The Tam'ral is the legal code of the Revolving Sea as it concerns thralldom. According to the legend of Stigr it was written by the creator god Atdan himself. The Tam'ral is largely the same for each island, most differences concern what the punishments for breaking the laws are, rather than the laws themselves.
On ForeignersOne of the most important parts of the Tam'ral is that it forbids the enslaving of foreigners, defined as those who do not live on the islands of the Revolving Sea or groups that don't participate in the yearly wars between isles. Because of this the mainland countries are more willing to tolerate the Revolving Sea's practice of slavery. Those who violate this law are subject to harsh punishments, such as eternal thralldom to the gods.
On EnthrallingAfter taking a captive in combat there is a set ransoming period. During that time those who know the captive or a generous benefactor can pay a ransom for the captive's release. Every captive has to have a ransom to pay. It is also mandated that captives wear leis made of wire during the ransom period, with the removal marking either the purchase of freedom or the end of the ransoming period. The price of an individual's ransom is based on their occupation and status. While the exact method of calculating the price has varied between islands and years, the idea is to give a ransom that can actually be paid. If the ransoming period passes with remaining captives, a few different things can happen. Unransomed captives can be taken as thralls, and this is how most enter thralldom. The captive can be released, however the newly freed captive must pay off a 'release debt' to the captor. And the fact that nobody was willing to pay their ransom is a mark of dishonor. Lastly, the captive can be sold to someone else as a thrall. Of course, people will be wondering why the thrall on sale wasn't worth buying the freedom of or keeping.
On Tua'gareThe spirits of the islands and the gods themselves are allowed to have thralls, and those thralls are known as tua'gare. There are two categories of tua'gare. Criminals made into tua'gare as punishment are known as lesser tua'gare, they can be identified by the fact that their hands are painted red. While tua'gare are respected holy men in charge of the shrines and festivals, the lesser tua'gare are tasked with menial community service and labor.
On Thrall-consortsThralls are defined as part of a household, but not the family. There is one category of thrall which does count as part of the family, the thrall-consort. While not free, thrall-consorts still enjoy many privileges, including the right to order their master-consort's other slaves around. However, the expanded freedoms sometimes make the remaining restrictions more apparent. Such as the fact that a thrall-consort needs permission to leave the household. Almost all entertainer-thralls have their career revolve around establishing para-social relationships with their audience so that audience members will want to purchase them as a thrall-consort. Graduation auctions, where an entertainer-thrall is sold off, see high prices that make them more lucrative than years worth of performances.
On GladiatorsIt is said that before the Tam'ral, there were rituals revolving around fights to the death. The Tam'ral outlawed these practices and instead instituted a new tradition around non-lethal fights. Gladiators are thralls dedicated to this practice, sometimes owned directly by the arena they fight in. They are the most popular and profitable type of entertainer-thrall.
On NamesThe last name of a thrall is governed by a simple pattern, first name of the head of their household followed by thrall. So the thralls of Hákon would all have the last name Hákonthrall. Even when emancipated, regardless of the reason, the surname remains. It can only be changed starting with the third free generation, the grandchildren of the freed thrall. Thrall-consorts are the exception to this and take the surname of their free partner.
On ReformsIt is possible for the Tam'ral to be revised or have new laws added to it. However, due to its mythical origins, getting support for reforms often proves difficult. And since each island has an independent council, any reforms that are made will only impact that individual island. Although, with the frequent trade and travel, new ideas can travel fairly quickly in the Revolving Sea.
Connected FamiliesThralls that are given their freedom are expected to have some loyalty to their former master. This leads to cases of families linked together by an ancestor being the thrall of the other's family's ancestors. A more direct way of linking two families involves a person becoming a thrall for a wealthy family to earn support for their own family. This isn't merely financial support, there is an obligation for the wealthier family to support the other family and help advance its status. This kind of arrangement is fairly rare.
The Cost of FameWhile the outright selling of slaves is rarer than most outsiders to the Revolving Sea would expect, it is fairly common when looking at the entertainment industry. Successful thrall performers are often auctioned off to the public once their current master has no more need for them, or wants the money people are willing to spend to purchase their favorite gladiator or musician. Enthralled performers have a tendency to end up as thrall-consorts. Some gladiatorial arenas actively play into this, even training the enslaved gladiators in preparation for becoming thrall-consorts. The extra attention and income, amongst other factors, leads to many arenas and other organizations having a strong preference for enslaved performers rather than voluntary ones.
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