The Role of the Iron Slave in Steel Horse Crossing
One of the key foundations of the Ironworks has always been the use and ownership of slaves. Particularly, the Iron Slave has been a cornerstone in everything from the smallest copied book to the largest of the cities and their scrapers. It is no wonder that while Steel Horse didn’t start out with Iron Slaves in the mix, the addition of the Ironworks and their needs not only brought the slave trade with it, but made it a required element to ensure productivity and output. Like the rest of the interior ‘Works, Steel Horse understands the fine balance between centralized control and law, and the right of all citizens to live within those laws. Slavery is well-established, and abolitionism is punishable by death. The Iron Slave is ever-present, and rarely free.
Iron Slaves are a possession that can make their owners lots of money, but only if they are in good enough shape to do so. Iron Slaves are one of the most expensive pieces of property you can own, and one of the most valuable. With this in mind most slavers will make sure their property is in top working condition simply because an injured slave is a slow slave, and a slow slave is a slave that isn’t making them top dollar. Some slave owners ignore this equation and learn very quickly that a regularly abused slave is a slave that can be more useful elsewhere. Whether an Iron is treated like property, pet or child, they usually are not publicly beaten unless there is a very good reason to do so. Just like their Hawgs, many of the Diesel Jocks spend time keeping their possessions in top working order. The rest of the town tends to follow suite, even if it’s just to keep up with the insane output of the hard working wrenchheads. This being said, it is expected that Iron Slaves know their place in life, and that is as a means to an end. Disobedience will not be tolerated.
All Irons must have papers – whether those papers declare they are owned, and who that owner is, or that they are free citizens of the Ironworks. Rarely are Iron Slaves found without owners however, as the Ironworks is very particular about the ability to free slaves from bondage. If an Iron’s owner passes on, or no longer desires the services of the Iron, they become wards of the Ironworks, are sold at auction, or are taken in by the military for a variety of needs. Freeing a slave is an expensive venture, as the Ironworks expects a fee based on the future potential of the Iron Slave in question. The younger and healthier the slave, the higher the price. It is a misconception that an Iron is bound to one’s family or lineage due to ownership, as legal documentation exists tracing one Iron to one owner. If that owner is no longer available, the Iron Slave is without papers and is subject to the Ironworks’ will. All slaves are bound similarly, however the law is slightly more lax on those that are not specifically Iron Slaves.
One can typically find Iron Slaves in Steel Horse Crossing under the ownership of The RPM for their building projects, or brought in by visiting Pure Bloods and Rovers, but there are others that have filtered in over the years that assist with a variety of other mundane and skilled tasks alike.