Thralls are those men and women counted property in Xian, and through much of the rest of the Isles as well. The word itself is a borrowing from the Skandr immigrants of Nordheim, though local interpretations of the meaning tend to vary.

In Xian, most thralls are the property of the city. They are set to work in the rice fields of the surrounding villages and towns, and they and their descendants will remain property for three generations. In the few cases where that generational burden is completed, the city gives the free adult some clothing, a little money, and often as not a job overseeing their former brethren.

Some thralls are possessions of private citizens, generally those with some worth beyond mere field hands. Goblinoid and half-goblinoid women are particularly prized as concubines, and the men occasionally find use as guards. Scribes, tutors, gardeners, and other house servants are often thralls in the service of the wealthy. Such thralls have distinct value, and as such are rarely exceptionally mistreated. Few have much incentive to try and escape, as their lives are more comfortable than they'd have otherwise.

Field hands have fewer qualms, and are treated far more brutally for it. Every now and then a thrall rebellion rises in the outlying villages, and the Invincible Hero Generals have to march a legion out to put down the slaves. The slaughter is complete under such circumstances, as even talk of thrall rebellions is shunned in polite circles.

It is possible for a thrall to be freed by their owner, or even by city edict if they perform some act of particular heroism. In both cases, it's expected that the thrall should be provided with money or some employment, and the city forbids manumission of thralls without being able to pay this fee.

An owner may be held responsible for any crime committed by his or her thrall if they have enemies capable of pinning the blame on some stratagem or plot. This tends to discourage the keeping of ill-behaved thralls within the city itself, as more than one orc has decided to avenge himself on his master by attacking a scholar. While the thrall's death is certain, his owner may well share his fate if his rivals can make it appear that the thrall was ordered to such a deed.

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