|Location||Equatorial Region, supports Orbital Elevator|
Denre is an example of a ringdom that features its own connection to the orbital elevator, and welcomes much of the outworld influence compared to the other nations. This causes Denre as a whole to have a stronger economy than many other ringdoms. This wealth gives the ringdom the ability to eschew much of the culture and influence of the AIs.
The economic upturn has linked government and business to the point where the government is a plutocracy, with political power going hand-in-hand with wealth. While most of these systems are relatively corrupt and self-serving, Denre's more unique views on gender roles and wealth makes them less popular across the rest of Torei, creating a certain 'us against them' mentality. In addition, the fact that all government roles are available to any gender means that upward mobility for women is unparalleled across any Ringdom. Freewombs can even take up government office if their credentials and capabilities are up to the task, though naturally, they will always have to be wary of those who might attempt to claim them to remove them from their role.
With the influx of off-worlders, Denre hit some very hard times as off-worlders took advantage, but by the same token, businesses began to gain more knowledge of interstellar trade and practices. You would be hard-pressed to take advantage of most Denreian merchants or businessmen. In addition, offworld disease and conditions were spread rapidly, and Denreian medical technology expanded in a boom.
One of the practices that grew out of this combination of population boom, off-world influence, and medical expansion was an unusual focus on eugenics. Genetic ideals are always strived for, and it's a common practice that females and males will both have their genomes analyzed for positive traits. This trait is not strictly limited to Torean bloodlines, and it is relatively common for off-worlders to be married by natives because of something in their genetic traits.
With this focus on ideal births and traits, it is little surprise that Denre's medical establishment is the both leading authority on genetics and hormonal treatment, and yet the least on biotechnological enhancements, generally only applying things like subdermal slave tracking tags, birth control implants, and similar practices.
Women in Denre are borne into the same sort of Freewomb status that's found elsewhere on Torei, but the difference is that while they are born into such a position, it is entirely possible to rise above it. In Denre, women of sufficient influence can buy a Title. Titled Ladies bear status equal to any male in the eyes of the law, and a free man laying a hand on them is equally as subject to punishment as if he were to offend a free-born male. These laws are also bear few exceptions for foreign travelers in the Ringdom, as well. Off-worlders, of course, generally do well here, as the culture shock is lessened, and they are less likely to take unwary liberties with a passing woman.
Local men tend to be deferential to Titled Ladies, as having the status is itself a symbol of power and a proof of some spirit. There are the rare handful of ladies who receive titles through their families, but given the cutthroat nature of the business around Denre, it is mostly seen as a rite of passage for women to earn their own Titles if they desire them to prove their drive and ambition. Prominent families will often feature owned slaves, Freewombs, and Titled Ladies all in the same generation, and this is not treated as a negative view on the family name.
Being born male in Denre grants one the same priviledge and station found elsewhere on Torei, but the changed culture means that males tend to be more careful about the exercise of such power, lest they try to take liberties with a Titled Lady and pay for it. The usual regulations regarding familial ownership and debts are fully in effect, though using a slave for family procreation is seen as a lesser measure to those who bear the positive geneseed to attract a freewomb or Titled Lady by their own choice.
There is also a most unusual side culture for males. Shortly after Denre was formally established as a Ringdom, the Ring Chairman was revealed to have a penchant for having his Titled Lady wife dominate him and force him to take the appearance of a woman. One of his rivals was the source of the reveal in an attempt to undermine his influence, but the Chairman instead chose to embrace his role entirely. He received genetic and hormonal adjustments that reduced his build to a more slender one, softened his facial features, and became the first 'Femboi' of Torei, using his influence to create a freewomb-like status for himself, while continuing to hold his office with the support of his wife and business contacts.
The shockwaves of this event resounded through Denre, and the Ringdom was a laughingstock for a while... until more and more figures throughout the government also revealed similar compunctions and changes, which lead to an official formalization of the procedure for the general population. The effects are limited to a physical trait change, and were specifically designed not to alter genomes or reproductive organs. Feminized males under this status are often referred to as 'Freeseeds'. Their rights and priviledges are identical to freewombs legally, including the ability to attain a Title, though desiring the treatment and wishing to ascend thusly is a rare combination, and the number of 'Titled Fembois' is a small one.
The process can also be given nonvoluntarily to males who are indebted to an owner for a period not under a year and may also be elected for children at a younger age, whose process is far less invasive due to the developing nature of their bodies.
Sexuality and Reproduction Edit
As a result of the focus on eugenics, sexual activity has become separated from reproduction, and most Denreians bear implants that prevent fertility on both genders. Actual reproductive activity is usually done through artificial insemination to prevent any chance of complications, though natural methods still do take place by having those implants temporarily disabled. Reproduction is almost exclusively done on basis of genetic advantage.
Sexual relations have lost their stigma as a result, and casual liasons are both encouraged and accepted throughout Torei, regardless of gender. This makes Denre one of the only places on Torei that has little to no stigma on male pairings. The only major divergence is that sexual activity is rarely openly allowed to interfere with the ever-flowing lines of harsh business in Denre, and while nepotism and sexual favors for priviledge do occur, they are generally offered from the lower-ranked individual's position.
Due to the specific nature of the process, fembois are often left fertile as a result, and it is not unheard of for a Titled Lady to purchase a slave or Freeseed whose genetic makeup is ideal for her. Freeseeds who work under these contracts are referred to as 'Consorts', though the same term applies to those who are purchased for pleasure instead of reproduction.
Slavery is practiced in Denre, and mostly propagates through three methods. The first is familial. Ownership of a slave does carry a legal right to the slave's offspring as well, though often slaves will attempt to bargain or earn the freedom of their offspring from their owner.
The second is debt slavery. Any individual who defaults on a debt has 1-3 months [court-determined] to pay it off before it can be taken to the courts and a write of indenture obtained in order to claim ownership on the debtor until such time as the debt is paid off. However, it is a fairly common practice for owners to utilize their position to expand the debts and hold their debtors indefinitely until the courts can rule for permanent ownership. This practice is mildly frowned upon, but often used in any case, with a viewpoint of 'serves them right' pointed towards the debtor-turned-slave.
The final is legal action, and is often related to the second. Inability to pay fines makes one a ward of the state and the individual will be auctioned off to generate funds. In addition, there are often purchase prices set accordingly with a prisoner's sentence and time served within the penal system for crimes, and purchase of these contracts places the criminal within the legal indentured ownership of the buyer for the time of the sentence. Naturally violent criminals are rarely purchased, as any actions they take while indentured reflect upon the owner as well.
There is also a voluntary sale market within Denre, where Freeseeds and Freewombs can choose to give themselves up for a price, usually to settle a debt or increase their family's standing, occasionally even to form links between organizations or families where there is no genetic link intended.
Slavery is marked in Denre by a collar worn around the throat. It may be secured, unsecured, or as light as a cloth choker, but it must be worn around the neck visually, and it must have the emblem of a keyhole upon it, whether it is functional or not.
Freewombs and Freeseeds are required to wear a necklace with a data pendant containing all the requisite information associated with their free status, and failure to produce the necklace while wandering may lead to detention until the information can be acquired. Any style of necklaces are permitted, and the ubiquitousness of information technology allows for them to be acquired at a relatively low cost.
Titled Ladies, as part of their title, are given a sigil, and must bear something with the symbol upon it on their upper body. Legal enforcers have a database of sigils and the faces that apply to each of them, and the penalty for forging a sigil or using one without authorization is lifetime imprisonment to the state, and the ensuing sale. Often those are sold to outsiders in a sort of virtual exile as well, and those who manage to return are oft shunned as 'sigil breakers', those who would abuse the system that makes their country unique.
Legal Enforcement Edit
Denre has a trio of legal enforcement departments. The Ministry of Corrections is the more typical branch, enforcing chattel and society offenses, such as curfews, disrespectful slaves, runaways, and the like, as well as legal offenses, assault, theft, murder, and other directly criminal acts. They are also the active branch of the three, and will handle apprehension and transfer of criminals who are subject to the other two ministries.
The Ministry of Accounts is the most active of the three courts, and deals with financial legalities. While physical larcenary remains a Corrections offense, things like fraud, embezzlement, contract violation, debt ownership, and similar offenses are worked out by the Ministry of Accounts. Their usual cases are personal debts and financial oversights, but on occasion, they have been known to exercise a frightening amount of influence, such as imprisoning and enslaving a whole commercial pyramid scheme.
The Ministry of Integration is the last of the three bodies, and it is primarily concerned with off-worlders. Legal cases involving tourists are always shuttled to this court and sentences generally are either quite light... or quite heavy in the case of those who greatly overstep their bounds. The attraction of having an off-world court designed to explain contingencies to off-worlders does make Denre more popular for visitors, though the criminal registration does take a genetic sample from the subject, and rumor has it that visitors with certain genetic traits may find their sentences inexplicably higher.