Holder views on slavery


Having been instructed from a young age in a military order, much of my practical theological training has been focused on the arts of war. Recently however, I feel I lack practical knowledge on the basis and religious nuance pertaining to slavery. Beyond the doctrines that I was taught that slavery is a path to redemption for the indentured, I admit to little more knowledge than this. Given events such as in Kahah, I look to other Holders of the Faith for further knowledge on the religious justifications for slavery and the treatment of slaves. What does it mean to own slaves for you, and what are your policies towards them as a Holder?


No-one appears to be answering your request, which is unfortunate since it is rare here that considered discussion is invited rather than petty point-scoring. I am not regarded as any sort of religious authority, but can offer some views on the practical aspects of a particular form of Holding. The Scriptures and Her Ineffable Majesty the Empress give me the right to hold slaves. I am told that this state is for their eventual Reclamation for God, through service and duty. Therein lies our task.

As Holder of the islands of Ilushu-nâsir and Dûr-Sharrukin (along with my brother as Abbot Palatine for the Abbey proper thereon located) I inherited the title to a very ancient blood lineage. House Melekurion, and specifically the primacy of ur-Melenkari, have been providing high quality warrior stock to the Imperial Navy for generations. Our slaves are bred and trained to the highest standards of warfare and almost the entire operation of the Abbey is concentrated on this Holy task.

The stock has been refined over hundreds of years, primarily from Brutor antecedents - though other bloodlines have produced significant benefits both physical and mental. The exact genetics are obviously a closely guarded secret. Nowadays, with the help of astounding advances in autonomous genetic breeding technologies developed by Caldari corporations and refined by our scientists, almost all births are tube grown. This means very few embryos need to be discarded, and even fewer live births rejected. (We do however, retain some traditions, such as honouring these children by exposing them. Science alone can be a little cold-blooded at times). From then on, there is a highly regimented regime of religious instruction and military training to produce the final warrior at around the age of 19, ready for the chosen deployment. The old saying “give me a child until the age of seven and I will show you the man” is a favourite amongst the monks, and a truism. There have been only two aberrants in the last three hundred years, both of course immediately executed.

The slaves so reared have the opportunity to glorify God through military service, profound duty and often, martyrdom. They are truly zealous and invariably do the family and Abbey proud. They have the best of everything, despite working and training very hard. I believe their faith is unmatched in the Empire.

It is no longer the practice to make selected slaves available to each other for breeding purposes, but opportunities for relationships to form are provided. All have the foreknowledge that their service to God is likely to lead to separation. However, a significant number of military personnel choose to retire upon these islands of their birth, both those who have earned manumission through prowess and deeds, and those who though still enslaved, are no longer capable of frontline service. Many of these pairs find each other once again and form partnerships before God. All retirees are given plots of land to tend in the parts of the islands suitable for farming. Many veterans form my household staff, or supplement the teachers at the Abbey training compounds.

Obviously, there is much more to the whole program than can be described here. I should just note that our slaves have a remarkable quality of life, and the opportunity to serve God in a truly meaningful fashion, which often leads to the early Reclamation of their descendants. All they may lack is ‘freedom’ which is anyway a phantasm. Who is truly free? Despite my status as lady and Holder, I certainly am not, being bound in duty to obey my liege lord, my Empress and my God - or in refusing, losing all I have.

Finally, the most challenging but necessary tasks to support any community such as hard labouring and so forth we always allocate to Amarrian criminals and apostates far from God’s Grace. These individuals need to start again and find a way to earn His Holy Favour. For an example, some while ago I was called to judge, and found guilty, one of my cousins (of a lesser cadet branch) who had committed profane and perverse acts, and duly sentenced him and his family to five generations of slavery. His wife, children and he all labour in the depths of the sewage treatment facility under the training pens alongside other such miscreants. They are not permitted to even look at the slaves in training. God’s Will be done.


Holder al-Cid ur-Melenkari;

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the blessed nature of Holdership. However, perhaps my confusion as a member of the laity derives from certain practices such as:

The Empire has proscriptions against actions such as genetic tampering (most famously such as with wheat) yet it seems that Holders frequently introduce practices such as breeding programs, TCMC, vitoxin, and the Human Endurance Program that implies a status of slaves beneath even that of crops or livestock. This would appear in accordance with the laws that articulate the punitive nature of enslavement – as punishment for crimes or the sins of apostasy. However slavery is also presented as a path to redemption, one that the slave is given the mercy of choice to convert to the path of the Rite and thus cleanse themselves of the sins of apostasy. Punishment and Redemption of the slave seems currently at odds in the Empire of today.

If we are to be pompous, Knight-Preceptor, you will use the correct title and form to address your betters.

You will also find that requests for learning suddenly revealed to be subterfuge merely to lecture from an unearned pulpit tend to repel further engagement. It is tiresome when you do so to the Minmatar. It is unseemly to behave so to someone so far above your station, who deigned to offer your enquiry some time.

The Empire is practical. Selective breeding has always been practiced, livestock, slave - or arguably, through dynastic marriage, even the nobility. Modern techniques enhance the results and minimise the sometimes ugly process once used. I do not condemn those Holders who use control methods - though I think it entirely convincing that TCMCs have a religious problem, and that the Khanid use them so frequently adds weight to any condemnation. We do not, as properly trained and instructed slaves are single-mindedly zealous in their own right.

As I noted, this service and devotion often results in Reclamation and manumission earlier than simple unrefined toil. And the Empire benefits through skilled and appropriate labour.

There was no attempt at subterfuge on my part, simply questions that events in Kahah raised for me. I humble soldier in the armies of God and my upbringing taught me to regard the slave as a criminal and apostate the property of their Holder. As such, the destruction of a million, six million, or even a billion slaves by their Holder is something I regard of little importance inasmuch as the excoriation of the slave proves necessary – such as with rebellion against the order of God. By the same token, TCMC usage, vitoxin, and the HEP would be justified by such a view. It is fundamental in the defense of Holder rights that they should be able to do as they please with their property.

However, I have encountered alternate views to this and so it falls to me to ask Holders of the Faith if I might be in error, or not.

Whenever I come cross slaves in any mission am paid to complete I always set them free; I make sure to do this before I enter a station so that they are not forced to re enter their contract.
It is better to live free standing than die on your knees, even if it is only til the air in your container runs out.

If you’re just jetcanning slaves and leaving them for dead, you’re a monster. As a capsuleer it would be fairly easy for you to transport them somewhere that they wouldn’t be put back into slavery, if that was truly your goal.


They are alive when I leave them, I do not understand why this makes me a monster; I have after all set them free of their bonds - an old adage springs to my mind from the book of Om.

“Build a man a fire, and he’ll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he’ll be warm for the rest of his life.”

The logic is undeniable of course.

Yeah, I’m not going to waste my breath on you. There are far better walls to slam my head against.


I would advise against that, it may detrimentally affect your implants.

As an immortal capsuleer, a ‘god among men’ I find the time mortals often apply to their lives an odd concept; a fly may live for only a few moments but still fulfill much in its very full life.

Ooh, ooh, can I do it this time? Can I?
"Also: bwahahaha!’


Like the rest of us, you’re neither a god, nor immortal. You’re just a maniac.


One man spreads custard on his rhubarb, the other uses manure… which is the lunatic?

The one who thinks they’re immortal. You’re no more immortal than a tissue. Just because they’ll happily make a thousand more of you doesn’t make you eternal, it just makes you easily replaced by another idiot who doesn’t have the brains to realize he’s not really you.

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I heard a story about an emperor who had a slave. The slave’s only job was to, when festivities or ceremonies got particularly grandiose or high-spirited, whisper the words “Remember you are mortal” in his ear.

I dislike slavery as an institution, so I’d recommend a dive into the Dark Abyss in a gunless ship every few months. I think the last few moments before field failure, when the nothing rushes in to come crush you, are particularly enlightening.

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I for one am glad I remain a mortal, it means I may yet still die a martyr in the name of God. True immortality awaits in Paradise, not by the artifice of technologies.


Bee happy, follow the buzz for you should bee seeking sugar not salt.

Slavery is for the weak who don’t know how to control morale and their crew. The easy way out. It’s kind of… Like the youngsters say: Cringe.

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Hahaaa, it’s a trick question.

They both are. Because rhubarb is inherently silly.

Well, I am personally not a holder, though many in my family are. I can certainly pass on my family’s insights that I have gleaned.

My family have had holdership as far back as we’ve recorded the practice. We’re a very old family, and rather old-fashioned. In that regard, holdership is a means by which those who live within the Empire but are ignorant of its precepts are educated of its workings, and the holder is a facilitator of that process. But, most importantly, it’s the most grave responsibility anyone could possibly have. Whereas in most empires’ people are relatively forgettable individually, the positions created for them and resources provided them are all that matters and control is maintained solely by access to those two elements, holders are given complete control and custody of their wards themselves. My uncle told me once that if you aren’t worried of the wisdom of every decision you make on a slave’s behalf, you shouldn’t bear that rod. You have complete control to hurt them physically, mentally, educationally, spiritually, in all manners by which one could feasibly hurt another, hurt which very easily could serve no purpose. And their success lies ultimately on your shoulders.

Bearing all that in mind, the failings of a holding are ultimately the fault of the holder. With complete custody comes complete responsibility. That’s a less common maxim these days, where slaves are often seen as commodities much the same way as the employed are seen elsewhere, but holdership is ultimately the development and culturing of people. It is a holder’s job, essentially, to make people into better contributors to society, and it’s a difficult job. For families new to the practice, it can seem that short-term wasting of people for personal good is the most profitable way to go about it (if one ignores the theological responsibility).

However, there is great reward to holding, if one takes a long view of the holdership. We conduct our business the way it was conducted long before the Moral Reforms. Slaves are chosen when more are needed (and if you’re doing this correctly over generations, that need should be ever-growing as your holding expands) from the stocks primarily for their willingness to serve. In the long term this is the most important qualification not only of slaves, but of Imperial peoples. They are then taught all the necessary civics they need to survive and thrive, and are educated in a profession. Should they fail in either regard, it is endemic upon their administrators to either find out why and correct the issue or to put them in a new position where they do the most good. Slaves need room to fail more than even their free contemporaries; they are still learning how to be citizens. And though punishment could be had, it is important not to rule by the whip. That fails inevitably. My uncle told me often that if being sent back to the blocks for resale wasn’t the most feared punishment you could level, then the problem most certainly lay with you.

Thus, the idea of slavery should not be to make more slaves, it’s to make more Imperial citizens of worth. Slave milling is an inherently costly practice. Slaves may not require wages, per se, but they require all the re-requisites of life to develop (and eventually to deliver their maximum benefit). Slaves need to be fed, sheltered, taught, ministered to, entertained, introduced to society, taught to interact with that society, taught to contribute to that society, and all those things (and the resultants thereof) are costs that rest with the holder. Failure to receive them are, of course, the holder’s responsibility. If your slaves are ill-adjusted to the society they live in, that is the holder’s responsibility to rectify, and the seeds of those failures grow from negligence.

Much better, of course, to have freed people who can be expected to provide for their own needs. However, that’s not as easy as just turning the people loose; people who are ill-adjusted to society tend to view it as an adversary even when it provides for them. Without a proper understanding of money and property, they may fail in their business ventures, steal to shore up those failings, and then receive punitive blame for their crimes, for example. These, also, are the fault of those who taught them, and if they are themselves freed slaves, that is again the holder’s fault (even freed people in the holding should receive a good moral and civil education, even if the responsibility is nominally theirs to learn and teach their children).

So the best, and most profitable, way to bring people through the system is to purchase slaves with a pedigree of loyalty, work-ethic, and education (yes, they are more expensive, but they pay long-term dividends). Within a few generations at the very most (and if you’ve researched correctly, your first-generation release rate should be relatively high) you should have crafted a professional who can strike out on their own in your name. Once you feel comfortable freeing them, you put your money where your mouth is, giving them a loan to start their business, employees if you can arrange them for further educational purposes and all the help they need to perform in that capacity. Many will fail, perhaps more than a few times, and if they do, there is always extending the loans, re-enslavement, or simply re-employment to a more successful business venture so they can continue to learn. Even in the case of freed people, keeping businesses within the extended breadth of the holding and hiring your own is the optimal situation.

If one of these freed people is highly successful, it is important then to bring them into the lower echelons of the house (especially before someone else notices and does it first, stealing away your best and brightest). To succeed such in the empire, a citizen will hopefully have internalized these civic principles. As such, that is the time to marry them to another member of the (by God be you so blessed) extended family to give them a measure of political responsibility. Over many generations, if they become more and more successful, they shall hopefully marry higher and higher up the order to secure themselves as a family in their own right, perhaps even become holders themselves. And, as their family is part of your House, their success is your family’s success. Thus, what seems like it isn’t initially of optimal good (even if the improvement of people isn’t an interest of yours), turns out to provide the most benefit of all to everyone involved.

That’s the way that it’s supposed to work, but it relies very heavily on holders taking responsibility for the people in their charge. Not as much worrying about the positions or the profits (those come with time) but the people themselves. They, and their descendants, are ultimately what profits their holders, and those rewards only come with good stewardship. Again, if slaves do not want to serve you more than risk the outside, you must eventually take that responsibility upon yourself. You own their entire lives, you have no one else to blame if those lives aren’t an improvement over a roll of the dice.

Now, all that being said, that’s the best way I can describe it to people in purely civic terms. Theologically, it shouldn’t need to be said that in the first few lines of the Scripture:

“The Amarr people came into the world and the world came into being.
Our illustrious ancestors freed their souls from the evils of the old.
world and created a new one.
The great Amarr Empire was founded to cultivate the spirit of man.
To do so the enemies of the outside had to be defeated and the enemies of the inside controlled.
The Lord gave our Emperor the power to harness the Good and punish the Evil.
Ever since, the Emperor has lived the lives of his subjects and breathed the air of authority.”
- The Scriptures, Book I 1:14

(Context provided, emphasis is mine)

It is very easy to lose sight of that emphasized line when you are very concerned with the Empire’s enemies, but the Empire was not founded in order to control those enemies (that is a prescription). It is founded to cultivate mankind, not only slaves but all of us. We are all, as a people, growing into our roles which God eventually intends for us. That means never forgetting our original Scriptural purpose is people, helping them grow, helping them succeed, and helping them to help the next group in line. That it is ultimately rewarding to go about this work properly is a secondary concern, crafting a more harmonious society by harmonizing the people in one’s charge is a service in itself and one by which the ultimate reward can be obtained.

It’s a tremendous responsibility and should weigh a heavy burden on all those upon whom the right is bestowed. It is often difficult to understand that those upon whom the highest position is provided are those most at risk of damnation, for the responsibilities given them are so intrinsically important to the Mission and their failings so culpable of cascading failure down the line, but it is true. Thus my uncle’s best advice, “Fire alone builds not a temple. The blade of a sword hammers a poor nail. Quarry your stone with reverence for it is all that stands when you fall.”

Always be building, know what you are building, and never destroy something you don’t have a plan for afterwards. That is the essence of holdership according to my family’s holders.