Freedom of Trade Proclamation
The Freedom of Trade Proclamation, issued in ZY1100 by Emperor Hunun Gol, established peace with the Halfling Merchant Companies in exchange for trade concessions: 1) legal passage throughout Empire for Halfling merchants; 2) the ban of certain spells deemed detrimental to business, including Golden Tongue and Read Thoughts; and 3) legalization of the Tabaxi slave trade.
The last point was a knotty issue, for it seemed to contradict the freedom promised to all “souls” of the Empire under the Decree of Emancipation. To resolve the issue, Imperial theologians declared Tabaxi and Vanara tau-tauma species, hence without souls. Since the decree only spoke of “souls”, Tabaxi were not covered. Tabaxi slaves flowed into the Empire from the port of Shen Bei. As an additional consequence, the interpretation enabled discrimination against Vanara, who also lacked souls. They have been confined to demarcated ghettos in many cities.