Slaves Ethnicity in Ghosts of Saltmarsh | World Anvil


Slaves are captured from various countries throughout the region, but almost all are brought to The Ember Isles /The Bloody Islands and sold to the Sea Princes. Slavers use a combination of magical and non-magical tools to manipulate, and intimidate kidnapped individuals into submission, stripping them of their identities. The Ebrelia Trading Company preys on individuals from small coastal towns where oversight and resources are scarce. These victims are isolated and luered onto ships where they are bound and shackled.  


The shackles are all connected: neck, hands, and feet. You can barely move two feet without tripping. The chains are not unlocked until you reach the Bloody Islands. I was one of the lucky ones. I was kept in a small room not long enough to lie down in, but it was just me. My descent to madness was a private affair.
— Account of a freed slave
  Slaves are treated as precious cargo, and are typically kept inside hidden bulwarks throughout the ship. Because the slave trade is banned in Keoland, slave ships rarely hold more than four slaves at a time. The slaves are kept in confined areas where movement is limited. Each ship will have its own slave areas. Some will be hidden behind false walls in cargo areas, others will be kept in narrow sections between the floorboards. Silencing spells are used to help conceal slaves. Although the journey can be anywhere from two to five weeks, the areas are rarely cleaned mid-voyage.   While several methods are used to encourage slave compliance, mental manipulation is generally preferred over physical violence. During the first few days aboard the ship, a slave's food and drink are drugged so that the shackles have time to attune. Once attuned, shackles provided by the Ebrelia Trading Company reduce the wearer's intelligence to that of a dog. This reduces the efficacy of escape attempts while still allowing the slave to be trained in simple tasks and etiquette. In some cases, slaves are charmed. While this leaves the individual more mailable to suggestion, it also protects them from physical harm. When a slave is out of the bulwarks, their contact with crew members is limited and their movement closely monitored.  

Arrival at the Bloody Islands

Before being unloaded into the West Ember Island Cave Systems, each slave is fitted with a black mask that covers the upper half of their face. The mask hides identifying characteristics, allowing slavers plausible deniability when asked specific details about missing individuals. It also limits slaves' abilities to identify each other. Once inside, slaves are free to move about the inner chambers. The entrances to the systems are closely guarded and heavily warded and the volatile volcanic environment is a strong deterrent for any slave thinking of escape. Slaves from various voyages are collectively stored here until the next slave market event on East Ember Island.   While buying slaves is technically illegal in the Sea Prince Nations, owning them is not. This technicality requires slaves to be purchased outside government jurisdiction in the Ember Islands. Slavers present slaves in batches, grouped around potential buyers requests for gender, age, and/or special abilities. Throughout this process the slaves faces remain masked. Slave owners are presented an opportunity to see their slave's face once before purchasing.   After money is exchanged, slaves are fitted with a new mask decorated after their owners house's crest. These elaborate items reflect the status of the owners family and are recognized for their ornate designs and detailed embroidery. The mask's enchantment prevents it from being removed by the wearer. When a mask must be removed it is done so in private and the slave is segregated from the rest of the household for the duration. Additionally, the slave's right ear is pierced with a tracking stone.  


Over the past thirty years a covert network of save houses has emerged throughout the Sea Prince Nations. Founded by abolitionists and escaped slaves, The Undercurrent tries to rescue kidnaped individuals before they reach the Bloody Islands, and provide aid and shelter to fleeing slaves.


Please Login in order to comment!
Aug 2, 2021 16:56 by rugrat0ne

Very interesting. The mental coercion instead of brute force is unnerving, to say the least.

Debating a third world. No, not that kind.