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Skip Navigation LinksInhabitants>Mankind>Volkeralten>Machtig>Castes>Thralls & Slaves
Castes Thegns Druids
Skalds Fertigkeiten Thralls and Slaves
Thralls and Slaves
Those not of the warrior elite or otherwise accepted as having special ability or importance are either Slaves or Thralls.
Those born free but not allowed to bear arms are called Thralls; all freeborn start as Thralls and remain as Thralls unless they take up the blade or commit some crime to be reduced to Slave status. Thralls are less than Thegns in every way.
Thralls have basic personal freedoms but are not allowed to vote so basically have little say in larger decisions, however in return they are not expected to fight or go to war.
Thralls may live out their lives peacefully, but violence of any sort is denied them. A Thrall may not threaten or do violence upon a Thegn,  to do so results in death either by the hand of that Thegn or a hanging conducted by the Huscarl at the Laird's order.
Thralls are not allowed to carry anything larger than a dagger or use a ranged weapon larger than a sling amongst most of the Clans or short bow amongst the Herodi and the Jagrling.
Thralls occasionally brawl amongst themselves and no one makes an issue of it, but any form of organized violence or fisticuffs results in swift punishment. Thralls are not warriors, and any pretentions along those lines is contemptuously squashed by the Thegns.
Social Limitation (Thrall): Cannot Vote Or Bear Arms; Real Cost: -0 Points
Slaves are non-Machtig spoils of war or Machtig that have disgraced themselves sufficiently to have their freedoms revoked but not so badly as to be executed out of hand. Slaves are technically property of the Laird of the Clan, but in practice the person who took a Slave generally keeps them.
Even Slaves have some rights however, such as maximum number of hours per day they can be worked, minimum amount of food they must be fed, and a guarantee of bodily sanctity; though many would consider these rights to be fairly meager. A key thing to note is that all children are born free; the Machtig have no generational slavery.
Because Slaves represent an overhead expense to feed and shelter, they are not taken frivilously. Further Slaves are not bought or sold and are not viewed as a commodity. Some wealthy Thegns might have a house Slave to clean up and do undesirable chores, Thegns that are also Landsgraffing might have Slaves to work in their fields or in their mines, and a Laird or Reeve might keep a Slave with special skills or knowledge such as a captured scholar or similar.
Slaves are not kept in chains, or locked in at night as they aren't worth the bother or expense taking steps to secure them mostly. If they manage to escape, then more power to them. They are basically well treated on the whole, and Slaves with special abilities (almost always foreigners) can live quite well, even marrying among Thralls and Thegns with permission from their keeper.
Being a Slave among the Machtig, except in the case of Slaves that were once of higher status who were reduced as a punishment, is basically just a classification with individual members running the gamut. The only distinguishing characteristic of a Slave is that they must wear a collar around their neck, but the form that this collar takes varies widely.
Slaves may be released from Slavery by the Laird of the Clan they belong to, becoming Thralls. Some Lairds do this as a matter of course under certain circumstances. Among the Herodi it is customary to release a Slave to Thralldom if they serve as a Slave for ten years without complaint, and then swear fealty to the Laird as a Thrall.
Among the Raevoring a Slave is automatically released to Thralldom if he or she marries a Thrall or Thegn, without need to bother the Laird merely by swearing their fealty to the Clan before a Skalding at or after the betrothal ceremony.
Once a Thrall, a former Slave can become a Landsgraf if they can earn enough money to buy land or title, a Thegn or Fertigkeitan if they have the skills and sue for status, and can even one day be a Reeve and  theoretically even a Laird (though the later has never happened before).
Social Limitation (Slave): Prisoner of war or criminal; Real Cost: -5 Points