Monday, May 9, 2011

Gether, The City of the Slavers

Though all the city states in the Desert of Demons traffic in slaves, none do so to the degree that Gether does -- except maybe Phut.  Gether is a society built on the backs of slaves, and a strange society it is.  Unlike the other city states, which more or less all have three classes, Gether only has nobles and slaves.  Nobles in Gether tend to do little physical activity, and many are sorcerers of some ability.   Slaves serve a wide variety of functions, including some who have roles in the military and government; however, most perform grueling physical labor or some deplorable task given by their decadent masters.

The only thing approaching a free class in Gether is the large number of mercenaries who serve in its army.  While most Getherian troops are slaves, many units are made up of elite swords-for-hire who are doggedly loyal to the slaver house they serve.  Gether differs from Almodad in that most of its mercenaries are hired from within the Desert of Demons rather than from foreign cities.  Phutians and Uzites are common, and Jerite archers occasionally appear in the hosts marshaled by a particular slave lord.  These men and women are usually wolfs-heads in their home cities, and they are often noted for the particular cruelty they show towards those from their native lands.

Gether has no king or queen, rather the "government" is made up of several competing houses who will unite if under attack from another state.  Still, there exists much strife between the factions in Gether and assassinations, brawls, and even small battles are fairly common place.  It is for this reason that displaced mercenaries often make their way to the City of the Slavers.

Gether does not look like a typical city.  Rather than being a huddled mass of houses of varying stories with a few instances of monumental architecture, the "City" of the Slavers is a close grouping of fortified compounds ruled over by a slave lord.  These compounds have temples, markets, palaces, and markets; however, they are not heavily populated.  The bulk of the society, that is the slaves, live between the compounds in small, smoke filled huts.  Occasionally mercenary forces from one of the compounds will venture out into this periphery and capture a few of the slaves to sell in foreign cities, or possibly even to kill for sport.

No single god is worshiped in Gether more than any other.  Each house has its own patron deity, some of which are venerated nowhere else.  The temples the slavers build are unusually lavish.  Even impoverished houses will spare no expense when building a temple since the houses often use the opulence to compete with one another.  To build a bare temple is to lose face.


  1. Neat stuff, thanks. My view of the City of Brass is very, very similar to this, at least in the broad strokes.

    I can't quite make out the name of the artist on your illustration. Do you know who it is?

  2. Sadly no. I got it through google image search.

  3. You should write a post on "Gether Adventure Hooks," etc.

  4. The art is by Eduard Ade, apparently a woodcutter from Stuttgart. Wikipedia does not have an article on him, but Wikimedia lists him. His art and that of Johannes Gehrts are apparently very similar or often confused with that of one another, it seems. A piece on Odin by Gehrts was featured in the original Gods, Demigods, and Heroes books; it is either based on a piece by Ade or vice-versa, or most likely both are based on the same statue, as it looks statue-based...