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Author Topic: Misconceptions of Hazlan's brutality  (Read 2612 times)

tzaeru

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Misconceptions of Hazlan's brutality
« on: March 15, 2018, 07:58:42 AM »
I often see it said that demihumans would all be enslaved in Hazlan, that virtually all Rashemi are slaves, that foreigners are openly hated, and so forth. But I don't think the canon material really supports it.

Regarding Rashemi, here are a few quotes from the Gazetteer:

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Rashemani who have valuable skills as craftsmen may be able to escape serfdom. The Mulan have little interest in manual labor of any kind, yet they crave finely manufactured goods. A Rashemani with the talents to produce such goods, whether of cloth, leather, wood, or stone, may be able to generate enough income to live comfortably and independently. Such skills are rare among the Rashemani, however, and those who have them are reluctant to share them lest they reduce their own value.

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The Rashemani want little to do with arcane magic, having seen too many of their kinfolk taken to the Tables for experimentation. Those who do travel to the Red Academy to study wizardry become outcasts among their peers.

So Rashemani can, in fact, live independently and can also study magic in the Red Academy. Majority of them are in serfdom not very dissimilar from plain slavery, however. By law, they also will not be granted religious or political leadership positions.

Of non-humans and foreigners, there's the following snippets amongst others:

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Humans are by far the most common race in Hazlan, but nonhumans are better represented here than in msot of the Core. Gnomes and halflings are commonly found in Hazlan, though actively discouraged from mingling socially with their human "betters."

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Education in Hazlan is done mostly through foreign private tutors, as teaching is too common and mundane a task for most Mulan, while the Rashemani are not permitted an education. Gnomes have proven particularly popular as tutors.

Additionally, IIRC there's a gnome instructor at the Red Academy.

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Toyalis features three inns worthy of note. The best is undoubtedly the Blushing Swan, that caters Mulan and wealthy foreigners.

So, foreigners are actually granted access to some of the same facilities as Mulan. Rashemani, however, aren't let into these finer establishments unless as servants, guards or house-slaves.

It's true that Hazlan is an oppressive, brutal land. The church of Lawgiver - and the Mulan as well - are strongly ethnocentric. Albeit Mulan have a taste for foreign luxuries, they would prefer Hazlan to be self-sufficient and view everyone else with an air of superiority. But this doesn't mean that the Mulan openly persecuted non-Mulans. Rashemi and certain demihumans can find independence, even wealth. There's a strong and oppressive system of serfdom in place and it's basically legal for a Mulan to execute a Rashemi working under them; but it's still half a step above common slavery.

Foreigners definitely wouldn't want to put down roots at Hazlan, since they would always be seen as inferior; But foreigners with skills or wealth are given good service and are welcomed in the country as long as they somehow benefit the Mulan.

Lastly, here's Outcast Ratings in Hazlan section from the Gazetteer:
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The Mulan are highly ethnocentric. Non-Mulan humans, including the Rashemani, increase their Outcast Rating by +1 when dealing with the Mulan. Half-elves and half-Vistani without a Mulan parent also increase OR by +1 when dealing with the Mulan. The OR of other races remains the same.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2018, 08:08:21 AM by tzaeru »
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Re: Misconceptions of Hazlan's brutality
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2018, 08:17:23 AM »
Great post. Very complete.

I'd say that the only time you will see a "Catch him and purify his body with lashes!" situation is if you're a cleric of another god, or you're an arcane caster who is not a Red Wizard.

And that comes mostly from the Lawgiver Church. The rest just kind of play along out of fear of being branded as heretics by the church and suffering the same fate.
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tzaeru

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Re: Misconceptions of Hazlan's brutality
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2018, 08:45:48 AM »
I'd say that the only time you will see a "Catch him and purify his body with lashes!" situation is if you're a cleric of another god, or you're an arcane caster who is not a Red Wizard.

And that comes mostly from the Lawgiver Church. The rest just kind of play along out of fear of being branded as heretics by the church and suffering the same fate.
Yeah, this is especially so for Hala's followers:
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Followers of Hala in Hazlan are even more secretive than in any other realm, save perhaps those in Tepest. The Mulan seek to stamp out the religion wherever they can find it, fearing the hope it offers and the feelings of community and equality it generates. The Rashemani protect the locations of the Halans as much as they can, however, and the religion has continued to thrive in secret.

Of Ezra:
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Clerics of the Iron Faith, perhaps rightfully, view the church of Ezra as their primary rival for spiritual control of the Core. Thus, the Church of the Lawgiver is bitterly unforgiving toward the Church of Ezra's efforts to spread its message into the Vaasi Plateau. Ezra's anchorites face withering oppression, and their presence in Hazlan is accordingly limited to one or two wardens, or traveling anchorites.

Though the other of the wardens travelling Hazlan seems to do so relatively openly:

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<name> travels a regular circuit through Hazlan's settlements, healing the sick and aiding the downrodden. She bears the taunts and barbs of the Lawgiver's clerics with grace, retaining her composure in the face of danger.

Surmising from this, I would suppose that it's possible for a non-Lawgiver priest to exist on some level for at least some years; However, they would be viewed with hostility and they would risk inquisition or other fanatical person seeking confontration with them at some point.

Hala's followers would not be tolerated at all, since the religion is such a strong threat to the Mulan order. I would guess that Morninglord would have a similar problem.

Great post. Very complete.
Thanks a lot! :)
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Re: Misconceptions of Hazlan's brutality
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2018, 09:23:28 AM »
So what is life like for a slave in Hazlan?
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Re: Misconceptions of Hazlan's brutality
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2018, 09:39:12 AM »
Also remember stuff exclusive to the server , the Lawgiver Church has declared war on the Ezrite & Hala Church, so any caught preaching (or even bearing the colours of the Ezrite Church) and such are going to face issues:

Wearing garments of Ezra/Hala:

http://www.nwnravenloft.com/forum/index.php?topic=28046.msg343421#msg343421

Preaching Ezra/Hala:
http://www.nwnravenloft.com/forum/index.php?topic=28046.msg592802#msg592802

War on the Ezrite/Halan Faith:
http://www.nwnravenloft.com/forum/index.php?topic=45084.msg565774#msg565774

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Re: Misconceptions of Hazlan's brutality
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2018, 10:09:48 AM »
I have to ask though, is it 'truly' a misconception if that is the IC response?  After all, the lore doesn't support it, but perhaps IC actions 'do' support the point of view that is held in game.  I'm not contending the lore, but there are things and statuses in game that have deviated from the lore due to IC actions in the past and constant, and word of mouth that has resulted.  Is this a case of lore deviation by IC actions?

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Re: Misconceptions of Hazlan's brutality
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2018, 10:36:28 AM »
Yeah, a good deal of rumor mills tend to churn out false information, and I like how a lot of characters spred misconstrued IC information. However, if people are spreadinly wrongly learned OOC lore IC, well, then things to get muddled too much.

tzaeru

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Re: Misconceptions of Hazlan's brutality
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2018, 10:39:24 AM »
Also remember stuff exclusive to the server , the Lawgiver Church has declared war on the Ezrite & Hala Church, so any caught preaching (or even bearing the colours of the Ezrite Church) and such are going to face issues:

Wearing garments of Ezra/Hala:

http://www.nwnravenloft.com/forum/index.php?topic=28046.msg343421#msg343421

Preaching Ezra/Hala:
http://www.nwnravenloft.com/forum/index.php?topic=28046.msg592802#msg592802

War on the Ezrite/Halan Faith:
http://www.nwnravenloft.com/forum/index.php?topic=45084.msg565774#msg565774

^ Very good point.

I have to ask though, is it 'truly' a misconception if that is the IC response?  After all, the lore doesn't support it, but perhaps IC actions 'do' support the point of view that is held in game.  I'm not contending the lore, but there are things and statuses in game that have deviated from the lore due to IC actions in the past and constant, and word of mouth that has resulted.  Is this a case of lore deviation by IC actions?
Well, the trouble is that different people may have a different idea how the NPCs etc should react. i.e. we can have an elf in Hazlan, the NPCs wont react with hostility, and the player might not be aware if they should or should not. And if our lore has differentiated without explicitly making note of this, it can lead to no one really knowing how the NPCs should react.

There's also the problem of native characters and how they react to each other. I, for example, have a Hazlan native gnome who wasn't a slave and I assume he was fairly well treated. Not like, respected, but not persecuted either. Perhaps his work as an apprentice locksmith and mechanist might even been appreciated. As long as he kept his dealings with humans in business only and kept his past time with other gnomes, no problem.

Yet he keeps meeting characters who say that non-humans are enslaved in Hazlan and stuff like that. This is fine when it's IC only, but I see similar being said by players OOC, too. It gets problematic when we have to consider how NPCs might react in lack of DM and when we have natives meet other natives who should have roughly the same understanding of the state of matters.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2018, 10:41:59 AM by tzaeru »
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Re: Misconceptions of Hazlan's brutality
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2018, 01:55:03 PM »
Isn't there a gnome who is a third party mining contractor at one of the sites there?

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Re: Misconceptions of Hazlan's brutality
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2018, 10:20:12 PM »
So, to clarify. If I bring my Elf to Hazlan, I WONT be enslaved?
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tzaeru

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Re: Misconceptions of Hazlan's brutality
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2018, 02:10:13 AM »
So, to clarify. If I bring my Elf to Hazlan, I WONT be enslaved?
It might depend a bit on who you meet. The church of the Lawgiver views elves especially negatively. There would probably be no legal consequences from killing or enslaving a foreign elf. The Red Wizards also like to kidnap folk for their experimentations.

But I personally don't think that an elf would, upon sight, have everyone rush out with shackles and pitchforks. The canon doesn't assign an OCR increase on elves in Hazlan, so I suppose that if the elf was rich, gracious and polite, they could do business in Hazlan towns. But only a DM can really confirm this.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2018, 02:11:57 AM by tzaeru »
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Re: Misconceptions of Hazlan's brutality
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2018, 06:13:52 AM »
So, to clarify. If I bring my Elf to Hazlan, I WONT be enslaved?
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Re: Misconceptions of Hazlan's brutality
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2018, 07:32:21 AM »
I act my inherent mistrust of Hazlan only due to in game considerations.

THIS http://www.nwnravenloft.com/forum/index.php?topic=28046.msg593857#msg593857 takes precedence over info in the Gazetteer.

It is a promulgated law issued in-game. Non-Hazlani are therefore 100% justified in thinking non-humans will be enslaved if daring to set foot in Hazlan. It needs not be the truth, but the perception is entirely warranted due to in-game actions from some Hazlan rulers, and it should not be dispelled in OOC manner.
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tzaeru

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Re: Misconceptions of Hazlan's brutality
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2018, 07:42:55 AM »
I act my inherent mistrust of Hazlan only due to in game considerations.

THIS http://www.nwnravenloft.com/forum/index.php?topic=28046.msg593857#msg593857 takes precedence over info in the Gazetteer.

It is a promulgated law issued in-game. Non-Hazlani are therefore 100% justified in thinking non-humans will be enslaved if daring to set foot in Hazlan. It needs not be the truth, but the perception is entirely warranted due to in-game actions from some Hazlan rulers, and it should not be dispelled in OOC manner.
Huh. I didn't know we actually had an IC decree about nonhumans being enslaved. Only now noticed that part in the decrees.

Well. This is confusing and makes matters a bit complicated with my native nonhuman Hazlanite. :mrgreen:
« Last Edit: March 16, 2018, 07:47:07 AM by tzaeru »
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Re: Misconceptions of Hazlan's brutality
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2018, 07:52:40 AM »
I act my inherent mistrust of Hazlan only due to in game considerations.

THIS http://www.nwnravenloft.com/forum/index.php?topic=28046.msg593857#msg593857 takes precedence over info in the Gazetteer.

It is a promulgated law issued in-game. Non-Hazlani are therefore 100% justified in thinking non-humans will be enslaved if daring to set foot in Hazlan. It needs not be the truth, but the perception is entirely warranted due to in-game actions from some Hazlan rulers, and it should not be dispelled in OOC manner.

I'm not saying you're wrong, because of course IC developments trump gazeteer lore... But why did you choose that proclamation?

It's basically an overworded "WANTED!" poster. No different from the ones issued by the Vallaki Garda on a weekly basis.

All I can read from it is that Hazlan is a land where criminals are chased, pretty much like in every other civilized domain.
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Re: Misconceptions of Hazlan's brutality
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2018, 08:07:50 AM »
First post of that thread has this big shining bright proclamation. 

Quote
Nonhumans are to be immediately enslaved upon entering the lands of Hazlan, as per the decrees of our Lord Hazlik, and the thralls of foreign visitors to Hazlan are required to have collars marking them as such. Moreover, they must be properly restrained using shackles, rope, et cetera. Any who attempt to give a slave manumission without my express permission or aid and abet those who participate in such, shall have a bounty placed upon their head no less than 2,000 soulorbs for each slave unlawfully freed. Bring these criminals to the barracks near the estate of House Kyrillian dead or alive, but preferred alive, so that they might be put into slavery themselves for their reckless disregard for the laws of the land.

There's not really a lot of wiggle room there.  Non humans are to be enslaved immediately.

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Re: Misconceptions of Hazlan's brutality
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2018, 08:37:23 AM »
Ahh gotcha. Yeah, I read the last one because that's where the link led.
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Re: Misconceptions of Hazlan's brutality
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2018, 08:54:57 AM »
My bad, but yeah I am referring to the first post of that thread. Fact is this edict was never rescinded and must be considered as ig law in effect. The choice is yours to respect it or not, and the proclamation needs not reflect the truth of the matter. Non-humans like gnomes  may very well be tolerated despite the law. My point remains merely that non-hazlani are justified to think of Hazlan as a place where one can quickly get enslaved and that efforts to dispel the notion needs to be done ICly not on the forum OOCly.
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Re: Misconceptions of Hazlan's brutality
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2018, 09:00:58 AM »
My bad, but yeah I am referring to the first post of that thread. Fact is this edict was never rescinded and must be considered as ig law in effect. The choice is yours to respect it or not, and the proclamation needs not reflect the truth of the matter. Non-humans like gnomes  may very well be tolerated despite the law. My point remains merely that non-hazlani are justified to think of Hazlan as a place where one can quickly get enslaved and that efforts to dispel the notion needs to be done ICly not on the forum OOCly.

Yeah I wholeheartedly agree. I was just confused because I read the wrong post.
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Silas Rotleaf

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Re: Misconceptions of Hazlan's brutality
« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2018, 11:24:22 AM »
Lemme think. There are some dwarven and elven slave NPCs kicking around but don't some Mulan families also hire gnome scholars as in-home mystic tutors for their red apprentices?

I've also read that skilled artisan/craftsman laborers will get treated a bit/marginally better than the unskilled ones.

It's a slave holding society yes, but so were a lot of IRL ancient cultures and also the Southern Confederacy before the American Civil War... I'm gonna look at those historical examples and try to filter it through that kind of lens rather than sticking 20th/21st century moral value baggage to it.
Are some of the overseer/taskmasters exceptionally cruel? Of course!

And there's layers to this Hazlani underclass, right?
You've got the true slaves at the bottom and then you've got indentured servants who do tenant share cropping as part of (usually) a downward spiral into becoming reduced to slaves but those aren't quite the same thing because last time I checked farmers renting land space and living on it do eke out a miserable pittance of a living based on that.

Yeah there's a pretty hardass inquisition trying to root out alien faiths and worst of all those pesky more subversive ones but a lot of real world empires historically have had periods like that.
So for a person playing a Hazlani you're going to be worried that like somebody could lie and say you were a foreign sympathizer against the two-pronged "benevolent" dictatorship of the Lawgiver Church and Hazlik, sure.
You're also going to be worried both you're going to agitate people from abroad and other parts of the core based on rumors and incidents involving the red wizards and duh, human and Demi-human rights violations and also that they might agitate you into acting out in such a way that it could be used against you. Or that they might hurt themselves in doing this.

It's an empire. Yes. One with a super dangerous jungle and unforgiving plains which people (mostly Rashemi) work hard to tame sections of into cultivated and arable land.

Ramulai is a spectacle of massive scale city planning combined with arcane geo-engineering.  How brutal are the Mulan? Depends who you butt heads with and rub the wrong way.
Spoiler: show
Say you call every Mulan you meet a dirty slaver then the actual ones who hold slave auctions go: I beg your pardon, I wash daily, thank you... What an imbecilic, ill-bred, long haired foreigner. Yeah, then you are probably gonna have a bad time.


Experiment. See if ticking off a red wizard, the wizard king or the Lawgiver inquisition is a good idea.

On the flip side, are the oppressed Rashemi going to be nicer to you (probably also no not really)?
Spoiler: show
Then again, not all the Rashemi rebels are heroic. There are a lot of crazy guys (and women) who will attack you on sight, jumping out at you guerilla style in the wild because they feel like they've got nothing left to lose. Try reasoning with them from while you are facing down the pointy end of a sword or the sharp part of that great axe.


OMG degrees of nuance and moral complexity wah... What do you mean there are more options than just killing your way out of things!?
« Last Edit: April 14, 2018, 11:33:12 AM by Silas Rotleaf »

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Re: Misconceptions of Hazlan's brutality
« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2018, 11:55:54 AM »
Quote
Say you call every Mulan you meet a dirty slaver then the actual ones who hold slave auctions go: I beg your pardon, I wash daily, thank you... What an imbecilic, ill-bred, long haired foreigner. Yeah, then you are probably gonna have a bad time.


Your character admitted to buying workers if they died.  So, slaves.

Your character is playing as a landowner - by descent, but still - who has a plantation, that's worked by slaves, as per the previous admission.

A landowner farmer in Hazlan is nobility.  And if that land is worked, it is by slaves.  That is how it works, I dont believe there is any exception to this.

Ergo, your character is a slaver.   You don't get to rewrite the world narrative.

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Re: Misconceptions of Hazlan's brutality:
« Reply #21 on: April 14, 2018, 12:54:59 PM »
The specific case of the RP in question which you are referring to: you had Jean asked him leading questions and jumped to your own conclusions without allowing him to properly explain, Nem. Which is kind of a separate individual case interaction than what I am driving at.

I'm trying to reframe it in multiple perspectives to try and look at how hazardous is Hazlan for a Mulan, for a foreigner, and for a Rashemi.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2018, 12:57:24 PM by Silas Rotleaf »

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Re: Misconceptions of Hazlan's brutality
« Reply #22 on: April 14, 2018, 01:10:12 PM »
You are trying to alter the story OOCly.  To be clear, your character cannot by lore and canon be a landowned nobilty plantation that is NOT worked by slaves.  Its not possible.  The questions that were asked were easily answered, the conclusion easy to jump to because anyone with a small amount of IC knowledge of Hazlan would know by common knowledge that your character is quite literally *impossible* not to be someone who doesnt own slaves.

If you didn't want to be called a slaver ic, you shouldn't have played a concept that can only *be* a slaver ic.  And what you shouldnt be doing like I told you you shouldnt be doing is trying to oocly dictate how people perceive and react to your character.  That is god modding.  It is against the rules.  Stop doing it, and that includes random tells to people telling them how wrong my character was to call you such.

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Re: Misconceptions of Hazlan's brutality
« Reply #23 on: April 14, 2018, 01:13:53 PM »
Silas, if you have an issue with another player's conduct, you should bring it to the CC or a DM. Do not call them out on the forums.

No player owes your character the chance to explain IC, and you cannot dictate the manner in which other people perceive your character.

The tone of this debate is not constructive, so I'm going to lock the thread.
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