Slavery in Swynfaredia Tradition / Ritual in Scarterra | World Anvil

Slavery in Swynfaredia

In Swynfaredia, slavery of humans, half-humans, dragons, half-dragons, elves, gnomes, dwarves, kobolds, and any individual with sorcery has been illegal since the day Swynfaredia became a nation.   Technically, Swynfaredian law allows for the ownership for the enslavement of any race not on the list above, but in practice goblin slavery is the only form of slavery that is condoned in Swynfaredia.   By the previous monarch's royal decree, every duke or duchess has autonomy to decide on whether goblin slavery is legal in their own lands or not.   About two thirds of the lands in Swynfaredia allow slavery, but only about half of these lands actually practice owning goblin slaves. The remaining lands have made goblin slavery illegal outright.   There was a lot of arguments on if goblin slaves were moved into a land that outlawed goblin slavery if the goblins were freed or not. Queen Gwendolyn ap Numaness settled this was a new royal decree. Slave owners may move goblin slaves across lands that have illegalized goblin slavery, but they cannot put them to work in these lands unless they were carrying loads when they entered in which case they can carry these loads through the lands in question.


Before Swynfaredia was founded, the founded dragons hashed out a lot of details of the nation they wanted to create.   There was unanimous agreement that human and dragon slavery would be illegal. The rest took some discussion and there are written records of the founding dragons political discussions on this topic collecting dust in a Swynfaredian library somewhere.   Eventually they hashed out more anti-slavery laws. The founding constitution of Swyfnaredia outlaws the slavery of humans, elves, half-humans of all kinds, half-dragons of all kinds, dwarves, gnomes, kobolds, and any sorcerers.   For the most part Swynfaredia had zero interest in slavery for the first three hundred or so years of their existence.   Then one day they were fighting off some goblin raiders and a bunch of goblins surrendered. These goblins were then put to work and goblin slavery evolved into an institution.   There were a handful of attempts to enslave giants and other large monsters but for the most part, only goblin slavery was common and lasted generation after generation.   Fremiss the Vibrant and his many descendants argued that serfdom was almost as bad as slavery.   The lands ruled by House Fremiss were among the first lands in West Colassia to outlaw hereditary serfdom. Gradually, the nobles of other houses eventually adopted the practice of outlawing serfdom.   By the start of the Second Swynfaredian Civil War 90% of Swynfaredian lands had outlawed serfdom. During the treaty that ended the civil war, a decree banning all serfdom nation-wide was slipped into the final peace treaty (even though the subject of serfdom had nothing to do with the civil war).


Swynfaredian nobles have human peasants to handle farming and crafting jobs.   Goblins slaves can and are used for any menial labor but the vast majority of them are put to work in mines.  If they aren't working in mines, they are probably working as carriers of various loads, especially chamber pots and dung carts.

Components and tools

Swynfaredian dragon bloods rely on the traditional tools of chains, whips, and spears to keep their slaves in line, but they usually appoint non-sorcerer overseers to handle the goblins directly rather than dirty themselves associating themselves with goblins directly.   Swynfaredians rarely use magic to keep their goblins in line, but they frequently use the threat of magic to keep their goblins in line.   A few very fastidious slave owners keep a log with the names of every goblin slave with a few of their hairs, so magical diviners can use magical scrying pools to find runaway slaves. This is almost impossible for a goblin to counter, but fortunately for freedom minded goblins, very few slave owners go to this level of trouble.

Swynfaredian Abolitionists

  The majority of Dragon Bloods do not want goblins slaves themselves, viewing them as more trouble than they are worth, but they do not bat an eye if other Dragon Bloods want to own goblin slaves.   There are actually more abolitionists among Swynfaredia's nobility than there are slave owners, but the abolitionists are not a unified bloc. With their numbers they should have been able to sway the other nobles to their side but the abolitionists spend more time arguing with each other than they do lambasting slave owners or trying to sway fence sitters to their side.   The main sticking point is that they don't agree on what to do with the goblins after slavery is abolished.   About half want to send the goblins into the wilderness afterwards and about half want to exterminate the goblins outright. A tiny minority want to give goblins citizenship rights, an opinion almost exclusively held by the patriarch of House Fremiss C and his inner circle.  Even most of his own house opposes this.  His rationale is that goblins have a disproportionately high number of sorcerer births, and if the loyalty of a group of goblins could be won, it would be handy for the Swynfaredian Armed Forces  to have goblin stealth troops as an auxiliary force.   Goblin slaves rarely manage to escape on their own.  When they do, they almost immediately start trying to murder humans feeding the views of the slave owners who feel justified in what they are doing or the abolitionists that want to "free" the slaves from their lives of bondage in a very final manner.     Very few Swynfaredians care what the lower class humans think about human goblins.  Some human peasants find comfort in the fact that there is a class beneath them.  Some peasants fear that if goblin slavery were abolished, more human peasants would get assigned to filthy and dangerous jobs.  Most commoners would hate to see free goblins given equal social status to them.   Commoners that are spiritually close to Zarthus , Nami , and Mera may be opposed to goblin slavery on moral grounds.   Any commoner that has a lost a family member to a goblin attack or had something stolen by a goblin, tend to endorse them "Kill them all!" solution.
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Cover image: TOA0078 by National Maritime Museum of Greenwich


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