"Help, help, I'm being oppressed!"
Not really. But in lots of fantasy worlds, there is always someone who is feeling a bit oppressed. Peasants feel it from their rulers, merchants feel it from the ship traders. It all rolls down hill.
You want your fantasy world to resemble our world, our reality. Even if just a little bit. So you're going to have your tyrannical enthusiasts and you'll have your yoked, whipped oppressed.
I know I refer to Melanie Rawn's books quite a bit, I know. However, "The Dragon Prince" series is one of my all time favorite reads. Her High Prince, the one who rules over all and makes everyone's life miserable, is the perfect example of a tyrant. The way the rest of the world perceives him and his family, you know they all have a deep seated desire to kick the living snot out of the guy.
Talk about being oppressed. I think the entire world breathed a collective sigh of relief when he dies.
Now, not all fantasy stories have to have an oppressor, but it is kind of fun.
Then again, I have fun with those kinds of characters in my stories. I never liked bullies while growing up and I used to stand up to them. So I sort of let my characters take over that aspect of me. They stick up to people, they do everything in their power and then some to make sure that they take them down.
So who is oppressed in your stories?