[Archive] Slave value

Dînadan:

Just an idea I’ve had to help story writers on here, but how about we decide on values for slaves, so that hopefully there will be some standard between stories?

I don’t mean work out exact prices of slaves down to the last talent of gold, but rather a rough guideline of how the value of different slaves relate to each other.

I’d imagine Greenskins would contend for the least value due to how numerous and ill-disciplined they are.

I’d think humans would fetch a slightly higher price and those of the Old World, Araby, and the Far East would be useful as household and agricultural slaves as they can be taught discipline better than Greenskins, but are are still weaker than dwarfs, making them easier to control/less likely to kill their master in his sleep.

Ogres would probably sit between Greenskins and humans as they can do heavier duty work than Greenskins and are less numerous, but are dumber and more brutish than humans restricting what work they can do and their higher appetites costing more to feed.

Skaven would be around the greenskin level, maybe even lower due to their backstabbing nature and being even more numerous if you get a breeding programme going.

Undead would be worthless and never bartered for because they remain under the command of their raiser. Any work that undead would be used for (eg working in a noxious atmosphere that’d kill a living being instantly) would probably be contracted out on a case by case basis rather than being a purchase.

Elves may fetch a higher price due to rarity and may be given the same duties as humans but they may be harder to break so not sure.

I can’t imagine daemons being sold as slaves. Daemon-bound items, yes, but daemons themselves, I don’t think so - Daemonsmiths and Sorcerer-Prophets would summon them on a case-by-case basis rather than buying them and then binding them later.

The top tier would be vanilla dwarfs I think, simply because Chaos Dwarfs would vie for the honour of breaking/humiliating them to exact vengeance for the slights against their ancestors. The most expensive of course would be female dwarfs because of their rarity and the rarity of female Chaos Dwarfs and…well they’d be put to a use it’s better not thinking about :o

Of course individuals may fetch a higher/lower price depending on circumstance (eg a notorious Black Orc Big Boss would fetch a higher price while a sickly human child would fetch a very low price if not just thrown in as a freebie), and slaves would probably be sold in lots rather than singularly (except for notorious individuals and female vanilla dwarfs).

Admiral:

Nice slave value hierarchy idea. I agree with it, although I wouldn’t call Dwarf/Chaos Dwarf females rare. As low a share as 1/3 of the population is still common, and that’s the fantasy standard for Dwarfs since Tolkien. Dwarf females being subdued as downtrodden concubines and producers of illegitimate children for the Chaos Dwarf elite caste is a given. It’s a natural part of the slave society.

I’m busy at the moment and can only leave a quick reminder:

Tamurkhan deals with this thing to some degree, in speaking of how the highly practical Chaos Dwarfs always seek to apply the right tool to the right task. Slaves are just tools of different kinds in their eyes.

Elves are normally mutilated and used as slaves for arcane, sorcerous ends, whilst Skaven according to Forgeworld are not enslaved because of the risk of plague contagion being introduced to the slave populace or indeed the Chaos Dwarfs themselves. Still, one could see the sense in breeding Skaven derived from a quarantined set of ancestors as delicatessen or for tunneling work. But you’d have to get your hands on one or more of the Skaven females/broodmothers for that, since ratmen in Warhammer are a bit akin to colonial insects in that regard.

For the monsters and larger creatures the slave value is less clear. What would be the use and value of a Troll, a Minotaur, a Giant or a Dragon Ogre? Used for heavy labour, most certainly, perhaps as slave troops in war too. They’d make big sacrifices, if nothing else. They’d also fetch high prices, although not be targeted nearly as much as Greenskins and other about-Human sized creatures by the Chaos Dwarfs, since the the small ones are generally easier to control and teach work tricks.

Dînadan:

I should have said comparative rarity ^^; and actually vanilla dwarf females would be rare as slaves as they rarely leave their home holds and those that do would probably be under heavy guard (the more important the dwarf the heavy the guard). As a side note, how would such bastards be treated; would they be scum, the lowest of the low only just above hobgoblins in the hierarchy or would their father’s status give them a higher station, albeit still reduced due to their illegitimacy?

On Skaven, thought I’d read somewhere about them not being used but wasn’t sure.

On monsters:

Trolls are probably traded as food stuffs (Troll meat is a vanilla dwarf delicacy as I recall and it’s an endless supply of food due to regeneration provided you don’t take too much in one go) and used as combat troops. They also tend to hang around with Greenskins so shouldn’t be to hard to procure (and there’s always trips to the Troll Country). For these reasons I’d say a middling value - higher than Greenskins but not exorbitantly high

Minotaurs probably get used as combat troops and rare cases may be used in religious purposes if the priesthood judges them to be marked by Hashut. As such I’d probably place them around the Ogre price bracket, maybe slightly higher for comparative rarity and because they require a lower upkeep (and possibly kitsch value), with rising prices for those deemed touched by Hashut.

Giants are probably a high price - fairly rare and good for heavy duty work even Ogre level creatures can’t handle.

Dragon Ogres…not sure possibly higher than Ogres due to rarity, plus useful for any labour around electrical devices if any Daemonsmiths are experimenting with that.

Manticores, Wyverns, etc may fetch high prices to be used as prestige mounts and other monsters such as griffins, unicorns, phoenixes etc would also be expensive to use in breeding programmes to supply sorcerers with a steady supply of spell/ritual components.

Dragons would fetch the highest price - rare, major prestige mount, useful in spell components, scales make good armour, etc.

I expect mutants would have a variable price, possibly on a case by case basis - beneficial mutations push up the price, superficial mutation don’t alter the price and negative mutations drive down the price.

Admiral:

Excellent thoughts about it, Dînadan. Have some slaves! :hat off

You’re right of course, it’d be rare for Chaos Dwarfs to capture Dwarf women. One would expect the fathers’ status to rub off in some diminished fashion on the bastard children, yet what if some such child was the result of rape/abduction by a lowly axeman? That’d make them pariah, shunned and detested openly.

The fact that Hashut-touched blood gets mixed with the uncorrupted blood of the Chaos Dwarfs’ false cousins in bastard children would probably guarantee a lot of trouble and woe in the lives of those people. Yet having such bastard children amongst your offspring would probably in itself be a status marker for the fathers of the elite cast, since it means they have dominated the womenfolk of their hated, distant cousins.

Dînadan:

Excellent thoughts about it, Dînadan. Have some slaves! :hat off

Admiral
Thanks :hat off
You're right of course, it'd be rare for Chaos Dwarfs to capture Dwarf women. One would expect the fathers' status to rub off in some diminished fashion on the bastard children, yet what if some such child was the result of rape/abduction by a lowly axeman? That'd make them pariah, shunned and detested openly.
On the other hand, if the father was low born enough maybe it wouldn't matter - they're already gutter trash anyway, so not being true born may not make much difference, especially if the father was a bastard himself.
The fact that Hashut-touched blood gets mixed with the uncorrupted blood of the Chaos Dwarfs' false cousins in bastard children would probably guarantee a lot of trouble  and woe in the lives of those people. Yet having such bastard children amongst your offspring would probably in itself be a status marker for the fathers of the elite cast, since it means they have dominated the womenfolk of their hated, distant cousins.
Presumably it could be an increasingly bigger status symbol the lower the cast of the father gets because it shows how they can afford such a 'bride'.

Admiral:

That’s a most valid point! Good one.

Dînadan:

Could make for an interesting ‘rags to riches’ story - a novel about a bastard son of a minor Dawi Zharr nobel who rises to be an important Sorcerer-Prophet and all the adversary he faces on the way; would definitely be different from the usual WH novel and would really help flesh out Chaos Dwarf society if it got published :smiley: