In addition to domestic slaves, the civilizations of Essos also use mass slave labor to build and maintain their vast cities. These faceless masses are the underclass of Essos, who number in the hundreds of thousands. This reliance on slaves is a mixed blessing, however – on the one hand, it provides a source of cheap labor that can be used to up hold grand and glorious societies. On the other, it means those societies will always stand on the shakiest of foundations, the loyalty of thousands who have no reason to be loyal.
These thousands of slave laborers are represented by a new building chain, the Slave Camp. Slave Camps can’t be built normally – they are acquired much like domestic slaves, through Slave Raids and being bought and sold by slave traders – and come in five levels – Tiny, Small, Average, Large, and Huge – each of which provides tax income and a large supply of light infantry. The downside of this cheap source of manpower, of course, is that untrained slaves aren’t exactly known for their courage and loyalty in battle – in addition to providing you with more manpower, slave camps will also ensure that your light infantry will break at the first sign of trouble.
Besides the benefits a slave camp provides directly to its controller, it provides another advantage for the province in which it resides. The largest slave camp in a province gives that province a Slave Labor bonus – a reduction in construction time and costs that increases with each camp level Backed by this power, it’s possible to undertake vast construction projects in a slave city that would be unthinkable elsewhere.
Once again, however, this power comes at a price. The more slaves a province has, the more likely they are to disobey their masters – in addition to the construction bonuses, the Slave Labor bonus also increases revolt risk. There are ways to keep these risks under control, but the possibility of a slave revolt will remain a looming shadow over any slave economy.
Next time, in the third and final dev diary in this sequence, we’ll look at exactly what happens when that possibility becomes a reality.
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