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Locks Traps and Slave-Collars

One thing we give for granted is locks. That’s a defect of logic others can be blamed for, not just Earthlings like you and me. Speaking in general, those iis who cam from Parallel Worlds where a Global Industry exists, with mass production of industrialized goods, and strong materials that are maleable enough to be worked in the tiny pieces necessary to make systems of locks and keys by a low cost. Our planet was tuned by the Vortex around the Earthling year of 1700, and first touched by it in 1500, more or less. There was a large portion of human population back them who had never used a lock. They existed on Earth, even during 1500, but their uses where restricted and their cost high. Our Industrial Revolution changed that dramatically, as it changed many other things.   Imagine to live in a world where you cannot lock the door of your residence when you live the city for expend a weekend somewhere outside the town. The only way to block the entrance of your house is from inside. Therefore, someone must stay inside, and you must trust this person will open the door for you, and that she (usually is a she, but not necessarily) will not open it to anyone dangerous. That is the reality of most civilized people on Sharitarn, when they have enough material possessions to worry about thieves.   Magic users are the noticeable exception in this area, to be fair. Magic provides a very simple and almost costless way to lock things closed, that is not even a “spell” in the proper sense of the word. Just a ‘meta-magic exercise’, part of the necessary preparation to learn how to make any spell of any Magical Way. Something trivial, that any other magic user can brake but not without leave a distinctive signature that can be traced back to him. Those without magic will have to wait the effect pass, and that can be (mostly is) a wait of decades.   Magic do produce locks as well, of different sorts and to every purpose you may imagine. The only thing magic cannot do is discounts: magic items are expensive.   In a city with a magic University mayhappen that most traditional and prosperous high-caste homes have half a dozen magic locks placed in the most important passages, and even a vault. Most rich, high caste, families will not have that luxury. Even in such a nation.   Red iron is about as good as low quality steel, and not as expensive as magic. You can make fairly decent locks with that, if you have the skills to do so. In many large and powerful nations that is what most rigth high castes have in their residences, red iron locks But the material is not something anyone would have to money to invest in. Remember: that is a planet where most civilized men carry swords made of bronze to fight for their lives in duel. Not by a matter of fashion! If you ever find a empty chess with a iron key still in its iron lock be glad, you will get a nice profit selling it to any honest merchant you find.   Most homes are protected by the neighbours during the day, and by bars behind each door and window when night come. That creates an habit of take care of each other as a community, something that has been lost on Earth for a long time, at least in this level. Women usually stay home, especially those who are free, most the time. And most houses are either castles, for practical defensive purposes, or inside castles shared by a small number of families.   Primitive traps are build to protect those places from intruders, well hidden. They may be very effective, and those who live in the common fortress must learn to avoid them.   Raids to steal slaves are common everywhere on Sharitarn, the game played by all nations. Furtive invaders must evade those traps while caring the naked woman they will brand into slavery. Each one of those woman hunters (if he is a civilized man) has a house in some other city, where he grew up learning how to build and avoid similar traps.   So, what about the notorious “slave collars”? If locks for doors and boxes are such a complex matter, certainly the complications connected whit the production of mechanisms to close locked metal collars must be dramatic. Must they not?   Well, yes and no.   To provide an artefact that is strong enough to be impossible for a person without proper tools to it out, that on the other hand can be easily open with a key, is a rare feat indeed. Few can do that without use magic, and those who build those locks can and do ask prices that are close from those demanded by Enchanter sigraxes. Their products are as rare as precious jewelry, considerably more precious than any metal or stone that can be produced be creation magic.   You have some places where slave-collars are decently strong, and not impossibly large or heavy. However, those are still not cheap. And pick those locks isn’t a challenge for those who have basic skill   Most slave collars are locked with blacksmith tools, and have no lock. Any one can open them, with some time and the proper tools. And any competent iron worker is able to do that without hurt the girl who is locked in the collar. Some slave collars are a rope, fixed in place by a metal ring, or even a strap of leather tied to the girl’s neck. Their function is to inform who owns the girl, and that is a symbolic function.   Some of those collars are not even hard to brake, but the slave-girl knows that brake it could cost her life. And that death in this case would probably be particularly unpleasant for her. The logic applied to magic slave collars is different. As you would expect.   Magic collars can have many functions, some neutralize the natural powers of non-human slaver worse specie has capacities similar to magic, or place them under the control of the master. Some force obedience, or are connected to a ring or coin that allows the master of the slave wearing the collar to know where his slave is, as long as he keeps the object. One common element to all those slave collars is the difficulty of brake them, or open them without the proper key.   Usually you have to be at least an alchemist to take advantage of magic slave collars properly. Some pieces demand a magic user to work properly.

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