Slavery in the Imperium
The keeping and selling of slaves is illegal in the Imperium and has been for centuries, a legal remnant of the Republic and something of which Imperial citizens are typically quite proud, as it is viewed as a civilizing distinction with lesser peoples.
However, as the flow of gold and troops to the periphery of the Imperium wanes and ambitious governors grow ever more bold in establishing personal loyalty among their Legions and populace at large, the practice has taken root clandestinely as a means of generating income and disposing of unwanted elements. Typically the slavers are made to pay a high tax, after which the authorities turn a blind eye. There are rumors, however, that some Governor’s take a more active hand in the trade in exchange for greater profit.
The Copper Bracelet
Perhaps the greatest “innovation” in the annals of human bondage, the copper bracelet worn by slaves that pass through this new slave trade has enabled the servitude for the first time of being possessing magical abilities. The bracelet projects an aura that powerfully dispels any effects conjured by the wearer which only the most powerful mages can overcome. The effect is fueled by a crystal worn by the slave master and decreases with distance until it eventually ceases.
The selling of magically inclined individuals has been a major boon to those brave and wicked enough to try it.