Friday Lore Post: Buying, Selling and Freeing Slaves

So you’re ready to own a slave, are you? This book will help you do just that! But first, we need to make sure you meet three basic criteria. Number one, are you a free person? Obviously only free people can own slaves; slaves aren’t allowed to own anything, even themselves, and especially not each other! Second, are you older than fourteen? Dolovin law says that nobody under the age of fourteen is allowed to own property except under very specific circumstances, and that’s true in the north too. And third, can you afford it? Slaves are expensive to buy and can be expensive to own. If you want them to stay alive and healthy so they can serve you best, you have to feed and shelter them. If you can’t afford that, your slave might end up dying prematurely, and you’ll end up needing a new one!

If you satisfy all three of those criteria, then you’re eligible to buy a slave! Head down to the slave market of your choice to get started. The sale and purchase of slaves is all regulated through formal slave markets, and it’s illegal for two or more private citizens to sell slaves to each other. It definitely happens out in rural towns where nobody can see, but in the civilized world we use markets to make sure that all our sales are legitimate and documented. Make sure to do your research and choose the right slave market—your slave will be whatever you train them to be, but some markets specialize in selling slaves more suited to physical labour, or to domestic work, or to sexual service, so if you know what you want, it’s best to go to the right market for you. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for or you just want a well-rounded slave that can be used for anything, Dianna Coldwater’s Slave Market is your best starting place. They sell slaves of all ages for all purposes at reasonable prices, and the staff are friendly and there to help you find what you need.

The slave market will most likely be a large area like an auditorium or a theatre, with a stage at the front. This is where the auctions will be held. Most slave markets hold a slave auctions a minimum of once a week, but often more regularly if they have a lot of slaves to sell. Not every slave owned by the market will be auctioned at one time, so when you enter, you’ll be given a docket of everything for sale that day, ordered by number, with some basic information about their abilities, descriptions and prior training, to help you decide in advance which ones you might be interested in. Most slave markets don’t allow patrons to visit the slave pens as they’re not very pleasant, but sometimes if you visit on an off day the staff will let you see the merchandise beforehand, for a price. If you’re convincing enough, you might be able to talk the owner into putting a particular slave on auction next time around—it’s not a guarantee you’ll get to buy them, but at least you’ll get a fair chance.

Slaves are always sold at auction. Markets aren’t required to do this, but they always do because that’s how they make the most money off their merchandise. Some markets will bring all the merchandise out at the same time and call them forward one at a time, and some will bring them out one at a time, but you’ll have to bid against everyone else there. The highest bidder wins, so make sure your voice gets heard! You can buy as many slaves as you want (and can afford) in one auction. As soon as you’ve bought what you want, you can go claim it, sign the paperwork, pay and go home with your new slave!

Other chapters in this manual will tell you about the treatment, training and punishment of your slave, but there are two other things that are important to know about. First is how to sell a slave. If you decide you’re finished with a slave and want to get some of your money back, just bring them to a slave market and have them assessed. Markets don’t buy slaves at auction, so you can do this at any time. The staff at the market will assess your slave’s condition, including age, health, any injuries or diseases they have (they’ll ask you for their history) and what kind of work you’ve had them do, and offer you a fair price for your slave—or not. As when you buy a slave, some markets specialize and may not be interested in your slave. Do your research, and if you don’t think the price you’re being offered is fair, don’t be afraid to try a different market if there’s one available. You’re almost never going to make as much money selling a slave as you spent buying one, unless you’ve turned a slave into a very specific something that a market happens to be looking for. Generally speaking, though, used slaves aren’t worth as much.

In some cases, you may want to sell a slave to a friend or someone you know. With used slaves, a market (it doesn’t have to be the one you bought the slave from, but it’s easier if it is) will often let you do this as long as you, the person you’re selling the slave to, and someone from the market are all present to sign the papers. Rather than sending the slave to auction, you can sort the whole process in just a few days. It goes much faster if you and your buyer have agreed on a price in advance! The market will take a small cut, but it’s illegal to sell a slave without the presence of a market representative—don’t try to circumvent the law, or you could end up at auction!

Giving a slave to someone as a gift, however, does not require a market representative. Dolovin law regulates the sale and purchase of slaves, but anyone is free to give their property to whomever they want at any time. Make sure that if you give or receive a slave as a gift, that the slave’s ownership papers also change hands and that the name of the new master is put on them, so that nobody can claim theft later. It’s not necessary, but it’s a good idea to have an advocate read over the papers just to make sure they’re all done correctly.

An advocate is all but required if you are choosing to free a slave. This is a decision you should never make lightly as it cannot be reversed. Dolovin law states that any slave owner may free their slaves at any time by signing an article of manumission, stating clearly that they are, of their own will, granting freedom to the slave in question. It’s a very easy process, but it’s highly recommended that you hire an advocate to write the manumission papers for you, so that they are worded correctly. If a freed slave is found with manumission papers that are deemed false, they can be returned to you and you can be held responsible for any behaviour they might have engaged in after you freed them. Recently freed slaves are prone to committing crimes and getting into trouble (one reason why you should always consider selling them when you’re done with them rather than freeing them), and you don’t want to be held legally liable for that!

Though Dolovin law tries to make it sound complicated and hard to perform slave transactions, it’s actually very simple once you get the hang of it. It’s really no different than buying anything else, so don’t be nervous, head down to your market and buy a slave today!

From “Slaveowning for Beginners, Chapter 1: Slave Transactions,” by Rita Whitesky, published by Dianna Coldwater’s Slave Market in Merket, DN 1986.

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