Sunday, April 10, 2011

[D20] I is for Indentured Servants

The peoples of the Ashford Valley are free-born men and women. They are a proud people, well versed in their history and well-knowing of their rights as free men. Slavery is a repugnant concept and very illegal in the Valley. In fact, slaves are granted automatic freedom when they enter the valley (often to the chagrin of their owners). On the whole, slavers and those who espouse that philosophy are in the minority.

But indentured servitude, however, does occur in the valley, though rarely. The terms of indenture are spelled out very carefully in any contract, usually limiting the service to 5 years, whether or not the full value owed is recouped. In no way can any indenture be passed on to any children. Repeat servitude, while even rarer, is not disallowed but a new contract must be written.

The indenture contract must be drawn up by the courts (at a fee usually added to the total value of the contract). The contract includes the length of servitude, the type of work to be done, the rights and responsibilities of both the servant and the master, how the servant will be housed and fed and trained, and the legal ramifications of breaking the contract (which usually involves jail for the servant).

An interesting adventure could involve getting a friend out of a contract or stopping abuse of a mute indentured servant or a conflict between a servant and his master over his master's daughter (they're in love and Pappa doesn't like it).

1 comment:

  1. This is definitely an interesting set-up for fiction. I hate it in real-world form, and think it's more common than we would be led to believe--even in countries where it's illegal.


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