|The subject of this article is based on declassified sources that were not publicly available during the game's formal run.|
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The Royal Harem was a secret offshoot of the Thai court in Imperium Offtopicum XIV. It functioned as the emperor's personal brothel and indoctrination facility where women were imprisoned for life and their children raised as obedient civil servants. It emerged spontaneously in a chat session during Turn 16, in which christos200 laid it out in disturbingly thorough detail. Its only reference in-game was a post by Tambien. christos had planned to further elaborate in a roleplay interview with Thorvald of Lym, but the game terminated before the session was conducted.
As part of the Thai emperor's divinity cult, he was afforded a retinue of 365 women, one to pleasure him each day of the year. The emperor was in turn expected to copulate at least once a day as a demonstration of his virility, and christos confirmed that the real reason Rama XXVII abdicated in 2112 was because the ritual had become too strenuous to his health. There was initial speculation that February 29 was 'orgy day', but christos stated it was in fact the emperor's 'day of rest', with said Orgy Day his birthday.
The Crown Prince was also given a smaller brothel of 20 women.
Women were conscripted based on youth and attractiveness, within an average age range of 16–30 years. They were commonly abducted off the streets by teams of kidnappers (officially named "Choosers" by the court, nicknamed "Snatchers" in the vernacular) in unmarked gold-coloured vans. After arriving at the royal palace, the captives were screened and presented to the emperor for appraisal. "Favoured" women were retained for the harem, while "unfavoured" women were secluded in a private wing of the palace, administered by eunuchs. Transsexual women were murdered on the spot.
Retention and offspringEdit
A woman remained in the harem for as long as the emperor saw fit. When she was no longer favoured, she was not released from the court but moved to the private wing for the rest of her life as a means of keeping the harem's inner machinations secret from the general public.
Children conceived in the harem were separated from their mother and raised in yet another wing of the palace as a means of grooming loyalty to the Crown and preventing succession contests to the emperor's recognized heir.
Abduction of foreign nationalsEdit
In the Spring of 2113, French citizen Sylvie Glaisyer and Indonesian professor Cahaya Citra were abducted by a Snatcher team while filming a feminist documentary on Thai misogyny. Glaisyer was presented to Emperor Sayammak I; despite her protests as a foreign national and violent temper, Sayammak inducted her into the harem.
The incident occurred during the height of the Indonesian War, and the French government's reaction, when it would have found out, remains unknown.
christos' revelations about the Harem provoked a spirited debate on the long-term social and political consequences for Thailand. The high turnover rate of active concubines combined with the snatch quotas would have led the number of disappearances to exceed the government's ability to suppress the issue within as little as 1–2 decades. The permanent removal of these women from public and economic life also foreshadowed a decline in domestic productivity and birth rates, and the chronic destabilization of family units.
There were some suggestions that as disappearances gained wider public attention, women would pursue sex-selective abortions out of fear their daughters would be abducted for the Harem, creating a long-term national gender imbalance and further damaging the country's birth rate.
Research into male-female birth ratios strongly suggests that when the emperor was around 40 years of age, the odds would tip in favour of siring a girl. Taken together with various other factors, a long-term prediction holds that the majority of the Harem's illegitimate children would be female. Given the Thai government's general contempt for women, these children would likely not be given preference for government positions and instead jettisoned back into society. This in turn provoked the chilling implication that the Snatchers would end up abducting the emperor's own progeny back into the Harem.
As the offspring of a state-sanctioned brothel estranged from their mothers and brainwashed into obedience, the emperor's bastard children posed a volatile demographic if the Royal Harem was exposed, and were well-poised for revolutionary sympathy and service as sleeper agents.