We used to do that. And now, we don’t.

Slothjemia is surrounded by nations that to one degree or another rely on slavery, in one form or another, to fuel their economies. In Brendelasia, for instance, non-humans are routinely enslaved to work in all manner of physical labor. In Sikilia, most everyone is treated as a slave by the lords of the land, both living and undead. Romillia uses captured dark elves to work in their mines and aboard their sea vessels, and Geldenreich has a long tradition of forcing goblinoids to serve as expendable front-line soldiers. The great city of Kugahloo itself is a hub of the slave trade in this part of the world, a blight on the otherwise pristine nature of the city.

So many people from so many places fled these conditions, and settled in the hostile swamps of the Slothjemian Coreland. The natural inclination of goblinoids has always been to keep and trade slaves, but this cycle was broken once and for all by the infamous “First Decree” of Manfriedreich I, abolishing slavery within his fledgling realm and offering everyone safe haven. The conditions for this sanctuary are necessarily strict, however. One of the most common punishments in Slothjemia for those that break the laws are sentences of forced labor. While not slavery in the strictest sense of the term, it is still enough to deter ne’er-do-wells from malicious behavior.

This aversion to slavery leads Slothjemia to forge some very curious diplomatic relations. For instance, they are more favorable to the Geldenreich method of using forced conscription to bolster their army, even though they use goblinoids to do so, than they are towards the Sikilians who have built their entire economy on the humans that are enslaved to do most every task. And any group of goblinoids that seeks the refuge of Slothjemia will be required to free their slaves upon entering the country, or risk being arrested on the spot, and being sentenced to, ironically enough, several years of forced labor.

This affinity towards freedom has given rise to a curious and troublesome past-time for Slothjemians living along their borders with other states. Whenever they get bored, or restless, groups of Slothjemians will form into vigilante groups and strike out across the border to maraud the neighboring communities. The purpose of these “Freedom Raiders” is to free as many slaves as they can during such an escapade, and take them back with them to Slothjemia. Once there, the nobles in charge of the lands from whence the raiders originated will provide enough resources for the freed slaves to resettle on their lands, or to travel elsewhere in the realm, where they can start life anew. More often than not, this breaks up families and causes quite a bit of emotional pain for those that are suddenly thrust into freedom, and in order to save the rest of their kin still held in bondage, they too become Freedom Raiders.

To put it mildly, being a neighbor to Slothjemia is no picnic. It is always something with these people. And if you are right on the border with them, you can count on a lot of sleepless nights.

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