Outsiders and ReligionEdit
There are five notable groups of beings outside of the world. Each faction represents an ideology which is broken down by its members.
In Harem Collector, there are the Angels who are the subject of worship, and the Demons who are normally reviled but are also (occasionally) worshiped. These beings are widely known- the various churches spread the teachings of the Seven Angels, while the Tarnished Grimoire is a not-uncommon scholarly text defining the personalities of the Seven Demons. The Angels and Demons are somewhat oppositional- just as there is an Angel of Love and Passion so too there is a Demon of Lust and Envy- this doesn’t constitute a perfect 1:1 match. Because Angels are associated with virtue, and Demons are associated with sins that pervert specific virtues, some of them correspond with one another.
Muddying the issue somewhat is the existence of angels and demons. You see, the Angels and Demons are each served by what is called a “servitor race” of weaker beings created in their image. These servitors are frequently confused and conflated with capital-A Angels and capital-D Demons by humans who are ignorant of the difference. These servants have three properties in common: they are totally subservient to the Angel or Demon that they serve, they posses a similar appearance and powers of their master, and they are easily controlled by human magic. While they are generally more powerful than humans, it is well within a group of humans’ ability to destroy one of these lesser servants. The Servitor Archons, Guardian Fiends, Guardian Seraphs, miscellaneous Imps, and Marel the Brute are all examples of these lesser angels and demons.
So, in essence, it works like this:
The Seven Angels > lesser angels > humans < lesser demons < The Seven Demons.
The Angels and Demons have a few other things in common. They both are capable of granting powers to humanity, known as Prayers and Rites respectively. The different powers have slightly different properties- the two sets of beings have a preference for different elements, and while Prayers are fairly straightforward, Rites are much more powerful but come with some kind of extra cost. Angels and Demons can grant or take away their powers at will, and can also use their servants as intermediaries to do this. And now, for some heresy. Prayers and Rites are far from the only powers humans are capable of obtaining. While Evocations are poorly understood, they still undeniably exist and nobody knows precisely what power source they come from. Arcane magic is also available to anyone willing to put in the work to learn it. Some scholars theorize that these abilities are granted by their own pantheon of Seven Whatevers, but these individuals are usually shouted down because arcane magic is clearly different from divine and infernal magic. Some church scholars are surprised to note that the Angels don’t seem all that interested in opposing the Demons in any way, despite what their followers say. Then they do conflict, it’s often incidental- minions of the Angel of Law and Justice clashing with minions of the Demon of Cruelty and Hate, for example- but there is no specific enmity there. The only reason why demon cults are illegal in the Middle Kingdom at all is because they tend to disturb the peace, cause all sorts of trouble for the nobility and disrupt trade (source).
There are three other factions but not much is known beyond representing primal elements, magic, and science/alchemy.
Slavery is a part of the Middle Kingdom and beyond if you have anything to say about it. What makes it possible is the use of Slave Collars.Slave Collars
While the manufacture of Slave Collars is a guarded secret their effects are powerful. Any human who puts on the collar, willingly or otherwise, will be compelled to follow the orders of their Master. Resistance to direct orders tears at the mind until the slave complies or is left a broken shell, bereft of personality and only able to respond to orders from their Master. A person broken by a collar does not recover if it is removed.
The collars do not provide absolute control though. The slave is free to interpret the orders given by the Master. For example a Master may issue the order, “Deal with that man.” One slave may interpret those words as an assassination order, while another may interpret it an an order to make the offensive person leave. The slave collar also affords for planning, if more specific orders aren't provided. Using the above example, a slave intending to kill a target designated by their Master may wait until a time when the victim is alone. There is no “punishment” by the slave collar since the intent to carry out the order is present.
It should be noted that, if the slave cannot understand an order, there is no compulsion to carry it out. Slaves who can't understand their Master's language or are deaf would require special handling.
Collared slaves are able to collar others who then become their slaves. The new slave would follow the orders of the first slave, but would also defer to the first slave's Master. If the first slave and the Master issue conflicting orders the new slave will follow the orders of the Master.
It appears the collars may not be entirely effective on races other than humans. Catgirls are only vulnerable to the effects of the collar when weakened (in Yamamaya's case, by hunger). Elves even when collared against their will possess the mental fortitude to retain their personality. It is unknown what effect, if any, the collar has on Dwarves, Orcs or other sentient races.
The Slaver's Guild is the largest dealer and purchaser of legal slaving in the Middle Kingdom. Slaves may be sold to the Guild to pay off debts or when a family lacks the resources to care for them. As a result the majority of slaves available from the Guild in the Middle Kingdom are skilled in domestic work.
The Guild also undertakes expeditions to areas outside of Middle Kingdom to recruit slaves, though in this case, since the Guild is no longer under the jurisdiction of the Middle Kingdom will resort to kidnapping or other less legal tactics. Chimei and Yamamaya were recruited by these expeditions.
The Church appears to make use of the slave collars when executing arrest warrants as a means to control unruly prisoners. Their use of slave collars does not appear to be public knowledge judging by the reactions of the hero.
The Seven Angels EditThe Seven Angels are the center of the faith observed by the Church and appears to be the primary faith of the Middle Kingdom. Each Angel represents two related aspects. It is not uncommon for people to pray specifically to the Angel they think would be most capable of providing assistance. For example a housewife may primarily worship the Angel of Hearth and Craft while a soldier may pray to the Angel of Light & Mercy.
In scripture, the Angels stand against the Seven Demons who attempt to lead man into sin.
Angel of Law & JusticeEdit
The leader of the Angels and the only Angel depicted as male. He is the Patron of a civilized, just society. Some royalty claim to be chosen by the Angel of Law & Justice.
Angel of Loyalty & ServiceEdit
This Angel is the left hand of the Angel of Law & Justice. She reminds people of their duty to family, friends and the crown.
Angel of Light & MercyEdit
She sits at the right of the Angel of Law & Justice. She punishes the guilty in His name and brings light to the dark. Many Paladins and Clerics of the Church claim to represent this Angel's will.
Angel of Love & PassionEdit
The only Angel who has appeared in Harem Collector to-date. She appears to be a representation of romantic love. For some unknown reason she selects Meline as her Messenger.
Angel of Hearth & CraftEdit
This Angel, predictably, governs over all aspects of domestic life and the work of craftspeople.
Angel of Companionship & CourtesyEdit
This Angel represents friendship, diplomacy, and politesse.
Angel of Peace & ComfortEdit
The most “misunderstood” Angel, the Angel of Peace & Comfort brings death to those who are ill and takes them to the afterlife.