The Chained Edit
Once known as the Bonded, the slaves of the Cartel changed much since what has come to be called the Reformation. Within the Cartel the Chained serve as the downtrodden workers and the bound performers. Unpaid and rarely respected in full, they are the silent muscle that allows the Cartel to survive in the hardest of times. Even though they are seen as lesser, some of the truest heroes of the Ashenfold were once accounted among the Chained.
Strengths The Chained are perhaps in the worst position when it comes to power within the Cartel, however they do have one indisputable strength and that being no one cares if they are there. Slaves, although they are not likely to know everything, are often privy to whatever their owner's know through sheer presence. They are also quite afforded quite a bit of freedom which allows them to cross lines often ignored by other Sects.
Weakness Chained are at the beck and call of their owners and this places them in a very precarious position. Even if they are skilled individuals or honorable warriors, the Chained are required to respect and follow the orders of those that own their debt without question. In this regard they are perhaps one of the weakest of the Sects.
Becoming a ChainedEdit
Slaves in the Cartel find their way into the Ashenfold through various methods. No matter what, when they join, their Bond is the property of the Cartel. How they come about gaining the Bond is a whole other story
When someone cannot pay their debt to the Cartel, sometimes they might offer themselves or they might be taken as collateral. In some circumstances, debtors are not in fact those who originally created the debt, but are in fact loved ones or simply a proxy given to the Cartel as a form of payment. In other cases, debtors are criminals who have either made a deal or who have had their debt of crime paid by the Cartel.
When a parent dies, and if they do not incur any sort of movement on their bond, then their children earn the debt. In other cases, the person is born into a life where all they know is the Bond (in this case the child incurs only a fraction of their parent's debt).
The Cartel does not really spend much time in abducting individuals, but in some cases it will do so if they think the person in question will be useful. Particularly talented entertainers, fighters or people simply needing to fill a quick role. These people were found and taken without their consent.
In all other cases, the Cartel does purchase and buy slaves from others. Most of those who are abducted into Slavery are bought from others, as the Cartel finds abduction to be far too messy to do directly.
Some might wish for a better life or as a way to pay off, or earn something, in return. Those who enter voluntarily often end up in better positions than those who were forced into the life of the Bond.
Slaves initiated into the Cartel are brought before a Handler of the Chain who then informs them of their new status and tells them of their fate. Any form of outburst is quickly punished with the gagging of the slave who is then taught the Entente Tenets and the basics of Slave etiquette. Then on the slave has their amulet given to them, they are told who are the rulers and powers in the Cartel and who to respect. They are then fully told of what punishments they face if they are to run away and what to expect if they disobey.
From then on they are turned free and allowed to take in their new life, unless (the player) slave decides they wish an owner quickly. At that point the Slaver will schedule an interview to evaluate their skills and determine their base price (based on Tier). If an auction is warranted they will schedule one and give all prospective owners time to interview the slave beforehand.
When the Chained are first taken a collar is snapped around their neck (only worn when in the presence of Cartelites and not outsiders) with a color marking their Bonds (Purple for Silk, Red for Blood). These collars are a formal marking for the Cartel slave as their true bond is marked by a ring placed on their right ring finger. This smooth solid steel ring bears the word "bound" in ancient Ascalonian runes, and is the only true way to tell a Cartelite from one of the Chained.
As a means of keeping tabs on them and providing the newly marked slave the Chained is also given a NiM amulet with a Silver Cord (color specifically for their sect). It is also not unheard for owners to demand their Chained mark their attired with silver or grey as a means of showing their status.
Earning One's FreedomEdit
All slaves have a price on their head. This is the Bond, a number of coin placed on them when they entered their status as slaves. If the number is paid, the Chained then becomes a full Cartelite. Slaves who are not owned by the Cartel (meaning they are owned by a particular Cartelite) must earn their freedom at the behest of their owner. However, if there is noted abuse, the Cartel will supersede the owner, and give the Slave freedom. Abuse includes bodily harm, extreme mental abuse, and neglect. Additionally, if the owner of the slave breaks Entente the slave may be repossessed as punishment. A slave may stay in slavery at their choice, and a Bond may go up or down depending upon the slave's actions.