Note: This information was initially published in around 1997, though I do not have an exact date, as separate blog posts. It has been collected and reformatted here for easier reference. In the time since then it has proven its value over and over.
The practice of using chess pieces to represent the different broad categories of service is as old as The Estate itself and is a fast, intuitive and practical method. It has been our experience that every household has the majority of the pieces represented, even if they are embodied in one submissive. The larger households can generally afford the luxury of multiple submissives specializing in the areas and type of service assigned to them.
The more specifically training can be concentrated on excelling in one of these broad categories, the greater their chances of achieving that excellence. This desire must be balanced on the part of the owner with the need for utility. It would rarely make sense, for example, to train a highly skilled Rook in a specific skill, like chauffeur, if that submissive will be the only servitor in the household. Rather, one would expect such a household to posses a skilled Pawn or Queen, who could fill in as needed as a driver.
As you read the definitions of the pieces, remember that this system is useful for it’s flexibility, it is not a series of absolute pigeon holes. The following is an except from “the world in four parts” written by Soulhuntre that will serve as a guideline to how to read this:
"For our purposes, we can divide the population into three primary groups. As it is inevitable the the language of this discussion will be prejudicial if someone were to wish to misunderstand, or to take it out of context, I will make no attempt to pretty it up… instead, I am going to embrace those terms as much for their ancient connotations as the definitions I will bestow upon them…"
Many people have asked why The Estate doesn’t train submissives for the position of King. The reason is simple. The King is the Dominant of the chess board and the castle. The Estate specializes in the training of submissives.
As in the game, the Queen is a flexible piece, and it’s actual purpose depends on how it is played. Characterized most strongly by the ability to act powerfully at a distance, the Queen will often act as the representative or agent of their owner.
In larger households, it often falls to the Queen to oversee the affairs of the house but leave the details to another while the Queen focuses on outside or business concerns.
Traditionally, the Bishop was a religious leader, friend, and confidant. We at The Estate have expanded this ideal to include personal assistant, companion, and ambient partner.
By the very definition of the role, in large households the Bishop is often the piece with the most intimate access to the owner’s thoughts and feelings. There are no religious requirements inherent in the position.
Related Concepts: Personal assistant, confessor, advisor, minister.
Originally, the Rook represented the castle, a strong hold thought impenetrable. Within The Estate, this position is ideal for the straight-foward, service-orientated submissive who wishes to specialize in a skill.
The Rook can typically do many of the tasks of the Knight when speed of result is more important than a more subtle approach.
Related Concepts: Bodyguard, chauffeur, ‘party’ slave, pleasure slave, cook.
The Knight is a subtle chess piece and an unobtrusive submissive. Most trainees who wish to specialize in a
specific skill will train for either Knight or Rook.
Often the same tasks can be accomplished by the subtlety of the Knight or by the straight forward action
of the Rook – it remains the decision of the owner to choose the kind of statement they wish to make.
Related Concepts: Quiet seduction, discretion, arbitrator, ambassador, informant, spy.
The Pawn, usually seen as the least valuable piece on the chess board, is actually one of the most difficult positions to master.
The specialty of the high-ranking Pawn is that it has no specialty. The Pawn stands ready to step into any capacity it needs to, and provide temporary and competent service. In order to do this, the accomplished Pawn must possess the skills and grace of all the vocations.
More commonly, it is the Pawn that most classically matches the definition of a ‘general use’ submissive.The service of the Pawn is the most obviously selfless, asking little in return for the services rendered.
Related Concepts: ‘O’, The Marketplace, Renaissance Man, ‘furniture’ slave.