast cities specifically, but I do know that The Adventure Begins states that Greyhawk abolished slavery some time either during or just after the Greyhawk Wars (can't remember the exact year), much to the annoyance of people who'd somehow claimed slaves from Wild Coast raids.

    Strictly for my own Greyhawk, I would say that yes slavery was legal throughout the Wild Coast. I still have slavery legal in states like Greyhawk, as the trade is simply too lucrative to give up. Greyhawk's church of St. Cuthbert absolutely hates it, but they've realized there's almost no chance of permanently abolishing it.

    2) The Wild Coasters wouldn't mind buying slaves from the Slave Lords, but they resent when they go from being clients to "suppliers". I agree with Tarelton and TwiceBorn's views about how the Coasters would care about their own status, and would try to fight the slavers if they attacked, but wouldn't go on a moral crusade to try and destroy their operations.

    3) As I said above, The Adventure Begins states that Greyhawk abolished slavery at some point during the 580s CY. So a Safeton person who shows up with his slaves in 576-era Greyhawk wouldn't attract any notice beyond probably having to pay an additional tariff or duty on his "property". After abolition, I'd imagine that the Greyhawk authorities feel they have more important things to worry about than an individual servant. They won't enforce the Safeton man's "property rights", but they won't make any effort to help the slave free himself either.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Tue Jan 31, 2023 7:03 pm  

    I confess that nothing sounds more Grey- than the slaveholding landowners of the Wild Coast banding together in righteous indignation against the Yellow Sails slavers who in their depredations are slaving wrong.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Wed Feb 01, 2023 8:22 am  

    Besides the Sea Princes and the Scarlet Brotherhood being some of the Slave Lords' main clients, I'd also list the other humanoid lords of the Pomarj (the Slave Lords being far from the only major power there), Iuz, the Horned Society, some of the Bandit Kingdoms, the Great Kingdom and its successor states, the Sea Barons and any number of independent humanoid leaders and petty evil-leaning human lords as buyers.

    For my own Greyhawk, I'd add Greyhawk, Dyvers, Nyrond (strictly for people of Aerdi descent) and IIRC the Lordship of the Isles as additional clients. I'd agree with TwiceBorn's statement about underground trafficking rings too. My Keoland allows indentured servitude, and it's entirely possible that some indenturers 'accidentally' ensure that some servants disappear under mysterious circumstances...
    GreySage

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    Wed Feb 01, 2023 9:12 am  

    The Adventure Begins, page 55: "Along this poor strip of land, the Suloise established the Wild Coast's long traditions of independence, adventuring, and seafaring, as well as treachery, slavery, theft, brigandage, piracy, tracking with humanoids, and so on."

    Page 68, under "Minor Crimes" of the City of Greyhawk: "Slavery or procurement of slaves." Other crimes considered minor: minor assault (no broken bones), blasphemy against a priest, disturbance of the peace (excessive noise, light, smell), tax evasion (50 gp or less), use of an unlicensed weapon, use of magic in a public place without due cause.

    Page 72: "Greyhawk has no system of slavery or indentured servitude; it abolished slavery in all its forms across the domain in 588 CY, to the annoyance of many in Safeton who owned slaves taken in Wild Coast raids years earlier."

    Compare this, however, to the fate of young Gord in Saga of Old City (page 17):

    "Gord, dweller in the Slum Quarter of the Old City, I find you guilty of grand theft... Low justice prescribes your fate: I sentence you to three years in the workhouse in penal servitude."

    The Adventure Begins supports this, noting (page 67) that punishments can include "hard labor." Hard labor for 1d4 years is one of the punishments for major crimes, which seems to be what happened to Gord. For minor crimes like slavery, punishment can include hard labor for two weeks to two years.

    So apparently "slavery in all its forms" hasn't actually been abolished in Greyhawk, since penal servitude is considered to be distinct from indentured servitude.


    Last edited by rasgon on Wed Feb 01, 2023 9:21 am; edited 1 time in total
    GreySage

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    Wed Feb 01, 2023 9:19 am  

    CruelSummerLord wrote:
    1) I don't recall any mention of slavery being legal in the Wild Coast cities specifically, but I do know that The Adventure Begins states that Greyhawk abolished slavery some time either during or just after the Greyhawk Wars (can't remember the exact year), much to the annoyance of people who'd somehow claimed slaves from Wild Coast raids.


    Note this doesn't mean slavery was legal in Greyhawk City prior to 588. It only means they outlawed slavery throughout the Domain of Greyhawk on this date, including regions of the Wild Coast not conquered by the Pomarj.

    The City of Greyhawk boxed set, in Folks, Feuds, and Factions, page 13, has the same list of minor crimes as The Adventure Begins, again listing "slavery or procurement of slaves" as a minor crime in the City of Greyhawk. So it was illegal in 581 CY, before the Wars, as well. The 588 date only refers to slavery being outlawed in Greyhawk's colonial acquisitions.

    Prior to 588 CY, slavery was legal in the Wild Coast, at least in Safeton. It's specifically the people of Safeton who were annoyed by the change.
    GreySage

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    Wed Feb 01, 2023 10:02 am  

    Functionally, slavery in Greyhawk isn't as illegal as it seems, though.

    1. Penal servitude being legal means a judge can sentence someone to what is effectively slavery for up to two years for the crime of smelling bad.

    2. Slavery being a minor crime means a wealthy and well-connected slaver might get off with only a fine or as little as two weeks community service. They could write it off as the cost of doing business and continue trafficking slaves until the city guard decides it's time to shake them down for more money. What's really illegal is freelance or foreign slavers competing with Greyhawk's elite, and harsher penalties are available to discourage that. Nerof Gasgal gets a slap on the wrist, while agents of the Slave Lords can be sentenced to two years of hard labor for trying to undercut his prices.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Wed Feb 01, 2023 10:43 am  

    Thanks, everyone. What's especially interesting here, which I don't think I ever noted before, is that, pre-Slave Lords, Safeton really seems to be the center of slavery in the Wild Coast/Domain of Greyhawk.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Wed Feb 01, 2023 12:52 pm  

    edmundscott wrote:
    A topic I know has been hashed out before is Who were the Slave Lords selling slaves to? and I believe the consensus was the Sea Princes and the Scarlet Brotherhood...


    -When I DM'ed N4 Treasure Hunt, I assumed the intended destination of the shipwrecked salve ship was the Sea Princes. Twiceborn makes the point that most of their slaves came from the Amedio, but I figured that not every slave buyer would be picky.

    edmundscott wrote:
    ...1) Does anyone know of mentions of slavery being legal in Narwell, Eldredd, Badwall, or Fax? Was slavery an accepted practice up and down the Wild Coast pre-Wars or is Safeton the exception?


    -The Wild Coast had no over-arching law, so any jurisdiction could have allowed slavery, and I'd assume most did, but I'd also assume that it was illegal in a few as well.

    edmundscott wrote:
    ...2) The Slave Lords modules seem to suggest that the slave raids of the Yellow Sails are unusual or morally intolerable in some way that seems at odds with the existence of at least one slaveholding city state there. Is there any way to reconcile this? ...


    -Others have covered this, but in reply to Tarleton, that English Common Law had previously seen a distinction between slaves who were being punished for a crime, or were prisoners of war (the alternative being to cut the prisoners' throats), vs. enslaving free people because you could. Later, a distinction rose between slave trading and slave owning (with those who were already slaves) vs. slavecatching (making slaves of free people). And as others have pointed out, there's a big difference between enslaving others and being yourself enslaved.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Wed Feb 01, 2023 5:11 pm  

    I would think some nations may make the Soave trade illegal but permit the ownership of slaves.
    CF Admin

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    Wed Feb 01, 2023 9:52 pm  
    Re: Slavery on the Wild Coast

    edmundscott wrote:
    A topic I know has been hashed out before is Who were the Slave Lords selling slaves to?


    In addition to surface-world markets, the drow are connected to A2's Stockade, and they seem to have a need for endless supplies of slaves, so I would think that the Drowic Underworld would have been a major market for the Slave Lords.

    Allan.
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    Thu Feb 09, 2023 11:55 am  
    Re: Slavery on the Wild Coast

    edmundscott wrote:
    A topic I know has been hashed out before is Who were the Slave Lords selling slaves to? and I believe the consensus was the Sea Princes and the Scarlet Brotherhood.

    An initial point worth considering is whether the mercantile trade of the Flanaess IYC is basically regional rather than robustly international. While merchants may well ship high quality goods across the Flanaess (or at least to the central "Gem of the Flanaess" for further distribution), most goods will be imported from their nearest accessible source and exported to their nearest accessible market.

    In the case of enslaved people, this might mean that Safeton's slave raids were typically limited to the Wild Coast with occasional trade to Highport prior to the rise of the Slave Lords. Similarly, the Pomarj focused on the Principality of Ulek and southern Wild Coast; Hold of the Sea Princes focused on the Amedio Jungle and coastal Keoland, South Province focused on Onnwal and Idee, etc.

    edmundscott wrote:
    2) The Slave Lords modules seem to suggest that the slave raids of the Yellow Sails are unusual or morally intolerable in some way that seems at odds with the existence of at least one slaveholding city state there. Is there any way to reconcile this?

    I agree with CruelSummerLord and TwiceBorn, who affirmed what tarelton wrote, "The Slave Lords are undoubtedly upsetting the local balance of power between the cities, but also with other powers in the region, such as Greyhawk and Nyrond. They know of the slaving the Wild Coast cities do, but turn a blind eye as long as it does not impact their citizens, but if it does, they will take punitive measures, and will not likely work too hard to distinguish 'The Slave Lords' from the other cities."

    Reviewing A1, this explanation resonates strongly with its opening paragraphs:
    David Cook, Slave Pits of the Undercity (1980), at pg. 2, wrote:
    For several years, organized bands of pirates and slavers have made a living by raiding the coastal towns on the Sea of Gearnat. Ranging from Onnwal to the Wild Coast, they have descended quickly and ruthlessly on the small towns and villages, and carried off innocent citizens into the night. Although these marauders were not approved of by the lords and rulers of the lands they raided, they were allowed to continue their depredations. Feuding amongst the lords and lack of funds prevented all but an occasional naval battle with the villains and the slow fortification of towns. Bribery was often a more effective method of protecting oneís lands from the incursions of these avaricious sea wolves.

    Recently, however, the slaversí attacks have become more frequent and vicious. Believing their prey to be weak and helpless, the raiders have burnt entire villages and pulled down the walk of towns. Women, children, and whole families have disappeared; and though bribes are accepted, the agreements are ignored. Vast tracts of coastline have been reduced to ashes, left barren except for packs of wild dogs.

    The lords have finally become determined to take action, forgetting their petty squabbles to unite against the marauders of the yellow sails. Through information gained from escaped slaves, and those fortunate enough to have been found and bought by families or friends, the lords have traced the slavers to a port from which they launch their swift attacks on the coast ó the despoiled city of Highport in wasted Pomarj

    In other words, Safetonóand perhaps other cities and towns of the Wild Coastómay well have taken slaves in piratical raids prior to the rise of the Slave Lords, but the frequency, scale, and range of the "yellow sails" marked a disturbing development of the mid-to-late 560s CY: prior, pirates and raiders out of Safeton (and elsewhere) might enslave people after a victorious ship battle or raid on a fishing village, but they were infrequent, opportunistic, small scale, and had not crossed the Gearnat Strait. Thereafter, Hardby, Onnwal, and coastal Nyrond began to suffer from the rise of the Slave Lords as described by A1.

    I'll stop now but plan later to address the third original question.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Thu Feb 09, 2023 1:08 pm  

    MTG raises a very good point, and also inspired a bit of a rethink on my part.

    Regarding trade in the Flanaess, I totally agree that it is a largely local affair, especially as so many of the trade items on the various economic maps are essentially commodities. Some high-value, low bulk items might go further afield, but not lumber or iron ore.

    This made me think a little about how merchants used to operate until relatively recently. In fact, the line between merchant and pirate was historically often a blurry one, from the bronze age into the Age of Exploration. While the image of Vikings as raiders is persistent, they were often raiders and merchants, resorting to violence if the situation required it or they decided they could make a better profit by using force.

    So, regarding the Wild Coast and the quote from A1, I would read it this way. There is a market for slaves in the Wild Coast, centered on Safeton but extending throughout the region. A merchant ship's captain, particularly one who was worried about his losses due to spoilage, storms, or the like, might decide to grab a few opportunistic captives on his way there, whether the target was a beach comber, a couple of fisherman, or an isolated farm. This would be the nature of the raiding up to the appearance of the slave lords: irritating, but small scale and not enough to provoke a major power into the expense and risk of a punitive expedition.

    Now enter the slave lords. These parvenues are raiding wholesale, sacking villages and threatening commerce. Local noble protests in Rel Mord, Hardby, Irongate, Greyhawk, and Ahlissa and Prymp cannot be simply dismissed. And if those states marshal their forces, singly or worse, in common, would they stop with just getting rid of the Slave Lords, or might they decide to settle other issues with the Wild Coast?
    CF Admin

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    Thu Feb 09, 2023 6:35 pm  

    tarelton wrote:
    This made me think a little about how merchants used to operate until relatively recently. In fact, the line between merchant and pirate was historically often a blurry one, from the bronze age into the Age of Exploration. While the image of Vikings as raiders is persistent, they were often raiders and merchants, resorting to violence if the situation required it or they decided they could make a better profit by using force.

    How does the worship of Xerbo and/or Zilchus figure into your design?

    IMC, I have both of those gods worshipped in the Hold of the Sea Princes although originally I thought of not including Zilchus but instead making him into a "foreign" god (i.e., associated with the Great Kingdom of Aerdy). On reflection, I decided against that choice (although Xerbo's worship in the Hold predominates over that of Zilchus).

    tarelton wrote:
    Now enter the slave lords. These parvenues are raiding wholesale, sacking villages and threatening commerce. Local noble protests in Rel Mord, Hardby, Irongate, Greyhawk, and Ahlissa and Prymp cannot be simply dismissed. And if those states marshal their forces, singly or worse, in common, would they stop with just getting rid of the Slave Lords, or might they decide to settle other issues with the Wild Coast?

    IIRC, the South Province / United Kingdom of Ahlissa features slavery too, so it might actually be a market for the Slave Lords.

    tarelton originally wrote wrote:
    3) I haven't seen any reference anywhere to slavery being legal in Greyhawk (or Hardby for that matter) other than indentured servitude/workgangs as punishment for crime. So what happens, legally, if someone from Safeton shows up there with his slave manservant? Would the legal authorities of Greyhawk enforce his "property rights" or would it be up to the slaveholder to keep his slave from freeing himself?

    In my Hold of the Sea Princes campaign, I wrote the following description of how Prince Jeon II attempted to abolish the Seolder slave trade. Some of it draws from Mortellan's amazing Oerth Journal article, Michael Bridges, "Unconquered Hold of the Sea Princes," 32 Oerth Journal 28Ė36 (Mar. 2020); some from Samwise's foundational "Grand Sheldomar Timeline Expansion and Revision, Part II" (Dec. 11, 2005), here on Canonfire!, http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=News&file=print&sid=753; the rest is my derivation from the relevant canon publications. Hopefully, you'll find it useful for your creations regarding the Domain of Greyhawk.

    Jeon Vilchar II (N human male Fighter 17), His Royal Highness, Prince of Monmurg, Ruler of the Azure Sea, Captain of all Fleets, etc., is the scion of the Vilchar branch of the ancient Suel House of Rhola.

    Appearance: Age thirty-five, standing six feet tall, and weighing 180 lbs, Jeonís skin is naturally fair but sun-tanned from a life lived aboard ships and outdoors; his platinum blonde hair is curly and neck length; and his eyes are pale blue. Handsome and athletic, the Prince of Monmurg is the most eligible bachelor in the Hold, and his dalliances are renowned across the Azure Sea. When home in Monmurg, he typically dresses in impeccably tailored suits of linen and silk, dyed crimson, indigo, or purple, and accented by a couple of rings, a medallion, and/or an elegant gold crown (some of which are magical). When at sea or in a foreign port (rather than a court), he typically dresses below his station in order to seem merely a bold and/or prosperous captain of the Hold.

    Occupation & History: Born on Richfest 4 in CY 548, Prince Jeon II of House Vilchar is a descendant of Luschan Vilchar V, the son of Tavish II and original ďSea Prince,Ē whose mid-fifth century rebellion against his cousin, King Tavish III of Keoland, led to the founding of the Hold of the Sea Princes in CY 453. Thence, Jeonís lineage goes to Tavish I (The Great), one of the mightiest Rholan kings of Keoland, on to the Rholan dukes of Gradsul and their heroic forebears during the earliest days of the Great Migrations, and ultimately all the way back to the doomed Suel Imperium.

    Jeon did not expect to become the Prince of Monmurg: he was his fatherís second son; his father, Luschan II of Monmurg, had groomed his elder brother, Malv Vilchar, from childhood; and Malv seemed well-suited to rule. In CY 571, however, Malv died at sea, with all hands lost, and suddenly, Jeon was his fatherís heir apparent.

    A devotee of Kelanen, the Prince of Swords, despite his youth, Jeon was already renowned across the Azure Sea as the bold captain of the caravel, Luschanís Revenge; a fearless adventurer, exploring the Amedio Jngleís "Hook" and venturing beyond the Densac Gulf; and the greatest duelist of his generation, winning competitions and actual duels across the Azure Sea. Upon receiving word of his brotherís death, however, Jeon reined in his lust for life and love of exploration, immediately returned home, and dedicated himself to learning all that he could from his father. Two years later, however, Prince Luschan II died, in a freak accident involving falling masonry, so on Growfest 1 of CY 573, at the tender age of twenty-five, Jeon became His Royal Highness, Prince of Monmurg, Ruler of the Azure Sea, Captain of all Fleets, Jeon II.

    Although Jeon still captained Luschanís Revenge, his opportunities to do so became limited to diplomacy, inspecting the Holdís territories, and similar necessities. Moreover, protocol required that he always travel with at least two escorts in a flotilla. Despite his passion for exploration and adventure, Jeon dedicated himself to protecting the Hold and its prosperity. For example, he strengthened Sea Prince forts and ports along Jeklea Bay and the coast of the 'Hook, established new outposts along Amedio Bay, and founded Narisban on the southern Olman Isle. Further, Jeon reestablished open trade with the Principality of Ulek at Gryrax, increased trade with ports across the Azure Sea, and even improved relations with the Kingdom of Keoland. On this last point, however, Jeon committed the only serious misstep in his early years of rule: encouraged by Lady ∆ltesh, Emissary of the Kingdom of Shar, Jeon was overhasty in calling for manumission throughout the Hold. He brought the issue before the Princesí Council of Richfest CY 577, felt shocked when the supermajority of the princes shouted him down, and withdrew his proposal in disgust.

    Lady ∆ltesh offered him succor, but the Princeís other advisors, particularly his court wizard, Thelíenkar, could do little but encourage Jeon to accept their earlier adviceómanumit his own slaves, abolish slavery within his demesne, encourage his vassals to do the same, and demonstrate that prosperity does not require slavery. Thus, on Growfest 1, CY 578, the Prince proclaimed the manumission of his own slaves and the abolition of slavery throughout his demesne, including the city of Monmurg. If slaveowners did not remove their slaves from Monmurg before Richfest 1, they would be deemed to have manumitted them. Also, to encourage his vassals, Jeon proclaimed a jubilee from outstanding debts owed to the Prince of Monmurg for his vassals and those within his demesne (i.e., Monmurg) who manumitted their slaves before Richfest 7. Initially, only Count Markost Vilchar of Ensar and a few others heeded Jeonís call, but as weeks became months and Richfest approached, almost all of House Vilchar committed to it, and on Richfest 1, the Grand Duke of Berghof proclaimed that he would follow the Princeís exampleóand similarly encourage his vassals and those within his demesne to do the same before Brewfest 1.

    Initially, the other princes mocked Jeonís action (although those who had slaves within Monmurg quickly removed them), but at the end of the Princesí Council of Richfest CY 578, they formally complained that the Prince and Grand Dukeís actions threatened to instigate slave rebellions as enslaved people sought to escape their situation and find sanctuary within the free holds. Thus, during the Princesí Council of Brewfest CY 578, they demanded that the Prince and Grand Duke must allow slaveowners to recover escaped slaves from the lands of House Vilchar and Spendlowe. This occasioned heated argument and led the Prince to declare the following compromise: if a slaveowner could prove recapture of an escaped slave within three months of that personís entering a free hold, then the Princeís court would permit the owner to recover the fair market value of their (former) property, which the Princeís treasury would promptly pay (and recover by imposing a lien upon the newly free person, which they would repay from their labor over a period of years, typically seven). If, however, the court found that an owner had failed to prove recapture of an escaped slave within three months of that personís entering a free hold, then the court would judge that the owner had abandoned their property in the newly free person, no compensation would be forthcoming, and any violence upon the newly free person would be subject to redress or punishment.

    . . .

    After proclaiming the new rule, Jeon adjourned the Princesí Council for the day, and the following day, Brewfest 4, after hearing myriad arguments and several (not so) veiled threats, he calmly replied that he would repeal the rule if any of the assembled princes overcame him in a sword duel there and then. Knowing his reputation, none immediately stepped forward, but finally, TITLE NAME of PLACE challenged Jeon and set the duel to end when one of them yielded. With a calm face, hint of a smile, and nod, Jeon accepted the terms, and dueling swords were quickly brought forward and checked by their seconds. Meanwhile, the men disrobed and redressed in white linen tunics and leggings. Next, the high priest of Kelanen, Rhys Sagart, assessed them and confirmed that no enchantment affected either of them.

    Despite the challengerís valorous efforts, Jeon proved what many had suspected: he was indomitable, and NAME finally yielded. In that moment, Jeonís Rule become the law of the Hold. Thus, in the autumn of CY 578, the lords of House Vilchar and House Spendlowe answered Jeonís call, and they remain bastions of freedom to this day.
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