Hello! We received this ask on tumblr and saw it fair to share here as well!
“What is the standing of Astrid in the Manor? I feel like she is at the bottom of the totem pole. Explain a bit why? Would like the writer input if possible”
This is gonna be a long answer but I’ll take the opportunity to explain some things as well. Mild spoilers for The Manor, so be warned.
So Astrid’s standing in The Manor. To say that she’s at the bottom of the totem pole would be generous. She’s not even on the totem pole. The closest I can think of in that metaphor is that Astrid is the dirt around the totem pole. She is so far removed from the slave ranking system in The Manor as to make comparisons pointless, remember that the pigs that are forced to share their space with her are far superior. As to why she’s the lowest of the low (Other than Disclaimer and I being sadists) has not been revealed yet but it’s been hinted at. All I can say is that it’s Astrid’s own fault that she ranks so low and that may or may not have to do with (as it has been hinted) Astrid being the most “morally sound” being in The Manor.
As it’s also been hinted at, most of the other slaves demean and even abuse Astrid themselves without any prompt (such as Violet, but their animosity is a story for another time) and the fact that Astrid refers to lowly animals like pigs as “masters” and “sirs” is something they feel disgusted at. Add to that Astrid seems to wholly accept her place in The Manor and even encourages the slaves to take out their frustrations by torturing her has led them to have nothing but contempt for Astrid. (The only one restricted from torturing Astrid being Violet, but again, that is a story for later.)
However, despite Astrid’s position or even because of it and while Astrid herself is deemed unimportant, the role itself is useful to The Manor. She is useful as a guinea pig in that mistresses and mistresses in training will often use her to test out new torture and slave breaking methods. It is viewed as something of a badge of honor to make Astrid scream from pain or anything else as she does have a very high tolerance for punishment. And if Astrid asks for it to stop or begs for mercy, the torture tool or method is instantly seen as a huge success. Astrid also makes for a great deterrent and compliance for slaves. As they have something below them in status and can see they at least aren’t in her shoes and of course the threat of joining Astrid is above their heads if they disobey.
Anyways, Astrid is one of the main characters we’ll follow in The Manor and Disclaimer and I do love this character and have many plans for her in the future.