The Imperium of Rael’nos is a medium-sized empire in the Andromeda Galaxy. It is notable for its expansionist policies, Machiavellian philosophy and sophistication.
Rael’nosian culture values sophistication above all else. Its ethics center on self-determination and self-advancement while remaining apathetic toward other people. They value high art, and their music is famous for its depth of quality and meaning. Their poetry is widely considered subtle and ingenious. Those who do not agree with their philosophies will not always fully appreciate the ideas presented, but even such persons agree that their art presents their ideas beautifully.
With the Rael’nos’ value of sophistication comes a shunning of ideas and practices they regard as unsophisticated and unorthodox. They dismiss abolitionism and concepts of equality, altruism and honor as quaint and foolhardy. To them, a mature adult embraces and seeks to benefit from injustice, uses others as means to an end, and kills and enslaves without mercy when it furthers their own interests.
Their attitude towards slaves is designed to feign well-treatment. Valued Subordinates, while having no actual rights, are often given minor gifts or reliefs. Those who complain about their position in imperial society are considered ungrateful, and reminded that the Imperium could treat them in a much worse way than it does.
The IoR’s social structure is two tiered, consisting of a small population of “Benevolent Citizens” and an extreme majority of “Valued Subordinates.” Despite their name, the valued subordinates are, in fact, mere chattel slaves, treated with the trappings of dignity and respect but exploited freely by citizens of the empire. The proportion of slaves to free men is extraordinary. Slaves make up such a large portion of the empire that the average citizen must own several to prevent any from lacking a master. Given the extraordinary majority of slaves in the Imperium, it is unknown how the Imperium has avoided destruction at the hands of revolting slaves.
Conquest of other empires is the primary, but not sole source of Valued Subordinates. Demotion to Valued Subordinate status is a common punishment for several crimes and they are more than willing to buy slaves from other empires.
It is also possible for a Valued Subordinate to be freed by their master. Such an event is rare, and most Valued Subordinates will never be freed, but it does happen on occasion. Once freed, former Valued Subordinates usually face little to no discrimination and are treated as though they have always been free. The process is intended to function as an incentive for them to serve their masters more effectively and wholeheartedly.