World of A Song of Ice and Fire - Slaver's Bay

Slaver's Bay

Slaver's Bay is a marginal sea of the Summer Sea, lying to the south of the Dothraki Sea, to the west of Lhazar and thousands of leagues to the east of the Free Cities. The weather is very hot there. After a first mention in A Game of Thrones in relation to slavery, Daenerys Targaryen conquers the three great Slaver's Bay port city-states Astapor, Yunkai and Meereen in A Storm of Swords. She stays in Meereen throughout A Dance with Dragons. The cities were built from the rubble of Old Ghis, an ancient rival of Valyria that was crushed by that nation thousands of years before the series' events. Old Ghis had been founded by Grazdan the Great in the dawn of days, and had a harpy as its symbol. Whereas Westeros regards slavery as an abomination, the economies of the cities are largely based on slave labor and the slave trade. Treatment of slaves is often harsh, while citizens live in relative luxury. Professional soldiers of all three cities wear outlandish costumes and hairstyles that limit their usefulness in battle. The cities' militaries are highly dependent on additional slave and mercenary armies for the actual fighting.

Present inhabitants of the bay are a mixed race that no longer speak the old Ghiscari tongue but variations of High Valyrian with a characteristic growl. The ancient folk of Ghis, who name themselves the harpy's sons in Astapor, are said to have bristly red-black hair. The Good Masters of Astapor all appear alike to Daenerys as "thick fleshy men with amber skin, broad noses, dark eyes. Their wiry hair was black or a dark red, or that queer mixture of red and black that was peculiar to Ghiscari". Only the freeborn men of Astapor are permitted to wear garments called tokars, whose fringes display their status. Many Astapori women veil their face for the dust. The Astapori are drenched in sweet perfumes.

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