Pathfinder (Dragon Age Setting)
Slavery Elves and Halflings
Slavery in Thedas is an institution that traces its origins to the old Tevinter Imperium. After the elven homeland was invaded and destroyed, the elves were enslaved by the Imperium, and were looked down on as less than the average human. This view has survived the actual institution of slavery into the present day, and manifests in the existence of alienages, and other forms of discrimination directed against elves.
The Fight for Freedom
When Andraste attacked the weakened Imperium, she freed a majority of the elven slaves, who rose up and fought the Imperium beside her.
Slavery in Modern Thedas
Slavery is currently practiced by the Tevinter Imperium. It is one of the few places where elves are still literal slaves (as opposed to alienage elves, who are not technically slaves, but still tend to take the jobs at the bottom of society), and it is common practice for alienage elves to sell themselves or each other into slavery to provide for their families. Because of this, the condition of alienage elves in the Imperium is slightly better, but for the slaves it is significantly worse, compared to the elves of other countries. Slave hunters may capture elves in other nations (where, for the most part, slavery is illegal) and smuggle them into the Imperium, but those who are caught doing so are executed and made an example of. Those slaves who are sold on the black market are considered “non-contract” slaves, and have the worst living conditions of all.
Although slavery is illegal in Orlais, it is still not unheard of for wealthy nobles to own elven slaves. In recent years, though, the laws against slavery have become more strictly upheld. Empress Celene may have been instrumental in this change of policy.