Slaves – a personal point of view

I must confess: I never played the role of a slave and had no slaves. You will probably wonder why on Earth I get to write an article about this? Well, because there is a reason I never played the role and never cared to have a slave in my roleplay: I do not like the idea of it in SL, as far as I noticed. I got to interact with different ‘slaves’ while I played in an ancient sim, or visiting Gorean realms. But we are not a Gorean sim, so I will not talk about it. I would like to suggest few things about (and for) the slaves we have and we shall have in Auria, mostly because I do not ‘flirt’ with the idea of Gorean slavery.

I know, Auria is not ancient sim, but the idea of ancient (mostly Roman and Greek) slavery is more appealing to me, in a roleplay of course. Auria has (or we try to make it have) many Medieval specifics. Medieval slaves were mostly used for physical activities, and the most important were: working the field and serving the Nobles in their homes, meaning: cooking, cleaning, serving at the table, taking care of the animals.

I would suggest for Auria more than just that. Auria is Medieval, but not quite a typical Medieval: we do not have the Christianity. Auria is Pagan, whatever that means. Why? Because we have people of different believes and religions playing, so why would make anyone uncomfortable? I could even say Auria, unlike the real medieval Kingdoms, is more of a ‘no religion’ place. We are not Middle Ages, we try to create a Middle Ages atmosphere for the players. To go back to the original idea of the paragraph, I shall tell you few things about the Ancient (especially Roman) slavery, so you understand my intentions and ideas better.

I shall not speak about the Roman slaves used on fields or basic housework. There were different types of slaves and, among them, those highly valued in the Roman society: the educated slaves. An educated slave was, for example, a librarian, an accountant, a secretary, a doctor, a teacher. Of course, doesn’t mean all those categories were slaves. Antinous, the personal slave of the Roman Emperor Hadrian was an excellent sportsman and a highly intelligent person with a great education. Philosopher Epictetus (stoic) spent his youth as a slave in Rome to Nero`s secretary, Epaphroditos. Epictetus was also the teacher of Arrian, the author of one of the most famous ancient history work, ‘Anabasis of Alexander’. The list can go on, but I think Epictetus is the best example of a ‘high-class’ slave and also proves what I wrote above.

Not to know such details about History is not a crime. But playing a slave in an Ancient sim like you play it in a Gorean sim is wrong. And highly inaccurate. Gor is fiction, History is not.

I was talking about realistic roleplay in my previous article- just do this exercise. Imagine you, as a flesh and bones person, sitting on your knees not for a whole day, but for an hour. Now imagine sitting like that for a day. Now for a month. You don’t need a high amount of knowledge of Anatomy to guess what would happen to your knees. Or what the long-term consequences for you would be after few months. How would that affect your feet, your bones, your muscles, your spine. Your health. Human body is not build to support it`s own weight on the knees. A slave on their knees was and should be a punished slave; in any case, not a day to day behavior.

What would I ask from my slaves, if I had any (and I shall have)? Well, many things, I can be a very demanding person. Depends on the task they have: a slave taking care of my house here in SL should be polite, entertaining with my guests, have a decent look (meaning I don’t wanna see rags or silks, unless I especially demand it), generally interested about whats going on around her/him. To be able to take care of their basic needs and not ask my permission every time they need to drink a glass of water. I want them have own relations and friends and understand I am not their friend, but their owner (or master, or whatever) and I don’t have either the time nor the interest to keep them around me 24/7 and take them with me on my visits or walks around the Kingdom. I play the role of a Count, which means I have many things to take care of, way more important than entertaining a slave with my presence. Of course, I would not ignore them and they would not ignore my needs and calls, but that doesn’t mean we need to suffocate each other.

An educated slave, well, that is different: such slaves should be more ‘outgoing’ than the housework slaves. A slave used as a secretary should know how to relate very well with those around, write my letters, keep my papers in order, ease the communication between me and the people I need communicate with, and so on. A doctor slave should keep me and those in my family and my home, including the other slaves, in good health and keep close relations with other doctors in the Kingdom, to exchange ideas, solutions, potions etc. I wouldn’t stop my slaves have a relationship or a love affair as long as that will not affect their work. They would have their free time, away from their work, in which they are allowed to socialize, go out, have fun with friends. Slaves are, after all, same human as I am. You, as a slave, have a love affair with the servant girl of another Noble House? Fine, feel free to live your love story in your free time, why not? Wanna marry? Well, we shall talk about that and decide whats the best way, especially if the chosen one belongs to someone else.

I am not interested in sex slaves, so I shall not speak about it. If I want sex with one of my slaves, I simply do it. You don’t need flirt with me – if I want it, I shall let you know that.

Of course, I can not impose my ideas to the other players, but I would truly like to see the slaves of Auria treated better than some statues or decorations sitting around, in a corner, ignored for hours and not able to have own life and fun. I don’t think its realistic or respectful for the person behind the monitor playing that slave.

Best regards and have fun in your roleplay!

 

Eden Stroganov

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Few things about roleplay

I had an interesting talk with one of my new friends today, so decided to write down some ideas considering the roleplay and the ‘making-of’ characters in a roleplay, hopefully my ideas and suggestions to be helpful! I insist on the fact that what I write down here are simply my ideas about things, based on my experiences around Second Life and roleplay.

So, to start with, I`ll talk about the making of a character, both in general and particular lines, to make it fit in Auria. This might help the new players (new in roleplay) and also those new in Auria who aren’t sure what role to choose.

I would start with some general lines: how to pick your character in a roleplay? Well, first thing first: most, if not all roleplay sims, deliver notecards with the information they consider you should know- the story (History) of the place, time period, rules of the place and so on. The first thing you are supposed to do is read those notes- maybe not all from the first, if they offer a lot of information, but you should know what the time period is at least, mostly because it`s not very nice (I don’t use word disrespectful very much, it has a higher meaning than simply being confused or not understanding exactly whats going on, humans do make mistakes without the intention of being disrespectful) to just walk around in an ancient Greek sim, even as a visitor, wearing your ripped blue jeans and your Nirvana t-shirt. Many sims do provide free clothing at the landing point- if you lack money, SL marketplace offers a great deal of free or very cheap stuff who might well match the time period the sim you are about to visit belongs.

Visit the sims! Stopping at the landing point and reading few notecards wont help you really get in the ‘middle’ of it, so to speak. Dare to walk around, dare to contact people if you need help (always in IM), avoid interrupt any roleplay going on, no matter how ‘in need’ you are.

Be very careful about the sim rules. Every each sim in SL is payed for, which means: they are private property of a person or a group of people. Consider it their home in SL, which they pay rent for; that means you need at least the basic of common sense. If you prove not to have it, well, you take the risk of being thrown out. You are a guest, so behave like a guest. You do not like the rules, or the roleplay going on? Means you need to keep searching for a place that suits you better, not to try change that place as you desire – that will not happen.

Also, if you ask for help and guidance, be sure you fallow the guidance. I had people contacting me, asking for help. What I first did, I sent them to collect the free notecards with information at the landing point, and I did got answers like ‘Well, that’s too much to read, you tell me!’. You need to understand that those notecards were made especially for you, to be a guide and a help, to make you understand whats going on. Also, you have to understand that the people made those notecards had a good reason: not to talk with each every new comer and explain them everything from a to z, just because the new comer is too lazy to take 10 minutes and read some simple useful notecards. I think those are basic things everyone should understand and accept.

How do you choose your character? Well, there are few basic questions you should ask yourself: Am I a man or a woman? Young or old? Rich or poor? Am I the dominant way or more the submissive way (neutral, maybe)? Am I a warrior or rather a philosopher? Do I like to be in charge or like to be guided in a RP? They sound as being general questions, yes- but they are a very good start. If you came from a past (in RP) where you were for example a servant and you enjoyed it, you might want to build your new character fallowing the same steps as before, unless, of course, you want to try something new. After you decide (you can also call for help!), you need to have a background story of your character, who gives it personality. A person does not come out of nowhere in this world, we all have a background in RL – same in a roleplay. Keep it on a realistic line: if you have a fisherman background in your story, you cannot come and claim the King to bestow you the role of a Nobleman. Relate your past life to your future role as much as possible.

Avoid the cliché, SL is full of lost princesses or people loosing their memory. Just don’t be that! Think of something original, give your character personality, strengths and weaknesses, Hercules and Xena exist only in mythology and films.

Also, study a bit! If you are about to roleplay in a Medieval sim, as Auria is, would be very nice to at least google something of the Medieval History of Europe, theres a lot of information on Internet. Reading few minutes about it could help you a lot understand the world you are about to step in. You don’t have to be a PhD in Medieval History at all, but having few notions of it would truly make things easier for you and those around you. And I shall give you an example: you get into Auria and choose the role of a miller. You meet Count Stroganov, in whatever circumstance. You don’t just ‘Hello, Eden! How are you?’- just don’t! Having a bit of classes understanding would do you very much good. If you do that, the Count might feel more than offended IC and react like it. Don’t be surprised if that happens! Unless, of course, you do want your character in big trouble. If you choose the role of a miller means you accepted to play a person of that social condition. Middle Ages is not modern days, where everyone is equal (more or less). Even in modern days, you prolly don’t just call your boss Johnny, but Mr. Smith, or whatever his name would be.

Don’t take IC things personally. If a Pirate tries to get rough on you and steal your gold, that’s it! Act the scene! If you don’t like the scene, avoid it or get an OOC understanding with the person playing the Pirate. And never forget that the others act on your characters, not you personally. If you quarrel IC with someone, don’t take it OOC. You are NOT your character. Neither is the other person.

Try build a good profile. If you like to roleplay or you are about to learn it, better write down few RP limits also. They have to be according to the game you involve in: if you go as a slave in Gor, for an example, you don’t write ‘No kneeling’ at your RP limits. If you go in an adult sim, most probably you wont have ‘No sex scenes’- they are hard to avoid in such a realm. You don’t like sex scenes, well, play somewhere else, if you want to avoid being involved or seeing them. And so on, the list could go on for ever. Remember, though, you are not OBLIGATED to do anything you are not comfortable with. If someone tries get you in a rape scene, for an instance, and you don’t wanna play it, better let that person know OOCly.

Avoid calling people names IC. Respect the other players and their characters as much as possible, no matter what position you have. Don’t be rude! In any case, don’t cross some limits. Don’t harass the other players. If you play a Pirate for an instance, it is your role to be the villain- but that doesn’t mean you have to offend the others. Walking on the streets and calling a lady a whore for example just because you are a Pirate and you are supposed to be mean wont do it. Be creative and play your own character!

Another thing I strongly recommend is never forget you are not alone in a RP. Be careful to those around, their IC needs and reactions. Don’t try get the RP for yourself, and I shall give another example from my personal experience: I was in the middle of a RP, when suddenly a lost princess (told you there are thousands around, on every corner of the street) comes along and, without the smallest care for the RP going on, she starts to cry around, screaming her lost princess problems, faint at our feet and, even more, letting us know in IM that we should react IC. All she got was a very clear passing-by from us, the players already involved in a RP. You just don’t do that- is lack of respect and you wont get anything, except being avoided by the other players.

Don’t be afraid to emote a bit! Emotes should be your 5 senses transposed in words, and not your thoughts… Remember people cannot read thoughts in RL. Describe your moves, your gestures, describe a color, an object, describe you feelings transposed in those moves and glances, describe a  taste or a smell, never a thought. The thoughts your write down as your dialogue. DO NOT emote for another, like: ‘Johnny rises his hand and slaps her face, seeing her scared eyes as she turns her gaze back at him’ – that is wrong. Perhaps she isn’t scared, perhaps she is furious, puzzled, even indifferent sometimes! You don’t know. Let the other person react to the slap, for its their right to react as they think they should!

I personally am not a big paragrapher. Mostly because it takes time to write it down and information could be revealed without writing down a whole novel while the others wait for your RP reaction. I prefer the <</me turns around, hearing man`s voice and glances straight in his eyes, confused ‘Oh! I thought you already left, or so your servant told me!’>> to   <</me turns around, his cape fluttering in the wind while he feels an itch in his eyes because of the dust of this very hot Summer day, hearing the deep unmistakable voice of his old friend from Paris, and looks straight in his blue big shady wonderful eyes, feeling all confused and surprised, telling him with a soft voice provoked by his recent illness kept him in bed for three weeks ‘Oh! I thought you already left, or so your servant told me!’>> And yes, I met that. I do not say its wrong… I just think its full of useless information and it takes time to write and read for the others. If it’s a roleplay that involves several players and all do that, for me, personally, it can get boring. A RP should be dynamic and enjoyable, not a whole series of paragraphs full of useless information. I don’t say don’t do it, if you enjoy it- I don’t do it, so it`s a very personal stuff.

In the end of this, a last personal advice: always try to put yourself in the place of your character. For example you play simple free girl from a village, living a carefree life in your small happy family and the Tartars kidnap you and sell you as a slave. How would you react? What would you feel about your new situation? How would you adapt to it, how much would take you to adapt to it? How would you take the separation from your loving parents and siblings? Consider all the aspects of you ‘life’ and try play your character realistic. And don’t forget to have fun! If it`s no fun for you, then don’t do it.

With the hope that my article was useful, wish you all a happy SL! Feel free to comment and share us own ideas and experiences!

Yours, truly,

Eden Stroganov

Classes of Auria

  Kingdom of Auria has six different classes: the Nobles, represented by the three Houses (House of Stroganov, House of Magedon and House of … – to be decided-), the Free People (represented by our tavern keeper, Justine), the serfs (peasants submitted to one of the Houses), who still look for someone to represent their rights, the Pirates (represented by Captain Jack Black Pearl), the villains (not sure they need anyone to represent them!) and the slaves (represented by our head slaver, Gravel Stadnent).

                                                          ***THE NOBLES***

The Nobility, called the Noblesse de Race by some…arrogant bastards by others. Who are they?

The nobility first of all, is the highest social class of medieval times. They can be kind or evil, generous or greedy, humble or arrogant, just like everyone else. The only difference between noble and commoner…is title.

1. The Noblesse de Race….titled nobility

The NdR are typically from a long-established bloodline of nobility, with a proud heritage in place. To insult the family name of a noble will always invite a severe response, up to and including declarations of war between noble houses. Watch what you say about a noble’s bloodline if the noble is present…

A. Chain of Command
King/Queen
Prince
Princess
Duke/Duchess
Count/Countess
Earl/Lady (Lady may or may not be the correct female title for an Earl’s wife)
Baron/Baroness
Knights (Varying levels within the class)
Why does Princess rank below Prince…because quite frankly, medieval times were weighted towards leadership by men. The Crown Prince is the Royal Heir, followed in birth order by his brothers, even if the Princess is the oldest child. Female players in medieval RP must live with the fact that male players will outrank them. It’s realism, and that’s how we play it. The titles of Princess and above are actually not nobility, but Royals…they were included here for a complete list.

B. Hospitality

Nobles love to impress other nobles…for this reson, unless two Houses are at war with each other, a noble will always grant entry to their home to another noble, and show them full hospitality even if that noble is visiting from another land. A noble marked as inhospitable can count on no help in times of trouble and will be an outcast among his/her peers…very serious in this era.

C. Nobles and the Law

In many cases, depending on the realm, the nobles have made the law…but they are not always above it. Crimes commited against a noble by a commoner are always solved with anything from public humiliation to outright death, depending on the crime and the affected noble. Offenses by a noble against a commoner are almost always ignored…unless the victim can convince a noble of higher station to represent them in the courts. The offending noble could then be charged with damaging royal property..or whatever the court should decide. Nobles against other nobles can vary…crimes like murder or rape will be dealt with severely, but lesser crimes will usually result in public apology and/or renumeration. Noble crimes against the King…can be dealt with harshly. Public humiliation (rare), imprisonment, forfieture of titles and land, up to death. The crime of treason can also include the execution of immediate family. So a noble better be careful if thinking of plotting against the King!

D. Nobles and Travel

I always love to see a noble player accosted by other players while walking alone across the land…truth be told…Nobles will NEVER be alone, unless the player states in RP that they are. A nobleman will have some guards and a couple of servants..a noblewoman will have guards, servants, a personal assistant, and those people, whether players also or NPC’s will stand between the noble and commoners. A noblewoman will have more attendants than a nobleman. For two reasons…appearance, and because most noblewomen do NOT want to be touched by people with dirty hands…and their husbands don’t want them being defiled in any way either. Nobles are above the common people and will normally act like it.

                                                 ***THE FREE PEOPLE***

Middle Class of Auria represents all those people that are neither Nobles or Serfs (or slaves/prisoners/villains) and who own a small business of their own OR working for the money they earn. In this category we have:
A. Higher Middle Class: keepers of all kinds (tavern keeper, brothel keeper, shop keeper, marketstalls keeper etc), Officers (except General and Knights), doctors, sheriff, Priestesses, scholars, poets, artists, teachers, Druids.
B. Lower Middle Class: all types of workers who earn their money legally: tavern wenches, brothel girls, soldiers, miller, butcher, tanner, armorer, cook, payed servant, fisherman, hunter, housekeeper, nanny, woodcutter etc.

Middle Class is the base of Medieval Society. They can be rich, especially those in the higher middle class, maybe not so well-off. In any case, they cannot measure with the Nobles, the exception being the Priestesses, who are a bit of a ‘special’ category.
Show respect for those higher in rank/class- if you are a ‘high middle class’ like a doctor or a scholar, do not double cross any Noble- after all, they might pay you very well for your services. If you are a tavern wench, better think twice before you disrespect the doctor or a teacher entering the tavern or you meet on the streets or at the market. Be respectful. If anyone hurts you in any way, you have the right to complain to those higher than you: your patron (Tavern Keeper for a tavern wench, Officer for a soldier etc). In any case, dont start argue with those higher in class than you; if you do, you take your risks.
As a middle class, you usually serve whatever needs of the Nobility if you are asked to do so (of course, that also can be agreed OOCly). Don`t forget- the Nobles have the supreme power in a medieval Kingdom (almost equal to a King/Queen)! You can negotiate with them, of course. Caution: this wont make you their servants, but try keep the right attitude IC.

                                                           ***THE SERFS***

Serfs of Auria are the peasants working to support their lords and ladies in any way the are required to do it: work the land, take care of the animals, cook, clean, wrestle for their amusement, dance, anyway, whatever would cross their owner`s mind. In time of war, the young male serfs will fight to support their lord. As descendents of the Roman slaves, they have no rights whatsoever, except those granted by their lord or lady. They cannot leave, but they can run away- on their own risk, of course, for that might lead to grave consequences if they ever get caught. They can also seek protection to another House, if the lord or lady of that House wishes to offer them a shelter. They can get kidnapped, in time or war, but not only, by the soldiers of another House, in order to increase the number of workers for that specific household. If that happens, they better obey the new lord or lady just the same. If their former owner wants them back, they will get them back.

The serfs of Auria, however, are not slaves, though they are something very close to that. They have the right to ask for protection from their lord or lady if the situation requires it and they should be protected by their owners, especially against aggressiveness of other serfs or the free people. They also should obey the orders of any other lord or lady, from any House and, if abused, they, again, have the right to complain to their owner, but that will rarely solve any problem, anyway. Avoiding getting into trouble is the best way to go, always!

 

***THE PIRATES***

The Pirates of Auria have a Captain: Jack Black Pearl, who coordinates pirate activities. They live on the ship (The Black Pearl) but are also allowed to rent a room in the city if they want (Auria Town or Under City).
Captain Jack can choose his ‘lieutenants’ if he wishes but, in any case, anyone wants to play Pirate role must obey to Captain Jack`s orders.
Pirates are considered the ‘nobility’ of the villains in Auria, so please act like it and respect the Code of Honor (more details about the Code of Honor you can find contacting Jack).
Pirates act like a gang, so stay united as much as possible. Keep most of the illegal activities for the Docks (Under City); they can include: intimidations, extortion, stealing, plunder, rape, kidnapping etc. Of course, the Pirate activities shouldn’t summarize to those activities alone, nobody likes to be harassed all the time. Of course, Pirates are allowed to try their schemes in the Auria Town, too, but much more careful than at the docks, mostly because Nobles and Army are watching. If they push their luck too far, they might get banned from Auria Town for a while, ICly (matter of days or weeks, depending on how grave the crime is). Do not disrespect the Nobility and the Army of Auria, that can cause you very serious trouble.
Please do not harass the other players beyond limits: no one likes to be assaulted or attempted rape everytime they login SL! Use your imagination, create own stories and go along with them.

                                                        ***THE VILLAINS***

Gathered together by

The Villains of Auria are a very colorful category including: thieves, pimps, criminals, beggars, rapists, trouble-makers, prostitutes, witches. The commoners are the people without an actual job lurking around, not being necessary criminals: retired sailors and soldiers, runaways, former prisoners, drunkards, slackers, adventurers. They spend most of their time around the Under City.
Please always remember your rank: you have no rank. Respect those higher than you, especially the Nobles and Soldiers. Watch your tongue and attitudes around them. Speaking bad or acting bad towards any Noble or Soldier of Auria might lead to your quick death and, therefore, your character`s end of story ICly. Acting nasty can also lead to your status change: from free to slave, if the offended considers so. Not to mention the jail.
Speaking of jail, whatever mischief you do (kidnap, rape, steal, start fights) remember you can be punished, so try to hide such things. Avoid such activities in Auria Town and around it. Of course, you can walk around the Town, but try behave as much as possible.

                                                                    ***SLAVES***

Auria has only one Head Slaver – Gravel Stadnent and can have few other slavers. Almost anyone can buy a slave in Auria if they can afford it; those most probable to have slaves are the Nobles, Officers, Pirates, Keepers and workers if they can afford it.
The slaves should be sold/bought with Auria Roleplay Money, no other currency allowed (Absolutely NO Linden Dollars, whoever uses L$ for whatever RP transaction in Auria will be banned from the sim immediately). Details about Auria Monetary System can be found at the Shop, in the Square (Behind the fruits stall).
Slave trades can only take place at the Docks (Under City), where a special place was build especially for this activity. If a Noble asks you to visit their house and show them the offer, you, as a Slaver, can do that, but remember the rule: no collars. So you shall ask your slaves remove their collars while you walk together around Auria Town. Slaver can keep his slaves naked if he/she wishes, but please try stay dressed up when walk around the Auria Town. Not so much important for the Under City.
Important note for slaves: again, we are not a Gorean sim, so please remember it. Words like Master and Mistress are not the best idea, Lord and Lady are more proper for Medieval Times. If your owner has a special rank (Like Baron, Count, General, Captain etc) address them by their proper rank.

Eden Stroganov

KINGDOM OF AURIA – A World in Pictures

Our Kingdom from above.

Sunset over the seas...

Winter!

A winter`s night tale...

"Restless Knights", Justine`s cosy tavern.

The Inn.

The Market, in the middle of the Town Square. Same ol` Mary selling same ol` magic herbs...

The mills.

"Can I pass...?' The entrance in Armand`s Keep. Fierce guards...

Inside the Keep.

Me, writing a letter. A secret letter!

Birdy, birdy... Ricky, Armand`s parrot.

Window.

 

The Harbor and the fish market.

Priestesses Manor, on the Isle of Lezonia.

Evelyn, the ghost, seems to feel good inside the Manor.

The mists of Lezonia...

The public baths.

The farms, quiet in the winter time...

The graves of the ancestors.

Eden ante portas!

King Rene`s castle - patio.

King Rene`s castle- The Round Table

King Rene`s castle - the underworld...

The forests of Auria - beware of wolves!

The training arena.

Jousting!

Long Live Auria!

Oh, that`s me! The photographer.

 

 

Hope you enjoy the pictures!

Eden Stroganov