Slave Trading has existed for thousands of years in both the real world and that of Mortal Engines. The slave trade did seem to wear off considerably during the Second Traction Boom, where it was considered dishonorable for cities to have slaves on board.
Not all cities took notice of these 'laws', such as Arkangel which was the 'scourge of the ice' for it's policy of eating towns and then enslaving the population, showing it's heritage as previously being a nomad empire.
In the Black CenturiesEdit
It is said that during the Black Centuries (the time after the dreadful Sixty Minute War, as black clouds of smoke blotted out the sun and general misery was rife) that slave trading was an every day event. 'People would sell their own child for a tin of rice pudding' (as written in The Traction Codex).
After the turmoil and misery of the Black Centuries, and civilizations started to spring up again, laws started to become enforced again and even in towns or countries that used slave trading, certain laws were upheld so you couldn't capture any old person and sell them at an auction.
During the Early Traction EraEdit
Slaves were still commonly used in the Traction Era, moreso by the Nomad Empires, which roamed the North in their collection of motorized houses and castles. The Barbican, while it still moved, was said to be entirely powered by regiments of slaves; the Movement's capitol traction fortress was also powered by slaves, to an extent, as it's engines alone could not move it.
Slaves seemed to be less common or altogether non existant in static settlements, although at least during the rule of the Scriven in London there was a small trade involving slaves.
Late Traction EraEdit
After the Second Traction Boom around 470 TE, when cities began to move, the Wheeled War between the cities involved slave trading and slavery in general. Boarding parties were used between cities and a take as many prisinors policy was adopted by many traction cities.
Later, after the Diet of Ulp in 520 TE, after the Zagwan Crusades (which united many of the traction cities against the Anti-Traction League) Municipal Darwinism was adopted which forbade the used of slavery. All the major cities and aspiring towns took up this law with honor; however, some cities scoffed at the rule and indulged in slave trading - if not using slaves for the city itself from captured towns - and were scorned by respectable tractionists.
Cities Known to Use Slaves/Trade in SlavesEdit
Known Slave Trade CompaniesEdit
- Shkin Corporation