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Post-Slavery Life

Discussion in 'World Building' started by kirai, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. kirai

    kirai Dreamer

    Race A enslaved Race B and held them in slavery for many generations. A disease wiped out Race A. Race B are now free.

    How would Race B cope with their new found freedom? I can't imagine that it would be an easy transition. And most real life historical examples still have the free former slaves in a close proximity to their oppressors.

    I am trying to form Race B's culture and a lot of it is them trying to reclaim their heritage. Any ideas?
  2. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

    Change is the only constant.

    Long term proximity brings about change.

    Yes, your former slave race might have remembered many of the 'old ways'.

    But while the fanatics among them may deny it, they will have also borrowed / adopted a great many of the habits and customs of their former masters.
  3. DavidJae

    DavidJae Troubadour

    Look for examples from history of former slave cultures for inspiration. Personally, it makes me think of the Clone Army from Star Wars. They were basically enslaved, being indoctrinated to believe in their cause and to fight for their brothers. Clones that left the Army either returned or put themselves under new masters because that's all they knew.

    Also, consider the bajorans from Star Trek who over through their oppressors and then just invited Starfleet in. Freedom can be scary.

    If your race is freed from their slavery, they will probably seek out some existing structure to give them security again, which gives you some interesting plot ideas. They could move to a powerful, dystopian city that will protect them but is a harsh and dangerous life.

    Or they could join a nomad group that is seen as outcasts and renegades, putting their lives in danger.

    If you like, post some of what you have and I'll offer some feedback.
  4. Trick

    Trick Auror

    I immediately thought of an upriser type taking power right away. Any group that has been enslaved for generations is going to have a large quantity of followers present until they've had time to snap out of it. It is the ideal moment to seize power. Also, since the economy would be in ruins, depending on the state in which said slaves were made to live, it could be a very chaotic situation. If race A was industrial and race B was intentionally uneducated, it could be a near return to caveman days for a while. Man, the character building possibilities are endless!
  5. psychotick

    psychotick Auror


    If history has taught us anything it is that oppressed peoples once freed are seldom able to form a stable society - atleast in the short term. Look at all the former colonies throughout Africa etc. Most of them are simply ill-equipped to handle freedom and democracy (which make's Bush's strange belief that Iraq would be all the more difficult to understand!)

    You will have power vacuums, various groups rushing to fill it, division and potentially violence. And these are mostly countries that were colonies where they were taught about the mechanisms of state. A truely liberated slave state I would expect to be a hundred times worse.

    The other thing I would expect given the scenario you describe is wild theorising as to the cause of the slaver's deaths. Here I would be thinking of everything from religions forming up or growing vastly powerful (our god smote the slavers etc, worship him), to an ego trip type nature - call it self-belief or a divine right to rule.

    And then there would be vengeance against any other former slavers that might exist, both within their country (survivors) or other countries like the parent land.

    Cheers, Greg.
  6. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

    Have you read GRRM's A Storm of Swords or A Dance with Dragons? I won't give much away, but will use spoiler tags. (I'm only 3-400 pages into A Dance with Dragons myself.)

    In Game of Thrones season 3, you see the beginning of Dany freeing slaves. As the book/series progresses, you see examples of slaves mishandling freedom. Uprisings, a longing for the old ways. Even pit fighters who fight to the death want the pits open, those trained in erotic arts... they really can't just settle down and start families. And of course, some former slaves gladly take revenge, while others struggle with the law NOT taking their side. "He forced himself on my wife." / "Yes, but she was his property at the time."

    Basically, you see a bit of everything that can go wrong... and some of what goes well, too.
  7. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    The first thing I would want to know is what kind of slaves they were. The conditions for slavery varied quite a bit world wide, and it's my understanding that slavery in the US was harsher than at least some historical instances of slavery. But there were also different jobs and ranks of a slave. Were any of them "free" or close to it? Were any of them overseers that would be seen as traitors? Were there warriors? Were they trained in any of the finer skills by their captives? Were any of them educated? Which of those groups would be respected in a post-slave world?

    What I'm getting at, to use the modern phrase, you need to figure out what kind of human capital they have, whether they're a diverse group with people brought up with the skills for every social stratus or a mostly homogeneous group of laborers with very few who have learned more than they were supposed to. That's going to be the biggest driving force of their new world.
  8. kirai

    kirai Dreamer

    All of these are awesome ideas. Here is some more info: the enslaved race are known as Rhajgon, a reptilian based race. The race that enslaved them are the Daega, a dark elf-ish race (best way to describe them.) The Daega were forced isolationists. Not including the disease that wiped them out, they carried a disease themselves named Daegmon. This particular disease harmed every other race excluding the Daega themselves, the Rhajgon, and one other race. Because of the disease they carried, a wide international law banned Daega from entering foreign soil.

    (I am still working on the mechanics of the disease. It is kind of like viral parasite that spreads by laying microscopic spore-like eggs that spread via coughing and sneezing. And the disease that wiped the Daega out was actually meant to target the parasite, but the long term relationship between Daega and disease was too intertwined.)

    Since the Daega have difficulties with interactions with other races, they would have to use their slaves. Therefore, the slaves would have to be educated in selective fields in order for them to be of uses, but not so much where they are more likely to rebel.

    So many possibilities.
  9. DavidJae

    DavidJae Troubadour

    Your idea makes me think of the fal'cie from Final Fantasy XIII, powerful, extra-dimensional beings that chose humans to become their servants, called l'Cie. L'Cie are given a Focus to complete and, if they do, they transform into crystal and gain a form of eternal life. If they fail, they become Cie'th, mindless zombies. Perhaps the Daega could employ a similar method of enslavement, of reward and punishment. Maybe offer rewards and promotion or respinsibility for useful slaves, while useless ones are given dangerous assignments that will kill them.
  10. Stephyn Blackwood

    Stephyn Blackwood Minstrel

    I think it's most likely to start with a power vacuum. They're so used to being slaves of Race A, that they have no idea who's going to be their new ruler. With that, you can then go multiple ways.
    Option I
    Race B decent into chaos, having no ruler, no social structure, no laws. It would end the the crumbling of whatever little civilization they have, therefor, their culture would be close to nothing.
    Option 2
    They might be a few men/women who stand up and try to claim power, leading Race B into a tribal/city state style of living, each group having their own lands and agendas. That would mean that eachs culture would be similar, but with slight differences such as laws and customs.
    Option 3
    A single ruler/group of rulers emerge and takes power for their own, this could then take it in the direction of a dictatorship, or the direction of a democracy. A dictatorship would obviously be very heavily controlled in the way of laws and so on. A democracy would be very similar to that of Britain/USA today, once the clear guidelines had been set out, voting could start and so on. A bit like Germany just after WWI.

    Hope these ideas help :)
  11. AnneL

    AnneL Closed Account

    A lot is going to depend on how the slaves were used. In "New World" slavery, slaves on the Carribean sugar plantations died at a much higher rate than slaves in mainland America. Until the slave trade was abolished, the sugar plantation people just treated slaves as disposable objects rather than as valuable property. In the U.S. slaves who were agricultural laborers were treated very differently from slaves who worked in cities -- Frederick Douglass was essentially "rented out" to a Baltimore shipyard and returned each night to his master, and there was a trust that he would obey without any need to resort to force. (Read his autobiography -- it's not long and it will tell you a lot.) Some masters were kind and some were utterly abominable.

    One thing that did develop in American slavery was that the cultural blending as Africans were forced to follow white culture, and then had children to pass things on to, became a way of subversive communication as well. Slaves could sing certain songs that sounded like meaningless happy work songs to the whites and actually conveyed serious information. Slaves (or any group of oppressed people) create a culture to live in that they can subversively make their own under the radar of the oppressing group.

    I thnk that in your story, the slaves will have created this culture since they've had generations to do it, and then when they are freed they're going to form into groups with leaders and followers and conflict. They won't just collectively fall apart due to a lack of structure,though certain individuals will. The point I'm trying to make is that even in a scenario such as you have set up where the oppressor race is wiped out by sudden disaster and the slaves are on their own, they aren't a blank slate. They have a culture to fall back on and they have people who will take up the role of leadership. Some will do it well and some will become tyrannical themselves.

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