Mobea is a rather unique ringdom in several ways Edit
In general, Mobean women enjoy a degree of freedom and mobility that is not equaled anywhere else on Torei; but at the same time, they retain many of the most quintessentially torean traits. like all Torean ringdoms, Mobea can be a very dangerous place, especially for women! As the saying goes:
Never get into debt, or the evil will own you.Excellent advice!
But in Mobea (as it is everywhere on Torei) it's not always that easy to follow.
Mobea is located close to the edge of the habitable ring on the North side of Torei. It is shaped somethat like a phallus, that is ejaculating a thin line towards the space elevators. Given their unusually close relationship with the Dahom AI, this unusual shape has lead to some lewd jokes and sexual innuendos, such as:
"Mobea is Dahom's Tool"The outline of Mobea follows the Mobean Mountain Range, which forms the border on the east, while rivers flow down from the mountains into fertile farming land to the west. This makes Mobea an extremely rich source of both mineral ores and farming produce. And, as previously mentioned, Mobea has an extremely close relationship with Dahom, sending more supplies to it than any other ringdom. In return, Mobea receives a number of important concessions. Perhaps the most important is the (exclusive?) right to "sell" Torean slaves Off-World. Slaves from all around Torei come to Mobea (sometimes sold by their owners and, far less often, as runaways) to be sold off-world through this legally sanctioned, 'black-market' organization.
Property rights are divided between men and women. In technical legal terms, only Mobean women are permitted to own their children, (although the child of a slave is controlled by the mother's master, so in effect he owns the child too). Conversely, only Mobean men are permitted to own ALL OTHER types of real property: such as a houses, land, a car, or a business. This means that all freewomen are forced to rent the place where they live; and they cannot own a business, even if they're the one who started it and runs it day-to-day. A man must be the legal owner. This produces numerous challenges for the savvy business woman who is trying to build a financial empire... or even just to get a few extra tor ahead of the zero-debt state.
In Mobea, businesses are forbidden to employ more than a (relatively small) number of slaves who are owned by the business, or its officers. This means that even the largest businesses are in constant need of employees who they are forced to pay an actual wage. This law has a stabilizing effect on the structure of Mobean society, ensuring that free women will have access to jobs that are capable of supporting their debts.
Mobea's economy is based primarily on three main (general) products and one service.
1) FARMING PRODUCE: both plant and animal.
2) MINDERALS: mined from the ore rich Mobean mountains.
3) SLAVE TRADE: in exchange for working closely with the AIs (providing them with food supplies and mineral ores), Mobea has a special arrangement to provide slaves for an approved "black-market" slave trade that supplies Torei slaves to Off-World buyers. The slaver's corridor is a very narrow strip of land used to herd slaves on caravan drives (not too dissimilar to cattle drives) where slaves are transported from the Mobean slave market to the slave markets near the space elevator.
GLADIATORS: Gladiators are free women who are highly trained in combat--and display their expertise in the gladiator's ring. Unlike the "Fighter's Cup" in Anthea, the gladiator are not so much a sport as they are a business. There is some betting and the figthts definitely draw a crowd, especially when well known fighters are sparing. But the spectacle of it is subdued compared to the antics that go on in Anthea. The women enjoy their fame, but they see their fights as a job. In the WARRIOR'S RING only the most renowned gladiators are able to command any pay at all. Instead, the warrior's ring is more like a training ground; and those who win receive their true reward by gaining the respect of the businessmen who own the slaving caravans, and are responsible for chosing which gladiators will escort their caravan. This is a dangerous but important duty, because there are plenty of bandits who set up shop along the slaver's corridor, waiting to waylay under-protected caravans as the travel from the Mobean slave auctions to the auctions around the space elevator. The best known Gladiators are never out of work (unless they want to be) and they command surprisingly high salaries that allow these women to live at an exceptionally high standard, relative to most Torean woman. And the best way to become a well known gladiator is to fight often... and more importantly, to win.
Other Important Jobs for Women Edit
1) TUTORS: who watch the children of freewomen while they work, and
2) TEACHERS: who teach the children of talented freewomen, so they can get better jobs
Perhaps the most distinctive aspect of Mobean culture, is the unusual prevalence of free women. As many as 1 in 5 Mobean women have a status of freeclit or higher. One of the main reasons this is possible is because of the unique social status of the Mobean GLADIATOR. Few other women on Torei are able to reach such a high status, and fewer are able to rise up out of slavery, based solely on their skill. Most gladiators (of any renown) are freewombs--further reducing their expenses and their down time due to pregnancies. And thus, gladiators are the most common sources of female child who also become free-women.
For the average women working in the fields or the mines or the merchant's shop, etc., staying ahead of her debt is often a day-to-day chore. More often than not, she is teetering on the edge of disaster--and is forced to make tough decisions. Whether to sell her child? Whether to take a second Job? Whether to try and find a smaller apartment?
These women who work the larger collectives (usually in the fields or in the mines) have special needs because, as freeclits, they are constantly becoming pregnant. As the saying goes:
If you want to become pregnant, become a freeclit.Few freeclits can afford to keep more than one child for long, so they are constantly being force to chose between selling their own children or being forced into slavery--where their children might be sold without their consent anyway. Many of these children are sold to ORPHAN'S ASYLUMS, who raise them until they're of legal age and then sell them for a profit. These children often fill out much of the slavers caravans headed for the space elevator.
Children who are still under their working mothers care, need tending to while their mothers are in the fields or in the mines.
Some free women (usually freeclits) will make their living by finding a safe place near a working area and setting up a nursery. Other women who come to the field will pay the woman a small sum to watch their child while she's watching her own. As the name implies, the better tutors have some skill for teaching, and they will tutor those children who are receptive in the skills that they know or have access to manuals.
Are more highly educated (and thus more highly paid) freewomen (usually feewombs). When they have room for another apprentice, they go around to the nearby nurseries and recruit promising students to mentor in their specialty. The teacher pays a school rent for the food, rooms and materials that are used by her and her students. In return, the student incurs a debt to teacher, which they must pay of with the (hopefully better) jobs that they are able to get because of their superior education. If the student can't repay this debt, they may become the teacher's slave and can be hired out by her to pay off the debt. Often, unscrupulous teachers are able to maneuver their students into a life of permanent servitude, working their whole lives for her and never getting out of debt--because she keeps charging them more for room and board, while never hiring them out for enough to get ahead.
The Silver Pedestal Edit
Not all Mobeal children have a difficult childhood, even if they're girls. Some fathers prefer to shelter their daughters from the harsh realities of Torean (and even Mobean) life. They are treated like the Princess Thrall, with love, honor and respect. They still suffer certain indignities that are impossible to get away from on Torei, but they live a life that is closer to what most of us would call normal than just about anyone else. When they come of age, the father may employ them with a generous salary or entrust them to a friend who wishes to make them his life-companion.
Unfortunately, such a shelter life leave the girl completely unprepared should a disasters happen, where the parents die prematurely, leaving her legally unprotected and emotionally unprepared for the demands of being a freeclit in Mobea.
Practices of the Mobean Ministries Edit
Curfew and the Nightwatchers Edit
Like other Torean ringdoms, Mobea has a curfew, after which women are not permitted to be out at night, without an escort or a pass from their owner (or employer in certain cases). NIGHTWATCHER: After curfew, the streets of Mobean cities are patrolled by a lesser class of truancy officer assigned to this duty. Often these officers are females who work in teams, with a male supervisor (called a NIGHTWATCHMAN) who drives the truancy paddy wagon and records the female officer's activities in a log book.
A wise womb avoids the ministry's hospitality
The ministry of improvements can provide a wide range of modifications and healing. In particular, the salamander creates an electrical current in it's body when it is injured and this allows it to heal virtually any non-lethal injury. The MoI uses a similar strategy to turn on a human's natural healing properties by using the regeneration cast. The technique involves wrapping the body part (or missing part) with a flexible "cast" that contains electrodes that constantly passes a low current. This is not painful, but can lead to an unpleasant itching or tingling sensation that some find maddening. Once the body part is wrapped, the person can be sent home to recuperate.
The availability of this service has lead some Mobean slave owners to use temporary amputation as a reversible means of punishing their slaves. More frequently, they can use the threat of such a punishment to keep an unruly slave in line. A few wealthy slave owners, have a fascination with this sort of thing, and have taken to keeping kennels of 'pets' with various parts of their arms and legs missing. While not legally condoned, this activity is tolerated, and on rare occasions you may even see such women being walked for exercise, etc. In addition, a less acceptable black-market has also developed for harvesting body parts for (gourmet) dining--and regenerating the part again, for the next meal. Officials are trying to discourage this practice but, despite their best efforts, it is still believed to be practiced by as many as .2% of the Mobean population.
There are a few legal perspectives (about children) that are somewhat unique to Mobea.
First, All Mobean children are considered to be the property of their mothers. Although mothers who are slaves, are controlled by their owners, and so their owners also control their children.
Second, All Mobean Children are legally said to be born free. It is literally illegal to pay any Mobean child a substantial wage (and this law is strictly enforced). It is not illegal for the child to work, but no one, (not the mother, the child, or the owner) may be compensated above a pittance for that work. This ensures that raising a child is a significant burden to the child's mother (or owner), and few freeclits can afford to support more than one child at a time. Thus, they are forced to sell their surplus children--or face the necessity of becoming slaves themselves.
Third, when a child comes of age, they must make legal arrangements to pay of any debts that they have accrued during their childhood. The children of freewomen do not accrue any debts related to the expenses of their mothers. But they may accrue debts based on the education they've received. By contrast, the children of slaves accrue debt equivalent to what it cost their mother's owner to raise them, which usually means that if they can't find a job that pays them exceptionally well, they will almost certainly become slaves themselves. To get one of those better paying jobs, they must take on the debt of a teacher as well, increasing the total debt they owe. Thus, for most girls who are born to slaves, getting out of slavery is a very difficult thing to do--unless they demonstrate significant talent in the gladiator ring. The gladiator ring has the unique (almost mystical) ability to elevate even the slave born.
Children's Games Edit
Gladiator: is a game fighting or wrestling game that mimics the role of a woman gladiator in the ring--which means that it is usually not a game played by boys. Although the fights are often more staged than real, they can become increasingly violet and realistic as the girls become older and begin to fantasize about become real, professional gladiators. Eventually, the game is replace by real matches--sort of like little leagues in baseball.
Master and slave: This is a game where a slave is gradually asked to do more and more difficult and demeaning things, until they finally fail to comply. Then the slave is punish by being bound and tortured. Usually by tickling or some other fairly innocuous sort of teasing.
Ministry of Improvements: This game is very similar to playing DOCTOR, but it can often involve somewhat more dominance oriented elements, like being strapped into the sturrups, or simulating a shot by pinching the skin, or scraping it with a sharp rock.
Ministry of Truants: This game has several variations, all of which mimic the child's perceived role of a Truancy officer. Some versions involve leading the 'slave' around by a leash, others involve things like locking them in a closet and occasionally passing small bits of food in to them.
Truant Officer and Runaway: This game is similar to hide and seek, but the seeker is a truancy officer, and when he finds the runaway, he ties her in strict bondage and tortures her. Although similar, it is usually a much darker and violent game than master and slave.
Native Mobean women are generally better off than the women in most other Torean ringdoms. Not only do they have a greater chance for upward mobility but the societal attitudes towards slaves are a little more relaxed than they are in many other ringdoms. Relatively few women, for example, are forced to get stimhibitors. Much more common would be a overstimulator that allows orgasm, but which is totally controlled by the slave's master.
Social Categories Edit
PERMANANT SLAVEs: are women who are owned. They receive payment for their services, but the cost of their upkeep exceeds the payments for their services. This means they cannot pay their debts. As such, they loose the right to move freely between jobs or make choices for themselves. They are almost completely at the mercy of their owners. It doesn't happen very often, but it is possible for a man to legally maneuver a slave from another man's control. This requires the new man to offer the woman a new contract that is high enough to allow the woman to pay her debt to her old master. Once she does that, she can transfer her ownership to the new man. This is only done when the present owner doesn't wish to give up his slave, and the prospective owner is willing to significantly overpay--because any clever owner will find ways to artificially inflate the true value of his slave's debt.
INDENTURED SLAVES: Some slaves are unable to pay their debts fast enough to satisfy the legal requirements, but they still earn more than they spend. Thus, they are able to sign short-term slavery contracts, which are intended to expire after a given period of time. Because of the many ways for owners to artificially inflate their debt figures, however, many women who become indentrued slaves end up eventually becoming permanent slaves.
FREECLITS: are free women who have not performed the pregnancy inhibiting procedure that gives them control over their womb). As the name implies, they are free to have sex (or do work) with whomever they please, but as the saying goes:
If you want to get pregnant, become a freeclit.These women must find adequate employment to pay any debts they may incur, or face the prospect of loosing their freedom.
FREEWOMBS: are former freeclits who've managed to scrap together enough money to pay for a pregnancy inhibiting procedure, which allows them to control if and when they will become pregnant) Given the difficulties of remaining a free woman in Mobea, this gives these women a major financial advantages and is usually a huge step up on the social ladder.
GLADIATORS: Not all gladiators have equal renown (and thus equal earning power) but all gladiators are respected and are considered to hold their own unique social status.
The law that limits the number of slaves that can be employed by a business, gives even men who are relatively poor (but have a steady income stream) the opportunity to increase their social status by purchasing a slave on credit and then farming her out to other employers, and collecting her pay. The risk, of course, is that if he can't pay the debts he's accrued by purchasing her, he may find himself a slave one day. Also, since women receive relatively little pay, the man must employ several slaves in this manner before he can live in a comfortable manner on his slaves salaries alone.
But this law (that limits slave employees) has the effect of encouraging the unusually mobility that is so characteristic of Mobean society, by allowing more men to prosper--and by ensuring that free women have access to jobs that will support their free status.
Mobean Words and Phrases Edit
Mobean Words Edit
BoMods: Body modifications (from the Ministry of Improvements) given to a slave by her owner and usually not voluntarily.
EMOBS: Elective Modificant of the Body. Again, modifications from the MoI, but purchased by a freewoman, or voluntarily accepted by a slave.
FINISHED: A euphemism for being permanently reduced to an unpleasant situation worse than death, such as becoming slave-furniture or being fitted with a stimhibitor, etc.
MHC: (Em·ayh·chee) Massive Hover Craft. Kind of like a truck.
MEAT: A derogatory term used for a full slave. As in “Shut up, fuck meat!” or “Kneel before me, meat.”
NURSERY: A safe, secluded area near a work place, set as for the children of slaves and employees. Usually, a nursery is established by a freeclit, who receives compensation for keeping a casual eye on the other women's children.
PCD: (Pee·cih·dee) Personal Communication Device. Like a phone.
PHC: (Pee·ayh·chee) Personal Hover Craft. Kind of like a car.
SAGACITY: A term of respect, commonly used to address highly placed government officials.
SLAVECHILD: a child who reaches adulthood with a debt that needs to be paid, particularly if that debt is incurred by being sold by her mother, or from being the child of a slave, who was raised by her mother's owner--and has thus incurred debts such as the cost of food and boarding.
SLAVEMOTHER: A slave with a child, who she is raising.
SLAVER'S CORRIDOR: The narrow strip of land that forms an alley way from Mobea to the Space Elevator. It's the part of mobea that looks (vaguely) like a spurt of cum being ejaculated from the larger, phallic-shaped body of Mobea proper.
SOLEMNIZED: Legally witnessed or verified. Sort of like being “notarized.” … as in, “...the transfer has been solemnized.”
SWEET TORTURE: Those punishments (like a stimhibitor) designed to punish by overloading the sensations (often with pleasure; and often while denying or inhibiting release). Another example might be a fucking machine that simultaneously tickles or whips the victim.
TICKETED: Sentenced for a crime which causes the criminal (usually a woman) to incur a legal debt, which she must pay or face being sold into indentureship, as a temporary slave. Like poverty, slavery (even temporary slavery) can be a difficult condition to climb back out of, even in Mobea.
TORECENTRIC ORBIT: An orbit which has Torei as the center of its gravitational well.
TranQuil: A paralyzing weapon, frequently used by Truancy Officers and local Nightwatchers. It's a bit like a taser (or a tranq-gun) but it shoots a beam that looks like a laser, and is effective at a fairly long range.
WOMB: A somewhat condescending but not exactly derogatory term for a freewomb. (Mobean: also used of any impregnable woman.)
Mobean Phrases and sayings Edit
BEFORE the GLADIATOR'S BLADE FALLS: Like saying, "Before the shit hits the fan."
BIRD IN a CAGE: A slave or other person who is trapped by their circumstances.
CAST my FACE ONTO the NET: to put out a 'be on the lookout' warning for all local truancy officers. It's like saying, “...put out an APB.” (ie an All Points Bulletin).
CLEAR AS AN ALEM CRYSTAL: One of Alem's exports is a clear crystal that is so transparent that it can be hard to see, if you aren't looking for it. It is an important component in certain biotech created by the Ministry of Improvements. And because of the crystal's transparent nature, it has given rise to the phrase, "Clear as an Alem crystal."
DAUGHTER of MOBEA: Like saying, “A citizen of America,” only with the recognition that the citizen is a female. Common usage is to say something like, “I'm a good daughter of Mobea.” A less common alternative is, “I'm a good daughter of Torei.” These sayings originated in Mobea, but have spread (in a limited fashion) to other areas. So it is not entirely uncommon for someone to replace the name of Mobea with their own ringdom.
DOCKMASTER: "Bless the Dockmaster" is similar to saying, “...bless my soul." "by the dockmaster's foreskin" is anohter common variation, which might be analogous to "by the skin of my teeth."
DAHOM: "By Dahom" is similar to saying, “...by God.” Variations include, "for Dahom's sake"
TRINITY: "By the Trinity" is similar to saying, “...by God.” Variations include, "for the Tinity's sake."
FEEDING A TRANSFER PENDANT: making a legally binding transaction by using a pendant to transfer funds during a purchase. Variations include: "my transfer pendant will feast on yours." Although this reference is generally used when the transaction is a little more involuntary or hostile in nature.
ILL BE LIKE an EMISSARY: this is analogous to saying, “I'll be good.” Usually, it is said by a child to her parents. And often, it is followed by the theatrical threat of being sent to the Daemons for real if the child doesn't obey. Variations include, "I'll be as quiet as an emissary." IN the BELLY of the UNTHINKABLE: like saying, “faced with the unthinkable” or “faced with the worst”.
(Legal) WINDS BLOW (constantly) IN THEIR FACE: Like saying, “The deck is stacked against them.”
NO ONE LIKES a SHOW OFF: Often repeated adage, used (for instance) when a child gets beaten up by the other children at a nursery or a school.
NOT EVEN DAHOM CAN GUESS: Is a bit like saying, "Who knows?"
PLUCKED to the BONE: destroyed; brought low.
PRINCESS THRALL: “Treated like the Princess ThrallBold text”... Usually said of a slave. Implies that the slaves owner treats hiS slave with love, honor and respect, but does not necessarily imply that they are not punished or tortured. Typically, such slaves are pampered by Torean standards. “Who do you think you are, the Princess ThrallBold text”...this is like saying, "do you think you're special."
SILVER PEDESTAL: Used in a manner similar to “silver spoon” to indicate a position or condition of high living and being pampered or spoiled. Usually it is said of a slave who has come to expect more than her position entitles her to. For instance, one might say, “...What? Do you expect a silver pedestal?” or "Do you think you were born on a silver pedestal"
SPLASHING OUT: splurging, or spending one's money extravagantly; especially during a night of lewd revelry with lots of women for entertainment.
STRAW of FATE: a coincidence, particularly a life changing event. Variations include, "fate's straw" and "straw on the winds of fate".
THE WAY UP: “Took the way up” means "took the space elevator", or in other words, left the planet. “I need to find a way up" means "I need a lucky break." Notice the correlation between leaving Torei and being lucky--some epistemologist suggest that this is not simply coincidence. “my ticket to the way up” means, "My lucky break." Or, more literally, "my ticket off this planet"). Again, notice the correlation between luck and leaving Torei. Because of this connection, these terms tend to be unique to Mobea, where the off-world slave trade is a triving 'black-market' enterprise. And women have considerably more freedom than in most other ringdoms.