Bayaran Status

We don't mean 'honor' when we talk about Debt

When nearly anyone in any class goes into debt they are considered to be Bonded, or Bayaran, to the individual debtor. Rather than using a concept of 'debtors prison', or even that of Earthly "Credit cards", Zekiran tradition calls for a temporary servitude to pay off that debt. According to local or Land-wide rates, Membayar attach wages or even completely forfeit pay to the one owed, often at the expense of the Bayaran going hungry. Unlike Slaves, Bayaran people are not entitled to free food and shelter, they must pay for it. It is not uncommon, though, for a Membayar agency (a bank, Holder, what have you) to waive rent on home space to allow for speedy repayment. Unless, of course, the Membayar has something personally against the worker...

Far more men than women are Bayaran. The endless stream of entertainment waiting the Free Worker on his off time seems to attract bets, bills and tabs. The largest percentage of Free Worker Bonds owes itself to betting on races. Only in dire circumstances does a Bayaran not return to Free status: death or illness that prevents payment work to be completed. In this event, a relative must opt to take the Bayaran's place. This can be frightening, and humiliating, particularly to wives of habitual gamblers. If a debt is not paid off in one generation, the next must take its place. And so on, until the money is no longer owed. Some local laws prohibit rapid payment through a twisted maze of Membayar logic, while others are precisely the opposite. The cities contain more of the lenient payment systems, simply for lack of time to do otherwise. No one wants a family out on the street because one of them is a fool. Generational Bonds are rather insidious, for if a Bayaran family member dies, and their younger children must keep up the debt payment, it's tantamount to Ownership: until they are of age (usually 13 or after the completion of their education) the child cannot work off the debt! This is the case with Breeder/Membayar, mostly, a certain amount of money is set to Raise the offspring which usually means they are in Bond until they're about 30.

Since many Free Workers are in some way affected by laws regarding Bonding, they tend to keep up on the legislation involved. But unfortunately, if a Worker becomes Bayaran more than the locally imposed limits, they lose all rights to vote, even after paying back. Only the wisest Free Workers never lose that right.
Bayaran often don't wear their logo, Generation Bonds must. It is a circle within a circle. Bayaran are equivalent to anyone in Earthly society who is badly in debt: got more than three credit cards? You're Bonded to those banks, believe it or not. Until you work off that student loan, you're Bayaran.
Note the use of terms: Bayaran is the specific title of a Bonded person and the title of the Status. Bond is a verb, used to connotate the act of being indebted to someone and paying off that debt. Bonding is the term used to describe the Membayar's actions.

The so-called "Myriad Paths to Bayaran City" all come down to one single word, one concept which rules all Zekira.
If the character being played is Bayaran, they are in debt. Big time. Big enough that - for the moment - someone else calls all the shots, someone else tells them where to be and what to do, and in no small way acts like they own them. They do not actually "own" by Bonding their charges, but many of the same rules apply. The major difference which changes the way that anyone should look at Bonding is that, ostensibly, the Bonded person is being paid for their work, they have an amount which - technically - can be paid back, and they are working toward becoming a FreeWorker again (or even Land Holder, or above if their circumstances are that dire!).
The interactions between Bayaran and their Masters are very complex, always changing, and often unpredictable. There is more about Membayar in their section.

When a person goes into Bond, it is always to a person or company which is paying their debt to whomever is owed in their stead. There are several types of Bayaran: First Timers, Habitual Bayaran, and Generation Bonds.

First Timers have just recently incurred a debt of some kind, be it through an accident causing property damage or loss of life/limb, attempting to purchase something far too expensive for their ability or losing their job while they were still paying something off on installments otherwise, or by Gambling Losses. The last category is the most common for men, and the most common for men of Owner Status, when they dip albeit briefly into Bayaran. The results of being a First Timer are about the same as the first speeding ticket someone on Earth gets: a slap on the wrist and a warning not to do it again. Of course this might not include being sued for damages by the injured parties, but often the Bond amount includes that potential. The amount of the debt has a lot to do with the actual time spent working in Bond to an agency, but if it is a gambling debt usually it isn't very long. For property damage, of course, it's up to the person who Holds the property to accept or deny the money from a Membayar. Many times, if a Membayar or someone capable of Bonding has been offered the opportunity, they will take the Bayaran on themself, and all the Bayaran can do is hope they have nothing personally against them. Loss of life always involves courts and their decisions are final, and usually amounts to quite a lot of debt. Accidentally killing someone - and being able to prove that it was an accident - can actually get by without any debt. Very very rarely. This is talking about FreeWorkers and Land Holders, though. Above those and being able to prove anything was accidental is suspicious itself! Generally speaking, and greatly depending on where the person lives or works, a person can go into Bond three times before they might be considered an Habitual Bayaran. Some places it happens on the second time! Some, never. The more racing debts being incurred in a place - usually the higher number of times before becoming Habitual. There are towns where there is so much post-race debt that half the work force is Bayaran at a time!

Habitual Bayaran are people who - even though they've been warned and Bonded before - continue to run into debt time and time again. Either through being a total klutz and breaking things or buildings, by having accidents at work and losing job time, or continuing their losing streak at the betting palaces. Surprisingly, more women than men are Habitual Bayaran. Draw the obvious connection to the overly-obvious and terribly stereotyped "woman shopping with a credit card" and leave it at that. It is true on Zekira, if not on Earth. That isn't saying that no men are Habitual Bayaran! Most of the men who are, got that way because they bet very poorly, and never give up. Once a person has been legally labeled Habitual, their FreeWorker rights are stunted. They may no longer vote, and they can never attain a higher Status! Basically, it's expected that they will continue to screw up, and so long as they do, why ought not the rights reflect this? There are Habitual Bayaran houses, debt collections agents who know their clientele by name and case number. Most often, unless the Bayaran specifically and vocally requests it, the same company or person will hold the Bond every time. Once a Habitual starts, it's usually a down hill slide into either Slavery - see below as Permanent Bond - or if they do it until they die, Generation Bond.

Generation Bonds are an unhappy lot. Any Bayaran who is born into their Status is a Generation Bond, and their parents are to blame. Massive debts (a building being demolished falls the wrong way and kills two High Holders and a Breeder; betting everything on a blown out nag with half a wing; hired on across the ocean and getting that Unit in Telva and then suddenly losing the job) might be best off served by more than one person. It is not necessary that the Bayaran dies to incur a Generation Bond, but that is the most usual manner. They may still be too injured to work, mentally incapable of it, or just too damned lazy. If they can convince their family to work with or even for them, they've got that right. Habitual Bayaran don't, usually, by the way. They work together as much as it takes to pay off the debt. The other side of Generation Bond are those left by dead Bayaran parents. If under ten years old, and without any other relatives to aid them, the children of the Bayaran automatically are deferred to the Bond Agent until they're able to work off the debt. They have absolutely no say otherwise, and most often these children are extremely bitter about the whole thing. As mentioned elsewhere, Generation Bonds who clear the debt eventually rarely if ever become Bayaran themselves. Once they have paid the debt they are FreeWorker and have a completely fresh slate to start with. They can attain higher Status. Depending on how old the child or children are when their parent leaves the debt, they are educated as per Slaves but with a bit more emphasis on personal goals and attaining them. It has been known to have happened in extremely rare cases that a Generation Bonded child was not informed that they were going to be paying off a debt. Note well that this is illegal and is not tolerated openly by anyone! If any one single Status was said to be pitied or looked on with a soft heart, it is the Generation Bonds.

Permanent Bonding, or falling from Bayaran Status into Slave Status is not as rare as it may seem, though only a small portion of the Bayaran population ever worries about it. Mostly it is Habitual Bayaran who become Permanently Bonded, with the odd Generation Bond giving it up and surrendering to the Bayaran Desperation. It simply means that the person in question fully admits they cannot pay back the debt and offers themself up for sale. Many Bond companies specialize only in Bayaran finances, they cannot take someone into Slavery. This gives the Bond agent the ability to be repaid by the amount of the debt left, the monetary value of a person is equal to their remaining debt. Yes, it's very sad, to Earthers, but it happens all the time on Zekira. The remaining time of the Permanently Bonded person's life is then spent as a Slave, working most likely in the same fashion they had been before they went into debt, but now completely without pay. With luck they are Owned by a person or agency that takes good care of their Slaves, because all of their rights are now Slave's rights.

Bayaran must work off their debt in whatever way their Bond agent requires of them. Most times, this means they will simply be doing their job - with what equates to Earthly wage-garnishing. Sometimes heavily garnished, sometimes completely. Varying by City and Area, the laws regarding how much a Bayaran may or may not pay back at a time differ vastly. It is still illegal to drive Bayaran into Permanence but it is hard to prove without having access to every scrap of paperwork the agency uses. When asked, a Bayaran is required - but can contest - to change their profession to suit the needs of the agency. Retraining may actually cost the Bayaran and increase their debt! Every agency is different, however, and though the laws change over the centuries, it is uncommon for a Bond Agency to request these potentially drastic changes to their lifestyle. Mostly, skills and present work count for a lot.

Spending months or often years as Bayaran takes its toll on people. Their will is usually the first thing hit, and their confidence is next. Bayaran Desperation is what Psyche healers call it, it is a clinical term which means the person has extremely low self-esteem, is often suicidal, or is so worn from working without pay (often going hungry or cold because of home-debts outside their Bond) that they feel at the end of their rope. If a Bayaran (or most other people for that matter) is determined to have Bayaran Desperation by a professional Healer, they may apply for a temporary lifting of their Bayaran Status. Most but not all Bond agents are amenable to this, but the time let off in this fashion is more precious than many Bayaran know: there's this thing called "interest"...

Being in Bond only technically affects the person Bonded. Their inability to pay something back is really the only thing they should be concerned about. If they are married (most Bayaran are not!) their mate can legally offer to help out, but most often it is only in the hands of offspring or genetic relatives.
The rights of Bayaran people are otherwise the same as their prior Status except that while Bonded they may not vote or leave the service of their Bond agent. Obviously, losing their rights to Habitual Bayaran status doesn't help them strive for better things, but those gaining their Status back after a Bond session are often mighty glad to be there.

Bayaran refer to their agents as Master, if they are formal about it. They can live where they want, but if the agent is able and amenable to it, they may be offered housing or room and board for reasonable amounts of pocket change. They do not have to obey their Master, if acting as a personal servant during Bond. They can argue all they want, they can even refuse to do something.
But they can also be charged for it, monetarily and legally. It can be equated in Earthly terms to a sort of Purgatory: being punished just long enough to pay the price, then being allowed back into the kingdom.

Bayaran Game Information
"You could be in BIG trouble..."
-Sleen Veltos, FreeLandHolder, Banker, Zerin/Laiarta/Hisai

Who You Are Bonded To...
01-50% Membayar
51-60% Owner
61-70% Suzerain
71-80% Animal Master
81-90% Breeder
91-100% High Holder
(Optionally: 01-45 Membayar; 46-55 Owner; 56-65 Suz; 66-75 AM; 76-85 Breeder; 86-93 H'H; 94-100 High Owner)

Where You Are...
You can be wherever the Membayar has you placed, but generally you choose and will be doing pretty much what you did before, only now you aren't making any money at it.

What You Do...
Hard Labor, see Owned chart
Menial Labor, see Owned chart
Light Labor, including teaching
Direct Attendant, Communications, Admin, Breeding or other jobs

How Breeding Has Affected You...
About 60% will be born into Bayaran, but those may be for a reason you are not aware of...
01-30% natural
31-60% B1
61-70% B2
71-75% B3
76-80% B4
81-90% B5, select one mutation
91-100% B6, select two mutations

Why You Are Bonded...
Bonding is a refined form of Indentured Servitude, the Bayaran is free to do what he will, within the normal limits of the law, and he may choose not to obey his Membayar (whereas the Owned Stock has no choice and must obey their Lord). The Bayaran is working off some debt or repaying a loan. Thus, Bonding is not normally permanent. Often, though, a Bayaran will enter the title late in life and their children if they have any must take their place after their death. (This need not exceed one individual person, but three or four do work quicker than one...) Outstanding loans to institutions or families are passed from generation to generation. The grandchildren of the Bayaran may appeal the debt by law. There is legislation pending to change 'may' to 'must'.

A certain amount of your income every month is devoted to paying off the loan but keeping you in debt is always fun for the Membayar agent. It is possible for different Membayar to see things very differently: some offer free room and board while paying off this debt, some insist that rent be paid in addition to the huge portion of debt payment - cycling to new debt again. Generation Bonds as stated elsewhere cannot start actually paying off any debt legally until they are at least 12 or 13 years of age and have passed all of their earlier education exams. People born to Generation Bond are most bitter, particularly at their now-deceased parents, who have left them with this debt. Once a Generation Bond is cleared, it can be noted, usually those people do not manage to get themselves back into Bayaran again, knowing what it's like seems to have a great effect.

How You Change Title...
Bayaran are at a very shaky step, falling can permanently remove freedom since Bayaran who become Owned may never return to their original Status, raising to Freeworker is the result of completion of Bonding. When a certified Bank verifies that a debt is Paid in full, the Bayaran is awarded (or retitled, if a Generation Bond) Freeworker Status. Habitual Bonds may by law become Permanently Bonded, it depends on the local laws. Very rarely an Owner or Membayar or other Higher Title is Bonded to a High Holder. Their original Status remains while they are Bonded. (Yes, you do their work, but IF their debt is not repaid within a limited time they lose Status, Holdings, and are Bayaran in Full, and you get Raised automatically back to Free Worker.) (Kinda makes you smile, doesn't it?)


Stat Roll Natural B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6
Intelligence 20+8d10 - - +5 +5 +5 +10 +10
Education 20+3d10 - - +5 +5 +10 +10 +15
Strength 30+7d10 +5 - +5 +5 +10 +5 -
Health 20+7d10 - - +5 +10 +10 +5 -
Agility 20+6d10 +5 - +5 +5 +10 +10 +10
Reaction 10+8d10 +5 +5 +5 - +5 +5 +10
Appearance 10+7d10 - - +5 +5 +10 +10 +/-10
Charisma 10+8d10 -5 -5 - - +5 +5 +10
Social Skill automatic 30 - - - +5 - +5 +10
Aggression 20+8d10 - - +5 +5 +/-5 +/-5 +/-10
Sanity 10d10 - - - - +/-5 +/-5 +/-10
Courage 20+7d10 - +5 +5 - - - +/-10

Bond Kyoh (the orange-skinned one smirking in the fuschia shirt) is in Bayaran to his Master the dark-skinned Haesh Chanay. He has a number of years to go before he'll be paid off, but even afterwards, they remain close friends. He eventually marries Bepa the Animal Mistress!