According to the lore of the Sciential, slags are the descendants of those who rebelled against the Mandate of the Blessed. They sought to maintain the destruction that was swallowing the world and sided with the cursed Erateans who would have destroyed everyone in their arrogance. Thus these traitors forfeited any portion of the Blessing that may have befallen them.

They had willingly cut themselves off from the divine and were thus less than human. Not entirely animals, but neither fully human, a creature apart from both. Instead of wiping the vile species out completely, the adults were slain and the children were taken as slaves and beasts of burden to serve the benevolent Ferans as their labor force until the duplicity of their ancestors had been bred out of them.

The original decree was that they be slaves for the next three hundred years as a penance. When this time was up the current emperor announced that in his munificence the original contract would be upheld and the slags would be freed from servitude. However, in order that they might never speak against the Mandate which they had refused to accept, their voices would be taken. This and other regulations produced a species that was free in name alone.


Various rationales for these actions against the slags have been given over the centuries. The modern sensibilities of the Sciential describe it thus:


Ah, the slags. Yes, they are an unfortunate case.

It is a sad truth that some children require greater supervision than others. Some are capable of greater development and may be trusted with greater responsibilities. Those peoples that we have brought under the protection of the Mandate of the Blessed were examined and granted responsibilities fitting their capacities. A wise parent does not require of a child what he is unable to perform. He requires it only of the child with the strength and mind necessary to carry out the task. Thus, in our graciousness, we have not demanded of the slags that which they are incapable of performing.

Instead we guard and provide for them as befits their station.

— Cognoscente Bael

Silencing of the Slags


When the silencing of the slags was first enacted, it was through the removal of the tongue. All slag children, once weaned, had the first few inches of their tongues removed. This meant that they could still eat—through a laborious process—but were restricted to soft foods such as thin pudding or porridge. This process caused difficulty in swallowing and salivating, as well as words that were garbled and unintelligible.

This solution was not satisfactory, however. A labor force that has difficulty eating is one that will quickly die out from malnutrition and overwork since they would not be able to provide their bodies with enough fuel to maintain the workload. Also their voices were not truly silenced. It was possible that they might speak against the Mandate amongst themselves, though others would not understand them.

Therefore alchemy, once it became advanced enough, was employed to paralyze the vocal chords beyond even the ability to whisper. This was considered by the Feran hierarchy of the time to be much more humane and practical.

Removing their ability to speak continues to be justified by the propaganda of the Sciential. Their voices are taken so that they can never again blaspheme the Mandate. According to lore their refusal to accept the Mandate and speaking against it, brought a Divine curse on their voices. The voice of a slag alone is enough to diminish the Blessing of the Divine.

In practical terms, this justification further promotes the idea of their being only a step above animals and at the farthest remove possible from the Blessed. In Feran thought speech is evidence of the presence of a soul. Thus the slags are soulless, dehumanized beings unfit to associate with the Divine.

The Silencing is carried out once a year on the Feran holiday marking the overthrow of the Erateans. It is a solemn ritual in an otherwise festive week of celebrating. Most Ferans, other than those directly involved in carrying it out, ignore this rite unless they are particularly religious.

All slag children born in the previous year are rounded up and brought to the Silencing. It is impossible to hide a slag child from the process as they are too young to know not to speak or cry out. If one is caught beyond the age of having their voice taken, they are considered a walking blasphemy and are killed without question.

The ritual itself is overseen by a special branch of cognoscenti from the College of Sciomachy who have been trained in the alchemy necessary for the ritual. It is concluded with the announcement: “Those who spoke against the Divine and the Mandate have been silenced!”

Additional Information

Average Intelligence

According to the Sciential the average intelligence of a slag, is only slightly more than that of a well trained dog. While some hold this to be a grave error in underestimating the potential of the species, it is the most commonly held opinion.


A child who is untrained and undisciplined must be held by stricter guidelines than one who can be trusted to exercise their own self-control and a sense of self preservation. It is our duty to protect them from their own willful destruction. Not only would such leniency, if allowed, lead them to destroy themselves, they might spread that destruction to the citizenry of our noble empire. Our Mandate cannot allow us to be so lax.

Some of our philosophers believed that, given time, a slag might rise above the unfortunate handicap of his blood and approach the level of a citizen with the capability to enter the rights and duties of such. It is unfortunate that to date none such have been documented. It would seem that those philosophers were overly optimistic of the evolution of blood and did not hold to the now understood law of the determination of blood.

— Cognoscente Bael

Civilization and Culture

Courtship Ideals

Slag marriages are not legally recognized by the Ferans. As they are considered only a step above animals, there is no regulation overseeing their unions.

Major Language Groups and Dialects

The Silencing of the Slags also helps to limit communication between slags and thus prevent rebellion, at least in the minds of the Ferans. However, slags have developed their own detailed communication system through an intricate form of sign language that allows them to pass on their own histories and lore.

Common Dress Code

Under Feran law, slag females are not allowed to wear dresses or skirts of any sort. Neither are they allowed to wear their hair long.

Instead, they are required to wear trousers and keep their hair shorn, making them nearly indistinguishable from the males. According to the Sciential this is to facilitate their work, by preventing distraction or injury. And as their ancestors willingly cut themselves off from the Divine, removing themselves from the ranks of humanity, the females are not legally recognized as women.

Some of the more heretical Feran philosophers suggest that this also helps to erase the perception of slags as individuals capable of thought and emotion in order that they can be more easily viewed as a homogeneous whole.

Interspecies Relations and Assumptions

A slag is forbidden to touch one of the Blessed as the contamination might diminish the Blessing they carry. Such an action, whether deliberate or accidental would incur an immediate death sentence. Thus the Blessed use the citizenry, or the unblessed, to interact with the slags when necessary since the citizenry have no blessing to diminish.

Cover image: Chains Feet Sand by PublicDomainPictures


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